Looking for before and after projects? This is the post for you. Here is a round-up of some of my favorite transformations from 2019. 

In the spirit of a REALLY GOOD before and after…

…today is DAY 1 of going without sugar.

Are you gasping?

I know, right?

Ten minutes in I wanted to run to the doughnut store.

I just decided that sugar is kind of at the root of all my cravings and if I could kick sugar to the curb then a bunch of other good habits might follow. So for now—no refined sugar. No cookies. No cakes. No candy. No desserts.

And I did my research, too. Did you know there are hidden sugars in breakfast cereals and bread and frozen yogurt and even salad dressing?


So here’s my plan. I know it sounds simple, but I thought I would try it and see how it works. I’m going to eat protein and fresh fruit and non-starchy vegetables and whole grains and a little bit of dairy.

And water.

If you’ve tried to stop eating sugar and you have any tips—I’m your girl. It takes a village to kick sugar and you are my village and you always have the BEST advice on the planet.

And now?

Here’s the countdown of 10 of my best before and after projects of 2019 that have nothing to do with sugar and everything to do with all things decorating.

before and after projects hutch

Number 10: This before and after hutch

I found this at our local thrift store and knew it had a little farmhouse in it.

We transformed it and painted it gray.

And now?

It looks like this.

before and after projects porch

Number 9: This before and after chair

This was one of my most popular before and after projects on Pinterest.

It’s such a budget-friendly change that’s so simple and makes such a big difference.

You can see the before and after here.

before and after projects classroom

Number 8: This before and after classroom

This was a project I worked on down in Mississippi.

(total aside: please tell me you sing the song when you spell that state, too.)

We did not really have a budget except for paint.

But the change was AMAZING.

See the before and after here.

bedroom before and after projects

Number 7: This pink and gold bedroom

This is what the room looked like when we bought the house.

(total aside: This is actually my bedroom growing up and now it’s the twins.)

Wait until you see how we transformed the space.

You can see it here.

bedroom transformation before and after projects

Number 6: This blue and yellow bedroom

Bless this bedroom’s heart.

It needed HELP.

And now?

It’s one of my favorite before and after projects and it looks like this.

Number 5: This painted plywood subfloor

This is where this room started.

Carpet that had seen better days.

We pulled up the carpet and now?

It looks like this.

before and after projects porch

Number 4: Painted concrete

This is what our back porch looked like before.

It’s what I walked by every single day.

We TOTALLY transformed it.

And now?

It looks like this.

Number 3: Before farmhouse table

This is one of my favorite before and after projects because this farmhouse table got a makeover.

And I did it with glue.

You can see the before and after here.

Number 2: Colorful dining room makeover

This room got a LOT of color when we made it over.

This before and after was one of my most commented on posts from 2019.

You can see it here.

Number 1: This colorful office makeover

This was my favorite before and after from 2019.

Maybe because it made such a difference, but truly?

I think it’s because I got to makeover this space in another home for someone I love.

You can see it here.

Raising my glass to all the amazing that has gone before.

All the incredible before and after projects from 2019.

But now?

I can’t WAIT to see what 2020 brings.

I have a feeling the before and afters are going to be EVEN BETTER. 🙂

Happy new year friends

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  1. Image for Eileen Eileen

    Good for you. I stopped eating chocolate about 35 years ago. It's a mind thing. One of the easiest things I've ever done. I stopped eating donuts, cakes, cookies, pies two years ago this lent. It's a mind thing. One of the easiest things I've ever done. What was so funny is that my shopping cart automatically slowed down going by the donut/cookie shelves at the grocery store. I was astounded at the time. It was so automatic. I had to laugh. The mind is a wonderful thing. I told it who was in charge....ME!! I stopped eating after 6pm about a month ago. That was really interesting because my body was automatically getting up about 10pm from the couch to have a "little" ramekin of cereal, milk and honey. Now I get up and don't eat until at least nine am, sometimes longer. I feel better, think sharper and am sleeping more soundly. My body isn't processing food at night; it's resting and getting healthier. The weight will be coming off, but gently and gradually. I'm patient....and feel good about the process. Try monkfruit sugar. The youtube, Thomas Delauer is pretty good. He talks about keto, which I don't do, but has tons of good information about intermittent fasting, which to me is basically not eating after 6 pm. Which is why I had a glass of wine on New Year's Eve at 5:30, haha Also Dr Eric Berg has specific talks about intermittent fasting. Just use common sense and remember, "It's just a mind thing."

  2. Image for Cynthia Finger Cynthia Finger

    You can slay that sugar dragon! I'd suggest eating fruit in moderation and what's in season ... just like our ancestors ate. While fruit in it's natural state can be nutritious, it's still sugar, so don't go overboard with it. And don't forget your water. We all should be consuming half our body weight in ounces a day. Sparkling mineral water in a pretty glass with cut up fruit feels like a treat and I find the carbonation fills me up. And healthy fats! Avocado, olive oil, ghee, etc. They'll keep you satiated and our brains need healthy fat. Just realized I've written a book, but health and fitness is my passion. You've got this!


