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

 

My Birthday Party 2013: Come As You Were…or WISH You Were In High School

The gang! Photos by Takahiro Watanabe Photography & Guerrero Photography

 

Oh, how I love me a theme party! I have one every year for my birthday and it always fills me with such joy. I mean what could be more fun than dressing up like someone – or something – else, being surrounded by friends, sipping champagne, eating delicious eats, polishing off some cake and dancing until the sun comes up? I’ll tell ya – not much. Previous birthday party themes of mine have included Dallas (the 80s show), 80s, 70s, Toddlers & Tiaras and more.

But this year’s had to have been my favorite thus far! I decided last year at my birthday that the theme would be “Come As You Were…or Wish You Were In High School.” So when I was home in Dallas in October, I broke out my Episcopal School of Dallas private school uniform (the skirt still fit! Yay!) and my cheerleading uniform (the top didn’t fit because I grabbed my JV uniform my mistake – oops!) and decided it was ON!

One of my best friends – and my former roomie and uber-talented BeautyFrosting graphic designer – Vanessa York of Shindig Shoppe designed the adorable invite drawing on the colors of my home, varsity lettering and, of course, pom-poms.

The oh-so-cute invitation designed by Vanessa York of Shindig Shoppe

 

Next, my dear hairstylist & friend, Robby LaRiviere, whipped my hair up into some pretty darned precious pigtails, I picked up some saddle shoes at Shelly’s Dance (my FAVE for costumes & alterations in LA!!!) and I donned Outfit #1. Oh, honey, you KNOW there was gonna be a wardrobe change!

THE FASHION

Outfit #1: My Episcopal School of Dallas uniform from 1996:

Donning my Episcopal School of Dallas original uniform! The fact that it still fit is cause alone for celebration! Photo by Guerrero Photography & Photobooth by Takahiro Watanabe Photography, Custom Tassel Garland by Studio Mucci

 

And with glasses, of course!

And I had to wear glasses for a few, of course! Glasses by Ivory Mason, Photo by Guerrero Photography & Photobooth by Takahiro Watanabe Photography, Tassel Garland by Studio Mucci

Outfit #2:
My Episcopal School of Dallas Cheerleading Uniform from 1993 (GO EAGLES!!!) – I grabbed by JV – and not my Varsity uniform – by mistake so Shelly’s had to let out the chest a bit. I was 15 when I last wore this one!

Donning my ESD Junior Varsity Cheerleading Uniform, American Apparel knee socks & saddle shoes from Shelly's; Photography by Guerrero Photography and Photobooth by Takahiro Watanabe Photography; Custom Tassel Garland by Studio Mucci

 THE DECOR

I love that my birthday is so close to Christmas because I can decorate my house for Christmas and let it serve as deco for my birthday party. With my Studio Mucci custom tassel garlands, Shabby Chic decorations, pastel lights and vintage finds from Uptown Country Home that I’ve bought over the years, I love creating a Whimsical Winter Wonderland. Add some wintry pink & blue balloons and my high school yearbooks and you’ve got a party!

The living room...

 

Kids love those balloons...

More deco...

THE LIBATIONS

I remember that Queer Eye For The Straight Guy said it best once. “The right cocktails keep your guests socially lubricated.” When you’re mixing together over 50 of your closest friends – some who know one another but many who don’t – you want to keep the cocktails flowing. I decided to keep it simple by supplying a wine bar. Lucky for me, One Hope Wine and Hope at Home were eager to help.

One Hope Wine tantalized my guests' tastebuds with 4 of their wine varietals and a signature cocktail that we'll be debuting on Thursday on Thirsty Thursday this week!

With a signature cocktail, BeautyFrosting’s Spiced Rum Apple Cider Mimosa (catch the recipe this Thursday on BF on Thirsty Thursday), Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, Pinot Noir 2011, Chardonnay 2012, Sauvignon Blanc 2012 and their new California Brut Sparkling Wine (All wines are $18.99), my guests were totally socially lubricated. Everyone raved about my wine selection from One Hope – and my bartender & party hostess, Kristin – but the California Brut Sparkling Wine was the first to go! People were literally asking me how they could get some One Hope of their own!

