just don’t call me katie

I’ve always loved my name and its simplicity. However, something gets a little lost in translation when I order drinks at Starbucks now that they have started taking names with drink orders (and now that I’m sucked into more regular purchases while waiting for the morning tram from the gym to my office). Yes, we are a little behind here in Switzerland. The Starbucks hand stamped loyalty card was just introduced a few months ago, along with the request for names. Sadly, the Starbucks gold card is still unknown. Read more

our zuri tour

A few weeks ago we had the pleasure of introducing our city to Martin’s cousins Mike & Katie who stopped for a long weekend at the end of their a whirlwind European tour through Germany, Croatia, and Switzerland. Given how far we are away from our family and friends in America, there are few things better than visitors (especially if they arrive with magazines and Sour Patch Kids). Read more

haus to home: our dining room

Since last fall I have been asked for updated photos of our apartment. You would think after living here for more than one year the place would be furnished and in order. Yet I kept putting off the updates as we are still looking for some critical pieces. (We only acquired a coffee table in the last month,  the lighting and wall decoration is still up in the air, and the guest bed moves from wall to wall as I try to finalize the layout.) Still, the four-day Easter weekend left me with no more excuses. I had the time to spruce up the blog, photograph our spring table setting, and hopefully build more momentum to share more regular updates with you. Read more

life without martin / a tribute to brown fleece

While Martin was away in Seattle, Kamloops, and the UK he suggested a post with the above title. You see, I have an addiction to fleece. The problem is that after I get home from work I immediately change into more comfy clothes, and usually this means that I put on my favorite brown fleece zip sweatshirt. I am loathe to admit it, but occasionally I also wear brown fleece pants that don’t entirely match the sweatshirt. (Martin hates this combination.) I don’t find it stylish, but since I’m looking for comfort, I don’t care. I’m actually not sure if he would consider it worse if I had a snuggie. Read more

chocolate hedgehog

Woodland creatures and foliage in the form of chocolate and sweets are popular this time of year. This is the cutest I’ve seen so far. I wish I had come across it before my cousin Kurt, who collects stuffed hedgehogs, left Zurich. I suppose he may not want to eat a chocolate one though. Read more

our bomb shelter basement

A lot of you have asked how progress on decorating our apartment is coming along. We are are making progress (and more pictures will come soon). We’ve been working on our basement storage room, part of the sub-divided bomb shelter that is a standard part of Swiss apartment buildings. Martin bought some weights so that he can more easily lift weights on the weekends and during the winter. We also setup some shelves to help store all our travel and sports equipment, extra boxes, and guest bedding. It is so nice to have this extra storage space in our basement! Read more

the hildebrands say hello

It was our pleasure to host our first family visitors a few weeks ago when my Aunt Jeanne and cousin Kurt spent a long weekend with us in Zurich. Kurt is spending a year working as an RA for a school in Denmark and as he had a fall break from work, Jeanne met him Denmark so they could explore more of Europe together. It was Jeanne’s first trip to Europe in 30 years, and Kurt’s first visit to Switzerland, so it was fun to have such excited travelers eager to see new things. Read more

shopping with martin

This is what happens when you take Martin shopping. First, he takes funny self portraits while holding onto your new iPhone. Then, while you wander all over the store looking for interesting chairs, tables, and lamps, he easily finds the best chair in the store and takes a seat. If only the most comfortable chair was also budget-friendly. Maybe next time. Read more

an unusual gardening gem

Sometimes at lunch I walk across the street from my office to Letzipark, an indoor mall with a unique selection of stores  (e.g. a mid-range department store, food court, bakery, furniture store, and some clothing stores) and browse the shops before picking up lunch. Read more