Christmas Card Truth Talk: Kill The Christmas Comparison Curse

Merry Christmas, y’all!

Let's stop the Christmas comparison curse, and adopt an attitude of gratitude

Let’s stop the Christmas comparison curse, and adopt an attitude of gratitude

My Christmas card this year makes it look like my whole life matches.

But, that was just one picture on one day, when I happened to put on a dress that matched my life, apparently.

Yep, It’s that time of year again – not just the time to hang the stockings, but also the time for these cute little Christmas cards to start coming in the mail.

This year I’m here to remind you of a little something: every time you look at these “perfect little cards with perfect little people or perfect little families with perfect little lives,” just remember this: there is no such thing as “perfect.” The idea of “Perfect” varies from person to person, and my ideal is not your ideal, & vice versa.

With every card you receive this year, keep in mind that you know only about 10% – 25% tops of what’s going on in these people’s lives and stories, and just a portion of what’s truly going on under their roofs. Don’t believe me? How much do people really know about you and your family? Mmmmmhm. That’s what I mean.

No, our Christmas cards aren’t sent to show our friends and family the reality of our everyday lives, with all of the struggles and challenges we face. They’re just there to show those we love that we’re happy to be here, doing what we’re doing, living the best life we can with the ones we love, in the moment we’re in, the best way we can, to the best of our abilities, on any given day.

So, kill the comparison and adopt an attitude of gratitude, and be thankful that those perfectly imperfect people on the card find you to be a special enough IMPERFECT person like them to receive a Christmas card. And, let’s take a moment of gratitude for what we’ve got right now because the known sure is better than the unknown.

After all, those folks you aspire to be more like might be dealing with struggles & challenges a whole lot more daunting than the challenges you’re facing. And, next year, you can also do what I – and so many others do – and donate $1 to your favorite charity for every Christmas card you send out. That makes every Christmas card a positive message in the world, and not one that inspires wanting more. You have everything you need, in this very moment.

xoxo,
Dawn

Friendsgiving 2015: A Very Hickory Farms Friendsgiving

Friendsgiving 2015

Friendsgiving 2015

My favorite thing on this here planet is to have people sitting around my table.

Friendsgiving 2015 with Hickory Farms and friends at my home

Friendsgiving 2015 with Hickory Farms and friends at my home

So, when Hickory Farms and I decided to team up to host a Friendsgiving luncheon to launch their Signature Party Planner Gift Box ($46) this holiday season, which benefits No Kid Hungry

Hickory Farms Signature Party Planner (only $46), and for every box sold, Hickory Farms donates $5 to No Kid Hungry, which feeds 50 kids.

Hickory Farms Signature Party Planner (only $46), and for every box sold, Hickory Farms donates $5 to No Kid Hungry, which feeds 50 kids.

we wanted to create a warm, open-hearted environment where many of the inspiring women I know could sit, dine, support one another, share their successes and proclaim their goals and gratitude.

Mismatched plates? No problem. Pick up seasonal plates at a flea market or discount store for whimsical, carefree holiday entertaining. I got these plates for $2 each!

Mismatched plates? No problem. Pick up seasonal plates at a flea market or discount store for whimsical, carefree holiday entertaining. I got these plates for $2 each! And, I served water out of mason jars (just about $1/pop)

Putting the friends in Friendsgiving

Putting the friends in Friendsgiving with Eva of Happily Eva After, Lily Diamond of Kale and Caramel, and Ellen of Hedley and Bennett.

I invited a few of the finest folks in my social media influencer life, who really appreciate the reason of the season: gratitude. 

Starting the lunch off in the right spirit by placing a "I am grateful for…" card on everyone's place setting, to get them in the mood…for gratitude, of course!

Starting the lunch off in the right spirit by placing a “I am grateful for…” card on everyone’s place setting, to get them in the mood…for gratitude, of course!

Good guests can make or break an intimate in-home gathering, and if there’s even one person who’s a weak link, simply by bringing in a bit of negative energy, the experience can be ruined for all. Well, there was no weak link at this ladies lunch. Instead, a lunch that was supposed to last 2 hours, lasted almost 4, with all of the guests staying until sundown, save a couple who had prior obligations.

