Today, a wise friend read this poem to a group I was with, unaware that she was actually reading it just for me.  As she read the poignant lines, I felt my heart-strings pull before tears I could not control, spilled out of my eyes, subsequently ruining my mascara.  Poet Naomi Shihab Nye has a message of kindness that perhaps will resonate with you too.  For this reason, I feel compelled to share it here.  For you.

Kindness  By Naomi Shihab Nye

Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.

Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and
purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.



My Cinderella Moment

Last Sunday, I attended an invitation-only pre-premiere “glam ball” for VIP media and bloggers hosted by JCPenney.  JCPenney was a leading sponsor of the Cinderella World Premiere.

We got to experience our very own #JCPCinderellaMoment at the “glam ball” hosted in the penthouse suite at the chic  Loews Hotel in Hollywood.   It was a beautiful space, complete with lots of enchanting decor and exclusive JCPenney products to enhance the #JCPenneyCinderellaMoment experience.

JCPenney Sponsors The World Premiere Of Disney's "Cinderella"

JCPenney Sponsors The World Premiere Of Disney's "Cinderella"

Hair styling was provided by the super talented JCPenney Salon Team, and make-up was provided by the JCPenney Sephora team, to prepare us for our enchanted evening at the red carpet film premiere.

jcp hair 2

 Me in the chair getting loose curls

After hair and make-up we were escorted to the accessory room where a JCPenney Stylist assisted in accessory styling…JCPenney Sponsors The World Premiere Of Disney's "Cinderella"

 The JCPenney Accessory room

JCPenney Sponsors The World Premiere Of Disney's "Cinderella"

 Some of the girls with their new clutches and jewelry 

JCPenney Sponsors The World Premiere Of Disney's "Cinderella"

The JCPenney accessory room 


Me in my new JCPenney earrings 

After the “glam ball” we were escorted to a VIP guest pre-reception event at the El Capitan Theatre.  We were provided exclusive access to the red carpet, photo booths, and an exclusive look at costumes from the film.

JCPenney Sponsors The World Premiere Of Disney's "Cinderella"

 JCPenney Sponsors The World Premiere Of Disney's "Cinderella"The actual Cinderella gown

My friends Angela, fellow blogger Mary Hall and Me at the pre-party


Lily James on the red carpet in an Ellie Saab gown


The cast on the red carpet

I had my own red carpet moment… 
jcp me and c

Me and my dear friend and fellow blogger Chad Darwin

a dream is a wishIf you love Cinderella as much as I do, you should know that JCPenney has over 300 exclusive Cinderella items.  In fact, the Disney shop inside JCPenney is one of the retailer’s most popular brands for children, parents and grandparents alike.  They have an extensive selection of some of Disney’s most beloved characters designed just for JCPenney.  And if you are looking for the Cinderella princess dress for your little one, a must have of every little girl, find it here!  Its gorgeous!

It truly was an enchanted evening!  I love love loved the film!  It was like the Disney cartoon came to real life.  And even though I don’t have a real-life fairy godmother, I certainly felt like I did!

The live-action feature film inspired by the classic fairy tale will be released this Friday March 13, 2015. Don’t miss it!

Mazzy Star Anyone?

I’ve been off music for the last few weeks.  Media deprivation helps clear my head.  However, this morning when my iPhone synced to my car it automatically began playing music from my iTunes.  I flinched to shut it off but the song captured me.  It took me back to December 1994, sitting on the floor in my bedroom beside my stereo, playing this CD on repeat.  I paused and sat in the 20 year old memory.  It struck me that 20 years later this song still seemingly plays just for me.

Enjoy this flashback friends, but don’t dwell too long.  Spending too much time looking back does not serve.  Remember that nothing that’s supposed to be yours gets away.

Please love this with me… xo

Buddha Board

Lately I’ve been spending time with a dear friend who is suffering from what she describes as the Holiday Blues. She doesn’t want to shop, decorating the house is a chore, and she’s pretty much getting by on her practiced smile and antidepressants.  She’s sad.   Her lover is gone.  Being sad this time of year sucks.  The Christmas music, the crowds, the energy of the season is especially heartbreaking for those not really feeling it. I get that. She’s not the only one in pain. Last week a friend of mine told me her dear friend and tennis partner surrendered to bone cancer. In the news, a drunk driver in Redondo Beach plowed through a crowd at a church and killed 4 people. All these are reminders that the holidays aren’t happy for everyone. In fact, I would argue they are more difficult.

getting lit this year

Yesterday I saw Ivy-league educated former monk and leading American Buddhist teacher, Jack Kornfield on Super Soul Sunday. He spoke about the importance of staying present. He said our thoughts about the future are only thoughts and our thoughts about the past do not matter because they are past. Life is being lived right now, with every breath. He reminded us that if we live too much in the past or the future, we miss life. At the end of the show Oprah featured the Tibetan practice of creating intricate sand mandalas that often take hundreds of hours to create and then get wiped away upon completion as a reminder of the Buddhist principle of non- attachment.

