Amahlala's Profile

Display Name: Amahlala
Member Since: 11/5/12

Latest Comments...

I attended 33 schools in my lifetime (grade, middle and high). My dad (and stepfathers) had jobs in one form or another that were construction related, so we moved to where the jobs were. At one time, I attended three different schools in two weeks!

I learned to appreciate the chance to meet new people and embrace new opportunities, to have confidence in myself, to learn from new experiences and constantly adapt to my surroundings.

I always relish a move and look forward to new surroundings and will never cease to have the urge to travel and move. Although sometimes it was stressful to move all the time; I appreciate my parents willingness and enthusiasm for giving myself and my siblings all the experiences that moving gave us.


4 Reasons Why Moving is Actually Pretty Awesome
7/27/14 01:34 PM

Our apartment is fairly new (within the last ten years) however, one of our kitchen lights (track lighting) burns out every month and turns off another light.

They completely replaced the electrical box (panel?) because we had massive outages for about six months (if you turned on a switch in the living room, it would blow all the fuses for the bedrooms and so on). Now, it's just the light that goes out every month.....


What Are Your Home's Most Unusual Quirks?
7/26/14 07:04 PM

I would say that keeping in touch with your landlords/property managers regarding rent and setbacks in pay is a very good idea.

When the lovely government shutdown happened; we experienced six weeks of no pay and even with some savings; would not be able to make a full month of rent at one time (for two months); by contacting our property manager (and having the letters to back us up); we were able to work out a payment plan for two months that allowed us to pay our rent and other obligations without putting us in a dire financial situation.

If we hadn't contacted them and worked out a deal; we could have been evicted for non-payment of rent.


Renter Relationships: Tips for Getting Along Better With Your Roommate, Landlord & Neighbors
7/26/14 01:44 PM

Most individuals that I know who make minimum wage (which includes youngest child who is an adult), cannot subside "living" on minimum wage.

Most of those that I know live with roommates; have car payments (normally on a used vehicle), are going to college or other form of school, or are paying off student loans, and struggle to pay for the "basics:" utilities, health and car insurance, food, clothing and miscellaneous unexpected items.

Most can't "make it" without living with roommates and a lot of young adults work two or three jobs just to try to make ends meet.


Budget Living: Living On Minimum Wage
7/25/14 10:00 AM

We had a family that lived next door to us with three children under the age of 10; the boys were sweet, kind and liked to "help" the neighbors with carrying bags or opening doors. The little girl (3) was very pretty, was very sweet most of the time, loved to play with my pug but when upset, tired or did not get what she wanted from her siblings; she had a set of lungs on her!

She could scream so piercingly that you could literally hear her outside, in the parking lot of the apartment building across the street. Once she started screaming; my poor pug would start to cry and try to hide.

We felt bad for her parents and siblings; they really did try to discourage her screaming fits but nothing worked. Unfortunately; other neighbors complained and the family was asked to move out by the management company. I wish that they had been able to resolve or come to a resolution.


Noisy Kids? How To Keep The Peace With Your Next-Door Neighbors
7/23/14 09:47 AM

I keep coming back to this article; it's been very interesting to read all sides of the issue; so I guess I will throw my opinion into the "ring."

It is true that there can be some very lenient, willing and wonderful landlords who will allow their tenants to make renovations (inside and out), allow painting to be done (in all the colors of the rainbow) and even be willing to shell out $$$ to ensure a renovation or upgrades is done well and correctly according to city code(s). Those tenants who find those wonderful (and sometimes I think mythical) landlords are indeed lucky renters.

However; most individuals live in rental management properties where the rules on what can and cannot be done in the property is longer than most "If I won a million dollars and could design my own home" wish list or they live in a property owned by a landlord(s) who will not allow any renovations having been burned by previous tenants.

Many will say that those who complain about their long list of "can't do anything;" should never have signed a lease; however; in very tight housing markets with limited availability of rental properties; sometimes one has to take the best of the "can't do anything" property and sign that lease.

For instance; in my rental apartment; we cannot light candles, have grills on our patios/balconies, paint the walls, replace the carpet or vinyl flooring, replace shower heads, change the locks, remove doors, no bikes on the patios/balconies, we can't even change the light bulbs when they burn out as they are either placed too high for us to reach without a ladder or they are specialty light bulbs for track lights. No major holes in the wall, unless requesting permission to install a wall mount television and then maintenance has to be present during install and you are charged for maintenance time.

Taking a risk such as painting or replacing anything would break the lease for most individuals and cost them much more than their security deposit such as legal action; a "hit" on their credit rating; poor rental reference and a reputation for breaking leases (word travels fast amongst rental property managers and companies).

