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.

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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!

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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)

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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

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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!

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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.

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Cheers!

Two Thirty Five Luxury Suites

 

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 :)

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First Course: Roasted Carrots, Saffron Crema, Honeyed Almonds
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2nd: House Ground Polenta, Braised Oxtail, Cocoa Nibs, Squash, Sage Pesto
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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.

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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

Cheat Day (A food and fashion roundup)

If you follow me on Instagram, you’d see the influx of food posts as of late. @Twelfthknight and I are very much centered around eating together. Nothing crazy or pretentious, just good food. Whether it is noshing locally, eating our way through a new city (we loved eating thought Denver), or cooking at home, we love our eats. I should note that we will never be seen waiting for 2 hours + for overly priced and over hyped restaurants that is common here in SF…no sir, we have things to do.

Enjoy my month’s round up of a few of our favorite food posts as well as my new “Cheat Day” pullover that I find appropriate to wear on repeat…because let’s face it. Cheat day is technically every day.

Outfit photos taken by: Rachel Radcliffe

Food photos and point of view’s: Taken by me :D

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Fred’s Coffee Shop, Sausalito. We’d recommend their Millionaire’s Bacon and Lemon Ricotta pancakes.
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How cool are these shoes? BoohooUSA
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The Siren Canteen, Stinson Beach. We had a spontaneous day trip up the coast and this restaurant is such a gem!

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We made it in time for Taco Tuesday, their fish tacos and pale ciders are absolutely  delicious. Stuff that reminds me of SoCal and SD.

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On an off day, we went to the new SF Moma. 7 floors of art and we were hungry so on our way home we ate at the New England Lobster Market in Burlingame. Not pictured are the oysters!

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My favorite, Santouka Ramen located inside the Mitsuwa center. In Los Angeles, anytime I was on Sawtelle Blvd, I’d sit here and order a combo all under $12 and would satisfy any sort food craving. This was taken at the Santouka in San Jose.

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For our friend’s birthday, we came to Pacifica for seafood. Their favorite restaurant on the Penninsula side of the Bay, and I’d have to agree with them. Moonraker has the best view whilst eating some of the freshest seafood around!

 

What I wore:

Pullover: Missguided

Denim: Asos

Booties: Boohoo

Restaurant List:

Fred’s Coffee Shop

The Siren Canteen

New England Lobster Market

Santouka

Moonraker

 

Thursday is for Thistle

Rise and grind everybody  :D I’m switching things up today to feature my new favorite meal delivery service, Thistle Co. But before I go further, I should let you know that for someone who grew up watching my Mom cook every meal from scratch for our family, I love that cooking was (and still is) a very big part of our daily life. But in an age where it’s harder to slow down, especially for those who are self employed…there’s hardly ever time or energy to cook a beef stew during the week or make muffins for the next morning. Which is why, on the days that become just too busy, it’s nice to have a service that will come to your door and feed you something healthy, fresh, without breaking your budget.

Thistle is the only service out there that leads with health and nutrition front and center. I’ve received 2 deliveries so far and I like that the portions are very fair, everything is fresh, there’s variety in each delivery, and best of all…they’re delicious. Plus, I’m hooked on their raw juice and snacks. Right up my alley.

@Twelfthknight has been going low carb, and I think Thistle will help propel his health goals. Delicious and nutritious, he says :D And my Mom has recently said that since going into the office every day, there’s very limited options for lunch that she will in fact eat. So I think she’ll eat cleaner and colorfully when she tries what’s currently in the fridge, thanks Thistle!

Thistle is a Bay Area based company and will deliver to SF, Marin, and the East Bay. If you would like to try yourself, you can use my code to save 20% off “SHOESSASHIMI

As always, thank you for reading. I will be in Denver on Monday-Thursday, but I hope to post while I’m there. And of course, you can find me daily on Instagram for up to date photo adventures.

Xx

Lauren

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#Morningslikethese // Chia x lemon x apple juice for a jolt of energy, the paper, and raw energy bites (superfood in a ball.)
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Raw Apple juice and a tofu scramble salad. The tastiest tofu and squash I’ve had in a while
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This is a big salad, this photo doesn’t do it’s justice with size. Packed with chicken, herbs, and spices.
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Everything is clearly labeled.
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My favorite dessert that’s good for you! You might as well have told me it’s dark chocolate mousse because taste wise, I couldn’t tell.

 

Thank you again Thistle for helping me and my busy fam eat cleaner throughout the week.

