I started this blog at Christmastime.

Yep.

Eight. 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 before’s and after’s 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.

Seriously.

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.

Pitiful.

Shameful.

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.

SERIOUSLY.

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.

What?

Seriously?

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.

*sigh*

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.

Cozy Christmas Kitchen // Modern Glam

A Pink Gingerbread Christmas Home Tour // The Ginger Home

Christmas Home Tour Part 2 // Finding Lovely

Christmas Kitchen Decorating Ideas // Jennifer Maune

Mid Century Modern Christmas Styling // Grace In My Space

Elegant and Cozy Christmas Bedroom // Styled With Lace

Flocked Christmas Tree Decorating Ideas // Maison de Pax

Decorating Ideas For Your Bedroom // My Sweet Savannah

Rustic Copper and Gold Christmas Decorating Ideas // Sanctuary Home Decor

Christmas Touches In The Kitchen // Sincerely, Marie

Minimal Kitchen and Dining Room Christmas Decor // Inspiration For Moms

Decorating LIke the Movie Elf // Happy Happy Nester

Our Home at Christmastime // Lemon Grove Lane

Modern Cozy Scandinavian Style Christmas // Your Marketing BFF

Hygge Scandinavian Christmas Bedroom // Hallstrom Home

Cozy Christmas Living Room Decor // My 100-Year-Old Home

Blue, Burgundy and Brown Christmas Living Room // A Blue Nest

Christmas Decorating Ideas for the Kitchen // The Happy Housie

Farmhouse Christmas Tour // Thistlewood Farms

Christmas House Tour // Craftberry Bush

Cozy Christmastime // Dreaming of Homemaking

Cozy Christmas Living Room Decor // Twelve on Main

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

Comments

    1. Image for Sheri House Sheri House

      Your Christmas decorations are my absolute favorite! Absolutely gorgeous, but not to over the top. Your stairwell is stunning. Thank you for sharing on your funny and entertaining blog.

  1. Image for susan gorges susan gorges

    Where in the world did you get the u-pick strawberry sign? We drive 200 miles every summer to pick berries at a friends strawberry farm and have such fun seeing our friends and picking berries, making jam and jelly and making a great memory. I think this would be a great gift for them next year, if you could tell me if you bought it or made it. Thank you and Merry Christmas in this very baffling 2020.

  2. Image for Patricia Whitford Patricia Whitford

    Karianne, Beautiful and just what I needed to get me going for decorating. My outside of the house is done, now for the inside. Where did you buy the brown chairs in the livingroom? They look so comfortable and would be great for my men? I so enjoy your blogs and photos. As I am retiring end of this month, I'm adding my new personal email so I don't miss your articles. Wishing you a happy and healthy holiday ... and 2021! Patti

  3. Image for Susan Susan

    Hi KariAnne, You may not have had a tree skirt those 7 years ago, but you certainly had, and still have, much much more! We your readers/followers are so grateful that each time you sit down to blog about home and decor, you share a bit about life and yourself. It's like having coffee with a girlfriend and talking about just everything! Thank you, and happy blogging anniversary!

  4. Image for Leslie Saeta Leslie Saeta

    Wow. What a story! You had me with every word. And it wasn’t until the very end that I realized you had told me this story before. And yet I was so mesmerized by your writing it didn’t matter. Yes my friend. You are that good.

  5. Image for Kathleen Kathleen

    We love your "talk" and all your decorating, Christmas or whatnot. Thank you for being joyful. You are wonderful and Merry Christmas!

  6. Image for Danielle Danielle

    You are amazing! I read that first post, and so many after over the years! Thank you for always inspiring, and paving the road ahead for the rest of us! My blogging would’ve gone nowhere without you!

  7. Image for Lou E Gipson Lou E Gipson

    OH Karianne! how i remember your first days of blogging! Back then, all my blogger friends were mentioning you "the new kid on the block"! so i checked you out..yes it was true! You were a fresh faced kid..sharing so much more than just how to decorate..you did it with bubbly laughter..flair of combining your own true stories of how tos..mishaps and mistakes as well as semi-perfection..along the way with each of us mentioning check out THE NEW blog "Thistlewood"...we, the world made a new friend while falling in love with you and your world!! I have followed you ever since..and look forward to my daily delight with my morning coffee.. so many pretties in today's post! thanks you amazing RockStar! I needed that!!

  8. Image for Betsy Betsy

    First of all it didn't matter to me what kind of camera you used because I love everything you do no matter the shot. Second, I have the same Noel glitter ornament that you had pictured on the tree. My dear friend gave it to me years ago. She's the friend I wrote to you about a few weeks back thanking you for the Inspiration Tree link. She passed away last Wednesday peacefully. Thank you KariAnne for your wonderful creativity that adds so much to life.

