Tuesday, November 30, 2010


mini LV bag (onemorehandbag)In my defense, the money that paid for this extravagance was sort of "Monopoly money", i.e. a friendly and very generous Christmas bonus  by the Firm that just shoutet "TREAT YOURSELF!" (As if I needed any encouragement).

I saw a photo of this limited edition mini pochette in the same German magazine I already mentioned here last week and could just think wantwantwantwant. Add three exlamation marks to this. !!!

I sort of suspected that it would be small, but in real life it is a bonsai bag that only resembles a normal-sized handbag if a tiny Japanese lady (or the Empress) wears it. For standard-issue European women like yours truly, it's more of a wallet. Not that it made me covet it any less. I can clip it onto my Neverfull once I wake it up from its hibernation and use it as a clutch should the need arise. Speaking of the Neverfull: it turns out that this was a real "investment" due to the fact that prices have been raised by approximately 10%. Hah!

It felt slightly strange and bimbo-ish to answer "yes" when the shop assistant asked me if I was already in their customer register. But never mind...

Monday, November 29, 2010


It's still November, but yesterday was the first Advent Sunday which means that the "countdown" to Christmas has officially begun. I've told you that I've been really swotty this year, preparations-wise, so I'm hoping to actually experience a cosy and peaceful holiday season this year. Decorating my flat always puts me in a christmassy mood anyway and the smell of gingerbread and other biscuits is just the icing on the cake.
My little "orange still life" has grown considerably. I collect orange (glass) tealight holders and really like the warm glow this colour gives off.
Snow made a very brief appearance in Vienna on Friday night. By Saturday morning it had almost melted away already. View from my living room window:

UPDATE: I wrote this post yesterday afternoon but since then there has been more snow of the wet and heavy type. I took this picture on my way to work this morning: 

Sunday, November 28, 2010

In Writing

A little PS from my visit to Dachau, where I came across some interesting signs. Such as the name-plates in St. Jacob's church: 

I don't know what happens if someone sits in the wrong place (unless the people behind the names have long since died). My guess is that they will be tickled to death with their own Gamsbart or something along these lines. 

Let's call a spade a spade, eh? Sign on a pub/bar.

The last one really made me laugh. It is so stereotypical it can't get any worse. The misplaced apostrophes (or should I say "apostrophe's"?) as well as the first names that are - sorry to all Sabines and Anitas out there - quite stereotypical of women of this profession. They could of course also be called Nicole, Gabi, Michelle or Elfi.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Way to Go!

I've told you about my obsession with UK glossies that come with freebies. These range from paperbacks to canvas bags and fashion accessories to make-up items. The unfair thing is that whereas the magazines themselves are readily available in Austria (for at least double the RRP, mind you), they always come without the goodies. GRrrrrrrRR! German (language) magazines and advertisers have not caught on to this and so it is very rare indeed to come across a gift-bearing magazine. I lucked out (as my virtual YouTube friends would say) in the newsagent's at Munich central railway station last Sunday where I discovered a German women's magazine (of medium "glossiness") that came with an original-size Manhattan brand eyeshadow (there was a choice of at least 2 shades; I picked the turquoise one):

Yes, you could say I was suckered into buying it as I don't usually buy Petra, but that's the whole point of these freebies, isn't it? Have I mentioned that I am an easy marketing prey?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Sisters in Arms

This Tuesday, H&M launched its heavily-advertised Lanvin collection. Fashionistas were allocated 10-minute-slots in the inner sanctuary that was the fenced-in Lanvin realm within selected H&M stores: 
10 minute slots (onemorehandbag)
That is, provided you had managed to get one of the colour-coded bracelets with your time-slot written on it. The Empress and I had both marked the day in our calendars. 

