Vienna Opera Ball with Swarovski

Vienna Opera Ball with Swarovski

Vienna Opera Ball with Swarovski
Vienna Opera Ball with Swarovski
 

Vienna Opera Ball with Swarovski

Vienna Opera Ball with Swarovski

Vienna Opera Ball with Swarovski

Vienna Opera Ball with Swarovski
Vienna Opera Ball with Swarovski
 

Vienna Opera Ball with Swarovski

Vienna Opera Ball with Swarovski

Vienna Opera Ball with Swarovski

Vienna Opera Ball with Swarovski

Vienna Opera Ball with Swarovski

Vienna Opera Ball with Swarovski

Vienna Opera Ball with Swarovski

Vienna Opera Ball with Swarovski
Vienna Opera Ball with Swarovski
 

Vienna Opera Ball with Swarovski

Vienna Opera Ball with Swarovski

Vienna Opera Ball with Swarovski

Jewelry: Swarovski

Outfit: Dolce&Gabbana

Locations: The Guesthouse Hotel, Hotel Sacher, Vienna State Opera 

Photos of me in the Opera House: Franco Federici

I wanted to go the Vienna Opera Ball this year but I didn’t dare to think that it could actually happen. In fact, when I received the invitation from Swarovski, I couldn’t believe my own eyes.

I had to check my mobile twice to convince myself that my wish did come true.

Not only was I happy to attend the Vienna Opera Ball with Swarovski, but I was also happy for my Instagram friends and readers because I knew that they would love to see photos and visual stories of the Ball through my lenses and my social media channels. I got this impression back in 2016 when I attended the Vienna Opera Ball for the very first time.

From the photography point of view, this blog post could be divided into two parts.

In the first part, we have the photos that were shot at The Guesthouse Hotel, where I had my makeup and hair done by a professional team of hair dressers and makeup artists. As you can tell from the photos, I love product photography. When I have beautiful products in front of me, I feel the need to photograph them and I can spend hours doing so, playing with the light and with different compositions. In this case, my beautiful products were my jewelry pieces from Swarovski and the cutest little bag from Dolce & Gabbana, that I chose to wear this special night.

In the second part, we have two shots from the gala dinner which took place at the Sacher hotel. And the blog post ends with photos that are shot in the Opera House, one day before the ball, during the official final rehearsal. How lucky was I to be given advance access to the Opera House to take my photos before they let people in!

It was quite challenging to cover photographically all those amazing happenings that occured one after the other: the rehearsal on Wednesday, the preparation before the ball, the gala dinner, the Opera Ball on Thursday 8th of February. But believe me, if I have the chance again, I would do the same thing all over. It made me feel alive, honored, and blessed to have been given this opportunity to attend the Vienna Opera Ball with Swarovski, and to have been chosen by the Dolce & Gabbana family in Milano to wear this dreamy evening gown. Grazie tante! 

Each detail was so perfectly organized by the people involved. Eveything from the correspondence I had with the person who was behind the entire organization, to the fitting at the Dolce & Gabbana boutique in the first district, to taking photos with the girls on the red carpet, to the moment I was dancing Quadrille together with Michaela from Elastyle

The craziest thing about that night was when I discovered the disco room in the basement of the opera!!! I’ve been to the Vienna Opera House many times before, and I never thought that a room in the basement could ever be transformed into such a fun disco dance hall. There is always something new to discover in Vienna

Nothing but A BIG THANK YOU to the SWAROVSKI famliy for having me as one of their guests!

