Friday, October 2, 2015

brightening the day

Last week while Frido was away, our friend Susan sent us a bouquet of flowers from The Bouqs as a surprise gift. We were so not expecting this special gesture... and it totally made our day and many more days afterward!

It was such a great reminder that flowers in the house bring so much life to our indoor room... I am hoping to forage some nature from our garden this weekend...

Thank you Susan! xo

Saturday, September 26, 2015

A week with the little ones

This week I was on my own with girls while Frido traveled to Singapore for his business trip. Some part of me worried how things were going to go since Frido and I spread pretty evenly in parenting. Some part of me just wanted to go with the flow and see what happens instead of worrying about what might or might not happen.

It turned out everything kind of went okay. We had ups and downs (trust me on this one) but we worked together to figure out the solutions whenever we encountered issues and kept going. Hardest part for me was making sure that everyone got to where they needed to be "on time" with their water bottles and food. I am totally living up the "soccer mom mini van" dream here with 2 different schools to drive to + afternoon activities.  A lot of breakfast and snack prep happened the night before which I am not used to doing... and I do feel like I was constantly either cooking or washing dishes. And I run out of shirts to wear so I borrowed few T-shirts from Frido on Friday and Saturday. (we have a lot of laundry to fold tomorrow) Having an incredibly supportive community around us definitely helped. It also made a difference that I was at home all week instead of checking in at the studio. I worked remotely early in the morning and mainly late into the evening between 10pm-1am after putting the girls to sleep and taking an involuntary but much needed evening nap. By staying close to home, I felt less divided with my time and also with my mental space. I was just more connected with Satchi and Coco and on the same wave length most of the time. 

Satchi caught cold today... and I am hoping for a speedily recovery since both of them are so looking forward to heading to the airport tomorrow! 

I hope everyone had a lovely week. Next week I am looking forward to continuing to stay connected with our 2 girls... and actually have some time in the studio to update our new collection! 

Friday, September 18, 2015

Baum-kuchen off site at Laguna Beach / Orange County

Last weekend I had a chance to step away for one night with my friends Sara and Angie. These days it's SO rare for me to be away from kids. Even though it was just for one night, seeing, eating and trying something new really gave me a lot to think about. 

Since it was only one night, we wanted to go somewhere pretty local. Laguna Beach came up when we came across Laguna Beach House, a newly renovated beachside boutique accommodation. Even though it was only one hour away from our house, Laguna Beach brought the feel of the summer getaway because this little town is pretty isolated from the rest of the Orange County cities by a narrow canyon road. 

I work closely with Angie on our Baum-kuchen love letter (aka: our monthly email newsletter:) and we are getting ready to launch Sara's ceramic jewelry Great Plain at our shop so the weekend was a great way for us and Baum-kuchen to deepen our soul search. 

Here is a run down of where we went and what we did to fuel ourselves with inspiration.

La Sirena Grill for lunch: They were the yummiest taco dishes I had in a while. Wholesome and fresh. Definitely recommend their avocado salad and Carnitas tacos! 

Laguna Beach House for a place to stay: It was a lovely place to stay. We had a pool level room where we could walk 10 steps to the pool. Pool was not really big but they had a nice ambience with fire-pit and lovely lounge chairs. They served wine (which we missed), and cookies and milk for evening time and coffee with yogurt parfait for breakfast. Little details are lovely to see and feel inspired. We did wish they remodeled their bathroom in the room but other than that... the walkable proximity to the beach and great restaurants was priceless!

Swim at Shaws Cove: There are so many little coves in Laguna Beach. They are so easy to access and creates a perfect little oasis to relax, swim and explore the tidal pool. We actually did a real beach swim (and float) in late afternoon and it was both relaxing and empowering. I have a bit of wave fear so it always takes me little while to actually get through the wave breaks. But once we were out in the ocean... it was peaceful. I so need more of that.

Watermarc for dinner: The entire Laguna Beach gets pretty busy for weekend evenings. Many restaurants were booked for the weekend and so as Watermarc. We were able to make a late night reservation. We were glad that we walked in little earlier to grab drinks because they were able to seat us much earlier than our actual reservation. We ordered a lot of small dishes and shared between three of us. I still dream about their cocktails:)

Morning walk and journaling at Heisler Park Cove: Even though I was on vacation, I still woke up at 6:30am... so I quietly sneaked out of our room and walked 5 minutes to the water. Having quiet moments all to myself was priceless. I sat for a while, journaled on my Hobonichi with Roterfaden... and sat little more. 

Paddle Board Yoga to push our comfort zone: The moment I saw this idea of paddle board yoga on the website of Bliss Paddle Yoga, I knew I had to try it. Well. It turned out that this was a bit of crazy idea. The highlight was getting in and out of the shore with waves coming in. With instructors who were so skilled, they timed us perfectly to ride the waves and it was an incredible feeling. Not so fun was the actual yoga on the open water. Until we actually got out there, we didn't realize how much we would get affected by motion sickness. To be balancing on the tiny paddle surface while trying to actually practice yoga. It's funny to think about now... but it was definitely NOT funny at the time. I still love that we did it (and thankful for Angie and Sara to go along with it) but next time we will probably do a simple paddling instead of practicing yoga on the board. 

Lunch at The OC Mix: Sunday afternoon came so fast and it was time for us to start heading home. Since we didn't eat much in the morning between paddle boarding and feeling rather sick, we wanted to treat ourselves to brunch. We stopped by The OC Mix, a new indoor/outdoor boutique mall, on our way home and grabbed oysters and good coffee. It was a nice change from being at the beach and it was a perfect break for a drive home.

Now that I write this post, I can't believe that we were there just a week ago. I am all about taking the kids to adventures with us but it was a nice break to be just with grown-up friends. Can't wait to plan another trip with them! 


Photos by Wakako, Angie and Sara:) 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

No one is perfect.

Nobody can be in two (or three... or four) places at the same time but I wish I could... because time (or lack thereof) has been a huge challenge for me lately. 

I struggle to finish everything I set out to do for the day. I work during the day as much as I can between family, shop and more family and at night as much as my energy allows. But if I were really really honest with myself..., I know that I am lucky if I can accomplish 20% of things on my list on any particular day. 

Do I feel frustrated sometimes? Sure. Do I wish I had more time to get everything done? Yes definitely. Will I ever regret spending time with my girls in the way that feels meaningful to us even though it means Baum-kuchen moves slower? Absolutely not. 

Life brings a lot of choices to make everyday and it can be confusing sometimes. But to me... when it comes to our kids and time with them..., there should be no regretting. There is no going backward in time. 

Why this post today? Because I came across this quote a while ago and have it written on my journal.

"There is no need to be perfect to inspire others. Let people get inspired by how you deal with your imperfection."

No one is perfect and that's a beauty. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Taking steps for keeping my health & wellness in check

Happy September! 
I am starting this week with a goal of walking 10,000 steps everyday. This is one of my very very tiny steps I am taking to get my health & wellness on a higher priority between everything that is going on in our everyday lives. 

Before... I would make a really ambitious goal (like go to yoga every morning at 5:30am). It lasts about a month... then I just can't keep up with it. So this time... I am keeping it something tangible, real and measurable. 

10K steps doesn't seem like much but it is surprising hard for me to get to in a daily basis. I have to make a lot of conscious decisions throughout the day in order to reach the goal and it's a good thing. I am hoping... by walking more... I will have slightly healthier appetite so I will stop skipping lunch and just feel healthier over all.

What is your September looking like? Settling down? Setting new goals for the last quarter of the year? 

And if you have kids and run very busy lives, how do you squeeze your exercise in?? 


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