A bucket full of hope on ice! Photo by Guerrero Photography

But my favorite thing about One Hope – besides the way it tastes – is the charity component that makes them who they are. With every bottle of One Hope wine sold, an impact is made as 50% of  the proceeds goes to a variety of good causes including: AIDS, Alzheimers, Autism, Breast Cancer, Childhood Hunger, Veterans and more. I’ll be featuring One Hope every Thursday for the next 6 Thirsty Thursdays so you’ll see lots more of them – and the love I have for everything that they’re about!

THE NIBBLES

Well, we know I’m a foodie and I love to bake but, um, sometimes I can go overkill when it comes to my parties. For this one, I relied on a few of my party faves – such as Southern Shrimp Ball, Bandito Black Bean dip, L’il Smokies, Texas Ranch House Queso, Red Velvet Dip and Pistachio Thumbprint and Eggnog Thumbprint Cookies that are always a hit. And then I hit up Whole Foods for a veggie tray and Trader Joe’s for cheese, charcuterie and crackers.

The spread…a foodie's dream!

And then there was the cake…Oh my…

The cake by Hansen's Cakes

Hansen’s Cakes was responsible for this deliciousness. Marble cake with butterchip filling and buttercream frosting. I’m still dreaming of it but had to give all leftovers away!

THE PHOTOS

As a photographer’s daughter – and a blogger, of course – photos are super important to me. So I asked my friends, Takahiro Watanabe Photography and Guerrero Photography to help me out for the evening.
The DIY Photobooth with Takahiro that I literally just put outside against a stucco wall was a hit. That’s gonna have to be a whole other post because EVERYONE can do this and it was sooooo much fun!

Here are just a few of the 267 photos from the Photobooth. For more, check out the entire album of fun (complete with my house pics, food pics and more) at: Dawn’s Birthday 2013: Come As You Were…or Wish You Were in High School on Facebook (yep, I made it public for your perusal & enjoyment).

Photobooth fun! Photos by Takahiro Watanabe Photography & Guerrero Photography

 

Photobooth fun! Photos by Takahiro Watanabe Photography & Guerrero Photography

Photobooth fun! Photos by Takahiro Watanabe Photography & Guerrero Photography

hotobooth fun! Photos by Takahiro Watanabe Photography & Guerrero Photography

Another group shot by Guerrero Photography:

The gang! Photos by Takahiro Watanabe Photography & Guerrero Photography

Thank you to all of my friends who came, drank, ate, danced til 4 am, showered me with gifts & love and took pics with me all night long! It was a magical night I will always remember!

xoxo,
BF

BF Asks: How did you celebrate your birthday this year? 

 CREDITS

Wine & Cocktails by: One Hope Wine & Hope At Home

Blowout & Pigtails by: Robby LaRiviere

Photos by: Takahiro Watanabe Photography & Guerrero Photography

Tassel Garlands by: Studio Mucci

Party Set-up Assistant: Sarah of TaskRabbit

Bartender/Guest Hostess: Kristin of TaskRabbit

Cake: Hansen’s Cakes

Wardrobe Alterations & Shoes: Shelly’s Dance Supply

 

 

 

High-Low 11/4/13: Snow White & silver, stinging linings

This week was a busy one. Wait, I’ve become a broken record player. But it’s true. It was yet another busy week here for BF at The Cupcake Palace and, y’all, it just doesn’t look like it’s letting up.

HIGH: Getting to be Snow White for the week

Oh, Halloween!! The only day – or, in this case, week – where it’s totally acceptable to dress up and act like a kid again. Of course, I kind of do this a bit all year round but it’s nice to get to go all out, get into character and pretend to be someone else for a bit.
So who did I decide to transform into this year? Why, none other than Snow White.
Complete with apple, red bow headband and all.

I had a party last Saturday hosted by my neighbor-friends so I opted for the classic Snow White with a faux bob hairstyle.

Faux: Snow White with a faux bob, apple and all

Then, I had the Maroon 5 party with friends on Thursday at Sportsmen’s Lodge.

