Cool Info for Parents in Lausanne, Switzerland

Thursday September 25th, 2014

This & That Week #39 – September 2014

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After 6 days of sickness and boredom, my daughter returned to school this morning.

YYAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYY!

*high-five*

And now that son is also at Jardin d’enfants, let me share you some news and events that have been buzzing around:

  • Netflix has launched in CH!
  • Second-hands autumn and winter clothes for kids: Troc d’automne in Echallens and in Chéserex on Saturday
  • Starting last week, the service area of bus line #25 got longer, now serving from Pully-Gare all the way to Chavannes-Glycines (more info)
  • Speaking about public transport, you can now buy tickets via SMS – using tl-live app or normal SMS (more info)
  • Now babysitters (those younger than 25y) don’t have to declare what they earn to AVS (up top CHF750/year). It means it won’t be illegal for them and for you) when receiving (and paying) babysitting fee until that amount. (On the news)
  • There is a scam mail going on pretending to be from Migros. DO NOT open the attachment
  • Gymboree is opening classes at LCIS in Aubonne and will be having a free trial week of classes Monday 29th of September to Friday 3rd October.
  • Key English School has opened registration for their October holiday camp
  • Disney on Ice is coming back to Geneva Arena in January! We were there for their performance earlier this year and loooooved it! I think kids will get the tickets as their Christmas presents!
  • Désalpe (cattle descent) festivities this weekend: in St-Cergue (near Nyon) and in Charmey (in Fribourg). It’s a morning event, and very popular, so plan your timing well!
  • Don’t forget to enjoy the Comptoir Suisse (poster above). I hope to be able to hop on the Ferris Wheel this weekend!
  • As well as other events going on!

Happy end of the week! xx

Tuesday September 23rd, 2014

Back to a More Personal Blog

Hi there,

Apology for lack of activity on this blog last week. My daughter got sick and more importantly, I had a lot of thinking to do. A lot of thinking about this blog.

For many months now, I have been having problems keeping up with my emails. Especially the emails that kept coming asking me for possibility to write about new (and old) businesses in the area. I usually read all emails, but I don’t always have the time to reply. Let alone blog about it.

I always feel bad about it. Always. When I started this blog I wanted it to be an informative site as well as a platform to promote small businesses in the area. So whenever I receive an email about something new coming up, I tried to come back to the email, or I sent a quick reply telling them to be patient and remind me in 1-2 weeks time. Unfortunately I learned that I never really have the time. And to make it worse, some emails started to be rude and they drove me mad.

My daughter now goes to school and my son goes to a Jardin d’enfants 2 mornings and a crèche for one whole day per week. That gives me 3 mornings and one afternoon free per week. I always plan to write at least 2 blogs on 2 mornings, but turns out it is still difficult as I also use these times to run errands and chores. To do my hobbies and to exercise. Even worse, money is getting really tight now in our household (single academic salary here!) that I decided to stop the creche for my son by November. This will leave me with only two child-free mornings per week and significantly less time to deal with emails and blogs.

This said, I regretfully decided to not do promotional post for a while. A long while perhaps. I just can’t devote my precious free time and energy for this yet. After all, this is a personal blog, not a business one. For now, I will concentrate on more personal blogs about our activities and experiences in the area, as well as round-up post or lists of useful-to-know things.

I will still offer the ad space (the square banners on the side of site) for anyone wishes to promote their business there. These ads will be charged, CHF60/3 months or CHF100/6 months and this fee will go directly to a charity I choose. I’d be happy to announce the new advertisers on Lausanne Mom Facebook page, but not anymore as sponsored post on the blog. The same goes for camps and workshops announcement – they will be posted for free on Facebook page. As an exception, giveaway post can be arranged for items with minimal values of CHF80.

I hope this will work – for you and me. I really really wish to simplify my life, while still keeping blogging fun. Blogging has been a very constructive hobby for me. It doesn’t help my life financially, but it has enriched both my life as a parent and my life here in Switzerland.

