WIWW- Girls night out

So I have not perfected the art of the selfie. OR the art of taking a picture of myself in an outfit. Hopefully practice makes perfect. I went out Friday night for an impromptu girls night and got to wear a new outfit. Loved it and can’t wait to wear it again.

I’m a huge fan of CAbi. I have been going to CAbi parties for 4 years and still wear the pieces. They are so great and comfortable. They wash great and I just have been extremely happy with everything I have ever gotten there. So if you are ever invited to a CAbi party and haven’t gone, GO!

Now the Ann Taylor leather jacket was a splurge for me. I have been wanting a good leather jacket for sometime. Some that I liked were just way out of my comfort zone spending ($800!) and others were vegan- which is great- but they weren’t that just right look I was searching for. Then this AT jacket pops up, and I really like it, and I felt the price was reasonable for a leather jacket. A leather jacket isn’t something that goes out of style and I know I will get a lot of wear out of this.

Jacket: Ann Taylor Moto Jacket
Top: CAbi Jubille Top
Pants: Ann Taylor Loft Camo Print Tailored Twill Skinny Julie Fit
Necklace: Ann Taylor Loft (similar at Bon Lemon)
Shoes: Material Girl Bootie (Macy’s)
Purse: Bon Lemon, local boutique

What’s your go-to GNO outfit?! Linked up with and Check out Tucker Up , Because Shanna Said So , The Pleated Poppy Blogs for more fashions.

Inspiration: Laundry & Mud Room

Never in my youthful dreams did I ever think I would be getting excited about designing a laundry room. That room that becomes the catchall for STUFF when you get home from work and school and everyday activities.

But the truth is I’m not youthful, I’m an adult with mommy dreams. And mommy must have an amazing laundry and mud room to deal with all her family’s shit. Can I get an Amen.

My HOUZZ and Pintrest boards have so many configurations of this room it’s a little ridiculous. What is the exact perfect flow? How many hooks, baskets, cabinets is just right? There are laundry rooms out there that are the size of my master bedroom. We will not have that, that is silly (secretly I would totally have that). But when I was designing mine, I kept telling Kyle..more sqft, little wider. I’m feeling content with how it looks on paper. And I hope that it will feel just right when the beams go up, otherwise Kyle will just have to fix it.

If you are an avid follower- I know you all are- You will see I have linked to the Sunny Side Up blog a few times. I’m kind of stalking her because I LOVE her style and she’s super organized and well she’s already done this building thing so why not copy a good thing.

I know my room is 10 ft wide. I am guessing at the exact length, but its roughly 20 ft long.

So these are some of my must have features:

1. Built in laundry baskets.

2. Drying rack

3. Back-pack shoe station
How smart is this! Charging station in cubbies for kids electronics.
4. Cute lights

5. Fun upper cabinets

6. Chalkboard wall with the weeks activities, etc. I see this going on the back of the pantry wall

7. Drop off counter. I don’t have a pic for this, but you get the idea. Its where when I open that door I can fling my purse, the days mail, etc. Charging station for phone. Pin board above for important notes etc.

The pictures for 1, 2 and 3 are all from the Sunny Side Up Blog. You can see her full laundry room and Mud room tours on her blog.

Tell me about your rooms! What is your favorite feature, or what do you feel is a must have?!

WIWW (What I Wore Wednesday)

Ok I’m gonna have fun with this blog thing. So I might do a “what I wore Wednesday” or a “Fashion Friday” occasionally. If I feel the outfit is blog worthy. These will be short and sweet. Hope you like them! Today I had a mediation, so I needed to dress business like. My pants probably could be hemmed an inch to be perfect. I’m 5’2, so it’s a problem.

Jacket: JCrew School Boy Blazer
Top: Ann Taylor Crepe Colorblock Lace Top
Pants: Ann Taylor Loft Marissa Fit Trouser
Shoes: GUESS lace peep toe (similar)

Want to see more WIWW? Check out the blogs Tucker Up  and Fashionably Employed for some other great fall fashions.

The Shit we said this week

I was trying to think how best to tell these mini conversations, or vocabulary breakdowns.  Hopefully this style gets the stories across the best and you get a good laugh.

