Field Notes on Birdling

a Better Happier bag review

celebrating the early days of fall with birdling bags

makers of sturdy + versatile travel companions for everyday adventures


As I’m sitting in my home studio writing this, with no shortage of stormy weather outside, I realize we’re now only four short days out until the official start of fall! Which also means… only four short days until we rise before the sun, load up our Volkswagen, and make our way down to the Outer Banks, with the intention of sitting on the beach by lunchtime.

It’s always the same routine, year after year. I groggily get into the car after Robert meticulously and energetically packs it without complaint, and then I start to complain that I’m hungry within the first twenty minutes. Usually I can convince him to stop for a real breakfast before we get to North Carolina, but not before we make it through Delaware. The intention is always to get to the beach as swiftly as possible, and it makes total sense, he’s been doing it year after year since he was a kid, and it’s a trip that I now crave all summer long just as much as he does (and I’m writing this down now so that I can remind myself of the sweet sentiment when I complain that we haven’t stopped for breakfast yet). It’s the vacation that marks the official end of summer, as we soak up every last ounce of the sunshine and take respite on the beautifully quiet beaches. Restorative in its calmness, I love that it’s the place where we say so long summer, and hello fall.

Whether it be near or far, for fun or for work, with our families or by ourselves, travel has always been a priority for us. While we are often happy to be homebodies, when the opportunity arises we snap right back into exploring mode at the drop of a hat, ready to plan the next adventure at a moments notice. It’s such a big part of what we both do for work, photography + photography production have taken us all over, and in that time we’ve become well versed in the ins and outs of it all, and particularly picky about what we take with us.

Sturdy and versatile accessories are important, for long, short, and everyday trips alike. When I learned of Birdling bags, I was immediately intrigued and ready to support this amazing woman owned and operated company, based not all that far from us in New Jersey. The classic, utilitarian designs are beautiful and functional (two of my favorite things in that order) and have already proven themselves to be staples around here in the short time we’ve had them. Although we aren’t toting kids around with us just yet, (unless you can count our bird dog child Daisy), it’s easy to see how useful these bags are, and understandably popular for traveling with littles. When I packed up my overnighter for a quick trip to Maine last month, I was shocked at how much I could fit inside, with pocket space to spare no less. The backpacker has become my go-to for more daily use. Since I usually have one or two cameras on me, a book, a chocolate bar (you know, just in case…), unnecessary toiletries and ginger mints that I always forget are there, I love a backpack. The easy conversion from a tote won me over immediately, and has been a trusty sidekick for my day to day.

The start of fall has me all sorts of antsy and excited for the business that’s coming right along with it. I have work trips, and friend trips quickly approaching, and I know I’ll be more than happy with how these bags serve me along the way. Whether you’re looking to be a homebody for a minute or busy planning your next escape, as you step into these early days of autumn I hope you’ve found a bit of inspiration for your everyday adventures, near and far.


bags photographed are courtesy of Birdling

all opinions, thoughts & musings are as always: my own