I started this blog at Christmastime.


Seven. Years. Ago.

It seems like yesterday and foreverago all at the same time.

We had jumped to the middle of the country and had finished renovating our home and I was lonely. I missed my friends in Texas and I wanted to connect and share and talk about lampshades and farmhouses and kitchens and why it was so hard to decide which paint color went where. I needed to talk.

And talk and talk and talk some more.

But more importantly? I needed someone to listen.

So I gathered myself and my Christmas decorations and my projects and all the befores and afters my farmhouse had and decided I was going to jump again.

Right into the world of blogging.

I knew what I wanted to write about.

Christmas decorations.

All the merry and bright that filled my house.

Rooms full of wreaths and greenery and tiny houses at the window and a basket full of handmade trees on my kitchen counter.

I wanted to write about neutral trees.

And how I figured out a basket makes a perfect tree skirt.

And how I found these ornaments that look vintage on a clearance table long ago for only .57 each.

Stuff just like that.

Oh the plans I had.

I was going to write the perfect decorating blog with well-written witty posts about how to decorate…..

….and insider tips for the perfect room.

It was going to be fancy.

And amazing.

And super-educated with brilliant ideas on “how high to hang your chandelier” and “how to mix colors and patterns and textures and color with dramatic flair”.

There was just one little problem.

Back then? Before I started this blog? I didn’t know how to take photographs.


It was totally embarrassing.

I had those cameras that were yellow and disposable.

You know.

The ones that you threw away after you took it to Walgreens to get it developed.



How could I start a blog with pictures like that?

And then?

I came up with a brilliant plan.

I hired a photographer who worked for a local magazine to come to the house and take pictures of the Christmas decorations.

The photographer came out to the house and photographed every room.

And then a week later the photos showed up in my inbox.


I couldn’t believe it.

The photos were amazing. I couldn’t wait to share them. I couldn’t wait to show them off. I couldn’t wait to write my first post. I couldn’t wait to launch my blog and these photos and my words out into the world.

So I sat down at the computer to begin and I couldn’t contain my excitement.

This was it.

This was where it all began.

Oh, the post I was going to write.

I had it all planned out. It was going to be on the scintillating topic of using neutrals and textures in your Christmas decorating.  My fingers hovered over the keyboard with post swirling in my head as I looked at the pictures one more time for inspiration.

And as I stared at those wonderful, brilliant, amazing photographs willing the decorating words of wisdom to leap onto the page….

…my heart sank.

Because right there in the middle of my about-to-be-brilliantly-written-post on expert Christmas decorating was my Wal-Mart Christmas tree with its giant plastic feet and scraggly trunk elongated by the wide-angle lens….

….without a tree skirt in sight.



No tree skirt? How could that be?

I was going to be an expert.

I was going to be a professional.

I was going to be the voice of decorating for the twenty-first century.


And so it was that seven years ago my blog determined its own voice.

When on that long-ago December day I sat down at the computer with my tattered pride and my shredded dignity and introduced myself to the world like this:

“Hi!  My name is KariAnne….

…and I don’t have a tree skirt.”

I’ve never forgotten another tree skirt and I’m still Christmas decorating.

I’m still writing.

I’m still sharing my heart and laughing and sharing and tell stories and in keeping it real news? I’m still taking pictures that need a little help.

How do I know?

I just edited myself out of the reflection of a Christmas ornament or two. 🙂

Thanks for listening and thanks for taking a tour of this year’s Christmas decor.

Be sure and stop by and visit a few of my friends and their amazing tours, too.

Christmas Home Tours 2019

Christmas Home Tours 2019
Christmas Home Tours 2019
Christmas Home Tours 2019

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


  1. Image for Denise Cox Denise Cox

    Giggle, Giggle... You are toooo cute!!! And the beauty of it is... You are soooo real!! And that's what we LOVE about you!!!

  2. Image for Tracy VanVolkinburg Tracy VanVolkinburg

    Oh KariAnne! This was such a sweet post to read! I love that it came from your heart! Girl this home of yours.. amazing! You are so talented and obviously have perfected your photography skills!

  3. Image for Jessica Lardinais Jessica Lardinais

    And, we have loved every word since! I don't have a tree skirt either...I use an old-timey tin washbasin and flip it upside down to give our short, 5-ft tree extra height and extra character. :) Thanks for the past seven years and bringing daily joy to our inboxes!

  4. Image for Beth Y Beth Y

    So interesting to hear how your blogging story began!! I look forward to notifications of your posts, and I know I am not alone when I say the blogging world is better off with your voice in it!! Have a great day, Karianne!!

  5. Image for Jeanette Jeanette

    Thank you for not letting that Christmas tree skirt fail stop you from starting this blog. The fact that you are human and not afraid to admit it is what makes me love what you write. In a world full of humble-braggers, true humility really shines. P. S. I still love your Kentucky house. I hope someone is taking very good care of it.

