Happy spring.

Or even better—happy spring tour.

I’m so happy to be joining my friend Marty again this year (she always puts together the best tours) and sharing all things spring and flowery and new and fresh starty.  If you are stopping by from 11 Magnolia Lane welcome—it is a joy to meet you.


But in the spirit of complete transparency as I was looking spring in the eyes and thinking about the tour and realizing that I wasn’t really ready and that I still had Christmas decorations in a basket in the upstairs hallway and planters full of Christmas lights on the front porch…

….I panicked.



When did that become a thing?

I wasn’t sure I was ready.  I wasn’t sure I was good enough.  I wasn’t sure my closets were clean and my towels were folded and my laundry soap was filled enough for pictures.  For a split second, I doubted.  But then?  I pressed pause and reminded myself of these truths.

Life is for the living of it.

Spring is for new beginnings.

House tours are meant to be enjoyed and not stressed over.

And so I thought it might be fun if we toured the house together and talked about life and advice and truths to live by.

Are you ready?  Oh, good.  Me, too.

I’m all about life truths right now because I’m raising daughters.

It’s one of the hardest mountains you will ever have to climb.  Mostly because daughters watch you and look at how you live your life and take notes and let you know you shouldn’t yell at people that stop short at a stop sign.

The other day one of them asked me if I could go back to college, what advice would I give to that girl back then.


I barely remember that person.

She was full of episodes of LA Law and cups of coffee and stirrup pants and blue eyeshadow and big opinions on life.  But the question is a valid one.  So in the spirit of spring and life and life truths and raising teenage daughters who are listening to your every word….

…here goes nothing.

Twenty-year-old self?  Here’s my best advice (and a few pretty house tour pictures to make the advice even sweeter).

1.  When you mother offers you your grandmother’s linens and silver and handwritten recipe cards and you hesitate because they aren’t really your style and you think they are old-fashioned and you have no idea what to do with them.

Say yes.

One day you will discover Pinterest.

2.  Pay attention in algebra.

When you want to create cube walls and herringbone walls and ombre hexagon walls it will come in handy.

3.  Keep that prairie skirt and concho belt because what comes around goes around.

Ditto on the black stirrup pants.

4.  Sunscreen is your friend.

Right along with cuticle cream, deep conditioner and all the beauty advice your mother gave you.

5.  You look amazing.

Size 8 is a wonderful place to be.

All those pictures where you thought you looked like you needed Jenny Craig….ummm….negative.

You will look back at pictures where you tried to hide your tummy behind a couch and realize that you seriously looked like a supermodel.

6.  And please, please, please…..marry that sailor.

He’s amazing.

And one of a kind.

He survived the pancakes and the Lee Press-On Nails.

And one day he will hold your hair back when you are so sick during pregnancy and bring you coffee every morning and figure out your geometry for you because you weren’t paying attention and give you a look from across a room that will make your heart skip a beat.

He’s a keeper.

Happy spring friend.

It was fun touring this morning.

I’d love to hear any advice you would give your twenty-year-old self.

I’m crowdsourcing for my next mom-to-daughter conversation.

PS  I asked that sailor what he would tell his twenty-year-old self and he said…..

…..”good times ahead.” 🙂

PPS  Be sure and stop by the next house on the tour, Clean & Scentsible or any of the other tours below.


A Stroll Thru LifeSetting For FourCuckoo4Design,  Pink Peppermint Design, Southern Hospitality,  Nesting With Grace


Inspiration For Moms , Decor To Adore,  House By Hoff ,  ZDesign At Home ,  Duke Manor FarmRemodelando La Casa


 Our Southern Home The Chronicles Of Home,  Monica Wants It,   Follow The Yellow Brick Home,  Hymns & Verses Thrifty & Chic


 11 Magnolia Lane Thistlewood Farms ,  Clean & Scentsible,  Seeking Lavender Lane, Sincerely Marie Designs,  Haneens Haven 


Our Fifth HouseDecorating DeliriumWhite Arrow HomesLife On Cedar LaneModern GlamFar Above Rubies

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Jolyn Jolyn

    My advice to 20 year old me: Dream big. And if you find someone who dreams bigger, go with his dreams; step out on a limb, and DO IT. I'd have never done the things I've done, nor been the places I've been if it weren't for my hubby's big dreams, and his relentless pursuit to follow them. Even if you think you can't, you can; and if you fail at first, keep trying.

  2. Image for Cheryl Cheryl

    Smiling with coffee here. As the old modified saying goes, “if my 20 yr. old self only knew then what my 71 yr. old self knows now.....”. Are those striped slip covers on your dining room chairs? Where to find or how to make? Your house is stunning and your blog makes me smile all day. Thank you and God bless.

  3. Image for Marty Marty

    I love your advice, so fun and your home is always full of fabulous inspiration and gorgeous pictures of your decor. Thanks so much for joining the 2019 Spring Home Tour.

