Oh Joy

happy friday + a joint birthday party... 21 Oct 2016

oh joy / floral birthday party

oh joy / floral birthday party

oh joy / floral birthday party

Last week, Ruby turned 5 (five!) and yesterday, my little Coco turned 2 (what?!). I still do not understand how time really does go by so fast. With two October babies, this year, we decided to throw a joint birthday party. I was nervous about having one big party with kids in a range of ages...but I'm so glad we did. It was definitely my favorite party to date, and I was the least stressed about it and was able to enjoy myself the most of any of their birthday parties of the past. Here are a ton of very cute photos from the day and more about what we did if you'd like to see more...


have a playful weekend! 14 Oct 2016


I couldn't be more happy that it's Friday! We took the kids to Disneyland mid-week for Ruby's birthday, and while that should seem like a nice mid-week break, I am beat from it ;P This weekend, we're celebrating both of my girls' birthdays with a joint party, and I'm going to see Gwen Stefani in concert the same night! (Wait, did I just say I needed some rest?! Ha.)

Have a great weekend, all! See you back here on Monday...

{Photos by Casey Brodley, styling by Julia Wester, table by Oh Joy for Target}

planning a joint garden birthday party! 10 Oct 2016


October is a big month in our house with both of my girls celebrating a birthday! Ruby turns 5 this week, and Coco turns 2 next week! Last year, I threw two different parties on the same weekend (crazy, I know), so this year we decided to have a joint birthday party and combine efforts into one bash for my little ladies. 

Here are some things that will go into decorating and planning a lovely little garden party...

01. Decor - Our party will be outdoors in a public garden area. Since decorations need to be set up pretty quickly, I always stick to things we can hang without having to nail or tape anything to public property like these clusters of honeycombs from Poppies for Grace and these giant paper flowers which we made (and will share the DIY soon!).

02. Outfits - Since we have a floral theme, it was super easy to find outfits from my kids' existing wardrobe and not have to buy anything new. Ruby is wearing a vintage dress we found earlier this year while we were shopping at Shareen Vintage with her Zuzii sandals. Coco is wearing this outfit that she still fits in from Crew & Lu and shoes by Zuzii.

03. Table - You guys know I love a good paper plate! We're mixing and matching a bunch of fun pieces from the Oh Happy Day shop including these floral and dotty plates. And the same gold glitter numbers we use every year by Little Cat Design Co. along with these awesome colorful candles.

04. Activity Stations - The park doesn't have a playground, so we'll have a few activities for the kids including a cookie decorating table and a floral necklace making table.

05. Book Drive - In lieu of gifts, we're asking all our friends to bring a book (gently used or new) for us to collect and donate to Baby2Baby for children in need. We did the same thing for Coco's 1st birthday, and we collected over 40 books last year! It's a great option for when you don't want or need more toys, and we always take the kids to bring the books and see where they're going to.

Stay tuned next week for some photos from this weekend's party!

{Photos by Casey Brodley. Party styling by Joy Cho, flat styling by Julia Wester.}

have a wheelie good weekend... 30 Sep 2016

Oh Joy

Earlier this week, I took the Oh Joy team on a retreat to Palm Springs to celebrate Oh Joy's 11th anniversary! We had a great time hanging out, getting inspired by vintage goodness, having a team dance party, and just getting away all together. I'll be sharing more photos from our trip soon, but in the meantime, have a great weekend! I'll see you back here on Monday!

{Photos by Casey Brodley, prop styling by Julia Wester. Luggy basket by Olli Ella.}

finally, my bedroom makeover! 26 Sep 2016

Oh Joy / Bedroom Makeover

A few months ago, I posted a photo of the sad state of my bedroom. It was one of my summer projects to finally take the plastic off the bed frame and cover up the torn wallpaper with a grown-up headboard.

