Best of Everything 2014


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.


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.


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!


Words: This piece of poetry by William Henry Channing.



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

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Words That Gave Me Pause

Happiness is the settling of the soul into its most appropriate spot.― Aristotle 4

This week took a nose dive with everything that’s been going on in the press as of late and it’s creating much discussion about the severity of depression and addiction. I recently signed up for The Daily Love email after stumbling across Mastin Kipp on Mastin calls his blog “a dose of love” and the message he spreads “a free daily e-multivitamin for the soul.” I can get behind that.

In the wake of the tragic news of Robin Williams’ passing, he sent out a poignant and expressive post yesterday, “Goodbye Genie, You’re Free…,” about depression and addiction that eloquently created a real life “ah-ha moment” for me. It was these words that gave me pause:

…we know that depression has something to do with the brain. I believe it also has something to do with the spirit.
My therapist told me many years ago that re-pression tends to lead to de-pression.
What’s that mean? It means that our spirits are meant to be free. They are meant to create, to Love and be Loved.
When that process halts itself because of repression, we can get depressed.
We are meant to be free. When a series of events happens in life that prevents that freedom, naturally we lean towards depression. Because there’s a part of us that knows that we aren’t living our purpose.

“Re-pression tends to lead to de-pression.” Wow. In all my years as a student of life, I’ve consciously made it a point to absorb the wisdom of others, particularly, when it comes to spiritual/life development. Yet, I don’t think I had quite ever heard this idea expressed so succinctly and powerfully. And though there are certainly different levels and forms of depression; ranging from a possible severe chemical imbalance in the brain, to hormones, to simply experiencing a string of bad days – I think back on the times when I’ve been down and this one sentence seems all too fitting. I was likely in a state where I wasn’t in full expression in some area of my life, that therefore, manifested itself into feelings of sadness.

As human beings, we can all relate to this. I would argue that this feeling is cyclical, meant to return in our lives as an S.O.S. when it’s time to move to the next stage. Our spirit is speaking to us. The goal is to learn to listen, then act accordingly.

While resonating with me, these words might not be enough for someone with a clinical form of depression. More intense resources are likely needed (long-term therapy, medication, lifestyle changes, etc.). I won’t get into all that because I’m by no means qualified to speak to it.

What I will say, is that the news of Robin’s passing was a huge shock to many of us, myself included, because of our perception — or better misperception — of a person. When we’re used to seeing someone smiling and joking, we assume that all must be well in their world. The fact is we never really know what’s going on with a person. It’s especially difficult if they want to keep it that way. All we can do is be there for those that we love and make sure they know it; reminding them and ourselves that every sunrise and sunset, no matter the storm we may find ourselves in during those hours, is a gift. And like all gifts, my hope is that we’ll get the opportunity to see what’s inside. Essentially, it’s life.

I had always hoped that we might see Mrs. Doubtfire make an on-screen appearance again (and there were strong rumors of a sequel a few months ago). It’s still one of those films and characters that make me smile and think of my childhood. Peace to you, Mr. Williams….and to all of us.

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Image credit: “Beach” by Catherine, used under CC BY / text added from original.