Mittwoch, 26. August 2009

(in)courage

What encourages You?

At many of my favorite blogs this question has been discussed last week.

The answer was easy.

My encouragement to start all over each day?? The new posts that come up on my google-reader. Stories that make me smile, burst out in laughter, nod my head in agreement, touch my heart and put my live back in perspective. Posts that worked a miracle in my life by drawing me closer to the Lord than I have been in many, many years.

Go over to (in)courage to meet some if these amazing women who truly are a blessing.

Sonntag, 2. August 2009

No-Spend-Month - Review



I can't believe four weeks are over ... 31 days on a budget.

  • We did not go hungry ...

  • we did not skip any of our favorite foods

  • we did not stay at home the hole time

  • we did not fight over the budget ... or the grocery list

NO, surprise surprise the experiment went very smooth ... honestly ... for a NO-Spend-Month too smooth and therefore Prince Charming and me decided to just continue ... living on a budget of 500 Euro per month.

What we did do for the last weeks ...

  • ... trying to find food that is on sale

  • ... driving to work together
    (which means I have to get up at 5:30 instead of 7)

  • ... preparing a lunchbox for Prince Charming and me

  • ... get creative in respect of birthday presents (we had 3 last month) instead of just rushing to the store and buy something

  • ... planning ahead

  • ... using up what we have stored in the freezer

We were spoiled, we were lazy, we just bought the things we wanted ... but we did not appreciated them. No ... not at all - and that has changed - and I am soo glad and thankful for it.
Rachel ... you and your family have been such an inspiration and we will ... maybe in January ... do a "real" No-Spend-Month ... but for now ... we will continue living frugal.

Donnerstag, 16. Juli 2009

City T(h)oursday - Garden No. 5 - 8

Wecome Back!

This week we will visit the remaining 4 "City-Gardens". I hope you enjoy the tour and let me know which garden you liked best.


Garden No. 5
Our garden combines the extremes heaven and hell and the elements fire, earth, water and air.
The arrangement of the garden reflects the color schemes of fire and earth: red – for example the leaves of the maple – and orange which are cozy and passionate. Materials such as the black glass, steel and ceramics set a course. Air and water will corrode the steel over the years … and the sandstone would have never been formed without high pressure in connection with temperature

A sunlounger invites the visitors to let his eyes wander across the sky and to be reminded that everything depends on the point of view.


Garden No. 6

Although even on earth the connection between heaven and hell cannot be brought along – the landscapers try to show the pros and cons.
In heaven one can find rest areas to relax and rest. Flowers delight with their blossoms and green.
In hell there are no rest areas and sharp and craggy materials in dark colors are not very inviting.


Garden No. 7

The boardwalk forms the center line of this garden. And together with the water it is a focal point.

A heavenly place where one can relax and enjoy the nature has been created here.

Garden No. 8
This garden portrays a copse – which was a holy place with charisma and or ravishing beauty in the ancient world. The huge vase which is placed in the garden is used as a fountain. In the Renaissance vases were a symbol for hell and by placing the vase in a spring – which should mark the entrance to hell – this has been pointed out again.
The pergola frames the sky and the blooming flowers and fructiferous trellis reflect the temptations of life.


Next week I will continue the walk through the City and show you some tourist attractions. Keep your fingers crossed that there is at least one fine day next week, as I need to take the pictures I want to post.

Hope to see you next week.

Dienstag, 14. Juli 2009

New Blog Design

Lisa of Stop and Smell the Chocolates got a new blog design and I reallylike it.

I wasn't happy with my design since some time therefore I hoped over to The cutest blog on the blocks and were just amazed by all their different backgrounds. After some trying I found these sweet butterflies and heart them. What do you think?

Go over to Lisas blog and have a look at her new design - the new header is awesome.

Have a blessed Tuesday.

Montag, 13. Juli 2009

Monday



This post is linked to Motivate Me Monday - hop over and be have a great Monday.

Freitag, 10. Juli 2009

German Apple pie

Last week I made an Apple pie and usually Prince Charming is not soo keen about eating pie but this one ... he almost aet by himself.

He begged me to make another one and therefore this morning the kitchen

(and the rest of the house) was filled with a wonderful scent. I just love the smell of freshed baked goods.

And as the apple slices were simmering on the stove I decided to do pancakes for breakfast. YUMMY.
What a nice way to start a Sunday which we intend to spend on the couch as the weather is aweful.

Rainy and only 63 F brrr - our summer is definetly taking a break.

Donnerstag, 9. Juli 2009

City T(h)oursday

I am exited to welcome you to my second Citytour.

