It has been a pretty crazy last couple of months emotionally. We have all decided we didn’t like Christmas here and felt like throwing our homesickness all over the flour. One after the other. It was tough and not pretty because it is normally a lot easier when you take it in turn. There were tears and a lot of rejection for what is right now, our new home.
But then we pulled up our big pants, decided to act like troupers and made it happen.
Now on the first week of March things are brightening up. Well apart from the weather. It snowed again last night but then that seems to be a pretty normal occurrence.
The cold is far worse than the snow. It means that you live “indoors” and that also means that everything like getting ready for a dog walk turns you into a “walking sleeping bag” look alike. I am very much done with this now!
Thank goodness we have the holiday to look forward to, where I have been promised warmth, sun and flip flops.
On another very fun note we attended a game of the Chicago Bulls on Friday night and to say that I loved it is an understatement. This is the only other sport, aside of tennis, that I loved watching. Or put it differently, this is a sport that my brain gets. I didn’t feel like asking every 5 minutes “what’s going on?”.
Run, push some guys out of the way, protect your hoop, mark in the opposite hoop, points, done! This is Basketball as I see it, and that is fine by me. I still need to work on the rest. Like when the man in black whistles.
On another note, my love for Tennis grew while watching Yannick Noah play. He was amazing, not only talented but a real showman. And guess who plays for the Bulls, his son Joachim Noah. So I felt connected. You know, like him and I had something in common… Humm…
Anyway, the night was great. We were in the hospitality Suite and we even have a special door to enter. The door 2 1/2, a bit Harry Potter style. This is the secret door, only the chosen ones know about… The boys behaved perfectly. Well, there was the odd moments when they both, on separate occasion knocked their orange juice over themselves and that moment when one of them knocked his popcorn all over the head of a poor bloke sitting just the seat under us… Oopsy… But there was wine on tap, so we just laughed it off.
There are these moments, when you live in the USA, when you sometimes feel like you are living in a movie. That night was one of them.
The show is amazing. Totally amazing. I will go back anytime, well if we get the hospitality seats again that is.
The Look Alike Camera – looking for people looking like the Save by the Bell Cast
They lost interest…
The weather, as you would expect… THIS is Fahrenheit and THIS was/is cold!
There is no denying it, this season really brings home the fact that we have separated our lives from our family, friends, traditions and what feels like home. It is tough on many levels but we knew it was going to be the case. However there is a difference between knowing it is going to happen and actually going through the emotional ride (pass on the tissues please…). We miss so many things, but this said, we do feel so blessed and lucky to have the opportunity to discover a country like the USA living in it.
So after a few viewings of Love Actually and a few boxes of tissues, we are focussing on bringing home here, since we can’t be there.
And to soak in some American traditions, yesterday night, our friends took us to see what it is really like when you really decorate your home! It turns out that my neighbours decorations are so understated, even the one with the music light show. Too bad, I was really admiring the effort but you have been trumped a thousand times by the guys who have the full stuff and even have their own radio frequency for you to tune in from the comfort of your car and admire the view…
So here you go, admire and I am sorry you are missing out on the music, but imagine “Let it go!” over and over and you are pretty much there…
This week I sent this to the various people who have subscribed to my newsletter over the years and I wanted to share this with you too…
You might have not heard from me in a while and the reason for it is that on the 31st December 2013, I took 2 hours to myself and sat in a corner of my bedroom with a notebook and colorful pens and mapped out my desires for 2014.
My life was in a weird place at the time. Everything was well BUT something was terribly missing from it. I was enjoying my family life (and still am) and I was moving along nicely with my business attracting enough interest to keep me going, but I had no vision.
I began a quest. I wanted to answer my biggest question at the time “What now?”.
This “What now?” had been torturing me for months. Never in my life before I had felt like I had no exciting plans to look forward to and yet back then that’s how I felt…
So on that day I took my journal and wrote what I wanted to feel, inspired by the Desire Map by Danielle Laporte, I loved this exercise because I wasn’t sure what I physically wanted but I knew how I wanted to feel.
I wanted Adventure, Fun and Growth. I left the message open and felt truly relieved.