As beautiful as the sunflower centerpieces  were, the real centerpiece of the lunch was gratitude

As beautiful as the sunflower centerpieces were, the real centerpiece of the lunch was gratitude

We went ’round the table, sharing our stories, listening to those of others, and brainstorming about how we can make a difference both in each other’s lives and in this world…all while drinking wine and nibbling on cheese and sausage. I watched women who had never met before leave as good friends, and knew that from this single, magical afternoon, some life-changing alliances were born.

Strangers who became friends mean my Friendsgiving was a success!

Strangers who became friends mean my Friendsgiving was a success!

As for the Friendsgiving menu? Here’s just a little of what you can get when you order from Hickory Farms this holiday season to keep everything festive, while keeping your guests fed and fueled, without you feeling overworked.

As a host, I felt no stress with my guests, thanks to the ease, convenience and deliciousness of Hickory Farms!

I actually was able to sit, eat, drink and talk!!! As a host, I felt no stress with my guests, thanks to the ease, convenience and deliciousness of Hickory Farms!

First up? Drinks, of course. Did you know that Hickory Farms sells wine? And, I mean really, really GOOD wine!! My favorite is the Flora Springs Merlot ($40). I want to buy like 6 cases of it for all of the holiday entertaining I do…and maybe just to sip while watching Scandal. Who’s with me?

Wanna get one of the best Merlots I've ever tasted? Head over to HickoryFarms.com. Seriously.

Wanna get one of the best Merlots I’ve ever tasted? Head over to HickoryFarms.com. Seriously.

An easy peasy cheese tray with Hickory Farms cheeses served as a tempting – and satisfying – appetizer.

The easiest way to entertain? An easy peasy cheese tray, thanks to Hickory Farms. Some of my lifelong faves? Smoked cheddar, jalapeño cheddar, farmhouse cheddar and port wine cheese spread.

The easiest way to entertain? An easy peasy cheese tray, thanks to Hickory Farms. Just cut into different shapes, and you’re done! Some of my lifelong faves? Smoked cheddar, Jalapeño cheddar, Farmhouse cheddar and Port wine cheese spread.

My personal FAVE is the Port Wine cheese spread. My professor parents used to be gifted with it every holiday season, and I would eat it up with a spoon before anyone else had the chance!

My personal FAVE is the Port Wine cheese spread. My professor parents used to be gifted with it every holiday season, and I would eat it up with a spoon before anyone else had the chance!

And, don’t forget the sausage! I chose to serve the Turkey Summer Sausage and the Signature Beef Summer Sausage for two tastes.

Turkey Summer Sausage and Beef Summer Sausage, served on a slab of wood for added harvest -festive feel.

A tale of two tastes: Turkey Summer Sausage and Beef Summer Sausage, served on a slab of wood for added harvest -festive feel.

A Spiral Sliced HoneyGold Ham ($75, serves 14-18 generously).

A holiday staple in my family? A Hickory Farms Spiral Sliced Ham. I serve it for both Thanksgiving AND Easter!

A holiday staple in my family? A Hickory Farms Spiral Sliced Ham. I serve it for both Thanksgiving AND Easter!

The big hit, though? The DIY Biscuit Bar!

DIY Biscuit bar, featuring Hickory Farms ham, cheeses, sausage, mustards and homemade Hickory Farms Farmhouse Cheddar Pimento cheese.

DIY Biscuit bar, featuring Hickory Farms ham, cheeses, sausage, mustards and homemade Hickory Farms Farmhouse Cheddar Pimento cheese.

But, more on that on tomorrow’s blog. I did it purely for ease and convenience, but my-oh-my, was it tasty!

My Hickory Farms-stacked biscuit was gooood

My Hickory Farms-stacked biscuit was gooood

And, who knew? Shredded Hickory Farms farmhouse cheddar cheese makes for a delicious pimento cheese spread, with my recipe, of course! (That recipe will be up on the blog tomorrow, too).

My homemade Pimento cheese, featuring Hickory Farms Farmhouse cheddar

My homemade Pimento cheese, featuring Hickory Farms Farmhouse cheddar

And, lastly, a well-stocked dessert table.

A well-stocked dessert table, thanks to Hickory Farms: (from L to R) Chocolate Lava Cakes, Red Velvet Cakes, Chocolate Decadence Trio.

