Sometimes I feel like I’m always searching for some resolve or peace of mind. Maybe I’ve always been restless. Not sure what I’m always searching for exactly, but I know that to be completely content with oneself and where they’re at in life is quite rare. Striving for more but better yet figuring out how to get there is always on my mind, day in day out. If you’re anything like me, it’s exhausting am I right?
A few days in Paso Robles (2 hrs north of LA) with the furbaby and @Twelfthknight helped me reach some calm finally in a long time. Every dip in our hotel pool, a morning tour of Hearst Castle, and some really nice time spent wine tasting and eating…can’t get more relaxing than that.
Hearst literally built his dream. And so will I, one way or another.
As always, thank you for reading and keep striving :)
Hope everyone is enjoying their day off today, I didn’t realize that it was Labor Day weekend to be honest. I’ve been a little preoccupied with other things as of late and time is slipping faster than I’d like it to. Without getting in too deep, I will just say that there have been lots of changes this week, you wouldn’t be able to tell through social media though.
I personally feel a change in the air, and I’ve felt a bit heavy all week. As we march into Fall, I’d like to thank Nicole Vienna for prompting me to reflect on a hard week, because quality time is what I value most. And though I won’t have more minutes or hours with the one’s no longer here physically, I know that my time was well spent and cherished.
Thank you for taking the time to read and I wish you all a nice week
I’d like to give a big thank you to Elizabeth from Clothes to You for nominating me for the Sunshine Award, it makes me incredibly happy to know that my blog is getting enough momentum that people are willing to share with the world. So thank you Elizabeth!
I really liked Elizabeth’s questions, I think you’ll learn a lot more about me, prior to Shoes and Sashimi :)
What did you aspire to be when you were younger?
Believe it or not, from a young age I wanted to be a Costume Designer. “Little me” grew up watching films, TV, and being enthralled with pop culture and music. I loved fashion, movies, and the idea of being part of the behind the scenes excitement if you will. So I thought hmm…”if I combined all my favorite things together I’d have my dream job.” And so I did. I graduated from the prestigious California Inst. of the Arts in 2009 with a BFA in Costume Design and I’ve been designing and wardrobe styling in LA since then. It’s not all glamorous though, it’s a dog eat dog world the entertainment and PR life. They say it’s tough, it’s probably 10x tougher than anyone thinks, but it’s sure exhilarating when you get to do what you love to do for a living.
2. What is your greatest achievement outside of blogging?
That’s a tough question, because quite frankly I feel like I haven’t achieved all that much. I know, I know, maybe I’m being too hard on myself, but really I don’t think I can answer that one. I’ve had a good highlight reel, that’s for sure. I’ve had some terribly disappointing ones too. If I had to pick some proud moments throughout the years though, I think it would come down to these: Not having any debt, that’s something I’m really proud of. Also being able to move as often as I did and hustle in between shoots when there are bills to be paid and things to get done. Lastly, as I look through my portfolio I remember that I’ve had some really good moments in time and I’m proud of my work. I can firmly say that.
3. Who takes the majority of your photos?
I’ve had a lot of great photographers over the year, Melissa de Mata (SF) and Erich Chen (LA) for starters. But as momentum builds with the blog, it’s becoming increasingly harder to shoot a full set when you’re not with a photographer day and night. This is where @TwelfthKnight comes in. He’s my rock, our fur baby’s papa, and man of the hour. I am fully spoken for and am happily living in the Bay Area this year, having best of both worlds :D He’s not a photographer, but we’re becoming a tag team in this blogging venture together and we’re learning along the way. It’s trial and error, and we’re having a lot of fun with that.
4. What would you say is the biggest challenge about blogging?
Where do I start…being consistent with content. It’s even harder when you’re part time or full time elsewhere. There’s just not enough time in the day or should I say light in the day to drive the blog further. And if you’re like me, you’re not going to settle for poor lighting just for the sake of content, am I right? Right. How do we maneuver around this lighting challenge and time crunch? On the weekends we like to go out for day trips and you’ll probably find me changing outfits somewhere, creating different looks along the way in the hopes that they make enough content for the week to come :D Quick changes, I’m a professional. Literally.
