Oh Joy

little indulgences... 19 Dec 2014

Oh Joy Family Holiday Card

As we prepare for the end of the year, I can't help but look back and think about how much life has changed this year. I finally started to learn how to let people help me (both personally and professionally), we made some progress on looking for a new home (more on that soon), I launched one of my biggest career goals, and—most importantly—our family grew to just the right size.

I used to think that I needed to go on fancy vacations, stay at five star hotels, or be decked out in really nice clothes to have that sense of satisfaction that life is good and to feel really, actually content. But what I've realized this year, is that it's the smallest things that feel special to me now—those things that make my life a little easier or feel like a special treat after a busy week...

...long weekends, groceries delivered to your door, massages at home, getting breakfast with friends, a gel manicure (because it actually stays on more than two days), sleeping in a bigger bed, and eating a big bowl of ice cream in said bed after the kids are fast asleep. Maybe I am just getting old, or maybe I am just becoming more content with who I am and what my life has become. There's less "grasping to get there" and more just being "happy to be here".

Our holiday card this year pretty much sums it all up. So, friends, as you reach the end of your year, I'd love to hear...what little indulgences make you feel content?

{Our holiday card by Artifact Uprising. Family photos by Katherine and Luke Griffin.}

"pablo picasso liked to make things blue" 11 Dec 2014

Oh Joy / Ruby

Three is kind of a magical age to me. My three-year-old can say so much, recall things I didn't even know she heard, yet also drive me insane with tantrums that come out of nowhere or insisting she do things herself even when she doesn't know how. I try and take a deep breath and remember the funny things she says that make me forget all about my less-than-patient moments. Here are some interesting things Ruby has been saying lately...

"Pablo Picasso liked to make things blue." (I think she learned that from this book.)

"Do little boys have little penises and big boys have big penises?" (Um, where do I start with that answer?)

"No pictures please!" (...as she waves her hands in front of her face with a smirk.)

"Daddy, you look hancy!" (I think she means handsome + fancy.)

"I want to have some nuts. Can I eat acorns like squirrels?"

In the middle of something very ordinary like taking a bath or going grocery shopping...
"Mama...I love you." (That one never gets old)

Oh, and she's teaching me Mandarin and Spanish!

P.S. I snapped this blurry photo with my phone the other morning as I was attempting to get Ruby dressed for school. She was running around in her PJ's insisting that she needed to wear multiple things on her head before she could get dressed. And yes, our bed frame is still wrapped in plastic because I can't decide what to get, hence I decided to just let it sit there on the floor.

happy friday + the gift of giving... 5 Dec 2014

The Gift of Giving

As the holiday approaches and we all get into the gift-giving mood, it's been really important to me to help give joy to others—especially those who don't have as much or have been born into unfortunate circumstances. So part of our annual family tradition is to help teach Ruby the gift of giving and learn what it means to be grateful for what you do have.

The Gift of Giving

One of our annual traditions for Christmas and Ruby's birthday since she was born has been to take her to donate clothes, toys, and books to other children in need. For every new present she gets, she has to donate something she already has. That way she doesn't keep getting more and more and understands that giving to others matters, too. 

The Gift of Giving

I've started working with the Los Angeles-based Baby2Baby organization this year for our donations. And for this holiday, we've been matched with another family of two girls to shop specifically for and help give them their wishlist of books, toys, and clothes that they need but their parents cannot afford to buy. When I took Ruby to shop for the girls, I told her that we were buying presents for other kids who need them. I kept reminding her that the toys weren't for her but it would make someone else very happy.

This is the first year that she really understood the concept and kept getting excited that she'll get to give the gifts to them in person soon. Sometimes we think these little ones are too small to understand what it means to give, but you'd be surprised how quickly they pick up on it and how they begin to feel joy from it, too.

I hope you all have a great weekend. How is it almost Christmas already?!?

{Photos by Casey Brodley for Oh Joy}

happy thanksgiving! 27 Nov 2014

Cho Family 2014

...from my family to yours! If you're stateside and celebrating Thanksgiving (or even if you're not!), I hope you have a wonderful, long weekend full of happy bellies, hearty laughs, and blissful naps! 

{Photo by LK Griffin}

one month with coco... 20 Nov 2014

Oh Joy / Coco One Month

Time flies when you're in a newborn cloud of a half-asleep baby brain and that new baby bliss. We've had a month full of changes for our whole family. My labor and recovery was way easier this time. But, this whole two kid thing is no joke, you guys. The newborn part seems easier than before, but the whole man-on-man, no-one-gets-a-break thing is still taking some getting used to. We can already see the bond forming between our girls, and it's nice to feel like our family is finally complete.

Oh Joy / Coco One Month

Oh Joy / Coco One Month

So happy one month to our little Coco-nut! She's still smushy and makes little squeaky noises like a squirrel. Sometimes for a moment, she's so quiet that I forget I have another baby. I'm excited to watch her grow and change and see what type of person she'll become and how she'll be different from her sister. Ruby had a rough first couple weeks as a big sister, but she's getting much better lately and loves to smother Coco (maybe a little too much). In the end, we're all still figuring this whole thing out, but we're having fun in the process...

P.S. A look back at one month with Ruby!

{Photos by Casey Brodley for Oh Joy. Blanket by Roxy Marj, leggings by Thief & Bandit, onesie by Babe, pinata number by Katie K. Franklin, duvet by Suku Home and Virginia Johnson. My dress by Rachel Pally and necklace by Coral & Stone.}

lately... 14 Nov 2014

Ruby and Coco

Ruby and Coco

Lately, I've been...

