From the Front Porch

Happy Friday from the front porch, sweet friends!

How are you?

Last week, I spent an hour nearly every day with best-selling author, speaker, blogger, and podcaster Jon Acuff as part of the Overcoming Overthinking Challenge.

If you’ve been following along on our book club, we read his book Soundtracks back in January. It was such a game-changer for both me and my accountability partner, I couldn’t wait to dive into the free 5-day challenge.

There were so many amazing takeaways from the event, but there was one thing Jon said at the beginning of the week that I have not been able to shake.

He said, “Empathy is understanding what someone needs and acting on it.”

Jon then went on to convey we’re usually good at offering empathy to others, sometimes even great. Yet we struggle to give ourselves that same level of empathy and care.

I was literally sitting at my desk shouting YES! YES! YES! with praise and jazz hands because it is SO TRUE.

Yet it also made me realize, that empathy can be boiled down to two simple lessons…

*understanding AND acting *

Vintage Plates and Spring to Summer Tablescape-The Crowned Goat

Our homework that day was to answer this question, “What is one way you can show empathy towards yourself today?”

It seems like the answer should be so straightforward, doesn’t it?

But I couldn’t come up with a single thing.

The next morning, I got out my journal and wrote, “What do you need today?” and once I got my thoughts together, I started taking action.

It wasn’t easy at first. I had to fight “the shoulds” every step of the way.

Especially, after nursing a back injury that didn’t allow me to stand up or sit down longer than 20 minutes at a time for almost an entire month.

Our family has dealt with the passing of two loved ones, with three unrelated loved ones being in the hospital.  

We’ve celebrated a planting party, friends’ dinner, hosted out-of-town family members, two birthdays, Easter, a magazine feature, the end of tax season, and many unexpected blessings along the way.

This month has been such a rollercoaster and I am so far behind in every area it would have honestly been really easy to get stuck in the “shoulda-coulda-woulda” muck of overthinking.

Instead, I’ve challenged myself to start the day with empathy by asking, “What do you need today?” then begin taking small action steps toward those needs for myself and my loved ones.

As we make the transition from Easter to Memorial Day, my challenge to you is the same, to ask yourself “What do you need today?”

The next few weeks will be filled with all sorts of activities from Mother’s Day to graduations, birthdays to anniversaries, moving to new places, preparing for summer vacation, dealing with loss, times of transition, and change.

There will be ordinary moments and extraordinary moments.

Moments of peace and pure chaos.

Yet in the midst of it all, there will be empathy.

May we be courageous enough to ask and act.

A Few of Our Favorite Things from Around the Web This Week…

What’s the Story Spanish Glory

An Australian Home Packed with English Country House Style

This Victorian Estate is not what I expected at all but has such a modern/cozy feel.

The seating area/sunroom off the kitchen in this gorgeous home tour is such a pretty setup.

Wait until you see this home on the marsh!

What you Need to Know About the “Coastal Grandmother,” The Latest Fashion Trend Going Viral on TikTok

How to Make a Distressed Napkin Decoupage Lamp

Have you seen the Mark D. Sikes x Anthropologie Collaboration yet? It’s just as fabulous as you would expect!

What about the new arrivals at Kate Spade?

These fabrics, flowers, and tablescapes are STUNNING!

6 Common Household Ingredients to Use for Healthier Soil and Plants

This Hotel Has a Book Butler That Will Deliver Best-Sellers to Your Room

25 BIPOC-Owned Beauty Brands to Fall in Love With

100 Things You Can Do to Save the Planet

Words to Live By…

Second Quarter Books of the Month and Devotional…

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

Second-Quarter-Books-and-Devotion-to-Read-The-Crowned-Goat

On the Menu this Week…

Week of April 24th – May 1st

Sweet Treat to Try This Week…

This Strawberry Cream Cake is almost too pretty to eat.

Earth Day and Eco-Friendly Finds We Spotted Online at Amazon and Target This Week…

(Amazon and Target affiliate links have been provided for your convenience. As an Amazon Associate and an 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 to you. You can read our full disclosure policy here)

Kitchen Bags * Laundry Detergent Sheets * Seed Paper Hearts * Toilet Paper

Glass Spray Bottles (have and love) * Shirt * Beeswax Food Wrap * Metal Straws (have and love)

Scrub Brush Set (have a similar set and love) * Hemp Sheet Set * Gift Wrap * Bamboo Organizer

Dryer Balls (had and loved before we got Piper😂) * Swedish Dishcloths (have and love) *

Toothbrushes (currently in my cart) * Produce Bags (have and love) * Reusable Food Storage Bags (have and love) * Pet PooPoo Bags (have and love)

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

Vintage Inspired Kentucky Derby Tablescape

How to Easily Create the Look of a Vintage Trophy

DIY Moss Covered Urn and Spring Tea Party Blog Hop

Quick and Easy Summer Lavender Basket

Make at Home Lavender Garden Scrub

April Bucket List…

  • Celebrate April Birthdays
  • Order S’s Birthday Cake and Presents
  • Celebrate Easter at Bliss Barracks
  • Make Easter Basket for Piper
  • Meet S for Dinner to Celebrate the End of Tax Season
  • Meet Accountability Partner for Lunch and J Crew
  • Continue Quarter Challenge in Q2
  • Establish Exercise Plan to Strengthen Core
  • Begin the Miracle Month with Carrie Green Challenge
  • Take Part in Jon Acuff’s Overcoming Overthinking Challenge
  • Organize and Finish the Laundry Room Makeover
  • Begin Morning Pages
  • Read the Book of the Month
  • Begin Q2 Devotion
  • Keep Sundays Sacred

