Around the Haus | Vol. 1

There’s so much that happens in the house that I don’t share here on the blog, but I’d like to! Whether that be super-mini projects that don’t require an entire post or just funny stuff that’s happened, I’ve got the urge to keep it real. So let’s begin!

Look, I can explain…

Dead Basil Plants

I’m so bad. A terrible, horrible plant killer. I find it odd that the plants in my back and front yard are thriving thanks to consistent watering but these little suckers which are literally within a few feet of me for hours at a time, get neglected. Sorry little basil plants. I may put my dignity aside and buy plastic succulents but the thought of the dust makes my teeth hurt. Or maybe I’ll give basil another try. Or maybe I’ll just clean out the dirt and fill them with candy. Mmmm… candy.

In other news, I have been trying to curb my extreme Internet addiction (I caught myself browsing Bloglovin while drying my hair a few days ago… rock bottom) that I’m trying to rekindle my love for books. I LOVE books. I used to read all of the time but they’ve been pushed out of my consideration set for the stinkin’ iPhone. So yes, two books are on my list this week. I’ve already read one of them:

Brain on Fire Book

… which I must say was a disconcerting read because at the time I was experiencing some wicked headaches and may or may not have convinced myself that my brain too was on fire. (It’s not.)

The other book was selling like hotcakes at the airport bookstore so I jumped on the bandwagon. I love the show, so I’m down for learning the full story.

Orange is the New Black Book

In other news, my house is a mess of epic proportions. Just to think 4 short weeks ago I would have eaten breakfast off the kitchen floor.

Messy Kitchen Table

I’m not even going to show you the office/second bedroom for fear I may be casted in the next season of Hoarders. Seriously.

So tonight, when I would rather be reading my new book, I will be cleaning and purging and just generally trying to restore life to some level of sanity. Oh yea, and playing fetch with this pup.

Suge the Boston Terrior

I tried to catch a picture of him in action but this is the best I could do. You can see the frenzy/energy in his eyes. When I see that look, it’s usually time to go in the back yard and throw the ball 100 times to burn off that energy! Suge is 30 solid pounds of pure Boston Terrier.

Someone asked why I never post pictures of Biggie. Biggie is constantly with me. He sleeps on my chest, he lays on my lap… where I am, he is. A chihuahua through and through. I promise he gets lots of play time too (usually with Suge’s toys, which Suge really enjoys… not).

This may be the most random post I’ve ever written. I’m just going to go with it because it’s…. FRIDAY!!!! Have a great weekend everyone!



How to Hang Stuff on Brick

I’ve drilled through the brick exterior of the house twice now to hang different stuff, so that makes me an expert right? Screwing anything into brick has always been one of those intimidation projects for me, but with the right drill, it’s really just as easy as drilling into wood or drywall. For this project, I’m going to use the installation of my American flag on the front porch as my example.

Installing on Brick



Hammer Drill

Masonry Bit

Plastic Anchors and Screws

Gettysburg Flag Works American Flag

How To Do It:

1.) Mark your holes

Marking holes on brick is not easy. I highly suggest putting a bit of paint on a small brush to mark your spots. I tried to use the baby powder approach (blowing powder through the holes to mark the spots) but it was a huge mess. Don’t go that route! Paint or a paint pen will work just fine.

Installing on Brick

2.) It’s time to drill!

With your masonry bit and hammer drill, it’s time to drill those holes. Hammer drills work great on brick because they “hammer” and spin at the same time, creating the force you need to get through the extra hard surface. Most all of them come with a depth protector, to keep you from going too far into the brick. That’s what the crazy arm thing is on front. As far as size goes, that will depend on what you’re installing. The bit we used was 1/4″ as that was the size of the plastic anchors that came with the American flag kit. And from a heat perspective, just keep an eye on it. There’s no need to keep water on it while drilling, but if it gets super hot, give it some time to cool down. We just dipped our bit in water once or twice.

Installing on Brick

3.) Install your plastic anchors.

These are installed like all wall anchors—just hammer them (with a regular, ole hammer) into each hole. If you find they begin to bend under the hammer, make a slightly bigger hole.

Installing on Brick

4.) Time to install!

Now it’s just a matter of screwing the plate (or whatever you’re hanging) into the brick.

Installing on Brick

We actually used this same exact process to hang our modern house numbers, except instead of wall anchors we used construction adhesive. Those numbers weighed much less, which is why we felt OK skipping the anchors (plus we didn’t want the plastic anchors to be visible).

This flag-hanging project was done on the Fourth of July, with a parade going. I can’t think of anything more patriotic than that. There may have been some beer involved as well. ;)

Installing on Brick

Installing on Brick

A big thank you to Gettysburg Flag Works for sending this American flag to me. They got hit pretty hard by the Storm Arthur two weeks ago, so I’m hoping their hometown operation is back up and running. Thinking of you guys!

Installing on Brick

We are feeling so patriotic! This flag is fancy in that it doesn’t get all bunched up and wrapped up. It always looks so pretty and proud.

Installing on Brick

It feels SO good to be back to writing posts. I feel like I’ve been off topic for so long. Also, I am dying to get back to projects. I know I said I was going to take a break this summer to recover from the photo shoot madness, but I think I’m fully recovered lol. Now, just how to break this to Aaron…


Disclaimer: This flag was provided to me by Gettysburg Flag Works. I was not required to write anything, but wanted to share the love! It’s a great product.

