All About Snow Days & Keeping Your Puppy Warm

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All is white, all is bright – it finally snowed in Zurich this week! And not just a little, no – I mean a lot of fluffy powder snow everywhere. I love it and am crossing my fingers that it’ll stay a while!

My friends child stayed home for a few days and some schools in South Germany are even closed due to snow chaos I heard. Sadly, we “adults” don’t get free snow days anymore. Though let’s be honest – most of us would not be rolling around in the snow the full day (at least I wouldn’t). Unless, of course, one can go up the mountain for snow activities.

Zaphira prefers snow much more than rain. Understandably so, I think. And because our almost everyday lunch activity is to play fetch & catch the ball, this was not different with all the snow. I took Zaphira to a small park area nearby where she run around freely. One thing I didn’t think: the snow was actually so high already we several times almost lost the ball in the snow. Of course that is one thing Zaphira does not accept. Thus, she runs around like a maniac trying to find the ball in the snow not caring whether her jumper gets soaked or not. Surely, it did.

Now, for anyone that also has an Italian Greyhound, knows the breed, has a dog of its own with less fur or one that is not used to the cold temperatures – note that even dogs can catch the flu if we (the humans) aren’t watching out for them. Zaphira for example barely has fur and is surely not made for the winter – I don’t think she would survive one winter by herself. So of course she has a little closet (joke) of her own and thus a few outfits to choose from (well, four jumpers/jackets so to speak).

After being all soaked by the snow, however, her shivering could no longer be ignored. This is when I say: be careful. No one, not even a puppy, should be shivering due to the cold. So I took off her jumper immediately, wrapped her up in my jacket – took some amazing cute little selfies (see the photos) – and carried her back to the office so she would be warm. At the office I made her a hot water bottle (yes, she has her own one there). Because she was shaking and shivering a little more than usual, I also cooked up a chicken bouillon (add A LOT of water) and served it to her slightly warm. Trust me: your dog will love you after this – and it has the great benefit of you not having to worry that your pup isn’t drinking enough!

Do you have any other tips or trick of keeping your pup (those that freeze easily) warm after a day out in the snow?

Linzertorte – Daddy’s Birthday Cake Recipe

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Happy belated Birthday via this blog, dad!

Last week was my dads birthday. Since seemingly forever, one of his all-time favorite cakes is the so-called Linzertorte. My mom used to bake it for him every year at least once for his birthday; sometimes just in-between during the winter season. It’s also a traditional Christmas season cake in Germany. This year my dad was in Zurich for his birthday – mom joined, too. Because they arrived the night before his birthday, I decided to bake the cake a day before and surprised him in the morning with it and a lit candle.

Even though I am not the biggest fan of the cake, I must say it did go pretty well. The only thing I would note down for next time – the jam: it was too sweet for my taste. It really is important to find a good jam too add to the layer – or, make one yourself. Perhaps something I can do the next time around. For now, however, I wanted to share the recipe with you.

What you need

250 g soft butter / I used plant-based margarine
200 g brown sugar
2 medium-sized eggs
1 egg yolk
200 g grounded almonds
200 g flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
knife tip of clove powder
250 g of your favorite jam (I used raspberry – the traditional receipe idea)
more flour
coconut oil 

What to do

1) In a large bowl, mix the butter with the eggs and sugar until nice and soft
2) add in the almonds, 200g of flour, cinnamon and clove powder – keep mixing
3) heat up the oven to 180°C 
4) spread coconut oil (best to use a cooking paintbrush) all over the baking tin (diameter around 26 cm)
5) add ⅔ of the dough into the tin, spread it equally and add jam on top of it (leave 2 cm free towards the edge)
6) add in more flour to the ⅓ of dough – so much, until you have a thicker cookie-dough like mixture
7) spread this dough onto transparent film, roughly 0.5 cm high – and place it min. 45min into the fridge
8) once fully cooled down, take out the dough and cut it into long strips, around 1cm wide
9) you’re ready to now place them onto the jam in any weaving-style you want
10) once done, whisk up the egg yolk and brush it onto the dough (this prevents the cake from burning and turning too dark)
11) now off into the oven – 40 min straight baking

E voila – there you have it! You’re (perhaps) first Linzertorte! Actually easier than it looks on the photo, I swear!

Note: I was inspired by the German-written recipe on the Betty Bossi website (though slimmed-down the recipe slightly) – though feel free to check out this one, too!

