Finding Joy During the Holidays

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Tis’ the season for relentless auntie behavior – and you know Ku and Su are not slacking on the decorations. Mama Ku Ku shares how she’s dressing Baby Eme as the cutest of Santa’s reindeers. Meanwhile, Auntie Su is building the Christmas village of her childhood dreams and bonding with her daughter at Michael’s.

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Astrid Schanz-Garbassi, Kulap Vilaysack, SuChin Pak

SuChin Pak  00:00

I just needed a little touch up, you know, lipstick.

Kulap Vilaysack  00:06

God, I guess maybe I need some […].

SuChin Pak  00:10

Okay, sorry, let’s start the show, welcome back guys. This is another hot episode of add to cart well glossed up you know this is where we are, we are full swing, full swing into the holiday spirit. I am SuChin Pak and I’m Kulap Vilaysack, now, mama Kuku, this is a momentous Christmas for you and your family. A milestone, if you will, historic because it’s going to be Emmy’s first Christmas, baby doesn’t get a first Christmas again.

Kulap Vilaysack  00:50

Yes, yes, we have been having so much fun. Just being in the spirits and in the warmth of the season with our new addition to the Auckerman family. She is swaddled and tucked into the manger, while our resident farm animals AKA Molly and Georgia graze in the background. And if we’re being very specific, with Molly has now a three day case of the […]. And where does she unload? Why? Right in front of the horse, the fireplace.

SuChin Pak  01:26

So you’re covered in shit all day long because the amount of poo.

Kulap Vilaysack  01:32

Yeah, well I’m pretty adept for both at this point. But you know what I am using is busy Phillips is little green machine.

SuChin Pak  01:42

That machine is working overtime.

Kulap Vilaysack  01:44

It is not being put away.

SuChin Pak  01:47

And it’s doing its job. It’s the Green Machine for a reason. Now one more question before we get into our add to carts for this very special edition. Knowing how Christmas forward you are Yes. You have been does having a little one. Just bring it up 18 notches, or are you already hysteria?

Kulap Vilaysack  02:15

Yeah, it absolutely does. We’re gonna get into some of the new purchases I’ve gotten. But you know, as Paul Scheer said, I start early. I plan, so I’m not running around like you little bitches. I’m basically with my sister in law to buy gifts or I’m done. To me, it’s about like, I am enjoying it. I don’t need additional labor. That makes me feel bad. I enjoy this. That I relax. Then I make cookies.

SuChin Pak  02:55

It’s like I can’t have the joy unless I’ve worked to the blood and bone to left canker sores coming opening up in every single mute coastal lining that I’m like now, now you can deserve it. You can deserve to enjoy but I’m just a raspy Christmas ghost at that point. And let me tell you, I haven’t been very nice. You know, yesterday, we had a, both Sony and I had a complete meltdown at Michaels I haven’t been feeling a lot, I’ve been running myself ragged down. I told you. Everybody knows I’m dead serious. My carpal tunnel on my right hand is so severe. And I’ve gotten my whole right hand is numb from scrolling from being on my computer. Clicking not buying anything by the way just adding to cart Add to Cart, open carts, open carts, can’t make a decision. So we finally everyday she wants to go to Michaels she has to go to Michaels for something. Yesterday, she made up a project made up made up a project to go to Michael’s she wanted to do a Christmas diorama. So here we are Michaels. Do you know what Michaels looks like right now? You know what looks like at five o’clock?

Kulap Vilaysack  04:16

Oh, like a Christmas apocalypse?

SuChin Pak  04:19

Nobody’s nice. And you know, I lost her in the store. And I’m like going around I’m not feeling well. I have dinner to make and I finally find her and I was like, no, you can’t get anything. And of course I can’t. I’m such a wuss. Of course I got everything and more like as soon as she started crying, I was throwing crystals and other things that were at the dollar bin into the cart to make her stop. So that was yesterday. I really slept on it. And this morning I woke up and I said okay, I’m gonna finish Christmas this weekend. While we record this, it’s the first weekend of December. Yeah. And I’m going to be done with this. Like I’m driving myself and my children are mad. I’ve sucked all the joy out of it. So now I’m going to pump the joy back in.

Kulap Vilaysack  05:03

Su, you need Joy, I need you to have joy. I wish for you my Christmas wish. I use it on Su Santa. Isn’t that […] flowers? Isn’t that from? It’s a wonderful life at the end of it. Keegan please que that line.

SuChin Pak  05:42

By the way, love that nickname. I’ll take it. Zuzu energy. Look, I’ve been Susu my whole life. I’m going in Zuzu. You know what I mean? What is that? It’s high glam. It’s over the top. Okay. Let’s get to it.

