Public confessions

I love Brené Browns book Rising Strong. In fact I love anything from Brené Brown- you may remember this or this? I purchased Rising Strong audio book to keep my mind off of a long drive to Germany a few months ago. I’ll admit, listening to her sassy wit and southern accent for 8 hours made me homesick. But her message uplifted me, and re-enforced my long-held idea that PEOPLE CAN CHANGE- if they really want to- and really work hard. So there is hope for me:). You’ll have to read (or listen) to the book a few times to really get all the great info it has to offer, however one takeaway I am trying to apply today is that story telling helps us rise strong through feelings of shame and failure, so here goes.

Accountability is a great motivator. This is why we often announce to everyone we know, that we are starting a new exercise and diet regimen- and our friends can help support us and avoid sabotaging us. It helps people in rehabilitation programs to stay on track.  By checking in with these goals often, our support system motivates and constantly renews our momentum. However it can be really difficult to admit failure once you have announced to the world that you, say…. are putting your artwork on display at a Christmas Market…. for the whole world to see. You know- the big bad world, not just Facebook friends. Not just people who might be making pity purchases. And when the whole world doesn’t respond favorably, it can feel pretty crappy. And thats exactly what happened last weekend. I spend months working my tail off, actually painting my fingers off. I recruited Spartacus to saw, and glue and nail and freeze his fingers off. We were a santa workshop up here on the mountain. We were pumped! We loved our products, we loved our salvages shutters-turned-Christmas-market-booth, we believed our pricing was a real bargain for Switzerland. Then I stood there for 6 hours trying to smile and make awkward small talk – which was probably the worst part. I hate waisting time- especially on a Saturday, my fun day! I ended up selling 2 packs of notecards, one of them was to a friend who came to cheer me on. PATHETIC.

So many wonderful friends have made me accountable by cheerfully asking “how was the market”? I just felt embarrassed. Shame is a really sucky feeling. I wanted to hide out for a week or so. It reminded me a little of the first time I had invetro-fertalization and didn’t get pregnant. So many people were cheering me on, so many people were praying for us… and I failed.  I imagine it’s a little like taking my clothes off in front of everyone in the ladies locker room (its a phobia – and a resolution that I have 3 more weeks to RESOLVE). I needed a week to hide out- rest-up and now I am ready to admit it. So here I am telling the whole world that I failed. And in all fairness, a lot of other vendors from the market complained about their lack of sales, how the market was not advertised, how it was poorly organized and all the hard work and investment we as vendors had done was a waist- misery does love company, so it is good to know I was not the only one. 

And if Brené is right- I will tell this story, and it will help me to rise stronger!

I believe this is true, but it is hard to be proud when we fall.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat. ~Theodore Roosevelt


Meanwhile I am trying to recover some of my cost, if you are interested the Post-Market-Failure-Sale is going on till Christmas- great deals starting at 20%off and more. sale treejoy sale today adventure



sale peaceonearth



sale life is beautiful sale jeep tree sale how sweet it is sale good day



sale be kind

Websters Chalk Paint Powder giveaway!

Coco before and after dress.moxiblog.comer  Lets talk chalk paint. I have mentioned in the previous furniture refinishing post that I loved working with the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, but there are some disadvantages, especially here in Switzerland. Namely price and availability. This is not so much the case back home in the US. The availability is growing as people find how great it is to avoid sanding and the lovely distressed looks  you get from chalk paint, and milk paint products. The cost in Switzerland (like everything else) is a little higher, but the shipping is really pricey, because I have no local stockist.

In a search for a solution I scoured the internet and some of my favorite blogs for options. I ran across WEBSTERS CHALK PAINT! I wrote them a nice note and they are excited to be sponsoring Moxiblog’s very first give-away! I have a small sample package for just checking out their website and leaving a comment below. I will randomly select a winner on Friday and send you the packets in the mail. Facebook comments do not count, the comments have to be posted to the blog. Easy right?! Good luck!

