Meet Olivia, a full-time mom and part-time therapist in Chicago. She has two little boys, Carter (4) and Hank (16 months), and one more on the way! She and her boys take full advantage of city life and can usually be found walking by the lake or hanging at one of their favorite neighborhood coffee shops.
BB: Tell us a fun fact about yourself.
O: I have an undergraduate degree in psychology and a MA in counseling. When I'm not home with my kids, I work as a therapist in private practice. I specialize in anxiety and relationship issues.
BB: What’s in your Birdling? What are the essentials you can’t leave home without?
O: For our summer road trip to Michigan I packed a change of clothes for each of my boys - you never know when they'll be getting into something wet or sticky, sunscreen, antibacterial wipes, plenty of snacks, a few books/toys for the car ride, lollipops (just in case), water bottles for everyone, and a couple essentials for myself like sunglasses and a hat (because there's not always time to do hair and make up when you have to hit the road bright and early), and my book. I'm reading Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan.
BB: What do you love most about your Birdling?
O: I love all the different compartments! They make it so easy to pack and to find things. There's nothing more frustrating than digging through your bag looking for the one thing you need that you can't seem to locate. In my Birdling I can keep everything organized and in a separate space.
BB: What’s one thing you do to stay more organized and sane in everyday life?
O: I pick up the house every night before bed. It sounds kind of tedious, but as soon as my boys are asleep I go through each room doing some tidying. It doesn't take more than 10-15 minutes and brings me so much peace of mind. Waking up to a clean, organized space really helps me start each day on the right foot.
BB: How do you manage to stay organized while traveling?
O: I tend to pack pretty strategically, at least when it comes to my kids. Essentials are always on top so they're easy to grab and everything has a specific spot or place in my bag.
BB: If you could drop everything and travel today. Where would you go? Who would you bring?
O: I would pack up my husband and kids and fly to England. We'd spend a few days exploring London before driving through the English countryside and staying in some sweet, little bed and breakfasts. Then we'd take the chunnel into France and explore the French countryside for a few days before ending up in Paris where we'd spend our time taking long walks, lounging in the parks, and eating all the croissants!
BB: What’s your most funny, terrible or memorable travel moment?
O: When Carter was four months old we flew to Paris. It was our first international trip as a family. We rented a little apartment in St. Germain and our first evening there, once we'd pushed through the jet lag and finally gotten our crying baby to sleep, we noticed water dripping from the ceiling. The bathtub in the apartment above us was flooding! It was about midnight, but my husband and I ran upstairs and started knocking frantically on random doors trying to explain what was happening. Neither of us speaks French, so you can imagine some very confused and startled neighbors. We eventually got things sorted out, but it was surely an unexpected start to the trip.
BB: Any travel tips to share?
O: Have a good attitude. Travel is fun, but when you add little kids to the mix it can also be stressful. I've learned to stay patient, not sweat the small stuff, expect inconveniences, and remain as positive and open to adventure as possible.