Sunday, February 28, 2010

Hi, Spring. You're a Bit Early, But Very Welcome All the Same

tulips (onemorehandbag)Yesterday, I bought some ingredients for tonight's (unfortunately very underwomanned, fingers crossed that the other 2 guests won't cancel as well) Japanese-themed book club dinner at Naschmarkt where I also grabbed some tulips for the PP who kindly invited me to lunch. I also got the last of this year's birthday presents, a beautiful jade bracelet. After lunch, we packed her two kids and drove to Neusiedler See to catch some more sunshine. I think I'm going to save the photos I took there for a rainy day, literally.

Friday, February 26, 2010

80s Flashback

There's an H&M advertisement at my bus stop which catapulted me straight back into the late 1980s:
Welcome back (onemorehandbag)
(Sorry for the reflection)

I think I'm gradually turning into my mother, who used to annoy me when I was a teenager by saying that a certain trend did not impress her in the least since she had seen and indeed worn it decades ago. Well, I have reached that (st)age myself now and vividly remember wearing a washed out denim shirt just like this one (only much larger, typical 80s "baggy" style). In any case, I think I'm going to pass second time round.

Speaking of H&M - unlike previous "for H&M" designer collections, I was quite interested in the Sonia Rykiel collection which was available in selected shops and the online store last Saturday. Not feeling like a trip downtown - as I work downtown I prefer to spend my weekends away from the city centre - nor queuing in or outside of a store, I made my first ever H&M online purchase which arrived today. Apart from 2 Sonia Rykiel items I also bought a set of towels from the Home collection which - in Austria- is not available in stores. Not bad.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sunny Skies! Smiling People!

When I stepped out of the office today in my lunch hour today, something felt...not right. What was it? Aaaaah, the sun was shining and people all around me were smiling broadly, the typical Viennese grumpiness obviously mellowed by the forgotten phenomenon of sunlight and blue skies. So nice. And so hard to go back to the office again...
sunny Vienna 1 (onemorehandbag)
sunny Vienna 2 (onemorehandbag)Photos not digitally altered at all - the sky really was that blue.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Not So Picture-Perfect

Hirschenkogel/Zauberberg (onemorehandbag)
After a failed attempt to find a parking space anywhere near Unterberg I ended up on the Semmering, where - surprise! - half of Vienna and surroundings plus the inhabitants of greater Budapest and Bratislava had already arrived. Despite the sunshine (that, at least, was perfect), the slopes were sheets of ice with a light dusting of (artificial?) snow.

Ah well, I should have remembered the equation nice weather+Sunday=masses

Monday, February 22, 2010

And If Our Day-Jobs Don't Work Out...

On Saturday, MC kindly offered herself as guinea-pig (and, as it turned out, very skilled helper) for the testdrive of my new rice-cooker:
rice cooker (onemorehandbag) I wanted to practice making maki for my Japanese-themed bookclub dinner chez moi this Sunday and I have to say they turned out really well. The vinegar water in the bowl was really necessary - it was an extremely sticky affair:
maki making (onemorehandbag) The first specimens (plate in foreground of the picture below) turned out somewhat big, but the second batch already was perfectly sized. I hereby declare the test-run a full success.
makis galore (onemorehandbag) The maki not only looked pretty sexy but also tasted really well and I was very impressed by the performance of the rice-cooker. It's quite a bulky beast, but if you need to cook larger quantities of rice, it's definitely a good investment.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Handbags: the Video. ( V2.0: New and Improved)

Note: Reuploaded as I hadn't realised the music ended before the film did (again. duh). Chopped the "dramatic" opening sequence of the initial version, corrected a typo and sped it up a bit, but otherwise no changes. Thanks for your patience...

