Oh Joy

bite-sized sibling style! 10 Mar 2015

Tips on Coordinating Sibling Outfits for Photos!

Tips on Coordinating Sibling Outfits for Photos!

I have to admit, as the mom of two girls it can get pretty fun dressing them up both separately and together. When it comes time to take monthly photos for our youngest, we also like capturing the two of them together so we can look back at how they grew over the years.

When you're picking clothes for your kids for a monthly photo or for family/holiday portraits, it's easy to buy two sizes of the same outfit and have them match exactly. But it's way more fun and unique for their outfits to coordinate rather than match (in the same way that siblings might look like each other without being identical twins). 

Press play below to see our newest Kids' Style video above for a handful of fun sibling outfits for spring... 

And, here are a few tips for coordinating sibling outfits for family or special occasion photos...

1. Make sure they are wearing pieces of the same season. While they don't need to be wearing the same types of pieces (both in dresses or both in pants), make sure both kids look like they're both dressed for spring, summer, winter, etc.

2. Have their colors coordinate without being too matchy-matchy. Especially if you're picking outfits for photos, have a general color palette your working with (neutrals, bright colors, pink and green, etc.) and pick clothing that has accents of those colors. For example, if you want to bring hot pink into the outfits, pick pieces for each child that has hot pink but still select different outfits for each.

3. Just have fun with it! Kids clothes are so much more fun than grown-up clothes so you don't have to make these too serious or stoic. Kids grow up so fast, and preserving memories by taking monthly or yearly photos will be something you'll look back and treasure forever. Pick an easy and comfortable location that your kids will have fun in, and snap away!

You can see all outfit details below...

Continue reading " bite-sized sibling style! " »

a baby-wearing workout! 26 Feb 2015

A Baby-Wearing Workout

In my former pre-mom life, I worked out 4-6 times a week. It was what I did in my spare time, and I loved every minute (well, most minutes) of it. These days though, I can barely get in a workout. I'd rather spend my free time with my kids than be at the gym every day. I'd love to say that I wake up at 5am and go for a 5 mile run before my kids wake up, but I need every hour of sleep I can get. And by the time the kids are in bed, I either have work to finish up or I just want to watch some mindless TV and relax.

So, one of the ways I try to get in a workout these days is by wearing Coco during one of her naps. She's on a pretty set nap schedule and takes four naps a day mostly in her crib. But for one or two naps per day, she can nap in a baby wrap or carrier which makes it a perfect time for me to get in a workout while keeping her close to me. 

I asked my friend Lauren, founder of Lithe Method, to show me a few moves that I could share with you for a Baby-Wearing Workout while wearing my Ergo Baby wrap. You can do these exercises as their very own workout or as an add-on to a brisk walk with baby. The wrap I am using here is a hybrid wrap, which means it's strong like a woven wrap, but stretches to provide great fit and moves in every direction with your baby.

These exercises look easy but carrying the weight of your baby is really challenging. It requires strength and balance! You'll want to try and work up to 3 sets of 10 (30 reps), working one side of the body and then repeating on the other side. And, don't forget to breathe!

Are you ready?!?

Continue reading " a baby-wearing workout! " »

dressing the babe / birds of a feather... 24 Feb 2015

Dressing the Babe / Mama and Me Style

Dressing the Babe / Mama and Me Style

While we might still be okay with putting a bird on it, it's gotta be a bird of the exotic type these days. So here's my mini flamingo hanging with her mama swan in our cozy bird-inspired outfits.

Dressing the Babe / Mama and Me Style

Mama Outfit / 1. Virginia Johnson swan tee (on sale!), 2. Calypso St. Barth sequins pants (past season) - similar, 3. Loeffler Randall flats (past season) - similar.

Dressing the Babe / Baby Style

Babe Outfit / 4. Little Pilgrim flamingo onesie from Bohem, 5. Striped leggings from Mabo Kids, 6. Winter bonnet by Briar Handmade, 7. Target baby sneakers (past season) - similar.

Dressing the Babe / Mama and Me Style

And yes, I kiss those cheeks 500 times a day.

{Mural by Retna. Photos by Casey Brodley, outfit styling by Joy Cho, flat styling by Julia Wester. Coco was 3 months old when these photos were taken and has since developed a less concerned expression ;P} 

dressing the bump / a re-cap! 19 Feb 2015

Dressing the Bump - Maternity Style Series

One of my favorite projects last year was this Dressing the Bump series we created that chronicled my second pregnancy through video and provided style tips on what to wear through every stage of growing that beautiful baby bump. I honestly feel like my best and most beautiful self when pregnant, and I loved helping other mamas out there embrace that bump while we're lucky enough to have one.

Here's a re-cap video (below) we made to give an overview of the series which I hope you'll share with your expecting friends, family members, and co-workers!

From 12 weeks to post-partum, this series covers:
-how to mix maternity with non-maternity pieces
-how to choose the best sizes that will last throughout your pregnancy
-what style and cuts flatter a bump the best
-how to emphasize your best (pregnant) features
...and more!

