Oh Joy

advent calendar ornaments... 30 Nov 2016

advent calendar ornaments

advent calendar ornaments

I love the surprise and delight of advent calendars and unwrapping a new surprise every day leading up to Christmas. This year, we made advent calendar ornaments to double as decorative pieces for the tree as well as a series of surprises for the holiday. See how...


dressing the team / sequin skirts... 29 Nov 2016


For our last Dressing the Team post of this year, we wanted to end with something festive. And what's more festive or says holiday more than a sequin skirt?! Based on our body types and skin tones, we each chose a skirt that we could dress up for the holidays and night out or dress down for wearing to the office or a more casual party. Come see how we wore them...

dressing the team / sequin skirts

Jess, our crafting assistant, is on the petite side (4'11") so she can shop the larger sizes in the girl's section and get a great deal for something that is often double the price in the women's section. She paired a silver sequin mini skirt with an everyday striped shirt and topped it all off with a chic hat and booties.

Jess is wearing a Nordstrom skirt, Target shirt, Chloe + Isabel necklace, Sole Society booties (similar), and Lack of Color hat.

dressing the team / sequin skirts

Courtney, our Executive Assistant, combined her ombre mini skirt with a classic white button-down. She loved how the pencil skirt accentuated her curves and the blush accents worked well on her fair skin tone. The white shirt adds a certain sophistication and a nice contrast to help tone down the shiny skirt. I love how super chic this look is for a cocktail party or holiday party.

Courtney is wearing a Target white button down shirt, Forever 21 sequin skirt, H&M heels (similar), and Chloe & Isabel bun cuff.

dressing the team / sequin skirts

Julia, our Creative Producer & Stylist, wanted to add a dose of pattern to her gold sequined maxi skirt. High waisted skirts help to accentuate the smallest part of the waist on any body type. So she added a basic grey tee to serve as a base before layering on her floral bomber - perfect for a night out to dinner and to see a show.

Julia's wearing a Target grey tee, ASOS sequin skirt, Forever 21 floral bomber jacket (similar), and dv booties.

dressing the team / sequin skirts

Angie, our designer, wears this black a-line skirt to work all the time! I love how she makes it feel casual, yet fun, with a bright blue sweater and silver booties. The black sequins are less sparkly than a metallic option, so it feels really versatile and a good option for someone who doesn't like things too shiny.

Angie's wearing a Target sweater, Benumade earrings from Ban.do, Target black sequin skirt (similar), and Splendid booties.

dressing the team / sequin skirts

Joy, that's me! Because I love dancing, I chose this swingy midi skirt in blush pink. I added some pattern with a festive confetti tank and added a light grey blazer to make it feel a bit more formal for a work meeting or dinner out. I added a little extra whimsy and texture with my accessories. 

I'm wearing a LC Lauren Conrad blazer, top by Doops DesignGlitterFoxLA sequin skirt, Loeffler Randall sandals (past season), and Benumade earrings from Ban.do.

dressing the team / sequin skirts

A few of our tips for wearing sequins...

1. Get something you would wear again. A sequin skirt may not be the most worn piece in your closet, but pick a piece that you could dress up or down and would feel comfortable wearing for multiple occasions.

2. Cooler sequins (silver) go well with more fair skin tones while warmer sequins (gold and copper) go well with darker skin tones.

3. Make sure you can move in it. The material is already a little stiffer than non-sequined pieces, so make sure the cut is one that doesn't feel too tight and you could move (and dance!) in.

{Photos by Casey Brodley outside Wanderlust. Mural by Kim West.}

a felt leaf runner... 28 Nov 2016


I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Now that the first big entertaining day of the holiday season is behind us, it's fast and furious through the end of the year. Today, we're sharing a super easy and fun DIY to make a runner or trivet for your next gathering this fall and winter. Here's how...


happy thanksgiving + a last minute centerpiece! 23 Nov 2016

A Sweet Thanksgiving Centerpiece

A Sweet Thanksgiving Centerpiece

A Sweet Thanksgiving Centerpiece

Happy Wednesday all! We're signing off for the rest of the week for the Thanksgiving holiday. But if you're looking for a last minute centerpiece for the holiday, check out this "cone-a-copia" (made of ice cream cones!) we made a couple years back. It's still one of my favorite projects ever. You can watch the full how-to right here!

Wishing you and your loved ones a wonderful Thanksgiving. Here's to lots of rest, being home in PJ's, and cozy treats galore!

{photos by Casey Brodley, styling and crafting by Julia Wester}

how to choose a location for family photos... 22 Nov 2016

how to choose a location for family photos

I love sending out our annual family photo as something for my family to treasure, and also as a fun way to stay in touch with those we love who are far away and to keep them updated on how everyone has grown. Every year, as fall approaches, the hardest thing to figure out is where to take our family photos. I try to change the location every year, but still keep it close to our home and convenient for our family's schedule.

We've been using Artifact Uprising for our cards for years and love the clean and simple designs (on 100% recycled paper!) that really let the photos shine. The new foil designs this year are my favorite! So we've teamed up with them today to share my tips for choosing a great location for taking your family's photo... 

how to choose a location for family photos

1. An indoor studio — If weather is questionable, an indoor location or photo studio guarantees it won't rain or snow during your photo session. For our first family photo ever, our friends Max and Jesse teamed up to offer 20 minute pop-up photo sessions at a local studio in Los Angeles. All we had to do was show up—no worries about props, lighting, or weather conditions.

Featured: Foil-Stamped Merry Card

how to choose a location for family photos

2. Your neighborhood — For our 2nd year, we wanted to capture the beauty of our Los Angeles neighborhood. Ruby was only 2 years old, so we kept the location within 10 minutes of our house. Little kids can only really take photos for 15-20 minutes (maybe 30 minutes if you have an especially patient child) so close locations are helpful. Our photographer, Katherine, did such a good job capturing the simplicity and beauty of our surroundings while capturing my family's personality at the same time.

Featured: Simple Love To You & Yours Card; Foil-Stamped Happy Holidays Card

how to choose a location for family photos

3. At home — The easiest location of them all is home sweet home. For our 3rd year, Coco had just been born and so she was a tad too tiny to take out and about. We shot most of the photos in our bedroom with the kids playing, laying, or sitting on the bed with us. They were casual, personal, and Katherine really captured the joy of our new arrival so well.

Featured: With Love Grid Card

how to choose a location for family photos

4. A graphic background — For our 4th year, I was really into finding the coolest walls around Los Angeles. There are so many amazing murals to choose from in this city. However, I ended up going with something more graphic in texture and chose this huge wall outside of the Broad Museum. It was also an ode to my love of art and the excitement of Downtown Los Angeles (where the museum is located). Our amazing photographer, Morgan, shot these photos right before sunset so the light was natural with a beautiful glow.

Featured: New Adventures, New Year Card with Foil; Simple Hand-Letterd Holiday Card

how to choose a location for family photos

5. If all else fails, add props — Sometimes when you take family photos, it can feel weird to just stand there and smile. We always take posed photos but then also just play and let the kids do their thing. One thing that helps loosen things up are some simple props. You don't have to turn it into a wedding photo booth, but whether it's a bunch of beach balls or a pile of flowers from your garden, props can add a whimsical touch to photos. For this year's photo, we went to a local garden and took a bunch of streamers for the kids to play with and hold. Our photographer, Morgan, checked out the garden the day before to make sure there would be some open areas where the kids could just run wild with streamers in hand. The streamers added lightness and extra color to our natural setting. 

Featured: Here's to the Good New Years Card

Hopefully, seeing all the locations we've taken family photos in the past give you ideas for your upcoming and future family photos! 

P.S. Artifact Uprising is offering a special code for 10% off their Holiday Photo Cards for Oh Joy readers. Simply enter OHJOYXAU16 at checkout by November 29th. And, tips for choosing outfits for family photos!

*This post is brought to you in collaboration with Artifact Uprising—a brand I've used and loved for years. All words are my own. 

{Flat photos by Casey Brodley, flat styling by Julia Wester. Family photos by: Max Wanger, Jesse Marble, Katherine Rose, and Morgan Pansing.}

naked sparkle amazingness... 21 Nov 2016

Ashish Spring 2016 from Hunger by Eva K. Salvi

Ashish Spring 2016 from Hunger by Eva K. Salvi

Ashish Spring 2016 from Hunger by Eva K. Salvi

Sometimes you see a collection of things that scream out so loud to you that you don't know how or why you've never come across it before. UK designer, Ashish, debuted this Spring/Summer 2016 collection last year, but it still feels so fresh and fun that I had to share.

Ashish Spring 2016 by Vogue

Ashish Spring 2016 by Vogue

Ashish Spring 2016 by Vogue

Ashish Spring 2016 by Vogue

Ashish Spring 2016 by Vogue

I've been obsessed with sheer pieces and sequins lately, so this whole collection is pretty much what my dreams are made of.

