Two Years.

2yr_Blogoversary_ATG FINAL

Today marks my 2 year blogoversary! And while the 2nd year often has a nasty reputation when it comes to human development, dubbed the “terrible twos,” I’ve found that with blogging this is quite the opposite when it comes to creative life development.  There’s nothing terrible about your 2nd year in the blogosphere. You only get better, so it only gets better! And when you do stumble along the way (as you’re bound to do), you have the perfect outlet to find your way.

When it comes to reflections on why I blog and how it’s changed me, I feel the same way I did when I reached my first milestone this time last year. I won’t rehash what I said there (because I think I said it as eloquently and succinctly as I ever could); but I’ll re-assert the idea that this site, my space among the cosmos as I think of it, still keeps me on my toes, learning and growing, fulfilling myself in creative expression and building a voice that I am proud of.

What I like about All That Glitters is that I don’t think it follows a genre, per say – though many “blogger rules” say this is a no-no. If you’re a fashion blogger, you blog about fashion. If you’re a beauty blogger, beauty. And a travel blogger, well, better keep things as exotic as possible. I hate being put into any kind of a box in my life, so I refuse to do it here.

If I were to characterize myself, I’d say I’m a lifestyle blogger, though I realize that the contradiction here is that I am, in fact, placing myself into a box by simply even calling myself this. I looked up the definition of “lifestyle” and got “the way people live at a particular time and place.” Taking this definition into account and perhaps also adding a spin to it in my mind of “how people live,” makes this particular characterization appeal to me. I think of it simply as blogging about “life.” And “life” is a term that covers every facet involved with it, giving me the freedom to use this space however my imagination chooses.

I choose it all.

In celebration of All That Glitters‘ 2nd birthday – I spent quite a bit a time looking over my blogging journey this last year, re-visiting old posts and smiling fondly at great moments along the way (with admittedly, a few of those “what was I thinking?” moments, too).

These are my most  favorite posts since my 1st blogoversary, not in any particular order. I hope you’ll enjoy looking back on them with me today as I raise a glass and say cheers!


Journey of a Dress: From Princess to Fashion Legend  ·  April 7, 2014
 …to Downtown LA We Go  ·  July 23, 2014
A New Perspective on Stress & A First World Problem  ·  September 17, 2013
Back to the Future, Living in the Past  ·  June 25, 2014
You Can’t Eat Beauty ·  March 5, 2014
A Day in the Garden  ·  October 23, 2013
Highlights  ·  July 11, 2014
Photo Diary: Happy Birthday in Ojai  ·  May 12, 2014
The Big Picture: A Night at the Oscars  ·    September 4, 2013
100 Happy Days: The End  ·  July 9, 2014
Where Bookworms Go To Party · April 14, 2014
3 Years at Bottega Louie   ·  January 30, 2014

Thank you so much for helping me make it to year 2! Onward, my friends…

Blog Signature Official_FINAL


Stay in Touch: Facebook Twitter Bloglovin

 

 

*Image credit: “Let’s cheers…” by nImAdestiny, used under CC BY / text added from original.

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Highlights & Milestones

Screenshot_2014-03-24-23-33-30 ATG

{Screenshot from my phone of when I hit my Twitter milestone.}


I started blogging August 1st, 2012 and it’s been quite a journey. I won’t go into much detail today about what I’ve learned thus far, that’s a post for another day, but I do want to talk about milestones. Suffice to say that for reasons mentioned here, I spent the bulk of my start doubting myself – a really nasty side effect when you’re a total perfectionist like I am. I wanted things to be perfect before I started promoting my site, particularly when you see the competition out there. I mean, there are some really great blogs in the world.

I’ve always been a writer in one form or another since I was really young. I had a passion for words and stories. I fondly recall making outlines for murder mysteries when I was a kid. I even remember sitting at our family computer (on Windows 95!) for hours writing chapters for a fictional novel. I kept journals on-and-off for years, and wrote another private blog just a few years before All That Glitters that I never told anyone about (though I guess I just did now).

