This week I found out that I am one of BHG’s Top 10 Best DIY/Decorating Blogs! (check out the other nominees and vote for your favorite here)  It is just so surreal when stuff like this happens.  I look around and my house (that is a disaster right now) and want to silently mouth “who me?” because 1. this is cray, and 2. I don’t want to alert them in case its a mistake.

BHG Blogger of the Year Vintage Revivals

But in all seriousness I’m grateful for moments like this that make you stop and look back . The thing is, you just don’t ever know where you’re going to end up. When I started Vintage Revivals 5 1/2 years ago I literally knew nothing about DIY. I’d never spray painted anything, sewn a pillow, or made multiple trips to Home Depot in the same afternoon. After all, I wasn’t “creative”.  I didn’t decorate or DIY because I didn’t think that I could, so attempting it wasn’t an option. I probably would have butter socked you if you told me this is where I’d be today.

The whole crazy ride started when I found All Things Thrifty.  At the time, all of my friends were buying black slightly distressed living room groups from Ashley Furniture.  Our money was going…other places. In my core I felt like not having a cute house, and cute things that everyone else had was just another tally mark in the “Mandi’s Life Fails” category. But All Things Thrifty was different. She wasn’t dropping loads of cash to have what everyone else had.  Brooke was going to the thrift store and decorating her whole room for like $150. I was blown away. I was inspired. I wanted to be  So I went to the thrift store, and bought an end table.  And then I went to Wal-Mart and bought bright yellow spray paint. I could not wait to get started. I didn’t care that it was 105 degrees outside, or that I had no clue what I was doing, I was ready to be creative!!

Looking back and knowing what I know now, the project did not turn out well.  I didn’t know that you were supposed to sand after you primed, so the poor defenseless end table had the texture of Rhino Liner. *shrug*

I also didn’t know that you were supposed to put a cover down on your driveway that was bigger than the piece you were working on because there was this thing called overspray.  *double shrug*

end table after paint

But you know what?  I LOVED that table. It unearthed something in me that I didn’t know existed.  It taught me that creativity isn’t something that you’re born with, its a skill that you develop.  I was SO EXCITED about this new found love that I just couldn’t contain myself, so I started a blog. Let me be the first to say that for the first 6 months that thing ran on spray paint fumes because I had no idea what I was doing, nor did I have any business telling people how to do it. Thank goodness for blind enthusiasm and the fact that Pinterest didn’t exist so you could take after pictures in your driveway! This was my real life after picture of the one that started it all:

IMG_6807 (2)

Wowza. (Court’s reaction was exactly what you’d expect it to be.)

My FAVORITE emails to get are from people who’ve just finished their first project. For some reason lately I’ve been getting less of those and more of the “I’m overwhelmed and don’t know where to start” emails.  That, coupled with the fact that I haven’t done an actual project since Brem was born means that we are ALLLLLLL getting a pep talk!

Awww yeah!

I saw this video on AFV (my girls LOVE AFV so its constantly on at our house) and it made me laugh because how often do we do this in our lives?  Bless the internet for making GIFs of everything.


The agony!!  So much stress and anticipation for what?! Just kick the stupid ball!!

Did you know that 4 out of 10 homeowners wait 5 years to repaint in their house because they are worried they’ll get sick of the color?  Of course you’ll get sick of the color! Its ok!! Your style will evolve, change isn’t a bad thing!

Retro Diamond Focal Wall Tutorial

room reveal | tutorial

How many times have we passed up that once in a lifetime find at the thrift store because you don’t know if you can pull it off? If you love it, you will make it work! The answer to that question is once, and you’ll kick yourself forever.



How about not starting a project just because you’ve never done it before? I pinky promise if you start you’ll learn something, one way or another. Hopefully you don’t lose a finger in the process…or we might have to ring finger promise the next one.


trailer reveal | tutorial

Or my personal favorite, not doing something you’re excited about because your worried what someone else will think, especially people that don’t matter. You guys, you’ll never please everyone, so do what YOU love. It’s your house!  We all know how supportive Court is in all of this. He literally lets me do whatever I want because he’s wonderful. True story. Court came home from watching a fight about a month ago. It was at a Dr’s house. Super expensive, in the nicest part of town. Basically The Dream in his mind. So he comes in and says “I finally get what you do.” This giant amazing dream house was beige and boring and was just like every other house in St. George.  He could finally see the value that unbridled creativity brings to the table…after 5+ years of helping me execute it firsthand. WHAT!?!  But you can bet your pudding cup that I was over the moon excited that he finally gets is.

