Oh Joy

{oh joy eats} breakfast at sqirl... 3 Jan 2013

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I've been a fan of Sqirl, the L.A.-based, jam company, since I first tried its delicious canned delights a couple years ago. So I was excited to visit Sqirl's new brick-and-mortar space—a tiny little cafe with an adjacent outdoor area—that serves a twist on cozy morning comforts.

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Instead of PB&J, there's brioche topped with chocolate ganache, almond hazelnut butter, and fleur de sel. Instead of oatmeal, Sqirl serves the best sweet rice porridge I've ever had (and what I wish oatmeal tasted like!), topped with jam and roasted hazelnuts. Really, I dream about this porridge! And then (if you're looking for something more savory) there are some dishes inspired by Australian and Filipino flavors like the crispy rice salad topped with cilantro, lime, and a fried egg. Supposedly they have amazing freshly pressed almond milk tea, too. This is my new go-to spot when I need something quick to warm my belly...

Sqirl | 720 N. Virgil Ave. | Los Angeles, CA 90029 | 213.394.6526

{Photos by Bonnie Tsang for Oh Joy. My outfit: StyleMint tee, Lauren Moffatt skirt, vintage belt, Ban.do smooch brooch.}

feeling a little textural... 2 Jan 2013

Feeling-woven
Sometimes is all about the details...just a few subtle woven textures I'm loving right now...

{01. West Elm desk chair, 02. wallet by Brahmin, 03. mar y sol tote, 04. Tiny TOMS, 05. Anthropologie drink dispenser, and 06. Deux Lux weekender bag.}

let's do this, 2013! 2 Jan 2013

Happy New Year guys! For the last several years, I've been anti-New Year's resolutions. I felt like I was telling myself to do the same things year after year, and that they should be things I work on all the time—not just at the beginning of the year. But lately I've come back around, and I think the best way to improve yourself is to tell someone else about your resolutions. It kind of keeps you in check, you know? So this year I've decided that in addition to reminding myself of some things I need to do better, also give myself a little credit for the things that went well last year to keep on doing... 

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As much as I don't want to do it, and as much as I know it's not good for me, I need to be better at not comparing myself to others. Someone is always going to be smarter, more talented, a better multi-tasker, and more successful. I need to remember what my talents and strengths are, and let them stand out.

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I am terrible with change. I like my comfy spot on the couch. I like the way I have a million tabs open on my browser even though it slows down my computer. And I like wearing flats in the winter even though my feet are cold. But sometimes (oftentimes), change is good, and brings with it a new perspective or a better way of doing things—even though it feels really uncomfortable at first. I have a feeling I'll always be working on this one, but c'mon, change...I'm ready for ya!

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Last year, I focused so much on being a great mom that I didn't focus as much on being a great wife. I need to always remember how our little family started in the first place—with the love, respect, and admiration Bob and I had for each other long before Ruby arrived. With every new phase in life, we change and grow, but remembering how we got there keeps us flourishing through it all.

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I wasn't always such a family girl, but my priorities definitely changed last year...for the better. Ruby put my life into better perspective. Even though I love my job, I no longer put it first. And you know what? It made me more productive, happier, and more content in all areas of my life.

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While I still have a hard time not being busy, I've learned to appreciate the simple things a little more. I don't need to have a crazy schedule of activities lined up, I don't have to travel to a million different destinations—I don't have to do it all. The best memories often come from the everyday.

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One thing my mom taught me from a very early age was to dream big. Sometimes you feel silly for wanting something that seems impossible. But you know what? It's better to try and get it than to sit there thinking it's impossible, right? I've got lots of fun projects, new businesses, and ideas I want to make happen this year. So, let's do this!

So, tell me friends...what's one thing you're working on improving this year and one thing you can pat yourself on the back for? I'd love to hear yours, too! 

{All photos by Bonnie Tsang, except baby goat photo by Bob Cho.}

happy holidays!21 Dec 2012

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Happy Holidays, friends! Whatever holiday you celebrate, I hope it's a wonderful time of love and merriment for you and your family. As we bow out for the year, I wanted to share a couple photos (and some outtakes) from our family holiday card, shot by Max Wanger and Our Labor of Love. Since this was our first holiday card photo, we decided to do something fun and festive! Ruby was hungry and cranky at the beginning of our session, but as soon as this silver tinsel came out...bam, she was loving it and could have played in it for hours (well, maybe 20 minutes)!

Oh, and I had to share this recent video of Ruby walking down the street after we took our family photos. This last month has been so fun as we've watched her turn into this tiny mobile person. This little girl is, indeed, my favorite Christmas present yet!

Have an amazing holiday and New Year's everyone! Thanks so much for following along over here this year, and I look forward to sharing more with you in 2013. I'll be taking a blog break next week, so I'll see you back here on January 2!

P.S. If you're looking for any last-minute holiday inspiration, see how I create A Colorful Christmas tree, try my new favorite holiday cookie recipe or make some sweet pop-up placecards for the dinner table.

