Oh Joy

an oh joy diaper drive... 12 Jun 2017

Oh Joy Diaper Drive

Over the past few years, I've been extra passionate about helping children and families in need. When you have children of your own, it's so hard to think about other kids who may be born to unfortunate situations and don't have the most basic necessities like diapers. So, today, I'm starting an Oh Joy Diaper Drive in hopes that (as a community) we can help to provide diapers for so many babies in need. And, as a thank you for donating diapers, I will be raffling off one-on-one consulting sessions with me. Here's how it works...

A few years ago (before babies and a growing business and life took over), I used to offer one-on-one consulting for small businesses to help them with marketing, branding, social media and entrepreneurship questions in general. I LOVE helping other small businesses. But as Oh Joy! has grown, I have had less time to offer personalized sessions. I get questions daily about starting or growing a business, but it usually takes more than one sentence (or emoji) to answer! So, I am raffling an hour-long one-on-one consulting session to a lucky reader as part of this diaper drive I'm hosting for Baby2Baby (who provides basic necessities for families in need).

Here's how to donate diapers and enter to win a session:

1. Purchase one case of diapers to be donated to Baby2Baby through this registry link on Amazon. You can buy as many cases as you want! One case = one entry.

2. Tell your friends if you have anyone else who would want to help out to this great cause. For every 500 cases of diapers donated, I will offer an additional session which means there can be more than 1 winner and more chances to win a session with me!

3. The registry will be open starting today for one week. When it closes, the winner(s) will be chosen at random. We'll contact you to schedule your consulting session with me either through Skype, phone, or in-person if you happen to be in Los Angeles. If you don't have a business, but still want to hang, you can come visit the Oh Joy office, grab some ice cream, or we can even go shopping at the Rose Bowl Flea Market for one hour.

*This is open to anyone, anywhere in the world (as long as you are able to purchase through the Amazon registry). 

Sorry for this very long post, but it's something I'm really passionate about—gathering donations for these babies who need them and getting to talk to some of you and help you fulfill your career goals!

oooh baby baby! 30 Apr 2017

Oh Joy for Target Baby Apparel

I love making videos of our collections so that you can see all the pieces in context and in more detail than you might be able to otherwise! Here's a look at our newest Oh Joy for Target baby apparel collection which includes a range of pieces for boy, girl, and gender-neutral from ages 0-24 months! Watch the video below and shop right here for the full collection.



// CREDITS //
Brought to you by: Oh Joy + Target
Creative Direction: Joy Cho and Julia Wester
Video: Jenner Brown - http://lumineuxfilms.com
Music: "Together So Perfectly" by The Lady & I
Creative Production and Styling: Julia Wester
Production Assistant: Jessica Hong
Graphics: Angie Stalker
Special thanks: Otto Anderson and Zealand Wester

oh joy for chatbooks! 16 Mar 2017

Chatbooks

Today, we're launching a very special set of Oh Joy covers and designs exclusively for Chatbooks! If you don't already know about Chatbooks, they make it SO easy to create photo books right from your Instagram account, Facebook or camera roll (did you see this hilarious viral video?!). 

Oh Joy for Chatbooks

Capturing and preserving memories is so important to me. We live in a time when it's so easy to take photos, but then we often forget about them while they sit in our phones. I love that these books make it easy to take the digital images we have saved on our phones and put them into a printed book you can treasure forever. We're thrilled to partner with Chatbooks for a limited edition set of six Oh Joy designed hardcover and softcover books. Each book can hold between 30 and 366 pages and starts at $14 for softcover and $19 for hardcover.

Oh Joy for Chatbooks

Each Oh Joy book comes with a set of optional designed inside pages with numbers from one to twelve, so that you can use each book to document each month in your baby's first year. Or use them to note how many years old they are, for an anniversary, OR, simply as a way to make a series of books and number them like chapters.

