Design Mom in 2014 – The Future Looks Bright!

ball of light

Image and text by Gabrielle.

Hello, Friends! Do you have a minute? I’d love to talk 2014 with you. As I mentioned last week, there are some changes afoot here at Design Mom.

The first is a biggie. In 2012, I started working with a regular team of contributors. It was an experiment, with the original goal being to double the content on Design Mom to an average of 6 posts a day, and to eventually create a place where I could even step away for a few days, or even weeks, as an author — to create a place that was more about the team than me as an individual. And goodness, I LOVE working with these ladies. They bring so much talent and enthusiasm to the table and I know how much they treasure this community.

But friends, the experiment didn’t work! Turns out readers didn’t want 6 posts a day. It was too much content. And turns out, I don’t want to step away from Design Mom. I love this job. I love interacting with readers. I love reading and responding to comments. I love your emails, ideas and suggestions. And I love writing blog posts.

You may have noticed that contributors had less of a presence on the blog through December. And that’s going to continue. Over the next week, we’ll finish the transition, and for the remainder of the year there will no longer be contributor posts. 

To be clear, I’ll still be working with lots of talented folks (and lots of the same talented folks we’ve all come to love), but they won’t have regular columns. Instead, all articles will be authored by me, and I’ll bring on help per article, as needed.

So if there won’t be regular contributors on Design Mom in 2014, what can you expect instead?

What you will see in 2014 on Design Mom:

– The Living With Kids home tours will continue every Tuesday. Yay!

– We’ll be doing exciting work on The Treehouse this year (some on The Cottage as well). So expect house-centric posts like this one about the floors.

– There will still be travel adventures this year, but instead of Norway and Venice and Amsterdam, we’ll concentrate on getting to know our new home and every cool place within driving distance — like Yosemite and Big Sur.

– You can expect even more essay-type posts on things like food, health, education, beauty, and parenting. Watch for more articles about schools in Oakland, our food habits from France, my oil-pulling attempt — I’ve even got a post about lice I’m working on. Hah! (I confess, I’m particularly looking forward to writing more of these types of posts, because I always love the discussions and comments they spur.)

– Because of the resounding “yes, please” response to the birth stories, I’ll be relaunching that column as well.

– I continue to be a big fan of fun DIY projects, so expect those to continue — clever ideas for the holidays, for gifts, for parties. That sort of thing.

– Video. Yes, we’ll continue sharing the Olive Us videos we’ve already shot, and yes, we want to create more as well!

– As some of you know, I’m one of the founders and owners of Alt Summit, which takes up a good portion of my time. So you’ll see updates and reports about our conferences and events from time to time.

There are also two big projects that I’ll be giving attention to in 2014:

– I’ve just hatched an idea for a series that I want to launch in the middle of the year about mothers and beauty and style and identity. I’m fairly obsessed with it at the moment. I hope that if I start now, I’ll be ready to share it in a few months.

– And I know I almost never mention it, but I am in the middle of writing a book! To catch you up: in January of 2012 Artisan books offered me a book deal and I announced it here. The reason I don’t write about it much, is it’s a total shame trigger for me — two years later and I’m not done yet! I am not good at writing books. It is so hard.

The story goes like this. To my great embarrassment, I sat on that book deal for over a year and never signed the contract. I had a really hard time wrapping my head around the “why” of writing a book. For those of you who are born writers, you may be shaking your head at me, but honestly, it was never a goal of mine to write a book. And obviously, it’s a major undertaking, so I didn’t want to approach it lightly.

After a year of looking at, then filing the contract, then looking at, then filing the contract, I finally found myself at a place where I really, really wanted a hard-copy, hold-in-your-hand representation of the work I do. I’m sure that sounds dumb to some people, but there it is. Every once in awhile I get the sensation of how ephemeral the digital world can be — even with backups of backups, it feels like something could shift, and suddenly, all the work I’ve done over the last 7 years could just disappear 

So after a year+ of hard thinking, I found that I really, really wanted to write a book. And a good one! Not a repeat of the blog, but something wholly original. Something that I would be truly proud of. Artisan sent a fresh, updated contract, and I signed it last spring! Which means, though I haven’t mentioned it, I’ve been working hard on the book for the last 9 months. It’s slow going. The first outline I sent in — based loosely on the Living With Kids home tours — was nixed. Alas! So I regrouped. And the week before Thanksgiving, I sent in a rough manuscript of about 50% of the book. Progress! Once the manuscript is done, I’ll be focusing on images and photoshoots.

