From the Front Porch

Happy Friday from the front porch, sweet friends, it’s so good to be with you today!

Can you believe Thanksgiving is next week?

How are you holding up?

I’ve spent most of the week trying to catch up on work and prep for the holiday while simultaneously trying to get ahead so things aren’t super chaotic when we get home.

List-making has made our lives infinitely easier this season, so I thought I would share a few things that have been on my mind lately…

  1. Every day I wake up and think you guys are THE BEST.  It’s truly an honor to be a part of your lives.  I deeply appreciate you and I write about you in my gratitude journal all the time!
  2. We listened to *this book (*Amazon Affiliate Link) on the way up and it’s so good.
  3. If you’re hosting Thanksgiving or related activity and your guests offer to bring something, LET THEM! We know you’re a superhero. You’re a total lady boss that can handle anything, but you don’t have to. Let your people bring a dish or two and even help with the clean-up if they want.  Teaming up will give you a lot more time to visit and eat pie 😊
  4. In that same vein, if you’ve taken on the lion’s share of the responsibility give yourself something to look forward to once the holiday weekend is over. Hosting is so much fun, but it can also be a lot of work. Now that my sisters, cousins, and I have taken over the hosting duties we’re realizing the women in our family have made it look WAY easier than it actually is 😏
  5. If you’re navigating the holidays as an introvert or with an anxiety disorder I see you, I’m with you, I’m cheering you on! Now is a great time to start thinking about how you can carve out downtime or quiet time for yourself if you haven’t started thinking about it already. Before each event, I ask myself, “What do I really need?”  Sometimes, it’s as simple as bringing a friend to family activities, making time for a nap, a hike, curling up by the fire with a good book, or having a few go-to questions ready when small talk gets a little taxing. It’s also really helpful to wear something you feel confident in that is comfortable.   
  6. In addition, it helps to have little mantras during the holidays. A few of my favorites are… “Hold on to what is true”… “Today I choose grace”… “This too will pass”… “Remain in My love” (from John 15: 9-12) … and “You are enough.” One of my best friends reminds herself, “It’s not a competition” #siblings 😆
  7. Always remember, it’s ok to say no. In fact, sometimes it’s the most loving gift you can give yourself and your loved ones during busy seasons.
  8. Set a gifting budget as early as possible and stick to it. My sisters and I select a theme and set a budget for family gifts every year and it really helps to take the pressure off! In addition, our extended families draw names. The budget is a lot smaller but drawing names early allows us to take advantage of sales throughout the year. Also, don’t be afraid to ask your loved ones if they want anything special. All the littles asked for money this year which really surprised me. They’re all saving for big things like a horse, a pig, and a special gaming system though and we couldn’t be happier to give them what they want.
  9. I know for some of you the holidays are not easy.  Dealing with grief and loss of any kind can be so, so, so, tough.  There is no time limit for dealing with grief or loss nor is there a “right or wrong” way to navigate it either. We all work through things in our own time and at our own pace. If you’re going through grief or loss this season, please know, I’ll be lifting you up.
  10. Keep in mind, it’s never too late to write a new story, embrace a perfectly imperfect holiday or create your own kind of magic. So, embrace the mess, expect the unexpected, and look for the silver lining – I promise it’s there.

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

There are so many cozy things to love in this Swedish Villa

Claire Thomas’s Hollyhock Cabin: A California Estate Filled with Vintage Charm

A before and after Victorian home tour you have to see to believe!

Speaking of which, this modern European kitchen makeover is pretty drastic too.

How pretty is this rustic meets elegant barn?

Congratulations to Rachel on her recent magazine features, both of which are totally fabulous!

Loved these tips from Shannon on how to set a Thanksgiving buffet!

Ina Garten’s Hosting Tips for a Less Stressful Thanksgiving

Loved this post for Dayspring from Holley, 7 Days of Preparing Our Hearts for Thanksgiving.

An Exact Replica of The House From “The Holiday” Is Coming to Georgia – And You Can Stay There

If you’re using ribbon on your tree this year Kim shared a totally genius trick you don’t want to miss!

How cute is this charcuterie wreath?

The Perks of Living in a Small Home

How to Prepare for a Holiday Photoshoot

Holiday Small Talk Tips

The Meanings Behind 9 Common Dog Behaviors

So excited to see this luxury pajama brand at JCrew. This sweater is really pretty too!

This is currently on my Christmas wishlist. This one and this one can be monogrammed as well.

And if you haven’t seen it yet, Marks & Spencer came to Target this week!

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…

November 20th – November 27th

Sweet Treat to Enjoy This Week…

50 Traditional Thanksgiving Dessert Ideas

Last Minute Thanksgiving 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)

Candlestick Holders * Turkey Platter * Weekender * Tablecloth

Place cards * Napkins * Chargers * Shoes

Sweater * Shadow Stick * Wine Glasses * Plate

Pie Plate * Skirt * Broach * Knife Set

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 Fall to New Year’s Outdoor Dessert Bar and Entertaining Ideas


5 Tips for an Easy Thanksgiving Tablescape

Simple Ways to Show Appreciation

DIY Napkin Rings and Holiday Entertaining Blog Hop

Our Best Holiday Gift Guides (160 Ideas to Enjoy)


Traditional Holiday Home Tour at Bliss Barracks (one of your favorite home tours from last year)

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 a Thanks and Giving 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…

  • 11/19 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.

Many blessings,


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  1. Another great post! I look forward to these each week! Thank you for sharing!

  2. I think the biggest thing I will take away from this blog post is ‘it’s not a competition’
    My mantra for the next few months.
    Thank you

    1. You are so welcome, Pamela. I keep this one front and center myself! Cheering you on as you navigate the holiday season with joy and grace, CoCo

  3. I just love your Friday posts CoCo. I come away feeling so inspired and am grateful to you for saying all the things a lot of us are thinking, especially around the holidays. Thank you for the inspiration and I’m wishing you a happy holiday filled with love and joy my friend.

    1. That means so much to me, Kim, thank you. I could have never imagined when my baby sister persuaded me to write this series it would become so popular. I’m thankful every week for sweet friends like you that consistently support it and make it a meaningful place for all of us to gather together and share our best. Sending you tons of hugs this holiday season, CoCo

  4. Happy Thanksgiving to you, dear internet friend! I am grateful to have you in my digital life.

    1. I’m so grateful for you too, Corrie! You’ve always been such a sweet support with your kind and thoughtful comments and I appreciate you every day. I hope you and your family had a fabulous holiday weekend. Sending you big hugs and thank yous for all the ways you share your best, CoCo

  5. I loved your idea for wearing something to holiday events that “you feel confident in.” This is such a smart way to approach an event. Also, your idea to have a few questions handy for taxing conversations was brilliant. This is such a tactful way to handle sticky situations.

  6. Such an uplifting post, CoCo!! I’m wishing you and your family a happy and peaceful Thanksgiving!!

    1. Thank you so much, Rachel, I really appreciate it! Hope you and your family have a happy holiday season filled with more love than your heart can hold, CoCo

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