24 Hours In Austin

Unless you live under a rock, you’ve probably heard how cool of a city Austin, TX is. It is the OG “weird” city (sorry Portland, we were “keeping Austin weird” way before you guys, but thanks for sending Voodoo Donuts to the Lone Star State). It is the blue epicenter in the middle of a very red state. Austin has been and always will be many a hipsters’ Holy Land.

I started escaping to Austin when I was in high school. I would skip school and bum a ride an hour north of San Antonio to spend the day exploring a very explorable city. There’s always something happening in Austin, as it is the live music capital of the world. I have so many great memories of concerts in the capital city of Texas, like at SXSW when I snuck in through the VIP section to see The Strokes, or when Explosions In The Sky put on an amazing fireworks show over Lady Bird Lake for their finale. I saw Stevie Wonder at Austin City Limits in 2012 (but he did not see me). I got kicked out of a Mickey Avalon concert (not my fault) at the old Emo’s, and I climbed out of a bathroom window and onto the roof at the iconic Paramount Theatre during a New Year’s Eve Bob Schneider show…

But music is not all Austin has to offer. The food! The nightlife! The friendly drunk people on 6th street! The general atmosphere of this city makes it the reason we’d live there if we were to ever move back to Texas.


Our recent trip to Austin was, unfortunately, pretty limited. We took a Megabus from San Antonio on Monday morning and flew out of the Austin airport and back to Pittsburgh that same evening. We sure did cram a lot into that short time frame, though!

I gotta take a minute to share my new found love of both Megabus and the Austin airport. Holy crap, it was the best transportation day of my liiiiiiife! My friend said she used to take the 1.5 hour long bus ride to and from Austin to party with friends on weeknights and be back for work in San Antonio the next morning. It’s such a cozy ride, you don’t even mind having to sit in the notoriously bad Austin traffic because you can watch movies on your laptop (free wifi!), and you get dropped off right in the middle of downtown by the UT campus. If you’re visiting Austin and want to experience the best tacos in all of Texas, hop on a Megabus and go to San Antonio for a few hours. It’s so easy and convenient! And, dear Lord, Austin Airport- you are the most magical airport I’ve ever been to (*insert hallelujah hands emoji here*). No line at security AND I can take my beer to my terminal? Ohhhh, you da best.



Fresh juice from Jugo, the only healthy thing I had ingested for 72 hours- had to document. Had to!
Austin has a Voodoo Donuts now and it’s huuuuuuge!


Since downtown Austin is on a grid, getting around on foot is extremely easy. We got off of the bus, met my friend Liz for lunch at Leaf downtown (so many great healthy food places in Austin), walked to Rainy Street to gawk at the new high rise condo buildings and adorable restaurants, then crossed the river to South Congress street to window shop and conclude our Texas trip with a couple of local beers. It was a very good day.




I’m gonna have to write a blog post about all the cats we’ve met in all of the cities we’ve traveled to…










Even in the scorching Texas summertime, Austin is a great place to find yourself. We always look forward to visiting ATX and can’t wait to go back!


Ohhhh Austin, we love you so much.

The Homesick Texan


Of the people I’ve come to know since moving halfway across the country to Pittsburgh, a good chunk of them are also transplants from elsewhere. Some friends come from the other side of Pennsylvania, some are from across state lines in Ohio, West Virginia, or New York, and at least 7 of us came up north from different parts of Texas.

Although we hail from vastly different part of Texas, from the hill country to the bigger cities to the small beach towns, I can speak for all of when I say we miss it. We miss Whataburger. We miss HEB. We miss the “hi, y’alls” and the “yes ma’ams”. For those born and raised there, the pride of being a Texan runs deep. I’m kind of obsessed with being from Texas, but I definitely knew I’d leave my home state eventually. I distinctly remember being 7 or 8 years old when my dad was talking to me about one day opening a bank account at a San Antonio based bank which only had branches statewide, and in that moment thinking that wouldn’t work for me because I wouldn’t live in Texas when I grew up…

Fast forward however many years and I’ve been away from my home town long enough to miss it dearly. I miss going to the grocery store down the street from my childhood home. I miss seeing the local weatherman waiting in line for Chinese food at Firebowl. I miss the rope swing at my grandparents’ house. I miss my weirdo mom and dad. But even though there’s a lot to miss, the feeling of “going home again” can’t be beat!


