Oh Joy

let's give a little, shall we? 4 Dec 2013

Gift-giving-ruby

It's gift-giving season—that time of year when we stress about what to give, how much to spend, and hope that our recipients like what we give them. This year, Bob and I decided to forego gifts to each other (and just get something small for Ruby) since we're saving up to buy a house and want those dollars to go towards a bigger prize later on. But now that Ruby is starting to understand the idea of presents, we want to teach her how the best part about giving gifts is how happy it makes the person you're giving to and how to think about what the recipient would like when picking out a gift. So, we're each taking her to an everyday store (like a dollar store, the grocery store, or Target) to buy a few small gifts (under $20 in total) for Mama and Daddy. Yesterday, I took her to Target pick out some things for Bob. Here's what she picked (it's amazing how insightful a two-year-old can be).

We wove in and out of the aisles, and I kept saying, "What does Daddy like? What would make him smile?" At first, Ruby pointed out things that she would like—a ball, a Christmas ornament, and a sippy cup. But I kept saying, "Remember, this gift is for Daddy." We walked away with what I think is a pretty good collection of things...

Gift-giving-ruby-3

- Glasses with a mustache—because Daddy always says how he wishes he could grow a mustache. And he wears glasses in the morning before he puts on his contacts.

- Crayons—because Daddy draws lots of pictures for Ruby like Elmo, Dora, and Odie (even though Ruby doesn't know who Odie is).

- Potato Chips—because chips are Daddy's favorite snack.

It was fun to think about what your recipient would really want and enjoy in this simple way. Starting tomorrow, I have a bunch of gift guides coming to inspire some shopping and thoughts of gifting for your loved ones.

everyday beauty... 18 Nov 2013

Ulta-everyday-beauty

I'm pretty low-key when it comes to makeup and beauty products. But I do have some staples that I like to use as part of my everyday routine...

Nails: My favorite peachy shade that I love layering with some glittery gold polish on top.

Hair: A great brush for styling my bangs and some dry shampoo for "those" days you just don't get to the shower.

Lips: I can't live without a moisturizing lip balm, and I love adding a pop of color with a lip stain and lipstick to instantly make me look more awake (even when I'm not).

Body: A pretty body wash and perfume to give each day a little extra sweetness.

Cheeks: A classic cheek stain for that glowing flush of color.

As we approach the holiday season, I love the idea of giving everyday beauty staples likes these to loved ones. Things that are both useful and beautiful make for a gift that people are more likely to actually use. What are some of your everyday beauty staples?

Follow Joy Cho / Oh Joy!'s board Everyday Beauty on Pinterest.

*This post is brought to you in collaboration with ULTA. 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.

quirky little cars... 26 Sep 2013

Dear-Hancock-card-2Dear-Hancock-card-3Dear-Hancock-card-1Dear-Hancock-card-4

When I see cars carrying silly or unexpected things in real life, it always makes me laugh and imagine where the the items are going (a bunch of mattresses on a car, a ton of pumpkins in a pick-up truck, or a car full of balloons). So I love these cards by Dear Hancock that share all the things that may not be realistic but would be so fun to come across on the road...

P.S. My dream cars...

my favorite edible gifts... 29 Jul 2013

Edible-gifts

One of the most common questions I get from my friends is suggestions for edible thank you/birthday/anytime gifts. I'm kind of obsessed with food gifts, so I wanted to share my favorites with you...

Molly-penny-cookies

Cookies. You can never go wrong with cookies, unless your friend doesn't like cookies, in which case you might want to consider un-friending him or her right now. I love Molly Penny (shown above), The Cravory, and Milk Jar Cookies for the soft, chewy cookies, and Früute and Whimsy & Spice for crisp cookies.

Liddabit-sweets-tallyhos

Homemade Candy Bars. Homemade candy bars are a nice update to the typical box-of-chocolates gift. I love Liddibit Sweets (shown above), whose offerings change seasonally, as well as Sweeteeth, Mast Brothers, Chocolate Editions, and Komforte Bars for alternatives to your standard chocolate bar flavors. Candy bars are also a great option for when you need to spend less than $20 on a gift.

Momofuku-milk-bar-cake

Cake. How often does a whole cake show up at your door? A cake is an awesome way to say, "Happy birthday, eat your heart out!" I love Momofuku Milk Bar for its unique flavors (the cake truffles are awesome, too) and Georgetown Cupcakes for those who like their cake in smaller bites.

Carmela-ice-cream-scoops

Ice Cream. Ice cream is usually a tougher (and more expensive) gift to send due to the express shipping costs and the fact that it has to stay cold. But if you're willing to spend the money and can make sure the receiver will be home, it's a pretty awesome gift to have show up at your front door. My favorites are from Jeni's and Ciao Bella (the Key lime graham flavor is one of my favorites ever). There is even a site that ships a ton of ice cream brands (genius!). 

