Oh Joy

choose your own adventure...30 Jul 2014

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

Sometimes we find ourselves stuck in a rut where our weekends are catered around Ruby's activities or doing the same thing every single weekend. Recently, we decided to switch things up and just spend the weekend doing things and going to places we had never been. So, I decided to have a "Choose Your Own Adventure" day inspired by my friend Audrey who is one of the most creative moms I know.

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

Simply surprise your kids one morning by telling them they’ll get to choose whatever they want to do that day. Bring a little bell or something that makes noise (we used a maraca), get in your car (or bike or walk), and as they spot things they see and want to do, they simply ring the bell and you go and explore it!

When Audrey did it, her boys chose to go to a Harley Davidson shop and have pancakes at IHOP. So, we told Ruby we'd go on an adventure and gave her a maraca to shake it whenever she saw something cool from the car window. If you have more than one child, you can let them take turns or bring one of their friends along to make it more fun and interactive.

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

To be prepared for wherever the day takes us, I always keep a tiny pouch of Band-Aids and Neosporin in my bag. Ruby had gotten a scrape on her knee the day before from a fall, so it reminded me to have my little kit just in case.

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

Our first stop was the Petersen Automotive Museum. Ruby saw the pointy architecture and the car on the roof of the building and her interest was piquéd.

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

With vintage cars of all kinds and really unique cars from movies or driven by celebrities, it was like going back in time. The best part about coming here is that it's not a place I would have ever picked to go. Ruby's never played a ton with cars at home, so we were delighted to see how much she loved it. And Bob loves cars (a lot) so it was a fun treat for him as well.

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

Next, was Nick Metropolis Collectible Furniture. You pretty much can't miss this from the street with all the signs and over-the-top, random things sitting on the sidewalk. People go here to find vintage things of all kinds, to shop for movie sets, and it's just a cool (and crazy) place to explore.

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

Ruby got a little scared after seeing some random, slightly creepy statues and was ready to head out, but we had a fun time trolling through all the quirky treasures.

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

Finally, no day is complete without a little treat and Ruby's favorite stop was probably into this white building full of candy at Sockerbit

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

She has never gone to a bulk candy store before and was pretty amazed that she could pick whatever she wanted and mix them all in one bag. She held her bag of candy so tightly on the way home. We had such a fun day that she took the longest nap she had in months, and we all felt like we had really gotten to know our city better by discovering places we wouldn't have normally been.

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

We loved it so much, we're planning to do this more often. Sometimes it's nice just letting the day take you by surprise...

*This post is brought to you in collaboration with Johnson & Johnson Consumer Products Company Division of Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc. See how to make your very own First Aid kit right here. All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that allow me to create new and special content like this for Oh Joy.

{Photos by Casey Brodley for Oh Joy}

let's all have less mom guilt, shall we?29 Jul 2014

Oh Joy for Target - Behind the Scenes

I've recently spoken at a few conferences, and I always get asked about how to deal with feeling guilty about being away from your child as a working mom. Now, let me preface this by saying that "mom guilt" is an epidemic that every mother I know seems to feel often—whether they're stay-at-home-moms, working moms, or any kind of mom—we (unfortunately) feel bad for something. While I certainly struggle with it too, here's something that recently helped me feel a little less guilty...

Continue reading " let's all have less mom guilt, shall we? " »

um, those colors...28 Jul 2014

Chanel 2014 via Vogue

Prism of Threads caftan

rainbow stairs

...just a few things my eyes are gravitating to right now...

{Photo credit, top to bottom: Red/pink dress is Chanel 2014 by Vogue.com via Man Repeller, caftan by Prism of Threads, poster by Laura Meseguer, stairs via Casa Chauca.}

have friday + the joy of east coast bagels...25 Jul 2014

Philly Style Bagels

Whenever I'm home in Philly, there are a few things I have to get—pizza, a soft pretzel, any kind of sandwich on a hoagie roll, and a bagel. It sounds crazy, but you just can't duplicate those things anywhere else. They say East Coast water makes bread better, and I just make sure I get my fill while I'm here.

Philly Style Bagels

Philly Style Bagels

Philly Style Bagels

While in Philly this week, I satisfied all of the above cravings, but I especially got my bagel fix when we visited the Philly Style Bagels pop-up in Philly last weekend. I love New York bagels and Montreal-style bagels. These Philly bagels are made with dough built on a sourdough base and fermented overnight. Then they're hand-rolled and boiled in water mixed with Yards IPA. After baking first on bagel boards, the rounds are flipped straight onto the stone in the pizza oven to finish. The result is chewy on the inside and crisp on the outside. With a little veggie cream cheese, I was pretty much in bagel heaven.

Philly Style Bagels

Is there anything you crave and must have while visiting your hometown? Oh, and have a great weekend, guys!

Philly Style Bagels at Pizzeria Beddia | 115 E. Girard Avenue | Philadelphia, PA 19125 | bagel pop-up dates listed on their blog

{Photos by Oh Joy}

dressing the bump / 24 weeks!24 Jul 2014

Oh Joy / Dressing the Bump

Oh Joy / Dressing the Bump

Oh Joy / Dressing the Bump


We're at 24 weeks, and I'm excited to share the fourth episode of my Dressing the Bump series! This week, I'm talking about swimwear—both maternity and non-maternity—and how to rock that belly at the beach, the pool, or for summer lounging. I was a little nervous to wear a swimsuit for you all in this video, but I wanted to show you how much I think that baby belly deserves to be embraced no matter what time of year!