  4. Image for Jenn Jenn

    Beautiful post. I appreciate you saying that you had doubts participating in this tour. I guess new to the scene or not, we all have doubts! So I guess my advice to my 20 year old self would be don't listen to those doubts and fears...instead trust and pray!

  5. Image for Rebecca Rebecca

    My advice: Don't be afraid to be the only one who leaves the party, or the only one who says "no," or the only one who says "it just doesn't feel right." There's so much strength and wisdom you have already shared with your daughters. They will know in their hearts what's right and wrong. Thank you, as always, for sharing your family and your heart...oh, and your gorgeous tour!

  6. Image for Terri Terri

    As always...... Loved the house tour!!!... My advice to my 20 year old self....: " Listen to your Mom.. she always has your very best interests at heart "

  7. Image for Pat Pat

    I’d tell my young self to stop worrying about having everyone like you. Say no more and stick to it, and always, always, trust your gut instinct. 💜

  8. Image for Linda Miller Linda Miller

    Dear 20 year old self "you are on God's timeline for your life, not yours. So buckle up buttercup...it's gonna be a wild ride, but everything is beautiful in the end." Love your pictures, and always, your stories. Have a blessed day.

  9. Image for Dee Dee

    KariAnne, I would tell myself, that things are going to get better. That the boy I hoped was"the one" wasn't worth the tears and my broken heart, but that God's best in His perfect timing was definitely going to be worth the wait! I'd say move to CA, because it was absolutely His leading, and "the one, the ONLY one" was there. I'd say stay strong in the Lord and follow him even when it looks crazy to others ( that's the California thing😄) accept your curves, appreciate your extremely thick hair because there'll be a time you'll really miss it. Decorate your dorm room and start a trend, because decorating on a dime is your thing, go for it! I'd say go for joy over perfectionism, because it would save a lot of headache's!

  10. Image for Edie Edie

    You made me smile. I too wish I could have known that my 20 year old self was thin. Love the fact your sailor said good times ahead! Your home is so pretty. Love the pictures.

  11. Image for Teresa L Gonzales Teresa L Gonzales

    Love the house tour and of course really adore your love story! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I agree with the advice too- we are way to hard on ourselves!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Image for Sandi Magle Sandi Magle

    You are such a sweetie---yes, i didn't raise girls, but my boys---come to me-- still for advice...and I always try to remember who I was at their age, when I answer. Lovely tour and post---!

  13. Image for LAURA LAURA


  14. Image for Nita Nita

    Your blog makes me smile and I look forward to reading each and every one! Are your girls the only children you have? I ask because I have two boys, and one granddaughter who is nine and every animated and joyous!

    1. Image for Tracey Tracey

      Forgive me if it's not my place to answer this, but KariAnne also has two boys. They are in college now. You should go back through the archives and look at pictures over the years. The ones from the wedding vow renewal are particularly good. Enjoy!

  15. Image for Tracey Tracey

    Love this post and the home tour! My advice to my 20 year old self would be "don't be so scared of people. Talk to them. Most are really very nice." I also love some of the comments that mentioned trust in the Lord and pray. Happy Spring!

  16. Image for Andrea Andrea

    LOVE your blogs! When I look (especially) at your living room and kitchen, my heart feels comforted and at peace! I just love it! I just want to come to your house. And sit. And take it all in! I look forward to my daily "mental breaks" when your emails arrive!

  17. Image for Jill Jill

    You always make me smile. Your home is so sunny and bright. My advice is to my 38 year old self : Yes, you woke up to a dripping kitchen ceiling that when you were poke a hole in it 15 gallons of water will splash into the buckets you are replacing as fast as you can. Yes, the plumber cut a hole to fix the leaking tub line. But just because you have 60 people coming tomorrow for a graduation Open House. Stop yourself! Let the water stain stay on the seams of the ceiling drywall. DON’T take the Kilz and roll the seams to cover it up. Because later, when you have found a house with perfect bones and turquoise carpet that needs love and you are getting ready to sell your current home to some lucky family with laughing children, you will find yourself standing on a ladder with a sander for days and even though you have taped the kitchen like a clean room the rest of the house will be covered with a layer of dust. Especially the dog. 38 year old me - Don’t paint the popcorn! Thanks for putting a little happy in my day!

  18. Image for JC at the uncommon pearl JC at the uncommon pearl

    Love this post, Karianne! Hmmm, What would I say to my 20 year old self? Never take any moment for granted, seize the day, enjoy every precious moment of life and every breath God gives you and those around you. Don't rush the days away wanting the next chapter of life to come, be patient with aging grandparents and parents, exercise your creativity not worrying what others may think, be grateful, give it all you've got, but depend on God, learn to laugh at yourself, and smile often...it's the good kind of contagious!

