Name: Olivia Youngs
Profession: Blogger & Freelance Writer & Mama
Brief on your background: I have a background in parenthood and health writing and started my blog as a creative outlet that eventually grew into a full-time job.
Home: We currently live in a renovated RV in the mountains of Colorado, USA.
Family: My husband and I have two little girls (aged 5 and 3) to keep us busy, and in May, will be adding our third baby to the mix.
You are the mother of two, soon to be three. Do you feel like a pro in the area by now?
I’m not sure there’s such a thing as an expert in motherhood - it’s one of the areas that I continually feel stretched by in the best way. However, I’ve definitely learned a thing or two over the past five years. Mostly, it’s learning patience both for yourself and your kids, asking for forgiveness a lot, and letting my kids explore the world around them in new ways every day.
What’s on your mind lately?
Lately, I’m consumed by all baby things! There will be an almost four-year gap between the new baby and my now 3-year-old, so I feel a bit rusty when it comes to baby raising. I’m brushing up on natural birth techniques, restocking our little home with everything we’ll need, and at the same time, trying not to overdo it. Pregnancy is hard!
Olivia Youngs with her kids
You are all for simplicity, tell us a bit what it means for you and your everyday life?
I am! To me, living simply is an all-encompassing mindset shift that essentially affects most of the decisions I make on a day-to-day basis. Our most obvious, and most recent shift towards simplicity was deciding to move into an RV and free ourselves up financially and spacially to travel and live with less like we’ve always wanted to do.
Living simply also means I try to be as intentional as possible when I shop - be it for new clothes, groceries, home decor or anything else, really. I find ethical or secondhand alternatives and really consider whether a purchase is a “want” or a “need” before spending the money.
Life isn’t simple, but pursuing a slower, simpler pace in the ways I can control has been so healthy for my family and I.
On your blog and other medias you focus on ethical fashion. What are your best tips to other moms looking to make a sustainable choice?
I could chat all day about this ;) My biggest tip to anyone before jumping into ethical fashion is to slow down. Make lists of what you really need, downsize your existing wardrobe, and invest in quality pieces that will last you longer than a season or two.
Ethical fashion is generally more expensive than “fast fashion” counterparts, so I always suggest shopping secondhand first (truly, the most sustainable option, I think) and then support ethically made brands from there. For things like maternity wear that you’ll only need for a short season, look for secondhand options OR opt for quality pieces (like from Boob ;) that will last you much longer than the pregnancy season.
Finally, utilize the help of people like me who love researching brands and have spent countless hours interviewing, emailing, writing about, and testing out the products of ethical brands. I always aim to curate my blog to be a genuine resource for people that will make ethical shopping a bit more approachable.
Olivia in Simone short-sleeved top
What is your top 3 tips for low waste living?
I’m no pro at living low waste, but I’ve tried to implement small habit changes that, over time, really add up. Here are my top three:
Bring a reusable water bottle and coffee cup with you everywhere you go. The majority of wasteful decisions are made when you’re on the go, and carrying your own cups with you can prevent a large amount of it.
Buy things that are made to last. The majority of us throw out SO much waste each year, be it cheaply made clothing, decor we don’t truly love, or random odds and ends we’ve acquired over the years. Instead, buy pieces that won’t wear out quickly (and recycle your clothes when you’re done!) and be extra picky about adding new things to your home and wardrobe.
Keep your reusable shopping bags in your car or by your bike. Whether you drive, walk, or commute to the market or grocery store, keeping your reusable bags in a place you’ll always see them or have them ready will ensure you never forget them again.
What do you hope to pass on to your children?
SO many things, of course, but I hope that if I do one thing right as a mother, I teach them through example and words that they are enough. I never want them to feel “less than” or struggle with comparison in the way that so many women do today.
What’s your best tips to other new moms?
Take care of YOU too! Having a new baby is overwhelming and a lot to adjust to and you probably feel selfish for dreaming of alone time or spending some self-care time on yourself. BUT in order to be the best mama you can be to your baby, you need to make sure you’re healthy, rested, and doing things that make you feel like you. Give yourself some grace and the rest will fall into place.
Olivia dressed in Amelia jumpsuit
Name three things you wouldn’t want to be without in your life as a parent?
It sounds strange, and not necessarily parenting related, but for me, a creative outlet is essential to maintaining my sanity as a mom. If it weren’t for my blog and this little job, I don’t think I would be the mother I am to my kids. The outdoors! We intentionally moved to a tiny, remote mountain town because both my husband and I want to raise our kids in an environment where they’re free to explore, play, get messy, and appreciate the outdoors. We love visiting cities, but for us, home will always be where we are surrounded by nature. Can I say coffee? ;) Because it’s saved my sanity on more than one occasion.
What do you want the world your children grow up in to look like?
It’s a scary thing to raise children in today’s world, but I hope that, at least where my girls are concerned, they grow up to a world that shows love to everyone. We, as parents, play a really huge role in creating that kind of world for our kids.
What’s on the top of your wishlist?
I’m big on experiential purchases and can’t think of many possessions that I want that I don’t have, so I’d say the top of my current wishlist is a family vacation somewhere tropical and relaxing after baby arrives!