Thursday, November 20, 2014

American Thanksgiving in Lugano

Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Have you invited your American friends over or even your Swiss neighbours? This is the perfect opportunity to host a lunch or dinner party and cook whatever tickles your fancy. Italian, Swiss or American.

Still missing some ingredients? Order the turkey at your local butchers or ask the capo of the meat department at Manor or Coop to reserve one for next Thursday. By now, there are enough foreigners living in the Ticino that most butchers have realised there is some kind of feast end of November and turkeys are in demand.

Missing some American ingredients, check out either or and order fast. There is still time.

If you are searching for company the American Women of Ticino (AWOT) are organising a Potluck Thanksgiving Dinner on Thursday Nov. 27, 2014. For more details, please contact them directly at

Monday, November 17, 2014

Migros' Christmas song 2014: "Ensemble"

I have heard through the grapevine about Migros' Christmas charity song entitled "Ensemble" where 23 well-known Swiss artists, interpret the Christmas song for people in need.

Being typically Swiss the song is sung in the country's three official languages. Well, maybe I should correct that, Swiss German is after all a dialect but it does give it the distinctly Helvetic touch and make me feel right at home again.

The title “Ensemble” also expresses the motto of the Christmas fundraising sponsor of this year, the Swiss supermarket company Migros, “Celebrate together, Give together.” With this song Migros calls on the Swiss population to donate for people in need who live in their country.

For the video production of the song, “Ensemble” Migros has managed to bring together 23 famous Swiss artists, including well-known names of show-business as Noëmi Nadelmann, Pepe Lienhard, Sebalter, Pippo Pollina, Fabienne Louves. Among them is the legendary football coach Gilbert Gress, who in the video has a very special role. The song was composed by Roman Camenzind. For the filming of the video artists met in the magical setting of an Alpine hut. The video with an invitation to participate in the fundraiser will be broadcast for the first time as a television ad on Friday, November 21, 2014.

The amount donated will be distributed equally to four charities in Switzerland: Swiss Winter Relief , Heks, Caritas, and Pro Juventute. The money will be used to finance various projects. The money raised will be donated in equal parts (25%) of the four organizations mentioned. At the end of the collection, Migros will double the amount donated up to a maximum of CHF 1 million in total.

So, be aware and look out for the vouchers worth 5, 10 and 20 francs you can buy as of November 22nd for making donations. Money can also be donated by a payment to the account 30-620742-6 PC, by sending an SMS with the keyword “Migros” to the number 455, by downloading the Christmas song by ExLibris, iTunes or GooglePlay.

Click here and get a sneak première of the song "Ensemble" or learn more about the fundraiser on Mirgos' site:

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Celebration of St.Martin

Saint Martin Day is celebrated on the 11th of November in Switzerland.

St. Martin was a Roman soldier who was baptized as an adult. He lived in the 4th century and was the founder of monasteries in and around Tours in France. He is also known as St. Martin of Tours. He later became the bishop of Tours and is the patron saint of harvest and the poor.

Legends concerning St. Martin are more abundant than historic facts. Apparently Martin was a very kind man who did many good deeds. The most famous legend about him is that one freezing cold winter night, he crossed the path of an old beggar who was only wearing rags. Immediately, Martin cut his own cloak in two and gave one half to the beggar to prevent him from freezing to death. It turned out that the beggar was Jesus.

St. Martin’s Day is much anticipated by children, when in the evening a procession is held around the neighbourhood carrying home-made lanterns and singing traditional songs.

Back when I was a little girl in Zurich I used to sing:

Laterne, Laterne
Sonne, Mond und Sterne,
Brenne aus mein Licht, brenne aus mein Licht
Aber nur meine liebe Laterne nicht.

Lantern, Lantern,
Sun, Moon and Stars,
Shine my little light, shine my light light
But don’t set fire to my lantern.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

San Martino's Fair in Mendrisio

It is time to visit Mendrisio's market full of local products such as salami, sausages, cheese, and of course, roasted chestnuts. A world of visual and olfactory sensations are waiting for you to take in. Spot the Alphorn blowers who - if you are lucky - will let your kids have a go at it. You'll also find horse riding for children. Not to be missed is Saturday's exhibition and sale of Swiss cows.

There are old proverbs celebrating San Martino and the time of the year when wine becomes the central focus. In fact, the Saint is remembered on the 11th of November, when work in the fields is mostly finished. After the fruit harvest and the preparation of food for the winter and the next planting season, it is the time when the wine was readied.

