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happy friday + questions for growing a team?

Oh Joy! Growing a Team

Happy Friday! I am working on some new projects, and would love your input! For a while, I have been wanting to teach an online class for small business owners about "How to Grow a Team". I never learned how to be a boss in any formal way and have figured it all out as I go. I wish I had more direction when I was building my company and adding employees on what made sense, how to hire people, and other aspects of growth that there was no resource for. As I have grown my team over the last 13 years (from just me to six full-time employees), I have learned a lot about when it's time to grow, how to find good people (and how to keep them), how to run a company that your employees enjoy working at, and so much more.

In a similar way that Creative, Inc. and Blog, Inc. gave you all my tips from everything I've learned in freelancing and blogging, I want to do that again to help other small creative business owners understand how to go about it. So...if you are a small creative business owner or want to be one some day, I would love to hear from you in the comments below!

1. What you would want me to cover and what specific questions do you have about growing a team? That will help me best customize this class for your needs!

2. If you are a small business owner and located in Los Angeles and would be interested in coming to an in-person version of this class before the online version goes up, also let me know what type business you have, what your concerns/questions are, and your email. That way, we can contact you if the opportunity arises. 

Thanks in advance for your input! Happy weekend!

our family vacation to hawaii!

A Family Vacation to Hawaii / Oh Joy!

A Family Vacation to Hawaii / Oh Joy!

Last week for spring break, we took a family trip to Hawaii. We had not been on a longer vacation like this in a couple years...AND the trip was extra special because we also brought along my parents and my brother for an extended family trip! With my parents living in Philly and us living in Los Angeles, we only get to see them in person a couple times a year. It's always bittersweet to have your kids so far away from their grandparents, so it was an opportunity to spend really great quality time with them. Also, my dad hasn't been on a vacation in TEN YEARS! He is a business owner and workaholic like I am, so I had to force him to come with us. I convinced him we had to take the chance to do these things while we can and not keep putting it off. In partnership with Disney's Aulani Resort, we had SUCH a great week in Oahu. Here's a look at what we did if you'd like to see...


why you deserve a vacation without your kids...

Oh Joy

This past weekend, I did something with my husband that I never thought I'd do...


happy super long weekend!

Oh Joy for CALPAK Travel Collection

Oh Joy for CALPAK Travel Collection

I know it's not Friday, yet! But I'm headed on a secret mission for the long President's Day weekend. I can't tell you about it till I get back, but I promise to share more soon. In celebration of a little R&R, I'm saying Happy Weekend a little early to pack my bags and gear up for this extra long weekend. I hope you have a great one, too, and I'll see you back here on Tuesday!

P.S. If you haven't get signed up, we have a special 10% off thank you when signing up to our new Oh Joy Shop mailing list! If you haven't signed up yet...you're just a click away! 

{Photos by Lily Glass, Floral Hat Box is Oh Joy for CALPAK}

happy friday + be amazing...

Oh Joy! Be Amazing

Every so often, you witness another parent do something that just sticks with you. My friend Audrey gave me the idea for "Choose Your Own Adventure", and it's often something so simple like this that means so much to kids. I recently noticed a dad at school telling his daughter, "Be great" before he kissed her goodbye in the morning. It was short and sweet, but the way in which he said it had so much meaning. I will happily be inspired by other parents to create a version for my own kids. So now, every morning when I drop my kids off at school, I have started to give them a positive message like that before I say goodbye.

I'll say, "Be amazing", "Be Fantastic", "Be Silly", or any other adjective that gives them that sunshine to head into their own adventure for the day.

Ruby has loved it, and now says back to me, "Mommy, be amazing at work today!"

And I reply, "I will!"

{Photo by Morgan Pansing}

my winter beauty essentials...

my winter beauty essentials / oh joy

I've always been very minimal about skincare and used the easiest, not-too-expensive thing I could find at the drug store. As I've gotten older, I have been okay with getting nicer products and allowing myself to spend money on skincare. Right before the holidays, I wasn't taking care of my skin. It was dry and sallow and all of a sudden, I could really see the effects of me not caring about my skin. I spent the two week break trying out products I had as samples, products that were given as gifts, and some that I had been wanting to try for a while. And, I finally (in a very adult way) put together a daily skincare routine for myself. Since it's also winter, my skin feels extra dry right now, so I added in items that are extra helpful for these dryer months. Since a lot of you ask me about skincare on my Instagram Stories, I have put together a handful of items I am using right now during this winter season!

Step 1: Cleanser. I have combination skin that gets oily in the T-zone, so cleanser is super important for me twice a day otherwise, I will break out. But in the winter, my skin also gets dryer faster, so I need something light that won't dry out my skin too much.

For daily cleansing, I use Glossier's Milk Jelly Cleanser. It's light and fresh and easy to use. If I have makeup on, then I like Banila Clean It Zero which removes makeup while cleansing the skin at the same time.

Step 2: Serum or Mists. Prior to this past year or so, I thought this was a complete crock created by the beauty industry to get you to spend more money on products. But what I realized for me, as I got older, is that a serum or mist adds another layer of moisture that our skin really needs to absorb. They don't serve as moisturizer on its own, but they do hydrate the skin which helps it look softer and more glowy.

