Oh Joy

happy friday + voice lessons! 26 Aug 2016

Oh Joy

Ever since having my first baby almost five years ago, most of my "free time" has been spent doing things with and for the kids...or catching up on work while they are napping or sleeping. I haven't given myself that much time to do anything solely for myself for fun. As moms do, I prioritized everything else over myself and hence my workouts have been scarce, and I haven't learned any new skills in a long time.

Finally, this summer, I made myself a priority again. After my kids go to bed, I've been carving out at least one night a week to go play tennis (I know it's only once a week, but that's better than before!)...AND, last night I started taking VOICE LESSONS! I know, so random!

I love singing with and to my kids...but I'm pretty tone deaf. Just like anything else that you want to get better at, you take a lesson, learn how to improve, and practice. So, here I am, starting voice lessons, and we'll see how it goes. I probably won't quit my job (just yet) to become a pop star, but who knows... ;)

Oh, and happy weekend!

{Photo by Casey Brodley}

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!

happy friday + a busy week... 19 Aug 2016

Oh Joy

Oh Joy on Fuller House Set

Oh Joy

Oh Joy

Oh Joy

Normally I'm busy in the office, but this was an extra eventful week. I think that all my 80s and 90s childhood dreams came true when I got to watch a taping of Fuller House, tour the set, meet the cast (and see guest stars NKOTB!). I also did a little vintage shopping, got my boba on, and had a special visitor, Sarah Michelle Gellar! Happy weekend!

Ps. Regarding the debate of live story apps, for now, I'll be in IG Stories during the week and Snapchat on the weekends!

Instagram Stories vs. Snapchat... 5 Aug 2016

Instagram Stories vs. Snapchat

Since Tuesday, the Internet has been in a frenzy over the update to Instagram called Instagram Stories. If you haven't yet seen it, it's basically a way of adding un-edited photos and videos to a feed composed of a string of individual moments that your followers can view for only 24 hours. It's a very similar format to Snapchat—which has been the current favorite platform for teens and millennials...and a platform I just got into and liked after protesting it for so long.

So the question around town is...if you're into both Instagram and Snapchat, or if you follow people or brands on both platforms...what do you do now? Where do you check in on those more "real" tidbits of life or where do you post your own behind-the-scenes glimpses that you want to share?

I am still figuring out my own plan, but as a test for the past couple of days I have been sharing the same content I would normally share on Snapchat on Instagram Stories. That way I could test the waters and make an informed decision for myself and really know the differences from first-hand experience both as a sharer and a viewer. Here's my breakdown for you of the benefits of each...

Instagram Stories vs. Snapchat

Things I like better about Snapchat

1. Filters! While filters are not at all necessary for the sharing of information, they make people kick back and not take things too seriously. It makes it easier for those who are nervous about talking to their camera to cover their face with some funny filter. My husband always says that if the people who invented the technology for those filters worked in the medical field we might have a cure for cancer by now! Because, yes, the filters are VERY good.

2. It feels more intimate. Because you have to actively add someone's exact username to follow them on Snapchat, these are people you want to be following and not people that you found by "exploring" or people you added just cause you met them once at a party. Because of the intention behind these "follows", you're probably following less people here than on Instagram. And, these are people that you want to know more about. Those that follow you here may be a smaller number than on Instagram, but they are the ones who really want to see more of the real you.

3. Ability to send stories directly to someone. I don't actually use the messaging part of Snapchat where you can send a snap ONLY to a certain person (it's like the text messaging part of it), but this was the original intent of Snapchat and a feature that it still has over its new competitor. 

4. Thumbnails preview someone's story. When you're viewing your feed of recent stories, the thumbnail shown gives an indication of their last snap. It's a very small detail but I do like this ability to be able to know what I'm about to watch.

Instagram Stories vs. Snapchat

Things I like better about Instagram Stories

1. One less app to visit! While I have really been loving Snapchat lately, I can't say that I want one more thing to add to the social media cocktail that I consume and serve up on a daily basis.

2. Your current Instagram audience gets to see another side of you. A bit in contrast to the intimacy mentioned above about Snapchat, I find that people want to actually see more of the unedited side of people and brands on Instagram but don't either use Snapchat or forget to add them (since it's not an easy process to find people there). This gives you the chance to see their other side easily and it might actually help people (including myself) edit down who they follow.

3. Forward/Back controls when viewing stories. There are so many times I have viewed someone's Snapchat story only to want to go back to something I wanted to see again or screenshot. The "tap on right side of screen" to go forward and "tap on left side of screen" to go back thing is super useful.

4. You can see someone's "trailer". If you visit someone’s profile (either for the first time or to check up on their posts) and you can see their most recent story when their profile photo is outlined in color. It's a fun way to see what new people to your feed are up to or use it as a way to decide if you want to follow along. 

