Monday, October 31, 2011


I loved sharing the very special Halloween moments with our little roo... her first Halloween. Walking like a big girl with a pumpkin bucket (thank you Blair:), learning how to say "trick or treat", dancing with a crazy Halloween cat toy who kept playing same music over and over.

Thank you roo. You make my world so much more magical.


Sunday, October 30, 2011

glass half full...

Have you seen the movie SHREK 4? We just watched it on DVD last night. The message was plain simple. "Don't take what you have for granted... because you never know when you might lose it". And since SHREK himself was a newly dad whose triplets were turning just one... and his chaotic yet predictable days slightly reminded me of ours, I couldn't help myself question about how I deal with some of our difficult moments as newly parents.

Glass half empty... or glass half full...?

It's up to us to figure it out, right? So I especially enjoyed making special Sunday breakfast for us this morning after my morning hot yoga.

Just appreciating things for what it is including little one running around the breakfast table.

Friday, October 28, 2011

little time for myself and for the shop...

It's totally cliche but I love working from a coffee shop... it refills the need for a little time/space for myself as well as the need to be out to treat myself. I would also love to get pedicure... but that seems little too indulging especially when I have a lot of deadlines to meet and tasks I need want to accomplish. So the Thursday afternoons at a coffee shop, it is. I like listening to neighboring coffee drinkers talking about their lives (discretely... of course) and creating, writing and generating for baum-kuchen shop.

Aside from the solid 1.5 day,  I am taking any minutes I can get during roo's nap as well as her post-bedtime depending for shop related work. Our house can be little messy and I seem to not have a very good boundary between work/family... but it is what it is for now. I suppose I will never feel like I have enough time for something that is so centered on my passion... but someday I wouldn't mind getting a small studio/shop/office where I can focus on my work so I can actually go home to my family to do more homey things.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

mama+roo: afternoon at Huntington Library

We are always on our lookout for a family friendly place to hang out and I think we now found a new local venue! Huntington Library, 15 minutes from our home and 207 acres full of colorful vignette.

I think it's little expensive to go for one afternoon for $20/person... but definitely worth a year pass for two ($120) especially because we can bring our friends with us!

Now roo is walking (and she really dislikes being on a stroller for most time), this garden is perfect. We can practice walking (more like hiking) for a couple hours at a time without feeling too cautions about traffic... and there are so many little details to discover! Yesterday we roamed around exploring tropical garden, rose garden and children's garden. She walked most of the time except few occasions when I needed to pick her up with a sling.

Part of the reason why I am experimenting with more walking, occasional pick up with a sling and less dependency on a stroller or a Baby Bjorn is our upcoming travel through Southeast Asia. She is definitely getting too heavy for Baby Bjorn which we have been using since she was 2 months old.  Also Baby Bjorn gets little bulky for traveling when she is not in it. I am not sure what would be the best combination of equipments to have while on the road..., but the idea of just having a fabric sling to mobilize 1.5 year old sounds pretty nice especially when we have suitcases for 3 months!

By the way, while we were at the garden, she learned how to say "happa" which means "a leaf" in Japanese as well as "truck", "cup", "shep (our dog)" and "more". She is closely watching our mouth when we explain her a new word... It is absolutely fascinating to watch her learn new words. wow...

new {mt masking tapes} at baum-kuchen

In case you might not have noticed on our shop page... we have new colors/patterns for mt masking tapes!  I use these tapes for everything everyday... but I know they come especially handy during the holiday season. Wrapping gifts, using on the holiday card envelopes... or better yet, use these tapes to make a custom card!

I also really love using these tapes as a set! The color combination in each set is so unexpected. It really pushes me to experiment with colors/patterns.

Pink stripe set: okay... who wouldn't love the touch of gold and a punch of neon pink for the wintry season!

Peach set: This set reminds me of spring... maybe because of the fresh green with a peachy pink? New beginning? Fresh start?

Wamon set: If you are looking for a Japanese inspired modern design on your desktop, this will be perfect:) I love that these tapes have a combination of traditional and contemporary flair... I will be using these a lot for different type of New Year occasions! Maybe give our little roo her very first otoshidama in New Year?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

fine dining... with little one

Roo is a very dynamic girl who like being on her feet than sitting in her chair... so we haven't been really taking her out for outings that deal with sitting quietly in the restaurant.

Today we ventured out for a special occasion, my parents' 34th wedding anniversary! We were prepared with drawing kits, iPad, books, tea set, and everything imaginable that fit in my Message Bag (I use white "everything happens for a reason" bag:)

With so many family around her, roo was content for a very long time. She did not sit still (well... that's not a surprise) but was entertained by everything that was around her from cars driving by, boats, a dog on the street). I think we spent 3 hours at the restaurant and 1) nobody got hurt; 2) nothing broke; 3) we were all happy.

Afterward we took a little tour of Balboa island. I think we all felt somewhat adventurous and open to trying something different so we got on a little tiny ferris wheel... with roo and all!

all photos taken by my little sister who does photography "on the side" (though I think she should do something with her photography...).

Friday, October 21, 2011

Estate Sales... how would ours look like??

We ventured out to an Estate Sale for the first time this morning. We thought we arrived to the house  fairly early to be the first ones to spot interesting items... but there was a quite crowd in/around the house when we actually got there. (you know we have 1 year old...)

The house was nestled in the wealthy part of Hollywood... and we could tell that this person was somehow related to the entertainment industry. A room full of colorful neckties, tin toys, a working jukebox, a black dial-up phone, New Yorker magazines dated 1927...

I heard one person making a comment..., "wow... he must had been an interesting person... so many different interests intermingled in his life." That's when I realized that this person whose house now filled with strangers going through his stuff left this home or the world without taking any of these.  It was a very strange feeling.

