I never actually "celebrated" it, but last month marked 4 years since I started blogging. Actually, technically, I wrote my first post in January, but then I didn't actually start blogging regularly until September. I just reread that post. I am kind of taken back with how similar a lot of my words still are today. At least you have to give me props for consistency. When I started blogging, whether you count January or September, I never planned to "become a blogger". I didn't even understand what that meant. Slowly but surely, I began stepping away from my design business and more and more towards the blog. I remember really liking that "the blog" held be accountable to be creative. I was forced to come up with ideas and create them, not just write them down. That was very good for my soul. I would say I have a love / hate relationship with that whole accountability to be creative side of things. Now, I am a blogger and it is my business so I have to balance things out. I try so hard not to share projects that are just to meet an objective, but something that you might be inspired by or useful to you. I am finding that I really prefer to share projects that are simpler and quicker, projects that are really able to be done. The perfect example is the 10 Minute Decorating series I started. I am fully aware that I am able to keep my home "decorated" because that is my job so it is something I have to make time for. But of course, that is not the case for everyone. But almost everyone still likes to have a beautiful and inviting home - so why not find ways to get there in 10 minutes. If you were to look back on all of the mantels I have created over the four years and shared here, there would be some pretty elaborate set-ups. And behind the camera was stress and a giant mess. I would pull apart the whole house moving things around, taking stuff in and out of storage, so as to create those looks. Was it worth it? I would actually say yes. Because, it was from those crazy and elaborate mantels that I have learned that it doesn't need to be so complicated. If is from the crazy and stressful days that I have learned I need to be organized in my approach so as to not trash my whole house. It is from the managing of all the "stuff" of those mantels that I learned, I really don't need all of that stuff and a huge yard sale and donating saga was completed. It is from the "brainstorming" for those projects that I have learned that complicated and intricate does not actually mean it is more creative and sometimes the hardest creative challenges are the simple and easy ideas. And is from the "possibly-over-done" mantels that I have learned it is more important to share projects that actually could be recreated and that are desirable and useful to my readers. And so now I bring you a very simple fall mantel. I made the chalkboard, because simplicity aside, sometimes I like to get my DIY on. But, chalkboards are readily available or easy to recreate. I used vintage bottles, but you could use mason jars from the grocery store. The galvanized buckets are from the box hardware stores. The flowers are from my yard, but they could be any flower from the grocery store or they could even be feathers from the craft store. The grapevine pumpkins are everywhere - including Rite Aid. All in all, a project that could easily be recreated with your own twist and style. I chose to use the word "thankful" because in this season, that is how I am feeling. But it could say whatever was on your heart or whatever tickles your funny bone. And to quote myself from my first post: "I believe how you surround yourself, what you live among and within affects your mood, your outlook and how you live. Through my design business and through our own experiences, I have found we are all trying to accomplish one thing. We are all searching, we are all FINDING HOME." Wishing you a simplified day filled with creativity and as always, thanks for reading.