How do you organize your day?

Do you just take the tasks as they show up?

Do you just clear your schedule and get ready for all the last-minute things that come your way?

Do you make a list?

If you are a list maker, have you ever had a day where your to-do list stretches around the block?

You try and get it all done.


You try and try and try and try, but for every item that you check off, you add two more.

And somewhere… the middle of all that trying…..

….you have a brilliant idea. 🙂

You are going to multi-task.

I know—right?  Brilliant. Just between us? I thought it was a brilliant idea, too.

Two things at the same time?

Crossing two items off the list with a single stroke of the pencil?


Brilliant idea you tell yourself.  Simply brilliant.

It has to work.  I mean, you’ve seen your mom successfully do it and she’s amazing. You’ve seen friends multi-task with super time-efficient results.

I mean, really?

How hard can it be?

Kind of like rubbing your stomach and patting your head.

// solar lanterns //

At first, the whole thing works like a charm.

You order groceries on your phone while adding grapevine pumpkins to urns on the front porch.

You edit all the photos for this post while supervising the vacuum cleaner on the floor.

You sweep off the porch and clean off the top of these amazing solar lanterns so that they will shine brightly throughout the fall season without any batteries or electricity—all while practicing your speech for a social media marketing event next week.

(total aside: I’ve shared the lanterns before in the spring and you all sold them OUT. You can see the solar lanterns here.)

You become the most efficient of people.

Like a talk show might call you up to interview you to see how you get it all done. Or the local news might stop by with cameras just to witness all your efficiency.


If you were a superhero they would call you the efficienterator.

Along the way, something amazing happens.

Your list gets shorter and shorter and shorter. You decorate the porch in under an hour. You add the leaves and the urns and these large grapevine pumpkins and stems and stand back and celebrate you and your fall decorating self.

You blink twice and there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

Why didn’t I try this before you tell yourself?

It’s going so well and zipping by so fast without a hitch.  Everything is wonderful.  Everything is working out.


Until it doesn’t.

Until you decide that you are going to cut off the hem of your new jeans to fray them and talk on the phone at the same time.

Simple, right?

I mean isn’t that what speakerphones are for?

And besides? Remember?


The conversation goes a little like this.

You: (phone under your chin–jeans in the other scissors in the other) Hello?

Her: I need your opinion.

You: (clip….clip….clip) Of course.  You have come to the right place.  My specialty is opinions.

Her:  What do you think if I go skiing right before Christmas?

You:  (clip) Sounds like fun. (clip) Who are you going with? (clip clip ) I think I…...(pauses)  

……ohhhhhhh nooooooooooo.



You:  (with the sound of anguish in your voice) I have to call you back.

You get off the phone because you’ve just clipped your jeans right into TWO COMPLETELY DIFFERENT LENGTHS.


And now one of the legs is waaaay too short to even be considered cropped. It’s heading into gaucho territory.

Good times.

Now you’ve added—“google how to cut jeans into jean shorts” to your to-do list.

And instead of multitasking?


You’re extra-tasking.

The moral of the story?  The lesson learned right here in the middle of this fall tour of my front porch?

Multi-tasking is awesome.

But trying to get everything done in double time can be overwhelming and exhausting.

So today my friends take a lesson from someone who has a new pair of cut-off jean shorts.

Press the pause button.

Slow down.

Take a break.

Then look around at the beautiful fall leaves outside, smell the crispness in the air, smile at the world, take a sip of coffee, enjoy the sunshine….

….and tackle one thing at a time. 🙂

disclosure: affiliate links are used in this post.

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  1. Image for Connie Connie

    Love your porch! Where did you get the grapevine pumpkins? I love the use of the big white pumpkins as well, they add just enough to calm everything else. Love it!

  2. Image for Betsy Betsy

    It’s a lesson that took me years to learn but I’m grateful I did. Now I find joy in focusing on one thing at a time and I come away feeling good about what I’ve accomplished.

  3. Image for Jodena Beale Jodena Beale

    Ha ha ha!!! So funny. Been there done that but mine was a dress that went every way but right. I am sure you look adorable in cut off shorts too. Love the grapevine pumpkins.