This post includes affiliate links. I make a small commission (pennies!!) if you click on the links listed in the materials section.

How to Hang Anything on Brick

My Top 10 Haven Moments

I’ve been in Atlanta for the past 3 days for Haven, a DIY blogger conference. What happens at a DIY blogging conference you ask? It’s basically a whirlwind of networking with bloggers and brands, dancing, wine drinking and most importantly, LEARNING. So, SO much learning. It was 100% a blast. I loved it. I am so exhausted today but it was worth it. (If you’re really interested in the conference, here is the full schedule.)

I thought I would recap some fun / enlightening moments from the conference that I want to remember!

10. Meeting Mike Holmes. Last, but certainly not least, I met Mike Holmes! I haven’t seen his new show, Holmes Makes it Right, but I would binge-watch Holmes on Homes back in the day. “Everything must come down!” was basically his mantra. He laughed when I mentioned it and just overall, was a super nice and down to earth guy. And no, he was not wearing overalls.

Haven 2014

9. Hustling Ballard Designs for Drink Tickets. Every night after the groups, there would be an event. Think themed decorations, special lighting, rows of food and lots of music. These events were sponsored and Friday night was the Ballard Designs party. They were SO great. They had a beautiful set-up in the “Living Room,” the main event area. There were 2 drink tickets per person, but we quickly learned that negotiating would get us more. Us bloggers are good at negotiating. My college tattoo story (name of a dead celebrity tattooed on me… long story) got me an extra ticket! It was super silly and all in good fun.

8. Bubbles! P&G and Home Depot put on a great luncheon complete with BUBBLES! Who doesn’t love walking into a space surrounded by bubbles. I tried to take a pic of myself in the bubble field but this was the best I could do.

Haven 2014

7. Ads, Pinterest and Google+. These are the three areas I need to improve upon. Sitting through a couple of sessions on these topics made that super obvious. I’ve been doing it all wrong or just not enough. I found Andy Marzka’s (of AdThrive and the husband of the lovely Kelly of View Along the Way) class so helpful. He was such a great teacher and taught a very abstract, complicated thing (ad layering, among other things) in a very visual and simple way. Thank you Andy!

6. The Swag. The swag was pretty darn good. Paint, fabric, Kreg clamps, bags, dye, radios, rugs, shower heads. We were spoiled. I had to leave some in the room, left the bigger stuff with local bloggers and carried home double the luggage. If you saw me in the ATL airport, I was on the struggle bus with all of the extra weight. Thank you to the TSA guy who let me keep my Kreg clamp when I insisted it was for making bookshelves, not bodily harm. It was fun to share it all with Aaron, too. I think he started digging through my bag before I even got a hug. ;)

Haven 2014 Swag

5. Dressing Up! Bloggers know how to dress y’all. Every night after the sessions, everyone got all dressed up. Well everyone but me. I was running around like crazy and never had enough time to change my clothes after the sessions so I was on the dance floor in jeans. On the last night, I was dying to wear the only dressy I brought so I raced upstairs and got changed in about 10 minutes (including ironing!) flat. This skirt makes for really great dancing. I even got a Ryobi radio for my white girl moves lol.

Haven 2014

Me with the lovely Maria!

4. The Busted Elevator. The hotel was packed… both with our conference and others so yea, the elevator had problems. But no fear… there were stairs! My calves are burning as I type this. It was actually kind of nice after days of sitting in classes so I have no complaints. But then again, I was only on the third floor. I’m guessing the people on the 10th floor have a different opinion! I will always remember us harried bloggers trudging up and down those stairs in unison.

3. The EasyClosets Ladies. The fine folks at EasyClosets took about 8 or 9 of us out for drinks and appetizers. I was nervous to go because I was worried it was going to be a sales pitch but it wasn’t. It was a super casual little meet and greet and I genuinely had a great time. We basically just chatting about our lives, our blogs, our pets and what we’d been up to at the conference. Dear J and C, thanks for being such great hosts!

2. The Photo Shoot with Katja. The lovely Katja of Shift Ctrl Art took a bunch of headshots for a bunch of us. Considering my current profile photo is an old grainy Instagram pic, I am way overdue. Picture a group of women in front of the hotel, leaning against posts with Katja up above us taking photos. I’m sure people thought we were crazy. Thanks Katja for the photos and dealing with my awkward self!

1. The People. I know, it’s corny, but it’s true. Everyone seemed so down to earth and genuine. Big bloggers, small bloggers… everyone pretty much mingled with each other. I learned as much from other bloggers as I did going to the sessions. And best of all, I got to actually MEET and spend time with some of the people who’ve been just Internet/blog friends before this weekend.

Haven 2014

It’s Sunday night as I write this and I’m surrounded by suitcases, business cards and swag wrappers. I think it’s time to call it a night. I’m an introvert deep down so all of this is so exhausting. I need to retreat to my quiet, comfort zone and recharge. I’ll be back to regular programming on Wednesday!

Thanks to everyone I met and were so awesome to me!

And thanks to the readers who may not be interested in the whole Haven thing and are sticking with me as I transition back to regular topics! My blog and my Instagram will be much less Haven-y from now on. ;)