Thursday, December 15, 2011

This just in.

Toilet didn't flush this morning. More to follow. Also, Jackie Chan was spotted delivering V8 Juice to the fridge. He's got mad skillz and is bad ass.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

It's been awhile

Yes, sorry, it has been awhile here at cleaning rags to riches. But in our defense, we haven't had much clearning or riches to report. Well, maybe that is not all true. Whatevs. We have been having issues with the garbage disposal. The landlord thinks we are crazy and whatnot.

Christmas in Paris is alive and well with classy trees and garland galore, and an elegant wreath. We even have coordinated between everything by using red. The tree was an issue, stupid lights. We were smart and took a long string off of the fake staircase garland and replaced it with a half out stand of lights so the tree would look better. 

This morning at 7:15 the lights went out because of my height. Long story short I hit the chandelier in my room and the shaking made it go out. Er. Well then I went into my bathroom and the lights wouldn't turn on, and the outlet didn't work. In my bedroom, one outlet did work while the other did not. Er. That ended up being the case through out the rest of the apartment. The light over the kitchen sink worked while the one over the counter did not. Being smart I knew it was likely that it was the breaker in the basement. I braved the basement, which is totally creepy. Too many doors going into weird spaces and open crawl spaces. Not a fan. I was unsuccessful and got the hell out of there. Too much like a scene from criminal minds. I can picture the scenario in my head right now. First I am blonde, which means I most likely to get attacked and from one corner a man in a ski mask would probably hit me with an axe and take me away. Maybe to a Canadian Farm, run tests on my body and then feed me to pigs, but put my shoes in a box. Maybe having Ion as our only watchable station is a bad idea. But we do LOVE their corny Christmas Movies. Marathons every Sunday beginning at 1:00. At least when we watch those we can hold out hope that maybe a golden retriever will play matchmaker and bring us back to a lost love. Or, thieves will try to steal original pieces of artwork dressed as Christmas characters and tie us up, just so we can outsmart them. Don't worry the guy always gets the girl from the bad guy and Christmas cheer is spread all around the world. We will be back on the couches Sunday at 1 for round two. If we are lucky we might even get to eat dinner in front of the TV again!!! But then UFC round one is on Saturday night so we might be up late watching men beat each other up.

Moral of the story. Lydia and Dani saved the electricity and they didn't have to go about in the dark. I had to do my hair this morning in the kitchen! That was the only place with a working outlet. Over and out! No more going into the basement alone, that is for sure :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

New Experiences

This year has been a battle with the limitations of the 24 hour day....Granted, I do not have to spend any part of those 24 hours knocking on doors for fire drills, confiscating alcohol bottles, or calling Campus Safety about a fight, but things have been busy. Below I have some words of advice and some stories I wanted to share with you.

Lesson #1: Partake in finding those hole in the wall places and enjoy the community!
This past weekend I spent 10 hours on a my CAPTA analysis and then headed to East Lansing for the weekend with my family. I hit the road with an overnight back sans my laptop and books and reveled in the fact I would be away from the books for approximately 32 hours. I had my first Crunchy's experience-sounds super divvy and greasy but the food is great, the drink specials astound, and it is the perfect way to get in the mood for a college football game. While we did not indulge in the bucket of beer, we did enjoy our pre-game celebration. Believe me-we'll be going back.

Lesson #2: Meet new friends, even if its just for the night!
Readers, this is not a suggestion to partake in one night stands or to make some wasted friends at a local bar. Go sit in a college football student section! I graduated from a small liberal arts Catholic college-our basketball games were probably the most well-attended events. Going to MSU and sitting in the upper bowl with thousands of my not-so closest friends was fantastic. This community has its own way of communicating: listening for the cue of the band or slamming our cabooses onto the metal bleachers to row together or to calling out the one Wisconsin kid sitting with his rather embarrassed girlfriend. Green and white were the appropriate colors in dress and bottle water and hot pretzels and hot dogs were the foods of choice and convenience to stave off the effects of the mass consumption of alcohol that occurred earlier in the day. My throat is sore because I bled green that night.

Lesson #3: Take the time to eat a bowl of chili at midnight.
AKA celebrate the little and big moments in life. After the game nine of us sat around my sister's and her friend's apartment eating white chicken chili and replaying every note worthy play from the game. Talking until two in the morning and then sleeping until it was actually light out was a treat as well, especially for a girl that gets up at 5:30 to work with 3 to 6 year old children. :-)

Moral of the story: take the time to enjoy life. Often I find myself saying "I don't have time", "I will never have time", "I shouldn't take the time". But guess what? You should take the time and reward yourself every once in a while. My friends find something rewarding this week to do for yourself-it'll make you a happier, more patient, and more loving person.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Curtains are in.

