Thursday, April 29, 2010

Europe in a Week

Let's do a little quiz: how can you tell that the girls pictured below in Venice are on some kind of "Europe-in-a-week" trip? As so often in life, the bags are the key:
click to enlarge

Switzerland, London and Paris ... and now Venice!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Crocodile Reject #2

croco beauties (onemorehandbag)The January session of our book club was hosted by S1, who had recently returned from a work-trip to Italy. We got talking about the various "shopportunities" there and she mentioned that (faux) crocodile bags are all the rage again and she was determined to give her two heirlooms an airing. I was of course curious to see them and she produced the two beauties pictured above. I actually think that the beige one is snakeskin, rather than crocodile, but that's beside the point.They are both in pristine condition and incredibly chic, I think. S1 one had just about saved them from a sad fate on some skip or other as her husband had wanted to chuck them out. No joke! I almost got cardiac arrest when she told me! Not only are those bags worth quite a lot of money, but really beautiful. Back home, I unearthed a brown crocodile bag I got as a present from a long deceased great-aunt in my early teens when this was the uncoolest and most unappreciated present you could possibly imagine. Unfortunately, mine isn't nearly as chic and quite shabby-looking with it.

S1 has promised me I could take hers for a walk if I wanted.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Crocodile Recect #1

crocodile reject (onemorehandbag)I don't know why the poor guy got dumped, but I definitely pity him!

Monday, April 26, 2010

No Impulse Buy

I blame Japan. Until about a year ago, I would never have dreamt of purchasing a Louis Vuitton bag, finding the brand very nouveau-riche and more or less contaminated by omnipresent fakes. Who has ever been to Venice and seen (illegal) hawkers sell badly made fake LV bags, eagerly picked up by Eastern European day-trippers, knows what I'm talking about. When TD's sister bought an LV rucksack in Vienna years ago, I nearly dropped dead when I heard the price and could not understand how she (or her husband) would spend such an obscene amount of money on a bag. Well...

Then I saw all those label-crazy Japanese women sport their monogrammed neverfull bags on my journey in Japan last October and began coveting them. It was not until this January that I set foot into the LV flagship store in Vienna, a stone's throw from my office, for the first time. The Empress who has had her eyes on various types of much more expensive styles of LV bags for quite some time, willingly accompanied me. It took two more visits until I was determined that the classic monogramme (did you know the material of this type of bag is not even leather (apart from the straps, but so-called "canvas"? I didn't until recently...) might look good on the arms of Japanese ladies, but made me feel like a Russian socialite. I still really liked the neverfull, though. Eventually, I settled for the more subtle - I think - "damier azure" print. After much arguing with myself, eventually bought it before Easter but left it in the shop for my initials to be blind embossed into one of the straps, a "free" service, or rather one that is included in the not exactly cheap price, considering the material. (I would not have taken it to KLU anyway, as I wanted to spare myself my Mum's comments, who would no doubt have told me I should have donated the money to charity rather than squandering it on a boring bag.)

I'm usually not indicisive at all and incredibly good at convincing myself that I absolutely NEED another bag, but somehow, this brand felt like a glove that didn't seem to fit at once and needed to be stretched and looked at from all angles, before I was ready to open my wallet. I eventually did and really love my bag which has been glued to my right shoulder for the last few days.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sunny Sunday Snaps

green-greener-greenest (onemorehandbag)
vinyeard (onemorehandbag)
cherry blossom explosion (onemorehandbag)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Lazy Comfort Food

avocado toastI love ripe avocados and recently discovered a very gratifying dinner/snack - slices of avocado on a piece of wholemeal toast, seasoned with freshly ground pepper and generously sprinkled with balsamic cream. Bliss!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Volcanic Adventures

When you work in a company whose employees and customers are fairly frequent flyers, you almost begin to feel left out when people swap stories of how they finally got home from London/Dublin/Paris after a 36 hour coach+train+donkey-cart ride via Vladivostok. But only almost.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sidetracked by Jimmy

jimmy choo sandals (onemorehandbag)It's official. I have an inbuilt bargain radar. MC, the Empress and I were out on a mission: to find the perfect wedding-guest-dress for MC. After the first shop where she had seen something in the window turned out to be closed for lunch, we hurried down Graben to our next stop when all of a sudden my bargain radar went off and directed my vision towards a shop I had never set foot in. Two rows of pretty shoes and a sign "Jimmy Choo - 90 €". I exitedly tugged the Empress at the sleeve, "Look! Jimmy Choos for 90 Euros". "We have to check this out," she commanded, as I knew she would and led the procession into the store. Faced with a handful of pairs of skyscraper high heels in impossible sizes (36 or 41, more or less) I had already resigned myself to my Jimmy-Choo-less fate when I spotted an empty box of the pretty - flat -orange sandals that had cought my attention in the first place. They were a size smaller than my usual 38, but I got the friendly (really) shop assistant to fetch the content of the box from the window for me. It was a near-cinderella moment when the shoe fit. The original price sticker (€ 495) made the purchase all the sweeter. They are so pretty, I had to sneak a peek into the bag twice at work and could just about restrain myself from stroking them.

