bedroom with wood ceiling

I had my first perm when I was in high school.


Hold the phones and some horses.

I feel the need to go all Star Wars the prequel and preface that statement with a few facts.

1.  I have a lot of hair.  Like enough for myself and some friends.

2.  No judgement.  Perms were a thing.  Like stirrup pants and earrings that looked like door knockers.

3.  My hair has ADD.  It can’t make up its mind whether it’s curly or straight.  On the top it’s wavy.  Simple, classic waves with a hint of curl and then you lift up the hair and there’s a whole other layer going on.

Business on the top.

Party underneath.

barn wood ceiling

I remember telling the stylist that I wanted big hair.


The bigger the better.  As we say in Texas, the higher the hair, the closer to God.

She listened and followed through and I left the salon that day with a head of hair only a mother could love.  And when I got home, I looked in the mirror and decided it wasn’t big enough and ratted it a little more and sprayed it with Aqua Net to stay.

And then?


With my door knocker earrings and lumberjack shirt combination and my hair and my head held high.

dresser show house

And when people stared and turned around in WalMart and smiled awkwardly at me in aisle seven, I remember telling myself it was because I was amazing.


Not exactly.

I was almost there.  I was two steps away minus a can of AquaNet hairspray from super model status.

But I was close.

So close to amazing.


That’s me.

If you have met me for five minutes you understand.  I can’t help it.  That’s the way I’m made.  I’m laughing and giggling and tripping and randoming and bobby pinning and red lipsticking my way through life’s journey.

I’m the girl with the giant ratted out perm.

I’m the girl who sang the Yellow Rose of Texas at the top of her lungs at the Jamboree.

I’m the non-singing innkeeper’s wife and the blue goo pancake maker and the mom who has dried up french fries in her car.

I’m so far from perfect that’s its almost perfection.

master bedroom ceiling ideas

If we are going to be friends I just wanted you to know.

Just in case you ever felt like you were the only one who had a day with a little bit of randomness in it.

Don’t worry you are not alone.

Come sit by me. 🙂

PS  The pretty pictures I used to distract you during my story came from this house tour.

tennis shoes

PPS  Can I add another random moment to the list?

This picture was taken in my hotel room when I went to Chicago to meet with publishers about the book.

I brought along two non-matching tennis shoes for the occasion.



PPPS  In the amazing department……

……we WON the Frog Tape Challenge!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who voted.  We won $5000 for the Humane Society.

Here’s to furry friends everywhere. 🙂

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  1. Image for Rowena Philbeck Rowena Philbeck

    Great story!! When I was in school it was straight long hair parted in the middle. Hippie times for sure. I wasn't a hippie but did have long straight hair and frizz on bad humid days!! Some fringe clothes LOL. So excited about your book. You tell some great stories!!

    1. Image for Taste of France Taste of France

      Same here! I was given a perm by my grandma, who at one time had a beauty shop, and I turned out looking like Julia Child. But I was 8. Otherwise, most of my life, I had super-straight hair, down to my butt, parted in the middle. Like Cher. Who had a perm in "Moonstruck," which just shows she really is human and not a goddess. Your tale had me laughing!

  2. Image for Barbara Barbara

    Yay yay yay!! So glad you and the furries won! I had Toni home permanents done at the kitchen table by my sweet Mom:)

  3. Image for Jeanne @ I Dream of Jeanne Marie Jeanne @ I Dream of Jeanne Marie

    KariAnne, I got a perm one time when I was first married and it was so tight and kinky I walked in my hubby's office with a bag on my head. He said, "Oh, I'm sure it's not that bad." But when I took it off, he agreed it was. I got it cut 2 times that first week. Good thing hair grows out! I am SO THRILLED that you won the contest!!! That's AMAZING too! I'm so happy to have been a tiny little part of helping out the dogs and kitties at your Humane Shelter! Way To Go! Blessings, Jeanne

  4. Image for Yvonne Shafer Yvonne Shafer

    Good morning, sunshine! Love the shoes! They're not mismatched because there's another pair just like them! Keep your wonderful stories coming! And thanks for winning the contest and the donation to our furry friends!

  5. Image for Mary Mary

    First. I just love you! I wish I had the sunny outlook on life that YOU have. Maybe it would be contageous if I lived by you and we hung out. I once wore a navy shoe and a black shoe to work. No one would have noticed actually if I hadn't told everyone who I came in contact with. Ha-ha.. look at me! Good grief. :( I'm such a dork. So glad you won the contest. I'm concerned, however, that your winnings are going to the Humane Societe of the US. Better, I would say if they go to your local Humane Society. If not, please do some research on the national branch. Not so good, KeriAnne. Nevertheless. YOU were the winner. Can't hide your great talents!!

