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Now that it is snowing

13 Nov

Now that it is snowing there are something that I am starting to worry about and that is getting sick.  Yuck!  It happens every year that someone that I know or my roommates, classmates, colleagues, family and other random people that I come into contact with that are sick or will not wash their hands.  This is terrible because I get sick pretty easily.

nyquilLet me tell you a small story, when I was a freshman I lived in a 23 floored dorm with about 650 people living there as well.  They were old and extremely dirty and even worse my roommate did not have very good hygiene and the worst thing about it was that she did not wash her hands ever (like not even after using the restroom)! I developed Mono and then shortly after I developed a terrible staph infection that eventually went into impetigo and then on top of that I was not eating very healthy and I was getting colds all the time!

This was terrible, I was always having to buy Nyquil and Dayquil, vitamins and antibiotics as well.  The one thing that I did find was that when buying medicines was that whether you buy the brand name or the much cheaper off brand, generic they work the same and after some research on my part I found that there are laws that make sure that the generic and the brand name ones are the same.  This is beneficial for us college students because we are able to get the medicines that we need much cheaper, both from the pharmacy and over the counter.

So as this winter season starts here in the heart of Kentucky, make sure to stock up when there are sales on all the meds that you might need so you are prepared and ready to go when you need them.  Also, be sure to get a decent amount of sleep each night (like that is ever possible) and try to stay as healthy as possible!  Good luck out there!

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COFFEE!

23 Oct

coffeeOkay, I love coffee.  I love coffee so much. Coffee is my best friend.  But sometimes coffee is way to expensive.  When I was in high school I used to love Starbucks because it made me feel like one of the “cool kids,” when I was a freshman in college, my dorm was less than 50 feet away from a Starbucks.  Now I work on campus less than 100 feet from a different one!  On campus alone there are 4!

I started spending way to much money at Starbucks just to get a regular coffee without anything special.  I finally reached a breaking point when I ordered a grande white chocolate mocha frappuccino, which somehow cost me over $5.00!!  That was when I said enough is enough.

white castle coffeeI had been given a coffee maker when I graduated high school but never really used it much, well that all changed.  I bought myself a $4 reusable travel mug from Kroger (less than that one cup of sugary, whipped, milk stuff that they should just call a milkshake), and a bag of White Castle Coffee.  If you have never had White Castle Coffee, I would suggest it.  For a 3 pound bag it is right around $5 (about the same price as 1 Starbucks drink!).

If it is the sugar, milk and whipped cream that you crave then you should invest in some of that too.  You can buy cool-whip for $1 a tub and it keeps forever in the freezer.  I really like coffeemate in my coffee so I have some Sugar Free French Vanilla powder, it is about $2.

Now that we have all our ingredients let’s add it up.  Coffee is around $.10 (if a 3lbs bag of coffee is 5 dollars and there are 48 servings in each bag 48 divided by 5 is .10), the coffeemate is around $.10 and then the mug is $4 but the more that you use it the less it costs.

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If I can make a cup of coffee for less than a quarter, why am I buying Starbucks???!!! Is it because I love their coffee?  No.  Kahlua coffee is by far the best that I have ever tasted, White Castle comes in a close second, then Maxwell House, Folgers, and 8 o’clock.  Is it because it is convenient?  Well sometimes that might be the case but if your coffee maker has a timer on it.  You can get it all ready before you even go to bed and then it can automatically make itself so that once you are ready in the morning so is your coffee.  Do I buy Starbucks because I am forced?  No.  The only reason that I can think of for buying it is that all my friends do it and I still want to be the “cool kid.”  Well that has all changed.  Starbucks will never again steal my money!

Now I challenge you to make your own coffee for a week and do not buy it from anywhere else.  If you feel like you like strong coffee do not put in 3 or 4 scoops of coffee, instead buy a darker roast that will be stronger flavored and you will not have to use as much saving you money.

Although this might not sound appetizingyou some of you my favorite drink that I make myself is Cuban roasted coffee, with 1 packet of sweet ‘n low and some lemon juice with a slice of lemon in it!  What are some of the speciality drinks that you like to make yourself?

Electric Saving tips

21 Oct

For the past two months it has been unseasonably warm here in the heart of Kentucky, which is great thing for people like me, trying to save money on their electric bill.

Since the beginning of September the weather has been perfect.  We turned our air off on the first day of September and have only turned it back on for one night the past two months and we are on the third floor of our three story building!

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Here is what you can do to help cut down on your electric bill:

  • If the weather is nice enough open up the windows and keep them open until the days get too cold, if the nights are too cold then just shut most of the windows and leave a bathroom or a kitchen window open.
  • Instead of being connected all the time unplug appliances that are not in use, such as the coffee maker, the toaster, blender, quesadilla maker, margarita maker, computers, cell phone chargers, hair straighteners.  Whatever it is, if it has a plug and can be unplugged, unplug it while it’s not in use.
  • This is also a water saving tip, but take shorter showers or take showers in colder water.  Brush your teeth with cold water, wash your face with cold water (this will also help you wake up in the morning).  Still wash your hands with warm soap and water though to kill all the germs.
  • Make sure that all the light bulbs in your place are working, if there is a bulb that is out replace it right away.  Even though the bulb is not working it is still using energy each and every time that you have the light plugged in or turned on.
  • If you like to sleep with the lights or the TV on, set them so that they are on a timer and can go off automatically during the night once you are asleep.  Instead of using the overhead light invest in a night light or a night light and air freshener combo so that you get more for your money.
  • Do not run the dishwasher until it is completely full and nothing else can safely fit into it.  This is something that I struggle to convince my roommate to do.  She usually loads it to what I would consider 3/4 of the way full and then she runs it 😦
  • Make sure that the filter in your unit is functional and clean, if not this can slow down the efficiency of your unit and raise your bill!
  • Last but not least, charge all your appliances at work, such as your computer, tablet or phone, or at the library while you are there studying…but don’t steal the toilet paper!