  4. Image for Suzanne Bischoff Suzanne Bischoff

    Dear Karianne, I love your website, blog, and decorating common sense. I just noticed a political ad in the lower right corner. Please, please, please consider not using your platform in this manner. You have always been a fresh relief from the turmoil in our country today. Thanks Suzanne

    1. Image for KariAnne Wood KariAnne Wood

      I am SO SO SO SO sorry!!!!! I have all political ads turned off on my end---one of them must have snuck through! Please accept my apologies! I'll let them know! Happy day, KariAnne

  5. Image for Eileen Eileen

    As usual, entertaining and funny. Btw, I will NEVER understand cutting up one's jeans. I grew up on a farm, went to a one-room schoolhouse(actually private tutoring, as I look back) and anyone wearing anything but clean, neat jeans was looked at strangely. And a rip....absolutely not!! My mother would have been horrified. Good times....and so innocent times. Have a great day!!

    1. Image for KariAnne Wood KariAnne Wood

      Eileen, I have to cut mine because I'm so short! Most jeans are way too long for me! I used to pay to have them altered---now I just cut them on and fray the ends---so much cheaper! Happy day! KariAnne

  6. Image for Tammy C Tammy C

    KariAnnie will be bringing gaucho pants back in full-force!!! I getcha KariAnne. I am under 5' and the struggle is real.

  7. Image for Debbie Debbie

    Your porch is beautiful! Thanks for the great advice. We all need to slow down a little and enjoy our lives. Have a beautiful and blessed day .

  8. Image for Teresa Gonzales Teresa Gonzales

    I was chuckling through your story knowing there was an until…sorry it was your new jeans that took a beating!

  9. Image for Rizae Rizae

    Love this story! I think we've all done something like this... I too would love to know where you got the grapevine pumpkins? Such a happy, welcoming front porch. Big hugs

  10. Image for Teddee Grace Teddee Grace

    Your experience brought this back: I was in my 20s, living in Chicago and preparing for a trip, via Eastern Airlines...remember them? the Bahamas with a girlfriend. Total excitement having never been outside the U.S. Never much for sewing, I decided I definitely needed to hem a dress into the popular mini length for the trip and started to cut it off at the turn-up, not allowing for the hem. I caught my error, used iron-on tape to "heal" that first short cut...measure twice, cut once!...went ahead and hemmed the dress and wore it, not only for that trip but for quite some time thereafter with no one the wiser.

  11. Image for Glynis Wood-Alberts Glynis Wood-Alberts

    Hi Karianne Ads are overwhelmed your content making it super hard to read. I thought you would like to know. Glynis

    1. Image for KariAnne Wood KariAnne Wood

      Glynis, I’m so sorry! I had actually removed all the ads from the center of my content! There’s an ad at the top and the bottom and if you click out of them, you should be able to read the post without any ads interfering at all! Let me know if this makes sense – – or if you were seeing something differently! I just really want the best experience for everyone! happy day, karianne

  12. Image for Susan Sikes Susan Sikes

    I always thought I was pretty good at multitasking, but I’ve found out that I’m not really listening to people when doing other things. I’ve missed some pretty important information. 😳 I don’t even have an excuse.

  13. Image for Karen B. Karen B.

    I have to admit I've done this kind of multi-tasking and somehow something always goes a little wonky. Still, your front porch is magazine worthy. I guess you'll have to start shopping for another new pair of jeans. 😢 Have a great weekend. Karen B.

  14. Image for Carol Carol

    I'm going so fast I didn't even reply to this "stop and smell the flowers" writing the day it was sent. You so speak the truth! So sorry about the sewing mishap...but we've all been there. And if I don't slow down, I'll be next!!! Carol

  15. Image for Michele M. Michele M.

    OOOPPS! No one can spin a story of catastrophe into reading pleasure like you do, KA. You will love those shorts next year in your 100+ degree heat. Maybe. Sorry 'bout that whoopsie. Ugh.

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