  9. Image for Cherilyn Anderson Cherilyn Anderson

    KariAnne, I really look forward to reading your stories...they lift me up! Thank you so much! Cheri

  10. Image for Jessica Lardinais Jessica Lardinais

    Mission accomplished, girl! You've written a blog that I truly look forward to reading everyday. While many "e-blasts" get blasted out of my inbox unread due to lack of time, I always stop to open yours, read it thoroughly and get my daily inspiration! I don't know you personally (although we met once about 7 years ago in a little Alabama repurposed church-into-marketplace and you were just as sweet and wonderful as I imagined!) but I've been a super-fan ever since I the first sentence I read. Thanks for taking the leap into what was surely God's call on your life! I wish you a very Merry Christmas!

  11. Image for Susan J Susan J

    KariAnne! I Love that you open your soul to us and we get a glimpse at our souls as well! I am so glad yo did not have a Christmas Tree skirt to open your writing (and photography) to us!! Happy Christmas!!

  12. Image for Elizabeth Elizabeth

    Karianne, I don't think it is the photos( and they are beautiful), we come for you! Your spirit and light shows through in every post and it makes me smile each time I read a post. You make so many people happy and that is why we come to visit, learning how to make something is a bonus!

  13. Image for Kris Kris

    Ahh, I've heard the skirtless-tree story before and it's a good one. Here's the thing. All those fancy-schmancy decorator bloggers? It's pretty to look at .... but I keep coming back to you. Every time. Your blog is pretty AND you are relatable. And upbeat and fun and who doesn't need some fun in their lives?

  14. Image for Lori Lori

    Everything they all said above:0) and one more thing...we need honest, true, real friends/bloggers. One thing social media has done is make some people feel inadequate, less than, helpless for not having lives that others seem to have. You my friend, created a blog that gives back and uplifts. That's a wonderful thing. Your tree skirt miss (if it was even a miss) symbolizes today all the other human things we all have thought we ruined our lives with and totally screwed up on. You made everyone laugh at themselves and to see that we are not perfect creatures and that's totally ok. Laugh, enjoy..life is short for so much stress. Thank you!

  15. Image for Donna Donna

    Love it. . . .it is all part of the journey. I have noticed that many people are doing the "non-tree skirt" skirt, like using a real skirt or a canvas or a quilt. Your lack of skirts never stopped up and it makes a great story.

  16. Image for Suzanne Suzanne

    I look forward to reading your posts - they really make me smile! I absolutely LOVE the neutral holiday decor and colors this year - so gorgeous!! Can I ask where you bought the medallion rug and those carmel tan chairs? They are beautiful!

  17. Image for Aliya Aliya

    KariAnne!! You're one of the most wonderful people I've ever met. I sincerely love coming here everytime. You know how everyone wants their home to be a safe place for people... you have created that here. In your blog. I feel safe. I feel like it's okay to be imperfect. I feel like it's okay to be ME! THANKS FOR YOUR BEAUTIFUL HEART!!

  18. Image for Marjorie Marjorie

    A friend sent me a link to your post a few years ago. I don’t remember what that post was about, but I knew I had to subscribe. You have brightened my days with your photos, letting us see your family, your homes and decorating. Thanks for the joy you bring to us.

  19. Image for Linda Miller Linda Miller

    I found your blog long after that first post, but had I seen it, I would have been hooked right then and there after that sentence. lol Thank you Thankyou for being a bight spot every day in this challenging year. Your home looks lovely decorated, and makes me want to get in gear and finish up! Keep sharing with us your wit, your wonderful ideas, and your sweet soul. Blessings dear, for a beautiful weekend,

  20. Image for Jane Frost Jane Frost

    Oh girl, you are so funny!! I always get such a chuckle out of your posts! You are truly an inspiration! Keep up the good work, the world needs you......with or without a tree skirt!! :) Merry Christmas to you and yours, ~Jane p.s. could you please share the paint color on the china hutch? such a pretty color!

  21. Image for Lyn Lyn

    Kari-Anne - what's that saying? "You've come a long way baby!" Your blog is a natural reflection of your sparkling personality. I just wanted to say that I just made two of your white twig wreaths - and we delivered one of them to our daughter's home today. I used little owls on them. Here's a funny thing - our next door neighbor, who is like a brother to us, asked me if my husband had found what he was searching for around our lawn compost pile in the woods. We laughed when I told him he was gathering twigs and pinecones for wreaths! They both turned out beautifully.

  22. Image for Marlene Stephenson Marlene Stephenson

    You may remember your skirts for your Christmas trees but, i think you achieved all your other goals perfectly also. You learned to be your wonderful self and that is a true goal for each of us, thank you. Your house looks so pretty with lots of ideas for us to use.

  23. Image for Maria Maria

    Happy Blog Birthday to the blog that I look forward to reading each day. Thank you for your inspiration and encouragement, tutorials and expertise.!!!!!!!!!! I hope when my blog grows up it will be just like yours:)

  24. Image for Michele M / Finch Rest Michele M / Finch Rest

    Happy Blogaversary! 8 wonderful years of inspiration, heart warming stories, success, some funny shared pitfalls, and mostly true friendship. You give so much of herself on this wonderful blog. You are so unique, and I have always loved your style. Your Christmas tour is stunning! Here's to another 8 years blogging. Hope you never stop. It's a true favorite of many. Have a fabulous weekend.

