Oh Joy

a monday night ritual...26 Jan 2015

Oh Joy / Monday Nights

Soon after before Ruby was born, we started a ritual of going out to dinner on Monday nights with two other couples/friends who have kids of the same age. I know it sounds odd to make Monday the night to go out (wouldn't Friday or Saturday make more sense as an end of week celebration?). It started as a way for us to try new food trucks in our neighborhood (ah, tiny Ruby in that photo!), and has since become a day for Ruby to see her friends regularly and a chance for us parents to vent over how tired we were or how good (or not good) our kids were being that week. And the last thing I want to do is make dinner on a Monday night (which is usually the busiest work day of the week for both me and Bob). 

Since then, every week for the last three years, we have a standing date at 5:30pm on Monday night. It's early enough that we can get the kids home for their 7:30pm bedtime. And on a Monday, you never have to worry about a reservation. Now that we all have two kids, we're like this giant table of twelve with six parents and six kids. It's sometimes insane trying to wrangle the kids, have our own adult conversations, and feed ourselves and the kids at the same time, but it's one of my favorite parts of my week. I enjoy a nice glass of wine with dinner and kick off the week with a simple celebration of family and friends.

Do you guys have a weekly ritual you look forward to?

{Photo by Bonnie Tsang}

happy friday + 3 months with coco...23 Jan 2015

Oh Joy / Monthly Baby Photo

Before having my second baby, I had serious doubts that I could love another baby as much as I loved my first. It sounds silly, I know, but I didn't think I had any more love to give. But then, Coco came into our lives with her happy and laid-back disposition, and I fell in love all over again. I seriously marvel every day at how much I love her.

Now at three months in, I feel like we're finally getting into a groove as a family of four. Ruby is no longer super jealous and loves her sister (most of the time), I'm no longer crying every day from lack of sleep and hormonal emotions. And, I no longer feel guilty for getting take-out or delivery because I just cannot make daily meals from scratch while wrangling two kids. We are finally figuring out how to just do this thing the best that we can.

Here's a look back at our last three months of Coco. Babies change so much in the first few months of life that it's fun to see how they start to look like the person they'll become...

Oh Joy / Monthly Baby Photo

I also shot some lying down photos this time around...

Oh Joy / Monthly Baby Photo

Some people like to do the same outfit and same background for their monthly baby photos, but I like to keep a couple things the same (the chair she's sitting on, the size of the number), but have her outfit and the background blanket change every month. She has too many cute outfits that she outgrows so fast that it's nice to get to remember them from these photos.

Oh Joy / Monthly Baby Photo with Big Sis

Big sister always makes a cameo. Ruby likes to pretend to take the monthly photos of Coco with her toy camera and then she can't help but get in there, too. 

And because I love seeing how everyone does their monthly photos, I've added a few of my favorites on my Oh Baby board right here for some inspiration!

{Mini pinata numbers by Katie K. Franklin. Coco's Outfits - 1 Month: Boden onesie, Thief & Bandit leggings, 2 Month: Rylee & Cru onesie, Little Hip Squeaks headband, Freshly Picked moccasins, Month 3: Little Hip Squeaks onesie, Thief & Bandit headband.}  

lessons learned / from my favorite makers...22 Jan 2015

Shop Small Makers

In the past few years, there’s been a huge resurgence in handmade goods and the appreciation for the people who make these one-of-a-kind goods. In partnership with American Express in support of the Shop Small® movement, here’s a look at a few of my favorite makers right now whose work I personally love wearing or having in my home.  Also, because I love hearing how small business owners evolve over time, I asked each of them one thing they have learned as a small business owner...

Continue reading " lessons learned / from my favorite makers... " »

coco's nursery!21 Jan 2015

Oh Joy nursery/office by Emily Henderson

A few months before my due date last year, my friends at Target said "Hey, what do you think about having Emily Henderson design the nursery for your new baby?" Since I'm a designer at Target and she's their style expert, it was a fun way for us to work together show people how you can design a nursery at a reasonable price and not have to go crazy on super fancy purchases. Plus, Emily and I have a loooong history of working together. She designed our living room for her show (and then again when we needed to baby proof). She designed our studio, and she has signed-on to design every single house I will live in for the rest of my life (just kidding, but not kidding because I will pay her in Ryan Gosling kisses). So it only made sense for us to work together again on Coco's room. She gets me, I get her, and we just have fun hanging out together.

However, the one thing about this whole "Let's design a new nursery" thing is that I didn't actually have an extra room dedicated to our 2nd baby. As is the case with the many second children (sorry, second kids), we weren't planning to do anything special with Coco's room. I figured we'd put a bassinet in our only extra room (our home office) until our new baby was sleeping through the night and then have her share a room with Ruby. So I proposed that we do an office/nursery-in-one because the reality is that not everyone has enough space for every kid to have their own dedicated room.

Since my home office was no longer my main office, we were able to scale back on the needs of that room and give Coco a special area just for her while she's little and getting her sleep skills mastered (more on that whole newborn sleep thing soon...).

Here is the space before...sorry it looks like an explosion went off in there. It was once my home office for Oh Joy but had since turned into an office/storage/extra junk room.

Oh Joy nursery/office by Emily Henderson

And here it is now...

Oh Joy nursery/office by Emily Henderson

Oh Joy nursery/office by Emily Henderson

Oh Joy nursery/office by Emily Henderson

Oh Joy nursery/office by Emily Henderson

Since I already had the usual Oh Joy "pops of color and gold" in Ruby's room, Emily convinced me to go a different direction with this nursery and made it more gender neutral, graphic, and fun. The main pieces (crib, changing table, pouf, rug, lamps, book shelfoffice chairs, baby bedding) were all from Target and so well-priced. And everything else was a combination of pieces I already had (like the glider which used to be in Ruby's room), vintage finds (like that cool credenza with gold accents she found on Craig's List for $200), and other affordable sources like the Ikea desks which had custom legs and lucite tops added to them.

Here's a look at the "office" part of the room... (click below to see more)

Continue reading " coco's nursery! " »

baby's breath can be cool...20 Jan 2015

Baby's Breath Wreath

I don't know about you, but there's only one kind of baby's breath that I can't get enough of (and that's attached to my little Coco). The flower kind on the other hand has always seemed like an unnecessary floral to me used as a filler in cheesy, gifted bouquets. And because I love challenges, we challenged ourselves to do something with baby's breath that doesn't look cheesy...

Baby's Breath Wreath

I love wreaths and think they they should be a year-round thing. So why not use the above-mentioned questionable flower to make a decorative wreath? With the addition of other fresh flowers, it's really pretty for a party or event for the day. And, if you want it to last longer, use flowers that will dry nicely the way that baby's breath does.

Baby's Breath Wreath

Here's what you'll need:

- gold embroidery (we used a 10 inch hoop) 

- floral wire

- flowers (we used baby's breath mixed with freesia and hydrangea) 

- leather or faux leather strip with leather hole punch tool

Here's how:

1. Gather a small bundle of flowers and place them on the embroidery hoop.

2. Use a piece of floral wire about 12 inches long and wrap it securely around the bundle and hoop. Keep going around the hoop added baby's breath and wrapping with the wire as far as you like. We covered it only partway because the exposed gold hoop feels sort of modern and fresh.

3. You can hang your wreath directly from the hoop or make a strap using a piece leather and punch a hole at the end using a leather hole punch tool. The baby's breath will dry out but like dried flowers do, it should last at least a couple weeks.

Baby's Breath Wreath

{Photos by Casey Brodley, styling and crafts by Julia Wester for Oh Joy}

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