On the 19th of February 2014, my husband came home to say that he was offered an opportunity to consider and that would mean moving to Chicago!
That’s where our family landed 6 months later and our lives have changed.
This was the perfect opportunity to take stock of where I was in my business and I made the decision to invest in myself and work with a mentor who helped me define what I loved about my business, what I was great at and what I wanted to do. REALLY do.
I started in business in 2008 as a Coach for mothers and worked with new mothers who were struggling to define who they were and what they wanted to be now that their life had changed so drastically with becoming a mum. I loved it!
But I was also a mum with two children under 2 myself and I needed to be kind to myself. So I slowed down and invested time and energy in the blogging world, which I loved too.
Following this, I moved my coaching and mentoring skills in training and teaching women entrepreneurs how to use social media for business, how to blog, monetize it and grow their audience. I also taught them how to use WordPress and design their own blogs to make them stand out and look professional while staying in charge and not needing a designer.
These years were amazing and I learnt so much about successfully running a profitable business. I also learnt very important lessons about myself and what I loved the most out of everything I had done.
The common thread in all of these is and has always been my passion for helping and supporting other women in achieving their dreams. I am a believer in dreams and making them happen. I know that the only thing that stops anyone from achieving their dreams is not taking consistent steps towards them and not believing enough that they can make them happen.
I want to help you achieve big results with your business and help you up your game so that you dare to dream big, believe that it is achievable and take all the right actions for you to make it real.
I make my dreams happen, it is not always easy but they generally do. That’s what I am good at and that’s what I want to help you with, if you want me to.
It is a huge challenge, but this is the answer to my “what now?” question.
So here is the bit where I tell you what I offer now.
I have decided to work one on one with a limited number of women entrepreneur in the next 4 months, to help them take their business to the next level. I have years of experience in self development, NLP, coaching, online marketing, sales and business, so I have put it all together in a 6 weeks program to allow you:
- Get the right mindset for success
- Spring clean your current business: what works, what doesn’t, what is beneficial and what isn’t.
- Take mindful actions to find and attract the right clients to your business. The ones you will love working with and who will love you in return.
- Step up your game
- Design a map for success, focussed on action and results
- Develop coping strategies to stay in the game for when the boat rocks
This program is specifically designed for you if you are a coach, consultant, an expert or a blogger wanting to expand into teaching social media.
If you feel ready to take action and make changes I want to reward you with a free Kickstart Your Success call which is 45 min we spend together and workout where you want to be, what are your major blocks and how you can start taking action right now to move forward.
If you want to book a call please visit this page to fill in the request form.
And just before you go don’t forget to go and claim your 5 Tips to start attracting more clients now! by clicking on the link.
Once again, thank you for your support throughout the years and I hope to work with you soon to allow you to live your dream life while running your dream business.
Here’s to our success and changing our world before we change the world!
As we are just entering our 3rd month here in the US I thought I should really take some time to report on the latest…
My last entry was near the end of September and that seems so long ago.
Since then, the weather has changed, the trees have lost their leaves and the squirrels have gone HUGE! No kidding, some of them could roll.
In a funny kind of way I have never felt so close to nature and to season changes than since we have moved here. Being able to watch animals prepare to hibernate and catch the glimpse of a bird of prey flying away with a “prey” still alive and squeaking, makes me feel like I could be living in the heart of the country.
I feel connected.
But then maybe it is because I am connected?
In the last few weeks I have meditated everyday. I have reviewed my plans. I have reconnected with who I am, what I want and why I want it.
I have worked with a great mentor who has managed to bring out the best out of me and who has made me make decisions which I feel will impact me for years to come.
I have spent hours in silence planning, dreaming and simply de-cluttering that part of my brain and emotions that needed it the most.
We have all been feeling a little homesick in the last few weeks. I am not sure if it is really homesick that I have been feeling personally, I think it is more nostalgic. I miss London and a bunch of rather awesome people there, but thank goodness for whatsapp and skype!
E and V are doing amazingly well at school. They seemed to be a lot more challenged here than they were in the UK and even if I started being quite worried with the amount of homework (every night for at least 20 min) they have adapted so well, I am amazed by it.
