F Simple and Serene Living 09 10
Monday, June 29, 2015

LAZY SUMMER DAYS AWAIT

I have decided that I definitely need some lazy summer days. All of the stress I have had lately has caused my autoimmune problems to kick up and I have been getting very little done because of it. Just stretched too thin I guess. 


I set myself down this past weekend and decided to make some changes for the summer. I will be slowing down, which is a hard thing for me to do. My sister says I am like a jumping jack that can't sit still for one minute. I see something that needs to be done, or I think of something I want to do and I jump right up and do it. The problem right now is that my body is not cooperating with my mind. My doctor was giving me some stern looks the last time I went in.


So, I have had to see where I can cut back on things for awhile. My booth at the antique mall is stuffed to the gills. That will be the first place I will cut back. I need to sell what I have in there because I am planning to move to Atlanta in a few months and won't be taking those things with me. That means no more time spent going to yard sales and endless auctions for awhile. Also I will only have to go by the booth once a week to fluff and to adjust prices.


The second business I have is my Etsy shop. As that will be an ongoing business when I move I need to keep it going and I really need to get more things sold from there. I don't want to move everything I have in the shop with me and also I need the income Fortunately I still have more inventory to add, so I will be pushing the shop more on social media this summer.


Finally there is this blog. For the summer months I will be cutting my schedule back to two postings a week on Mondays and Fridays. I have just not had the energy to do the things that I want with it and post five to seven times a week. I want to spend more time visiting your blogs and leaving comments. I want to cultivate new readers and hopefully more friendships. I want to work on my social media. I have ideas for the blog that I want to have time to sit down and think about. I am hoping to do some of these things, sitting on my patio with my feet up, while sipping on a nice cold organic lemonade. 


I am also planning on a trip to Atlanta to visit my daughters and grandchildren. I've been saving my pennies for car repairs on my faithful old car so that I can make the trip soon. 

I am looking forward to getting back some simplicity and serenity in my life. What better time than summer to do just that. I hope you will stick with me while I go through some changes. The friendships I have with you mean so much to me.  

post signature
post signature
Saturday, June 27, 2015

PLOT TWIST

Does this make you smile? It does me. 


It was just what I needed today. So often when things go wrong we just want to give up, but if we stand back and look at it as a plot twist then we can choose a new path or find a way to overcome.

So if you happen to hear a rumbling in the wind today that sounds like thunder, it just may be the sound of my voice yelling "PLOT TWIST".
post signature
post signature
Friday, June 26, 2015

SMALL SPACES: UTILIZING YOUR WALLS

When you are living in a small space it is important to utilise every possible space, and the walls are often overlooked real estate. 

I hate clutter in the bathroom, but I also like to easily get to the things I use on a daily basis. Often in small bathrooms there are no drawers, which I hate, but this seems like a great solution to use the wall in your bathroom to be functional and pretty.

source
Here is a kitchen that has made great use of their wall space. The hanging pots and the many sized shelves give it a cozy feel, while taking care of a lot of storage.

source
Of course pegboard is always a great idea for a kitchen wall in a small space. Hanging all of your kitchen utensils and pots is visually appealing as well as a great space saving idea.

source
Most small spaces do not have a lot of room for a home office, but this is a great idea for organizing above your desk.

source
We all have photo and other wall hangings that we want to display and a wall gallery is a wonderful design element. It can also be a way to help disguise that TV we all have.

source
What are some of the ways that you utilize your walls to create more space?

post signature

P.S. Find more small space living ideas here and on my small space living board on Pinterest here.

post signature
Wednesday, June 24, 2015

SIMPLE SUMMER FARE

I love the hot days of summer. Sunlight streaming through the windows. The sounds of Cicadas at night. Flowers blooming everywhere. The abundance of fresh produce.

purple summer flowers gardening

As much as I love the hot days outside, I don't want to heat up my home inside anymore than necessary. So I try to simplify my meals and keep the oven off as much as possible. Translate this into I will use any excuse to not spend a lot of time cooking.

Light healthy meals work for me. Today my lunch was avocados stuffed with tuna salad, a stalk of celery, and fresh raspberries. I can bite into a raspberry and immediately be transported back to childhood and my backyard, where raspberry bushes grew wildly. I always use organic fruits and vegetables and/or locally grown as much as possible. I can't stand the thought of all the nasty chemicals they are spraying on conventionally grown produce these days. 

avocados celery tuna salad fresh raspberries

I love smoothies year round, but they are especially wonderful in the summer months. I freeze bananas, and other fruit, add some slivered almonds, some fresh local milk and I have a delicious treat for lunch or an afternoon pick me up while I sit on the patio.

banana strawberry almond smoothie

One of my favorite parts of summer is heading to one of our local farmers markets. I love taking one of my gathering baskets and filling it with local produce. Don't forget your sunhat,sunglasses, and sunscreen. Since I had skin cancer last year, I am especially careful. The top of the head is a very common place for skin cancers to appear. This is a vintage hand painted hat that was my mom's. 

vintage hand painted straw hat

There is always so much to choose from, so I have to really restrain myself as I am cooking for one now, and I have to watch my budget. I definitely don't want any of it to be wasted. I really get excited when the fresh peaches appear. I may or may not be addicted to these.

farmers market South Carolina peaches

Okay, I admit that I may already be thinking about what I will be having for dinner tonight. Did I mention that I love summer?