High: Snow White Night #2 at the Maroon 5 party at Sportsmen's Lodge

It was AMAZING. The theme? Stephen King’s The Shining. Redrum, indeed. There was even a Jack Torrance tap-tap-tapping away on a typewriter all night.

Trying to tempt the always-typing Jack with an apple & some Snow White goodness

AMAAAAAZING.

LOW: Silver – stinging –  linings

Low: Silver - stinging - linings

I had a suuuuper busy day planned on Friday what with a meeting with my agents, an audition, writing and lots of wardrobe pulling for a shoot I was hosting – and posing for – on Sunday here at my house. But sometimes our bodies have other ideas for us.

Mine had the idea that I should lie in bed and do nothing except take a bath every hour or so because it felt like there were knives being plunged into the base of neck and head. Ouchiwawa. It was miserable. I have never really been a migraine sufferer and didn’t really understand all the fuss until this one. It was debilitating.

Luckily, my best friend Chris came over – thinking he’d have to take me to the hospital – and instead just sat and rubbed my neck and head until I went to sleep. Thus proving once again that even the lowest points of our weeks have a bit of silver lining to them! I tip my hat to Chris this week for being there for me on a very dark night and seeing me through the pain to a bright morning.

xoxo,

BF 


BF Asks: What was your High-Low this week? What did you do for Halloween? Did you dress up?

*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!

– See more at: http://www.beautyfrosting.com/high-low-102813-dallas-moments-5-out-of-10-and-laughing-stars#sthash.1CXcR24t.dpuf

Friday Funday: Wednesdays at Sunset at The London West Hollywood

To me, Summer 2013 will always be about rooftop Wednesdays at Sunset at The London West Hollywood.

On the rooftop of The London West Hollywood reflecting on all of the friends, fun and fine tunes Summer 2013 has brought into my world

I imagine I will forever think of that rooftop – set to the sounds of Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” and Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” – as the frozen video of Summer 2013. And what a magical memory to have!

I have spent a few “Wednesdays at Sunset” at The London West Hollywood and each one has been better than the last. But I have to say the best one I’ve had yet was when I hosted a Rooftop Cabana Cocktail Party for my favorite blogger-friends a few weeks ago.

Hosting a cabana party for a few of my blogger friends at Wednesdays at Sunset at The London West Hollywood

 

Between the delightful conversation with my fellow bloggers, new friends meeting each other and delicious bites and cocktails, it was my favorite event of the year thus far!

The attendees at my Blogger Cabana Cocktail Party on the rooftop of The London West Hollywood

I get by with a little help from my friends...and with the help of the beautiful setting of The London West Hollywood

We snacked on seafood cocktail, BBQ chicken flat breads, the LA Street Dog and delicious marshmallow cupcakes and sipped Strongbow Mimosas which were DIVINE!

The delicious details at The London West Hollywood "Wednesdays at Sunset"

And with our soundtrack set to the spins of Infamous DJs, we were in summer heaven!

My guests included the Beauty Professor, Spoiled Little LA Girls, Skinny Fat Girl Diary, Jennifer Chan of E!, Rose Curiel of E!, Whitney Lader of hoopLA, Hostess Handbook, Elle contributor Ashley Terrill, Jessica Yudin of The Fetch Betch LA & FabFitFun and more!

 And everyone was delighted to receive L’Oreal Paris giftbags courtesy of L’Oreal Paris USA and Corbis Entertainment!

 

Jess Garvey of Hostess Handbook (on left) with her luxe L'Oreal Paris USA gift bag!

I want to extend a special THANK YOU to our gracious hosts, The London West Hollywood (of course!) and my fairy godmother, Gina Wade Creative. This wouldn’t have been possible without your imagination, generosity and amazing service  – not to mention – the most fab hotel, and rooftop, in town!

I'm always smiling at The London West Hollywood!

 

‘Til next time, my beloved London…

 

xoxo,
BF

BF Asks: What defines Summer 2013 to you? 

Kiehl’s Earth Day Celebration with Alanis Morissette & Zachary Quinto Benefitting Recycle Across America!

