The Suite Life in Wine Country

Happy Friday everyone, any plans this weekend?

Let me tell ya, the suite life is the best life. @Twelfthknight and I love our staycations, and it was only right that I treat him to an early birthday getaway in wine country this past week. It was our first time to Healdsburg, and to be quite honest…we like this quaint beautiful town much more than Napa or Sonoma itself.

235 Luxury Suites is nestled in the heart of downtown Healdsburg and it’s an incredible 3 bedroom stay for couples, families, or small parties. It’s incredibly charming, cozy yet spacious, and still feels familiar like home.  We stayed in the Fitch Mountain Suite, decked out with a huge spa tub that I used nightly, dual walk in showers, and giant CA Kings in each room. 235 pays attention to the tiniest details which is what we loved. They even offer light, medium, or hard pillows so that you can sleep optimally :D I’m a firm by the way.

SONY DSC
Cheers to the suite life!

This hotel is located a few steps away from the square of downtown Healdsburg, so you really don’t need to drive anywhere in town. You’re within a few steps to wine lounges, Safeway, Farmer’s Market, bakeries, and coffee shops. In fact, we never drove the entire time we were there, unless you count an Uber briefly. So convenient right?

We would absolutely stay here at 235 again, it felt like a true getaway but so comfortable like being at home. If you’re ever looking to get away and relax in wine country’s hidden gem, I highly urge you to visit Healdsburg.  After exploring this little town, we didn’t want to leave, but we look forward to our next trip!

Below, you’ll find our favorite spots and recommendations if you fancy a trip out here yourself. Cheers and thank you for reading!

IMG_3242FullSizeRender 84IMG_3936 2FullSizeRender 83FullSizeRender 86

SONY DSC

Where to Eat:

Valette: Dinner

Dinner service was spectacular. Chef Dustin is a rockstar and provided a 5 course tasting menu that blew us away. Valette is the newest kid on the block in downtown Healdsburg and it’s one of those fine dining experiences you’ll have engrained in your memory for a long long time. Below are some of our favorite highlights.

Cocktail: Watermelon Fresca

Favorite app: Dry Boat Scallop en Croute- Squid Ink Puff Pastry with Scallop & champagne inside. Blew my mind!

Entree: Lamb Shoulder and NY Strip Steak.

Dessert: A salty/sweet Deconstructed Snickers Bar (which we still rave about)

IMG_3386IMG_3955IMG_4039IMG_3350

Cafe Lucia: Lunch

Downstairs in the 235 hotel courtyard lives Cafe Lucia where Portuguese food meets Wine Country. @Twelfthknight has been to Spain and he talks about the tapas and paella there all the time. Naturally, we came down for lunch and we still talk about their food, overwhelmingly gracious hospitality, and service.

Tasting Plates: House wine, house pickles, blood sausage, sturgeon & capers

Tip: Order the Portuguese Mac n Cheese, we still talk about it today.

Favorite Entree: Seafood Stew with mussels and jumbo shrimp

IMG_3754IMG_3755 2IMG_4022IMG_4024

Where to Drink:

Reeve Wines:

We visited Kelly and Noah of Reeve Wines our second day in Healdsburg and we loved tasting all of their small batch wines.  Their estate is picturesque and currently undergoing some exciting renovations which we look forward to seeing on our next trip up. Our favorite wine of theirs were their chilled rose which we had to take home with us. *P.S. Noah is the co-founder and Head wine maker at Banshee Wines in downtown Healdsburg and Reeve is a labor of love by night. Visiting Reeve Wines honestly felt like going to see your friends (who happened to have a winery) and it’s just fun, relaxing, and comfortable.  Cheers!

IMG_3760IMG_3969 3IMG_3759 2IMG_3968IMG_4026.JPG

Siduri Wine Lounge:

Siduri is located literally a few steps from 235 Hotel. There’s something to be said for the decor and open window/day bed seating that attracts so many people aside from their delicious wine and pairings. I especially liked their cheese board with their pinot and would recommend sitting by the window while you sip and people watch.

SONY DSCIMG_4023IMG_4027.JPG

Cheers!

Two Thirty Five Luxury Suites

 

Mile High Moments

Sharing some of my favorite moments from our time spent in Denver, CO now that I have a second to go through all these photos. The food scene is amazing, innovative, and incredibly fun. Colorado itself is panoramic, and the air is crisp and clean. Everyone is friendly and happy, not a pretentious bone in anyone’s body. That’s probably because they can afford to live there….*glares at S.F.* And, having met some of @twelfthknight’s coworkers on this trip, it was time well spent with good food, and even better company.