A well-stocked dessert table, thanks to Hickory Farms: (from L to R) Chocolate Lava Cakes, Red Velvet Cake and Chocolate Decadence Trio.

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There are those gnome-inspired wooden cake stands again. What can I say? I like a theme.

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I'm just a girl who can't say no!!! At least, when it comes to Hickory Farms red velvet cake. Geesh!

I’m just a girl who can’t say no!!! At least, when it comes to Hickory Farms red velvet cake. Geesh!

And, a little nibble of cheddar to balance that sweetness out. How trés français of me!

A little cheese with my cake, please.

A little cheese with my cake, please.

As for the decor?

Friendsgiving decor

Friendsgiving decor

I kept it cozy and comfy with harvest-hued rugs, blankets, pillows and puffs on the ground…

Cozy on up, Friendsgiving guests!

Cozy on up, Friendsgiving guests!

my mismatched chairs around the farmhouse table…

Who says everything has to match?

Who says everything has to match?

and a chalkboard runner that my creative friends could scribble and doodle on, while sharing their gratitude. Listen, we’re all just big kids. If you give them chalk pencils, they’re gonna get busy. Trust me.

You supply the chalkboard table runner and chalk pencils, and they'll supply the creativity and gratitude

You supply the chalkboard table runner and chalk pencils, and they’ll supply the creativity and gratitude

 

As for the fun factor? Well, there’s only one person I call in for that. My dear friend, and creative powerhouse and constant source of inspiration, Courtney Collins of Little Junebugs and Max Love Project.

My creative source of inspiration: Courtney Collins of Little Junebugs and Max Love Project.

My creative source of inspiration: Courtney Collins of Little Junebugs and Max Love Project.

 

Courtney and I decided to do a “Pretty Your Pumpkin” station to entertain guests with metallic paint, sequins, studs, and…helllooooo…GLITTER(!!!!) to pump up their pumpkins. Disclaimer: This was all Courtney, as I am the least crafty person you know.

Pretty Your Pumpkn.

Pretty Your Pumpkin. *signs by the FAB Karla Magno

She's crafty!

She’s crafty!

The one high maintenance thing I did? I did ask my fashionable guests to wear shades of fall-festive autumn. Don’t judge me. And, besides, it sure did look pretty.

Fall-festive fashion sets the mood for a fall fest!

Fall-festive fashion sets the mood for a fall fest! Here, with the fall festive Eva Amurri, founder and author of the blog, Happily Eva After.

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Actress and host of Dating Naked, Amy Paffrath

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Rachel McCord of The McCord List

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Leila Lewis of Be Inspired PR and Inspired By This blog, and host, actress & producer, Diane Mizota.

As fun as the whole day was, my favorite part was when we all sat around the table for the last few hours, sharing our stories and getting to know one another, while we sipped wine and nibbled on sausage and cheese.

This was my favorite part…besides the Hickory Fams port wine cheese spread, of course.

This was my favorite part…besides the Hickory Fams port wine cheese spread, of course. Here are Eva, and Steph Eitel Farrar and Sierra French-Myerson, co-editors of the cooking and entertaining blog, French and Farrar.

Takin' it easy, as the sun said goodbye and our tummies told us we were full.

Takin’ it easy, as the sun said goodbye and our tummies told us we were full.

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With Amy Paffrath and The Modern Day Girlfriend creator & editor, Arianna Thomopoulos.

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Hugs all around! With Ellen Bennett of Hedley And Bennett.

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With all those influencers, yes, there WAS bound to be a little tweeting going on.

Old friends and new friends became all friends.

Old friends and new friends became all friends.

Thank you to every single one of you who graced my table with your grace, and thank you especially to Hickory Farms for bringing these fine women together.

Girls really do run the world, and with these women at the helm of it, I feel completely confident in our future.

Dawn Do? In sticking with the reason for the season, when it’s time to buy those host gifts this holiday season, pick up a Hickory Farms Signature Party Planner Gift Box ($46). For every box sold, Hickory Farms donates $5 to No Kid Hungry, which feeds 50 kids.

The perfect  gift that gives back: Hickory Farms Signature Party Planner, benefitting No Kid Hungry

The perfect gift that gives back: Hickory Farms Signature Party Planner, benefitting No Kid Hungry

Ellen and I with our gifts that give back…to No Kid Hungry, that is!

