Saturday, January 27, 2018

Training for Los Angeles Marathon

If you are on Instagram, you might have seen some of my recent updates about my running training. It all started last year when my friend Mary suggested that we train together for a marathon before we both turn 40. Fast-forward a year we are well into the training program for Los Angeles marathon in March. 

I had run when I was younger for the cross country team and also I finished the marathon twice when I was in early 20's but I stopped running when my parenting responsibilities grew bigger and bigger. My last 1/2 marathon race was 6 months after Satchi was born. I think I signed up and finished the race because I needed to prove myself that I could still do things I was able to do before becoming a parent. After finishing the race, I never really wanted to run again. 

When I started running again in last summer, I was barely able to run 1-2 miles. Reaching 3 miles was a big deal in October 2017. I look back those months now and I feel humble for the body's ability to adjust, grow and get stronger. 

In so many ways, training for this upcoming marathon has been different from the way I have ever run before. Our friend Andy who runs professionally and also coaches high school athletes offered to provide a training program. Though we have never actually run together side by side, Mary and I have been training together by updating each other's run and sharing stories. We recruited another friend who is also a parent to join us and we have our small team which provides encouragement, funny running stories and a place to share aches and pains. 

And to my surprise, as our weekly mileage increased, I started to truly enjoy the process of running. Probably for the first time. Often running as the sun rises since that's the only time I have available to myself. 

Last weekend's Pasadena Half Marathon was a big highlight of our training. The excitement and anticipation of the race. Knowing that I could run the distance since I have run many weekends leading up to it as nearly as the distance of 1/2 marathon, I wanted to challenge myself to run as strong as I can. Finishing wasn't quite enough for me. I wanted to race with myself. 

We had so much fun on the race day and I am so thankful. Frido coordinated with another friend Gargi and they escorted all our little friends whose parents were running to cheer during the race. I am grateful for the all the encouragement I received from our Baum-kuchen community through Instagram and emails. Thank you, thank you and thank you!!!

When I was a cross-country runner at college, I run with Zoila. She is my inspiration as she continues to train for becoming an Olympic marathon runner. Her message truly resonated with me. 

"Your friends and family will not remember your time or place but how proud and inclusive you made them feel... Your smile and joy is (price-place-time) less". 

March is around the corner and my February weekends will be filled with many long runs. I am thankful to keep running and continuing to find joy in my newly found relationship with many steps on asphalt and beautiful sunrise I get to experience while truly being present. 

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Through thick and thin

My heart gets really full when I remember us participating Women's March last year. It's hard to believe it has been a year since then.

Today as I was working at our studio, I thought a lot about what it means to be a part of the world today.

I hope Baum-kuchen to be a constant force of light and optimism for our community... through thick and thin. I hope we will always be able to provide meaningful artifacts that anchor people's hearts and souls. I hope that our space provides a small oasis when the world feels chaotic and out of balance.

Baum-kuchen is: Designed by People. Made for People.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Bringing more LIFE into my Jibun Techo

The other day, my girls were painting at the dining table so I joined in with my Jibun Techo.

One of my wish for this year on my analogue adventure is to bring more life into my planner pages. The idea was inspired after reading Trina's recent story, "Planting the Seeds for Rich Relationships". Yes. My Jibun Techo is truly functional and it helps me to stay productive and organized. But that shouldn't mean that my every day on the page should look like a bunch of lists when I reflect. 

So every night when I sit down to write letters to Satchi and Coco, I try to add something from the day on the Jibun page. Maybe a quote that inspired. Maybe a sponteneous dinner outing that wasn't written down as a "plan" but it happened and was fun. 

And so when Satchi and Coco brought out the watercolor set to the table, I dabbed little bit of colors to the space left from previous days and also filled Frido's birthday with a rainbow. 

It's our life. Let's make it beautiful. 

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Our inventory room. Reinvented.

January 3rd was a big milestone moment for our studio. We had the official furniture moving day for our inventory room! As we slowly have grown our collections we carry at Baum-kuchen, there was a strong need to stay functional, organized, and better oriented in the backroom. It was really a time.

Imagine the entire inventory in the back room being brought out to the shop space so we could move these big shelves into a more strategic configuration... and then all the items to be brought back in. Yep. Our space looked insane for a day!! But we managed to get everything done with the team and were back in fulfillment on the next day.

