Tuesday, August 31, 2010

On Sunday, I Visited the Edge of the World...

After MC had left for the airport, I decided to give myself a bit of a culture-fix. I ended up visiting the Hayward Gallery, where I hadn't been for a very long time. The "New Décor" with several Austrian artists was good, too, but I particularly liked the Ernesto Neto one. It reminded me of my visit to the ZOOM children's museum. Basically, the whole indoors exhibition space (there also was a little swimming pool outside) consisted of various "tunnels" and canopies that were covered with net lace and had stones, herbs or books inside that you could reach through glove-sized mini-tunnels where you could stick your hands through, or through holes you could poke your head into. Interesting and great fun for visitors of all ages

Monday, August 30, 2010

(H)Eye in the Sky

On Saturday, we took a "flight" on the London Eye. For me, it was the first time. On previous visits, the weather wasn't clear enough for me to want to pay the hefty ticket price. After all, I've got a ferris wheel "at home", don't I? This time, though, the weather was perfect and produced impressive shadows of the wheel on the Thames, making it look like the boats collided with it:

Saturday, August 28, 2010

On Thursday Night, I Had a Brazilian

No, not a waxing, dinner! Karel, who was staying at the same hotel in London, and I had arranged to go out for dinner. He was quite familiar with the neighbourhood and its choice of international restaurants. We both fancied Brazilian cuisine most as none of us had never tried it, plus Karel's wife, who's a flight attendant had ardently recommended it. We went to this place, where we ate copious amounts of different types of meat, all of them roasted on a long spit and sliced directly at your table, Kebab-style. Diners get small discs of paper which they place next to their plates. When the green side faces up, waiters know that you're up for more. When you turn it to the red side you show that you are (temporarily) full. I felt fit to explode when we left and was quite impressed when Karel picked up a 500 ml tub of Ben&Jerry's on the way home.

Friday, August 27, 2010

MC Squared

September Marie Claire (onemorehandbag)I'm in London for training until next Wednesday, the Firm kindly paying my hotel room for the weekend, too. Yesterday, I immediately picked up my favourite glossy (so tempting with not one, but 5 different designer bags) at the airport. Tonight, MC joining me for a girly weekend. More soon!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

And another Pair of Shoes (Eye of the Tiger)

This happens to me when I just want to pop out to the supermarket to buy lunch. 
Onitsuka Tigers (onemorehandbag)My inbuilt bargain-radar directed me towards the window display of a shoe-outlet with cute trainers by Japanese brand Onitsuka Tiger for €39 instead of the original €90. You can never hage too many trainers, right? Plus, these are the footwear equivalent of health food, not that I needed any justification. Not surprisingly, I had to go and try them on. While I was waiting for the shop assistant to get the left shoe from storage, a lady had already grabbed my left Jimmy Choo sandal and was fondling it exitedly until I snatched it away from her and told her it was mine. Hah!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Stocking up for Winter

GABOR ankle boots (onemorehandbag)Last week, Mum and I went to the Gabor outlet outside Villach. Just as I'd decided there was nothing to tickle my fancy, I spotted these ankle boots with a heel (if you know me, you know this is quite revolutionary) and found them well worth the € 70 they retailed for. I really like the "armadillo" effect of the layered leather.  

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

It's Genetic

patterns (onemorehandbag)I readily admit that I am quite obsessed with fashion and borderline OCD when it comes to accessorising and color-coordination.

I can't help it, though, it's simply genetic.

When I gave my Mum a beach bag (with wide, bright stripes) recently she felt compelled to make a dress to match it. Personally, I can live with minor colour-clashes when I go to the beach, but my Mum wouldn't dream of it.

On one of our visits to my maternal Granny last week, my Mum was chatting to one of the female staff in her home and mentioned that she could always tell when a male nurse had selected the clothes for Granny as they tended to pay less attention to fashion concerns and always forgot about necklaces and other accessories. The woman agreed and said she had already noticed that Granny was interested in fashion as she had once told her "I hope you don't mind my saying this, but your t-shirt really doesn't match your skirt today". Mum laughed and told her she mustn't feel offended as it was her former profession (dressmaker and owner of a textiles shop) talking. "Oh, no," she replied, "I didn't mind at all and she was right, too".

