Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Cinco de Mayo Fiesta Ideas

Everyone loves a good Cinco de Mayo fiesta, and even though we usually end up just eating some guac and drinking margs out of our awesome Dollar Tree cactus glasses (see below), it's always a great time. Last year Dustin even wore a fake mustache to dinner! I wanted to pull some of my favorite ideas together in case you are playing hostess.

First things first, you need some fabulous party favors! Check out our fun Tiny Boxes of Fiesta Character!

Last summer, we had a fun family fiesta and my margarita glasses I scored for $1 a piece are always a hit - I saw them at our local Dollar Tree last week! The other fun cups are Oh Joy! for Target and dishes are MacKenzie Child's.
Love this $5 set of printables from happythought - check it out because the pack comes with a lot!

I love the simplicity of this pink and orange table - the pink marg salt is the best part!
If you feel like getting crafty this weekend, these mini cactus pinatas from Oh Happy Day are adorable!
If the thought of handmade pinatas scares you, these cactus balloons are equally fun!
Time to fiesta! Checking out these fun ideas makes me want to buy some cactus balloons and have a mini party on my back patio...

Just for the festive spirit, here's a lovely college throw back picture to Dustin and I dressing up (he's a Mexican soccer player and I'm rocking the moo moo my cousin gave me for her wedding):

Lots of Love,

Monday, April 27, 2015

Weekend Getaway: Phoenix!

Wanted to do a quick recap of the amazing weekend we had with my cousin Lacy and her family in Phoenix! We ate lots of fabulous food and had a great time bonding with her adorable daughters, Lillie and Poppy:

Baby Poppy = Happiest Baby Ever!
Because every 4 year old needs to swim in a mermaid tail!
Food wise, here are the fabulous places we ate at in case you want some yummy recommendations next time you are in the area:

Saturday morning we started off the trip right by walking up to a favorite: La Grande Orange...

Photo via La Grande Orange website.
Delicious breakfast options, pizzeria for later and amazing baked goods. My mom and I also scored some adorable and great smelling candles from their gift area.

While babysitting Poppy, my mom and I walked up to a great little place called Postino and had a great afternoon chit chat...

Photos via me
Bruschetta is incredible and they have $5 wine before 5pm! Seriously doesn't get any better and our date couldn't have been any cuter.

Saturday night we headed over to the Arcadia Yacht Club - lobster pasta is delicious!

Photo via AZCentral
Sunday brunch was at the perfect, quaint spot: The Henry! We recommend reservations, but Lillie kept us pretty entertained during the long wait outside on the fun patio...

Photos via me. The Wildflower drink was delicious!
Sunday evening we went for some much needed margaritas at Mexx 32 and Monday we finished our food adventure at a family favorite, Chelsea's kitchen...

Photo via Chelsea's Kitchen
It was a great weekend and Lacy and Ryan were excellent hosts and tour guides! I'm so sad it's over and can't wait to head there again. Always love a good family trip!

These two were instant buds! So adorable.
Lots of love,

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Affordable & Fun Graduation Gift Ideas

Time to celebrate all the smart young ones you know, it's graduation season! Graduations can be tough present wise, especially if you have a lot of people you want to give a small token of congrats to. Lucky for you, Love of Character has just what you are looking for - fun, useful and affordable options:

1. Smarty Pants Card by DBN | 2. LOC Composition Books | 3. LOC Sorority Hair Ties | 4. LOC Journals | 5. LOC Hair Ties | 6. LOC Legal Pads - 5 x 8 and 8.5 x 11.75
All but one of the items above is under $10! They are perfect for your daughter's friends, sisters, neighbor's daughter and more. I adore the Smarty Pants card by DBN because it is simple, cute and to the point. The legal pads, composition books and journals encourage more studying and hard work or are perfect for a recent college grad to spice up her office space. The hair ties can either show sorority spirit or work great to sneak in with the Smarty Pants card. If you are wanting a large order and make it soon, you can even contact me about custom hair tie packs with your school's colors.

Also, don't forget your students during finals week:

Little Box of Study Character
Hope you are in the school spirit now and can start thinking about all the upcoming graduations you have! Please contact me@loveofcharacter.com with any questions or custom orders.

Lots of Love,

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Painting the Wallpaper Chapter One

Last week, after finally getting the paint base color on the walls, I started painting the "wallpaper." The good news is, I love it! The not necessarily bad, but bad news is, I have a million more flowers to go. Thank goodness I'm attempting this project on our teeny tiny powder room! It's been fun thus far (on the 13 flowers I have accomplished...) and I find painting relaxing. Definitely making a commitment to this house by putting hours (ok, it will take many days) of work into painting little flowers all over the walls. Which, is probably a good thing because on mornings like today's when our shower knobs stop working, I'll need a firm commitment.

Check out the progress I've made in the past few days:

First night - did the test run to make sure I one, could paint the flowers and two, liked them.

Then another night I added a few more...

And yesterday I got a few more done before our weekend guests got into town...

Photos via me
Today I wanted to get that top part done, but I may have had one (or multiple) drinks too many last night with Dustin's brothers - it's been a painfully slow and lazy day. Hopefully, a couple nights this week I can get more painting in. Definitely a good way to come home and clear my mind from work. Since we have a busy social calendar the next couple weeks, this "little" undertaking is probably going to take a month or so, but I'm really excited about it. Plus, the powder room probably needs essentials like a toilet, sink and oh, a floor! One day it will be done...

Lots of Love,

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Broken Hearth

Remember in the last post where I mentioned our current ridiculous ambition? Well along with the other projects you've been following, we added the fireplace hearth to our list. We love the new marble basketweave tile so much, we decided it should also be displayed where everyone can see, not just the guests lucky enough to use the guest bathroom - which, guests, you better use after all this work! Since Menard's has the tile on sale, we decided to buy enough to do our hearth as well. Here is another picture to jog your memory...

