Oh Joy

dressing the babe / citrus sunrise... 13 Aug 2015

Dressing the Babe / Mama and Baby Style

Dressing the Babe / Mama and Baby Style

If I had to describe summer in colors, it would be a mix of citrus-tones with fresh blues and gradients of color that signify the start of a new day. Today, we're celebrating the last month of summer with just that. I mean, these colors are INSANE...

Dressing the Babe / Mama Style

If I could wear light caftan-like dresses like this year-round, I would. It feels like you're wearing your pajamas, yet it feels way more glamorous than PJs.

Mama outfit / 1. dress by dRA, 2. teething necklace by Glitter and Spice, 3. Chickie Cheeks shoes.

Dressing the Babe / Baby Style

And who doesn't love a baby in a romper covered in fruit?!? She's literally edible now.

Babe outfit / 4. Romper by Salt City Emporium, 5. Chickie Cheeks shoes.

Dressing the Babe / Baby Style

Dressing the Babe / Mama and Baby Style

One my favorite LA-based artists, Kim West, does it again with this beautiful mural. Are the wolves scary or sweet? It's hard to say. But surrounded by those colors, I'd like to think they're nice guys... 

{Mural by Kim West in Downtown LA. Photos by Casey Brodley, outfit styling by Joy Cho, flat styling by Julia Wester. Coco is 9 months old and has a single (very cute) tooth!}

creating a photo series... 10 Aug 2015

Oh Joy / Creating a Photo Series

Oh Joy / Creating a Photo Series

Earlier this year, I shared how I archive my digital photos and memories, and since then, I've been doing my best to continue archiving family photos that we capture throughout the year. One of my favorite series that we've shot for this blog has been my Dressing the Babe series which started at the beginning of this year. It was started as a fun way to share of my favorite stylish pieces for your little ones, but it's also turned into a series of photos of me and my kids that I cherish and will be so happy to have for the future. I recently put together the first six months of our Dressing the Babe photos into a beautiful lay flat photo album by Artifact Uprising and it turned our simple series into a family treasure I'll pass down to my kids.

There's something about a series that feels so meaningful and special when you look back on how all the images connect with some consistency over time. And to see the change in the people within the photos is what makes it truly priceless. Whether you're capturing a monthly baby photo or annual family portraits, here are a few tips for creating a series to capture with your kids or family...

Oh Joy / Creating a Photo Series

Oh Joy / Creating a Photo Series

1) Look at the camera! Especially when we take photos with our kids—I, too, am guilty of looking at my kids (instead of the camera) when we take photos together because I am concerned with how they are doing and making sure they are happy. But one thing a lot of photographers tell you is not to worry about what the kids are doing (because the photographer will engage them) and make sure to look at the camera yourself. That's the only way that you have a chance of getting the parent's face in the photo, too. And, it's your face that your kids want to see and look back on someday.

Oh Joy / Creating a Photo Series

Oh Joy / Creating a Photo Series

2) Have someone who knows how to engage kids take the photos. Whether it's your husband, wife, a family member, friend, or professional photographer, kids are happier in photos when the person behind the camera is fun and engaging. I have been on shoots before for work where the photographer treats the kids like an adult and doesn't know how to talk to them in a fun and engaging way. And then it just feels like pulling teeth for everyone. Casey, our staff photographer, knows how to make my kids laugh, smile, and be silly so they always feel comfortable with her when we take photos.

Oh Joy / Creating a Photo Series

3) Shoot both horizontal and vertical photos. When taking photos, shoot both ways so that you have the flexibility to make them for work different formats later—whether a holiday card, baby announcement, framed print, or a bound book. It only takes a few extra minutes to shoot a few more photos in different orientations.

Oh Joy / Creating a Photo Series

4) Take photos during a time of day when your kids are their most energetic. For example, we've realized that late afternoons are the worst for Ruby when she's just ready to crash for the day. And never take photos right before a baby's due for a nap or you'll just have a cranky, unhappy baby on your hands.

Oh Joy / Creating a Photo Series

Oh Joy / Creating a Photo Series

5) Be consistent. While you can certainly stick to some sort of consistent look or theme (like how we shot all these photos behind a cool wall or background)—more than anything, it's important to stick to a consistent frequency in order to have a solid series. We shoot these photos once or twice a month so that we have a representation of each of my kids each month, and it's been so fun to look back and see how much they've grown and changed even since the beginning of the year.

