Monday, March 30, 2015

Things that Made Me Happy Last Week: Week 13

1. Going skiing in Kazakhstan. I had packed my clothes, helmet and boots and would have been very disappointed if my plans for the extra day I stayed there had not worked out.
2. Experiencing hospitality of a level I had never had before. A separate post is coming up on this VIP treatment I received in Almaty last week.
3. Getting approval to fly to Almaty again in May. Due to travel budget restrictions it was not sure how many team members would get to participate in this project, but I have already booked my flight. Yesss.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

One More Kazakh Handbag

Hello from Almaty. Earlier today, I helped my colleagues inspect event venues for an upcoming big event and lo and behold there was a souvenir stall near the first of those (located on a little mountain). I had been trying to find postcards for a while and bought a handful, together with the embroidered tote bag above. It is clearly done with a machine and potentially produced in China, but I liked it anyway as it's a nice and unique memento, even if I don't see myself wearing it on a daily basis. I love purple and lavender and was in fact wearing a jumper that exact same shade when I selected it.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Things that Made Me Happy Last Week: Week 12

1. Picking a film without knowing ANYTHING about its content (I love French films in general so I expected to like it) and loving it so much. It was the equivalent of a warm hug and the protagonist's voice (see video) is simply angelic. Again, I had never heard of her and had no clue she was semifinalist of the Voice in France.
2. Getting my visa for Kazakhstan at the last possible day before my upcoming trip. Phew! Now let's hope I am up in the air when this post goes live and not grounded due to Lufthansa pilots on strike...
3. Enjoying a weekend after my taste. Apart from the lovely film mentioned above, I got a lot of things done that I had been meaning to tick off my imaginary to-do-list, such as getting booster shots (5 in total, ranging from TBE to measles) and doing my tax return, and met a handful of my favourite people.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Want Want Want

I am drooling over these white backpack (as we know, a wise purchase as, hey, orthopaedically friendly!) and think it is only a matter of time before I cave. Which one would YOU get?

Monday, March 16, 2015

Things That Made Me Happy Last Week: Week 11

1. Realising that my little sabbatical is only 3.5 months away. Oh. Yes.
2. That my friend in Munich has confirmed her visit to Vienna in April.
3. Discovering many interesting and quirky places on my weekend-trip to Belgrade without resorting to a map, such as the ice-cream place "Moritz Eis".

Thursday, March 12, 2015

CND Shellac: Thumbs Up!

Today's post is a girly one, but since I have a few friends who are interested in this (and let's face it, most people who read this blog are my friends) I wanted to share this here with some pictures. So, I have this Croatian colleague who not only always has perfect hair and got me hooked on inexpensive blow-dries in her hometown, but who also always has gorgeous manicures. Shiny and chip-free. She has been getting shellac manicures (she swears by the CND brand, so this is what I wanted to try as well) in the salon right across the street from our Zagreb office. On my recent visit there, conveniently on the day before a formal ball I wanted to get all dolled up for, I asked her to book me an appointment. It was approximately EUR 18 including a tip and took pretty much exactly an hour. My nails have always been horribly brittle and weak, so I was dubious the end result would be as pretty on me as it was on my colleague I settled for a fire-engine red and this is what it looked like shortly after leaving the salon:
I was particularly impressed by the shininess of the varnish. It also does not look thick (=unnatural) and I actually got asked in a shop what brand my nailpolish was as the red looked so gorgeous. 
Here is a picture a week later. Not the best lighting, but you can see that it is still perfect and not chipped, with just a little growth visible. 
Two weeks later I had a tiny chip on one nail and was starting to find the growth a tad too noticeable for my liking. 2 weeks +1 day I noticed that the shellac had lifted off a little bit on one nail and since I was getting tired of it anyway I carefully lifted it off with a pair of tweezers. What can I say, it came off perfectly and so I did exactly that to the other 9 nails. Underneath, my nails were in a better condition as ever and I was really happy I did not have to a) go back to a salon to get rid of it and b) no aggressive pure acetone was needed. It was as if my own nails had been to a spa and they seemed to really have enjoyed that protective layer. 
My verdict: I can definitely recommend the treatment, but for me 2 weeks (theoretically it can last up to 3 weeks) is enough as I tend to get tired of a colour easily and also don't find a visible "rim" between nailbed and polish attractive, plus am not a fan of long nails.

Monday, March 09, 2015

Things that Made Me Happy Last Week: Week 10

1. Skiing on empty slopes in the sunshine with brand new skis.
2. That days are getting longer and sunnier. Sunshine and daylight makes me VERY happy indeed.
3. Laughing with my favourite Vienna colleagues over lunch and realising once more that this is exactly what makes me look forward to going to work when in town.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Things that Made Me Happy Last Week: Week 9

1. Coming home. After a nightmare of a trip (due to a 24-hour gastric bug of the worst kind that announced itself just as I boarded the plane from Atlanta to Frankfurt) I wanted to hug my sofa when I finally made it home and could collapse on said piece of furniture...
2. Making 2 people happy on Sunday morning: the person I gave a heavily discounted practically brand new bag to and the homeless guy I bought a breakfast at the bakery where I had agreed to meet the bag buyer.
3. Getting to spend time with my friend and her family in Athens. Despite the nasty return trip, I really had a great time.
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