Friday, March 29, 2013

Letting a bird fly...

Our little Roo is indeed growing up...
In past one month... she effortlessly graduated from her diaper routine (A HUGE HOORAY!! and we really didn't do anything. She kind of took a lead on this). She also transitioned from simple food to a table food just like how grown-ups would eat.

She is learning a lot from her friends and teachers at school and we are really celebrating the process... I am so glad that we did spend her first two years tight as a family. But now she is nearly three, she is so excited to learn new things from all kinds of different influences.

Here is her newest trick from school.

... at a dinner table. We are all sharing a bowl of soybeans.

Roo: "Guys! Who wants this soybean?? Raise your hand." while holding one soybean up in the air.
Me: "I do! I do!! I want the soybean".
Roo: "Okay. Talk about it!" (in her "teacher" voice)
Me: "huh?? talk about it??? about soybean??"- couldn't stop laughing. 
Me: "I want the soybean because it's good for my body".
Roo: "Good. Here is your soybean!".

We never mentioned "Talk about it!!" phrase at home so I know it came from her school. There are whole bunch of stuff like this that is starting to flow into our household and it has been fun to observe and understand.

A part of me... of course... wants to hold her back and keep her in our comfortable nest... but I know she has her own destiny and future that is truly hers... and our goal as parents is to raise an independent individual who can eventually make decisions by herself with confidence. As she grows more and more, I know our shared time will be less and less... but I promise to her and myself that we will always be there for her as an adviser, a counselor and always... as a papa and a mama who simply and unconditionally love her as who she is.

We love you, Roo:)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Meet our front yard!

We are really getting the warm spring breeze here (and some allergy to go with it). Our backyard is filled with jasmine fragrance...

I thought I would share a few snapshots from our front yard which has been overtaken by succulents. It has taken nearly last three years to get here (it used to be space filled with a dead grass with nothing inspiring...) and we are so thrilled that these desert loving plants are so beautiful and sculptural without needing much maintenance.

These days our family's favored weekend activity has been pulling weeds in our yard and caring for vegetable garden. Some things DO change over time:)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

We love being a facilitator of love letters and gifts!

Time to time..., we get a special request from our customer who is making an order as gifts! Just wanted to let you know that we LOVE the request and are always happy to accommodate:)

Our darling customer Annie recently asked me to send a Traveler's Notebook to her friend with a note... so we typed it out with our beloved vintage typewriter and send it along. I hope her friend had fun opening the package!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Hello 30th week...

As crazy as it feels..., I am entering the big 30 week milestone of pregnancy this week. Going from 20 to 30 feels like we are getting much closer.

It has been an interesting journey... the least to say.
I wish it was all happy and smiley here but between busy schedule with shop, watching/guiding Roo grow, and my not-so-coping-pregnancy hormones have brought a lot of ups and downs in last seven+ months so far... I know it's probably very normal for a lot of things to feel unusual during pregnancy. One thing I started to notice is perhaps my blood pressure (or blood sugar) is little irregular... my body sometimes shuts down so abruptly that I can't even spare my brain to want to explain what's going on to Frido but simply close the door behind me to drop to sleep. Then I wake up feeling just fine next morning... It's a really weird feeling. I am not sure if it's major enough to call up the doctor but it is certainly not the way I usually am.

Although the adventure of the second pregnancy has been rather rough, I am emotionally coming around the corner to embrace the transformation that is going on inside. I mean... how crazy is it that our body can create an entirely new person???

I am making a conscious effort to give myself a chance to slow down to take care of myself... and the baby. Maybe it will never be as much as I did during the first pregnancy (I was lifting weight, walking 4 miles/day, doing yoga and swimming and went on the camping trip to Joshua tree at 34 week??? How did I do all that??) but as much as I can right now... today with the given circumstances. It is such an amazing privilege to carry this responsibility and I do want every day of next two-three months to count as a positive inspiration for a new life...

Monday, March 25, 2013

Hello, fountain pen!

Some of you might have read on our Facebook page about my new found obsession of fountain pens... Now that I got my very first pens in my hand, I wanted to make sure that I take a moment to share some photos:)

My obsession all started from multiple conversations I had with our Baum-kuchen customers.  I've always been passionate about paper products... but never realize that there was a whole another "pen world" that was so deep and interesting... until I noticed that a lot of customers who purchased items like Traveler's Notebook were really interested in using these notebooks conjunction to their fountain pens.

Even though our business resides online, I write and draw a lot on papers (maybe it's my excuse to use some of my favorite paper products) so I knew adding fountain pens to my personal collection of stationery will be a nice step... and they make a great photo shoot prop for notebooks, right??

Based on some of the recommendation and feedback I received from my sweet customers, I headed out to local Kinokuniya to try out few pens. I really liked the idea that you have to feel the pen to see if it is the right fit for you! I did try all the pens they had and the time and effort was totally worth it. Since this was my very first pen, I was looking for something affordable, good design and quality... and of course I got Frido to try bunch and convinced that he also needed his own!