Kiehl's Santa Monica - EVENT PHOTOS BY John Shearer/Invision

 

I have been a fan of Kiehl’s for as long as I can remember. In fact, one of the first products I ever fell in love with was Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturizer. I was obsessed with it because I had read that it was on every celebrity’s and makeup artist’s must-have list. And anything that a celebrity had on their face, I had to have on mine, of course!

So imagine my inner 14-year-old’s giddy glee when I was invited to attend a Kiehl’s party last Thursday, April 17th! And the 14-year-old me just got even more excited to see Alanis Morissette as she walked in! But I was even more thrilled to be joining Kiehl’s for such an important moment in their company’s history.

The party was in honor of the release of Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream Limited Edition jars ($46.50 for 4.2 oz jar) with labels designed by celebrity do-gooders Alanis Morissette and Zachary Quinto just in time for Earth Day!

 

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream Jars designed by Zachary Quinto & Alanis Morissette

 

100% of the proceeds of the jars benefit Recycle Across America -an amazing charity – and $50,000 will be used to create 65,000 recycling labels for  select K-12 schools nationwide.

As many of you may know, Kiehl’s adopted their own recycling program years ago. For every empty Kiehl’s container you return, you get 1 stamp. When you reach 3 stamps, you receive their classic Lip Balm, 5 stamps – travel collection product and 10 stamps – a full size product (up to $25). I wish every beauty company would have the motivation to try a program like this!

Guests besides me and my fabulous photographer-for-the-day, BeautyFrosting visual designer and former roomie, Vanessa York, included…

 

Former roomies of 2 years match accidentally in our Earth Day-green!

 

Alanis Morissette, Zachary Quinto, AnnaSophia Robb, Robert Buckley, Gilles Marini, AshLee Frazier from The Bachelor, Lauren Scruggs and more!

 

Clockwise from top left: AnnaSophia Robb and Amy Smart, Zachary Quinto and Alanis Morissette, Robert Buckley & Chris Salgardo & friends and Giilles Marini & Chris Salgardo - EVENT PHOTOS BY John Shearer/Invision

 

I was thrilled to meet Alanis Morissette, Zachary Quinto and Kiehl’s President, Chris Salgardo…

Me with Zachary Quinto, Kiehl's President Chris Salgardo and Alanis Morissette

 

and AshLee Frazier (my favorite contestant from last season’s The Bachelor)!!

Just 2 Texas girls in Santa Monica: AshLee Frazier and me! She's a doll, y'all!

 

There was also a wonderful selection of photos from Eco Warrior Exhibit by photographer, Roger Moenks.

EcoWarrior Exhibit by Roger Moenks - EVENT PHOTOS BY John Shearer/Invision

Tito’s Vodka supplied the social libations and STK provided the delicious eats including truffle fries and sliders oh-my!

But even with all of the delicious drinks & eats and fabulous conversation and new friendships formed, the highlight of the evening was the presentation of the $50,000 check to Recycle Across America. The check was presented to Recycle Across America Founder & Executive Director Mitch Hedlund by by President of Kiehl’s North America, Chris Salgardo, and Alanis Morissette and Zachary Quinto.

While it was wonderful to see some familiar faces – and an even more familiar product to me, the real delight is all of the children who will benefit from a better tomorrow thanks to organizations – like Recycle Across America – and the people who believe in them, like Kiehl’s.

 

 

xoxo,

BF

 

BF Asks: How did you celebrate Earth Day?

Friday Funday: GBK’s MTV Movie Awards Gift Lounge 2013 at the W Hollywood

I had the pleasure this past weekend of attending another gift lounge. This time, it was GBK’s MTV Movie Awards Gift Lounge at the W Hollywood.

So you’ve seen a number of posts with me at these so-called “gift lounges” and you’ve wanted to know but haven’t dared to ask: “Um, BF, what is a gift lounge?”

Well, beauties, a gift lounge is an opportunity for companies to introduce or familiarize celebrities with their products. And, yes – as you can imagine, they are FUN!!

Some of the fun & good causes I got to enjoy? Sabra Dipping Company's delightful dips & hummus, Steps4Paws which supports dog rescue organizations, DJ Baby Chino rockin' it, Presenting Sponsor, Viva DivaWines sparkling wines & pinot pleasures, Cookie Connection complete line of cookies and My Life My Power - an amazing anti-bullying/pro-progress organization

And they are filled with celebrities and reality personalities.

