Oh Joy

packing for a family trip... 28 Oct 2013

Oh Joy | Packing for a Family Trip

We're heading to Mexico tomorrow! As part of a partnership with St. Regis hotels, we're off to Punta Mita to experience Family Traditions at St. Regis, which is all about making a vacation with kids easier and more fun thanks to the hotel's family-friendly activities and accommodations. We're hoping to continue the tradition of at least one far-away vacation per year. France was super far away, so I love that Punta Mita is only a three-hour flight for us (it almost seems like a piece of cake compared to flying to Paris!). And since we recently traveled overseas with Ruby and now we're heading out of the country again to Mexico, I thought I'd share some of my packing tips for staying prepared, while still keeping things easy, on your family adventures...

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oh joy in france / part 2: what we did in paris... 3 Oct 2013

Oh Joy in Paris | What We Did

The last time I visited Paris, I was 20 years old and visiting my college roommate who was studying abroad. I had a lot of time to myself, so I shopped and ate while my friend was in class. Coming back almost 15 years later, I had such a different (and even more special) experience this time because I shared the experience with my family.

This trip wasn't about what I wanted, but about what would be fun and entertaining for our whole family— including a very playful almost-two-year-old. A toddler can only walk, sit in a stroller, or shop for so long, so each day we'd put just a couple things on our list of things to do and left plenty of cushion time for Ruby to play in a park, playground, or do something kid-focused at least once a day. 

1st District

Oh Joy Paris| Tuilleries

Oh Joy Paris| Tuilleries

The Jardin des Tulleries is mostly known for it's beautiful gardens, but it's also full of some amazing areas for kids that you just stumble upon while walking through...like this gorgeous carousel...

Oh Joy Paris| Tuilleries

Oh Joy Paris| Tuilleries

...this playground with the coolest swing/hammock ever...

Oh Joy Paris| Tuilleries

...and this trampoline area for kids. Ruby was in heaven and cried when we said we had to leave to go get dinner. The parks of Paris are seriously the coolest I've ever seen! And I love how so many landmarks have playgrounds nearby.

Jardin des Tulleries | Place de la Concorde, 75001 Paris

Oh Joy Paris

And soon after all that jumping, someone succumbed to a nap...

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happy friday + french adventures await... 26 Jul 2013

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Earlier this week, we made a visit to the post office to apply for Ruby's first passport. There's nothing like waiting in long lines during lunch hour at the post office with a ready-to-nap toddler to make your day even better. ;) Luckily, Ruby loved the scale, and that kept her entertained while we waited and waited.

Ruby's first international trip awaits as we head to France this September for two weeks! We'll be going to Paris and Lyon and finally taking a long overdue family vacation. The last time we traveled abroad was to Japan a few years ago right before we tried to get pregnant. Now, with Ruby in tow, we're ready for our next adventure. So, all you traveling folks, I would love to hear your favorites spots to eat, shop, and play in Paris and Lyon. I am overwhelmed with the options and know you guys have some awesome suggestions up your sleeves...

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(And, Ruby would like to know where all the best ice cream shops are...pretty please...)

Have a great weekend, all!

P.S. Here's a special 25% off discount on the Dancing Dot dress that Ruby is wearing, just for Oh Joy readers. Simply enter OHJOY25 at checkout. Offer valid from Friday, July 26 to on Friday, August 2 at 11:59p.m. Discount valid only for U.S. residents and the code cannot be combined with any other promotion.

what i did in seattle... 13 May 2013

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Last Thursday, I flew to Seattle to host a Petites event at Anthropologie. While I was there less than 24 hours, the one thing I had to make room for was a trip to Pike Place Market. I had never been to Seattle, but knew that I'd love it.

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Oh-joy-seattle-13

No trip to the market would be complete without stopping by the gum wall. It's so pretty—until you think about how much saliva is on that wall. But you've got to admire those who spelled their name in gum. Um, nice penmanship (or should I say "gum-manship", Kristina!).

Next, I ate and ate and ate...

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what we did in austin... 15 Nov 2012

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The last stop on my Blog, Inc. book tour was in Austin, Texas! We turned the trip into a long weekend and explored the city (mostly through food). It was the perfect ending to a whirlwind fall. Here's what we did...

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{blog, inc. book tour} last stop: austin! 25 Oct 2012

Blog-inc-austin

My fifth and last stop for my Blog, Inc. book tour is in Austin, Texas on Thursday, November 8th! I've never been to Austin, so I'm really excited end the tour with a long weekend in what I hear is an awesome city. For those of you in Austin, you can RSVP to the book party right here.

