Blogger…its working! WWW.CAMUSRD.BLOGSPOT.COM

So I got my blogger site working again. Apparently all I had to do was download Google chrome and now I can upload my photos. I wish I had known that 3 months ago and would have saved myself and my readers all the confusion. So I WILL NOT be loading any new posts on….though I do like this domain name better.  That’s another battle for another day right. So if you want to stay up to date on the building, please go to my blogger, . Its much prettier and that’s what matters. Thank you!

Sinks, Toilets and Tubs, OH MY!

Plumbing is not exactly a glamorous topic. But its pretty dang important. Last night I came home, and Kyle texts for me to come up to the house. The plumber had installed the kids bathtub that day. Kyle had been having all the dealings with the plumber, and his instructions were we just wanted a white tub in the kids bath. Pretty simple. Ok, now I walk into the bath and there is a tub, and its white, and it has some design thing on the front. Ok, I am not a design person. I just wanted a plain front. So I…..have a freak-out. This is the FIRST piece of what I consider the inside design of the house…and I hate it. And to make it worse, I can’t believe how upset I am over a tub. You bathe in it…that’s all. A shower curtain will cover the front of the tub, who cares that some design is on it. I said all of this to myself…and to Kyle. But it didn’t help. I hated the tub and flabbergasted about how Kyle and the plumber just assumed any white tub was fine.


ok I cannot rant about that tub anymore, that’s the jest of it and its all solved. Because my sweet husband told the plumber “that tub isn’t gonna work” and the plumber said no big deal, have her go pick one out. So I did, and it will be here in 10 days. Okay. Solved.

So while I was at the supply house…my eyes began wondering over things, like toilets and sinks. Trouble

Okay, I have some regular toilets from home depot picked out that are Kohler I think for like $174 each. Preferably I’d like them to be cheaper. The toilets at this other place were over $200 and up! I don’t understand why a $200+ toilet is way better, is it a flushing thing? the amount of water. Its white, porcelain and you visit it a few times a day. And yet I’m needing to decide if I want regular height, or tall…what shape tank do I want…a handle to flush or a fancy button thing. When did toilets get complicated?!

$$$$ $ HR

One of these toilets is $1200, one is $88, and one is the highest customer rated at $189. Can you tell which is which? P.S. for fairness all 3 are 1.28 GPF

And then there is my kitchen sink. I thought I knew what I wanted, but then I didn’t. And now I’m just confused. I am trying my hardest to figure out what pieces to splurge or invest in and what others its okay to go cheaper on. This is how budgets get out of control.

So, I have selected a stainless steel apron front sink by KRAUS, its $629 and includes a grate for the bottom, faucet, and a soap dispenser. Great deal. But now I worry about scratches. I get SS scratches, but I hear with an apron front that maybe the buttons of pants, zippers, etc will scratch the front. So then there are porcelain apron fronts, more $$ of course.


I emailed two bloggers I follow to get their advice and they said:

I love our sink, and I hate our stainless appliances. That pretty much sums up why we went with porcelain! When we remodeled our last 2 homes, we went with stainless sinks despite my resistance the 2nd time around. I think Nick finally caved for this house since if we are being real he isn’t the one cleaning anyway! I always felt like keeping a stainless sink clean i.e. no water spots was impossible. The thought of having a stainless surface for the farmhouse look was something I was completely not on board with. I would be battling water spots inside and on the front.
Our white porcelain sink is super easy to clean. I just use Bar Keepers friend for a quick scrub and multi surface cleaner on the front when I need to which isn’t very often. I hope that helps. I feel like this is a very passionate email about all things stainless. Ha! Have fun building!
– Amy Wills,
We got a screaming deal with Kohler so really I just pointed and picked.  Having had lived with our ss sink now for 3+ years it’s just fine.  For sure SS scratches easily but it only bothers you in the beginning where you see it.  3 years later there are so many scratches it all blends together.  Porcelain also scratches but I guess you just have to deal with it.  The other things I don’t love…I picked a huge single tub sink.  While I love that’s it’s a single tub it’s almost too deep (8.5 inches to be exact).  I really have to bend over the sink to wash dishes, etc.  I wish I would have picked something more shallow.  The other “meh” is I chose a very angular, modern sink.  It has true 90 degree angles where the bottom meet the sides.  As a result I have to either use my sprayer or my hand to sweep all the food to the disposal.  Food and muck stick in those hard 90 degree angles and I have to take a tooth brush to scrub the corners.  Next time I’ll get a sink with curved/rounded edges.  SS steal or porcelain are sixes to me.  I don’t prefer one over the other but I do LOVE the look of a porcelain apron front farm house sink.
Boy, I never knew I had such an opinion on my sink.  Hope that helps.  Let me know what you choose and how you like it!
– Michele Hinkley,
So now I’m asking the reader world, what are your thoughts on all that is plumbing?

OH yeah, we are building a house

OK, it you aren’t techy, this may not make sense to you. My blog was (and still is) hosted by a site called blogger. Well I haven’t blogged in over a month because blogger is not being very user-friendly, and I’ve had all these issues with uploading pictures. And when I do, it is not pretty. Anyone that knows me knows I like everything to be pretty and organized and nice looking. So….long story short, I’m trying to switch over to a new blog host, WordPress. Hoping to have a better experience and get back to actually blogging.

So the house, OMG, so much has happened since the last post, Wood and Walls. People, I have walls, I have a rooms, I have a freaking roof!! Oh, and now I have pipes for sinks, showers and toilets. Its like nearly move in ready 🙂 So yes that’s all the good news, with pictures below for you to view.

The not so fun part, bleeding money. We knew this was part of the process, but it is painful. First, we had to write a check for $20k for the trusses when they were delivered. I had to laugh, because for one thing Kyle had to write the check. How he did not hyper ventilate I do not know. Then I had to laugh, and ask him if he even knew how to spell that! Frankly, I would have really had to think that out because I have NEVER had to write a check that large. Well these checks have been common, there was the lumber package bill (gulp), I just paid for our windows, and our counter tops.

now you might be scratching your head, why are you buying countertops with lumber and windows. Very good question. So about a month ago Kyle and I came to the decision we really wanted soapstone counters. We liked the look and how it was rated to stand up to the use of a kitchen. We also knew it would cost a bit more than say granite. So we (me) started shopping. I searched all the way up to seattle and down to Portland. I talked to about six different fabricators and warehouses. In the end, I choose a local fabricator and told him what I wanted. A week or so later he called and said “funny thing, just got an email from my slab warehouse I use (meta marble in seattle) and their soapstone is on sale. SOLD. So he’s storing it for us until we need it. I’m so excited.

The roofing bill should be here next week as they are roofing as I am typing this! Thank you A-1 roofing! Again, painful. But hey it lasts 50 years right, not something I’ll need to buy again for a long time.

As far as life on the compound, well its been joyful as usual. I heard a phrase at a work training yesterday, and although it was applied to a different situation, I really felt it was perfect for our living situation right now. YOU NEED TO BE COMFORTABLE WITH BEING UNCOMFORTABLE.  Look, I don’t know where some of our stuff is a lot of the time, frustrating. I can’t find what I want in the fridge most of the time, frustrating. I can’t do laundry or take a shower when I want to at the exact moment, frustrating. But I am seeing a ton of positive from this too. I think…maybe its not true, but I am pretty sure I’m becoming a WAY better communicator with my spouse, and with his family. I think my problem solving skills are pretty dang polished. But I also know, with 100% certainty, that when our house is done I will not be sad to leave, and the in-laws will swiftly lock the door behind me.

Okay that’s the update for now. I’ll try to squeeze in a post next week on my trip to NYC last weekend.