I like these two—Glossier Super Pure Serum (which I use around my T-zone for helping with blemishes) and this Heritage Store Rosewater spray—for hydrating the skin.

Step 3: Moisturize. In the winter, I find that a lot of thick face lotions and creams make me break out. So I'd been searching for options that aren't too oily.

In the daytime, I'll use Glossier Priming Moisturizer before SPF for a bit of extra moisture. At night, I like First Aid Beauty's Coconut Water Cream—it's moisturizing without being too heavy or greasy. Finally, I have recently been OBSESSED with this Triple Protection Skin Tint by First Aid Beauty which has SPF 30 as my last step in the morning. I've never like wearing foundation and have rarely use it. But as I have gotten older and my skin tone has become less even, I find that this really adds a nice and even (yet light) finish that looks very natural. Finally, if your lips get really dry in the winter like mine do, I started using this Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask before bedtime.

Keep in mind, I am not telling you to go out and buy ALL of these things. I like all of these for different reasons and have narrowed my favorites down for you based on what you are looking for in your skincare routine! Let me know in the comments if you have any questions!

a new year + loving yourself...

Oh Joy / Photo by Morgan Pansing

A couple months ago, I had a back and forth conversations with someone on Instagram about how following some bloggers made her feel more self-conscious about herself. It made her feel as if she needed to dye her hair or dress a certain way. She wrote me because she appreciated that I didn't dye my hair and just worked with what I had. When I was reading her messages, I saw my younger self in these same words. I spent SO much of my teen years and early 20's wishing I looked or acted like someone else. And, this was before the days of social media. I didn't have access to watching the lives of strangers in a way that so easily could make me compare myself to others even more so than I already did. It took me so long...really until my 30's...to truly feel confident in my own skin, as I am. Some of that comes with age, but I also think a lot of it comes with seeing examples of other women who are not perfect, who are not models, who are unique in their own way just being who they are and being OK with it.

One thing I always strive to do with our content here at Oh Joy is to show how I (as a person) and we (as a company) are putting into the world what feels right for us, staying true to our voice and style, and trying to represent what makes us happy. In turn, the goal is that others will see that in themselves as well if they don't already. If we can't find that feeling for ourselves, how can we instill it into the next generations of kids who need us to be their role models?

So, here is what I am asking you to do today...I would like you to leave a comment here telling me at least ONE THING that you like about yourself. How often do we get a chance to do that? We're often thinking about what to fix, what to resolve, what to make better in the New Year. But I would love you to just reflect on something you are already doing that kicks butt.

I'll start...

I like that I care about people and will always do my best to help people whenever I can. I also make a really good grilled cheese sandwich!

Now, your turn!

P.S. If you feel like posting on Instagram, I would love to see you post a photo of your beautiful self telling me and others what you like about yourself there too. Hashtag the photo #OhJoyLoveYourself and tag a friend to get them to join in, too!

{Photo by Morgan Pansing}

the best of 2017...

Oh Joy!

Alas the time has come to say goodbye to another year. We will be closed at the Oh Joy office through end of year and back here on January 3, 2018. Thank you SO much for all of you who take the time to come visit this site and our social channels regularly. We keep creating content to add a little bit of happiness to your day and hope to continue doing so for a while to come! If you're looking for some inspiration over the holiday break, please see some of my favorite posts of the year below!


ways to give back on giving tuesday and any day...

Ways to Give Back / Oh Joy!

As we head into the holidays and the season of giving gifts to our loved ones, I always think about how lucky I am to be able to buy those gifts for people I love. I also think about those who aren't getting special presents or aren't in the position to be able to give the same joy to their kids due to their particular circumstances in life.

Today is Giving Tuesday which supports and encourages giving back to your community and to others in any way you can. I take my team on a lot of fun and visually-inspiring field trips around Los Angeles, but recently we spent some time—not taking photos at an Instagrammable museum—but volunteering. We went to a local organization, Baby2Baby, that provides essentials for children and families in need. As we were packing bags of donated items for specific kids and seeing the basic items (clothes, shoes, blankets, toys, books) that they needed and just don't have, it can break your heart and also make you appreciate every day that much more.

If you are looking for ways to help give back in some way, here are a few...


how to make your family photos feel like you...

How to make your family photos feel like you / Oh Joy!

I love family holiday cards. I love that it's the one time of the year that we focus on getting a professional photo of our little family, get dressed up, and make it a special day for all of us. Since I know how stressful it can be to plan for holiday photos, for the past few years I've partnered with Artifact Uprising to share some tips that I hope are helpful for you...like How to Choose an Outfit and How to Choose a Location for family photos.

This year, more than ever, I wanted my holiday card to feel like a reflection of us. We had ups and downs with my husband's health and became a stronger family because of it. My husband and I really made a bigger effort to focus on family and make time for our kids even with our crazy work schedules. And we're ending the year on a sweet note, for sure, with everyone in good health and good spirits! So, where better to go capture those memories to reflect on our year than in Downtown Los Angeles and at the Museum of Ice Cream!

Here are my five tips for getting your holiday family photos to feel like you...