Oh Joy

how to choose a location for family photos...22 Nov 2016

how to choose a location for family photos

I love sending out our annual family photo as something for my family to treasure, and also as a fun way to stay in touch with those we love who are far away and to keep them updated on how everyone has grown. Every year, as fall approaches, the hardest thing to figure out is where to take our family photos. I try to change the location every year, but still keep it close to our home and convenient for our family's schedule.

We've been using Artifact Uprising for our cards for years and love the clean and simple designs (on 100% recycled paper!) that really let the photos shine. The new foil designs this year are my favorite! So we've teamed up with them today to share my tips for choosing a great location for taking your family's photo... 

how to choose a location for family photos

1. An indoor studio — If weather is questionable, an indoor location or photo studio guarantees it won't rain or snow during your photo session. For our first family photo ever, our friends Max and Jesse teamed up to offer 20 minute pop-up photo sessions at a local studio in Los Angeles. All we had to do was show up—no worries about props, lighting, or weather conditions.

Featured: Foil-Stamped Merry Card

how to choose a location for family photos

2. Your neighborhood — For our 2nd year, we wanted to capture the beauty of our Los Angeles neighborhood. Ruby was only 2 years old, so we kept the location within 10 minutes of our house. Little kids can only really take photos for 15-20 minutes (maybe 30 minutes if you have an especially patient child) so close locations are helpful. Our photographer, Katherine, did such a good job capturing the simplicity and beauty of our surroundings while capturing my family's personality at the same time.

Featured: Simple Love To You & Yours Card; Foil-Stamped Happy Holidays Card

how to choose a location for family photos

3. At home — The easiest location of them all is home sweet home. For our 3rd year, Coco had just been born and so she was a tad too tiny to take out and about. We shot most of the photos in our bedroom with the kids playing, laying, or sitting on the bed with us. They were casual, personal, and Katherine really captured the joy of our new arrival so well.

Featured: With Love Grid Card

how to choose a location for family photos

4. A graphic background — For our 4th year, I was really into finding the coolest walls around Los Angeles. There are so many amazing murals to choose from in this city. However, I ended up going with something more graphic in texture and chose this huge wall outside of the Broad Museum. It was also an ode to my love of art and the excitement of Downtown Los Angeles (where the museum is located). Our amazing photographer, Morgan, shot these photos right before sunset so the light was natural with a beautiful glow.

Featured: New Adventures, New Year Card with Foil; Simple Hand-Letterd Holiday Card

how to choose a location for family photos

5. If all else fails, add props — Sometimes when you take family photos, it can feel weird to just stand there and smile. We always take posed photos but then also just play and let the kids do their thing. One thing that helps loosen things up are some simple props. You don't have to turn it into a wedding photo booth, but whether it's a bunch of beach balls or a pile of flowers from your garden, props can add a whimsical touch to photos. For this year's photo, we went to a local garden and took a bunch of streamers for the kids to play with and hold. Our photographer, Morgan, checked out the garden the day before to make sure there would be some open areas where the kids could just run wild with streamers in hand. The streamers added lightness and extra color to our natural setting. 

Featured: Here's to the Good New Years Card

Hopefully, seeing all the locations we've taken family photos in the past give you ideas for your upcoming and future family photos! 

P.S. Artifact Uprising is offering a special code for 10% off their Holiday Photo Cards for Oh Joy readers. Simply enter OHJOYXAU16 at checkout by November 29th. And, tips for choosing outfits for family photos!

*This post is brought to you in collaboration with Artifact Uprising—a brand I've used and loved for years. All words are my own. 

{Flat photos by Casey Brodley, flat styling by Julia Wester. Family photos by: Max Wanger, Jesse Marble, Katherine Rose, and Morgan Pansing.}

naked sparkle amazingness...21 Nov 2016

Ashish Spring 2016 from Hunger by Eva K. Salvi

Ashish Spring 2016 from Hunger by Eva K. Salvi

Ashish Spring 2016 from Hunger by Eva K. Salvi

Sometimes you see a collection of things that scream out so loud to you that you don't know how or why you've never come across it before. UK designer, Ashish, debuted this Spring/Summer 2016 collection last year, but it still feels so fresh and fun that I had to share.

Ashish Spring 2016 by Vogue

Ashish Spring 2016 by Vogue

Ashish Spring 2016 by Vogue

Ashish Spring 2016 by Vogue

Ashish Spring 2016 by Vogue

I've been obsessed with sheer pieces and sequins lately, so this whole collection is pretty much what my dreams are made of.

{Top photos from Hunger by Eva K. Salvi, bottom photos from Vogue.}

happy friday + future workshops...18 Nov 2016

Oh Joy studio

Ah! We've signed the lease on a new office for Oh Joy (it's almost twice as big as what we have now!), and we're getting ready to pack up and move next month. Now that our new space will be big enough to host events, I'm excited to get back to meeting with people in real life and hosting business talks and various workshops in the new Oh Joy studio.