Websters is a powder that you simply mix into any color, any brand latex paint. I used it on all the projects I am featuring this week. It worked pretty good. I am using locally sourced Swiss made latex paint. It is a thicker product than I am used to in the states- which I liked, but oddly enough it is not more opaque. I think all of the local paints do not cover as well as I am used to, so keep that in mind when reading my review- it may be an unfair comparison?

I am not getting compensated for my review and I am totally honest, so here are the pros and cons:


  • I love the flexibility in colors. I love going and getting a custom color mixed and being able to match it to anything I want. This is an awesome feature!
  • I love the price! It is very affordable in comparison to ASCP (Annie Sloan Chalk Paint). And even if you have to ship it, it is inexpensive to ship because its just some powder in a package and not a heavy liquid can of paint.


  • I do not think the adhesion is nearly as good as ASCP.
  • I don’t believe coverage is as good, it took more coats to do the same job as ASCP.

**** This could have to do with my “Swiss paint” and may be different in the states, but after all the fact that it was universal was supposed to be a selling point for me.

Later in the week I will be sharing a custom color piece that I am really happy about~ also used Websters powder for it, and a heavily distressed cabinet that I think worked really well with the Websters powder.

sophias original dresser

sophias dresser

Coco’s dresser is only 28 inches high. I think it’s a perfect vanity for a little girl. I paid 40chf at a thrift store, It is not a bargain bottom price, but pretty fair I thought. Here is a photo of the dresser when the final coat of paint and wax was applied. In order to make it match up with other furniture in her room I did not want to distress it, however it looked so plain!

finished dresser_1

Since she originally requested I paint it pink, I decided to compromise and added her monogram on the drawer. I think it’s the perfect touch of pink and brings a little of the American South to our home in Switzerland. Tomorrow I will show you how I did the monogram. What do you think? Like it better wood finished, white finished, or white with the monogram?!

We arrived

This is not a post that will have you ready to pack your bags and embark on the adventure of living abroad (more of those to come). But if you have already started that process, and you are moving to Switzerland, here is a glimpse at WEEK ONE and what to expect realistically. Also some tips on what to remember BEFORE you get here.
Mostly this post is a way for me to remember this stuff for the future and to try and encourage friends and family back home to get on Skye and Viber because they hear me feeling a little unenthusiastic and homesick.

for the recap:
Thursday- exhausted! We have finished the “journey over the Atlantic”. A few flight hiccup’s in the states but everything turned out better! Got moved to a Swiss flight! The kids were surprisingly better than expected. I Dreaded this part of our relo- but I am pleasantly encouraged, the kids both slept some on the overnight flight, and would have slept more but in an effort to get everyone acclimated to the time change they turn on the lights and start feeding you breakfast at local time instead of east coast time. We flew Swiss so it was pretty awesome as far as a long flight in coach goes. We boarded the plane at  about 9:00- we were served a hot meal at 10ish- I was surprised- didn’t expect dinner?! They did lights out at about 11:30 and by about 3:00 am they were simulating morning wake-up to get you on track. I have a hard time sleeping anyway, but under these circumstances (sitting upright with kids all over the place, and negative 50 humidity) I got VERY little sleep on the plane. This made arriving to a new flat with beds and clean soft linens, a relief… fall asleep happy! ZZZZzzzzzz. Dinner at/with friends. Father in Heaven is with us. He has steered our ship and we have arrived safely.

Friday- Hit the ground running. Dave registered with fremden polizei. Off to search for furniture. Expensive, Tired.

Saturday- Hit the ground running- so tired. Things are moving way to slowww. Renting car is very expensive. We can not fit too much furniture into anything. Dave got van but there is not enough time for everything, stores close at 4pm. Van cost about 200$ /day- Assemble Assemble Assemble. Heavenly Father, Help Us.

Sunday- missing General Conference. Go to Jagna’s to search internet, must be a way to buy used furniture from expats or a Swiss version of Craigslist???? Discover,, Pass time, kids play on trampoline a lot, when it is not raining. Weather has been gloomy and cold, tonight Gabriel prays for sun to shine through the fog. Dinner again with Jagna and Chris. Dave drives rental van back to Luzern. Must check email- need internet.

