Hailey & Her Home
With summer officially underway, it’s time to start putting serious thought into the new adventures we’re going to take this second half of 2017. And who better to inspire a bit of worldly travel and wanderlust than Household Mag’s own Hailey Andresen?
In case you’re just meeting this creative mama’s acquaintance, let us be the first to assure you that she’s one to follow this season. First of all, Hailey’s Instagram feed is one of our favorites to lose ourselves in, but possibly more importantly she and her family have recently ditched their belongings and roots in Brooklyn for life on the road. Their extended trip around the world has certainly inspired us to reimagine the concept of “home,” and we think her fresh perspective on feeling fully present as a family is worthy of experimentation.
Scroll on to peek inside the Brooklyn, New York, apartment Hailey, her husband, Zack, and son, Owen, called home before hitting the road on their big adventure, and be sure to pay extra-special attention to Hailey’s tips for living more intentionally with less.
You just recently hit the road with your family! Can you tell us what sparked the idea to embark on an indefinite road trip?
My husband, Zack, came to me with the idea of selling all of our belongings and traveling the world this March. After seeing Household Mag take off and become my main source of income early this year, we started to brainstorm ways for Zack to do something similar so he could also soak up these early years at home with our son.
The motivation to travel came from the fact that it is more affordable than it is to continue living in New York City, plus we were eager to see the world and provide our son, Owen, with the best life possible. By cutting back our expenses, Zack was able to leave his corporate job, expand the copywriting business he started in January and we were able to make our dream a reality.
The thing is, he wanted to save for the next year before we hit the road. Initially, I was really hesitant, but within three weeks I was pressuring him to do it now, not a year from now. My thought was that if the point was to soak up as much time together as a family before Owen was in school, we might as well get started now. Clearly I was convincing, because here we are!
Where are you right this moment?
Right now, I’m sitting at our Paris kitchen table across from Zack. We’re both working on our computers and drinking a bottle of red wine together.
Before leaving your home in Brooklyn, what was your favorite room and why?
When we first viewed our apartment, we overlooked the smallest kitchen we had ever seen and said we will take the open space, incredible light, wood floors and dream neighborhood and deal with that closet of a kitchen. Of course, this became my favorite little space for so many reasons. This kitchen is really where Household Mag began, where I made my coffee in the overly exhausted moments of early motherhood, where Zack and I made meals and where I prepared Owen’s first meals. Food is not just something we fuel ourselves with, it’s something we are deeply passionate about as a family, so naturally, the smallest kitchen we had ever seen became our favorite corner.
What inspired you to start Household Mag?
I moved to NYC from Phoenix as I was just entering my second trimester of pregnancy with my first and only child. I was working from home as a recruiter, thoroughly missing my career in food service and was lacking any sort of creative outlet. I was dealing with all of those new motherly emotions that pregnancy exudes and, considering I was the first of my friends to start a family, I wanted to find my tribe. I wanted to connect with other women who were experiencing what I was experiencing and if all that failed, I, at least, thought, “Maybe my kiddo will appreciate this someday.” And if not him, maybe the grandparents will.
I never thought strangers would actually read my family journal and I’m still grateful and humbled by every page view. Household began with recipes, notes on motherhood, tips for building a nest in the city and style and design features. Amy, the owner of Amy Frances Photography, was a huge part of Household until we left for our travels. She was my primary photographer, my sounding board to bounce ideas off of and one of my closest friends in NYC. It’s safe to say Household Mag would not be what it is today without her.
Last week, it hit me while I was at the playground with Zack and Owen that our travels weren’t vacation, and that this was in fact real life now.
How do you manage to create a sense of home while on the road?
Creating a home while we’re away is what Household Mag is all about these days. There are a few traditions we’re establishing to find our household no matter where we land. First and foremost, our goal is to stay in homes over hotels and we’ve done that by booking only Airbnbs up to this point. We are also making it a priority to become locals wherever we are by getting really familiar with our neighborhood, practicing the language and finding our essentials. We’ve made an effort to accept and adjust to the inevitable struggles of life with a toddler abroad, have created a daily routine for all three of us and are making a conscious effort to remember why we’re doing this: to be together. Whenever any bit of slight discomfort creeps in, we remember that all we need is each other.
