Oh Joy

2014, i'm into you... 7 Jan 2014

Oh Joy

While I typically dislike resolutions, last year I started making mine more simple, and focusing on just a few things I want to work on in the new year, as well as some things I've already been doing and want to continue. I feel like improving yourself should be a continual thing—not just something you do at the beginning of the year—but a new year always helps shed light on how we want to make this one even better than the last. 

And while it can be hard to admit the things you don't like about yourself, I think that sharing your dreams/fears/goals with others helps make you more accountable—so I want to share a few things I'm working on for 2014...

1. Kick envy in the face. Jealousy of any kind is not good...and we never want to admit that we feel jealous of others. But we do—at least, I do. Envy doesn't mean that you're not happy for someone else, it means you want what they have. Yes, I want to be able to have enough saved to buy a great house or land that amazing project. But what I'm going to try and work on in 2014 is to turn those jealous feelings into motivation. I want to own a house, too? Well, then I'll work my butt off to save and save and get one of my very own.

2. Ask for help. I was talking to a good friend about this the other day. In Asian culture, we're taught to just do what needs to be done, not to complain, and make things happen ourselves. In some ways, that's taught me to be a go-getter, but in other ways it's caused me to have a hard time asking for help when I really need it. No one can do it all, and we all need help from those that love us. But they don't know if we don't ask.

3. Make phone calls. In these days of texting, email, social media, and instant everything, we communicate more often than ever with people we know, yet rarely actually talk to them on the phone. Every year when my birthday comes around, the wishes that mean the most are the ones where I get to hear my loved ones' voices and make a real connection with them, even if just for a minute or two. So I'm going to try and pick up the phone more often and make a real connection through the sound of our voices instead of the sound of a text message.

4. Have more fun. Oh boy, I can be so serious sometimes that it kills me. It's the conservative part of me that doesn't want to show too much excitement or just let loose a little. Having a toddler has made me get over that real quick, because you'll be as silly as you need to be to make your kid happy. But I want to instill this in my own life, too. I've been taking fun dance classes for exercise that remind me that I don't have to be good at it, I can just dance because it's fun and makes me happy.

Oh Joy

And because I think you should always pat yourself on the back for at least one thing you've been doing well, I want to continue to...

Surround myself with inspiring people. At some point you reach an age where you feel like you have enough friends and don't need any more social obligations to add to your list. But when someone new comes along who gives you joy in some way, they are worth making the time for. I feel I have been lucky to find an amazing group of friends who inspire me and keep pushing me to a better mother/designer/blogger/wife/person through the examples they set in their own lives.

So tell me, friends: What's one thing you're working on improving this year and one thing you can pat yourself on the back for? I'd love to hear! 

{Top photo by Bonnie Tsang, bottom photo by Jennifer Young.}

a sweet new year... 6 Jan 2014

Happy 2014 from Oh Joy!

Happy New Year guys! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and celebrated the end of 2013 in a way that made you feel ready to embrace the new year ahead. Tomorrow, I'm going to share a few things I'm thinking about for 2014. But in the meantime, I wanted share this sweet little treat we sent out to clients and colleagues this year...

Oh Joy | sprinkles

Oh Joy | sprinkles

Oh Joy | sprinkles

Inspired by idea of sprinkling joy wherever you can, we found beautiful glass jars and filled them with sprinkles/edible pearls/non pareils/quins in a variety shapes, sizes, and colors. It was fun to see on Instagram what my friends did with them...

Oh Joy | sprinkles

Whether you have a jar full of sprinkles or not, I hope it inspires you to toss a little bit of happiness wherever you go this year...

{Photos by Oh Joy. Instagram photos from Bonnie Tsang, Mrs. Lilien, and Ban.do. Sprinkles from Gloria's, glass jars and gold caps from Freund.}


happy holidays!20 Dec 2013

Oh Joy | Family Photo

Oh Joy | Family Photo

Oh Joy | Family Photo


Oh Joy | Family Photo

Oh Joy | Family Photo

Seriously, how is it the end of the year, already?!? As we wrap up for the year and take some time to give ourselves a little R&R, I wanted to tell you how much I appreciate you stopping by here however often you do. I love sharing my inspirations, ideas, bits of my life and my work with you guys, and I look forward to bringing you more fun things in 2014.

As we close out the year, I wanted to share a few of our holiday family photos with you. We love reflecting on how much has changed each year and also to provide a memory we can look back on for the future. These were taken by the talented duo at LK Griffin (who will be part of Max & Friends soon). Happy holidays all! See you back here in a couple weeks on January 6, 2014...

P.S. Our holiday card from last year.

P.S. Ruby would like to tell you a knock-knock joke...

my favorite posts of 2013...19 Dec 2013

Oh Joy | Joy & Ruby

As we head into the end of the year and about to go on a little blog break for a couple weeks, I wanted to highlight some of my favorite posts from this year (in no particular order) in case you're looking for some inspiration or reading material during the break...

