From the Front Porch
It’s 3:44 am on Sunday morning as I write this.
I’m sipping on toasted coconut coffee from Fresh Market snuggled under one of my favorite blankets.
You can hear the washing machine quietly cleaning our clothes, smell the delicious scent of a Glamour Wash “Diva” candle, and see the soft glow of the lights from the Christmas tree dancing in the background.
The only thing missing is a roaring fire in the fireplace and my sweet rescue Piper curled up beside me.
Today is my hard and fast day to take down the Christmas tree now that everything else has been put away.
In some ways, it’s bittersweet because I love waking up early to soak in as much quiet time as I possibly can, and I am going to dearly miss these magical moments.
In other ways though, I know it’s time to move on.
It’s time to reflect on the gifts of January, prepare for the gifts of February, and fully embrace a fresh start.
Like so many of you, the beginning of our year did not start out as we had anticipated.
But that doesn’t mean the time was squandered or the lessons were wasted.
Quite the contrary.
January showed us the imperfections in our routines, taught us the value of daily rituals, better ways to establish healthy boundaries, simple ways to combat procrastination, and the vital importance of rest.
Earlier this month, I was in a goal setting class with best-selling author, podcaster, and motivational speaker Jon Acuff.
He gave us all sorts of nuggets of wisdom from, “Don’t let fear crowd out hope,” to “Momentum is always messy,” and “Procrastination is the art of living life later.”
He also shared, “January is for shaping goals,” which given the unexpected way the month began felt like a huge relief.
So, as I sit here snuggled up reflecting on the gifts of January, I want to pass that same sense of relief and encouragement onto you.
Especially, if you feel like you’re already “behind.”
There is still time to discover new dreams.
There is still time to establish systems and routines that serve you and your family well.
There is still time to commit to the habits that fell by the wayside when life got busy in January.
It doesn’t matter if you made a goals list the first week of January and abandoned all but two items or if you finally sat down on February 1st to map out a plan for the year, there is still time.
At the end of every month, make time to assess, and reset my goals.
In the past, that time of reflection and planning would have been enough.
But this year, I’ve also started making an action items list so it will be easier to keep the momentum going.
That way, I don’t have to decide, “What’s next?” in the moment or risk losing steam after completing a related task.
I can simply look at the list and choose, “What do I have the time and the energy to handle right now?”
While I know I’ll never be able to control the outcome, I know I can control my effort.
And you can too.
Never forget you have the power to move your goals, dreams, and healthy habits forward.
Cheering you on as you take bold steps and tiny steps toward living a life you love.
A Few of Our Favorite Things from Around the Web…
This house will have you ready for vacation
The beautiful portfolio of the Court Atkins Group.
This home tour gets me every time. Every detail is perfection!
I love all the block prints in this house. The black-and-white color palette is so chic!
Wait until you see the before and after photos of this kitchen. It doesn’t even look like the same space.
This home is gorgeous and for obvious reasons, the office stole my heart!
The Best Interior Design Trends of 2023 (this is another great list that feels doable)
Rachel is always coming up with the best ideas, these are so creative.
Book club and brunch? Count me in! I love the way Jen decorated for the occasion.
I pinned so many things in Kim’s fabulous Valentine’s Day decor ideas post.
Speaking of pinning, I’m totally obsessed with these. Cindy nailed it as always.
Speaking of obsessing, have you seen Anna’s Valentine’s Day Arrows yet? They are super creative.
3 Things to Do When You’re on the Fence About Working Out
25 Easy Tasks to Simplify Your Life (this list is totally doable)
Professional Organizers Share What to Throw Out In The New Year
Currently searching for wardrobe basics and came across this fabulous jacket.
Speaking of fabulous jackets, have you seen this one from H&M yet? I need to make room for it in my closet ASAP
99 Ways to Invest in Your Future (so many great reminders on this list)
This podcast sounds interesting.