SOOOO....I'd love to know what types of talks, workshops, or events you would come to if you are (or if you could travel to us) in Los Angeles? I used to teach social media, freelancing, and product development workshops so I'd probably focus on other topics I have not yet covered. But I am open to hearing all of your suggestions!

Thanks in advance and have a great weekend! 

{Photos by Casey Brodley, my outfit by Boden.}

make a metallic tote!17 Nov 2016

metallic tote DIY

Sometimes you need a bag that's casual yet nicer than a plain canvas tote! So today, we're showing you how to make this everyday metallic tote using some basic sewing supplies. Here's how...

metallic tote DIY

You'll need:

- 2 yards metallic fabric

- straight pins

- sewing needle

- thread

- scissors

- fabric glue

metallic tote DIY

Here's how:

1. Create the bag shape by drawing on the back side of the fabric in a boxy "U" shape, keeping the bottom part of the U nice and full. You can think of it as the same shape as a flattened plastic bag you might get from the grocery store. 

2. Use straight pins to secure two pieces of fabric together (with the backside of fabric facing out) and cut out the shape from both pieces.

3. Keeping the fabric pinned with back of fabric facing out, use a simple loop stitch to join the outside bottom edges of the bag. Also, stitch the top of each of the handles all the way across.

4. For extra reinforcement, use fabric glue to line the seams you sewed. Let dry 15 minutes.

5. Finally, turn your bag inside out so that the shiny side is outside, and add fun brooches and pins to personalize it!

metallic tote DIY

{Photos by Casey Brodley, styling by Julia Wester, crafting by Jess Hong}

3 color combos to bring into your living room....16 Nov 2016

Pillows-3-ways-blog

One of the things that we get asked about a lot is how to bring color into your home. Often, people are afraid of color because they think it means they need a red couch or purple walls and need to commit to something for a long time. But one of the easiest ways to slowly work color into your home is through decorative accents that you can change out every year—like pillows.

Here's a very neutral living room that was given a blast of color in three ways simply by the tones of the pillows added...

3 Color Combinations for Your Living Room

1. Blues and greens. This is probably the easiest color palette for most people to start with because blue and green are calming colors that don't feel overly feminine. For this palette, we stuck to five colors—pale blue, mint green, lime/neon green, medium blue, and navy blue. The navy blue helps to ground with its neutral and classic shade while the others bring a mix of bright and pale colors to offer variety to the eyes all within the same color palette.

Items shown here: Target bookshelf, Target canister, Target giraffe figurine, Target elephant figurine, Target geo burst, Aelfie rug, Anthropologie pillow, Arro Home pillow, Leif pillow, Arro Home pillow, Ikea pillow, Eric Trine stand.

3 Color Combinations for Your Living Room

2. Jewel tones. For the fall or holidays (or for those who like bolder colors), jewel tones feel just right. This usually includes darker (but still vibrant) colors. For this palette, we started with vibrant magenta and cobalt blue accented by pale blue and neutrals—gold and black. This looks feels a bit more evening and lively with the mix of colors and patterns.

Items shown here: Target bookshelf, Target canister, Target giraffe figurine, Target elephant figurine, Target geo burst, Aelfie rug, Arro Home pillow, Oh Joy! for Target painted constellation pillow, Oh Joy! for Target swan pillow, Oh Joy! for Target moon pillow, Pom Pom at Home throw blanket.

3 Color Combinations for Your Living Room

3. Pastels with pop. For a sweeter, yet fun look—go for pastels with a punch of bright accents. For this palette, we started with a base layer of pillows in pastel shades of pink, peach, pale blue, and mint green. To add some pop (so it doesn't get too Easter egg looking), we added pieces that had doses of bright coral and magenta to top it off.

Items shown here: Target bookshelf, Target canister, Target giraffe figurine, Target elephant figurine, Target geo burst, Aelfie rug, Anthropologie pillowArro Home pillow, Brahms Mount throw blanket, Arro Home pillow, Virginia Johnson pillow, Anthropologie pillow.

What do you guys think? Any other colors you would want to mix into your home?

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

10 tips for throwing a great kid's party...15 Nov 2016

10 tips for throwing a great kid's party

I now have six birthday parties under my belt, and I finally feel that with this most recent one, I was able to nail so many things that I missed in parties previous. So for those of you with mini celebrations in your future, here are my 10 tips for throwing a great kid's party...

