Oh JoyOh Joy

layering rugs 101...

layering rugs 101... / via oh joy!

Have you ever tried layering rugs before?! It's a great trick when styling with multiple smaller rugs, trying to cover lots of space, or when you want to define separate areas all within one room. Here are a few of our favorite ways to do it! 

layering rugs 101... / via oh joy!
Layering multiple rugs! Here, we layered three rugs to add texture and color to the room. We used one large rug under the table to define the dining area, and then we used two smaller rugs to differentiate the seating area in the corner. 
layering rugs 101... / via oh joy!

Layering rugs to define a space! This is a great example of using several rugs to cover one large area while also defining different spaces. This is a home office turned guest room when needed. The daisy rug helps signify the bedroom when the couch is pulled out, and the circle rugs help define the office portion of the room.
layering rugs 101... / via oh joy!
Layering rugs on top of each other! For this room, we layered a smaller circle rug under a large rectangle rug to cover more space. When layering rugs, we love to mix in different rug shapes, textures, and colors. The trick is to make sure they compliment each other but are different enough to make a statement. 
layering rugs 101... / via oh joy!
Layering rugs in a kids' room! Here, we took two rugs and laid one on top of the other diagonally. This is a fun way to separate the bedroom from the play area in the middle of the room. The middle rug is also a much softer texture which is perfect for kids! 
layering rugs 101... / via oh joy!
Layering rugs for texture! This woven rug brings in lots of colors while covering tons of space. We wanted to balance out all the color, though, so we added in a smaller, neutral faux fur rug on top. It makes a cozy spot for kids to sit on the floor and play! 
layering rugs 101... / via oh joy!

Layering rugs with patterns! For this living room, we used two rugs that incorporate patterns. We tucked part of the smaller rug beneath the large rectangle rug so that it's not totally covered but the two are still connected. 
What do you think? Do you style with multiple rugs? Let us know in the comments below! 
{Photos by Lily Glass. Concept/Production/Styling by Julia Wester, Production Assistance by Jess Hong. Written by Traci Michael.}

my favorite summer salsa!

*This post brought to you in collaboration with Late July Organic Tortilla Chips! All words and opinions are my own.

my favorite summer salsa! / oh joy!

Because our summers look a little different than we might have thought, I’m partnering with Late July Organic Tortilla Chips to bring some easy and delicious fun to your at-home plans. Our family was thinking about taking our first vacation in years this summer (we had put it off for a bit because we’ve been saving in past years for our new home). But instead, we’re now trying to find the best parts of being safe-at-home this summer- and making the most of it!.

However you’re spending your summer, here’s an amazing meal – or appetizer, or afternoon pool snack – that brings together all the delicious fruits of summer for a light, refreshing, cool and filling dip. I'm sharing my favorite go-to salsa (that kids can help make, too!). We love to pair it with Late July’s Organic Sea Salt & Lime Tortilla Chips- they’re crafted with the highest quality ingredients without sacrificing on delicious taste, adding that perfect addition of flavor when it’s your turn to dip! 

The best part of this recipe is that you can cater it with whatever fruit and seasonings you have to make it sweet, savory, or spicy! For my recipe (a perfect mix of both sweet and spicy), follow along right here... 

my favorite summer salsa! / oh joy!

You'll need:

1-2 bags of Late July Sea Salt & Lime Tortilla Chips 

2 nectarines, chopped (you can also use peaches!)

1 avocado, pitted and chopped

1 mango, chopped

1 tomato, chopped (heirloom tomatoes add a fun twist of color and typically have a delicious flavor!)

1 shallot, minced

juice from 1/2 a lemon

2 pinches of salt

For extra spice, I like to include:

black or cayenne pepper

garlic chips

dried red pepper seeds

diced scallions for garnish

my favorite summer salsa! / oh joy!

All you have to do to make this salsa is chop, chop, chop! The colors are so pretty and truly brings smiles to the lucky recipients. After everything is chopped up in the bowl, add lemon juice and then seasonings to get an even coat throughout.  

Finally, combine all the ingredients together in a fancy bowl, add your favorite Late July Organic Tortilla Chips, and enjoy. It’s kid-approved, mom-approved, time-approved and summer-approved :) It's pure happiness in every bite!

Thai Coconut Rice Pancakes

Thai Coconut Pancakes / Kanom Krok / Oh Joy!

One of my favorite street vendor treats I've had in Thailand (and also here in the States) is called Kanom Krok—Thai Coconut Rice Pancakes. It reminds me of my childhood growing up as a Thai-American kid. We'd have them at our local Temple when there were celebrations or festive events. So today, I'm sharing the recipe I use with you! This recipe is from the now out-of-print book, "It Rains Fishes" by Kasma Loha-Unchit and is my go-to for authentic Thai recipes.

