The Vienna Eating Guide

Hi Guys,

So, if you’re one of my regular readers you’ll know that over winter break I visited Vienna, which meant that I ate lots of yummy Christmassy treats and snacks. One of the things I really wanted to do on this trip was to visit Christmas markets, instead of going to the big tourist attractions. And because I LOVE FOOD, I got to try lots of different fresh and delicious street food snacks at the markets.

I tried a mix of traditional food and general street food, but I wanted to share it all with you. Here you go!

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You have got to have roasted chestnuts, they’re my all-time time favorite winter street food!

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You CAN NOT go to Austria without trying an Apple Strudel!

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This chocolate cake is traditional to Vienna, it’s called the Sachertorte… it’s a must-have if you’re visiting Vienna. 

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How beautiful do these strudels look?

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I WANTED TO EAT EVERYTHING… I’m not joking…

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In one of the dessert shops, we could see the chefs working on their cakes.

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Finding yummy snacks at the Christmas markets.

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Chocolate covered fruits and nuts were sooooo good! And it made me feel like I was being a little bit healthy.

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And of course, because it was Christmas time, I had to try all the gingerbread!

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I didn’t try this cheese, but how cool does it look?

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These sweet pastry rolls were delicious

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And of course, you can never go wrong with fries and onion rings…

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I’m literally drooling looking at this sandwich right now, it was amazing!

These are all the different foods I tried when I was in Vienna, I hope the pictures aren’t making you too hungry!! Have you ever been to Vienna, if so, what did you try? And if you could try one of these foods, which one would it be?

Little Miss Expat

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24 hours in Paris with a local – Winter Edition

Heya Guys!

I visited Paris a couple of days ago and it was AMAZING. I’ve been to Paris a few times before, but this time I think I can safely say I’ve fallen in love with the city!! From the sugar coma, I was in because of all the macarons, cakes, hot chocolates and pastries I ate,  to walking down small cobbled streets in St Germain, I loved every moment of it. One of the reasons the trip was so fun was because I got to spend time with a friend of mine that recently moved to Paris. (hence the ‘local’ part of this post) She showed me some of her favorite places to visit in Paris, and we got to chat and catch up over cups of hot chocolate and huge salads.

I wanted to share what I did and where I went with you guys in this post, but bear in mind that we didn’t visit many tourist spots, so if you’re going to Paris for the first time it might be wise to save another day to visit spots like the Louvre and Eiffel Tower, and then you can try this ‘off the beaten track’ guide and visit the places I went to.

  1. Explore Paris on foot first – One of the first things I like to do when I visit a city is to take a walk and get a ‘feel’ for the place. You get to scout out some places you might want to visit later, and might come across some very cool sights. We walked down the Champs-Élysées and got to see a beautiful view of the Arc de Triomphe.DSC_0878
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    Isn’t this view of the Arc de Triomphe amazing?

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    We stumbled across this view of the Eiffel Tower covered in the morning mist.

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  2. Lunch at La Carette – I wanted to let my friend decide most of where we went because after all, she is the ‘local’ and she certainly picked out the perfect places. Out of all the times, I’ve visited Paris, I can’t believe I’d never eaten at Parisian Cafe until we went to La Carette. La Carette is exactly what a Parisian Cafe should be like, bursting with people and filled with pastries and macarons. It also has a magnificent view of the Eiffel Tower as soon as you step outside! I had a salmon salad (my attempt to be healthy) and we had a mille-feuille and a traditional French Christmas cake called Buche de Noel after, which were AMAZING (I’m drooling right now, just thinking about those desserts)
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    The salmon salad I ate

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    A box of macarons I brought back to London with me.

