A Few Things

-A list of pretty blogs from Lisa Congdon. So many are new-to me. -Hey typography junkies. Take this quiz from Pentagram to find out what type you are. I’m Van Doesburg. -I think I want to rent this Swedish cottage. -Have you ever seen broccoli romanesco? It looks like something from the ocean. I wonder what it taste likes? -This is fun, a new award especially to celebrate the handmade. Find out about the Poppies here. -A round up of the lovliest baking cups. I ran out of cupcake liners last weekend. Time to pick out something colorful and bright to get us through till spring. –Painting the snow. Thinking ahead to Valentine’s Day, wouldn’t it be cute to leave a message for your honey in the snow? -Shortbread cookies are my very favorite cookies. Look how cute these button versions are? Let’s have a baby shower and serve these darling bites. You’re invited. -Oh my goodness. This perfume packaging made me light up. I wonder if it smells as wonderful as it looks. -Did you miss the annual No Pants Subway Ride? Happy photos. -Is it really possible that Altitude Design Summit is happening next week? I have a mani/pedi scheduled for Monday to prepare. It’s all in the details. (Last I heard, Alt Summit was almost sold out. Yikes! Grab your tickets while you can.) -This tweet gave me goosebumps yesterday. When something awful happens, it is always such a comfort to be able to take positive action in response. What are the best ideas you’ve seen regarding aid to Haiti? I hope you have a marvelous weekend. Thank you for reading and for your clever comments. Hearing from you makes me happy. image by Tim Walker

My Curves

Am I allowed to say I’m enjoying my new-found curvy-ness? I can’t pretend I’m truly voluptuous, but when I compare my new B-cups to my usual can’t-fill-an-A-cup-and-boring-hips-self, I feel like I should qualify as a lingerie model. : )

It’s not that my body looks any different this pregnancy (compared to previous pregnancies), I think it’s mostly that this house has a giant mirror right outside the shower so I’m seeing myself nekkid more often. (My lovely new chest caught my eye the other morning and I called out: Ben Blair, come check me out — I’m totally hot!)

This stage of pregnancy is the best for me. The sickness is 95% over. My energy is great. I haven’t ballooned to an unreasonable size yet — so I can still sleep comfortably. Maternity clothes finally fit, so I don’t have to jimmy my pants to try to keep them up. It’s quite lovely.

Ben Blair took these photos yesterday morning while I was getting ready. He pulled out the camera when we realized the only glimpse of my baby belly that had been recorded is in the HP video. We’re going to attempt to get lots of shots from now on.

Are you curvy, Dear Readers? Even when you’re not pregnant? (I think I’m jealous.) Do you like the way you look when you are pregnant?


There’s another gift that Maude made this Christmas that I didn’t get a chance to share. It’s a nightlight that she made for Oscar. She used modpodge, small squares of patterned scrapbooking paper and a nightlight form. The technique was similar to the sketchbook she made for Ralph. But the nightlight turned out sort of quilt-like. Maude did a great job and Oscar LOVES his nightlight. How about you, Dear Readers? Did your kids make gifts for each other this year? Any projects they were particularly proud of? ——————— Want more ideas? Here are some links to other sibling gifts we’ve made: – Potato Print clothingEmbellished glovesJumpropesRibbon flowers (as belts, clips and hairpins) – Glitter InitialsDecoupaged SketchbookTutu, decoupaged bucket for matchbox cars, after-school bags, tiedye teesFlower headbandsWool mittens from recycled sweaters, embellished dragon mittens, sculpey bracelets, bibs, snowglobes and romper stompers made from cansBubble bath, circle loom scarfRibbon barrettes, painted t-shirtBean bags, heating pad, hand chalk (for gymnastics), iPod cover