Monday- Dave started work. Had hoped to receive Swiss permit in the mail- nothing:( Cant get internet and cell phones till permit arrives. Pass the day unpacking, laundry etc. Silvia takes us to get microwave, blow-dryer, and mixer, and LOTS of Groceries at discount place. Shopping with kids was stressful. We saw sun for a little while today- It was beautiful. Had to use cash because many places do not accept visa, especially discount stores. COOP and Migro do, they are big Swiss ones- sort of like Publix back home.

4-9 /Tuesday- BLUR. Long walk to COOP to buy groceries. Carry them home – heavy. Nice walk though. Re-met nice lady from Boston -she has 3 kids. I overheard her speaking English and went to speak to her, she recognized my name and we got re-aquainted. Turns out I met her about 10 years ago! She said she just ran across my name a week ago and wondered what became of me. Coincidence? I think Heavenly Father is looking out for me.  Some rain, Some sun. Nice to have no appointments. Where is this Swiss permit?! NEED internet!

4-10 /Wednesday- Slow morning. Cook. Clean. Another Pilatus expat family- British -are coming to meet us. Gabriel is very much looking forward to a play-date. I’m looking forward to hearing tips on how to make the transition successful for the kids. Nice afternoon, went to schwimmbad- a lake beach area with a kiddie pool in the village-next-door. It will be a perfect summertime hang out- has huge sandbox with proper white sand (our apartment playground sandbox is filled with brown dirt?) and there is a big play-set and teeter-toters etc.

4-11 /Thursday- Long walk to COOP , hitting all the ATM machines to get cash for car. Its the easiest way to get our money from the bank account in the states. We don’t have a bank account hear yet because still no permit! Must buy car, renting every weekend just to get furniture is too expensive.

things that could be improved on:

1. I wished we had figured out a better communications plan before we left. I left it to my husband (yes I am sorta blaming him). I wish we would have had our phones (or at least one of them broke because we could have instantly used a prepaid phone chip and been rock-in and roll-in as soon as we could get to a phone store). HINDSIGHT! What I recommend- If you have an IPhone- have it broke before arriving. If you don’t- go to a phone store (swisscom is the biggest I think) and get a cheap phone for 10-20 CHF and buy a prepaid card- sold in increments of 30CHF, 50 CHF, and 100CHF. You will be able to talk and text at a pretty inexpensive rate. Sadly we racked up a $500.00 phone bill before figuring this out!!!!!

2. A house hunting trip to sort out some of this sure would have been nice, and if you are moving here for the first time- I HIGHLY RECOMMEND! Also HIGHLY RECOMMEND learning German (this has always been an ongoing problem for me).

3. Furniture pickup has been the second biggest hassle behind communications. There aren’t rental trucks at Homedepot- there is no home depot:( there is no such thing as UHAUL (are you listening out there? A completely un-tapped opportunity?!!) I discovered a few rental van places- Otto- I haven’t used it yet- but plan to. It rents by the hour and is all over Switzerland. Before you suggest Ikea- lets talk details. Ikea has a slightly complicated and tricky transportation opportunities. They do deliver, but pricing is dependant on how much you spend and can take a week to deliver. Plus they do NOT deliver Fundegrube items (the discount-returns- and scratch-n-dent stuff that’s in the area near the checkout registers). Ikea does rent vans and trucks and when we do our next big shopping trip we will plan for this… however the shopping hours in Switzerland are difficult. Dave is working m-f so that leaves us nights and weekends. The fundgrube will not hold stuff – all deals have to go out the same day. SO I can’t go buys something and have him pick it up later- there is no time. 2 weeknight they stay open till 8- and Saturday they are open till 4. It’s crazy for us Americans to imagine, but people here believe that the weekends are a time to rest and enjoy life. They are NOT a consumer driven society and this has never been more clear to me than as I have struggled to buy a household of goods this week. SO basically we found a ton of great stuff in the fundgrube but couldn’t buy it because by the time we got to the end and discovered it- there wasn’t enough time to rent the truck and have it back in time for closing. We need a 3 hour window to drive home, unload and return the truck. Next weekend we will be more strategic. First thing in the AM head to fundgrube and buy up the bargains, then rent truck straight away and Spartacus will drive it home, while I finish regular Ikea shopping. Then he will have time for a 2nd trip or to return the van, or use it to stop at the broken haus for thrift store finds! (more on those later). Sorry for vomiting up the long drawn out ordeal, but I had to learn it the hard way. You almost need a degree in logistics just to take advantage of the IKEA bargains.