Friday, February 19, 2010


Ever the practical-minded girl, the Mermaid told the florist she wanted flowers that lasted a long time. She surely got value for money, and so did I. I got the bouquet for my birthday exactly 3 weeks ago and this is what they looked like this morning:

longlasting flowers (onemorehandbag)

Quite impressive, no? I'm thinking of transferring the "pineapple" to a pot when the buttercups have died. Arguably, roses may be more romantic, but the staying power of buttercups is way better.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Update requested by her Majesty, the Empress. This is a picture of her truly beautiful and elegant R.Horn wallet (it's a long story...). She might need further confirmation that it is NOT a masculine style so if you feel like leaving a comment to say that men don't tend to use zippered wallets, feel free to do so...
R.Horn wallet (onemorehandbag)When the Empress, MC and I left the office for our midday shopping fix, we saw a red-and-white tape with bold letters saying POLICE outside the building. There was another one saying FIRE BRIGADE outside Tiffany's further down the street. The Empress visibly enjoyed the diversion:Look!(onemorehandbag)(To be honest, I had asked her to pose for a photo, causing the police-officer standing next to the fire engine to raise her eyebrows).

Why all the tape? Well, the city of Vienna always becomes a dangerous breeding ground of roof avalanches when all the snow on rooftops begins to thaw and threatens to splatter Russian oligarchs and local socialites alike.

Jokes aside, this is pretty serious and people have died after getting hit by roof avalanches. Years ago, the bonnet of my car was broken (!) after an avalanche landed on it.

Thankfully, we managed to navigate our way through the first district unharmed, dodging all the jets of water dripping down from roofs and getting rid of some money at R. Horn's and MAC.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Urban Jungle (Vienna)

urban jungle 1 (onemorehandbag)
urban jungle 2 (onemorehandbag)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

To those of you who feel like celebrating it but are lacking a Prince Charming who spoils you with flowers, here is a picture I took from really cute and original "flower muffins" displayed in the window of a florist's in the second district:flower muffins (onemorehandbag)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Cheeeese! Cake!

chocolate cheesecake (onemorehandbag)
Here is the promised recipe for the chocolate cheesecake I recently made. So, if you need an excuse for a calorie fest, Valentine's Day might be your candidate:

Chocolate Cheesecake


275 g chocolate (preferably dark, but feel free to mix with milk chocolate if you want it - even - sweeter)
1,2 kg (!) cream cheese (I used half of low fat Philadelphia-type cream-cheese and half of what is available as Topfen (quark, curd cheese) here
200 g sugar
1 vanilla pod (or vanilla sugar/aroma)
4 eggs (at room temperature)
175 ml sour cream
1 tbsp cocoa powder

for the base:

200 g chocolate cookies, crumbled (you can also use other cookies, such as digestives)
75 g butter, melted
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder


Preheat your oven to 180° (fan setting, preferably). In a bowl, blend the crumbled cookies with butter and cinnamon. Carefully spread out on the base of a spring form and press down.

Melt the chocolate and set aside.

Smoothly stir all the cheese together, then add sugar and vanilla. Add eggs one by one.

Mix sour cream and cocoa powder together to get a pasty consistency, then add to cheese mixture. Add melted chocolate and blend together to a smooth cream.

Pour filling onto cookie base. Bake for an hour. Let the cake cool in the form before removing the side of the spring form and placing the cake onto a serving plate. Serve chilled.

(Note: don't be tempted to switch to "bottom heat" setting towards the end to prevent the top from getting too brown, rather cover the top with aluminium foil. The cream is very fatty and the fat will find its way through the tiny crevice where bottom and side of the spring form connect, dripping onto the bottom of your oven, where it evaporates and smells. Trust me, I found out the hard way!).

Friday, February 12, 2010

Winter Sports Continued

Tuesday afternoon: ice-skating on Hörzendorfer See near Klagenfurt. I noticed that I've turned into a degenerate who after years of skating in a "cage", aka ice-rink, feels decidedly uneasy in the borderless wide outdoors.
Holiday on Ice (onemorehandbag)The majority of skaters were hockey-playing kids or families:
Hörzendorfer See1 (onemorehandbag)
I love the little cabin with the heart-shaped "window". Probably quite a romantic location in the summer.
Hörzendorfer See 2 (onemorehandbag)Although I was very tempted to go skinny-dipping, I eventually decided to obey the "do not swim" notices.
Hörzendorfer See 3 (onemorehandbag)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Skiing, the Video

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Skiing in Carinthia

wish I was there (onemorehandbagI The above photo pretty much sums up my skiing mini-break. Sigh...

