WIWW: Bright Print + TWINS

It may be winter, but that doesn’t mean you have to wear greys and blacks all the time. Today’s outfit is a great spring dress converted over to winter with some tights and boots. Side note– I am not a CAbi rep. I am just a loyal customer. CAbi clothes are perfect for my work wear and my casual wear. So I have a lot of it. Just needed to throw out that disclaimer. Also my SIL Nicole wore this same dress today. Yes we totally called each other and planned it. We love being pretend twins. We have a lot of the same pieces because our styles are so similar. Do you have a pretend twin? Isn’t it the best! We call ourselves Danny and Arnold (Twins movie, 1988). Since I am 5’2″ and Nicole is 6′, its obvious who’s who.

       Daily Look: CAbi Spring '13 Printed Shirt Dress, styled for our chilly mornings with our vintage Shrunken Cardigan, black sweater tights and black boots.                                                                       

I’m loving this dress paired with the cardigans and belt. I’ll have to remember that for the next time I wear it. This jacket is fun and lightweight. It is great to dress it up or down.

Jacket: CAbi Spring 2013 Convertible poppy red jacket
Dress: CAbi Spring 2013 Printed shirt dress
Boots: Ralph Lauren, old.

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

There was almost another house

In honor of my hate of Mondays, Sarah (Jimmy Fallon) sums it up perfectly.
So some of you have noticed, there have been no inspiration posts for the past few weeks, as well as no real house updates. I wasn’t sure what to say about the whole thing, as you see there was an “opportunity”. Well that has all been resolved now. I think, I hope, pretty sure….
So here’s the summary of what all happened: A while back SIL Karlye went to Gma Lois (house is on the compound/next door to in-laws) and asked if she would be interested in selling it to her and her husband Josh. **Rewind- Gma Lois is now in an assisted living facility.  Gma said no. Karlye left it at that and moved on in their search for a home.  Well time went by, and I suppose Gma thought about it some more. Karlye visited with her, and Gma said she would be willing to sell her house. So how this involved Kyle and I is this: Karlye and Josh weren’t sure what the agreeing price would be among the family, and if they would be able to afford it and remodel. Kyle and I talked and decided to halt our process and wait and see. Because if Karlye and Josh were not going to buy the house, Kyle wanted us to.

I was in a little shock at first. We talked a lot about how we would redesign and add-on to Gmas house. It would have been a nice house for us. So we waited, and waited and waited. Everyone waited…hence the waiting place post. Well yesterday a family meeting was held. Karlye and Josh made their offer of purchase, and explained how they arrived at the price. Gma’s sons discussed, and agreed it was fair and they would sell to Josh and Karlye. YIPPEE!! Really it’s a happy ending for everyone. I’m really excited that they will live on Camus Road with us and our kids will grow up with their kids. We are all pretty lucky. And now we all have a plan!

So I guess this week we will submit for our building permits $$$$$. Not having a plan is extremely hard to me. This was emotionally exhausting for me, and I think all of us. I was not so nice sometimes because I just wanted it resolved.

other updates in our life: Kyle is all done with football (yeah I survived another season, #8). Ellie will begin Cougar basketball soon, this will be her first time ever playing. Should be REALLY interesting. She’s also started up her hip-hop dance class. Its scary how well it suits her. They were dancing to “…I wish I was a little bit taller, wish I was a baller, wish I had girl so that I could call her…” OMG, Ellie’s lips were all puckered out, she was brushing off her shoulders, putting her hand up to her hear like a phone. Too much. I love watching her dance.

Peyton is again fascinated this week with his penis, how it gets longer then smaller when he pushes really hard when going to the bathroom. I just shake my head. He also is turning 5 here in a few weeks, and Kyle is obsessed with him learning the alphabet. He’s terrified he won’t know it by Kindergarten. I’m more lax about it.

I’ve been working hard at getting in better shape. I’ve lost 3lbs, and 1% body fat! So that equaled like 3in in my waist, 1.5in in my arms and 1in in my thigh! I’ll take it.