Rainbow HoneyComb Wall Little Girls Room Makeover @ Vintage Revivals-2

room reveal | tutorial

As funny and cute as that video is, how different would the poor kid feel if his friend said “Whoa buddy. Chill it for a second. Let me show you. This is what I’ve learned. Do this, not this.” That is what Brooke’s blog and so many others did for me and what (I hope!) Vintage Revivals does for you!  For fun, check out my top 10 WORST projects to see just how hard I’ve missed the mark. I bet you’ve never spray painted your kitchen backsplash orange. Been there, done that.

In all reality, how easy is it to feel like we’ll never kick the ball as far as some people?!!  All of these perfect projects and houses and families are so shiny! But guess what?! We’re shiny too, we may just need something to shine us up a little (I have an abundance of nursing pads so of you want we can use those!)

So  lets make a pact to just kick the ball! No stressing, no melt downs, just taking a breath and realizing it for what it is. Its decorating. Its not choosing to cut the blue wire or the red wire.

For goodness sakes, send me those project pictures so I can high five your skills! And don’t forget to pop over and vote!



  • Nessa the procrastinator 24.02.2016 at 22:06

    I needed this. Your blog has inspired me many times. I applaud your trigger pulling ways! You just jump right in and I love it. Thanks for always being honest and upfront about fails and successes. Oh and your baybeh boy is the cutest! You and your hubs make some adorable kids!

  • Elaine - visual meringue 24.02.2016 at 22:46

    Oh Mandi, you’re so cute! What a great post. That .gif is classic… and so is that yellow table. I just love your honesty. Thanks for the inspiration :)

  • Molly 24.02.2016 at 23:39

    Thanks so much for this post – and all of your posts! You’re such an inspiration. It is time for all of us to kick the ball!

  • sally 25.02.2016 at 00:03

    Congratulations, Mandi — well deserved! This is just the “kick” I’ve needed — I’ve been stalling lately. PS: you inspire me in 100 ways.

  • Madeline Gigli 25.02.2016 at 00:05

    LOVE LOVE LOVE!! I always feel so bleh about my writing and I’m working on my projects slowly (I know it takes time to stock up posts and projects to seem like you have time to be wonder woman). But I’m learning to do projects that I want to do and NEED to complete to make my house feel like mine. Reading this was great and how I feel so often I’m glad that I can relate to such an inspirational maker and doer!


  • Barbara Town 25.02.2016 at 01:23

    OMG how awesome! Congrats!! :)

  • Crystal@ClearCutCrystalDesigns 25.02.2016 at 01:47

    I LOVE this! You are my “All Things Thrifty”!

  • Katie 25.02.2016 at 10:22

    I just want to say I adore you. You’re my Brooke.

  • caroline 25.02.2016 at 15:07

    I’ve blogged in the past and now I’m full time RVing. My travel blog got hacked so I kinda let it go [since it was mostly for myself anyways]. But now I’m starting a mobile instashop full of vintage goodies. It’s been hard to keep motivated [the shopping is the easy part right?] But thank you for this. Hoping to kick that ball over the fence very soon!!

  • Doreen 25.02.2016 at 18:54

    Okay. So, I’ve got this chair in the basement that has beautiful bones. It came from my grandma’s house and lived in my mom’s basement for years too. The seat is worn out and the fabric is heinous. Plus is smells. But I love it AND I’m terrified of screwing it up. Thank you for this post. I’m going to get brave, kick that ball, and make it beautiful again.

  • Kelly Mauer 25.02.2016 at 19:04

    Thanks for sharing Mandi! It’s always so inspiring to see that not everyone gets it right on the first try. I adore your style and love seeing your “fails” that got you where you are today! I’d love if you would talk about how you style and photograph your work in a post sometime. I am blown away by how awesome your photos are now compared to when you started! Total eye candy!

  • Jill 25.02.2016 at 19:06

    Love this! What an amazing message!