Oh Joy / Bedroom Makeover

To refresh your memory, here's the "before" from my last post and the "after"! Check out more details below about what stayed and what went!


this is what 10 years of marriage looks like... 23 Sep 2016

Cho Family Prom

Cho Family Wedding

Cho Family

In 1996 (when I was 17), I met this guy that I thought was a total slacker. We went to his Senior Prom together as friends. I thought we'd date for a few months and then he'd go off to college and that would be it. After dating (for real) soon after the prom and having a long-distance relationship for most of our early adulthood, 10 years later, in 2006, we got married. And 10 years after that...here we are living in Los Angeles with our two girls. I know I cut out a lot of the in-between stuff because I don't want to bore you.

But I seriously never thought I'd date this guy, have him turn into my best friend, and then still be with him 20 years later. I'll try and keep this anniversary post short and not too sappy. But in celebration of my 10 year anniversary with my husband, Bob, today, here are 10 things I've learned in my 10 years of marriage:

1. The person that you are married to should make you want to be a better person. They should lift you up when you're low, make you laugh when you're having a bad day, make fun of you when you need to be made fun of, and believe in you more than anyone else.

2. Marriage is always a work in progress and you have to work at it to make it progress.

3. You'll never agree on everything. But you should see eye-to-eye on most things.

4. If your spouse had an annoying habit when you first started dating, chances are, they'll still have it 20, 30, 40 years later. And you just need to be okay with it. And love them for it. Or laugh at them for it.

5. You've got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, know when to run. (Ok, I borrowed that from Kenny Rogers, but it's true.)

6. Marriage is loving someone so incredibly much and more than anyone else. But it's also being annoyed and infuriated with them more than you could be with anyone else.

7. Having butterflies in your stomach is a good thing.

8. Make time for each other even when your kids feel like your new priority. Don't forget to keep nurturing the relationship that made those kids in the first place.

9. It's a good sign when you can be independent and do your own things separately, but you're stronger (and have more fun) when you're together.

10. If you can fart in front of your spouse and not feel embarrassed, you're on your way to eternal happiness.

{Wedding photo by Karen Wise, family photo by Katherine Rose}

oh joy is 11 years old! 16 Sep 2016

oh joy is 11!

11 years ago, I started a blog called "Oh Joy" just for fun. I thought maybe some of my friends and my mom might read it. 2005 were the early days of blogging and the internet. It was before there were a ton of social media sites, and it was before anyone was worried about their personal brand. I didn't think that any real people—people that I didn't know in real life—would care about anything I had to say. Thank goodness I was wrong. Having this tiny place on the internet to share my vision and ideas with you has brought me so much inspiration, so much joy, and such a sense of community from those of you that I have never met.

I always say that the internet allows regular people like you and me who want to say something or share something to share their view and voice with the world. It gives us all an opportunity. Starting this blog completely changed the direction of my career from something very planned into something completely different, unplanned and a mix of work that I never expected to be able to do, but am completely grateful for. 

As we reach 11 years of Oh Joy this month, I wanted to say thank you for following along here for however long or short you have been. Your support and love means the world.

P.S. Last year, I did a recap of the previous 10 years which was fun to look back on...

{Photos by Casey Brodleystyling by Julia Wester}

5 tips for traveling with kids... 14 Sep 2016

Ruby and Coco / Oh Joy

When we first traveled with Ruby as a baby, we had (no joke) 6-8 pieces of luggage that included a mix of travel crib, car seat, multiple suitcases, and more. Bob looked like a crazy person carrying way too much luggage while I carried a diaper bag plus our baby. Now as a family of 4, we take one suitcase that gets checked, one diaper bag that I carry, one kids backpack that Ruby carries, and one adult backpack that Bob carries for a week's worth of travel and that's it.

I know everyone has their suggestions for how they travel and some go more into detail on various aspects of travel (since there are so many!), but these are my go-to "in general" 5 simple and easy tips for traveling with kids...