Potato Print Clothing

Olive made potato print clothes for her siblings this year. We bought supplies on Friday and Saturday (clothing items and fabric paint) and on Sunday afternoon we carved our potatoes and got to printing. We put pink and gold hearts on a little corduroy dress for Betty (these pics are before the gold hearts were added). They curve around the side of the dress. We put red and silver smiley faces on a navy tee for Oscar. We put brown and black skulls on the back of a grey t-shirt for Ralph. We knew Maude really wanted a hoodie, and we found a lovely cable-knit, pullover, hooded sweater in grey that we thought she would love. But. We knew we wouldn’t be able to print directly on it very well. So we printed on a washed piece of canvas instead (bird, stars and dots), then used big stitches to attach the canvas to the grey sweater. I think it’s my favorite. As long as we were printing, Olive wanted something for herself as well. So we put pink and purple hearts on a turquoise sweatshirt just for her. (For those who are curious, we bought all 5 items of clothing at Old Navy on Friday night and the total cost was about $30.) Want more ideas? Here are some links to other sibling gifts we’ve made: Decoupaged nightlightEmbellished gloves Jumpropes Ribbon flowers (as belts, clips and hairpins) – Glitter InitialsDecoupaged Sketchbook Tutu, decoupaged bucket for matchbox cars, after-school bags, tiedye teesFlower headbandsWool mittens from recycled sweaters, embellished dragon mittens, sculpey bracelets, bibs, snowglobes and romper stompers made from cans Bubble bath, circle loom scarfRibbon barrettes, painted t-shirt Bean bags, heating pad, hand chalk (for gymnastics), iPod cover

Embellished Gloves

This was Betty’s first year making gifts and I really wasn’t sure what she should make. But we were in the checkout line at JoAnn’s on Saturday and saw these “one-size” gloves for $1 each. We bought 4 pairs and figured we would come up with something to do with them when we got home. This is what we did:

1) For Olive, we used a green pair and applied purple glitter with mod podge on the cuffs. I can’t imagine the glitter will stay permanently affixed, but Betty really wanted to do something with glitter and I figured why not. At least they’ll be cute coming out of the box.

2) For Maude, we used a grey pair and sewed on a small bow with a black button. 3-year-old Betty can’t sew — but she could pull the needle when I pushed it through the button. And she thought that was delightful.

3) For Ralph, we used a black pair. We cut circles out of felt and hot glued them to the cuff. Betty could trace the circles using a stencil and a marker.

4) For Oscar, we used a navy pair and letter stencils and fabric paint to write his name across the gloves.

Since we already had all the supplies (except the gloves) in the craft cupboard, this was definitely our least expensive sibling gift project at $4. Whenever the kids ask Betty what she made, she answers, “Ssssshhh. I can’t tell you it’s gloves. It’s a surprise.”

Want more ideas? Here are some links to other sibling gifts we’ve made:
Ribbon flowers (as belts, clips and hairpins)
Glitter Initials
Decoupaged Sketchbook

Tutu, decoupaged bucket for matchbox cars, after-school bags, tiedye tees
Flower headbands
Wool mittens from recycled sweaters, embellished dragon mittens, sculpey bracelets, bibs, snowglobes and romper stompers made from cans

Jump Ropes

One item on my girls’ Christmas list is 2 long jump ropes — long enough to try double-dutch, to jump in back doors and front doors (remember how awesome jump roping is?). So that’s what Ralph made. One for Maude and one for Olive. I had pretty much nothing to do with this. The project was handed off to Ben Blair with the following explanation: Ralph is thinking about making jump ropes for Maude and Olive. But I have no idea how to make the handles. Will you please work with Ralph and figure something out? They pow-wowed and came up with the idea of bike handles. Which worked perfectly. Nice work, Ralph! Nice work Ben Blair! ——– Want more ideas? Here are some links to other sibling gifts we’ve made:Ribbon flowers (as belts, clips and hairpins) – Glitter InitialsDecoupaged SketchbookTutu, decoupaged bucket for matchbox cars, after-school bags, tiedye teesFlower headbandsWool mittens from recycled sweaters, embellished dragon mittens, sculpey bracelets, bibs, snowglobes and romper stompers made from cansBubble bath, circle loom scarfRibbon barrettes, painted t-shirtBean bags, heating pad, hand chalk (for gymnastics), iPod cover

