bebegear for traveling families

bebegear review

As I noted on instagram, we did NOT travel light for our trip to LA. We knew we would not be keeping to just one part of town so with all of the activities and all of the driving the stroller and carseat were must haves. We lugged our own carseat and travel stroller- see post here for more details on that. But there were a few items that I thought would be nice to have so I went ahead and searched online for a resource that could provide us with some of our must haves. I found the site Bebegear and was impressed with their selection. Continue reading “bebegear for traveling families”


five things from a working madre

hi! To ring in my first day back to work, it feels like back to school time, my friend, coworker and madre to baby Lola, Molly is sharing five pieces of advice as I jump back into the working world. I love her humorous, honest & sweet notes.

molly snyder blog post Continue reading “five things from a working madre”

end of maternity leave

modren motherhood blog

Today is my last day of maternity leave and as Mo is taking his morning nap I wanted to just write a few short words on this time. I am positively anxious and excited to return to work. We have the great fortune of Mo staying with my mother during the working hours just up the street from our house so the assumed negative anxiety regarding his well being and care when I return to work is non existent. He will likely be in better care than when he is with Mike or I, ha.

I have to gush for a second and say that Mike sent me a really sweet note just this morning. We left him in LA to finish up his edit and he comes back at the end of the week. He will not be here to see me off on my first day back to work so instead he put some words down about the past four months. I am a tough girl but have a real soft spot for written words, especially from those I love, and am very sentimental.

He noted how amazing it has been for me to be home the past four months. How we have spent more time together these last four months than ever before- crazy right!?! How watching me bond with this baby has let him see the best in me from a different angle. But that he knows how much I love my work, being independent and taking on new challenges and accomplishing new things, outside the home, everyday.

Maternity leave for me was a time without any distraction, except this baby of course, to reflect on the person I want to be. To focus on this family we have created and the life we are living together. Most days I spent time alone to workout. I am proud of myself for taking the time, accepting the help- thanks mom & Mike, and putting myself first. Time to clear my head, to get distracted by the nature on my run or the extreme positivity and motivation from an instructor at my spin class. These were some of the most inspiring things about my leave. I knew that I had nothing to do other than work on being a better me: person/partner/madre.

I will undoubtedly miss that. The lack of ‘working world’ responsibility. Starting tomorrow when I officially turn back on my work email the buzzes, dings and vibrations will be a huge distraction and one part of my pre baby life that I did not miss at all.

But as I return to work tomorrow I will take one lesson I learned: to slow down & appreciate what is around you. On walks in the neighborhood or time spent on our porch I began to notice the plants, trees and flowers around us. I would check on them every time I saw them and noticed the change of the seasons. From winter to spring I got to watch in awe the organisms we live with develop and grow. Watching flower blossoms begin to bud, to open and to drop to the sidewalks. I admired the hazelnut tree in our backyard as its branches began to grow and develop into leafy shady arms, bringing beautiful color into our life. I would stop to touch, feel, smell and appreciate these natural elements. I have a new admiration for nature, growth and the time it takes for things to develop.

Thanks for reading, looking forward to sharing how we manage our very sweet boy and our demanding careers!

xx Ly

love for the nano

Today is our last day in LA, over the weekend while Mo was napping and I was watching the VERY LONG Bruce Jenner interview (go bruce!) on demand I put together this little note of admiration for the Mountain Buggy Nano that has been such a trooper on our trip.

We received the Nano as a gift from my aunt. I put it on our registry after a little research on the subject of a travel stroller. We have the Mama’s & Papa’s Urbo2 as our everyday stroller but knew we would likely need/want a smaller model for our travels. I chose the Nano because of its minimal design and the fact that it folded up to the size of a briefcase when it was not in use: major points in my book.

The trip to LA was our first adventure with the Nano. I was hesitant to bring it but reminded myself that the sole reason of having the travel stroller was to in fact travel with it. So I brought it with and strolled little Mo around the airport prior to our flight. It was quite nice to have him off my person and just be strolling him around the terminal. My favorite feature, aside from the sturdiness, compact folding & carry strap is that ANY carseat can be attached to the stroller. I decided to bring our carseat on the trip and the Nano made this all the more easy. The Nano has a handy belt strap that allows pretty much any carseat to be attached to the bed of the stroller securely. I was able to easily place Mo, buckled in the carseat, into the stroller while we entered and exited the airport. I checked the carseat, free of charge- thx Alaska Air, with our luggage.

The Nano has put in some serious mileage on this trip and has held up super well. We are very happy with this guy as our travel companion. On to the next trip! Feel free to post or ask any questions in the comments below.

xx Ly

find me on cardi & couture

cardigans and couture guestpost

Today I am guest posting over on the blog Cardigans & Couture. Regan & Katie’s blog is one of the first ones I ever began to follow so its fun to be featured over there. I am sharing some of my maternity favorites that work post partum too.

For those of you who might be coming over here by way of C&C welcome! I wanted to share a cheat sheet to some of my favorite posts on my blog to get you familiar with what we have to offer over here. And of course follow me on insta where I post regularly & most often humorously about this adjustment period.

