From the Front Porch

Happy Friday from the front porch sweet friends. Thanks so much for being here and spending time with us today!

A few weeks ago, I sent a text to my niece asking if there was anything special she wanted for her birthday.

“I would love something from Lululemon. It can be something little too. They’re kind of expensive,” she texted back promptly sending me the sale page.

“I would also take clay beads because I like to make bracelets,” she followed.

I freely admit I don’t know a lot about Lululemon save for what I’ve seen on social media and heard from friends. Mostly because if I had the chance to buy athleisure or ironstone, I’d pick ironstone every time.

Still, I take presents very seriously.

So, I scrolled through the sale page she sent me searching for an idea.

When I didn’t see anything that really looked like her, I texted my niece back and said, “Do you have something specific in mind? None of these things really look like you.”

A few seconds later, she replied, “There is something but I don’t know if it’s too much.”

Seriously? Like just melt my heart already.

“I appreciate you looking out for our finances, sweetie, but that’s not anything you need to worry about, ok? Let me handle that part and you send me the link to exactly what you want. We’ve got you covered.”

A few moments later, she sent me a link and a screenshot of a plain black pair of shorts that looked exactly like something she would pick out.

“I would love these for dance class,” she wrote.

As I placed the order for the shorts, I couldn’t help but think about three things…

  • 1.) I’m thankful my niece has the confidence to ask for what she wants.
  • 2.) I hope she’s always aware and considerate of other people’s values (financial or otherwise)
  • 3.) My sister and brother-in-law are doing a really good job raising her

And then I thought about how neither my sister nor my brother-in-law would have even known about the birthday gift text exchange had I not shared it in an effort to genuinely praise them for being such good parents and it made my heart ache a little.

It seems like parents of all ages could use extra support these days.

In the big scheme of things though, you don’t have to necessarily be a parent to sow seeds of love, kindness, encouragement, joy, and grace into the lives of those around you.

You just have to care enough to get started.

And while there may be times you sow those seeds not knowing if you will ever see them take root much less blossom, it’s still a worthwhile investment.

For you never know the kind of impact your random act of kindness, single gift of grace, or word of encouragement will have on another.

So, keep tilling the ground, sowing the seeds, and nurturing the hearts of the gardens you’ve planted in others because one day, that garden is going to be fertile ground for a beautiful life.

One that you helped create.

PS: If you’re a parent, a teacher, or a loved one standing in the gap, find some way to treat yourself today. You’re doing so much better than you think you are!

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

Jenny Martin Design has such a gorgeous portfolio it was hard to pick a favorite!

The home with the charming courtyard by Lauren Wallace Interiors is beautiful.

A San Francisco Basement Apartment Packed With English Country Charm (via House and Garden UK – it’s so hard to believe this space is a basement)

12 Rustic Fireplace Ideas (via Better Homes and Gardens be sure to check out how they’re styled too)

This was such a great post on Classic Style from Cottage and Vine. I pinned them all!

20 of the Best Ground Cover Plants (via Gardners World)

Loved this post, The Barbie-Inspired Morning Routine Will Have You In Your Feels from the Everygirl. It’s such a fun way to start the day.

Have you seen the Mainly Baskets Home x Caitlin Wilson collaboration yet? It’s so pretty.

Why Do We Minimize Our Emotions? (via Psychology Today was helpful)

Words to Live By…

On My Nightstand…

(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)

Running a bit behind on reading Worthy: Boost Your Self-Worth to Grow Your Net Worth by Nancy Levin because I’ve been in and out of town so much but the chapters I’ve read so far have been really insightful!

