Sophie Mei Lan and Chris Hale live with their two daughters Jasmine Mei Hale, 6, and Arianna Mei Hale, 3, in West Yorkshire. Sophie runs video production company Evoke Media Group and blogs and vlogs at mamamei.co.uk Chris is Executive Chef of The Hepworth Cafe at The Hepworth Wakefield and runs Pop Up North catering company.
What are your top tips for getting children to do what you ask? Bribery often works. Our eldest is a tough negotiator she’ll make a good businessperson one day. But the offer of cinema, table tennis and Wacky Warehouse normally does the trick.
What family task takes you the longest? I’m vegetarian and trying to be vegan, our eldest Jasmine has expensive taste, Chris loves to cook with lots of unusual ingredients and little Arianna just loves running around the store grabbing everything in sight.
What’s the weirdest thing your children have done/brought home/done to your house? One of my old dolls has been mutilated by the kids and every time I put it in the charity bag it reappears at home.
Have your children ever really, really surprised you? How and why? Jasmine surprises me everyday by being so well spoken, making me sound even more common. She often corrects my Yorkshire accent.
What’s the most bizarre thing you have found yourself saying since having kids? Bogeys are not for eating or wiping on furniture.
What’s the funniest thing your children have ever said/done? Dadda I want carrots, humous, olives and strawberries all on separate plates.
Mini moan - what really gets your goat? Bedtime. Our kids don’t like sleeping, but we do.
What’s your favourite family day out? We love the Hepworth gallery in Wakefield as there’s always lots of free family activities as well as an adventure playground and a nice coffee shop plus they have great street food fairs on. They also host Baby Raves and musical events.
What hobbies/pastimes do you enjoy as a family and separately? We all love watching and playing football. Chris coaches sport and I teach dance and act in our spare time. Jasmine and Arianna love gymnastics and being acrobats.
What’s the hardest thing about being a parent? No time to think clearly or sleep.
What’s a typical evening for the grown-ups once the children are in bed? We’re both self-employed so we have to cram in work when we can.
What is Leeds’ most family-friendly restaurant and why? We love Revolucion De Cuba for it’s delicious menu and mocktails in the day and we love Pizza Express.
What’s the best thing about weekends and why? Quality family time. Dancing together on Saturdays and football and Yorkshire Puddings on Sundays.
What is your most treasured memory? The fact that First Aid helped to save Arianna’s life when she stopped breathing aged three months.
What’s the number one thing you would change about Leeds? The ring road. The amount of times we’ve got lost on it.
What’s the children’s favourite food/meal? Jasmine’s favourite food is mussels in a white wine sauce and Arianna likes spicy food and noodles.
What’s your top penny-pinching tip? We try to shop at Leeds and Wakefield markets as well as at the green grocers as it’s cheaper, fresh and you’re supporting independents.
One family member’s proudest achievement? As well as Chris being successful on MasterChef, Sophie reached the semi-finals of Britain’s Got Talent with her bellydancing skills.
What one item can you not live without? Our phones with our first aid apps and editing software.
What can your children not live without? Fancy dress. They’re like their bellydancing mum and love dressing up.
Your kids’ favourite book and author. We read Going on a Bear Hunt and Peepo to the girls when our youngest was in intensive care. They still love those stories. My personal fave is Avocado Baby.