Sweet Shop Inspired Holiday Home Tour

I can hardly believe it’s already time for our Sweet Shop Inspired Holiday Home Tour. I swear it feels like just yesterday I was writing our Little Sparkle Holiday Home Tour post!

If you’re new here, every year I use our holiday home tour to write words of encouragement for the Christmas season.

Sweet Shop Inspired Christmas Entry Ideas-The Crowned Goat

It’s one of the hardest posts to write because it requires a certain level of vulnerability that I have to physically, spiritually, and emotionally prepare weeks for.  

Sometimes I chicken out and my bestie S who helps me run the website has to press publish on the post.

I know they’re one of your favorite posts of the entire year though and my only hope is that I can do this one justice.

I feel like I’ve shared parts of this story before but I know I haven’t shared the entire thing, so here goes…

Festive Gift Wrap and Candy Inspired Christmas Entry Ideas-The Crowned Goat

Several years ago, S and I happily chatted without a care in the world as we headed to brunch under a gorgeous clear blue sky.

There is only one way on and off the island and on this particular day, we happened to be behind a horse trailer.

We were driving north at about 45 mph not too far into our journey when we saw the latch on the horse trailer start to give way.

Up ahead we saw a car driving south quickly approaching us.

S did everything she could to get the attention of both drivers to no avail.

In a matter of minutes, the door of the horse trailer flew wide open, and the horse walked out of the moving trailer and stumbled into our lane.

Sweet Shop Inspired Holiday Mantel with Frosted Trees-The Crowned Goat

A few seconds later, we were so deep in the trees on the side of the road I could not get my car door open.

It took a while to get our bearings and to fully assess the situation.

But there is no doubt in my mind S and a million angels saved our lives and the life of the horse we came to know as Proud that day.  

As I watched the driver load the battered horse onto the trailer for additional medical attention, I put all my thoughts, feelings, emotions, and anxieties related to the event in a mental box and placed it on a shelf in my mind.

I rarely spoke of the accident again despite it being one of the scariest experiences of my life.

And I all but stopped driving completely.

Sweet Shop Inspired Holiday Mantel-The Crowned Goat

At first, it wasn’t a problem.

We were working from home and couldn’t really go anywhere anyway thanks to the pandemic.

Little by little though, I found myself struggling to even get in the car and as a result, my anxiety became debilitating. 

Sweet Shop Themed Christmas Tree Ideas-The Crowned Goat

Earlier this spring, I got a call my four-year-old cousin had passed away following a tragic horse accident.

The funerals were set to be held in two different cities on two different days.

Up to that point, I had a driver available any time I needed one.

DIY Cake Pop Ornament-Sweet Shop Themed Christmas Tree-The Crowned Goat

But on this particular day, my only option was to make the hour-long drive to meet my middle sister and her family so we could then make the over five-hour journey to the funeral together.  

Don’t get me wrong it was a huge blessing my brother-in-law was even willing to drive us all to the funeral.

But it also meant I would have to drive alone for the first time in two and a half years.  

Sweet Shop Themed Christmas Tree-Pink Ice Cream Cone Ornament-The Crowned Goat

Despite the heartbreaking circumstances I’m embarrassed to say, I didn’t know if I had the courage to make myself do it.

The night before the funeral, I had a total meltdown and cried harder than I’d ever cried before.

In a weird way, I felt relieved I had finally allowed myself to grieve how scary the experience had been and how I had allowed it to affect my life.

The next day, I got into a car I’d never even turned on much less driven before and made the journey to meet my sister.

I wish I could say the trip was flawless.

But I thought about turning around at every single exit.

Sweet Shop Inspired Holiday Living Room-The Crowned Goat

You know what kept me going? Celebrating little wins.

Getting off the island? Win

Driving across the scary bridge? Win

Passing the big mall? Win

Top Golf in the distance? Win

The road home? Win

Sweet Shop Inspired Holiday Mantel and Living Room with Bookcases-The Crowned Goat

Every time my thoughts said, “Turn around CoCo you’re too weak to pull this off!” I would say, “Is that true? Is that helpful? Is that kind,” repeatedly to help steel my nerves.

