F Simple and Serene Living 09 10
Wednesday, August 15, 2018


I could spend hours (I actually do) browsing new decorating trends and gathering ideas for my own home.

Even though I now live in a small retirement apartment, it doesn't mean I have stopped changing things up. I may not be able to move around heavy furniture the way I used to, but there are still so many things I can do.

While browsing, I came across a style that is being called the raw look. To me it just says rustic, but I guess that is the idea. The raw look is just a new spin.

source unknown

The idea seems to be that walls and ceilings are stripped down to their original materials giving the room an old world rustic vibe.

source unknown

I love the look of this bedroom. The walls have been stripped down to expose the original brick, stone, and wood beams. The furniture has been kept very minimal, which allows the walls to be the stars of the room.

The great thing about this look is that you no longer have to feel bad if you only get the job of repairing old walls half finished. 

Well I guess I've done all of the drooling I can do for one day. 
What do you think about this look?

post signature
For antique and vintage goods for your home shop 415 Maxwell. More items are being added.

Read More »
Wednesday, August 8, 2018


Yesterday was my mom's 94th birthday. She celebrated it with some friends who took her out to lunch. It is one of her favorite things to do, and although she says she is unable to eat, she apparently managed to do a good job on her meal. 

She doesn't eat much at home because she doesn't want to cook and she doesn't like the food where she lives. Consequently she has lost a lot of weight. 

I think this is a problem that a lot of seniors face. I know that the older I get the less I like to cook for myself. (unfortunately there has been no weight loss)

It's a rainy, gloomy day today and I have decided to stay in my PJs and do some purging. I am tired of overstuffed closets and cupboards and so it is time for more things to go. 

It's definitely time for my fabrics to go. I haven't used my sewing machine in two years so I am putting the fabrics in bundles and I will sell those in my booth. 

If they don't sell then I will move them on over to Goodwill. 

I haven't even started to look at my large bag full of vintage notions. Yikes!!

I've been selling off a lot of my bottles in my booth, but now I am going to start selling some of my favorites in 415 Maxwell, however I think I will hold on to my blue bottles for awhile. I can't seem to let those go.

I really need a good day of sunshine, when I don't have any other plans to just stay in and take a bunch of photos. I have so many things I need to add to the shop.

In the meantime I better get back to work, and I just remembered I have to be at a meeting at 5:00. I guess the pajamas are going to have to go. 

post signature
Read More »
Wednesday, August 1, 2018


I love my little space, and although it is decorated in a primarily English cottage style, I also consider it eclectic. I love picking up things wherever I happen to see them and adding them into my decor.

books and suitcases in my apartment
I usually have a rule that if I add something in then I have to remove something. There is only so much room in a 450 square foot apartment, but it is amazing what can be done.

I am always looking for ideas for a cozy eclectic look, and thought I would share some of the  bedrooms I have found with you. 

I love this look. The owner of this bedroom has used a mix of elements to create this wonderful look. Cast iron, wicker, and painted wood all contribute to the style. 

I really like the look of this cozy little bedroom in Melbourne. Old suitcases are one of my favorite decor items, and this one is wonderful. The pops of color against the white background make a great statement.

Although this style is considered boho chic, I might call this eclectic luxe. Although it is too fussy for me,  it is definitely eclectic and interesting. What do you think? I'm afraid I would get up in the night and break a leg.

I love this. Of course since I have a white cast iron bed I feel a special affinity to this look. 

So many fabulous looks with eclectic style decorating, and the great thing about it is you can decorate on any budget.

Have you checked out my new vintage and antique shop 415 Maxwell

post signature
Read More »
Wednesday, July 25, 2018


You may have been wondering where I have been the last couple of weeks. While I have been battling a respiratory infection, which doesn't seem to want to let go of its grip, I have also been doing something that I have always wanted to do. 

I have opened my own vintage and antique online store. Yes, I have sold on other venues, but I have always just wanted a shop of my own. Well now I have gone and done it. 

"It is an awesome thing to comprehend that what a human being dreams and imagines can be realized."
                                                      Vanna Bonta

It was supposed to be easy to get it all set up but let me tell you it has been a work of love, and I do mean work. I am definitely not as computer savvy as a twenty year old, well maybe not as savvy as a four year old.

