A Few Things

Hello, Friends. It’s Friday! How are you? I’m writing to you from Utah — I know it’s late April, but we woke up to fresh snow this morning. As you can imagine, my California kids were over the moon about it, but I’m sure the locals are rolling their eyes. : )

We’re here for my niece’s wedding, which is tomorrow, and today we get to go to her college graduation — she was asked to speak, which is a big deal, and we’re all bragging about her. Graduating on Friday and getting married on Saturday? That’s an epic weekend!

Then, on Saturday night, we have tickets to see Betty Blue Eyes, directed by our friend Chris Clark, at the Hale Center Theater.

How about you? What are your weekend plans? I’m off to enjoy our day of cousins and family, but before I go, here are a few things I’ve wanted to share:

Tons of great links, straight ahead.

12 Beautiful Tools to Tend Mother Nature

Is gardening on anyone else’s mind? The weather is supposed to be amazing next week and all I want to do is work in the yard. I feel like I talk about this too much, but there’s almost nothing that inspires me more than using beautiful, well-designed products and tools, and gardening is no exception. So I’ve been scouting out gorgeousness from one of the best gardening sources, Anthropologie’s Garden line called Terrain. Do you know it?

Their current offerings seem especially strong. Digging. Every. Page. There are over 100 lovely gardening tools here, from all around the world, in shapes that free fresh and unusual. Oh and the pretty pretty gardening gear — look here.

There are 12 extra special items that caught my eye (two from William Sonoma):

Copper Watering Can  –  Brass Watering Lance  –  Yellow Oval Watering Can

Ilse Jacobsen  –  Hunter Tall Floral (Ahhh!) –  Hunter Clogs

Clarington Forge Hand Tool Set  –  Japanese Carbon Steel Shears  –  Sophie Potting Scoop (the very best shape!)

Long Floral Gloves  –  Plant Mister  –  Copper Long Handle Spade

If you are an avid gardner or your mother is (because that one holiday is approaching), definitely take some time to peruse! Any of these would make an excellent gift.

P.S. — I also found these charming Gnome Garden Kits &  Unicorn Garden Kits for my kiddos to nurture their own love of gardening. I’m sure they would love to see this all abloom (and so would I).

 


Credits: Shopping and design assistance by Audrey Moore.

Facebook Live Broadcast

I usually do Facebook Live Broadcasts on Thursdays, but since I’m traveling today, I did my broadcast yesterday instead — direct from my dining table in Oakland. I talked about a ton of good stuff in the video! Here’s a little list:

I’m hosting a big Tuxe Bodywear Giveaway with 3 winners! To enter, just visit the Tuxe website and leave a comment on the FB Live Broadcast with the name of your favorite bodysuit. Three winners will be randomly chosen and announced on that post today (4/27). You have until 4/27 at Noon PST to enter. If you miss this one, no stress, I’ll be hosting a Tuxe giveaway on Instagram too.

I tried Skyn Box — a mailing of Korean skincare samples and shared my favorites.

I showed off a couple of the new Robert Mahar for Knock Knock products. The Paint By Number Postcards are a big hit with both Betty (age 10) and Olive (age 15).

I introduced Tsh Oxenrider’s book (it already hit the bestseller list!), called At Home in the World. I’ll be reading this on my flight to Utah today. (Also, I talk about why I’m flying to Utah today.)

I showed off charming goods — including the t-shirt I’m wearing in the video — from Montague Workshop and talked about their launch.

I gave a tour of my fabulous new bag from Hello Tosha for Coco & Kiwi. Good news: You can get 30% OFF with the code SCATTERSUNSHINE.

I talked about the new documentary on mental health called Going Sane. (I’ll be at the premiere tonight in SLC. You can find more info here.)

And I also mentioned some of the fun stuff that has been going on here on the blog too (like the Mrs. Meyers Freebies and the great conversations we’ve been having about perfume and sleeping kids).

I hope you enjoy the video! Want me to cover a particular topic in my next broadcast? Just let me know in the comments.

The Best Source for ALL the Mrs. Meyers Scents (Plus a FREE Generous Welcome Kit!)

Raise your hand if you’ve heard of Grove Collaborative. Is it new to you? I signed up with them a couple of months ago after seeing a promotion in my Facebook feed. And now I’m a fully loyal customer and I want to tell you why. 

But first, let me tell you about the offer I worked out with Grove just for Design Mom Readers. Here’s what new Grove Collaborative customers get FREE with their first $20 purchase:

 

– A full-size bottle of Mrs. Meyers Dish Soap (any scent you prefer!)
– A full-size bottle of Mrs. Meyers Hand Soap (any scent you prefer!)
– A full-size bottle of Mrs. Meyers Countertop Spray (yes, in any scent you prefer!)
– A handsome, hardworking Grove dishtowel 
– A 2-pack of the BEST Grove Walnut Scrubber Sponges
– And 2 months of free VIP membership

Fantastic, right?

I’m guessing you don’t know what the VIP membership is, because I had no idea what it was either until I experienced it. I confess, I thought it sounded cheesy when I was first told about the VIP account, but it has actually become my favorite Grove perk. The VIP trial membership means that in addition to three Mrs. Meyer’s full size products, a really good dishtowel, and set of the very best sponges out there, for 60 days you’ll also get free shipping, fun little gifts, exclusive sales and personal service. And you don’t have to set foot in a store!

For VIP accounts, Grove assigns you a personal contact. They email you each month and let you know what’s in your cart and when it will ship and make sure you have plenty of time to update or change things or even skip a delivery if you’re all stocked up. They give you free shipping, special deals, and they add fun freebies and gifts to your box of goodies.

