Best of Everything 2014

1-Happy-New-Year

New Year’s Eve, 2014. Where did the time go?

I distinctly remember where I was this very day last year. In bed. Sick. I had caught some sort of horrible stomach virus that literally took months into 2014 to fully recover from. I was so disappointed because my boyfriend and I had made reservations for dinner at a quaint little Italian restaurant that I was beyond excited for. At the time, however, food and I weren’t on speaking terms. He ended up ordering a pizza that I basically watched him eat. What a bummer…and a terrible way to ring in the new year.

I’m determined to get 2015 off on the right foot. Essentially, the plan is to finally get to that dinner reservation, one year later – and I have absolutely no intention of watching him eat. I plan to dig in with the best of them at that quaint little Italian restaurant tonight, but not before heading out to catch, A Most Violent Year, opening today. It’s the last film of the year that I want to see before I officially write my top films of 2014 post, forthcoming. As such, this post won’t go into narrative or feature-length documentary films.

The last day of the year is perfect for reflecting back on where you’ve been and where you’d like to go as the year comes to a close. Today, I want to reflect on where I’ve been with a look back at a little bit of everything that made 2014 memorable. From books I’ve read, to music I’ve rocked out to, to products, and experiences – here are new discoveries, things that stuck, and lessons learned worth mentioning.

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L.A. Discovery: Bottega Louie.
{Perfect for brunch or dinner…and macaroons.}

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Only in L.A. Experience: Broadway Theatre District Walking Tour.

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Thing I Did For Myself: Recommitted to a consistent yoga practice…though admittedly I’m currently on the market for a new studio.


Beauty Find: Mullein & Sparrow’s Facial Detox Kit. It’s giving yourself the spa experience at home, on a budget. I discovered this small Brooklyn-based herbal apothecary just weeks ago and if I could, I’d buy everything! Love them.


New Addition to the Hair Regimen That I Can’t Live Without: Macadamia Healing Oil Spray.


New Addition to the Skincare Regimen That I Can’t Live Without: Clarisonic Mia.

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Indulgence: Iced vanilla lattes from The Sycamore Kitchen (or Hot Tamales).

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Accessory: Gosia Meyer’s 14K Gold Filled Initial Necklace.

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Guilty Pleasure: The Wendy Williams Show.


Splurge: Madewell’s Transport Tote in Saddle.


Travel Experience: My Birthday in Ojai.

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Fiction Read: We Are Water by Wally Lamb.


Non-Fiction Read: MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend by Rachel Bertsche.


Lesson Learned: Be extra cautious when driving down a windy road just after a fresh rain or you’ll lose control and your car will swerve and hit a curb so hard it takes weeks to fix! This isn’t rocket-science but for some reason I still managed to screw up majorly…and it cost me thousands. Ugh.


Gadget: Kindle Paperwhite.

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Blog Post: Journey of a Dress: From Princess to Fashion Legend.

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Tune to Rock Out to: Defeated No More by Disclosure.


Album: It came out a few years ago, but “4” by Beyoncé was in heavy rotation this year after I finally sat down and actually listened to the whole LP. Fantastic.


Discovered Artist: Lana del Rey.


YouTube Video: Taylor Swift’s incredibly contagious “Shake it Off” song synced to the 1988 National Aerobic Championship Opening Number.


TV Addiction: Scandal.


Addition to The Home: Paper Source’s Foil Desk Calendar. It dresses up your desk space with subtle elegance. (2105 is now available!)


Wardrobe Piece: A classic dark washed denim jacket, it’s my go-to year round staple for instant California casual chic.


Image Featured on the Blog: The moment I captured the sunrise over the ocean as I geared up for a long day of shooting in San Francisco.Srunrise ATG FINAL


Memorable Day: Taking myself to the LA Times Festival of Books Fair at USC. It was the perfect day: sunshine, books galore, great music, and the grilled cheese truck responsible for the photo below. Fun fact: it was my most successful blog post of 2014!

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Biggest “Ah-ha” Moment: Reading The Daily Love’s beautiful post in the wake of Robin’s Williams untimely passing. As I read it, I had the biggest “ah-ha” moment, and wrote the following post, Words that Gave Me Pause, to share it.


The moment I Saw Growth in Myself: When I got my first parking ticket in years and rather than get upset, I laughed with the universe. Full story here.

