Oh Joy

a sweet baby mobile...20 Jul 2015

Baby Mobile DIY / Oh Joy

A mobile is a fun way to add whimsy to your baby's nursery. Today, I'm creating this one inspired by an ice cream maker and pastry chef couple, for a sweet mobile that suits any playful nursery. You can customize the shapes to match your family's interests, too! Watch the video to see the full how-to!

And to see all the materials and steps, I've repeated them below for reference!

Continue reading " a sweet baby mobile... " »

career day / a furniture maker...16 Jul 2015

Career Day / Kalon Studios

Career Day / Kalon Studios

Career Day / Kalon Studios

Career Day / Kalon Studios

In our newest Career Day, we visited the studio of husband and wife team, Michaele and Johannes of Kalon Studios. I've been a fan of their beautiful furniture ever since I saw a photo of this beautiful crib they designed. When we use things in our home—like furniture—on such a regular basis, sometimes we forget the people who made or designed them. So it was a fun treat to get to see (and show Ruby) the process of what goes into designing furniture.

Together with Michaele and Johannes, Ruby made a small chair which she had so much fun making and using afterwards. Michaele and Johannes have converted their garage into a beautiful, working studio that their kids love to visit and see what their parents are up to. Here's a closer look into their beautifully designed world...

Career Day / Kalon Studios

What’s your background and when and why did you start making furniture? / We were making furniture for ourselves long before we started Kalon. The company was a natural outgrowth of our lifestyle, practices and needs. We officially started Kalon when we had our first daughter. We were unable to find a crib we liked and made one for her. We were also struggling to find a way to support ourselves in a way that we could be equal participants in the home life. Neither one of us wanted to miss out on the early years with our children and neither wanted to be stuck at home alone. We were making a few other pieces at the same time, and someone suggested that we try to sell them. It was the first time we recognized ourselves as a design team and that we could sell the work we were making together. Those pieces became our first collection.

Career Day / Kalon Studios

How did you figure out your signature style? / Kalon’s style is very much born out of the both of us, a convergence of our interests and aesthetics. It’s a true collaboration but, interestingly, not at all a compromise. A piece designed by either one of us would look very different than what we make together. What we design offers a lot of aesthetic space for different and/or changing tastes. 

Career Day / Kalon Studios

What is your dream for your brand? / For it to continue to support our family and continue to allow us to pursue our interests. For it to offer a way to rethink how things are produced, in the factory and for the consumer. For the pieces that we make to become truly cherished pieces in people’s homes. For the pieces we make to be timeless and to gain more value and meaning for the individual over time.

Career Day / Kalon Studios

Best part about your job? / Getting to make whatever we want exactly the way we want to make it. It’s amazing that we can go down rabbit holes of personal interests and translate that into a project. It makes it so that the job never gets boring. There is always something to be passionate about. Being able to work from home so that we can be a part of our children’s younger years is also very special and rewarding. 

Worst part about your job? / Having the home life, personal life and work life all rolled into one is complicated at times. It’s really difficult to draw the lines between the two. In a way, it’s both the best and worst part. Transitioning to home life, whatever that really means, is difficult. And in a word: production. 

Career Day / Kalon Studios

How do you make working with your spouse work? / We share many interests and aesthetics. We wouldn’t be working together if we both didn’t share a vision for our lives. For us, once we met, it was really about finding a way to shape a life where we could spend as much time together as possible. Now we have children, it’s extended to them as well. Our company grew out of that desire, and from the fact that we’re both incredibly stubborn people with a very strong, clear vision of how we want things to be. So, going our own way was sort of the only way.

Career Day / Kalon Studios

How do you set your work schedules around your family life? / When we started there was no separation. As the company has grown and time has passed, we’ve made a concerted effort to separate things as much as possible. The girls being in school full-time helped, and we try to keep our work day within their school hours. Once they are home, the studio doors are open to them and we make room for them so that it is their space as much as ours. 

Career Day / Kalon Studios

Career Day / Kalon Studios

I loved seeing working, entrepreneur parents in their element and how their businesses fit in with their personal lives. Their home is a reflection of their style and their work with almost every piece crafted or designed by them. It's true reflection of how design comes out of need and the pure desire to make something exactly the way you want it.

{Photos by Casey Brodley for Oh Joy.}

what's your favorite treat right now?15 Jul 2015

Oh Joy Snacks

I've always been a crazy dessert lover and I don't have a sweet tooth, but more like a full set of sweet teeth! At the end of a long day, a little treat is one of my favorite indulgences. I find that I go through cycles and will have the same thing almost every day for weeks until I burn out on it and find something new. What are some of your favorite treats right now? Mine are...

