From the Front Porch

Over the weekend we had the pleasure of watching our niece in her winter spectacular dance recital. It’s something we look forward to every year because she works really hard practicing her routines in the weeks and months leading up to the event.

As always, she did a fabulous job, and we couldn’t wait to celebrate her success.

A Little Sparkle Holiday Home Tour-Pink Place Setting and Breakfast Nook Tablescape-The Crowned Goat

But when she came out of the dressing room with an armful of flowers wearing sunglasses and full stage makeup, we knew immediately something was wrong.

Wanting to give her plenty of time and grace to compose herself, we talked amongst ourselves as she had a heart-to-heart with her parents.

I have no idea what they said but there was a lot of hugging and a lot of support with phrases like…”it’s ok”… “you did great” and “i’m proud of you.”

Gingerbread House Cookie Set-The Crowned Goat

When she finally joined the group, you could tell whatever had happened was still bothering her. Despite our best efforts to cheer her up on the walk to dinner, she was quietly replaying the events of the night in her mind.

Over dinner, she confided she thought she had messed up during one of the dance performances yet not one of the 12 people in our pod saw a single misstep, stumble, or fall.

Still, she was convinced she had not given her best, even though she had practiced and planned for months.

The entire episode reminded me just how hard we can be on ourselves. Especially, this time of year…

A missed birthday call in the middle of a hectic week…forgetting to bring presents to a Christmas luncheon…our homes not feeling holiday perfect and secretly wanting to cancel hosting plans…stressing out over gift ideas for teachers, neighbors, friends, and loved ones…not posting content because it doesn’t feel Pinterest worthy or promotable on IG…getting caught up in the “shoulds” of obligations instead of letting them go in favor of “get to’s or want to’s”…picking up a cold, flu, or sinus bug and limping along instead of giving ourselves the gift of proper rest…or feeling so overwhelmed and behind, we fail to take action at all because we don’t even where to begin…

There are a million and one ways we can sabotage our holiday spirit by getting caught up in our own thoughts. It’s something I’ve struggled with for YEARS.

But it wasn’t until I watched my niece battle to reconcile her own expectations, I realized just how innocently it all starts.

My hope for us this Christmas season is we’ll not only be able to extend grace to ourselves but also to others. There will be plenty of things that work out exactly as planned. Yet there will also be times, we just have to breathe it out, ride the wave and go with the flow.

While it might not be easy, the view from the top (and the stage) is definitely worth the extra effort!

Tulip Design Co Discount Code…

In case you missed it last week, my sweet and talented friend Jennifer of Tulip Design Co and I have been collaborating on some sponsored posts over on Instagram.

I love her cards, notepads, calendar, and stickers so much, I’ve decided to share them over on the blog too!

Tullip Design Co and The Crowned Goat-2021 Collaboration-Christmas Card

In addition to giving a portion of her profits to organizations that educate and empower women and girls in the US and around the world, Jennifer has also graciously and exclusively given The Crowned Goat readers 30% off a 1-time purchase good from December 10, 2021, through January 1, 2022, using the code: TCGBONUS.

She also still has the “12 Days of Giving” going on until December 12, 2021, as well, so be sure to check out all the fabulous goodies in her shop!

A Few of Our Favorite Posts from Around the Web this Week…

The pops of red in this holiday home tour are really beautiful!

Loved the European vibe of this holiday home tour too!

I would never have thought to create a European Fireplace Village, but I love this one!

This is such a pretty way to dress up a staircase and foyer area for Christmas.

Wait until you see the living room and mantel in this holiday home tour – seriously so stunning!

Speaking of stunning, have you seen the ribbon on this winter wonderland tree yet?

I can’t remember if I shared these cedar and orange slice topiaries already but they’re totally fabulous!

This blew my mind this week – so simple, so creative, so pretty!

This sweater garland is super cute and comes with a free printable too!

5 Tips to Help You Take Great Holiday Photos

How to Take Your Makeup From Day to Night in 6 Easy Steps

5 Things Successful People Do When They Wake Up

Other Christmas and Holiday Home Tours to Enjoy:

Words to Live By…

Q&A Friday…

You always seem so organized. What can I do this Christmas to help me with next Christmas?

