All posts by Katie

Graziella Going Out of Business

Uh oh… look what bag is making a return:

Danger, danger! This bag first made an appearance  in my house when a friend convinced me to spend 420CHF on my wedding shoes.

Yeah… didn’t think I was ever going to be bringing another one of these bags home with prices like that, especially after I noticed in the summer that the shop had gone bankrupt!

But this afternoon Kay sent me this ad he saw in the newspaper:

I may not be fluent in German, but I immediately knew what this meant: LIQUIDATION SALE! W00t.

I headed over to Graziella straight after work to catch the sale before it ended at 18:30. The shop was busier than I had ever seen it when it was in business (duh) but most of the women there were pretty old. I mean, this shop sells shoes that are 200-900CHF. What do you expect? It’s not H&M.

There weren’t any signs posted saying what the actual liquidation discounts were, so at first I began walking around the store just to see if there was anything I even liked (in my size) that I wanted to inquire about. I was mainly looking for my beloved Fernando Pensato shoes because they are so comfortable and unique!

I was looking for either some funky colourful shoes like I tried on last year when I was looking for my wedding ones or the white or black version of my wedding shoes to use for dress shoes. I think the ones above are originally 380CHF and the ones below are around 420CHF like my wedding shoes.


I didn’t find exactly what I was looking for as lots of the Pensato shoes were already gone or not in stock and I was noticing that most of the prices still were crazy high on the boxes… like 380CHF, 500CHF, etc. I was thinking I might not get anything when a little old lady came up to me and told me everything was 40%.

I had to ask her to make sure I really understand… she meant 60% off, as in you pay 40% for any item.

YOU GUYS. That is like the best sale I have EVER seen in Zürich ever! Sales are practically nonexistent here!!! After that… I started re-looking at everything and became fairly certain I wanted to buy one pair of shoes. I searched all over the store and had three contenders. One was a black pair that would actually be useful on a daily basis, but they were almost 800CHF… and 40% of 800CHF is still a hell of a lot of money for shoes. No thanks.

The second pair (that I almost got) were fairly high but still pretty comfy from what I could tell, and they had these badass gold pineapples for heels. I should have taken a picture. I’m sorry I didn’t. But they were 500CHF and I wasn’t sure about the height, so I went with these ones in the same style as my wedding shoes because they were only 150CHF on sale! 150CHF is a heck of a lot better than what I paid for my wedding shoes, don’t you think??

This was the only style of Pensato that they had that I was really searching for and I was a bit unsure about the color at first. They are extremely girly.

I don’t usually go for pastels, but I happened to be wearing a pastel multicoloured blouse and I thought “Why the hell not, they match my shirt perfectly!” I may not be able to wear them with my entire dark, muted wardrobe… but I will be able to wear them from time to time when I don white or pastels!

Also… how am I supposed to amass a larger collection of Pensato shoes if I don’t take advantage of 40% off sales??

I really love all the lace and trim and crafty feminine features on these shoes. I can’t wait to wear them to the office tomorrow!

They had many other Pensato shoes at the store but I’ve figured out that basically anything besides their pumps suck. (oh the irony…) But really, their wedges are pretty nasty with some crappy soles, the flats are in my opinion VERY old fashioned and matronly, their closed-toe heels are very uncomfortable and stiff, and all the low heels look pretty “blah” and don’t do anything for large feet.

They hit it right with their sling pumps though! And they are such a comfy heel. They support me in all the right spots.

Do you have a shoe brand you would splurge for unexpectedly?


Goodbye to Plan Z

I finally deleted the bookmark folder for “Plan Z” today. I maybe got a little emotional.

I know it’s just a bookmark folder, filled with a few links… but for a time it was a place where I was saving information about my “maybe” future with Kay.

After we had our talk on the hill, I began saving information about how to get married in my “Plan Z” folder. I didn’t tell Kay I was gathering information about his plan, but a year later when he proposed and asked me what was next… I already had an answer for him.

We didn’t waste any time once he proposed. I ordered my birth certificate and we gathered all the necessary documents before applying to marry, and less than three months after he popped the question we were legally wed.

Now with a new computer and a new operating system, I realize it’s been two years since we said “yes” on paper. I need to let the folder go.

Besides, who needs bookmarks when there is pinterest now? 😉

Autumn Returns

We had only one truly hot weekend this summer, with temperatures hitting 37ºC (98.6ºF) and then what seemed like a sharp drop off into cooler temperatures. Of course my immune system faltered with the cooling temperatures and I’ve spent the last week enjoying both a stomach flu and tonsillitis simultaneously. And now I’m worried I have a cavity and will have to finally find out just how expensive dental work is in Switzerland.

But when I woke this morning I was greeted with this view from my kitchen:

Zurich fog

Ahh…. Zürich fog, you are back. It looks like autumn really is here.

See, where we enjoy a summer haze around the Alps in the warmer months, Switzerland has a way of letting the fog roll in during the winter months and blanket everything in a cover of disguise. It drives some people mad and to be honest, after several months of fog day in and day out, it does get a bit dreary. But to me it also reminds me of new beginnings.

You see, I first arrived in Switzerland five years ago on this day. It was the weekend before Knabenschiessen, an annual shooting competition in Zürich. At the time, I had no idea that the festival was about shooting because my German companion for the day spoke very little English. He basically answered “Yes” to everything.

During my three month stay the days were getting colder and many of them were filled with the same fog in the picture above. For me, whenever the weather starts changing to colder I think about new beginnings. It started in my childhood with the school year starting in autumn each year, but now when I see the fog roll into Zürich I am reminded of my first weeks here.

When I decided to move here officially about a year later, I arrived in November. When I went back home for another visa to begin a job, I came back in time for autumn. When we left to get married we did it in the autumn.

It seems my life has had many new beginnings during this season, so when it starts I am always excited to see what will happen this time.

Do you have a favourite season for new beginnings?

Limmatschwimmen 2012 Preview

Last weekend we attended the Limmatschwimmen in Zürich for the first time ever. Not even my Swiss husband who grew up in Zürich had done it before. (Apparently it’s more an expat thing.)

That is not to say that Kay was unaware of it. He has worked during the Limmatschwimm many times on the boats running up and down the river that transport the swimmers’ clothing and the lone passenger. But this was the first year that he ever participated in the race himself.

Now, if you know me… you know I’m pretty lazy. There was no way we were taking part in the actual “race” part of the swim. No, no. We were there for the “Plauschwimmen” which is the “float down the river at your own pace” deal.

For 18CHF you are given a time slot for your swim, a free drink (Rivella!), an inflatable animal, a plastic sack for your belongings which are transported down the river for you while you float and then promptly given back to you when you get out of the water, ~ one hour floating time from Frauenbad to Obereletten, a hot tea when you get out of the cold river and then finally a commemorative glass cup to mark your achievement of floating without drowning.

There is some danger on the water though… which I’ve highlighted in my preview film. More to come later!

The Beginning

I suppose it’s about time I should write an inaugural post here.

Hello! I’m Katie.


And this is Kay, my husband man.

I am an American graphic designer/photographer and he is a Swiss-Brazilian electric engineer. We live in Switzerland, for the time being. I write and Kay shows up in pictures. I’ll be sure to let you know about his opinion on varying matters too. I’m very objective.*


Our newlywed status is starting to run a little thin, but we travel, cook and go on adventures. I’ll try not to be too boring, but I can’t promise exactly what I’ll talk about. You’ll just have to keep reading my sarcastic prose to figure it out.

Thanks for coming along for the ride.