Roommate Chronicles: Part 1

Recently I've gotten a couple of emails from readers and friends asking a few roommate related questions. Roommates are an interesting principle all by themselves. If you think about it having roommates can save everyone a lot of money, time, and can act as a security in a lot of ways. You are never alone with roommates. But there are also some things you have to seriously consider. Since I bought my house in 2008 I have had a number of roommates come in and out of my home. Some were really awesome and remain my best friends to this day, and some I hope to never see again.

So I've decided to extend out a little advice in the roommate department that I've learned the hard way over the last few years, hopefully to save everyone a little trouble.

A few of the questions I received were:

  1. How do you find a good roommate? What are your requirements in a roommate?
  2. How do you deal with the bills? Do you split them up?
  3. How do you collect the rent?
  4. Do you have a lease agreement?
  5. Overall how do you live with strangers?
Those are just a few questions I've received so I thought I would just go about addressing the first one today.

"How do you find a good roommate? What are your requirements?"

I think the most important thing to consider when looking for a roommate is to think about the type of lifestyle that you live as well as your age. I'm not saying that you can't room with much older or younger people but I think it's important to keep in mind because of maturity levels and different levels of responsibility. For myself, I make it very specific when I put an ad out for a roommate that I want a college aged female as a potential dwelling sharer. I do that for a number of reasons. 

One, I've never had much luck with guy roommates in terms of longevity and cleanliness. It turns into the guy often thinking that you're going to clean up after them. I'm an independent single lady and I have no interest in cleaning up someone else's mess or playing wifey.

Two, I have a total of three bedrooms which means that I rent out the other two rooms at this point. The two people that are going to be sharing the other bathroom need to be able to get along and if they are able to bond over hair products or make up I think it makes it much easier. 

I have found that living with females is much more fun in all honesty. Some would argue that living with girls causes more drama, but I don't feel as though that's entirely true. I screen my potential roommates to make sure that they are mostly single (or at least aren't going to be having one of those boyfriends that stays the night every night and starts doing his laundry in my fancy washer and dryer. Not happening.) and that they are female. I want to live in an environment that is positive and geared towards independent female status. Also, women tend to prefer and appreciate my decor way more then men do. As a DIY blogger, that's huge for me!

Overall in regards to finding a roommate, I recommend setting your standards high because you are living with this person for a minimum of 6 months to one year and you deserve to be comfortable. And also being very clear in what you are looking for in your life and roommate experience. 

Summer Lovin. My Favorites.

I won't lie, I haven't had time to do anything at all exciting in terms of DIY this week. I've been overwhelmed with finals, teaching, projects, and assignments. I must confess I will be relieved when the semester is over and I never have to do a group presentation again. They are definitely my least favorite thing.

But anyways! I thought that I would share my favorite summer products! Just for fun. As a redhead summer is one of my least favorite seasons. I feel as though the sun is seeking out my poor white flesh and that I smell like coconut sunscreen for three solid months. The last couple summers I've tried to find the perfect mix of products. 

Let's call it: "Summer Survival of a Classy Redhead Tool Kit"

or something like that.

First and foremost to understand about redheads is we generally don't tan.
At all.

So I love sunscreen! But hate the smell. Here's some of my favorites:

 I've found this great Cetaphil facial moisturizer that contains SPF 50. Doesn't block your pores, doesn't smell nasty. Awesome. And Neutrogena SPF 100+ is my absolute favorite sunscreen. Especially for my neck and chest. It's light and doesn't have the consistency of glue, which is refreshing if you've ever tried to rub on anything over 60 proof.

Since I can't get a tan I love this Mario Bedescu lotion. It adds some fun shimmer and hydration plus it makes my legs look less shockingly white when I very occasionally wear shorts.

Makeup is also a hard one for redheads. Here's a few of my favorite makeup hits:

I worked at Ulta, the beauty store, for quite awhile and have since developed a fondness for high end makeup. I figure I'm single so I can buy the good stuff. Plus I have always struggled with acne so spending the extra cash on quality is totally worth it to me. BareMinerals Original foundation in "Fair" is my staple item. I love it. It matches my skin tone without making me look ghastly or masked and it keeps me from breaking out a whole lot.

BareMinerals Faux Tan (shiney metallic lid) is also a favorite because it allows me to add a controlled bronzed look without actually having to go into the sun. Total win if you ask me.

Pink nail polish in "Butterflies" by Orly, some volumizing mascara, and fabulous chap stick complete my easy redhead summer needs.

Luckily I do have some house related things to show you!

I've purchased some awesome flower pots! They're from Ross and ranged from $2.99 for the little one to $5.99 for the big ones. Cheap. Even more awesome.

Now just to plant some things in them and try to get them to grow. That will be the challenge. Oh and that's the table from my "Summer to-do list" that I need to put another coat of paint on. Yay.

What is your favorite summer product?

*all products were reviewed by me independently. cuz I'm like that. independent, I mean.

Summer To Do List.

During this semester I have put off some big projects, mostly due to time constraints I've been working on little projects, redecorating, and organizational things. Well now that summer break is about 2 weeks away (Thank goodness!) I'll have time to start getting on those big projects. Be prepared for lots of  "to-do" pictures!

  • Really have to finish painting the ceiling in the hallway and replace the light fixture. The walls could probably use a new coat of paint also. 

