Oh Joy

currently snacking on...18 Mar 2013

kouign-amann pastry

kouign-amann pastry

Have you ever tasted something that you felt might have been created just for you? I recently came across a kouign-amann in the pastry section of one of my favorite speciality food shops in L.A., McCall's Meat & Fish Co. Kouign-amann is a speciality of the town of Douarnenez in Finistère (in the west of France), made of bread dough with layers of butter and sugar folded in. It tastes like a cross between a croissant and elephant ears thanks to its buttery, flaky pastry layers and crispy, sweet caramelized edges. It's so light and airy, too, that it fools you into thinking it's okay to have two in a row. Plus, anything caramelized pretty much makes me weak in the knees...

P.S. If you want to try making it yourself, David Lebovitz's got you covered.

{Thanks, Jimin, for the tip! Photo by Oh Joy.}

happy friday + holding hands...15 Mar 2013

Oh-joy-ruby-leah-hands

Oh-joy-ruby-mama-hands

Oh-joy-ruby-curious-george-hands

In the last few weeks, Ruby's started to really understand what it means to hold hands. She knows she needs to hold our hands when we're outside and walking near a busy street. And now, she's gotten so comfortable with it, she'll even hold hands with her best friend, Leah, and The Man with the Yellow Hat that she met at a kid's literacy event last weekend!

Have a great weekend friends! Hope it's filled with lots of hand-holding with those you love...

{Photos by Bob Cho. Ruby at 17 months. Update: My gold shoes are by Brother Vellies, pink coat from CrewCuts (past season).}

the things i did before i found what i was meant to do...14 Mar 2013

Olle-eksell-illustration

The other day I was looking through all the drawers of supplies in my office. There are drawers for jewelry-making tools, screen-printing inks, calligraphy pens, yarns for knitting, fabric and needles for sewing, charcoal for drawing, and a ton more supplies for hobbies I once had at some point in my life. They made me wonder if I've been too fickle. Did I think I was going to become a jewelry designer, a calligrapher, a professional knitter, an artist, or a clothing designer? Maybe. Did I buy a ton of supplies only to never use them again? Yes.

At some point while I took at stab at doing these things and using all these tools, I realized they were fun but not meant for me in the long run. As you try new things, you learn what you like (and also don't like) about every hobby and experience—and all of that leads you closer and closer to the thing (or things) you are ultimately meant to do. In my case, I figured out that I love designing products (but not crafting them by hand), I enjoy interacting with people directly on-line or in small groups (but hate schmoozy and non-personal "networking"), and love being able to get my ideas across in various formats (like blogging, books, and videos).

So, I guess what I'm saying is get out there and learn about stuff (especially for those of you who feel lost in your career or your job path because you haven't found "it" yet). It's better to experience and try new things you might be interested in—even if it's just out of curiosity—then to sit and wonder what might have been. Because in some way, it will all lead you to making your mark in the way that only you can.

{Illustration by Olle Eksell

questions for kids...13 Mar 2013

I always find kids' reactions to things so charming, sweet, and pure. A couple little videos out in cyberspace lately (by J.Crew and Small Fry) that simply make me smile...

currently snacking on...13 Mar 2013

Liddabit-sweets-tallyhos

Joia-natural-soda

A couple of my sweet go-to's this week include gourmet versions of childhood treats! Sometimes I just want something decadent and gooey that reminds me of eating candy bars as a kid like these Tallyhos by Liddabit Sweets' (they're like homemade Mallomars). Hello salty chocolate cookies wrapped in marshmallow...yum!

And, carbonated beverages are kind of my guilty pleasure, but I really try to steer away from those with corn syrup or artificial flavors. So when I came across these all natural sodas by Joia at the grocery store with flavors like Pineapple Coconut Nutmeg and Grapefruit Chamomile Cardamom, my taste buds instantly fell in love...

{Photos by Oh Joy}

rx art...12 Mar 2013

Rx Art

Rx Art

Rx Art

Rx Art

Rx Art

I love discovering organizations that are doing something really special and unique to improve the lives of others. The other day, my friend Beth told me about Rx Art, a non-profit dedicated to placing original fine art in hospitals and healthcare facilities. If you've ever stayed in a hospital (especially for an extended period of time), you know that any dose of color and life can make your time there that much better. So I'm a big fan of Rx Art's mission to improve otherwise sterile environments through contemporary art, promote healing, and inspire hope in patients, families and staff.

It could even inspire you to create a piece of art and donate it to your local hospital!

{Photos by Rx Art}

an epic playdate weekend {contest}....12 Mar 2013

Epic-playdate

Ever since Ruby entered her toddler years, I've come to realize the importance of always have new, fun, and creative ways to entertain your little one. Ruby has had playdates since she was a baby, but only recently has she started to really enjoy going on adventures to museums, kids' events, and other kids' birthday parties. So, now I'm always excited to find new ways to inspire and entertain her little mind.

In late April, a bunch of bloggers and their families (including me and my family, Oh Happy Day, Dooce, Say Yes, and more...) are joining together for an Epic Playdate Weekend at a camp on the beach in Santa Barbara, filled with fun and creative activities hosted by the blogger moms and dads. I'll be hosting an ice cream sundae bar for the kids, and other events include an epic paint fight, a hula-hooping workshop, a kids' photography class, and more.

So, the cool part is...one lucky Oh Joy reader and his or her family will get to join our Epic Playdate Weekend! To enter the contest, pin one image from this board, then visit this page to enter by March 23rd.

And I'll be sure to share photos from our fun weekend in Santa Barbara to inspire playdates wherevever you are.

This contest is brought to you by Hyundai's Epic Playdate. All words are my own. Thanks for supporting these sponsors that allow me to provide these fun opportunities for my readers.

{Photo credits: camera via Smudgetikka, paint fight by Acres of Hope, hula-hooping by Breanna Carin via Hostess with the Mostess,  ice cream sundae by Oh Happy Day}

feeling a little wild...11 Mar 2013

Feeling-little-wild

No matter how much they ebb and flow as trends, I've never been able to get into traditional animal prints—zebra, cheetah, snake—I just can't do it. But I do love patterns and pieces that give a hint to the wild side like these...

{01. Anthropologie wall hook, 02. Loeffler Randall pumps, 03. Naomi Murrell studs, 04. CB2 stool, 05. Seed Heritage baby leggings, 06. Lulu Frost bangle,  07. Baggu pouch, 08. Arianna Belle pillow.}

currently snacking on... 8 Mar 2013

Ricotta-granola-pomegranate

...a little bit of ricotta cheese, homemade granola, and some pomegranate seeds. These were leftovers from a shoot with Heirloom LA yesterday, and I'm obsessed. The three simple ingredients can all be purchased at the grocery store and recreated so easily. Drizzle a little honey over it, eat with some toast, and yum...

{Photo by Oh Joy}

for fathers... 7 Mar 2013

4-fathers-journal-1

4-fathers-journal-jessica-tremp

4-fathers-journal-2

Oh-joy-ruby-bob-hospital-bw

Everyone always talks about the bond between mothers and their children—but what about dads? I loved coming across the For Fathers project and the 4Fathers Journal which celebrate the men who simply do their best to provide for their family however they can (but often don't get enough credit when kids prefer their mamas). I've always felt there was a lack in lifestyle publications for men, so I love seeing ones like this come about.

P.S. There's also the Kindling Quarterly which focuses on dads with creative professions...

{Top three photos above via For Fathers, last photo is one of my favorites I snapped of Bob and Ruby recently while visiting the hospital where Bob went to med school.}

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