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

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Cheap scarf storage solution

 Do you also have that problem where your scarfs just fly around everywhere? No matter where you put them, they always end up in the way. Finding a place for my scarfs has long been on my to-do-list. I wanted a way that made them very easily accesible, yet still out of the way.
The other day while walking through the stores I found the solution: 


There you can see them peeking from behind the wardrobe.


I got this little kitchen helper with hooks for spoons and the like at the Euro-Store (Dollar Store) and knew I had found just what I needed.
I attached it to the hidden side of our wardrobe. That way you can´t see the scarfs from most angles in the room, and they can be stored away neatly.


I found this among the kitchen supplies but it is just perfect to put away scarfs.


Do you have smart ideas for organizing your scarfs?

Linked up here:
- Tuesday´s Treasures

Sunday, January 1, 2012

It´s time for resolutions ...

First up ... a happy new year to everybody outhere. I hope all of you had good switch over to the new year and that it will bring many positive changes.

I have been thinking for a while about things I will try to improve this year and figured I would break into down in to several categories:

1. Blogging:
- Write more professional posts with better pictures and more detailed descriptions. When looking back at my posts from the past, I realized I need to work a lot on my pics. Many of my posts are rather short and I would like to learn how to potograph better.

2. Health:
- I gained some weight since our move to Germany and getting back on track seems a good resolution for me. I was missing many of the foods I could´t get in the States and since our return I have been eating way too much. So my task will be to get back to eating healthy portions and running. Wish me luck on that one.

3. Family:
- I think in this category I will just try to continue to be as good of a mother as I can be for my family.