  6. Image for Susan Susan

    haha...OMG...this post really took me back...I remember the stirrup pants and lumberjack shirts and jackets well! I didn't need a perm because I have the most amazing fro was even more amazing when I used to blow it dry til it nearly fried and then added a bit of hairspray....hehe! I had hair higher than the Empire State Building...King Kong literally could've climbed it, perched atop it, and swatted at planes from its frizzy heights! Many happy congratulations on winning the Frog Tape Challenge, KariAnne!!! I actually went to check to see who the winner was last night to see the sweet little video of you explaining how you created the beautiful diamond flowers...they really ARE amazing...they are perfection, actually, as is the entire room...and *YOU*! With all of that going for you, you were a shoo-in! :)

  7. Image for Mary Mary

    Wonderful that you won the frog tape challenge! Great job! I also have always had enough hair for 2 1/2 people......wavy of course, and stick straight hair was in fashion when I was young. Now my hair straightener is my best friend :) And time will take care of a lot of your extra disappears at a certain age. Now I only have enough hair for 1 1/2 people!!

  8. Image for Wendy Johnson Wendy Johnson

    Congratulations! I love it when I go to vote for my favorite blogger and they truly have the BEST project..

  9. Image for Cecilia Cecilia

    First off, congratulations on winning! That's beyond exciting and is awesome! Now for the rest...I tried perms in the 80's. I have lots of hair too; straight but with body. I wanted loose waves. Problem is my hair takes awhile for the perm to take so I end up with frizz instead. Yikes. I was never close to amazing lol. (Cue the awkward teenager who just wanted to climb into a hole and hide!). Finally I embraced my hair the way God made it and suddenly, I was transformed. :-) Oh my, your story has me laughing. What were we thinking in the 80's with big hair, stirrup pants, shoulder pads, and huge earnings? Lol. You rock, girlfriend. Don't ever doubt it! (Even with mismatched tennies!)

    1. Image for Linda Linda

      Yeah for winning. Good news for the animals. You always make me smile and remember "those" days. Can't wait for your book! Best wishes.

  10. Image for sydney85 sydney85

    Congratulations on your win! Well deserved. I remember wearing a blue and black shoe to the movies. In my defense I was 8 months pregnant and could not see my feet. I still burst out in tears when I finally did notice. I had one of those "I must look so good moments". I dropped off my daughter at preschool and was dressed up much more than my usual t-shirt and sweat pants in a pretty dress and shoes with an actual heel. People were looking at me and then turning away quickly. When I returned home I realized why. I had sun glasses on and one of the lenses was out! What a sight!

  11. Image for NormaJean NormaJean

    Congratulations on the win! Those pups are so fortunate to have you for a fan! Love the last photo of your sweet girl and that awesome dog!

  12. Image for Becky Becky

    Oh Karianne you make my day. I have door knocker earrings. I've kept them bc they are really pretty enamel ones. Just waiting for them to come back in style. lol Also, I wore two different shoes to work one time! Both neutral pumps, one with laser cutouts, one with a peep toe. I went home for lunch that day and changed. Oh yes perms. My daughter was looking through photo albums and said why do you and all your friends have the same hairdo. I thought, we didn't, then I looked at the pictures and she was right. We all had tight, poodle like perms. We were in style at the time for sure.

  13. Image for Terri Godfrey Terri Godfrey

    Good stories! Congrats on winning the contest. It is a great room, bright cheerful, fun. And for a good cause. Love the bedroom. Trying to get ideas from you to make my living room more neutral with more white and natural. Love all your pictures.

  14. Image for Julie Julie

    Oh so happy you won the Frog Tape competition. I voted every single day....will do almost anything to help the dogs (and all animals). That's how I roll when I'm stoked! LOL

  15. Image for Colleen@LilacDriveDesigns Colleen@LilacDriveDesigns

    I can totally relate to the hair thing...I don't have a lot but it's been permed, flat ironed, curled and cussed at my entire life, haha. I'm so very happy that you won the challenge! As a dog-mom to not one but two boxer babies, one of which came from my local humane society and the other from a rescue, I know that money will get put to good use. Yay!!!

  16. Image for susan b susan b

    I loved big hair!!! Congrats on the "frog" challenge and so happy it's for a good, furry cause. As far as the sneakers - I didn't even realize they didn't match until I read it :) My observation skills are sorely lacking.

