Friday, March 30, 2012

Lovely Cakes in Lugano

The latest address for everyone with a sweet tooth is most defiantely Lovely Cakes. A perfect combination of four girlfriends driven by the same passion of creating cakes, cupcakes, cookies and much, much more for your palate's and your eye's delight.

Let yourself be inspired by their brand new website and don't hesitate to ask for information. They are capable of making miracles with eggs, flour, butter and sugar. Just take a look at the cake they made for my going-away party! Not only was it an impressive looking Tour Eiffel was simply delicous.

If you are planning a Wedding, a Birthday Party, a Vernissage or simply need some fun and original push-up cake pops click on Lovely Cakes or call Simona directly at: 079/614'24'75 to ask for a quote.

Believe me you will be carried away into a fanatsyland full of sweet, sweet dreams!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Art Matters

"Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures."
Henry Ward Beecher

Curious about Modern Art? Would you like to meet the artists personally? You might actually know them already! Just visit the new art exhibition of Modern Art this weekend, organized by InterNations member Paul Mathews and his partner Maryam Dayhim.

The exhibition will feature new and young talents, including some local InterNations Lugano members:
Helen Roowalla (
Hannah Matthews
Anneke van der Zwaag (
Romina Farrugia (

The exhibition will take place in the Il Ciani, directly opposite the Parco Ciani and the Lugano Congress Center. Paul and Maryam hope many of you can stop by at the exhibition!

Venue: Il Ciani, Viale Catteneo 5, 6900 Lugano
When: Friday March 30th from 10 AM to 8PM
Saturday March 31st from 10AM to 6PM
Price: Entrance will be CHF 10 and includes a free drink (free entrance up to 16 years of age)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Locarno's Camellia Park invites you

“Just living is not enough... One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.”
 Hans Christian Andersen

Now, I have no green fingers but I do love flowers, the pinker the better! They tell me that Camellias are spring's ambassadors. If you feel like a boost of spring, why not head up to Locarno?

Locarno welcomes the new season with a celebration dedicated to these beautiful flowers. “Locarno Camellia” is considered one of the most important events in its genre, second only to the Japanese exhibitions of camellias.

In Asia the camellia is known as the flower that brings spring with it. The blossom is considered a symbol of longevity, happy marriage, wealth, victory and happiness. Camellias were brought to Europe by English traders in the 18th century.

The idea of this tea drinking merchants was not to import the ornamental Camelia japonica plant though, but the tea plant Camelia sinensis. But by mistake or a ruse of the Chinese, who did not want to give up their thousand-year-old tradition of tea cultivation, they loaded the ships with the Camelia japonica.

This kind of camellia blooms beautifully – but it is not possible to make tea out of it. Around 1740 the first European camellias flowered in England. They became miracle blossoms, grown in ten thousands of kinds with picturesque names. Originally, the camellia was named after the Jesuit botanist Georg Joseph Kamel.

It is rare to find a place as devoted to camellias as Locarno. The city has built a camellia park where 900 different kinds of the flower can be found. With its 12’000 square metres the park in Locarno is the largest in Europe. In the information pavilion visitors can learn more about the ornamental plant as well as about the park, which was opened in 2005. Two small lakes with water features evoke the camellias’ native countries.

The camellia park also offers the opportunity to solve old myths: Alexandre Dumas’ novel “The Lady of the Camellias” spread the believe that camellias are flowers without perfume.

The heroine of the novel, a Parisian courtesan, used camellias as she was allergic to the perfume of flowers. 25 times a month she put white flowers on her décolletage to show her “willingness” while the other five days she wore red camellias.

While the rest of the story is true, the idea that camellias do not have a perfume is a myth. Indeed, the many kinds of camellias have a wide variety of scents.

Discover them for yourself – in Locarno’s Camellia park.

Venue: 15th International exhibition of Camellias
Where: Parco delle Camelie, Via G. Respini, 6600 Locarno
When: March 28th - April 1st, 2012
Time: 9:30 - 18:00

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Easter Egg Painting Party

The Easter Bunny

There's a story quite funny,
About a toy bunny,
And the wonderful things she can do;
Every bright Easter morning,
Without warning,
She colors eggs, red, green, or blue.

Some she covers with spots,
Some with quaint little dots,
And some with strange mixed colors, too
-- Red and green, blue and yellow,
But each unlike his fellow
Are eggs of every hue.

And it's odd, as folks say,
That on no other day
In all of the whole year through,
Does this wonderful bunny,
So busy and funny,
Color eggs of every hue.

If this story you doubt
She will soon find you out,
And what do you think she will do?
On the next Easter morning
She'll bring you without warning,
Those eggs of every hue.

