Cool Info for Parents in Lausanne, Switzerland

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)

Friday June 13th, 2014

This & That Week #24 – June 2014

MBAir-rice

I accidentally poured half glass of cold sugary coffee on my computer and it’s now (hopefully) on recovery mode (see pic). I had to finish this post on my old MacBook and boy, it was a torture!

But many awesome things are and will be going on this weekend, so here’s the quick list:

And… many shops have started their summer sale! Don’t forget to swing by your favorite stores to grab some deals :)

Happy weekend!

Wednesday June 4th, 2014

This & That Week #23 – June 2014

We are facing another long weekend ahead as Monday is Lundi de Pentecôte. The weather will be beautiful but hot hot hot (forecast above 25°C) so prepare your sunscreen and bathing suits!

concert-rue

  • Silvia Fraser, a mother of two and a pianist at the Haute Ecole de Musique in Lausanne, contacted me recently about her upcoming classical concert with violinist Irene Abrigo in Rue. She made me sad that we won’t be able to attend (as we’ll have visitor that long weekend). The concert will combine two of my favorite things on the planet: classical music and crêpes! Yup, crêpes !!! The concert will take place in a relaxed setting – i.e. cushions for kids and you don’t have to stay stock-still and if there are lots of kids they promised to talk to them. Entry is free, with a ‘collecte‘ (a reasonable contribution per family will do). The venue is Crêperie Entre Terre et Mer, Rue du Casino 19, 1673 Rue – approx 22.6km from Lausanne (30 min drive). Their facebook event page is here.
  • Graine de shopping a.k.a. the little boutique inside Cuppin’s finally opened an online shop!
  • Swiss National Park in Engadine is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. The main event will only take place on 1 Aug 2014, but why not take a few days to explore it this summer?
  • Air14 Payerne complete program is just out. I think the event will be super awesome for the whole family, especially if you have little Disney Planes fans in the house (My 3-yo loves Skipper!)

 

OK, now I really have to stop as my right hand is very stiff and hurts a bit. I’ve been doing a major garden project the last 2 weeks and unfortunately (albeit not unexpectedly) my carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms are back.

Take care and enjoy the long weekend!

xx

Monday May 26th, 2014

This & That Week #22 – May-June 2014

Hi!

Hope you enjoyed a nice weekend despite the storm and all the rain. We have been very busy with major work in the garden. And we finally started potty training our son, so that I got even more busy dealing with little accidents. Wish me sanity!

Now, let me know tell you about some things…

First of all, this book:

100chosesete

translated loosely into English: “100 things to absolutely do this summer”, this book is published by Migros and available in their stores/supermarkets as well as in LeShop. It cost chf7.70 and if you read French, I can highly recommend you to get one. The activities suggested are mostly easy, many can be done with/by the kids, and cheap – for example fruit picking, making your own jam, organizing a flea market, and get tatto-ed. Okay, not real tattoes, but seriously, the tattoes are included in the book! The book is also available in German, however I haven’t confirmed if the German version is also available in the Suisse Romande stores.

irisLM

Another thing:  I was sent 2 tickets for the Jardins des iris de Vullierens. I really can’t wait to go there. The festivities started on 10 May and will remain open everyday until 22 June 2014 9am-6pm. Programs sound really exciting. Besides the flowers, they will offer hot-air ballon ride for FREE on 2 days – this Thursday 29 May (Jeudi de l’Ascension) and on Sunday 8 June between 4:30-6pm. They also have special programs for children including stories in the park and treasure hunts. FYI the garden is easy to reach by public transport (16 min ride on postal bus from train station Morges or Vullierens).

Even more things to share:

And finally, again, don’t forget that this Thursday is a public holiday (Jeudi de l’Ascension) so that make sure you stock up food for that day. Unless you will go out to eat of course! And plan something fun – just pick one from above suggestions! Let’s hope for a beautiful weather, especially since we will have fireworks in our commune!

Bises

 

*Psst, the strawberries in our garden will ripe soon, anyone who wish to visit us and have a chat while munching on strawberries just PM me ;)

Tuesday May 20th, 2014

Mia Tui Bags Now in Switzerland – and there’s a Giveaway!

miatuich

Women and handbags! Yup, we know :)

I think you can imagine my excitement to host a giveaway for Mia Tui bags. These are bags that have won awards for their unique interiors and are designed with both style and practicality in mind. They are waterproof inside and out, and have multiple pockets designed with internal accessory bags so that you can change the use of your bags in an instant. That means that moms really don’t need to carry diaper bags that scream BABY. Stay stylish while having wipes and diaper handy, and you can even keep cold/warm milk in the insulated bottle holder.

Even better, it’s not just about mommy bags, as the complete range includes so many styles, colors and sizes. They are good for everyday use as well as to go to the gym, pools, and for traveling.

grace-miatui

As part of their launch day festivities Mia Tui Suisse are giving away one fabulous Grace bags in the gorgeous claret colour, worth chf75. To enter the giveaway, you must answer this question: “Why do you need a Mia Tui bag in your life?” Leave the answer in the comment section of this post until Monday, 26 May 2014 11:59pm. Winner will be picked via random.org and announce on this page. Good luck!

 

You can also follow Mia Tui Suisse (and their special offers) via their:
official shop
facebook
Twitter @miatuisuisse
or email them at suisse (AT) miatui.com


Winner announcement on 27 May 2014:

And random.org picked:

miatui-winner

Comment #14, left by Liew SL! Congratulations you lucky lady! You will receive a PM from me soon.

 

Those of you who didn’t win and are still struggling with your current bags/backpack/travel bag should grab the current offer from Mia Tui Suisse: 20% off all Minnie Amelie bags. The Minnie Amelie is the perfect bag for day trips or long weekends. This fab offer is available this Ascension holiday week only. To claim the discount, enter code HOLIDAY14 at checkout.

I wish to thank all of you who had participated in this giveaway and Mia Tui Suisse for the possibility of hosting this fab giveaway, as well as for bringing such great products here to CH!

Wednesday May 14th, 2014

This & That Week #20 – May 2014

Please go directly to the list, as we’ll be having very busy weekends ahead!

Boursealoz-printemps2014

  • BourseaLoz: A troc (0-15y) in Béthusy this Friday & Saturday (see above image for opening hours)
  • 11th Cyclotour du Léman, Sunday 18 May 2014. Covering a distance of 180km (Lausanne-Lausanne), 110km (Evian-Lausanne), 60km (Geneva-Lausanne). I just saw the website and one of the participants is…. 101 year-old! *jaw dropped*
  • Remember my post about Sauvabelin Tower? Soon you can test your fitness level by running in the forest and then finishing going up the 151 stairs on 7th Course de la Tour de Sauvabelin, on Thursday 22 May 2014 7pm.
  • Prefer to bike with family and friends? Join 32nd Journée Lausannoise du Vélo in Chalet-à-Gobet on Saturday 24 May 2014. 10, 50, and 150km.

netleman

  • Let’s help clean up our beautiful Lake Léman! Net’Léman will be held on Saturday 24 May 2014 8:30am – 1:30pm. Children from 5y may come and help, accompanied by an adult.

And finally, don’t forget to get the Passeport Vacances 2014 for your children (9-15y) if you’ll be spending summer here in the region. The last day to get one is this Saturday 17 May 2014!

 

Enjoy the return of the sun this end of the week! xx

Friday May 9th, 2014

Servion Zoo and Tropiquarium

It’s a shame that I only made this post now, as we had been a few times there and it’s definitely one of the gems in the area. But better late than never, right?

I’ll cover both the Servion Zoo and Tropiquarium in this post, as they are located one next to the other and offer combined tickets.

SERVION ZOO

zoo-servion-main

Servion zoo surpassed my expectations. We love zoos, and have been to many larger ones in many parts of the world, so that I was pleasantly surprised to see the range of animals in this “small” zoo.

servion-zoo1

As you can see in the photos, there were many wild animals. They live in large cages, but it’s easy to spot them. Of course, there were even more animals that didn’t make it to the photos in this blog.

Everyday except Monday and Friday, you can see the feeding of the animals. However, I wasn’t too impressed by this as we only got to watch the meat being thrown close to the animal. I expected a bit of talk by the zoo keeper, like explaining what the animal eats, how many kg per day, how they eat in the wild, etc. I think it will be very interesting for the kids to hear.

servion-zoo2

As you can see from the photos, we were there both in end of winter as well as in the middle of summer. That is one of the best thing this zoo offers: they open EVERYDAY of the year. Yup, including Christmas and New Year!

servion-zoo-farm

Beside the wild animals, there was also farm animals area with chicken, ponies, rabbits, guinea pigs, etc. It’s guaranteed to satisfy all visitors – little and big!

servion-zoo-resto

For lunch and snack time, you can count on their restaurant. The menu and prices were OK. They also have small toys. In summer they opened the large terrace, sheltered from the sun by trees. One word: Wonderful.