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Art Work

18 Oct

In August I moved out of my 4 bedroom, 4 bathroom apartment to a much smaller, 2 bedroom 1 bathroom.  The perks were that it was much cheaper and so much closer to campus!!  The downside was that it was old, dirty and not exactly my first place of choice to live, but hey! life happens and here I am.

The place was extremely shabby and while there are still many issues with the place (the smoke detector is still hanging off the ceiling), I have extremely cleaned it, the carpets have been cleaned and we have been working on decorating the place.

wpid-IMAG1951.jpgOur living room furniture consists of two lovely antique chairs and an antique wooden coffee table that my roomie Sarah picked up, a yellow Ikea table with a modern color blocked blue and brown lamp and a floor rug that is blue and brown circles (see once before in my dorm) and of course a TV.  This may seem like some craziness but it really fits together nicely, it is a good mix of my modern taste and her antique taste.  We brought it all together with her making chevron patterned pillows for the chair and I bought a cheap ($12) valance on Etsy.  The dark navy blue curtains and pillows add something but it is the artwork that really ties the room together.

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The artwork is 4 pictures, hung in a shape that can only be described as a mix between a square and a diamond.  Three of the four pictures were photos that I had taken in Spain, of the beach, the orange trees in front of a cathedral and a crooked sidewalk under a leafy arbor.  The fourth is a poster of the Beatles, all framed in cream frames (on sale at Michaels).  This is what pulls the room together and shows our unique style differences.

In our tiny hallway, I took another frame (on sale at Michaels, a few years ago) and inside of it I placed the covers from 4 different Latina and People en Español magazines that I get.  Then I put the poster frame over our ugly fuse box!wpid-IMAG1947.jpg

In the bathroom again with the same idea of using artwork that we already had lying around the house.  I had bought a cheap plastic box frame on Amazon for a gift but when I got it, it was so badly damaged that I was not able to use in and then I forgot to return it….oops.  Now I have painted the cardboard back blue and put 3 dramatic Maybelline  ads in it and hung it as decoration.  A great way to repurpose those old magazines and make art work.

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The final project that I have decided to work on is something a little different.  I had gotten a few packs of 4×6 and 5×7 picture paper for free when I bought my printer but I never print pictures so I decided to use them as art.  I took my paint ($.97 each from Walmart) and got to work.  I am not an artist by any means and so I simply sat down and started drawing shapes and letters and lines and eventually I got into such a craze that I made like 10 of these things!  They have now become my around the closet decoration.  While this is still a work in progress it is coming along nicely.  When I need to procrastinate or get rid of extra energy I just get out my brushes ($1.34 for a pack of 30, Walmart) and slap down some paint!

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How do you guys decorate your living spaces?  Do you paint on the walls?  Do you hang posters? Do you just not decorate at all and that is your style?  I’d love to hear what you do!

Cleaning

17 Oct

Cleaning has never been the challenge for me.  Keeping things clean and organized however is a different story.  I have tried so many different ways to keep things organized that it is crazy.  I still usually live a very messy lifestyle.

Living with roomies can be tricky in this way if you mess spills over into other shared places and spaces.  Something that I have started to do is to keep everything else except my room very clean.  I wipe down the counters and the stove each time that I use them.  I vacuum the carpet every other weekend (my roomie takes my off weekends), and then there is the bathroom.  I clean the counter and the mirror, I change the towels and the toilet paper.  I make sure there is plenty of soap and room spray but the thing that I forget every time is to get my hair out of the drain and pick the shower mat up out of the tub so that it doesn’t mold!

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Speaking of mold nobody likes that, to clean everything I use one product – comet!  Comet cleans the hell out of everything!!  The toilet – comet, the sink – comet, the shower – comet, the metal shower heads and kitchen sink – comet, the floors – comet!  However, I have learned that this is an abrasive product and will scratch certain surfaces like a shower stall and a bathroom sink.  To save money from buying all those crazy expensive cleaning products, if I can’t use comet….I use vinegar!

baking sodaVinegar and baking soda are the most perfect combination to clean with although be careful when mixing the two, there could be some explosions!  I normally just wet the surface pour the baking soda on it then the vinegar and make a paste like substance.  From there I simply rub it in and clean whatever it is that is dirty.

Between the comet costing something like .60 cents and the vinegar and baking soda costing like $1.89 ($1 for the baking soda and .$89 for the vinegar) it really isn’t a huge strain on your wallet.  And you aren’t using so many harsh chemicals!

Let me know how you find new ways to clean effectively!

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