Finally, for you savory folks, a few suggestions of the salty kind...

Pickles. This is kind of the best gift ever to send to a pregnant friend, especially if she loves pickles like I do. I think I received like 10 jars of pickles when we first announced we were pregnant with Ruby—and even if your friend doesn't eat those pickles right away, they're kind of the gift that keeps on giving thanks to their shelf-stability. My favorites right now are from Gordy's, McClure's, and Mother in Law's (if you want to get into the kimchi territory).

Charcuterie and Cheese. This is my favorite gift to send to a new mom. It's like, "Hey, you had your baby, now you can eat all the soft cheeses and cured meats you want again!" I love Beecher's and Zingerman's, as well as the options from great food gift sites like Fab and Dean & DeLuca.

So, there you go...now go give something delicious to someone you really love, like, or whom you want to love/like you back! ;) 

{Photos by Oh Joy}

how to be wrap star... 10 Dec 2012

Oh Joy | Use mini-LED lights to wrap a gift!

My favorite thing about giving gifts is wrapping them. I don't know why, but I've always loved figuring out fun ways to adorn a gift other than with the usual bow. For example, I got these mini-LED lights to wrap around this gift. Nothing's more festive then a lit-up, glowing package, right?

Oh Joy | use a stretchy headband & ornament to decorate a wrapped gift

I also love using materials that can be used again...either for wrapping another gift or for something else altogether. For example, these stretchy headbands can be used to hold your wrap job together for a colorful, clean, no-tape option. Then just tie on a pretty ornament!

Oh Joy | use sculptural chip clips to top off a gift

Or top off a simple ribbon with something unexpected, like these animal chip clips. They add a sculptural quality to the present, and offer a little extra function for your recipient's everyday snacking.

Throughout this holiday season, I'll be sharing some of my favorite ideas for gift-giving and gift-wrapping over on this Pinterest board in collaboration with Target. Every day, I'll be pinning a new idea that I'm loving or that I've come up with, so I hope you'll follow along for some last-minute ideas and inspiration!

P.S. And a little bonus gift wrap DIY I created over at Refinery29 about how to use all those leftover scraps of wrapping paper!

*This post is brought to you in collaboration with Target. All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thanks for supporting these sponsors that allow me to create new and special content like this for Oh Joy.

{Photos by Oh Joy}

a paper you... 7 Dec 2012

Oh-joy-foldable-portraits

Remember those family portraits I posted about a few weeks ago? I recently came across these foldable portraits and had these two made of Bob and me. They crack me up and would make for a quirky gift for that person or couple who has everything...

{photo by Oh Joy}

i'm stuck on you... 6 Nov 2012

Oh-joy-stickygram

I love simple things that just make you smile like these Stickygrams that turn your Instagram photos into magnets. Such a fun idea and kind of the perfect, inexpensive gift idea for that person who has everything.

a colorful christmas... 1 Nov 2012


It's November (when did that happen?), which means holiday season is now officially upon us. You might be thinking..."You're talking Christmas already?!?" Oh yes, I am. Last year, I was so busy figuring out how to be a new mom that I pretty much bypassed the holidays in my new baby bliss. But this year, I'm ready to get back into the swing of things and ready to bring on the merriment. So in anticipation of the upcoming holiday season, I collaborated with The Land of Nod to create this little video showing how I'd decorate my tree with a mix of colors and patterns. I totally fell in love with their ornaments this year and love how they look perfectly fitting even for a non-kid tree.

The video is featured on the Land of Nod website, along with my picks and the items I used to create A Colorful Christmas. I've also created a Pinterest board with everything featured in the video for easy re-pinning. Hope you guys enjoy it! I know it got me in the mood for Christmas...

{Brought to you by Oh Joy + The Land of Nod, video by Modshift, music by The Young International, my dress by Kate Spade.}

spotty paper perfection... 30 Oct 2012

Anthropologie-pom-pom-gift-wrap

When I saw this wrapping paper at Anthropologie, my eyes nearly popped out of my skull. Amazing paper + the most beautiful and simple packaging (those die cut letters!)...gah...! A gift wrapped in this would be seriously so fun to open...

big love... 12 Jan 2012

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Geronimo-valentine-balloons-3

My favorite balloon lady, Jihan from Geronimo Balloons, is painting the town red and full of hearts just in time for Valentine's Day. Could you imagine having these hand-delivered to your front door? If you're in LA, you can pre-order a special Valentine's Day balloon by January 27th to be delivered on February 14th to your sweetheart's doorstep {or by priority mail in other parts of the country}. You can see her on her balloon adventures in this super cute video too... — Joy

{photos and video by Hak Lonh}

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