Oh Joy

a growing family portrait... 29 Jan 2015

  Oh Joy Family Portrait / Thank You Card by Rifle Paper Co.

When Ruby was born a few years ago, I had custom thank you cards illustrated by the super talented Anna Bond of Rifle Paper Co. We sent them out to friends and family for all the amazing gifts and tokens of love we received. Once we ran out of the cards, I thought it would be fun to update it again with a slightly older Ruby. And since then, we now update it every year or so (with our newest shown above).

Oh Joy Family Portrait by Rifle Paper Co.

I loved the mini portraits so much, I started framing one of the cards from each year and hanging them by our front door. Sadly, our cat family has shrunk, but it's fun to see how our human family has grown over the last few years!

{Photos by Casey Brodley for Oh Joy. Painted portraits by Rifle Paper Co.}

8 nursing essentials... 28 Jan 2015

8 Nursing Essentials

Lately I'm living in a dreamy/messy world of breast milk and baby spit-up. After our post-baby Dressing the Bump video, I received more questions about nursing favorites so I wanted to share a short-list of some of my favorite nursing essentials...most of which I use every day...

1. Fast Food nursing bra by Boob / I wear a few different nursing bras, and this one combines the best of both worlds. It's soft and comfortable—yet actually cute—which is a nice little bonus when you're covered in spit-up and wearing the same clothes everyday in those early newborn days!

2. Nursing kimono by Milk Snob / When you need to cover up, I love that this piece has bottons to help cover up your babe. And, when you wear it, it doesn't look like a typical nursing cover. 

3. Milkies milk saver / When you're building up your supply in the first couple months of nursing, every drop of milk counts. While nursing on one side, this collects extra milk on the other side that would otherwise get wasted or leak through.

4. Lansinoh Nursing pads in Ban.do pouch / I've tried a bunch of different nursing pads (from washable to disposable), and these are my favorite because they never leak through. They're also easy to carry around and have extra on hand when you need them.

5. Nursing tee by Boob / These tees make it so easy to nurse both at home and in public. No more of that awkward pulling up your whole shirt to feed your babe.

6. Medela breast milk bags for pumping / For when you're pumping, these attach right to the pump and make it easy to pump and then store extra milk without taking up too much space in the fridge or freezer.

7. Honest x Piece & Co. nursing scarf / This piece doubles as a chic scarf and another way to keep covered up.

8. Baby Log app / There are tons of feeding/nursing apps out there that help you time your feedings, but this one is my favorite (I used it for Ruby, too) because it also includes sleep and diaper logs too. And it has a handy chart that lets you compare the days or weeks and how your baby's patterns change over time.

Also, this doesn't have to do with nursing, but as something that many new mama's experience (when you laugh or sneeze, if you know what I mean) these period panties are great for that post baby issue we sometimes experience!

What are some of your favorites that you love using?

P.S. Did you know you can usually get a free breast pump through your health insurance? And lactation supplies are now tax deductible?

{Photo by Casey Brodley, styling by Julia Wester for Oh Joy} 

happy friday + 3 months with coco... 23 Jan 2015

Oh Joy / Monthly Baby Photo

Before having my second baby, I had serious doubts that I could love another baby as much as I loved my first. It sounds silly, I know, but I didn't think I had any more love to give. But then, Coco came into our lives with her happy and laid-back disposition, and I fell in love all over again. I seriously marvel every day at how much I love her.

Now at three months in, I feel like we're finally getting into a groove as a family of four. Ruby is no longer super jealous and loves her sister (most of the time), I'm no longer crying every day from lack of sleep and hormonal emotions. And, I no longer feel guilty for getting take-out or delivery because I just cannot make daily meals from scratch while wrangling two kids. We are finally figuring out how to just do this thing the best that we can.

Here's a look back at our last three months of Coco. Babies change so much in the first few months of life that it's fun to see how they start to look like the person they'll become...

Oh Joy / Monthly Baby Photo

I also shot some lying down photos this time around...