I mention this here, because I intend to write more updates about the book until it’s complete — getting your feedback and sharing highlights. Part of me wishes I was cool enough to pull a Beyoncé and boom! announce my finished book, ready to order. Hah! But really, I know I’ll want your input as I progress.

One last change:

Since 2006, I’ve averaged 3 posts a day on Design Mom. That’s over 5500 published posts so far! As you know, I’m always experimenting with this site, and this year, I’m toying with the idea of less posts per day, but beefing up my social media channels instead. So there might be one post on a given day — say, an essay about screen time + kids. Then, instead of additional posts, I’ll spend time on Instagram, or engage in an hour’s worth of Twitter conversation, or seeking out incredible pins.

This will require major habit changes on my end (I rarely have my cell-phone in hand, which means I’m not on social media channels as much as you might guess), so in the end, it may not happen. But in any case, I’d like to give it a try!

And that’s about wraps it up. I’d love to hear what you think. Do you have opinions on no more contributors? Did I mention anything that you are particularly looking forward to? Or did I miss something that you hope I’ll add? Thoughts on my book? Any interest interacting on social media? Chime in! I hope you know how much I value your feedback and the active role you play in this community.

P.S. — I’ve never created a survey about Design Mom for my readers, but I was thinking of doing one this week. I want to have a solid sense of what you as readers like best about this site, and what you can do with less of. Watch for it.

265 thoughts on “Design Mom in 2014 – The Future Looks Bright!”

  1. Wow! Congrats on the book deal and the new ideas for Design Mom! You truly amaze me on all you accomplish! Maybe you could do a post on how you manage to do so much and do it so beautifully plus look fabulous too! All tips appreciated! :)

  2. Such great things ahead in 2014! Looking forward to all of them. I was holding my breath as I started reading, thinking maybe you were going to say you were stepping away from this blog entirely. I am so glad that is not the case. I’m a big fan. Happy new year!

  3. Thanks for keeping us in the loop. You are always so good at this. I am very excited that you are bring back birth stories and keeping the home tours…two of my faves!!! Good luck with the book!

  4. Bravo to you!!
    I’m happy that you will be doing the writing!!
    I enjoy some of your guest posts but, i have to admit, that if you aren’t the author I tend to be more likely to skip reading!
    I love your personal story -all the minutae(sp?) of your family’s life!!
    Also love Living With Kids.
    Whatever you do I’m sure I will enjoy it.
    BTW congrats on the book deal!! (and I know what it’s like to not act on a sure thing!!) Kim xoxo

  5. Pingback: Design Mom in 2014 | Jerbelle Lau

  6. I’m thrilled about your plan for 2014! I personally will LOVE having one great Gabrielle post a day that we can really build out in the comments section or on social media. And, as someone who is dreaming of a publishing debut myself (still in the agent stage, not yet submitted to publishers), I can not wait to hear more about your book progress! Congrats on all of it! And it sounds like you are starting to feel more yourself lately, which I am especially happy to hear.

  7. I’m really excited about this change. Even though all of your contributors are extremely talented, I enjoy reading your posts the most! With 6 posts per day, it was easier to skip reading 5 of them because I was overwhelmed by the amount! I like the idea of a more simplified posting schedule.

    Can’t wait for the simplified your book either!

    I want to note that I’m not a mom–or close to becoming one! But the design, DIY, travel, and photography keep bringing me back here. Fabulous blog. I’m also in SF, so those Cali posts are a bonus!

    1. I have to tell you, I’m always delighted to here from readers who aren’t parents. It’s just so wonderful to hear that what I’m creating has wide appeal. Thank you, Olivia!

      1. I am not a mom either and don’t plan to be for several more years, but I love coming here to read your posts every day. Even the mom-centered content is great and usually inspires wonderful conversations. Looking forward to all the good stuff for 2014!