Words to Live By…
On My Nightstand…
(Amazon 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)
Marie Kondo’s Kurashi at Home: How to Organize Your Space and Live Your Ideal Life by Marie Kondo (this book has really helped me cut the clutter and think through the spaces in my home)
**You can find a complete list of all the self-discovery books we’ve read here.
February Menu Ideas…
(includes Super Bowl, Galentine’s, Valentine’s, and Fat Tuesday ideas)
Blush Home Décor and Valentine’s Day 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)
Bedspread * Plaid PJs * Pink Fluted Bowls * Clock
Lipstick * Coverlet * Rug * Highball Glasses
Dish Brush Set * Document Holder * Rose Printed Sheet Set * Sweater
Coffee Maker * Light Fixture * Makeup Brush Holder * Pillow Covers
If You’ve Missed Anything from the Blog Recently or the Archives, Here’s a Peek At What We’ve Been Up To…
(A peek at how I celebrated my birthday this year and cut 6 inches off my hair!)
Countdown to Valentine’s Day Calendar (now including ideas for pets!)
17 Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day
Ultimate Valentine’s Day Gift Guide… (112 ideas to explore!)
February Bucket List…
- Celebrate February Birthdays
- Mail Valentine’s Day Cards & Gifts
- Celebrate Valentine’s and Galentine’s Day
- Watch the Super Bowl
- Celebrate Mardi Gras
- Continue AM Green Juice and Water Before Coffee
- Wake Up at The Same Time Each Morning
- Walk or Bike 30-45 Mins Each Day
- Continue The Quarter Challenge
- Stretch or Yoga Before Bed
- Reclaim Afternoon Teatime
- Plan Spring Home Décor and Porch Projects
- Refresh Undergarments
- Read the Book of the Month
- Keep Sundays Sacred
February Words of the Month: Connect & Encourage
Activities to Enjoy:
- Send a Card or Flowers to an Old Friend, Loved One, or Someone Special
- Take an Elderly Neighbor or Friend to Lunch
- Have Dinner by Candlelight
- Pay for the Groceries of the Person Behind You in the Express Lane
- Keep Sundays Sacred
- Listen Intently Without Distractions
**You can find our complete list of Word of the Month Ideas here.
February Simplified and Organized Home Challenge…
Focus of the Month: Kitchen
- 02/05 Declutter/Organize Refrigerator & Freezer
- 02/12 Declutter/Organize Kitchen Cabinets & Drawers
- 02/19 Declutter Kitchen Counters/Coffee Bar Area
- 02/26 Simplify/Refresh Breakfast Nook
**You can find the entire 52 Weeks to a Simplified and Organized Home Challenge Plan here.
TCG Housekeeping Notes, Dates to Remember, and Upcoming Posts…
- 02/09 National Pizza Day
- 02/11 National Latte Day
- 02/12 Super Bowl Sunday
- 02/13 Galentine’s Day
- 02/14 Valentine’s Day
- 02/14 Random Acts of Kindness Week
- 02/17 National Random Acts of Kindness Day
- 02/20 Love Your Pet Day
- 02/20 President’s Day (US)
- 02/21 Fat Tuesday
- 02/22 Ash Wednesday
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.
Thanks for the encouragement! I love the quotes you shared from Jon Acuff! They are so true!
Happy Friday CoCo. This month was a hectic one indeed. Looking forward to getting back on track in February and making some headway on a few goals and creating more established routines.
Thank you so much for sharing my bookclub brunch tablescape. I appreciate it.
I hope you have a great weekend. I appreciate you for sharing my paper flowers.
CoCo, it is nice to know I am not the only one writing my posts at 4am. I find it is the only real time my house is quite enough to work. Your words of encouragement always come to me at the right moment! This week has been overwhelming and you have me taking a step back to catch my breath. So thank you! Love your Valentine’s Day Poppers. Such a great idea. Have a good week my friend. -Meagan
The quote, “Your direction is more important than your speed,” hit me. That is a great quote to live by. I’m still trying so hard to slow down and practice some self-care. I don’t think I’ll have much choice when I have my knee replacement surgery on the 9th! I always cherish your words of encouragement. Thank you for sharing my Valentine’s Day ideas CoCo. I appreciate it so much. Wishing you a wonderful weekend and month ahead, my friend.
Just wanted to say thank you for your words of encouragement! It’s been a rough week and your post helped! Thank you for sharing your heart with us! I hope you have a wonderful week!
I’m just catching up on your blog today. Your words were a welcome comfort as I’ve had a rough past few weeks. Thanks so much for the reminder…slow and steady wins the race as they say. I appreciate you!!
Thank you for all of the wonderful inspiration. Mostly, I want to thank you for encouraging me to keep pressing into my goals, even if they are taking a little longer to accomplish than expected!