This is the summer of the book.

I’ve read some new friends like Orphan Train and Dear Carolina and some old friends like Emma and almost everything by Shel Silverstein and I want to read The House at Riverton and Life From Scratch.

And after that?

I got nothing.  Or nothin’ as we say around here.

How about you?

Have you been reading this summer?  What’s on your reading list?

Can you help a girl with an afternoon and a freshly squeezed pitcher of lemonade out?


Have you seen what’s going on in the world of blackberry cobbler?

Golden Grahams?

Yes, please. 🙂

Recipe found here.


Here’s a project at the corner of yardstick meets arrow.

A place I want to visit.

DIY tutorial found here.


Doesn’t that title make you want to click?

I know….right?

I clicked….I couldn’t help it.

And she was right.

Awesome tip found here.


And there’s nothing I love more than a before and after.

Especially when I can follow along.

For more on the beginning of a wonderful DIY journey….click here.

And now in the week that was:

Love the simplicity of this screened-in porch.

Must have hair tools (love all her hair tutorials, too).

Build a giant Jenga game.

I want to visit this studio one day.

And I’ve always wanted to learn to make these.


And one more for the road.

I just found this fun post in the archives where I took this room and transformed it three different ways.

You can see room transformation one….here.

You can see room transformation two….here.

And you can see room transformation three….here.

Happy random Saturday to you!

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


  1. Image for Winnie Winnie

    Hi Karianne - a Happy Summer to you! My recommendation book-wise would be to reread "To Kill a Mockingbird". It's a classic for good reason, and the experience of reading it is an unforgettable one!!!

  2. Image for Donnie Donnie

    Just read "One Plus One" by JoJo Moyes. A truly delightful read. I'm planning on rereading the Mitford series soon. When the children were little, we had a tape of Shel Silverstein reading some of his works. If you can find a copy, it is wonderful, his voice just adds such enjoyment to his already wonderful poems. Have a good weekend, our Rockstar Leader!

  3. Image for Alex Alex

    Gah! I loveeeee reading! I'm actually reading The House at Riverton right now and love it! (however, anything written by Kate Morton is gold). I also agree with Winnie - To Kill a Mockingbird is a perfect summer re-read - one of my top 5. Here are a few of my favs with story lines I cannot forget (I'm also WWII obsessed and it shows in this list lol) - A Russian Winter , by Daphne Kalotay - Water for Elephants, By Sara Gruen - Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah - When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, By Judith Kerr - Crossings, By Danielle Steel Ok I'll stop here because I know I can keep going. Eek! Xo

  4. Image for Rosanne Rosanne

    Our book club is reading "All the light we can not see" by Anthony Doerr the 2015 Pulitzer Prize winner, just started it, the writing is amazing. I also read Orphan Train, fascinating (who knew that really happened) Or read The Girl on the Train, that was good too.

    1. Image for Cindy in Oklahoma Cindy in Oklahoma

      "All the Light We Cannot See" has to now be in my top 10... enjoyed it so much. Other good reads I've stumbled across this summer: "The Nightingale", "Me Before You", and "Gone Girl" - I know! I have to be the last person on earth to read it, but oh, was it good! Am in the middle of "The Goldfinch" now... Have you read "The Book Thief"? No? You should......even though it's for young teens, I think, I couldn't put it down.

      1. Image for Rosanne Rosanne

        Cindy in Oklahoma, we have similar tastes in books. I've also read Me before You and The Book Thief... loved it. Are book club is reading Goldfinch laster year, cant wait. To Kill Mockingbird is one of my all times favs, anxious to read Harper Lee's new one....Happy Reading everyone!

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

    A blog friend suggested two books: Garden Spells and First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen. She read the first book and said it was very well written and now she is reading I believe it's the sequel. I have them on order from Amazon. A week without Amazon bringing me a little week is a sad week indeed :-) Happy weekend, my friend and big hugs! {I tried to restrain myself from adding too many exclamation points}

  6. Image for Joan Joan

    Just finished listening the Jan Karon's Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good and didn't want it to end. But then I never want them to end. And now have called the library to be put on the list for her September release of a new book.....I am #64. And this is July! So I may begin the whole series from the beginning. Sweet books to inspire. Also the books Acts and Daniel. To read them as a narrative envision how they unfold. Then again, maybe I just need fresh lemonade and a nap.