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Biggest Blogging Achievement: Completing the 100 Happy Days Challenge. It was a powerful reminder to always look for the beauty in your day and I went strong for 100 consecutive days. Statistics show 70% don’t complete the challenge. I was in the 30% who made it to the finish line!

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Words: This piece of poetry by William Henry Channing.

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Thank you for reading along with me this year. Cheers to a 2015 lived beyond our wildest dreams! x

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The Weekender: My Search for the Perfect Crossbody Under $50

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{Click image to enlarge.}


I don’t know about you, but I have “purse moods.” This means that I’m often rotating handbags depending on the day, the outfit, or time of year. Admittedly though, ever since I splurged on my beloved Madewell Tote as a birthday present to myself earlier this year, I’ve been using it religiously as my go-to bag during the week. It’s incredibly versatile, chic, sturdy, and holds everything I need to get through a busy workweek. The beauty of this tote is the more you use it, the better it looks. There’s just something eternally classic about worn leather. It was well worth the purchase. (I’m learning they don’t call the place “Madewell” for no reason!)

Random fact about me: I’m not a fan of using small handbags during the week. There’s something so comforting about knowing that I have any and everything I need for any and every situation. The caveat, I’ve learned, is that the larger the bag, the more stuff you somehow manage to add to it because you have the room for it!

It’s a slippery slope.

The weekends, however, are a different story. I HATE lugging around a big bag as I run my errands, find myself out and about exploring the city for a blog post, or heading to a late afternoon movie. I almost always ditch my tote, pare things down, keep it simple, and load up what I call, “The Weekender.”

The Weekender is my go-to Saturday and Sunday small crossbody handbag. It’s function: to keep things light and hands-free (stylish doesn’t hurt either).

Ideally, it should hold my weekend essentials: debit card/cash, phone, sunglasses, digital camera (mine is tiny) for high-quality blog pix, my Kindle (because I always carry a book with me), and Chapstick.

My current go-to weekender that I bought at Forever 21 about 4 years ago finally broke-up with me. (Realistically, anything that last more than 6 months from Forever 21 is impressive, so I realize 4 years for a $20 bag is a considered a lifetime…or 2.) I was pretty bummed at first and even entertained the idea of having it fixed, but I’m sure the cost to do so outweighs what I actually spent on it. Even better, it gives me an excuse to look for a new bag (what woman doesn’t like that!?!) and an idea for a blog post. Win, win.

My four main requirements for my search was that it had to be crossbody-style, a color that would go with anything, on the small-to-medium end in terms of size, and under $50.

So just in time for the weekend, let’s explore my hunt for the new weekender.

What’s your favorite? (I’m always open to suggestions if you have a weekender that’s just FAB! There’s only so many hours in a day and websites a gal can visit on her own.)

Have a great weekend! x

Sources/Links:
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|| What I’m Lovin’ Right Now ||

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“Two things define you. Your patience when you have nothing, and your attitude when you have everything.” – unknown

On a rather ordinary day when I was desperately trying to get something done but not seeing the results that I wanted, this quote popped up in my Facebook news feed…at just the right time. I instantly took a deep breath and told myself to just “keep going, keep trying, have patience.” I think what is often disappointing when trying to build anything is when you feel like you’re making this great big effort, but not seeing it actualized as quickly as you would like. It’s especially frustrating when you see others already in the realm of the type of success you’re after, and then it spirals downhill from there. So today, I thought I would share these 17 words from an unknown source, but words that recently made all the difference in my day.

Since I know I can’t be alone in this: be patient, if you too, are struggling with anything today. Just keep going and do the best you can. Since persistence and patience are usually the factors that ultimately drive you to success, it’s only a matter of time. And when you do get there and have everything you’ve ever wanted – be mindful – your attitude defines you as much as your patience once did.

love & light,

Candice


here’s what i’m lovin’ right now


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|| Nikki Montoya Jewelry // Mayan Necklace.||


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||Cupshakes = Cupcakes Blended with a Milkshake.||


|| Madewell’s Transport Tote in English Saddle.|| e138ed700e37c2b4c33486be4fe893eb


||Infinity scarves with shorts.||

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||Alternate uses for your muffin pan // Lemon infused ice cubes (great for summer) & Pancake bites.||

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|| Makeup.com’s How to Cover Up Acne Scars.||

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paris||I’ll see you someday soon, Paris.||



*click photos for image sources.