Wednesday, October 31, 2012

As a parent...

Every time our Roo has an emotional meltdown at home, I ask her to work on calming down her cry because it is really hard on my ears and head... but I also tell her that I will hold her in my lap as long as she needs me to. Usually all she needs to hear is that I will be there for her until she is ready... and within a minute or so, she tells me, "I am ready!!" and off she goes on her own again.

I am taken by how much she has grown in last few months... but feeling her small body in my arm also reminds me how little and fragile she still is... and how much we ask of her.

Today I came across this beautiful poem at the littlest blog...
my hands are small. i don't mean to spill my milk.
my legs are short –– please slow down so i can keep up.

please look at me when i talk to you. it lets me know you are really listening.

remember, i am a child, not a small adult. sometimes i don't understand what you are saying. 

i love you so much. please love me for just being myself, not just for the things i can do. 

- author unknown
It's not always easy to be a parent... but then... if there is one "work" we devote our entire life to..., I would always 120% choose to be a parent. I am thankful for our Roo to teach me that... everyday.

p.s. congratulations to Elizabeth and her family of the littlest... for the beginning of an amazing journey as a family of four:)


Monday, October 29, 2012

Summer never ends!! Palm Springs.

Mid-last week... I had a moment of panic...
As the LA weather was starting to cool off, I realized that we didn't do a lot of "summery" things this year. We traveled a lot and we were very busy... but there are very few moments I could remember that three of us simply immersed ourselves in the joy of summer.

So I was on a mission. I wanted to swim in a pool... My body temperature tends to run cold (aka. I am always freezing... when everyone else is totally warm) so I needed a pool under a sunny weather with warm water... Then I realized that Southern California would have one more hot weekend with 80/90's temperature... 

So we made a spontaneous reservation at ACE Hotel in Palm Springs..., packed our bathing suits and our dog Shep... then drove away for two hours!

It was really the best weekend! Roo was finally old enough to really play in the pool with us... She learned how to kick and float on her own with the help of a training vest! Three of us splashing, swimming and jumping in the water. The few hours in the pool could not have been any better...

We also splurged a little and got a room with a patio and a fire place. We chilled, ate breakfast and spent in-between time in the patio and it was priceless. From all the recent trips, we learned that it's worth it to have just a little extra space when we are traveling with our little one. It makes the take-out food so much more cozy... and makes it easy to let the time flow while we're away.

Of course... I wished that the weekend lasted little longer... but it was just so perfect. Now I have a little special place in my memory to go back to when things do get little chilly out here.

p.s. The ACE Hotel was fun and it was really great that the place was dog friendly. Also pool was pretty great for kids; though, it felt so funny to be surrounded by so many cool and hip people. The only disappointment was that the service felt inconsistent and a wedding party that was held right next to our room went on for quite a while in the evening. When we visit Palm Springs next time, we would probably look into renting a house with a pool for two nights or look for another hotel to check in.  

So much growth...

She must be one of my favorite subject matter to photograph...

This was a special occasion. Her omi sent this beautiful dress from Germany... and she finally had a chance (and her willingness) to put it on.

I mean... look at those hand painted buttons!!! Cute, right??

She has shown so much growth in last few weeks. We now say good-bye at school with no tears (establishing a special good-bye ritual and talking about it before we go into the school has helped us a lot) and she amazes me by expressing herself in full sentences (and often in correct grammars.)

These days she relocates herself from her bed to ours nightly... and I am happy to wake up next to her every morning as she gives me the happiest smile when she opens her eyes.

Pretty special time...

Friday, October 26, 2012

Watermelon and a pinch of salt

I know we are slowly saying good-bye to summer... but organic watermelon still tastes amazing under mid-afternoon warm sun. Especially with a pinch of oh so tasty salt.

This is all I want to eat these days...

By the way, one more weekend with high temperature is coming to Los Angeles and we are planning to live it up! I hope you have a lovely weekend:)

Thursday, October 25, 2012


So I've been thinking lately... how my blog is changing and so am I. I am in this phase that makes me feel like I am in the very vague transition process.

I started thinking about this when I realized that I am taking much less photos recently and started wondering... "What's going on?? Am I not as inspired as before??"

Partially... I think I have been swallowed by Instagram and posting there made me feel like I have been already updating what's happening... and coming back to the blog to write more felt repetitive. Other reason is... that I've been going to bed with Roo at 8:30pm every night for last few weeks and I simply have not had my usual evening hours to blog anymore.

So I might take a break from Instagram. As much as it's a great app and a lot of the photos look really cool with their filter, I just don't feel like they are mine as much as the ones I take with my own camera and adjust images on my own. Also I am thinking of carving out daytime hours for regular posting and writing. I do have A LOT to share... and I do think I need to make the idea of "sharing inspiration from everyday" as one of my priority as I move forward.

Reflecting back, I always reinvented myself every two years or so. It just the way I have been... and I think I am kind of ready for a change. The only difference is that during my previous transition phases, I knew where I was going. This time... I have no clue.

I guess I will just have to let it be and let whatever is waiting for me to come to me. Meanwhile, stay tuned for more blog updates in/around the house

p.s. no worries! I am not leaving Baum-Kuchen shop!! That is here to stay:)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Currently working on...

We are warming up a few in-house design projects and I am working on this one.
Well... mock-up is not quite there yet to share but it will have ears and a tail and will be made of one-of-the-kind materials.

Jar of... sand from our adventures

Today... as I was taking photos of this mt masking tape, I was reminded how much I love our collection of sand in jars... all from different travels.

We are not a huge "purchased" souvenir fans and we are always trying to figure out how to take a piece of memory from our trip to our life in Los Angeles. So we started collecting sands. We will bring a handful of sand in a small found container... then transfer it to a glass jar with a special tag when we get home.

