This past weekend I went to Waco and stayed here.

The bed on the left to be exact.


Except I didn’t get much sleep.

I couldn’t. I was too excited. You see, this is Leslie’s house in Waco and I was there with other bloggers and instagrammers and we spent the entire weekend laughing and giggling and sharing and creating and eating the most amazing handmade pasta and salad and talking about our favorite subject….

…how to make our blogs and our instagrams better.

It’s kind of like our version of continuing blog education.

Just between us?

Leslie is seriously one of the most amazing people on this planet. She makes you feel special and welcome and like you have known her forever.

And she’s funny.

And clever.

And an artist.

I wanted to bring her something to honor her. And our friendship. And this amazing house. It couldn’t be just any hostess gift. It had to be something amazing and creative and one-of-a-kind. Just like her.

And I wanted to give her a little bit of me.

So I brought her this.

It’s a deer silhouette.

It’s completely created from paper and covered with tiny little scraps of a Texas map.

My sister creates these sculptures.

You can see the close-up here.

There are hundreds of tiny pieces of paper that cover this silhouette.

Some are circles. Some are triangles. Some are a little random.

Each piece of paper painstakingly cut by my sister to create this incredible work of art.

She attached it to the back of a vintage wood box.

And covered the edges with scallops.

All cut from the same map.

And when I saw it?

I knew that it would be perfect for Leslie.

It was different.

And a little random.

And rough around the edges.

Just. Like. Me.


If I’m keeping it real here there are so many times when I doubt myself and my projects and my decorating and my questionable blue eyeshadow choice and I then I see someone newer and shinier with perfect teeth and perfect hair and the appearance of perfection and birds singing around their head and rose petals dropping when they walk.

And I try to tell myself I’m amazing.

I really, really try.

I remind myself of amazing things I’ve done and that really good hair day I had a week ago and the project I finished that at the time seemed worthy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

But inside I shrink.

Self-doubt creeps in.

And amazing seems light-years away.

Maybe that’s why I identified with the sculpture.

It’s kind of like me without the blue eyeshadow.



A little rough around all the paper edges.

But all those pieces of tiny paper and random bits of a Texas map?  Together they create joy and uniqueness and imperfection and character and a one-of-a-kind personality.

Just. Like. Me.

I’m so thankful for your friendship, Leslie.

I’m so thankful you take me just as I am.

All my quirks.

All my randomness.

All my stories.

All my insecurities.

All my imperfections.

All my crumbs and giggles and rabbit-chasing and random blue eye-shadow and awkward dolphin clapping and my over-excessive exuberance at the smallest things.

My life is so better having you in my life.

Thank you friend.

Thank you for being you.

And thank you for bringing out the amazing in everyone….

…especially me.

PS If you want to see even more of Leslie’s incredible projects and home.

You can see it all here.

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



    You are an artist-always remember that-you are awesome-always remember that-it is ok to be different-always remember that-you make people smile-always remember that-you are love-always remember that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! your new mantra to change that voice in your head...because you are AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Image for Linda Linda

    Your words are perfection! I'm not a writer, but every word to your friend is what I wish I could say to a dear friend of mine. Thank you!

  3. Image for Carrie Carrie

    You are such a gift. Never forget that! And, you are such a cheerleader for others not to forget that we are all amazing in our own way.

  4. Image for Sandee Moss Sandee Moss

    All well and good that Leslie is truly amazing and your sister are beyond! I need that deer head!

  5. Image for Linda Linda

    KariAnne, You are perfection! And love the deer head and it’s imperfections. Can’t wait to see where Leslie hangs it!

  6. Image for Lou E Gipson Lou E Gipson

    K~ as Billy Joel sang "Don't go changing. I (we ) love you just the way you are!!!!" You sweet lady are so uniquely, one-of-a- kind, made of amazing AWESOMENESS! a total ROCKSTAR!!! Take a look back at all you have accomplished since entering the world of Blog.. YOU, stay at the top of the heap, day after day with something new, fresh and exciting! I grab my first cup, and head to my computer to see what's up in your world! NEVER once have i been disappointed! so..pull up your big girl panties, put on ,that red lipstick smile.. cause secretly you know we all harbor a bit of insecurity.. but you've never let yours get in the way of overpowering your amazing awesomeness!!! Lady, don't ever change a thing! You are an amazing awesome Rockstar!!!

  7. Image for Denise V Cox Denise V Cox

    OH Karianne!!!!!! You ARE amazing!!!! And you practically had me in 😭. If I lived near you, I know we would be the best of ' imperfect' buddies'. But, as I don't, I love you and cherish your wisdom and quirkiness from afar!!! I wouldn't change a thing about you! Your lovely, articulate, and heartwarming stories are priceless.. as are you... 😉 ROCK ON... FRIEND... 😘🌟

  8. Image for Pam Pam

    KariAnne, you are an amazing talent and one of the best bloggers (writers) out there! I'm sure your friend Leslie loved the deer head and more so the thought behind it. Please ask your sister to do a tutorial for all of us on how to make that wonderful map deer head! You're the best - don't doubt your talents cause they are real!

