A Few Things

February 15, 2013

Text and image by Gabrielle.

Hello, Friends! How has your week been? Now that Valentine’s Day has come and gone, I really start to yearn for Spring in earnest. You too? We’ve had buckets and buckets of rain this winter and the ground is absolutely soaked — puddles everywhere that don’t disappear, even when the rain stops. What I want to do most this weekend, is pull on my wellies and take a long walk through the countryside. How about you? Any weekend plans you’re looking forward to?

While I muddy up my boots, here are a few things I’ve wanted to share with you:

- A new minimalist mentality. Thanks, Katherine.

- This tote turns into a picnic blanket.

- Wow! What a fabulous family photo shoot.

- Instead of buying your next car, 3D print one instead!

- Or, have your head made in 3D chocolate. Thanks, Alexandra.

- Illustrated zip-lock bags.

- If you like recycled, you’ll love bicycled.

- Like the balloon door idea? Here are 13 more great ways to use balloons!

- At your request, here’s a bit about how Ben Blair and I fell in love — it’s an interview from 2010.

The Light That Shines. It’s 15 minutes long, so you might want to bookmark it for later. But it’s worth it.

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


P.S. — I’ve noticed that about 10-15 comments per week are going straight to the spam folder on my blog. I’ve been checking the folder and restoring the comments, but if I’ve missed yours, please drop me a line. I’d hate to lose any of your words!

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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sara February 15, 2013 at 10:43 am

The story of you and Ben Blair is fantastic! :)


2 Leandra February 15, 2013 at 4:25 pm

I loved all your points…totally with you on the minimalist thinking. We have moved (albeit just to my parents for a few months before the “real” move) and we have pared down like nothing before…not easy with 7 kids, and being in our previous home for 20 years! But…now that I have less, I want even more less. The boxes still seem endless. Thanks for the link, I shall yet “get on it”. And…thank you for the SWEET story of your early romance. Love to you and your family.


3 Cassandra February 15, 2013 at 10:46 am

We too suffered a house fire a few years ago and there was a moment when I stood in my backyard and believed that it would burn to the ground (it didn’t). Transfixed by the orange glow in the playroom windows I KNEW that I didn’t care about any of it. Rather than feel liberated to live a more minimal life; I found that I no longer needed to feel guilty or materialistic for loving my home and caring about the way it looked. I had faced the possibility of losing it all and now felt free to enjoy it.


4 Design Mom February 17, 2013 at 2:01 pm

“I had faced the possibility of losing it all and now felt free to enjoy it.”

Such an interesting take, Cassandra! I can totally see what you mean.


5 Lauren February 15, 2013 at 10:59 am

We are painting our guest room over the weekend to prep it for a little boy. I sure do hate painting, but the pending arrival of our first child is great reason to get over that and just do it!


6 Design Mom February 17, 2013 at 2:00 pm

Painting a nursery is the happiest kind of painting.


7 Make and Do Girl February 15, 2013 at 11:19 am

Hot Dog! That IS a beautiful family photo shoot! And that house and garden you photographed–can I please spend my weekend there?


8 Design Mom February 17, 2013 at 1:59 pm

The house and garden image at the top, is actually our own backyard here in France. I can hardly believe how beautiful this place is.


9 Sara February 15, 2013 at 11:30 am

I’m so happy you posted “The Light That Shines” video. I saw Jill on The Today Show and really wanted to see the pictures and watch her movie. It was beautiful and she is such an amazing person. Thanks for sharing!


10 Rosa @ FLUTTERFLUTTER February 15, 2013 at 11:43 am

OH GABRIELLE!!! I just read your love story and laughed and laughed! I just happened to post mine and Jason’s little love story yesterday, and I think that we have a lot in common. haha!
PS – As a Vancouverite I know all about rain puddles that don’t go away! ;) Enjoy your weekend!


11 Design Mom February 17, 2013 at 1:58 pm

I need to go read your story, Rosa! This is such a good week for romantic tales.


12 Stella February 15, 2013 at 12:23 pm

Gabrielle, your courtship story is so sweet! Gave me butterflies.


