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

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!

IMG_6435

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

Valentines Day at The Mouse House

50 Shades of Grey? Aw hell naw…we went to Disneyland. My friends over at the Aladdin show were so gracious enough to let me and the beau come play at the mouse house for the day, shouts to Sarah (aka Magic Carpet) if you’re reading this ;)

Side note: I can’t do anything before having coffee, so we grabbed breakfast at the Anaheim Packing District, home to many food merchants. Georgia’s was particularly good for their chicken and waffles as well as Cafecito Organico for their coffee. Ok, fueled up and now on to the park!

First ride of the day: My favorite, Star Tours. May the force be with ya’ll. Then we hit targets on Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters. We made pretty fine Planetary Pilots if I do say so myself. We stopped for some eats before going through the Haunted Mansion and then made our way to the next park, California Adventures. I was distraught after hearing California Soaring and World of Color were under construction, but that’s ok, I understand *sigh.* Cars Land is great for all you Lightning McQueen fans, and the Paradise Pier is home to jalepeno cheese stuffed pretzels which are pretty amazing…

Another highlight was seeing the Aladdin musical. Not only do I know the Magic Carpet, but the show itself is fantastic. Finally, the fireworks went off and we ended our evening! Lines were crazy long, as expected and major rides were getting revamped, but it was really nice to just take our time and not rush anywhere :D A great day of relaxing at the happiest place on earth. How did you spend your weekend?

Tip: To avoid heinous lines, go on a weekday if you can or get fast passes. Peak season typically starts in April.

OOTD: Wearing a Velvet Tees Camo Sleeveless Vest, JBrand Jeans, and Rebecca Minkoff bag.
OOTD: Wearing a Velvet Tees Camo Sleeveless Vest, JBrand Jeans, and Rebecca Minkoff bag.
Cafecito Organico
Cafecito Organico
Hands free with my classic Rebecca Minkoff Crossbody Bag.
Hands free with my classic Rebecca Minkoff Crossbody Bag.
A Man and his Mouse
A Man and his Mouse
Wear comfy shoes, these Toms are great for prancing around the park all day long.
Wear comfy shoes, these Toms are great for prancing around the park all day long.
It's Tea Time
It’s Tea Time
Thanks to my friends at Aladdin for this trip. And next time you're here be sure to catch the show!
Thanks to my friends at Aladdin for this trip. And next time you’re here be sure to catch the show!
And we're out. Til the next trip!
And we’re out. Til the next trip!

What I wore:

Sleeveless Jacket: Velvet Graham & Spencer

Denim: J Brand

Bag: Rebecca Minkoff

A New Year

Happy New Year everyone. It seems like yet again another year goes by faster than the last, which is great in some respects, but it’s also left me feeling a bit glum if you will. Maybe because 2014 was a whirlwind of changes where I had to adapt and make bigger decisions rather quickly. With LA’s movie industry going away to budget friendly states like Louisiana, work as a Costume Designer took a big dip. That trickled into the Styling world and I was choosing my jobs very carefully which is fantastic, but sporadic. With work being so dry, I decided to move into a new more affordable apartment in May with a room mate and a little dog named Mister Cosmo. We get along splendidly.

And though 2014 was a year of change, I do think it was one of my favorite years to date. These changes made me incredibly selective with work and career. Once again I have to leave those who do not serve me kindly and learn to let things go. Self awareness and happiness brought by morning yoga is probably my highlight each day. Work is not life, I can manage my time with family who still lives in The Bay, along with my wonderfully supportive boyfriend and his fluffy four legged counterpart Boo (Boo makes appearances on my Instagram from time to time.) And if LA is changing, then so do I. Which is why I started this blog in the first place. Feeling bold, I took a shot in the dark one morning and emailed Ryan Chua, renowned blogging photographer in SF and he graciously agreed to shoot this photo set which came out beautifully. Thank you Ryan, here’s to many more.

Cheers everyone. To a full and happy new year!

Lauren

Walk it out. This top is everything...sheer but just enough. Did I mention that these jeans are my go to basics as well? JBrand is my all time favorite when it comes to denim. Never fails.
Walk it out. This top is everything…sheer but just enough. Did I mention that these jeans are my go to basics as well? JBrand is my all time favorite when it comes to denim. Never fails.

 

All black errthang...this peplum top from For Love and Lemons is one of my favorites.
All black errthang…this peplum top from For Love and Lemons is one of my favorites.
I'm a Bay girl tried and true. Stylist by trade. A little nostalgic maybe, but the iconic Ferry Plaza is somewhere I have been going to since I was little. Shot by Ryan Chua.
I’m a Bay girl tried and true. Stylist by trade. A little nostalgic maybe, but the iconic Ferry Plaza is somewhere I have been going to since I was little. Shot by Ryan Chua.
The Bay Bridge...what can I say, it's home.
The Bay Bridge…what can I say, it’s home.

 

Jewelry from the gracious hands of designer and friend Marrin Costello. She's also a Bay girl! These are some of her new pieces from her Stoned Collection.
Jewelry from the gracious hands of designer and friend Marrin Costello. She’s also a Bay girl! These are some of her new pieces from her Stoned Collection.

Top: For Love and Lemons

Jeans: J Brand Jeans

Jewelry: Marrin Costello

Shoes: Chinese Laundry

Shot by: Ryan Chua

 

It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! That means wearing my favorite plaid flannel like this one, made by Rails LA. Tis the season after all. http://www.railsclothing.com

Keeping warm in my Rails LA flannel on a wet day in downtown's Little Tokyo Plaza.
Keeping warm in my Rails LA flannel on a wet day in downtown’s Little Tokyo Plaza.
Little Tokyo Plaza
Little Tokyo Plaza, the lanterns are always so pretty here.
Walk it Out
Walking rather swiftly to lunch…eating is my favorite part of the day :)
#Selfie
#Selfie: We spotted this Dad and his two little boys all bundled up taking a selfie in the courtyard. And if you look closely, they’re eating one of my favorite types of street food, takoyaki (Octopus rolled into a tiny ball covered in a flour based dough and drizzled with sweet sauce)
Just passing through
Just passing through…this little clothing stand is home to Japangeles, a street wear company that bridges Japanese Culture and LA lifestyle into each of their designs.
Lunch: Shin Sen Gumi Ramen for a post shoot meal.
Lunch: Shin Sen Gumi Ramen for a post shoot meal. I can’t rave about this place enough, it’s one of my favorite places to park myself for a little bit and slurp some seriously rich ramen broth. Fun fact: Shin-Sen-Gumi was a name taken from a famous Samurai Clan whose commitment for excellence was of utmost importance to the nation during Japan’s Civil War. That commitment to serving excellent food shows every time I come to eat here.