Oh Joy

career day / bakers... 30 Sep 2015

Career Day with Sweet Laurel Bakery

Career Day with Sweet Laurel Bakery

Career Day with Sweet Laurel Bakery

When I asked Ruby if she wanted to visit a couple of awesome ladies who make "treats", of course, she screamed with excitement. What Ruby didn't know was that the bakery I was about to take her to for "Career Day" is gluten-free, dairy-free, and sugar-free! I, personally, don't have any food limitations or allergies, but when I come across food companies that make me crave their food or treats even without "all the normal stuff", I am immediately fascinated. So Ruby and I took a trip to see Laurel Gallucci and Claire Thomas of Sweet Laurel Bakery, and they showed us how to make some amazing Coconut Chocolate Chip and Caramel Sandwich Cookies that I am craving as I write this. Here's a peek into this amazing baked goods company started by two friends united by a love of whole food...

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{oh joy eats} ohana seafood company... 1 Sep 2015

Ohana Seafood Company / Los Angeles

One of the things I missed most during my past pregnancies wasn't alcohol, but sushi and other forms of raw fish. It's one of my favorite things to eat. I know raw fish isn't for everyone, but if you're into it, then poke (which is very popular in Hawaii) is one of my favorite ways to eat tuna. One of my favorite local restaurants, Black Hogg, recently closed and turned into Ohana Seafood Company. While I was sad to see the original restaurant go, Ohana's version of poke is out of this world and I now crave it daily. They offer options with rice, kale, kimchi cucumbers, glass noodles, edamame and other toppings with the tuna for a healthy and filling meal.

Ohana Seafood Company / Los Angeles

You choose a base poke and a bunch of sides that come all together in a simple bowl. Add an aqua fresca, and you feel like you just drank straight out of a watermelon or pineapple while sitting on the beach.

Ohana Seafood Company / Los Angeles

And my favorite combo is the tuna with chili mango...a little tangy, a little spicy, and so so good! There are two locations for Ohana—one in Silver Lake and one in Downtown LA— and is a must if you're a poke lover. I've been here three times in less than two weeks (insert embarrassed emoji face).

Ohana Poke (Downtown LA) | 130 E 6th St. | Los Angeles, CA 90014

Ohana Seafood Company (Silver Lake) | 2852 W Sunset Blvd | Los Angeles, CA 90026

{Photos by Casey Brodley for Oh Joy}

{field trip} pygmy hippo shoppe... 19 Aug 2015

Pygmy Hippo Los Angeles

It's been a while since we've shared some of our favorite places for retail therapy here in Los Angeles. And I'm excited to share this little treasure with you. Pygmy Hippo is like a modern day curiosity shop located in the Fairfax District of Los Angeles. They've got lots of tiny, kitschy, and quirky gifts, books, jewelry, and other various things to ooooh and ahhhh over...

Pygmy Hippo Los Angeles

Pygmy Hippo Los Angeles

Pygmy Hippo Los Angeles

Pygmy Hippo Los Angeles

Pygmy Hippo Los Angeles

Pygmy Hippo Los Angeles

Pygmy Hippo Los Angeles

Pygmy Hippo Los Angeles

It's such a fun, little shop to explore and find something for that person who already has everything. And now, I suddenly want a ton of crazy cool pins, an eye necklace, and a mean girls nesting doll set!

If you're in LA, you can visit them at the address below. If you're not in LA, they have a smaller selection online right here!

Pygmy Hippo | 306 N. Stanley Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90036 | 323.501.6187

{Photos by Casey Brodley for Oh Joy}

unplug and play! 18 Aug 2015

Oh Joy Unplug and Play

I have a love/hate relationship with being so connected all the time. In some ways, I use the excuse that it’s part of my job to know what’s happening. But I also find that I can’t fully decompress from work unless I let myself just be and be present in the moment. One thing I learned more so after having kids is to appreciate the joys of simple things. 

Oh Joy Unplug and Play

An outing doesn’t have to be so far away or fantastical to be special, but there are so many little places in our immediate vicinity to go and do and explore and play in. As long as we're prepared with our first aid kit, we're ready for whatever happens during any outing. 

Here’s a little video we made with one of our long term partners, Johnson and Johnson, that shows how we explore one of our favorite places near our house. By coming up with games to engage your kids in at any location (near or far), we can make an adventure out of anything.

