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

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

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.