In love with…Budapest, the new L.A.?

Don’t you ever feel like some things are way too overrated and clichéd and that our lives are far too shaped by stereotypes? Having been to Budapest for two weeks now, I get the feeling that my picture of this fabulous city had been freakishly false. One of the reasons for this might be my amazing internship and all the lovely people that I have met so far, but it might as well be the fact that I’m kind of living a bit of a dream to be honest.

Having travelled quite a fair bit like myself, you’d know that overthinking is pretty pointless and that you’ll end up getting disappointed because things might not turn out the way you wanted. I personally quit overthinking my travels a long time ago. One important thing I have learned so far from my past experiences is to let go and let things happen and be surprised every now and then. It’s the unexpected that makes our daily life interesting and when I applied for my internship, I didn’t think much about the city itself.

I wanted this job so bad, I completely forgot about everything else around me. I always thought of Budapest as some kind of similar version of Vienna given all the history. Living here though puts me in a place where I’m able to understand why empress Sisi preferred to spend as much time as she could in this fabulous city. She must have already seen great potential in it and I can totally see why. It’s the openness and kindness of the people and the art that give the city a fresh touch. I have never seen a city before where youth has such a great influence in creating its own image. Budapest is full of artistic bars and hidden places that are waiting to be discovered (and gosh no, I haven’t seen them all). That’s what I love so much about living in different cities because there’s no doubt you can see the ‘most important’ things in only a few days, but the real beauty of a city you can only discover when living there, that’s for sure!

Budapest seems to be a place of hope and dreams, which is perhaps another reason why I feel so comfortable here. Coming to Budapest has changed my life in some way and not only due to the fact that my Hungarian is still…well, how to say?…limited and that this is the first time for me to live somewhere I don’t speak the language. It’s more about the fact that I experience things that I never would have thought possible and always only existed in my head, and now here I am…living what I had dreamed of for such a long time, even though my dream has a use-by date and since life is fragile as a dream, I try to hold on to it for as long as I can. That’s why I believe you just need to find your own little L.A., seize a great opportunity and make the best of it! If you open up your eyes, you might realize that your L.A. is closer than you think it is!

Bisou, M

In love with…Budapest Pride

Hello lovelies,

It’s only been a few, but very hectic days in Budapest. My apologies if the first entry on my new exciting life as an intern in this beautiful city is about a political topic, but I figured since we’re in love with…the world, Budapest Pride is more than relevant to our blog. My Hungarian life is very politically influenced (I know this is probably not very surprising), but hey, no bad connotations here. After only seven days at work, I feel like I have already broadened my horizon and am eager to find out what is still ahead of me.

Budapest Pride Parade was one of my first adventures and I must say that I really enjoyed it, even though it was quite intimidating at the same time. The parade was part of a film festival for LGBTQ people. Bringing awareness to those who still haven’t accepted the fact that love is for everyone was one of the main goals. Just a quick fact for those of you who don’t know what LGBTQ means, it’s referring to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. All around the world, there are similar events like the ‘Regenbogenparade’ in Vienna. As I couldn’t participate in this year’s parade in Vienna, I was quite happy to take part in Budapest’s march to support some close family members and friends of mine and just people in general who are in love because let’s be honest, aren’t we all in love with something or someone?

That is why it made me feel even happier when I found out how many different embassies from all over the world supported the event and fought for those who still get discriminated against because of…well, love. It’s not a secret that Hungary has gone through quite some changes in the past few years and that there have been issues with radicals assaulting participants of the parade. The amount of policemen and women trying to protect the event was rather impressive and intimidating. Seeing people yell at you (for once I was quite happy I didn’t speak Hungarian) and having hundreds of policemen and women trying to keep them away from you sure wasn’t a nice experience. I don’t wish anyone to be assaulted, or discriminated against because they are in love with someone. Even though this might be my fairy tale character speaking, but I still do believe in love and I think of it as a wonderful thing that is supposed to be cherished and not forbidden!