When I was younger, I wanted to be a journalist and study journalism in college. I actually ended up in film school, but I that’s a long story. What’s pretty funny thinking back as I write this, is that out of all the cinematography, editing, and technical classes I took in film school, the classes that I loved most where either in screenwriting or film theory (which required a lot of interpretive writing about film – combining my love of writing with my love of cinema).

I had always been consistently told time and time again by my teachers and professors that I was a great writer. (This is not to brag, just to emphasize a point to come.)

So, writing wasn’t what held me back in the beginning, it was more or less learning about the “business” of blogging: how to make yourself stand out in a crowd of millions, how to promote yourself, how to develop an aesthetic and tone, how to shoot and edit more visually appealing photographs, how to create a blogging schedule, and most importantly, how develop engaging content (which takes more than being a good writer). Ultimately, it was these aspects that I was looking to perfect first and then put myself out there – what in the world was I thinking? Learning is all apart of the process when cultivating a hobby. Realistically, I know that there can’t be perfection, but you can learn to fine tune this train of thought into becoming more experienced, rather than perfect.

The point is that it’s an on-going learning process and one, that if you’re doing it right, will always be. If you’re perfect at something, then there’s no where for you to grow and wouldn’t that be kind of boring after a while?

What still surprises me out of the nearly 300 posts that I’ve written, is that the post where I took the plunge, bought a domain name, and shared a bit of my blogging journey at 10 months, is still my most commented post to-date. I got comments from many bloggers saying that they were going through the exact same thing. There’s that gentle reminder again that we’re all more alike than we think.

Yet, I have a confession to make. Yes, I did become more active in networking with other bloggers and building a community after that post – but no I can’t say that I was giving 110%. I started blogging as a hobby and initially, promoting my site after that post felt like work.

(I already have a full-time job, thank you!)

So while I kept blogging and sharing content, loosely networking with other bloggers, a more solid effort could have been made on my part. Some of that was due to my perfectionism trying to make my site more “perfect,” some just due to sheer laziness (it’s A LOT of work to promote anything – I don’t care what it is), some due to time constraints, but mostly because I wasn’t truly using the resources available to me.

I knew I wasn’t where I should be having been blogging for nearly 2 years! Let me preface that this was okay with me because it was (and is) just a hobby for the time being, but for some reason as of late, I wanted to take things to the next level.

So the biggest highlight of my week is blogging-related, when I made the conscious decision to really start networking more strongly and consistently with up-and-coming bloggers. I wanted to educate myself through other bloggers and blogging websites as well. I also set two milestones: 1.) more followers on Twitter, and 2.) more page views on any given day.

I met both milestones.

I doubled my Twitter following in a week and a half! The page views on my site have seen an improvement, and I was a Blogionaire on March 14th making it a great day on All That Glitters.

I hit my goal of 100 Twitter followers (and am now even over that!). To some this may seem pretty laughable, because if I really want to promote my site I need to be in the thousands, but the reason that I’m sharing this milestone is because it’s a testament to what you can do when you set your goal and go for it. No, my Google Analytics aren’t stellar by any means, but baby steps are okay. Blogging is supposed to be fun and it wouldn’t be for me if I got too wrapped up in those types of numbers.

I do often wonder how much further along I would be had I done what my original plan was. That plan was to blog for a month (to test commitment and build content first) and then start actively promoting it. This never happened. It took a year before I REALLY put All That Glitters out there and since I’m still writing about it – it’s taken even longer than that.

What I can tell you as I’m learning how to navigate the world of promotion more seriously on social media specifically, is that Twitter has been the biggest and best resource to meet others and build a following. Facebook is A way, but not THE way. In fact, I only keep a Facebook page for those who prefer to use this medium to follow me, otherwise, I’d likely cancel it. Twitter is much more open and active when it comes to networking – hearing from a complete stranger is common and welcomed, jumping into the middle of  a Twitter chat or Twitter party does wonders, and those annoying hash-tags (#) and retweets actually do something!

