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23

10/2017

#powerparents Alissa Anderson

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Describe your Family
Our family relocated to Fulham from Alexandria, Virginia USA in August 2016 for my husband’s work. We discovered we had been selected for the position in May 2016 and needed to rent our house, rent a house in London somewhere, find schools, move/store property, move the car, find a new home for our elderly cat, have eldest daughter take the 11+ exams, etc. in less than three months’ time! While the girls handled everything like champions, the move away from home, the new home/school environment, and some intense bullying at my youngest’s new school made for a challenging first seven or eight months. We feel like we’ve just settled in and are trying to take advantage of everything the city has to offer, knowing our stay in London is finite. Most often, it feels like we’re juggling three or four too many balls and have everything held together with cellotape, but we’re in it together and are trying to remember that.

Where do you work
I work for a US defense contractor as a Program Analyst. I previously negotiated contracts for the company, but needed to move into a less time-sensitive role while living in London.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
With a degree in International Business, I had hoped to serve in an embassy. Sometimes adulting means you need to have a job for the sake of an income. It would be lovely to have a career that I’m passionate about, but I’ve chosen to earn a solid income with job security for the sake of being able to enjoy weekends and holidays with the family. I wish I were good at tap dancing like our favourite Bea & Co. star of 42nd Street!

Describe your typical working day
We’re vertical at 6:30 a.m. – our two daughters are in different schools quite far apart so the morning routine needs to begin early enough to be fully awake by the time school starts! Lately, breakfast has been a fruit smoothie with yoghurt. Deliciously Ella bars are handy for when we’re running late.

I’m fortunate enough to be able to work from home as I support a US company. It’s been terrific to have a job and the salary, but I work US east coast hours which tends to make cooking dinner a challenge.

Work top tip, mantra or motto
When angry or frustrated at work, write the email in a Word document, then never send it. It helps to write it down, but the working world is too small to burn bridges. John Oliver created a clever website called Scream into the Void where you type out all your anger and emotions into “the void” to get it out of your system, then it disappears into the void. Cathartic. http://screamintothevoid.com/

Favourite family trip, hangout or activity in London?
We do not do well sitting around the house. Downtime invariably equals sister-fights. We tend to always be out doing something – seeing a show, walking around a park, exploring a market. It does mean that our house is loaded with so much laundry that it’s formed its own worker’s union, though. Seeing a show with inexpensive last minute tickets is our favourite thing to do lately.

Our favourite trips so far have been to Amsterdam (http://www.houseboatrental.amsterdam/), Paris, Cyprus, Ireland, Munich for Christmas markets, Wales, and Somerset. We try to find something un-touristy in each city we visit. Among other things, we’ve done caving, people-powered roller coasters (https://www.zipworld.co.uk/adventure/detail/fforest-coaster), trapeze school, gorge hiking, horseback riding, parasailing and cooking classes. The kids have told us that if we make them go to one more castle, museum or palace, they’ll throw up (despite the fact that they live in Europe).

Best piece of parenting advice you ever received, or would pass on to others
“This too shall pass.” I wish I had had a sign in our daughters’ rooms when they were infants and little to remind me of that. It seemed like every day brought some new illness, bone break or other emergency. It may seem like the end of the world in the moment, but tomorrow is always a fresh start.

Favourite way to unwind, escape or reset from work and home life?
Call Bea & Co with an urgent S.O.S!

What do you most hope your children will have learnt/ will learn from you?
I hope our children will, above all other things, be good people. I don’t care if they aren’t concert pianists, brain surgeons or rocket scientists. I do care that they are ethical, kind and decent human beings.

What are you reading at the moment?
I’ve got a stack of books I’m hoping to read at some point. I just picked up Confessions of a Domestic Failure by Bunmi Laditan and N-W by Zadie Smith. They have great reviews and I’m looking forward to reading them. At the moment, though, they’re collecting dust on my nightstand. It’s tricky to find the time for something as “indulgent” as reading a book!

What did you last see at the theatre?
Alice’s Adventure Underground at Waterloo Vaults and Stomp. We try to see as many shows as we can to take full advantage of our experience here. We buy a programme from each show and have a terrific collection now for keepsakes. We’ve loved seeing our favourite people from Bea & Co. in shows and cheering them on.

