A Few Things

Hello, Friends. How are you? I’m publishing my Friday link list earlier than usual this week, because we’re headed out of town first thing tomorrow morning. Our niece, Lauren Blair, is getting married in England this weekend, and we’re headed to the wedding.

To get there, it’s part driving, part ferry. We drive to a port town called Ouistreham (you pronounce it like we-strum) here in France, then drive our car onto a ferry, and the ferry lands in Portsmouth, England 4 hours later. After the ferry, we head straight North on a five hour drive to Billingham. It’s going to be a long travel day, but we’re heading to a part of England we’ve never visited before, and we’re excited to see what it’s like. Plus we get to see cousins!

Something else we’re looking forward to? When we arrive in Portsmouth, the first stop we’re going to make is a store that sells fascinators — the fancy hats/headpieces that you wear to weddings in England. We’re going to pick something out for me, Betty, and Flora. How awesome is that?

It’s been an exciting week for us, with a couple of big tasks that have filled our time. We found a car and negotiated a price. It’s a used car with 7 seats, called a VW Caddy. It comes from their commercial vehicle line, but is quite a bit smaller than the VW Transporter (also from their commercial line) we drove last time we lived here. We pick it up next week. We’re a bit nervous about it, but hope we end up loving it.

And… we put an offer on a house this morning! And found out it was accepted this afternoon!!! I can’t wait to tell you all about it.

But first, here are a few things I’ve wanted to share with you:

Sixteen links you’ll love. Come see.

Living With Kids: Jackie Leishman

With the concrete floors and bright white walls and art on every surface, this house that feels like a really cool art gallery. But there are also kids riding scooters through the rooms, and an orchard out front, and tons of real and livable spaces. That is the kind of home that Jackie Leishman has built — cool and modern and artistic but also comfy and livable all at once. You’ll love hearing her thoughts on being a mother and artist, and you’ll love wandering around her amazing home. Welcome, Jackie!


The Big Move FAQs

Thank you for your patience! I’ve owed you this post for a few weeks. Here’s a long Q&A about our move. Why we chose to move. Why we chose to move to France. And why it might have seemed out of nowhere to you (but not to me).

Q. What prompted such a sudden move?

A. I know it seemed sudden, but we actually started planning the move in earnest during the fall of 2018 — a full year ago.

If I missed your question, you can add it to the comments on this post.

A Few Things

Hello, Friends. How are you? What’s happening in your life? We’ve been here in France for two weeks and are still settling in. This week was full of more required + practical stuff. The kids had physicals so they can participate on the swim team (practice starts next week). Ben Blair joined the local gym. Today, we meet the kids’ music teachers and we’re looking at a couple more houses. And we still have a couple of big tasks to complete: We need to finish setting up our French bank account. And we need to make a decision on a car.

We’re not sure on our weekend plans. We may take a daytrip to Brittany, or we might try and knock off a few more to-do items on our list.

Ready for some weekend reading? Here are a few things I’ve wanted to share:

18 links just for you.

French Cottage: A New Mailbox

Our weekend project is installing a new mailbox at our French Cottage. We use the cottage as our permanent French address, but the mailbox is quite ancient, and the mail sometimes gets wet (yikes!).

My favorite mailboxes have long been the red Swedish style options. I first bought one for a porch refresh back in 2007 when we were renting a little house in New York. (Fun fact: We drove by this house in August on a little nostalgia tour, and the whole exterior has been changed, but the little red mailbox is still on the porch!)

I’m assuming I can’t find something like that here in our little town, so I’ll check out their big box home improvement shops and see what’s in stock (they have Lowe’s/Home Depot equivalents like Brico Marché and Brico Cash and Magasin Vert), and then go from there. If I can’t find anything I like, I may decide to order one — there are a bunch of good-looking options with a similar look and feel. Here are a few of my favorites:

With prices under $20, a fresh mailbox is great way to make a quick and happy update to your home.



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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