People wonder if there are actual children that live here at Thistlewood Farm.


Children who eat Cheetos.

Children who walk through the mud and the rain and the puddles and then rejoice in bringing all that outside in.

Children who draw with markers and crayons and make crafts involving paper and glue and glitter and fairy dust.

Children who build forts in the creek and crawdad ponds in the field and have cornered the market on turtle hotels.


Do those children live here?


pink dollhouse


And the answer is….a resounding….yes.  Yes to the 100th power.

Those are the EXACT children that live here.  

Except with a little more mud and glitter and a friendly salamander hut or two.


And then when I say yes.  People actually lift their eyebrows and smirk at me.


Smirky disbelieving eyebrows?

They look around and they want to know where all the dirt and the glitter and the mud….

…..and if the salamander ever leaves a poopy present behind….for us to find later?


pink room


And they want to know when I clean and write the blog….

…..and supervise the four children and the turtles and the cats and the dogs and the salamanders?

And the truth is.

I used to be so much better at the cleaning and organizing and dusting and mopping and ironing and vacuuming.


But that was BB.

(before blogging).

Before I realized how creative you all were.

And funny.

And inspirational.

That was before I wanted to read and write and laugh and create instead of cleaning.



So I had to get creative.

I had to figure it out.

And I asked myself, “Why…..why bother with the dusting and vacuuming and ironing and sweeping?”

When you have photo editing?




Exhibit A.

I wanted to take pictures of the twins room.

And I set up the tripod and the camera and I walked around trying to get better angles of this sweet little chair by the window with the light shining through.  And I moved the furniture around and chopped the pillows and adjusted the drapes and I was so happy with this sweet little room with the sweet little seat overlooking the pond.

Until I went to post the pictures.

And realized that I never vacuumed.

And that you would know that I spent my time creating and laughing and reading…..and not vacuuming.




But why stress.

Why worry….when I have the power of the photo editing at my finger tips.

I just edited out my non-vacuum shame.

And now I look like I blog, have four children, fix macaroni and cheese, sew polka dot drapes, paint striped curtains rods….

….and vacuum 🙂



Exhibit B.

Now you see the tablecloth that needs to be ironed.

Now you see the rug and think….again….again with the no vacuuming.

Now you decide that you will never read this blog again until this vacuuming issue gets resolved.


flower rug


Now you see it…..

Now you don’t.


Exhibit C:

I put this monogram project on the end of the bed.

10 minutes before I took these pictures.

10 minutes that I should have been ironing and steaming and dusting….and removing chalk from monogram projects.

But now you see it.


pink monogram


Now you don’t 🙂

All because of photo editing.


pink vinyl monogram


So all you eyebrow raisers….take note.

Photo editing instead of vacuuming and dusting and ironing.

It’s so 2012.

So now.

So where it’s at.


And with all my free time….I’m starting on my first book, “Salamander’s Who Leave Poopy Presents Behind….and The People Who Love Them.”  🙂

 For more monogrammed projects….be sure to check out my monogram projects page.

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


  1. Image for Alaina Alaina

    I won't notice if you won't. As a fellow blogger, I do not really notice those kind of little details. I noticed how darling that room is. I love the painting on the walls and all the little details. My mind is going a mile a minute thinking where I might find a bed like that to copy the monogram. I do have to ask, where did you get the rug. I just love it. Don't get caught up on the cleaning, we all do it.

    1. Image for Jennifer Jennifer

      I agree with Alaina. There is a warmness and approachable-ness that comes with a little bit of imperfection. Helps us all relax a little. I also just noticed how ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE this room is. Great job! Love it! Jen :)

  2. Image for Mary@athomeonthebay Mary@athomeonthebay

    So funny... this is the reality of blogging. This happens to me all the time too. I think I have a nice photo and then when I look at it on the computer I see the little signs that I need to vacuum and dust. Having said that I actually had trouble seeing what was wrong with your photos even with the arrows pointing toward where to look. Everything looks amazing! Mary

  3. Image for Wendy White Wendy White

    It seems I have a lot of photo editing to do in my house! I love the wall art flowers on the wall! Was that from you?

