From the Front Porch

Happy Friday from the front porch sweet friends. We appreciate you making us a part of your day today!

Late last week, I found myself watching an episode of All Creatures Great and Small. I was set to meet the littles at the zoo the following morning and desperately needed something to help take my mind off the anxiety of driving.

In the episode, a young veterinarian was trying to help a grieving widow figure out how to save the family farm. Truthfully, they were in dire straits because the cows were sick and dying faster than they could successfully treat them.

The widow was adamant she was going to save the farm though, not only because it was their home and only source of income, but because it was also her children’s birthright and late husband’s legacy.

In one particularly dramatic scene, the vet conveyed, “There is no courage without fear,” and it immediately stuck with me.

So much so, that I repeated it to myself all the way to the zoo the following day.

Despite it being crazy hot, we saw, petted, and fed all our favorite animals, got misted in the 4D theater, drank slushies that turned our tongues blue, rode the train and the carousel, and searched for lucky pennies.

On our way back to the cars my niece gave me a sidearm hug.

“Thanks for being brave and meeting us today, CoCo. I had fun with you,” she said.

“You’re the brave one for hugging me, I’m a sweaty sticky mess!” I teased back.

She giggled and for a brief second, almost let it go.

But she was still holding on to my waist when she decided it was too important to ignore.

“I heard you tell Mimi you were still nervous to drive a car,” she said, “I just wanted you to know how much I appreciated that you did something scary for us because today has been so much fun.”

Fighting back tears, I squeezed her tight and said, “You’re welcome, you’re worth it.”

On the way home, I thought about how much courage it takes to truly show up each day.

For me, it looks like getting behind the wheel of a car. For my niece, it was speaking love into a tender situation.

It might look like navigating a new job, finally taking a dream vacation after years of saving, celebrating the fact you made it through a scary doctor’s appointment, that your little has successfully been potty trained or waiting for an answer on a situation you’ve been praying about for months instead of taking the easiest route and rushing through.

Courage for you might look like trying something new, getting back on track with goals you’ve let fall by the wayside this summer or protecting your best self with healthy boundaries.

While I’ve yet to experience the thrill of courage, without first, the anguish of fear, I truly believe courage can be practiced in big and small ways.

So, as you walk boldly down the school supply aisle and prepare your heart and home for all the good things coming your way in August, I want to encourage you to think about ways you can show up and speak up – even when it feels scary.

Cheering you on as you take the next steps!

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

How pretty is this French-inspired Christmas in July tour?

The blush and gold tree from my dreams! Those little donut ornaments are about to put me over the edge in the best possible way 🙌

If you love the elegant simplicity of a Scandinavian Christmas with lots of white, you’ll love this post.

These DIY Paper Trees would be great to make now and squirrel away for the holidays.

This homemade Advent calendar is really beautiful.

I have no idea how Monika Hibbs always comes up with so many creative ideas but I’ve loved every holiday home tour she’s shared.

This Christmas home tour mixes blue and green plaid with pops of copper and it’s so warm and cozy.

Did you have a chance to see the new Downton Abbey movie? It was a good one! Speaking of which, this Downton Abbey-inspired Christmas Home Tour is fabulous!

I love these decorating ideas with magnolias. They’re such a beautiful way to transition from the Thanksgiving to Christmas holiday season.

I sent this home tour filled with reds, plaids, and equestrian touches to my Mom last year and she loved it.

17 Ways to Make Last Year’s Christmas Decor Look New

How to Decorate a Christmas Tree Like a Professional in 12 Steps

Words to Live By…

Third Quarter Books of the Month and Devotional…

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On the Menu this Week…

Week of July 30th – August 7th

*You can find our menu for the month of August, here!

