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.

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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.

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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

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.

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

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

Week in Review

Hi everybody, it’s been quite busy to say the least but I’ve just been plugging away and it’s really paying off. I’m into celebrating the little achievements as of late, I think it’s healthy and it shows progress.

Breaking 2,000 followers on Instagram was a long time coming and I finally did it. (I’m currently at 2,300 and rising.) It’s nice to know that my content is now actually worth something and the partnerships and collaborations I’m doing is making an impact not only on my life but those close to me: from becoming an Mgemi shoe ambassador to having sponsored food posts…it’s fun and even our Furbaby Moobie gets in on the action to help spread some animal awareness (see last post)

Anyhoo, that’s basically my weekly round up in photos. I’m the busiest but happiest I’ve been and I hope you are well too. Thanks for reading and keeping up with me daily on Instagram!

-Lauren

Follow: @shoes_and_sashimi

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Yay! Finally hit 2,000 and rising
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Sushi Specials with Auntie, the original boss lady if you will…
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Mgemi sent me their Cericho sneaker, and I gifted them to my Mama because she’s the bestest

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I make smoothies every morning and pour them in fancy bottles because I think they are much more pleasing :D

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Taking a break in my monochrome look again, my typical uniform
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Running around in these Stellato flats from Mgemi are the comfiest flats I’ve every worn. And they’re pointy :D
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Back to work, but first coffee
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And the usual dinner eats: Ramen. Fun Fact, I would go to Santouka in Los Angeles every couple of weeks and when I moved back up here I thanked Buddha that I can get my favorite fix here without traveling 300 plus miles
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And then one morning the ASPCA noticed our photos, so in collaboration with @Social_Native, the social platform will be donating $5 for each puppygram that spreads awareness of Animal Rights and Kindness. We joined the campaign and they will be donating up to $5,000 to the ASPCA through March 5th. We are very happy to support this cause :D

The Instagram Journey: What I’ve Been Up To

Hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving, it’s been a little while. The blog has taken a back seat as of late due to work, holiday festivities, cold season, and all of life’s curveballs. There just isn’t enough time in the day to juggle everything but I try and now it’s paying off slowly but surely.

In case you aren’t following me on Instagram, here are daily snippets that you won’t find on the blog. I’ve realized that channeling all my focus to growing my Instagram has finally caught some fire; leading to bigger brand collaborations (you’ll see in the next week) and providing daily accountability which is easier to manage. I edit every photo with the help of shutterbugs @Twelfthknight and my Momma on occasion, thank you both and love you lots. With their help I have amassed over 1500 followers as of today and I couldn’t do it without them. I know that’s a dinky number comparatively speaking, but it’s noteworthy and lifestyle brands are taking notice.

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Follow me for daily snaps :D @shoes_and_sashimi

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I recently made over a friend’s entire wardrobe, starting with the bare basics.

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#POV nowadays..it’s Fall after all.

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I love my lattes. #coffeesnobsociety

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D’orsay flats and a Wayf plaid shirt. #FallTrends

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Black and white forever. Melie Bianco Bag, Minkpink sweater coat, and Loeffler Randall loafers. #whatiwore

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Capes, Dole Whips, and new hair color by Rudy at the Elan Salon in SF. Snapped by @Twelfthknight last week.

So there you have it, my most recent posts. Catch me there daily to see where I’ve been, what I ate, what I wore, and where I’m going next :D 

Thanks all!

~ Lauren

 

 

Staying Local with April May Jewelry

Hi all, hope your week is off to a good start. I recently sat down for coffee with local jewelry designer April May in Oakland, CA after I found her metal pieces on Instagram. Be sure to follow her @Aprilmayjewelry :D It’s fun to meet cool people in your neighborhood and April is just that. She makes all her pieces by hand and you can definitely check her booths out if you’re ever planning on going to SF’s Treasure Island Flea Market.

If you’ve been seeing my Instagram feed, you’d see that I wore April’s bangles a lot around town, I don’t really think I took them off for the most part mainly because they’re just so easy to wear. And you can too, just enter our contest at the bottom of the page and April will send you your own necklace and bangles to wear about :) Remember, the more ways you enter the better luck you’ll have.

Contest runs for one week and will be notified by email at random.