  4. Image for Kim Kim

    Such a cute room and oh, how true. I used to have such a clean house and clothes that were ironed instead of piled up in the laundry room. Oh, those were the days........of a dull life!

  5. Image for Kelly @ Eclectically Vintage Kelly @ Eclectically Vintage

    Let's get my dust bunnies in a ring with your salamander and see who wins - my money is on the bunnies! Cleaning, dusting, cooking ... so overrated. Laughing, guffawing, chuckling ... now you're talking my language. LOVE those monograms. If that's how you're spending your time, keep it up girl! Kelly

  6. Image for Beverly Beverly

    KariAnne, I'll love your dust if you will love mine. And, I have plenty to love. The twins room is beyond darling. I ♥♥♥ it. Pink is brown is a favorite color combination.

  7. Image for SheilaG SheilaG

    Wow, Karianne, what a gorgeous room! The flowers on your walls are beautiful, love the window treatments, the beds, everything. I can't see the dust in your befores, so save your little photo editing fingers! :) Seriously, if that's the extent of your dirt, you have a magic house, because my house looks 100 times worse and I have no kids at home.

  8. Image for Yvonne @ StoneGable Yvonne @ StoneGable

    KariAnne, Don't you wish photo editing could work in real life! We photo edit out the dirt and "poof" it is gone from the house! I think you are on to something very very big!!!! You twins room is so adorable... with or without photo editing! I think creative people tend to be messy! A battle I try to win on a daily basis! And since blogging my home is better decorated but a little less clean!!! Such a great post... poop and all! Hugs!

  9. Image for Judy Judy

    Yeah baby! You mean just because I blog I have to vacuum and clean too!?!?!? Seriously, do some people expect "us" to keep a "freshy" house too? Man..... Judy

  10. Image for Lorraine Lorraine

    Oh crap....I mean poop! You can't TELL people these things!!! family already knows and is not above letting people know that I removed piles of things before I took the picture (little brats)....and put it right back because I didn't know where else to put it! Oh well....guess it just makes us more loveable and normal (I hope)! Blessings, Lorraine

    1. Image for Rita@thissortaoldlife Rita@thissortaoldlife

      15 minutes after Sunday chores ended yesterday, Someone tracked dirt onto the newly vacuumed stairs. Except all the kids said it was Notme. Somehow, that dirt got there without any of them going outside and coming back in. Grrrr.... The perfect house is a battle not worth fighting!

  11. Image for Anne Anne

    Ha! So funny, so true! In my case it was having 3 dogs at the same time and working 2 jobs that finally killed my desire to clean - not that I don't clean, I just stopped being the clean freak and settled for tidiness. Now that I'm blogging, I'm thrilled that I let go of that obsessiveness in my nature, I pour it all into my projects instead! lol Great post, as usual. Focus your eyes on what is truly important and let all that other nonsense go! I draw the line at salamander poop, however... no salamander poop allowed!!! xox

  12. Image for Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions

    Sorry, what were you saying, Karianne? I was too busy looking at those delicious drapes, the great pink color on the walls and those gorgeous beds. Did you say something about vacuuming? No, not today, maybe tomorrow. : )

  13. Image for Karah @ thespacebetweenblog Karah @ thespacebetweenblog

    Ohhh, you want salamanders who leave poopy presents behind ... move to the Caribbean and live with your doors open all day. :) Cute, cute room. Love the new monograms. :) Have a wonderful week my friend. I hope your great outdoors project is coming together better than mine. :)

  14. Image for Michele Michele

    Karianne, You absolutely crack. me. up! Awesome post in every way - to the *almost* dust free perfect space to the incrediblly good natured humour. We are our own worst enemies because no one would have EVER noticed those tiny slight imperfections when they are in the midst of such amazing talent and creativity! Hugs. Always.

  15. Image for Patricia Patricia

    Life is short ! Don't sweat the dust bunnies ! They were there before we were, and they'll be around long after we're gone....... : ) All I know is - someone's been working hard, because that bedroom is absolutely beautiful ! I wish my house was even half as lovely !!