5. How would you describe your personal style?
My personal style is pretty casual currently. Jeans, a dress shirt, shorts, and a sweater (It’s pretty cool and casual here in the Bay Area.) If you met me in LA though, you’d see me more on the dressier side every day, even going to set and especially on the weekends. I would be buying for multiple shoots at a time so I’d really have fun pulling and putting things together. Wasteland on Ventura or Melrose has some fun things, I’ve found amazing discounted designer finds there including Philip Lim and Givenchy. My secret weapon for my own shopping fix is going directly to the warehouses in DTLA for the samples. I’d swing by Lovers & Friends, For Love and Lemons, Joie, you name it. I sure miss those times, I’ll be back down soon for my next big wave of raiding hopefully.
6. Is there a person who is a fashion inspiration to you? If so, who is this style icon, and why do they inspire you?
I’ve tracked Monica Rose‘s work as a stylist for some time now, and after chatting with her at her trunk show at Dash this year you could imagine my respect for her went up ten fold. She is incredibly chic, she dresses the Kardashians for Christ’s sake. But what’s really nice and refreshing is that she’s humble, a mom of 2 little ones, a wife, and she seemingly does it all in heels. Our mutual friend and owner of Slickforce Studio, Nick Saglimbeni was saying that a career is all about timing no matter how hard you hustle. I couldn’t agree more. Her timing couldn’t have been more perfect, I applaud her work ethic, and I wish her the best, truly.
7. What would you say is the greatest satisfaction about being a blogger?
There’s a lot of satisfaction that I get simply from penning my thoughts on a virtual paper, private or not. I like the idea that I might have an interesting story to tell when others have gone a linear path. I like that the blogging community is so supportive. I’ve gotten more love from strangers in different parts of the world than I have from people I know personally. That speaks volumes, so thank you for the undying support, near and far!
To keep the support flowing I nominate fellow bloggers:
It’s already been a busy week and I’m still thinking about the lovely brunch we all had to celebrate my boo’s 35th birthday :D What’s our favorite brunch spot in SF? We head to Noe Valley of course. This might be a bold statement, but I would voluntarily wait a good hour or more for Griddle Fresh‘s souffle pancakes, and if you know me then you know how I feel about waiting excessively for things. Anyway, I highly recommend their fired banana mascarpone souffle stack while their lemon ricotta pancakes are equally as delicious.
What to wear to brunch on a fine Saturday morning? It was warm by SF standards, so I paired a cream BB Dakota sweater that I got from Shopbop.com with my favorite Lovers + Friends denim shorts. Heels might sound a bit crazy on such a steep incline combined with limited parking, however these ones by Chinese Laundry were good to my feet. And my cream & black bag, I’d like to tote with me everywhere now thanks to Deux Lux. It’s a great bag, and I’m a sucker for tassels.
After brunch, we roamed Noe Valley’s farmer’s market and grabbed some green juice from Juicy Lucy. There was even face painting action for the birthday boy (he’s a kid at heart) who I’m sure will be embarrassed if I give more detail. So let’s just say he’s my Batman :)
This would have been a really light “What I Wore” post, however I’ve come down with some severe writer’s block the past couple of days do to circumstances that have since put me in some sort of mood. I have now composed myself, as well as my thoughts and I’d like to communicate them as best I can.
Relationships are hard. I’m really talking about the relationship you have with yourself. Even though I have a great guy that is kind, supportive, and thoughtful whom I proudly stand by, you will often times find me alone (never lonely though, there’s a big difference.) I’m perfectly content being by myself, always have been. That takes a certain amount of confidence absolutely. But even the people who have a tough outer shell have feelings. I’ve been hurt one too many times (professionally and personally) to even begin to tell you how hard of a person I’ve become, I’m getting much better though. The silver lining to all this is that with all the lows (many painful) and hurdles life throws at you, it has made me really self aware. After all, the most important relationship you can have is with yourself.