1. Passion Fruit Frozen Yogurt from Jeni's Ice Cream — At least once a week, I go to the Jeni's in our neighborhood to get a couple scoops (on a homemade waffle cone) after my kids go to bed.

2. These crazy good new Oreo Thins — I always liked the cookie part of the Oreo the best, so this thinner version is pretty genius in my opinion (available at the grocery store).

3. Coconut Chia Seed Pudding — this sounds so healthy and trendy that I almost didn't even want to write this, but I seriously crave it. I usually make this version we posted about last year, but recently, my friend Ellen made a version with coconut cream, honey, muesli, peaches, and sea salt that blew my mind and I need to recreate ASAP.

{Photo by Casey Brodley, styling by Julia Wester for Oh Joy}

summer in los angeles...14 Jul 2015

Oh Joy / Smile Popsicles

We usually have pretty good weather here in LA year-round, so the summer doesn't always feel so different temperature-wise. But there's still that feeling of lightness and playfulness that the summer always brings. Since the fruit is more bountiful, the sun is bit warmer in the summer months, and everyone's a bit more relaxed in the summer months, we try to take advantage of close-by adventures that make a weekend morning or afternoon extra fun for all of us. Here are a few of my favorite things that we've been doing with the kids this summer in/near LA...

Oh Joy / Summer Fruit Picking

Oh Joy / Summer Fruit Picking

Oh Joy / Summer Fruit Picking

Fruit picking at Underwood Family Farms (45 minutes outside LA) — The strawberries have been amazing this past month, so getting them right off the bush is like heaven in fruit form. Ruby is finally at an age where she can really appreciate the process of seeing a plant grow and making the connection of the fruit that comes from it.

Oh Joy / Summer at Grand Park

Oh Joy / Summer at Grand Park

Oh Joy / Summer at Grand Park

The Splash Pad at Grand Park in Downtown LA — splash pads are like the closest thing we get to a swimming pool around here. We've been going to Grand Park since it opened a few years ago (Ruby's 1st and 3rd birthdays were there, too), and we continue to love bringing the kids there on warm summer days. It's clean and safe, and easy for the parents to hang out while watching the kids play.

Oh Joy / Savoring Our Neighborhood

Oh Joy / Exploring Neighborhood

Savoring Our Neighborhood — This isn't anything specific to LA or to summer, but the summer makes us go out for more walks as a family, see what's around us, and just notice the little things.

What are some of your favorite summertime things to do in your city?

{Bottom photo by Casey Brodley, all others by Oh Joy}

a budding artist's play table...13 Jul 2015

Oh Joy / DIY Kid's Art Table

If you're looking for special ways to make your baby's nursery even more memorable, here's our newest DIY made especially for a room that a baby could share with an older sibling. This play table combines a chalkboard and magnet area for creating and displaying memories of all kinds. Watch the video to see the full how-to!

And to see all the materials and steps, I've repeated them below for reference!

Continue reading " a budding artist's play table... " »

happy friday + the today show!10 Jul 2015

Oh Joy / Today Show!

You guys...a couple weeks ago Jenna Bush Hager came to our studio to interview me for a segment on the Today Show on women in business. The episode is airing on Monday morning on NBC (in the 8 o'clock hour), so I hope you'll check it out!

I hope you have a great weekend! I'm taking Ruby to her first hip hop class so I can't wait to see her shake her little booty in class ;)

{Photo by Casey Brodley}

dressing the babe / flora and fun... 9 Jul 2015

Dressing the Babe / Mama and Me Style

Dressing the Babe / Mama and Me Style

The bougainvilleas are in crazy, beautiful overdrive right now in LA. And, when they fall to the ground and dry up, they turn into these tissue-paper like pieces that make for endless hours of crunching under your toes and tossing in the air like confetti with your mini me...


I love a good shirt dress (ahem, it's nursing-friendly, too...), and there's something about the buttons that make it feel casual and not-too-fussy. 

Mama outfit / 1. Whit Two shirt dress, 2. Jockey Skimmies, 3. Dr. Scholl's sandals


I've been wearing a ton of dresses lately, and Ruby always likes wearing dresses and skirts, so these Jockey Skimmies have been coming in hand for both of us to make sure we don't show off too much should the wind catch up with us! They're basically like shorts mixed with undies so I don't have to wear an extra slip and Ruby doesn't have to wear shorts under her skirt.

