Grammys 2016: Kickin’ It With Clive & Cover Girl

Most little girls grow up, dreaming of becoming a princess or something…but, me?

A girl and her dream come true

A girl and her dream come true

I grew up, dreaming of award shows and living the Hollywood life.

Cover Girl made a dream come true for me, thanks to a memorable evening - and a memorable look, with these delicious products!

Cover Girl made a dream come true for me, thanks to a memorable evening – and a memorable look, with these delicious products!

Well, dream granted!!!

Never have I been reminded of that dream coming true more than when I was asked to attend a behind-the-scenes look of The Grammys with Cover Girl and attend the annual Clive Davis pre-Grammys gala at The Beverly Hilton, the night before the big event.

While I would attend The Grammys and an after-party with friends the following afternoon, my pre-Grammys party was strong on Sunday, thanks to my friends at Cover Girl.

My Cover Girl Grammys glam experience started with a behind-the-scenes tour of Staples Center, where The Grammys would be held the following day.

Getting a behind-the-scenes sneak peek  of The Grammys

Getting a behind-the-scenes sneak peek of The Grammys

We walked the red carpet, saw Kendrick Lamar rehearse for a bit, and rode up the “escalator to heaven” where winners go to the press room after they win their Grammy(s).

It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. And, the day just got better and better.

To prepare for Clive’s party, Cover Girl sent over the Glam Squad to do my makeup and get me all dolled up with some of their prettiest products.

Clad in black for Clive's party

Clad in black for Clive’s party ℅ ABS by Allen Schwartz

I wanted my makeup to be as fun as I felt (hey, ABS by Allen Schwartz deep plunging neckline!), and wanted to channel a little bit of that little Dawn who used to dream of such a magical day, back while  was singing in chapel in my school days.

Award season-Sandra Bullock was my inspiration

Award season-Sandra Bullock was my inspiration

Look I was going for? Award-season Sandra Bullock. After all, my first Hollywood job was being her stand-in in Miss Congeniality in Austin, so it only makes sense that my dream would come full circle, in FULL color!

Cover Girl Oh Sugar lip balm in Sprinkle is as SWEET as it sounds!

Cover Girl Oh Sugar lip balm in Sprinkle is as SWEET as it sounds!

So, we stuck with a perfect, perky pink lip with Cover Girl Colorlicious Oh Sugar! Vitamin Infused Balm in Sprinkle, dewy, glowing skin thanks to Cover Girl TruBLEND Liquid Makeup foundation, a pop of natural color on the cheeks with Cover Girl TruBLEND Blush in Medium Rose, defined eyes with Cover Girl TruNaked Eyeshadow Palette in Roses, and lots of lashes, thanks to Cover Girl Plumpify Lash Blast Pro.

The best part? Each of these products is $10 or under!!!

That evening, I attended what was – quite honestly – the best event of my life: the Clive Davis pre-Grammys Gala.

I sat at the table with Cover Girl, Procter & Gamble and three other influencers who were as over the moon to be there as I was.

My place at the table at the Clive Davis Pre-Grammys Gala at The Beverly Hilton

My place at the table at the Clive Davis Pre-Grammys Gala at The Beverly Hilton

So, with all of the events I get to attend, why was this one so special?

Well, here’s but a small selection of some of the artists who performed: Dave Grohl, Beck, Barry Manilow, Melissa Etheridge, Fetty Wap, Earth Wind and Fire, Adam Lambert, Jack Antonoff of Fun, Andra Day, Elle King, Meghan Trainor, Chicago, and the piece de resistance…CARLY SIMON! Yes, you heard me.


She sang “You’re So Vain,” and the whole room of wall-to-wall celebrities were dancing and singing right along with me.

It was one of those life-making moments I shall never forget.

I was happily surprised after the 6-hour gala to see that my makeup hadn’t budged a bit, so I decided to do the whole makeup routine again for The Grammys the following evening, when I attended with my friends, Mike & Aphrodite Camello. Changing it up a bit from straight strands to beach-waved locks, I was going for an Emmylou Harris meets Loretta Lynn country vibe to celebrate all of my friends in from Nashville who were nominated.

On my way to The Grammys!

