This is actually the first time for Sophy and me to write a Christmas blog entry! And I have to say, I’m rather excited about that.
So, first of all, we want to wish you all a very happy Christmas! Hopefully you’ll have a lovely time with your friends, family, or whoever else you’re celebrating with. As for Sophy and me, we’re both spending the day with our families – eating and singing, or just listening to Christmas songs, and unwrapping presents on the evening of the 24th, as it is common in Austria.
To give you an impression of what our celebrations look like, we wanted to show you pictures of our Christmas trees.
The one in my family was decorated by me and my two sisters, and I have to say that this year we didn’t really have a plan, we just looked at all the stuff we had and put everything on the tree that looked cute, always finding something new that just had to be on it! Hence, we ended up with a rather chaotic, but very personal decoration ;)
Sophy and her family are celebrating on a hunting mansion, so she took a picture of the Christmas tree they put up there. And I think by just comparing these two trees, one can see how many different kinds there are. Plus different ways to decorate ;)
Hopefully you all have a wonderful Christmas time as well! We’d of course be happy to hear about it, if anyone feels like sharing :)
A friend of mine has recently launched a new brand of tasty AND pretty-looking chocolate - "chocoMe" (check out their website for further information about its history and carrying stores). I've been to the presentation and tasting hosted in Vienna last week - although the chocolate originally comes from Hungary - and got to snap a few pictures as well as snag big chunks of different kinds of dark, milk and white chocolate!
You can either buy one of the already existing (although exotic) flavours - like crystallized violets, coconut and gold flakes - or design your own chocolate bar. How cool is that? Below you've got a few "close-ups" taken from their website's gallery - mouthwatering, aren't they? My personal favourite from the tasting was the white chocolate bar with hazelnuts, honeynuts and cinnamon-dipped almonds...
As you might be able to guess from the pictures I am about to post – for showing you this specific obsession of mine I had to take a couple of pictures throughout the past few weeks instead of just one quick photo shoot. But it was fun and I tried to make the pictures interesting as well, so hopefully you’ll like them ;)
I was never really into colorful nails, as I felt they made me look too ‘dressed up’. However, about a year ago or so one of my friends wore bright pink nail polish which I only noticed when she told me – and so I realized that colorful nail polish actually does not attract as much attention as I thought.
Now, since I had some light blue polish standing around in one of my cupboards for some time, – after I accidentally bought it, thinking it was transparent nail polish with only a hint of blue – I decided to take it out and see if I like it or not. Over time, I then started to experiment with other colors, and also some patterns - but I might tell you more about that in another post.
I hope you enjoyed the pictures!
The turquoise nail polish in the first picture is called “Misty Jade”, and it’s from Rimmel London, as is the purple one (“Lively Lilac”).
The darker purple tone was from Nivea Beauté and has a metallic shine.
Lastly, the white polish by Maybellinebelongs to my mother, and I also borrowed the silver glitter from her (“Glitter Rainbow” by LOOK).
Once again, I used a filter from WishWishWish for the pictures.
Last weekend, I went on a getaway with my mom and my sisters to Dresden. The city, which is part of the Saxon Triangle in Germany, was once known as the Jewel Box, due to the large amount of baroque and rococo buildings in the city center.
We arrived at Dresden’s main station at around 6 a.m. on Saturday morning and started our sightseeing tour right away. We strolled along the River Elbe and marveled at all the beautiful buildings on its shores: the Ministry of the Interior and Treasury Department, the School of Arts, and many more.
First, we decided to explore the New Town, so we went to the Japanese Palais and experienced the true “Canaletto view” which the painter, who was known for drawing extremely realistic city views, captured in one of his pieces. Then, we continued towards the Old Town but before that we stopped shortly to climb up the clock tower of the Epiphany Church (‘Dreikönigskirche’ in German) and experience a great view of the city.
In the Old Town the most interesting buildings were the Semper Opera House, the Hofkirche, and the Zwinger palace.
Since it is already December, of course we had to include visits to a few of Dresden’s Christmas markets as well. We have them in Vienna, but the ones in Dresden were a little different, mainly because they had rather detailed pieces of art or small city models on the roofs of their huts. One of the markets we visited called ‘1.000 Funkel’ (roughly translatable to ‘A Thousand Twinkles’) featured a rather new concept: It focused on fairytales and consisted of a number of heated tents (much needed in this weather!) which had lots of interesting products and a few shows to offer.
Trying to squeeze everything we saw on these two days into only a few words is not an easy task, but I’ll try to let the pictures do the rest of the talking. Visiting Dresden was a lot of fun, but just as a piece of advice for everyone who wants to go there during winter time: Don’t forget to bring your gloves and drink a lot of warm drinks if you don’t want to freeze ;) I’m used to the cold, as it is nearly the same in Vienna, but during those trips one is usually outside a lot, and that’s definitely more fun if you’re not constantly shivering.
