'Why Switzerland?' This is a question I'm often asked. 

'Why, {oh why must you be so Swiss} Switzerland?' This is a question I often ask.

We moved here in July 2009. That's three and a half years. Longer than we had originally planned, shorter than far too long. I am ready to make moves towards Blighty but more of that another time. For now, Switzerland is home. We are really enjoying the life we have here. As much as we miss our family and friends, there are a lot of positives to being here and I, for one, am so thankful that we made this move. It has proved to be a positive step for us in our own journey. We have had to rely on each other like never before. 

Funny that we arrived as a couple and now have two children... almost three. Since July 2009... that's a lot of breeding for three and a half years!

Switzerland sort of just happened to us. I know that you can't just wake up in a different country without any input but we just rode a wave and that's exactly what happened. Here's how...

So. Well, lets see, we were living and working in London. Fantastic. London! Loved it. We have a cosy {tiny} little flat in Greenwich and loved life in the south east. London offers a great lifestyle. It's London. Just walking her streets is enough for me. There is an endless amount of shopping to be done, shows to see, restaurants to eat in. All the loveliness aside, neither of us were very keen on the jobs we were in. I was working in a Postgraduate Medical Deanery, the same sort of work that I had been doing in Belfast. I absolutely loved my job in Belfast. I mean it... I loved going to work. Monday's didn't bother me. Coming back from holiday didn't bother me. Working weekends didn't bother me. I loved it. The same set up in London proved very different. Without going into the why's and wherefores, I hated it. Alex was a totally fed up in his job too. He was in auditing which didn't inspire him much at all.

Greenwich Park, I love you.
We'd both get the Sunday night horrors at the thought of the week ahead and spend the 9-5 longing for the next weekend. I realise this is the case for a lot of people but enough was enough for us. We were engaged and about to get married at the end of the year. The start a new journey and I for one didn't want our story to involve being miserable five days a week. Life's too short, right!? We are all responsibile for our own happiness. We have to make changes and not just dream about them.

Our Greenwich Days {with youth on our side!}
So that's what we did. Alex quit his job with three months notice. Three months notice. Those pesky 'three months' were hindering his search. So... three months, that's loads of time to find a new job. Right? Not so... something rather unpredicted happened. The old credit crunch hit. London was out of bounds for Alex getting a new job. Nobody was hiring new staff and everyone was making cuts. Eeeeeshk... so much for 'Life's too short, right!? We are all responsibile for our own happiness. We have to make changes and not just dream about them' With his notice period up and no joy in London job hunting, we got to talking about our options. There weren't many. Alex said he thought going back to Guernsey would be a safe bet as a short term solution. He had trained there, his dad lives there, he has friends there... seemed a good idea. He set up a couple of meeting and, praise be(!), was offered a couple of jobs in one morning. Phew! Sort of. He has a job. It's in Guernsey. He was now in Guernsey and I am in London. I hadn't moved to London for the love of love to start doing long distance all over again. We were about to get married. What a pickle. What to do?

Easy. It wasn't a difficult letter of resignation to write. I pretty much skipped out of work that day knowing my days at the Deanery were numbered. Post wedding, I'd move to Guernsey too, find a temp job of some sorts and we'd figure out the next step together.

To be contnued...


This story came up in my Facebook news feed over the weekend. It's a real gem. I feel a bit silly that I need prompted to remember the important things in life but sometimes the little things just cloud my view. Have a read.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous ‘yes.’

The professor then produced two beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

‘Now,’ said the professor as the laughter subsided, ‘I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things - your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions - and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car. The sand is everything else, the small stuff.

‘If you put the sand into the jar first,’ he continued, ‘there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life.

If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.

Spend time with your children. Spend time with your parents. Visit with grandparents. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and mow the lawn.

Take care of the golf balls first, the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the beer represented. The professor smiled and said, ‘I’m glad you asked.’ The beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of beers with a friend.

So simple. Love your golf balls people. When everything is stripped back, they are all that matters.

*** Original source: Unknown ***


Just had me some great gift giving success! Don't you love when you get it right. To get someone a treat that they really weren't expecting. I do.

I'm a big fan of Not On The High Street {dot} com. Especially for the range of personalised gifts that they have on offer. My latest love is for Letterfest's Bespoke House Pencil Sketch. My recipient loved it so much that she's going to buy one for her parents so I'd say that was a pretty sure sign of success.

Bespoke House Pencil Sketch by Letterfest
Et voila! I sent a photograph, they sent the sketch!
I can also vouch for the Personalised Scrabble Art by Copperdot. I got a couple for my nephews Theo and Cosmo. Each one had their names interlinked with scrabble tiles. Their date of birth was written at the bottom in a nice fancy script style font. They are gorgeous. It'll be a go to for future babies in my life. I probably should get them for my own tots.