Wildnispark Zurich – My Sunday Stroll

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Since I have Zaphira in my life I started going for walks so much more; naturally, of course. Yet, I get bored quite easily if the routine hits too hard and seeing the same scenery daily really doesn’t boost my imagination nor creativity. I likewise noticed, sadly enough, that I don’t know Zurich as well as I wish I did. I thus decided to try and find new walking routes at least once a month. This Sunday I started with taking Zaphira to the Wildnespark (Wild Animal Park) in Zurich. It’s really quite the nice walk in autumn – calm, quiet, not too many people but still oh-so-many smells that kept my little fur-friend fascinated at all times. I especially loved that dogs are allowed in the area – at least when kept on the leash. Likewise, there is no entrance fee – which was also nice. The parking (when arriving by car) did cost 10,- Swiss francs; though because this money is used to support the wild park I really didn’t mind the fee (it’s a one-time pay for the whole day). For those that want to go more often, one can also purchase a parking ticked for the whole year (for 100 Swiss francs).

I absolutely loved this new scenery (and loved seeing the Moose!) and will absolutely go back – especially to see the park throughout the different seasons!

A Sunday Hike in Einsiedeln

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I love all season – really. I love winter and the Christmas season – when all is covered in white (at least in the mountains here in Switzerland) and there is nothing better than putting on the fireplace and drinking a glass of red wine whilst sitting on the fur. Then comes spring, when finally everything awakens again and the birds start coming back to slowly build their nests. The greatest flower fields are usually found in spring and near summer. Summer is just fabulous because of the weather – there is nothing better than being able to wear a t-shirt and shorts and not freezing our asses off. Yet autumn,.. it something special to me. Perhaps because so many of my beloved people are born in autumn, or maybe because we are getting ready for the festive season. Surely, I love the magic of nature – when all leaves turn turn their colors and everything becomes yellow, orange and red. When the sun turns gold in the evening and every look at nature takes my breath away – that is when I enjoy being outside the most.

One of my closer friends and I decided to use this time of the year and start exploring Switzerland just a little more. I can’t believe I have been living in Zurich for nearly 4 years (in spring) and I still don’t really know the country. There is so much beauty – and we decided we want to explore as much as possible of it. Because Zaphira (my puppy) is only 4.5 months old now, we decided not to do a huge trip (she does not have the energy, yet). We wanted something nearby but still go outside the city – outside of Zurich. Quickly, we decided on Einsiedeln. It is a super tiny town just about 1 hour away from Zurich city. There is a huge monastery one can visit, see the Black Madonna inside the church and go for an amazing short hike (or longer, if one has time and feels like it).

Stepping out of the train already made us realise we are definitely out on the countryside. The air was brisk clear – and that is almost surprising as I always believed Zurich already has such clean air. No, Einsiedeln topped it off immediately. The second smell that we immediately welcomed was the smell of horses. Oh, how I love those graceful animals. It reminded me of my childhood, when I used to horseback ride once in a while and loved every minute of it. It now is back up on my to-do list for the future. First, however, I need to get Zaphira used to those “long-legged dogs” which she saw for her first time last Sunday.

After a plentiful lunch that we jumped into right when leaving the train station, we went up the hill and enjoyed nature to it’s fullest. Of course, being “big city girls”, we had to stop about every 5 minutes to either take picture of the surrounding, my puppy, or ourselves (selfie-time for the win!). To not bore you in trying to explain the beauty, I wanted to share some of the photos with you.

I cannot say it often enough – people, go out into nature! There is so much to explore. Sometimes just around the corner – perhaps a few streets aways, but there is always something beautiful if we only just try to see it. It seemed like all the pressure, all my worries, all open tasks – everything just went away for those few hours we were outside. I really recommend it to everyone; for your heart and health!

Freshly pressed juices to-go & a boost of vitamins

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Good morning and happy October already! Time flies so fast I am struggling to keep up with it. How did we manage to get into autumn so quickly already? It’s getting colder by the day I feel and I am ready to take out my winter jackets soon. With the cold approaching rapidly, I have the feeling my body is in extra need of vitamins and all things healthy a little more than usual. I notice my skin looking duller by the day – and I ain’t liking it at all. So I decided to start  my mornings these days with an extra boost of healthy fruits and mostly vegetable juices and get in those greatly needed vitamins.

Yesterday I spent almost an hour in the kitchen only to grind through those vegetables and fruit into the juicer. And I am proud to say I am rather satisfied with the outcome – the colors of the different juices are just as I had hoped they would be. A grassy-green that makes you feel healthy by looking at it (includes mostly apples, cucumber, spinach, one orange and ginger), a wake-you-up orange (consisting mostly of oranges, carrots, ginger and apple) and a deep-loving-red (made up of oranges, carrots, apples, ginger and beet root).

I am also thinking about doing a few days of juices only and find this a great way to getting used to the tastes already. I have never really done a full juice cleanse and thought that now with autumn having kicked in and winter approaching, this may be a good time to clean up inside of myself after this wonderful summer and lots of glasses of wine. I will, probably though, order juices, as making freshly pressed juices on the daily really is a bit time consuming (don’t forget buying the groceries first). Do any of you have experiences with juice cleanses and are there any you can recommend?

With that I am wishing everyone a great Monday and kick-start into the new week! xo