The End is Coming – A post covering the mix of emotions I was feeling at week 36 of being pregnant.

WTF I am going to be a Mom!?! – Anxiety over this new label of ‘madre’

Maternity Style – A collection of all of my maternity style posts including the ASOS dresses I mentioned over at C&C.

Life With Baby – Real talk about life with a little one.

Thanks for stopping by & please let me know what you think!

xx Ly

mom hair

This is the first in a few posts about self esteem, body image and vanity in light of my recent status of becoming a madre.

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Lets talk about hair. Last weekend when I was in the mid west for a family reunion honoring my maternal grandparents 60th wedding anniversary. Cousins, aunts and uncles from across the country and Mexico joined together to celebrate our family. During one night of bonding I was poking fun at my mother’s hair when a cousin quickly came to her defense and joked that my hair was back in a ponytail mimicking my mother’s and I quickly released the hair tie as to signal that I wasn’t quite at her status yet. You see, my mother has a signature ponytail that she has worn my entire life. The past five years or so her hair has gracefully transitioned to silver strands taking over her black mane. I have always respected and planned to follow suit with never coloring my hair and honoring my own personal evolution by letting my hair naturally change over time. I have had gray hairs here and there for the past two years or so and have never colored my hair. No middle school rebellion or high school dye jobs for this girl. I have managed to maintain a mane of healthy non fuss hair.

The majority of my life my hair has been long. My mother had a rule that I could not cut my hair until my quinceañera, 15th birthday. So after turning 15 I had a few small stints with short hair but my cuts were always pretty basic and boring. I am an undeducated person when it comes to hair and beauty and have a medium wave to my hair that made requesting styles and cuts for my hair really difficult. Pair that with my own ability to use a curling iron or blow dryer at zero, I ended up sticking with long hair as it was always easier to tame and manage.

Flash forward to age 30, last year, I got a ‘lob’. A ‘long bob’. Hair that hits my shoulder about and is cut somewhat asymmetrically and voila I have hair that I do not need to brush let alone wash much at all. I got this cut wanting something a little ‘edgier’. About a month later I learned I was pregnant and quickly realized that this ‘edgier’ hair cut paired with my newly acquired leather jacket was like a textbook reaction of someone rejecting their ‘mother to be’ status.

I write all this because I have, along with pop culture, always equated short hair with motherhood shlumpiness. I had visions, far off visions, of myself with mermaid hair and a baby on my hip, see above. Not short messy bedhead and a baby on my breast. But here I am. Aside from the obvious baby weight my hair was one of the first things that had me really beginning to review myself, my body and my personal brand differently. Embracing my short hair felt like I was ditching my former self, the original me. I am beginning to come around to having the short hair and being a madre. The hair is super easy to deal with. Washing once or twice a week, yes I did this pre baby too, and fixing it with dry shampoo when needed. It is VERY easy hair to have. I just wish I could figure out some tools or styling. Every attempt with a curling iron results in a limp piece of hot hair.

There is no conclusion to this post. My cousin’s comment  simply reminded me of my short hair insecurities and had me looking for a quick fix for my ‘mom hair’. I had equated mermaid hair with giving off this relaxed, easy breezy & carefree madre vibe. But after all of that, and many of my fave fashion icon celebs, hey Beyonce, following suit, I am happy with my cut. I just wish I could figure out how to style it most days and maybe even hire a personal hair professional to do it for me now & again.

xx ly

five things to buy at the drugstore

Today we have a guest post from my glamorous cousin Annie. She lives in Chicago and is my favorite beauty expert. I text her with questions about hair and makeup, she is truly a beauty fairy godmother. She kindly put together a list of five beauty items that you can find at the drugstore. Enjoy!


Beauty enthusiast. This is what I am. I am not a professional, I don’t know it all. The subject of beauty has always been a passion of mine and I say passion because I am always hungry for more. Hungry to learn, to teach, to experience. So I practice this art (yes it is an art) in my spare time and I am lucky enough to live in a city where this passion can be fed on a daily basis. I will be the first to tell you that if you want great makeup then you are going to have to splurge a little on the higher end products. It is what it is. However, there are always exceptions to the rule. So here are my top five beauty bargains you can find, and should buy, at your local drugstore.