5. Easier to direct message. While I don't love having another message stream to maintain, I like that when there is a direct message stream, you can read the conversation beyond just the 24 hours. Sometimes you see messages in Snapchat too late or you didn't get to read it and it just disappears and then you have no idea the context of what was last said.

6. Usernames are the same. For me, sometimes I like to reference other people or brands in my stories so it's nice that if I mention someone's handle that it's clear it's the same as their Instagram handle.

Here's what I think will end up happening...

A. People who never got on Snapchat in the first place will start using Instagram Stories instead.

B. People who have been on Snapchat for a while and have a strong following will stay there.

C. Those who use the platforms for their brands might post on both but distinguish different content on each—perhaps more brand-related content on Instagram Stories and more personal content on Snapchat.

For me, I have yet to decide exactly what I'll do. But I'd love to hear what you guys think!

As viewers of content, which format do you prefer? Or if you are creating your own stories, which do you prefer?

P.S. A great article on TechCrunch about it.

{Photos by Casey Brodleystyling by Julia Wester}

what should we do for our 10 year anniversary? 29 Jul 2016

IMG_7254-joy-bob

In September, Bob and I celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary (and 20 years together in total)! We had been planning to have a big party with all the people in our lives we love. But then it felt like it would become a very big party and would...cost as much as a wedding.

Since we are saving up for a house, we are thinking maybe instead a short weekend getaway without the kids would be some nice time together. We have actually not both (at the same time) been away from the kids. So that could be a fun option although we would probably just look at photos of them the whole time. ;)

Or maybe a really fancy dinner? A hot air balloon ride or some other kind of "experience"? What have you guys done in the past to celebrate big anniversaries?

an oh joy mural! 22 Jul 2016

Oh Joy mural for the Southern California Children's Museum

I have always wanted to see an Oh Joy pattern large in and in charge on a wall mural somewhere in the world. So when we were asked by the Southern California Children's Museum to paint whatever we wanted on the walls of their new space, it felt like the perfect moment to bring that dream to life for the kids who play there.

Oh Joy mural for the Southern California Children's Museum

Our designer, Angie, and I worked together to concept a mural that I wanted to be fun, bold, very Oh Joy, yet not too specific that it would feel dated later on. So I didn't want to use any Oh Joy patterns that have already seen on our products and instead decided to merge a few different patterns together to create a brand new one just for this project. I worried how we would execute the mural because with my team's already busy work schedule, we didn't have enough resources to be able to paint the very large project on our own. So it was time to ask for help from someone with mural experience.

Oh Joy mural for the Southern California Children's Museum

Oh Joy mural for the Southern California Children's Museum

Oh Joy mural for the Southern California Children's Museum

Oh Joy mural for the Southern California Children's Museum

Oh Joy mural for the Southern California Children's Museum

With the incredible help of Rachel Deitsch of Really Fake Digital and Carrie Hansen, we were able to make our vision a reality. We matched our Pantone colors to Benjamin Moore paint colors, Angie drew the pattern to 1/10th scale, then Rachel and Carrie blew it up to full scale to draw out all the lines on a grid for the shapes. The mural took almost two weeks from start to finish thanks to their amazing work. The Oh Joy team took a break from our usual work and came to help paint, too, which was seriously so therapeutic.

Oh Joy mural for the Southern California Children's Museum

Oh Joy mural for the Southern California Children's Museum

Oh Joy mural for the Southern California Children's Museum

Oh Joy mural for the Southern California Children's Museum

Oh Joy mural for the Southern California Children's Museum

Oh Joy mural for the Southern California Children's Museum

Here's the finished mural! We are still waiting on vinyl decals of the museum's logo which will go right in the entryway overhead as well as a plaque that will tell about our involvement and inspiration behind the mural's design. This was such a fun change for me to conceptualize and see Oh Joy come to life in a different way than we're used to! For those of you in Los Angeles with kids, I hope you'll stop by the Southern California Children's Museum in Pasadena and see it in person. And if you do, please tag @ohjoy so we can see your photos!

A huge thank you to Benjamin Moore for donating all the paint for this project and to Rachel and Carrie for their help with this project!

P.S. For reference, we used Benjamin Moore Regal Select paint in an eggshell finish in the following colors: Bubble Bath 1326; Limelight 2025-40; Bahama Waters 576; Pink Ladies 1347; Cactus Flower 1335; Paddington Blue 791; Bayberry Blue 790; Golden Orchards 329; Tangelo 2017-20; Neon Green 2032-10; and Cool Aqua 2056-40.

{Photos by Casey Brodley}

work in progress... 15 Jul 2016

Mural by Oh Joy for the Southern California Children's Museum

Mural by Oh Joy for the Southern California Children's Museum

Mural by Oh Joy for the Southern California Children's Museum

Earlier this week, I shared a peek on Instagram of a mural we designed for the Southern California Children's Museum. The mural is almost done and we'll be making final touches next week. I'll be sure to share more photos of the entire piece when it's ready! Yay!