Do you change your eating habits during the summer? 

post signature
post signature
Tuesday, June 23, 2015

WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LEMONS

We have all heard the saying "when life gives you lemons make lemonade". Definitely good advice, but sometimes life seems to toss an awful lot of lemons at you. 


lemon slices

First of all I want to thank you for your sweet comments you left on my post yesterday "when inspiration flees". They mean so much to me, and of course how could I not feel anything but inspired by them. Blogging friends are the best friends in the world.

My late father used to say, "life gets tedious". He was so right. Life can get very tedious, and when we seem to be dodging lemons it can get very tedious indeed.

I have had a lot going on recently, both large and small. I won't go into the large things (that would cause tedium). Here are a couple of the small things. A couple of days ago I spent an hour photographing and listing this wonderful mid-century hand thrown laundry sprinkler pottery piece in my Etsy shop

  
Isn't it wonderful. Or I should say wasn't it wonderful. As soon as I had it listed I gently set it on a shelf and heard a loud crunch. When I picked it up the bottom was off and lying in two pieces on the shelf. Listing removed. SIGH!!!

Then I decided I would start making some rag wreaths and try putting one in my booth to see if it would sell. 


Yesterday I took it to the booth and proudly hung it at the front. I stepped away for a minute and when I came back a lady had it in her cart. Well, Hooray!! She asked me if I made it, and she said she loved it and was going to hang it on her guestroom door. Last night when I checked to see my sales they amounted to $7.54. I called to see what happened to the wreath. The wreath has disappeared. Seriously?? Did she somehow stuff it under her shirt and walk out with it. Those wreaths take a while for me to make. SIGH!!! 

Life is getting tedious. 

I think I may need a larger fruit bin for those lemons, but then what should we do when life gives us lemons. Well my first reaction last night was anger and frustration. How dare these things happen to me. Then I sat down and burst into laughter. After all in the scheme of things these events while frustrating are not life altering. Yes, I very much need the income from them, but I will keep working, and I will thank that woman, in my mind, for loving my wreath so much that she felt forced to steal it so that it would make her happy.

What should we do when life gives us lemons? Toss them back. Change the way we think about them. Turn them into something sweet. Life will always toss lemons at us, and it is up to us what we do with them. I am choosing not to dwell on their sour taste. Instead, I see lots of lemonade in my future.


post signature
post signature
Monday, June 22, 2015

WHEN INSPIRATION FLEES

I lie there hovering just below consciousness. It's 5:15 am and I can hear the sounds of morning. They seem somewhere just beyond my reach, as if I can't quite grasp them. Should I let them go and drift back to sleep or should I grab onto them and move into the day? My mind says one thing and my body says another. 


This is how I have felt about my inspiration lately. It is if it is there, but I just can't grasp it. So I have pulled back and let my blog lie fallow for a few days. I wonder if my voice is heard or if I even need for it to be heard. How do I reach back into myself and find the inspiration that drives me to write, to share, to inspire.


I know that my blog is in a difficult niche. It is not a niche that quickly brings thousands of readers or a steady income, but I also know that I have to support myself, and I so very often feel a sense of frustration with the whole process. How do I get that inspiration back and where do I find the energy to do all of the things I know I need to do?


I feel so gratified when I know that I have reached even one person. If one reader tells me they have been touched by my words then I am happy, but (and yes there is a but) I also know that I live in a world where I have to pay my bills, eat, and house myself. I know that I am frustrated by my limitations. 


How do I overcome not understanding so much of what I read on how to be successful at this blogging business. There are so many terms that only the young seem to understand. Their blogging language seems so very foreign to me. They seem to live in a world full of youthful energy that has left me running and stumbling in last place. 


I am working on getting back my inspiration, on once again finding my motivation. I will be making lists and meditating. I will be reading back over my inspiration posts. I will decide what is important and what is not. I will remind myself to not compete with others. I will find my own unique way to bring back my voice.


post signature
post signature
Thursday, June 18, 2015

WOMEN SPEAK: TEENAGE MEMORIES

Yesterday I wrote about the comfort of memories. If you missed it you can read it here. Memories can be like an old favorite robe, that when we wrap ourselves up in it we feel it's comfort. 

When my mom moved recently she found a box of photographs that she had forgotten about. We looked through some of the photos in the box and laughed and talked about the memories. I pulled out a few of them and snapped photos of them with my iphone. They are photos that bring back good memories of my teenage years. 

Today I thought we could all share some of our best teenage memories for Women Speak. Maybe your memories will spark a giggle like mine did. 


Ahhh, the summer I was sixteen. I loved my polkadot bikini. My mom pointed out how cute she was at age 42. She was right. The four of us were on a three week trip across the country, and I can remember this day like it was yesterday.


I think this was taken that same summer. I was a happy camper because I was home for the summer from boarding school and I had on my school sweatshirt. We were in Quebec for our annual week of fishing. I remember spending a lot of time flirting with my cute French Canadian guide. The girl on the left was my friend Anne. I liked to get her in trouble when she visited.


My favorite madras jacket and matching scarf. (I have a pair of Keds just like that now. Some things never change) I thought I was the coolest thing ever. I'm sure I was just trying to get the attention of that cute guide while he was cooking my lunch over an open fire. I wish I had some of that fresh caught trout now. 


I'm not in this photo, but I remember taking it when I was around 14. This was my backyard in Canada right after my dad had a tennis court put in, and these are my grandparents who were visiting from Kentucky. They were so cute and round. I adored them.

Memories are a wonderful thing. We can pull them out sometimes just to brighten our day and to remind ourselves that life is good. What are some of your teenage memories? I hope you will share them.

post signature

P.S. There is more of the Women Speak series here.

post signature