From the Front Porch

Happy Friday from the front porch sweet friends and welcome to March!

Last weekend, I was in line at Fresh Market waiting to check out, an armful of fresh flowers in one hand and my cart in the other.   

The line next to us was closed and with only one other customer in front of us, I was thankful I wouldn’t have to balance the somewhat awkward position for long.

Earlier in the day we had kicked off the weekend with brunch and a trip to the bookstore to celebrate making it through our family’s annual “holiday hustle,” the five months stretch of time we’re out of town at least one sometimes two or three times a week, every week, honoring the holidays, birthdays, and other special occasions.

I won’t lie, it’s a tough stretch.

I’ve tried to mitigate the exhaustion level a thousand times.

But have yet to come up with a solution that doesn’t leave a wake of hurt feelings or resentment.

I was so lost in thought I barely noticed the cashier standing next to me.

“Come on over here, Sugar, let me help you with that,” she said as she gently took the cart from my free hand.

“Oh, you don’t have to take us, I’m sure you’re ready to go home. Thank you, though,” I said realizing she was directing me to the lane with the closed sign.

But her grandmotherly demeanor was strong and having none of it.

“Just follow me and I’ll get you fixed up. Then we’ll both be out of here before you know it,” she said as her kind eyes and sweet smile lit up.

Grateful, I followed her over and dumped the flowers next to the register as she unloaded our groceries.

We were in the middle of small talk when she got really excited. I immediately started giggling because she reminded me so much of one of my favorite aunts.

“I’m gonna save you guys some money today! It looks like you’re gonna hit the limit with this purchase. Are you a rewards member?”

“No, we don’t live on this side of town and there’s not a Fresh Market in our area,” I said.

“Well, that just won’t do,” she replied. “It’s FREE and the benefits are amazing! Let’s get you started,” she exclaimed in the same tone of voice I use whenever I’ve just scored a piece of ironstone at the thrift store for $5.

The next two minutes were a total blur as she signed us up for the rewards program, saved us over $25 on our groceries, helped us choose a free meal, cashed us out, and loaded the bags into our cart.

“Listen, I know that was a lot right there but you have to take advantage of opportunities when you see them, ok? Every little bit of savings no matter how big or small helps,” she said as she patted me on the arm ready to send me on my way.

“Thank you so much for all your help and for taking us when you could have finished your shift and clocked out. I really appreciate it and I’m definitely putting your name in my gratitude journal tonight,” I said all but hugging her bye.

“We gotta help each other, Baby, that’s the only way to survive,” she said with bold confidence. “You be good now, look for opportunities everywhere you can, and have great rest of your weekend.”

Then she winked at me and said, “Toes up!”

And with that, she untied her apron strings and walked away.

It’s been nearly a week since our 15-minute exchange but I’ve thought about her generous gifts of time, talent, and kindness every single day.

15 minutes doesn’t seem like a long time to pour into someone else’s life, but it was enough to keep my cup filled all week.

As we begin a fresh month, I want to encourage you to look for opportunities to extend kindness to those around you.

It could be as simple as putting your phone down to dance in the kitchen with your kids after breakfast, making plans for date night with your S.O., lifting up a coworker in need, meeting a friend for a coffee date, celebrating your dog’s birthday, leaving a kind word on a blogger or influencer’s post you admire, or surprising your favorite grocery clerk with an unexpected blessing.

Because 15 minutes a day becomes 105 minutes a week, which becomes 450 minutes a month, which then becomes 5, 475 minutes a year.

And the effect those minutes could have on someone else’s life is priceless.

Cheering you on as you look for opportunities to make a difference this month.

PS: I picked up all the pieces shown above at the Renninger’s February Extravaganza. The pieces below belong to my Mom – You did a great job of styling the things you brought home Mom!

A Few of Our Favorite Things from Around the Web…

The beautiful portfolio of Summer House Lifestyle

It’s hard to believe this Timeless European home is in Scottsdale, Arizona.

I’m completely blown away by this stunning French wedding.

This Bedford Farmhouse is so warm and inviting.

A Chelsea Apartment Glow Up

I love the way all the wood tones warm up this fabulous home.

Speaking of warm woods, wait until you see this Laurel Park home tour.

How to Make a Room Look Bigger

This office makeover is bananas! It doesn’t even look like the same space!

