BSHT Christmas 2014 Graphic

Merry Christmas friend.

So happy to have you here today for a Christmas tour of the farmhouse.  If you’re hopping over here from Bliss at Home….welcome.  

It’s nice to officially meet you.

Me?  I’m in the middle of watching the Hallmark movie about the girl who gets a job as Santa Claus and falls in love with the head of the menswear department at the store where she works but he has absolutely no idea that she’s playing Santa and he keeps going to Santa (who is really the girl dressed up) and asking for relationship advice.

Confused?  Oh good….me, too.

And I can’t decide which is more random…that no one in the entire movie questions the girl’s obviously fake Santa voice….

….or the fact that the guy in the movie keeps asking Santa Claus for dating tips. 🙂

Christmas decorating 2014

But thing is….all that Hallmark movie talk is not even the point of this post….right?

Because you’re here for a tour.

And I’m not sure if anyone mentioned this but today is take a tour and get a story thrown in for free day.

Aren’t you excited?

White Christmas

Blue and white Christmas decor

So grab a cup of coffee.

Sit back and enjoy the tour.

And here’s one of my favorite Christmas stories I’ve ever written pulled from the way back file to keep you company along the way.

Christmas decorating dining room

Christmas decorating sign

The Perfect Innkeeper’s Wife

When I was younger….I knew that I knew…..that I knew….

….I was going to make it onto Star Search.

To me….it wasn’t really a question of if….more of a question of when.

You see….I knew that one day I was going to be discovered singing quietly to myself in aisle seven of Wal-Mart.  The notes would dance softly across the polished linoleum floors….into the waiting ears of a big Hollywood agent who would immediately….on bended knee….offer to represent me.

And then he would whisk me away to the Star Search stage…..

….to a world of fame and fortune and a long and illustrious singing career.

Christmas decor 2014

Christmas decorating ideas 2014

It was going to be amazing.

I couldn’t wait to see my name in lights.


Except for one, tiny, insignificant, often-overlooked, miniscule detail.

I couldn’t sing.

blue and white Christmas decorating

blue and white Christmas Thistlewood

Not ever.

Not even a note.

A fact of which I was blissfully unaware.

I can remember boldly trying out for the solo part in “Away in the Manger” in the Christmas program at church.

I sat at the piano in the music room with the choir director as she listened to my enthusiastic over-the-top-complete-with-choreography-totally-off-key rendition of the song.

And after the first verse….she stopped me quickly with an awkward smile and asked me if I was nervous….

….and offered to play the song on the piano for me so I could hear the notes.

Christmas decorating butlers  pantry table

Christmas decorating Merry Christmas pillow

I took this as an encouragement.

Step 2 in the audition process.

And so I sang louder and stronger with more gusto and proceeded to act out the entire first verse of the song.

And when I finished…..

…..she sat there for a moment without saying a word.

Then…in a sweet and gentle voice….she told me that she loved my dramatic song interpretation so much….especially the part when the cattle were lowing.

And even though she thought that I would have made an amazing soloist….she had decided…..with moves like that…..

….I would make the perfect innkeeper’s wife.

kitchen Christmas ideas

decorating for Christmas in the kitchen

And I was.

An amazing non-singing innkeeper’s wife that is.

I never sang a solo in that children’s choir.

But life went on.

And I grew up and got married and had four children and moved to a farmhouse in the middle of no where.

However….the story doesn’t end there.

Christmas mantel in the kitchen

Christmas table decorating ideas

Last week….I sat in a church pew and waited with anticipation as two golden-haired, blue-eyed twins in matching silver dresses with black bows…..stood up to sing one of my favorite Christmas carols….

….Away in the Manger.

And as the piano started to play the first notes of the song….I held my breath and listened…..

… two tiny clear voices rang out loud and strong.

Every note in tune.

Every note as clear as a bell.

They finished that long ago chapter and sang the song that I never could…..

….with voices straight from my heart. 🙂

PS  They didn’t add any choreography, but don’t worry….I had it covered.

PPS  Hope your coffee was great and I hope you enjoyed the tour.

And for the next stop….hop over to check out the Christmas decor at Charming in Charlotte.

Merry Christmas pillow


It’s day 8 of the 12 days of Christmas.

And here’s some Christmas inspiration from some of my favorite people.

Click on the links below for the projects.

Inspired by charm thumbnail

Inspired by Charm

Christmas Home Tour



Christmas swag

funky junk

Funky Junk

Vintage Hanger Window Display

shanty 2 chic

Shanty 2 Chic

Christmas Tree Crate



Holiday Tablescape

Christmas Home Tour Thistlewood

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


  1. Image for Naomi Naomi

    The colors that you chose for your home, says a lot about you! You are a very cheery person and you do dispay it very well. Thanks for sharing your beautiful home with us! Be blessed young lady.

