Flea market finds

16 07 2012

As I mentioned in the last post, we’ve gone to quite a few flea markets recently in order to find old books and candlesticks for our wedding reception.

For the first time, we went out to the flea market at the Trabrennbahn, which is normally a horse racing track, but on Wednesdays and Saturdays, they have a pretty sizable flea market!

We had even more luck when we got there, because we ended up getting this beautiful red office chair for 10€.

I don’t know how Tobias did it…but he carried the chair home on his bike. Hardcore, man.

Turns out the chair is a pretty good brand, too. It’s Labofa, which is a Danish company that specializes in chairs and office seating.

Our chair looks a lot like these. Perhaps our chair has been painted before, because there is black paint underneath the red that is chipping. But I love that it gives it that extra cool look! It’s now sitting happily in our kitchen and matches the floor tiles very well!


Weekend flea marketing

18 06 2012

This weekend was the Altonale street festival in our neighborhood. We went out several times to see what was going on and to enjoy the sights. We listened to a samba drum group (very loud and energetic!) and went to our artist neighbor’s atelier to see some of his new art. But  mostly we took advantage of the flea markets on Saturday and Sunday and boy were we successful!

Although I LOVE flea markets, I much prefer thrift stores because of one silly little thing: I don’t have to ask the price of something. I’m (stupidly) deathly afraid of asking for a price at a flea market, and if there is any haggling involved, I absolutely hate it. Thank goodness Tobias is good at it and pretty much tries to haggle on everything just for the principle of it. So I let him work his magic while I stood next to him, feeling extremely awkward.

So thanks to all of Tobi’s work, we got some really great things!

Our first purchase on Saturday was a chandelier! We’ve been looking for a cool vintage chandelier for our living room and actually have it on our wedding website as one of our projects that people can contribute to as a wedding gift if they like. (So it’s technically our first wedding gift…?) It’s not hooked up yet and we don’t have any light bulbs for it, but we’ll be getting those this week and then we can hook it up. The lady we bought it from has a shop here in Hamburg and she offered to give us the bulbs for free. We really love it! We spent the rest of the afternoon taking it apart, cleaning the crystals, and putting it back together. It’s missing a few crystals, but hopefully we can get some from the lady as well.

We also found these silver candlesticks for 4€. Actually, it was the very last thing we bought on Saturday and we literally cleaned out our wallets to buy it for a little less than 4€. We’re going to use them in the wedding at the candle ceremony, but they’re cool enough to use at home afterward too! I wish we had gotten a before picture, because these were super-tarnished when we got them. Tobias cleaned them with hot water, a bit of salt, and a few pieces of tin foil and the tarnish disappeared! A pretty amazing trick, if you ask me!

Tobias found this old desk lamp and haggled to get 17€ off the price, bringing it down to 63€. Not bad. Tobias found similar ones online that dated it somewhere between the 1930s-1950s, and it was double the price we paid for ours.

On Sunday, we were lucky again and got some good deals! Like this Russian U-Boot (submarine) clock we picked up. The original price was pretty steep (120€) but we got it for 90€. Still an investment, but it is really such a cool thing. Very unique! It even comes with a key that you have to wind it up with every 2 weeks to make sure it continues running. It also weighs a ton and we have to figure out some sturdy way to put it up on the wall.

Close-up of the Russian words:

I also got a few books for the wedding decorations, AND I found this awesome biography of Balzac, written by Stefan Zweig. (I had no idea Stefan Zweig was interested in Balzac! I read Schachnovelle in one of my college German classes and later saw the play here in Hamburg. And Balzac is the author I wrote my honors paper on in college! If you want to hear me speak French, my presentation is here on YouTube!)

We also found some nice cufflinks for Tobias for the wedding.

I don’t think I’ve ever bought that much at a flea market before! But really as I said, it’s all thanks to Tobias. He has good taste! And these are all things (with the exception of the Balzac book) that we’ve been looking for for a while, so it’s nice to have found some good stuff!

Have you been to any flea markets lately? Find anything good?

Hot or not?

15 05 2012

Saw this recently and furtively snapped a photo of this woman’s high-heeled sneakers. I didn’t know Nike made that kind of thing!

They’re kind of cool, but I can’t imagine wearing them myself. Not sure how comfortable they’d be either. Would you wear them? There are more styles here! If I had to choose, I’d get the white/green ones.


Weekend links

12 05 2012

The weekend’s already half over for me (too short!) but it’s been a good one so far!

We walked down to the Elbe for Hafengeburtstag (“Harbor Birthday”) and rode a very packed HVV ferry boat for a few stops. The route was against the wind, and the choppy water made it feel like a water ride at an amusement park – especially when it hit a big wave and caused a spray of water to hit everyone on the top deck of the boat. It was pretty hilarious, and everyone laughed and screamed each time we were sprayed with water. (The picture above is of the AIDAmar cruise ship, who is leaving soon on her maiden voyage!)

After we got home and ate hamburgers for lunch, I went to the grand opening of idee, my favorite craft supply store, in the shopping center near our house. I got to spin a prize wheel and got 20% off my purchase – how exciting! I ended up buying a lot of cool stuff, including these big cardboard letters for our wedding:

I am excited that I won’t have to go very far for my crafting needs, but on the other hand…it’s a bit dangerous! Especially with the wedding coming up, I will probably be spending quite a bit of time (er, money) there!

Because H&M is right next to idee, I couldn’t resist going in there. I walked out with a new shirt and a coral hoodie, as well as a 3-pack of belts that I might use with the dress I’m wearing to the courthouse wedding. I’m not sure if they’ll work out yet…they have to match with these gorgeous shoes I talked about here that Tobias bought for me! (Thanks so much, dear!)

Here are a few fun links for this weekend:

  • I forgot about this old video we made, but I love it so much!
  • One of my new favorite blogs
  • Some friends from high school won a contest through Million Moms Challenge and won a trip to Australia to have a portrait with Anne Geddes – their picture has just been released!
  • Crazy celebrity baby names

Also, I’m pretty much addicted to my new iPhone and am downloading ALL THE APPS. I’m now pretty obsessed with Instagram (@sarahstaebler) (yeah, sarahgilmour was taken so I signed up with my soon-to-be new name!) and am enjoying a few other new apps, especially Halftone, Google Translate, I’d cap that, Booth Free, and The Daily Beast.

Happy weekend, everyone! And for all you mothers out there (especially mine!), happy Mother’s Day!


My very first smartphone…almost!

3 05 2012

I know I’m quite late in the game, but I finally broke down and decided it was time. Time to switch from a prepaid phone to a plan that will allow me to finally make use of Tobi’s old iPhone 3GS. (Yay for finally having enough friends to call to actually make a plan more worth it than prepaid!)

I’m eagerly awaiting my new SIM card on its way by mail.  Until then, I’ll content myself with case shopping online!

So, iPhone users, please do share…what are your favorite, must-have apps?




image from Daily Tech (click for source)


Shoes. OMG! Shoes.

22 04 2012

Aside from the fact that I’ve probably gotten that lovely “song” from that YouTube video in your head (and mine), I really am here today to talk about shoes.

Let’s just say I am counting down the days until I can wear my precious Birkenstock sandals again. I can’t wait until it is warm enough and stops raining enough for me to wear my Gizeh sandals in onyx!

I don’t wear high heels all that often, nor do I dress up, really. But for my wedding I just might need something that looks good, too! So I’m in the market for a good pair of heels at the moment. It’s currently Sunday, so that means it’s impossible to do any real shopping here in Germany, as all the stores are closed on Sundays. (One thing I REALLY miss about the USA…) So I am online shopping instead…here are a few of my favorites!

1. Buffalo Patent Peeptoe in coral

2. Görtz 17 Gold Glitter Pumps

3. Görtz 17 T-Strap Sandalette

(But I would definitely get rid of that pink charm!)

4. seven seconds Sandalette @ Zalando

But online shopping is fun, too – it allows me to shop in the States!

My favorite from Payless, Fioni Color Block Sandal

What kind of shoes did you wear at your wedding? My sister-in-law had flats to wear, but in the end didn’t wear any the whole day! Nobody knew because she had a long dress!


Happy weekend!

21 04 2012

Tobi’s back home from his 5-day trip to Zürich, just in time to spend the weekend with me. He brought back some pretty  things from our favorite thrift store in Zürich, the Zürcher Brockenhaus, including these vintage glasses, a unique carafe, and a set of gold-rimmed schnapps glasses!

Here’s one that shows the detail of the glasses a little better. Gorgeous, right!?

It’s nice to have him back home again, and so sweet that he brings gifts back when he travels! He also brought like 10 Emmi yogurts (our favorite from our Swiss snowboarding adventures!) and some delicious Swiss chocolate. YUM.

On the menu for this weekend:

– Taking down wallpaper in the living room and kitchen (FUN!)
– Birthday party for a friend
– Sunday Tatort as usual

And possibly a little shoe shopping…? I saw some glitter pumps (1, 2) at Goertz and I might just have to see if I am able to walk in them, because they’d be pretty awesome wedding shoes. I don’t have high hopes though, because I’m very picky about comfort when it comes to shoes. But the glitter is just too fun! I have to at least try it!

Happy weekend, everyone!


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