five things brightening my days

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If you are living in a blue bubble like I do in the PNW, it has been a dark couple of weeks. And I am not talking about the weather. So when life gives you lemons (or orange dictators) you make some lemonade. I am trying to focus on the positive and today I am sharing five things that have been bringing me optimism, making me feel productive and adding a spring to my step. Continue reading “five things brightening my days”


sale alert

I have been waiting for a reason to pick up some of this very pretty wallpaper from Chasing Paper and today might just be that day… They are having a SALE!!! If only I knew off hand the dimensions of the various ‘could be’ projects throughout our house, it would be reason enough to collect a few rolls. 

If you don’t know about Chasing Paper, it is beautifully designed removable wallpaper. Heaven sent, right?

I figure Mo’s room could do with a refresh, especially seeing that their Wild Thing paper as seen below is on the sale rack. Maybe this prompts some home décor inspo for you. You are welcome in advance! Have you have tried this or something similar, would love to hear and see your results.

xx Ly

image via @chasingpapernyc

Baby? What Baby?

Back today with a guest post! Kaitlin Krull is a writer for Modernize a site that features contemporary home remodeling ideas and inspiration. I asked her to put together a post of her favorite solutions to avoid those typical eyesores (monstrous baby gear) that invade your hip home as soon as your baby has arrived.

The Baby Bjorn Cradle featured above is a favorite of mine. When we were purchasing items for our to be born baby I thought it was too expensive, but I am still crushing on it. I love the clean aesthetic and sweet simple design. Continue reading to see Kaitlin’s recommendations.

Even the cleverest tidier knows that some baby products cannot simply be hidden away in time for dinner parties. Larger items such as bouncers, beds, and high chairs are on permanent display, so if you’re worried about the aesthetic of these products, here are some of the best.

Phil&Teds Nest

The ingenious design of this ultra modern and chic travel cot is both functional and stylish. Use it in your living room as a bassinet or take it with you wherever you go for a high fashion sleeping space for baby.

phil_teds_Nestvia The Bump

Stokke Tripp Trapp High Chair

This Scandinavian classic has been around for decades with very little change to the original design. This high chair is an essential buy for all new parents, because not only is it good looking (it comes in almost every color), it can also be used from birth until adulthood. Talk about getting more for your money.

modern high chair review

via projectnursery

Munchkin Loft Dark Wood Gate

Baby gates are the symbol of family houses. If you see a gate, a child lives there. Unfortunately, most of them are cheap looking, plastic, and most certainly do not match the interior of the house. This gate isn’t perfect, but it’s about as close as you are going to get with gates.

hip looking baby gate

via Buy Buy Baby

Charlie Crane Levo Baby Rocker

This baby rocker is so adorable everyone will want to have a snuggle in it. The modern design coupled with the high quality fabric disguise it in such a way that, sitting in the corner of the room, no one would guess it was a baby seat. Baby product perfection.


via alexandalexa

If you look hard enough, you will find that it is possible to keep a stylish home and a baby at the same time. That is, until you become the parent of a toddler, when all bets are off.

For more ideas and inspiration, head to

Thanks for sharing Kaitlin! This was a fun feature and eye opening to some of the options that exist. Most of all though, thank you for reminding me about the stokke high chair we have stored at my aunts house, a hand me down!

xx Ly

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

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

More Washi Tape!

washi tape arrows | baby nursery

Today I wanted to share some more photos from the baby room. Earlier this week I shared the wall decals that I created with washi tape. Sure enough when I got home Monday night I got to work with some more washi tape creations. These arrows were a very simple execution and I like the extra design they bring to the room. The room we chose for the kid is a little funky as it has two doors. One off the main hallway and the other goes to a private sunporch on the back of the house- will be a great play room eventually! Either way I was wanting to add something to the door to make it a little more visually interesting and fun.

I have another washi tape accent that I created on another wall in the baby room that I will share very soon- hopefully this weekend I can get a bunch of photos and do a little nursery tour.

Anyone else have some washi tape diys to share?

xx Ly

holiday decor

anthro christmas stockings

With Christmas 16 days away we are just beginning to decorate our house. It is our first year living in our house in time to decorate for Christmas so there is a lot to figure out and determine when it comes to decor. Our household is on the minimal side when it comes to decorating for the holidays, we try our best to keep it classy. This weekend we will get a tree, hopefully put up a wreath on the front door, change out the white cafe lights on the front porch to colored lights and I have already put up a sweet little DIY garland from Target that reads Merry Christmas above the fireplace so things are beginning to look festive. The one thing missing from our decorations is stockings. We both have a pair of stockings at my parents and at my in laws but those stay there for our visits on Christmas morning and Christmas day.

With the little one coming soon I feel an extra desire to figure out what stockings we use for ourselves and eventualy use for years to come as a family. I have checked multiple sites: target, anthro, etsy etc. But nothing has jumped out as a must buy. I might just wait til after the holidays when they are hopefully on sale, or maybe I DIY something. I saw a cute tutorial that takes an old sweater and turns it into a stocking. I really like some vintage ones I found on ebay too. The one pictured above (from Anthro) I really like but the $54 price tag is a bit steep.

Would love to know what stockings you use and where you have found great ones!


xx Ly

Washi Tape DIY

Over the weekend a lot was accomplished in the baby room. One such project that was on my list was to determine and complete some kind of flat wall decor. Something visually stimulating for baby and us and something that would not run the risk of falling off the wall in an earthquake or choking the kid. I was researching wall decals from multiple sites and found a lot of rad options. But being the impatient person I am I wanted something I didn’t have to wait to be delivered from the internet and something that was inexpensive, in case I didn’t like it. So I remembered this post that I found via Pinterest a few months back. Instead of spending $30, $40 or $50 on fancy decals I opted for the DIY version of wall decals made from washi tape.

washi tape DIY baby nursery

Do you know what washi tape is? It is Japanese decorative craft tape. It comes in multiple colors and patterns. It can be used for almost anything: wrapping presents, designing murals (made out of tape), decorating any item you want to put tape on and of course wall decals!

washi tape

The steps are very easy- Continue reading “Washi Tape DIY”