Expat Life

House of Fairies

Hummel rainsuits © 2016 House of Fairies

Launched in March 2016 by Danish expat mum Benedicte Krüger Nielsen, House of Fairies is a great online shop stocking some of the coolest kids clothing brands from Denmark and Holland. From Hummel’s cool and comfy sports collections to Dolly by Le Petit Tom’s chiffon dance tutus and dresses, you’re guaranteed to find a unique selection of practical and fun brands for your little ones.       House of Fairies was founded by Danish […]

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French Classes for Mums

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We have some great news for expectant and new mums in Geneva looking to improve their French language skills! From January until May 2016, OSEO Genève is organizing French language courses for mums, focused on acquiring the correct vocabulary and conversational skills to talk about pregnancy issues, baby’s health and birth. This course will enable mums to feel confident when speaking in French to local health professionals and paediatricians, helping to reduce […]

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What’s On in December 2015

© 2015  PTA La Châtaigneraie Ecolint Campus

The countdown to Christmas has begun and we have a fab list of events coming up in the area during the festive season: from ice-skating to fabulous Xmas markets, this is wonderful time of year in French-speaking Switzerland. Remember to keep checking these listings regularly as we will be updating this post with more events each week! KEEP ACTIVE THIS DECEMBER: 4th-5th December 2015: 38th edition of the Course de l’Escalade in Geneva. […]

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Key English School

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If you’re looking for a fun & engaging holiday camp for your children this summer, then Key English School might be the answer. With a wide range of summer camps for children aged 3 to 15, available at various locations in Geneva and Lausanne, Key English School provides excellent childcare and education during the school holidays. Parents are able to choose between full days (from 9am to 5pm) or half days, with morning […]

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Oatmeal, Chocolate Chip & Coconut Oil Cookies

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I’ve been meaning to give virgin coconut oil a try for a long time so when my middle son asked me to bake some cookies together this weekend, I thought the time was right to get it out of our kitchen cupboard. Recently rehabilitated as one of the healthiest cooking oils in the world, virgin coconut oil is an excellent source of medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs), especially Lauric Acid, that […]

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Times Tables, The Fun Way

Photo © genevafamilydiaries.net

My eldest boy has started learning times tables in earnest last year. If you’ve been through, or are going through that stage at the moment, you’ll know what I mean: lots of repetition (tantrums), bribery (chocolate, nintendo ds, you name it) and distracted parents passing the buck at revision time. On my last trip to London, I stocked up on various times tables activity books that make practice and revision […]

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Best Family Ski Resorts

Glorious winter day in La Clusaz. Photo © genevafamilydiaries.net

You’ll have to admit, one of the greatest perks of living in Geneva is being able to enjoy some of Europe’s best ski slopes right on our doorstep (well, almost…) so a post about skiing in the Geneva region is in order, wouldn’t you agree? If you’re ready to explore this winter wonderland, the Geneva Airport website has a fantastic summary of all the best family ski resorts within easy reach of Geneva […]

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Alpine Fun at Basseruche

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Just a few weeks ago we spent a lovely day-out with friends at the Basseruche in St-Cergue (VD), a cozy restaurant d’alpage that offers many outdoor activities for children and adults including footgolf, archery, trottinherbe in the summer & tyrolienne cables, téléluge, ski school during the winter months.       We got there late in the morning and the boys got down to some mountain action straight away, while Little Missy made a beeline for […]

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10 Ways to Get Children into Hiking

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Switzerland has amazing mountains and I love hiking them with my children, aged 5 & 7. The question I often ask myself is how to pass on my love of hiking to the children? Here’s 10 ideas and 10 tips to get children hiking, based on my personal experience. Please leave us a comment below to share your ideas and suggestions. Plan the Hike 1) Go up! I don’t know […]

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Tried & Tested: Unameit Stickers

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I have a confession to make (head bowed, fidgety fingers): while I am quite the proficient list-maker and are known to nag everybody around me about the need to “be more organized”, I have been sending my children to school or nursery for years without properly labelling all their belongings. It seemed like such a clever idea at the time – just grab a pen on the way out and […]

