Oh Joy

dressing the babe / seeing shapes... 1 Jul 2015

Dressing the Babe / Mama and Baby Style

Dressing the Babe / Baby Style

It's been a hot week here in LA, so we're pulling out our summer gear with lighter pieces that are bold and fun.

Dressing the Babe / Mama Style

I'm still wearing a ton of button-up shirts because they make nursing (and pumping at work!) so much easier. And, give me a good pair of elastic waistband shorts that don't look like PJ's, and I'll wear them every single day!

Mama outfit / 1. LemLem shirt, 2. Target chambray shorts, 3. Target sandals, 4. BebeAndMe teething necklace.

Dressing the Babe / Baby Style

Babe outfit / 5. Rachel Pally baby dress, 6. Mini Boden leggings, 7. Zuzii shoes.

Dressing the Babe / Baby Style

P.S. I love this little nugget!

{Photos by Casey Brodley, outfit styling by Joy Cho, flat styling by Julia Wester. Coco is 8 months, and has been babbling "mama" and "dada". Wall outside the Echo Food Market.} 

little sips {giveaway} with lollaland...(now closed) 30 Jun 2015

Lollaland
Lollaland

Lollaland

The first straw cup that Ruby ever drank out of was by Lollaland, so they have a special place in my heart for mealtime in our house. They recently came out with beautiful glass baby bottles that are made of durable, premium quality, borosilicate glass that is naturally BPA-, BPS- and phthalate-free. 

So today, we've partnered with Lollaland to give away (2) $200 gift cards to two lucky readers for anything on their site (cups, bottles, or meal time sets!)

AND, we have a really special addition to this giveaway today...for every entry, Lollaland will donate 1 item to Baby2Baby to help children in need. 

To enter, simply visit Lollaland's website then leave a comment here telling me which items you'd pick if you won! Entries must be posted by this Friday, July 3rd, at 8 a.m. PST, and two winners will be chosen at random*. Good luck!

P.S. For Oh Joy readers, Lollaland is also offering 20% off + free shipping through July 7th. Simply enter OHJOY20 at checkout.

UPDATE: Congrats to Stephanie M. from NJ and Suzy B. from CT for being our winners this time!

*This giveaway is open to those in the US only. Please do not leave your email or web address in the body of the comment, only in the allotted boxes. $200 USD total value for each winner. Winners will be contacted via email once comments close, and announced at the bottom of this post soon after.

{Photos by Caroline Tran}

why i’ll miss being pregnant... 29 Jun 2015

Oh Joy Maternity Photo

As Coco inches towards a year old, I've recently realized that I'm actually kind of sad to be moving on from the pregnancy and baby phase of my life. Bob and I always planned we'd have two kids, and our family feels perfect with two (and no I'm not changing my mind and having another). But lately I have been really missing the days of being pregnant. It feels crazy to me that I am saying that because those times aren't always so fun. In my first pregnancy, I had terrible nausea (I probably threw up 40 times) and got gallstones so bad that had to have my gallbladder removed when Ruby was 5 weeks old. And then in my last pregnancy, I was placed on bed rest for early contractions and got gestational diabetes!

But when you know it's your last kid, it really feels like I'm closing a chapter on one part of my life. And because I didn't expect to feel this way (and maybe some of you know how I'm feeling?), I finally just sat down and thought about the reasons why I'll miss being pregnant...

1. My self-confidence was always its highest when pregnant. It was the only time in my life that I wasn't self-conscious about my body at all and felt more beautiful than ever.

2. It's a time that you can just trust nature to do its thing and let your body do the job of growing a baby. There is no other thing in life where a task is being completed while you are eating/working/sleeping/watching a movie. But a baby can be grown in your body at the same time as doing all those things (and more). 

3. People are just nicer to you. Men open doors for you. Other women look at you with kind and compassionate faces. People offer to help you carry heavy packages. There is just a kindness that comes to you from strangers that is incomparable.

4. The feeling of a baby moving around inside your belly. It was always my favorite thing ever. My friends always joked that I rubbed my belly all the time. But to me it was just me wanting to feel that little babe do her thing with her little butt or foot pushing and pressing. And it was that feeling that constantly reminded me of what was happening inside.

5. Childbirth. Okay, so before you call me crazy and close your browser, I am not saying I like childbirth. I've had one baby with no epidural and one baby with one, so I know how childbirth feels in a couple different ways. And while it's crazy and painful and all kinds of stuff that people never tell you, it gives you a newfound respect for yourself that you even went through it. It's like, "Holy crap. I just made a human and now this human is coming out of my body." You feel tired and beat up, but you make it through it in one piece with the best prize ever.

