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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Highlights

Srunrise ATG FINAL{If you have to be up at 5:15am for a 6:30am call-time, watching the sunrise makes up for it.}

Home sweet home! As much as I love traveling, I always forget how exhausting it is because you’re so focused on the preparations and then the excitement for the adventure ahead. Add in that this was a work trip first and foremost, and exhaustion probably doesn’t even describe how fried I am on all levels at the moment. That being said, it was an amazing trip overall, and I’m grateful that all went well with our documentary shoot. San Francisco was absolutely beautiful, which was a concern given that much of our filming was outdoors and we wanted to avoid that notorious SF fog. More importantly, we managed to have good meals in-between filming, dinner at the über sexy Foreign Cinema being a huge highlight of my time there. I highly recommend it if you’re ever in town and looking for something special. I can still taste the swordfish and sips of lavender lemonade in my mouth as I write this.

But back to life, back to reality. Happy to be home.

I have to say, that almost every single time I travel – I always, always, always miss home…in particular, my own bed! Hotels, while fun in their own right, are never quite the same. I also forget how disconnected you feel from things going on back at home and in the larger world, because you’re not tied to your computer all day; and yes, while you have your phone, even it can decide it’s had enough and you find yourself trying to be careful about battery usage so that your phone makes it through a long day with you.

It’s probably not surprising to you that I plan to spend the weekend decompressing, re-joining life and catching up with what’s going on in the world. Very necessary things like grocery shopping, a Target run, and laundry will be high on the list. One thing of note is that I’m super excited to see my guy to see what’s been one of the most anticipated films this year for me personally, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby. We waited for the “Her” and “Him” release, where the narrative is told from her perspective, then again from his. This means it’ll be a long 3-hour Friday night at the movies. It’s worth it though. I’m a fan of James McAvoy and I’m sure my Jessica Chastain girl crush will only deepen.

Have an amazing weekend. Here are some other highlights of life in SF from this week.

See you Monday! x

Virgin Plane ATG FINAL{I didn’t fly first class or anything, but there’s something about Virgin America’s ambiance that just speaks to me. Perhaps it’s the sexy purple-ness of it all?}

AudioRole ATG FINAL{A small crew means we take on many roles. This is me as audio/sound person.}

Basic Bitch Latte ATG FINAL{Latte break for a “Basic Bitch.” Now, this isn’t me just feeling the need to curse at you. This is what the drink was called, but it’s really just a pumpkin latte if you ask me.}

SF Mural ATG FINAL{SF has some amazing street art. This mural was just off Valencia Street. The whole alley is covered by art.}

ForeignCinema ATG FINAL{Foreign Cinema. The restaurant projects films on the back wall in its courtyard. We ate inside near the fireplace. As I said, it’s pretty sexy!}

Bay Bridge{View of the Bay Bridge from Coit Tower.}

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Highlights

Hello October Center v2 ATG FINAL{My festive Halloween pumpkin lights are up! Now if only the weather would catch-up.}

Whew – what a week! Naturally, I knew things would be in high gear as we put the finishing touches together and finalized the logistics for a location shoot next week in San Francisco, but I’m exhausted. While I’m there to work and it’ll be “go, go, go” from the time I step off the plane, I’m looking forward to a change of scenery and much cooler temperatures during our upcoming stay in the Bay Area. Unfortunately, LA has somehow found itself back in the midst of another (albeit seemingly kinder) heat wave this week, and it’s not looking to let up over the weekend much to my disappointment.

As you can see, I’ve made the transition to autumn in my mind…and at home. My festive pumpkin lights are up, I officially pulled out my boots, and even bought a new light sweater to welcome chillier fall evenings. And though much of last week actually felt like fall, I learned quickly the day I rocked my knee-high boots and proceeded to sweat glisten in them, that it was a premature move. Note to self: check the weather until further notice, it can’t seem to make up its mind.

I’m making the most of the weekend with the main goal to relax once I get personally packed/organized for my travels. I’m pretty psyched for a leisurely game night with the BF, perhaps over some take-out (shhh, I like to eat well while I’m kicking his butt 🙂 ). Until then, I’m off to try a new yoga class tonight to reset from such a crazy week that hopefully also helps get me in gear for an even busier one ahead…because we all know the mental stamina required to make it through LAX alone is a rough one.

I hope that “fall” is treating you kinder than it is us Angelenos at the moment. Have a great weekend!

Here are a few highlights of life lately since we last caught up. x

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{I can’t think of a more relaxing way to kick-off a weekend than breakfast out. I recently discovered a new cafe nearby and this will be my go-to indulgence: Coconut Flaky French Toast w/ Berries.}

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{My Clarasonic is here and now in-use. I’ll update you on how things are going in a coming post.}

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{The one night it actually did feel like fall, found me cozy at (insert British accent) “The Theatre” to see a friend’s play, Black Coffee. If you’re in LA, it’s running for 2 more weeks and is quite fun!}

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{My first pumpkin sighting of the season. // The autumn view from my moon roof.}

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Photo Diary: Happy Birthday in Ojai

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I can say with confidence that I’m never happier in life than when I’m on an adventure – big or small, local or far. There’s something about being in new surroundings and exploring them that I feel most alive. Last week, I had the time of my life in Ojai for a much-needed birthday get-away, the sweetest surprise from my equally sweet guy.