Kulap Vilaysack  06:05

Now, Su, I thought a good way of, of both talking about Emerald. And like some of the things that I really have loved. Some things that I’ve added to cart and like Game Changers people need to know about this. And to talk about the holidays at the same time, which would be to use sort of our Christmas card as like a theme to jump off of now. Have you received orders in the mail? Okay, so it is on its way. Santa is bringing it up to Santa Barbara. He’s in route. So, Su, you gotta be proud of me. Yeah, I did a holiday card from Shutterfly. It’s green and gold foil. I ordered it when it was 50% off. And the last time we did a card and on top of it. I mean, this was November 19, friend, November 19th, this one I took when this happened. I’m on top of it. And I’m you know what? And I know my tone will be a rough texture for some as you bitches are harried, but some how this you’ll learn. I’m not talking to you, Su, I’m talking to my nieces and nephews that are listening to antsy right now. And my tone is rough. And I hear it and I acknowledge it. But I don’t apologize for it. I don’t wanna, I don’t because you you need to. I can leisurely be sending out yeah, my there’s no rushing, no leisurely nothing out my cards in between writing these addresses down in between me snaps her feedings. Last time I made a card was in 2019. And I was like, here’s pure example number one we’re doing a holiday card again. Now, with Emmy

SuChin Pak  08:17

I mean, I can’t wait to see what what’s on this card. And, you know, in my own life, I feel so like I’m free falling every day I wake up in a complete panic. And so I just want to be swaddled with your list.

Kulap Vilaysack  08:35

I love that you want to swaddled, very exciting to me.

SuChin Pak  08:42

You actually literally want to swaddle me.

Kulap Vilaysack  08:46

And listeners may remember in past Christmas episodes, we have discussed that what Su wants she said if ever you see her in the curb at her age. I am to go there with a blanket swaddle her like a bird.

SuChin Pak  09:02

Hopefully there’s Velcro on it. Stick my arms down. And say lady, what are you doing?

Kulap Vilaysack  09:08

Fireman lift her and take her home, put a nighttime sandwich beside her turn on the sound machine make sure it’s pitch black. And that it is a kind of cold maybe to cold temperature and then slowly quietly walk backwards out the door.

SuChin Pak  09:26

Correct. That’s right. That is the procedure if you see me in the club, if she’s not available for some reason you guys are listening here you have my back, you have the rundown there are no excuses.

Kulap Vilaysack  09:40

Now, this is what an auntie like relationship is now. Auntie qu is coming in with a bit of an edge and Auntie Su is needing things and this is what auntie behavior, this is textbook auntie behavior.

SuChin Pak  09:56

That’s right. That’s right. You have to be shaking your head, you have to be shaking your head and tisking you know, there’s no Kuing and there’s no sweet bubble sounds tisk tisk.

Kulap Vilaysack  10:12

Well, I’m we’re keeping score, right? So the our listeners who I guess now I’m calling my nieces and nephews have to both, like, get their act together about Christmas. And then if auntie Su needs you, you need to be, you need to stay ready. You need to stay ready to help auntie Su.

SuChin Pak  10:32

That’s why we’re here. Log off bitch. Login somewhere else.

Kulap Vilaysack  10:44

No, Su, when you receive my card, and unfortunately, I will not be able to post it for the fine folks. Because I am I’m going to do the thing where I don’t post Emerald’s face on social meeds. Y’all get back of the head, slight profile. And then face on. There’ll be a dorable emoji, right? Covering all distinguishable features of her.

SuChin Pak  11:14

It’s a privilege, you don’t have that privilege and not everybody has that privilege yet.

Kulap Vilaysack  11:21

And one of the photos we are doing a family photo with in matching pajamas. Now Sue, you know, I immediately sent you this link for Hannah Anderson and Wintergreen. Hannah Anderson has family matching PJs. And when I say family, the dogs are wearing the same print. Green and White trees.

SuChin Pak  11:45

Wait, you can get the entire family?

Kulap Vilaysack  11:50

Yes, yes. So you can see that it’s Scott, myself, Emmy, our two dogs, my little sister Alyssa and her dog, Archie. This photo at the bottom of the card is the only one where everyone’s sort of okay lookin. And then on another photo on the front of my card is Su I feel for anybody who if you’re giving a gift, someone’s got a newborn on the way. It’s the MAKIÉ Hadagi and the MAKIÉ Hadagi and he’s wearing a cream colored whiners. It’s a gender neutral Japanese baby kimono onesie for newborns up to six months basically. And so the style prevents pulling over baby’s delicate head it’s also you know when they’re fresh out you’ve got their Tommy’s the umbilical cord stump to contend with. But even after that, it’s just so much easier to do sort of a kimono wrap style than putting anything over their head. And it’s so so cute. They look like little Jedi warriors.

SuChin Pak  13:08

It’s a Star Wars vibe in the best way.

