It’s the most gourdoues time of year!

I couldn’t help myself, I’ve just got gourds on the brain. Especially after visiting the dollar store last night! They had the prettiest ceramic pumpkins! I may have gone a little overboard with the pumpkin hoarding harvesting.

Amongst my ceramic pumpkins I also purchased some “faux” gourds. They won’t rot like the real thing, so if they survive a season in casa de April, I can use them next year!

So here’s what I did with them once I got them all prettied up and unwrapped.

All of the pumpkins and squash like items, came from the dollar store. Everything else I already owned. The table runner is actually a small round table cloth that I folded to fit like a table runner. The place mats I purchased, at the dollar store (!), back in February. I raised some of the pumpkins by placing them atop upside down drinking glasses, and a pillar candle holder I got for Christmas last year. And the dinnerware of course, I have owned since my first college apartment. Speaking of which it might be time to buy some more “grown up” dinnerware. A girl can only use her mom’s 80’s goose plates for so long!

Here’s some more views of my pretty harvest table:

Doesn’t it make you want to GOURDge on a yummy harvest inspired supper with pumpkin pie for dessert?!

Here’s the low down of how much this little project cost in case you were wanting to take up the dollar store fall decorating challenge yourself:

Pumpkins: $15 from the dollar store

Table Runner: FREE-bought last year at Wal-Mart after Christmas

Placemats: FREE-purchased last year at the same dollar store said pumpkins were harvested

Tableware: FREE-thanks Mom!

There’s linky parties happening!! Visit Hooked on Houses and The Nester for some more fall decorating eye candy!! And link up if you have a blog!!

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Much Ado about nothing…

Much like the title of this post indicates, there really isn’t much to say today. But I did feel the need to post about fall. Decorating for fall to be exact. For a while now I’ve had fall decorating on my mind, and I’ve been trying to decide if I should change out my old fall wreath for a new one. Or do away with a wreath completely. But I do know that I MUST have something outdoors to celebrate fall, aside from the trees that are allowing there leaves to FALL! Sorry, I just couldn’t resist the obvious.

Since I tend to lean toward the Halloween side of fall, I’ve found some more sweet and yet spooky decor ideas! All found on the Good Housekeeping website. Please click on the pictures for all the ghoulish details from the nice folks of Good Housekeeping.

How sweet are these punkins? Yes, I said punkins! I love how they made a tree out of them!

I’m just batty for these bats! (heh heh)

I don’t have a mantel, but if I did you know I’d be doing something like this. Actually, if I had a mantel I’d be changing it up constantly. Hmm…can you have a mantel without a fireplace?? I sense a post idea coming on!!

I haven’t done Jack-O-Lanterns since Jr. High, it’s something about the squishiness of the inards that gets me. But I do enjoy looking at them. I think the skeleton is my fave of this pack.

Well, I’m off to find me some punkins, bats, and scarecrows! OH MY!!

Loving Home

There’s a big trend I’ve observed while perusing through my favorite design blogs, neutral colors. It almost leaves a bad taste in my mouth. But then again, my paint choices seem to be akin to Mimi’s make-up and clothing choices.  You remember Mimi from the Drew Cary Show right? If you don’t definitely check it out, it’s a hilarious show that I’ve wasted many a afternoon watching re-runs of during college.

If you remember correctly, my living room looks like this, when it’s clean and I’ve sent sweetie and Annie dog off on an afternoon adventure.

Very yellow and very red, isn’t it delicious?!? I love color, and have such a hard time accepting this trend into neutral. Maybe it’s not a trend, and just an element of design that’s been around since before I became interested in design. Are we that afraid of color nowadays? Or maybe it’s just that we are all too lazy to re-paint our rooms once we tire of the Barbie Pink. ( I like bright colors, but not that bright!)  As I learn more about design through reading my shelter mags and design blogs, it got me to thinking, which in and of itself is a very dangerous past time that I try to avoid like a dirty dish that needs washing.

But like I was saying, it got me to thinking, why are we afraid of color? Yes, I’ve seen a colorful throw pillow here and there, or maybe a pop of color in a nice lamp or a rug. But what about real color? A bright colorful wall, or a bold piece of furniture, a red couch perhaps?

{Image Courtesy of Being Brazen}

Instead these days, especially in some of my favorite blogs, I’m seeing rooms that look more like this:

{Image Courtesy of Apartment Therapy}

White, cold, sharp but not in a good way. In the sort of way that you could poke your eye out. But not shoot your eye out like the ill fated Ralphy on A Christmas Story. Yeah, I had to squish in a movie reference, even if it didn’t fit.

But again, I digress, it has been said that a good neutral wall color can work as a “canvas” for riskier design choices. But why not make your color the risky design choice? And why should color be risky at all when it’s such an easy fix. A can of paint won’t run you more than $30, if you purchase the good stuff.

I’m not saying that I’ve never fallen victim of a trend that would later be called outdated and ugly. I was a child of the 80’s, I wore my fair share of side pony tails and leg warmers. But what I am saying is that, shouldn’t we have things in our home that make us happy? And shouldn’t we be proud of those things that make us happy? Most importantly, shouldn’t we love our homes? It’s the place that witnesses our most important and profound moments in life, and most often those times that aren’t so important or profound.

Trend or no trend, neutral or colorful, a home is a place where you feel the most comfortable. A place where you can express yourself, either through design, or another outlet, it’s the place where you can be yourself. And there should be no shame in that, and no excuses made for the state of our homes. We all get busy with life and sometimes the floor doesn’t get vacuumed as often as we would like. (Yes, I’m preaching to myself here too!) Our homes should be an outward expression of who we are or how we feel, and there should be no excuses made for that. We should all love our homes, and fill them with whatever it is that makes us happy. Whether it be that old blue 80’s couch that you just can’t bring yourself to part with, or a sleek new contemporary sofa.