The older I get the more this saying “it’s best to be alone than in poor company” rings true. Quality over quantity. Stick up for yourself, fight for those who will fight for you. Bonus points if you look good doing it. And finally… don’t look back, you’re not going that way :)
Unfamiliar with the lyrics I’m referencing? Watch the music vid here:
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.
When life gives you lemons, you give back! As a thank you to my readers and all those who have found my blog worth reading, I have teamed up with Lemon Drop Boutique to give one lucky winner a promo code so they may choose a piece of jewelry of her choice. Lemon Drop is an online boutique that sells affordable jewelry and accessories to today’s woman. From cuffs to earrings, to statement pieces like the one I’m wearing below, I’m sure you’ll find something fun to wear when you shop their site!
This raffle will be going for a full week, and will end next Thursday. Want to enter? Read and scroll all the way down and you’ll see a link to the Rafflecopter giveaway. There are many ways to enter, so be sure to do them all! Good luck!
This may be my favorite set for certain reasons. If you have ever been to Little Osaka in Los Angeles you will find yourself in foodie heaven. It’s a hidden quiet gem in such a crazy city. Though I am only half ninja myself, I have considered the Sawtelle neighborhood of West LA my home away from home for many years. I even searched for property out there when the condo boom swept the area. Here you’ll find some of the best ramen houses in LA County, curry options, exquisite sushi bars, Japanese markets and grocery stores as well as newer establishments such as Bachi Burger, Blockheads, and Seoul Sausage.
I have fond memories here, some of them sad but still meaningful. Passing by some familiar homes here the other day, I couldn’t help but think of certain faces. You just can’t help it. Sorry, just walking down memory lane, don’t mind me.
Bittersweet, absolutely. Not entirely because I was reminicisng, but also because I was packing that day for a permanent move. That’s right, I have now moved out of LA and back to my original home, the Bay Area. Not entirely a shocker to some of you who follow me on Instagram. This shoot in Sawtelle was literally the last series I shot, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way in my most favorite part of Los Angeles. It’s been a wild ride, but I’m happy to live and document my next life chapter still doing what I love to do in one shape or another.
Thanks for the wonderful memories LA. I’ll be back to take on temporary projects, but until then Sayonara.
G’morning ya’ll. I find this post so fitting. This was shot a few days later, post Runyon Canyon. If any of you really know me, I’m not a runner. Like, at all. Don’t get me wrong, I love to work out. I just do other means of exercise, preferably in temperature controlled rooms such as spinning and yoga. I have love for Mother Nature absolutely, but I don’t really do the whole hiking thing especially when it’s pushing 90 degrees dry heat. That’s bordering suicidal to me, personally.
Last week however, I was coaxed into doing Runyon which is rather rare. Apparently I was feeling bold that day, but was with nice company, so I sucked it up and swapped my tranquil routine yoga flow for the vertical dusty incline stairs. It was hot. A dry 94 degrees to be exact. No sane person in their right mind would voluntarily be out there running up a damn mountain enjoying it. The little puppies at the base of the mountain were whining and I don’t blame them. One weenie dog named Twig planted his paws in the dust and refused to go any further. I’m with you Twig, I feel ya.
But we did it, actually we killed it. And the views from the top of the ridge are quite nice once you get up there. God speed, Twig.
I’ve been back in LA for some time now since I last posted and I apologize for the lull in content. I’ll be getting back on track here shortly as I have more photo sets to post soon.
This post goes out to the rule breakers, the ones with a little more fire than the next, the ones who were bold enough to go after what they wanted to do and did it well. My photographer friend Hannah Gweun graciously came to shoot with me in my neighborhood of Sherman Oaks recently. I met Hannah a while back on a film set we both were working on and she’s a stellar photographer and even more human being. I say that because she, like myself is dedicated to her craft in a city that will unapologetically overlook it. But yet we try try again. In essence, Hannah and I have earned our stripes, whether or not the industry will honor that we may never know.
Whatever it is you’re doing or pursuing, do it with full speed and tenacity or not at all.