From the Front Porch

Happy Friday from the front porch, beautiful friends! Thank you so much for being here and for making us a part of your day.

How is your summer going so far?

I hope you’ve been able to make lots of extra special memories with the people you love most.

As I shared earlier this week, my Mom and I drove to Mount Dora for a bit of treasure hunting. We had an amazing time and saw so many pretty things! 

Truthfully, I had no idea what to expect when we set off, but I was bound and determined to keep an open mind.

My Mom has been to at least four different counties looking for fresh finds these past few months, and she almost always comes home empty-handed.

I knew before we left we’d feel pressure to scoop things up as quickly as possible given our Labor Day deadline.

Shopping like that makes it really hard for my Mom to make decisions sometimes.

Add to that my wanting Loblolly to reflect her style and not my own, I was extra careful not to weigh in unless asked directly.  

There were pieces she saw and knew she wanted immediately.

And other pieces we walked back to inspect “just one more time” on three separate occasions.

As we loaded the car with the last piece of furniture, I gave my Mom a big hug and a high five, “I know it wasn’t easy to make decisions on the fly like that, Mom, but you totally nailed it today. I’m so proud of you.”

Not one to take credit for anything, my Mom gave me a sheepish grin and said, “I’m pretty proud of myself. Making decisions for a space you can’t see right away is so hard. I think we did well though, and I’m excited about everything we’re bringing home.” 

It’s true, holding space to make decisions for a new goal or a fresh opportunity or a dream not yet realized or a treasured relationship, or a life change can definitely be tough. 

Honestly, it doesn’t matter if you’re in the middle of a big home decorating project, picking out school supplies, making last-minute summer plans, or deciding what systems to put in place to help make your life easier, each and every day, we’re faced with decisions.

Sometimes the decisions are clear cut and other times they require extra prayer and consideration.

Either way, they demand we trust ourselves enough to take action.

So, as we get ready to ease into the final weeks of July, I want to encourage you to take action on something you’ve been putting off.

Start small if you must, and take baby steps if you need, but don’t ignore or put off what you know you need to do.

Because at the end of the day, it’s highly unlikely you would flake out on a friend.

So, don’t flake out on yourself.   

After all, you’re just as worthy.

Cheering you on as you become more confident with each decision you make and every action you take.

PS: Now is a great time to take advantage of early holiday sales

Just a Heads Up…

We’re participating in the Supper Club series next week and I can’t tell you how excited I am to be a part of it!

While we normally send an email on Wednesdays and Fridays, the Supper Club posts are scheduled for Thursday and Saturday so we’ll be dropping them in your inbox on those days.

Thanks so much in advance for your sweet support. I can’t wait to see what these fabulous ladies are sharing!

A Few of Our Favorite Things from Around the Web…

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

Speaking of French Country Christmas, I’m beyond excited for this book to arrive!

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

These Danish Christmas decorations have such a warm and inviting feel.

Rachel made these DIY Paper Trees and they would be amazing to make now and squirrel away for the holidays. I feel like you could use them throughout the winter months too!

This homemade Advent calendar is really beautiful.

Did you see Jen’s cozy winter tablescape? Those mercury glass trees layered with the candles and greenery get me every time.

This pretty elegant home tour from Live Oak Nest was one of my favorites from last year.

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 done.

My Riverside French Cottage is a new to me blog, but I fell in love with her gorgeous images and beautiful Christmas home tour the minute I landed on her site.

17 Ways to Make Last Year’s Christmas Décor Look New (So many fabulous and totally doable ideas)

How to Decorate a Christmas Tree Like a Professional in 12 Steps via Balsam Hill is always helpful. They have such beautiful trees!

Have you started Christmas shopping yet? We shopped a bit during the Amazon Prime and Nordstrom sales and I just added these and this iconic sweater to my Christmas list too.

Love this post, Not Small at All, from The New Happy.

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)

I had no idea when I decided to take a deep dive into the topic of self-sabotage that this month would be one of my most productive.

I love boundaries and thrive on routines.

And even though I’m generally highly organized (save for our garage), I could have just as easily gotten my graduate degree in procrastination instead of counseling.