Now, friends, give me the dish: what should we eat, where should we go, what should we do? I'll be there with Bob and Ruby for a long weekend. We've already got our hotel, but have nothing else planned. Any restaurants or bakeries or food stops I have to try? Any fun places to take Ruby that are especially unique to Austin? I'm all ears!

Oh, and for those of you who came to the LA event, the Smilebooth photos are up right here!

ps. You can read a recent interview about the book over at The Glitter Glide and an awesome recap of the Q&A from the New York book party at Dry as Toast. For those of you not in a city where I'm headed, we have a really fun live Q&A coming next month, so stay tuned!

what we did in chicago... 14 Sep 2012

Oh-joy-chicago

We spent most of last week in beautiful Chicago. Bob had a conference for work, so I managed to coordinate it with my Chicago book party so that we could take a little family trip all together. It was such a fun and leisurely week in one of my favorite cities.

Normally when I travel, I have a huge list of things I want to do and places I want to eat. But with having to fit in baby naps and lugging around a car seat to get around in a taxi, I chose not plan anything and figure things out day-by-day. It was so not me, but so perfect for this trip. Ruby and I got to explore Chicago by foot without having to worry about our usual play dates, appointments, or work commitments. We met up with a few friends, fit in in a work meeting (a very kid-friendly one), and found fun places to eat on the fly. Being in Chicago sure made me missing living in a walkable city. I'd totally live there...if only it wasn't so darn cold in the winter...!

ps. I did a fun live chat with Levo League yesterday chatting about blogging and business. You can see the archived chat right here (skip over the bit of pause at the 3 min mark)!

{Photos by Oh Joy, bottom photo by Vanessa Churchill. Above: Doughnuts from Glazed and Infused (the chocolate and lemon flavors were INSANE), SmileBooth photos from my Chicago book party (thanks Katie for this post!), Lemon Meringue cupcakes from More, Passion fruit Tart from Floriole.} 

mini adventures... 5 Jun 2012

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As Ruby gets older, it's fun to think about all the places we'll go together as a family. So, I'm loving these ZigZag City Guides for kids. The two characters, Zig and Zag, guide your child through the city {in this case, Rome} and teach words and phrases in Italian, various sights to see, and let them reflect on what they experience. The fun illustrations, the foldout map, and the overall format seems so fun and useful! — Joy

bumble, play & eat... 21 Dec 2011

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Located in Los Altos {in Northern California}, Bumble Cafe is a new concept cafe and play space created for families in downtown Los Altos to gather, meet other parents, enjoy a healthy meal with their children, and/or relax with friends while the children play. The menu serves farm-to-table fare for both parents and kids. As a new mom with my own business, I wish there was a place like Bumble Cafe near me to be able to meet up with friends or clients while having Ruby not too far from me. It's such a fun idea and hope they'll spring up in other cities soon! — Joy 

{photos by Bumble Cafe, designed by Kate Collins}

{guest post} with jamie of from me to you... 20 Oct 2011

10.PlazaCinemagraph

Jamie of From Me To You is not only a photography and cinemagraph genius, but her travels are out of this world. So, I asked her to share some recent traveling adventures with us so I could vicariously live through all the sights, sounds, and tastes she's experiencing! — Joy

I was so thrilled when Joy asked me to guest post especially as I was heading to visit my fiancee's parents in Kansas City, half way exactly between where Joy & I live. You see, since I'm marrying a man from Kansas City I've gotten to know quite a bit about this mid-west town and to be honest, I'm becoming more and more smitten with it! Here is a Texas-born-transplant-New Yorker's top ten things about Kansas City {so far}...

1.ArtMuseum

1. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art — it's big, beautiful and oh-yeah free!

2.Boulevard

2. Boulevard Beer — as soon as I get off the plane I have an unfiltered wheat which is just the tip of their delicious portfolio {and you know I like my craft beer}

3.OKJoes

3. Oklahoma Joe's BBQ — Anthony Bourdain said it was one of the 13 places to eat before you die, what else is there to know?

4.Fall

4. The seasons are so beautiful — between the Apple orchards and pumpkin patches, fall is just spectacular. 

5.HappyGillis

5. Happy Gillis — A favorite lunch spot! A delicious seasonal menu and retro atmosphere {perfect for my vintage dress collection}.

6.Antiques

6. Antiques — reasonably priced antiques! Favorite shops: River Market, Good JuJu, Re-Runs but let's just keep that a secret...

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