My favorite celeb of the day?
Jared Gilman of Moonrise Kingdom!!! He was polite, charming, sweet and FUNNY! Loved meeting him and he was kind enough to indulge me with a photo.  And he was there with his family which made me only love him more!

Me & the talented and polited, Jared Gilman

Jared Gilman with all of his booty from the GBK MTV Movie Awards 2013 Gift Lounge

More celebs:

Celebs! Clockwise: Eva Marcille Pigford (my neighbor's cousin! Small world), Andy Dick and Sean Lowe, Ray Liotta and Danny Trejo, Patti Stanger, Chuy Bravo, Kristen Bauer, Robbie Jones, Dorothy Hamill and the amazing actress Quvenzhané Wallis!

And many times, there are also charitable components to these gifting suites – like My Life My Power (where I met the charming, smart and sooo helpful, George) and Steps4Paws above – and they are what really makes it all worth while.

The star of the show for me was the GUARDaHEART Foundation, a non-profit foundation dedicated to raising awareness of heart disease prevention by spreading the word to guard your heart and save your life, which was on site offering complimentary cardiac risk blood tests and promoting their savethe1.org campaign. I was delighted to see Jason Ritter presenting a check to the foundation with Aviir for $100,000 in honor of the 10-year anniversary of his father John Ritter’s passing. This is what made this event powerful and really put the gift into “gifting suite. 

The talented - and adorable - Jason Ritter presenting a check for $100,000 to the GUARDaHEART foundation

I even got a blood test to see if I am at risk for heart disease. Since it runs in my family, I felt like I owed it to myself and my current – and future – family to know.

Now, I am a big baby when it comes to needles. I don’t faint. But my forehead wrinkles, my breathing halts and my heart skips a beat.

Getting my blood taken to see if I am at risk for heart disease. Why? So I can PREVENT it!

Luckily, the GUARDaHEART technicians were pros! Now, all I have to do is wait for the results which will take between 2 and 3 weeks and will be mailed to me confidentially.

So I left the GBK MTV Movie Awards Gift Lounge with champagne, cookies and a clear conscience that I’m doing all that I can when it comes to my heart health by eating healthily (90% of the time) and exercising daily.

I can’t think of a better gift than that!

 

xoxo,
BF

BF Asks: Which celeb at the GBK Gift Suite is your favorite?

A Tasty Tradition: My Annual Classic Southern Easter Dinner

Easter is my FAAAAAV-OOO-RIIIITE holiday! So every year I have a classic southern Easter dinner for my surrogate family of friends here in Los Angeles. It’s a wonderful way to remember my roots and to honor the legacy of ladylike entertaining that my Nanny and Mother have taught me.

The ultimate multi-tasker: Whipping up some whipped cream & sipping a glass of Primitivo

Friday was a busy day spent making lists, shopping and preparing the kitchen for a weekend of cooking and baking!

Making my list and checking it twice!

As a child, I was fascinated with a Bunny cake that my mother made for my brother years before I was born. I always felt like I missed out on it by being born 7 years later. I used to just stare at that picture. It’s probably one of the reasons I fell in love with baking so much.

I have been wanting to try to make it for years and decided that this was my chance!
I baked it on Saturday and was THRILLED with the results!

The recipe my Mom followed on the left & my cake - Bernie The Bunny - on the right

Easter Sunday started with a Make-it-Work moment! To accommodate seating for 15, my catering & part prep helper from TaskRabbit – Jennifer – and I brought in the table from outside. Once in, we realized that we needed to make the coffee table the same height as the other two garden tables. So improvise we must! And we did! With beautiful results!

Cookbooks, tabletop books and magazines under the legs made the tables equal height. Yay! Seating for 15!!

Make it work!

 

Easter-inspired floral arrangements were put together in a jiffy using the charming candies of Easter. Layering pastel M&Ms with pastel peeps and setting a smaller vase (or glass) inside a larger one created the perfect Easter centerpieces!

 

Peeps & pastel are the focal points!

