Inside the Lindt Chocolate Factory!

Savvy Spice truffles Pralines Lindt Factory

Last week I joined a sweet little workshop hosted by the American Women’s Club of Zurich at the Lindt Factory in Switzerland. Mmmm...Swiss chocolate straight from the source. Thinking back on my life in San Francisco, I used to eat at least one Lindt milk chocolate truffle daily when I was sitting in my cubicle after lunch peaking at the latest posts by Popsugar. I remember thinking to myself, ‘How do they make these so good with the smooth center that it just melts in your mouth?’

Fast forward a few years and now I know the answer. Welcome to a special peak inside the Lindt Factory and my first experience making truffles and decorating pralines after being taught by a Swiss Master Chocolatier…

Lindt Factory Savvy Spice

<About 25 us gathered inside and we were each handed a Lindt chocolatier outfit including an apron and cap. As everyone was chatting, suddenly the doors opened to the candy kitchen in a scene I can only describe like the one in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory>

Lindt Savvy Spice making truffles

<We were each given a tray of truffle shells – like the ones they sell in stores, but these were empty. The Lindt master showed us how to fill them and handed over the little plastic bags full of champagne chocolate filling>

Lindt Truffle Savvy Spice Switzerland tour

<We individually filled each shell with the pure champagne chocolate filling. The ones you buy in stores are filled with a machine which is why they’re perfect and not over or under filled. As they were cooling, it was time to decorate the pralines!>

Savvy Spice LIndt Truffle Factory

<We had the chance to decorate our own pralines after dipping them in the vat of Lindt chocolate sauce including milk, dark and my favorite- white chocolate. We used almonds, gold covered Corn Flakes and little chocolate balls so I tried to make a couple bunnies since Easter is approaching>

Lindt truffles Savvy Spice

<The only thing better than making our own chocolate was that we were able to bring them home which means my mom will be getting a nice box of chocolates this weekend when I see her in California>

Do you like Lindt Truffles or does your heart belong to another chocolate brand?


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Pregnant in Python Heels

Olive Green Spring 2015 Pregnancy style

Did you ever watch that Bravo! show ‘Pregnant in Heels?’ It was cancelled after two seasons and although I couldn’t relate at the time; I loved how the host, Rosie Pope, helped women find stylish pregnancy looks. Although, how hard could it be with so many brands pumping out maternity lines season after season? Now that I’m in those heels; it’s a little harder than I assumed.

Since finding out I was pregnant, I’ve gained 20 pounds (gulp). I know because the month before getting the results of the big baby news, I spent a week cutting carbs and weighing myself so I could squeeze into my dirndl for Oktoberfest. Oh, how priorities have changed already. While it was fairly simple to wear my regular clothes during the first trimester, styling an outfit takes a bit more creativity these days. Luckily, I  found a seriously comfy pair of olive treggings the other day…

HM Mama Olive green maternity skinny pants

<Have you heard of Treggings?> Leggings, jeggings, treggings! ‘Treggings’ are leggings made to look like trousers. So far maternity jeans are okay, but often sit so low, they feel like they’re falling down. Regular leggings are my go-to 3 days a week, but can be too casual for many outfits. These treggings by H&M ‘MAMA’ feel like stretchy khaki’s and are super comfortable! I tried to buy them in black too and checked online in 5 different countries, but they are sold out.

Savvy Spice fashion blog Dale Janee

<Layered in Leather> I’ve been wearing my Zara leather jacket the past few months on sunny winter days that don’t require a down jacket in Zurich. I couldn’t zip it up if I tried at this point, but it works for now.

maternity pants HM leather jacket

<Heels to the Rescue> While it’s not practical to wear heels daily pregnant, when we go out without much walking I really love to! There is something about maternity pants that make me feel very short so I like to elongate my legs with heels like I did last month here. Plus, my feet have gone up a full size, so open-toe shoes feel amazing.

mama maternity wear HM

<Baby Bump> I’ve been strategically hiding it behind my handbags lately, but here he or she is…6 months and counting

Savvy Spice Zara black leather jacket

<MAMA time> – I have to admit, my maternity wardrobe in Zurich so far has been H&M. Splurging in Switzerland for maternity clothes is not going to happen, so my options are slim. So while shopping trips lately have consisted of, ‘Wo ist die MAMA section?’ at local H&M’s, I’m really looking forward to more options when I’m back in the US this month.