Counting the days until the weather is warm enough for sandals...

Monday, April 19, 2010

Bologna Flea Market

Santo Stefano (onemorehandbag)Although I do of course like to brag with my holiday snaps, I thought I'd spare you the typical Bologna sights and show you some photos of the flea market we saw last Sunday in the square in front of Santo Stefano (aka "the Seven Churches") instead. I found it a lot more original than flea markets I've been to in Austria.

Jesus and Nude (onemorehandbag)Jesus meets foxy lady...

carriage (onemorehandbag)horse-power?

framed (onemorehandbag)framed

There were some really nice pieces of furniture that I defintely would have considered haggling for, had I been there by car. Speaking of flying: I am SO glad we did not choose last weekend for our Italian adventure.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Honeybunny Brownies

choclate bunnies (onemorehandbag)As I've mentioned before, I hardly ever actually eat seasonal chocolate treats like Easter bunnies or Nikolos, but like to recycle them into cake or chocolate pudding. When the Empress who had given up all things sweet for Lent (coinciding with my Macaroon phase) kept dropping "subtle" hints as to when I would resume baking now that she was back on the heavy stuff, I thought I'd recycle both my own chocolate bunnies (Lindt) and the Milka ones that had accumulated in the office when I returned from my Easter break. I looked* at the Magnolia Bakery Cookbook for inspiration and adapted a brownie recipe:

milk chocolate brownies (onemorehandbag)As the chocolate was all of the milky variety, the result turned out rather lighter in colour, than your typical brownie but something tells me my colleagues won't mind too much...

* not "look" as in: look at the pictures as this book unfortunately contains very few photos. Had I bought it in a real bookstore rather than ordered online, I probably wouldn't have bought it.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Very Carrie

Our boss likes to forward invitations to events he can't (or doesn't want to) attend himself. Mostly these fall into the category "business networking" and are likely to involve death by PowerPoint or award ceremonies that go on for hours on end. Sometimes, though, there are gems like a sample sale in close vicinity to the office. Last Friday, the Empress, MC, the Gazelle and I were eager to go and check it out in his stead.

It felt very SatC to follow the signs into a historic building and squeeze into an equally historic elevator to single-file into an apartment already full with chic people with apparently a lot (too much?) of spare time on their hands.
sample sale (onemorehandbag)
After much elbowing and excavating, we all ended up with some bargains and eagerly left our own e-mail addresses in order to be notified directly next time.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

La Grassa

It's not for no reason that Bologna is called "la grassa". There certainly are nice eateries to choose from, such as the chain with the cool name Eataly, which is devoted to the Slowfood concept, not that the service is slow, too.
eataly (onemorehandbag)
Needless to say, coffee tasted as it should be and our really nice and highly recommendable hotel had proper coffee-from-the-bar included in the breakfast. The photo below was taken in a nice café shortly after we arrived:
cappuccino (onemorehandbag)
Having had several dissapointing encounters with Italian ice-cream (I firmly believe that all really good Italian ice-makers can be found in Vienna, inofficial capital of quality ice-cream), I gave ice-cream parlours a wide berth. When I saw people with interesting looking ice-lollies, I was intrigued, though. The shop those originated from was aptly called Stick House and the ice-cream I tried, a strawberry stick half dipped in dark chocolate and covered with hazelnut chunks, was as delicious as it looked:
gelato stick (onemorehandbag)
Myself, I'm not too fussy about "recommended" restaurants when travelling and usually don't plan ahead, but rather start looking for something to eat when I get hungry (admittedly not always a good idea), but the Snow White loves proper dining and therefore insisted we check out one of the restaurants my Wallpaper city-guide was enthusiastic about. Ristorante Diana it was then. The food really was exceptionally good quality and the book definitely was right about service being "brusk but efficient". We got the message that closing time was approaching when the uniformed waiters subtly (not!) began pulling down the shutters (visible in the background of the picture below) and only stopped short of putting the chairs on the tables next to us. Dinner for two with half bottle of wine cost more than our hotel and sort of confirmed my approach to dining when abroad (see above), but at least it was molto autentico:
ristorante diana (onemorehandbag)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Venice Shopping P.S.