The gardens in this Spanish colonial are amazing!

Michelle is such a talented lady! These carrots look downright real, don’t they?

Can we talk about this leprechaun bait? Nicolle is so creative!

Completely obsessed with Kristin’s beautiful egg DIY!

Give me all the flowering bulbs! Love the gorgeous Spring vignette and display ideas Debra put together.

You know I love a floral wreath and the Lynne put together is filled with Spring inspiration!

Have you seen this new collection at Dillard’s yet?

These hooks are so pretty!

How to Choose Necklaces To Go With Your Neckline

5 Beliefs I’m Letting Go About Stuff

Asking For What You Need (Can’t wait for TNH book to come out)

40 Simple Yet Beautiful Moments You Forget to Appreciate

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)

My middle sister recommended this book, Believe IT: How to Go From Underestimated to Unstoppable by Jamie Kern Lima and it was everything she said it would be!

It can be really easy to look at successful entrepreneurs who have “made it” and think they have it all figured out, or that their journey wasn’t filled with ups and downs, or that they were able to balance real life and work life seamlessly.

Jamie Kern Lima literally takes you behind the scenes of what it was like to build her company IT Cosmetics from her living room into a billion-dollar business.

This book is so inspirational and sheds new light on what the cosmetic industry is really like.

I loved this book!

You can find a complete list of the other self-discovery books we’ve read here.

Menu Ideas…

March Menu Ideas

March Menu Ideas-The Crowned Goat

Home Décor Inspired Finds We Spotted Online at Amazon 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)

Blue and Pink Home Decor and Beauty Finds at Amazon and Target-The Crowned Goat

Sweater * Book * Glycolic Acid Pads * Bud Vases

Bracelet * Pants * Bowl * Wedge Pumps

Coconut Water Drops * Clutch * Shirt * Stems

Cocktail Napkins * Water Bottle * Rug * Skirt

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

Renningers February Extravaganza Recap

Renningers February Extravaganza Recap-The Crowned Goat

The Skincare System That Changed My Skin

The Skincare System That Changed My Skin: Colleen Rothschild Discovery Kit Review

7 Tips for a Successful Week

7 Tips for a Successful Week-The Crowned Goat

DIY European Farmhouse Cake Stand

DIY European Farmhouse Inspired Cake Stand-The Crowned Goat

How to Decorate a Chandelier with Flowers for Spring

March Bucket List…

  • Celebrate Piper’s Adoption Day and St. Patrick’s Day 
  • Decorate the House for Spring
  • Finish Closet Makeover and Refresh
  • Make Decision on Guest Room Chair
  • Replant Container Gardens on the Front Porch
  • Shop for Easter Basket Gifts
  • Get a Fresh Haircut
  • Yoga Before Bed
  • Continue Quarter Challenge
  • Read the Book of the Month
  • Keep Sundays Sacred

March Words of the Month: Cultivate Healthy Habits

Activities to Enjoy:

  • Make a Healthy Smoothie or Juice Recipe
  • Enjoy Movie Night with a Friend
  • Go for a Walk on the Beach or in a New to You Trendy Neighborhood
  • Prioritize Sleep
  • Stretch Before You Get Out of Bed
  • Fill Your Water Bottle and Place It in the Fridge Before Going to Bed or Place a Carafe Filled with Water on Your Nightstand
  • Do a 15-Minute Clutter Catcher Clean-Up Each Night

You can find our complete list of Word of the Month Ideas here.

March Simplified and Organized Home Challenge…

Focus of the Month: Primary Bedroom and Bathroom 

  • 03/05 – Primary Bedroom
  • 03/12 – Primary Bedroom Drawers
  • 03/19 – Primary Bedroom Closet & Accessories
  • 03/26 – Primary Bathroom Cabinets and Countertops

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

  • 03/03 – National Day of Unplugging
  • 03/07 – Early Spring Inspiration Blog Hop
  • 03/08 – International Women’s Day
  • 03/12 – Daylight Savings Time Begins, US
  • 03/14 – National Pi Day 
  • 03/17 – St. Patrick’s Day
  • 03/20 – First Day of Spring

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’m so glad you shared this story! What an encouragement to go the extra mile!!

