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cool kickstarters...

Oh Joy desk

It might be the business lady in me, but I am obsessed with watching Shark Tank and watching Kickstarter campaign videos. I love seeing a good idea come to fruition and the reasons that made it viable or not. It's amazing how one idea can turn into a whole business simply with a little help. Here are a few of my favorite Kickstarters right now...

Fly Tot

Fly Tot is an inflatable cushion that helps little ones sleep flat on an airplane which is tough to do on a regular seat once they've reached toddler age.

Dear Kate

Dear Kate yoga pants allow you to go commando (yep, commando) while being active. It's one of those things I never really thought I'd need, but after watching, I can see why it's so useful.

Beacon and Lively

Beacon & Lively have created a blue-tooth enabled cuff that alerts you when important people call, text, or email you so that you don't have to constantly check your phone and will be alerted with a simple vibration or illumination.

Reading Rainbow

Finally, my favorite childhood show wants to bring back Reading Rainbow in a web version for every child everywhere and at no cost for those children and schools in need.

Have you guys ever funded one? I've contributed to a handful, and I'm always so excited to see the ones that make it...it's like supporting a friend that you don't know but are really proud of anyway..

parent's night out...

Room Forty / Los Angeles

Room Forty / Los Angeles

Room Forty / Los Angeles

Before I became a parent, I said I would never become one of those people who doesn't get to hang out with my friends as much. But it totally happened. Life changes, you get busier, and you have to make a way bigger effort to maintain friendships—especially with other friends who have kids. Because, chances are, they've been too busy to make plans, too. Bob and I are usually pretty good about having date nights, but it's more rare that we get to see a handful of our friends all together in a kid-free and relaxing adult environment.

So I thought it would be fun to gather a small group of our friends who are parents together to have a nice dinner out all together at Room Forty's tasting room at The Fig House here in L.A. It was a way to have a private dinner that was cozy enough to feel like we were at someone's house without all the clamour and difficulty of a big reservation at a restaurant.

I chose a mix of friends who didn't all know each other super well but had a couple things in common in addition to being parents—everyone was creative in some way and at least one person in the couple was a self-employed business owner.

Room Forty / Los Angeles

Room Forty / Los Angeles

Room Forty / Los Angeles

To start off the evening, I thought it would be fun to have wrist corsages for the girls and boutonneires for the guys to really relive the days of our youth. It brought me back to my first date with Bob—the senior prom! Botany Flowers made some beautiful wildflower versions for each place setting, and we had our own "Bachelorette" moments pinning them on.

Room Forty / Los Angeles

Room Forty / Los Angeles

It's funny to hear what goes on in a dinner with ten parents—from labor stories to our shower habits to drooling over the food which was way more amazing than anything we'd be having at home.

Room Forty / Los Angeles

Room Forty's chef, Libry Darusman, created an amazing menu for us to enjoy which included these drool-inducing dishes:

-Gin agar noodles with green olive bolognese and blue cheese

-Fennel soubise, house-made tofu, compressed pear, regianno foam, and crystal flower

-Diver scallops, raw coco mustard, butter popcorn tortellini, and puffed black rice

-Black cod, beet duxelle, nicoise pain perdu, red wine butter, and tomato foam

-Gazpazzo consommé with smoked street cart fruit

-Rib eye cap, cheek pastrami, shitake tartare, smoked corn jam, carrot confit, and pea ice cream

Room Forty / Los Angeles

All topped off at the end with this S'mores made of graham soil, chocolate and coffee ganache, housemade marshmallow, and hickory smoke. I'll be sharing the recipe for this with you guys next week as it's too good not to duplicate at home!

Room Forty / Los Angeles

At the end of the night, we got to hear how the chef made various dishes (um, like the butter popcorn tortellini!) which is such a treat and something we never get to experience at a regular restaurant. There's nothing like getting a custom catered dinner on an intimate scale. With full bellies and refreshed minds, we all came out of it feeling like we had such a special night just for us and walked away with a stronger connection to everyone else we dined with that night. Catching up with friends over food is probably one of my favorite things to do ever. Thanks so much to Room Forty for the amazing meal and beautiful space to have our dinner.

I hope our night out will inspire you to make time for yourself and make a special night out to reconnect with your nearest and dearest.

P.S. As a catering company Room Forty's primary function is private events, but as big believers in community, they’ve opened up their tasting room for private dinners like the one I hosted. If you're in Los Angeles, it's a treat I hightly recommend.

{Dinner by Room Forty at the Fig House, flowers by Botany Flowers, photos by Ryan Haack.}

kittens on a wednesday...

Oh Joy for Target picnic basket (kittens not included)

My friend, Jen, rescues kittens in her spare time and sent me this photo before she found these little cuties new homes. This photo is pretty much a pick-me-up for whatever kind of day you're having...

{Photo by Jen Gotch. Picnic basket by Oh Joy for Target.}

a summer {giveaway} with hatch...(now closed)

Hatch Plage Dress

Hatch x Marysia Swimsuit

When dressing while pregnant, I try to keep my maternity-specific wardrobe to 25% or less of my full wardrobe since pregnancy is such a short period within one's life. Hatch always has beautiful and well-made pieces that are designed to wear both during pregnancy and after as well. In preparation for the upcoming summer, I'm thinking about ways dress my bump for the beach with pieces I can wear next summer, too. So in celebration of my summer adventures (and to help you with yours) I've partnered with Hatch to give away this Market Dress from their Plage Collection as well as a Hatch x Marysia bathing suit from the swim collection (for a total retail of $406) to one lucky reader. I have the two-piece suit, and it's so flattering with a bump or without!

To enter, simply visit Hatch's website, and then leave a comment here telling me your favorite piece from the site and where you'll wear it this summer. Entries must be posted by this Friday, June 13th, at 8 a.m. PST, and one winner will be chosen at random*. And, you do not have to be pregnant to enter or to wear these beauties! Good luck!

Also, Hatch is offering a special 20% off discount for all Oh Joy readers on any swim or plage purchase. Simply enter JOY20 at checkout. Valid through Tuesday, June 17th at 11:59 PST.

UPDATE: Congrats to Katelyn H. from West Bloomfield, MI for being our winner this time!

*Sorry, limited to U.S. readers only. Please do not leave your email or web address in the body of the comment, only in the allotted boxes. $406 USD total value. Winner will be contacted by email once comments close, and announced at the bottom of this post soon after.

the fanny pack...

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?


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 [email protected] with any other issues you're coming across.

(Photo by Casey Brodley for Oh Joy)

fruity summer cupcakes!

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). 


what i did in london (part 2)...

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!


a mini closet makeover...

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!

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: [email protected] 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.