Category Archives: Budget Living

Countdown Cont… Post 3- A little Balcony TLC

Thanks to the beautiful weather, I was inspired to finally get some work done on the balcony! ๐Ÿ™‚ Luckily, as its Saturday, I had Sascha’s help so I didn’t have to lift anything. We actually spent under 100 โ‚ฌ on the entire thing and it really makes a big difference! Here is a before photo (another blank canvas pretty much):

Pretty much bare...
Pretty much bare…

And, because I think it is important to show photos in progress, here is us doing the prep work and taking a break in-between! ๐Ÿ™‚

Balcony Set Up Collage


Surprisingly, the actually work didn’t take long. We spent about 2 hours total setting up all the plants, adding fresh soil, clean up, etc. The part that took forever was the shopping. Saturday mornings, as the shops are closed in Germany on Sunday, is NOT FUN. Some helpful tips to remember:

  1. Remember to bring an old blanket or towel with you when you go shopping so you don’t ruin the interior of your car. Even though we specially had a box, soil still went everywhere all over the blanket.
  2. Someone (maybe my mother or father?) once told me to take bar soap and scratch your fingernails on it before you start. Then, when you wash your hands later, the dirt comes out easily. Genius tip ๐Ÿ™‚
  3. You wouldn’t think something so small like adding an Herb Garden or even a few pots of flowers makes a big difference but it does. You feel so good once you are done. We literally just sat outside for an extra hour smiling and enjoying the smells of all the fresh herbs. So peaceful and worth every penny spent.

Here is a shabby panoramic photo of the end result ๐Ÿ™‚ I still need to add accessoriesย but for two hours of work I am feeling pretty good about it! Basics are at least done!

Pano! Balkon!


Countdown Cont… Post 2- Priority is all on the Nursery

Everyone has forewarned me that once Baby H comes everything else goes on the back burner. Well, case in point that has already started to happen in our household and he is not even here yet. Because of the move, I am still not done setting everything up (I feel like I will never be done)! But what I can proudly say is the nursery is coming around beautifully! I am really into the color teal in the moment ๐Ÿ™‚ Our bedroom not so much.

Baby H’s Reading Corner (doubles as Guest Bed).

Compared to our bedroom which looks like a very plain white canvas in the moment! ๐Ÿ˜›

Very Plain White Bedroom in the Moment.
Very Plain White Bedroom in the Moment.

As you can see, I haven’t even started in our room yet. Baby has definite priority ๐Ÿ™‚ In case anyone is interested this is the Brimnes Bed from Ikea with the headboard with built in bookshelves and bed baskets! Our room (as you can also see in the photo), is very narrow so we needed to be very smart with our storage space. So far, we are very pleased with the bed and I would recommend ย it to people with a similar bedroom layout.

At the end of the COUNTDOWN I will include a full nursery tour. ๐Ÿ™‚

Countdown begins; Post 1- Top 5 Things You Should Buy Secondhand


(Not in any particular order)

1. Furniture!– if you hunt and browse, second hand stores, eBay, craigslist, garage sales, etc. You can not only save hundreds but you often end up with a better quality more unique piece than buying new! Case in point, this Italian black leather sofa I found on an online forum:

Black Leather Sofa

I would never have been able to afford it new!

2. Books!!! All kinds. You can save hundreds & hundreds by buying used books. Both Sascha and I are avid readers, so this is one area we save a lot of money. Recently, as I have been looking to purchase children’s book second hand, I realized how much I missed one of my favorite Munich books stores, The Munich Readery. Their website is hideous but I promise popping into their store you will find something! I would also love if anyone had any great recommendations for secondhand children’s books in Berlin ๐Ÿ™‚

3. Paintings! Paintings are really hard for me to pick out. But I would say about half of the artwork we have is secondhand. With paintings, I would argue this is one of the only times to be an impulse buyer! If you see a piece you love, but are unsure, buy it anyways! Because it is very likely that within the next few hours it will not be there anymore. I did this with an awkward Picasso print, I was on the fence debating in the store for like 40 minutes whether or not to purchase it. Thankfully I did, and now it is one of my favorite pieces in the flat!

4. Vases (and other misc. deco items, like a clock)! At least in Germany, Vases are incredibly over priced. (I am not talking about Ikea or Bauhaus here). I am talking about handmade items. If you are a flower lover, like me, than second hand vases are a must! I purchased this vase for seriously 2 โ‚ฌ! It was handmade from Tuscany. Likely it would have been around 100 โ‚ฌ in the store.

Tuscan Vase


5. Clothes (especially children’s clothes)! This is the obvious one. Not only is it better for the environment but also much better for your wallet!ย Good quality baby clothes in Germany are very expensive so for finding good brands I always look for secondhand items! If anyone needs help or recommendations regarding which stores, feel free to PM me! I could go on and on otherwise in this category ๐Ÿ™‚

For those individuals who do not have to worry about budget, I would still recommend checking out some secondhand stores! I am often surprised by how many hidden treasures are out there! ๐Ÿ™‚