Although I am sure that AT was not giving approval for breaking a lease and stressing the importance of working with your landlord; the title and gist of the article was a bit misleading for renters and landlords/property managers.


Radical Renters: When Renters Make Big Changes
7/22/14 09:46 AM

In my apartment, the two smaller rooms have sliding mirrored closet doors (I have one of the smaller rooms as my bedroom and the other is our office).

I really did not want to look in the mirror every moment I am in my room, so I found some wall decals in black and placed six in a random pattern on my closet doors, I picked them up at Target and with a slightly frosted background on the decals, it helps to "hide" the gigantic mirror and keeps glare down from the light shining through the two windows.

http://www.target.com/p/wallpops-wall-art-kit-with-mirror-baroque-medallions/-/A-13665326#prodSlot=medium_1_36

In the office, one of the mirrored doors has a giant whiteout/corkboard combo hung on the door (I used command strips to place it on the door), the other door was left clear so that there was one mirror that could be used as it was intended.


5 DIY Ways to Upgrade Rental Closet Doors Renters Solutions
7/18/14 09:55 AM

Are you sure that is a little less than 600 sq. feet? It reads as large and spacious, especially in the kitchen/dining area. I realize it is probably small but with all the light, the plants, the colors, it just feels HUGE!

Beautiful home!


Revisiting Scott's California Bohemian House Tour
7/18/14 09:44 AM

Yup. I ask. I am in a small midwestern city and housing is limited and rents are sky-high. My neighbors and I discuss monthly renting vs. yearly leasing and the costs differences to find out if we can negotiate our rents with our property manager. It helps as rents are fluctuating wildly in our building.

I see nothing wrong with asking, how else would you know if you are paying prevailing rents or if your prospective landlord(s) are overcharging? And I also check public records for overall property taxes and get estimates of electrical and heating costs.


Would You (Could You?!?) Talk About Your Rent with Your Neighbors? Renter's Solutions
7/17/14 11:49 AM

We have a dishwasher in our apartment but I think that I am in the minority when I say that I cannot stand dishwashers. (Ours is unplugged, courtesy of our maintenance crew)

I lowered the amount of dishes done by hand by reducing our daily dishes to just what is essential (to include pots/pans/utensils), I rinse out dishes, if I can't wash immediately and use two drying mats; I don't normally dry the dishes; I let them air dry. I suppose it doesn't bother me if they are on the counter.

I bought a 12-pack of sponges and use them in rotation after they are washed in the washing machine and dried. I keep the sponges in a small basket in the utensils drawer rather than under the sink (easier access) and I only use the sponges for dishes, never on the counters or two wipe down the sinks.


Our Best Tips for Life Without a Dishwasher
7/17/14 09:57 AM

Personally, I've never liked using the top sheet; my kids didn't either. It didn't matter that to some, it meant that the blanket and/or comforter needed to be washed more often; with six kids in the house all the bottom sheets and blanket/comforters were washed weekly. (Each child's full week of laundry was done on an assigned chore day)


Don't Fall for It: 5 Things You Really DON'T Need At Home
7/11/14 02:55 PM

My sister is my roommate and we are both in our 40's. We've been living together since 2008; the decision was both financial and emotional based. I was ending a stressful relationship and my children had left the nest; her youngest was leaving the nest.

We've been all over the U.S. together; have no qualms in packing up and moving when a new job finds us or we want to explore another part of the country. It's worked out very well being roommates. We each have our things that we do but also enjoy one another's company so it works out perfectly.


Living with Roommates (Just for the Fun of It)
7/11/14 02:46 PM

I have owned a home, it worked well while raising my children but as they got older and my career took me out of the state I was living in, I took a loss on the sale of my home; as I could not afford a mortgage and rent in two different locations. (the loss came just as the recession hit). I enjoyed the freedom to decorate as I pleased or to make improvements yet I didn't enjoy replacing the busted water heater (which chose to die an horrific "death" at 3:30 in the morning, in the middle of winter) or having to do continual lawn maintenance (spring/summer) and snow removal.

I currently live with my sister (who is also a former home owner) and we find that renting works for us. We have the freedom to move when needed for our careers or just to move to explore a new city/state. We don't have control over the bigger decorating issues (Hello builder's beige and my complaining), yet we also do not have to worry over big ticket maintenance issues or even replacing our light bulbs or air filters as our property management supplies those items.

We might or might not choose to purchase a small home in the next ten years for our eventual retirements, for now though, we are enjoying our renting experience and fully live in our homes! (Yes! Apartments can and should be your home, whether you are in them short or long term. You live there so enjoy your home!)