Ribbon Flowers

Once the sketchbook and initials were finished, Maude got to work on her gifts for Olive and Betty. Originally, she was thinking legwarmers. But when I showed her the ribbon flower idea I posted last week, she changed her mind. Maude made 3 flowers. One she attached to a ribbon to be worn as a belt. One she attached to a bobby pin to be worn in hair. One she attached to a large clip to be flexible — it can be worn on clothes or in hair or on a purse or backpack. Some of the photos are really dark and it’s hard to tell, but these all turned out gorgeous. We worked with 1-yard lengths of 2.5 inch and 1.25 inch ribbon. And the size of the flower changed dramatically depending on what kind of combination we used. By the way, the quality of the ribbon makes a big difference. The cheaper stuff we used for our first experimental flower (not shown) was not as pretty. Not even close. The silk ribbon we bought by the yard at Michaels was much better. More DIY sibling gift ideas here.

Glitter Initials

After the sketchbook, we worked on Oscar’s gifts. This was the first year Oscar was really able to make presents for everybody and he was really into it. As a preschooler, he is fairly obsessed with alphabet letters, so we thought this was the perfect idea: Glitter Initials — to be put on a bedroom shelf as decoration. A little bit kitsch-ier than I prefer for sibling gifts, but an ideal project for a 4-year-old.

First, Oscar and I made a trip to the craft store to pick out wooden cutouts of each sibling’s first initial. There were lots of different styles and sizes to choose from. Oscar had definite opinions.

Next we came home and Oscar interviewed each sibling about his/her favorite color. He drew a picture of the sibling and made a note about color preferences. Then it was time to glue and glitter.

Oscar painted on glue with foam brush, picked out the favorite color of glitter, and got to shaking. (Mom’s job was to return unused glitter to its bottle.)
The whole project took about 15 minutes and Oscar couldn’t have been more pleased with himself.

Once they were dry we wrapped them up before the rest of the kids snuck into the work room.

More DIY sibling gift ideas here.

Decoupaged Sketchbook

Hello All! I hope you had a wonderful weekend. Ours went too fast. But we started making the sibling gifts over the weekend — which was very exciting. Here’s the link to our 2009 sibling gift plan. The first thing we made? Maude decoupaged a sketchbook for Ralph. (Note: my apologies for the dark photos. We have to sneak in these projects whenever we can — and don’t always have ideal picture taking scenarios.) Maude started with a pretty typical sketchbook we found at Borders, then she marked off a 1.25 inch border on the cover. Next, she cut images out of magazines and catalogs and collected other images from around the house. These were all trimmed down to 1.5 inch squares. Maude was able to work in an iTouch image, a letter R and other references she knew Ralph would like. She used Mod Podge and a foam brush to attach the images within the penciled border. Afterwards, she painted on 3 more layers of Mod Podge on top of the images — letting them dry between each layer. It turned out really cool — she’s excited to give it to Ralph. Before she wrapped it up, she inscribed the inside back cover. Want more ideas? Here are links to what we’ve made in past years: Tutu, decoupaged bucket for matchbox cars, after-school bags, tiedye teesFlower headbandsWool mittens from recycled sweaters, embellished dragon mittens, sculpey bracelets, bibs, snowglobes and romper stompers made from cansBubble bath, circle loom scarfRibbon barrettes, painted t-shirtBean bags, heating pad, hand chalk (for gymnastics), iPod cover

Ask Design Mom — Having Another Child


I have a strong yearning for another child and am looking for an infallible way to decide whether to take the plunge (just joking, I know it’s a leap of faith, but am looking for advice from people who might know about these things).
What factors would do you take into consideration upon deciding whether to have another child? Thanks for taking the time to answer. — Sarah

Hi Gabrielle. I would like to have a big family as well. I’m married almost 2 years and we are looking to start our family in a year or so. A few questions: How far apart are your children in age? Did you plan to have so many children? Did you plan to have them x amount of years apart? Thanks. — Venessa

Design Mom Answer:
These are such worthy questions. Thank you for sending them, Sarah and Venessa. The answer to how many kids you should have and how they should be spaced is, of course, super personal. And everyone reading has a different opinion and answer.