10 tips for throwing a great kid's party

1. Serve handheld foods. If you can avoid having food that requires utensils, you can make eating-while-partying easier on everyone. I've had salads, mac & cheese, fruit salad, and plenty of food that required utensils in the past. But, for this last party, my rule was no utensils and all hand-held and bite-sized foods. We even had donuts instead of cake to cut down on the time it takes to cut and serve a cake. I spent more time being able to enjoy the party and easily maintain it throughout the two hours, rather than having to worry about cutting cake, serving food, or running out of forks and knives.

10 tips for throwing a great kid's party

2. Have food ready as soon as party starts. One year, our food showed up an hour and a half late due to the delivery truck breaking down. And the only snack I brought was a few bags of popcorn that were quickly eaten by hungry guests as they waited for lunch to be ready. Even if your party starts early, before you think your guests are ready to eat, people need something to do to keep themselves busy at a party and they like to grab small bites even if they're not ready for a full meal yet. So, this year, we had all of the food ready to go and out on tables right when the party started and it made a world of difference for everyone's energy level.

10 tips for throwing a great kid's party

3. Paper plates and cups. This might seem obvious, but serving food on disposable plates and trays makes for super easy clean-up. We even had the food served on disposable trays which made clean-up at a public park so much easier!

4. Have lots of trash bins available. One thing that is always missing at a lot of parties is that people always forget to bring is more than one trash can/bag. If you can set out at least 2 large bins, you won't have to worry about having to empty/refill it during the party. And, guests can more easily dispose of trash on their own if they see bins out.

10 tips for throwing a great kid's party

5. Activity stations. The activities don't have to be fancy, but it's nice to have a few different things for kids to do at a party. The exact activities will depend on the ages of kids at the party and also if you want to tie activities to a theme. But I like a mix of a couple of sit down activities with a couple of things they can simply run around with (like balls and bubbles!).

6. Make your music playlist in advance. These days, there are so many great music stations (Apple music, Spotify, Pandora) that you can play music from your phone to a wireless speaker in no time. And music for a kids' party can be something you whip up on the spot. BUT, if you have 15 minutes the night before the party, I like making a playlist the parents will love and one the kids will love. Then you can play them at different times during the party or just mash them together at random.

10 tips for throwing a great kid's party

7. Have dual parties while you can. If you have kids who have birthdays in the same month, save yourself the trouble of having two celebrations when you can have one big one! From what I hear from most parents who do this, their kids actually love it for a long time, but eventually as they get older, they want their own separate party (totally fair!). Just make sure to have activities for both ages and have two cakes and two birthday songs so everyone feels special ;)

10 tips for throwing a great kid's party

8. Cover tables in paper instead of table cloths. I rented little kid tables for the first time this year, and those made a world of difference in getting kids to actually sit down at a party. Also, we covered them in white kraft paper (and simply taped the ends underneath). It made for an easily solution to a table cloth that doubled as drawing paper. And, it was a breeze to clean up afterwards taking any spills or messes made with it.

10 tips for throwing a great kid's party

9. Themes are fun. While you don't have to have a theme, it's a fun way to have your kids be involved in an idea for their own party, and it helps you focus on activities, favors, a cake, or other things that fit into that theme. It doesn't have to be complicated. One of my friends once did a theme that involved all round things and had donut holes, oranges, and balls. If you're doing a joint party, let each kid come up with a part of the theme and join the two ideas together. Another friend mixed her son's and her daughter's ideas to come up with a Doggie Diamond theme—totally original and fun!

10 tips for throwing a great kid's party

10. It doesn't matter how big or small it is. You don't have to have a birthday party every year. It doesn't have to be big or fancy, it's just about however you want to celebrate your kid's big day. It can be just your family, 5 friends over for cake, or 50 kids in your backyard. All that matters is that it's fun for them, and not too stressful for you.

{Photos by Casey Brodley} 

get cozy for a good cause with oh joy + splendid...14 Nov 2016

oh joy + splendid

As the holiday season approaches, there are so many wonderful things the holidays bring...celebrations and time with family, friends, and lots of joy and merriment. One of the things that has become an annual tradition for my family around the holidays is to show our kids how joyful it can be to give to other kids who may not be as fortunate. As my kids get excited for new toys from Santa, we always make it a priority to give toys and books and clothes to other kids through Baby2Baby—a charity that provides low-income children ages 0-12 years with diapers, clothing and all the basic necessities that every child deserves. 

oh joy + splendid

oh joy + splendid

This year, we teamed up with Splendid to create the coziest lounge pieces and blankets around. With the help of your purchase, $50K will be donated to Baby2Baby from our 'Give Joy Collection' to make cheerful holidays for families and kids in need. 

oh joy + splendid

This capsule is the perfect gift for anyone this holiday season (even if it's for yourself!). For the matching lounge tops and pants, we paired together a couple of my favorite signature Splendid stripes (one in navy/white and one in oatmeal/white) with solid waffle thermal and added our signature Oh Joy! mint green stitching detail throughout all of the pieces. The faux sherpa lined blankets have a gold heart on the corner as a reminder of the love that's being shared through the purchase of these pieces.

oh joy + splendid

oh joy + splendid

I have been using and wearing these pieces since we got our samples in, and they are the softest ever. They're a perfect gift for a loved one or for treating yourself to some cozy down time. You can purchase these online throughout the holiday season. Thanks in advance for supporting such a great cause through your purchase!

