Wednesday, June 26, 2013

5 Random Facts About Me

Until I get back from Paris, I thought I'd do something I LOVE reading on other people's blogs. Here are 5 random facts about me. Maybe not so new to people who know me in person (and which actually make up the majority of readers of this blog, I suspect), but here goes anyway...

1. My hair is naturally "multi-coloured", i.e. quite blonde on the top layers and a medium brown where the sun never hits it because it is very thick and I have a lot of it.
2. In my previous job I had the opportunity to take photos of the Emperor of Japan and other members of the Imperial Family.
3. I have not actually counted how many handbags I own, but they are still in the double-digits-range. I hope.
4. If - God forbid! - I were to lose either my eyesight or my sense of smell, I would rather give up the first as I am a compuslive "sniffer" and can tell scents apart quite well.
5. I have never had a Facebook account and am not planning to open one.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Blending into the Background

Hi, my honeubunnies! I know it's been quiet around here for the last few days, but, honestly, when temperatures rise to the mid-30s°, I don't really feel inclined to spend more quality time with my computer than I have to. Today, it's dramatically cooler, but I still don't feel too inspired to dig through my photo archive and tickle my old brain to remember what I wanted to write about here. So, sorry. On Friday afternoon, the Gazelle and I made a swift exit from the sauna that was our office and went swimming in the "Old Danube". There, a (probably lovesick) frog decided to give everybody a concert by croaking extremely loudly. He was hardly visible among the slimy weeds in the water:
I shall be back soon with some sales finds and other random purchases, including a cult kitchen appliance I ordered online during a very boring event. Ooops. On Thursday night I am off to Paris to visit the Empress. Yaaaaaay!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

This Newsletter Came 1.5 Years Too Late... I would immediately have bulk-ordered had this reached me when I was working in my uncomfortably cold Sydney office:
Nice one, J.Crew! In my little office here, I am the A/C bitch, blackmailing friends of cold blasts with fits of sneezing and vetoing for turning it on when we are out for lunch only...

Monday, June 17, 2013

My Weekend in Instagram Pics...

Hello, my lovelies! Summer is here at last (saying this with a low voice so as not to jinx it...) and so I spent Saturday outdoors despite having a bit of a cold. I started the day with home-made milk rice topped with fresh bananas and strawberries. It was good, but I was surprised how rich it tasted, almost as if I had used cream instead of milk. I prefer it a bit lighter and will try with half milk, half water or perhaps soy milk next time.
The Mademoiselle suggested we go swimming in lake Neusiedl and this is what we did. It almost looks like the sea, doesn't it? Well, for us landlocked Austrians it does at least:
Afterwards we enjoyed dinner at Mole West (the food being better than the last time I ate there and was not impressed) and the beautiful sunset. The potted palm trees made it look quite exotic, I found:
Last night, 3 of the lovely book club ladies kept me company and I fed them with maki (as you can see, just rolled up and cut any old way), marinated salmon with sesame-spinach and roast new potatoes and matcha "ice cream" with red beans, preceded by a Cosmopolitan. I liked the main course in particular and will definitely buy fresh salmon from that same fishmonger again.
I hope you also had a good weekend.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Relax. Reset

This past weekend, the Mermaid and I spent at a hotel/spa resort in the middle of vineyards. It might look like we spent it locked behind bars in the picture below, but, nope, that was just the architect who liked steel grids:
The weather was lovely and so we basically spent two days sprawled out on deck-chairs in our bikinis, interrupted by occasional laps in the pool, which was too warm for my taste. Unlike the Mermaid, I don't have a stressful job, really, but I welcomed the lazy weekend between two business trips (off to Warsaw tonight) and opportunity to take my mind know...things just the same. 
Even though I'm really not somebody who complains about rain, but likes all sorts of weather, I'm happy summer has decided to stop by for however long it may be.