On my way to The Grammys! Dress ℅ Eliza J

Afterwards, I hung out at The Mavericks’ after party at Velvet Margarita with my Grammy-nominated friends,  The Mavericks

Post-Grammys-partying with The Mavericks

Post-Grammys-partying with The Mavericks

and one of my dearest friends, director Trey Fanjoy (who also happens to be not only an award-winning video director herself for Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert and Taylor Swift, but also the wife of Eddie Perez, the guitarist for The Mavericks.

With my Nashville sister and dear friend, video director Trey Fanjoy at The Mavericks' post-Grammys party

With my Nashville sister and dear friend, video director Trey Fanjoy at The Mavericks’ post-Grammys party

And, while my Cover Girl makeup lasted beautifully and flawlessly all night long…

Thank you, Cover Girl, for a Grammys look that lasted!

Thank you, Cover Girl, for a Grammys look that lasted!

after 4 days of non-stop going and glamming, it was time for this girl to say good night.

Good night, Grammys! This girl was happily exhausted.

Good night, Grammys! This girl was happily exhausted.

‘Til next year, Grammys.
Can’t wait to do it all over again, Cover Girl.



I won the SuperBowl…of personal permission and freedom

The way I do the SuperBowl...

The way I do the SuperBowl…

As I’ve mentioned before, this year is all about balance for me – finding that elusive balance between work life and social life, and trying to carve out a distinction between the two when it comes to my career of being an extrovert.

Today was an excellent exercise in this.

I had to cancel Super Bowl plans for two different parties today to make sure that I could meet a deadline and finish some open projects before a busy week ahead.

I thought that I should just stay home and be terribly responsible, but my good friend Amy and I had made plans to walk and talk this morning. So, I decided to add some balance to my day, and honor that commitment.

We ended up going on a walk through her neighborhood of Larchmont/Hancock Park, and then, came home where she made a delicious farmers market-fresh lunch of veggie burger with fresh avocado toast and market greens with homemade dressing.

One of the most challenging parts of growing up is learning when to say yes, when to say no, and not regretting either answer.

As I headed home to write this afternoon, with a few taunting texts about missing the big game peppered in there, I realized that I was already a touchdown ahead because I had honored what I needed my Sunday to be for me. I may not have won a ring this Super Bowl Sunday, but I have won something much greater: personal permission and freedom. 🙌🏻🏉🏆

The Serial Killer Living Inside Of Us All…

This picture is me kicking fear's butt.

This picture is me kicking that serial killer called Fear’s butt. Take that, sucka.

This is a picture of me kicking a serial killer’s butt.

See, this past weekend, I was asked to audition for a film. 

I was thrilled…ACTING!! My original dream that brought me to Los Angeles.

My costar from a short film from years ago said he wanted me to audition for it, and I was terribly flattered. 
In fact, I got all excited and then…I read the script.
The character description read:  “a pudgy, hard-looking 48-year-old diner waitress.”
It never occurred to me of course that my friend might be asking me to audition because I was a good actor or that he enjoyed working with me. 
Nah, fear and ego took me straight to, “You CAN’T do this because it will be admitting that you are that person you were always so scared of becoming.”
While I’m CERTAINLY not skin and bones, it took a minute for my ego to have an absolute meltdown. “You can’t do this! You’re acknowledging your greatest fear.” 
And, that’s exactly the reason I did it.
a) it’s ACTING – a field that literally hinges itself on being who you’re not
b) my weight/appearance is not my greatest fear any longer (nor should it have ever been), and 
c) I need to loudly recognize in my actions the difference between fear and reality, for it’s a mighty thin, often blurry line; and, if you ask me, it’s fine time someone called fear out for posing and dressing up like reality. 
So, I went on that audition, and channeled my Granny Alice, who was a diner waitress.
I even paid $50 to put it on tape. I wore NO makeup, a plaid shirt, and didn’t even look in the mirror before I went before camera.
And, you know what?
I lived. And, it felt good. Heck, it WAS good. Good enough to get the part?
Who knows? That’s absolutely none of my business.

And, sure, It felt liberating and all that.
But, it also felt mighty fine to yell “F— YOU FEAR!!” right in that sad, scared little guy’s face.

It felt so good, that I decided to break up with that little f—‘er.
And, in doing so, I’m able to proudly share my story with you.

