Oh Joy

how to use a flower frog... 3 Nov 2015

Oh Joy / How to Use a Flower Frog

Have you ever wondered how florists and stylists make their flower arrangements look so good? Sometimes you can buy the prettiest flowers, but once you place them in a vase (especially vases that have a large opening), they just flop to the side and don't look like that glorious arrangement you imagined it would be. The simple answer to making an arrangement look totally legit is to use a flower frog!

Oh Joy / How to Use a Flower Frog

There are many different kinds of flower frogs, but here are three of the most common and our favorites:

1. Cage - metal or plastic holders formed like a dome or cage to keep stems in place.

2. Glass - a heavy glass piece with holes to hold each stem. They come in a variety of different colors and most commonly found as vintage.

3. Pin - a heavy metal base with spiky pins to hold stems in place. This is the most common type of flower frog and the easiest to find at a very reasonable price. We always have a couple of these on hand at home and at the studio for arrangements.

Oh Joy / How to Use a Flower Frog

Dropping fresh cut flowers in a vase can be beautiful, but flower frogs are necessary when you need something a little more elaborate or when you have a container with a wide opening. These types of vases (shown above) are the types where a flower frog makes a world of difference. We're showing you a few of these examples with a short, square vase and a tapered wide-mouth vase. So that instead of looking limp and lacking structure...

Oh Joy / How to Use a Flower Frog

...it looks like this! Here are a few tricks for using a flower frog like a pro:

1. Decide if this will be a centerpiece or if it will sit against a wall so you can decide how to build it. We like to start at the back for an arrangement that will be placed against a wall and start on the inside and work your way out for a centerpiece arrangement. (The example above shows a piece where we started from back to front).

Oh Joy / How to Use a Flower Frog

2. Fill the vase with the secondary (less expensive florals and filler) first to create the shape and height before you add the “wow” flowers (in our case, the peonies). Then use the more wispy elements to fill holes and add interest. For this square vase we used the cage frog and filled in the back with large secondary blooms including hydrangea and chrysanthemum. We cut the stems slightly larger for the blooms in the back of the arrangement to create an illusion of height and then tapered it down to the front.

Oh Joy / How to Use a Flower Frog

3. If you're using a clear glass vase, you can use extra greenery and leaves to wrap inside the vase to hide the stems and flower frog. Once the shape of the arrangement is there, we put in the fuchsia cockscomb and the pink peonies. We then camouflaged the flower frog with a fern leaf and several leaves from the hydrangea.

Oh Joy / How to Use a Flower Frog

For the tapered vase, we used a pin frog that fit right in the bottom of the vessel. We styled it as a centerpiece and created a first ring of chrysanthemums before adding greenery and then finishing with the peonies. Whichever way you go, the idea is simply to start with a base of flowers and add height, texture and points of focus as you build. The flower frog helps keep everything in place and if you change your mind, just remove it and place it somewhere else!

Oh Joy / How to Use a Flower Frog

More than anything, just have fun with it. We're not a professional florists over here, so there are surely other rules that others could tell you about arranging flowers. But these are some general rules that work for us for something quick, easy, and beautiful!

And ps. a quick tip since some flowers come totally closed up when you buy them—if you have a floral bud that has yet to fully open, use warm water in your arrangement and it will open faster.

{Photos by Casey Brodley. Styling and florals by Ariel Fulmer.}

behind the scenes / choosing an oh joy book cover! 2 Nov 2015

Oh Joy Book / Creating a Book Cover

I love sharing more behind the scenes stuff with you guys to show how designs evolve into the final product. So today, I'm sharing a bit about the cover of the Oh Joy book that came out earlier this year. That book was a labor of love between my entire team, and we spent almost year creating it from start to finish. I was also pregnant during most of that time so it felt like even a bigger feat to tackle last year. But we did it!

We probably looked at hundreds of versions but for the sake of not boring you guys with every single tweak and revision, I've narrowed it down to the main sets and groups of what we designed/looked at/reviewed with Harper Collins (my book publisher)... 


Ranch Broccoli Mini Frittatas 29 Oct 2015

Ranch Broccoli Mini Frittatas

I definitely don't eat enough vegetables. And because I don't eat enough vegetables, I tend to forget to include a lot of vegetables in meals I cook for my kids (and clearly kids need vegetables for their little growing bodies). It's something I've really been working on and trying to get better about. 

