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tips for an easy photo book...

Oh Joy! for Mixbook Photo Books

The biggest barrier to making photo books is ALL. THE. WORK. Am I right? It often seems impossible if you're already seven years behind or still need to make last year's book! But let's take that pressure off of us, shall we? Times are hard enough and we don't need extra stress—we need extra joy and happiness! And for me, something that makes me happy is looking at old photos! However they're organized (or not) and whatever order they're in, it's always fun. So take the pressure off yourself to create a masterpiece and get something on the page that you and your loved ones will cherish. Here are my favorite tips for making photo books easy just in time for holiday gift-giving...

Oh Joy! for Mixbook Photo Books

1) Copy and paste the same designed page/layout for each month, changing the image and the month only. You then have twelve pages already done and only needed one picture per page. It's especially easy if you can find one big thing you celebrated that month: birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, big events, or family getaways. Even if the book is only twelve pages, you'll still have a great book with memories spanning the entire year. And once you break the big hurdle of getting started, you might even want to add an additional page (or two!) per month.

Oh Joy! for Mixbook Photo Books

2) Leave a page or two blank to draw or write on! Whether you let your kids doodle or you write a personal note, it's such a fun way to keep track of time and personalize the book even more.

Oh Joy! for Mixbook Photo Books

3) Try making a book by subject matter instead of by year. If you have a favorite park you've taken your kids to for much of their lives, do a Park Book with images spanning as many years as you have. Or dedicate a book to your favorite people—grandparents, best friends, etc. Most photo clouds can already sort photos by person, so it's easy to upload and slot in to our great templates. And there's no pressure to to have it in any kind of order either. You'll get pleasure in revisiting the memories on each page even if they bounce back and forth between years.

Oh-Joy-x-Mixbook-Adding-Collaborators

4) Ask for help! If you're putting together a big book for Grandma with all the grandkids or trying to finish that vacation book from three years ago, call for help! The great thing about Mixbook is you can share a project and have multiple contributors. Everyone can add in their own images, their own pages, and you get a perfectly wonderful mix of everyone's experience and memories. (And then everyone that wants one can order it on their own too, so you don't have to worry about that either!)

Or, if you want your own family's input, spend a family night projecting your phone images on your TV for everyone to look at. Mark the favorites from everybody and then upload the favorites and pop them into the pre-made templates! You'll be surprised how quickly everyone has something they want to share AND it's a fun look back on past memories.

5) Finally, reject the idea of perfect! Aim for fun and finished instead! Because I promise you, it's better to have the book than wait until you get enough hours and energy to make everything "just perfect". And I also promise that once you have the book, and others do too, you'll think it's pretty perfect.

Shop the entire Oh Joy! x Mixbook collection here.  And receive 45% off your holiday order: OHJOY45  (expires 12/30/20).

(Lifestyle photos by Lily Glass, styling by Joy Cho)

oh joy gift guide: small business shops on etsy!

Etsy Gift Guide
*This post sponsored by Etsy and Shop Style.  All words and opinions are my own.

This year I'm committed to shopping small, shopping female and BIPOC brands, and shopping from home in my PJs! Oh Joy! has always been a platform for empowering small businesses, so I'm so excited to be partnering with Etsy to share with you my favorite picks and gifts from their Cyberweek sale. (You can see my full list of favorites HERE and the full Cyberweek sale details HERE). It starts TODAY and lasts through December 2nd, with select items over 20% off - including everything listed here! So get to saving, supporting small businesses, and finishing your shopping list!

Etsy Gift Guide



First are some favorites FOR THE HOME! These pieces will brighten up your space with their form and function and all made by small business owners...

1. Svulme Handmade Ceramic Vase by paperandclaystudio, 2. Personalized Cable Organizer by CordAndSatchel, 3. Custom One Line Couple Portrait by ArtroomExpo, 4. Sofa Tray by TheCraftySwirl, 5. Handmade Wobble Glass Glassware by PretentiousBeerGlass, 6. Tia Mowry x Etsy, Large Tall Lidded Jar by mySampleHAUS, 7. Leather Strap Shelf by KROFTSTUDIO, 8. Altamont Lumbar Pillow by VacilandoQuilting, Glass Drinking Straws by BrookDrabotGlass, 10. Wavy Soy Candle by CaiCaiHandmade, 11. Gold Rimmed Pink Porcelain Bowls by FebbieDayCeramics, 12. Abstract Desert Landscape Print by EmmaMakeStudio, 13. Personalized Jewelry Stand by MijMojDesign.

Etsy Gift Guide

Next, here are FUN THINGS TO WEAR! From customizable jewelry and accessories to a jumper I can't wait to wear while cozy at home...

