Friday, July 18, 2014

Container Lugano: a beach in the city

Feel like sticking your toes in the sand? Look no further, just head towards Lugano's lakeside (La Riva Caccia) and look out for one or more maritime containers. Yes, the sort that you see unload and load on ships in ports all over the world. To do what? To turn them into mini-beaches, such as is seen in Paris, for example.

Inspired by the great cities of Europe, Lugano also will have its own container of emotions. Appetizers and trendy music will be featured during a non-stop, action-packed 16-day programme.
Their facebook page has caused quite some hype in town as has their advertising campaign.

Have I peaked your curiosity? Well, it all starts tomorrow, July 19th, 2014. The grand Opening will be at 17:00. You'll experience Lugano's first Beach Bar ever. Have fun!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Nutella Croissant Pudding recipe

Sunday morning usually contains a family breakfast with pancakes or waffles. This morning I thought I'd try something new. We're on holiday so let's go over the top a little. Easy to make even for little hands:

Nutella Croissant Pudding

3 croissants
6 big tablespoons of nutella
¼ cup pecan halves
2 eggs
1 cup thickened cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup caster sugar
1.) Preheat oven to 180C fan forced
2.) Cut croissants in half lengthways
3.) Spread two heaped tablespoon of nutella onto one side of each croissant
4.) Put halves back together and then cut croissant in half to make six pieces
5.) Place croissants into a small ovenproof dish
6.) Sprinkle pecans over croissants
7.) Add custard ingredients into a large jug and whisk to combine
8.) Pour custard mixture over croissants
9.) Press each croissant into custard mixture
10.) Cover with foil and bake in oven for 25 minutes
11.) Remove foil and bake for a further 10 minutes or until golden
12.) Serve warm with icecream

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Long Lake Festival Lugano 2014

The beating heart of the Lugano summer is once again the LongLake Festival. Over 250 events and outstanding guests will enliven the city, its squares, streets and parks each and every day for almost a month. So, what are you waiting for? Head down towards the lake shore this weekend and be part of the fun!

The 4th International Festival proposes entertainment, theatre and dance shows, concerts as well as a lot of activities for kids. To better acquaint yourself with the ongoing events, the LongLake Festival has been split in six different Festivals:
Rock’n’More Festival Lugano
Classica Festival Lugano
Buskers Festival Lugano
Urban Art Festival Lugano
Family Festival Lugano
Words Festival Lugano
and many other side events Plus.

You'll find the daily programme in English here:

For an extensive programme in English click here:

The Family Festival offers a wide choice of events for families and children, it proposes fairy tales reading, movies, magic and illusion shows. For a programme in English, click here:

Download the official app of the Long Lake Festival here.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Free online multilingual support

Reading is so important for language learning and there are several fantastic websites that offer free books and activites in several languages.

Maria has collated and excellent list of websites where you can find a suitable children’s book in your language:

Michele has found Spotify to be useful for finding audios of nursery rhymes and stories – note that the stories will be interspersed with adverts if you go for the free option:

Frances uses audio books to teach her children to read Spanish:

In Amanda‘s post you can find information about her five top favourite Chinese learning apps:

Annabelle writes about her family’s favourite iPad apps to support her childrens language development:

Monday, July 7, 2014

Navigating the seven Cs of multilingual parenting

Did you know there are seven "C's" of successful multilingual parenting: communication, confidence, commitment, consistency, creativity, culture and celebration. These are core components for successfully passing on a family language to the next generation.

Rita Rosenback, spills her secrets in the book entitled “Bringing up a Bilingual Child”. Children and languages are her passion, and she has written this book for parents and carers in families with more than one language.

It is an easy-to-read guide with practical advice for parents raising bilingual children. In addition to the down-to-earth hints and tips, she also tells you about her family’s journey and how her daughters acquired their languages. The Special Edition contains two additional chapters – the first one list ideas on how to engage your child to speak your language and the second is a list of encouraging thoughts for when you need them the most.

If you would like to read more about bilingual child raising check out her blog:

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Voilà ma Suisse!

Now, here is a summer project if ever there was one: "Voilà ma Suisse".

Ever heard of a crowdsourcing project? Until October 2014, you can borrow one of ten Mazda cars - kitted out for filming, thanks to streetview cameras - and film your favorite spots in Switzerland on a trip up to 30km.

Discover a colourful, multi-faceted Switzerland, like you've never seen before. Become part of Switzerland, reserve your trail along with the Street View car of your choice and tell your own story. Do you know an exceptional story, a special place or an adventourous track? Then go ahead and contribute!

Photos and personal videos are obviously welcome, since the idea is to share your unique experiences, favourite spots and personel tips on social networks and the internet.

To participate, you must register. I highly recommend you visit the site "This is my Switzerland". Click here and let the fun begin:

The only little hick is that the site is in Switzerland's three Official languages and not in English!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Italian Hand Gestures RAP

Take a look at this video and tell me what the American Consulate in Milano was thinking. This crash course on Italian Gestures will teach you how to talk with your hands like a real Italian. I am wondering if the Ambassador is in the loop?

Here are the 16 gestures:

I am hungry
You are crazy
This is perfect
Time to go

There is nothing
I don't care
Full of people
Are you scared?

Have some water
Drink some wine
Get a coffee
Take your time

This and that
So and so
What do you want?
You must go!

Monday, June 30, 2014

On the road from Paris to Madrid...

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Summer hang out

Summer, blue skies, sun, luxurious plants in bloom. The green with its fragrances enchants us all and demands a stop. From Caslano to Castagnola and Melide to Bissone, you need only pause a moment to calmly select which beach to visit. It is a tradition in Switzerland to swim in the lakes. A fact my Italian hubby who grew up along the seaside cannot get his mind around.

What about the 80'000 m2 of lakefront on Lake Maggiore, shaded by centuries-old trees and 600 meters of sandy beach? The Ceresio shores welcome you with their fine sand beach leading directly to the lake. And don't forget the sandy banks of many rivers that in places offer astounding pools of water with micro-beaches.

Ticino is generous but above all organized and well-equipped, and it offers so much for adults and children, who can play and cool off in pools dedicated to them. And what's more, between a dive and a swim, there is room for a beach volley match and for healthy laughter watching the children on the playground and the young boys showing off on the springboard.

And when the sun fades, lights and good music come on: shores and beaches don evening wear to enjoy a good aperitif and meet friendly new people. In brief: in Ticino shores and beaches are worth a visit, while your "thoughts"... stay offshore!

One last little tip: Laghetto di Astano

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Tips for avoiding homesickness

Following the post about moving by my 10-year old aficionado friend, I thought I'd continue with some tips about homesickness. It is normal to feel blue and homesick when you move but don't let yourself be overwhelmed by the feeling.

Here are some helpful suggstions to get on track:

1.) Make it a priority to get set up with phone lines, and internet as soon as possible
Feeling connected with your friends and family back home will make the physical distance between you seem less.

2.) Give yourself time to settle in and make friends
If you haven't got a jammed social life within the first two weeks do not panic.

3.) Give yourself time to unpack
If some boxes stay unpacked for a couple of months, it is not the end of the world.

4.) Be brave
Try and talk to your neighbours/people in your local shops etc and see how friendly they are! They'll also know about activities and classes you can do and join.

5.) Be positive
List all the reasons you moved country in the first place, and review and add the positives from the country you are in whenever you get have the time. This will keep you focused!

6.) Recognize honestly that you feel homesick. Try to understand why, and what could make you happier!

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