Random thoughts on a Saturday morning:

1.  I snapped this photo this morning with my cell phone when I took Buddy out to take care of his business.

2.  Yes.  The sky really is that blue.  I know, right?

3.  Yes.  We need to mow our lawn.  It looks like something from Little House on the Prairie.  Emphasis on the prairie.

4.  People always ask me why we have those big trees in front of the house.  They are there to prevent everyone and their dog (no offense to you sweet Buddy) from looking into the windows when they drive down the road.

5.  There is nowhere on the planet I would rather be at this exact moment than standing in front of the farmhouse in yoga pants and a messy bun holding a cup of coffee listening to the crickets and feeling the sunshine on my face and watching my dog run.


Except maybe a baseball game.

Good thing that’s where I’m heading. 🙂Continue reading

5 Handmade Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

5 Handmade Mother’s Day Gift Ideas


love you to the moon and back sign

There are a lot of exciting things going on here at Thistlewood behind the scenes.

Things I could have never imagined if I had an imagination machine and dreamed for centuries.

Things that if I told you about we would hula hoop on the lawn together while drinking sweet tea and singing “We are the Champions.”

And as exciting and amazing and wonderful and incredible all of that is….

….I want to make you a promise.

This blog isn’t going to change.

I’m not going anywhere.

I’m still going to be here with my bobby pins and my red lipstick and my farmhouse and my mis-adventures and my stories.

And we’ll still have coffee together and laugh and talk and tell each other we are rock stars.

I’m not sure why I felt like I needed to tell you that today, except I was talking with my mother about some amazing opportunities coming in the next few months and she smiled and told me that it sounded wonderful and then reminded me of the importance of the blog.

And all of you.

And you know she’s always right. 🙂

So to celebrate mothers who are always right everywhere….

….here’s a few handmade gift ideas for Mother’s Day.Continue reading

Leif Garrett Where Are You?

Leif Garrett Where Are You?


flowers and decorating

This mother’s day I’m treating my mother with flowers.

Beautiful, wonderful, colorful, vibrant, incredible-smelling flowers like this You Rock bouquet from Bouqs.

I’m treating her for all the dances she chaperoned and the cookies she baked and friends she carpooled and the student council posters she printed with “Vote for Kari She’s a Life Saver.”  For all the times she lifted me up and the times she kept me grounded.

And for every single minute and hour and day that she made even more special.

Just like my sixteenth birthday.

spring porch decorating with flowers

I remember the morning of my sixteenth birthday like it was yesterday.

Maybe because it was.

Just kidding.

You know I’m 22. 🙂

That morning I got dressed with my new pair of glittered legwarmers and ballet shoes, applied bright red lipstick, sprayed my bangs up to greet the heavens with a can of Aqua Net….

….and pranced downstairs in all my glory.

Colorful flowers spring porch decorating with flowers


This was the big one.

I couldn’t wait to see the celebration.  Would they have balloons?  A banner?  A band?  A parade?  Lief Garrett driving up in a new convertible?

With a beating heart full of excitement, I nonchalantly I strolled into the kitchen.

There they all sat.  My ever-supportive family.  Eating Wheaties and toast.

Silence greeted me.

No one even looked up when I walked in the room.

spring porch decorating flowers

I peered at them anxiously.  Did they see the amazing, incredible legwarmer wearing, red lipstick applying teenager that stood in front of them?

Maybe it was hard to tell it was me through the aqua net haze.

I sighed dramatically for extra emphasis and plopped down in my chair.

And rolled my eyes.

And sighed again.


No response.  Not even a smile.

Apparently that morning there was not or ever would be….

…..a Happy Birthday in sight.

how to decorate with flowers

I stormed out the door in a huff, climbed into the station wagon, crossed my arms in protest and waited for my mother to drive me to school….

….because apparently Leif wasn’t showing up.

She opened the car door, put the keys in the ignition, started the car and slowly backed out of the driveway.

I let out a cross between a sigh and a grunt, promptly ignored her and slunk down in the seat.

About two blocks into the drive, I managed to pull my eyes away from my legwarmers to stare out the window.

I blinked.

And blinked again.


spring porch decorating

There before my very eyes a celebration unfolded.  Sign after sign filled the side of the road.

Giant signs.

Full of glitter and sparkles and topped off with balloons.

There must have been dozens and dozens and dozens of them.

Filling every corner and stop sign between our house and the school.

And every sign was the same. “Happy Birthday KariAnne” they read.

Every single glittered line and word for me.

how to decorate with flowers

I turned to my mother with the biggest red lipstick smile a brand-new sixteen-year-old could muster.

“You remembered,” I said.  “I thought you forgot my birthday.  I thought you all forgot.”

She smiled back at me, shifting the station wagon into park and conveniently forgetting the earlier eye rolls and legwarmer tantrum.

“I love you,” she said. “May your birthday be the happiest one ever.”

And it was.

Even without Lief. 🙂

spring porch decorating with flowers

Why not treat your mother this Mother’s Day with fresh flowers from Bouqs.

Bouqs is a new flower delivery service that’s easy, fresh, and beautiful with flowers cut the day you order.  The flowers are shipped directly to your door from sustainable, eco-friendly farms.

These beautiful arrangements on my back porch are You Rock and the White Knight.  They came fresh from the grower packaged with care.  When the flowers arrived, I opened the package and the room was filled with the most wonderful smell.  I cut the stems under water and arranged them on the back porch for a little spring surprise.  The quality and quantity exceeded my expectations.  The Rock Star arrangement was so big, I could have easily made two arrangements from it.  The colors are so beautiful and vibrant and full of the joy that only fresh flowers can bring.

But my favorite?

What you see is EXACTLY what you get.  The flowers I ordered looked even better than the pictures online.

Bouqs is offering a special promotion for Mother’s Day.  Simply use the code BLOOM15 to receive 15% off your order and of course the shipping is always free.

Create a special day for your mother.

For all the special days she created for you. 🙂

disclosure:  This post was written as part of a partnership with Bouqs.

All opinions on flowers and mothers and birthdays are completely my own.

Please my disclosure policy for more information.




Yesterday…..all day….

… hair looked like an exhibit in a contemporary art museum.

You know.

A little awkward and uncertain of its place in the world.

Just like the paintings that you stand in front of and stare at for the longest time because they are a little odd and a little eccentric and you just can’t decide if you like the art or not.

Is it the greatest thing since sliced bread…..

…or should the artist just have called it a day and started from scratch.

Art and hair can be equally confusing.

So today I’m pulling my contemporary art back in a pony tail….

… remove all doubt. 🙂

Happy random Saturday to you and here’s a fun site where you can transform any quote into a work of art.Continue reading

What’s A Mom to Say?

What’s A Mom to Say?


If you are a member of the anti-wood painting club.

This is not the post for you.

If you have a visceral reaction to white, painted wood.

Cover your eyes and look away.


And don’t be a hater.


Oh wait.

I forgot.

The last time I said that on the blog, my son told me not to say it anymore.Continue reading