Urban Crusing


daily life and living, daily crusingOlya HillComment

One of the most commonly asked questions I get is about teaching kids organization and independence skills.
Over the years of parenting I have learned one thing: the power of the third person applies not only to business or sales , but it is one of the most effective ways of engraving the principles you want your kids to learn.

Think of it : when it comes to listening to advice , between mom or friends , where would teens or pre-teens more likely to turn to? It also is true that no matter how much you teach your baby to do “the right thing” , the moment someone on a playground does something of the actions you would really rather not have your child learn, they pick it right up. Am I right or am I right? But this very phenomena works the other way around too. We make kids be accountable for the cleanliness of their dwellings to someone else - sometimes it is their friends, other times people that have influence (teachers, for example, or neighbors)

Kids’ closets or personal storage cubes have always been a battleship, so we tackled it with the same approach and this time brought on TaskRabbit to be a “person of importance” who the crew would be not only responsible to, but also learn from.
TaskRabbit is the smart way to get things done. They connecting you with quality Taskers who can helpcheck more off your to-do list and make the most of your day. And just in time for spring cleaning season they’re launched a new on-demand services that make it easier than ever to get things done - quite literally , just a phone call away on your own timing. Amna rang our doorbell a few hours after the request for help. After a few moments of talking with her, she jumped right in finding her own approach to get the kids to respond to her. She explained what she was going to do and how, and the most important part - why. It was music to my ears to hear the responses the older kids were giving her , because it was clear the message we were trying to send to them about organization clearly was sinking in.

The power of the third person, you guys!

After making a huge pile of things on the floor,  emptying every corner of every shelf and finding everything “lost in translation” ( and all the joys while at it! making mess is every child’s dream, I swear) , Amna and kids put everything back on the shelves that seemed to have doubled in size, even though hardly anything got thrown away.
I sifted through important things like drawings that I want to keep forever, but other then that , I left it to Amna to do her things the way she felt was best.

A week later the shelves are in perfect order. I know they will get messed up, for sure they will at one point, but because someone else came in to help the kids and it is that person who left the kids with the responsibility to keep the shelves clean, they seemed to have heard and feel the responsibility to oblige. In some ways, it works like that “Santa” thing, you know? “Don’t jump on the bed, because it is not good” -  and nobody hears you. “Don’t jump on the bed, or you will get on Santa’s naughty list” - and the little hands are smoothing every wrinkle on the duvet cover.

Spring cleaning time is all about getting procrastinated chores done, reorganizing those junk drawers and purging excess clutter that has stockpiled since the beginning of the year. In our case, it was also a very effective teaching moment. Need some help too? For Urban Crusing readers, TaskRabbit offers $20 off same-day tasks with code URBANCRUSING - here is to some spring cleaning and happy parenting!


daily life and living, daily crusingOlya HillComment

"Hanes for the Holidays" campaign is spreading the magic all over , and it is most definitely a magical time of the year around these HQ of San Francisco . Holidays season is probably everyone's favorite : laughter, anticipation of happiness, magic in the air - what's not to love?

Every year brings something new , something happy and exciting. As a child , my fondest memories were of those magical moments when the aroma of the freshly cut tree filled every corner of our apartment; the stories that we made up when decorating the tree; the bursting excitement of anticipation of that morning when we would run out to see if Santa ( well, Grandfather Frost actually) came by our place , and digging to check what he brought for us all... Every little memory of this time still fills my entire being with warmth and this is the feeling I dearly want my children to have now and also when they are away from home , living the reality of an adult life.

 Over the course of the years we grew to love every moment of traditional preparations and acquired some of our own. A "lucky mandarin" is one we love , probably the most : every year on 21st of December , our wedding anniversary , Justin and I sneak away for a dinner time, but not before we hide the little "lucky mandarin" in the tree with the most sincere intentions to bring happiness, prosperity, love and luck to the one who finds it when taking the tree down.

At first, it was just the two of us for some time that enjoyed this moment, but now that the older children have grown, they are having just as much fun and making it even more creative . We take turns each year on who does "the hiding job", and this mine fell on the 2015s last days. After gathering compliments for the mini-skirt look that doesn't happen very often ( oh , thank you Hanes, for making it very possible !) , there was a little made-up story for the little ones with clues out of ornaments to lead to the hidden lucky mandarin. Who knew, that something so simple would grow into, if not a huge, but very dear to us (and definitely our own ) little tradition. Magical times bring magical moments - all that I can say.

Do you have any traditions that are just "yours"?

* as seen in the post: sweater and skirt - hatch collection c/o; boots - stuart weitzman; hoisery - hanes, c/o; nadya is wearing hanna anderson and zara for kids; nikola is wearing hanna anderson and appaman.

** Thank you to Hanes for kindly sponsoring this post, and thank you everyone for supporting our sponsors and making Urban Crusing/ LivingNotes possible.

In Gratitude

daily life and living, daily crusingOlya HillComment

Because I want to remember every moment forever, my heart filled with gratitude. For every smile. Every step. Every word. Every cry and every minute I get to be near by them. Thank you God, Universe, Destiny, Life.

Просто потому, что я хочу запомнить каждое мгновение навсегда, с сердцем, переполненным благодарностью. За их каждую улыбку. За каждый шаг. За каждое слово. За каждую слезинку, и за каждую минуту, которую могу провести рядом. Спасибо, Господи. Спасибо Вселенная, Судьба и Жизнь.