Ojai Valley is a small, quaint, and friendly town about 66 miles from Los Angeles, a little more than an hour away from Santa Barbara. It’s an endearing combination of specialty shops, small businesses, art galleries, picturesque mountains and hiking trails, with a bohemian charm to match.

We stayed at the Emerald Iguana Inn, a charismatic boutique hotel with 13 unique rooms that all channel total cottage charm. The property rests on a secluded street, lush with greenery, meeting every expectation you can image (minus a not so great WiFi connection, but hey – who needs the internet when you’re surrounded by pure tranquility?). It’s the perfect get-away for two (kiddies are not allowed at this hotel). Our time inside the alluring Feather guest room was spent doing all things in salute to leisure and lounging: drinking wine at 1:00 in the afternoon on a Monday (just because…and I’m not even much a drinker!), reading, dining on the private patio, and watching old movies with the fireplace burning at night.

And of course, plenty of time was dedicated to walking downtown Ojai – window shopping and indulging in all things food.

This is a trip best told in pictures. What I will share is that as we settled into life in Ojai for just a few days away from the fast-paced streets of LA, I could literally feel my body and spirit slowing down and taking that deep breath I’d needed after the last few chaotic weeks. It’s amazing how driving one hour away was all I needed to recharge.

Here’s my photo diary of a very happy birthday in Ojai, CA.

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Photo Diary: Christmas Travels

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Home, sweet home. LA, I’ve missed you!

After a rather chaotic start to our holiday travels with an unexpected visit to the ER, things luckily fell right back into place just in time for Santa and our post-Christmas trip to Half Moon Bay. The weather gods were particularly, if not unusually, nice to us. We found ourselves exploring much of Northern California with clear skies and sunshine above.

Christmas was everything I’d hoped it would be. I was in good company, had lots good conversation and laughter, food and sweets were abundant, and Santa was very kind to me. I felt blessed to have such fun and loving people to share Christmas with this year.

And the merriness wasn’t over on December 26th. My boyfriend and I planned a little trip further up North to Half Moon Bay for 3 extra days of R&R to get away from it all.

I have to say, every time I travel – I find myself beyond delighted at the adventure, the change of pace, and change of scenery. Though I’m always grateful to get out of town and lose myself in new surroundings and to new experiences, I  somehow discover just that much more how I love this crazy little world we call “LA.” Dorothy really was on to something: there’s no place like home.

And with plenty of time before I head back to the “real world” of work deadlines and emails – I’m excited for a little stay-cation before I have to return back to everyday life in 2014 and it’ll be right here at home.

A picture is worth a thousand words, so I thought I’d share some of my favorites. Here’s a little photo diary of the highlights during our Christmas travels with our California neighbors just above, some 300 miles away. Enjoy!

cookies

{Christmas cookies as designed by my boyfriend’s sister. I can’t tell you how many of these things I ate. Ugh. So worth it though.}

greenery

{On the Road to Half Moon Bay – the greenery of Highway 1.}

pompinio

{A pit stop at Pomponio State Beach. What a gorgeous day and my favorite shot.}

ryan serious

{Ryan’s serious looking into the distance face.}

outhouse

{The not so glamorous part of traveling – this “out-house” like bathroom was an experience. yuck!}

hotel

{Hotel.}

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{Across the Golden Gate Bridge we go. On the way for a day trip to Sausalito.}

goldengate

{…But not before stopping atop the mountains for a million dollar view.}

cocoa

{Hot chocolate for 2 in Sausalito.}

beach

{Morning beach walk.}

ryan tree

{Boys and trees. I guess they never grow out of it.}

fire

{My favorite part of our hotel stay. Sitting near, gazing at, and warming by the fire.}

manuels{A rare Sunday afternoon cocktail before heading home.}

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|| What I’m Lovin’ Right Now ||

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With the official start to summer only 2 short days away, I’ve been excited at all the fun to come. I can’t say that I have an absolute favorite time of year, because I’m usually ready for the change in season at the exact time the new season joins us (and this can’t ring more true right now). While fall and winter both have their unique traits and celebrations, I’m NOT a fan of being cold. At all. So if I had to pick, there’s something about summer that makes me happiest. Perhaps it’s because I’m a California girl through and through. I love sunshine, warm weather (if we can keep it around circa 80-85 degrees), the beach, long days, 4th of July, outdoor movies, the Hollywood Bowl, sundresses, sunnies, sandals, fruity cocktails and iced lattes. So the plan this particular summer season would be to channel as much of what you see in the picture above for the next 3 months.

love & light,

Candice


here’s what i’m lovin’ right now


|| Kate Spade’s Alyx sunglasses featured on Keiko Lynn’s blog last week. WANT. ||

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|| These 14k Gold Peach Wire Wrapped Earrings from Diamblond’s Etsy Shop. ||

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|| Homemade Frozen Strawberry Lemonade // Recipe here. ||

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|| Ryan Gosling’s very wise and very true words. ||7b04ce5c55ab76db9a3211a4637a4614


|| Vintage inspired door knobs as curtain tie-backs // Details here. ||

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|| Revlon’s Plum Seduction Nail Polish (currently on my toes and perfect for summer!). ||

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|| What’s inspiring me to want to drop everything and take a summer adventure.||

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|| Mushroom, Asparagus + Prosciutto Pizza with Balsamic Glaze // Recipe here. ||

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*click photos for image sources.