Oh Joy

making life a little easier...15 May 2015

Oh Joy Kitchen

You guys know how I talked about not doing everything in this post? Since making dinner from scratch is one of those things that I can't always do (and stresses me to think about), I've found a few great dinner/food options that have made my life so much easier lately that I had to share with you...

1. There are lots of places that offer food take-out delivery. But when you just need lunch or dinner right now, this new DoorDash app is the most efficient one I've ever used. As soon as you load it based on your address, it tells you what restaurants you can have meals delivered from and the approximate time it would take. And the best part is it updates you every step of the way with when the order is placed, picked up and on the way to you. It's super accurate which I've never been able to say about any other service like this. I've used it way more times this week than I'd like to admit, but it's been so helpful when I'm home alone with both kids and can't manage to make dinner on my own (or when I want to treat my employees to milkshakes for an afternoon treat). It's kinda like the Uber for take-out delivery.

2. Instacart offers delivery from your favorite local grocery stores. It's sort of like Amazon Fresh but there are more options since someone is actually going to your local store (like Whole Foods) and picking out what you want. While I actually love grocery shopping (and can find it relaxing), it's not relaxing when you have to bring two kids with you. So I cut myself some slack and have groceries delivered when I don't have time to go myself. And, instead of loading everyone up in the car to go buy food, I can spend time with them doing way funner things and pay a small delivery fee for the groceries to come to me. 

3. Din is a newish food delivery service that sends you all the ingredients needed to make restaurant-inspired, home-cooked meals. Bob and I really want to cook more (we really do). I have tried a bunch of these types of services before. But other ones take almost an hour to make a meal, and these days with our busy jobs and schedules, we need to be able to make something within 30 mins or less. With Din, many of the components are pre-prepped for you—that way you really can make the whole meal from start to finish in 20-30 minutes. (They are only available for delivery in California and Nevada right now, but I'm guessing more states will become available as they grow).

And yes, these things do cost a little more money, but for me they're worth the few extra bucks for a delivery fee or service charge to gain that extra time at home with my kids. Modern conveniences like this have helped me to worry less about everything I need to do and be more present in the moment with my family.

Have you guys found any other cool apps or things like this that make your life a little easier?

{Photo of Oh Joy kitchen by Zeke Ruelas} 

oh joy weddings / magnetic place card holders...14 May 2015

DIY Magnetic Place Card Holders

Here's our newest wedding DIY video showing a simple and colorful way to make place card holders for a wedding or any sit-down event. You can see the 2nd video in Oh Joy Weddings series on Kin Community below!

DIY Magnetic Place Card Holders

See a transcript of the steps below!

Continue reading " oh joy weddings / magnetic place card holders... " »

a sunny weekend of crafting in the desert...13 May 2015

Crafting Community

Crafting Community

Crafting Community

Last weekend, we took our first weekend getaway as a family of four to Palm Springs! We went to the annual Crafting Community retreat at the Ace Hotel which is basically like summer camp for families who love the arts. There were craft activities galore, dance classes for the kids, workout classes for the parents, ice cream, snacks, and a ton of lazy times by the pool. It was a busy, but super fun weekend that really helped get us away from the daily grind and just focus on family time together (I even left my laptop at home!).

Crafting Community

Crafting Community

Crafting Community

Crafting Community

Crafting Community

Crafting Community

Crafting Community

The craft workshops were insanely good with teachers that are some of my fellow colleagues and craft idols. We had never attended Crafting Community before because Ruby seemed too young previously to really enjoy it, but this year was the perfect year to come. While she was on the younger side of the crafting kids, she was just old enough to start enjoying it (with our help for some of the projects).

Crafting Community

Crafting-community-ace-13

But when you're in Palm Springs, and the weather is like 100 degrees—the bonus is having a pool nearby which we spent a ton of time in. Ruby spent most of her non-crafting time in the pool, and Coco got in the pool for her first time EVER!

Crafting-community-ace-14

Crafting Community

Oh Joy Family

Having a concentrated weekend together away from everything else (I couldn't get distracted by dirty dishes, errands to run, or other daily life stuff) was so, so good for us. Bob has been crazy busy at work lately, and life with two kids has made us both a little more frazzled then usual. So, it was really a great way to reconnect as a family and reminded us how important these little getaways can be! I'm already looking forward to going back next year and figuring out how we can carve out more long weekends like this for our family this year.