Friday, June 07, 2013

Share a Coke With...Your Serbian Friends

Just a quick "hello" from Belgrade. I'm writing this on Thursday evening and pre-programming this post for tomorrow before I'm going out to eat vast quantities of dead animals and be peer-pressured into consuming spirits by my dear colleagues... I took a double-take when I saw this empty Coke bottle (excuse the poor quality - zoomed picture taken on my mobile phone without flash...wanted to be discreet) of Coca-Cola's "share a coke with..." series. So far, I had only seen first names or terms of endearment like "Princess" and the like, but not so here:
American companies are obviously not as PC as I thought I knew them to be...

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Save It For a Rainy Day...

Last weekend was pretty rainy (or horribly rainy if you happen to live in those parts of Austria that were flooded) and so I tackled some DIY projects I had bookmarked for quite some time. Such as make friendship bracelets. Yep, those things that you last saw on your friends' - and very possibly, your own - wrists when you were a teenager. Same here and I didn't think I would ever make them again. Like cycling or knitting it's pretty much a skill you don't forget easily. I didn't just make any old friendship bracelets, but ones with hearts that had me intrigued when I saw them featured on Honestly...WTF, one of my favourite blogs for DIY inspirations. I had never knotted hearts before, but it was actually very easy. After making the bracelets below out of remnant thread, I went and bought some more in red, pink and white for more traditionally-coloured hearts. If you would like to make some yourselves, the link to the tutorial is here.
I also finally got around to packaging some bracelets I had made earlier and leave them at my parents' in order to be sold to potential visitors to their "home gallery" (my parents are artists). Do you like my logo, made out of pink thread and washi tape? Sorry for the dark photo, taken on that same dark and rainy weekend...
I've also taked out and dusted my neglected sewing machine and have some more projects lined up.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Another Favourite: Revlon Just Bitten Kissable

I'm off to Belgrade for a couple of days, but before I go, I wanted to share my favourite lip product. It's unfortunately not available in Austria, but I ordered a backup on eBay, which arrived yesterday together with a parcel from Nars (equally not on sale in Austria). It's Revlon's balm stain in 020 "Lovesick" from the Just Bitten Kissable series and I luuuuurve it:
Not only does this fuchsia pink suit my skintone way better than any red, but it also has great staying power for a balm-type lip product. I've tried several lip glosses that claim to stay on for 10 hours or more and - I joke you not - they were not visible anymore after 30 minutes on my lips. This one, however, stays for several hours, depending on how much I eat or drink. I love the colour and consistency and don't mind the toothpastey minty smell and taste either. Here it is swatched on my wrist. I didn't do it deliberately, but it's actually quite good in terms of colour and intensity reference that a brown mole is right next to it:
I have a feeling that this will be my "signature" lip colour for as long as I can manage to track it down. I definitely will be stockpiling whenever I visit a Revlon-carrying country.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Worth a Visit: Jeju Island

When I chose Korea as the destination for my next "big"non-European vacation destination, I just had this vague notion of it being a really cool place, sort of similar to Japan in terms of culture, shopportunities and food. I did not know any cities by name other than Seoul and this is why I sought inspiration in a guidebook, the website of the Korean tourist board (extremely well made and available in many languages), books and blogs and above all tips by friends who had already been. Eventually, I decided I wanted to see Seoul, Busan (the second largest city and home of Korea's most famous beaches) and Jeju island. All of these (re)sources seemed to agree that Jeju was a magic place and Korea's real highlight. They were right. Jeju island really is a gem and Chiquita loved it just as much as I did. It is often described as "Korea's Hawaii" or the honeymoon island and it is apparently the location of many famous Korean TV dramas, none of which are broadcast here...or if they were I probably wouldn't know anyway. Here are some photos to give you an idea how pretty it is:
Cheonjiyeon waterfalls
the view from our balcony at Jeju EcoSuites overlooking tangerine groves
locally grown citrus fruits everywhere...
The Giant's Causeway's South Korean cousin at Jusangjeolli
lush subtropical vegetation
relationships of trust among neighours: you just take a pack of cherry tomatoes or two and leave money in the bowl

backdrop of TV dramas...
tea plantation

...and not to forget the Teddy Bear Museum, one of many quaint museums (apparently there are 3 devoted to the topic of sex) on the island. Van Gogh and Gandhi as teddy bears: pricelessShould you ever plan to visit South Korea, make sure to stop by Jeju, a short domestic flight away from Busan or Seoul.

