This Life - Switzerland (January 2015)

Page 1

It’s January and time to

How to talk to teenagers so

WhatsOn4 Guide


Kick Start 2015!

Day by day guide on what to do with children throughout January!

Do You Want to Build a Snowman? Safety in the Snow Dressing for Winter


Look at how to cope with losing a child and dealing with divorce

that they actually listen!


Start your own Business

Diary of a…

12 Year Old Girl

The Lowdown on Au Pairs


Contents EDITOR`S NOTE 3 THIS LIFE All Kinds of Families: A Guide for Parents New Year`s Resolution Tough Topic: Losing a Child Teen Time: Talking to Teenagers Diary of a… 12 year Old This Life, Real Life: Divorce New Year, New Business The Lowdown on Au Pairs

4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18

THIS HEALTH Boost Your Immune System 20 Booster Pilates 22 Safety in the Snow 24 THIS ENTERTAINING Diary of a Party-a-holic: Fondue Time! 26 Quick & Healthy Week Day Dinners 28 Seasonal Sweet Cookies 30 THIS STYLE A Note from our Graphic Designer 31 Kids Fashion: Dressing in Winter 32 Meet Julian, This Life`s Style Guru 34 WHAT TO DO Crafts for Kids 35 What’s On Calendar: January 36 2


Editors Notes

Welcome to

This Life, a New Year a New Magazine!


e are so proud to be launching This Life in Switzerland, in printed and online formats. It is amazing what three mothers can do when they put their minds to it! This Life covers a broad spectrum of topics that look at many aspects of life with children. Every member of the family, in every family constellation will find an interesting read in our magazine. We address different issues, needs, strengths and values head-on to support children, parents and people who are involved with children: our Tough Topic looks at grief and recovery after losing a child and A Day in the Life of a 12 year old gives us insight into a young person’s life. We have delicious (and straightforward!) recipes for you to try out, a calendar of activities to do with your children and great ideas on how to dress them this winter. Look no further if you are thinking of starting your own business in 2015 or if you just feel the need to get fitter and healthier in January. It’s all in This Life! Love Your Life, Love This Life Emilie, Geetha & Tala P.S. We would love to hear from you! Send us your feedback to:

Author: Designer: Company: Info: Email: Website: Issuu: Twitter: Facebook: Cover Photo:

Tala von Däniken & Emilie Graham Geetha Buchholz This Life The Lifestyle Magazine for People with Children Hofmann Photography


This Life

All Kinds of Families: A Guide for Parents



your family doesn’t fit the historical definition, then you and your children may occasionally face some difficult situations. For example, you may wonder, “How do I explain our family structure to my children?” One aim of this article is to help you talk to your children about what really makes a group of people a family. You can help your children recognize that a family is better defined by what the people in them do for one another than by the way it is structured. Another aim is to reassure you that many types of family exist, so you aren’t alone in your efforts to establish a happy, healthy family. Families Take Many Shapes Since the industrial age began, a family has been defined as a heterosexual couple and their offspring, sharing a

common dwelling and dividing work by gender. In this definition, the woman takes care of the children inside the home and the man works outside the home. Few of today’s families fit this definition. Families, like the people in them, are diverse! Children live in a variety of family forms: for example, while some children live with both parents, many live with only one parent; others live with one biological or adoptive parent and one stepparent. Some do not live with either parent; instead, they are cared for by other relatives or foster parents. The parents of some children are married and others are not. Some children live with parents of the same sex. It is important to mention that couples without children also constitute a family. Let’s take a look at some varieties of families in which children live. They vary as much as their individual homes.

Married Nuclear Families In these families, both adults are the biological or adoptive parents of the children. This group makes up about two-thirds of family households in the US. There are three types of married nuclear families. In the first, both husband and wife work outside the home. According to the census bureau, this is the case for about two-thirds of all married couples with children. In the second type of married, nuclear family, the husband works outside the home, while the wife works inside the home caring for children. In the third type of married nuclear family, the woman works outside the home and the man cares for the children. This constitutes only a small percentage of families. Photography by Bettina Zygmont

Cohabiting Families In this kind of family, a man and woman live together but are not married. If there are children, at least one of the adults is a biological or adoptive parent. Single-Parent Family In this family there is only one parent in the home. The majority of these families are headed by women. Blended Families and Stepfamilies These families are generally created by divorce and remarriage. In blended families, biologically unrelated children may live in the same household. Grandparent-led Families Sometimes, children are reared by their grandparents when their biological parents have died or can no longer take care of them. Grandparents take the lead responsibility for child care, particularly when both parents work. Families in Which the Adult or Adults are Lesbian or Gay Children are sometimes reared by a lesbian or gay single parent or two gay or lesbian parents. Adults may bring children from a heterosexual relationship to these families; other children may have been adopted or conceived by assisted reproductive technologies, such as intrauterine insemination or in vitro fertilization. Sometimes one parent is the genetic parent and the other parent adopts the child. Sometimes one is the gestational parent and the other is the genetic parent. Commuter Families In these families, the parents live and work in different towns or states. One parent provides the primary residence and the other parent comes home for short periods of time, such as weekends and holidays. This occurs for different reasons. For example, it may be difficult to find two professional jobs in the same city. Foster Families Foster parents often provide a substitute family for children referred by the courts or government agencies. While problems with their parents or guardians are being resolved, the children may live in these families. As you can see, there are many different family structures. Because our society tends to promote the traditional family as the norm through literature, schools and television, children who live in other types of families may feel that theirs is not a real family and may be embarrassed by different family structures. It is important to let children know that the so-called “traditional family” is less common than most other types. It is also important to help children understand that what the family provides for its members is more important than the way it is structured.

Challenges to Children Children who don’t live with their married, biological parents sometimes face social challenges. Although loyal to their family, they may sometimes feel self-conscious about being part of a family that is “different.” Children can be secure and well-adjusted in all kinds of family structures. However, even in the best of circumstances, being from a “different” kind of family is sometimes difficult because of misunderstandings outside the family. As a parent in a non-traditional family, you can help your children cope with these sometimes complicated situations by regularly encouraging open discussion. Here are some suggestions for creating an environment conducive to open communication: Define family for your children One of the best definitions of family was given by a child who said that a family is “a group of people who love and take care of each other.” Help your children think about families in terms of what family members do for each other. Consider your own attitudes Sometimes parents and others unknowingly convey a negative sense of the family to children. For example, a single mother may feel that until she is married again she and her children are not really a family. The mother’s attitude, created by her discomfort and feelings of insecurity, may create a sense of inferiority in her children. Single-parent families are sometimes viewed as broken families. It is important to emphasize that they may not be broken nor need fixing. Love and caring for each other make a family strong and whole. When parents encourage strong bonds between family members, the children are more likely to feel secure. They are less likely to be concerned about their family being different. Talk to your children about the many different ways people can be a family Children can better understand your meaning if you use examples of people they know. For instance, you might say: “Jenni’s parents don’t live together anymore. Jenni lives with her mother and her mother’s partner, Scott.” “Jason does not have a dad, but he has two moms who take care of him.” “Jessica’s mother and father are not able to take care of her right now. For the time being Jessica lives with Sally and Paul, her foster parents. Encourage your children to ask questions In order for children to understand what might be a complicated family situation, they need to feel comfortable asking whatever questions may be on their minds.

It is important to answer questions in a straightforward manner. For example, an 11-year-old child might ask her father, “Why did you have to divorce Mommy and marry Susan?” One response might be, “Your mother and I grew to be unhappy living together. Nothing about our troubles was your fault. I now love Susan very much and she is a part of our family. Now you have both your Mom and Susan in your life.” Recognize potential societal barriers A complicated situation may develop when adults of the same sex join together. Gay men and lesbians often experience prejudice. As a result, children can be fearful about disclosing information about their family. It is helpful for parents to provide as much support as possible for the child and also to respect the way the child wishes to control personal information. Patience and understanding often go a long way toward creating acceptance. Many children who are allowed to control what their peers know about the family eventually gain the confidence to acknowledge the adults’ relationship and cope well with responses from others. Peers who sense the child’s own comfort often accept the family situation. Let your children control the information they want to give If a new stepfather is about to join a single-parent family, allow your children to tell their friends about the marriage. A family discussion about the ways your children might explain this change to friends might be helpful. For example, it might be helpful to invite your children to safely experience with you how it would be to say, “My Mum is getting married again. I’m going to have a stepfather.” Families are better defined by what the people in them do for each other than by the way they are structured. They deserve to be preserved and nurtured in all their diversity. _________________________________ Contributor: Jan Hare, Ph. D., professor of development and family studies, University of Wisconsin - Stout, USA and Lizbeth Gray, Ph.D., assistant dean for academic programs, College of Health and Human Sciences, Oregon State University, USA. Extracted and edited from the original publication ( fam/nontradfam.html) January, 2015 by by Emilie Graham and Tala von Däniken, editors of This Life magazine.


h s i l p m o c How to Ac s n o i t u l o s e New Year’s R


irst up, let’s define resolution shall we? A resolution is a decision or determination. Personally, my new year’s resolution is to make no resolutions! Like most people, you’ve probably made resolutions in the past that went unfulfilled. It’s easy to give up on making resolutions because you’ve convinced yourself you just can’t change. But listen, if you are going to make those resolutions, think about achievable, realistic goals. If you want to lose weight, aim to lose 5kg over 3 months rather than 5kg every fortnight (!) or aim to go to the gym at least once a week and not 4 times a week. Going once is better than not going at all :).

What can I do to be a better parent? • Can you attend a sporting event or other activity each week? • Can you proofread papers or help with homework? • Can you take your kids on an educational trip over the summer? Can you take a weekend and see a historical location or museum? You don’t have to travel far; it could just be a day trip.

Creating Resolutions 1. Find a place where you can sit and reflect. Have a pen and paper available, or a tablet device if preferred. 2. Think about changes and improvements you’d like to make. These can be about anything, not just the usual “quit smoking and lose weight” big guns every one associates with New Year’s resolutions. Start a list to jot down some notes. Ask yourself the following questions to get you started and then add questions of your own: What can I do to improve my health? • Drink more water? •¨Quit smoking? • Avoid unhealthy food? Avoid all fast food? Fried foods? Red meat? • Eat fish twice a week? How about more fiber, beans, whole grains? • Take vitamins each day? • Go to the gym? How often? Maybe start off going once a week but increase by one day each month for the next few months.


What can I do to be a better friend? • Make a list of everyone’s birthday and address to send cards. • Contact or visit a friend you haven’t seen in years. • Are there “friends” you need to get rid of? Are they unhealthy or negative? • What can I do to be more successful at work? • Can you keep your files and desk more organized? • Get up 20 minutes earlier to get to work on time?

What can I do to be happier at work? • Learn to say no to the procrastinators. • Don’t skip lunch no matter how busy you are. • Take your vacation days instead of putting the company first. • Get some exercise or be involved in networking during lunchtime. Consider more external changes in your life, the ways that you can make a difference through activism, awareness raising or promoting a cause. Ask yourself questions such as: • What can I do to improve the world? • Change the light bulbs in the house to the energy efficient bulbs. • How can I reduce waste? • How can I become an activist? , volunteer or just recycle a little more. 3. Look over your list and see what items on it are most important to you. Don’t take too long choosing; often it’s the things that leap out at you straight away that have the most meaning for you personally. 4. Don’t just address the big battles. Think of the smaller habits that turn into big problems when not addressed. Indeed, it is often smaller, more discreet resolutions that are most effective and that can be built upon to reach bigger overall goals. Try to be realistic and adjust any goals that may be too hard to tackle.

Yo u r

Break down larger goals into smaller actions. For example: Instead of resolving to lose 30 pounds in the following year, you can resolve to cut out fast food, soft drinks, sugary snacks and drinks, drink more water, and walk three days a week until March, and then gradually add in two days at the gym. Before you know it, your 30 pounds will be gone, almost as if by stealth. Instead of having the 30 pounds goal looming over your head, you can chip away at it by achieving your smaller resolutions. In the long run you’ll be much healthier and much more likely to maintain the weight loss as you’ve formed a new lifestyle pattern instead of a deprivation regime. 5. Make your list of resolutions. Don’t make a short list of huge goals. Make a list with many smaller goals. If you need to put down 20 resolutions, go for it! 6. Sit down with your family and friends and discuss your goals and why you made them. Ask for their support on these goals throughout the year. If possible, team up and visit the gym or shop at the health food store together. Ask them to speak up if you slip and order a Diet Coke instead of a water, or forget another goal on your list. 7. Print or write out copies of your resolutions. Save a copy on each computer or electronic device you own. • Email a copy to your work address. • Make a smaller copy and keep it in your wallet. • Post a copy on the outside of your refrigerator! Use bright paper so it catches your eye and don’t let it get hidden behind coupons and artwork.

• If possible, post a copy up at the office or your place of business. Consider sharing your list with an office friend. You’ll have that support system everywhere you go. Congratulations! Your resolutions have been made. Keep checking back to your list daily to keep your eye on the ball. Don’t be afraid to add new goals throughout the year. Keep at it. The best goals in the world will do no good if you don’t follow through with consistent actions.

Keeping Resolutions 1. Develop a time-activated plan under each goal. For the top three goals you listed, make a detailed, achievable plan. For example, for losing weight, ask yourself how you will do that. Will you stop eating carbs? Cut calories? Go to the gym three times a week for 20 minutes at a time?

5. Focus on the process rather than the end goal. Take each step one at a time and be happy with your progress. The only way you’ll get to where you want to go is to complete every small step along the way, checking it off with pride as you accomplish each step.

2. Start following your plan immediately. Don’t wait for inspiration to strike. The best thing to do is start on January 1 and start tracking your progress

6. Create your environment so that you will accomplish your goals. For example, set your running shoes next to the door, put fruits and veggies in the front of the fridge.

3. Create accountability. Set up dates for evaluation with a mentor. This helps you to stay focused and evaluates methods for improvement. It’s even better if you find someone who has the same resolution. 4. Remind yourself about your goals. For every day on your calendar or schedule, write down what you will do for that day, what time you will do it, and don’t forget to actually do it, no matter how busy you are. They’re called challenging for a reason!

7. Reward yourself for a job well done: determine ahead of time what rewards will be at small milestones of accomplishment. Have frequent small rewards and the “Grand Prize” for completion. It’s even better if this grand prize is contingent on what you’re aiming to achieve, such as running the marathon if you train hard enough, buying a new wardrobe of clothing if you meet your target weight, going on an overseas vacation if you save enough money, etc.


Losing a Child: Grief & Recovery

My first major loss took place in September 2001, when my father passed away after a long battle with cancer. It was as if I was in a full-blown burnout after it happened, and no one had explained to me that deep grief could cause such a reaction.

Tough Topic



saw an ad about the Greif Recovery Method in a magazine, and I bought the Grief Recovery Handbook. I’m sure I read it, but I didn’t have the energy to work though the method on my own, so the book ended up on my bookshelf. In 2005 I got married and left Stockholm to join my Swedish husband in Zurich. Our first daughter Ingrid was born in September 2006. The 2-month Check-up During Ingrid’s 2-month check up, the physician got concerned about her lack of body movement; I remember her asking me “Is she always this still?” We went home, and then the phone rang. It was the physician again. She said that she felt uneasy about Ingrid’s lack of movement and she had booked us in for further exams at Kinderspital. Our first visit to Kinderspital was a shock. The neurologist said that Ingrid would probably never be able to walk, but it could also be worse. It didn’t help that we had to struggle with the language barrier, as her English was limited and our German nonexistent. In such a stressful situation it’s hard to understand anything at all, especially medical terms. The Announcement Two weeks later we were back at Kinderspital. I was holding Ingrid close to me, as we sat down opposite the two doctors. I could hear the neurologist that Ingrid had a disease called Spinal Muscular Atrophy type 1. Then came the real blow; “Most children die within the first 8 months of their lives” she said. Ingrid was now three months old. I was holding Ingrid even tighter, shaking my head and mumbling, “It’s not true, it can’t be true.” I just sat there, paralyzed, rocking back and forth with Ingrid in my arms. After the Diagnosis We were sent home. No one was there to hold our hand, to sooth the pain, to see how we were feeling after our hearts had been shattered. We had the most amazing care team from Kinderspitex in Zurich, which gave us the chance to care for Ingrid at home. To be able to live life as normal as possible, in the comfort of our own home was such a tremendous help for us. Our apartment was equipped with an oxygen tank and other funky equipment. We learned how to feed Ingrid through a tube, how to handle the oxygen tank, and how we should change the patches for all the tubes crossing back and forth across her sweet little face. I’m convinced that being able to care for her in the comfort of our home prolonged Ingrid’s life and definitely ensured the optimal quality of life as a family. However, having to witness my baby fighting to breathe and see her heath deteriorating was nothing I could have prepared for.

Finally she decided to let go, and she passed away peacefully in her father’s arms, at home, in May of 2007, four days short of 8 months old. After… After we had lost Ingrid it dawned on me how little help there was for us as parents and as a couple. We had received excellent medical care for our child, but after she was gone and all the medical equipment had been collected we were pretty much left to fend for ourselves. We had to arrange all the practical details, organizing the funeral and arrange all documents in order to fly back to Sweden with Ingrid’s urn. Having to deal with all of this while in a state of shock and grief was daunting, and I have never felt so alone, isolated and lost in my whole life. There was no real list of support options presented to us, so on top of everything else I had to muster the energy to look for emotional support myself. My “Why” Presents Itself I decided to become the support person we had so desperately been looking for. First I signed up as support parent at Kinderspital and Kinderspitex, At least I would be able to give other parents with SMA babies a chance to contact a fellow parent. But what about all the other people that were stuck in loss and grief for various reasons? How could I be there for fellow expats experiencing loss and grief? How could I assist people living far away form their natural support system of family, friends, native language and familiarity? That’s when the Grief Recovery Handbook mysteriously nudged itself out of its dusty existence in my bookshelf. Long story short, I decided to become a Grief Recovery Specialist®, and today I work with my true passion; supporting people to get unstuck from their unresolved grief, feel less alone and isolated, and have someone listening to their story. I wake up every day feeling blessed to be able to do this kind of work, and that Ingrid taught me so much about life, death and all the things in between.

Tough Topic

Hagelin Grief Recovery karinanderssonhagelin




you normally think of yourself as an honest and authentic person, test it out by spending time with teens. They are the fairest and toughest teachers of these attributes. Their very search for their own identity demands of them that they figure out who they truly are. What else could explain the variety of dresses, hairstyles, make-up, which teens experiment with? Teens naturally look to adults as role models who have figured this out, but the most earnest seekers can smell a rat as they try to assess if we are trustworthy and sincere. Will we be straight with them?


Alas, many teens have been given good reason to distrust adults, largely because they do not feel respected by adults and often feel that adults are not honest or real with them, but rather assail them with platitudes and sermons and our own irrelevant memories. When we tell stories of how it used to be when we were younger or how we were [better] as teens or how they need to learn something now for their future, we are not meeting them where they are, which is NOW, and teens are very now-oriented. You are much more important in their lives than their behavior would let on. Don’t fall for it. What you say and do matters a great deal to your teens. Now comes the tricky bit: teens need adults to take them seriously and yet we need to cultivate

a whopping sense of humor; especially toward ourselves. We tend to take our teen’s loaded reactions very personally, but I assure you that it is most likely NOT about you. It can help if you reconsider what all teens are coping with and imagine for a bit what it is like to be in their world. Nearly all teens

with the advice of their peers who are likely as equally unguided. We need to be able to suspend some of our own illusions about their lives. We need to realize that even our sweet and wonderful kids are faced with very troubling hurdles, at the very least through their friends. If I could pass on one tip to parents and adults who spend time with teens, it would be to listen intently, simply acknowledge their feelings, and let them talk themselves through it. Instead of dismissing or ignoring feelings, or responding with logic and explanation, identify thoughts and feelings and acknowledge them.