  7. Image for Melanie Melanie

    Good morning KariAnne! I read Orphan Train awhile back and really enjoyed it. I just finished "Evergreen" by Rebecca Rassmusen and it is a beautiful read. Also, have you read Half Broke Horses by Jeanette Walls? Awesome, awesome. I'm always looking for another good book, so please keep passing along what you like :)

  8. Image for Kris Kris

    I Shall Be Near To You by Erin Lindsay McCabe was an excellent read about a woman who disguised herself as a man and fought alongside her husband in the Civil War. It was based on a compilation of several true stories. If you have never read any Maeve Binchy books, you have missed out. Circle Of Friends was especially fun. In the summer, I like to re-read good quality kiddie lit--Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, Anne of Green Gables, etc. Can you tell I'm a bookworm?? :)

  9. Image for Carol@TheRedPaintedCottage Carol@TheRedPaintedCottage

    Karianne, I'm always reading a good book. Right now I'm reading Imperial Woman by Pearl S. Buck. But if you want a few to add to your reading list, here's a few more I would highly recommend: The Circle of Ceridwen Saga by Octavia Randolph (A historical fiction that you won't ever want it to end) Pillars of the Earth and World Without End by Ken Follett (Don't let the number of pages scare you, you'll love it) The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker (A coming of age book in a new and different world) Nola Gals by Barbara J. Rebbeck (A classmate of mine from HS. It's her debut novel and her writing is excellent.) I'm going to have to read The Orphan Train next just because everyone, including you, are recommending it.

  10. Image for Yvonne Yvonne

    Hi! Have you read any of the books by Elin Hilderbrand? They are set on Nantucket and feature family dynamics surrounded by beautiful settings. I've enjoyed every one of them! Enjoy!

  11. Image for Ginny Ginny

    Hi Kari Ann! I've read several good books this summer. Some of them are: Chateau of Secrets by Melanie Dobson Nightingale by Kristen Hannah The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom Sweet Salt Air by Barbara Delinsky A Question of Honor by Charles Todd Memory Man by David Baldacci I've read House of Riverton on your list and loved it!

  12. Image for Shirley Shirley

    I have just read & loved The Woman who stole my life by Marian Keyes. I recommend any book by her. I am reading all of her novels this year after meeting her. She is fabulous very funny & Irish. I keep seeing The Orphan Train mentioned but it's not a book known here in England. Can someone tell me who wrote it & I'll look on Amazon. Happy reading!

  13. Image for Nora linstrom Nora linstrom

    I see the list for recommended reading is very long but if I can add just one more, The Paris Architect by Charles Balfour. All my girlfriends, and myself, here in Baltimore enjoyed it immensely . Happy reading!

  14. Image for Ann Zemp Ann Zemp

    Good morning! I have been reading your blog for almost a year (just call me a late bloomer) and have been trying to catch up through the archives. Thank you for reposting your three-way room transformation! Following the room through its glorious "rebirths" was great fun, especially on day three. Your reason for naming that lovely room struck a chord in my heart! You see, I too come from a looooong line of Ann's. In my case it's the youngest daughter of the youngest daughter named Anna/Ann. I have a chest of drawers in my dressing room that has this inscription on the bottom of one of the drawers: "Given to me Anna Philipa by my father Philip - 1824" Did you get chill bumps too?!? I have two grown kiddos, the younger being a girl named DeAnna, (My husband's name is Dean, get it? How she was named is a romantic story about two 16 year olds with big plans for their future putting their names together and writing it in the sand under a park swing.), who will cherish this family treasure when I decide I can finally part with it.

  15. Image for Laura Laura

    Thanks for including my to-do list tip. It's what I like to call a "duh moment!" :) And off to make a yardstick arrow and get addicted to a beach cottage makeover! Happy Saturday, Karianne!

  16. Image for Mo Mo

    I ordered and read Maude by Donna Mabry and then proceeded to go through all of her books. I love books that covers generations of families and these did not disappoint! Loved seeing the house......it is so beautiful!!

  17. Image for Jillynn Jillynn

    As always... I learned something new and got some great ideas!!!!! I LOVE THE LIST IDEAS!!!!! Her blog is so cute! Now I need a favor;-) PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE go over to my blog and tell me what to do with my front door!!!!! I think I would what you are going to say.... but I am shamelessly asking for advice because either way... I WANT IT TO LOOK FABULOUS IF I AM GOING TO PUT IN ALL THE WORK!!

