Random thoughts on a cold Saturday morning.

Just add coffee.

1.  Does anyone have a recommendation for a really good hand cream?  I’ve tried almost everything and my hands look like I was around when Columbus discovered America.

2.  The sweetest kitten showed up on our doorstep.

Once my children saw him, he became a member of the family.

His name is Nash (as in Steve…the basketball player).

3.  I love singing “Let it Go” at the top of my lungs in the car.

Preferably with the windows rolled up. 🙂

4.  Don’t you think the idea of an entire Christmas tree covered in nothing but snowflakes sounds so pretty?

5.  Is it wrong if I’m hooked on the Hallmark channel?

Even if I can figure out the plot in the first five minutes.

I can’t help it.

Nothing makes me smile more than a happily ever after.


Faux fur is everywhere this season.

Make your own fur garland for your Christmas tree in under 10 minutes.

And it’s no-sew.

DIY instructions found here.

Cinnamon Pie Crust Inspired By Charm

Did you see this pie crust?


Cinnamon Roll Apple Pie.  Ummm….yes, please. 🙂

You can thank Michael for the recipe….found here.


A way to count down to Christmas that’s easy as pie.

Oh wait….that was the last link. 🙂

Here’s a printable advent calendar for your fridge.

You can download it for free….here.


Prettiest Thanksgiving table ever.

Blue and white and friends and family and thankfulness.

Do you need anything more?


SoD Thistlewood Interview

I love this interview.

Jackie from Teal and Lime has started The School of Decorating.

And she asked to interview me.  Between us….I’m not sure she knew what she was getting into.

Bless my heart.  She couldn’t really get a word in edgewise.

I watched it.  And I made myself laugh.  Truly.

You can click here to see the interview….but it’s only available for non-members until 8pm CST on Sunday.

You can learn more about The School of Decorating….here.


And in random news this week:

Best pumpkin pie decorating idea EVER.

Turn a magazine page into a bow.

Easy solution to whiten your pillow.

Best transformation of a hollow core door.

And seriously….this literally made me laugh out loud.

gifts for chocolate-lovers

//1.  Fondue Set //2.  Box of Chocolates //3.  Peppermint Bark // 4. Patterned Mugs//5.  Brocade Knit Throw//6.  Chocolate Bar Pack//7.  Hot Chocolate Variety Pack//

And one more for the road.

I’m so excited to be partnering with Macy’s this Christmas to showcase some fun gift ideas.

Even with all the broccoli I’ve eaten over the past six months….

….my heart still belongs to chocolate.

Here’s a few suggestions for the chocolate lover or gourmet food connoisseur your life.

Happy shopping. 🙂

I was compensated by Macy’s for this partnership…but all ideas and opinions and love of anything chocolate are completely my own.
Please see my disclosure policy for more information.

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


  1. Image for Kelly Kelly

    The best hand cream is from Bath and Body it is part of the CO Bigelow brand and called "Chapped Hands Remedy it is expensive but well worth it, I usually wait for a BOGO or BTGO sale...I have tried all kinds of products and in a pinch will use the Eucerin hand cream...but the Chapped Hands Remedy is my favorite.

    1. Image for Mary Mary

      The chapped hand remedy by CO Bigelow is the best! My hands are already raw and dried out with all the grouting and tiling we've been doing - I used my regular remedy of vinegar soak and almond oil... It wasn't cutting it so I had to restock on the chapped hand remedy. Just a tip - don't use just before driving! It can be a little greasy for the first 20 min or so.

  2. Image for maria maria

    i love this blog. it is to me, whar the hallmark channel is to you. i love that it is real, fun, creative and worthy of a second cup of coffee to read it...

  3. Image for Gilly Gilly

    I always look forward to getting your posts.....without a doubt you make me laugh and smile and completely agree with you on everything! My daughter and I sing "let it go" in the car too....but we also love "do wanna build a snowman". Agree you with you on the Hallmark channel matter how obvious it is, it just makes you happy inside!

  4. Image for sherry guitard sherry guitard

    The hand cream I LOVE is McBloom's. It is expensive, but so worth it! ( I usually hint around for my husband to get it for me Christmas) I have tried many, many creams, but nothing works like their hand cream. It is thick, none greasy, and lasts!

