October 30, 2011

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween to you and yours. Last night Michael and I went to a neighborhood street dessert party and met some of our neighbors. Tomorrow night we are joining neighbors again for a get together before the kids head out to trick-or-treat. It's amazing how different Halloween is once you are in a kid friendly neighborhood. Different in a good way... We stocked up on candy today at Costco. I may never go back there after today's experience. The Costco closest to us opened last week and literally every parking place was taken when we pulled up. And as you all  know Costco's parking lots are HUGE. It was body to body in that place. Definitely not my favorite way to shop, but we managed. I also snagged some HUGE christmas ornaments that I am going to use to decorate during the holidays. Speaking of decorating... I have always wanted to really go all out on holiday decor, but somehow never quite find the time or prefer to spend my funds for the house in some other way. I did however try to add a little last minute Halloween flare to Home 101. I  know it is minimal, but this was a bit of a test run if you will. I am going to see to it that Christmas packs a little more of a punch.



October 28, 2011

Farm. Family. Fun.

I have been dying to take the pups to the farm since we got them, however I was not dying to sit in my own sweat in 100+ degree heat. So we waited. And finally, like all wonderful things that come with fall, the farm weekend was upon us. We threw on our "farm clothes", packed up the "farm gear" and headed to "the farm". Now mind you that we don't actually farm. I think by true definition it is a ranch since we do run cattle on it, however once upon a time it was a farm so that is what we call it. My grandmother was raised there. The front half was actually a general store many years ago. I love that this piece of land, that we all enjoy so much, has meaning and memories that come along with it.

I will warn you now that I took way too many pictures with my new camera. Also, I am learning and know very little so don't judge my photos or editing skills just yet. I am loving everything about the process.  Good thing, because I have a very long way to go.

Our family loves to fish! I can remember having a mickey mouse fishing pole when I was little...

Grandmama loves the dogs, even when they jump and climb all over her.

I am ready to go back already. There is something to be said for a day in the great outdoors without tv's, phones, computers or the hustle and bustle of everyday life here at Home 101.


October 24, 2011

Happy Monday

It is only fair to report on the wonderful Monday I am having since last Monday's post was in lieu of a less than stellar day.

6:00 am - wake up, COFFEE NOW PLEASE! I am lucky that Mr. H has it brewed when I wake up. He is the morning person in this twosome.

7:30 am leave for work. Whoa. FOG EVERYWHERE. Like serious, I can't see the other cars until I am about to hit them, fog. My boss calls to say our meeting is cancelled and to take my time. Sit back and enjoy the tunes and inch my way to work.

9:00 am - Emails & phone calls. Gotta love Mondays!

10:30 am - Vendor Meeting

11:00 am - Conference Call

12:30 pm - Lunch with some girls from the office since

2:00 pm - Loooooooong Conference Call

3:30 pm - Catch up on email like a mad woman so I can leave early. The dogs have now been locked up longer than ever without being let out since neither of us could run home at lunch.

4:30 pm - Sneak away from work early to let my puppies out. Cass held it for over 8 hours!! HUGE accomplishment in the Hawkins' home. Text the hubby the great news :)

5:00 pm - Finish working while the puppies play outside

Now to you this may seem like a boring day, but to me it was wonderful. Nothing today involved POOP. Unfortunately the same can't be said for this past weekend. We took the pups to the farm for the first time. First time around the cows. First time around cow POOP. We expected them to roll in it as I have heard many dogs do that for some strange reason. Our pups were not the least bit interested in rolling in it. Why roll in it when you can eat it?!? That's right. They were major fans of cow POOP. You would have thought we had dumped out treats all over the ground. It was disgusting and really hard to stop. In order to stop them you had to get near them and then they wanted to immerse you in their new found joy by jumping on you and licking you. Let the dry heaving begin. again.

On a completely different subject. Guess what I finally talked Mr. H into?!? A new big girl camera. It is so fun! I don't know how the heck to work it AT ALL, but I am hoping an all day dslr crash course class I signed up for in a couple of weeks will help me with that. Not that the lack of knowledge is stopping me. I have taken 437 photos since I got it, so prepare yourself for all the posts that are about to come. Pictures of anything and everything that doesn't get up and run from me and even some shots of Michael or the pups doing just that. I have pictures to upload from the Rangers game, the pups, the family farm trip and some updates I have made around Home 101.