How do you bring your memory home??

Thursday, October 18, 2012

On the side...

Since the sewing machine has been out..., I have been using that as an excuse to make a few little things for our Roo.

So far..., a canvas tote bag (that is her size... which is hard to find) and her Halloween costume. I love that she uses her tote bag to collect her treasures:)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Baum-Kuchen hearts Simply Grove!

One more shop update!

I've always felt so lucky to have this shop business when we have a lot of opportunities to engage and connect with people all over the world... via our online community!! (can you imagine having an online shop 15 years ago???)

Thankfully most of our shop traffic so far have come from the word of (online) mouth through other wonderful bloggers!  Recently I've been exploring different ways to reach out and started sponsoring blog sites in exchange of a small advertisement space.  We were super honored to be asked by Amy Tangerine to sponsor her wonderful blog full of creative DIY ideas throughout the summer!

Now I am happy to announce that we will be sharing the love with Simply Grove throughout the holiday seasons! I love her European-inspired clean modern aesthetics... full of white, grey and natural tones infused with a splash of bright colors and I am really looking forward to seeing her upcoming posts that sure will be full of inspiration for holidays. I hope you get a glimpse of her world too:)

Thank you Kirsten for this wonderful opportunity!!

Currently designed at Baum-Kuchen!

One of the things FB and I have come to conclude as one of this year's learning is... that we need to create more!

I love sharing great designs from all over the world and get inspired by the process... but we are definitely "creators" in heart and have this burning desire to be making something meaningful and sharing them with people. Designing the Inspirational Investment Map (which is coming back soon by popular demand... just in time for holiday seasons) was definitely a huge step for us and we're ready to take more:)

So here are some photos of what is cooking in our shop right now. To get this item finished there will be a bit of coordination between a maker in Germany and our studio in LA... so we will see how our adventure develops! I am excited that I have my sewing machine out to make a part of mock-ups.

Nothing like designing.

Happy Monday:)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Mountain retreat in the city: Trails Cafe

This might be our new favorite spot in Los Angeles!

Trails Cafe is only 20 minutes from our home in Pasadena... and it brings you right into the woods. The cafe style order/pick-up station, a small but delicious menu, outdoor picnic tables, books and toys kids can borrow while we're there and lots of spaces for them to run around!

The cafe is reachable by car but it's right along the hiking trail which lead to Griffith Observatory and a small park for children. It has everything a family can ask for... on Saturday morning.

It feels like we're right in the nature... even though we're only a drive away from the city. We loved it:)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Quiet morning...

Ever since Roo started her school, I am enjoying the quiet morning after the drop-off. I have always worked from home for last 3 years or so... but it has never been this quiet.

p.s. we have been using Peg and Awl Chalk Tablet for our shopping list!  We absolutely adore it:)

Keeping the keepsake with MIDORI Bee Notebook

One more project post to share with you:)

I was pretty thrilled when MIDORI came up with a new Bee Spiratl Notebook last year. It's like their Kraft Envelope with Window meets a spiral binding!!

I instantly knew that this will be so perfect to collect little goodies that come from our family in Germany. The other day, Roo received a letter from her omi + opi with a pressed four leaf clover! That's special, right??

I love that I can write a little memo directly on the envelope.  I know there will be a time in the future that Roo will be able to look at this and appreciate the letter...

Until then... it's safe and secure in this special notebook:)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Traveling time with MIDORI Kangaroo Notebook

Seeing how Vané of Brookly Bride is using her MIDORI Kangaroo Notebook and Bee Notebook made me want to travel more... Since we have no further travel scheduled for 2012 and 2013, I figured I can enjoy my "travel" by revisiting some goodies I collected from last few trips.

I am working on two MIDORI Kangaroo Notebook. I am using the horizontal one to create an adventure journal for our little Roo and the vertical one to collect inspiration for myself.

While we were visiting Hamburg, she had a chance to visit a zoo with her opi and papa. When she came back from the zoo, she was really excited and told me all about animals she just saw... pointing at the illustrated zoo map.  I am hoping in a few years... she will be able to add more memories by herself. 

And here is how I am using the vertical MIDORI Kangaroo Notebook to collect odds and ends of analogue inspiration. I know we have Pinterest and other digital tools to keep a personal creative collage... but it's just not the same as having something physical we can touch and play with, isn't it??  I tend to collect more things when I am traveling... so the book is becoming 1/2 inspiration, 1/2 travel reflection. I love the process of editing and reframing the things I have collected. I tend to make a page based on the visual interest... seeing some kind of relationship between one artifact to another. Even though it feels little random right now, I know when I look back the notebook, serendipity of the random collection will bring some new thoughts to our design.

Oh how much I love paper products...

Monday, October 8, 2012

Sending memories

When we started carrying MIDORI Kraft Envelope with Window, I knew that they would make great excuses to send more snail mail to our friends and families. So when I saw this online service that prints Instagram photos in a Polaroid-like format, I knew that I had to put them together!

So I printed bunch of images in MINI Squares from my Instagram collection... especially the ones from our visit to Susan in Michigan (feels like such a long time ago!!), and put them in the envelope! It was kind of neat that Printsagram let me print both my photos and Susan's photos so there were plenty to choose from! I love how these pictures looked like little jewels in the envelope:)

I used one of MIDORI's Label Sticker in Cream to write the destination address and used it to seal the envelope... and my favorite mt Masking Tape on both sides of the envelope to extra secure the opening!

It was so simple and easy but hopefully with a great surprise to Susan:)

Now that the air is getting little chillier (even in Los Angeles... with crazy heat wave this year), I am looking forward to playing with materials and making more projects... to make it nice in and around home.

Please stay tuned:)


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