{Top photos from Hunger by Eva K. Salvi, bottom photos from Vogue.}

happy friday + future workshops... 18 Nov 2016

Oh Joy studio

Ah! We've signed the lease on a new office for Oh Joy (it's almost twice as big as what we have now!), and we're getting ready to pack up and move next month. Now that our new space will be big enough to host events, I'm excited to get back to meeting with people in real life and hosting business talks and various workshops in the new Oh Joy studio.

SOOOO....I'd love to know what types of talks, workshops, or events you would come to if you are (or if you could travel to us) in Los Angeles? I used to teach social media, freelancing, and product development workshops so I'd probably focus on other topics I have not yet covered. But I am open to hearing all of your suggestions!

Thanks in advance and have a great weekend! 

{Photos by Casey Brodley, my outfit by Boden.}

make a metallic tote! 17 Nov 2016

metallic tote DIY

Sometimes you need a bag that's casual yet nicer than a plain canvas tote! So today, we're showing you how to make this everyday metallic tote using some basic sewing supplies. Here's how...

metallic tote DIY

You'll need:

- 2 yards metallic fabric

- straight pins

- sewing needle

- thread

- scissors

- fabric glue

metallic tote DIY

Here's how:

1. Create the bag shape by drawing on the back side of the fabric in a boxy "U" shape, keeping the bottom part of the U nice and full. You can think of it as the same shape as a flattened plastic bag you might get from the grocery store. 

2. Use straight pins to secure two pieces of fabric together (with the backside of fabric facing out) and cut out the shape from both pieces.

3. Keeping the fabric pinned with back of fabric facing out, use a simple loop stitch to join the outside bottom edges of the bag. Also, stitch the top of each of the handles all the way across.

4. For extra reinforcement, use fabric glue to line the seams you sewed. Let dry 15 minutes.

5. Finally, turn your bag inside out so that the shiny side is outside, and add fun brooches and pins to personalize it!

metallic tote DIY

{Photos by Casey Brodley, styling by Julia Wester, crafting by Jess Hong}

3 color combos to bring into your living room.... 16 Nov 2016


One of the things that we get asked about a lot is how to bring color into your home. Often, people are afraid of color because they think it means they need a red couch or purple walls and need to commit to something for a long time. But one of the easiest ways to slowly work color into your home is through decorative accents that you can change out every year—like pillows.

Here's a very neutral living room that was given a blast of color in three ways simply by the tones of the pillows added...

3 Color Combinations for Your Living Room

1. Blues and greens. This is probably the easiest color palette for most people to start with because blue and green are calming colors that don't feel overly feminine. For this palette, we stuck to five colors—pale blue, mint green, lime/neon green, medium blue, and navy blue. The navy blue helps to ground with its neutral and classic shade while the others bring a mix of bright and pale colors to offer variety to the eyes all within the same color palette.

Items shown here: Target bookshelf, Target canister, Target giraffe figurine, Target elephant figurine, Target geo burst, Aelfie rug, Anthropologie pillow, Arro Home pillow, Leif pillow, Arro Home pillow, Ikea pillow, Eric Trine stand.

3 Color Combinations for Your Living Room

2. Jewel tones. For the fall or holidays (or for those who like bolder colors), jewel tones feel just right. This usually includes darker (but still vibrant) colors. For this palette, we started with vibrant magenta and cobalt blue accented by pale blue and neutrals—gold and black. This looks feels a bit more evening and lively with the mix of colors and patterns.

Items shown here: Target bookshelf, Target canister, Target giraffe figurine, Target elephant figurine, Target geo burst, Aelfie rug, Arro Home pillow, Oh Joy! for Target painted constellation pillow, Oh Joy! for Target swan pillow, Oh Joy! for Target moon pillow, Pom Pom at Home throw blanket.

3 Color Combinations for Your Living Room

3. Pastels with pop. For a sweeter, yet fun look—go for pastels with a punch of bright accents. For this palette, we started with a base layer of pillows in pastel shades of pink, peach, pale blue, and mint green. To add some pop (so it doesn't get too Easter egg looking), we added pieces that had doses of bright coral and magenta to top it off.

Items shown here: Target bookshelf, Target canister, Target giraffe figurine, Target elephant figurine, Target geo burst, Aelfie rug, Anthropologie pillowArro Home pillow, Brahms Mount throw blanket, Arro Home pillow, Virginia Johnson pillow, Anthropologie pillow.

