Easy, DIY bookshelf sign {for only $5}


Ideas are always popping up in my head, but the execution of those ideas it what often prevents me from making the ideas happen. If I don’t have the tools or materials, the idea gets put on hold.

But today was a lucky day! I had an idea this morning AND I had the materials.

This is SO easy and I want to try making this type of sign in various ways, but I really like how this turned out for a first edition.

What you’ll need:

-A canvas (look at the dollar store or if you’re in Germany, I get mine at Action or Nanu)
-A black sharpie
-A printer

Directions:

1) Look for a design on pinterest or anywhere online that you want to re-create. It can be watermarked and even fuzzy. It’s going to be traced.

2) Print the design and tape it to the back of the canvas. Then hold the canvas up to a window and trace the design with a sharpie.

3) I used a fat tip sharpie. Depending on the design, a thin sharpie might work best for tracing.

4) Then color it all in!


That’s it! Really easy. I don’t love how my arrows look, so I may re-do this. But I kinda have a thing for imperfection anyway 🙂

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Amalfi Coast in 3 Days (WITH KIDS)

It’s January. And it’s cold. And it’s snowy here in Germany. It’s such a cozy day to be cuddled up in my home and I’m spending it daydreaming about warm beaches and sunshine. Today, I want to whisk you away with me to the Italian Mediterranean. Specifically the region of the Amalfi Coast. Last summer, my family and I spent three incredible days exploring Amalfi, Positano, Ravello and Capri.

I will be sharing tips, recommendations and our full itinerary in the coming weeks, but for the first part of this series I want to simply share the dreaminess of it all. Grab a cup of coffee (or glass of wine depending on what time it is) and let your wanderlust take over.

Starting with our apartment in Furore, Italy. Furore is less convenient than staying in Amalfi, Sorrento or Positano. BUT because it is higher up, you get sweeping views….like this.

Falling asleep and walking up to views of the ocean was surreal.

Even more so because this Italian family owned apartment was only 90 euro PER NIGHT!

 

Three bedroom, two bath apartment with million dollar views.

Even the kitchen had views.

 SWOON.

We quickly adapted to Italian culture and enjoyed our new hobby of drinking wine on the balcony each night.

And lemoncello homemade by the owners of the apartment we stayed in, Luigi and Lydia.

Again, staying in Furore isn’t the most convenient, but it is GORGEOUS and an adventure. You have to have a car. Which means driving along the windy, NARROW, curvy roads. It is as incredibly insane as everyone says. People zip around the corners and they drive FAST. I thought we were doing to die. Several times.

Even our GPS looked dizzy 🙂

But I figured if we did die, this would be the last thing we saw.

Our first day was spent exploring Positano. We took the ferry from Amalfi to Positano (quicker and easier than bus).

Most people push, shove and rush to the top of the ferry. We sat on the bottom, towards the back and had some pretty amazing views!
Can you believe this place is REAL?

*Pinch me*

What makes this place EVEN MORE gorgeous is the fact that your surrounded by people speaking Italian.

Positano was very crowded. But I think that amplified the ambiance.

I kind of regret not having a better camera with me. These iphone pictures don’t do this place any justice.

 I wish we could share smells with pictures. Why isn’t that a thing yet? It should be a thing. But for now, just imagine the freshest, yummiest floral smell. If pretty had a smell, these flowers would be it.

After a day of exploring Positano we headed back to our apartment and relaxed in the sunshine for a few hours. My mom was with us and so we had a babysitter one night! Next to our apartment was a fancy ish restaurant, so hubs and I decided to check it out.

Date night outfit 🙂

GORGEOUS views from Baca restaurant in Furore, Italy

Day two, we headed to the Isle of Capri.

As soon as you get off the ferry, you are swarmed by guys trying to sell you boat tours. We decided to go for it. For 3-4 ish hours you can get a private boat tour. Depending on your guide, some will includes towels, drinks and a light snack (or you can bring your own). Total cost for 5 of us was $150. Not bad for a private island boat tour!

Our skipper, which I regretfully didn’t get a picture of of, was an older mafia style guy. I mean, he ruled the water. When we got to the Blue Grotto AFTER several other boats were there first, he pushed his way first and no one said anything. HA! We were on a boat in the middle of the ocean with an Italian gangster! 🙂

We stopped to swim in the ocean.

But mostly we just lounged in the sun. On a boat. In the middle of the Italian Mediterranean. Listening to Frank Sinatra…ha!

This sounds weird, but laying in the hot sun is exhausting and makes you hungry! So after a few hours at sea, it was time for lunch. There are so many little cafes everywhere and we just sat at the first one we saw.

I ordered Caprese, OF COURSE, since Capri is where this dish originates from.

And also an incredible pesto pasta dish.

After lunch it was time for shopping and exploring the town!


Several markets were selling fresh, giant lemons. The lemons ARE HUGE in Capri.

We ended our afternoon at a beach before heading back to our apartment.

Day three was probably my favorite place in all of Italy. Ravello.

If you ever go to Ravello, there are two famous gardens to visit.

YOU MUST GO TO BOTH OF THEM.

They are each unique and offer different, but surreal views.
We almost didn’t do both. DO BOTH Villa Cimbrone and Villa Rufolo.

These pictures are of Villa Rufolo.

I don’t have words for this place. But hopefully the pictures say enough.

And here are the views from Villa Cimbrone.

And a few more photos just walking around Ravello.

This was the trip of a lifetime. In the next series of posts I’ll be sharing tips and details of where we stayed and how got around. Plus this was just part of our trip. I can’t wait to share our adventure exploring the ancient city of Herculaneum, highlights of our night in Rome and details about visiting Florence during peak travel season.
Have a specific question about traveling to these places? Connect with me on Instagram or Facebook!

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IKEA hack: Easiest kitchen island ever (seriously)

kitchen-island
My German kitchen is cute. It’s bright, updated and all neutral.

BUT.

It’s small. As is, there’s not much counter or storage space.

That was the first challenge. The second challenge was that when chopping and prepping food, I would have to have my back to the dining/living area. It’s a subtle thing, but I feel like I’m less closed off if I can look out at my home versus a wall.

I came across the idea of using an IKEA Kallax shelf as a kitchen island on pinterest. Since I already had a white shelf, this project was really cheap (about $40). But you could purchase all the materials needed at IKEA for about $82 brand new!

Products/materials needed for this project:

-Kallax shelf
-Legs (5″-6″)/screws
Lamplig cutting boards (2)
-Drill
-Hot glue gun

Here’s how I did it:

1) For the legs, I followed this tutorial:

The legs I bought already included a plate and IKEA.com has some similar ones for $12.99 (for 4) here: stainless steel legs
I found that a height between 5-6 inches was ideal to create a counter height island

2) Once the legs were attached, I laid out the cutting boards on top of the shelf BEFORE gluing. When I had them both where I wanted, I lifted the first one off and set it aside. I then squeezed the hot glue across the top half of the kallax shelf and then placed the cutting board on top. And then repeated with the second shelf. NOTE* I have the milled groove of the cutting boards facing DOWN. They are also at the FRONT of m kitchen island.

And that’s it! So easy! I love how versatile this project can be. If you have a larger kitchen, you could make two of these shelf units and put them together. Instead of baskets, you could insert drawers or shelves. And if you want to get really fancy, you could add prettier looking legs. It really is an easy, customizable project.

Also, if you don’t have an IKEA near you, try looking at Target or Amazon.com for a 4 cube shelf. The Lamplig cutting board is sold on amazon.com, but costs about double.

Let me know in the comments if you end up trying this hack!

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