Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Key Findings for Relocating Spouses

Let's get one thing clear... Expat spouses do NOT trail.

Many would do well to recognize that spouses do not "trail" in the wake of a more successful partner, but take an equal part in the decision to accept a global assignment because we all understand that Expat spouses are actually a key factor in the wellbeing of every assignee.

The published Expat Insider Business Edition, a report based on the 2018 Expat Insider survey with 18,135 respondents, zooms in on relocating spouses and the aspects that impact their happiness and ease of settling in abroad.

85% of Expat spouses have a University degree. Their average age is 42 years. 45% have dependant children living abroad with them. 68% are searching for networking opportunities. So, don't be shy... go out and start networking!

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Switzerland is the best country in the world

Switzerland is the best country in the world for the third year running, according to the annual ranking of the world's nations released by U.S. News & World Report.

The list compiles the results of surveys from 21,000 people around the world who scored their homelands based on 65 attributes that included happiness, education, influence, economic opportunity, and more. The report covers perceptions of 80 nations.

Attributes were grouped into nine subrankings that rolled into the Best Countries ranking: Adventure, Citizenship, Cultural Influence, Entrepreneurship, Heritage, Movers, Open for Business, Power and Quality of Life.

The 2019 Best Countries report and rankings are based on how global perceptions define countries in terms of a number of qualitative characteristics, impressions that have the potential to drive trade, travel and investment and directly affect national economies.

Switzerland is seen as excelling in many areas in the Best Countries report, such as business-oriented metrics, providing a high quality of life and being a leader in innovation. Respondents in the Best Countries survey consider Switzerland the top country in terms of economic stability, access to capital, a strong legal framework and prestige.

However, I might add that Canada beat us in one important ranking. For the fourth consecutive year, Canada ranks No. 1 overall for providing a good quality of life.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Calling on Swiss nationals living abroad

According to the Statistics on the Swiss Abroad compiled by the Federal Statistical Office, in 2017 around 752,000 Swiss citizens were registered with Swiss representations abroad. The Swiss community abroad has grown in recent years. If it were a canton it would be Switzerland's fourth largest in terms of population.

The staff of the Consulate General of Switzerland throughout the world is very happy to assist the Swiss Community in every possible way. Swiss citizens are encouraged to play an active role in the "Swiss life" abroad. Join the Swiss Association, attend Swiss events such as our National day, be active within the local Swiss Chamber of Commerce and stay in touch with the Consulate General of Switzerland at all times.

Do you want to promote your homeland "Switzerland" at your living place abroad? This year Switzerland Tourism and the Organisation of the Swiss Abroad (ASO) have concluded a partnership agreement. Register now to the Network Switzerland and receive a free promotional kit.

Click here for more info: https://www.myswitzerland.com/en/aso-network.html

Monday, January 21, 2019

Top 10 Expat Mom Blogs Award goes to...

Over the Christmas holiday I received great news which I haven't shared on my blog yet. It was a wonderful way to ring out the year and made me feel grateful that my work as a blogger is appreciated and followed.

Expat with Kids was nominated "Top 10 Expat Mom Blogs and Websites To Follow in 2019" by Feedspot Blog, an RSS content reader facilitating you to access all your favorite websites in one place.

I am thrilled to announce that Expat with Kids has made it into the Top Expat Mom Blogs list. So, if you scroll down a little you'll find my Top 10 Expat Mom Blog Award shining proudly just as the one I received for my Paris blog which hit "Top 60 Pais Blogs". Here's to all my readers who have been following me over the years! 


Saturday, January 19, 2019

Expat with Kids Recipe blog

Looking for some inspiration in your kitchen? Have some time to cook together with your kids on a Sunday afternoon? Why not check out my Expat with Kids Recipe blog?

I have a passion for cooking and a curiosity for any new recipe as long as it is easy, uncomplicated and fast to prepare. Desserts are my speciality but I can bash up a 5 course meal if I have to in a couple of hours.