Shot by local photographer Jenna Sparks, I was able to capture a lot with her as my unofficial Denver photog. Thanks for the captures, Jenna!

IMG_5546IMG_5908.JPGIMG_5839

IMG_5223 2
Amethyst Cafe

IMG_5552

IMG_5693
Sushi Den

IMG_5698IMG_5695DSC_4639DSC_4638DSC_4635.jpgIMG_5471DSC_4559DSC_4498

IMG_5270
Linger

IMG_5271IMG_5272IMG_5811IMG_5757IMG_5763IMG_5810

All looks Shot by Jenna Sparks Photography

What I Wore:

Burnt Orange Maxi Dress: Amuse Society (now $28)

Sandals: M.Gemi

Camel Knit Sweater: Lovers & Friends

Micro Suede Leggings: David Lerner

Pink Shoes: Ecco Shoes ($160)

Military Jacket: Publish x Revolve (now $61)

Black Hoodie: Nytt Label (now $43)

Special Thanks to Glamour Bar Denver for the blow-dry

Eat List:

Amethyst Cafe

Sushi Den

(their fish is flown in from Tokyo every day)

Linger (our favorite)

Denver Union Station (house made “pop tarts”

Real (Coffee) Talk

I want to be real. This post is something I’ve been wanting to do for a few weeks now, because a series of reoccurring events have been pushing me to address it. I’ve been reminded of some really important qualities that I find lacking in “creative individuals” nowadays.                                  

 Authenticity

Originality

Honesty

Ownership

@shoes_and_sashimi is not groundbreaking. At all. I’m not the first one to post a photo of a moody portrait or a shot of latte art. I don’t have the biggest following, but you don’t see me buying spam or cheating my numbers. What I post is 100 percent mine. What starts from something in my head inevitably ends up into jpeg. My ideas are executed either by my hand alone and professional shooters Rachel Radcliffe or Julia O. When they aren’t shooting, @Twelfthknight helps fill that gap, and I give him a lot of credit.

Editing is also 100% mine, unless it’s agreed upon by Rachel or Julia, since they are very different shooters. I respect both of them and their work, that’s what a solid working relationship is based upon. Respect. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for others.

img_0615img_0646img_4924

If there is anything that was engrained in our heads (and hands) in design school, it is protect yourself and your work. Protect your ideas. If you’re a creative, entrepreneur, a photographer, whatever you are: Constantly push yourself. Don’t get too comfortable.

I am very transparent on Instagram and SF is a tiny city. The shoes I wear and products I post are all public. The brands I work with, those too are public knowledge. I have had  “creators” in the same city  whom I have spent some time with go after the same exact products…in the same color…poach the same brands and post shot for shot, pose for pose…. It feels like a big F U. And yea, how could you not take it personally?

img_4845It’s a big space. There are plenty of opportunities out there, people aren’t willing to work for it. In order to be successful in anything, you need to be original. Say thank you to those who have helped you (when they didn’t have to) and have some ounce of humility. Authenticity is so important and there is a lack of it.

img_4913img_4836img_0619img_4855

This rainy day at Home Cafe in SF, I shot with a newly full time photographer named Juila O. She’s quick and she’s hungry. Julia has a beautiful eye for lighting. Home Cafe is the new cool kid on the block, slinging really great coffee concoctions. Have you had a Birthday Cake ombre latte before? I think not. Or a Cookie Monster Latte full of crumbled cookies? I like that they’re different, I like that they’re unique.

I hope you all can find this post somewhat interesting or relatable. If you do or if you don’t, please comment because I’d love to hear your thoughts. And if you’re in the creative field like me, or you’re self employed it’s a good reminder to you all: Be you and only you. Why would you want to be a second string version of someone else?

All photos shot by Julia O Photography

Home Cafe, San Francisco

An Afternoon at Arrowood

This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend an amazing wine and food pairing in Sonoma. Hosted at the ever charming Arrowood Winery in Glen Ellen, myself and fellow Bay Area bloggers were whisked away for the day to wine country, and I can honestly say I am really truly grateful for the experience. I’ve heard raving reviews about the delicious food served at renowned restaurant, Girl & the Fig. So you can imagine my surprise when I saw that the event would be catered by their lead Chef.

