I read the most amazing phrase yesterday. It jumped out from the pages of the book and wound its way around my heart and gave me hope in the middle of a busy day.

Real life is lovely.

Press pause and read that again. Isn’t that true?  Isn’t it honest?  Isn’t it hopeful and joyful and heartening and encouraging and full of promise? In the middle of a world of perfect where everyone is tall and blonde and looks amazing in bell bottom jeans sitting on their white couch with a dog that matches their curtains…

…doesn’t that sentence make your heart smile?

It’s my new go-to soul phrase and I wish that I would have written it. But I didn’t. It’s on page 65 of a new book written by my wonderful friend Melissa that’s all about self-care and embracing your home and your stirrup pants and realizing in the middle of all that imperfection…

…a little lovely showed up.

I get the message of the book.

I understand. I’m a big believer in finding the lovely in the small moments.  Every morning when the sun peeks its sleepy head up over the horizon and the birds are waking up from their nests, I grab a cup of coffee and wake up the house. Some people might think it’s silly or random or a little odd, and I totally get that.

But it’s kind of my thing.

You see, we are best friends…..my house and I.

And when the house is quiet and the rooms are still and no one is awake yet to ask where the Captain Crunch is ….

….we have heart to hearts.

Every morning I walk into the back entryway and tell it that it’s full of lovely.

I mention it that it has never looked better since 1908 and those moldings are one-of-a-kind and wasn’t it happy with the new flowers and didn’t the rug match it’s wall color perfectly and did it think I should hang wreaths at the windows?

And together we watched the sunshine dancing on the floors.

Then I put a load of clothes in the dryer and folded a dish towel.

I pushed burlap-lined basket back into its cubby and put a few dishes away and wiped off the top of the microwave.

And I told the laundry room that it sparkled.

In the living room, I fluffed two pillows, rearranged the chairs and fixed the table.

I picked up a deck of cards left over from last night.

And sighed.

And wondered why cards and monopoly games never seem to pick themselves up.

Then I walked into the kitchen and grabbed a cup of coffee.

And turned on a light.

And started the dishwasher.

And told the kitchen I needed a hair appointment.

Then I turned on the lights in the bathroom.

And straightened the towels.

And folded a washcloth.

I always save the dining room for last.

It’s my favorite.

In the morning, the sun comes shining through the windows, making the chandelier sparkle and the burlap curtains glow.

It’s extra fancy.

I told the dining room table I was happy I wrapped those tulips and rearranged the dishes and fluffed the curtains.

The house was almost ready for the day.  It’s wonderful, incredible, imperfect self was filled with sunshine and love and joy and the promise of a new day.

And that day?

It was going to be amazing.

Better yet.

It was going to be lovely.


Thank you, Melissa, for the reminder. You can read more about the book here and here and here.

And if you want a little lovely in the day, you can purchase the book here.

And to celebrate the book launch—Melissa is hosting this amazing giveaway.

You can enter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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


  1. Image for Jean from Georgia Jean from Georgia

    Yes, the quiet of the morning allows me to spend time with my thoughts and prayers, make plans for the day and enjoy a peaceful moment enjoying the gifts of love and life.

  2. Image for Morgan Morgan

    Health and peace in my life...Great question. I am working on it. I've just recently come to the realization that I am seemingly incapable of giving myself grace. The feeling that I don't do enough - that I am not enough - is overwhelming sometimes. I know that Jesus is the ultimate giver of GRACE. I just need to learn to receive it. And to give it to myself as well.

  3. Image for Michelle B Michelle B

    A great reminder to take a moment to appreciate what we have and to find the beauty around us. Have a great day :)

  4. Image for cynthia chilson finger cynthia chilson finger

    Very lovely sentiment, and so true. I wrote it in my journal as a personal reminder. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Image for Laura Burghorn Laura Burghorn

    I love RIGHT NOW, (before it is 197 degrees outside) with the air a little heavy with the promise of rain, the breeeeeezes blowing through the sheers at the open window, all the fruit in my basket on my counter, and my Bible open on my couch. He is my peace and He pours out my joy!

  6. Image for Stefanie Stefanie

    Beautiful post! Love the idea of waking up the house. Focusing on God’s goodness and taking time to walk in His creation today to encourage peace and health!

  7. Image for Angelia Angelia

    I'd like to create more health and peace for sure. The how is a little trickier. Taking time to meditate/pray is a first step for me. Other than that, I think environment matters tremendously - a peaceful, uncluttered space that is a refuge. I'm still working on that one.... Taking time to take care of myself as well as others is a constant challenge but one that always reaps benefits when I make the time. Whether it's a yoga class, a soak in the tub, a nutritious and yummy meal, or taking time to indulge in a good book, I feel healthier mentally and physically, not to mention a little more at peace.

