Oh JoyOh Joy

i'd give you a hug if i could...

Oh Joy Confetti

A blog is this weird mix of a personal journal and an online magazine. And as my work and life has transitioned and changed over the years, this blog has ebbed and flowed based on what I'm working on professionally, what I'm into personally, and what excites me in general. Sometimes those things relate to my family and role as a mom, sometimes they're about the products we've been creating, and sometimes they are beautiful and fun ideas that I simply want to share with you.

As I reach 10 years of blogging next year (I never thought I'd say that!), I'm working on figuring how this blog still fits into my point of view and what I want to share with you guys every day. I can't say I have it all mapped out all the time because the randomness of what you'll find here feels exciting to me. But I hope to use some time off for the holidays to come back to you with new enthusiasm, new creativity, and new things to see and read here. And please know, I'm always open to your feedback on what you'd want to see more of on Oh Joy in the new year (or something I used to share that you've missed!).

And finally, thank you (really, seriously, thank you) for reading this blog for however long or short you've been visiting. To be able to create things, share things, talk about things with you (and for you) has been a dream job I never knew existed but feel very lucky to have. Have an amazing holiday, and I'll see you back here in a couple weeks in 2015!

P.S. If you're looking for something to peruse over the holidays, see a few of my favorite posts from this past year below...

Oh Joy Party

The launch of the Oh Joy for Target collection!

One Desk, Two Ways

One desk, two ways...

Ruby's Big Girl Room

Ruby's big girl room... 

Party of 4 (and the video that came with this post)...

Oh Joy London

What I Did in London (part 1 and part 2)... 

Oh Joy Friend Tote

The Oh Joy friend tote!

Family Check-in Station DIY

Family Check-in Station DIY...

Oh Joy Ruby

How'd that baby get in your belly?

Dressing the Bump

The Dressing the Bump series...

Oh Joy Studio

The Changing Business of a Blog...

Oh Joy for Target Behind the Scenes

Behind-the-Scenes of making our Target collection...

Oh Joy Family

Our last photos as a family of three...

Oh Joy Coco

and Welcome Little Coco!

Thank you, friends! See you in 2015!

paper fan wreath DIY...

Paper Fan Wreath DIY by ThussFarrell for Oh Joy

It's been so fun sharing these DIY projects by Rebecca and Patrick from Thuss+Farrell because they really made me think even bigger about how everyday party supplies can be used in new ways. In this last project, they used the Oh Joy for Target fans to make a giant decorative wreath for the holidays. Now, even if you don't use these particiular fans, it just goes to show you how using multiples of anything makes bigger impact even with something as simple as paper!

We've provided this PDF that you can download right here with all the materials and directions on how to make this Paper Fan Wreath. The Oh Joy fans have sold out online (still available in some stores), but you can also use this technique on any other store-bought decorative fans. Enjoy! 

P.S. Holiday Countdown GarlandPaper Lantern Mobile, and Striped Lanterns!

{Crafts, styling and photography by Thuss + Farrell for Oh Joy}  

little indulgences...

Oh Joy Family Holiday Card

As we prepare for the end of the year, I can't help but look back and think about how much life has changed this year. I finally started to learn how to let people help me (both personally and professionally), we made some progress on looking for a new home (more on that soon), I launched one of my biggest career goals, and—most importantly—our family grew to just the right size.

I used to think that I needed to go on fancy vacations, stay at five star hotels, or be decked out in really nice clothes to have that sense of satisfaction that life is good and to feel really, actually content. But what I've realized this year, is that it's the smallest things that feel special to me now—those things that make my life a little easier or feel like a special treat after a busy week...

...long weekends, groceries delivered to your door, massages at home, getting breakfast with friends, a gel manicure (because it actually stays on more than two days), sleeping in a bigger bed, and eating a big bowl of ice cream in said bed after the kids are fast asleep. Maybe I am just getting old, or maybe I am just becoming more content with who I am and what my life has become. There's less "grasping to get there" and more just being "happy to be here".

Our holiday card this year pretty much sums it all up. So, friends, as you reach the end of your year, I'd love to hear...what little indulgences make you feel content?

{Our holiday card by Artifact Uprising. Family photos by Katherine and Luke Griffin.}

{los angeles} top 20 bites of 2014...