Kulap Vilaysack  13:10

Very, very much so. So I that I was given some I ordered some it there just so great. And then it’s, there’s a photo of the back of our card. I really liked the brand Mori, and this is what I’m going to describe to you is basically Emmy’s Christmas day outfit. Now of course friends, family and nieces and nephews. There are many holiday outfits, there are many. There are many. But this to me is like on the day. The day. And I have again just talking about the brand as a whole fantastic onesies, zipper onesies. It’s just soft, it’s really high quality. And for the holidays. We’ve got a Ruby stripe, long sleeve bodysuit, basically a onesie and then reindeer joggers which their green pants with a reindeer face on the butt. Are you looking at this Su? That’s a reindeer face on the butt.

SuChin Pak  14:26

She’s got a red and white stripe, candy cane onesie she’s got a reindeer on the but her socks are also fluffy.

Kulap Vilaysack  14:43

Okay, and I have to say, Jess Chaffin aka Rana Glickman she keeps she let me know number one about Maury and number two, she was like for socks Ku, you’re gonna only want soft things on your baby. I’m like, yeah, whatever. Give me these things that You were given there were too cheap, and you don’t want to use, give them to me. And then she also gave me barefoot dreams socks. That’s what that looks like. And that’s what they are.

SuChin Pak  15:11

Oh my lord. She is so happy curling her toes in that cloud texture.

Kulap Vilaysack  15:20

That also very good gift barefoot dream socks for the baby.

SuChin Pak  15:25

Yeah, no one’s going to say no to that. And the and the cherry on top, if you will.

Kulap Vilaysack  15:31

Yes. What is it Su?

SuChin Pak  15:33

She’s wearing a reindeer bonnet. Antlers coming out of her head.

Kulap Vilaysack  15:43

And listeners, here comes that tough edge in auntie Kuku’s voice. If you’re like, you see it, we’re gonna post this photo because it’s of the babies. They’re sold out, you’re too late.

SuChin Pak  16:05

Yeah, I see that. I’m clicking on the link right now trying to get me I have someone in mind and her size is sold out. Sold out. Sold out. Well. Okay. All right. I got it. All right, Auntie. Wow. All right, are just getting into this.

Kulap Vilaysack  16:20

Su, I’m not done because I bet that person you’re thinking of because you’re an amazing gift giver would have loved it. And now you’ve robbed them of the joy of receiving a gift from you.

SuChin Pak  16:32

Yeah, and on top of it, I am being abused. And rightfully so. unit I mean, I know. I’m here. I’m here for the abuse because I need I need this there’s nobody that’s going to just choke back that color and just get me to pay attention. You know that just every year I come to you.

Kulap Vilaysack  16:55

I want to like give you some some I want to give you some love as well. There’s a stick in the carrot. Okay, stick in the carrot. Let me give you some advice.

SuChin Pak  17:08

Wow, this is expert Auntie Auntie behavior happening you guys if you feel triggered it’s because you are, go on.

Kulap Vilaysack  17:17

Yeah, your feelings are valid. I’m not going to gaslight you here.

SuChin Pak  17:24

You’re asian auntie slash mother did and you feeling triggered and you are correct. You feel triggered go on.

Kulap Vilaysack  17:32

Tiny baby carrot. Su, I think if there was a way for you to only it’s tough because you have been forced to do things you don’t enjoy. Because while I’m saying like, oh, yeah, and I did all the shopping you know, you know what? I know you were on top of around the same time I was shopping for this was things like I don’t know like the […] sale. So let me know about the nether […] sale, she was completely fine. Risks were fine at the time. You guys can’t see it right now. She’s been doing like synchronized swimming moves in the air.

SuChin Pak  18:14

She seems full of life all of a sudden. All year long. This auntie has a little list that she keeps that she keeps here that she just, it’s a little notebook. It’s stained. It’s got chili stains on it. It’s got ramen stains on it. It’s got dirty little fingerprints on it because I come back to it. You know, I gotta lick my tongue. And I gotta flip it to that page. And on that page are all the things I want from the […] Black Friday sale, sacks and […] Okay. All right. And whatever other you know, garbage that you guys want to fight over the scraps at Black Friday. That’s up to you. I go, I save all of my sexual desires all year long. And I bottle that up in a concentrated potent scent. And I uncork that.

Kulap Vilaysack  19:22

You uncork it all over your keyboard.

SuChin Pak  19:28

With an iced hand. I uncorked that and I start buying and I start sending out links to the one person in my life that my husband who says just send me a link. And these are the links you know, these are this is what I save up for. And so yeah, not of course. That’s correct.

Kulap Vilaysack  20:01

Talk about you, talk about, what’s going on.

