I started writing this post about pumpkins and tutorials and pumpkin projects for fall.

I wanted to write about pumpkins.


Because these tutorials are amazing.

You should totally check them out.


But right now….all I can think about is smiling.


Yesterday I was in the Wal-mart check-out line…..smiling to myself.

I was on the phone looking at this amazing pumpkin graphic and thinking about the great sale they had on long-sleeved t-shirts and I that I just discovered I could special order pumpkin cupcakes from the bakery with orange sprinkles on top.

It was a good day in the Wal-mart check-out line.


I was so full of joy at that moment….it was literally like…..my heart was smiling.


Still smiling (there may have even been some humming)….I gathered my purchases and turned to leave.

And as I left the check out lane….I happened to catch the eye of a lady in the next aisle over.

A lady who looked so sad and downtrodden.

Like the cares of the world were weighing heavy on her shoulders.

Like she didn’t have a pumpkin graphic or a sale on t-shirts or orange glitter pumpkins to make her day a little brighter.


 Happy Fall


And I paused.

I paused for just the tiniest of seconds.

And then I smiled.

I smiled a simple smile of encouragement.  A smile of joy.  A smile from my heart.


And as I smiled….she just stared at me.

She simply stared blankly in my direction.

Determined….I smiled even harder….willing her to smile back.


And then I saw it.

That little glimpse of a grin.  A grin that got bigger and bigger.  A grin from her heart.

I wanted to wink.  I wanted to giggle.  I wanted to tell her to pass the smile onto someone else.

Actually…..I really wanted to tell her about the sale on t-shirts over in the middle aisle.

But I didn’t.

I just smiled back and walked away with an overwhelming feeling of joy.


I think smiles are a lot like that.

They are wonderful…..

…..but so much better when shared with someone else.


PS  On your journeys today…..if you see someone in need of a little smile….can you share one of yours 🙂

PPS  Here are 35 crazy cool pumpkin ideas guaranteed to make you smile, too!  Just click here for all the tutorials!


Please note:  This post was sponsored by Hometalk but all smiling opinions and joy were completely and utterly my own.  For more information see my disclosure policy.

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


  1. Image for shirley@housepitalitydesigns shirley@housepitalitydesigns

    Oh Kari...you are like the "Pied Piper of Smiles"....your laughter and upbeat personality is contagious....Yes, if everyone took the time to smile and just say hello to a stranger today, it would be a better and brighter world....keep on smiling Kari!....I think I shall go and carve a smile on my pumpkin today!

  2. Image for Sandra @Beneath this Roof, Within these Walls Sandra @Beneath this Roof, Within these Walls

    Thank you for smiling at the lady. You might well have made a major difference in her life, who knows. Sometimes, all we need is someone to smile at us, or touch our shoulder, or speak a kind word, to remind us that there is still love and warmth and kindness in the world. And she might have smiled the rest of the day, and inspired others to smile, as well. Ya, know, the world would be a happier, more peaceful place if people practiced smiling more!!! That old Coke song, "I'd like to teach the world to smile, and sing in harmony", might seem simplistic, but the truth is, all the world needs is more smiles, and more love. And more singing, in harmony or not.

  3. Image for Alice Alice

    I loved this. I try to do this many times when I am shopping and I love the reactions that I get. They vary but are usually very posotive. It is amazing how a smile from someone can prompt me to start couting my blessing.

  4. Image for Heather Heather

    You are amazing to perk up that ladies day!!! I am sure you brightened her day a bit and took her mind off of her concerns and worries! Love these pumpkin ideas! And who doesn't love a sale on Tshirts ;) If you have a chance Karianne, come link up at the Traditions Linky party starting today, any new or old projects you have would be most welcome!

  5. Image for Tonya @ Love of Family & Home Tonya @ Love of Family & Home

    Thanks so much for this simple reminder Karianne!! p.s. I don't know how anyone could not look at you & smile! Just from the brief exchange we had at Haven, I can tell that your sweet & fun personality is infectious!! I'm certain you brightened that lady's day at Walmart!