  16. Image for shirley@housepitalitydesigns shirley@housepitalitydesigns

    I have always adored this room...I have always been envious of my friends who had create the "cutie pa-tootie" rooms for them..with polka dots and cute ruffles and doll houses...but alas, I just had one son...a room with spheres..baseballs, soccer balls and basketballs...oh and let's not forget the round sphere that the hamster ran around in.....I just closed my eyes and pretended they were pretty polka dots and not round sports themed spheres... Love the monogrammed beds...they are awesome!...Need to know how you did them...or is that for "another day"....:)

  17. Image for everton terrace everton terrace

    Cute room! I stopped worrying about dust and dirty windows a long time ago - dishes in the sink, now that one does't sit well, but the rest of it can wait. The Seuss quote "those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind" is my mantra in it all. I SO wish I could photo edit my life - I'd start with my hair :)

  18. Image for Catherine Catherine

    You didn't have to photo edit them for me. I can't see anything that small with my trifocals anyway. I say this as the breeze blowing through the windows sends what looks like tumbeweeds of dog hair from my three dogs, across the floors and under the furniture. What an amazing room! You are so amazingly talented!

  19. Image for Mrs. C Mrs. C

    That room, I tell ya...that room is something else Ms. Karianne! Your twins are certain to feel the love poured out on them, in that gorgeous room! Who cares if there's a piece of lint here or there, a little chalk smudge, or a table cloth needing to be ironed? I just want to look at the stencils on the walls, that adorable little ottoman, and the striped curtain rods. My eyes are having to much fun to even notice the tiny, minuscule things you pointed out. You have a great eye for detail, love, love, love this room!

  20. Image for Pinky Pinky

    Well now see, I have a problem...........I don't know HOW to do photo editing:(:( So, sometimes my messes SHOW! I wish so much I was more computer literate but sadly, that is not the case:( This room is ADORABLE, posssibly the cutest child's room ever. I never would have seen the things you pointed out so DON'T POINT THEM OUT EVER AGAIN:):):). Keep on creating, and painting, and decorating and BLOGGING!!!!!!!!!!! XO, Pinky

  21. Image for Betsy(@coastal-colors) Betsy(@coastal-colors)

    I have the same problem as Pinky! I'm not very good at photo editing! My messes show too! I really need to learn how to photo edit because I would rather do that than clean! Your room is adorable- precious in every way! I didn't even see the things you pointed out! Your such an amazing storyteller, blogger and decorator! Just keep on doing those things and forget cleaning. :-) Have a wonderful week!

  22. Image for Maury @ Life on Mars Maury @ Life on Mars

    Ha! Did you really just point out miniscule specs of dust and crumbs as your exhibit A? I think everyone is still going to ask if you have children leaving there. :-) Even with you point it out, it all looks immaculate.

  23. Image for missy missy

    Wouldn't it be fun if we could just hit a few keys and have our houses clean and the ironing done??? I sure hope someone is working on that...That room is adorable..good job..I . too. don't clean as much as I used to..I guess as we get older, we get smarter and change our priorities..

  24. Image for Kelly Kelly

    I'm so glad to know that I'm not the only one who doesn't have everything perfect before a "photo shoot". I have come to realize that half the time people don't notice things unless you point them out anyway. I wouldn't have noticed that you didn't vacumn. I have wrinkles in all my slipcovers because I refuse to iron them EVERY single time I wash them. Most of the wrinkles fall out after you put them on the furniture and your warm body heats them up anyway. ha! When you have a house full of people, besides yourself, expect messes and things to not be picture perfect. I get it as close as I can and then edit the rest. Thank goodness for photo editing!! Sometimes, I'll even "crop" out one side of the room that I stashed all the junk to clear out the room. Ha! Your daughters room is adorable and MUCH cleaner than my sons. I don't think you have to edit much with their rooms and certainly don't have to make any excuses to me.

