Gratitude Friday: Lady J and The Man

Post by Lauren

The hardship of Geneva is that it is a transient city – people come, people go. This week we have had to say goodbye to Lady J and The Man. I first met Lady J through email when S found her blog after researching Geneva. We had a blind meet-up at Auer coffee my first week here and she was the first official friend that I had in Geneva.

It feels like it was yesterday, but it was last May, 10 months ago. It’s been such a pleasure getting to know her and her husband. They have such style, whether it be in clothing, throwing a sophisticated soirée or in culinary arts. They have an awesome sense of adventure and great recommendations when it comes to travel. So, this gratitude Friday I am grateful that we have had them in our Geneva story. We hope that we can visit them in Singapore someday soon.

Below are some images of a little surprise afternoon get-together we had for Lady J this week.  She thought she was dropping in on me to say goodbye but we had other plans in store for a petite fête.

Au Revoir, my friend.  May you have a Bon Weekend on your flight back home!

Playing on Lady J's love of macaroons

Hiding in anticipation of Lady J's arrival.

Surprise!!!

All the ladies enjoying our afternoon of sweets. We'll miss you Lady J!

Douche de Bébé

Post by Lauren

On this blog, we have covered the fact that baby showers are an American thing. Other cultures don’t really have “showers”.

Our theory is that Americans love a good excuse for a party. We also like celebrating things. Who doesn’t love a party?

This past weekend, we were excited to attend our second couples “douche de bébé*”. A & A hosted a lovely baby shower at their flat for L & R who are expecting a girl this May.

A made beautiful invitations

In China, where L & R are from, it isn’t common to have a celebration pre-baby. However, they do have a celebration for the baby one month after birth. R explained that gifts are given and whatever the baby gravitates toward, they predict is going to be the child’s life passion. For instance, you hope that the kid reaches for a book indicating that he/she will be studious rather than a bottle of beer which could he/she is going to enjoy the sauce.

A did a fabulous job preparing some yummy shower food. She made Buffalo Dip, Fruit Salsa, Baked Brie, and had tons of other yummy snacks. L even brought some traditional Chinese food to her own baby shower – delicious sticky rice balls with pork. Gabe and I were quite happy to take a break from our frozen soup supply and to partake in the spread!

HB and Mommy

I think Rocco was glad S came!

The guys tend to flock together at les douches de bébé. Wonder why?

The guests of honor!

Excited about the diapers!

 

It was a really nice evening spent celebrating the upcoming arrival. We look forward to meeting this new little bundle in May of this year.

*literal translation of “baby shower” into French.  Yes, I know. Creepy. That is what makes them more fun here!

Whisky Night

Post by Lauren

Our friends Lady J and The Man are leaving Geneva soon. They hosted a final soiree at their posh flat last Friday themed “Whisky Night”. Guests brought a whisky to “taste” and a food that would pair well with whisky.

The selection of whiskeys to taste.

Serving it up, classy style

There was a diverse group of guests, from Japan, France, India, and The States. And of course the hosts whom will return to their native Singapore in a few short days.

I didn’t partake in the whisky as I am taking one important medicine that is reduced in effectiveness with alcohol, but loved spending the evening visiting with everyone from the vantage point of the couch. It was a nice treat to get out of our flat for a few hours.

At least there was another non-whisky drinker

Below are just a few of the samplings of the pairings:

Sweet and Spiced meat jerky from Singapore
Teriyaki Chicken Wings
Pork Ribs in Char Siew Sauce
Truffle French Fries
Vegetable sticks with Crab Rangoon Dip
Refreshing Cherry Tomatoes with Plum
Sashimi Rice dish
Cucumber salad
Tortilla chips and homemade salsa
Bourbon Bread Pudding (our contribution)
Selection of Stettler Swiss Chocolates

Champagne and Baileys were also served as alternatives for the lesser whisky enthusiasts.

Cheers! Not sure whats wrong with A.

The group enjoyed the whisky, emptying three bottles by the night’s end. If you are looking to host a themed soiree anytime in the future, Whisky Night was certainly a hit!

Gratitude Friday: 33 Years

Post by Lauren

This Friday’s gratitude post goes out to my husband, since Wednesday was his trente-troisième anniversaire.

Everyday spent with him is a gift.

Last Friday night, we had a triple birthday celebration with A & A as their birthday’s all fell within a week. We went to Mr. Pickwicks Pub for an evening out with Geneva friends. They gave us “the VIP room” (aka “The Champagne room”) for the celebration.

I made some chocolate and nutella cupcakes and L & L brought a lovely cake.

I speak for both Gabe and I that it is really nice that we have met such great people here in Geneva….it makes celebrating occasions like this a lot more joyous.

Here are a few photos from the night:

Bon weekend, everyone!

Halloween in Geneva

Post by Lauren

In Europe, Halloween isn’t such a big holiday. Gabe & I had a few friends over so that we could properly celebrate.

First, he carved a pumpkin, which is a necessity for Halloween. By the way, large pumpkins are sold sparingly at the big grocery store, labeled Gros Halloween, or Fat Halloween.

Then, I made a few “scary” dishes:

Then, a few friends joined us for the fun. Note, most of them came on public transport and got lots of odd looks. Including people who were taking photos of them. Again, Halloween is very strange here, especially to dress like characters (see yesterday’s post).

You are probably wondering who won the pumpkin? Well, the big prize goes to The Girl in the Dragon Tattoo.

Congrats and Happy Halloween!

The American

Post by Lauren

Since Gabe’s company has headquarters in the US, they encouraged all the employees to dress up Friday. Here is Gabe dressed as Magnum PI. It was relatively easy to pull off since he had a Hawaiian shirt and cap and S & S had given us a bunch of mustaches (you’ll see why for tomorrow’s post). Anyhow, comparing the two, I think he did quite well for a costume pulled together in ten minutes, morning of.

Since only about 5% of his office is from the US, he knew that people may not know Magnum PI. However, he figured he would get equal education in their characters….maybe some politicians, movie stars, etc. However, people only dressed up like witches and goblins.

We now know the European definition of Halloween is to dress up like a scary thing, not characters, historical references, or pop culture icons like we do in the US.

Lesson learned.

At the end of the day, they circulated an email featuring everyone who participated. People had subtitles of Goblin, Witch under their photos.

Gabe’s simply said, “The American”.

Curry if you care

Post by Lauren

Have you ever used curry to promote peace and tolerance? After this weekend, I can say YES!

This summer, tens of thousands of Singaporeans united against intolerances by pledging to cook a pot of curry on August 21. The effort was designed so that all could appreciate and embrace multiculturalism. Check out the link to Reuters from Lady J’s musings here that can provide more background.

While so many of us were traveling late summer, our friend, Lady J, who happens to be the best cook / pastry chef I know, decided to treat us to a rain check….a Cook A Pot of Curry evening in Geneva. Gabe and I are always up for promoting multiculturalism. Plus, did I mention how awesome her cooking is? 🙂

Lady J and her husband J, and traveling guest KT were such excellent hosts. We had the pleasure of tasting Gado-Gado, Chicken Satay served with Ketupat, Curry Chicken, Prata and Kaya Puffs. My favorite were the incredible sauces. They are so delicious and spicy.

Because I didn’t pull out my camera until the end, Lady J’s Musings and KT ‘s blog provide much better recaps of the fun we had that night. However, here are a few shots I captured later in the evening of the great people we’ve met in Geneva:

The only thing that I am sad about is now I have a constant craving for Singaporean food and its really hard to secure the goods here in Switzerland to make such a meal. Guess its time to plan a trip to SIngapore!