I’ve never been a huge yogurt eater, but sometimes I get an unexplainable craving for the creamy substance. Seeing as I’m laying off the dairy these days, when my yogurt craving kicked in, I didn’t know where to turn. Then I remembered chia seeds. I’d been hesitant to buy them considering the cheapest I’d found was a jar for $25 (don’t mind me still getting used to these ridiculous prices) but I got over myself and bought them anyways. These magical little seeds thicken liquids and add a little crunch, which was just what I needed to make some dairy-free creamy goodness. I added some of my strawberry rhubarb compote on top and it made great breakfast and snack. Some of you may even enjoy it as a dessert, but you all know I prefer my dessert in the form of chocolate.
I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ll sadly admit it again…we rarely go out to dinner anymore. It’s quite a change considering trying out the best or newest restaurant was pretty much my favorite thing to do in San Francisco. The problem with going out to dinner in Zürich is that it way too expensive to justify. To give you a good example, we went to the Asian restaurant down the street for a quick dinner. With two entrees, water, and a soda, it cost roughly $85 USD. It tasted totally fine, but $85 for some stir-fry?! I just can’t. We decided that we are going to save our money and go out to dinner once or twice a month, but only to restaurants that are highly recommended.
Lately, we haven’t had any weekend trips planned, so we have been hanging around Zürich. As much as I love travelling, it’s been nice to enjoy weekends at home. I like using my closet versus a suitcase every once in a while. But travelling sure makes you appreciate the simple joys of being at home. After a whole year in our apartment and Zürich, we’ve started to create some nice little routines.
Since wedding season is upon us and I don’t have a wedding to plan anymore, I figured I will start re-living it. And by re-living it, I mean re-living every craft project I did in preparation for my…I mean…our wedding.
First up: wedding favors!
Wedding favors are a tricky thing. Usually they are at the bottom of the wedding to-do list, which also means the end of the budget. You want something that your guests will actually take with them, because what’s the point of giving it if you have 100 leftovers? You also need something budget friendly, and something to reflect the two of you as a couple. I found that my favorite favors to receive are edible or useful as well as easy to travel with. Which is where I got the criteria when making my own wedding favors last year.
Come to find out, in Switzerland and other parts of Europe, you are expected to treat on your birthday. Whether it’s a meal, drinks, or dessert, it’s up to you to foot the bill or bring something to share. I think it’s great. You get what you want on your birthday! No need to worry whether your coworkers know you well enough to buy you a chocolate cake instead of a lemon pie. And you get to go to your favorite restaurant without guilt! No one can complain about free food. Then when it’s other people’s birthdays, you just get to relax and enjoy. It seems like a win-win situation to me.
This time last week, I have to say I was proud to be an American. The Boston Marathon was an incredible experience. It was amazing to be around so many people that came out to support their town, their runners, and stand up against last year’s tragedy. My brother, the runner of the Dunn fam, qualified for Boston in late 2012 and our family decided to make a trip out of it. We wanted to cheer him on as he ran a ridiculous amount of miles (26.2) along side a ridiculous amount of people (35,000 to be exact). We made a pretty good looking cheer squad don’t you think?
My friends from the Pacific Northwest always talked about how California didn’t have seasons, but I had no idea what they meant. It got cold in winter, warmer in spring, hot in summer, and the leaves fell in fall. Those are seasons, right? Technically, yes, but I now understand what they were talking about: dramatic seasons. The recent transition from winter to spring in Zurich has been a pretty sight to see. I got to ditch the puffy coat, hat, boots, and gloves for a lightweight sweater and tennies. The grey days turned sunny and the brown grass turned green and the flowers have bloomed! Imagine that. I forgot there used to be flowers until they started popping up again. It feels like the cold, grey city turned colorful overnight. People, including me, have started making their way out of hibernation and enjoying the warmer weather.
We took a mid-winter tropical escape to a little island called Seychelles off the coast of Africa. We marked it our “official” honeymoon since it was a whole week vacation with just the two of us. And a honeymoon it was. We flew in to this tiny airport that felt like we were landing on the set of LOST with the lush greenery and secluded beaches. Those secluded beaches were exactly what made the trip so amazing. Warm water that was bluer than blue (on the calm days) and stretches of beach that allowed me the option of choosing whatever spot I wanted (shade please! My poor pale skin can’t handle the sun). I read books, made a bracelet, and drank fresh coconut water all the while my fish of a husband was surfing or snorkeling away in the water. Other than beach days, we toured the island, took a snorkeling trip, and wined and dined. No crazy stories, just a perfectly relaxing vacation.
I have officially been a Swiss resident for one whole year. Where did the time go? It feels like just yesterday I arrived to a snowy and cold winter Sunday in Zurich. Thinking about my past year abroad, I can best describe it as constant learning experience. Learning a new language, new ways of doing things, a new city, how to be a better traveler, the list goes on. There are obvious things you need to learn, but then there are the things I never could have imagined that I would have to (re)learn. Like throwing out trash and recycling correctly. Or not doing laundry on Sundays as to not disturb fellow tenants on their “day of rest”. Or weighing your produce at the grocery store before getting in line (ooof they get mad about this one!).