Oh Joy

happy friday + not doing it all... 20 Feb 2015

Oh Joy Dotty Wall

Last week, I had a conversation with an acquaintance on Facebook over her frustration of seeing so many handmade Valentine's Day cards that moms were making for their kids' classmates at school. She wondered how they had time to do that on top of everything else, and she felt it would make her look lazy if she just bought some simple cards at a store instead. I couldn't help but feel like I was one of those moms she was referencing as I had just posted a photo of the cards I helped Ruby make for her class. I had to respond to her to remind her she wasn't being lazy and also to tell her something really important...

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5 tips for archiving your digital memories... 18 Feb 2015

Oh Joy / 5 Tips for Archiving Digital Memories

Before Ruby was born, we barely took photos of special occasions, let alone our daily life. But when you have a baby, you get camera happy and all-of-a-sudden daily life seems way more interesting. Bob really got into photography from capturing photos of our kids, and he's since become pretty good at taking pictures.

With everything being so virtual these days, I love that we can capture memories so quickly and easily, but I find that digital photos can just get lost in the abyss that is your phone or your computer. I know how much I love going to my parent's house and flipping through old photo albums of our family, so I want to be able to preserve these memories for our kids to be able to look back at some day, too.

Oh Joy / 5 Tips for Archiving Digital Memories

Oh Joy / 5 Tips for Archiving Digital Memories

I know it can seem overwhelming to put together a book of all your favorite moments from each year, but if you stay organized as the year progresses, it makes it way easier and way more fun to do. And the end result is super rewarding. Here are a few tips on how we archive our digital memories...

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lately around the studio... 13 Feb 2015

Oh Joy Book Trailer

...we filmed the Oh Joy book trailer this week!

Oh Joy Book Trailer

...which includes one of my favorite projects/recipes—a striped ombre cake—which tastes as good as it looks!

Oh Joy Rose Bowl Treasures

We went to the Rose Bowl Flea Market to do some inspiration shopping. We're designing a ton of new products that come out this year and next year. I can't tell you exactly what yet but there just might be some "little" things coming soon...

Oh Joy Team

And at the end of the week, when we're tired and need to rally through, we put on our matching sweatshirts and shake it all off...

Oh Joy flowers

Hope you all have a dreamy Valentine's Day and an extra fun long holiday weekend! I'm closing the office on Monday so we can have one of those 3-day weekends I love so much...

happiness is... 11 Feb 2015

Oh Joy / photo by Sasha Gulish for Land of Nod

...when your baby giggles at your bad French accent.

...eating Girl Scout cookies in bed after your kids have gone to bed.

...eating anything in bed, really.

...when one of your favorite ice cream brands sets up shop in your neighborhood.

...a 3-day weekend that includes Valentine's Day.

...more diversity on TV.

...coming to terms with your post-baby belly and that it just might jiggle like that forever (and that Spanx is a very good thing).

...80 degree weather in March.

...when your toddler talks about falling in love.

...maple & sea salt popcorn.

...date night out with your husband after that newborn baby haze.

...dancing your butt off in hip hop class with your friends.

...surrounding yourself with positive, driven people who encourage you to be the best version of yourself.

...day dreaming, night dreaming, and just dreaming in general.

Hey friends, what makes YOU happy?

{Photo by Sasha Gulish for Land of Nod}

coco's birth announcement... 9 Feb 2015

Coco's Birth Announcement

I feel like I'm finally catching up on sharing some of the pieces we made to celebrate the arrival of our newest family member (like our family portrait!). For Coco's birth announcement, we worked with one of our favorite photographers, Katherine and Luke Griffin of Max & Friends, to capture a few photos of Coco when we shot our holiday card photos at the end of last year. If you happen to have a baby near the end of the year, I found it super helpful to double up on family photos with newborn photos to save time and money.

Coco's Birth Announcement

I pulled out some of my favorite blankets, swatches of fabric, and pretty little props (like sprigs of flowers and mini party hats) to have on hand as a back-drop for our tiny's photos. I also covered our bed in my favorite duvet by Suku Home which ended up providing the perfect dose of color for Katherine to capture our Coco.

Oh Joy / Newborn Photos

Here were a few of my favorites above...