Monday, August 23, 2010

I Lake It

sunset at the lake (onemorehandbag)Monday's mantra: No, I'd not rather lie in the sun by the lake. Sitting in the office is much more fun. Really now.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Deep Purple

In my parents' garden, both plums (made into a cake earlier tonight) and grapes are ripe, or rather at the perfect stage where I like them best: still firm and slightly acidic. Yum, yum! And so pretty to look at, too:
grapes (onemorehandbag)
plums (onemorehandbag)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Ugly, They Ain't

pretty ballerinas (onemorehandbag)I've had the Pretty Ballerinas brand on my radar for a while, but the buggers don't exactly come cheap and until today, I had never seen them on sale. This morning, though, when I was in downtown KLU and passed by the REX shoestore that has been around since I was a kid, I glimpsed a -20% sign next to 3 different styles of Pretty Ballerinas. I tried on a pink patent leather pair and the blue one I ultimately got and can tell you that they are incredibly comfortable if you are the type of woman who enjoys wearing ballet flats just as much as I do. My boss, by the way, never misses an opportunity to stress just how much he despises ballerinas, but I love them and own pairs in several colours. None of them as pretty as these, though. Obviously.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


I've recently made a new make-up discovery: Maybelline's inexpensive MNY drugstore range. All items cost only € 1.95 and are really good quality. I've so far tested 3 different (picture below taken before I bought another, purple, one this morning) eyeshadows and 2 nail polishes. The left one is actually a bright pink, even though it looks red on the picture: 
Maybelline MNY (onemorehandbag)I can usually resist on the lipstick and lipgloss front, but I could SO raid the nail polish and eyeshadow rack without a problem. Very tempting, don't you think?  Picture taken at a DM*: 
MNY display (onemorehandbag)
I also find the package design very appealing and upmarket-looking. I actually became aware of this new line via an ad in a magazine. Interestingly, however, the marketing guys from Maybelline seem to have forgotten to create a website for MNY or include it on the official Maybelline one. Unless, of course I've been too dumb to find it...

*PS: I checked in a BIPA today, but they don't seem to sell the MNY goodies so head for your local DM if you're planning on stocking up.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Playing Tourist

On Sunday, I had a touristy date with a German friend who has lived in Vienna for two years or so and never had an original Sachertorte. Months ago,  I had promised to accompany him on his excursion and while I'd had several pieces of Sachertorte since then (not consumed at Sacher, but bought from their shop), he was waiting for me to keep my promise, delaying the much-anticipated "first time". As it was rather hot on Sunday, what attracted me most on the menu was the "Sacher Eistorte" (ice cream cake), which I expected to be as chocolatey as the original. In fact, it was mainly buttery with hints of apricot and a kind of Bellini on the side. Interesting, but not nearly as nice as the non-frozen original. In the picture below my friend is taking a photo with his new iPhone 4 in the background and in fact everyone at all the tables in the cafe was taking pictures non-stop. Of the food and drinks, of their party, of the furniture, of themselves underneath the Empress Sisi portrait on the wall. There was a flurry of camera flashes to put a Hollywood premiere to shame.
Sacher ice cake (onemorehandbag)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Happy Freerange Apples

When us city-slickers visit friends or relatives in the countryside, we love to play hunters and gatherers and return home with some kind of organic booty or other. At Amica's on Saturday, I spotted beautiful leathery cooking apples and took home a bagful. 
Amica's apples (onemorehandbag)On Sunday, I baked an apple crumble cake: 
apple cake (onemorehandbag)Quite popular at the office...
apple cake (onemorehandbag)
I love the fact that there's both cinnamon and cardamom in the dough. Recipe adapted from this one. Highly recommendable and very quick.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Contraceptive Effect of German Film Titles

Last night I went to see a film which is unfortunately called Männer al Dente  ("men al dente") in German and - not really fortunate, either - Loose Cannons in English. As so often is the case with those horribly unimaginative and pseudo-funny German titles my expectations were accordingly low and I thought, "ah well, light summer entertainment". Yes, it IS a comedy, but a really original, sophisticated one. I hadn't known that the director is the same one that directed Harem, a film I really loved. So: go, see!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

