homesubscribe to newsletterpinterestfacebooktwitterrssinstagram
Parisian livingrestaurant reviewstravelartseventsshoppingour Paris apartmentsfood
link to HiP blog home page
link to HiP blog home page
search
Paris apartments
About HiP
contactcontact
vacation rentals
special offers
ParisLondon
ProvenceTuscany
Paris vacation rentals
pinterestfacebooktwitterrssinstagram

The Expat Mom Experience: To Paris and Back with Bébé

HiP Paris Blog explores the expat mom experienceLisa Czarina Michaud

My family and I got back from our annual summer visit to New York. And if that wasn’t action-packed enough, we threw in an oh-so-out-of-the-way trip to Los Angeles. And as the cliché goes, we need a vacation from our vacation. Sure, it was a good time with memories to go around, but between the jet lag and the door-to-door travel time, which clocks in at about twelve hours, we’re wiped out. Raising a child, whose American roots are just as important as his French ones, pushes us to visit more often than we did when it was just the two of us. It just takes the wind out of us more now than it did then. Quelle surprise?

In our son Georges’ almost two-year life, he has crossed the Atlantic twelve times. And you would think after ten times, mom would have the system down like a pro. But no. Each time, I’m that mom. I’m the mom that scares girls in their early 20s, making me an involuntary PSA for birth control. Why? Because I make it look hard. Dressed in leggings encrusted with applesauce stains, stressed out hair that needs something —a relaxer, maybe? Do they still do that? — And frenzied attempts to keep my son off the moving walkway and to not touch the other passengers, I am not exactly the portrait of motherhood made easy.

Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 3 Comments »

The Expat Mom Experience: Reconsidering Paris

HiP Paris Blog explores being an expat mom in Paris.Lisa Czarina Michaud

I came to Paris with a three-month plan: go, see… and take it from there. Lacking any foundation like the security of a job, contacts, a suitable apartment or having much money, this plan had all the makings of a disaster. But I had to go. At twenty-eight years old I had yet to experience The Great Paris you read about in legacy literature and hear mused about in film dialogue. I wanted to experience the city as a local and showed up on Paris’s doorstep naïve and hopeful. The three-month trial swelled into several years where Paris built me up and broke me back down, enchanted and embarrassed me, and led to the quietude of marriage to the now constant movement of motherhood. Paris has given me nine lives. Having been a tourist, a wanderer, an outcast, a local, an expat wife, and now, an expat mom, these layered experiences ironed out the jagged edges of living abroad. Good thing, because if being an expat felt like the ultimate exploration into the unknown, the birth of our son Georges made me discover Paris once again, this time through the eyes of a mother.

Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 2 Comments »

Parenting in Paris: The Challenges of Raising Teenagers in France

Raising Teens, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by dkoch13

dkoch13

My teenager is a junior in an international high school in Paris. Which means she has lots of exams for programs in the US, UK, Canada and France. Letters fly through the air in our home these days; SAT, DELE, BAC, and IGCSE all mean something in some country. Sound overwhelming?

Raising Teens, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Matthew Kenwrick

Matthew Kenwrick

It kind of is… But this is the official stuff, with rules and deadlines and plenty of assistance from guidance counselors. Unlike the challenges of raising a teen in a foreign country, for which there is no guidebook or standard testing procedure.

Raising Teens, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Meral Crifasi

Meral Crifasi

Some of the differences I’ve experienced raising a teen in a foreign country can be wonderful, like all the international travel these kids get to do. Recently my teen announced that she’d be in three countries in less than a week. Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 7 Comments »

Impressing the French: Baking For the In-Laws

Lindsey Tremuta, the author of the entertaining blog Lost in Cheeseland, offers up regular musings on her life as an American expat in France. Here, she shares a couple recipes with us: a zucchini cake with crunchy lemon glaze that held its own during lunch with the French in-laws and a mouth-watering iced lemon buttermilk poundcake.

Hipparis: Baking for the French In-LawsDelicious ingredients: the keys for success

When I first moved to France, cooking scrambled eggs and pasta were about the extent of my kitchen capabilities. Mr. Cheeseland was understandably perplexed how I was able to nourish myself before he came along. Well a change of scenery and a couple of years to really get settled was just the push I needed to start cooking. We generally share the cooking responsibilities but I do the baking. That is, I make attempts.

One of the first things I ever successfully produced was a whole wheat zucchini bread. At that time I was always trying to find ways to make desserts healthier which usually produced a bland final product. Once I accepted that I was really only denying myself an extraordinary pleasure, I went back to basics. Zucchini, banana, pumpkin and lemon loaves without cutting corners on sugar or butter. If you’re going to eat it, might as well make it good.

Hip Paris: Baking for the French In-LawsZucchini cake with crunchy lemon glaze

Every couple of months we get together with Mr. C’s parents and his sister for lunch, an occasion that usually translates to 5 hours of grazing and drinking. His sister is outstanding in the kitchen and always cooks up something inventive and filling – rarely traditional French dishes. That being said, she’s also known for her baking. Chocolate often makes an appearance in her desserts (if it isn’t the focus) and although it’s heavenly, I often feel unable to breathe or muster the energy to move out of my chair. It’s really an unpleasant situation. As a result, I started offering to bring the dessert to have a bit of control over how much and how heavy the end of the meal is. That hasn’t stopped her or my mother-in-law from making their own desserts thereby making the the problem I was trying to avoid even worse.

Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, HiP Recipes | 5 Comments »