So below is what we came home with!
Mine is LAMY Safari White with fine nib... and his is OHTO Fine pen (comes with a medium nib). I think it's so funny that I picked a German pen and he picked a Japanese one.

I am over the moon with this pen:) Ever since I came home from the bookstore, I have been writing more than I ever did in a while. It has been inspiring to let the idea flow with the ink. Is it just me or my writing looks better somehow when I write with this pen??? My friend thought I was crazy that I am using my pen to make a to-do list but yes... I enjoy making my to-do list with the special pen... and doodle, journal and just write random things on my notebook.

So far I have been using my pen with MD Notebook (grid) as well as my Traveler's Notebook grid refill and LIFE Co. notebook (also recommended by my customer). It feels that LIFE Co. Notebook is actually the most smooth paper to write with... so now I am wondering if I need to add these notebooks to our shop?

I suppose my paper obsession... will never end.


Last seven days...

It was a chunky seven days we just had...

Our next-up original product slowly moving through the production line of design..., 
figuring out our brand card,
updating shop with new items,
hosting a very special memorial gathering for our friend, Norm (still can't believe it has been three years... Thursday was such a mixed feeling day. I kind of buried myself in work... until the time to prep for the party.),
then spent the weekend recovering from the week.

So my plan (or ambition) of walking little bit everyday... never went anywhere.  I really hope to regroup myself (physically and emotionally) little more for next two months... leading up to our big day.

Hopefully starting from today...  

p.s. if you are interested..., here is my Instagram feed with more photos!

see more photos after jump!

Friday, March 22, 2013

(literally) unplugging myself...

As we wrap up our busy March week, I want to share something I have been trying for past week or so.

Disabling my iPhone... from online stream.

It all started after reading this article about his distraction-free iPhone. The part where the writer Jake Knapp describes the way he used to open his iPhone whenever he got bored... sounded oddly familiar to me. Because our online business is 24/7 open, I have been giving myself emotional excuses to check my email, respond on Instagram photos, comment on Facebook whenever I had a second of spare time... like when I waited for traffic lights, pasta to cook, or Roo to sit on a toilet. (I know... it's terrible... but at least I usually stepped out of the bathroom so me+phone was out of Roo's sight.)

I was feeling more ADD than I really needed to operate my life and I sort of knew where it was coming from. So when I read his article, I told myself... "I work hard and it's okay to step away from business during my off-time". 

Today my iPhone has a blank main screen with phone, calendar, text and camera functions when I swipe it open. The second screen has email (though disabled unless emergency), clock and Instagram... then the third screen with few more utility based apps (picture, weather, safari, map).

I still take tons of iPhone photos and post some of them on my Instagram stream but I have been making a conscious effort "not" to browse the stream every time I post a pic. I save my Instagram browsing to a special treat moment when I stand on a line at a local post office. (I do this almost everyday... so I figured this will give me a healthy motivation to stand on a long line:)

It has been a nice change. Everything is available when I sit in front of my laptop to work anyways so I am pretty convinced that I haven't been really missing much information...

and I believe it takes looking inward and reflecting (or chasing after) my own thoughts to let new ideas, thoughts and projects to come alive... and more importantly be REALLY there when a little moment of happiness unveils itself.

Happy Friday!
I hope you have a lovely weekend...

pics from our recent visit to Altadena farmer's market - our favorite new picnic spot.

Ready to get creative? MIDORI Spiral Notebook!

I am so fortunate to be surrounded by so many friends who LOVE stationery! It's little bit like an obsession, isn't it? I have few friends who collect beautiful stationery (we talk about how we are going to display and be immersed in these stationery in our future life)... then I have other friends who get really hands on with them. I kind of like both and maybe that's why I have the Baum-kuchen shop. I do shop often at my own store if you haven't noticed:)

I seriously can't wait to break into these MIDORI Spiral notebooks I just added to the shop in the near future!

MIDORI Elephant Spiral Notebook comes with heavier weight papers in grey. Just like the name of the notebook suggests..., it is inspired by a graceful and sturdy elephant that travels the land slowly but steadily. I have a big plan for sampling this notebook... which is perfect for collaging and scrap booking.

MIDORI Camel Spiral Notebook... inspired by the textures and colors of dessert landscape. I always felt that the paper that was not pure white is easier to break in... (you know the fear of blank paper??) so this notebook will be perfect for letting the creativity loose and free.  Just have fun with it:)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Add colors to your spring!

Just in time for the first day of spring...
We added a whole new palette to Paper Twine collection by Paperphine! Photographing pretty things must be one of my favorite parts of the shop duties... I had a lot of fun getting lost in these colors and finding different ways of capturing their pretty.

I know it's still cold and wintery at many parts of the world (Frido just talked to his family in Germany and they told us that they are still very deep in the winter... and Susan!! You know I am thinking of you and your soon-to-be spring garden when I see these colors!)

I hope they will bring some brightness to your day and whimsical creativity to your imagination:)


new colors at shop:
Orange (sun flower!!)
Dusty Pink (think muted cherry blossom)
Pure Blue (I dream of Hawaii beach... when I see this color)
Grey Blue (gentleman's spring suits)
Dark Blue (when you look up the sky after sunset)
Dark Green (spring moss)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Little Tokyo & Art District exploration!

