Chocolate Heaven in Switzerland

Swiss Frey Chcolate Factory Savvy Spice

Dark, milk or white chocolate? You probably have your go-to cocoa preference and Switzerland is a creamy, dreamy must-see destination for any chocolate lover. The quality of Swiss chocolate is the creme de la creme, and it’s not every day you’re able to tour the inside of the chocolate factory. After making truffles at Lindt earlier this Spring, we pounced on the opportunity to make our own Swiss chocolate bars at the new Chocolat Frey visitor center near Zurich.

Frey is one of the largest chocolate brands in Switzerland, so a day after my parents landed in Zurich last week, we made our way to chocolate heaven! Here’s a peak of our tour of Chocolat Frey and how this sweet little tour is more than just chocolate, as it was a perfect family day with Wilhelmina and my parents…

Savvy Spice new baby Frey chocolate center

<Chocolat Prep! We were all in light sundresses because it’s been so hot in Switzerland! My mom and I prepped Wilhelmina for the day. I wore my new Back from Bali Peacock Print dress which is belted and has buttons down the front – aka – ‘NEW MOM APPROVED‘ for going out in public>

My Switzerland Swiss Tourism New Frey Chocolate Factory

<Air Conditioning – WooHoo! As we entered the factory, there was the cool breeze of AC which was such a relief.  Europe does not have air-conditioning typically, but you can count on it inside a chocolate factory>

Frey Chocolate Savvy Spice Switzerland

<Vintage ChocolateDid you know the Swiss consume more chocolate per person than any other country? I eat at least one Frey milk chocolate bar a week and there were countless cocoa facts we learned throughout the tour, plus a chance to see vintage Frey chocolate bar wrappers throughout the years>

Savvy Spice fashion blog Dale Janee Frey Chocolate Factory

<Time to Make the Chocolate Bars – There were fountains of Swiss milk, dark or white chocolate. We each went to the front with our tray and Frey chocolatier would fill it with the chocolate we wanted. Then we could add nuts, coconut, swirls or any design we wanted to create>

Frey Chocolate factory visitor center Switzerland

<My Chocolate Bar – I added all 3 chocolates, then swirled and tried to make a little almond sunflower. As we went through the tour our chocolate creations cooled before they were packaged and ready to take home with us>

Frey Chocolate Savvy Spice Switzerland chocolate fountain Swiss chocolate

<A Look from Above – As we entered the visitor center, there was literally a chocolate buffet of Frey creations on a conveyer belt and a new attraction that wraps the chocolate bars right in front of you>

Frey Chocolate Factory Make Your Own Chocolate

<Yum! – After walking through the digital tour (offered in multiple languages) you can choose as many samples as you’d like off the chocolate conveyer belt. There’s even an interactive stop where you can dress up as a praline>

Savvy Spice Frey Chocolate Dale Janee

<After the chocolat excursion, someone was more interested in milk…>

Wilhelmina Schroeter Savvy Spice fashion blog Dale Janee

<Special thanks to Frey Chocolat for the tour and MySwitzerland.com. Of course, one of the best parts was my precious little praline slept through the entire 2 hour excursion until the last few minutes. Now, that’s sweet.’

~xo,

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Savvy Sleepers Summer Giveaway!

Savvy Sleepers Newsletter

The same week I had Wilhelmina, we launched our Savvy Sleepers Limited Edition Summer 2015 shade – ‘Rendezvous Blu.’ The shade inspired by the cool blue waters of the Mediterranean and fashionistas worldwide is one of my favorites!

I’m excited to announce our Summer Giveaway! One winner will win a set of ‘Rendezvous Blu‘ Luxury Satin Pillow Cases ultra-smooth for skin & hair (shown above)! Giveaway details below. Ends 7/31 and it’s Open Internationally. Good luck! To order or see the full collection click here.

Use code ‘Summer15′ at checkout for 15% off

~xo,

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1 Summer Dress Styled 3 Ways!

Savvy Spice maternity style

Not only does pregnancy change your body, but it completely impacts your wardrobe. My daily outfits now consist of what will work when I need to feed her out in public. Many dresses and tops do not have my ‘new mom‘ stamp of approval including my favorite pregnancy dress. I assumed it would work after the baby arrived, but it hasn’t been the case.

