Monday, May 31, 2010

Pedal Boats on Lake Geneva

This post will be relatively short because I have to be packing. Tomorrow morning (very early if you ask me) I'll be leaving for Budapest, Hungary. I've mixed feelings about this trip, I'm really happy to see my family and friends and I'm certainly excited about graduating -- but I don't like leaving Geneva. This city is just too cute to be true and though working conditions are tough, I like ti here a lot. Well, I suppose that will be the topic of another post, one that is long due.

But back to our fun. As the Lake is not really open to naval transport (save the 4 little yellow boats on the river and the couple of ferries to other towns), it's a paradise for water sports lovers. In sunny weather (even when the water's too cold for swimming) sailboats and the like populate the water and many people hire pedal boats to head for the glittering waves.

There are only a couple of rules for pedal boat riders, and those are quite straightforward (no going under the Jet, into the city, etc.). But other than that you can go to Lausanne if you wish! ;) In our experience, however, there is an optimal time to spend on the lake. For two people one hour is too tight because it takes about 10 minutes to really take off and the beginning section is filled with the lazier pedallers so it takes some skills too. :) Two hours can seem a bit longish (but nice) when it's not so sunny (like last Saturday) and you can't swim. But if it's hotter and you can sunbathe a bit or swim, time flies by faster so be prepared to rent for a longer period. There are 2/4/6 seat drives so you can take your friends or family, however, only two people have to drill so be prepared to draw straws from time to time. ;)

It's no ad, so I won't tell you where to find the little blue hut but you'll soon find that there's only one place in Geneva to rent decent pedal boats. They have other kinds as well, motor boats and such, some of them driven by the solar panels on the hut's roof! They're not so expensive either, for a 2/4 seat pedal boat it's CHF 20/36 for 1/2 hours and motor boats start around 50 per hour (if I remember correctly). Compared to Geneva prices in general, it's a good deal.

Check them out and tell me what you think! ;)
Have a nice week!

your fleur ;)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Wedding Reception Games: a Do Or a Don't?

Well, I've been reading some really controversial stuff on it. It seems, some people are completely appalled by the idea and would just leave immediately once a game is announced at a wedding reception. Others feel kind of out of place at wedding receptions, and feel that games help them find their place and make them more aware of what to do. There are also weddings where, for cultural, religious or completely other reasons, dancing is not an option. So reception games come into play.

I don't quite know about others. I have never ever been to a wedding reception (wait, I've been to a Caribbean one, completely by chance, but that was exceptional...very exceptional), so I don't quite know about myself. I guess there are situations where wedding reception games are a complete don't. But in our case they seem pretty justified.

I have to emphasize that by games I don't mean a) boardgames, however the groom would love them; b) games centered on "torturing" the bride and groom (or the guests). But as we're two extreme fun loving persons, our families and friends are also a bit on the extreme and fun loving side. There's absolutely no way they'd enjoy the cake-eating-dancing-hitting-bed kind of wedding. And neither would we. So we'd better be inventive, huh?

I'm not gonna tell you what games we've picked (why, guests may be reading!) but my tedious and long internet search has proved fruitful. We have found some really fun and cool games, and we've tweaked a couple to suit our needs.

My absolute fav is the Fun Fact game. You can play it in many many ways, we've just thought of one that suits us and the party best. The basic idea is that you gather some facts about the couple that guests/the other may or may not be familiar with. And then you play it all up. Taped interviews, flash cards are possible ways of doing it, but you can design your own. I prefer the ones that are the most original and the least TV show like. The web is full of info on this, and I'm sure to add ours to the list when the wedding is over. ;)

Another real hit can be the Kissing Challenge, as I call it. It can also be done in many many ways, but the basic idea is the same: guests like to clang their glasses for the couple to kiss. I think it's a rather nasty tradition (I want to have my fill of the wonderful food we've chosen!) and too easy on the guests. What we'll do: we'll make them pay for the kiss. I'm not talking money here... but there are so many ways to let the bride and groom have their fun too. (*evil laugh*) The web has various options too, we've picked and tweaked the one we liked best. Be prepared to pay for your fun, haaa haaa haaaa! :D

And there will be others like these, small things that don't require running around or shoving eggs up and down the groom's trouser legs or blindfolding either of us. Neither are these cheesy or childish, as you can see. It's just doing what we do best: giving old concepts a makeover and make our families and friends laugh their heads off. ;)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Why Are You Learning Languages? ;)

Hey, why not answer here?