The company that is hosting my shop has been very patient with me. I'm sure they are probably rolling their eyes somewhere in internet land. 

I've called my shop 415 Maxwell after the address of my grandparent's home. I spent every Easter and a month every summer at their home when I was growing up, and it was the place where I fell in love with antiques. I would go around their home admiring all of the treasures and breathing in the smell of history.

When I was feeling particularly brave I would sneak up to the attic to see all of the amazing things that were stored away there.

Later, after I was married, my grandmother allowed me to go up there and take whatever I wanted. She insisted there was nothing of value, but oh my goodness I came away with so many wonderful things. 

All of my adult life I have been collecting vintage and antique goods, first for my own home, and later to sell. It is definitely a labor of love.

I have added the shop to my Facebook page and on Instagram. I would love to have you follow along with me on those two venues, but you can also find the shop by clicking on the SHOP 415 MAXWELL button at the top of this page. 

So often we give up on our dreams, but it is wonderful when we hold on and time and technology allow for a dream to come to fruition. I know I have a lot of hard work ahead, but it is work that I welcome. 

Do you have a dream that you are waiting to fulfill?  
post signature
Read More »
Thursday, July 5, 2018


Once the 4th of July is over, and I never thought it would be over as the neighbors were shooting off loud fireworks until one in the morning, it seems the sultry days of a southern summer set in. 

Yes, it has been very hot this week, but when I stepped outside this morning it felt like the humidity was off the charts. 

I love summer and will take it over cold gloomy weather any day of the week, but when the humidity causes the heat index to be over 100 it becomes a tad uncomfortable to spend time outside. 

"On humid days, when the air is already saturated with water, sweat evaporates more slowly.
This explains why it feels so much hotter in high humidity. When relative humidity reaches a high enough level, the body’s natural cooling system simply can’t work. Sweat evaporates very slowly, if at all, and the body heats up. In extreme cases, people begin to suffer from heat cramps or heat stroke, which is basically organ failure as the body begins to cook itself." (source)

Well that explains why I feel like I am being roasted on days like today. 
I have been trying to get over a summer virus for three weeks and finally had to go see a doctor on Monday to get an antibiotic for a sinus infection. 

I was told to take it easy. Pffft!! Too much to do I thought, but when I hit the outside air today taking it easy seemed like a good plan. 
It is supposed to cool down to a manageable temperature this weekend so I guess it won't hurt me to spend a day or two indoors. 
I have more sorting and purging that I need to do and I can do a lot of it with my feet up.

I've been sorting through my vintage linens and have put a couple of pieces in the shop. You can see them here
I took two pretty pieces to my booth earlier this week, but someone immediately shoplifted them. That certainly didn't help to keep me from overheating. 
I have never been able to understand stealing. 

I have started posting in Instagram again and would love to have you as a follower. I am offering 10% off in my Etsy shop to my followers. The code is INSTY10. Oops I guess I just told you so you can have it even if you aren't a follower, but I would love to see you there. Here is where you can find me.
Hope you have a wonderful weekend. 

Read More »
Saturday, June 23, 2018


Like almost all children I had dreams about what my life would be like when I grew up. 

I can remember that I wanted to be a ballerina, and for awhile I thought that was a possibility. At age nine I danced in my city's ballet company. 

I loved being a part of that, but then that summer we moved to a small town in Canada and although I was able to keep dancing it wasn't the same. Later, I found that I had an inner ear problem that stopped me from doing the turns. Being a ballerina wasn't going to work out for me. 

In my teens I thought that I wanted to be a forensic psychiatrist. Not sure why, but it just sounded interesting. Life got in the way, but in my forties I did go back to school and earned a masters degree in counseling psychology. By that time I had no interest in the forensic part. 

I always wanted to get married and have two daughters. I dreamed of the perfect husband who I would spend the rest of my life with, who would share my love for my daughters.

I got married and had the two daughters, but unfortunately I didn't count on my husband having a serious mental illness. I didn't plan on all of the heartbreak or that I would end up raising those two girls myself. 

I wasn't prepared.

I became a grownup, but did I ever really completely grow up. There are times when I don't feel grown up and other times when I don't want to be a grownup. 

There have been so many times when life's burdens seem to be overwhelming and I wish I could retreat back into those days of dreaming, but that isn't possible. 

As I think about the remaining years of my life I wonder what I really want to do with them. I am on my own. It isn't a place that I thought I would be. I am financially challenged. It isn't how I thought things would be. 

So these days I think about what I want to do with the rest of these grownup years. 

Maybe, when we get to a certain age we don't have to be quite so grownup. Maybe we can revert just a little bit back to those carefree days of our youth.

Maybe we don't have to worry so much about what the future holds, but instead focus on today. 

Sounds good to me.

Read More »
Friday, June 8, 2018


Happiness can feel so elusive. It is often there just below the surface, and then it disappears like a puff of smoke. 

The times we are living in add to the elusiveness. The ebbs and flows of our country and in our personal lives create static in the air that pop and sizzle around us like dysfunctional fireworks. 

How do we find our happy place? 

For some people it's an actual place, a place that evokes memories or brings about a sense of peace through its very being. 

For others it may be surrounding themselves with people or things they love. 

Some people find happiness through meditation, yoga, mountain climbing, hiking, or riding a bike. 

We are all unique in our individuality and so what works for one person may not work for another. 

However, I think most people find happiness through a combination of things and sometimes looking back and remembering happy times can help us to pull that feeling back up to the surface. 

As we get older happiness seems to shift from feelings of excitement to feelings of peace. The beliefs of immortality that we have when we are very young change. Instead, we crave a sense of contentment in our current lives. 

Yes, happiness can seem elusive, but if we look inside ourselves to find what really makes us feel happy then we can make finding happiness much easier. 

Where is your happy place? 
P.S. You can find more inspiration here.
Read More »
Monday, June 4, 2018


It's hard to believe that another year has rolled around and the family has gathered once again for my uncle's birthday.

Karl is my mother's older brother and he is celebrating 98 years. (My mom is a much younger 93. She will be 94 in August.)

Karl and my mom. Probably discussing the time when they were kids and Karl had to churn ice cream all day for my mom's birthday. It's a sore subject to this day.

I love this yearly get together and I know that they will not be happening much longer. Karl is in failing health, and although my Aunt Jean, who is 97, takes excellent care of him, time is not on our side. 

My aunt and uncle met three months before he shipped out for WWII and he wrote her love letters every day while he was gone. She kept all of those letters and their grandkids had them printed up and made into a very large book. I hope that I can sit down and read more of them someday. 

He knew she was the one and I guess you can say that their marriage has stood the test of time. They seem as much in love today as they were so many years ago.

They have two children, five grandchildren, and six great grandchildren. Quite a legacy.

So yesterday we met once again. There was laughter, food, and homemade birthday cakes. It was a wonderful day. 

Happy birthday, Uncle Karl. Looking forward to next year.

Read More »
Friday, May 25, 2018


If you are not from the southeastern part of the US, you may not be familiar with kudzu.

Kudzu is an invasive plant that was originally introduced as an ornamental ivy. However, kudzu now covers an estimated two million acres of forest in the southern US. 

YIKES!!! it boggles the mind, but enough of that because the Kudzu I am talking about is an antiques mall in Decatur Georgia. 

The first time I went there it was love at first sight, second sight, third.....well you get the picture. 

When I was in Atlanta last month my daughters asked if I would like to go to Kudzu. 

Was that a rhetorical question, because I am pretty sure they both already knew the answer. 

 I went from pajamas to fully dressed with makeup in 30 seconds. (gross exaggeration), but still record time.

As you can see from the photos there is always so much to see. 

I pretty much wander around in a daze while I am there. 

You would think that there would become a point where I would become over saturated with vintage and antiques, but nope, doesn't happen.

I am absolutely fascinated with it all and I know that I couldn't possibly have taken it all in. 

We only had a bit over an hour to wander through, because we had to go pick up Tessa, but it was a wonderful time.

If you are looking for me I'll be studying these pictures and dreaming of my next visit. 

Read More »