Friday, August 30, 2013

Last week...

Last week was full! Now we got the key to the new shop space (at least a part of it...), we were on for a big move. Multiple trips to Ikea for white boxes, packing and looking for additional furniture to fill up the space... along with epic play dates and our 6th anniversary....

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

the background story of Open-ended Love Letter

We are really thrilled to share Open-ended Love Letter, our newest addition to the Baum-kuchen collection.

The Baum-kuchen products usually is born from our experience of needing something and not being able to find the perfect option in the current market. That's how our LIFE's Journey Measuring Stick came to life... and so as the Open-ended Love Letter.

When we welcomed our baby Coco three months ago (already!!!???), we have received so many lovely gifts from our friends and we wanted to make sure that we send thank you cards. When time came to look for thank you cards..., we asked ourselves a question... "what is the perfect thank you card?"

We love love love sending and receiving cards and letters in mail. The entire experience of finding a little envelope in the mail box from someone special, opening it carefully, reading it over and over and having it displayed on the desk, refrigerator and/or on an inspirational wall is so priceless... then the inevitable question of "what do I do with the card afterward?" comes up.

and that's when we stumbled upon the idea of chalkboard card. We love that what is written/drawn on a chalkboard is impermanent by its nature... making subtle suggestion that the message is not meant to be kept forever but cherished at the moment. And who wouldn't love receiving a card with chalk written message??? It's an instant smile maker:)

We sent these cards to our friends and we never received so many "thank you" gestures for thank you cards before...

I hope you enjoy it too!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Baum-kuchen studio/shop... coming soon!

THIS... is going to be one of the biggest and most monumental blog post we have ever had here about Baum-kuchen.


I am so beyond excited to share that we are opening the very first Baum-kuchen studio/shop!!

We are growing slowly but surely and opening a physical space always has been something we wanted to tackle someday in the future.

Frido and I were talking... perhaps 2014... in a year from now... after we feel more settled as a family of four...

So I thought it would be smart to do some research about leasing property in the east side of LA. before we really start looking. I called bunch of different commercial lease properties and quickly learned that an affordable commercial space that has little bit of a character to work with is hard to come by... THEN I stumbled upon this very special place.

When I read the description on the advertisement, I felt a gut feeling that it is something I had to see right away. Our friend Angie (who happened to be visiting us on the day), Roo and I made a spontaneous visit to the place, looked at it... and I knew that it was just meant to be. I have to tell you that I jumped and screamed when we got the news that they picked us to lease the space. The last time I felt this way was when I got an acceptance letter from Art Center!! (Has it bee more than 10 years??)

So here we are... one week later... planning our grand opening!

Our tiny and humble studio/shop will be located in Glassell Park (near the intersection of 5 and 2 fwy) and will be a part of a complex that houses art work studios. So far Frido and I have been brainstorming creative ways to translate our Baum-kuchen feelings into the real world, I am packing our office so we can get ready for the move and we just received the key to the space!

We will be soft-opening the space in September so please stay tuned for more updates!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Last week...

It was last week of the semester for Frido... which meant extra busy days for me at home but we managed to squeeze some fun time with our friend Angie (and chat about life at a cafe!) and a big visit to the Art Center grad show with our girls. "Design, critique, craftsmanship, presentations, etc. etc." are all part of our everyday vocabulary and I am glad that they have a chance to be exposed to the creative world.

We also launched our Open-ended Love Letter! We used them as our "thank you" card to friends and families who helped us welcome Coco to the world... and we never received so many "thank you" for the thank you cards before... so we think it has a good promise! I am looking forward to sharing more about the card in another blog post:)

Aside from a product launch and daily operation, we are making some big decisions for Baum-kuchen... so I am doing my very best to keep my emotion in check (thank you Susan! It helped a lot to chat with you yesterday:) and stay focused to what's important.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Because we don't get a second chance in life...

"I have done everything I wanted to do and I needed to do in my life..."

How many of us can say this every night as we go to sleep?  When I woke up to help Coco on early Wednesday morning, I saw an unusual text from my sister... which turned out to be a very sad news about my old friend's younger brother passing. He happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time... (you can read about the news here)

My heart goes to his very sweet family...

This heartbreaking news once again reminded me that we don't get a second chance in our life... and all we can do is to live today... make a conscious decision about how we want to spend our life... and stay focused and present.

We only have one life and it's not up to us to decide when it begins and ends...

Monday, August 19, 2013


Today is just under three months since Coco's birth.

It finally feels as if I am finding a way back to myself again. Coco and I have been almost like "one" for last 11 weeks. We have spent most of our day and night together. I am happy when I am with her... and I can see her eyes filled with sparkles when she is with me too. Last 11 weeks also have been very consuming both emotionally and physically... constantly feeding, rocking, changing diapers and doing laundry for Coco. But now she is 11 weeks... I can sense the big change in her. Her schedule is becoming more regulated (she is almost sleeping through the night... crazy!) and she is becoming more and more like a baby instead of a newborn.

... and her changes are helping me to step outside of comfort of the mama shield. I got my hair cut little more than a week ago and doing more small outings just with Roo. Today I stepped out for the first time to take a yoga class. It was such a rejuvenating hour and half. To focus on my own body... that is just me. I did yoga during my pregnancy but now I know how different it feels to simply carry my own body... lighter and more open for challenges.