Yes, that is right, the curtains are almost done--actually officially 50% done. Don't worry once I am able to master my picture taking ability and figure out how to post to the blog, you will see their loveliness. So far the roomies have been pretty impressed with my spectacular sewing skills. So much so that I am rethinking that whole MRS degree idea.

I of course had to fight with the bobbin. For those followers who haven't had to fight with a bobbin on a sewing machine, its where the thread for the back side of the fabric comes from to complete the stitch. I've heard that my Grandma had issues with the sewing machine, and I am convinced that it must have been this whole bobbin thing. The bobbin is what broke my needle in the first place, and it hands down I think the most complicated mechanism on the whole machine. I know Elizabeth feels my pain. We also had our own issues with bobbins, during the historic sewing of aprons. (Perhaps this historic sewing was really the start of the future Mr. and Mrs. Ireland!--but then it was probably Appalachia--flooded with memories right now!!!!)  That was before the days of Facebook, so I  don't have a picture of those easily available.

So eventually the bobbin, after probably 10 attempts, was successful. None of this had to do with actually winding the bobbin. See there were no empty one's so I used the tan thread bobbin Grandma had made, who knows how long ago, and even that didn't even lead to easy success (Hence why I am convinced the bobbin was her issue all along!)

Anyway that's that for the blog today.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Hello Broken Door Handle!

Well friends, September has come and gone, and so has summer. While I am looking forward to seeing the street as all the leaves change, I am dreading the four letter s word. On the note of S words, the toilet has been doing sooo well these days! And I didn't have to replace the floater ball, or the flusher or anything! It's like magic/ I shortened the chain on the flapper valve. It's like a whole new world. Well, it would be better for the sink to stop dripping, slowly but surely.

This week has had is characteristic breaks to it. Like the door knob on the front door. Thank you to Dani who came home last Friday after having pulled off the handle. I called the landlord Saturday and was asked, "Well you still have the handle, right?" YES, of course I have the handle, what do you think I'd do with it? Chuck it at your house? Try to catch a squirrel? Maybe throw it through my windshield?While it is a cool antique, and I could use it to make a cool hanging shelf out of it, I would much rather be able to open my door. Geez.

Additionally, we have been operating the sink using the spray nozzle for the past few days. The lever popped off. Don't worry, I didn't throw that away either, and I did just figure out how to get it back on...the sink is now functioning normally. Other than that life has been pretty ho-hum around here. We all have been able to take advantage of ArtPrize, to it's full extent, and have had a few visitors join us to see it, Dani and I have had random friends show up, while Lydia's family was down for the day last weekend. Oh, sadness too. Bill and Bella are gone. Our life is now one chihuahua down. Mia is pretty happy to be the reigning chihuahua upstairs, I just know it. She is the queen once again. Welcome the new girl, Erin. She walks loud, it might interrupt my beauty sleep We'll see. Ooh, and I got excused from Jury Duty! While I was pretty excited to serve my home Township of Shelby, this is just a lot less work. I've also had the joy of e-mailing with Terry Kowal, the lovely clerk of the Twp., I decided I should vote and get an absentee ballot. One day Shelby, I will serve on a jury for you, just not for my VISTA year. Back to the laundry!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

I forgot the coolest thing!!

Yeah, it is so exciting I am not only going to update my other post, it deserves a whole new post!! We were sharing with our friend Heather who works in Campus Life at AQ about our apartment and where it was at and such. Suddenly, she asked "is it blue?" We were like, yeah. She said, "I think I had friends who used to live there." She went on to describe the apartment to a T, and when I said that the kitchen floors are black and white tiles, we were sold. The power of social media meant she wrote on her friends Facebook wall about their apartment they used to live in. Earlier this afternoon, she had texted me saying that her friends did indeed live in this apartment between 1995 and 1999. Can we say CRAZY! Heather said that they had the apartment in the "newlywed" style, and was really cute. This world is just too small I think. Another example that this is probably exactly where I am supposed to be right now :)

Alive and Well!

