Featured Blogger – Olya Hill

Olya Hill, Creative Director of Urban Crusing and momma to five- with one on the way! – is a breath of fresh air. Her social media presence, demeanor, and outlook on life are focused on enjoying her family — while simultaneously growing her business. And she does so with the ease and sophistication of a ballerina (wait– did you know she’s a ballerina, too?!). She took time to chat with Kylie from cupcakeMAG about how she got started in blogging, work day routines, and favorite emojis.

When did you first start blogging? How did your past experiences allow you step into the world of blogging?

I started a small little blog when I was pregnant with my 3rd child for no other reason but to keep a record of a couple of things that I wanted to remember from my pregnancy and share some thoughts with a few friends. Those were the early days of blogging, and everyone had a blog (seemed like). Over the years it evolved into the little outlet for me to gather things I love and as the days went by it organically evolved into a nice community that gathered people of similar views. That was the time when we decided it was time to go from a small blog to an Urban Crusing site, the online publication with focus on connecting the arts to life and thus enriching the lives of modern families. As I see it – and that is where my professional ballet experience must be at “fault” – there is art and beauty all over us. Our focus and preference is discovering everything new and unique : from unknown and upcoming artists whose works would be a great inspiration or a fun outing to go see, to fabulous and interesting travel spots and food (food is art too) to innovative designs of products like…plates or strollers! Bits and pieces of art can really be a part of our lives without having to live in a gallery or a concert hall.

Working hard and enjoying your family is what life is all about! Describe your typical day and how you incorporate work + family into your daily schedule.

Our schedules are crazier than some may like, but I thrive on “busy”. The morning starts with a sunrise – the quiet time for me to review my work plans/necessities for the day, and get a head start on that. It also involves some yoga and a quiet cup of coffee/tea or a glass of green juice with my husband. Then there is a smoothie breakfast time for the “team” and we are off for the day. We schedule every minute in : while there are no set 9-5 hours for either one of our schedules, there are still definitely deadlines and requirements to be met, but the semi-flexibility allows for both, my husband and I, to work children’s schedules around the work schedule. We often trade spots through the day to make sure that everyone gets to their classes, play dates, and other things on time and our needs for meetings/production work hours are met too. Also, I always have a camera and a computer with me and much of the work-related calls, answering emails or content creation happens during the ” waiting time” after I drop everyone at their point of interested and the littlest one is sleeping in the stroller. Lunch is almost always on the go (and hidden in those little backpacks kids have ) and some healthy snacks carry everyone through the day too. The favorite time is the end of the day, where my husband and I meet up , spend half an hour or so of very happy time at the playground (one of the reasons we love the city – playgrounds on every corner) and then we all walk home and talk about the day. It’s one of our family’s most treasured moments: kids blab non-stop about everything exciting , and it’s heart-melting and fascinating at the same time to peek into their little minds and hearts and a wonderful time for us to discuss everything important. Dinners are generally light and healthful, and then it’s bath/bed/story for “the team” and a few hours of time just for us. And even if we both need to have some work to finish, being just the two of us and sitting next to each other makes it somehow still “our time” . Weekends are different of course, but the work week runs about like that every day.

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We know you are a busy lady with a growing family! When do you find time to relax? What is your favorite relaxing activity or retreat?

My work is a part of my relaxation time. While there is nothing relaxing about the deadlines for sure, the process of creating something – be it choreography or visual content – is where I draw strength from. I love it and if there is anything I want my children to take with them to life, it is that one of the most important bricks to happy and successful life is truly being passionate about what you do. But as everyone else, I have “those” days and nothing fixes it better then a bath with Rose scented salts, a candle, a book or a nice conversation. I should probably add a small glass of wine there too, but considering that for the last 12 years I’ve been between pregnancies or nursing, that does not come to mind any more!

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Which new gadgets or equipment (new type of stroller, baby monitor etc.) are you looking forward to using with your newborn that you didn’t use with your newborns in the past?

Probably because we are always on the go, I get most excited about using a new stroller with a new baby. It is my “car” after all, and the little “home” for the baby, so we invest high in those. This time around I have a new Stokke Crusi in a double configuration with a state of the art bassinet waiting for the baby (and the 2 year old who still is very much in a need of the stroller) to carry us through the day. And now with a Nuna for Stokke car seat to just snap on the stroller without a need for adapters (yay!), it makes Crusi be so much more versatile for us . For the times when we need something light, I have a Bubagoo Bee 3 Van Gogh edition with a riding board prepped: I love the new changes Bugaboo made to the Bee 3 design, including the bassinet, and the Van Gogh almond blossoms edition is art for daily living, quite literally. From other things, I have a stash of “baby carrying necessities” : a couple of carriers, a wrap and a sling and I am anxious to see what this baby’s preference will be – as I learned they have their own likes/dislikes too.

As a mom of five, vacations must be well-planned to suit your whole family! Where is your favorite vacation spot? What types of family activities do you like to participate in while on vacation?

When it comes to a vacation, we are as easy going as can be: all we need is a clean and home-y place to stay and a beach to play on. Something that is rooting to my childhood – where a weeklong trip to the sea tied to the happiest of memories – and something we want our children to have too. Barcelona is our favorite place in ideal situation, but with the new baby almost here, we looked for a close to home spot and discovered a little hidden gem just “around the corner” in Santa Cruz and immediately fell in love with it.

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What did you have for breakfast this morning?

Deep Green juice from the Juice Shop – I am minimal when it comes to my breakfasts.

Do you have a favorite coffee shop? What is your favorite drink from this spot?

Le Marais on Chestnut in SF is my all time favorite: their cappuccino is to die for ( and everything else too) French know how to make your cafe experience be beyond amazing , that is no doubt.

What is your most used emoji?

The dying-laughing cat. Why cat – no idea. But laughing – because if there is one thing I learned over the years : you can never have too much smiles in a day and problems are easier to resolve with a positive attitude.

Can’t get enough of Olya? Follow her on Instagram as @livingnotes and visit her at Urban Crusing!



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