Gucci Heels Savvy Spice olive pants

<DETAILS by Dale> H&M MAMA treggings khaki green / Zara leather jacket / maternity top – H&M on sale / leather handbag c/o Adora (last seen here) / heels – Gucci outlet (old)/ nails – toes Kale by Kure Bazaar

 Is olive or military green making an appearance in your wardrobe this Spring? Many designers are loving the shade and StyleCaster just showed 45 Ways to Wear Army Green earlier this month.


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Baby News!…

New baby announcement
First came love, then came marriage, and just like the song you may have sang to your friend in elementary school goes, now comes a baby in the baby carriage. When I started my blog a few years ago back in my single days, I never expected to be writing about being pregnant, but oh how life changes. This summer my husband and I are welcoming our first child and we are so excited!

For the most part, I’ve escaped morning sickness, but as I’m getting bigger there are definitely some aches and pains that I instantly ‘google,‘ call my mom about, or research in my stack of bedside baby books which have replaced my old Glamour mags. Maternity style is a bit intimidating, but now that my bump has come out of hiding here in Zurich, I’m doing my best and will ask you for help along the way if you or a friend has some good recommendations for ‘pregnancy fashion faves.’ My first try and a few more details coming this Wednesday…

Thanks for reading and your support from San Francisco to Zurich…


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<models pictured above – Haribo ‘Sweet & Sour‘ Gummy Bears & 1 Mini Haribo bear>


Uncaged in Zurich

Savvy Spice fashion blog Zurich

Daylight savings isn’t for a few more weeks in Europe, but this weekend was the warmest I’ve felt in months. And by warm I mean in the upper 50’s, but it was just mild enough for me to break out a pair of Zara heels that have been caged up in my closet all winter.

In case you’re in the US and lost an hour of shut-eye last night, I’ll keep this brief and move on to an evening styled in track pants, wild bangles and my boldest, brightest handbag….

Zurich Switzerland Dale Janee Van Bery

<The Scene – Zurich city last night just before sunset>

Louis Vuitton Purse Splenderosa Style Mind Chic Lattes and Lipstick

<Bangle Mix - I felt like unleashing my zebra statement bangle mixing it with 2 others from online boutiques owned by some of my favorite Nor-Cal bloggers including Heather of StyleMindChic>


<Give Track Pants a Shot - There is something I love about track pants because they can be dressed up with heels or worn with sneakers! More on that below…>

Zara lace up heels Dale Janee

<Uncaged! – Finally, I could toss the Uggs aside for a day. I love the idea of caged heels or laced-up cut out ones like these – especially with jeans and a blazer>

Savvy Spice navy blue pea coat

<Spring Must-Have Alert - As much as I love heels, it’s never fun walking on the cobble stone streets in Zurich. Moments after this pic, a fashionista walked by me wearing track pants and these Adidas white sneakers! I’ve been seeing them in Milan street style pics & all over fashion sites this week. I’d say they’re a must-have for spring & summer!>

Neon yellow handbag LV bag

<DETAILS by Dale> heels ~ Zara (old) similar below / Van Bery jacket (60% off now) / handbag – LV ‘W’ Bag / nails ‘Monaco’ c/o LVX Nail Polish / bracelets left to right – Thin-Ice Wrap Bracelet StyleMindChic / beaded black & white bracelet – Lilith + McRae / Zebra bracelet c/o – LuLuLe

Leather and gladiator sandals seem to be back for spring. Is open-toe footwear an option yet or is it still too cold in your neck of the woods?

PS. Hope you had a great weekend and Happy International Women’s Day!


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1-Hour ‘Beauty Secret’ Course in Zurich

New Savvy Spice fashion blog Dale Janee

Feeling pasty in Zurich? I caught a glimpse of my legs yesterday as the Swiss sun finally peaked through our bedroom window. Whoa, they are a shade of bright white after bundling up for months which brings me to a 1-Hour Simple Beauty Secret course I’m giving next week at the American Women’s Club of Zurich during their annual Workshop Week March 11-18th.