I get teary watching this and seeing the evolution of how my body changed and grew to create a new life. You can see all eight videos in this series by clicking the thumbnails at the end or by watching this full play list

5 tips for archiving your digital memories... 18 Feb 2015

Oh Joy / 5 Tips for Archiving Digital Memories

Before Ruby was born, we barely took photos of special occasions, let alone our daily life. But when you have a baby, you get camera happy and all-of-a-sudden daily life seems way more interesting. Bob really got into photography from capturing photos of our kids, and he's since become pretty good at taking pictures.

With everything being so virtual these days, I love that we can capture memories so quickly and easily, but I find that digital photos can just get lost in the abyss that is your phone or your computer. I know how much I love going to my parent's house and flipping through old photo albums of our family, so I want to be able to preserve these memories for our kids to be able to look back at some day, too.

Oh Joy / 5 Tips for Archiving Digital Memories

Oh Joy / 5 Tips for Archiving Digital Memories

I know it can seem overwhelming to put together a book of all your favorite moments from each year, but if you stay organized as the year progresses, it makes it way easier and way more fun to do. And the end result is super rewarding. Here are a few tips on how we archive our digital memories...

Continue reading " 5 tips for archiving your digital memories... " »

dressing the babe / my funny valentines... 12 Feb 2015

Dressing the Babe / Funny Valentine

Dressing the Babe / Funny Valentine

I know some people really hate Valentine's Day, but I love it because it gives me an excuse to wear red (a color I normally never wear) and dress my kids in things with hearts all over them.

Dressing the Babe / Funny Valentine

Mama Style / Funny Valentine

Mama outfit / 1. Loyal Hana nursing blouse, 2. Madewell high-waisted jeans, 3. Zuzii shoes, 4. Ban.do heart bag.

Toddler Style / Funny Valentine

Babe outfit / 5. Boden heart jumper, 6. Boden white tank, 7. Zuzii shoes, 8. 31 Bits bracelets

Baby Style / Funny Valentine

Mini Babe outfit / 9. Heart tee from GapKids, 10. dotty shorts from GapKids, 11. Zuzii shoes.

Dressing the Babe / Funny Valentine

And yes, my kid is sitting inside a bag. We all know kids like bags and boxes (and random tissue paper found in said bag) way better than toys ;P Happy Valentine's Day guys!

P.S. Our heart outfits from two years ago!

{Photos by Casey Brodley, outfit styling by Joy Cho, flat styling by Julia Wester. Ruby is 3 years old and getting sassier every day.} 

coco's birth announcement... 9 Feb 2015

Coco's Birth Announcement

I feel like I'm finally catching up on sharing some of the pieces we made to celebrate the arrival of our newest family member (like our family portrait!). For Coco's birth announcement, we worked with one of our favorite photographers, Katherine and Luke Griffin of Max & Friends, to capture a few photos of Coco when we shot our holiday card photos at the end of last year. If you happen to have a baby near the end of the year, I found it super helpful to double up on family photos with newborn photos to save time and money.

Coco's Birth Announcement

I pulled out some of my favorite blankets, swatches of fabric, and pretty little props (like sprigs of flowers and mini party hats) to have on hand as a back-drop for our tiny's photos. I also covered our bed in my favorite duvet by Suku Home which ended up providing the perfect dose of color for Katherine to capture our Coco.

Oh Joy / Newborn Photos

Here were a few of my favorites above...

Oh Joy / Newborn Photos

Oh Joy / Newborn Photos

But for the birth announcement, we ended up choosing a simple one where Coco was looking at the camera as well as one with our two girls together. It just felt like the perfect glimpse into their future together as sisters...

Coco's Birth Announcement

I normally print pieces like this through many online digital card companies (like Minted, Tiny Prints, or Artifact Uprising) but since our photo has very subtle touches of color, I really wanted to do something fun with the ink color of the type. I worked with a local letterpress printer, Kristine from Presshaus LA, to print the graphics I gave her in an ombre neon on the front with an image of the girls on the back. I loved the way the ink colors came out and how every card was a little different as the two colors began to blend together from neon red to neon purple.

It was a nice change to be a little more interactive this time in the process of making another piece to add to our family's memories...

{Newborn and family photos by Katherine and Luke Griffin of Max & Friends. Photos of the printed cards by Casey Brodley and prop styling by Julia Wester for Oh Joy}

happy sleepers... 3 Feb 2015

Oh Joy / 8 Tips to Encourage Self-Soothing

We've finally crossed over that 3 month newborn hump where things are starting to fall into place a little better over here. I'm still tired and haven't slept a full night in three months, but I can see the light at the end of the sleepy tunnel as Coco gradually sleeps for longer stretches at night.

I'm always hesitant to talk about sleep training because even the phrase "sleep training" can stir up so much controversy between parents who believe in cry-it-out vs. the no cry method vs. co-sleepers vs. independent sleepers and every variation of parenting or sleeping style in between. With Coco being our second, Bob and I knew how we'd do things differently (and implement things sooner) with Coco this time around...

(click below to read more)

Continue reading " happy sleepers... " »

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! (To purchase in the US, click here)

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. (To purchase in the US, click here)

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} 

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