Friday, November 29, 2013


The suitcase is dead, long live the suitcase! So I told you the story about the sad demise, or rather injury, of my grasshopper-green friend. I'm currently at my parents' house where I will give him a dignified burial and where I had his successor delivered. Meet Blue Snapper:
Let's hope that he will accompany me on my international journeys and be treated nicely by baggage handlers.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Victim of a Disgruntled Baggage Handler

On my recent flight from Sofia to Vienna, my suitcase (containing, as we remember, an original work of art) was seriously damaged. I don't know when and where it happened, but since the material is quite sturdy, I have visions of baggage handlers playing football with it. Unfortunately, I only discovered it at as I got out of the taxi at home so I had to spend 5 times as long finding out contact persons and taking pictures of all documents and the damaged suitcase. Here you see my poor battered grasshopper green companion:
We shared fun times together and travelled all over Europe in the past 1.5 years. You will be fondly remembered and I already ordered your successor in navy blue with a bright red zipper even though I love your green in particular, hoping that bruises of domestic airport violence will be less noticeable on its skin.
It's a war out there. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

FRA Shopping

Now for the shopping. We didn't actually do too much damage as the focus lay on culture, but I had nevertheless looked up the best area for shopping. Frankfurt's main shopping street, Zeil, really was quite nice as was the huge mall, MyZeil with pretty spectacular architecture. We had lunch at a nice Asian place on the 4th floor and rested our legs while people-watching. I didn't buy anything there, but at a department store, where I found 2 lovely pairs of thin woolen gloves:
With my bad track record of losing single gloves, I hope they will remain united for quite some time. Other than that, I just bought tea and other little tidbits, such as some nail care stuff from P2 that is not available in Austria despite this being an Austrian brand originally. Well, my Mum ended up getting me an advance Christmas present...a handbag. Yep, SURPRISE! I dragged her into the Mavi store in the vain hope of them stocking my beloved "Alexa" jeans. When I passed this bag, I immediately thought "this reminds me of Liebeskind Berlin":
The colour doesn't come out in the picture, but it's a lovely saturated green and the leather is very soft and slouchy. It was made by Liebeskind Berlin for Mavi and looks just like one of their bags done to the very last detail:
What was best, was the price: it was reduced to EUR 65. Done deal! It is the same size as the LB bag I already own, meaning that I can use it for business travel even and fit my Macbook Air into it:
My Mum has given up reminding me that I really don't need any more bags, in case you were wondering...

Monday, November 25, 2013

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

So, because I obviously don't get enough quality time with VIE airport during the week, I decided to book flights to Frankfurt for my Mum and myself last weekend. Ia actually already booked them when I was in KLU in August and Air Berlin sent a newsletter with offers to several destinations, most of which I had already been to. My "Duracell-powered" Mum is a willing partner in crime and since none of us knew the city, we decided to explore what else it had to offer apart from its airport that we had stopped over in several times already. I'm happy to report that we both really liked it. Mum who loves taking pictures of reflections, be it in mirrored facades of skyscrapers or water, was in overdrive as there were skyscrapers aplenty in "Mainhattan":
We were really lucky with the weather: crisp and cold, but partly sunny, unlike the torrential rain Vienna apparently experienced:
 Trees with skyscraper backdrop: the comparison with NY is quite apt here:
Pretty reflections of foliage:
We stayed at one of Frankfurt's 2 25hoursHotels, the Levis one. It was my first time in that chain and it was nice, but not spectacular. I liked the colourful staircase and "wood plank" carpet in the corridors more than the actual room which had really bad lighting.
Christmas markets were in the process of being put up everywhere in the old town and had we come a week later, we would have been able to sniff a bit of German Advent atmosphere.
On Saturday we went shopping (more about that in a separate post) and visited the Städel Museum in the evening. Yesterday, we visited the Schirn museum and the Museum of Modern Art. All 3 of them had really good exhibitions going on that would have warranted a visit on its own. Speaking of museums - the only thing that really annoys me about Germany every single time is their paranoia about bags that are bigger than a pack of tissues and which you need to leave at the cloakroom and the new "photo permission" sticker that requires you to sign a kind of contract before being allowed to take pictures. Bureaucrazy.
On our way back from Städel Museum I took a picture of Frankfurt's famous skyline:
I can definitely recommend Frankfurt as a destination for a weekend trip or extended layover. Everyone in the service industry was extremely friendly (not always a given in Vienna...) and there are plenty of things to see and do. I had printed out train times to Wiesbaden as a plan B if we got bored, but we definitely didn't.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Art Shopping

