Oh JoyOh Joy

happy friday + parents magazine cover!

PAR1217COVER_hi-blog

OMG. I am seriously in shock that I just posted that photo up there. On a recent Saturday, we spent the morning at my studio being photographed for the COVER of Parents Magazine! I was pretty much like...."Um, are you sure you are asking the right person? Did you call the right number?" I am honored to have been included and to be joined by two of my favorite people ever—my girls, Ruby and Coco—on the cover. My husband was standing just off camera beaming with pride. Here's a little peak from behind-the-scenes at our shoot for the December issue out now...

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happy friday + get your shine on...

Oh Joy / Get Your Shine On!

The other day, I heard someone say on a viral video "Get Your Shine On", and it has stuck with me every day since. I think I usually have that mentality in the back of my head to go out in the world and do my thing. But sometimes I'm so tired and spent from the day or from always being so go, go, go—that I forget to embrace the good, the great, the amazing. That phrase is a reminder to us all to take everything that's going right to put that into more good for the future.

So, whatever you have planned for this weekend, however your week was (or wasn't), go get the weekend, embrace it, and GET YOUR SHINE ON!

{Photo by Lily GlassMural by Eric Junker. My outfit is: Crew and Lu, Arm Tights by Spanx, boots by Loeffler Randall.}

updating my living room beyond the toddler years...

Oh Joy Living Room

Five years ago, I posted about how I baby-proofed my living room with Emily Henderson as an attempt to make it safer for our (then) 1-year-old, Ruby. We've now gone through two babies who have learned how to walk and toddle around and play in that very living room. We've slowly swapped out art over the years and and now, five years later, I am ready to update our living room with a real coffee table again and replace the white couch (that has seen many milk and snack stains)! While a couple things are changing, much of it has endured and are still going strong several years later. Here's how I updated my baby-proofed living room back to one that is functional for older kids while keeping the style of the living room in tact...

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let's discuss: recurring dreams...

oh joy bedroom

Throughout my childhood, I had a recurring dream of being chased up a grand, spiral stairwell by a large brown bear. My dream was always in black and white, yet I knew the stairwell was red and the bear was brown. Over time, that dream went away, and then for a decade in my early adulthood, I dreamt that I hadn't finished a class in high school or college and had to go back to finish it. In my dream, I would be the age I was in real life at the time, and I would figure out and wonder how I could possibly adjust my current life to go back to finish school (I either had a job or a husband or kids). Every time I dreamt it my real life had moved along yet I was dreaming the same scenario that I thought I had to go back to.

I think recurring dreams are so interesting because they're all supposed to mean something, right? Like you're worried or anxious...but the fact that you can have the same one over and over again must really mean something. What that is...I have no idea...

Do you guys have recurring dreams? If so, what about? I find them so interesting!

Oh, and happy weekend!

Items shown: Benjamin Moore Blush Tone pink paint, Valspar Midnight Fog gray paint,Wooden Table Sign used as floating shelves from MichaelsLorena Canals rug (past season), Anthropologie wire basket, Marley & Alfie pom necklace, vintage brass gorilla, The Container Store white box, Max Wanger print, Simply Framed frame, Amazon gold disco ball, Moskatel's silver disco ball (similar), Target end table, Dwell Studio dome lamp (past season), Anthropologie mug, CB2 bed, Suku pillow cases, Arro Home abstract pillow (past season), Anthropologie shag pillow, Arro Home duvet, Pom Pom at Home throw blanket.

{Photos by Casey Brodley. Prop styling by Julia Wester, crafting by Jess Hong}

do something nice!

do something nice printable / oh joy!

In celebration of today's Do Something Nice day, we created this fun printable PDF for things you can do with your kids to encourage and teach them to do nice things for others. It's filled with kind gestures that you can do together like bringing someone flowers, baking a sweet treat for a friend, or sending a note to a family member who lives far away. It's set up a bit like a treasure map so you can see your progress as you go...

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broken hearts...

Spell and Tell print

How does a day that seems like it might just be any other Monday turn into a day that is not just any other Monday? How is it that almost weekly, it feels like there has been loss lately...loss of life, loss of love, loss of the happy Monday that could have been. This morning, I went about my morning routine not realizing what had happened late last night in Vegas. Once I connected and became aware, my heart and my soul were at a loss...I am at a loss for words. I've (sadly) said this before, but it's hard to feel like anything I have to say or post is very important right now. When people have lost their loved ones, when people have lost their lives. Today, I will hold my family closer, I will savor every day that I am here, and I will be sad for so many of us...for all of us.

If you are looking for ways to help, here is a link that shows a bunch of ways. Blood donation is a huge priority right now if you happen to be in or near Las Vegas and can donate.

{Print by Spell and Tell}

oh joy from 2005 to 2017...

12 Years of Oh Joy!

This month, we celebrate 12 years of Oh Joy! When I started this blog (and my business) 12 years ago, I never expected to have a business that was so connected to a community of people through the Internet! I never thought I'd make real, live friends through it. I never thought I'd connect with people all over the world and get to share my vision with complete strangers. I never thought that it would give me the opportunity to create something from nothing and create a job I truly love doing every day.

In celebration, I'm looking back at the last 12 years to show how things have changed and evolved and grown (both personally and professionally) in the last decade. This is a long post (but a fun one). So I hope you'll hang out and read along...

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back to school for parents...

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...

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...

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.}