 

So what was the finger-licking lineup for Easter dinner this year?

The finger-licking lineup!

 

*We had to start with a signature Easter cocktail, of course! This year – in continuing with the Blackberry theme for Easter – was The Blackberry Bunny! It was refreshing with champagne, cream of blackberry liqueur and Trader Joe’s Blackberry Crush juice topped off with a blackberry and sprig of mint!

 

 

I asked my friends to bring vegetables, salads, appetizers and wine since I had the starches and fats covered!

 

The fixins from my friends

So Hope tossed together a cheery Chicken Lentil Salad. Vanessa brought a scrumptious Strawberry & Avocado Kale Salad. Dave manned some beautiful Bacon-wrapped-Goat Cheese-stuffed-Dates. Jennie put together some primo Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus. Jose and Lindsey had us set on vino and Amy and Dave brought champagne. And my sweet friend Rebecca – in town from Chicago shooting a pilot – brought 3 bunches of BEAUTIFUL tulips!

Rebecca brought 3 beautiful bunches of tulips that matched my tulip dress from Anthropologie!

 

Here are the dishes I just had to have because no southern Easter dinner would be complete without ’em!

*Delightful Deviled Eggs (mayo, cream cheese, tabasco, lemon juice, yellow mustard, dijon mustard, sweet relish & cornichons)

Easter dinner, southern fare, southern food, homemade, southern cooking, Easter menu,

Delightful Deviled Eggs

 

*Southern Pea Salad (peas, sour cream, mayo, worcestershire sauce, cheddar and onions)

Southern Pea Salad

 

*Cowboy Creamed Corn (buttermilk, corn, diced chiles and cream cheese)

 

Cowboy Creamed Corn

 

*Cheddar Green Bean Casserole (green beans, cheddar, buttermilk, sour cream, mushrooms, cream of mushroom soup and French’s Fried Cheddar Onion Rings)

 

*Texas Ranch House Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes (buttermilk, Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning, cream cheese and sour cream)

My favorite dish had to be my Nanny’s Lime Green Jello Salad (lime jello, cream cheese, pineapple and pecans). I used her original jello mold to create it. It even still has her “HAYES” label on it from when she used to take it to church functions! I was thrilled when it came out perfectly. The mold has interchangeable designs that imprint into the mold depending on the holiday. Easter’s design is a tulip!

Nanny's Lime Green Jello Salad in her original jello mold!

 

And the Dessert Table reminded me of old church socials at my grandparents’ church in Albany, Oklahoma:

The dessert table!

 

*Chocolate Bunny Cream Pie with Homemade Salted Buttermilk Crust – there wasn’t a crumb left!

Chocolate Bunny Cream Pie - Good to the last bite!

 

*Nanny’s Favorite Pineapple Cream Meringue Pie with Salted Buttermilk Crust – my meringue came out beautifully but the inside was a little runny. Oh well! It still tasted divine!

Nanny's Pineapple Cream Meringue Pie

 

Sour Cream Chocolate Easter Basket Cupcakes with Sweet Cream Cup Frosting  – these are such an easy treat to make for Easter! I love making them for my friends, neighbors and agents!

Sour Cream Chocolate Easter Basket Cupcakes!

 

Bernie The Bunny Cake (coconut cream cake with coconut cream buttercream frosting)

Meet my co-host...Bernie The Bunny!

 

Bernie The Bunny and our little friends, Nora and Lucy!

And no southern affair would be complete without sweet tea!

These are the beautiful faces I got to look at all afternoon!

I went to bed with a belly - and heart - full of sugar, thanks to these sweet faces!

 

This was my favorite Easter yet! I couldn’t have picked a better group of friends to share this precious day with me. And as I gave the toast right before we dug in, I could feel my Nanny there with us! She would’ve been proud…well, except for the Pineapple cream pie.

 

 

 

Happy 1st Birthday, BeautyFrosting!

I would be posting my High-Low of the week but I can’t think of a low to report because…

It’s BeautyFrosting’s 1st birthday!!!

 

Happy Birthday, BF!

No need to blow out the candles though, today!
I’ve already got everything I could have wished for with readers like you!