Salt Air

As my mind and body prepped for a new family member this year, 2014 included a ton of places I simply craved (which meant lots of sweets and lots of carbs). Here are my Top 20 Bites of 2014 in Los Angeles {in no particular order}...

1. The lobster roll from Salt Air is like the runway model of lobster rolls. It's not the meatiest out there, but it sure is pretty.

Good Girl Dinette

2. The blistered corn from Good Girl Dinette. I don't know what they do to this corn, but it has this amazing mix of crispy, sweet, and soft that is unlike any corn on the cob I've ever had.

Black Hogg Cookies

3. The Cap'n Crunch Chocolate Chip Cookie from Black Hogg (recipe here) has become my favorite chocolate chip cookie in the city.

The Hungry Cat

4. For a meatier lobster roll, the version from The Hungry Cat with those amazing fries surely satisfies (we love their Sunday brunch!).


5. The best waffle I might have ever had is this one with a poached egg and bacon from Dinette.

Hart and the Hunter

6. Because toasts are the new black, this Trout Toast from The Hart and the Hunter is one of my favorites.


7. The "slut" (a coddled egg over potato pureé) from Egg Slut makes for a comforting and cozy morning meal.


8. The double chocolate cookie from Republique (middle) is gluten-free but you'd never know it was missing anything—it's chewy, sweet, crunchy, and simply out of this world.

Faith and Flower

9. The kimchi deviled eggs from Faith and Flower take deviled eggs to a whole new level.

Sweet Rose Creamery

10. Cinnamon Buttermilk Sherbet from Sweet Rose Creamery offers a fun twist on a cold treat.

(see the other 10 below the jump...)


a makeup bump-up...

A Makeup Bump-Up

A Makeup Bump-Up

With the little time I have these days for myself, I'm always looking for quick ways to enhance my daytime makeup to something that feels more festive for night time. So, if you're headed from work to a holiday party or out to dinner with friends, here are two super easy ways from my beauty guru, Danielle Walch, to bump it up with a simple eyeliner trick (using a business card) and a sparkly gloss (using makeup grade glitter)!

A Makeup Bump-Up / Eyeliner Flick

A Makeup Bump-Up / Eyeliner Flick

Eyeliner Flick 

Here's an easy way to add a kitten eye if you're nervous about doing it by hand on your own. Using cream eyeliner, a small angled brush, and a business card...align the card under your bottom lashes, angling it up towards the corner of your eye, and press the edge flat and firm against your skin. Dab your angled brush with a tiny bit of cream liner and with a steady hand, draw your flick to line up with the card's edge. Repeat the same technique on second eye. And, voila, you have quick and easy kitten eyes!

A Makeup Bump-Up

A Makeup Bump-Up / Sparkle Lips

Sparkle Lips

Using makeup-grade glitter, squeeze a dollop of lip gloss onto a palette, and sprinkle with glitter of your choice (we used gold). Mix with lip brush and apply for a subtle touch of festive sparkle! 

P.S. You can see more from Danielle at Inside Out Beauty and her website right here.

{Photos by Casey Brodley, floral styling by Julia Wester, and hair tips by Danielle Walch for Oh Joy. My top by J.Crew.}

casual cook {gift guide}...

Gift Guide for the Casual Cook

For the girl that likes to get her hands dirty in the kitchen, here are some useful, yet chic, pieces hand-picked by, Casey, our photographer and go-to gal...

1. MoMA cutting board, 2. Hedley & Bennett apron, 3. print from Society6, 4. salt & pepper shakers by Kate Spade Saturday, 5. copper KitchenAid mixer, 6. Polaroid cheese slicer from ModCloth, 7. Smeg toaster.

oh joy for target / holiday snaps...

Oh Joy for Target

Before the holidays come and go, I had to share some of my favorite #ohjoyfortarget photos you're sharing on Instagram of how you're celebrating the holidays with the Oh Joy for Target collection! I am constantly floored by how creative you guys are and appreciate the support more than you know. Here are a few of my favorites...

Above: I love how thebannerie mixed our fans with a bunch of others!