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Fun in the Woods

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A forest kindergarten experience in Geneva? Is that possible? Well, according to the information that has just landed in our inbox, yes it is! We haven’t tried them yet, but these summer camps held in the woods around Geneva seem worth sharing so here’s some info and photos to give you an idea of what they’re all about. Ariatelers summer camp for children aged 4 to 8 will be taking place […]

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How to Employ Nannies in Switzerland

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Families who hire nannies, babysitters or household help in Switzerland have to ensure that their employees are registered for the required social contributions, accident insurances, pensions and taxes as well as applying for a work permit if needed. Below is a summary of social contributions, accident insurances, pensions, taxes and work permits required when hiring a nanny or babysitter. 1) Social insurance contributions Familes and Nannies / Babysitters have to contribute […]

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Tried & Tested: Goodness Gracious Foods

Photo © Michelle Levesley

We’re back with another “Tried & Tested” post, where we give you the low-down on specific services and products suitable for your little ones. For this post our star blogger Michelle Levesley, a British mum-of-three & English teacher living in France, has tested a selection of organic, gluten-free baby food pouches from Goodness Gracious Foods with no added salt, sugar or preservatives. Here’s what she had to say…   Michelle’s report: This week my three children […]

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Little Bird Pilates

Little Bird Pilates Studio, Gland - Photo © Laura Vidale

If you’ve been wanting to give Pilates a try without the long-term commitment that typically comes with a fitness club membership, the recently opened Little Bird Pilates studio in Gland may be the right place for you. Offering a variety of classes from post-natal to a faster-paced “cardio-lovers” class and a flexible price scheme starting at 25 CHF per lesson, studio owner Johdi Woodford keeps her classes small (max. 8 people) […]

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Meet Petit Toi

© 2014 Petit-toi store in Lausanne.

Alejandra is the mumpreneur behind Petit Toi in Lausanne, a design shop for children which opened its doors at the end of February, specializing in designer kids’ furniture, accessories and toys. Alejandra has selected children’s furniture with a unique and personal touch: you can choose from the latest European and American designs as well as more vintage pieces. Toys and decorative objects are sourced from all over the world, but always bearing in mind […]

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Why Choose Greycoat Lumleys

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Greycoat Lumleys is a respected, London-based recruitment company with a team specifically dedicated to the placement of childcare staff overseas. Lina and Elvie are our expert, friendly consultants, ready and willing to assist all international clients; they are accustomed to placing childcare candidates all over the world and fully understand the needs of expat English families, or families of different nationalities looking for English staff to help with their children.   […]

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NEST of Love

Photo © EAGALA for N.E.S.T. Geneva

We all know how relocating abroad as a family can affect our children: sometimes we are able to help them through it ourselves and sometimes we need a helping hand from caring, trained professionals. For this reason, we are very happy to share with you the information we have received from N.E.S.T. Geneva (Network of English Speaking Therapists), an association formed by three English-speaking, mental health professionals based in the Geneva area: Dr. Chitra […]

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Expat Mumpreneurs: Renata & Sara

Sara & Renata © 2013 Pépites SÀRL. Tous droits réservés. Photos par Frederic B. photography et Nora photography

We are very happy to publish the story of expat mumpreneurs Renata Bossetti and Sara Mesquida, the hearts & souls behind Pépit9s, a brand of handmade jewelry founded in 2013. Hope you will enjoy finding out about their flair and commitment as much as we did!   Two women of different cultures, life stories & sensibilities. Renata a blonde Italian, delicate, artistic, curious has been living in Switzerland with her husband and […]

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Au Coeur Des Grottes

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Tucked away in a quiet street in the heart of Geneva’s Les Grottes neighbourhood, Au Coeur des Grottes is a beacon of hope for many women who have suffered abuse or find themselves in difficult situations. Some of them are alone, some have young babies or children but they all share a need for security and protection that this warm & welcoming women’s shelter can provide them with. The valuable work they […]

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Boo Merino Giveaway

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We are delighted to announce our first ever giveaway with Luzern-based Boo.Merino, an online store of beautiful kidswear made from 100% Pure New Zealand Merino wool founded by expat mum-of-two Amanda Petrillo. ***THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED – ENTRIES WILL NO LONGER BE ACCEPTED*** Boo.Merino’s wool is 100% natural and does not contain any synthetic or chemical-based materials, such as viscose or polyester. Since Merino is superfine, it can be worn without itching […]

