Living With Kids: Julia Ditto

Don’t you ever just want to get away from it all? Get away from the busy streets, and noisy neighbors and go find your own sanctuary on 17 acres in some of the most beautiful country you’ve ever seen? Then you are going to love this farmhouse home tour. This home is as full of light and colorful and welcoming on the inside as the views are breathtaking on the outside. There is charm and personality in every corner or this place, and when you finish reading, you’ll want to rush out and get wallpaper for your fridge. I’m serious!

Come say hello to Julia Ditto and her family of eight (plus a puppy!).

Vintage charm and some seriously breathtaking views ahead!

Why Do We Make Children Sleep Alone?

should children sleep alone?

I read an interesting opinion piece in the LA Times titled Why Do We Make Children Sleep Alone. In case you don’t get a chance to read it, the basic premise is this:

“For all the tenacity with which we cling to the ideal of solitary childhood sleep, it’s a historical anomaly. This system of sleeping — adults in one room, each child walled off in another — was common practice exactly nowhere before the late 19th century, when it took hold in Europe and North America. ” And, “Our sleep, in other words, has a large carbon footprint. Far from being a backward practice, co-sleeping, or at least sleeping in close proximity, may be a more enlightened, sustainable use of space and natural resources.”

The article struck me, because though I’ve had many conversations over the years about co-sleeping — how long we preferred to keep babies in the same room/same bed, and how we handle siblings sharing a room — I’ve never thought about the history of sleep or considered that there are modern cultures where still today, family members all sleep in one room.

More thoughts on kids and sleep, straight ahead.

When’s the Last Time You Chose a New Perfume?

best summer perfumes

It’s a simple thing, but it totally improved my morning routine: I’m wearing a new scent! 

Probably you already have a dozen perfumes to choose from. My teenagers do and I know it’s not uncommon. But until very recently, I’ve been wearing the same scent for about 7 years. When I lived in New York, I became fascinated with the idea of a “signature scent” — of wearing one particular scent so consistently that my kids and my husband and my close friends would come to associate the scent with me. So I searched out a scent that I knew I could love for a long, long time, and have worn it ever since. The scent I chose is by Bond No. 9, and it’s called Eau de New York.

To be clear, I still really love the idea of a signature scent and I still love Eau de New York. But. A couple of weeks ago, I ran out of perfume. My current bottle was empty and I hadn’t made plans to replace it yet. But I wanted to wear a scent, and I remembered that I had a bottle of perfume randomly purchased on a ferry from France to England several years ago. So I pulled it out, and put it on.

And it was so refreshing! I felt like I had just updated my whole wardrobe. I swear, I had a new spring in my step just from putting on a new perfume. I really had no idea a new scent would feel so transformative.

The new scent I’ve been wearing is Lacoste Pour Femme. It’s a light scent and I think I got lucky that I started wearing it at the same time the weather warmed up, because it’s perfect for spring and summer. I’m really loving it. (Speaking of Lacoste, Ben Blair has worn the Lacoste white bottle for ages, and I find it irresistible. So I don’t know why I’m surprised I’m enjoying the women’s version.)

best summer perfumes

Wearing a new scent has been so delightful, that I’ve been wanting to add more options to my collection. The next two on my wishlist are both recommended by my stylish friend Sara Stratford — she says this one smells like lemon drops (yes, please), and she mentioned Beach, by Bobbi Brown, is (obviously) perfect for summer. 

Now I’m curious: How often do you change your perfume? Seasonally? When your current bottle runs out? And do you have a signature scent? Or do you like to switch things up? Or perhaps you don’t wear perfume at all and have an aversion to colognes and scented lotions or candles (during my pregnancies, I couldn’t stand perfumes!). Oh. And if you have a favorite scent at the moment, please share. I’d love to hear/smell what everyone is wearing these days.

P.S. — How to pick out a new perfume.

A Few Things

Hello, Friends! How are you? I arrived home last night after a few days in Sayulita, Mexico. You can see photos of the trip on Instagram and Facebook. It was a work trip, and I worked hard — lots and lots of meetings and planning — but the location was so spectacular that it definitely felt like a vacation too.

I attempted a Facebook Live broadcast yesterday before I left to tell you all about it. Here’s one attempt from my hotel room, it’s the most clear, but it cuts out after 11 minutes — watch it to see the cute souvenirs I bought! The official alternate attempt is here — and I made it through the whole thing, but the voice and images don’t sync up well, so you might want to just listen. I’ll embed it below.

This is what I talked about in the broadcast:

1) The stunning hotel I stayed at. It’s called Amor Boutique Hotel, and I was in a 3 bedroom indoor/outdoor suite with a full kitchen and living area and 4 full bathrooms and spectacular views. I’m dying to come back with the whole family. My suite was called Villa Arboles — you can see photos here, and I did a little video tour that you can find here.

2) At about the 20 minute mark, I talked about the England School post and how you let me know I titled it very, very wrong (and that I agree).

3) I talked all about my spray tan — I got my first one for this trip and I’m basically obsessed now.

4) I read The Handmaid’s Tale while I was in Mexico and talked about that too. Have you read it? Thoughts? Are you going to watch the TV series?

5) And I also talked about the Iris Awards. I was nominated for Live Stream of the Year! If you’ve ever been to Mom 2.0, you can vote.

And now I’m back, and I have a long list of links for you. Here are a few things I’ve been wanting to share:

13 really good links straight ahead.



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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