  6. Image for Betsy(@coastal-colors) Betsy(@coastal-colors)

    You always make us smile, one of your gifts! Your story is a precious reminder of showing value to others! Thanks! Love ya! P.S. On my way to see the pumpkins!

  7. Image for Regina Regina

    I started smiling as soon as I saw the title! Thanks for sharing your smile all over, not just at Wal-Mart! :)

  8. Image for Jill Flory Jill Flory

    :) :) :) :) There is a gift that you can share, most anytime and anywhere, it's worth with gold you can't compare, Give a smile! From a song I learned in grade school!!

  9. Image for tara tara

    what does it say about me that i started crying half way through your post? am i crazy? i believe you....a smile really can brighten the hardest of days... i LOVE that quote..."be kind because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle." i need to remember this more when i'm at walmart. all too often, walmart gets me too ill and annoyed to smile for myself much less anyone else. way too self centered over here...but Jesus is doing a deep work in my heart while studying philippians. :) thankful for his work.

  10. Image for Diane Diane

    I always get a smile when I come to visit you, so thank you for the many smiles. Sorry I have missed some of your posts. I am happy to be back visiting and enjoying your blog again.

  11. Image for Lynn @thevintagenest Lynn @thevintagenest

    A smile ........ the best fashion accessory you could possibly wear. :) I just got off the phone talking with a a blogger. It was such a treat to talk for real with her. And guess who we talked about? You......and your talented sister. ....who we both met when you two shared a blog. We might have mentioned what an amazing pair of sisters you two are.......just saying! xoxoxo P.S. I can't wait to try that Pecan pie, just as soon as I get some karo syrup!

  12. Image for Mrs. C Mrs. C

    Well, you see, the way I look at it...you are always smiling, and sharing your smile here with us, even online. I can hear your smile in your words. Yes, it's that contagious! And BTW, I saw tons of inspiration for fall in the link you shared. Thanks for sharing your smiling heart, and great pumpkin ideas! Both make me smile.

  13. Image for Debbie Debbie

    My post got lost in cyberspace...oh well, try again. Thanks for this post, you always have a smile for all of us and we all end up smiling back. You're a special woman, Karianne! Debbie :)

  14. Image for Zolane Zolane

    You bring much joy into my life with every one of your posts, Karianne. My hubby always knows when I'm reading them because I'm smiling ear to ear, laughing, or saying things like,"Oh my goodness, that is _______ (insert incredible, beautiful, amazing, hilarious, encouraging, etc.)!" I am thankful for you. Hugs & smiles right back at you, Zolane

  15. Image for Linda Adams Linda Adams

    Hi Karianne, Your smile story made me smile too but then all your posts make me smile. Thanks! I'm off to look at some of those pumpkin projects now. Joyous Wishes, Linda PS. Did you get those letter tiles with the holes in the top at a craft store or Wal-Mart?

  16. Image for Janet Janet

    I always tell my kids when they aren't feeling like its a great day, to smile and they will always feel better. You can't stay mad when you are smiling. You gave a lift to someone today who really needed it. Such a small act with huge impact. Love reading your blogs.

  17. Image for Jo-Anne Jo-Anne

    I am one of those silly people who smile a lot at just about anyone and I am more likely to smile at you if you look sad and upset or even if you look so mad you could explode........ this may annoy people but so be it I like to spread happiness and smiles do that............I think

  18. Image for Tiffini Tiffini

    this is just so perfect...so me i have been on both sides of this convo:) i always think like this and I thought I was the only one;) especially as the holidays approach if you have eyes and ears you will see it everywhere...it makes me sad but you encouraged me that we can DO something...and it starts with a smile love YA! xo

  19. Image for Susan Susan

    I always remember that saying, "Let a smile be your umbrella." I tend to be a Pollyanna so much of the time, and it always makes me feel good if I can get someone to smile back. Good for your persistence!

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