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Meet Zirkuss

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We’re so excited to welcome one of Switzerland’s coolest online kids stores amongst our advertisers, but even more so because the driving & creative forces behind Zirkuss are two busy mums, just like us.       Here’s their story, as co-founder Lucia told Geneva Family Diaries: “At the beginning we started off as a team of three mothers (Patrizia, Petra and Lucia) who wanted to make kids clothes and brands we […]

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Paper & Party Love

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A huge welcome to our new expat mumpreneur Carla Rippstein, founder of stationery website Paper & Party Love. Just take a look at her gorgeous birthday decorations, party supplies & printables and start dreaming about your next fabulous bash. Whether it’s a special occasion for mum & dad or a child’s birthday, Carla’s designs will inspire you: believe you me, her children’s ranges are truly fun and adorable!     We […]

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Rockmybaby

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A very warm welcome to our latest sponsor: Rockmybaby Nanny & Babysitting Agency, launched in Switzerland by Tanya Jeannet in November 2012. Tanya was born in Cape Town (South Africa), is Swiss by nationality and has lived in Switzerland with her husband and two little girls for the last 5 years. Before launching Rockmybaby Switzerland, she worked in corporate environments, providing recruitment services to clients across different industries.     After having her […]

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Swiss Mumpreneurs at Hiboutique

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As you might have guessed, we love to surf the net here at Geneva Family Diaries. A few weeks ago we came across a fab Swiss online shop called Hiboutique, which sells beautifully designed, ethically-sourced and ecological products for babies and young children.   With an array of colourful, eco-friendly products and a very attractive website how could we resist ? We just had to find out more about the Swiss […]

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Lilabloom Notebooks

© Lilabloom handmade notebooks

There’s nothing more inspiring than listening to the life story of other expat mums who, like us, have braved a change of country, culture, lifestyle to build a new life with their family and children. A very warm welcome to Inês, a Portuguese expat mum-of-two and founder of stationery design company Lilabloom. Take a look at her gorgeous handmade notebooks and let yourself be inspired by her story: what if your expat […]

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The Atila4Child Clothing Sale is on!

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Here at Geneva Family Diaries we’re great fans of Atila 4 child‘s gorgeous creations, so I jumped for joy when designer Marie wrote to tell us about her upcoming baby & kids clothing sale. If you’d like to buy some unique, original and super-comfy clothes for your little ones at reduced prices, make sure you clear your diary for the 8th, 12th, 14th and 15th of June 2013 as Marie […]

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Expat Dadpreneurs: Roel

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Our latest entrepreneurial inspiration comes from expat dad Roel van Gasselt, a Dutch father-of-two who moved to Carouge five years ago. Read Roel’s article below to find out more about his expat family, their favourite spots in Geneva and the inspiration behind Roel’s online company Zizzz.ch, which sells the most stylish baby sleeping bags made with organic cotton lining and Swisswool filling as well as a range of adorable baby blankets. We’re delighted to […]

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Organic Fruit with a Local Accent

© Ou bien?! Geneva

One of the things I missed the most when we first moved to Geneva was all the healthy snacks available for children in the UK. My little ones loved them and I knew the brands weren’t loaded with sugar or other nasties. It took me a while (and a lot of label-reading in French!) to find some alternatives here, but I have to admit my boys weren’t always keen and […]

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Learning French Can Be Easy

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Is learning or improving your French still at the top of your to-do list? If so, here’s some very useful information from one of our sponsors: who would have thought that learning French could be as easy as this? The Swiss French School (SFS) method is based on a three-step process which allows students to learn French quickly and use it straight away. With the SFS method you will be able to:  […]

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A Swiss Mum Who Blogs

© Lavipo blog, Geneva

Pauline is a Swiss mum-of-three and the freelance illustrator behind the enourmously funny Lavipo, a Swiss blog about motherhood and other adventures that always leaves me in stitches! You might recognize yourself (I do!) in one of those IKEA-rages, monumentally bad-hair mornings or kids’ meltdowns she portrays so vividly – so if you’d like to find out more about Pauline scroll down a little to read the interview she’s kindly agreed to […]

