Oh Joy

eeny meeny miny kate spade... 30 Oct 2014

Kate Spade for Gap Kids

One of the cutest kids collection I've laid my eyes—Kate Spade for GapKids—launches today. If you're a fan of Kate Spade like I am and happen to have little ones, it's kind of like a dream come true to see mini versions of both Kate Spade and Jack Spade pieces. Ruby had a chance to wear some of the pieces recently while out on our weekend adventures to her favorite spots to explore...

Kate Spade for Gap Kids

Kate Spade for Gap Kids

The grocery store (because mini shopping carts are always a hit)...

Kate Spade for Gap Kids

Kate Spade for Gap Kids

Descanco Gardens to look for ducks, ride trains, and run around among the trees...

Kate Spade for Gap Kids

Kate Spade for Gap Kids

The Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round to go round and round and round...

Kate Spade for Gap Kids

...and a gold 'ole city pumpkin patch because pumpkins are the new black for fall...

Those sunglasses?!? Yep, I want a pair for myself!

{Photos by Oh Bob. This post is in partnership with Kate Spade for GapKids—a collaboration I adore.}

ruby's 3rd birthday party! 27 Oct 2014

Oh Joy / Ruby's 3rd Birthday Party

I was 37 weeks pregnant during Ruby's 3rd birthday and very close to not having a party at all. But knowing that she was soon going to have a big change in her life, we decided to still throw a party and keep it small with just a handful of her close friends and their parents.

Oh Joy / Ruby's 3rd Birthday Party

Oh Joy / Ruby's 3rd Birthday Party

Oh Joy / Ruby's 3rd Birthday Party

Oh Joy / Ruby's 3rd Birthday Party

We chose the same public park, Grand Park in Downtown LA, where we had her first birthday. This time, we set up tables by the splash pad, one of her favorite spots in the summer where the kids can play in the water close by. Since the park is first come, first serve, I had to be able to set up the decorations quickly and easily and not have too much time setting the party. I mixed and matched multiple seasons from previous and current Oh Joy for Target collections and finally got to use the pieces I designed for this very purpose!

Oh Joy / Ruby's 3rd Birthday Party

Oh Joy / Ruby's 3rd Birthday Party

Oh Joy / Ruby's 3rd Birthday Party

Oh Joy / Ruby's 3rd Birthday Party

Inspired by her friend Ida's purple birthday party, Ruby requested that everyone wear her favorite color—yellow. It ended up being super cute and an easy way for friends to find which party at the park was ours.

Continue reading " ruby's 3rd birthday party! " »

toddler lunch essentials... 13 Oct 2014

Toddler Lunch Essentials

Ruby started pre-school last month, and at first, I dreaded having to pack her lunch every day. But now, it's become more fun trying to think of fun little, nutritional foods to give her. Here are a few of the pieces thath have become a daily essentials for us when packing her lunch...

Toddler Lunch Essentials

01. This Bumkins lunch bag with reusable snack bags are easy to open and close. The patterns aren't my favorite but it's much easier for Ruby to use than a lunch bag with a full zipper. 

02. To keep her lunch cold, we stick a couple of these Fit & Fresh penguin ice packs into her bag.

03. I use these Kitchen Kraft silicone cupcake liners to divide up little sections of fruit and veggies for her inside of the lidded containers.

04. I love how these Fit & Fresh containers have ice packs as part of the lid! They're perfect for fruit, veggies, and for her little sandwiches. 

05. For hot foods, we use this Frego glass container which is microwave and dishwasher safe. I also use these when I pack my leftovers for lunch the next day too!

06. We use these Juice in the Box reusable juice boxes for water, milk, or juice. They are easy to open and don't leak!

07. And finally, Ruby loves when her sandwiches come in fun shapes using these Munchkin silly sandwich cutters!

Are there any other pieces you love for your mini's meal time?

P.S. general Toddler Essential part 1 and part 2!

bite size style... 23 Sep 2014

Oh Joy / Bite Size Style

There's nothing cuter than tiny little clothes! So to inspire some back-to-school style for your mini me, here's a bite size video we put together showing a few of our favorite layered outfits for fall. There's plenty of mix-and-match patterned goodness in classic Oh Joy style.