Ellen and I with our gifts that give back…to No Kid Hungry, that is!

That’s better – and sweeter – than any box of chocolates.

xoxo,
Dawn

Details:

Food & Wine: Hickory Farms

Photography: Molly + CO

Signage: Karla Magno

Event Production: Good Carma Studio & Dawn McCoy

 

McCoy’s MeCations: I Spent New Years Alone & I LOVED It…Thanks To The Oaks At Ojai

The McCoy’s MeCation Challenge: Hey, you! Yeah, YOU. This summer, I have an assigment for you. Go somewhere  – anywhere alone – for at least 24 hours. Trust me. It’ll change your life in some miraculous little way. That’s what McCoy’s MeCations are all about.

On my way to Ojai to The Oaks at Ojai, and on the lookout for the bright light shining that is 2015.

On my way to Ojai to The Oaks at Ojai, and on the lookout for the bright light shining that is 2015.

With summer upon us, I felt that sharing my miraculous McCoy’s MeCation over this past New Years might be just the source inspiration for some of you out there. Memorial Day kicks off summer, filled with steamy weather and socializing galore, and if you’re anything like me, you’ve got to carve out time for some much-needed R&R and self-care.

That’s what took me to The Oaks at Ojai, back on December 31st this past winter.

Right when I arrived and felt like I was just in heaven. First up? I had Yoga at 4 pm. Moving healthfully and gracefully into 2015.

Right when I arrived and felt like I was just in heaven. First up? I had Yoga at 4 pm. Moving healthfully and gracefully into 2015.

My career is about as social as you can get, so when I think vacations and celebrations, I don’t think parties and clubs, I think of comfy accommodations, meaningful conversations, delicious food and drink…and there’s gotta be a pool.

Snuggling into my home of Ojai for 3 days over New Years

Snuggling into my home of Ojai for 3 days over New Years. You KNOW there’s a pool!

I asked my friends if anyone felt like traveling, and unfortunately, no one could swing it. So, I decided to find a health spa, where I could truly detox and relax, and gear up for a productive – and healthy – 2015.

Luxuriating in my spa tub at The Oaks at Ojai

Luxuriating in my spa tub at The Oaks at Ojai. Feeling utterly bubbly as I reflected and washed away what didn’t serve me and toasted to the beautiful mysteries that 2015 holds. Feeling so grateful for so many dreams coming true in 2014. So do I want more to come true this year? As AmyPoehler says…YES PLEASE!

I realize that spending New Year’s Eve alone as a 30-something female might sound a little sad to some. But I assure you it wasn’t. I dare say it was my favorite New Year’s Eve to date. And I give 100% credit for that to The Oaks At Ojai. Like many of you, I had overindulged during the holidays, and found myself plotting to be my healthiest best in 2015. Then reiki master Kelsey Patel gave me some sage advice and one piece of direction for my New Years holiday, “Be sure you celebrate midnight on New Year’s Eve doing what you’d like to be doing the rest of 2015.”

A super early morning hike was the perfect, healthy start to my 2015

A super early morning hike was the perfect, healthy start to my 2015

The first thought for me? I want to be my healthiest best. There are plenty of parties and glasses of champagne to be toasted, but I can do that anytime, so for New Years, I would detox. I researched my options and the one spa that kept coming up with a host of accolades and a bevy of rave reviews was The Oaks at Ojai.

Getting the Sweet Slumber massage at The Oaks at Ojai. Perfect way to wind down a busy 2014.

The perfect way to wrap up 2014? Getting a Sweet Slumber 75-Minute Massage at The Oaks Spa . Heaven.

 When I announced on my social media outlets where I would be going, my female friends of all ages came out of the woodwork, all saying how much they love it there and describing it as a grownup girls’ sleepaway camp or a Disney World for women. One of my friends even based the setting for a novel she wrote there. So, the bar? Yeah, that bar was set high.

 

One of the best parts about taking a vacay alone are the new friends you make. The Oaks seriously is like a healthier version of summer camp.

Sunrise hike with new friends at The Oaks at Ojai. One of the best parts about taking a vacay alone are the new friends you make. The Oaks seriously is like a healthier version of summer camp.. It was one of their Mother-Daughter weekends so I made 3 friends for the price of 1! Plus a slew of others! Here we are on the 90-minute Shelf Road hike through the hills of Ojai.

