In the middle of middle-school homework, an intense on ancient philosophers ensued.

Who was the greatest?

Who was the wisest?

Who knew the most and said it in the most precise way?

Heavy stuff when you’re in seventh grade and you spent the last thirty minutes telling me plaid and hair bumps were in this fall.

“My favorite is the one who reminds me of when I was little,” one of the twins announced mid-conversation.

“When you were little?” I said.  “Which one? Socrates?  Aristotle?” 

“Nope,” she said.  “I like the one called Playdough.”

Maybe we should just stick with plaid this school year. 🙂

duke manor farm christmas

So excited to start decorating for Christmas.

Oh good, you too?

Looking for inspiration?

Here’s one of my favorite tours from last year.


Looking for an easy and fun gift idea?

This oreo spread looks easy and fun.

Recipe found here.

snowflake pillows

I like my snow a little light, super pretty and on my pillows.

Just like these no sew snowflake pillows.

DIY found here.


And to count down the days until Christmas, these tags are perfect.

And they’re free.

Here’s the DIY for the project.


And in random news this week:

Love this easy DIY.

Beautiful Thanksgiving table.

Amazing faux marble countertops.

How to learn calligraphy.

And brilliant article on decorating from the heart.

Dining room Christmas decorating ideas

And one more for the road.

Here’s one of my favorite Christmas house tours ever.

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 Becki H. Becki H.

    Love the pillow and advent calendar ideas. I'm not one to ever decorate before Thanksgiving, but I just might start the day after!!

  2. Image for Cecilia Cecilia

    Oh too funny! Playdough!! snort* Love that snowflake pillow...gah, lots and lots of great inspiration! I can't wait to decorate (as soon as the turkey is gobbled up and the kitchen cleaned, Bruce will have to drag down all the Christmas stuff from the attic). Then the kids will complain because the Christmas music will be put on. :) Plus, we have to watch "Miracle on 34th Street". yay for the season!! Have a great weekend! hugs friend, Cecilia

  3. Image for PC PC

    Inspiring content for a snowy Saturday -9 inches so far in WI and it's set the holiday scene. Will be making that spread for co-workers gifts along with some pineapple jam and some crackers.

  4. Image for Leona Leona

    Karianne.......I know you can spend a whole day watching a "marathon Fixer Upper".......but this post...should read "How to Spend Hours reading and drooling over Thistlewood Farms blog" Got some great ideas and had about 3 cups of coffee. Have a great weekend.

  5. Image for Sandy Sandy

    "Playdough?" As a retired teacher with thirty-seven years of experience, I wanted you to know I howled so long that I had tears rolling down my cheeks. Laughter is good for the soul, so thank your wonderful seventh grade daughter for this medicine.

  6. Image for Kris Kris

    I teach Sunday School to 7th and 8th graders, and the stuff they say makes me laugh soooo hard. Your daughters would fit right in. :) I read Marion's post earlier this week and loved it! Way to be real! But that doesn't stop me from swooning over the kitchen picture and porch picture you posted today (and if I had to do it again, I would SOOOOOOOO love to make a little boy's bedroom on a camping theme like they did on the holiday tour. Adorable!!! But my 7th grader is overdue for an older boy's updated bedroom.).

  7. Image for Cindy in Oklahoma Cindy in Oklahoma

    Ohmigosh..... the PlayDough story will be a hit at our Thanksgiving table! I'm still laughing out loud.....

  8. Image for Cathy foster Cathy foster

    Love that pillow! And my 8 year old grandson recently asked if everything in the world was black and white when I was young. :o)

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

    And that, my friends, is precisely why I love to teach junior high. :-) Priceless! However, I did teach preschool for one year ages ago, and let me tell you, we had MANY philosophical debates around the ole Playdough table...

  10. Image for Denise at Forest Manor Denise at Forest Manor

    LOVE the Playdough story, Kari Anne!! Too cute and funny! The snow pictures are lovely; I've been looking back at our previous snow pictures, too. :) I hope you and all your loved ones have a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving! Warm hugs to you, Denise

  11. Image for Marian@ Gathering Branches Marian@ Gathering Branches

    OK, that was a pretty amazing hour tour. The wall treatment in their dining room may seriously be coming to my upstairs landing sometime soon. I can totally find time to do a time worn gradient along an entire hall in the next 6 months, right? I'll give your photo all the credit if I do. But it would look cool. So thanks for the idea. Are you feverishly opening boxes and bins and throwing decor hither and yon in your house? I love that you have such and overwhelming desire to make the season bright every last place in your home. That is such a jolly way to be..if it's what you're like. My mother is like that. Love you girl, The Other Marian

  12. Image for Mindy Whipple Mindy Whipple

    Oh - your snow pictures are beautiful! You make me want to toss the pumpkins the night before Thanksgiving and get decorating (we could still have thankful hearts so it would be a win/win right?). I love your Thistlekeeping posts of this and that and have missed being able to visit here and hope to more regularly once again. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family and happy decorating too : )

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