September 28, 2013

Austria photo diary post

Yes, I am indeed the worst blogger in history but damn did I have a good time in Austria!
You know when you're just SO busy you don't even have time to like, shower, and stuff in between days - not that that happened A LOT while I was over there, but yeah...
I legitimately had around three coffee dates per day, an event or something we turned into an 'event' every second night, tons of shopping to do, tons of food to eat and litres of Austrian yeast beverage to put away, just to punish myself with squats and burpees afterwards, all within two modest weeks.
I drove on the right side of the road again, killing the manual car religiously and using the windscreen wipers in place of indicators (and vice versa) more times than I can count. I hardly took photos, which really just reflects how comfortably disconnected I intended this holiday to be and my digital highlight were puppy photos whatsapped to me once every couple of days. I didn't blog much, I hardly ever opened bloglovin and to be honest it was a nice change from artificiality.

I feel like September went way too quickly, and counting my posts for this month I am surprised I even still have that many page views, so a big thank you for letting the author here who loves to switch between first and third person in one sentence have a bit of a breather!

And for all the stalkers and list fetishists amongst you, here is both a list and a major insight into my personal life. Consider this a warm attempt at combining your two mild disorders, accompanied by low-quality instagram photos and lounge music you shall now start playing in your head: (...and GO!)

I ...
  • went hiking through Austrian forests and past beautiful crystal clear lakes
  • went on a Segway tour through an ancient Austrian town (castle and castle gardens incl.)
  • went to my cousin's wedding, which was a marvelous night fueled by illegal amounts of white wine and cheesy dancing to a band wearing Lederhosn
  • went to the stables to see my sister's beautiful horse and decided I should start riding again
  • went for runs with three dogs at a time (and most of them mistook me running for me wanting to play the "bite me in the butt" game)
  • was never without a drink on the four occasions I went out with my lovely friends
  • went to a birthday party and ate ridiculously good roast beef and rocket salad, followed by ice cream and Bombay Sapphire gin and tonics (partying in style, I know)
  • ate organic yoghurt out of recycled glass jars with fresh organic blueberries for breakfast, without having to spend more than $ 3.00 - the Austrian organic food offer is fantastic, not to mention almost all organic foods you can buy is competitively priced (some only 20 c - 50 c dearer than the same non-organic product) and comes in recycled/reused or biodegradable packaging - definitely one massive step ahead of Australia there. Also a fun fact: Cage eggs are banned in Europe and Austria was one of the first countries to enforce this ban!
  • picked herbs and vegetables out of Mum's impressive veggie garden
  • went shopping so often my suitcase wouldn't close upon leaving (whoops!)
  • indulged in Austrian Kaffeehaus culture and totally caked it up (six different flavors, ya'll!)
  • went on a hilarious road trip with my sober brother while being hungover as shit, listening to quality German and Austrian rap for 4 hours and completely over-thinking my taste in music
  • went to the MAC counter way too many times, Ruby Woo is MINE!
  • didn't give the old butt much of a holiday, but returned with a lovely jelly belly (which is the official symbol for "I had a wicked time")
  • went to a candle and organic soap factory with Mum and bought pomegranate soap that smells divine!
  • found the most perfect dress at Zara, along with three skirts and a blouse
  • bought amazing Nike Free Runs and lots of gym gear, but regret not having bought the classic "Swoosh" sports bra SO MUCH RIGHT NOW!!!!
  • ate a fantastic variety of dishes that contained carbofatdrates and carbofatdrates ONLY (see what I did there?)

September 18, 2013


from left: Asos, H&M (top), Zara (bottom), Zara, Asos, Zara
Pinstripe is back and going strong, ladies and gentlemen. I thought this day would never come. I used to wear my black pinstripe blazer over a Kurt Cobain t-shirt religiously at age 14 and I couldn't be more confused/excited about this revival. I mean they even made that infamous Zara skort out of pinstripey stripey material! I hear angels singing.
And how gorgeous is that skirt's shape? I may or may not have bought the black version of this baby yesterday. Amongst other beautiful things.
Zara loves to take my money. And I just keep on giving.

Home time musings

It's been just over a week now that I have been in Austria and I would be lying if I didn't say that I am having a good time. There are more social events going on than I would usually experience in 6 months. I completely forgot what it's like NOT to work every single hour of the day and just let things happen as they do. I didn't activate my Austrian mobile, because knowing that no soul on Earth can reach me unless I want them to is all sorts of sexy. Needless to say my friends and family are absolutely fantastic for slowing down their lives a bit to fit me in. I don't talk to a lot of these people all year round, not all of them are on social media (and there really is no other way of communicating when you live 15000 km apart and have a thing called "career"), but when I come back I am always welcomed in the most beautiful and warm way. There is nothing more reassuring than coming home after such a long time and the knowing people will treat you like you never left. At the same time my amazing and handsome other half is at home, excited for me for having a great time, looking after our beautiful little dog (blew the surprise there, didn't I?), working and being awesome. It says a lot about my wonderful friends and family, doesn't it? That, males and females and in betweeners, is what one calls "riches". Diamonds, cars and clothes ain't gonna love you like that.

Autumn has struck the country three days into my vacation, so the sky is dyed in a dark grey hue, the wind is icy and the rain drizzles without end in sight. Wherever I walk shoes are soaked, pant legs are wet and visages are a little sad. I would probably chime in if I still lived here, yet I find myself feeling so enlightened and excited by the nostalgia that is unavoidably creeping up on me wherever I set foot. I feel transported back to what used to be that crappy time of the year when summer holidays wrapped up, school started again and winter was approaching quickly. Back then I would dread the cold weather, dread school, dread getting on the school bus (a traumatizing experience I shall dedicate a whole post to), dread winter depression, dread pretty much everything that came with autumn (everlasting rain-infused curly hair included).

Now that I am older and mayb that little bit wiser I can see so much beauty in this time of the year. The grass glistening with heavy rain drops, the pumpkins growing in the garden, the deep, deep green of the landscape that swallows me as a whole, the deers frolicking at dawn. Where I am from I see no more than ten cars crossing the roads on a good day. I used to hate it. Hate the silence. Now I indulge in it. It's like I came her and put on noise cancelling headphones on my life and indulged in a bit of silence, like one would indulge in a piece of cream-layered cake. (I did that too, don't you worry!)

It's truly a revelation to me, coming back to where I grew up after being away for an extended period of time, and realising how far I've come since being that at times self-loathing, insecure teenager who never thought she was enough. I look back and feel the urge to pat my own back for moving somewhere I could unfold my purest self without those deeply embedded hang-ups, without unrealistic expectations from myself (and myself only), without wanting to please everyone while slowly imploding. I once thought I didn't deserve happiness, I wasn't going to find happiness unless I was thin, smarter and had a gorgeous boyfriend. Once on the other side of the globe, all by myself, with no one to aid me but also no one to hinder me, I was finally able to work through that media-induced "smarter, thinner, more successful" bullshit.
I was suddenly made aware of my numerous fantastic qualities pointed out by a variety of strangers, but much more importantly became aware of and spent a lot of time figuring out the origins of my irrational hang-ups, misogynistic way of thinking, my preference for fellow male Earth dwellers of the unfaithful arsehole type, my tiring drive to be more, do more with that same crushing revelation that whatever I do it will never suffice. That time of realisations saved my life and evened the path to my very own happiness. No boyfriend, size 0 pants or IQ of 180 required.

Now excuse me while I eat yet another bag of whatever Austrian goodness is hidden in mum's pantry.

image via pinterest

September 10, 2013


Paging in from my teenage bedroom in Austria today, where I am currently keeping busy with a combination of dog padding and jet lag fighting.
I love a good jet lag every now and then - it's amazing how productive one can be, when the rest of the house is completely quiet.

I know this platform has been neglected a little these past few days, but let me tell it was mainly due to September kick starting with grandeur, adventures and a ton of sparkles! And yes I am completely disregarding the fact Tony Abbot is our new prime minister and hell will probably open up and consume feminists and homosexuals all AT ONCE! There have been a few positive changes in regards to my family life (which you would already know about if you followed me on instagram! There, click the button on the bottom of the page, dear friend!), pleasant restructuring at work and some other nice things that were done and did in the first ten days of what looks like a very promising month.

August, though, needs its very own spot light! It was a month of procrastination, and I would like to detach any negative connotations you might associate with the word 'procrastination' in this very context. I looked at a lot of pretty pictures, wrote a lot of pretty words, I moved my limbs a lot, I talked to interesting people and spent some of my hard earned dollars here and there and overall had a brilliant time living!
And once again I picked a few reasons why August was, indeed, a month to remember!


On the 2nd of the month I booked a return flight to Munich. I went way over my supposed max of 2 weeks off work because, hey, I really needed more time! Travel is such an exciting thing to look forward to and really does keep you going whenever you feel like spitting life in the face! Not to mention the prospect of seeing my family and friends, eating and drinking local food and shopping at places I used to shop at when I was 16 years old all are things to utterly look forward to. I did cry like a baby when I had to leave my better half behind but I know our next adventure together is just lurking around the corner!


This month I leg pressed more than my body weight, in fact almost twenty kilos more. I can't really explain the excitement I felt to anyone, who doesn't do weights or doesn't come from a background that is completely non-sportive like my own. I never used to believe my body was capable of being strong, lean and full of energy - years of feeling like a failure in PE class had taken their toll - and to watch myself do all these amazing things is probably the closest I've come to an out-of-body experience in my time. I also did an unassisted chin up for the first time in my life and I know September will be the month I will give a lifetime premiere at rope climbing! You better watch out!