This is such a great question!

The last week of November and the first week or two of December are filled with TONS of holiday home tours. It’s basically like the Super Bowl of blogging.

Every December, I start collecting fresh inspiration on a private Pinterest board dedicated solely to the ideas or color schemes I want to try next year.

Having a plan in advance also makes packing up ornaments and holiday home decor accessories super easy because you’ll know what color to leave on top of the box pile for next year.

In that same vein, you can also bookmark the gift guides you loved or found most helpful. Then use them to get a head start on birthdays, special occasions gifts or to start collecting ideas for next Christmas.

Equestrian Inspired Festive Holiday Entry Ideas-The Crowned Goat

On the Menu this Week…

Week of December 12th December 19th  

Christmas Menu Ideas:

Sweet Treat to Try This Week…

Chocolate Peppermint No-Bake Tart (I’m shocked this is no-bake – it looks amazing)

A Few Relaxing Finds We Spotted Online at Amazon and Target This Week…

(Amazon and Target affiliate links have been provided for your convenience. As an Amazon and Impact Media Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Any sales made through such links will support us with a small commission at no extra cost for you. You can read our full disclosure policy here)

Eye Massager * Shearling Insoles * Candle * Neck Massager

Slippers * Bose Sleepbuds II * PJs * Shower Steamers

London Fog * Bath Sheets * Bath Pillow * Cooling Mattress Topper

Mug * Sheet Masks * Weighted Blanket * Eye Mask

If You’ve Missed Anything from the Blog Recently or the Archives, Here’s a Peek At What We’ve Been Up To…

White Christmas Inspired Patio and Tablescape

White Christmas Inspired Patio and Tablescape-The Crowned Goat

How to Make a Coquito

How to Create a Coquito for the Holidays-The Crowned Goat

A Little Sparkle Holiday Home Tour and Blog Hop (Thank you SO much for all your kind words and encouragement on this post)

A Little Sparkle Holiday Home Tour-Christmas Tree and Living Room-The Crowned Goat

How to Make Glass Glitter Snowflake Ornaments


DIY Ice Skate Wreath and Door Decor Blog Hop

2021 Holiday Gift Guide (featuring 160 ideas!)

December Bucket List

  • Observe Advent
  • Celebrate December Birthdays and Anniversaries
  • Donate to the Sweater Drive
  • Attend Dance and Piano Recitals and Cheer on The Littles
  • Sip Cocoa at The Lights Festival
  • Christmas Lunch with Extended Family at The Farm
  • Celebrate Christmas with The Pod at Bliss Barracks
  • Leave Cookies and Milk for Santa and Veggies for the Reindeer
  • Relax at the Cabin and Enjoy a Holiday Vacation
  • Hike Trails on the AT
  • Bundle Up by the Firepit
  • Make Christmas Fettuccine and Watch The Holiday
  • Attend Zoom Call with MMS
  • Set Goals, Dreams, and Intentions for 2022
  • Create a Vision Board for 2022
  • Celebrate New Year’s Eve and Midnight Gift Exchange
  • Read the Book of the Month
  • Keep Sundays Sacred

December Simplified and Organized Home Challenge…

Focus of the Month: Holiday Planning & Preparing for the New Year

  • 12/04 – Mail Christmas Packages
  • 12/11 – Finalize Christmas Menu & Grocery List
  • 12/18 – Purchase New Planner & Set Goals for the New Year
  • 12/26 – Organize Holiday Storage Items

TCG Housekeeping Notes, Dates to Remember, and Upcoming Posts…

  • 12/12 Third Week of Advent: Love
  • 12/13 National Cocoa Day
  • 12/15 Traditional Christmas Home Tour at Bliss Barracks & Blog Hop
  • 12/15 Shipping Deadline for Christmas Ground Delivery
  • 12/17 The Crowned Goat Holiday Break Begins*
  • 12/18 National Wreaths Across America Day
  • 12/19 Fourth Week of Advent: Joy
  • 12/24 Christmas Eve
  • 12/25 Christmas Day
  • 12/26 Boxing Day
  • 12/26 Kwanzaa Begins
  • 12/31 New Year’s Eve

The 3rd week of December is always the week that Christmas chews us up and spits us out because our schedule is BANANAS!

