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Sheltering at Home with… Tomoko Kuta of The New Children’s Museum

Gardening, long walks, and feel-good podcasts keep this museum director centered


Cardiff-by-the-Sea, just east of I-5, what I lovingly call “Cardiff by the Freeway.”



Deputy Museum Director, The New Children’s Museum


Who you’re sheltering with:

My husband (53), son (12), and two cats.


What you’re doing for exercise:

I’m that odd hybrid of arts professional and former amateur athlete, so staying active has definitely been important. In addition to cycling, running, and online workout classes, I go on daily walks—targeting 10,000 steps with help from my son and lots of great podcasts.


Go-to meal:

I’m working from home, so I should have more time to cook, but I’m more busy than ever. I recently discovered delicious overnight oatmeal recipes that get my day going quickly. My favorites include almond butter, chocolate chips, and dried tart cherries. Super easy, super yummy!


Podcast you’ve discovered:

On my walks, I listen to news and my favorite podcasts: Hidden Brain, Good Life Project, Crazy Good Turns, and Buddhist Solutions (For Life’s Problems). Also, thanks to a good friend, I have a free subscription to MasterClass and have been watching talented professionals share about cooking, creativity, gardening, and communication in short videos.


Rituals to stay sane:

I have a daily Buddhist practice that focuses on gratitude and identifying the best in others. Also, getting outdoors to feel the sun and tending my garden on weekends to stay connected to nature.


What you’ve come to appreciate:

I am blessed to be able to continue to work and to work from home with my family nearby. My son patiently waits for me to finish my workday and we enjoy evening walks and bike rides together.


What you can’t wait to do when it’s safe for everything to reopen:

See friends and their kids! Zoom and phone calls just aren’t the same. I also can’t wait to see families at the museum when we reopen!


What does your workspace look like?

I have a small home office, just a little nook with my laptop, books, photos of my family, and some artwork. When I need a break, I take my laptop into my backyard.

Sheltering at Home / Tomoko Kuta

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