Oh Joy

things I am super lazy about... 10 Jun 2016

things i am super lazy about

I would consider myself a pretty hard-working person. I’m super Type A and when I want to get things done, they get done. But I have to be honest about something. There are some very simple, everyday things that I am SO lazy about….

1. Unloading the dishwasher - I have no problem loading it and getting the dirty dishes in there, but I dread unloading it…remembering where everything goes, hoping I don’t fill up a cabinet too much and it comes crashing down to the ground (yes, that has happened to me before).

2. Folding laundry - I used to work at Gap in high school and was terrible at folding the clothes exactly back to how they should be (even with that handy folding tool). Maybe it’s my memories of failing at folding the perfect white tee, but there is something so meticulous about folding that doesn’t work with my brain for some reason. If it were up to me, I could put away all my clothes in drawers in small bunches or piles.

3. Taking a shower - Now before you think I am totally gross, I do like the feeling of being freshly showered. I like being clean. But I don’t like the process of having to take a shower - getting undressed, showering, and getting dressed and ready again. I’d like for it to all just happen for me somehow. Can someone invent an app for that?

4. Filling up my gas tank - My husband knows that I am the worst at this. When that light flashes in my car telling me “Hey, just a heads up, you have about 45 miles left before you’re out of gas”. I look at it, smile, and go on with my day. It’s not until that number goes down to 15...10...5 miles left and the line is right about to touch the "E" that I begrudgingly go to the gas station.

5. Updating software & backing up my computer - Whenever my computer tells me it has an update, I push it off until “tomorrow” and then it ends up being weeks and months that apps or software are out of date and then usually my computer decides to retaliate and crash or freeze forcing me to restart and catch-up on the 39 updates it’s been asking for.

Do you guys think I am crazy? It’s kind of nice to be totally honest about these things. Share your #RefreshinglyHonest confessions with me, too!

*This post is brought to you in partnership with Honest Tea. All words are my own.

some new family photos! 8 Jun 2016

Oh Joy Family Photos

Oh Joy Family Photos

Oh Joy Family Photos

We're surrounded by so much talent here in our Los Angeles creative community, and I feel so lucky that we recently had a chance to take some new family photos with our friend, Katherine Rose. Katherine photographed our maternity photos, Coco's birth announcement, and some of our earliest family photos. We haven't seen her since Coco was a month old so it was fun to catch up while hanging in our neighborhood and taking some photos with our kids.

Oh Joy Family Photos

Oh Joy Family Photos

Oh Joy Family Photos

Oh Joy Family Photos

Oh Joy Family Photos

Oh Joy Family Photos

Oh Joy Family Photos

We usually take photos twice a year, and I've learned to keep the location and the setting really simple. We kind of have an on-going bougainvillea theme with Katherine, so I simply find a not-too-busy street with a beautiful, lush area of greenery. And we walk, play with the kids, and let her capture us as we are. We rarely get a photo where everyone is looking at the camera, but I've learned the less perfect the expressions, the better. It's about the simple moments and seeing our personalities shine through that always make these photos so special.

Thanks again to Katherine for spending the morning with us and always capturing my family so beautifully!

{Our outfits: My skirt by Whit NY and shoes by Zuzii, Ruby's romper by Crew & Lu and shoes by Zuzii, Coco's romper by Duchess & Lion (past season) and shoes by Pons, Bob's shirt and pants by Apolis and tie by Ben Sherman (past season).}

wearing all those social media hats... 1 Jun 2016

Oh Joy Studio wall / designed by Emily Henderson

Do you ever feel like there are so many places on social media you need to check or you might be missing out on something? When I started my blog almost 11 years ago, it was the only place where I shared information with all of you. There wasn't even Twitter back then and people just came to your website if they wanted to read it. But now, there's Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Periscope, Snapchat and others where I spend my time trying to keep up and share in all the ways I can. I won't lie...it can be overwhelming. Right around spring break this year, I almost had a melt down with feeling overwhelmed with all the social media out there and trying to keep up with it. But I took a step back, I refreshed my mind a bit, and focused.

