Oh Joy

coco's 1st birthday party! 4 Nov 2015

Oh Joy / Coco's First Birthday Party

A few weeks ago, we celebrated our little Coco's first birthday! I shared some of the materials we used for decorating her party, and here are a few photos from the actual party. Now let me warn you, it was super hot that day—like 100 degrees hot. The weather threw of a bit of a wrench in what I imagined to be a playful and relaxing party at the park. But despite the heat, everyone still had a fun time celebrating my favorite 1 year old.

This is a long post with lots of photos and details described, so click below if you want to see more!


how to use a flower frog... 3 Nov 2015

Oh Joy / How to Use a Flower Frog

Have you ever wondered how florists and stylists make their flower arrangements look so good? Sometimes you can buy the prettiest flowers, but once you place them in a vase (especially vases that have a large opening), they just flop to the side and don't look like that glorious arrangement you imagined it would be. The simple answer to making an arrangement look totally legit is to use a flower frog!

Oh Joy / How to Use a Flower Frog

There are many different kinds of flower frogs, but here are three of the most common and our favorites:

1. Cage - metal or plastic holders formed like a dome or cage to keep stems in place.

2. Glass - a heavy glass piece with holes to hold each stem. They come in a variety of different colors and most commonly found as vintage.

3. Pin - a heavy metal base with spiky pins to hold stems in place. This is the most common type of flower frog and the easiest to find at a very reasonable price. We always have a couple of these on hand at home and at the studio for arrangements.

Oh Joy / How to Use a Flower Frog

Dropping fresh cut flowers in a vase can be beautiful, but flower frogs are necessary when you need something a little more elaborate or when you have a container with a wide opening. These types of vases (shown above) are the types where a flower frog makes a world of difference. We're showing you a few of these examples with a short, square vase and a tapered wide-mouth vase. So that instead of looking limp and lacking structure...

Oh Joy / How to Use a Flower Frog

...it looks like this! Here are a few tricks for using a flower frog like a pro:

1. Decide if this will be a centerpiece or if it will sit against a wall so you can decide how to build it. We like to start at the back for an arrangement that will be placed against a wall and start on the inside and work your way out for a centerpiece arrangement. (The example above shows a piece where we started from back to front).

Oh Joy / How to Use a Flower Frog

2. Fill the vase with the secondary (less expensive florals and filler) first to create the shape and height before you add the “wow” flowers (in our case, the peonies). Then use the more wispy elements to fill holes and add interest. For this square vase we used the cage frog and filled in the back with large secondary blooms including hydrangea and chrysanthemum. We cut the stems slightly larger for the blooms in the back of the arrangement to create an illusion of height and then tapered it down to the front.

Oh Joy / How to Use a Flower Frog

3. If you're using a clear glass vase, you can use extra greenery and leaves to wrap inside the vase to hide the stems and flower frog. Once the shape of the arrangement is there, we put in the fuchsia cockscomb and the pink peonies. We then camouflaged the flower frog with a fern leaf and several leaves from the hydrangea.

Oh Joy / How to Use a Flower Frog

For the tapered vase, we used a pin frog that fit right in the bottom of the vessel. We styled it as a centerpiece and created a first ring of chrysanthemums before adding greenery and then finishing with the peonies. Whichever way you go, the idea is simply to start with a base of flowers and add height, texture and points of focus as you build. The flower frog helps keep everything in place and if you change your mind, just remove it and place it somewhere else!

Oh Joy / How to Use a Flower Frog

More than anything, just have fun with it. We're not a professional florists over here, so there are surely other rules that others could tell you about arranging flowers. But these are some general rules that work for us for something quick, easy, and beautiful!

And ps. a quick tip since some flowers come totally closed up when you buy them—if you have a floral bud that has yet to fully open, use warm water in your arrangement and it will open faster.

{Photos by Casey Brodley. Styling and florals by Ariel Fulmer.}

behind the scenes / choosing an oh joy book cover! 2 Nov 2015

Oh Joy Book / Creating a Book Cover

I love sharing more behind the scenes stuff with you guys to show how designs evolve into the final product. So today, I'm sharing a bit about the cover of the Oh Joy book that came out earlier this year. That book was a labor of love between my entire team, and we spent almost year creating it from start to finish. I was also pregnant during most of that time so it felt like even a bigger feat to tackle last year. But we did it!