Click here to shop the Give Joy x Splendid collection.

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

a "welcome neighbor" gift...10 Nov 2016

a "welcome neighbor" gift!

These days we are all so virtual that I often miss those real life interactions with people around us. I love my neighborhood and remember being so surprised and delighted when I first moved to Los Angeles 6 years ago when a new neighbor stopped over and brought figs from her tree as a welcome. It was so thoughtful and a true in-person connection that meant so much! Today, we’ve collaborated with State Farm to share a fun way to welcome a new neighbor…

According to the State of Neighbors survey conducted by State Farm, 75% of people say it is important to welcome new neighbors but only 41% of neighbors say they were actually welcomed! It can be so easy (and fun!) to welcome a new family to the neighborhood so today, we wanted to help you do just that with our pre-designed Neighborhood Guide template you can download. Include the guide with our inspiration for a "Welcome Neighbor" basket. Here's how...

a "welcome neighbor" gift!

To make a "Welcome Neighbor" gift basket, include a few local treats like:

    -apples from your tree

    -candy from a sweet shop nearby

    -coffee from the local cafe

    -herbs or fresh veggies from your garden

    -spreads or sauces from the area farmer's market

a "welcome neighbor" gift!

a "welcome neighbor" gift!

And then include our handy Neighborhood Guide [download here]. This template gives you a place to list a ton of helpful information for your new neighbor including: tips for where to go in the neighborhood, trustworthy service providers, social handles for the street and for your family, and a handy way to keep track of names of all the neighbors on the street.

a "welcome neighbor" gift!

Some other fun things you could give your new neighbor along with the Neighborhood Guide to welcome them:

    -order a pizza for the new family on moving day and tell them dinner is on its way and they don't have to worry about it!

    -a small plant that is easy to take care of (no one wants to have to stress about taking care of a fragile plant)!

    -a gift certificate for a cleaning service to come help them out for a couple hours after all the unpacking!

What other tips do you have to welcome new neighbors?

*This post is brought to you in collaboration with State Farm.  All words are my own.

{Photos by Casey Brodleystyling and crafting by Julia Wester, crafting by Jess Hong. Props include: Ikea basket, Anne and Kate swizzle sticks, Oh Happy Day wood cutlery, Oh Happy Day floral napkins, Oh Happy Day striped napkin.}

{oh joy eats} mr. holmes bakehouse... 9 Nov 2016

mr. holmes bakehouse

mr. holmes bakehouse

During my recent trip to San Francisco, one of my favorite spots we visited was Mr. Holmes Bakehouse. So, I was excited to see this fun baked good shop open a location in Los Angeles a couple months ago!

mr. holmes bakehouse

mr. holmes bakehouse

From their signature cruffin (the baby of a crossiant + muffin) to donuts to bread pudding, it's a paradise for anyone who loves a sweet (but not-too-sweet) morning pastry or afternoon pick-me-up. Um...that's me...all the time.

mr. holmes bakehouse

mr. holmes bakehouse

mr. holmes bakehouse

The space is minimal, fresh, and modern, and a fun addition to LA's Highland Park. Now, if only that cruffin didn't sell out by 9:30am...

Mr. Holmes Bakehouse111 S. Avenue 59 | Los Angeles, CA | @mrholmesbakehouse

{Photos by Casey Brodley}

a painted vase DIY... 8 Nov 2016

Painted-vase-gif-blog

We love patterns around here. And we love putting patterns on just about everything. Today, we're sharing a fun DIY to turn a simple glass vessel into a painted vase where you can easily change the design to fit your mood! Here's how...

a painted vase DIY

You'll need:

transparency paper

clear cylindrical vase (you could also use a drinking glass)

- acrylic paint

- scissors

- double-sided tape

- ruler

a painted vase DIY

Here's how:

1. Measure the height and circumference of your vase.

2. Using a ruler, draw out those dimensions on a sheet of transparency paper, and cut it out.

3. Paint your pattern on the transparency paper, and let it dry for at least 15 minutes.

4. Finally, wrap the transparency paper around your vase, painted side facing in, and use double-sided tape to secure.

a painted vase DIY

The best part about using transparency paper is that you can change the designs whenever you want. You can make custom patterns for a special event, party, or baby/bridal shower!

{Photos by Casey Brodleystyling by Julia Wester, crafting by Jess Hong. Table cloth by Pehr.}

 

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