There are three blogs I follow consistently. All of them, interestingly enough, have to do with design and motherhood. Ashley Ann Campbell from Oklahoma, mother of four, photographer, designer, and advocate. Her blog is called Under the Sycamore, and she uses it as a platform to talk design and photography, chronicle her family’s life, and advocate for select causes/companies she believes in. I read Under the Sycamore to get some homey design full of color and Oklahoma warmth (I’m an Okie native), but I also love Ashley Ann’s heart, faith, and the wisdom she disperses about motherhood and life. Also her blog is filled with her photographs of her colorful house. So much color. I love it.
The next is Joanna Goddard-Williams’s Cup of Jo. Joanna lives in Brooklyn, New York with her journalist husband and two sons, and she is smart, feminist, funny, and tender. She’s also humbly astute, has great taste, and runs her blog like a smart business. Part of the mission of the blog is to expose readers to books, writers, entrepreneurs, and (mostly) women who are educated, hard-working, and making a small impact on their corner of the world. I read Cup of Jo to find a well-curated slice of culture that I sometimes miss in the Netherlands. She chooses carefully which style, products, even film clips and podcasts to present…she’s a also a book nerd’s dream friend: she and her team are full of good recommendations. Sometimes the blog can feel a bit too commercial, or even gentrified…Cup of Jo is definitely influenced by Brooklyn culture and lifestyle, but does include a Motherhood Around the World series, so there is some attention to those with differing budgets and cultural backgrounds.
The last is Gabrielle Blair’s Design Mom. I can’t help but adding her tagline: Where Design and Motherhood intersect. Gabrielle is the feisty, sharp, uber-talented mother of six. Mormon and living in Oakland, CA, she is extremely well-read, and although opinionated, she is gracious. She also doesn’t shy away from topics from sexuality to travel to transgender bathrooms. I always appreciate her gutsiness in addressing relevant topics head on, and her skill and tact with which she does so. She also features the lives of working women in ‘Call it a Day’ or different houses in ‘Living with Kids.’ It’s so fascinating to peek into the lives and homes of other people.
I think what I appreciate about these women is that they are all of these things: intelligent, thoughtful, strong, yet tender. They have their own identities and opinions, but value their call to motherhood intensely. More than once I have read words like, ‘Won’t be posting on the blog for awhile, my kids need me.’ Or ‘I will let this all go if I ever really need to…’ in various intensities. They are vulnerable and real, but they are smart and give voice to their priorities.
I check these blogs once a day, and feel slightly like they are three friends of mine who I’m checking in on. I guess that’s the whole draw of blogs, right? Community of like-minded women who allow enough of themselves to show between the lines of their blogs, so that you begin to feel like pen pals. In the words credited to C.S. Lewis, ‘We read to know we’re not alone.’ And there’s something good about that.
Any blogs are calling your name days?