Newsletter: How My Conservative Mom Raised Lots of Liberal Feminists

My mom is terrific. I got really lucky. I understood she was a better than average mom by the time I was a teenager, and as I’ve raised my own family, I’ve come to understand how really, really good she was at parenting. I’m one of 8 kids (four girls, four boys), and my siblings are kind, smart, creative, interesting, hard-working, and actively engaged in bettering the world around them. Here are 25 stories/observations about my mom that I hope paint a picture of how I ended up a liberal feminist designer and mother of six, even though my mom has always been politically conservative, and I’ve never heard her call herself a feminist.

Click here to read the full newsletter.

DIY: Monogram Soap Bottles

These Etched Monogram Soap Bottles are such a satisfying project. They look great, they’re functional, they work in kitchens or bathrooms or classrooms, and they make a great gift — a housewarming gift, a hostess gift, a neighbor gift at the holidays, a teacher gift — or make some for your own house.

The etching is so fun to do, you’ll want to etch every piece of glassware you have. Gather friends and have an etching party! Come and check out this simple project.

Newsletter & Link List

Gabrielle wasn’t always my name. When I was born, my parents named me Shoshanna. And then later they switched my name to Gabrielle. I had known about the name switch since I was very young — I remember seeing the name Shoshanna on some sort of form (maybe from the hospital?) in our family files. But a couple of weeks ago, when my mom was here visiting, she told me another part of my naming story.

Click here to read the full newsletter and find the link list.

Living With Kids: Meg Zaletel

Meg Zaletel lives in Anchorage, Alaska. Hers is a lovely, lovely story, and I found myself re-reading sections of this interview more than once. There’s a lot to take in, from wild paint colors and Alaskan decor to a wonderful philosophy on decorating with Zelda in mind from the very beginning. I know it will make your day better. I’m pleased to introduce to you this lovely family! Enjoy the tour.

My Twitter Thread on Abortion

Twitter Thread on Abortion by popular design and mom blogger, Design Mom
Twitter Thread on Abortion by popular design and mom blogger, Design Mom

Note from Design Mom: Two years ago, I tried something new. I wrote a Twitter thread for the first time. That first thread is about abortion, irresponsible ejaculations, why politicians who claim to care about abortion don’t really care, and how I think we need to approach the topic of abortion differently.  I’m republishing it here today to mark the anniversary (and because I know many of you don’t use Twitter).

I’m a mother of six, and a Mormon. I have a good understanding of arguments surrounding abortion, religious and otherwise. I’ve been listening to men grandstand about women’s reproductive rights, and I’m convinced men actually have zero interest in stopping abortion. Here’s why…

If you want to stop abortion, you need to prevent unwanted pregnancies. And men are 100% responsible for unwanted pregnancies. No for real, they are. Perhaps you are thinking: IT TAKES TWO! And yes, it does take two for _intentional_ pregnancies.

But ALL unwanted pregnancies are caused by the irresponsible ejaculations of men. Period. Don’t believe me? Let me walk you through it. Let’s start with this: women’s eggs are only fertile about 2 days each month. And that’s for a limited number of years.

Crock Pot Recipe: Teriyaki Pulled Pork Bowls with Lime Juice Coleslaw and Coconut Rice

Slow Cooker Teriyaki Pulled Pork Bowls

Pulled pork is one of those things that you can pretty much turn into any meal. It’s great in tacos. It makes the best sandwiches. And guess what? It’s great in a layered burrito bowl too. This is a version of a pulled pork burrito bowl, only it has Hawaiian flavors going on instead of Mexican.

The slow cooker is my preferred way to make this teriyaki pulled pork, but I’ve also tested it out in the oven. Both work great, but it’s nice not having to heat up the house, so slow cooker it is.

Living With Kids: Becca Garber

I’m not sure what’s most visually stunning in this tour: Mount Etna or the fireplace! (That shot above is the kitchen window view. Gulp.) But then there’s Becca’s super intentional style of parenting and innate gratitude for her life, and the views somehow become secondary.

The Garbers are an American family on a military tour that ends this summer, so I’m glad we have the chance to tour their home before they head off on another adventure. Just one look out that kitchen window, and I’m sure it’s going to be incredibly difficult to say goodbye to this space and pace of living with their kids in Southern Italy. Friends, welcome to the Garber home!

How To Properly Iron A Shirt

6 Secrets to a Properly Ironed Shirt featured by popular lifestyle blogger, Gabrielle of Design Mom

Secret #1: Start with a properly laundered shirt. Check the care label and follow the recommendations. Watch the temperature, because washing shirts in water that is too hot can cause the interfacing in the collar and cuffs to shrink, causing puckering and impossible wrinkling. And pay particular attention to any dirt on the cuffs or collar, or in the underarms, because ironing stains will set them permanently.

Newsletter: Why Are We Harassing Trans People?

Hey there! This newsletter is so long that I broke it up into Part 1 and Part 2.

In Part 1: Three approaches to thinking about gender and how strict gender norms limit all of us unnecessarily. Click here to read the full newsletter.

In Part 2: An exploration of gender and sports and what it would look like if all genders competed together. Plus a look at the paranoia around bathrooms and trans people. Click here to read the full newsletter.

