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10 Times My Blog Was So Close to Amazing


I love blogging. It is the perfect outlet for all my pent up creative energy. I love making beautiful projects and after every post I anxiously wait to see if you like it.

Not everything is perfect.

There are mistakes, cover ups, and bad lighting. Today I thought it would be fun to share with you a behind-the-scenes look at when my blog was #soclosetoamazing.

This post contains affiliate links.  If you purchase anything, I earn a small commission at no extra charge to you.  Thanks for your support!

1. Saskatchewan winters are not my friend.

I hate the cold, but as a blogger, I really hate the lack of light. From December to February there is literally one or two good hours a day to take pictures. Want to meet me for coffee at 1PM in winter? Sorry, I’m taking photos for the blog.

Lemon cake with candied citrus & lemon buttercream
One of the victims of terrible winter lighting.

2. Uncooperative Flowers

This DIY is super gorgeous, but that one too-heavy peony would NOT co-operate. Solution? Shove it into the crack in the fence, put some other flowers on top of it and call it a day.

3. Leaky containers

Not shown in this pic? My poor friend Naomi holding these flowers while getting soaking wet because the container is leaking everywhere.

4. The unloved recipe

This recipe for red relish is awesome, but no one would ever know because the photography is terrible. Lesson learned: never rush your posts because of your need to keep to the posting schedule.

Side note: I’ve since retaken the pictures and given the post the update it deserves.  You should totally check it out.

red relish, relish, canning, pickles, pickling, cucumbers
Red relish likes to hide. It’s the one on the left.  P.S. Except for that recipe, I’m also really terrible at making pickles.

5. Selective cleaning

Remember this Christmas Home Tour? My house looks so clean, right? Ha! Just outside of the frame is a pile of overflowing laundry and Christmas presents waiting to be wrapped.

6. I don’t have marble countertops

I swear the former owner of this house knew I was coming, because she left this gorgeous slab of marble in the backyard. Who cares if there’s a chip, it’s perfect for me.

See more of the famous marble slab on Instagram!

7. The bathroom from hell

Have you checked out my home tour? Ever noticed there’s a lack of bathroom pictures? That’s because our bathroom is a 70’s explosion of bright yellow fish wallpaper, complete with crusty sink and toilet. Sure, you can use my bathroom, but you really don’t want to.

P.S.- Be watching for the full bathroom reveal!!  Here’s where we’re currently at with the renovation.

8. More terrible lighting

I really love my kitchen and entryway, but they are the hardest rooms to photograph in the house. I’m sure there are solutions to these problems, but until I become a better photographer or get better equipment, it will have to wait.

9. The unfinished ceiling.

Look up… way up. Why is my living room ceiling a disaster? To make a long story short, in 1929 a brilliant person decided to wallpaper the ceiling. Sometime in the 70’s or so another brilliant person decided to spray popcorn ceiling over it. In 2016, this brilliant person decided to take it down, only to discover that both the plaster and the popcorn ceiling are made of asbestos. Fun! (You can read the whole story here.)

10. Even home bloggers make mistakes.

I redid my dining room and I’m not happy with the colours I chose.  The grey and the yellow simply don’t work.

I’ve since painted the yellow over.

The good thing is, paint is cheap-ish and its mistakes are easily fixed.

This blog is part of promoting Karianne Wood’s new book, So Close to Amazing .

Back when I was researching starting a blog, I kept pinning her pins for home inspiration from her Thistlewood Farms Blog and decided to follow her.

Karianne is who I want to be when I grow up as a blogger.  Her photos are gorgeous, DIY’s simple and beautiful, and her heart is made of gold.  Even though I’ve never met her in real life, I feel like I know her through her honest writing style.

So that’s why when I got the opportunity to be involved in her book launch, I jumped at the chance.  So Close to Amazing is the story of a plucky DIY’er who listened to God and jumped when he called.

Each chapter is filled with real talk and a beautiful DIY project.

Don’t wait until the September 5th launch, pre-order now on Amazon.  There are tons of super cool bonuses if you do!

P.S: Can we talk about another so-close-to-amazing moment?  Every time I try to do a Facebook live something goes wrong.  Sigh.  Catch the silliness on my Facebook page.


So Close to Amazing: Stories of a DIY Life Gone Wrong . . . and Learning to Find the Beauty in Every ImperfectionSo Close to Amazing: Stories of a DIY Life Gone Wrong . . . and Learning to Find the Beauty in Every Imperfection by KariAnne Wood
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

KariAnne writes like you’re talking to your best friend over coffee. I feel like I know her and can relate to her triumphs and successes. She’s that fun and encouraging friend you have who you has all the best creative ideas, but can also sit down with you and let you cry it out. You will love so close to amazing for its relatable stories and beautiful DIYs.

View all my reviews


Kristen Raney

Kristen Raney

Kristen is a former farm kid turned urban gardener who owns the popular gardening website, Shifting Roots.  She is obsessed with growing flowers and pushing the limits of what can be grown in her zone 3b garden.  She also loves to grow tomatoes, but oddly enough, dislikes eating them raw.

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Grow roots with us



Hi, I'm Kristen and I help new gardeners learn to grow their own vegetables and beautify their yards. I also share recipes that use all that delicious garden produce. Grab a coffee (and your gardening gloves) and join me for gardening tips, simple recipes, and the occasional DIY, all from the lovely city of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

P.S. First time gardener? You'll want to download the quick start gardening guide below!