A Few Things

Hello, Friends. What’s up? How has your week been? Our school starts on September 1st, so we’re still in summer mode, but we did tackle the school supply lists for Betty and Flora June this week.

French school supply lists are epic and legendary — and I find them very intimidating. I rely on Google Translate quite a bit and it’s incredibly helpful. But the supply lists are so specific and use such technical words, that Google Translate doesn’t seem to work. So it’s a bit of a treasure hunt trying to figure out what to buy. Hah!

In August, a lot of French businesses shut down, and pretty much all of the tradespeople who work on our house are gone for the next two week. So we originally scheduled a trip to the South of France. But that particular trip has been put on hold — without Ralph and Maude it didn’t feel quite right. We may do an alternate trip instead, but if we do, it will be last minute.

What about you? Are you still in summer mode?

I’ve got a great list for you today. Here are a few things I’ve wanted to share:

19 links you’ll love.

Living With Kids: Katie Chandler

Katie and her family who live in Friendswood, Texas. It sounds like the perfect place for Katie to live, because reading her profile you’ll see how friendly she seems. She’s a mom of 5 younger kids and was staying home with them before the pandemic even started, so she has some good perspective on keeping kids involved.

Also, it was interesting to learn that Katie has an autoimmune disease called Hashimotos, which was something I didn’t know a lot about. It affects her thyroid which is what regulates all the hormones in the body, so it’s something that can have big challenges and requires a lot of care. One more thing I should note: Katie’s house is totally gorgeous! You’ll love peeking around. Welcome, Katie!


Is This What Hope Feels Like?


It’s very late here in France. I heard the VP news first from my son Ralph — he texted the family chat with one word: Kamala

My heart about stopped. Then my phone rang. it was my dear friend Laura Mayes calling from Texas. When I answered the phone we both shouted KAMALA. She said: Is this what hope feels like?

ALL the heart eyes.

Need a place to share your joy? The comments are open. Or you can cheer with me on these Instagram and Twitter posts. (Celebratory comments only — this is not a discussion post. Feel free to move along if you’re not in the mood to celebrate.)

P.S. — Kamala Harris is from Oakland, and she launched her presidential campaign from Oakland. My family was there and I’m so glad.

Just Not THAT Woman

My oldest two kids can’t come to France. With few exceptions, France is not issuing visitor visas to people in the U.S. because the virus is still raging out of control in the States. I miss Maude and Ralph so much it hurts. I don’t know when I’ll get to see them again in person. Will we get to be together for Christmas? Is there a country that is accepting American passports where we can all meet up?

I am mostly able to remain grateful. My kids are safe and healthy. I can talk with them and see their faces on FaceTimes and Hangouts. Though sometimes I’m really angry. The photo at top, taken a couple of weeks ago, is missing two people.

This post is actually about the soon to be announced VP pick. Keep reading and let’s discuss.

A Few Things

Hello, Friends. How are you? How was your week? Our week was mostly filled with Visa-renewal tasks (so many tasks!!), including a visit to Caen where we stopped by the building above (it’s where Williams the Conquerer is buried).

Beyond visa-renewal tasks, my weeks have become progressively filled with more and more decisions, design work, research, and physical labor on the house renovation.

I find it all very exciting, but I keep being surprised by how much time it takes up. Stuff like meetings with different tradespeople, getting multiple bids for different projects, figuring out options for vanities in France, and then the actual on-site work like demolition and floor restoration. Plus sharing it all on Instagram Stories.

I definitely have less time to create blog posts, and I feel very conflicted about that.

Anyway, I’m glad the weekend has arrived. It’s going to be a hot one, so we plan to stop by a nearby lake on the Orne River for some swimming. And hopefully, we’ll make more progress on the attic floors. What are you up to this weekend?

Ready for the link list? Here are a few things I’ve wanted to share with you:

19 links this week. Come see.



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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