I really appreciate any answers, guys. It's totally anonymous and I'm so very interested in getting to know what you think.

Have a long and ultimately cool weekend ;)
Cheerio! ;)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

What's Wrong With The Weather? O.o

I don't get it. It's the end of May. Normally we're heading toward the beach and by all means wear sunglasses and shorts and sandals... What's wrong with the weather in Europe? Do you guys have any idea? I mean I like rain, it's good for the trees and soil but -- there's a limit. And it somehow just feels off.

I really wanna know what's going on...

Keep tuned for more ;)
And have a nice loooong weekend ;)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My 2 Fav Beauty Secrets

... from my 2 fav gurus! ;) (I have a couple more, maybe I'll share their tips with you guys later. But I don't want this to turn into a beauty blog. However,...)

Guys, you have to try these! They've saved my day/life on several occasions!

1) FACE: I was very very skeptical but I had nothing to lose. Plus, my skin's been punishing me for some time and I thought I'd fight back. :) You won't believe how soft and flawless this makes my skin! Since then I do it every morning, tweaking the original recipe a bit: I use a smaller amount of fine brown sugar (so that crystals are more gentle) and sometimes I add a bit of Clean & Clear daily wash creme (full of yummy salicylic acid) for a more luxurious feel.

2) NAILS: You can't imagine how much this simple trick is worth. I can get my smelly noname polish last for 5 (!) days (I haven't found the same strawberry color in bigger brands but I'm still looking) and no polish leaves a trace on my nails. It's easier to take them off though they last like twice as long as they normally do. So go ahead and try this:

Have a beautiful day you all!
Thanx for reading! ;)

Thank you Kandee and Tiffany, you're awesome! ;)

Lots of hugs

Your sunflower ;) (The sun's shining in Geneva! Gosh I'm going out to have some fun in the sun! =D)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

News About My Thesis!

Hi all

Thank you so much for all the finger crossing and well wishing! <3

My thesis turned out to be a 5 (or an A, the highest mark achievable in the Hungarian system), and now I'm awaiting the official commentary. My mom's picking it up tomorrow -- I'm so excited!

What's left is the final exam, where I'll have to "defend" my thesis in the face of the commentary (I have a couple of ideas what issues might come up...) and relate all I know about a given topic in Applied Linguistics.

I'm not particularly nervous about it, after all I've been studying the topic for years now and it's really one of my "babies". LOL Also I have more than 3 weeks so I can read on it as much as I can. ;)

So thanks you guys for wishing me luck, it worked. ;)

Have an awesome week! ;)

My DIY Wedding Invitations

As I've mentioned earlier, I'm doing my own wedding invitations.

It wasn't an easy decision and I still don't know if it was a good one. =) But there are two very good reasons for me to do so. First of all, we wanted to make the invitations as personal as possible. Addressing each guest by his or her name wasn't quite enough. So we got thinking... The second one was that as the invitations set the tone of the wedding and the reception, we wanted them to reflect the elegant yet carefree and natural atmosphere of the event. Besides, I couldn't really find the perfect invitation design, no matter how many sites I visited. And last but not least, as we're having two different wedding sites and many program options, we need like 4 kinds of invitations depending on whether it's for a Swiss friend attending the civil ceremony, a childhood friend invited to the party, or a close family member participating in both. And there's the differences in wording, etc.

So it's easy to see the advantages of the DIY method, however, you have to be skilled enough in the area (I'm a 3rd generation craftsperson) and take into account possible mishaps. A good idea is to experiment a bit before starting the project itself, to see where your talents lie. It takes some time as well, and a lot of patience (something I'm really short of...). But now that I'm done I can say it's totally worth it. It totally took my mind off all my troubles, and at the same time made me feel that I was actually doing something to further the development of our wedding plans. It was a cheerful and relaxing experience, and the invitations do look the way we wanted them to.

Now it's only the finishing touches and the text that's left, the latter still awaiting the finalization of the venues and other details. But on the whole, I guess it deserves a thumbs up: Nice job. Well done. ;)

Thanx for reading,
and have a wonderful week
with lots of sunshine and love,



Yvoire -- The Perfect Sunday Retreat

Now that nice weather has returned to Geneva, the early days of spring suddenly don't seem so far off any more.

I know it's been a while since I promised you guys a little review on our day trip to Yvoire. Well, thanks a lot for your patience, you're simply the best! ;) I'm so sorry it took me so long.... If you've been following my wedding related, posts, I guess you know why. But still, it doesn't help the fact that I'M LAAATE. -.-' I'll try to make up for it, I promise! And I'll find a way to upload more photos as well.

Till then I'll use all my narrative talent! ;) (Not that I have much in that area LOL.)

So a foggy Sunday morning we took a ferry to Yvoire (France). We were hoping the fog would clear up, which it soon did as we left the city's harbor. (I guess it's a specialty of Geneva weather...) The sun started to peek through the clouds but it was still crispy and very windy on the Lake. We boarded the ship at the Eaux-Vives station, but you have to be careful because it doesn't always stop there. So check on their website (it's always changing but very easy to find, the service is also part of the unireso network, so carry your cards, etc.) and don't rely on locals, like the guy at the ice cream stand. =D

As it was Navigation Day, the boat was a really old one with a funny and impressive locomotive engine and "more flags than seats" (according to my future hubby's commentary). Still, it was huge fun, I love boats and planes and all kinds of vehicles made to conquer the elements, so I enjoyed the 100 minute ride a lot. You can also board in Nyon for a much shorter journey but it's practically the same price and you have to walk through the aforementioned ville, so for me it was an easy decision. ;)

Yvoire is a lot like Annecy, which we visited a while ago. There are a number of differences, mainly that wile the latter is surrounded by a modern city, the latter is next to a natural reserve (sort of) and some nice Mediterranean suburbs. Yvoire's also a lakeside town, with lots of medieval sights and inviting little restos. After strolling the enchanting streets for a while, we headed for the Jardin des 5 Senses (Garden of the...).

Amazing. I loved the whole idea of the five separate gardens: one with spice plants; another with vegetables; the third with colorful flowers and a fourth full of weird shaped velvety growth, with a bird cage and fountain in the middle of all this for charming background noises. The fifth garden is the Meditation Garden, where all the five senses are united and birds bathe in the water of the fountain, spraying drops sparkling in the sun. It was all so magical.

Then we decided to look for the Domaine (départementale) de Rovorée - La Châtaignière, a "nice little wilderness" (as Lady Catherine de Bourgh would say) just outside of town. Well, almost just outside. According to the town's website and the maps, we expected it to be very close indeed, but it took a good 10 minutes to get there, fortunately it wasn't so hot, as one has to walk on the bike track along the motorway. But I liked this half park half natural reserve a lot. We played a game of Celtis (The Card Game), had a little rest, and headed back to town.

Then we had a crepe each at the local creperie, which was nothing special. I liked mine with ice cream and in the shape of a mountain peak (though the maple syrop made it just a touch too sweet), however, my BF's was not such a hit with sad blackberries and too much kirsch. OK, I'm not a huge fan of criticism, and I'm not really fond of crepes in general either, so on the whole it was nice and gave my blood sugar level the kick it needed after all the walking and playing. =)

The way back was much more comfortable on board one of the regular ferries, and we enjoyed lounging on the sunny deck and taking pics of the lakeside passing by.

