Oh Joy

a mother's strength... 6 May 2016

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When I was in 5th grade, I had a favorite snack at a local cafe that I would get pretty regularly. My mom would drive me to the cafe, wait in the car right in front, and I would pop in and buy it to take home and we'd be on our way. I had probably gone to that cafe multiple times a week for months. But one day, I went in for my usual snack stop-in, and the cashier at the shop had some of his friends hanging out while he was working at the register. They were a bunch of high school teenagers which in itself was intimidating to a 10 year old. While I was waiting for my food, I heard them making sounds about me like "ching, chang, chong" over and over again. For an Asian American kid struggling just to fit in, that's pretty much the worst thing you can hear. Tears started flowing out of my eyes and I ran back to the car leaving my food behind. I got into the car with tears streaming down my face and told my mom I just wanted to go home.

She asked me what had happened. I didn't want to tell her and only said I didn't want to go back there ever again. I finally told her about what had happened, and she replied, "Wait here. I will be right back." When she came back, she got the food I had left behind and she said, "He won't bother you again". It took me a while to want to go back there but when I did, the guy apologized to me. Still to this day, I have no idea what my mom said to him.

My mom is one of the most private and non-confrontational people I know. But in that moment, any worries about confrontation or her broken English completely went away. She did what moms do...she made me feel like everything was going to be okay and did her best to ensure that I would not get hurt in that way again.

It's amazing how much more inner strength you gain once you have someone you want to be strong for...someone you want to protect. Like all those mothers who somehow lift heavy objects that have fallen on their child or that warrior that comes out of you if anyone attempts to hurt someone you love. Inner strength doesn't mean that you aren't scared or that you know exactly how things will turn out, it's that you know things will be okay at some point in the near or distant future. You project that strength to those around you so that they, too, feel assured and okay with whatever obstacles (big or small) they may be facing.

As we approach Mother's Day, I can think of so many times my mom has been strong for me throughout my life in both big and small moments. Have you seen this P&G Thank You, Mom video? This really captures the ways I want to be strong for my children and makes me think about my own mom and all that she did for me. It will make you cry but also make you appreciate the strength of your own mother and inspire you to be that for your own children today or someday in the future...

Happy Mother's Day to all you amazing mamas out there!

This post is in partnership with P&G. All words are my own.

the most beautiful açai bowls... 5 May 2016

Frozen Açaí Bowls

Even though I live in Los Angeles (the land of the super healthy), I can't say I live that gluten-free, macrobiotic, eat-some-oxygen-for-breakfast kind of life. I like being healthy when I can, but I also love things that taste good (hello donuts and fried chicken). And the combo of those two things can be hard to find.

In walks Amazebowls, a company I came across at a recent event and fell in love with their açaí bowls. If you're not familiar with açaí, it's a berry from South America that has been coveted for its health benefits. And, it actually tastes good (like blueberries mixed with a touch of chocolate). So we asked Amazebowls to share a recipe for Açaí Bowls with us so we can all recreate this deliciousness at home. This was the best and most beautiful breakfast ever (I ate two the day we did this shoot)...and makes for a great snack or pick-me-up pretty much any time of day...

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changing your career in your 30's...(part 1) 4 May 2016

Changing Careers in Your 30's

As someone who loves my job, I am super passionate about helping people discover what they really want to do for a living and figuring out ways to get there. Our "career" is something we think about from the time we're a kid with everyone asking us what we want to be when we grow up. And then we start to get more serious about our future careers in high school, then more so into any additional schooling after that. But what happens when the career you went to school for or that you've been working at for years and years isn't what you thought it would be or isn't making you happy?

Two of my employees, Julia and Courtney, both came to Oh Joy from different careers with no prior experience in the jobs they now do at Oh Joy. Julia was a reality TV producer and Courtney was a lawyer. They both changed careers in their 30's and are much happier ever since. I am not sure why your 30's tends to be a period of life changes, but it seems to be a time of reflection for a lot of people to change the course of their lives (both personally and professionally) for the better. In a two-part series, I wanted to share their stories and hope it will inspire those of you who may be stuck in a job rut that you, too, can find your true happiness in your career...

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Julia Wester, our Creative Producer and Stylist, crafts, styles, and puts together most of the visuals that you see here on this blog. She started at Oh Joy as a part-time assistant then moved to full-time and has gone from being an assistant to blooming into her role and doing more than I had ever expected and planned for her when she started working with me three years ago. Here's Julia's story as interviewed by me... 

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3 unexpected places to display plants at home... 3 May 2016

3 unexpected places to display plants at home

When I buy or receive a plant for my house, I tend to put them in the same spots—on the dining table, to the side of my TV (where my kids can't reach it), or on my desk at work. But since flowers and plants make everything better, I wanted to share a few not-so-typical places to put them. Once you try it, you'll never resort to the same old, same old spots again!

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behind the scenes / making an oh joy for target product... 2 May 2016

Oh Joy for Target

When creating an Oh Joy for Target collection, it often takes a year or more to take a product from an idea to the final piece you see in stores. I love sharing how things happen behind the scenes, so today, I'm sharing a little into the process of designing and making the products! We filmed this video over the course of a year so you could see all the steps in real life as they happened. Enjoy!

{Video by Jenner Brown, top photo by Target}

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