From the Front Porch

Happy Friday from the front porch sweet friends, I’m really glad you’re here!

It’s hard to believe we’re getting ready to say goodbye to October and welcome November, isn’t it?

My Pinterest feed has been FILLED with all sorts of holiday goodies lately.

And while I’ve been planning and preparing, I’ve also been working really hard to keep my feet firmly planted in this season.

As I look back on my journal this month, it’s filled with everything from a trip to Fall in the Fields, to our family’s annual Spooky Soiree, to an Oktoberfest party that had two epic apple tarts and an epic sunset, to attending a blog retreat to cleaning up from Hurricane Ian.

Sprinkled in between the big moments were trips to the doctor’s office, Halloween craft projects, bowls made from puff pastry filled with shrimp and grits (*see a photo below), sunny days, chilly nights, hunting for Christmas presents, finally ordering the flocked tree of my dreams, an unexpected box of chocolate-covered cherries shipped directly to our home, and lots of phone calls with my sisters about our holiday plans.

So by the time we got out of the car to enjoy the Vincent van Gogh Immersive Experience, in the middle of the morning on a random Wednesday, I freely admit, I was already tired and a little distracted.

But I was also determined to leave all the mental clutter at the door.

In the words of the author, Jeanne Stevens, as an introvert, I can all too easily get caught up in “rehashing the past and rehearsing the future instead of receiving the present.”

Yet, each day, the present is exactly where we’ve all been invited to live.

I thought I knew a lot about Van Gogh but after going through the exhibit, I realized I knew more about the myth than I did about the man.

For even a creative genius struggled at times to stay present, and motivated, to love well, to appreciate his talent, to reinvent himself when needed, to stay connected, and above all to have the courage to keep going despite his many faults and failures.

As we move forward into a fresh month that will likely be filled with hustle and bustle, mental clutter, and maybe a little rehearsing and rehashing, I want to encourage you to hang onto the things you know to be true.

  • You are loved more than you can even imagine.
  • You were created on purpose.
  • You are filled with gifts and talents that only you possess, don’t be afraid to use them.
  • You have everything you need to make an impact.
  • You are a treasure like none other.

Cheering you on as you march toward November and find the beauty in perfectly imperfect days.

A Few of Our Favorite Things from Around the Web…

Another home run by the one and only Bria Hammel Interiors.

You won’t believe this tiny house shed transformation.

A holiday cottage that feels like a getaway.

The cabinetry in this home is really beautiful.

This bookstore is gorgeous!

A Rambling Romantic Garden

Bringing this amazing grandma approved idea and these festive sweet treats to a pumpkin carving party this weekend.

If you’re still looking for Halloween party ideas, this post, 30 Halloween Recipes for Your Next Spooky Gathering, has loads of quick and easy ideas.

These moss-covered pumpkins and this rustic cornucopia would make such gorgeous Thanksgiving Centerpiece ideas. Michelle and Jen are always so creative!

Speaking of beautiful ideas, this post is filled with lots of inspiration if you need help coming up with a color palette for your Thanksgiving or holiday tablescape.

2022 Hallmark Christmas Movie Schedule

Rachel gathered together 37 Christmas Tree Ideas and I pinned so many of them!

20 Most Popular Fall Drinks

How cool is this closet makeover? It doesn’t even look like the same space!

40 Wardrobe Staples Vogue Editors Are Wearing This Year

There are lots of fun royal-inspired Christmas ideas at this Etsy shop!

40 Simple Yet Beautiful Moments You Forget to Appreciate

Words to Live By…

Fourth 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)


On the Menu this Week…

Week of October 29th – November 6th

Fall Neutrals and Early Holiday 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)

Fall Neutrals and Early Holiday Finds on Amazon and Target-The Crowned Goat

Headboard * Stocking * Wreath * Comforter and Sham Set

Skirt * Dinner Plate * Storage Bins * Bells

Glamour Wash Gift Set * Scarf * Flocked Tree * Pillow

Crossbody Bag * Cream Shadow Set * Hoodie * Botanical Prints

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

Festive DIY Halloween and Fall-Inspired Tees

Festive and Easy Halloween Shirt with Iron On Applique-The Crowned Goat

Last Minute Halloween Ideas

DIY Halloween Tree-The Crowned Goat

12 Simple Ways to Ease Into the Holidays

Ways to Ease Into the Holidays-Wrapping Paper Station-The Crowned Goat

How to Make a Blessings Wreath or Garland

November Menu Ideas


November Bucket List…

*You can find the rest of our Fall Monthly Bucket List Ideas here

  • Support Indigenous People and Organizations
  • Commemorate the National Day of Mourning
  • Host Family at The Cabin for the Holidays
  • Celebrate November Birthdays and Friendsgiving Dinner at Bliss Barracks
  • Fly the Flag and Take Dad to Lunch for Veteran’s Day
  • Shop Outdoor Antique Events in the Mountains
  • Hike a New Leaf Peeping Trail
  • Decorate the House for the Holidays
  • Craft Christmas Ornaments
  • Bake a Pecan Pie with Pecans from the Pecan Grove
  • Sip on Hot Apple Cider
  • Try a New Seasonal Inspired Side Dish
  • Finalize Christmas Plans
  • Read the Book of the Month
  • Keep Sundays Sacred

November Simplified and Organized Home Challenge…

Focus of the Month:

  • 11/05 Christmas Card Contact List
  • 11/12 Thanksgiving Menu/Grocery Shopping
  • 11/29 Buy Christmas Paper & Gift Wrap Supplies
  • 11/26 Finish Christmas Shopping/Naughty or Nice List

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

  • 11/01 Buy Birthday and Special Occasion Gifts and Cards
  • 11/06 Daylight Savings Time Ends
  • 11/08 Election Day (US)
  • 11/11 Veterans Day
  • 11/14 International Girls Day
  • 11/17 National Homemade Bread Day
  • 11/19 Equal Opportunity Day
  • 11/21 National Gingerbread Cookie Day
  • 11/24 National Day of Mourning
  • 11/24 Thanksgiving Day (US)
  • 11/25 Black Friday
  • 11/26 Shop Small Saturday
  • 11/27 First Day of Advent
  • 11/28 Cyber Monday
  • 11/29 Giving Tuesday

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.

