Sunday, September 30, 2012

September's 'Reader of The Rock'

I love this one, the picture is so cool too! The Review from my 'Reader of the Rock' for September Is:

An intriguing story with a whole lotta wit and humor.
The stories could be true or not, but given what I've heard about Hollywood, I think
they're closer to true. An interesting perspective on a woman searching for her place in life and following her heart.
It's inspiring for anyone who's going through a change or starting a new path. An easy entertaining read. I would suggest it to anyone. My favorite character is Adrian.

~Anonymous Guitar Playing Clown

Saturday, September 29, 2012


I'm obsessed.

As I this moment I am only into Chapter three and 7,171 words, but I'm already enthralled. It haunts me now when I am not writing. That nagging feeling of something left undone.

I am even finding it hard to write these words, at this moment. My time is precious and the juices are flowing.

I will do my best to keep in touch over the next months, I have a review of this great new restaurant in NoHo that I will post in a day or two. But for now I must focus. Being a Mommy of a toddler is posing much more of a writers block, when I have to drop everything and chase after my son. I remember writing the first novel with one hand, cradling my infant son in the other all the while bouncing on a exercise ball. Really, that was so much easier than now.

Now I stay up till one or two AM, and my house cleaning has gone to shit. Whatever works right? I will find the balance, but as of now it is a brilliant beginning.

So many returning characters, some exciting new ones. Ok, that's all I have for now. The boy is beginning to fade and it's my time. I must return.

As always, follow your dreams. It's the only way to live.

Tommie V

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Long over 'Doo

I was long overdue. I mean looooonnnngggg overdue. I had missed my five week color window when my colorist went on her very own, long overdue vacation.  As the days faded into weeks, so did my color. The once vibrant hues of gold and auburn had grown out, past the sometimes fashionable exposed dark roots, to the dreaded infestation of gray hairs. Eeeek, did I say gray hair? Oh yes. Ever since I had my son, my hair turns gray faster than you can say 'worry wart'. I guess it's normal, I'm an older broad and a mommy to boot so basically, I'm screwed. Of course when you have such a wonderful colorist, those gray's don't get to see the light of day usually, but for three weeks... mine got to finally have their time to shine.

When I got the call that my gal was back in town, I couldn't get to Hollywood fast enough.  Located on the coveted cove that is the actual 'Melrose Place' in West Hollywood. A hidden gem of gorgeous traditional architecture and shady tree's, a street that used to be known for it's antiques stores but has been taken over by the fashion elite. It is the retail home to the likes of Cloe', Marc Jacobs, Carolina Herrera, Oscar De La Renta, Joe's Jeans, Skin care to the stars Mrs. Kate Somerville and my destination for the afternoon... 8440 Melrose Place, the one and only Serge Normant at John Frieda salon. (In Los Angeles, that is)

Gushing with old world charm,  the elegant extended foyer welcomes you into luxury, as you begin your metamorphosis from drab to fab.  The glass doors hold no mystery as to what lies within, with a gorgeous Mediterranean blue pool, as the peaceful centerpiece to the salon's exquisite interior.

Once inside, a gleaming chrome desk mixes Industrial Chic and Eclectic Decor, behind it a helpful and purposely gorgeous receptionist, who is like a poster child of what these talented artistes are capable of, checks you in and alerts your colorist that you have arrived. Once you hit the dressing room and are properly gowned in a classic black wrap robe, with proper logo in gold embroidery, reminding you always, where you are and that you are ready to transform.

My colorist is the beautiful and uber talented, April Thorsten. I was referred to April by one of my besties, when my usual stylist was out of town. You see, I have a wonderful gal who has been styling my hair for videos and photo shoots for years. I am a loyal bird and was terrified to 'cheat' on her, but she was going to be out of town for quite some time so I gave April a shot. That was a year ago. I still have my stylist (xxo Brooklyn Stephen) to cut my hair and help with the on camera looks, but my colorist title now is held by April. Technically in the hair world, there are Stylists and Colorists, while most can do both, at John Frieda that is the way it goes. April is a master colorist, she has been the assistant to the coveted Bruno Etur, for the last two years,  she is moving into her own and paving the way to a fabulous career. April is warm and so friendly that she instantly puts you at ease, knowing that all of the LA pretension, does not hold court with her.

