I’m In Love With An Incredible Woman! Gabrielle Blair of Design Mom.

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I tend to be a “look at me, look at me” kinda gal.  I danced on bars in my twenties.  For free.  Sometimes I was asked to stop doing that.

As you can see i've managed to get my Bob Mackie rhinestone showgirl costume and tiara on again.  Oh, and you can click on this photo to buy my book.

As you can see I’ve managed to get my Bob Mackie rhinestone showgirl costume and tiara on again. Oh, and you can click on this photo to buy my book, but this post isn’t about me today, despite all evidence to the contrary.

But to those of you who trust me not to steer you wrong … um, if there are any of you out there like that … I have to direct you to my favorite blogger, Gabrielle Blair.  Her blog is Design Mom where she posts about the intersection of motherhood and design.

She and her family just moved back to the states after a long stretch in Normandie, France, but regardless of their location you just want to live in Gabrielle’s world.  With her whimsical artist’s eye she can make the mundane magical.

If I’m feeling lackluster and uninspired I pop by to visit her site and I’m reassured the world is a mostly wonderful place, filled with possibility, charm and rampant goodwill.

You just know it would be lovely to sit down for a latte with this lady.

You just know it would be lovely to sit down for a latte with this lady.

Gabrielle’s six children (She’s Mormon, but quick to point out she only has one mother) have their own internet series, Olive Us - which would normally send me into spasms of judgment about child actors et. al. — but I’m in love with their show, because it captures the curiosity, innocence and wild magic of childhood and espouses what seem, sadly, like vintage ideals, one of those being large, loving families who take care of each other.

Their show evokes the deliciously eccentric, quirky worlds of Wes Anderson.  (For the record – my favorite filmmaker, Moonrise Kingdom, The Royal Tennenbaums, Rushmore, Fantastic Mr. Fox – need I say more?)

Here are some of the things that Gabrielle has introduced me to.  Martin Amis’s The Rachel Papers.  Good Reads says this about it: “In his uproarious first novel Martin Amis, author of the bestselling London Fields, gave us one of the most noxiously believable — and curiously touching — adolescents ever to sniffle and lust his way through the pages of contemporary fiction.”

Gabrielle has also taught me how to put together a Fabulous Cheese Board for my next dinner party, all the items that make up an Ideal Art Supply Cupboard and what it means to send her children to a school that is considered a 2 out of 10 by the Great Schools Website.

This piece especially touched me as we’ve recently sent our eldest to the neighborhood middle school, which the neighborhood has abandoned because our school ranks a 3 out of 10 and our white children are minorities there.  After four weeks in her new middle school I asked my blue-eyed, blonde haired daughter how she was doing being a minority in her school to which she replied, “Until you mentioned it I forgot I was a minority.”

So enjoy Design Mom and let me know how the light she sheds from her small corner of the internet affects you.  Happy weekend. xo S

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5 comments

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  1. Zoe
    Zoe 15 September, 2013, 08:26

    Big fan here, too. For all the reasons you mention. I’m from a big family and her kids’ interactions remind me of my childhood. Gabrielle appeals to a broad range of people, but even if you did dance on tables for free, you clearly have a big heart which is probably part of the reason her family moves you. (Plus, you like beautiful and cool things and her blog is full of them.) She has taught me a lot about blogging and her site feeds my increasing interest in design. I’m also proud to say that I won one of her giveaways — and I never win anything. So, yay for Design Mom!

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    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 15 September, 2013, 08:36

      Hello Miss Zoe — my latest gambit is to try to be one of her Living Spaces readers. I’m a bit of a stalkery groupie. xo S

      Reply this comment
  2. Gabrielle - Design Mom
    Gabrielle - Design Mom 15 September, 2013, 10:04

    Oh my goodness. So touched by this post. Thank you, Shannon. You made my day!

    And for the record, I’m a huge fan of yours. I think you’ve helped change the conversation about how women view and talk about their bodies. Which I think is one of the critical conversations of our generation. Go Shannon!

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    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 15 September, 2013, 11:13

      Hi Gabriella, I’ve finally managed to book a trip to Paris with my whole family — can’t wait to show the girls all of those romantic sights – but it won’t be the same without you there! xo

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