I love the new space. The items are better sorted and we can see all the shelving space so we are no longer looking for items behind other items on the deep shelves! And I have a small cozy nook for my workstation.

Frido is also constantly updating our shop space. He added a Japanese vintage school map on the wall the other day and armed us with additional display space so we can showcase artifacts more thoughtfully. These are small steps and I know when I look back at these photographs, I will marvel how much change we have gone through.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Letters to your loved ones...

If you are wondering where to start your analogue adventure this year... I would love to share one place where we can all begin our journey from. 

It's simple. Just open a page on a notebook and start writing a letter to someone special whenever you can. 

I started writing letters to our girls back in October, 2014. It was my way of scrapbooking our day and to create more space to reflect on the memories we were creating. Since then, I have written/drawn some form of (almost) daily letters for them. At the beginning, I was writing and documenting and thought they might enjoy looking back to these notebooks when they grow up. Since the beginning of 2017, I shifted the contents a little and started writing directly to them each night so they can wake up every morning to read the letter from the previous night. Sometimes they forget reading. Sometimes it's just one word I write on the page. I tuck letters they receive from their friends and families in there too. In few occasions, they leave me their notes and drawings on the pages and I treasure them. 

In 2017, I used TN refills to savor this tradition and was able to compile all the notebooks I used for each girl in the archive binder on the last day of the year. The TN system worked really well in 2017 since it was our most traveled year and I wanted to take a TN refill notebook for each girl with me in a suitcase so I can keep writing to them while on the road. The monthly tabs from TN Customized Sticker Set came handy to keep the refills in a chronological order. I watched both Satchi and Coco picking up the archived letters address to them and flip through the pages and it was truly priceless.  

This year, I decided to go back to the minimalistic MD Diary (which I used back in 2015). One for Satchi and one for Coco. I am hoping to capture my letters to them as well as the drawings and letters they make for me in this notebook. Also to use the monthly pages as a way to help them orient their days in a context of month and year. 

So I hope this year... if you are wondering where to start..., I hope you start writing to a person who is in your mind. It could be a friend, a family, or a stranger you run into the day. The letter can be read by the addressed person or not. I believe in the act of pouring our hearts out in order for us to connect with the world around us. Just imagine how peaceful our world would be if we choose to spend more of our time writing to someone we love... 

Here are some photos from 2017 letters and first few pages from 2018 letters to our girls. I hope they bring little bit of sparkles and inspiration to your analogue journey. 


2017 Letters to Satchi & Coco with TN

2018 Letters to Satchi & Coco with MD Diary

Jibun Techo // Roterfaden A5 Slim x The Superior Labor Cover

It has been a few months since we fully moved into Jibun Techo Biz 2018. Frido has been using the Jibun with A5 Slim Roterfaden (Light Brown) and I have been loving The Superior Labor Jibun Techo Cover. I feel like we are still figuring out how to make the most of this system but I thought it would be fun to do a side-by-side comparison between Roterfaden cover vs. TSL cover.

Frido currently is loving his Roterfaden A5 Slim cover and is totally maximizing what the cover can hold up to! His Roterfaden front pocket holds a lot of miscellaneous artifacts like Field Notes, BK Dashboards, extra stickers, etc. Also having a sewn-in pen loop makes sure that he always has at least one pen to write with. He is holding Jibun Techo Biz and Idea Notebook with two of the Roterfaden clips! It's so convenient when these clips work as bookmarks so he can get to the page he is looking for right away.

I think the only downfall of the Roterfaden cover is its thickness. Because of the layered materials they use to construct the cover, his setup is almost twice as thick as mine with The Superior Labor cover.

TSL Jibun Techo Cover is more minimalistic in what it does. We designed the cover so it can accommodate one Jibun Techo with 2 additional notebooks. I currently carry Jibun Techo Bizclear zipper case, and additional Idea Notebook. I have a few postcards in the front pocket and a few BK shop card in the back card pocket and just transformed my wallet into the clear zipper case. I wanted to keep my setup as slim as possible so it doesn't become a burden to carry it every day and so far it has been working out. I have a few of my favorite fountain pens in the Pen Holder Clip and I am ready to go.

To continuously design the set up that works for my unique needs of the moment has always been the driving force to change and I am excited to explore different ways to utilize the Jibun Techo in 2018!

Have you set up your 2018 analogue system?? What are you doing differently this year?


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