SuChin Pak  20:04

I misunderstood. I a little bit misunderstood what we were doing today, as usual. And also I have my own interpretation of baby’s first Christmas holiday updates. I wanted to talk about my parents. About family. And so as of recording, today is the day my dad comes home from the hospital, I’m picking him up after we record. And he had to have spinal surgery. So I have been adding, adding to cart furiously, as I sit next to my father while he’s recuperating at the hospital. I mean, what else are you going to do at a hospital, I mean, it’s the perfect place to just have the excuse, of buying every thing that your finger touches. And so I’ve been doing that, but my dad had spinal surgery. It has been. I mean, it has I’m processing still, I’m processing the emotions I’m processing, what has been going on. And I think one of the things that I am grappling with, during this holiday season, when it is so much about connection, and it’s so much about friends and family, and it’s so much about how we just one time of the out of the year, we really want to remind ourselves, you know, to really cherish our the people that we love and the people that are in our lives. And when you’re dealing and I’m sure there are nieces and nephews listening, who are dealing with, specifically illnesses with parents, and you’re the one having to kind of be the one frontline and center. It is a very isolating experience. And I never almost there are a lot of things that I give into, but I’m not a big woe is me, why is this happening to me? That’s not my mode. I was thinking about this today, as I was contemplating what I was going to add to cart. And I was thinking I don’t know that I’ve ever felt this way. ever in my life. Maybe in the darkest times when when Mike was going through his health problems, maybe but there is a thing when you’re sitting there, and you’re dealing with aging parents that have health issues, and you’re like, Oh, this is just the beginning. Yeah, oh boy, like, this is a ride that has left the amusement park, and it ain’t coming back, you know, thankfully, my dad is recovering, and he’s doing well, but it’s never going to be the same again. And it’s not gonna be the same for him, it’s not gonna be same for my mom, it’s not going to be the same for them as in terms of their independence. And it’s not going to be the same for me. And it’s not gonna be the same for my brother. But I’m here four minutes away. My brother lives in New York. And so I’ve just, I’ve indulged in a bit of self pity last few weeks, the other day, my brother, so we had orderlies, all of these things on Amazon and from different places. I mean, walkers, wheelchairs, bed pans, I have a guy coming to put in handicap bars in my parents bathroom, because you know, I’m just trying to get prepared. So my brother’s been ordering I’ve been ordering and so he said, you know, when you get to mom’s house, let’s open the packages together FaceTime me. So I’m opening the packages. There’s like external catheters, there’s, you know, weird things. Things I didn’t even know existed. And I was laughing at I was like, this is the YouTube unboxing that. It isn’t that she won’t she collection spring 2022. The unboxing we all sometimes need to see is my parents are aging. Look at my Amazon cart like, anyway, we were laughing about it because I was putting together a walker and and I was like, we’ll do the wheels on the front or the back and he’s Googling and sending images. I’m like okay, wheels, wheels on the front. And I’ve just been sitting with like, this is a big, I think it’s going to be because I’m still not on the other side of it, like a big point where I’m like, oh, that was a big shift. And I’m just not ready for that shift yet. I’m not at that place.

Kulap Vilaysack  25:19

I don’t think you would ever you can ever, ever be. I mean, I think you know, that I’ve shared with you that, you know, Scott’s parents have ailing health and it’s not looking good. And that I was really worried that I was just hoping and praying that Bert would meet Emmy and Emmy’s middle name is birdie named after him. But it’s, it is part of this kind of in my preparations of Christmas is that like what I know to be true. And I wish it were different. But as far as my in laws go, we are all on borrowed time. And that’s compromises and trying to make it work and trying to figure out how to help and all of that stuff. It comes back to that place. And like there’s like, truly, like, we’re not for our situation. We’re just not. I don’t know when.

SuChin Pak  26:26

Yeah, and it’s all there. And you have to process all of that. And you have to make peace with that. And there feel it feels like there’s a ticking clock. I know that there is a way through this. That is much more expansive. But you know, you won’t get there until you kind of go through this, you know, you don’t get no, you’re like, oh, you have to deal you have to be in the mess. And you have to accept that. And the good news is, because it’s proven itself true in every moment of my life, so I know it to be true is this that the mess leads to this expansive place, and you are better for it and you are more or less […], whatever, you know, all those cliches, but it is true. And so I am not one of those people that is very hopeless. Like it’s not like a despair type of thing. Because I always know that like, getting this is part of the process of like, oh, this is where we oh, right. This is why this all matters. But I do have to say one of the things I am learning through this because I’m talking aboutyour health, right? But my parents don’t speak any English.