    I grow my own stevia and use it instead of sugar. Thanks for the top 10 before and afters! Love all your ideas!

  4. Image for david david

    An excellent plan with the sugar! My vow is to step back on it as much as possible this year. The only thing I've ever successfully given up was soda....and I don't know how I did it.....everything else I've "vowed" about quitting I've failed (I should try quitting broccoli - I bet I'd nail that one!). The amazing thing is that once I stopped drinking it (I would have it for breakfast) it stopped tasting good and I have not trouble avoiding it now. I have found that drinking a lot of water (my goal is about a gallon a day) has an AMAZING effect. Aches and pains and other physical stuff that I thought was just "part of being 50" went away entirely. Your transformations are, as always, jaw dropping! Happy New Year!

  5. Image for Deedra Deedra

    Your post was such an inspiration for me. I too have been thinking about cutting out sugar just as I look around at all the sweets and candies left over from the holidays. 🙈. We can do this thing KariAnne!

  6. Image for Shannon Shannon

    Another blogger does a sugar-free January every year and has a ton of good recipes and ideas to help. https://pinchofyum.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-sugar-free-january I did it last year and am doing it this year too. Welcome aboard. My favorite "treat" are chocolate date balls. 8 or 9 pitted dates soaked in warm water for ten minutes, put in a food processor, add 2 tbls. dark cocoa powder, 1 tsp vanilla, a half a cup of slivered almonds, or any nut you want. Whir it up in the food processor until it becomes sort of a clump, then roll into small balls, it should make about 11 or so, and put in refrigerator Whenever I am desperate for something a little sweet I have one of those. My husband doesn't know they are good for you and eats them all the time. Good luck..

  7. Image for Dewena Dewena

    My longest time without desserts of any kind was 9 months about ten years ago. I lasted until that first bite of pecan pie for Thanksgiving Day. It took about 3 months for me to stop craving something sweet and my best trick was to eat a Claussen dill pickle when the cravings hit. I'm not quite brave enough to try it now but the very best luck to you!

  8. Image for Joy Pinkerton Joy Pinkerton

    Happy New Year! Stay focused on the end result with your sugar thing!! You can do it! Sugar is addictive but once you’ve changed the way you eat, you will feel sooo much better!! I eat a lot of salads with protein too because they’re very satisfying. Good luck!! 🥳

  9. Image for Cindy Cindy

    I started that same diet back in April 2019. I am 60# lighter and feeling awesome. The first 40# I lost was with that same diet and tried to stay within 1200 calories. I have an app that I kept track of everything that went in my mouth. I didn't exercise during the first 40 and I hit a rut. I started an easy weight lifting program and the last 20 just fell off. Now I focus on situps if I don't have time for weights. I've never felt better. The holidays were the worst of course, I still had my sweets, but I didn't gorge . Don't deprive yourself, but be realistic. Give yourself goals in baby steps and you can do this. Don't set hefty goals that you can't do. Try to lose 5# in 2 weeks say. And progress from there. My app does fireworks when I achieve my goal. It's awesome! Good luck honey!

  10. Image for Nicole Nicole

    KariAnne- do you have a tutorial for how you did your bedroom floors? We ripped up the beat up, old carpet from our stairs in our last house and we're dismayed to see that the landings (which were a basic subfloor) we're pretty beat. So that even painted, it was rough and had some gouges. Just wondering if you ran into this problem and how you made them look nice since we might be taking up the carpet on the stairs of new house (which is anything but new). Also, when I first suggested painting the subfloor a few years ago, my husband said I was crazy and no one does that. Ha! Can't wait to show him what you did:)

  11. Image for Jolyn Jolyn

    I did the same thing a while back. Plan a small "cheat" every so often, like Sunday evenings. I now just eat dark chocolate, and most sweets are too sweet for me. The key: WATER! LOTS OF IT!

  12. Image for Kathy Menold Kathy Menold

    I have been doing a lot of organizing as I remove the holiday decor. As soon as we get rid of all those Christmas cookies I will get on board about cutting down on unhealthy eating Today is dark and rainy here so my husband and I played scrabble and had deviled eggs and cookies while we played . He won.Nap definitely on the schedule for this afternoon. So decadent but this past year has been a little rough so my resolution is to be kinder to others and that includes myself. Thanks for all the smiles we have shared plus great ideas you have given me. You can succeed at anything you put your mind too. You are amazing Karianne!!!

  13. Image for Regina Regina

    Hi Karianne Good Luck!!! Lots of water No diet or sugar substitutes if you slip put it behind you and go forward do not dwell on mistakes Keep your candy dishes yes more than one full of candy you do not like. That way you can walk by not eat and pat yourself on the back. Remember the village is with you!!!!!