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    By far the best macarons I’ve ever eaten…

  3. Take touristy pictures in front of the Eiffel Tower – I mean… of course, you have to do this. My friend and I enjoyed a good few minutes trying to perfect the picture where it looks like you’re holding the Eiffel Tower (cringe, I know) But how can you go to Paris and not take embarrassing photos?img_5198.jpg
  4. Visit the St. Germain area – One of the things I really wanted to do on this trip, was to visit some smaller ’boutique style’ French shops because I think you can find nicer items in little local stores. I also had to buy a few Christmas gifts, so I wanted to see if there were more unique gifts I could buy in the boutiques. And, I was not disappointed! We visited the St. Germain area which was full of little-cobbled streets with small boutiques and shops. We saw some of the cutest shops in this area, as well as most of the big branded stores. For anyone who wants to do a bit of shopping in Paris, I would recommend St. Germain.IMG_5246IMG_5242 2IMG_5251IMG_5254
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    I absolutely loved this boutique, you can take a look at it here.

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    We came across this cute little florist

  5. Hot Chocolate at Cafe de Flore – You can’t come back from Paris without having a hot chocolate! There’s something about the French hot chocolate that’s so special, it’s super creamy and chocolatey and the atmosphere of a Parisian cafe adds to the whole effect. My friend said that Cafe de Flore was her favourite hot chocolate in Paris, so of course she took me to try it! It was soooo good. Wow. Parisian cafes are so simple in their layout and decorations, but it’s the food and people that make them so special. I think laughing and sharing stories over cups of hot chocolate had to be one of the best parts of the trip.IMG_5262IMG_5273 (1)IMG_5267

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    It tasted sooooooo good

Those are the highlights of my trip, and things that I that think you need to try if you’re visiting Paris soon. Honestly, I had such a great time in Paris and I got to experience the more unique side of the city which I loved! What’s your favourite city?

Little Miss Expat

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Decorating My Christmas Tree

Heya Guys!

Every year my family and I enjoy spending a festive day decorating our Christmas tree, and we take decorating pretty seriously. That being said this a really fun time for us, we wear Santa hats, put on our Christmas playlist and work on creating the most bedazzled tree you can find.

We usually get in a real tree and this year ours was 13 feet tall, which means a LOT of decorating to do. In our family, I’m in charge of ordering and choosing ornaments so when we open the box full of decorations I’m in my total design, creative mode. We’ve gathered lot’s of ornaments over the years, but last year when I started coming up with our ‘copper and blush’ theme we ordered a lot of them from Cox & Cox.  I think they have some really great ornaments, but if you’re looking for a place to buy tree decorations I’ve written about a few of my favourite places in my latest Christmas Preparation post, definitely have a look at them.

But enough about that here’s how our tree turned out this year!!!

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There’s something special about having a real Christmas tree

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The 13 ft tall wonder of a tree

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First comes the lights…

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I prefer to use warm coloured lights because I think it adds a more cozy vibe to our tree.

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A copper coloured ornament from Cox & Cox

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This ornament is made from folded paper, how cool is that?

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These are some of my favourite ones, they’re a sort of textured grey colour with bits of copper peeking through.

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These mirrored diamond ones create a nice effect as they reflect everything around them.

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This ornament has such a natural look, which makes it blend in so well with the tree.

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We collected this one from the Coca-Cola store in Orlando, isn’t the bear cute?

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You can kind of see how the theme goes together in this photo…

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Creds to my sister for posing for this photo 🙂

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The finished look!

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Christmas Preparation Guide – everything you could possibly need to do and how to do it

Heya guys!

Winter break has finally started for me, which means no more stressing about school (for a few days at least) and I can finally start my Christmas preparations! In my family even though we don’t celebrate Christmas religiously, we still go full out with the decorations, music, gifts, and food. I think it’s something about growing up in London, I don’t think you can live here and not be drawn into the Christmas Bonanza that’s London during the holiday season. There’s lights everywhere, a chilly breeze, Christmas music playing in every store, and everyone is bursting with happiness. It’s truly amazing.