It could be easy to close yourself off from the social media world or avoid using it for your business, but the reality is that the internet has given the opportunity for so many small businesses to grow and be seen. So rather than shy away from it, I always encourage people to use it in a way that makes sense and best fits each person. Right now you can find Oh Joy in a handful of places and you can choose to follow me on all of them, some of them, or none of them. But since I have never officially defined what I share where, I thought I'd do that here so you can see what best suits where you want to follow along. And hopefully, it will help you decide the best places for you to be as well (for yourself or your business).

Oh Joy blog - This is where longer content appears: DIY's, home decor tips, fashion posts, and other content in which a story needs to be told that is longer than what I could share on a single image elsewhere on social media.

Instagram - This is a mix of single moments that inspire me that I want to share (beautiful, simple, colorful, funny moments). I also share more personal photos here from my life as well as peeks and updates on Oh Joy products.

Snapchat - I avoided joining Snapchat for a while but finally decided to start using it about a month ago and am really enjoying how it allows me to share more behind the scenes of what we do at Oh Joy as well as some moments on the weekends when I'm out and about with my family. I love the imperfection of it and how it all goes away a day later so there is no need to obsess about what your whole feed looks like. You also don't know how many followers you have (only how many people view your stories), so there is none of that comparing your "number" to others - which I love.

Pinterest - This is my online scrapbook of things I like and things that inspire me. It's a tool I use everyday for my own workflow as it allows me to easily save things I want to reference later. The plus side is that others who follow along can get a glimpse of those inspirations, too.

YouTube - Here's where I share DIY videos which are a fun alternative to sharing them simply in a blog post when you can see me make something in real life.

Facebook - I use Facebook to amplify our daily blog posts as well as share other snippets from around the web that are fun and interesting. I also share our Shortcuts videos here exclusively.

I have started using Facebook Live in which you can find live broadcasts of product reveals and DIY's. You can interact and respond to me directly or ask questions in the comments afterwards. If you're following Oh Joy on Facebook then you'll see these notifications.

Twitter - While I am not as active on Twitter as I used to be, I still use it to amplify blog posts and Instagram posts. I also use it as a newsfeed to follow a lot of local Los Angeles businesses...especially food trucks and places that change locations.

Periscope - Every Friday, I try to give a chat about a specific topic. Last week, we talked about the importance of a squad (basically your support system). I've also talked about social media, business advice, and given peeks at new products. This one is where we talk more face-to-face and you guys can ask me anything you want. It's like sitting down and having coffee and a chat!

I hope that helps give you an overview of what we share and where. One thing I always suggest if you are newer to social media for your own business is to focus on just TWO social media platforms. It's too much to try and start it all at once and I have slowly added them on one-by-one.  Hopefully, this has shown you ways in which social media can be helpful for your business based on how we break it down. 

{Photo of our by Casey Brodley}

happy long weekend + in the studio lately... 27 May 2016

Oh Joy studio

Oh Joy studio

Oh Joy studio

It's been a doozy of a week and I'm SO glad to be going into a three day weekend! I'm just excited to get to hang with my family all day for three days and simply catch up on life. Here's a peek at what went on in the studio this week...we shot the video for our new summer collection that comes out mid-June (where I matched the decor), played around in a pool after the shoot, worked with some very pretty flowers, and 100 other things I forgot to take a photo of!

Also I'm now on Snapchat if you would like to follow along. I share peeks of what we're working on, outfits of the day, and other random musings ;)

P.S. Thank you for loving our new Dressing the Team series! I am so grateful your amazing comments and working on more coming soon!

some bits of inspiration lately... 13 May 2016

Oh Joy Flowers

Tassels from Rosebowl Flea Market

Beaches by Gray Malin

Oh Joy

...beautiful peonies from Mother's Day in my new favorite vase, giant tassels at the Rosebowl Flea Market, a new Beach-perfect book, and pattern on pattern on texture...

Have a great weekend all! I'm headed to the Beyonce concert this weekend (weeee!) and filling my days with kid activities a plenty!