Oh Joy for Chatbooks

Look how pretty the hardcover books are on a shelf together! You can stick to one of the cover designs or mix it up for multiple chapters to your story. Either way, they all mix and match together and are so fun to flip through. With Mother's Day coming up, they are extra perfect for gifts and really year round to chronicle those moments you want to look back on and treasure. You can purchase the Oh Joy Chatbooks right here for a limited time through July.

{Photos by Casey Brodley, styling by Julia Wester, styling assistance by Jess Hong} 

how to choose a location for family photos... 22 Nov 2016

how to choose a location for family photos

I love sending out our annual family photo as something for my family to treasure, and also as a fun way to stay in touch with those we love who are far away and to keep them updated on how everyone has grown. Every year, as fall approaches, the hardest thing to figure out is where to take our family photos. I try to change the location every year, but still keep it close to our home and convenient for our family's schedule.

We've been using Artifact Uprising for our cards for years and love the clean and simple designs (on 100% recycled paper!) that really let the photos shine. The new foil designs this year are my favorite! So we've teamed up with them today to share my tips for choosing a great location for taking your family's photo... 

how to choose a location for family photos

1. An indoor studio — If weather is questionable, an indoor location or photo studio guarantees it won't rain or snow during your photo session. For our first family photo ever, our friends Max and Jesse teamed up to offer 20 minute pop-up photo sessions at a local studio in Los Angeles. All we had to do was show up—no worries about props, lighting, or weather conditions.

Featured: Foil-Stamped Merry Card

how to choose a location for family photos

2. Your neighborhood — For our 2nd year, we wanted to capture the beauty of our Los Angeles neighborhood. Ruby was only 2 years old, so we kept the location within 10 minutes of our house. Little kids can only really take photos for 15-20 minutes (maybe 30 minutes if you have an especially patient child) so close locations are helpful. Our photographer, Katherine, did such a good job capturing the simplicity and beauty of our surroundings while capturing my family's personality at the same time.

Featured: Simple Love To You & Yours Card; Foil-Stamped Happy Holidays Card

how to choose a location for family photos

3. At home — The easiest location of them all is home sweet home. For our 3rd year, Coco had just been born and so she was a tad too tiny to take out and about. We shot most of the photos in our bedroom with the kids playing, laying, or sitting on the bed with us. They were casual, personal, and Katherine really captured the joy of our new arrival so well.

Featured: With Love Grid Card

how to choose a location for family photos

4. A graphic background — For our 4th year, I was really into finding the coolest walls around Los Angeles. There are so many amazing murals to choose from in this city. However, I ended up going with something more graphic in texture and chose this huge wall outside of the Broad Museum. It was also an ode to my love of art and the excitement of Downtown Los Angeles (where the museum is located). Our amazing photographer, Morgan, shot these photos right before sunset so the light was natural with a beautiful glow.

Featured: New Adventures, New Year Card with Foil; Simple Hand-Letterd Holiday Card

how to choose a location for family photos

5. If all else fails, add props — Sometimes when you take family photos, it can feel weird to just stand there and smile. We always take posed photos but then also just play and let the kids do their thing. One thing that helps loosen things up are some simple props. You don't have to turn it into a wedding photo booth, but whether it's a bunch of beach balls or a pile of flowers from your garden, props can add a whimsical touch to photos. For this year's photo, we went to a local garden and took a bunch of streamers for the kids to play with and hold. Our photographer, Morgan, checked out the garden the day before to make sure there would be some open areas where the kids could just run wild with streamers in hand. The streamers added lightness and extra color to our natural setting. 

Featured: Here's to the Good New Years Card

Hopefully, seeing all the locations we've taken family photos in the past give you ideas for your upcoming and future family photos! 

P.S. Artifact Uprising is offering a special code for 10% off their Holiday Photo Cards for Oh Joy readers. Simply enter OHJOYXAU16 at checkout by November 29th. And, tips for choosing outfits for family photos!

*This post is brought to you in collaboration with Artifact Uprising—a brand I've used and loved for years. All words are my own. 

