2014 Sister Run-Cation

For the last couple of years, my two sisters and I have foregone buying Christmas presents for each other, and instead book a running vacation together. We call it our “Sister Run-Cation”!

Rather than spend money on clothes, jewelry, or other material things, we spend it on what’s more important to us: Time together, traveling, new experiences, and of course, running!

We choose a destination half-marathon to travel to, usually somewhere warmer during the February-March time frame. It’s a nice reprieve from the snowy, cold tundra that we all live in. Plus, we all live far enough apart that we don’t get to see each other often, so it’s a good excuse to get some quality sister time.

Two years ago, we flew to Austin, Texas to run the Livestrong Austin Half Marathon.

Three sisters take on the Livestrong Austin Half Marathon!

Three sisters take on the Livestrong Austin Half Marathon!

That was probably my favorite half marathon I’ve ever run. I liked the course and loved that there were tons of cheering people. Plus, the city was amazing to spend a few days exploring! I definitely recommend it.

Austin City View

Austin City View

Last year, we chose an even warmer destination: Naples, Florida.

Beach time in Naples, Florida.

Beach time in Naples, Florida.

The Naples Daily News Half Marathon was well organized, and the city was cute and relaxing to vaca in. I’d love to go back for a mini getaway weekend.

Post-race poolside in Naples, Florida.

Post-race poolside in Naples, Florida.

But, the race itself turned out to be my least favorite half marathon ever.

Despite how happy I look, the mild heat was killin' this Wisconsinite!

Despite how happy I look, the mild heat was killin’ this Wisconsinite!

Having trained through the cold Wisconsin winter for months leading up to this, the heat & humidity killed me! If you’re good at adapting to temperatures, or live in a warmer climate, then I would definitely suggest Naples to you…otherwise, it might be a bit brutal.

This brings us to Sister Run-Cation 2014.

And so far, we’re stumped on where to go. We have a few contenders:

• New Orleans Rock’n’Roll Half Marathon – Sunday, February 2nd
I’ve always wanted to do a Rock’n’Roll series race, they seem like fun with all the live music. Plus, I know New Orleans would be an awesome place to stay and have fun at for a couple days once the race is over.

• San Francisco Half Marathon – Sunday, February 2nd
I’ve never been to San Fran, but would love to see it! Plus, it’s close to wine country, and us sisters would love to celebrate with some winery tours […once the race is over]. Only downside is, we hear San Fran can be pricey. However, this is the least expensive race fee at just $55.

• Myrtle Beach Half Marathon – Saturday, February 15th
I’m guessing this would be a low-key place to stay—it looks like it’d be too cold to be hanging on the beach, and I’m not sure what else there is to do in Myrtle Beach? But, it’d def give us some R&R time!

– – –

Do you know of any good half marathons in February or March?

What is your dream destination race?

Would you ever go on a “Run-Cation”?

I have to say, I love it! It gives you a goal to train for throughout the winter. Then when you go on vaca, you run 13 miles, and celebrate with a few days off, some good eats, and drinks. It definitely makes you feel less guilty about all that vaca splurging! 😉

Beach Bathroom Makeover – The Final Look!

Our bathroom makeover is done!

And I have to say, it’s amazing what some paint & decorations can do. This may be my new favorite room in the house. (Until my next project.)

Here’s a reminder of what the bathroom looked like before. This is how the old owner had it decorated.

Our old, not-so-pretty bathroom.

If you read my beach bathroom inspiration post, you know I was going for a beachy feel with our makeover. I wanted it to be fun, vibrant and sunny—a nice place to get ready in the morning. And mostly, a room I wasn’t embarrassed about, as it is the main guest bathroom!

Well I think I achieved all those things… Take a step onto the beach into my new bathroom:

Beach Bathroom Makeover

Beach Bathroom Makeover

Beach Bathroom Makeover

Beach Bathroom Makeover

For the paint colors, I went with a bright, teal-jade green that I’ve been obsessed with this year. The paint is from Sherwin Williams. The green is called “Larchmere” (SW6752). As soon as I started painting it on the wall, I knew it was perfect! I wanted to accent this with a neutral that still had a little modern touch, so I went with a light grey called “Eider White” (SW7014). I think together, the colors have a modern punch to them, but the grey helps tone the green down so it’s no overpowering.

For decorating accents, I wanted to go with neutral whites and tans (a la the sandy beach), and sunny yellows. Incorporating the tan really helped tie in the existing wood. I am not a huge fan of these medium woods, especially the medicine cabinet/sink vanity, but we don’t have a budget to overhaul those at the moment. Bringing in the tan family helped make those part of the design, rather than an unwanted afterthought that we’re kind of stuck with. And of course, the yellow brings in a little dose of sunshine & brightens the mood!

My favorite parts of the bathroom are all of the little details in the decorations. I had a lot of fun picking out everything, mixing & matching them to work together but create texture and interest.

Beach Bathroom Makeover Details

Clockwise from top left: milk glass vase, $0.25 at a garage sale; clear vase and tea light holder from Hobby Lobby; wood & rope anchor, seashells & clear vase from Hobby Lobby; white shelf from Target; ceramic “rope” candle holder from Hobby Lobby; piece of coral, $2 at garage sale.