...and happy weekend!

{Photos by Casey Brodley}

some days i can't just post a pretty picture... 8 Jul 2016

oh joy sky photo

Sometimes it's hard to blog about cute things and pretty pictures when the real world going on around us isn't so perfect. No matter how hard we try, we can't always make real life look like that perfect social media life that we wish it was.

I really try to keep this space (and all of my social media outlets) positive and uplifting. When bad things, sad things, negative things happen in the world, it is not my gut instinct to publicly share my feelings about them. Maybe it's the conservative Asian part of me not to show pain outwardly...I internalize, I process, I think, I get upset...in private. So it took me a day or so to be able to even write anything about the world as of lately.

I don't know what it's like to be African American.

I don't know what it's like to be Caucasian.

I don't know what it's like to be gay or bisexual or transgender.

But I do know what it's like to have someone you love taken away from you unexpectedly. I know how it feels to be treated unfairly based on my skin color. I do know that pain is pain and lost lives are still lives no matter what color or gender or sexual preference. Whether it's in the hands of someone who was meant to protect us or someone who just felt like walking into a public space and taking lives that day, losing someone—whether you knew them or not, whether you loved them or not—hurts. 

It's okay not to know what to say or do. Because I myself am speechless. I don't know what the answer is to this past month, this past year, past decade, past hundreds of years of injustice, sadness, and loss.

I'll just leave you with this video below by that I came across by Brene Brown via Wit & Delight...

Thanks for listening.

summer project: my bedroom makeover... 6 Jul 2016

Oh Joy Bedroom Makeover

With summer in full swing, there are a few things I've been putting off FOREVER that I am finally attempting to tackle. One of them is an update to my bedroom. Many years ago, it looked pristine and lovely. But since then, two kids have arrived, my life got busier, and once you stop noticing that your bed frame is still covered in plastic, it just becomes a part of the decor.

As we save for a house, we'll likely be in our current place for another two years at least. So for me, that's enough time to make it worth putting in a little money into making a room that we spend so much time in, feel like a place we want to spend time in. I usually only feel like a room is worth updating if the new pieces you bring in are things that we could take with us to a new house someday. Here are the issues and what I want to fix...

1. Curtains - Remember when chevron was the "it" pattern back in 2010/2011? It's come and gone and while it's not terrible, I'm totally over these curtains. At the time, I couldn't find any chevron curtains that were sheer, so I drew the pattern, had them printed with Spoonflower, then had them sewn to size. What I did not account for when getting these sewn was that curtains need to be wider than your window, not the exact width of your window. So they never actually cover up any light that comes through and it's basically like hanging a handkerchief from a clothesline. So, I'll keep the great curtain rods we have, but update to some darker and thicker curtains that actually fit and block out light.

2. Bedframe and headboard - After getting pregnant with Coco, we upgraded to a king size bed from a queen. I LOVE my bed and probably spend way too much time in it, but we haven't really given the bed a place to rest (bedsides on the floor still covered in plastic). I also had never had a headboard (which feels very grown up) so now's the time to go for it.

3. Wallpaper - My wallpaper is still looking good on that back wall, however, over time some small children (who shall remain nameless) have pulled and tugged on a certain section that has now ripped a good chunk off. It's not worth fixing this or re-wallpapering, so a headboard will be a nice fix to just cover it up.

4. End of Bed Bench - I've always loved how hotels have those benches by the base of the bed that was so useful for getting dressed. And now that Emily Henderson said we all need one, I'm convinced.

5. Rug - I once had a rug in here to help cover the not-so-great grey carpet that is part of our rental. But it was super old and slowly got eaten by moths. So an upgrade would be good here.

Ok, so that's my plan. I know I could have waited to show you this before and after all in the same post. But by putting this out there, it's giving me more encouragement to get to work on this room!

snippets from the week + happy long weekend! 1 Jul 2016

Oh Joy / The Broad

Oh Joy / The Broad

Oh Joy / The Broad

Oh Joy / Home Brewed Bar

Oh Joy

This week felt long, yet flew by! A few snippets from here and there...I got to see the new Cindy Sherman exhibit (and go back to Yayoy Kusama's infinity mirrored room!) at The Broad. We're also working on an Oh Joy mural at a kid's museum in Pasadena (yay!) so we've been spending a chunk of time there this week and I'm all about the boba tea from Home Brewed Bar. Finally, so random...my new favorite sandals by Marais that I seem to have worn every day this week.

We'll be off Monday to celebrate the July 4th holiday. I hope you and yours have a restful long weekend, and I'll see you back here on Tuesday!

P.S. I'll be snapping and gramming over the weekend if you need an Oh Joy fix ;)

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