Is Home Ownership Still Part of The American Dream?
7/9/14 09:37 AM

I would LOVE to have white walls. I have the dreaded builders beige, along with the the dread builder's beige, almost shaggy, wall to wall carpeting and the dreaded builder's beige, continuously dingy and dirty looking beige tiling. Paired "harmoniously" with "cherry" cabinetry in the kitchen/bathrooms and green/black "granite" counter-tops/window ledges.

As much as I try to embrace all that builder's beige; it does become slightly overwhelming and after time makes everything look oddly out of place. I wish our management property company would allow us to paint a soft white or install wood flooring or at least laminate; wall to wall carpeting feels so unhygienic.

We did not have a choice with signing the lease here; our housing market is very limited and very few allow pets; so we are stuck for a time and just have to deal with it; even though it does help to let off steam regarding all the beige! LOL


Renters Solutions: 7 Real Life Examples of White Walls that Work Apartment Therapy Home Remedies
7/3/14 09:31 AM

I actually like cinder block shelving; my guilty secret. I think that it can be done well and painted to match your interior. They make great door stoppers; night stands, all sorts of fun things.

For outdoors, cinder blocks come in so handy: fun to use as planters, bottle holders for wine (some ice and a bottle of wine =fun in the yard), put sand in them and you have an outdoor ashtray (for those who smoke-who wants to pick up cigarette butts?), stack a few together and use some sand and voila! Tiki torch holders or citronella candle holders. Outdoor chairs threatening to blow away in the wind? Cinder blocks to the rescue! Back legs placed in the holes of the cinder block and your chair stays put. Obviously, I have found lots of uses for them.

They are relatively cheap, easily disposed of when you no longer want them around and fun to have around your apartment or home.


10 Ways to Make Cinderblock Furniture (That Doesn't Look Totally Terrible)
6/30/14 02:52 PM

It is truly my home; whether I rent or own. I decide how I want it decorated; how I want the rooms to function and how I feel most comfortable with my space.

I owe no one an apology for enjoying my home nor do my friends owe me an apology for enjoying their homes and their decor.

Just have fun in your home and enjoy your life in your home!


Your Home, Your Choice: 10 Home Explanations You Don't Owe
6/29/14 11:18 AM

There are moments when I feel very "grown-up" such as filing my taxes, making and keeping necessary doctors appointments, hanging up the laundry directly from the dryer and not running it through a second dry cycle.

There are moments when I feel very "young adult" such as when I realize it's the weekend and I can sleep in late and eat "kid" cereal, eating a slice of cake right before bed or making a frivolous purchase because it feels good.

I think the article was meant to be light-hearted and give one individuals view on when they determined they became an adult and wondering if others felt that way and at what age.

I get excited over using my steam vac and then "coloring" with my markers to make a fantastic piece of art for myself. Would still love to hire a housekeeper to come in and do bathrooms, dusting and baseboards; I dislike those particular adult chores....:-)


Home Design Decisions Only Grown-Ups Will Make
6/26/14 04:30 PM

Congrats on your house! I love the layout, even though it does look long.

I would not lose the walls but possibly set up the middle area as a library/office with bookshelves and desk along the windowless wall and a small sitting area on the window wall.


Help Layout Row of Compartmentalized Rooms? Good Questions
6/24/14 02:43 PM

I had something similar to that paneling in my previous home. It most definitely yellowed and no matter the amount of cleaning done on it, it never looked "clean" and depending on the light from the windows it would appear either very glossy or dusty.

I tried to remove a small part near the corner fireplace to see what was under the paneling and discovered it had been glued right onto the drywall. That certainly did not raise my hopes. Everyone cautioned me to leave the wood unpainted; "it would be a sacrilege to paint wood," however; I finally could not stand it. I went to the local hardware store, bought a couple of cans of wood stain (in white) and went to work.

It considerably brightened the room and the walls seemed to recede; they were not the first thing people saw when they walked in and I felt better knowing that I had a home that I liked; not what others liked or wanted/


Can This \"Man Cave\" Become Cottage Chic? Good Questions
6/24/14 09:47 AM

At home alone: re-read several novels, always skipping to the good parts. Watching old movie musicals that I know every word to and singing along, horribly off key. Eating delicious food items like ice cream, dark chocolate, chips, red cream soda, baked beans and crackers and not feeling guilty.

I always talk to my dog; it just gets worse when alone. lol And my favorite is being able to decide whether I want to stay up super late knowing I won't bother my roommate, sleep in or take a nap


12 Things You Only Do at Home When Alone
6/24/14 09:33 AM