fall kitchen thistlewood

This past week one of the twins was watching the movie Cinderella.

For the 5,216 time.

Not the cartoon version, but the new version that came out several months ago with the blue dress and Cate Blanchett and the girl from Downton Abbey and the prince with the twinkling eyes.

When I walked through the room she asked me to watch it with her, I inwardly rolled my eyes and sighed.  I told her normally I would love to watch it, but I had a million things to do and besides….

….I already knew how it ended.

And then I thought about how not-truly important those things were and that one day she would be driving around in a car with a bunch of teenagers and spending hours putting on make-up and deciding what to wear and the house would be empty and I would wish I had pushed the pause button and watched a little more Cinderella along the way.

So I plopped down with a cup of coffee and watched the movie and surprisingly, eye-openingly, amazingly learned a few life lessons along the way.

So here’s a few more pictures I took of the farmhouse decorated for fall….

….and a little bit of Cinderella wisdom.

fall decorating Thistlewood

5.  Be kind

Especially to animals.

They have feelings, too.

And besides, you never know when you’re going to need those mice to pull your carriage.

Summer to Fall Mantel Decor

4.  Have courage

I know your stepmother looks scary in an oddly beautiful way and your stepsisters wear matching dresses, bad attitudes and totally random hairstyles.

I get it.

But one day you’ll be at a ball with an apprentice who turns out to be a prince and your waist will be eighteen inches and your dress will be sweeping and your hair will be sparkly and the ball will stop because of you and your amazing self.

And you’ll have the courage to dance like a princess.

living room fall

3.  Know how to rock a bad hair day

When life gets a little overwhelming and your stepmother made you clean the floors and live in the attic and you can’t take it any more so you run away, make sure you ride the white horse and stumble across the prince in the forest.

Ignore the fact that you’re in a torn gown with soot on your face and a really bad hair day.

None of that matters.

True beauty comes from within.

Thistlewood Family Room

2.  Always help others in need

If an old lady with a scarf around her head and glittery eyes comes to your fountain and extends a gnarled hand toward you and asks for water….

….ask if she wants some dinner, too.

You never know.

I could be your fairy godmother in disguise.

And make sure you have some pumpkins lying around in case she wants to turn one of them into a carriage.

fall leaves porch

1.  Be true to who you are

This is perhaps the most important life lesson of all and one of the hardest to remember.

You are unique.

And special.

And brilliant.


There is only one incredible, amazing, wonderful you.

And when the prince shows up with a glass slipper and you’re sitting at the attic window singing and you want to run and greet him and slide that glass slipper on your foot and ride away to the castle, but the last time you saw him you were in a ballgown with sparkly hair and now you’re rocking bare feet and a servant’s gown….

….simply shake your soot covered hair and hold your head high.

And greet the world like a princess. 🙂

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


  1. Image for Peg Peg

    I have a fairy Godmother...she comes to my fountain, almost daily, and encourages me to be the best I can be with her kinds words and inspiration. It's YOU Karianne! : )

    1. Image for Karen Karen

      Peg....you've got it right...look forward EVERY DAY to reading and viewing Karianne! What a gift to ALL of us!!!!

    2. Image for Susan Susan

      I wholeheartedly second this, Peg, and may I compliment you on a fantastic post, as well! Thank you, KariAnne, for your daily encouragement to all of us...urging us all to be the best we that we can be and rock out like we were born to it! If anyone exudes Cinderella attitude, it is YOU, KariAnne! Am I really going to have an 18-inch waist at some point in my life? I'm holding you to this promise, KariAnne! hehe!

  2. Image for Nancy Steitz Nancy Steitz

    I adore reading your thoughts weekly..... cherish the time with family & let the dust grow...it will still be in the same place tomorrow, but our children grow & leave the nest! Thank you for inviting me into your lovely home.

  3. Image for Lanita Lanita

    Thanks for the reminders.....things we don't always take time to think about, but that are so important! Great fall decorating, too! Blessings, Lanita

  4. Image for Debbie W Debbie W

    Lovely post! Something happens when I sit down, with coffee in hand to read your posts... it's like I take a big breath and let it out, and things just feel a little bit lighter & brighter. With so much negativity in the world today, coming here and looking at your lovely photo's and reading your sweet words - it's definitely one of my happy places! So thank you!!

  5. Image for lela lela

    I love this post so very much! I hope every teenage girl who watches movies like this picks up on those underlying lessons and keeps them close to her heart. Isn't it so eye-opening when you sit down with your kids and realize that among all the trash there is out there on TV, they choose to watch things that promote good values? You should be so proud of your daughters and the women they are growing up to be. Thanks a bunch for a great read this morning! Hugs!!

  6. Image for Leona Leona

    I was a child when Cinderella first came to the movie theater. I watched wide eyed and left with my head in the clouds. I wanted little chipmunks and birds around me as well, and believed in happily ever after. I too watched the movie with my children as you did . Now I still feed the birds and the chipmunks and I cannot fit into my glass slipper due to bunions and flat feet, but most of all I have my "Prince Charming".....................as you do . How lucky we are. Enjoy every moment with your children, time goes by in a blink.

