Oh JoyOh Joy

everyday dining combos...

Outdoor Dining / Oh Joy!

When we moved into our house a few months ago, I did A LOT of purging. After 10 years in our apartment, I was ready to upgrade many of the things that were ready to go. One of the areas that felt so nice and fresh to pare down and then add back to was our everyday dining pieces. I had mixes of old plates I loved and couldn't let go of and a single newer set that was never really enough to feed everyone because I had never taken the time to invest in enough pieces. 

Now, we have enough pieces of a few different styles that all mix and match well together which feels so great and so grown-up. Keep in mind...getting dinner plates is not the wedding registry expensive stuff from decades ago. Now, it's all about modern pieces that work for everyday. And, they should feel nice enough that you can use when friends are over for casual gatherings, too. Also, since our kids are bigger now, I cleared through a ton of plastic kid plates, and we have the kids use the same plates and glasses that we use most of the time. Sounds crazy but it honestly simplifies things a ton.

Here are a few combinations I love if you're looking to streamline and update your everyday dining, too...

Everyday Dining / Oh Joy!

Summer Meadow. I love this versatile mix of mint with dark blue for a collection that feels fun but not overly feminine. By using pale green as a base and navy as accents, it offers a fun contrast and pops of color. Then add in a couple bright pieces as dessert plates!

(clockwise from top left) Urban Outfitters green speckle dinnerware set ($69 for 12 pieces), West Elm rose gold flatware (from $40), Ikea green glasses ($3 for 4), Year & Day midnight bowls ($44 for set of 4), Year and Day midnight mugs ($48 for set of 4), Articture Picasso plates (from $35), and Clare V for Anthro Oui side plate ($18).

Everyday Dining / Oh Joy!

Pretty in Pink. While I love all shades of pink, having JUST pink dinnerware might be too intense for some. So mix and match by having your base dinnerware in pink with accent pieces in white or speckles or vice versa! I currently have pale pink glasses which are the prettiest shade that makes even drinking water feel luxurious.

(clockwise from top left) Year & Day pink serving platter ($50), Tiny Badger ceramic cups ($35), Urban Outfitters white speckle dinnerware set ($69 for 12 pieces), Anthropologie grain bowl ($18), Bormioli Rocco peach glasses (6 for $20), Clare V for Anthro side plate with lips ($18), and West Elm gold flatware (from $40).

Everyday Dining / Oh Joy!

Summer Splash. As we head into the outdoor dining season, I love plates that feel durable for outdoors that could be used indoors, too. We use melamine or bamboo plates when dining outside, but they also make great option to use as kid-friendly plates year-round. I love mixing those with regular utensils and glasses so it still feels adult and doesn't require you to buy another full set of exclusively outdoor tabletop.

(clockwise from top left) Xenia Taler bamboo plates ($48 for set of 4), Articture utensils ($139 for set), luster coupe glasses from Anthropologie ($56 for set of 4), West Elm acrylic glasses (from $5.50), and West Elm confetti glasses ($42 for a set of 4).

(Top photo has Articture utensils, Xenia Taler bamboo plates, and Concrete Collaborative countertop)

my favorite local grocery delivery/pickup options in los angeles...

ACS_0721-rainbow-bread

As we head into our 4th month of stay-at-home here in Los Angeles, I've found joy in being able to support local restaurants and food businesses who cannot have dine-in services right now. It's not only a great way to get food (safely via pick-up or delivery), but it helps to support small businesses who are trying to keep their employees working and their rent paid. So it feels like a win-win! Here are a few of my local favorites...

For Groceries and Fresh Fruit/Veggies:

Amazebowls—Curated boxes of fruit, veggies, and their well-known Acai Bowls (for pickup or delivery).

Soon MiniMart—A mix of farmers' market goods from fresh bread, fruit, veggies, Korean specialties, wine, cheese, and so much more (for pickup or delivery).

All Time—One of our favorite restaurants offers both a selection of their food and grocery options like coffee, wine, pasta, pantry staples, and readymade food from their restaurant's menu.

Valerie Confections—One of my favorite bakeries offers pies, cakes, and sweet treats as well as pantry staples. 

Broome Street General Store—My go-to coffee and gift shop has a ton of well-curated pantry options like cheese, ice cream, produce, soup kits, fresh herbs, and more.

Jon & Vinny's—From Italian prepared foods to desserts to pantry items (like pre-made cookie dough and pizza kits), bring one of LA's favorite spots to your home.

Girl & Dug Farm—A farm that provided specialty vegetables to some of LA's finest restaurants is now offering their amazing selection of farm to home vegetable boxes!

 

For pre-cooked meals:

If you need a break from cooking, catering companies are using their talents and resources to provide cooked meals for families for everyday or for special occasions.

Annie Campbell— Annie offers beautiful, healthy food as well as "Cookies for a Cause" to support Friends of the Children Los Angeles.

Heirloom LA—Heirloom offers a range of foods from their signature catering available to families for pickup or delivery.

Ayara—One of my favorite Thai restaurants in Los Angeles has Thursday Thai Bento boxes each week with a different theme or region.

 

Bread/Carbs:

Hanks Bagels—My favorite bagel spot in Los Angeles does weekly deliveries of their amazing bagels and cream cheeses.

Little Market x Homeboy Industries— The Little Market has partnered with Homeboy Industries to deliver their baked goods (including the rainbow bread above) all over Los Angeles.

 

For prepared foods to cook at home:

The Yori LA - Almost like a Korean Blue Apron, the food is all prepped and only needs to be cooked at home when you're ready.

Black Hogg - Marinated meats that are perfect for cooking at home for an easy and delicious meal.

I'll keep adding to this list as I find and try new ones!

simple and inexpensive ways to spruce up your home decor...

Oh Joy Styling with Large Branches

Extra time at home means we're craving joy wherever we can add it! Today, we're bringing you three fun and easy projects to add a little pop of color and newness to your already existing decor. These are inexpensive projects that can give your space (and yourself!) a little refresh it needs to bring out the sunshine!

Oh Joy Mirror Decal

1) Try adding a decal to your mirror. A cute and short inspirational thought that makes you happy to look in the mirror and reminds you of your strength and determination. Try "You Got This" or "Find Joy Here" or "Keep Going".  Let us know what phrase you choose to give yourself some positivity every time you look in the mirror.

Oh Joy Wrapping Paper Mat Frames

2) Use wrapping paper to make a mat for your existing wall prints to freshen them up! Or, if you're ready for a new print, so many of our friends are offering amazing and inspirational prints during this time. Check out Everyday is OK, The House that Lars Built, and All She Wrote Notes

Oh Joy Large Branch DIY

3) Add branches to your vases. This option is fun because it involves a trek outside (don't forget to get sunshine and fresh air everyday)! Find some branches that will dry up nicely, then paint some (or ALL) of the leaves for a fun touch of color.

Let me know how you're sprucing up your house or if you need more fun ideas of low-lift things to do to bring a quick smile everyday.

(Photos by Lily Glass. Styling by Wilmarose Orlanes and Julia Wester, styling assistance and crafting by Jess Hong.) 

let me shop for you: vintage caftans!

let me shop for you: vintage caftans!

If you watched my recent IGTV video, you know that my number one go-to at home piece right now is a vintage caftan. It's colorful, fun, chic...yet comfy, too! Since we can't shop at our favorite local flea markets or vintage shops in person right now, there's so much available through vintage shops on Etsy in a range of sizes and prices.

Here are some tips I keep in mind for buying vintage caftans online:

1. Remember sizing for a caftan is more flexible than other clothing. Here's a case where you can wear sizes that are larger than your size since they are meant to be roomy. If you're getting a piece that isn't your size, you have to make sure that the fabric is flowy enough to still drape your frame properly. OR, you can also get them altered (which is generally not too expensive with a simple caftan shape). 

2. The pricing will reflect the quality. You can find some for $25-45 which will likely be a vintage polyester. Those will be durable and easily washable but may also be a thinner fabric. Anything in the lower $100s is likely much nicer quality and will last longer...those however, may be silk or other more precious materials so keep in mind if you'd prefer wear and wash pieces than anything too nice.

3. Keep specific search terms in mind to find more. I searched for "Vintage Floral Caftan" or "Hawaiian Vintage Caftan" to get these results below!

Here are six of my favorites available right now on Etsy....

let me shop for you: vintage caftans!

1. Hawaiian Caftan from ($65, size XS/S), 2. Caftan from VintagePrepGirl ($125, size 10-12), 3. Silk colorblock caftan from MilkTeeths ($150, size 10), 4. purple floral caftan by IggyAndBo ($68, size XS, S), 5. Multi-color floral caftan from PendulumVintage ($47, size M/L), 6. Abstract caftan from PurnaPalace ($124, size S).

(Top photo by Casey Brodley)

in my last few days of 40...

Oh Joy!

As I count down the last few days of my 40th year, it will be a very different birthday this year for sure. I can't believe I am saying this, but in the last few weeks...I've been happy again.

I spent the first month (or two) of quarantine being sad and angry over the life that was supposed to be happening right now for all of us...the things we were supposed to be doing, the places we were supposed to be going to, and the people we were supposed to be seeing, celebrating, hugging...

And then I realized, had that life that was "supposed to be" actually happened, I would have never spent so much unfiltered time with my family. Never would I have seen my kids' personalities blossom in the ways I have seen in the last 3 months with them home from school. Never would I have reconnected with the joy I once had in the kitchen where I now see cooking as enjoyable instead of something annoying. Never would I have felt SO grateful to have a home to sleep in and our health which I always took for granted.

I would have just gone on with that life that was supposed to be. These feelings are vastly different than those I wrote you a couple months ago. And that's not to say they won't change again...this is an ocean wave we're all riding together after all. But in this moment...right now..I am choosing to enjoy this alternate normal and all the things it has taught me.

Have a great weekend, friends...! What are YOU enjoying right now?

(Photo by Max Wanger for his series "Through the Looking Glass")