Grand Rapids is alive and well! We have art bursting from all seams and people about taking it all in! It's been a pretty good weekend around here. Friday night, Lydia and I kicked off our alumni careers with an AQ + Art reception at the Catholic Information Center next to the cathedral. While we were the youngest alums in attendance, we also got to kick off our ArtPrize experience. For those unaware, ArtPrize is just that that, Art and Prizes. But the prizes are awarded based on public vote, and it is completely free. For three weeks museums, galleries, restaurants, tattoo parlors, bars, missions/social services, basically any building downtown comes alive with art from all over the world you get to walk around town and see art everywhere. I am so looking forward to using my lunch break at work to get outside and see things.

Back to Friday night, Lydia and I walked Division--as cupcakes, not ho-hos--and visited many spots. Including the gay bar and a tattoo parlor. Clearly neither location expected us to frequent often, but there is really no other time we can just walk into these places and stay 5 minutes. Our night ended with a beer from HopCat, including their Crack Fries, and the long walk back up Division.On a related note, U of M is offering a $10 ticket for a bus to Grand Rapids for ArtPrize--here's to hoping that Hollie (or any U of M person) takes advantage of this to see ArtPrize. I'll also be willing to pal around with anyone who wants to come into town (with at least some notice) for it. I have a pretty good parking spot from work and there are several sites we can walk to from our apartment.

Saturday allowed for round two of us being alums. AQ Homecoming! Yes, while we did not Stomp, we did enjoy the beer tent, and a trip to Queens. Our quest for much of this year is for new experiences, and we are working hard at it! Being back on campus felt great, there is a total new relationship I have with it, but the sights are just as pretty as ever. I love knowing that God did put me there for four years and let it help define me, only to allow that place to have warm open arms the moment I walked back in. It's cool to hear people thank us for the "ground work" we set for great new things! I don't know it's deserved, but it's exciting.

Sunday has been getting life back together. Made some chili earlier today, and then did some fall cleaning. I read Martha Stewart's tips for preparing for fall, and I taking some into consideration. Mostly I just swept and cleaned the floor as well as washed the linens and packed up summer clothing.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Different Perspective

Good evening ladies and gents-

I was finally able to catch up on all of Leah's blog posts tonight and I am so glad I did! It is wonderful knowing the struggles first hand and then reading them and imagining all of Leah's facial expressions and hand motions. EPIC

This was a busy and exciting week for the graduate student. Monday brought paperwork and a TB test so I am authorized to start my job at Kenowa Hills. Wednesday included finger printing with the police department-I even got to wear a little Visitor Pass and see the interrogation rooms. Certainly not as glamorous as in the movies I might add.

In social policy we discussed the implications of universal healthcare and the lack of socialized medicine in America. If you are interested in the issue at all, check out "Sicko" by Michael Moore. I wouldn't say his portrayal of the system is completely unbiased but it certainly gets the critical thinking skills in motion. Wednesday morning I attended an in-service on Human Trafficking. I won't get into the devastating details, but I will say this: human trafficking is the result of a cycle of falsely established trust, manipulation, and abuse. The next time you find yourself saying "she (or he) chose that life", think again. Many people are prayed upon at a very young age and are forced to make choices to survive while at this very vulnerable age.

Thursday evening brought another orientation (number 3 for the program thus far) on the intricacies of field practicum. This means an exciting and challenging first summer in Grand Rapids! Friday was spent talking with people that work and live in the South End community of Grand Rapids. Between community gardens, male mentors in the school systems to help with the Believe 2 Become effort, job skills training, and great people at SECA, Abby and I went back to our own communities invigorated.
And of course stressed out about how we are going to possibly write a five page paper on this community when easily it could be fifteen pages!

As you probably read in Leah's post the three of us, along with another AQ girl helped out at Bethany Christian Service's Family Fun Day for foster parents and families in Newaygo on Saturday. Though the day was long it was rewarding and nothing beats having a little kid sit on your lap and share his cheerios with you.

Today brought the mass commemorating Aquinas College's 125th anniversary at St. Andrew's Cathedral. It was great to say hello to past residents, previous co-workers, and friends and enjoy the beautiful sunshine.

My friends, exhaustion has begun to set in and my first day at work begins tomorrow morning at 6:30 am. Hopefully listening to the rain and drifting off to sleep will prepare me for my morning with two to five year olds.

As always-thank you for reading :-)

Kudos to Leah for tackling the Secret Garden, it looks less like a jungle and more like the perfect place for a late night soiree.

MRS much?

