There is something to be admired about simple lives. Not to be mistaken with boring or basic, but simple. Lives that are so full, but only full of things that are intentionally filling them. Lives that are mindful and allow people to do things that other people would see as impossible.
Today I am sharing my first post of a new series called “Simple Lives: The Women Who Create Them.” Each month I am going to be highlighting a different woman that I admire for the life she leads. A life full of intentionality and simplicity. A life that she has created due to her desire for something more. More time, more space, more freedom, more control, etc.
Now, don’t put simplicity in a box. This isn’t something that can defined by one way of living, which is exactly why I am doing this series. I am going to be interviewing women from all over, in completely different stages of life, pursuing completely different things. Some women are homemakers, while some work full time. Some live out in the country, while others live in a studio apartment in the city. Some find their joy staying home and reading a good book, while others travel the world. These women are as different as they come, but they all have one thing in common. They all use simplicity in their lives in order to do the things they love.
My hope is that through these series of interviews, you will be able to connect with at least one of these women. You will be able to see that simplicity in your life, whatever it may look like at this time, is possible. No one type of person gets to reap the benefits of it, and I feel certain that you should be able to take something away from one of these women (or interviews) and start living simpler and fuller today.
Who: Hailey Andresen
Where: Brooklyn, NY
I have known you for a little while and have always been so inspired by you as a mother, creator, and writer. But for all of those that don’t know you, share a little bit about yourself! How did you get started with Household, and what was your inspiration?
Hi, I’m Hailey! I’m a writer, co-creator of the podcast, Mom and Dad Made a Podcast, and the founder of Household Mag, a family lifestyle blog. I started the site when I was awaiting my first baby, Owen. My husband and I had just moved to NYC from Phoenix and I knew all of about two people in the city. My plan was to start the blog as a creative outlet to document my passions (food, fashion, home decor) and all of the new experiences I was having (living in a new city, pregnancy and eventually motherhood). I honestly knew nothing about the world of blogging and making a living from the whole thing, but before I knew it Household Mag. had morphed into a full-fledged business. I took it full-time this January and the rest is history!
What is the first thing you do in the morning?
Since our son co-sleeps the first thing I end up doing this morning is changing his diaper and getting breakfast ready for him. He wakes up ready to eat!
How do you make time to relax?
Evenings are 100% my time to relax if I’m not having to catch up on work. When my son naps I usually try to get work in, so my only real time to relax is after he’s down for the night. This often times leads to picking up a book, watching a movie or TV show or just spending time with my husband, friends or family and chatting. I’ve found that connecting with other adults as a stay at home mom is not only relaxing, but ultra refreshing.
What are 3 of your favorite books?
I’ve been on a serious Brene Brown kick this summer. In all honesty the last three books I read were Daring Greatly, The Gifts of Imperfection and Rising Strong and they are hands down three of my all time favorites.
My go to podcasts these days have been Women Wanting More, How I Built This & The Daily. I was very recently on Munchin with Moguls and this week my friends Amy and Megan will be releasing their podcast, The Little Awkward Studio and I had the chance to record a podcast with them as well!
How do you think the people that know you the best would describe you?
Sensitive, caring, honest and hardworking.
What does simplicity mean to you?
Living simply to me doesn’t mean having less belongings, limiting time spent or my relationships. It means doing all things with intention whether it’s purchasing a new article of clothing, working, watching TV or choosing who I spend my time with. Making conscious decisions about what I do and consume has led me down a path to a simpler life.
Does it come naturally to you, or is it something that you have to work for?
It’s definitely something that requires constant awareness. Some days it comes more naturally and other days I struggle with the things I often feel like I have to do or have. Making conscious decisions throughout the day requires work, but it’s always worth it.
Was there a point in your life where you felt it was a necessity?
Honestly, I feel like it’s always a necessity. After having my first son both my husband and I experienced a dramatic shift in our lives and what we felt was important for our family. We decided rather quickly after welcoming him into the world that it was important to put family time above all else. We each worked really hard to get to a place where we could both work freelance so we could spend the early years of our son’s life together. In order to get there at a faster pace we downsized to just what we could carry-on an airplane so we could travel the world (it was cheaper than living in NYC). Living a simpler life really just meant living the life we wanted without giving into the expectations of the people around us. Listening to that inner voice can be a challenge with so much distraction in our society, but even as our path begins to change I feel like it’s necessary to check back in.
How has simplicity transferred into motherhood?
I immediately thought of this quote by Meryl Streep, “Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials.” This sums up so much of the simplicity of motherhood. I’ve learned over the last two years that there just isn’t enough time or energy to deal with what doesn’t serve you.
You just spent the past 4 months traveling the world! How did you simplify your life enough to be able to live like nomads? Share your ways!
In the process of becoming nomads we sold / donated all of our belongings, chose not to sign another lease and downsized to what we could carry-on an airplane. What enabled us to sustain life on the go financially is the fact that my husband and I both work remotely. All we really need are our computers and wifi and for me, a camera. By removing the overhead of our expenses of living in NYC we were able to sublet via Airbnb and travel the world for less.
And lastly, what is your drink of choice? Do you prefer it out, or making it at home?
I’ve officially reached full mom status because my go to drink is a glass of red wine. These days my husband and I typically share a bottle of wine at home, but there are few things I love more than meeting with a friend or heading out for a date night and enjoying a glass of wine out on town.
Photography by Amy Frances Photography