Oh Joy

how motherhood has changed me...28 Apr 2016

how motherhood has changed me

I try not to get all "Ma, ma, ma" (that's like "blah, blah, blah" but for mom things) here on this blog. But every so often I do enjoy reflecting on what's hard, nice, or just unexpected about this stage of life I'm in called Motherhood. I recently got to preview the new movie, Mother's Day, that comes out this weekend (do you know how much I love ensemble casts?!?), and both the humor and errors of motherhood in the film made me reflect on how I've changed since welcoming my first nugget 4.5 years ago.

I know that being a mom isn't for everyone, but for me it's made a big difference in how I see myself, how I present myself, and what I care about. Here are a few examples...

I worry less about what I look like and worry more about being a good person. I can't tell you how much time I spent in my 20's obsessing over my soft and squishy not-so-flat stomach. I was so self-conscious about it and envied girls who could wear bikinis and bare their mid-driffs. Now, my mid-section is even softer and squishier and covered in stretch marks. But I don't care at all. It's the product of carrying my children. Ironically, adding to my imperfections made my insecurities about it go away. Now, I try and make sure not to litter on the street. I make sure I am extra polite to people I come across during my day. And I try and give people the benefit of the doubt and hope that driver cut me off because he had a bad day. I worry about other stuff, but my squishy stomach is not one of them.

I focus more on “today” than “one day”. Sure, I set big goals for my career and I have dreams of buying a dream home or going on great trips. But I used to spend way more time thinking about the future than living in the present. Yes, life is short and we don't know how long we'll be here. But also because I've realized that every day is full of magic and simple things, and those are the moments you remember someday when you get old and reflect back on your life. I'll remember our weekly trips to the farmer's market or our picnics in the park. I'm better now at opening my eyes to all the treasures of life happening right now.

I don’t care what strangers think about me, I care what my family thinks about me. I used to spend so much time making sure I came across in just the right way...to COMPLETE STRANGERS. I worried that the guy at the take-out place thought I was "too Asian" because I ordered the Chinese Chicken Salad for my dinner. I used to put on make-up just to open the door for the UPS delivery person. Why did I even care? Now, it only matters to me what the people close to me think. Was I being too short with my husband during that moment of stress? Did I handle the situation with Ruby correctly where I was both firm but loving? Did I remember to tell my parents I love them the last time we FaceTimed?

I appreciate time to myself more than ever. I used to spend a ton of time by myself with endless hours to do whatever I wanted. I didn't realize how precious and rare that time would someday be. I love my kids and their constant energy, but sometimes this Mama just needs some time quiet time to myself. Now, I revel in that trip to Target to buy toothpaste after the kids go to bed, the quick moment when I can get a latte at my local coffee shop all by myself, or even just getting an eyebrow wax where I can lay still in the quiet (even if hair is being yanked off my face). It feels like the most luxurious treat!

Are there ways that motherhood has changed you? I'd love to know...

P.S. If you like feel good comedies, check out Mother's Day which comes out in theaters tomorrow (starring Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson, Julia Roberts & Jason Sudeikis). I went from cracking up to bawling my eyes out within a matter of an hour.

*This post is in partnership with Open Road Films. All words are my own.  

{Photo by Bob Cho}

shortcuts...27 Apr 2016

Shortcuts by Oh Joy!

Shortcuts by Oh Joy!

Shortcuts by Oh Joy!

We have a new series of short-length videos called "Shortcuts by Oh Joy!". They provide easy and quick tips that you can watch in less than a minute. These videos will only be posted on our Oh Joy Facebook page and YouTube channel, so please "like" the page or subscribe to the channel to see them regularly.

Click here to watch the first one!

{Video by Casey Brodley, production by Jessica Hongand styling by Julia Wester.}

a spring adventure kit!26 Apr 2016

Adventure-kit_01-blog

The weather has been so nice here in LA lately that it's really making me and my family change up our normal weekend routine and go on more unplanned adventures. Sometimes we'll have an impromptu picnic in a new park or drive to go find dinner not knowing where we'll end up. In order to prepare for any adventures that might come our way, we've put together a little Spring Adventure Kit.

Pack a bag with a few of these essentials, toss it in your car or by the door, and you're prepared to have instant fun ready to go whether you're heading to the park, to a friend's house, or to visit a relative last minute. Here's what's in my kit...

1. a kite, 2. Oh Joy! First Aid Kit and BAND-AID® Brand Adhesive Bandages by Oh Joy! to be ready in case of any boo-boos, 3. memory card game, 4. jump rope, 5. picnic mat, 6. binonculars, 7. bubbles, 8. mini flashlight, 9. sidewalk chalk,  10. water bottles, 11. a ball, 12. instant camera and film, and 13. a duffle or tote to hold everything in it's place when on the go! 

P.S. Everything here can be found in stores or online exclusively at Target.

{Photo by Casey Brodley, styling by Julia Wester.}

palm frond wall hanging...25 Apr 2016

palm frond wall hanging

Because plants make every room look better, we wanted to create a wall hanging that makes it easy to add a little greenery to any space! If you live in a warm area where they happen to fall from the trees, you can use real ones. Or you can scoop up some faux ones (and faux ones these days look pretty legit!). We made this palm frond wall hanging that looks sort of like a mobile and beaded curtain had a baby. Here's how...

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happy friday + pattern play...22 Apr 2016

Oh Joy Pattern Play

Oh Joy Pattern Play

Oh Joy Pattern Play

Happy Friday! If you follow Oh Joy on Instagram, you may have seen the #OhJoyPatternPlay posts I love to share over there. Here's a recent one I loved so much that I wanted to share a couple of the outtakes with you as well.

