Oh Joy

the fanny pack... 9 Jun 2014

cool fanny packs

For the last couple months, I've seriously been contemplating getting a fanny pack. I remember I used to rock an acid wash denim fanny pack with rhinestones back in middle school, but I haven't had one since. While being so active and chasing around a toddler, it sounds so convenient in theory but is it one of those things that should stay in the past? I don't know...these ones are pretty cute. Would you rock a fanny pack?

{Left to right, top to bottom: Clare Vivier dotty fanny pack, Raise Case fanny pack, Clare Vivier petite fanny pack, and Alex Bender hip bag.}

let's have a donut, shall we? 6 Jun 2014

Glazed-donut-bistro

It's National Donut Day...and the internet is exploding with donuts (like this and this and this!). I've never actually celebrated one of these national food days because they seem so random and cause I'll happily eat a donut any day of the year. But I bought some for the office today because we had a great week with lots to celebrate. 

I wanted to say thank you to you, my loyal readers. I have put out a lot of things this year—new products, news of our growing family, new videos—I have shared a lot with you. Thank you for supporting everything I do, embracing it, and for truly being happy for me. From your comments, tweets, IG messages, Facebook comments, and now, Pips, the support means the world to me. I don’t even know most of you in person, but the love you have sent my way truly means so much and motivates me to keep chugging along. For all of that and so much more...thank you. I would send you all a big hug raining with donuts if I knew how to make donut-filled hugs.

P.S. Thanks to your support, Pippit is the #1 paid Lifestyle App! We've been working through the kinks of the first week and have an updated version coming out very soon. Also, we've compiled many of your questions into a FAQ section, so please check that out if you still have any questions or email info@pippit.co with any other issues you're coming across.

(Photo by Casey Brodley for Oh Joy)

fruity summer cupcakes! 5 Jun 2014

Oh Joy / Fruity Cupcakes by Trophy

With summer just around the corner, we thought it would be fun to share a fruity take on cupcakes with these strawberry, orange, and pineapple cupcakes made by Jennifer of Trophy Cupcakes inspired by my Oh Joy for Target summer collection! The cupcakes themselves could be any flavor, and I love how she transformed simple chocolate cupcakes into fun fruit ones with frosting, food coloring, inexpensive pastry bags and tips, and a little imagination. Here's how you make them too...

Oh Joy / Fruity Cupcakes by Trophy

For the strawberry cupcake, you’ll need:
- red, green and black food coloring
- red or dark pink sprinkles and a pastry bag with a small round tip (Ateco #2 or #3)
- a small star tip (Ateco #16).

Here's how:
1. Tint part of your buttercream to the desired shade of red or pink.

2. Hand frost your cupcake with a flat top and make one side a little pointy so that from the top the shape is like a strawberry.

3. Place your sprinkles in a bowl, scoop up a generous amount in your hand and carefully dip only the edges in the sprinkles with your other hand. Use pressure to create more of strawberry shape if needed.

4. Now, make a small amount of black and green buttercream. Place the black in a small pastry bag with a small round tip and the green in a small pastry bag with a small star tip.

5. Pipe dots on the cupcake to make “seeds” and a few green segments to make the stem (see photo for reference). 

Oh Joy / Fruity Cupcakes by Trophy

To make pineapple cupcakes, you'll need:
- yellow, brown, and green gel food coloring
- yellow nonpareils or sprinkles
- an offset spatula
- fat pretzel rods
- 2 pastry bags and Ateco tip #842 & #2 or #3

Here's how:
1. Place about ¾ of your buttercream into a bowl and tint it the shade of yellow that you like.

2. Take the rest of the buttercream and divide it into 2 bowls. Tint one bowl brown and one green. Place the brown buttercream into a pastry bag fitted with a small round tip (like an Ateco #2 or 3). Place the green buttercream in a pastry bag fitted with a medium star tip( like Ateco #842).

3. Place a scoop of the yellow buttercream on each cupcake. Now frost the cupcake so the top is flat and the sides are a 90 degree angle. Use your off set spatula to make the shape a little oblong (like a pineapple).

4. Now take your pastry bag with brown buttercream and make a cross hatch pattern (see photo) and place a dot in each opening.

5. Now place your yellow nonpareils (or sprinkles) in a bowl. Cup one hand and scoop up a generous amount of sprinkles. Pick up a cupcake with your other hand and carefully dip only edges of the cupcake in the sprinkles.

6. Now break fat pretzel rods into 2-3 inch pieces. Carefully poke the end into the side of your cupcake (the side that you want to be the top of your pineapple) until its secure (a good inch or two should be sticking out).

7. Use your pastry bag with your green buttercream to pipe several “leaves” to create the stem over the pretzel (see photo). Enjoy!

