Saturday, June 23, 2012

Ikea Updates

I was so excited when I saw that Ikea updated their color scheme on the Kassett storage options, so I thought I´d share with you.

You can see, that they are now also offering black, dark pink, and tan options.

I am loving these.

And for those patiently waiting for apartment updates: Things went a little slower than planned around here, but I am looking at decent sized apartments tomorrow, and will hopefully move by that week.

And then, the decorating can begin ( * so excited by the way).

Today at Ikea, I started out with a whole bunch of additional cooking and baking supplies, plates, and more.

I also got some basic bathroom supplies and will show all of you soon soon :)

Happy Sunday!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Room for Teens/Tweens

When I saw this capize-chandy in a local store´s weekly add, I thought immediately how nicely it could be incorporated into a teen or tween girl´s room.

With this as my starting point, I started creating yet another moodboard incorporating a color scheme of olive green, apricot, purple, pink and light gray.

Immediately, I remembered these toss pillows which happen to have the same color scheme.

So, here is without further ado, my room board for a teen or tween girl which is girly and fun, but not overly so:

The curtain panels, blinds, table lamp, mirror, night stand, purple blanket and wall art are all Ikea. The white headboard could be DIY. The rug was from google images, and I am not sure where to find something like this. As for the dresser - this could be easily found on craigslist and refinished. The slipper chair was also from google images.

Since this room is so very colorful, going with a neutral taupish gray would be the way to go.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A Laundry Room Moodboard

With some free-time on hand I started dreaming up a cute little laundry room space:

1. All of the items on this moodboard can be found at Ikea and are very reasonably priced.
2. The wall color is Benjamine Moore´s Wind Chime

What do you think?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

DIY Recipe Box


Yey, today ít´s finally Pinterest Challenge Time over at Young House Love, Bower Power and 2 other blogs. I am so excited to see all of the great projects completed all over blog-world.

First up, here is what I have been pinning recently:


Yep. Recipe Boxes. Many years ago, I sat down and created a recipe binder for all of my recipes.


But over the years, it ended up more like this:


Every time I found a recipe online, I would print it out and stick it in the front. So something had to be done here.

With improvement in mind I went on pinterest to see how others stored their recipes. Seing all of those pretty recipe boxes, I decided that this was what I needed in order to organize my recipe situation.

I already had index cards, and only needed some type of container or box to hold my recipe collection (with enough space for it to grow). At the $-Store (or since I am in Germany the EUR-Store) I found the right item.


A cheap light green basket (picture is not true to color), that was the perfect size for my index cards.
At home I grabbed my scrapbook paper and started tracing out divider cards on some dark green cardstock.


I used a small nail polish bottle to trace on tabs as well.


I cut out my dividers and made sure they fit.


Next, I used the white portion of the my scraps, to create lables to go on the divider tabs….


… and attached them with the white side up on the dividers.


Then I decided I also wanted to label the recipe box itself, so I took yet some more scraps and worked on that.


I used Jute to attach this label to the front of my recipe box.


And finally I started copying my loose recipes onto those index cards. That will probably take me a couple of nights. However, even if I should get lazy at some point and I can still cut whatever I wrote or printed a recipe on to size and just stick it in the box.


So, what do you think? Isn´t this better than my previous overstuffed recipe binder?


At least, now I have quite some space for new recipes ….

Linked up here:

- Tuesday´s Treasures

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Organizing my "Office"

Last month, I shared how I was able to update our main living-room/bed-room/office to include a functional work area using my childhood desk.

This was working much better than what I had before, but the organzer in me wanted to go a step further. Since I am using the desk drawers as dresser replacement and the space behind the door as storage for diapers, I didn´t really have a lot of space to put away paper-work, office supplies, and cables.

So on Sunday while over at my parent´s house, I remembered a little desk-top organizer with drawers, which I had purchased at Ikea about 15 years ago or so.

You have probably seen these before. However, I am not sure though whether they are still being sold at stores.

Once I cleaned out the drawers (there was my make-up from 15 years ago in some of those drawers - yuck!!!) I got crafty.

I made a template and then cut out 4 copies of the template on pretty paper.

Late Night Project - So I have bad pictures again.
Next, I attached my cut-to-size paper to the drawers using spray adhesive.

Within half an hour of work, I was able to put my newly decorated drawers in place and to start re-organizing my desk.

See, now I have a space for my notebook cable, the cell phone adapter and a few other cables I use frequently. This is perfect spot for keeping them out of sight, but easily reachable.

