|| What I’m Lovin’ Right Now ||

If you really stop and think about it, there are so many awesome, inspirational, entertaining, thought-provoking, exciting, deliciously superficial, silly, glamorous or happy things that happen around you everyday if you just open your eyes. I’m opening mine! In addition to the posts dedicated to sharing my personal highlights celebrating the things in life each week that made me smile (you can read my most recent Highlights here) – I’ve decided to start a new recurring blog post to share all of the random things big or small that came into my world, said hello, winked, then either promptly turned it upside down, inside out, or made me give a good “ooooh!” Here’s to having your world ROCKED by a little bit of everything with eyes wide open.


here’s what i’m lovin’ right now


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{God bless the person who heard the cries of so many Sex and the City fans who’ve been going through Carrie Bradshaw withdrawal. This new series follows a 16-year-old Carrie prior to becoming the sex column writing fashionista strutting down 5th Avenue in 5-inch Manolos. Fun!}

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{When I’m ready for my big walk down the aisle, I’m taking a cue from Emily Schuman of Cupcakes and Cashmere fame and hiring these guys! Instead of your traditional long form wedding video, Shark Pig takes a highly stylized approach to immortalize your big day by shooting on Super 8mm film and editing it into a music video inspired montage creating something magical and timeless. You HAVE to check out Emily’s big day and see their work. Enjoy!}


{Words to live by…}pinksign

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{Insert me here…NOW. Thx.}

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{needed a full day of chill out music earlier this week and I knew Porcelain Raft’s Drifting In and Out was the vibe I was looking for. Hello Pandora and my new Drifting In and Out Radio Station. Set just the tone and mix I was looking for.}

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{Mixing my love of cupcakes and popcorn into one yummy treat? Yes, please! The next time I’m in Union Square in S.F. I’m stopping at American Cupcake for their Pink Popcorn Cupcake.}


{Bar carts as side tables.}

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{Well said glitter girls (and boys).}
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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…)

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{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.

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{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.

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{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!

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{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!

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{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!

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{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!

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{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.

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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! 🙂

2012: Best in Beauty

I’m not a high maintenance gal, but this doesn’t mean that I don’t like to always look put together. I’m way too O.C.D. with a healthy dose of perfectionism for sloppiness! 🙂

I didn’t really transition into the “girliness” of being a girl until my mid-twenties (when more astute attention was paid to clothes and makeup). It’s still growing and evolving; as it should when you come more into your own and want to redefine your look. The simple fact of getting older, wanting to try new things (and let’s be honest: as well as my addiction to tips found on Pinterest, the blogosphere, and my subscription to Glamour magazine) led me down a path this year to take the time to enjoy and grow into that fun girly side a bit more and experiment with new products.

These are beauty findings I discovered this year, that I’ve come to love, use, and recommend to those looking to (re)capture the “girl” in all of us; tried, tested and true. Happy primping!

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Estee Lauder’s Double Wear Light Stay-In-Place Makeup, $36.00. I recently switched from using powder makeup to this foundation after successfully using a sample that I got during the L.A. Cupcakes and Cashmere book signing (gotta love cross promotion). It’s super lightweight, doesn’t clog pores, lasts all day; and most importantly, doesn’t feel like liquid is sitting on your face. Four reasons I’ve never used liquid makeup. Also, this inexpensive but very sturdy Studio Tools Large Foundation Brush from Target, $6.99, does a wonderful application of my new face makeup.

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My favorite new find for a warm glow on your cheeks would be courtesy Bobbi Brown’s Pot Rouge for Lips and Cheeks, $25.00. I have a warm, chestnut skin tone and love the Milk Chocolate, though Bobbi’s got you covered with 9 other shades to suit your skin tone. The best part? You can sweep it on your lips for a touch of color as well.

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My favorite nail polish on the mani/pedi front: Tangerine Crush from L’Oreal’s Colour Riche Femme Fatale Collection, $4.99.

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Dressing up the eyes has become much more dramatic and long-lasting with these two new beauty finds: Sephora Collection’s Full Action Extreme Effect Mascara in Black, $15.00; and Bobbi Brown’s Long-Wear Eye Pencil, $24.00, in Mahogany.

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.}

Ode to Bookstores

Location: 12136 Ventura Boulevard, Studio City

It’s funny how some things just stick and feel so comforting. When I was younger I spent a lot of time hanging out in bookstores. My mom and I would go out on a Friday or Saturday night to the local Borders or Barnes & Noble, grab a coffee (I was hot chocolate at the time) and go our separate ways for a few hours. I would walk over and listen to CDs getting excited when the technology finally allowed you to scan any CD in the store and you could listen to it. I’d wander to another section and skim through a magazine or walk over and find a book that grabbed me with a catchy title, sit and look through it.