Oh Joy / Fruity Cupcakes by Trophy

To make an orange slice cupcake, you’ll need:
- orange food coloring and sprinkles
- a small pastry bag fitted with a small round tip (Ateco #2 or #3).

Here's how:
1. Start by tinting part of your buttercream orange. Now hand frost your cupcake in orange buttercream so it has a flat top and the sides straight up and down.

2. Fill a small pastry bag fitted with your small round tip with white buttercream.

3. Pipe a circle on the top around the edge, then pipe straight lines to create the “segments” (see photo).

4. Now pipe tiny seeds (either in white or a lighter orange) in the inside corners.

5. Place your sprinkles in a bowl, scoop up a generous amount in your hand and carefully dip only the edges in the sprinkles with your other hand. 

Oh Joy / Fruity Cupcakes by Trophy

Finally, if you want to make your own cupcakes and frosting from scratch, here's a recipe for the chocolate cupcakes and vanilla buttercream we used here (but you can make any flavor you like as the base). 

Continue reading " fruity summer cupcakes! " »

what i did in london (part 2)... 4 Jun 2014

Oh Joy / Shoreditch, London

Oh Joy / Shoreditch, London

For part 2 of my trip to London, I'm sharing some of the things I did in Shoreditch. Known as the hipster area of London, to me it feels a little urban and a little gritty (in a cool way), and filled with great indie shops and cafes.

Oh Joy / Shoreditch, London

Oh Joy / Shoreditch, London

Oh Joy / Shoreditch, London

Our first stop for a cozy breakfast on a rainy morning in Shoreditch was Leila's Shop. It was a simple spot with hearty and filling items that felt like they were made from a wonderful local farm.

Oh Joy / Shoreditch, London

Oh Joy / Shoreditch, London

Oh Joy / Shoreditch, London

London has a lot of boutique/cafe-in-one type of stores. I loved this clothing shop, Aida, which happened to have a cafe with barista and coffee bar right in the front!

Continue reading " what i did in london (part 2)... " »

a mini closet makeover... 3 Jun 2014

Oh Joy Alcove Closet Makeover

Storage has always been an on-going issue for me where we live. We have closets, but they aren't huge and therefore I am always stuffing drawers and shelves to the brim or putting things in places where they don't belong. Bob keeps his closet in our bedroom and since we can't fit all our clothes in the same closet, I keep my clothes in the closet in Ruby's room. However, that situation isn't ideal because I can't always access my closet (like when she's sleeping at night).

Oh Joy Alcove Closet Makeover

So for the past couple years, I've turned this tiny alcove in our bedroom into my temporary closet for things I am currently wearing and used the closet in Ruby's room to store off-season items. The location and access has been so much better for me even if it's a smaller version of a full-sized closet. We got a cheapo clothing rack (before photo) that worked okay for a little bit, but eventually the rack fell over in the middle of the night so many times that something needed to change. I knew I could maximize that space more but didn't know exactly how until I met Beth of Bneato, a personal organizer, who made my life so much easier with a simple and beautiful update to my closet. Here's what she did and her tips for maximizing the space in any closet...

Oh Joy Alcove Closet Makeover

1. When reworking a closet, always lookout for negative space. For example, in Joy’s alcove closet, there was a lot of unused space at the top and bottom. When you see negative space, think how you can add shelves and hooks. 

Oh Joy Alcove Closet Makeover

2. In a closet, even if you’re not working with built-ins, you can recreate drawers with a free-standing drawer unit or dresser. They work great nestled underneath short hanging garments like blouses and shorter skirts. The Elfa Closet system from The Container Store is my go-to solution for transforming a closet. It’s a great price point for a make-over without breaking the bank. My favorite features are the pull-out drawers and shoe shelves.

Oh Joy Alcove Closet Makeover

3. Maximize either the pull-out or standing drawers for storing clutches, folded jeans, accessories and sweaters. 

Oh Joy Alcove Closet Makeover

4. I like to see decorative boxes on shelves to stores scarves and other hard-to-wrangle accessories. With Joy’s new closet, she can now store winter gear and clothes not used as often on the top shelf and swap out as needed. 

Oh Joy Alcove Closet Makeover

5. I highly recommend getting a few sets of uniform hangers so they are all the same. It's a quick and easy way to tighten up a closet and make everything look super streamlined and neat. 

6. In addition to sections clothes by type (blouses, dresses, pants, etc.), color-coordinating clothes also makes a closet more visually stunning and a good trick to help you get things back to where they belong quickly. 

7. Instead of storing bags on the new shelves, I opted to hang them on a hook which helps to free up more space in the alcove closet for items that need to be stored flat. 

8. A stool is super helpful for making things easy to get to as well as put away (we all know how we can get lazy and leave things on the floor or bed). If you choose a stool that matches your aesthetic, it will feel more like decor than a utility.

9. Label any closed boxes in a way that makes it easy for you to find those accessories or off-season clothes. Some use polaroids, I used gold sticker letters to label the boxes which you can label with any phrases or descriptions you want.

10. If you have the floor space, it's helpful to keep a place for laundry (like a basket or hamper) so you can have an area to easily toss dirty clothes and get them off to the wash. I like to put a dryer sheet in the laundry hamper, like Caldrea Black Coriander Lime, to refresh the small space and keep it smelling fresh.

A organized closet honestly makes my brain feel less cluttered. It's amazing how easy it was and so worth spending the time to figure out a new and more efficient solution! Thanks to Beth for her guidance and helping me to get a little bit more on track with my organization!

*This post is brought to you in collaboration with Caldrea. 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}

the pippit app! 2 Jun 2014

Pippit App Founders

I have some fun news to share with you today! For almost two years, I've been working on creating a new app with my friends Naomi and Josh from Love Taza (that's us above in our first meeting with our programmers in Silicon Valley over one year ago). As we watched more and more people reading our blogs on their mobile phones, we wanted to create a way for people to easily get the latest updates from their favorite blogs while also being able to see blog content mixed with everyday photos and videos as well. So, we created Pippit.

Pippit App

In addition to being able to have your own blog's feed show on your Pippit feed (and follow other blogs you love there even if you don't have a blog of your own), you can also add "dots" to your photos or videos that allow followers to be able to go directly to the moments or things you're sharing. For example, you can add a dot to reference a the exact recipe for a cake in your photo and add a dot to link to where to buy the cake stand. It makes it easy to not only share your experiences but help others go out and experience them as well directly and immediately.

Pippit App

Also, instead of simply "liking" something, you can "Like" it, "Want" it, or find it "Useful". So your opinions have more meaning and you can reference those items you've found useful again later. You can also respond to comments directly within each individual thread so it's clear who you are chatting with. There are a ton of other cool features as well which you'll discover as you play around with the app and try it out.

See this video below to see a preview of how it works in real time...

I hope you guys will try it out and please let me know what you think or any questions you have! I know navigating a new app for the first time can sometimes feel tricky, so I am happy to help you navigate. But we're thrilled to get to share the news of the release with you first so you can claim your first choice username ASAP (You can find me under @ohjoy)!

Download Pippit in the App Store now through your iPhone! 

P.S. Please keep in mind that since this is the beta version, and there may be kinks that show up once we have a lot of users on it for the first time. So if you have any issues this week as you try out the app, please feel free to email us at: info@pippit.co with any feedback or questions. Our goal is to make a really solid mobile platform that is easy to use and navigate for all users. We would love your feedback as we launch so we can keeping improving it with future releases.

P.P.S. I want to mention that we made a conscious decision not to make this a free app. Pippit is a paid app with an non-renewing subscription. The subscription for the first year is included with the app purchase. We’ve chosen a small, up-front, and transparent fee so we can ensure there is no advertising on or off the app.

i'm so proud of you...30 May 2014

Oh Joy / Ruby Monkey Bars

Oh Joy / Ruby hanging

Lately, I've been thinking about that amazing phrase, "I'm so proud of you". We've been making sure to tell Ruby that when she accomplishes a new goal or is especially kind to her friends that day. It's one of those things that you often hear from your parents or from your partner, but how often to you say it to your friends or your co-workers? It feels so nice to hear, so why not making others in your life know how much you notice their hard work and accomplishments by telling them so more often?

I hope you have a great (and proud) weekend, guys!

{Photos by Bob Cho. Ruby's outfit from Zara.}

dressing the bump / 16 weeks!29 May 2014

Oh Joy / Dressing the Bump - 16 Weeks

Oh Joy / Dressing the Bump - 16 Weeks

My belly is growing, and I'm excited to share with you the second episode of my Dressing the Bump series! This week, I'm sharing some maternity essentials that are perfect for bringing in around 16 weeks—including jeans, shorts, and tees—and how they can be incorporated with your non-maternity clothing. I hope this inspires you pregnant mamas to get creative with your current wardrobe while also letting a few of those maternity staples in.

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. 12 weeks!

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

Continue reading " dressing the bump / 16 weeks! " »

family check-in station DIY...28 May 2014

Oh Joy / Family Check-In Station DIY

Running around and juggling work and family and life can be totally overwhelming. There are some days I really just wish I could blink my eyes and have everything all come together seamlessly. I've found that staying organized is really so key to keeping myself sane, so today we're sharing a fun DIY for making a central area to help keep the whole family organized with this Family Check-In Station. With the additions of some easy-to-use home organizational items, we’ve created a life-sized catchall for the whole family so we can worry less about where everything is and focus on time together instead. 

