Wednesday, September 2, 2015

My Broken Nose Story

I'm very happy to report that my nose is all straightened out and my black eye is almost all cleared up. Would you like to hear what happened? 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Our New Favorite Wine Glasses

Do you use nice stemware? We do not. Over the course of our marriage, J and I have broken dozens of IKEA wine glasses. We have never bothered buying the real thing because we know we'd break those too. HA! So on our trip to Oregon wine country during our vacation last month, I didn't hesitate to pick up a couple of these awesome wine glasses at the Anne Amie Vineyards. They are flexible and shatterproof, yet still sparkle and look like real glass. They don't alter the taste of the wine and they're BPA-free. Sold! I'm a devoted coupe girl myself, but they also have champagne flutes. Long live summer. I can't get enough of these dreamy evenings on our patio. 

Monday, August 31, 2015

Montessori Monday: Ask me

I finished my AMI Montessori diploma ten years ago now. I taught for six years, and then, when Coco was born, I decided to be a stay-at-home-mom and focus on my blog. I started the Montessori Monday column and have written on a variety of topics. But now I want to hear from you! What are you curious about when it comes to Montessori? Please email me your questions at lindsey (at) swisslark (dot) com and I will choose a new question to answer each week. 

And, in case you missed them, here are all of my Montessori posts: 

I look forward to hearing from you and answering your Montessori questions!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Have an inspiring weekend

What are your weekend plans? I am having my nose reset this morning. Wish me luck!! Then, we are dusting off the lunch box and getting the back-to-school clothes washed. Coco's first day at Children's House Montessori is Monday! She had her orientation yesterday and it went swimmingly. We're really looking forward to that sweet school community. It still feels like summer here, so we are using our kiddie pool as much as possible and going to a little three-year-old neighbor's birthday party Saturday at the wading pool. Maybe things are finally starting to turn around after all.

Here are a few links for your weekend. 

Macklemore has immortalized Spokane!

The longest tunnel in the world.

Trying to figure out where we are on this chart.

What a tear-jerker

This list has me inspired to cook from scratch again.

A bit on moving.

Spend all your money on experiences.

I love everything rose.

I hope you have a lovely weekend and see you back here Monday! xo

Photo via Mazama.

Thursday, August 27, 2015


Tuesday, my mom took Coco and Theo for the day and J and I had a date day at Silverwood Theme Park. It was just what we needed to take our minds off of all of this miserable stress we're living through, even if it was only temporary.
We got soaked through on Thunder Rapids, screamed our heads off on Tremors and I literally thought I would die on the Panic Plunge. Oh, and then there was the insane dangling at high heights and utter discombobulation of Aftershock. 
On the way home, we stopped for BBQ in Coeur d'Alene at Porky G's. It could not have been better. The huckleberry barbeque sauce was amazing and the place itself was completely rad. Note the water feature to the left of J in the upper right photo. Also the ride on boar to the right. We will definitely be going back!

Do you like rollercoasters? When was the last time you went on a ride that made you close your eyes? (I closed my eyes a lot Tuesday;) xo

Monday, August 24, 2015

Sorting it All Out

It feels like the dust is beginning to settle for the first time since we left our happy, comfortable lives in Zurich. I really miss it. This photo is from one of the countless days Coco and I spent walking around our neighborhood the winter after she learned to walk. She toddled happily from planter to tree, lamp post to gate, locked up bicycle to shop window, focused intently on exploring and examining every detail. It was relaxing and quiet. Sometimes it was a little lonely or boring. But mostly I loved watching her take in the world at her own pace and discover things. I love this photo for the way the cool winter light is reflecting from the building across the street onto the soft blue of the shutters. It was quiet. It was calm. This photo captures that. It seems impossible to me that I won't find myself wandering that same neighborhood again some day. I'm not convinced we are finished with Zurich. I wonder if we might go back.

Of course, that is a big consideration and one that I don't take lightly. Last year was a complete throw away year, but now we are in a place with real potential. My mom and both of my sisters live here in Spokane, Washington. Having family around is huge. 

Still, I do miss Zurich.

I miss the social life we had there. We had tons of friends in Zurich and hosted or attended dinner parties every fortnight at least. 

I miss the work-life balance. People lived balanced lives, something I fear Americans have lost sight of all together. 

I miss our neighborhood, the parks, the lakeside, the trains and trams.

I miss my mommy group

I miss the affordable, world-class healthcare and feeling safe.

