Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Zurich: Orange Cinema

Last night J and I went to watch a movie outside at the Orange Cinema on the lakeside. We had no idea how awesome it would be! Orange Cinema is definitely less about the movie and more about the whole experience. Photos and more after the jump.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Fall Fashion: New Watch

Isn't this this Marc by Marc Jacobs watch gorgeous? I knew immediately when I saw it featured on Making it Lovely that I had to have it as my fall and winter watch. It almost makes me excited for shorter days, falling leaves and big chunky sweaters. Almost, but not quite.
Last summer, after living in Switzerland for a year, I realized it was time to buy a watch. In this place being two minutes late is a grievous offense! I still offend grievously, but at least I know exactly how late I am! ;) After five years of not wearing a watch, it's exciting that I'll have two. I was thrilled to find my Skagen watch last summer. The only problem is, it's white and ceramic and so summery. I honestly felt a little weird wearing it during the winter. This watch is just what I need. Rose gold is everywhere in the fall collections and I absolutely love it. True gold is just too bling for me, but this rose gold watch will add some subtle glamour to my look everyday. I can't wait to have it! What trends are you loving this fall? Would you wear rose gold?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Baby Favorite: Frozen Peas

I got a tip from a friend last week to give Coco frozen peas, straight out of the freezer, as a snack, or appetizer, or treat. Today we tried it out and they were a super hit! :) So soothing for those teething gums and a new sensation to experience. Not to mention the fun of fine tuning that pincer grip and getting them into her mouth. 
I'm looking for other snack ideas for Coco. That way, while I'm heating her baby food, she has something to keep her occupied and happy. What are your baby's favorite snacks and treats? Which ones are not so great?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Zurich: Monocle's Most Liveable City

My dear friend Kate, who lives in beautiful San Francisco, sent me this video from Monocle a couple of weeks ago. Since watching it, I can't get it out of my head. All along, I've known that Zurich is truly special. It's no exaggeration that I feel thankful for how beautiful and wonderful this city is every. single. day. But sometimes it can be hard to explain to people back home exactly why we love it so much. Not anymore! Here, in this six minute video, is a quick synopsis of all the nuanced (and obvious) reasons why Zurich is pretty much the most perfect city in the world. We are so lucky to live here!
Give it a watch and see what you think. We loved going to the badi in the opening scene before Coco was born, and the closing shot is in our neighborhood. Have you been to Zurich? Does this video make you want to visit? Or maybe move here?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Home at last!

We are finally back home after our road trip around Corsica and through Tuscany. I have never, ever, in my entire life been happier to be back in the comfort of my own home. There is a lot to say about our trip, not all of it pretty, but not tonight. I am so tired I can barely see straight. For now, I'll share with you my favorite photo of the trip, of Coco and me on top of the St. Bernard pass just before we crossed the Italian border. Do you remember those way-up-high-in-the-Alps scenes in The Italian Job? They were at the St. Bernard pass. :) So beautiful. We were at 10,000 feet in this photo and then literally at sea level sailing to Corsica that same evening. Isn't that amazing? It's kind of a metaphor. The whole trip went along like that, with highs and lows, and good and bad. We learned a lot about traveling with a baby and (maybe) some day we'll do it again. Although, right now I'm thinking probably not. Goodnight! xo

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Cloth vs Disposable Diapers

There is Coco, just 13 days old in a really huge Kissaluvs Marvels All-in-One. Let's digress for a minute and swoon over this photo. Look at those tiny little legs! A far cry from the little chubber she is now. Way to go, breast milk! And would you believe that's a 0-3 month Onesie? She's swimming in it! And she still has her umbilical cord stump. Oh my goodness! It's so hard to believe how quickly she's grown into an almost crawling little lady. Back when she was 13 days old, she spent a lot of time sleeping in my arms. That time I cherished and loved and soaked up and basked in. And I'm so glad because look how quickly it's gone by and who wouldn't want that tiny little bundle swaddled up and sleeping in their arms? It makes my heart swell! I am so thankful for all of the newborn sleeping in arms time that I had with her. It was precious beyond words. She is definitely not a newborn anymore. Poof! Just like that. 

So, that diaper. I have three of those Marvels all-in-ones and they're one size fits all! I think I might go down to the cellar and get them out again. Why? Because I'm starting to see that we're spending a LOT of money on disposables. And...I think that my failed cloth diaper use the first three months of Coco's life was due to our very broken washing machine, not user error, and the washing machine is going to be fixed on Tuesday. 

I finally took the reigns on the laundry situation and called the Miele repairman myself. It turns out that the shocks on the drum are completely shot and a very important piece is broken, which is why water has been leaking everywhere for the past year. Yes, leaking water for a whole year! It's pitiful. But, while I was pregnant and cradling that sleeping newborn in my arms, it was not a priority. Now that Coco scoots around the apartment and eats potting soil when I'm not looking, it's a priority! Tuesday will be a beautiful day. I am honestly so excited to have truly clean clothes again. And with a fully functioning washer and dryer, maybe we should give cloth another try?

Over the past six months that we have used disposables, I have had the good fortune to have lots of coupons for diapers. But even with a 4 for 3 deal, or a 20% off coupon, or a 25% off coupon when you buy two, they're still really flipping expensive! The other day I was showing J the two types of plastic bags we have in the kitchen because the Ziplock bags are crazy expensive, so they're only for freezing baby food purée. The plain non-closure sacks are for other, non-freezer uses. I said dramatically that the Ziplocks are 18 Rappen (Swiss equivalent of cents) a piece! How's that for pricey? Wait a minute. Hold the phone. The diapers are 30 Rappen a piece - on sale! Yikes. Now that is expensive. Especially because we use 35-42 of them per week. Ziplock bags are clearly not the budgetary problem here! 