{Photos by Oh Joy}

a mother's strength... 6 May 2016


When I was in 5th grade, I had a favorite snack at a local cafe that I would get pretty regularly. My mom would drive me to the cafe, wait in the car right in front, and I would pop in and buy it to take home and we'd be on our way. I had probably gone to that cafe multiple times a week for months. But one day, I went in for my usual snack stop-in, and the cashier at the shop had some of his friends hanging out while he was working at the register. They were a bunch of high school teenagers which in itself was intimidating to a 10 year old. While I was waiting for my food, I heard them making sounds about me like "ching, chang, chong" over and over again. For an Asian American kid struggling just to fit in, that's pretty much the worst thing you can hear. Tears started flowing out of my eyes and I ran back to the car leaving my food behind. I got into the car with tears streaming down my face and told my mom I just wanted to go home.

She asked me what had happened. I didn't want to tell her and only said I didn't want to go back there ever again. I finally told her about what had happened, and she replied, "Wait here. I will be right back." When she came back, she got the food I had left behind and she said, "He won't bother you again". It took me a while to want to go back there but when I did, the guy apologized to me. Still to this day, I have no idea what my mom said to him.

My mom is one of the most private and non-confrontational people I know. But in that moment, any worries about confrontation or her broken English completely went away. She did what moms do...she made me feel like everything was going to be okay and did her best to ensure that I would not get hurt in that way again.

It's amazing how much more inner strength you gain once you have someone you want to be strong for...someone you want to protect. Like all those mothers who somehow lift heavy objects that have fallen on their child or that warrior that comes out of you if anyone attempts to hurt someone you love. Inner strength doesn't mean that you aren't scared or that you know exactly how things will turn out, it's that you know things will be okay at some point in the near or distant future. You project that strength to those around you so that they, too, feel assured and okay with whatever obstacles (big or small) they may be facing.

As we approach Mother's Day, I can think of so many times my mom has been strong for me throughout my life in both big and small moments. Have you seen this P&G Thank You, Mom video? This really captures the ways I want to be strong for my children and makes me think about my own mom and all that she did for me. It will make you cry but also make you appreciate the strength of your own mother and inspire you to be that for your own children today or someday in the future...

Happy Mother's Day to all you amazing mamas out there!

This post is in partnership with P&G. All words are my own.

how motherhood has changed me... 28 Apr 2016

how motherhood has changed me

I try not to get all "Ma, ma, ma" (that's like "blah, blah, blah" but for mom things) here on this blog. But every so often I do enjoy reflecting on what's hard, nice, or just unexpected about this stage of life I'm in called Motherhood. I recently got to preview the new movie, Mother's Day, that comes out this weekend (do you know how much I love ensemble casts?!?), and both the humor and errors of motherhood in the film made me reflect on how I've changed since welcoming my first nugget 4.5 years ago.

I know that being a mom isn't for everyone, but for me it's made a big difference in how I see myself, how I present myself, and what I care about. Here are a few examples...

I worry less about what I look like and worry more about being a good person. I can't tell you how much time I spent in my 20's obsessing over my soft and squishy not-so-flat stomach. I was so self-conscious about it and envied girls who could wear bikinis and bare their mid-driffs. Now, my mid-section is even softer and squishier and covered in stretch marks. But I don't care at all. It's the product of carrying my children. Ironically, adding to my imperfections made my insecurities about it go away. Now, I try and make sure not to litter on the street. I make sure I am extra polite to people I come across during my day. And I try and give people the benefit of the doubt and hope that driver cut me off because he had a bad day. I worry about other stuff, but my squishy stomach is not one of them.

I focus more on “today” than “one day”. Sure, I set big goals for my career and I have dreams of buying a dream home or going on great trips. But I used to spend way more time thinking about the future than living in the present. Yes, life is short and we don't know how long we'll be here. But also because I've realized that every day is full of magic and simple things, and those are the moments you remember someday when you get old and reflect back on your life. I'll remember our weekly trips to the farmer's market or our picnics in the park. I'm better now at opening my eyes to all the treasures of life happening right now.