  7. Image for Patricia Krank Patricia Krank

    I LOVE you . . . and I love your farmhouse! One day when I am a big and famous blogger like you we will sit and have coffee together and talk about life lessons learned. Wink ;) Patti

  8. Image for Robin Hammond Robin Hammond

    It is so true to stop and spend those fleeting moments with your children! Thank you for sharing! Sweet Smiles, Robin

  9. Image for Suzanne Bishop Suzanne Bishop

    Love, love your kitchen (and everything you do) as well as this charming message. Glad you are part of my days!

  10. Image for Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces

    My daughter is in her 30's now with a family of her own...and I still treasure the opportunity to spend some time with her and just watch a movie together. Lots of lessons in a Cinderella story...midnight comes so quickly...but it's not the end of the story... Your home is beautiful, Karianne!

  11. Image for Vicki Vicki

    I love your kitchen. Have not seen that view before. Is your island custom built? My husband will be building one soon similar.

  12. Image for Stephanie Ray Brown Stephanie Ray Brown

    You might not know but that's my favorite fairy tale and truly my life in so many ways!! No evil step mom or sisters thank goodness! I always started my year in kindergarten with a Cinderella snow globe. Talked about a dream is a wish your heart makes... My dream was to be their teacher. Thank you dear friend as I am trying to find new dreams after teaching. You inspire me... Make me smile... Giggle... And thrilled there are other Lucy type ladies out there like me. Keep up the wonderful writing and work!

  13. Image for Gail Gail

    I have two sons with whom I instilled the thought, EVERY woman wants to be special, esp. to the man they love. I told them that the tiny touches, the tiny glances, the tiny laugh are the things that are the molding in a relationship. How beautiful a woman will be has everything to do with how she feels, and how she is shown love and respect. I am happy to say THEY listened. I see all the small things they do and I am so proud. We talked all the time when they were growing. I answered all their questions openly. Time spent with every child is worth so much more than money and things.

  14. Image for Louann Watts Louann Watts

    Beautiful wisdom! I always begin my day with you and I am never disappointed. All " Nanas " need to spend time with their grandchildren, too. They will be grown and gone sooner than you can imagine . . . Just like your own children. When my grandson visits I do nothing but give him " Cinderella " time. Have a blessed day! Louann

  15. Image for Donnie Donnie

    Great post. But, so glad we've already met our prince! Seriously, as a grandmother now I look back and realize my only true regrets are not taking more time to play and visit with my children. I'm very intent on not making that mistake with the Grands. They grow up so very fast, and then they are busy raising children and making a living.... You are a smart woman!

  16. Image for Michelle Rudis Michelle Rudis

    Taking time out for those we love...oh yes!...is so important. Especially when invited. You just never know... The thing that fascinated me in later life about the story of Cinderella is that there's a bit of each character in all of us. None of us are 100% as good as Cindy or, for that mater, as bad as the steps. We all have our moments we'd like to take back but then there are those times when we feel totally trudged upon and unappreciated. Am I right? And haven't we all at one time or another been someone's fairy god-mom, pulling together the most magnificent creations out of seemingly nothing for the biggest event in a little one's life? If you think about it, there's even a little prince charming in all of us moms--how many of us would pull out every stop and go to the ends of the earth to rescue one of our little ones? On a side note--I just love all the white on white, Karianne, and how beautifully you pull it all together. And you do it with children in the house! You're amazing, girlfriend!

  17. Image for Christina in FL Christina in FL

    Karianne, this is wonderful. May I add that being of grandmother age means ... I feel like I can rock the Cinderella part AND get to play the Fairy Godmother part too. :) Life is SUPER GOOD... and this IS Happily Ever After. :)

  18. Image for Kathleen Kathleen

    Oh my gosh just this week I had a similar experience. I was coming home from a doctors appointment in Washington, DC (after fighting morning rush hour) when my 19 year old daughter called me and ask what I was doing and would I like to meet her for lunch. Ok, I admit I paused because I am having surgery in three weeks and I have still not completely finished decorating for fall (yes I go overboard) and my yard needs weeding and I am behind on laundry ... You get what was going on in my head. My beautiful sweet daughter says "Mom can you hear me? Would you like to meet me for lunch?" Well you know my answer, "Wow I would love to!" Like you, one day I do not want to look back and regret not having those special moments with my children. And how lucky am I that my 19 year old still likes having lunch with me. As always I love your posts and wonderful stories, not to mention I am looking forward to your line of fabrics.

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

    And I think I could add one more -- be kind to twinkling eyes, if if the rest of the body looks like a toad -- he could be a prince in disguise. You don't HAVE to kiss the toad -- just be nice. And I love happy endings *sigh* I never purchase a book with a sad ending -- *ahem* I read the ending first. Have a wonderful happily ever after day. :-)

  20. Image for Pat Pat

    Thanks! Everything looks beautiful in your home and take each moment you can with your children....they grow up all too quickly!♥

  21. Image for cheryl cheryl

    ....and it never hurts to make sure that the colour of your ball gown is the exact shade of your Prince Charming's eyes.... It helps to make it look like you belong together.