Welcome to my first blog post from our kitchen table. It's not that we just got a kitchen table, or that I have never sat here before, but this is the first time that I have been able to get the wireless to connect to my computer!! Passengers, you are now free to move about the cabin--oops, the apartment (guess I forget that I am not on a Delta jet). While I am sitting here enjoying my tortilla pizza, one of my favorite creations that is not all that creative, and I am sure that others have used tortillas to make a thin crust pizza, it still makes me pretty happy and feel pretty savvy--here's an exciting blog post!!

I know you really are just checking in to see about an update for the apartment. Well, after an exciting day of hanging out of 20 children under the age of 5 yesterday, I checked out the Eastown Street Fair (got a great smoothie from Maui Wowi, those are just too few and far between). BTW, the street fair had so many cute things that I just wanted, but I am pretty sure I can get even more savvy and make them myself. Oh well, one day! The night ended with baking Applesauce Bread. The recipe is from a bag of Kroger Brown Sugar. Today was a day that ended up being rededicated to the rags portion of this blog. I got to know the secret garden pretty well. Cleaned up the pavers, swept up some leaves and just let them chill in the corner of the backyard. It looks pretty different, it just needs a few finishing touches and we will be good to go!

Today I also took some time to work on the curtains for the kitchen. I got the first set all ready to go,  and pulled out my sewing machine. I'm pretty honored to use my Grandma's sewing machine. The last time she used it was years ago I am sure. She left aqua thread on top, and khaki on the bottom. I wonder what she was working on? I got all excited and got the bobbin in. (BTW Mom, she does not have the same machine you do, I had to pull out the manual to figure this out!) Tried to get it ready to go, and I broke the needle!! Just my luck! It just means a trip out to JoAnn's this week and we'll see how it goes! No finished product, but the side hems are all pined and ready to go for the future!

Well this long weekend is coming to a close, it's 8:30 and I am pretty sure I feel like going to bed pretty soon. No curtains complete, but my laundry is done. The secret garden is in order, and I baked a loaf of bread. I am going to say that this year of living is really just my opportunity to get my MRS degree started. One requirement for males seeking me to obtain their MR degree, they have to be able to iron their own shirts. That just ain't happening (yeah, I know ain't ain't a word, I'm just starting my MRS degree, give it time!).

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Toilet: 5 Leah: 1

This toilet is a never ending battle. At least we don't pay for water. I've had victories, but very few. While I do believe that it is the handle that has caused most of the problem. I have a sneaking suspicion that it might have more to do with the black rubber bubble thingamajig (that word is actually in spell-check, imagine that!). Actually it is probably a combination of the two. Let's face it, the toilet is just going to keep winning. But we are the rockstars (we being my roommates and I).

On a more exciting note, the kitchen curtains are on their way! I have one ready to be sewed, and will keep working towards the rest this week. The new rugs coordinate perfectly with the red of the curtains. Get Excited! Also, my headboard has been spray painted and attached to the bed. I am a huge fan of Rustoleum Hammered Paint in Brown! I might even spray paint the rod for the curtains in my bedroom to match--it's all about coordination here! And my new love for spray paint fumes (jk peeps, I always spray paint in a well-ventilated area!) I also strongly recommend the use of the fancy trigger you can attach to the can, covers evenly and your finger doesn't get tired!

Other than that, hmm, I am excited to bake Blueberry Muffins soon. I have to come up with some muffin tins though. They will come. That's all for now folks.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Riche$ Ahead

I know, you are just waiting and wanting to hear more about the new apartment. Well I can say that is coming together quite nicely. We are pretty much almost functional and homey, which is just great.

I realized on Sunday, that I really am in love with the apartment. Even with every ant, every never ending toilet flush, every dirty corner and shelf, every paint chip and every cobweb. There is just something special I have decided about the place. I realized it after I went to look at a potential place with a friend of mine just a block over. First, so happy I am done looking at places. I don't think I can stand another smelly, dirty apartment, with interesting tenets--human and others. I also love my street. Walking over there and seeing not pretty houses, and more interesting people (including a far from tasteful call "how you doin' tall girl--tall girl, how you doin'?"). Yeah, it happened. I'm excited. This place helps me feel like I am where I am supposed to be, even when life gives you some lemons--I'm in the search to make some lemonade--maybe lemon-cello.

I also attribute my new love to actually having people around, aka, roommates. It was a quiet month in a big, nearly furniture less apartment with no connection to the world except to ants.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Running all day!