I made every landmark no matter how big or small a win.

It took me an hour and 20 minutes to make the hour-long drive.

And as I drove through the gates of my parent’s primary home affectionally known as Bliss Barracks, I cried happy tears of pure joy as I sat in the driveway collecting myself.

Moments later I heard a soft knock on the window.

It was my brother-in-law with a huge smile on his face, “I’m so proud of you. You made it!” he said as he pulled me in for a ginormous hug, tears still streaming down my face.

We made it to the funeral later that day and I’m incredibly thankful I was able to push my fears aside and show up for a family I dearly love.

I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.


It’s not lost on me that another tragic horse accident was the catalyst for a significant breakthrough in my life, but I’ve long given up trying to explain His mysterious ways.

I wish I could tell you I started driving myself around town the day after the funeral but that did not happen.

The courage to work through a debilitating anxiety disorder and begin the healing journey in an effort to reclaim my independence took longer than I could have ever imagined.

I still have to work on it each and every day.

The thing I want you to know this holiday season is that just because something takes longer than you expect it will or it doesn’t happen in the timeframe you feel it should happen, doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen.

It just means, not yet.  

Over the course of this year, I’ve learned to celebrate the big things and the little things in a truly intentional way.

The tiny moments of progress that never used to feel like progress, now feel sweeter than ever.

I’ve learned to wait in that uncomfortable space called the messy middle with grace, gratitude, and humble expectation.

I’ve also learned to look for landmarks so that any time I feel discouraged things aren’t happening quickly enough, I can physically see signs of slow growth and steady change.

DIY Pink Gumball Machines-The Crowned Goat

It’s one of the biggest reasons I wanted to have a sweet shop-themed holiday home this year.

We’ve grown so much both personally and professionally, I wanted to open the front door and feel the words “let your heart be light” from the song Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas wash over me immediately.

And I wanted anyone else we welcomed into our home who was celebrating big wins, and little wins this season to feel the same way.

Festive Sweet Shop Inspired Breakfast Nook-The Crowned Goat

About a month ago, I was driving my bestie S home from the hospital. The weeks and months leading up to surgery day had been long and at times scary.

Overcome with emotion, I felt a tear drop down my cheek as we finally made our way onto the interstate.  

“You don’t have to do this I can call someone,” she said. “I know it’s really hard for you.”

It took a minute but when I finally found my voice again, I said, “These are happy tears. Three years ago, I would not have thought this was even possible.”

Sweet Shop Inspired Tablescape and Holiday Home Tour-The Crowned Goat

As we prepare to fully settle into the holiday season, I hope you’ll take time to celebrate all the magical things that have happened this year.

The time you rose to the occasion to achieve your goals and dreams.

The time you showed up for your family when you were so tired you didn’t think you had the energy to do so.

The time you stopped talking and really started listening.

The time you put down your phone and set aside your laptop to be fully present.

The time you chose healthy habits over convenient ones.

The time you looked at your bank account and realized you had managed to save more than you thought.

The time you spoke up for yourself, took time for yourself, or gave yourself exactly what you needed when you needed it.

The time you forgave.

The time you let it go.

The time you walked away, head held high, knowing you had freed yourself from something toxic.

The time you surprised someone with an unexpected blessing without an agenda.

The time you handled a situation in a completely different way and stopped to think, “This right here, right now, is lasting change.”

Sweet Shop Coffee Bar and Holiday Home Tour-The Crowned Goat

In our world today, celebrating extravagant achievements, milestone moments, movie stars, sports heroes, award winners, and epic adventures seem to get the most critical acclaim.

But I want you to know the work you’re doing at home, from the board room to the online group chat room, on the bus or the subway, in the checkout line, around the dinner table, at the dance studio or the soccer fields, in the hospital, in the coffee shop, the bookstore, on the street, in your living room, and while in your car is even more critical.