I made simple lables for each drawer and put them into the designated slots.

What I like about the drawer organizer  is, that it gives me storage space on two levels. One to hide stuff and one to show off stuff. Perfect.

Now, I would love to paint it white but that will have to be for another month, since paint is not in the budget. Same goes for the desk by the way. Plus, I am not going to attempt painting furniture for the moment, since we have a beautiful -14 C outside (6.8 F). No way I am going to paint furniture with such pretty temperatures, lol.

As for the budget, this project cost me nothing. The drawer unit was mine from many years ago, I already had the scrapbook-paper and I also already had the glue.

Linked up here:

- Before and After Party
- Tuesday´s Treasures

Friday, February 3, 2012

Navy and Lime Living Room

I´ve realized, that lately I was looking up a lot of decor items and rooms incorporating navy and lime green. I just love how fresh and inviting this color combination can be.

Since I love to create mood boards, I went with the living room in navy and lime this time.

Here you go:

  1. I started my board around this rug from Overstock. The trellis design is just gorgeous and very contemporary.
  2. This arm chair from Ikea tucked into the room´s corner could be part of a great reading nook.
  3. I decided to go with the Ektorp sofa (also from Ikea), as many people have raved about its comfort level. The Lack coffee table is also from Ikea and has space below to add a basket for the controls and other odds and ends.
  4. In order to bring in some lime green I chose this pillow from an Etsy seller and these curtains from B,B&B.
  5. A set of navy toss pillows from Target completes the assortment of textiles.
  6. To bring in some lighting I thought that a tripod lamp, such as the one in the picture, would look great.
  7. The blue and grellow wall art from Target pulls all the colors in the room together.
  8. The large white TVstorage unit is also from Ikea and provides lots of open and closed storage. Decorative vases and candles in the color scheme as well as books and family pictures in pretty frames will all look great in here.
  9. For the reading nook, I added another floor lamp from Ikea.
  10. Finally, for the walls I added a neutral beige color (such as Glidden´s Water Chestnut). 
 What do you think of this mood board, and the navy/lime green color combination?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Yummy Cinnamon Rolls - Superleckere Zimtschnecken

Last month, I tried a new cinnamon roll recipe from and I just had to share this with you. Since making them the first time, my family has begged me pretty much every week to make another batch.

They take about 1 hour and a half to make. The dough is a dream to work with and the result ist just delicious.

I added a little bowl of vanilla pudding as I am not a fan of icing. Anyways, here is the recipe in case anybody is interested in trying these out:

Cinnamon Rolls
(Deutsche Anleitung weiter unten)


  • 3/4 cup milk (180 ml Milch)
  • 1/4 cup margarine, softened (50 g Margarine)
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (400 g Mehl)
  • 1 (.25 ounce) package instant yeast (1 Päkchen Trockenhefe)
  • 1/4 cup white sugar (50 g Zucker)
  • 1/4 cup water (60 ml Wasser)
  • 1 egg (1 Ei)
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed (220 g brauner Zucker)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon (2 EL Zimt)
  • 1/2 cup margarine, softened (100 g Margarine)
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional) (80 g Rosinen - nach belieben)


  1. Heat the milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles, then remove from heat. Mix in margarine; stir until melted. Let cool until lukewarm.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 1/4 cup flour, yeast, and sugar; mix well. Add water, egg and the milk mixture; beat well. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition (the dough will get pizza doough consistency). If needed add a little more flour. When the dough has just pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes.
  3. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, cinnamon, softened margarine.
  4. Roll out dough into a 12x9 inch rectangle. Spread dough with margarine/sugar mixture. Sprinkle with raisins if desired. Roll up dough and pinch seam to seal. Cut into 12 equal size rolls and place cut side up in 12 lightly greased muffin cups. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until browned. Remove from muffin cups to cool. Serve warm (Be careful to put another baking tray below the rectangle as some of the melted sugar will drip down into the oven).
Don´t eat too many as these are dangerously good :)
  1. Milch erhitzen, vom Herd nehmen, Margarine einrühren bis diese geschmolzen ist; Topf zur Seite stellen.
  2. In großer Rührschüssel 200g Mehl mit Hefe und Zucker mischen. Wasser, Ei und Margarinemischung dazu geben. Rühren.
  3. Nach und nach das restliche Mehl unterrühren. Teig dann auf bemehlter Fläche mit der Hand weitere 5 Minuten gut durchkneten (Teig sollte Pizzateigkonsistenz haben). Gegebenenfalls etwas Mehl dazu.
  4. Den Teig mit feuchtem Tuch bedecken und 10 Minuten ruhen lassen.
  5. In der Zwischenzeit Margarine mit braunem Zucker und Zimt mischen.
  6. Den Teig auf der bemehlten Fläche in ein Rechteck ausrollen und mit der Zimtmischung besteichen. Dann aufrollen und in ca. 12 Stücke schneiden.
  7. Stückchen auf der Seite in eine gefettete und gemehlte Backform oder Muffinförmchen legen. Weitere 30 Minuten ruhen lassen.
  8. Zimtschnecken auf mittlerer Stufe bei 190 C ca. 20 - 25 Minuten backen und dann warm servieren. (Vorsicht: Die Zimtschnecken tropfen ein bisschen, also Backblech unter die Backform schieben damit der Ofen nicht dreckig wird!)
Aufpassen! Zimtschnecken machen süchtig!