This was a very important moment in the calendar of old rural Ticino, with the end of agricultural contracts, payment of rents and fairs to attend.

Times have changed, but the San Martino's fair is still a date not to be missed, having renewed itself every Autumn for almost four hundred years. Among stalls offering everything from horticultural produce to brown cows, the farmers of the entire region meet to sell, buy and trade in a contagiously happy atmosphere, especially when there's a little November sun to warm the days.

Venue: San Martino's Fair
Where: Mendrisio down town
When: Saturday November 8th to Tuesday November 11th, 2014
For a detailed programme, click here.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Expat with Kids on Pinterest

Click below and come visit me at Pinterest

Monday, November 3, 2014

Family Fun Fair in Lugano

It is the event of the year: the Family Fun fair organised by the IWCL (Int'l. Women's Club of Lugano). Not to be missed come rain or come shine!

There are ongoing activities during the day for big and small. Come along, even if you do not have little people with you. All you need to bring is an empty stomach as our vendors will offer everything from amazing Asian Fusion Catering to wonderful Guily Pleasure cupcakes.

Kids' Klub will be offering ongoing face painting, bouncing castle and the possibility to discover and try instruments under the supervision of wonderful music teachers. Looms workshop will be organised by some volunteers. NANATelier will surprise you with their little creations. Be Unique Suisse provides fun in a unique and stylish way. Karin Hochapfel will make your children sing, Clown Poppins will pop by in the afternoon and Kelly Fischer will be storytelling.

Meet, Sample or Buy:
Taste of America
Cecilia Tsai and Miamily
Lugano Family tour 
Robin Bognuda and All for Kids
Mary Kay
Cloud of Cloth
El Galeon
Book Nook

The following sponsors are offering special discounts. You can collect coupons by writing to Every Family will receive a goodie bag so - if you are sure to come - please let IWCL know.

International Women’s Club of Lugano
The American Women of Ticino
U Name It Stickers
Children helmets
Rock My Baby
Just Rosy
English Counselling Switzerland
Hello Switzerland
Città del Sole Lugano:
Forever Living Products
"Be Fit for Life"

Venue: Family Fun Fair
Where: Hotel Pestalozzi, Piazza Indipendenza 9, 6900 Lugano
Date: Sunday, November 9, 2014
Time: 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Have a wonderful Sunday,

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Lago di Lugano on a Sunday afternoon

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween!!
Jack-o-lantern smiling bright
Witches flying in the night
Ghosts and goblins, cats and bats
Witches with their funny hats
A full moon can't be beat
As we go out to Trick or Treat

Happy Halloween!!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Witch’s Cheesy Broom sticks Halloween recipe

Together with the witches hats, brooms are probably the most defining accessory of a wicked witch, they are also their means of transport. Here is an ingenious and healthy tip to make a Witch’s Broom snack.

Ingredients for 12 brooms:
12 Slices of Cheese
12 Pretzel sticks
12 Fresh Chive

1. Fold each cheese slice and cut the fringes of the broom using a pair of scissors.
2. Roll the slice of cheese around a pretzel stick having the fringes looking down.
3. Finally to keep the cheese around the stick, use some chive and knot it around.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

History of Halloween

The history of Halloween can be traced back 2,000 years. It was during these ancient times in Europe that the Celts celebrated the beginning of winter on the evening of October 31st. November 1st was the first day of their new year and it also marked the first day of winter. They believed that death was strongly linked to the long and bitter winter. The Celts thought that during the winter the dead and the living existed simultaneously because it was on this day that the dead roamed the earth. Samhain was the name they gave to their celebration of the dead on the evening of October 31st.

However, when Christians began to gain authority in the 800s, the history of Halloween was forever changed; November 1st became known as All Saints Day or All-Hallows. It is believed that the Christians slightly altered the holiday into a church related celebration, honoring deceased saints. Not unlike Celtic tradition though, the Christians too honored the dead on this day. The evening of October 31st soon became known as All-Hallows Eve and was eventually changed to Halloween.

The tradition of wearing Halloween costumes stems from an Irish and Scottish ritual known as “guising.” In the 19th century, children would dress up in various costumes and go house to house, looking for gifts of coins, food, or snacks. One of the earliest records of guising is in 1895, where Scottish masqueraders carried lanterns made out of turnips and visited homes to be rewarded with fruit, money, or cakes. When the Scottish and Irish migrated to America, they brought along their guising tradition.

Check out this Visual History of Halloween:

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