Oh Joy / Monthly Baby Photo

Some people like to do the same outfit and same background for their monthly baby photos, but I like to keep a couple things the same (the chair she's sitting on, the size of the number), but have her outfit and the background blanket change every month. She has too many cute outfits that she outgrows so fast that it's nice to get to remember them from these photos.

Oh Joy / Monthly Baby Photo with Big Sis

Big sister always makes a cameo. Ruby likes to pretend to take the monthly photos of Coco with her toy camera and then she can't help but get in there, too. 

And because I love seeing how everyone does their monthly photos, I've added a few of my favorites on my Oh Baby board right here for some inspiration!

{Mini pinata numbers by Katie K. Franklin. Coco's Outfits - 1 Month: Boden onesie, Thief & Bandit leggings, 2 Month: Rylee & Cru onesie, Little Hip Squeaks headband, Freshly Picked moccasins, Month 3: Little Hip Squeaks onesie, Thief & Bandit headband.}  

coco's nursery! 21 Jan 2015

Oh Joy nursery/office by Emily Henderson

A few months before my due date last year, my friends at Target said "Hey, what do you think about having Emily Henderson design the nursery for your new baby?" Since I'm a designer at Target and she's their style expert, it was a fun way for us to work together show people how you can design a nursery at a reasonable price and not have to go crazy on super fancy purchases. Plus, Emily and I have a loooong history of working together. She designed our living room for her show (and then again when we needed to baby proof). She designed our studio, and she has signed-on to design every single house I will live in for the rest of my life (just kidding, but not kidding because I will pay her in Ryan Gosling kisses). So it only made sense for us to work together again on Coco's room. She gets me, I get her, and we just have fun hanging out together.

However, the one thing about this whole "Let's design a new nursery" thing is that I didn't actually have an extra room dedicated to our 2nd baby. As is the case with the many second children (sorry, second kids), we weren't planning to do anything special with Coco's room. I figured we'd put a bassinet in our only extra room (our home office) until our new baby was sleeping through the night and then have her share a room with Ruby. So I proposed that we do an office/nursery-in-one because the reality is that not everyone has enough space for every kid to have their own dedicated room.

Since my home office was no longer my main office, we were able to scale back on the needs of that room and give Coco a special area just for her while she's little and getting her sleep skills mastered (more on that whole newborn sleep thing soon...).

Here is the space before...sorry it looks like an explosion went off in there. It was once my home office for Oh Joy but had since turned into an office/storage/extra junk room.

Oh Joy nursery/office by Emily Henderson

And here it is now...

Oh Joy nursery/office by Emily Henderson

Oh Joy nursery/office by Emily Henderson

Oh Joy nursery/office by Emily Henderson

Oh Joy nursery/office by Emily Henderson

Since I already had the usual Oh Joy "pops of color and gold" in Ruby's room, Emily convinced me to go a different direction with this nursery and made it more gender neutral, graphic, and fun. The main pieces (crib, changing table, pouf, rug, lamps, book shelfoffice chairs, baby bedding) were all from Target and so well-priced. And everything else was a combination of pieces I already had (like the glider which used to be in Ruby's room), vintage finds (like that cool credenza with gold accents she found on Craig's List for $200), and other affordable sources like the Ikea desks which had custom legs and lucite tops added to them.

Here's a look at the "office" part of the room... (click below to see more)

Continue reading " coco's nursery! " »

dressing the babe / just my type... 12 Jan 2015

Oh Joy / Dressing the Babe / Mama and Me Style

As an evolution from my Dressing the Bump series last year and my Hers & Mine photos of the past, I'm trying out a new photo series called Dressing the Babe! I've had requests from your recent feedback for personal style posts or style videos post-baby. But to be honest, there are so many great fashion bloggers out there already killing the whole "cute-girl-posing-in-front-of-a-camera" thing that I didn't think I could do it justice. And it's not really me. What does get me excited though is life with my kids and how I love to incorporate the way I dress into what I pick out for them. Because really, your personal tastes rubs off on your kids whether you realize it or not. And, you only have so much time before they have strong opinions about what they want to pick out to wear (which may or may not include an animated character or two).