Though I consciously realize that there is no such thing as “perfect,” I suppose I have to accept that this is just part of who I am. I’ve been this way my whole life and it won’t likely change overnight. Admittedly, I like this about myself. It pushes me to always want to do and be better. However, I’m aiming to remind myself to seek experience over perfection, while still doing what works for me.

Given where I am in life right now, what works is publishing 3 times a week (as opposed to everyday as I did when I first started…and burned out quickly trying to keep up with others); spending time connecting with other bloggers (more so in consistency than in quantity to really get to know them); using the resources available to me; continuing to learn tips and tricks (because believe it or not, marketing is a game, and you have to learn how to play); and finally, writing about the things that I love.

The best advice I read recently was from another very successful blogger on emerging industries and her advice was to “write the blog you want to read.” I can’t think of a more simple way to alleviate perfectionism in any creative endeavor. If you would read it, then that’s good enough. If you would eat it, then that’s good enough. If you would wear it, then that’s good enough. It’s really all you can do.

I don’t know where the site will take me. Perhaps blogging will always remain just a hobby – though it’s truly growing into an industry onto itself with lots of career opportunities if you can seize them.

No matter what happens, these 2 years so far have taught me skills that will carry me down any path I choose and I think setting milestones is the best way to keep moving forward.

Thanks for indulging a rather lengthy post today and please share a comment on how you deal with the 3 P’s: perfecting, promoting, and publishing in this crazy world we call blogging.

Have a magical weekend!

I’m off to hit my next milestone…

 

 

 

 

 

 

One Year

celebratory cupcake

I started blogging one year ago today. It’s pretty hard to believe where the time goes. By nature, I would describe myself as an extremely visual, creative, curious, reflective person, who a year ago found herself in a place where this side of herself wasn’t in full expression. This is very ironic given that I spend my days, both professionally and personally, in and around intensely creative people and environments. I won’t go so far as to say that blogging literally saved my life, but it did open a new and exciting world that constantly indulges my innate creative side – a world and side of myself that I’m still learning about everyday single day.

The absolute best thing about blogging is that it’s your space among the cosmos, and within it, the one place where you have full creative control. It challenges you, educates you, helps you find your voice and allows you to build that voice. Through my site I can share what I’ve learned, reflect on life, and explore my passions. Liberatingly, this means it can be something as surface as my love of exploring some place new for the first time, to my take on a popular fashion trend, to something a bit more concrete and serious – whether it be my thoughts about a museum exhibition or a film I’ve seen that hit me so hard it warranted an analysis that I needed to share. I’m in a zone where I can write playfully one day, and where I can stretch myself to write even more thoughtfully and critically the next. Even better, it can be about any and everything I chose for it to be. It’s astounding when you think about it – this freedom doesn’t apply to many other areas in life.

On a personal note, where blogging has saved my life (if I were to use that ultra dramatic catch-phrase), is in always improving my outlook on life or finding the lesson when the outlook isn’t quite so positive at the moment. It’s made me grateful for where I am despite the times that I do question “what next?” because somehow sharing and reflecting on my experiences and ideas with you forces me to always engage with life and shapes my perspective. Essentially, through blogging you start to see the good because you’re always look for it so that you have a story to tell.

In honor of All That Glitters’ “Blogoversary,” I thought I would share my personal all-time favorite posts so far. Interestingly, I probably have an affinity toward many of these stories because they were such happy experiences in and of themselves, but I also enjoyed writing about them and sharing them visually. They remind me of such wonderful times and still make me smile every time I look back on them. Others are posts that directly fulfill that missing expression I’ve often felt and allowed me to have a voice.

Today I celebrate post 210! Thank you for reading and growing with me. I hope somehow it inspires you to find your voice and your space among the cosmos in whatever way works best for you as well.

love & light,

Candice

Sharing the Love

I have been so touched by many of your positive comments on my post last week where I essentially got real about the rewards and challenges of this awesome thing we call blogging. It was encouraging to hear that it was a source of inspiration for many of you.