I don’t care what strangers think about me, I care what my family thinks about me. I used to spend so much time making sure I came across in just the right way...to COMPLETE STRANGERS. I worried that the guy at the take-out place thought I was "too Asian" because I ordered the Chinese Chicken Salad for my dinner. I used to put on make-up just to open the door for the UPS delivery person. Why did I even care? Now, it only matters to me what the people close to me think. Was I being too short with my husband during that moment of stress? Did I handle the situation with Ruby correctly where I was both firm but loving? Did I remember to tell my parents I love them the last time we FaceTimed?

I appreciate time to myself more than ever. I used to spend a ton of time by myself with endless hours to do whatever I wanted. I didn't realize how precious and rare that time would someday be. I love my kids and their constant energy, but sometimes this Mama just needs some time quiet time to myself. Now, I revel in that trip to Target to buy toothpaste after the kids go to bed, the quick moment when I can get a latte at my local coffee shop all by myself, or even just getting an eyebrow wax where I can lay still in the quiet (even if hair is being yanked off my face). It feels like the most luxurious treat!

Are there ways that motherhood has changed you? I'd love to know...

P.S. If you like feel good comedies, check out Mother's Day which comes out in theaters tomorrow (starring Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson, Julia Roberts & Jason Sudeikis). I went from cracking up to bawling my eyes out within a matter of an hour.

*This post is in partnership with Open Road Films. All words are my own.  

{Photo by Bob Cho}

reliving the hobbies of my youth... 13 Apr 2016

Oh Joy youth

Every few years, I go through an exercise rut. Either I get tired of what I have been doing or (like recently), I haven't been exercising as much as I would like to. Every single time, what brings me back to a good place is revisiting the hobbies (or in this case, the sports) of my youth. I used to play varsity tennis in high school and have played off and on throughout my adulthood until I got pregnant with Ruby five years ago. I was also a second degree black belt and have done a lot of other martial arts off and on when I can find a great place to train.

Last night I played tennis for the FIRST TIME IN FIVE YEARS. I remember the last time I played was in the spring of 2011, and I was about 8 weeks pregnant with Ruby. Since it was so early in my pregnancy and I had miscarried a couple months earlier, I was paranoid and worried I'd bounce the baby around too much if I kept playing during my pregnancy. So I opted for lighter impact exercise...and then life took over and business took over and my priority on my kids took over...and then five years went by.

But giving myself some time for myself last night, focusing on my health, and doing something that I love to do was SO, SO great. I worried I'd completely suck not having played in so long, but your body just knows what to do. I certainly wasn't my best and I was VERY out of shape. But I wasn't terrible and that felt great.

Are there hobbies or sports you've picked up again in your adulthood? Like a comfy sweater, I always feel like there are things you can keep coming back to and it will always just fit...

{Vintage photos circa 1996/1997. And yes, check out that half black/half red uniform as well as the "before" and "after" of me breaking a piece of wood with my bare feet when I used to be young and agile.}

happy easter! 25 Mar 2016

Oh Joy Pattern Play Eggs

Happy Friday all! We're heading to Washington D.C. to spend Easter at the...wait for it...WHITE HOUSE! Eeek! A few months ago, I was asked to design the logo for this year's Easter Egg Roll at the White House so we'll be joining the festivities with the Obama's on Monday! Then, taking a little trip to see family in Philly while we're East side. I hope you have a nice weekend and a Happy Easter for those of you who celebrate it! 

P.S. For those of you in the Los Angeles area, I'll be speaking at Create & Cultivate on May 7th on a panel called "The Balancing Act of Mother and Mogul". Hope to see some of you there!

{Photo by Casey Brodley, styling by Julia Wester}

happy friday + lifting each other up... 11 Mar 2016


I came across this amazing gif the other day by Libby Vanderploeg which perfectly sums up how I feel about life, friends, work, and just existing on the earth right now. It's basically that we all need each other in some way to lift each other—whether personally, professionally, in real life, or virtually.

I hope you have a great weekend full of those who really bring out the best in you!


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