Please meet Mom Sandra from the Pyrenees…
My name is Sandra, 35. I am the mom of two: Louise, 9 years old, and Issa, 18 months. We live at the foothills of the Pyrenees mountains with Jean, lover, dad and video artist. I have been working as an agronomist and flora conservation expert for about 10 years, but I have always sewed and made things at home with wood, paper and various craft. While on maternity leave I recently decided to create my own line. My little online store, “boui boui shop”, was lauched 4 months ago. I like natural fabrics and material, simple shapes and warm colors. I always try to use as much as possible organic fabrics, hemp, linen and cotton.
What kind of house do you live in?
We live in a very large family house with no less than 12 bedrooms, 9 bathrooms, 4 lounges, 2 dining rooms, 2 kitchens, a big garden, a house so spacious that it is a bit difficult to decorate… We love this old place where our large family can reunite each Christmas and Summer, but we dream of living one day in our own house which would be eco-friendly and made of wood. We also own a little barn in the mountains where we love spend our weekends and holidays on fixing it.
What places in your neighborhood do you like to go for shopping?
We live in a small town (8000 inhabitants) situated at a far distance from big shopping centers. So even though I do most of my shopping online, there are actually a few interesting small stores in town where I do like to shop, such as Atelier MG which carries an overflow of special items as well as beautiful hand-crafted Indian fabrics. Otherwise I also go from time to time to Paris where I love shopping at stores like i.e. in the Marais.
What’s like to raise a child in your town?
Everything is easy here as most activities are at a walking distance from our house. Louise can walk or ride her bike by herself to go to school, to her dance class or music lessons, or to her various friends' places. I often take Issa to the day care center on my bicycle on my way to my office. What we appreciate above all is that our children are growing up in the midst of such a beautiful natural environment.
What kind of sports do your children like to do?
We regularly hike in the mountains all year round. In Winter we do downhill or cross-country skiing. Louise at 9 is already a very good skier. On Saturdays I often take the kids to the town swimming pool, which they love. We also own a horse, called Jade, and sometimes ride her in the mountains.
Are you a craft or a DIY person?
I sew and create little items, garlands and mobiles, as well as tinker with wood, creating desk, coat rack, baby changing table. At the moment, I love the book ‘Printing by Hand’ by Lena Corwin, which is full of good ideas. I also love the work of Bookhou, so aesthetic and beautiful.
Are there musical instruments in your house?
We have a wide range of musical instruments in our house: an upright piano, a Korg keyboard, a djembe from Senegal, a balafon from Mali, a senza from Zimbagwe, various kinds of flutes… The kids can make music whenever they want, and they do love it! Louise also has been studying accordeon and is getting quite good at it.
What is your idea of a perfect day with your children?
We love to spend the day at the barn with kids: cut out wood, cook a tagine on the wood stove, sleep in the grass, or bathe in the river. We rarely watch television…
What kind of place do you like to go on vacation?
A few hour drive from here and one of our favorite place we sometimes go to is Cadaquès, a very beautiful and well preserved fishing village on the Spanish Mediterranean coast with white houses and little coves. It is where Salvator Dali used to live. Time seems to stop when we’re there.
We sometimes go much further: Louise and I went to New-Zealand 2 years ago after a 22-hour plane trip which was quite extruciating for Louise because of her strong air sickness. For our next trip later this Fall we might go to friends of ours who run a capoeira school and farm near Salvador de Bahia. Otherwise we might also go much closer, to Corsica or Cabo verde, as we do love islands.
We also love spending time in big cities, such as Paris or New York, where Jean used to live for many years.
Spain is only a two hour drive from where we live, so it is really easy to go there for the day and eat tapas: ¡olé! So many places to discover… but we what above all look for when we travel is to get to meet people, make new friends and experience that way a real human and cultural exchange that we can all grow from.