Gotta go - I can hear growling and yelping from the backyard :)


October 23, 2011

The Refinishing Touch

Since moving into our first home in March I find that I am completely obsessed with customizing my fabric and furniture choices. I try to do this in a budget friendly manner that keeps Mr. H happy and keeps me from having to sell a kidney. Many of the pieces in our home have been loved by another family before us. I have simply added my own touch to them to make them new to us and as well as make them fit into the room I have been envisioning.

Being that I am not at all - not even a tiny bit - crafty - I decided to start small. My grandmother had given my mom 2 end tables that were in her and granddaddy's first home. They are beautiful, sturdy and solid wood. which can be very hard to come by these days. especially at a decent price. Since they were gathering dust in my parent's garage I offered to take them off their hands. The previous stain was peeling and they were in need of a an updated look. So off to Home Depot we went.  I seriously can't even begin to tell you how many trips we have made to our local Home Depot since we moved in. I think it is safe to say that we have spent more money there than at the grocery store since March. It is THAT bad.

After the grueling choice of choosing a stain that would blend with our bed frame and give us the overall look we wanted we headed home with our onyx stain. And home we went, cheerfully by the way, thinking that we were the smart ones. saving money (mr. h's favorite part). creating the exact look/colors we wanted. so smart. And then we started the project...

Let me tell you -- Refinishing furniture is no small feat and definitely not for the faint of heart. At first it was fun. Hours later is was definitely not what we had once imagined. We should have known it would be hard when our neighbors came out of the woodwork to either laugh at us or asked if they could bring their extra pieces down if we were crazy enough to enjoy this sort of thing. But we powered through (with the help of a Cherry Limeade from Sonic) and the end result was absolutely worth it! It is quite rewarding knowing that we did them ourselves. together :)

Partially Sanded - I forgot to take a "before" shot

Finished Product

So rewarding that we couldn't stop with just one project.  This next piece of furniture has been around for as long as I can remember. All of our favorite Disney vhs tapes were in the right cabinet when I was little. I can remember Margaret and I literally climbing halfway in and dragging all of the videos out. Needless to say this piece has memories and I love it. Very farmhouse chic. I have been asking for it for years. And finally after we moved into our first home my mom caved. We loaded it in the truck. And sped away before she could change her mind :)  It was 110 degrees the next weekend and being in the garage all day stripping and staining sounded like torture. So we waited a couple of months for a cool day. We stripped the base of the dresser and completed the first coat of stain. Now if I can just make myself get back out there and finish the drawers we will have a piece of furniture to match our end tables for the master bedroom...

Before (plus one coat of stripper)


Stripped & Sanded


First coat of stain on the base

Stay tuned for the finished product! If we ever finish it...

Feel like sanding away your weekend? Here's what you'll need:

MINWAX Wood Stain
Purdy Brush
Top Coat
Sand Paper
Drop Cloth
Brass Stripping Brush


October 10, 2011

Poop Monday

What is it about Mondays? Nothing catastrophic happened. It was just consistently annoying.

6:00 - coffee (Thank goodness for coffee)

6:15 - find the dogs have dug a whole the size of Cass. I discover this when I let the dogs inside. they run in at 90 mph and track mud all over the floors and then run through the house before I can catch them. just grateful at this point that it was mud and not poop.

6:30 - shower in the guest bathroom because I was too lazy Sunday night to finish the caulking job we are doing in the master bath. my razor forgot to make the trip. I will definitely be wearing pants today.

7:00 - cleaning out my hair brush I dropped it in the toilet. well poop. literally. (I kid!)

7:30 - drive one hour to our sales office to sit in meetings.  where is the coffee?

12:30 - no time for lunch, drive to customer appointment

2:30 - stop to grab lunch to go after appointment

3:00 - realize I am supposed to be on a conference call. but I am still stuck in traffic. at some point during dialing in, getting out a pen/notebook and driving I plowed through a red light. dang it!! the cameras got me.  (So not only has it been a lack luster Monday - but it is going to cost me $75)

5:00 - home. let the dogs out. finishing working. went to check on them about an hour later to find that they had pulled up the new sod we put down this weekend and drug it all over the yard after chewing it into bite-size pieces. in an attempt to stop the madness I was picking it all up quickly and throwing it over the fence. (our neighbors love us) and then it happened. warm. smushy. stinky. IT'S POOP. I thought I was picking up a chunk of sod and it was fresh POOP. let the dry heaving begin.

Is it Friday yet?