  18. Image for Cheryl Cheryl

    House at Riverton was not my favorite of Kate Morton"s books but check out Beatriz Williams and Joshilyn Jackson...I love love all of theirs.

  19. Image for Carol Lander Carol Lander

    So glad to hear that you are a reader. I'm never without a book. For years I've kept a list of every book I read. So far this summer: All the Light You Cannot See The Nightingale In My Hands: Memories of a Holcaust Rescuer The English Spy by Daniel Silva A Secret Kept by Tatiana De Rosnay Right now I'm reading Harper Lee's Go Set a Watchman; jury is out on it. Rest were very good.

  20. Image for Judy Judy

    Thanks to everyone for all the book recommendations. I haven't been reading books for awhile, but checked out Orphan Train from local library and didn't want to put it down. I'm looking forward to reading some of the ones listed. Thank you all.

  21. Image for Lauren Lauren

    Please, please, please read " Redeemimg Love" by Francine Rivers! It will not disappoint and you will never forget the story. It's about a young lady trying to make her way during the Gold Rush days in California. Somewhat of a love story, but so much more than that!

  22. Image for mary beth @ www.mbzinteriors.com mary beth @ www.mbzinteriors.com

    Hi, the Flavia de Luce mystery series by Alan Bradley. Find it in adult section of your library, the leading character is 12 yrs. old. Be sure to drop me a line and tell me what you think of the series, be sure to read the books in order. I even have a Pinterest board dedicated (I am a geek!). I just made a frame for a map and it will be on my blog on Monday. I'd like to try and make your arrow, thanks for sharing.

  23. Image for Cheryl Cheryl

    Oops I wrote in the wrong space. Anyway... I love Melanie Shankle' s books and am reading Lisa Patton' s books right now. They write wonderful warm hearted books.

  24. Image for Carol Carol

    I have read all of the books Rosanne mentioned and highly recommend them. I'm currently on a Liane Moriarty kick and finished The Husband's Secret and am now reading Big Little Lies by her. Wonderful!

  25. Image for Sarah Sarah

    Anything by David Baldacci The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant (she wrote the Red Tent also) The Storied Life of AJ Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin The Island by Elin Hilderbrand The Hiding place by Corrie ten Boom Happy reading

  26. Image for Mary Crozier Mary Crozier

    I'm with Sarah-anything by David Baldacci. He was a University of Virginia grad and my son will be a 2nd year student there so my goal is to read all of David Baldacci's novels. I also just read "The Girl on the Train" which was rather good. I think summer reading is different than what we read the rest of the year. Light, fun, where you can get lost in the novel, but not lose sleep....So glad we are able to read lots of books-a gift of escape!!!

  27. Image for Susan Susan

    Oh gosh, that blackberry cobbler needs to be here with me! :) Now, thanks to you, I am crushing on the live edge shelves...they'd look really smart in a room with a beachy feel, in particular! And yes, your friend's tip is true...you can write to-do lists til they're coming out of your ears, but if they aren't near you, how the heck are you supposed to remind yourself to do these things and then cross them off your list? It makes perfect sense, doesn't it? Yet how many of us actually follow this advice? I'm probably one of the worst...lists all over the place and nothing to show for it...hehe! Thank you for the kickstart, KariAnne! As for book recommendations, if you like inspirational stories, you will love "The Boys In the Boat" by Daniel James Brown. Right now I am in the midst of reading "The Turtle Diary" by Russell Hoban which is also inspirational in its own way, but also pretty unique and a little quirky...I have to say, I'm loving every single page and not looking forward to it ending soon. Whatever you choose to read next, I hope it will be a book you find completely engaging and well worth your time!

    1. Image for Cindy in Oklahoma Cindy in Oklahoma

      Earlier this year I read "The Boys in the Boat", too, and was pleasantly surprised. I know it received lots of stars on Amazon (where I kind of roam around in search of good books), but it felt like a book suited more for men than women... I was so wrong...

