Putting on my power suit…

Standing in my power…finally.

Standing in my power…finally.

Today, as I dressed in this “power suit” for a day of meetings, I was reminded that it is International Women’s Day.
I find it charmingly ironic that is also my father’s 76th birthday.
Not exactly the biggest advocate of feminism, this man who would be the first man I was to meet on this journey here on earth, was a larger-than-life personality, often described as taking up all the space in a room, always full of ideas…and my first symbol of what power was.
And, I was born into this world, stamped by a likeness to my father…and I despised it.
His power and self-assuredness at all costs scared me.
I looked like him.
I talked a lot like him.
I had a flair for dramatic delivery like him.
I was a lover of music like him.
I was strong like him.
I was a people person like him.
I liked being the center of attention like him.
And it all frightened me.
Our longtime family friends will remember how tears would stream down my face, and my bottom lip would pout out in protest, when people would tell me at age 3 that I looked just like my father.
Because there was nothing worse to me than that.
I was scared of him.
I was scared to be like him.
And, while many argued that I got the best parts of him, not a morsel of it did I want.
Recalling my protesting pout now, I realize that it wasn’t just because of a fear of my father, but more so…a fear of myself.
No, I wanted to be like my mother – unassumingly beautiful, soft, smart, ladylike, shy, and demure.
And, alas, I was none of these things.
I am most definitely not demure.
I am strong,
I am brave,
I’m a survivor,
I’m an inspirer,
I’m a creator.
But, demure?
No. That’s not my lot in this life.
That’s best left for someone else to be – a girl, perhaps, who has yet to learn her purpose, or a woman who recognizes – and embraces – that demureness is HER strength…her power.
Now, I see that perhaps my mom has gained some of my strength.
While I never learned her knack for knowing when to speak, or how to be shy and demure, perhaps something even more pivotal happened. Perhaps with my birth, my mom learned how to stand in her own power.
And, I have come to stand proudly in my inherited personal power, strength,  dynamism and “too-muchness”.
I now thank both God – and, my dad – for these traits, and I thank years of experiences for giving me the realization that these are indeed gifts, and not the curses I always deemed them to be.
And, after 38 years of being scared of my own power, I now can wear a power suit, and feel right at home.
Here’s to all women worldwide not only standing in their power, but embracing it…and maybe even stepping into a power suit every now and then.

High-Low 6/3/14: Synchronicity & Ricky Nelson

Yet again, it’s time for the most popular column on BeautyFrosting – my High-Low. *So what exactly is a High-Low, you ask? High-Low is the BEST & WORST part of your day, week, month, etc. I started this tradition with friends & family after I discovered it through a movie decades ago. Not only is it useful for the sake of reflection but it is also an excellent way to communicate with your spouse, kids or friends over the dinner table. By introducing this tradition to folks, parents have told me that their kids have opened up more and friends have told me that their spouses have become more communicative. Try it for yourself and let me know what your experience is…

***

HIGH: Synchronicity

High: Heroes Becoming Friends - Tracy McMillan & I at Step Up's Inspiration Awards

Synchronicity is defined as the coincidental occurrence of events and especially psychic events (as similar thoughts in widely separated persons or a mental image of an unexpected event before it happens) that seem related but are not explained by conventional mechanisms of causality.

Increasingly, I am starting to believe in sychronicity in our lives and that we really do in fact become what we envision. I have seen it quite a bit in my own life and although that dubious cynic in my head likes to battle the Polyanna in my heart and perk its head up when it happens, it’s becoming difficult to ignore. Here are a few reasons why the cynic isn’t winning which I was reminded of this week when I ran into my friend, Tracy McMillan at the Step Up Inspiration Awards.

1) I grew up listening to country music. My dad used to tell stories of listening to the Grand Ole Opry on the radio in his room as he fell asleep as a child. So imagine my dad’s delight when I played the Grand Ole Opry back in 2003 and 2005 and he got to come backstage to the place that shaped his youth and helped him escape a rather difficult childhood. It was one of my all-time favorite dream-turned-reality moments.

2) I used to read Moll Anderson’s column in Nashville Lifestyles every month as I ate macaroni and cheese on my lunch break while working at a beauty store in Nashville. At the time, I was missing L.A. and feeling like my best opportunities had passed me by. I felt a little hopeless and I saw this gorgeous, smart, creative and inspiring woman living the life that I could only imagine living. Fast forward 5 years and I randomly (or was it?) met Moll’s son in the elevator of an office that we shared in Hollywood. Now, I am a correspondent for Beauty Beat on The Moll Anderson Show every week on iHeartRadio and I call Moll my dear friend and inspiring mentor. And let me tell you, knowing her is even more inspiring than reading her.