As our office is conveniently located within spitting distance of the poshest H&M in Vienna (on the premises of the elegant Braun store), we were able to peek out of the window to see whether there was a queue at 9:00 AM. There wasn't and so we decided to go on a little reconnaisance mission. Out of purely professional interest, needless to say. We thought we could just walk into the holiest of holies for lack of other fashion addicts, but the queue had already dispersed and moved inside. We were able to get some bracelets for 11:30, though and returned to the office to await our 10 minutes of fashion exclusiveness.

wristbands (onemorehandbag)

We had of course already browsed the website (where shopping per se was impossible because of too many server requests) and already decided on which pieces to focus. In my case, it was the t-shirts/tops and accessories as the - admittedly gorgeous - dresses where much too short for me. The Empress ended up buying a very cool dress and I got the long shirt I had had my eyes on. It's not exactly office material what with the tulle and glittery beads and sequin details, but I'm sure it looks good paired with my favourite new pair of "riding" leggings from ZARA:
Lanvin haul (onemorehandbag)
The cotton bag (allegedly, the proceeds go to Unicef) was only € 3 or so, but I actually like the paper bag with double-tiered satin ribbons that you got with your purchase even better.  

The verdict: a well-orchestrated hype for admittedly rather covetable items by a great designer. I liked the necklaces and clutches, too, but the former were too heavy (my posture is bad enough as it is already) and the latter too recognisable. Ok,ok, the same can be said about the shirt, but you know...

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Starting Shot

I keeping with my organised-bitch-from-hell  character who is determined not to get stressed at all this Christmas, I have of course already started baking. Ginger biscuits and gingerbread: done!
cookie recipes (onemorehandbag)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

New Kid on the Blog

Sporty has a blog. And a rather promising one with a cool title! So far, the topics have ranged from restaurant reviews to Somalian pirates via macarons (yay!). If you understand German, make sure to bookmark Eine Melange Bitte.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Town Beginning with "D"

So. Where was I? Well, I spent the weekend in Dachau, Bavaria, where my mother took part in a group exhibition. Yes, that Dachau of concentration camp fame/shame. It was really strange. No matter whom I told where I was going, the person looked at me expectantly once I had mentioned the name of the town, waiting for me to come forth some kind of explanation. It's not the kind of place Austrians would associate with a holiday destination as EVERYone has dark associations with that name. In fact, I am sure many people don't know there actually is a town of that name and it's not just a place out of your history lesson.

Well, be that as it may, the old town of Dachau is quite picturesque. The town is twinned with my native Klagenfurt and after some members of Dachau's artists association had exhibited their works at Künstlerhaus in KLU, they invited members of Kunstverein Kärnten to exhibit at Dachau's Wasserturm. My Mum is one of the participating artists and since my Dad basically hates travelling beyond the town limits of KLU (or possibly, the fence of his property), I thought I'd show up as the "fan-club".

I took the (delayed) flight to MUC on Friday and returned by train yesterday afternoon. Dachau is a mere Schnellbahn ride away from Munich and it takes you a mere 20 minutes to the central train station. Very convenient indeed. 

On Saturday morning, we had a guided tour of the old town and palace in Dachau by a tourguide called Anni (see yesterday's post). Here are some impressions of the (very foggy) morning:

Here's a photo of the old town by night:

And one of the inevitable Weißwurst orgy in which my Mum and I didn't participate as we both like neither this type of sausage, nor sweet mustard: 

We do like pretzels, though:

Monday, November 22, 2010

Living the Cliché

More about my weekend-trip to Germany to come. Only so much: I was in Bavaria, which can clearly be deduced from our guide's outfit (a guided tour of the old town and castle was included in the "package"):
Bavarian tourguide (onemorehandbag)I liked her bag even though I'm not really into the whole folklore thing:
Bavarian tourguide's bag (onemorehandbag)Apparently, it was (hand)made in Austria. On the reverse side is a big appliquéd date of the type you would find on farmers' houses or trousseaus in the Alps.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


purple coat (onemorehandbag)While I'm away in Germany for the weekend (more about that upon my return) I'm going to show you my new favourite coat. Ta-dah! Typically, I didn't need it at all - well, do I ever actually need any of the clothes I buy? - but accompanied the Gazelle to Benetton where I hadn't been for absolutely ages and where she wanted to look for a down coat. Guess who left the shop without a coat and who ended up buying one. Yep, that would be me. It's a vibrant deep purple in real life and only looks blueish because of my camera's flash. The cut and in particular the collar are very 1960s and I think it suits me perfectly, if I may be so vain to say so myself. The light wool quality makes it perfect for pre-snow global warming winters in the city and it looks particularly good with skinny jeans and my heeled ankle-boots.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Autumn up North