Scenario #1

are confronted with issues of sexuality, drugs and alcohol, school pressure, friendship and bullying, and all of this is on- and offline. We may think that it is not so different from when we were teens, but that would be far from the truth. Today’s teens are navigating wild seas and, without adult guidance, they have little more than one oar to paddle with. They need and want adult guidance. We need to learn to listen in such a way that our teens come to us with their concerns, questions and problems or they are condemned to figure out these issues on their own or, at best,

Your 15-year-old son comes home from school, slams his backpack down and curses about his stupid science teacher and the test that everybody said was way too hard, instead of responding with, “We don’t talk like that in this house” OR “Maybe you should have started studying sooner,” “You know, science is an important subject and you need to do well in it for your college application,” etc. we can say… You: “Boy, do you sound upset. Sounds like things didn’t go as you’d expected with that test.” Teen: “Yeah, it was crazy hard. Even the smart kids said so.” You: “Mmm. I see.”


Teen: “Of course, I could have studied a little more…but still…”

Scenario #2

Teen: “I promised Jamie I’d come to her birthday party on Saturday and now Josh has finally asked me out.” You: [You know how long she’s been pining after Josh] “Sounds as if you’re really pulled. You want to keep your word and you’re desperate to go out with Josh.” OR You: You simply acknowledge it with “Hmm,” or “Uh huh,” and let her keep talking. OR You: “Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could make a double of yourself and do both?” OR You: “I know how long and hard you’ve waited for Josh to ask you out and you did promise your best friend you’d come, and she’s told you how important it is to her that you keep your promises.”* When we don’t judge or preach, our children feel heard and understood and naturally

start thinking and talking their way through their problems, which are ultimately theirs to solve anyway. Conversations with our teens become enjoyable and our admiration for them and how they manage their daily dilemmas grows and expands our hearts. We note that they are doing just fine and that we are learning a lot in the process. For more tips on parenting your teen and to claim your free 30-minute Chat with Kath, go to www.peaceworks-coaching. com. For talks and workshops for your organization or group of friends on topics about children, contact Kath at: kathleen@ Parent educator Kathleen Hennessy, MSW guides stressed and frustrated parents to establish a loving, laughing, learning family life with positive discipline which fosters cooperation, self-responsibility and strong confidence. Her popular workshops, talks, and 1:1 coaching and parenting programs have transformed the lives of 100s of families since 1983. Kathleen draws on a wealth of experience in family counseling and progressive education to support families to find the approach that best suits their unique needs and values. *Adapted from How to Talk So Teens Will

Kathleen Hennessy PeaceWorks Coaching Family & Parenting Coaching, Workshops, and Talks PeaceWorksCoaching Photography: Shutterstock






12 Jessica aged



To tell or not to tell? ou tell your friends everything or so they think. Trust is a big thing so you have to think carefully about who you trust. If you trust the wrong person with your secret it can spread like wildfire. You feel embarrassed if, for example, your friend tells everyone your periods have started even though it’s normal. Or if you have a boyfriend and they annoy you by asking you who he is. There are two sides of trust: one side doesn’t tell your secrets to someone else and the other side does. I have been on both sides and I’m sure loads of you have too. It’s a horrible feeling after you tell someone a secret that you were supposed to keep for yourself. You feel mean and untrustworthy. I once told a friend a big secret of mine and she told everyone in our class. Since then I have not spoken a word to her. However I knew a big secret of hers, so I had a choice. To tell or not to tell. I chose to tell…… At first it felt good; I had revenge. I could see that she was embarrassed, but it didn’t take very long before I felt guilty. I told her secret to everyone and she hated me for it. So now I know how it feels to betray and to be betrayed. It’s not a good feeling. Sometimes if someone has told you a big secret you feel like you have to tell someone. When that happens it’s best to ask them if you can tell someone. If they say no just tell it to the wall, the floor or even your pet. It might sound crazy but it helps. Now if you have a girlfriend/boyfriend you might think, “can I tell her/him this secret?” Well think very hard about which secret you want to tell them. I know you should trust them but some things you just can’t say. If you have a secret you can’t tell your friends or you’re embarrassed about it, you should tell someone you trust, like your parents or your teacher or even your uncle or aunt. You just have to make that decision for yourself. It’s not my choice, it’s yours. Sometimes it is best to tell your friends. There are some people who tell people they don’t trust just because they want everybody to know what their secret is, or because they want to become more popular. Trust is very important at my age; some people just forget that and get hurt. I hope you will not. I have friends that cannot trust their parents anymore and that’s very sad. We all need someone to turn to. So be careful and think - who to trust and who not to trust.


This Life, Real Life When I fall in love, it will be forev…


hen you fall in love and truly believe you’ve found that special someone to spend the rest of your life with, start a family with and trust in everything, it is one of the strongest emotions you will ever experience. Sadly, when it all comes crashing down as it unfortunately does in 50% of cases nowadays; you will most likely experience even stronger emotions - when a person who you loved and who loved you can quite literally become your nemesis. The rational sides of people’s characters go out the window and it becomes about winning, rather than just accepting the simple fact that both people involved or at least one, no longer wishes to share his or her life with you. Of course there is always someone more to blame, perhaps one person was unfaithful and it is of course natural to be angry, but that anger will not get you anywhere and will just lead to a worse situation. Marriage is a legal contract and separation and divorce must be seen in the same way – it really could be easy. Unscrupulous lawyers want highly conflictual breakups as it massively increases the billable hours they can rack up at your expense, and being realistic a judge doesn’t know anything about you or your relationship and after the papers are signed will never see you again! Separation and divorce are sad times for those directly involved, but also for families and friends. No-one really knows what goes in in other people’s relationships and they never will.


The strange concept that men do not have emotions still prevails. It is clearly untrue. Men may show their emotions less and in less obvious ways, but the feelings are there and just as strong as any other person.

The Law

One of the major issues that most people do not even realise, is that marriage is a legal contract. Yes, we like to think that it is just about love, but in the eyes of the law it is the same as any other contract you may enter into, just that no-one ever provides you with the small print, which simply put, equates to the entire body of marriage and divorce law in existence. Since the law takes time to catch up with the reality of modern day society, this often means that the laws in place are actually suitable for some time around 50 years ago or more. At the same time Judges would rather make ‘safe’ decisions just in case there is the smallest chance something may happen (including in the realm of fantasy). And of course at the end of the day, judges and lawyers don’t really care about you as individuals. The main point here is, that no matter how many bad things have happened in your relationship, the best thing to do is determine the future yourselves, logically and with as little emotion involved, rather than letting other third parties make these determinations for you. That will mean sitting down together and trying to work through things.

Single Again

Often from one day to the next, you will go from living together as a family to being alone, out in the big bad world, with all of your other responsibilities to take care of, plus a major emotional weight and issues to sort out. It is important to take a step back and realise that this is not the end of the world, things may even get better and you get back together, but be careful – this is an amazing opportunity to think and really see what it is you want. Were you staying together because it was easier than facing life alone? See this as an opportunity, you are now single again, which means you can determine how you spend your time, where, when and with whom. Do things which you have always wanted to do, do some exercise, meet your friends again, and plan what you want to do in the future. This could be a blessing in disguise which allows you to redefine your life and your goals. Most of all don’t confuse loneliness with love. If you do that you might get back together for another year but unless you are both really determined to change and fight, the same issues will emerge sooner or later again.


Of course it is when children are involved that the biggest issues come to the fore. Unfortunately the current legal situation in many countries is widely open to abuse when it comes to children. The reality is simple – children need both parents.

Not only is this plain obvious, but it is also recognized in the UN Treaty on the Rights of the Child. The law may well allow people to start using their children as weapons, but any real loving parent would never do this. A child needs his or her mother and father and both parents also need their children. Using your child to annoy and hurt your former partner is a terrible thing to do. You, of course will hurt your former partnerwhich does not really achieve anything, but more importantly you will damage your child in the process and most probably your future relationship with your child when they find out what you have done to stop them seeing their other parent.

Separation and divorce hurt – emotionally and financially – but it does not need to be that bad. All it takes is some rational thinking, maturity and a desire to reach a good outcome for everyone involved. Recently Divorced - Single Father to a 4 year old


This Life

New Year, New Business, New Life


o you dream about your own business? Have you had this dream for a while? I dreamt of my own business for many years. I didn’t do anything about it for a long time. On the other hand I did everything that I thought could prepare for this dream. Already 12 years ago I took my first entrepreneurship course and later on I even studied business. I took numerous courses in personal development, business, marketing and finance. I even ran other people’s businesses for 10 years. Still something kept holding me back from taking the plunge and starting my own business. I had all kinds of reasons for not starting my own business; * My business idea wasn’t perfect * I didn’t have enough money * The timing wasn’t right Looking back now I realize that these were just excuses. The timing is never right, there is never enough money, and no business idea is perfect. And I didn’t need all this preparation; I was just procrastinating about my own dream.

“Perfectionism is just procrastination in fancy shoes” - Elizabeth Gilbert

It wasn’t until I stopped over-thinking everything and started doing, that I could get over these excuses and really start my business. I decided to start a blog and by blogging I was able to develop my business idea. After blogging for several months, I had a clearer idea of the service that I wanted to offer and I put a buy-button on my website. And to my surprise I got my first customer! I was in business. The next step was to figure out how to get more people interested in what I was offering so I developed my first online course and 130 women (and a few brave men) signed up for my beta test for Finding Your True Passion & The Right Business Idea. In only 7 days participants were able to figure out their true calling and create their business idea. With the raving reviews from the participants I knew I was onto something. I had developed a product. But one product wasn’t enough to reach my audience so I developed several free offerings so more people could sample my service, get to know me and build trust with my audience. Meanwhile I also ran my online course, continuously improving the course and building more value for my customers. Over time I got to know my audience better and better and figured out what they needed the most. And what they needed wasn’t my original idea but a variation of it. I realized that I would have never figured this out hadn’t I started with my first idea.


