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.

LA Weekend Roundup

Happy Monday all. As most of you know Los Angeles is my favorite city. I’ve lived, worked, and played here for many years, so it’s always nice to come back down for a little bit now that I’ve been in the Bay Area a while. Do I miss it? Hell yeah. I miss the daily grind of the city, the little magic if you will. We treated this trip as a staycation. It was nice to swoop in with @Twelfthknight and the fur baby for a few days to eat, relax, take in some art, and just be. No agenda, no work, just living that LA life as only we know how :D

As always, thank you for reading. And a big thank you to Sole of Brasil for adding some boho style to my look. If you’d like to shop Sole of Brasil’s online store for comfy Brazilian shoes, be sure to use “Lauren15” for 15% off at checkout.

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Abbott Kinney Blvd, my favorite street in Venice away from the beach and tourists.
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Lemonade via the Main Squeeze Lemonade Truck. Shoes by Loeffler Randall.
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Abbott Kinney has some of the best murals in the area, this being a favorite.
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@twelfthknight and Moobie’s favorite mural :D – Abbott Kinney
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We were excited that PDX came to LA! Blue Star Donuts, ladies and gentlemen. The blueberry bourbon rosemary donut…lives up to the hype.
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The perfect weekend ensemble. Wearing a Paige tank, Joes Jeans, Mgemi flats, and Minkoff bag.
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My favorite stop for plant life. Isabel Marant on Melrose Place (taken during Farmer’s Market)
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Farmer’s Market berries on Melrose Place.
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Picked up some Alfred’s coffee before heading to brunch with friends Amy and Paul. @Twelfthknight has never been and I was happy to show him my favorite coffee kitchen in the area. We also met a french bulldog there named Winston.
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#ButFirstCoffee thanks to Alfred’s. And now off to brunch.
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The interior of Republique on La Brea. We ate with my old friend Amy and her husband. She’s a talented makeup artist in the industry. FYI: There is always a wait for this place, and rightly so. If you eat for dinner, you may place reservations.
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Back at the apartment with my sun appropriate things. (we stayed in Miracle Mile, a few blocks from LACMA)
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Moobie loved having the place to himself a lot, he was truly on vacation :D
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LACMA at night. Earlier we saw Ryan Seacrest and Diane Keaton there for an event.
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Tsukemen at the best ramen house in Los Angeles, Tsujita LA. I took my parents here a long time ago, and now I’ve taken @Twelfthknight :) My favorite neighborhood in LA for authentic Japanese food.
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Purple rain, in honor of Prince. Our street was lined with these flowers every morning.
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Another local favorite, Joan’s on Third. A market, coffee spot, deli, and great food.
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Boho vibin’ with my gladiators thanks to Sole of Brasil
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Last breakfast at Stir Market on Beverly. The best bacon in town! And the entire staff is incredibly generous and kind, we will be back.

 

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

 

 

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

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