So, I'm really thinking we need to reconsider cloth. When we get back from our camping trip, I'm going to dig out the one-size-fits-all Marvels and give it another whirl. I bet with a tip-top operative washing machine and sunny days for hanging them outside, it will be easy. At least for the summer. And I can think of better was to spend that 50-60 Francs each month. 

Have you flip-flopped between cloth and disposables? What was the main motivator? Money? Environment? I'd love to hear! xo

Monday, July 9, 2012

Baked Potatoes on the Grill

Baked potato night is one of our favorites, but baked potatoes from the grill are even yummier! I'm in the process of perfecting our grilling/picnic kit after Saturday night. We packed up and grilled by the lake at sunset. It was dreamy!

I have to admit that when we moved to the city last summer and gave up two balconies, I was a little worried about not having any outdoor space. Here in Zurich lots of people don't have any outdoor space, but the city is set up so beautifully, you almost don't need any. In the Coop, you can buy potatoes pre-wrapped in gold foil for grilling and single use grills. The grills light with just one match and give your food that wonderful charcoal grilled taste. Isn't that just too perfect?

When we move back to the States we will buy a house. Then we'll have plenty of outdoor space, and I'll love it and never take it for granted! Lately I have days when I really want a garden for Coco to (very soon) crawl around in, or to be able to hang out laundry in the sun, and I'd love to grow veggies and flowers. When that time comes, it will be lovely. But for now, city life in Zurich is pretty much as good as it gets! Do you have outdoor space where you live? Do you use it as much as you could?

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Perfect Eggs and Hashbrowns

Lately I have a new obsession. Hash browns topped with over-medium eggs, bacon, cheddar, diced avocado and Tapatío hot sauce. It is unbelievably perfect. Heaven on a plate. What an odd twist of fate. After months of missing and pining away for Mexican food, hash browns and breakfast sausage, I've pretty much learned to make everything I love and miss by myself and from scratch. Bravo!

If you would like to recreate this perfect breakfast (it also makes a good lunch!) I've shared the recipe with you after the break. :)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

4th of July in Switzerland

Yesterday was Coco's very first 4th of July. We had chili dogs at the neighbors and then we all went down by the lake to light off some fireworks and do sparklers. It's always a little weird celebrating the 4th of July outside of the United States, but we had a very fun and festive time, wore red, white and blue (my outfit was the neon version ;) and even encountered some fellow Americans out celebrating in Zurich.

More photos after the jump if you'd like to see. :)

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Extreme Weather Weekend

Our weekend was completely awesome. J was feeling super sick Friday evening because he was still recovering from a virus he had picked up at school. But then, by the time we'd had breakfast on Saturday morning, he was starting to feel better! It was a super hot, sunny day, so we got our stuff together and headed down to the Badi for a relaxing afternoon of reading, swimming and taking in the view. It was pretty much the perfect day.  

I'll probably say this a million times in my life, but once you have a baby, you just don't travel light anymore! It was blistering hot on Saturday, so we were really thankful for our umbrellas. I had my first swim of the season and the lake felt like silk. It was also so disorienting/liberating/amazing to dive in the water without a big pregnant belly! First time swimming since giving birth. Wows! 

Coco got all tuckered out splashing around in the baby pool, which is probably the cutest thing you'll ever see. Sorry I don't have photos, but I wasn't brave enough to bring my camera to the baby pool for two reasons: One, because there are children. Everywhere. And some of them are running and cameras are expensive. Two, because Coco is still quite tippy when she's sitting and I'd feel absolutely terrible if she tipped over while I was several feet away taking her photo instead of sitting right behind her in case she falls. Particularly into the water, even if it is only two inches deep. That's just not a risk a mommy takes! So, for now, no pictures. But I'm sure we'll come up with a team system to get her photo splashing around in there. That is if the weather ever returns to being summery. 

Which takes us to Sunday. My goodness! Sunday was probably the stormiest day of all time. We woke up to hail the size of nickels. Some people will tell you they were bigger than that, but let's be literal. They were not the size of golf balls. Not even close. But they were definitely the size of nickels, maybe with the odd quarter thrown in. It was so loud and scary. I thought - I don't know what I thought - I just woke up in a state of panic and J was already out of bed and on guard and confused and then he said it was hail, so I started to get back into the bed until I saw the ice cubes being hurled out of the sky and then I closed the window and just watched in complete awe. It was scary. Hazardous. It made me glad we don't have a car that we park on the street. It didn't last long (and it was hot out so those ice balls melted quickly!) but I did get one, not very good photo. Yikes.

The pouring rain and thunder and lightning continued all day. So I did what any normal person would do. I baked cupcakes while Coco pushed around on the kitchen floor squealing with delight. Gotta love that girl. She's enthusiastic and can entertain herself to boot. 

Why is it so satisfying to cream butter and sugar together? I can never resist tasting a finger-full before adding the eggs.

Vanilla extract is definitely on my list of goodies to have my mom bring from the States when she visits this summer. Along with a bunch of other things I can't think of right now and really need to start writing down so I don't forget! 

I was a hopeless baker until I got pregnant and heard an invaluable trick from my friend Romy. Her advice: Don't use a timer when baking, just go off of how it smells. When it smells ready, it's done. Infallible!

I've taken to baking everything gluten-free with this flour. So far cakes and cookies turn out perfect. J took a dozen cupcakes to work, we have a few left and the rest went to our wonderful neighbors. So far I've yet to get a picture of one frosted because they're gobbled up too quickly! A sure sign they're yummy. :)

What did you get up to on your weekend? Did you have crazy, night and day weather back-to-back, too? Happy Monday! xo
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