We probably looked at hundreds of versions but for the sake of not boring you guys with every single tweak and revision, I've narrowed it down to the main sets and groups of what we designed/looked at/reviewed with Harper Collins (my book publisher)... 


Ranch Broccoli Mini Frittatas29 Oct 2015

Ranch Broccoli Mini Frittatas

I definitely don't eat enough vegetables. And because I don't eat enough vegetables, I tend to forget to include a lot of vegetables in meals I cook for my kids (and clearly kids need vegetables for their little growing bodies). It's something I've really been working on and trying to get better about. 

In addition to fresh vegetables that I get at the farmers market, I always have frozen vegetables on hand because they are easy to add to a meal in a pinch and they still have as much of the nutritional value packed inside. Today, I've partnered with Birds Eye—a brand I use regularly—to create a recipe using their Flavor Full line that I know my kids (and hopefully other kids) will love. We recently made a mini version of the classic frittata which is an easy and delicious way to add veggies into a meal. And, with this mini version, both kids and adults will have fun eating them!

See how below...


dressing the babe / my wild animal...28 Oct 2015

Dressing the Babe / Baby and Mama Style

Dressing the Babe / Baby and Mama Style

Dressing the Babe / Baby Style

Did I tell you guys I'm in a blue phase right now? There are a few pieces I have on heavy rotation right now that are all blue. So I took my little wild animal, Coco, out for a stroll to this awesome blue painted staircase in our neighborhood.

Dressing the Babe / Mama Style

Mama Outfit / Ok, so I had a bit of a #bloggerfail here and I wore different jeans than what we shot in these flats, so I'm gonna tell you about both which are two of my go-to jeans. 1. Spanx jeans (that help tuck in that not-so-flat post-baby stomach) and Madewell high-waisted jeans (worn in the live photos), 2. Target blouse (which is nice and blouse-y and looks great with a front tuck), 3. Loeffler Randall booties (which have been a staple for multiple years now), 4. En Soie bag.

Dressing the Babe / Baby Style

Babe Outfit / For my wild animal, a very special 5. Peacock dress by Mini Rodini (a good splurge dress for the holidays), 6. Mini Dressing fox knee socks, and 7. this pair of Freshly Picked moccs that lasts forever.

Dressing the Babe / Baby and Mama Style

Dressing the Babe / Baby and Mama Style

I used to hate LA as a tourist—I never got the appeal of this city. It wasn't until I moved here and lived here and got to know the real neighborhoods that I really started to love it and discover what it has to offer. This wall couldn't have expressed my love and (now) feelings for Los Angeles more... 

{Photos by Casey Brodley, flat styling by Ariel Fulmer, outfit styling by Joy Cho, mural by Evelyn Leigh. Coco is 12 months and starting to learn some sass from her big sister.}

all eyes on you!27 Oct 2015

Silly Halloween Monster Eyes DIY

Silly Halloween Monster Eyes DIY

Ruby was recently telling me that she loves it when people decorate their houses for Halloween and asked why ours isn’t decorated like those houses. We don’t have an actual house (we live in the top floor of a duplex) or yard or really much of an area to decorate other than a door and a large bush. Even though we don’t have a full-on house, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t join in on the decorating fun! So, I told her that we would make some decorations and make our house fun, too!

So we've partnered with Target to share an easy and fun way to decorate for Halloween that can be used whether you have an apartment, duplex, or house! I'm always looking for ways to say "Halloween" that's different than the usual iconography (witches, ghosts, bats) you'd see elsewhere. So I love the idea of adding funny/silly/spooky eyes around your home to welcome trick-or-treaters this year. 

Here's how to make these "Eyes on You" decorations...


my favorite everyday rings...26 Oct 2015

Everyday Ring (from budget to splurge)

Last week when I was on Periscope, someone asked about the stacked rings that I wear on my hands. I didn't get to mention them during the scope, but wanted to share them here since they are some of my favorites (from super affordable to splurge-worthy) that I wear daily (plus a few that I love from a far).