 

Thank you and I’ll come back soon with more fun post!

biz, meta.

Sunday September 14th, 2014

The 34th Olympic Week – Ouchy, 12-16 Oct 2014

olympicweek2014

If you have kids who love sport and were born between 1 July 1999 and 30 June 2006, this event may be of their interest. The event is organized by the Olympic Museum and their many partners. The activities (many different ones) will be supervised by (French-speaking) sports instructors and equipments will be provided. They will take place all around Ouchy during the October school holiday, from 12 to 16 Oct 2014.

The activities are free, you just have to enroll before 3 Oct! It’s also possible to register later, from 12 Oct, directly at “stand d’informations / inscriptions” near the Olympic fountain (just don’t forget that the legal representative of the child must sign the form). The pass will be valid for all activities on all days. On Oct 12, there will also be activities for adults who accompany the kids.

For list of programs, registration form, and other information, click here:

http://www.olympic.org/semaineolympique

*Image courtesy of the Olympic Museum

Wednesday September 10th, 2014

Help Hotline: 143 – La Main Tendue

Today, 10th September, is World Suicide Prevention Day.

As someone who had had depression before, today is an important awareness day for me. During those dark days when I was depressed, I began to understand what could trigger someone to choose to die. Depression definitely can be one of the reasons.

According to The Local:

“In Switzerland, which has one of the highest suicide rates in the world, an average of 15 people die each month by jumping in front of a locomotive.

Suicide remains one of the principal causes of mortality among young people aged 15 to 44 in Switzerland.

For those aged 10 to 19, it is the second biggest cause of death.

Between 1,300 and 1,400 suicides are recorded annually in the country”

As a regular user of the Swiss Trains, I know this. I’ve been in a few trains that had to stopped due to a “personal accident” on its line. It’s heartbreaking – and even more because now I can somehow relate to the “darkness” that the victim was under. Thus I determined to raise awareness about suicide prevention.

Mental health issue is an illness. With the right treatments, it can be cured. Suicide can be prevented. It is very important to recognise the symptoms and warning signs, on yourself or those around you. Act quickly. My depression was mild, I recognise it quickly and even then it took me more than a year to start feeling OK and 2 years to be happy again. The longer you wait, the worse it may become. Don’t wait until it’s too late.

lamaintendue-143

Thankfully there is now a hotline for exactly this: 143 – La Main Tendue

You can call them anonymously, or send an email, to talk about what you feel or to ask them what you can do for someone else. You can make the call anytime (24h/7d), while for email they will respond within 48h. I think this hotline can be very helpful for many of us foreigners. Being so far away from our family, in a foreign country you don’t speak the language, feeling isolated because you have to care for the children all day – those things can make life very difficult. And it’s really more common than you think. You just don’t know it as people don’t talk about their mental health openly.

Please reach out and save a life.

Tuesday September 9th, 2014

Journée “Oser tous les métiers!” (JOM) – Bring Your Children to Work Day

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You may have heard it from your children’s schools, but in case you haven’t, the annual Journée “Oser tous les métiers !” (I loosely translated it into “Bring Your Children to Work” Day) for the Canton of Vaud will come on Thursday, 13 November 2014.

This event targets 7th-9th graders (HarmoS), and is done by having the girls going with theirs fathers to work and boys with their mothers. The idea is to introduce jobs that are men-dominated to the girls and that are currently considered feminine to the boys. So hopefully one day we will have gender equity at most (if not all) types of work. If the parents cannot do it, or if the kids have known the work, they can also come with a close relative (uncle, aunt, grandparents).

We had it at the the hospital where I used to work, as well as in UNIL and CHUV. And once when I was at my dentist during a JOM, my dentist brought his daughter with her. So in case your company’s public relation officer hasn’t said anything about it, perhaps you can let them know that you’ re interested to bring your child to work that day?

There will also be additional activities for the girls (such as “can be computer savvy and speak at the Parliament, too”) and boys (“can be a nurse or child-mider, too”). For these programs, download the program and register here. Places are limited and easily booked out!

