A Few Things

Hello, Friends. How are you? Any fun plans for the weekend? We’ve got the usual kid stuff happening. June has a birthday party to go to. Oscar is babysitting for another family. Olive’s headed to a play. Betty has a rescheduled clarinet lesson. And on Sunday, Ben Blair is heading to San Diego for a few days. It’s for an accreditation conference — which reminds me, I haven’t updated you on Teachur in ages, but there’s tons of cool stuff happening. I’ll work on a post about it.

Other exciting things: Olive spent yesterday lobbying California politicians at the state capitol in Sacramento. Today, she helped organize the school walkout at the high school, and Oscar helped organize the National School Walkout at the middle school. The Walkout commemorates the 19th anniversary of the Columbine shootings, and is a call to end gun violence. I think it’s all happening right now as I type, and I’m sitting here hoping everything goes smoothly, and dying to hear a report when they get home.

How about you? Anything interesting happening at your house this weekend? While you’re making plans, here are a few things I’ve been wanting to share with you:

Thirteen links just for you.

How Often Do You Replace…?

Just curious. I see advice all the time on how often to replace things. Toothbrushes? They say at least every three to four months. Mascara? The recommendation is two to three months. Makeup brushes/applicators? Same: two to three months. Your mattress? You’ve got ten years. But your pillows? One to two years. Bath towels? Every two years. And spices? They say eight months to a year.

Of course, this is just a small list — there are replacement recommendations for pretty much everything.

I was thinking of this at Target the other night when I was buying toothbrushes. I’m pretty sure it’s been at least six months since the last time I bought some. I know that will gross some of you out. Honestly, I don’t think I regularly follow a single one of the recommendations I listed. Or if I do, it’s by accident.

The last time I replaced my mascara? Keep reading.

We’re Hiring!

Fun news: Design Mom is hiring! We’re looking for an SEO Pro and an Editorial Assistant to join our team. Both are part-time, virtual positions — meaning you can work from anywhere. : )

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.

Click through for details on both positions.

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.



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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