  28. Image for Peg Peg

    Wow, thanks for asking this question Kah! So many good reads! Umm, well, if you're looking for some light summer reading, I would recommend anything by Elin Hildebrand. Generally set in Nantucket, with all the warmth and charm, she never disappoints. I love her. : )

  29. Image for carol carroll carol carroll

    You are so brilliant you shine, LOVED them all but Anne is definitely the winner. I think it is the PINK in all of us girls. Somehow it just screams joy, like really loud JOY... Loved it.

  30. Image for Jenn Jenn

    I am reading Serafina and the Black Cloak to my son right now, and WOW! It is the best book we have read together in a long time. For older kids, I should say. But it is a Harry Potter meets Nancy Drew! Fantastic!

  31. Image for Kipper Kipper

    Not sure of the exact title but it is something like "The Japanese Art of Tidying". How to tidy and organize your life and home. I seem to have read animal related books recently. All Dogs go to Kevin by Jessica Vogelsang,DVM is excellent. It is about her, her family-including dog family members, a dear friend named Kevin and working as a small animal vet. It is equal parts funny, thought provoking and sad. Workman and Current read is The Shepherd Life by James Rebanks, all about his life and raising sheep on a farm in Northern England.

  32. Image for Terri Godfrey Terri Godfrey

    Aphrodite: A Memoir of the Senses by Isabel Allende. A wonderful book of stories, history, the preparation of food, sensuality and seduction and great recipes! The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women by Gail McMeekin (love this book, it's dog-eared and covered with marginal notes! lol. Dixie City Jam by James Lee Burke Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen ( I like anything by her, met her at a book signing about 5 years ago). Stern Men by Elizabeth Gilbert (yes, the Eat, Pray, Love Elizabeth).

  33. Image for Janet Janet

    I am reading the Third Hill North of Town by Noah Bly. Love this story and don't want to put it down. Just finished Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave and liked a lot. Next up is Summer Secrets by Jane Green...love anything by her. My list goes on for ever..... Love, love, love your blog!

  34. Image for Katie Clooneyhttps://preppyemptynester Katie Clooneyhttps://preppyemptynester

    Hi Karianne... don't know whether you remember me but you coached me a couple of years ago. At that time, I was living in your old hometown, Mckinney. I think it's time for me to schedule another appointment with you. Your advice was so great and I have implemented a lot of your suggestions. I went to my first blog conference last weekend and enjoyed it tremendously. My question - are you scheduled to speak at any conferences? I would love to hear you speak. All the best...

  35. Image for joan joan

    My must-read Book recommendations: Lila, Gilead, and Home, by Marilyne Robinson Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson The Guernsey Literary and Sweet Potatoe Pie Society by Mary Ann Schaeffer The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

  36. Image for Mary Mary

    Because of your recommendation I read Orphan Train and was sad when it ended because I wanted to keep reading. That's always the sign of a great book for me. Hiding Place... outstanding and a movie being made (I think). Beach Music. Robert Gates - Duty... tough one. Anything written by William Styron... incredible author. To Kill a Mockingbird is next. Water for Elephants - almost forgot that one. Plus Inside the Garden of Beasts... WOW.... So many good books out there....... so little time :) M

  37. Image for Michele Riggsbee Michele Riggsbee

    I just got a copy of Harper Lee's new novel called, "Go Set A Watchman". This by the same author that wrote, "To Kill A Mockingbird". I'm excited to start reading this as "To Kill A Mockingbird" is one of my FAVORITE books! Enjoy your summer!

  38. Image for Annaliza R Annaliza R

    I want to read The House at Riverton. I did read The Secret Keeper, also by Kate Morton, and I loved it! This month I've read a couple Elin Hildebrand books and The Hand that Feeds you by AJ Rich.

  39. Image for Stacey Stacey

    I've been reading this summer and enjoying it so much! I read Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons by Lorna Landvik. It's not about angry housewives at all. It's about wonderful friends who are neighbors and book club partners over 35 years. Loved it! Whistling Past the Graveyard came before Angry Housewives and I have to say it's one of the BEST books I've ever read. Seriously it was wonderful! Now I'm reading Chaser by John Pilley. :)

  40. Image for Jillynn Jillynn

    EVERY time I think, "I should put all my random thoughts and ideas down on paper...er computer... I think of Thistlekeeping!!!! Not that this is random at all but this is how my mind works!!! Just read a post I write!!!! I need a place to collect my thoughts and absolutely look forward to reading your Thistlekeeping every time! Thanks for sharing! Jillynn

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