Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Fashion, Cupcakes and Art

What could possibly be better than those three things? Especially when done with my mom and godmother? I knew Cleveland had a lot of cool in her, just takes a while to search it out. Back in February, we went to MOCA- Museum of Contemporary Art- for the GALlery Event. Ladies, cupcakes, art and fashion.
Just us with Val in her designs ;) 

They had Project Runway Season 8 contestant Valerie Mayen, Cleveland-based designer- there with her clothes and designs. Awesome-awesome. Her shop is called Yellowcake and I am really digging it. I especially love her t-shirt :)

After the fun-filled hours perusing art, shopping, eating mini cupcakes and cheese and crackers, all washed down with a Lemon Meringue (Vodka, Limoncello, Creme de Cacao, and club soda) we headed to Little Italy to have some sausage, double cheese and mushroom pizza from Mama Santa's. I die! 

I seriously contemplated helping out an aspiring designer and purchasing this mustard coat.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I am not a housewife

Or,... maybe I am. The world we live in today is not nearly as predictable as the ones our parents lived in with clearly defined roles.

I am not a housewife. Or so I thought. I fought it from the first moment we came to Switzerland the first time. My husband discouraged it, luckily.

I am not a housewife. Or, at least not a good one. I tend to mix laundry up. Put clean clothes next to dirty ones. Leave cleaning supplies out long after they have done their duty. We have more baby blue t-shirts than crisp white ones. I dread making the bed, and chances are, if you saw the bed on any given day, you would not be able to tell if I accomplished the goal... I did. I am just not good at it.

I am not a housewife. I never baked and rarely cooked before I moved overseas. I rolled my eyes at people who baked. Why would you waste precious time measuring things out? It actually irked me that people spent hours in the kitchen. Couldn't they be doing something else... Then I moved here.

I am not a housewife. I refuse to keep up with my daily chores and prefer to spend time reading, networking, applying to jobs and coming up with business ideas. I plan to take over the world, not the home.

I am not a housewife. They say women spent the 80's and 90's proving they could do it all and now they want to take a break and care of their husband and children. I know I am not a housewife. I am not trying to prove that I can do it all. I just am.

So, as much as I fight it. A spade is a spade. For the time being, I am not a great housewife, but maybe I am...

Hike Weekend, Part two

Sunday, we woke up early again to get on the path that took us into Italy. This was supposed to be the harder of the two days, but most of us thought this hike was much easier. Although, it went much higher up, to the point we were crossing small paths of snow in the mountain. Another amazing day. This time, we started in Switzerland, hiked through Italy and ended up in France. Not often you cross through three countries on foot!

serious hikers
After hike with boots off, deeping feet in glacier water
border France.Italy
Mt. Blanc
Nicholas inside a glacier
Shadow of our cable cars in the snow taking us to Chamonix, France

Hike Weekend, Part one

We were lucky to crash at Nicholas' colleagues home in Geneva to make the very early Saturday morning much more doable.

Of course, after the many emails they sent warning about the weather and to pack extra everything, you can bet I did. I hate to be cold or wet, so our bags were at capacity... Luckily for us, the weather was perfect all weekend! Not so lucky for our poor backs :)

The only snow we came across was on the path but it was so warm, we were in our t-shirts and sunglasses. The first day, we decided to go on the moderate hike and not the strenuous one. Nicholas and I went back and forth on that decision, but after hiking for 30 mins on the "moderate"one we knew we made the right choice!

hike ended at this gorgeous lake
The first day took us in a path through switzerland in the direction of the Italian border. I met so many incredible people on the first hike. The WEF is like IMD times five. Everyone speaks multiple languages, have lived all around the world, have multiple degrees and want to change the world. Talk about inspiring!

Glacier in background. New friends having drinks before dinner

The day ended with a dinner hosted by the forum of great Swiss food, drinks and a show by a Swiss Alpine horn player! We called it an early night so we could get up early and start all over again on Sunday!
Like this one, but too dark to get a good shot.

Museum Seeking Roommate

Just saw this and think it would be fascinating. I can think of one or two people that would be excellent contenders for this stay!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Forum BBQ

The band and part of the view! 
The Forum threw a BBQ outfitted with a country band, red and white checkered tables and delicious food to kick off the big weekend! I would expect nothing less from an event organization! 

This was my first time to Nicholas' work and I was impressed! The campus where he works is gorgeous. The building, the view, the people, the work. All incredible! We had a great time meeting his new colleagues from the Geneva, Beijing and New York offices. 