In everyday life, going to the grocery store isn’t my least favorite thing to do, but it’s still a chore. Going to grocery stores in all of the different cities I’ve traveled to, however, is nothing short of fascinating! People watching at grocery stores is awesome. Finding local treats is even better! At H-E-B (arguably the greatest grocery chain of all time), I like to dawdle in the ice cream aisle and gawk at the rainbow assortment of Blue Bell Ice Cream flavors, even though I hail from a strictly Creamy Creations family. I remember being at HEB with my mom and sister last summer and inspecting every avocado in the produce section and they were all perfect. You just don’t get that amount of quality avocado up here because Pittsburgh’s simply too far from Mexico.


There are some fast food chains in SA that I always gotta go to: Taco Cabana (to get a dozen flour tortillas and a large order of queso) and Whataburger. You don’t realize how great these places are until you’re very far away from them. Joel and I joke about franchising a Whataburger (which is open 24 hours) up here by the University of Pittsburgh because we’d make a killing selling delicious food to drunk college kids. I think it’d only cost us 3 or so million, so we’ll need to start saving, like, yesterday.


Another thing I love about going home to San Antonio, once or twice a year, is getting to see how much its changed. Sure some of the old favorites are still around (like creepy AF Kiddie Park– where I found a live possum in a trash can once!), but there’s so much new new new. Even the old Witte Museum has undergone a massive facelift. The hipsters have settled into San Antonio quite nicely, making the old Pearl Brewery the place to be. I haven’t actually eaten at Taco Land, but have stopped to pay tribute to their I Love Tacos So Much mural a couple of times, naturally.



Look at this beautiful modern home in the heart of Terrell Hills! We definitely did a u-turn to get a closer look (& take some photos) of it. I wonder if the owners have any idea that they’re building a home in both Tommy Lee Jones’ and Armie Hammer’s neighborhood….


Sometimes, exploring all that is new in San Antonio and the surrounding areas can be overwhelming, which is why I love having an all inclusive tour guide (hey, dad!). After my little brother’s wedding in Seguin, TX, my dad took us to this amazing biergarten in New Braunfels (Germantown!), Krause’s. Idk if it was the beer talking or what, but Joel and I felt like we were back in Germany. We loved having the whole place to ourselves before they closed up for the night!






And what would a trip home (a trip anywhere for that matter) be without finding beautiful walls to stand in front of and have my picture taken?! San Antonio’s wall game is strong. If I still lived there, I’d never run out of blogger gal background material. Of course, the buildings surrounding my old stomping ground, Southwest School of Art, are some of the best I’ve seen anywhere! My dad, being the great tour guide that he is, spent 10 minutes on the phone telling me about all of the new murals he’d encountered before our trip. It’s street art heaven for sure.











I love going back to Texas and that we’re always so welcomed home with open arms. It’s true that I was never a “small town” girl living in a lonely world, but taking the midnight train going anywhere (to Pittsburgh, PA it turns out) was for the best. Not saying we’ll never reside permanently where the stars at night are big and bright, but periodically going back deep into the heart of Texas is my favorite thing to do.

I spy hair extensions…





Until next time, y’all! Opposite of “howdy” to ya!


The World’s Worst Twins

I can’t help but laugh at the fact that I had almost nothing to do with the coolest thing about myself. All I had to do was be born. Let me explain: I was one half of a second set of twins born to a South Texas couple in the late eighties. My twin sister and I were on the front page of the San Antonio Light and we had our own spotlight segment on the local news. It gets better, too, because a year and a half later, they did it again! ANOTHER SET OF TWINS! My parents (God bless ’em!) had 3 sets of twins in under 4 years. Six kids in diapers became six hormonal teenagers. A family of 8 squeezed into a small, 3 bedroom ranch style home. Let that sink in.