In addition to fresh vegetables that I get at the farmers market, I always have frozen vegetables on hand because they are easy to add to a meal in a pinch and they still have as much of the nutritional value packed inside. Today, I've partnered with Birds Eye—a brand I use regularly—to create a recipe using their Flavor Full line that I know my kids (and hopefully other kids) will love. We recently made a mini version of the classic frittata which is an easy and delicious way to add veggies into a meal. And, with this mini version, both kids and adults will have fun eating them!

See how below...


all eyes on you! 27 Oct 2015

Silly Halloween Monster Eyes DIY

Silly Halloween Monster Eyes DIY

Ruby was recently telling me that she loves it when people decorate their houses for Halloween and asked why ours isn’t decorated like those houses. We don’t have an actual house (we live in the top floor of a duplex) or yard or really much of an area to decorate other than a door and a large bush. Even though we don’t have a full-on house, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t join in on the decorating fun! So, I told her that we would make some decorations and make our house fun, too!

So we've partnered with Target to share an easy and fun way to decorate for Halloween that can be used whether you have an apartment, duplex, or house! I'm always looking for ways to say "Halloween" that's different than the usual iconography (witches, ghosts, bats) you'd see elsewhere. So I love the idea of adding funny/silly/spooky eyes around your home to welcome trick-or-treaters this year. 

Here's how to make these "Eyes on You" decorations...


a kid's supper that gives back... 6 Oct 2015

Oh Joy Kid's FEED Supper

Every year for my kid’s birthdays, we ask our friends not to bring gifts, but donate to a charity instead. Or even to bring a gently used book they no longer need that we can collect and donate to other children. My kids are very lucky to have a decent life, and I want them to be aware of the fact that not all children have things like clothes, food, and a place to live. We started talking to Ruby about helping others in need when she was two years old and have her help bring toys and clothes to a local charity every year for the holidays.  

This year, I hosted a FEED Supper as part of a wonderful initiative that FEED Projects organizes every fall to help provide meals for children in need. Rather than limiting the dinner to just my friends for a fancy adult dinner party, I wanted to include our children in the supper and create a couple hours that would be enjoyable for both parents and kids, but also to expose the kids to the idea that they can help other children, too. And, we all had a great night in the process. Here are some details of the supper if you'd like to see...

Oh Joy Kid's FEED Supper

Oh Joy Kid's FEED Supper

Oh Joy Kid's FEED Supper

We held the event in a small restaurant-like space called The Salon at Heirloom LA that our friends at Heirloom use for food tastings and small events which worked perfectly for our small dinner and ravioli-making demonstration for the kids. I love the casual non-fussy nature of floor seating, so we used a single long coffee table as a table for the kids to sit right on the floor for dinner. It was like a fancy picnic!

Oh Joy Kid's FEED Supper

Oh Joy Kid's FEED Supper

Oh Joy Kid's FEED Supper

Oh Joy Kid's FEED Supper

Oh Joy Kid's FEED Supper

Moon Canyon helped bring autumn to our dinner with florals. We kept any larger florals higher up where the kids couldn't reach and made sure anything within their reach weren't too fussy and could withstand being man handled by kids. I especially loves the leaves, apples, and persimmon on the tables that brought warmth without being too precious.

Oh Joy Kid's FEED Supper

Oh Joy Kid's FEED Supper

Ruby loves helping to bake and cook and help make things whenever she can. When kids can see the result of something they have made, it gives them pride and makes them even more excited to make it. So I worked with Matt and Tara of Heirloom LA to come up with something the kids could enjoy for this FEED Supper. Matt (the chef) came up with the idea to make their own ravioli and then they’d boil them in the kitchen, add sauce, and let them enjoy the fruits of their labor for dinner!

Oh Joy Kid's FEED Supper

You would think it might be hard to get 8 kids (from ages 2-11 to stay still and make ravioli, but they loved getting to be a part of the process. It was interactive, fun for both the kids and adults, and a really fun way for all of us to spend a couple hours together to raise awareness for a great cause. If making ravioli seems to complicated for your own supper, think of other types of foods kids can easily make or customize themselves (pizza, tacos, pancakes, etc.) I mean, LOOK at this pasta the kids made!

