Oh Joy

what we did in palm springs (with kids)... 2 Mar 2017

Oh Joy in Palm Springs

Palm Springs has always been one of our easy getaway locations ever since moving to Los Angeles six years ago. It's warm, quiet, filled with lots of great design, and it's all within two hours (give or take with traffic). Ever since having two kids, we almost always stay in a vacation home when we travel. It's a much better option for us to stay in a house with space for the kids to play. I am partnering with Airbnb this year to experience what it’s like to stay with my family in a number of the vacation homes available on their site. Airbnb put us up in this awesome house we chose for our Palm Springs stay, and it had the perfect mix of outdoor space for the kids plus comfortable living and amenities. Here's what we did...


a heart-shaped picnic! 22 Aug 2016

Oh Joy Heart Shaped Picnic Mat

As a first hello to fall, take advantage of the weather to get your family outside for a fall picnic!  Today we are going to make a giant heart picnic blanket that the entire family will love. See our video below to see the full how to!

Creative Direction: Joy Cho
Video: Jenner Brown
Music: “Go Time“ by The Brotherhood
Creative Production and Styling: Julia Wester
Production Asst: Jessica Hong
Graphics: Angie Stalker
Still photos: Casey Brodley

what we did in seattle... 3 Sep 2015

Oh Joy Seattle

We had such a fun family trip to Seattle last week. The weather was perfect, the people were pleasant, the air was fresh, the food was amazing, and I just fell in love with the city. As I was prepping this recap post of our trip, it was becoming absurdly long so I've decide to break it up into two posts. This one will cover a few of the things we did and where we stayed. And since I like to eat my way through every city I visit, the second post will cover what we ate in Seattle...


unplug and play! 18 Aug 2015

Oh Joy Unplug and Play

I have a love/hate relationship with being so connected all the time. In some ways, I use the excuse that it’s part of my job to know what’s happening. But I also find that I can’t fully decompress from work unless I let myself just be and be present in the moment. One thing I learned more so after having kids is to appreciate the joys of simple things. 

Oh Joy Unplug and Play

An outing doesn’t have to be so far away or fantastical to be special, but there are so many little places in our immediate vicinity to go and do and explore and play in. As long as we're prepared with our first aid kit, we're ready for whatever happens during any outing. 

Here’s a little video we made with one of our long term partners, Johnson and Johnson, that shows how we explore one of our favorite places near our house. By coming up with games to engage your kids in at any location (near or far), we can make an adventure out of anything.

No matter whether you have kids or not, I encourage you to take the challenge, put away your phones for a day (or at least an afternoon), and get out there to #UnplugandPlay, too!

P.S. Visit Healthy Essentials to learn how you can build your own first aid kit.

// Credits //
Brought to you by: Oh Joy + Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc.
Creative Direction: Joy Cho 
Video: Jenner Brown
Music: "Your Favorite Song" by Katrina Stone

choose your own adventure... 30 Jul 2014

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

Sometimes we find ourselves stuck in a rut where our weekends are catered around Ruby's activities or doing the same thing every single weekend. Recently, we decided to switch things up and just spend the weekend doing things and going to places we had never been. So, I decided to have a "Choose Your Own Adventure" day inspired by my friend Audrey who is one of the most creative moms I know.

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

Simply surprise your kids one morning by telling them they’ll get to choose whatever they want to do that day. Bring a little bell or something that makes noise (we used a maraca), get in your car (or bike or walk), and as they spot things they see and want to do, they simply ring the bell and you go and explore it!

When Audrey did it, her boys chose to go to a Harley Davidson shop and have pancakes at IHOP. So, we told Ruby we'd go on an adventure and gave her a maraca to shake it whenever she saw something cool from the car window. If you have more than one child, you can let them take turns or bring one of their friends along to make it more fun and interactive.

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

To be prepared for wherever the day takes us, I always keep a tiny pouch of Band-Aids and Neosporin in my bag. Ruby had gotten a scrape on her knee the day before from a fall, so it reminded me to have my little kit just in case.

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

Our first stop was the Petersen Automotive Museum. Ruby saw the pointy architecture and the car on the roof of the building and her interest was piquéd.

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

With vintage cars of all kinds and really unique cars from movies or driven by celebrities, it was like going back in time. The best part about coming here is that it's not a place I would have ever picked to go. Ruby's never played a ton with cars at home, so we were delighted to see how much she loved it. And Bob loves cars (a lot) so it was a fun treat for him as well.