Fifteen years later and in gratitude to my mom, this is still one of the things that I love to do occasionally. When I’m bored, when I’m in a not so great mood, or I’m eager to check out a new book; I’ll go and sit in a bookstore, latte in hand, and melt into another place for a while. Last Saturday night, I revisited this favorite pastime of mine. How appropriate that the bookstore I landed in was an old movie theater with the marquee still intact. It gave it a unique charm. Sadly, there was no in-house coffee bar and it lacked some of the warmth that your typical Barnes & Noble would have (warm lighting and lots of seating) but I was happy to be around the books and exploring a new place none the less.

I know that times are changing and it’s becoming rare to have nights like this as more bookstores close or go out of business. I, too, am guilty of the ease and cost of ordering online, but nothing replaces the feeling or the experience of physically being around books. I’ll continue my love affair with bookstores until the last one closes, and my optimistic side hopes that day never comes.

Checking out Emily’s new book from her popular blog, Cupcakes and Cashmere.
Rows and rows of books!

Cupcakes (no Cashmere)

In celebration of tiny cakes everywhere and one of my favorite blogs, after having spent lots of time researching my passion for carbs topped with icing and taste testing my behind off; here are my thoughts based on my quest to uncover some of LA’s best cupcakes. Clearly, I haven’t tried every single cupcake in this great land, so I’m basing this list off of the places I’ve personally frequented.

Cupcakes Couture
Location: 916 Manhattan Avenue, Manhattan Beach
BY FAR the most delicious and best dressed cupcakes in LA!  I stumbled into
this oasis of sweetness when hanging out on the Manhattan Beach Strand one Saturday afternoon nearly a year ago. It’s a trek to get down to the South bay for me, but MY GOODNESS, it’s worth every traffic light and hassle to get there. The shop is well designed, the girls that work the counter are sweet, and the concoctions are the best. Nearly every cupcake has a sweet filling in the center, always tastes fresh, and NEVER disappoints. This place also has THE BEST gluten-free selection (which makes my boyfriend very happy) that I’ve come across if you struggle with an intolerance to wheat. My favorites are the Cupcake Wars reality TV show winning Lemon Blueberry, Strawberry Cheesecake, and the Sunday Mimosa (only served on Sundays, get it!?!) 
Sprinkles
Location: 9635 Santa Monica Boulevard, Beverly Hills

THE place that started it all, well, at least in my opinion. This is what I think of as the originator of the cupcake craze in Los Angeles – like how Pinkberry spawned the frozen yogurt movement. I can’t recall how I first heard of this place, but it remains an oldie but a goodie in my book. Sprinkles’ forte has always been location, location, location; oh and the cupcakes are moist and delicious! They have one the largest selections of flavors but rotate them out depending on the day, as seems to be the case with all places. Beware the place is small and the line LONG. Their best invention yet? The cupcake ATM if you want to grab a cupcake at 2:00am. Great ones to try: Lemon Coconut, Red Velvet, Strawberry, and Pumpkin.

Frosted Cupcakery
Location: 1200 North Highland Avenue, Hollywood

If I can’t make the trip to Manhattan Beach or Beverly Hills, Frosted comes in a close third. The cupcakes more than cover it in a pinch, but I so desperately wish that Frosted would catch up on the flavor selections! They stick with pretty safe choices. Their shop seems to run of cupcakes quicker in my experience than with other places, and the treats themselves are very good, but I find they don’t have quite the same punch. The best thing about this place? The price! These guys run under $3.00 each, which is a steal! What scores additional brownie points? Their awesome ice cream cupcakes. I’m a huge fan of their red velvet and cream cheese cupcake filled with vanilla bean ice cream!

Vanilla Bake Shop
Location: 10250 Santa Monica Boulevard, Century City

My latest taste test on the cupcake front comes from Vanilla Bake Shop. I’ve noticed the shop for a while now when checking out a movie or shopping at the Westfield center; and have been in before a few times to check out the place, but had never purchased anything (which is so unlike me.) I have to say this place is aptly named, it was a very “vanilla” experience. I hate to call this out, but the person working the counter was pretty dismissive (coloring in fact) when I walked-in recently. Further to that, they only have 6 flavors to choose from on any given day. I went with a safe Vanilla Bean and did enjoy the cupcake. It satisfied my sweet tooth but they lose points for not much variety on any given day and poor service. Perhaps it was an off day. I was also told that a gluten-free selection was in the works and would debut in May of this year, but nothing yet.

Crumbs
Location: 6801 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood

Love the name, pretty blah when it comes to the cupcakes. I do like how decorative these guys are, but for some reason, I get a “straight out of a box” taste from them. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes you just want sugar, and you don’t really care how or in what format, so these will more than handle your needs, but the fresh taste wasn’t quite there for me. Dare I say they were a bit too sweet as well?  I love that they have multiple locations around the city. I count 6! Then again, because they have so many locations, maybe this alludes to why quality lacks in their cupcakes. It seems they’re more into design, which is super important, but I’m also about my tongue doing the happy dance on contact.

With that, I’m now seriously craving a cupcake and I don’t care which location it comes from! If you have a hidden treasure on the tiny cake front that is missing from my list, please do let me know! I’m always looking to gain 5 pounds (said no one ever!)