Sweet Treat to Try This Week…

Classic Texas Sheet Cake

French County Christmas Inspired 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 to you. You can read our full disclosure policy here)

Mercury Glass Garland * Café Au Lait Bowl * Rug * White Ruffled Duvet

Shams * Flocked Tree * Baguette Ornament * Mirror

Ribbon * French Bulldog Ornament * Loveseat * Doormat

French Perle Dish Set * Ornament * Bubble Bath * Laundry Basket  

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

Quick and Easy Ice Cream Cone Ornaments

Quick and Easy Ice Ceam Cone Christmas Ornaments-The Crowned Goat

Favorite Things Christmas in July

Christmas Tree Ornaments with Pops of Pink-The Crowned Goat

Simple Ways to Prepare Now for the Holidays

Simple Ways to Prepare Now for the Holidays-The Crowned Goat

25 DIY Gift Ideas to Make Before Christmas

Vintage Inspired Monogrammed Gift Tags

August Bucket List…

  • Celebrate August Birthdays and Grandparent Anniversaries
  • Back to School Event for the Littles
  • Pick up Fresh Office Supplies
  • Find Easy Breakfast Recipes
  • Celebrate Living at Journeys End 13 years
  • Attend Global Leadership Summit Retreat at Bliss Barracks
  • Design 2023 Planner and Blog Notebook
  • Organize the Refrigerator, Desk Drawers, and Kitchen Drawers
  • Check Hurricane Kits
  • Confirm Fall Travel Plans
  • Continue Quarter Challenge
  • Try New IG Strategy 
  • Read the Book of the Month
  • Keep Sundays Sacred

August Simplified and Organized Home Challenge…

Focus of the Month: Car, Garden, & Garage

  • 08/06 – Medicine Cabinet & First Aid Supplies/Emergency Contact List
  • 08/13 – Garage, Attic, or Basement
  • 08/20 – Garden Supplies/Potting Shed
  • 08/27 – Seasonal Decorative Items-Fall

TCG Housekeeping Notes, Dates to Remember, and Upcoming Posts

  • 07/31 – National Mutt Day
  • 08/01 – Buy August Birthday and Special Occasion Gifts
  • 08/01 – Planners Day
  • 08/02 – National Night Out
  • 08/04 – National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day
  • 08/07 – National Sisters Day
  • 08/07 – National Friendship Day
  • 08/09 – National Book Lovers Day
  • 08/10 – National Spoil Your Dog Day
  • 08/12 – National Middle Child Day
  • 08/13 – International Lefthanders Day
  • 08/15 – Check the Chip Day
  • 08/17 – National Thrift Store Day
  • 08/19 – World Humanitarian Day
  • 08/24 – National Waffle Day
  • 08/25 – National Burger Day
  • 08/25 – National Banana Split Day
  • 08/26 – Women’s Equality Day
  • 08/26 – National Dog Day
  • 08/27 – Just Because Day  
  • 08/28 – Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day
  • 08/30 – National Beach Day
  • 08/31 – Eat Outside 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,


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  1. I love your thoughts on courage. I often muster mine by the thought that time is fleeting and I may not get another chance.
    I’ve enjoyed your posts and links regarding Christmas in July. They’ve come at a good time for me and even though we have lots of summer left to enjoy, I am definitely looking forward to Christmas and December.
    Have a lovely weekend!

    1. I really appreciate it, Kim, thank you! It took me a long time to choose courage even when I didn’t feel 100% confident at the time. As you say, life is moving so fast so it’s important to be ready for the opportunities that are coming your way. So glad you liked the Christmas in July posts. They’re always fun to put together and it’s nice to have something so magical to look forward to. Hope your weekend was lots of fun, CoCo

  2. CoCo,
    Thanks for all the inspiration and for sharing my paper trees. Have the best weekend.

  3. I needed to hear the words “there is no courage without fear” as I try to implement some of the strategies I learned at Haven Conference. Moving out of my comfort zone is not easy! Thanks for the encouragement to work through the scary stuff! Blessings, Donna

  4. I’m loving all the Christmas inspiration here this week CoCo! Your niece is such a sweetie. Loved that you had a lovely day despite your anxiety. Sounds like you were able to stay cool in the heat as well. Thanks for the sweet story, my friend.

  5. So good, CoCo!! Truly inspiring every time. Love to you!

  6. Hi CoCo – I love All Creatures Great and Small. I watched the original pbs show over and over. A couple of years ago when they decided to remake this series – I was excited and scared at the same time. I was worried that it may not be as good as the original and yet excited to see if was as I remembered. Anyway, I love the new series.
    I love the story of your niece and you at the zoo. It’s always the little ones who bring us out of our shells.
    Thank you again for your stories and for inspiring us.

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