Well, The Oaks did not disappoint. With the pressures of Hollywood only an hour and a half away, you’d expect The Oaks at Ojai to be all about “fashionable fitness,” but you’d be wrong. This is a place where it’s more about feeling fit than sporting your LuluLemon, counting your fat cells or validating yourself on a scale. Here, there’s no pressure for anyone to be anything but your truest self. How many places can claim that?

Plenty of times for non-judgmental relaxing and reflecting at The Oaks at Ojai

Plenty of times for non-judgmental relaxing and reflecting at The Oaks at Ojai

As for the rates? They vary, but they are very reasonable. You can go solo and all in, and stay in the more luxe accommodation, the Double Courtyard Suite, like I did (for around $710/ night).

My super comfy, luke and relaxing Double Courtyard Cottage. Just the most heavenly place to kick off a new year…or a summer.

My super comfy, luke and relaxing, spanish-style Double Courtyard Cottage – my home for 3 days. Just the most heavenly place to kick off a new year…or a summer. Lanai? Check. Personal fountain? Check. Fireplace? Check. Huuuuge in-room sunken spa, surrounded by handcrafted Spanish Art Deco tile? Check. Heaven? Check.

Or, you can come with friends, and/or be paired with a “roommate” in a standard twin room (for as little as $250/night). All of these rates are all-inclusive, including 3 meals and snacks, as well as all the fitness classes (15 to choose from – I ended up partaking in 11!!) you could want, so it’s actually a great deal, any way you look at it! They also have spa day passes (for $130 – $185) that are super reasonable.

My FAVE class! Relaxing yoga in my pjs, right before bed.

My FAVE class! Deeply restful yoga Nidra before bedtime at The Oaks. Relaxing yoga in my pjs, right before bed.

As for the food? So healthy and SO delicious.

New Years brunch, The Oaks style.

New Years brunch, The Oaks style. No mimosas, but my conscience sure feels healthy…and no hangover in sight.

A healthy salad at lunch

A healthy salad at lunch

And…

Delicious turkey chili!

Delicious turkey chili!

As for dinner?
Healthy. Light. Delicious.

Healthy. Light. Delicious. Salmon. Shrimp. Veggies. YUM!

And my “weird” high-maintenance request, that The Oaks was kind enough to accommodate, at lunch on New Years:

 Nothin' keeps me from my annual southern New Year's tradition of blackeyed peas for prosperity. Nothin'. It's my annual good luck charm. Luckily, the@oaksspa were able to accommodate my weird request today for lunch. Yes. I was THAT girl. But, such sweet customer service here!  


Nothin’ keeps me from my annual southern New Year’s tradition of blackeyed peas for prosperity. Nothin’. It’s my annual good luck charm. Luckily, The Oaks was able to accommodate my weird request for New Years lunch. Yes. I was THAT girl. But, such sweet customer service here!

I left 12 lbs lighter and I don’t just mean physically. My skin was soft and smooth, and my mind was relaxed and ready for the year ahead.

Refreshing smoothie time! And just look at that glowing skin!

Refreshing smoothie time! And just look at that glowing skin!

Overall McCoy’s MeCations Travel Takeaway? There are many highlights of The Oaks at Ojai: the spa services, the health benefits, the new friends, the comfy accommodations that make you feel like you’re in Santa Fe, and so much more. But the real reason it’s so special? The Cluff family and THE STAFF.

I’m not being a soft-soaper when I say that every single member of the staff at The Oaks makes you feel utterly pampered and cared for. They want to know who you are, what your goals are, and what they can do for you.They are kind. They are real. They are attentive. They are downright loving. Much of the staff is part of the Cluff family (mom, Sheila Cluff, is the founder & a fitness and health icon, herself), or teachers or therapists who have been there for more than a decade, out of sheer happiness and loyalty. Just the fact that they have such loyal, attentive staffers speaks volumes of the home-away-from-home that the Cluff family and The Oaks have created for both its guests and staff.

