Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Moving to a New Home (with Zapf Umzüge) and a Free Handlettering Printable (for Moving Boxes)

[Werbung / sponsored:] This post was written in cooperation with Zapf Umzüge who moved all my boxes and furniture to my new home.

Wohooo, it's already a month since I moved from Potsdam to Berlin and today, I want to tell you how it was like and how I organized everything - including a free printable for labeling your moving boxes.
Back in spring, my Monsieur and I started with apartment hunting in Berlin. We wanted to move together and after eight years of living in Potsdam, I finally wanted to live in Berlin. Apartment hunting was no fun at all. Crowded homes, looking at apartments with fifty other people at the same time, no success in sight. Moreover, I'm not patient at all.
Then I decided to hire an estate agent and it happened super quickly: we immediately found the apartment of our dreams and were able to move in withing two weeks. Excitement and packing panic at the same time. :)
We started packing and booked a car. I tried to figure out how I should get all my stuff into it and was convinced we would need to drive twice so that I could take all my clothes, crafting stuff and furniture with me.
Drowning in packing chaos, I luckily remembered the moving cooperations of The Kaisers and Frisch Verliebt with Zapf Umzüge, asked them both for the contact person and wrote an e-mail to Zapf. 

Moving to Berlin with Zapf Umzüge

The people over at Zapf Umzüge liked my suggestions of doing a moving report and agreed to do the transportation of my belongings from Potsdam to Berlin, yay! What a relief! 
First of all, I had to use their online price inquiry to estimate the cost and effort. Then they quickly sent me roughly fifty cardboard moving boxes based on all the belonging that I listed. Apart from ordering boxes or practical moving supplies, you could also book a moving consultant who visits your home and you can book moving helpers who dismantle or build up your furniture. They even install your household appliances if you want them to. :)

So when I received the huge pile of boxes which they brought into my old apartment, I finally really started packing. In order to be able to find all of my belongings when unpacking, I made handlettering moving box labels. They are super practical to find the right moving box content and they are also awesome so that the moving helpers can directly place the boxes inside the right room of the new home.

Free Moving Box Handlettering Printable

Go to the download:
>>> Get your own free moving box handlettering printable.

Hooray! So I printed out plenty of my handmade labels and put them onto the boxes with masking tape.
 Thus, packing was a lot more fun. :)

My lovely friend Anja came over and took some photos of me (thank you again! :)). Next to the normal sized boxes and the book boxes, Zapf also sent me some of those huuuuge boxes for dresses. Just perfect for me so that all of my clothes wouldn't get wrinkly when transporting them. I could simply hang them onto the hook and later hang them into my closet again. The boxes are so huge that even I fit in there.
Using those huge boxes, I thought that it would also be a good idea to use them for transporting my monstera plants. It could have been a good idea, but I forgot to leave out the water and I forgot to tell the moving helpers about my plan, so you can guess what happened... ;)
The first pile was done, hooray!
Labeled with my handlettering printables, the boxes looked really fun and with the help of Anja, I got lots of work done quickly.
Before Zapf agreed to do the moving stuff with me, I had already bought some conventional moving boxes at the hardware store and one can really feel a difference! Those from Zapf are made of much thicker cardboard and are a lot more sturdy.

Packing, packing, packing...

The big Moving Day

Then the big day came quickly. The Zapf team with four men arrived early in the morning.
Despite all the stuff that I own (lots of furniture and 50 boxes!!!), it only took them two hours to fill their truck with everything. They were super friendly, funny and motivated while still being quick and careful.
One of the best things about moving with Zapf was that they organized a parking prohibition zone in front of both apartments so that they could directly load and unload their truck in front of my door. Such a good service! 

My whole belongings inside of one truck. Isn't it a weird feeling that your whole (material) life fits into one car? :) When did you move for the last time?

Bye bye, beautiful Potsdam apartment, bye bye, beautiful street, bye bye, beautiful city!
Wow, I have been living there for eight years and now it was time for a new chapter. Since most of my friends live in Berlin and since my work and nearly all of my social life take place there, it was the next step to move to Berlin and to live together with my Monsieur in one place. Happines!
Arriving in Berlin, everything had to be unloaded. It took only one and a half hours, craaazy! They were so fast (despite the huge amount of stuff) and one could see that the whole team was really an expert at what it was doing! :)
So here it is, my new home. This is the living room...
... and this is the view from the living room into the bed room...
... and the view from the living room into the kitchen.
They packed my boxes onto piles according to the handlettering labels that I made and later on, this made unpacking really easy.
About two weeks later when we were done with unpacking all boxes, I called Zapf and they picked up the boxes. Such an amazing service! Even when you have kids, they are perfectly prepared and also send you some toys and information material to prepare them to move into a new home.

After everything worked out so quickly and comfortably, I am super super happy and overwhelmed by the big relief I had thanks to Zapf. I wouldn't have had the energy and man power to do it the conventional way (with getting onto friends' nerves and with doing it all on our own) and so it as just perfect the way it was. So thank you again, Zapf! :)

One of the best things about moving is decorating and furnishing new home afterwards. We are nearly done and only a few things are still missing.

Does anyone of you have recommendations for stores with nice kitchen cabinets or couches (vintage or vintage look or Danish Design) far from conventional furniture labels? I am thankful for every hint! :)

Can't wait to show you more of my new home and thanks for reading and for following along!
Happy week,

P.S.: This blogpost was written in cooperation with Zapf who did the transportation and the service during my move from Potsdam to Berlin. Of course, they did not have any impact on the content of my review and all opinions stated here are my own. Thanks!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Bloghütte Fläming - Four Days of Adventures in the Brandenburg Countryside

[Werbung / sponsored:] This is a travel and adventure report which is part of a cooperation with the tourist board 'Der Fläming', now written after I was invited to a blogger trip by them.

Oh wow, this is going to be a REALLY long blogpost with many many photos. So better grab yourself a pot of tea and lean back, it's gonna take a while... :)

Some weeks ago, some other bloggers and I went on a little adventure trip for four days and were invited to the Brandenburg countryside by the tourist board 'Der Fläming'. Fläming is a region in Brandenburg in Germany, south of Berlin. This region is full of wonderful nature, far away from urban mass tourism, but still super rich of impressive sights, creative activities and wonderful people. But see yourself what we experienced and become curious of going there on your own! :)

Bloghütte Fläming - Four Days of Adventures in the Brandenburg Countryside

So back at the beginning of June, Laura (Herz an Hirn), Katha (Kathastrophal), Lisa (Mein Feenstaub), Inka (Blickgewinkelt), Tobi (Der Kuchenbäcker), Antje and Flo (for Freiseindesign), photographer Greg (Greg Snell Media) and I were invited to spend four days at museum village Baruther Glashütte which is a technical monument, dealing with the social and technical history of the old glassmaker profession and lifestyle.
After having been there for a long weekend from Friday morning to Monday afternoon, I am still super overwhelmed by all the impressions and wonderful people we met, although a few weeks have passed since then.

Day One at Bloghütte Fläming

We spent our first day with a welcome picnic, a village tour, a glass blowing crash course and a wine tasting in the evening.

So shortly after our arrival, we were all welcomed with a picnic with fresh homemade bread, spreads and sausages, all made by Christian Reuner. So so good!
We sat inside a yurt and were all excited about the weekend being ahead of us.

Afterwards, the afternoon started with a tour through the village. We all had our own appartments at Museumsdorf Baruther Glashütte and had a super nice guide showing us around one of the oldest glass maker places in Brandenburg with its pretty ensemble of oven houses, workshop buildings and normal houses, telling about the past and the present of this village.
Among forests and fields, Glashütte consists of one main street and several pretty and old houses. In the center of the village, there's the old glass factory which is still in use. The peak of the glass production was in the middle of the 19th century and many of the glass makers inherited their profession to their descendants. Thus, many generations of men in that village have been glass makers. The glass makers' daughters were mostly occupied with sanding the glass until they got married. Afterwards, most of them were no longer employed, but stayed at home and managed household and children.

In 1861, they built a huge factory tower, nearly of the same height as the dunes around the villages. Until 1980, the glass industry in Glashütte was mainly profitable due to the good train connection.
In 1983, the protection of the historical monuments and buildings was officially declared and shortly afterwards, the glass production was shut down.
When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, lots of new businesses were founded and a new association with seven initial members started to restore many parts of the village.

Glashütte now still produces things made of glass and you can also go there for glass workshops with Steph and Christoph with whom you can produce your own glass ball.

Glass is an non-organic, undercooled liquid and at the same time, glass is liquid stone. So exciting. The team working at the glass museum and factory had so much knowledge and shared so many interesting information and stories with us!
Next to all the traditional design, Karina Wendt, an industrial designer who was raised in the Fläming area and still lives there, combines glass and porcellain in a really modern and super pretty way. Make sure to check out her website!

(Last two photos by Kathastrophal) 

So when being at the glass factory and museum, we were invited to a workshop, got to know more about the glass production process and blew our own glass balls.

The old glass factory ground is really stunning and we were all happy about having made our own glass balls. Yay!

What an adventurous first afternoon at Glashütte!
In the evening, we were invited to WeinSalon Glashütte for a wine tasting and wine workshop. We learned the basic terms for describing different kinds of wine, we got a checklist for degustation, did a quiz and were served a delicious meal by Gasthof Reuner, made with regional ingredients and matching the vine (or vice versa :)) which was made in Fläming as well. In between, we ran out for watching the perfect sunset in the pouring rain, a perfect ending for a great day.

Day Two: Time for Adventures!

On the second day, we had breakfast at an old train station, went to an abandoned military city photo tour, had a mini cooking class for lunch, a forging class and dinner with friends.

After a wonderful night in my very own apartment, we started the second day with a delicious breakfast which was served in the old waiting hall and outside at Bahnhof Klasdorf. Apart from organizing events and hosting the café, they also organize literature readings, music and dance evenings, such a fun thing!
Lisa with her brightest smile. :-*

My lovely friend Katha and her morning coffee. // The breakfast was so so good, versatile and homemade. Such a good start into the day.
After breakfast, one of my absolute highlights followed: we drove to Wünsdorf for visiting the abandoned House of Officers (Haus der Offiziere) with its military institute (from 1919) and army sport school (from 1933). The tour was held by go2know and took about two or three hours. Time flew by so fast, I didn't even check my phone, but was so busy soaking all impressions in, taking tons of photos and shooting short videos for my Instagram stories.
go2know offers those guided tours at abandoned buildings in several places and I absolutely enjoyed it.
The former Soviet military base in Wünsdorf is also called "Forbidden City" ( = Verbotene Stadt), because until 1989, it was a highly supervised restricted zone.
The House of the Officers and the military institute offered lots of amazing photo motifs like the historic swimming hall (built during the Imperial Era), a splendid theater hall, an officer's casino, the villa of the commanding officer and lots of impressive architecture and lots of everyday objects from the officers an soldiers of the Russian army. See yourself:

We could have stayed at the abandoned swimming hall for hours. Definitely one of my highlights of the day which will also receive an own separate blogpost.
The shower room.
Lisa and I were so so excited and took like a ton of photos.
After visiting the swimming hall, we went to the old theater, had a look at every corner and also saw the casino.

The main building was so impressive with all the details telling from past years.

We found confetti which was left by other visitors and couldn't stop shooting details everywhere. And isn't Katha super beautiful? :)
It was so so much fun hanging around with these two all the time. Such a good team! :)
Wow! That was really amazing! When we came out of the military ground after the tour with our super patient guide who had to step every few seconds in order to wait for us, we were so thrilled! What an experience! If you book a tour and go there, you can take bus 618 from Potsdam central station for about one hour until the stop 'Waldstadt Hauptallee'.

If you are interested in such kind of abandoned places tours, I also got the recommendation to go to the Army's Research Institute ( = Heeresversuchsanstalt) in Kummersdorf where one can find the biggest military monument of Germany. Moreover, in Wünsdorf, there's the Bunker and Books Town ( = Bunker- und Bücherstadt), the Airport Sperenberg and the Airport Jüterbog where it seems that you don't even need a tour for going there. What is more, the Historical-Technical Museum of the Experimental Base in Kummersdorf organizes interesting guided tours.

Afterwards, we hopped back onto our cars and then drove to the next stop of our adventure: Flair Hotel Reuner in Zossen. Daniel Reuner, of whose brother Christian from Hotel Reuner in Glashütte we had already eaten dinner the previous evening, also owns an own hotel and restaurant and uses mainly regional ingredients and vegetables from his own ecological cultivation.
The first highlight of visiting him was being able to see his greenhouses and the fields behind his hotel.

It's always the best feeling to know where the food you are eating is coming from.
For me, greenhouses are a really magical place.
He even has sheep! Too bad they weren't in the mood for cuddling, but this was the closest we could get.
This wonderful man was part of his team and still worked on the fields. His face was filled with laugh wrinkles, wonderful. He happily agreed on having taken his photo and he really impressed me with his super positive appearance.
At the hotel, we then enjoyed a quick cooking class with making fresh salad sauce from freshly picked herbs and were served a delicious lunch menu. Mhhh!

Afterwards, we went back to Glashütte, had some time to relax and went shopping at the local small corner shop.
Aren't those mint drop packages cute?
This is how most of the houses, including those in which we stayed, looked like. So pretty!

Next to all the glass manufacturing, there is also a forge in the village. Because Fläming is a region in which traditional crafts have been shaped through working with fire, this forge which is 300 years old has now been at this location in Glashütte since 1920.
Nowadays, metalsmith Peter Steinfurth works there and gave us a workshop in which we all forged an own simple knife. What an experience!

Wohooo, we made our own knives!

In the evening the village community invited us to a barbecue outside.
There were delicious homemade salads and cakes and of course also handmade glasses.
Sitting by the fire and exchanging stories was a perfect way to end this perfect and exciting day.

Day Three at Glashütte:

We spent our day with an organic breakfast at the pottery café, a sculpturing class, a handcar ride, lunch at an old train station, a barn windmill visit, coffee and cake at Albertine and then barbecue evening. See yourself!

On Sunday, we got started with a delicious organic and homemade breakfast at the TöpfereiCafe (Pottery Café) in Glashütte.
The breakfast was really good, it was served on their dishes which you can also buy at their shop and we sat outside in the morning sun.

Glashütte is so wonderful, we again walked around for a few minutes and one of the neighbors invited us to his chicken shed and we were allowed to feed them. Pure excitement, as you can see in Lisa's face. :)

The next thing on our agenda was a sculpturing class at Bildhauerbahnhof Sperenberg (= Sculpturing Train Station).
At the old train station and on the huge property, you can learn how to make own sculptures. The workshops are taught by Ine and Wouter Spruit who also sell supplies and own art. Moreover, they run a small café, host guests who want to stay over night and have converted the former chicken coop into the workshop area.

Such an inspiring place!
We all worked with soapstones and I made a bust (which a little bit also reminds me of a minion). Thanks for the photo, Greg! :)

Such a hot and exciting day!
(For those of you still reading this long blogpost, here's a huge HOORAY! :))
So after the workshop, we hopped onto a handcar.
With Erlebnisbahn.de, one can rent those handcars or other similar models and then ride along old train tracks south of Berlin. We even got our own special tickets.
Photo by Lisa. 

That was MUCH fun! We sang along, joked around, took photos and had a pit stop at Bahnhof Rehagen. It is an old train station at the old royal Prussian railway line. Today, there's a restaurant with sophisticated French and German food from France or from the Region of Fläming.
Moreover, you can stay there for the night and sleep in old train wagons which have been restored as hotel rooms, yay!

After the handwagon ride, we drove to another highlight, the barn windmill in Saalow.
This barn windwill (Scheunenwindmühle) is unique in the whole world and offers tours and explanations concerning the historical backgrounds.
Here, you can see how the wind wheel is located inside the wall and not on the outside of the building.

In the afternoon, we had super tasty homemade coffee, chocolate and tarte at Albertine. Mhh! They sell cholocate from all over the world and have amazing vanilla hot chocolate.

Later on, we were again invited by Gasthof Reuner for dinner. There was an outdoor barbecue with regional food (also with fresh fish and venison).
In between, Lisa and I explored some of the abandoned buildings next to the hotel restaurant and were delighted by the countryside charme.
After the barbecue dinner, we sat in the backyard for some more hours, Laura taught us a funny folk dance and Katha, Lisa, Anni and I danced in the rain to trash songs before going to bed. So wonderful! Lovely day, lovely people!

Day Four with Workshops and Farewell

We had organic breakfast at the WeinSalon, did a bread baking class and joined a Shibori class, wohoo!
So then it finally came, the last day. Most of us already felt a little melancholy after this super amazing weekend. For breakfast, we were again invited to the WeinSalon in Glashütte and had a delicious organic breakfast. I looove those GDR egg holders and their colors.

Afterwards, we met up with the local restaurant's chef and his bread baker.
We learned about the ingredients coming into a good bread, learned about dough kneading techniques and made bread.
Behind Gasthof Reuner, there is a stone oven in which they bake the bread for the restaurant. The flavor is amazing.

Of course, we were also again spoiled with really good homemade snacks and could hardly stop eating. What a pleasure!
Weather was good to us all weekend and as if the days weren't exciting and informative enough, we were also allowed to join another workshop. We could choose between felting, making jewellery with glass beads and Shibori. I chose the latter.
We were invited to Hüttenwerk 4, a shop and workspace run by Designer Christiane Wendt-Teschner. She taught us how to dye fabric with the Shibori technique and we all took home hand-dyed dish towels.

So as you might imagine, our goodie bag of the weekend was filled with lots of amazing handmade things from all the workshops and with some surprises from the local shop owners.
But the best "things" were not things: it was all about what we learned, the knowledge we gained and the memories we made. Those four days were really heavily packed with many items on the agenda, but every piece was well thought through and I am super impressed by the organizational skills of the team and most of all of the creativity and team spirit of all the people living and working in Glashütte. Such a wonderful community!

I'm so incredibly thankful for having had the chance to participate in this really special creative and culinary adventure in the countryside! Thank you so so much for inviting me, tourist board Fläming! :)

The whole long weekend was well-organized with good (mostly organic) food, awesome workshops and beautiful accommodation. Thank you again to my lovely host Cordula from Ros(t)ige Zeiten who provided me with such a beautiful apartment, her wonderful charisma and happy mood, sheep in the garden and a lovely farewell-gift. Also thank you to all the super open-minded village inhabitants who taught us a lot of exciting thing, who even let us use their private W-Lan networks and created a W-Lan map for the whole village for us (so cute) and organized a barbecue evening for us.
It felt like being with friends and family!

See more photos on Instagram under the hashtag #bloghütte_fläming and check out Katha's awesome travel guide blogpost and the wonderful detailed article that Annie and Flo have written for Freisein Design.

My heart is full! Thank you for this adventure, I will definitely come back!

Thank you for reading (and again hooray for all who made it through the whole blogpost ;)) and have a wonderful summer! Maybe you are already planning your next holiday trip or weekend adventure in Fläming...


P.S.: As already written above, this blogpost was written after the tourist board Fläming invited me to this blogger trip. All opinions expressed here are my own ones.