I used to read her column in Nashville Lifestyles. Now, I call her my friend and mentor.

3) Another example? When I was going through a rather painful breakup with my ex (don’t worry, he’s now my best friend), I was depressed. So depressed that I had been sitting around my house, drowning myself in breakup movies and Friday Night Lights episodes – trying to forget what might have been. At one point, I knew I needed to get out. So I made myself go out to a wine bar called Bottle Rock in Culver City…alone.

I sat on a couch outside and there was another single girl there, Alexandra. We ended up chatting and, after sharing our stories, she told me that I MUST read this book called, I Love You And I’m Leaving You Anyway: A Memoir by Tracy McMillan. Alexandra told me that I would get so much out of it at that point in my life. I bought the book on Amazon that very night and had read it within 4 days. I loved it and consider it a huge part of my heart-healing process. A few months later, my dear friend, Amy, came by and saw the book sitting on my table. “Did you read this? My friend Tracy is the author.” I was stunned.

I ended up meeting Tracy a few months later at Amy’s holiday party and am now grateful to call her my friend. And she continues to inspire me as writer and as a person. I have never seen Alexandra again but we are friends on Facebook. If I had not made myself go out, not chosen to go to that wine bar, not chosen to sit outside, sit on that couch or near Alexandra, I never would have read that book that inspired me so much. And I never would have been able to meet one of my now-literary heroes.

4) I’ve seen it with my friends, as well. When I worked for Barbra Streisand, I met Moe and Tini who came on to the team as Barbra’s assistants. Moe and Tini had been loyal Barbra fans since their childhood days in Philly. When they ended up working for Barbra in Malibu, there was no way to ignore that their dreams had turned into their realities. Now, they’re on to their next dreams of being writers/directors/producers and have an amazing film in pre-production based on their Philly days.

5) And I also saw it with Tracy McMillan, herself. She – and her friends – recall countless times that she said her dream was to be on Oprah. This past May, that dream came true when she appeared on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday.

So don’t tell me that synchronicity isn’t real. Don’t tell me that dreams don’t come true. And don’t be afraid to believe in the beauty of your dreams. Those dreams are some powerful things, my friends. Believe that they just might come true. And look for the synchronicity in your life for synchronicity is basically just a reminder that your dreams are works-in-progress, just waiting to come true in their own time.

LOW: Ricky Nelson Knew Best

LOW: Ricky Nelson Knew Best

As I have mentioned before, I tend to be a major people pleaser – so much so that I have been working at trying to become a little less of a people pleaser. But it is no easy task. While I don’t make it a habit of letting down people, in the past few months, I have done just that a few times. One of my best friends is not talking to me because I was tardy in replying to a text when she needed me…apparently very much. Another friend told me this past weekend that I hadn’t been as actively supportive and helpful of their career as they would like while they have always been my biggest champion.

Listen, these are not things I enjoy admitting. It breaks my heart and makes me question whether I am on the right path a bit. But here’s the thing: I know that I am. I am just learning new boundaries, taking care of myself and slowly – very slowly  – learning not to take everything so personally. My parents used to love Ricky Nelson – and he was, in fact, one of the first concerts I attended as a small child. So that might be why the lines from his song, “Garden Party” keep ringing in my head. “I’ve learned my lesson well. See, you can’t please everyone so you’ve got to please yourself.”

Well, I’ll still probably try to make people happy  – most especially those people I love. But I am learning that in this busy game called life, you can only do your best and leave the rest – and hope that you can be forgiven when you fall short. Because you will – as hard as you try not to – sometimes, fall short.

xoxo,
BF

BF Asks: What was your High-Low this week? 

 

In-My-Tub-Tuesday: Being Sexy Shampoo & Conditioner makes me feel SEXXXXY

I have been feeling a bit, um, sexier lately. Why, you ask? Oh, it’s lots of things – the changing of the planets, the solar eclipse,  the fact that I’m really starting to embrace being a woman and the boudoir shoot I shot on Sunday (stay tuned for more of that). But there’s also a product line that I’ve fallen in love with all over again. And it makes me feel sensual and seductive.

Being sexy thanks to Rusk Being Sexy shampoo & conditioner

Back in February, I used it and fell in love. And so did one of my Instagram followers & friend, @PurpleLynn: “@beautyfrosting Your hair is so shiny it’s RIDICULOUS!”.