If you’re looking for a casual summer dress to wear 3 ways, I’ll show you how I styled a casual jersey knit grey dress (that is not maternity). It was my go-to style staple when I was 9 months pregnant. It also comes in blue and black, and here were my top 3 ways to style it…

Savvy Spice grey hm dress

This was the look from my ‘Kim Kardashian Stole my Pregnancy Style post after she wore a very similar dress. It was the easiest style to throw on during the last few weeks of pregnancy during our hot summer here in Switzerland.

Savvy Spice casual grey dress pregnancy

 <DETAILS> Grey Dress – H&M styled with Nine West Heels from last year

Funky Forty Savvy Spice pregnancy dress 3 ways

I found this dress so easy to layer on breezy afternoons in Zurich. I wore it with casual Stan Smith Adidas sneakers under an olive jacket on a blogger meet-up with Yvonne of FunkyForty!

Savvy Spice 1 dress 3 ways pregnancy style

<DETAILS> Same dress / Adidas Stan Smith Sneakers (last seen here) / Ferragamo purse / Zara jacket (old)

Photo credit – the lovely Yvonne of FunkyForty

How to Wear 1 Pregnancy dress 3 ways

About a week before my due date, I just wanted to feel comfortable (which was nearly impossible) so I added a basic cotton tee over the H&M dress and wore my faux snakeskin Geox sneakers (although I recommend sandals as my feet were swollen in the heat after 30 minutes).

Savvy Spice grey hm dress 3 ways

<DETAILS> Grey Dress – H&M (PS – just checked and it’s on sale for just $7) /  styled with Geox shoes, H&M tee & white denim jacket (old)

I hope you had a great weekend! Rendezvous Blu Savvy Sleepers Giveaway coming tomorrow.

~xo,

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Walk It Off

Savvy Spice fashion blog new mom life

Taylor Swift may ‘shake it off‘ again this summer, but I’ll just stick to walking. The past week I’ve started to feel like myself again and I take Wilhelmina out for a walk every day. She loves it and I need it. While the thought of running makes every bone in my body cringe, walking has been A-okay. Especially as the sun sets in Switzerland on long summer evenings, we take her out for a stroll. Forget dessert – fresh air and a happy, quiet baby is a true delicacy for any parents with a newborn.

When it came to shopping for a baby stroller while I was pregnant, my husband took the reins. He started doing serious research while I was still in my first trimester. Style, design, safety – he was Googling every stroller you could imagine, so I let him make the final decision. What a surprise? Apparently he likes his baby buggies like he does his automobiles – classic black and made in Germany. ‘Wow, check out the suspension on this,’ he said pushing it along the dirt path last night. ‘And do you see these tires are for off-roading too? We can even get snow tires in the winter!‘ he added. The baby bells and whistles impress me too, but the truth was, I was just soaking in the sights and sounds of the Swiss countryside during a moment out of the house…

Nikes Savvy Spice walking shoes Switzerland e1436769849347

The SceneSuper casual sunset walk in Switzerland

Britax black stroller Dale Janee

<Our Britax stroller that she seems to love and naps in during the day inside so I can easily move her to different rooms>

Baby Wilhelmina Savvy Spice fashion blog

<Wilhelmina 2 weeks old>

Wilhelmina Savvy Spice baby name

<Hot Pink nails by Sinful Colors called ‘Bikini‘ – the only bikini I’ll be wearing this summer>

Sunflowers Switzerland Expat mom blog

<Sunflowers in full bloom>

SBB Switzerland train Savvy Spice Expat blog

<The always punctual Swiss trains pass along every few minutes>

Mom Style weight loss tips walking Savvy Spice Switzerland

<DETAILS by Dale> I Love these Nikes and had to go up in size during my pregnancy so I wear them daily now / nail polish – Sinful Colors (Sold at Walgreens & Walmart) / basic black outfit – top & shorts Old Navy / sunglasses – Prada>

Hope you had a great weekend and are you a fan of sunset walks?