Oh Joy | Rainbow Pancakes

1. Rainbow Pancakes

Oh Joy | Ruby & Her Besties

2. Besties

Oh Joy | Contact Paper Door DIY

3. Make it A-door-able

Oh Joy | Studio Reveal

4. My studio reveal...the photos and the video

Oh Joy | France

5. Our trip to France (Part 1, 2, and 3)

Oh Joy | Fruity Striped Ice Cubes

6. Fruity Summer Striped Ice Cubes

Oh Joy | Art of Being a Goal-Getter

7. The Art of Being a Goal-Getter (Part 1 and 2)

Oh Joy | Recreating Our First Date

8. Recreating Our First Date

Oh Joy | Ruby Floral Crown

9. The beginning of Hers & Mine

Oh Joy | Make Someone Happy

10. Make Someone Happy...with a thank you.

currently snacking on...19 Dec 2013


It's the time of year where we fill our bellies with an extra dose of sweetness. I don't know about you, but there is an insane amount of chocolate and cookies and sweet treats of all sorts in my home and my office right now. And because I love crunchy things, I'm pretty obsessed with these chocolate bars by Ticket Chocolate. The flavors include a waffle pecan chocolate bar, grasshopper pie chocolate bar, and hazelnut cherry stuffing bar. They all have chunks of crunchy goodness and are almost like extra chocolate-y cookies...yessss, please...

{Photo by Oh Joy}

hers & mine...18 Dec 2013

Oh Joy | Hers & Mine

Oh Joy | Hers & Mine

Oh Joy | Hers & Mine

An on-going photo journal of our often similar things and moments...

top | Hers: striped dress (unknown). Mine: dress by Tea Collection (past season).

middle | Hers: Heart sweater from My Little Square. Mine: vintage Ban.do scarf.

bottom | Hers: Old Navy dress (past season). Mine: Duvet by PBteen.

See past ones right here...

{Photos by Oh Joy}

my favorite thai dish to make...17 Dec 2013

Oh Joy | Thai Green Chicken Curry Recipe

Growing up in a Thai family, people always assume that I can make really great Thai food. But I never really had to learn how to cook since my parents owned a Thai restaurant, and I could just go there and eat any time I wanted. Only since living in LA—where I'm far from the comfort of my parent's home-cooking and where there's an abundance Thai grocery stores—have I started learning how to cook some of my favorite Thai dishes. I recently made this for a friend's birthday dinner, and it came out so great that I wanted to share this recipe with you. This is my favorite Thai dish to make...green chicken curry. It's spicy, sweet, a little tangy, and full of so much flavor. It's my kind of comfort food.

One thing to point out about making this dish is that it tastes so much better when you use all of the ingredients listed (usually from a Thai or Asian grocery store). You can certainly make a simple curry using coconut milk and curry paste, but when you have access to key flavor enhancers like kaffir lime leaves and Thai basil, it makes a world of difference. And, it's still super easy even with the special ingredients. Here's how to make it...

Continue reading " my favorite thai dish to make... " »

little prints...16 Dec 2013





Having a toddler means trying to keep coming up with new and creative ways to play with them and entertain their often restless minds. Ruby has been crazy about stamps lately, so I'm loving this book, Yellow Owl's Little Prints, which includes book stamp, stencil, and print projects to make for kids and with kids. Plus, I kind of want to stamp everything now...

{Photos by Laure Joliet for Yellow Owl Workshop}

i hope your weekend feels just like this...13 Dec 2013

Oh Joy | Family photo by LK Griffin

Have a great weekend guys!

Thanks again all your amazing support, comments and responses on Monday's post. It means more to me than you know, and we really are all in this together...

{Photo from our recent family photos by LK Griffin.}

Oh Joy Gift Guide: gifts for the adventurer...13 Dec 2013


My next gift guide is for the girl that loves to explore—whether through travel, food, or daily life—she sees adventures in every moment, big or small...

01. chopsticks by Hank by Henry to explore new tastes ($25), 02. brass bottle opener from Michele Varian for her favorite beverage ($68), 03. mini vases by Anzfer Farms to hold collected buds ($40), 04. print by Max Wanger to remind her of her favorite road trip ($25-enter code "OHJOYHOLIDAY" for 25% off anything in the shop from today until December 19th), 05. vanity trunk from The Little Market for a little getaway ($350), 06. over-sized inflatable zebra from Urban Outfitters just because ($400), 07. Jeni's pumpernickel ice cream because she's already tried every flavor out there ($12), 08. Owen & Fred key chain for getting her in and out of trouble ($18), and 09. brass bike bell from Poketo for nearby adventures ($20).


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