Well, friends, my work load is a little light right now so I am doing a quick post. My fingers are rich with caffeine (cashed in on Birthday Biggby this morning, since I couldn't sleep last night!!) and I am ready to type. Lost a battle with the toilet today. It ran all night, and I left the house with it going strong. It's training for a triathlon, currently only the running portion and not the biking or the swimming.  Lydia moves in officially, yay for roomies! We now even have internet! That cable guy was a character, luckily, James was there to protect me, lol. Ryan helped get the wireless set up via remote connection from AZ, love having a brother so capable of helping with those things :) And the thunderstorm caused some light flickering, but we (being me) all survived--even if I am a little sleep deprived. Can we say poet? Bet ya I didn't know it!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Toilet Attack

This year marks the first year in the past 19 that I did not start school. Yes, I went to 3 year-old preschool so it has been a long haul for me. At least that meant I was ready to start Kindergarten, good thing since I was forgotten about on the first day of school (Shout out to my Mom, a loyal blog follower!). No big deal, it not like it scared me for life or anything--I stuck it out for the next 18.  Nineteen years is along time to do anything and the way the job market looks these days I might never be in a job that long again, but who knows.

Alright so this toilet in my bathroom has gotten on my nerves. After you flush it just runs and runs and runs. It might even just start running on its own. There have been a few times when I got it to stop before work, yet I come home and it's still going. I have figured out a trick and it requires that I jiggle the handle once it stops actively flushing and I don't know what happens but it eventually stops, there is a huge sense of pride in that moment. Okay, so this morning I worked my magic--getting the toilet to stop that is--but then, a hissing sound started quiet but then grew to like a screech! It then abruptly stopped. I nearly dropped the hair curler out of my hand as I jumped in fear! The toilet was preparing to attack me! Then the hissing sound began again, I turned to the toilet and adjusted the handle, thankfully the noise was no more and I could continue curling my hair in peace.

I've decided that this post is hitting the social media waves and is going to be posted to Facebook, time to get some followers out there! To those of you just tuning in, this blog is a blog about the year after college/undergrad. The story of three girls rockin' it out in a pretty cool apartment, with a lot of potential (see the first post for some background info on "Potential"). As we discover what life is like not being an RA (for 2 of us at least), what it means to be a student in a masters program (for one), what it means to be a 5th year student (for one) and in general the adventure of renting an apartment in a cool historic neighborhood with toilets that attack and a secret garden where rodent fleas might get us too. Life is grand, isn't it?!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Lifetime Supply of.....

COASTERS! Who's excited now. That's right, the apartment on Paris has coasters galore. This apartment has so many gifts that just keep on giving. Like the fact that Internet is relatively easy to get set up on your own, except for when the cable wiring in the house is bad. Or how you can loose your whole pasta meal right down the garbage disposal as you are trying to drain your noodles. Ooh, or that I might have identified the owner of the boat outside and that the garage is actually pretty clean now that who seems to be the landlords son came and cleaned it. Perhaps we won't get bit by a rodent flea. Sound like a fun Tuesday night to you? The icing on the cake was my new discovery. I finally got around to cleaning the drawers in my cabinets only to find two boxes of flooring samples. Yes, little  2X3 samples of different types of rugs or carpets. They will make perfect coasters and are made of natural materials, like sea grass. They are an architecture set, so I'm also slowly learning more about the previous people who lived there.

I'm telling you, this apartment is a GEM, a diamond in the rough for sure.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

New Surprises!

Goal: Short and Sweet.

I was pretty excited to return to Paris last night, I just love the beauty of the skyline and looking out my window to see the Eiffel Tower and the sunrise. Bull, if only that was the case. Lydia was around over the weekend, hence the new surprises. WE HAVE FURNITURE!!! No more Mike's Hard Lemonade sitting on my rug on the floor. No, we are in the big league now. Couches, chairs plus the ottoman! Even some curtains.

