Mario’s Room

mario nursery


The room we pulled together for Mario had always been intended to be gender neutral. But as friends came to see it I think it tipped a little more ‘boy’ than ‘girl’, I figure my daughter would be a tomboy anyways, so it worked for us. We chose the room at the top of our stairs on the second floor facing the back of the house. The room was already painted a very light and pale grey color so all we had to do was collect some furniture and items to decorate and furnish it.

The first piece I bought for the nursery was the brass elephant figurine, while at one of my frequented antique shops on a regular visit with my good friend Megan. I bought it maybe in October. We have a small collection of mini brass figurines and they were a featured element in our wedding decor so this felt like a good buy for the nursery. In October we still did not have any ideas for the nursery, no real plans yet. We knew we wanted it to be pretty minimal and just have the necessities: dresser/changing surface, book shelf, rocker and crib.

mario nursery details making la madre blog

A few weeks later I was on a regular visit to one of the local vintage furniture shops. I had the idea of using a mid century dresser that we could use as a changing surface and then could eventually be the dresser the baby would use for their big kid room in a few years. I found a great dresser at a great price up the street from our house and that was the first piece of furniture we purchased. Next on the list was a crib. I wanted a minimal crib at a minimal cost. I loved a few that I had seen on Land of Nod that were very classic looking, this was my favorite. But could not pull the trigger on a crib that cost more than any other piece of furniture in our house. So we went with the Sniglar crib from Ikea- you cannot beat a $69 crib! I would ideally have stained the wood to match the dresser a little better and give it more of a classic and warm look but it works just as good as is. The rug, bookcase and ottoman were all items we already had elsewhere in our house. The bookcase and rug are from Ikea and the ottoman is a few seasons old from Target. The last piece of furniture we got for the room is the rocker. We wanted something minimal and something we could repurpose to another room in the house after we outgrow the constant rocking and hushing. We put the mid century rocker on the registry and lucky for us my team at work chose to gift it to us. Its a great price for a classic (replica) design- $125. I must note that the diaper pail in the image above is just a regular trash can from Ikea- $14. So far so good, it cost far less than a diaper genie and comes in very handy during the frequent changes.

mario's  baby nursery 1

We opted for bold black and white designs to ground the room with color brought to life by books, toys and frames on the wall. Let’s talk about the walls! The animal prints are of course the ubiquitous Sharon Montrose prints. I was initially turned off to them due to their popularity but once my best friend Emi told me she had been holding this gift in mind for us for the past four years I could not say no. I have lots of thoughts about these prints. Like that once my kid is off to kindergarten parents will approve and pre determine play dates based on what animals were featured in their children’s peers nurseries. Or maybe the animal prints pre determine tattoos, what college they attend or career aspirations. In the least they are indicators of personality traits of their parents. We opted for Buffalo and Fox. Assume what you will (haha). Side note: We need to really talk about foxes though. What is with the fox trend? I am pretty sure we are just at the end. More on this later. The animal prints bring a really sweet charm to the room.

mario nursery details 2

mario's nursery motherhood blog

On the wall where we have his crib is my DIY washi tape project which you can read about here & here. I then did some more washi tape on the door to the playroom/sunporch and to flank a photo of Mike and I announcing our pregnancy this past Fourth of July to family. Lastly we have a very large map of the United States that came from my dad’s school, he is an elementary principal. My parents had it in their garage the past few years.

That is pretty much the room. Feel free to ask any questions or if you are curious about any resources in the comments.

xx Ly

wehadababyitsaboy!

making la madre blog


When I started this blog I wanted to write and share about the experiences I was beginning to go through that were inevitably things that were turning me into a mother. As I write this it is Saturday December 27th 2014 at 4:26am (breast feeding) and have been a mother now for four full days. Mario Joaquín was born just after four AM on Tuesday December 23rd automatically crowning me a madre and Mike a starry eyed new father. We are all fortunate to report that his arrival was quick and uncomplicated. He weighed in at six pounds, five ounces, twenty inches long. We came home Christmas Eve mid day from the hospital and spent a short time at home before putting ourselves together for my aunt’s annual Christmas Eve dinner party.