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Wood and Walls

Blogger is just not cooperating lately with me and my photos. Frankly, its been a real PITA. So excuse the technical difficulties.
So much got accomplished this past weekend. Seeing the drawing of my house come to life has been amazing. The kids are SO excited. Running all around the house and becoming familiar with all the new spaces. And of course, their rooms. We’ve made a few tweeks here and there. The pantry wall is being moved back 2 feet which gains me 2 ft of cabinets and counters in the kitchen. The front rooms have finally been decided: His and Her office spaces. We just kept calling it a flex room because we had no idea what to do with the space. Now Kyle will have his own office to do construction business, and I will have mine to take care of family business, and sewing, and wrapping station, etc! so excited. And I’m sure the changes aren’t over. But its all for the better and this is just going to be the best house and I can’t wait to live in it.

Inspiration: Windows & Doors

I have never really paid attention to windows. Yes I know there are solid windows, ones with grids, etc. I know you either open them or don’t. But now that I am actually having to pick windows for my own home, I didn’t realize how many options there are. And then I was of the mind frame they all have to match, but apparently not.

So I thought I knew what I wanted, but then I didn’t, and then Sue (MIL) has her ideas which I had never thought of and now my brain feels like mush. For example, we had all our windows being 5 ft in height. She pointed out, well if you have 9ft ceilings, I think they need to be 6ft windows. ohhhhh….that makes sense, shit.

Then there’s the issue with I like the “look” of crank windows, because they are more open, non-view obstructing. Kyle hates them due to the fact too many parts to break. Always so rational.

I feel like the only thing I know for certain is the windows will be white…except sometimes I dream of black. But Kyle has vetoed that, so they will be white.

Then there is doors. You can see my original Door post here. Well I had my dream door picked out…but now I’m considering grids. Ok. Then I was for certain my laundry room was going to have a dutch door, but now its not and I forget why. Then I was for sure not going to have a door going to the patio off the dining room, but now I probably am.

Are you keeping track of all this or have I lost you too?
House of Turquoise: Clean Design- Laundry Room doorPossible Laudry door option: House of Turquoise.
This wood-and-glass door nearly fades into the background as it's painted the same ivory hue as the rest of the house and could easily be mistaken for a window:
Possible Front door option- mine will have windows on sides & top
Window wants…don’t know if its gonna happen
Window “look” I love.
If you have any tips, suggestions or alcohol to help me with this please speak up! Thanks.

Did we do this right?

And when I say “did WE do this right”, I mean Kyle did you mess up. So Kyle takes me up to the property yesterday to walk through the layout. Now all that’s there is what I showed you last week, boards all around set up for the cement footings to be poured. Guys I was scared. I got all high-pitched and was like “Kyle, did you measure this right?!” It seems so small. Obviously it is not, but in that giant outside space, I’m looking from one corner to another and I’m trying to figure out in my pretty little head how two bedrooms and a bathroom-  jack/jill bath btw- are supposed to fit in that space. I just don’t get it or SEE it. After my slight hyperventilating (did you hear me Mike and Shari?) Kyle assured me all the measurements are right. I’m just going to have to trust him and some guy named Ted who’s helping him out. 

Kyle was a bit annoyed, not at me for the moment, that the county was supposed to come out on Friday and do an erosion inspection. Shockingly, no one came. And of course, we can’t have the inspection for the footing braces done until the erosion inspection is checked off…and the cement trucks come tomorrow. Yep. So Kyle was in freak-out mode. But his builder friend Ted made some calls and supposedly the county was going to come out today and tomorrow morning to fix it all up. I am fairly certain that this is going to be the pattern throughout this build.

So hopefully tomorrow the footings are poured, and then I have no idea what the next thing is. I think then they have to do some more rebar stuff…more forms and then maybe the full foundation. I have no idea. I’m trying to figure out what counter tops I want (still) and If I want all white cabs for the kitchen or maybe do the island in an espresso. This is what keeps me up at night. This early stage stuff is boring, but obviously necessary to get to the parts I think are important.