Also love these Personalised Rubber Address Stamps by English Stamp. I tell ya, when we finally get settled in a permanent home, I'll treat myself to one of these.

Joseph was given one of these gorgeous Personalised Aprons by 3 Blonde Bears from his little chums Ella, Dom and Seb. Thanks Lisa! The quality is great and he loves the pocket {you can get a lot of HappyLand people in that pocket!} and the diggers print is right up his street!



So there is a lot of love for dummies in our house. Why do we call them dummies? Just to be clear a dummy or 'nummy' as Carys calls it is a pacifier, comforter, soother... or as Alex and I have come to call it 'the silencer'! I am a dummy fan. Both Joseph and Carys are major dummy fans. From both were teeny tiny they got a lot of comfort from it and it played a major roll in stretching out feeds when they started to get a little tetchy. For me, there are more pros than cons to giving your baby a dummy. It's just about how to control its use and how to get rid of it when the time is right. When we started out at the parenting game I reckoned turning two years old would be the right time. It didn't go according to plan.

Joseph, as you know, has just turned three. He still uses a dummy. Now, just to clarify, he's not one of those kids at the park running about with a dummy hanging out of his mouth but his dependency on it was not on the decline. We set out to allow it in the car and in bed but really we weren't strict enough on enforcing these boundaries. It got to the stage where, when I was taking pictures of them around the house, I was always saying 'take your dummies out' or I'd take a picture of Carys and Joseph would be there loitering in the background with a dummy. I started to hate the dummy. I don't want to hate dummies. Dummies are my friends. But, dummies are for babies. Just babies. 'Operation: Au Revoir Dummy' was becoming urgent.

So last week, Monday I think it was doing the usual morning duty and decided today was the day.

Day one: No dummy. It was exhausting. All day long he begged and he moaned and he cried 'I want my red dummy mummy, I want my red dummy mummy, I want my red dummy mummy, I want my red dummy mummy, I want my red dummy mummy, I want my red dummy mummy, I want my red dummy mummy...' I was tired. I ran out of distractions. Puzzles, games, duplo, cartoons, cuddles. It was a looooooooong day. Long, I tell you. So desperate for his dummy was that boy of mine, he went to bed and had a nap. He hasn't napped for about 10 months!

Day two: No dummy. Less exhausting but a little weary. He moaned less, he begged less, he cried less. He played more. He talked more. He napped again.

Day three: Joseph's Third Birthday. No dummy. No problem. Happy dummy free birthday party!

And just to remind you of how cute he is sans dummy... and show off my appaling cake decorating skills{!} here are a couple of pictures from Joseph's birthday.

Top a bad icing job with a favourite toy and hope nobody notices!

Birthday treat from the staff at our local Auberge. Merci!

A week on, its become clear that having the dummy during the day was relaxing him a little bit too much. Whilst it was not in his mouth every waking minute of the day, it was enough that he hadn't need to nap. I have two pretty laid back children and a dummy makes them REALLY laid back. A week on, he still has his dummy in bed and has napped most days since cold turkey started. The nap request is most definitely an excuse for time out with a beloved dummy. He is going to bed much easier. Marching himself to his bedchamber and clambering onto his bed without assistance and falling asleep really quickly without fuss. The next step is of course, to rid ourselves of the dummy completely.

Do I regret using a dummy?

Would I use the same method again?
Yes, just wishing I'd started sooner.

Will I use a dummy for the next baby?
Yes ma'am.

What about Carys?
She is on the same regime and is totally cool about it.


I'm almost half way through my third pregnancy and I'm almost ready to give up on maternity fashion. Gaaaah! Seriously, no fun. Now, a big part of this, for me, is because I live in Switzerland. I haven't talked much about Switzerland yet... so let me kick off but telling you that shopping in Switzerland is useless. 'Shopping' comes a close second behind 'family ties' on my list of reasons to move back to the UK. That may sound ridiculous to some but trust me... try shopping in Switzerland and get back to me! I digress. I will revisit all things Swiss related {brace yourselves!} another day. So, as I was saying, maternity fashion...

At home, I live in cropped leggings {hmmmmm...  please don't judge me, I need comfort!} and a top of some description. Should we go outdoors, I can do a swift change into a pair of jeans and be gone.

My maternity wardrobe is a collection of under the bump jeans, all with varying levels of good and bad! Also lurking in a drawer are two pairs of pretty dodgy maternity jeggings that I'm not happy with. I need to flog them or give them away. Every time I look at them, I cringe. Both are over the bump which really isn't my thing. I've got a lovely navy dress that I really like. I picked it up from a Dorothy Perkin's sale for £15 so it's a bargain hit! To top off my woeful collection there is a series of basics tops in white, navy and black. Very uninspiring.