Everyday something changes and I am glad that I noticed this change tonight.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The flavor of summer

Earlier this year, Frido built a lot of beds for vegetable in our backyard. Just like anything... our vegetable garden has been try and error. We call the process "dynamic prototyping":)

To our surprise..., a lot of vegetables did not survive the first few months and never got much bigger than three inches... but one thing that really thrived is our German heirloom tomatoes! I suppose it is one of the easiest vegetables to grow for vegetable newbies.

For last few months, we have been enjoying all kinds of heirloom tomatoes and it has been amazing. The flavor these tomatoes have is undeniably better than the ones we get from our grocery store. It's like re-discovering what "real flavor" tastes like. I especially LOVE it when we pick our tomatoes in late afternoon and they go straight to our dining table. The tomatoes are still warm from all the sun they have been bathed in. I think this is how it feels like to taste California sunshine.

I am pretty sure you have see many tomato salad I am eating this summer via Instagram feed! I highly recommend it... with Burrata cheese... of course.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Last week

Last week felt like a transitional week... Coco is showing so much growth and it feels that she is gaining little bit of independence from me... which made me realize that it's also time to start taking care of myself little by little. I got much needed hair cut... and had time to see some friends throughout the week (with Coco... of course).

I feel like I am also doing a lot of outings with Roo on her home days. I used to prefer running errands by myself before Coco was born... but suppose it's all relative. It's so much easier to take Roo with me than Coco... so the current dynamics make me want to take Roo everywhere!

Frido and I are also working very hard to launch a new product right now... It's a little stationery which all started with a question of "what if...?" Hopefully in a week or so!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

This past week...

Last week started really well with a surprise visit from my parents... but got more and more challenging as days went by. Everyone in the household including Coco coughing. For a few days poor little baby couldn't settle to sleep on her own so Frido and I carried her in our arms most of our awakening hours. I ended up taking her to a doctor on Friday just to make sure she will be okay going into the weekend.

We took the weekend very easy... mostly at home by ourselves and I think that did a trick. I am so relieved that everyone is onward recovering and back to more so normal...

By the way, Roo got her first hair cut. We liked her long hair but constant battle to dry and brush had become too much to add to the morning and evening routines... and I couldn't tolerate sending her off to school with more bird nests in her head. Her new hairdo is the best thing happened to our family!

Hoping that our health will get back to 100% this week and we will be able to see a few friends throughout the week.

Monday, August 5, 2013

My analogue system as of today

After seeing the last Baum-kuchen love letter, my friend asked me what my "paper system" looks like. So I thought it is only fair that I share my current analogue system to manage my schedule, to-do lists, idea capturing... and journaling!

Here is the list of all my notebooks.
I know... I use a lot of notebooks. It's hard for me to carry a big notebook with everything in it so I ended up delegating different tasks among multiple notebooks.

Below is the breakdown and more photos of each system!

MIDORI MD Notebook (A4 size / grid) with a leather cover
My friend thought it was bit indulging to use such a nice notebook for capturing to-do lists... but I am totally for it! Now our business is slowly growing, I feel it's so important to keep track of everything we do here at Baum-kuchen... and capturing ever growing to-do lists and crossing off what has been completed feels like a pretty good way to leave a trace. And a nice notebook makes me want to come back to the list over and over... making the system very sticky:)

I also love the large size format... because I have a lot of to-dos to capture.

LIFE Notebook (A5 / line) for journaling
I am starting to journal more and more on papers these days. My journal is messy and probably will make no sense when/if I read back but I am kind of okay with it. I think that might be how human brain operates. I have noticed that if I write, ideas and thoughts become clearer in my head. I've been using LIFE Notebook for last few months and I love it. The name of the notebook seems fitting... and I like how the paper works with my LAMY Fountain Pen.

Regular size Traveler's Notebook (Brown)
I have been using this regular size Traveler's Notebook for nearly five years. (it's pretty worn in by now...) The way I use the notebook has changed over time... but lately it has become a dedicated idea capturing location for all things Baum-kuchen related.

In my Card Holder, I keep some of the MIDORI Label Stickers as well as the card size MIDORI Double Sided Tapes so I can collage inspiration that I might come across. Because I brainstorm on multiple projects simultaneously, I go back and fourth between pages. In order to manage different projects, I am using a Brass Alphabet Bookmark as well as Brass Index Clips to tab on important pages. I have attached Large Pocket Sticker on the backside of the leather cover to keep loose items such as postcards and business cards.

Of course... I am using "everything happens for a reason" charm to keep things in perspective.

Since I have little ones, I have to share my bag space with kids' related stuff... so I downsized my "portable" Traveler's Notebook from the regular size to the passport size few years ago. Since then... I have found that the passport size Traveler's Notebook is perfect as an everyday wallet/calendar.  I use a Kraft File to keep receipt and loose items, Zipper Case (which also has card holders) to hold cash and cards, and a Monthly Calendar as my agenda book. My life is relatively simple right now... but if I get more meetings to coordinate in the future, I will probably need a bigger calendar to manage my time. But for now... I am happy that all my schedule fits in the tiny real estate.

I also carry a Pen Holder (M) and a Brass Ballpoint Pen with this notebook so I have at least one pen with me at all times.


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