Oh, in my Sue’s stories: I played bunco with her and her friends Tuesday. We almost didn’t make it. Sue, me, and 3 of her friends all rode together. None of them knew the address to where we were going. Oh, I felt like I was going to be lost in the car with them forever. I was dying listening to them all try to remember where this lady lived. Finally we had a street name, I summoned Siri and we found it.
And her quote of the week: “I could never do one of those FYI shows”, Nicole: “Do you mean a DIY show?” “oh, yeah that kind”. I don’t know why everything is FYI with her, but it makes us laugh.

And Kyle and I took the kids out to Red Robin Friday night for dinner. I was getting dressed and look up and see Kyle putting on his North Face vest. I was like, hey I was going to wear my vest! I had no energy to change and already had my jeans and tee on. So we were twins. Very Pacific Northwest of us.


Inspiration: Do you know a guy?

Okay, so today’s “inspiration” post is more about finding the right guy/company do to the job. Since starting this whole “let’s build a house” project I have been asked quite a few times by friends about who I’m picking to do certain projects. I’m fortunate that Kyle is already in the construction business and knows a lot of people already. Not everyone has this connection and it can be really scary to hire someone you know nothing about.

We have all heard the horror stories of a bad contractor. The latest I heard was a family that hired a general contractor to build their dream home. They gave him thousands (!!) of dollars up front. They weren’t currently living near the building site so it wasn’t something they came to check up on, they just took his word for the things that were getting done. BIG MISTAKE. Eventually they came several months later to check on the project…And they came to learn they were totally ripped off. The contractor had not pulled any permits, the framing had been done- and nothing was square. And of course the contractor was no where to be found and he had screwed them out of nearly their whole budget for the house. They had nothing but a frame to show for all the money they had given him. I felt total heartbreak hearing my friend tell me this of this family who’s home was being built behind her.

There are several ways to ensure nothing like this ever happens to you. 1) talk to your friends. Ask them who they have used. 2) if you hire someone you just looked up, ask for several references. 3) Always check up on them. Yes you have hired a general contractor to do this for you, but when it comes down to it, it’s your house and it’s your money. You have to take some responsibility.

In today’s world we go to the Internet for everything. And shopping for a contractor on the Internet is now a possibility. There are several sites that can help you with this. If you don’t have knowledge of the industry or any recommendations from anyone, these sites can be really helpful.

One I recently stumbled upon was SmartReno. Here’s what peaked my interest about this site/company:

  • They find the contractor for you, based on your metro area and the project description you’ve submitted.
  • They gather the bids for you from several contractors so that you can compare
  • if you have a complaint or dispute with one of their contractors, they will serve as the mediator and help resolve the issue- huge stress relief you aren’t alone!

The contractors are only on here if approved by SmartReno, if the contractor is not fulfilling projects and/or getting several complaints, SmartReno won’t refer them.

So how do you work this service into your budget? You don’t, because it’s free.

I’m all about the one stop shopping. And I like that you can search for anything from a masonry to landscaping to a general contractor on this site. There is a lot of peace of mind in the fact that the contractor is held accountable by this company. This site is certainly worth looking into if you are having trouble finding a contractor to do a project or simply need more options to compare prices. You can never do too much research when looking for a contractor to do a project on your home. And this site does the search for you!

Now I’m off to get my GC (Kyle!) to get some work done. Otherwise I will have lots of complaints to submit.

WIWW: Werkin out

I’m doing an 8-week boot camp at a local gym. I don’t know if I would actually call it a gym. When I think of a gym I think of tons of machines and everyone doing their own thing. This is more like a small group that does an intense 30-45min circuit workout. We all encourage each other and plow through these intense sets. I love it.

So when I work out, I want to look cute. But by cute I don’t mean slutty. There is a difference. I’m not an oversize t-shirt and sweatpants girl. Nor am I in my booty shorts and sports bra. There is a happy medium ladies. Plus I got two new pairs of NB kicks this week, so I needed to show you both 🙂


24-956-JG-front model Movement Jacket 

1/ lululemon movement jacket 2/ CAbi reversible tank 3/ CAbi tech pants 4/ NB classics CW442


Run:Inspire Crop II 

1/ Bon Lemon tee limited  2/ lululemon camo crop’s (old, similar) 3/ NB classics WL501 High Roller

And because I have to go to a day job and unfortunately can’t hang out in my workout clothes all day, this is what I threw on today.



