‘Tis the season

Yolanda apologizes for flooding everyone’s inbox over the last few days with story upon story. It’s just that we want to finish the year strong and get all this old junk cleared up — then we can start totally afresh in 2019. Capiche?

We know many of our readers are Jewish, but regardless of whether you go in for Christmas, Hanukkah or something else entirely — or maybe you don’t celebrate at all — your gurl wishes you happy holidays.

Anyway, your email account will be relieved to hear that we’re gonna take a couple days off to spend time with family. We may even have our first white Christmas up in Lake Arrowhead, where the peeps have a petite property. We shall see.

Before we jet off, however, we just wanted to commemorate another amazing year. We started this blog in early 2016 — after years of contemplating it — and in three years our little hobby has grown beyond what we ever imagined. And not to blow our own bugle, but in 2018 we saw record growth in subscribers, hits, and tips received. Let’s hope that momentum continues in the new year. Tell your friends, enemies, co-workers, nannies, toilet bowl scrubbers. We don’t discriminate.

Yolanda is beyond thankful for all our readers, commenters, our spider web of tipsters/informants — you know who you are! — and Patti LaBelle for her delicious sweet potato pie that we plan to enjoy tomorrow.

Big ups to Ms. LaBelle (pie available at your local Walmart)

Over the next week we’ll post several fun year-end countdown stories — the top 20 sales of the year, the biggest transaction in each of LA’s luxury neighborhoods, etc — but before all of that, here’s a quick recap of 2018’s choicest highlights, at least from Yolanda’s perspective.

Yolanda’s most popular story of 2018

2018 was undeniably the year of Cardi B. Everywhere we turned, there she was in one of her whackadoodle getups. Ms. B gained enormous fame in an incredibly short period of time — in one year, she has transformed from a random rapper into an A-list celeb. That’s the power of social media for y’all. And as her star dramatically rose, so too did that of Fashion Nova, her longtime favorite clothing brand turned business partner.

Unfortunately, 2018 was also the year that young DJ Avicii committed suicide in a particularly grisly manner. Those two events — Cardi B’s rise and Avicii’s fall — would somehow collude to generate Yolanda’s most-viewed story of 2018, when Fashion Nova owner/founder/CEO Richard Saghian bought Mr. Avicii’s $17.5 million Bird Streets home.

As Cardi B’s fame exploded, more and more of her followers began to notice her nonstop Fashion Nova boosting — she constantly wears their clothes, she raps about the company, she even had a sold-out collabo with them — and they began to Google the company’s enigmatic owner, who is known for shunning interviews. And many of those Cardi B followers — so we believe — stumbled across our post.

Cardi B gave Yolanda our most-viewed story of 2018 (see Richard Saghian in the background?)

Truthfully, Yolanda feels that we probably owe Cardi B a slice of the ad revenue generated by that story, but luckily she hasn’t requested anything from us. Yet.

Does this house make my ding-dong look small?

Our second-most-popular story, unsurprisingly, was the post about Instagram sensation Dan Bilzerian and his new (leased) mega-mansion in Bel Air. It’s big, it’s bad, it’s bodacious, it’s bachelor-ific with a bowling alley, a tennis court and pool on the roof, and about 2,732 garage doors. Neat-o.

On a more serious note, 2018 was also the year of devastating California wildfires, and the most destructive season in history.

Laurene Powell — billionaire and Malibu fire victim

Perhaps the most horrific Southern California inferno was the Woolsey Fire, which scorched nearly 100,000 acres and destroyed 450 homes in Malibu alone. The most valuable property torched by the blaze was the $60+ million compound of Laurene Powell, widow of Steve Jobs.

The biggest deal in Southern California history

Speaking of Malibu, 2018 also saw the biggest residential real estate deal in Southern California history — yes, ever — go down on Carbon Beach. Billionaire couple Michael & Iris Smith paid $110 million (in cash, of course) for Peter Morton’s Richard Meier-designed compound.

Crazy, right? But the most ludicrous part is this ain’t even the Smiths’ only $110 million house — they’ve got another one out in the Hamptons.

The Smiths’ other $110 million house

And finally, 2018 was the year we met our new best friend: former Australian actress Susan Hannaford, who lives in a huge mansion high above Beverly Hills.

Bahahaha! Sorry, Yolanda just couldn’t resist. We love a good trainwreck.

Rick Caruso’s bling-tastic Xmas lights

If y’all have a chance to swing by (or if you already live in the area) go check out the Christmas lights on Rick Caruso’s Brentwood Park estate. Every year he goes all-out with the holiday spirit, and every year there’s a row of cars lined up outside the house, all of them filled with slack-jawed gawkers.

Since 2012, it has become Yolanda’s holiday tradition to stop outside the Caruso house, turn off the car for a few minutes, and just admire the lights. It’s really quite something — pictures don’t do it justice. The longer y’all look, the more detail you see.

…and check out those palm trees

That’s all she wrote, folks. We’ll be off the grid for the next couple days. So be good, post no bills, and don’t forget to pop back in here when the holidays are over. (That’s what she said!)

  1. Rabbi Hedda LaCasa says:

    Merry Christmas, Happy Sweet Potato Pie, and Happy New Year, Yolanda! I am praying for snow in Lake Arrowhead, while recommending you bring your Burberry trench coat and leave your Moncler Grenoble snowsuit in Los Angeles.

  2. Lynn says:

    Merry Christmas- I love seeing the notifications for a blog post come up in my email and make myself wait to read the post when I have time to fully enjoy it!

  3. LaChancla says:

    Yolanda shops at Wal-Mart?! GASP!!! That’s like finding Oprah takes out the trash herself.

    On another note, Merry Christmas!

  4. Petra says:

    Merry merry Christmas & Happy Holidays to you and your family! The blog is still a treasure and I’ve been following almost since the beginning.

  5. RedUK says:

    Merry Christmas Yolanda!
    May you and your loved ones enjoy delicious treats and drinks while creating wonderful memories that will last a lifetime.
    Thank you for all of your hard work creating such a fun website for us real estate lovers.

  6. DesertWitch says:

    Ohhhh I don’t know where my message went, I guess gone with yesterday’s fierce winds, but of course I hope you did have a wonderful Christmas and Thank You for the “proptainment!”

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