      2. I’m not a mom either but I, too, enjoy your writing. Some mom-blogs sort of make you feel like less of a woman if you don’t or can’t have children. I’ve never found that to be the case here. Thank you for that.

        I will miss the Lunch Box posts, though. I used those ideas for my husband and me. Can you do us a favor and do a contributor round-up so I can find their own blogs?

      3. Another non mom here, and I love your blog too! I think the success of this blog comes from your topics and how approachable and relatable your writing is. I too love the living with kids series as well as the birth stories, and friday wrap ups! As a Bay Area native its a joy to see that your family has moved to Oakland and all your adventures, I really think its one of the greatest places to live (although I haven’t lived in France before), and I especially love how you have embraced Oakland, public schools and all.

        Looking forward to 2014!

      4. I’ve been reading your blog for years and am only recently expecting my first child. I have learned so much about parenting and the kind of mother I want to be from reading your blog. I never imagined I would jump on the mommy train so soon, but your family posts get me excited about everything I have to look forward to!

  8. Most of what I enjoy about this site is when we hear from you, your voice, I’ve always loved that. So while I enjoyed the pieces done by contributors, I felt like it was too magazine-y, which is fine, but again, what I’ve always enjoyed about this site is your particular voice. I hope you’ll keep doing book posts and lunch bag posts ~ I’d love to hear your picks for books again, and your lunch ideas (and dinner or breakfast!) for your own kiddos. So happy that featuring other family homes series will continue, I just love that feature!

  9. I’ve been waiting eagerly for this post all weekend (I was just so curious what you were going to announce!), and I think this sounds like great news.

    I too have been overwhelmed by the content in the past year, and I really do come to your blog to hear YOUR voice, so I’ll be glad to hear more from you (didn’t Oh Joy do a similar thing where she brought on contributors and then eventually went back to being the exclusive author?).

    Congratulations on another thrilling year! I’m so looking forward to finally meeting you at ALT in a few weeks.

    1. That’s right! I don’t know if she had the same reasons, but Joy discontinued contributor posts as well.

      Then again, my sister Jordan beefed up contributor posts over the last year. I think it’s one of those things that works differently for each blog and what the readers’ expectations are.

      So grateful to count you as a reader, Janssen.

      1. Hi Gabrielle,
        I’m following your blog and Oh Happy Day!, too and I must say I don’t care very much if a blog is made by a contributor or Jordan as there are always great party ideas. So to tell the truth I’m following Jordan’s blog because of the content whileas on your blog I am more interested in you and your family personally so I didn’t like the contributor posts on your blog. I’m coming here because of you, not anything else :-)

  10. I have thoroughly enjoyed your blog since around the time you were preparing to leave for France. I know the name of the blog is Design MOM but I have really enjoyed the posts about you in your other roles too- wife, daughter, sister, consumer, and average-person-with-everyday struggles. Your posts about your family are wonderful too and I have loved seeing everyone grow! You have turned me on to other wonderful blogs and the comments section always helps me understand the points of view of women across the world. I love posts that have lots of comments and conversation! Your travels with your family are inspirational! To sum it all up, I am very grateful I found your blog all those years ago and I am so thankful for all the hard work you put into it! I will continue to be a faithful reader no matter which direction you take!

  11. I will miss the volume of content, but YOU’ve always written thoughtful, insightful, and genuine posts– content-wise, definitely top three of blogs I read. Your posts make me think about– rather than simply consume– the message. And that’s kind of the goal in this community, isn’t it? Plus I’m also local, so I do enjoy hearing about/seeing your weekend trips– gives me ideas :)

    Also, congratulations on your book progress. I totally appreciate your honesty regarding your intimidation by the contract. I am similar and have a hard time pulling the trigger. I question my own motives far too much! Looking forward to hearing more about it.

  12. Hurray! I have loved many of the posts written by your contributors, but I will admit I was a bit turned off by the sheer number, as well as the impersonal nature of some of them. It started to feel like reading a corporate magazine. I’ve been a long-time reader and fan, and I will continue to be. I love the Living with Kids series, and I love your personal posts, and parenting posts, and travel and house and food and…

    Congratulations on the book too! How exciting, and I can definitely understand wanting to be able to hold something tangible that you created. I will look forward to hearing the updates and reading the final product once it’s out!

