Experience is the Best Teacher

Chanced upon this video uploaded byĀ The Logical Indian. This video is timely for me now as I evaluate which big school I should send my daughter to. For her preschool, I also thought long and hard about the merits of traditional vs. progressive. Long story short, I tried Progressive and I liked it! This is a big thing considering I’m a trad girl by heart.

She goes to a Montessori school now and this video exemplifies what Maria Montessori espouses that children learn via imitation and example. Let them do it on their own, give them their own AHA moment so that they can discover for themselves what a joy it is to explore. Let us raise independent thinkers! This also hits home that we should always set good examples for our kids. How they live life will largely be based on how they see us live ours.

Here’s the insightful video. Have a great week ahead!

aKids’Life: Project Camille Shelves

OCMom alert! This OCMom just couldn’t stand the mess in her kids’ room anymore. With a toddler and a baby now sharing a common room in a condominium, there was suddenly no space for anything.

Project CAMILLE is a shelf that was built for a mom who wanted to copy the Montessori way of doing activities. When you visit the Montessori classrooms, all the activities are placed inside the shelves. You will not see anything on their work table or work areas. A child goes to a shelf and picks up the tray or bin of her chosen activity and brings it to his/her work area. I think this is a very ingenious concept. First, it teaches the kids early on how to make decisions. Second, it gives them the independence and free will to do what they want to do. At the same time, it teaches them to get their own stuff and return it in the proper place afterwards. Lastly, having a clean table gives you a sense of focus. You are not distracted by anything except for the activity that you have chosen. I sure could adopt that principle given the very messy office desk that I have. (mental note: clear out office desk) šŸ™‚

Here are pictures of Project CAMILLE. Disclaimer: The shelves were still a bit messy as the toys on top of the shelf haven’t been segregated yet. If there were more space in the condominium, it would’ve been nice to add more shelves and to distribute the activities across the shelves to highlight the activities more. Currently, the activities are grouped into similarity due to the lack of space. Also, all shelves are adjustable to accommodate the height of the different bins.

trying to keep things clutter-free

trying to keep things clutter-free

IMG_6994

Another project finished! aKids’Life should be easy and enjoyable, enriching and emotionally fulfilling. They live in times where everything is so fast. There are so many new toys these days that we didn’t have when we were growing up. There is so much new information that comes in heaps! Kids of today have so much more to learn vs. during our time when all our focus was just on playing and sleeping. The Camille shelves is an example of a small, insignificant detail that we might not see as very important. To us, they are just mere shelves but in the bigger picture they somehow facilitate a faster processing of learning and development helping kids of today to become more empowered and focused in this very cluttered-information-overload world that they live in. Ā And to us OCMoms, the shelves are just for our sanity! šŸ˜‰

To view other aKids’Life project, check out the following links:

Project Penelope, Project Kayla, Project Matteo

Project Gracie

Project Belle

 

Color of the Year 2014

Happy 2014! This season’s hottest hue is RADIANT ORCHID! My mom is so thrilled with the color of the year because it’s her all-time favorite color. Finally she can whip out her purple ensembles and radiate cool confidence.

Image

I like this color also as it shrieks creativity to me. It’s such an enigmatic color. It truly brings out the fuchsia, purple and pink undertones that make it so captivating and vibrant.Ā This color has a quiet subtlety but it catches the eye with its classy dazzle.

I’m so glad this is the new color of the year. It’s a good excuse to wear the purple pants the hubby gave me 2 Christmases ago. Hmm… does this mean the hubby has good fashion foresight? I should let him buy me more clothes LOL.

Happy New Year everyone! May we all have a radiant 2014! šŸ™‚

Color of the Year 2013

12 Things Successful People Do Differently

I normally have our family picture as my laptop wallpaper. This poster I saw over the internet though was so important for me that this IS my current laptop wallpaper. The list here is quite simple but hard to do. This serves as a daily reminder for me when I lose sight of my goals. I hope this helps you, too! šŸ™‚

12 things successful people do differently

12 things successful people do differently

Similar posts:

a love note to entrepreneurs

29 ways to stay creative

2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 6,300 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 11 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Color of the Year for 2013

As a marketing person, it is part of my job to know the color of the year. For the past 2 years, the colors were so vibrant.

2012 Color of the Year

2012 Color of the Year

2011 Color of the Year

2011 Color of the Year

This year, the color of the year is… (drumroll, please) šŸ™‚

2013 Color of the Year

2013 Color of the Year

So excited as we will be coming out with new product extensions next year. There’s something about this color that shouts royalty and prestige, perfect for our premium line.

