A few random thoughts on a chilly Texas Saturday:

1. I’m taking down the Christmas trees today.  Just between us, I’m sad.  I don’t want to.  I love how the lights twinkle when I drive up to the house.  I wish we could Christmas all year long.

2. Our yard is full of leaves that need to be raked.  I keep hoping they will blow away into someone else’s yard, but no such luck.

3. Our neighborhood is full of chickens.  It’s like chicken heaven here.  We actually have a coop in our backyard and we’ve been thinking about chickening it.  I’m not sure about the poop on the eggs, though.  Does anyone have a chicken opinion?

4.  We are painting the dining room today.  It’s part of a fun project I’m working on for the next book.  Fingers crossed the color is as cute as I think it’s going to be.

5. Is it wrong if I’m still watching Hallmark Christmas movies?  Maybe I’m in Christmas denial or I just love people that move back to their hometown and fall in love with their high school sweetheart who owns a Christmas tree farm.

Take your pick. 🙂

And now?  Let’s see what the internet was up to this week.

Hello brilliant idea.

I’m always trying to hide the not cute part of the bulbs or flower arrangements.


Seriously, brilliant.

You can see the rest of the winter decorating here.

Looking for some winter for your front door?

Here are three easy DIY wreaths, including this pom pom wreath.

DIY found here.

Here are a few tips on transitioning from Christmas to winter.

It all looks so cozy.

My Christmas tree and I are taking notes.

And these.

These adorable, affordable, wintery looking DIY felt pillows.

Simple DIY found here.


And in random news this week:

This cute DIY pom pom ottoman

This open kitchen shelving

In defense of New Year’s resolutions

Tiny homes on wheels

Decorating with a television

This exterior home makeover

The cast of the Crown vs. the royals they played

How to Instagram your home

And this.  This dresser.  SERIOUSLY.  Craigslist?  You all are geniuses.

PS  I’m following along with their beach house renovation, too.

And one more for the road.

This wreath was made with twigs from the yard.

Yes, please.

DIY found here.

(total decorating aside:  what was I thinking styling this photo with those big, fake flowers?  SERIOUSLY)

Happy Random Saturday to you.

PS  I’m sharing a SUPER FUN ANNOUNCEMENT on Monday!  If you aren’t signed up to get the blog delivered to your inbox, you can sign up here to make sure you don’t miss a single post!


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  1. Image for beverlee beverlee

    I love those bottles with the lights in them. I can never figure out what to do with the 'business end' that holds the batteries....

    1. Image for Beth Minger Beth Minger

      I was wondering that also I think in this case they may be hidden under the pine cones in the bowl - Karrianne? It's easy to hide them if one side faces a wall I stack books up and hide the battery pack behind them.

  2. Image for Alda Ellis Alda Ellis

    YES! Must have chickens! I am a city girl but my 7 chickens are so much fun and make great pets....and I have eggs every day. Yes... chickens!

  3. Image for Lisa Lisa

    Happy first Saturday of the new year! 1. My tree is still up 2. You should definitely get chickens 3. That DIY felt pillow is on point! ♥️♥️♥️

  4. Image for Lindy Lindy

    There is an important bit of knowledge regarding eggs that has been lost for the most part nowadays. Do not wash the eggs, just rub off the worst with a dry cloth and then they will keep fresh for three months. Washing eggs removes the protective coating Mother Nature provides. This is great news for people who do not have a dedicated egg fridge for all the eggs our chickens provide us. You can wash them just before you use them with no worries about bacteria of any sort. So, if you do go the route of having chickens just have fun and enjoy the bounty!

  5. Image for Michelle Michelle

    I had a hard time taking down Christmas too. I remember one year, though, when life was more hectic than ever that I took down the tree the day after Christmas. I'll never ever ever forget the boyish-I'm-so-disappointed look on my husband's face when he got home that day! Can I just say I'm in love with The Crown and how closely matched the cast is to the real people? But I would like to get the real Queen Elizabeth's take on it (if she even watches, that is...). I'm guessing she does. I know I wouldn't pass up the chance to see how someone depicts my life! I'm seriously thinking of writing her and asking. No, seriously. I've always felt nothing ventured, nothing gained. And what if she writes back???!!! About chickens, make sure they have some yard time and just wash off the poop when you gather the eggs. Its not that bad and there's nothing in the world like fresh eggs when you can get them. And lastly, about the vamped vintage campers, I've been seriously considering one day in the near future moving into one and traveling to my heart's content. And these are so adorable! I'd paint 'Gypsy GiGi's Travel Adventures' on the side :-) Happy Random Saturday!!!

  6. Image for Anne-Marie Anne-Marie

    Happy New Year to you from France ! I think you should have chickens ! Imagine all those cakes ! If they have a coop with their nests off the ground and if you pick them up daily, I don't think they get soiled. But those illnesses scare me a lot too. I know the shell "breathes", so you should rince the soiled ones with cold water and dry them with a cloth. Good luck !

  7. Image for Lori Lori

    Oh...fill that coop with feather babies. We have had them for about 5 years now. You will be amazed at how attached you will get to them. Lindy is right...just wash the eggs before you go to use them...not until. They are wonderful!

