Brittany from Pretty Handy Girl talks about how she juggles her projects and family with MyFixitUpLife’s Mark and Theresa.
Theresa: And my husband Mark.
Mark: We’re getting it fixed up and we’re doing it up in style!
Theresa: We are doing it in style, and I am very excited to talk to, who is on the line right now because she is a pretty, handy girl.
Mark: It turns out also based on numbers of people who interact with her on Facebook and other social media that she owns those platforms.
Theresa: That she’s a pretty popular girl, too.
Brittany: I’m doing great.
Theresa: I’m excited to talk to you because I know that you are not only a pretty handy girl, but you’re also a pretty handy mom as well.
Brittany: Yes, that’s true.
Theresa: You’re juggling projects around the house, juggling your pretty handsome husband and also your pretty probably, energetic children.
Brittany: I have two boys and they’re very energetic, but I’m turning them from handsome into handy.
Mark: That’s awesome.
Theresa: I like that.
Mark: That’s so good. Are they genuinely interested in what you’re doing?
Brittany: They’re not only interested in what I’m doing, but they definitely like to work alongside me and some stuff there. We recently had to renovate our kitchen, and they had a blast knocking out the cabinets.
Theresa: That sounds very good.
Mark: That sounds great. That’s great.
Brittany: That’s correct.
Theresa: That is pretty unbelievable for a father to show a daughter how to do something like that.
Brittany: I don’t think he had much choice. All he had were daughters.
Mark: That’s great. Clearly he knows which ones to ground.
Theresa: That is so good.
Mark: You do tons of DIY projects. I know that, but when you’re renovating your kitchen, do you do your own electric? Do you do all your own carpentry? Or is some of it DIY and some of it your DIY GC?
Brittany: Most of it, I do myself. The only thing that I did hire out when we did our kitchen, I hired an electrician to help me, who was up on the code because we basically had to deal with a completely gutted kitchen, and I want to make sure that I pass the inspections first time.
I helped him. We put in the candlelights and, showed me what he was doing, told me why for what reason and what code it had to pass. The rest of it I pretty much did myself. I didn’t have to be moving any plumbing, which is good. I did have to move a bent, but I did all the carpentry myself.
We did buy the cabinets, but otherwise everything else, flooring, tiling, all that kind of fun stuff I did it myself.
Mark: You know you are a dyed-in-the-wool, DIYer until the last day, last breath when you say, “I did buy the cabinets.” Are you kidding me? Like you’re slightly disappointed in yourself that you didn’t make them. That’s awesome.
Theresa: That is a good sign.
Theresa: That is pretty awesome.
Mark: Nobody can make them and build them and put them in.
Theresa: Yes, they can.
Mark: And be mom and dad and, and, and. Nobody does that. Must have a crew of 80.
Brittany: You guys need to meet my friend Sandra from Sawdust Girl. I don’t know if you’ve talked to her, but she does all her own cabinetry.
Theresa: I don’t know if we know her. We’re going to have to give her …
Mark: We follow her on Facebook.
Theresa: We do?
Mark: Yes. She’s the other co-owner of Facebook by the way. She puts a blurb, “I walk down the street, 500 likes.”
Theresa: Because she was probably walking down the streets and make some new cabinets.
Mark: The cabinets.
Theresa: Probably doing woodworking as she’s walking down the street.
Mark: I’ve a mobile workshop. I tow it with me.
Theresa: I’m curious. It’s spring time. Are you getting out of the house and doing anything outside of the house to fix up and get ready for playtime and everything with your kids this spring?
Brittany: Yeah. A little bit. I’ve been doing a lot of work inside. I have some deadlines coming up, but no, I have gone outside and especially today, where it’s absolutely beautiful. We have a little fire pit that I built. We had a couple of trees taken down. I did not do that myself. I had the tree company cut the trees that they cut down into stump size or chair-height stumps. We made our own little fire circle. When I say “we,” you know it’s me but I’ll tell my husband, “Okay, roll that up the hill. Help me do this.”
Theresa: That sounds great. You guys work well together.
Brittany: He’s pretty good at following directions, and he’s pretty good at paying the bills.
Mark: Does he DIY right along with you? Is he a carpenter crafty guy?
Mark: Is he- ?