Yes, Manchester is not exactly known for its beauty and scenery, but there are some picturesque spots nearby, such as Dunham Massey in Altrincham. It was abso-effing-lutely furrrreeezing when we (Cleo, her hubby and sons) went there on Sunday morning, but nothing can keep some English kids (not hers) from running around in flimsy clothes and eating an ice-cream. Brrrrr. Despite the cold, it was really beautiful and autumnal.

Leaves with violets

Pretty tree, the name of which I don't know...

Holly, an old favourite of mine!

Idyllic pavillion for romantic love-trysts or such like

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Pret Delights (onemorehandbag)I've told you about my love of Pret A Manger before. No matter how well I am fed by my hosts or at the company canteen, a visit to the UK wouldn't be complete without at least one stop at one of their ubiquitious branches. They have outlets in other countries too (oh, the joy when I discovered a Pret in Hong Kong and New York respectively!), but typically not in Austria. I'd gladly swap all Starbucks coffee shops in Vienna for one single Pret. They don't franchise, so there goes that option, but in the unlikely event that "the Prets" are reading this: please, pretty please, come to Vienna and be the answer to all my lunch cravings!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Limited Edition

limited edition cosmetics (onemorehandbag)First things first. Before I show you actual touristy photos of my mini-holiday, I thought I'd share my little beauty haul with you. The Nails Inc. nail polish (a rather convincing Particuliere dupe, by the way) was a freebie that came with UK Glamour magazine. It's a full sized bottle, which normally retails for GBP 11. Not bad, eh? I haven't tried it yet so cannot actually say anything about its quality and opacity.

The eyeshadow is Bobbi Brown's limited edition "smoldering eye palette" which is considerably cheaper and easier to get your hands on in the UK than it is here.

The last make-up purchase was of the time-to-kill-at-the-airport-why-not-count-your-cash-and-fritter-it-away-in-duty-free variety. I was thrilled to see MAC's current limited edition "A Tartan Tale" collection see in its complete glory at MAN airport and since the stuff was comparatively cheap had to get my hands on an "eye bag". The "Violet my Love Lash & Line Kit" to be precise. It consists of a rather cool tartan cosmetics bag filled with a mini brush, a travel-sized Zoomblack Zoom Lash mascara and a full-sized violet pigment as well as a full-sized fluidline pot in "Macroviolet". I love violet shades of eyeshadow and eyeliners as I think the colour really complements green eyes like mine. Plus I was quite excited to have found the whole LE collection there.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

One-Track Read

On my journey to Manchester, I read 2 German magazines (Jolie and Neon). Interestingly, both featured a long article on how many sex-partners random (?) people - in the case of Jolie, women only have had. In the latter magazine, the women held a cut-out figure in their hands, in Neon they wore rather original tops with the number incorporated into the design. 

I wonder if the authors know each other or whether they had been to the same seminar on "Embrace your Wild Past" or something.

Friday, November 12, 2010

I Can Never Resist "Cute"...

A quick hello from rainy Manchester where Cleo, the younger of her sons and I made a quick shopping-excursion to the city centre yesterday and she actually managed to "outshop" me, her words. I only bought some little bits and pieces including a "down" bag from GAP (reduced to GBP 9,90) and a book with several easy-sounding macaron recipes from M&S (GBP 4).

MAN purchases (onemorehandbag)I don't have proper photo-editing software on my tiny netbook so you'll just have to believe me that the bag is actually a dark purple rather than blue.

We've planned an excursion to Liverpool for tomorrow, which I am really looking forward to.

