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A look behind the scenes at the month that was, sharing the highlights, challenges and some personal recommendations for you!
The fact that I’m posting this round-up a week into March should give you a pretty good indication of how manic February was.
If January was all about zen, yoga and feeling calm and collected, February felt like one hectic rush of people, places and too much work. No matter how focussed I tried to be, I couldn’t get a grip on things and spent the all-too-short month running from pillar to post.
It could also be because February is the hardest month to live in Vienna.
It’s the absolute depth of winter, everyone around you gets sick and sniffly, being gross and snotty on the Ubahn. The smart people flee the city – either to snowy sunny slopes or distant tropical countries to escape.
But we were here all month, and I won’t lie, it was tough. As always though, there were some highlights and Vienna always manages some beautiful days among the drudgery of grey skies – just enough to give you hope that things will get better!
Places Travelled: None!
A rarity over the last few months, we managed to keep our feet firmly planted in Vienna. The city itself transformed into a winter wonderland for nearly two weeks, so it felt like we were living in a different, magical, snowy place for a while.
Schönbrunn Palace was icy this morning, covered in snow, with a bright but chill sunshine and winter breeze that sliced your cheeks sharp enough to hurt. We escaped into the Gloriette cafe to defrost with extremely overpriced coffee and cake ( pro tip – avoid these tourist traps and head to the much better @waldemar_tagesbar nearby!!)… . . . . I’ve had a tough week just gone with stress from fulltime work, wedding planning, lack of sleep freelance deadlines and being stuck inside from the bitterly cold weather. February is always ALWAYS the hardest month to live in Vienna and I feel like it will never end…but it always does, and with it the sun comes back and eventually my mojo returns. I found it again this weekend with a spin class and this brisk walk in the morning. Now I feel like I can get back on track for the week ahead – and finally take some time for some new posts for you guys! Writing is my real stress relief and utter joy 😊 What do you guys do to overcome stress and the winter blues??
Attending the Maxima Comepass Bloggers Festival. I was suuuuuuper nervous to attend my first German-language bloggers event, but surprised myself by understanding most sessions and discussions!
At one point I was listening to a speakers session in quite fast speaking German, and taking notes in a hodge-podge mix of English and Deutsch, which are an absolute mess to look back over, but what amazed me was how my brain was actually able to compute all that info across languages in real-time and I could still understand and learn things.
The human mind is incredible is what I’m saying.
The festival itself was excellent, with some very cool sponsors like J Horning Coffee and Zeitgeist Hotels, plus there were loads of Vienna’s best professional bloggers sharing their insights and lessons. It was lovely to find out they were all friendly and chatty in real life, and I was a wee bit proud to have overcome my fear of speaking German to get networking across cultures.
THE dress arrived! Just in the nick of time too…the night before my Vienna-based bridesmaid & bestie was due to fly out to Australia, we had the first official fitting of my wedding dress that has arrived from the Anna Campbell studios in Melbourne.
I was relieved that the skirt is perfect, the beading immaculate and couldn’t be more thrilled with the decision to purchase through Ivory Aisle in the 9th district, it’s been an absolute dream.
I’ll likely do an in-depth how-to-plan a wedding as an expat article, but if you’re keen to find out more let me know!
All the brunches. Cold weather meant the perfect excuse for cafe hopping and brunching. I managed to squeeze in visits to GOTA Coffee Experts, Mill and Klyo – all of which will have a full brunch write up soon!
Challenges & Lessons
Hooo boy, this month work/life balance was by far my biggest challenge.
My full-time management position ate into a lot of personal time and spiked stress levels this month, which meant I stopped doing the things that I know keep me balanced and happy.
It’s so stupidly simple to identify in hindsight – more sleep, exercise and giving myself time to write and blog for you guys – but when you’re in the eye of the stressed and tired storm, you don’t notice that those important things have slipped off your schedule.
My lesson this month, as always, is to breathe deep, take a step back and give myself permission to do the things I know bring the most joy. (I’d love to hear some of your strategies for keeping the joyful things in your life, hit me up in the comments!)
Most Popular Posts
Blog: This month was all about experiencing new spots in Vienna, these were some of the most popular posts on le blog:
An oldie post that got some renewed love this month: Best Cosy Coffee in Vienna
Instagram: The grid got very chilly this month with such cold weather – but nothing makes a city more beautiful than a dusting of snow. You guys were loving the wintry Vienna images across last month.
Snow has started falling in Vienna again 😍💕 Hoping it sticks around long enough to dust the Otto Wagner kirchke and gardens again for weekend hiking frolics. I still find all things snowy super magical and romantic- but apparently people who grew up in it think it’s all shovelling snow and slushy streets 🙈 TELL ME what do you think, snow day is a yay or nay?. . . . . . #wien #snowday #winterwonder #viennasnow #vienna #austria #igersvienna #visitvienna #viennanow #living_europe #vienna_city #welovevienna #austrianblogger #wonderlustvienna #igerswien #igersaustria #discovervienna
What I’ve been Reading, Watching & Recommend for you!
TV: God bless streaming services for surviving winter I say. There were two very different shows that got me through February, for very different reasons.
The first was Sherlock – finally catching up on the last season on Netflix, and honestly, this series is one I could watch over and over. The way they creatively tell stories, keep things whip cracking fast and intelligent and the light British humorous touches are all just fantastic. This video from Nerdwriter better explains the genius of the way the directors play with logic and storytelling in the series…we lapped up the episodes in a very short amount of time!
The second series that got me through the month was my weepy indulgence, This is Us. I got suckered into the drama back in November while travelling and so of COURSE had to watch the series finale Superbowl episode.
Yes, there were tears, and yes it was cathartic to weep into my laptop screen. The next question is, where do they take the series from here?
READING: The very clear winner for favourite book of last month was Dolly Alderton’s ‘Everything I know about Love’. Poetic for February, no?
It’s the kind of book you read well past bedtime, clutching under the covers of your bed because you feel so connected to the characters, can recognise the hungover/drunken/hilarious scenarios and empathise with the experience of fierce friendship. For this crazy month, the book was the perfect balance of light but heartfelt, insightful and warm but not too sappy or predictable. You can get yourself a copy by clicking here.
Recommend: It may be because I’m becoming an insufferable healthy person, but I cannot get enough of the Acai Bowls at Superfood Deli. Since I discovered that Foodora can deliver them, I’ve been splurging on lunch there once a week.
A girls gotta have something to get her through the dreary winter days, right?
Up Next in March
And by ‘up next’ I mean ‘already happening’ eep!
The sun is coming back, I can feel it in my bones. Its been rising earlier and sticking around longer throughout the day. The mornings are crisp but infused with that beautiful white light of the end of winter, and slowly, it’s getting easier to leave the office during daylight hours as the sun sticks around for longer.
March is going to be, well, nuts. It’s Stefan’s birthday tomorrow, a weekend visit to Tirol is planned to celebrate the last hurrah of the pub where we had our very first date, and the last (infuriatingly fussy) details of our April wedding are being put in place.
Mostly though, this month I want to write more and share some insider tips with you guys. I’m aiming for two articles per week so we can all launch into Spring with a bit more joy in our lives, and equipped with some tips on where, exactly, the best Schanigarten will be.
What are you planning in March? Here’s hoping it will be a good month ahead for us all!
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