  19. Image for Regina Merrick Regina Merrick

    When I think about that 19 1/2-year-old girl who married her sweetheart and thought she was so fat, and then to have her daughters both try it on and not be able to fasten it in the back, I grin. I remember going on a diet and losing down to what I thought was not thin, but acceptable, and how I hated my curls and my full lips and dark eyebrows, I grin again. What we couldn't tell our 20-year-old selves, right? Sweet post, and beautiful house. You might just inspire me to skip the computer for a day and get my SPRING on!

  20. Image for Carolyn Brown Carolyn Brown

    I would tell my 20 year old college self the same thing my mother instilled in me as a little girl in so many words; you are enough as you are! Although you are young life experiences will teach you what you need to know and will build character. You will make mistakes, who hasn't. You will fall down, get up, start again. Life is for living. So I try to live my best life. Two years ago when diagnosed with colon cancer my mother's words came to me. You are down ,but not out, get up and I did. Still going strong.I loved those black stir-up pants, so comfortable.

  21. Image for Wendy Wendy

    When I was 20, I was married and my husband was on the Mekong River in Vietnam. I had my AA from junior college. When he got home, he fished his last 2years in college and I had our first child who is now 48. I went back to the University of Tennessee. Finished there, got my job teaching. My friend and I went back to school and got our Masters and our ED.S. All while teaching.

  22. Image for Shelia P. Shelia P.

    Hi Karianne! You had nothing to worry about, your house is gorgeous! Seriously! First thing I’d tell my younger self is, don’t succumb to peer pressure and don’t worry about what anyone in high school thinks about you. Because those people more than likely won’t even be a blip on your radar once high school is over, except for close friends and even then you grow apart from them once you go off to college. But most importantly I’d tell myself to get an education in a field I loved and that paid well, because it sucks to be poor. Seriously. And marry someone you can talk to and that listens and hears you. And to give those brainy kids a second look! Those will end up being the truly good guys. Was that enough advice? I wish someone had clued Me in back then, lol! Good luck raising your girls! Have a great day tomorrow! 😊

  23. Image for PJ PJ

    My advice to my 20 year old self would be to hurry less, compare less, and know that it is all going to work out as long as you keep true to yourself and your values.

  24. Image for sandi davis sandi davis

    Loved the tour Karianne!! The only thing missing is me piled up on the couch with you drinking coffee and just listening to you talk! You are amazing with words. My advice to give your 20 something year old...."ALWAYS listen to you Mother!!" :)

  25. Image for Donna Marie Donna Marie

    Be you and love you-don't worry about getting married the right one will come along--in time. Be single as long as you can and then be married and no children as long as you can.

  26. Image for PJ PJ

    I'm in love with your laundry room of all places and that door is beautiful. My 63 year old self would say to my 20 year old self, "You don't have to get married. Live a little life first and find who you are." Too bad I didn't realize that then. Mr. Wonderful decided he didn't want to be married anymore and took off eleven years later. But, God had a plan that was much better than my broken heart.. By the way, how long will your girls be gone? I pray they are having a wonderful time.

  27. Image for Echosmom Echosmom

    I'm in love with your laundry room of all places and that door is beautiful. My 63 year old self would say to my 20 year old self, "You don't have to get married. Live a little life first and find who you are." Too bad I didn't realize that then. Mr. Wonderful decided he didn't want to be married anymore and took off eleven years later. But, God had a plan that was much better than my broken heart.. By the way, how long will your girls be gone? I pray they are having a wonderful time.

  28. Image for Lynne Beattie Lynne Beattie

    Enjoyed the tour and your advice! Love the laundry room - especially the floor and the door! Your dining room is beautiful!

  29. Image for Carole West Carole West

    Advice is an interesting one isn't it? They look to us for the answers but when in reality they really have to shuffle through and experience so they can grow into the person God has called them to be. Both my husband and I told our kids to never settle in life... I think to many times at any age we settle because it's easier. As for the size 8 it's an amazing place to be and I'm one size away from it. I decided after the first of the year to start exercising again and eating healthier and at 51 that's no easy task. But how the results are pretty fantastic. Haven't been by your blog in a while but enjoyed this and as always your pictures were beautiful. Happiness in the weekend...

  30. Image for Kris Kris

    Excellent advice (from everyone!). Gorgeous house. My advice? Two things. 1) Comparison is the thief of joy (don't know where that originated that so I can't give credit) and an original of mine, 2) Watch to see how the boys you like and date treat people they don't "need" to be nice to--children, the elderly, waitresses, people with disabilities .... that will tell you their true character.

  31. Image for Amber Ferguson Amber Ferguson

    I am glad to read I am not the only one with Christmas decor still lurking about! Thanks for sharing such a lovely post. So happy to be joining your on the spring home tours. Happy spring!

  32. Image for Amanda Marie Amanda Marie

    I'm beyond obsessed with your laundry room and pantry! That's what dreams are made of, right?! Beautiful tour, as always. Not only is your home stunning but your writing is always so entertaining, a true treat. Happy spring!

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