The one thing you can add to your day to make it a little brighter. Because there is a truth that never changes–one thing leads to another.

My father always said that there are a few things that are always true in this world.

Words to live by.

Maxims to cross-stitch on a pillow.

Axioms to turn to when the world seemed to be spinning out of control.

And these? These were my father’s words of wisdom

Every day is a new beginning.

In this whole wide world, there is only one you.

When you love what you have–you have everything that you need.

Kindness always wins.

When life hands you lemons make lemonade.


….one thing leads to another.

He was so right you know—that wise, wonderful, incredible, missed-every-day father of mine.

One thing does lead to another.

Like yesterday. My husband worked in the yard and the sunshine. He weeded the flower beds and raked the mulch and cut back the bushes and trimmed the trees.

And when he was done?

one thing leads to another leaves

These branches covered the yard.

He had them stacked up to one side, ready to get rid of when I motioned to him from the front door.

“Let’s not throw those away,” I said. “I’m going to make an arrangement of them.”

To his credit? He never blinked. He never questioned. Truth? There was not even a single raised eyebrow.

He’s lived with me for years.

He’s seen it all by now. And besides…

…he knows that one thing leads to another.

one thing leads to another glass vase

I filled a vase with water.

(total aside: I got this vase from Target last year from the Hearth and Home line. They have some that are similar there now, but they don’t make this particular vase anymore.)

Then I started trimming the branches to fit the bay window.

Sometimes simple ideas are the best. The incredible thing about those branches. They were a little lopsided. They were a little oversized. They were headed for the trash pile. But all it took was someone changing perspective. All it took was someone recognizing the value. All it took was someone seeing the beauty that was there all along.

And something amazing happened.

They filled up that bay window and brought spring and sunshine into the room.

one thing leads to another living room

And now?

Here’s what my one thing leads to another looks like.





one thing leads to another bay window

I am my father’s daughter. His words of wisdom are imprinted on my heart. And so? I used these leaves as inspiration.

Yesterday? I decided to try something different.

I took all the energy that I had been spending on fretting and mulling and thinking and worrying….

….and flipped the script.

For an afternoon I tried with every last little bit of everything I had inside of me…..

….to leave a joy trail.

I put together a webinar to help small businesses.

I commented on blogs with dozens of exclamation points.

I told each and every member of this family how special they were to me.

I called my mom and told her she was amazing.

I smiled so much that I made myself laugh.

one thing leads to another

And guess what happened?

One thing led to another.

It was amazing.

You are brilliant so you know where this is going.

I was so busy being positive that I forgot all about the worry. And the overwhelming. And the current situation. I know it seems Pollyanna. I know it seems like such a simple solution. I know it seems like I’m oversimplifying it.

I get it.

I understand.

But truth?

With all that joy? Worry simply couldn’t compete.

Especially with those amazing leaves in the bay window. 🙂

PS Just in case you wanted to leave your own joy trail…

….here’s a few extra exclamation points to get you started. (!!!!!!!!)

PSS If you are looking for some more ideas to decorate your house for free?

You can see them here and here.

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


  1. Image for Carrie Carrie

    "You are your father's daughter". Is there ANY better compliment? Carry on, Rock Star. You are loved and adored as much as you shared yesterday!

  2. Image for Cindy@CountyRoad407 Cindy@CountyRoad407

    I love that Denny knows you so well and that you smile so much until you laugh at yourself. You have many qualities and words of wisdom or words of affirmation is your thing. Now I need to get my hubby out there to trim some bushes so I don't have to sweat. Big hug!

  3. Image for Donna Donna

    Ok, so today you gave me Dad Quotes instead of Dad jokes. I was writing to my aunt in a nursing home & each time it seems I say the same things over & over. Today you gave me a few uplifting quotes for her card. A few days ago, I made a list of all the people we could be grateful to in these times. . . . .not to send it to anyone, just to remember. And then you hear about one more person to add to the grateful list, the EMS trainee who in order to work is now cleaning out the ambulances. We all try to help others, but those of us in any sort of risk group would say "can't do that one". Thank you for remembering. Parents remain with us forever & always. For those people trying to plan a funeral or rather putting a funeral on hold, I know you are saying goodbye in a very different time. Thanks, Ms. K for keeping on keeping on. No need for lipstick here.

  4. Image for Alison B Alison B

    Love this today ! It was like a breath of fresh air ! Going out to trim some shrubs and see if I can create something new. Thanks for the inspiration !!!

  5. Image for Deedra White Deedra White

    You my friend, are a light in the darkness! I have been thinking about all the blessings that are coming out of this difficult season. When I take time to thank God for each one that comes to my mind, it gives me such hope and peace. You Karianne, are one such blessing!