  14. Image for Lynn W Lynn W

    Ditching sugar is tough, but you can do it!!! Good for you 👍 I agree that 2020 is going to be great year....it has a good ring to it 🥳

  15. Image for Lyn Lyn

    I only just recently heard about Alcohol Free January. I guess it started about 7 or more years ago. Where have I been? Although I have never been a very big drinker, I must admit that pumpkin martinis, chocolate martinis, as well as vanilla ice cream/coco/mint cocktails have been high on my list since Thanksgiving!! Maybe it's the pretty martini glasses. I also did quite a bit of Christmas cookie baking this year. So I decided to do an Alcohol/Sugar Free January. Well, it's day 3, and it's been a breeze. We'll see how the rest of the month goes. For snacks instead of grabbing a piece of chocolate or some other munchie, I have a couple of different flavors of humus and a bunch of different veggies to dip. My weight has never been an issue, but as we age, I think we have to start thinking about eating a more anti-inflammatory diet, and that means among other things - less sugar. Losing a couple of pounds along the way would make me happy as well. Good luck on your sugar free January. You can do it!

  16. Image for Lynn Mosher Lynn Mosher

    GOOD for you! Sometimes, it's easier to take smaller steps rather than whole hog! So don't get discouraged. Maybe for a time period, stay away from sodas. The next time period, add cookies, etc., to the no-no list. Then the next time period, add something else to the no-no list. Just a suggestion. Something you might try for breakfast. I eat this every morning. A bowl of quinoa with about 1 T. honey, a small amount of vanilla almond milk, toasted slivered almonds, and blueberries. One cup of quinoa has 14 grams of protein. Praying for you, sweetie! :D

  17. Image for Sharon Smith Sharon Smith

    Stopping sugar is one of the best things you will ever do for your body. I suffered for at least 30 years with migraines. Gave up diet soda finally which helped somewhat. Then 5 years ago I watched people getting healthy following THM. So I ordered my book and while waiting for it to arrive, I gave up sugar and cut back on bread. Got the book and it made so much sense and before I knew it, my migraines were a thing of the past and I was 4 to 5 sizes smaller and eating more than ever. I felt younger and had so much energy. Then my mom died and two years later my husband passed. So I turned back to poor eating and need to get back to reality! I know you can do this and I am rooting for you. Before you know it, you will feel so good! Sorry for the long story....but you have encouraged me to get back to it!

  18. Image for Be Be

    Loved all of these projects, but the porch was so amazing and happy, and of course I loved what y'all did in my great state of Mississippi. Keep up the good work! Love seeing all of your fun projects. They inspire us all. Good luck on leaving off the sugar too!!! I am also working on being a healthier me. Thanks for sharing your wonderful creativity with us!

  19. Image for Shelley Summerville Shelley Summerville

    I looked through the post with the blue and white bedroom twice but I cannot find where you bought that beautiful blue and white rug... did I miss it somehow? It’s all so beautiful. You are so talented!

  20. Image for Jeanine Jeanine

    This is all so much awesomeness in one post, from all the before and afters to your eating goals. I am so proud of you! You can do this! Take one day at a time. You will begin to feel better. When your doctor says you can add exercise, do it. Start low and go slow, then build up...very slowly as to avoid injury and a set back. Walking is a great place to start. As far as nutrition, for another year, nutritionists have stated the Mediterrean Diet as the number one healthiest and sustainable way to eat. It's what you described and eating fish twice a week, and lots of great veggies. Add spices to keep things tasteful and fun. Back to exercising, did you know exercising f6ir a total of at least 150 mins per week cuts our risk of dementia by 48 to 50%! Those are some odds! Remember, you arent only doing this for yourself, but for your husband, kids, and future generations to come. Don't be too hard on yourself and stay motivated. Getting a partner to do this with is awesome. Accountability is key. Speak truth to yourself and give yourself rewards for goals reached that arent food...a massage, nails done, movie night, new jeans, lipstick 😉 etc. Im passionate about health...probably should have been a nutritionist! High fives, KariAnne! You can do ALL THINGS through Christ who gives you strength!

  21. Image for Melissa Melissa

    Love all of these projects! I stopped sugar on Sept. 1st. After the first few days I didn't feel any cravings. I eat bananas with Trader Joe's peanut butter and have unsweetened applesauce with cinnamon sprinkled on it and boy does that applesauce taste sweet when you've been off sugar. Sugar is in everything so just check labels-even spaghetti sauce! I've lost 20 lbs although that wasn't why I was giving it up. And I have been eating regular meals. It's good to have a special treat for when you feel you deserve something-my current one is white cheddar cheese puffs. I feel better in general and definitely have more energy! Best of luck-you can do it!

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