Can I ask you a question?

Don’t you love unsolicited opinions?

As in…..not solicited.

Not asked for.

Not even requested in the slightest.

From your mother.


Those are my favorite.



Mother:   Cousin Candy really likes your blog.  I got an e-mail from her the other day.

Me:  Really?

Mother:  And I liked the post where you made that bird wall from vinyl and plates.

Me:  (smiling confidently to self)  Thanks.

Mother:  Except…..the pictures didn’t really match the project.  And you told all those corny jokes.  I don’t even understand it.

Me:  What?!

Mother:  It makes me crazy.  Why don’t your pictures ever match your project?  And you’re always writing about your earrings.

Me:  (exasperatedly)  It’s my thing….you see…..it’s all about the end.  I’m trying to tell a story.  If you read it to the end…..it always makes sense.  Truly….the pictures always make sense at the end.

Mother:  Umm…..not so much.  I don’t like it.  Can you try to work on it?


What’s a girl to do?


Cousin Candy and my mom.

Keepin’ it real. 🙂


Chalkboard Word Find







Step 1:   Prime your chalkboard

Find a chalkboard.  You can find them at yard sales and craft stores.

For this project you want to find a large chalkboard.  This chalkboard measures 40″ x 24″.

If it is a new chalkboard….go ahead and prime it with a coating of chalk.



Step 2:  Plan out your word search.

Design a word search with words special to your family.  We chose words like Kentucky, Baseball, Track, Cheer and the names of our dogs.

Lay out the words on a grid and print it out.

This is your reference guide.

I made my word search 8 letters across and 12 letters down.


Step 3:  Draw markers on chalkboard

Based on my grid and the size of my chalkboard, I measured out markers where your stickers will go.

I placed my dots 2 1/2 inches apart for the width of the chalkboard and 3 inches apart going down.

Mark dots with chalk.


Step 4:  Choose stickers

You will need to decide if you want how you want your letters to look.

If you want capital letters or lowercase…..graphic or cursive, ect.

Make sure you have at least 3 packages of white stickers.


Step 5:  Apply stickers to grid

Place stickers according to your grid that you have printed out.

Place stickers one line at a time, checking placement with the yardstick.

Make sure all the stickers are firmly affixed.

Your word search is now ready for popcorn, hot chocolate, a little family fun….

….and plenty of unsolicited opinions. 🙂

PS  Mother and Cousin Candy….you know I love you. 🙂

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


  1. Image for Sherry Sherry

    This is a great idea! I have 2 chalkboards in my bedroom that need something. PLEASE don't ever change your writing style. I love the way your posts unfold. I hate the writing part of my blog posts but you inspire me to keep trying.

  2. Image for shirley@housepitalitydesigns shirley@housepitalitydesigns

    I thought years and years ago when I made a "family word board" from scrabble letters it was so clever of me..but this project with matching pictures is just amazing Kari....!!...So love it!! Family....they keep it real!...Keep the stories coming...of earrings, and cute sandals, and turtles in the fields and fried chicken on the car seat!

  3. Image for Beth Beth

    Awe, moms mean well, don't they? But, they're not always right...after all, she objected to your red lipstick on your wedding day, and look how smashing you looked! Gotta love our moms!

  4. Image for Jen (Balancing Beauty and Bedlam) Jen (Balancing Beauty and Bedlam)

    As a blogger for over four years, I have basically stopped reading blogs and just focus on my own, except for yours (and a few others). But please tell ole Cousin Candie and Mom that yours is the only one I read right through to the end. Yep, and I chuckle and giggle and start the day with my morning coffee thinking of all the trouble we'd get in together if we were neighbors. :)

  5. Image for baileywife baileywife

    ......and we are gonna be just like them someday.......!;) Love the word search idea, how fun for graduations, anniversaries, holidays! ~Kim

  6. Image for Jody Jody

    "If it's not one thing..it's your mother." I use this expression a lot! Don't change a thing about you, your writing or your blog. I look forward to reading your entries and get a kick out of your personality. We are a lot alike and I love to laugh at life. Jody

  7. Image for AnnaM AnnaM

    Please don't change a thing. Mom's sometimes feel we have to keep "raising" our girls and offering advice, but truly you are doing just fine. I love all that you write. Your style is so fun and comforting in that I feel like we are sitting in the same room having a couple of coffee and you are telling me a story about every day life and spectacular decorating ideas. AND you actually do those projects instead of just thinking of them and not following through (like me!). Keep on going, love your Mom for wanting to "help" and don't stop what you do and the way you do it.

  8. Image for Beverly Beverly

    I think it is a rule that mothers confuse their children. I generally don't understand my mother. And, my son would probably say the same thing about me. I think mothers get bonus points for making their children crazy. Now, let me say I love your word search. And, I am a word search authority. My mother does them every day. I am constantly hunting "dollar store" word search books. Get on your red lipstick and make your kids crazy. It is a sign of successful parenting. Sending love to you and your mother.

  9. Image for Audrey Zumwalt Audrey Zumwalt

    Love this project and one you can get your kids involved in. Good to have Mom and Cousins to cheer you on even if they don't get it !!! We all love your style that keeps us inspired. Blessings, Audrey Z. @ Timeless Treasures

  10. Image for Jeanette from Everton Terrace Jeanette from Everton Terrace

    Ha, oh this made me chuckle. Yes, we all need people to keep it real for us. You've given me a great idea for my crossword loving daughter. I'm going to make crossword giftwrap for her next present. Well, I'm going to start the project in my mind, possibly buy the materials but I never know if it will actually materialize - it will be fun in my mind for a while though :)

  11. Image for Pam W Pam W

    I am a fairly new follower and I am pretty sure I already adore your mother and Cousin Candy too. But I also know I get your blog! Totally! And it makes me laugh out loud and sometimes it brings tears to my eyes. Don't change a thing. Thank you for making my email in box so much brighter every day! And for your all your wonderful inspiration.

  12. Image for Vicki Vicki

    I cannot imagine anyone who I would rather read than you. You could very well be a best selling author with lots of followers, your style is so REAL and we who love you thoroughly enjoy it! You may have missed your calling, or perhaps your blog is just the preliminary to your next career. I must find a way to print out yesterday's blog.... the Venn diagram one.....because I have so many friends to share it with. Please, please do not change.... keep wearing your confidence earrings and red lipstick....we need you! A 'new-ish' follower, Vicki

  13. Image for Cheryl in Wisconsin Cheryl in Wisconsin

    If I gave my mother carte blanche she would take all my rusty treasures, have them sand blasted, and painted with glossy paint. Sometimes the contrast in taste is entertaining.

  14. Image for Mah Mah

    Did she miss the one about your bobby pin? She really needs to read that one, it would open up her world and things would be completely clear to her! Please don't change your style of writing it makes my day!

  15. Image for Regina Regina

    I totally understand, and I GET YOU! My mom likes to give "constructive criticism," too . . . :) Plus, I made my husband, also a Spreadsheet, read your blog from yesterday. He loved it, the romantic softy! This is such a cool project! I can see all SORTS of possibilities . . . .

  16. Image for Linda Linda

    So funny!! Yes, sometimes those we love feel compelled to give us advice. I lately find that it is getting harder to always follow the train of thought on facebook and things like that and I think it must be generational to some extent. ;)). Don't worry, you are doing a great job with everything and we all look forward to your posts. The word find puzzle is so cute!! Thanks for sharing with us all. Blessings, Linda

  17. Image for Diane Diane

    Tell your Mom to stop listening to cousin Candy! I get your blog and your writing, don't change a thing! Just tell Mom to take her time and read it more carefully, she will hear your voice, your writers voice coming through. It may not be the same voice she hears when she is around you, I know my daughter is a writer too, an amazing writer like you and I am so very proud of her, even though she too has a different voice when she writes. ~Diane

  18. Image for Bliss Bliss

    All I ever got was "My GOD Bliss your windows are dirty!". But whenever my mom visited she cleaned my stove. She's been gone 12 years now. I clean my windows all the time and have to do the stove myself. Bliss

  19. Image for GinaE GinaE

    With all due respect to your mom and cousin, please, don't change a thing about your blog. I love it just as your write it!

  20. Image for Cindy @ sunsetcoasting.blogspot.com Cindy @ sunsetcoasting.blogspot.com

    Oh great! Now your mom will complain that your story has nothing to do with your project! AGAIN!! Seriously, I love your style so keep up the great posts and projects. My mom finally figured out how to read my blog and had to 'should all over it'. She told me I should have said I had seen Sandra Bullock and Jesse James by their house at times. Their home is in a neighboring area that I highlighted in a post.. check out the pic here if you want https://sunsetcoasting.blogspot.com/2013/04/sunset-coasting-sunday-sunset-beach.html

  21. Image for Claudine Claudine

    HAHAHAHA, Karianne!!! Me too! I don't like the way you write! You make me LAUGH, and you make me CRY!!!! why don't you write a blog that keeps my face STRAIGHT when I read it???!!!! LOL!!! Thank you for sharing!!!!

  22. Image for Angela Angela

    Thank God for moms and cousins, right?!! You know how I feel about your writing!! Don't change a thing!! I'm sure one day I will be that way with my daughter too! ha ha!! p.s. love the chalkboard!!~~Angela

  23. Image for Gee Gee

    Hahahahaa... ( sharing a knowing laugh) Nothing like family to put you in your humble place. Or try to anyway... gotta luv them. They keep it real! Luv the word search. **ideas running through head** Have a wonderful weekend. Luv to Mom and Aunt Candy. Hugs, Gee

  24. Image for Patty O Patty O

    I completely understand your family situation!!!! Love the rellies - but be your own person and know that we LOVE reading the way you write - and yes, your pictures do come together! (ps - they'd probably be appalled by the way I write! :) )

  25. Image for Gwen Gwen

    Oh, girl! I hope they read it it all the way through to see your profession of love! And just so you know, even if your mom doesn't quite "get" you... you definitely have kindred-spirits {complete with tingers} who do...

  26. Image for Lori Lucas Lori Lucas

    Hey!! I do this in my actual (high school English) classroom. Well, technically right outside the door. So that the kids have something to do in the hallway besides to grope each other!! I also have one that I have magnetized and I have several boxes of the magnetic poetry words on it. I let the kids leave me poetry. (Or in some cases poetry that shows you they WISH they were groping!!) I always mess those words up quickly tho! Lori Lucas

  27. Image for gina gina

    I love this project! I was going to make crossword art, but the word search on chalkboard is one I've never seen before. But, that's you: unique, special, amazing! As for your stories, please tell your mom that they affirm us. We can relate so much. I, too, have a mom issue going on right now. See....affirmation! :)

  28. Image for Gwen Gwen

    Did you know that at a Mothers Day Brunch at my Moms church years ago they had a local university professor who researched cartoons and say your story telling blog and why say I laugh so hard I cry but oh another person would just nod politely? He discovered it has to do with birth order. I won't explain his detailed message but basically though we are born to the same family it is not really the same for another one has been added to the group. Now what his Scriptural message was, I've forgotten (isn't that awful?!) but I've often thought about that when I find something sooo funny--I loved Woody Woodpecker the cartoon but could not stand my bros fave --Roadrunner .... So in your Mom's defense, is her birth order different than yours?!! Umm, did you get all that? If not, it's your birth order. That professor said...

  29. Image for Laura Laura

    My mom is 88 and she is still giving me unsolicited advice. Now if she would just give me some of her 3 million pairs of earrings. xo Laura

  30. Image for Erin @ His & Hers Erin @ His & Hers

    My fave is unsolicited opinions from MIL. Gets me every time. It's gorgeous! And I definitely just spent more than 30 seconds trying to figure out why you circled "REEHC" and whether or not that was actually a word.. :P

  31. Image for Pinky Pinky

    I love you. And your Mom and cousin Candy for keeping youon your toes:):) LOOOOOVE the chalkboard!!!!!!!!!!!!! I wish my kids were still little, I woud totally do this................................

  32. Image for Suzanne of SimplySuzannesATHome Suzanne of SimplySuzannesATHome

    I LOVE this idea! I have a blank wall in my son's room that's just BEGGING for a chalkboard crossword! Thanks for sharing!

  33. Image for Sarah Sarah

    Oh, please don't listen to your mom and cousin Candy. I love your style! It's what keeps me coming back. Thistlewood Farms is a favorite destination. I can always depend on you to make me smile and laugh, and ever chock up with emotion from time to time. There is none like Thistlewood Farms because there is only one uniquely KariAnne! ~ Sarah

  34. Image for Adrienne Adrienne

    So copying this project! LOVE that you use stick on letters too! May just buy some Lee press on nails while I'm at the store...and red lipstick...and dangly earrings and get to work! Thanks Karianne! Love my daily laugh :)

  35. Image for Lori Ryan Lori Ryan

    Love this! Just curious as to where you got your stickers? I searched all over walmart and found nothing but black. I guess hobby lobby is my next stop.

  36. Image for Courtney Taylor Courtney Taylor

    I enjoy so many blogs, but lets me just say I believe yours is hands down the BEST blog in blog land!! You never cease to amaze me with your creativity and your projects continually blow my mind. Keep it up!!

  37. Image for Kelli Kelli

    Oh girl. Just know that I know. lol! Please keep being you. I LOVE the way that you write. I would miss it so. (Sorry in advance...to your mom.) ;) ~k.

  38. Image for Lynn in FL Lynn in FL

    Dear Karianne's Mom-- It's a Venn diagram thing, I guess, but Karianne's charming, sometimes rambling, sometimes unrelated picture hopping is what makes her the most wonderful blogger out there....you raised a perfectly lovely, slightly complicated, twisty-turny sweetheart of a girl, and we fellow Venn diagrams just love her...great job, Mom, on bringing up this treasure for us all to enjoy! Lynn...a Venn diagram grandma in Florida

  39. Image for trinamick trinamick

    I have to tell you that I have been stalking..I mean following you for a few months and I am totally a huge fan! I love the way you write. I would love to meet you in person and just hang out at Walmart waiting for burgulars and eating pizza from a gas station. Thanks for being here!

  40. Image for Ms she Ms she

    Just want to say hello. You have a lovely website...and photos. Would lovefor you to visit my site sometime. I'll be back. Sheila. mykentuckyliving.wordpress.com

  41. Image for Tammy Tammy

    I just had to leave a comment , First I fell across your page looking through ideas off Pinterest of course, That was post by a neighbor I think she said , And I just happen to read instead of just drop by to view pics,, and I read the comments that were left even after reading your post . I have to say , MOM please leave your baby girl alone , you done a great job , NOW LET HER BE WHO GOD INTENDED HER TO BE ,,, and for the rest ,all I can say id there are a billion opinions , try another page ,another site that truly needs your opinion , wink! wink! P.S , Be Patient with your elders ,we are wiser at some things and just totally stupid or Forget to others.. and keep the mom and candy stories going ,in my opinion ,wink ,, your awesome you are blessed with a few talents ..God Bless.. Ms Tammy

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