  6. Image for Regina Merrick Regina Merrick

    So pretty! I went outside this morning and discovered that the Violets are blooming!!! And my new windows upstairs? All 20 of them? 11 of them are OPEN! Happy, joyful sigh!! Thank you for reminding me that JOY is where it's at! ;)

  7. Image for Susan Johnston Susan Johnston

    What great advice from a wise parent! Let's hope that we are, also, wise parents to the next generation and the next and remember that Fear and Faith Cannot Reside in the Same Heart!!!!! (That's a quote from Church by the Glades last week!) And, just for you: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Image for david david

    What a great post to start the day with. Thanks for the inspiration and encouraging words. Also, it's astounding what some branches in a window can do!

  9. Image for Michele M. Michele M.

    Funny - before I even knew where this was leading I said to myself "love love love those real live branches in that awesome vase - it is perfect." Then, as you know, one word lead to another and it was about those very branches. Divine. Hugs. Thanks. You are amazing.

  10. Image for Judy Judy

    Love your words of wisdom...sorry...your father's words of wisdom! I also love your beautiful fresh, spring branch arrangement. Today is a very gloomy day here in western Michigan,,,not just because of the weather, but also because of the gloom that is hanging over so many right now. To help me get out of my gloom, I am going to cut some of my still bare forsythia branches and put them in a big vase, to force their blooms. I know in a couple days, their pretty yellow flowers will appear and remind me that Spring brings renewal. Take care

  11. Image for Bonnie Bonnie

    Those branches in that vase look perfect. Thanks so much for sharing that idea as well as the ways that you are reaching out to others. I'm trying to do that as well and it's really helped me to keep me encouraged instead of falling into a "pity party" because I haven't been able to work in 3 weeks.

  12. Image for Chloe Chloe

    I hope you are staying joyful and happy! You are such an inspiration to so many, and your father was obviously an inspiring person in your life! Thanks for sharing...oh, and by the way, if you have fake lemons, you can't make lemonade, but you can make cute bees....being stuck at home means being resourceful!

  13. Image for Lyn Lyn

    I learned so much from my Dad - he always used to say "take it like it comes" - he and my Mom survived the loss of their 4 year son, both were cancer survivors, Never once did they ever complain about anything or speak unkindly about anyone. So, I take it like it comes too. We keep putting one foot in front of the other - that will get us all through every day.

  14. Image for Sandi from the Cape Sandi from the Cape

    You are such sunshine! It's inspired me to clip some Forsythia and bring that sunshine in my home! Keep up your fantastic inspiration, we all need it right now!

  15. Image for Alice Genzlinger Alice Genzlinger

    KariAnne I’ve been listening to “We Are The World” this morning and it applies right now, spread the word. I want the air waves filled with it.

  16. Image for Marty Marty

    I love this kind of positive attitude. Why worry about something that you can't control or hasn't happened yet. If there is a problem, figure out a solution and then become part of the answer as best you can. I am personally enjoying the extra time I am having at home with my hubby. Precious moments in time that will come to an end someday, so for now I am enjoying them.

  17. Image for Peg Peg

    We don't have any green leaves in Massachusetts just yet, but branches certainly would bring the outdoors in!! Love, love!!! xoxo

  18. Image for Jolyn Jolyn

    OOOHHHH! I've SO wanted to do this since clicking on whatever site that was from your post last weekend. The BIG branches filling a whole wall or window were AH-MA-ZING!!

  19. Image for PJ PJ

    I'm going ouside today and look for branches. It's funny, my husband doesn't raise an eyebrow either when I tell him not to get rid of whatever because I might do something it. I agree with you re: spreading joy and being upbeat during all this. Just this morning I decided to brave WalMart and shop at the crack of dawn with mostly senior citizens. I purposefully put a smile on my face and said "good morning" to people I didn't know. When I got home I realized I had a lot to be thankful for. I was able to go out in freezing temps, I had a car to drive, I had the money to shop, I am not sick,....etc. Bless you for your positive message sprinkled with heart!!!!!!! I appreciate all you put into this site!!!!

  20. Image for Patti Whitford Patti Whitford

    I did the very same thing here today in Central NY where spring is just slowly making an appearance. I went for a nice walk picking up a pretty bird's nest, seeing pussy willows growing and scooted by a dead skunk. Poor guy didn't get much of spring. I stopped by our white lilac tree and noticed tiny buds and clipped a few branches. They are now in a milk glass vase sitting on my desk as I'm working from home due to the pandemic. I hope the blossoms grow and open...I hope this Coronavirus dies and leaves us kinder and sweeter people.

  21. Image for Kathy Menold Kathy Menold

    Karianne You are just the person to pass on some joy and make me smile. These days it is easy to forget all our blessings. Went outside and watched my bluebirds busy nest building then ,cut some Mock Orange branches.Hosta leaves and Solomon Seal brought them inside and made an arrangement in a lime green vase. Set it in my kitchen and it brightened the whole room. Then I was inspired to make some banana bread and share it with my neighbor while using proper social distancing of course!! Hope it brought her a little joy. Thankyou.

  22. Image for Trudy Nickelson Trudy Nickelson

    Tell me more about your webinar to help small businesses? Is it something that you can share? I'm very interested. I'm a small business who has lost almost all of my bookings, so I'm looking for some inspiration!! Thanks!!