Sunny skies, perfect snow...
slopes 1 (onemorehandbag) have I mentioned the snow?

slopes 2 (onemorehandbag)and Hungarian menus on Dreiländereck to cater for the Hungarian holiday-makers. And, no, it does not mean there are different prices depending on the language/nationality - it's two different meals, or rather the correct translation is on the rear-facing side of the other stand. At least that's what I figured out when I saw that it made sense, price-wise, that way...

hungarian menu (onemorehandbag)Stay tuned for the promised skiing video.

Sunday, February 07, 2010


This is the view from my bedroom here in KLU:
snow in KLU (onemorehandbag)I really love snow in its virgin, pure, white form. Now this might seem obvious and if you live in the countryside it's no big deal either. If you live in a city like Vienna where you need to visit a cemetery to experience nice snow, you'll understand me.

So I was really excited when I looked out of my bedroom window and saw the trees in my parents' garden dipped in white, mentally slapping myself on the shoulder for having taken 2 extra days off for skiing.

Today Mum and I went to Dreiländereck and I took lots of photos and videos with my mobile phone. As I did not take its USB cable, nor an adapter for its micro SD card to KLU, you'll have to wait for the skiing footage until I get back to Vienna. Despite Carinthian schools being closed for the semester break, the slopes were virtually empty. My Mum speculated that it was the financial crisis that made families economise on skiing, which admittedly is an expensive sport, especially if you are a family of 4 or more. (I joked that I didn't find it was an expensive sport at all, given that I always get treated to the ticket and whatever I have for lunch by my Mum when I go skiing with her. Spoilt brat, I know.) I don't know what the reason was, but we definitely didn't mind not having to queue for the lift or ski around hordes of fellow skiers or snowboarders.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

The Prezzie Festival Continues!

Like every year, I get my birthday presents in installments. I love that! Last night after work I drove to KLU for a mini-break (It has been snowing here all day, by the way) and this morning I opened a veritable heap of presents by my parents. My Mum had sewed me two really cool skirts and bought some lovely gifts of the fashion/jewellery variety and my Dad ordered me 8 (!) books from my Amazon wishlist, including a Japanese picture dictionary and one with DIY handbag projects). Plus I got a rice cooker which I had asked for and am very excited to try out in Vienna.

Another thing I like about birthdays is that you get things you yourself also only buy for others and would not splurge out for yourself. Such as obscenely expensive chocolate:

camel chocolates (onemorehandbag)Yesterday I had lunch with Amica and Mademoiselle and the gift wrapping itself was divine:
oooooo, more prezzies! (onemorehandbag)Mademoiselle's presents came in the cool tote bag with apples and to my shame I must admit I sort of made her feel obliged to leave me the bag, too. Ahem, greedy me.

I could have taken a picture of ALL the lovely prezzies I got - when I showed my booty in the office, the Gazelle actually asked "How many people did you have lunch with?" - but I'll just show you Amica's:
frog and prince (onemorehandbag)It has become a sort of tradition for her to give me something shiny, Jeff-Koons-esque. This year, she got me a frog-shaped piggy bank (froggy bank?) to save up for my next shopping-sprees and a really funny little book called "Mr. Perfect" where you can pick'n mix the man of your dreams from various components. I didn't ask if I had to kiss the frog first.

