30 Jan

A Dose of Reality – Television


A few months ago the hubs and I found ourselves without anything to do, sitting in front of the television. I’m not a big tv buff so HGTV or DIY Network are my quick and painless go-to channels. While I think most reality tv shows aren’t worth the paper the script is written on {who am I kidding – they don’t have scripts, or do they??} I do enjoy shows where there is some competition between folks duking it out to represent their craft.

So on this given night a spin of the channel surfing roulette wheel placed the dial on HGTV and smack dab into the middle of a handyman competition.


If you’re not familiar with the All American Handyman Challenge (I wasn’t) let me give you a quick run down.

Folks (men and women – don’t let the title throw you) from different backgrounds and skill levels apply to compete in a real life jack-of-all-trades fix-it challenge complete with power tools and safety gear.

They have a range of home improvement projects and work alone or together to get them done. Then, the judges – Mike Holmes and Scott McGillivray weigh in to select the person/teams who win each round. Like any other competitive reality show contestants are eliminated weekly until you’re left with the best of the best – and they go head to head for the title.

I don’t know about you, but they had me at fix-it.

At some point in the episode this spunky chick won a small challenge with her version of landscape art. That heart-shaped planter box would be perfect for Valentine’s Day, no?


Her reward was choosing her next challenge. Plus, she got to pair her competitors with their projects totally stacking the deck. Talk about a competitive advantage!

Sonne, an everyday Home Depot employee from Aurora, CO, had selected for herself a gutter installation. This is a typical DIY home improvement project. Some of you might have helped your dad or husband {or wife} with this on your own homes. From my point of view (the couch) she did a pretty bang-up job in the time given and I would have paid her bill without question. When she was done, the judges came to weigh in.

Now, I watch Mike’s show “Holmes on Homes” and he’s not a timid man. He doesn’t hold back his feelings about shoddy workmanship, quick fixes or workarounds. This stuff really ticks him off {but ultimately keeps him in business}. So when he assessed her handiwork he stayed true to form.


Mike gave her a hard time  – not only about the install itself (he wasn’t impressed) but her strategy. He came down pretty hard on her.

I wish I could find and insert a snippet of her response here. Although she bills herself as “enthusiastic and a little bit inappropriate” this girl kept her cool under his criticism. And she didn’t even tear up as he tore into her! #girlpower

{pardon the rough paraphrasing – this is how I recall the conversation to have gone down}

Mike: This sucks. Have you ever installed a gutter before?
Sonne: Nope.
Mike: Then why in the **** did you pick it for your challenge?
Sonne: Because I wanted to learn how to do it and now I know how so when I go home I can fix my mom’s gutters.
Mike: So you intentionally picked a project you might lose just to learn how to do it??
Sonne: Yep. What’s the point of coming here to learn if I only do things I know how to do? Now I know how to do it right because you taught me.

BAM! Instant girl crush. I’m pretty sure I yelled at the tv “I love you Sonne!” making the hubs eyeball me suspiciously.

That kind of desire, energy, gumption and oomph are what makes folks like Nicole Curtis, Danielle Bryk and Sonne Shields stand out. It’s these very capable chicks that make me proud to be in the industry and why I think there need to be a lot more pink tool belts available at Menards. Just sayin’…

So, as I predicted {I have a knack for picking winners early in the game} Sonne went on to beat those other guys. She rocked out a sweet kitchen reno but didn’t complete the task on time.


Nevertheless, what she did – she did right. And in my world, it’s a heck of a lot easier to ask a customer for an extension than to have them pay someone else to fix your rushed (read: crappy) work later.

Oh – did I mention she sported a black eye for most of the show? Talk about taking one for the team.


Now – I grew up outside Chicago. But anyone who knows me knows it’s no secret that I love all things Colorado. Did you catch where this chick is from?? Double whammy!

I took a shot in the dark and sent her a message of congratulations on Facebook – since she really wasn’t anyone yet she didn’t have a website and it didn’t seem {too} stalkerish to reach out. Besides, from the looks of her profile others had done the same thing. I was just one of hundreds of other fans.

So I never, in a meeeellion years, expected her to respond. Or to become her friend (in real life!)

But, that’s exactly what happened. I am SO stupid stoked to be collaborating with my friend – Sonne Shields, Handy{wo}man Extraordinaire in chasing her dreams! {cyber stalking ftw!}


I’m pretty sure that was my exact expression when I got her reply message.

First things first there’s a petition to sign so please show your support and add your name to the list. And we really, really, really, really want to see Sonne score a spot on Ellen. How cool would that be? Maybe they can have a dance off while installing a backsplash or something. She stalked met Ty Pennington recently too so it’s only a matter of time people! 

Oh and in case you’re questioning my ulterior motives, I never expected anything to come of this. Ok, that’s not quite true. I was hoping that if she didn’t get all ‘Hollywood’ she’d at least have the notion to start her own business (sorry Home Depot) and I had my fingers crossed that maybe she would entertain the idea of me running her office. It’s not a crazy notion – it’s what I do!


Secretly, I dreamed she’d stay in Aurora and I would move there and we would live happily ever after running projects and drinking beer and be BFFs forever. Sigh – I’m a romantic at heart.

The reality is this girl is ready to take her show on the road and your house can be her first stop! Check out how you can get your project on the Sonne-Do List or get a shirt signed at a ‘nooner’ pit stop along the way. Don’t forget to stop by her Facebook page and tell her I sent you.

…maybe she’ll let me run her fan club. {hint, hint}


Sonne Do – Press Release
Sonne Do List – Project Sign up 
Sonne Do List – Tour Map
Sonne Do List – Dee’s House
Sonne Do List – Dee-signer Bookshelves
Sonne Do List – Sonne Takes Off

Let’s make it happen! 

9 thoughts on “A Dose of Reality – Television

  1. You could do this, Dee. Why don't you enter the next competition? You are too funny, too, so that is a plus for television! Nice post, too. I read the whole thing!! 🙂 Linda

    • Oh no Linda, aside from the fact that I would have no clue how to do the things those folks did you provide the perfect segue into my “5 Reasons I’ll Never Have My Own Show” post. And are you saying I’m too wordy??

  2. Hahaha. I can TOTALLY see you watching the tube with some sort of overly carb-y snack in a sack and yelling at the tv (all the while flinging your snacks around in your flurried one-way tv conversation as your pups enjoy the excess "treats" all over the floor). Yeah- I totally have that scene in my head and I'm rolling around laughing!

    But seriously, that's awesome! I'm going to have to shout out and send a "like" just for the thrill of repeating that image in my head. Go on and get em girl- you'd be a great business asset!!!

    • Ahem. First of all, puppies don't eat potato chips. Secondly, what makes you think my tv doesn't talk back to me? 🙂 Thanks for the comment luv – now, send me some warm weather!!!!

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