M. Josephine Todd, 1909

A typical Swiss activity before Easter is egg painting with your children. If you think it sounds messy, it is great fun and is actually very easy with today's specialized egg paints that you can pick up in any Coop, Migros or other supermarket.

Should you wish for some advice, Robin from ALL FOR KIDS will come to your rescue. She hosts an Easter Egg Painting Party for parents and kids every year - and this year it will be Saturday March 31st, 2012 from 13:00-18:00. She provides the colors and dye - you bring your own white hard boiled eggs.

There will be snacks for all and a chance to catch up with friends. Stop by for a short time, or stay all afternoon. It will be at her home & showroom in S. Antonino (Via Cimitero 21) You can find directions online at, or call her at 091 858 30 82.

Everyone is welcome.

Venue: Easter Egg Painting
Where: All for Kids, Via Cimitero 21, 6592 S.Antonino (Map)
Date: Saturday, March 31st, 2012
Time: 13:00 - 18:00

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Smile and be happy!

“Being happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect. It means that you've decided to look beyond the imperfections.”

This weekend is a happy weekend. The sun is out, spring is here and we are looking forward to a fantastic warm season. They say happiness the secret of success? I'm not sure I'd take it that far but I'm a firm believer that you can create your own happiness. You start by believing it. It sounds like a cliché, I know, but I do believe it works. Do you know how to smile? Then be grateful... because that's the first step to finding happiness!

Our daily decisions and habits have a huge impact upon both our levels of happiness and success. Scientifically, happiness is a choice. It is a choice about where your single processor brain will devote its finite resources as you process the world. If you scan for the negative first, your brain literally has no resources left over to see the things you are grateful for or the meaning embedded in your work. But if you scan the world for the positive, you start to reap an amazing advantage.

Training your brain to be positive at work is just like training your muscles at the gym. Sounds simple, right? Well, think about how easy it is to make yourself go to the gym. The key with any new resolution is to make it a habit. New research on neuroplasticity -- the ability of the brain to change even as an adult -- reveals that moderate actions can rewire the brain as you create "life habits."

So, what are you waiting for? Give it a try. Go out for a walk in the sunshine and start thinking positive. Think about three new things you are grateful for each day.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Lido di Lugano's Sunday brunch

“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"
"What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"
"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.
Pooh nodded thoughtfully. "It's the same thing," he said.”
A.A. Milne

Spring is definately around the corner! The Lugano Lido has reopened its doors today. The long winter wait is over, soon the lounge chairs will be out again and you'll be able to chill on the sundeck with a stunning view onto the San Salvatore. If you squint your eyes you can imagine yourself in Rio, trust me! In the meantime, enjoy a delicious brunch which offers a variety of regional and Mediterranean dishes.

The Restaurant aL LiDO was founded by four young professionals in the fields of gastronomy, communications and management consultancy, who from an early age had spent their summers here on the beach of the Lido of Lugano.

It was during a winter get-together that they came up with the idea - based on memories of their teenage days at the Lido - to promote one of the most beautiful places in Lugano.

The City Council appreciated their concept and was enthusiastic to let them develop it and so, out of the many applicants, conferred the management of the restaurant to these young men. And so it happened!

Venue: Lugano Lido Brunch
Where: Viale Castagnola 6, 6900 Lugano
When: every Sunday, Breakfast buffet from 11am, lunch buffet (warm and cold and sweet) from noon onwards.
Price: CHF 42.- included warm drinks and water. Special prices for children under 12.
Reservation: Tel: 091/ 971 55 00

Friday, March 16, 2012

Chocolate macarons sensations

"While most people think it's our brain that controls our actions, it's often our heart that gets the biggest workout."
Gossip Girl

May I suggest you take a break, pour yourself a proper Italian espresso first, then sit back, turn up the volume and enjoy this exquisite video on coffee and white chocolate macarons. Let yourself be captivated by sound, vision and sensation. I'd say close your eyes but then you'll miss the best part. Let your eyes devour what your mouth cannot. This glamourous video will make you melt with pleasure.

Click here for the recipe by Carte Noire in French for instant gratification at home. Should the French tell you that it is very difficult to make macarons, let it be said that my eight year old daughter concocts delicious ones with a little help from her Mummy.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Swiss Table manners

Today, I came across a fellow Swiss blogger who had written a post on Swiss table manners. It never even crossed my mind to write about a similar subject but while reading point by point my grin just became wider and wider. Having grown up in Switzerland I can relate to this list on every single point. I often find myself repeating these manners to my children. It starts by saying "please" and "thank you". They are so tired of hearing me telling them to greet people with a handshake and eye contact.

Here are some Swiss table manners that have not changed over the past decades:
1.) Be on time.
2.) Always wait for everybody to be served before starting to eat.
3.) All meals usually begin with the words "Buon Appetito"
4.) If wine is served, wait until the host begins the toast.
5.) When toasting, chink your glass with everybody at the table and look each person in the eyes before drinking.
6.) Keep your wrists on the table, but never your elbows. Do not place your hands in your lap.
7.) Remember to always say please and thank you.
8.) French bread is always torn rather than cut with a knife.
9.) Lift your forearm from the table while moving the fork to your mouth.
10.) Use your left hand for the fork and the right for your knife and gently push food on your fork.
11.) If you are served cheese as a wheel, it should be cut from the centre into slices (as you would slice a pie).
12.) When finished, put your knife and fork parallel to one another on your place as if they were hands on a clock indicating 5:25. If you don't do this, your host will serve you more food.
13.) Finish everything you take on your plate. The Swiss do not appreciate waste.
14.) Carry your empty plate to the sink when you're finished. Sometimes....

Additional children rules: Make sure children wash their hands before meals. Children generally must wait to leave the table until everyone is finished.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

InterNations Lugano Networking event

"Every person is a new door to a different world."

Can you believe there will be over 160 Lugano Expats meeting tomorrow night? Well, it is true. After the success of the Expat expo with over 2000 visitors Lugano's expat community is thriving.

Get ready to party on. You are invited to InterNations Lugano get-together, to mingle, catch up with friends, and meet new people. They will be meeting on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 from 7 pm onwards, at NYX Lounge in Lugano. InterNations has exclusive use of the upper floor and half of the downstairs at NYX Lounge in the centre of town.

Join the InterNations Lugano community and enjoy a free welcome drink and a tasty selection of delicious appetizers and snacks. Meet fellow global minds from more than 40 nationalities for a night of networking and catching up with friends and contacts from the community.

Venue: NYX LOUNGE, Via Stauffacher 1, 6901 LUGANO
Date: Wednesday, March 14th, 2012
Time: 19:00 - 23:00

Entrance fees for the event:
Free for Albatross Members, CHF 10 for basic members and CHF 20 for attendees who are not on the guest list. The entrance includes one welcome drink as well as a tasty selection of appetizers and snack foods. After that, as usual, drinks are pay self (pay as you go / no tabs)!

Please register for this event by clicking here. Feel free to bring your international friends but please do invite them to sign up to InterNations, too. The guest list will be closed at 4PM on the day of the event.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

International Women's Day 2012

Happy International Women's Day to all my female readers. Instead of going into details about the background of this celebration which started as a socialist political event and eventually blended in the culture of many countries, primarily Eastern Europe, Russia, and the former Soviet bloc, I have decided to provide you with a bit of eye candy!!!

The full Fashion Show of Louis Vuitton's Fall/Winter 2012/2013 collection:
"With a whistle and a cloud of steam, a blue train chugged Orient Express-style into the courtyard of the Paris Louvre, turned into the setting for Louis Vuitton's spectacular Fashion Week show on Wednesday.

With film stars and fashion elite seated in a make-believe station, complete with LV-monogrammed clock, a gate slid back to the sound of echoing footsteps, as the train steamed in with the models silhouetted in the windows.

One by one the girls stepped down onto the platform-cum-runway in dizzying heels and 1900-style high hats, looking all the taller for being followed by white-gloved porters - deliberately cast short - carrying a bag in each hand.

New York designer Marc Jacobs pulled out the stops for Vuitton's latest autumn-winter collection on the final day of Paris' ready-to-wear shows."


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Mexican fiesta in Lugano

“The house does not rest upon the ground, but upon a woman”
 Mexican Proverb

How does a Mexican woman settle in Lugano? "Con mucha movida" is the answer. Stephanie is an extremly active member of the Lugano expat community. From Zumba to Guacamole she covers it all.

Curious to meet her? Interested in trying her Mexican delicacies or looking for some fun dancing the Zumba? Then don't miss the Mexican evening hosted by the IWCL Evening group on Thursday, March 22nd, 2012.

Be ready to be surprised! Discover a great funky place in Lugano where you can see chairs hanging from the ceiling whilst sipping your margarita. It's time for a Mexican Fiesta.

Stephanie and her friends will treat you with autentic Mexican food that will fill your plates and your hearts - “VIVA LA COMIDA”. They will also be teaching you some latino moves, so be ready to bailar!

Venue: Mexican Fiesta
Where: Ado Room, Via Besso 42a, 6900 Lugano
When: Thursday, March 22nd, 2012
Time: 20:00
Price: CHF 50.00 to be paid at the venue
Included in the price:
4 appertizers, (guacamole, guacamole merida's style, refried beans, tris de ceviche)
4 main dishes, (tinga, pollo al ajillo, pork meat in salsa guajillo, tacos, white arroz)
3 dessert (flan, mousse de tequila, rice pudding)
1 welcome drink choice of Paloma or Margarita
Jamaica Flower water
Extra drinks prices:
CHF 7.00 Paloma (soda and tequila), Margaritas, Birritas
CHF 4.00 Micheladas (mexican style prepared beer)
CHF 3.50 Soda and aqua gassata 5 dl

Book fast as places are limited and latest by Friday, March 16th at: or call Sabrina +41/796424018 or Sandrine +41/787514375.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Ticino's latest online shop is all about LOVE

"Once in awhile, right in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairy tale.

Springtime is at our doorstep and love is in air. Thinking of a lovely romantic wedding or know somebody who is? You and your true love have just become engaged to be married! Your dreams are coming true and you want the whole world to share in your excitement. So, what do you do next?

The good news is that there are many resources available to newly engaged couples. With the increased accessibility of the Internet, there is more information, more ideas and more places to shop than ever before. However, when there is too much input, things can seem confusing and complicated and the last thing anyone wants on her or his wedding day is confusion.

Fortunately, as with most things in life, much depends on the attitudes of those involved. So why not relax, enjoy this special time together and take everything one step at a time? One of the best ways to begin planning your big day is with a simple list. The list will change as the wedding preparations evolve. A good list will help everyone involved stay organized and focused as the excitement builds and the wedding day approaches.

Here is a basic list of some of the major items to be considered when planning for a wedding- yours or someone else's.

Announce the engagement 
Decide on the wedding date
Determine the budget and decide how the expenses will be shared
Consider hiring a professional wedding coordinator
Determine the formality and the type of wedding
Decide (often compromise) on the number of guests and begin to write a guest list
Decide the time and the location of the wedding
Make all necessary reservations
Selecting and reserving the officiant
Select and order the bridal gown and headpiece
Determine the colors and theme
Prepare to write the invitations
Select the florist and order all arrangements
Choose a DJ
Choose and hire the photographer
Order the wedding cake
Select the maid of honor, bridesmaids, best man, ushers and any flower girls, ring bearers, etc.
Obtain all necessary documents including passports, visas, birth certificates, etc. for the marriage and any intended travel
Begin writing your wedding vows

Sounds daunting? Need a little help?
KissLoud is a shop which specialises in making your day unique. They have something for all the different stages in your wedding - click through their website to see how you can personalize your special day and render it one of a kind:

What's more: if you pop by Morcote I am sure they can arrange some showing if you would like.

You'll find stationary with seeds, wedding bubbles, venue and table decoration, chinese lanterns, ribbons in different colors to match you wedding theme - just to name a few - and all of it is online.

Their navigation has been designed to allow you to go through an entire wedding day while making an informed decision of what you would like for each part: pre weddding, preparation, ceremony, dinner, party, post wedding.

You can shop by colour, theme and price. Now, how cool is that? I'd get married all over again just to shop by colour! ;)

So what are you waiting for? Start planning the most important day of your life! Go to

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Expat Expo in Lugano

All Expats in Lugano and around. Listen up! Are you ready for the first major exhibition dedicated to Expats in Ticino? Yes, the number of Lugano expats is solwly but steadily growing and now it is time to meet at the first Expat Expo in Ticino.

A very special event is being organized for Sunday, March 11th at the Palazzo dei Congressi in Lugano - the first Expat Expo in Ticino. For some years, these Expos have taken place in other parts of Switzerland. They are impressive events - professional and well organized with a community based atmosphere. Many of the local clubs will be there, along with businesses large and small, schools, and services that cater to the English speaking community.  In total over 60 exhibitors are paticipating. Please spread the word - and plan to stop by! The Expo will take place from 11:00-17:00, and admission is free. For more information, or to register as an exhibitor, please visit

What is Expat-Expo?

Expat-Expo is not just for expats! All English-speakers are welcome to visit the exhibition that guarantees to enhance lifestyle in Switzerland. ..whether you are here for a week or a lifetime...jump in for a day of discovery!

In the space of an afternoon, you will find important goods and services such as doctors, accountants and lawyers, schools and day-care, clubs and churches, even specialty food items and much more.

If you are wondering where to find Expat with Kids - well, I have a confession to make: I am now living in Paris - you will continue to find me online with lots of fun, upbeat, useful, intriguing information at

I would be very happy to post your info and photos on my blog should you wish to send me an update at

Good luck to all of you exhibitors and have fun all of you visitors. I'll be there with my heart and mind!

Venue: The 1st Expat-Expo Lugano
Date: Sunday, March 11th, 2012
Time: 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Where: Palazzo dei Congressi, Piazza Indipendenza 4, Lugano

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