P.S. You can read more about my tips for archiving your photos right here!

{Photos by Casey Brodley for Oh Joy}

a baby's memorabilia shelf... 27 Jul 2015

Baby Memorabilia Shelf DIY

I often collect little cute trinkets or treasures for my kids that have some sort of meaning. But it can be hard to figure out where to put these little things or know to how to display them. So we came up with this memorabilia shelf for a baby's nursery to hold small treasures and keepsakes.

We made this one for a couple who has roots in Philly and Los Angeles and cultural backgrounds from Mexico, the Philippines, and Colombia, so you'll see a variety of pieces that reference those parts of them show up here. Watch the video below to see the full how-to!

And to see all the materials and steps, I've repeated them below for reference! And please subscribe to the Oh Joy channel to see more videos.

Continue reading " a baby's memorabilia shelf... " »

happy friday + 9 months with coco! 24 Jul 2015

Oh Joy / Coco is 9 months!

Baby #2 hit me like a truck. Not the baby herself, but the addition of a baby. It was way harder to go from one to two kids than I expected, but we're finally at a good place (most of the time). Coco is a happy, kind, and inquisitive baby. And she's so (SO) patient while her older sister goes through her terrible 3's of tantrums and meltdowns (um, yeah, three is no joke). In the last few months, Coco's true personality has really started to shine through. She says "mama" and "dada" and laughs the hardest with Ruby. Here's a look at the last 9 months...

Oh Joy / Coco's Monthly Photo

Oh Joy / Ruby and Coco

We love you, Coconut. I can't believe one is just around the corner! Have a great weekend, guys!

And p.s. thank you for your Seattle suggestions!

{Mini pinata numbers by Katie K. Franklin. Coco's Outfits - 1 MonthBoden onesie, Thief & Bandit leggings, 2 MonthsRylee & Cru onesie, Little Hip Squeaks headband, Freshly Picked moccasins, 3 MonthsLittle Hip Squeaks onesie, Thief & Bandit headband, 4 Months: headband by Thief & Bandit, top and pants from TargetFreshly Picked moccasins, 5 Months: full outfit by Ultra Violet Kids6 Months: top by Ultra Violet Kids, bloomers by House of Mia, hair clip by Pitchoun, blanket by Aden & Anais, 7 months: tanks by Kira Kids, shorts by Ultra Violet, blanket by Little Auggie, 8 months: tank by Thief & Bandit, bloomers by Noe & Zoe, blanket by Virginia Johnson, 9 months: romper by Sweet Threads, blanket by blanket by Aden & Anais.}   

oh joy for freshly picked! 22 Jul 2015

Oh Joy for Freshly Picked

Oh Joy for Freshly Picked

Oh Joy for Freshly Picked

I'm excited to share our newest collaboration—Oh Joy for Freshly Picked moccasins. My kids have been wearing Freshly Picked for a while now, so I'm thrilled to be joining forces with this amazing brand. Our Pattern Party collection features a dotty pair (perfect for both boys and girls) and a flirty floral that we love for summer. We're excited to see your babes rocking these moccs!

{Photos by Casey Brodley, prop styling by Julia Wester, cute baby by Oh Joy}

a sweet baby mobile... 20 Jul 2015

Baby Mobile DIY / Oh Joy

A mobile is a fun way to add whimsy to your baby's nursery. Today, I'm creating this one inspired by an ice cream maker and pastry chef couple, for a sweet mobile that suits any playful nursery. You can customize the shapes to match your family's interests, too! Watch the video to see the full how-to!

And to see all the materials and steps, I've repeated them below for reference!

Continue reading " a sweet baby mobile... " »

a budding artist's play table... 13 Jul 2015

Oh Joy / DIY Kid's Art Table

If you're looking for special ways to make your baby's nursery even more memorable, here's our newest DIY made especially for a room that a baby could share with an older sibling. This play table combines a chalkboard and magnet area for creating and displaying memories of all kinds. Watch the video to see the full how-to!

And to see all the materials and steps, I've repeated them below for reference!

Continue reading " a budding artist's play table... " »

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.}

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