Thursday, October 4, 2012

Random Tiny Home Improvements

I often do weird domestic things on a day off and yesterday was no different (holidays on a Wednesday are weird, by the way. You get essentially two Mondays and two Fridays to your work week when really, it'd be better to just give us the whole week off to celebrate German Reunification, am I right?). Micha was only around for half the day (poor guy had to leave for Munich to go to Oktoberfest with his company. My tiny violin is playing a wee tune for him...) so I got up to what I usually get up to when I have the place to myself: opened a bottle of wine, turned on Hulu, and starting reorganizing random things around the apartment that didn't really need it but also kind of did.

First off: new binder labels. A couple years ago, I got giddy about the fact that you could put all sorts of cool pictures on the sides of those ugly two-pronged binders that all Germans have no less than two shelves worth of - seriously, I have no idea how they have so many papers to organize into so many separate categories - and went a little bit crazy ordering said sticker labels from Amazon and applying them to all of our folders (yes, half of which are mine now and they mostly hold about three pieces of paper in each but hey, I try to blend in where I can). Fast forward a couple years and I finally realized, with some not-so-subtle commentary from Micha who, and I quote, "hated those stupid stickers," that they were starting to make our office side of the guest room look a wee bit crazypants.

It was just starting to be a lot of color and pattern for such a small space. The ugly mismatching bookshelves don't help but that's a battle for another day.

So after strongly considering using some of my chalkboard contact paper - my favorite obsession - I rationally decided that white would be a better color there and opted for some whiteboard contact paper. I do love erasable labels. Somehow the thought of putting permanents words on the sides of those ugly binders just doesn't sit well with me. Et voilĂ .

If I had at all decent handwriting, these would look a lot cooler

Before and after - not perfect, but an improvement, most certainly

Next, to continue my whiteboard kick, I realized/remembered - four years after having built our kitchen from scratch - that our backsplash was actually from the office section of Ikea and in reality, should be used for whiteboard purposes. Enter my new recipe/measurement-conversion/random-greeting board:

I used to keep my cups-to-grams measurement conversion papers (a necessity when baking abroad) on two tiny little note papers hung on the oven lid/backsplash thingy with a magnet, even after an accident involving the oven steam vent somewhat mangled them. The temperature and butter conversions alone have sufficed for me for a surprisingly long time, but I'll be happy to add more soon to my new list.

The only remaining conversion units left from my sad little lists, soon to be added to.

And finally (something that involves no whiteboard markers!), two trips to Ikea and two broken frames later (that we still have yet to replace), I got one of the three new posters I ordered from framed and hung on the wall, with a bit of elbow grease and only a tiny amount of blood (of course).

Micha refers to it as our National Socialist propaganda print. Not exactly what I was going for...

Those two aren't going to stay together forever. One of the other prints fits better with my awesome These are Things LA map but hey, this was the first one I framed and if I left it laying around too long, I think we all know by now that the frame wouldn't have lasted more than a couple days before mysteriously toppling over and breaking to pieces all by itself

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