This is not just a pen.

Seems mighty appropriate to be signing contracts – for a big announcement I’ll be making in the coming weeks – with this here pen.

This is not just a pen. It's a sign of women stepping into their power. And…my, how it sparkles!

This is not just a pen. It’s a sign of women stepping into their power. And…my, how it sparkles!

This Swarovski pen was a gift 4 years ago from my former boss, Barbra Streisand. I brought it along with me today, specifically to sign these contracts, because of the woman from whom it was given.

I learned so much about how to conduct business in Hollywood, how to treat people, and how to give back, thanks to her, and her assistant, Renata.

I learned that the biggest dreams do come true if: “You feel it. You see it. You understand it. You say it. You do it. You make it happen,” as Barbra once said.

I am so thankful for every job I have had that has brought me to this place, every lesson I have learned, every opportunity given to me, every act of kindness extended, and every powerful woman, who has taught me how to step into my own power.

xoxo,
Dawn

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

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

***

HIGH: Synchronicity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LOW: Ricky Nelson Knew Best

LOW: Ricky Nelson Knew Best

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

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

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

xoxo,
BF

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

 

High-Low 1/6/13: Vegas & Reflecting…

Happy 2014, friends!! I hope it is off to a shimmering start for you. Here is my High-Low this week. It was a good one!

HIGH: VEGAS FOR NEW YEARS

What a year 2013 was!! And it wrapped up in grand style for me in Las Vegas with some of my dear friends that I made during my years working for Barbra Streisand. So what was on the agenda? Seeing amazing shows, staying at the MGM Grand, eating delicious food, drinking wonderful wine and laughing…a lot.

When in Vegas, SHINE!!! Dress by Honey Punch ℅ M. Caroline Boutique

I spent the first night seeing my old friends, Maroon 5. It makes me so happy when I see people I’ve been friends with or crossed paths with over the years turn their talents & passions into success. I remember seeing Adam Levine and the Maroon 5 guys (when they were Kara’s Flowers) playing for our friend’s birthday party on La Brea. Seeing Kara’s Flowers play was a frequent thing in the early 2000s. I haven’t seen them live as Maroon 5 so it was SUCH a treat. I had a dorky, proud mom smile on my face the whole time. Adam was the same star then that he is now. And my friend, Sam Farrar, was at that party and now he’s in the band. Love how full circle things are. Just melts my heart.

Maroon 5 at Mandalay Bay on December 30th in Vegas

 

The next night we were treated to a ridiculously delicious dinner of sushi at Shibuya at MGM Grand. Then it was on to a private Fleetwood Mac party/show.

Fleetwood Mac Private Party & Show at MGM Grand

 

Wowsers, y’all. We had a table but ended up being front stage center for the show. It. Was. AMAAAAAZING. Lindsey Buckingham had us touch his guitar. As someone who adores them who happened to be in a coed/Fleetwood Mac-style band back in the day, it was just a huge treat! And what a way to kick off the new year!

 

Fleetwood Mac at MGM Grand

My 2014 continued to be awesome when I realized that the ticket I had bought was actually in first class. I thought that if 2014 only went up from that point, I was looking at the best year of my life.

Well, that's one way to kick off 2014!

 

LOW: REFLECTING…

In our room at the MGM Grand reflecting back on the year…with a glass of vino, of course!

 

My low was not really a low-low. It was more a big ole casserole of lessons learned, regrets I’m trying to move past, people I’m trying to let go of and intentions set so as not to repeat the past again.

But sometimes even the best of intentions and most honest of resolutions get broken. Simply put…being human is hard. Really hard. It is so easy to judge yourself and get lost in that grief. As they say in August: Osage County, “Thank God we can’t tell the future. We’d never get out of bed.”

There is only ONE thing that we are guaranteed in this life – that this life will end.  So my main resolution this year is to forgive myself a little more and treat myself a little bit more gently, if possible. To accept defeat, rejection and sorrow as chances to grow gracefully and become a better human being. And to let go of the patterns, people and events in my life that don’t serve me and don’t make me a better person. Life is far too short to have anything in it that detracts from your life rather than adding happiness to it. So as I reflect today, I will grow tomorrow. At least, that’s my intention.

And I have to tell ya…I have a sneaking suspicion that 2014 is going to be the best year yet. Here’s to keeping resolutions, actualizing dreams and celebrating every day we get in this life!

 

xoxo,
BF

BF Asks: What was your High-Low this week? What are your resolutions? What did you reflect upon with the turn of the new year?

 

*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!

Recipe Box: Sweet Georgia Peach Southern Dump Cake – a homespun recipe

A few weeks ago, I had a game night scheduled with my dear girlfriends with whom I used to work at Barbra Streisand’s. I love these girls. I have soooo much fun with these girls. And they love me for everything I am – the bad, the good, the goofy. Heck, they even love my dog more than most people.

But I also knew that no matter how busy I was, I couldn’t show up empty-handed. That was just not an option. They would be expecting something buttery, sweet and delicious. So I knew I had to deliver. But what to bake on a Friday afternoon when you have less than 2 hours to prepare?

My answer? My Sweet Georgia Peach Southern Dump Cake – a fave of my girlfriends for years. Perfect for an impromptu dinner party, an easy dessert on a beach vacation or the perfect treat to whip up in a jiffy, this cake will tantalize the tastebuds and delight the pickiest of dessert-eaters.

My Sweet Georgia Peach Southern Dump Cake - serve with a dollop of vanilla ice cream and your guests will be in heaven

 

And it’s a homespun recipe which means it’s homemade but with some ready-made products you probably have in your pantry right this second!

So bake it up, have a taste and share with the ones you love!
Sweet Georgia Peach Southern Dump Cake

1 (29 ounce) can sliced peaches in juice (strain juice and set aside)
1 (18.25 ounce) Package yellow cake mix

1 (6 ounce package Peach-flavored Jell-O)

1/2 c Salted Butter

1/2 c Water

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In the bottom of a 9 x 13 cake pan, place drained peaches. Sprinkle the dry peach Jell-O over peaches. Sprinkle dry yellow cake mix over Jell-O. Cut up butter in pieces and scatter over cake & Jell-O mixture. Pour 1 cup of the (previously set aside) peach juice and 1/2 cup of water over the top.

Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 60 minutes or until top is golden.

xoxo,
BF

BF Asks: What is your favorite in-a-pinch dessert recipe?