1. Pack everything in one suitcase. If you make a goal of fitting your whole family's clothing into one suitcase, you'll fit everything into one suitcase (unless of course you have a family of eight in which case you might need two suitcases). What that means is we limit clothing to: two pairs of shoes per person (one pair gets worn), mix and match clothing and/or wash clothes mid-way through the trip if that's an option, and don't bring anything you can get at your final destination (see #2).

2. Rent/borrow what you can there (car seats, strollers, travel crib). Unless you are going to a city or country that doesn't have these items, borrow whatever you can to cut down on having to bring them yourself. We went from bringing all of the above and carrying what felt like 86 pieces of baggage to now renting car seats at the car rental place and using a stroller or travel crib that is offered at a house rental or hotel. That cuts out four pieces of luggage!

3. Order/buy things when you get there (groceries, diapers, anything you need in bulk). If you're traveling to anywhere in the US or a major city abroad, chances are they have most of your necessities there. If I'm traveling in the US and we're staying at a house rental (which I highly prefer over hotels with kids), the night before we arrive, I usually order groceries and any basics we need through something like Instacart. I set the delivery for after the kids go to bed on our first night and then by the morning, we have all our pantry staples as well as diapers/wipes, etc. And it saved space in my suitcase from having to fill it with diapers.

4. Plan one thing everyday but let the rest of the day be decided as you go. I always get recommendations ahead of time for anything I think we'd be interested in. The night before each day on vacation, Bob and I chat about a couple things we want to do, see what else is nearby, and then we focus on one main activity. I keep a couple of other things in the back of my head that are nearby if we have extra time. But with kids, we've learned not to map out the whole day because sometimes there's extra wiggle room that's nice to have and freedom to let the day take you where it will.

5. Break your rules (a little). If you're on the more strict side with schedules like I am, this is the one time it's okay for bedtime to be a little later or to let the kids watch an iPad out at dinner because you just want to have a peaceful meal at a nice restaurant. Cut yourself some slack and let the kids get to break your normal rules a little, too! It's a vacation!

What are your go-to tips?

{Photo by Bob Cho}

garden party inspiration... 12 Sep 2016

Anne Ten Donkelaar

Next month, both of my girls have birthdays (Ruby turns 5 and Coco turns 2). Rather than throwing two separate parties like I did last year, they're getting a joint birthday party this year. I am not sure if that's going to make things easier or twice as hard, but it's worth trying right? It's a Garden Party theme so I've been gathering lots of images like these for inspiration...

Eloise Corr Danch

Mother Magazine Cake

House That Lars Built / Balloon Arch

Oh Happy Day / Paper Flower Headbands

Have any of you been in or thrown a joint birthday party before? Any tips? I am planning for each kid to have their own cake so we can sing to each separately and especially for each one. That was a tip I heard from parents of twins who always have to share a birthday.

{Image sources: giant paper flowers Anne Ten DonkelaarEloise Corr Danch, Cake from Mother, balloon arch by House That Lars Built, and paper flower headbands by Oh Happy Day.}

remembering... 9 Sep 2016

Dallas Clayton print

15 years ago, I was living in New York City. I had graduated from college just a few months prior and was on my way to work and a month into my first job ever. I watched the twin tower attacks from a stalled N/R train on the Manhattan Bridge going from Brooklyn to downtown NY during my commute to work. What I initially thought was a really bad fire turned into an event that changed the world and my life forever. 

From that day forward, I told myself to be more grateful for what I have, to appreciate any and all parts of my life, and to hold those I love tighter than ever before. I continue to feel sadness for those that lost loved ones that day and hope they are living their lives now as best as they can.

This Sunday will be 15 years since the September 11th tragedy. Even though so much time has passed, it's an event I will never forget seeing and never forget how the city, the country, and the world came together slowly—but stronger than ever.

Whatever you're doing this weekend, hug/love/treasure whomever you're with and tell them you love them...

{Print by Dallas Clayton}


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