After years of putting this off due to my phobia of insects and other stupid reasons, I finally  managed to create a little veggie patch. When I say "I managed" I mean Dan actually did most of the work while I...uhm...supervised I suppose? It was about 3 hours of kinda team effort to get a little patch set up and running so if you're planning on doing this by yourself, probably allow a whole afternoon. At this stage I don't even care if something actually grows, but I just feel so pleased with how we finally got around to doing something I have been meaning to do for such a long time!

4) AM

This interview is grande for its subtlety. The excitement for their Australian tour announcement ensues. Their new record is fucking amazing. I should get a fan girl tattoo.

5) Single(t) best

Albeit risking sounding like an ad I would like to declare that armed with two of these babies, Summer can't come quick enough! These are literally the most perfect singlets I have ever purchased. I am a sucker for backless anythings and love the casual way they fall in the front. Sexy yet unpretentious. Yes, it's just clothes but the lack of excitement I have felt towards garments lately needed to be compensated somehow! The brand is "Silent Theory", style name is "Fonda" and you can get them at Universal or Glue stores (or go online) and they're a steal at $ 25. Pair with boyfriend jeans, short shorts, thin strapped maxi dresses, tucked into skater skirts or high waisted jeans or garments of any other kind whose names I can't recall right now.
images via Westfield

6) Road trippin that I wish you saw

There is probably nothing I enjoy more on a day off than setting a destination but leaving the way in which we get there completely blank. I need equal parts of exploration and spontaneity in my life, in order to not go crazy and road trips combine both, with an extra portion of fun. Add a slurpee and some of Dan's new music discoveries and you will see me at my happiest.

7) The Intouchables

After intending to watch and then forgetting about it as you do when you're swamped with information, we stumbled upon this French masterpiece when searching through Netflix last month. At this point I would like to stress again how fucking amazing Netflix is - the amount of quality shows, movies and documentaries I have conveniently discovered since starting to use it is fantastic. Once you've watched a movie it will suggest you similar ones and that's really how you get the pop culture ball of marvel rolling.
But back to the actual movie it was such a charming, delightful, smart, politically incorrect, honest and realistic portrayal of what can only be described as a collision of two completely different world as intended by the universe. Wait, what? WATCH IT!


I vaguely introduced this artist this month, but the pleasure his creations give me warrant a listing in my August TOP 10. Shop Nick Sheeny's art here 


You should read this article over at XOJANE and then re-think everything you've ever been taught, shown or told about the concept of consent. Then teach your sons and daughters. Then cry about how horribly wrong our society treats sexual abuse victims. What did this article contribute, to make my August a little more awesome? Revelations flying at me like missiles after reading it. That's what it did. Bam.

10) Winter gone

With August being over it also means Winter is over for this year! Nothing wrong with that in my opinion. I can see myself whining about the heat and humidity in probably less than 60 days but until then, I shall soak up whatever cancerous UV rays I can get my skin exposed to and frolic in barely there clothes to the point of god damn darn arrest for whatever I care!
PS: Winter, you suck balls!

Ahhh be good in September and stay tuned for some Austrian style updates! My DSLR is with me 24/7 and while I might not do much more than eat, sleep, drink, shop and cuddle various people and animals, it should still stay pretty amazing around here! For more frequent updates follow me on instagram @astridapfelkern

September 03, 2013

A whore in spring...

How is everyone going? Have you been good little chipmunks over the last few days?
And eased into what is cruelly enough the only one-digit - month left in this year?
I wonder why we try so hard to hold on to what is essentially a way for humans to add a bit of structure to their already totally structured lives. It's just a name for a stretch of round about 30 days, yet we use it as an opportunity to reflect on what we have achieved in the last so-and-so months and feel bad about ourselves or want to achieve more More MORE.

In any way it is SPRING now in Australia and the multifaceted smiles on my face can only be taken off with an angle grinder. There is something about the weather slowly warming up that makes me melt a little inside. The bare leg pairs popping up around town, the insatiable cravings for fresh mangoes, peaches and watermelon, the amazing gym sessions, the bikinis wandering to the store fronts, the lizards and geckos and bees returning - it feels like everyone's waking up from a long, cold and monotone slumber.
Hello. This is a picture of my face. Wrinkles hidden by filter. xoxo Narcissist

I have been mentally preparing for a 26 hour long-distance flight I am boarding on Sunday - this will also be the first long distance flight I'm boarding by myself in three years and the thought of me being squeezed in between two people, without the option of sleeping/dribbling on these people's shoulders is quite frankly FRIGHTENING! Well, the option will be there. But I don't do things to strangers that aren't 100 % consensual. You shouldn't either. Ever.
Nevertheless I feel excited, or as excited as one can be when there are still a million things to organize and think about and when there is still a massive load of work to be dealt with...

On another note Dan and I have created a veggie patch and are looking into getting a puppy, so hey, September looks like it will be a pretty exciting month! Crazy dog lady and hippie vegetable farmer have been added to my CV.

And now: Random photos that are vaguely associated with my definition of spring. Drumroooollll

Spring lemonade

spring flowers

spring footwear
spring roll....oh my god I am HILARIOUS!!!!