No matter whether you have kids or not, I encourage you to take the challenge, put away your phones for a day (or at least an afternoon), and get out there to #UnplugandPlay, too!

P.S. Visit Healthy Essentials to learn how you can build your own first aid kit.

// Credits //
Brought to you by: Oh Joy + Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc.
Creative Direction: Joy Cho 
Video: Jenner Brown
Music: "Your Favorite Song" by Katrina Stone

summer in los angeles... 14 Jul 2015

Oh Joy / Smile Popsicles

We usually have pretty good weather here in LA year-round, so the summer doesn't always feel so different temperature-wise. But there's still that feeling of lightness and playfulness that the summer always brings. Since the fruit is more bountiful, the sun is bit warmer in the summer months, and everyone's a bit more relaxed in the summer months, we try to take advantage of close-by adventures that make a weekend morning or afternoon extra fun for all of us. Here are a few of my favorite things that we've been doing with the kids this summer in/near LA...

Oh Joy / Summer Fruit Picking

Oh Joy / Summer Fruit Picking

Oh Joy / Summer Fruit Picking

Fruit picking at Underwood Family Farms (45 minutes outside LA) — The strawberries have been amazing this past month, so getting them right off the bush is like heaven in fruit form. Ruby is finally at an age where she can really appreciate the process of seeing a plant grow and making the connection of the fruit that comes from it.

Oh Joy / Summer at Grand Park

Oh Joy / Summer at Grand Park

Oh Joy / Summer at Grand Park

The Splash Pad at Grand Park in Downtown LA — splash pads are like the closest thing we get to a swimming pool around here. We've been going to Grand Park since it opened a few years ago (Ruby's 1st and 3rd birthdays were there, too), and we continue to love bringing the kids there on warm summer days. It's clean and safe, and easy for the parents to hang out while watching the kids play.

Oh Joy / Savoring Our Neighborhood

Oh Joy / Exploring Neighborhood

Savoring Our Neighborhood — This isn't anything specific to LA or to summer, but the summer makes us go out for more walks as a family, see what's around us, and just notice the little things.

What are some of your favorite summertime things to do in your city?

{Bottom photo by Casey Brodley, all others by Oh Joy}

one of my favorite places to go for inspiration... 8 Jul 2015

Oh Joy Pattern Play / snacks

Sometimes when I'm in a rut, one of my favorite places to go is to a Japanese grocery store! It sounds funny to think of shopping for food when I need a change of pace, but what I find are aisles upon aisles of random foods, snacks, and random home decor items that are different than those I normally come across. Really, any sort of ethnic grocery store does wonders for me to get out of my element and see things differently (it's like traveling to another country without going too far!).

P.S. I loved these snacks I found on a recent trip to Little Tokyo, so we had to make a fun image to show them off!

{Creative Direction by Joy Cho, photo by Casey Brodley, production and styling by Julia Wester. Paper cups and plate from Oh Happy Day shop.} 

{oh joy eats} howlin ray's fried chicken... 25 Jun 2015

Howlin' Ray's Fried Chicken Truck / Los Angeles

Fried chicken is probably one of my favorite indulgences on earth! So when I heard that a fried chicken truck had recently opened in our area, we had to go. 

Howlin' Ray's Fried Chicken Truck / Los Angeles

Howlin' Ray's Fried Chicken Truck / Los Angeles

Howlin' Ray's is a husband and wife team who take their truck around Los Angeles spreading fried chicken cheer wherever they go. Chef Johnny, an LA native, has worked professionally under Thomas Keller, Gordon Ramsay and Nobu Matsuhisa. Amanda grew up with her grandparents in the heartland, growing, hunting, fishing, harvesting and preserving most of their food supply and spending summers in East Texas learning about southern soul and hospitality. After spending some time in Nashville last year, they were introduced to Nashville Hot Chicken and wanted to bring that flavor and speciality to LA! And, dang, is it GOOD! It's so good that I've had it three times since they opened just weeks ago...

Howlin' Ray's Fried Chicken Truck / Los Angeles

Howlin' Ray's Fried Chicken Truck / Los Angeles

Howlin' Ray's signature is spicy fried chicken. I love spice, but the hottest of the hot (The Howlin' Hot) is actually too much for me, so I tend to go for the Medium or the Hot which offers a nice tingle of spice without making it so you can't breathe or see straight! And, if you can't take any heat or just like the classics, there's always the traditional Country Fried chicken, too.

