A Few Things

Hello, Friends. How are you? Are you looking forward to the weekend? We have some fun stuff on our schedule. Olive is in a play at her high school tonight, we have two holiday parties to attend, and Oscar has a band concert too. Other fun stuff: Maude’s last final of the semester is tonight, and then she gets a full month home. We’re excited to have her back.

One more fun thing: We’re taking a little holiday trip up the coast to Mendocino! And very much looking forward to it. The town has a holiday train, a holiday light show, and we’ve scheduled a family brunch too. I’ll be sure to report.

How about you? What’s on your schedule this weekend? Do you have one more week of school before the holiday break? (We do too!) Will you be traveling for the holidays? Do you have the tree up yet? Are you in the middle of Hannakuah? I’d love to hear how your December is going. And I also have a few things I’ve wanted to share:

Eleven great links! I think you’ll love them.

The Very Best Gift Guide for People You Sort-of Know

wrapping paper plus boxes - 4 secrets to getting it right

When I asked about your thoughts on gift guides a few weeks ago, there were several requests for miscellaneous categories — co-worker gifts, neighbor gifts, teacher or coach gifts, white elephant and silly gifts — stuff like that. So today’s list covers all that, plus includes a few ideas that are perfect for family gifts (items the whole family would enjoy). Oh, and a full half of the ideas are $15 and under, with a whole bunch under $10 too.

I hope this guide is helpful! As usual, please share your own gift ideas in the comments. And you can find all the gift guides from this year here — the Teen Guide was by far the most popular!

29 Ideas. And they’re affordable too!

Random Thoughts

What an unusual December this has been. How is everyone doing? I just wanted to check in. I feel a bit disconnected and would love to hear what’s on your mind this week. Here’s some of the random stuff I’m thinking of:

– Hanukkah. It started yesterday. Do you celebrate? Or do your relatives or friends celebrate? If you’re curious about the holiday — or mistakenly think of it as “Jewish Christmas” — you might find this short video interesting.

– The fires in Southern California. So many buildings destroyed and so many people evacuated. There are schools that closed last week that won’t reopen until the new year. And a huge number of people will be displaced for the holidays. It’s hard to comprehend the amount of damage.

A reader commented on my most recent Few Things post that she was surprised I hadn’t mentioned the fires. When I read her comment, I thought: It’s true, the fires have barely been on my mind; am I heartless? I suppose it’s because it seems like I’m barely seeing any news coverage. I feel like I saw more updates when the Napa Fires were burning. Is it just because I live near Napa? What about you? Are you seeing lots of coverage of the fires? Do you have friends and relatives that have been personally affected and evacuated?

Lots more randomness from my brain.

15 Gorgeous Handmade Gift Ideas

Let’s talk handmade gifts. My tendency to focus on handmade gifting seems to wax and wane over the years. Sometimes I’m really into it — gathering ideas and supplies for weeks and then setting aside several days to work on the projects. Other times I’m perfectly content to buy something ready made.

Once upon a time, my kids always made gifts for each other for Christmas. I loved this tradition and so did they. It lasted 5 or 6 years, but as Baby June became a toddler, the tradition started to get overwhelming to me and we shifted gears. Interestingly, my younger kids have requested making handmade gifts for their siblings this year, so perhaps it’s time to bring back the tradition.

For those of you who like to make gifts for the holidays, I’ve collected 15 really good ones that I think you’ll love. It’s a wide range of projects, and so many of them are great to make with kids. Especially 4, 5, 9 and 10.

Handmade Heaven. Come see!

Living With Kids: Abby Burba

I am so excited for you all to meet Abby today. She is a interior designer raising her two adorable daughters in lovely North Carolina. And her home is really a stunner. I love when a place really looks collected and curated, you know? Like it doesn’t look like you just bought one whole page out of the Pottery Barn catalogue and plugged it in. : ) It’s neat to see pieces that were found and gathered over time and have a great story to tell.

Well, Abby’s house has that in spades. And she has some really lovely things to say about motherhood that will make you think about the stories in your own life. Come say hello.

You are going to love this mix of vintage and modern. Keep reading!

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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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