I'm not usually into being totally matchy-matchy (except for this outfit), but I do love it when their outfits reflect a little bit of my style in some way. Sometimes you'll see me with Coco, or me with Ruby, or sometimes me with both of my kids (maybe we'll get Bob in here at some point for some dude style)...

Oh Joy / Dressing the Babe / Mama and Me Style

Oh Joy / Dressing the Babe / Mama and Me Style

I've definitely been in a little bit of a style rut post-baby, so this has been helping me to kick that rut to the curb and get excited about getting dressed for the day again. This week, we were all about a little bit of typography. As a graphic designer, I'll always have a love for type used in bold—yet simple—ways. That GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS sweatshirt should probably be for Bob as the man in a house full of girls. And, by the way, look at those thighs on my little Coco-nut. Nothing makes me happier than a chubby baby...especially a chubby baby that I get to keep.

Oh Joy / Dressing the Babe / Mama and Me Style

Mama outfit1. Sweatshirt by Bow and Drape via Ban.do Pop-Up Shop, 2. & Apparel tulle skirt, 3. Loeffler Randall espadrilles (use code MARAJOY for $35 off through January 19th).

Oh Joy / Dressing the Babe / Mama and Me Style

Babe outfit / 4. Little Hip Squeaks headband, 5. Nununu onesie (past season) - on sale here, 6. Petit Bateau shoes (past season) - these and these are similar.

Oh Joy / Dressing the Babe / Mama and Me Style

Um, and that dotty wall by The Most Famous Artist we found!?! Can I just paint the outside of my house like that?

P.S. I want to make these posts fun and carefree...but I will always try and include a mix of price points (from very reasonable to the special splurge that might inspire a baby gift) as well as a mix of indie brands, chain retailers, and vintage which is the way I dress in real life.

P.P.S. I am totally aware of the fact that newborns grow out of their clothes lightning fast. Most of the time, Coco is wearing the same few onesies we wash over and over again until she outgrows them. The nicer pieces we have for her are usually items we received from friends as gifts or the occasional splurge that was once Ruby's and is getting its second go-around.

{Photos by Casey Brodley, outfit styling by Joy Cho, flat styling by Julia Wester. Coco is 2.5 months in these photos and growing chubbier every day.}

the baby gift that made me cry... 5 Jan 2015

Oh Joy / Baby Blanket with Drawings by Ruby

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and New Year. I actually took some real time off getting down time with family and doing a lot of eating and hanging out with my kids...it was the closest thing I had to a real maternity leave! Coco (see above) is getting some serious chub on her, and I am in the "thank-goodness-that-first-super-hard-month-is-over" phase of having a newborn.

We received so many thoughtful gifts when Coco was born a couple months ago, but I had to share with you the one gift that made me weep like a baby. My Oh Joy team (Casey, Julia, and Angie), gave me a boxed filled with what looked like some pretty and colorful versions of your usual baby things. At first, I thought, "Oh, they totally know I like patterns, and they picked great colors." And then they went on to tell me that the design on the blanket was actually drawn by Ruby!

Oh Joy / Baby Blanket with Drawings by Ruby

With the help of Bob, they asked Ruby to draw the things she wished for her new baby sister. Bob had to help Ruby a little bit, but then they turned her drawings into a pattern and had the pattern printed on fabric. Angie's mother-in-law sewed them into a double-sided blanket and a baby night dress for Coco (complete with built-in hand mitts) and into a beautiful yellow scarf for me to wear.

Oh Joy / Baby Blanket with Drawings by Ruby

The "wishes" that Ruby drew for her sister included a cat, a top, and lots of circles and lines. Tears flowed from my eyes as I held the gift in my hands and thought about the level of thought that was put into it, how truly one-of-a-kind it was, and the number people it took to make it come together. And then they all started crying too. It was a sweet moment I'll never forget and a gift I'll treasure forever.

P.S. If you're inspired to make something like this for a loved one, the girls used Spoonflower to print the custom fabric.