Bisou, M

In love with…poppy seed and raspberry cupcakes

Hi lovebirds, As I am quite satisfied with how yesterday’s cupcakes turned out, I thought it was time for me to share another recipe with you. For the very first time I got to use my new icing bag that I found under the Christmas tree, and I was surprised how lovely they looked without using a plastic bag. Enjoy your little pieces of heaven! Here’s what you’ll need for the sponge:

4eggs

70g crystal sugar

100g butter

40g icing sugar

¼ tsp cinnamon

salt

1tbsp lemon juice

1tbsp rum

125g poppy seeds

75g ground hazelnuts

Here’s what you’ll need for the icing:

100g butter

100g icing sugar

110g cream cheese

100g quark (soft cheese made from skimmed milk)

150g raspberry jam (blueberries/strawberries/raspberries for decoration)

Here’s how you prepare it: 1.)   Preheat your oven to 170 degrees and prepare your cupcake tin with little baking cups. 2.)   Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites. 3.)   Beat egg whites and crystal sugar to snow. 4.)   Whisk butter in a separate bowl and add in icing sugar, cinnamon, salt, lemon juice and rum. Make sure you beat it for at least 3 minutes to make your sponge rise. 5.)   Add in egg yolks and mix for about 2 minutes. 6.)   Alternately add in poppy seeds, hazelnuts and stiff egg white. Don’t forget to stir. 7.)   Carefully divide mixture in you baking tin. 8.)   Pop the tin into your preheated oven and bake for about 15 minutes until ready. (If you’re uncertain whether they’re done place a little toothpick in the sponge, remove it and see if anything’s on the toothpick. If there’s nothing on it, they’re ready to be taken out) 9.)   Leave to cool of. In the meanwhile prepare your frosting. 10.) Whisk butter in a separate bowl, add in sugar, cream cheese, quark and raspberry jam. 11.) Decorate your cupcakes. Bisou, M

In love with…a happy birthday to Lara&Michelle

It all started in Lyon where two girls of two different kinds fell in love…with a city and decided to share their adventures. It is incroyable that our little baby project is celebrating its first birthday today. We’ve enjoyed sharing our moments, voyages, recipes and ideas with you and we hope there’s a lot more to come. Since there is no birthday without a cake we’ve come up with a lovely chocolaty cupcake recipe to celebrate this special occasion and with Valentine’s Day on our doorsteps, see this as a little declaration of love to you guys for being so supportive! Love you guys! Happy Birthday!

Here’s what you’ll need (14 cupcakes): 1 egg (1 Ei) 20g raw sugar (Rohrzucker) 60g unsalted butter (Butter) 95g flour (Mehl) 55ml milk (Milch) 1 tsp baking powder (Backpulver) a pinch of salt (Brise Salz) 60g melted chocolate (I used a bit of butter to melt it) (geschmolzene Kochschokolade) 25g dark chocolate (Kochschokolade) 3 tsp dark cocoa powder (Kakaopulver) Icing: 100g unsalted butter (Butter) 40g icing sugar (Staubzucker) 200g cream cheese (Frischkäse) 100g melted chocolate (geschmolzene Kochschokolade) 1tsp dark cocoa powder (Kakaopulver) Here’s how you prepare them: 1.) Preheat your oven to 170 degrees and prepare your cupcake tin with little baking cups. 2.) Whisk butter in a bowl until it’s creamy. 3.) Add in sugar, egg, flour, baking powder, salt and keep stirring as you go. 4.) Melt your chocolate using a bit of butter. Heat it in the microwave and stir after 20 seconds. Keep stirring to prevent the chocolate from burning. 5.) Add your melted chocolate to the mixture and mix in carefully. 6.) Add in milk and cocoa powder and mix well. 7.) Grab a teaspoon and have a taste of your mixture. Make sure it’s sweet enough for you. If not, feel free to add some more sugar even though I doubt it’ll be necessary. 8.) Carefully divide mixture (1 tablespoons per cupcake) in your baking tin. 9.) Chop chocolate into fine little pieces and put some of them on top of your cupcakes. 10.) Pop the tin into your preheated oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes until they have a nicely bronze colour. Use a little toothpick to see if they’re done. If nothing comes off then they’re ready. 11.) Leave to cool off. In the meanwhile prepare your frosting. 12.) Whisk butter in a separate bowl, add in sugar and cream cheese. 13.) Melt your chocolate using a bit of butter. Stir after a few seconds to prevent it from burning. 14.) Add in melted chocolate and cocoa powder and stir well. 15.) If you don’t have one of those professional piping bags to put on the icing, just use a freezer bag like I did, cut off the edge, put in the icing and decorate your cupcakes. 16.) Enjoy your cupcakes and don’t forget to share them with friends or family! Bisou, L&M

In love with…DIY sesame granola

‘The early bird catches the worm’ is what my English teacher used to say to us at school. Morning has always been my favourite. Even as a little girl, my brother and I used to get up at six asking mum and dad if it was time to get dressed already. Of course it wasn’t so they tried to send us back to bed a couple of times until dad realized it was no use and sacrificed his sleep. My friends never really  understood how I could get up this easily without snoozing my alarm. My favourite movie is ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ so I don’t think there’s much need to explain. What makes morning so perfect to me is the variety of breakfast there is. Bacon&eggs, pancakes, bread rolls with butter and jam, yoghurt, cereal, muesli…I could have breakfast for lunch and dinner and that’s why it’s important to keep things interesting. So I tried a new granola recipe today and here it is:

Here’s what you’ll need:

3 cups of oat flakes

1 cup of sesame seeds

1 cup of shelled sunflower seeds

1 cup of chopped almonds

1 cup of coconut flakes

1 cup of honey

1 cup of cooking oil

1 ½ tsp cinnamon

Here’s how you prepare it:

1)     Preheat your oven to 200°C

2)     Dump your oats into a large mixing bowl.

3)     Add in dry ingredients.

4)     Mix them carefully.

5)     Add in honey and oil.

6)     Stir well.

7)     Spread mixture evenly onto your baking tray.

8)     Bake for 30 minutes and stir occasionally to prevent your granola from burning.

9)     When it’s done remove your baking tray from the oven and immediately turn out your granola onto a large piece of foil. It might still be a little bit sticky but it will dry once it’s cool.

10)  Once it cooled, break your mixture into clumps by using a spoon.  Transfer to an airtight container.

11)  Serve with yoghurt and enjoy!

Bisou, M

In love with…February Treasures

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Hi lovebirds,

February has been quite a relaxing and calm month that involved a lot of thinking. Now that my last semester of one of my degrees is officially over, I need to figure out what I want to do with my life. What career path do I want to take? Which Master’s degree do I wish to take and where? What kind of job do I want to land? So many decisions and I am not very good at it. So ironically I chose to retire from the world and make it stop for a little while and what better place is there for a little pause from reality than your family’s home? The calmness of my current life also reflects my February treasures.

My first favourite of the month I have already mentioned before but I cannot help but mention it again: I’m talking about a book by the very famous Lena Dunham ‘Not that kind of girl’ and it is an absolute must-read for every girl in her twenties. Not that kind of girl is witty, lifelike and thought provoking. I don’t think there’s a better way that helps me understand that it’s okay if I don’t have a plan for everything yet and that sometimes it’s alright if things don’t work out the first time. Being surrounded by American Dream series where pretty little Barbies live their perfect innocent lives sometimes makes us forget who we really are. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my daily dose of ‘The O.C.’ with Rachel Bilson and am still a huge fan of ‘Hart of Dixie’ today but what I’m saying is that those series all have an impact on the way we think about ourselves and about the rest of the world. We get drawn into this perfect little bubble and seem to forget that these stories were made up. It’s nice to have a get-away every now and then and get carried away with dreaming but it’s important to wake up again and be realistic.

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That’s what brings me to a second favourite of mine: my ballet shoes. A couple of years ago, I couldn’t imagine my life without dancing (and dancing at clubs doesn’t count) and now it’s been about 5 years that I haven’t set a foot to a dance studio and yes, for a girl who’s had dancing lessons for 10 years that’s an incredibly long time! So I’ve decided to go back to what once used to be so precious to me and signed up for dancing lessons (yep, it’s taken me 5 years to make that decision).

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What I like about coming home is the little things I keep rediscovering in my house. It’s nice to find new things that I’ve had for a long time and they still make me put on a smile. I recently found a heart-shaped necklace with an engraved butterfly that I got from my auntie&uncle as a thank you gift for being a flower girl at their wedding. It’s quite a deep memory to me and this little necklace might seem so meaningless to some people but to me it’s a symbol of love that two people gave me at their wedding. I mean to a little eight-year old girl I was back then it was quite a big gesture and it still means a lot to me today and it does a great job as an accessory for my outfits.

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Another February treasure of mine is my new old love for lipstick. Perhaps it’s the Valentine’s Day spirit that is still occupying my mind right now but Essence has quite some nice new shades of red and nude at the moment (sorry no grey there) that I cannot get my hands off. I started wearing lipstick when I was still quite young and I probably shouldn’t have, as I looked rather ridiculous. Today I am a little bit more careful with what lipstick I wear and how I wear it but I believe it’s a personal experience that every girl needs to go through on her own to figure out what fits best.

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My rosebud lip balm that I got at UrbanOutfitters in London, my Chloé love story and an arm ring that my host family got me from New Zealand are some other favourites of mine that have sweetened my stay in Upper Austria.

Now I’m curious…what are your personal February treasures? Please leave a comment and tell us about your favourites of the month.

Bisou, M

P.S.: And how could I forget to mention my favourite tulips and coffee?

