Saturday, April 30, 2011

white wall + art work

framed Message Bag

We have been living in this new (old) house for little more than a year. Having a baby and being pretty conservative with our budget (after all we're German/Japanese couple...), home improvement has been a process of slow and steady.

Yesterday we hang few frames around the house... and voila! They make a pretty big difference. We love our white wall... as much as we love a very curated artworks on the wall:)  Being around the art/design school comes with a great incentive for finding raw talents! We love the new addition in little roo's room (by Jessie) and we are excited to be in the process of purchasing a few more art works from our very talented students.

Here is a snapshot of what went up on the wall yesterday. Framed Message Bag phrase designed by Jane and Dale of TWELVEZEROSEVEN!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

mini shop update from baum-kuchen


I am truly thankful for the buzz we have received from the Joanna's post on A CUP OF JO!

I am restocking all Traveler's Notebook items including the Traveler's Notebook in brown leather  which has sold out in less than two days! With this up-coming restock, I will be adding more accessories and various refill notebooks to make your adventures even more memorable.

Also I have finally made a contact to a distributor who can help me stock my favorite Japanese lifestyle magazine Come Home in my shop. The magazine is in Japanese but I think non-Japanese-reading customers will still LOVE their simple, humble yet inspiring aesthetics...

I own a few of their old issues and they were *by far* the favorite magazines for my mother-in-law in Germany while she was visiting us in the States. (which makes me think that it is promising)

It will be a busy summer coming up! Stay tuned:)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Loving the {Spice Station}

I felt like I had just discovered a hidden treasure when I found this cute spice shop in Silver Lake. Spice Station is LITERALLY right next to my favorite restaurant Forage but tucked behind the building.

If you are into cooking, you will LOVE this place. All sorts of spices in a jar... and a little tea sampling room next door. I think I will go back just to immerse myself into the great aroma from all these spices...

spice shop, silverlakespice shop, silverlakespice shop, silverlakespice shop, silverlakespice shop, silverlake

Monday, April 25, 2011

Baum-kuchen on the road!

We're heading out for a tropical adventure from tomorrow!

I have been really looking forward to this trip. It's our first "relaxing" vacation together as a family and we're sharing this experience with our friends & their twins! 

To make the trip affordable and convenient for a family with a baby, we decided to rent a beach house via Vacation Rentals By Owner website. We will see if our virtual dream and expectation will be met with the reality tomorrow afternoon!

I have a lot of thoughts/ideas which I have been dying to post for awhile... so I am going to prepare a few scheduled posts for the time I am away from my desk... I am also hoping that I can post a few pictures here and there from our vacation home so that I can share some island breeze and cocktail flavors:)

shop housekeeping information:
We will still be taking orders at the baum-kuchen shop while we're away. All orders taken during this week and next will be shipped on May 6th (Friday). Thank you so much for understanding:)

heading out!heading out!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Growth sprout!

I can't tell you how much our little roo has grown in last few weeks.

Talk about growth sprout!!

It all started on the day when I broght her to the local children's museum. I think seeing older kids play and do all sorts of trick really motivated her to push her comfort zone. I quickly decided to purchase a family membership at the museum so we can just stop by when we have a chunk of time and let her play.

These are a list of few tricks she JUST learned in a past week.
- free-stand while lifting her weight (aka toys)
- point at objects with her finger
- chit-chat in her roo-language all day long
- take regular nap twice a day (bliss...)

I also downloaded a few iPad apps for our up-coming air travel. Some alphabet app, interactive book and sign-along apps... We "user-tested" those apps this morning while we had our breakfast. She was so into it that she didn't want to let go of my iPad so I think we will be able to kill a part of our flight with these apps.

We're looking forward to spending a week with our favorite twins in Hawaii. (yes!! we are heading out for much needed vacation in a few days:) I know little roo will enjoy playing with them at the shallow beach. Who knows... maybe we will come back with an walking baby.

play date with rooplay date with rooplay date with rooplay date with roo... what?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Thank you!

I want to say BIG thank you to the great blog love. Sweet Joanna from A CUP OF JO mentioned our Traveler's Notebook in her weekly link post and we have had a great buzz around the shop.

I am thrilled to be making a trip to the post office with baum-kuchen packages tomorrow morning:)

Packing these items is such a happy moment to me. Not necessary because "I sold" something but because I feel very much like I am sharing great inspiration with an awesome group of people who believe in the same values.

Thank you so much for being a part of the baum-kuchen journey...
traveler's notebook

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

1st art for little roo

Jessie's artworkWe're so so excited to have this artwork displayed in little roo's room. It was custom-made by our friend Jessie... Little roo was born in the year of Tiger so Jessie used a tiger and our little roo as inspiration to create the piece. I love all the layered materials that are cut-out. It has a lot of depth and looks perfect in a shadow box.