What’s the one thing you can’t live without?
Burt’s Bees lip balm and paracetamol.

What’s in your handbag?
Everyone else’s stuff. Moms are one-part Sherpa.


14

9/2017

#powerparent Nancy Carroll

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Describe your Family
Jo and I are both actors. We have 2 kids, a 9 year old daughter, Nellie, and a 6 year old son, Arthur; and as of today 2 lurcher puppies!

Where do you work?
We share and juggle our work and world constantly and with that comes harmony and chaos in equal abundance. We try to accept work that allows for happiness at home and then somewhere down the list our head and hearts get a say too. We have both wanted to be actors  since we were kids but trained as artists too. Neither of which aren't great on paper but somehow... so far so ...hanging on in there. 

Describe your typical working day
There is no typical working day, except the consistent struggle to get out of the house on time. When we're going through a heavy logistical few weeks, I tape lists everywhere and schedules to the fridge door. That way everyone can triple check what needs to be in their bag and where they need to be. I tend to do online supermarket shopping at these times so they go on the schedule too. Knowing that there's an end date to the crazy periods helps maintain sanity, and we just burn the oil at both ends until we can't. Then I stop trying to be Mary Poppins and become a bit more Miss Hannigan! 

Work top tip, mantra or motto
Situations and work combinations that threw us early on when Nellie was a baby, feel less daunting now. We know now there is a way to sort it, it just needs time, lateral thinking and military style schedule. We slow everything right down and find a way together... prosecco helps too. So our motto is 'simplify, slow down and smile'. And then call Bea and Co!!!

Favourite family hang out and places to visit
Dulwich park to hire bikes, Brixton village for Franca Manca pizza, The Horniman museum, Brockwell Lido for breakfast, the Southbank for fun food fountains and the Udderbelly festival (The amazing bubble man is a must see!). Italy, Greece, Hereford and Lymington and our bed on a Sunday morning! 

Favourite way to unwind?
We unwind with kitchen disco, 2nd and 3rd breakfast, dog walks and feeding frenzies with friends. There's nothing better than sitting at our kitchen table talking the week from your bones and laughing at craziness and adversity. 

What are you reading at the moment?
A history of Rhodesia.

What did you last see at the theatre?
I just saw Girl from the North Country at the old Vic (totally sublime!)

What’s in your handbag?
I always carry sellotape and germolene in my handbag. 

Who is your inspiration?
Other actor parents constantly inspire us to keep going and have a go and stay open to whatever life throws at you. 

What do you most hope your children will have learnt/ will learn from you?
We hope the kids will grow up fearless of change and excited by people and stories. We take them on political marches and talk to them about most stuff we experience....short of traumatising them and robbing them of their innocence! But I hope we're teaching them how most things are helped with love laughter and germolene (!) 


17

8/2017

#powerparent Series

Welcome to the Bea & Co #powerparent series!

If you’re new to the family or just finding out about us, then you may have discovered that Bea & Co are extremely proud of our Members, Creatives and the gorgeous young (and not so young!) ones we look after. We have a wonderfully diverse membership base who are always wowing us with their brilliant families, so it is a delight to be able to enrich our lovely community with a little insight into the lives of people who make our service such a pleasure to provide.

With #powerparent we’ll be talking to some of our fantastic mums and dads, as they give us a sneak peak into their lives and tell us tales of the peaks and tricky times, and the art of juggling family living. Every parent has a super power, so read our #powerparent series to learn more, and follow us on instagram to share some of your own pearls of wisdom!

I am so proud to be kicking off with one of my personal role models and super heroes, Doulla Croft. Doulla inspires me and all those who know her. She has a huge love for life, a fierce loyalty and is a kickass businesswoman, whilst her family remain at the core of everything she does. In my eyes she is truly what this series is about and I know you will adore her as much as me after seeing a little snippet into her world.


Amy x


17

8/2017

#powerparent Doulla Croft

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Describe your Family
We are a family of five who live in Central London. Our two older children (29 and 26) have their own homes now, and we live with our 15 year old Son in a small flat in Covent Garden.