Babe outfit / 4. Mini Boden top, 5. Zara tulle skirt (past season) - similar here and here, 6. Zuzii sandals, 7. Jockey girl's Skimmies.

Dressing the Babe / Mama and Me Style

Dressing the Babe / Mama and Me Style

Ruby is now obsessed with bougainvilleas and loves pointing out all the different colors and varieties we spot in our neighborhood!

This post is brought to you in collaboration with Jockey. All content, ideas, and words are my own.

{Photos by Casey Brodley, outfit styling by Joy Cho, flat styling by Julia Wester. Ruby is 3.75 years old and loves picking flowers off the bushes to give to her friends.}

one of my favorite places to go for inspiration... 8 Jul 2015

Oh Joy Pattern Play / snacks

Sometimes when I'm in a rut, one of my favorite places to go is to a Japanese grocery store! It sounds funny to think of shopping for food when I need a change of pace, but what I find are aisles upon aisles of random foods, snacks, and random home decor items that are different than those I normally come across. Really, any sort of ethnic grocery store does wonders for me to get out of my element and see things differently (it's like traveling to another country without going too far!).

P.S. I loved these snacks I found on a recent trip to Little Tokyo, so we had to make a fun image to show them off!

{Creative Direction by Joy Cho, photo by Casey Brodley, production and styling by Julia Wester. Paper cups and plate from Oh Happy Day shop.} 

a framed photograph {giveaway}...(now closed) 7 Jul 2015

Max Wanger Print

One of my favorite photographers and good friend, Max Wanger, sees in a way that I can't even explain. I'm always blown away by his eye and how he captures images on a camera. Today, we have a very special giveaway, and Max is giving away a large framed print (a $700 retail value) to one lucky reader. The winner can choose from any print in his shop up to 30x45" in size as well as a frame color of your choice!

To enter, simply visit Max Wanger's Print Shop, then leave a comment here telling me which print you'd pick if you won! Entries must be posted by this Friday, July 10th, at 8 a.m. PST, and one winner will be chosen at random*. Good luck!

P.S. For Oh Joy readers, Max is also offering 15% off the entire shop. Enter code SUMMER15 at checkout through July 12th, 2015.

UPDATE: Congrats to Nicole F. from NJ for being our winner this time!

*This giveaway is open to those in the US only. Please do not leave your email or web address in the body of the comment, only in the allotted boxes. $700 USD total value for each winner. Winner will be contacted via email once comments close, and announced at the bottom of this post soon after.

making a kid's summer art kit... 6 Jul 2015

Kid's Art Kit DIY

Kid's Art Kit DIY

School's out for summer, and we thought it would be fun to make a little art kit for kids that you could have on hand to take with you wherever your summer adventures may go. Whether at home, on vacation, or at Grandma's house, you can fill up a box with a stash of things to keep kids engaged and creating all summer long. I keep this one at my office for Ruby for when she comes by! These also make for a perfect custom gift anytime of year for that little budding artist in your life!

Kid's Art Kit DIY

Here are some of my favorite things to put in the kit (this one is geared towards ages 2-5 and could be adjusted for an older or younger kid):

1. a glue stick (the kind that changes color when dry!)

2. gel crayons and homemade crayons

3. stretchy cord, pipe cleaners, and wooden beads for making necklaces

4. textural things that can be glued down, like googly eyes, squares of tissue paper, and pom-poms which can be store in small divided containers.

5. lots of sheets of paper and things that help attach papers like washi tape and paper clips

6. items that encourage 3-D thinking like play-doh and fun shaped erasers

Kid's Art Kit DIY

We used these awesome little suitcases for the kit which you could also paint and decorate with a name or fun phrase. We simply used vinyl letters to make a word, painted over it with acrylic paint in a pattern, then peeled off the letters once the paint is dry.

Custom Crayon DIY

Custom Crayon DIY

To make these custom crayons, simply break up old crayon pieces and put them into a silicone baking mold and bake at 230 degrees for 15 minutes!

Kid's Art Kit DIY

The best part about the art kit is that as they go through the supplies, it's easy to re-stock and change up the items inside based on their current interests. Right now, Ruby loves stringing beads and using washi tape on everything. So as I refill the kit, I always like to add some new things in there that Ruby's never seen or used before to get her excited for new ways to make and create!

{Photos by Casey Brodley, styling and production by Julia Wester}


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