The magic you bring to each day is a gift only you can give.

Sweet Shop Coffee Bar Vignette-The Crowned Goat

So, my prayer for you this Christmas, is that you will fully know your gifts make a difference no matter how big or small.  

For thousands of years ago, it was a simple yes from an innkeeper, a guiding star, devoted parents, three wise men, and a divine promise that helped to make this season possible.

And those humble gifts changed everything.

Easy Ways to Decorate a Sweet Shop Themed Christmas Tree-The Crowned Goat

With love for all the gifts you continue to add to my life each day through kind words of encouragement and generous support,


PS: You can find more on our Sweet Shop Inspired entry here, our mantel here, and our Sweet Shop Inspired Christmas tree here which includes all the ornaments and gift tags we made this year. Plus, the pink gumball machines here!

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  1. This is such an encouragement, not just for people going through hard times but for all. Thank you for allowing Him to use your situation to help others!

    1. I really appreciate it, Susan, thank you so much. It’s amazing how many things we can help each other through when we have the courage to speak up. While it’s not always easy there is definitely a comfort in knowing we’ll never have to face things alone. Sending you tons of hugs for a warm and happy season filled with wonders of His love, CoCo

  2. Your post was a beautiful gift today! You are a blessing to each of us. Thank you for sharing your story. Sometimes we need to be reminded of those little things that we often forget to celebrate. Wishing you a wonderful Christmas!

    1. I couldn’t agree with you more, Cheryl. It’s amazing how easy it is to lose sight of the progress we’re making each day because we’re waiting for those big milestone moments, you know? If the past few years have taught me anything though it’s that each day brings its own set of gifts worth celebrating. Sending you lots of hugs and thank yous for your kind words and sweet support. May your holiday season be richly blessed, CoCo

  3. My goodness, how I love this blog! You always leave me with a happy heart! Much love to you and S! Patty

    1. That is so kind of you to say, Patty, thank you! We love you too – lots and lots. I hope you and your family have a holiday season filled with magical gifts and reminders of His faithfulness. Big hugs, CoCo

  4. Please know how many people you touch with your story. It was a light in the dark reading it. You are so much stronger than you think and know that all the goodness you give comes back ten fold. Thank you for your encouragement. It was truly wonderful to read. Have a wonderful Christmas.

    1. You’re making me all misty-eyed, Linda! I really appreciate your kind and encouraging words, thank you so much for your sweet support. It means the world! I hope you and your family have a holiday season filled with lots of love, unexpected surprises, and magical adventures, CoCo

  5. CoCo your story is so inspiring, thank you so much for sharing it. God is good all the time 🙂 hugs, Tanya

    1. He is, Tanya! We don’t always understand His ways and sometimes they totally drive me bananas because it’s not my way at all. But in the end, it works out far better than anything we could have imagined. Hope your Christmas season is merry and bright, CoCo

  6. I’ve seen your slow growth and steady change. I’ve seen the encouragement you give others and yourself. I’ve seen the magic you bring through your blog and the light to those around you. I’ve seen it! I am always so encouraged by you. By the good, the bad and the ugly. The path the Lord has chosen for you is hard at times but you, my beautiful friend, have overcome and come out on top with a sweet sweet voice. I’m so glad to call you friend and a sister-in-Christ. One day we will be in Heaven, smiling and laughing together about the smallest of things and maybe even making up our own new dance style. Won’t that be something?! 😉 Merriest of Christmases to you and your family. Big hug too.

    1. Soaking up all your sweet words of support, generous encouragement, and the daily treasure that is your friendship, Cindy. I am lucky to have found you on my path and am grateful for you each and every day. I will pull out my old cheerleading dance moves for you the minute we get there 🙌 Sending you tons of hugs and thank yous for all you do to not only support me but all the women in our circle you call you friend, CoCo

  7. CoCo, thank you for sharing your story.

    I know it’s so hard to share posts like this, but every time someone does so, it make space for others to share, too. Cracks are where the light gets in, even if it hurts.