Into the chair I happily go, stopping to snap a picture of my sad little 'before' face. It is hard to tell at this angle how drastically I needed this so I took one from the back too.

Holy Shit, this is bad. Of course I did mess with the color of these picts a bit, but I say this photo captures how I felt about my lifeless doo. It was time... let's get this hair party started.

Step 1: mix color- base. April uses 2 colors on my base... 3 parts one color similar to my natural shade and 1 part a tad darker, for depth. She then disperses with tint brush on all my roots. Then with a wide toothed comb, she combs down from the roots to help blend the color, so there is no harsh demarcation where the color ends.  


Step 2: Add Lowlights.  April strategically places lowlights around my head,  to pull color from roots to ends. She paints them on with a wave of her magic wand and in my mind I am singing "goodbye gray hair, goodbye!"

I then get to sit for 30 minutes to set the color. April brings me a yummy cappuccino and we retreat to the outdoor poolside sitting area, to relax and catch up on the last few months happenings.

Step 3:  It's time to rinse out the base color. April brings me to the rinse room, where I can recline in comfort, while she uses warm water to rinse color in bowl.

Step 4: Brow tinting.

Everyone has thier own fashion fopaux that we have made over the years, most of them we grow out of. Sadly, one of mine doesn't seem to grow much anymore. Being born half Spanish and the other half Irish, Cherokee and Choctaw... I had amazingly bushy eyebrows. So bushy, that I was a bit self conscious and began to tweeze at an early age. Then good ole' Kate Moss took the eyebrow world by storm with her pencil thin brows and well, therein lies my mistake. I tweezed so much that my brows are a mere shadow of themselves, so I must do what I can, to enhanse what I have now. That means brow tinting. April uses a low level developer of  brow color, similar to my base color and applies it expertly with tiny brush on brows.

Step 5: Highlights at the bowl. April uses a technique called Balayage, a French term for 'painting the highlight' or actually, "sweeping" because they use a sweeping motion when they apply the color with a color brush. So rather than taking a section of hair in a square foil, they paint pieces of hair on a hand pallet, from the roots to the ends, seperating the layers with saran wrap. It's very artistic!!

I had to take a picture of the haunting Indian girl who watches over the rinse room. As I sit for 10 minutes to set my highlights I wonder what her life was. Is she a model in a staged atmosphere? Or is it a candid shot capturing one woman's essence with a single glance. I love the colors as well, but it is all about this once glance that gets me every time.

Step 6: Tinted gloss. After April rinses the highlight color from my hair and my eyebrow tint color as well,  she then applies a tinted gloss to tone highlights, making highlights look more natural, adding an over all shine to hair. (Side Note: You can always add a clear gloss to a solid hair color, just for shine!) April applies with a brush at the roots, then works through with her fingers throughout the rest of my hair.  Ohhh it smells so good too!! Doesn't sit long, maybe 2 min tops and she rinses with warm water. April then does a final shampoo and delightful scalp massage with John Frieda's Smooth Start Shampoo, finishing with JF's Moroccan Oil Conditioner. . Wonderful!

Step 7 Blow dry. After switching back to my original chair, April coats my wet hair with John Frieda's Satin Design White Tea Polishing Milk called Shu Uemura. Another one of John Frieda's awesome arsenal of products for sure!

She then begins to piece my hair into sections to blow out hair with her professional dryer using a round brush on each section till it lays perfectly around my shoulders. Can you tell in this picture how happy I am? My color is AMAZING  and my brows are too! 

The final touch is a Serge Normant shine spray and Whaaalaah! I am complete! Remember what my hair looked like before???? Wow! What an after picture!

To say I am happy is a complete understatement. I am reborn is more like it. No more gray's and my color is glowing like my smile of confidence. I highly suggest spoiling yourself at Serge Normant'. If you can't get on April's book then try, try again, or I'm sure any one of their colorists or stylist will help you create your own metamorphosis with ease.