  6. Image for Beth Minger Beth Minger

    Once again - the photography, your home, and your family are all beautiful😘🎄!!!! But seriously I return to your blog for the stories!!! They are always the bestest (yes this is a word now) I'm so glad your writing books now too! Never stop and have a wonderful Christmas season!

  7. Image for Paula Bradshaw Paula Bradshaw

    What a delight your Christmas blog is. I love the photographs and your home is beautiful! Question: When you photograph your home, do you use a camera or iphone? The reason I’m asking is because I’m a horrible photographer and I want to improve my skills. I don’t have a camera, but I do have a iPhone. I think your photos are beautiful. How did you become better at it? Practice or Class?

  8. Image for Carol C. Carol C.

    So glad you started this blog! Love your sense of style and willingness to jump in with both feet! Thank you for always brightening my day!

  9. Image for Susan Susan

    Dear KariAnne...now that I am mostly retired, I wake up each morning and the first thing I do after making my morning tea is to look up your blog...your talent is amazing and your writing is something I look forward to each day! I’m glad I found you! Thank you...

  10. Image for Mary in VA Mary in VA

    Well I wasn't here for the missing tree skirt, I only showed up lately, but I do dearly love your blog, your pictures, your words. So keep up the good work, girl!

  11. Image for DeMarie Ingraham DeMarie Ingraham

    You never fail to make my day. The best part is you haven’t let your “notoriety” go to your head. You certainly have taken the “always be humble and kind” to heart. Or maybe whoever came up with that phrase had you as their inspiration. You inspire us to make our own personal world a better place, even when we fall short of our grand decorating plans. Thanks for sharing your talents, your foibles and your humanity.

  12. Image for Jenn Jenn

    I loved reading this! So funny! I’ve done that so many times, started to feel like I had the best shots only to sit down to really look at them and see a pink shoe or a rubber boot lurking in a corner!😳. Everyone can relate to humanity! Your home looks lovely!

  13. Image for Debi Debi

    I’d love to read some of those early posts! Are you able to share them with those of us who found you later? I’m sure that they were just as wonderful as the ones you are writing today! I look forward to seeing you in my inbox everyday!!

  14. Image for Donna Marie Donna Marie

    We have all been there--done that so that's what we like about you! You are the real thing!!! Please help us keep the "real" in Christmas this year and every year!!! Love you Karianne!!!


    My favorite phrase for work," Devil is in the details." So true and catches all of us. So many details!!! Proves we are human! I love your farmhouse and your new to us home-both are beautiful and so you!!!!!

  16. Image for sue sue

    Oh, Karianne!!!! Lately I have been feeling "down", thinking maybe I wouldn't even bother decorating for Christmas this year. The dark cold nights, the storm we had Sunday in the Northeast made us cancel our Thanksgiving plans, since it wasn't safe to travel at all...yup, I had fallen down the self-pity hole. Even your beautiful dining room all done up for Christmas couldn't pull me out, but maybe it gave me something to hold onto. Reading your story this morning, and seeing that sunshine across your floor, and then enjoying a beverage (hot cocoa) as I soaked in all the creativity and beautiful decorating in the blogs your shared has me hauling out all my decorations, filling my bird feeders and heading out to my favorite thrift stores in search of new to me holiday treasures. Thank you so much!!!!

  17. Image for Susan Chambers Susan Chambers

    I have a very dear friend who always determined if a person could be a good friend by deciding if she would invite them to eat fried chicken with her!!!! I don’t k ow why, but that was her gauge. Even though we have never met, I just want you to know that I would TOTALLY have you for fried chicken!!! Thank you for taking the chance and sharing your heart with us. It’s always a bright spot in my day. Merry Christmas to you and yours and keep on blogging. If you’re ever in Delaware, I’ll have the chicken ready😉😉😉

  18. Image for Donna Donna

    Thanks for being real, you are a great writer, so uplifting. I did check out a couple of other tours & I have to say some of the decorating is just too much. I am into a more relaxed, less color look. Your choices give a less frenzied look, thanks for sharing.

  19. Image for Sandy Sandy

    And since that Christmas time many years ago, I have given you many A+’s on your writings. It’s the ole language arts teacher in me. You are a Rock Star! Thank you for being such a fabulous inspiration to us all. Merry Christmas to you and your family. Your last book is on my Christmas list.

  20. Image for Liz Shivel Liz Shivel

    As always, KariAnne, your blogs are so entertaining and informative, and your photos are great! Of course, you have decorated your entire house so beautifully, with all the shades of cream and white. Your home looks lovely all of the time!! Thanks for sharing!

  21. Image for Kris Kris

    Most of us don't want "perfect". I can't relate with perfection. However .... I definitely relate with "real". You found your voice and used it and as a result have brought joy and inspiration to many.

  22. Image for Pat Pat

    Your Christmas home is beautiful! I love every room and every detail! I think I have been here for most of the 7 years and loved it all. I don"t always comment but I am always here when it shows up in my inbox. Thank you, thank you, thank you for showing up for seven years. xo Pat

  23. Image for Sue Sue

    I don't even want to think about what the blogging world would be missing if you had let a missing tree skirt stop you from starting your blog. Thank goodness, KariAnne, that you didn't let that stand in your way of accomplishing "Rock Star-ness."