You can also bring a picnic, sit on the grass area or use one of of the tables around the zoo.

And finally, their playground is really fun. They have ones for the littlest as well as the bigger kids. Honestly, the playground was always one of the big hits in this zoo for my kids!

TROPIQUARIUM

As mentioned above, the Tropiquarium is located right next to the Zoo, but they have different entrance and tickets. There is a combined ticket to visit both at the same day, but if you’re coming with small kids, I think one of them should already be sufficient in a single visit.

tropiq-servion1_edited-1

The Tropiquarium hosted different types of animals vs the zoo. Here you’ll find amphibian, reptiles, and birds. The amphibian and reptiles are to be observed indoor, and the room temperature is always warm (25°C), making this area of Tropiquarium a great place to go with kids on rainy/snowy/cold days.

tropiq-servion2

Obviosuly the penguins (“manchot” in French, notpingouin“) are also located indoor. But the other birds are mostly outdoor. You also have to step outside to reach the penguin building so that when coming on a rainy/snowy/cold days, keep the rain coat or snow suit with you.

tropiq-servion4

We watched the feeding of the penguins, and my impression from the feeding at the zoo remains. I wish they could offer a bit more than just throwing the fishes. FYI, on Wednesday afternoon they feed the crocodiles!

There is also a small restaurant, however menu is limited. There is a large terrace and a playground close to it. As the zoo, the Tropiquarium also opens EVERYDAY.

We found both Servion Zoo and the Tropiquarium fun and highly recommend them. Tickets are cheap (CHF5-10) and they often handed you discount coupons to be used for next visits (or to visit other parks). If you like it too and think you’ll visit them often, you can consider an annual card.

The Zoo and Tropiquarium are only around 15 minutes by car from Lausanne, and for those without cars the buses run frequently. It’s TL bus #65 (direction Mézières VD) from Lausanne-La Sallaz (approx. 30 min ride, stop at “Servion Zoo”). For those of you located between Palézieux-Payerne, can take the train to Châtillens and hop on Postbus #85 (12 min ride with guaranteed connection). Both buses stop directly in front of the Tropiquarium.

Have fun!

More info:
Servion Zoo
Tropiquarium

Thursday May 8th, 2014

Mother’s Day 2014 Giveaway: Gift Voucher from Little Mooshoo

Sponsored Post


little-mooshoo-logoLittle Mooshoo is most likely the cutest littlest shop I have ever blogged about here. They don’t offer many things (yet), but obviously it’s never the intention of the founder. Tamara, a mother-of-two behind Little Mooshoo, created all clothes in their collection as limited edition and unique. There are no more than 16 pieces per item. She sourced the fabrics from Holland, created the pattern, and the clothes were then sewn locally by Textura in Lausanne (a company that aids women to go back to work) and by another mother in neighboring France. As someone who loves fabrics and had sewn my own kids’ clothes, this shop really looks like my dream!

little-mooshoo

Little Mooshoo collection is highly inspired by 60s and 70s fashion. I don’t seem to be able to take my eyes away from those “alibaba pants” (photos above). They look so cool and ultra comfy. I think both my kids and I need one pair each ;)

They also offer cute girl swimsuits that are imported from China. Tamara told me that she was looking to source some cute swimwear fabric (which turned out to be very difficult to find) and came across these swimsuits.

For Mother’s Day, Little Mooshoo will kindly give one mother or mother-to-be a gift voucher worth EUR80. To enter the giveaway, take a look at the online shop and let us know in the comment which item you love the most. Comments are accepted until Saturday, 10 May 2014 11:59pm.

Good luck!


Winner announcement on 11.05.2014:

Random.org had decided, that the lucky mom is…

winner-littlemooshoo

the one leaving comment #8*: Eleni! Congratulations! You will hear from me via PM soon.

Winner or not, I’d like to congratulate all moms who participated and are reading this! Happy Mother’s Day and thank you for all you’ve done for all our children. Together we’ll make a generation greater than ever before! xx

And finally thank you Little Mooshoo for the possibility to host this giveaway!

*Eleni’s comment is officially #8, although shifted down one position due to a comment from Tamara, Little Mooshoo’s owner

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