Happy Shalloween!

Boo! It’s Halloween, L.A. style!


What I’m NOT Lovin’ Right Now

Wednesdays on my blog for the past 2 months have been dedicated to sharing things I came across that instantly made me fall in love with them. It has become one of my favorite posts to write because I get to live in an online fantasy-land; curating newly discovered quotes, articles, pictures, recipes, high-end designer label apparel, videos, crafty ideas, and whatever my thoughts are at the time into one blended forum.

In light of the tragedy that took place on Monday afternoon in Boston, I felt conflicted going on about such superficial things today, not acknowledging the current state of affairs. It is times and horrific events like this that seem to solidify how inherently evil humankind can be and makes me wonder if society stands a chance in the long run. This sentiment is not meant to outweigh the good in the world, but it just feels like our world is constantly and consistently inundated with maliciousness. What’s worse, is that the terror is spreading. Schools, sporting events, and even my personal haven, the local cineplex, have been earmarked by tragedy and almost always without resolute explanation.

I was unnerved by the news that, yet again, we face such inexplicable violence. My thoughts have been with the people of Boston for the last few days. I had the pleasure of spending 4 unforgettable days there in December 2011 and while I was a total wuss when it came to the weather, I fell in love with the uniqueness and history of the city.

I’ve seen a lot of comments made in response to the recent acts that Americans need a reminder that incidents like this are not exclusive to the U.S., yet we aren’t as outpouring of our compassion for those in daily struggle in many third world countries, where bombings are just another day. Not to diminish what happened on American soil 2 days ago, but I can understand their perspectives.

I want to dedicate today’s post not to specific countries, ethnicities, genders, or religious groups, but to humankind. I realize that worldwide everyday there is famine, war, disease, poverty and evil…

…And I’m NOT lovin’ any of it right now.

Let’s take a moment to send lots of light and love to humankind.


“You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean, if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.”  – Mahatma Gandhi


Happy February! Looking forward to pigging out making smart eating choices and screaming at the TV on Superbowl Sunday. GO NINERS!! Of course, I’ll already have done the “healthy” thing before then by taking in a yoga class to restore my chi and burn a few calories first.

Here are some happy moments since last week – I’m noticing a lot of them involved food. Have a nice weekend!


{Indulging my sweet tooth.}


{Indulging my sweet tooth…again. Say hello to a Caramel Praline Crunch cupcake.}


{This awesome mural spotted on the way to eat cheese. Read more here.}


{My new red shoes.}


{A strawberry Italian soda brightened a rather mundane afternoon.}

2012 Best in Blogging: My Favorite Posts

One of the best things I did last year was start All That Glitters. I think of it as a mixture of both a guide to and celebration of life in Los Angeles. I love this city and while I am always struggling with what’s next and how to get there, I love my life too. I love this blog. Thank you for taking the time to read it.

Today, as we enter the last week of January 2013 (which is pretty hard to believe), I want to take a step back and officially close out all things 2012 with my top 10 personal favorite blog posts from the year. Each of these were not only fun to write, but I was also happy with how they turned out both in content and my somewhat mediocre photography skills. Within each of the ten posts also lies some my happiest memories of 2012.

{TEN.} Graffiti Coffee Bar – Perhaps it’s a sentimental choice because this was my first real blog post, but I think it’s also because this set the tone for how I wanted my blog to be: topical, sharply written, while saluting and celebrating my love of all things L.A.. However, even I found it completely ridiculous to even think lattes and valet parking should ever go in the same sentence. (Oh! A latte sounds so good right now! I’ll be right back…)


{NINE.}  Making Arrangements  Me as Martha Stewart for a day (okay, maybe more like 30 minutes) trying to make my own floral arrangement with a little help from Lauren Conrad (of all people). My favorite D.I.Y. post of 2012. I was so proud of my little creation.

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{EIGHT.}  Dirty Dancing in the Cemetery – A look at my first time experiencing the super popular young L.A. thing to do on a hot summer Saturday night, a Cinespia film screening at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. This post reflects on how I had the time of my life and the first time I’d ever seen a shooting star in the night sky. Hey, like the post says – I live in L.A.! Shout out to myself on what has to be my most cleverly titled post.


{SEVEN.} How I Spent 100 Years in Hollywood – My night at the Hollywood Bowl celebrating Paramount Studios 100 years in the movie making  business, told with the help of George Costanza and the most notable movie music in all of cinema. A night to remember and a post that I always look back on fondly.