  13. Sounds like a lot of great changes! I’m excited to have more of the content be from you. Also, thank you for posting about oil pulling. I researched it a ton, became kind of obsessed and have been doing it ever since. I even made it one of my New Year’s resolutions to oil pull every morning while reading scriptures. It has made my morning so much more calm and helped me feel like I am caring for my body and spirit. Thank you!

  14. Thanks for sharing your big news. I have to admit that while your contributors are very talented and write great posts, I do look forward most to yours. Just like the others have said, I enjoying hearing your voice and the insights you give about your world. I look forward to all the things you said you’ll be talking about this year. I’ve had other blogs I loved and then as they grew the people writing it stepped back and it became different than what I was drawn to it in the first place which is disappointing. And congrats on the book. I look forward to hearing all about it. I would feel the same as you since I’m not naturally a writer. It’d be pretty hard for me to wrap my mind around what I should write to make sure it was worth while and top quality. But you write so beautifully and also have such fresh ideas that I’m sure whatever you have finally decided to write on will be fantastic.

  15. I’m also glad to just have the voice of Gabby back. I felt like throughout the last few months you’ve really posted some great, thought provoking posts–the Oakland Schools posts, the bedwetting (seriously–loved that one!) and the personal ones about your views on mental health. I enjoyed the guest contributors, but really came around for the original Design Mom. The stories that touch you personally are the ones that touch your readers too, obviously. Keep up the wonderful work!

  16. I love your new ideas! I actually prefer hearing from YOU, so less outside contributors is appealing… but I will miss the lunchbox menus! :)

  17. Also not a mom (and nowhere near being one) but your genuineness, voice, and interesting posts quickly made design mom a daily read for me!

    I will be a little sad if much of your content is shifted over to social media channels as I don’t keep up with most of them, I’m still a huge fan of traditional blog posts.

    Best of luck with the book! Looking forward to reading (blog and book)!!!

  18. This is the only blog where I read all the comments. I was a little sad when your comments diminished because the posts were written by someone else. I think it’s a a wise choice to discontinue the contributors, but I did love their content and will definitely follow some of their personal blogs.

    I would love to see a “this is happening right now” series where you take a picture of whatever is going on in your life at a given moment in time and describe it. You do this on instagram occasionally where I can tell it is not a planned photo, but just something so outrageously real that you have to share (I’m thinking of the one of Ralph playing trombone and June making a mess).

    The biggest part of your appeal to me is how human you are. Even though you think beautiful thoughts and make beautiful things, you are human. That’s what’s inspiring. I come away thinking…I could do that too.

    Thank you.

        1. Me too! Great idea. I think you do a great job of writing content for a wide range of readers, yet content that seems to speak to individuals. The “This is happening right now” would be a great way to keep it real. I, like so many others, am also glad to hear more of your voice on this site! Thanks :)

  19. I love your blog and have for years. And absotutely no offensive to your guest bloggers, but I missed YOU! I did like some of the posts they wrote, and still read your blog regularly, but found myself missing the ‘image and text by Gabrielle” at the top! I just love your writing, your opinions, and your ideas! So, in a nutshell, I am very excited for 2014 on your blog!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. I’m so excited for you. I loved reading about your adventures in France, but I love that you’re in my backyard now. (If you plan a day trip to Santa Cruz and want some suggestions, drop a line.) Like many, I’ve been more likely to read your posts than those of guest contributors – and I almost always read yours. I can’t wait to see your new work on mothers and style and identity – that’s something I’ve been thinking about alot in my early forties with both kids out the door every day. I’ve pulled away from most social media, except for Instragram and I love seeing you there. Thank you for everything.

  21. I love the direction you are going with the blog! I love all the changes you are making, no contributors, less posts per day and all of the topics you are going to include. So excited for you! :)

  22. I live in Montara. You’ve got to come down and check out the tide pools at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve and buy some fresh crabs from the fishing boats at Johnson Pier. Since it’s crab season you could even try fishing for crabs on your own. It’s lots of fun. Welcome to the Bay Area!
    I love your “Living with Kids” series as well as the book reviews.

  23. Congratulations on not being afraid to make a mid-course adjustment! I’m glad you’ve re-set your compass.

    Personally, I would like to see more posts about older kids. The challenges and rewards of parenting teenagers are completely different from that of babies and young children, so maybe you could add something about older kids to offset the birth stories?

    Disclaimer: both of my kids are in high school. I’ve found that I lose interest in a stage once I move past it once and for all. For my own kids, I will never again decorate a nursery, buy clothes without the input of their recipient, or kiss a scraped knee, but I am always looking for ways to keep my teenagers involved in family life when all they want to do is be with their friends. Or ways to de-emphasize electronics. Or ways to respect their growing autonomy while still maintaining parental authority. Or…


    1. Polly Hitchcock Sage

      Yes, I so agree with the older kids posts! I’ve been following you for a long while. Never commented, but in the past year got married to a wonderful man who has 3 children. Gulp! A few times you have calmly mentioned how much you enjoy your teens, and I want to hear more. I do enjoy most everything else though, too!

    2. Pamela Balabuszko-Reay

      Oh Golly am I ever in need of posts on older kids. My daughter is 11. It is like a switch went off within her and I am struggling. Would LOVE that!

      1. I’ll echo the desire for posts about older kids. My daughter is 12 now and I’d love to hear how you and other readers are navigating the waters of the teen years.

        While I’ve really enjoyed the other contributors, and I’ll start reading some of their blogs to keep up with them, I did always most love your own posts. The Living with Kids series and birth stores coupled with insight into your own life (schools in Oakland and France, sightseeing and traveling with kids, and your honesty about your own challenges are triumphs) were what kept me coming back day after day.

        2014 sounds like an exciting year for you – a book? how cool! I applaud your willingness to not only experiment with the blog (and beyond), but to be candid about when something isn’t working. It’s refreshing!

    3. Yes, I agree. More posts for older kids. In the blogosphere as a whole, I find them few and far between. I have 11 and 13 yr. old boys and while I do love following along with the adventures of your little ones, the posts I can most relate to are about your older kids.

      In regards to other contributors, I will miss the kids’ book reviews, but most of the time, as others have said, I will skip the post if it isn’t written by you. I am a relatively new reader to your blog (just started reading in the last year) but you have inspired me in so many ways! Thanks for sharing your life with us.

  24. Will u still have kids book reviews? That is my favorite and I always go right to the library and check them out :)

      1. I love your book posts! Our library just started a 1000 books before Kindergartd program and it’s feeling a tad daunting.

      2. Oh good! I will keep reading no matter what you post though. I just love the content. And thank you for sharing a window into your world. When you lived in France it made me want to go back so bad. I fell in love with it after only a week long visit a couple years ago. I can’t imagine the emotional bond u have with the culture after 2 years! Anyways, greetings from Washington state.

  25. Looks like an exciting year ahead! Congratulations on inking a book deal and continuing your passion here on the blog! As for the style thing…I never had style before becoming a mom, and now I’m even more unstylish…I’m just hoping that is not my identity! But interesting concept nonetheless. My sociological mind can’t wait to hear more about it!

  26. Very exciting changes afoot! I will admit I was a little disappointed to read there would be less daily posts – I’m not a fan of having to spread my time over many different kinds of social media, I like to be able to log onto one website and read all your happenings in one place. But! I’m sure it’ll be fabulous whatever you run with, I look forward to reading in 2014.

    PS – Congrats on the book!

  27. Heather Maynard

    I rarely comment, but thought I’d chime in to say “yay!” While there have been some nice posts from contributors, they never feel as genuine and “Design Mom-ish” as yours. I think it’ll be a nice change. I look forward to the content this year! I’m working on limiting my time spent with a phone/iPad in my hands, but I do enjoy your Instagram posts and your pins, too! Cheers to a great year!

  28. I am so excited about these changes. I’m not a mom or even close to being one, and to be honest, the contributor posts (which have been largely focused toward people who are parents) were keeping me from permanently putting Design Mom in my RSS reader — instead, I’ve been checking in every day or so hoping for a post from you.

    I love your writing, your voice, and your approach to life, and I’m so excited to read more of you in 2014!