Friday, January 27, 2012


With a little time on my hands, I played around with fashion mood board sides.

I decided to go with light pinkish colors and see what I could come up with for a going-out-outfit and a casual outfit.

I like the flirty fun of the going-out-outfit.

The second outfit is very versatile. It could be used as is to go to the mall or to go to a fun brunch with friends. Dressed up with a pair of pumps it could be used for work.

What do you think?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

DIY-ing a Cash Envelope System

I decided it was time to actually start the whole cash-envelope-process. I have learned about the system many years ago, but I just continued my old method of getting an amount of cash from the ATM and getting more when the money was gone.

Trying to be creative, I started thinking about a DIY method that could be used to create an envelope system for almost free instead of spending $ 20.00 to buy one.

First up, I decided on making my own envelopes by using a template (there are thousands of envelope templates available online).

I grabbed my block of scrapbook paper (which comes in either a more durable or a more flexible quality). Using my template, I scetched 4 envelopes on the backside of my paper, cut them out and assembled them using double-sided tape (that was a late-night project, so sorry for the kind of dark pictures).

In the end, I had 4 envelopes that could have been my new system. However, I wasn´t convinced that my creation was very practical. The envelopes were rather complicated to open and close and I had a feeling that they would be falling apart very soon.

That´s not good for something supposed to hold my money.

I just knew right away that I wasn´t going to use something this impractical for more than a few days.
Either I would loose patience, or the envelopes would start to fall apart.

So, off I went searching for another idea.

This time, I figured out how eaxactly the system would be most convenient for me and easiest to use.

A few of the points  I considered were these:

1) The envelopes had to be easy to use.
2) I wanted them to become part of my wallet, so the size had to be right.
3) I wanted them to have an opening at either the side or the top for money to come out easily.
4) I wanted something made from a nice material.

After some thinking I decided on (again using my pretty scrap-booking paper) creating a system consisting of pockets that were attached to each other and open on one side .

Here is how I created my very first cash management system:

First up I decided on the size ( in my case 8 x 14 cm) and drew a template on the back side of my pretty paper.

Above you can see 2 of such templates. I cut them out to make sure they were working they way I had imagined.

Next, I cut out all the needed templates. I wanted 7 pockets in total. Therefore I needed 7 of the basic templates and one that would become the cover (as I will show in a minute).

Then it was time to start assembling. After deciding on the order of my different paper designs, I started with the first 2 templates to create pocket numer 1.

First, I attached the white portion (1) to the equivalent side on the green portion.

Next, I attached the sides (2) to the not seen side of the green paper.

Then I repeated these 2 steps to create the remaining pockets.

Then, I started working on my cover-template. Here is the shape I drew for that purpose.

I figured, I would need some space for the bottom portion of my pockets (kind of like in a book).

Once trying to assemble everything, I realized that the bottom flap (the one labeled " 1 " above), was a bit in the way. I just decided on cutting most of it of.

Then I attached the cover template to my creation.

Next, I cut deviders in the top so access to the different pockets would be easy. Here is how it looked in my wallet at that point.

Last, I labeled them so I would be able to find the right pocket quickly when at the store purchasing something.

Now, I am anscious to put this creation to use. Hopefully this works the way I am imagining it to work.

Either way. I spent nothing on this divider-system which is good. As for the coins, I figured as long as I bring receipts for every purchase, I will be able to keep track of them.

Now on to succesful cash budgeting.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Ideas for small spaces and small budgets ...

I thought I could start writing about smart solutions for small spaces and small budgets when I come upon great ideas.

