Oh Joy

{field trip} reykjavik outpost in eagle rock... 29 Oct 2014

Reykjavik Outpost Los Angeles

We always love it when new, inspiring shops pop up in the area and recently stopped by Reykjavik Outpost in the Eagle Rock neighborhood of LA. Everything in the shop is sourced from Iceland-based artists and designers. With hand-drawn fabrics and hand woven shoes, every piece is beautifully made by hand.

Reykjavik Outpost Los Angeles

Reykjavik Outpost Los Angeles

Reykjavik Outpost Los Angeles

Reykjavik Outpost Los Angeles

Reykjavik Outpost Los Angeles

Inspiring and lovely and full of amazing colors, patterns, and textures, it's a place to go for a truly special treat for someone.

P.S. Here's a special Oh Joy reader discount for their online store for 25% off through November 5th. Simply enter RVKOHJOY25 at checkout and see more past field trips right here...

Reykjavik Outpost Icelandic Design Store | 4680 Eagle Rock Blvd | Los Angeles, CA 90041

{Photos by Casey Brodley for Oh Joy}

{oh joy eats} honeymee ice cream... 16 Oct 2014

Honeymee Ice Cream / Los Angeles

Honeymee Ice Cream / Los Angeles

Honeymee Ice Cream / Los Angeles

Some days you just need a refreshing, cold treat (well, for me that's like every day). So yesterday, we stopped at Honeymee in L.A.'s Koreatown to have an after lunch snack. Sometimes simple is better, and Honeymee makes all-natural vanilla soft-serve ice cream with a just a couple topping options like a honey swirl, honey comb chip, or chocolate sauce with sea salt. It's creamy, refreshing, and not too sweet. We loved the honey comb chunk on top for a little extra chew and sweetness...yum!

Honeymee | 3377 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 116 | Los Angeles, CA 90017

{Photos by Casey Brodley for Oh Joy}

{oh joy sips} home brewed bar in pasadena... 14 Aug 2014

Home Brewed Bar

I'm not a big coffee drinker, but tea is my jam. One of my cravings lately (well, maybe always) is a great boba milk tea. Boba tea can be hard to find if you're not in an area with lots of Asian eateries that usually sell them, but in Los Angeles, more and more places are offering the chewy addition to their existing coffee and tea menu.

Home Brewed Bar

Home Brewed Bar

Home Brewed Bar in Pasadena has fun options like Salted Caramel Milk Tea, Vietnamese Iced Coffee, Vanilla Berry Truffle, Plum Oolong Tea which you can add regular or mini boba tea to. Just talking about it gives me a hankering right now...

Home Brewed Bar | 39 N Arroyo Pkwy, Pasadena, CA | 626.397.2887

{Photos by Casey Brodley for Oh Joy}

a farmer's market haul... 31 Jul 2014

Farmer's Market Fruit on Waffles

Farmer's Market Fruit

Some people get excited about a makeup haul or clothes haul, but one of my favorite things to bring home is a big 'ole batch of the fruit from the farmer's market. This weekend, I found green figs, golden raspberries, and cherriums (a mix of cherry and plum), and I was in fruit heaven... 

What kind of summer gems have you guys found at your local markets?

{Photos by Casey Brodley and Styling by Julia Wester for Oh Joy}

choose your own adventure... 30 Jul 2014

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

Sometimes we find ourselves stuck in a rut where our weekends are catered around Ruby's activities or doing the same thing every single weekend. Recently, we decided to switch things up and just spend the weekend doing things and going to places we had never been. So, I decided to have a "Choose Your Own Adventure" day inspired by my friend Audrey who is one of the most creative moms I know.

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

Simply surprise your kids one morning by telling them they’ll get to choose whatever they want to do that day. Bring a little bell or something that makes noise (we used a maraca), get in your car (or bike or walk), and as they spot things they see and want to do, they simply ring the bell and you go and explore it!

When Audrey did it, her boys chose to go to a Harley Davidson shop and have pancakes at IHOP. So, we told Ruby we'd go on an adventure and gave her a maraca to shake it whenever she saw something cool from the car window. If you have more than one child, you can let them take turns or bring one of their friends along to make it more fun and interactive.

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

To be prepared for wherever the day takes us, I always keep a tiny pouch of Band-Aids and Neosporin in my bag. Ruby had gotten a scrape on her knee the day before from a fall, so it reminded me to have my little kit just in case.

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

Our first stop was the Petersen Automotive Museum. Ruby saw the pointy architecture and the car on the roof of the building and her interest was piquéd.

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

With vintage cars of all kinds and really unique cars from movies or driven by celebrities, it was like going back in time. The best part about coming here is that it's not a place I would have ever picked to go. Ruby's never played a ton with cars at home, so we were delighted to see how much she loved it. And Bob loves cars (a lot) so it was a fun treat for him as well.

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

Next, was Nick Metropolis Collectible Furniture. You pretty much can't miss this from the street with all the signs and over-the-top, random things sitting on the sidewalk. People go here to find vintage things of all kinds, to shop for movie sets, and it's just a cool (and crazy) place to explore.

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

Ruby got a little scared after seeing some random, slightly creepy statues and was ready to head out, but we had a fun time trolling through all the quirky treasures.

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

Finally, no day is complete without a little treat and Ruby's favorite stop was probably into this white building full of candy at Sockerbit

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

She has never gone to a bulk candy store before and was pretty amazed that she could pick whatever she wanted and mix them all in one bag. She held her bag of candy so tightly on the way home. We had such a fun day that she took the longest nap she had in months, and we all felt like we had really gotten to know our city better by discovering places we wouldn't have normally been.

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

We loved it so much, we're planning to do this more often. Sometimes it's nice just letting the day take you by surprise...

*This post is brought to you in collaboration with Johnson & Johnson Consumer Products Company Division of Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc. See how to make your very own First Aid kit right here. All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that allow me to create new and special content like this for Oh Joy.

{Photos by Casey Brodley for Oh Joy}

the cutest party foods for kids... 14 Jul 2014

Mini Grilled Cheese Sandwiches by Heirloom LA

When we threw Ruby's little ice cream social, I wanted to make sure the kids ate a healthy meal before filling their bellies with the special ice cream treat. So I called upon my crazy-talented friend, Matt Poley from Heirloom LA, to come up with healthy and kid-friendly foods to feast on. What he came up with blew my mind and gave me so much inspiration for future meal-making for Ruby.

Fruit and Cheese Skewers by Heirloom LA

Almond Butter and Banana Sandwiches by Heirloom LA

Mini Crudite

Mac and Cheese Nuggets by Heirloom LA

The menu included (from top to bottom): mini grilled cheese sandwiches (in heart and star shapes); fruit, cheese, and mouse melon skewers; baby vegetable crudités (with ranch dressing for dipping), almond butter and banana sandwiches topped with sea salt, and finally, mac n' cheese nuggets (shaped like kids!). I mean, have you ever seen food look so cute?! Even the parents were chowing down on these beautiful morsels of goodness.

Oh Joy Mini Ice Cream Social

Matt made these mac n' cheese nuggets for the first-time ever for our party, and they were such a hit that he has kindly shared the recipe with us today. Thanks so much to Heirloom LA for these amazing treats and for giving me a serious dose of kid food inspiration!

See below for the recipe...

Continue reading " the cutest party foods for kids... " »

a mini ice cream social... 9 Jul 2014

Mini Ice Cream Social

With a new baby on the way, we thought it would be fun to do something just for Ruby and her friends to celebrate summer before our lives change and our family grows in the fall. So when our friends at Carmela Ice Cream created a new space at their W. 3rd shop to use for an ice cream party, we quickly took them up on the offer to spend a little time inside away from the summer heat to cool down with a few bites of food and scoops of ice cream with Ruby, her besties, and their parents.

Mini Ice Cream Social

Mini Ice Cream Social

We certainly tested the patience and decision-making of two year olds, as they had to wait in line for their turn to get ice cream and then they could only pick two flavors out of the four that we offered them. It was fun to see what they decided on.

Mini Ice Cream Social

Mini Ice Cream Social

Topping time! Everyone's favorite part...

Mini Ice Cream Social

Mini Ice Cream Social

As much as I usually love outdoor parties, it doesn't work as well with melting ice cream. And it was just nice to have a space where the kids could play and draw and get out all that extra pre and post-ice cream energy.

Raspberry Rose Sorbet

We loved this raspberry rose sorbet so much that Carmela kindly offered the recipe for us today!

Raspberry Rose Sorbet
(serves 8)

You'll need:
2 cups purified water
1 1/2 cup cane sugar
1 Tbsp rose water
1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries
1 tsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice

Here's how:
1. Combine water and sugar in medium saucepan. Remove from heat once sugar fully dissolves. Set syrup aside to cool.

2. Once syrup is cool, blend with raspberries, rose water and lemon juice. Strain into a glass or stainless steel bowl. Let cool for 4 hours or overnight.

3. Freeze in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer's instructions.

4. To make a fun summer drink, combine a couple scoops of sorbet with sparkling water!

Raspberry Rose Sorbet Spritzer

P.S. We made sure to feed the kids, too, before letting them inhale all that ice cream. Stay tuned for some pretty fun, kid-friendly food coming next week!

{Photos by Bob Cho. Ice cream by Carmela Ice Cream in Los Angeles. Plates and decorations by Oh Joy for Target.}

{oh joy eats} hero shop in downtown la... 7 Jul 2014

Hero Shop / Los Angeles

Sandwiches are pretty much my jam, and it can be hard to find a really a good sandwich in Los Angeles (I am from Philly, afterall). So I'm always excited when a new place pops up that offers a fun alternative to the usual sandwich. Hero Shop in Downtown Los Angeles takes a twist on bánh mì sandwiches with really delicious fillings and flavors mixed with the traditional garnishes of the Vietnamese style sandwich.

