Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Live and in Colour (With a Bitter Aftertaste)

Thanks to Instagram, the Empress and I have found a way of staying up-to-date with all the...um...groundbreakingly exciting things we do all day long. Last weekend, we basically posted updates in hourly intervals and it almost felt we were together. This app is seriously addictive!

However, my enthusiasm was somewhat marred by the fact that I only found out yesterday - I know, I know, I seem to live on the moon - that it belongs to the Evil F,  that I've so far succeeded in giving a wide berth. I've now sold my soul to the devil, but like all vices, it's oh so enjoyable!

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Obsession Continues...

Well, it's not the first time that I'm on a beading/jewellery-making roll, but I've really been quite possessed lately. Every time I get new inspiration from blogs, YouTube videos or have a brainwave myself, out come the cords and beads. This weekend, apart from making the wonderfully easy yoghurt cake again (this time just with nectarines), I also made some more bracelets, such as two braided ones, finally using the bands of Liberty fabric I got in Nice last year (aaah, fond memories!):
Before going to bed last night, I had to try out a technique I'd just seen demonstrated in a YouTube video. Super-easy and very summery:
Who knew that macramé would be stylish and sexy? When I was a kid, it was probably the most uncool of all crafts and only something your spinster aunt would enjoy doing...

Needless to say, I've paid many visits to my dealers of choice in Vienna and ordered several supplies online as well. This morning, I got some material to keep me going for a day or two...

Friday, July 27, 2012

Super Easy Yoghurt Cake

Last Sunday I baked a yoghurt cake. I got the idea when I read this recipe, which made me feel very nostalgic. When I was a student, I used to bake a very similar recipe all the time. To be honest, the idea of using sunflower oil instead of butter still grosses me out a bit, but the results are a-ma-zing! I typically only have olive and sesame oil at home so specifically went and bought a bottle of organic sunflower oil for this cake. 

The recipe calls for one cup each of (plain) yoghurt and oil and I decided neither to use the yoghurt's original cup (250ml) nor an American measuring cup, but some Iittalla glasses I have. As I always reduce the amount of sugar from ingredients lists I used 1 instead of 1 1/2 cups of sugar. I also used a teaspoon rather than a tablespoon of baking powder as I didn't want the cake to be too "porous".

I used blueberries (a little less than two punnets) and nectarines (3, chopped with peel) and topped the cake with flaked almonds. You can never go wrong with these. Apart from tasting great, they have the added benefit of preventing your cake to get too dark on the surface too soon. Aditionally I added the zest of a lime.
This is what the finished cake looks like. As you can see, I used a heart-shaped form:
A slice of moist and yoghurty deliciousness:
So here's the super easy recipe for those of you who didn't understand the German original. I've already included my adaptions here.


1 cup plain yoghurt (try not to use low-fat: too runny)
1 cup sunflower oil
1 cup caster sugar
1 sachet vanilla sugar or the seeds of 1 vanilla pod
3 eggs
2.5 cups of flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
grated zest of a lemon or lime
fruit of your choice
butter and flour for lining your baking form
sufficient amount of flaked almonds to cover the surface


Preheat your oven to 150°.
Beat sugar and (whole) eggs to foamy consistency. Add yoghurt. Gradually add oil.
Combine flour and baking powder and add to the above mix. Add the citrus zest.
Prepare your fruit (peel, chop or wash - depending on the fruit) and blend with a bit of flour to prevent from sticking together and sinking to the bottom of the cake when baking.
Blend fruit into the dough and pour into your buttered and floured baking form. Cover with flaked almonds.
Important! Bake at 150° for approx. 20 minutes, then raise the temperature to 175° and bake for another 20 minutes or so. The lower initial temperature allows the baking powder to raise in the dough. Raising it for the second half of the baking time helps the cake to stay moist, apparently.
Take the finished cake out of the oven and let cool. Take out of your form, transfer to a plate and dust with icing sugar before serving.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Going Dotty or: Great Minds Shop Alike

You know you're in trouble, as in BIIIG trouble, when the luxury brand store you pass every morning on your way to work does an LE collection with one of your favourite artists. Case in point: Louis Vuitton and Yayoi Kusama. Sorry for the reflection, but this is what the windows of LV's Kohlmarkt store are decorated with:

 Over in Paris, the Empress was equally excited and we were chatting back and forth all morning, deliberating what to get. Yes, it was not a question of "if", but of "what". I had my mind set on the infinity scarf and dashed over to LV in my lunch-break to grab it. I settled for the red/white combo, even though I also loved the yellow/black (the artist's "signature" colours, but a little too bright for everyday wear) and black/white (classy, but I black makes me very pale when worn close to my face). As usual, the packaging wasn't shabby:
Here's a shot I took of myself posing in front of the mirror. I like that the colours are in negative order on the reverse side and that the silk tweed drapes beautifully, no matter how you decided to wrap it around your neck:
As for the Empress, she had her eyes set on a red/white bangle and, having missed out on the precious lunch-break opportunity, cycled to a branch that stocked the coveted item to seize a short time-window between work and a dinner commitment. 

