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. I blog about parenting and lifestyle, often with a Franglaise take.
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PostHeaderIcon Digital Detox: Pros and Cons

A month ago I decided to go on a digital detox whilst on our 2 week family holiday to France. I have blogged before about my addiction to my smartphone but I really felt that I needed a break this time. A break from blogging. A break from social media. A break from emails. A break from the on-on-on-ness of the internet.

Digital Detox Pros and Cons from www.FranglaiseMummy.com (French & English parenting and lifestyle ramblings)

Photo credit © rimmdream – Fotolia.com

I switched everything off on my phone – even Instagram, and I kept it that way for 2 whole weeks.

So what are the pros and cons of a digital detox? And could you do it?

Pros

  • You have so much more time. Reading and replying to emails takes up enough time on its own, add to that the vortex that is social media and I used to lose whole evenings to random chats on Twitter.
  • You take in what’s going on around you. When your head is down in your phone, catching up on the latest gossip online, you miss out on magic moments with your kids.
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PostHeaderIcon Garden toys from ASDA – a review

We moved back to the UK from France when L was 3 & 1/2, and not having anywhere to live when we first arrived (hello Chez Mum & Dad) we decided to get rid of all of L’s old toys, clothes and baby stuff before leaving France.

This was a fantastic idea as it meant we didn’t have to pay removers, or storage, for toys she no longer played with and clothes she no longer wore. Result! Then just over 2 years later I gave birth to our second daughter and we ended up buying all the toys, clothes and baby stuff all over again. Not so good.

About 4 months ago C discovered the baby slide at our weekly playgroup, and became OBSESSED! So Hubs and I decided it was time to get some garden toys for C to enjoy.

And because the universe was looking kindly on me, that day I got an email from ASDA asking me if I would like to review one of their baby toys – a playhouse and slide. My answer?… Read more

PostHeaderIcon Switching off in a switched on world

I recently read “Thrive” by Arianna Huffington and it has inspired me to make some small changes to my life. She talks about switching off devices to spend quality time with friends and family, saying that even though she works in a 24/7 news world she makes sure she takes time out from being “on”.

I’ve written before about how I’m addicted to my phone (you can read those posts here, here and here), so the idea of switching off completely both appeals and fills me with fear.

We live in such a switched on world, where social media moves so quickly that it’s easy to feel that you need to be “on” all the time. Particularly in the world of blogging.

But I have taken the decision to switch off, as of tomorrow afternoon, for 2 weeks.

MacBook Air and Samsung Galaxy S3. Switching off in a switched on world. www.FranglaiseMummy.com. Parenting and lifestyle blog.

How my devices will be: closed and off.

We are going on holiday en famille to France for a fortnight, and as much as I love working on this blog and Franglaise Cooking I do need a break from them.… Read more

PostHeaderIcon Open letter to L’s teacher

Dear Miss M,

Nearly a year ago Hubs and I entrusted our 6 and 1/2 year old daughter to you, her new Year 2 teacher. We knew that Year 2 was going to be an important year, what with SATs at the end of the year and preparing the children for moving up into the juniors, and we were interested to see how that would go.

First day back at school. Open letter to L's teacher. www.FranglaiseMummy.com. Parenting and lifestyle blog.

L’s first day in Year 2

L is far from being stupid but she is sociable and a daydreamer. Like her mother, she likes a natter, and in the past this has held her learning back. However Year 2 is not the time for daydreaming in class, or chatting, and you soon made that clear to L (and us at parent consultations).

Somehow you managed, in just the last term, to draw out the fairly bright child from within her staring off into space shell, and to reveal a girl who knows her stuff and who performs well.… Read more

PostHeaderIcon Insider tips for kids’ outings in the London area

So what originally started out as a blog post has turned into a free ebook. 90 pages worth to be exact. A culmination of 4 years of family outings, of tips we wish we’d known in advance, and advice we’d love to share with other parents looking to visit the London area with kids.

When I realised that there was far too much material for a blog post, or even a series of blog posts, I decided to convert this knowledge into an ebook, to share for free with subscribers to my blog. So as of today – drum roll please – you can now subscribe to Franglaise Mummy, and as a thank you for your support you will receive my ebook, full of tips to make any family outing in the London area the best it can be.

