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 Not being a shouty mummy

After 2 weeks of school holidays it was back to school this morning, and back to the rush, rush, rush of the morning routine. And suddenly shouty mummy is back in town.

Surely I’m not the only one here who spends their time yelling at their kids? “Get dressed, eat your breakfast, brush your teeth, put your shoes on…” again and again and again, until it sinks in and said child does what has been asked of them.

The thing is, it came as a bit of a shock this morning, as for the last 2 weeks shouty mummy has been away. There have been no time restrictions, no things we HAVE to do, so we’ve been going with the flow. I worked the first week, but as a childminder I set what we did and made sure there was no rush, even with trains to catch for a visit to Chessington with 4 children.… Read more

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PostHeaderIcon Proud mummy of a French reader

Our eldest daughter, L, is now 7 years old. She lived the first half of her life in France, with French as her first language. Since the age of 3 years and 7 months she has lived in the UK with English becoming her first language (she has always been brought up with both languages).

Ever since she was little she has been a real bookworm and will spend all her time reading given the chance. She has recently finished the first Harry Potter and The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe in English.

I have never worried about her reading in English, as she just “got” it and now can’t get enough of reading. But what did worry me was that she might not want to go through the effort of learning to read in French: a language that is very much her second language these days.

Hubs and I have encouraged L to read in French over the last few years, but her French friends are in France, and apart from Hubs and me she has no French contact on a day to day basis.… Read more

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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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