We’ll have a big celebratory giveaway later this month – when we announce the winners of our 1st annual BeautyFrosting BFF Awards! So stay tuned…

But, for now, here are some of my favorite moments in this first year of BeautyFrosting!

 

The beauty…

 

A year of beauty & pampering...THANK YOU!!!

 

The baking…

 

A year of sweetness...THANK YOU!!!!

 

The being…

 

A year of "being", a.k.a. lifestyle...THANK YOU!

 

The celebrations…

 

A year of celebrations...THANK YOU!!!

 

And the friends who make this journey oh-so-sweet!

A year of friends...THANK YOU!!!!

I am so grateful for each and every one of you who has read the blog daily, written questions to “Dear Dawn”, watched our videos, entered ourcontests, told your friends about BeautyFrosting, sent us a product to try for BeautyFrosting, followed BF on Facebook, on Twitter, on Instagram, on YouTube and for all of the praise, suggestions and support you have offered over this past year to me.

And I have LOTS more coming for you in this, our second year! Like what, you ask? How about Foodie Friday with food & restaurant reviews and A Southern Girl’s Guide to LA with spa & business recommendations.

How about that? It all starts THIS weekend! It’s just my way of saying –

THANK YOU for a SUPER SWEET 1st year!!!

THANK YOU!!!!!

Thank you from my heart to yours! xoxo, Dawn (BF)

xoxo,
BF

***Special note: Why March 12th? I chose to debut BeautyFrosting last year on what would have been my beloved Nanny, Clara Margaret Hayes’s, 99th birthday. Every year that I celebrate a birthday, I am celebrating her and all of the lovely, ladylike things she stood for and taught my mom, my aunt, my cousins and me!

I miss you every day, Nanny…

BF Asks: What was your favorite BeautyFrosting moment this year?

GBK 2013 Annual Pre-Oscars Luxury Lounge at the Sofitel Hotel in Beverly Hills

This past Saturday, I had the distinct  – and delicious – pleasure of attending the GBK 2013 Annual Pre-Oscars Luxury Lounge at the Sofitel Hotel in Beverly Hills.

An Oscars Cake! Photo by Amy Opoka

Besides being introduced to some amazing new-to-me products and walking away with a glam gift bag filled with products we couldn’t wait to try here at BeautyFrosting, I got to meet some of my favorite all-time male celebs!

It was such a treat and SO much fun!

And there was a SLEW of celebs! Just a few included: Penny Marshall, Chris Tucker, Steven Weber, Joey Lawrence, Camilla Luddington, Ashley Williams, Evan Handler, Chazz Palminteri and Tempest Bledsoe. Not to mention Jesse Williams and Richard Kind! Stayed tuned for those photos! I’m a little partial to ’em!

Celebs enjoying the GBK Academy Awards Gift Lounge

 

First, I walked the red carpet.

GBK Academy Awards Gift Lounge 2013, Photograph by Amy Opoka

Then I ran into the legendary Sugar Ray Leonard! He was there to support The Sugar Ray Leonard Foundation – whose mission it is to raise funds for research and awareness towards a cure for Juvenile Diabetes.

Me with Sugar Ray Leonard! I was so excited! This pic is obviously by me & my iPhone

Just after that, I was tempted with the luscious libations of Viva Diva Wines, one of the fastest growing Moscato brands in the United States.

Luckily, by this point, my amazing photographer Amy Opoka had arrived! So before the “work” really started, she got a quick touch-up by the fabulous Robby of NVEY ECO. His catchphrase that I love? “Don’t panic! It’s organic!” Love that guy!

Robby touching up our amazing photographer, Amy Opoka, with NVEY ECO products!

And then we saw the super handsome and charming Jesse Williams, of Grey’s Anatomy, and his sweet & lovely wife, Aryn! Of course, we had to snap a pic with our fave Doc from Seattle Grace Mercy West.

Paging Dr.Avery! With Jesse Williams of Grey's Anatomy, Photo by Amy Opoka

Next it was time for a little chocolate. Thank the goodie gods for a mini sampling of Zoe’s Chocolate Company!