1/ CAbi confetti sweater 2/ CAbi Ricky leggings (old, similar) 3/ Bon Lemon necklace 4/ Frye Regina wedge boot 5/ Michael Kors Microstud Hamilton Tote (40% off!)

What do you like to WERK out in?

Linked up with: TuckerUP, Because Shanna Said So, The Pleated Poppy & J Petite

WIWW- Camo & Rhinestones

Serioursly, I need to work on photos. Some other ladies have this figured out, I do not. Plus today was terribly rainy here in the PNW, so no outside for me. #IphonePhotoFail.

Top: Ann Taylor Loft Back Button Pullover
Pants: Ann Taylor Loft Camo Print Tailored Twill Skinny Pants Marissa Fit
Jewelry: Bon Lemon and Ann Taylor Loft (old, similar)
Shoes: Me Too (old, similar)
Makeup- MAC holiday collection- Keepsakes/Beige Eyes

Linked up with: The Pleated Poppy, Tucker UP, Because Shanna Said So

All about the family

**WARNING: Photo Overload**

This weekend it was Halloween, so there was the family night of trick-or-treating. That consisted of Me and the kids, Lynise and her boys, Karley and Bailey all going over to our SIL’s Nicole’s house where SIL Alyssa meet us there, and WE ALL treated around Nicole’s neighborhood. We made it down the street and back and thru one cul-d-sac and we were done. The kids ran and ran. I was thinking that would tire them out, apparently not. One house handed out the glow necklaces, I thought that was a fabulous idea.

Ellie was adamant about NOT being a fairy or princess or anything similar to that this year. She wanted to be a vampire. I was not OK with that. So we came to a mutual agreement and went with a Monster High costume of skeleton girl (i forget her official name). Peyton and the boys were all Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Since there are only 3 boys, we were short a turtle. And Bailey in all her cuteness was Minnie mouse.

So then the next day I had scheduled family photos. We have not done family pictures in like 3 years, it was time. My good friend Melissa just enjoys taking pictures and has a great Cannon camera like we all do but never use. So she came over to the house and we just took pictures around the yard. We took 181 photos! And Peyton had a goofy face in 95% of them. So here is a picture overload for you of the session.

Camus Family 2010 (Peyton was almost 1!)

 My ❤
 Kyle’s face just screams I LOVE TAKING PICTURES

 And Peyton takes after his dad

HOUSE UPDATE: nada, nothing, blah, boring, maybe next week.

Outfits: I wore this great new plaid shirt I picked up at EXPRESS. My SIL Nicole snagged it too, because we like to pretend we are twins. This shirt is supposed to be a loose, boyfriend fit. I got it in a M, I probably could have done a small. I did wash it on hot and dried it to shrink it just a hair. Jeans are old Hudsons. Jewelery by BON LEMON. Shoes: JCrew.

Ellie’s sweater is from GAP last year. And GAP skinny Jeans, GAP biker boots. Peyton is Levi Jeans, old GAP tee and GAP shoes. Kyle, no one cares what he is wearing.

WIWW- Leopard!

Leopard is a neutral. And if you don’t agree we can’t be friends. Ellie even has leopard in her wardrobe. The outfit I actually wanted her to wear today we couldn’t find the leggings to, of course. So we had to go to plan b.

My outfit:
Top: CAbi Fall 2014 poppy top
Leggings: CAbi old, similar Fall 2014
Shoes: JCrew Martina calf hair wedges
Necklace: Bon Lemon

Ellie’s outfit:
We bought this school shopping this year at the Gymboree outlet. So not sure if it was a last season or what. She rocks it.

Top: Gymboree (similar here, here)
Jeans: Gymboree (Ebay size 5, similar herehere, here)
Boots: GAP biker boots

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


So my little sister is on a trip with our brother to the Big Easy aka New Orleans. I’m so jealous. I’ve only been once, and was memorable trip 🙂 So in typical little sister fashion, she needed to borrow several items from my closet. So I did not get to go on a vacation, but my clothes did. They’re so lucky.