1. Mr. Kate ball chain ring and Mr. Kate cable chain ring (these look great stacked with other rings), 2. Leah Alexandra gem ring and baguette ring, 3. Sarah Magid collage stack and Sarah Magid double ring, 4. Ariel Gordon birthstone charm ring and horizon ring (these would make really great push presents for a new mom customized with your family's birth stones), 5. Maya Brenner petal ring and letter ring, and because these are so beautiful and I've always admired these from a far (if you're looking for alternate engagement rings) 6. Mociun black diamond band and Sarah Hendler starburst ring.

happy friday + what do you think?... (now closed)23 Oct 2015

Dallas Clayton

Happy Friday guys! As you may know, we celebrated 10 years of Oh Joy last month! I used to have annual reader surveys to see what my readers liked and wanted to see more of. But it's been four years (ahh!) since I've done one and it's about time I checked in with you guys again. A lot has changed in the last four years. I went from having contributors and regular columns to writing all the posts myself again. I had two kids, my business grew, I began developing a lot more products, and I got a real office with real employees.

The content on this site has certainly changed over the last 10 years. And throughout, I have always stuck to the intent of sharing content and ideas that inspire me and things that I want to share with you. Because if I don't enjoy what I'm doing, there is no way you guys will and then there is no point of having a blog to begin with. But really, what it comes down to is that I don't blog about the same exact things that I used to. The latest accessories or must-have trends or things that were once important to me in the earlier days of my blog, are just not priorities anymore. Some of the things I used to share (like the hottest new products or designers and round-ups galore) are easy enough to find on other blogs now. My site has become more personal and 90% of the content is all of our original photography. In some ways that makes it more unique than it used to be but in other ways it also makes it harder to come up with new content all the time.

So the short answer to this long story is that we've changed, we've evolved, and we've (hopefully) grown. But I still want to know what you guys think and what you like (and if you want to tell me what you don't like, too, that's okay as long as you can be kind and constructive about it because I'm sensitive, too). We have a lot of new products launching next year that I can wait to tell you about. And a lot of fun plans for new content for 2016. I'm always looking for ways to improve everything I do, so please click on this link to answer a short and easy (I promise) survey. And for those of you who are so kind to take the time to answer this survey by October 30th, we'll randomly pick 5 of you to send a special Oh Joy gift to.

Here is the link to the survey!

Thanks in advance guys! Your support means the world to me.

UPDATE: Congrats to Sarah M. from CA, Shruti K. from NY, Lauren D. from KY, Stella P. from MD, and Sarah from London, UK for being our winners this time!

{Mural by Dallas Clayton}

{oh joy eats} hong kong egg waffles!22 Oct 2015

hong kong egg waffles

OMG. Have you guys tried these before? Yesterday, we took a out to San Gabriel (an area East of Los Angeles with a large population of immigrants from China and Hong Kong) to get some Hong Kong egg waffles at a little spot called Fresh Roast.

hong kong egg waffles

hong kong egg waffles

We got the regular egg waffle filled with chocolate. They pretty much taste like waffles and pancakes had a baby in the shape of jumbo packing bubbles. You can pull them apart and just pop those suckers right in your mouth. They are just SO FUN to eat.

hong kong egg waffles

hong kong egg waffles

We also tried a green tea (matcha) waffle filled with coconut which has a nice texture and tasted more savory then the sweeter chocolate version. It was warm and chewy in the middle with light crispy edges. And really just a nice, fun breakfast to have. 

If you want to try and make them yourself, it looks pretty easy if you have the right pan. I found this one from Williams-Sonoma that looks perfect and makes me want to try them at home (like right now). Or, next time you're in the LA area, check out this little spot!