These days... it's so hard to find an art work that is put together entirely in analogue format (instead of a printed digital illustration). I think it is such a precious piece. Looks great with decal stickers from IKEA, doesn't it? I love how it feels like the little tiger is floating with other animal friends with balloons in her hands.

Thank you so much Jessie!

p.s. Below is another pic of our little roo from last weekend. I can't get over how much facial expression she has these days. So grown up, isn't she?
roo with bread

Monday, April 18, 2011

Gift of {adventure}

future adventure mapmap of adventure
This was another gift we put together for my sister...

yes... a jar full of white push pins...
... and a framed "pinnable" world map!

This is how we phrased it when we gave it to her.
"This is your map of adventure. You create your own rule!"

We have the same map at our house.
Our rule? "Every trip we take together = a new white pin on the map". 

Life is great:)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

birthday party {IN STRIPE}

We had a lot of fun celebrating my sister Yuko's 30th birthday yesterday! It is one of the BIG milestone so we tried to make it extra special.

These days I am really digging the idea of "gift-able decoration" in order to stay eco-friendly while celebrating the occasion with style.

Colorful stripe mismatching socks instead of balloons (my sister loves socks... so it worked well with the theme:), HAPPY BIRTHDAY letters printed on postcards so we can send notes to friends/family afterward.

One of the bigger projects I had been working on was the {30 years of Yuko} - collecting and displaying one photo from each year of her life. It took a while to collect all 30 photos... searching them in multiple locations... but it was totally worth the effort. I really enjoyed going backward in time as a part of the process since it reminded me how awesome it was to grow up with her when we were young.

I wanted the photos to shine so I used white Photo Frame Card to  frame each photo and printed a number of the year on the other side of the card. It was a simple solution but worked really well... and seeing all 30 photos - each with a unique story to go with - was a big hit! Afterward Yuko told me that this was a gift that could only come from me... which made me feel very giggly.

Roo is very active these days so it was difficult for her to sit in one place for prolonged time... but she very much enjoyed the companies of families. (She ate bread for the first time and that seemed to keep her occupied for 15 minutes/piece...)

Happy birthday Yuko! 30 years of amazing life and more to come.

... because life does indeed start everyday:)
yuko birthday partyyuko birthday partyyuko birthday party 
yuko birthday partyyuko birthday partyyuko birthday partyyuko birthday party


Friday, April 15, 2011

love can be blind:)

Happy Friday everyone!

I was supposed to work on my shop today but FB needed some time on his own... so I said "all right roo, we're going for an adventure!".  It was a gorgeous day and since roo LOVES to interact with other kiddos these days, we were off to my favorite trail then to a local kids' museum!

Our living room has been looking pretty chaotic since I left all the mess I made to take photos of new products.

I am like one of those moms who think her kids are incredibly amazing...

I am like that with my roo but also with the little goodies I carry in my shop. I love picking them up, taking photos of them, writing about them... so even "the mess" looks pretty good to me:)

studio/living room

Thursday, April 14, 2011

In a year from today...

looking out...

365 day ago I wrote this post about dreams and goals which I wanted to accomplish during the following year. It was my way of making tangible goals (not those fluffy new year resolutions) come to life by stating them out loud!

It all started with this quote from Zen Habit.
"Stay agile and enjoy the benefits of living in a world that’s full of diverse possibilities by remaining curious and open to noticing the changes in the opportunities around you and your emotional responses to them."

In Japan we start a new school year in April... so keeping this yearly ritual feels very appropriate.

So what did I list last year and how did I do it?
  • Open THE online boutique store in full swing. The store will reflect our style of life and our love for simple, beautiful, emotionally durable and most importantly useful artifacts for life. - we have our little baum-kuchen shop now. fully running in my little online world:)
  • Consult on design/research related projects which jazz my heart - I have been very lucky to be so busy this past year... I guess having a baby really didn't slow me down on this part of my life... thanks to a very supportive husband FB.
  • Be a rock-star mom/wife who is there for the family - this one... i better ask my family for their annual review. 
... and what's ahead of me in next 365 days?
  • Take the baum-kuchen shop on the road! I am doing some research on local flea markets, farmer's markets... and other events that will allow us to create a physical version of the baum-kuchen shop.  I already have tons of ideas about how this pop-up shop should look and feel like... but right now I have to wear a business person's hat to make sure that I do this smartly... by presenting us at the right place/time.
  • Find ways to bring my teaching experience from Art Center, trend research knowledge I have gained from working for various companies and design process I constantly apply to my design and everyday life all together... maybe an e-course for micro biz?
  • I think I want to continue being a rock-star mom/wife... I will try to implement the annual review from my family to continue improving in this area of my life! 
Okay! Now I said it and it's time to blaze the trail!

p.s. last year around this time... we moved from our shack in the canyon lounge to our new (old) house (which we love so much!), I was 8 month pregnant, and thinking about life (as always)


    Wednesday, April 13, 2011

    {currently in love with...}

    I know some people are starting to say "blogging is old..." but I still LOVE creating a little space in my blog and also being inspired by all the other bloggers/writers/photographers out there.