  1. Impress Gel Shine press on nails I know what you are thinking. Press on nails? But they are so much more! I was fed up with paying $20 for manicures that would last 2 days. No chip looked awful after day five and was a pain to remove, and jamberry still owes me an hour of my life back. What’s great about these is that they are flexible gel covers, not a full on fake nail. They have no glue and the adhesive is already on them. Just peel and stick. Plus the designs range from natural and fun to crazy and glam. I have received so many compliments and they look beautiful even at day 10! Best part? Only $7. Splurge on the pedi, DIY on the mani. Trust me.
  2. Castor Oil This common oil can be found almost anywhere and it is wonderful for moisturizing your lips and under eyes. My favorite use though is to rub it into my eyelashes to help them grow and stay long and lush. It will also help regrow eyebrows. Average price is about $8 a bottle. Make sure you get the organic cold pressed kind, not the laxative. I found mine at Whole Foods but any vitamin shop should have it.
  3. Cover Girl Lash Blast Fusion Mascara I use this mascara as a primer for my lashes. I put on nice coat to define and separate before I use my high end mascara. It really makes a difference in how my mascara goes on and stays. I am a firm believer that not one mascara does the job. It takes a combo of technique and product to achieve lush lashes. Average price is $8.
  4. Say Yes to Tomatoes Charcoal Soap My friend introduced me to charcoal soap and I had to try this Target find. It clears pores and fights breakouts thanks to charcoal and anti-inflammatory tomato extract. Average price $6.
  5. Suave Professionals Dry Shampoo Seriously this stuff is amazing. I keep one in my desk at work so I can look fresh for happy hour! It really refreshes your hair with a few sprays, soaking up oil and leaving you looking freshly washed. Average price is $4.

Maybe next time we can chat about 5 things to NEVER buy from a drugstore. I have a list for that too.

THANK YOU ANNIE! As a self described beauty novice I really appreciate this info. I already am a dry shampoo fan and am really intrigued by the castor oil! Definitely looking forward to part two!

xx Ly

15 weeks a madre

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I missed 13 weeks a madre while on vacation in Mexico the other week and now I am a week late to my 15 weeks a madre post. I knew from the start that these posts were not always going to be very consistent, and here I am skipping weeks and late posting. Must mean I am having a full and happy life right? I have also missed two or three of Mo’s #fotoswithfrenchie, whoops! As can be assumed he is growing and changing just like all other babies. He smiles all the time, loves looking at faces and does his best at talking to us with lots of nonsense coming out of that little mouth of his.

Since my last xx weeks a madre post he has taken two trips on the airplane. First to Mexico for vacation and then over the weekend to the mid west for my grandparents 60th wedding anniversary. It was a quick trip just for the weekend filled with action. Both of my parents are from the same town in Indiana so there were lots of family members to see and for Mario to meet for the first time. It was very sweet seeing my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins cuddle, hug and kiss this little guy.

The main attraction of course was the 60th anniversary party. The entire family got dressed up to dine and dance the night away in honor of my grandparents and their solid relationship. I was struck by how everyone in that room was there because of them, truly. Their offspring had gone and created their own little families who had created their own families and because of the union of these two people and the 60 years they had been together made it possible for me to be here and a part of the action.

My uncle put together a 12 minute video slideshow reminiscing the past 60 years and how the family has evolved and grown. 10 years ago when we celebrated the 50th anniversary we were all well, 10 years younger. Some of us not yet high school graduates or not married, not with children. And this time around we had a whole new generation with us. New members of our family joined us to celebrate this wonderful milestone. I often think about how just two people can randomly meet and get together and from their union blossoms generations upon generations. My sentimentality of course got the best of me and I could not help but think about in 58 years when Mike and I could presumably be celebrating our 60th wedding anniversary and the group of people that would join us. Friends, neighbors, cousins, children, grand children and great grandchildren. It is pretty amazing to think about.

So with that, my 15 weeks a madre post this time around focuses on the great and lasting relationships of family. I have always held a strong importance for my family in my life. Coming from a big family your nearest and dearest are your brothers, sisters and cousins. I am so proud and happy to have Mo get to experience all of the love, laughter and joy that our entire extended family has to offer.

xx Ly


I remember a week or two after Mo being born some girlfriends asked me if there was anything I needed. They were so sweet to ask this, they wanted to support us and make sure we were taken care of. Asking what they could get for us, more diapers or toys or nipple cream. Anything I needed they wanted to get it for us. Sadly the one thing that I needed and wanted the most they could not give me, no one could give me.

You see, the very first thing that came to mind and would have been the most helpful was an extra arm coming straight out of my belly button.

Bizarre, I know, but it would have been SO HELPFUL! Second best to a second arm is a baby carrier/baby wrap. It has been our best friend! I started using the Solly baby wrap from day one home from the hospital and Mike uses it occasionally. It rings true for us that babies love them. Mo falls asleep most often when being worn. And I love having my hands and arms free.

After such success with the wrap I decided to get a ring sling. I wanted something that I could easily nurse in and the sling has been so good! I love the ease of putting it on and off. The Solly baby is so cute & comfortable and I love it when it’s on but it takes much more effort compared to the sling. But I love them both.

I have chosen wraps and slings over carriers like the ergo or bjorn because I prefer less bulk and admittedly prefer a simple streamline aesthetic. Both carriers I use have become second nature in our family and an excursion is not complete without one.

My number one favorite thing about babywearing is the confidence it gives me. Just like the right pair of shoes, jeans or bag, I find that when wearing my baby I have a unparalleled confidence that comes from this accessory.

Those are my thoughts on babywearing. Do you have any wraps, slings or carriers you love? Please share.

xx Ly