P.S. For those of you in LA, Crafting Community's next big event will be a holiday craft day for families which is like a mini version of the Palm Springs retreat! Join the mailing list to be alerted when it's happening.

{Most photos above by Morgan Pansing for Crafting Community with a few of our personal photos sprinkled in.}

a bedroom update {giveaway} with dwellstudio! (now closed)12 May 2015

DwellStudio Bedding

DwellStudio has been one of my long-time favorite design companies that put modern and well-designed bedding on the map. Since their launch in 2000, they've evolved from simply a bedding line to a full-blown interiors brand that includes furniture, decor, and more. They've also expanded into kid's furniture and bedding with pieces that really grow with your child and don't feel too kid-like. We've recently updated Ruby's side of her room with a couple pieces that she can use into her big kid years.

So today, we've partnered with DwellStudio to give away (1) $250 gift card to one lucky reader to update their bedroom (You can use it on anything, not just kid stuff)!

DwellStudio bedding

DwellStudio Kids Chair

To enter, leave a comment here on this blog post telling me a piece you'd get from DwellStudio if you won! (We love this wildwood bedding, this nightstand, and this crazy cute chair for the girls' room!) 

Entries must be posted by this Friday, May 15th, at 8 a.m. PST, and one winner will be chosen at random*. One winner will get a $250 gift card from DwellStudio.

UPDATE: Congrats to Emma B. from Stevens Point, WI 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. $250 USD total value. Winner will be contacted by email once comments close, and announced at the bottom of this post soon after.

{Photos by Casey Brodley for Oh Joy}

oh joy answers / the biggest mistake entrepreneurs make...11 May 2015

Oh Joy Answers

Hey guys, here's my newest video in the Oh Joy answers series...talking about what I think is one of the biggest mistake new entrepreneurs make. Some people might disagree with me on this one, but it's something I've seen gone wrong way more than I've seen it gone right...

What do you think?

happy friday + teee veee! 8 May 2015

Oh Joy on Access Hollywood

Happy Friday guys! Earlier this week, I did my first live national TV appearance on Access Hollywood Live! It was really fun getting to share some ideas from the Oh Joy book for Mother's Day. When I moved to LA five years ago, I had NO intentions whatsoever of doing anything on TV. In fact, the idea of being on camera made me nauseous. But if you know me, I need to constantly challenge myself to do the things that I'm kinda afraid to do...TV being one of them.

So, here I am...dipping my toes in the TV waters. It's a little intimidating doing these live shows—no re-takes, no do-overs, no editing out your slip-ups! I always worry I'm going to totally freeze and forget what to say, but then I just try and pretend the camera isn't there. Sometime there's a word flub or two, but usually it's not too bad. And, more than anything it's a fun new challenge. And, life isn't interesting if you're not challenging yourself, right?

I hope you have a great weekend! And Happy Mother's Day to you mamas out there! I'm going to the New Kids on the Block concert this weekend with some friends and reliving the early 90's ;)

{Photo by Casey Brodley}

what i'll tell my daughters someday… 7 May 2015

Oh Joy daughters

When I was growing up, any and all of my insecurities came from what I thought I wanted to look like but did not look like. My mom was the most encouraging woman I could have asked for and always told me how beautiful she thought I was. But it took a really long time for me to see that for myself. Especially in my pre-teen and teen years, I obsessed over beauty rituals and went through phases of trying to find the perfect products that would make me look just right or wear an obscene amount of concealer to cover up what I thought my imperfections were.

When I was a child and my mom told me I was beautiful, I thought that she was just telling me that because she was…you know, my mom—and that’s the kind of stuff moms tell you (like when they tell you that you can sing but you really can’t). But what I realized now is that she really believed I was beautiful. And she wanted me to believe it, too.