It was a really nice late spring-early summer Sunday trip, one I'd recommend to all who have a couple of days in Geneva, and want to explore its neighborhood. The town has a really nice atmosphere and there are many opportunities to relax and have some fresh air. It does give some rosy cheeks to the Genevois banker. ;)

Monday, May 10, 2010

We Have the Rings! ;)

Yes, they've arrived.

Needless to say, mine fits into the groom's easily, so we can store them in the same box. lol

They're beautiful! I've been trying to write a review at Blue Nile, but I guess I'd have to sign in or something. Anyway, mine is the 2 mm platinum ring (it's a bestseller, hard to miss) and his is 4 mm (if I remember correctly) and sort of D shaped. Nice...

They were relatively cheap (BN's huge on wedding deals, I guess one of the cheapest out there). I love the feel and look of platinum, and I love just how cute mine is! My size is 4.5, so you can figure I have really thin fingers. A wider ring would have looked weird, especially since I want to wear it next to my engagement ring (at least initially). I was wondering a lot whether the width was a good choice. But it totally was and I'm glad I didn't listen to all the whining on the net how small these rings look. Well, if you have small fingers, then you need a small ring, don't you? I have to say I love it.

Hubby's is a lot bigger, but it suits him a lot. The process of finding the right size was a pain though. The paper measurement tool etc. just doesn't work. Paper's nothing like metal, and it would never give accurate measures. So, I did the same as I had done when I had to have my engagement ring resized. I took a kids' ring and sized it and resized it like 1000 times till it fit my fiance's finger. Then we compared it to the ring sizes given at the homepage. I guess we got it right but he still won't be swimming wearing the ring... I guess I'll have to wear all 3 on my necklace during our honeymoon :) I'll go out and buy a steel necklace with a lock on it... XD

But the bottom line is that
1)platinum makes a nice metal for wedding rings, if you like its steely feel and less shiny surface.
2)BN has good deals but careful with the sizes (their silver is much pricier!)
3)2 mm is a nice width for women with small finger sizes and looks nice to a similarly narrow engagement ring.

Thank you guys for reading!
Enjoy the last rays of the sun and
have an awesome evening.

The Monster is Awakening

The eye of the enemy is moving. It's checking out lace gloves and tiaras. Is there any hope to stop this madness?

It' begun...

Well... I know I was the first to cast away frothy veils and tight rose bouquets. I still insist on those first limits I set. But I never said anything about tiaras, now did I? Or rhinestone necklaces? You see, I'm not ditching my principles! No, I'm definitely not.

I still want a simple wedding. A carefree, childish and easygoing wedding. But, this other, this dangerous side of me... has gone to claire's. It was a mistake, I know. I should have never stepped in! I should have never walked to the wall where they keep all those fake diamond tiaras. But I have to admit, I was curious. A friend had mentioned them as part of the princess style outfit she had worn to her wedding. And I wanted to know what I was saying no to. So I checked them out...

And suddenly I was caught. They looked awesome! And... and... paired with the rhinestone necklace next to them, they'd make THE perfect queen jewelry. For, as I've already mentioned, I intend to be a queen at my second wedding. It will be a party, a huge party, for our families in the heart of an English landscape park -- most suitable for all the drama and glam.

The funniest thing though is that style actually costs nothing. As I've argued, there's no such thing as a simple wedding if you're inviting 30 people and renting a venue. It might be natural in style, but it will cost almost the same as if you went the traditional way. What you can save on is organization (DIY) and the frills (like, in our case, the music won't play such an important part /no pun intended/ so there's no point in hiring a band). But things like jewelry cost the same, as it's more the material that matters, not the style. Flowers are the same. Turns out it's simply impossible for me to go to the flower market the day before (I'll be sitting on the plane), so I'll have to hire someone, no matter. And then, though I'll go as organic, local and seasonal as I can, but I'll still end up with the same bill, I'm afraid.

So if it's the same price, why not have it breathtaking? Oh my, I really love those tiaras... I hope I can convince the groom to allow at least a bejeweled comb... We'll see...