~xo,

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Newborn Life on Cloud Nine

Savvy Spice hot air balloon print

I can only describe the past few days with baby Wilhelmina as ‘floating on cloud nine.’ Well, I guess it’s not really floating, but more like strategic hovering with my husband as we watch, hold, feed, burp, change and smile at her. We did a ‘can we go out in public with a baby?‘ practice run on the 4th of July at an expat BBQ in Zurich and it went surprisingly well! She even perked up when the band sang the ‘Star Spangled Banner’ and we lasted a whole 90 minutes before she started crying for her preferred beverage of choice, so we decided to call it a night. There’s been a heat wave sweeping Europe which made for a weekend mostly cooped up indoors with a portable air conditioner we move room by room. I won’t pretend taking care of a newborn is easy and thankfully, my in-laws have been here to help.

Life is on her schedule now which I realized in the hospital two days after she was born. The nurses had taken her for a weigh-in and to check her temperature so I thought, ‘Yay, I have 20 minutes to get ready.’ Just as I started blow drying my hair, I heard the nurses tap on the door. ‘Frau Schroeter, your baby is here.’ They gave me a look like ‘Are you really going to keep blow drying your hair?’ and I realized then and there, my daily ‘getting ready time‘ is over. So hello air-dried hair! Here’s my top 5 low-maintenance style tips (especially for any adjusting new moms) on a quick AM day trip with the family yesterday to Meggen, Switzerland…

Switzerland Savvy Spice hot air balloon shirt

1. Your Pre-Pregnancy Wardrobe that Won’t ‘Fit’ – I learned this the hard way trying to put on a few dresses I thought were roomy enough over the weekend and none fit. One simple idea I recommend is a button down blouse which is easy access if you need to feed. I tied a little knot in front to conceal my belly and paired it with a high-waisted skirt (that actually didn’t zip all the way to the top), but it was good enough.

White nails new mom style Savvy Spice

2. Will You Have Time to Paint Your Nails? – Newborns sleep A LOT so there was a few free moments for mini-pampering, but I recommend quick drying nail polish like Sally Hansen Quick Dry formulas to be on the safe side.

Hot Air balloon print Savvy Spice

3. Error on the Side of Busy Patterns ~ Babies are messy so I recommend wearing darker shades or busy patterns to conceal any issues. I LOVED this hot air-balloon print top I found at Zara a few months ago and I found other brands that have it too (see below).

Steve Madden flats Savvy Spice Dale Janee

4. Heels Aren’t Happening – I spent the weekend in these Steve Madden mustard flats, Converse and flip flops. I’ll still wear heels again, but not while I’m running around taking care of a baby.

Savvy Spice Switzerland new mom style

5. Go with your Natural Hair – If you are used to blow drying your hair, I recommend nixing that idea and finding a hairstyle that works for it naturally. I found pulling my hair back in a messy 60’s style twist works well by using 5 bobby pins (half-back first) then twisting the bottom layers and adding bit of hairspray for fly-aways.

Mixing prints Savvy Spice new mom style

<DETAILS by Dale> black leather handbag c/o – Adora / top (old) – Zara (dresses & top in the same print below) / Skirt (old) – JCrew / sandals – Steve Madden / sunglasses – Chloe / nails – OPI Alpine Snow>

Hope you had a great 4th of July weekend! Any tips you have for new moms are definitely welcome…

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Welcoming Wilhelmina! Our Baby Story

Savvy Spice Wilhelmina fashion blog

Now I get what everyone meant when they said, ‘once you have a baby, everything changes.’ I’m happy to announce we welcomed our little girl, Wilhelmina Janée, over the weekend on Saturday night in Switzerland – and it’s been quite an experience.

First of all, the Swiss really know how to welcome new mothers! They have spent the last 3 days in the hospital training me around-the-clock how to be a mom from feeding, to pain, to Pampers. They even have a staff photographer come a couple days after birth to snap a professional pic for hospital records – so I got one over her shoulder above. It’s been a truly amazing week on many levels and although every mom has her ‘birth story,’ I’ll try to keep mine as tame as possible. Let’s just say the day started with fresh croissants and ended with a sweet little bundle of joy in my arms…

Zug Switzerland Savvy Spice

Saturday morning, two days past my due date, started out like any other weekend with warm Swiss croissants from the gas station, raspberry jelly, and orange juice with my husband. After breakfast, we decided to go for a walk and stopped by this organic Swiss farm, before venturing back home to avoid an afternoon storm.