Feel free to leave any questions or requests for future episodes in the comments below.

*Please keep in mind that all bellies are shaped and sized differently and grow at different rates. I hope you'll find these videos helpful at some stage of your pregnancy. 

P.S. 20 weeks!

You can see all sources for the pieces worn in the video below... 

Continue reading " dressing the bump / 24 weeks! " »

my path to a green thumb!23 Jul 2014

Oh Joy / DIY Floral Herb Centerpiece

I've talked about my black thumb in the past and my inability to keep plants blooming. Well, I'm on a mission to change that and have teamed up with Miracle-Gro to create a series of projects that make gardening a little easier and a lot more fun. I figured if I use the plants for things I can make to give to others or to decorate my home, it will seem more fun to see them flourish.

Today, I'm making a Floral Herb Centerpiece which makes use of herbs you can grow anywhere (even on a window sill) to make into a centerpiece whenever you're having friends or family over for a meal. You can see the full video below!

If you make any garden-inspired pieces, please share with me using the hashtag #GROJOY as I'd love to see! And, click here for more inspirational garden ideas from me and Miracle-Gro.

You can see all the materials used in the video below...

Oh Joy / DIY Floral Herb Centerpiece

Materials Used:
Miracle-Gro Organic Choice Potting Mixtea tinscontact paper, gold embroidery hoops, and foam core.

// CREDITS //
Brought to you by Oh Joy + Miracle-Gro
Creative Direction by Joy Cho
Video by Jenner Brown
Production Asst: Julia Wester
Hair and Makeup by Laura Peyer
Music is “Bravo” by The Little Indians
Photo stills by Casey Brodley

This post is brought to you in collaboration with Miracle-Gro. All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that allow me to create new and special content like this for Oh Joy. 

so dreamy...22 Jul 2014

Suku Home

Suku Home

...the colors, the ombre, the coziness...this bedding by Suku Home is what my dreams are made of...

the changing business of a blog...21 Jul 2014

Oh Joy Studio

I've recently spoken at a couple conferences, and as a blogger for almost nine years (say what?!?), I often get asked what's different about blogging now than when I started. It's crazy to think about how much things have changed since I started in 2005. Every blogger does things differently, so I wanted to chat about how things have changed for me over the years.

When I started my blog, it was a hobby (as it was for most back then). This was before there were "professional bloggers", before anyone called people "tastemakers", and before people started blogging with the intention of making any money. Just like a lot of the earlier bloggers, turning this site into part of my job happened unintentionally, but it's something that changed the course of my career and my life for the better.

Oh Joy Studio

Here are a few things that have changed for me about blogging over the past nine years...

Continue reading " the changing business of a blog... " »

happy friday + philly!18 Jul 2014

Oh Joy

Oh Joy

Happy Friday guys! What are you up to this weekend? We flew into Philly yesterday to visit our parents, so I'm excited to be in my hometown for a bit. If you Philly folks have any suggestions for new things we should do or see while in town, please let me know!

Here are a few behind-the-scenes shots from upcoming videos we shot earlier this week. I'm loving that it's summer, it feels a little more laid back, and I'm embracing the outdoors as much as possible right now.

Have an amazing weekend, and I'll see you back here Monday!

{Photos by Casey Brodley for Oh Joy}

toddler essentials...(part 2)17 Jul 2014

Toddler Essentials

Since putting together my first list of toddler essentials last year, I wanted to share a little update of 10 things I've found helpful in the past year for the 2 to 3-year-old set.

Toddler Essentials

01. Nap mat by Little Bean -  Ruby starts preschool in a couple months, and I've been searching high and low for a nap mat/toddler sleeping blanket with simple (not too kiddy) patterns. It's been really tough to find ones I like until these came out recently. They are a little more expensive than other mats, but they are all organic which I love. 

02. Honest sunscreen stick - We've been hitting the beach regularly this summer, and this stick is super convienent for applying sunscreen to Ruby's face especially when she's in the middle of playing and needs a new layer of coverage quickly.

03. Water Wow books by Melissa & Doug - My friend, Naomi, gave one of these to Ruby, and she loves it. It's perfect for keeping her busy at restaurants or on a long flight.

04. Little Looster potty stool - This might not look like anything special, but I love that it wraps around the base of any toilet making it so much easier for a potty-trained toddler to reach the toilet and to rest their feet (which is super helpful when potty training).

05. Melissa & Doug child-safe scissors - Ruby is obsessed with cutting paper right now, and I love that it helps develop her fine motor skills while giving her a crafty activity to work on.

06. Pons Avarcas sandals - These are pretty much Ruby's go-to shoes. They're cute, comfy, have great grip for sandals, and hold up well in sand or on the beach.

07. Juice-in-the-Box drink cup - One of my recent missions in life has been to find a non-leaking sip cup. This one is the best I've found so far and is easy for a toddler to open and close on their own.

08. Primo folding potty - When they're little butts are too small to fit on a real potty, these are super helpful when using public restrooms. I keep one in my bag wherever we go.

And not shown:

09. Magic Bumpers for a toddler bed - Since Ruby's big girl bed isn't against a wall, we added these bumpers underneath her sheets and they're perfect for preventing her from falling off.

10. Custom trail mix - For a high-protein snack with lots of good fats, I love making my own trail mix for Ruby filled with nuts, dried fruit, and Greek yogurt chips.

What are some of your toddler must-haves?

{Top photo by Bob Cho}

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