    1. I know! It was really kind of her especially since she could have easily clocked out and gone on about her day. She’s definitely the type of person that would Employee of the Year. Hope your weekend is a happy one, CoCo

  2. Wow, CoCo!! That story made me so happy. I could just picture that kind lady in my head as I was reading. It really doesn’t take much to be kind, does it?? Thanks so much for sharing these lovely words today. Happy weekend to you, my friend!

    1. It doesn’t take much to be kind at all, Rachel, but gosh does it ever help to change the day around when it happens! While I think there are some people who are just extra sensitive to the needs of others, kindness really is a muscle we can all practice daily. Sometimes the people under our own roof need it the most! Sending you lots of hugs for a happy weekend, CoCo

    1. Thanks so much, Rachel, I really appreciate it! Hugs and happy weekend, CoCo

  3. I loved your post today. So often your words of encouragement are a positive gift to my day. Last week, I had to drop off nine donation boxes at the Salvation Army. It was starting to snow and the drop off line was really long. There were about eight cars ahead of me. The very, super thin, young man appeared to be freezing but worked very hard unloading everyone’s donations. After, he unloaded my boxes, I gave him a $20.00 bill. That is the only bill that I had in my wallet. I had waited almost 40 minutes for my turn and I had a lot of time to think about how cold he must be. I told him to buy a cup of coffee, hot chocolate or tea on me. He started to cry. He had never been given a tip in the two years that he had worked there. He told me that he couldn’t wait to get a hot cup of tea on his break. I told him that I hoped that he could afford a donut too. He started to laugh and his smile made my week. He told me that he hadn’t had a donut in six weeks because they were too expensive. Oh, my heart almost broke. The wasted money that I had spent on all that stuff in my donation boxes could have probably bought him lunch for a year! God decided to remind me what is really important that day.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing this today, Nancy. I really appreciate it! What a kind and generous way to help make his day special. So many times I think the people that work the hardest in service industries feel completely overlooked. But you helped to change that for this young man. I know it made a huge difference in his day and it will for everyone else who reads this as well. I’ll think about your experience every time I go to the donation center now. While I’ve long given up trying to understand God’s mysterious ways, there’s no doubt you had a divine appointment that day. May you be blessed and continue to be a blessing, CoCo

      1. Such a beautiful story and woman. I wish I was able to be out and about more often.

        The love of my life, my husband does acts of kindness as often as he can and says it’s from both of us.

        Sometimes it’s helping an elderly person reach for an item at the food store Or walking ti an aisle he knows where the item is on the shelf.

        The smallest things are the best.

        I love my husband for being this man.

        Have a super weekend!

  4. I loved your story about the kindness of the store clerk. We certainly need more people like her in the world. Hugs and blessings to you.

    1. We could definitely use more people like her in the world, Renae, I couldn’t agree with you more. She was a special lady. Hope your weekend is filled with all good things, CoCo

  5. What a beautiful interaction with the clerk, I love having moments like that with kind people with huge hearts. I have to say almost every time I go to Trader Joe’s I almost always have a meaningful conversation with different clerks and it just makes my day. Kindness truly goes such a long way and I know you have one of the biggest hearts out there!

    Thank you for the feature of my eggs, you are so sweet. Wishing you a beautiful weekend ahead. xo

  6. Shelley Humpal says:

    Coco you are always real and thought provoking. I always enjoy finding you in my inbox as we both have a love for antiques and transferware. (Mine is blue) although I have a piece of brown. Sometimes in this crazy world of people speaking whatever they feel like, I have to force myself to remember to be kind. Kindness has always come naturally to me but, recently it has to be a forced reminder. I do try to practice kindness daily and project appreciation for all those that service me and make my life easier. It is imperative that we all learn to deliver a random act of kindness daily. Doing so one by one is the only way we can turn our country back to the kind nation of people that I have always known. Life is not all about me!!! Thank you for always being you. I would feel honored if you would check out my blog as well, I think you might enjoy it.

  7. Thanks for sharing that story with us! It’s so uplifting to hear about the kindness of strangers! Looks like you and your mom found some fabulous treasures! That brown transferware piece is beautiful! Can’t wait to see how you style them!! Hope you have the best week ever!

  8. Coco thank you so much for sharing this story. Such a great reminder that there are kind people out there and that one moment and totally change your day for the better! And thank you so much for sharing my leprechaun bait my friend! Hope you’re having a great week!

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