This year, the fundraiser for the non-profit volunteer club offers over 30 courses with professionals throughout Switzerland teaching courses starting at 20 CHF. All courses are open to the community (members, non-members and friends).

Here’s what I’ll be teaching in my course tomorrow March 12th…

[Read more…]


Yum! Mini Homemade ‘Apple Gobbler’

NEW mini apple gobbler savvy spice expat switzerland

Do you prefer to bake, cook, bbq or microwave? I fall into the latter category, but a couple weeks ago I was having a major craving for my dad’s homemade apple pie. He prides himself on his pie-baking skills and it’s typically one of his Thanksgiving duties. So last November we gathered around my parents dining room table with my cousins, siblings and husband, who grew up in Germany, celebrating his 1st traditional Thanksgiving. I noticed one of my dad’s pies was baked in a casserole dish (he’s more concerned with taste over presentation) and teased, ‘Yum, it’s a cobbler.’

Apparently, my husband had never heard the dessert term ‘cobbler,’ but loved it and there were plenty of leftovers. The next day he kept calling it ‘Gobbler,’  but I decided not to correct him and we all nibbled on it like little vultures. Our good family friend, Ryan, who grew up in Taiwan – also unaware of the dessert ‘cobbler’ – overheard my husband complimenting the delicious leftover ‘Gobbler.’

Maybe it’s one of those ‘you had to be there’ moments, but I had a giggle attack that evening when Ryan asked my mom, ‘is there any more of that Gobbler?’  She looked totally confused and replied, ‘Are you talking about the leftover turkey?‘  It was our own little ‘Modern Family‘ moment. All we needed was Sofía Vergara in the mix.

Now back to a couple weeks ago in Switzerland when I decided one Sunday afternoon to bake. Here’s how to satisfy an ‘Apple Gobbler’ craving with a fraction of the calories and time is takes to bake a pie…

Homemade Oatmeal Cookies

<The Dough - I decided to pass on making an actual pie and decided to make my mini dessert with homemade Oatmeal Cookies using this recipe. This is right before they went in the oven>

Oatmeal Cookies Savvy Spic Dale Janee

<Cook + Cool - After the Oatmeal Cookies baked about 10 minutes, I scooped them onto this tray. Then it was time for…>

Movenpick Ice cream Switzerland Vanilla Dream

<Vanilla Dream - I wanted to add a mini-scoop of vanilla ice-cream for that homestyle apple pie dessert feeling. I’ve mentioned it before, but Mövenpick is truly the BEST ice-cream I’ve ever had in my life. It is a true Swiss delicacy and since it’s made by Nestlé, I hope they expand beyond Asia, Europe and the Middle East to the US one day. Fingers crossed>

Hermes Magazine Dale Janee

<Blogger Sidenote – If you’re a blogger or fashionista, get on the free mailing list for the Hermés. In the US, they will even send you a complimentary perfume sample, scarf or tie book by emailing (according to their site). The fashion and styling photography inside their marketing look-books are inspirational and will give you seasonal ideas for posts>

Dessert Savvy Spice fashion blog Apple Gobbler

<Mini ‘Apple Gobbler’ - Finally,  I cut up a crispy apple called Braeburn. For the apple experts out there, it tastes like a cross between Granny Smith and Lady Hamilton. I mixed it in with cinnamon and sugar, garnished it on top of the Vanilla Dream and my dessert was ready-to-go. I presented it to my husband with a Nespresso coffee…>

New Bon Appetit Savvy Spice

<The Result – Having zero expectations of my baking abilities, he was really impressed. This mini ‘Apple Gobbler‘ dessert was the perfect solution to my dad’s apple pie craving and I’ve picked up the ‘European‘ trick of tiny dessert portions. This bowl is only about 3″x3″ with a mini scoop of ice-cream, 3 apple slices and the fresh Oatmeal cookie – approx 250 calories total. A Thanksgiving portion of apple pie with ice-cream can easily run over 600 calories>


Thanks for joining me in the kitchen on this very rare occasion. PS – the Oatmeal cookies were really good right out of the oven, but by the next day they tasted so stale and weren’t soft at all. If you have any tips for your favorite homemade cookies or a recipe for soft Oatmeal cookies, please let me know.


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