Recently, I was pondering over the whole notion of being an expat. What is an expat? Is it a label, a way of life, a feeling of always being a stranger in a familiar place? Is it just living in a country you were not born in?
I do not feel like an expat at all. In fact, I have never felt like one. In my first year here, I spoke more French than English and all the friends I had were French. So were my flatmates. A lot of my French friends went back home. I did not. The couple of French girls who stayed are now amongst my dearest friends (and they are ladies now, not girls anymore – désolée les filles!). Fast-forward a couple of years and I had a job, colleagues and new friends. Life was in English.
I was bringing back less food or cleaning products from France (is it just me?). I started enjoying British humour and was even dreaming in English. I am now fully part of the society I live and work in. My husband is British, a lot of my friends speak very little French.
I am still French, oh so French! I sound French. I could not live without bread and cheese. I find grammar and the intricacies of my mother-tongue fascinating. I read in French, sing in French to my children, swear in French.
When Crevette was born, I wanted white clothes only for him. I thought it would make them perfect for any future siblings, girl or boy. It would also make washing his clothes more practical. My mum and I went shopping, and we bought all of his first vests and pyjamas from Petit Bateau, one of my favourite brands for little ones. We also went for a few Absorba outfits. They are well-made, quality clothes that last a long time. My four little ones have worn them, and they have now been given to my brother, for his future children.
Friends and members of my family know I absolutely love brands like Jacadi, Catimini or Cyrillus, so they tend to treat my little ones to nice outfits rather than toys.
When Alexandra from Tendre Deal contacted me asking whether I wanted to work with her to promote her chic boutique for kids, I was intrigued. In a nutshell, Tendre Deal is a members’ only boutique selling French clothes and toys for children at a reduced price. It is free to join, members get regular invites to the sales and discounts can be as much as 70% off. Alexandra was recently awarded a ‘Mumpreneur UK Bronze Website Award’, and it is well-deserved.
It took me 35 seconds to become a member and be able to get a couple of items from Les Petites Choses I had my eye on for Beanie! Once I had selected what I (Beanie) wanted, it took me less than five minutes to go through the checkout process.
We went for a grey merino dress with redcurrant wool belt and a grey merino hat with redcurrant pom-pom. The total amount was £44, when the full price items would have cost £87.86. Amongst a range of payment methods, you can pay via PayPal, which is a bonus in my books as it saves so much time.
A week or so later, I received an email letting me know my order was on its way. I was impressed with the two items from Les Petites Choses, a brand focusing on organic clothing made in France. I was immediately won over by the card that came with the clothes. It was full of anecdotes about the clothes we had just received. Clothes are designed in a tiny office in Montpellier and it takes between 20 and 45 minutes for each item to be made. Knowing these details made the outfit really special straight away and my little girl loves wearing them. The quality of the dress and hat cannot be faulted. They are stylish wardrobe essentials with a pop of colour.
I took over a hundred photos of Beanie wearing her new clothes and it was really difficult to choose a few photos only. I quickly realised the girls were colour-coordinated and that made me smile a lot!
It was a beautiful day and we spent ages at the park.
Beanie was determined to make friends with this cat:
We then went to our local shopping centre and Beanie had fun climbing,
staring at her feet
… and sulking!
What would you get from Tendre Deal?
Disclosure: We were gifted the items mentioned in this honest review. No payment was received. All opinions and photographs are my own.