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happy friday + ruby’s dol…



Being born to a Thai mom and a Korean dad, Ruby’s sure to have lots of cultural celebrations in her lifetime. For Bob’s side of the family, we celebrated her 1 year birthday with a traditional Korean Dol celebration last week in Philly. The main part of the celebration includes a fortune-telling ritual, where various objects are placed in front of the baby, and the object that is picked gives an indication of what she’ll be in the future…




Ruby chose the money (in her right hand) which symbolizes wealth. Then, her second pick was a bow and arrow (shown in her left hand), which symbolizes bravery. We celebrated the occasion with family, friends, and a ton of delicious homemade Korean food made by Bob’s mom. It was a really fun and special day. I’m looking forward to celebrating her birthday one last time this weekend with our friends and family here in LA! Have a great weekend guys!

{Thanks to Hannah for organizing her Dol!}


  1. She is so precious! I love that she chose bravery and money. Such a smart girl already. 🙂 Having grown up in a cultural melting pot (in Hawaii), we got to experience a lot of different types of celebrations too. The Korean Dol celebration is one of my favorites because it’s just so festive!

  2. this is so beautiful, I teared a little. I love love the picture of her choosing her items! I didn’t know you were Thai until this post. My husband and I spent our honeymoon in Thailand and planned while were were there to visit again in five years! Beautiful people inside and out, amazing food!

  3. my first time hearing of this tradition as well, but what beautiful photographic memories!! happy 1st birthday, ruby!

  4. How wonderful that you guys had a great dol-janchi (party in Korean) for Ruby! She sure is a lucky girl to grow up with variouse cultural experiences from Korean and Thai side. As a Korean mom living in Denmark I want to thank you for reminding me the importance of letting my kids learn about my culture and heritage. I must admit that it is not easy living in Denmark, but we recently started at Korean school where kids kan not only learn the language but also experience Korean culture. And it makes me so happy! Thanks again for Rubys wonderful dol pictures!!

  5. What a beautiful tradition! I love this! My husband is Tongan and we made sure to include a lot of his cultural traditions in the ceremony – so special to carry those on wherever you are. 🙂
    And wealth and bravery? Good choices sweet girl!

  6. omg, she looks so cute in that getup! Makes me wish I was Korean so we could do that, too! My Japanese friend did the same thing with her baby! It must be an Asian thing! Happy Birthday, Ruby!

  7. Aw, what a wonderful day! She looks so beautiful in her hanbok. I still have mine and of course pictures as well, but I didn’t do this for my children. I regret that so much! You guys are wonderful parents for allowing her to enjoy both sides of her cultural heritage. She’s a blessed little girl. 🙂 Awesome!!!

  8. Ruby looks adorable in these pictures – even more so than usual. The ritual sounds like a beautiful thing to do, but I’m sure with a mom like you Ruby will turn out very creative as well.

  9. That is really nice she looks like a doll herself 🙂 I had no idea you were half Thai. I have a really good Thai friend here in Saudi and have been to several countries in South Asia close (being in Saudi we can not travel to Thailand) but I love the people and culture oh and food 🙂
    btw I just ordered your book I am excited 🙂

  10. oh joy! i’m so glad i stumbled upon your blog and your creative ideas. these are lovely pictures of your daughter’s dol. happy week to you & your loves!

  11. So cute! It’s amazing she kept her hat on! I have my daughter’s dol coming up in 2 months. Where did you get the paper scrolls in the background? Are those like ancient Korean script?

  12. Joy! Happy Birthday to a big beautiful girl! I loved reading about your heritage. We have our Indian ones too and it’s such a delight and a keepsake when we pass down our rituals to our little ones. Thank you for this!

  13. My daughter Phoebe is Chinese, in China they have a very similiar ritual for the first birthday,it is called Zhua Zhou,she chose the abacus right away!

  14. so fun! my husband and i recently went to a DOL for twins and it was so much fun, and so interesting. both twins chose the money for their first pick – haha!

  15. Congratulations to Ruby! We have a similar “game” in Poland but we place only 3 things: a book for education, a vodka glass for a partying and a rosary for spirituality so it seems my oldest son is going to be an educated priest (book+rosary at the same time), younger – a party soul and the youngest decided to draw a book…

  16. Wow, I cannot believe this! I am Romanian, and we have the exact same tradition. When a baby turns 1, you put a collection of things in front of them, and depending on what they choose, it is supposed to be an indication of their interests/future. My son picked money and car-keys. Not sure what the latter means!
    Incredible to see that some traditions can be common to 2 cultures so far removed!

  17. What wonderful pictures – the first one with the family is incredibly precious. Wishing your daughter a great belated birthday!

  18. I lived in a DC rowhouse for 4 years with a wonderful Korean roommate. We decorated the staircase with childhood photos, and the picture of her at her Dol was hands down my favorite. There were pyramids of stacked fruits all around her. Her mom had cut off the bottoms so they stacked more easily. Long way to say, I hope someday these make it to a roommate wall of glory!

  19. How beautiful! I found your site through reading A Cup of Joe and am actually in the middle of planning a Dol for my girl! Cn I ask where you found your backdrop? I love the colors and design! Thank you so much!


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