Brittany: We’re a 180. I’m the hands-on, visual, creative DIY person, and he’s very, very business to number smart. We really make a good team in that respect.
Theresa: That sounds like a really good balance. I like that because I am very artistic and visual and out there with crazy schemes.
Mark: I’m pragmatic to a fault.
Theresa: It’s ridiculous.
Mark: How are we going to build it? How long it’s going to take? Here’s how long it’s going to take and all these other ideas, this is how long that’s going to take.
Theresa: Do you have, Brittany, one of those key phrases that you say that you’re husband knows that, “Oh no, what’s coming?” Because mine is, “I was thinking … ” Then Mark’s like, “Oh my God.”
Mark: Mine is, “But I wanted to finish in my lifetime.”
Brittany: I don’t say it all at once. I have to put little hints out there. I probably spend a good month just dropping little hits. “You know, it’ll nice …” “You know, it’ll be cool …” “Don’t you think … ?”
Mark: That’s so funny.
Brittany: Then when I finally pop the question, it’s already been in his head. He doesn’t realize I’ve dropped those hints along the way.
Mark: That’s good.
Theresa: I like that dedication and that patience that you have, but I don’t think I have that patience to actually model that behavior.
Mark: You don’t think? Lets-
Theresa: I don’t have the patience. I get so excited I explode into my idea and I’m like, “Oh my God, we have to do it right now.”
Brittany: I tell my girlfriends that’s how I go down. I’m going to do this even though I haven’t really quite convinced him yet. I’m going to do this.
Brittany: A tool pouch, is that what you said?
Mark: Yeah, tool pouch, tool belt, tool bags, do you wear that? Do you have that so you keep all your stuff with you, or do you do it a different way? How do you manage all that stuff?
Brittany: I know. I’ve tried tool belts and occasionally, like when I was working on the kitchen, climbing up and down a ladder, I had a tool belt on, and that worked well, but I don’t know. I don’t like to be encumbered. I like to be able to move around quick, and I don’t know. I’m a mess when I work. My husband told me one year that for Christmas, he’s going to buy me a robot that would put away all my tools and all the stuff when I was done working.
Theresa: That’s a really good idea because then you could use that robot to clean up after your kids, too.
Brittany: Yeah, that would be awesome. Someone needs to invite the I DIY robot.
Theresa: It is true.
Mark: Cleaning up is so, I hate it, but it’s-
Theresa: It’s the worst part of …
Mark: You finally get to a place, use your thing to get your cabinets all hang up and then you turn around and behind you it’s like, Oh no!
Brittany: I’m the worst. I am such a mess. I start wearing a shop paper probably a year ago just because it tends to keep my clothes a bit cleaner and it does have pockets. For shop paper and I think it’s made by Duluth, the Duluth Trading Company. I think it’s the gardening apron, but it’s got cool little pockets that have mesh on the bottom so the sawdust just falls through. It doesn’t stick in the pockets.
Mark: That’s awesome.
Theresa: I like that. That’s really smart.
Mark: You keep the things you need with you instead of making a round for them.
Brittany: Yeah, but I couldn’t do the tool belt, the big one with where you see the handyman or the contractor and they’ve got everything hanging on that belt. Just the weight of it just makes my head hurt.
Theresa: That’s Mark’s tool belt.
Mark: I have two 55-gallon oil drums, one on each ship.
Theresa: It’s unbelievable.
Brittany: Mark has not beared children, and my hips have never been the same since I’ve beared children.
Theresa: I have tried to find the best tool belt for me, and I have one that I use, but there’s not enough places to put everything in because I don’t like those big belts like Mark uses.
Brittany: I know you there.
Theresa: It is really heavy. You have everything in there.
Mark: It weights 20, 30 pounds. There’s no question about it.
Brittany: Have you seen Anna White? She’s got that cute little tool belt apron that she and Jaime from That’s My Letter designed together. Pretty nice.
Mark: Do you guys have a club? Can we be in it?
Theresa: I don’t know if you can be in it, but maybe I could be in it?
Brittany: Yeah, it’s a girls only.
Mark: Check out Pretty Handy on Twitter. Go to her website PrettyHandyGirl.com. Follow her on Facebook. Go anywhere she is. Get the DIY inspiration you need, but stay right here. We’re coming back with more on MyFixitUpLife.