14. Custom Birthstone Necklace by delezhen, 15. Mama Script Necklace by GracePersonalized, 16. Terrazzo Earrings by JuMaHandmades, 17. Initial Ring by GemBlue, 18. Croissant Hoop Gold Earrings by CaitlynMinimalist, 19. Natural Ruby Ring by DANIBARBEshop, 20.Diamond Cluster Ring by FerkosFineJewelry, 21. The Tracy Earring by vintageroyalty, 22. Black Linen Jumpsuit by OffOn, 23. Custom Name Necklace by GracePersonalized, 24. Tie-Die Face Masks by NalaCraft, 25. Personalized Photo Leather Keyring by CreateGiftLove.

Etsy Gift Guide

Finally, DON'T FORGET THE KIDS! Here are a few of my favorites kids will love!

26. Leaf Play Mat by OMOLOKO, 27. African Cloth Doll by oonaloo, 28. Camper Van Knitting Kit by YarnNeedlesandThread, 29. Adventure Play Rug by PaPappa, 30. Silver Swiss Dot Nail Wrap by SoGloss.

(First Photo by Casey Brodley

fun fall outfits...

Honey-fall-outfits-blog

This post is in collaboration with Honey.  All words and opinions are my own.

I love showing you guys my Fancy Casual outfits and how to bring joy to your everyday (even if you are at home)! I'm partnering today with Honey, a free online shopping tool that saves you time and money. Here are few fun options for fall to inspire your everyday wardrobe...

Honey-fall-outfit-2-blog

A bright-colored dress isn't limited to the summer time! Add some boots or booties and a warm faux fur jacket to make it fun and festive for fall.

Sources: Anthropologie Mini Dress, Glamorous Faux Fur Jacket (past season), Loeffler Randall booties (past season), vintage necklace. Saved $47 with Honey!

Honey-fall-outfit-2-blog

Add sparkle to an everyday look! A sequin skirt may seem too fancy for everyday but if you add a casual tee and layering jacket, it's the perfect mix to lift any mood!

Sources: Maeve Skirt, D.Ra jacket, Camp by Julia Wester tee, J.Crew hat. Saved $30 with Honey!

Honey-fall-outfit-2-blog

Bold dresses make a statement, and I love a long maxi you can layer for the cooler weather. I added a duster over this one for a mix of a fun color and bold print for an easy, yet chic, outfit.

Sources: Corey Lynn Calter dress, Julia Vaughn necklace, BURU swing coat. Saved $68 with Honey.

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(Prices are illustrative only; discount amounts and coupon availability varies.)

So what is Honey? Honey is an online shopping tool you add to your computer (two clicks - try it here) and works as an extension on your web browser (sorry, not on phones). Then when you go to checkout from any website, Honey searches through ALL the available discount codes out on the internet. And, if any are active and available, automatically applies them. So, for example, when I was shopping at Anthropologie, there was an active code FALLTIME that saved me $145.15! All because I had the tool installed.  So you never have to do another web search to find coupon codes and enter a million only for them all to not work. Honey does that work for you and gives you the biggest discount it can find. It's internet magic, and I am here for it.

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They also have a loyalty rewards program for some sites where discounts may not be available. You earn "Honey Gold" on select purchases, which is basically a point system that adds up and you can cash out for Gift Cards a.k.a. more shopping dollars. (Terms Apply) I have already started my collection here :)

And finally, you can use Honey to "watch" items from select merchants. It will let you know when those jeans you love (but are way too expensive) get a drop in price and you can run run run to get them! Honey is about to become your new favorite shopping companion to help you save!

So get to fall and holiday shopping and use Honey to be confident you're paying the lowest price for your new looks.

handmade charlotte's glitter beetles!

The Handmade Charlotte Playbook by Rachel Faucett

If you're looking for a fun project to do next week during the kids' Thanksgiving break, deck the walls with a gallery of glittery bugs. This project Is from the new The Handmade Charlotte Playbook by Rachel Faucett which is an incredible guide of crafts to keep your kids entertained and crafting and offers a nice break from all those Zoom classes! Start with a printed picture for a quick project or design your own new species. Make an entire collection of shadow boxes and you’ll have a great start to your own personal science museum. Here's how...

The Handmade Charlotte Playbook by Rachel Faucett

You'll need:

  • Box lid
  • Large printouts of beetles & bugs
  • Cardstock
  • Acrylic paint (various colors)
  • Paintbrushes
  • Mod Podge
  • Scissors
  • Glitter (various colors)


The Handmade Charlotte Playbook by Rachel Faucett

Here's how...