So, here’s the takeaway for you:
Is there something you’re scared to do? Maybe you’re not doing it because it doesn’t seem “realistic” enough?
Well, here’s some REAL realism…

Do it anyway.

Fear is like a clever serial killer – the likes of Ted Bundy – and he has only one purpose: to look pretty and harm us, while operating under the guise of keeping us safe.
But being creative and daring – and dreaming? Well, that is ANYTHING but safe.
You must think of fear as a serial killer – who serially kills not helpless women – but any dream you might dare to dream.
I don’t know about you…but I don’t have time for any serial killers in my life, unless Benson & Stabler are hunting ’em down. 
Nope. I’ve let that serial killer known as fear kill quite enough dreams for me, thank you very much.

No thanks, fear. I’ll let you keep me safe and protect me from REAL harm, but, I will NOT let you keep me from my dreams. No longer.
And, here’s the thing I’ve learned.
I strongly believe that when you exert just a little bit of bravery into that dream energy, your dream meets you at the gate in spades. “Oh, you auditioned for that part that scared you to death and made you face your ego?” It says, “Bravo!!! I’ve got another audition for you as a reward.” Yep. That’s what I’ve experienced in my 9-lives of a life.
The more you show up – and you’re not scared to fail, the more you’re met with success.


On any given Wednesday…

Me in a nutshell on any given Wednesday morning: a heart of gold, messy morning cake and always taking notes on this thing called life.

Me in a nutshell.

Me in a nutshell.

Coffee Mug: Paper Source

Cake: Hansen’s Cakes

Notebook: Marshalls

Saucer: Homegoods

It all began with Adirondack chairs…

With casting director, and dear friend, Sarah Katzman

With casting director, and dear friend, Sarah Katzman

I met this beautiful birthday girl, casting director Sarah Katzman, in Cape Cod over 15 years ago, where I sat – a heartbroken 21-year-old, clad in a powder blue fairy outfit, with glitter eyeliner – at a costume-themed wedding, where my lifelong crush was getting married.

There, we sat next to one another at the afterparty, overlooking the water in Adirondack chairs, where I spilled my juvenile heart, and she cheered me up, with her talk about LA, where she currently lived and worked, and the place I hoped to move to, upon college graduation the following May. I remember feeling very alone, and I remember feeling that not only did she tolerate me, but that I had made a friend, and, thus, was a little less alone.

That friendship continued – and, was tested – when I did indeed move to LA in 2000, and my mother and I proceeded to drill her about everything from what hotel we should stay in, to where I should live, to where we should eat, to where we could get furniture, to where we could get manicures. It is one of my most favorite times in life, and she helped make the transition from my family home to my adult home, both easier – and sweeter – for my mom and me.

I am forever grateful for that, and I am so thankful to know this dear heart – the kind, listening girl she was to me when we were sitting in Adirondack chairs, the lady she has become, and the strong woman who lives just a hop, skip and a jump away up Hauser…and just around the corner from Vinoteque. Love you, Katzman. Happy birthday. ** My tee: CloverCloth

Dawnspiration: Monday got ya down?


Man, isn’t this the picture of Monday in a nutshell?

Reluctantly shifting back into action, tugging on our leashes, biting the proverbial hand that feeds us?

I met this little guy, Skates, on my walk today in Hollywood, and felt that his adorable resistance could be a message for us all, today. See, we all know that life is a gift, but we often forget that making a living is also a gift. You might not like your “leash,” – many people don’t 100% of the time – but I bet you like the life it affords you to have. Until we all are granted trust funds from God, and I don’t foresee that happening in the near future, it looks like we’re all gonna have to make peace with that “work” leash, and learn to loosen our bite on it a bit. Speaking of trust funds, don’t waste time being jealous of the trust fund kids – in my experience, they’re often just as lost in finding their direction as the rest of us, if not more.

And, sure, if you are struggling every day, you might want to look for another profession, but before you start looking for a job responsible for feeding you and your family, I would recommend finding an outlet that feeds your soul. Something to warm up to, if the work day leaves you feeling a bit cold.

So, start today.

Do something today that makes you feel good.


Give back.


Be entertained.

And, happy Monday!

Don’t you know?

Today signifies a week full of possibilities in front of you.

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