Around 6 pm, I felt something I was pretty sure was a contraction, but ignored it. Then I felt it again 30 minutes later. By 8 pm, I was feeling the pain every 10 minutes, but thought I was just being a baby since this was my first pregnancy. By 9 pm, I was tracking contractions at 5 minutes apart, thanks to an app my husband downloaded on his iphone. I was in a lot of pain so he called our neighbor, a doctor, and she came by and said ‘go to the hospital now,’ which thankfully was just a few miles away.

I barely walked in, doubled over, and the midwife immediately took me into a room to check and I was already 8 cm dilated! Apparently it was go-time as they rushed me over to the delivery room where I learned it was too late for any real painkiller except inhaling laughing gas during contractions which didn’t help.

I’ll spare the details of the next 2.5 hours, but it was the most.painful.experience ever! While it’s a blur now (a traumatic blur I’ll never forget), after the first 20 minutes of panting, begging for painkiller, and screaming, I ordered my husband out of the room. I couldn’t stand to have him see such craziness and unless he had an epidural up his sleeve, there was nothing he could do for me anyway.

The pain level rose by the second and the Dr. and midwife spoke German to each other while pleading with me, ‘Breath Frau Schroeter, breath!…Push Frau Schroeter, push more!‘ Finally, minutes before Swiss clocks throughout the hospital struck midnight, out she came.

Savvy Spice baby Wilhelmina Janee

You have a GIRL,’ the Dr. said holding her up and I started crying tears of relief the labor was over and seeing a real baby. Then I asked a nurse to run and get Jakob who was on the brink of a nervous breakdown waiting in the hallway. When he walked in, our eyes met, and he knew I was okay and then he saw our little baby in my arms and snapped the pic above with her crying red eyes. We were both beyond happy to have our healthy little baby finally arrive.

<Sidenote> Although this pic above was one of the only pics right after delivery because we were both so emotionally and physically exhausted, my sister teased me for wearing fake eyelashes, which I was already wearing earlier in the day. The point is I want to give a MAJOR shout-out to Ardell Lashes and Prestige Liquid Eyeliner. Drugstore makeup brands that can withstand the conditions of childbirth deserve the highest rating possible!

Wilhelmina Savvy Spice fashion blog Dale Janee

Wilhelmina was born at 11:57 pm on June 27th weighing in at 8 pounds, 5 oz and 20 inches long. Why the name Wilhelmina? Sure, it’s not popular and got a few looks like ‘huh‘ when we told people that was our ‘girl name.’ According to the US popularity on Nameberry.com, ‘it was as high as Number 215 in the 1880s, but has been off the list completely since 1955.’

The truth is that a week after our 2013 honeymoon, my husband and I were on a hike in Switzerland. ‘So if we have kids, what should we call them?’ he asked. ‘Let’s come up with a boy name and girl name,‘ I said. He googled, ‘Royal Baby Names from Europe‘ (here’s an updated list) as I rolled my eyes. But as he came to the end of the list, he said, What about Wilhelmina?‘ 

Wilhelmina Janee Savvy Spice

It’s a German name by origin and there were a few ‘Wilhemina’s’ way back in my husband’s family history. I thought about it for a few seconds and loved how it was old-fashioned and ultra-feminine with plenty of nick name options if she wants later. It also reminded me of Willkommen (which means ‘Welcome’ in German). Willkommen was the first German word I knew and always found it comforting to see or hear as I ventured around Zurich as a new nervous expat.

Baby Wilhelmina Nails 1

Lastly, as I hold her little hand each night (I can’t believe she was born with the natural manicure I’ve always wanted), the name ‘Wilhelmina‘ means ‘resolute protector‘ which I hope she will be if she has a younger sibling in the future. Although, the thought of siblings hasn’t popped into my head yet since Saturday night.

IMG 5692 1

By the end of that honeymoon hike a couple years ago, we’d settled on our first ‘boy’ or ‘girl’ name and never thought about it again. And today we’re finally back home and that is the story of how we welcomed little Wilhelmina into our lives. Thank you for all the well wishes – we truly appreciate it! Now I need to try and get 3 hours of sleep before the next wake-up call.

~xo,

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