I also miss things that are a little less tangible, a little harder to separate by location. For example, I miss feeling organized, like our ducks were in a row. When Theo was born, our shipment from Zurich hadn't even arrived. That meant I had no changing table, no crib or bassinet, no breastfeeding pillows, no swaddle blankets, no clothes. Nothing. I had nothing. I ordered some emergency supplies to get us through until the shipment came, but knowing everything I needed was all in the shipment and how much the move had already cost us, I couldn't justify buying much. So we started out unprepared. When you start out with a baby unprepared, you never catch up. When you add other crazy, stressful demands to that, it's a living nightmare. Would Theo's arrival have blindsided us in the same way if we had stayed? Probably not, but I'll never know for sure.

I feel the need for some sort of closure. When we left our apartment the morning Coco and I flew to the States (ahead of Joel because I was so pregnant), I just ran out the door like any other time. Joel handled the handover of the apartment a week later, so it wasn't empty, it didn't really feel like we were leaving for good. I didn't pause, look back or say goodbye. I just went out as if I were popping down to the post office or grocery store and would be right back. The following night, after we had arrived at my friend Heidi's house in Minneapolis, Coco woke up at 4 am with jet lag, confused and disoriented. "Where's Daddy?" she asked me in the dark. "He's at home," I replied, and then choking on my words, "I mean, he's in Zurich" and my heart sank and it hit me and, being 34 weeks pregnant and brimming with hormones, I sobbed quietly. 

I need to go say goodbye to that apartment, to that life. I need to be in Zurich again and see if it erases any of the illusions I'm holding onto. If we are going to move forward, one way or another, I need to let all of that go. So I'm working on a plan to do just that. Have you been in a similar situation? What helped you to move on?

Friday, August 21, 2015

Have a restful weekend!

This week was not our finest. I broke my nose in a collision with Coco on a water slide! I will tell you all about that next week, but suffice it to say that I'm not going back to Splash Down for a very long time. I'll be icing and wearing movie star sunglasses until further notice. 

On a happier note, I've been compiling ideas for Coco's 4th Birthday party at the end of September. We cannot get over this to-die-for shimmery unicorn piñata from Oh Happy Day! I know how I'll be spending my weekends in September. ;)

And here are a few links for your weekend.

These would come in handy right now.

The unicorn piñata DIY!

Don't forget the humanities.

Oregon is definitely the yummiest.


This is why I went home so quickly after Theo was born.

How cute is this toaster?!

I am registered for Alt Winter. Pinch me!

Haha! Made me Swisssick.

It's smoky. Very smoky.

The perfect way to enjoy a peach.

I hope you have a good weekend! See you back here Monday. xo

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Best Tips for Building IKEA Furniture

It's pretty hard to beat IKEA. It is very affordable. It fits well into small spaces and it's good-looking stuff. All around, the full package if you ask me. 
It is no joke when I say that I have probably built more IKEA furniture than most IKEA employees. Every single piece of furniture in the photo above is from IKEA!

I have learned, when it comes to IKEA, it is all about the assembly

Here are my go-to tips and tricks for getting the most our of your IKEA furniture.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Our Oregon Vacation Photos

Last week, we had the most magical vacation, thanks to Coco and Theo's grandparents in Oregon. They hosted us at their big farm house on 1 1/2 acres, smack in the middle of the gorgeous Willamette Valley. There was plenty of room for Coco and Theo to run and play and even a big red barn; they were in heaven! Quite by accident, we stumbled upon the formula for the perfect week of summer traditions in Oregon: One day in the mountains, one day at the coast, one day at Enchanted Forest, one day in wine country, one day in Portland and s'mores all together on the last night. I'm already excited for next year!

All of the details and more photos after the jump if you'd like to see. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Learning the Ukulele

I've wanted to learn the ukulele for a while now because I had heard that learning the ukulele is easy and fun and doesn't really take much time. I find it a huge stress reliever to have a hobby that uses my hands, but knitting never appeals to me in the heat of summer. Plus, I really miss having music in my life (I played clarinet in high school!), so the ukulele sounded perfect. I sort of forgot about it for a while. Then, when we took Coco to see her first movie, Inside Out, earlier this summer, Pixar released the sweetest short film, Lava, right before the movie. Lava is an animated story told through a really sweet ukulele song. I was sold. 
I came straight home and ordered a simple ukuleletuner and an instructional book! In all honesty, I would probably skip the book and just use You Tube if I were to do it again, but the tuner is an absolute must have! In the first few days, you have to tune your ukulele a lot as the strings stretch out and wear in a bit. Having a tuner means faster tuning and more fun playing.
It's amazing to pick it up, learn a few chords and be playing in no time. For me, the hardest thing is to keep the strumming pattern going through chord changes and I had to develop some callouses. Ouch! So far, I still can't play and sing at the same time, but I'm working on it! J is quite the natural and I love the soft strumming that tends to fill our evenings now. We pour some wine or open our favorite summer beer and chat as he strums and I make dinner while the kids play. It's pretty dreamy! 

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