  25. Image for Aunt Lou Aunt Lou

    I'm with Yvonne. Isn't there a (free) technology that will do that? We just click away and in real life the stuff gets done. with an "undo" option. AND samples and suggestions. >sigh< Well, real work is supposed to build character. I guess that's why I'm such a slob -- I'm already enough of a character. Oh, I agree with those who said they didn't notice the "flaws" you pointed out. Wrinkles in a tablecloth will "hang out" -- eventually. Won't they? :)

  26. Image for Susan Susan

    So that's how you do it! I must improve my photo editing skills pronto. The twins room is so cute, and the monograms add just the right pink pop! I like the view out the window, too. Thanks for making me and my dust issue feel a bit better!

  27. Image for Heidi @ Decor & More Heidi @ Decor & More

    Now, if I could just find some photo-editing glasses to wear when I walk around my house so I don't SEE the cheerios and dustbunnies, etc. THAT would make me a happy camper. Love the girls' room -- such a happy place. Chalk lines, wrinkly tableskirt and all. :) xo Heidi

  28. Image for Vanessa Vanessa

    LOL!! I just edited out nail holes on some photos!!! I don't know what I would do without photo editing! I was just thinking the other day about how much more time I spent housekeeping "BB" and how even though there are dishes in my sink as I type this, I love that now I have found a place to go to be inspired (here), connect with some incredible women (you) and get some good laughing in along the way (definitely here with you!). AND I absolutely adore this bedroom you created for your twins. It is by far one of the most darling rooms I have ever seen and it just makes me like you even more that you would show the photo with the wrinkles and dust BEFORE you showed the edited one! You are fantastic my friend! :-) Vanessa

  29. Image for Linda @ it all started with paint Linda @ it all started with paint

    I'm ashamed to admit this but, right now, my home is beyond photo editing ... :) Your daughters' room is simply stunning! I fell in love with it back at Christmas time. And I love it even more now, dust bunnies and chalk marks and wrinkled tablecloths and all! Linda

  30. Image for sherry sherry

    I so enjoy reading your blog because I can always look forward to smiling. Your girl's room is gorgeous, from the carpet to the poka-dots curtains!

  31. Image for Mandy@Cre8iveMotives Mandy@Cre8iveMotives

    So this what a little girls room looks like? I wouldn't know having two boys and all. If I were to show you there rooms I guarantee you it would be more than crumbles and wrinkled sheets.haha What a beautiful room.

  32. Image for Melanie Melanie

    Dust bunnies and un vacuumed floors are a big part of my blogging day too Karianne. I justify that little fact with 'happy wife, happy life'. As I sit here writing this I think to myself that I really need to go and pack the childrens lunches and pop another load of washing on..........oops ! Your daughters bedrooms are gorgeous, dust or no dust ! My 4 little bundles of delight make just as much mess x

  33. Image for Jillian Jillian

    Well it doesn't matter to me because I am obviously blind! I cannot see what needs to be vacuumed! With all that cuteness, who could tell? When someone has it all figured out....the blogging, the photo editing, the decorating, the mothering,the working.... could they please tell me??? Because I just have ONE child and my dust bunnies are paying rent here. :)

  34. Image for Karen Karen

    Wow, those are some amazing skills you have!! Your twins room is so adorable, I want to come live there too. Do you think you can teach me how to photo edit the dog hair out of the corners, and photo edit my pile of laundry that needs to be ironed? While you are at it, can you teach me how to photo edit dinner for my family for tonight????

  35. Image for amy amy

    How adorable and funny are you??? I wish you would do less vacuuming and cleaning and actually write that book. I could get lost in your words. I enjoyed every sentence. AND, your twins room is every girls dream come true. It's beautiful, wrinkles, crumbs, salamander poop...I'd take it regardless :)

  36. Image for Gwen Gwen

    It's magic. Until your IRL family comes to visit all the way from West TN... and all of those days spent photo editing and creating come back to haunt you like that spoiled tub of Greek Yogurt that you swore was still good...

