Friday, September 28, 2012

Raising Global Nomads

David and Victoria Beckham Underwear Ad

I was panting away on an exercise bike the other day reading an article in Glamour with Victoria Beckham . No, I don't mean Vicky was pedaling away beside me, she was actually in Glamour talking about her kids.

She was like "Me and Becks are so proud of being British but the kids are American. They're always telling us 'oh you're so British.'"

And my jaw literally hit the floor!

I mean God, yes, of course this resonated with me. Vicky and I are both global nomads, raising our children in foreign lands and doing our best not to culturally confuse them. But the difference is I don't think my kids feel American, so that's where me and Vicks differ.

Not a lot of people know this and I don't like to brag, but Vicky and I go waaay back and even went to tap dancing classes together* before she became famous, moved to LA and basically wouldn't return my calls.

It's a shame that we lost touch as the parallels in our lives are simply staggering:

Vicky creates clothes for her fashion line, while I create crocheted rabbits

Vicky is a size 0 and I was once a size 0 (okay I was nine years old at the time)

Vicky has a blog and I have a blog

Vicky is married to a man with a high pitched Minnie Mouse voice, and husband once sucked on helium and did a funny voice.

Sorry. Where was I?

I was going to talk about whether I think my kids (born in USA) are hopelessly confused about their cultural identity or not.

Well unlike Vicky I actually have relatives - or rather my husband does - in the USA so we celebrate all the holidays just like Americans. So that's that cultural box ticked off. Vicky probably has to have her Thanksgiving catered and that's just not the same.

One other thing - my kids don't see themselves as British, American or Irish (husband is Irish) they just see themselves as a 'bit of everything.' Also they only have a slight American accent which is somewhat odd but there you are.

The other thing to note is - and here's a tip for Vicky - maybe you need to employ a cultural translator for the family as I had problems initially in getting my kids to understand what I was on about.

For example when I first told my daughter to 'put a sock in it' she got a sock and said, 'okay mum where do I put it?'

It was hard for the kids to understand that when I said, 'stop farting around' or 'stop pricking about' I wasn't really talking about farting or pricking.

But as I explained the intricacies of English slang to my progeny I found they ultimately embraced many of my phrases while acknowledging that stuff like 'now you're as clean as a whistle' didn't make any logical sense.

So, there you have it. I feel that Vicky and I have now branched off into difference directions: her kids are American while mine are hybrids, but I still respect her and would gladly model something off her clothing line on this blog as long as it had an elasticated waist.

But enough about Posh. What about you? If you are bringing up kids abroad do you think they are culturally confused or do you think it is broadening their horizons?

*This is a bald faced lie

Linked to the My Global Life Link-Up at


Monday, September 24, 2012

My Best Book About Me

Damn those crafty Swedes! First they introduced us to the piquant pleasures of pickled herrings, then supergroup Abba made us pull on our flares and sing Fernando, and then budget furniture store IKEA got in on the action and soon a flat pack frenzy was spreading the globe. Now those fab Swedes have done it again with Swedish publishers Fill and Tell getting in on the action with a refreshingly modern take on the keepsake book of memories for your baby. This amazing book is filled with adorable illustrations that your child will love, and has plenty of pages for recording all those precious first memories.

Yes, My Best Book About Me is quite seriously the cutest baby book I have ever seen. The pages are thick and it has a lovely handcrafted feel about it. The book was originally written in Swedish but has now been translated into English. Hurrah! I'm sure if the rumours are true that Kate Middleton will already have snapped up one of these stylish books for her royal embryo.

The headings for bits to be filled in cracked me up too, such as “Mummy put on ___ pounds when expecting me and Daddy put on ___ pounds”, and “Music that made me dance…” as well as “When I reached the terrible twos we mostly argued about…”

Take it from me, this is a must have for all your pregnant friends. So pick up a copy today! And US customers can order the book from too.


Monday, September 10, 2012

Spend a Night In With the Kids

It's a modern fact of life that working parents often find it hard to squish in quality time with their kids, even at weekends. For the kids themselves, the week is chock a block with classes, games and homework, while parents find themselves juggling long commutes and mundane tasks, both in and out of the office. Late evenings are the ideal time to catch up with our kids, by watching a fun movie together, playing a board game or even better, rustling up a yummy dinner together.

It's less hassle than you might think to invite your kids to help make a great evening meal by encouraging them to try their hand at a few essential but relatively harmless tasks. It may at first be quite tough to deal with their childish enthusiasm in trying to learn everything at once or their offers to help with the difficult tasks. If there are many kids in the family, then there could be real trouble on hand. Parents should work out an amicable schedule or delegate the tasks, so that each child gets to enjoy their time in the kitchen.

Encouraging children to help out with cooking and cleaning enables them to understand and appreciate the value and the goodness of homemade food, and to realise that home cooked food is as interesting and tasty as that from a restaurant. The experience also allows them to use kitchen tools safely and confidently, and learn how to prepare food for themselves and others.

Children can experiment with several simple recipes to cater to their tastes, while at the same time helping their parents to prepare a special dinner. Tempting meals usually contain a decent dose of butter and cream, making the meal really sumptuous. Dinners are no exception. Experimenting with a cheese and onion pie with a dash of Anchor butter, and Anchor dairy real cream or pepperoni pizza served with cream dips and a delicious dessert of Banana bread is a great way to spend an evening with the kids, getting them both to help prepare these recipes and relish them as well!