    1. Image for Rebecca Rebecca

      This is what we do! And we're even in a semi-rural area with horses on our property. Our neighbors have lots of chickens and we buy the eggs from the kids--it's their college money. There is nothing like fresh eggs; store-bought can't compare. You can really taste the difference. And the blue ones are SO pretty! (Lindy is correct about NOT washing the eggs until just before you use them. And make note that chickens don't usually lay eggs when it's cold.)

  8. Image for Tina Tina

    My Christmas tree is still up, I'm TOTALLY still watching Hallmark Christmas movies, not so sure about the chicken thing though......lol. Happy New Year!

  9. Image for Donna Donna

    I kept Buff Orpingtons for a couple of years. I made a shelf out of concrete blocks and old shutters. I secured quarter Bushel baskets to shelf and put hay in them. Chickens pooped in one basket and lay eggs in the other. I have pictures somewhere. I miss my chickens. They are so much fun. Maybe I will get some more.

  10. Image for PJ PJ

    Hi, KariAnne! My husband thinks our Christmas tree is way too cute to take down. We have a Fraser Fir this year which has been up for weeks and still has not dropped any needles. This is the first year we have had a tree since we moved to the farm. In earlier years it just seemed like the house was in such a state of chaos (yes, it is a project house!),that I could not face putting up a tree. I am not sure how much longer it will last, but the goats will eat it once it comes down. Happy New Year!

  11. Image for Kris Kris

    Add me to the list of people who love the lights in jars. My daughter and I took down the tree and decorations today--still need to add a few winter decorations but I'll get to that soon enough. You may be watching Christmas movies but we baked and decorated Christmas cookies today! OK, we had already made gingerbread people earlier ... I saved sugar cookies for today so the kids could use their new cookie cutters that came in their stockings. :) I also love that Marian Parsons uses glass jars to store cookie cutters--why didn't I think of that?? Guess where mine are moving! Fun, as always, to look through your Thistlekeeping ideas. I don't have room or energy to renovate a vintage trailer, but I admit to crushing on them.

  12. Image for Sandy Sandy

    Thank you for the article on The Crown characters and those they portray. I enjoyed both season one and two. We always wait till after Jan.6 ( the Epiphany) to take down our tree. I do remove Santa from decor the day after Christmas and start winter decor with pillows, pine cones, snowmen and flameless candles. Eager to see your dining room's paint color and happy to hear you have begun book two. Happy 2018 to you and your family.

  13. Image for Mildred Mildred

    My tree is still up...only because we left 2 days after Christmas to go to our beach house. Get some chickens. I love Thistlekeeping.

  14. Image for june june

    I'm all for Hallmark movies all day long all year. Today I'm still in my pjs and snuggled under a blanket as we are freezing in Minnesota. My hubby says, "oh its going to be a Hallmark Saturday". YUP. You know what my fav is...a good Hallmark Christmas movie on a warm summer night.

  15. Image for Claudine Claudine

    Omg lol you could be a hallmark movie screenwriter hahahahaha!!! I know nothing about chickens but I am PRO chickens!! If I had a chicken coop AND neighbours that could give me advice, why not?? Can you start small? Like 2-3 chickens?? I have a friend that lives in a small farm. She has 3 ducks, and a few chickens. I was there in August for a barn sale (she loves vintage, and sewing, and she has sales a few times a year), and I noticed a chicken, walking around like she “owned the place”! I asked: Cheryl, how about this chicken? She said: that’s QUEENIE. She doesn’t like the rooster, so she MOVED OUT OF THE COOP!!! Seriously. She moved in with the ducks. But mostly QUEENIE walks around free. I was there in December to buy my Christmas tree, anD Queenie was walking around as always. Cheryl told me she would live in the house if they let her!! She is a red chicken, so you can picture her in your mind :) Total aside: I buy organic eggs from another farm and I’m totally fine with poop on the eggs.

  16. Image for Norma Jean Norma Jean

    I’m right there with you. I took my tree down today too. Made me sad. I’m still watching Hallmark Christmas movies too! Glad I DVR’d some! I did leave the white snow Christmas decorations up. Can’t go all the way. It’s too depressing. Wishing you a wonderful year!

  17. Image for Karen Karen

    I leave some white christmas lights up all year round. I drape them thru my house plants. I work nights so when I come home I always see a twinkle in my window

  18. Image for Charley Charley

    I took our Christmas decorations and tree down today. Very late for me. I'm VERY sad to see all the little lights gone now. Sadder than usual because I loved my decorations so much this year. It was exciting every single night when the lights starting coming on all over the house. Battery operated timed lights, what a tiny miracle!

  19. Image for Stephanie Stephanie

    I just started watching The Crown!! Oh my love and yes like someone mentioned wonder if the Queen watches. Oh This summer girl has to have her lights in the winter!! Snowman and UK trees stay up! Thinking of getting blue lights next year for outside and plugging up when the Cats play! 😜 love the light n the glass jugs! Hugs from the beautiful but frigid bluegrass state!!