Halloween, as expected, was quite fun. They really know how to fully embrace it. Included the grumpy school bus driver was dressed up and looked even grumpier and scarier than in normal circumstances. Hats off to her!
Food has been a big issue in the last few weeks if I am being totally honest. Years of French food has spoiled me and never prepared me for what I am having to face here… I am spending hours in food aisles trying to find stuff without MSG, antibiotics, which is grass fed, not saturated in corn syrup, you name it. I have turned into an organic-meditating-hippy. Not yet a yogi but who knows…
I still love their avocados though. Avocado rule my world at the moment. Thank God for avocados!
C finally purchased the bread maker he has been pinning for for weeks. Hallelujah! He has fresh bread not made with milk or egg and I have peace.
I know I am crazy and will regret saying this at some point but I am looking forward to snow! We had our first big snow flakes on Halloween morning and it was very exciting. I will hate having said this in the heart of the Winter but let me indulge in it for now.
Thanksgiving is round the corner and giant inflatable turkeys have started to sprout in gardens, replacing pumpkins and evil clowns. I guess that the minute the turkeys deflate the giant Santas will appear and everything will turn glittery, red, gold and green.
Last but not least for now: we are finally going to have our stuff delivered on Monday! Saying that I cannot wait is an understatement.
What better way to end a week than with a pool party and watching my boy play his first
football soccer game? Great company, great food, totally amazing surroundings, delicious blueberry mojitos, getting to know new people…
I LOVE this song, oh my god I love it! It is on every radio and TV at the moment and I can’t help bouncing and shaking in tune!
This is my new get-in-the-mood-to-kick-some-ass-ninja-style song.
Thank you Taylor Swift!
So Tara, first of all I can’t believe the Gallery started over 4 years ago! FOUR years! It feels like yesterday and it is scaring me a little to realise how quickly years are passing by… Anyway, I couldn’t NOT join in for the 200th! So here is about my 8am.
Since we have moved, our 8am is very different to our 8am in the UK. Life starts earlier in this country and in a very funny way, when I thought that I would find a lot of similarities with England in the US, I seem to find more with France. The early mornings resemble the early mornings of my childhood, so that’s one of those similarities.
When 8am used to be about still thinking about what to wear, while eating breakfast, now 8am is my moment.
The boys hop on their bus by 7.50 and C leaves for work. 8am is generally the time I go for a walk with the dog.
I have been very lucky so far to enjoy lovely, sunny walks (I KNOW, you Chicagoans are going to mention Winter coming, but it isn’t here just yet).
Apart from that day actually… miserable and very wet… and then came the realisation that our umbrellas, wellingtons and dog towels were on a boat and probably not planning to reach us for another few weeks… shake that thought!
No today instead it was good. Sunny, crisp but not cold (yet!) and we had just the right amount of squirrels to spy on.
Dog walking here is sometime a little frustrating, not so much for me but for Jasper really. You can not walk off the leash anywhere! Except at the dog park, for which you must have a license… We haven’t sorted that out yet and it might even not work out until we chop some balls!
Until then, we walk around the block, on the leash, which seems to satisfy him enough and somehow I am quite happy about the situation as I think that I would probably lose him to a squirrel anyway.
Today we took the time to discover our local countryside and it felt good. Everything was perfect: the temperature, the light, the smells, a river to throw stones into. We spotted a beehive “THIS” big (like in movies), a hummingbird and dragonflies.
It was some time very needed that just involved being us and the dog and away from all the practicalities that we have been dealing with for weeks.
**excuse my French**
Aujourd’hui nous avons pris le temps de découvrir la campagne proche et ça nous a fait un bien fout. Tout était parfait: la température, la lumière, les odeurs et même une rivière pour y lancer des pierres. On a vu une ruche grosse “COMME CA”, un colibri et des libellules.
C’était exactement ce dont on avait besoin, de se retrouver en famille sans penser aux tonnes de trucs pratiques qui nous envahissent la vie depuis des semaines.
Nearly two weeks on. WOW, two weeks! That means two weeks closer to being reunited with the rest of our belongings, but that’s another matter…
I know that I have sounded a bit lame in the last couple of posts but really we are super happy to be living here. Of course there are and there will always be some things missing of the picture but I want this adventure to be about all the new stuff we are going to enjoy or have the patience to learn to love with time.
