Living With Kids: Jennifer VanDerwerken

I think you’ll love getting to know Jennifer. She was living in the big city, working in publishing, never thinking she’d go back to the small home town she grew up in. But when she had kids, she started to feel that urge to return “home.” Her parents are still young and vibrant and love their grandkids, and because of the distance, Jennifer didn’t get to see them as often as she liked.

So Jennifer found a lovely 70s rambler in her home town, moved her family, and began to tackle updates to make it feel just right for their family. The house is so lovely, you’re not going to want to miss one bit.

Welcome, Jennifer!

Jenn works in publishing and her husband is an English teacher and there are books around every corner. Keep reading!

What Age Do You Want to Live To?

Last week, the Washington Post published a short article about how Japan has recently set a new record for the number of people in their country who are over 100 years old.

“The ministry announced Friday that the number of Japanese citizens who were older than 100 had risen to reach 69,785. Of that number, more than 88 percent are women.”

While my first thought is that it’s an amazing miracle that the average life span is going up, up, up, the reality of actually living longer lives brings up lots of questions and issues our modern societies don’t quite know how to deal with.

Come discuss this with me. I’m curious about your thoughts.

A Few Things

Hello, Friends. How was your week? Can you believe tomorrow is the first day of fall? Is it starting to feel like it where you live? My week was really good. The unexpected disruption from my Twitter thread has died down significantly and is a much more manageable place.

A few highlights for those who are curious. I was interviewed on CNN Headline News, and on a radio show out of Montreal. I’m working on an article for Medium and another one for I’m headed to Australia to present my thread at a Feminist Writer’s Conference on November 1st. I’ve had lovely messages and tweets and reposts from Alyssa Milano, Franchesca Ramsey, Sophia Bush, Andy Lassner (from Ellen), George Takei, Jodi Picoult, Stacy London, Jo Jo Moyes and lots of other celebrities and writers.

The thread has been covered on all sorts of online news sites big and small — including Upworthy and HuffPost. In fact, a Google search turns up pages and pages of results referencing the thread.

It’s definitely been an interesting experience.

Beyond that, we’re hoping to have a low key weekend, with lots of downtime. How about you? Anything you’re looking forward to?

Also, here are a few things I’ve been wanting to share:

Here they are. 14 links just for you.

An New Initiative That Makes Outdoor Play Even Healthier

This post is sponsored by Stonyfield Organic — come learn about their world-changing initiative, StonyFIELDS.

Everyday, parents across the country, including me, send our kids out to play. Healthy outdoor play is the BEST. Right? It’s something we can all agree on.

But what if our kids are absorbing carcinogenic pesticides as they play?

That’s the question that occurred to the folks at Stonyfield Organic. They’ve been caring about the organic fields where their cows graze, and the fields where their fruits and veggies grow, for over 35 years. But what about the fields where our child grow and play? The soccer fields. The baseball fields. The lacrosse fields.

It turns out over 26 million kids play on these fields, and 65% of the fields are sprayed regularly with a mix of harmful pesticides. (More on that data here.) 

Come see if your city is one of the StonyFIELDS launch cities.

Why Aren’t More Women Creating TV Shows?

Ten days ago Les Moonves, CBS’s chairman and C.E.O., stepped down because of many, many accounts of sexual misconduct, and the investigative work of Ronan Farrow. I realize that in our current news cycle 10 days ago might as well be last year, but I’ve found myself still thinking about this story, and reading essays and commentary about it.

Why aren’t there more women creating TV shows? Because men like Les Moonves drive them out. Linda Bloodworth Thomason, the creator of Designing Women, and one of CBS’s top hitmakers, wrote an amazing essay about Les Moonves called Not All Harassment is Sexual. Les didn’t assault Ms. Thomason, or molest her, but he straight up ruined her career. I hope you take a minute and read her essay. I’ll highlight a piece of it:

The Les Mooves story made me particularly angry. Come discuss why.



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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