Hello, my beautiful readers. I returned from Sofia last night with a damaged suitcase (as in: broken, which I only discovered at home, but this is another story). It was with some apprehension that I noticed this as this very side of the suitcase contained the not-exactly-cheap painting I had purchased the night before and put in the suitcase in a thin layer of bubble-wrap, in between jumpers and vests. This is my new acquisition that will grace my bedroom wall soon:
It is one of 4 paintings that I always admired at Sense Hotel, which houses part of the Gallery of Modern Arts works. These 4 paintings were right in front of the elevator on ground floor and I passed them several times a day. When I discovered they had a (rather hefty) price-tag, the seed for acquisition was planted. I actually reached out to the artist himself to ask if he had a studio and was selling directly, but unfortunately he is based in Varna at the black sea, which is too far for a day-trip. Eventually, I walked to the Gallery and happened to talk to the friendly young lady in charge who was quite surprised when I whipped out my credit card after 5 minutes, not without having haggled a bit. I'm happy to report that used to be really bad at negotiating, but have gotten considerably better at it. I was equipped with certificates of ownership and of authenticity as well as a declaration for customs:
I was happy it snugly fit into my suitcase as I didn't want to walk through customs with the painting under my arm even if it was fully legal and official:

I am very happy with this most recent addition to my humble art collection and it is the icing on the cake of my new and improved bedroom.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Hello, my petals! I am writing this perched on my hotel bed in Sofia, where I am until Thursday. This is actually my tenth visit to this lovely city and I am loving it more each time I come.
Remember that I recently wrote about Cocosa and its high shipping fees? Well, a few days later I did just what I said I would: ordered two items that I felt justified the high postage more than just a flimsy scarf. Welcome to my logic...Can we just stop to admire their beautiful packaging that elevates it from online to classy boutique shopping:
One of the pieces I had ordered was a "wallet on a chain" from Rebecca Minkoff, whose bags I really like. They only had one (frontally captured) photo on the website and for some reason, I couldn't find many helpful shots of this silver version online either. As it was significantly reduced I took the plunge and ordered it. Only to be surprised that the lining and sides were bright purple! 
And by bright I DO mean bright:
Thanfully, I really like purple, so it was fine, but I do have a chicken to pluck with Cocosa and promptly wrote feedback as my next item was also not described accurately. While it had 3 pictures, including a close-up, the material was described as 100% silk when it actually is no such thing. Thankfully, it is not polyester, which I don't "do", full stop, but a viscose-blend, but I was still annoyed. Below you see a screenshot from my phone. Oh, all pics from this post are from my phone, actually, so sorry for the mediocre quality:

This dress, in which I saw great LBD potential was the really risky purchase. Had it not fit, I'm not sure what I would have done so as not to have to return it with "trackable shipping" as is required by Cocosa and which obviously costs a fortune. I had a gut-feeling that it would fit and am pleased to report that it does. I am very happy by the fit and it is that gorgeous type of fabric that probably won't crease after a long night out and travel well, too:
I love the way the peplum waist detail makes it look like a skirt/top combo and the neckline is lowcut without being too revealing. Definite Christmas or NYE party material, don't you think? 

Friday, November 15, 2013

No Freezing For Isabel

So yesterday morning the much-anticipated Isabel Marant pour H&M collection launched. It was a choice of queuing in the store outside the store (2 mins from our office, but anyway) before its gates opened at 9:00 or despairing over the crashing website where the sale was supposed to start at 10:00. I did try the latter but the website was down until after lunchtime, so the Firm's equally fashion-obsessed intern and I hopped over to H&M at 11:30 and each grabbed a piece. In fact she got the sweatshirt I had wanted in the first place and which I "let her have" (I can be nice if I want to) and I ended up buying those printed jeans above even though I hadn't planned on buying any. They are very low-cut which is why you see me sporting a sexaaaay (Not) muffin top in the linen shirt of IMxH&M, which I didn't take. Worn with a belt and paired with a sturdier fabric, the jeans will be great and I'm pretty pleased I got them. They are really well-made and I love the "ruffles" and stitching details on the legs.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Crunchy Matcha Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hello, my fellow lovers of sweet treats. Recently, Instagram has had to bear the full brunt of my baking obsession. Oh, and my colleagues who get to eat my products in 95%. Today I'd like to share a recipe because it's my own creation rather than something out of a cook book. Every now and again I look at ingredients and get the idea to combine in a cake or other baked good. Combined with the wish to use something up (in this case, milk chocolate which I got as a gift) I conjure up something new. In this case, I had bought rice flakes two weekends ago as I was curious whether they made an awesome porridge. Turns out they don't, or rather I prefer porridge with oats anyway, but as they had a really strong (surprise!) rice taste, it made me think that they'd go well with some other "Asian" ingredient. Since I hadn't made anything with matcha in a long time and it is one of my favourite flavours ever, it took me about 2 seconds to think "MATCHA!" I decided to make oatmeal riceflake cookies with matcha and chocolate chips. If for some inconceivable reason you don't like chocolate, you might want to substitute it for raisins or cranberries. Unlike oats, rice flakes still retain a bit of crunch. If you like super soft cookies, you might want to soak them a bit and drain (note: they will swell to multiple their size!), omitting the milk in the recipe.
Crunchy Matcha Chocolate Chip Cookies (makes approx. 25)
100g butter (room temperature)
80g caster sugar
80g brown sugar
1 egg
1 heaped TBS matcha powder
2 TBS milk (or water or vegan milk substitute)
200g rice flakes
100g flour
1 TS baking soda
1 pinch of salt
chocolate chips (I used 70g of half dark and milk)
Preheat your oven to 180°C (fan setting). Cream the butter in a large bowl together with the sugars until light and fluffy. I did that in my trusty Kitchen Aid. Add the egg, milk and matcha. If you want, you can dissolve the matcha in the milk first, but it's optional. Reduce the speed of your mixer and tip in the rice flakes. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl and add to the rest. Finally, add your chocolate flakes and give it a final swirl with the mixer. If, like me, you don't use store-bought chocolate chips, but chop up a bar of choclate, I recommend putting it into a sieve and shaking over your sink (or a bowl if you would like to save the chocolate shavings). I do this because I want to bring out the colour of the matcha and not turn it a murky brown with heaps of tiny chocolate segments that would have the same effect as adding cocoa powder. I mean the little "dust" you can see on the chopping board. We don't want this in the cookies:

Using an ice-cream scoop or two tablespoons place blobs of dough on two lined baking trays. Make sure to leave enough space for them to spread out. Give them a light pat to flatten them so they'll look like so:

Bake 12-15 minutes. The edges should have turned slightly golden, not brown. The cookies will still be soft at the centre so make sure to allow to cool completely and lift them off the tray with a spatula.
Enjoy with a cup of tea and admire the pretty green colour of your cookies (which never comes out great in pics).

Monday, November 11, 2013


Nope, I did not buy eight bags since my last post, nor have I gained 8 kilos (yet) from all that baking I have been doing recently. No, my precious readers, it's Onemorehandbag's EIGHTH ANNIVERSARY. Wooheeey. In honour of that milestone I decided to make a number 8 out of leaves and take ze peekcher! Here goes:
Time to say Thank You to all "returning customers" for taking the time to read my ramblings. 

Friday, November 08, 2013

How do you know your new bag is a fancy one?'s when you get a handwritten (brown ink, no less) note from the shop to thank you for your patronage:

Not shabby, eh? Well, and if you are the Empress who purchased an item from their Sophia Coppola collection, you get a courier-delivered handwritten invite to an event with said Sophia C. present...

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

The One that got away...

Do you ever lust after something, put it in your (virtual) shopping cart and then step on the brake 10 cms away from the checkout till when you realise that shipping costs are disproportionately high in relation to the item you are thinking of ordering? Well, the above scarf which I had the opportunity to buy already twice from Cocosa has sold out again after I had it in my shopping cart and then refused to pay almost 16 € for shipping of a flimsy scarf. I mean, seriously? I have paid less for having furniture delivered to me. I know that they ship it by express courier service, but I can do without that and patiently wait for it to arrive by plain old priority mail.
Be that as it may it is one damn sexy scarf and I am quite close to doing the usual next time they have this beauty in stock, i.e. convincing myself that the rip-off postage fee is not all that painful when you order MORE. You don't get this logic? Well, welcome to my world then...

Monday, November 04, 2013

Memory is an unreliable narrator...

This past (long) weekend I further sorted out stuff that used to be in my bedroom so I start with a clean, clutter-free, slate when the new furniture arrives. One of these projects was throwing away the hundreds of postcards I had stored in a huge tin from IKEA over the past 20+ years. I didn't want to just empty everything in my recycling bin, but actually stopped to look at some that stuck out for whatever reason and laid them out on the floor to take pictures. It made quite a nice "patchwork quilt":
When I looked at the senders, I was in for a surprise. I knew that Amica would rank highly among them as we had quite a prolific exchange post-Erasmus in Dublin. I also got many more cards from Frida than I would have imagined, but then lots from a) people I seriously don't remember ever exchanging addresses with and b) friends that I have labelled as "not the writing kind". Well, I also had another reminder that I might possibly be going prematurely senile when I came upon a letter from a printing house in Frankfurt informing me that the poem (!) I had sent in had been accepted in their anthology. And this was only from 2006. Ooops. I was quite puzzled as I don't much care about poetry and would have sworn never having written one past my teenage years, least of all sending it in in a competition. Oh well... I did remember it once I read it. [Cringe]
I also found gems such as the card below from our postal services that made virtual Christmas greetings into hardcopy ones back in the early days of dial-up connections, thus somewhat defeating the purpose of electronic mail. No doubt I found this really modern and state-of-the-art back when I received this from my cousin and his girlfriend: 
It's quite a pity that nowadays I almost only receive snail-mail cards for Christmas and my birthday and can count postcards from faraway places I receive in a whole year with the fingers of one hand. Myself, I have also drastically reduced the number of cards I send from vacation and it has indeed become harder to find postcards and stamps when abroad.
Some of the pictures on the cards were downright funny. Snowed in mustachioed gentleman, anyone? Steve a.k.a. Ian Ziering from Beverly Hills 90210 (I loved this series, by the way!)? Queen Elizabeth II? Oh, and I also found a lovely lady with a mad stare and a brain on an autopsy table (sent by a German friend):
Thank you for joining me on my time-travels!
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