So, if you need a healthy escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life – especially from this City of Angels that doesn’t always feel so angelic – well, have I got the place for you. Be sure to tell ’em I sent you. I’m their biggest cheerleader.

xoxo,
Dawn

The ‘tails:

The Oaks at Ojai

122 E. Ojai Avenue

Ojai, CA 93023  

805.646.5573

Editor’s Note: As per all my McCoy’s MeCations, this post was sponsored by the participating host hotel – in this case, The Oaks at Ojai (805.646.5573), 122 E. Ojai Avenue, Ojai, CA 93023. All accommodations, services, fare and beverages were provided by the host hotel, and their associates.

 

MamaFrosting

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I have looked at my mom, Clarice McCoy, with wonder like this all of my life. I remember being an itty bitty thing and just staring at her, as she rocked me to sleep, thinking how beautiful she was.

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I used to drive her crazy by telling her all day long, “You are so beautiful.” She would literally ask me to stop because it was just too much. I was her own personal cheerleader.

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My mom is my best friend…and she’s also my biggest critic. Sometimes this can be challenging, but it’s not always a bad thing.

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My mom keeps me in check, and lets me know when I’m obsessing over something that isn’t important, or something over which I don’t have control. She doesn’t really understand what I do, and my life scares her, and becoming an adult for me has meant learning to be okay with that.

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My favorite trait that I inherited from my mom? Her eye for beauty, and her need to make her home a loving, beautiful nest for herself and those she loves. Another one? She gets a little more awnry as she ages, but at the center, she always has the most loving heart, so much so that I’ve always felt like we kind of shared the same heart.

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My mom worked full time plus, and yet I never felt like I didn’t have a full-time mom. I always tell new parents – and parents of teens- that the best parenting advice they could ever receive is from my mom. At age 5, I asked her what sex was, and she answered me with the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. My father was aghast. My mom defended herself by saying to my father, “If I don’t talk to her now, she won’t talk to me later.” She was right.

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Having an open line of communication with my mom, quite frankly, kept me out of trouble. I trusted her to tell me truths, and she trusted me to tell her my truth, and thus, we’ve always had a truth-based relationship. Sometimes too truthful, I think she’d say.

On the other hand, I saw my friends, with more strict parents, smoking whenever they could, hiding alcohol in their windowseats, and sneaking out of the house with boys, just begging for mischief. I, on the other hand, shared my first glass of wine with my mom, and never smoked because she told me that if I wanted to smoke, we’d try one together. Um, no thank you.

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So, she did a lot right.  I think she forgets that when her children flounder, fall and fail.

Watching my brother learn to walk. She still watches us with that same intensity.

Watching my brother learn to walk. She still watches us with that same intensity.

She feels like our failures are hers. I only hope I can help her one day understand that our successes as adults are in thanks to her rearing,  but our failures as adults are just that…ours. And, just looking at the friends I have who consider my mom their second mom, reminds me of how right she did it.

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I still think my mom is the most beautiful woman on the planet, but now I realize that she is much more than that.

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She is strong.

She is someone who overcomes.

Someone who sets goals and achieves them.

Someone who loves to a fault.

And someone whose love knows no limits.

I realize that as much as I always wanted to look like my mother, more importantly, I have the heart of my mother.

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But getting her cheekbones didn’t hurt, either.

I love you the whole wide world and back again, Mom.

xoxo,
Dawn

Getting Naughty with Naked Princess for Valentine’s Day

What, oh what, to do when your plans change during Valentine’s week and you’re all dressed up with nowhere to go?

All dressed up and nowhere to go? Nooooo problem.

Well, firstly, there’s ALWAYS somewhere to go when you need to. I recommend heading to Naked Princess, like I did, where I picked up these little V-Day beauties!

All found at Naked Princess: romantic greeting cards, 24k gold powder puffs, lip gloss,panties, journals, lingerie, nail polish and more!

Naked Princess on La Cienega (here in LA) and online (for non-LA girls & boys) has everything you need for one terribly romantic Valentine’s Day.

I’m still dreaming about this one. It’s a nightgown, but is it so wrong that I want to wear it as a dress?

Nightgown as dress? Ohhhh, I think this is gonna have to happen. I feel like Charlie's Angel, Jaclyn Smith.

And, lucky for me, I got to get all dressed up and hang out and play dress-up with my very own Jennifer Chan, one of the hosts for the evening.

With my very own Jenn Chan, donning floral prints to celebrate one successful & sexy party

So, head on over, and see what luxurious lingerie and lovelies you can find. And, boys, remember…while the lingerie is a gift to her, it’s ultimately a gift for you, too.