{Photos by by Max Wanger and Our Labor of Love. My dress is by Tracy Reese, belt is vintage, shoes are from a past season at Anthropologie, and hair pouf is by Ban.do; Bob's tie is by J.Crew and denim blazer from Mr. Porter; Ruby's dress is Jason Wu for Target and pink tights from Gap.}

a-door-able...20 Dec 2012

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I've been totally in love with doors lately, and the idea of turning a door into a statement piece. Whether it's your front door or one inside your home (or even cabinet doors), doors are pretty fun elements to play with. I covered my studio door in rose-gold polka dots and would love to do something whimsical like that to our front door when we own a house. Here are a few of my favorite doors I've found on the web recently (and here are a few more I've collected over on my "A-door-able" Pinterest board).

{Image credits: Halfsies door via Design*Sponge, rainbow cabinet doors photographed by Magnus Anesund, and neon door via Tretoen.}

hers & mine...19 Dec 2012

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Oftentimes we end up matching, whether I plan it or not...

top | Hers: silver mocs from Freshly Picked. Mine: Clare Vivier messenger bag from Roztayger.

middle | Hers: MaS hooded jacket (similar). Mine: Kate Spade jacket (from a few years ago).

bottomHers: Bunny from Walnut Animal Society. Mine: CrewCuts oxfords.
(Yep, kids' shoes fit grown-ups if you're a size 7 or below!)

Do you guys ever find yourself matching your loves ones by accident?

{Photos by Oh Joy. Rug by Nuloom.}

Make Someone Happy - No. 04: Party on the Go18 Dec 2012


This month's Make Someone Happy video is all about taking the party wherever you go and spreading cheer—not only for the holidays, but year-round. There's nothing like a little confetti to help make anyone feel a bit more cheerful this season. I hope you enjoy it—and that it inspires you to fill every day we have with a little spark of happiness.

P.S. Thanks to the girls of Ban.do for being my special guests! The materials used in the video include: clear ornaments in plastic or glass (we sprayed the tops with neon spray paint), metallic sparkle confetti, large tissue confetti, art tissue confettigold pleather, washi tapeneon pink twine, and glitter horns (used to fill the ornaments).

{Video by Modshift. Music: "Living Life" by David Swensen, licensed from With Etiquette. My outfit: dress by Tracy Reese, Coat by Crewcuts (or adult size here), and hair accessory by Ban.do}

currently snacking on...17 Dec 2012

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While candy canes are still in season, I've been trying to use them as an accent to some of my favorite snacks. So, I used the leftover candy canes I had from these cookies to sprinkle them on dark chocolate ice cream. For some extra texture, I blended up sugar cones into an ice cream cone dust. Yum! The combo is pretty magical...

{Photo by Oh Joy}

feeling like a little meal...17 Dec 2012

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It's been so fun watching Ruby's little palate develop over the last several months. Now that she eats whatever we do, I love being able to nurture her exploration of food through tasting different things, reading about different foods, and making meal time fun in general. Here are a few of my favorite ways to instill a love of eating in the littles..

{01. Skip Hop plate and mat, 02. Brita water bottle for kids, 03. French Bull plate set, 04. Hola! Jalapeno and Yum Yum Dim Sum books,  05. Baguette sandwich toy from Land of Nod, 06. Skip Hop bento box, 07. Prince Lionheart seat (so great for places that don't have high chairs!), 08. Lollacup.}

*This post was brought to you in partnership with Brita Bottle for Kids. Help teach your kids to learn to love water. Learn more right hereAll content, ideas, and words are my own. Thanks for supporting these sponsors that allow me to create special content like this for Oh Joy.

happy friday + the mixed family...14 Dec 2012

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With December being such a family-focused time of year, what with the holidays, I've been thinking a lot about family and traditions, and how much our world is becoming a bigger and bigger melting pot. While Ruby is Asian, she's a mix of two Asian cultures (I'm Thai, and Bob is Korean). She'll hear her grandparents speak in two different languages, she'll learn about two different ethnic traditions, and she'll become familiar with two different kinds of foods—all on top of the American culture we're raising her in and everything else we expose her to.

Since our friends are so multicultural, Ruby's friends are mostly children of mixed race or mixed ethnicity, too. It's funny to think that we rarely meet kids who are 100% of any one background these days. It's amazing and beautiful, and I feel like our generation is the first in which it's becoming more common and more accepted to see such a rainbow of faces. After I posted about Ruby's Dol, a reader recently asked if I would share what we do (or hope to do) in both our marriage and as parents to continue to incorporate our mix of cultures in her life. And, because I'm still figuring out a lot of this myself, I'm always up for being inspired by others. So, I also asked some friends how they mix in their various cultures into their own family. Here's what they, with some of my own thoughts as well...

Continue reading " happy friday + the mixed family... " »

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