Christmas is this week and I’m still waiting for a few packages to be delivered (please don’t disappoint Amazon Prime). I have been eating horribly, and loving every minute of it. Except my pants, they are not loving the tightness. Tis the season.

This weeks highlights were hanging out with Peyton Friday. He was so stinking cute. I had him dressed up in these H&M jeans with suspenders- he asks “are this like daddys work jeans?”, and his new NY hat that nana and papa brought home for him. He was at the nail salon with me (kyle cringes) and the owners little boy was there, looked to be 5 too, and the boy told Peyton he was super handsome! Peyton was sooooo shy. My nails turned out fabulous too I think. Then Friday night I had my book club xmas party. No book this month, just wine…so it was a regular meeting 🙂 Love my BC girls and looking forward to another year.

It’s starting…

So things are starting to shape up around Camus Road. Kyle has cleared the property, dug out for the foundation, put in a gravel road and now the form boards are up to start the foundation pour this weekend. We got our bid this week for the framing, $39k! Ouch. But a nice bonus was that included the siding for the house. The power company is lined up to come out the first week of January to hook up temporary power during construction. So looks like the coal is loaded and this train is pulling out of the station! FINALLY!!
Speaking of trains…This past weekend the Camus clan headed down to Portland to visit Kyle’s sister Lynsie and her family. We watched the movie polar express Friday night and then on Saturday took the kids to the Mt. Hood Railroad station and did the “polar express” train ride. It was so fun, they really liked it. They all wore matching PJs. Got to enjoy these moments while they last, pretty sure Ellie isn’t going to believe in Santa much longer. She’s a little on the fence this year. After all that, Saturday night we let the kids make gingerbread houses. That was interesting. I think there was more eating going on that building. And the putting the whole house together is always tricky. Ellie lost her roof about 2 minutes after I took a photo of her completed house.
I am nearly done with all my holiday shopping. I have done 95% of my shopping on-line. I just don’t have the time to make it to the stores, and well frankly I don’t want to go to the stores and deal with all the people. My Grinch side I guess. Only store I’ve actually shopped for is at Spruce and Bon Lemon. Other than that, my amazon prime membership has been getting good use. Now I just have to do the whole wrapping thing.
I’ve actually missed not having my own tree to decorate, or house to put holiday decorations up in. I’ve never been a huge decorator but of course this year I’ve found all this things I’d love to get to make a house festive. Next year…
and for my WIWW, well I’m wearing what I wore in my last WIWW: Sweater + Leather. Its been my go-to for the past few Wednesdays.
Have a Happy Holiday!

Inspiration: Master Bath

I am actually a little stumped on this one. One minute I like large marble tiles for the flooring, or tile that looks like hardwood. And then there is cabinet color, I like white or I like grey- light or dark. So…I feel I have no real focus yet for this room. I do know I want a pedestal tub, and we will have a walk in shower (no door thing).

Here is the layout of our bathroom:

And here are photos I’m inspired by, again you’ll see I’m a little all over the place. What’s your favorite?

Dirt + Dirt + Dirt

This is not a fun stage. I see progress…but its all brown. It was quite muddy on Friday. Then by Sunday it was frozen dirt. All forms of browness. Kyle and my brother-in-laws spent the entire holiday weekend working on our property. They worked on the road/driveway. Then cleared more trees, and burned lots and lots of brush. The dug the trench for the power company to come and lay the power line stuff..or whatever they put in the trench. And at last they put pretty little pink flags on the stakes to mark the corners of the house.

Now I know my house is plenty big. But when you are standing at one stick, and looking at the other stick…it seems so small. I was assured plenty of times that it is just fine. Sue and I went up on Friday to help place the house. Kyle needed to know exactly where I wanted it to sit, angled, etc. In the end, Sue drove us around on the 4 wheeler so we could get to what would be the back yard. That was extremely entertaining. We were all bundled up and creeping along slowing over big mud piles. A boy would have been flying through it, we were squealing.