Oh Joy / Newborn Photos

Oh Joy / Newborn Photos

But for the birth announcement, we ended up choosing a simple one where Coco was looking at the camera as well as one with our two girls together. It just felt like the perfect glimpse into their future together as sisters...

Coco's Birth Announcement

I normally print pieces like this through many online digital card companies (like Minted, Tiny Prints, or Artifact Uprising) but since our photo has very subtle touches of color, I really wanted to do something fun with the ink color of the type. I worked with a local letterpress printer, Kristine from Presshaus LA, to print the graphics I gave her in an ombre neon on the front with an image of the girls on the back. I loved the way the ink colors came out and how every card was a little different as the two colors began to blend together from neon red to neon purple.

It was a nice change to be a little more interactive this time in the process of making another piece to add to our family's memories...

{Newborn and family photos by Katherine and Luke Griffin of Max & Friends. Photos of the printed cards by Casey Brodley and prop styling by Julia Wester for Oh Joy}

a growing family portrait... 29 Jan 2015

  Oh Joy Family Portrait / Thank You Card by Rifle Paper Co.

When Ruby was born a few years ago, I had custom thank you cards illustrated by the super talented Anna Bond of Rifle Paper Co. We sent them out to friends and family for all the amazing gifts and tokens of love we received. Once we ran out of the cards, I thought it would be fun to update it again with a slightly older Ruby. And since then, we now update it every year or so (with our newest shown above).

Oh Joy Family Portrait by Rifle Paper Co.

I loved the mini portraits so much, I started framing one of the cards from each year and hanging them by our front door. Sadly, our cat family has shrunk, but it's fun to see how our human family has grown over the last few years!

{Photos by Casey Brodley for Oh Joy. Painted portraits by Rifle Paper Co.}

a monday night ritual... 26 Jan 2015

Oh Joy / Monday Nights

Soon after before Ruby was born, we started a ritual of going out to dinner on Monday nights with two other couples/friends who have kids of the same age. I know it sounds odd to make Monday the night to go out (wouldn't Friday or Saturday make more sense as an end of week celebration?). It started as a way for us to try new food trucks in our neighborhood (ah, tiny Ruby in that photo!), and has since become a day for Ruby to see her friends regularly and a chance for us parents to vent over how tired we were or how good (or not good) our kids were being that week. And the last thing I want to do is make dinner on a Monday night (which is usually the busiest work day of the week for both me and Bob). 

Since then, every week for the last three years, we have a standing date at 5:30pm on Monday night. It's early enough that we can get the kids home for their 7:30pm bedtime. And on a Monday, you never have to worry about a reservation. Now that we all have two kids, we're like this giant table of twelve with six parents and six kids. It's sometimes insane trying to wrangle the kids, have our own adult conversations, and feed ourselves and the kids at the same time, but it's one of my favorite parts of my week. I enjoy a nice glass of wine with dinner and kick off the week with a simple celebration of family and friends.

Do you guys have a weekly ritual you look forward to?

{Photo by Bonnie Tsang}

happy friday + teamwork... 16 Jan 2015

Oh Joy Studio Tour

I was never much of a team player when I was younger. I alway played solo sports (like karate and tennis) because I've always had a hard time trusting and relying on other people to get the job done. It's totally the control freak in me and something I have always wanted to get better at. However, a couple years ago, I knew a lot of big projects were on the horizon, so I stopped working from home and got a new studio space (which we revealed here). I had to hire a real staff for the first time ever because it finally became obvious that I couldn't do it all myself.

What went from one part-time assistant a year ago has grown into three employees who each have their own role, their own talents, and a very special place on the Oh Joy team. Without them, I could not have designed the entire Oh Joy for Target collection, created the new Oh Joy book, or created the many videos and editorial content we create, style, shoot and publish on a daily basis.

Oh Joy Studio Tour

Oh Joy Studio Tour

Decor8 recently posted some updated photos of the Oh Joy studio and captured a fun shot of my team below. I wanted to introduce them to you guys cause they are the ones behind-the-scenes, the ones who help make my visions come to life, and the ones (in addition to our amazing nanny) who help make it possible for me to be a working mother—because without their help, I really couldn't do it all!

