(Check out The Inspired Room Christmas Home Tour)
Sometimes as bloggers, we do crazy things for the sake of a post. You don’t always hear about it, and most likely, you don’t see it, but I thought I’d give you a small glimpse at my attempt to finish my Christmas mantle in time for Rhoda’s Holiday Home.
It all started with a mirror (at 12:20 am) – a beautiful round mirror that I had planned on hanging over the $5 white, thrift store shutters that sit atop my mantle for the expressed purpose of layering.
My plan: shutters, then mirror, then wreath. Simple, frugal, classy, quick.
In past years, I’ve gone for big garlands, and some grand Christmas Mantel Decor. This year, I wanted simple. This entire Trash to Treasure mantel look can be achieved for around $10 if you shop thrift stores and yard sales for candles, glass candle holders, etc. I love to get the creative juices going by using what I have, but still need to cut some fresh greens to add to it from the outside.
Easy peasey, or so I thought.
When I went to hang the round “mirror,” there was no way to hang it. The back was perfectly flat. There was no hook. I didn’t have anything with which to hang it, nor did I want to spend more for a mirror hanger than the mirror itself cost..
Considering it was already midnight; I had just gotten home from my husband’s work Christmas party, I panicked for a brief moment, then went to my “magic spot” where I have numerous yard sale mirrors to choose from and found choice #2.
The problem? The mahogany would not work with the all silver, glass, white lights look I was going for, so I decided to instantly find a solution and spray paint the mirror silver – perfect for my classy, Christmas look.
What was I thinking? I wasn’t, but the extra cups of regular coffee with dessert had now kicked in, so I thought I would get it all done. Just a “little” spray paint in the house will be such a quick and easy solution, or so I thought. Well, after an hour, a few paint sprays on the kitchen floor, more paint on my hands, nails and face, it was time to hang the masterpiece (still wet). I pounded a nail into the shutters, woke the kids up, but knew it would be worth the bedlam that had previously ensued.
Little did I realize…
that my perfectly centered nail was pounded into the shutter handle, and the handle had been up. As soon as I hung the mirror, all of a sudden the mirror dropped two inches causing the entire shutter and mirror display to get off balance and start falling toward me. No worries that I already had all the candles burning, it just added to the dynamics of the moment. (It would have been perfect to catch that in an action photo shot. 🙂
I tried to fix it, but knew it would take more gumption than I could muster at the moment.
I then tried hanging just my $2 yard sale wreath over the mantel, but I definitely didn’t like that look without the mirror layered behind it, so I decided to call it a night and let you see the REAL bedlam that can occur behind those “picture perfect” moments.
Remember sweet ladies, as you browse blogland for beautiful Christmas ideas, we bloggers show you just what we want to show you.
I could have omitted all the previous bedlam verbiage, and just shown you a beautifully, frugal $10 Trash to Treasure type of mantle. I could have left you with this beautiful candle picture below, and woo-ed you with the fact that I can achieve sheer decorating bliss with just this $0.25 candle and a gold ornament.
You would be impressed, but a small part of you may start to feel like you don’t quite measure up to all those “Home Beautiful” posts you see every day.
I could remind you of my glorious Goodwill find of this white hutch, and share how it’s the perfect back drop for my cozy Christmas village display, which it is, and I am so thankful for it, but it wouldn’t be the whole story if I left it at that.
The whole story of my Christmas mantel is that in reality, I am going to bed with my great room looking like this – mounds of laundry, paired with boxes of Christmas decorations that have yet to be put up.
How’s that for layering? (My Type A friends are running for the hills right now.)
My desire is that you remember we don’t live in a Pinterest Perfect World.
Sometimes in blog land it feels as if everyone else’s home must be perfectly in order, and somehow we are the only who just can’t quite get there. Don’t believe that lie.
Glean inspiration and encouragement from beautiful blogs. Get ideas and tips from Pinterest, but never, ever think that what you see is always reality.
As bloggers, we choose to show you what we want to, and hopefully, this post is a reminder of that. We are all in this journey together. Honestly, more than ever, I am reminded of just how much help I really need. Give ourselves the grace we need to thrive, and sometimes, just “survive.”
P.S. The Final Mantle Project….to be continued
P.P.S. 24 hours later and the laundry is still there (sometimes, that’s just life).
(Check out The Inspired Room Christmas Home Tour)
I really appreciated this post! It was both inspirational and reassuring. 🙂 I think it looks beautiful….I too have had those late night or early morning moments of trying to create a look that I have envisioned…..and often everything else piles up around me! I even have the lab asleep on my couch (chocolate though ) 🙂 Thanks and Merry Christmas.
What a great post! What a timely message as we look around and see beautiful and perfect homes everywhere. From what I can see your mantle came out great and I love your cute pup snuggled in the midst of all your wee-hours-of-the morn decorating!!