After I did the Lausanne-Geneva/Cologny commute myself, I felt Nicholas' pain. How he does it twice a day I don't know! I think Geneva is in our future :) 

Friday, June 24, 2011

My new Australian Friend

I made a new friend last week and this week I had the chance to toast her on her birthday at a bar with one of the best views in Lausanne. I had seen her status update earlier that day and it made me do a double-take:

is happy to be celebrating on the longest day of the year for a change!

I had to think about June 21 and confirm and re-confirm that indeed it is always the first day of summer and that it is indeed always the longest day of the year. I thought of any possible way this could be different and my very northern hemisphere mind couldn't figure it out... Until I met with her and she was glowing with the warmth and sunshine. She told me how this was the first time she ever had a birthday when it wasn't cold and dark. And then I realized that in the Land Down Under, June 21 is the first day of winter and the shortest day of the year!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Forum Outdoor Adventure Weekend

This weekend we are going away with the Forum for their outdoor adventure weekend. We will be leaving super early from Geneva on Saturday morning to head to our hiking trails, somewhere across the border into Italy. We have been forewarned that our guides have been going out each day to check the conditions and there is snow on the ground. They told us that within an hour, the temperature can swing 15*C (that is 59*F), and to expect temps from -5*C to 18*C. Obviously we have been guided to pack lots of warm layers.

picture taken yesterday of our guide on the trail we will hike

Not only will the weather be challenging, but so will the conditions on the trail in general. Looks like we have quite an adventure ahead of us. I have all of our things laid out and will start packing our bags shortly. They need to be finished for Nicholas to take his with him tomorrow before work, then I will follow in the afternoon. The Forum is hosting a BBQ tomorrow evening, then we will stay with one of Nicholas' colleagues so we do not have to get up any earlier than is absolutely necessary to head to the big hike!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Koo-Young Wedding

Had such an amazing time celebrating Matt and Stacy at their beautiful wedding! Saw a lot of old friends, made new ones and watched one of my best friends marry the love of her life. It was ridiculous fun, including the after-party tour to Georgetown and beyond...thanks O'Neil ;)
clip of first dance

Best wishes for a long and happy life together Matt and Kooster!

Monday, June 13, 2011


Last leg of my journey includes a 5 hour delay in Newark airport to Geneva... bummer!!

Had the most amazing two weeks and feel so blessed and happy to have taken this tour. Cannot believe how many people and places I was able to see. Sad that Cleveland didn't make it into the tour, but next time for sure! So looking forward to being home with my hubby!!

Just a few more hours...there's no place like home, there's no place like home...

Friday, June 10, 2011


Wednesday, I snuck up to Philly to visit my favorite Philly couple, Anali and George! We became good friends last year in Lausanne, where George and Nicholas were classmates.

tomb of unknown soldier
Ana and I got in a few hours together to see some Philly sites in Old City, like the famed Liberty Bell,
then shared an obligatory cheesesteak in the scorching heat before heading to a little diner to chill from the 100* with a hefty side of humidity.


 From there, we raced to make my train and I caught a shot of the Philly Art Museum where the Rocky steps are. Looks like I might need to come back to get a better look :)


DC welcomed me in with its cloaking humidity and insane heat. Nothing like stepping into a hot bath after you take one...

I have had an awesome week doing what I love in DC: attending political science talks, seeing old colleagues and friends, attending cultural events like the NSO last night at the Kennedy Center and being engulfed in the place that has really come to feel like home.

Splitting my time between my first DC roommate and my last NY roommate has been so much fun. Last thing to do is attend the event that has brought me across the ocean, Stacy and Matt's Wedding!!

Sunday, June 5, 2011


where the bbq magic happens :) 
Wow. Away from the ocean and the cool 70 degrees to the hot and humid Chicago summer.

Tony and Rachel spoiled me with an amazing dinner of ribs and quinoa stir-fry Friday night. It may have been a late meal, but the wine, food and company were excellent!

Getting the chance to come here and spend time with them and little Jacob Carter has been the highlight of my trip! It sure gives me reason to pause and reflect on how blessed I am to be able to cross the country to see family and friends and just how important they all are to me. I wish I could see everyone in this two week tour!

lazy Sunday morning :) 
They are off now to another wedding and I am dog-sitting my two favorite shiba inus before I am off tomorrow to DC for my last leg of the trip :)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Great weekend in LA with Stace, her amazing sister, and awesome friend. Love that I went knowing one person and came away with new, great friends :)
view of sea world fireworks from Lola's place

Monday, I hopped in the car and drove south to see Lola in San Diego! Spent the day, yesterday, in Old Town where she lives and today headed to La Jolla Coves to enjoy the beach and see the sea lions/seals. It was amazing. It is so wonderful to see old friends and catch up. I cannot get over how gorgeous southern California is and what a contrast it is to the beauty of Switzerland.
seals at La Jolla Cove