Conversation #1- Mandy & Sue
Scene: Mandy and Sue in basement watching HGTV (obviously) Sue in her recliner (aka Blob) on her kindle .
SUE: The FYI seems not to be working
MANDY: The what?
SUE: The FYI, I can’t get the Internet to come up.
MANDY: (laughing) Do you mean the Wi-Fi?!!!
SUE: Yeah, why? What did I say?
MANDY: (still laughing) You called it the FYI!!
SUE: Oh! (laughing) Well that’s what happens when you’re old.

Conversation #2- Mandy & Josh
Scene: Mandy and Josh looking over a house plan
MANDY: So look at this great kitchen nook, it has a buffet (Buff-fet) and everything
JOSH: Do you mean a buffet? (Buff-fay)
MANDY: No, a BUFF-FET. A BUFF-FAY is where you go eat. A BUFF-FET is a hutch thingy in the kitchen
JOSH: Seriously this is as bad as WOLF (woof). **Side note: I can’t say WOLF, I say WOOF. So the whole family makes fun of me and wants to go appliance shopping with me so they can see the salesman’s face when I ask about WOLF (woof) ranges.

Conversation #3- Sue to everyone
Scene: Josh, Karlye, Me and Sue in kitchen- dinner prep.
SUE: (on phone) Yeah this places sounds yummy. I’ll call and see if they take reservations.
SUE: Mandy, where would I find a phone number if its not in the phone book?
MANDY: The Internet, that’s where you find everything
SUE: oh yeah, ok i’ll look.
KARLYE: what number are you looking for?
SUE: The number to that restaurant Good Guys.
JOSH: You mean the burger place, Five Guys?!
SUE: Yeah that one!
MANDY: Why do you need to call the burger place?
SUE: We want to have our girls group birthday dinner there and I was going to call and make a reservation
MANDY: Please let us hear this phone call as you call a burger place to make reservations!
KARLYE: Mom, you don’t make reservations, its a burger joint, like HERFY’S.
SUE: Oh! well I didn’t know!!

Conversation #4- Karlye and Josh
Scene: Same as #3
KARLYE: How many 1/8 inch are in an inch?
JOSH: Seriously?!
KARLYE: Yeah, Like 1/8 inch, how many make an inch?
JOSH: Okay, think about this…
KARLYE: Oh!!! 8!!
JOSH: Oh my god!

Yes this sums up most of how our conversations go at this house. Someone is always saying something stupid, and everyone hears it and makes fun of you for it. Then I come and put it on the blog to share with the world.

HOUSE UPDATE: So Kyle went to the county on Friday. He had his meeting with the planning department and everyone was giving the OK for applying for the permits. We had everyting ready, all forms filled out, etc. Then Mr. A-HOLE comes out from the roads department… and he proceeds to tell Kyle that because our property is inbetween 2 county roads, we need to have a scoping/drainage report done. Typically these reports are required for smaller parcels. But are also required on a larger parcel like ours due to the 2 roads. Kyle argured for a while that Camus Rd isn’t a county rd, they don’t maintain it, etc. The county guy argued it shows in their system, so it is (of course). So this report consists of a geotechnical engineer coming out to look at the soils and stuff to determine where the rain/water runoff will go. The fee for the county to review the report is $130 + the fee to the engineer for the report which is est. $1700. So yeah for things being delayed several more weeks.

A plus side was Kyle went into a business on Thursday to pick up some parts for his work. And they just so happened to be having an office BBQ with a raffle. So Kyle threw in his name and his dads, why not. Well they called Friday and Kyle WON a Vizio 42″ Smart TV and Ron won a camping stove. Whoop Whoop. So we have no where to put the TV, but we have one! Its the little things people.

Saw this gem on Sunny Side Up blog, loved it, had to have it.

Peyton got a haircut Saturday. I tried to get a picture. I said “Smile, like a really happy smile.” This is what I got.

And the in-laws and Karley and Josh all went out of town this weekend, I volunteered to watch Bailey. She kept me busy, but I loved every minute. Except the poopy diaper minutes.

And I got my nails done. I was trying to be good, and not do it. We are building a house after all. I attempted to do my nails myself for 2 months. I broke down, I couldn’t stand the chipping, and the overall badness of my self manicures. 