When I received her e-mail last night that only contained a picture, I knew that our telepathic shopaholic connection was still intact and worked across borders...
 Well done!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

When the Weather is Bad

...as it was on the weekend (and we all know that it's a conspiracy, right?), I tend to tackle misc. household tasks, bake cakes and embark on DIY projects, such as making bracelets:

beaded wrap and macrame bracelets, all made by me

braided bead bracelets, made after instructions from this amazing site.
I could do this all day and am always on the lookout for new techniques. Recommendations welcome!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Crisis Averted

Yay, blue loo paper back in town. Phew!
If you don't know what I'm talking about, take a peek here.

Saturday, July 21, 2012


...is my Instagram user name, if you'd like to follow me. (Link to my Webstagram here).
 I promise, I don't bite.

Friday, July 20, 2012

One More Sale Haul

Last Saturday I met up with the PP's Sis and despite not planning to buy anything, I ended up with two items of clothing and a pot of Mac's tinted lip conditioner in Fuchsia Fix (after reading pretty duckling Amelia rave about it here). I'll start with what is probably my favourite summer purchase this season: a 50s style cotton skirt by Tommy Hilfiger that I'd been eyeing in the window every day on my way to work, but dismissed because of the price tag. Well, 30% off and it's just below the €100 pain threshold. I absolutely love it. The faux denim is super lightweight as is the cotton lining and the red patent leather shoes I bought in Sydney look really cool with it:

The picture above was taken with my new favourite app, FXCamera. I love the retro effects you can create with it and highly recommend downloading it if you're halway as childish as I am. The other thing I bought was a pair of lightweight pink trousers by S.Oliver for a very moderate €23. I wore them to work on Monday with my trusty old Tommy Hilfiger leather/suede trainers that I originally wanted to leave behind in Sydney, but then ended up taking back. Sometimes I tend to get a bit carried away when trying to create luggage space. They are scruff, but still going strong and very comfortable:

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Today's A Winner

Today definitely is a winner. It started this morning when I got an e-mail informing me that I won two tickets for the film "Ausgerechnet Sibirien". I'm taking my "siamese twin", the Gazelle. Here's the e-mail informing me of the good news:

When I returned to the office after a doctor's appointment I found a parcel from Glossybox. "Wow, that's early, for a change", I thought. It turned out not to be the regular July Glossybox, but the limited edition SIXX box I won. Yay!

Update: I only thought I'd won it as the communication on the website was very deceiving. When the regular box didn't come by July 31, I realised this was the regular July box I had paid for. Ah, well.

The box was bright green instead of pink:
 These is what's in it. I love everything apart from the absolutely VILE "toothy tabs" by Lush. I tried one, gagged, spat it out and chucked the whole pack into the bin. Shudder. The rest is really great and totally something I would have bought with my own money. The L'Occitane hand gel smells and feels very nice and the Gosh lipgloss aka "intense lip colour" not only has a gorgeous colour ("304") and consistency, but an integrated mirror and spotlight (!) for application on the go...in dark places.
Well, these freebies have definitely made my day!

PS: Pictures of the "Bond Girl" lippie added upon request:


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Work is Sweet. Sometimes

"Laptop-style" chocolate box...Perfect camouflage for easily distracted office-bees with afternoon chocolate cravings. The Swiss colleague we got it from makes sure to stay popular by arriving either with macarons (called Luxemburgerli in Switzerland) or chocolate in large boxes. Drool.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

First World Problems...

Let me share a mini-drama of my mundane daily life with you. Everybody who has known me (in person) for a while knows that I'm quite anal when it comes to (over)accessorising: it's not rare that on a given day my eyeshadow matches, say, my watch-strap, my scarf, my shoes and my bracelets. I'm just the same when it comes to interior decoration and have for years taken delight in stocking up blue toilet paper that was the same colour as the walls in my toilet (which I painted myself). Horror of horrors, either Tempo seem to have discontinued the shade or my local BILLA doesn't stock it anymore - and I won't go so far as travelling through town on a loo-roll-hunt. I tried the yellow 4-ply paper that was in the shelf where my staple blue one used to be, only to find that the rolls are smaller and hence don't fit as snugly in the IKEA textile drawer thingie I use for storing toilet paper and also, obviously the yellow is a bit of an eyesore. Seriously cramps my style...