Fantastic Donuts / Los Angeles

To accompany those spicy bites, every month Howlin' Ray's partners with a local baked goods company to offer some sweets to cap off the meal. During this visit, these cutie pie animal donuts by Fantastic Donuts were part of the arsenal. Have you ever seen cuter donuts?!

If you're in LA or visiting LA soon, and you like fried chicken, Howlin' Ray's is a must. You can see their weekly schedule here and their menu right here

{Photos by Casey Brodley for Oh Joy}

go out and get inspired! 24 Jun 2015

Ergo-mod

When you're a new mom, sometimes you can feel stuck inside bound by nap schedules and baby feedings. But one thing I've learned after two kids is that you just have to get out and do things to recharge your brain and find your own sanity. You don't have to be stuck at home all day, and you can take your little one along while you explore. I'll often time my outings with Coco's active awake time or with the beginning of a nap so that she's happy and comfortable. Then, I can wear her in my Ergo Baby 360 carrier so that she's close by me while I'm soaking up our surroundings.

Here are a few of my favorite types of places to go (with babe in tow) when I need a change of scenery...

Shout and About / Los Angeles

1 / Explore Your Neighborhood - It seems so simple to get out and explore where you live. But sometimes you find unexpected things even in familiar surroundings. For me, it's not always about going somewhere grand but just taking a walk near by. In Silver Lake (the area of Los Angeles that I live in), there are tons of hidden stair cases (like the one above) that people use as short cuts through the hills. And window shopping is one of my favorite things to do—I get so inspired by the ways people make a retail space come to life (those balloons)!

Butterfly Pavilion / Los Angeles

Butterfly Pavilion / Los Angeles

Butterfly Pavilion / Los Angeles

Butterfly Pavilion / Los Angeles

2 / Get inspired by nature - As I kid, I loved exploring plants, flowers, and butterflies. So we visited the Butterfly Pavilion at the Natural History Museum where you can walk among all the beautiful, fluttering butterflies and learn about all the different types that exist. After Coco woke up from her nap, she wanted to check out the butterflies, too!

Piñata District / Los Angeles

Piñata District / Los Angeles

Piñata District / Los Angeles

Piñata District / Los Angeles

3 / Find an unexpected source of inspiration - I might not have a need for a piñata anytime soon. But when there's a whole Piñata District in downtown LA dedicated to piñatas of all kinds, there's something so inspiring about seeing all the crazy types of pieces that can be made. Not only did I feel refreshed after some new outings, but Coco loved it, too! It's never too early to show your babe all the cool things that exist out there in the world.

Where do you guys go when you need some new-found inspiration?

This post is brought to you in collaboration with Ergo—a brand I've been using and loving for years. All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that allow me to create new and original content like this for Oh Joy.

{Photos by Casey Brodley. My outfits: Rainbow stairs, top by Ace & Jig (past season); Butterfly Pavilion, dress by Loyal HanaPiñata District, skirt by Zara; shoes worn in all, by Toms. I'm wearing this Ergo Baby 360 carrier.}

should i eat donuts today? 5 Jun 2015

Oh Joy / YES NO MAYBE SO donuts

Oh Joy / Yea Boy! Donuts

Oh Joy / SOS donuts!

If you needed an excuse to eat a donut, TODAY IS THE DAY because it's National Donut Day (which is the first Friday of every June and has been since 1938). We had a little (too much) fun playing around with these donuts we custom-made with California Donuts in celebration!

SO...who's eating a donut today? And happy Friday!

P.S. Check out my Instagram today to see more of our favorite donuts from around the city!

{Creative Direction by Joy Cho, photos by Casey Brodley, styling by Julia Wester} 

um, yum... 4 Jun 2015

Pam and Audrey's Donuts / Los Angeles

Pam and Audrey's Donuts / Los Angeles

A few months ago, we got to taste test these donuts by Pam and Audrey's in Los Angeles. They're some of the prettiest donuts I've seen so I'm excited that they are finally launching tomorrow! With flavors like Lime Basil, Passionfruit Coconut, Thai Iced Tea, Chocolate Ginger, and Chili Chocolate, they're like little clouds of sweetness. I might have eaten two (or four of these) at once. If you're in LA, they make local deliveries of these fresh and (seriously) pretty donuts. 

{Photos by Casey Brodley, styling by Julia Wester for Oh Joy} 

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