My reply? “@purplelynn, THANK YOU!!! It’s a new shampoo and conditioner! And it works! Sulfate-free too! @Rusk Being Sexy!!” I realized that I sounded like an ad. And that’s exactly what I sound like when I truly love something.
Seriously, y’all, this stuff is gold. Rose gold (see? ‘cuz the packaging is PINK!). And it’s affordable to boot at around $15 – $24 depending on your store of choice.
As my Instagram comment mentioned, Rusk Being Sexy haircare is sulfate-free, cleans the hair without stripping hair of its essential oils and helps protect color-treated, keratin-treated or brazilian blowout-treated hair. My hero.
I’m also a big fan because it seems to prevent greasy hair and scalp. This leads to healthy, conditioned hair full of body, bounce, fullness and shine.
How does it do this? Through “Fision Hair”, a unique blend of ingredients said to help revive the scalp and hair follicle for healthier looking hair.
To be honest, I don’t know what that means exactly but I don’t care.
I just know that it works, all while being sulfate-free, and leaving my hair looking glossy and gorgeous!
Sexy indeed.

xoxo,
BF

BF Asks: What makes you feel sexy?!

High-Low 10-21-13: Urban Remedy Daycation & Letting Go of What Does Not Serve Me

HIGH: Urban Remedy Daycation with my fellow bloggers & tastemakers in Malibu

Last Tuesday, I had one of the most amazing days I’ve ever had. And it was all thanks to Urban Remedy and my friend – and fellow blogger – Jamie Stone of Queen Of The Quarter Life Crisis.

Jamie & Urban Remedy invited a host of bloggers and tastemakers to a mecca in Malibu- that was beyond divine – for a “Daycation”.

With my fellow bloggers, Roxy Manning of RedCarpetRoxy, Jamie Stone of Queen of The Quarter Life Crisis, Sydne Summer of SydneStyle and Rachel Dickhute of EverythingHauler

What did our “daycation” consist of?

Well, it started with being picked up at my house at 8:45 am and the ride along the coast – thanks to my driver – was perfection.

8:45 am pickup - courtesy of Urban Remedy - started the day off right!

 

Champagne-sipping while sitting in a swing chair was next…

Just a swingin'...and a-sippin'....

followed by more swinging…

I couldn't get enough of swinging...it took me right back to my childhood and I felt like I was in NeverNeverLand!

 

…cohorting with chickens – especially the fuzzy-Yeti-chicken with whom we were all obsessed and…

Sipping some chia with chickens - not your normal LA day...

(my favorite!) sitting in a teepee with my fellow guests, getting to know – and support – one another through an ancient ritual known as “circling”.

Teepee time - I never knew circlng could be filled with healing and self-discovery

 

We all agreed that the experience profoundly affected us and that we felt forever connected to one another because of this rare, self-celebrating and self-healing day.

With my fellow bloggers & tastemakers in the teepee

 

It was not your normal blogger event and I could not be more grateful to have been a part of it. So – again – thank you, Urban Remedy & Jamie!

A bonus? The next day, I enjoyed my Urban Remedy juice while baking pumpkin cupcakes. The perfect breakfast to  feed my body after feeding my soul the day before.

 

Urban Remedy Soothe No. 4 juice - with celery, cucumber, apple, ginger, parsley, lemon & more!

 

LOW: Letting Go – “Let go of anything that’s with you and not serving you.”

LOW: I am ready to let go of...

While this wasn’t a typical low, it qualifies as a low as it brought some pain before it brought some deeper discovery for me. In our circle in the teepee, we were each asked to write down on a piece of paper something we were ready to let go of. In fact the direction was, “Let go of anything that’s with you and not serving you.”

Yikes. This was a doozy. And for me, up came a lot of insecurity and fear that I needed – I should say, NEED – to let go of. So I wrote down all of the things that  don’t serve me, tore it up into pieces and let it go to literally be burned. Andrea of The Art of Circling – our circling guide – let us know that there was great power with the full moon that would come a few days later. So letting go of this baggage felt blessed in a way. And I feel a little lighter now as a result.  I also promised myself to counter every negative thought I have or say about myself with a positive one. Folks, that one is a bit trickier. But I’m trying. I have been made aware of my weaknesses and I am trying to turn them into strengths every day. It’s really all we can do in this thing called life.

 

xoxo,

BF 

BF Asks: What was your High-Low this week?  And what are you ready to let go of? What’s not serving you?

*So what exactly is a High-Low, you ask? High-Low is the BEST & WORST part of your day, week, month, etc. I started this tradition with friends & family after I discovered it through a movie decades ago. Not only is it useful for reflection sake but it is also an excellent way to communicate with your spouse, kids or friends over the dinner table. By introducing this tradition to folks, parents have told me that their kids have opened up more and friends have told me that their spouses have become more communicative. Try it for yourself and let me know what your experience is!