Oh Joy Kid's FEED Supper

Oh Joy Kid's FEED Supper

Oh Joy Kid's FEED Supper

Young children don’t usually understand the words “charity” or “giving back”, so when talking to kids about helping and giving back, it helps to give them examples that they can understand. For example: How would you feel if you didn’t have shoes to wear to school? Or what if you didn’t have a warm, cozy bed? By having them imagine what that would be like, they are more likely to understand and empathize for the children you are hoping to help. By telling them the number of kids we were able to help feed, it helped them to understand the impact we were making together.

So far over 1 million meals have been provided by the FEED Supper held just in the last couple weeks. It's crazy to think that you can give 10 meals with just $1.10. I encourage you to host your own FEED Supper and collect donations however you see fit. Or, if you're not able to host one yourself and would like to donate, you can visit my page right here.

Thanks so much to all the families who joined us!


Creative direction: Joy Cho

Production and set-up: Ariel Fulmer and Casey Brodley

Catering and venue: Heirloom LA

Furniture and pillows: Circa Rentals

Florals: Moon Canyon

Photos: Casey Brodley for Oh Joy

Chocolate Chip and Caramel Sandwich Cookies... 1 Oct 2015

Chocolate Chip and Caramel Sandwich Cookies

In honor of National Homemade Cookie Day today and as a Part 2 to yesterday's post, I wanted to share this very delicious recipe for Chocolate Chip and Caramel Sandwich Cookies by the ladies of Sweet Laurel Bakery...


party planning... 28 Sep 2015

10 Favorite Party Pieces / Oh Joy

With two kids born in October, next month is turning out to be a party-packed month for us! Ruby is having a Fruity Dance Party with just a handful of her closest friends while Coco is having a Confetti Wild Animal Party filled with mostly our friends (you know how 1st birthdays go). Since I've been all over the web looking for various party ideas and decor, I wanted to share some of my favorites I've come across recently...

1. Little Cat Design Co. cake toppers, 2. Poppies for Grace feather garland, 3. Fuji Instax dotty film, 4. Poppies for Grace honeycomb fancy, 5. assorted animals from Michael's, 6. fruit honeycomb from Oh Happy Day, 7. jumbo confetti from Urban Outfitters,  8. cake toppers from Anthropologie, 9. Poppies for Grace gold candles, 10. scalloped gold bowls from Oh Happy Day shop.

P.S. Ruby's 1st, 2nd, and 3rd birthday parties...

tic-tac-toe! 15 Sep 2015

DIY Glitter Tic-Tac-Toe Set

DIY Glitter Tic-Tac-Toe Set

There's nothing like a ol' good game of tic-tac-toe. Even Morris and Nelson, our studio zebras, think so. Using just a few ingredients, we made this tic-tac-toe set for your next backyard party, game night, or when you just need something fun to do (that doesn't involve your phone).

DIY Glitter Tic-Tac-Toe Set

You'll need:

- 12" x 12" wooden board (we used plywood)

- 2 colors of acrylic paint

- Painters tape

- Epoxy resin and catalyst

- Paper cups (for mixing the epoxy)

- Something to stir with (like a stir stick or plastic spoon)

- Gold glitter

- Silicone alphabet mold

  DIY Glitter Tic-Tac-Toe Set

To make the board:

1. Tape off the board into nine equal squares. Paint the four corners in the first color.

2. Once dry, remove the tape and tape off the other quadrants and paint with the second color. Then paint the center color. The end result should look like a checkerboard.

To make the X's and O's:

1. Prep your space by putting down plastic or paper bags. Also make sure to wear gloves and a mask because the resin has a very strong smell. It is preferable to work outside or near a window for ventilation.

2. Mix the first batch of resin in the paper cup and add catalyst according to the directions on the package. Add the glitter to the mixture in the paper cup. The resin has a working time of about 10 minutes once the catalyst is added until it starts to harden, so pour the glitter-resin mixture into the X and O in the silicone molds immediately.

3. The resin will harden within an hour and should be hard enough to pop out of the mold to dry on a piece of wax paper.

4. Repeat the resin mixing process until you have 5 X’s and 5 O’s for the playing pieces.


DIY Glitter Tic-Tac-Toe Set

{Photos by Casey Brodley, crafts and styling by Ariel Fulmer}

simple syrups, simple homemade sodas... 2 Sep 2015

Oh Joy / Homemade Sodas

I love sparkling drinks...sparkling water, homemade sodas, anything with bubbles just makes me happy. Since traditional soda isn't so great for you, I'm always looking for ways to make my own version at home with real fruit and juices. An easy way to make homemade sodas is to use flavored simple syrups. You can make them in advance and serve with sparkling water at a moment's notice. And, they have way more concentrated flavor then simply mixing sparkling water with juice. All you need to do is choose a flavor and make a simple syrup and adjusting the amount of sugar based on the natural sweetness of fruit. Here's how and a few of our favorite flavors...