April Simplified and Organized Home Challenge…

Focus of the Month: Shared and Common Areas

  • 04/23 – Dining Room & Dining Room Hutch/Buffet
  • 04/30 – Declutter & Organize Living Room
  • 05/07 – Organize Household Books & Magazines
  • 05/14 – Home Office or Guest Room
  • 05/21 – Home Office or Guest Room Closet & Drawers
  • 05/28 – Create Summer Bucket List

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

  • 04/22 – Earth Day
  • 04/23 – National Take a Chance Day, World Book Day
  • 04/24 – National Pet Parents Day
  • 04/30 – National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day
  • 05/01 – May Day, Shop for Birthday and Special Occasions Cards and Gifts
  • 05/04 – Star Wars Day
  • 05/05 – Cinco de Mayo
  • 05/07 – Kentucky Derby
  • 05/08 – Mother’s Day

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,

CoCo

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15 Comments

  1. CoCo,
    So much great information this month. I loved your empathy suggestions! Thanks so much for sharing my lamp. It has a little of the Mark Sikes vibe doesn’t it.
    Did you see my previous message about a roundup blog post. I messaged you on IG. If you don’t see it can you dm me so I can resend. Thanks!

    1. Thank you, Rachel! It’s hard for a lot of people I know to show the same kind of love for themselves that they show for others – especially Moms! Your lamp definitely has a Mark Sikes vibe and I love it. You need to teach a class on how to keep your creativity tank full because I seriously love everything you come up with. As far as I know, I’ve responded to your email but I will definitely check my DMs today to make sure I’m in the loop. I don’t want to miss anything you do! Big hugs, CoCo

  2. As women, we are socialized to take care of everyone else before ourselves. I am so happy that you are working on having empathy for yourself. It is something that I am working on too. It has begun with tuning out all of the people who have told me that it is selfish. It is anything but selfish. I hope you have a wonderful weekend, CoCo. xo Laura

    1. Oh my gosh, Laura, YES! It’s so hard to tune out all the noise sometimes. Especially when you’re trying to make healthy choices and people comment on things that are really not their business. I’m really proud of you for staying the course and choosing BEST over GOOD. It’s not always easy. But it’s definitely worth the effort. Cheering you on as we make positive changes each day, CoCo

  3. I want to be a coastal grandmother! The house in that movie is my dream. Did you ever watch the show Revenge? I was actually telling Macy last night that I still dream about living somewhere like that, next to the ocean and walking the beach in a sweater. But alas, my life is still in the shoulda, woulda, coulda muck too. But the best part in our sadness, celebrations, aches, pains and daily grind… God is still there, cheering us on knowing we can do it! Big hugs sweet friend.

    1. Lol you could TOTALLY be a coastal grandmother! I don’t know what kind of magic Nora Ephron has but I’ll definitely have what she’s having because she’s fabulous. I have seen Revenge – it was such a good show and kept me guessing the whole time – the house in that show is stunning. I’m definitely coming over to hang out with you if you ever get it. Every time I get worried or stressed out I just imagine myself resting in His arms and it comforts me. Hope it comforts you too! Big hugs, CoCo

  4. BEAUTIFUL!!! Love those words, CoCo. Thanks for sharing today!!!

    1. Thanks so much, Rachel, I really appreciate it! Hope your week is filled with all good things. I can’t believe we’re almost to May! Hugs, CoCo

  5. Such a great post. Pinned to health and wellness board

    1. That’s so sweet of you, Cindy, thank you! Hope you have the best week, CoCo

  6. I couldn’t agree more that we are usually good at offering empathy to others yet we struggle to give ourselves that same level of empathy and care. You’ve had such a tough month CoCo and I wish I could give you the biggest hug in person. I can only offer you my love and hugs virtually. Thank you for the reminder of asking myself “What do you need today?”. Your Front Porch posts always make me smile. Have a lovely weekend my friend.

    1. I will definitely take all your love and hugs, Kim, thank you so much! I’m glad you enjoy these Friday posts, they’re so much fun to put together. I used to be terrible at journaling until I decided to start asking myself a question every day. I can’t even tell you how much it helps to clear the clutter before I start my day now. My prompt yesterday was, “Wouldn’t it be nice if…” and for 5 minutes I was on a literal vacation 😂 Sending you tons of love and hugs, CoCo

  7. Oh, my gosh. Hugs to you! It sounds like you’ve been going through a lot lately.

    Thank you, as always, for your positive words and reminders to be grateful. I needed those reminders today. And your menu ideas! I’m adding a bunch of them to my meal plan.

    1. I will take any and all hugs, Corrie, thank you so much for sending them my way. I’m happy to pass along any positive words. I promise our lives are not glamorous or blog-worthy all the time either but gratitude definitely helps us to regain perspective. Sending you lots of hugs too, CoCo PS: Glad the meal plan helps!

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