  29. The changes sound great! Do you need help with the lice post? I just went through it with my own children and learned a ton. The personal experience taught me more than I ever knew as a nurse. There’s so much misinformation out there.

  30. you writing the posts is my favorite thing about your updates. i never ever click on the other ones….i’m sure they are great, but i read this blog for your information and conversations.
    anytime you open up about you and your family, it’s a great post!!

  31. As a reader, I will tell you my input. I never read any post by other contributors (same for any other blogs I follow). I read your blog because I like you, not other voices. My favorite posts are the ones that have personal material in them, like the school posts, the treehouse posts, the mental illness posts, the French culture posts, etc. And I’m glad to have one good post a day. I don’t have time to read too many things each day, so one good post is great. Good luck in your new year and thanks for all of your amazing content. (I do read the birth stories and the home tours.)

  32. Yes! These changes seem just right. It’s funny, while I think the contributor posts were really well done, I hardly ever read them. If they’d been published in a magazine, I likely would have, but on a blog, I want a more personal approach. I think that’s the advantage blogs have over print media or less personal websites. Good for you for being willing to take risks and try new things. And I’m really excited for the changes to come.

  33. Thank you for all of your work! I came across your site when my husband and I started thinking about beginning our family. I really liked what you had to say. I’m a designer, too! I was worried about being a mother and having a career (and having a home full of plastic, primary colored kids’ stuff.)

    I read your birth stories and studied your living with kids series. I decided I’d survive and have fun. The universe decided to bless us with a baby and now I am a week away from going back to my design job after 12 weeks off with my newborn daughter.

    I’m SO intrigued to read your thoughts about mothers and beauty and style and identity, because I know I can get to a place where I am feeling like me and confident in who I am outside of being a mother, but I’m not quite there yet, and it’s hard.

  34. I’ve been reading your blog for years, I started when you were living in New York. I’ve always enjoyed the content for the ideas it has sparked for me in my own life and for those that I’ve filed away in my head for a later time.

    I’m intrigued by the mothers/beauty/style/identity series. As a recent new mom (10 months ago today!), it is amazing to me how much I’ve really lost a sense of “who I am” since my daughter was born. As a new mom I put so much energy into helping my daughter thrive that it was easy to overlook that basic things I needed to help myself thrive. I wouldn’t trade these last 10 months for anything, but when I look back I can see how I’ve really lapsed in caring for myself – I haven’t had my hair done in over 7 months after regularly getting it done every 8 weeks, and haven’t painted my nails (toes or fingers) since she was born, etc; small things, but sometimes those small things go a long ways in helping a girl feel put together while covered in baby drool :). I’ve resolved that 2014 is the year that I find myself again…whatever the new me looks like! Both on the exterior and interior. I know I’ll be a better mom if I feel like myself and find the time to take care of me. So, needless to say the hint that you gave around this series sounds very intriguing.

    Also, I recently moved to the SF Bay Area (two months ago) so I’m looking forward to your travel adventures in the area as we also explore our new home.

    Thanks for all you contribute, Gabby, I’m looking forward to what 2014 holds.

    1. Congrats on the new baby, Jenn!

      I delighted to read lots of comments about interest in the mothers/beauty/style/identity topic. Very reassuring that I’m headed in the right direction.

  35. I think the identity of a blog changes when it’s mostly written by a group of contributors so I definitely welcome this change! Yay! And yes, I would love to read more content about living and raising children in Oakland and the Bay Area. Your posts about life in France were my favorite and have loved reading about your life in Oakland.

  36. I just wanted to chime in that I very much enjoy reading your posts – your voice is why I come back here. However, I not understand the pull of the various social media channels. I pin when I have a project to pull together inspiration images, but I don’t really enjoy looking at other people’s boards. I follow a few comedians on twitter, mainly people who tweet one or two funny lines a day, but I don’t like reading “conversations.” I do like looking at your (or other people I ‘know’) photos on instagram, but it just seems like another place to check in. I guess what I am saying is that I would rather have a couple short posts here than various tweets or pins elsewhere.

  37. I thought I’d chime in as a reader from another age group: grandmothers! I am a regular reader, but have to agree that one reason I enjoy blogs is the personal nature. I come here for your voice and your stories. Even though your contributors have their own unique voices and good content, the personal nature disappears when they are writing for someone else’s blog. It loses some of its magic don’t you think?