I have also discovered shelf liner, budget style. The Target dollar section will sometimes have wrapping paper that is about half the width of regular. While still too wide on the shelves, it is just about the same size as the shelf liner sold. I was able to cover a lot with that one roll...3 large drawers, 3 more narrow drawers, and about 7 shelves. All the sizes varied, and I didn't put liner all the way to the back in some of the drawers, the width of the paper covered the whole section besides about 3 inches. The paper is black with white flowers on it, so it coordinates with the floor :)

I think I found some fabric for the kitchen curtains. It's on sale for $2.50 a yard, and if my measurements are correct, the curtains for the 4 windows should be around $10--besides rods which will add another $10 or so. I have many options for colors...thoughts on yellow or red?? Remember, the kitchen has black and white tile floor and brown cupboards.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Flat Tires and New Curtains

It has been nearly a week since I have spent the night in the apartment. I've kind of missed the cleaning aspects and the beauty. But I am pretty excited that the bruise on my knee is pretty much gone away. I probably won't clean floors after work this time, but I bet I can still do it later this week. I need to let my knee heal some more!

My time outside of the apartment included an exciting training in Lansing for my job. It was great to see all the peeps I met while at my orientation in Portland, OR. I even got to experience the bucket of beer available in East Lansing at a Karoke bar. Yes, it is literally a bucket that you get a pitcher to dunk in. We were careful not to let the drips out of the bucket though, we are living on a budget and every drop is super important. This is another one of those things Lydia was talking about in her blog post-- now that we are no longer RAs, there is a whole world out there for us to explore! Who's excited now?!?

Okay, so the fun stuff. My birthday was this weekend so I headed home from Lansing to my parents house in Shelby. Though it is always exciting to visit the Twip, I found myself heading out towards Marine City to visit a friend who is leaving for school at Notre Dame this week. Yes, he too is excited for what life means outside of Res Life, we are super excited for him! Nonetheless my merry little drive out 26 mile turned treacherous as I swerved, lost control, took Lucy (my car) on a 360 degree turn backwards into a ditch facing the opposite direction than what I was traveling. Luckily, no cars were close to me so no one was hit. I am pretty sure that this weekend could also have been categorized by whip-lash because my body has just felt off the entire weekend. Well, good Samaritans stopped to help me, one couple and a man with his son. The couple got out and made sure I was okay, while the man offered to try driving it out of the ditch. I was only half way in. His efforts were successful and I ended up on my way home. Never ended up visiting my friend, but all is well. The event ended up with a flat tire that we didn't realize until Sunday night. Lucy just really wanted to give me a birthday present. I am not sure if the tire was the cause or the result of the incident. Since it was Sunday Belle Tire was closed and that left me spending the rest of the night in the Twip. Hey, I guess this wasn't the worse birthday ever (signal memories of falling off bikes, pretty much broken nose, power outages-- on two occasions, oh and the fun little lice outbreak last year--I didn't have lice, others did, so it still counts). Oh wait, I didn't mention how my sister messed up my birthday cake this year. Apparently the first time I decide to have a cake that isn't my typical ice cream cake (it's been a tradition for at least 7 years). Cook and Serve pudding was prepared like instant and that just doesn't go well. Oh well, the tire just gets added to the list. Got that fixed this morning and drove to Grand Rapids after.

So apartment related things. New Curtains. The part of my birthday that did not revolve around my tire included sewing curtains. I definitely missed sewing. I have never done anything real extravagant, but the thought and planning to do it mixes technical and practical so nicely. My Mom helped by making some curtains for my bedroom. This is in hopes to partially cover up those nasty dirty blinds (we are realizing some potential here people!!). The second set I made. I decided that I wanted something for the bathroom. They are a black and white to coordinate with the black and white wall paper. I'm pretty excited. I'll post pictures once I am actually back at the apartment.

What is great about these curtains is that the fabric for the first set, the ones my Mom made was just around $4 total, and the fabric for the ones in the bathroom was just around $5. I say that probably 2 hours total were put into making the curtains. This is just such a quick and easy way to add personal touches to your windows. I'm thinking that we need something in the kitchen as well. I am pretty excited to go fabric hunting for these windows. We have four windows there, but how they are set up might allow me to make two wide sets and use a longer spring tension rod.We are pretty lucky that any windows have them ready and waiting for curtains, otherwise they are between $2-4 each. Great investment pieces, they are easy to travel with, don't require you to make holes in the wall and vary in length. For renters like us this is great. Plus, if the curtains don't match future rooms, maybe we can make pillows out of them (thanks sales lady, we [my mom and I] do have some experience in this, duh!)

Life is all about the finer things (including a new tire), and for me that includes taking the time to sew some inexpensive, fresh curtains :)

Kudos to anyone who made it this far. A pretty long post

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Opening Pandora's Box

Day Two at the House for myself was the beginning of a new chapter in my life. I made it through orientation on little to no sleep. I was boosted through it by a cup of coffee and pride in the scrubbing party that took place the night before.