Kulap Vilaysack  27:53

I do. And it’s like your entire life. Like the role that you’ve played in the dynamic of your family is like, is I’ve specifically understand, but I think maybe a lot of people who listen, don’t understand and and how you have to advocate for them interpret for them. And fight both them and whomever you’re needing to interpret with, you have a lot on your shoulders. You’ve had a lot on your shoulders. I don’t want to say burden, because it’s something you’ve always had. You’ve always known it, but it is extraordinary.

SuChin Pak  28:35

I mean, it is a burden. I mean, you know, I mean, it can be a burden, it is a burden. I mean, I don’t think that there’s a gift in that. I don’t know, maybe some other listeners who deal with the same problem can can give me some anecdotes, but that’s okay. Because there are other things about that, that aren’t a burden. But that specific thing about the language. It really comes to head when you’re dealing with like, like my dad went into surgery, they can’t give him any medication without his verbal consent, and he has to understand what he’s taking. And so every time he’s taking medication, I have my phone rings, and I have to answer it, or else they can’t give him the medication. So you know what I’m saying? Like, so when I’m there, you know, when I’m there, and he’s like, Oh, something feels funny. And I’m like, What do you mean, what feels funny, and I’m looking around and I see his arm is swollen up because the IV slipped. They can’t express that. And there is a level of my parents not really wanting to bother anyone feeling bad, and also afraid of, of what all of this is. My dad has never been in a hospital. He’s never been in the hospital. So anyway, so that’s been a little bit leading in to the holidays.

Kulap Vilaysack  30:03

You’ve been through so much to like, and I know, you’re like, you’re not woe as me, but I’m just saying as your friend and acknowledging what you’re what you’ve been through what you’re going through, and that it is a lot, and it’s fucking tough. It doesn’t change the circumstances. I’m not saying you know what I mean, but it is.

SuChin Pak  30:25

No, and every one, you know, it’s it is those things where, like, even with this show, you know, when I like, the, you know, I’m missing meetings and, you know, you’re texting me, I’m like, Oh, my God, I’m, you know, in the middle of this, you’re like, no worries, or, you know, when I say like, I have to leave today at three o’clock, because I got to pick my dad up. Everyone’s like, okay, what’s the timing? Let’s all get on board. So I am not alone. You know, and that I think that this feeling of isolation is sort of like almost a self imposed feeling. Because I need to feel that to then, like, move through it. Do you know what I mean? Like, I don’t want to just get to the point of where I’m like, oh, it’s all great. It’s fine. I’ve got so many friends. It’s like, I need to feel bad for what’s happening.

Kulap Vilaysack  31:16

Sometimes when I isolate, it’s because for me, specific to me, in the sort of times of stress, I’ve got a lot of wild energy. For me, it’s like, this is not safe for public consumption. Like it’s not and I know it, I would never like it would be violent for me to bring this to the people

SuChin Pak  31:42

Ku, this was what happened at Michael’s. This is what happened. You know, and the thing is, is you can’t frickin isolate when you got kids. But then there are moments right when I want to deal with them. And or have to deal with them. And I am. That’s amazing. I’d never even thought about that. My energy is so intense. It’s so chaotic. It’s so sharp. Yeah, you know, that, like, going to a trip to Michael’s to get crafting supplies.I was like, I can’t do this. I can’t do these trips right now. And it’s okay, that I tried. And I, you know, I can apologize to my daughter and tell her and, and they understand, you know, they see me rushing to and from, you know, the hospital every day. But like, I need to isolate. You’re right. That is that actually woe, like that release, like my stomach just kind of like, opened up a little bit from tension because you’re right. Like, I need to isolate myself from my kids right now.

Kulap Vilaysack  32:58

I mean, to flip it the suit that, that act of self care is the most loving thing to you and to them.

SuChin Pak  33:09

100%, and to be honest, uh, you know, so has some of the stuff I’ve bought. Because during this time, I was adding to cart a Christmas Village. And you guys, let me try to to somehow link the two because they’re so intrinsically linked to me, because I ordered all of this in the hospital. And I have wanted a Christmas Village my whole entire life.

Kulap Vilaysack  33:49

I’m actually getting emotional.

