Thursday, December 29, 2011

12:29:11 [14/365] - run!

We enjoyed the last few hours of sun at a local park with my old friends and her family. I am thankful
for having place/s where roo can run freely and chase her ball! She is absolutely full of energy!!

Blue stripe sweater: courtesy of auntie Susan:)

gift as an experience

As I made one of the last trips to the (still busy) post office this morning..., I thought of all the gift exchanges that happen during this season.

I love the totally fuzzy feeling that I get when I have "the perfect gift" for someone... but it is quite a journey to get there. I probably overthink the idea of gift giving... but then... why bother giving something unless it's absolutely perfect? So I am on a mission to come up with special something for FB's birthday that is approaching in 7 days. With Christmas, I feel little bit like I have drained all my gift imagination energy.

Then my friend Angie totally inspired me to think outside of the box. She brought us a box that was not supposed to be tilted until we open it on Christmas Eve. As FB and I unveiled the box together, there were beautifully packaged bottles of beer (one Japanese and one German beer with our name tag on it!!), little thank you card and another small box inside which had a gorgeous brass bottle opener... so we can give a toast to an upcoming year and our ongoing friendship. I thought, "well... this is a gift that is memorable and will last for a long time both in our heart and in our home...".

FB and I always tell each other that "the perfect gift is an intersection between yourself and someone you care. It is meaningful, has a story and is sustainable... ".

I am definitely on a mission!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

12:28:11 [13/365]

I think every kiddo needs a pair of camouflage sneakers!!
It can get messy with mud (as it inevitably does) but still looks like it's meant to be.

(I think I might be more in love with them than little roo is... )

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

12:27:11 [12/365] - soaking the sun

I know I am totally overdoing the "beach" story... but we are really maximizing the time at our parents' house... which is 30 minutes from the water. Today we ventured out to see both the big and little waves!

Water was cold but our little roo bravely took her shoes off and went straight into the shallow water. She took a nap for solid 3 hours afterward and so did we:)  I can totally see what is coming on our way next month in Bali:)

We are making our way home tomorrow morning to do end of the year cleaning of our house and the shop!

12:26:11 [11/365] - breathing the ocean air

I think moment like this reminds us how lucky we are to be living in Southern California... close to the coast.

We all went to the nearby harbor yesterday to enjoy some ocean breeze... and be free of the city. Frisky air, warm sun and sea water splashing on our face made a perfect afternoon treat for all of us.  This was our little roo's first time being on a boat. She did really good. Mostly sitting on grandma mimi's lap... making sure everyone was still on board.

Monday, December 26, 2011

12:25:11 [10/365]

It has become our tradition to camp out at my parents' house for big holidays. My sister flew in from San Francisco just in time for the family gift exchange. Big dinner followed by 3 course desserts (made by my little sister). Purely good time...

We are slowly preparing our mental mode for 2012. Thinking and brainstorming on big visions for the shop... Looking forward to next few days to really wrap up the year and fully recharge ourselves for the big new year!

12:24:11 [9/365] - Christmas Eve

This was our Christmas Eve.
Visit from a friend (thank you Angie for very special gifts!!!), Christmas walk as a family and yummy duck cooked by FB.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Holiday / holiday card in baum-kuchen way

I had a lot of fun creating the baum-kuchen holiday card this year!
I love using an opportunity like this to question the conventional way and come up with new (and our) ways of celebrating the occasion. Ultimately...  aligning the design outcome with the baum-kuchen philosophy...

So the goal for this holiday card was to create something that is "functional, emotionally durable and beautiful"... and won't be easily a throw-away like what would happen to many of these holiday cards from businesses.

FB and I brainstormed on few different possibilities but settled with the idea of "bookmark" that is also a place to capture a list of Inspirational Investment. If you know us well (either online/offline), you know how important the idea of "Inspirational Investment" is for us by now. We recently launched a map to help people visualize their inspirational investment ...and personally have a saving account named after this!

So the Inspirational Investment bookmark for 2012 as a holiday artifact to share... just seemed right!

Each letterpress bookmark has a number 1-12 and little dotted field for writing... along with a check-mark box on the right. I wanted to keep the design simple and open enough so people can come up with their unique ways of using the bookmark.

I started filling mine (from the middle instead of the top... just to avoid the pressure of figuring out what should be on the list #1) and loving it.