Beach Bathroom Makeover Shower Curtain

I found this shower curtain at Target a few months ago right after we bought the house. I bought it not knowing yet what the plan was for the bathroom, and it ended up fitting in seamlessly.

See that towel holder in the background? I love, love, love it versus the traditional boring towel bars…

Beach Bathroom Makeover Towel Holder

Metal towel holder from Hobby Lobby.

Beach Bathroom Makeover Towels

All towels from Target.

Beach Bathroom Makeover

And of course, my rope “Beach” kind of hits you over the head with the room’s theme.

Beach Bathroom Makeover Decorations - Shelves, picture frames, starfish

“Beach” rope sign, distressed picture frame, starfish & glass bottle from Hobby Lobby. Shelf from Target.

I’m notorious for taking FOREVER to fill in picture frames with real pictures. I promise that’s on my to-do list this week. I also want to fill the corked bottle with sand from the beach.

Beach Bathroom Makeover Towels and Rug

Yellow chevron hand towels from Target; rope & glass jar from Hobby Lobby; rug from Marshalls.

I heart chevron patterns right now in a major way (who doesn’t?) so these hand towels seemed like the natural choice. I also loved the pattern and colors in the rug I put at the foot of the sink; this was another purchase I made a few months ago that I was able to incorporate with the design.

There you have it! A few coats of paint, new decorations & towels, and we have a whole new bathroom.

What do you think? Anything you would add or change?

The only big thing left to do is change out the ugly 90’s bulb lighting above the sink (which I tried to cut out of most pictures). I didn’t want to start messing with electrical by myself, but when the parents come visiting this Fall, that’s one thing that will be on their list. 😉

Beach Bathroom Inspiration

I mentioned a bit ago that I was almost done giving one of our bathrooms a makeover. Well, I am still “almost” done, but after this weekend, I should be showing you the finished product! For now, I thought it’d be fun to show you my inspiration…

It all started in Carillon Beach, Florida.

Carillon Beach, Florida

Carillon Beach, Florida

My older sister & her husband had their destination wedding there a couple years ago. It’s a private, gated beach community and we had rented a 12-person home RIGHT on the beach…

Carillon Beach, Florida Permanent Vacation Home

All the houses are named, and ours was called “Permanent Vacation.” Seriously, we all wanted to make it our permanent vacation.

Carillon Beach, Florida Permanent Vacation Home

But, the best we could do was plan to come back for another vacation two years later, and that’s how we came back to Carillon this past June.

My fiancé and I had only been living in our new house for a month at that point, so we still had some major redecorating to do there, including the upstairs bathroom:

Our old, not-so-pretty bathroom.

That’s a hand-painted ivy stencil border on the walls you can see, folks. The other walls were white with gold sponge painting. Just fabulous. But really not our style…

With that in mind, you can see why it was so easy to be inspired by all the gorgeous beach houses in Florida! A lot of them were really fun colors and beautifully landscaped on the outside.

Carillon Beach houses

On the inside, I could imagine their wide-open floor plans full of fun and quirky beach accents, pictures, and colors, just like the house we were in. I loved this octopus triptych so much.

073113_octo8

One day, I was literally standing at the sink in one of the beach house bathrooms, looking into a seashell encrusted mirror at the bright seafoam green walls and thought, I have to have this! At home, we’re quite close to Lake Michigan, so I figured, why not make our bathroom have a beach theme?

Lake Michigan, Gulf of Mexico—practically the same thing.

I started out on Pinterest (duh) looking for inspiration. A few months back, I had been inspired by the palette of colors in these Anthropologie bowls.

Anthropologie sea-inspired bowls

I know. Bathrooms, bowls—I find inspiration in strange places.

But for some reason, this year I have been loving the rich jade green shades, so when I picked up a paint sample for what I thought I should want (a lighter, quasi seafoam green), I wasn’t surprised when it just didn’t look quite right.

On a whim, I didn’t even buy a new sample, I just found the paint chip closest to the color I had been obsessed with for months and bought the paint.

Luckily, it was perfect! I loved it so much on the walls, I considered painting the entire bathroom green. To which Matt shook his head and said, “Uhhhh…I think that might be too much…”

Okay, I conceded. Probably true. I didn’t want it to look like the Hulk puked all over our nice new bathroom.

Then the fun part—decorations. We don’t have money to get a new vanity (though the current one seems a foot shorter than normal, what’s with that?); and no new toilet, shower, tile, etc. They are all in fairly decent shape, anyway. So I decided to go all out with the decorations, to take away from some of my not-so-favorite parts of the bathroom.

I again started with Pinterest, and found a barrage of beachy bathroom-inspired images to waste time looking at research.

Over the next weekend, we hit up some garage sales, and at one of them I was lucky enough to come across a huge chunk of coral for $3! I was pretty stoked.

For the rest of my needs, I visited Hobby Lobby and—oh lucky day—pretty much EVERYthing I picked up was 50% off. Spectacular. I kind of went crazy, but I found a ton of great items and can’t wait to see them in place.

beach bathroom decorations

Is it weird if I decide to hang out in the bathroom all the time, once this is done?

Watch for the “after” post of our new bathroom this weekend!

Where do you get inspiration? Do you have any “themed” rooms? 

I am usually not a theme person, but I guess the inspiration just struck me so hard that I had to do it. Plus, I think themes in small doses aren’t so bad…especially if they make you feel like you’re on vacation. 🙂