SuChin Pak  33:50

All I ever wanted was a Christmas Village. I once saw a friend of mine have a Christmas Village. And it moved and it rotated. There was like a little train. I have that memory from probably I was eight years old. And every year I have always wanted a Christmas Village and never you know the whole thing. It’s too expensive. Which Christmas Village, you know what I mean? You gotta go in on a brand like that was too much research. And this year, I walked into one of our many Michael’s trips in October looking for Halloween, shitty decorations, and there was a Christmas Village display by Lemax. And Zoey and I spent an hour looking at every little thing all the bottles, ornaments, the little deers and the snowman and we ate. I was like, I have not felt relief. From what my parents are going through until this moment, and we had the most magical hour at Michael’s, which I’m crying because I’m realizing like, my daughter always wants to go there. Because we had this moment, and she keeps wanting to go back and I’m like, what is this obsession with Michael’s? And I think maybe subconsciously, she had that moment. I don’t know. I’m just it’s just hitting me on I’m just thinking about it. So anyway. And so I was in the hospital, and I was like, fuck it. I’m buying the entire fucking village. I don’t care how much it costs. I don’t care where I have to go. I have ordered Lemax Christmas Village parts from stores that I don’t, could have been scams. Never heard of this place. Ordering hundreds of dollars. Christmas Village things. And as they’ve come in. Every night. Zoey and I say it’s time to turn on Christmas. It is our one moment of like pure joy and connection. She turns it on. Mike comes over and grumbles, Kai adds his chaos to it. It’s like a whole thing. Unplanned but just so beautiful. And I wanted to show you I took a video of my village.

Kulap Vilaysack  36:33

Yes, I need to see this video. Please. Keegan. Let me see this video. Are we going to watch the second video of Mike?

SuChin Pak  36:44

And Mike’s you know just sort of disdain not disdain. It’s very jokingly disdainful. He understands how, no, because I had to sort of tell him it was coming and I could feel his tension. And then I had to break it down and be like, you don’t understand. This is my light. And he was like, got it. Do what you need to do. So what do you think of the Christmas Village? So the two videos we’ll put up on our Instagram but one is a tour of all of the entire Christmas Village. And then Mike’s Mike’s reaction to such a village and boy, it has truly been the biggest light and and I knew you would love it. And I knew that you would approve. And it just felt good. It felt good to drop just a fucking load on a Christmas village.

Kulap Vilaysack  39:02

Earlier I asked for Santa to give my Susu joy, and he had already done it like that’s how it works. I, too, Got a a litte merry old Christmas Town.

SuChin Pak  39:24

Oh yeah, yours is very classy.

Kulap Vilaysack  39:26

I’ve never had a village, I too have wanted a village.

SuChin Pak  39:30

You don’t have a village? Because I’m looking at yours and I’m like oh should I cut up but you know what? No, because I needed mine to move and to animate and I needed mine to be a little scary.

Kulap Vilaysack  39:47

For me, I’m going to show you something I purchased that […]

SuChin Pak  39:51

I like this one. So this is the lit merry old town Christmas Town you guys it’s very, very beautiful from Balsam Hill.

Kulap Vilaysack  40:00

Of course by the way, Balsam Hill come on like why won’t you at least sponsor me?

SuChin Pak  40:05

You as a person walking around with the Balsam Hill, like decal on your leather jacket?

Kulap Vilaysack  40:16

What the f. So I got this lip Marielle Christmas Town I got a pet rescue. I got the cafe, the bookshop and the lodge. I didn’t get the church that’s that’s something that, you know I’m involved in. So I got the four and a five when they were on sale.

SuChin Pak  40:35

It feels fantastic. It’s gorgeous. I love this village. I love it.

Kulap Vilaysack  40:42

And I don’t know why I’ve learned to lean into this sort of German Swiss Alps kind of vibe.

SuChin Pak  40:48

Because you look classy gal.

Kulap Vilaysack  40:50

I guess, I mean, I do like a Scandi sort of wood situation. But I also purchased this lit wood and animated scene which you mentioned before, that does have some movement. The only thing that moves is like the little skiers.

SuChin Pak  41:06

Oh my god. They’re on a little round track.

Kulap Vilaysack  41:16

And it’s gives me joy. I have this place right by the dining table. Everybody who comes in is like what is this like, is what you’re describing Su, it’s magic. It’s magic. I’m gonna jump to one of my just like favorite additions, which is this retro Mary snowman with a tree on its head. And it’s a figurine Su, and I got it at traditions. The Canoga Park.

SuChin Pak  41:56

Who did you go with?

Kulap Vilaysack  41:57

Of course my Casey Rose Wilson. Of course, we we did our trip we did our mid November trip. Our pre-Thanksgiving trip of going first to traditions in Canoga Park drop in our shitload of money, and then having no woodland hills or someplace else nearby for […]. And that’s the Christmas shop where the Kardashians just like buy whole trees at Toll trees that have huge ornaments. Let’s take them, pretty ornamented. There’s like a rabbit up. Do you know that Daniel Schneider texted me and Casey yesterday, a screengrab of Kim Kardashians bathroom. Just her bathroom has nine trees. And she said, ladies get your act together. Now I do not have any more storage. I look around. I look around and my assistants like there’s no more space. You can’t buy more. What are you buying? Scott, he’s like, almost like, you know, he just he has no choice.

SuChin Pak  43:12

Hold his breath through it.

Kulap Vilaysack  43:14

Although he did really like, the wooded animated scene.

SuChin Pak  43:17

No, you’re dead inside. If you don’t feel something when you look at a wooden animated scene, this wooded animated scene, you’re dead inside.

