Category Archives: Life

DIY Purple Hair

You guys… I recently (finally!) mustered up the courage to dye my hair purple (by myself!) and its causing me to question why my genes ever thought I should be a brunette.

I am obsessed to the point of annoying narcissism; frequently asking my boyfriend what it looks like in different types of lighting, posting selfies on my various social media accounts, and buying clothes that accentuate it’s luxurious vibrance.  This, too, shall pass.


When I was researching how to turn brown hair purple without bleaching it first, I found some helpful videos and articles online, but no one-stop-question-and-answer-shop.   So here I am writing one out in hopes that it will help someone out there who’s having the same dilemma.  Because I’m totally an expert now that I’ve done it once, right?!

Q: What brand did you use and why?
A: Manic Panic, because I had used it when I was younger (90’s kid alert) so I sort of knew what to expect.  I used Purple Haze mixed with just a touch of Infra Red mixed in.  Manic Panic has a ton of color options and bonus – their dyes are vegan and don’t damage your hair.  Mine felt much softer and was much shinier AFTER dying than before.  No, this post isn’t sponsored.


Q: Would you consider other brands?
A: Sure, but I’m super happy with the results from using Manic Panic.

Q: Is dying your own hair difficult?
A: Not really.  I’ve been coloring my own hair for more than 10 years, so I have definitely found my own rhythm for it.  As long as you’re careful and you prep yourself and your space properly, you shouldn’t have any issues.

Q: Do you need to bleach your hair to dye it purple?
A: Not necessarily.  It depends on what shade of purple you’d like to achieve.  I didn’t want grape bubble gum colored hair (although some people can rock the hell out of it – I’m looking at you, Katy  Perry) so I didn’t lighten my hair at all before the purple.  My hair is naturally dark brown so it ended up with a purple tint to it, which is more vibrant and fuchsia colored in natural sunlight, and takes on a dark violet look in fluorescent light.

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Q: Why didn’t you bleach first?
A: Friends, I’ve been 50 shades of blonde in my lifetime, and with how dark my hair naturally is, it’s just too much time and money to maintain it.

Q: Did you apply the dye to “virgin hair”?
A: No.  The last time I dyed my hair (a few months before going purple) I went with boxed dye in a hue a few shades lighter than my natural color.  My hair had only grown about an inch since then, so even though the color had faded, the brown was permanent and still existent on my hair shaft.

Q: What are your best technique tips for dying your hair at home?
A: Protect all the surfaces!  Use petroleum jelly to protect your face, neck and ears from staining (Aquaphor is great for this).  Wear clothes that you don’t give a flip about.  Wear rubber gloves.  Use a dye brush for your hairline and apply to your entire length of hair with gloved hands.

Q: Wait, this stuff stains your skin?
A: Oh honey, so very much.  My entire scalp was BRIGHT purple for the first two days.  It’s unavoidable unless you’re only coloring your ends.  Also, if you’re hair is super long, you may want to wear it up for a day or two while the dye fully sets in. Or just wear a purple shirt!  Matchy matchy!  My hair isn’t even shoulder length so I didn’t have to worry about any transferring.

Q: How long did you leave it in?
A: Two hours.  I told you, my hair is DARK brown.  I wanted to be 100% sure you could see the color.

Q: How long will it last?
A: The dye is semi-permanent so it will last around 3-5 weeks without maintenance.  I’m in week three and there has been some fading, but not much.  In fact I really only noticed some mild fading this morning.  I plan to refresh the color in the next week or two.

Q: Tips on prolonging the vibrance of your color?
A: Say it with me: DRY SHAMPOO IS MY FRIEND.  I only “wash” my hair every other day, sometimes every third day.  I put the word wash in quotes because I don’t actually shampoo.  I recently started using the Wen system, and I am sold on that too.  My hair is EXTREMELY  fine, and I am shocked at how much bounce and shine it has now!  And they’re summer scent, coconut lime verbena… I’d eat it if I didn’t know it was a beauty product.  Again, this post is NOT sponsored.  I just like giving my opinion.

Okay, blogville, those are all the faq’s I could think of.  If you’re thinking of going purple, or any other crazy color, I hope this helps you confidently jump in head first!  Hashtag YOLO, or something like that.  If you have questions that I didn’t address – let me hear them in the comments section!

Alright, I’m off to post more selfies of my lovely locks! #PurpleHairDontCare

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The unconditional love a pet bestows upon its owner is a magnificent and fascinating thing. Turkish was a perfect example of that.


On a given day, I had human accomplishments and setbacks, sure. Some were big and some were small, and not a single one of them mattered to him. All that mattered was that I came home at the end of each day to meet my belly rub and treat quota with my Boss Dog.


I brought Turkish home in late October of 2009. He was just five weeks old and weighed about as much as a can of soda. He was a tiny, chubby, rolly, snaggle-toothed black pug mixed with who knows what.





He slept a ton those first couple of weeks we were together, but that soon gave way to weeks, months, and years of high energy levels for what felt like 20 hours of each day.




He could leap to almost face-level with me, and would go barreling through my parents backyard to chase the cars on the road behind their house each time we went for a visit. When I put up the Christmas tree or a new piece of wall art he would circle this foreign object (uninvited, as far as he was concerned) for hours; sniff, bark, sniff, bark.



When he wasn’t bouncing off of the walls, he was by my side at every waking moment. This closeness continued into his adult life. We traded wrestling in the yard for snuggle sessions on the couch.




During the cold weather we’d burrow under blankets on the couch. In spring and summer, we’d sit on the patio sharing chunks of watermelon and basking in the sunlight.



As the years went by he plumped up, which slowed him down a little, but never affected his general healthiness. He just had more to love, was all.



He was very responsive to me; always eager to please. But he also had moments of stubbornness and defiance. His way of telling me no was a shake of his head and a grunt.



It didn’t matter what we were or weren’t up to, he was content for us to just be. I was too.

When he passed, it was sudden and completely unexpected. The center of my entire universe, gone in an instant. I felt everything and nothing all at once. I was filled with heartbreak and emptiness.

I’m still not used to his absence.

Gone are the evenings where I come home after a hard day to a wagging tail and stinky-breath kisses.

After work, as I walk up my sidewalk, my heart sometimes flutters a bit in anticipation of opening my door and being tackled by him.

When I drop a bite of food on the floor, my instinct is still to call to my little mop to come eat up my mess.

At the end of the evening I still have the urge to call him to bed.

Instead of resting by my side, he now rests here.


I had him cremated and returned to me in a biodegradable box that contains perennial wildflower seeds. I just wanted something to remember him by that was full of life.

A wise man once told me “You will say goodbye to him over and over. When you see a picture of him, or remember something he used to do. You will say goodbye to little pieces of him throughout your life, and each time it will be difficult. Because he was your whole life.”. I think about that phrase every single day.







Thanks for the memories, Turk. Best five and a half years of my whole life.


Blogiversary: Two Years!

Dudes, I’ve been making things my whole life, and I’ve been writing to you about them for two whole years now. Thousands of people have visited my little corner of the internet from all over the planet. I cannot begin to express my gratitude for this entire experience. It’s one of the most emotionally rewarding hobbies I’ve ever had.

I owe everyone that’s ever visited, commented and shared my posts a thank you and a big bear hug! You guys are awesome!

I’ve got some projects in the works right now, which have been delayed because life happens, but in the meantime… Here are a few of my favorite little projects from the past year.

DIY Hanging Canvas Headboard
String Art
Leaning Instax Picture Display Shelf
Upcycled Colander to Patio Planter 




It’s My Birthday and I’ll Post if I Want To

Hello friends! Today I celebrated my second annual 29th birthday!

I have zero diys to boast about on the internets right now. In fact I don’t even have internets right now. I’m posting from my phone.

I don’t have internets becase I just moved and am waiting for my service to be transferred.

You know what moving means, though. A whole new place, a whole new space and a big blank canvas to paint to my hearts content!

In the interest of keepin’ it real (ok I turned 30, not 29 again) I’m surrounded by boxes and bags and don’t have the energy to continue to unpack tonight… See?


Once I bounce back from the exhaustion of packing and unpacking, and organizing and cleaning, and birthday recovery, it’s back to diy or die and I’ll be posting all along the way.

Until then, please feel free to share your best and worst unpacking horror stories in the comments to make me feel better about this mess!


DIY Coasters and Rent House Hunt Musings

It’s been a minute since I’ve posted…  All kinds of interesting (to me) things happening at jhbhq.

My efforts last week were focused on the fella, who had a little visit to the hospital after suffering severe dehydration on a particularly tough day at work.

He spent a few days there, and as soon as he got well enough to be out and about, we were on the search for a rent house.  So far, not so great.  We’ve seen some really cute houses but there’s always some sort of deal breaker… Like this house, a 3 / 2 at an affordable price (with a pool!!!) that had updates and was super cute… with a great little breakfast nook…

rent house breakfast nook

lots of natural light… and no stove top…  yeah, seriously.

sans stove

See that vent hood with a counter underneath it?  Weird, right?  So… No go.

Then there was this really cute house with foundation issues and horrendous carpet.  Also a 3 / 2.  I didn’t get pictures of anything here except for the chandelier in the outdoor workshop.  Maybe a fancy meth lab?

workshop chandy

We saw one that was pretty promising (designer paint colors, tile flooring throughout etc).  But it’s a 2 bedroom, the second of which is 10 x 10.  Yeah.  I don’t think we fit in there.  Sad face.

All of the others that we have seen have had various benefits and drawbacks but we just haven’t found “the one” yet.  No matter.  There’s time yet.  For now I’m in with a fun little craft.

After I made our headboard I was on a pattern kick in the bedroom and decided to make some coasters.  This little lady needs a cool glass of water at her bedside, and she shant be getting water spots on the nightstands she worked so diligently to make.

diy ceramic tile coasters


  • Ceramic tile
  • Felt
  • Hot glue gun and accompanying glue sticks
  • Sharpie
  • Acrylic spray (I used this)
  • Liquid gold leaf

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I’ve actually used pretty much this same method several times before – Shannon even wrote about some that I made on her blog a couple of years ago before I started my little corner of the internets.

diy ceramic tile coasters

Here’s the quick and dirty…

I started by cutting felt slightly smaller than my tile to protect my tables from being scratched.  I used hot glue to stick ’em to the underside of the tiles.

diy ceramic tile coasters

Then, a little liquid leaf on the edges.  Fancy.

diy ceramic tile coasters

The original plan was for me to paint the design on top of the tile but evidently the liquid variety of gold leaf doesn’t like to adhere to glossy, non-porous ceramic tile.  Meh.  Metallic gold Sharpie to the rescue!  I just free handed a chevron / herringbone esque design.

diy ceramic tile coasters

Then, two coats of my acrylic water resistant spray and these bad boys were ready to protect my nightstands from their nemesis – condensation.

diy ceramic tile coasters

diy ceramic tile coasters

Since you’re wondering, I totally never ALWAYS drink water from stemless wine glasses.  Pure class.

Anyone else making crafty creations?  Or maybe you’ve got some strange house hunt stories of your own?  Do tell…