Oh Joy

dressing the babe / fancy florals... 24 Feb 2016

Dressing the Babe / Fancy Florals

Dressing the Babe / Fancy Florals

When you have kids, one of the last things you think about is getting dressed up with them. Who puts their kids in fancy clothes, anyway?!? Well, we decided to get dressed up in our latest Dressing the Babe because it's fun to feel a little extra special (and a baby in a swishy skirt or dress is pretty epic). Whether it's for a wedding or other special occasion, here's my take on a fancy outfit for me and my babe...

Dressing the Babe / Fancy Florals

I'm a sucker for a pleated skirt—it adds so much movement and texture to the outfit. I also added in a dickie (when's the last time you've seen someone wear those?) to add a little extra softness and contrast around the neck of this floral blouse.

Mama outfit / 1. Marimekko blouse, 2. Le cou Miette collar, 3. J.Crew pleated skirt (past season / similar), 4. BC shoes (past season / similar).

Dressing the Babe / Fancy Florals

Oh, this outfit that I wish came in my size! There are just no words...

Babe outfit / 5. Crew & Lu floral top, 6. Crew & Lu striped skirt, 7. Crew & Lu collar, 8. shoes by Zuzii.

Dressing the Babe / Fancy Florals

Dressing the Babe / Fancy Florals

If you have kids (or even if you don't), try getting extra dressed up for a day. Don't worry about what will stain, if your kids will make a mess of their outfit (or yours) and just enjoy that fancy feeling. It's pretty fun not to always be so practical sometimes, too.

{Photos by Casey Brodley, flat styling by Julia Wester, outfit styling by Joy Cho. Coco is 16 months and sadly, a real toddler now!}

career day / an apron maker... 16 Feb 2016

Hedley and Bennett

Hedley and Bennett

A couple years ago, I met Ellen Bennett of Hedley & Bennett after we were searching for a local maker to feature for this post. After seeing her insatiable love of life, her business mentality, and her amazing way with kids, she and I became friends in real life. She has been an incredible friend, mentor to my kids, and is one of the hardest working people I know...and she's only 28 years old. So for our newest career day, I took Ruby to visit "Auntie Ellen's" apron factory to design her own apron and learn what it's all about. Ruby even got to bring her little sister to tag along when she came back to see the final product...

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i love this... 11 Feb 2016

Torafu Wooden Blocks and Dowel Toy

Torafu Wooden Blocks and Dowel Toy

Torafu Wooden Blocks and Dowel Toy

Torafu Wooden Blocks and Dowel Toy

Torafu Wooden Blocks and Dowel Toy

...when one thing can turn into so many other things...

{Designed by Torafu, avaiable at Ichiro}

#ohjoyfortarget babes! 29 Jan 2016

Oh Joy for Target happy customer

Every time I release a new collection, I am blown away by watching how everyone is using their new pieces! This newest nursery collection has been so fun to watch as you wrap your babes of all ages in Oh Joy for Target! Even, tiny newborns coming home from the hospital...I can't even...

Oh Joy for Target happy customer

Look at these peaceful sleeping babes! (via @scigitte, @tinykaper, @i_heart_loo, @brantlieherring)

Oh Joy for Target happy customer

These cuties are awake and as happy as can be!
(via @magic_kingdom_mamas@rubi_jones@rksleeter@tinykaper)

Oh Joy for Target happy customer

Oh Joy for Target happy customer

Even pups love Oh Joy, too (especially when they are prepping for a new baby in the house)! (via @bradyandbaby, @nowservingboba)

Please keep sharing with me with using #OhJoyforTarget on Instagram! Have a great weekend guys!

{Top photo by @girlintheredshoes, other photos noted above}

tell me why? 21 Jan 2016

Oh Joy

I consider myself a pretty happy and positive person. And I am trying to raise pretty happy and positive children.

As Ruby get older (and expresses more and more opinions), I have started to hear things come out of her mouth like, "Gross!", "Yuck!" or "I don't like that"—usually in response to a new food or to clothes I pick out that she doesn't want to wear. Initially, my response was to tell her that it wasn't nice to say things like that. (My least favorite type of people are those who complain about everything but do nothing to fix it...so I certainly didn't want to be raising a complainer).

But then I realized that it's okay not to like something...there are things we all don't like. Rather than complain about something just for the sake of it, I now challenge her to tell me why she doesn't like something. If she doesn't want to eat a certain food, then she has to at least try it once and then tell me why she doesn't like it. If it's because it's too bitter or the texture is weird, then I know it's something that her mini tastebuds just aren't ready for yet. But if it's just because it's "green" or because she doesn't want to, then it's not a good enough reason for me. Or if she doesn't want to wear an outfit that I picked out for her and her reason is because "the dress doesn't twirl and my friends will like it better if it twirls". Well, then that's when I know her real motives and the fact that even at four, kids are already aware of wanting to please their friends. Then, that helps me decide if I'll oblige her and change her outfit or if it's a "you get what you get and you don't get upset" situation.

If you ask anyone (not just a kid) why they don't like something, the answer you receive sometimes informs SO much more than the original point of the conversation...