Friday, February 05, 2010

I Prefer My Sorbet in a Bowl

Last night after work, Mademoiselle and I went to Rathausplatz to get a dose of this year's "ice dream". Mademoiselle was very brave as she hadn't skated for 20 years! Despite this and ill-fitting shoes, she skated remarkably well. Minus one incidence of bum-touching-ice, that is. Bot the ice and the whole organisation were a major disappointment though. The former was more sorbet than ice, the latter meant endless queues at the ticket booth. They were so bad that the Mermaid who was supposed to join us gave up and just stayed for a drink in the - admittedly rather nice - "lounge" place there.
No complaints about the backdrop, though:
Eistraum 2010 (onemorehandbag) Click on the picture below to get an idea of the shaved ice/sorbet consistency of the ice:

sorbet (onemorehandbag)Much as I love the idea of after-work-skating, I've vowed to stay faithful to Eislaufverein, where not only the ice, but the "soundtrack" is much more to my liking:

Eislaufverein 2010 (onemorehandbag) Picture taken on Sunday afternoon. It does get more crowded at night.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010


When I was a (chubby, chocolate craving) child, it was a tradition to make chocolate pudding out of all the Easter and Nikolo/Krampus chocolates I would get. A) because my Mum did not want me to overindulge on all that chocolate, b) because the quality of the chocolate on its own wasn't really great and c) simply because I loved making chocolate pudding in our double-bottomed milk pan, carefully stirring in all the ingredients (milk, eggs, starch, a shot of coffee or rum and of course, the chocolate) until the pudding was ready. Mmmmhhhm, how I loved that ritual and the outcome!

This habit is obviously still ingrained in me and I never eat chocolate easter bunnies, santas or nikolos, preferring to incorporate them in some dessert project or other. This is partly because most of these seasonal offerings are made of milk chocolate and I am, as we know, a dark chocolate gal.

When the guys below were still keeping a vigil on my living room shelf after Christmas, I decided to recycle them in a cake, preferably one that would allow me to sneak in the rest of the Christmas cookies as well.
chocolate nikolos (onemorehandbag)The answer...chocolate cheesecake!
chocolate cheesecake (onemorehandbag)I needed additional chocolate (I used dark chocolate with 70% cocoa content) and cookies for the base, but I was still very pleased with myself for putting the nikolos to good use.

(Recipe coming up)

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

So if Your Boss Walks Through the Office with a Purple Handbag does not necessarily mean that he's gay, but rather that the item you bought on eBay ended up on his desk because the seller forgot to add your name to the delivery address. Ahem:
coach wristlet (onemorehandbag) Speaking of purple items, K. from the Book Club gave me a collapsible umbrella in a fluffy plush sheath with a tail.
fluffy umbrella (onemorehandbag) What did my filthy colleagues say when I showed it to them and said "Look, I just got a birthday present"? They thought it was a novelty vibrator, thinking of the famous HelloKitty! one. Tut!

Monday, February 01, 2010

Call me Audrey

I appreciate every birthday gift if I feel it was chosen with care and my person in mind and so I hardly (need to) state my preferences when asked what I wish for.

This year, I did have a wish, but one that I knew I'd have to fulfil myself, lacking a Prince Charming or wanting to ask my parents for it.
I blame my glossy mags "habit" for planting the seed of desire in my subconscious:

Tiffany's Keys ad (onemorehandbag) Want!Want!Want!

As my dear colleagues knew about my drooling after one of the silver keys (well, I would take the gold or even white gold/diamond combos, but let's stay realistic here), they pooled funds and gave me a generous voucher, which I promptly used towards my dream pendant plus one of the necklaces that I like to call "bath tub plug chains" that I've always really liked and admired on Chiquita, who got one with a heart-shaped pendant as a graduation present.

favourite Tiffany's key (onemorehandbag)Mine!Mine!Mine!

Speaking of office prezzies - the Empress gave me a cool origami sticky note pad (doesn't really show on the photos unfortunately) aaaand... Bobby Brown's Makeup Manual. I will be so beautiful and professionally made up once I've finished the book, you won't believe it! And perhaps not recognise me any more?
Bobby Brown Book (onemorehandbag)
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