  17. Image for Linda Pinion Linda Pinion

    Well of course you did! You frog taping, BIG HAIR, red-lipstick toting MOMMA! with the mis-matched tennis shoes! You are SO predictable....a winner in my book!

  18. Image for Sharon H Sharon H

    Miz are the little engine that could! I knew you could win the Frog Tape thing! yay And your hair is wonderful by the way.

  19. Image for Peggy Peggy

    Woohoo way to go!! I'm so glad that you won the challenge you deserve it! The added bonus is the donation of the money to the Human Society.

  20. Image for April Russell April Russell

    CONGRATS!!!! on the big win. The rescue groups work really hard and you are great for thinking of them. And, of course, doing a really nice room.

  21. Image for Jae Jae

    Congratulations on the win! And thanks for helping all the needy animals out there. As for amazing......i read your posts faithfully because you ARE amazing, funny, devoted to your family, creative, the list goes on......if you were PERFECT, I dont think your blog would be my choice. One of your most appreciated qualities, the ability to laugh at yourself. We have almost all of us been in your shoes, including me, the stories i could tell you, and you are so refreshingly down to earth. And who knows, maybe you will rock a new fashion trend, like the mismatched sock fad! :)

  22. Image for Louann Watts Louann Watts

    Said it before and I will say it again . . . . You are nothing short of DELIGHTFUL!!! If I could think and write like you, I would have such fun just as you do. Happy 4th of July to you and those you hold so dearly!!!

  23. Image for Claudia A. Claudia A.

    Girl, I had that hair, those stirrup pants and lumberjack shirt. I also had the uncut hair parted in the middle, with the extra piece sewn in the side seam on the lower part of my button up pants and a leather vest with fringe down to there...the fashion world is cruel. Congrats on the win!!!

  24. Image for Ellen Ellen

    I KNEW, KNEW, KNEW that amazing ROOM would win the Frog Tape Challenge- it left the challengers in the dust!! I am so happy that the prize is going to the Humane Society and my daily votes helped in some tiny way. I remember my first perm. Good Grief it was a disaster that no amount of lipstick in any color could help, only a very large hat or paper bag! I love these stories that only you can tell with such humor and joy, and the photos are great too. I think you will need a sequel to the BOOK or it will need to be 100 chapters at the very least. P.S. Love the mismatched sneakers, it was a fad at one time. P.P.S. You are perfectly amazing- don't change a thing! Thank-you for the best post this morning, as usual.

  25. Image for Terrie Terrie

    What a great story! My first perm was in middle school and was a disaster...and yet I still got perms for a few years after that...hoping the next one would be better ;) Congratulations on winning the Frog Tape Challenge! Your room makeover was awesome!!

  26. Image for Kris Kris

    Congrats on the win! I have worn 2 different colored shoes ... and a couple of years ago I thought I was Miss Hottie in my amazing hot pink coat--which was totally cute--the price tag still attached under the armpit? Not so much .... Oh, the perm phase. Mine was accompanied by those huge glasses with the crooked bows (I was in high school in the 80s). So much for beauty.

  27. Image for Kathleen Grace Kathleen Grace

    I had to laugh at the shoes. I once went to a work party in the dead of winter, and only when I went to the ladies room did I look down and realize I had two completely different shoes on. Like, one open toed and the other closed toe. Like different colors and styles different. I have no explanation except that is who I am sometimes. Rock on Karianne. Perfect is over rated.

  28. Image for Terri Terri

    Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.... "Clap.. Clap.. Clap" !!!!! You win... the "Fur-Babies" win!!!!!!!!!!!!! So glad!! ( love the story of course.. as always!!!! :) )

  29. Image for Nan, Odessa, DE Nan, Odessa, DE

    You are precious! Hope all your kids have your personality. You go girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I, too, like full hair. Now tell us what you do to your hair today? You are among friends, and we are curious. You always look beautiful! I always think, put on the lipstick, turn the music UP, and prance. Part of a quote I think. Anyway, I think of you now and this little jingle give me confidence and makes me smile.

  30. Image for Michelle Michelle

    Nearly every one of my animals over my sixty-something years has been a rescue, even a couple of horses. So yay you for winning the $5000! Being random here: The hair story reminded me of when I decided one night to perm my shoulder-blades-length black hair. It was too big, even by Texas standards. And I lived in Texas. And I wasn't in High School. I was the Administrative Assistant to the VP of a bank. High profile. Oh I got 'teased' too but not by a comb. Fun times. Also random: Loved all the pics, as usual, but especially the last one. :-) I love captured random moments like that. Have a great day, Karianne!

  31. Image for Christopher Christopher

    You should see the perm this guy had for his 1986 graduation pics! lol Congrats on the win. We always knew you could do it, you rock!

