Best of Everything 2014

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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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Happy 2014! Inspiration to Get You Started.

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Back to life. Back to reality. Back to work. Today.

2014 has been off to a rough start largely because I got sick with a really bad stomach bug/flu/poisoning/I-don’t-exactly-know-what-the-heck-happened that had me resting for much of my holiday vacation once I got back to LA. Unfortunately, New Year’s Eve didn’t find me in a sparkly party dress sipping champagne over a delicious meal while conversing deeply about how 2014 will be best year yet. It actually found me in bed around 9:00pm – where I woke up just before midnight and heard my neighbors downstairs yelling the countdown to midnight. I smiled to myself, said “Happy New Year” to my boyfriend lying next to me, and went back to sleep. How exciting, I know.

Despite a not so ideal start to the year, I’m comforted that I was able to spend a bulk of my holiday vacation exploring the charms of Northern California; and when I was feeling better, to get organized at home with a little New Year’s purge and cleaning of drawers and cabinets in my bathroom. I got an incredible new jewelry box for Christmas and it spawned a need to go through years of jewelry to clean out the less nostalgic treasures I bought on a whim at Forever 21 that’s essentially tarnished crap now. The purge sessions and spending that time at home made me feel productive, as if clearing the way for better things to come.

Speaking of better things to come, I came across this incredible message from Aaron Paquette that I saw yesterday in my Facebook feed that a friend shared. It literally talks about the power of our words. I can’t think of more compelling language to inspire a new beginning for an extraordinary new year. I’m looking forward to sharing it on All That Glitters with you. Happy 2014! Here’s a little inspiration to get you started…

Your Words Create Worlds

We wait.  We say we aren’t ready. We say it’s not yet time. We say “One Day.” And all of it is true. Because what we say is what we create. Our words form our fate.

I am guilty of this. I have held myself back from where I know I should be in life. I have always said that I am working toward the man I want to be, and this is true.

But you know what I have never said?

I’ll tell you in a moment.

First let me share my challenge…OUR challenge.

We have this incredible light inside of us. We have all this strength and goodness and fire. But we don’t know what to do with it, we don’t know how to use it.

Sometimes we’re not even sure it’s even there.

When we are young it almost tortures us with its presence but because we have no idea what this thing is we get angry. We label it pain and because of all the pain we’ve already experienced we use that power to lash out. At ourselves, our own bodies, our own thinking, telling ourselves terrible things. And we lash out at others. We hurt and hurt and hurt.

We carry it into adulthood and stop believing we can make the world a better place. We start believing the world has dealt us a bad hand, that it’s dangerous and so we get frustrated easily. We get mad at other drivers, we stress out about time, money and relationships.

But that’s not who we are. That’s who we become when the setting is on autopilot. Our light is so buried under all the garbage that we mistake as life that when it does shine it’s shocking! And embarrassing because it makes us different.

Others would tear you down because of your light.

How dare you shine!?

Our words are so powerful it’s almost a magic. Maybe it is some kind of magic. I prefer to see it as a gift we have all been given. A piece of the Creator in each of us.

Our Words Create Our Worlds.

We bring something out of nothing. We say we are going to do something, we take action and the thing exists!

I am an artist. I love to paint. My paintings are just imagination, but with my hard work, with my effort and with my love they form and become real. If they speak to others, then I get energy back, sometimes as money and I can buy more paint!

It took me many years to realize I could paint my life into existence. The kind of life that would be meaningful to me and provide value and service for others.

You have the same power.

And it starts with the things you think and the words you speak. You are singing your reality with every breath, with every firing of your synapses.

We are free to make choices. We are free to decide what our lives will be. You may have heard that before and not believed it.

Believe it now.

You are stronger than you can ever imagine. You are more beautiful than any society can define.

But you have to believe. You have to act. You have to become aware of your own truth.

The truth is you can change the world. No matter who you are, what you are doing, how old or young…you can change this world!

You can become the greatest leader for good in our time. Nothing can stop you, Everything is pushing you forward.

But there are some things you have to leave behind.

Self Judgement. You are only as good or bad as you think. If you are defining yourself right now on past actions then you are deluded. You don’t exist in the past. You only exist RIGHT NOW. Whatever you did means nothing. What matters is what you choose to do NOW.

Judgement of Others. You don’t get to judge. And no one gets to judge you. Other people are just as lost and scared and angry and troubled and awesome and beautiful as you!

Nothing is Good or Bad. This is a higher form of non judgement. Only the Creator gets to decide what’s good and bad and even then, the jury is still out. There is fear and there is love, that’s all.

Stop trying to judge and just start walking the path of love. That’s the path of a true being. Fear is the path of a person who can’t see their own light.

If you are judging these words as bad right now, you are afraid. If you are judging them as good, you are seeing light…but now be the light. Then the words will simply BE.

That last part is a big thing to ask. For now just smile.

And trust that G-d, whoever that is for you, whatever form, whatever expression, from faith to science, trust that all things are working the way they are supposed to.

Trust that you are here for a reason. Be it some cellular connection that woke you into awareness or that a higher power has a plan for you – you are here for a purpose.

That purpose is to serve. Serve with all your heart, mind and strength. Serve your fellow being, serve the planet, serve the universe.

