About me

Franglaise MummyHi, I'm Sophie, a francophile Brit, living in London after 12 years on the French Riviera, wife to a Frenchman, mum to two half-English/half-French daughters. A former language teacher, marketing/PR professional and bilingual PA, I now split my time between running my Franglaise childcare business and writing this blog. I write about my life which covers all sorts of parenting and lifestyle shizzle, usually with a Franglaise take.
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PostHeaderIcon No screens for all the family

If you know me at all you will know that I am pretty addicted to my screens – either my MacBook Air or my Samsung Galaxy S3 smartphone, they are both switched on pretty much permanently and if I run out of battery on one of them I feel at an absolute loss. And I’m not the only one in our house, Hubs is an IT geek, so screens are his babies. Then L, our 7 year old, loves the TV and would watch it all day if we let her.

A few months ago on Twitter Karen from Let Kids be Kids challenged me to a screen free day, along with many other bloggers, on Sunday 19th January. The idea being that neither the kids, nor the adults, could use any screens for the day.

I thought to myself “this will be a doodle”, it’s only one day, and it’s a Sunday, no problem.… Read more

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PostHeaderIcon Peaches Geldof’s death and why I blog

A few hours ago I heard on the radio that a 25 year old mum of two boys, both under 2 years old, had just died. Peaches Geldof’s death has shaken those I know on social media, and in particular other parents of young children.

I was literally in tears as I read what father, Bob Geldof and husband, Thomas Cohen had to say about Peaches here.

I’m not interested in how or why she died. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that tonight there are two babies who have lost a mummy, a husband who has lost a wife, a father who has lost a daughter, sisters who have lost their sister, and many more family members and friends who have lost someone close.

I have a 7 year old daughter and a (nearly) 17 month old daughter, and this evening there have been even more hugs dealt out to them than usual.… Read more

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PostHeaderIcon How I lost 12kg eating the French way

I’ve been meaning to write this blog post for the longest time, and in the end if felt like it made more sense over on the food blog that Hubs and I have created – Franglaise Cooking. So if you want to know how you can eat French food and not get fat, head on over there, by clicking here.

Over on our Franglaise Cooking blog: How to eat French food and not get fat

Over on our Franglaise Cooking blog: How to eat French food and not get fat

And here is a rough idea of what I looked like when I moved to France (left), then several months in, and 12kg (nearly 2 stone) lighter (right)!

Before: UK eating habits After: French eating habits & 12kg later

Before: UK eating habits
After: French eating habits & 12kg later

They’re not the best photos and they don’t illustrate the difference as much as I’d like, but it was all I could find as it was in 1998!… Read more

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PostHeaderIcon Blog your heart out

A while ago the lovely Mummy Swan tagged me to “blog my heart out” which is basically a blog post that tells my readers more about me, and the background to my blog. I have to answer 5 questions and then tag five other bloggers to do the same, so here goes…

Who/What encouraged you to start blogging?
Hubs. He is Mr IT and we had a baby blog for L when she was born in 2006 to share with family. Then Hubs set up his own blog all about investing in the stock market, in French, (Bourse Ensemble) and he thought I might like to write one on parenting. Et voilà!

How did you choose what topics to blog about?
It just made sense. I was already a mum, we were trying for a second baby at the time, and I was already noticing such massive differences between parenting in the UK and France.… Read more

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PostHeaderIcon Are encyclopaedias obsolete?

I don’t know about you, but our home is pretty bereft of books. When Hubs and I first moved in together, 12 years ago, we had overflowing bookshelves. Bookcases were crammed into tiny rooms, with books two or three deep on each shelf.

Then everything changed. We still read avidly. Possibly more than ever before. But the difference now is that we are not reading paper books. Hubs is Mr IT and, as a super techie, he is an early developer of anything nerd-like. He had a digital camera and MP3 player already before we met in 2001. His first e-reader appeared on the scene in 2007. Much to my disgust. I was a book reader, and would be one forever. Or so I thought.

Fast forward 7 years and I’m on my third Kindle, constantly being upsold onto new gadgets. A light on my Kindle? Yes please!