  32. Image for Treva Treva

    I knew it I just knew you had to be a Texas girl!! I am a Texas girl that turned old but it's still in me. Great story.

  33. Image for Dale Deacon Dale Deacon

    I got the giggles while reading this post. I am very familiar with permed hair and fondly look back at pics and wonder WHAT was I thinking and I do believe I have some door knocker earrings in my jewelry box, just in case. Congrats on your big win, and love that it aids furry future companions as they wait for their forever home.

  34. Image for kddomingue kddomingue

    Randomness is fun. Perfect is boring. Quirkiness is delightful. And.......two different sneakers? Gonna have to be waaaaaaaay more outlandish to even be a blip on my radar! I feel your pain with the ADD hair......mine has split personality disorder. And I used to have enough for me and two other people. Now I only have enough for 3/4s of a person. Sigh. Menopause is a cruel joke that the universe plays on women. Congratulations on your win!

  35. Image for CGinAZ CGinAZ

    I told you, you are a genius. I knew you would win. No contest there. My daughter has hair like you, but even more. 3 people, 4 people.Can barely get a comb through to part it. Plus it has a mind of its own. While I struggle along with only enough to fit in a baby's rubber band. No justice. ( she got her father's locks). Anyway, girl, you rock. Yea for all the fur babies you have helped.

  36. Image for Michelle Mortensen Michelle Mortensen

    Nothing beats the smell of Aquanet! NOTHING! I remember perming and curling and teasing and spraying my hair to make it HUGE when I was on the Dance Team in high school. Guess what? My director always complained that my hair still wasn't big enough. HA! :) Love the Texas quote... Best & Bisous, Michelle from Simply Santa Barbara

  37. Image for Liz Thomas Liz Thomas

    WOOOOO-HOOOOOO!!! CONGRATULATIONS on the frog-tape win!!! And such a worthy cause!!! Now, Karianne, would you lend me some of your hair? :-) PS Always love your postings!!!

  38. Image for Amy W. Amy W.

    Congratulations on the Big Win! What an awesome prize too! Have to say...I was at the Hair Salon yesterday..... getting my 50+ age head of hair thinned out with thinning shears! The greatest invention known to thick haired women! Took a look around my chair after the sweet hair stylist was done and the sight on the floor looked like huge haired poodle had been groomed! The was hair everywhere! I guess this side of heaven we will always long for what we don't have!! It's so inspiring how you write of what you've brought to ear perfection and Rock it Well!!! You're Super Awesome!!N Wishing you and yours a Most Wonderful 4th of July Celebration!

  39. Image for Leona Leona

    HELLO......I AM WAY DOWN HERE! To say like everyone else Hooray, so happy you won. Now see how many people are happy for you that you won :) :)......and of course to read about big hair and another good story to brighten our day.

  40. Image for judy york judy york

    I love you, and I'll come sit by you anytime. You are inspirational, and the part I love most is you OWN it, every little bit of it. Oh and the shoes, I laughed right out loud. I feel so much better now. Thanks for sharin'! See you and your big hair next time. LOL

  41. Image for Mrs Mike Mrs Mike

    Of COURSE you had big hair. With Aqua Net (I had the mile high bangs to go with the perm!). And the shoes, lol, I've done that too. Fun post, lovely photos!

  42. Image for Rose Rose

    OMGosh ~ I had a perm back in the 80's and someone told me I looked like Little Ophen Annie ~ not very nice. But ~ that was the thing in the 80's We just rescued a new kitty - he is so sweet. That was wonderful you earned so much money for the Humane Society. Congratulations Kari Anne. Have the best day ever. Rose

  43. Image for Michele Riggsbee Michele Riggsbee

    Thanks so much for the feel good part of my evening! Oh, the things we have done in the name of beauty! Congratulations on winning the Frog Tape contest! Looking forward to meeting you at the Becoming Conference in August!

  44. Image for Michelle B Michelle B

    Woohoo!! So happy you won money for the furry babies :) Do you think that possibly the girls of our generation are partially responsible for the holes in the ozone with all the cans of Aqua Net that we used?? Just a thought :) Have a spectacular day!

  45. Image for Jana Jana

    Guuuuuurrrrrl! You ARE amazing in my book! You just have an honest, unfiltered way of making all of us love you more and more every day! Life is sooooo not about's about embracing the imperfection and learning how to laugh at yourself and not take yourself too seriously! My teen hair went from ironing (with a REAL iron) and sleeping in empty juice cans so I could have "Cher" hair... to super tight perm curls in the '80s...back again to straightened, shorter, too-much-work hair UNTIL I finally embraced my curls!!!! It took me 60 years to figure it out! LOL! ...and I've never received more compliments than with this super easy, no fuss style! ;) Congrats on winning the contest! Keep the stories flowing! Love you!