Good luck and thanks for reading!

Lauren

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April’s best seller’s which you can win: Enter with the link at the bottom of this page.
Chucks and Bangles
Chucks and Bangles
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Flatlay with InStyle, Sam Edelman, and April May.
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Took my bangles to coffee at Maiden Lane’s Iron Horse Coffee Bar, they make a mean dirty chai.
Current favorites in my bathroom: Hairpins and a fun ring. All I need is some polish by Butter London.
Current favorites in my bathroom: April’s  handmade hairpins and her fun ring. All I need is some polish by Butter London.
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OTK boots and an April May Ring

Contest: Enter Here

Falling for Trends

Happy First Day of Fall everyone, tis my favorite time of year! This little post is a mashup of my favorite things: coffee breaks, work, and fall fashion. I apologize for being missing in action though, I took some time to recover from styling a commercial in Los Angeles as well as wrapping the whole thing. After being gone from set-life for a wee bit, I am happy to say I nailed it. Getting that confirmation from an all male production company as well as Client is really satisfying. Per usual no photos or more info until the actual thing airs, however this was my 3rd International shoot that I have single handedly been Wardrobe Head. for; this time shooting with Nongshim Co. the biggest instant noodle and snack company in South Korea :D The Dominos of Asia if you will. The commercial will air overseas featuring a certain known actor, he has a movie out now in theaters, maybe you’ve seen it already…but until then I can’t say much more….I hate that. *waits patiently.*

Anyhoo, now that I’m back in the Bay, it’s starting to feel like Fall…kind of? It was about 98 degrees and rising in Los Angeles and I’m happy to be incorporating some of my favorite Fall trends into my closet such as the color Blush (pullover from Banana Republic) and this awesome faux suede 70’s skirt from H&M. I don’t normally veer too far from my relatively basic neutral outfits, however I like these two trends and I think I’ll be wearing more of these skirts with some button down blouses and T shirts just to get out of my wardrobe rutt. Gotta stay fresh, people.

Hope you’re having a great week and as always thanks for reading!

Lauren

Instagram x Twitter

Blush is the color for Fall, and since I'm not a pink gal I prefer this tone because it's a subtle one :D
Blush is the color for Fall, and since I’m not a pink gal I prefer this tone because it’s a subtle one :D
Details on this $35 skirt from H&M.
Details on this $35 skirt from H&M.
My only down time for myself was found at Coffee Commissary. They make a mean latte.
My only down time for myself in LA was found at Coffee Commissary. They make a mean latte and are located in WeHo, Burbank, and Culver City.
View from our shooting location in the LA hills. That's a wrap folks.
View from our shooting location in the LA hills. That’s a wrap folks.

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What I Wore:

Blush Pullover: Banana Republic

Aviators: Lulu’s

Skirt: H&M

Boots: Dolce Vita

All outfit photos taken by: @Twelfthknight

All Black Everything

It’s good to be back Bay Area, this is my home after all and I’m happy to say I’ll be here for the majority of March. First order of business though; shooting with the wickedly talented and lightning fast ninja that is Melissa de Mata in Portrero Hill. Be sure to take a look at her work by hitting the link, she’s a fantastic photographer and human.

It was nearly perfect weather the morning that we shot this look. SF can be somewhat chilly even in March, so layering a simple dress under a heavier knit sweater was perfect given the clear skies. Melissa and I met at Front Cafe to get our much needed jolt and then shot up and down the sloping hills of the neighborhood.

For you foodies: If you haven’t been to this area of SF you should definitely check out Plow for their famous brunch menu as well as Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous for their specialty ice cream. I’m clearly missing tons of places on the list, so tell me: What are your favorite eateries in the SF area?