I bought this vintage floral blouse a few years ago and have had a hard time wearing it because it's a little big on me and has a cut that doesn't totally work for my body type. So had it in the studio ready to sell at our next yard sale. Julia found it and painted the pattern by hand on a large backdrop (doesn't it look like the coolest wallpaper?!). It looked so good that we tried a bunch of different versions for the pattern play shot and played up the florals on floral on florals! I love how ideas can be triggered by the simplest thing...

Have a great weekend all!

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

a mix & match nursery...21 Apr 2016

Oh Joy for Target Nursery

As a mother of two, I know how important it is for a baby's room to feel happy and inspiring for a baby, but also cozy and inviting for parents as well. Take a look at our newest video to see how we transformed a room in multiple ways (from girl to neutral to boy) using the mix-and-match bedding and decor in the Oh Joy for Target Nursery Collection!

P.S. You can find all of the pieces in the video right here! And if you have any questions about out-of-stock items, please see our weekly updates here.

// CREDITS //
Brought to you by: Oh Joy + Target
Creative Direction: Joy Cho
Video: Jenner Brown
Music: “Beautiful“ by Emily Kopp
Production and Styling: Julia Wester
Production Asst: Casey Brodley
Graphics: Angie Stalker
Hair & Makeup: Danielle Walch

that time we went to the white house...20 Apr 2016

Oh Joy at White House Easter Egg Roll

Last month, we were invited to go to The White House (ahhhh!) for the annual Easter Egg Roll. After being asked by the First Lady's office to design the logo for this year's roll (and saying "umm, yesss!"), we took a trip to Washington, D.C. to attend the event and to meet the President and First Lady in person. Here are a few photos from the day...

Oh Joy at White House Easter Egg Roll

Cho-easter

While waiting to meet the President and First lady, we hung out inside the White House and got to meet some amazing athletes and artists who were there as well like Silento, Dominique Dawes, and Echosmith. Bob wanted to take a photo with Shaq so bad, but we weren't allowed to have our phones with us as we got closer to meeting the President so we missed the chance! 

The President and First Lady were SO kind and youthful and tall! When the First Lady told me how much she loved my work, I just about passed out...

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snack toppers!19 Apr 2016

Delicious Snack Toppers

I'm one of those people who prefers to have lots of smaller meals throughout the day, rather than three big meals. In efforts to keep my snacking on the healthier side, we started making "snack confetti" that can be made and kept on hand to top anything (from sorbet to yogurt to toasts) to add a little extra flavor, texture, crunch! In partnership with Curate Snack bars, we made mixes inspired by the brilliant combinations of unexpected ingredients in the bars.

Delicious Snack Toppers

Delicious Snack Toppers

Since it's easier to make a batch of toppings at one time and store them for later, color-coded jars make for a fun way to store them! Here's a super simple how to...

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10 mother's day gifts...18 Apr 2016

Mothers-day-gifts

With Mother's Day coming up, here are a handful of my favorite things to give your mom/spouse/sister/friend for the occasion in a range of price points...

1. Duzen backpack so she can be chic, yet hands-free for keeping her babes in check, 2. custom rings by Thea or 3. Maya Brenner initial earrings so she can show-off her nearest and dearest, 4. A Mother is a Story by Samantha Hahn for reminding her how amazing she really is,  5. Ariel Gordon custom studs make a statement, 6. Super Mom bouquet by Pro Flowers because every lady loves flowers, 7. Hatch Collection pajamas for a comfy, yet feminine, set she can really relax in, 8. a small wallet from Leif to easily take her bare necessities from diaper bag to regular bag, 9. Give her something meditative to do in her downtime with this "Flowers" coloring book by Brittany Jepsen, and 10. Klippan blanket for cozying up on the couch to watch her favorite reality TV shows.

dressing the babe / playsuits...14 Apr 2016

Mama and Babe Style

Mama and Babe Style

Ah, playsuits...they are this odd mix of super comfy and fun to wear but also sometimes tough to wear. In today's Dressing the Babe, I'm sharing a couple of my favorites and why they are just so good. And, let's be real, playsuits be a total pain in the butt to have to take off to go to the bathroom. So when I contemplate getting a one-piece of any sort (whether for me or for my kids), it needs to be versatile in a print or color that feels timeless and that can be worn and layered with lots of different things. 

Oh Joy Style

My newest obsession is this Jolie Coquette playsuit which is super flattering on because it defines the waist and lengthens the legs. I've worn shirt, jackets, and other layers over it and paired it with flats, sandals, and booties. It's easy to wear, comfortable, and has snaps in the crotch (yes!) which means it makes grown-up bathroom visits a breeze. We first came across them on Kickstarter and happy to see they have a full line now in a bunch of colors.

Mama outfit / 1. Jolie Coquette playsuit, 2. Babe necklace, 3. Ban.do heart sunglasses, 4. Jeffrey Campbell booties.

Oh Joy / Mini Style

For a kid, if you're gonna get a romper in a nicer material, I like ones where the cut of it grows with your babe. This one can be worn loose or more fitted so as your little one grows and lengthens, it can still fit them for a year or more.

Babe outfit / 5. Crew & Lu playsuit, 6. Ban.do heart sunglasses, 7. Hadley Girl hair clip, 8. Yume necklace, 9. Pons Avarca sandals.

Oh Joy / Rainbow stairs

Mama and Babe Style

And can we talk about these stairs for a minute?!? These dreamy stairs are in the new location of the Otherwild store here in Los Angeles, and they are AMAZING. Kind of trippy and a millions kinds of awesome, Ruby was loving them as every 4 year old (and every non 4 year old) should.

{Stairway painted by Edie Fake at OtherwildPhotos by Casey Brodley, outfit styling by Joy Cho, flat styling by Julia Wester. Ruby is 4.5 years old and says she wants to have a design company called "Oh Ruby" when she grows up.}

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