This pregnancy will take me into the summer {due date 10 June} so come April, things will be hotting up here in Switzerland and jeans will probably be out the window anyways. I'm loathed to buy much more but another dress {or two!} should see me though. I'm using what I've got to it's best and trying to work on accessorising. I'm not big on accessorisies. Don't get me wrong, I love me some gorgeous accessories, I just forget to use them and when I do they are hauled and pulled at by the tots.

My mum got me a great pair of straight leg from Mamas & Papas for Christmas that are my favourite go to. They are the closest to perfect that I have found. I'm exitedly awaiting the arrival of this dress from Jojo Maman Bebe from my sister-in-law. Should be another great summer staple. Fingers and toes crossed.

Mamas & Papas Straight Leg Jeans :: Jojo Maman Bebe Black Linen Dress
If you're on your first pregnancy, please learn from my mistakes... the main thing I have learned is that most maternity wear comes up quite big. I've made the so many mistakes buying my normal size or even going a size up. You'd think I'd have learned sooner but pregnancy number three and I've finally realised I need to go a size down. Shop around and try lots of different style on. Top tip :: when your bump is big, your bum looks small{er}!


Yesterday was a big day at Chez Trott. A certain little boy was very aware that there was a special day coming up with his name all over it. He relished in the birthday kisses . He soaked up the 'happy birthday' wishes bestowed upon him. He was excited about the presents. We had a small stash tucked behind the sofa. He went for the smallest first, surprisingly! A lovely book from his cousins. He flicked the pages and then remembered there was more. Off he went, back behind the sofa, emerging with a box wrapped in yellow paper from my parents. Not just any box. Inside this box, Joseph was about to find a new friend. 'It's Woody mummy' in that little voice of coy excitement. A nervous giggle usually follows that little voice. 'Thank you nana'npapa' chimed all morning as Woody and Joseph made each others acquaintane. Precious. Presh-us! It has been about 36hours... they are inseperable. I think it's love.  

He had gone in size order saving the biggest for last. Smarty pants. No fooling this boy. He saw past my wrapping straight away.

'It's a bike'
'Is it?!'
'Yeeeaaas' {still clutching Woody}
'Shall we unwrap it?'
'Yeeeaaas' {still clutching Woody}

Commence unwrapping. This was the moment. Alex and I bought this present way back in September. It's a Kiddimoto Kurve Balance Bike. Very cool. Keeping up with our love of the homeland it's the one with Union Jack detailing. I've been so excited to see Joseph's face light up when he saw it.  This didn't really go according to plan. He was slightly impressed. He even went to fetch his bicycle helmet {also Kiddimoto}. He flung his leg over the frame and looked quite the part. For a few seconds. Wriggling to get his position, his little legs just weren't quite long enough to sit on the seat and balance. There was a wobble. There was a crash. There was a declaration of 'oh, it's not very good!'

Back to Woody.

Still. There's time. It's winter. It's not like he'll be biking in winter. Come the spring and summer, he'll be all over it. He'll master it. Wont he!?

2 0 1 3... SERIOUSLY?

So for me this is really quite impossible. I lived through each New Year of the naughties saying 'I'm still mourning the nineties!' And here in 2 0 1 3, I still am! I miss the old 1 9 w h a t e v e r s. Two thousand and blah doesn't roll off the toungue with any great style. Not for anyone. No, not even you. Say 'Christmas ninety four' then say 'Christmas two thousand and four'. See? Do you even care? Am I on my own in this head battle? Have I lost you? Stick with me here...

It got better once we hit 2 0 1 0 :: twenty ten :: Twenty10. However your write it, it sounds better to say. Right? And now here we are at two thousand and thriteen :: 2 0 1 3 :: 20thirteen. We are here. And here, in this moment I have decided it is time to let go of the 1 9 whatevers. Not the memories. Not at all {although some can feel free to fade into oblivion if they do so desire!} no, I need to let go of my irritation at the mouthful of words that the year 2 0 0 0 has brought to us. I need to get over it. There are plenty bigger things in life that irritate me. Plenty! So, life resolution... get over the loss of the nineties and the 1 9 whatevers. They are gone. Thirteen years gone. Over it.

Yes, lets.

By the by... Christmas was an EPIC and generally fabulous delight with Jonny, Jaime and their littles. So good.

New Years was not so epic. Glands-a-swollen, ears-a-hurtin' and general feelings of pity for myself and my troops as we all suffered in some shape or form. Gah. The effects are still lingering but onwards we go... 2 0 1 3, let's do this.