And, you can see all sources for the clothing below...

Continue reading " bite size style... " »

itsie bitsie bracelets... 16 Sep 2014

Oh Joy Loves Bitsies

Oh Joy Loves Bitsies

I've been a long-time fan of 31 Bits—the accessories company that makes all of their jewelry from recycled paper and employs and empowers female artisans in Uganda to earn a living and provide income for their families through the jewelry made.

Oh Joy Loves Bitsies

And since I'm all into mama and me types of pieces, I'm excited to share that today 31 Bits launched their newest line—Bitsies—mix-and-match bracelets made for kids with the same positive impact as the grown-up pieces. Ruby and I had a chance to see them in person at their studio a few weeks ago, and we loved layering them together.

Oh Joy Loves Bitsies

Bitsies

Bitsies

Bitsies is a colorful and fun way for kids to have an impact on the world while accessorizing, giving, and sharing with their friends. The bracelets are available in 10 different colors, each with an inspiring meaning like "Be Loving", "Be Brave", and "Be Generous". I love that they are simple, sweet, and stand for positive messages.

P.S. For the next two weeks, Oh Joy readers will get a special 15% off everything at 31 Bits through September 30th.  Simply enter OHJOY15 at checkout.

{All photos by Kayla Adams for 31 Bits, backdrops by Greta Anderson, and hair & make up by Chelsea Ann ScottMy outfits: Pink dress is past season from En Soie, top is past season Lauren Moffatt, flats by BC Footwear. Ruby's outfits: orange dress is vintage from Wolfechild, orange/pink dress is from I Love Gorgeous.}

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}

toddler essentials...(part 2) 17 Jul 2014

Toddler Essentials

Since putting together my first list of toddler essentials last year, I wanted to share a little update of 10 things I've found helpful in the past year for the 2 to 3-year-old set.

Toddler Essentials

01. Nap mat by Little Bean -  Ruby starts preschool in a couple months, and I've been searching high and low for a nap mat/toddler sleeping blanket with simple (not too kiddy) patterns. It's been really tough to find ones I like until these came out recently. They are a little more expensive than other mats, but they are all organic which I love. 

02. Honest sunscreen stick - We've been hitting the beach regularly this summer, and this stick is super convienent for applying sunscreen to Ruby's face especially when she's in the middle of playing and needs a new layer of coverage quickly.

03. Water Wow books by Melissa & Doug - My friend, Naomi, gave one of these to Ruby, and she loves it. It's perfect for keeping her busy at restaurants or on a long flight.

04. Little Looster potty stool - This might not look like anything special, but I love that it wraps around the base of any toilet making it so much easier for a potty-trained toddler to reach the toilet and to rest their feet (which is super helpful when potty training).

05. Melissa & Doug child-safe scissors - Ruby is obsessed with cutting paper right now, and I love that it helps develop her fine motor skills while giving her a crafty activity to work on.

06. Pons Avarcas sandals - These are pretty much Ruby's go-to shoes. They're cute, comfy, have great grip for sandals, and hold up well in sand or on the beach.

07. Juice-in-the-Box drink cup - One of my recent missions in life has been to find a non-leaking sip cup. This one is the best I've found so far and is easy for a toddler to open and close on their own.

08. Primo folding potty - When they're little butts are too small to fit on a real potty, these are super helpful when using public restrooms. I keep one in my bag wherever we go.

And not shown:

09. Magic Bumpers for a toddler bed - Since Ruby's big girl bed isn't against a wall, we added these bumpers underneath her sheets and they're perfect for preventing her from falling off.

10. Custom trail mix - For a high-protein snack with lots of good fats, I love making my own trail mix for Ruby filled with nuts, dried fruit, and Greek yogurt chips.

What are some of your toddler must-haves?

{Top photo by Bob Cho}

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.}

um, this is amazing... 16 Jun 2014

Girls with Glasses / I'm Not Fancy

...just watch this and you'll thank me later...

{Video by Girls with Glasses}

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