This reminded me- I recently bought myself a Buddha board. I was playing with the one on display at Pulp, my favorite stationary/gift shop on La Brea and Beverly. A Buddha Board is like a chalkboard, but instead of chalk, a Japanese paintbrush is dipped in water.   You can doodle any word or symbol on the board and then watch it fade until it disappears as the water dries. Its purpose, like the sand mandala, is to keep you present and to remind you to stay unattached because the reality is, nothing in this life is permanent. Not jobs, not lovers, not wealth. Not art or wishes. Not moms or dads or sisters or brothers. Not even countries! Who remembers Prussia? Anyway, everything is in constant motion, constant evolution going somewhere or returning, expanding or shrinking, growing or dying. Every day granted is a blessing in this life. It’s a privilege to live another day. It’s one day closer to death.


Maybe Shakespeare had a Buddha Board….

I’m getting good at drawing designs on the board. Each stroke of my wet little brush looks like effortless art. I create beautiful doodles and immediately feel a longing for it as I know I can’t get attached. It will be gone soon. This analogy fits life too.

When you spend time marinating in memories of days long past with a lover who is long gone you waste the time you are in now. Memories are like a beautiful Buddha Board masterpiece that one is clinging too even as it fades, going, going, gone. Instead of standing in the grace of love, or settling into gratitude for having loved and been loved that way, we resist, cry, compromise, and bargain. Then one day, inevitably, he or she is completely absent. No text or call or email. No Facebook message, or subliminal Pinterest post. No tweet, yelp message or Instagram like. You are left with a blank slate. Sometimes it is years before you can appreciate the freedom and beauty of a blank slate and accept the gift of starting again. It’s easier to cling to memories, missed opportunities, and wallow in regret. I get that too. These feelings are real and tangible. You can physically feel the edges and cracks of disappointment and longing in your heart. Even as I write this, I can feel the scars on my own heart start to swell and tear again because the wounds from a lost soul mate are deep and easily refreshed. But then, mid tear, I remember gratitude. As should you.  Most people never experience a love like that, but you did, or you wouldn’t be in the pain of grief, bitterness and nostalgia. Remember that even though you know how the story ends, you would still jump in and do it all over again,  just to feel his eyes on you one more time. For there are other loves, but never the same love twice.

heart cloud

Chin up darling.  Storms don’t last forever.  xo Dre


IMG_8530I was lucky to be selected by leading apparel retailer, JCPenney, to attend iHeart Radio’s Fiesta Latina at the Los Angeles Forum this past Saturday, November 22.

As a sponsor of the event, JCPenney hosted a style and beauty lounge for Hispanic Media at the legendary Sunset Marquis in West Hollywood. As part of their #justgotjingled Holiday campaign, Los Angeles bloggers and journalists were treated to a fabulous afternoon of glamour, fashion and fun with the makeup team from Sephora, hair styling provided by JCPenney Salon, and JCPenney stylists for wardrobe consultations.


I was charmed by the beautiful accessory selection and trendy clothes featured on the upstairs floor of the villa. They had some awesome rocker looks from their private and designer labels.  There was a variety of styles to accommodate the diverse group of women.  We were all ages and sizes, but there was something for everyone.

I was also taken with the variety of beauty services offered at JCPenney.  Not only do they have a brilliant partnership with Sephora in-store,  they also have the JCPenney Salon.  Shameless Plug for my favorite shampoo and conditioner from Alterna.

In addition, the villa at the Sunset Marquis Hotel was accessorized with some gorgeous accent pieces, tableware and bedding from JCPenney’s Home department.  There was eye candy everywhere!





Everything was super chic and well within budget.  What’s not to love?  After the first class treatment I received, its safe to say I’m a fan.  Check out, where you may find inspiration, weekly challenges and heartwarming videos demonstrating random acts of giving.

Black Friday: This year, JCPenney starts holiday shopping early at 5 pm on Thanksgiving Day. Early birds will be greeted with a free 2014 edition Disney snow globe and special Jingle Bell envelope containing a $10 coupon redeemable immediately in store. One out of every 100 coupons will be worth $100 off $100 or more for purchases made Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve.

After we got all dolled up- we were chauffeured to the show!! The iHeartRadio Fiesta Latina featured some of the biggest names in Latin Music.


I almost cried when I heard Ricki Martin was opening. I’ve loved him with since his Menudo days! Who remembers when he was a telenovela star??  Anyway, besides Ricki, the line up included Prince Royce, Jesse Y Joy, Pit Bull, Daddy Yankee, Alejandra Guzman and several others.  Everyone was ah-mazing but I have to say I left with a huge crush on Colombian reggaeton artist J Balvin!  I think he stole the show :-)  Enjoy this video and have a Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving beloveds!

THANK YOU JCPenney from the bottom of my heart for the beautiful experience.  I will never forget it!

xoxo Dre

Columbus Day.

Christopher Columbus

Given the atrocities that occurred to the native people in the “new world” at the hands of the European explorers, a history that I didn’t really learn about until college I might add, Columbus day has always left a bad taste in my mouth.  A few years back, while on vacation, I remember seeing his actual tomb- an elaborate display in a cathedral in Madrid, Spain.  Even then, in the holiest of churches, I sort of wanted to kick it.  Today I read this essay from a blog called The Oatmeal.  I found it so extremely enlightening that I thought it was  important to share it with all of you today, on Columbus Day.  All of the information in this essay came from A People’s History of the United States, by Howard Zinn, and Lies My Teacher Told Me, by James W. Loewen, both of which uses primary sources such as eyewitness accounts, journal entries, and letters from Christopher Columbus himself.  After you read it, we can all work on replacing Columbus Day with Bartolome Day!   Who’s with me!?