Oh Joy

morning routine essentials... 24 Aug 2016

Morning Routine Essentials

Since you guys have been seeing my face up close and personal lately on Instagram stories and Snapchat, I've been getting questions about some of the products I use and wanted to do a post with some of my favorite morning essentials that help make me look somewhat awake during the day ;)

1. DryBar dry shampoo helps to keep my bangs and roots of my hair looking not greasy between washings.

2. I don't wear perfume but I love these light and fresh Anese elixirs especially on a hot day.

3. Nars orgasm blush is my must-have essential for adding some color to my face—it's the perfect pink with a nice flush of gold in there.

4. DryBar brush for my bangs (I usually just use my fingers to comb the rest of my hair so it doesn't get too fluffy).

5. I never believed in anti-aging serums until I tried this No 7 serum. It's made my skin softer and brighter, and I use it under my moisturizer.

6. For that pop of lip color, I like stain sticks because they're not too heavy while still adding color. My favorites are Glossier Generation G lip stain in Crush and Revlon Balm Stain in Sweetheart.

7. Finally (not shown), I currently have eyelash extensions which I love because it's a little bit of upkeep to make my daily routine so minimal—I don't wear any eye makeup at all unless I'm going out to a fancy evening dinner. These days, more and more people know how to apply natural-looking extensions that are safe and relatively low-maintenance. I won't go into this in too much detail unless you guys have questions about it but I had to mention it since it comes up a lot in direct messages and I did not want anyone to think my lashes just look like that naturally ;). 

If you have any other questions, feel free to ask!

how to feel young even as you get older... 14 Jul 2016


Last month, I turned 37. And while I often joke that I am “so old” because of my numeric age, I always feel like I’m actually in my early 20’s. Now, that doesn’t mean I have the desire to stay up late and party like a young 20-something, but in my mind, I feel younger than I am. As I get older, I realize it’s the really simple things that keep us feeling young. Today, I’ve partnered with No7 to share my go-to tips for feeling young even as you get older…

1. Dance and sing without caring what anyone thinks - I used to really care if I had good rhythm and if my voice sounded okay to others. And what I learned was that I don’t have good rhythm and I’m actually pretty tone deaf. But worrying about what others think of my dancing and singing weighed me down and prevented me from just letting loose and letting myself express how I feel through something so fun and eternally youthful like dancing and singing whenever you feel like it.

how to feel young even as you get older

2. Laugh at yourself - I’m not perfect. No one is. Sometimes we mess up. Sometimes we fail. Sometimes we say the wrong thing. Laugh it off and know that whatever it is will work itself out, and you’re going to be okay.

how to feel young even as you get older

3. Take Care of Your Skin – It sounds obvious, but when you feel good about yourself, you feel younger. And your skin is the first thing you see every morning in the mirror. In all honesty, I really haven’t been that proactive with my skincare over the years, mainly because I didn’t want to admit to myself that I was actually getting older. But I recently tried the No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Serum. The texture is amazing and has made my skin more supple and luminous. It’s become a go-to addition to my morning and evening routine, and I apply a small amount on my whole face after cleansing and before moisturizing for younger looking skin.

how to feel young even as you get older

4. Go to Bed Two Hours Earlier - As adults, we often spend our evening hours doing bills and laundry or catching up on social media. And before you know it, it’s midnight and you meant to go to bed way earlier. Have you ever regretted going to bed early or have you ever hated feeling well-rested? Probably not. Sleep is one of the keys to feeling like you can go tackle the world the next day. So if you feel tired (like I often do), try going to bed two hours earlier. Chances are you might not be able to actually get to bed until one hour before but that’s still a whole hour more that you won’t regret.

how to feel young even as you get older

5. Eat Dessert - Grown-ups go on diets. Grown-ups spend so much time obsessing over how they don’t look like they did in high school. Of course, be healthy and do what’s right for your body, but please also remember to treat yourself every once in a while. Because life is too short to (always) be counting calories.

How do you guys keep yourselves feeling young? 

*This post is in collaboration with No7. All words are my own.

{Photos by Casey Brodleystyling by Julia Wester}

business in the front, party in the back... 17 Nov 2015

Bobbi Pin Hairstyle

So there was this one morning (really, most mornings) when I woke up and could not get my act together to get showered or really do much of anything to my hair. A couple weeks ago, I share this really easy bobbi pin hairstyle with you. And here's one more! This is for those days that your hair is a mess and all you can do is put it up in a top knot or a ponytail and call it a day. BUT, no one needs to know how messy it really is if you just fancy it up a bit like so...

Bobbi Pin Hairstyle

1. Put your hair up in a top knot, bun, or pony tail as you normally would. Then use bobbi pins to secure the back wisps up in multiple rows of "V"s. You can use one color or use two contrasting colors like we did for a fun contrast effect.