{SIX.} Farmers For A Day – The day I left the city behind and headed out to the country (ok, not literally the country but it wasn’t too far from it) and spent some time on an apple farm picking fruit and hanging with the native country folk. This was a day of trying something new and it being oh so fun!


{FIVE.} Food To Die For: El Coyote Mexican Cafe – My account of what happens when you eat at my favorite Mexican Restaurant in L.A., El Coyote. Please read carefully, you’ve been warned of the side effects of food consumption on these premises. Oh! And God bless re-fried beans!

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{FOUR.} Snow in L.A. – Psst! Hey you. Yeah, you! I’ve got a little secret to tell you. It snows in Los Angeles. No, really. Seriously! It snows right in the middle of LA and I’m letting the cat out of the bag. I loved this post because it meant that festive time of year was finally here. It was officially Christmas!


{THREE.} Cupcakes and Cashmere L.A. Book Signing – A treat to stop by and say hello to my favorite blogger, Emily Schuman of Cupcakes and Cashmere fame, at her L.A. book signing. Cheers to the art of blogging!


{TWO.}  2012: Best in Books, Guilty Pleasure – My delicious account of the book(s) that rocked my world during the summer of 2012. It was so much fun writing this post and reliving all the delectable moments between Anastasia Steele and our dark friend, Christian Grey. (Insert mischievousness voice here) Happy reading and laters baby!


{ONE.} Mission San Juan Capistrano – Admittedly, I like this post more because of the crisp stunning images that bring me back to such a relaxing and happy day spent on boyfriend’s birthday. This is not my wittiest post when it comes to writing (see #2 and #4 above for that fix) but I think of this day as my most memorable from 2012 and in the end, it’s these types of posts that stick with you.


Thank you for reading All That Glitters!  I hope you enjoy the posts as much I enjoy writing them. I promise you 2013 will be filled with even more sparkle! 🙂

Highlights: Carmel

After a very happy Christmas Day and once I had gotten over the initial shock of such a thoughtful and extravagant gift, we headed out to enjoy the surprise Christmas trip from my boyfriend, a 3 (that turned into 4 – long story) night stay in Carmel!

I had never been to Carmel-by-the-Sea (which I learned is the city’s official full name), and honestly, had only heard of it because of Clint Eastwood. (How cultured of me, I know). As a lover of travel, good hotels, dining out, and sight seeing, I knew I was in for a real treat. Better yet, I was going to get 4 full uninterrupted days of adventure with my favorite person! 🙂

It was the prefect mixture of relaxation (i.e. spending lots of time lounging in our hotel room watching Saturday Night Live re-runs on VH1) and exploration (i.e. getting to know the city of Carmel).

Random fact: I just visited the city’s Wikipedia page and apparently there’s a law that prohibits the use of high heels without a permit due to uneven pavement throughout the town. Thank god I wore my Converse and didn’t get rock my 4 inch heels – it seems that would’ve been illegal!

Here are a few highlights from our Carmel-by-the-Sea adventure:


{Our hotel, Carmel Mission Inn.}


{Loved the beach-y inspired flair to the room with this cool electric blue lighting over the bed!}


{Nothing like starting the day with room service.}


{Exploring The Crossroads shops across the street from our hotel on a beautiful rainy day.}


{This is by far the coolest way I’ve ever been served a vanilla latte! Nothing but nice things to say about our breakfast experience at “From Scratch Restaurant.”}


{Exploring the shopping and dining places on the other side of our hotel, The Barnyard.}


{View from our 4th floor hotel room. I loved all the trees, so much greenery.}

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{Roaming Downtown Carmel. Very quaint. Very expensive.}

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{400 Degrees Gourmet Burgers & Fries. This place was super cool! You placed and paid for your custom made burger order on the device at your table and your hot food came directly to you when ready. I predict we’ll be seeing this in L.A. very soon.}


{Finally, I made a wish and threw a penny into this fountain in a park in Downtown Carmel. Here’s to hoping it comes true.}

The Christmas Project – Results

Christmas was officially over, but I was luckily still in the beginnings of a long holiday vacation. I love it when you have so much time off that you don’t even know what day it is, or even care for that matter.