Kulap Vilaysack  43:27

I feel, if you don’t look at this chubby little snowman with a retro tree on his head holding a banner that says Mary if you’re like, oh, that’s fine. Then I’m worried about you. I’m really worried about you. Because it is so Gosh, darn delightful. And he makes me laugh. He makes me laugh. He makes me warm. And he’s just a little guy. He’s just a little guy.

SuChin Pak  43:58

Hey, hey, it’s not things that’s bad. Fucking crazy. All right. Welcome back to sidebar with SuChin, it has a nice ring to it. Every time I say it, I get excited. I’m so excited to bring you the story of this new company. I’m so fascinated and tuned in to the different ways about thinking about health, right? And I’ve shared with you guys on our own journey with Mike and how we sort of approach our overall health and wellness. But for me, and as women, it often seems like our needs can sometimes be discounted, right? Like maybe we feel like we’re not as knowledgeable or that we have to advocate for our own health and that feels intimidating. And this is especially true, I think when we’re talking about our own reproductive and hormone health. I’m so excited today to have a conversation with Astrid Schanz-Garbassi from a company called Agni. And they’ve been supporting this show, and others all across Lemonada. An obvious focused on specifically women’s health, ensuring that we all have the important nutrients to fuel our bodies. They sell everything from teas, and cookies, and seasonings, even specifically all catered to help with life events, like periods, pregnancy postpartum, it’s just a really holistic approach to women’s health. I can’t wait to get into it with Astrid about why Agni is so different, and how they’re supporting women in I think, a really truly innovative way. Astra thank you so much. For being here on Add to Cart, I can’t wait for everyone to learn about what you’ve brought to us what you’ve brought to the world. I want to first start by asking, What was the question that you started with? When starting ogbeni? Like, what was the idea or the contemplation that you kind of began with?

Astrid Schanz-Garbassi  46:18

First of all, I’m so thrilled to be here. I’m such a huge fan of the show. I love the concept. I think the question, what are we buying and buying into offers us so much reflection and actually really ties into what I was thinking about when I started Agni, and I was really grappling with this question, what are we buying into, especially as women when it comes to food and nutrition and ultimately nourishment? And is that serving us? Like, is it serving our physical health? And is it serving our emotional health? And is it serving our relationship? So yeah, just like some light afternoon thinking.

SuChin Pak  47:02

I think starting off with what is our relationship to food as women is such a How I shall I put interesting place to start? It’s so complicated and layered. And so for you, what is the answer to that? And I know you don’t have the complete answer, but what are some of the answers that you want women especially to understand about this relationship and how you’re supporting that?

Astrid Schanz-Garbassi  47:28

I think it’s important to understand some of the context that I was able to surface and bring forward and working with a really incredible team of medical advisors, that span many different disciplines, bringing us into their world and the wisdom and research and information that’s available there. And something that immediately became clear is that we’re in what I would call a crisis of nourishment. It’s estimated that 95% of women of reproductive age in the US are deficient in at least one key nutrients. And we don’t always think about it this way. But that is going to translate directly into some of the day to day health, qualms that we experience, whether that manifests in fertility challenges, or challenging pregnancies or postpartum recoveries or painful period. It shows up that way. I really like this analogy of our bodies as a factory. And if you think about pay, there’s maybe a garment factory humming along. And then one day someone says, okay, you need to continue production, but with half the raw materials and 60% of the staff. Good luck. The factory is not going to be able to produce the same quality or quantity about what something’s going to get. And that’s what happens in our own bodies when we are shortchanged by by nutrients. And so something that I definitely removed from my cart in the process of of grain building audience something I think is not the answer is the what I call the less is more dogma, this idea that when it comes to staying healthy when it comes to how women should eat, we should be eating fewer calories, less fat, no sugar, no gluten, no dairy, whatever the No, or the less thing of the moment is that is actually one of the culprits of why we’re becoming deficient in nutrients. There are times where it’s appropriate, but to say, I’m just never going to eat dairy again in my life, because someone on Instagram told me to, oh, my gosh, well done. Where are your vitamins A, D, and K coming from? And it all has an impact.

SuChin Pak  49:33

I mean, there’s so much innovation in this company. And it’s why I definitely wanted to sit and talk to you because I’d never seen anything like this where I realized for me, at least with the acne products and the teas and the seasonings and all the different ways, what it’s helping me do in a way that I haven’t been at all aware before, is looking at food in a different way. Right, which is different than the vitamins and the powders. And so when I’m putting on the like the maca powder in my oatmeal, or the for a coffee, but seaweed, you know, seasoning in my rice, or having this tea this Chester berry tea, which is a revelation all day. So the food that you’re providing is actually food that I’m eating versus, and that really kind of I was like, wow, this is really interesting, I did not think that this was going to be the byproduct of using these products and consuming these products is is that it makes me so much more aware of like what I’m eating, can I have a relationship with it that, feels more, I guess your word nourishing, you know, in so many ways.