    1. Image for KariAnne Wood KariAnne Wood

      Trudy, Of course!  Here's the link to join: It's called Together We Can! I'll approve you once you request it! Happy day! karianne

  23. Image for Jerry Stocks Jerry Stocks

    My amaryllis are in full bloom, and I am going outside right now to pick one, put it in a clear vase, and bring it in the house. Another great message from you and your dad.

  24. Image for Leslie Hermoso Leslie Hermoso

    Thank you. I loved you and your Fathers words of wisdom! Indeed, we all have a choice to make and the way we decide to live today (as this is all we’ve ever had anyway) is totally what we set our hearts to believe, although our eyes and mind may be saying otherwise. We are stronger than we ever thought we were. It is a choice to live each day with full intention, love, and peace God’s will be done. He has never or will ever leave us! Take care and God bless us all❣️❣️❣️

  25. Image for Stacey Stacey

    Your Dad sounds like an amazing person. Thanks for sharing his wisdom and for your posts this past week. I've been struggling with all that's going on in the world and your words have been a bright spot helping me to breathe and feel less isolated. So important for everyone right now. I loved your stories about dating your husband. My high school boyfriend was a bass player not a drummer, and I didn't end up marrying him, but I did have the stirrup pants and I wonder if my bangs were as tall as your yours. You reminded me of some special memories. Hope all is well with you and yours.

  26. Image for Jeanine Jeanine

    REALLY miss getting my weekly fresh flowers, and was thinking the same thing about branches! I will have to wait until they start blooming in my area. HAhahaaa. LOVE that shape vase. Sad they dont carry it any more.

  27. Image for jillian jillian

    Oh! You have leaves! We are still waiting around. :) So, I love, love, love that arrangement. I am a fan of oversized floral, leaf displays. The green is stunning with all your blue and white. Such a cheery room. Sweet thoughts of your Dad. I know he is happy you took to heart the things he shared with you.

  28. Image for Rev. Suzanne Taylor Rev. Suzanne Taylor

    Beautiful. I always have cut branches and such from outside in the fall. Never have done the green thing though. It's wonderful that you reached out to so many with joy and blessing that you were blessed indeed. Keep smiling, sweet lady. You bless us every day,

  29. Image for Katy Ford Katy Ford

    Wonderful post! Thanks GF! I loved your Daddy’s words and glad you passed them on! Keep spreading the cheer!

  30. Image for Joy Pinkerton Joy Pinkerton

    A truly wonderful post in every way!! Keep it up, it’s very contagious and we all need for the “joy” to be contagious (not the virus)!! 😂💐🥰

  31. Image for Ann Ann

    Thanks always for your hopeful and happy comments. I have, strangely, enjoyed this time at home. Open ended days just spent doing what I want to do and finding so much to do in and outside my house in this beautiful spring weather. I have felt very content. Worrying and fretting has never changed any uncontrollable situation.

  32. Image for Lisa Lisa

    KariAnne! You have been placed in the body to be an encourager! You are amazing the way you can lift people up with just a few words (and obviously you inherited from your dad). it's a gift! I always feel better when I read your posts and of course I love the ideas you share too.

  33. Image for Karen Mary Karen Mary

    Oh, those branches! They make the room come alive! When I read "One Thing Leads to Another," I immediately thought about how one task leads to another and another! I was happy to find this much more fun take on the phrase! You definitely helped me fight the fret today! Thanks KariAnne!

  34. Image for Lily Lily

    I just love reading your blog. Every time I read it I come away with a smile on my face. You are a very sweet person who brings joy to peoples heart !!!!!

  35. Image for cynthia chilson finger cynthia chilson finger

    Great message. Thank you! And, your stunning photos have inspired me to sign up for Skillshare photography classes :D Take care!

  36. Image for Sheri Sheri

    Just what I needed today! Miss my own dad so much so these brought a smile to my face ! You’re such a bright spot please keep it up!

  37. Image for Deborah Dunn Deborah Dunn

    You are such an inspiration, in a world that has completely been turned upside down. I was a bit feeling blah today, worried about my family and friends, and praying they stay healthy. I read your post as normal, but something struck me. Maybe it was partially your Dad's quotes, but you just made me feel better, and appreciative of all I have, and the beauty of nature. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!! Stay well!!

  38. Image for Maria Maria

    One thing DOES lead to another. I also love to use my discarded yard clippings and arrange them inside. It amazes me how branches can make such an impactful statement in the home. Your bay window area looks lovely:) I will take your words of wisdom and leave a joy trail!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks so much for the inspiration!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  39. Image for Kristin K Kristin K

    The day before I read this post I had trimmed a few branches on a Bradford pear. I meant to put them in water to bring inside but another project and the day got the better of me. I woke up and read your post and knew I had to rescue those branches! I now have a happier mantle with large branches flowing, another midsize flowy hobknob confection by my sink and a low small arrangement at our table. Thank you for encouraging inspiration, creativity and happiness to bring such simple prettiness into our hope. xo kristin

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