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Voloshin Woman: Christina Martinez

We've been following Robert and Christina, the husband and wife duo behind New Darlings, for a while now and have loved watching their little family grow with the recent addition of their baby boy, Oliver. With a well-curated house in the desert and an envy-worthy wardrobe to match, we decided to get the inside scoop from Christina on new motherhood, style influences, and what it's like working with your significant other.

Christina wears the Lark Corduroy Popover with the Wren Corduroy Crop Pant

What inspired you to begin the New Darlings blog? Has it evolved over time? What topics do you discuss?
So much has changed since starting our blog back in 2014. It really began as a way for us to share our lives with our family back east after we moved across the country to the southwest. Everything in Arizona was so new to us then, and we loved sharing our life in the desert as newlyweds. The blog allowed us to connect with local makers and shop owners, while learning about this new-to-us city.

Over the last few years, we brought our readers along on our travels throughout Europe, my pregnancy, home renovations, and now life as a family of three. Throughout all of our adventures over the years, it’s pretty crazy to see how we are finding our way back to our roots here in the desert, with our little boy. We’ve been a bit more grounded these days, spending more time in Arizona and exploring our love for the desert landscape with our son Oliver. It’s been so fun to see everything through his eyes, share life working with my husband, and now life as a mom.

What’s a typical day like for you two?
The day usually starts with Rob brewing coffee in the kitchen, while I feed Oliver in his nursery. We have breakfast together, have a morning dance session in the living room and then Ollie goes down for his first nap of the day. That’s when Rob and I get ready for the day ahead and map out what is on the agenda. Most days are filled with time outdoors, local hikes, visiting some of our favorite shop owners nearby and grabbing a coffee in town.
We typically work in between Oliver’s naps and then bring him on photoshoots with us. It’s been special seeing him interact with everyone in the community who we have cultivated relationships with over the years. He’s definitely a social little guy. I don’t know where he gets it because my husband and I tend to be more introverted, so we get a kick out of it.
These days we’ve been cooking up meals together at home each evening and trying out new recipes. It’s been interesting to rediscover our home life since having our son. We seem to cherish the quiet moments my husband I have together a lot more and find ourselves hopping into bed early to read and watch a movie together.

How would you describe your style? What influences your look?
Oh man, I feel like my style has evolved so much over the years, but I always find my way back to clean silhouettes and a neutral color palette. Since becoming a mom, I look for pieces that are practical yet beautiful and will stand the test of time. Flowy dresses with a sweater thrown on top or high waisted denim. I can’t resist a good workman style jacket. I love looking back to the 60s and 70s for inspiration. If I could mix Jane Birkin and Bob Dylan’s style into my everyday, I’d be doing it right in my eyes. Ha!

Christina wears the Lark Corduroy Popover with the Wren Corduroy Crop Pant

Congratulations on the recent birth of your beautiful baby boy, Oliver! What was the transition into parenthood like for you?
Thank you! Trying to find work/life balance has been interesting. Some people say it’s impossible to do, especially as someone who works from home. I think I used to struggle with where the divide was back in the day…work life so easily would creep into personal life. After all, a huge component of our job is to share our lives online.

When I got pregnant, I saw an immediate shift in my priorities and now with Oliver here with us, I want to unplug more. I want to spend more time with him outdoors and not on my phone. Having a child has allowed me to slow down in a way that I think my soul was yearning for. I definitely fought it a bit in the beginning…it can be difficult for anyone to accept that a life change is slightly out of their control, but I have found comfort in the slow moments: cooking at home more, going on hikes together, dancing in the living room. It’s been more than I ever thought it could be.

What are you looking forward to most as you watch him grow?
I can’t wait to see what Oliver is passionate about and what or who he will be inspired by. Seeing him light up when he learns a new skill has been so rewarding. I’m excited to help him cultivate his passions and encourage him to work hard and fight for what he believes in. Even at only 6 months, he gets so chatty, babbling about things so intensely. It’s clear he is saying them with a purpose and I can’t wait to learn more from him.

You and Robert moved to Arizona from New York—what was that transition like? What’s your favorite thing about where you live now?
It was definitely an impulse move. We had just gotten married and were looking for somewhere to live. We took a trip to Arizona before getting married and thought, “this could work,” but didn’t think much of it at the time. We knew we wanted a change, but didn’t know what that looked like just yet.
Arizona couldn’t be more different from New York, especially back in 2014. It took some getting used to, but I think our hearts were always meant to be in the desert. Phoenix has evolved so much since we moved here, and there is definitely a bustle to the city, but you can also find those pockets of tranquility and beauty in the desert. That is what we connect to the most. There’s no place like it.

Christina wears the Louisa Wrap Dress in Saffron
You two travel often—what has been your favorite travel experience to date?
Experiencing new cities together has always helped us reset and become inspired. A few years ago we spent several weeks in Paris and we were totally sucked in. The design stores and mornings in the park really resonated with us. People gave into the slow weekends. I loved watching people in cafés, emersed in conversation, and not worried about trying to flag down the waitress for the check. It seemed as though they really valued their company and weren’t bustling off to the next thing, as we have sometimes found ourselves guilty of in the US. It’s a different way of life…I think picking up on those little details as we have traveled has helped us become more present and mindful. I’m excited to show Oliver different parts of the world real soon!

You and Robert have been together for a long time! What’s it like working creatively side by side? Any advice for other couples that wanted to start documenting their life together through blogging?
Have fun with it, don’t take it too seriously, and acknowledge each other’s strengths. We’ve always wanted to work together for as long as we could remember. We’ve been together 15 years and it’s always been a dream of ours work side by side. We each have different strengths (and weaknesses), along with a different approach to working creatively, so stepping back and letting one another take the reins on something they feel passionate about has been so eye-opening. It has allowed us to grow closer together and it’s been special to accomplish some of our goals hand in hand.

Christina wears the Zoya Peasant Dress

You can follow along with Christina, Robert and Oliver on their blog and on Instagram

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