My name is Véronique Senorans Osorio, and I am 31 years old. I am Belgian and Spanish and a former architect. I have a webshop called Pichouline. We have 2 kids Pauline and Olivia and a cat called Blanche who lives with my mother in law. We moved in September 2011 to Harare, Zimbabwe for my husbands work. Before we lived in Paris for 3 years, so moving here has been a big change!
What kind of house do you live in - are you and the kids happy here or is there anything you find lacking or would like to change?
We live in a villa, I would change almost everything, especially the form and the “look” of the house and garden.
What is it you like best about living there?
A lot of space, swimming pool, garden and nice weather almost all the time.
Do you like to spend time decorating your home and your children’s room?
If I’m not busy with creating stuff or decorating I start to get impatient, I find peace in doing creative things, it’s my form of therapy.
Do you keep your children’s play areas separate or do you believe they should have a space in every part of the house?
They have their own space but it’s not separate from the other rooms, we can keep an eye on them from almost every room when they are playing in their play area.
Where do you look for interior inspiration, favorite magazines, websites, blogs?
Unfortunately not magazines anymore they are ridiculously expensive here. Since we moved to Zimbabwe I spend a lot of time reading blogs.
What are your children’s favorite items in your house?
Swimming pool, their own desk/sofa and pouf.
Some tidying tips? Do your children tidy up after themselves?
At the end of the day we do it all together.
What places in your new neighborhood do you like to shop at?
None, you can’t “shop” here….;-). Well there is one shop where I spent a lot of time (and money) Folio a very modern bookshop!
If you are living in a foreign country, how do you feel about it? How do you meet new people, make new friends? What is it that you miss most about 'home'?
It’s a big difference with Europe, you really can’t compare it. First time I visited Zimbabwe 6 months ago, I was shocked…but when we moved everyone was and is very helpful, kind.
Each time we move it’s very difficult to meet new people, but if you compare it with Paris it’s a little bit easier. We thought that it would be easier in Africa to meet new people but unfortunately that’s not true.
What I most miss about Belgium is friends. I’m an only child and friends are very important to me. They are the sisters and brother I never had…I share everything with them.
How have your children adapted to the language, food and cultural differences?
Very good, children are almost “made” to adapt to new situations.
What is your idea of a perfect day with your children?
Bringing them to school in the morning, baking cookies, and resting together on the sofa.
What is a normal day with your children? What do you do on the weekends?
From 8am to 3pm they go to school, afterwords we spend the rest of the day together at home. On the weekends we try to visit some parks to see some game and swimming.
Can you mention some of your ‘how-to-raise-your-kid’ advice?
That’s so hard to tell in general, each parent and each kid is different…so kids should be kids. I never ever compare my kids with other kids, they have their own character, they are unique - why compare them to another kid?
What kind of DIY projects do you like to do with your children?
Actually I don’t like to create projects with our kids they are very destructive with things…but they love to see what mum is making and I try to interact with them while I’m making something and that works very well.
Any tips for keeping the house clean when crafting?
I always clean up during the crafting, I hate it when everything is mixed up and dirty.
Books, websites, local shops you would recommend for tips and ideas about kids crafting?
I could not believe when I saw a shop named Folio who sells all the products of The small object I bought everything they had! I would also recommend - fryd+design, zeza en flor, max wanger, shimtokk and Ringo.
What do you do with all the projects your children make at home or in school?
I keep them in a big box.
Any decoration ideas on how to hang, keep or use them as presents?
Projects of the children and “masking tape” are the perfect couple!
How do you like to celebrate birthday's and other special days in your house?
For me birthday’s are always a big event...invitation, decoration, cake, it’s all about a theme…
What are some favorite games in your home?
Shapemaker, telephone, puzzles and plasticine
What are your all time favorite books for children?
We have almost all of the “golden books."
Do your children read books online? Do they go to the library?
Each week they go to the dutch school where they have a library. Pauline loves it.
Are you a ‘cook’ or ‘food lover’ or both?
A food lover.
Do you cook together with your children? Does Dad cook?
Pastries I always make them together with the kids.
Where would you like to go on vacation - with or without your children?
We prefer to go on short vacations with just the two of us, we had and still have a very hectic and difficult life so, it’s important that we make time for each other and not only for the kids, because they take the most of your time and attention. We went to New York, Stockholm and now to Cape Town, just the two of us.
How do you prepare for a trip, any useful tips?
Searching on blog’s, designers who live there, not only the travel guides
What are your tips for traveling in a plane or on a long road trip with your children?
Just relax, before you know it you're at your destination. If they are fussy try to ignore it, don’t feel ashamed that other people don’t understand that a kid can be noisy/upset. That’s their problem…I know it’s easier said than done.
What gorgeous little faces you live with Véronique and what a lovely Mom Story, thanks so much for sharing it with us!