{Photos by Oh Joy} 

happy friday + the gift of giving... 5 Dec 2014

The Gift of Giving

As the holiday approaches and we all get into the gift-giving mood, it's been really important to me to help give joy to others—especially those who don't have as much or have been born into unfortunate circumstances. So part of our annual family tradition is to help teach Ruby the gift of giving and learn what it means to be grateful for what you do have.

The Gift of Giving

One of our annual traditions for Christmas and Ruby's birthday since she was born has been to take her to donate clothes, toys, and books to other children in need. For every new present she gets, she has to donate something she already has. That way she doesn't keep getting more and more and understands that giving to others matters, too. 

The Gift of Giving

I've started working with the Los Angeles-based Baby2Baby organization this year for our donations. And for this holiday, we've been matched with another family of two girls to shop specifically for and help give them their wishlist of books, toys, and clothes that they need but their parents cannot afford to buy. When I took Ruby to shop for the girls, I told her that we were buying presents for other kids who need them. I kept reminding her that the toys weren't for her but it would make someone else very happy.

This is the first year that she really understood the concept and kept getting excited that she'll get to give the gifts to them in person soon. Sometimes we think these little ones are too small to understand what it means to give, but you'd be surprised how quickly they pick up on it and how they begin to feel joy from it, too.

I hope you all have a great weekend. How is it almost Christmas already?!?

{Photos by Casey Brodley for Oh Joy}

dressing the bump / post baby! 3 Dec 2014

Dressing the Bump / Post Baby

Dressing the Bump / Post Baby

Dressing the Bump / Post Baby

We welcomed Coco Grace Cho on October 20, 2014, and we couldn't be happier that our family is complete. During my pregnancy, we covered what to wear while rocking that baby bump, but what do you wear while your post baby bump is still around? We filmed this a month after I gave birth so my post-baby bump is similar to what it looked like in the first trimester. Here's the last video in my Dressing the Bump series with some tips for what to wear post-partum as well as pieces that work well for nursing.

Thank you so much for joining me in the Dressing the Bump series. It was so fun to make, and I hope helpful to those of you expecting as well!

You can find all sources for the clothing worn in this video below...

Continue reading " dressing the bump / post baby! " »

one month with coco... 20 Nov 2014

Oh Joy / Coco One Month

Time flies when you're in a newborn cloud of a half-asleep baby brain and that new baby bliss. We've had a month full of changes for our whole family. My labor and recovery was way easier this time. But, this whole two kid thing is no joke, you guys. The newborn part seems easier than before, but the whole man-on-man, no-one-gets-a-break thing is still taking some getting used to. We can already see the bond forming between our girls, and it's nice to feel like our family is finally complete.

Oh Joy / Coco One Month

Oh Joy / Coco One Month

So happy one month to our little Coco-nut! She's still smushy and makes little squeaky noises like a squirrel. Sometimes for a moment, she's so quiet that I forget I have another baby. I'm excited to watch her grow and change and see what type of person she'll become and how she'll be different from her sister. Ruby had a rough first couple weeks as a big sister, but she's getting much better lately and loves to smother Coco (maybe a little too much). In the end, we're all still figuring this whole thing out, but we're having fun in the process...

P.S. A look back at one month with Ruby!

{Photos by Casey Brodley for Oh Joy. Blanket by Roxy Marj, leggings by Thief & Bandit, onesie by Babe, pinata number by Katie K. Franklin, duvet by Suku Home and Virginia Johnson. My dress by Rachel Pally and necklace by Coral & Stone.}

lately... 14 Nov 2014

Ruby and Coco

Ruby and Coco

Lately, I've been...

...navigating the waters of having two kids, and trying to divide myself while also trying to multiple myself. I am happy, but oh-so-tired.

...going back to the office a bit and figuring out my own version of maternity leave (more on that soon). I've realized I can't feel guilty for working more than people think I should or not working as much as I think I should and to just to do what makes sense for me.

...getting some much-needed catch up time with friends as they come by the house to visit the new baby. It's reminded me how much I needed some down-time, how comforting it can be to have visitors, and how nice it is to have people shower you food and treats.

...eating whatever I want (hooray for a normal diet again), and not feeling guilty about it one bit!

{Photos by Oh Bob}

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