Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Something healthy and healing for our ears and our souls

Since the end of last year, we have turned off our radio while kids are in the car and have been listening to some wonderful podcasts. Especially when tension is so high in the world, I find myself also needing some downtime from "current news" and just tune into what they are listening.

I especially found the audio stories from Sparkle Stories positive, healing and also thought-provoking... so I thought I would share. I must admit, I am often in little tears listening to the stories they share. And girls usually tune in with their ears very closely. Right now we are downloading their podcast contents as they come out... but I might consider signing up for their monthly membership so we can support this beautiful endeavor and also offer more options for stories Satchi and Coco can listen.

I thought I would share this in case you are also needing an alternative to turning the radio on when you are in the car ride with the little ones. 

Also we love...

Capturing memories with "Not All Those Who Wander are Lost" Notebook

As the month approaches the end, I am nearing the last page of my first TN notebook of the year. I feel especially nostalgic with this notebook ending since half of the pages is filled with the vivid memory from our Hawaii trip.

The last few days in Hawaii, we ventured out to whale watching (we heard them and saw them up close!!! Just magical.), ate a lot of vegan food and let kids just "be" at the beaches.

Since we returned, the mood in the world has not been the same and I often find myself retracing the memory in Hawaii to ground myself... while flipping through past pages of my Wander notebook.

When Frido and I created this "Wander" notebook in December, we didn't know how we would actually use all these mixed-media pages... but somehow had the gut feeling that it would work out. Looking through the pages, I think the notebook found its unique way of capturing the day, week... month... and the stories it was meant to contain. Because it is mixed-media, it opens up many different new way of looking at the open spread. I so enjoyed playing with layers of meanings I tried to capsulate in each page... especially with some of the glassine pages.

I hope you write... today and tomorrow on a piece of paper you might have in front of you because writing is powerful no matter where and when.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

To March and To Be a Mother.

Today was a very special day.
Today we were a part of something much bigger than just one of us.

Today we were a part of the Women's March in LA downtown.

It wasn't on my radar to be there but in the very last minute, I made a conscious choice to walk. To walk with Satchi.

Yesterday I wrote a very personal note on Instagram why I decided to take a part.

I did think for a while whether to take Satchi or not. It was going to be an incredibly large crowd and her experience of the day to be positive was the most important objective for me.

Last night we finished up the sign and I packed all the little things which I thought might help Satchi to feel comfortable just in case. Enough snack, water, toilet paper... phone number written on our wrists, emergency contact info around her neck, coins in case we needed to make phone calls from a public phone booth. We talked ahead about how there might be crowdedness, how we might have to wait for a while, how bathroom might not be as available as we would like. Most importantly we talked about why we decided to be a part of the March. Her sign read "Treat people equally, please." Mine was with "Be the Light". When I asked her what will be the most important thing to remember while we March, she answered confidently "to have fun and to stay together."

Trains were crowded even though we left earlier than we thought. It was also full of positive energy. To experience the feeling of everyone coming together from different places and joining as one was powerful. It was also such a joy to be able to meet up with our friends at Union Station before we entered the really really crowded Metro Red Line platform. From there, everything was in snail pace. It took a while to get through Red Line and arrive Pershing Square and for us to get out of the underground train station... and for the March to start. My goal was to continue framing the experience for our little activists so they can process what's going on. People around us started chanting. I told Satchi and her friend that they could listen and raise their voices with everyone around us "if" the message felt right to them but they never have to chant if they didn't agree with the message. Our favorites were "This is What Democracy Looks Like", "My Body. My Choice." and "The People United Will Never Be Divided." We had fun being loud. When there was a band playing, I told them that they are cheering us. I picked them up few times so they could see the crowd from adult eye level... and see the March happening. Their faces lit up when they were really able to see how many people were actually around us. We marched slowly... and had fun walking. I think Satchi wasn't really reading protest signs that were up above her since she is still a young reader but instead... taking the experience as a whole.

We decided not to stay for the speeches because we could feel that we were reaching the girls' limit and it was probably the right time for us to leave. On our train ride home, I asked her how she felt and she told me that it was the happiest day for her with a big smile. When we came home after a long day in the city, Satchi immediately shared her experience with Coco. In a few minutes, Coco was a master of the chants. (and here:) So excited to be a part of the experience in her way... and that's what is all about for me. I know something shifted and moved inside of Satchi and Coco today... and in myself and my connection to my strong soul sisters who took a part of the day in their unique ways.

I am exhausted tonight but my heart is full of gratitude, love and hope for the future.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

BK on Big Islands // Gone fishing... (well sort of)

The idea of being present has been a pretty big topic for our family recently. So when we left our home last week, I told myself that I would be very mindful with the way I check-in with my emails and other virtual connections. Luckily we had such a low internet connectivity and were so isolated from much of modern world on first few days, it was really easy to focus on just being. During the day I didn't really do much on my phone aside from taking the pictures and caught up with BK related tasks/projects at night after girls went to sleep and uploaded few memorable moments from the day on Instagram. It has been a nice change of pace and there have been a lot to see, feel and experience in the most mundane moments of the day.