The first one I am going to share is probably not new to most of you:


For a year or two, I have seen e-Readers on the market and have always dismissed them as an unnecessary gadget. I have always loved reading books and a reader just didn´t seem to fulfill the image of getting comfy on the couch with a cup of tea and reading a good book. Therefore, while living still in the USA, I purchased lots of books, taking up lots of space in our shelves.


Before our big move, I sold most of them on eBay, and decided to bring only my very favorites with me. The next couple of months I rarely purchased a book for the fear of getting our small living space cluddered to the extreme.

Then came Christmas-time, and my family was so nice to give me a Kindle reader as a Christmas-gift.
I needed only a few moments to realize how this was going to help in my current dilemma - a love for reading, but no space for books.


As a daily reader of´s great budgeting side, I also realized very soon that there is almost everyday a free e-Book deal to be had.

Most of the time, the deals won´t last for a long time, but I have been able to get almost 10 free books (about 1 a day), since I started paying attention to her free e-Book announcements.

Here you can find a few examples of past free e-Books:

- Organized Simplicity(Tsh Oxenreider)
- Produce, Publish, Publicize (Sabrina Sumsion)
- Fast, easy and delicious recipes for gluten-free breakfasts (Suzanne Leonard)
- Absolutely organize your family (Debbie Lillard)
- Healthy Children´s Lunches (Mandi Francis)

If you check on Amazon you may find some of these still for free.

Many of the books posted are how-to guides, recipes collections or seasonal books.
Personally, I have gotten to enjoy a different book ever other night - and that for free.

So if you always need new things to read, but have no space or money for all of those books, you can consider an e-Reader at some point in time. Then you just need to be on the lookout for free books to read on it.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

My tiny home office and craft space

 As I have mentioned before, we are still in a temporary living arrangment sporting all of 1 room to house our master, my son´s room, living room and office. That´s a lot of functions for a small space.
Besides that we have a small kitchen and bathroom. Today´s post will show a little more of how I organized my home office and crafting area. 


Here it is. The desk is my childhood desk, which I got from my parent´s basement. It still needs some work but I´ll get to that in time.
I  have that green Ikea storage box, which houses all our dearest pictures (the ones that made the cut to be brought to Germany on our international move). The blue magazine organizer holds all of the stuff that needs to be worked on or filed.


For now, we don´t have too much paperwork, so this is sufficient. Once we add to our collection of files I will return to using the same system I got used in the US.


On the other side, I put one of the decorative frames which I created last fall and jute-wrapped letter.


Behind the notebook, I placed a small blue basket from the Euro-Store. We use this to hold wallets, and odds and ends that tend to accumulate on a desk. I also place pencils and something to write on in this little basket.


The slim wardrobe to the left of our desk used to be part my parent´s entry way furniture. As they no longer needed it, they gave it to me to house part of our clothes. Until me move to a bigger place, this serves it´s purpose with a little bit of organization.


The top shelves are all reserved for our clothes, but the bottom two shelves are used as “filing cabinet”.


As you can see, I placed envelopes, my cookbook-binder, my scrap-book-paper, a box with an assortment of cables, DVDs, and two expandable organizing folders in these two shelves.
It´s amazing that this is pretty much all the paperwork we had to bring with us from the USA. And it sure is great not to need a lot of space for all of this.
The cabinet can be looked with a key, which I store on top of it. That way, my son won´t try to make a mess in there.
As for the desk´s drawers: Those house my son´s scarves, hats and gloves …


… my son´s socks ….


… and my socks:


As you can see, I use all black socks. That makes sorting much easier and whenever there are a few socks I had to sort out because of wear and tear, I can go to H&M and get a new pack for only very little money.
Finally, the door of the desk doesn´t house more files or anything like that, but rather my son´s diapering supplies and when not in use the notebook-adapter.


I decided on switching portions of the wardrobe and desk functions with the purpose of making this space as kid-friendly as possible.
There is not much, my son can do to drawers full of socks other than make a mess. With paperwork, that is a completely different story, Therefore I decided to assign some of the lockable wardrobe space as office shelving.
As for the crafting: Any project can be completed at the desk. Most of my supplies I stored in a sealable small container that is hidden away from toddler view. Since we don´t have a lot of space available, I only allowed myself to have that box worth of supplies. That way I can prevent that things get to crowded in here.
So there you have it. An introduction on our tiny yet functional office and craft space. Maybe it will give some of you ideas on what to do with your own tiny spaces.

Linked up here:
- Thrifty Decor Chick - Office and Craft Space Party