I’ll share what my basic plan was. And hopefully readers will let you know how they’ve come to their family-size decisions as well. I need to make very clear: this was our plan. I’m not advocating it to anyone else. Period.

When I married at 21, I talked with Ben Blair about a basic plan. We both came from big families and wanted lots of kids. I wanted to be done bearing children by 35 — the age many risks increase. (Edit: apparently 35-as-riskier is a bit of a myth — but I didn’t know that at 21.) So I thought: let’s have our 1st at 23 (when we’re done with school) and then have one every other year at 25, 27, 29, 31. And if we want more, we can have #6 at 33 and #7 at 35. Done and done.

How it really happened: we had our first at 23, our 2nd at 24, our 3rd at 27, our 4th at 30 and 5th at 31. Number 6 is due when I’m 35.

Basically, as soon as we made the plan we discovered we had no control over the plan. Very few of us are lucky enough to conceive or adopt exactly when and where we want to. And very few of us have such an ordered life and are wise enough that the plans we make at 21 still make sense at 31.

Bottom line: feel free to make a plan, but get really comfortable with the idea that the plan might not work. Some people (including me) find praying helps them feel settled about the decisions they make for their family. Others depend on counsel from friends and loved ones. Ultimately, I hope you’ll feel confident that you can know what’s best for your family.

Dear Readers, how about you? How many kids do you want to have? Are you done? How do you decide when to add more children to your families?

Ask Design Mom — Homemade Gifts Kids can Make

Ask-Design-Mom-Question: I was inspired by your site to have my children make gifts for one another this year. I was trying to find your previous posts about the gifts you have made in the past, but I was only able to find one. I would love it if you could gather all of these ideas in one place. Thanks in advance. — Kristin Design Mom Answer: Thanks for the question, Kristin. I’ve actually been getting lots of similar requests — readers wanting to know what we’ve made in the past, and what we’re making this year. I’ll start with a short explanation — four years ago, based on the artsy-craftsy tendencies of my kids, we decided that the siblings would make each other gifts for Christmas. It’s become a fun tradition. One the whole family looks forward to. You can read my original post about it here. What our plans are for this year: Note: these plans are subject to change depending on my whims. Or if a better idea falls in my lap. Ralph is making — -Jump Ropes for Maude and Olive The girls want to learn double-dutch, so we’ll be happy to have two long jump-ropes to add to the family sports equipment. –Blurb Photo Books for Oscar and Betty Maude is making — -A Night Light Cover for Oscar and Betty’s room -A Sketch Book with a Decoupaged Cover for Ralph -Legwarmers for Olive (inspired by the comments on this post) Olive is making — Olive will be using potato stamps (a la Martha Stewart) and fabric ink to customize… -Boxers for Ralph -A hoodie for Maude -A t-shirt for Oscar -A t-shirt dress for Betty Oscar and Betty are making — Not sure yet, but I’m thinking about these darling cakes in a jar — both Oscar and Betty love helping in the kitchen, so this might be a perfect fit. They could give an individual jar to each sibling. Links to what we’ve made in past years: Tutu, decoupaged bucket for matchbox cars, after-school bags, tiedye teesFlower headbandsWool mittens from recycled sweaters, embellished dragon mittens, sculpey bracelets, bibs, snowglobes and romper stompers made from cans  I hope you find these links and ideas helpful. What about you Dear Readers? Do your kids make gifts for their siblings? What are they making this year?  