Now in my mid-30’s, it’s taken me a while to really be comfortable in my skin. I’m not 100% there yet, but I'm the most comfortable I’ve ever been. As a mother of two girls, I think about constantly how I’ll convey the idea of beauty to them and how I’ll make sure they feel beautiful no matter what they actually look like. Here are a few things I think I’ll tell them…

Continue reading " what i'll tell my daughters someday… " »

mini citrus cakes for mother's day! 6 May 2015

Mini Citrus Cakes

With Mother's Day coming up, here's a super cute and fun treat to make for a brunch or lunch with your favorite lady. These were a twist on the mini neapolitan cakes we made in the Oh Joy book and a sweet treat for Mom! We made these recently for a little party that my friend Emily Henderson threw, and they were a fun addition to a summery backyard get-together. 

Mini Citrus Cakes

You can see Emily's style video right here where I popped in and brought these mini cakes!

Here's how to make them...

Continue reading " mini citrus cakes for mother's day! " »

creating a colorful kitchen... 5 May 2015

Neon Jar DIY makes your kitchen pop with color!

I love open shelving in kitchens. It reminds you what you have in your kitchen and makes it easy to see and find things. The kitchen is one area that often gets neglected when decorating a home, so we wanted to show you a super easy way to bring a bit more color into that oh-so-important space (I mean, that’s where food is made and consumed, and food is probably one of my favorite things on earth!).

Neon Jar DIY makes your kitchen pop with color!

We made these neon blocked jars that are perfect for holding dry foods or other loose items that need to be contained. The cool part is, you can paint your jar to cover as much or as little as you want and show off the foods that you want to see (and those you don’t mind others seeing as well).

Neon Jar DIY makes your kitchen pop with color!

Since most of mornings can be crazy with getting two kids fed, dressed, and ready for the day before work, I recently started using a Keurig 2.0 Brewer to make the morning a bit easier and get my kick of caffeine on the go. These jars have come in handy for also holding the little cups with all the different K-Cup pods (I’m partial to the tea and iced coffee options but there are over 400 different beverage varieties from 60+ brands available within the 2.0 system). I love the white one to serve as a neutral for the accents of color I add in elsewhere, but the system also comes in a ton of other colors including Vintage Red and Pantone’s Color of the Year Marsala.

Here’s how to make these Neon Blocked Jars…

Continue reading " creating a colorful kitchen... " »

a baby essentials {giveaway}...(now closed) 4 May 2015

Customized Wipe Warmer with Washi Tape

Diapers and wipes and bottles are part of my everyday existence these days. Once you have a baby, there are some things that you use every single day that you just can't live without! A few of my favorite baby essentials include a diaper pail, wipe warmer, and a bottle from the awesome baby and kid brand, Munchkin, which provides so many of those little essentials that become a part of every day.

Customized Diaper Pail with Washi Tape

We made these everyday baby essentials cuter by adding a variety of tapes (washi, console, and metallic tape) around the edges of the of my favorites. And, it's pretty darn cute if I do say so and transforms something so basic into something that can be customized to whatever color scheme you like (we used gold, hot pink, mint, and peach)!

Customized Latch Bottle Lid with Washi Tape

Latch Bottle

When I'm away at work and not home to nurse Coco, these Latch bottles have been so helpful when giving her a bottle. The accordion nipple moves, stretches, and functions like the breast, helping her to latch easily and correctly and makes it easy to transition from breast to bottle and back.

With these three of my favorite essentials in mind, we've partnered with Munchkin to give away (1) $500 gift card to one lucky reader to get all of the things your babe needs!

To enter, follow @munchkininc on Instagram, then leave a comment here on this blog post telling me an item from Munchkin you'd get if you won! (In addition to the pieces shown here, we love these baby spoons and this snack catcher in our house!) 

Entries must be posted by this Friday, May 8th, at 8 a.m. PST, and one winner will be chosen at random*. One winner will get a $500 gift card from Munchkin.

UPDATE: Congrats to Nicki B. from Quincy, MA 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. $500 USD total value. Winner will be contacted by email once comments close, and announced at the bottom of this post soon after. This giveaway is brought to you in collaboration with Munchkin—a brand I've been using and loving for years. All content, ideas, and words are my own.

{Photos by Casey Brodley. My dress by Thief & Bandit.}

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