Living With Kids: Reem Faruqi

Reem is a mom, a wife, a Pakistani immigrant and a children’s book author. Getting to peek inside her home was a lot of fun, and hearing her perspective on letting kids be kids and be messy and sticky and a bit wild was a helpful reminder too. After reading her beautiful words, don’t be surprised to find yourself seeking out her book. I’m so glad you get to meet her today. Hello, Reem!There are so many great colors and textures ahead, you are going to want to keep reading!

Thank You For Your Patience

[ UPDATE: I wrote this post in the morning and then couldn’t get it published till the afternoon, and right after I published it I got the good news that power has been restored! LET THERE BE LIGHT! Such a relief. I’m truly so grateful. All I want to do now is laundry. Hah! ]


Hey there. If you have some happy thoughts or a prayer or some good vibes you can send my way, I would very much appreciate it. Today’s day number five of no electricity at my house, and I’m having a rough time of keeping a good attitude.

The reason we don’t have electricity is that two of our neighbor’s trees fell down (heavy rains after a long drought have lots of Oak trees falling around the city), and ripped out our weatherhead (the metal rod on the house that the power connects to), which in turn left a big hole in the exterior wall. PG&E (our electric company) came to take a look and had to cut the line completely.

The tricky thing is that I head to Palm Springs for Alt Summit day after tomorrow. Which means this loss of power coincided with the major crunch time before the event. It also coincided with the trip to the emergency room that I mentioned (nothing major, but a very mangled and broken finger for Olive — I still owe you the story), and Betty having a bad cold and not being able to attend school.

It would have been a rough week of last-minute conference changes and deadlines anyway, but having no power has made things especially hard to manage. Should I go and work at a café or wait for PG&E at the house? Would under-the-weather Betty be more comfortable at home without power or at a hotel? Will power get restored today or do we need to find a place to stay tonight? Should I hit the laundromat or wait until we get electricity restored? I’m going a bit bonkers with uncertainty.

I appreciate your patience and kind words as I’ve been out of commission. I confess, I’m embarrassed about how emotionally needy I am at moment. I’m being such a complainer! Sorry about that. The good news is: I do have a home tour for you! I’ll work on that next.

P.S. — Powerful words by Amy Turn Sharp. When I’ve felt like I’m losing my mind this week, I’ve been so grateful for your comments. I feel very lucky that the Design Mom community is filled with powerful women.

A Few Things

Hello, Friends. This was a rough day in a rough week. I feel like I’m supposed to write something, but can’t seem to manage it. Like you, I’m devastated by the mass murder in New Zealand. It’s somehow totally predictable — like what else did we expect? While also reaching new levels of horror. I mean, he was performing. These murders were performed with a global audience of white nationalists and white supremacists in mind.

I’m not sure what to say. I’m thinking of the Muslim families my kids go to school with.I’m thinking about how unsafe they probably feel right now. I’m thinking of the Mosques here in Oakland. I’m looking for ways I can show love and support.

One article I read about the massacre offered up a new word that I’m finding helpful. The philosopher and author Timothy Morton coined the term “hyperobject” to describe a concept so huge that it’s almost impossible to grasp its entirety. The hatred that inspired the Christchurch massacre is a “hyperobject”.

Another article I appreciate is from the NYT — A Mass Shooting of, and for, the Internet.

I have a few things to share with you today, but it’s a shorter link list than usual. As I was working on this post, Olive and Maude were changing a tire and the jack slipped and we ended up at the emergency room. It’s a long story involving a team of firefighters having to lift our car, and thankfully, everyone is okay now. I’ll try to share details later. But for now, I’m beat and I need to head to bed. 

Click through for links.

When You Want to Scream About the College Admission Cheating Scandal

Have you been following the story about the College Admission Cheating Scandal? It makes me frustrated and angry on a dozen levels. Here are a few initial thoughts that have roared in my head over the last 24 hours:

– We suspect this kind of thing goes on, but here it is in all it’s ugly glory and it’s even grosser and more widespread than I imagined.

– The idea that rich people feel this need to hoard privilege. They have plenty of privilege already! Why would they cheat in order to get more?

– That even though only certain people are getting called out for this right now, it’s easy to bet there are hundreds? thousands? of families who have done the same thing, but just haven’t been caught. Perhaps they are feeling very nervous at the moment? At the same time it’s a reminder that rich people can do pretty much whatever they want and there are rarely if ever consequences. (Is it time to eat the rich?)

Lots of thoughts today. Keep reading.



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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