  37. Image for Heather Heather

    Well said Karianne! 2012 is where photoediting is at not vacuuming!!!! 'Don't be a hater' Martha Stewart!!!! haha...I know your son would be rolling his eyes at that one!! How about...' Photoediting is so 'off the hook!'.....No????? He wouldn't like that either? Ok - we'll just say those phrases in our heads!! Do you use Photoshop or something else...I currently use Photoscape (free!! :D) but it has its limitations.... Have an 'off the hook' week! Heather :)

  38. Image for Sherry Sherry

    Hi KariAnne, The twins room is so adorable and I love every detail! Between blogging and Pinterest my housekeeping has definitely taken a back seat.

  39. Image for Barbara Fernandes Barbara Fernandes

    HA!!! I am STILL raising an eyebrow about those children that supposedly inhabit the house. And you expect me to believe that salamanders and turtles sometimes roam the floors of Thistlewood Farm? Sorry, not buying it. This room is just way too cute and way too perfect, (tiny dust speck and all). :-) Barbara

  40. Image for Peggy Peggy

    Okay girl... we need to talk photo editing! And I mean in a serious way... seriously, all joking aside. I am going to have to have a little one on one time with you my dear because I am not getting the hang of photo editing.... And the room... all I can say is oh my! All of that pink, and brown and polka dots and big poofy flowers. It makes me swoon! sigh yes swoon! (oh pooh you are a wonderful housekeeper!! I didn't even notice that your floors weren't vacuumed... trust me no amount of photo editing could hide real dirt & clutter.) Have a wonderful day! Now I am off to work miracles before everyone gets home today!!! (and maybe even track down the perfect quilt to drape across the foot of our bed.... at the thrift store... yes i am on a tight budget because in april i get to go to... wait... just wait... FRANCE... yes the french department is going to FRANCE over spring break & little ole me gets to go too! so now i'm pinching pennies....) Toodles, and have a wonderful day!!

  41. Image for Becca Becca

    LOL- I'm glad I'm not the only one! But since I have real life people coming to my home to stay for a week--- and not just bloggy friends popping by virtually- I think I'd better get off the computer and get some cleaning don-e. Like vacuuming...and maybe ironing. {And of course the twin's room is divine- but we already knew that. Cause you made it} xo Becca

  42. Image for Emily Emily

    I think we all worry about our own photos when we post, we see all the little things we missed before photographing. I don't really see those things in other blogs posts unless its something that just jumps out at us. I have to say I do the same thing you do, edit and take out the blemishes with photoshop. The is one of the sweetest rooms I've seen. Love the rug and curtains, Wow! Adorable post! ~Emily The French Hutch

  43. Image for Lisha @ 1house1couple Lisha @ 1house1couple

    No one would have noticed that you didn't vacuum or iron if you didn't show it to us with arrows! ;) I think you chose a great carpet color and other colors in the room to hide the grime :) Still looks so cute! ~Lisha

  44. Image for Kristel Kristel

    I love this room!!!! I cannot see past the beautiful curtains, rug, bed, walls...I can go on and on...I don't see any mess whatsoever!!! I think you see things, just because you actually live there. Simply Gorgeous.

  45. Image for Stephanie Stephanie

    Now aren't you the Sneaky Pete?!? I thought I was the only one who knew how to edit out wads of cat hair, cardboard paper, and yes, even DUST on a black piece of furniture!! :0) BTW, have you ever posted about those adorable curtains? I'd love to see a closeup pic of the bottom hem of them, too! Big TX Hugs, Stephanie

  46. Image for Lisa Lisa

    What a beautiful have done an amazing job! I'm sure your kids love there room. Photo editing is the best! lol Happy Pink Saturday! Have a wonderful day! Lisa

  47. Image for Angela Angela

    Hi! I saw the pictures of your twins' room on Pinterest. I absolutely LOVE it!! I am trying to upgrade my 6 year old's room. It's currently pink and chocolate brown, but I would love to add more color to the room. Your room is now my inspiration...The rug, accent pillows, wall paint and designs,'s all perfect. Would you be willing to share where you purchased the rug, ottoman and bedding? PRETTY PLEASE????? :) Thanks, Angela

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