What’s your favorite city or town you’ve traveled to thus far?
To be totally honest, we are just getting started on our international travels. As a family, we’ve traveled to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; Jaco, Costa Rica; and Paris, France. Right before we kicked off our indefinite travel, Zack and I visited Madrid and Barcelona in Spain. Paris is hands down our favorite so far!
Tell us about the podcast you produce with your husband!
Creating Mom and Dad Made a Podcast together has been so much fun! The first few episodes were overly produced, but as we’ve found our groove, we’ve developed a much more natural style. We joke that this is the only place we really talk (not true, but gives you the idea that we really do share our lives in this space). It’s very laid-back, yet informative about our parenting and life experiences. Plus, my husband used to be a standup comedian, so there’s a level of humor for sure that makes the podcast open to more listeners than just parents. Some of our most avid listeners are relatives and friends who aren’t parents, so it’s really for everyone!
What are the top 3 podcasts you love to listen to?
You Made It Weird, Girlboss Radio and, at the moment, Coffee Break French!
Got any small space home décor tricks to share?
Embrace your space and belongings! Our floor plan in Brooklyn was very open, so that meant very little room to hide anything. Toys, laundry baskets, kitchen utensils and so on were always visible. My advice is to only purchase items you love and just understand that nothing will ever be perfectly tidy. Make what you own part of your décor!
That kitchen is really where Household Mag began, where I made my coffee in the overly exhausted moments of early motherhood, where Zack and I made meals and where I prepared Owen’s first meals.
How have your personal style and beauty routines changed since deciding to travel the world?
I’ve always been pretty low maintenance when it comes to style and beauty. Most days I shower at night, let my hair air dry, throw a few curls in the next morning and stick to powder, mascara and lip balm when it comes to makeup. That being said, I’ve condensed my wardrobe dramatically since traveling because we are just traveling with carry-on luggage. You can check out my capsule wardrobe here, but overall, not much has changed—just operating with less and loving the simplicity of it.
Spill! What are your top three places to eat in France?
This city is not somewhere you want to come if you’re trying to avoid gluten—we’ve been eating all the baguettes and pastries we can get our hands on! We’ve tried tons of bakeries and so far our favorite has been Pain Pain. We’re pretty casual when it comes to meals out since we’re dining with a toddler wherever we go, but we’ve had unbelievable meals at L’As du Fallafel, Paperboy and MG Road.
What about your top three places to shop?
Because we’re fairly limited when it comes to space to shop, we haven’t done much. I did swing by Zara to add a few pieces to my capsule wardrobe because just one pair of pants wasn’t working, but aside from that, we’ve been keeping purchases super limited.
Favorite travel memory: go!
Last week, it hit me while I was at the playground with Zack and Owen that our travels weren’t vacation, and that this was in fact real life now. Zack doesn’t have to go back to work when we “get home” because we are home wherever we’re together. Motherhood has its waves of loneliness when you’re at home with your kiddos and I’m just so happy to get to parent daily with Zack and for Owen to get so much time with him. It’s a simple truth, but that’s my favorite travel memory so far.
What’s your favorite thing to do with Owen at his age right now?
He is so fun right now! I think being goofy with him at this age is just about the best thing ever. Chasing him, letting him roam free at parks and just seeing what interests him really sets my soul on fire. He has so much personality and is honestly one of the funniest and most fun people to be around. I kind of can’t believe I had a part in making him.
We are making a conscious effort to remember why we’re doing this: to be together. Whenever any bit of slight discomfort creeps in we remember that all we need is each other.
All-time favorite mommy brand? All-time favorite kids’ brand?
Not sure if Solly Baby is a mommy or kids’ brand, but I couldn’t have survived the first six months of motherhood without my Solly Baby wrap, so I’m considering it a mommy brand. For kiddos, I love Darling Clementine’s selection of clothing and goods.
What is your favorite way to unwind after a long day?
After getting Owen down for the night, my ideal way to unwind is to sit with my husband, put our phones down and talk about our days while we have a drink together. Nothing too fancy over here.
If you could teach your son one thing in life, what would it be?
Live in it.