I’m terrible at keeping secrets. It takes all of my energy not to share personal news about myself with even one person and success in doing so is nothing short of a miracle. A few people knew I was part of Lola’s Cookies months before I even announced it because I couldn’t keep it to myself. So the fact that the blogger behind the successful blog La Mom (An American Mom in Paris) managed to keep her identity tightly sealed up until last November, is all the more impressive. Even more so since she revealed that she was not only one chic and humorous mom but two!
Stephanie and Allison have been making expats and Parisians laugh since 2009 with their tales of Big Cheese, and Little Fry. Through anecdotes, photos and clever dialogue, they show you the side of Paris you’re not likely to see as a tourist. The two met as single gals in Paris and became highly successful Marketing & Communication professionals with Franco-American families. These are their stories….
Describe what you love about France in three words.
Stephanie : Liberté. Egalité. Fraternité.
Allison : Joie de vivre.
Best place to go with kids in Paris (or elsewhere in France) that is fun for adults as well?
Stephanie : The Jardin d’Acclimatation is fun for the whole family with it’s miniature amusement park rides, picnic area, water park, playground, and zoo. We love to take the train in from Porte Maillot. For snack time, the French Fries get their gaufre au chocolat fix and we get our chocolat chaud at Angelina.
Allison: In Paris, it’s hands-down the Jardin d’Acclimatation, for all the reasons Stephanie mentioned – plus, it’s relatively inexpensive. The Dordogne region in the Southwest of France is a family paradise. Medieval castles and canoeing for the kids, foie gras and wine for the adults. It’s amazingly rich in history, dating from prehistoric times. I recommend skipping the reproduction of Lascaux II and check out some of the original cave paintings in one of the area’s many grottes.
Most amusing or surprising interaction with the French (to date)?
Stephanie : Where do I start? I have so many stories to fill a book. When I arrived in Paris as La Single Girl back in 1998, I didn’t know a soul. During my second week at work in an American company with French colleagues, I sent an email with my phone number around the office stating that I was available for a drink or dinner after work. A few days later a colleague told me that was a faux pas. In France, you don’t solicit your colleagues via email for cocktail hour and encore moins, by including your personal phone number. The lesson I learned was that I shouldn’t have gone after them, I should have let them come to me. It was seen as an aggressive move.
Allison : Like Stephanie says, they could fill a book. Some of the ones that make me laugh the most involve some serious language gaffes on my part. A couple of years ago at a business meeting, I ran some consonants together where they shouldn’t be. I basically told a client that instead of having other fish to fry, I had other (vulgar term for lady parts) to whip. Be on the lookout for the blog post on that one.
Go-to spot for a romantic meal?
Stephanie: When I was La Single Girl, it was my husband’s bachelor pad. A bottle of Côte Rôtie, Canard à l’Orange, St Marcellin cheese, and a million dollar view of the Eiffel Tower – très romantique ! Now that I’m La Mom, our romantic meals include the kids and we love going to the Hippopotamus. Pre-kids, I thought this was the tackiest restaurant in Paris. Now, I appreciate it. It’s probably the only restaurant chain in this country where the customer is king. We are always greeted warmly by the staff, it’s kid friendly, there is ample stroller storage. Oh, and the wine is very good.
Allison: I’m sorry, you must have confused me with a blogger who actually does that kind of thing. Case in point: My husband made reservations at Taillevent this summer. I got all tarted up in my best parisienne outfit and was walking to the Métro when my niece called to say that Big Fry had puked all over the bathroom. I’d be a liar if I said I didn’t consider jumping on the Métro quand même. But of course we cancelled. Just another day in the life of La Mom.
Thanks ladies! A good laugh guaranteed, Stephanie and Allison offer many ways to follow their working mom adventures in Paris: