Saturday, September 30, 2017

Low-carb blueberry muffins

A simple recipe to try with the kids over the weekend. Low carb muffins in just 30 minutes! No flour, no butter, sugar substitute and a whole lot of taste.

Ingredients (for 12 muffins)
200 gr ground almonds
60 gr xylitol sugar or erythritol crystals
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch of salt
3 eggs
150 gr Coconut or Greek yogurt
1 tbl spoon lemon juice
2 tbl spoon rapeseed oil
to decorate: approx. 45 gr of frozen blueberries, 15 gr of choco chips

1.) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Line a muffin pan with paper liners.
2.) Separate the eggs.
3.) Whisk the egg white with a pinch of salt.
4.) Mix yolks, yoghurt, lemon juice and rapeseed oil until creamy.
5.) Add the xylitol sugar and continue stirring.
6.) Mix the baking powder with the ground almonds and lift under the batter.
7.) Lastly, add the egg yolk.
8.) Immediately scoop the batter into each muffin cup. If desired, decorate with blueberries and chocolate chips.
9.) Bake the muffins in the pre-heated oven on the middle rail for about 20 minutes.
10.) Let cool and serve.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Lugano's Autumn Festival

On the first weekend in October, Lugano celebrates the beginning of Autumn with a festival dedicated to local products. The Autumn festival concludes the open-air events with a large fair in the pedestrian zone of Lugano.

In the classic city scenario, in a grand choreography of colors and tastes, you will be able to find the typical grottini, a lot of folkloric music, Ticinese gastronomic delights and many stands around town. For three days the center of the city will welcome the visitors in numerous grottini operated by local companies which will offer typical Ticinese specialties, such as polenta with stew or beans and mortadella or roast pork, risotto, minestrone, gnocchi and many other exquisite local delights.

Swiss and foreign guests and the local population will be able to taste and relish, in cheerful company, the best our region can offer: apart from the delights for the palate, also musical groups, artists and entertainers invited specially for the occasion, who will stage a series of very different shows. This is a big festival for all, from the children to the elderly: why not take advantage of the opportunity for a pleasant celebration of the end of summer?

Finally, there will also be a free guided tour on offer to discover and admire the beautiful architecture and landscapes of Lugano (offered by Lugano Turismo).

Autumn market: Numerous stalls, with local food and wine, to delight the palate of many and liven up the center of Lugano.
Fri 16:00 - 22:00
Sat 10:00 - 22:00
Sun 10:00 - 18:00

Local cuisine: The grottos will offer different traditional menus, so you can enjoy the local Ticino gastronomy in a convivial and festive atmosphere.
Fri 16:00 - 01:00
Sat 10:00 - 01:00
Sun 10:00 - 18:00

Lugano City Tour: Free guided tour to discover and admire the beautiful architecture and landscapes of Lugano. For tickets pass by the Ente Turistico del Luganese behind Piazza della Rifoma.
30.09 from 10:30 to 12:30
30.09 from 14:00 to 16:00
01.10 from 10:30 to 12:30

Click here for the programme:

Monday, September 25, 2017

The biggest flea market in the world

Usually I write about my Parisian life in my other blog but today I decided to share my little excursion to the world's biggest flea market located in the Northern suburbs of the city of lights. Hop on for the ride.

A sunny Saturday afternoon and Expat husband and I are off to the St.Ouen flea market on our little Italian vespa. Weekend traffic in Paris can be terrible.

You really don't need to be looking for any specific object - in fact it is probably better you don't - because you'll either return empty handed or with all kinds of trinkets you didn't even knew you needed. However, it is a fantastic place to shoot photos... again and again and again...

The business of collecting (scrap metal, antique jewellery, furniture, old books) has been part of Paris life for ever. At night, rag-and-bone men biffins, or crocheteurs travelled through the capital in search of their loot. Driven out of the city at the end of the 19th century by the new authorities anxious to clean up the capital, these rag-and bone men set up camp and hovel between the fortifications and the first houses built in the village of Saint-Ouen. Little by little, it wasn't long before open-air cafés and dance halls appeared, along with numerous stalls where the people of Paris would come by on a Sunday to stroll and perhaps stop for a small glass of white wine.

In 2001, the entire marketplace was classified as Zone de Protection du Patrimoine Architectural Urbain et Paysager (urban architectural landscape heritage protection zone ) for its very unusual atmosphere. There are more than 2000 boutiques spread out into 16 markets and spilling over into several surrounding streets.

Les Puces is known as one of the largest Flea Market in the world.

So, let's start with a real Neapolitan coffee!

An eclectic mix

Caught my eye

I have always had my eye on these kind of 1970s champagne glasses.
My husband informs me his Mamma has plenty of these in the cellar in Napoli.

It's all in the presentation

Seems like a scene out of a French movie

Made me smile big time

Thanks to little brothers and car-mad sons you recognise the models

Loved the colour composition

Blast from the past!

We could do with a big miroir louis xv in our entrance, couldn't we?!?

This painting hit home... literally!

Thinking of my knitting Mexican friend 

Expat hubby does not believe I started skiing with these bindings.

If ever we acquire a chambre de bonne... this could become its direct access! 

Caught my husband's eye! 

Impressive "stand"

I'll have the pair to take home please.

Funky dining room chairs... to bad that don't come in pink!

Please can we have a rest?

These round mirrors might fit our entrance better?

Someone got lost!

Aperitivo time!

My absolute favourite fairy tale when I was a little girl. 

I love kitch!

One day... when we live in the country?!?

Paris or Las Vegas?

Gotta love those old-fashion globes

Wondering what's behind those walls?

A touch of pink and an amazing smell.

Clutter that someone will be interested in buying.

No one home?

Someone emptied their attic.

Where to start?

Feeling artistic!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Statistical Data on Switzerland

Since 1997, Statistical Data on Switzerland has been published every year with the latest data available on a range of diverse topics such as Switzerland's geography, population, work and income, economy, transport, social security, education and training and science.

This publication gives an overview of the most important key figures. It has any number you can think of so dive in and learn all about the country you call home: Download publication

Friday, September 22, 2017

ABC of the Swiss political system at a single click

Can Swiss living abroad vote? Who can vote online? Who can launch an initiative? What is the role of a cantonal government or parliament? Who can stand as a candidate in federal elections, and how?, gives you answers to these and other questions.

This site offers a wide range of information dedicated to how the Swiss political system functions. Fresh content and lots of links to external websites of federal, cantonal and communal authorities are brought together on one single website, making it easier and faster to access information on the functioning of the Swiss political system at all political levels. gives useful, practical information explained clearly and simply for all citizens, both in Switzerland and abroad. The new portal is especially useful for Swiss living abroad as it contains information of particular interest, including explanations on how they can exercise their political rights.

The illustrations, graphics and video clips which augment the explanations in the texts make a dynamic and attractive website for younger citizens too.

And the best news is the site is available in five languages: Italian, French, German, Romansh and English, so just hop over and take look for yourself:

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Council of the Swiss Abroad

The Council of the Swiss Abroad (CSA) represents the interests of Swiss expatriates before the authorities and public opinion in Switzerland. This is why the media call it the "Parliament of the Fifth Switzerland"

The CSA gathers in Switzerland twice a year for a day-long meeting to discuss important matters concerning the Swiss abroad and to voice an opinion on current affairs on behalf of the Fifth Switzerland.

Between January and August 2017, Swiss citizens around the globe were called upon to elect their 140 representatives on the Council of the Swiss Abroad for 2017–2021. The new Council has 131 members, 64 of them new. Nine seats are currently vacant.

There have been many achievements and the CSA has always played a decisive role in carrying these through: the inclusion of Swiss living abroad in the Federal Constitution, maintaining optional old-age and disablement insurance (AVS/AI), livelihood protection thanks to the Solidarity Fund, several civil rights revisions, information to Swiss abroad, promotion of training young Swiss abroad or the introduction of the right to vote by mail - all these deserve to be highlighted as major achievements. It is also thanks to the activities of the Council of Swiss Abroad that the presence of the Fifth Switzerland back home over the years has increased significantly.

Here is the a closer look at the composition of the Council of the Swiss Abroad:

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Local Agriturismi Open their Doors

Agriturismi in Tavola is a popular weekend food event amongst the local farmers to promote their products organized in collaboration with local association La Meseda.

La Meseda sees the local agritourism farms as protagonists presenting their agricultural company, products and culinary specialities to the larger public. This event winks to the NRLA opening (the New Railway Link through the Alps) and welcomes many Ticino-loving visitors.

La Meseda is dedicated to all families, to foodies of all ages and to all gourmands who love genuine products and nature. On the programme: local product’s sale, thematic areas with animals, presentation of new technologies and new plantation materials, courses about green areas care, practical tips and workshops organisied by the Ticinese Farmers Union such as the “School farm project”.

Please note that the event will be taking place in various locations around Ticino, where the Agriturismi are based. Check out La Meseda website to find out about the program and the various locations. Feel free to stop by any of the selected Agriturismi and enjoy this popular all-day food event amongst the local farmers to promote their products.

Venue: Agriturismi a tavola
Where: throughout the Canton Ticino
When: Saturday, September 30th to Sunday, October 1st, 2017
List of participating agritourismi:

Sunday, September 17, 2017

10 ways to be happy!

How about some quick tips on how to increase happiness. Happiness is essential for a great human experience, it also increases motivation. What makes you happy?

Saturday, September 16, 2017

How many living languages are there?

Some continents have more languages than others. Not all continents are equally diverse in the number of spoken languages.

Whereas Asia leads the statistics with 2,301 languages, Africa follows closely with 2,138.

There are about 1,300 languages in the Pacific, and 1,064 in South and North America.

Europe, despite its many nation-states, is at the bottom of the pack with just 286.

Friday, September 15, 2017

The Mendrisiotto Wine Route

Lose yourself among the sweet hills and aromas of the vineyards in the Italian part of Switzerland.

Merlot has been cultivated in Ticino for more than a hundred years, and that’s a fact you can taste!

The wine roads are thematic routes that will take you to explore the wineries and vineyards spread across the canton, passing through ancient villages, rural traditions, landscapes and architectural charm. The wine-cellars are full of labels of excellent quality.

Mendrisio is home to several renowned wine producers: the Cantina Sociale, the wine purveyors Guido Brivio and Gialdi. The wine cellars at the foot of Monte Generoso, in the shadow of mighty trees, are vented naturally by a continual flow of fresh air; ideal for storing wine. Some of the cellars are still used for storing wine, while others have been converted to grottos.

Visits and wine tasting in a wine cellar are possible every Saturday morning. The Cantinas open their doors for guided tours and wine tasting upon appointment.
Please call +41 (0)91 641 30 50 up to Friday 11 a.m.
Duration: 1h30
Number of participants: 3-20
Season: March - December
Languages: German, English, French, Italian

Thursday, September 14, 2017

The world's top 10 languages

Did you know 3 out of 7 billion people on earth speak one of these 10 languages?

With more than 955 million speakers, Mandarin claims the top spot as the world’s most common language. One of the five major dialects of Chinese, Mandarin is the official language of China and Taiwan, as well as one of the four official dialects of Singapore. Approximately 14.4 percent of the world’s population are native speakers of Mandarin.

Although they have different written forms, Hindi and Urdu share a history, many common words, and a grammar. Many linguists consider them different “registers” of the same common language. Over 310 million people speak one of the two.

Its prominence in the Americas as well as in Europe makes Spanish one of the most common languages. The Castilian dialect in Spain is held as a national standard, although Andalusian and Catalan are also spoken.

English used to be the second-most common language, but Spanish-speakers have increased much more rapidly over the past 15 years. Still, scholars have named English the world’s “most influential language,” due to the number of speakers and the number of countries in which it is spoken.

Arabic, spoken by 295 million speakers worldwide, is also the language of Muslim holy writings. It has also influenced other most common languages — Spanish has approximately 4,000 words with Arabic roots.

Which one do you speak?

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Changing Perspectives on Human Rights: Lessons from a Long, lnternational Career

Franklin University Switzerland will host a series of events where both the Franklin community and the general public are invited to explore topics of high relevance in the contemporary world with renowned experts. This year the topic is Social Responsibility, an essential part of Franklin's mission.

Starting tomorrow with a Lecture by Dr. Marcia Grant, Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow and lnternational Higher Education Expert about "Changing Perspectives on Human Rights: Lessons from a Long, lnternational Career".

Concern for Human Rights and the idea that they could be protected and enforced started only after World War II. In her talk, Dr. Marcia Grant will examine how she became aware of human rights issues during her childhood and international career in higher education and diplomacy, and discuss the challenge to each of us to examine our values and how they impact our understanding and concern for human rights.

A small reception will follow the lecture.

Venue: Changing Perspectives on Human Rights: Lessons from a Long, lnternational Career
Where: Nielsen Auditorium, Franklin University Switzerland, Via Ponte Tresa 29, Sorengo
When: Wednesday, September 13th, 2017
Time: 19:00 to 21:00 PM
Other lectures coming up:

Thursday, September 7, 2017

TEDxLugano 2017

Listen up....TEDxLugano 2017 is coming up this Saturday, September 9th in Lugano, Switzerland! It will be the biggest and most prestigious TEDx event in Switzerland.

The theme is “Professions of the Future”, which is designed to create a universal platform for speakers from all over the world to share big ideas that will improve and innovate our future jobs – from business and infrastructure to art and work-life balance, from science and technology to entertainment and design, from innovation and robotics to qualitative breakthroughs within social interactions.

The main question that the audience is waiting for an answer on will be “What is it that we should do now to overcome the shortage of jobs due to automation in the future?”

TEDxLugano accepts speakers applications from all over the world on a first come / first serve basis, starting with a short draft of the idea worth spreading outlined with bullet points of arguments to our email address or on their contact page.

See the speakers so far:

Venue: "Professions of the Future" by TEDxLugano
Where: LAC Lugano, Piazza B. Luini 6, 6900 Lugano
When: Saturday, September 9th, 2017
Time: from 11:00 to 18:00

Reserve tickets here:
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