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

Next, was Nick Metropolis Collectible Furniture. You pretty much can't miss this from the street with all the signs and over-the-top, random things sitting on the sidewalk. People go here to find vintage things of all kinds, to shop for movie sets, and it's just a cool (and crazy) place to explore.

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

Ruby got a little scared after seeing some random, slightly creepy statues and was ready to head out, but we had a fun time trolling through all the quirky treasures.

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

Finally, no day is complete without a little treat and Ruby's favorite stop was probably into this white building full of candy at Sockerbit

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

She has never gone to a bulk candy store before and was pretty amazed that she could pick whatever she wanted and mix them all in one bag. She held her bag of candy so tightly on the way home. We had such a fun day that she took the longest nap she had in months, and we all felt like we had really gotten to know our city better by discovering places we wouldn't have normally been.

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

We loved it so much, we're planning to do this more often. Sometimes it's nice just letting the day take you by surprise...

*This post is brought to you in collaboration with Johnson & Johnson Consumer Products Company Division of Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc. See how to make your very own First Aid kit right here. All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that allow me to create new and special content like this for Oh Joy.

{Photos by Casey Brodley for Oh Joy}

happy friday + road trip up the coast... 9 Apr 2010


Happy friday all! It's been almost two years since my last real vacation, so Bob and I are planning a road trip soon to drive up the coast from Southern to Northern California. You guys always have the best suggestions, so I wanted to put a call out for any recommendations of stops we should make up the coast...cool shops, great restaurants, fun hotels to stay in, or anything else! We'll be starting in San Diego, making our way through Los Angeles {oops, not LA - we're moving there in a few months so it won't be part of the trip}, Palm Springs, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, San Francisco, and up to Napa. And maybe a couple other stops in between that we haven't figured out yet? Have a great weekend all, and thanks in advance for any of your tips!

{photo from the spring 2006 Kate Spade Bisbee campaign by Tim Walker.}

sweet & safe... 21 Dec 2009


In anticipation of my new bike last month, I was on a wild goose chase for a cute helmet {safety first!}. I came across this one by Ruby which was way out of my price range and for motorcycle {not bicycle} use. But I soon became obsessed with finding a black and white polka-dotted helmet where there were none to be found. So, I decided to make my own. Keep in mind, although I'm a designer, I am not a crafty DIY person. But this little project was so easy and turned out just as I had envisioned.


hooray for chicago 7 Aug 2007

Hi everyone! My trip to Chicago was so much fun. Mostly spent eating and checking out shops I've loved from afar, it was a perfect trip. I visited a bunch of the recommendations given by readers which were so right on and incredibly helpful. Here are some small snippets from the trip...and, I'll be posting later today about one of my new favorite shops in Chicago...


{left to right, top to bottom: sun salad from Crust (amazing), wall from Vosges(gorgeous), Maude the pug at Paper Doll, a home in the Bucktown (I think) area, hotdog from Hot Doug's (super cheap and delicious), flat bread pizza from Crust, and another lovely home in Bucktown.}

chicago recommendations? 21 Jul 2007

You guys are the best when I'm looking for some suggestions. I'll be heading to Chicago in a couple weekends from now to visit a dear friend and wondering if you windy city dwellers out have any tips on some home design shops & clothing shops you love? My main priority is to catch up with an old friend, but good food and good shopping are always a great way to spend a weekend with friends...

{ a HUGE thank you to everyone who posted suggestions...I am overwhelmed and thrilled. I've tried to email most everyone back, but a big thank you regardless if I have not gotten to you yet!}


I'm back... 9 Oct 2006

...super tan from Maui, relaxed, and ready to go after a whirlwind of events...including three wedding ceremonies & a fantastic honeymoon. Thanks so much for all your kind thoughts, wishes and blessings both before and after our wedding. I've read each and every comment (even if I can't reply to all of them) and truly appreciate all the support and kind words! For those of who asked to see more wedding photos...I'll share more soon. All of our photos were shot in medium format film, so it'll be a little longer before I have any of the fancy professional pics to share. In the meantime, I'll be sharing other various tidbits and details from the wedding via digital casual photos in the weeks to come...


{left to right: flowers, Black Pearl dessert with passionfruit & chocolate mousse from Mama's Fish House, the view from our hotel room at the Four Seasons Maui; Old Lahaina Luau; sunset at the Four Seasons, and a bunny from the Maui County Fair.}


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