  1. Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge to the top of the beetle. Work in sections, covering each area with glitter as you go. Let dry.
  2. Paint the inside and outside of the box lid. Let dry.
  3. Cut out the glittered beetle, taking extra care around any delicate parts like thin legs. If any part of the beetle feels fragile, use Mod Podge to attach a piece of card stock to strengthen it
  4. Fold a strip of card stock into a small box and attach it to the back of the beetle. This will give the beetle a three-dimensional quality when placed inside the box lid.
  5. Attach the small folded box on the back of the beetle to the painted box lid using Mod Podge and allow to dry.
  6. Repeat the process to create an entire museum of glittery bugs!

Reprinted from The Handmade Charlotte Playbook by Rachel Faucett in arrangement with TarcherPerigee, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © 2020, Rachel Faucett.

oh joy gift guide: accessories

2020 Oh Joy! Gift Guide - Accessories

Accessories are always a fun gift to give because they are pieces that can be personal and speak to the style of your recipient. Here are some of my favorites to give in a range of price points. Plus, all of the items for this guide are from businesses owned/run/designed/made by women of color!

1. Oh Joy! x Keds (on sale now from $60-80), 2. A.Battiste earrings ($32),  3. You Go Natural Headwraps ($35), 4. Camp by Julia Wester socks ($12), 5. Amu Cherian scarves ($90), 6. Wanderlust + Co. ring ($35), 7. XOUXOU phone accessories ($69), 8. Julia Vaughn necklace ($85), 9. Coco and Breezy sunglasses ($285).

oh joy gift guide: kids books

2020 Oh Joy! Gift Guide - Kids' Books

The first of our gift guides for the holiday is here! This has been a whirlwind year full of emotions, heartbreak, and personal discoveries. Gifts this year feel like they need to have more meaning than ever. Whether that means making gifts, spending a little less than usual, or giving gifts that have extra special meaning, we're focused on sharing our favorites with those sentiments in mind. Today, I'm starting with kids' books which I share regularly throughout the year, but these are some great ones to punctuate the end of this unique year for our little ones, too!

1) Oh So Kind! by Joy Cho and illustrated by Angie Stalker is the third book in our series of Oh Joy! Story Books for kids that came out this year! This book launches on December 1 just in time for the holidays. Our main character is a lovable Llama in a wheelchair who brings warmth by demonstrating and celebrating kindness with this big-hearted book about being a good friend, neighbor, and family member! Written for ages 0-3 but it also makes a perfect story for first-time readers to enjoy! 

2) Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Immigrant Women Who Changed The World by Elena Favilli is an informative, empowering, and educational read for bigger kids. My kids love reading about a person or two per night as an option for bedtime reading.

3) How To Spot An Artist by Danielle Krysa is a fun way to show that anyone can be an artist, and you don't have to be perfect at it. I love this book for kids ages 3-7 especially for those who are still growing their creative skills.

4) Ditto Kids Magazine: Issue 1 Belonging would make a great start to an on-going subscription for an educational, diverse, and interactive magazine that kids ages 3-11 would love.

5) All Because You Matter by Tami Charles empowers, informs, and reminds kids about the importance of each and every child and reminds them they are all here for a great reason.

6) Everyday Smiles by Guy Kopsombut is a super cute comic-style book with sweet characters and sentiments. It's a book that's great for kids and also grown-ups who need a little pick-me-up!

7) Habbi Habbi's First Words is a part of their amazing series of language books (currently in Spanish and Mandarin). These are interactive and useful for kids of all ages who are learning these languages.

8) A Kids Book About Optimism by Meir Kay makes for a much needed 2020 read! Just when we feel stuck at home, missing our friends, or wondering when life will return to "normal", here's a great reminder to look towards the sunshine and what's to come.

9) Handmade Charlotte Playbook by Rachel Faucett is like a giant guidebook of crafts! This will make for a great resource whenever you're looking for crafty projects for kids to do on a rainy day, over winter break, or any day!

oh joy! for puffs

Oh Joy! for Puffs

I am so excited to announce that you can now find our Oh Joy! patterns on Puffs tissue boxes! We designed these with your upcoming holiday decor in mind making them fun to keep out on the counter throughout the fall and winter season. Or, if you're like my family...we keep a box in every room! 

Oh Joy! for Puffs

Oh Joy! for Puffs

Oh Joy! for Puffs

Get them now as they won't last long!

P.S. Unfortunately, you can't find these boxes online, just in stores. Find them in drug stores, major grocery chains, and basically wherever you can find individual boxes for sale.

(Photos by Lily Glass, Surface designs by Angie Stalker.)

thanksgiving dishes and treats to try...