  20. Image for Joan Sommerfield Joan Sommerfield

    My Christmas tree will probably be up until February since the twinkle lights and pretty Colors lift my spirit during these cold grey days. I will put away a few seasonal things but the tree stays. As for chickens, it is easier to buy the eggs and not have care for more animals, but probably not as much fun.

  21. Image for Darlene @ Castle Revival Darlene @ Castle Revival

    Karianne, I just love the enthusiasm in your writing voice. It makes me smile when I'm having a "too-serious" kind of day! You will love chickens. Our daughter had chickens on our hobby farm and still does now that she has married a farmer. When I visit their farm, it is the chickens I love to watch the most (after our grandson, of course!). Chickens have personalities and are very entertaining! You'll just get used to the poop! HaHa! Just wear gloves if you prefer. Lindy is correct - rub off the worst of it and wash just before using. The water washes of the protective coating that keeps them fresh and keeps the contaminants from absorbing through the shell. And the fuzzy chicks are oh so cute ;) Have a great week!

  22. Image for Francean Francean

    Karianne, this year I decided to watch some Hallmark Christmas movies for the first time. I am now hooked! Not only Christmas movies but any Hallmark movie. I have found they help to make me happy. Nowadays everything seems to be so fast-paced and insensitive. The movies give me a everything-will-be-all right-with-the-world feeling and I need that right now. I get that same feeling when I read your blog! Thank you.

  23. Image for Catherine Miles Catherine Miles

    Yes to chickens - you’ll love it. It’s like an Easter egg hunt every day! Only the eggs are easy to find😉

  24. Image for Pam Pam

    My trees are still up. It was a busy year so instead of the usual 9 trees, I only put up 5. My mother was adamant that her tree come down the last day of December. My sister took care of that. On Monday, January 1, my mother passed away. I was glad the tree was down. It would have been harder if her decorations had still been up. On the chickens, I vote no.

  25. Image for Jane Keene Jane Keene

    I’m also still watching Hallmark Christmas movies I have recorded. I’m a sucker for the same things you are. And I’m a small town girl and love it. Enjoy watching you decorate your new/old house🙂. It’s beautiful! Still don’t know how you moved, redecorated, and did Christmas all at once.

  26. Image for Jenni Jenni

    Get the chickens. You will LOVE them. I miss my girls so bad I cry whenever I think about them. They love to gossip with each other. Whenever I went out into the garden, they went with me, thinking that I was the one who was supposed to find all their delicious worms. They would gather around the French door that looking into my keeping room and gossip with one another as to how they would rearrange the furniture. One was my particular pet and she loved to be picked up an carried around. The poop on the eggs shouldn't bother you. After a while. Having those fresh, delicious eggs that taste SO CREAMY will deter any squeamishness about the occasional poop on the eggs. Do a little homework and find the breeds that will love your children and who don't mind being picked up. I had two hens given to me...one refused to ever come to me, the other adopted me right off. Then I got newly hatched chicks and I watched them grow...they grow so fast. Every day it was peeking in on them to see what they grew! This is when you want to start picking them up and talking to them. It was magic watching those little chicks turn into little chickens. They should start laying for you that first year...little eggs, but they work so hard at it. Honestly, I want chickens again so bad I can't stand it. Plus...you decide what goes into their feed. My girls loved pasta. They went crazy for it. And cheese. Go figure. Do it. You will have so much fun and you will those delicious eggs to use. The fun part is going out with treats while you gather their eggs and thank them for their hard work. Funnest thing ever. Get the chicken.

  27. Image for Kathryn Kathryn

    1. I agree I love our lights on too! 3. I would have chickens if I could - love fresh eggs! 5. If it is wrong to still watch Hallmark Christmas movies - I am in good company! So busy during the holiday season (blessed with my adult kids home and having a Harvey live in) still trying to catch up to my watch list.

  28. Image for Jolyn Jolyn

    "I keep hoping they will blow away into someone else’s yard, but no such luck." Exactly what I said yesterday to my hunny... no luck here, either. and that Craigslist dresser??? Who ever gets THAT lucky, except for my friend KariAnne??

  29. Image for Mary Jamieson Mary Jamieson

    Chickens are fine and their eggs even better BUT it is the rats and mice they attract that I can't tolerate. I few homes in our neighborhood have installed chicken coops and ever since then our neighborhood has been taken over by rats. This is a nice neighborhood, of lovely, well taken care of homes on nice large lots - all about 20 years old and we have rat problems!! Ewwwhhhh! So, chickens are not an option in my back yard.

  30. Image for susan b susan b

    Am I the only one who is having trouble seeing the pictures for the "tiny homes on wheels" link? No pictures - just gray boxes with the word advertisment :(

  31. Image for Sarah Sarah

    I took down all my Christmas loveliness on New Years Day - I love to start the year with a clean slate. Low and behold my partner who always seems bemused (or annoyed - I'm not quite sure) by all the Christmas things was so disappointed that the fairy lights over our bed were gone (and packed at the bottom of the box ready for next year) that I rushed to IKEA to buy some less Christmassy ones that can stay up all year. He was delighted but mostly because "we don't need to put that bedside light thingy on anymore", his words ;)

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