cameo (onemorehandbag)I cannot not show you the highlight of my Venetian purchases, a dainty little antique cameo pendant bought in a jewellery store right on Rialto Bridge. The nice lady owning (?) the store explained the difference between antique and new ones in impressively good German. My Mum was surprised I liked cameos, saying she'd never have dared buy one for me (and if, she would have picked a flowery, not a portrait motif), but ever since seeing MC's considerably bigger pendant, I'd wanted to have one. At €79 (without the necklace) it was very reasonably priced, I thought.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

B is for Bologna. And Bata. And Bags. And Blouses.

First things first. Shopping. In which Snow White and yours truly indulged quite a bit. To be honest, I think that Snow White actually outdoes me on the shopping front. Then again, I probably more than make-up for her "offline buys" by all the online shopping I do.

I had hoped that there would be a Bata in Bologna and indeed there was. In Venice I had fallen in love with a gorgeous pair of supersoft sued flats with tiny studs that I really wanted, but unfortunately my usual size 38 felt much too big and 37 was on the tight side. I could not get those shoes out of my head and miraculously, I not only found a Bata store in Bologna, but size 38 fit. I suspect the last "display pair" in Venice had been tried on too many times. Here they are:
batarinas (onemorehandbag)
I've always loved Bata - sadly not available in Austria apart from faraway Vorarlberg - and even visited the Bata Shoe Museum in Zlín, CZ, with the Mermaid, some years ago.

While I was there, I also bought The Perfect Carry-On Bag. I know, I know, some of you might have a bit of a "déjà-read" feeling here...
carry-on (onemorehandbag)In any case, it's a super light-weight material and the bronze-y colour fits a lot of my jackets and shoes.

Other purches include two blouses bought at an inexpensive store called Camaíeu, one with a belt of the same striped fabric, the other with a bolder print and interesting detailing at the neckline.
blouses (onemorehandbag)
I also discovered Italy's cheap, but nonetheless stylish answer to MAC: KIKO Milano, where both of us bought quite a bit of really nice and apparently good quality make-up. I finally found the right shade of warm purple eyeshadow there.

Coming up: town pics and culinary delights

Saturday, April 10, 2010

If I Were McDonald's, I'd Pronounce this the "Italian Week"

Bologna guide book (onemorehandbag)Girly weekend in Bologna with Snow White: yeah!

Friday, April 09, 2010

Impressioni di Venezia

Here's a glimpse into my Venice photo album.

We had great weather
servizio gondole (onemorehandbag)crossed dozens of bridges over canals
reflection (onemorehandbag)stayed in a charming retro hotel right round the corner from St. Marc's Square
hotel gabrielli venezia (onemorehandbag)happy that most of the tourist crowds left for their trains/cars/coaches in the evening.
crowds in venice (onemorehandbag)Gondolieri still wear their traditional striped sweaters and straw hats with red ribbons
venetian (onemorehandbag)
and elderly ladies and gentlemen are still much more elegantly dressed than most of their Austrian counterparts.
venetian 2 (onemorehandbag)As always, the sunset was picture-perfect
sunset in venice (onemorehandbag)and the branches leading away from the Canale Grande created that special "fisheye" illusion
canale grande (onemorehandbag)All in all: a perfect mini-break

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Blogging the Lazy Way

I'm back from my Easter break in Carinthia and Venice and as I don't have the time for a longer post and for editing my many photos, let me just take you to St. Mark's Square for a 29- seconds-long tour:

Oh, and believe it or not, I didn't buy a bag in Venice. I bought one in Vienna right before Easter, but more about that later...

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

While You're Reading This

...I'm probably:
  • sipping a cappucino
  • buying handbag # 273 (rough estimate)
  • taking a picture for this blog

Größere Kartenansicht

Monday, April 05, 2010

Introducing Tree Decorating Trends SS 2010

egg tree (onemorehandbag)Klagenfurt: eggs

bunny tree (onemorehandbag)Zell am See: bunnies

Sunday, April 04, 2010

What Came First?

Easter bunny or easter eggs?
easter bunny(onemorehandbag)

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Happy Easter!

Ostermarkt Freyung (onemorehandbag)
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