For 20% off yours, use “SHOESSASHIMI” at checkout

 

Napa Getaway

Christmas came early for @Twelfthknight and I earlier this week when we took our little “Moobie” with us to Napa for an early Christmas/NY/2 year Anniversary trip :) It’s fun to go during offseason, you can beat all the traffic and the lines and eat and walk around as you please without the crowds. It was splendid, and we ate and ate like fiends.

Have a great week everyone, stay warm and be well.

~ Lauren

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Keeping warm in a knit by The Knot Sisters
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The famous doughnuts at The Boon Fly Cafe @Carneros Inn
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Vineyards at Castle di Amorosa
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No filter at Castle di Amorosa

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Crunching in a faux fur vest by 6 Shore Road

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Moobie meets his goat friend at Old Faithful Farms
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Baby goats :D
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Brownie the lama at Old Faithful Farms. Go visit her, she has the best eyelashes :D
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His and Hers
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Typical Bouchon Bakery fare, this is their gingerbread muffin
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A brisk walk around downtown Sonoma
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Keeping warm in a BB Dakota parka
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Bone Marrow appetizers at my Mom’s favorite French bistro: Bistro Jeanty, Yountville. Not pictured, their to die for tomato bisque baked under a puff pastry shell

Instagram: @shoes_and_sashimi

Bye, Bye Miss American Pie

Happy Birthday ‘Murica. Did everyone have a good 4th of July weekend? As usual, I look forward to our big family reunion on Great Uncle Jack’s almond farm in Modesto, CA. It’s the highlight of the summer as far as family events are concerned. My Japanese American side of the family (Dad’s side) literally planted their roots in California’s farming country (as did many Japanese Americans after the war) where they raised almonds, strawberrys, and peaches. Without giving you a history lesson since that’ll be it’s own book, I’ll just round up the highlights of this year’s festivities.

We grandkids have a very close relationship with our Obachan, aka “Granny.” So even with all that has happened to her this year, at 92 years of age she was able to enjoy the day (wheel chair and all with the special thanks to my mom and Auntie Kioko.) The boyfriend came with our fur baby Boo to meet the entire family which was incredibly fun. It was great to show him the farm and countryside as he’s never been before. Everyone adores Boo and everyone agrees Tracy fits right in with our big fam. And to verify acceptance, Great Auntie Fumi said “oh my, he’s so handsome” *winks*..so there’s that hehe :D

All us cousins are grown up now and as we’ve gotten older we’ve become much more connected, i.e playing multiple rounds of a boardgame called Tsuro. It’s challenging, and we were all really into it. Old photo albums were out to look at, most of which were from the 60’s-70’s, some earlier. I love looking through those polaroids, Granny and Auntie they were quite fashionable with their cat-eye glasses. Eerily, there’s a lot of facial expressions Auntie Kioko makes in these photos, and they are quite distinct so apparently it’s genetic as I have those distinct expressions as well…yep the older I get, I’m becoming more like my Aunt. Hmph.

It’s not a party without food, and we take it very seriously here. We’re all bakers and cooks, at least the women are. So every year we have an array of grass fed burgers, polish sausages, salmon patties, sushi, Japanese fried chicken, at least 5 different salads, and cousin Barbara’s 3 different homemade ice creams to accompany some sort of pie or cake. By the time everyone eats and rests and eats again, the sun is setting and we light some firecrackers and call it a mighty full day.

Family is really everything here and any third party observing can see just how strong our personalities, genetics, and sense of humor really trickles down to each person and generation. My Dad grew up in Modesto and he’s instilled this great sense of work ethic into my brother and I. It’s incredibly humbling and the respect for our parents and grandparents are of the utmost, that never goes away.

From my family to yours, we wish you the best :) As always, thanks for reading.

Greylin Collection Overalls and Kombucha on this very hot 4th. Cheers!
Greylin Collection Overalls and Kombucha on this very hot 4th. Cheers!

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Cousin Cyndy's rice crispy treats
Cousin Cyndy’s rice crispy treats
Great Uncle Jack's Barn. Many a basketball game played here.
Great Uncle Jack’s Barn. Many a basketball game played here.
Ever seen an almond? This is an almond, they're kinda furry.
Ever seen an almond? This is an almond, they’re kinda furry.
Observing the orchards :)
Observing the orchards :)
Auntie Kioko's Coconut Cream Pie. She's an assassin in the kitchen.
Auntie Kioko’s Coconut Cream Pie. She’s an assassin in the kitchen.
We got a bit festive this year, last year we didn't have these.
We got a bit festive this year, last year we didn’t have these.
Overalls, because I'm in the country but still chic. yes.
Overalls, because I’m in the country but still chic. yes.
We like our organic ginger beer. yes.
We like our organic ginger beer. yes.
The Farm
The Farm
Cousin Barbara's Homemade Ice Cream. Peach on left. Strawberry on right.
Cousin Barbara’s Homemade Ice Cream. Peach on left. Strawberry on right.
Alrighty, time to go back inside. Until next year!
Alrighty, time to go back inside. Until next year!