Since we skipped taking a break during the previous weekend..., we decided to treat ourselves to a special Sunday adventure yesterday! Roo has been diaper free (can you believe it???) for a few weeks so our bag has become smaller and lighter and it totally asked for a train ride to Little Tokyo in downtown!

continue to read more downtown adventure with premium coffee, Japanese book store, arts and a special pie place!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Good bye, plastic:)

We recently cleaned up our kitchen cabinet... and managed convinced to free ourselves from most of kid's plastic bowls and plates!

Since the cleanse, Roo has been using her ceramic Peter Rabbit plates (thank you Omi:) and a ceramic red cup at her mealtime!

The big thing for Roo now is her obsession of a folk and knife. She learned how to cut her food with a knife... and now can't get enough of slicing everything she has on her plate. Time to time I have been little concerned... that her fierce force of cutting might do some damage to those special plates.  Then I thought... how perfect the MINOTAKE bamboo plates could be for her! I wouldn't have to worry about her cutting (breaking) through the plates since they are durable and they are so easy to clean afterward. 

So now she uses her MINOTAKE small square plate and grown-ups complement hers with the large square ones! I am ecstatic... as you can imagine. Our tablescape is once again... plastic free yet kid's friendly:)

Here are some snapshots from our Sunday breakfast. We have been doing a lot of omelet lately especially with avocado. I just love how special it feels when I make an omelet for everyone.

Guten Appetit!

last seven days...

Hello, gloomy Monday.

This is how our last week and this past weekend looked like when I was not working... '

I can't tell you how happy I am to restart our special weekly playdate with our favorite twins (if you have twins or know someone with twins, you have to check out their twin apparel shop:). After taking a big month and half off due to our sick days... it felt so refreshing to see them play together. We spent most of the day out on the deck... kids running around the yard, watering the vegetable garden, picnicking with a blanket. Now Roo is nearly three and twins are three and half, they can play for hours without needing much help. I think nobody really had a meltdown for the entire day and that makes mamas very happy... if you know what I mean:)

Aside from my Tuesday off with Roo..., both Frido and I felt like we were working every available minutes of the week... so we took a breather with an ice cream at a local park... just two of us:) We did end up talking and brainstorming about Baum-kuchen (can you blame us?? we love our shop:) but it was such a fun treat. We love our local creamery Carmela so much. If you are nearby, I highly recommend trying them out for this summer.

Other highlights included..., attending a birthday party for Roo's friend (a total sensory overload for both parents and kids... but I know little ones all had fun time:), an adventure in little Tokyo and my first acquisition of a fountain pen - more to share on these topics!!

This week... I am looking forward to doing little more "good for my body (and a baby)" kind of stuff.  I have difficult time squeezing mid-day yoga in my schedule right now... but it will be so nice if I can at least take a walk for 30 minutes or so everyday. We will see!

Have a very lovely week:)

p.s. if you are interested..., here is my Instagram feed!

Friday, March 15, 2013

from the corner of my desk...

My girlfriend in Tokyo gave me a calendar with her Instagram photos... (I believe she used Artifact Uprising to print). I swear... if she and I lived in the same city, we will have some kind of flower business together. Looking at her flower photo throughout the February made me want to smell the flowers... so here they are.

It felt like these flowers came alive from the virtual world into the reality on my desk:)

have a lovely spring weekend!
(it sure feels like summer in Los Angeles already...)

last seven days... (last week)

oh... how nice it is we have more daylight during the day!
Transition from winter time to the spring time has been little exhausting but we are loving the deck time in early evening (with plenty of sunshine!!)

Last week was (hopefully) our last push for getting well. Last Monday..., when we thought all humans got healthy and happy, Shep got really sick in his stomach. It was so hard to watch him getting weaker and weaker by minute... we ended up taking him to an urgent animal care on Monday evening (and paid the priceless amount) so he could get through the night. Thankfully, he spent a night at the urgent care with IV and came home with little more energy next morning. Then we took him to our regular vet to evaluate his test results. We don't know exactly what happened. It could have been something he ingested by accident... But now after 10 days from the first incident he is back to normal and happy. A HUGE relief of sigh.

And there was this amazing feature of LIFE's Journey at Remodelista! We are anxiously waiting for new inventory to come... so we can meet the demand. It has been such a blessing to hear all the great feedback about this product Frido worked so hard on.

Midst of everything, we launched a new brand identity for Baum-kuchen. More to share on this topic... but the task of implementing the new identity has added a lot of little "to-dos" on my list and  it feels like I have not put down my laptop for a whole week.  

For now... it feels like we are coping with the anxiety of pre-baby phase by staying focused on our Baum-kuchen.  I know it's not necessary the best way to go at tackling the prenatal phase but it works for us... at least for now:)

I hope everyone has a lovely weekend coming up and I can't wait to share more from this week on upcoming Monday!!!


 more photos after jump!


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