**PS: So many people are asking about the shrimp and grits in a puff pastry bowl! I had it at lunch after the Van Gogh exhibit so I don’t have a recipe but I thought I would share a photo in case you’re able to make something similar at home.

Believe it or not, this was the appetizer portion with 5 shrimp – it was huge – but worth every calorie 😉

Many blessings,


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  1. Hi Coco, so sorry if I have missed any of your lovely posts of late, still having health problems but fingers crossed I am ‘on the up’..
    I have enjoyed reading this one, and seeing all the wonderful images and getting ready for Halloween, always so exciting for the little ones, and some of the bigger ones too :))
    Have a lovely times when it comes, its my youngest sons birthday and he always makes the most of it although he ‘very’ grown up now.xx

    1. How cool to have a Halloween baby, Janette! I bet he’s still your favorite little pumpkin even though he’s grown up now. I knew something was up when I went to your blog on Monday but didn’t see a post. I’m so sorry you’ve had health issues again and I’m thankful you’ve been making progress. I’m always amazed at how long it takes the body to heal from things so I hope you’re taking extra good care of yourself. It’s really important! Big hugs and lots of prayers for a speedy recovery, CoCo

  2. Thanks for the beautiful images of Van Gogh’s work. It looks like you had a great time. It’s always good to hear what you’ve been up to!

    1. It was such a cool experience, Cindy. I think you could have loved it because it felt like you were walking inside his paintings. Sending you tons of hugs and hoping your week has been a special one, CoCo

  3. I’m with you, CoCo. I’m trying so hard not to wish the fall away, but I know I need to start shifting gears and planning ahead for the holidays.

    Thank you so much for sharing my cornucopia centerpiece. I hope your readers enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it.

    Happy weekend!

    1. I totally feel ya, Jen! I just finished my first holiday post and it was SO weird to work on ornaments while enjoying the spooky glow from our carved pumpkins 😉 Blogging is no joke that’s for sure. LOVED your cornucopia centerpiece and can’t wait to use your beautiful ideas at the cabin in a few weeks. I know they will help to make things extra special this year Big hugs, CoCo

  4. The Vincent van Gogh experience looks so amazing and interesting! I need to add it to my list of fun things to do! Thanks for all of your encouraging words during this busy time of the year! Blessings, Donna

    1. You would have loved it, Donna! I don’t know why but I thought it was going to be like a regular art exhibit. This was like walking into one of his paintings though. It was projected on the floors, the walls, and everything. It was super cool! Hope you guys have the best weekend, CoCo

  5. Could you please share the puff pastry bowls with shrimp and grits? Getting ready for a little dinner party here and I’m thinking that just might be the perfect thing! 😊 Thanks for all the inspiration!

    1. I wish I had the recipe for the shrimp and grits, Lou Ann, they were amazing! I had them for lunch after the Van Gogh exhibit but I just uploaded a picture to the very bottom of the blog post so you can see what it looked like. Hope it helps and good luck with your dinner party. It’s such a festive weekend to celebrate – CoCo

    1. You’re so sweet to say that, Kim, thank you! I’m always amazed at how popular they are each week. It’s such a sweet blessing. Hope your week is a special one. I’ll definitely be lifting you up. Big hugs, CoCo

  6. Coco,
    Hard to believe that October is almost over and it will be November….It was a great October though and I think our Fall Foliage was the best that it has been in years… Thanks so much for stopping by and for your kind words!!

    1. I couldn’t agree with you more, Deb! I’m alway so thankful you share your foliage with us because everything down here is still palm trees, blue skies, and flip flops. We’re supposed to go to the cabin for Thanksgiving so I’m crossing my fingers there are still a few red or orange leaves on the trees. Hope your week has been a special one, CoCo

  7. Wow, a Vincent Van Gogh Immersive Experience sounds like something I would love. We have plans to travel to Michigan in November and it looks like that’s the closest that this experience is going to get to us. I think we’re going to make this part of our trip. Thanks for posting about it! Have a lovely week and Halloween. Hugs, Kim.

    1. You will love it, Kim! We’re not in a city that has a lot of art exhibits so we were super excited to be able to go. One of the guys that staffed the show said it had been extended multiples times in our area and now I can see why. It was such a good experience. Hope your week has been a festive one. Hugs, CoCo

  8. What??? How is it November 1st??? I’m so glad you went to the Van Gogh immersive experience. I went with my Mom earlier this summer and was blown away by it. We were there for more than 2 hours. Thank you for the kind reminders about our purpose in this world. Always appreciated and needed. Also, I love your roundup of products.
    As an aside- I never feel like the comments I leave give your posts adequate justice. You always put so much thought into what you write and here I am leaving a small paragraph in response. Anyway- I appreciate all you do CoCo!

    1. You’re melting my heart today, sweet friend, thank you so much for the kind and thoughtful words. I appreciate them so much! These posts are always lots of fun to put together and I’m beyond grateful my baby sister suggested the idea. My Mom wants me to start a Monday Motivation/Encouragement to kick off your week kind of post – so we’ll see. I was blown away by the Van Gogh experience too. It was AMAZING! We’ve recommended it to everyone we can. I’m so excited you and your Mom got to enjoy it together. It definitely makes the memory extra special. Sending you lots of hugs, CoCo

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