Kids' outings in London. www.FranglaiseMummy.com

Cover of my ebook

You can sign up at the end of any blog post or via a pop-up box.… Read more

PostHeaderIcon Can you afford to take risks when you’ve got kids?

During the World Cup Final at the weekend Hubs reminded me of where we watched it 4 years ago. We were in Praz de Lys, a hamlet/village in the French Alps (Haute Savoie), enjoying a final French holiday before packing up our French life to move to the UK.

Father and daughter in the French Alps in the summer. www.FranglaiseMummy.com

Hubs with a 3 and 1/2 year old L in Praz de Lys, July 2010.

On the 18th June 2010 we made the decision to leave our life in France and move to the UK. For me that meant leaving behind 12 years of my life; I lived in France from the age of 22 until the age of 34. For Hubs it meant leaving the country where he had lived for 33 of his 34 years. For L it was the country she was born in and where she had lived for her first 3 and 1/2 years.

On the 19th July 2010, after a day on the beach, we packed up our final 3 suitcases and boarded an evening plane bound for Gatwick, where we were met by my mum and dad.… Read more

PostHeaderIcon My Writing Process Blog Tour

I was surprised and proud to receive an email from the lovely Pauline from A Frog at Large recently, asking me to participate in a blog tour about my writing process. Pauline’s blog is one of the very first ones I found when I started Franglaise Mummy, and I highly recommend it. Pauline is French but moved to the UK at the end of her teens, so is Franglaise too, but the other way round to me, and she blogs about her experiences of parenting in the UK with her French/English outlook.

This year has seen me take a bit of a turn in the things that I do and what I’m working on, as I laid out in a new year’s blog post, and I now class myself as a writer as well as a blogger.

So what does this writing process blog tour involve? Well, I need to answer the four questions below to share my writing process with you……

1) What am I working on?Read more

PostHeaderIcon Bluestone National Park: Review and Video

Here is my final blog post on our recent holiday to Bluestone National Park in Pembrokeshire, Wales, with all the pros and cons of the stay, whether I think it is value for money and the fab video montage that my very clever Hubs put together of our time there.

Without further ado here is the video which includes (a lot of) climbing, much embarrassment of Mummy including jumping on a bouncy castle, climbing up a wall and swinging from the rafters, the kids helping out in our lodge and much more. I hope you enjoy it and get a feel of our time there (some sections have been speeded up to avoid the video being too long – Hubs and L don’t really climb that fast!):

Now onto the nitty gritty – what we really thought of it:

Pros

  • Beautiful location: it really is stunning, with absolutely incredible views
  • Great layout, both the national park, and our lodge itself.
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PostHeaderIcon Where’s the pause button?

When I was a child I longed to be older – I wanted to be 11 and go to big school like my sisters. Then I wanted to be 15 to get into films with that age restriction. Next it was 16 to do all the naughty things you could legally do at that age. 17, so I could learn to drive. 18 – the holy grail of ages! An adult, then I could do WHAT I wanted. Then when I was 18 I couldn’t wait until the summer when I would finish school and go off to university.

A childhood of wishing away my life. Now I’m sooooo much older I try to be better and to live life in the now. Although of course I’m no longer anxious to get to my next birthday. As if! Yay, 39, whoop, whoop. Said no one ever. But it is easy to wish the week away to get to the weekend.… Read more

PostHeaderIcon Feeling like a bad mum

I can remember it as if it were yesterday, yet it’s been over 3 years now. The phone call at work. “L’s had an accident, you need to come to the hospital.” Hearing her screams in the background. My normally hardcore little girl, howling in pain. I ran to the tube station, crying all the way. “I’m a bad mum, I’m a bad mum” going round and round in my head.

Girl swinging in tree - Feeling like a bad mum www.FranglaiseMummy.com

L a few weeks before her accident, doing what she does best

I got to the hospital and there was a little girl there, sitting on Hubs’s lap, she looked like L, but she didn’t look like L. Her face was contorted in pain. “They gave her morphine in the ambulance,” Hubs told me, who’d managed to get there before L arrived as his work was so close by, “and they’ve just pushed the bone back in as it was sticking out.”

We headed to X-Ray while I tried to console my (then) only child.… Read more

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