Once we arrived, we confidently walked into her foyer placing Mo, snuggled in his car seat, in the center of the room as we discarded our coats to the coat closet. Soon enough a quiet curious group, which quickly turned into a swarm, had begun to form around him cooing and smiling as they gazed upon him. It was truly like a contemporary portrayal of Baby Jesus in his manger with the wise men, animals and magi adoring him. And like that we introduced Mario to the 30 or so family members that we celebrated Christmas Eve with.

I suddenly had tears in my eyes and rolling down my cheeks as I was congratulated by hugs, kisses and well wishes from aunts, uncles and cousins. It was a bit of a culture shock spending 36 hours under house arrest in our hospital room. I was unprepared for the jolt of emotion I felt and the outpouring of enthusiasm that everyone had to welcome us as a family of three.

Mo napped for the whole dinner and into the evening allowing us to spend time with family, enjoy the meal and to adjust and reflect on our first day in the real world with him.

More details and thoughts on my first days of motherhood coming up in the next week or so. And tomorrow some photos of my he baby room!

Thanks for reading! xx Ly

#FOLLOWFRIDAY GUEST POST

making la madre


Hello! Apologies for the radio silence. I had intended to share the baby room and a few more posts this week but early Tuesday morning we welcomed our baby! Having a baby the week of Christmas really makes things extra busy. We came home mid day on Christmas Eve and have been adjusting well since.

Today I have a post from my friend Regan- a very busy and active former co worker of mine. Regan has great style: date nights, play dates or working out Regan does the ‘look good, feel good’ very well. She is mom to 3 year old Sydney who I can tell is already taking after mom quite a bit. Regan regulary contributes to the blog Cardigans & Couture with her twin sister Katie- reporting on style, fitness and my favorite the ‘keeping it real’ posts providing both East coast and West coast perspective. Regan put together a little post for me offering some thoughts on my transition to parenthood. Take a read and share any comments you have, we would love to read them.


When Lydia asked me to write a guest post on her blog, I wasn’t quite sure what topic I would write on. Lydia gave me some ideas, but I decided to just start writing and see what came of it. Here is the result.

Let’s start at the beginning. Lydia and I worked together nearly 5 years ago. At that time my life was very much like hers. We worked for the same company, we enjoyed travel, fashion and food. We even got our dogs within months of each other (our first children). Now our lives are quite different, although they will soon become more similar.

I know that Lydia has thought a lot about how she will balance motherhood and the demands of her career. Like Lydia, I was very career driven. I worked hard, I enjoyed professional success, and I never envisioned leaving the corporate world. Shortly before becoming pregnant, I started my own consulting business. I was frustrated in my job and knew that long term I wanted greater flexibility. It was a scary and bold move, but it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Had you asked me 10 years ago if I would be a “stay at home mom”, I would have quickly and with conviction responded, “No, never.”

I have spent the last 3+ years as, what I like to call, an “on the go mom”. I am rarely “at home”, hence my self-given title. In addition to being the primary care giver to my daughter, I do consulting work, I am an instructor and Master Trainer for Barre3 and I sit on the Board of Directors for the Junior League of Portland. I don’t have one job. I have many.

I spend my days driving to and from my work and volunteer commitments, to and from school, swimming lessons, playdates, the grocery store and countless other places. I blow noses, wipe butts, clean up spilled food and am constantly doing dishes. I am a babysitter, a housekeeper, a dishwasher, a chauffeur. I am a mother. It is not luxurious, but it is a luxury. Before having a baby, I might have said that only women who can’t make it in the corporate world or who aren’t very smart or savvy stay at home with their kids. But let me tell you, making it in the corporate world is a hell of a lot easier than being a stay at home parent. Toddlers are irrational, demanding, obsessive compulsive, and often bi-polar. Being a mother is the toughest job I’ve ever had, and my 3 year old is by far my most difficult boss. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Just because you have children doesn’t mean you have to give up your identify, professional success or the things you enjoy in life. You can be a mother. You can have a successful and satisfying career. You can travel. You can have date night. You can workout. You can have coffee with your girlfriends. You can “have it all.” Just not always at the same time. And it usually takes more planning and preparation than it used to.