My business idea became clearer. Finally I could offer my audience exactly what they needed and wanted and my business started to take off. Over a period of four months there was a 400% increase in sign-ups to my newsletter and my revenue grew proportionally. Then I offered my loyal subscribers a free Online Business Strategy session and over 90 people signed up to learn how to create and grow their online business. And as a result of these calls I got numerous new clients, who are now well on their way to creating their own success stories. Finally, all my preparation over the years had started to become useful. Helping women and men create their online business doesn’t just involve business consulting but also personal development and technical advice and assistance. But best of all is to see my clients take off and help others create their dreams. All of this would never have been possible if I hadn’t stopped overthinking and started doing. Ultimately it comes down to having a vision, a fine dose of perseverance mixed with some optimism. Because when things don’t work out, money is running out or the timing feels wrong, it is the vision that keeps you going - a dream that you believe that will become a reality. In hindsight it was all there • My business idea was just right • I didn’t need much money • The timing was perfect Looking into the future I see my vision of inspiring women (and some brave men) worldwide to take action and let their dreams come true which is my big why - the reason why I am in business in the first place. So what excuses do you have for not starting your own business? It is time to stop over-thinking and start doing. It is also the time of year to set goals but instead of focusing on New Year’s resolutions I want to encourage you to create a vision - a vision that includes you starting your own business. I want to invite you to go to my website and sign up for a free vision exercise. Make sure you have pen and paper ready - and glass of water - to create a compelling vision. You will create your vision and break it down into manageable goals so that you can start to take action - right now - today. Every little step counts; just creating a vision is a big first step. We all have a dream - and my mission is to help you make that dream become a reality. Your vision is waiting for you here

Month: January 2015 Type: Section: Article Title: New Year, New Business, New Life Author: Sigrun

Sigrun GmbH Sigrun helps women and men create & grow profitable businesses from their passions.


Au Pairs

Commited C


To Serve

hildcare has always been an important component of every family life, be it Switzerland or in any other country. The shortage in childcare options is emphasized even more in Switzerland as families struggle to find suitable daycare or to secure a place for their child even in the event they find one. Hiring an au pair has slowly increased in popularity as a solution to these childcare dilemmas. Proof of this is the number of wonderful young au pairs we see at playgrounds and play areas. Au Pairs have surely found their niche in the growing need of suitable childcare solutions. The word “Au Pair” is French and means “at par” or “equal to”. Wikipedia defines an Au Pair as “a domestic assistant from a foreign country working for and living as part of, a host family. Typically, au pairs take on a share of the family’s responsibility for childcare as well as some light housework and receive a monetary allowance for personal use”. The relationship was intended to be equal as a family welcomes someone to be a part of their family for a limited time and not to become just a domestic helper. The

concept originated in Europe where au pairs worked part time and the other half of their time was spent learning the local language.

Swiss Regulations

Switzerland has very strict regulations on hiring au pairs and even stricter rules when hiring someone outside of EU. Au Pairs coming from Non-EU countries can only be processed through Agencies registered in SECO (State Secretariat for Economic Affairs). Rules vary from canton to canton, however there are basic criteria that a family should meet before they hiring an Au Pair: • Family has at least one child aged 16 or younger • One parent should be present at home for at least 15 hours of Au Pair’s working hours • Family language should be German, Italian, or French depending on canton of residency • Can provide a room in your home for your Au Pair • Willing to cover the cost of your Au Pair’s mandatory language lessons (minimum of 120 lessons per year) • Can provide your Au Pair’s minimum allowance set by Swiss

law (minimum set between CHF 500- 700.- net) • Willing to cover the cost or half the cost of your Au Pair’s accident and health insurance • Willing to pay half of the Social Insurances premiums and pension fund contributions • Will allow four weeks of paid vacation • Is financially secure • For au pairs outside of the EU, families pay for the flights

pair of hands for housekeeping and childcare. Families who want to expose their children to different cultures and languages, but who don’t mind changes of carers every year or two, would also benefit greatly from having an Au Pair. Having an Au Pair is especially good for families looking for an affordable option and who agree to have an agency screen an applicant for them. Nanny wages vary but on the whole, an au pair can be an affordable option.

Why Should You Have an Au Pair?

Swiss laws stipulate several variable costs relating to the employment of Au Pairs. In addition to the placement and recruitment fees and the monthly cost of board and lodging:

Flexibility – An Au Pair can work 30 hours a week spread over 5 or 6 days. You can use these hours according to your family needs. An Au Pair gives you the flexibility to use help when and where you need it. If your need is more for childcare, your Au Pair can help you take care of your child/children. If you need help with household chores, your au pair can do light household work i.e. vacuuming, cleaning the kids’ rooms, washing and folding of kid’s clothes, emptying of rubbish bins, dusting etc. Lower Costs – Hiring an au pair costs less than hiring a nanny. Employing non-EU Au Pairs, you will need to go through an accredited agency that will assist you in the process of obtaining the work permit for the Au Pair. These agencies are responsible for ensuring that work conditions are met and followed. Availability – An Au Pair does not mean that you get a round-the– clock carer but it does mean you have someone whose schedule would be flexible enough to work around your family’s schedule. For example, in the event of any emergency or in any change in family dynamics. An Au Pair is a big help when you have the challenge of having someone that can pick up your child or bring your child to any of his/her appointments/schedules. Personal Care – An Au Pair can provide one-on-one personal care and attention to your child. She / he can play motivating and stimulating games with your child or just be there for them. Language – Your children can benefit from learning another language (most Au Pairs speak English.) Peace of Mind – You can work and focus on whatever you need to do knowing that your child is being cared for by a trusted person in the comfort of your own home. There are also aspects that one should consider before deciding if an Au Pair is a suitable solution to your family’s needs: Qualifications – Most Au Pairs have no formal childcare qualifications but are willing to learn and be trained. Most of these young men and women have probably taken care of a little brother or sister but may not necessarily have formal qualifications or previous specific experience. Space Issue - Au pairs live with the family and need their ownroom, which can be locked to ensure that they have their own private space. Communication/Language Barriers – It takes a while to get to know each other. A family must be willing to invest time and effort in getting to know their Au Pair. It takes patience but the fruits can be rewarding. You will have someone who will know your family well enough to help you care for their needs.

How much does it cost to hire an Au Pair?

Item Biometric L-Permit Language

Estimated Budget Yearly SFr Monthly SFr

AWA,BFM,MKZ Fees Travel (Plane Ticket) Gemeinde Fee AHV/IV/EO/ALV, BU/NBU, BVG

(may vary from canton to canton) (may vary from canton to canton) (depends on season) (varies in each Gemeinde)

175.00 1’680.00 760.00 1’300.00 158.00 176.83

(may vary depending on salary)

Health Insurance


(50% of premium paid by family)



(subject to cantonal law)



Using an Au Pair Agency

Duran ACTS is a Filipino-run Au Pair Agency and specializes in placing Filipino Au Pairs coming from the Philippines and within Europe. We only consider candidates who are graduates of Nursing, Education, Caregiving or similar childcare related courses. Plus, our candidates have at least one year of work experience in their field of education. We provide a personalized year-long service for the families and Au Pairs, as well as offering quarterly training to ensure Au Pairs are updated on relevant issues. More information is available on our website Being a Filipino and having lived and raised my own two girls here in Switzerland, I feel very lucky to have had the unique privilege of bridging both worlds – Filipino excellence in service and Swiss loving and nurturing families.

Cultural Differences – Whilst these differences might be entertaining at the beginning, it may take some time for the family and Au Pair to get used to them. Time Limitations – You can only have your Au Pair for two years (for Au Pairs from the EU) and one year (for Au Pairs from NonEU countries). Sometimes this inevitable change proves to be too much for some families.

Who are Au Pairs Best for?

An Au Pair would be best for families with an extra bedroom and living space, so the Au Pair and the family have room for freedom. The family should be comfortable with the live-in situation and feel comfortable welcoming a young, foreign person into their home. It is also ideal if a family needs part-time help and can make use an extra

Amabelle Duran Duran ACTS Agency Specializing in Placing Filipino Au Pairs with Nurturing Swiss Families 076 337 31 83


HEALTH Boosting

your System by

Detoxing New Year, New You? Give yourself a well-deserved boost!

Happy New Year! Recovering from holidays filled with feasts, invitations and too much of everything, you might feel like you’re ready for a fresh start. And what better time than the new year to do just that? New Year, new – energised and radiant – you! How about boosting all of your systems and planning a detox?


o you often find yourself feeling tired and sluggish? Is it difficult to get up in the morning? Do you regularly suffer from headaches, brain fog, irritable bowels or poor digestion? Is it hard for you to lose weight or do you generally feel below par? (Do the “Do I need a detox test” in this article.) If this sounds all too familiar to you, you could be suffering from toxic overload. A total-body cleanse will boost your system and energy levels, heal your gut and strengthen your immune system… The whole detoxing concept might seem a Hollywood fad at the moment but actually it isn’t. Detoxing is a proven method that has stood the test of time. It works. While the very word “detox” might scare you, it really isn’t as difficult as it might sound. The nice thing is, there are so many ways of detoxing, that you can choose what works best for you and your lifestyle! What are toxins and what does a detox actually do? Toxins are harmful substances (caused by foods, negative thoughts or stress) that pollute and irritate our bodies, putting a strain on the working of our vital organs. They come in various forms and have been around forever. What is new today is the sheer quantity and nature of the toxins we face.


We give our cars regular tune-ups and clean-outs to make sure that they always run well, don’t we? We help it eliminate what holds it back, put fine-grade oils into it to keep the engine purring, and make sure to clean it (well, at least once a year, right??). Like a car, our body is a finely-tuned machine that knows just what to do to fight against and eliminate these toxins. But, depending on age, lifestyle and general health, your body may become overburdened, polluted with toxins, and no longer be able to cope. When the body is not working properly, it stores toxins rather than eliminating them. The result? Any of the ailments or complaints listed above (and more)... Over time, your engine starts straining to keep up. How detoxing works The principle of a detox is very simple: it aims to heal and optimize the body’s functioning, through cleansing. Through the gut, our body eliminates the things that are not good for us; that are toxic to us. We eliminate these undesirable substances through our skin, lungs, kidneys, liver, digestive system and lymphatic system. Simply put: we exhale CO?, we go to the toilet, and ‘sweat it out’ through exercise. The less you do to eliminate these toxins, the more they build up, and the greater your ailments.