This week you won't see a typical tourist attraction ... I picked out something special.
From mid May until mid June eight landscapers each put up a small garden in the city. The garden had to reflect the theme "Heaven 'n' Hell".

Let's have a look at what they came up with:


Garden No. 1:
Dark materials, which are affected by fire and ash, dominate the hostile area of hell with dead plants and backwater.
The bright area in white and blue reflects the sky and the elixir light. Blooming flowers show vitality and the olive trees symbolize peace.

Garden No. 2:
“Voltaire: God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.”

The “Divine Comedy” by Dante Alighieri inspired us for the design of this garden. The dull path to the “other side” is planted with plants like Aralia elata (because in Germany it’s called “cane of devil” – please don’t ask me why) and devil’s-bit scabious (Succisa pratensis). It leads through the funnel-shaped circles of hell, over the rocks of the Mountain of Purgatory to the paradise.
Those who do not want to take the burdensome path can cleanse themselve from sin under the shower in the basin of indulgence and enter the paradise with a clean record. (Our expression for “clean record” translated word by word would be “white vest”).



Garden No. 3:
In this Garden the fine (white) line between heaven and hell is shown. The dark paving displays hell and a variety of red elements symbolize different kind of sins. The border made of granite with its sharp edges is meant to be an indication for the hard to achieve forgiveness.
In the contrary heaven is created with soft materials such as beach sand as well as soil to allow you to enjoy your stay. The “water” is shown by bits of broken blue glass and has been built as a closed system and therefore reflects the circuit of fortune and well-being. Different kind of plants emphasize this feeling.

Garden No. 4:
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death … (Psalm 23:4 NIV)
On the way to heaven dark stones and red colored tree trunks reflect hell in its dreariness.

The LORD will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty (5. Mose 28:12 NIV)
The border of the boardwalk is planted with flowers and in the middle a reflecting surface mirrors the sky.
So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. (1. Corinther 3:7 NIV)



Which one did you like best so far? Leave a comment and let me know.

We have 4 more to see but we'll do this next time.
Have a great Thursday and see you next week!!

Mittwoch, 8. Juli 2009

No-Spend-Month - First Review

First weeks review:
(When comparing prices please keep in mind that we live in Germany)

Our first week has not been as tough as we thought but it wasn't easy either.
We did OK for the first week.

Our budget for a week is 113,75 Euro.

We had to fill up Prince Charming's car with car which added up to 40 Euro.
Then we went over to a friends house on night for barbeque as the weather was great last week. I offered to bring the meat (marinaded pork and beef) as Prince Charming and I were heading there right from work. I paid 16 Euro for 12 pieces of meat plus 10 sausages. We could even take some left-overs home and put them in the freezer.

We also did some grocery shopping.
In total we paid 113,74 Euro. (whooohoo, we were ONE cent under our budget)


What I learned this week:
Over the last years we really got used to just buy what we see - regardless of the price (in regard to groceries). And most time we did not even look at the offers. That has changed.



I got 5 pounds of apricots as well as 5 pounds of peaches for each 2.99 - and made some jars of jam. JUMMY

I'm looking forward to week 2.

Donnerstag, 2. Juli 2009

City T(h)oursday

Welcome to Bremen!

My name is Nimmi and from this Thursday on I'll be your tourguide and invite you to join me on a short Citytour. I know that you guys are always short of time therefore I will keep the walks quick. There are lots of places I wanna show you, lots of stories I wanna tell you. So com'on let's go.

Bremen is a charming city located in the North of Germany. With it's 1200 years of history the city can sure tell many stories and has lots of interesting places to offer.


The townhall as well as the 'Roland' are listed in the "Unesco world heritage list". The 'Schnorr' a maze of lanes lined with cute little houses is a great escape from the 'real' world. The houses are set very close together like pearls on a string and walking through the lanes feels like stepping into a long past century. Give me some time and you will get to see many details. There is the biblical garden behind the "Dom" - a fantastic retreat from the busy city. The 'Böttcherstreet' with more architecture to see and I have a special tour in mind showing you many religious signs which can be found in rather unexpected places.

But for today I start with the famous 'Bremer musicians'. Many of you porabably now the story of the "Bremer musicians" - a story written by the brothers Grimm. If you are among the very few which haven't heard of this story you can read here.

I have to admit that so most visitors are a bit disappointed when they get to see the statue in reality as it is rather small. But something one shouldn't miss.


I hope you enjoyed the first tour of my city and I would love to see you again next week.