{Flat photos by Casey Brodley, flat styling by Julia Wester. Family photos by: Max Wanger, Jesse Marble, Katherine Rose, and Morgan Pansing.}

floral honeycomb decor for a baby shower... 18 Jul 2016

floral honeycomb decor DIY

Once you reach your 30's (or at least in my case), baby showers are like weddings and you find yourself going to one (or throwing one) multiple times a year during the baby boom that happens among your friends and family. Decor is always a fun aspect to a shower to celebrate the baby to be and we wanted to share our take on a piece you could make for a baby shower that could also be hung in the baby's room after, too!

READ MORE...

a diy dresser for the nursery and beyond... 29 Jun 2016

DIY Striped Dresser

Our Creative Producer & Stylist, Julia, has had this dresser in her home for over 10 years. Her husband purchased it as his first "adult" piece of furniture. It's moved with him through several different apartments and now finally into his current home with Julia and their baby Zealand. Hoping to bring new life to the old dresser, Julia wanted to "Oh Joy it up" by refinishing and repainting it for her baby's room. 

DIY Striped Dresser

See how this dresser transformed from a drab antique to this modern and playful piece... 

READ MORE...

my favorite mini swimwear... 30 May 2016

Kids-bathing-suits

With summer almost in full swing, I wanted to share a few of my favorite swim pieces for the little ones...in a range of price points, from indie to mass brands, and for both boys and girls.

01. Little Adi + Co. swim trunks, 02. Crew & Lu, 03. Minnow Swim, 04. Bumby by Marysia, 05. Platypus Australia sunsuit, 06. Target rash guard (in stores), 07. Marimekko for Target, 08. Minnow Swim brief with Tiny Cottons tee, 09. Snapperrock sunsuit, 10. Bumkins swim diaper and wet bags.

{Photos by Casey Brodley, flat styling by Julia Wester}

the best moments are the everyday moments... 24 May 2016

Joy0517highres_011-au

When people ask how we get such great photos of our kids, the answer is simple: we bring our camera with us almost everywhere and we capture everyday moments. Today, I've partnered with Artifact Uprising to share some of my favorite, everyday moments and how you can capture them, too.

You might be saying, "Well, Joy, you're a blogger, so that's easy for you to take pictures all the time!" Sure, my mindset is a bit different because I am so used to documenting life. But it wasn't originally easy for me to do. Lugging around a camera can be a pain in the butt and sometimes you just don't want your picture taken. But I realized that when we get over those hurdles and just make it fun to capture the everyday, you will never regret it. It's kind of like exercise. It may seem like a pain to go through the steps to make it happen and it's easy to just not do it, but the result is well worth it. My kids can look back at photos of themselves just enjoying life. It doesn't have to be just a birthday party or just a family vacation. My favorite photos in this layflat photo album are of everyday moments like going to the park or playground and just spending time together.

Joy0517highres_002-au-blog

Don't forget to get IN the photos, too! Often parents are too busy taking photos of their kids or chasing after them or trying to get their attention for the photo that they don't want to be in the photo. This photo above was taken at brunch on a Sunday while we were waiting for our food. There was nothing glamorous about where we were or what we were doing, but when a baby has cheeks like mine does, they need to be kissed. I'm working on a wall of some of our favorite family photos and this framed print is one of them.

Joy0517highres_010-au-blog

This is one of my favorite photos that Bob took while we were visiting our parents back in April in Philly. We were in my parents' backyard and my dad was taking Coco around to look at the flowers. It wasn't a grand moment. It wasn't a special occasion. It was just normal life. Yet that sweet moment captured tells such a big story. I can't wait to give this framed print to my dad for Father's Day.

To recap, here are a couple tips for capturing the everyday:

1. Bring your camera with you everywhere. At first, it will seem more like a pain then it's worth. But once you get used to capturing more of life, it will come naturally. It helps to have something smaller that won't be a pain to lug around (even an iPhone works!). But once you get into the habit of it, it becomes second nature.