Details on our tile purchase can be found here.
Our hearth currently has very dull, ugly, brown tile that I have hated since we moved in. In case you haven't caught on, I've gotten rid of a lot of brown in this house.

It's even cracked in multiple places. Time to go! Which, my husband apparently took very seriously because he went to town on that tile with a sledge hammer...all gone!

Lucky for me and my blog readers, I snapped some pictures when I was taking the kitchen island pictures. Literally, I came up here to write the island post and I started hearing loud banging noises. He has to be reminded that I need the BEFORE pictures. I seriously should go around the house now and take pictures of everything I want to redo!

We need to pour a little concrete on it to smooth things out and decided we should replace the wood edges (since the hammer might have slipped a couple times...). He is hoping it can be a place to practice tiling a normal, rectangle shape before conquering the bathroom. Like always, I will keep you all posted!

Side note, please keep our cute, little Teddy in your thoughts and prayers. He dislocated his knee and twisted some tendons, so he will have to have knee surgery next week :(

Lots of Love,

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Paint Color Struggles

Painting the powder room this weekend was not the easy project I was planning on. Neon red. Neon red was the first color attempt fail. I purchased a pretty coral orange color and in that room it was painfully vibrant. At first I thought it was going to be a pretty color, then as I continued on and the sun started streaming through I felt like I was in a red room of pain. Doesn't help that it's tiny and you can barely move in it. Seriously, this color radiated out of the room like a neon sign. Epic color pick fail. Probably should have helped to read Sherwin William's article: "The Play of Light and Color," especially this part:

"Take the same can of paint and apply it to two rooms, one that receives limited natural light and another that's flooded with sunshine, and it will look and act like two different colors. For example, a warm orange-red paint in a room with a north-facing window will make the room appear brighter and warmer and help offset the bluish cast to the light. However, that same red-orange paint in a room with a west-facing window will become intensely vivid – perhaps overwhelmingly so – in the late afternoon."

The room definitely has a West facing window...whoops! I of course felt discouraged that I wasted my free Saturday painting with a bad color. Dustin went to Sherwin Williams to see if they could tone it down a little, but it was still too similar. This morning I had my mom bring me her peach color from her living room, thinking maybe that direction would be prettier and less vibrant. It was very blah. On one wall it looked like a decent tone, on the other it looked sickly yellowish. Started to feel totally lost on inspiration and went to take a nap (pretty sure the vibrant tone of red haunted my dreams):
I wish my phone captured the red glow the room gave off! You can at least see how crazy red and bright it turned out. The lighter color is the peach. It looks ok there because of the red reflecting off, but up close it did nothing for me.
After trying to find a new inspiration, I felt a little depressed because I loved my original inspiration so much:

Rifle Paper Co. Wallpaper and yes I realize the color above looks nothing like this! Sadly holding my phone up close to it, they are similar...dang color tones and light!
I stared at the walls for a little while and the idea of mixing my two paints together popped up in my mind. I thought, what the heck, not much more to lose. Poured a little peach into the red and stirred it up.

I had a great result! It made a toned down orange coral that wasn't giving me a headache.

I like to say it went from a violent sunburn to pale to sun kissed! Ok it's still a little burn, but toned down, thank goodness! Dustin and I think painting the light flowers on it will also calm it down a little. It isn't neon anymore which is always a plus and I think it looks good. It will be our warm pop of color room hidden in the kitchen. Need to finish the edges, paint the ceiling (oh yea, originally thought painting it the original crazy red color was a good idea - ugh!) and painting the wood work. Then I can get started on the million flowers I think I can handle painting. With that, we also need to reinforce the floor (another ugh - around the toilet the wood rotted and I can see a small hole through to our basement - not good), lay our gorgeous tile and then put the fixtures in there. On top of that, we were crazy enough to take on fixing our sprinkler this weekend, ripping out the fireplace tile (more on that this week) and have an unfinished island in our kitchen - our house is a mess!!! The weather must have made us a little ambitious...

Happy Easter!

Lots of Love,

Friday, April 3, 2015

Kitchen Island Mock Up

Project number two update for the week, our kitchen island! Another project we picked up while at Menards, was our unfinished cabinets to use for our island. We decided to go DIY with this project to make it more affordable, plus this way we can paint them to match our other cabinets. We are sticking with white since we have green walls. Another perk of going with unfinished cabinets, you can purchase them and put them in your kitchen to make sure you 1. like having an island in the middle of your kitchen 2. make sure you picked a good size. Luckily, we love both!

Here are some pictures of the mock up to give you an idea. We placed the cabinet sidings on the top to mock the counter top length.

Already in love with our counter stools from Serena & Lily - get them now on sale!

For the pulls, we are going to match the other knobs in our kitchen.
Had to get the accessories! Excited to hid our trash can and wanted a shelf I could pull out for appliances.

we have one bigger cabinet to fit appliances and two skinnier - one for more storage, one for trash. Plush I'm excited to have more drawers.
Obviously we have some leveling to do on the base of the cabinets (problem with old homes, but doable!). I am so excited for the extra prep space and storage - we need it badly. On the sides we will put the simple wood siding currently sitting on top of the cabinets. On the front, we purchased wainscoting to give it a more finished look. I still need to find cool support brackets, but I have some ideas. Also, we found a countertop that we love, here's an example:

Cambria Torquay - picture source
We love the ease of quartz and the white with grey veins in this particular style. Working on picking the place to purchase, then we will really need to get this thing ready! It's almost a tease having it sit in my kitchen, but hopefully also motivation. Kind of a big elephant in the room!

Lots of Love,