    I look forward to your new direction on the blog. However, I don’t use other forms of social media, and don’t plan to, so I hope your blog won’t lose too much as you go in that direction.

    Keep up the great work!

    1. I’m not a grandmother, but with a 36 year old daughter, I’m not exactly in the same demographic as most of your readers. Still, your writing is most often very meaningful to me. Yours IS my favorite blog, and I tell my friends about it often. I also love the Living with Children posts, and all your links. What I miss most is France, and look forward to hearing about the Cottage, as well as what you mention in today’s post about “food habits from France”. What is it about “all things France”? I first found your blog when you were living in France, and couldn’t believe how vicariously I thrilled to your experiences there. I’m curious about how your family is dealing with “living in America”, but I still miss the Blairs living in France. (just being honest). Thank you for being such a wise and generous and spirited person, and writer!

  38. I actually just discovered Design Mom, but congrats on your recent achievements such as the book! I’m looking forward to following along. Happy 2014.

  39. Ah, congrats on the book deal! Looking forward to your blog in 2014! My only sadness is seeing Koseli’s posts go, because hers (of all of the contributors) are my favorites! All in all though, looking forward to hearing more from you!

  40. Hi Gabby. Two things: I am interested in hearing more about the mom/beauty/style idea. I am constantly making note of the different ways moms present themselves in the world (when they are in the obvious mom role). For example, I went to a 7-year-old birthday party yesterday and was fascinated by the different types of moms there — some in sweats and yoga pants with no makeup, some fully done with cute outfits, many in between. To be clear, I am not talking about superficially judging them by their appearance. I am just interested in the whole spectrum of mom-style.
    Secondly, I wanted to make sure you know about Nit-Pixies in Oakland, near your house. They will pick out the nits in your (or your kids’) hair! Money well spent in my opinion!
    Thanks for always being so thoughtful.

    1. Oh good! So glad you’re interested in the mom/beauty/style idea. I’ve been thinking so much about these things lately. I can’t wait to put words to what has been on my mind and share with everyone here.

  41. I will join the chorus and say that, while your team seems like a very nice and talented group, I never got to know any of their “voices” like yours comes across. So I applaud that change. I try not to be on too many forms of media — I don’t really do Twitter or Pinterest, so I may miss out there, but that’s okay.

    As far as lice, did you do the Cetaphil thing? (Google “cetaphil and lice” if you want info.) As a fellow California mom, I think it’s the only effective treatment!

  42. I love seeing other people’ plans for the year. It helps motivate me, and it gives me more to look forward to, so thank you.

    As far as the contributors go, I agree completely. My cousin and I both love your blog and it seems to come up in a lot of our conversations. About six months ago, I told her that I was getting tired of all the non-Gabrielle posts and I wished it were just you! No offense to the other contributors, of course. I just chose to skip most of them because you I happen to think you’re one of the most interesting/inspiring bloggers around (I’m sounding like I have a huge girl crush on you, haha). Anyway, love ya! Love your blog! My two little girls can’t get enough of your Olive Us videos. Thanks for all of it!

    1. Pamela Balabuszko-Reay

      Who doesn’t have a huge girl crush on Gabrielle?

      My kids love Olive Us too! Just told my daughter about the tongue twisters. When homework is done we’ll watch it tonight.

  43. I have to agree with a lot of post’ers, I always skimmed your additional content, but rarely clicked through to read on…I come her to “hear” you. :) Love the Treehouse posts…and The Living with Kids…and the birth stories…LOL…like I said, I come to read you…as for social media…eh…I personally don’t yet have a facebook account or twitter…I do Pin…but try to limit…for me the in depth look we get here is what I look forward to. You do a great job…and I was worried you were going to step away…so horray!

  44. Chelsea Knudson

    I look forward to the Living with Kids series so much, that when it is Tuesday, I am so excited to get my kids off to school so that I can sit down and enjoy a beautiful home. Thanks for all you do!

    1. Fun fact: The book of the week column is one of the oldest recurring features on my blog — long before I invited contributors — so you may be happy to know I plan to continue featuring favorites from time to time.

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