Ask Design Mom — Dinner Help

Ask Design Mom Question:
Dear Design Mom, dinnertime and menu making is my nemesis. How do you handle your dinner planning? — Margo

Design Mom Answer:
Oh Margo. This is a question I should be asking. Dinner is my nemesis too! Tonight we ate spaghetti and meatballs with garlic bread — so exotic. I have a few suggestions, but I’ll mostly leave this to my Dear Readers, who no doubt will give you excellent advice.

1) Look for blogs and websites that post weekly menus. My lovely sister-in-law Erin posts hers occasionally (all menu links are in her sidebar). And there are other great menu sites as well.

2) Look for recipe books that focus on fast or simple dinners. Martha Stewart just published one called Dinner at Home. Her company sent me a copy and the first recipe I tried was #3:

Roast Salmon and Potatoes
Mustard-Herb Butter
Haricots Verts with Tapenade

We used green beans instead of Haricots Verts and skipped the Tapenade, but otherwise, made it as directed and it was a big winner with the whole family. Plus, it really was easy and fast. Plus also, since it’s a Martha Stewart book, it’s really beautiful to look at.

Dear Readers, how do you handle meal-planning, menus and dinner ideas?


Note from Design Mom:
Hey Friends! My inbox is still crazy full of Ask-Design-Mom questions. So instead of waiting a few months and then hosting another Ask-Design-Mom-Week, I thought I’d try dedicating Mondays to your questions. If I get feedback that no one is into it, I’ll definitely rethink. — kisses, Gabrielle

For the Holidays

Look at the dress we found for Betty at Target on Saturday. So luxe looking, no? I love the peter pan collar — I put Betty’s hair up when she wore the dress to show it off. I’m impressed with the lining, considering the price. And it was a bargain.
If you have a toddler-size girl running around your house right now, you should go buy one right this minute. Before they run out.

Ask Design Mom Week — Baby Names

I’m wondering about baby names. I love love love your kids names and wonder where you got them. Is there a story behind each one or are they just favorites? Also, do you have any favorite resources for baby name finding? Ideas for baby #6? Thanks!Sarah

photo credit here


For Ben Blair and I, baby names have sometimes come easily and sometimes taken forever to decide. What we look for: well-recognized names (not invented ones), easy to pronounce, possibly fallen out of fashion — so that they’re relatively unusual. If they have family connection, that’s even better. Our baby name stories in brief:

-During my first pregnancy, once we knew it was a boy, he was instantly Ralph Wallace Blair. Ralph is my dad’s dad. Wallace is Ben’s dad’s dad (and Ben’s middle name). We really liked the name Ralph. And my father passed away while I was pregnant with Ralph, so we like honoring his family.

-Once Ralph was picked, we felt like our future kids’ names should fit with it — maybe come from the same time or generation. We decided on the name Maude at a family funeral on Ben’s side of the family, where we discovered it on two family gravestones (Ben’s great grandmother and great aunt). At the last minute we added Emma as a middle name, because there was some nervousness that the name Maude would be too unusual. So she’s Maude Emma Blair. (Sometimes we regret the Emma. It’s a little random.)

-The name Olive we found in a book. It was the name of the mother of a great man (can not remember for the life of me what the book was). I could imagine two old ladies named Maude and Olive playing canasta at a card table and I knew it fit. Olive’s full name is Olive Jean Blair. Jean is my mother’s middle name and a popular name on Ben’s side of the family as well.

-Oscar was suggested by our friends. It was on their short list, but they ended up not using it. The full name is Oscar Stanley Groberg Blair. (Stanley is my maiden name. Groberg is Ben’s Mom’s maiden name.) Once, someone (mis)heard the name and said, wow, Oscar and Grover? You guys must really love Sesame Street.