 

In the Bag: Mother’s Day Delights

Mother’s Day is coming up and, hopefully, you’ve already gotten the perfect gift for your perfect mom! But if you haven’t yet, here are some gifts to help Mom look and feel her beautiful best!

You should have just one goal while shopping for the mom in your life: Give her something that will delight her! Ask yourself, “What makes Mom giddy with glee?” This month’s In the Bag features some of my pretty picks that will really make your mom’s heart skip a beat!

In-The-Bag: Mother's Day Delights

1) Jessie Steele Citrus Blossom Rubber Gloves $12: If your mom is a dazzling domestic goddess, you can’t go wrong with one of my favorite companies: the jovial Jessie Steele! Jessie’s retro-fabulous, kitschy kitchen gloves come in a variety of colors and designs, so there is a pair destined to match your mom’s kitchen décor. With this one reasonable-yet-ravishing gift, you can turn Mom’s least-fun kitchen-cleaning task into a glamorous affair!

2) SoapyBliss Flavor Collection Bath Collections $45: If your mom’s a sucker for sweets and/or is a bath addict like I am, she will love these treats from the delicious small businessSoapyBliss! These precious little confections satisfy moms with a sweet tooth without crashing their diets! Between the Cupcake Bath Bomb, Shower Sugar Cubes and Whipped Cream Body Frosting in this set, Mom is sure to soak in sweets to her heart’s content! And with prices starting at just $5 for Cupcake Bath Bombs, everyone can find a gift within their budget on the SoapyBliss site. Plus, the pretty pastel packaging that resembles cupcake wrappers and chocolate boxes is sure to sweeten the surprise!

3) Caldrea Variety Sampler Set $75: Is your mom less on the glamorous side and more like Monica from Friends? Then this Caldrea Variety Sampler Set will impress your lovely, loves-to-clean lady of the house! Safe for her, her family, her home, and the earth, this set is filled with all the everyday essentials she needs to keep her home clean and sparkling. And with a variety of Caldrea’s best-selling scents, Mom’s sure to find a favorite for future purchases!

4) Sherrieblossom Icebox Wide Acrylic Makeup Organizer $395: This deluxe, sure-to-delight celebrity favorite is a triple-hitter! For the mother who’s the ultimate organizer, the mom who wishes she were more organized, or the mama who dazzles as a glamazon, Sherrieblossom is the gorgeous way to go! With its five see-through drawers and six tiers, Mom’s makeup will never go rogue again! Plus, Mom will have all of her beloved beauty products at her fancy fingertips while primping for a big night out! So lavish some luxury on your marvelous mother!

5) FabFitFun VIP box $49.99/season: If you want to bring a little red-carpet luxury to your mom’s everyday life, the FabFitFun VIP box is your answer this Mother’s Day! Giuliana Rancic – and the FabFitFun femmes themselves — handpick the pretty, primo products for this luxury box delivered straight to her door four times a year. While your mom won’t receive the box on Mother’s Day, you can let her know that your Mother’s Day gift is a gift that keeps giving all year long! With fun, full-sized products from the beauty, fashion and fitness worlds, Mom will be giddy with glee every time she receives this seasonal surprise!

6) Clarisonic Mia Sonic Skin Cleansing System in Pink $119: For a beautiful no-brainer bet, you can’t go wrong with this gift that gives Mom gorgeous, glowing skin. An investment in Mom’s skincare and a little daily luxury, the Clarisonic skin cleansing system is loved and trusted by women across the world who want softer, younger-looking skin. Cleaning deep to the pores and increasing circulation and oxygen, this small, travel-friendly treat comes in every color of the rainbow. If your mom’s partial to pink like I am, the pink Mia is the perfect accent to any beauty’s bathroom counter. Plus, she’ll be impressed that you care about her complexion!

And, ladies, don’t forget to treat yourself with one of these In the Bag fab finds. Happy Mother’s Day to all of you beautiful ladies out there who help shape the women we become on a daily basis! May you experience as much love and beauty this Mother’s Day as you have brought into your loved ones’ lives!

 

xoxo,

BF

 

BF Asks: What are you delighting your mother with this Mother’s Day?

 

High-Low: A WEEK OF WONDERFUL WOMEN IN MY WORLD!

Wow, wow, wow!!! What an amazing week filled with oodles of fun with friends and wonderful women in my world!

The week started off with…The Oscars! I had a strange feeling that this might be my last opportunity to sit at home and watch (party invites, etc.) so I decided to take advantage of it. I had brunch and bottomless mimosas with my best friend, Suzanne Karotkin, who was visiting from Dallas and then came home, slipped on my favorite Jessie Steele cupcake pajamas and settled in for the evening with some Village Pizza and vino.