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Hôtel Le Strato Courchevel

Hôtel Le Strato Courchevel

Hôtel Le Strato Courchevel

Hôtel Le Strato Courchevel

Hôtel Le Strato Courchevel
Hôtel Le Strato Courchevel
 

Hôtel Le Strato Courchevel

Hôtel Le Strato Courchevel
Hôtel Le Strato Courchevel
 

Hôtel Le Strato Courchevel

Hôtel Le Strato Courchevel

Hôtel Le Strato Courchevel

Hôtel Le Strato Courchevel

All photos taken by me

Although I am not a huge ski fan, I wouldn’t turn down an invitation to visit the 5 star Hôtel Le Strato in Courchevel 1850. Because deep inside, I knew that this would be a dreamlike winter getaway, and that I would need a break from the busy city life. After all, Courchevel is not only for ski lovers…

With that in mind, I hopped on a train that December morning, from Paris en route to Gare de Chambéry. From my very first day at Hôtel Le Strato Courchevel, I could recall the warm welcome by the reception. It started with a welcome snack, which was very much needed after a 3 hour train ride. I was also given a tour of the hotel that helped me orientate myself with the premises and felt excited for what was about to happen in the next days.

On the first day, we visited the village and took photos in front of a huge Christmas tree, then we returned to the hotel to enjoy the heated indoor pool, followed by dinner. The next day, we ventured out to the mountains.

Although the whole experience was utterly dreamy, here are a few of my favorite moments and things that I would like to share with you:

If only life could always be like this…unfortunately after 3 nights of staying at Hôtel Le Strato Courchevel 1850, I had to say goodbye and get back to my busy city life again.

I hope you enjoyed these photos and inspired you to visit this charming property at the foot of the slopes in Courchevel 1850.

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The Viennese Girl visited Courchevel 1850 in partnership with Atout France and IF Communication. 

Malta Gozo Comino

Malta Gozo Comino
Malta Gozo Comino
 

Malta Gozo Comino

Malta Gozo Comino
Malta Gozo Comino
 

Malta Gozo Comino

Before this year’s travel adventures start again, I would like to share a few photos and infos from my trip to Malta, Gozo, and Comino. This took place last November.

I have always wanted to visit Malta as far back as I could remember. So when the opportunity came, not only was I happy to finally tick this destination off from my bucket list, but I was happy to exchange the cold temperatures in Vienna for the 20 degrees in Malta. In other words, you can say this switch immediately uplifted my mood!

Malta Gozo Comino
Malta Gozo Comino
 

Upon arrival at Malta, a cab brought me to a beautiful boutique hotel called La Falconeria, I had a double room with a traditional Maltese balcony and views to the rooftops of Valletta.

It was midnight when I arrived, so I had no other choice other than to go to bed immediately. But before doing that, I took a quick glance out of the window in an effort to soak in where I was. I saw long narrow streets, elegant tall buildings, and picture perfect wooden balconies everywhere.

Malta Gozo Comino

During the first two days, Mr. Vince Debono and I explored Malta Gozo CominoMr. Vince Debono was not only an amazingly knowledgeable travel guide, but he was also a talented photographer.

I would need hours of writing in order to do justice to all the amazing places that Mr. Vince showed me. And I am pretty sure I would still leave out some valuable info. So it’s best that you check  visitmalta.com and visitgozo.com before you start organizing your trip to Malta Gozo Comino. 

But what I can do is to point out a few of my favourite activities:
  • The boat ride from Valletta to the Three cities in a typical Maltese gondola shaped boat, called “dghajsa”. That was so much fun!
  • Walking around Mdina, also known as “The Silent City”.
  • The views of Malta’s Grand Harbour from the Upper Barraka Gardens.
  • Valletta’s old narrow streets
  • Lunch at the rooftop terrace of Ta’ Rikkardu, in the historic old Citadel in Victoria.

Malta Gozo Comino

Hotel in Valletta: La Falconeria

Hotel in Saint Julian’s: InterContinental Malta

Regarding the accommodation, I spent the first two nights in a boutique hotel in the heart of Valletta. After that, I changed location and moved to St. Julian’s, where I spent three nights in one of the highline suites at InterContinental Malta.  For me, as a traveller to Malta, it was interesting to see those two different faces of Malta. Valletta was a huge open air museum recognized by UNESCO for its historical and cultural value, while St. Julian’s was in a more modern part of the island and offered nightlife and entertainment.

The trip to Malta ended the best way it could, with a dinner at the Paranga restaurant with a very good company. I savored great local fish and had a glass of wine!

