Category Archives: Lifestyle

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.

How To Fight The Winter Blues


Last spring, when the flowers started blooming and we, in the Northeast portion of the U.S, started to see Mr. Golden Sun a little more often, I realized just how bad my seasonal depression was. Like a switch had flipped, I suddenly had much more energy, was less lethargic/sluggish/depressed, and my general outlook on life had returned to positive as soon as winter was over. Not to be dramatic, but spring made me feel like I had reason to live again…

Since this winter, that pretty much just started, is supposed to be worse than last, I thought I’d try some ways to prevent Seasonal Affective Disorder. Because, who wants to be S.A.D?! Not me!




Tips For Combating Seasonal Depression

  • Sunshine– Even though it’s rare to see the sun from December-April in Pittsburgh, anytime it shines, I make it a point to go outside and stand in it. 15 minutes of sunlight will give you a sufficient amount of vitamin D. Even if the temperatures drop to single digits, bundle up, go outside, and let those sunny rays of delight do their thang.
  • Vitamin D3 supplements– since the sun can be an elusive sonofabitch, I started taking these in November and they seriously make a huge difference. You can get vitamin D3 from food, but it’s so much easier to take a little supplement than it is to eat a can of sardines if ya ask me.
  • Exercise– A BIG FAT DUH. There’s no way around the fact that you should be exercising. I was loving our routine of me running/walking in intervals + weight training while Joel rode his bike at the park by our house, but then stupid winter happened. We ponied up and got a gym membership because we can motivate each other to go.
  • Cute Winter Clothes– when I moved to Pittsburgh, my aunt bought me a really nice wool peacoat and it was pretty much the only thing I had to keep myself warm. Fast forward 4 years, and I am now the proud owner of too many sweaters, a few faux fur coats, and an array of colorful leather jackets. These items of clothing are just enough to brighten the dullest day and remind me that I usually look forward to getting dressed in the morning.
  • Make A Grateful List– it’s so freaking cold and you’re probably feeling cranky and annoyed about it, but try to remember all of the good things in your life! I am so grateful for the roof over my head, gas heating, and for all 3 of my almost identical gray faux fur blankets. I am feeling especially thankful for the cow that made my one authentic leather jacket. If he/she hadn’t sacrificed his/herself, I’d probably have pneumonia by now. Thank you, cow.
  • Plan A Trip– I may have had a stomach bug and had to miss my twin sister’s wedding at the beginning of January, but we’re booked to go to Texas for my brother’s wedding at the end of this month. Little weekend trips to get away from snow and ice? I’ll take them! We’ve also been flirting with the idea of a springtime road trip, which gives us something to look forward to.
  • Fresh Flowers- IDK what it is about having fresh flowers in our home, but it’s a small thing that makes me so happy. If you’re a monster and see fresh flowers as a waste of money, try potted plants instead.




I have to say, I have implemented these few things into everyday life and I feel SO MUCH BETTER than I did last year. It’s kind of crazy that tweaking my routine a little and making a ritual out of taking vitamins and working out has completely changed my life. I can feel myself (slowly, but surely) becoming the best version of myself and all it took was a quick seasonal ass kicking.

You may have won the battle last year, winter… But I’m gonna win the war. 46 days until the first day of Spring!

Dress/SheIn, Faux Leather Jacket/Amazon, Shoes/Sold Out (similar),Floral Stickers/A Design Kit

“I Married My Mother-In-Law”

If you’re reading this as either a married person or a person in a committed relationship, take a moment to think about your significant other’s family and your relationship with them. Do you get along? Does your father-in-law tease you like one of his own kids? Does your boyfriend’s younger brother annoy you? Do you share clothes with your future sister-in-law or do you kind of want to push her out of a moving vehicle? Do you have a “can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em” vibe with your in-laws? Do you feel like you compete with your mother-in-law for your husband’s attention? Are you glad you live thousands of miles away from your SO’s family or are you so grateful they’re down the street?


I picked up a 25 cent copy of  I Married My Mother-In-Law from a book sale at the end of last year because the whole concept is so interesting to me! The book is a collection of essays, from a multitude of different pretty well known writers, about relationships with in-laws. The stories vary from genuine love for in-laws to “I’m so glad they’re dead”.

Obviously, when reading the title of the book, I immediately started thinking about my in-laws and what I have to say about my own, personal relationship with them…


Long story short: I HAVE THE BEST IN-LAWS. Seven years ago I met this great guy who I  ended up marrying. I had no idea back then, though, I’d be winning the in-law lottery! You don’t ever really expect to be friends with the mom and dad of the person you marry, but that’s what we are. Joel’s dad, Ron (aka Ron Boogie), is the coolest guy I know, and his mom, Sheila (aka Sheesh or SheShe), is one of my best friends.

How lucky am I that my mom-in-law is my own personal ray of sunshine? Sheila Blumer is not only beautiful on the outside, but she is the sweetest person I’ve ever met. She is one of those people who would give you the shirt off her own back. Literally. One time I complimented her shirt and she gave it to me a few days later, freshly laundered and folded, of course. Just last week I sent a “pity me” text to SheShe telling her how I slipped on ice because I don’t have any winter boots and she showed up two days later with three different pairs of boots for me to try on and keep. Her kindness knows no bounds!



I was the last person to marry into the Blumer family and sometimes I feel like I’m part of a really cool and exclusive club. Me, Joel, his sisters, and their husbands have this amazing example of what a partnership can be. Not saying Ron and Sheila are perfect, but with 45 years of marriage under their belts, they’re damn near close to it in my eyes and I’m going to keep them up on a pedestal where they belong.



Did you know that marrying for love is a relatively new thing? In the past, people used to get married for the sole purpose of making ties with other families and gaining in-laws. These days, I feel like in-laws are probably just “those people you have to see at Thanksgiving” for a lot of people, but not for me. I am so grateful to have fallen in love with Joel and with his family too.

On the flip side of things, I’m kind of shocked to see how well Joel gets along with all of his in-laws, my crazy family. I get my lack of eyelashes, love of stray animals, and many more of my quirks from my mama. He definitely married his mother-in-law. Lucky guy!