Friday again, which means it is time for another blast from the past.  Today I'm going to do a round up of my favorite fall mantels from over the years.  Not those geared specifically towards Thanksgiving or Halloween, but just autumn in general.  

We'll kick it off with Adventure's in Decorating's fall mantel, that was so gorgeous, even Better Homes and Gardens had to feature it:

Glass Etching 101 (And A Silhouette Giveaway!)

Step by step tutorial on how to etch glass using stencils and etching cream.  SUPER EASY!
I am so excited to be co-hosting today's giveaway with a bunch of other AWESOME bloggers.  If you are looking for a way to enter, it is at the bottom of this post.

But I didn’t want to write a post about nothing but a giveaway, so I asked on Facebook what kind of project everyone would like to see.  (Therefore if you don’t like this post, and don’t follow me on Facebook you can only blame yourself!  *wink* ) 

The response to my survey was hands down: “Glass Etching”  so I quickly whipped up this project to demonstrate how to use the Silhouette for glass etching. (And I included an alternative to cutting a stencil with your Silhouette if you don’t have one yet! Those directions are in RED**)  

For my sample project I wanted a prettier way of keeping my dish soap on the counter, the idea of a labeled dish soap bottle came to mind.  Obviously, you can etch any glass surface, but a clear glass bottle is a good starter project.
Etched dish soap bottle

5 Steps To Finding The Perfect Bathroom Style

5 steps to find your style


This post brought to you by DecorPlanet.com. All opinions are 100% mine.

One of the most common things I have heard since doing my bathroom remodel is “How did you know where to start?  I hate my bathroom but the options are overwhelming.  I’m paralyzed with indecision.  What if I screw it up?"

I think that is a really hard problem for a lot of people.  Especially people with tiny budgets, since you only have one shot at it.  You want to really LOVE the finished product and you don’t want to make the wrong choices.  We aren’t professional designers or plumbers or contractors, and usually we can’t define our style much farther than “I’ll know it when I see it"

So today I thought I’d share MY process of how I make decisions when redoing my bathrooms and how I decide on what style I want.

I have re-done quite a few bathrooms.  Some were quick and easy fixes while others were much more extensive. And in all of the cases I started with a similar game plan: 

Step 1: DO YOU ACTUALLY WANT IT TO BE YOUR STYLE? 
What are your goals? Is this going to be your bathroom? A guest bathroom? A child’s bathroom?
Are you going to live in your home for a long time or are you thinking you may soon sell it?

Do you need it to have universal appeal or is going to be your private sanctuary?  
Does your house already have an overall style and therefore the bathroom needs to blend in or do you have carte blanche to do anything?

Step 2: DEFINE YOUR STYLE

Painted Stairwell Landing Feature Wall


This post brought to you by FrogTape. All opinions are 100% mine. They provided me supplies and payment in exchange for this post. I was not told what to say and the results I had with this product are accurate and unbiased.  (If this tape didn’t work, I would never tell you it did.)  

So what do you think of my new stair landing?  I'm so excited about it I could jump up and down and spit nickels!
Painted stairwell
It was a TON of work, I'm not going to lie, but it was totally worth it.  And really, it wasn't difficult especially since I didn't have any paint touch up.  NONE!

So how did I do it?
I'm glad you asked! But first, let me take you down memory lane (it is Flashback Friday..)

How to Break Posts Into Multiple Pages In Blogger


It is no secret that I'm a Blogger blogger. Plus many people may be surprised to hear I have no intention of moving to Wordpress.  I often feel like I'm the only one who still uses this platform but I actually really like it.  I feel like I really "get" it and I'm not relying on someone else to help me with it. I understand it isn't for everyone, but it works great for me.

I do have one complaint about using Blogger: The people who will constantly tell you what they think it can't do.  And sure, it may not be 100% manipulatable, but most problems can be overcome.

Today I am going to tackle one of those "drawbacks" that I have heard you can't do on Blogger:  PAGINATE (Cut posts up into smaller sections for faster loading.)  Sure, Wordpress probably has a plugin or something for this, but I have always heard it was impossible to break up posts in Blogger.

Well today I am going to share a little secret about paginating on Blogger:
IT ISN'T IMPOSSIBLE.  (See? This post is paginated!)

In fact, it isn't even difficult to code it. For anyone who is too nervous to mess with your template code, I have good news for you: YOU DON'T HAVE TO.  You can accomplish it entirely within the post composition itself! I'm going to show you how (and I'm going to use this post to demonstrate how it works!)

For today's example I am going to use a four page post breakdown. You can actually break a post into as few as two or up to an unlimited number of pages.  I thought four would get the point across.

School Supply Organizer (Teacher Gift Idea)

I have been trying to dream up a practical back to school gift for the girls' teachers, and as I was digging through my Haven Swag I came upon a wooden "assemble it yourself" kit from Home Depot.

I knew I could transform it (and personalize it) into a teacher gift using my Silhouette and since this month's Silhouette Challenge theme was "school" I finally got motivated enough to throw it together.

Since I couldn't find the kit commercially available, I took down all the measurements (it is super straight forward) so that I could duplicate it out of cheap pine lumber if I wanted to make more.

Here is everything I needed:

10 Spray Paint Transformations (Flashback Friday)

I cannot stand how fast time is flying. I have so many things I want to work on, and I just can't seem to find enough time in the day.  Hard to believe it is Friday again, but at least that means it is time for another edition of Flashback Friday!

Today I decided I would feature my favorite past spray paint projects.  Spray paint is one of the fastest/cheapest ways to update thrift store finds and outdated objects.

My personal favorite transformation was the free curbside filing cabinet that I spray painted purple.

Back To School Fall Mantel

Back to school mantel decorating
My kids actually don’t start back to school for a few more weeks, but a lot of my friends and family have kids that are already back, so instead of jumping right into the “leaves and pumpkins” fall type theme, I thought instead I would put up a back-to-school mantel.
A back to school mantel
I threw it together in about 15 minutes and with only stuff I had lying around. Things like pencils and alphabet blocks came out of the kids’ toy closet:
Alphabet blocks
These apples are actually REAL apples.  (Normally I use wax fruit, but I didn’t feel like scouring the garage for my fake apples.. I was in the middle of watching the Chopped Teen Tournament!)

5 Ways to Save Money Without Sacrifice

5 ways to save money without sacrifice
image source
Recently my 2012 series about how I lived on $20 per week has been rediscovered and I have been fielding quite a few questions about how I was able to survive on that little money.

Like I have written before, it isn’t something I could have done long term (I went for a month) but there were quite a few take-away lessons I learned about budgeting that I can share with you, that you can start doing TODAY to keep a little extra money in your pocket. 

The easiest changes are always the ones that impact you the least.  Things that don’t feel like you are actually sacrificing anything.  So today I am sharing:

Five Ways to Save Money Without Sacrifice