Instead of just having a bulletin board for to-do's for each member of the family, we wanted to create an area that each person could keep things to grab on the way out the door, as well as a place to put everyday reminders and notes on a custom magnetic wall. We also wanted to make place to put those daily belongings you need on your way in or out of the house—it's like a giant bulletin board mixed with a super practical cubby area. The whole piece is modular so you can make it for a family of two or a family of six. And it's great for roommates, too.

Here's how to create one:

Oh Joy / Family Check-In Station DIY

1. Cut out and stick contact paper (we used gold) onto the backing of 4 cube shelves. Build the shelves using the adhesive strips provided to secure them together. 

2. Line up the cubes along the wall based on how many cubbies would be a good fit for each family member. They could all be the same height or different (like we did). Outline the wall with area you wish to paint behind the cubes with ScotchBlue™ Painter’s Tape.

3. Paint the entire area above the cubbies within the taped outline with magnetic primer. You will need to paint at least 3 coats —the more coats, the more magnetic it will be.

Oh Joy / Family Check-In Station DIY

4. Once completely dry, use painters tape to outline the individual sections. Then paint each section with its individual color using regular wall paint.

Oh-joy-3M-5

5. Stack the cubbies and fill with each person's daily essentials as well as various memos to keep notes, tickets, receipts all in place.

Oh Joy / Family Check-In Station DIY

Oh-joy-3M-6

I love how The Home Collection by Post-it® Brand, Scotch® Brand and Command™ Brands helps busy families stay organized so they can spend time less time organizing and more time enjoying time together.

See below for all sources/items used:

Mom (mint green): Map out family activities for the week with the Post-it® Planner with Perforated List Pad. We also used the Post-it® Grip Board to keep important receipts, business cards, and any other loose pieces of paper that need to be attended to. 

Dad (green): The Post-it® Dry Erase Grip Tile holds tickets and other things to grab on the way out the door while offering a spot to make notes for the day or week. You can also hold receipts or other loose papers with the Post-it® Magnetic Grip Disk and the Command™ Clear Smartphone Station holds his phone, loose change, or keys.

Daughter (pink): Hang up the week’s homework or play date reminder on the Scotch® Restickable Strip while displaying her latest masterpiece with the Scotch® Display Frame.

Pup (yellow): Hold onto Doggie Daycare coupons or other pet mementos with the Post-it Magnetic Grip Disk and make sure the dog walker lets you know your pup’s latest updates using the Post-it® Reminder Tile

Also used: gold contact paper, white storage cubes, magnetic paint, and regular wall paint.

*This post is brought to you in collaboration with 3M. All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thanks for supporting these sponsors that allow me to create new and special content like this for Oh Joy.

(Photos by Casey Brodley and styling by Julia Wester for Oh Joy. Special thanks to Tuna the Frenchie!)

what i did in london (part 1)...27 May 2014

Oh Joy / Notting Hill

Earlier this month, I took a trip to London to speak at Blogtacular. I went a few days early to explore the city with my friends Bonnie and Kelly, and we had a great time exploring the sights and sounds and tastes of London. We didn't have a ton of time to see the whole city (and I wanted to take it easy since I was just at the end of my first trimester), so we mostly spend our free time in Notting Hill and Shoreditch. Here are a few of my favorite things in Notting Hill...

Oh Joy / Notting Hill

Oh Joy / Notting Hill

Oh Joy / Notting Hill

Oh Joy / Notting Hill

Oh Joy / Notting Hill

The colors on the buildings are clearly one of the things that tourists like me go to Notting Hill to see. It's funny—in other cities where buildings are painted in unexpected colors, it often looks cheesy. But in Notting Hill, it just works. There are rows of homes or buildings painted fun color palettes that sit in-between other simple, plain buildings. They are happy just being different, and I love that.

Oh Joy / Notting Hill

Oh Joy / Notting Hill

Oh Joy / Notting Hill

I was also super inspired by the store windows and displays. It's too bad I am not opening a store anytime soon, otherwise the inspiration would have been extra perfect. They just do window displays so well and really do make you want to walk in.

(Above: My new favorite British kids' shop, I Love Gorgeous.)

Oh Joy / Notting Hill

Oh Joy / Notting Hill

Oh Joy / Notting Hill

Oh Joy / Notting Hill

Oh Joy / Notting Hill

Oh Joy / Notting Hill

(Above: beautiful flowers at Wild at Heart, colors and patterns galore at Cath Kidston, the cutest neon sign at Caramel Baby & Child, cool boba tea menu at Latwatsa, desserts galore at Ottolenghi, and pretty vintage-inspired dresses at Darccy.)

Continue reading " what i did in london (part 1)... " »

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