Hero Shop / Los Angeles

Hero Shop / Los Angeles

Hero Shop / Los Angeles

Some of our favorites include the Spicy & Sour Chicken, Lemongrass Tofu, and BBQ Pork sandwiches. They mix a bit of spice and tanginess into a filling and satisfying sandwich that I'm craving more of already.

Hero Shop | 130 E. 6th Street | Los Angeles, CA 90014 | 213.265.7561

{Photos by Casey Brodley for Oh Joy}

parent's night out... 12 Jun 2014

Room Forty / Los Angeles

Room Forty / Los Angeles

Room Forty / Los Angeles

Before I became a parent, I said I would never become one of those people who doesn't get to hang out with my friends as much. But it totally happened. Life changes, you get busier, and you have to make a way bigger effort to maintain friendships—especially with other friends who have kids. Because, chances are, they've been too busy to make plans, too. Bob and I are usually pretty good about having date nights, but it's more rare that we get to see a handful of our friends all together in a kid-free and relaxing adult environment.

So I thought it would be fun to gather a small group of our friends who are parents together to have a nice dinner out all together at Room Forty's tasting room at The Fig House here in L.A. It was a way to have a private dinner that was cozy enough to feel like we were at someone's house without all the clamour and difficulty of a big reservation at a restaurant.

I chose a mix of friends who didn't all know each other super well but had a couple things in common in addition to being parents—everyone was creative in some way and at least one person in the couple was a self-employed business owner.

Room Forty / Los Angeles

Room Forty / Los Angeles

Room Forty / Los Angeles

To start off the evening, I thought it would be fun to have wrist corsages for the girls and boutonneires for the guys to really relive the days of our youth. It brought me back to my first date with Bob—the senior prom! Botany Flowers made some beautiful wildflower versions for each place setting, and we had our own "Bachelorette" moments pinning them on.

Room Forty / Los Angeles

Room Forty / Los Angeles

It's funny to hear what goes on in a dinner with ten parents—from labor stories to our shower habits to drooling over the food which was way more amazing than anything we'd be having at home.

Room Forty / Los Angeles

Room Forty's chef, Libry Darusman, created an amazing menu for us to enjoy which included these drool-inducing dishes:

-Gin agar noodles with green olive bolognese and blue cheese

-Fennel soubise, house-made tofu, compressed pear, regianno foam, and crystal flower

-Diver scallops, raw coco mustard, butter popcorn tortellini, and puffed black rice

-Black cod, beet duxelle, nicoise pain perdu, red wine butter, and tomato foam

-Gazpazzo consommé with smoked street cart fruit

-Rib eye cap, cheek pastrami, shitake tartare, smoked corn jam, carrot confit, and pea ice cream

Room Forty / Los Angeles

All topped off at the end with this S'mores made of graham soil, chocolate and coffee ganache, housemade marshmallow, and hickory smoke. I'll be sharing the recipe for this with you guys next week as it's too good not to duplicate at home!

Room Forty / Los Angeles

At the end of the night, we got to hear how the chef made various dishes (um, like the butter popcorn tortellini!) which is such a treat and something we never get to experience at a regular restaurant. There's nothing like getting a custom catered dinner on an intimate scale. With full bellies and refreshed minds, we all came out of it feeling like we had such a special night just for us and walked away with a stronger connection to everyone else we dined with that night. Catching up with friends over food is probably one of my favorite things to do ever. Thanks so much to Room Forty for the amazing meal and beautiful space to have our dinner.

I hope our night out will inspire you to make time for yourself and make a special night out to reconnect with your nearest and dearest.

P.S. As a catering company Room Forty's primary function is private events, but as big believers in community, they’ve opened up their tasting room for private dinners like the one I hosted. If you're in Los Angeles, it's a treat I hightly recommend.

{Dinner by Room Forty at the Fig House, flowers by Botany Flowers, photos by Ryan Haack.}

{oh joy eats} sweet rose creamery... 12 May 2014

Sweet Rose Creamery / Los Angeles

One of my favorite Los Angeles ice cream shops, Sweet Rose Creamery, has made its way to a more central location—hooray! Ice cream is literally one of my favorite things on earth, so shops that offer one-of-a-kind and seasonal flavors are always a must in my book.

During this visit, we got the cinnamon buttermilk sherbet with mandaquats and carnival sprinkles. It was creamy and tart with a nice touch of cinnamon as contrast, I couldn't stop eating it. In combination with the matcha green tea ice cream, it was a perfect and unexpected pairing.

Sweet Rose Creamery / Los Angeles

Sweet Rose Creamery / Los Angeles

Sweet Rose Creamery / Los Angeles

In addition to ice cream, they also carry a nice selection of pastries. We had the sticky bun with walnuts which was super light, buttery, and flaky—like a croissant—with the magical addition of the sticky caramel sauce on top.

We're expected to have a heat wave this week in L.A., so it just might be another excuse to go back!

Sweet Rose Creamery | 7565 Beverly Boulevard | Los Angeles, CA 90036 | 310.260.2663

{Photos by Casey Brodley for Oh Joy}

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