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

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

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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

3 Days in Denver

Hi all, hope you’ve had a great week. If you’ve been keeping up with me on Instagram, you’d know that I was in Denver for a few days. @Twelfthknight had to travel for work, so I was fortunate enough to tag along and make this a workation for myself. We’ve never been to Denver before, so this was a nice change of scenery. With @Twelfthknight at work all day, I was left to my own devices. I did a lot…and this is just a roundup. I even had a shoot with native photographer Emily Anne the first day (she shoots the local bloggers of Denver, such as @PolishedAvenue and @Myboringcloset) so naturally I wanted to work with her.  I’m so happy we did, those photos will be for another post :D

Enjoy my quick photo diary, I’d love to go back just for the sunsets and food scene alone. Much more to come. Have a great weekend everyone!

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Sundown Mile High City
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First Day: A little pick me up at Corvus Coffee courtesy of Tim, the barista.
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Trekking in Loeffler Randall with photographer Emily Anne. There was snow patches, deer prints, and 1,000 wild bunnies :D
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The best meal and service bar none is at Fruition…Rockefeller oysters wrapped in a thin potato layer & sweet pea sauce was our favorite app. @Twelfthknight had the Duck confit and pork belly. I had scallops with panchetta and parsnip puree. This is a must visit. 
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We had a rental car, so I drove our little Chevy Cruze and hour south to Colorado Springs and saw the Garden of the Gods. I felt like Short Round galavanting through the rock formations. 

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Always look up. The sky is really that beautiful at sunset. And these rocks will make you feel very tiny. I had a nice time adventuring alone, it’s nice to be your own tour guide. 
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Heard so many good things about Aspen Juice from Instagram. So I went in, had a tasting, and left with a delicious light juice that revived me from the adventure the previous day. 

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Walked in to the Cherry Creek Restoration Hardware. This is the mecca of all things design. 4 floors worth of aesthetic overload :D

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A chai latte at Black Eye Coffee in Cap Hill. Great little neighborhood. 
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A “picnic” full of cheese and meats at Rioja in downtown Denver. It was good, but nothing beats Fruition.
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Off to the airport…#butfirst
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Our flight got delayed, so…cheers. 
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And that’s a wrap Colorado! Peace out. 

 

 

Thursday is for Thistle

Rise and grind everybody  :D I’m switching things up today to feature my new favorite meal delivery service, Thistle Co. But before I go further, I should let you know that for someone who grew up watching my Mom cook every meal from scratch for our family, I love that cooking was (and still is) a very big part of our daily life. But in an age where it’s harder to slow down, especially for those who are self employed…there’s hardly ever time or energy to cook a beef stew during the week or make muffins for the next morning. Which is why, on the days that become just too busy, it’s nice to have a service that will come to your door and feed you something healthy, fresh, without breaking your budget.

Thistle is the only service out there that leads with health and nutrition front and center. I’ve received 2 deliveries so far and I like that the portions are very fair, everything is fresh, there’s variety in each delivery, and best of all…they’re delicious. Plus, I’m hooked on their raw juice and snacks. Right up my alley.

@Twelfthknight has been going low carb, and I think Thistle will help propel his health goals. Delicious and nutritious, he says :D And my Mom has recently said that since going into the office every day, there’s very limited options for lunch that she will in fact eat. So I think she’ll eat cleaner and colorfully when she tries what’s currently in the fridge, thanks Thistle!

Thistle is a Bay Area based company and will deliver to SF, Marin, and the East Bay. If you would like to try yourself, you can use my code to save 20% off “SHOESSASHIMI

As always, thank you for reading. I will be in Denver on Monday-Thursday, but I hope to post while I’m there. And of course, you can find me daily on Instagram for up to date photo adventures.

Xx

Lauren

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#Morningslikethese // Chia x lemon x apple juice for a jolt of energy, the paper, and raw energy bites (superfood in a ball.)
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Raw Apple juice and a tofu scramble salad. The tastiest tofu and squash I’ve had in a while
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This is a big salad, this photo doesn’t do it’s justice with size. Packed with chicken, herbs, and spices.
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Everything is clearly labeled.
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My favorite dessert that’s good for you! You might as well have told me it’s dark chocolate mousse because taste wise, I couldn’t tell.

 

Thank you again Thistle for helping me and my busy fam eat cleaner throughout the week.

For 20% off yours, use “SHOESSASHIMI” at checkout

 

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.

 

Tis the Season

Tis the season for holiday looks, so I teamed up with The Glam App (see previous post) and Piedmont photographer Julie Reichle to shoot something extra special. I’m not big on color to be honest, I love my neutrals and as a curveball, I’m actually wearing a bodysuit under an asymmetrical skirt. Hope you enjoy these photos, it’s great to shoot in my hometown!

To all my readers near and far, from London to Tokyo, I wish you a very Merry Christmas and holiday season. Thank you for taking the time to read and keep up with me whether it’s here or on Instagram.  Your patience and kind comments throughout the year has been encouraging and without them I wouldn’t be able to do half the things this blog and Instagram has brought me these past few months. Most of you I’ve never met, but I feel like you’ve been overwhelmingly supportive more than people I know personally.

So cheers to a fast approaching end of the year, new brand partnerships, new content, and new adventures. But most of all, cheers to you guys for being supportive, enthusiastic, and hopping along with me as I embark on some really cool projects. Can’t wait for you to see.

~Lauren

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Shot by Julie Reichle

Makeup by Emily Sims for The Glam App

Bodysuit: Lulus

Skirt: Blq Basiq

Shoes: Lulus

Bag: Baggu

Necklace: Mirina Collections “Promo Code shoes20” for 20% off yours

Napa Getaway

Christmas came early for @Twelfthknight and I earlier this week when we took our little “Moobie” with us to Napa for an early Christmas/NY/2 year Anniversary trip :) It’s fun to go during offseason, you can beat all the traffic and the lines and eat and walk around as you please without the crowds. It was splendid, and we ate and ate like fiends.

Have a great week everyone, stay warm and be well.

~ Lauren

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Keeping warm in a knit by The Knot Sisters
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The famous doughnuts at The Boon Fly Cafe @Carneros Inn
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Vineyards at Castle di Amorosa
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No filter at Castle di Amorosa

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Crunching in a faux fur vest by 6 Shore Road

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Moobie meets his goat friend at Old Faithful Farms
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Baby goats :D
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Brownie the lama at Old Faithful Farms. Go visit her, she has the best eyelashes :D
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His and Hers
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Typical Bouchon Bakery fare, this is their gingerbread muffin
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A brisk walk around downtown Sonoma
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Keeping warm in a BB Dakota parka
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Bone Marrow appetizers at my Mom’s favorite French bistro: Bistro Jeanty, Yountville. Not pictured, their to die for tomato bisque baked under a puff pastry shell

Instagram: @shoes_and_sashimi