Friday, December 27, 2013

Another Christmas is over

IMG_0924e This year I was at home for the holiday season! On Christmas eve I decorated our Christmas tree and watched my favorite movie “The Holiday”. In the late afternoon I visited my grandma and wished her “Merry Christmas” then I walked home and started preparing dinner.IMG_0902 IMG_0872e IMG_0880 IMG_0892 IMG_0906
After dinner we opened presents and ate the last Christmas cookies! I guess I was a good girl, cause Santa brought be so many nice things!!IMG_0938 IMG_0942
Hope you all had nice holidays with your families and friends as well!!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Delicious Presents

I saw the idea of giving Cookie Jars as a present last year for the first time. I really like that it is not just a gift but that involves an activity. And in the end you even get awesome cookies. Can a present be any better?
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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

7 more sleeps

xmas1Soon it’s Christmas!! I love this season, the smell, the snow, the music, the movies, the joy,… Simply everything!! Hope you’re already in Christmas mood!xmas2xmas5xmas8 xmas7   xmas3 xmas6
pictures via pinterest

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Christmas Market

IMG_0756Today my mum and my brother visited me in Vienna. It was such a wonderful day – weather-wise and concerning the time I could spend with part of my family! First I picked them up at the train station and afterwards we grabbed lunch together. For the afternoon we decided to go to Schönbrunn and have a look at the beautiful Christmas market there. While strolling around and having a look at some of the handmade things there, we had mulled wine and took some pictures.IMG_0764 IMG_0760IMG_0783 IMG_0776 IMG_0790 IMG_0792 IMG_0799 I am just so lucky that I have such a wonderful family!!
Hope you all have a great weekend!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Give thanks

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Last Saturday I hosted my first Austrian-American Thanksgiving!! Last year I really fell in love with this wonderful tradition and at that time a year ago I was sure that either I will come to the States for this holiday or that I will host my own party!
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I sent out invitations about a month ago and even though not everyone could make it to our Thanksgiving celebration, it was a huge success!! I did the planning long in advance and made a list where I put down what people will bring and so it was quite easy for me to plan a shopping list for everything else!!IMG_0611 IMG_0612 IMG_0617
At the moment I feel like one of the luckiest people on earth! I have such a great family that was/is/will be always there for me, I have great friends who are all special in their own way, I do have amazing friends all over this planet (which I value from day to day more and more!!), and I am healthy and I have enough to eat and live in a safe environment. What can I ask for? I’m so blessed!!!IMG_0616 IMG_0613 IMG_0618 
All in all we ate so much turkey and other stuff that pretty much everyone got tired very early and so we went home at 11pm. Since there were so many leftovers I introduced my Austrian fellows to doggy bags and they really like that idea!!IMG_0621 IMG_0631 IMG_0633

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Berry Pie

IMG_0599Since I am at home for a couple of day before I will be back in Vienna for exams I did some baking! This time I decided to make a Berry Pie. I’ve never made a pie crust from scratch (in the US you can buy everything ready-made), but it is pretty easy. I followed Emily Schuhman’s recipe which I found in her first book “Cupcakes & Cashmere”. But you can also check out the recipe for this pie on her blog. IMG_0590 IMG_0591 IMG_0595IMG_0601

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Home?

As if it was yesterday. Sometimes I feel as if I will go to bed tonight. To my bed. But which bed is that? The one I slept in for a year? Or the one I have a home, the house I grew up in? Or the other one in Vienna? It can get really confusing if you lived abroad for a long time.
Time flies by faster.
The world appears smaller.
Beloved ones are spread all over the planet.
Ordinary things in one country are weird to do in another one.
Home as such no longer exist.
At least not for me.
I am back in Austria for nearly half a year now. And it does not feel like that. From time to time I still think in English, start to talk to strangers in English, am always short of cash, still rely on having a car on hand all the time. I still remember the sound of putting the car keys back on the key board, the sound the washing machine made when I opened it, the smell in the garage, the feeling of our dog Brady. I still know in which isle you can find bread crumbs or nibblers. What brand of juice, band-aids, yogurt, etc I used to buy. If someone would tell me go back to that life, I could and I would even know where to get everything from.
Sometimes I get nervous when I cannot find my blue phone I had during that year. But the next moment I remember that I am in Austria again. Without any blue phone. Or that I sometimes really forget about speaking German at Starbucks. It just feels normal to place my order in English. I also started to love malls. Whenever I feel a little awkward or down being at a bigger mall makes me feel better again! Weird, isn’t it?
How is it possible that you can fine a new home, that felt like a vacation destination in the first place? And how did I never arrive completely in Austria again?
I found a really good quote that described how I feel after being away for some time. And it is true, at least for me. Sometimes I still wave at cars that I connect with certain people. It even happens that I want to buy something and then I realize, nope not possible, that store is about 7000 kilometers away. I still sometimes feel weird not giving a hug to say “hello” but to kiss two times on the cheeks. home
But I am more than willing to pay that price. I learned so much in the time I lived in Chicago. I became friends with the most amazing people I’ve ever met. I cared for three wonderful girls that I miss more than everything and it breaks my heart not to know when I will ever see them again. I panic when I read about a tornado that hit areas of Illinois. I have the urge to write Christmas cards to everyone, just like all superficial Americans. I get excited when I hear people speaking English. I tear up when my phone rings and a really, really good friend calls from Germany to wish me a happy birthday. I have little dance party moments when I receive post cards and letters from all over the world. Having no longer just one place that I can call home is fair, I gained so much!! Friends, kids, wisdom, inspiration, knowledge, love, etc.
It is fair, because the world is now my home!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Goat Cheese Salad

IMG_0510 This week is busy but nevertheless (or maybe because of that) I try to incorporate veggies and fruits. And I since the cold season now really arrived (we had temperatures below zero yesterday!) some vitamins might be good for me!!
So today I indulged myself with some fancy salad! Easy to prepare and really good!
What I needed:
1/2 of a slice of goat cheese
lettuce mix
some cherry tomatoes
leftover mushrooms
cucumber slices
olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, oregano
Tipp: if you can, add some croutons, for some extra fanciness!!
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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Windy City Love

I was so lucky to actually call this place my home for a year!! Chicago will always have a special place in my heart! Please take the time to actually watch this video, I promise it will be worth it!!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Winter Essentials

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!! Well, not quite yet, but we are getting there!! A long long time I really didn’t want the weather to change from fall to winter…. Don’t get me wrong, I love winter and Christmas and wrapping up at home with a blankie BUT I prefer summer and the sun!
Anyway since this weekend I am in winter mood! I finally got some candles for my apartment, bought some books to read, got different kinds of spice and winter teas, and my favorite winter blanket is now with me again.
Here are my choice of Winter Essentials, stuff everyone needs to survive the cold season :)
winter essentials1.  Socks!! Whether from your grandma or from your favorite store, doesn’t matter as long as they keep your feet warm.
2. A big mug!! You will need it, no one wants to unwrap and get out of the warm bed to grab another cup of tea in the kitchen.
3. Knitted hat!! Keeps your head warm, your hair dry from falling snowflakes and looks cute.
4. Nail Polish!! I choose nail polish by season. I always associate winter with pale blue (and Christmas with dark or sparkly red).
5. Candles!! & more candles & a lighter.
6. Blanket!! Needs to be big enough to wrap around yourself and keeps you warm.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Halloween

I have been out on Halloween again this year. Even though I my (our our) costume was so mainstream I still liked it! Especially the feathers glued to my arms!!
Let me introduce: the black swan gang!!
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Sunday, November 3, 2013

Let’s go to… Washington D.C.

IMG_3983A year ago I was in Washington D.C. I was there for only one weekend, but for getting a feeling for this beautiful city it’s enough. D.C. is the capital of the United States and the weather there seems to be fine for nearly all year around. This city is soooo pretty and very very clean! I had the feeling that it was completely different from any other city in the States, it’s more European and less vivid that all the American Super-Mega-Cities. Less busted, more compact, still lots of cool things to do and see. I guess perfect for a relaxed but interesting weekend getaway. IMG_4033 The best idea probably was to rent bikes to get around the National Mall. I mean, sure, we could have walked, but it was so much more convenient and faster to go by bike. We even made it to Arlington, VA and visited the Arlington Cemetery, which is really beautiful, and the Iwo Jima Memorial. IMG_4174 IMG_4006 IMG_4066 IMG_4182 IMG_4081 IMG_4023 IMG_4139 Since the are no adimission fees to pay in any of the museums we decided to visit as many as possible. Of course we had to visit the National Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian because of the “Night at the Museum” movies. Then we’ve also been to the National Air & Space Museum, the National Gallery of Art and the Holocaust Museum.IMG_4268 IMG_4154 IMG_4150 For this weekend we stayed at the “Henley Park Hotel” which was fantastic. We found a pretty good deal via travelocity.com and we couldn’t have been luckier. This was such a nice place: the staff is super friendly, the rooms are all very comfortable and clean, the hotel itself is in walking distance from the National Mall and the price was more than okay for a little luxury!9220294 img1