Do you guys use this tactic at all? It's something that's been helping us a lot with a 4-year-old going on 14-year-old!

being there for bedtime... 12 Jan 2016

Being there for bedtime

These days I can't say I'm the most social butterfly. I've learned that I don't have to say "yes" to every party, every invite, or every instance that someone asks to hang out. Sure, I'd love to go to everything. But I can't. And I choose what's worth it. Life with two kids has finally gotten a bit better (the first year was INSANE and I cried a lot). We're (mostly) in the swing of things, we have our new routine, and I'm able to take a bit of "me time" to have dinner with friends or go out and be social when I can. But I really limit what I say yes to and what I'll go out to.

My main thing is that I have to (need to) be there for bedtime, and all of my plans are based around that. I say no to 99% of things that conflict with bedtime and worry that I might seem lame for saying "no". But it's unless I am out of town for work or there's something exceptional going on, I plan date nights with my husband, dinner with friends, or any social events around my kids' bedtime. All of my friends know that once 7pm hits, I am free. But not a minute before. Often, I'm tired and eager to get them to bed because I am ready for some moments of peace, but it's often that time right before those moments of peace where the best parts of the day live. Seeing their sleepy faces, being part of the getting them bathed, PJ'ed, and off to dream about whatever kids dream about is such a treasured part of my day. 

I kiss their faces 25 times, I say goodnight...and just as I am about to close the door, Ruby whispers, "Mama, you're going to be home all night, right? Are you going to leave the house while I'm sleeping?"

Ha. Caught in the act.

{iPhone photo of sleepy Coco at 14 months}

career day / a prop stylist... 6 Jan 2016

Career Day with Justina Blakeney

Career Day with Justina Blakeney

Career Day with Justina Blakeney

Ruby recently starting paying a lot of attention to this one little corner of her room and set it up with a little chair, some pillows, and some of her favorite toys. I heard her saying that she was "styling" it and asked Coco to please not mess it up. I had no idea that she even knew the word "styling" but must have heard me say it from work. So, for our newest Career Day, I decided to take her to visit my friend—Justina Blakeney—a self-taught designer, prop stylist, author, interior designer, and all around ambassador of bohemian style, to get a lesson on what styling really is and to learn from one of the best around...

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the gift of giving! 17 Dec 2015

The Gift of Giving

We all strive to ensure our kids know that the holidays are not just about receiving gifts but it’s also about the joy of giving, too. In today’s video, I've partnered with Target to share 4 steps to help teach kids about the fun of giving by showing them how to make every gift giving experience fun and personal. See my video below for a playful look at gift-giving!


// CREDITS //
Brought to you by: Oh Joy + Target
Creative Direction: Joy Cho
Video: Jenner Brown
Music: “Make it Happen“ by The Likes of Us
Crafts and Production: Ariel Fulmer and Julia Wester

*This video is sponsored by Target.

10 kids gifts... 8 Dec 2015

10 Kids Gifts

Gifts for kids can be hard because every kid is different and if you don't know them super well (maybe it's your friends kid or your niece who lives on the other side of the country), it can be hard to figure out what "kids" like. So this list includes some of my favorites—mostly creative, imaginative play gifts plus a few fun wearables included for ages 2-6. I've found that if you're gonna give kids wearable gifts, they like accessories much more than getting actual clothing.

1. This Kid-O pattern stacker is a great gift for a toddler that's actually pretty cute when sitting out in your living room, too.

2. For a budding muscian, this Vilac guitar makes for a fun starter to the real thing.

3. Every kid loves pretend food, and this Djeco burger set will have them playing "restaurant" in no time.

4. Kids love books and here's a cute favorite called Friends. I also love anything by Herve Tullet.

5. For a sprinkling of pattern and an accessory that's easy to wear, Thief & Bandit headbands are a favorite.

6. My kids love their lovies and this Lovie Bunny from Bitte is super cute.

7. Who doesn't love a smiley face on their legs? These Hansel from Basel leggings are a quirky piece to give.

8. We're all about science experiments in our house, and this Electro Dough Kit from Tech Will Save Us combines something every kid uses to help spark the scientist in a little one.

9. Because drawing utensils never get old, these International Arrivals neon gel crayons are some of my favorites to give. The texture is smoother than then a regular crayon and they fit well in tiny hands.

10. For that very special kid in your life, you can custom make a pair of Zuzii shoes with this Choozii maker!

5 tips for making the morning rush easier... 30 Nov 2015

5 tips for making the morning rush easier

I remember back in the day, when I used to wake up leisurely at a comfortable time. I could take a shower, make some breakfast, and have a breezy morning on my way to work. Now, my morning starts something like this...

    At 6:45am Ruby yells, "Mama! I'm awake! Come and get me!" Ruby wakes up Coco from her yelling and     Coco babbles in her crib, "MaMaMaMaMumMum".

My alarm clock (aka my kids) has rang, and I shoot out of bed, stumble into the bathroom, and as soon as I walk into the kid's room, it's GO time. If it's a normal weekday, I have exactly one hour from the time I wake up to get all of us fed, dressed, and out the door by 7:45am to get Ruby at school by 8am and me to work by 8:30am. Because the morning can be so hectic, the folks at Quaker Oats Company asked me to share my tips for making the morning rush easier. Each tip shaves off at least 5 minutes so if you do them all, you're saving a lot of valuable time that can help you have a great start to your day...

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