Oh Joy

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?

the baby gift that made me cry... 5 Jan 2015

Oh Joy / Baby Blanket with Drawings by Ruby

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and New Year. I actually took some real time off getting down time with family and doing a lot of eating and hanging out with my kids...it was the closest thing I had to a real maternity leave! Coco (see above) is getting some serious chub on her, and I am in the "thank-goodness-that-first-super-hard-month-is-over" phase of having a newborn.

We received so many thoughtful gifts when Coco was born a couple months ago, but I had to share with you the one gift that made me weep like a baby. My Oh Joy team (Casey, Julia, and Angie), gave me a boxed filled with what looked like some pretty and colorful versions of your usual baby things. At first, I thought, "Oh, they totally know I like patterns, and they picked great colors." And then they went on to tell me that the design on the blanket was actually drawn by Ruby!

Oh Joy / Baby Blanket with Drawings by Ruby

With the help of Bob, they asked Ruby to draw the things she wished for her new baby sister. Bob had to help Ruby a little bit, but then they turned her drawings into a pattern and had the pattern printed on fabric. Angie's mother-in-law sewed them into a double-sided blanket and a baby night dress for Coco (complete with built-in hand mitts) and into a beautiful yellow scarf for me to wear.

Oh Joy / Baby Blanket with Drawings by Ruby

The "wishes" that Ruby drew for her sister included a cat, a top, and lots of circles and lines. Tears flowed from my eyes as I held the gift in my hands and thought about the level of thought that was put into it, how truly one-of-a-kind it was, and the number people it took to make it come together. And then they all started crying too. It was a sweet moment I'll never forget and a gift I'll treasure forever.

P.S. If you're inspired to make something like this for a loved one, the girls used Spoonflower to print the custom fabric.

{Photos by Oh Joy} 

i'd give you a hug if i could... 23 Dec 2014

Oh Joy Confetti

A blog is this weird mix of a personal journal and an online magazine. And as my work and life has transitioned and changed over the years, this blog has ebbed and flowed based on what I'm working on professionally, what I'm into personally, and what excites me in general. Sometimes those things relate to my family and role as a mom, sometimes they're about the products we've been creating, and sometimes they are beautiful and fun ideas that I simply want to share with you.

As I reach 10 years of blogging next year (I never thought I'd say that!), I'm working on figuring how this blog still fits into my point of view and what I want to share with you guys every day. I can't say I have it all mapped out all the time because the randomness of what you'll find here feels exciting to me. But I hope to use some time off for the holidays to come back to you with new enthusiasm, new creativity, and new things to see and read here. And please know, I'm always open to your feedback on what you'd want to see more of on Oh Joy in the new year (or something I used to share that you've missed!).

And finally, thank you (really, seriously, thank you) for reading this blog for however long or short you've been visiting. To be able to create things, share things, talk about things with you (and for you) has been a dream job I never knew existed but feel very lucky to have. Have an amazing holiday, and I'll see you back here in a couple weeks in 2015!

P.S. If you're looking for something to peruse over the holidays, see a few of my favorite posts from this past year below...

Oh Joy Party

The launch of the Oh Joy for Target collection!

One Desk, Two Ways

One desk, two ways...

Ruby's Big Girl Room

Ruby's big girl room... 

Party of 4 (and the video that came with this post)...

Oh Joy London

What I Did in London (part 1 and part 2)... 

Oh Joy Friend Tote

The Oh Joy friend tote!

Family Check-in Station DIY

Family Check-in Station DIY...

Oh Joy Ruby

How'd that baby get in your belly?

Dressing the Bump

The Dressing the Bump series...

Oh Joy Studio

The Changing Business of a Blog...

Oh Joy for Target Behind the Scenes

Behind-the-Scenes of making our Target collection...

Oh Joy Family

Our last photos as a family of three...

Oh Joy Coco

and Welcome Little Coco!

Thank you, friends! See you in 2015!

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}

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