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.

Recipe: Spaghetti with Chicken Meatballs

Bowl of spaghetti topped with chicken meatballs and marinara sauce

When Lindsey told me she had an excellent recipe for chicken meatballs she wanted to share, I was like, “Chicken meatballs? For real?” I was very skeptical and was prepared to give these meatballs some raised eyebrow or maybe some side eye.

But now that I’ve see the recipe (the ease! the flexibility!), I’m like, “Hey Ben Blair, when are we trying these?”

Come see. Here’s what Lindsey says:

Double recipe straight ahead — Chicken Meatballs and Spaghetti Sauce from Scratch!

Alt Summit Call For Presenters

We’re right in the middle of the Alt Summit 2020 Call for Speakers. It opened on Monday and closes this Sunday, September 15th, at 11:59 PM PST. It’s an open call for Speakers, Teachers, Artists, Fashion Designers, Filmmakers, Crafters, Photographers, and Performers.

We’re getting the word out on via the Alt Summit newsletter and Instagram, but I wanted to make sure Design Mom Readers see the news too — because I know you’re a very talented, smart, interesting group of people! And presenters get a free conference ticket! So if you’ve always wanted to come to Alt Summit, but the ticket feels out of reach, this is your chance.

Here’s what you need to know if you’d like to submit a pitch:

Keep reading for all the info.



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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