10,000 Calorie Saturday

Yesterday, the book club convened at Amica's summer residence in Halbturn. Apart from missing our two Bs and the fact that K. had to leave earlier, it was the perfect Saturday. In the course of a little more than 7 hours, we ate copious amounts of food. I'm really not exaggerating. As an aperitif, we got prosecco with lots homemade lemon sorbet (yum, yum!). The starter was salad with goat cheese, followed by gigantic stuffed peppers (the ketchup bottle in the background is for the fries the kids had, in case you were wondering):
stuffed peppers (onemorehandbag)Then we got what we call "Somlauer Nockerl" in German (Somloi Galuska), a kind of Hungarian trifle and not exactly the most light of desserts.

When she arrived with the coffee a little later, Amica also produced a tray with not one butTWO kinds of homemade biscuits:
cookies (onemorehandbag)Wait...there's more. When we got back from a little walk, we got freshly made strawberry ice-cream (divine!), followed by a dinner of Italian antipasti. Although I was dangerously close to exploding I couldn't resist a piece of the original Zaunerstollen (orgasmic!) K. had brought as a gift for the hostess.

Oh, and we got sent home with a jar of apricot jam (homemade, what else) each.

I suppose Sunday will be mainly devoted to digesting.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

New Gadget

When I was a child and my maternal grandparents weren't retired yet, I used to love visiting them in their textiles shop. My granny is a dressmaker and in their shop clients could both have clothes custom-made or have ready-made pieces altered. I was fascinated by the huge box of swatches and remnants of material she kept under the table by the window where her sewing machine stood. What I loved best, however, was the button machine. Creating beautiful fabric-covered buttons to match every outfit just by cutting a piece of material and putting it into the machine together with a tin button consisting of two parts - a front and a back - seemed like magic.

When my grandparents retired, one of my uncles took over the shop and inventory and I assume my cousin who studied fashion and costume design is using it now. I can't remember if I stumbled upon a button machine on eBay by accident or actively searched for it, but I had several on my watch-list for months until I finally bought one last weekend. Ta-dah:
button machine (onemorehandbag)These are the first three buttons I "minted":
self-made buttons (onemorehandbag)Being smaller and lighter, the machine's somewhat inferior in quality to the one my grandparents had (at least in my memory that one was much bigger) as one can't exert that much force/pressure without the machine lifting from the table. Still, I'm pretty excited about it and plan to put it to good use.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Well, That's the Whole Point

Last night, the Mermaid and I resumed our swimming routine after Amalienbad's had reopened after its "summer holiday. As I had been to Tichy the night before which in combination with binging on sandwiches and crisps gave me the feeling I had OD-ed on ice-cream afterwards, I wasn't in an ice-cream mood. The Mermaid prefers savoury snacks anyway so we headed to McDonalds and shared a portion each of broccoli cheese nuggets and grid-cut fries (Gitter Pommes). One was greasier than the other and I wonder if anyone actually believes that there's any health merit whatsoever to cheese-covered, deep-fat-fried broccoli. Having licked our lips and fingers and washed down our nutricious meal with coke we agreed we were still peckish. None of us actually likes burgers and we didn't feel like plain fries either. I suggested we go to the Burger King across the street. There, we shared chili cheese nuggets and the Mermaid had onion rings as well (me, I hate - raw- onions, shudder!). Yep, that's the whole point of going swimming, to have the opposite of health food afterwards. Actually, though, I can only have fast food in small quantities - hence the sharing - and with weeks in between, but to ingest some kind of crap food feels both deeply satisfying and obligatory. And to think that we used to have salad or miso soup after swimming in "the early years"...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

River Cruise

Yesterday afternoon, we had a team event: a boat trip on the Old Danube. Our boat was very nice (if a little too slow for the Empress's liking).
We got to see other people and their pets in various shapes and types of boats on our way:
We also passed by Legoland-type weekend (?) houses:
Swans got fed (pssst!) with soggy mozarella ciabatta (from Schwarzes Kameel, no less!).
We returned to the landing stage a little sooner than planned because it started to rain. And I mean RAIN, accompanied by thunder and lightening. We sat out the thunderstorm in the boat and the sun was already shining again when we reached the subway nearby. The heron didn't mind the rain, apparently:

