Friday, May 30, 2014

Long summer afternoon

I took a few photos via Instagram this week that made me pause to appreciate the long stretch of summer afternoon. Light was gorgeous... kids were free to play and air felt light.

Monday, May 26, 2014

New VERY functional items for Traveler's Notebook!

Each year... MIDORI Traveler's Notebook seems to out-do themselves. Bringing more to the table. I love the newest update to their collection for their eagerness to listen closely to the community's wishes and needs and making it happen.

TN022: Traveler's Notebook Sticky Notes
I am pretty sure that we all put a stack of blank store-bought sticky notes on our Traveler's Notebook because where there is Traveler's Notebook..., there is life. And where our life is... the need for sticky notes to catch all the passing thoughts and ideas. This set of 8 different sticky notes which seamlessly integrates into the Traveler's Notebook system is great for making a to-do list, shopping list, tagging a favorite page from your Traveler's Notebook, writing a memo...

TN023: Traveler's Notebook Film Pocket Sticker
We have always loved MIDORI Film Pocket Sticker... but they made it so that sheets of film pocket perfectly nest in the Traveler's Notebook. Now everything can be kept in one place! I also love their "stickiness" improvement. Since the adhesive is applied to all around the film pocket, the pocket really stays on the page once it's placed assuring that you won't lose an important business card, a special picture or a precious artifact you might put inside. Each package comes with 18 pockets total (3 pockets on each sheet).

TN012: Traveler's Notebook Sticky Notes for Passport Size
Same concept as TN022... but these sticky notes are specially designed for Passport Size notebook making your Passport size Traveler's Notebook more functional in life!

Roll Stickers:
And we have few new Roll Stickers: Matchbox, Ticket and Milk Cap - all inspired by vintage look and feel of analogue artifacts which used to exist all around our life.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Nomado cafe on the island

Cafe culture in Japan is so fun to explore... the island cafes were not exceptions! We did not have a chance to visit our favorite Issou Coffee on the other side of the island this time... but we frequented Nomado Cafe which was really close to our home. They had a nice indoor seating area... but I think we loved sitting on their deck much more without worrying about all kinds of noises little ones make. Oh and their postcards selection... I sent more postcards from this cafe than anywhere else while we were on the island!

I loved the idea that when there was an in-between time in mid-afternoon..., to be able to say "hey, let's sit at the cafe and have some cake, coffee and little conversation...". I really miss the part of our rituals being back at home.

Maybe tomorrow that's what we should do!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Almost one... and almost four.

Both of our little ones' birthdays are in June... Coco will be turning one... and Satchi will be turning four in a few weeks. I have to admit... that I feel like emotional avalanche is hitting me all the time. First birthday is big... and so as the fourth as milestones of growth.

I get the sense of nostalgia when I see them sleeping. They look so much taller when they are laying down in their beds and I think of all the things that happened with them during the day. Sometimes I want to give myself a high five as a mom... and some other time, I reflect and promise myself to do better the next day. I know that I am not perfect.

I am glad and thankful that my journey as a mother and as a family continues... and these sweet girls let me be their one and only mother. Because I am aware deep in my bone... that sometimes this journey like other life related journeys can stop playing its beat against our will.

So I hope... that we all have an awesome adventure this weekend because the journey is the destination:)

“Happiness is a journey, not a destination. 
Dance as though no one is watching you. 
Love as though you have never been hurt before.
Sing as though no one can hear you. 
Live as though heaven is on earth.”
 Alfred D'Souza.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Seeing things in a new way

Until I finish posting all the special things from our trip to Japan, there will be back and fourth of home... and our trip in Japan. Totally confusing (sorry!!) but feels appropriate since I am kind of in the between place. Home and home away home.