    So I thought sharing few of my favorite blogs each month would be a nice way to contribute to the community... So here are my first collection for the month of April! I will keep these links on my side bar as ever evolving "currently in love with..." blogroll!

    1. sweetfineday
    Naturally I am a huge fan of other mom/designer bloggers who are sharing their daily stories about their lives and businesses. sweetfineday by Jenna has landed on my feed box few months ago and I am absolutely in love with her and her two daughters (in non-creepy way... of course). I always find her writings and photos captivating... When I read her post, I am reminded that the authenticity and honesty can make a big difference in the world.

    Oh! and let's not forget that her husband Mark bakes handmade sweets. What's not to love, right?
    ** all photos from sweetfineday

    We were so lucky to have had a photo session with Max in 2009. Have you seen his photos??? I mean... they are absolutely beautiful, aren't they? Of course I love seeing his photos on his official blog but I enjoy checking out his behind the scenes on this OHMYLEFTOVERS.

    Max's photos are editorial, atmospheric and almost surreal... but he and his lovely wife are so real in person... and I think that's what makes his photos special. 
    ** all photos from OHMYLEFTOVERS

    Tuesday, April 12, 2011

    Brunch in downtown {Bottega Louie}

    These photos were almost buried underneath everything else on my laptop! I am so glad I found them again.

    Few weeks ago I did a brunch with my girlfriend at Bottega Louie in downtown LA. I love love love their bright space filled with natural light (and this was a rainy day!!). It is in one of the older buildings in downtown so they kept ornate details on the ceilings but painted everything in white. In a very small scale, that is what we did with our house too... mixing old with new.

    They had a nice list of brunch menu. When I was driving to the restaurant, I told myself that I would order something "healthy" but well... you see what I ended up with. I have to say that their lemon ricotta pancake was to die for:)

    p.s. don't expect to leave the restaurant without carrying some desserts for "later" (aka. immediately after I get home).
    Bottega Louie, downtown LABottega Louie, downtown LABottega Louie, downtown LABottega Louie, downtown LA

    Monday, April 11, 2011


    It's not unusual for me to have out-of-ordinary working hours here...

    Like today, I was teaching at school from 8am-12pm, went out for a long lunch with my co-teacher, hubby+roo, then came home to do some consulting work... then continued working on the shop and few other things. When I looked up to see what time it was, it was 9pm and was time to eat some dinner.

    When I added all my working hours for today, it came out to be roughly 10 hours. I often work 5-6 hours after little roo's bed time too. Mostly those hours are saved for my shop updates... which I love.

    I do feel lucky and fortunate to have current situation. Even though I am buried in the work, I can still hear little roo giggling with her papa in the other room and take 15 minutes break from my laptop to have tea with my favorite duo or watch her take bath. I really think these moments fuel my energy and give meaning to my day - long hours and all...

    Thanks roo for making my day special... everyday.
    at home...

    Sunday, April 10, 2011

    simply put...

    blue sky
    It was a good day.
    Flea market, outdoor birthday party, blue sky, old friends, homemade pasta...

    Everything felt right and in place... and I am simply enjoying the moment as is.

    Saturday, April 9, 2011

    Traveler's Notebook is here!

    I am so thrilled to introduce my favorite product from Japan.

    Traveler's Notebook by Midori!

    It is a refillable notebook with a leather cover, handmade in Thailand.

    Even when we carry our iPhone, iPad, laptop and all the other high-tech digital devices to everywhere we go, the act of capturing our thoughts and imagination with a pen/paper as our ideas flow out of our mind never gets old. Actually the hyper-digital world makes it even more relevant to practice our analogue art.

    Just as its name suggests, Traveler's Notebook was created to inspire travelers all around the world... I love to believe that we are all travelers. Travelers of life.

    Take this notebook with you to a cafe at your travel destination and jot down your thoughts. Capture your daily inspiration while you enjoy your great journey at home. The vegetable tanned leather cover gets softer and more beautiful as it ages. (See the last photo to compare a brand new Traveler's Notebook on the left with the one that has been worn in for over two years.)

    It will make a great companion for your life!

    You can read more about the Traveler's Notebook on our website or browse the shop to see the whole collection including its refillable notebooks and accessories.


    Purchase Information:
    Price: $56.58 (leather cover)
    Availability: shop
    Traveler's NotebookTraveler's Notebook

    Traveler's Notebook Traveler's NotebookTraveler's NotebookTraveler's NotebookTraveler's NotebookTraveler's NotebookTraveler's NotebookTraveler's Notebook
    Traveler's Notebook


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