  25. Image for Kay Kay

    Karianne, You have some amazing ideas and you must spend a lot of time to bring all these to life. My living room is very much like yours, except my two "brown" chairs are pushed closer together with a small table between them. Why did your place your brown chairs apart? My chairs wanted to be closer together, and I wanted the table there. I look forward to your post every day, you are inspiring!

  26. Image for Paula Paula

    Congratulations, Karianne, for inventing such a successful blog. You definitely have great storytelling abilities, as well as so many useful and creative tips and tricks to try. I especially like all the painting tips and am actually going to paint a floor in an upstairs bedroom, which you inspired me to do! Do you have any suggestions where I should start if I would like to take better pictures...you have really excelled in that department...should I take a class on line? If so, which one...there are sooo many. Your house looks super BTW...beautiful. Merry Christmas and Happy Future Blogging...May God Bless You and Your Beautiful Family.

  27. Image for Cara Cara

    I love how you keep things so down to earth for those of us who live in the real world. Thank you for being you.

  28. Image for Cheryl Cheryl

    KariAnne you are just adorable! I’m an ever so practical, not so great at decorating girl who loves to see your creativity, beautiful home & lovely family. I’m so glad you started blogging & that I found your site - right around the time you moved back to Texas. 😊 Blessings to you & your family this Christmas season.

  29. Image for Brenda Brenda

    It would have been wonderful to see your picture on an ornament! Just think, You were surrounded by lights! How magical! Merry Christmas! Thanks for keeping it real!

  30. Image for Joy Joy

    I think I’ve been following you this whole time!!! Oh my goodness!! A friend sent me your email when you first started writing!! I’ve enjoyed every minute and looking forward to many many more! Merry Christmas!! 🎉🎄♥️

  31. Image for Kim Waldorf Kim Waldorf

    Your Christmas decor is so beautiful! Everything looks like it is magazine ready! So I'd say your photo skills are perfect! I love your blog. It is so informative, funny and just so very pretty!

  32. Image for Julie Briones Julie Briones

    I, for one, am super glad you didn't have a tree skirt... and that the Lord used that experience to give you a style and your own voice in the blogging world. (For some reason, I see you taking a tree skirt and wrapping it around your waste and twirling with it... have you done that at some point in your life? Come on, you can tell me... no one else is listening...) ;-)

  33. Image for Dewena Dewena

    This is such a sweet story and now I want to read that first post! I look forward to your stories on my FB page and especially to hearing your voice that just invites everyone listening to you to be as excited about life as you are. That's my caffeine for the day!

  34. Image for Juliet Juliet

    Alternating between awe at your stunning decor and laughter over your blog beginnings. So good! Recently I posted a photo of my front porch ... with a doggie poop bag sitting next to the door mat. Oh well. xo

  35. Image for Carrie Carrie

    Thank you for always giving me a smile when I read your stories...and look in amazement at your talent for decorating!

  36. Image for JC JC

    ....and we are so thrilled you hit "post!" We love you KariAnne! A beautiful, blessed, and merriest of Christmases to you and yours. 💝

  37. Image for Doris Doris

    Well, I went back through the pics and didn't find your tree without a tree skirt!!! Lol. Very beautiful Christmas decor!!! I will not decorate for Christmas for a few more days but look forward to doing it.

  38. Image for Gretchen Gretchen

    I love your perfect imperfection and everything you do. Thank you for sharing such a fun and very real story that I can relate to. You make me feel like I am walking next to you as you show me around. It's just what I need this month! xx

  39. Image for Diane Ruebel Diane Ruebel

    As always, you made me smile with "no tree skirt." I'm so grateful it didn't deter you from posting. You must have caused more than a million smiles by now. Christmas love from Camano Island, Diney

  40. Image for Debbie Debbie

    Hi I am a new subscriber. You home is absolutely beautiful, I really enjoyed all the photos. I also watched the upstairs hallway video, and that turned out beautifully!! The stairwell and landing areas area very lovely. How do you film and edit your videos? Have a wonderful Christmas

  41. Image for Gail Cunningham Gail Cunningham

    KariAnne, I am a 62 year old fan who always enjoys reading your blogs, seeing what's new at your beautiful, heartwarming family home. Your creativity is to be much admired, and I only wish I had half of your imagination; and if only I could get my husband on-board with the projects as you have yours---and just wait til I unroll that new, 50%-off rug that matches your living room rug--can't wait to see his response to that one -haha! Congratulations on your 8 years of blogging, and best wishes for many years of blogging and authoring ahead! Merry Christmas to you! God bless!

  42. Image for Barbara Cawley Barbara Cawley

    I love everything. I love your staircase. I have the same one. I looked all over for really good Garland. I found some on Amazon. Not as nice as yours. Please tell me where you bought it. Thanks Barbara

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