My final thoughts for Lydia on finding her own balance as a mother and a professional.

– There is no harder job than being a mother, but there is no more rewarding job.

– The days are long and the years are short. Don’t miss the important moments in your child’s life for unimportant things.

– Don’t allow yourself to be confined by the identity that you have been or think you should be. It may change (maybe not, and that’s okay too).

– Don’t judge other moms if their choices are different than your own. Be supportive.

– Make time for yourself and take care of yourself. it will make you a better mother.


Thanks so much Regan! As for the rest of you I will be back next week with an update on motherhood thus far and an introduction to our little man. I have lots of thoughts and feelings to share thus far.

xx Ly

Emily Blunt’s Short words on Parenthood

emily blunt motherhood
Emily Blunt shot by Paolo Kudacki for The Edit

Happy Monday! It is my first Monday of maternity leave and the Monday of Christmas week. A lot, and at the same time a little, going on over here. The weather has been in the mid 50’s all weekend and we are greeted with sunshine today in the Pacific NW. This must be what the holidays in California is like… ok maybe on a bad day.

Over the weekend I read this article profiling Emily Blunt from the latest issue of The Edit. She covers her career, fashion and hopes for the future while also briefly touching on motherhood. This quote from her really rang true for me so I wanted to share it with other new parents out there- hopefully it serves as a little confidence booster as you begin your ascent into parenting.

“[Raising children] is such a fear-based industry,” says the actress. “There used to be one book that everyone read, now there’s How to Raise a Gluten-free Baby, How to Raise a Scientific Baby… It’s insanity! So I haven’t read anything, I’m just letting her do her own thing.”

Enjoy the week! A post taking you all through the baby room will be coming up in the next day or so, as well as another guest post, this time from my friend Regan. Stay tuned!

xx Ly

#followfriday Guest post

LIZ DENFELD MAKING LA MADRE BLOG


Today I want to introduce my friend Liz. She has been blogging for quite a few years and in April welcomed a super sweet little girl. She is still a newbie to parenting but has far more experience than I. So I asked Liz to share with me some advice for those first few weeks and months with a newborn and adjusting to motherhood. There is so much advice out there that I wanted to be sure to get some advice from someone who was as much like me as possible: we both work exciting and demanding jobs for the same company, live in the same city, are roughly the same age, have great personal style and put a high premium on going out to dinner & drinks!

Lots of good stuff in here, my personal favorites are #5, #8 & #9- a cookie!!!


Hi Making La Madre readers! I’m Liz, a relatively new mama to my 8-month-old daughter, Elodie. Lydia asked me to share some thoughts and tips on surviving those first weeks and months with your little one. I’m so glad she did! It’s been so fun reading along as Lydia explores this new life that awaits her. She’s in the home stretch now! I remember feeling exactly like she does now – moments of total excitement mixed with sheer panic. Completely normal. Most people fear the unknown – I know I did! But I’ve made it through eight months of motherhood and I’m happy to report that it’s pretty.freakin.awesome. Here are a few tips and tricks for surviving those first months home with your babe.