-I have no memory of where or when we decided on the name Betty. But we deliberately did not give her a middle name. Because Betty Blair sounds so great — like the name of the alter ego of a superhero.

-We don’t know what we’re naming baby #6. We’ve decided we won’t even think about it till we know if it’s a boy or a girl. Any suggestions?

I’d love to hear your name stories, Dear Readers. How do you come up with names? What are your favorite name sources?

Ask Design Mom Week — Teacher Gifts

I need help with an idea! I’m on the PTA hospitality committee and we do Christmas gifts for all the teachers and staff (about 70 people — men and women). We are struggling to come up with an idea for this year — our budget is very limited (about $200 – TOTAL). In the past we’ve done: homemade caramel apples, white chocolate popcorn, Christmas potpourri…. Do you have any craft or cooking ideas for us? — Thanks, Cherie’

Hi Cherie! Here’s the first thing to come to my mind. Last Christmas, my friends Laura and Lisa made homemade vanilla extract (you know, like you’d use in baking) and packaged it in charming little bottles. I’ve been wanting to try the same idea for ages! In addition to vanilla extract, they also made vanilla sugar, vanilla almonds and lip gloss too. You can find more photos and instructions (and label pdfs!) here. Between those 4 ideas, hopefully everyone on your list will be covered. But if not, I’m sure my super smart readers will have tons more suggestions.

Dear Readers, what would you do if you were Cherie and needed to find gifts (on a limited budget) for teachers and staff at your school?

Ask Design Mom Week — Family Christmas Gift

My husband’s family always draws names for gift giving. This year we are gifting to his sister’s family; they have six kids and a total of eight people. (Which made me think of you ;)). I’m wondering if you know of any good gift ideas that the whole family could enjoy, or perhaps a something we could get for each family member that wouldn’t break the bank. The kids range in age from 3-14. Thanks!Lynnette

Another great question. My family picks names as well. One of the favorite gifts we’ve ever received was a collection of Nativity Dress-ups my sister put together from thrift store finds. It’s awesome. And really good for a wide range of ages. You can see my post about it here.

Dear Readers, I’m sure you have tons of good suggestions for Lynnette. What do you like to give for “family” gifts?

Ask Design Mom Week — Family Pictures

Question: What is your advice for taking a great family picture? (Note: I do not wish to have a statuesque portrait of my toddler and newborn in khaki and white on the beach — this is a real family picture. So lets keep it real.) Thanks. — Leslie Answer: Loving all these questions! And this is no exception, Leslie. We should probably turn to a photographer to answer this one, but I’ll do my best. 1) Take the time to find a great photographer. Look through portfolios. Keep your eye open for someone who’s style you like. I love my family photos by Candace Stringham. I love Jared & Liz’s family photos by Jonathon Canlas. I love my portrait by Justin Hackworth. And I love Nie’s family photos by Blue Lily. But all have very different styles. 2) Once you’ve scheduled a date with a photographer, take some time to think about what you want. Talk over your ideas and plans with the photographer. Or look to them for guidance. You may want to discuss whether or not you need a photo stylist. Here’s a post I wrote about getting ready for our Central Park photo shoot. 3) As far as family photo trends go, this is what I’ve observed: 10 or 15 years ago it was all about matching denim shirts. (Awesome!) Then. DSLR cameras became more affodrable and thus widespread. Suddenly, everyone was a photographer. And family photos trended to candid, up close shots — photographed by your best friend or neighbor. What’s happening now? A more editorial style — as if the family photo is being shot for your favorite magazine. My main advice for right this minute: feel free to pick a color scheme, but you don’t need to wear matching shirts. Unless you’re going for this look. Which is admittedly rad (I’m #7). What about you, Dear Readers? What do you do to ensure great family photos?

