The Mamma interviews: (3) Malou

Seeing as my interview series is proving quite popular, here is a new little treat for you: coming all the way from Switzerland, a new interview with the fabulous and stylish Malou. We met through The Purse Forum, where I found out about Malou's amazing handbag collection and her wonderful travelogues which she writes on her blog: 33 Avenue. If you ever want to travel somewhere, do check up her write-ups, and if you don't know where you want to go, just go on her page and browse the beautiful photographs she takes, you'll soon be tempted!

Who are you?

First of all, I'm very flattered to be interviewed by you, thank you. My name is Malou and I'm a 30-something mom of a beautiful two-year old little girl named Sophie. She always gets compliments on her long lashes and many women comment on how she'll save up on mascaras and eye lash curlers later in life lol!

I'm originally from the Philippines and am currently based in Switzerland. I have been living abroad for almost half my life... in five countries in four continents. I love to travel and so far have been to 46 countries and more than 340 cities. My goal is to visit a new country each year.

Having a baby has not stopped me from being "myself" and while my long-distance trips (for pleasure, of course) have been minimised, I still regularly travel within Europe, mostly with Sophie. It's a joy for me to be able to bring her to all these places. Sure, she probably won't remember anything, but heck, she'll sure have a lot of pictures to remember them by, especially as photography is one of my hobbies.

Working mum or full time mamma?

I'm self-employed, which gives me the flexibility to juggle and balance work and motherhood. While there are periods when my projects entail long working hours, including week-ends, there are times when I can freely schedule anything at my whim. An example? Going on summer vacation this year for almost two months.

Personally, being self-employed is the perfect arrangement for me to still be active in my professional life without compromising the time I can allot to Sophie. I would hate myself if I felt I've missed out on her development and can't give her that much needed time and attention... after all, she grows up so fast.

Where can I find you on a Saturday afternoon?

As I'm flexible with my work time and don't really need to be physically in an office, I don't feel the need to do certain things on week-ends. Nevertheless, you can sometimes find me having a midday "brunch" (we're late risers) with my family at one of the spacious and trendy children-friendly restaurants in town. Afterwards, we have a stroll around and head back home before Sophie gets too tired and cranky.

During the warmer months, we also scour the local flea market, take a boat ride along the lake or go to the children's zoo... Sophie loves to feed and pet the animals there.

But, once in a while, I take some time off for myself and go somewhere for a day or a week-end (this year, I've been enjoying going to London every other month). Hey, being a working mom is tough and I need to get some "me" time every so often.. and have the opportunity to shop lol!

Definitely, I should schedule a shopping trip somewhere on my own soon... just to rekindle with my inner shopaholic! Which section of the Sunday papers do you read first?

I guess as I've lived in a few places and travel often, I'm automatically drawn to the international news section first. Afterwards, I read the local news and then the style section.

What are your top three shops or places for you and your munchkin?

For Sophie, I absolutely adore the clothes from Catimini. They are so whimsical and colourful. For her pajamas and underwear, I like Petit Bateau. I actually went a bit nuts during Sophie's recent birthday trip to London, and bought a ton of stuff from both places. As there was no VAT in the UK on children's clothes, they were a lot cheaper than here. Aside from that, we frequent the local toy stores in Zurich such as Pastorini and Trotinette because they have high-quality wooden toys. We're not big fans of plastic toys and hardly have any at home.

Otherwise, I like to visit the local home decor stores for inspiration. I prefer the small quaint boutiques, as they always have something unique and charming. For clothes, I'm a sucker for Prada and Balanciaga and I find their sales assistants (whether in London, Paris or Zurich) to have always been friendly to Sophie.

I'm not surprised, as Sophie is the best behaved two-year old I've met (you should have seen her at the Berkeley having tea, unbelievably well-mannered for such a young little girl!)

Where shall I go to have a fabulous time with Hubby Dearest on a rare date night?

Well, on a super duper rare occasion that hubby and I have a date, we go to a gourmet restaurant. But seriously, ever since Sophie was born, we've only been out by ourselves thrice! Yes, three times in two years!

What have I missed?

Other moms tell me how difficult it is to look fabulous, travel and eat out with children. Well, I think it all comes down to balance. Almost anything is possible with proper planning and care. While I'm a mom, I'm still me!

Couldn't agree more...!

List to Malou's recommendations


Link to Malou's fabulous blog


Mona P said...

Great interview! I've been following Malou's blog for a while now.

Btw, I absolutely loved your Philippe Ferrandis pearl necklace from one of your previous posts. If you don't mind me asking, where did you buy it?

LittleS said...

Hi Mona - I bought it last year (I think in September 2010) from the Philippe Ferrandis corner at the Printemps. It's lovely and not as heavy as my other Ferrandis necklace.

Mona P said...

Thanks! That necklace is gorgeous!

deuxarmoires said...

Thanks again for the interview!

Chocolate, Cookies & Candies said...

Fantastic interview with Malou! Like I've said to her before, she should just move over here!