  1. It’s true what they say – you won’t be sleeping much those first few weeks. My advice is to forget the concept of “morning” and “night”. Just think of time as continuous, and then you won’t be as depressed when you’re going to bed (aka taking a 3 hour nap) at 7PM and up nursing at 3AM (instead of getting home from the bars…). This too shall pass.
  2. Shower and “get ready” every day (okay, most days). This will make you feel human and a whole lot happier.
  3. Take it easy for the first few weeks. There’s a lot of pressure for new mothers to be up and at ‘em not long after giving birth. Don’t give in to those pressures! Seriously. Lay in bed, cuddle your baby, RELAX. There will be plenty of time for getting out and about after the first month. Let people dote on you, bring you food, clean your house…
  4. Speaking of food. Don’t let anyone in your house without bringing a meal with them. Seriously.
  5. Before baby is born, go out to Trader Joe’s or New Seasons and stock up on your favorite snacks. Anything you can eat with one hand that isn’t just total junk. You’ll be so glad to have these healthy snacks around once dad goes back to work and you’re doing everything one-handed.
  6. Okay, this tip is going to sound a bit extravagant, but for me it was vital to my survival. Invest in a good coffee machine. For us, it was the Nespresso Vertuoline. Being able to whip myself up a latte whenever I wanted was not only necessary, but felt indulgent, too. I looked forward to it every morning (noon, and night…).
  7. Let your partner help. This wasn’t a big issue for me, but maybe it’s because I heard this piece of advice several times before Elodie was born. Let them change diapers, burp the baby, rock them to sleep, bathe them… The list goes on. It’s tough for some moms to let go and let their significant others do it their way, but your sanity depends on it. You can’t (and shouldn’t) do it all!
  8. Be kind to yourself. Of course I knew I wouldn’t be back in my pre-pregnancy jeans a week after E was born, but I will say that it was a lot harder for me to accept my post-partum body than I thought it would be. Things are squishy for a while, and it takes a bit for everything to move back into its place. Your clothes will fit different and that can make you feel weird (and maybe a little desperate). Just be patient and forgiving with yourself. It doesn’t happen overnight, but things will go back to normal!
  9. You really don’t realize just how fast an hour or two goes by until you have a newborn baby and they’re eating that often. You can easily come to the end of a day and feel like you’ve done nothing but feed your baby! That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but for me it was really important to find time at least once a day to do something for myself – take a bath, sit in a quiet room alone and read a few pages of a book or magazine, shop online, eat a cookie, whatever.
  10. Forget all the “rules” — the first three months (also known as the 4th Trimester) are all about survival mode. Hold your baby for every nap if you need (or want!) to, nurse him or her to sleep, give them a pacifier day one (or day two, like us). As a first time parent you are bombarded with advice and rules and you’re constantly questioning if you’re doing everything “right”. I’m here to tell you there is no right way to parent. Every baby is different, every situation is different. Trust your instincts (they will be there – you will hear them loud and clear) and don’t worry about anyone or anything else.

Most of all, just try to enjoy the tough but magical first weeks with your little one. I thought people were totally nuts when they looked at my two-week-old and said they missed the sleepless nights and newborn cries. Now I get it. It really is such a short period of time that passes quickly. Before you know it your little one will be eight months old, crawling all over the place, laughing and smiling! Life will be different, but it will be so very sweet.


Thanks so much Liz! Looking forward to more guest posts in the future from other friends and readers.

xx Ly

are you following me?

making la madre on instagram


Did you know that I have been ‘gramming as long as I have been writing the blog? I wanted to share some of my favorite and most engaged with instagrams here on the blog to hopefully bridge the gap between the two platforms. I often share outtakes and extra pics on instagram and as far as I can tell it is a completely different crew following me on there. But I promise it is still genuine and on brand for Making La Madre. Dang this sounds like a business pitch! I figure once my little person comes I will be updating more often on insta than on the blog but who knows!

Either way would love to connect with you on instagram so please follow Making La Madre and I can follow back.

xx Ly

Maternity Style Crush #7

eva chen maternity style crush


And like that I have pretty much missed reporting on Eva Chen’s pregnancy style. The lady did such a good job keeping her looks current and styled that I assumed she still had months to go. Matter of fact I had a business call scheduled with her this morning and it was cancelled due to the arrival of her little girl. I was excited to small talk about baby stuff & maternity style prior to getting down to business with her. So in honor of the arrival of her little lady lets do a retrospective on my personal favorites of Eva’s maternity looks.

