The Long Haul to Turkey Day

It’s been a busy week so far. Even though it’s a short week at work, I’m counting down the hours ‘til Thanksgiving: Family, food, relaxation & a break! I’m in need of all those things. And maybe a few glasses of wine.

Well, always some wine. 😉

Here’s what my week has looked like so far:

My weekend involved lots of house cleaning, organizing & improvements. I’ll do full reveals of these rooms once they’re completely done, but I’ve pretty much finished making over our main guest bedroom and my office. Yay! Finally.

Sneak peek of our guest room. Neutral and comfortable.

Sneak peek of our guest room, picture unhung.

Tidbit of my office: My favorite part, my "clothesline" for fun stuff!

Tidbit of my office: My favorite part, my miniature “clothesline” for fun stuff!

I took a break Sunday and broke my hermit streak. Seriously, once it gets cold out, I do NOT want to leave the house. But my friend, Liz, invited me to meet her and a friend for a beer at a local craft brewery, Rustic Road. Beer? Sure!

Rustic Road Hazelnut Harvest Beer

Rustic Road Hazelnut Harvest Beer

I drank the Hazelnut Harvest amber ale. It was supposed to have flavors of vanilla and hazelnut, but they were pretty faint. Overall, the beer was okay, but not one I’d buy at a store. Which is sad, because I love me some hazelnuts!

I came home and got into the Christmas spirit a bit… Okay, I admit, I’ve been listening to Christmas music for the past week. But, I’ve been working on Black Friday and other holiday emails every day at work, what do you expect?!

Our first Christmas wreath!

Our first Christmas wreath!

Matt got us this wreath, handmade from some Boy Scouts. Love it! Mmm, fresh pine.

Then I enjoyed an Angry Orchard amidst the romantic glow of candles…

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…while I baked some [break ‘n’ bake] cookies to bring to my running club meeting for the next night. I’m a cheater.

Simply Pillsbury break n bake cookies - peanut butter and chocolate chip. Yum!

But I tell ya, these babies are so yummy! Lots of my running club buds were even saying so. Plus they are made “simply” without a bunch of crap like normal pre-made cookies. So, uh, they’re good for you, right?

On Monday, I got into work by 7a.m. and put in a good 11 hours, trying to get everything done for the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend. Had to skip my planned run with friends, but it was worth getting some extra stuff done. Plus, I rocked an afternoon presentation to my boss and some execs. Ohhh yes. Hoping to help make some good changes in the near future!

Left work by 6 to go to the running club meeting and feed people with my delicious homemade cookies. The cookies were gone quickly, and they [plus pizza] fueled us through a couple hours of packet stuffing for our upcoming sponsored race, the Mayor’s Day Turkey Run!

Did you ever realize how much work goes into that packet stuffing?

I hadn’t.

Packet Stuffing for the Mayor's Day Turkey Run

Packet Stuffing for the Mayor’s Day Turkey Run

But it took a while, and a whole bunch of spunky runner folks.

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And a few paper cuts.

Packets for the Mayor's Day Turkey Run

Look at all those packets! That’s not even all of them…

But we got it done! If you’re looking for a Turkey Trot or a Thanksgiving Day race to help offset all the eating, drinking & being merry on Thursday, sign up for my running club’s race! It’s almost sold out, it’s a popular one. 🙂

Today was another long day at work, but in a good way. Getting lots done and ready to bring on the holiday shoppers! But coding a bazillion emails has made me cross-eyed. Good thing my boss brought in cupcakes to fuel us along.

I give thanks for cupcakes.

I give thanks for cupcakes.

BTW, best way to eat a cupcake: Tear it in half, and flip the top with the frosting over. Eat like a scrumptious cupcake sandwich, with frosting in every bite. You’re welcome.

One more long day of work, LOTS to get done. Then it’s Thanksgiving break time!

And also time to start streaking. A run streak, that is. You in?

Good thing this post looks so healthy, with all its boozy mentions and cookies and cupcakes. Maybe I should start taking pictures of my salads. But you know, those just aren’t as pretty.

What’s getting you through the week?
What are your plans for the holidays?
Will you be run streaking?

Mommy-Do Lists & a Wedding Weekend

Last week, my mom stayed at my house to spend some time with Matt & me, and help us with some house projects. Now that she’s retired, we like to keep her busy. 😉 We’ve been making her a “Mommy-Do List” and she put a good dent in it for us.

Here’s my fave handiwork from the week. When we bought our new house six months ago, we inherited this sweet camouflage painted room.

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The Camo Room

Thanks to mom, we no longer had to shield our eyes when we walk by it!

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Camo, be gone!

Buh bye, camo. Hello, normal neutral beige.

My mom is the best!

On Friday night, we took my mom out for dinner and a movie as a thank-you for all the help.

Dinner was at Twisted Cuisine, which is one of my favorite restaurants. Their chef takes so many ordinary dishes and “twists” them into something interesting and delicious, with unordinary pairings or unusual ingredients. For example, there was a salmon dish on the menu that includes ginger snap and a pear gorgonzola vinaigrette. I’d like to see how those flavors come together!

I didn’t go with anything crazy on Friday, though. They had seafood cannelloni with a cream sauce that sounded too good to pass up, so I went with one of their more “normal” dishes. I guess all the marathon carb-loading has me on a pasta kick now. This dish was SO tasty, but also so rich that I barely ate 1/3 of it before I was stuffed.

I also had a pumpkin pie martini that tasted JUST like pumpkin pie…

Pumpkin Pie Martini

Pumpkin Pie Martini

It wasn’t too sweet, and had a yummy graham cracker rim. Pumpkin perfection.

After dinner, we went to see Gravity in 3D. Wow, that movie was visually amazing! It’s definitely worth seeing in 3D. It felt so real, like you’re actually there sometimes…which was kind of stressful, considering the story is about two people who basically get stranded in space. You kind of feel like you’re stuck out there with them. The movie kept me on the edge of my seat, and it was so suspenseful and intense that I was honestly a little relieved when it was over. Ha!

On Saturday, we said goodbye to my mom around lunchtime, as she was heading to my sister’s to spend a few days with her. Then Matt and I headed to Illinois for the weekend. A good friend was getting married on Sunday, and Matt was standing in the wedding, so we readied ourselves for some serious celebrating.

The weather was spotty Sunday, but luckily the sprinkling rain diverted itself long enough for the ceremony to be held outside. It was short and sweet, and Ross and Victoria were so happy and in love. I may have teared up a couple times… I am a sucker at weddings!

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Congratulations you two!

We had a fun time celebrating with friends and the bride & groom’s families. It was definitely a night for the books.

Matt and I took vacation today since the wedding was just last night, so we got to start out the week by chilling at home, catching up on some TV shows and just relaxing with each other. Wish we could do this every day!

How was your weekend? Have you seen the movie Gravity? Are you a sucker for weddings like I am? 

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. 😉