Yes, it is a bit pricey, but I'm worth it. (Sorry, I had to say it) And really, there is no price that you can put on confidence. For some it's clothing, for others plastic surgery, but I think every girl needs to pamper herself with expert color. For me that's April Thorsten at John Frieda. Just do it, and tell em' I sent ya! Click HERE for more information on the salon and locations


Tommie V

Thursday, September 13, 2012

NY Fashion Week

NY Fashion Week is a time for all of us fashion fanatics to see what's new, what's hot and what's next, from our favorite designer mavens. Although some of us can't be there every year, we can all enjoy viewing the shows on the internet. Best seats in town, not one catty stare.  I have been having fun pouring over the shows myself and thought I would share some of my favorite designers Spring 2013 collection pieces, where I would wear the item and why I like it.  

Diane Von Furstonberg: I love her collection of flowing elegant fabrics and stylistic color blocking. I heart' this jumpsuit, it looks so comfy, that I would never want to take it off. 70's inspired? Maybe! The cut is sexy yet, the layers cover the models frame and flows with every step, creating excitement and intrigue with every shimmy and shake.  I would wear this on a Caribbean cruse or even for a night out dancing at a hot new club, maybe minus the earrings that would probably rip my earlobes off, if I shook them all night long.

Vera Wang: I have a soft spot for Vera since she was the designer of my wedding dress. For Spring 2013 she looked to the "romantic beauty and sensuality of India," Lots of jewel tones in the very wearable collection, although my pick is of course my favorite color, black. I really dig this look, I call it 'I'm not quite dressed, but it's working anyway' Super rock n' roll hot, with the velveteen fabric and embellishments. I'm not even sure if it doesn't pull up over one shoulder as well for a second look, if not who cares, it's divine. I would wear this on Grammy night, maybe even the shoes too... although I probably would stick to ankle boots.. I might fall down in those heels.

Badgley Mischka: Although there were only a few pieces in this collection that were my style, the elegance and craftsmanship of the clothing was apparent, even if some of the pieces were a bit reserved. The cool aqua pastels, with just the right amount of shimmery elegance. The look I picked screams out femininity and flair so perfectly. I think the iridescent tweed-like pants would go with anything, dressed up or down, from the office to the upscale dining evening out. I would buy two pairs just so I could ensure having them forever. ;)

Rachel Zoe: Now I know that Rachel Zoe is not your classic designer and I have read a few scathing reviews about her line... but for me and my style, she seemed to do just fine. In all actuality I liked almost every piece she had. Soft flowing fabrics, lots of mix and match separates, all with just a hint of splendor and elegance. Sure, the look I picked is a bit long and again, with my clumsiness I may just fall ass over teakettle a few times, but wont I look great doing it? I hear from the catty's that her collection is sure to hit Kohls,  so that is good news for all of us gals who love the high life but can only afford the middle. Wear her collection anywhere..well almost anywhere. I would wear it to a new art opening downtown, or a day of shopping with the girls.

 Zac Posen: Wow. I cannot say enough about the gowns in the Zac Posen collection. Red carpet elegance with a throwback style of the 1940's old Hollywood style. The classic hourglass seemed to be his inspiration, with some of the gowns growing a mermaid like bottom. Although his evening wear gowns were absolutely stunning in colors like pumpkin satin and Bordeaux, it was the fabrics of tulle, satin and chiffon, that clung to the body creating a femininity and sexiness that we all crave in a ball gown. I chose one of his cocktail dresses, since I rarely go to a ball, but in this hip hugging beauty, I would have a ball wearing it. The color was seen on a few other runways, so I am picking this as one of the staple colors of Spring 2013. I would wear this to a party as well as a premier, I would even rock it out in a pair of ankle black boots with leather cuffs around my wrists,  just to add a bit of Tommie Vaughn with the gorgeous gowns of Zac Posen.

 Gosh I love fashion. Don't you?

For More looks and More fun, go to:Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week

Monday, September 10, 2012

Umbrella Dancing

Little known fact: I spend at least 10 minutes a day umbrella dancing.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

It's Alive

They are alive... They are haunting my daydreams. As I sleep, they tinker with my brain. So much so, that Insomnia has become my nightly bed mate. Frankie Spencer and her pals, are beginning to breath again.

I have now begun, in earnest, writing the follow up to This Rock in My Heart.

This is gonna be one hell of a ride. I hope they are wearing seatbelts.

This Roll in My Soul.