In every wedding planning there's always a groom to convince... >:D

Thanks for reading!
Have a superb week! ;)


Friday, May 7, 2010

My Two Weddings

Oh my, what a laugh!
I've just realized something.
By a strange turn of events (well, quite logical if one thinks about it) I will have two weddings. And not in the usual way. The ceremony will be performed in Geneva, while the celebration will take place in Hungary two days later.

Two different purposes, two different settings. Different people, different options... two different weddings.
So where does this leave me?

Well, I had a hilarious idea. You remember how I started out dreaming of a simple simple wedding with no frustration and planning, where everyone can enjoy themselves and do whatever they want? And then how the reception venue (a beautiful 19th century glasshouse) changed the whole thing. Well, I've thought of something wonderful! ;)

As we have two weddings, and the settings are so different, we can do whatever we want! :D
When I realized that since the Town Hall in Geneva is actually at the end of our street (how we got to live here I have no idea), I imagined myself walking down the street in my attire with my family following behind on high heels and so on and so forth... and I felt like bursting in a laugh! Seriously! How can we do that in the spirit of our forthcoming very chic and pompous event? Well, what if we don't have to?

We can still have our easygoing, funny and fresh wedding, here in Geneva! I can still go down to the florist and pick some flowers on the spur of the moment (I'll check some days in advance to make sure they'll have white flowers :D) or just grab a rose or a chrysanthemum ( like Psmith :D) and trot down to the Town Hall, wearing my lace dream like a child would her favorite summer dress. And I can smile in front of our 10 megapixel cameras, and laugh and skip and jump and take a stroll in the park and care about nothing.

Only to leave such childishness behind two days later and enter the cream dream of a uniquely modern but still quite elegant celebration. (Which will then turn into a freakishly huge party...) Where I'll wear the same dress like a queen, my makeup and hair immaculate and beam next to my handsome husband.

Kinda metaphorical too. Like entering adulthood. In a way, I guess, it is. We'll be responsible for each other, in a way that I haven't been responsible for anyone or anything before. I'm quite excited about our fresh little wedding in Geneva, but I'm also really excited about being married. I just know that this will change our lives forever, like it was what we were meant to do, after these 10 years.

To the future husband and wife!

Thank you all for reading!
Have a sweet weekend! ;)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Q: "How to stay with my fiance in Switzerland?" Aliens' Police -- A Nice Experience! ;)

I've just been to the Aliens' Police (Office cantonal de la population: Police des étrangers). It was a very nice experience, they were really nice to us.

I learned the following concerning (relatively) long term stays in Switzerland. Of course, it might vary by nationality, but the application is quite straightforward for us, two Hungarians. But I've read so many things about it on the web and so little sources actually say what is needed for the procedure that I thought I'd gather it here.

To make things clear, my fiance has a 5 year B permit issued in Geneva and I'm a tourist towards the end of my 90 days. We've fixed a date for our wedding, of which we have a rather non-official looking form, but as it bears the heading of the cantonal Etat Civil, it's considered golden. Also, I was speaking French, which they seem to love (I guess their English would make them feel less professional and more annoyed).

So the procedure is the following:

We need to provide
- a "fresh" certificate of my fiance's salary
- the paper we have about the date of the wedding
- copy of passports
- copy of my fiance's permit (this wasn't quite clear so I'm sending it anyway)
- two forms from the OCP (Office Cantonal..., one stating that he'll support me financially and be responsible for me up to CHF30.000 and another with my personal info, both in French)
- a little pink card from the OCP

I'm also sending them a copy of the bail (contract with the regie). I had it with me and they looked at it but didn't say I'll need to send it as well. We had so many forms I didn't ask about each one, so I'm sending the anyway.

Yes, sending them by post. It's possible to hand them in in person I guess, but as we didn't have all the papers necessary, we'll have to send them. But they told me the moment I post them for evaluation (i.e. the date on the postage stamp), my status is legal until they decide about my case. Which, as I hear might even take till the wedding, so...