Where do you work?
I work as a Client Partner at Facebook, where I have been for the last three years. Prior to that I worked on the London Olympic and Paralympic Games for three years. My role at Facebook is on the commercial side, I look after some of our largest advertisers on the platform.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was very young I wanted to be an actress. It’s hard to remember that now, because all that confidence left me by the time I was a teenager!

Describe your typical working day
The reason we moved to Central London was because all three of us work nearby. Our son is at boarding school in Oxford but is in town regularly for castings and projects. He has been a professional actor since he was seven, so as well as our own very demanding careers, we also have to work around him. Bea & Co have been our lifeline in this, and we would not be able to function as a family without them!
My day typically starts at around 6.30am. I have usually prepared my own recipe bircher muesli the night before, and will take that with me to work. I always start the day with a matcha latte made with oat milk. Don’t get me started on my diet, as we could be here all day, but I am fanatical about healthy eating, which for me means no refined sugar, diary or red meat. I also limit grains. I walk to work (unless it is raining, in which case I take the bus). I like to stay above ground as much as I can! I am normally at my desk by 8am.

Work top tip, mantra or motto
Never, never, never give up!

Favourite family trip, hangout or activity in London?
We are huge theatre fans! We joke that from our flat, it is quicker for us to go home in the interval to use the loos, than stand in a queue at the theatre! We see anything and everything from musicals to new quirky productions. Our son has made lots of lovely friends in the theatre (children and adults) and we always go to support the actors we know.

Best piece of parenting advice you ever received and would pass on to others?
I remember an old wise health visitor saying to me, when my oldest child had very bad colic. I was a new mum in my early twenties and I was at my my witt’s end. She said “my dear, this is a stage, and it will pass. It will be replaced by numerous other stages in your child’s life, and so it will go on”. 29 years of parenting later, and she was so right. Nothing is permenant, and that is both a blessing and a source of huge sorrow. What I would give to be bouncing my babbies on my shoulder again, even if they did have colic!

Favourite way to unwind?
The theatre! It’s my happy place, my escape, my inspiration. We really are blessed with the most incredible productions in London, and I am in awe of the work of writers, directors, producers, choreographers, set designers, actors, dancers, musicians and everyone else who creates magic on a stage!

What do you most hope your children will have learnt/ will learn from you?
A good work ethic. My parents were immigrants who arrived in the UK with very little. They have worked incredibly hard all their lives and achieved so much. We had a lot more than they did growing up, especially in terms of education, and it is easy for us, and generations after, to take some of that for granted. I am so proud to say that all my children have clearly taken that message on board. I have so much respect for what my parents did through grit and determination, always with the aim of creating a better future for their family. I would like to make sure I have done that for my children and hope they carry that on through the generations.

What are you reading at the moment?
‘Option B’ by Sheryl Sandberg. Everyone should read it.

What did you last see at the theatre?
Hamlet at the Harold Pinter theatre, but I had already seen it at The Almeida Theatre and really wanted my son to experience it too, so went again with him!

Favourite film?
The Way We Were with Robert Redford and Barbra Streisand. RR at his absolute dreamiest!

Favourite restaurant?
Wild Food Café in Neal’s Yard – Plant based healthy yumminess.

Who is your inspiration?
My family.

What’s the one thing you can’t live without?
My family.

What’s in your handbag?
Apart from all the usual – Raw organic almonds and compeed feet plasters!

Favourite place to travel to?
Ile de Ré, a small island off the Atlantic coast of France, near La Rochelle. I went there for a yoga retreat earlier this year, and it’s my new happy place.

Morning Bird or Night Owl?
Definitely morning bird.


26

1/2017

BLOG JOURNEY BEGINS…

Welcome to the Bea & Co blog.

We wanted to create a fun place to share the day to day goings on behind the scenes as our Bea & Co family grows. This blog will become a hub of lots of interesting insights including some reviews, features and fascinating guest posts from our Members and Creatives. We look forward to sharing the next stage of our journey with you.

Amy x
(Founder and CEO)


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