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…

August Menu Ideas

August Menu Ideas-The Crowned Goat

Neutral 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)

Dress * Earrings * Hand Soap * Gray Rug

Curtain Panels * Lounge Set * Hand Soap Bottle Tray * Lamps

Book * Duvet Cover * Sweater * Waterproof Picnic Blanket

Cuticle Oil * Blanket * Sheet Set * Lightweight Crewneck

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 and Pure White Nightstand Makeover


Gray and White Bedroom Makeover at Loblolly


Cinnamon and Vanilla Latte Brown Sugar Scrub

9 Quick and Easy Ways to Find Fall Inspiration

August Bucket List…

  • Celebrate August Birthdays
  • Pick up Fresh Office Supplies
  • Find Easy Breakfast Recipes
  • Celebrate Living at Journeys End 14 years
  • Finish Loblolly
  • Design 2024 Planner and Blog Notebook
  • Organize the Wrapping Station and Bathroom Drawers
  • Check Hurricane Kits
  • Try New IG Strategy 
  • Read the Book of the Month
  • Keep Sundays Sacred

August Simplified and Organized Home Challenge…

Focus of the Month: Car, Garden, & Garage

  • 08/06 – Medicine Cabinet & First Aid Supplies/Emergency Contact List
  • 08/13 – Garage, Attic, or Basement
  • 08/20 – Garden Supplies/Potting Shed
  • 08/27 – Seasonal Decorative Items-Fall

TCG Housekeeping Notes, Dates to Remember, and Upcoming Posts

  • 08/19 – World Humanitarian Day
  • 08/24 – National Waffle Day
  • 08/25 – National Burger Day
  • 08/25 – National Banana Split Day
  • 08/26 – Women’s Equality Day
  • 08/26 – National Dog Day
  • 08/27 – Just Because Day 
  • 08/28 – Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day
  • 08/30 – National Beach Day
  • 08/31 – Eat Outside 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!

Until next time, I’ll see you on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.

Many blessings,


Similar Posts


  1. Beautiful! Your niece sounds like such a sweet and thoughtful girl! It is refreshing to hear stories like this!

  2. Hi! Wishing your niece the happiest of birthdays! I’m sure she will cherish your gift! You are so fortunate to have such a close and loving family! Going to check out your links now! So many great finds on Amazon!! Have a wonderful week!

  3. I just love your blog!! Thanks for making my heart happy!

    1. You are so welcome, sweet friend, thanks for always being so supportive. It means the world to me! Sending you lots of hugs and praying your week is as special as you are, CoCo

  4. I hope to be the most amazing auntie to my baby niece that you are to your niece, CoCo!!
    Your words carry such strength and I am so appreciative of them. Hope you have the best weekend, friend!!

  5. You’re a sweet Aunt to ask. My mom never asked the kids what they wanted and they were usually sad but always kind about saying thank you. And I love that you see the amazing job your sister and BIL are doing with your niece. Parents never get enough encouragement. Most will say it’s the Lords doing but deep down, it makes us smile and grateful. You are awesome!

  6. RACHEL HARPER says:

    I always gain so much inspiration for your From the Front Porch round-up. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you so much, Rachel, I really appreciate it! We’re back from Loblolly so I can’t wait to dive into your posts and see what you’ve been up to lately. Big hugs for a happy week, CoCo

  7. What a beautiful post CoCo, your niece sounds like a very sweet young lady. A little grace in this world goes a long way for sure, thank you for making my Sunday even brighter 🙂 Hugs- Tanya

    1. Such a kind and thoughtful comment, Tanya, thank you so much. She’s such a sweetie pie and we’re lucky to have her in our pod. Sending you lots of hugs for a grace filled week, CoCo

  8. Lovely post CoCo! I’m excited to hear about your 2024 planner and blog notebook! I need some organization and planning in that department!

    1. That’s so sweet of you to say, Cindy, thank you! I’ve definitely realized over the years that being organized is vital to my mental health and well being so I’m happy to pass along anything that might be helpful. Having an easy system and someone who can help hold you accountable changes everything! Sending you lots of hugs, CoCo

  9. Sounds like you are very lucky to have a niece who is considerate of others CoCo. I worked within the school system for many years, and I cannot say that is always the case. Kudos to your family for raising a wonderful human being.

    1. Thank you so much, Cara! She’s definitely a special one and we are beyond blessed to have her. Hope your week is filled with all good things, CoCo PS: Everyone should be required to work in food services, retail and education at least once. I’m 100% sure we’d all treat each other with a lot more kindness and grace 😉

  10. Great post, my friend. I couldn’t agree more. Hugs and blessings to you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *