This Super Simple Project Instantly Improves Communication With Your Littlest Kids


What an amazing creative week this has been at our house. We just wrapped on a BIG shoot with Magnolia Journal. Plus, Alt Summit sold out in 2 hours yesterday! Last year it took 24 hours, so this was even faster than I expected. 

But I confess, I’ve been very homesick for Design Mom all week, and really happy to be back at my laptop this morning. The big post I’m working on is the Master Bath & Closet remodel (finally!). I will share it later today as soon as it’s done. But first, I came across this Design Mom post from a decade ago and wanted to share it here. Amy Turn Sharp (the social media poet we should all totally be obsessed with), wrote about a super easy project, called an Emotion Wheel, that she created with her son. And I think it’s so smart and so helpful for anyone trying to communicate with young children this summer.

Here’s what Amy says:

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Living With Kids: Barbara Haran

Have you ever done a remodel in your home and wondered how you were going to survive the mess and chaos of everything? Well today’s Home Tour family not only remodeled an old 1950’s Ranch House into a lovely light filled space, but they did the whole thing with a 1 year old under foot!

Meet Barbara and family. Their house is gorgeous and inspiring and full of light.

Every detail in this remodel was considered and you’re not going to want to miss any of them!

A Few Things

Hello, Friends! How are you? How was your week? We had a BIG one at our house. Things that happened since my last Friday post:

1) Maude graduated from high school.

2) Everyone had their last day of school, and started summer activities on Monday (like swimming lessons).

3) Oscar got to perform on stage with Roger Waters of Pink Floyd at the Oracle Arena (the same place the Warriors play — also, the Warriors won the championship!). You can see video below if you’re curious.

4) Maude was sprayed by a skunk, while she was in our driveway.

5) I went to Utah for a funeral. Just a 24-hour trip.

6) We’ve been doing some major projects in the house to get ready for a photo shoot next week. What’s the shoot? A team from Magnolia Journal (the lovely publication of Chip & Joanna Gaines) is coming to take photos of our house for a feature in the magazine.

7) The kids had a music recital — piano, voice and guitar. They were awesome.

8) We took the whole family to see Wonder Woman (it was my 3rd time!).

9) Oh. And I had my birthday. (Do you remember who I share it with?) There was so much going on, we couldn’t really celebrate that day, so we’re thinking we’ll postpone till next weekend instead.

10) On our mind this weekend? Father’s Day!

I think I need to do a Facebook Live broadcast to catch you up on the all the details. Till then, here are a few things I’ve been wanting to share:

Keep reading for 11 awesome links.

Gene Testing Kits on Sale! And on Amazon! Order Now and Get It On Time for Father’s Day

The last minute Father’s Day gift I’m buying for Ben Blair? A gene-testing kit. I just realized that the two biggest brands — AncestryDNA and 23andMe — are both available on Amazon, are both 20% off (on sale for $79), and can both be delivered as early as tomorrow. I may even get one for both of us.

And now, the question is: Which one should I get? I feel like I’ve heard more frequently about 23andMe kits, but on Amazon, the AncestryDNA kits have 3 times as many reviews — which makes me seem like they’re far more popular. 

I’ve been wanting to try one of these for a few months now and seem to gravitate toward articles about these tests. This seems like the perfect time to finally give it a try.

I’d love your advice. Have you tried one? Which brand? Does it have extra features you weren’t expecting? Would you choose the same one again? Have you used it to help you with Family History? Anything you wish you had known before you tried a kit? And if you’ve already tried one, did the results surprise you at all? I’d love to hear!

P.S. — Last month we talked about printed Family Trees for possible Mother’s Day gifts — they’d be great for dad too. Also, what box do you mark on forms when you’re asked about race?

Dinner on the Grill: Moroccan-Spiced Chicken Kabobs with Whipped Feta Sauce

Moroccan-Spiced Chicken Kabobs

Bookmark this recipe. You’ll want it the next time it’s too hot to cook in your kitchen — which might be tonight! I asked Lindsey to keep the easy summer dinner recipes coming, and she is totally nailing it. Don’t these Chicken Kabobs look amazing? At our house, we ADORE anything that even hints at Greek food (if a recipe includes feta, it counts!), and I know my whole family will give this meal 5-stars.

Moroccan-Spiced Chicken KabobsMoroccan-Spiced Chicken Kabobs

Here’s what Lindsey says:

We’ve moved from easy sheet pan dinners to meals that I can prepare (almost) entirely on the grill. And no one is complaining at my house! I can get my kids to eat practically anything if it’s cooked on the grill. Thus grilling season, I think, may be my favorite of all. That’s assuming it’s never not grilling season, I suppose. During the winter we put our grill away and it’s always a welcome sight when we bring it back out onto the patio.

One of our favorite things to grill is kabobs. They’re easy to make, cook, and eat. Chicken is always popular and I never run out of ways to change things up. These Moroccan-Spiced Chicken Kabobs are a huge hit and can be eaten straight off the skewer, or folded into a flatbread with hummus, lettuce, and veggies.

And there may be a delicious feta sauce too…

Full recipe and instructions just for you.



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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