Friday, September 7, 2012

Right Now

It seems with all the go go go of summer, there was a lot of time spent looking out... Looking out at where we were going, looking out at things that we were not in control of. Things like the future and where it was taking us. I think it happens to most of us. We start dreaming about what we want to accomplish in the world out there, so much so that, we forget to live in this very moment. Right Now.

I realized this fact the other day, when we were headed to the LA County fair and when we arrived it was closed for the day. I had spent so much time fantasizing on the picture of this perfect day, that I had created in my own mind, that when we finally arrived at the fairground gates and they told us the sad news, I felt like crying. It was like the little kid in me got so damn dissapointed, so utterly let down, that I had to stop and steady myself before my little boy could see his Mommy throw a tizzy. Thankfully for me, my son was asleep and really had no idea what the 'fair' was, so it was only my husband and I that had to realize, our entire day was not going as we had dreamed.

Instead of wallowing in despair, we decided that we still had control of our future and that we would go to the Long Beach aquarium instead. We knew our son would be just as excited to wake up to the fishes, as he would the fairgrounds, which he of course he was... and all was right in our world once again.

But it got me thinking. Instead of looking outside for the things that we need, things that will satisfy us in some way. Things, or places that we build up in our minds. Instead of all that out 'there', I have decided that I'm looking within. I'm noticing all that we have, in this very moment, in this very place, to enjoy. It is Fall anyways, so it's time to clean house, rediscover what you already have and get rid of the things that you don't use, things that you don't need anymore.

Our biggest problem in our home was that our sweet son had spilled over into three rooms. One being his nursery, that we had created for him before he was born. A magical room filled with musical tree's, one made by each of his parents, that connect in the middle to create a new sprout. This room is directly off our bedroom and it served us well as his nursery, him being so close to us. Once he turned One, we decided that he should have a 'big boy' room and turned one of our other bedrooms into his new room, keeping the whimsical room as a play room of sorts for him as well.

Now, it was about that time that our son decided that he no longer wanted to sleep in his crib, but wanted to sleep with us in our bed. Ohhhhhhhh Nooooooo.

Ohhhhhhh Yessssss. How can you say no to a face like this?  I really did try though. For months,  I would bring him back to his new big boy room. But, he didn't like it. We thought maybe he had outgrown his crib. That he was ready for a big boy bed. Months later. Nope. So Yes, our son began sleeping in our bed. Very happily AND he would sleep soundly all night long. Of course, you shouldn't let your children sleep with you! Tell that to someone who doesn't have kids.

So. In looking at our home, at the now, that is our residence. I realized the boy was not even using his 'room' but to change clothes in, he was much happier in his play room, and our room.  What a wasted space. All this has changed. In a whirlwind storm of re-decorating, organizing, throwing out what we did not need, boxing up things to donate and organizing things that we could sell in a grand daddy of all garage sales, it happened. My son's two rooms have been integrated into one, his magical nursery is now his magical room... and he is happy. For the last two days of naps and nights, he has slept in his bed. Maybe it didn't last all night, but at least he is close enough to us that he feels safe... and when he stumbles into our bed at 4am, it's a short walk.

The 'big boy' room has now become just that. Our musical equipment was scattered all through the house and since our studio/garage construction had been halted through the summer, with the heat being unbearable, all of our gear has been sitting unused. Now, we have an office/music space that is usable and air conditioned. All of a sudden we want to sing and play again, it seems all we needed was a little organization.

Since those two rooms felt so good, we kept going. We revamped our living room, moved some furniture around, brought the piano out of the playroom and into living room which is closer to the new studio, making it easier to record. And again, seeing it in the living room is very inviting for a family concert or two.

We brought in artwork that we had not seen for awhile, that had been covered up in the garage, creating a new life and new energy. I got rid of even more crap that I didn't need and I cleaned the heck out of everything else, so it felt shiny and new.

As I looked around, I smiled in exhilaration at my 'new' digs.  Every room had a use and a purpose. Every room felt like it represented the now, that we are in, right now. I am so grateful for the right now, and I am not looking out 'there' to find happiness... I have everything I need. Now. And it's called home.

My closet is next.


My Hubby sweats hearts

I love showing this other side of Tony. What most people see is him playing guitar in our band, but I like to show the real man. What's inside.  Even doing yard work his goodness drips through. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Kids are great

It looks like Elvis has gotten himself into a bit of trouble in the playroom today.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

And we're off to the fair!!