Dress: Nordstrom Summer 2013                                        Tank: Target Summer 2014

Now this was not a feature I was planning on adding, but I could not resist. This is what is called a FASHION NO NO moment. You are not in hiding, there is such a thing as bad camo, and this is how you don’t do it. I did not steal this off any website. Saw it with my own eyes picking up Ellie at school. I think the overkill is with the camo purse. I just don’t have words.

The Waiting Place

The rainy season is here in WA. Friday nights football game was a downpour. Ellie’s LAST cheer game for the season was wet too. It has been raining so much here there are just standing puddles everywhere. Which made me realize my kids do not have rain boots yet. My rain/snow boot of choice this season are the Slimpack Riding Boot by Sorel

I went and ran a 10k yesterday down in Portland. It drizzled on us just a little, but most of the race it was dry. I hate running in the rain, so that made me happy. And now when I say ran, I really mean I walked and lightly jogged. I am not a runner. I just don’t think I’m built for it. This one lady ran by me in this itty bitty tank and like bikini bottoms. She looked like a freakin gazelle. I was like WHAT? Today my hip muscles are so sore. I physically wasn’t ready for that long of a race, but I pushed myself and I did it in 1 hr 24 min. Today my body is reminding me of that. I think I deserve a pedicure today.

I’m not sure where to begin really with house news. I can say this, the county approved our drainage/scoping plan on Friday. So that took a little less than 2 weeks #miracle. The next step is submitting everything for the building permits. But we aren’t going to do that just yet. And that’s all I want to say right now. There has been I guess what you would call a “development” or opportunity. We are waiting to see how it plays out, and we will know in about 2 weeks. I feel like we are in the section in the Dr. Seuss book, “Oh the places we will go”, its called The Waiting Place.


Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come,
or a plane to go or the mail to come,
or the rain to go or the phone to ring,
or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.
Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.

And for your Monday morning smile. Here is Peyton in one of the 3 trips he made me take with him to the bathroom at the game Friday night. It’s hard to get annoyed at that face.

See you Wednesday for What I Wore.

WIWW- Werk it

I am a working gal. I work in a professional office, but I try not to dress boring. Somedays I want to be fun, some I want to be comfy, but I always have to be professional.

I always forget I’m short until I see a picture of myslef. (I’m 5’2) I look just like my grandmother, scary. She was this petite, busty cuban and I am a carbon copy. And I have a hard time taking these pictures of myslef. I guess I have no inner Kim K. 

Jacket: Ann Taylor Loft (couldn’t find a similar!)
Top: CAbi Jubilee top
Pants: CAbi Fall 2013 Ricky leggings (similar here and EBay here)
Shoes: GUESS Tarrah Bootie
Necklace: Ann Taylor Loft

Linking up with Tucker Up, Because Shanna Said So, Get Your Pretty On, and The Pleated Poppy

I’m naturally curly and I like it most of the time. But lately I’m tempted to go back to the straight look. I guess I’m lucky in the sense that I can wear my hair either way. What’s your thoughts, Straight or Curly?

Hurry up Friday

WARNING:This post is a little ‘wordy’ as I didn’t post last Monday, and well I have lots to say.

It’s Monday, and we all remember how I feel about Mondays from another post. I don’t like them. I’m definitely grumpy today. Especially since when I got to work I realized I forgot my smoothie cup to use in my ninja blender. So now I’m not going to get my morning smoothie…and I’ll be super hungry by lunch and make a bad food decision.

Thanks @shopsweetlife for the Instagram steal

Speaking of that. I tried to have a discussion with Ellie yesterday about food choices. I feel like I talk to her about this a lot. But usually it’s when she’s throwing a fit about not wanting to eat something, so I don’t think what I say registers. So yesterday after cheer competition the girls had a lunch time. A few moms went and got some croissant sandwiches from Costco. Ellie refused to eat one and just wanted to leave. So we left. I said “Ellie you could have still eaten the bread, lunch meat and cheese and just took the lettuce and tomato off. All your friends were eating the sandwiches, so they must be good, right?” She just shrugged her shoulders. So in the car I talked to her about nutrients. She had a bag of Cheetos and a banana. So I explained how fruits and vegetables have nutrients in them, and why those are good for you and your body. She seemed to get it, I tried to engage her by asking questions so it didn’t seem too much like a lecture. I explained about how Cheetos are not nutritious. She asked about the spaghetti dinner we had, aren’t the noodles nutritious? No, Ellie, it you would eat the sauce with hamburger at least you would have gotten some protein. I tried to explain how there has to be a balance. We wouldn’t eat all this good stuff if it was gross. She ate that banana like it was covered in medicine. It took the whole drive home for her to eat 3/4 of it. Moms, I need some help. What do you do with your difficult eaters?! We try every meal to get her to eat 1 vegetable, and its excruciating. Sometimes there’s crying, or it takes an hour. I thought, eventually she’ll get over this. No, this has been going on for years. I’m at my wits end. I want my kids to eat good, we try to eat good. I show them how I eat salads and vegetables. Nothing works. And in the end, I’m terrified my pushing her or something is going to trigger some eating disorder.

Okay…that got deep. Onto a brighter topic. Our weekend was busy with our little performer. She got to perform with the Capital Cougarette drill team on Friday night during half-time. She was great. All the girls looked so cute out there all in pink (it was the pink out game for breast cancer). She asked to do it every year. Saturday was just a typical cheer game day. And the girls had a hour practice afterwards in preparation for Sunday’s big cheer competition. Side note- A few moms snuck down the street for a Mimosa during this practice, so yummy and needed. And then Sunday was the big day the girls had been practicing for all season. They did so good. And although they didn’t win a medal for their age group, they were so supportive of the teams that did. She was a tired girl. We have survived the second season of cheer.

House Update- Some of you noticed last week I didn’t do my usual Monday post. Well there was just nothing really to report. But here is the status. So we got the drainage/scoping report back from the geotech engineer. Kyle took the report in to the County last Monday. They said great, we’ll get back to you in 2-3 weeks! UGH!! So Kyle was like “well in the meantime can we also submit all our plans for the building permits?” and we got a big fat NO. The County wants the drainage/scoping report approved first, then you can apply for the building permits. So we are just weeks and weeks out of being able to start anything. Breathe.

My big adventure last week was being summoned for jury duty. I and 80 locals got selected to be on a panel for a civil (non-criminal) case that was scheduled to last 14 days. This caused a lot of groaning. Day one people were excused for various reasons, I was extremely jealous of the woman who got excused because she had a vacation scheduled to Cancun during the trial. Given my work for the Attorney General’s office I figured I would be cut the first day. But I wasn’t, which was intriguing. So day two I rolled back in there with the group cut in half down to 40 left in the pool. We continued to answer questions, and a few more people were cut. In the end, there were about 25 of us left, me included. They picked their 12 jurors plus 2 alternates and I was not selected. So let me use this to make a little PSA. If you are ever called, really do your civic duty and go. Whatever you think of our justice system, its what we have and it has served our county well the majority of the time. Go with a good attitude and the mindset that you may really learn from this experience. If you for some horrible reason had to be in the position of needing a jury of your peers to decide for you, wouldn’t you want them to want to be there? And, you end up meeting some really interesting people from your community.

A friend from high school, who I run into through the year at local events, her mom has been diagnosed with cancer. Her mom, Cyndi Dickson, has been a local business owner of the Filling Station Espresso for over 20 years and has always been a kind smiling face in our community. My good friend Amy always steps up to the plate and jumped on the chance to help. Through her local boutique Bon Lemon, she sold 100 bracelets in 3 days with all proceeds going to help this family with the expenses of fighting this terrible disease. Please read and share Cyndi’s story.

To end our weekend we had a family pumpkin carving night. Lets see, there was crying, there were yells of GROSS! There were elaborate requests for carvings, like a witch on a broom. In the end we got some good old triangle eye cutouts and everyone was happy. And a bonus, a baby announcement!

I cut out the spiderman one, aren’t I good. And by “I” I mean Kyle
Mike & Alyssa Camus (Mike is one of the Twins)

News to look forward to next week: I’m running/walking a 10K Sunday, see if I survive. Karlye and Josh may be able to buy and/or build on Camus Rd…nothing is finalized yet. I am starting an 8-week boot camp and I’m hoping I get some amazing results, so any and all encouragement is needed.

Oh to maybe help your Monday be brighter, Charlie says have a good day.