Oh Joy

happy friday + long weekend getaways... 22 May 2015

Oh Joy Family / Palm Springs

Around this time of year, everyone starts planning their summer vacations, and I keep getting asked, "Where are you guys going on vacation this summer?" And my answer is...no where! It's not that I don't want to take a vacation, but you guys, I am really bad at taking vacations. I wish I could shut my brain off, relax, and just enjoy a two-week long vacation away somewhere. But being away from the routine of my life is really hard for me. I've been to Paris, Mexico, and London in the last few years, but this year I am all about the mini vacation and just taking some long weekends away.

After our weekend getaway to Palm Springs recently, I realized that just a few days away somewhere not too far away gives me just the right amount of time to re-charge, and I can keep my computer at home and just enjoy being somewhere new with my family.

So, I need some suggestions! What are some fun places that we can go this year for a long weekend away that's either within a couple hours driving distance or a couple hours flying distance from LA? Any places you guy have been to and recommend? I'd love any and all of your suggestions!

Have a great (long) holiday weekend guys! If only every weekend, was a three day weekend!

making life a little easier... 15 May 2015

Oh Joy Kitchen

You guys know how I talked about not doing everything in this post? Since making dinner from scratch is one of those things that I can't always do (and stresses me to think about), I've found a few great dinner/food options that have made my life so much easier lately that I had to share with you...

1. There are lots of places that offer food take-out delivery. But when you just need lunch or dinner right now, this new DoorDash app is the most efficient one I've ever used. As soon as you load it based on your address, it tells you what restaurants you can have meals delivered from and the approximate time it would take. And the best part is it updates you every step of the way with when the order is placed, picked up and on the way to you. It's super accurate which I've never been able to say about any other service like this. I've used it way more times this week than I'd like to admit, but it's been so helpful when I'm home alone with both kids and can't manage to make dinner on my own (or when I want to treat my employees to milkshakes for an afternoon treat). It's kinda like the Uber for take-out delivery.

2. Instacart offers delivery from your favorite local grocery stores. It's sort of like Amazon Fresh but there are more options since someone is actually going to your local store (like Whole Foods) and picking out what you want. While I actually love grocery shopping (and can find it relaxing), it's not relaxing when you have to bring two kids with you. So I cut myself some slack and have groceries delivered when I don't have time to go myself. And, instead of loading everyone up in the car to go buy food, I can spend time with them doing way funner things and pay a small delivery fee for the groceries to come to me. 

3. Din is a newish food delivery service that sends you all the ingredients needed to make restaurant-inspired, home-cooked meals. Bob and I really want to cook more (we really do). I have tried a bunch of these types of services before. But other ones take almost an hour to make a meal, and these days with our busy jobs and schedules, we need to be able to make something within 30 mins or less. With Din, many of the components are pre-prepped for you—that way you really can make the whole meal from start to finish in 20-30 minutes. (They are only available for delivery in California and Nevada right now, but I'm guessing more states will become available as they grow).

And yes, these things do cost a little more money, but for me they're worth the few extra bucks for a delivery fee or service charge to gain that extra time at home with my kids. Modern conveniences like this have helped me to worry less about everything I need to do and be more present in the moment with my family.

Have you guys found any other cool apps or things like this that make your life a little easier?

{Photo of Oh Joy kitchen by Zeke Ruelas} 

happy friday + teee veee! 8 May 2015

Oh Joy on Access Hollywood

Happy Friday guys! Earlier this week, I did my first live national TV appearance on Access Hollywood Live! It was really fun getting to share some ideas from the Oh Joy book for Mother's Day. When I moved to LA five years ago, I had NO intentions whatsoever of doing anything on TV. In fact, the idea of being on camera made me nauseous. But if you know me, I need to constantly challenge myself to do the things that I'm kinda afraid to do...TV being one of them.

So, here I am...dipping my toes in the TV waters. It's a little intimidating doing these live shows—no re-takes, no do-overs, no editing out your slip-ups! I always worry I'm going to totally freeze and forget what to say, but then I just try and pretend the camera isn't there. Sometime there's a word flub or two, but usually it's not too bad. And, more than anything it's a fun new challenge. And, life isn't interesting if you're not challenging yourself, right?

I hope you have a great weekend! And Happy Mother's Day to you mamas out there! I'm going to the New Kids on the Block concert this weekend with some friends and reliving the early 90's ;)

{Photo by Casey Brodley}

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…

Continue reading " what i'll tell my daughters someday… " »

happy friday + palm springs... 1 May 2015

Oh Joy Palm Springs

Weee! We're headed to Palm Springs this weekend! I'm excited to finally go to Crafting Community and spend a weekend of creativity, fun, sunshine, and pool time with my family. The past month has been non-stop with work for both Bob and I, so this mini vacation is a very welcome change. And Coco's first time in a swimming pool! When you pack for Palm Springs, you just gotta BRING IT with the color, you know?!?

