Living With Kids – Jessica Jackson

A while ago, a reader requested featuring more homes in this series at lower price ranges. Gabrielle put out the call, and Jessica was one of the first to respond. While her husband is going to grad school, they live with their three young kids in a town home that is partially government subsidized.

Despite living on a graduate student budget, Jessica and her husband have learned to get creative with their resources — including learning woodworking so they can build their own furniture! You’ll love seeing the happy, bright home they’ve put together. Welcome, Jessica!

Jessica has so many smart things to say embracing this stage of her life. Keep reading!

Random Thoughts

I think it’s about time for a Random Thoughts post! Here’s what’s on my mind right about now.

– This is a funny week at our house. It’s unlike any other that I can remember. On Sunday, we dropped off Maude, Olive, Oscar, Betty, June, and their cousin Henry, at the airport, so they could fly out to Cousins Week. June turned 8 in May, and this is the first year she’s old enough to go.

I always feel so emotional sending them off. I stand there at security, waving until I can’t see them anymore. It feels so different when I fly off to a conference, versus sending them off into the world. Do you feel the same way?

Keep reading for more of what’s on my mind.

A Few Things


Hello, Friends. How are you? How was your week? We’ve had a good one, but our house felt strange to me. Oscar has been at Scout Camp since Saturday, and Ralph is still in Colombia on a mission, but our four daughters were home. Without any sons around, the house definitely felt different. It actually feels different whenever any kid is gone, but when Ben Blair was out for the evening yesterday, and it was just the 5 of us female Blairs having dinner together, it occurred to me how rare that is at our house. : )

Our weekend plans include a first drum lesson for Betty and June. A swim meet. Oscar getting home from Scout Camp. And sending all the kids off to Cousins Week. This will be June’s first time at Cousins Week — 8 years old is the minimum age.

How about you? Anything fun on your schedule? Just in case you’re looking for some entertainment, here are a few things I’ve been wanting to share with you:

Fourteen fantastic links. Click here.

What If It Was Illegal to Keep Your Maiden Name?

I was surprised to read this stat in a headline the other day: 70 percent of U.S. adults reported they believe a married woman should change her name, and half said it should be required by law. I’m going to repeat that last part: Half of Americans think women should be required by law to take their husband’s name.

Does that seem surprising to you? We haven’t had a married name/maiden name discussion here in awhile (I think the last one was in 2013), and I’ve been going along under the impression that more and more women were keeping their maiden names when they married. If you had asked me to guess the percentages, I would have said maybe it’s 50/50 by now on how many women change their name with marriage, and how many don’t. But I just looked up the real number and only 20% of women keep their maiden name. So obviously, I’m way off, and clearly I don’t have an understanding of how people are approaching this issue.

I still feel unsettled about my name change all these years later. Let’s discuss.

Living With Kids: Katharina Tieben

I was delighted when Katharina reached out to me about sharing her home. She and her family built their home in the German countryside. The details feels smart and carefully chosen, and the whole home is beautifully put together. As I looked at the photos, I noticed the European influence —  the scale feels different than American homes, and there are nooks and crannies to discover. Katharina has wonderful things to say about understanding what makes us happy, and how we spend our time. It was a refreshing read for me this week. Welcome, Katharina!

Every corner of this home is more inviting than the last. Keep reading.



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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