Astrid Schanz-Garbassi  50:47

oh my gosh, it is like you have been on our team for the last 2 years. And in my mind. That is truly it means so much to me because that is the dream for Agni and I, I knew that it would be really challenging to totally wholesale go in and provide someone all their meals, nor would what I want to we don’t want all of our meals to arrive in the mail, or come from one source. We want that diversity of going out to eat and doing takeout or home cooking and going to dinner parties. And so it truly the intention was what are little ways that we can start to change the lens with which we see all of that and understand. Oh my gosh, it’s not about is this bad for me? Or should I never have it? It’s about when do I have it? And when is it appropriate? And what am I asking of my foods to to help me with? And when is my body needing help? As opposed to be quiet body are so annoying. It’s like Oh no, you’re having recurring headaches, or you’re telling me something, you’re giving me a clue.

SuChin Pak  51:49

I want it shout out you have these like really great kind of boxes or packages that I think are fun, dare I say as well as supportive and innovative, which I love. And we’re getting right into that gifting season. And we’re thinking about the people in our lives as much as we’re thinking about ourselves. This fertility Tea for Two is a fantastic idea. We can you tell folks about it? Because when I saw it, I was like, Oh, this is this is hilarious and wonderful, by the way, like, bring men into the conversation like why are we only on the group chat like where is, where’s the other half of this group chat?

Astrid Schanz-Garbassi  52:26

Amen. So that was exactly the intention is we now know, half of the time that there are reproductive challenges and a couple there is a contributing factor from the male. And that’s true, by the way for miscarriage as well, which was, I think, really a revelation for me to learn that the quality of a man’s sperm can impact the development of an embryo and whether that embryo is viable or not. And so it’s really important that we get guys a seat at the table for this conversation around fertility and that just the emotional burden that we’re asking women to carry around on top of the physical burden. It’s like, yeah, do you just want to carry the rest of the world to while you’re at it? There are two people that are part of this equation. And what’s really interesting is that sperm quality is impacted by we now see, very impacted by the last three months of a man’s lifestyle and behaviors. And so if we can start to again, just awaken that awareness, like, Oh, I’m drinking a tea that is intended to help my vitality and intended to help the quality of my health and therefore the quality of my firm. What else am I putting in my body? The hope is with this as almost like a Trojan horse of its tea, it’s tea time for two, it can be a really cozy, fun ritual, and it can open some important conversations.

SuChin Pak  53:56

Well, I’m super excited that we get to share it with our listeners, because I think this philosophy of having a more open dialogue with each other, you know, is built into the DNA of the company and you can’t help even when you’re consuming it, to get that so you guys are definitely doing something right.

Astrid Schanz-Garbassi  54:17

Well, I hope the same for everyone else who finds their way to Agni.

SuChin Pak  54:18

Well, that is it for our show. If you want to find more about Augie you can go to their website Their Instagram is @AgniForAll.

Kulap Vilaysack  54:42

We have to wrap the show up. It’s been another special holiday episode of add to cart. We hope you and yours are decking the halls and staying both holly and jolly.

SuChin Pak  54:56

That’s right. Check out our Instagram obviously all love these videos all of these pictures will be there including Emmys cute little diaper but with the with the reindeer head and we’re just wishing everybody a wonderful holiday and continuing to add to cart in deranged ways you know what I mean? That’s all for now. Bye bye.

Kulap Vilaysack  55:34

There’s more ADD TO CART, with Lemonada Premium, you’ll get access to all of lemon out as premium content including our premium episodes. Where Paul Scheer tells us about his favorite gifts for stocking stuffers. Subscribe now in Apple podcast right where you listen to the show. Guess what, Add to Carter’s? We have been nominated for a shiny shiny award. The signal awards seek to recognize standout podcasts and we have been nominated as Best Lifestyle pod.

SuChin Pak  56:02

Thank you. But of course we need your help to win. So go to or visit the link in the show notes to cast your vote for Add to Cart.

CREDITS  56:13

ADD TO CART is a production of Lemonada Media. Our producer is Claire Jones and our mix is by Ivan Kuraev and Veronica Rodriguez. The music is by Wasahhbii and produced by La Made It and Oh So Familiar with additional music by APM music. Executive producers are Kulap Vilaysack, SuChin Pak, Jessica Cordova Kramer and Stephanie Wittels Wachs. Be sure to check out all the items we mentioned today on our Instagram at @AddToCartPod. Also, please take a moment to rate, review, and subscribe to the show wherever you get your podcast.

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