  24. Image for Jackie Jackie

    And this is why we love you and count you as a friend. Keep it up. I need my giggles and smiles you give me everyday.

  25. Image for Deanna Day Young Deanna Day Young

    What a fun blog!! I love it! I have certainly done that a time or two (or 1,000) myself. I love, love, love decorating for Christmas, too! This year I said I was going to decorate less......then when all the tubs came out and I started creating new tablescapes and mantle displays, I was knee deep into the decorating........and loving it!! Nothing is every "perfect" but we sure try. That is why I love your start of your blog. "Hi my name is KariAnne and I don't have a tree skirt". hahaha Love it! And love your blog and your writing and your decorating! Enjoy the Christmas season and the magic of the spirit of Christmas as we anticipate the arrival of the reason for this season! Merry Christmas!

  26. Image for Marlene Stephenson Marlene Stephenson

    Your house is beautiful and ready for Christmas. I hope you never change cause you bring me so much joy with your words and decor, thanks Karianne.

  27. Image for Lori Lori

    Absolutely stunning Karianne! Now you need to write a book all about Christmas decorating! I would be the first to buy it!

  28. Image for Nancy Nancy

    I love your blog so much Karianne...and I don't care if you have a treeskirt or not...or if your face shows up in the ornaments...or even if there are lights out on your tree...(There are NOT of course) Because all that matters is that you make me smile every single day!!

  29. Image for Dee Turk Dee Turk

    Well first of all, these photos are so gorgeous I am mesmerised, and feel like a little kid oohing and awing eyes and mouth wide open gaping goofily at all this splendor! So it's perfect! I don't know how you do it honestly, that banister would it be ridiculous of me to want to caress it? Of course it would but I still want to! I think I'm slightly enamored with your ribbon it is so perfect! I'm glad you started a blog 7 years ago, you have been such a bright light for all of us, with your humor, your realness, your talent enjoy! You my dear are all the tinsel and twinkle e lights all wrapped up into one sweet human!

  30. Image for Ashley Stringfellow Ashley Stringfellow

    So happy you stuck with it and are still here to inspire us! I just love all your Christmas trees - especially the one with the vintage ornaments that you found for $.57! All of it is perfection. xoxo

  31. Image for PJ PJ

    Congratulations on your seventh anniversary of blogging! I have been with you from the start and am so happy that you continue to blog. You have accompanied me on my "jump" from the beach at the West Coast to an old farm in the Northeast. Your posts make me laugh, sometimes cry, and always provide encouragement and inspiration.

  32. Image for Jean Jean

    So glad you didn’t have a tree skirt! I don’t think I’m alone in saying it’s the imperfections that make you the most endearing and the most like the rest of us 😊 Just keep being you !

  33. Image for sarah wagner sarah wagner

    Happy 7 years!!!! Your photography is incredible and everything you do is!! Love your home for the holidays so much I can’t even pick a favorite space just perfection! And I am sure if you got one of those little yellow cameras now you would see your talent even in that photo

  34. Image for Tana-Your Marketing BFF Tana-Your Marketing BFF

    I'm like.... wait for it. Wait for it. Wait for it... and then... where's the link to this first post, I'm dying to see it?! haha. I love that you shared your story and congrats on 7 successful years of blogging. Your home (and photos) look amazing... and your storytelling is priceless! Merry Christmas and thank you for the wonderful home + soul tour!

  35. Image for Tammy Scott Tammy Scott

    I love you, KariAnne! Plain and simple! You write exactly like someone I wish lived next door. You're always honest, forthright and inspirational. I so enjoy your blog.

  36. Image for june june

    Miss Karianne...you sure know how to put the Merry in Christmas. Love that about you❤️ Thank you for all the Joy you bring To The World.

  37. Image for Regina Merrick Regina Merrick

    Oh, my friend, this is precious! I remember that post, and I think that's why so many readers love you! Like us you are "so close to perfect!" Happy anniversary, and looking forward to MANY MORE Christmas tours!!

  38. Image for Maria Ward Maria Ward

    As a new blogger I loved reading your story!!! Not to mention looking at all of those beautiful photos of your beautifully decorated home. Thanks for sharing:)

  39. Image for Katherines Corner Katherines Corner

    Ahh..... my darling friend and sister through Christ. I remember I remember it all. When we met all those years ago we were both bereft of tree skirts ( LOL). I was floating and then treading water to see just where to dive in and begin my blog adventures. Over the years we have "perfected" our photos our blog style and what we share and so much more. I've watched you and cheered for you as your star began to rise, I've cheered and said, " that's my friend KariAnne, watch her glow" when your star continues to shine brightly. I will continue to lift you up, share your success and cheer the loudest, Never stop shining, glowing and doing all that is KariAnne. Merry Christmas my friend xo

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