I adore recipes and have been collecting them since my teens. Only few know, that tucked away I own a third blog called Expat with Kids Recipes. As of late, I have decided to blow some wind into its sails and have revamped the site entirely.

Expat with Kids Recipes are a mix of origins true to my own heritage and travels. You'll find Swiss, American, British, Italian and French recipes. My faible for the Caribbean is also quite apparent in my choice of exotic recipes.

My biggest success is definitely the Italian Tiramisù recipe. So, tell me, which is your favourite?

Click HERE, enjoy and BUON APPETITO!

Friday, January 18, 2019

Google Lugano Events

This might be nothing new but it was news to me. Googling "Events Lugano" a page popped up informing me all about Lugano's events in a neat and organised list of nearby matches arranged by clickable boxes! WOW!

Google added this feature to show search results in a special "events" box when searching queries for events which are pulled from Eventbrite, Meetup and other sites across the web. 

Just in case you were wondering what was Google's search trend for Switzerland in 2018, here's the list: https://trends.google.com/trends/yis/2018/CH/

The Google events list for Lugano today

Google Trends of 2018 for Switzerland

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Hitchhiking benches in Lugano

It might sound like something out of the 60s BUT hitchhiking is back trying to create a new perspective on mobility. Would you like to give or get a ride and experiment car sharing?

By sitting on any of the yellow benches around town, you can indeed expect a driver to stop by to offer you a ride. This service, fundamentally spontaneous between citizens, comes about as a free alternative to public transportation.

However, beware that as this service happens deliberately, the juridical responsibility befalls on both the driver and the passenger in case anything happens during the trip. The City of Lugano cannot be held responsible for anything that might arise during one’s trip. They therefore recommend for you to use your critical mind and to cautiously pick your hitchhiking companions.

Hmmm, what are your thoughts on this initiative?

Saturday, January 12, 2019

ENUEUM or how the Swiss empathize with Britain

Suspicions that Switzerland and the UK have been quietly working behind the scenes to draw up a post-Brexit economics and trade agreement have now been confirmed.

Mid.December 2018, the Swiss government announced it had signed off on the text of the new agreement it said should form the basis of business and trade relations between the two countries after the UK quits the European Union.

Trade between Switzerland and the UK was worth 17.5 billion Swiss francs last year. The UK was Switzerland’s sixth biggest export market in 2017 and its sixth largest direct investor in 2016.

However, the trade agreement between the UK and Switzerland, will need to be approved by the parliaments of both countries. In the meantime, a good dose of sense of humour will get us through the transition period.

Welcome to the EUNEUM (European Union of Non European Members) or how the Swiss offer a hand to friendless Brexit Britain...

Thursday, January 10, 2019

What is the Swiss Federal Council?

The Federal Council is the highest executive authority of the Swiss Confederation.  Its members represent Switzerland’s main political parties. 

The national government of Switzerland has seven members, who are elected by the United Federal Assembly.  Each Federal Councillor is appointed to serve a one-year term as President of the Confederation by the Federal Assembly in accordance with the principle of seniority.  The Federal President chairs the sessions of the executive and undertakes special ceremonial duties, particularly abroad. 

In keeping with the consociational model of democracy adopted by Switzerland, all members of the Federal Council pledge to govern in a spirit of cooperation.  As a collegial body, the Federal Council must remain unanimous when presenting cabinet decisions to the public, even if it is contrary to their personal view or to the official line taken by their party. 

At the present time, the Federal Council has two representatives from the Liberal Party (FDP), two representatives from the Swiss Social Democratic Party (SP), two representatives from the Swiss People’s Party (SVP), and one representative from the Swiss Christian Democratic Party (CVP).  Each member of the Federal Council also heads a federal department. 

The Federal Council generally meets once a week.  Over the year, it deals with between 2,000 and 2,500 items of business, which have been prepared by the federal departments or by the Federal Chancellery.  The Federal Chancellor, who acts as chief-of-staff to the Federal Council, attends all cabinet meetings, but in a purely advisory capacity.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Making of the Bundesrat Photo 2019

This year's official Federal Council photo 2019 was made by the Federal Office of Computer Science and Telecommunication (BIT) apprentices.

The idea, the background image and the photo all came from them. The only requirement Federal President Ueli Maurer had given them was that the photo should be taken with a smartphone.

The official photo shows the cabinet ministers and the chief of staff around the 2019 Swiss President at the centre taking a picture of a crowd of people.

The council is posing in front of typically Swiss trademark symbols silhouettes, including the Matterhorn mountain, a pair of skis, a Swiss army knife and the cheese fondue pot.

The Swiss government (from left to right) Federal Chancellor Walter Thurnherr, Viola Amherd (defence minister), Simonetta Sommaruga (transport/energy/environment minister ), Guy Parmelin (economics, education minister), Ueli Maurer (finance minister/2019 Swiss President), Ignazio Cassis (foreign minister), Alain Berset (interior minister) and Karin Keller-Sutter (justice/police minister).

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Swiss Three Kings Cake recipe

In Switzerland, the Three Kings cake is made ​​from sweet yeast dough​, which is formed into balls, arranged in a flower-shape and sprinkled with almonds and coarse sugar.

There are various types of Three Kings' cakes found throughout Switzerland. All have a white plastic king figure “hidden” inside. The person who finds this piece is then “King or Queen for the Day” meaning he or she gets to choose what to do during that day and also what chores to avoid. No washing dishes, no cleaning up, no cooking?!

The Three Kings' cake is one of the most popular traditions in Switzerland. At the Iowa AG alone, which is Migros' bakery wholesale distributor produced over 500'000 pieces in 2000. His rival Coop managed to sell over 250,000. This is without counting the hundred of thousands cakes sold in bakeries throughout the country.  The total sales amount to approx 1.5 million cakes every year. Now beat that. No other celebration is so widely spread across this tiny, multi-cultured country.

Most Swiss buy their Epiphany cake at the local bakery or supermarket.
However, home-made always tastes best. Following is an easy and fast recipe to make with your kids. And who knows, if you're lucky, you might not even have to do the washing up!!!

500gr flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons sugar
20gr (1/2 dice) fresh yeast, crumbled
60gr butter
1/2 lemon, grated rind
4 tablespoons raisins
3dl milk, warmed

1 egg, beaten
Sugar crysals, almond leaves

1.) Mix flour, salt, sugar and yeast. Add the rest of the ingredients and knead for about 10 minutes unti a smooth dough has formed.
2.) Cover dough and let rise for 2 hours until it has doubled in volume.
3.) Form 8 servings, each weighing approximately 80gr.
4.) Stick a king in one of the balls.
5.) Form the remaining dough into a large ball and place on a baking sheet lined tray with the smaller balls distributed evenly around it.
6.) Let stand for covered for another 30 minutes at room temperature to rise.
7.) Brush with egg.
8.) Bake for approx. 30 minutes in the bottom half of the pre-heated 180° C oven. Cool on a wire rack and then decorate!

The “Swiss Way” to eat the "Torta dei Re Magi" is with a good cheese selection, or butter, jam and hot chocolate at breakfast, lunch OR supper time!

Saturday, January 5, 2019

The Three Wise Men in Lugano

It will be the arrival of the Three Kings on horseback to close the holiday programme tomorrow!

The Officers' Riding Club will be organizing the arrival of the Three Wise Men in Piazza della Riforma with free distribution of drinks and tangerines. Balthasar, Melchior and Gaspar, accompanied by the Bedouins, will parade along the streets of the city center.
The little ones can look forward to receiving some goodies while the really lucky ones can also experience the thrill of riding with a king.

Venue: Arrival of the Three Kings, Natale in Piazza
Where: Piazza della Riforma
Date: Sunday, January 6th, 2019
Time: 11:15

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