Because I’m an organizational freak, and because there’s a lot to prepare for Christmas I decided to write a small guide on how I get all my Christmas bits and bobs sorted, and where I like to buy my gifts and decor etc…

What Music To Play:

Would it really be Christmas without the sound of sleigh bells and cheesy Christmas songs? I don’t think so. I’ll be the first to admit it, I’m guilty of listening to my Christmas playlist all year round. I know, I have no self-control when it comes to Christmas songs, but they always put me in a good mood and make me want to dance along to them. Am I the only one? Here are some of my favourite songs that I think you HAVE to have on your Christmas playlist:

  1. All I Want For Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey
  2. Do They Know It’s Christmas? – Band Aid
  3. Mistletoe – Justin Bieber
  4. Santa’s Coming For Us – Sia
  5. Last Christmas – Wham
  6. Mary’s Boy Child / Oh My Lord – Boney M.
  7. Baby It’s Cold Outside – Idina Menzel and Michael Bublé
  8. This Christmas – Chris Brown
  9. Step Into Christmas – Elton John
  10. It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year – Andy Williams
  11. I’ll Be Home – Meghan Trainor
  12. Sleigh Ride – Carpenters
  13. It’s Beginning To Look a Lot Like Christmas – Michael Bublé
  14. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town – Michael Bublé
  15. Holly Jolly Christmas – Michael Bublé
  16. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! – Frank Sinatra
  17. Santa Tell Me – Ariana Grande
  18. Driving Home For Christmas – Gavin James
  19. Christmas Lights – Coldplay
  20. Merry Christmas Everyone – Shakin’ Stevens

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What Decorations To Use

Decorations have to be one of the most important aspects of Christmas for me. I love designing and putting together cute displays, so I am totally in my element with Christmas Decor. Excluding the Christmas Tree (which I’ll write about separately) I think that decorating your Christmas dining table is very important. After all, this is where you spend a lot of Christmas Day and you want it to look nice. I like to get small items to put on the table, as well as to put out if we’re having people around for snacks. I’ve been collecting little bits and bobs for the table for a while now and here’s what I’ve got:

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Also, you can’t go wrong with lights, the more the merrier! We put them up everywhere and I think it adds to the whole festive atmosphere. Here are some pictures of how I decorated our Christmas Table last year:

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Finding Some Christmas Inspiration

I love to spend my time browsing Pinterest and looking at Christmas tree inspiration and ways that people have decorated their houses for Christmas. I also look at some of my favourite blogs and see what they’re doing for Christmas. I love a cozy evening spent with a mug of hot chocolate and a fuzzy blanket spent ‘researching’ ideas for Christmas. Am I the only one that loves looking for new ideas and could spend ages browsing on their laptop?

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Gift Ideas

I looove buying gifts for other people, as well as creating my own wish list. I’m a big believer in giving thoughtful gifts to others. While receiving a box of chocolates or a bar of soap is nice, I think that Christmas gifs should be a little more exciting and personal. If I’m not really sure what I want I want to get someone for Christmas I like to browse some of my favourite shops for gifts. A few good places to look for presents are:

  1. Anthropologie
  2. Oliver Bonas
  3. Notonthehighstreet
  4. Urban Outfitters (gift section)
  5. ASOS (gift section)

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Making The Perfect Tree

Of course, your Christmas tree is one of the most important parts of the holiday! When we’re in Dubai we have a fake tree with decorations that we use every year because we never spend actual Christmas Day there. When we come to London our Christmas tree is a much more fancy event. We usually get a real tree, and it’s HUGE. When I say huge I really mean it, we keep it in our library which is two floors high, and our Christmas tree reaches the ceiling, so you can tell it’s big. I’m all for having a festive and ‘family’ tree but I don’t really like tacky decorations so my family usually lets me decide the theme of the tree and look for decorations. As I said, I look on Pinterest for my inspiration and themes. Once I come up with a theme, I usually take a look at a few websites and what they have for their Christmas decorations. A few of my favourite places to look at decorations are:

  1. John Lewis
  2. M&S
  3. Next
  4. Fortnum and Masons
  5. Crate & Barrel
  6. Cox & Cox (I got almost all my tree decorations from here)
  7. The White Company

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I hope this Christmas guide is helpful for you guys and your Christmas prep! Please let me know if you like any of my tips and tell me what you do to prepare for Christmas, and where you buy your gifts and decorations from!

Little Miss Expat

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