Inspiration: Office

Last weeks INSPIRATION:FLEX ROOM was successful. I’m not sure how this all works but it says 99 of you ‘viewed’ the post, but only 7 took the survey. I don’t understand how all 99 were not tempted to give me their opinion. So 5 of you said the flex room needs to be the Beer/Wine room, 1 vote for craft and 1 vote for gym. Clearly I have to go with such a strong vote for the beer-wine room.


I realize this post title says “inspiration: office”. I’m getting there.

I post on the YoungHouseLove forums and sometimes I get responses. I posted about the flex room and got some good ideas like:

     Do three things with it – use the banquette and some great old piece of secretary to do a beer and     wine thing, but also put in a long counter and storage for homework / crafting on the entry wall – I might make that wall like 54″ high so the space was more connected to the foyer . . a place where you could set up a romantic dinner for two at a round table at the banquette, but a place where happy hour can happen before you entertain . . but day to day, where kids do homework, where you might craft (get a wall of storage that looks good and not kitchen-y, a banquette in the far corner under the window with a small round table, and some great vintage looking piece full of wine and cocktail serving stuff ..-LibraDesignEye

     I’m not sure about your lifestyle, but for me, an extra “flex” room would immediately become a place for my overstuffed, extra wide chair, matching ottoman, console desk, maybe a live (or faux) plant, and a pile of books (actually, I only read kindle, so make that a USB charging station). I would call it “The Reading Room” and it would be super fancy and people would assume I am cultured and magnificent (instead of overly romantic and famished for a new-cheesy-Harlequin-read). But maybe that’s just me. What are the dimensions of this room? Are you open to knocking down the wall between the door and the room, thereby making it into a larger foyer area– or leaving it partitioned off and creating an area for shoe, coat storage. Maybe add a bench and some hooks? I guess it all depends on the dimensions of the room– I love the idea of a study there. In the past, I’m sure it was meant as a formal dining area or formal living area– somewhere visitors got to sit, where no living actually took place.MrsG_103.

So I thought about the survey, and my lovely responders and here is what I decided: I am going to make the FLEX room the entertaining/wine/beer room. But I really like MrsG and her overstuffed chair. I can read my racy books while drinking a glass of wine. Its a win-win. The room is 12-6×14 (?) so I think I can make all that work.

So now this office room across the way…..

NOTE: The door to the office might get moved to the living room side….undecided.

In my head and on my idea boards I had this lovely single desk office picked out. So classy. But Kyle was like…that is so not us. And I agree. So I went back to my flex room idea and decided this will be our office/craft area. And this is my inspiration picture:

And BONUS I found a blog where someone built this exact center table. So that is flagged.

And I really want this as the office door:

Kyle said he likes more cabs and counter for his office needs and kids studying. I agree, this is a room for the whole family to use. So essentially I’m getting 2 out of the 3 rooms I wanted.  I’m thinking I can make a gym space in the bonus room. Can we say CAKE AND ICE CREAM TOO! something will burst this bubble I’m sure of it. But I’ll take it for now.

So if you’d like to fantasize with me, about a pretty single office, here is a picture.

You can also check out my HOUZZ office board for more pics. 

3rd month of ______ (fill in the blank)

It could be called the 3 month mark of being homeless. Or the 3 month mark of chaos. Perhaps the 3 month mark of no one has tried to strangle each other, yet. The 3 month mark of complete joy just seems like a lie.

I realize this is so not a real world problem. We have a beautiful home we are being able to stay in. And there are lots of pluses…but this week those minuses were wearing my patience thin. Deep breaths. Plus I think the feeling of the new house being so at a stand still doesn’t help. Today I’m getting copies of the plans made, and we are going to the BANK! Why that gets to be in bold is because that means money will soon start to be spent. We are opening an account at a local bank to hold all our “house” money. So that its not all mingled in with our bills and spending money. And in the end, if we need a little financing, the bank can easily look at this account to see all the payments. That’s the thought anyways. Kyle meets with the county permit guy on Wednesday to submit everything. And then we hold our breath for an unknown amount of time. And this is all I’ve got on the house front. Not a whole lot.

