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Following a blog is a fabulous way to live vicariously through someone else. For me, that’s Gabrielle Blair. Writer, editor and creator of Design Mom, Gabrielle, her husband and six kids recently packed up and moved from Colorado to France. Nestled in a fabulously rustic farmhouse in the Normandy region a few hours away from Paris, Gabrielle uses Design Mom to share her tales of motherhood, family life and her love of all things design, plus her experiences with a new culture and lifestyle. (Just look at that cute and colorfully-dressed family.)

Design-Mom-Blogger-of-the-Month-France-Expat

Whether Gabrielle’s explaining the recycling process in France or how they buy eggs, you’re sucked into the genuine, personal and everyday feel her writing evokes. With all the photography and a rich variety of topics, from hair tutorials and party themes to porch makeovers and home tours, she manages to cover just about everything. And did I mention giveaways? Gabrielle has some awesome giveaways with gift cards (to places like Paloma’s Nest) and jewelry.

Okay, I know you have to be dying to see the French-style farmhouse they are renting (named La Cressonnière, meaning “watercress”). Take a look:

Design-Mom-French-Farmhouse-Exterior-HGTV-DesignHappens

Design-Mom-French-Farmhouse-Exterior-Detail-HGTV-DesignHappens

Now, into the kitchen. I’m so in love with the robin’s egg blue light fixture and the antique coral cupboard — what a perfect pop of color. The artist studio, stairwell and living room are just as gorgeous with a rustic European charm you typically only see in movies. And don’t miss the children’s bedrooms.

Design-Mom-French-Kitchen-Design-HGTV-DesignHappens

I’m always curious to see how bloggers manage to efficiently prioritize the demands in their lives while posting fascinating and regular blog posts. Gabrielle’s ticket to a balanced home/work life? Flexibility. “If you know me in real life, then you know I work in my PJs as often as possible and that I’m a very typical mom. As each new child joins our family, I have to learn to be a more flexible and lower my expectations another notch.”

Even with a hectic life in a foreign country, Gabrielle can still answer just about any question you need answered involving organization, home decor, entertaining, parenting, etc. Under Ask Design Mom, you can search for a topic that’s already been covered, or email Gabrielle and ask her something new. She’ll post the answer along with images and resources. How do you choose the right upholstery fabric for your chair? What’s the best way to creatively display family heirlooms? (I love her solution to organizing kids’ art supplies.)

Stop by Design Mom and look around. I’m sure you’ll like what you see.

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Kayla KittsKayla Kitts is an editor for HGTV.com. You can find her doing at least one of the following: shopping for home decor at local vintique stores, picking out produce at...

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