Oh Joy

ruby's currently snacking on... 5 Feb 2013

Oh Joy | banana, peanut butter, egg pancake

My friend Elisa recently told me about this crazy-easy concoction that her son loves. Mix together one ripened banana, one egg, and one tablespoon of peanut butter, and it makes a pancake-like cake full of protein for the little ones.

Ever since, I've been making it for Ruby as an alternative to regular pancakes (for breakfast or lunch) because it has so much more nutritional value. Simply mix together the ingredients above and cook in a pan just like regular pancakes. We don't even have to add syrup because it's naturally sweet from the bananas. It's also a great gluten-free option if you're gluten-intolerant!

P.S. I do like to add half a tablespoon of flour to the mixture to give it more structure, and the riper the bananas the better!

{Photo by Oh Joy}

things worth splurging on in your 30's... 4 Feb 2013


It's really in the last few years, since I've entered my 30s, that I've begun to feel comfortable with the idea of spending more money on a few really important things—things that will last forever, are timeless or are really worth the extra bucks. 

When I finished college and was first starting out in my career, not only did I not have the budget to buy higher-quality pieces, but I also lived in a tiny studio apartment and didn't have the space to start collecting things I could keep in the future. But there's something about your 30s that feels more permanent. You're usually a little more financially stable and are closer to a place where you want to start adding to your permanent collection. So here are a some things that I've learned are worth splurging on in my 30s...


Good pots and pans: I've lugged the same pots and pans from my first apartment in 2001 to every new home I've had since then. And you know what? They're rusty and warped and just in need of a refresh. So last year, we replaced half our kitchenware with new pieces that are higher-quality, and hopefully, will be around for the next 5-20 years. The idea of spending more than $100 on a pan might seem crazy, but not if it will last you a long, long time, unlike the cheap-o ones I'd always used before.

My favorites: 01. Le Creuset braiser, 02. Kaico tea pot. 03. Mauviel Dutch oven, 04. Williams-Sonoma cast iron pan.


Skincare & beauty: Up until I turned 33 last year, I used drugstore products on my skin: Oil of Olay lotion, Neutrogena face wash, and Dove soap. They've been my staples since high school, and I never really had a reason to change them, or saw any reason why it was worth buying the fancier, more expensive products—that is, until I tried them. I've definitely noticed a change in my skin texture and undereye circles, and once I learned how to put on basic makeup (after a seriously helpful makeup lesson last year), I learned the value of good brushes, too.

My favorites: 05. One Love Organics cleanser, 06. Restorsea eye cream, 07. Restorsea day cream, 08. Laura Mercier cheek color brush, 09. Laura Mercier smudge brush. (I'll have to get into my favorite makeup another time, as that's a separate post in itself!)


Boots: The first time I went looking for a pair of leather boots, I just about peed in my pants. I was in my mid-20s and the idea of spending anything over $75 on shoes just wasn't in my mental capacity. But it soon became clear that a lot of leather boots start in the $200 range, so I saved up for my first pair of Nine West boots that were a little over $200. And you know what? I still have them to this day, I and get the most compliments on them of all my shoes.

My favorites: 10. Loeffler Randall leather boots for the fall, 11. the always-classic Hunter boots for rain and snow, 12. Madewell booties, 13. Sperry Top-Sider boots for winter.

What pieces do you guys splurge on? And did you feel less guilty about splurging as you got older?

{Top photo by Bonnie Tsang}

currently snacking on... 1 Feb 2013



Every so often, something so simple yet unexpected comes along and blows my mind. This thing, my friends, is the mix of savory cheddar popcorn with sweet caramel popcorn. I randomly picked up G.H. Cretors' Chicago Mix at the grocery store the other day and have since become obsessed. Sometimes you want a sweet little snack, sometimes you want savory...and pow! Here's both, playfully dancing together in a way you wouldn't expect would work, but actually does—really, really well.

{Photos by Oh Joy. Glass egg coddler from Herriott Grace, tea towel from Design Within Reach.}

a spring bag wardrobe {giveaway}...31 Jan 2013


Thanks to all your amazing comments on my handbag post with Fossil on Monday, Fossil has kindly offered to give away a very big gift to one lucky reader...a $1000 gift card to go towards a spring bag wardrobe from Fossil!

To enter, simply visit Fossil's website, and then leave a comment here telling me which bag is your favorite from the new spring collection (here are some of my favorites!). Entries must be posted by this Monday, February 4th at 8 p.m. PST, and one winner will be chosen at random*. Good luck!

UPDATE: Congrats to Megan B. from Cambridge, MA for being our winner this time! Also, thanks to amazing response to this giveaway, Fossil is choosing 10 additional winners to receive their favorite handbag! 