Camus family update: It was a mellow week. Typical cheer schedule. Ellie did get to change it up a bit with doing a clinic with the Capital High School drill team. She went there Saturday morning and learned a routine, and then she gets to perform with them at a football game in a few weeks. She’ll love that. Friday Ellie’s school had an all school BBQ, I had the day off so Peyton and I went and had lunch with her. Oh and Friday night we hung out with some of my friends, and the host had just installed a zip line in their front yard. So we did not see the kids for the entire 2+ hours. Best toy ever and I’m told we have to have one at the new house. Obviously if it keeps them away from me for that long.

I went grocery shopping on Saturday and I had to send my girlfriends a message because I was baffled. I’m at the store and Kyle tells me he needs deodorant. I swing over to that aisle and I’m checking out the options. The Old Spice brand catches my eye and I notice they have a “Swagger” sent. WHAT?! When did swagger get a smell? And then of course what the hell does swagger smell like? I just was so confused I didn’t know what to do, so I grabbed the degree bottle and ran. When I tell Kyle this story, and ask what does swagger smell like, he replies “like me”. Ugh, no no I am fairly confident that is not right.

And to end your day with a smile. My little sister got the new iPhone 6, and she left it on the counter without a password installed on it yet. So I did what any good big sister would do and took a lovely selfie and installed it as her wallpaper and screen saver. How lucky is she?! You’re welcome April.

Inspiration: Flex Room

So after you enter the foyer, there is a room to the right. I’m calling it the flex room for now. One, because I’m not sure exactly what it will be. To visualize what I’m talking about here is a pic:

Click here to see the entire floor plan

Right now it’s drawn where the room is just open. We are probably (for Truss reasons) going to extend that kitchen wall out, and we can make it have a door. Lots of ideas have crossed my mind for what to do with this space. 1) Craft room and study room for kiddos; 2) home gym; 3) entertaining room aka Beer & Wine room. All are great options I think. It’s just picking which one, becase let’s be honest I can’t have them all. So I’m going to break down my ideas for each option and then you get to take a SURVEY!!! and tell me what you would do with the space. I know you missed the survey’s.

Option 1: Craft Room/Study Room
I’m not a super crafty person…but I could be more if I had a special room. Right. I love wrapping paper and ribbon, and I have a nice collection. It’s always been stored in that extra closet, and the ribbons fall down on my face when I try to grab one. So If I had a wall and counter dedicated to this that would be awesome. I have attempted scrapbooking, and I have some nice papers and other scrappy stuff. And If I again had a counter and space to do this in and be organized perhaps I would do it more. I do like to sew and I recovered a chair in our living room. Its actually not half bad, I just haven’t finished the ottoman. So this would be a space I could do little DIY projects with sewing. See, endless option. Plus I do like the idea of having the family computer in a corner, with a desk for the kids to have a study space. I think seeing what the kids are doing on the computer is important, especailly as they get older (porn surfing, BOYS!) It happens people. By then who knows what the computer world will look like and they’ll have screens installed in their backpacks or something.

Option 2: Home Gym
I surely would work out ALL THEM TIME if I had a gym right. Well, I would like to think I would. And it would be something Kyle and I could do together. I live out in an area where there is no local gym down the street. To have a membership to a gym is silly for me becasue it would be a 20min drive to and from, and well I don’t have 40min I’m willing to give up for driving. And I have I job I work at from 730a-5p so there isn’t daytime for squeezing that in. Also, I think if we had a gym it would encourage the kids to exercise. They are getting older and starting sports so they will hopefully see the benefits of that.


Option 3: Beer & Wine room
This was my first idea for the space when I considered that wall more open. I thought it would flow nicely to be a space you could wonder into while entertaining. And, that it’s kind of off the kitchen. I liked the idea of a corner seating area and then a wall of cabs with fridges for wine and beer. Or a keg fridge for Kyle. My MIL says this is encouraging alcoholism. I say we just like to entertain. And when we had our own home we did.
So those are my options. Whats a girl to choose?! Do you have any of these spaces in your house? Do they get used? Which option just makes sense? Take my survey and tell me! *click NEXT to submit survey.
**As per the promise I made in Monday’s post to update you regarding Kyle’s meeting with the county- Kyle meet with the permit office Wednesday, and he only has to fix 2 little drawing things. Other than that they said it looks good to go. He planned a meeting with them next Wednesday to submit the whole thing! #miracle. This might be really happening.  

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