  5. Image for Robin Stephens Robin Stephens

    You are amazing! My morning coffee and I watched, start to finish, and the video was so insightful and encouraging and motivating and full of energy. You surely know how to lift one up rather than steamroll over her. Wow! Just perfect! I'm inspired! On hands...ugh....It's tough and I hope you find a great lotion....but my one tip would be to make sure you're staying hydrated. Water, water, water.... Almost never be without a bottle/cup/glass of water wherever you go, inside or out and about.

  6. Image for Lisa at celebrate creativity Lisa at celebrate creativity

    Good Saturday morning, Karianne What a delightful interview. Good tips to consider as I continue to try to figure out exactly what my decorating style is-lol. I'll get there. I'm really looking forward to seeing your upcoming master bath renovation too. Happy weekend! Lisa

  7. Image for geri geri

    Best hand cream is Neutrogena hand cream. I'm a paralegal, work with papers all day, everyday. Paper dries out your hands. I've used Neutrogena for about 16 years. Best s th buff on the market. Keeps hands soft and smooth.

    1. Image for Emily @ Emily @

      I second the Neutrogena Hand Cream for dry, chapped hands. It is thick. It is a miracle in a little tube. I was a nurse for 10 years before staying at home and now blogging. My hands would become so chapped (from constant hand washing) that they would crack and bleed. I love love love this product. I even use it on my heels! Best of luck to you with your hands. xox, Emily

  8. Image for Dawn Dawn

    I use Eucerin (the kind in the tub) and cotton gloves while I sleep. During the day, I just use the regular Eucerin lotion. My hands are soft as buttah!!! The best part for me is that it's fragrance free, since I have no tolerance for fragrance, it gives me a headache. Try it, it's very reasonably priced, too.

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

    You certainly bring a smile to my face it's so big it makes my cheeks hurt. 1. I've used Neutrogena for the hands -- it's in a tube. My fingertips get little splits in them if I don't start on hand cream right away. 2. Love little kittens. 3. Love white Christmas trees as long as I'm not in the snow :-) my old bones get cold. 4. I've really got to blame my spinning instructor for putting a song in my head I can't get out -- All About That Bass. Listen to the lyrics their hysterical and the beat is great -- she's played it several times in class. So I'm going around singing - It's all about that bass. And the bass does NOT refer to the instrument. :-) 5. I LOVE happily ever after and some books I've read 5 times. I know that sounds excessive but my gosh there's this one called Remember the Night ( I think that's the title) by Linda Howard. OMG the hero is something else. 6. Have you tried chocolate covered broccoli? I haven't either--it's a thought. 7. Excuse me, but now I have to go watch your video. 8. Have a wonderful love-filled weekend.

  10. Image for Susie Susie

    KeriAnne, Any of the products listed will do the job. The key is penetration. Suggest to lather up with cream at night, put on white cotton gloves (found at retail pharmacy..usually in first aid...and yes...they are machine washable), sleep all night, and wake up to renewed skin. During the day, be aware...products with alcohol hand sanitizers...are very drying. Drink water like crazy. If this doesn't work, please get back to me...we will take it up a notch. Susie PharmD Hand care giver....for many years

  11. Image for Wendy@Poohpoohpillows Wendy@Poohpoohpillows

    I love your random thoughts posts. Amazingly, how did you know my pillowcase needed to be brightened? ;)

  12. Image for Mimi- 247 Mulberry Lane Mimi- 247 Mulberry Lane

    The hand cream that I love that isn't even a hand cream is Pond's dry skin cream. I love that it isn't greasy and it absorbs into your skin quickly. I've been using it for the past 25 years, so it's stood the test of time! :-)

  13. Image for Sally Sally

    I accidentally found some great healing lotion when a new grocery store was handing out samples. It is Gold Bond Ultimate Skin Therapy Lotion (fragrance free) HEALING with ALOE. It's about $10 for a large pump bottle. It absorbs nicely, and doesn't leave you with a greasy/tacky feeling on your hands. #wherehasthisbeenallmylife Hope this helps you! xo

