Oh Joy

simple syrups, simple homemade sodas... 2 Sep 2015

Oh Joy / Homemade Sodas

I love sparkling drinks...sparkling water, homemade sodas, anything with bubbles just makes me happy. Since traditional soda isn't so great for you, I'm always looking for ways to make my own version at home with real fruit and juices. An easy way to make homemade sodas is to use flavored simple syrups. You can make them in advance and serve with sparkling water at a moment's notice. And, they have way more concentrated flavor then simply mixing sparkling water with juice. All you need to do is choose a flavor and make a simple syrup and adjusting the amount of sugar based on the natural sweetness of fruit. Here's how and a few of our favorite flavors...

To make a simple syrup...

1. Combine ¾ cup sugar and 1 cup water in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.

2. Stir in (1 cup fruit) and bring to a boil.

3. Reduce heat and simmer until fruit has broken down, about 6-7 minutes.

4. Strain mixture through a cheesecloth or fine sieve; let cool.

5. To serve, whisk together simple syrup and 4 cups of soda (or add more or less syrup to your desired level of concentration. Muddle or garnish with mint or additional citrus if needed.

Oh Joy / Homemade Sodas

A few of our favorites shown above...

Strawberry-Thai Basil Soda (orange-red with green herbs)

1. Add 1 cup water and ¾ cup sugar to a saucepan on low heat for the syrup base. Add 1 cup trimmed and chopped strawberries and ½ cup Thai basil leaves.

2. Once the mixture begins to boil, immediately reduce to a simmer. The strawberries should get soft and the leaves will wilt. After 6-7 minutes, take the mixture of the heat and allow to cool.

3. Once cooled, pour through a fine mesh strainer and discard solids to yield flavored syrup.

4. To serve, combine ½ cup syrup with 2 cups sparkling water and top with the juice from ½ a lemon. Add more syrup to taste for sweetness.

Oh Joy / Homemade Sodas

Blueberry-Ginger Soda (fuschia)

1. Add 1 cup water and ¾ cup sugar to a saucepan on low heat for syrup base. Add 1 cup blueberries and ½ cup ginger, peeled and chopped.

2. Once the mixture begins to boil, immediately reduce to a simmer. The blueberries should blister. After 6-7 minutes, take the mixture off the heat and allow to cool.

3. Once cooled, pour through a fine mesh strainer and discard solids to yield flavored syrups.

4. To serve, combine ½ cup syrup with 2 cups sparkling water and top with the juice from ½ a lemon. Add more syrup to taste for sweetness.

Oh Joy / Homemade Sodas

Grapefruit-Juniper Berry (light yellow)

1. Add 1 cup water and ¾ cup sugar to a saucepan on low heat for syrup base. Add 2 tbs fresh juniper berries (lightly crush the berries first) and 5-6 peels from a grapefruit with as little pith as possible.

2. Once the mixture begins to boil, immediately reduce to a simmer. After 6-7 minutes, take the mixture off the heat and allow to cool.

3. Once cooled, pour through a fine mesh strainer and discard solids to yield flavored syrups.

4. To serve, combine ½ cup syrup with 2 cups sparkling water and top with the juice from ½ grapefruit. Add more syrup to taste for sweetness.

Confetti-nails-3-blog

Enjoy! These would be a great addition to Labor Day fun this coming weekend!

{Photos by Casey Brodley, recipes by Ariel Fulmer, styling by Ariel Fulmer and Joy Cho.}

{oh joy eats} ohana seafood company... 1 Sep 2015

Ohana Seafood Company / Los Angeles

One of the things I missed most during my past pregnancies wasn't alcohol, but sushi and other forms of raw fish. It's one of my favorite things to eat. I know raw fish isn't for everyone, but if you're into it, then poke (which is very popular in Hawaii) is one of my favorite ways to eat tuna. One of my favorite local restaurants, Black Hogg, recently closed and turned into Ohana Seafood Company. While I was sad to see the original restaurant go, Ohana's version of poke is out of this world and I now crave it daily. They offer options with rice, kale, kimchi cucumbers, glass noodles, edamame and other toppings with the tuna for a healthy and filling meal.

Ohana Seafood Company / Los Angeles

You choose a base poke and a bunch of sides that come all together in a simple bowl. Add an aqua fresca, and you feel like you just drank straight out of a watermelon or pineapple while sitting on the beach.

Ohana Seafood Company / Los Angeles

And my favorite combo is the tuna with chili mango...a little tangy, a little spicy, and so so good! There are two locations for Ohana—one in Silver Lake and one in Downtown LA— and is a must if you're a poke lover. I've been here three times in less than two weeks (insert embarrassed emoji face).

Ohana Poke (Downtown LA) | 130 E 6th St. | Los Angeles, CA 90014

Ohana Seafood Company (Silver Lake) | 2852 W Sunset Blvd | Los Angeles, CA 90026

{Photos by Casey Brodley for Oh Joy}

currently loving...31 Aug 2015

Odeme
Odeme

Hi guys! I'm back! We had such a fun time in Seattle. I'll be sharing some of our favorite things we did on the trip later this week. In the meantime, I'm currently obsessing over these beautiful goods from the beautiful new line, Odeme. These accessories feel timeless with a wonderful mix of bold patterns and vintage details. And, the packaging?!? Just. so. good...

we'll be back...21 Aug 2015

Oh Joy Zebra Butts

You guys! I'm going on vacation! I haven't been away on a real vacation (for more than a weekend) since Christmas of last year. So I'm excited to recharge my mind and my body and spend some uninterrupted time with my family. We're headed to Seattle for a little adventure! (Thanks again for everyone's recommendations).

I'll be posting some snaps on Instagram during our trip. But in an effort to really get away from work, I've closed my office for the week and taking a blog break as well. I'll be back here on Monday, August 31st in full force, and will be sure to share some adventures from our trip!

In the meantime, if you want to peruse some of our favorite posts from the summer, click here to see some of my all-time favorite posts.

P.S. In case you didn't know...

1. We have a general Oh Joy mailing list where you'll get a monthly newsletter and hear about new products before anyone else!

2. We also have a daily email that sends blog posts straight to your inbox. (If you sign up for either, make sure to confirm your subscription via email in order to get them!)

Have a great week all! See ya soon!

{Photo by Casey Brodley}

and then came the princesses...20 Aug 2015

Ruby-princess-costume

Ok, so I'll start this post by saying that I was never into princesses as a kid. I barely had any dolls. My dad got me a fake Barbie from Chinatown one time, and I played with it once. I never fed a baby doll a bottle, I never brushed a doll's hair with a plastic comb, and I never dressed up like a princess for Halloween. The closest I came to that was the year I was Strawberry Shortcake when I was 5. And then a bird pooped on my mask while I was at school in my costume. I took that as a sign to never be a character for Halloween again ;)

Fast forward to 30-some years later, and I have an almost 4 year old whom I rarely expose to princesses (Ok, I did let her watch Frozen because I liked how it was about sisterly love) or dress up. And it's not that I have anything against princesses, it's just not a world I know about. And now she's infatuated with being a princess and having a magic wand and dressing up in these princess dresses that her friends have (like said outfit above). Ruby has even asked for plastic princess heels for her birthday. I guess I understand. I know little girls like this stuff. But since I never liked this stuff, it's a little harder for me to process. It doesn't help that "princess stuff" is both pink AND purple and all kinds of shiny, frilly, and glittery all at once. (Could I just redesign what a modern day princess would wear?!)

So, what do you do...say "yes" and let your kids be into this thing that every other kid is into? Or do you steer them away from it?

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