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Minimalisma Giveaway

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We are delighted to announce our first ever giveaway with Zürich-based Minimalisma, an online store of adorable baby clothes designed by expat mumpreneur Maja. Minimalisma’s clothes are especially designed for babies and toddlers aged zero to 2 years-old. They combine clean Scandinavian simplicity with the best natural fabrics such as silk, cashmere, linen and the finest cottons, which are very gentle on a baby’s delicate skin. Read the story behind the launch of […]

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Eco Design at Chougarou.com

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Our Expat Mumpreneur interviews are so inspiring and motivating that we can’t get enough of them. The latest expat mumpreneur to join our group is called Feng-I and lives in Lausanne. Feng-I is an expat mum-of-two from Taiwan and the founder of Chougarou.com, an environmentally-friendly and design-conscious online store of kids products (ages 0-4) designed to make our parenting lives easier. We’re very happy to announce that Chougarou.com is offering a special 20% discount on online purchases for all Geneva Family […]

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How to Choose the Right School in Geneva

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If you’re planning to settle in Geneva with your family, chances are that education will be a key issue that you’re considering. While the city’s education system is excellent, there are a few things to bear in mind when selecting specific schools. Read on to find out what they are.   About the Swiss education system First, it’s helpful to learn a little about how education works in Switzerland. There […]

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Expat Mumpreneurs in Nyon

It's a cat's life...says Smudge The Prettiest © Linda Scott

Last Thursday, I could not resist the opportunity to visit again The Desalpes Company’s Home and Lifestyle collection at their mid-winter fair in Nyon. Having already purchased one of Mikée Westerling’s iconic Swiss Army Blanket cushions (which was given the seal of approval by all the family as you can see in this photo) ‘ we ‘ wanted another. If you’d like to see more of Mikée’s collection, visit The […]

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Help at Moneypenny & Co.

Image courtesy of Moneypenny & Co.

A warm welcome to Corinne Buck, the latest expat mumpreneur to share her story and great tips on our blog. Corinne is a Dutch mother-of-one and the founder of Moneypenny & Co., a company offering personal and professional organizing services in Geneva. Who doesn’t need a bit of help to get our home and busy lives sorted ? Actually, think of it…I should make that a resolution for 2013 !   […]

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Multilingual Children in Geneva

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When we moved from London to Geneva four years ago, Eldest Son was 3 years-old. Although I’d been speaking to him in Italian since he was a baby, English was his “mother-tongue” (or rather “father-tongue” !) and he used Italian only sporadically. I wasn’t worried about it, but I remember wondering when his Italian would ‘take off’ properly. I was also keen for both my boys to pick up French, although Expat Husband was […]

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Genevacakes Giveaway !

Ana, founder of Genevacakes.ch

Read the story behind the launch of Genevacakes, which has been kindly contributed by expat mum and founder Ana Moraleda, and take part in our fabulous Genevacakes giveaway ! ***THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED – ENTRIES WILL NO LONGER BE ACCEPTED*** One lucky winner will gain a place on a “Fondant cake decoration workshop” (value 360CHF, course duration 6 hours – the prize cannot be exchanged for the cash equivalent or for an alternative […]

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Becoming a Father in Switzerland

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We’re back with part three of expat dad Paul Reed-Peck’s account of his move to Switzerland (click here to read the first part of Paul’s story: “Moving to Switzerland”, and part two “Settling in Switzerland”). In this interview he’ll tell us more about his experience of becoming a father for the first time in Switzerland. Remember you can find out more about Paul’s expat adventures and pick up some very useful tips […]

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A Touch of Spice

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If – like me – you have been lacking time, inspiration or enthusiasm for your Christmas shopping, please let me point you in the direction of Spice Your Life at number 11, rue de Raulan in Bassins (Canton Vaud).       Tamara Martyn fills her beautiful shop with a delightful collection of original pieces. Her homeware range includes porcelain cups, bowls, pretty table linen, aprons and glassware. Decorative furnishings include cushions, artwork, […]