So, you see, our home now has very few books in it.… Read more

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PostHeaderIcon Calling all primary school teachers and parents

I’ve mentioned bits and pieces about my siblings on my blog in the past, and today I’m going to hand you over to my very talented eldest sister. Jenny is mum to my 11 year old nephew, and with her husband, they have been living in Cyprus for 9 years, but will be relocating to the UK in June.

Jenny with my handsome nephew ;-)

Jenny with my handsome nephew ;-)

The reason I have asked Jenny to feature on my blog is because she’s launching a really exciting project which I think will appeal to all you parents of older primary school children, and primary school teachers. Jenny, over to you….

Some time ago I was watching a series of news stories on television, all of which seemed to involve problems with people of different religions and cultures in conflict with each other. It all seemed so depressing and it got me thinking about why these conflicts occur.… Read more

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PostHeaderIcon Cheap, family day out in London – Regent’s Park

Hubs with L and C, in amongst the blossom in London.

Hubs with L and C, in amongst the blossom in London.

I’m forever hearing people complain that London is too expensive. Which it is if you want to do certain things. However there are oodles of activities that you can do in London that cost nothing or very little. We had one such family outing the weekend before last, when the weather was still lovely and sunny.

We’d had several busy weekends where we hadn’t had time to stop and just be together as a family, so we set aside the Sunday to do just that. Seeing as the sunny weather was set to last we decided to head to Regent’s Park.

Me with L and C in Regent's Park

Me with L and C in Regent’s Park

As a family, we LOVE London’s parks, as there are just so many of them. We have frequented Green Park, St James’s Park, Hyde Park, Richmond Park, Battersea Park, Kew Gardens, Tooting Commons, Clapham Common, and no doubt others that I have forgotten.… Read more

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PostHeaderIcon How do you know if you’re suffering from post-natal depression?

This post has been going round in my mind for the longest time, and I’ve ummed and ahhed about whether to write it or not over and over again, as it is deeply personal and revealing, and very few people, if anyone, know this whole story. But recently I’ve read some very honest and open blog posts about fellow bloggers’ experiences with pregnancy, childbirth and life with a new baby, all of which I have found very useful, so here goes.

In December 2006 I gave birth to my first child, a daughter, in the south of France where my French husband and I were living. We couldn’t have been happier; I’d had an early miscarriage in July 2005 and it had then taken 8 months to get pregnant again, so we were delighted at the arrival of our healthy baby girl.

Literally minutes after L was born - in France you're made to wear scrubs in the delivery room.

Literally minutes after L was born – in France you’re made to wear scrubs in the delivery room.

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PostHeaderIcon Should my 7 year old be more PC?

I’m going to try to word this very carefully so as not to offend anyone as this can be quite sensitive stuff. By this I mean “diversity” and being PC. I was raised in a family where everyone was accepted – regardless of skin colour, gender, sexual orientation, race, religion or ability. I was taught that I was equal to anyone else, no matter where they came from, what they had/had not, no matter what defining characteristics they might have.

During the peak of homophobia that AIDS created in the late 1980s, I remember my mum taking me to one side to tell me that a family member was gay, I was in my early teens and I clearly remember her insisting that there was nothing wrong with this, and that his relationship was as valid as hers and my dad’s marriage.

Since I became a parent I have tried to teach my children the same thing – we are all equal, regardless of labels that society might put on us, and we all deserve to be treated the same way.… Read more

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PostHeaderIcon The boots that never come off

A few months ago I was contacted in French by a PR who wanted to know if our daughters would be interested in reviewing some shoes from the brand Naturino. If you read this blog regularly you’ll know that I only review products that I’m really interested in. Now, L – in her 7 year old maturity – is crazy about fashion, looks and anything aesthetic, so when I mentioned this in passing she asked to see the shoes and boots that Naturino were offering. She then went crazy over them and took about 2 hours, poring over my computer, choosing which pair she would like to try out.

L modelling her Naturino boots

L modelling her Naturino boots

L finally chose the Naturino Varna boots, which you can see her modelling here. Naturino’s shoes have a “sand effect system” giving the feeling of walking on sand, with the shoe adapting to the shape of the foot.… Read more

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