  2. Image for Lori Barber Lori Barber

    Your house looks like a beautiful fairy tale! I love it all! My little one is dancing at our Christmas program at church and that is a dream come true for me . It's such a blessing to see our children do what we never got to. Merry Christmas.

  3. Image for Michael Wurm, Jr Michael Wurm, Jr

    KariAnne! You outdid yourself as usual. I especially love the pops of red and all of your wood trees. They seriously have me considering becoming the grinch and STEALING THEM ALL! ;) So glad to be in your company for this home tour! xo Michael

  4. Image for Robin Stephens Robin Stephens

    Your home evokes a serene, calming, peaceful atmosphere....just through pictures. I bet everybody that walks through your doors feels welcome, at home and wanted. Great homestead. Love it! I'll be right over! =)

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

    *sigh* I love that story!! I can see it all. My heart fills with hope and love and pride as I listen to the two beautiful voices. *sigh* I love happy endings. Oops -- I missed the entire tour. I have to go back and take the tour. I missed everything but the story. Excuse me -- I have to blow my nose and wipe the tears. Now for the tour!!

  6. Image for Amy W. Amy W.

    What A Wonderful Way To Start A New Christmas Week! Your Post! Absolutely Beautiful....both the tour and the story! Ahhhhhh...this is the stuff life is made of! Thanks So Much! Wishing You One Wonderful Week!

  7. Image for Jennifer Ross Jennifer Ross

    Imagine. Just try to imagine my excitement when I saw these pictures of your beautiful rooms. It was like you channeled my ideas...EXACTLY. The wall colors, the fabrics, the furniture, the white. Oh wow I love it all. Is there a place where you list colors, fabrics, furniture sources etc. used? Just stunning!

  8. Image for Patty Patty

    I love your house. The decorations are beautiful too. Can you tell me if you made the pillow that says Merry Christmas to you all (y'all) or where did you get it? I have red in most of my rooms now. Thanks

  9. Image for Stacy Simpson Stacy Simpson

    I look forward to reading your posts every morning! And every morning I think how we could be best friends! You are hilarious and amazingly talented! I pray that you and your family have a blessed Christmas season!

  10. Image for Donna Kelly Donna Kelly

    Hi Kari!!!! Your home looks AMAZING!!! and by the do YOU!~ I watched the same Hallmark movie last night.....yes, it was a little sappy, but aren't they all??????? Have a WONDERFUL Christmas, Rock Star! Your friend from Pittsburgh!

  11. Image for Gilly Gilly

    Oh KariAnne! I love your house....but I love your stories more! You always manage to make me laugh! Your home is absolutely beautiful!

  12. Image for cynthia cynthia

    You have done a beautiful job of welcoming Christmas into your home! Love your inspirational blog too. Just a note though, I placed an order for the same tree as yours but a little smaller. the cost was $229.00, however I could not use the promo code as the order must be over $250.00. They did apologize for the inconveience at Balsam Fir, and I just want to let any other readers know. Merry Christmas!!!

  13. Image for Cindy Brown Cindy Brown

    KariAnne, I just love you so much! You bring such smiles to my face. Merry Christmas to you and your family of Rock Stars! Cindy Brown

  14. Image for Regina Regina

    I can just imagine you as a budding rockstar . . . Really, I can. I used to lead a children's choir! :) I'll bet your girls were GREAT!! And I'll bet their mom has learned a thing or two about singing since then, hasn't she? Question - Where DID you get those pretty trees with the swoopy branches (on the ottoman tray, on the table beneath "You Make Me Happy . .. )? They are gorgeous!!!!

  15. Image for Funky Junk Interiors Funky Junk Interiors

    I come before you 'on bended knee', wanting to steal everything reclaimed you have... that ladder is singing right to me! What story?! :D Seriously girl... your home is so gorgeous! And clean! Oh so clean. Excuse me... I have some work to do. (hiding...)

  16. Image for Jennifer Jennifer

    As always KariAnne, perfection! You have such a knack for pulling a theme together and making it beautiful! As always your story telling is so enjoyable. =) If I recall, one of your first blog posts was around Christmastime.... and I've followed & enjoyed your stories ever since! Happy Monday!

  17. Image for sheila valenti sheila valenti

    I always love your posts and totally admire your home. It was great to see your Magnolia Leaf Wreath featured on the Today show today.

  18. Image for Diva Kreszl Diva Kreszl

    Your home is warm, inviting and so full of charm...beautiful !!! I feel your pain, I too thought I could sing and loved to do so, with gusto. One day my older brother begged me to stop, my first realization that I wasn't hearing the same rendition he was...I still sing, in my car, at home, alone and with just as much gusto!