A special thanks to Ryanair and Malta Tourism Authority for organizing this individual press trip for me, and for giving me the opportunity to travel to Malta Gozo Comino.  If you are also planning to visit Malta, definitely check out the flights from Ryanair here and the Malta Airport lounge!

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Crete in October

Crete in October
Crete in October
 

Crete in October

Crete in October
Crete in October
 

Crete in October
Crete in October

Crete in October
Crete in October
 

Crete in October

Crete in October

Crete in October
Crete in October
 

Crete in October

Crete in October

Hotel: Lavris hotel 

While I was strolling the streets of Paris at the end of September, an invitation to join a group of journalists for a press trip in Crete organized by the Greek Tourism board in Vienna landed in my inbox. Needless to say, I jumped in joy! I can’t hide my love for Paris, and at the same time, I can’t hide my love for the Greek islands as well…

What I am going to say right now may sound strange but this was an invitation I was expecting! Why? Because for the past 2 years, I had the chance to visit Crete in October and somehow this trip became a habit that I wanted to repeat every October.

Not bad at all, if you think that in many parts of Europe it starts getting quite chilly and you hop on a plane with Aegean airlines, that brings you to a place where the sky is blue, sun shine bright, and you can still wear sandals and summer dresses and go to the beach! Who wouldn’t accept this invitation, right?

Apart from the fact that in Crete, summer lasts longer, this island has so many things to offer to visitors year around.

Below, you will find a list with things to do, where to eat, and places to visit in Crete. Those are the things we did during the press trip and hopefully they are a great source of information or source of rough itinerary for you when you start planning your next travel to Crete.

I would like to point this out, that Crete is a place to visit year round and not only in summer because of its mild climate and because there are plenty of activities that you can do, apart from going to the beach. Check out the flights of Aegean Airlines that flies you to Crete here!

During the press trip, we did many great things but I think that the best part was kept for the end: horse riding by the beach (thank you Maria Lavdaki for organising this extra activity for me)! Our press trip ended in the most beautiful way and I was the happiest!

Thanks to the Greek Tourism Board, Aegean Airlines, and Region of Crete for making this happen! Very grateful to be invited to join!

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Starck Paris

Starck Paris

Starck Paris
Starck Paris
 

Starck Paris

Starck Paris

Starck Paris
Starck Paris
 

Starck Paris

Starck Paris

Starck Paris

Starck Paris

Starck Paris

Starck Paris

Starck Paris

Photography by Stefan Kokovic

I will tell you a funny story that happened very recently. The other day, I went to the cinema. Next to me there was a lady I didn’t know at all..she looked at me and smiled. I looked at her and I smiled back. After a while, she looked at me again and she smiled. I smiled back. And then, she looked at me and smiled again for the third time but this time she also said: You are wearing a fantastic perfume! Of course I had to tell her which perfume it was and naturally she noted the name of it down on her mobile phone. I am glad she liked my perfume and I loved her honesty and spontaneity. I loved the fact that she asked me directly and that through me, she might have found something new that she will hopefully enjoy.

I caught myself reflecting on those two questions during the film: What is a perfume for you? And why do you wear it?

Have you ever asked yourself those questions?

The other day I received a collection of three Starck Paris fragrances at home: Peau de Soie, Peau de Pierre, and Peau d’Ailleurs. Each Starck Paris fragrance came with a little note with story that had me thinking of its creations and the messages they want to transmit. Peau de Soie is a paradox where femininity blossoms from a masculine bud. Peau de Pierre is a masculine fragrance which unveils its feminine side.  And Peau d’Ailleurs is an exploration into ourselves.

For the French designer Philippe Starck “to wear a perfume is to create one’s own territory”.

I personally tend to wear a perfume, not only when I go out, but also at home. The reason why I am doing this is because just a few drops of it have the power to make me feel good. And that’s the point of wearing a perfume after all, no? The inspiration behind the photos of this blog post was exactly that positive feeling that a perfume makes me feel. I wanted to transform this positive feeling into images and through the images to be a little part of Philippe Starck’s visionary world. 