As I say farewell to my baby-making days, I am looking forward to the next phase of seeing my kids grow and experiencing all the new phases of life that come with each age. And for now I will just live vicariously through all those other pregnant ladies out there. Just warning you...if I see you on the street and you happen to pregnant, I might even be one of those creepy strangers that rubs your belly without asking ;)

{Photo by Rachel Cast, styling by Tori Hendrix, hair and makeup by Erica Beukelman, and florals by Siren Floral Co.. Lace dress from Dreamers and Lovers. See my other maternity photos right here.}

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.}

mini style summer {giveaway}...(now closed) 23 Jun 2015

June and January

June & January has such a great mix of fun, yet comfortable, pieces for kids. My kids love wearing their pieces, and I love that they are cute but still so easy to wash and wear. In celebration of their new collection, I've partnered with June & January to giveaway (3) $100 Gift Cards to three lucky readers, domestically or internationally. 

June and January

To enter, simply visit June & January's website then leave a comment here telling me what your favorite piece (the playsuit and dresses are my fave)! Entries must be posted by this Friday, June 26th, at 8 a.m. PST, and three winners will be chosen at random*. Good luck!

UPDATE: Congrats to Christine S. from CA, Gina R. from MD, and Wendy L. from CA for being our winners this time!

*Open to readers anywhere in the world! Please do not leave your email or web address in the body of the comment, only in the allotted boxes. $100 USD total value each for three winners. Winners will be contacted by email once comments close, and announced at the bottom of this post soon after.

10 family beach essentials... 10 Jun 2015

10 Family Beach Essentials

We're going to the beach this weekend for our first beach adventure of the summer! Heading to the beach with kids can be a major event with all the stuff you have to bring. There are a few key pieces I've added to our arsenal that we use for beach trips throughout the summer. Here are a few of my favorites...

1. Love Taza for Let's Playground mat is waterproof, durable, and great for hanging in the sand all day long.

2. Crew Cuts girl's rash guard (boys here) helps to protect Ruby from the sun and is perfect for those not-too-hot days when she can stand to be a little more covered up.

3. Since it's hard to get babies to wear sunglasses, I love this Honest baby sun hat with UPF 50 for extra protection.

4. I like to pair Honest swim diapers with a simple swim tank or rash guard for Coco.

5. I love one pieces for myself, and this Virginia Johnson bathing suit is so flattering and a really great price.

6. Bob loves his Apolis swim trunks because they're cool without being too flashy.

7. It's a bit of a splurge, but this LemLem cover up is so soft and perfect for the pool or beach.

8. This Birdling Bags weekender has a ton of compartments which makes it easy to organize and hold all of our beach toys, sunblock, snacks, and smaller essentials. 

9. I used to get really cheap thin towels, but now I appreciate a really soft, giant beach towel like this one from Ruby Mint for drying off between dips in the ocean.

10. When Coco needs to nap or just hang out and roll around, this 4Moms Breeze Playard is the easiest to set up and pack up. Literally, I can open and close it myself in seconds!

two kids, one room... 1 Jun 2015

Oh Joy / Tips for Baby and Toddler Sharing a Room

When I grew up, I had a brother who was eight years younger than me. We never shared a room because we were so far apart in age, and my parents had enough space that we could each get our own room. Fast forward to now, and I have two girls that are three years apart. We don't have a ton of space in our current house for them to have their own rooms, and I like the idea of them learning to share a room. So now we have a 3.5 year old and a 7 month old together in the same bedroom.

As I mentioned a couple week's ago, we put the Ruby and Coco together in the same room when Coco was 5.5 months old. I was terrified of the transition and worried for the weeks leading up to it that no one would sleep or they'd keep waking each other up. It definitely wasn't tear-free, but it ended up not being as bad as I thought! 

A few months ago, I wrote a post about the book I read to help Coco with her sleep habits when she was an infant, and The Happy Sleeper was also helpful for us in making this transition, too. So I thought I'd share some of the advice from the book that helped me as well as what I've learned in my own experience of putting a toddler and a baby together in one room...

(click below to read more)

Continue reading " two kids, one room... " »

a bumpin' summer {giveaway} with hatch...(now closed) 26 May 2015

Hatch

Hatch

Hatch was one of my go-to maternity brands when I was pregnant with both of my kids. I love that the pieces are stylish and comfortable and can be worn both while pregnant and after baby as well. They've recently launched some new intimates and summer pieces, so we've partnered with Hatch to give away these four pieces shown above—the nightgownbracotton brief, and 3/4 body dress—to one lucky reader (a total value of $272)!

To enter, follow Hatch on Instagram, then tag a friend who you also think would also love these pieces on my Instagram post here!

Entries must be posted by this Friday, May 29th, at 8 a.m. PST, and one winner will be chosen at random*. One winner will get the 4 pieces shown in their choice of colors and sizes.

UPDATE: Congrats to Rachel B. from Salt Lake City, UT for being our winner this time!