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The girl obviously favored dresses and black and white, just as I have during pregnancy. They are just so dang comfortable. I am most inspired and impressed with how she really kept her personal style while pregnant- she looks like herself- happy and stylish in all of the items she is wearing. I love her mixing in of sneakers for comfort and for street style with the dresses. The ice cream however might be my favorite accessory. Congrats on the new addition and will definitely be looking to the little lady for future #babyswag posts.

xx Ly

2014 wish list

I have compiled a list of holiday wishes to help my plus one and to also share some of my favorite items I have seen lately that I am lusting after and pinning on pinterest. What are your holiday wishes? Aside from the material I also want a happy and healthy new year for my friends and family, a smooth and successful delivery of our child and lots more new adventure and experiences in 2015!


2014 holiday wish list


Shop my list! And let me know if you need my home address so you can send me something! Continue reading “2014 wish list”

Tree time & brain dump

portland christmas tree


This weekend we went up the street and purchased a tree. We didn’t do the fancy cut your own tree excursion but we did pick out a great one from the local lot. I wanted a tree that was tall and skinny and we found just the right one. I am enjoying the lights and decorations in our house it is fun to have some extra cozy decor in the house.

In other news I am at 37 weeks. In my head I have had the date of December 21st as when this baby will come. That is technically two weeks early. But when we first found out we were pregnant and ignorantly did our pregnancy math we thought December 21st would be when the kid would arrive. So that date has been in my head. Everyone is telling me that I only look 7 months pregnant so that has me nervous that this kid will be late. I know old wives tales say that first kids are always late. But for some reason I want this thing to come earlier. I am not ready to take care of it 24/7 but the anticipation of meeting it, seeing what it looks like and dressing it in cute clothes has me excited.

Lets talk pros and cons of December and January birthdays. Most friends are telling me that having the baby in January will be better in the long run. Let the kids birthday have some breathing room outside of the holidays. December obviously has some tax benefits if it comes out in 2014. For some reason a December birthday is more appealing to me- I know whatever day it arrives will be wonderful, good and important for the rest of our lives. But if I could pick. I would choose December 21st- haha. My plus one already said we will celebrate the kids half birthday in June if it arrives too close to Christmas. I think a New Years Eve arrival/ bday would be pretty rad though.

Lastly in pop culture news. Kourtney K welcomed a boy yesterday. The baby was born on his older brother’s birthday which is pretty crazy. Wonder if Kourtney was happy with that. Curious to learn what Kourtney and The Lord named their new prince.

Any guesses or thoughts on when my little one will arrive?
xx Ly

Latest #firstworld parenting dilemma

push present making la madre blog


Lots of new terms are taught and learned when one is pregnant. One such term is the ‘push present‘. My dear friend Katie, single and without children, scoffed when she heard the term and learned about the concept. She said ‘that is so waspy!’ I could not help but giggle and agree. But the longer I have been pregnant the more this idea of a gift after the duration of pregnancy and something special to commemorate the act sounds like a good idea. Sadly though I think it is the shopaholic, retail addicted consumer in me that likes the idea. Shouldn’t the kid be gift enough? The honor, ability and wonder of bringing new life into the world ranks pretty high up there for some, right?

Either way most women choose to commemorate the arrival of their child with a piece of jewelry. Typically a ring or necklace- some kind of fine jewels or maybe even the babies gemstone, initials, date, name, etc. As soon as I learned about the ‘push present’, maybe two or three years ago, I knew immediately that the jewelry thing was not quite my speed. I would much prefer a handbag.

But now of course with my +1 asking me what I want for this gift I am on the fence of if I need/want/should get one. It kinda creeps me out now to think about it. A handbag I covet more than my baby? Don’t worry, I am not that demented. But still some of these items have been higher on my want list than say- ‘having a baby at 30’ (haha).

Top of my list is a Goyard monogrammed wallet (imaged above). Unfortunately they are only sold in stores. Goyard in San Francisco is closest to me and aside from the plane fees and California sales tax the price of the wallet with monogramming is quite embarrassing, but a girl can dream! I am still stumped as to what to ‘get’ for my gift. But open to the idea as long as my +1 is.

Updates to come, would love to hear how any of you commemorated your child’s birth and if you were team #pushpresent or not.

xx Ly