Returning to the house I only had to choose between four keys to enter rather than what felt to be a jailer's set (compliments of being an RA). Standing in the living room I paused and reveled in the moment, realizing the place was ours for the next year.....Back to reality-time to tackle the porch!

Who wouldn't want to sit out on the porch swing and take in the late summer air, talking with friends or reading a text book? So my paradise may not be yours, but regardless, the porch needed to be relieved of the spring leaves she had acquired. I thought, I'll grab a broom, sweep up all the leaves and put them in the Secret Garden. After assessing the piles there was probably more trash than leaves so they were going to be bagged up and put in the trash. This is when I unleashed a hornet's nest from the depths of the porch and proceeded to scamper back in the house. After discussing the need for a spray and putting it on the list for the landlord to survey, my friend and I decided it was time for sangria.

After a beautiful afternoon by Reed's Lake, I wiped down the counters, and attempted to clean some rather sticky spots above the kitchen sink. After an unsuccessful scrub down with lysol and hot water and a return to the drawing board I'll either go for the all time stand-by bleach and a scouring pad.

Stay tuned for more as this house goes from cleaning rags to being rich with good memories.


Day three of the new place meant cleaning the kitchen floor. When your tiles are black and white there is a clear distinction when a white tile is dirty. Cleaning the floor meant a spay bottle of bleach water and a cleaning rag. There was the purchase of a dollar store mop--we'll get to that later. The white tiles had the elegant color of gray to begin with, and now the kitchen smells like a swimming pool. Bleach worked wonders on our kitchen sink. This was the elegant color of rust to begin with that is now a shinny white and dare I say it, BEAUTIFUL!! (I got to find joy somewhere, right?!) The hour and a half on my hands and knees cleaning the floor led to an hour standing on the counter top cleaning the cupboards. The second happiest thing of the day was that standing on the counter top, I didn't even hit my head on the ceiling, I probably had an extra 2-3 inches or so! I was hoping the Lysol all-purpose cleaner would help and they did. However they are still sticky. I'll try the TSP powder today--hopefully they will be sticky no more!!

Dollar Store mops seem like a decent idea. In this cleaning game we've been playing since Saturday saving some bucks is a great idea. NOT. Cleaning Tip of the day: The only smart cleaning products at a dollar store are probably bleach and name brand dish soap. Bleach is about a $1 everywhere you can buy off-brand, even if you buy name brand it is like $1.50 tops. For the most part it is the best thing out there, just use it in a well ventilated area, not near ammonia and wear old clothes. As for the dish soap, I say name brand--like Palmolive because I don't like the smell of the other type there, so it is a matter of preference--the size of the bottles was just the same so if I had to choose I would go with what I would like best. Don't buy a mop. Mops are like a good jacket I feel. A pretty decent investment that you can make for your home. The mop I got had a sponge for the bottom and within one move of the mop the sponge detached on one side, then in the second round, it fell off all together. Now I don't expect perfection for $1, but I was hoping to use it to save my knees (they have bruises on them, FYI!)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Moved to Paris!

If only that was true...well I guess it kind of is. Lydia and I decided to start a blog about the venture that is life after college. Specifically our lives moving into a rental apartment that has a lot of potential (see the title--Lydia is brilliant!). Potential comes in many ways. I mean there is potential that a 4-year old grows up to be an astronaut. Just like there is potential I might have pizza for dinner tonight. Potential for this apartment requires a little bit of elbow grease and a lot of love. Love is not priceless. We'll be talking with the landlord soon.

Potential for the Kitchen: bleach floor, sink, clean cupboards, light fixtures, let's not talk about that fridge right now.

Potential for the Secret Garden: not get bit by fleas from rodents, discover the identity of the boat, clean up the table, maybe trim some bushes, figure out where the Christmas lights get plugged in, have a Secret Garden Party with cosmos and martinis or at least something secret garden themed.

Potential for the Bathroom: cleaning the walls beyond what can be reached including the ceiling, stop the faucet from dripping--(I might measure to discover how much water is wasted from this first), fix the peeling up wallpaper.

Potential for Bedrooms: Lydia and Dani will need to post regarding there own, personal needs.

Potential for Family Room: Furniture. While I really loved sitting on the floor on my rug drinking Mike's Hard Lemonade, this is not a preference of mine...huge area for potential.

Potential....we've all got it, what's yours??