I never met a piece of encouragement I didn’t like.

Especially when it comes to blogging.

Everywhere you look there are posts telling you to do it this way and make sure you write it that way and make sure you have alt tags and SEO and keywords and pictographs and clever titles and rooms that look like they stepped out of a magazine and pictures that will be pinned a zillion times on Pinterest.

And if you don’t?

You’ll never succeed.

Or so “they” say.

Question 1. How many years have you been blogging?

I’ve been blogging for five years.

Can you even believe it?  I started long ago in a blogging land far away without a Christmas tree skirt.  If you are having a bad day and want to smile, you can read all about it here.  At first I didn’t know what I was doing so I just wrote random stories about pancakes and twirly whirly skirts and salamanders with kind of awkward pictures and extra heart.  But the blog grew and I learned and now?  I’m writing about wearing high waters.

Nothing’s really changed.

Question 2. What is your favorite DIY project that you have completed?

That is a super hard question because I’m in an invested long-term relationship with most of my projects.  They are all unique in their own way.  Sometimes I’m amazing and knock it out of the park and I’m all about myself and pour an extra glass of sweet tea.  And sometimes?  It turns out like this.

But if I leave it to the twins, I’m pretty sure they would vote for this one.

Question 3. What is something useful you have learned from a blog conference?

I think the most important thing I’ve learned from a blogging conference how important actually going to the conference is.

(total aside:  Is that even an answer to the question?  It is?  Oh, good.)

When I look back on my blogging journey, I learned so much from my very first blogging conference and it taught me that no blogger is an island.  We all need each other.  Blogging can be a solitary sport and it’s wonderful to spend time with other people that are writing a blog just like you.

Question 4. What is something you love about blogging and what is something you wish you could change?

I love everything about blogging.


I cannot wait to get up and write a post and talk to all of you and create projects for my home and work with brands I love and take photos of the farmhouse.

And then go to bed and start all over again.

It’s like the best job on this entire earth and I count my blessings every day that on that long ago December afternoon…

…blogging found me and my tree skirt.

And as for something I could change?  Hmmm…. Probably more hours in my day.  But I don’t think that’s happening.

Question 5. What is one piece of advice you would offer a blogger–new or otherwise?

My best piece of blogging advice?

Okay.  Here goes.  It’s the hardest and the easiest thing to do all at the same time…

…be yourself.

I know that sounds so textbooky.  I know that sounds like the advice you’d read in a Hallmark card.  I know you’ve heard this before and you may be rolling your eyes and saying Really, KariAnne? That’s what I read this entire post for?

But here’s the thing.  It’s so true.  If you try to write a blog and copy someone else or be someone else or adopt someone else’s style that you might admire online, guess what happens?  The reader knows it.  The reader figures it out.  Readers are smart and they can see right through a little nonsense to the person that’s really underneath.  Readers want the real you.  The one who messes up. The one who writes her heart.  The one who isn’t perfect.

So write life from your perspective.

Write projects and pictures and house transformations and DIY’s that you love.

Be all about yourself.

Your blog, your journey, your brand (and your readers) will be so happy….

….if you just write you. 🙂

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

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  1. Image for Kris Kris

    Congrats! I thought of you yesterday while I was wandering (shopping just for the fun of it ....). I saw a cute little zippered bag at a boutique and I don't remember the quote on the bag precisely, but it had something to do with red lipstick. See, you are right--by being yourself, I remember your fun quirks (and if I lived close to you instead of in virtual-land, I would have bought it for your birthday--it was too perfect!). I think we blog followers want to "know" the person behind the blog.

  2. Image for Pamela Smith Pamela Smith

    I so wish I could go!! I would love to meet you and all the other mentors! I follow most of them already! I have only been blogging for a couple of years, but there is so much more I want to do and learn. This is definitely on my bucket list! Have fun and congratulations on being the closing speaker!

  3. Image for Cecilia Cecilia

    Number 5 - oh yes. You, sweet KariAnn are going to knock it out of the ballpark! Someday I'll go to Haven but this year it's all about the wedding. And I'm so thrilled it is! You go, rock star!