A detox allows you to support and enhance these natural processes. By choosing foods that can cleanse your body, you give your digestive system in particular a welldeserved break. Your body doesn’t need to spend energy on ‘cleaning house’ -it can focus on the core things, quite literally! A detox allows your system to eliminate toxins, absorb nutrients more effectively, heal itself and boost immunity. In fact, did you know that 80% of your immune system lies in your gut?

“Did you know that 80% of your immune system lies in your gut?”

Detoxing to suit your lifestyle There are various ways and different approaches to doing a detox. Much depends as well on what your current lifestyle is and how experienced you are with detoxing. From easy to elaborate, here’s an overview: 1. 12-hour fast Suited especially for the detox rookie. It’s easiest to do this at night. So after 6 or 7pm, do not eat or drink anything except water. See your tummy’s reaction the next day! 2. 1 or 2 detox days Built into your monthly routine. You eat only alkaline mineral-rich foods during these days: fruit (max 1 kg), vegetables (max 1 kg), cooked or steamed potatoes (max 1,5kg) or brown rice (max 200g at pre-cooked weight). 3. Liquid meals replacing part (or all) of your meals With this detox, you shake, blend or juice fruits, vegetables and other superfoods together into exciting new tastes and flavour combinations. The concentrated vitamins, minerals and energy will keep you going for a long time and are immediately absorbed in the blood – like an infusion of power! This can be done over 1, 2, or 3 weeks. 4. Clean eating This is more of a lifestyle choice, and is a long-term detox promoting a healthy lifestyle. Taking the gentle route The gentlest and much less radical way is to choose a cleansing diet over a longer period of time. In it, you eat unprocessed - preferably organic – foods, and substitute one meal a day (breakfast or dinner) with liquid meals in the form of smoothies, juices or soups. I personally love this method; it is easy to integrate into my everyday lifestyle. I also like that I can involve my family or friends. My neighbour and I take turns making smoothies and soups, and share them – delicious fun! Detoxing safely If you are not sure or you have no experience with detoxing, it is best to seek medical guidance prior to starting. Also, if you are new to detoxing or you have a lot of health issues, try the first fast listed above and go from there. In any fast, do not go to extremes… Simply put, you won’t be detoxing: you’ll be putting yourself at high risk of dangerous toxic shock. General detox rules • For your detox to be successful, be sure to plan it, and shop for ingredients accordingly. • Drink plenty of water, in general, this should be at least 2 litres per day (or calculate 0.35ml per kilo of body weight) • Drink herbal teas, alkaline teas (Blasentee) or liver/gallbladder-supporting teas • Take a 1tsp of organic flax seed oil as omega 3 supplement

Bio Follow the Clean Eating Principles Marlies Hazelaar-van Schaik is a certified During any detox, follow the ‘clean eating’ nutritionist and founder of Weight-Life principles which are very simple – stay as close to Mother Nature’s version of your Balance. food choices, and you’ll be on the right Six years ago, she decided to make a track! change from her previous corporate job Choose things like: as an export and marketing professional to • Seasonal fruits and vegetables independence, on a mission to provide as • For proteins, opt for low-fat meats such many people as possible with more insight as free-range chicken or fresh fish, nuts, into nutrition, after seeing dramatic results sprouts, beans, pulses or lentils, and mushrooms. Organic red meat on occasion in herself. She works one-on-one with is fine, too. clients, guiding them towards achieving • Organic foods when possible their health goals including weight loss, Avoid or limit: improved digestion, ridding themselves • Packaged and processed foods of persistent health complaints, and • Toxic and addictive foods (alcohol, adopting wholesome clean nutrition. caffeine, and sugar) In 2015, Marlies will be providing her • Inflammatory foods (wheat and dairy products) courses online to reach an even broader • Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) international audience. Practical, easy-tofoods. This is especially found in corn- and implement, tasty and doable dishes, foods, soy-based products, as well as canola oil and lifestyle changes are at the core of (unless labelled organic) the expert nutritional advice she offers. • High-mercury fish (tuna, swordfish, grouper, Atlantic salmon) She loves cooking, reading (especially cookbooks), and skiing, as well as running, While January is often the most natural choice for embarking on a post-holiday working and spending time with family and detox, any time is a good time! Why not friends. mark every change of season with a bit of self-pampering and an immune-system boost? Even the healthiest among us can benefit from the occasional detox... What’s Marlies Hazelaar not to love about extra energy, increased Certified nutritionist vitality, and radiance that shines from within? Want to learn more about detoxing, and have some easy, fun recipes on hand? I’d love to share my 10 favourite detox recipes with you! Sign up for free at www. The contents of this article are for informational purposes only and are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Before making any medical or lifestyle changes, always seek the advice of your health professional with any questions or medical conditions you may have. Do I need a Detox? Yes No Check how toxic you are by answering the following questions: Are you constantly tired? Is your skin spotty or dull, are your eyes and hair dull? Are you constipated? Or do you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome? Do you have dark circles under your eyes? Do you suffer from headaches? Do you have aches and pains in your joints? Do you suffer from bloating and water retention? Do you have cellulite? Do you have problems sleeping? Do you suffer from frequent mood changes, including depressions, anxiety and inability to concentrate? Do you suffer from skin rashes or eczema?



any New Year’s M resolutions are about losing weight and being

fitter. If you’re nodding and thinking ‘this sounds familiar’, take heart. Let 2015 be THE year to make it happen! This is where Booster Pilates comes into play. This new fitness studio in Zurich offers all you need to achieve your 2015 wish: a really efficient workout, fun and easy to perform and that can easily fit into your busy schedules!


ooster Pilates is making each sweat session fun, with a breakthrough heart-pumping 50minute workout that utilises an evolutionised version of a Pilates reformer, the « Megaformer ». Founder Sebastien Lagree developed the workout in Los Angeles after he noticed how many of his clients were hitting the treadmill directly after their Pilates sessions. He told them, ‘If you want cardio, I can give you a Pilates workout that gets your heart rate up,’” he says. Eventually, he approached engineers about designing a modified version of a reformer to give clients this workout. The Megaformer blends the holistic principles of Pilates with the cardio and strength elements missing from its traditional practice. The end result is a quick, heart-pumping, muscle aching, total body workout enjoyed by over a hundred thousand fans worldwide, including Hollywood celebrities, top models, and professional athletes and is one of the hottest workouts in the fitness industry with studios in the US, Sydney, Hong Kong, Toronto, Stockholm, and now Zurich. The equipment conditions the body to use balance, strength, and focus to efficiently execute each movement. Movements are slow and controlled, working multiple muscles at a time and forcing them to stay contracted throughout the entire range of motion. This « constant » contraction recruits more muscle fiber (including small muscles you never knew existed) and is a very efficient way to “wake up” muscles that have become used to traditional methods. This workout sculpts the body without adding bulk so you get those pretty, long, lean muscles. One added benefit is that calories are burning at a very high rate (between 500 and 800 per session)! Significant results can be seen in just a matter of weeks. This is a workout both men and women love to do, as well as those recovering or suffering from injuries, accomplished and professional athletes, and not to mention those who don’t have time to spend hours working out. It’s also great to help get back to pre-pregnancy form. Sandrine and Damien, a French couple who arrived in Zurich 3 years ago from London, funded the studio. They were enjoying the Lagree Fitness method in London and were so disappointed not to find it in Switzerland, that they decided to introduce it to Zurich. Six months after opening, hundreds of ‘Zurcher’ have already tried it out and their reaction is overwhelming. Check out one of their customers testimonials:



Booster Pilates boosterpilateszurich


efore I start my 50-minute workout, I am a little nervous wondering what Lorraine has planned for us today. Those Megaformers are mega-intimidating. But, the all-over body workout is a helluva lot less complex than I imagine – it emphasizes slow, controlled movements, which I like, with minimum rest between sets (not as bad as it sounds) to keep the heart rate up. Just when you think you can’t hold a move any longer Lorraine changes onto the next exercise with a smile and a “come on, you can do it”. I’m not going to lie, it’s all-hard. But the kind of hard where you feel the hurt and know you’ve done your body proud. After eight sessions I can see my body changing and I am thrilled and look forward to see the results after the next eight sessions. I have finally found something apart from dancing I LOVE TO DO! Carole.

Booster Pilates @ Silhouette Fitness Club, Badenerstrasse 120, 8004 Zurich

10 Reasons to try the Megaformer in 2015

1 – You will save time! The Megaformer is designed to make you work out multiple muscles at a time. One 50-minute workout is estimated to be equivalent to 2 to 3 hours that you would spend alone at the gym. 2 – You will get personal attention! You work out in a small group (maximum 5) and get the maximum attention, care and support from a certified coach, while benefiting from the energy and price of a group class. 3 – You will have fun! The number of exercises and routines offered is nearly endless - you feel like you never repeat the same class! 4 – You will not put your body at risk! Each exercise has very low impact on the joints and is using some of the key postural alignment principles of Pilates. 5 – This workout will spike your heart rate. As you will involve so many muscles in the same time, your heart needs to send oxygen all over your body and has to pump hard despite the fact that the movements are extremely slow. 6 – All of the exercises can be modified to fit your current fitness level, so nobody is too “beginner” or too “advanced” for a class. 7 – It is easy to perform. The exercises are challenging but easy to perform. If you lack of coordination or have always been intimated by fitness group class, you will feel at ease at Booster Pilates. 8 – You are free to exercise when you want. Booster Pilates offers more than 50 classes per week from 7h15 in the morning to 20h00 in the evening, with also classes on Saturdays and Sundays. 9 – Your first trial class is free! 10 – After finishing a class, you will feel exhausted but great - as if you could do anything!


This Life in the Snow! Staying Safe in the Mountains


here’s no doubt about it, winter is here and some parts of Switzerland are currently experiencing plenty of snowfall and cold temperatures. The snow-covered, beautiful mountains with great ski and sledging slopes are there for the taking!

At what age should my child start to ski? Skiing can be an enriching experience for both kids and adults. If you would like to get your child on the slopes, remember that many factors contribute towards a child’s ability to ski. Generally, officialski schoolgroupsstart taking children when they are between 4 and 5 years old. If they are younger, it is usually better if they attend private or semiprivate lessons, with two or three children in a class. Ensure that in either case, you always put your name and phone number in their jacket pocket so that you can be contacted in case your child gets lost or has an accident.