Ask Design Mom Week — Holiday Card Display

I have been looking online everywhere. Do you know the metal alligator clip stands with multiple clips that form a tree like shape when cards are hung on it? I remember seeing them in a catalog from last season but was too late to purchase and am hoping to get a jump on it this year. Thanks for any shopping help! — Amy

Dear Readers, do you know exactly what Amy is looking for? Do you know a source? Please share. In the meantime, Amy, take a look at this aluminum multi-clip hanger from Muji. They offer 3 different versions and they’re made to hang accessories in your closet. But wouldn’t they work well for holiday cards?

Do These 3 Things Early in November

Question: I’m hosting Thanksgiving this year. Any tips to make it less stressful? — Rebecca Answer: Great question! There are a few things I like to do in late October or early November to help my Thanksgiving prep. 1) Get my kitchen knives sharpened. Your guests will likely be helping you in the kitchen. You won’t want them using crummy tools. 2) Take inventory of your dinnerware/china and utensils. Do you have enough place settings for all your guests? Have you lost a few random spoons over the last year? (Spoons are notorious for getting thrown out with yogurt cups or lost in the sandbox.) If you have any gaps to fill in, this is the time to place your orders. I’ll be adding more silverware this year — my preferred pattern is Old Denmark by Yamazaki. 3) Ask guests if there are any particular foods or recipes that will make or break Thanksgiving for them and add those recipes to your menu. For example, personally, I have a particular veggie dip that I’m totally homesick for if I don’t get a bite at Thanksgiving. What about you Dear Readers? What are your best tips for preparing for Thanksgiving?

Running for Office — 5th Grade Edition

Maude, our 5th grader, recently ran for student council. Our school in New York didn’t offer student council, so this was our first opportunity to try something like this.

Maude was allowed to make 1 poster-board size poster. And give one speech. Here’s our report on both. These ideas worked well (she was elected!) and would be a good fit for 4th, 5th or 6th grade. Feel free to use the ideas if you have the need.

The Poster
I was out of full sheets of poster board, but I had a stack of orange poster board sections from a previous project (bonus point for using up what we had), so we pieced those together with lengths of ribbon to make a full-size poster. The sections broke up the space nicely and ultimately inspired the poster content.

We started with Maude writing her name in her regular handwriting. Then we thickened that up to make it something we could use as a template and cut out. We cut out 3 “maudes” from additional posterboard scrap, sprayed them with a light coat of spraymount and completely covered them with glitter (from the Martha Stewart collection — my all-time favorite glitter). We attached the names to the sections with double-sided tape.

On the 3rd-panel, in her own handwriting, Maude wrote little slogans about herself. Some rhymed with Maude (Maude is not flawed). Some didn’t.

The Speech
Before we started working on this, we assessed the situation. What had Maude heard? What kind of speeches were typical? From what we could gather, the legendary speech that her classmates still talked about was given by a boy who showed up with a bunch of helium balloons. He started by popping a balloon and saying: Now that I’ve got your attention… and continued to pop balloons throughout his speech. Knowing this was the pinnacle, we aimed to hit somewhere between balloon popping and reading the speech straight off a paper.

Here’s the transcript Maude ended up with:

I’d love to promise you, that if I get elected, homework will be abolished for the rest of the year! I’d love to promise that your favorite celebrities will visit our class. Like Taylor Swift and Carmelo Anthony!! I’d love to promise that each of you will get a million dollars!!!

But I can’t.

What I can promise, is that I’ll work hard, attend my meetings and give my best ideas.

To show you how dedicated I’ll be as your student council rep, I’m going to put 26 marshmellows in my mouth — one for each of you. Please count with me.

[Maude then proceeds to put full-size marshmallows in her mouth. She can only fit 3. At which point she puts her hand up in a stop motion and spits the marshmallows in a paper bag.]

Let’s try this again.

[Maude then pulls out a bag of mini-marshmallows, and the class counts with her as she stuffs her mouth with 26 mini-marshmallows. When she reaches 26, she spits them into the same paper bag.]

Thanks, everybody! Vote for Maude!!

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