  4. Image for Carrie Carrie

    Good Golly I wish I could be there in Atlanta with you....so if you feel a "you got this, Rock Star" nudge at any moment during your closing speech, you can bet it is me and all your other loyal fans cheering you on from afar!!! Knock that Cartwheel out of the PARK!!!

  5. Image for gina gina

    Cheers to you, my red lipstick, sparkly earring wearing friend! All that I'm missing! I live a much too simple quiet life !

  6. Image for Sharon H Sharon H

    You will SO knock their sox off, Miz karianne! I predict there won't be a dry eye in that last segment, either from laughing or crying....and they will all catch your enthusiasm and carry it forward! That's one reason you are so successful....you write what you feel and you are able to express your bubbliness ....is that a word? Lol, you are TOTALLY contagious. PS that's a "good thing" to have. Have a happy and blessed day, little one.

  7. Image for Cindy Richter Cindy Richter

    Oh My Golly Kari Anne! You will be the bestest closing speaker they've ever heard! You are the reason I want to go. As a very new blogger, being around Wonder Woman bloggers like yourself is super scary and super intimidating but you seem so sweet and helpful. I guess now all I have to do is get the courage to click on that link above and get tickets! Yikes.

  8. Image for Stephanie Ray Brown Stephanie Ray Brown

    Wow lady bug!!! You will knock their socks off for sure! Is there a blogging conference ever in Kentucky? If so vote for you to be opening, Oreo ( middle speaker), and yes closing speaker. So proud of you! Blessed that I found you right when I was moving back home after thirty years. Needed your kind words, giggles, and yes DIY projects we both know I will never do. Shoot I still don't have pictures on the wall here! Thank you for reminding us to be ourselves. Shine on sweet friend!

  9. Image for Sarah @ Tomfo Sarah @ Tomfo

    Oh hello gorgeous girl. Congratulations, you will rock at being the closing speaker. I remember you talking to me all those years ago on a Skype call. I LOVE reading your words, the guys are so lucky to be able to hear your stories in person, you will inspire everyone. Do you think you could stow away a girl from OZ who loves your arrow story the best? lol xx Awesome news! x

    1. Image for Kylie Kylie

      Hi Sarah. I'm from Australia and I'm attending Haven this year. Happy to share what I learn with you. I know it's a long way to go and a very expensive trip to make :) Kylie

  10. Image for Barbara Barbara

    You are too cute! Keep on being your cute self, cause I love your stories every day:) Congrats on the Haven speaking!!!

  11. Image for Taste of France Taste of France

    Congratulations! I think writing from the heart should lead to success. On the other hand, what IS success? I think it's enjoying the creative task of writing and having a fun community of readers. Some others would say it's making money. Anyway, you definitely exude joy in what you do, and that's what counts. Have fun and break a leg with your talk!

  12. Image for Julie Briones Julie Briones

    Congrats, Karianne! So happy for you! Wish I could be there! I have a question for you? I was recently having a conversation with another blogger, and she said, if she had to do it over again, she would use her name for her blog/brand, rather than a title. She said that many bloggers are re-branding themselves with their personal names. What are your thoughts on this?

    1. Image for Botanic Bleu Botanic Bleu

      Julie Briones, Well, I am not KariAnne nor am I an expert in legal advice, but I have a little information about using your personal name as your brand. When I was researching copyright and trademarks, I read that using a personal name can be a problem with making it a legal trademark (you know, the ™). I think that may be why people who do use their personal names attach another word, like Julie Briones Designs. As always, consult a lawyer for accurate legal advice. Another thought... Some companies use their personal names, like J.C. Penney, while others do not, like Amazon.

  13. Image for Peg Peg

    Oh KariAnne...congratulations!!! I couldn't be any happier for you. You are truly a rock star in every way!! Thanks for inspiring us and lifting us up with your generosity, enthusiasm and comforting spirit!

  14. Image for Ellen Ellen

    There can only ever be one YOU and YOU are the best YOU ever!!! CONGRATULATIONS on this well deserved honor. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your blog!