Oh Joy Thanksgiving Table Center Piece

Thanksgiving might look different this year. So even if you're celebrating with your smaller at-home family, here are some fun (and festive!) ways to serve up some NO COOKING REQUIRED treats for the big day...

Oh Joy Fall Salad

1. Fall Salad - Use carrots, pecans, purple onions and pears to bring bright colors and delicious flavors to your Thanksgiving table. Topped with a cranberry relish dressing, your family will be sure to love it. The full recipe is right here...

Oh Joy Mini Thanksgiving Pies

2. Mini Thanksgiving Pies - I love the idea of having an individual dessert for everyone sitting at the table (and maybe two or three more for treats later).  These no-bake pies are a fun and easy way to have dessert done ahead of time. Check out the four easy steps here...

Oh Joy Snacking Centerpiece

3. The Snacking Centerpiece - This looks like a beautiful centerpiece made from...that's right...ice cream cones! But it gets even better because you can fill the cones with fresh fruits and vegetables (or nuts and candies) for snacking prior to, during, or after the meal. It's a treat to grab a snack from the centerpiece while the decor still remains beautiful! You can see how to make this centerpiece here...

Oh Joy Orange Turkey Place Cards

4. Clementine Name Cards - Keeping with the theme of edible decor, how cute are these name card turkeys? It's a fun DIY for you and the family before the big day and a delicious treat once everyone has found their place. It's win, win! For the turkey DIY, you can find details right here...

(Photos by Lily Glass and Casey Brodley. Styling by Julia Wester, crafting by Jess Hong.)

a few ways to give your home a fall refresh...

Oh Joy Fall Wreath

Let's face it. We've all been in our houses a LOT more than usual this year. And that work-from-home space that saw you through the first few months of the pandemic is starting to look a little drab. Or, you just need to refresh your space! Oh Joy! to the rescue! Here are some fun suggestions to mix things up for autumn and to fall in love with your space all over again (pun intended). From small decor changes and table settings to bringing bright pops of autumnal color, we hope at least one of these fun ideas will energize your inner interior designer for a fresh take on the new season...

Oh Joy! Interior Design Seating Area

1) A Cozy Seating Area - For a bigger change up in your house, try some fun changes to your common room (or living room or seating area)! Don't think of fall as just muted and dark jewel tones. There are fun ways to mix in different colors and textures to your space that bring the coziness of the season while also including spots that make you smile and bring joy. Check out all the tips for sprucing up this high-traffic area here...

Oh Joy! Fall Wreath and Door Decor

2) Fall Wreath and Door Decor DIY - A small change to your entry way and door can make a huge difference! Try out this quick and easy fall wreath DIY. And, if your door is smooth (glass or wood), some DIY decals also add a nice touch and make for a fun weekend activity. Find the how-to right here...

Oh Joy! Decorate with Yellow

3) Add Yellow to Your Space - Yellow is such a bright and cheerful color that most people associate it with spring and summer. But it also works so well in an autumnal palette and still brings such energy and warmth to your space. You can go all out like we did, or add smaller pops throughout. Check out this blog for more suggestions...

Oh Joy! Fall Office

4) Give Your WFH Office a Season Refresh - Take the opportunity to make some changes to your WFH space to bring some positivity that comes with a new season. That could be as simple as a print refresh or a new throw pillow. Or as big as a new rug, new wall colors, or a whole new everything! Whatever changes you make, find the ones that bring you real joy in the space. Find some more ideas here...

Oh Joy! Fall Table

5) A Fall Table - This year the holidays and celebrations might look different. But a great and low cost way to keep the festive spirit alive is a fun centerpiece on your dining table. With just a roll of gold contact paper, some jar candles, and small painted pumpkins, your table looks festive and fun! And, if you want it to last longer, try faux florals and ceramic pumpkins. There are even more ideas about how to make your dining space elegant and fun for fall here...

We hope these inspire you or spark your own ideas about how to make your home a little more cozy and comfy (and fun and colorful) for the fall! Let us know what caught your eye in the comments.

{Photos by Lily Glass, styling by Julia Wester, styling assistance and crafting by Jess Hong

let me shop for you: rainbow for fall!

Oh Joy! Fall Rainbow

I'm channeling optimism and joy during a week that might feel strange and overwhelming. Rainbows aren't just for the spring but anytime you need a big smile...even in the fall! Here are a few very fall-appropriate and fun pieces that are making me smile right now...

(Left to right, top to bottom: Vintage Veloria sweater ($20, size 14), Boden rainbow stripe dress ($99 on sale), Zion Kitty Art Glass drinking glasses ($78 for 2), Alex Mill shirt and skirt ($148, XS-XXL), Retro and Me shoes ($32, size 7), MuffysAttic scarf ($20).)