2. Get in the photo. It doesn't matter what you're wearing or what your hair and makeup look like. Your kids think you look amazing no matter what! And someday, when your kids look back on these photos they want to see their parents (and grandparents) in the photos with them, too. 

3. Capture those moments and then put the camera away. You don't have to be taking photos all day long, but bring it out during certain moments where it just feels right. You can never shoot too much and with kids, you often have to shoot more to make sure you get a good shot. And then stick the camera in your bag, soak up those moments that pass too quickly and enjoy life!

P.S. Two fun things...

1) Artifact Uprising has kindly offered 10% off any item with code OHJOYFD10 valid through June 1, 2016. AND...

2) You can enter your email address in the box below to enter to win $250 credit with Artifact Uprising towards a photo gift for your Dad/Husband/Grandpa for Father's Day. Entries close on May 31st at midnight.

UPDATE: Congrats to Courtney S. from Vancouver BC, Canada for being our winner this time!

This post is brought to you in collaboration with Artifact Uprising—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 Mary Costa, styling by Julia Wester, personal photos by Joy and Bob Cho}

a bedtime kit DIY... 10 May 2016

a bedtime kit DIY

If you’re a parent, you know how special bedtime can be for you and your little one. For me, it’s a time I get to wind down for the day and prepare my kids for their night of restful slumber.

To make the bedtime routine a little easier, today, I’m going to show you how to make this super cute and functional Bedtime Kit to keep in your nursery, bathroom, or even to give to take to Grandma’s house. Watch our newest video to see how to transform a simple canvas bin into something special for your babe's slumber...

{Photo by Casey Brodley, video by Jenner Brown}

a mother's strength... 6 May 2016

DSC04158-oh-joy-mom

When I was in 5th grade, I had a favorite snack at a local cafe that I would get pretty regularly. My mom would drive me to the cafe, wait in the car right in front, and I would pop in and buy it to take home and we'd be on our way. I had probably gone to that cafe multiple times a week for months. But one day, I went in for my usual snack stop-in, and the cashier at the shop had some of his friends hanging out while he was working at the register. They were a bunch of high school teenagers which in itself was intimidating to a 10 year old. While I was waiting for my food, I heard them making sounds about me like "ching, chang, chong" over and over again. For an Asian American kid struggling just to fit in, that's pretty much the worst thing you can hear. Tears started flowing out of my eyes and I ran back to the car leaving my food behind. I got into the car with tears streaming down my face and told my mom I just wanted to go home.

She asked me what had happened. I didn't want to tell her and only said I didn't want to go back there ever again. I finally told her about what had happened, and she replied, "Wait here. I will be right back." When she came back, she got the food I had left behind and she said, "He won't bother you again". It took me a while to want to go back there but when I did, the guy apologized to me. Still to this day, I have no idea what my mom said to him.

My mom is one of the most private and non-confrontational people I know. But in that moment, any worries about confrontation or her broken English completely went away. She did what moms do...she made me feel like everything was going to be okay and did her best to ensure that I would not get hurt in that way again.

It's amazing how much more inner strength you gain once you have someone you want to be strong for...someone you want to protect. Like all those mothers who somehow lift heavy objects that have fallen on their child or that warrior that comes out of you if anyone attempts to hurt someone you love. Inner strength doesn't mean that you aren't scared or that you know exactly how things will turn out, it's that you know things will be okay at some point in the near or distant future. You project that strength to those around you so that they, too, feel assured and okay with whatever obstacles (big or small) they may be facing.

As we approach Mother's Day, I can think of so many times my mom has been strong for me throughout my life in both big and small moments. Have you seen this P&G Thank You, Mom video? This really captures the ways I want to be strong for my children and makes me think about my own mom and all that she did for me. It will make you cry but also make you appreciate the strength of your own mother and inspire you to be that for your own children today or someday in the future...

Happy Mother's Day to all you amazing mamas out there!

This post is in partnership with P&G. All words are my own.

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