I also designed the envelope that is made by folded letter size brown paper... with texts/address printed on the back and front. If you have ordered item/s from our shop, you probably were able to see the familiarity in the way I package the order with the way I folded the envelope:)

Throughout the holiday season, I made conscious decisions not to fall in the urge of "selling more". People have asked me if I were going to do any email blasts on Black Friday or work with discount web platforms. Don't get me wrong... I love Fab personally but it's not for baum-kuchen. I need to always remember that I price items honestly and it's about putting love and care in each order and customer and sharing inspiration than selling more.

That's what makes us happy and that is baum-kuchen:)

We will be taking a mini break from from the shop from tonight till mid-Wednesday but will be back working on Thursday and Friday before I close the shop for the year.  (stay tuned for blog update with photos:)

I hope you have wonderful celebration. We are not a part of the religion but have crafted our own ways to celebrate the occasion... and it's all about being pleasant with our family and enjoying the wonder of life...



Friday, December 23, 2011

12:23:11 [8/365]

I am loving the slower days... more time with roo and FB.
I also got this sweet card from Erin and Courtney of Erin Hearts Court. Really love the details:)

12:22:11 [7/365] - at home celebration

ah... loved having a mini celebration at home with close friends... followed by a full recovery day.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

12:21:11 [6/365]

Sometimes it's nice to see our life from outside..., isn't it?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

12:20:11 [5/365] - holiday spirit

We are loving the holiday spirit... day and night!

Each morning we wake up and open the advent calendar which was sent by little roo's German grandmather with love. It has become such a nice morning ritual for us... Usually FB holds little roo up so she could reach the linen bag... then I cut the ribbon... We all look into the bag together and roo pulls little goodies out of the bag:)

Tonight we took our little roo to a mini drive after she took bath and all suited up in her pajama. She LOVES all the lighting decoration in the neighborhood... so it was a special treat.

Last year roo was little too small to know what was going on with all the holiday craziness and our life felt bit too chaotic to really immerse ourselves. So this year is really the first time that we are "experiencing" this special moments as a family... and it has been so sweet.

We are planning to maximize our next few days at home:)

12:19:11 [4/365]

charm of old hand me down toys from Europe...

Sunday, December 18, 2011

HELLO Christmas! We are almost ready:)

We are slowly winding down with 2011 now...
We have been postponing the tree decoration for a while but finally it is up:)

It is a humble tree (the smallest one we could find at a tree lot) and we have make-shift ornaments. Nothing sparkly... nothing commercial. I love how special it feels... especially with a little train that used to belong to FB's grandfather in Germany.

I looked up the definition of "tradition"...

the handing down of statements, beliefs, legends, customs, information, etc., from generation to generation, especially by word of mouth or by practice. (via

I think any marriage of two different cultures (which I believe... is "any" marriage) bring a new dimension to tradition. Because we are hybrid, our tradition becomes truly unique to us... and our roo is getting full exposure to how we do things. 

It surely feels very fuzzy and cozy to watch the mini train go by with our little roo in my arm. 

Christmas, we are slowly getting ready for you:)

12:18:11 [3/365]

Joy of giving...
having time and space to prepare something special for our family is such a luxury:)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

out to the world!

Where do I begin...?
It has been nearly 10 years ever since I fell in love with this school. I am honored to hold a degree from the school... and even more honored to be able to share my passion for design and design research as an instructor.

Graduation week is always very emotional time for me...
It brings back the memory from years ago when I graduated... but more so I feel for all the hard work which has been poured in for last 3+ years by our graduating students.

Now that I have taught at the school long enough that I am witnessing my *first* handful of students graduate and it's really hard not to feel like a mom who watches her kids take off. I also think of Norm... because I know he would be (and is) so proud of them.

Go get the world, guys:)
Whatever your future holds, I know you will thrive with your passion...

12:17:11 [2/365]

slower weekend... 

12:16:11 [1/365]

On my birthday... I thought of one project I want to challenge myself to tackle this year... the whole year.

I am calling this mini project as "one year of inspiration". The idea is pretty simple. One (or more) photograph that captures something that inspires me the day... sometimes with words... sometimes without words.

I am hoping that it will help me to keep my eyes opened for simple but beautiful things in life. I am hoping that it will push me to be more visually creative in photography.

So here it goes! 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

30+3 = :)

I had a very peaceful birthday today. A day filled with my little family. Spending some time on my own to reflect and be thankful for the last 32 years of my life. My friend Penelope stopping by with freshly baked brownie (thank you Penni:)

A few things I learned this year (and from previous years) that I would love to share with my little roo when she grows up...