Have a great weekend guys! See you back here on Monday!

happy friday + halfway to one year... 24 Apr 2015

Oh Joy / Coco - 6 months

You guys! Our little Coco hit the halfway mark earlier this week. How has it been 6 months already?  It's exciting but also bittersweet as I'm already starting to miss having a tiny wee baby. But it's getting way more fun as she laughs, smiles, rolls around, and interacts with us more and more everyday.

Oh Joy / Coco's Monthly Photo

This is the stage of having a baby that starts to get really fun, and it feels like she's starting to become the little person that's been waiting to come out!

Oh Joy / Ruby and Coco

The girls started sharing a room a couple weeks ago. It hasn't been perfect, but Ruby is slowly (but surely) working on sharing her room (and her parents) with her little sister.

Hope you guys have a great weekend! See you back here on Monday!

{Mini pinata numbers by Katie K. Franklin. Coco's Outfits - 1 MonthBoden onesie, Thief & Bandit leggings, 2 MonthsRylee & Cru onesie, Little Hip Squeaks headband, Freshly Picked moccasins, 3 MonthsLittle Hip Squeaks onesie, Thief & Bandit headband, 4 Months: headband by Thief & Bandit, top and pants from Target, Freshly Picked moccasins, 5 Months: full outfit by Ultra Violet Kids, 6 Months: top by Ultra Violet Kids, bloomers by House of Mia, hair clip by Pitchoun, blanket by Aden & Anais.}   

happy friday + dance parties... 17 Apr 2015

Oh Joy / Ruby dancing

Happy Friday guys! We had a busy week full of book party celebrations. I took Ruby to my friend Justina's book party earlier in the week (photo above) and all she wanted to do was dance. Last night, we celebrated the new Oh Joy book at our Los Angeles book party and had a great time. Ruby didn't understand why a book party wasn't also a dance party. So we've just been creating mini dance parties at home all week long.

Hope you all have a great weekend and fill it with a mini dance party (or two)!

Also, check out some of the amazing coverage of the new Oh Joy book over at Martha Stewart Weddings, Ivanka Trump, Decor8SF Girl by Bay, Oh Happy Day, Poppy Talk, Glamour, Design Mom, a podcast on The Actor's Diet, and on TV at Good Day New York!

{Photo by Amanda Vanvels}

the one thing you don't learn in school... 15 Apr 2015

Oh Joy / Ruby Running

We spend so much time of our young life in school learning the skills that are supposed to prepare us for the career we will have one day. But one thing I've always felt the least prepared for is the hardest job of all of them—how to be a good parent. No one teaches you how to deal with a toddler who has an unexpected tantrum or how to comfort a child when they wake up crying from a bad dream. Everyone knows how to make those cute babies but then we are left to fend for ourselves in figuring out what to do with them, how to talk to them, how to raise kids who will turn into good people (and not a-holes), and how to deal with every stage of life your kids go through... 

Continue reading " the one thing you don't learn in school... " »

oh joy answers / how to set yourself apart... 10 Apr 2015

Oh Joy Answers

A few years ago (before my life got busier with babies), I did a ton of phone and Skype consulting for other creative small businesses. I loved connecting with people (especially women) who needed some guidance, advice, or someone to just keep them accountable in their new/existing/in-need-of-an-update business path. I haven't been able to offer consulting much lately, so we usually refer folks to read Creative, Inc. or Blog, Inc. But, there are still some questions that I get asked a lot and things I may not have addressed in the past.

SO, we've started a new mini video series called "Oh Joy Answers" where I'll be answering some common business questions. It's super casual and like we're just chatting together in my living room. Let me know what you guys think of these and if it's helpful for you. And, if you have any questions you'd like to see covered in future videos, please let me know in the comments below!

Here's the first one!

happy friday + philly-bound! 3 Apr 2015

Ruby and Coco

Happy Friday guys! We're off to Philly this weekend to visit our parents and give our kids some good grandparent time in (my Dad will be meeting Coco for the first time!). It will be Coco's first flight and our first time traveling with both kids...ah, fingers crossed there are no major meltdowns.

I always look forward to our bi-annual trips home and getting back to my home town. For those of you in Philly, what's new/newish that we should check out? I'm open to any and all suggestions especially with food or fun things to do with the kids in the city.

Have a great weekend all!

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