...navigating the waters of having two kids, and trying to divide myself while also trying to multiple myself. I am happy, but oh-so-tired.

...going back to the office a bit and figuring out my own version of maternity leave (more on that soon). I've realized I can't feel guilty for working more than people think I should or not working as much as I think I should and to just to do what makes sense for me.

...getting some much-needed catch up time with friends as they come by the house to visit the new baby. It's reminded me how much I needed some down-time, how comforting it can be to have visitors, and how nice it is to have people shower you food and treats.

...eating whatever I want (hooray for a normal diet again), and not feeling guilty about it one bit!

{Photos by Oh Bob}

happy friday + a few more maternity photos... 7 Nov 2014

Oh Joy Maternity Photos by The Fox and the Sparrow

Oh Joy Maternity Photos by The Fox and the Sparrow

Last month, I shared our last photos as a family of three. And a few weeks ago, I had a chance to take some solo maternity photos with the ladies of The Fox and the Sparrow who offer pop-up sessions all around the country. Since I never had maternity photos taken when I was pregnant with Ruby (and this is the last of our babies), I took the opportunity to capture my pregnancy in a different style than my usual—a little boho, a little vintage, and a little romantic.

Oh Joy Maternity Photos by The Fox and the Sparrow

Oh Joy Maternity Photos by The Fox and the Sparrow

They took care of hair and makeup, floral crowns, and wardrobe options. It makes it super easy to just show up and not have to worry about planning anything yourself. When you're 37 weeks pregnant, achy, peeing all the time, and super tired, it's just nice to let someone make you feel like a real babe. I'm writing this post a little sleep-deprived from a newborn and a little spent from a toddler who's getting used to said newborn. So it's fun to look back at these now and think I had no idea of all the love (and exhaustion!) that would soon come my way.

Oh Joy Maternity Photos by The Fox and the Sparrow

So, the moral of the story is...take some maternity photos and capture that amazing time however you feel comfortable doing it. I said I didn't want to do anything with a bare belly but we found ways to show off the belly without showing it all. Have a great weekend guys!

P.S. If you're interested in a future session with The Fox and the Sparrow, you can email fox@studiocastillero.com to be put on their wait list for 2015. They are planning on visiting Austin in the new year. They love to travel and open to other cities that people want them to come have a pop-up!

{Photos by Rachel Cast, styling by Tori Hendrix, hair and makeup by Erica Beukelman, and florals by Siren Floral Co.}

oh joy videos / what's next? 31 Oct 2014

Oh Joy YouTube videos

One of my goals for 2014 was to create more video content this year. It was something I was scared to do, but found it to be a good challenge to get more comfortable talking in front of the camera and to bring content to you guys in new ways within personal style, entertaining, DIY, and behind-the-scenes of my product designs.

I have a couple more videos left to share with you this year, but then I'll start planning for next year. So, I'd love to know how you guys are liking the videos and any requests for types of videos you'd want to see more of next year? I appreciate and value so much your thoughts and feedback!

P.S. See all the past Oh Joy videos right here and subscribe to the Oh Joy YouTube channel to see them as soon as they're posted!

ruby's 3rd birthday party! 27 Oct 2014

Oh Joy / Ruby's 3rd Birthday Party

I was 37 weeks pregnant during Ruby's 3rd birthday and very close to not having a party at all. But knowing that she was soon going to have a big change in her life, we decided to still throw a party and keep it small with just a handful of her close friends and their parents.

Oh Joy / Ruby's 3rd Birthday Party

Oh Joy / Ruby's 3rd Birthday Party

Oh Joy / Ruby's 3rd Birthday Party

Oh Joy / Ruby's 3rd Birthday Party

We chose the same public park, Grand Park in Downtown LA, where we had her first birthday. This time, we set up tables by the splash pad, one of her favorite spots in the summer where the kids can play in the water close by. Since the park is first come, first serve, I had to be able to set up the decorations quickly and easily and not have too much time setting the party. I mixed and matched multiple seasons from previous and current Oh Joy for Target collections and finally got to use the pieces I designed for this very purpose!

Oh Joy / Ruby's 3rd Birthday Party

Oh Joy / Ruby's 3rd Birthday Party

Oh Joy / Ruby's 3rd Birthday Party

Oh Joy / Ruby's 3rd Birthday Party

Inspired by her friend Ida's purple birthday party, Ruby requested that everyone wear her favorite color—yellow. It ended up being super cute and an easy way for friends to find which party at the park was ours.

Continue reading " ruby's 3rd birthday party! " »

welcome little coco! 23 Oct 2014

Oh Joy / Baby Coco

Oh Joy / Baby Coco

Oh Joy / Baby Coco

Oh Joy / Baby Coco

We're excited to share the arrival of Coco Grace Cho! Our 2nd little lady (and Ruby's little sister) was born Monday night, October 20th at 6lbs, 3oz. We thought we had a couple more weeks to prepare, but it seemed as though she had other plans. She's only been in the world for a few days, but I already know she's the one we've been waiting for to make our family complete.

We're back home resting, and I'm trying my best to soak up time as a family of four. I have posts and content that's been planned in advance, so you can still check here daily. And I'm sure you'll find a new baby photo or two over on Instagram too while I'm taking some cuddly baby time at home. She's still very new and smushy, so I'll be sure to share more photos as her little self begins to develop...

P.S. Thanks so much for your tips on life with two kids. I'm trying to do my best to take each day as it comes and enjoy both the ups and downs that come with every new chapter of life.

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