Many small children just can’t see the point of what they’re doing, don’t like wearing ski boots and hate being left by parents with complete strangers! If they complain heavily, save yourself the heartache and the

money and wait until they’re ready, before you put them into ski school.It certainly won’t lengthen the learning curve and later it may even provide a more memorable ski experience overall. Your child may be ready to learn skiing if he / she loves the snow and can stay outdoors for a good length of time. He / she should be able to listen well and be able to follow instructions. You should take into consideration how well your child tolerates separation. The ski schools advise parents to never force a child to attend a ski program, because tantrums and tears certainly don’t make for a fun time for any child.

Another good way to help small children get used to the snow is with the help of a children’s ski-harness. The harness allows you to introduce the ‘sensation’ of sliding on skis in a gentle and safe way, helping your child to become more self-confident on snow whilst feeling in your “hand”. You might have to persevere with more than just a few trial runs, however if your child is having fun, he / she is on the right track to learning how to ski.

Spend a day in the snow! There are many other alternative ways to enjoy a sunny day in the Swiss mountains, alongside skiing. There are plenty of great activities to enjoy such as ice-skating, hiking (snow-shoe trails) and sledging. However, due to the special circumstances (altitude, cold) there are some things that you need to consider before you leave for your trip into the mountains.

12 EssentialSnow and Winter Safety Tips 1) Layer up:regulating body temperature is more difficult for younger children than adults, so make sure your kids wear layers of clothing. Also make sure that your child is wearing a colourful and bright jacket, so that they can be easily spotted in the snow.

2) Check your gear: check your sledging or skiing equipment to make sure they are in good condition before use. 3) Use sun protection: Use a high factor sun cream to prevent sunburn, at least SPF30. Also protect your neck and arms with the appropriate clothing (e.g.head bands). 4) Protect your body: always wear protective gear. A helmet is a must: it has been proven to protect against serious head injuries plus it keeps your head warm! 5) Stay hydrated: even though we seem to feel fine drinking less water in the winter, our bodies still need as much water as during any other season. 6) Protect your eyes: withoutsunglasses or ski goggles you can get snow blindness, a painful eye condition caused by too much exposure to the sun’s UV rays. Fresh snow is a particularly strong reflector and almost doubles a person’s UV exposure. It can reflect as much as 80% of UV radiation! On top of this, as snow is usually encountered at higher altitude, the atmosphere is thinner and absorbs less UV radiation. Sunglasses and goggles can also protect your eyes from hinged ice pieces or other objects. 7) Be fit: prepare your bodyfor skiing, ski tours, sledge runs and snow-shoe hikes and do this before you hit the slopes! Work on your muscle power regularly and stretch your body to improve your flexibility. You can also think about training your balance and coordination with relevant exercises. 8) Know the place: plan your trip before you start. Check if the route is appropriate for the fitness and expertise of the weakest member of the group or family. Look for places to stop and refresh, to shorten thetrip or to turn back. 9) Choose a meeting point: always decide on a suitably visible, easy to reach meeting point with your children and other family members where you find each other if someone gets lost or splits away from the group. 10) Be informed: check the weather conditions and avalanche reports before you start and also during the trip if possible (there are super apps for the smartphone that you can download.)Look for shelter or turn back if the weather turns bad.

11) Be prepared for an emergency: take a first aid kit with you and have the essential emergency numbers and contact details in your bag and phone. Do you know what number you should call in case of an accident? In Switzerland the telephone numbers are 144 Ambulance 1414 Rega Helicopter Rescue 112 General emergency Check the other telephone numbers if you cross borders! 12) Car readiness: have some reserves in the car, for example non-perishable food, drinking water, warm blankets, a flashlight andsnow chains. And do not forget:a careful attitude is much more important than any expensive equipment.We strongly believe that it is always more sensible to prepare for common everyday dangers, than to suffer from its possible consequences. We wish you joyful and memorable days in the snowy Swiss mountains!

Judit Józsa founded Family Safety Gmbh with her husband in 2013. They have been living in Switzerland for 3,5 years. Through Family Safety, they share their knowledge and experiences onsafety solutions and they give it an extra boost with their devoted enthusiasm and commitment to safety. Their website offers easy access to information and news about common everyday risks and tips how to prevent them. Their online-shop provides you with a great choice of high quality, stylish and unique products.Insert Ski Safety . Judit Józsa Family Safety Gmbh





Tala Daniela von Däniken Perfect Packages Parties Hand Made Party Stationery & Event Styling PerfectPackagesParties Photography: Rita Neu



diary of a



ad enough of the holiday season and all the Christmas parties that go with it? Want to curl up by the fire and turn to comfort food to stay warm… But still want to be a little bit sociable with minimal effort and not having to leave the house? Then a fondue party is just what you need! (If the word “party” scares you, call it a fondue dinner, to lower everyone’s expectations). The word fondue is derived from the French word “fondre” which means “melt”. Although the dish is very simple to prepare, there is actually a lot of history behind it and etiquette to follow. It is a totally fun and fabulous meal to share with friends, and will certainly bring a lot of laughs to any dinner table.

A Long Time Ago…

If you like a bit of history, here goes: Fondue dates back to the 18th century when both cheese and wine were important industries in Switzerland. This simple meal utilized ingredients that were found in most average homes.Originally from the Canton of Neuchatel, this dish usually consists of two varieties of cheese, melted together with some flour and wine (and often topped off with a bit of kirsch! Yummy!). It is served in a big pot called a “caquelon” or “câclon” and is made of very heavy earthenware, which is rubbed with a cut garlic clove before melting the cheese in it. Guests use long forks to spear cubes of crusty bread and then dip it into the melted cheese. Anyway, blablabla, let’s move on to the good stuff…. Although if you really are interested to know more about the history, then check out Wikipedia ( – it has all you need to know and much more.

Manners Matter

What with fondue being such a shared, communal meal, there are some etiquette guidelines to follow (after all, you never know when you’ll be dining with blue blooded knights or ladies, right?): 1. Spear a piece of bread using a fondue fork and dip it into the pot (be gentle, this isn’t a fencing game!) 2. Twirl the bread cube gently in the cheese to coat it 3. Let the bread drip a bit before you put it in your mouth in case you burn yourself

4. Try not to touch the fork with your lips or tongue when you put the cheesy bread in your mouth because the fork does have to go back in the pot 5. Some people prefer to slide the bread off their fondue fork and eat it with a dining fork instead. If you are anything like me (and I am a little bit sneaky when it comes to this part!), you wait silently till the end, when nearly all the fondue has disappeared, and the cheese starts melting… You watch the cheese grill on the bottom of the pot and turn into a giant piece of crusty cheesy goodness! I call this the “Mutti” – I have no clue where I got this name from, but it seems to have spread amongst my friends, and now we all fight for the “Mutti” at the end of every meal, as it is simply delicious! Side note: Don’t like cheese? Then opt for a Fondue Bourguignonne (meat dripped in hot oil) or Fondue Chinoise (meat dipped in broth) instead! Oooh, and for the sweet tooths among us, why not try a Chocolate Fondue? You can dip anything in it; marshmallows, bananas, strawberries, tangerines, dried fruits, cake pops, caramel chunks… I am licking my lips just thinking about it, mmmh!


And what about staying hydrated amongst all this cheese…? Well, that really is up to you, as there are several conflicting traditions; some demand that white wine should be drunk, while others specify black tea as the beverage of choice or a shot of spirits during or after the meal. Want my advice? Go with whatever you like best, though all of the above supposedly aid digestion, which is always a bonus in my books.

Fondue is Fun!

Now for the really fun part; adding games to the cheese sharing. First up are the “punishments”! Don’t look surprised, there has to be some kind of forfeit for those guests who drop their bread pieces into the pot, right? In my family, if someone loses his/her dipper into the pot during a fondue they have to do some of these as penances: • The person must kiss the first person to his/her left • He/she must buy (or refill) the next round of drinks • The person has to sing a song • He/she has to answer a personal question which the host/ess asks •The guilty person has to lose an item of clothing (but this is recommended for more romantic fondue evenings amongst couples!) Depending on the atmosphere you are trying to create at your fondue party, you could introduce a theme or even make it a Murder Mystery event, by playing games such as “Who stole my fondue fork?” – this game alone can fill the room with laughter, especially when mixed with drinking!

Madhatter Fondue

I chose a “Madhatter” theme for the last fondue party I organized. It was a hit! Every guest was asked to wear a crazy hat and I scattered riddles and rhymes all over the table as ice-breakers, so the guests could become better acquainted. Every time a guest got a riddle correct, the card was placed in the un-Birthday boys’ Madhatter hat, like a trophy. Because I wanted to stick with the Madhatter Tea Party theme from Alice in Wonderland, the bread baskets and sweet jars had “Eat Me” tags placed on them, and we gave everyone mini bottles of Prosecco with “Take Me” labels on too (though, unlike the Lewis Carroll book, we did not get any larger or smaller from drinking these…. Though some may say that my waistband got a little larger???!). After consuming our

weight in cheese and many rounds of drinks later (from all the penances people had to pay for dropping their bread in the pot), we shared slices of un-Birthday cake and fresh fruits. When the guests finally left the dinner party, everyone was given a bag full of crazy colored chocolate eggs with more nonsense quotes from Alice in Wonderland and a bottle of water each, to help them hydrate during their journeys home. It was certainly a fondue party with a difference and one I will never forget!


I am offering all This Life readers a FREE “Madhatter Fondue Party” Printables set for the month of January 2015. Contact me at and I will help you recreate this spectacular soiree for your friends!

This Entertaining


Winter Warmers



eople always think that I’m some kind of supermum, who manages to juggle so many balls at once, and still get to cook healthy food every single night, without buying processed (and very handy, I must admit) food. Well, I’m here to answer that. I’M NOT! I had given up on many other things in order to fit a healthy diet into our everyday busy, busy lives. And yes, I’m a bit of a freak about it, I know. But Supermum I’m not. There are those days when mummy

is too exhausted/busy/tired to make food. And I’m not going to lie, there are times when an organic frozen pizza lands on our plates. All a parent really wants is to have a healthy family and to not have to work too hard in order to maintain their health. I have lots of parents approaching me on a daily basis, begging for quick, delicious, and of course healthy recipes. They usually come to the right place, as those are pretty much my three rules of thumb. Healthy, quick, delicious!