13 Rebecca Alexis February 15, 2013 at 12:42 pm

SO many, many lovely things you have here to think about. I especially love the story of your courtship AND I love the minimalist approach to life. I had always dreamed of living in a big rambling house in the countryside (someday!) but right now we recently moved to one of the most URBAn locations in the U.S. (my hubby is a preacher man so we moved for his work), and into one of the tiniest spaces we have ever lived. It is amazing how we fit somedays (3 boys, 2 dogs, 2 cats + stuff). But it make me happy and cozy. Its not forever either, but we can live with so much less than I ever thought (though someone please tell me how to get rid of the massive amounts of Legos)! enjoy the lovely walks in the countryside. xxoo


14 Design Mom February 17, 2013 at 1:57 pm

Happy + cozy — sounds like you have a lovely home!


15 Katy Dennison February 15, 2013 at 1:02 pm

Your love story totally choked me up! So sweet, I love a good love story :)


16 holly February 15, 2013 at 1:55 pm

This is a lovely blog and I wish I had discovered you sooner! I have a lot of catching up to do :)


17 Shannon { A Mom's Year } February 15, 2013 at 2:24 pm

Where I come from we carve heads out of butter. :)


18 Mary-My Life in Scotland February 15, 2013 at 2:33 pm

We’ve had a ton of rain here in Scotland too. The ground is just a perma-mud pie. This weekend my husband is driving me out to the Scottish countryside where he saw some amazing cottages for sale. I’m dying to see them. We’re making our expat experience permanent and we want to live the dream.


19 Design Mom February 17, 2013 at 1:57 pm

Cottage shopping in the Scottish countryside sounds pretty dreamy.


20 Megan M. February 15, 2013 at 2:44 pm

Your love story is SO cute! On my first date with my husband, we were at a movie, and he seemed to want to hold my hand but would chicken out if I moved a fraction of an inch. So I reached over and grabbed his hand, and the rest is history!

Hand-holding is ALWAYS a big deal when it’s with The One. :)


21 Design Mom February 17, 2013 at 1:56 pm

Way to be bold, Megan!


22 BON VOYAGE February 15, 2013 at 3:27 pm

W-O-W. I’m floored with the “The Light That Shines” video… I’m speechless yet incredibly inspired. Jill is such an amazing and beautiful person. The film clip was brillaint. Do you have an update to share with us about Jill?


23 Design Mom February 17, 2013 at 1:55 pm

Oh I wish! No updates that I’ve heard of.


24 Jasmine - Scissors Paper Stone February 15, 2013 at 5:48 pm

Thanks Gabrielle for linking to my illustrated ziploc bag post. I hope that lots of people have fun trying out a really simple idea.

Also, loved the minimalist post. I am on a mission to declutter my home at the moment before we move to our next home and those tips will come in handy.


25 Amy Jo Schenewark February 15, 2013 at 8:19 pm

I loved the video! What a great group of women sharing a beautiful story of an amazing woman! What a gift that photographer gave us all.


26 Joy | Frock Files February 16, 2013 at 11:05 am

Thanks for these thoughtful links, Gabrielle. I particularly appreciate the Alison Hodgson article because we just went through a massive cleaning out of our “storage” room to turn it into my home office and it was quite a feat. But in the end, we have this functional space that feels like home, and I’m so glad we did it. The photo shoot is my other favorite of this bunch. What a creative idea, and the colors are just lovely.


27 Design Mom February 17, 2013 at 1:55 pm

Congrats on claiming back that storage room and turning it into an office! Such a satisfying project.


28 Ann February 16, 2013 at 2:11 pm

The documentary was one of the most touching films I’ve ever seen. What a beautiful woman. Thank you for sharing that.


29 Design Mom February 17, 2013 at 1:54 pm

Agreed. It’s an amazing thing to watch.


30 julia [life on churchill] February 17, 2013 at 7:14 pm

We are going through a deep clean at our house right now, that definitely resonated with me. And I love illustrated ziploc bags! What an easy and customizable idea!


31 Carrie February 19, 2013 at 10:00 am

Thanks for posting your love story! I’ve been a loyal fan of your blog and always wondered how you two met and fell in love! <3


32 Christine February 21, 2013 at 2:15 pm

Beautiful photo! And inspiring link about paring down… one of the things on my list for 2013. Right after ‘sleep.’


33 Béa February 21, 2013 at 2:17 pm

mmm…sorry to bother you but am I the only one not able to watch the ‘bicycled’ link? youtube tells me the video is private.


34 Béa February 21, 2013 at 2:18 pm

PS : Thanks in advance for your help!


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