So I think everything looks right. Again, its all so brown its just hard for me to visualize. I believe the next step is to dig out for the foundation. So maybe that will help me SEE the footprint a little better. Which that’s all I heard about all weekend from the BILs “your footprint is so huge!” I get it, its a rambler, its going to be big.
Ron bought a new excavator (well new to him) and brought it home Friday. He was up at the top of the hill with it when I was leaving. Peyton in his totally amazed voice says “Did we get a new excavator!” Boys and big toys are always amazing.

This Wednesday will mark 2 weeks since we turned in our paperwork for building permits. No word yet, but that’s not a shocker. Maybe we’ll hear something this week, but no one will be holding their breathe.

So while the men were up at the property doing the manly chores, the women were down at the house helping clean out what I refer to as the hoarder rooms. Now granted, Sue’s home has been a dumping ground for all her kids stuff, or stuff from their weddings, etc. And because she has had all this “stuff” it’s come in handy during family events. But things were just a little out of control, and well she just couldn’t see what she even had. So day 1 we tackled the ONE bedroom not being occupied and is a holding area for all these party supplies. Karlye got some shelving from home depot and we whipped that together and loaded it up. We found lots of family heirlooms as well as business paperwork from 1975. By the end of the day we had a pile to burn/garbage, we had a good will pile and there was a clean room with a bed for guests. Very successful

Day 2 consisted of the hoarder closet down in the basement. Let me tell you, none of us will EVER have to buy ribbon for a gift again. Sue has collected every color, pattern and width of ribbon ever made. She is always asked to do wedding flowers, so she has bought ribbon for those projects. She loves making wreaths and is good at it, so she has a ton of ribbon for those craft projects, and then of course there is ribbon just for gift wrapping. I swear I organized over 500 rolls. But now she can see what she has, and I can see what I can borrow.

We survived the holiday with lots and lots of family. We got to make authentic Mexican tamales with my brothers fiancé and her family. That only took 4 hours. I am all about the Costco ones now. Also, I got made fun of because apparently you don’t eat the corn husk, its just to keep it all together. Well I did not know that! After spending all that time spreading the corn mix on the husk, and steaming it I figured you got to eat it too. But after one bite, and it was really tough, I second guessed that. Everyone had a good laugh at me. Granted authentic taste amazing. I ate way too much pie. I love it, pecan, pumpkin and banana crème.

Friday, to help do something after eating so much pie, I went to a barre fitness class at Focus Fitness here in Olympia. OMG, it was so great and so hard. I am not a sweater. In fact I’ve asked my dad if maybe my sweat glands are broken because I just don’t really sweat. Well this class proved they aren’t broken. Now I know what Ballerina’s and dancers are in such amazing shape. I highly recommend a class if you are looking for something different to add to your routine.

Hopefully I can report something fun next week. We are nearing the end of 2014 and my Christmas wish is to be breaking ground by the new year. It’ll be close.


WIWW: Sweater + Leather

The air is crisp and the rain is here. All I want to wear are boots, leggings and sweaters. Luckily for me, CAbi has been fulfilling that desire with their new Fall 2014 line. And yeah, I’m still bad at the pictures, first I tried bathroom selfies (fail) then I tried outside (better). One day I will have my game together and have more professional photos, until then this is what you get 🙂 Happy almost Turkey day!!

Sweater: CAbi Fall 2014 Joy Sweater (I’m wearing an XS, you can size down in this one)
Shirt: CAbi Fall 2014 McQueen shirt (I’m wearing a M, I have a large chest)
Leggings: Ann Taylor Faux Leather leggings (40% OFF! USE CODE SHOPANN)
Boots: Frye – I totally forget which ones.

Linked up with: Tucker Up, The Pleated Poppy, and Because Shanna Said So.