  14. Image for Kris Kris

    Happy Saturday! In addition to the above comments about hand cream--you may want to consider seeing a dermatologist to make sure you don't have an underlying skin condition. I have eczema, which rears its ugly head when the weather gets colder and humidity levels drop. Whether or not you have a skin condition, your hands will thank you if you religiously wear gloves or mittens outside ... keep a humidifier running in the room where you spend the most time ... avoid scented skin products (scented laundry detergents can also irritate your skin) ... and re-apply lotion during the day. Someone above mentioned Eucerin, which is a good product, but I find it greasy and I don't care for that. I like both CeraVe and Cetaphil. There is a difference between lotion and cream--lotion is lighter and intended for daytime use. Creams are thicker and best used at night, and you will find them in all three brands listed above. Wearing cotton gloves at night (as mentioned above) with a cream is also helpful. When I've been really desperate, I have used old-fashioned petroleum jelly smeared on my hands with cotton gloves at night. Not very romantic, but I always wake up with hands in much better condition. Hope this isn't too much information. This is what I've found works for me after years of struggling with dry, cracked skin.

    1. Image for Mira Mira

      My suggestions exactly! I am a nurse and have eczema as well and bathing with Cetaphil and applying CeraVe ASAP after my shower has been LIFE CHANGING for me! Highly recommended!

      1. Image for Lori Lori

        My favorite is CeraVe as well. It was recommended to me by a doctor for my daughter's eczema. I love how soft it makes my hands and it doesn't just wash away when you wash your hands!

  15. Image for Cheryl Johnson Cheryl Johnson

    I have found for dry skin issues (and recommended by a dermatologist) what works really well is CeraVe moisturizing cream in a tub. It is odorless and non greasy. Hope you find something that helps.

  16. Image for Bobbie Bobbie

    I have tried so many hand lotions over the years! It has been a problem for me for a very long time. I finally found something that works - O'Keefes - Working Hands! I paint furniture for a living, live in a cold weather climate and only have cold water in my studio. My hands were really suffering until I found Working Hands. A very nice gentleman at the lumber yard store recommended it and I can't thank him enough! I have seen it at Lowe's, Home Depot & even Walgreen's carries it now. Best I have ever bought! Worth it's weight in gold!

  17. Image for Carol Griffin Carol Griffin

    KariAnne, I absolutely LOVE your blogs! As for the hand cream issue, I too have had issues with finding the right handcream....cannot stand greasy, nothing with an overpowering smell, one that actually works and so on and so on. FINALLY.....I found one that I love and ticks off all the boxes for the perfect hand cream! "American Classic Glycerine Hand Therapy" from the Charleston Tea Plantation. OMG...this stuff is awesome! Living here on the South Carolina coast, we have the only tea plantation in the United States....right here in Charleston, SC. To make a long story a little shorter, we had never toured the tea plantation and decided to do so several weeks ago, and on the tour our trolley driver gave us a sample of the hand cream which is infused with tea. Not greasy at all and even STAYS on your hands after washing them several times.....and not expensive at all! $12 for a good size tube.

  18. Image for Crystal @MyBlissfulSpace Crystal @MyBlissfulSpace

    Just started using hard lotion from MadeOn ( and it's awesome! Kate had a blog post how to make your own on The Small Things Blog this week! My hands are always red and cracking this time of year, and so are my daughter' she gets excema patches on the corners of her lips. Daily use of the hard lotion and everything looked great!

  19. Image for Andrea (aka rokinrev) Andrea (aka rokinrev)

    O'Keefe's is great stuff for chapped hands, find it at Kmart, WallyWorld or Target, We get it around the corner @RiteAid. Also, Bag Balm in the green tin ( NOT it's knock off Udderly Smooth) and CornHuskers Lotion in the bottle were stuff my farmer parishoners swore by. I use Curel in the jar. My spouse uses the Sarna knock off that Rite Aid has. When in doubt....Vasiline and cotton gloves overnight. And Smiths Rose Mint lip balm, which comes in a tin ( we get ours via Sephora in the mall) is a great hand cream and I use Burts' Bees Lemon Cuticle Cream for handcream too. With these last two, a little goes a long way

  20. Image for Sandy Sandy

    Wow, so many suggested hand creams. I copied their names just in case a family member or friend is in want. Love Thistlekeeping and my Saturday morning favorite coffee, Cinnabon Classic Cinnamon Roll in my Keurig. Hallmark movies are my favorites. After watching Mrs. Miracle's movies, I began reading a waterfall of Debbie Macomber's novels. Awaiting her Hallmark movie Mr. Miracle now that I read the book. A blessed Thanksgiving to you and your family.