Fresh Roast | 308 S San Gabriel Blvd. | San Gabriel, CA 91776 | 626-451-5918

{Photos by Casey Brodley for Oh Joy}

behind the scenes / oh joy band-aid brand bandages!21 Oct 2015

behind the scenes / making oh joy band-aid brand bandages

I always find it fun to see how things are made, so today I wanted to share with you guys the process of designing our Oh Joy BAND-AID® Brand bandages! Designing these has always been a dream of mine because they are like little canvases that everyone uses and keeps in their home/car/purse, etc. Not to mention that Ruby is obsessed with them so she thinks it's pretty cool that we have Oh Joy ones now. Here's a detailed look at how we went about designing these last year...

behind the scenes / making oh joy band-aid brand bandages

We started with an internal review between Angie, my designer, and I looking at patterns that would work well in this tiny format. For some products, we design patterns from scratch that are exclusive to that product or season or store. For these, we were able to use patterns we had already designed but made sure to mix in some that had yet to be seen, too. We always design so much more than what actually goes through and gets produced, so we had a ton of patterns that never saw the light of day just waiting for their turn to shine. In reviewing patterns with Angie, I wanted to work with Oh Joy patterns that could work on in a very small area. We knew we might have production issues with patterns that were too intricate or had very fine lines, so we stuck with mostly bolder patterns. And since I knew this product would be in stores for at least one year, I didn't want the colors to feel specific to any one season so we colored them in a mix of very Oh Joy colors.

behind the scenes / making oh joy band-aid brand bandages

This is what we sent to Johnson & Johnson for a first round review. I narrowed down our internal review to a dozen or so designs. We also played with some typography options as I thought it would be fun for the bandages to say something, too! For the sake of production and what reproduces best on the BAND-AID® Brand bandages material, Johnson & Johnson cut out any designs that were too fine or had very small details. They also loved the idea of the typography, but we all felt that these type ones in particular felt a little too young (I wanted moms to feel like they could wear them, too!). So we wanted to focus on just patterns for this initial launch.

You'll also notice a registration shape on the top of every bandage which is what helps with the printing process to help line up the bandages for cutting. We were able to draw a very simple shape for this registration process and went with a circle. While we could have done something a bit more complex there, I felt like any other shape would take away from all the different patterns we had going on, and I really wanted the patterns to be the star. We also took a look at how we wanted the Oh Joy name on there—simply typed out or as an actual logo.

behind the scenes / making oh joy band-aid brand bandages

After a bit of back-and-forth, we narrowed it down to these patterns in two different sizes. I wanted to keep the Oh Joy name on there and felt that the logo was too distracting on this small space, so we went with the text version. We also tweaked and finalized the scale of the patterns as well as the icon on top (and little details like how the white gets added behind the registration circle and the "Oh Joy" when it's on a busier area of pattern).

behind the scenes / making oh joy band-aid brand bandages

And this is what they look like in real life if you haven't seen them yet! Once the designs were close to final, we were able to know what was going into the box that also needed to be designed.

behind the scenes / making oh joy band-aid brand bandages

For the box design, I wanted to morph a few of my favorite patterns from the strips into a new custom pattern for one side of the box. Here are the three versions we showed to Johnson & Johnson using a template for the real box that they gave us. We all agreed that Carton C felt a bit too young, and we liked B over A because it was bolder and easier to see on shelf from further away than A. 

behind the scenes / making oh joy band-aid brand bandages

The, for one of the sides, we needed to add a layout of the bandage strips to help show the customer what they'd get inside. Johnson & Johnson specially asked for the layout of the "strips" to feel a bit more tossed (rather then laid out in neat rows) since some of their other designer boxes had the strips in neat rows, and they wanted to differentiate the layouts of each brand. So we worked on a few "tossed" ideas. These were both feeling a bit too messy, so we played with it some more until we got to this final version which they liked and ended up being our final box...

behind the scenes / making oh joy band-aid brand bandages

I like to call this "The Band-Aids Are Talking to Each Other!" because they look like they are chatting and having a very important brain-storming session or telling each other their deepest and darkest secrets.

behind the scenes / making oh joy band-aid brand bandages

I hope that helped you get a sense of what our process what like for this recent Oh Joy product collaboration! You'll be able to get this current set of Oh Joy BAND-AID® Brand bandages in all Target stores and online for a few more months so get them while you can! (Sorry, our First Aid Kid has already sold out)

{Photos by Casey Brodley, designs by Oh Joy}


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