Faux Sho...The faux leather cuffed sleeves match my faux leather skirt which I may or may not have intended to do...
Faux sho. Faux leather cuffed sleeves match the faux leather skirt to give a basic all black look something extra.
Meet me out FRONT. Real good coffee comes out of Front Cafe.
Meet me out FRONT. Stellar coffee comes out of Front Cafe, be sure to try their cold brews too.
Fringe Effect. I love toting this cross body Rebecca Minkoff bag around. SF loves her, she has a new store in Pacific Heights on Fillmore St!
Fringe Effect. I love toting this cross body Rebecca Minkoff bag around. SF loves her, she has a new store in Pacific Heights on Fillmore St!
These Dolce Vita boots have walked all over this city and are still in great shape.
These Dolce Vita boots have walked all over this city and are still in great shape.
Rough rider. The zippers and fringe toughen this bag up nicely.
Rough rider. The zippers and fringe toughen this bag up nicely.
Perfect weather for a dress and sweater combo. This Banana Republic sweater is slightly oversized, ideal for layering.
Perfect weather for a dress and sweater combo. This Banana Republic sweater is slightly oversized, ideal for layering.

Sweater: Banana Republic

Dress (old)

Cross Body Bag: Rebecca Minkoff

Shoes: Dolce Vita

Photos by Melissa de Mata

Life’s a Beach

They say life’s a beach. Yea, sometimes it is, but they also say life’s a royal bitch too. I’ve been having a particularly rough week, let alone month. February was shockingly slow. I’m talking like, flat line dead..and that’s with awards season. And maybe it’s also because people only reach out when they need something from you, more than likely it’s for free. I don’t want to sound bitter here, but I do think I’m running on empty. I love what I do when I get to do it but stylists rarely get any love. It’s a relatively lonely journey whether you’re repped or not in a terribly unforgiving industry. Why am I telling you this? Because this blog is the best thing I’ve created for myself. The major lull has allowed me to delve 200% into it. And it’s fun to flip the camera since I’ve been working “behind the scenes” for so many years.

This all came about in Manhattan Beach yesterday, where I came to decompress. It’s my favorite beach community down here and if you’ve ever been then you know why. I came back with a full head of clarity and some salty hair.

I hope everyone is having a great week. And if you’re not, I totally get it. It’ll get better, you just gotta hustle some more..bonus if you look good doing it ;)

Head down, nose to the grindstone (so to speak)
Head down, nose to the grindstone (so to speak)
Neutrals again. This Urban Day sweater kept me warm with the windy sea breeze.
Neutrals again. This Urban Day sweater kept me warm with the windy sea breeze.
2 Guns chai latte. Check them out next time you're down here, really cute spot and great brews.
Two Guns chai latte. Check them out next time you’re down here, really cute spot and great brews.
Comfy boyfriend denims by JBrand.
Comfy boyfriend denims by JBrand.
Boho vibes. This clutch is by Michael Kors.
Boho vibes. This clutch is by Michael Kors.
Recognize this necklace? It's from Stylewich :) You can check her blog out at www.stylewich.com
Recognize this necklace? It’s from Stylewich :) You can check her blog out at http://www.stylewich.com
Under the pier. No filter
Under the pier. No filter

Sweater: Urban Day (Bloomingdales)

Jeans: J Brand

Clutch: Michael Kors

Necklace: J Crew (From Liz at Stylewich.com)

Coffee: Two Guns Espresso

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

But First, Coffee…

Who goes to a cupcake shop for the coffee? This gal apparently. It’s hard not to be tempted by Velvet’s sweets in the window. I’m a sucker for their red velvet, banana chocolate, and pumpkin. However I did manage to resist and just prance in one day for a cup o’ joe. Also, excellent :) If you haven’t stopped by their Sherman Oaks location, do so when you’re in the area.

Nailed it. Turquoise ring by gypsy jeweler Vanessa Mooney.
Fat Cat. I love a good print. Sweater by MinkPink.
Fat Cat. I love a good print. Sweater by MinkPink.
My hat's off to ya. I wear this hat a lot, and for good reason. It's a great accessory from one of my go-to sites Shopbop.com
My hat’s off to ya. I wear this hat a lot, and for good reason. It’s a great accessory from one of my go-to sites Shopbop.com
I know, I wear a lot of black. It's kind of the quasi uniform, and it's easy. Jeans by J Brand. Boots by Dolce Vita.
I know, I wear a lot of black. It’s kind of the quasi uniform, and it’s easy. Jeans by J Brand. Boots by Dolce Vita.
I don't usually wear pink. But these cuppies wear it well :)
I don’t usually wear pink. But these cuppies wear it well :)

 

 Jewelry: Vanessa Mooney

Top: MinkPink

Jeans: Brand

Shoes: Dolce Vita