  21. Image for Fiona Fiona

    The best hand cream is L'Occitane Shea butter hand cream it's very thick and works wonders !! I believe it's the biggest selling hand cream in the world, I'm sure I read that somewhere !! It's expensive but worth every penny !!!

  22. Image for Koie Koie

    Oh Hello! I really enjoy your blog. I make an incredible bar lotion by melting grated natural cocoa butter, bees wax pellets, and coconut oil in a lined crockpot. When it is melted completely, I add vitamin E oil . Pour into silicone molds and let set until firm. There are many combinations you can use to make the lotion bars. To find a formula for lotion bars that uses your favorite ingredients, search Pintrest. I keep a lotion bar on my bed stand and apply to my feet and hands nightly. Troll feet gone! Hello soft hands and cuticles!

  23. Image for Susan Susan

    Hi! Forget all the homemade stuff and white gloves...this is THE BEST hand lotion you will ever use. It's called Porter's Lotion and is available online at I have a nursery/greenhouse business and my hands used to crack, split and even bleed from staying wet and being outside all the time. Within a day or two of using this my hands healed and have never cracked again! It is actually a liquid that soaks in immediately and it is not greasy...I don't know how it works but it does...I think it's magic! Try it and I promise it will change your life:)

  24. Image for anita anita

    Hi KariAnne! My recommendation for any product reviews is to go to the Beautypedia website which gives you a list of the best of everything out there. I order my skincare products from Paula's Choice and have them delivered to my home here in Canada. They are fantastic. Anytime I want to buy let's say a red lipstick (haha) I go to her website, Beautypedia to find out which one they recommend. Makes shopping so easy. Living in a dry climate, I love using her products for dry skin. There are no fragrance or dyes in her products, which of course is bad for the skin. Hope this helps! By the way, wish we could get the Hallmark Channel in Canada :(

  25. Image for sydney85 sydney85

    Great blog. I really like using products from Mary Kay. They have a 3 set to get hands so soft. I had not heard about several of the products people listed so I hope you tell us which product you ended up liking.

  26. Image for Patty Patty

    Hi Karianne, I also use O'Keefe's and it does wonders on my hands. I also have exema and this help tremendously. You know there is special Karma for people that rescue animals. I knew I always loved reading your blog but now that I know you rescue animals, I love it even more!

  27. Image for Sue Sue

    1. For real hands, elbows and heels treatment, the green can of bag balm found at farm supply stores works! Great with cotton gloves or cotton socks overnight! Also, pure shea butter is great. 3. Singing loud makes me happy. In the house, in the car, walking down the sidewalk or the aisle in the grocery store. People smile and I can see their minds saying "oh, that poor lady", but it is so much fun. (Also like to say "Welcome to WalMart" to customers entering when I am coming out. Confuses people a bit when they realize I'm not an employee but a shopper. 4. A Christmas tree decorated with all snowflakes would be marvelous! I loved your blog and your interview and like my house to be home -- comfortable and elegant and welcoming with something really unexpected thrown in here and there. 5. Hallmark Channel rocks! Could sit and watch movies for hours. Thank God for DVR.

  28. Image for Mary Lynn Beshara Mary Lynn Beshara

    Hands down. Best hand cream out there is Aveda's Hand Relief. Keep it in your night stand drawer & put it on before you go to sleep. It is the only thing I have ever used that really works. It's a bit pricey but a little goes a long way. Same with there foot relief. Great stocking stuffer. Also, smells like heaven ( oranges!)

  29. Image for michelle michelle

    I use Neutrogena Swiss formula in the tube year round, but in the winter I step it up a notch by lathering my hands (especially the cuticles and between my fingers) with coconut oil first. I let it sink in for a minute, then follow with the hand cream. Also, I keep a tube of Thymes hand cream in my purse, and every time I use hand sanitizer, I follow with that. It smells amazing, (all of their scents do, but my favorite is Nala) absorbs quickly, and though it's pricey, it lasts a long time because you don't need much. P.S. you are my new hair crush, give up your secret to those perfect waves, please?