  9. Image for Rebecca A Parker Rebecca A Parker

    I will never forget the one and only time we have met in person. You were speaking at the Country Living Fair in Nashville. I was walking by and I heard the words "I'm a blogger, I love to blog and I think everyone should have one." I stopped dead in my tracks, told my husband and daughter I had to meet you and I'd find them later. I listened to you talk about your house, your family and blogging and how it had changed your life and I wanted that, too. You see, I had started a blog but felt stuck. I wanted to help people, to bring joy and make their lives better. You inspired me to not give up! I did get to speak to you and you made me feel like we had known each other for years. A few months later, I had the privilege of getting a one-on-one phone session with you that helped me to define my direction. Don't ever doubt your impact. You ARE a Rock Star and I appreciate you more than you know. Thank you for being courageous enough to be who God made you to be and being the light in so many peoples lives!

  10. Image for Terry Terry

    Thank you for being you and being real! I ❤️all your edges! We could be “twins”! You constantly inspire me & today even more so.

  11. Image for Ann Sowieja Ann Sowieja're more fun then bubble wrap! One of the strongest, kindest women I know. More than anything your outlook on life is amazing!! You light up a room when you come in because everything about you in your soul in genuine!! Thank you for being you. I think God smiles from ear to ear when He watches you and when He pauses for just a moment, probably says, "I created my best right there!"

  12. Image for june june

    You are amazing just the way you are! I wish I had your creative strength. I often second guess what I try to create. You amaze me with your creativity. Love the deer.

  13. Image for Kris Kris

    Creativity is in your family genes, isn't it? The deer is amazing. And here's the thing .... I don't like you because you are "perfect", I like you because you are you. Quirky people are my favorites. Especially when they are creative. I'm never bored when I read your blog .... if I were, well, I wouldn't read it any more! :)

  14. Image for Amy Dusseault Amy Dusseault

    "Awkward dolphin clap", I will be 48 years old this month and still catch myself doing that! It is embarrassing, but at the same time how amazing is it that there are things out there that can bring such joy? 🤗

  15. Image for Marlene Stephenson Marlene Stephenson

    God created you and you are perfect and wonderfully made and his light shines through you. Hugs, my sister in Christ.

  16. Image for Lynn W Lynn W

    You’re gift is an amazing original, just like you!!💜 Thank you for all the blood, sweat and tears that you put into this blog that so inspires all of your readers 🥰

  17. Image for Beth Minger Beth Minger

    I think we all have self-doubt. I fall into the "it would be perfect if" mode all of the time. When I start to spiral I try to remember how I would see a situation if a good friend had created something - I would love it because they created it!!!! We should at least try to be as kind to ourselves as we are to them - I know easier said than done sometimes - climbing back down from soap box!!!! Just remember your tribe LOVES YOU!!!

  18. Image for valarie sanford valarie sanford

    And thank you KariAnne for your make me feel better knowing that there's someone else like me!

  19. Image for Regina Merrick Regina Merrick

    Thank you for the Monday Morning Encouragement!! We all have self-doubt and those moments of anxiety that tend to stall us in our tracks, But God made us SO CLOSE TO PERFECT!! Happy Monday, my friend and Rockstar!!

  20. Image for Carolyn Carolyn

    The thing I like most about you is your vulnerability. All the feelings you feel and describe is how we all feel if we were honest. Your vulnerability makes you a rock star. Continue to move to the beat of your own drum. That's what makes the world an interesting place to live.

  21. Image for Barbara at Mantel and Table Barbara at Mantel and Table

    Beautifully written KariAnne! I certainly share your feelings sometimes, and it's people like you and Leslie who inspire me to fun forward and express my own joy! Thank you for being you and for being here for all of us! 💗

  22. Image for Cathy Foster Cathy Foster

    KariAnne, We all see ourselves in your blog today!! Thanks for the uplifting words! And remind me of the name of your sister's Etsy shop...I ordered from her once but not sure I still have the information. I love the things all of you create.

  23. Image for PJ PJ

    Those rough edges are what make us special, amazing, and approachable. Please don't ever try to smooth yours away!

  24. Image for Dee Dee

    I NEVER and I mean never in a million years would have known this about you if you hadn't shared it. I had no idea that you ever had any self-doubt, I just kind of figured you really really really understood how totally awesome and Incredibly and gifted you are because you're always telling us that, but I can guarantee you that I sure haven't been feeling that way, self-doubt has been a paralytic to me and I don't know, it just is interesting and I would say inspiring how you don't allow it to block you from continuing on your god-given giftedness and journey. I need to learn how to shut the enemy up and just forge ahead!

  25. Image for Benita fox Benita fox

    I love your writing. I so connect with this post always questioning myself but I am trying to stop that and enjoy life more. Thanks for sharing there are so many that struggle with this but you are incredibly successful and talented.

  26. Image for Leslie Saeta Leslie Saeta

    You are the most amazing and incredible friend. I feel like I am the luckiest person in the world to be your friend. You know that we think the same way and love so many similar things about what we get to do every day. I am so blessed to be able to call you my friend. I love the housewarming gift you brought me. It represents you and Texas and crafting and creativity and it was made with love. That’s what always makes you so great. Everything you do is made with love. Thank you for being you. Leslie

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