What I wore:

Sunnies: Le Specs

Overalls: Greylin Collection

Shoes: Teva

LA Weekend Road Trip

Well, it was a whirlwind trip this time around but I’m glad that the boo and I could get away for some little sun and r&r for the weekend in LA. Staying in an apartment in Echo Park was great for those of you who know where this little neighborhood is. Just outside of Silverlake Junction, Echo Park is a tiny neighborhood that boarders the hipster coffee district of Silverlake and Sunset Blvd as well as bordering downtown LA. We did a lot, ate even more, snagged some new tops at the Greylin warehouse, and had a fun run in with Neil Flynn from Scrubs (he’s now on ABC’s The Middle.) It was nice to be back in LA for some relaxation, but now that I’m back in the Bay I can say it’s nice to be home. Until next time LA.

White Washed x Outside the Bates Motel Installation created by French Artist Vincent Lamouroux
White Washed x Outside the Bates Motel Installation created by French Artist Vincent Lamouroux
First order of business: Daikokuya Ramen in DTLA. One of my favorite ramen houses in all of Los Angeles County.
Dinner x First order of business: Daikokuya Ramen in DTLA. One of my favorite ramen houses in all of Los Angeles County.
You love the man. Yes. Yes I do. Graffiti Art on Sunset.
You love the man. Yes. Yes I do. Graffiti Art on Sunset.
Smile for the ego. Always. #Butfirstletmetakeaselfie. Graffiti art found on Sunset and Bates.
Smile for the ego. Always. #Butfirstletmetakeaselfie. Graffiti art found on Sunset and Bates.
Echo Park Lake in all it's glory. Downtown in the background. #NoFilter.
Echo Park Lake in all it’s glory. Downtown in the background. #NoFilter.
Echo Park Lake and the Lotus Pond
Echo Park Lake and the Lotus Pond
:) Also, how cool is this Cheap Monday tank? Underneath, wearing a Brandy Melville cropped bralette for layering purposes.
:) Also, how cool is this Cheap Monday tank? Underneath, wearing a Brandy Melville cropped bralette for layering purposes.
Superb breakfast while you wait for the paddle boats.
Superb breakfast while you wait for the paddle boats.
Square One Dining @ The Boathouse on Echo Park Lake. Left to right: Breakfast Tacos, Cheddar Grits and Bacon. Horchata. (The original Square One Restaurant is in Silverlake.)
Square One Dining @ The Boathouse on Echo Park Lake. Left to right: Breakfast Tacos, Cheddar Grits and Bacon. Horchata. (The original Square One Restaurant is in Silverlake.)
Lattes at Dinosaur Coffee. The boy flipped out and fan-girled so hard when he saw his favorite actor Neil Flynn behind me. I played it cool as they took selfies together. You can see his on Instagram @Twelfthknight :D
Lattes at Dinosaur Coffee. The boy flipped out and fan-girled so hard when he saw his favorite actor Neil Flynn behind me. I played it cool as they took selfies together. You can see his on Instagram @Twelfthknight :D
White out.
White out.
White out. Vincent Lamouroux painted these palm trees in ecofriendly paint for his installation.
White out. Vincent Lamouroux painted these palm trees in ecofriendly paint for his installation.
White Out at the Bates Motel. See for yourself if you're on Sunset and Bates.
White Out at the Bates Motel. See for yourself if you’re on Sunset and Bates.
Going home: You can't go on a road trip and not get In n Out. That's blasphemy. Animal Style, of course.
Going home: You can’t go on a road trip and not get In n Out. That’s blasphemy. Animal Style, of course.

Thanks for reading, you can always find more daily photos during the week of my adventures on Instagram @shoes_and_sashimi

Stay tuned!

What I Wore

Top: Cheap Monday

Sunnies: Equipment FR

Denim Cut Offs: Lovers and Friends

What We Ate

Ramen: Daikokuya

Breakfast: Square One at the Boathouse

Coffee: Dinosaur Coffee

(Not posted)

Din Tai Fung Dumpling House

Guisados

Where We Were

The Bates Motel on Sunset

Artist: Vincent Lamouroux

Greylin Collection HQ