2. Place in the first bottom pin to hold the hair back in the spot you want it to stay in.

3. Add another bottom pin to create a "V" shape. Make sure to interlock the two pins at the bottom of the "V" by inserting the second bobbi pin into the bottom curve of the first pin so it helps lock them together and hold the hair even better.

4. Keep repeating until you have as many bobbi pins as you'd like. I find that 4-6 rows looks the best. Since you can't really see this as you go, you have to feel your way through it and then check your work in a double mirror. Once you try it a couple times, you won't need to look and will be able to tell just by feeling them as you go!

{Photos by Casey Brodley, hairstyle by Danielle Walch.}

a really cute way to use bobbi pins... 5 Nov 2015

Bobbi Pin Hairstyle / Color Block Diamond

I have never been one of those people who spends a lot of time getting ready in the morning. I have a very simple morning routine that doesn't take very long at all, and I'm super simple with my hair and makeup on the average day. So I'm always looking for (and thinking about) easy things that I can do that look way fancier than they actually are. This post was supposed to be called, "How to make it look like you spent way more time doing your hair than you actually did." But that title was too long to fit in this post's header, so I had to shorten it. But here is a super simple way to make it look like you spent way more time doing your hair than you actually did. ;) Bobbi Pin Hairstyle / Color Block Diamond

1. Pull the side of your hair up and back as you might usually when putting it half up. Rather than using just one clip, we'll be using four bobbi pins to secure it and create a decorative diamond shape. You can use one color or use two contrasting colors like we did for a color block effect.

2. Place in the first bottom pin to hold the hair back in the spot you want it to stay in.

3. Add another bottom pin to create a "V" shape. Make sure to interlock the two pins at the bottom of the "V" by inserting the second bobbi pin into the bottom curve of the first pin so it helps lock them together and hold the hair even better.

4. Add the top two pins from outside in to create the top of the diamond and complete the shape.

That's it! Easy right? I like having it on just the one side. It feels polished without being too fussy.

{Photos by Casey Brodley, hairstyle by Danielle Walch.}

{dollar store DIY} july 4th nails! 22 Jun 2015

July 4th Nails

We have so many dollar stores in my neighborhood (seriously you can't miss them!). So I thought it would be fun to start incorporating some of the best under-cover finds from the dollar store into some colorful projects! First up, we're using tiny star sequins from the dollar store to decorate our nails for the upcoming 4th of July holiday! If you want a variation on the traditional red, white, and blue, here's our take with a pop of color and shine!

July 4th Nails

You'll need:
-silver star sequins (we found the silver works best with nail polish)
-clear nail polish
-glitter nail polish (we used this iridescent one)
-colorful nail polish (we used hot pink)
-a thin paint brush

Here's how:
1. Get the star sequins out of their packaging and laid out and ready to go so that you can quickly stick them on top of your base coat.

2. Apply a clear base coat to your nails. While still wet, apply the stars to the nail beds however you'd like.

3. Let dry, then apply an iridescent glitter coat. 

4. Use a thin paint brush to add dots in colors of your choice.  There are no set rules here, so just have fun with it!

5. Finally, apply a top clear coat to seal it all in.

July 4th Nails

{Photos by Casey Brodley, production by Julia Wester, hands by Angie Stalker. Drink stirrers by Anne and Kate.}

what i'll tell my daughters someday… 7 May 2015

Oh Joy daughters

When I was growing up, any and all of my insecurities came from what I thought I wanted to look like but did not look like. My mom was the most encouraging woman I could have asked for and always told me how beautiful she thought I was. But it took a really long time for me to see that for myself. Especially in my pre-teen and teen years, I obsessed over beauty rituals and went through phases of trying to find the perfect products that would make me look just right or wear an obscene amount of concealer to cover up what I thought my imperfections were.

When I was a child and my mom told me I was beautiful, I thought that she was just telling me that because she was…you know, my mom—and that’s the kind of stuff moms tell you (like when they tell you that you can sing but you really can’t). But what I realized now is that she really believed I was beautiful. And she wanted me to believe it, too.

Now in my mid-30’s, it’s taken me a while to really be comfortable in my skin. I’m not 100% there yet, but I'm the most comfortable I’ve ever been. As a mother of two girls, I think about constantly how I’ll convey the idea of beauty to them and how I’ll make sure they feel beautiful no matter what they actually look like. Here are a few things I think I’ll tell them…


10 family-friendly natural body products... 16 Apr 2015

10 Family-Friendly Natural Body Products

I really never cared too much about what body products I used until I had kids, and now I'm all about using high-quality natural products for our bodies as much as possible. Here are a few of my favorite natural beauty/bath/body products right now (with something for the whole family)...