I touched on my roots briefly in this post, but have always felt compelled to write more about it all. Honestly, if we had been born 10 years later, we’d have our own reality show on TLC (Keeping Up With The Haase Twins or Two Sets Of Twins, Oh Wait There’s More). At the very least we’d have a book deal, but this is so much better. More authentic, ya know? Straight from the middle child’s mouth.

Growing up, I remember being out and about running errands (usually with one parent at a time!) and strangers would always stop to make the inevitable comment of “wow, looks like you’ve got a whole zoo there!” to which mom or dad would wittily reply “yes, and just like Noah, ours went two by two, too” or something along those lines. That’d get the whole twin conversation going, which never leaves anyone unimpressed.

Even now, after a lifetime of only knowing myself as part of this phenomenon, it still boggles my mind. I wrote a paper on us in my Child Development class in college that left my professor happily stunned. During the research phase of writing said paper, though, I learned that having multiple sets of fraternal twins isn’t nearly as rare as multiple sets of identical twins (1:500,000 compared to 1:11,000,000) but it’s still pretty damn impressive nonetheless!

My favorite question people ask us is if we’re fraternal or identical. You’d be surprised by how many people don’t realize that you can’t be identical to the twin of an opposite sex. Plus, the six of us barely pass as looking remotely related, let alone 3 sets of womb mates. That’s why we’re the world’s worst twins…

Last weekend was the first time all six of us had been together in over five years, so I took the opportunity to take updated photographs and introduce the rest of the brood on my blog.

Now, introductions!

The infamous Haase twins (annoyingly out of order because Annie, 2nd from the left but 1st born, wanted to show her “good side”), Christmas 2012

SET 1: Annie and Brennan

Born September 1988. These two could not be more different. Physically alone, he’s tall with dark brown hair and dark blue eyes. She’s short with naturally blonde hair, green eyes, and lots of junk in the trunk. As far Annie and Brennan’s personalities go, they are once again on opposite ends of the spectrum. Growing up, she was the epitome of the first born, goody-two-shoes, while Brennan (along with yours truly!) was the family’s OG rebel child.


SET 2: Sarah (me!) and Elizabeth (aka Bessie)

Born December 1989. We’re basically proof that my mom double ovulated. I am, very obviously, double the size of my twin and have been since birth. They called me “Moose” and her “Shrimp”. I wholeheartedly believe that if my mom hadn’t had the C-section when she did, Bessie would have been eaten in utero. Fun fact- she can only wink with her right eye and I can only wink with my left.


SET 3: Rebekah and Daniel

Born June 1991. I like to think of these two as the “HOLY SHIT, IT’S TWINS AGAIN?!” set because that must have been my dad’s reaction to the news of two more kids. It’s crazy that the last set of twins are the ones who are most alike both physically and personality wise, even though they’re different genders. I mean, they both like country music and have really weird looking feet. They’re the twinniest twins of all compared to the rest of us.


As you can probably imagine, growing up with this stone cold pack of weirdos was a trip. And yes our parents are obviously saints for dealing with it all. There were many fights had and pranks played, and even though I don’t think we could spend 12 hours with each other without someone getting punched, we still love each other. Last weekend, my little bro got married (making half of us Haases hitched) and it was such a great time being together and dancing the night away.

FYI to any mamas with multiple sets of twins, it’s so much harder to get them in a picture together when they’re adults! It was like herding cats trying to round us all up for these. We’d better frame ’em!



Practicing Gratitude

I feel like I should preface this by saying that this is not exactly easy for me to write. It’s hard for a person to be vulnerable and put her/himself out there without feeling like a little bit of an asshole, but whatever. I’m doin’ it anyway.