    Best of health and tons of cozy comfort to you and your bestie, in 2023 and always.

    1. Thank you for this reminder, Corrie. I definitely needed to hear it today and I appreciate it so much. Your words of wisdom always lift me up. Sending you tons of hugs and thank yous for being such an awesome part of this community, CoCo

      1. Awwww! I just had to read this comment out to my husband. You’re so kind. Internet hugs to you!

  8. Vee Thomas-Muller says:

    God bless you and yours this season CoCo! You write so insightfully, always. I love hearing about your lessons and try to bring them into my life. Merry Christmas! Vee

    1. That means so much to me Vee, thank you! It is hard to adequately express how thankful I am to have you as part of this community. You’ve been here from the beginning and have been a constant support and cheerleader. You lift my spirits when I need it most and gently guide me when I’m being too hard on myself. I can’t thank you enough for all that you do. Sending big hugs to you and your family this holiday season. May you feel loved and treasured today and always, CoCo

  9. CoCo,
    This is the cutest Christmas Theme ever. I love every detail. It’s just to magical and fun. You are so creative. Merry Christmas my friend.

    1. Thanks so much, Rachel! Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas and a new year willed with the best surprises and all your favorite things, CoCo

  10. Thank you for your beautiful words CoCo. They cut through to my heart more than I can say. Our current season is a hard one, and our Father knew I needed these words. Thank you for being vulnerable and listening to His guidance in writing this post. I am sure this post will encourage and uplift many people. I am sure your home is welcoming and light. You are a blessing 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for all your kind words, Cindy! You’ve always been such a sweet support for these kinds of posts and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it. They’re hard to write but it always helps to know we’re not alone. Especially, in hard seasons. Praying you find gifts of hope, peace, wisdom, joy, and strength this Christmas, CoCo

  11. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story with us. You’ve inspired me so much today. This is my first time visiting your blog and I cannot wait to read more of your posts. I wish you and your family health and happiness this Christmas season!

    1. Thank you so much for your sweet and thoughtful words, Stacie, I really appreciate them. I’m so glad you’re here! I hope you and your family also have health and happiness this Christmas season. I can hardly believe how fast it’s all flying by! Wishing you a magical week as we begin to prepare our hearts and homes, CoCo

  12. I so appreciated your words of encouragement in this post. Gratitude is such a wonderful outlook that really helps put what is most important into perspective.

    1. It really does change everything, Heidi, even when can’t see immediate results or feel off track. Wishing you and your family a fabulous holiday season filled with lots of love and laughter, CoCo

  13. CoCo, I want to thank you for sharing your story and being so honest and open about your struggles. One of my sons has an anxiety disorder. I have found that many people don’t understand how debilitating anxiety can be, so I appreciate you sharing your experience. I’m so happy that you have come so far and have been able to conquer your fears. Thank you for being such a blessing and a positive light in our lives! Wishing you all the best during this holiday season!

    1. Thank you so much for your understanding and kind words, Donna. I know you fully appreciate what it’s like to love someone with an anxiety disorder and how debilitating it can be. I think most people think you can just “get over it” and gosh wouldn’t that be a massive gift and blessing to be able to? While it’s not easy to talk about things like this it always helps to know you’re not alone and that things do get better. Thank you for being an advocate for your son and for loving him through it. Big hugs, CoCo

  14. Hi Coco. This is such a good post. You always inspire us with your bravery, perspective, kindness, honestly and encouragement. On Jan 12th I have to take a flight to see my sister in California. Lately flying has been terrifying. Your post gives me the courage to fly. I think I can I think I can I think I can…

  15. I’m so happy that you shared your story as I’m sure it will help others. I can imagine how very hard it was to push aside your fears so that you could help your family in their time of sorrow. Little by little, your strength and faith will help you overcome your anxieties.

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