Oh Joy for Target

And more pretty holiday moments...colorful utensils by oleanderandpalm, falalala table by michelesarahphotography, fans by _laura_ford_, mug shot by myonlysunshine.blog,  iphone treats by sonixcases, cookie snack by takeamegabite, place setting by pizzazzerie, and kids party by stylewithinreach.

Oh Joy for Target

And, finally, this cookie exchange by perpetuallychic using our treat bags! The holiday collection will be available for a few more weeks and then it will be gone forever. I seriously can't thank you guys enough for all the love and support this year with our collection. It's been a dream come true, and it makes me so happy to see all the pieces out in the wild...

P.S. I'll continue to add my favorites to the Oh Joy for Target Pinterest board!

P.P.S. The process of making these products!

adventurous mama {gift guide}...

Adventurous Mama Gift Guide

For the mom on the move, here are some fun and kid-friendly pieces that our designer and mama, Angie, is loving this year...

1. P'Kolino triangular crayons, 2.Twig Creative toy camera, 3. Fujifilm smartphone printer, 4. Hershel Supply Co. backpack, 5. Define water bottle, 6. Public bike with a child seat, 7. Bento Box from Harabu House.

"pablo picasso liked to make things blue"

Oh Joy / Ruby

Three is kind of a magical age to me. My three-year-old can say so much, recall things I didn't even know she heard, yet also drive me insane with tantrums that come out of nowhere or insisting she do things herself even when she doesn't know how. I try and take a deep breath and remember the funny things she says that make me forget all about my less-than-patient moments. Here are some interesting things Ruby has been saying lately...

"Pablo Picasso liked to make things blue." (I think she learned that from this book.)

"Do little boys have little penises and big boys have big penises?" (Um, where do I start with that answer?)

"No pictures please!" (...as she waves her hands in front of her face with a smirk.)

"Daddy, you look hancy!" (I think she means handsome + fancy.)

"I want to have some nuts. Can I eat acorns like squirrels?"

In the middle of something very ordinary like taking a bath or going grocery shopping...
"Mama...I love you." (That one never gets old)

Oh, and she's teaching me Mandarin and Spanish!

P.S. I snapped this blurry photo with my phone the other morning as I was attempting to get Ruby dressed for school. She was running around in her PJ's insisting that she needed to wear multiple things on her head before she could get dressed. And yes, our bed frame is still wrapped in plastic because I can't decide what to get, hence I decided to just let it sit there on the floor.

a holiday floral updo...

a holiday floral updo

With the holidays fast approaching, we thought it would be fun to come up with a wintry update to our floral updo from the spring. My hair guru, Danielle Walch, taught me how to create this loose and pretty bun that can be worn on it's own, but feels even more special with a few blooms added. Here's how...

a holiday floral updo

1. Curl your whole head of hair. This helps to give the hair body which will make it easier to pin later. We used a 1" barrel curling iron.

2. Tease the hair at the back of the head where bun will be, section off some hair from both sides of your head, nd put the rest of the hair in a ponytail in the back.

3. Pull out about 1/4 of your hair from the ponytail and wrap the remaining 3/4 of it into a bun. Secure the bun with 2-4 hair pins (depending on thickness and length of hair).

4. Once your bun is secure, separate the remaining lock of hair into five sections, and loosely twist each one into the base of the bun and secure with a pin. Separate the remaining hair that’s left in the front into a few uneven strands, loosely twist and pin into your bun. By wrapping smaller sections of hair, it gives a more loose and wavy texture to the bun. 

5. Finally, add flowers. We made small bouquets (almost like boutonniere size) ahead of time so that it was easy to tuck the set into the hair all at once. Simply use some washi tape to keep a few stems together. Secure the mini bunch of blooms with hair pins in at least two places so that it rests nicely on the hair and stays put.

a holiday floral updo

a holiday floral updo

One thing to keep in mind is there is no need for perfection here. The looseness of the bun and the asymmetry of the florals in the hair is part of it's charm. I hope you'll try this for your upcoming holiday festivities (which would look great with a red lip)!

P.S. You can see more from Danielle at Inside Out Beauty and her website right here.

{Photos by Casey Brodley, floral styling by Julia Wester, and hair tips by Danielle Walch for Oh Joy. My top by J.Crew.}