A day after we got home from our 3 weeks time away, we were eating our dinner... and all the sudden our breakfast nook where we used to eat all of our meals as a family... felt bit too small. Maybe because my grandfather's biggest (and the best view) room was dedicated to the dining area but I felt like we couldn't move around very well in the breakfast nook space anymore. (you can see the photos of how we used to maximize our tiny breakfast nook on Erin Hearts Court's blog where Courtney shot our breakfast scene when Coco was barely 3 months old!!)

So we decided to take the dining area out and move it to where my studio used to be. In front of the deck... overlooking the garden. The current dining space looks really awkward right now because the table we are using is undersized for the space... and it's totally unfinished.

But I do love the new usage for our breakfast nook - a makeshift kid's corner. Frido brought out a vintage oven toy we put away since it had a sharp corner that was bit too scary for Coco when we had it on the floor. It's the perfect kitchen play area for Satchi! She also loves eating her snack there..., drawing and just relaxing when grown-ups cook in the kitchen.

It's a win win for everyone;)

I hope everyone's Monday is lovely!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Secret beach on the island

Everyday island must have a secret beach... and so did Yakushima. Towards the end of our say on Yakushima, one of our neighboring friend told us to drive to the very busy tourist spot, park a car there... and walk towards the opposite of where everyone else was going. So we did... for about 5 minutes... then there we were. Frido told me that it felt like being in the South of France... Pine tree, dry weather and beautiful water. Satchi also made a little friend which made the visit extra special.

It's hard to believe that we were there only a week and few days ago. Time is definitely playing some trick on me!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Every good adventure ends with... new questions.

We safely arrived our home in Los Angeles on late Friday. Since we got home, I have been keeping myself rather busy... feeling the effect of our jet lag (x4 since each of us including our little ones) seem to go through jet lag in a different way). Mostly... trying to keep myself awake during the day and keeping up with day-to-day operation for both home and the shop and getting some rest at night.

Over last few days... I have watched myself going through a kind of decompression or debrief from our 3 weeks adventure. After seeing and learning so much from our stay in Yakushima, it's hard to go back to "normal" without questioning our status quo or just anything we do... here in the life of LA. I catch myself constantly asking and wondering, "what's next for Baum-kuchen?" while other part of me saying, "stay still... it's important to stay still until big waves pass...".

So I am doing both. I am freeing myself to ask big questions... a lot of it... and holding myself back from making any decisions or actions until it feels "right" to do so. It's hard because I am good in shooting myself forward... but not so good in feeling blinded or held back.

I do miss my time in Yakushima... this morning I was asking Satchi if she misses it. After thinking about it for a while, she brought me a cracker and told me that eating the special cracker in our home in LA will make me happy. I know... it's very sweet, right?

In a big picture, it's awesome that I am left with so many questions.  Every good adventure should end with a whole set of new questions... because travel takes us away from what we know and helps us see things. New things... that we didn't know existed. It's a pure form of inspirational investment.

So here I am... with the feeling that some exciting things are ahead of us and Baum-kuchen. I just don't know how it would look like (yet).

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Adventure to Traveler's Factory in Tokyo!

On the last day of our Japan trip, we traveled from Kagoshima to Haneda airport and had about 6 hours to spend in Tokyo while we waited for our midnight flight back to LA... so we hopped on the train and headed out to Traveler's Factory!

Of course... just when we arrived to the middle of Tokyo, there was a surprise tornado like wind, rain and hail... (which caused one of the train track to completely malfunction.) Coming from such a laid back island... to the metropolitan city with two little ones was such a culture shock. Arriving at Traveler's Factory felt little bit like getting to the holy place.

Even though we only had 15 minutes or so to spend at Traveler's Factory, we managed to get few goodies to share with our Baum-kuchen community! So please stay tuned for Limited Edition items to be posted on our Facebook page in a few days! (if you don't use Facebook, please send me an email!

It was by far... one of the longest day we had but the adventure was still worth it! Thank you Lisa for spending the last bit of our Japan time with us... despite the totally beautiful chaos:)


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