Dienstag, 30. Juni 2009

No-spend-month - count us in

Rachel of SmallNotebook is doing a no spend month in July and boy, reading about it really got me thinking.
So last night the Prince and I review our budget for the month of July and decided to cut our spendings for gas, groceries and all the little personal wishes down to 500 for the next 31 days.

As we just got a new car 5 days ago which we partially paid with a bank loan we decided to pay this annoying loan back already this month instead of the originally agreed next 24 months.

Rachel, I am so thankful for the encouragement your post gave us.

I will post about how we are doing over the next couple of weeks.

Mittwoch, 20. Mai 2009

Mortals, where are you? Genesis 3:9

HERE!!

Tonight you will find me (together with 250.000 other people) here:

http://www.kirchentag.de/index.php?id=home_english

I have my camera with me and can hopefully show you some pictures tomorrow.

Have a great day!

Montag, 18. Mai 2009

Momentariness

Von Blog


The grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of our God stands for ever.
(Jesaja 40;8)

These wonderful poppies are blooming in my garden at the moment and I love, love them. These beauties only last for a couple of days, sometimes only for a day but look at the color and the texture of the blossom - like silk.

Have a wonderful Monday out there.

Sarah Mae is hosting her weekly Motivate Me Monday Party and is still celebrating her blogaversary - so go over and visit her inspiring, lovely blog. It's one of my favorite.

Samstag, 25. April 2009

33 years ago ...


... I became a Child of God. To celebrate my day of baptism I ordered the cake, picked up my in-laws and we went over to my parents house for coffee. It was nice to just sit down, have a chat and enjoy the beautiful weather. Hope you all have a wonderful day too.

Mittwoch, 25. Februar 2009

Week of Kindness - Focusing on Myself


Today is Ash Wednesday and that means start of the Lent Season. From today until Easter day I will give up any kind of treats (no chocolate, no gum, no cookies, no cake). I’m doing this the third year and it really works for me. Skipping all this only works out at this time, I can not do it for any 40 days throughout the rest of the year althought I tried a a couple of times.


Besides the treats I used to choose one more thing that I would give up. 2007 I gave up TV. Couldn’t do that in 2008 as I never started watching TV again after Easter 2007 so last year I gave up my beloved Caramel Latte Macchiato. (AND that was really hard.)

This year I decided to do a journey through Gary Chapman’s book “Love as a Way of Life" on top of all that. The first chapter/week is about Kindness.

When thinking about this post I came up with many ways in how I can be kind to others. Watching my friends kids so she can have a couple of hours for herself, inviting my mom for a trip to the museum, offering my help for the “World Day of Prayer” event at my church … but as I wanted to put all this into words my mind kept wandering. I did try to focus back on the issue but … no success. So I started a new page and just let God set the words for me. And instead of focusing on others all I could come up with were ways of how I can be kind to MYSELF over the next 7 days.

Do I really have to admit loud that I have been totally reject MY needs. No sports for months (my back keeps reminding me of this fact constantly since weeks but I just ignore the pain - shame on me), quiet time for me (always something else to do). My hands haven't seen a manicure in ... well a very long time and I could go on for ever.
OK I will be especially kind to myself for the next 7 days.

Fittingly I booked a class at our aldut education centre titled: "Massage with singing bowls" I am really looking forward to it.

Yesterday I found the blog http://amysfinerthings.com/lenten-devotions. Here Amy wrote that God doesn't want our chocolate or anything else but that HE wants us. I think she is soo right.

Therefore I will add daily praying time in the morning for the next 40 days (and can join the 5:16 club)

And as mentioned in my last post I will go through “Love as a Way of Life”.

Have a wonderful Lent season.

Samstag, 21. Februar 2009

Love as a Way of Life

I picked up a copy of the book "Love as a Way of Life" and started flipping through it. Soon I found out this was not a book to just read but that I really need to work through it. As it has 7 chapters I thought it would be a great thing to work on through this year's Lent season.

Therefore I will start working on the book beginning this Wednesday and hope that you will join me. The first chapter is about KINDNESS. I will share my thoughts on this on with you and hope that I can inspire you and that you also will inspire me.
(If I can figure out how to do this Mr. Linky-thing I will set this up and you can link to your posts.)

So get your copy out and join me. I'm looking forward to start this journey and hear from you.

Have a great weekenend.

Donnerstag, 12. Februar 2009

Why I love my Prince Charming

This post was inspired by the SWAK Valentine carnival hosted by Kristen {We Are That Family}. Click your way over if you’re up for more love stories.



50 reasons why I love my Prince Charming

  1. He makes me laugh.
  2. He is my best friend.
  3. He is generous.
  4. He cooks me dinner.
  5. He picks me up after I had a girls-night-out whenever and wherever I like.
  6. He sometimes sets a romantic table for me – with roses, candles and napkins and a three course meal.
  7. He buys me flowers regularly.
  8. He can handle me. (And that’s sometimes a real challenge.)
  9. He is honest.
  10. He shares my love of the US (our favorite place for vacations).
  11. He is taking dancing lessons with me.
  12. He is generous.
  13. He doesn’t drink.
  14. Being on a business trip in South America at our last anniversary he asked a friend to buy some red roses and bring them over to our house. Regrettably I was not at home at that time and the friend decided to do the grocery shopping first, and then come back later. We bumped into each other at the parking lot a she gave the flowers and a big hug right there. I had tears in my eyes.
  15. He doesn’t smoke.
  16. He washes my car.
  17. He doesn’t party.
  18. He doesn’t have an expensive hobby.
  19. He doesn’t love his car it is just a commodity. (Even though it’s said that the automobile is the favorite toy / plaything for the Germans)
  20. He isn’t picky about food. (Except for fish and tomatoes)
  21. He is loyal.
  22. He had a bubble bath waiting for me, when I got icy feet from waiting for my delayed tram last winter. (Including candles lit in the bathroom as well as my favorite music playing) – The other day he had to work nightshift while I stayed in town late meeting some of my friends at our Christmas market. I called him up before he left and told him that it was soo cold and I would take a bath first thing coming home. When I came home 2 hours later I found a red rose on each of the steps upstairs (we have 15 steps) and then they continued all the way to the bathroom. He had set up the candles, a glass of champagne, my favorite bath essence and some music. All I had to do was filling the tub and relax (and dry the tears that were running down my cheeks).
  23. He is a handyman.
  24. He built a home for us.
  25. He is ambitious.
  26. He loves his job.
  27. He accepts a challenge.
  28. He learns French.
  29. He is being very helpful.
  30. He is great with people.
  31. He always fills up my windshild washer system.
  32. He takes my out for dinner.
  33. He is my better half.
  34. He is holding my hand while we are taking a walk.
  35. He is making a detour on his way home from work just to buy my favorite cake at the bakery.
  36. He works as a volunteer for our local auxiliary fire brigade as well as for their youth fire brigade since almost 20 years now.
  37. He never argues about finances.
  38. He is mowing the lawn in the summer.
  39. He loves my parents.
  40. He even takes care of our vegetable garden – it was his idea in the first place and I love it.
  41. He is my rock – I can always lean on him.
  42. He can be weak.
  43. He cries when we watch a sentimental movie or TV-show.
  44. He is encouraging.
  45. He is at least a bookworm as I am.
  46. He is romantic.
  47. He for sure knows how to kiss.
  48. He is THE ONE for me.
  49. He promised to always cherish and honor me. (Ohh wait … something missing … to always LOVE and cherish and honor me.) (Sorry Prince just teasing you!)We said our wedding vows all by ourself and Prince Charming was a bit nervous. He started with: I will always cherish and honor you … trailed of, shook his head, mumbled that there was something missing and started all over again this time the “right” way.
  50. He LOVES me dearly.

I am so blessed to be your wife and promise here and now that I will do my utmost to become the wife you absolute deserve. (Which I haven't been during the last year.)

Sending a million hugs and kisses over the ocean. Happy Valentine's day.

PS: I'd love to share a picture of us with you but have to ask the Prince Charming first for his approval.

Montag, 2. Februar 2009

Motivate Me Monday!

Ohh dear, it's Monday Morning again and I can truly sing out loud: I don’t like Mondays

Therefore today’s post of Sarah Mae over at the Like a warm cup of coffee: Motivate Me Monday! Super Duper Goal List! was just the right inspiration.

It is because of the Lord's mercy and loving-kindness that we are not consumed, because His [tender] compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great and abundant is Your stability and faithfulness." Lamentations 3:22,23
Die Güte des HERRN ist's, dass wir nicht gar aus sind; seine Barmherzigkeit hat noch kein Ende, sondern sie ist alle Morgen neu, und deine Treue ist groß. Klagelieder 3:22,23

And now my work day is almost over and I must admit that this Monday was not too bad. Had an appointment at the hairsalon during my lunch break and boy … I look and feel great now. Getting my hair down always brightens my mood.

I have a meeting at church tonight - discussing the agenda 2009 of our ladies group. They often come up with such amazing ideas - let's see what they came up with this time.

Wishing everyone a great evening.

Samstag, 24. Januar 2009

Welcome Home Honey!!

Today I picked my husband up at the airport. After a long, wearisome trip with 3 stop-overs and an overall travel time of almost 24 hours it's soo good to have him back.

I wanted to give him a special welcome and got really busy this morning. By 12 his favorite pasta-sauce was simmering on the stove, the table in our living room was set so we could have coffee and some pastry when coming home, fresh flowers were on the table and I had dressed up. Driving to the airport took only about 25 minutes and at the airport I indulged myself with a cappuccino as sweedy's flight was delayed by 30 minutes.

And just now he is sleeping by my side -:)

As I still haven't finished my list for "A beautiful life – 12 months of goals" I do it now:

January - Financial freedom / Bedroom
February - Health & Faith/ My crafts room
March - Faith / Our "office"
April - Our Marriage / Living room
May - Friendships / Garden
June - Routines / Garage
July - Entertaining / Guest room
August - Routines / Garden
September - Adventure / Clothes
October - Exercise / Hall
November - Entertaining / Living room
December - Giving / Kitchen

Well hope that I'll be able to accomplish all of this ... pretty overwhelming seeing it all in black and white.

Wishing everyone a nice Sunday.

Freitag, 16. Januar 2009

Mr. Linky

Mr. Linky on Melissas blog made me think of this past week. Was my home a beautiful place to be this week?

Hmm, I wasn't home much this week and my hubby is on a business trip and the house feels so empty without him. But in general yes it feels like a beautiful place.

Hubby and I finally, after 5 years of living in this house, completed our basement last week. We still needed to lay tiles on the floor in one room as well as on the steps of the stairway. (This was done by my Granddad and hubby right after Christmas). And now the walls and the stairway needed to be painted. To do the floor of the one room we needed to clean it out and ohh boy it is unbelievable what was all hiding down there. Among many, many other things there were buckets of paint. To save money (according to my goal for this month - improving our financial situation) we wanted to use all this paint which had been left over from all our previous projects. Mixing it gave a quite nice color and hubby and I got started and finished in just one weekend. It turned out really nice and every time I go down there now I am smiling. It looks so much better now. (Regrettably I can't share any pictures as hubby took our camera with him.) But I will post them later.

Yes I love our home despite I seem always to find a new project to but on my list … but as Melissa pointed out in one of her recent posts "I've just recently come to this new place in life where I can be content with undone. I can wait. I can patiently work on my rooms as I have time and money." She is so right and I will constantly remind me that everything needs it time but I'm such an impatient person.

I wish everybody out there a fantastic weekend.


Welcome back!

Happy New Year – although the first half of this month already gone!!

My resolution for 2009 – start blogging again … so I start the internet and … instead of writing a post for my blog I find myself lost in reading other people's blogs. And what wonderful, amazing, creative, honest, outgoing people are out there.

But to achieve my goal and really get started I have to limit my time just surfing through the blogs and will just read, at least for a while, only this blog The Inspired Room. I just love the idea of "A beautiful life – 12 months of goals" and Melissa has really inspired my. Thank you so much, Melissa!
I came by her blog through a search of Alexandra Stoddard and her book "Living a beautiful life".

Well 12 months – 12 goals for a more beautiful life. I haven't figured out what I want to do each month but my goal for January is financial freedom.

With finances being a big matter these days I want to put ours on a solid basis but to tell you the truth … it always gives me a big headache to go through all that:

  • Daily spending – ohh about 20 times I started very enthusiastic on the 1st of a month and forgot about the hole issue latest on the 10th
  • Optimizing the investments of our savings –this one's easy as we built our own house 5 years ago and hey – what are savings??? The money I can buy all the flowers I want to put into my garden, the new curtains I want, the chairs I want for my new porch …
    OK slowing we were able to put some money away but it's not such a big amount to worry over.
  • Necessary insurances – ohh I really hate this. What do I really need, which insurance company shall I take

Therefore my hubby and I were just leaving things as there have been for the past years but now that our financial situation is changing – for the better (lucky us I know and I'm very thankful for that) it has been time for a check-up. But whom to trust?

Well I bought this book a couple of months ago and kind of liked it. Geld steht jeder Frau (Money suits every women) written by a wonderful lady who has been in the financial business for many years. She has her office in Munich which is too far away for me but there is a branch office in Hamburg. They are specialized in financial service for women and I had an appointment on Wednesday. We had a very nice meeting and now I'm waiting for the offer. AND I feel so good that I got started on this matter … now the next thing on my list is my annual wage-tax adjustment. (But I hope the necessary papers won't come too soon.)

Who is taking care of the financial matters in your marriage / partnership? You, your husband, both of you together? I'd like to hear from you!