Being tempted by Zoe's Chocolate Company, Photo by Amy Opoka

And as if chocolate wasn’t enough? Next, Cookie Daddy tempted us with their delicious gourmet cookies!

David Costabile checking out Cookie Daddy

One of my favorite new-to-me lines was The Artisan Group – an elite, beautiful band of talented and innovative artists. I had the pleasure of receiving some gorgeous jewelry, hair accessories, photos and bath goodies that I simply cannot wait to try! And it’s the ultimate example of supporting small business & vendors!

The Artisan Group, Photo by Amy Opoka

Some of our finds at The Artisan Group! Photo by Amy Opoka

And my faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaavorite find of the day!!!!!!!

Soapy Bliss bakery-inspired products Photo by Amy Opoka

 

Can you tell how much I loved?

A match made in heaven! Photo by Amy Opoka

I loved chatting with the ladies from Viavo! So sweet and such great-smelling avocado oil enriched bath & body products that I can’t wait to try!

Smelling Viavo body scrub! Photo by Amy Opoka

I enjoyed talking with Dr.Ted Eisenberg about his new book, “The Scoop on Breasts: A Plastic Surgeon Busts of Myths”.

Photo by Amy Opoka

I stopped by EcoGenics Active Botanical Skincare and got the scoop on this paraben free skincare system.

EcoGenics, Photo by Amy Opoka

Next? A little social lubrication was in order so I sipped a Skinny Girl cocktail. I left with a few of their Skinny Girl wines to try! Skinny and wine? Two of my favorite things.

Cheers to Skinny Girl cocktails! Photo by Amy Opoka

And as we left, I ran smack-dab into the talented and hilarious Richard Kind who could not have been more gracious.

Richard Kind lives up to his name! Photo by Amy Opoka

And then, we unpacked all of the goodies in the gift bag!

 

What a wonderful day to live in LA! I already can’t wait for next Award season!

xoxo,

BF

 

BF Asks: Which is your favorite Awards show?

Saturday Social Hour: Angeleno Magazine Red Carpet Ready

Life has been so busy and my social schedule has been so packed that this is the first Saturday Social Hour I’ve done in a while.

I loooove being busy and having events to attend but I really miss sharing them with you guys!

This past week, I was delighted to attend Angeleno Magazine’s Red Carpet Ready event at the Montage Beverly Hills.

Angeleno Red Carpet Ready event

I sipped Nicolas Feuillatte champagne, caught up with friends, ate delicious nibbles provided by Montage Beverly Hills (including a veggie spread straight from the gods), was introduced to some new beauty brands and, most importantly, was pampered!

I met a new handbag line, Joseph Nicola, that I immediately fell in love with. As gorgeous as it is on the outside, the interior is even more exquisite.

Joseph Nicola handbag

I was delighted to try the new Acqua di Parma fragrance, Magnolia. Being the southern girl that I am, I was utterly delighted and giddy with glee!

I had a pr meeting in Beverly Hills right beforehand and no time for a touch up so thank goodness the beautiful babes of Blushington were on hand to polish me up!

Naked Princess was a new-to-me line and I am totally smitten. I can’t wait to try the products and let you guys know my thoughts! As a cruelty free & paraben free line, I have a feeling many of you are gonna be in love with this line. I swatted the gloss on my hand and was so happy to feel how comfortable and moisturizing it was.

Naked Princess

My favorite eco-friendly tanning line, Vani-T, was there on hand applying tans, and Lashfully was busy applying luscious lashes!

As you can tell, it was a busy and beautiful night. As much as I would have liked, I couldn’t make time to experience everything. Unfortunately, this means I missed Brasilian Blow Dry Bar, Spa Montage Beverly Hills “Oscar Glow” treatment, Le Mieux light exfoliation, Leonor Greyl hair conditioning, Luna D’Oro manicure, Votre Vu cosmetics and DNA EGF Renewal mini facials.

I guess that means I’ll just have to pamper myself another time. And know what?

I don’t mind a bit.

Thank you for a pretty, pampering evening, Angeleno!

 

xoxo,
BF

BF Asks: Have you tried any of the lines that were pampering us at the Angeleno party? 


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