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Help Your Expat Kids Cope

Tammy Furey at FureyCoaching.com

“Oh, they’ll be fine! Children are amazing aren’t they? They just soak up languages like a sponge” I have lost count of the amount of times I have heard this. Almost the same amount of times as the absurd question: “is she a good baby?” I have heard it come out of my own mouth a few times, like a tape recording. I simply don’t want to get into the […]

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Sture & Folke Baby Blankets

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A few weeks ago I met Karin, a lovely expat mumpreneur from Sweden who has been living in Canton Vaud for nearly 4 years. I’d invited her over for a cup of tea and a chat, hoping that she might agree to contribute a post about her business for our mumpreneurs section. Well, completely unexpectedly, she showed up with a wonderful gift for my little girl: one of her own […]

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Mac & Fred Champagne Evening

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Xmas is fast approaching and sometimes I feel in need of inspiration to find gifts for the girls in our family (and – being an extended AngloItalian family – there are lots…of all ages !) so I was really excited when I received the invitation to a special Mac & Fred champagne evening, which will take place on Thursday 6th of December 2012 from 6pm to 11pm in Commugny (VD). If you’re looking […]

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A Beginner’s Guide to Skiing in the Swiss Alps

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Getting to ski the enchanting Verbier slopes in Valais (one of Switzerland’s French speaking Cantons) is not for the faint-hearted, nor for beginners such as me. Or so I thought. As luck would have it, on the day I visited, only the horrifying (red) and the extremely petrifying (black) trails were open. Not the basic (blue) for beginners. I was not feeling confident. As I watched, very young Swiss children through […]

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An Expat Family in Aigle

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When you’re planning a move abroad or you’ve just put down your expat roots in a new place, there’s nothing more helpful or inspiring than finding out more about the experience of other expat families living in the same country. For this reason, we’re very pleased to be able to share this personal account of a British family in Aigle (VD) contributed by Rebecca Lawson, an expat mum-of-one and wife to realist painter AJ Lawson. Find […]

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Expat Dads: Settling In Switzerland

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We’re back with part two of expat dad Paul Reed-Peck’s account of his move to Switzerland (click here to read the first part of Paul’s story: “Moving to Switzerland”). In this interview he’ll tell us more about the settling in process and how he went about finding a job, a rental apartment and getting to grips with the French language. Remember you can find out more about Paul’s expat adventures and pick up some very useful tips on […]

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The Desalpes Company

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Expat mum-of-three Mikée Westerling is the founder of The Desalpes Company, an online store of gorgeous home products made using authentic Swiss Army blankets. We immediately fell in love with her collection when we saw her website and we’re over the moon that she agreed to contribute this article to tell us more about her designs (& share some of her expat tips too !).   Mikée is offering our readers a free Desalpes […]

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No Homework, More Fun ?

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New expats moving to France will see educational reforms take place from September 2013. After months spent debating over the current school life, French Education Minister Vincent Peillon announced a complete rework of the French system and new laws will be presented to the Parliament in January. French children are said to be currently put under too much pressure. In primary schools, they spend long hours studying (typically from 8am to […]

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Expat Dads Who Blog: Paul

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Our expat community in the Suisse Romande can count many fantastic expat dads who have taken the plunge and thrown themselves fully into building a family life here in Switzerland. We love to read about their new lives here and pick up some of their priceless tips so we’re delighted to be able to introduce Paul Reed-Peck to all our readers: he’s an expat dad and one who blogs too […]

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She’s Toute Sweet !

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Here at Geneva Family Diaries our eyes are definitely bigger than our tums, so we might be forgiven if – with so many exceptional Master Bakers in our expat community – we find it really hard to resist the temptation to mention them all…   US expat Nikki is as sweet as her culinary masterpieces and the name of her baking business: Toute Sweet, couldn’t be more appropriate ! So if you’d like to […]

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Love Esther Zaricot

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We can’t stop grinning from ear to ear since Mme Esther Zaricot agreed to give us this interview. She’s a Swiss mum-of-two and author of one of the funniest, coolest blogs we’ve ever come across, click here to see why ! Drawn using only Paint and her mouse (and only during her lunch breaks), Esther’s blog can always capture those sweet, funny moments we’ve all been through with our BFFs, husbands and little ones… The […]

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