Country Cones

Get your mind outta the gutter! I’m talking about ice cream cones here! Oh, you knew what I was talking about? Well, I guess I’m the only one that thinks cones belong on a road. Construct cones…ya know the orange ones.

Anyways, to end the awkward silence, a couple months ago, I posted about Blue Bell ice cream, which by the way is the  best, most yummy ice cream in the world. OK, maybe second best, I’d have to say that Caliches in Las Cruces is the best, but that’s a whole different post.

My most recent discovery, or should I say the sweetie’s most recent discovery, as he does all the grocery shopping (Yeah, I know, he’s a gem, and he’s mine, and no you may not borrow him!), Mini Country Cones by Blue Bell Ice Cream.

Aren’t they cute?

They are 90 calories a cone, and have vanilla dipped in chocolate with walnuts on top, there’s even chocolate at the bottom of the cone! Needless to say, I was one happy camper. And at only 90 calories a cone, that means they are good for you and you can eat more of them right?!

It’s that kind of thinking that can get a girl into bigger jeans! I think mine just whimpered a little.

But I digress, the Country Cones are awesome if you are like me and need to watch a waist line, just be sure to only eat one.  And no, not one every hour!

Here’s the box if you are in the area and would like to buy some of these cute little mini’s for yourself:

No, that’s not me, but I do occasionally wear a cowboy hat and coordinating vest around the house. But only during fair season 😉

Black Roses

Everywhere you go you see the colors of fall, lots of brunt oranges, warm yellows, and firey reds. Which also means that Halloween is on it’s way! One of my favorite holidays by far, I’m really looking forward to getting the casa all decked out for the goulish holiday. Here are some great decorating projects I found courtesy of Country Living.

These pumpkins are darling aren’t they? They seem pretty simple to do too. Even someone like me who is all thumbs when it comes to crafts.

This little ghost is spooky, I’ve got enough mirrors around to make a whole family of scary ghosts.

What’s more spooky than black roses? A black wreath of course!

Well, I’m off to buy some spooky supplies to try these crafts out for myself!

Cookies..nom..nom

Recently, the sweetie was being his normal sweet self, and baked some of his famous dark chocolate chip cookies.

And of course I ate my cookies without any inhibitions, because come on, a girls got to have her dark chocolate chip pecan cookies.

Nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom….

Here’s the recipe he use’s, which he has committed to memory, how impressive is that?! The sweetie originally found the recipe on the Joy of Baking website:

Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe:

1 cup (2 sticks) (226 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar

3/4 cup (160 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 1/4 cups (295 grams) all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups (270 grams) semisweet chocolate chips

1 cup (100 grams) walnuts or pecans, coarsely chopped (optional)

And here is his version:

J’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

3-3/4c flour,

3/4 sugar,

1-1/4c brown sugar,

1c butter,

1-1/4 tsp baking powder,

1tsp baking soda,

2 eggs,

1tsp vanilla,

chocolate chips

Dash of Salt
Enjoy with a glass of milk!!

Bright Chairs

With the onset of bronchitis, that’s lasted a month and still going strong (!), I really haven’t gotten a lot of my projects done, or started for that matter! But I have been able to surf the web for some pretty design trends. Currently, I’m really liking bright furniture.  Especially in rooms with a dark wall color, or more of a subdued tone. The cheerful tone of these furniture pieces is like a bright lipstick when you don’t have time to paint the rest of your face, they add that extra somethin’. Like these photos that I found on Opal Never Shouts.

Or these lovlies that I found on Target.com

Brightly colored furniture I love, but alas, I also have an affection for brightly colored walls as well, it might be too much include both. I can’t have my guests walking in and instantly have a headache with all the color.

Naked Door No More!

Well, it FINALLY happened folks! This blogger finally got off her blogging bootie and COMPLETED a project! * Enter Rocky theme song here*

Yep, that’s right, I finally completed a home improvement project! Are you ready to hear about what it was?? I know your itching to find out! Drum roll please….I painted my front door red!!

It’s not a big project, but darn it, it’s something, and it’s done! Often times, I will post during shots, the occasional before shot, but never have I posted a completely completed AFTER!!  Yup, this is the very first After photo to appear on The Yellow Casa. So, here she is:

I used Behr Cherry Tart, it took two coats on both sides. Yep, I painted the inside red too. It was slightly nerve racking, deciding whether to paint both sides red, but ultimately I’m glad I took the plunge.

Sorry about the dark photo, the lighting in my living room isn’t quite the same with the door is closed.  And I was just too exited to wait for the hardware to be put back in place, I had to take a photo! I’ll make another this evening with the hardware in place. That way you’ll get to see a final product from the inside!

As mentioned above, I used Behr’s Cherry Tart. It was a close race between Cherry Tart and Bijor(?) Red.

The winner is on the left and the not so lucky contestant is on the right. As you can see, the latter had more orange in it. Both colors are pretty, but the red tone works better with the “tone” of our casa. As always, I forgot to take a before picture, but from the picture above you can see that my door was naked wood. It didn’t have any type of finishing, so hopefully my Cherry Tart paint will help her have some modesty!!

And just for giggles, here is our security door:

I’ve considered removing this door for better curb appeal, but it does keep the bad people out, and it brings in a lot of light. Since my red door makes me so happy, maybe I will paint this door red too.

Or I could stop while I’m ahead and paint the town red instead! Ha, don’t you love rhymes!

Signed,

April (the red door loving feign)