I’m here to suggest 2 quick, healthy weekday meals that will have your family begging for more, and you won’t have to break your back cleaning up afterwards! Oh, and if you’re wondering how fast these take, all I can say is, it takes me about 1530min to make these with a bunch of 5 year olds during my cooking courses, so if you decide to make these and not include your kids in the process, it will take you even less time.


Winter Warmers Pad Thai

Pad Thai is Thai street food. In Thailand, there are funky little carts that have a miniature kitchen on them. You can ask the cook to add or neglect anything you want, and they make it right there in front of you. It’s quick, delicious and nutritious. The whole family is going to simply love it!


• 250g flat rice noodles • 2 tbsp grade c maple sirup • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice • 3 tbsp soy sauce (for a gluten free version, use Tamari) • 2 tsp coconut oil • 3 scallions chopped, whites and greens separated • 2 garlic clove minced/sliced • 2 large eggs beaten • Fresh cilantro • Chopped roasted peanuts • Roasted onions • Optional additions: chicken, shrimp, tofu, bean sprouts

Soak the noodles according to packet direction. Whisk together the sugar, lime juice and soy sauce. This will be the sauce. In a wok (or pan) put the coconut oil, and add the white scallion parts and the garlic. After about 30-60 seconds add the eggs and cook until almost ready. Place on a plate. To the wok add the noodles, scallion greens and sauce. Toss constantly until the noodles are soft, then add the eggs and break a bit. Serve topped with cilantro, roasted onion and peanuts, and a slice of lime on the side. I find it a bit yummier when it sits a few minutes before eating. Enjoy!


shredded mozzarella, and whatever toppings float your boat. Pop in the oven on 200C for about 20min and keep an eye on it, to ensure it does not over bake.

• 1 pack active dry yeast • 1 cup (235g) water • 1 tbsp olive oil • 1 tsp salt • 1 tsp honey • 2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary • ½ cup (45g) parmesan cheese

Miso Cute Cooking

My name is Danna Levy Hoffmann and I run “Miso Cute” kids cooking courses in Zurich. Being born and raised in a very food oriented family and amongst amazing cooks, I always found myself in the kitchen. During my teenage years in the US, one of my first work experiences was in American gastronomy (hosting at the famous Cheesecake Factory in the outskirts of Boston). Back home in Israel, in my early twenties, I moved on to very successful catering companies. There, I could also move up fast, from waitress to event manager, managing a team of up to 30 people. When I changed my job, in order to work for a newly opened restaurant in trendy and food-crazy metropolitan area of Tel Aviv, I had to start from the bottom again. But there, I moved up from washing dishes to become a chef. Then, my husband to be and I decided to move to Switzerland. Here, amongst many things, I also ended up working in tourism and gastronomy - and was happy to also host my own catering events. My biggest dream has always been to educate children about healthy food, and the benefits of a good, well-balanced diet, which is why I founded “Miso Cute” cooking. From my own desire to raise my children to become food-conscious, I have learned that we and our children can find enjoyment in culinary nutrition. If you’d like your children to also get an early start and adopt a healthy eating mentality, why not invest in one of my kids cooking classes? There is no better time than today to start being healthy! As a special gift to you, I am offering 10% off the next cooking class you book. Please quote “MisoLife” to benefit from this special offer.

Tomato Sauce Ingredients: • jarred tomato passata • 1 tsp honey • 1 minced garlic cloves (or a few shakes of garlic powder) • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper • dried and/or fresh herbs such as parsley, oregano, basil or a mix • Paprika (optional)

Mix all of the dough ingredients in a mixing bowl, by hand. The dough should not be sticky. If it’s sticky, add a bit more flour (like 1 tbs). If it’s too hard and not very pliable, add just sprinkle more water on it. To make your life easier, when you roll out your dough, make sure to roll onto a floured surface, or better yet, directly onto the baking sheet. Roll out to about a ¼ inch thick. For the sauce, you just have to mix, taste and fix to your liking. Now top the rolled out dough with your home-made sauce,

Perfect Pizza

Often, when we think of pizza, it’s either ordered from the pizza place or pulled out of the freezer and right into the oven. This recipe will change all of that. And don’t worry, there’s no need to let the dough rise. It’s just a quick one-two and it’s in the oven.

Dough Ingredients:

• 2 cups (250g) white flour • 2 cups (260g) whole wheat flour

Danna Levy Hoffmann Miso Cute Healthy Kids Cooking Courses Photography Mascha Dahan


This Entertaining

Seasonal Sweet Happy Winter Cookies My cookie recipe is very simple. In Swiss German we call them “Mailänderli.

Ingredients • 250g butter • 250g white sugar • 2 eggs • Bit of salt • 1 lemon (zests only) • 2tsp of vanilla sugar • 500g white flour



• Mix all the ingredients together until you have created a soft dough • Wrap the dough in cling film and place it in the fridge for a minimum of 3 hours • Remove from the fridge for about 30 minutes and then roll it in flour. • The dough should have a diameter of approximately 5mm. As long as the dough is cold, using the cookie cutters will not be a problem – so hurry up! • Place the cookies on a baking tray and put them in a pre-heated oven (165C) for about 10 minutes. • Let the cookies cool down completely and prepare all your materials you will need for the decoration. In my case I use a cookie cutter, a silicon mat, a roller, some edible glue, different colored fondant/sugar paste, a sharp knife and some sugar decorations.

• After decorating all the cookies, let them dry out overnight and think about who will be the lucky one to get them! The idea behind the name “175C by Conny” is the initial date of my passion on 17/5/ (May 17th) and the average of the best temperature for doing cookies, cupcakes and cake pops (175C)! The fact that I was born in 1975 was just a nice coincidence, which I realized a few weeks later. Right now I have over 120 different cookie cutters and I am collecting even more…so the only question right now is, which cookie cutter should I buy next?


fter 18 years of flying as a Flight Attendant I settled down to be a mother and housewife. During my time at home I tried out some new recipes. Using my experience from catering all over the world, I really started to love being in the kitchen and all the possibilities it offers you. My passion for cookie baking started in May 2014 when my godchild was born. I had no idea what to bring the mother (my sister) to the hospital as a gift. As she was working at the hospital as well, I wanted to give her something she could share. So the idea about bringing her baby cookies came about. I used a small cookie cutter with a stroller and baby bottle print, and decorated it with pink rose sugar pearls.

I packed it in a small cellophane bag and labelled it with a nice card with the baby’s name and birth date. Since then, I have had overwhelming feedback. I have received requests for birthday parties, christenings, baby showers and other events. I have realized that kids are really into cookie baking especially when you have a full range of cutters, colors (icing and fondant) and sugar decorations – so I started to give cookie classes at birthday parties. It’s not only a lot of fun; it is also a memorable experience for everyone, with a yummy take-home gift at the end of it.

Cornelia Koch 175C by Conny

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A Few Words from This Life’s Graphic Designer…


My service offerings include:



o w! What a great feeling it is to have the first issue of This Life magazine fully completed and printed! When Tala approached me in October about this exciting new venture, I was thrilled to be part of such a great publication and jumped at the opportunity. Though, like many mothers, I was worried about juggling an overly energetic little boy, German lessons, cooking, keeping the house in order and the other million items on most parents’ to-do list!!! But after a month…..., I am proud to say “we are here” and the magazine is ready for reading!

Great Designs At Affordable Prices

I am a wife, mother (to a 4 year old boy), friend and a creative Desktop Publishing (DTP) Graphic Designer. I have worked for companies such as CSE ,The Sun, Fikiran Graphic and Times – where I gained over 15 years of experience, focusing on advertising design, colour separation, lithography/colour correction, printing and publishing. Having taken 4 years off to raise my son, I am now back-in-the-game. Yeeehaw! I would like to help you develop and design your way to success! Your logo is just one part of your business’s image; it’s a very important one. You only have one chance to make a first impression and attract a potential customer. Your company’s identity, products or services should uniquely communicate a purpose and personality within a blink of an eye. This is what I can do for you – connect your ideas and turn them into visual communications. I am highly skilled in conceptualizing and preparing art work… And I am affordable, which is a key word for anyone these days, who is trying to establish a new business and presence in the market place! If you’d like to discuss your vision and get a free quote, please contact me at In the meantime, I hope you enjoyed reading the magazine and have a great start to the New Year! Geetha Buchholz G.Grafik Design Studio

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Graphic &Web 23

Winter Essentials

hether they are wearing an outfit of their choice or something picked by a parent, they wear W it with such confidence and poise and that is what fashion is all about. Children who dress themselves use it as a form of expression, giving us parents a glimpse of their personality.

As a parent in today’s world we are more conscious of how our children look and its ok to feel that way. I think it’s very important to teach your kids to be well groomed, but it’s equally essential to consider their input and to respect it. I, as a parent completely understand how we relish dressing our children, keeping it trendy and stress-free. So here are my ‘must-have’ wardrobe pieces for this winter.



This Style

hile dressing our children W we have to keep in mind their playtime, the journeys

they go on (walking to school, sitting in the car), and the socialising they do. Comfort is key! As winter is well upon us, it’s all about fun prints, graphics and keeping the cold out. It has to be stylish yet functional like these jumpers by Vondawear.

aired with leggings for P girls and slim colored trousers for boys, they are

perfect for all occasions; going to school, play dates or even special occasions. This season the must-have colors are bold shades of mustard yellow, burgundy red and navy blue. The great thing is that kids love these colours too!

e all know how hard it is to plan outfits for kids - they either W mess them up with their chocolate fingers, within moments of putting them on, or they refuse to wear the outfit for some

reason or another, which is beyond our understanding. Girls can be particularly difficult and have their own idea of what they want to wear. Never fear, Vondawear has the answer: outfits which are practical yet stylish, comfortable and will be a sure favorite for any little lady. And yes, we even have pink for those princesses among us! In my opinion no girls’ wardrobe is complete without a touch of sparkle. So this season right on trend, go for frilly long-sleeved tops with glitter, or a faux fur fleece lined coat to stay cosy in the cold.

tripes are timeless and will never child can never have enough knitwear, so S go out of fashion. Add some A I always recommend investing in good stripes and transform the outfit from quality knitted cotton or woollen cardigans (my favorites are blue and cherry red.) Or for a more classic look choose grey and cream.

preppy to nautical in seconds.

he thought of picking a fight T with a toddler over layers of clothing gives me nightmares.