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Breakfast at Le Bristol Paris

Breakfast at Le Bristol Paris

Breakfast at Le Bristol Paris
Breakfast at Le Bristol Paris
 
Breakfast at Le Bristol Paris
Breakfast at Le Bristol Paris
 

Breakfast at Le Bristol Paris

Breakfast at Le Bristol Paris
Breakfast at Le Bristol Paris
 
Breakfast at Le Bristol Paris
Breakfast at Le Bristol Paris
 

All photos taken by me

Every time I visit Paris, I try to treat myself to an experience that makes every trip to the city a little bit more special and memorable. An experience that I will anticipate before the departure and hold in my memory forever after the return.

Breakfast at Le Bristol Paris was this time’s special experience that I’d been looking for.

The last Paris fashion week came along with quite a few difficulties to handle… so, stepping into Le Bristol Paris on a Friday morning and having breakfast at the 3-Michelin star restaurant Epicure was exactly what my friend Polina and I truly needed.

We sat on a round table, right next to the window that overlook Le Bristol’s pretty garden, and forgot all the rest. We both opted for their signature breakfast that was served in a delicate china along with silver cutlery by Christofle, plus there was a small bouquet of red roses on the table that I couldn’t stop taking pictures of. While we were enjoying our breakfast and thinking how wonderful life can be, the maître d’ and his assistants were attentive enough to make sure we had the best time possible and that nothing was missing from our table from the beginning till the end of our meal.

Our breakfast at Le Bristol Paris lasted a little longer than it actually should have and we are completely aware of this. But we loved the food, calm atmosphere, and immaculate service so much that it was hard for us to leave.

Tip: if you go to Le Bristol Paris, look for the lucky kitty who happens to reside in the property for free! 

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3 days in Amsterdam

3 days in Amsterdam

3 days in Amsterdam

3 days in Amsterdam
3 days in Amsterdam
 

3 days in Amsterdam

3 days in Amsterdam
3 days in Amsterdam
 

3 days in Amsterdam

3 days in Amsterdam
3 days in Amsterdam
 

3 days in Amsterdam

3 days in Amsterdam

3 days in Amsterdam

Amsterdam holds a very special place in my heart because it was my first travel abroad at the age of 18, and it was a trip organized all by myself.

Why to the Netherlands? I had a pen pal who was living in a little town in the countryside, called Gouda, and the plan was to spend one week with her at her place. Back then, Instagram and Facebook didn’t exist, and if you had a friend abroad, you didn’t chat online, but you were sending letters written by hand in order to stay in touch.

All those years, since the age of 18, I always wanted to go back to Amsterdam but it never occured. Until the day an invitation to travel to Amsterdam, while I was vacationing in Mykonos, popped up in my inbox. I was invited by an advertsing agency from Germany to join a small group of creative minds in Amsterdam for a photography project (look for #smartinstabattle on Instagram). How cool is that? And this is how, more or less, I found myself in Amsterdam at the end of September. I was thrilled to be back.

I thought I should write a few words from this experience and share a few photos from the hotel where I stayed, as well as a bunch of insteresting venues that you want to add to the list of places to visit for your next Amsterdam trip.

Day 1:  Together with the team, we had dinner at The Lobby restaurant. The Lobby is situated on the groundfloor of the Hotel V Nesplein and they serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. I will definetely come back to this place for one more delightful dinner with candles.

Day 2: After spending a wonderful day with my friend Rebecca driving around the city of Amsterdam in an effort to take the best Instagram picture, I was quite tired in the evening. The best way to end the second day was dining at the Bar Brasserie OCCO which is located at The Dylan hotel in central Amsterdam. That was exactly what I needed for this night: Relaxed ambience, great food and a litte bit of me time. Next time I should remember to check The Vinkeles restaurant (located in the same hotel)!