I’d like to thank Kristina Werner, wine maker at Arrowood. She herself is quite the inspiration, who went from a BioChemistry and Agricultural Economics degree to pursue winemaking full time. Something I took away from listening to her that I’d like to share:

“Taste everything you can get your hands on.

Never stop learning and never get bored.”

I couldn’t agree more. Cheers to an amazing day that I don’t take for granted. My eyes and stomach are very full :)

awd17_838-influencer-event-menu

img_0439
First Course: Roasted Carrots, Saffron Crema, Honeyed Almonds
img_0442-2
2nd: House Ground Polenta, Braised Oxtail, Cocoa Nibs, Squash, Sage Pesto
img_0438
Final: Black Pepper Ravioli, Triple Cream Mornay, Black Truffles

I have found a new appreciation for wine, what goes into making it, and how it really can transform a meal and your senses. If you’re in Sonoma one of these days, be sure to visit Kristina and the Arrowood staff and taste for yourself. I personally would go back in a snap.

fullsizerender-65img_0468img_0465img_0472unnamed-2

For those who are interested in Arrowood wine but can’t get to Sonoma anytime soon, I’m offering 15% off anything on their site using “ARROWOOD15” here. I had an amazing time and can’t wait to go back.

Overwhelming thanks to:

Arrowood Winery for the hospitality

Girl & The Fig for an incredible meal

Emily E Martin Communications for this amazing trip

Holidays at Home

I’m cozying up this week with my friends at Riviera Towel Company on this very special holiday post. The holidays have changed over the years, but some of my fondest moments are of the house smelling of Mom’s gingerbread, espresso biscotti, and my brother and I icing cookies for the gaggle of family coming in and out of our house. Christmas has always been sensory and visual, from the fresh tree to the baked goods.

img_8848img_8855As time goes on and everyone gets older some of those smells have gone away. We don’t do much on gift giving, in fact we don’t partake in Christmas shopping at all anymore. For us it’s really all about food, family, and banter. Not that it still isn’t, but as we’ve gotten older my Grandparents are no longer here with us and gatherings have become smaller and smaller. The fresh trees haven’t been in our house in a long time, but we do have garlands, Boo (our fur baby in his Christmas sweater) and fairy lights strung up which is nice. I miss certain things from childhood and I hope that one day we find that again.

To bring back some holiday spirit into our home, Riviera Towel Company prompted my idea for this shoot just in time for Christmas. Their towels are 100% Turkish Cotton and so incredibly soft and versatile. I wrapped myself in one, gathered my current favorite holiday things, and voila: a cozy holiday picnic, right in our own home :) *Scroll to the bottom for 20% off your own blankie.img_8862img_8854img_8852

Life is like a box of chocolates. These are from Christopher Elbow

img_8861A favorite wine from this year’s Paso Robles trip: Ecluse Vineyard

img_8853img_8860

I toast to all of you this holiday season. Thank you for reading and keeping up with me this year. And special thanks to Riviera Towel Co. for bringing warmth and reigniting my creative spark this Christmas. It’s the best gift of all.

For those of you who want to cozy up, you can purchase their gorgeous towels (these are $32 ) on their site here . They also give back to organizations who help save our oceans, I love that I can help support their mission.

Even more, take 20% off using code “sashimi20” at checkout

Happy Holidays from my family to yours!

xx

Lauren

Coffee o’clock

Monday mornings call for an extra dose of coffee. Provender is one of my favorite coffee shops in Potrero Hill, serving Andytown roasters and a mean avocado toast. It seats about 3 inside this little space and a little bench outside that’s next to the quaintest flower shop, Bell and Trunk Flowers. For a tiny tiny space, it’s perfectly designed and hidden from all the hustle and bustle.

What gets me through the morning? A strong latte, my sunglasses/bag of choice, and my Nicole Vienna Mesh piece that keeps me on time and my wrist oh so shiny. Someone even complimented my watch inside Provender, the people love this watch as do I :D

Hope you enjoy this little set. What morning essentials can’t you live without?

Detail Photos by Hamee Ha (view her site here)

*Coffee and flowers shot by me.

IMG_9151 2
Clutch from Nikki Williams “Shoessash” gets you 20% off

IMG_9222IMG_8226IMG_9214IMG_8221FullSizeRender 60Details-SF-Outfit

*This post was made in collaboration with Nicole Vienna. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible.