Switchback bento

Switchback bento
Switchback bento

I went a bit switchback mad! Here are some simple cheese wraps, surrounded by a tomato, a cucumber, an apple and a beetroot all done with the switchback method, as found here on bento.com

On our way shopping yesterday we decided to pop in at the Oktoberfest seeing as it was on our way. It was also Family Day which means a lot of the stalls have reduced prices on selected items. We bought some food (fish and chips!) and my little boy went on a ride and we got a stick of fluffy white Candy Floss (cotton candy). We’d already been in a Superdrug type shop (called DM here in Germany) where the kids got free balloons (so that saved about 10 Euros having to buy them at the Oktoberfest πŸ˜€

I was a Doubting Thomas last week. My Nokia XpressMusic camera phone malfunctioned and had to be sent away for repair. I had very low expectations for any positive news about it being repairable or replaceable. Usually here in Germany as a consumer “No Quibble” certainly does not apply. In fact I once bought a pair of Rubber Gloves from Schlecker and they tore the first time I put them on, but even though I had my receipt they refused to exchange them. Call me petty, but you’d think for a 2 Euro pair of household gloves, it would be a no-brainer. I save my receipts for EVERYTHING in case the item goes wrong within the gurantee period and sometimes if you argue long and hard enough the sales assistant will eventually back down / give in / agree to replace the defective item, seeing as the price of the item (even a 50 Euro electrical item) will pale into insignificance when they realise it would just be easier to issue a cash refund and have done with it.

Since we’ve been living here in Munich, we’ve had disputes with Bauknecht (Dishwasher company), Alice (Telecom / ISP), Postbank, Saturn (electrical goods) and even the British Consulate IN Germany. Rarely has making a formal complaint helped to resolve the issue, but it does make you wonder if nearly every company has some kind of deal with the German version of the Consumer Advice Bureau called the Verbraucherzentrale, because if you PAY the Verbraucherzentrale a fee, they will try and get your dispute reolved by offering a COMPROMISE so that you only have to pay HALF the amount the company is trying to rip you off for. So an 80 euro unwarranted charge from the dishwasher company ended up being settled for 40 Euros PLUS a 10 Euro fee to the consumer advice place. I’m obviously a cynic, and was quite prepared for news that my Nokia phone would be not accepted for free repair due to something I had agreed to when I signed up for the 2 year contract (signed my life away), and that I would be paying for a broken phone for the next 12 months.

End: rant

But credit where it’s due, O2 took care of sending my phone off to Nokia for repair / re-installation of the software / replacement of the touchscreen. I was only without my phone for a few days and now I’ve got it back, I am a very happy bunny boiler. So thanks O2 and Nokia. πŸ˜€


You can’t organise clutter, you have to get rid of it. I know, I know. But there are tools and gadgets we need on a daily basis that get shoved in drawers, left where they were last used or “put to one side”. You know what I’m talking about!

As I have been doing some SERIOUS decluttering this past week, I have found all sorts of USEFUL CLUTTER. I’ve found cables, adapters, connectors, memory cards, jigsaw pieces, belts, bobbles, nail varnish, lens cleaner, nail varnish remover, remote controls, batteries, covers for the remote controls, magnets, pegs, chess pieces, lego pieces, thingamijigs and whatdyacallits.

About a year ago, I made a list of the top 10 items that we seem to need on a daily basis that we need to lay our hands on and could never find. My husband put a new “special” shelf up – high enough that nosy boys and curious fingers can’t wreck the system hehe πŸ˜€ and I made labels for the edge of the shelf for each item on my top 10 list.

Here’s my list of items we need regularly but didn’t have a place for:

  • Nail clippers/tweezers
  • Glue
  • Measuring tape
  • Stapler / hole punch
  • Batteries
  • Pens
  • Sticky tape
  • Clips / paperclips
  • Remote controls
  • Keys
  • Scissors

Each item has aΒ  specially designated, labelled place on the shelf and has its own specially designated, labelled box / container on the correct part of the shelf. So since then, these top 10 items have been a LOT easier to find. This systemΒ  works best if you put things back straight after you’ve used them. We don’t always put things back straight away because we are not Born Organised. BUT when we are cleaning up (this is the royal “we” of course!) doing FLYLADY 5 min room rescues and stash and dash de-clutters then it is great to have a designated place for the item to call “home”.

Ok so there are 11 on my list but the last one was borderline so we had to include it, they are still referred to as the Top 10 on the “Top 10 shelf” πŸ˜€

Well writing about it makes it seem over simplified… I mean, in my kitchen I don’t have labels for the spoons, the forks, the plates etc – everything (everything?! hmm maybe not!) already has its place, and these aren’t labelled. Although thinking about it, I wonder how many cupboards and drawers I could put in good order simply by assigning labels?

I used to have labels on my chest o’ drawers at home as a kid. That way, you could always find a t-shirt or socks. I’m having an epiphany today – I think I might start doing that with my all my drawers and cupboards too, in my bedroom and kitchen!

But first! I will make labels for all these 20 remaining “useful clutter” items, and then let’s see if our home will start to be tidier, AND we will be able to find things more quickly.

“A place for everything and everything in its place” umm, right, ok, lightbulb moment. πŸ˜€

Funny that, cos I had an epiphany this morning too as I was using my rubber scrubber to brush soggy cornflakes out of the carpet. I could have prevented the cornflakes being scooped out onto the floor if I’d cleared the breakfast pots away from the dining table STRAIGHT AWAY instead of leaving them out to be interfered with. A stitch in time prevents nine. Right, now I geddit LOL πŸ˜€

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This bento is featured on What’s for Lunch Wednesday