A Few Things

Hello, Friends! How are you? You made it to Friday! Did you happen to have a rough week? It seemed like such a hard one to me. I was truly grateful for the end of every single day.

Any plans for the weekend? It’s a working weekend for me. I missed so many hours this week for parenting stuff and now I’m behind. But that’s okay. There was nothing on my schedule anyway, and part of the work I need to do involves errands, which will get me out of the house. How about you? I hope you have something fun planned!

We heard from Maude. She has arrived in Paris, and she’s safely back at her apartment. (Sigh of relief). I’m wishing her lots of sleep this weekend so she can get over her jetlag quickly.

I’ve got to tackle some email, but first here are a few things I’ve been wanting to share with you:

Do you or did you carry your babies mostly on your left hip? You’re not alone, and this is why.

My dear friend, Laurie Smithwick’s TEDx talk on being an idea person is so good!

He knits a sweater of a place he wants to visit, then takes a picture of himself wearing the sweater at that place. My takeaway from the whole thing: DO WHAT YOU LOVE.

A two-week tattoo. Any interest?

Church shouldn’t be this hard. Would love your thoughts.

Wow! Like Legos for remodeling.

Goodbye tunnel tree. I never got to see you in person.

“American culture can’t accept the reality of a woman who does not want to be a mother.”

A ballet school in an unexpected place.

What if your job was eating tacos?

If you’re obsessed with being French.

Hah! Hipsters broke my gaydar. (NYT)

Why are cell phone plans the worst?

I hope you have a delightful weekend. I’ll meet you back here on Monday. I miss you already.


Random Thoughts

Tada! I’m back with another installation of my Random Thoughts. I try to post one of these once a month, and  it’s basically a compilation of whatever is on my mind at the moment. Feel free to share your own random thoughts in the comments.

– Today was the day we sent Maude off to Paris once again. For some reason, I thought it would feel less emotional, but nope, there we were at the airport, bawling once again. As I waved her off with tears streaming down my face, a sobering thought popped into my head: so the next 10 or 15 years is just going to be a series of emotional goodbyes? Oh dear. No real conclusion here. Just thinking about this.

The last time, Maude was gone for 3 months. But this time, she doesn’t have a return flight yet, and the current plan is that she won’t come home until school ends in France, which is the first week of July. So we’re talking six months without seeing her!

Keep reading. Lots more ahead!

I Love This Life: Peter Thevenot

Peter Thevenot and his wife were visiting George Washington’s Mount Vernon when he saw an espaliered pear tree. And that was that. Two years later, in his forties, he launched what is today the only large-scale nursery in the country that grows nothing but espalier trees. (I know what you’re thinking. Here: Espalier is the art of training trees and shrubs to grow in patterns along a flat framework. Think Downton Abbey scenery.)

Back to what moves me most about Mr. Thevenot. He just up and switched careers midway through his life. Followed a passion he discovered on holiday. According to this article, “he left behind the expense-account life and 28 pounds of neckties for fresh meals, good wine, and a snort of bourbon now and then.” Can you imagine? And not only that, he picked an entirely new, utterly obscure profession. One that moved him to become someone he probably didn’t even know was in him.

I love his life, don’t you?

P.S. Have you ever been so inspired while on vacation that it prompted you to change your life? Maybe you found a new career or changed the way you were living…or bought a cottage! Hah! I’d sure love to hear your stories.

Living With Kids: Alice Ashe

Alice and her husband live in a 101-year old home in the 16th Street Heights neighborhood of DC, along with their two-year old son, Emmett. I always love peeking in on families with one young kid, as they seem to be at the very beginning stages of learning about this whole living with kids thing! It’s all so fresh and inspiring, even to those of us living with much older kids and transitioning out of the toys-in-every-room stage.

Welcome, Alice. We can’t wait to walk around your home!

101 years old never looked so good! Come see.

French School Supplies

Favorite French School Supplies - pocket folders with elastic

Over the summer, while we were in France, we didn’t pick up too many souvenirs. But we did hit the back-to-school section of the supermarket to stock up on our favorite French school supplies.

I’m a fan of looking at school supplies in any country we visit. As you would expect, it all takes the same general shape and does the same general job — no matter where we are, there will be notebooks, writing utensils, folders, etc.. But each country seems to have their own little details and traditions. And I just eat that stuff up!

Keep reading for all my favorites.



Design Mom is all about the intersection of design and motherhood. I'm Gabrielle Blair (some people call me Gabby), a designer and mother of six. I think you're going to love reading Design Mom.

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