When it came to festivities and the goals I set for myself to celebrate the season (dubbed The Christmas Project – thanks, I came up with that myself!), I did pretty well, though admittedly there were some…um…hiccups.

1. Decorate my apartment. 
Result: DONE 
While my prized glitter poinsettia plant (pictured in the header) died about 2 weeks before Christmas, all was well when my Christmas tree came along and provided the warmest, festive feeling whenever I was home. You can read about my tree experience here.


2. Watch at least 2 Christmas themed movies a week.
Result: DONE

Love Actually kicked-off a Holiday flick marathon for the whole month of December. Along with The Holiday, This Christmas, Just Friends, Home Alone, Fred Claus (which was so awful I turned it off so this might not count), Rare Exports, and Gremlins.


3. Get Christmas shopping done well before Christmas.
Result: DONE

I can proudly say that thanks to my pre-planning using a secret Pinterest board, this gal was done Christmas shopping by December 21st! Some of my favorites to hand out this year was an engraved business card holder for my boyfriend’s Mom who just started a new jewelry business, and tickets to The Groundlings (the best improve show in L.A.) for my boyfriend.


4. Bake something festive.
Result: FAIL

Let’s just say I did A LOT of eating of festive inspired cookies, but failed to actually make them. Honestly, this was the holiday goal I knew would be the most challenging for me to get to, even as I was typing it I wasn’t very confident. For now, this handy collage of images I made from Pinterest images will have to do in place of the fact that I was too lame enough to follow through.

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5. Lots of Hot Cocoa.
Result: DONE

Okay, so I didn’t exactly count how many cups I’ve had, but suffice to say that I had at least  2 cups per week.


6. Be present.
Result: DONE (to the best of my ability)

This one is hard to gauge whether or not I actually accomplished enough to say one way or another. On the one hand, I listened to Christmas music, watched movies, decorated my apartment, wrapped gifts, and spent time with some of my favorite people celebrating the season. However, it’s no secret that this Holiday season was overshadowed by some bad news both personally and in the world around me. Suddenly, I felt guilty and a sense of missing cheer about wanting to be active in the season in light of certain events. I will give myself an “A” for effort because as I reflect, I know I did the best that I could, given the circumstances. Once we hit Santa Cruz and got into the spirit, I couldn’t have been more present and welcomed the feeling.

The Walt Disney Family Museum


Location: 104 Montgomery Street, The Presidio, San Francisco

It was December 23rd; a rainy, Sunday morning when we hit the road from Santa Cruz and took the nearly 2 hour drive into San Francisco for our first official start to a Northern California Christmas vacation. And talk about RAIN! The vast difference I learned right away was that when it rains up north – it rains non-stop, all day. In L.A. – it rains, then stops, might sprinkle, and then it’s sunny again!

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{Rainy drive into SF.}

We didn’t let the wet skies change our plans or our mood. I was beyond excited to spend the day learning about one of the greatest contributors to the legacy of Hollywood and later my childhood, Walt Disney.

The Walt Disney Family Museum sits on an old military base in The Presidio district in San Francisco, with stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge in the backdrop. It houses the ancestry, history, and creative legacy of Walt Disney; from family beginnings, to his rise to success in the animation world, to the creation of his film studio, and later the conception of Disneyland, to his untimely passing in 1966.


{Golden Gate Bridge.}

The Walt Disney Family Museum does an exceptional job of educating its visitors on all things Walt Disney. The massive collection showcases archival documents, telegrams, early sketches and drawings, family photographs, news paper clippings, video footage, 3D models, replicas, real artifacts, movie posters, awards (where even Oscar himself sits among the prized trophies). I left the museum three hours and 10 galleries later feeling like I knew Walt Disney in a way I never had. He wasn’t just the creative genius whose motto was always surrounded by the ideology of dreaming. The museum also paints the portrait of Walt Disney as a human being.

Unfortunately, photography was not allowed in the galleries, but was allowed in the main lobby space. Here are just a few photos from an amazing start to a wonderful Northern California Christmas adventure. I highly encourage any “dreamer” to go for a visit and learn from the master.

“What ever you do, do it well. Do it so well that when people see you do it they will want to come back and see you do it again and they will want to bring others and show them how well you do what you do.” – Walt Disney


{Awards display.}


{Photographs of Walt Disney.}



{Lobby – staircase.}


{View outside the museum window upstairs.}