After reading Stop Self Sabotage: Six Steps to Unlock Your True Motivation, Harness Your Willpower, and Get Out of Your Own Way and Self Sabotage No More though I can now spot a self-sabotage cycle coming on almost immediately.

While that might seem scary to some of you who have been dealing with self-sabotage-related behaviors for a while, it’s actually been a journey filled with a refreshing amount of grace.

As always, you can find a complete list of the self-discovery books we’ve read here64 of the best books to read this summer here, and a list of our favorite podcasts here.

The Best Self Discovery Books to Read This Year-The Crowned Goat

Menu Ideas…

July Menu Ideas

July Menu Ideas-The Crowned Goat

Christmas in July 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)

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…

French Linen Painted Armoire at Loblolly

French Linen Painted Armoire - The Crowned Goat

Latest Finds from Renningers

Latest Finds from Renningers-The Crowned Goat

Simple Ways to Prepare Now for the Holidays

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

How to Make an Ice Cream Cone Ornament (A Christmas In July Blog Hop)

How to Make an Ice Cream Cone Ornament-The Crowned Goat

Sweet Shop Themed Christmas Tree (A Lifestyle of Love Blog Hop)

Sweet Shop Themed Christmas Tree-The Crowned Goat

Sweet Shop Themed Holiday Home Tour

Sweet Shop Theme Holiday Home Tour-The Crowned Goat

July Bucket List…

  • Celebrate Independence Day
  • Finish Bedrooms at Loblolly 
  • Prepare the Porch for Summer
  • Take Piper to the Beach
  • Attend a Summer Yard Sale
  • Christmas in July Activities
  • Begin Summer Routines
  • Begin Quarter 3 Challenge
  • Read the Book of the Month
  • Start Quarter 3 Devotional
  • Keep Sundays Sacred

July Simplified and Organize Home Challenge…

Focus of the Month: Kids’ Rooms or Guest Rooms & Bathrooms

  • 07/02 – Kids Room or Guest Room
  • 07/09 – Kids Room or Guest Room Closet & Drawers
  • 07/16 – Kids Room or Guest Room Bathroom & Cabinets
  • 07/23 – Back to School Supplies/ Toys & Games
  • 07/30 – Clean Out/Organize Your Car

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

  • 07/31 – National Mutt 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!

Many blessings,


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  1. I can totally relate to the decision making issue! I am very wishy washy, but I think it is really just wanting to make sure we make the best decision. I am looking forward to seeing Loblolly completed. She will be spectacular!

  2. I’m so excited to see the transformation at Loblolly! You guys have been working so hard!
    Beautiful words today once again, CoCo. Have the best weekend!

  3. I’m so happy you and your mom had such a great weekend shopping for treasures to use at Loblolly! It feels so wonderful to find things you like for a good price!! Can’t wait to check out all your Christmas-inspired links! Have a wonderful week!

  4. Happy Friday, Coco. It sounds like you and your mom had a fun (and successful!) shopping trip. Thank you so much for sharing my cozy winter tablescape this week as part of your Christmas in July inspiration. I sure do appreciate it. And I can’t believe that Christmas is a short 6 months away!

    I hope you enjoy your weekend!


  5. CoCo,
    I loved seeing all the home tours and Christmas Inspiration. Thank you for including my paper trees. You are the best.

  6. Your treasure hunting looks like so much fun, CoCo! It sounds like you came across some amazing finds. And thank you for encouraging us to take action on something we’ve been putting off. I recently got a sewing machine, but have been too intimidated to start using it. It’s time I go figure it out! 🙂

  7. Hi CoCo- It sounds like you and your Mom had a great time shopping for Loblolly. It’ s so sweet that you have one another to lean on and to talk through design ideas. The book on self sabotage sounds really interesting. I will have to check it out. On a separate note – have you noticed that the prices for second hand items has soared? Furniture, china, lights – you name it – it seems the prices have tripled. Or perhaps that’s just in the northeast? Anyway, I am in no hurry to empty my basement because apparently I have a gold mine down there.

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