Super indulgent - Oscars Sunday in pjs with pizza!

 

On Monday, my amazing Mom celebrated her birthday so I did what I could from afar. I prettily packaged her favorite coconut cupcakes from Joan’s on 3rd, shipped them to her in Dallas and then posted a few collages on Facebook so she knew I was thinking of her on her special day! I have the most beautiful mother in the world and I’m lucky that I get to consider her my very best friend and talk to her usually twice a day.

More important than loving me, she taught me HOW to love.
No small task for a parent in the world we live in.
But, thanks to my Mom, my world was a sunshine-warmed home filled with love, laughter, openness, communication and fun with no shortage of hugs & kisses and secrets shared.
If I am never lucky again in my life, I was the luckiest for being born into this world having her as my mother.
We should all be so lucky and blessed.

My beautiful Mom!

 

Mom - the center of our universe.

I was thrilled to welcome my new intern, Maddi – a student at UCLA, to my BeautyFrosting team! I was so excited that I organized one of my favorite Martha Stewart notebooks for her replete with a nametag. Yep, I’m kind of a nerd! I am so excited for the energy, organization, talents, ideas and creativity she is already bringing to the BF team!

Welcome Maddi!!

I was super excited to get to be one of the first to try the all new Dermalogica UltraSmoothing Eye Serum at their flagship store in Santa Monica. It was a lovely evening of pampering, cocktails & eats and treats! Stay tuned for more details on this awesome new eye treatment!

Experiencing the Dermalogica difference in Santa Monica

And this past weekend was a weekend filled with wonderful women that I adore!! Between dinner at Frida in Beverly Hills, wine & tapas at Covell in Silverlake and brunch at Duplex on 3rd, my weekend was packed with fabulous friends!

A wonderful weekend with some of my favorite women!

Then last night, I had the pleasure of trying out the fabulous Flemings SteakHouse in Beverly Hills. As a Texan-turned-Angeleno, I had been craving a steak like nobody’s business, so when the offer to try out this sensational steakhouse presented itself, I felt like the steak gods were in my corner! More on this deliciousness later!

With fun friends At Fleming's Steakhouse in Beverly Hills

After all this, I need a vacation from my weekend!!!! While there was much delicious food this weekend and even more delicious cups of laughter and dishing than glasses of wine, I am in need of a break from all of the social activity.

However, that won’t be happening this week! Too much going on to even mention!

 

LOWS

My sweet Mom’s birthday was a little tainted by someone being selfish. That made me a little angry, shall we say, as her #1 biggest fan!

And unfortunately, there was a second low. And ohhhhhh-was it low! My beloved, sweet pup Miss Ellie has developed a barking problem since we moved into the place we live now. It has come to a head because she’s barking for hours on end when I leave. I am meeting with a dog trainer who told me that I need to crate-train and stop letting her sleep with me. That hurt. She’s 8 1/2, y’all. I actually cried when she told me that so the trainer probably thinks I need a therapist myself! But I started doing what she told me to do and I’m hoping to see gradual results soon.

I’m really feeling for all of you parents out there. I mean, if this is hard for me, I can only imagine how difficult saying no as a parent will be for me one day! Wish me luck with this little challenge!

 

Miss Ellie's new "house" - :(

 

xoxo,

BF
BF Asks: What was your High-Low this week?

Magic Monday: How Marilyn Helped Ella – true beauty

Ella Fitzgerald & Marilyn Monroe

In the 1950s, the popular nightclub, Mocambo would not book Ella Fitzgerald because she was black. Fortunately for Ella, she had a powerful and unlikely benefactor Marilyn Monroe. “I owe Marilyn Monroe a real debt…it was because of her that I played the Mocambo, a very popular nightclub in the ’50s. She personally called the owner of the Mocambo, and told him she wanted me booked immediately, and if he would do it, she promised she would take a front table every night. She told him – and it was true, due to Marilyn’s superstar status – that the press would go wild. The owner said yes, and Marilyn was there, front table, every night. The press went overboard. After that, I never had to play a small jazz club again. She was an unusual woman – and ahead of her time and she didn’t know it.” – Ella Fitzgerald
Thanks to Ann Delisi’s Essential Music for this sweet and inspiring story.

Quote Book: Stubbornness of a child = Adult perseverance

Claire Huxtable knows best!

Quote Book: Stubbornness of a child, Adult perseverance

Quote Book: Stubbornness of a child, Adult perseverance

 “The stubbornness I had as a child has been transmitted into perseverance. I can let go but I don’t give up. I don’t beat myself up about negative things.”

(Phylicia Rashad)