Something inside of me changed when the new year started. I can’t explain what it was exactly, but it felt profound. I knew deep down that this year, 2018, will be the year that I cut the bullshit, and find happiness. True, unrelenting happiness. Not that I’m not a “happy person”… because, dude, I’m the epitome of a happy-go-lucky, optimistic gal, to the extent that it might annoy people. I live a good, happy life. But my core happiness has always felt like a chunk was missing and I just found out what it is: gratitude.

Sure, once a year (usually around the 4th Thursday of November) I like to think about the stuff I’m thankful for in my life. But to be thankful and actually “practice gratitude” everyday? Ain’t nobody got time for that! Right? WRONG!

This process started when my best friend sent me an episode of Oprah’s podcast, Super Soul Conversations. I listened to the episode featuring the late and oh-so-great Maya Angelou. When Maya mentioned that she woke up every morning and just said “thank you” to God, no matter what was going on in her life be it happiness or hardship, I was so taken aback by the simplistic beauty of the small act that I probably started tearing up (I was a basket case, TBH). I have since listened to the podcast’s episodes featuring Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat Pray Love), Gretchen Rubin (The Happiness Project), Brene Brown (Daring Greatly), Shawn Achor (Big Potential), and so many more where they all said the same thing, something along the lines of “there is no joy without gratitude”. HOLY CRAP THAT MAKES SO MUCH SENSE.


So I’m making the effort to pause and be grateful every single day. Here are a couple of obvious things I’m beyond grateful for:

  • That I live in a world that can be so inspiring if I let it be. Just knowing that I gain so much inspiration from any and all things colorful has made me so, so happy! Thanks world and all artists everywhere.
  • That I found a partner in life who has the exact same sense of humor as me and that we find pure joy in making each other laugh. Thank you, Joel Blumer!
  • That I am always ready and willing to learn new things and for my undying love of reading. Thank you to all literature and libraries!

Just sitting here writing this is giving me an overwhelming sense of gratitude! I’m so grateful to have a creative outlet, this very blog, where I can share the “secret” to happiness with people all over the world. This epiphany is not something I want to keep to myself, but rather something I want to shout from a metaphoric rooftop. Thanks, Internet! And thank YOU so much for reading!



#IHaveThisThingWith Star Wars

The other day, Joel and I were making waffles and as I watched him pour the batter into our Darth Vader waffle maker, I realized that we have a lot of Star Wars stuff in our house. Like, I don’t think there’s a single room without at least a small nod to one of our favorite science fiction franchises.

Here’s the thing, though… As soon as I moved in with Joel, we were dubbed The Star Wars Loving Couple and have been receiving gifts in the form of The Millennium Falcon ever since. Don’t get me wrong, I am not in any way whatsoever complaining! I love all of our Star Wars crap and I just wanted to do a small inventory of what we’ve collected thus far..


When you first walk into our 1940s Colonial, you are greeted by our Storm Trooper butler, Jermaine. We won him at Joel’s white elephant Christmas party a few years back and love him so much. We even used this dude at our wedding. Take a quick 360 degree look around our living room and you’ll find Darth Vader, at least two photos of me dressed as Princess Leia and Joel as Han Solo, Star Wars books, and Lego versions of X-Wings and a big ass Millennium Falcon.



In the dining room is the giant marquee sign Joel made from scratch for our wedding. We got married 10 days after national Star Wars day, get it? Cool.


Moving onto the kitchen… Would you like a piece of cheese from our Millennium Falcon charcuterie board to go with your previously mentioned Darth Vader Waffle? How about a beer opened with this Millennium Falcon bottle opener or a cup of coffee right out of Darth Vader’s helmet? Fancy a bowl of cereal out of an R2D2 bowl? My personal favorite is our bad ass Storm Trooper toaster. It toasts a picture of the Empire symbol right onto your toast (more like Imperial Crust, am I right?!).IMG_8015



In our master bedroom, there is a giant poster of me with Leia Organa buns using a light saber to stab Joel wearing a Storm Trooper mask. We have Star Wars sheets on our bed sometimes, and 3 Carrie Fisher books on my nightstand.