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


sprayed car (onemorehandbag)
I keep coming across spray-paintings of faces, cars and what have you across town. I wonder if there is some hidden meaning that escapes me or if the spray-painters belong to some kind of exclusive association. Be that as it may, I quite like those pictures and much prefer them to the "vandalistic" type of graffiti that consist of nondescript black swirls of paint as opposed to actual messages. Whether the owner of the house above would agree with me and see the artistic merit in the car is dubious, but I like it.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Her Claim to Fame

Urlaub im Schilderwald (onemorehandbag)When I got home last night, a little parcel was waiting for me: three specimen copies of Urlaub im Schilderwald, a book of funny signs and notices in different countries to which...ta-daaah! yours truly contributed. Funnily enough, my Mum had a photo published of Langenscheidt's Übelsetzungen series, so the two of us are erm...published photo artists.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Members of the Fire Brigade?

storks(onemorehandbag)Yesterday, I visited my great-aunt and uncle in Burgenland and spotted two storks on the roof of the village fire brigade. I don't know if they were up there on an some official fire-fighting mission or just enjoying the view from the other side of the street where they made their big nest. I actually saw more than these two storks in the village when I went for a walk with my aunt, so if you want to have a close encouter with storks (or are keen on their alleged fertility-inducing qualities) you might want to head there soon.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Breaking News Made in Austria

I could hardly believe my eyes when I opened the ORF homepage on Thursday afternoon and saw the following headline: "Carinthian prosthesis for Heather Mills". Tu, felix Austria obviously don't have more exciting news than this story.
click to enlarge

Saturday, August 07, 2010

A Big "Hello" to Our Australian Reader (Singular)

La Mademoiselle has repeatedly told me that a very good friend of hers,who has moved all the way from Austria to Australia has become a regular reader of this blog. Yay! With L'Italiana in the States I can now truthfully claim that I have readers on erm...several continents. ;-)

flag of Australia (onemorehandbag)

Friday, August 06, 2010

Guest Post by the Mermaid

It's mainly funny when you speak German: The mermaid took a photo at an alligator farm in Florida (If I remember correctly) and mailed it to me:
feminine products (onemorehandbag)
I have no idea from WHERE exactly the people who printed this out conjured up the "German" translation for this message which I'm guessing from the other languages should mean "don't wash female products" (as in sanitary towels and tampons?), but it certainly is hilarious and doesn't make any sense whatsoever.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Cold Spot

On Tuesday night after work, the PP's sister and I went to check out the alleged "new hot spot in the centre of Vienna", Motto am Fluss which is right on top of the new "Vienna City" boat station.
MAF1 (onemorehandbag)
It looked stylish alright, but the weather wasn't ideal for sitting by the waterfront. I'd looked at the weather forecast when I booked the table and just in case reserved a table both in- and outside, but when we arrived we thought it was mild enough to sit on the terrace. Not so. After a little over an hour we felt congealed and in bad need for a walk to thaw up our limbs. If there had been a vacant table inside, we'd happily have moved, but all was booked out.
Somewhat unfortunate photo of me with cardigan catching on denim-clad bum, making me look about as graceful as Elephant Man, but never mind...

papaya salad (onemorehandbag)
The meal: Papaya and avocado salad on quinoa. A bit too bland and starchy for my taste (I'd have preferred more mint or other herbs than quinoa and cottage cheese), but the bread ("la Marianne") was tasty.

The verdict - worth a return visit on a sunny day or else tucked away inside.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Bye!Kitty instead of Hello!Kitty

I had really hoped that the owners of the little foundling wouldn't materialize, but alas, the kitten has been returned to the rest of the litter. The owner encouraged my Mum to come and visit her and she suggested we do so when I'm in Carinthia the next time, but I don't think that's a good idea. Sigh.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010


It seems that every time I get a lift from the Mermaid, we see a rainbow. This one was much more spectacular than the last one and looked very close:

rainbow(onemorehandbag)Near Zeltweg, Styria, on Friday night

Monday, August 02, 2010

80s Girl

In my office, it's quite common for people to sit at their desks with earphones on, listening to music while they work. My personal YouTube playlist heavily leans towards the 80s. Alltime favourites include the following gems:

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the 70s were not bad either, of course

nor were the 1990s:
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