Tag Archives: roommate

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.

kahlua

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?

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How to make wonderful cheap costumes

22 Oct

With Halloween coming up it is important for us college students (and everyone else of course) to start thinking about our Halloween costumes.  We must ask ourselves these questions:  Will I go with something sexy or scary?  What are all my friends going as?  Will I be going to a themed party that I need a certain costume for?  Can I wear the same thing as last year?  How many people will notice if I do?  Will it be freezing out?  And most importantly how can I do this all with the insignificant amount of money that I have?

Smarty-pants and cat

Smarty-Pants and a Cat. Photo by Susan Myers

First, do NOT buy one of those crappy costumes at the Halloween Expresses of the world, the $50 costume is not worth it, not to mention that it is probably (at least for me) half of the amount of money you allow yourself for food each month.  While this might be good if you are trying to lose weight, I have some better ideas.

Cat

My roommates as a cat and a store-bought pirate. Photo by Susan Myers

Second, go to your closet.  Do you have black leggings and anything animal printed?  Instant animal costume.  Last year, I let my roommate borrow my cheeta print leggings, that and a black shirt with a headband with ears on it – ADORABLE CAT!

freshman smarty-pants

As smarty-pants, when I was a freshman in high school.  Photo by Sarah Hay.

For my own costume, I decided to repurpose an idea that I had used once before, this time making it a little more grown up.  I was smarty-pants.  I literally just attached smarties candy to my black leggings and threw on a white shirt with a tie that I borrowed from a neighbor and some plastic glasses that I had.  So clever! I looked so SMART!

80's chick

My Friend Kara, as an 80’s Chick (missing the sweater) and myself as Smarty-pants.

more 80's chicks

Another time as 80’s Chicks

For my friend’s costume, we decided to go with an 80’s girl.  She has crazy curly hair to begin with, so making it massive was easy.  I also have an absurd amount of blue eye shadow that we threw on her.  She wore some purple leggings, with a blue cami and this crazy sweater that I really liked when I got it but I really only break it out for 80’s wear now.  I’m sure that any oversized sweater and colored pants will do.  You can even throw on some of those great leg warmers that are in style right now and bam! – 80’S CHICK!

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Greek Goddesses

For another event, I needed a costume and I decided to go with a greek goddess.  For this one, simply get out that strappy white dress that most people have, throw on some gold eye shadow or something else sparkly and from a craft store you can get gold rope and fake leaves.  I got ours from JoAnn Fabrics.  Throw on some heels or sandals and amazing – GREEK GODDESS.

This one can be altered so that if you have a white dress and put on some black eyeshadow, tie a black ribbon around your waist and wear black shoes – INSTANT GHOST!

Another thing that most girls have in their closet are the cowboy boots.  Simply get those out with the jean skirt that you bought a long time ago but never wear and put it on.  If you do not have a plaid flannel shirt, start looking around a week earlier and find some friend that is wearing one, ask them to borrow it.  (Cowboy hat is optional) – COWGIRL.

These are just a few of the costumes that I have made myself or have helped someone make, overall how much did it cost me?  Probably not more than a few dollars since I already had most of this stuff or I borrowed it from someone else.  That is exactly what you can do as well.

What kind of creative costumes can you guys come up with?

 

 

Flowers

20 Oct

As summer begins to turn into fall there are many things that I love, the falling leave the beautiful, warm October sunshine, but there is nothing that I like better than fall flowers.  The colors are just wonderful!

I am not ashamed to admit it but I buy flowers for myself ALL the time! And no it is not because I am lonely, I love flowers and they make a nice addition to brighten up our small apartment.  However, you may be wondering…how does this frugal chick have money to be spending on flowers – for herself no less?!

This is how I do it.  The Kroger right downs the street from me has a small floral desk in the front of the store, but since this Kroger is probably 90% college students they usually are not spending to much money on flowers, this means that there is usually beautiful cut flowers that are not sold and are beginning to turn less than perfect.  When this happens they go on clearance! YAY!!
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I can buy a dozen roses for $4 or some lovely other cut flowers for less than $2 and they really do brighten up a room.  I have told my roomie about this trick as well and yesterday she bought some wonder fall roses for our living room.  When thinking about budgeting I skip out on the third pack of cheese and this is what I get instead.  Definitely worth the small sacrifice.

Just cut the dead or browning leaves off of the stems, put the flowers into some water and enjoy a few days of fresh flowers and you don’t even have to blow your budget!

What do you do around the house to make it more lively and fun?  Let me know in the comments below!

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!

The Dorms

29 Jul
Dorm Room

This was my dorm room when I first moved in, as you can see very tiny but not completely unbearable.

During my first year at UK, I lived in the dorms.  Specifically, Kirwan Tower, which would have been all fun and games except for the problem of the terrible roommate that I had.  However, if you also find yourself in this situation then I would suggest that you talk to your  RA and your hall director to see if you could switch to a different room or different dorm, with a more positive roommate.  You should at least give the roomie a couple of months to try and reach out to get to know him or her, unless there are up-front obvious problems.  At the end of the first semester, if things still are not working out the it is definitely time for a change.  Do not stoop to passive agressive fighting, such as eating his or her food, taking the remote for the TV when you leave, or locking your roomie out while they are brushing their teeth.

Another thing that I quickly learned about the dorms, if there are people that you are not so comfortable hanging out with on your floor, or people that do not have the same moral values as you, then simply be as nice to them as you can but hang out with different people, there is always that random girl in your chemistry class that smiles but doesn’t say much, or the boy in your communications class that you offered the seat next to you on the first day when he arrived late and flustered.  Also, if none of the people in your classes seem to be of interest to you then instead join a club or a team that seems to fit more to your own personal style.  Just because you don’t live within 20 feet of them doesn’t mean that they can’t end up being your best friend.

Wash Your Hands!!The last thing about the dorms that I know I was most scared before I moved in, was the community bathrooms.  Now normally for me this wasn’t a huge problem during the week, but BE CAREFUL on Saturday and Sunday mornings before you plop down on that toilet seat, someone just might have spent the night before slightly under the weather (if you know what I mean ;)).  The most traumatic thing that ever happened in my community bathroom which consisted of 4 toilets, 4 showers, 8 sinks and two doors (that I shared with 24 other girls), was that someone as a prank took an entire toilet off the wall and laid it on the floor!!  I am not even joking about this, we had to spend the next month running through the stairwell (sometimes in just a towel or bathrobe) down the the floor below us to wash our hands, use the bathroom and to shower (yikes!), but it all turned out okay and I wasn’t scarred to badly.

Being in the dorms can be hard on your immune system, especially if you become accustomed to eating and drinking after people.  Make sure to wash your hands frequently and every time after your use the bathroom, because you never know if the person that just touched the door in front of you did.  Keep your things clean and do not let mold build up on anything.  And most importantly if you feel yourself starting to get sick go and visit the student clinic (which is included in your full-time student tuition at UK)!

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