Easy Natural Dye For Easter Eggs

Making easy natural dyes for easter eggs is super simple, but also really fun — it feels like a combination of science and magic. To get the full color spectrum you’ll need red cabbage, yellow onions, beets, tumeric, blueberries and vinegar. Making the dyes is quick, putting the eggs in the dye is quick. The only thing that requires a bit of patience is letting your eggs sit in the dye bath until they reach the desired color intensity.

Ready to get dyeing? You’ll find all the notes and tips below.

No-Bake Berry Cheesecake Recipe

Let’s start with the assumption you love cheesecake. Okay. Good. But there are two types of cheesecake eaters in this world. There are those who want their cheesecake slice to act as a sugar-bomb, satisfying every ounce of sweet tooth they have. They top their cheesecakes with syrupy fruits or decadent chocolate and caramel. And then there are those who really just want to sit down with a bowl of berries and slightly sweetened freshly whipped cream (possibly because they already had three cookies with their afternoon coffee earlier), and so they want a cheesecake that represents the best of summer freshness.

This No-Bake Berry Cheesecake Recipe falls into the latter of those two categories. It’s as simple to put together as it is fresh-tasting. The graham cracker crust comes together easily, with slight sweetness from both white and brown sugars, giving it a bit more of a sweet depth. The cheesecake mixture is on the fresh side, balanced with a pinch of lemon zest, but still plenty rich with that heavy cream, whipped into goodness. And then the berries come through in a jam layer as well as fresh berries on top.

These mini-desserts were put together in several layers, with an extra crust layer in the middle because it seems to be everyone’s favorite part of a cheesecake, and this way you get a little crust in every bite.

Living With Kids: Michelle Turchini

As Michelle describes it, she’s been living a semi-permanent life for the past eight years. Since she and her husband have added three daughters – four year old twins and a two-and-a-half year old – they’ve moved country three times to Hong Kong, Australia, and California, moved house five times, and completely remodeled their new home that we’re touring today. Whew!

Luckily, it looks like Michelle and her family have finally found home. And oh my…it’s a gorgeous spot. Please enjoy the beauty, Friends!

Sheet Pan Dinner: Rosemary Balsamic Chicken Recipe

rosemary balsamic chicken recipe featured by popular lifestyle blogger, Gabrielle of Design Mom

Get ready to love this sheet pan dinner recipe for Rosemary Balsamic Chicken. I think I might be obsessed with these one sheet recipes. I know they still require a small amount of chopping and prep and attention, but there’s something about dealing with one baking sheet that makes these meals seem so simple and doable.

Rosemary Balsamic Chicken is just a really reliable, delicious, workhorse of a meal. If you make a big batch, the leftovers will last several days for take-to-work (or work-at-home) lunch salads and sandwiches. It works as a “fancy meal” that you can make for guests, or to take to a friend who had a new baby.

Let’s get cooking.

Living With Kids: Esther van de Paal

I’ve known Esther was stylish ever since the launch of Babyccino, which has grown from a parenting blog written by three friends scattered across Europe, to an internationally consulted site for those seeking unique inspiration with a cultural twist. Their kid-friendly city guides and well-researched boutiques are goldmines. But her home takes living with kids with style to a whole new level. It’s visually stimulating, yet calm. Color everywhere, but they somehow all blend together. Even her day-to-day basics look cool the way she’s curated them! (See kitchen utensils below to see what I mean.) This is one of those homes where the lines between adult and kid decor are completely blurred, and beautifully so. Welcome, Esther!

Handmade Hanging Wall Vases — Easy Project!

Looking for a gift idea that anyone would love? Well, you’ve found it. These handmade hanging wall vases are beautiful, one of a kind, easy to make, and would look sweet as can be hanging in any room of the house (or on any wall of the cubicle). Hang them in a group, or hang them solo — next to a favorite painting, near the light switch, or just above the night stand.

They’re small and lightweight, they look elegant hung from a satin ribbon, and you can fill them with whatever you like. We featured flowers, but why not pencils instead? I recommend making several of these at once. They make a sweet housewarming gift, hostess gift, or neighbor gift. And your kids can help make these for Grandma too!

Ready to make something pretty? Here’s what you’ll need:

Planning Menus — A Helpful Guide

Planning menus is a skill that is relatively easy to master and it can benefit your family in lots of ways — like adding variety to meals, introducing new foods, and helping keep to a budget. Use these tips and you’ll always have an answer for that dreaded five o’clock question: “What’s for dinner?”

You’ll find all the tips, plus a sample menu, and a sample grocery list below.

Living With Kids: Kena Paranjape

I’m so excited today to introduce you to Kena Paranjape and her wonderful family. Kena is an entrepreneur and a designer, and lives in one of the trendiest neighborhoods in Toronto. Her home is bright and spacious and full of great details that make it feel homey and stylish all at once. Kena also sings the praises of big city living even though its not always perfect. You’ll love getting to look around and hear her great takes on being a working parent and finding that elusive balance. Welcome, Kena!

Corned Beef and Cabbage in a Crockpot

Do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? Or maybe you have some Irish ancestry? Or perhaps you just love Ireland — its people, culture, and food? Then this recipe for Corned Beef and Cabbage in a Crockpot is for you! But it’s not just for green-themed holidays. This menu is delicious any time of year you’re craving something hearty and warming.

It’s a classic combo and it’s easy as can be, I promise. Make a big batch and have friends over for a St. Patrick’s Day dinner party, or work this into your monthly recipe rotation. You won’t be disappointed.

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