To make a simple syrup...

1. Combine ¾ cup sugar and 1 cup water in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.

2. Stir in (1 cup fruit) and bring to a boil.

3. Reduce heat and simmer until fruit has broken down, about 6-7 minutes.

4. Strain mixture through a cheesecloth or fine sieve; let cool.

5. To serve, whisk together simple syrup and 4 cups of soda (or add more or less syrup to your desired level of concentration. Muddle or garnish with mint or additional citrus if needed.

Oh Joy / Homemade Sodas

A few of our favorites shown above...

Strawberry-Thai Basil Soda (orange-red with green herbs)

1. Add 1 cup water and ¾ cup sugar to a saucepan on low heat for the syrup base. Add 1 cup trimmed and chopped strawberries and ½ cup Thai basil leaves.

2. Once the mixture begins to boil, immediately reduce to a simmer. The strawberries should get soft and the leaves will wilt. After 6-7 minutes, take the mixture of the heat and allow to cool.

3. Once cooled, pour through a fine mesh strainer and discard solids to yield flavored syrup.

4. To serve, combine ½ cup syrup with 2 cups sparkling water and top with the juice from ½ a lemon. Add more syrup to taste for sweetness.

Oh Joy / Homemade Sodas

Blueberry-Ginger Soda (fuschia)

1. Add 1 cup water and ¾ cup sugar to a saucepan on low heat for syrup base. Add 1 cup blueberries and ½ cup ginger, peeled and chopped.

2. Once the mixture begins to boil, immediately reduce to a simmer. The blueberries should blister. After 6-7 minutes, take the mixture off the heat and allow to cool.

3. Once cooled, pour through a fine mesh strainer and discard solids to yield flavored syrups.

4. To serve, combine ½ cup syrup with 2 cups sparkling water and top with the juice from ½ a lemon. Add more syrup to taste for sweetness.

Oh Joy / Homemade Sodas

Grapefruit-Juniper Berry (light yellow)

1. Add 1 cup water and ¾ cup sugar to a saucepan on low heat for syrup base. Add 2 tbs fresh juniper berries (lightly crush the berries first) and 5-6 peels from a grapefruit with as little pith as possible.

2. Once the mixture begins to boil, immediately reduce to a simmer. After 6-7 minutes, take the mixture off the heat and allow to cool.

3. Once cooled, pour through a fine mesh strainer and discard solids to yield flavored syrups.

4. To serve, combine ½ cup syrup with 2 cups sparkling water and top with the juice from ½ grapefruit. Add more syrup to taste for sweetness.


Enjoy! These would be a great addition to Labor Day fun this coming weekend!

{Photos by Casey Brodley, recipes by Ariel Fulmer, styling by Ariel Fulmer and Joy Cho. Lidded bottles from Amazon, Anne and Kate glitter swizzles.}

gem sidewalk chalk DIY... 17 Aug 2015

DIY Chalk Gems

There's no kid (big or little) who doesn't love sidewalk chalk. We made these mini neon chalk gems which are great for little hands and SO fun to play with. They'd also make for super fun party favors for parties! To make these, you only need a few ingredients...

DIY Chalk Gems

You'll need...

- Plaster of Paris

- Liquid tempera paint

Silicone mold

Here's how... 

1. Follow the instructions on the plaster container to mix the plaster. The one we used was 2 parts plaster to 1 part water.

2. Mix in drops of tempera paint until you reach your desired color. We used about 1 tbs of paint per 1/2 cup of plaster so that the chalk would be very vibrant.

3. Pour the mixtures into the silicone tray. For a layered effect like we made, pour the mixtures into plastic baggies. Then cut off the corner tip of each bag so that the mixture can be more easily poured into the molds. That way you can add one color, then add another (sort of like piping in icing!).

4. Allow the mixture to harden in the mold for about 2 hours. Once it has set, gently pop them out.


DIY Chalk Gems

{Photos by Casey Brodley, styling and crafts by Ariel Fulmer.}


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