Serve by being authentic. Serve by being joyful. Serve by being YOU.

Which brings me to my earlier thread.

Here is what I never said to myself, and today is the day. Now is the time.

I am no longer working toward the man I want to be:

Today I am that man. Today I will be the person I was always meant to be.

Mom, today I move past the clipped wings, the manatee, and the dolphin.

Today I embrace the White Buffalo.

I don’t know what it’s going to look like, I know there will be stumbles and falls, but I am taking on the responsibility and the burden and transforming it with light.

Maybe one day I will walk with the others in your dream, I don’t know yet. Time will tell.

And my prayer is that others are inspired to speak the words that make their worlds.

If we give voice together we transform this humanity, we start the process of taking away the stuff that binds us and instead reveal our true light.

The light we would shine if we had no fear.

As angels sang to poor shepherds:

Be not afraid

I say to you: shine.

Your light isn’t little, so don’t shine a little.

Your light is brighter than the sun, it’s bigger than you dream, it’s an extension of the Creator and all creation.

So Shine. Glow. Explode with light!

Speak the words that your soul has been longing for.

Say that you are awesome and feel the liberating humbleness that accompanies it.

Be your best self. Speak your truth but care for your words so that they don’t harm others. Your best self is ready.

You are just waiting for you.

And not only is it time, but you really are ready.

Speak your Words. Create your World.

And be the light you were always meant to be.

By Aaron Paquette

Source: https://www.facebook.com/AaronPaquetteArt


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Highlights: Wrapping up the Holidays

Mid-way through January already…geesh! It’s been so much fun reminiscing about a very memorable holiday season with you! I’ll be wrapping up my winter adventures with a few fun extra highlights gathered during my Christmas vacation. Next week, I’m looking forward to officially wrapping up the entire 2012 calendar year with a look back at all my favorites in film, leading up to my top 10 personal favorite blog posts of the year! Enjoy the long weekend gang! Here are this week’s final highlights from the holidays:

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{My new earrings worn on New Year’s Eve. LOVE.}

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{New year, new way to make breakfast. While I’m no stranger to making breakfast on a Saturday morning, I have to say it was a nice change of pace on a Thursday morning over the long vacation to get up and try something new. Rather than scrambling plain eggs, I decided to punch things up and add some bacon and spinach and opted to make roasted potatoes and toast on the side. I couldn’t have thought of a better way to start a Thursday.}

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{Making my first cup of tea in my new tea kettle that I got as a Christmas gift. There’s something so ritualistic and cozy about making tea the old fashioned way on a hot stove.}

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{As a stocking stuffer, I received this awesome sweet treat from Baked By Melissa. 3 mini cupcakes dipped in chocolate. What a great idea! I found out that you too, can have these bite sized goodies delivered right to your door step from their New York based shop. Check out their website for details.}

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{Baby it’s cold outside. Luckily, this new super soft scarf from The Gap helps.}

New Year’s Eve with Señor Fred

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Location: 13730 Ventura Boulevard, Sherman Oaks

With the Christmas season and our Carmel getaway behind me, one last important celebratory holiday milestone to go – New Year’s Eve. My boyfriend and I decided to keep it very low key this year, with an intimate dinner at Señor Fred Restaurant in Sherman Oaks; followed by a casual movie night at home with a Martinelli’s Apple Cider toast at midnight.

Señor Fred offers a perfect dark sexy ambiance, balanced with delectable Mexican cuisine. Since it was New Year’s Eve, the expectation was that every restaurant in town was going to be pretty packed. God bless Open Table! We put in for an 8:00pm reservation and when I called the restaurant to check to see if they were only serving a prix-fixe menu or if patrons could order from the regular menu as well, I was less than enthused by the guy who answered the phone. He wasn’t rude exactly, but told me that he thought he had blocked off all Open Table reservations during the 8 o’clock hour, so that people entering after 9:00pm would be charged the $10 cover for the night.

I almost wanted to cancel my reservation altogether when he told me that as long as we were done between 9:30pm-10:00pm it should be fine. While this seemed like plenty of time to finish our meal, the fact that he even communicated a time limit made me nervous. The idea of being rushed to accommodate the fact that he screwed up with the reservation system should not have even come up in the conversation.  Bottom line: that was between him, Señor Fred, and Opentable.com.

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{Margarita selection.}

While Señor Fred certainly didn’t make the best first impression, or second for that matter when there was a slight mix-up in where to seat us, by the third impression – once the chips and guacamole came out, Señor Fred had begun to redeem himself. From there, the night went flawlessly (minus some service issues from a seemingly distracted, but pleasant waiter).

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{Chips and guacamole. Divine.}

I went with the Grilled Salmon infused with Mexican flair served in a roasted chile cilantro sauce, over sweet corn, shrimp picadillos and mashed potatoes. For dessert, I splurged on the Chanpurrado con Churros (translation: churros served with Mexican Hot Chocolate). Fabulous! 🙂

Needless to say, this gal was more than impressed with the food and the ambiance for her last meal of 2012; but service, service, service always brings the dining experience to absolute perfection. Senor Fred can cook, but he seriously needs some help on his people skills.

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{Dinner: Grilled Salmon.}

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{Dessert: Mexican Hot Chocolate and Churros.}

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{Back at home – N.Y.E. toast.}