We are now at the 2nd location on Big Islands nearby Hapuna Beach State park and our way of connecting has been going pretty strong. Because kids have been so excited to play at the beach ever since we got to Hawaii, we are just doing that. Probably getting more than enough sunshine at this moment... but we are feeling good together. Satchi discovered how much she loves body boarding. Coco is so excited to be swimming in a big ocean. Frido is really digging into a book he is super interested in. We are journaling every night together. A lot of ideas are getting shared (and in between girls have come up with a new design idea for Hawaii flag) and we are mindful with each other and with our time.

We have a couple more days here before we head back to our home in Los Angeles. I am hoping that I will really get in the habit of creating a healthy relationship with all things analogue and digital by the time we leave here. Because it's important.

p.s. on the other note..., check out this fun video our customer created while she visited our studio/shop! She captured it so beautifully that I had to rub my eyes couple times and remind myself that it's our studio/shop space! 

Monday, January 9, 2017

BK on Big Islands // Our home away home in jungle

Yesterday we moved from Hilo side of the island to Kona side. We are all settled into the beach side of the island... but still talk about how magical our stay was at this eclectic airbnb house near Kapoho Tide Pool. This house had nothing touristy about it... and I felt a sense of "grandma's house" immediately after I walked into the house. The house had everything we needed yet it was so far from anything we were familiar with. We arrived with 3 hours of jetlag so staying in a remote place gave us a peace of mind that we were not waking up anyone around us in the neighborhood when girls started playing in the living room at 5am...

We enjoyed sleeping with the sound of tropical jungle and frog, cooking our own meals, harvesting our own coconut from our beautiful black sand/rock garden and living with our resident geckos (they all had names by the time we checked out).

This place will definitely be a talked about amongst our girls for many years to come... I am sure.

Friday, January 6, 2017

BK on Big Islands // Underwater

This morning we slowly got ready to head back to Kapoho Tide Pool. We are so incredibly lucky to be staying at airbnb that is 5 minutes walk away from this expansive natural resource.

I love this spot because it looks like nothing from above water... but once we put our goggles on, it is a totally different world. Our "traveling girls" (the name coined by Satchi and Coco) got to snorkel for the first time too and I was beyond excited. Satchi would probably be a fish if she were not Satchi... and Coco is not very far behind. They both adore swimming...

My parents were really keen on me taking swim classes while I was growing up. They wanted to make sure that I knew what to do in case I get in the water by accident. I never really liked those swim classes when I was a kid but I must admit... I love swimming. Especially when I can feel like I am swimming with fish all around me.

Frido brought his water camera so here are some captures from the day. Water was little chilly so girls only stayed in the water for 15 minutes or so... but they got to see some fish in the coral reef and they enjoyed themselves by exploring tide pools made by black lava while Frido and I took turn snorkeling.

This world is so big and mysterious and there is so much more to explore and learn from. I hope our traveling girls would take the sense of wonder with them as they grow.

BK on Big Islands // Up and close with volcano

We are so happy to celebrate Frido's birthday on the road today. We have an ambitious goal that we will always be traveling somewhere in the world on our birthdays (except mine... because it's right in the middle of our busiest time at the studio/shop). So I am thrilled that we are making it happen!

I had fun making the mango flavored Hawaiian pancake for breakfast:)
This year girls fully participated in getting the special gifts for Frido... so they were thrilled to watch him open the gifts they carefully selected.

We spent the rest of the day exploring a volcano. We have been looking forward to seeing the active lava ever since we booked this trip and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park definitely did not disappoint. We were able to make a few stops and short hikes (even with Coco) at the park and watch some of the volcanic activities in action. Standing at the rim of the crater... overlooking an active volcano with bright red lava flowing and bubbling up from the earth was breathtaking. It makes you stop and think/wonder how earth might have looked like when it was first created.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

BK on Big Islands // Live light... and travel even lighter.

Next ten days... we will be broadcasting from Big Island in Hawaii. Yesterday was a long day of transit from Los Angeles to Hilo side of the island. So we were happy to stretch our body today and swim our heart away in the ocean. A big chunk of inspiration for Baum-kuchen comes from our travel and the act of traveling so we are excited to see so many curated artifacts at our shop fit perfectly in our suitcase and then in the scenery of the destination.

Our motto is to live light and travel even lighter. (but with our most adored artifacts in life:)

today's stops included:
Kopoho Tide Pools: walking distance from our airbnb. we got there at 8am... perfectly timed at high tide. the water was still little cold for us to stay in for too long but it was so fun to watch Satchi snorkel next to me. her swimming class is paying off:)

Black Sand Beach: we have been inquiring a lot about volcano so seeing a beach made of black sand was such a treat... and it is set in such a remote and beautiful location. Both Satchi and Coco told us that they felt like they were walking on the coffee grind.

Ahalanui Park Hot Springs: Probably the favorite location of the day for girls. They felt like they were swimming in a pool but it was in a natural hot spring right at the beach. Perfectly warm water to stay in for a long time and relax... (or chase a little fish if you were Satchi).


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