Someone's ready to go!! LA County fair here we come!!

Save your pennies for a rainy day

Ok, so it's not exactly raining, but this is my story anyways...

For years we have diligently put all our pennies, dimes and nickles into this giant empty Coppola wine bottle. We always keep our quarters separate in a smaller jar, which we use as our bi-monthly fun day cash fund. It has been just something we do, something silly and fun, something that in all honesty we forget about.

About two days ago we noticed that the LA County fair had come to town and thought that might be a fun, family day excursion.  Since we have been traveling so much this summer, all our extra fun money had been spent on lots of good times over the months. We are not people who like to pay by credit, which has served us well over the years... we pay cash for everything and then it's ours, with no repercussions or hidden fee's. So, that being said, we were just gonna have to wait a week or so to do the fair... and that is when we noticed our coin jar.

We began to laugh at each other as we tried to figure out how much we would need for our fair day fun and how much we thought was in the bottle. As we poured it out into two bags, Tony guessed high and I guessed low. (better to be surprised I figured)  Then we headed for the nearest Coinstar. Sadly it seemed to be everyone's idea and we had to hit three different stores before finding a machine that was not out of order.

As the coins began to clank down into the gulping counter my mind began to whirl. What if there was more than we thought? What if a few dozen quarter were actually mixed in and our amount exceeded all expectations?? As I watched the counter begin to climb, I started to smile in realization that my guess was going to be one hell of a lot closer than Tony's.

My son was patient all the way through the long process because I kept telling him about the fair, the chickens and goats and cows, the booths that daddy will try to win him a prize at, the lights and rides and fried food he will get to eat. As I watched the counter hit $100 bucks I knew we were buying our tickets and having a great day. 

I am happy to say that all of our saving gave us a rich abundance of cash. We were pretty excited at our windfall. 31 Quarters, 894 dimes, 447 nickles and 1,797 pennies. Of course we actually saved $137.47, but the machine needs to eat too, so we brought home $124 big buckeroos! Damn, that is some serious change.

We decided to switch up our tactics for the coming years and to save up all our quarters too. Yes, it's good to have a savings account, a couple Roth IRA's, a 401K, life insurance and such... but don't forget to save up a few nickles as well. They might just take you to the fair.

Happy Saving!

Tommie V

Monday, September 3, 2012

The ease and anonymity of playtime

There is a certain peace that I get by bringing my son to our local park. Sure there is the peace that I get later, after he has been worn out and sleeps like a rock. But I'm talking about the simple things that only parents will understand.

Building sand castles, climbing jungle gyms, playing hide and seek, swinging from trees, all the things that, as an adult we rarely do, unless you have a child to enjoy it with.

I get to be a kid again and that's something I'm pretty good at. Remember, I'm an artist anyways, we never really grow up. Some of the other parents are really good at it too, and we smile and nod at each other as we pass by on our hands an knees, roaring like a lion.

And that's the other thing, everyone knows my sons name, but they don't know mine. No one asks what I do for a living, but they ask how potty training is going. We talk about pooping, preschool, naps, sharing, biting, toys and we laugh at our children's antics as they run in circles around our feet. Small talk at its best, but it is a conversation that all parents need. We need to know that we are not alone, we are not insane and we need to know that we are good parents. No one gets upset that you aren't looking them in the eye while talking, that sentences are cut off midway through, when you need to grab a toddling baby that has wondered in the path of a swing set. When you leave, it's a wave and a high five for the boy, then it's back to your life just as you left it, except your child is happy and worn out and you are content in a way that only playtime in the park can bring.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Goodreads Winners and Reviews

Congratulations to Amanda Stone and Tiffany Olson!!! These gals beat out 647 people, who signed up to win a free autographed copy of my first novel This Rock in My Heart!! The books are in the mail ladies, with a little extra surprise included for each of you as well! How cool is Goodreads?

Are you a member of Goodreads? If so, make sure to rate and review my novel. Haven't read it yet? Can't read? Bummer! Come escape with Frankie Spencer and Co. into the world of rock n' roll dreamers. See you all there!


Click HERE to view my books Goodreads site