4. Figure out a better way to access money?! We brought quite a bit in travelers checks, and maybe this is the best option?! Our small bank back home is awesome though and they really tried to work with us. They made a special arrangement to increase the amount of cash we could access per day and extended that over several days so that I could withdrawal enough money to buy a car. And because most ATM’s here (everyone that I used) had a $1000 limit/day, I had to visit a lot of ATM machines (on foot- luckily Switzerland has a lot of banks) and do one transaction after another. I really felt nervous holding that much cash!

Well there it is in a nutshell. If your still reading, thanks! It gets better, but what I can accomplish in a week in the states in DRAMATICALLY reduced here. That feeling of helplessness and frustration is not something I like dealing with (nor do the people around me like me dealing with it – I must work on this! “when mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”). I am learning more patients. I am learning to try and enjoy things while I wait for other things. And just to end on a positive note- the little primrose are blooming, scattered all over the perfect shade of green grass.

The flowers are bursting into bloom everywhere.

These yard bunnies are so cute (and well fed- they could intimidate a fox and beat it in a wrestling match).

Luzern is famous for its swans. In the winter they spend a lot of time in the fields- It so fun to see a field full of swans!

do you see that this guy is eating dandelions

The contrast between the rocky cliffs covered in brilliant white snow, and the soft greenest green carpet of grass blanketing hills and valleys is stunning. It can not adequately be captured. When the sun shines in Switzerland it is the most beautiful place on earth ( and people- I really love me some palm trees and tropical beaches but this tops-em).


good night 2012

Our house is officially Da-Chrismafied! I am exhausted! It has been a L-O-N-G year. Some great things (2012 highlights post to come) happen in our life, but I feel like this has been a year full of moving and address changes and a lot of stress and energy just seeking stability. Ironically I have just announced in my annual Christmas newsletter, that with 5 moves in 13 months It just wasn’t enough to satisfy us (read that with sarcasm!). Spartacus was offered a job back in Switzerland and we are returning to live in Europe again for a few years. I DREAD another move, especially an international re-lo, but once I have the household sold, packed, stored, and shipped I should be able to start getting really excited about all the wonderful new opportunities that made this offer so completely irresistible. I know that most people only dream of moving to Europe for a few years, I feel like we are winning the lottery to have done it twice-once (life before kids) eight years ago and now to be able to return and share this experience with our children leaves me so excited. I think Coco (age 3) and Boo (age 8) are at perfect ages to make this the exact right time to go. I will try and post as much information as possible about how we are doing it, and any helpful tips I can think of- especially since I have done it before and still feel like I have yet to discover the “best way” to relocate over seas. I am really excited to share this process with you. I remember when Jordan from Ohhappyday announced she was moving to Paris and Gabrielle from Designmom announced they were moving to France. I was so excited for them, and at the time surrounded by all my stability, I longed for a similar adventure. Now, feeling quite unstable, I am thrilled, and anxious at the task at hand. Please leave any helpful tips in the comments section below. Do you ever dream of living in Switzerland? Have you lived in Switzerland? How do I make this international move a smooth one for my children, especially on the heels of such an unstable year full of address changes? Are they more flexible from all the moving or are they on the verge of a breakdown (like me)?

we're moving here