  8. Image for JoAnne JoAnne

    A lovely reminder to set daily intentions and show yourself, family, and home acceptance and love. Thank-you for this post - it brought some brightness to my morning.

  9. Image for Kathy Kathy

    Looking for the lovely sitting waiting on the doctor’s office waiting for test results. Have a blessed day!

  10. Image for Christie E Marangi Christie E Marangi

    We have a life full of chaos and a little heartbreak right now, but I know it will pass and God will get us though it. I find the lovely when I look into my grandbabies eyes and hear them babble their language to me. It makes everything worth it.

  11. Image for Ann C Ann C

    I try to do most of what you talk about before going to bed. But I do love rituals they contribute to our sense of peace, just like Melissa’s book will I’m sure.

  12. Image for Teresa Teresa

    I love my house so much when everything is clean and organized. My goal for this year is to purge and organize my closets and get ride of things I no longer use or need.

  13. Image for Deborah Fanta Deborah Fanta

    I too wake up my house every morning.. I find it so peaceful to walk through the rooms greeting each one with a smile and little touches here and there. I have my first cup of coffee looking out the back window feeling blessed and thankful for all I have.

  14. Image for Kathleen Heckman Kathleen Heckman

    When life gets complicated, creating beauty in my home is one way to bring an atmosphere of peace and encouragement to my family

  15. Image for joy joy

    I so love reading your posts each day. I'm new to making my tiny cape-cod style home a cozy, comfy haven, and your blog posts encourage me so much. I'd always decorated the way everyone else thought I should and was never really comfortable trying to live up to others' standards. Life got really ugly for a time, but God has been so good through all of the ugliness and we're coming out on the other side so grateful for His faithfulness. You've helped me see that what makes me happy in my furnishing and decorating my home is okay. Thank you!

  16. Image for Kristi Kristi

    I understand exactly! All my stress just melts away when I walk out of my house & into the yard. I feel such a peace when I go outside & to the barn & my animals. I'm going to try to incorporate more peace by connecting with my house indoors!!! Thanks for sharing her phrase & hitting me with a wake up moment that real life is amazing!! Be blessed, not stressed! My new motto!!!

  17. Image for Rosanna Rosanna

    I follow Melissa on her blog also!! And,I have “flagged” her last ones,(I’m not sure how many? 8?..10..?),just so I can go back n read em over!!! I so need this in my life right now!!!

  18. Image for Yvette Yvette

    What a beautiful, peaceful, and appreciative way to start your morning and to tell your home good morning. 🥰

  19. Image for Charlotte Delaire-Meyers Charlotte Delaire-Meyers

    I'm never sure if I like your dining room or living room best but I enjoy seeing pictures of both. So glad to hear that you enjoy those spaces, too.


    Love the message-sunrises are my favorite!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Love the quiet as the world wakes up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. Image for Becky Becky

    Adding peace into our home has been my goal for the year. I'm not really sure how to go about it! There are 11 of us living in this house (we have 9 kids ages 22-3 still all at home - yee-haw!!) , so it's mostly about NOISE LEVELS and stuff... lots of stuff, ...not about war and strife, haha! Jesus lives in our midst, or I'm sure we'd have the strife too! 😊 I'm working on finishing started projects, decluttering, and getting bedrooms decorated this year. And taking time to r e s t.

  22. Image for Ange Ange

    I love the idea of waking up the house, but I also love my comfy bed so most mornings I end up rushing through the start of my day. Life is lovely! Thanks for this reminder to be more intentional

  23. Image for Vee Muller Vee Muller

    There's lots of plans afoot for more health and loveliness in my life. A daily walk, more exploring of my new state (NM), more art and crafting in my new studio (husband just retired no longer needs his work office). Lots of ideas to implement as soon as I get rid of this dang cold!

  24. Image for Kimbery Kimbery

    Thanks for this post. My home has nearly as many flaws as I do and is somehow never as tidy as I would like, yet I am truly madly deeply in love with it.

  25. Image for Beth Smith Beth Smith

    I recently learned from my lovely daughter that sometimes just listening to our breath and feeling our heart beat can be bring a feeling of peace and well being to your day. Thanks for reminding me that being lovely can be found anywhere.