 

xoxo,
BF

A Very Valentine Mani

A Very Valentine mani this week c/o my fave, Enamel Diction (by @noemihk ).

A Very Valentine Mani ℅ Enamel Diction

Pink, red and some candy stripes for good measure make one sexy-sweet stiletto grip.

Lots of love in this manicure!

The Annual Girls’ Giftwrapping Party, featuring PJ Salvage pajamas

A very pastel cupcake Christmas at The Cupcake Palace

Last year, my friend Lindsey and I started a now-annual tradition: The Girlfriends Giftwrapping party. I brewed up one of my signature holiday cocktails (this year was my Homespun Spiced Butter Rum Eggnog), pick up some festive holiday cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery and wrap gifts galore, thanks to my fun friends.

This year, we decided to make it a a pajama party and PJ Salvage upped the ante by sending some of their sweetest pjs – the Gingerbread Man flannel pj set

Me sipping some eggnog in my PJ Salvage Gingerbread Men pjs

and the Cake Party pj set (both $65)

The lovely Lindsey in PJ Salvage The Cake Party pjs

to play well with my pastel cupcake Christmas theme.

Oh ya know…just hiding behind the tree, sipping our eggnog. Normal.

We wrapped presents, thanks to GORGEOUS gift wrap from The Container Store.

No brown paper packages tied up with string. All pastel paper with pretty bows. Giftwrapping paper ℅ The Container Store

Toasted to the new year ahead with eggnog and nibbled on cupcakes and cookies from Magnolia Bakery.

My Spiced Butter Rum Eggnog teams up delightfully with Magnolia Bakery cupcakes and holiday spritz cookies

And just had some good old Christmas fun…even a gift wrap sword fight!

Sword fight! It has to happen every year in my house.

It was a good chance to take a moment in the midst of a busy season, enjoy some delicious drinks, eats and conversation.

Merry Christmas, everyone! Hope the magic of Christmas brings you jolliness and joy!

 

xoxo,
BF

BF Asks: How are you celebrating Christmas this year? 

Holiday Up Your Bakery-Bought Cakes

Few things are as sweet as old friends…but this Society Bakery-bought vanilla Christmas cake came close. I didn’t have time to bake for a holiday tea party with girlfriends, as I had planned, so I just hopped by Society, bought a cake and a gingerbread man and put that little guy right on top for a little additional holiday whimsy. Really easy way to dress up your holiday cake? Christmas cookies as toppings! #ItLooksLikeHesStuckInSnow

Fast, easy way to decorate a bakery-bought cake? Christmas cookies.

 

xoxo,

BF

BF Asks: How do you “holiday up” your desserts?

TinyPrints Holiday

My favorite holiday event this holiday season?

The TinyPrints #TinyPrintsHoliday party, where I got to design and order 100  custom holiday cards, envelopes & liners and address labels.

The best gift of the season? TinyPrints' custom Chistmas cards at their #TinyPrintsHoliday party

I even had my own custom invitation designer, Emily, on hand. But they’re not just available to me, they’re available to you, too! A custom invitation specialist is available to all of us all year-round with TinyPrints.

A creative girl's dream. At Petit Ermitage, picking out custom @tinyprintsholiday cards, envelope liners, envelopes and address labels for the holidays 2015. Happy early birthday and very merry Christmas to me!

Bonus? The take-home swag included cute thank you cards!

I’m fairly certain Santa was involved because this was definitely a gift of an evening on this nerd’s Christmas wish list.

If it’s still on yours, head on over to www.TinyPrints.com today!

xoxo,
BF
BF Asks: What is your holiday card like this year?
 

Holiday Hosting: Festive, Floral Holiday Pies

Dress up your dessert.

You heard me.

What’s a super simple and cheap way to dress up your festive holiday pies? FLOWERS!!

Festive, floral holiday pies!

Here is my sour cream apple pie – not so beautiful on its own – that I topped with some holiday red gerber a daisies for Thanksgiving dinner. Instant americana beauty!

I’ve found that just buying a few extra bunches of flowers can come in handy when dressing up desserts or sad looking pies. Try it yourself this holiday season!

xoxo,
BF

 

BF Asks: What pies will you and your family bake up this holiday season? 


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