So far there are many things that I love about being here, one of them being our new routine.
In the UK it felt like we barely saw each other. C would leave at the crack of dawn for work and not return before late. We rarely had dinner together let alone breakfast.
Now, we share breakfast and chat. C doesn’t leave until the boys do. The boys return from school early enough for us to have an afternoon together, walk the dog, take a snack, do homework (more on that one coming…). C returns home still early enough to have time with the boys while I prepare dinner and we all sit together again.
I simply adore this new routine. Like the lovely Metropolitan Mum describes her new life in Sweden it is like we have gained a few hours in the day.
I love the fact that I can look outside my window and see rabbits and squirrels eating apples and so does the dog actually. He spends his life staring at the same window, all day. Until he gets so wound up that he collapses in deep sleep.
I love our house. I truly do and I can’t believe our luck to have found such a nice spacious house, in such a lovely street, with many lovely neighbors, so close to the school, town and C’s work.
We will never stop being grateful for our friends, Gill and Paul who helped us find this house, build our furniture, looked after our boys for almost a WHOLE day while we bought the whole of our local IKEA, fed us, poured us wine and introduced us to their friends.
On other notes, I love those perfectly ripe avocados, the fact that I find Dijon Mustard and Patak Korma sauce at our local supermarket and I have managed to find some real, tasty cheddar at Costco!
I love my new oven. All the appliances in this house look dated but boy do they do the job well! My oven took the cake test yesterday and it passed it with honors.
I love our laundry shoot (or chute)! This is the best thing ever. We don’t need laundry baskets around the house. At the end of the day, dirty laundry goes down the hole and in the morning I go to the laundry room in the basement and all I do is wash and dry! And dry to such perfection that all I have to do is fold.
I look like that mum in all these American films walking around with the laundry basket and who folds eternally. You know who I mean if like me you have been brought up watching way too many American TV series.
Overall I love the lifestyle, the peaceful serenity here, in our street. It is green, clean, extremely well looked after and dog walking equals to my daily meditation at the moment.
We feel very lucky…
That’s how I feel right now. Totally washed out.
We have arrived in the US exactly a week ago today and I am not sure I am over the jet lag just yet not mentioning the emotional rollercoaster. In the same day I can go from feeling totally elated to down to the ground wanting to curl up or run away.
I have everything that matters here with me but the feeling of not belonging is tough. I no longer belong to the UK, I haven’t belonged to France in a very long time and I don’t belong here yet. It is unsettling at best and very upsetting at worst.
Yesterday we went to see the boys’ new school and I have to admit it looks amazing. The facilities and the welcome we received was great. They start on Monday and with this I hope to regain a sense of routine we are all craving for now.
The last 8 weeks have been spend completely out of routine and we are now in a foreign environment so at least having a school schedule to stick to should help us all going back to basics.
I am waiting to find out if they qualify for school bus pickup which I am pretty sure they do because I have seen our neighbour’ son waiting for it and I know he goes to the same school. I am in two minds about that. On one hand I feel my “job” is taken away and on the other hand I know the boys will love that and it will allow them to meet kids who are at school with them and live in the neighbourhood.
Our house is fabulous! The space, oh my god, THE SPACE! we have so much of it I don’t know if we will be able to fill it in a year. I suppose that’s going to be the fun part for me and I am looking forward to it. The boys have already announced that they “NEVER” want to move out… This house is 3 times the space we used to have!
I am still shocked at the heat and humidity that strikes us every time we step outside. We spend so much time indoor or in a car that when you go out it is still the same feeling of surprise. Even the dog is not too keen and by the time we have walked around the block he is happy and ready to lie on top of one of our air vent.
I am struggling with food and flavours. I know that we have to develop new habits and discover what we like and what we don’t through trial and error but some days I find it really hard.
Slowly the surroundings are becoming familiar. What used to look like out of a movie is now looking more and more how it should be. We will get there and I know one day we will wake up feeling like everything has slotted into the right places.
In the meantime we have to go through the motion…