Oh Joy

back to school for parents... 18 Sep 2017

back to school for moms...

“Back-to-school” usually means an exciting time in kids’ lives to meet new friends, new teachers and get back into the daily routine of learning and growing. However, that shouldn’t be limited to our children! Rather than waiting for a January New Year's resolution, I find that sending my kids back to school inspires me to go back to school myself to keep learning and growing. In partnership with Acer, here are some ways I'm going "back to school" this fall, too...

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life today... 11 Sep 2017

Christopher David Ryan Illustration

Today marks 16 years since the September 11th attacks in New York City. It's a day I will never not be aware of because I was there and I lived through it. I've talked about it in past blog posts (here and here). But today feels extra hard. Not just because we're remembering that event, but also with all the storms that are passing through the country in Texas and Florida and all of the people who have been displaced, lost homes, and need so much of our help. One thing I learned and witnessed from September 11th is how people join together in times of crisis and need. Kindness and compassion for strangers emerge. Through loss comes hope. Through giving comes solidarity.

If you're looking for ways to help:

Harvey relief Texas:
-Undies for Everyone
-Houston Food Bank

Irma relief in Florida and the Caribbean:
-Volunteer Florida
-Save the Children

{Illustration by Christopher David Ryan}

let's discuss: nicknames... 8 Sep 2017

Oh Joy

I never really thought about names much until having kids and having the ability to choose someone's name that they'll use for the rest of their life. I was born: Nantaka Joy Deangdeelert...say that 10 times fast! My Thai name was very long and proved hard to say my entire childhood. I was that kid whose name was ALWAYS butchered on the first day of school every year. So, I ended up using my middle name because it was easier for people to say. In Thai culture, you are given a more traditional (and usually longer) first name, a shorter (easier to say) middle name that serves as your nickname, and then your last name is always super long. So culturally in my family, it was always expected that my middle name would be used more than middle names typically get used in American culture.

As we thought about naming both our kids, my husband and I both went into it knowing we wanted their first names to be easy to say and read because we both grew up with people having a hard time with our names. We gave both kids middle names with meaning to us but with no intention of their middle names being used on a regular basis. Our kids do have nicknames which are some derivation of their first names...Rubes for Ruby, Coconut for Coco, etc...pretty close to their real names but a playful spin as nicknames tend to be!

These days, with new babies born into a very modern day with all kinds of names being used, I find that names and nicknames run the gamut. I even see people naming a kid one name with the intention of calling them by a nickname right away that is not even close to their first name.

I also find that nicknames feel like they can only come from those who know you. Like, if someone tells me their name is "Christopher", I won't call him Chris unless he asks to be called by his nickname. Or when you know someone with a long name just goes by their first initial with their friends (like "Z" cause their name is super long), I feel like you need to know them before you get into the "circle of comfort" of nicknames.

What do you think? Do you have a nickname you go by pretty regularly? Who calls you by that name and who doesn't?

{Photos by Casey Brodley, dress is vintage from Grit, gold disco ball from Amazon.}

happy long weekend + 12 years of oh joy! 1 Sep 2017

Oh Joy is 12!

Happy September folks! September is always a very special month for me because in September 2005, I started Oh Joy which means we're turning 12 this month! Throughout September, I'll be giving more behind-the-scenes looks at various parts of Oh Joy...where we were and where we're headed, a look back at our collections at Target (and launch our last one), and show you more the behind-the-scenes of Oh Joy!

Also, stay tuned to our Instagram tonight for a very special giveaway you won't want to miss! Have a great, LONG weekend all!

{Photos by Lily Glass, styling by Julia Wester, styling assistance by Jess Hong

let's discuss: teaching empathy to kids... 18 Aug 2017

Oh Joy / Photo by Bonnie Tsang

For the last couple weeks, we've discussed some things that were fun to talk about and get various perspectives. They were light and sometimes silly, but today's post is about to get a little more serious...

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peacing things together... 13 Aug 2017

Christopher David Ryan Print

Perfection is not my goal in life. But respect for other people is. Sometimes I forget that I live in a bubble here in Los Angeles where there is more diversity and openness to differences. I am shocked and saddened by recent events. While I try not to get political here, it's not political when it's about human decency and just being a nice person. I'm hoping that someday—for our children's sake—everyone can and will focus on being their best selves and respect everyone for who they are—and not judge others for the way they look, what religion they are, or part what the country they are from. I beg you...to please teach kindness, compassion, equality, and love to future generations...

{Print by Christopher David Ryan}

let's discuss: the toilet paper roll... 11 Aug 2017

which direction do you put the toilet paper roll on? over or under?

There's something that happens in my house every few days that almost causes my husband and I to go our separate ways in life...

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preparing (yourself) for pre-school... 7 Aug 2017

Oh Joy

A few years ago, I wrote a post about how to choose a pre-school after I had gone through the process of choosing one for my oldest (who recently graduated pre-school and starts kindergarten this fall!). My youngest, Coco, started pre-school last week. After having gone through the process with my first, I thought the start of pre-school would be easy the second time around. But, it wasn't and we are still working on getting her used to a new environment and a new schedule. Here are a few things I've learned that I thought might help some of you starting your babes at pre-school soon...

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let's discuss: picking a side of the bed... 4 Aug 2017

Let's Discuss: Picking a Side of the Bed

Recently, at the Oh Joy office, we got into a VERY serious debate...

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let's discuss: on finding love... 28 Jul 2017

Let's Discuss: On Finding Love

This may feel sort of random, but every so often, there are things I think about in life that I wonder what other people would think about this topic, too. So I thought...I have this blog that people sometimes read...and maybe I'll just discuss these life questions with you guys here! Here goes...

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