*This giveaway is open to those in the US only. Entries should be made via Instagram. If you don't have Instagram, you can alternatively leave a comment here to enter. $272 USD total value. Winner will be contacted via Instagram once comments close, and announced at the bottom of this post soon after.

the evolution of a baby's room... 21 May 2015

Oh Joy / Kids Room

About a month ago, we put the Ruby and Coco together in the same room! As a newborn, Coco was sleeping in the home office room that we turned into a super fun office/nursery for a little while. But once the kids were in bed by 7:30pm every night, we lost the use of our office during those prime times that Bob and I needed to get work or other errands done after the kids were asleep. The office/nursery was always planned to be temporary, and we knew we'd move them in together once Coco was sleeping through the night.

Since we've lived in the same place for the last 5 years, I wanted to share the evolution of how the same room went from a room for a baby to a room for a toddler, and now to a room for a toddler AND a baby. Here's a look at what parts of changed and what parts have stayed the same...

The Crib and Bed

Oh Joy / Kids Room

In 2011, the room focused on the crib and changing table side-by-side which is my ideal placement for a baby's room when possible. It just makes those post-nap diaper changes even easier. We had a couch in the far end of the room and a glider right by the crib for those middle of the night feedings when Ruby was a tiny babe and when I'd be too tired to go back to sleep in my own bedroom.

Oh Joy / Kids Room

A few years later in 2014, Ruby was ready for big girl bed! We removed the couch at the far window and moved the changing table to that spot. While most people would put the long side of a toddler's bed up against a wall, this room has a couple large windows and very few windowless walls where a bed could go. And because the room gets really hot in the summer and really cold in the winter, we opted to keep her away from the window have her bed frame come out from the wall and sit a bit more central in the room. 

Oh Joy / Kids Room

Now, here we are in 2015! Ruby's bed has stayed in the same place since last year centered underneath one of the windows (we have bumpers underneath her fitted sheet so she doesn't fall out). And Coco's crib is along the same polka dot wall where it was when Ruby was a baby. This allows for some open space in the main part of the room where they can play and get dressed, while giving their beds a bit of separation from each other.

Now, the part of the room that has stayed pretty much the same...

The Bookshelf and Dressers

Oh Joy / Kids Room

Oh Joy / Kids Room

Oh Joy / Kids Room

The dresser and bookshelf area in the girls' room is probably my favorite wall in our house. I bought those colorful dressers off Craig's List when I was pregnant with Ruby, and they've always served as the perfect pop of color for the room. They're also super sturdy and very functional. We've been keeping Ruby's clothes in the left dresser since she was born, and now that Coco is here, we keep her clothes in the one on the right. The mini library book case has held books and toys throughout and simply evolves as the girls grow. I love that this whole wall and the main furniture pieces against the wall will grow with them for years to come.

Next week, I'll go more into the logistics of having a toddler and baby share a room (will they wake each other up, how does the bedtime routine go?) and some tips that helped our kids ease into the transition!

{Photos credits: 2011 photos by Bonnie Tsang, 2014 photos by Sasha Guilish, 2015 photos by Casey Brodley for Oh Joy} 

dressing the babe / happy blue day... 18 May 2015

Mama and Me Style

Mama and Me Style

Today, I turn 36! It's funny to think back to what I thought 36 would feel like. I remember when the mid-30's seemed so old and so far away, yet here I am feeling like I'm still 24. And, I have to say my 30's have been my favorite yet. I gained more confidence in myself and in my role in life. And I also started focusing on making myself and those I love happy instead of trying to make everyone happy (because it's kinda impossible, you know?). Either way, just a quick thanks for following along on this journey as I enter another year of life and learning!

At the start of every summer, I find myself in a blue phase. I'm not sure if it's the thought of the beach and the ocean or if I'm just feeling a little more mellow. But I'm currently loving blue in all shades. And with my flying babe in tow, we're channeling both the summery sky and the calm ocean today...

Mama Style / Maternity and Post-Baby

Oh, and I'm still loving maternity pieces even 7 months post-baby. You guys know I really tried to minimize my "maternity" wardrobe when I was pregnant, but there are some pieces that if you're going to buy them, you get so much more bang for your buck when you can wear them post-baby as well. This duster and dress are maternity but still super flattering to layer with (and comfy!) when not pregnant.

Mama outfit / 1. Hatch duster jacket, 2. Storq dress, 3. Dolce Vita booties, 4. Necklace by Crescioni, 5. Oh Joy for Solly baby wrap.

Baby Style

One-pieces on babies are my favorite thing ever, and Coco now has her own pair of our family's favorite summer sandals.

Babe outfit / 6. Thief & Bandit one-piece, 7. Thief & Bandit head band, 8. Pons baby sandals, 9. BlaBla knit raccoon.

Mama and Me Style

Mama and Me Style

{Photos by Casey Brodley, outfit styling by Joy Cho, flat styling by Julia Wester. Coco is 7 months and rollin' with her homies.} 

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