Day 3: Although there are great museums to visit in Amsterdam, I preferred to spend half of the day walking leisurely through the streets and getting lost in the canals and in the bridges, before I caught the flight to Paris.

Amsterdam tips: Check Benji’s for Balinese vibes in Amsterdam, Van Stapele for the best cookies in the world, Corner Bakery for breakfast and brunch, and Kanarie Club for the best meals, drinks and bites all day, every day!

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Feelin good

Feelin good

Feelin good
Feelin good
 

Feelin good

Feelin good
Feelin good
 

Within the last month, I travelled to four different countries in Europe. They were mostly for work!  As hectic as my schedule sounds, I know how fortunate I am to have a job that constantly keeps me happy and enthusiastic about life.

But it is worth noting that having a busy lifestyle made me realize the importance of taking a moment to pause at home between one travel to the next. This allows for a much needed downtime for recreation and relaxation. My biggest ally in this crazy lifestyle for the past few months is Vichy skin care products.

During one of the breaks that I got to spend at home, I took the pictures that you see on this blog post. The photos feature a bunch of things that I use everyday: a calendar, my computer, a perfume, plus the LIFTACTIV vitamin C brightening skin corrector.

Every time I receive a product from Vichy, I try it out on my complexion. I also take the time to research the product and its ingredients. I don’t let myself spend money senselessly. I read the product reviews, what other people say about the product, and I examine each and every ingredient that the product is made of. I make sure I know what they can really do for me and why I need them. In other words, stay informed and use a product consciously.

This time Vichy sent me the LIFTACTIV vitamin C brightening skin corrector in a small bottle with a dropper that contains 15% pure Vitamin C + vitamin E.  It is paraben, alcohol and fragrance free and promises to deliver clinically proven results. It’ll leave you with a brighter and firmer skin in just 10 days.

So, I am going to use this little bottle for the next 10 days that I will be at home. As for you? My advice is the same as my previous blog posts: Always remember there is no magical cream that will do magic on your skin. It’s up to you to take care of yourself, don’t stress too much, choose a healthy lifestyle, use a high quality product and see your skin shine every morning.

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In collaboration with Vichy 

 

At home with my Essenza mini

At home with my Essenza mini

At home with my Essenza mini
At home with my Essenza mini
 

At home with my Essenza mini

At home with my Essenza mini
At home with my Essenza mini
 

At home with my Essenza mini

At home with my Essenza mini
At home with my Essenza mini
 

Exactly one year ago I moved into a small apartment on my own. In the beginning, it felt kinda of weird having to fit all my stuff in a 30qm apartment. But I tried to see the bright side and find ways to make things work out.

Moving into a smaller apartment is not necessarily a bad thing. It was for sure an experience that has taught me a lot. It taught me the importance of simplicity and minimalism. I learned to live with less, to say good bye to useless things I had gathered over the years, and keep only the essentials.

For example, when I first moved in, the previous tenant had left a huge kitchen table in the small apartment. Getting rid of this big table for four and replacing it with a table for two made a huge positive difference to the apartment. The table for two definitely fits better in the living room. Almost all of the things that you find in my apartment needs to fit two criteria: mini and essential. Regarding the style, I keep things simple and minimalistic. And regarding color, I keep them mostly white with a few black, gold and pink details.

I have never posted any photos of my new little apartment on this online photography space of mine. This changed when Nespresso sent me the Essenza mini coffee machine!. As you can see from the photos, it is smaller than a vase with roses. Nespresso’s smallest and cutest machine fits in my apartment perfectly! Like many of you that resides in the city, living space is often limited. Yet we coffee lovers can’t live without our coffee! Thanks to Nespresso at home, space is no longer an issue. You can put the Nespresso Essenza mini just about anywhere. Coffee lovers rejoice!

One week ago, I gave 3 options to my IG friends on Stories and asked them where to place the coffee machine in the apartment. Now, the ultra-light and ultra-compact Essenza mini sits nicely on my round side table next to the window. I don’t think it will move from there anytime soon, unless I move out from this apartment.

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In a collaboration with Nespresso

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