  • mary billman 25.02.2016 at 19:29

    help, I can’t find where to vote on BHG.COM

  • Ingrid Taylor 25.02.2016 at 19:44

    Mandi, I so hope that one day, one day, someday, I get to meet you. You make me laugh, when Im sad. You remind me that life isn’t always picture perfect. That our little secrets arent cobwebs, that they are arteries that make us real, unique, Alive!

    Thank you for always inspiring me, and reminding me of the ever growing hoard of projects that I one day hope to start.

    Congratulations on the Nomination! You SO deserve it!


  • Alden Fletcher 25.02.2016 at 19:56

    I’ve been a longtime reader of your blog, but this is my first comment. I appreciate your truthful posts and your inspirational design.. When I look back at my own beginning projects, I definitely wince. But failing is the most important growing pain, right? Here’s to kicking the ball along!

  • Elisabeth 25.02.2016 at 21:21

    Hi Mandi,

    What a fabulous post! Thank you, this is very encouraging! In 2014 I randomly discovered Blog World and all the DIY people who live on that planet. I’d always done things like this, and loved it, but never knew another person who was like me. When I found the Blog Girls, it was like finding my people! They ‘got’ me! They ARE me! Yay!! After a couple of months, I realised that I, too could do this as a small business, and write a blog!! It’s taken me nearly 2 years to find my business and blog name, but I registered them yesterday! Ta da!!!!!!! Yes, I was like the kid not kicking the ball, just getting all nervous about it and wanting the outcome to be ‘the best’.

    Thank you so much for all you share, and for inspiring others and letting them know they CAN do it, too. Have a wonderful Friday. :)
    Cheers, Liz (Australia).

  • Safae Farid 25.02.2016 at 21:54

    Oh awesome, Congrats! You deserve it.
    I really appreciate your post and designs. You’re such an inspiration.
    I wanted to share with you this etsy shop. It has great items too.

  • Helen 26.02.2016 at 06:10

    Congrats – I love how creative you are on your blog, I have even borrowed some of your ideas, that first picture of the multicolored diamond – I loved it and did the same design (different colors) on a sheet of ply and it hangs proudly in my bedroom Your influence goes all the way to Australia :-)

  • Tina 26.02.2016 at 11:29

    This is an awesome blog.. I really enjoyed it while reading..

  • karrie 26.02.2016 at 15:44

    You get my vote!! I love your blog, your style, your humor and honesty… You are an inspiration, girl! Best of luck, you’ve already won in my mind!

  • Dani @ Danielle and Co. 26.02.2016 at 16:24

    I really appreciate this! I feel pretty confident about a lot of skills, but while I have a BFA and took plenty of painting classes, it has been quite awhile… like, a decade. I’m getting back into regularly watercolor painting and hope to begin brush calligraphy too, and I keep feeling overwhelmed and like I’ll never keep up with others, etc. It helps to remind myself everyone starts somewhere and to just enjoy the process and that feeling of magic when you learn or create something new!

  • Brooke 29.02.2016 at 05:57

    You are amazing! Love this, needed this. Thank you!

  • Amber Mitchell 29.02.2016 at 22:45

    Thank you for this post. You continue to inspire me again and again. I always tell myself that I have lost my creativity. I use to be so “fun”. I know that I just need to be inspired and you have done that for me. I continue to read your blog and get new ideas ( and smiles) everyday. I will keep the votes coming! ♥

  • Toni | 03.03.2016 at 06:00

    Wow, your message is so on target. So many times I’ve let intimidation stop me from moving forward but not anymore. Now I’m heading over to vote for you :-)

  • Kimberli Simon 05.03.2016 at 04:22

    Mandy – after reading this post I popped over to BHG and immediately cast my vote for you. I love when I visit your site and you’ve posted something new. I am about to renovate my own bath after the last tuition payment is mad next month, so I’ve found your last few posts instructive and inspiring. They say that it’s an honor to be nominated but I know for a fact that it’s even more fun to win – wishing you all the best as you continue kicking the ball!


  • Sharon / TPT 09.03.2016 at 07:33


  • Mila @jestcafe 13.03.2016 at 21:35

    Congrats on all your successes and that nomination.

    Can i say that I also love that you haven’t done any big DIY post since baby was born!? that means you are human!

    I am going to BHG page right now.


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