Let's not rush living life
... instead let's keep our eyes and heart opened to what is in front of us.
Let's never fear passing time
... because we can make more out of every moment by living our lives passionately. 
Let's design our own path forward
... and always remember that both weakness and strength make us unique. 
Let's always give... more than take.

Let's enjoy learning new wisdom
... but let's never forget our innocence to be awed by simple things in life.

Let's treat everyday... as if it were our birthday and let's do the same for people we love:)

Thank you Frido for baking the midnight cake to build a special birthday shrine for me. You make me love, care and nurture life so much more... always + forever.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

...pool of light

Now... that the big markets are done, things are slowing down little bit around the shop. I am spending some time at home making things nice and sharing my day with little roo. 

I love having enough mental capacity to notice and appreciate something simple yet beautiful... right in our home. Yesterday we were playing in our bedroom and noticed the pool of lights that was reflecting on the white wall. Both roo and I were so awed by its magic.

Tomorrow I am turning 33... (magic three?) The idea and the excitement I used to have about the "birthday" has somehow drifted away ever since I became a mom. I guess we start to have a bigger priority as we grow up... so I am not quite sure how the day will turn out... My plan is to find special magic that present itself naturally... throughout the day... :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Recap on the BIG Market weekend!

Wow... I can't believe we pulled it off!!! Two consecutive pop-up shops on Saturday and Sunday! We are so exhausted... but really happy with the way it turned out!

Here is my quick recap!

Day 1: Remodelista Holiday Market at Big Daddy's Antiques
This was my first time participating a highly curated market. I have to tell you... I was really nervous and had a butterfly in my stomach since I had no idea what to expect about the very limited space we had to work with. We had 2 hours before the market opened to unload, carry-in all the boxes, coordinate the table and be ready for customers. When I realized that I had so many items for a small table real estate... I slightly panicked. But I breathed in/out few times, told myself to SIMPLIFY and just got to work. I think I barely made it to the opening time... but somehow I managed to put my apron on and wore my customer service hat on when customers started rolling in. Once the door opened, there was absolutely no break for the following 6+ hours and that was a pure blessing! The biggest hit was Midori's Travelers' Notebook! I quickly sold out all the Traveler's Notebook I had with me and had to ask FB to bring more! I really loved seeing my customers' face light up when they got the story behind the Traveler's Notebook.

I didn't really have a chance to browse and talk to my lovely neighboring vendors... but I overheard them talk and glanced their tables between helping my customers and here are some that I loved!

Small Trade Company: This carry-it-all bag he had looked amazing!

Foraged Flora by Louesa Roebuck: Louesa (who was absolutely sweet person to have as a table neighbor:) forages flowers, branches, beautiful natures to share with her customers. From what I overheard, she also styles for magazines such as Food & Wine to bring "seasons" to those photo shoot! Isn't the story intriguing?

Whim & Caprice: she was all the way across from my table but I really loved the way she was displaying her pillows and I felt really sweet vibe from her! Upon coming home, I looked up her shop on the web and fell in love with her simple/sophisticated aesthetics on linen wares!

IKO IKO: Speaking of the BEST AND SWEETEST adjacent neighbor to have... Krista from IKO IKO was so accommodating to us. She accommodated me to have an extra small table to fit overflowing items even though we had to share a tiny 1.5 square feet space between our tables as a result. I felt like her personality really spoke to the IKO IKO's collection!

Big Daddy's Antiques: They were our hosting venue and they have breath taking space... I think I have to revisit them just to admire all their collection in the warehouse!

Thank you so much REMODELISTA team for inviting us to be a part of the big event!

Day 2: Rose Bowl Flea Market
This is our 4th time participating the Rose Bowl Flea Market! I thought I would be absolutely exhausted from the day before... but I was really excited to wake up at 5am to get going! The 10x10+ space felt soooo big after squeezing everything on one table at REMODELISTA holiday market... such a luxury:)

Here we had enough elbow space to really showcase our brand new baum-kuchen Inspirational Investment Map! I love sharing the story behind this map and customers were really appreciating the quality of the print, design and the quality of frames! Every time a customer made a big decision to purchase one, I did a mini jump with an excitement then I had to explain that I was simply happy because this map was like a second baby to us.

The biggest hit at this market was the SIWA items! I have a feeling that lucky few people will be receiving them as holiday gifts:)

Also I saw a lot of returning customers at the market. I am so thankful for my customers who looked around for us since we have been continuously changing locations within the Flea Market! In 2012 (after our big trip), I am planning to find us a permanent booth space at the Rose Bowl Flea Market so we can continue to grow our relationship with our baum-kuchen community:)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...