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Design Mom is a multi-media company based in Oakland/San Francisco, centered around our award-winning daily women’s lifestyle site and best-selling book. We cover design, parenting, travel, food, style, and DIY/crafts. We have a community of more than 400,000 unique readers per month — exceptionally smart women, who are deeply engaged with the site. In the next few months, we’ll be celebrating our 12th anniversary and launching a reader-requested podcast.

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Living With Kids: Adrienne Menniti

Portland, Oregon is one of my favorite cities in America — that’s why it was so exciting for me to connect with Adrienne, the mother featured in today’s Living With Kids home tour. Adrienne recently moved to a suburb, but she’s still feeling homesick for her previous place which was in North East Portland. Homes there are small and older but have beautiful craftsman details and buckets of charm. Adrienne and her husband put in a whole lot of hours restoring and renovating theirs. It’s no surprise they miss it so much. Welcome, Adrienne!

Did you ever wish your house had a tumbling gym in the basement? Keep reading!

What If You Give Your Kid The Wrong Name?

Our daughter Maude, currently a freshman in college, was home over her Spring Break and at one point, we were talking about her full name — Maude Emma Blair. One of our family stories is about how “Emma” was never quite the right fit name-wise. And that we pretty much knew it wasn’t right from the beginning, but we used the name anyway.

As we started our naming adventures, we didn’t know how many kids we’d end up with, but we were picturing a big family. We focused on names from our grandparent’s generation. We wanted them to be simple — easy to pronounce, and to spell. Old names that weren’t in use much anymore. We ended up using: Ralph, Maude, Olive, Oscar, Betty and Flora June as our children’s first names. I love the names individually and as a group (I love the human people with those names even more).

Looking back, we feel like confident namers, but at the beginning of our parenthood, it felt somewhat nerve-wracking. Naming a human being is a serious task. Names are powerful.

More name talk, including the name I had before Gabrielle.

A Few Things

Hello, Friends. How are you? Did you have a good week? We jumped right into our usual schedule after a busy school break, and it felt good to get back in the swing of things. This weekend, I’d love to tackle some spring cleaning — I’m especially thinking about the wool rugs in our living room and entry. They both need a good shampoo. If there’s sun in the forecast, I’m going to make it happen. I know it sounds boring, but I like projects like that — not too overwhelming, with a clear beginning and end, where I can really see a difference when I’m done.

We also have a Scout pancake breakfast for Oscar this weekend, and Olive is heading to a church dance. Should be fun. How about you? Anything you’re looking forward to?

Here are a few things I’ve been wanting to share with you:

15 links to fill your weekend reading list.

I’m Pretty Sure The Whole Collection Will Sell Out This Week

Do you live near an IKEA? We have one about 10 minutes from our house — it’s basically as close as our closest Target. Because it’s so convenient, I feel like I can stop by when I need a dose of inspiration — or just to pick up a box of cinnamon rolls. And I didn’t realize this until a couple of months ago, but every 3 weeks or so, they introduce new mini-collections with guest designers. The collections are typically limited-time only, and no surprise, the best pieces often sell out lightening fast. Once I figured out about the mini-collections, I started trying to drop by more often, just to see what’s new.

I was there yesterday, and they had just set out (as in they were literally finishing the display while I was shopping) a collection called HJÄRTELIG. (Which I don’t know how to pronounce. But no matter.) It was designed by Maja Ganszyniec and Andreas Fredriksson, and it definitely caught my eye. It’s only going to be around for a few weeks, and I predict these 8 pieces will sell out first:

Which one is your favorite?



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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