  • This front (and only) closet needs a complete remodel. Its a royal disaster.

  • Been talking about it forever and now I just need to do it. The entryway.

  • Countertops needs another coat of paint in some spots. I'd love to do a 100% finished post sometime within the next month or two.

  • Replace 2 sets of mini-blinds in the house. The cats believe they are merely gateways to the outdoors and have succeeded in tearing up a couple sets. Ugh.

  • Double rods for the master bedroom curtains! Seriously. IKEA trip. Yes. Please.

  • Sort of goes without saying but I obviously need a new computer station set up. This is a bigger mess then the closet. 

  • Recovering the chair and cleaning up my hoard of books and DIY supplies from their hiding spot behind the chair.

  • Paint the outdoor furniture with some spray paint to really freshen them up. The paint from last summer is just a little faded. I'm cool with that though. $6.00 in spray paint for a free outdoor set. Still can't beat that.

  • Restock my wine rack with some delicious and oh so fabulous Colorado wines!

  • Black out line the dining room curtains to avoid roasting to death in the hot Colorado sun.

  • Figure out why only one of these lights works and paint that nappy ceiling!

  • This is one that I've never shown before. But. It's my back door. A scary thing really. Currently it is a hollow door that opens inwards in a strange fashion. It has blue blinds, plastic window coating and curtains to try to disguise its terror...

But it's really pretty bad....

  • Also a blog first is showing my "back yard." Yup. It's glorious right? My neighbors evidently are collecting rubber and other debris. My back porch looks, well, ghetto and rickety. Which it is. I don't remember the last time I stood on it. Partially because I have the back door sealed so you can't get in or out of it but also because the whole thing is falling apart. Needs to be completely replaced.

It's even scarier up close....

And my terrifying back door. Yes it is tin foiled. This back side of the house gets a LOT of sunlight. Pretty much for the entire day the sun smashes against the windows and walls. It gets HOT. The door for the back will hopefully only have a small window at the top, if any window at all. Oh and that random board on the bottom? It's covering up a cat door.

As you can see there is going to be a lot going on this summer! I know I've been slacking on the bloggy lately but believe me... I've got some big plans!

Give em the Boot

Last Friday was my birthday! And it was a very good birthday indeed! I was able to spend the entire week as the teacher of the classroom that I'm stationed in for my student teaching. (This semester we are more like aides in the class and then we move into being actual teachers next semester.) My students sang "Happy Birthday" and I fed them cookies and cupcakes.

They were excited about it. And it was a lot of fun!

I also bought myself something pretty for my birthday! It's the first car I've ever owned in my name. Super excited. 2006 Honda Civic. Love it.

On a more blog related note! I've mentioned a couple times that I have an impressive collection of boots. Okay well I have an impressive amount of shoes in general... but they are starting to create a bit of a problem in my room because they are everywhere! My boots especially are creating a bit of chaos. I have roughly 22 pairs of boots... there are advantages to this single lady thing!

I found a few cool ideas on what I could possibly do with my massive collection on Pinterest, but I think I may need some serious creativity.

This would be my dream of course! An entire wall in an entire room dedicated entirely to the greatness that is my wardrobe!! But alas, my house is too small, and I have no walk in closet/room to spare. This is one of the disadvantages to a manufactured home.

Perhaps some sort of furniture piece like this could work?


I'm going to keep looking around but if anyone has some ideas for me, please share! I've gotta get my boots off the floor and into a same place like they deserve!

Oh and of course fit it all into my room which is only so big.

Hope everyone is having a good Monday so far!

Closet Time

My dear Readers! I have missed you! I apologize for my extended absence. Believe me. I haven't been having fun without you.

This is what the last half of an English Education major's senior semester looks like:

And that's only two of the research papers I've been working on! Can you say... Stressed?But it will all be over soon no matter what happens. Perhaps that is what scares me. But anyways! During my jam packed week I was able to FINALLY get a little action happening in the master bedroom.

By that I mean I have finally put up some closet curtains. (What did you think I was talking about?)

Those are curtains that I bought at IKEA for $12.99 (The same that I used in my recent bathroom redo.) My roommate describes my wardrobe collection as "extensive." I'm not entirely sure where she gets that idea! hehe.

There are a few things I need to do in order for this closet to actually look pretty.

This uglio cabinet needs a face lift. I was perusing around Pinterest and came up with the idea to cover it with the wallpaper I have leftover from my kitchen remodel! Genius! Now... to actually do it....

Along with an impressive amount of clothes and boots I also have a plethora of bags.... and my bins of crafty supplies. All of these need to be reorganized and relocated. I would like to replace those with woven baskets.

Same thing with the photo boxes on this side. I feel as though there are better options for all these things.

I thought I would mention how I managed to get the curtains to hang up. The original idea was to use a cable curtain rod from IKEA. After that went terribly, and hugely upsetting-ly wrong. I forfeited the cable rod and well... improvised. 

These are the hooks you're supposed to use with the cable rod. I got crafty and used the clips to hook onto the curtains and found a lip just behind the metal thing that used to hold the gigantic doors. 

And VIOLA! it worked! I am thinking about buying another set of curtains to give them a "fuller" look. I also want to give them some awesome yellow chevron stripes. Perhaps I'll get around to that this summer... after my fingers fall off from writing research papers!

What do you guys think of the new curtain set up? Do you think it looks better then the gigantic doors?