  26. Image for Atesh Stahl Atesh Stahl

    Thanks for the inspiration you always provide. And the laughs! Your writing style always makes me laugh/smile. I had a blast reading your first book!

  27. Image for Erin Kaven Erin Kaven

    I need to remember to "Savor Sweet Moments" and appreciate the house for all it gives to us, instead of taking it for granted or not taking care as I should. There was a wonderful short in Simple Abundance (one of my favorite Daybooks of all time) about that very topic. Read it!

  28. Image for Debbie Debbie

    I could never be a minimalist because I love my stuff! I’m just trying to make sure my house feels calming and peaceful with my stuff.

  29. Image for Jowyrosdick Jowyrosdick

    I enjoy looking at the beautiful pictures of your lovely home. It inspires me to create wonderful spaces in my home. Thank you.

    1. Image for Tracey Tracey

      Me too! It feels so good just to see something cleaned up. I cleaned off a table in my living room today. I had a plan to move it across the room but I took a closer look and it can be cut in half and attached to the wall. I’ve been looking for something to use as a coffee bar in my dining room. I just found it and in my own house no less! Have an amazing day!

  30. Image for Dee Turk Dee Turk

    I felt as if I walked your home with you just now and I had such an incredible sense of peace. What a lovely way to start your morning! Also, the book has piqued my interest for sure, I love the title, there is such a richness to the word "Dwell."

  31. Image for Dawn H Dawn H

    I love my family to come home to a mostly clean home where smells are good- through foods or essential oils, and kindness and encouragement is spoken! A safe place from the sometimes hard of the world.

  32. Image for Janis Janis

    I love my home, especially when it is neat and clean. I need to accept that I will never have the artistic talent that many bloggers have. 😀

  33. Image for Leslie Jones Leslie Jones

    I completely understand the love you have for your home. We just moved from a McMansion in a guard-gated luxury development into a rented cozy bungalow that just begs me to love on it. I find the same peace you describe as I wake up my home each morning -opening the drapes, picking up Matchbox cars, and watching the sun warm up the tile floors- and just FEEL the lovely.

  34. Image for Dewena Dewena

    I remember another post you did once about waking up your home in the morning. That one and the one now are my very favorite of all your posts. Your words convey the respect and love and care you feel for your home but most of all it expresses the companionship you have with it and the feeling that it is reciprocated. I'm humming with pleasure!

  35. Image for Heather S Heather S

    I Love that! It's so true. Real life should always be enjoyed and celebrated. Everything doesn't have to be perfect. Thanks for the reminder!

  36. Image for Peg Peg

    I love my home and take great pleasure in little things, like lighting a candle and having a cup of tea in my favorite china, pine cone cup and saucer. Those quiet moments are when I feel most grateful. Thank you for the beautiful tour!!! xoxo.

  37. Image for Sandy Sandy

    KariAnne, I am waiting for ”Alexa” my friend in the kitchen, to leave a remark some day following my daily request, “Alexa, play Michael Buble.” I can hear her say, “Not again!” His songs make me smile, dance, and sing as I put up the windows’ honeycomb shades and hope for rays of sunshine. It’s too quiet in the house. Life filled with music is a constant in our house.

  38. Image for Crys Crys

    God has blessed us so much to live in America. The everyday freedom to read His word, hug my little boys, hear laughter, see the beauty of creation from every window in my home, and so much more. I too love starting the day with a cup of coffee, and time with my wonderful husband. These everyday joys are important to consider and remember. Thanks for the reminder.

  39. Image for Kim Hayes Kim Hayes

    I love your way of picking up and straightening your home. Rather than seeing it as “chores” you put your sunny spin on it and welcome the day. Gratitude in the moment, no matter how hectic life gets,mmakes all the difference.

  40. Image for Amy Murillo Amy Murillo

    Such a lovely post. We moved to a new state a little over a year ago to be closer to our grandkids as they grow. We had a beautiful stone house in the country and now live in a subdivision in the middle of suburbia. I definitely need to find some health and peace in our new home and surroundings. Thank you for a chance at this wonderful giveaway!

  41. Image for Linda Linda

    Thank you for this great giveaway ....some lucky winner will win ! Your home is just so pretty as well as you are !

  42. Image for Terri Terri

    I need to look past all the ugly and see all the lovely! It’s hard sometimes ! Love the post and thanks for sharing!

  43. Image for Debrah Nash Debrah Nash

    I sensed the quiet of the morning after the rush of everyone getting out the door. A peaceful walk with the click of little doggie feet following as you "tidied" each room. Your home is still that representation of your growing up years as well as the adult and your life of today. The blues and white are calming and the sense of a day filled with love, happiness and joy. travels with you as you see the blessings of your life. Thanks for sharing yet again.