For even more information, this is the official website. You can download the booklets (for parents, childrens, and companies interested in participating) on the right side bar.

Monday September 8th, 2014

Where to have Children’s Birthday Party

cake5

 

Birthday party venue is one of the most common questions for parents in Lausanne. Many have limited space at home, don’t like to prepare a party nor have time for it. Below I listed some places (in Lausanne and around) where you can go with only your birthday child (and his/her guests) and (almost) everything else is taken care of.

 

For easy access with food and party packs:
For nature and animal lovers:

For little princesses, princes and knights:

For budding scientists:

For creative ones:
For sporty ones:
At the circus:
For little dancers:
For the love of games:

If you want to organise the party yourself and only need the room, you can also rent a refuge or salle. I believe every commune has one or more to rent. The easiest is to go directly to your commune’s website to see what they offer. Otherwise you can check through other sites such as mosquitos.ch Have more places to add? Leave a comment!

Tuesday September 2nd, 2014

New Event Page!

I only have an hour before picking up my son from the garderie so just a short blog post for now. Short, but SWEET! :)

After thinking about it for months, I finally did it!

I added a new plugin for the Event page!

So that from now on, most of my regular content for the “This & That” post will move there. You can now browse through it chronologically. Click on the event name to find the event information, including the event place on Google Map.

The link to the page is: http://www.lausannemom.com/event-directory/

And the button to go there is on the website is on the top left hand side:

event-button

I just installed it this morning and started putting up events there. So far it has been looking good and working well, but do let me know what you think. Critics are welcome! Most importantly, let me know if it didn’t work, as I only tested it on my Mac and iPhone’s Safari so far. Different browser may have different outcome!

Monday September 1st, 2014

I’m back!

Hello readers, I’m back!

I enjoyed my “break” from the blog, but I can’t be happier that I am now back here blogging. Wooohoooo!

While I would like to keep this first back-to-blog post as simple as possible, I’d still like to tell a bit of a story and the reason I’m back here sooner and easier than I expected.

Right after my post about crowd funding a computer, I received an email from a reader and local mom named Laura. She forwarded the blog post to the Head of Communication in Logitech, the company she worked at. They offered to send me Mac-compatible keyboard and mouse if useful. I then realised that Logitech had an iPhone-compatible keyboard – which could be used to blog using my iPhone. So a few days after, a keyboard (and a mouse that Laura insisted I would need) arrived at my door.

Unfortunately they arrived only a few days before the school holiday started. The keyboard worked wonderfully on my iPhone, but I had to buy some new apps (mainly for photo editing) and get used to working  in such a small screen! I didn’t have the time to set up this system and decided to freeze the blog until I got the hang of it, which I thought would take around 1-2 weeks into the school year.

So off we went to a 3-week holiday in Asia and had a lovely time. When I came back I received a huge surprise in the mailbox. The Vaud Tax Office decided that they would reimburse more for tax paid in 2010! Our tax of 2010 was a special case as it was the year we purchased our house. Although our house was still being built, the new home owner status led us to the obligation to declare our tax. As advised, we first declared in simplified way, and received a couple of hundreds francs back.  But then the Tax Office asked for a full declaration, which we submitted late in 2012. I had forgotten about it since, so that when they stated in the letter that they would reimburse more, I couldn’t believe it.

The amount of money we received was not enough for a new MacBook Air that I planned to buy. However after calculating and thinking about it more thoroughly, I realised it was enough to buy me a desktop computer. Mac Mini was picked. Since I already had the Mac-compatible Logitech keyboard and mouse sent by Laura, all I needed were the Mac Mini and a monitor.

macmini-hp

Last week I set them up and now everything is working perfectly. I had minor problem as the Mac Mini bluetooth didn’t recognise the keyboard and mouse during start up. But a USB mouse easily bypassed this and a minute later everything was on track. I’m also trying a different photo editing software named Pixelmator, as Adobe Photoshop had just became too expensive for what I normally need. So far it’s been great. All said, I’m ready to blog again!

workstation

It’s important for me to declare that Logitech sent me the keyboard and mouse with no condition. The mentions on this post were not part of a deal. It was really a local mom (Thank you, Laura!) and a local (though international) company (Thank you, Logitech!) reaching out to this mom, whose blog hopefully will continue to be helpful for many other parents in the area.