50-60 mini pancakes

You'll need:
-(3) 14 oz. cans of coconut milk
-1/4 cup + 1 Tbs. sugar
-2-1/2 Tbs. tapioca flour
-3 Tbs. uncooked white rice, ground with a food processor
-1/4 cup of dried unsweetened coconut flakes, ground with a food processor
-2 cups of rice flour
-2 tsp. sea salt
-2-3 Tbs. peanut oil (to oil the pan)
-Takoyaki or Ebelskiver pan

-1/4 cup fresh corn kernels
-1/4 cup cut scallions

Here's how:

  1. In a small saucepan, add 1-3/4 cup of the thickest part of the coconut milk from each can. Heat on low and add 1/4 cup sugar to dissolve. Remove from heat. Once cool, add the tapioca flour. Set aside.
  2. Combine the remaining coconut milk with the finely ground uncooked rice, the finely ground coconut flakes, rice flour, salt, and 1 Tbs. sugar. Stir and mix well until combined.
  3. Heat the pan on the stove to medium heat (this will vary based on your stove but you'll get a feel for the best heat level after the first batch). Brush the peanut oil onto each little opening of the pan. 
  4. Pour the salty coconut mixture into each indentation about 2/3-3/4 full. The batter should sizzle. Use something with a spout for easy pouring.
  5. Add a small spoonful of the sweet coconut mixture on top, then add any bonus toppings if choose.
  6. Cover with the lid from another pan and let cook for a few minutes until the bottom is golden and crispy and the top is still a tad moist.
  7. Remove gently with a spoon and rest on a cooling rack for a couple minutes before serving and eating.

* This recipe can be modified to your liking on the sweetness level. The base layer is savory, while the top layer is sweet! I have tried others where they make the base layer sweeter than I did, so it's up to you. I love this version because the two layers mix together for a perfect balance!

Thai Coconut Pancakes / Kanom Krok / Oh Joy!

Enjoy! They should be eaten while still warm. They mix crunchy, soft, sweet, salty, and creamy all in one amazing bite! Kids LOVE these, too. You can find a video of this recipe being made on my Instagram!

fashion art: ping hatta

ping hatta

ping hatta

ping hatta

I have always had a strange addiction to figural artwork. I don't know who these ladies are but I love them so much...especially those of fashionably-dresses women. Maybe there's something about their confidence, the outfits, the grace? I don't know but I am loving the work of Thai illustrator, Ping Hatta. She does commercial work for brands and also sell originals and prints of her beautiful work!

my favorite baby and kid pajamas!

Oh Joy! / Kid's Pajamas
How many of you are LIVING in your PJ's right now?! Whether you're trying to stay cozy or keep your little ones cozy, great pajamas are one of the secrets to pure joy! Here are a few of our favorite brands to find quality and comfy PJ's for your little one...
1. Clover has a range of super soft PJ's from baby to kid that are playful, comfy, and so fun! ($34, newborn to 5T)
2. Plain Jane has been a long-time favorite since my kids were little. Now, they have adult options for Mom which are all SOOO cozy and you could wear to lounge in all day long. ($40, 2T-10Y)
3. Dodo Banana offers long-sleeve sets in super cute patterns. I'm a sucker for any inanimate object that has a face added to it! ($55, 6m-5Y)
4. Little Sleepies (from $30, newborn to 9Y) is another super soft brand that ranges in size from baby to kid with fun prints and even some matching ones for Mom!
5. Magnetic Me is a lifesaver for those sleepless newborn nights with 3am diaper changes. Their magnetic snaps make it easy to change your babe by the glow of the moonlight! ($36, newborn to 24m)
6. La Paloma - If you're in search of modern nightgowns that could also be worn for play, we love these from the new brand La Paloma ($58, size 2-9).

a few jewelry-organizing projects!

Oh Joy! Jewelry Organizing

I've been spending my at-home weekends organizing a plenty! We spend so much time at home these days, that it's been satisfying to sort through and finally organize all those piles, bins, or random things that always got pushed to the side. Today, we're giving you a few fun ways to organize your jewelry with these fun projects! 

This Toolbox turned Jewelry Box (above) offers a nice and moveable spot to store pieces of all sizes and shapes!

Oh Joy! Jewelry Organizing

Our DIY Pin Organizer has been my go-to for keeping all my pins in one place. It's super cute to hang on the wall to be able to easily see and find pins when you're ready to decorate a jacket, too!

Oh Joy! Jewelry Organizing

For smaller jewelry, this Stacked Jewelry Organizer makes it easy to keep everything contained all together.

(Photos by Lily Glass, Concept/Production/Styling by Julia Wester, Production Assistance by Jess Hong.)

when you're feeling blue...

Good Things List

These times have been an emotional roller coaster for all of us for sure. Some days I feel really great and have a handle on our current state of life, and sometimes I'm totally bummed out. The thing I try and do on those bummer days is to think about all the great things that have happened since quarantine and write them down in a place I can see, look at, and add to. It's fun to get the kids involved, too, when they inevitably miss school and friends and "regular" life. All of us can always be refreshed by looking at and adding to your Good Things list!

you're okay is here!

Joy Cho with Oh Joy! Book You're Okay

I am so excited to tell you that our second kid's storybook is here!!! You're Okay! follows the adventure of a happy hedgehog and friends while they learn about emotions, problem-solving, feelings, and finding inner confidence. Written by me and illustrated by Angie Stalker, our newest title has lots of lift-the-flaps to keep our little ones entertained with messages that resonate with children of all ages - even 41 year olds like me ;P

Oh Joy! Story Book Two You're Okay!

Interior Pages of Oh Joy! Book You're Okay!

You're Okay! was written at a time where my littlest one was going through lots of new feelings in her life. These were the beginnings of feeling different from friends, getting nervous about school performances, and first time frustrations when things go wrong. I wrote this book for her and so many other little kids who are going through lots of feelings. You are you...and YOU'RE OKAY!


You can buy the book now online at Amazon, Target, Indiebound or Books-A-Million.  Thank you so much for your support and love always. We hope you love our second title of Oh Joy! Story Books!

(Top three photos by Lily Glass, styling by Julia Wester, styling assistance by Jess Hong.