  30. Image for NormaJean NormaJean

    Just watched and enjoyed your interview with Teal and Lime. My question is: where, oh where were you my friend, nine years ago when I BOLDLY bought not one, but TWO bright yellow couches with huge blue and red flowers on them??? I have since hidden them under camel-colored slipcovers, but truly wish someone would have advised ME to buy neutral! They were beautiful and it seemed like such a good idea at the time. Live and learn! I use Bath and Body Works, Nourishing Hand Cream with Shea Butter and Vitamin E in the White Citrus fragrance. It smells heavenly and leaves my over-worked hands feeling like silk. In our house, it is my hubby, not me who is the sentimental Hallmark junkie. I'm too busy searching out super ideas on Pinterest and/or reading rock-star blogs like yours!! Can't wait to see what you are going to do with the master bath.

  31. Image for Deborah Deborah

    1) Eucerin or a really thick body butter with water being low in ingredient list. Try it..not all body butters are created equal. 2) Former Arizonan's in the house..Steve Nash is a favorite around this house and a sweet kitten to boot ☺ 3) Mine is "On Fire" don't even think to reference fire in anyway or my inner Alicia Keys will come out. 4) Yes 5) No, This channel makes me so wish we had cable and HGTV and Food Network and we'll you get the point. BTW - That's my decorating style too! BTWW- I so missed the gray color you referenced. I must have gone back and forth 10 times but couldn't get it. I'm hoping I can find the info on a post. If not. Could you say it again?

  32. Image for Linda Linda

    Has anyone mentioned Aveeno Baby Calming Comfort Lotion? Yup, tried it all here too. It goes on smooth, is NOT sticky, absorbs wonderful and stays longer than most. I use it on my hands, arms, legs, and feet. I guess for my age my skin is ok, but since living in the southwest my skin has been super dry. My hubs uses Aveeno Eczema lotion and is as good as his prescription cream or better so he switched to Aveeno.

  33. Image for Betsy Betsy

    I would first make a scrub of pink Dawn dishwashing soap and sugar. I got that off Pinterest. It's easy to make and works so well at softening the skin. I would then follow that up with Neutrogena's Norwegian Formula hand cream that comes in a tube. It's the best EVER !!!! I use the scrub faithfully and it makes a wonderful gift when you put in a small mason jar and tie with a pretty ribbon. Keep those very creative hands of yours soft and pretty. May you and your family have a blessed Thanksgiving !!!

  34. Image for crystal crystal

    A couple of years ago I found this recipe on pinterest for homemade hand cream: 8 oz petroleum jelly 8 oz Vitamin E cream 16 oz baby lotion All items are available at the Dollar store in generic brands. Just mix them together with your electric mixer. I usually save the jars the petroleum jelly and Vitamin E cream come in and refill those as well as other small plastic containers with lids. This is sooo inexpensive and compares to Eucerin or Keri lotion/creams in terms of effectiveness. It helps my husband's VERY dry skin and I use it all over my body as well as keeping some in a small container in my purse for my dry dry hands. I have been making it and giving it away as small "gifts" on occasion, and everyone loves it.

  35. Image for Zolane Zolane

    You are delightful! What a great interview with wonderful, as always, tips and inspiration. You just radiate joy!!! . Soooo...along with a book, you should also have your own HGTV design show. Looking forward to your master bath reno - before and after :) Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, KariAnne!

  36. Image for Erin Kaven Erin Kaven

    I too am in love with Hallmark. Reminds me of "The Movie Of the Week" from my childhood. And I love the Home and Family Show on Hallmark on weekdays. But my chocolate love is, and will always be, Cadbury (with a cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee.) As for the snowflake tree...beautiful. I've been thinking of an only icicle tree.

  37. Image for Sara Sara

    You cracked me up with the "my hands look like they were around when Columbus discovered America". Mine do too unfortunately. :(. And they were cracking before I got out the reinforcements. I have been using Renu by Melaluca but the thing I find works best is slathering on neosporin and putting on cotton gloves before bed - though Vaseline might work just as well- I should try that as neosporin could get pricey at the rate I'm going. Happy Thanksgiving!!!