I really love the VIP service. They email, and it feels like when your spouse texts you and says, “I’m at the store, is there anything I can pick up?” I truly find it helpful. And you get 60 days of VIP membership, plus all those free products, when you sign up with Grove today.

To get the fabulous free welcome kit, click here. When you click over, you’ll be asked a few questions and your cart will auto-fill with $20 worth of product as a suggestion. Of course, you can switch out anything and everything, no problem at all. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you realize that Grove’s prices are really good. In fact, I found many items to be less expensive than what I’d find at Target — plus I don’t have to drive there and stand in line, and I won’t end up with yet another throw pillow in my cart, plus a swimsuit cover I don’t actually need, and a dozen random things from the dollar section. Hah!

And hey, if you’re already a Grove customer, I didn’t forget about you. Use this link and you’ll get free pack of Scrubber sponges. (Grove loves you and so do I!)

 

Now, back to why I love Grove. There are 3 main reasons: 1) I’m a Mrs. Meyers customer, but there isn’t a single brick & mortar store I shop at that keeps all the scents in stock. So I always feel a little bummed that I’m not getting the full offering. But Grove stocks it all. Speaking of which, have you tried radish scent? I know it sounds like it would be harsh or bitter, but it’s heavenly. It might be my favorite of the Mrs. Meyers scents, and locally, no one ever seems to carry it. (But Grove sure does.)

Reason number two: Grove has put together a really smart collection of goods. They’ve done the research for me, so my decision making is easy. You can shop by category, by brand, by best sellers — and they’re careful to only stock the really good stuff.

For those of you who live in towns where you don’t have easy access to shopping, Grove will deliver all those products you’ve been hearing about right to your door. For those of you who have a Target or Whole Foods within 15 minutes of your house (raising my hand), I still prefer Grove for many items because it’s well-stocked, it’s much more convenient, and the prices are often better. (Go check out the Free Welcome Kit and see what I mean.)

Reason number three is the VIP treatment I described above. I love the friendly checkins and reminders. I’m never pressured to buy anything, and when I get a box and discover the freebies and gifts they included, it’s always such a treat.

Want to give Grove a try? This welcome gift is the perfect excuse to sign up and see what it’s like. In order to get your free kit, simply order $20 worth of household items from Grove. I promise that coming up with what to buy for $20 will be easy as can be. They very likely already carry your favorites.

I should also mention: Yes, your free welcome gift focuses on cleaning products, and I do love buying cleaning products from Grove, but I also love shopping their health & beauty section. They stock everything I need, and they have terrific prices — so I don’t have to stop at several different stores to find my favorites. My last order included: Yes to Cucumber Makeup Removal Wipes (travel size, please!), Acure Organics Repair Serum, Dr. Bronners Peppermint Soap (my absolute favorite bar soap), Yes to Grapefruit SPF Moisturizer, and a lovely tube of hand cream included as a free bonus.

Give it a try and then tell me what you think! I want to hear what scents you pick for the 3 Mrs. Meyers Freebies. Does anyone else love the radish scent like I do? And have you tried the Walnut Scrubber Sponges? They really are the best.

P.S. — When I say Grove has all the Mrs. Meyers scents, I’m not kidding. They even have the limited edition scents like peony and lilac!

 


Grove Collaborative is a partner on this promotion. Please note that Grove currently does not ship to Canada, Hawaii, or Alaska. Photos by Kristen Loken for Design Mom.

Would You Ever Bring Street Furniture Into Your Home?

Years ago, I received an Ask Design Mom question about street furniture. A reader named Valerie asked: 
I found a cabinet at the side of the road with a “free” sign next to it, and was delighted to heft it into my station wagon. I just moved to rural Pennsylvania, and am so charmed by the air of history here.

She was writing to ask advice about refinishing it, and I remember giving her a few suggestions, but I also used her question as an excuse to talk about found furniture. Growing up in the west, I don’t remember much found furniture at all — I think that perhaps my community was too new. But when we lived in New York, it was like found furniture Mecca. On Wednesday nights, before garbage pick up the next morning, residents would set out on the curb, pieces of furniture they no longer needed, that anyone could take for free.

I swear, you could drive through Scarsdale on that night and find enough pieces to practically open your own antiques shop. And I can only imagine that Valerie’s experience in historic Pennsylvania was even better. My friend Kathryn, was a total pro at finding good street furniture and would sometimes call me and tell me to hurry to a certain address with our old VW van to pick something awesome up before it was gone.

And it’s not just me, New York magazine did a writeup all about it.

I had a ton of great found pieces in our New York homes. I remember a sturdy green bench — sort of shabby chic, a side table I repainted in a soft pink for the girls room, a bookshelf I found curbside in Manhattan and brought home on the train, a stack of four modern red chairs, and my all-time favorite street furniture find: a wooden by crib in excellent condition. It was hotel size — about half the size of a regular crib, and the small footprint was perfect for the small bedroom that little Maude, Olive and Baby Betty shared. Plus, you could collapse it almost flat for easy storage. (You can see it here, if you’re curious.)

I loved that crib! We brought it with us to Colorado, and Baby June slept in it too.

Here in Oakland, I rarely see furniture out on the street, and there’s no regular night for setting it out that I know of. But I wish there were. It’s such a great way to pass along a still useful piece of furniture without having to haul it to Goodwill or list it on CraigsList. It’s like having access to a community swap once a week, instead of having to wait for a yearly event.

And now I’m wondering, how common is street furniture in your community? And what’s your take on it personally? Have you ever picked something up on the side of the road and brought it into your home? Or does the whole idea sound awful to you (germs! or bugs! gross!)? And do you have any good stories about street furniture? Any favorite pieces? I’d love to hear.

P.S. — I still remember this vintage suitcase vanity I saw on Etsy in 2010. Such a cool reuse project. Is anyone out there still selling these?

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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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