So, before we leave for the holiday break, we’re devoting our posts next week to a last-minute gift idea inspired by a reader question, prepping for holiday guests with a super cute reindeer gift basket, my parent’s traditional Christmas home tour at Bliss Barracks as part of a fun anniversary blog hop.

As always, we appreciate you more than you could ever know, and we hope your weekend is peace-filled and relaxing. We can’t wait to share even more with you next week!

Until next time, I’ll see you on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.

Many blessings,


Similar Posts


  1. I miss going to my niece’s dance recitals but lucky for me, she is on the dance team at VCU, so I still get to see her perform. I’m sorry that your niece was upset after her show but am happy that it was over something that no one noticed but her. Enjoy your weekend!

    1. That is so exciting, Paula! I know they work so hard on all their routines while trying to balance school and other life responsibilities. Thankfully my niece has made a full recovery since it all happened but it was a huge lesson for the rest of us not to be so hard on ourselves. She’s such a special one and I know you feel the same way about your niece too. Just being able to be a part of their lives feels like a huge deal. Sending you lots of hugs for a magical holiday season, CoCo

  2. CoCo,
    I love all you share on your Friday post. So much inspiration! I really appreciate you for sharing my topiaries!
    Have the best weekend!

    1. You are so welcome, Rachel! I’m totally obsessed with your topiaries. You’re always so creatives and popping over to see what you’re up to feels like the biggest treat. Hope you’re enjoying the countdown to Christmas. It’s going by too fast for me. Big hugs, CoCo

  3. It is heartbreaking that young girls are so hard on themselves. It is wonderful that she is surrounded by so many supportive people. Lots of great ideas this week, CoCo. Hugs, Laura

    1. It really is so scary how easily the negative self-talk starts, Laura! My sisters and I are definitely more on guard now to make extra sure we’re setting a good example for her. She handled it all like a champ and has totally talked it out and recovered but wow – what a lesson learned! Sending you lots of hugs for a fabulous week. I can’t believe how fast the days are flying by as we countdown to Christmas! Hugs, CoCo

  4. I don’t understand how I got so behind on reading your blog. I love each and every detail in the photos above and will go back and look here soon. But I wanted to at least say how much I enjoyed this post.

    We are our own worst critics so I hope your niece isn’t to hard on herself and the rest of her holiday season is wonderful. Although I bet y’all are a huge contributing factor in helping with that.

    And thanks for sharing those links with such gorgeous Christmas ideas. So gorgeous!!!

    Merry Christmas Friend!

    1. So excited you like this post, Cindy! I swear the past 2 weeks have flown by so fast already, I just can’t get over it! I had the chance to spend some time with my sweet niece at the farm over the weekend and she has completely bounced back from the performance. I’m so thankful she’s able to talk it all through and doesn’t hold onto anything too long. I’m telling you though, it was a HUGE lesson learned for my sisters and me to make sure we’re healthy role models when life stuff like that comes up. You just never know the behaviors they’re picking up! Sending you lots of love and hugs, CoCo

  5. I’m so glad to hear your niece has bounced back. So sad that we have to be so tough on ourselves but she’s so lucky to have a wonderful family that is always there for support! Looking forward to checking out all the wonderful Christmas inspiration! Happy new week!!

    1. Thank you so much, Christine! She’s such a sweetie pie and goodness gracious it’s SO hard seeing her struggle with perfectionism at such a young age. I’d give anything to take it away from her but I know it’s something she has to learn to grow through. Thankfully, it was a huge lesson learned for my sisters and me. Especially, now that we’re aware of what kind of example we’re setting not just for her but all the littles. Enjoy the links – the home tours were all really pretty! Hugs, CoCo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *