The Best Way To Run Errands When You Don’t Have A Car

This post is sponsored by Uber


Uber asked me to try their new service, Express POOL. Have you heard of it? I had seen the Express POOL option in the app, but didn’t know anything about it, so I was curious to learn more. For the last week or so, I’ve been waiting for the right opportunity to give Express POOL a try, and on Saturday, the opportunity arrived.

Maude wanted me to go look at apartments with her near campus, but Olive was using one car, and Ben Blair was using the other. Mostly, sharing two cars works well for us, but with four drivers at home (Ralph will make #5 when he gets back in a couple weeks), there are times when I want to run an errand, and there isn’t a car in the driveway to use. On Saturday, when I realized we didn’t have a car available, I thought: Ding! Ding! Ding! The perfect time to try Express POOL. 

I told Maude about it — and that I wanted to try it — and she looked at me with confusion. Then she said, “Mom. Yes, I know about Express POOL. How do you think I’ve been getting from Berkeley to our house for 4 bucks?”

Hahaha! I mean, OF COURSE she knew about Express POOL. As I was about to discover, it’s so perfect for college students, or for anyone who is watching their budget, doesn’t mind walking a couple of blocks, and has a flexible timeframe. Maude said that for her, it’s less expensive to use ExpressPOOL than it is to use public transit to get from college to home, but a whole lot more convenient, and takes a fraction of the time.

So I said, “Maude, this is perfect. You take me through each step, and I’ll write a tutorial.” And that’s what we did. Here’s a step-by-step Express POOL How-to, featuring me and Maude and our excursion to campus.

Click here for all the details on how it works. Plus, Maude introduced me to the Lawless Circle on campus. Come see.

Living With Kids: Shelly Nupp

Do you ever get an itch to spruce up a space in your home, but you get frustrated because everything you want just seems too outside your budget? Well you are going to love meeting Shelly. She and her husband have completely redecorated their entire home for a few thousand dollars — and the results look they spent ten times that much.

Shelly was featured on DIY Network’s First Time Flippers, and now runs a blog all about renovating on a budget. Welcome, Shelly!

This home will leave you inspired to find some creative ways to freshen up your own space. Read on!

A Few Things

Hello, Friends. How are you? Did you have a good week?

There is so much on my mind these days — I think I’m going to feel like I’m treading water this whole month, you know? The biggest thing is that school starts on Monday. I can hardly believe it. This summer went by unusually fast! I would not be sad if we had several more weeks of summer break.

We’ve been having our back-to-school mom + kid dates (June was Wednesday, Betty was Thursday, Oscar is today, and Olive is tomorrow). Maude is on the hunt for an apartment near campus — her classes start on the 22nd. And we placed orders for a couple of backpacks. The kids are at their last swim team practice as I type this, and the final swim meet is this weekend. Summer is really coming to and end.

Another big thing: my sister Jordan is on the cover of Parent’s Magazine!! And she’s looking FABULOUS. The photo shoot for the cover took a full day and involved a big crew. Jordan shared the behind the scenes details on her Instagram Stories and they’re so good — she said there was one person with the sole job of running the wind machine for her hair. Hah! Go buy a copy so you can see Jordan’s gorgeous house too.

One more big thing, also related to my sister Jordan: I’m headed to New York on Tuesday for the Color Factory NYC Opening Party. (You can buy tix for Color Factory NYC here.) I’ve been getting some sneak peeks and holy cow it’s going to be awesome.

Jordan has worked her butt off for the last decade, and it’s so fantastic to see some of her biggest visions coming to life. It’s really fun to be related to someone who thinks on such a grand scale.

Can you tell I’m feeling some big sister pride today? How about you? What’s on your schedule? Anything you’re excited about?

To keep you company this weekend, here are a few things I’ve been wanting to share:

Thirteen links are waiting just for you.

The Treehouse: Redesigning the Boys’ Bedroom

Can you believe Ralph gets home from his mission in Colombia 3 weeks from today? Before he left, he was sharing a bedroom with Oscar (you may remember we have a three bedroom house — the girls’ room, the boys’ room, and the master bedroom). But while he’s been gone, we shifted some things around.

We had a guest bed in one of our lofts, and we needed the loft for office storage. So we decided to donate the twin beds that were in the boys’ room, and move the guest bed there instead. Which means Oscar has been sleeping in the full-size bed for the last two years. When we have guests, they sleep in Oscar’s room, and Oscar either moves to Maude’s bed (when she’s at college/Paris), or moves to a sofa in the family room (when Maude is home). It all works out.

With Ralph coming home soon, we knew we wanted to redo the boys’ room. The transition home for missionaries can be tricky, and we wanted to make sure it feels like there’s still a true place for him in our home, and that he doesn’t feel like an afterthought. So at the very least, I knew we needed to add another bed to the boys’ room. : )

As I started a plan for a redesign, I was also trying to solve a few other problems: 1) Even after Ralph comes home, we will still need the boys’ room to be an optional guest room. 2) The closet space is not adequate for a 13-year-old and a 20-year-old. 3) The room needs to feel more grownup, but still cool.

Come see the latest progress — the wallpaper arrived today!

Do Vampires Have Moral Obligations?

This is a lightweight topic, but I’d love your thoughts. Do you enjoy something that is widely considered embarrassing, but you love it anyway without shame? I was thinking about that as Ben Blair and I binge-watched the Twilight Movies a couple of weeks ago. They’re on Amazon Prime at the moment, and we watched the first one, and then decided to keep going and watch all five. 

It’s not the first time we’ve watched them. I bought and read the books when they first came out, and we watched all five of the movies in the theater. We’ve rented the movies a few times since, and always love when they show up on Netflix or Amazon.

Come discuss the morals of vampires with me, please.



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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