Friday, July 13, 2012

Memories of Sunnier Fridays

It has been pissing down rain all day today, so no al fresco after works drink today, and this "archive photo" from 3 Fridays back (if I remember correctly) has to suffice. Personally, I don't mind a bit of rain per se and take any excuse to put on wellies, but returning to the office with soaked legs and shoes after a quick lunch-time excursion outside is not so sexy.

It's the same every summer: take a few very hot days and the papers are full of this "summer of the century", interviewing people who work in literally "hot jobs", such as bakers, construction workers who lay tarmac on roads, etc. When heavy rain inevitably follows, out come headlines evoking deluges and "floods of the century". Oh, lucky country whose main concern is the (recurring) weather...

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Kissing Frogs and Stuff

Graffiti seen at one of the walls lining Vienna's Danube canal. Nice theory, but only as long as the ugly frogs turn into princes afterwards!

I've been on a (very late adopter) Google+ roll recently as far as my random photo and mundane observations output is concerned. Should you have an account there and happen to know my real name (hehe), do add me.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

International Goodie-Bags

"Hi" from Ljubljana (or rather: živijo). It's a quick visit this time and I arrived quite late last night. The taxi driver, who was 50+ and therefore not as good in English as the younger Slovenians all tend to be attempted to tell me that my hotel was not exactly central, despite me trying to tell him that I had stayed there before: "Plaza not city centre. But shopping centre." Yep, indeed. I knew I would probably not have much time for shopping excursion this time, but with the benefit of having checked out the surroundings and "shopportunities", all I wanted to do was head to Massimo Dutti and see if there was anything attractive to be had in the Sale. I really like MD and we don't have that in Austria, alas. Well, signs were beckoning already at the entrance (to "Emporium" the designer clothes mall that MD is part of):
As I'm in a massive "linen knits" phase at the moment, I bought a(nother) white linen cardigan, this one with interesting cotton lace detailing at the shoulders and a rose-coloured top with golden thread that they only had one last one in "L" and which I'm going to take in a the sides. I hardly ever buy things that need to be altered unless they are a real bargain and/or I love them. The sleeves of the top have the added bonus of covering the super-ugly operation scar (from when I had a malignant mole removed last September) that I am very self-conscious of as people automatically tend to stare at it, whether they ask me about it or not. Sometimes I just say "pub brawl" as the reason...
On Sunday, I got a heap of goodies that Amica had brought me back from her recent trip to Dublin. Yay! Magazine with a goodie! The backdrop is the surface of her new beautiful kitchen table in her new-and-improved weekend/summer home:

Monday, July 09, 2012

Got a Pandora Charm that Fits My Current "Hobby"

Off to LJU tonight...

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Despite Good Intentions (of sorts)

On Friday, I told the Gazelle, I only wanted to pop into Steffl to "have a quick look", i.e. to check whether bags were off 50% as opposed to the previous week's 30% off. What can I say...the one bag I had mentally earmarked was still waiting for me. And 50% off. The Gazelle agreed that the colour was totally different from the other red, pink and coral bags I own. Not mentioning the size that is perfect for business travel, i.e. carrying my laptop. It's also pretty lightweight and and and. Oh, and after all it was one week and one day since I bought the last one. Ahem.

Friday, July 06, 2012

WAW: Tall Towers and Soft Cows


So this week took me to Warsaw. The city has changed considerably since I last visited it more than ten years ago. It's very visible that the country is booming and hasn't been affected by the recent economic crisis. Big Ben's communist cousin, the Cultural Palace is still going strong and I had a prime view of this landmark from my hotel window.
This is what it looks like from closer up:
Entrance to the old Jewish Ghetto, with photos of former residents, pre-Holocaust:
Old Town in the evening, a thunderstorm looming:
I had less me-time than in the previous cities I visited, which probably was a good thing, shopping-spree wise, but was delighted to spot different varieties of my beloved soft fudge sweets with a cow on them. They bring back fond memories of my childhood and my paternal granny in particular:
There is a gigantic shopping mall a mere stone's throw from the Firm's WAW office and *somehow* I ended up there. I tend not to bother going into shops abroad that we also have back home, but when an "up to 70% off" sign beckoned in Benetton, I could not resist and bagged a pretty shirt in my favourite summer yellow for 64 PLN (15 €):
My real mission, however,  was a visit to Poland's famous make-up export, Inglot. I put together a mini-palette of some of my favourite shades and picked up two little gifts for MC and the Gazelle as well. At the airport, there was another branch and I bought a stippling brush. I had seen Inglot in Sydney, too (unfortutely, you can't get it here), but it was about 5 times the Polish price:
On Monday night, my boss and another team-member had dinner at a very stylish (think Hampton casual) restaurant that my boss couldn't stop enthusing about. Definite recommendation if you're planning to visit WAW and planning to take someone out to a nice place.
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