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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Food To Die For: El Coyote Mexican Cafe

Location: 7312 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, Mid-City

Hands down my favorite Mexican restaurant sits on Beverly Boulevard, down the street from The Grove, 4 blocks before La Brea Avenue. Name: El Coyote. Mission: food to die for.

I first learned about this place years ago while watching all important, heavy-hitting television at the time, The Hills (don’t judge!). Heidi and Spencer’s psycho relationship and MTV’s penchant for filming all over town were good for something!

Fast forward a few years later and it’s my favorite place to indulge occasionally in greasy, highly caloric, but worth every fat cell I get Mexican food! I stick with the tried and true Guacamole Dinner. For $13.50, I have at least four different plates in front of me – a cheese enchilada, a beef taco, refried beans, Mexican style rice, a small bowl of guacamole, and the garden salad (because it’s the only healthy thing in the meal and makes me feel less guilty for downing my stomach in cheese, I had to end on the salad).

{Guacamole Dinner.}

Nothing but the best of things to say about this place. I’ve always had great experiences with the food, the wait staff are super friendly, and the over the top decor of the restaurant is the perfect touch. The point? Get in your car and don’t stop until you’re in front of El Coyote. If you hit La Brea – you clearly didn’t read my post and need to turn around! 🙂

{Interior of the restaurant – a salute to Halloween.}

Don’t, I repeat, DO NOT even waste your time dragging you and your bestie here if you’re on a diet – you gain weight just watching the large amounts of food walk past you. Oh! And expect to be in a total “mexi-coma” after you eat here. Don’t make any other plans, other than to head straight home and veg on your couch or sprawl in bed. It’ll take a full night to recover, but I promise you, your tongue with have enjoyed the experience even if your stomach is a wee bit upset with you.

Hope to see you there!

Who Shot Rock & Roll?

Location: 2000 Avenue of the Stars, Century City

I always get excited with the changing of the museum banners along many of Los Angeles’s city streets. It means there’s something new to learn about, something new to explore.

If you haven’t been to the Who Shot Rock & Roll exhibit at the Annenberg Space for Photography, you’re missing out. It’s a blend of two of the greatest loves of my life: music and film. Admittedly, I’ll always be more partial to moving film over still photography because of my greatest love in cinema.

I spent a leisurely Sunday afternoon, about 6 weeks ago, exploring the show which highlights photographers who captured the moments of some of the greatest artists of our time behind the scenes. Be sure to check out the engaging documentary film produced for the exhibition that plays in the main gallery space to hear more from the artists whose work hangs on the museum walls. Watching the 30 minute film brings the photographs around you to life. I knew I’d be back before the close of the exhibition because I wanted to know more.

Another wonderful thing about the Annenberg is their dedication to their IRIS Nights lecture series, which compliments the exhibition one step further by offering free public panel talks  and discussions from the artists themselves or distinguished guests in the field.

Last Thursday night, I attended the IRIS Nights Lecture series and had a front row seat (okay, more like 5 rows back actually) where I listened in as 3 women who pioneered the music video industry and the rise of MTV itself, where the topics of discussion. What a treat to hear the stories of Penelope Speeris, Gale Sparrow and Liz Heller. From the conception of one of the first music videos, to the struggles of building the empire that MTV would become, to learning of how the power of “fake it until you make it” truly works when you’re trying to make something out of nothing.

I sat there completely absorbed in hearing how a recent college graduate, Penelope Speeris, got a call one day from a record label executive to shoot an artist and then lace their music to the sequence, creating what would become the music video genre. It was interesting to explore the financial turmoil MTV went through, nearly shutting their doors before a great marketing scheme saved them as portrayed in the words of Gale Sparrow. I was impressed with Liz Heller, who somehow fell into music video production without any experience and had to figure out how to shoot a music video and create a budget to do so.

Unfortunately, MTV has lost the “music,” so to speak, and replaced much of its programming with reality TV. I remember those times when I’d come home from school and turn on TRL while I did my homework, or sat and watched VJ’s take us through the top  10 music videos of the time. Those were the days. So long MTV.