  22. Image for Rebecca Rebecca

    So well said. Had to share this with many of my friends who have daughters. Today's world can be tough on girls and I loved your post!!! Time is fleeting. Enjoy every moment!

  23. Image for Barbara Barbara

    Peg is right- you are a wonderful fairy Godmother! We all look forward to hearing your magical words every day:) And you touched a nerve today-all the comments are so heartfelt, I enjoyed them too!

  24. Image for Jeanne Jeanne

    I couldn't agree more...Cherish the moments with your daughters...hold tight. As I take a moment from work to view your post...the glitter on my wrist caught my eye...my bracelet with the Cinderella slipper and Frozen snowflake charms....a little dangle to remind me of my two precious girls.

  25. Image for Retie Retie

    ....love, love love another day because of you!! ALSO, on another note, I couldn't leave comment, for some reason, about what I'd like for you to have available on your new online store - on your bookcase you have crisscrossed wire in an oblong frame. I would snap up several in a minutes...

  26. Image for Stephanie Stephanie

    My favorite parts of fairy tales are the life lessons they can teach us if we're listening. I don't have kids, but I'm going to have to get the new Cinderella and watch it. Your house looks gorgeous for fall - an inspiration.

  27. Image for Teresa Harral Teresa Harral

    My husband and I just watched this movie the other day for the first time. Since we are in our 60s we did not have any little people around. The movie was magical and that is the same feeling I get when I read your beautiful blogs! Thanks for all you do!

  28. Image for Kim (a Bit of Colour) Kim (a Bit of Colour)

    A lot of wisdom in this tidbits; especially taking the time out to watch the movie with your Cinderella. Time goes by so fast, soon Prince Charming will show up & whisk her away!

  29. Image for Lisa Mothersead Lisa Mothersead

    Very good!!! You forgot the part where you become the queen of your home and your life. (Perhaps the best part...)

  30. Image for Heather C Heather C

    So true, these are the best years you will look back on and wish you had more of them. And what are those shelf thingys next to the fireplace, never seen them before, is that some more magic you have in store for us?

  31. Image for Rebecca Turner Rebecca Turner

    I'm smiling! And now I want to see that movie too! But I'm also feeling a little sad at my own missed opportunity...because my ten year old grandson asked me to play video games with him the other day and I passed. (Instead I sat petting the grand-dog, who's been sick.) Next time I'll take him up on it. Who knows, I might even enjoy a game or two! Thanks, Karianne!

  32. Image for Debby Debby

    As an empty nester who misses and thinks of her children every day, enjoy every second you can with your children because before you know it their prince will come and make them happily ever after in their own fairy tale life! Debby

  33. Image for Sue Raddatz Sue Raddatz

    Karianne, Fairy God Mothers work their special brand of magic, even though they're thousands of miles away. Continue working yours my friend. Cali Sue

  34. Image for Donna Marie Donna Marie

    Man, when your little girl asks you to sit and watch a movie---SIT!!! Of course, you did, you are a super mom!!! Honey, these times they are a fleetin'. Love your house. Aren't we glad we married our princes? Makes life all the more better.

  35. Image for NormaJean NormaJean

    In a word, Karianne, you are AMAZING! I wish I had had the opportunity to spend more time with you way back when. . . .I love your "take" on life and your wonderful ability to express what you see, feel and think! You have been granted amazing wisdom and insight at a very young age.

  36. Image for Dale D. Dale D.

    The way you approach each of your postings, always amazes me. The tittle or question as I click on it and I already have begun to wonder what words of wisdom, what will make me chuckle today and what will inspire me that I will revisit as I look around my home. Like many of your followers, I am sipping my coffee, dog laying by my feet, and I read your delightful postings and the magic you weave with your words, has the ability to touch many people from all different walks of life, young and old. I wipe a tear away, or giggle over my tablet or in awe of a photo. Some times with a tug of my heart, brings up memories of my childhood, or when my kids were wee ones and the daily adventures. Thanks Karianne♡

  37. Image for Dana Dana

    I am at that (older) stage with my sons, and, treasure every moment. Most of the time the older one is too busy with school or texting his girlfriend to hang out with us. Today, we bought 2 two-person kayaks to make new memories with our sons, and eventually their families. Thank you for your beautifully woven gifts of wonder and inspiration!

  38. Image for Sharon Sharon

    My daughter is now driving around in a car and spending a lot more time with my friends and, oh my, I feel the sting of tears... while I am so, so happy for her, my heart aches. All that to say, good decision, Mom! And, I love the little lessons learned along the way...Amen to every single one of them! xo

  39. Image for Sharon Sharon

    *her friends...not my friends. If she were hanging out with my friends, then there would be nothing to tear up over because we'd be hanging out together. :)

  40. Image for Mindy Whipple Mindy Whipple

    I love this! I have yet to see the new movie but think the casting of the Downton Abbey girl was perfect. I love your list and I also love that white basket filled with leaves - perfection! (Especially the one so artfully escaped from it's home)

  41. Image for Donnamae Donnamae

    So...so glad you took that special time with your daughter. You'll never get those times back. I was fortunate to have had those times with my sons....and we all still remember them! ;)

Comments are closed.