*Sorry, limited to U.S. readers only. Please do not leave your email or web address in the body of the comment, only in the allotted boxes. $1000 USD total value. The gift card can be spent on anything on Fossil's website and not limited to just bags. Winner will be contacted by email once comments close, and announced at the bottom of this post soon after.

**This post is brought to you in collaboration with Fossil. All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thanks for supporting these sponsors that allow me to create new and special content like this for Oh Joy. See my Q&A on Fossil's blog.

{Photos above by Bonnie Tsang at the LACMA.}

{oh joy eats} half & half tea house...30 Jan 2013





You know might know that I love a good boba tea. Since I'm not a big coffee drinker, I love milk teas as a little midday pick-me-up, and Half & Half Tea House in Rowland Heights has become my new favorite spot.



With drink options like sesame black milk tea, lavender green milk tea, milk tea with caramel, pudding, and honey boba, plus a million other flavors, these teas are serious treats if you're up for some fun, exotic flavors. And Half & Half Tea House's tasty concoctions come in the most giant cups I've ever seen. They don't even fit in the cup holders in my car and they make me look like I have tiny hands! It's probably a good thing this place isn't too close to where I live because I'd be here every single day.

Half & Half Tea House | 17575 Colima Road, Ste. C | Rowland Heights, CA 91748 | 626.810.8778

{Photos by Bonnie Tsang. I'm wearing headphones by Frends, Madewell dotty leggings,  Milly jacket from a past season, eyeglasses by Rivet & Sway, hoodie from past season of J.Crew (similar), and boots c/o Loeffler Randall.}

a few things i'm loving...29 Jan 2013






Whenever I start a big new design project, I flood myself with as much inspiration as possible to get my creative juices flowing and make myself start thinking outside my norm. For this new project, I even started drawing on paper again! It's been so long since I've done that—I usually go straight to the computer to design. As I was doing research for my project, here are just a few things I came across online that I had to share with you...

{Top to bottom: 1. Vrindavan by Katrin Korfmann,2. Oh My Deer X Pennyweight print, 3. floor-to-wall tiled bathroom by Studio Too Good,  4. Powder photos by Marcel Christ, 5. Typographical moss by Hayli Alyce.}

you can't just have one...28 Jan 2013

Oh Joy + Fossil

Bob always asks me why I need so many handbags. He'll say, "Why can't you have just one?"

I mean, does he even know me? Or know women at all

As we women know, different bags serve different purposes—therefore, we need at least a few to cover various occasions, as well as complement the outfits we wear. So today I've partnered with Fossil to share some of my favorite bag styles for different moods, needs, or situations—and show you what I carry in each.

Oh Joy + Fossil

One piece I've recently added to my bag collection: an iPad case/carrier. Especially when taking it to meetings, I love making sure my iPad is protected, and this case also holds my business basics, too (a notebook and pencils, business cards, my phone, and a cute leave-behind).

Oh Joy + Fossil

Oh Joy + Fossil

When I'm out with Ruby, I always carry a roomy tote bag. I rarely use a traditional diaper bag anymore since she doesn't need quite as much stuff now that she's a toddler. But I'll still bring a few essential baby musts in a tote, including a zip pouch to hold diapers and wipes, snacks, a multi-purpose ointment, and a small pouch that holds my own daily essentials so I can quickly find my money, keys, and phone in a bag full of baby stuff.

Continue reading " you can't just have one... " »

happy friday + little moments of joy...25 Jan 2013




The other day—while at a friend's house—Ruby had an absolute ball hiding inside and behind these curtains. I can't remember the last time that anything that simple made me so happy. It was seriously amazing to watch. I hope you all have a weekend full of pure joy from the simple things...

P.S. You can now get Oh Joy posts straight to your email! Sign up for it right here.

{Photos by Bob Cho}

feeling bundled up in blue...24 Jan 2013


Blue is one of my favorite colors (after green) because of the range in shades it offers. From hot to cool and from soft to brazen, it's a color full of personality...

{01. Oasap coat, 02. Kate Spade earmuffs, 03. Land of Nod baby blanket, 04. hat by Annie Larson, 05. Kate Spade flats, 06. Loeffler Randall for Bird tennis shoes, 07. Falconwright camera strap.}

Make Someone Happy - No. 05: A Little Letter23 Jan 2013

The first four videos from my "Make Someone Happy" series have involved making something—an actual object or surprise—to bring joy to another's day. For the next couple, it's all about bringing that joy to someone by telling them how you really feel about them...which is sometimes the hardest thing to do!

And if you need a little help, feel free to use my handy fill-in-the-blank letter to get you started...

{Video by Modshift. Music: "Love Me, Love You" by Trimountaine, licensed from With Etiquette.}


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