  19. Image for Jane Jane

    I love the story, KariAnne! The moral is: You believed in yourself!! I see that as a common thread in your life. And your daughters have those dreams, too (they may just be better singers though!!). Loved the tour and your gentle touch with your holiday cheer! Jane xx

  20. Image for Tina Matteson Tina Matteson

    BEAUTIFUL (as I knew it would be.) And, my daughter and I watched that movie too, and kept laughing at the randomness of it!

  21. Image for Teresa Teresa

    KariAnne, Your home is just stunning in all its Christmas finery! Love the story too...nothing more sweet than hearing little children singing Christmas hymns. I noticed the curtains in your living room and the fabric looks identical to the curtains Miss Mustards Seed had in her living room.

  22. Image for Jan Jan

    With a personality like yours, you don't ever have to sing a note in your life. You're a rock star in so many other ways. Thanks for being you.

  23. Image for DebZorn DebZorn

    Your home, as always, is stunning. (I wish I could move in!) Your stories are always entertaining and charming. Thank you for always being so generous in sharing.

  24. Image for Bliss Bliss

    I'm sure glad you couldn't sing because then I might not ever have got to see all the other things you do that you DO DO well. Like make a house a beautiful home.

  25. Image for Beth at Unskinny Boppy Beth at Unskinny Boppy

    HOLD UP. Whatchu talkin bout, Willis? As a witness to your perfectly in-tune rendition of Rhinestone Cowboy at the Nashville Flea Market I can tell everyone that you have a GORGEOUS voice! I don't believe it for a minute! What I DO believe, is that you have the best storytelling abilities of anyone that I've ever met. Combine that with all your other talents and you are destined for greatness, my friend! Love you, awesome Christmas decor!

  26. Image for Karri Karri

    What a fun story!! I think I may have been just one aisle over in that Wal Mart --not being discovered too! Beautiful home tour, love all the details!!

  27. Image for KMcG73 KMcG73

    Ooops I did it again! I got so caught up with your fabulous storytelling, that I scrolled right through the post reading your story and forgot to even look at the photos along the way!! (I didn't even realize I had done that until I hit the bottom of the post - lol!) But I did go back up through and look at the photos and I must say how beautiful your decorations are!! Hope you and your family have a very blessed and merry Christmas! Karen :) PS - I totally can identify with this story - I can't even lip-sync in tune!

  28. Image for Design Chic Design Chic

    Your home looks AMAZING and I'm feeling more stressed by the minute…must finish my decorating today!! Just loved the singing story, but isn't it even better when you can listen to the sweet voices of your children singing away…just the best!! Happy Tuesday, Kari Anne!

  29. Image for Beth Beth

    I love your blog. Obviously you have fabulous taste, but what I really love is your perspective on your family. You make a decision to enjoy the process, and I am encouraged by that. It is always something I strive toward, and sometimes finding the humor in a situation is kind of difficult, but it's valuable and worth it. I am always uplifted by your obvious enjoyment of your family. Thank you for that. Oh, and I couldn't carry a tune in a bucket until something clicked when I was in high school, but I didn't know it, either. As a kid I would want to sing all the time in the car, but my mom would always say she was just too tired. She didn't tell me until after I graduated from college with a vocal degree that she just. couldn't. stand. to hear me because I was so terrible. I'm so glad she didn't say anything then because I would never have opened my mouth and would have missed out on a wonderful career!

  30. Image for Cyndy Cyndy

    LOVE love it! Ingenious every year...noticed your brother's reclaimed wood & pallet Christmas trees ;) I messaged him wanting one of your family "tree" bowls. What a story and what a great idea to keep it alive along with the memories

  31. Image for Bethanie Bethanie

    I can't carry a tune in a bucket... Your house looks amazing...and I know those precious girls made you proud. Merry Christmas my friend. xoxo

  32. Image for Julia G. Julia G.

    So glad you didn't make it to Star Search because then you wouldn't of married your Sailor with the twinkling eyes, or had the two golden-haired, blue-eyed twins in matching silver dresses with black bows singing your favorite Christmas carol...Away in the Manger! And we wouldn't be blessed with your beautiful story telling and beautiful home all decorated for Christmas! Merry Christmas!

  33. Image for Emily @ Emily @

    KariAnn, I'm going to be honest here... I read your blog because you are hilarious and you always have a wonderful story to share.... Your home is just the icing on the cake. And the cherry on top. And the sprinkles. You are darling. I love your blog! Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. xox, Emily of Eleven Gables

  34. Image for Lisa Lisa

    KariAnne, Merry Christmas to you. I loved your home tour and always enjoy your fabulous stories. Everything looks so beautiful. hope all is well in your neck of the woods. big hugs to you, Lisa

  35. Image for Jenna Jenna

    Okay, I've decided that I love you. I've never read Thistlewood Farms before, but you're going in my reader as soon as I finish typing this sentence. P.S. LOVE your Christmas house.

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