Oh Joy Team

The funny thing is...they all applied for the same assistant job from this post I put up two years ago. But I ended up hiring each of them for different reasons, and they each blossomed into their roles and took on even more of a creative role than I originally expected. From left to right...

Julia does all the crafting and styling. While I originally hired her to do production for our videos, she showed me what she was capable of and now she not only handles production, but she also crafts our DIY's and styles our editorials on the blog and in our book.

Angie, our graphic and surface pattern designer, helps me design all of our licensed products. She is a whiz at patterns and is so good at knowing exactly what I'm envisioning in my head and bringing it onto paper. She also designed the Oh Joy book and creates the graphics for our videos.

That's me, Joy. Ever since building my team over the course of last year, I have taken a Creative Director role at Oh Joy. Which means I come up with the ideas, concepts, colors, and product direction. I also manage the business (securing new partnerships, clients, and jobs) which takes up more time then the fun, creative parts. I still write every blog post and help design products as well, but I rely on my team to help my vision come to life and execute them with their never-ending talent.

Casey was originally hired to be my adminstrative assistant and handle emails and scheduling. But she was also a budding photographer so I started having her shoot some photos for the blog from time-to-time. She began to get my aesthetic and has since grown into our full-time photographer (she shot the whole Oh Joy book, too!). She's also our office manager and makes sure that I remember to be where I need to be and keeps my meetings and schedule straight.

The last two years for me are when I went from a solo player to a team player and learned to let people help me. It's something I'm constantly working on, but when you have creative, passionate people by your side, it makes it much easier to let go and trust others to do what they do best.

Oh Joy Studio Tour

Also, if I can give one big piece of advice for budding creatives out there looking for a job or trying to grow at your current job, show your boss what you've got! All of the girls on my team had talents beyond what I hired them for, but because they put themselves out there and showed me what else they could offer, they all now get to do lots of different things on a daily basis.

P.S. You can see more photos of our studio space over at Decor8! It's fun to see how it's changed a bit since it was originally designed by Emily and Sam in 2013, like how we decorated that space above our storage cabinets with our paper lanterns!

{Photos by Kelly Brown for Decor8.}

a sneak peek at the new oh joy book! 13 Jan 2015

Oh Joy Book - coming in April!

You guys! We have a brand new book coming out in April!

My third book, Oh Joy! 60 Ways to Create and Give Joy is a colorful guide to help bring whimsy and joy to your life and into the lives of those you love. It's filled with quick, fun, and stylish (all brand new) projects from home decor to food to fashion as well as tips on how to shop for vintage, pick art for your home, and where I like to find inspiration. Inspired by my Make Someone Happy videos, this book is all about small things that make a big impact. It's about making your world a happier place and giving you the inspiration to make beautiful and joyful things for others as well.

Here's a peek at the cover (the real book cover will have some very fancy gold foil and neon that you can't see in this digital image). This book was a labor of love for sure. Making this book while pregnant last year was no small feat, but thanks to my team, we pulled it together and can't wait for you to see it. The book comes out on April 7th, but you can pre-order it now at these retailers:

In the US: Amazon | Target | iTunes | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Indiebound | Booksamillion | Google Play | Harper Collins. In Canada: Indigo and Harper Collins.

I'll have a couple book parties in April, too, so I hope we'll get to celebrate together soon!

my mantra for 2015... 9 Jan 2015

Bring a little crazy into every day

Every year, we start fresh with what we hope becomes a newer, better version of ourselves. We write resolutions, sign up for gym memberships, eat healthier, and do the things we hope will stick for the rest of the year. Sometimes those things stick, and sometimes they don't. But no matter what the new year brings promise of a better year and being better to ourselves and to others. In the past (like in 2013), I've tried to give myself a pat on the back for things I did a good job at that year while also noting what needs to be worked on for the new year. This year, I've decided to give myself a personal mantra to just enjoy life a little bit more and not take it all so seriously. Here's the line that I will recite to myself when I am being my worst self—my stressed out, anxious, impatient, cranky, and tired self. And hoping that my best self—my happy, optimistic, sing-songs-badly-to-the-top-of-my-lungs self comes out a little more often this year...

Is there something that you're writing on your forehead this year?

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