Friday, May 26

Spa weekend in the countryside


I recently enjoyed a much needed spa weekend. Set deep in the countryside in acres of woodland this family run hotel and spa offers a range of treatments to sooth the body and mind. Apart from various massages such as aroma oil and hot stone, beauty treatments and manicures / pedicures, there's also a good sized indoor pool, salt sauna,  relax lounge and luxurious baths to choose from. I had saved up for this weekend for months, because treatments here are on the pricey side...but are worth the money, as I soon discovered!
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Ich hatte mir vor kurzem ein Wellness Wochenende gegönnt. Das familiengeführte Hotel und Spa liegt im Erholungsgebiet Surenburger Wald in direkter Nachbarschaft zu Schloß Surenburg. Die Wellnesspakete umfassen  verschiedene Massagen, z.B. Aromaöl, Hot-Stone, diverse Beauty-Behandlungen sowie Maniküre und Pediküre. Außerdem gibt es  ein Pool, Salz Sauna, Ruheraum und luxuriöse Bäder zur Auswahl. Meine Behandlungen waren auf jeden Fall das Geld wert!


The spa is easy to miss as its location is so secluded and very quiet. Which is, of course, good news for light sleepers such as myself! The room itself was tastefully furnished in tones of burgundy and grey. And it had a lovely balcony overlooking the well-maintained garden. Bathrobes, sauna towels and slippers as well as bottled water had been thoughtfully provided.

Asparagus & wild mushroom ravioli with fresh veggies
Das Hotel liegt weit abgelegen von der Straße; somit ist es hier herrlich ruhig. Die Zimmer sind in geschmackvollen Burgunder- und Grautönen gehalten und haben einen Balkon mit Blick auf den gepflegten Garten. Bademäntel, Slipper und Saunatücher wurden in einer Korbtasche bereitgestellt.


In between treatments I explored the surrounding area. I discovered a small moated castle a ten minute walk away. I wasn't able to go inside as it's privately owned, but even from afar it looked quite romantic. I came across a little brook, fields of purple lupines and said hello to a horse who was busy chomping on the fresh grass :)
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Zwischen den Behandlungen habe ich die Umgebung erkundet. Das kleine Wasserschloss konnte ich nur aus der Ferne bewundern, da es im Privatbesitz ist. Mein Weg führte mich zu einem Bach, Lupinenfelder und zu einer Pferdekoppel. Dem Pferd sagte ich Hallo, aber es beachtete mich gar nicht, zu sehr war es damit beschäftigt das frische Gras zu knabbern :)


I managed to stay mostly offline during the entire weekend (although there is free wifi in the rooms) and simply enjoy the peace and quiet, the treatments and baths. Walking through the magical woods was such a pleasant experience too. Alas, it was back to reality and plenty of work on Monday...
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Obwohl es auf dem Zimmer kostenloses WLAN gab, hatte ich mir vorgenommen die meiste Zeit offline zu bleiben. Umso mehr habe ich die Ruhe und die Behandlungen genossen. Auch der Spaziergang im Wald wirkte auf mich sehr entspannend. Ein gelungenes Wochenende, welches leider viel zu schnell zu Ende ging...
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Tuesday, May 23

DIY Ice Cream T-Shirt [ + PDF template ]

Hello lovelies!      Hallo, ihr Lieben!


I haven't done a T-shirt refashion in ages (it's actually one of my favorite crafts). I recently came up with another idea, and found some time this past weekend to implement it. So here's a fun project for you to try - my ice cream T-shirt. Flavors are strawberry, raspberry and creamy mint :) While I made my own shirt from scratch, you can upcycle any solid color T-shirt that you have on hand.
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Ich habe schon seit Ewigkeiten kein T-shirt Refashion mehr gezeigt. Schon länger hatte ich eine Idee, aber erst vergangenes Wochenende hatte ich Zeit sie umzusetzen. Heute zeige ich nun mein Eiscreme T-shirt mit Geschmacksrichtung Erdbeere, Himbeere und Waldmeister :) Ich habe das Shirt zwar selbst genäht, aber das ist kein Muss. Ihr könnt jedes beliebige, einfarbige (alte) T-shirt verwenden.


You will need / Ihr benötigt

solid color T-shirt / T-shirt, uni
cotton fabric scraps / Stoffreste, Baumwolle
matching thread / farblich passendes Garn
0.78" button / 2 cm Knopf
applique paper / Vliesofix zum Applizieren
sewing machine / Nähmaschine
ballpoint needle / Jerseynadel
basic sewing kit / Nähutensilien


First, download and print the free PDF template for the ice cream cone appliqué.
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Zunächst, das kostenlose PDF Eiscreme Motiv herunterladen und ausdrucken.

Step One

From template cut out pieces A, B, C and D. Make sure fabric scraps are large enough to cover template pieces. Cut pieces of appliqué paper to fit the scraps. Iron the paper glue side down to the wrong side of fabric scraps. Cool. Use the template pieces to trace the motif on the paper. Cut out the fabric pieces. You should end up with four pieces seen below.

Schritt Eins

Die Papierteile A, B, C und D ausschneiden. Die Größe der Stoffreste anpassen. Vliesofix auf Größe der Stoffreste zuschneiden und mit der klebenden Seite auf die linke Stoffseite bügeln. Etwas auskühlen lassen und mit Hilfe der Vorlage das Motiv nachzeichnen. Die vier Stoffteile ausschneiden. Siehe unten. 


Step Two

Determine the placement of the pieces on your T-shirt. You can wear your T-shirt and pin the pieces in place to see how it looks before you iron them on. Remember that the pieces need to be slightly overlapping. Peel off the backing. Start with ironing on piece A, overlap piece B. Then overlap piece C over B, and place piece D slightly under B and C. Iron the entire motif. Let cool.

Schritt Zwei

Festlegen wo das Motiv auf dem Shirt platziert werden soll. Am besten steckt man es fest und zieht das Shirt an. Dann sieht man am besten wie hoch oder tief es sein muss. Das Papier von den Stoffteilen abziehen. Teil A an der gewünschten Stelle aufbügeln. Teil B etwas überlappend auf Teil A legen, Teil C etwas überlappend auf die Teile A und B legen; zum Schluss Teil D unter Teile B und C schieben. Das ganze Motiv mit dem Bügeleisen gut andrücken. Von innen nochmal bügeln. Auskühlen lassen.


Step Three

Now it's time to stitch the outlines of the motif. Choose matching thread for each scoop and the cone. Use a very small zig zag stitch on your machine and sew slowly. Cut threads. Lastly sew on the cherry (button) on top! Iron the whole shirt once again before wearing. Finished!

Schritt Drei

Nun das Motiv mit kleinem Zick-Zack Stich rund um die Teile steppen. Dabei die Garnfarbe dem jeweiligen Stoff anpassen. Langsam um die Kurven herum nähen. Zum Schluss die Kirsche (Knopf) auf die obere Kugel nähen! Dann das gesamte Shirt nochmal bügeln. Fertig!



I also happen to have ice cream notebooks and button badges available in my shop!

Passend zum Shirt habe ich auch Notizhefte und Buttons mit Eiscreme Motiv im Shop!

p.s. Remember to turn the T-shirt inside out when washing. Wash on gentle cycle. Do not tumble dry.
If you would like to make a child-size Ice Cream Shirt, simply reduce the template by 75%

p.s. Das Shirt vor dem Waschen auf Links drehen. Max. 30°C. Nicht in den Trockner. Für Kinder T-shirts die Vorlage einfach auf 75% reduzieren.

Happy Sewing!

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Monday, May 22

Monday Moodboard

Emerald is this month's birthstone. The gemstone ranges from yellow-green to blue-green but only the dark-toned greens are considered true emeralds. Here are my favorite Etsy picks...
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Smaragd ist der Geburtsstein für diesen Monat. Der Edelstein variiert zwischen gelb-grün und blau-grün, jedoch werden nur tiefgrüne Steine als Smaragd bezeichnet. Hier meine Favoriten...


1 -- 2 -- 3 -- 4
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Friday, May 19

Shop News!

Hello everybody!       Hallo, Mädels!

Before I leave for my spa weekend I just wanted to share these pretty goodies I have in my shop! There's everything from beautiful fabrics to fun stationery. And new in the Sophie fine china range are the sweet sugar pots and milk jugs. Remember I ship worldwide. Happy shopping!
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Bevor ich mich ins Wellness Wochenende begebe möchte ich euch noch einige Sachen zeigen, die ich im Shop habe! Es gibt wunderhübsche neue Stöffchen und Papeterie. Die Sophie Kollektion ist um zwei weitere süße Porzellanteile erweitert. Schaut mal rein und viel Spaß beim Stöbern!




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Thursday, May 18

3 tips to avoid social media fatigue

If you own a small business it's probably a good idea to engage in some type of social media to get and keep the conversation going. When I first started out, my blog was my main way of getting the word out about my products. I then created a Facebook page and joined Twitter. I mostly cross-posted  and occasionally tweeted my new items on Etsy. With this method I succeeded in gaining new customers and spreading word about my shop. People began to associate me with fabrics and the shabby chic lifestyle. My blog was (and still is) by far my most loved way of spreading the news. Well things certainly have changed since the early days with ever more social media sites flooding the internet.



Ever since I opened a business account on Instagram I have to admit that I am glued to my phone. Instagram has turned out to be a great business tool for me and I have gained new customers on there that I wouldn't have reached otherwise. But I also know it's so easy to get sucked into that virtual reality and get sidetracked. As a highly sensitive person I'm often  overwhelmed by the sheer mass of information. Plus Instagram is such a highly curated site aiming for perfection. I do at times feel the pressure of posting ever more beautiful and "styled" pictures. As for Twitter, I liked it a lot better when there wasn't an option to post pictures and videos along with the message! Between Instagram, Twitter, Google+ and Facebook it was simply too much. It felt like mental overload. I felt drained, because that's what social media fatigue does. It robs you of your energy, motivation and creativity. At one point I didn't even feel like blogging anymore. Not a good feeling!

I definitely needed to change something, so I contemplated how to remain sane while still reaping the benefits of social media for small business owners. I have been adhering to the following steps for several weeks now. Check out my suggestions (requires a bit of self-discipline).

 Set up specific times during work hours for social media

Example: I post one photo to Instagram in the morning and answer any inquiries I may have received via personal message. I check my feed for a maximum of 15 minutes.
Around midday, I check my post and reply to relevant comments. I do this again at around 5:30 pm. I do not engage after 8:00 pm, because that is my winding down time.
I may post business related information to my Facebook page. Plus I hardly ever open my personal page, unless someone tags me. I may also tweet about my products, but no more than twice a day. Once a day I pin images to my Pinterest boards, but don't remain on the site longer than 20 minutes. Also, last year I cancelled my Snapchat account, since I don't like telling "stories". It seemed a bit pointless as a business owner.

Conclusion: I find my business doesn't suffer if I'm not on social media 24/7. If your products / services resonate with your target audience they will remain loyal. Sticking to this routine really frees up time to concentrate on actual business.

Customize your social media feed and focus on those that generate new leads

Example: by muting certain hashtags and / or phrases I've cleaned up my feed on Twitter. This helps to get the information I want in my home feed while eliminating the junk. Some weeks ago I began unfollowing accounts that I feel aren't relevant to my business and goals. What a relief! I already feel more energized. I try to focus primarily on my blog which allows me to write about my products in detail and show large images, and Instagram. Since I haven't generated real business from Facebook in ages I limit my time there. Pinterest is fun, but there's no real activity that leads to sales. It's more of an inspiration site, although it still refers a good number of visitors to my blog. However it may be different for others. I know some business owners who generate a lot of business on Facebook only.

Conclusion: It helps to analyze the sites. Then choose the top three to focus on.  It is not necessary to be present on all social media sites. Also, choose who you follow wisely. Popularity does not automatically equal great content.

Go offline at least once a week

Example: As an online seller it's difficult to switch off, but for the sake of my mental health I have made it a point to go offline one random day during the week. I use this day to re-group, take a walk, connect to my passion, read, try out a new recipe, create, daydream...

Conclusion: Nothing dramatic happens when I'm offline for a day! Go ahead, try it :)

I do believe that moderation is key to everything! I hope these tips are helpful to any small business owner going through a similar experience or as a preventative measure. Thanks for reading along!

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