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??