1. Ilia lipstick, 2. One Love Organics Coconut Salt body lotion, 3. Babyganics night time baby lotion, 4. Honest laundry detergent, 5. Tubby Todd orange bubble bath, 6. Tata Harper hydrating floral essence, 7. Priti soy nail polish remover, 8. Babyganics dryer sheets, 9. One Love Organics gardenia and tea body serum, 10. MOP basil mint unisex shampoo. 

P.S. I have updated the description of these items to be called "Natural" vs. "Organic" as not all of them can be considered organic.

fruity lips... 19 Mar 2015

Homemade Tinted Lip Balm Using Natural Ingredients

It's not drugs, it's not alcohol, but there is one thing I've been addicted to for much of my adult life...lip balm! So when our beauty guru, Danielle, mentioned that she makes her own tinted lip balm from all-natural ingredients, I was intrigued. Here's how...

Homemade Tinted Lip Balm Using Natural Ingredients

You'll need these supplies:

-1 double boiler (or) a 12oz pyrex measuring cup and medium sauce pan
- 1 fine mesh strainer (we used a mesh tea ball)
- 0.5 oz lip balm jars (we used these)
- coconut oil
- cosmetic grade beeswax pellets
- beet powder
- freeze dried raspberries
- tangerine oil (for flavor/aroma)

If you want to make a small batch enough to fill 2 -3 containers, you can follow these portions:

- 1-2 tablespoons coconut oil
- ½ tablespoon ground freeze dried raspberries or beet powder (add more if you want a stronger color)
- ½ - 1 teaspoon beeswax (more for a firmer consistency)
- 3 drops of tangerine oil

Homemade Tinted Lip Balm Using Natural Ingredients

Here's how:

1. Grind raspberries/beet powder in coffee grinder until you have a very fine powder.

2. Melt the coconut oil and beeswax over low heat. Once the two are completely melted together, stir in the finely ground raspberries/beet powder. Add more powder for a richer color. Stir the mixture non-stop for about 3 minutes. Add 3 drops tangerine oil. 

3. Using your strainer pour mixture into your containers (this removes any grit from the finished balm).

4. Place lid on the jar and put in freezer to help solidify. They only need about 10 minutes in the freezer until they’re completely solidified.

A few tips:

As the balm cools it will solidify and the powder will start to settle at the bottom. In order to prevent this, I recommend putting your empty containers in the freezer before you’re ready to pour in the mixture. This way, the mixture will solidify faster and there is less time for it to separate. You’ll have to move quickly, so I recommend getting everything laid out in order of the process.

It has a subtle berry color as shown on me above. What do you guys think? Would you make your own lip balm? I think this could be a fun thing to make in large batches and give as gifts for sure!

{Photos by Casey Brodley and styling by Julia Wester for Oh Joy. Lip Balm recipe by Danielle Walch}

in the mirror... 16 Mar 2015

Giant Photo Booth Photos

The other day, Ruby wanted to play dress-up and asked me for a princess dress to wear (yes, the dreaded princess phase has started!). Since we don't have any play dress-up clothes, I pulled out a flower girl dress that was sitting in the back of her closet that she had never seen before. Her eyes lit up as I helped her put it on. She immediately walked over to the mirror and stared at herself for a good five minutes. She didn't know I was listening, and I overheard her saying...


in a {hair} rut! 9 Mar 2015

Oh Joy Giant Flower

Hair is such a funny thing to me. Some people can change their hair cut, hair color, and general hair vibe every month. And some people (like me) can have the same old hair style for years. My hair is that comfy pair of shoes that you wear every single day. I don't think much about it, I just go with it. But it's way boring which is why I've been playing around with ways to do new 'do's.

With my post-baby hair shedding and just a general feeling that I need a change, I think it's time for a legit hair cut! And not just my usual "Oh, just trim off a couple inches" thing. Something new. The last time I made a major change was when I brought back my bangs about five years ago. I'm pretty sure those bangs are staying, but I want to change up the rest of it. Shorter? A lob? Some color? Some wave? I feel like options are limited with my super straight thick hair but I'm trying to be open-minded.

Here are five inspiration photos I'm loving...

wavy lob with bangs

1. I love the slight wave and the angle to this cut. It seems flirty yet not-too-perfect. Plus, her eyeliner is on point! (via Brit)

Cute cut!

2. A shorter, layered bob that might help make me look cool and French. This might be too short for my face shape, but it sure does look cute on her! (via Forum)

Lauren Conrad

3. Lots of layers and texture like LC. (via Kristen Ess)

Emma Stone

4. Emma Stone's straight and sleek lob with long layers (via Huffington Post).

Gary Pepper

5. A super short bob with some beautiful, full waves. (via Gary Pepper)

What do you guys think? Any other styles I should check out?

{All photos credited above. Wallpaper in top image by Juju Papers.}


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