More about the rest of my Northern adventures, shopping and otherwise when I'm back in Vienna.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Gimme 5

hand (onemorehandbag)While I'm away, I'm not going to ignore the 5th anniversary of this blog. Should you feel slike it, you may toast to the next 5 years...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

MAN via HAM and STR

When this post goes live, I'm hopefully already at VIE airport on my way to Manchester to visit Cleo until Sunday. Last time I was there was when she got married in November 2006 A lot has happened since then - at least in her life- and she has not only moved to a new house, but also has two sons now which I am looking forward to meeting.

As there are no direct flights to Manchester from Vienna, I am flying via Hamburg on my way out and via Stuttgart on my way back. I do hope the return flight from MAN won't be delayed as there is only a little over an hour between arrival in STR and departure to VIE and my Lufthansa flight to Vienna is the last one for the day.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Experimental Baking (Failure)

Last time I was in KLU, I visited my favourite shop there and bought a leaf-shaped cookie cutter. As I'm very anti E-numbers and MNGs, I wanted to create red or orange leaves using a natural substance. After doing some online research which basically only came up with "beetroot" (I love this vegetable, but didn't really feel like using it for something sweet), I had the brainwave to use hibiscus tea. So much for the theory...
cookie cutter (onemorehandbag)I prepared a really strong infusion and let it cool. I decided to divide the dough, a basic shortcrust recipe, into two parts and dye half of it with matcha powder and blend some of the hibiscus concentrate into the other half. I had to use several spoons to make an impact (pale purple), which of course totally changed the consistency of the dough. Hmmm. I added some more flour and sugar and put both doughs into the fridge to rest for half an hour.
dough(onemorehandbag)When I rolled them out on my worktop, the lilac coloured hibiscus-infused dough was really rubbery and gooey. The good thing was that unlike normal ubaked shortcrust dough it didn't crumble, nor stick at all, but could be lifted in one piece like a plasticine pancake.
cookies (onemorehandbag)The result was pretty boring and inedible and even a jam-filling didn't help much to enhance these bland cookies, the lilac half of which ended up in the bin.

Any suggestions for a natural food colour (red or yellow) that is a) not savoury and b) preferably in powder form?

Monday, November 08, 2010

Forever Shopping

All the American YouTube gurus I am subscribed to seem to shop mainly at Forever21. Personally, I've never come across one of their stores in the US and only ever visited one in Tokyo. Even though I'm almost twice as old as its eponymous target group, I'm quite excited we're going to get one in Vienna. Yay! I'd walked past the building site on Kärtner Str. many times without noticing the name of the shop - gross negligence on my part! - and it was Sporty who alerted me to it.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Mountaineering Vienna Style

Last Sunday, I went "mountaineering" in Vienna. Not on a mountain, but a church. I had seen the guided tour of church and rooftop in programme of my district's Volkshochschule and asked culture-vulture MM if she wanted to join me. She did. The church is called Maria vom Siege (basically the Austrian twin of "Santa Maria della Vittoria" in Vienna) and located between Westbahnhof and Gumpendorferstraße U6 stations. The parish has a surprisingly cool homepage, too. Tours can also be booked directly via the website.

The church has a red brick exterior (rather unusual in Austria) and was planned by the same architect who built the city hall. I had never been into the building before, but like all Viennese who have ever driven past it on the "Gürtel" have noticed the huge banner on its facade reading There's someone who loves you... Jesus Christ.

Below this promise of love is an appeal to save the "architectural jewel". It is indeed in dire need of funds for renovation as this picture of a pillor in the inerior of the church clearly illustrates:
After a slightly lenghty (for my taste anyway, but I don't actually like guided tours all that much) tour of the church itself by a very pious layman, we were joined by Father Bruno, who's the priest of the church and a member of an order I had never heard of: the Calasantines, founded by José de Calsanz. You live and learn.

Father Bruno told us he hailed from the Vorarlberg provice and due to his upbringing on a farm in the mountains and the fact that his father was a roofer, he liked climbing. He explained the increasing level of difficulty if people wanted to follow him up to the very rooftop and about half of the - rather geriatric - group chose to say their goodbyes right away.

