F Simple and Serene Living: August 2011 09 10
Wednesday, August 31, 2011

a favorite designer

I don't watch a lot of television, especially in the summer when there are so many other things to occupy my time. I do wish that I had more time to follow Sarah Richardson. I am always so amazed at her designs. I just kind of sit in a trance sighing. I grew up not too far from Toronto (an American southern girl in Canada) and often wish I could live there again, just so I could get her to design a room for me. 

This cottage is one of my favorites of her many lovelies. 

Hope you have a truly wonderful day.

All photos via Sarah Richardson

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

vegetarian nut loaf

I am not a vegetarian, but I eat a lot of vegetarian dishes and I don't eat beef, so I love it when I find a great vegetarian substitute. This is a delicious substitute for a traditional meatloaf. I love to serve this with  mashed potatoes, a big garden salad, and a fresh loaf of bread. Yummy!

Vegetarian Nut Loaf

Serves 8


2 large onions, finely chopped
1 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
1/4 cup finely chopped green pepper
2 tablespoons butter
3 cups grated carrots
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
5 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup unsalted sunflower kernels
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 cups soft whole wheat bread crumbs


  1. In a nonstick skillet, saute onions, mushrooms and green pepper in butter until tender. In a bowl, combine the mushroom mixture, carrots, celery, eggs, walnut, sunflower kernels, salt, basil, oregano and pepper. Stir in bread crumbs:
  2. Coat a 9-in. x 5-in. x 3-in. loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray, then line with waxed paper. Transfer vegetable mixture to a prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 1 hour or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees F Let stand for 10 min before slicing.

What better way to enjoy this delicious recipe than at a table decorated with vintage and thrift store finds.  

This one is perfect for dinner for two.


gather friends and family together outside, while the weather is still permitting. love mixing thrift store chairs.


casual family dining.


and if you are out in the country, moving dinner to the barn is a fun idea.



linking up today with

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Monday, August 29, 2011

etsy finds on a monday

It's Monday again. Where does the time go? It seems like the days are flying past and summer is coming so quickly to a close.Just one week until Labor Day. I remember when we strictly adhered to the tradition that it was improper to wear white after Labor Day. Do you know how that tradition got started?

Here are some of the explanations I found.

The US navy traditionally switches from their white to navy uniforms after Labor Day.
White clothes are worse protection against the cold in winter weather.

The one I find most interesting is the wearing of white arose as a class issue. Beginning in the late 1800's, the wealthy class who lived in the North East would go to their summer homes in places like Martha's Vineyard between Memorial Day and Labor Day. To distinguish between their summer and winter homes, they would wear white only during the summer. The middle classes were soon emulating this fashion trend and it became a "rule" that was strictly adhered to. Now that this structure has loosened up (and aren't we glad it has) we can wear and decorate our homes in white year round. 

So lets do some white shopping this week. 

baby block hook board from bluebirdheaven

mama and baby polar bears  from littleloveblue

a trio of pumpkins from allthingswhite

linen stripe towel from fadedplains

crochet scrubbies from cocoa beans

french skeleton keys from frenchfelt

vintage winter coat from fatrabbit1

Happy shopping.


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Friday, August 26, 2011

vintage picture frames

I definitely have a love affair with vintage picture frames. They are so beautiful on their own, upcycled with some paint, used to frame old or new photos or prints, or repurposed into chalk boards. I often buy old prints at auction because I love the frame. 

Here, they have used a combination of old trays, plates and frames.


a more modern look.


so many to choose from


combine with other collectibles to dress up a mantle


and yes, old frames make great chalkboards.


linking today with 



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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

white linens and your vintage home

White linens make such a beautiful statement when paired with antique and vintage furniture. 

Beautiful with a brass bed.


or with a pretty white wicker headboard.


perfectly feminine.


as part of a charming display.


lovely in the bathroom.



slipcovers and accents in the living room.


I always have overflowing baskets of white vintage linens that I use to add touches to my home, to create pillows, and to share in my shop.

Linking up today with 

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

grilled cheese with a twist

I was practically raised on grilled cheese sandwiches and still associate them with comfort on a cold winter day. But, I also know they probably aren't the healthiest lunch item (especially when the bread has been liberally coated with butter before frying). So I was looking for a healthier, but tasty alternative and came across this recipe from Southern Living. It uses goat cheese, which for me is a bonus, because it is my absolute favorite cheese and if you have a problem with dairy it is a great alternative. 

Goat Cheese and Strawberry Grilled Cheese
Spread 1 (4-oz.) goat cheese log, softened, on 1 side of 3 whole grain bread slices. Spread 4 1/2 tsp. red pepper jelly on 1 side of 3 whole grain bread slices; layer with 3/4 cup sliced fresh strawberries, 6 large basil leaves, and 1 1/2 cups fresh watercress or arugula. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Top with remaining bread, goat cheese sides down. Cook sandwiches in a large, lightly greased nonstick skillet over medium heat 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

And if you just can't give up that gooey cheese goodness, here is a great grownup grilled cheese from springpadit  using only one bread slice. It's not really low on carbs, but a pretty healthy choice.

The Oregano Open Faced Grilled Cheese

Serves 4

4 slices multigrain bread, lightly toasted
8 slices part-skim mozzarella cheese (1 ounce
2 plum tomatoes, cut into 16 thin slices
1 teaspoon Oregano Leaves

Top the lightly toasted bread with the cheese, tomatoes, and oregano and place under broiler until cheese has melted.

Linking up this Tuesday with:
 Tasty Tuesday

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Monday, August 22, 2011

shopping on a monday

It's Monday, so that means it's shopping day on Etsy. While hanging out nursing my injured back this weekend, I spent some time looking for vintage items that had been repurposed. How many times do we look at something and know we love it, but don't see how it can fit into our own homes. Here are some great ideas.

Need a cake stand, but want something a bit different? How about this wonderful piece made from recycled turntable and speaker parts by JTBaldwin


Now that you've dismantled that old record player, what are you going to do with your record collection? How about a clock by Record Time


If you don't have any old records, how about that old bicycle wheel that is taking up space in the garage? Bike wall clock by UpCycleBicycle


I love unique lamps. This beauty was made by repurposing a water faucet. By KozoLamp


or a great reading light using some of those old books that are stacked up in the corner. By GeekDetails


Old ball jars make wonderful soap dispensers. By MonkeyMama08


I think this is a rather cute idea for a wall vase or candle holder by Repurposed Antiques


So, you're looking at these and thinking. I'm just not that handy. Well like I said, it's a perfect day for shopping.


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