  44. Image for April Lopez April Lopez

    Right now I’m just trying to purge and organize my home. If I can get that done it will help me a lot.

  45. Image for Teresa Teresa

    Many years ago when I visited my sister before I married and she encouraged me to pick up my house like she did in the evening to experience peace in the morning and it works! I too enjoy hearing the birds wake and surround our feeder and then getting my cup of coffee and searching for a new blog post like yours to remind me to allow God to be a part of my every minute of my day.

  46. Image for susie lavender susie lavender

    If I could de-clutter and do a deep cleaning I would be so much happier and healthier. This is a goal for summer time when I can take some time off to concentrate on the task. Your rooms are so lovely.

  47. Image for Jane Jane

    Your home excudes lovely. I strive to keep live flowers or plants in every room. I love walking in each room to see how plants/flowers are doing each morning

  48. Image for Lynn Lynn

    Since we are empty nesters their is no one at home to blame for the messy spaces. So, we try to do a quick "tiding up" before bed each evening. I enjoy early mornings and opening the blinds for the sun to shine in.

  49. Image for Edie Frasier Edie Frasier

    Thank you for this post. It is always a lovely day - this is the day that the Lord has made and let us rejoice and be glad in it!

  50. Image for Kathy Kathy

    I love having a cup of coffee in the mornings and just enjoying being home, listening to birds outside and counting my blessings. I am content not being a minimalist though I would like to purge a little more. I enjoy looking at blogs and Instagram, copying a few ideas but being content with my life as well.

  51. Image for Susan Susan

    I need to declutter more and organize more. I know I feel so much contentment and peace when everything is in its own place.

  52. Image for Pat Pat

    Your house is just beautiful! love the blues, especially that rug in the dining room and those chairs, 😋 xo Pat

  53. Image for Deedra Deedra

    I loved this post. It's really about thankfulness. For all those things that we have been blessed with. And for taking time to acknowledge those blessings, room by room.

  54. Image for Sue Sue

    I love the days when my home is happy. Love the pretty colors and light in your home. Melissa's book sounds amazing.

  55. Image for Terri Terri

    I love the morning, also. I love the peace and quiet, the stillness that is waiting to awaken to a new day full of promise! When I was a little girl I would get up before anyone else and sit on the arm of the chair and look out the window watching the world wake up! Nowadays our crazy Airedale, Emma the wonder dog gets up with me and dances and prances until she gets taken out so she can make sure the neighborhood is just the same as it was when she went to bed the night before! There really is lovely everywhere, if you know what it looks like!

  56. Image for Sandy Sandy

    Life isn't perfect right now but I can open my windows and enjoy the smell of fresh rain and be thankful for all I have. I love your home.

  57. Image for Donna Donna

    I love seeing all the white in your home! You add just the right pop of color, especially the pink flowers in the bathroom. I will be ordering the book! Sounds amazing.

  58. Image for Angie Angie

    We moved last year from a home I was very attached to to a home that has turned out to be less - much less- than what we thought or expected. It's become a source of great stress for me, because we are nearing retirement and can't afford all the added unexpected expenses we've come up against. BUT... we have a beautiful view of the sunrise. So beautiful in fact that I've seen my neighbor from around the corner stop in front of my house early in the morning, get out of her car, and snap a picture. So I've determined to embrace what we have, and I've chosen to name our house the Sunrise Cottage.

  59. Image for Laurie Laurie

    My house is sleepy this morning, no wait, that's me! But my husband is already hanging a new, marble shelf in our tiny powder room. I think it will give it a little facelift. Our cottage is small, but it brings me joy. We do real life here, and a little birdie told me that Real Life is Lovely! 💗

  60. Image for Jody P. Jody P.

    What a beautiful blog post! I love the way you write- it’s inspiring. I think just putting away the piles of laundry would bring peace and calm right now to our house! (Lol) Thanks for your words of wisdom. 😊

  61. Image for Christi Wallander Christi Wallander

    Thank you for sharing your morning. I am trying to love my home also; we move every year or two. The Inspired Home blog and yours reminds me to slow down and smell the roses along the way.

  62. Image for Paula Britt Paula Britt

    I love my house too! I like to go around and "putter" about rearranging and 'fluffing' . I move things around, then move them back. its a process. Thank you for being a part of this wonderful give away.