The first stage which could be reached via a narrow winding staircase wasn't all that high nor challenging:
It was the level of the base of the cupola which is currently covered with a net in order to prevent pieces of frescoes and plasterwork falling onto the congregation. This means that the actual frescoes cannot be seen from down below.

The next stage was inside the "attic", but higher up so we could actually see the top of the cupola. Father Bruno is standing on it in the picture below:
Only a handful of people were lured up to the highest level, the spire, by the promise of a breathtaking view in the dawn. It really was worth it:
I'm not lying - my knees were shaking when I saw the first ladder. Oh, have I mentioned that I am afraid of hights? Well, the exit to the top platform looks quite harmless and the top 3 wooden ladders were okay-ish as they were relatively short. The whole attic was pitch dark, by the way.
It was the first ladder that was really scary. It was very long and with nowhere to hold onto left and right of it. Basically, it was a steel ladder that was pulled out to its maximum lenght and as I was halfway up to the first wooden platform my only thought was "How on earth am I ever going to get down from there again?" The photo doesn't show the darkness, nor the lenght and "freestanding-ness" of the wretched ladder, but believe you me, it was quite a challenge:
I suppose the fact that we were in a place of worship provide us with an extra vigilant guardian angel, but I was really glad when I was on street level again. The following day, the muscles in my thighs were really sore as I must have tensed up climbing those ladders.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

New in Town

I still owe you the photos of the opening of the new talk-of-town grocery store: BILLA Corso at Hoher Markt which- needless to say - I checked out the very day it opened (Oct. 29), when these pictures were taken. It's where the big Frünkranz flagship store used to be and possibly the biggest and fanciest BILLA supermarket ever:

The big USP besides the grand location is the eat-in (very limited space) or take-out stuff by "Henry" which allegedly is part of the Do&Co empire:
I don't usually like cupcakes and actually only bought the above specimen for photo purposes, sharing half of it with my boss. Wrong move! I regretted not eating all of it, as it was lovely and fluffy and with a delicious raspberry filling, not the sickeningly sweet dense dough topped with even sweeter butter-cream I'd so far associated with the cupcakes genre. 

The sandwich was very tasteful, too and almost of UK standards. Everyone who has ever experienced the sad excuses for sandwiches you can normally get in Austria knows what I mean.

Yesterday, the Empress and I tried some of their hot dishes and it was very good, if pricey. If you don't want to eat out of a paper box and with plastic cutlery then I would recommend the takeout version.

Drinks in the "Henry" section are of the fancy Bionade and Vitamin Water variety.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Meet & Greet

Yesterday, I met my Australian "fan"   (hereinafter to be referred to as MAF) for lunch. Mademoiselle had kindly arranged the meeting and shown her pictures of me so the date would only be "half-blind". Great minds think alike and so we had both arrived with a small bag. I had sewed a little "merchandising item" with I-read-Onemorehandbag.com- logo and MAF got me a super cute manga-style zippered pouch:
gift exchange (onemorehanbag)
When I left the office my colleagues wanted to know why I wasn't joining them for lunch. "I'm meeting an Australian "fan" (*mimics quotation marks with her fingers*) for lunch", I said. "Whoa", the Scholar said - jokingly- "make sure to meet at a public place, what if she turns out to be a he and he's a stalker?" I assured them that chances of me being lured into a dark alley and be chopped up into little bite-sized pieces were quite slim and they shouldn't chill the champagne yet.

Well, it was a brief but lovely meeting and I hope to get the chance for a longer one next time she will be...erm...what's the opposite of "down under"...up over?

Thursday, November 04, 2010

On a Roll

Sometimes it's the little things that make your day. Such as the fact that my favourite type of goat cheese is discounted at my local BILLA. Yay! My obsession with rocket salad and salt&vinegar crisps is well-documented. Goat cheese (the soft type) is another of my constant cravings. Drool!
goat cheese (onemorehandbag)

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