  46. Image for Leslie Watkins Leslie Watkins

    I love your honesty. You never cease to amaze and amuse with real life that lights the world for all of us...often in large flashing colorful neon letters!! Thanks for always brightening my day, my friend!

  47. Image for Karen U Karen U

    Umm, excuse me Kari Anne, where is the photographic proof of this? I for one, would love to see your AH-MAZING 80's hairstyle! (I used to *try* to have one myself, but my hair is too smooth, the perm kept falling out) let me live vicariously through you! Congratulations on on your frog tape win!

  48. Image for Marisa Franca @ All Our Way Marisa Franca @ All Our Way

    WOO HOO to you and all your friends who knew you belonged at the top!! Big super hugs! You are so perfectly you it is amazing! I wouldn't want you any other way and I'm so sorry but I was so engrossed in your story that I didn't notice the pictures :-( I'll have to go back and take a look and admire your perfection!! Have a super perfect day!!

  49. Image for michele michele

    so glad you won were the best!!! and I very much enjoy your humor and love the stories! always make me smile...thanks

  50. Image for Grace smider Grace smider

    The girl who snorted coffee....I'm with her. You make me laugh and feel good about myself, every day. Thank you, Karianne.

  51. Image for Linda Linda

    Only had 2 perms ever. Post pregnancy straight hair syndrome. Thankfully my curl came back after the 3rd darling made his appearance. Happy 4th Karianne! Linda

  52. Image for Betty Betty

    Very simply put, you are one amazing woman! You crack me up. I hope your children realize what a wonderful mother they have but I would bet they already know it. When I read your posts I want to break out singing " you are ny sunshine." So very happy about all the good things happening in your life.

  53. Image for Jeanne Jeanne

    Ha! I too had a crazy perm in the 80s on my tons of long hair. I was at the hair salon for hours to complete the job and got home late for dinner. My family was already at the table and when I walked in, they looked up at me and just stared. Complete silence. Their eyes were huge. I burst into tears. Fast forward to last week at the hairdresser's...I mentioned to the stylist that I might like to try extensions...he stared at me and doubled over with laughter. Hmmm. Great job on winning the Frog Tape Challenge!

  54. Image for Barb Barb

    Truly super happy you won and life is good..... Big, big hair and red lipstick with miss matched shoes.... You go girl!

  55. Image for Donnamae Donnamae

    First off...I'm late in reading this, but oh my! Secondly....I want that ceiling in my bedroom! Thirdly....and most important....congratulations!! And lastly....I startled my hubby when I laughed out loud at your sneakers!!! Here's to being perfectly imperfect! ;)

  56. Image for Rebecca Turner Rebecca Turner

    You funny girl! To my knowledge I've never worn two different shoes, but I do often have my head in the pink clouds, which renders me a little dingy. Me. Not you. (It's not like you're crazy-busy, or anything.) Btw: I have fine textured, flat hair. However, once a month, my (former) hairdresser gave me big Texas hair. She would tease it so I looked like I'd borrowed some from you, (or someone else) even though I told her not to...because my hubby doesn't like the big hair look, and I don't like all that icky, sticky hair spray. (I guess I need a a flatiron, or better yet, a fall or a wig...because I've never had any patience for styling my hair.) As I was reading your post, I was smiling, and wondering how you were going to tie your story into the pics. Nice job! Amazes me how you do that. Congrats on winning the contest! Of course you did!

  57. Image for Trish Trish

    I have the same hair!!! I tried a perm once to "relax" some of the crazy ;) It warms my heart to hear someone else strives for perfection, but never quite hits it. In this world of insta-perfection, your mismatched shoes made my day!! Thank you for being unequivocally you!


    Lol! I loved your cute tennies, reminds me of the time I hurried out the door to church one Sunday morning, hubby in the car honking we were soooo late! I slid into the passenger seat and thankfully, while we were still in the driveway realized I still had my bedroom slippers on!!! (Yay! Wonderful about the Frog Tape Challenge, the four-footed ones will be happy!) (and the room was AMAZING!!)

  59. Image for Shannon Shannon

    As always, I love your stories. I can totally relate and giggled out loud at the big hair and Aqua Net reference- we so could be friends! Congratulations on winning the Frog Tape challenge! I voted, checked out the worthy competitors but I knew you would win! I am so glad the Humane Society will benefit from your greatness. :)

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