There’s a Boba & Jango Fett drawing (by me) on the gallery wall lining our stairwell, a Pop Art inspired painting of a Blaster (done by my super talented sister-in-law, Laura) hanging in another room, and Han/Leia hand towels in the bathroom. The best part is, even though I don’t think I’ve named all of the Star Wars stuff in our house, we are definitely not drowning in it. Although we, obviously, have an undying love for all things Star Wars, it’s more of an Easter Egg hunt for small things than a home decor “theme”.


Since we might be at capacity for Star Wars, we will be happy to go back to accepting gifts of things with cats on them. KThanksBYE.

It’s Only Natural: Bathtub Cleaner

There are two types of people in the world: those who get grossed out by the thought of sitting in a tub of one’s own filth, and those who think that there’s nothing more relaxing than a nice, hot bath. I have always been, and always will be, one of the latter. I. LOVE. BATHS.

Growing up, my designated Saturday chore was to clean the bathroom. Part of which was to scour out the bathtub (that our family of 8, minus my dad who has been a strict showerer his whole life, used) with Clorox and Comet. I definitely inherited my mom’s “bleach the living shit out of everything so all the germs will die” mentality, which I have been trying to get away from for a while now. Last time I was in Texas visiting my parents, my sister and I made a deal with our mom that if we cleaned the whole house she’d pay for us to get manicures and pedicures. I volunteered to take charge of my old stomping ground, the bathroom. When it came down to cleaning supplies, instead of handing me the usual harsh, germ murdering chemicals, my mom pointed me in the direction of the kitchen to grab three things: vinegar, baking soda, and dish soap.

Although I had been into finding natural replacements for products for a while at that time, I was still doubtful of how well this technique would work; especially when compared to the lethal combination of Comet and Clorox. I was shocked to see that using natural products actually works so much better than the other stuff! Bonus points for not having to open a window because the fumes are burning your eyes. Here’s how to clean your bathtub using natural ingredients:




  1. White Vinegar
  2. Baking Soda
  3. Dish Soap (optional, you could use water instead*)
  4. Scrubber Sponge
  5. Elbow Grease (but not that much)


How To

  1. Squirt (ew “squirt” is one of my least favorite words ever) some dish soap into your bathtub and use a damp sponge to spread it all around.*
  2. Sprinkle baking soda onto the soap (you really don’t have to use the dish soap, but it helps the baking soda stick to the sides of the tub)
  3. Spray vinegar onto the baking soda and watch it fizzzzzz for a couple of minutes.
  4. Using the scrubber side of your sponge, scrub your tub. The chemical reaction of the baking soda and vinegar should do most of the work for you.
  5. Rinse your tub.

Et viola! This technique has gotten rid of all sort of bathtub gunk, even purple hair dye splatter and glitter bath bomb residue!



Take a bath, wash yo-self. Take a bath. Show me whatcha scrubbin’ with….


Let Them Eat Cake!

If you live in Pittsburgh, you’re in for a real treat! My very talented sister, Annie, is now taking orders for custom cakes. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you might be familiar with her work. Annie made a pink and blue cake for our friends’ gender reveal party last year. She also made the rainbow sprinkled beauty for my Super Sweet 16 (+ 10) party.


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Although she has her Master’s Degree in Library Science and not in The Science of Dessert, Annie has always shown serious talent for all sorts of cooking; with a specialty in baked goods. She worked at a gluten free bakery here in The ‘Burgh before accepting a position with another bakery, where she is now the head honcho of all those pretty pastries.

What started as a hobby, or favor for friends, is beginning to turn into a monetized side gig and I could not be more proud of her! Annie’s talent and creativity know no bounds! I took these photos of the gorgeous pink baby shower cake she was making for her future sister-in-law this past weekend. The pink drips! The gold leaf detailing! All the heart eyes, am I right?!








Annie does cakes for all occasions (weddings, birthdays, bar mitzvahs, etc). To place an order, simply send a message via Instagram.

Be sure to be on the lookout for a 6″ cake giveaway, too!

*giveaway open to locals only as the cake will need to be picked up.



a little insight to a not-so-complicated girl