Carole recently moved to Newport Beach with her family from London though she was born and raised in France. Her son is following the family’s love of world travel/living with his 3 passports!
Where are you from originally?
The Loire Valley, in France. But I’m an international citizen at heart, having lived 4 years in Australia (where I met my Aussie husband), 7 in the UK, and now here. My Franco-Aussie-Brit son is actually the most international of us all with his 3 passports!
How long have you lived in Newport Beach? How many kids do you have?
I’ve lived in Newport Beach for 6 months, relocating from London, UK, for a job opportunity for my husband. We have one son, Oliver, who will be 3 in March.
What are your favorite things to do with your son in general or in town?
We love going to the beach as a family. Sometimes my husband and I will take turns surfing and building castles with Oliver. Other times, we take a quick trip down to the beach just to run after one another in the sand.
Name 3 things in town you can’t live without.
The beach: now that we live here, I wonder how I’ve lived without the beach all these years. I could say the same from the sun as it was not as present in London. 😉
The parks and the libraries have provided Oliver and I hours of fun, especially before I started working full time in January.
What’s your favorite restaurant in town for a family date? A night out with friends? Why?
We’re still pretty new, but so far the restaurants we’ve most enjoyed have been Zinqué and the Cannery. And a bit further, in Laguna Beach, we have been mega excited to find a truly authentic northern Italian restaurant: Oliver’s Osteria. We used to go to Italy every year in Europe and miss the food! We are looking forward to discovering many more great bars and restaurants in the area!
What is your favorite kid-friendly recipe?
Homemade pesto (so easy to make and so much tastier than in a jar) with pasta. Or I’ll just open a can of tomato, throw it on the stove with some chicken and veggies, and serve with couscous, rice or pasta. Et voilà! Guaranteed success with our son.
What is your local go-to store for children’s clothes? Yourself? Furniture?
Since we’ve arrived here, I’ve mostly shopped at Target for my son. But recently I discovered Carter’s and like it too! I haven’t been shopping much for clothes for myself since we’ve arrived but have been shopping a lot for furniture and home décor. I really love Crate & Barrel and CB2 (which I didn’t know in Europe). But I also think consignment stores are a great thing (again, I was not familiar with the concept in Europe). And we found lots of beautiful things at Urbanism on 17th Street.
What are your favorite events in Costa Mesa or Newport Beach?
The Christmas boat parade was a highlight of the holiday season!
Do you have a favorite destination for family trips? Why?
A bit early to talk about favorites as we’ve just moved to the US, but we spent a few days in Lake Arrowhead just after Christmas and that was lovely!
What has been the most difficult age with your son to date? What helped you overcome the challenges at that time?
I think the potty training phase last year was quite challenging. But as with any other phase, I just kept telling myself that it was just for a short period and that we would soon be “over the bump.”
What is one piece of advice you would pass along to other moms? What was the best advice your mom gave you?
Listen to advice with one ear, but let it go out the other if it doesn’t suit you. At the end of the day, you know best what’s good for you and your children.
I actually can’t remember any specific advice from my mom. I really appreciated that she was relaxed and didn’t bombard me with advice, nor forced her opinions on me.
What do you most value in your friends?
Even if we don’t see each other or talk to each other very often because of the distance, I like that when we meet again we can talk and laugh as if we had just seen each other the other day. I guess that’s how you know they are real friends.
What was your career before having children? If it’s the same, how do you balance career & motherhood?
I work in e-commerce and digital marketing. In the UK, I had a blissful 9 month maternity leave (most women there take the full year off) but was happy to go back to work. And here I’ve had a 5 month break while waiting for my work permit. It’s been amazing to be able to spend that time with my son, help us transition to this new home, and discover the area. But I’ve just started a full-time e-commerce job again. And I’m so happy with the preschool we’ve found for Oliver (Hoag). He really seems happy there, so, so am I. When my husband is not traveling, he’s great at sharing tasks, so it makes the daily routine easier, and we each take time off to go do our activities (ballet and running for me).
One thing people would be surprised to know about you.
People that I’ve recently met are usually surprised to know that I still practice ballet as an adult (or that it’s even possible when you’re not a professional). I did it as a kid until I was 17. Then when I was 23 and lived in Sydney I heard about adult ballet classes, so started again then. And now, it’s pretty much one of the first things I check before moving to a new city/country.
Endeavor School of the Arts in Costa Mesa actually opened a beginner adult ballet class a few weeks after we moved here. I’ve been going to classes at Maple Conservatory in Irvine (amazing!) as they have more advanced levels, but you should check it out if you’ve ever wanted to give ballet another go as an adult!
Thank you Carole! We hope you enjoy Newport Beach for years to come!