The solution to this is simple; fleece lined shirts, leggings and trousers. Look for geometric prints and retro inspired graphics. Fleece and faux fur are huge this winter, so there is no compromise on style and staying warm. I personally enjoy seeing fashion for kids mimic grown up trends, but with a whimsical twist. This season is all about the preppy look. For daywear or special occasions, keep it classic and go for a burgundy red thick cotton dress or navy blue one with featured details. Teamed with woollen tights and boots, your child is ready for anything. astly, let’s not forgot the L basics of dressing in winter. It goes without saying that

For boys, a blazer teamed with narrow trimmed pants in a stretchy material is a smart look. Keep the pants colorful and right on trend opt for a cobalt blue or a mustard color, to make your child stand out in a crowd.

Nargis Hanafi & Tala Daniela von Däniken Vondawear Childrens Fashionable Clothing and Play Wear Photography: Vondawear



multiple layers allow you to adjust according to your child’s activity and exposure to cold. Cardigans and zip-up tops are great, because your child can regulate their own temperature without being frustrated by pulling a sweater over their head. Keep those mufflers and gloves handy and a warm knitted hat for those windy days. One simple rule to remember is that the top outer layer of clothing must be waterproof. And with that in mind you are ready to enjoy the winter in its full glory. The way a child chooses to dress is often a beautiful reflection of their personality. So don’t be afraid to sneak colours and patterns into their wardrobe and don’t limit yourselves or them to the norms. Let them dazzle you with their imagination!


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Meet Julian, This Life’s Style Guru It gives us great pleasure to welcome Julian Bohorquez as This Life’s in-house Fashion Guru and Personal Stylist. He will be the mastermind behind each monthly make-over and will be there to support you with all your fashion questions and style dilemmas. If you need re-branding to return to work or no longer know where to shop on the high street or you just want to get out of those yoga pants and feel sexy again, Julian is the one to make you feel faaaaabulous, (yes, you’d better believe it, darling!). If you have any fashion-related questions or you’d like to nominate yourself or a partner/friend/parent/nanny for a fabulous make-over, please contact us at info@ with the following details: • Name • Age • Height • Clothing Size(s) • Shoe Size • Tell us why do you need a make-over • What are your hobbies? • Photo(s) of how you currently look • Email address • Telephone Nr


Now have a read about Julian and find out why you really are in good (and very well manicured) hands!


ulian was born in Colombia where he studied marketing and communication as well as at Boston University in the USA. Starting in his early teens, he developed his strong interest in fashion and design. Over the years and with the support of his close family, he became an expert in branded clothes and accessories for women and men. Joining the fashion community in Bogota he carefully observed trends and up- and coming designers from his home country. Until today and now living in Switzerland, he has not lost the connection to Colombia and continuously monitors the development of the fashion scene there. Working many years for an international company, Julian was able to further enhance his reputation as being an open minded, global but also critical observer of trends in fashion and design.Additionally and in parallel he began coursework in fashion design. He was researching daily routines, consumer mentalities and consumer behavior in order to determine the main driver behind emerging trends. Of particular interest, was the mechanism behind the growth of trends and the impact they have in everyday life. He was looking into cultural aspects, sub-cultural levels as well as subconsciously perceived

motivations for dressing in certain clothes in targeted social groups. The idea and value of brands, hence the associated status of fashion and accessories was a further object of observation. The overall understanding, feeling and intrinsic knowledge of the driving forces behind appearance and fashion made him a well-respected counterpart for fashiondesigners, magazines and the social media. He is now working as a style expert and fashion director for strong, international women. Julian takes great pleasure in advising women and men on their appearance, whether that be for red carpet events or improving their image in their private and professional lives. His most visible and proud success, was the design of the costume for the winner of the Vienna “Life BallQueen” in 2014. Julian is the editor of a fashion blog and strictly comments on high-street fashion from around the globe. He considers himself a “Fashionista” and when you meet him walking the streets of Zürich, you will see why! Julian Bohorquez Stylist and Personal Shopper

What To Do

Crafting for


“Winter is a– said time to relax within the warmth of home” no parent with young children who are used to being outside!

“I’m bored” is the chorus that rings

out in our house, closely followed by the hyperactivity, refreshment requests and other inevitable symptoms of the cabin fevered children. If your children are anything like mine then this will be no later than 10:00 o’clock (or after my second coffee). Alas! I can’t provide a cure, but, I may be able to offer temporary relief in the form of some winter crafting. I have kept crafts simple and adaptable, thus (hopefully) catering for both the less enthusiastic child, who you almost have to glue to the chair to complete a craft, and the go-crazy creative child, whose creation you have to wrestle away from them before it ends up an unrecognizable mountain of card, glitter and glue. Cardboard Roll Snowflakes In every picture perfect winter there is always snow so, let us create some wintery magic with this easy to make Snowflake. This is the very basic version which can be expanded by adding additional pieces of card tubing around the outside. What you will need: • 2x cardboard toilet rolls •Scissors •Glue or double sided sticky tape •Paint or tissue paper •Decoration materials, i.e.Glitter, sequins, motifs, etc •Ribbon or string.

Instructions: •Cut each card tube into 4 pieces, Try to make each piece equal in size. If for any reason the inside starts to un-peel just use a little glue to secure it. •Shape the individual pieces by pressing either side of your card pieces to form points. •Once you have shaped all of your pieces, paint or cover them inside and out and let them dry. •Stick each piece together at the bottom forming a flower like shape, I found that double sided sticky tape gave a better finish than glue. •When all the pieces are assembled and stuck fast you can add any decorations you want to, I added, glitter, and a wooden motif. •To finish you can hang your snowflake up with ribbon by attaching it to through the top loop.

The Craft Box...

It is nice to have a plan, but sometimes it’s a great idea to let children’s imagination run wild. At home we have “The Craft Box” which is a box, the children decorated, with a multitude of crafty items and equipment, such as collage and drawing materials, cardboard boxes and rolls, glitters, glues, tapes, scissors etc. We have crafty hours where the children have free range on the craft box; the results can be really interesting! Art Zillaz Arts & Crafts for All Ages!





In January 2015 Take a trip to beautiful Solothurn and see the Winter Circus!

4 Theater Arlecchino in Basel Fasnachtsbändeli ‘Viva Maria!’

11 Play with Masks - a family workshop in Schwyz.

18 De Räuber Hotzenplotz - children’s musical at the Casinotheater in Winterthur.


Geneva Lux Festival. Experience 14km of Christmas garland lights in the city of Calvin themes/environnementurbain-espaces-verts/ manifestations-evenements/ geneva-festival/

Exhibition ‘ Christmas in Italy; at the Children’s Museum in Baden. www.kindermuseum. ch/aktuell/weihnachten-initalien/



If you have older kids, why not visit Laser City in Biel?

Experience an old tradition in Appenzell where the new year ‘Santas’ gather, playing bells, yodelling and going from house to house wishing everyone a happy new year! culture-traditions/customs/ silvesterchlausen-newyears-eve-spirits.html



If you take a trip up to the Swiss Holiday Park in Morschach, the children can enjoy the lovely Fronalp Farm Experience.

Dompter la lumière at the Muséum d’histoire naturelle in Geneva. This is a fun, interactice exhibition where children will learn about the nature of light. 2014_lumiere.php



Take the night off and go and see The Bellamy Brothers and Gölä at the KKL in Luzern.


Experience a beautiful atmosphere, ice-skating right on the lake of Zürich at the Sonne hotel in Küsnacht. Either go with the kids during the day or with your partner in the evening. Truly romantic!



THURSDAY Why not visit ‘The Fabulous Villiage’in Evian. www.lefabuleuxvillage

1 Ladina und d Plunderlampe - a fabulous oriental fairyytale musical by Andrew Bond showing in Chur.

7 A pianistin and puppetier take you on a journey inside a grand piano at the Schlachthaus theatre in Bern.

14 When it’s raining outside, let your kids use up any excess energy at Alpamare, Europe’s largest fun and waterpark!

21 EBM Lernwelt Energie Workshop: Build a Solar Powered Ship.


Take a trip to the theatre in Winterthur to see

8 Visit the fabulous and interesting Titanic Exhibition at the Palexpo in Geneva.

15 Get those ice skates on at one of Europe’s largest ope-air ice rinks at the Dolder in Zürich.



Have a go on the unique bob run in Langenbruck with it’s solar-powered lift.

Visit Gstaad and enjoy the last of the magical Christmas atmosphere with ‘Winterzauber Gstaad’.

2 Horse-drawn carriage ride through Bad Ragaz to see the beautiful lights at night.

9 Fancy spending a night ‘alone’ in a museum as a family? You can do exactly that at the Landesmuseum in Zürich.

3 Take the kids (6-12 years old) to see a film at the Zauber Laterne in Bülach (The Magic Lantern)

10 Der gestiefelte Kater (Puss in Boots) theatre performance at Theatre Fauteuil in Basel.

16 Fancy spending a night ‘alone’ in a museum as a family? You can do exactly that at the Landesmuseum in Zürich.

17 Zoo Basel: Family Tour ‘Vivarium’.




Visit the Globe of Science and Innovation in Meyrin with the kids and experience the fascinating world of particles at the ‘Universe of Particles’ exhibition. index.html

Strohwelten auf dem Bächlihof (the world of straw with straw sculptures at the Jucker Farm in Jona!)

Der gestiefelte Kater (Puss in Boots) theatre performance at Theatre Fauteuil in Basel.




Inspiring People with Children you or someone you know has a great This Life story that you think Ifshould be told, please email us at

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