It made me wonder how would our estate sale look like if we were to get in the circumstance of having one (either we're still present in this world or not... who knows...). We are constantly streamlining our belongings so hopefully we have a very small collection of amazing stuff that are ready to be passed on to someone else who can treasure them as much as we do...

I guess my point is... that the life is so short and we better surround ourselves with things that are truly meaningful to us... if you know what I mean...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Midori Traveler's Notebook {Traveler's Box and weekly/monthly calendar}

I am slowly expanding the range of our very popular collection, Midori Traveler's Notebook! This time I have added monthly and weekly calendars for Passport Size notebooks as well as very special Traveler's Box, a beautiful storage solution for Travelers' Notebook and accessories... handmade in Thailand!

What I really like about Midori's approach to these Traveler's Notebook is that they really designed an entire experience... it's not another pretty notebook or a replacement for Moleskine sketchbook.  I love it!

Almost all the Traveler's Notebook accessories/refills are restocked in the shop now! I am waiting for another shipment (coming any day now!) to restock brown leather covers, black pen holders, calendars for regular sizes and card holders. I will keep you posted once I have a complete inventory:)

Purchase Information:
Traveler's Box   Price: $38 
Monthly calendar (passport size)    Price: $9
Weekly calendar (passport size)   Price: $9

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

back to normal...

Right around now... my German in-laws are arriving at their home in Hamburg... I already miss them in a very quiet home and so as roo.

It was very special 12 days.

I took these photos yesterday as they were enjoying the last bit of LA sunshine with a cup of coffee and a piece of cake. I love that they are absolutely offline and spending time with them helped me to slow down... it felt little bit like a mini-vacation on our normal days. Somehow the time  seemed so expansive and never ending. A cup of coffee and a piece of cake followed by a book in the sun... sitting down in our backyard and playing with roo. 

I would love to keep a small piece of the special 12 days with me little longer:)

Friday, October 14, 2011

roo ♥ omi + opi

We are really enjoying the company of opi (grandpa) and omi (grandma) from Germany. Roo gave doubtful eyes when we were driving them home from LAX airport but the moment we arrived at our door, she absolutely welcomed them with her greatest smile!

Roo has been video chatting with them few times a month so she must have connected few dots and realized that she already knows them well:) It's amazing to see how much connection and bonding it is happening between them... and yes... it has been nice to have extra hands around the house (and around roo)!!

I am also learning a lot from observing how my parents-in-law interact with our roo. Seeing them teach roo how to wait in a place, to play with her toys... I do think it's nice to have a village to raise a child so that she can be exposed to different ways of living, learning and exploring life.

I have many more photos but here are some snapshots from our long vacation-like breakfast:)

I hope you have a fantastic weekend... and stay tuned for more roo photos with her omi + opi!

Thank you {Country Living} for featuring Brass Number Clip!

I got something special in the mail on Wednesday - the brand new issue of Country Living!

My heart jazzed when I first got an inquiry email from them for the product sample... to do a photo shoot of Midori BRASS Number Clip. I think I sent a few texts to my good friend and hubby... (because I hardly could hold the excitement to myself). I consider my shop as "boutique" and I am really happy with the size of its operation. It's plenty big to keep me busy but small enough to build very personal relationship with my customers. 

But now... thanks to the power of a social tagging tool like svpply and an inspiring blog like notcot,  little shop like ours can be discovered by big magazine labels:) 

I am really inspired by the way they incorporated the Brass Number Clip on their page with other stationary. The page has a bit of modern rustic aesthetic and that's a perfect place for baum-kuchen to land:)

Thank you Country Living!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pop-up shop {Rosebowl Flea Market} - lessons learned...

We've been having crazy heat wave here in Los Angeles. It's nice that it's warm... but sometimes it gets little too warm. I think my in-laws from Hamburg, Germany were totally fried by the extreme heat this afternoon.

Well... Last Sunday was no exception. I was hoping for a rather cool day to have our 3rd pop-up shop at Rose bowl Flea Market... but as soon as the sun came up, it became a very very hot day!

Last month we had our shop in front of the main gate at the Rose Bowl. We had a great stream of traffic throughout the day and an amazing result. (blog post here.) This round... I decided to try out something new and pop our baum-kuchen shop in the antique section to see if we have slower but more relaxed traffic through our booth. I guess I didn't do enough research about which aisle I was signing up for...

My sister Yuko and I started setting up the booth around 5:30am on Sunday morning and we were done and ready for customers by 8am... only to realize that there was no other booth around us except a lady selling second hand clothes from her mini van next door. Somehow both Yuko and I knew that we were facing an up-hill challenge. We were not only towards the very end of the antique area where traffic is little scarce...  but also in a middle of a very vacant aisle.

You know... I am a designer and I believe in the power of design and how it can change many things... so we stayed positive throughout the morning... adjusting the shop layout more than few times to see if we could catch more attention from people who were walking on the main aisle. Unfortunately... NOTHING worked! There were barely a handful of people who came in our aisle and maybe 3 groups of people whom we talked to... even though there were thousands of people who were in the market searching for something cool to take home with!

It was definitely bad... especially because we knew the potential of this market from last month... 

By 1pm, the heatwave became absolutely unbearable and Yuko and I made an executive decision to close the shop and head out for cold water and much needed food.

I was really disappointed. Mainly disappointed because of my lack of foresight in getting the "right spot"... sigh...

It took me a little while to recover from this experience but I am definitely going to try for another round of pop-up shop at Rose Bowl again! I am curious to see how different location works for our shop... and I am on the mission to find THE perfect spot! Next month, I got a little spot not too far from where we were but actually facing towards the main traffic. In the long run... We will see... I would love to understand not only what works but also the "why"... 

Stay tuned:)


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