Oh Joy

a kid's supper that gives back... 6 Oct 2015

Oh Joy Kid's FEED Supper

Every year for my kid’s birthdays, we ask our friends not to bring gifts, but donate to a charity instead. Or even to bring a gently used book they no longer need that we can collect and donate to other children. My kids are very lucky to have a decent life, and I want them to be aware of the fact that not all children have things like clothes, food, and a place to live. We started talking to Ruby about helping others in need when she was two years old and have her help bring toys and clothes to a local charity every year for the holidays.  

This year, I hosted a FEED Supper as part of a wonderful initiative that FEED Projects organizes every fall to help provide meals for children in need. Rather than limiting the dinner to just my friends for a fancy adult dinner party, I wanted to include our children in the supper and create a couple hours that would be enjoyable for both parents and kids, but also to expose the kids to the idea that they can help other children, too. And, we all had a great night in the process. Here are some details of the supper if you'd like to see...

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who am i? 5 Oct 2015

Oh Joy

Last week, I traveled to Vancouver (more about what I did later this week). I was supposed to take my family with me but ended up making it a work-only trip at the last minute. Because I had been planning the logistics of traveling with the kids in my head for the months leading up to this trip, it was kind of a sigh of relief to make the short trip on my own. To travel solo is a very rare treat these days when I go on work trips. And while I was sad they didn't make this trip, it was so peaceful to be able to just bring a light bag and go through security with minimal belongings.

But then you know what happened? I watched other parents at the airport with their kids—doing those things I normally do like making sure your kids are fed, entertained, and hopefully not screaming the whole time while carrying a ton of stuff for "just in case". I empathized with them and wanted them to know I understood what they were going through. But then I also felt weirdly sad—like no one knew that I was a mother and that all of those things are things that I usually experience, too. It was the first time that I felt like I was defining my identity and how I wanted to project myself to strangers was that of a mother.

It made me think...how do I define who I am? How do YOU define who you are? When we meet strangers on the plane, we almost always talk first about our jobs or what we do for a living. We never really talk about what we like to do on the weekends or our favorite dessert. Sure, I have a fancy professional bio that I use most of the time for work stuff, but how would I define myself to a complete stranger if I had to tell them briefly who I am?

So this is what I came up with...

My name is Joy. I design things that I hope will make people happy. I come up with ideas for life that I hope will surprise and delight, and I share those ideas on the Internet. I am the mother to two girls who have taught me to enjoy the simplicity of every day. I am the wife to a person who has always believed in me even when I didn't know what the heck I was doing. I work really hard, and I go after what I want. I try and spend my time doing things that make me happy because life is too short to spend your time doing too many things that you hate. I also think about ice cream...all the time.

What about you guys? Who are YOU?

{Photo by LK Griffin

Chocolate Chip and Caramel Sandwich Cookies... 1 Oct 2015

Chocolate Chip and Caramel Sandwich Cookies

In honor of National Homemade Cookie Day today and as a Part 2 to yesterday's post, I wanted to share this very delicious recipe for Chocolate Chip and Caramel Sandwich Cookies by the ladies of Sweet Laurel Bakery...

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career day / bakers...30 Sep 2015

Career Day with Sweet Laurel Bakery

Career Day with Sweet Laurel Bakery

Career Day with Sweet Laurel Bakery

When I asked Ruby if she wanted to visit a couple of awesome ladies who make "treats", of course, she screamed with excitement. What Ruby didn't know was that the bakery I was about to take her to for "Career Day" is gluten-free, dairy-free, and sugar-free! I, personally, don't have any food limitations or allergies, but when I come across food companies that make me crave their food or treats even without "all the normal stuff", I am immediately fascinated. So Ruby and I took a trip to see Laurel Gallucci and Claire Thomas of Sweet Laurel Bakery, and they showed us how to make some amazing Coconut Chocolate Chip and Caramel Sandwich Cookies that I am craving as I write this. Here's a peek into this amazing baked goods company started by two friends united by a love of whole food...

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from doodles to works of art...29 Sep 2015

Ruby Painting

A few months ago, Ruby made a really fun painting while visiting artist Kim West during one of our Career Day trips. Now, we have so many pieces of Ruby's "art" that I don't keep (I just can't keep) every single piece. But this one was so large and vibrant, that I couldn't part with it...

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