  15. Image for Michelle Michelle

    That's awesome and I wish, I wish, I wish I could go but I've got family visiting that weekend. :( Well, not that seeing family is not good. Seeing family is great but meeting you in person would be great too! But hey, congratulations! Good for you! I know you'll have a wonderful time, pass on exceptional information and be the best speaker at the conference -- always speaking straight from the <3, encouraging and helpful as always. That's who you are, my friend. ;-)

  16. Image for Kimm at Reinvented Kimm at Reinvented

    Oh holy cow, now I am even more excited for Haven!! And I was already the over the moon kind of excited!! I CAN'T WAIT to hang on every word that comes out of your sweet heart!

  17. Image for Bonnie Bonnie

    KariAnne, I'm not a blogger but I wanted to let you know that I wish I was going to the Haven Conference just so I could meet you, Ashley, and Jamin (from the Handmde Home) and give you each a hug and tell you how much I enjoy reading your blogs. It's a joy to read all about your DIY projects, seeing the pictures of your homes, and hearing about your sweet families. I admire your transparency when you write. I'm REALLY proud of you for being chosen to be the closing speaker at the Haven Conference!!!! I love the picture you posted today; you have such a sweet face and smile. I'm looking forward to your book coming out. I know it will be wonderful.

  18. Image for Hedy Hahn Hedy Hahn

    I also prefer red lipstick. My dear Mom never wore anything but the brightest red lipstick. When she passed away, we took her lipstick to the funeral home with other things. When we saw her, she had on pink lipstick and everyone had a fit ! So the lady had to come back in and put red lipstick on Mom so she went out in style.

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

    I've never been to a blogger conference! *sigh* I wish I could be at Haven but I'd be a fish out of water, my decorating skills are questionable. I haven't painted a room in our house in 14 years. I'm all confused with colors and what really goes together etc. But I do love all of you terrific ladies and I read your posts and I get inspired and then I freeze. What if I paint something and hate it. I'll have to leave the color up for another 14 years until I get the courage to paint again. And I can't believe I missed the salamander story! I loved it and thank goodness for photo editing. If I were at the Haven conference and at the closing speech, I'd make sure I would be front and center and clapping and laughing the loudest! And when it was over I'd run over to you and give you a super big hug!! Yep!! That's what I'd do. ?

  20. Image for Sue Sue

    Marianne, they save the best for last. Make sure to land that cartwheel. What I wouldn't do to see that. Haven is such fun to read about after bloggers attend.

  21. Image for Lisa Lisa

    I was already pretty excited about attending Haven this year, but now I'm excited x 10!! I look forward to seeing you. Lisa❤️❤️❤️

  22. Image for Carol@BlueskyKitchen Carol@BlueskyKitchen

    KariAnne, I'm so happy that you will be back at Haven, that you are a mentor and now the closing speaker! This will be my third year and I can't wait. You are so right about just being yourself and have fun, meet people. The best thing about blogging, besides the unbelievable creative outlet, is the opportunity to meet and become friends with amazing, talented, creative and generous women like you. It's been a godsend, life-changing experience and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

  23. Image for Sheila Irwin Sheila Irwin

    Thanks so much for writing this post! I saw your IG post and it made me pop right over. I've been blogging for a little over 2 years and though I'm making progress, it can sometimes seem like I'm talking to myself. The amount of social media, marketing, and like you said, THINGS you need to do to your post to get it noticed, are overwhelming! I'm just hoping that being myself will be enough:) Thanks for your wonderful blog and for always inspiring. Sheila www.maisondecinq.com

  24. Image for Botanic Bleu Botanic Bleu

    KariAnne, Rock Star! Mentoring others and closing the conference... you will be such a STAR in both roles. I think Haven is calling my name this year. How does one get to choose her mentor? Hmmm? Hope to see you in Atlanta. :) Judith

  25. Image for Danielle Danielle

    Oh, my friend, I was so excited when I read the last line. You are an amazing mentor. I remember when I arrived at Haven for the very first time and you were there with the biggest hug for me. Excited to see you. xx


    I have always heard that they "save the best for Last"....and I think you will hit it out of the ball park as we all leave on a high note. Can't wait to see you and give you a hug!

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