Finally, I would like to thank all of you for your continuos support. You who sent me wonderful emails and comments, words of encouragement, links to latest offers on Mac computers – You so rock and I feel so lucky to share this space with you.

xx,

meta.

Tuesday July 1st, 2014

Blog Status Update

Hi there,

Just a quick post to bring you an update about the blog.

First of all, many thanks to all of you who had shown some love for the blog by agreeing to crowdfund a new computer for me. Unfortunately, there are only about 40 of you, and as I need at least a thousand francs to get the computer I need, I decided to cancel it.

Thanks to a local mom who reached out to me, I may be able to continue blogging before I can buy a new computer. But, I need time to set it up. To do a post, besides typing, I must be able to browse quickly and efficiently, scan through the news, store and work with photos, and those are very limited when one doesn’t have a really good and fast system (one of the major reasons I opt to buy a more expensive machine vs just any cheap computer on sale). And time is not really on my side now, setting up the new system has taken more time than I expected. I have too much on my plate at the moment and it’s already the last week of school. I will have my 2 kids 24/7 until end of August. No, I don’t think the blogging will happen until the summer vacation is over. Sorry for that.

Again, thanks for all your support and in the meanwhile, check the facebook page for news and tips!

Bonnes vacances d’été !

meta.

 

 

 

Tuesday June 17th, 2014

Will you crowdfund Lausanne Mom?

So this is the update about my computer.

After the coffee spill accident and despite drying for days (on rice), it won’t start.

 

I don’t think I will go for repair. It’s 4 year-old and I already planned to buy a new one, but next year.

So in the meanwhile I am using my old one to do my online things, but it’s so slow and from time to time the screen goes black just like that. Preparing a blog post with it will only make me pull my hair out. FYI for a post that you read within one minute, it usually took me, on average, an hour to finish. With this old computer, it takes double or triple time. Attaching photos almost certainly will make the browser hang. Even linking to other page had proven difficult. It’s taking too much time and patience, so that I think I will only resume the blog once I can afford a new computer. Many of you may know that this blog doesn’t really make money, so that I have to wait most likely until my hubby gets his 13th salary by the end of the year.

A few facebook followers suggested that I started a crowdfunding for a new computer. I have looked into it, and yes it may work. To resume my online and digital life seamlessly, I need another MacBook Air 11″ – which basic package cost around CHF1100 (I will add more power to it, RAM and faster processor, as I would like to use it for at least the next 5 years. The total cost would be CHF1445, but I will pay the extra myself). Since I have more than 700 followers on facebook, and a couple hundreds following through feeds, if a portion of you would generously donate between chf2-5, it would be enough for me to get the basic MBA.

It feels awkward to me to ask you to donate for a personal item. But I know that the blog has benefited many, all information has been provided for free and I have also donated my time to write and maintain it for the last 5 years and 5 months. Would you donate CHF2-5 for, let’s say, once or twice a week post until the end of the year? That is roughly between 20-40 posts, or 20-40 hours work.

Please let me know if you would back up a crowdfunding, by commenting below, hitting like on facebook, or sending me a PM. If I have many positive response I will set up a GoFundMe* account. If not, it’s OK. I promise I won’t be too upset ;) I will still share interesting info and links through Lausane Mom facebook page (I believe those of you not on facebook could still check it?) and I will resume writing the blog as soon as I can buy an MBA.

Just let me know if you will. Thanks so much in advance.

*GoFundMe will show the amount of funding received, but they charge US$0.30 per donation and around 8% fee, which is why it doesn’t make sense to donate less that $2 (approx CHF1.8 in today’s rate)

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