  63. Image for Cathy Cathy

    I always start my morning with a cup of coffee and my quiet time with a devotion. I love to sit in my room with the window that faces the sunrise and watch the sun come up. This is so important for the rest of my day to be on track!

  64. Image for Debra B Milam Debra B Milam

    I am currently working on a new craft room, I love it already, and it will be even more fantastic in a few weeks (months) LOL.

  65. Image for Terri W. Terri W.

    Love your blog and your style. Your home looks lovely and tranquil, but fun, too. I'm very much a homebody, and look forward to making some updates soon. Your blog and IG feed are great inspiration!

  66. Image for Babette Babette

    I love that sentiment!! Such a lovely reminder! I love mornings in my house with my coffee! I talk to my house too! We’re getting ready to put our house on the market and be close to our girl who will be having twins in August!! So when I talk to the house, I say oh I have to paint you, fix that hole, restyle that wall, work on the curb appeal etc.... lol! Thanks for the giveaway!! 💕💕💕

  67. Image for Michelle Michelle

    I’m definitely a home girl! There’s not many places I’d rather be. I need to get some decluttering and organizing done so that my home is a reflection of peace. Got to slow it down and make the time.

  68. Image for Bonnie Witmyer Bonnie Witmyer

    Feeling overwhelmed? Ragged? Too much to do? No time for anything? One of the most valuable things that we have is time. Often we are so busy with details of the day that we don't take time to unwind. Check yourself several times a day to see if your body is tense anywhere. You can be tense in many ways, so just do a self check to see if your muscles are tight. Then then take a few minutes to unwind... Breathe deeply and imagine you are draining all the stress from each part of your body. It can actually feel like the stress is melting away....You will feel refreshed and be able to appreciate all the wonderful things that are around you! Reading blogs can also be uplifting because often the writers of these inspiring blogs (like Karianne) are at a different place in their respective lives and they love the feedback they receive from posting on their blogs and encouraging others. It's almost infectious! They smile, we smile with them. They are sad, we cry with them. They give us joy, hope, and energize our empty batteries. We are blessed to have each other to get us through the good days and the bad!!! Thanks for making a difference in my life!

  69. Image for Francesca gunn Francesca gunn

    When my GrandGirl was a newborn, I had time with her alone in the morning so her Momma could sleep. I would walk her around the house, opening shades and say good morning to whatever we saw outside. Then we would say good morning to the cat, and the fish and all of the little lovelies in her home..and eventually..her Mom. It was one of my favorite ways to spend time with her. Your post reminded me of that and i question why I do not have that special time with myself. I think I should get back to that. It is a gentle way to begin the day.

  70. Image for Stephanie Grant Stephanie Grant

    I would like to create more health and peace in my life by eating better and healthier meals by doing from garden to table meals and having less clutter and chaos in our living space!

  71. Image for BamaCarol BamaCarol

    How lovely your days begin. I love the early mornings all alone where I can commune with God looking at his beautiful creation and thanking him for all of his gifts. Now in my retirement I have come to love being in our home and the daily tasks of keeping it. Thank you for the reminder.


    Your home is lovely. I love the quiet mornings as well, but never thought about walking through the house. I usually have coffee in a quite room, pray and reflect as I begin a day, but I love the idea of a quite walk through and finding "dwelling" opportunities.

  73. Image for Angela Angela

    Thank you for the reminder that life is lovely because lately I have been dwelling online is messy. I needed a redirection.

  74. Image for Shirley Shirley

    For most of my life I was not a morning person, but these last few years, I’ve learned how peaceful, calm & precious that time of day can be. I love connecting with my home in this new & personal way.

  75. Image for Charlotte Sammons Charlotte Sammons

    Health and peace in my home thru daily devotion, looking at the glass half full instead of half empty, accepting that I’m not perfect but striving to improve!

  76. Image for Laura K Laura K

    Here's to "sunshine dancing on the floor". My 119 year old original pine farmhouse floors are doing a tango this morning. And that's saying something, cause where I live sunshine is fleeting. But oh so full of life, and today it is pouring itself out. Grateful for your beautiful perspective.

  77. Image for Jennifer H Jennifer H

    First of all, for me praying is the most important thing I can do. I also try to be thankful for my life. One thing I have been trying to do in the mornings is take better care of my skin. I now am in love with retinol cream!

  78. Image for Trisch Sheley Trisch Sheley

    I think praying is one of the ways I start my morning in a good way. I love to make sure that my bed is made and the bedroom picked up before I go off to work. It's nice to come home to one peaceful room.

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