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A few days ago, the girls and I were over at The Home Depot - picking up our first round of fall flowers, and scoping out the new assortment of Halloween decor that THD has to offer. They've upped their game this year, and I could do some serious damage if set loose in there. Truth be told, Home Depot can be a dangerously-tempting place, and I'm still paying off our last project loan from when we gutted the bathrooms here at Rock Father HQ and rebuilt them from the bare studs. When it comes to the "Big Two" on the holiday front - Halloween & Christmas - I'm all over the decor, so it was a nice coincidence when The Home Depot sent us their new WindowFX Plus Projector for review.

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GarageCleanUp #CollectiveBias

Rubbermaid FastTrack

They say to "pick your battles," but sometimes the war is right in front of you, raging on and on with no end in sight. For us here at Rock Father HQ, the garage is that war - and we've been fighting battles with it since we bought this house over six years ago. We have a lot of stuff, and since there's no basement, the garage is a multi-purpose room - a "facility" ("The Warehouse," as my dad once called it) used for storage, special projects, occasional video production, but largely the home to The Rock Daughters™' impressive fleet of vehicles and toys - like a Batcave or Q's lab, but for kids that are 4 & 7. Also factor in all the stuff we've been shoving out there for an eventual "mythical" garage sale that we can never seem to find time to make happen, and we have what to an outsider could look like some kind of hoarder situation - and it goes in cycles. The key to managing it is organization, and I first started tackling it back in 2014 when the Rubbermaid® FastTrack® Garage Organization System first came out. I started getting one wall straightened out, but there's been much more to attack. One of the biggest problems with being able to properly organize the place and really maximize the use of space is that the previous homeowners created a terribly-designed mess of "shelving" (if you can call it that) made out of scrap wood and junk - and much of it was connected, so lose one piece, and another would be affected. This past weekend, my wife and I fought a mighty battle to get another section in-order, namely my workbench and the area that surrounds it. After a trip to The Home Depot (with Finley, who wanted to help with check-out), I had all the pieces that I needed to start dismantling the mess, and rebuild with the good stuff.

Published in Home and Garden

When my wife and I bought this house a few years back, one of the first things I bought for the yard was a Toro Blower Vac from The Home Depot. The corded blower vac saw a ton of action - spring and summer finding it used as a blower-only, for post-mowing cleanup, while Fall saw it transform into vac mode to help with the leaves that one would expect from an Illinois autumn. For 2015, Toro has upped their game the the new UltraPlus Blower Vac - one of which arrived here for review in my own State-of-the-Art Testing facility: Rock Father HQ. With the leaves having begun to fall here at home, it was time to go hands-on to see how the latest model matches up against my trusty old Fall friend.

Published in Home and Garden

Step2 Brand AmbassadorAs a Step2 Brand Ambassador, I've had the joy of bringing you a ton of news, reviews and features on new products from The Step2 Company over these past few years. For Fall 2015, we're going a little bit bigger, and I'm helping to drop the curtain on 11 new products (MADE IN THE USA*) destined to be sought-after by children, and almost certain to make several Hot Holiday Toy lists (a few will be in my own Holiday Wish Guide). The lineup is impressive, and we're inviting all of you to share in our excitement by taking part in a very special giveaway - one in which the winner will get their choice of which item they'll receive from the Fall 2015 reveals! Ready to rock? 

If you've been following along, you know that we recently completed our first truly major enhancement to Rock Father HQ (sans the garage door a few years back) - total home window replacement. With not a ton of information available online about the true reality of the process, my wife and I decided that I would document the experience here on THE ROCK FATHER Magazine in four parts (Part I: BeginningPart II: In-Home Consultations, Part III: The Vast Realm of Pricing), this being the final installment. After careful consideration taking into account the sales approach, style, quality and pricing, we ultimately decided to hire...

Published in Home Projects

Back in March, I began a series (Part I: Beginning, Part II: In-Home Consultations) about our first truly major project since buying the home that's become known as "Rock Father HQ" back in 2010 - total home window replacement. Rather than wrap it up right away after the install, I wanted to make sure we'd lived with the windows for a bit prior to sharing some final thoughts on the whole thing so that others might have a little more ammo going into their own project. The odd thing is, buying windows is very much a mystery, and with so little information regarding pricing available online (old-school sales tactics that I don't appreciate), I'm letting everyone know how our job played out. Welcome to Part III: The Vast Realm of Pricing.

Published in Home and Garden
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