What about you? How do you feel about this color? What personal care products can you imagine this on? šŸ™‚

Happy Holidays and Happy Christmas shopping this weekend! šŸ™‚

aKids’Life – Armoire BELLE Collection

My latest project is an armoire. Just a little tidbit – do you know that an armoire was a large cabinetĀ originally used for storing weapons? Holy Bazooka, right? šŸ™‚ These days, it’s so chic to have an armoireĀ – now defined as a large cabinet used for storing clothes, bags, shoes and other stuff girls have. The client wanted an armoireĀ that would grow along with her 3-year-oldĀ daughter. This was a bit of a challenge because theĀ projectĀ had several idea sources. I was up for the challenge and all for it – after all, aKids’Life is all about customization! šŸ™‚

The armoire she wantedĀ to copyĀ looked like this:

Project Belle

project belle

Chunky top design was changedĀ to match an existing armoire that she already had which looked like this:

top design

top design of existing armoire

Curvy design for the bottom part and rounded legs:

defined waves and curves

defined curves

The cabinet door also had the same wavy design that we copied from this furniture below:

big cabinet doors with intricate waves

intricate waves

Voila! The final product —

BELLE

BELLE

An inside look:

take a peek inside :)

sneak a peek!Ā šŸ™‚

As I mentioned before on my blog post here, I name all my projects because IĀ believe that every furniture has a story to tell. In this case, it was easy to think of the perfect project name. Doesn’t this cabinet look the same as the friend of Belle in Beauty and the Beast? See pic below of Madame Armoire — yes, she has a name! šŸ™‚

madame armoire -- yes, that's her name :)

madame armoire šŸ™‚

I hope you enjoyed this fascinating story about Project Belle. Til’ the next fun project! šŸ™‚

You can view my other projects here, orĀ here or visit my FB page here. Thanks! :)

Jiro Dreams of Sushi

Since it’s the hiatus for most of the TV seriesĀ that we have been following, we were able to watch some of the movies that we have downloaded before. 2 weekends ago, we watched this documentaryĀ  called Jiro Dreams of Sushi. I downloaded this because ever since I met Papa Bear, I have already known that I was marrying aĀ Japan-crazed person. He has this deep-seated love for anything JapaneseĀ and believes that he was a samurai before during his previous life. We have been planning a trip to Japan but this has never materialized because of a lot of circumstances thatĀ happenedĀ to us —Ā like getting pregnant, having a baby, Fukushima incident, etc. Since we couldn’t go to Japan,Ā I decided to bring Japan to ourĀ place. What better way to do this than with his all-time fave food — sushi! šŸ™‚

This documentary isĀ about the life of Jiro. He owns SukibayashiĀ Jiro, a Sushi-only, 10-seat only, 3-star Michelin restaurant in Ginza subway. There is a 6 month waiting list for this place and 20 pieces of sushi costs 30,000 yen, around USD$400!!! Pricey. Not even my Japan-crazed hubby was willing to pay this much for the best sushi in the world.

At first, I thought this documentary was all about sushi. More than the art of making sushi as a way of life, it was also all about life. I was able to get a lot of insights and learned a lot of valuable lessons that only experience and people with wisdom could teach.Ā It dabbles on family, culinary as a form of art, work and the complexities of a father-son/boss-employee relationship.

Oh, and did I mention that JiroĀ is already 85 years old??? Yes, he is 85 and still running his place. As the adage goes, you can do what you love for the rest of your life if it is truly what you love doing. He is toutedĀ as the best sushi chef in the world and his success can beĀ attributed to his extreme discipline, focus and passion. This is quite evidentĀ in his work and everyday life and he demands nothing less from his sons and staff, too. The documentary will show that just to handle the simple taskĀ of cooking the egg or rice, the training he requires for that is 10 years! Other people would’ve probably quit after a maximumĀ of 2-3 years or maybe just from the plain boredom of doing the same thing over and over. This will showĀ you that this manĀ can be quite intense and gives a whole new meaning to the word FOCUS!

If I had one entrepreneurial lesson learned from watching this documentary it would be the art of mastery and dedication.Ā This is something that I would also like to teach my kids – to give their best in whatever they do, and by bestĀ I meanĀ 100% concentration, focus, energy and love into their passions. I wouldn’t want them to settle for anything less, and yes, I will let them watch this documentary in the future. May they learn to beĀ as focused and hardworking as Jiro, yet never forget their humble beginnings.

Here’s the official trailer for this documentary. I hope you become as inspired as I was with this story.

aKids’Life – Table and Chairs GRACIE collection

Here’s the latest project I just finished for aKids’LifeĀ Furniture. This OC mom wanted a play/study table with a large work area and plenty of storage space. Here are some pictures of the GRACIE Elementary Table and Chairs that we designed and built for her.

GRACIE line

GRACIE Table and Chairs

storage under the chair

storage, storage and more storage under the table!

storage, storage and more storage under the table!

detachable arm chairs - let this piece of furniture also grow along with your little ones

detachable arm chairs – let this piece of furniture also grow along with your little ones

rounded edges for safety, white duco finish using non-toxic child-safe paint

rounded edges for safety, white duco finish using non-toxic child-safe paint

items under the table and uber cute doggy -- not included! :)

items under the table and uberĀ cute doggy — not included! šŸ™‚

I name allĀ the furniture projects that I have because I believe that every furniture should have a story to tell. This is calledĀ the GRACIEĀ collection because of my current fave song in my playlist. It’s a song by Ben FoldsĀ about a father and his precious daughter, named GRACIE. The lines in the song that strikes me the most are: “One day you’re gonna want to go, I hope we taught you everything you need to know, Gracie girl”. Here’s the link to this very touchingĀ video that will surely make you go awww…Ā šŸ™‚

For my client, thank you for trustingĀ usĀ with thisĀ key piece ofĀ furniture in your home.Ā I hope that this table and chair grows with you and your family. May you teach your daughter her lessons in school with this study table, make lots of art projects, draw inspiration, paint picturesĀ and etch many memories with this wooden table.

You can view my other projects hereĀ or visit my FB page here. Thanks! šŸ™‚