As promised, I’ve decided to forego my usual “Highlights” post on this happy Friday to dedicate some space to pure link love. Interestingly (and most appropriately), if I were to write a Highlights post today, it would look much like what you’re reading right now anyway. I spent most of my free time this week networking with other bloggers and checking out all of your submitted sites to be included in today’s post.

One thing I was extremely excited about was live chatting with other lifestyle bloggers on Twitter last Sunday morning, where people from all over the world came together to unite over their passion, bounce their ideas around, and meet other blogger nerds. If you ever feel like joining us, the Lbloggers (lifestyle bloggers) Chat is every Sunday 11:00am-12:00pm Pacific Standard Time. Be sure to use hashtag: #lbloggers.

Thanks for stopping by, commenting, and sharing your links with me. Everyone who wanted to be featured in today’s post is noted below in the order they came in.

My hope is that you’ll all check each other out and continue to spread the love.

Please keep in touch and have a magical weekend! xx

K Clueless| kclueless.com

Cake & Couture| cakeandcouture.com

Walk of Fashion| walkoffashion.com

Clark Gent| clarkgent.com

Cara’s Cliché|  carascliche.com

Lipsticks and Lashes| lipsticksandlashes.blogspot.co.uk

Tape Parade| tapeparade.wordpress.com

Becca’s Fashion and Life| beccasfashionandlife.co.uk

Happy Dancing Alone|  happydancingalone.com

Mr. Joiee| mrjoiee.com

While these peeps didn’t leave links necessarily, I still wanted to give a shout out to Tonya over at Budget and the Beach and Drew at MAiJiNTHEARTIST for always being super supportive of All That Glitters! 🙂

Cupcakes and Cashmere L.A. Book Signing

Location: Bloomingdale’s – Westfield Century City, 10250 Santa Monica Boulevard

It’s no secret that I have a Cupcakes and Cashmere addiction. I may have joined the legions of “cupcakers” a little late in the game; but within the past 2 months or so, it’s something that I look forward to reading every weekday morning. Emily Schuman has inspired thousands of young women, myself included, by turning a simple blog meant for creative fulfillment; into a full-time career, a book, and a burgeoning empire. In many ways, her daily posts remind me of the importance of celebrating being a woman (even if it’s as surface as to splurge every once in a while, hence my recent sweater purchase because I loved/deserved it!) to honoring the joy of more artful living.

{Emily and I.}

It was a warm September night as I made my way to Bloomingdale’s at Westfield Century City last Thursday. A short 30 minute wait in line, complete with catered treats (nice touch!), and a free make-up session to test out the perfect Estée Lauder foundation made the night more eventful than I had anticipated. And what can I say? Emily was as gracious and well dressed as you would expect. For the record, I did think greatly about what to wear to a simple book signing because I knew everyone would bring their A-game. I went with dark blue skinny jeans, a ruffled blouse with a fitted vest, a chunky long necklace, and my recently acquired patent leather heels.

I left the event with elevated traces of sugar in my bloodstream thanks to the 2 small treat indulgences, a picture and brief conversation with Emily, a signed copy of Cupcakes and Cashmere, a sample of Estée Lauder’s Double Wear Light Stay-in-Place Foundation, and a huge smile on my face! 🙂

{Catered treats: Banana cake-pop and a mini coconut cupcake.}

{My signed copy.}

Beginning

Welcome!

All that Glitters comes about from a deep-seated need to celebrate life. To relish my creative side. To indulge my adventurous side. To write about my passions: film, food, fashion and fun. And to chronicle my life living in one of the most dynamic and exciting cities in the world, Los Angeles, CA.

This blog aims to explore all that glitters; all of the highlights, both big and small, that I want to share in an attempt to bring the celebration to you.

One of my new favorite guiding quotes in life is: “Just breathe…you’ll never live this moment again.”

I hope that through these posts you’re as inspired and determined as I am to see the beauty or the lesson in everything. Glitter, after all, is simply a sparkling reflected light.

Happy Reading!