In love with…culinary Vienna

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Hi lovebirds, First of all, we’d like to apologise to you for the lack of writing in the past few weeks. A lot has happened since our last entry and we will try to make it up to you with a brand-new post on Vienna. It might have occurred to you that I’m a little obsessed with Australia… Well, so you can imagine how excited I was to have my dear friend C stay with me in Vienna for a couple of days. We’ve had three chatty days with lots of sightseeing and I’ve started to love being a tourist in my own city. The weather was perfect for a lovely walk through the city centre to see all the old and glamorous buildings and monuments in the first district. Vienna is a city that still brags with what’s left over from the monarchy – castles, palaces, museums, art galleries, traditional cafés and more. No wonder the Mercer has again ranked Vienna first in its international quality of living survey as the city with the highest quality of living worldwide.

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I have enjoyed living in this beautiful city for various different reasons, one of them is the variety of restaurants it has to offer. I’ve actually started making lists of places that I’ve been to and places I still want to go to. If you’re lucky, I’ll share it with you some time but for now I’ve chosen two Viennese hotspots.

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Ulrich is perfectly situated in the seventh district, at St.Ulrich’s Platz to be more exact. Lara loves it and I can see why. The restaurant is located at a little square that reminds of Italy. I enjoyed the beautiful view of the yellowy church from the terrace. It offers a great possibility to sip a nice glass of red wine and enjoy the company of lovely people. The flat bread I had was absolutely amazing and a nice light lunch before heading off to a private sightseeing tour. Lara has made me want to come here for so long and I’m glad I’ve finally found the time to step a foot into Ulrich’s doors, or on its terrace really, and I can’t wait to come back again soon to try some more of their fabulous food and drift off to my imaginary Rome.

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Now, everyone needs a little dessert…or at least I do. When London meets Paris in Vienna Rori’s Finest Sweets is created. There are no words for how uh-mazing their cakes taste. It was a difficult task for two sweet teeth like us to choose between so many different flavours but we’ve decided to share two, as we’d benefit most from it. So C and I ended up getting a raspberry crumble and a chocolate mousse that were both yummy but also very filling. What I loved about this place (despite their pastries) was the effort that was behind all of it. The light blue walls with white furniture added to the French pastry and assured a modern French-English look right in the middle of Vienna. I think you can guess why I loved it so much?

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Vienna never really gets boring if you step out of your comfort zone and try new things. So get yourselves out there and be brave! Oh and please let us know how you liked our restaurant/patisserie and feel free to share your ideas with us. We’re always happy to get some new inspiration! Love, M

In love with…attending a good wedding

A wedding’s always a perfect opportunity to wear a pretty robe, get dressed up and wear high heels. My mum’s been coping with my dress addiction for almost 24 years now. Every time I go shopping I hear her whingeing: ‘Another bloody dress?’ And I keep telling her, there will be a perfect moment for me to wear it, trust me, and she just rolls her eyes. I admit I understand mum’s hesitation. I have about thirty dresses in my closet and half of them have either been worn once or never. But as I said: time will come and it has! At least for my navy-blue dress that I bought in Australia about two years ago. I have this habit of buying dresses overseas just because I like to tease people. ‘Oh what a pretty dress you’ve got! Where’d you get it?’ ‘Hm, sorry, but this one’s from Canberra.’. I apologize that this is not an advertisement of a brand-new dress or coat or shoes that I had just bought recently. Just try to think of it as a reminder that things don’t always have to be new for them to look good. I get attached to things easily and therefore every piece I have comes with a certain memory. Like the dress that I graduated in, or the dress that I wore to my cousin’s wedding, or the dress that I wore on my first day of my internship and yes, I’m a very emotional person. So I was happy to add another memory to my navy-blue dress that I wore to my other cousin’s wedding. Getting dressed for a wedding is never easy, as you try not to steal the bride’s attention. This is why I chose to go for a rather simple dress, coat and high heels, all in matching blue colours. My baby blue coat from Zara has been a great companion for the past two years. It’s very simple but that’s what’s so perfect about it. You can dress it up with a lovely dress and high heels like my outfit for the wedding, or you can dress it down by simply wearing jeans, a shirt and booties. As it reads in ‘How to be Parisian wherever you are’: you need to find an item that makes you feel good about yourself no matter what, and this is mine. Perhaps it’s also the Parisian look of it that makes me feel good about it, who knows?

Bisou, M

Here’s what I wore: dress (Dotti), jacket (Zara), high heels (Zara), bag (H&M), watch (Casio)

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