What do you guys think? Any other colors you would want to mix into your home?

{Photos by Casey Brodley, styling by Julia Wester.}

10 tips for throwing a great kid's party... 15 Nov 2016

10 tips for throwing a great kid's party

I now have six birthday parties under my belt, and I finally feel that with this most recent one, I was able to nail so many things that I missed in parties previous. So for those of you with mini celebrations in your future, here are my 10 tips for throwing a great kid's party...

10 tips for throwing a great kid's party

1. Serve handheld foods. If you can avoid having food that requires utensils, you can make eating-while-partying easier on everyone. I've had salads, mac & cheese, fruit salad, and plenty of food that required utensils in the past. But, for this last party, my rule was no utensils and all hand-held and bite-sized foods. We even had donuts instead of cake to cut down on the time it takes to cut and serve a cake. I spent more time being able to enjoy the party and easily maintain it throughout the two hours, rather than having to worry about cutting cake, serving food, or running out of forks and knives.

10 tips for throwing a great kid's party

2. Have food ready as soon as party starts. One year, our food showed up an hour and a half late due to the delivery truck breaking down. And the only snack I brought was a few bags of popcorn that were quickly eaten by hungry guests as they waited for lunch to be ready. Even if your party starts early, before you think your guests are ready to eat, people need something to do to keep themselves busy at a party and they like to grab small bites even if they're not ready for a full meal yet. So, this year, we had all of the food ready to go and out on tables right when the party started and it made a world of difference for everyone's energy level.

10 tips for throwing a great kid's party

3. Paper plates and cups. This might seem obvious, but serving food on disposable plates and trays makes for super easy clean-up. We even had the food served on disposable trays which made clean-up at a public park so much easier!

4. Have lots of trash bins available. One thing that is always missing at a lot of parties is that people always forget to bring is more than one trash can/bag. If you can set out at least 2 large bins, you won't have to worry about having to empty/refill it during the party. And, guests can more easily dispose of trash on their own if they see bins out.

10 tips for throwing a great kid's party

5. Activity stations. The activities don't have to be fancy, but it's nice to have a few different things for kids to do at a party. The exact activities will depend on the ages of kids at the party and also if you want to tie activities to a theme. But I like a mix of a couple of sit down activities with a couple of things they can simply run around with (like balls and bubbles!).

6. Make your music playlist in advance. These days, there are so many great music stations (Apple music, Spotify, Pandora) that you can play music from your phone to a wireless speaker in no time. And music for a kids' party can be something you whip up on the spot. BUT, if you have 15 minutes the night before the party, I like making a playlist the parents will love and one the kids will love. Then you can play them at different times during the party or just mash them together at random.

10 tips for throwing a great kid's party

7. Have dual parties while you can. If you have kids who have birthdays in the same month, save yourself the trouble of having two celebrations when you can have one big one! From what I hear from most parents who do this, their kids actually love it for a long time, but eventually as they get older, they want their own separate party (totally fair!). Just make sure to have activities for both ages and have two cakes and two birthday songs so everyone feels special ;)

10 tips for throwing a great kid's party

8. Cover tables in paper instead of table cloths. I rented little kid tables for the first time this year, and those made a world of difference in getting kids to actually sit down at a party. Also, we covered them in white kraft paper (and simply taped the ends underneath). It made for an easily solution to a table cloth that doubled as drawing paper. And, it was a breeze to clean up afterwards taking any spills or messes made with it.

10 tips for throwing a great kid's party

9. Themes are fun. While you don't have to have a theme, it's a fun way to have your kids be involved in an idea for their own party, and it helps you focus on activities, favors, a cake, or other things that fit into that theme. It doesn't have to be complicated. One of my friends once did a theme that involved all round things and had donut holes, oranges, and balls. If you're doing a joint party, let each kid come up with a part of the theme and join the two ideas together. Another friend mixed her son's and her daughter's ideas to come up with a Doggie Diamond theme—totally original and fun!

10 tips for throwing a great kid's party

10. It doesn't matter how big or small it is. You don't have to have a birthday party every year. It doesn't have to be big or fancy, it's just about however you want to celebrate your kid's big day. It can be just your family, 5 friends over for cake, or 50 kids in your backyard. All that matters is that it's fun for them, and not too stressful for you.

{Photos by Casey Brodley} 


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