Monday, August 31, 2015

Travelgram # 2

While Sydney has barely changed (in a good way: same shops, same cafés, etc.) since I left it in December 2011 and I find myself walking around on autopilot, I am now finally able to visit the Museum of Contemporary Art, which was closed for refurbishment all the three months I was there. I went there this morning and loved it, not only the exhibits, but also the beautiful views from the windows and the café on the rooftop terrace.

Things that Made Me Happy Last Week: Week 35

1. Having made it to Sydney in one piece after 26 hours of travelling.
2. Being told by several people that they will miss me during my month away and/or they have missed me already when I was mostly away from Vienna in the previous two months. 
3. Spending a lovely night out (tensely anticipated for several reasons) the night before my departure with two of my favourite ladies.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Travelgram #1

Hi from Sydney. This is Darling Harbour and the bridge I crossed twice every day on my way to and from work when I lived in Sydney for 3 months back in 2011.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Announcing: Travel Photo Diary

When this post goes live, I will hopefully have landed safely at Singapore airport, from where I will continue to Sydney. I will be travelling for the next 4 weeks and, hotel WiFi permitting, will try to post at least a "photo of the day" as often as I can. Stay tuned and wish me luck!
(The picture above was taken last Sunday in Salzburg, in case you were wondering).

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The "Princess" Dress

I already mentioned in my weekly "happy post" that I wore my "princess dress" at the Salzburg Festival. I can't remember whether I bought it in 2004 or 2005 (I would know if I had started blogging before November 2005 as I always rely on my archives for shopping trivia such as this), but I do know for a fact that I wore it to 2 weddings in 2005, one in Austria and one in Turkey. Back then, I still worked at Coma HQ and a lot of my friends were getting married. Sometimes I would have 3 weddings a year lined up and of course with overlapping guests you can't wear the same dress twice. One of the shops I would try back in the days when they still had a branch in Vienna was Laura Ashley. For my meagre "office lady" salary full-priced items were too expensive and so I would always wait for the sale. Well, to be honest, this is my m.o. even if I were a millionaire, I just love a good bargain. In the case of this silk dress with flowers embroidered onto the skirt part, they had one in my size hanging there and I loved the fact that it also had a tulle underskirt that gave it this girlie, princessy look and feel. I had a gut feeling that it was too "wild" for the usual Laura Ashley customer and would still be waiting for me in the summer sale. Sure enough, I managed to get it for  50-70% off. I can't remember the exact price, but I think it was EUR 75 or something like that, definitely under 100 EUR. It had been hanging around, literally, in the drycleaners' bag for the past 10 years, until I decided to try it on. It still fit me, even though my back seems to have gained in width a bit and I could not for the life of me manage to close the zipper with a bra underneath. Well, no problem if you are not the most buxom lady and so I simply wore it without one Don't tell anyone. That red crocheted cardigan is even older and was bought to match another Laura Ashley wedding (guest) dress back in the days. It is from H&M (!) and equally uncharacteristic for the brand. I wore my new rose gold André kitten heels (bought for 28 EUR in Nice) and my Alexander Wang "Rockie" (similar model here) and felt very princess-like indeed. I'm all for weeding out one's closet from time to time and not holding on to stuff you know you'll never wear again, but I could never give away classy items that I loved wearing first time round and still feel nostalgic about. It makes me truly happy to shop my closet from time to time and step back into time with a vintage item.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Things that Made Me Happy Last Week: Week 34

1. Seeing an opera at the prestigious Salzburg Festival for the first time, but even more so, making my Mum happy by surprising her with the (good) tickets+hotel, etc. for her birthday. Her favourite female and male singers performed, so she was very thrilled.
2. Wearing my beloved"princess dress" that had hung in my wardrobe in a dry-cleaners' bag for more than 10 years (!) to the opera. Happy memories. I might write a separate post about it.
3. Getting approval to attend a conference in California in October, shortly after my return to work. Woohoo!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

I Don't Do Lists, But I Do Do Sheets...

I have mentioned several times before that I never write to-do lists. Neither do I track my expenses...which I probably should. However, whenever I plan a trip far away, be it on my own or with somebody else, I love creating a spreadsheet that I can share with my travel companion and parents, knowing they will be worried anyway. So for my upcoming trip to Australia and Japan (leaving next Friday, woohoo!) I have painstakingly added all relevant details into the spreadsheet you can see above (columns C-H have only been whitened out before I took a screen grab for privacy's sake). AND, what's more, I have even summed up costs for my many flights and hotel stays on a separate tab...which pretty much sums up my virtually absent Excel-skills.
It gives me immense pleasure to see at one glance where I will be when and what I have to look forward to.
Speaking of Google Sheets - I also have a sheet for addresses stored in the cloud so I don't need to carry an address book with me. When I worked at Coma HQ and had access to nice Zweckform address labels (psst!) I would occasionally even print out sticky labels so I just had to paste them onto my post cards. Genius, eh?
Well, I guess we can say safely that travelling to exotic places brings out the little nerd in me. Not ashamed!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Things that Made Me Happy Last Week: Week 33

1. Getting some things done despite the stifling heat in my flat, such as assembling and filling several storage boxes (in the background of the photo above) in my walk-in-closet plus screwing on the legs of 2 of 4 chairs I ordered online. In case you were wondering, I only positioned the chair in the closet for the sake of getting everything in one picture, it is supposed to stand around my dining table.
2. Having fun applying and wearing metallic tattoos and even getting asked by strangers if they were real and where I got them from. From a cheap store in Cannes, FR, by the way.
3. Helping my mum with her annual open gallery weekend at my granny's former house and selling some of my bracelets again. It's nice to get recognition for your creative endeavours.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Things that Made Me Happy Last Week: Week 32

1. Having so much fun with the girls in Nice. Hopefully next year again with the same gang.
2. Discovering some new gems on the Cote d'Azur this year, such as Saint-Raphael.
3. Hunting down ALL the magazine goodies I had set my eyes on. Yep, there were more than I mentioned in the previous post.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015


One thing I love about French (and UK) magazines is the fact that their summer issues tend to come with nice collectible freebies. Near the place where we always stay when in Nice, there is a "Tabac/Presse" on the way to the beach and the lady there probably thinks we are a bunch of seriously strange foreign maniacs, judging from our daily perusal of cellophane-wrapped glossies. This year, we scored high-quality striped tops (Pablo by Gerad Darel) with Marie Claire magazine (tough decisions whether to get BOTH the sleeveless and short-sleeved one...), tank tops with BIBA and GRAZIA magazine and after hunting high and low and even enlisting the Empress's help (apparently her Breton village was better stocked last week) for the exclusive Isabel Marant t-shirt that came with last week's ELLE, we finally grabbed the last issues in Monaco on Saturday night. Reeesult. In previous years, I ended up with mangy polyester rags that I immediately gave away, but this year's offerings are all 100% cotton and nicely made, so if happen to be in France, join the treasure hunt!

Monday, August 03, 2015

Things that Made Me Happy Last Week: Week 31

1. Spontantenously stopping by the office and being so warmly received by my colleagues.
2. Being back in Nice and revisiting my old hunting grounds. It's my 6th or 7th visit this year.
3. Seeing the fireworks in Monaco on Saturday night together with hundreds of people.
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