Thanks so much for the reality check! I think your mantle is beautiful, bedlam and all. 🙂
Thank you, thank you! Your honesty is truly refreshing!! My home isn’t picture perfect, it’s not even perfect, and I’m slowly learning that, you know what? That’s ok! In Eternity, we won’t even care. We will be in Paradise, and the number of people I “impressed” will be, if anything, an amusement!
I love this post and the reality of it. Your mantel turned out lovely and I think the wreath looks great. There are no mistakes in decorating only opportunities to become more creative and that is what you did and the results are wonderful. The reality shots are perfect!! Merry Christmas,
Like the other comments, thank you. I have been beating myself up because I can’t get my mantle looking the way I want with only .50 Goodwill finds. I, too, want it to looks picture perfect even despite the mounds of laundry and game pieces and pine needles all over the floor. What a breath of fresh air!
I so know this is true.
By grace I have that figured out;) most of the time
I’m learning to do just as you say. glean inspiration and give grace
knowing that we are all a work in progress. The beauty of creating house and heart
is is add some “pretty” where there is also ugly
At least for me and my kids.
We’ve had a rough year and after recently moving .. twice in the span of 3 months I decided to decorate our ugly home..long story but I LOVED your words..your heart and it is absoltely the truth!
and your mantle is very pretty and your house? looks like mine at the moment…lol! Laundry and all. Have a beautiful day
Thank you for keeping it real. And for reminding us that real life often does not look like it does in the Pinterest and blogland world. It is so easy to get wrapped up in wanting a picture perfect world, but that is not reality.
This is such a great post, and even though it wasn’t what you hoped for, your mantel is so pretty! I just adore the shutters. And now I won’t feel so bad when I see MY pile of laundry and holiday boxes 🙂 Have a wonderful holiday!
Thank you, thank you, thank you for such a great post of what life is REALLY like. I am so glad to know that I am not the only one that decides to do things like this at really odd hours. 🙂 And, now I don’t feel so bad about the decoration totes that are still sitting around my den from putting up the tree on Sunday.
The reason I love reading your blog is that you “keep it real”. And your mantel is already beautiful, can’t wait to see it with the mirror/wreath combo.
I love this post. I’m so glad to know that I am not the only one. It makes me feel a little better about the stack of laundry in the middle of the family room, dirty dishes in the sink and a growing stack of coupons to sort through. I need to remember that it can’t always look perfect.
That is EXACTLY what I needed to read this morning!
Thanks for staying true and keeping it real for us moms who’s Laundry Mountain is seemingly taking over our house this morning. The mantle looks beautiful already so I can’t wait to see what other decor tricks you have up your sleeve!!
Thank you for this vulnerable revelation. We all want to have the perfect home, food, outfit, etc. especially during the Holidays. Failed attempts are a part of all of our lives and it’s nice to see someone own up to imperfection. Your mantel looks beautiful even if it is not what you intended. Thanks for sharing!
If you don’t mind, I may link to this on my blog later this month.
Love this post! Thank you for keeping it real 🙂
I can relate to this so much! Those late nights where we frantically try to pull the last thing together to appear perfect. It’s funny, because we all know everyone does it, yet we all continue to do it–all out the sake of appearing perfect.
Thanks for keeping it real, Jen! Now off to tidy up my house before a friend pops in.. You know..so I can appear that I’ve got it all together. 🙂
So true, quite often my kids will ask me if I am staging the photo shot. But for the most part blogging has me being more conscious of how I keep up the rest of the house. I have decided itis much easier to clean up an area than it is to photoshop the clutter and mess out of it.
Thanks so much for this post. I was starting to think I may have to detox off Pinterest due the feelings of “not measuring up” and discontentment it was festering within me. It’s good to know you bloggers are just as human as I am!! I can so see myself nailing a mirror into the shutter handle!! 🙂
Amen, girlfriend! Life is no where near perfect. So glad you joined the party, your mantel looks perfectly festive to me. xoxo
lol Love this post!! Its such a true representation of the reality of life.. I know a few people who have the perfect house & floors so clean you could eat off of them, I remember hearing a preacher saying… but I ask you.. Who wants to eat off the floor? Not me.. I’ll take a home thats filled with love & some chaos & good busy fun that isnt Home Beautiful perfect 24/7.
You know, they always say the sign of a boring person is a spotless house.. Obviously, you’re not boring & neither am I. 😉
Thank you! What a great reminder on a day I am feeling overwhelmed!
Love the honesty and reality of this post!! As strange as it sounds, it’s often the “bedlam” moments that encourage me more than the “beauty!”
Thank you! Needed to hear that!
Well, shows how much I know because I think the wreath hanging on the shutter looks fine. Thanks for ‘keepin’ it real.”
This post. Posts like this are THE reason I keep showing back up here- I so relate to the bedlam more than the balance and more than the beauty. I have been having a pity party the last few days about my home, my finances, and my own abilities. And, yes, the Internet can just pile on top of that. Thank you for your openness AND your inspiration. Both: precious.
I think it’s unanimous that we all appreciate you’re transparency! This is real life & you are one of us! My mantle always gives me the biggest headache each season. I’m giving in to less & less perfectionism. Last year I invested in a rather expensive(for me) beautiful nativity picture from Hobby Lobby. When Christmas rolls around, up it goes on the mantle along with some greenery & voila, I’m done. While it doesn’t score points for being frugal(although I did use a 40% off coupon & it ended up less than $100.00) it scores big for simplicity & it will be something we can pass on as a keepsake to family.
Thank you for showing the pic of what your family room looked like as you headed to bed. That is the best. Makes me feel normal!! Mine is usually clean before bed, but there are those times…
Thank you!! I know this fact in my head. but my heart does start to fret over this. I have to take breaks from reading blogs at times because I’m doing too much comparing. Thanks for showing reality
I love the mantle and other decor that you already have out! Annnnnnnndddd… thank you for the ‘reality check’. You rock!
Okay, it looks so clean and polished. I love it. I really like that shutter. Would love to find one too!
Thank you so much for sharing such an honest & “real” post! I have been struggling this year to get my decorations put up and am in need of inspiration such as yours :’)
It looks so festive, in spite of the bedlam to get it that way!!! Sounds like a normal day at a blogger’s house to me. 🙂
What a fun post! I actually enjoyed hearing your thought processes and how you adapted more than your “reality” take- but that was good too. 🙂
And I think your mantel looks great…though I’ll be watching to see what else you come up with!
I saw this on twitter and had to take a peek. Loved it! And the idea is beautiful. I admire that you even started it so late at night. We met at Savvy Blogging the year before last.. great job!
Love, love this post! 🙂 It also reminds me that I need to spray paint my mirror over my mantle. It no longer matches anything in the room. But I think I’ll wait until the weekend … LOL. Actually, it probably won’t ever get done. LOL.
Love love love your reality!!!! It is so so true and we all need to remember it. Thank you for your honesty!
FREEDOM!!! Thank you for spreading freedom around – I feel like I just inhaled and breathed for the first time since Thanksgiving. Blessings to you and you family. He is good.
Way to keep it real!
Wow what a great post!! I have felt inferior many times, browsing though homemaking blogs…your mantle DOES look gorgeous but I’m thankful you let us peak at your laundry and boxes 🙂
This post was just the thing this time of year, like a whiff of peppermint… Your mantel turned out well, and your house looks like a home. Thanks for the reality check.
I was laughing so hard that I had tears rolling down my cheeks at my imagined visual of you trying to make your mantle work. I love your comments about the reality of the blog world. I don’t know how some of these bloggers have time to craft, decorate, shop, clean house and take care of their kids. Thank you for the reality check! Merry Christmas to you and yours!
This post literally brought tears to my eyes. I am so glad I followed Jo Lynne’s link here. I woke up at 5:30 this morning (it’s 6:25 now) thinking about how my house decorations don’t measure up to a beautifully decorated one I saw from another blogger. (It’s ridiculous but true.) I’ve been blogging about our Christmas activities and my decorations look so simple in the background of my pictures. Anyhow, I needed your gentle truthful reminder.
PS I think the mantle looks lovely.
Love it, Jen! Even with the laundry and boxes, it’s way nicer than mine! We’ve been in Nutcracker mode for weeks. Last performance was today, so we’ll be crawling out from under dishes, laundry, costumes, and sewing machines for the next few days!
Your mantle looks amazing!! Your photos look gorgeous! Even the “real life” ones!!! I am a mom of 5 and I know I can never get it all done! I just do my best! Have a Merry Christmas and thanks for inviting us in your beautiful home!! Great Post! Visiting from The Inspired Room!
I want the mantel! It is simply divine! Gorgeous all around! Thanks for sharing and have a Merry Christmas!
Funny! We all go through moments like that—guess that is the fun of life. I like the mantel all the ways!
Well, your end result is simply beautiful! No, my house is not Pinterest perfect, but I sure like some of the ideas I find on there! 🙂 Merry Christmas!
I love your mantle! I love your story and I love how real you are. Have a very Merry Christmas. Oh and I love Pinterest. 🙂
I LOVE that I stumbled on this site through pinterest!!! My sister and I can really relate to this blog. We are alway discussing how Everyone seems to be able to do it all. We were really getting overwhelemed trying to keep up. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for telling the TRUTH!!!!!!