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! 🙂

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Farmers For A Day

Location: 9611 Oak Glen Road, Glen Oak, CA

What I’ve come to love most about the blogosphere is how information moves around so freely. Places you’ve never heard of and ideas that wouldn’t have even been on your radar come your way and your world is changed because of it. This was the case when I learned of Los Rios Rancho in Glen Oak, CA – an apple farm in San Bernadino county. I thought it would be a great mini road trip to spend the day learning about apples, picking them, exploring the property and area; and when I heard they had a pumpkin patch, my boyfriend suggested we grab ours from here this year.

A 2-hour car ride on a Saturday fall morning (unbelievably it was 90 degrees!) was a great way to kick off a memorable day. Random fact about me: I like zoning out and staring out the car window on long trips – it gives you time to think and take in the world from a different perspective. I decided to dress the part and have fun with playing the role of a “semi-farmer” from the city, by breaking out my plaid button down shirt and brown riding boots for effect.

{Dressing the part.}

We arrived around 12 noon and the farm was already busting with activity. We had a quick sample of the day’s available apples in the orchard: rome beauties, double red delicious, and red rome, with a few golden delicious remaining; and after learning how things work (with signs posted everywhere to remind you!), we bought a 5-7 pound peck bag and headed out to the fields. First up, finding the best looking apples we could.

{The rules.}

{Straight from the tree.}

{U-pick and I did!}

After our bag was stuffed with apples, we made our way to the pumpkin patch. It was pretty obvious that we were late in the season, being the weekend before Halloween, so the selection was sparse but we found winners! I got a large one and my guy got a small one (we like to break convention like that!) for our carving session the next day. To see how things turned out, click here.

{The rules.}

{The leftovers.}

From the farm, we went into town for a bit. Oak Tree Village is a small, charming community of quaint shops, places to eat, and activities for the kids. A stroll through the grounds landed me the best glazed almonds and cashews ever, and a taste of Andy’s Mini Donuts that made my tongue dance and my stomach tell me – “stop eating!” Good thing I had all those apples to look forward to, I was going to need lots of fruit in my diet in the near future.

When we made it home late that evening, we took stock of the days’ labor in the fields. 16 apples and 2 great looking pumpkins!

Halloween

Happy Halloween my pretties! Halloween has finally arrived. While I didn’t get to everything on my project list exactly, I got plenty accomplished that put me in the right spirit for the festivities!

1. Bake a gluten-free pumpkin pie. DONE!
Interestingly, this was one of the first things to be crossed off. A simple pre-made gluten-free crust from Whole Foods and Libby’s Easy Pumpkin Pie Mix was all it took. I added a dash more nutmeg and cinnamon to ensure true sweetness to the mix though it doesn’t call for it. Add a little Cool Whip and you’re ready to pumpkin pie it out!

2. Carve a pumpkin. DONE!
This year we headed out to Los Rios Rancho in Glen Oak, CA to pick our pumpkins (and some apples). Blog post to come on what turned out to be a very memorable day trip, but here’s a quick collage to capture our pumpkin carving adventure:


3. Decorate my apartment.DONE!
I decked out my place with simple pumpkin lights I got a few years ago at Target, so admittedly, it wasn’t anything too drastic. They offered the perfect ambiance while watching scary movies all month long, and using my orange pumpkin scented candle created a great final touch and smell for the Halloween season.

4. A scary night out with the girls. – SEMI-FAIL!
The girls and I had a change of plans, while we thought about a night out at Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios, this never seemed to come together (timing was a huge culprit). We did get together last night for an awesome scary movie girl’s night in complete with pizza, treats, and lots of laughs.

5. Scary movie night at least once a week with a big bowl of popcorn and all the lights turned out.DONE!
This was the one goal that went without a hitch (though popcorn was only present during one flick, there was ALWAYS a sweet treat nearby). I managed to see a lot of scary/suspense films throughout the month. My top 3 likes and 2 hates to not even waste your time on:
Likes:
1) When a Stranger Calls (1979)
2) What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)
3) Sinister (2012)
Hates:
1) The Hunger (1983)
2) The Last House on the Left (1972)

6. Read Midnight, by Dean Koontz. – FAIL!
Didn’t finish. I’ve been picking this book up and putting it down all month. Unfortunately, I never found the time to get into it before I moved on when my book club announced the November selection; which has been pretty creepy ironically so I been delving into “Room”, by Emma Donoghue.