coffee. that’s it.

theres nothing more enjoyable than a cup of coffee at a place that is supposed to make you comfortable. I do have several “coffee places” around the house. Places I can sip my coffee in pondering silence and think about plans, ideas or do what I am doing now. writing and journaling.

I’ve upholstered that bench, which I bought at the thrift store back in Lincoln, Nebraska. As this has been my first upholstering project I needed to take this piece with me  home to Austria. Wondering where it has been before or whom it belonged to. 

Today I’ve given the white and blank wall a little more color by painting it with the color hagueblue from Farrow&Ball. 

Enjoy your coffee!



the French connection

Coming back home from France with my youngest kid I am realizing once again what a great gift it is to have grandparents and family living abroad. As long as I can remember it has always been an adventure to visit my French family. My first flight as a 3 year old (yes, in the early 80’s) was from Vienna to Paris. Obviously things have changed since then, but it is still as exciting for me to see my grandparents waiting for me at the airport.

Having my little one with me, and seeing him diving into French culture and claiming only after 5 days that he’s half French made me happy. A peek into our days filled with laughter, joy, tears and dreams.















Au revoir et à bientôt,


A “Kaiserwetter” day

Yesterday morning we had “Kaiserwetter”. An expression for a magnificent, sunny day. Skip everything you wanted to do, put on your winter clothes and go take your family skiing or sledding. Only a 2 minutes drive for enough snow and a perfect view made my morning a fun and sweet one. The village Giesshübel is just a view miles south of Vienna. It´s situated at the Nationalpark “Föhrenberge” and one of my favorites spots in this area, no matter what season.

See you ´round! Servus & Baba,

the Austrian Walnut Project – Melanie

The seasons in Giesshübel / Lower Austria  – read more on Nationalpark Föhrenberge

Did leaving home change you?

After an endless summer it seemed that I had finally arrived at home in Austria … until I visited Nebraska this fall.

Not only was it great to be back, it made me realize how much I’ve been missing that place in the Midwest.

I haven’t been writing for a while, …. it just didn’t feel right. Reconnecting does take time and patience. I needed time to understand:

Although I would have never expected so,

I am still connected with Nebraska.

( I’m taking part in the DPP 2014 by #dpp2014 Day 1: Photo of the day: homemade Banana walnut bread on a Nebraska cutting board on December 1st 2014 – I love baking during Christmas time)


wild ride in South Dakota



001 native american -  the people of the big voice

Talking to friends and family I got asked about our favourite moments in the US a lot.  This is my first post on my top 10+1 moments in the US and it is about time to write about my first experienced culture shock and how it turned out to be an unique experience. We arrived in the midst of an humid and hot month of July. After our first couple of days in Nebraska, my husband appeared out of nowhere with the idea to drive to the Badlands over the weekend. Promptly we packed our things and our 3 kids into our newly bought family van and drove up to South Dakota.  What a contrary experience to drive along those Interstates and Highways. Yes, indeed we got borred after several hours of driving and stopped somewhere along Sioux Falls. Running inside Walmarts and there it was that insecure, unpleasant and lonesome feeling that suddenly stroke me. Sitting inside Walmarts, feeding my kids at McDonalds. Culture Shock.

002 he was happy1


I had to leave and simply keep on driving and adjust to my new surroundings. I realized that I am far from what I called home. We hit I90 and there was this picture infront of me that many of Europeans most likely have in mind when thinking about the Midwest. We ran into famous Sturgis Harley Davidson Motorcycle Rally.  What a neat experience. Our car ride turned out to be a lot more fun looking at all those Harley´s and it´s creative owners!  




By the time we stopped at the Badlands Nationalpark my breath was finally taken away and I ve starred at something that seemed a diffrent world.


It was truly beautiful and turned out to be one of my favourite moments in the US. Breathtaking! I arrived. 


005 Badlands1



5 Walnuts for: the famous pit stop: WALL DRUG STORE – read more about it here!


5 Walnuts for the Crazy Horse Monument, located in the Black Hills in South Dakota . It is gigantic and Crazy Horse´s head is bigger than it´s “little neighbor” Mount Rushmore. An amazing story and great exhibition!

WALL pit stopWALL drug storecrazy horse





the simple act of walking

…. there´s nothing more simple than a walk to clear your mind, to breath,  ….


I took the time to explore a bit more of the magnificient district of Mödling.  Driving along the Naturepark Föhrenberge I parked my car next to a house where once Franz Grillparzer (Austrian writer) lived and took a steep path up to the “SCHWARZER TURM” (a ruin built in 1809). What I find is pure beauty. The view of the valley of the Naturepark and the town of Mödling with its 140 years old aqueduct.  

Here are some of my impressions. Pure joy,  on a rainy and gloomy day.