Monday, June 03, 2013

Oh, And Meet My Favourite Summer Companions

In the last post, I showed you (some of) my favourite summer colours. Today, I want to show you my favourite wardrobe staple for spring and summer: a white linen shirt from Uniqlo, which I *cough* own 3 more or less identical ones of:
It all started with a trip to Paris (my first visit to the Empress) in May two years ago. I discovered the new Uniqlo near the opera and bought the leftmost shirt in the picture above. Unlike the others it has a label saying "French linen", pockets and the sleeves can be rolled up. I wore it constantly, it travelled to Australia with me and I was happy to discover a similar shirt (on sale) in Tokio last April. Unlike the first one (size S) I immediately assumed that sizes would be a bit different in Asia and went for size M as I didn't want to queue for the changing rooms. It fit and I loved it just as much as its French cousin. In Korea I was not only happy to find Uniqlo, but also that our visit coincided with their "Uniqlo says thank you" promotion days. Another bargain and I couldn't resist picking up another white linen shirt. As it looked identical to its Japanese cousin from 2012, I almost didn't try it on. Thankfully I did as the sleeves were tighter and L looked much better on me. I now own three shirts in 3 different sizes that all fit me and that I will continue to wear alternatingly.
Honestly, I don't know how I was able to survive previously without at least one of these in my wardrobe: super-light in summer, casual but not too much so, great when worn jacket-style over a sleeveless top as well and while they crease quite easily, they are simply a dream to iron. I'm not joking - the iron just glides over them and they look perfect and feel "starched" in no time. Amazing quality for a really good price (around €30). 

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Meet My Favourite Colours

I'll probably show you more photos from my Korean archive in the near future, but wanted to share my current obsession for bright colours. Actually, it's not just current, but I've always liked them a lot. With age (jeeez, that makes me sound 90, but you know what I mean) I've also come to know what colours suit me best and which I should better give a wide berth. Take lime green or neon green: I love this colour and it really suits my complexion and hair colour. Whenever I wear these shades, I feel 200 times better looking and always get compliments. Which leads me to my superduperamazing bargain from the H&M online shop, where I just wanted to order some homewear stuff from. I freaking love this combination and the Gazelle immediately ordered the jacket for herself after she tried on mine. It was on sale and cost a mere €12, believe it or not. An incredible price for a linen/cotton mix fabric and really good cut. The long and lightweight cotton jumper only cost €7 and I love it as well. If you click to enlarge the photo you'll see how well it matches the necklace I made myself before my trip to Vegas:
The photo above and the following one shows me in the changing rooms of Peek & Cloppenburg Klagenfurt, a notoriously dangerous place as I inevitably walk out with something or other. This morning, I had just entered the store when I spotted this jacket in an amazing neon-ish orange (the second photo does it more justice) on a sale-rack. Tried it on and was in luuurve:
I'm probably going to remove the sailboat-brooch, but it's kind of cute. I also tried on these patterned trousers you can see hanging in the cubicle, but they didn't look great on me. In the photo, I am wearing a pair of jeggins I got for about €10 in the Sfera sale in Palma and hadn't actually worn before.
Here is a close-up of the blazer that shows the colour more realistically as well as the cute polka-dotted cotton lining:
I already know that I'll get a lot of wear out of these pieces in the coming months. The blazer was €80 instead of €100, so pretty reasonable as well.
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