I'm a bit late in presenting yet another obsession, but here we go:
Calendars for ticking-off the 24 days leading up to Christmas Eve (through opening of little "windows", sometimes filled with sweets, sometimes just opening to reveal pretty pictures) are traditional in Austria and come in various shapes. As a child I preferred the chocolate-filled ones - naturally! - but ever since I've become one of the "grown-ups", I get one of these every year:
They are very corny looking, sporting either vintage Christmas card motives or lots of angels/elves with a topping of silver or gold glitter. Still, I really love them and (as you can see above) have a whole collection that I use to decorate the rooms in preparation for Christmas - it would be a shame to throw them away after only 24 days of looking at them...
Last Tuesday, my sisters, our mom and her boyfriend went to watch a musical together. It was called "Ich war noch niemals in New York" ('I have never been to New York') and was based on songs by the famous Austrian singer Udo Jürgens.
My mother had seen the musical before and told us that it was not as good as she expected, and we all agreed with her after seeing the performance. Although I really liked the musical and there were some great songs and dances, it was not the best one I have seen so far.
A picture of Udo Jürgens on the upper right side.
To tell you a little more about the story: It begins with the introduction of the famous (but fictional) TV presenter Lisa Wartberg and then trails off to a nursing home where her mother is sitting in front of the TV screen and complaining to a friend that she hardly sees her daughter anymore. Her friend feels the same about his relationship to his son, and after some more talking, the two decide to do something they always wanted to do - so they get on a cruise liner and head to New York!
Their kids have to follow them of course, and you can more or less guess what happens when the two of them spend so much time together ;) But it's still interesting to see the struggle of them admitting their feelings for each other.
Trying to imitate one of the sailors.
Concerning the music, there were a few songs that I had not heard before, even though Udo Jürgens is very famous in Austria. He is even called one of the most important entertainers in the German-speaking music business by some.
The musical was shown in the Raimund Theater in Vienna, which I had been to before, and what I really like about it is that the staff members usually wear clothing that fits to the show that is currently on. This time, they were wearing navy-inspired clothes, as the story of the play was mostly taking place on a cruise ship.
All in all, it was a great evening and I enjoyed the musical, but - as mentioned before - it could still be improved.
P.S.: The pictures from the show are photographs I took of the booklet, since we weren't allowed to use our cameras during the show - as it is normal in theaters, at least here in Austria.
Oops, we did it again! Last weekend Hailey and I decided to do a little Christmas baking and - using an old recipe I got back in my kindergarden-days - we managed to produce these:
The only drawback with these yummies is that you've got to let the dough rest overnight (otherwise they are perfectly simple in making). We had a lot of fun mixing the icing and sticking on silver and gold sugar pearls. I guess we must've looked like two little kids - with our fingers in the bowls and glittery sugar all over the place... :-) I snapped the pictures with my cellphone and used this cool app called "Color Touch".
Classic Austrian Gingerbread
~ 30 min, then resting + another hour to get the flour mixed in and cut out various forms
20 dag butter
60 dag raw suggar
2 (big) spoonfuls of honey
10 dag of grated hazelnuts
- add cinnamon, just a bit of powdered clove and (if you can get it) a bit of that special gingerbread spice mix, then let the dough rest for a few hours (preferably overnight)
- the next day add 90 dag of rye flour and one spoon of baking soda
For the icing I mix lemon juice with lots of powdered sugar :-)
For a few years now, our family's advent calendar has been 'personalized' by my mum. Instead of buying one at the store, there is a small bag for each day of December (until the 24th) in which she puts small treats. I know, me and my sisters might be a little too old for that, but I just love advent calendars, so why not? ;)
Anyways, I wanted to share today's treat with you, as it came with a really nice vintage packaging. On the wrapping, everything was written in German, and when you opened it, you found a yellow packet with Italian writing, as it seems like the product is originally Italian.
Inside the packet were pastilles, and the flavors included tangerine, redcurrant, and raspberry.
I hope you all had a great start into the week as well.
When it comes to choosing between a red, a blue, or a green scarf, I usually go for the green one. Why? Because I have somehow developed a special liking for that color over the past few years. I don't know exactly how it started, but it is definitely my favorite color. Followed by blue, I'd say.
Naturally, I have a lot of possessions in green - although somehow when you want to take pictures of 'all the stuff' you have it seems like there's actually not that much to show? I'm sure in the next few days I will find lots of stuff that I could have photographed as well, but for this post I had to go with the things that came to my mind at that moment.
Starting with the back of my phone plus the sheep charm attached to it which I bought this year on my trip to Dublin with a friend. In the second picture you can see some pieces from my jewelry collection - but rest assured that there is much more to find here, I just wanted to save a few pieces for another post. You'll see why ;)
In my closet, all kinds of shades of the color of hope or envy can be found as well. You wouldn't think there are that many different greens, right? However, this is just a sneak peek, but you might see some of these pieces in an outfit post someday.
And lastly, I wanted to show you a scarf that my sister, knowing about my obsession (how could you not notice?) made for me a few years ago. As you might notice, I was a bit camera-shy here, but I had to at least wear the scarf to show it off properly :)