  38. Image for Carol Carol

    Udderly Smooth is my favorite body cream. This is creamy,but not perfumy(new word). It can purchased at WM in the pharmacy . It costs about $ 4.00. The plastic jar is white with black spots like Holstein cattle. My friend and her husband own a dairy farm. She told me about it. It has taken care of my thumbs splitting from the cold weather. If you cannot find it, send me you snail mail address, & I will send. I really enjoy your blog. Your neighbor from middle TN.

  39. Image for RoseMary Knight RoseMary Knight

    Hi KariAnne, The best thing for dry hands is called O'keeff's Working Hands. I don't know if it is available in the US but here in Canada it is easy to find. If you can't find it, email me and I will send you one. It is quite inexpensive up here so don't worry about that. It will be my treat. I started using it because my hands are always so dry with all the washing they get. Let me know. RoseMary

  40. Image for Barbara Ann Barbara Ann

    Welcome to the new family member. As for your hands, olive oil. Slather it on your hands and cuticles. Put white socks on your hands and grab a cup of tea. Put on the Hallmark channel or we also have Pixel channel. Enjoy as the oil absorbs in. The olive oil is something you probably have. Even slightly warmed will feel great. Always enjoy your posts. Barbara Ann /shop/barbaraannscreations

  41. Image for Suzanne Melton Suzanne Melton

    A few years ago, I spent a week on vacation in a hot, humid climate. The backs of my hands were chapped like I'd been in a cold wind for hours. When I got home, I asked a co-worker what she used. She lives on a boat and she and her husband are always out in the Salish Sea getting wind-burned. She brought in a tiny jar of Gardener's Dream Cream. I am not kidding! My hands were "healed" by the next day. At the time, I "imported" a jar from the manufacturer in British Columbia. It's now available at Amazon and other places (no stores in Kentucky, though; I checked). This is the website: Looks like you have about 30 possibilities and I'm sure we're all awaiting the results! P.S. Three weeks after we adopted two five-week-old kittens dumped in a cardboard box in front of a pet store that closed a month before, we found an even smaller kitten living under our front porch. So now we're a family of five cats. DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH POOP FIVE CATS MAKE EVERY DAY?!

  42. Image for Teresa R Teresa R

    I like Burt's Bees Hand cream. It smells really good and works well. The Christmas tree with only snowflakes sounds so pretty. I like to use just one color on my tree (it's a small tabletop metal tree my mom got me).

  43. Image for Lisa Mothersead Lisa Mothersead

    Tru Blue Spa at Bath and Body Works is awesome. Watch for deals and coupons which they have constantly. No funny smell.

  44. Image for Shelly@ConfettiStyle Shelly@ConfettiStyle

    This blog post put a big old smile on my face because I'm wishing for a kitten for Christmas and because faux fun makes me happy. Thanks for brightening my day (as always)! p.s. Aveeno hand cream is a winner!

  45. Image for Roberta Roberta

    My dermatologist recommended CeraVe in the white tub. It is nice. Very heavy. I prefer the green cap Aveeno for a non-greasy everyday cream. Aquaphor and Eucerin work well but they are too greasy for my taste. Neutrogena in a tube a good product but again a little sticky. My current favorite is 100% pure lanolin. It is sold under several brands. It is honey colored, more of a wax and it is a natural product. I used it when breastfeeding and had some leftover that I started using on my cracking fingertips. It's not greasy, leaves skin feeling silky, and it seems to stay on through several hand washings.

  46. Image for Beth Beth

    Hi! I'm new here but I'm loving what I'm reading! Keep up the good work. :) You've gotten a lot of comments on hand cream -- so many to try! I opened a small business making my own (tested and clean) lotions and creams. I make a hand cream with very natural ingredients -- it's not greasy, it's so luxurious, and it protects! I would be honored to send you a complementary tube. Please read about me: and see what you think. Then send me an email and let me know if you'd like me to send you some -- no charge! ;) Thanks!! (P.S. Many of the hand creams suggested contain petroleum, which will coat your hands but not allow your skin to fully absorb the moisture. So the feeling of relief is temporary. It's best to use a product free of mineral oil and petroleum so it can seep into your hands and actually improve the condition of your skin!)

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