F Simple and Serene Living: October 2011 09 10
Thursday, October 27, 2011

four season porch

As I sit here on this cloudy, rainy October day, I am reminded of the things I miss most during the cold weather months. Primarily, those would be light and the feel of being outdoors. I don't mind the snow so much, if I have a light filled, warm, toasty place to sit and look out. 


So, if you, like me, covet just such a space, put on your warm bunny slippers, grab that second cup of coffee, and enjoy these lovely four season porches. 


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I love these windows


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a cozy spot with some wonderful willow furniture


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How nice to have so much greenery all year long. I would love a really sunny spot to keep my herbs going.


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a place to sit and visit.


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What would your four season porch look like? I would have to say the cozy porch with the willow furniture is my favorite. Add a fireplace and some potted plants and I'm good to go.


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Friday, October 21, 2011

cozy kitchens

I believe that the kitchen is the heart of the home. It is the place where families meet at the end of the day, where yummy smells and delicious foods are created, where homework is done, and games are played. This is especially true during the cooler months of the year, when darkness descends early and more time is spent indoors. 


Now that cooler weather has arrived, let's cozy up with some warm farmhouse kitchen ideas.


A large harvest table and big old gas range help to create a warm feel and a place to gather the family.


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A deep sink in front of a sunny window is the perfect spot to wash dishes with a little one, while sharing their day.


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A wood stove helps to take the chill out of the early morning, before everyone heads out for the day.


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Lots of old pots and jars for storage serve double duty, not only utilitarian, but lovely for display.


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The beauty of a farmhouse kitchen is in its simplicity. In a world where so many people are caught up with having the newest and sleekest appliances, stainless steel, and marble counter tops, the farmhouse kitchen brings back the meaning of the kitchen. So, make your kitchen your own and love it for the memories it will bring. The smells, the shared meals, and the family times are what will linger for years to come.


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Linking up this weekend with:

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Friday, October 14, 2011

farmhouse kitchen display

When I got up this morning, I was looking at all of the fun vintage farmhouse pieces I have listed or will be listing in ImSoVintage and decided to create a display for a kitchen. I had to clear out a little space, but had lots of fun putting it together. 




I love stacking old suitcases to create tables, but here, I tiered an old suitcase, antique wooden trunk, and rustic tool drawer laid on its side to make a functional side table for a kitchen. It would actually be great in any room in the house with a change out of accessories.


Usually, we tend to stack with the widest piece at the bottom, but I thought it would be fun to put the widest at the top. 




Love these display pieces. The old rolling pin parts have a great sculptural look, the 1950s tray is positively adorable, and I can never get enough of primitive old boxes, kitchen utensils, and bottles.


The idea is to have fun with what you have around your house. Put things together in new ways, and add a few new finds to give yourself a whole new look. 


I want to thank everyone for their lovely comments on yesterday's post. They really gave me a boost.


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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

the farmhouse bedroom

For me, there is nothing more comforting than a warm cozy bedroom at the end of a long hard day. I want a place to relax, to read, and to fall asleep knowing there will be sweet dreams. I think country farmhouse bedrooms really create that feel.


I love the wood ceiling in this room, along with the big four poster bed, and a comfy throw rug to warm your toes in the morning. 


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This looks like a cozy spot, with its old brass bed, down comforter, and soft lighting.


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A yummy cast iron bed.


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I love the combination of vintage textiles and the painted bench in this room.


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Beautiful bright quilts, white bead board walls, and baskets tucked under the bed give this small space a light airy feel.


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I love the simplicity of Shaker style furniture and the faux fireplace gives an added cozy touch. I would place some candles in front of the fireplace to give the illusion of a warm fire. 


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Enjoy your Wednesday.




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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Honey Orange Chicken

I'm not a big meat eater, but I do like to have chicken sometimes and tonight is going to be one of those nights. I was looking for something fairly quick and easy, and this looks like just the thing. So tonight I will be cooking up:






Honey Orange Chicken
recipe via DairyGoodness

1 orange



2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp (15 ml) honey
1 lb (500 g) boneless skinless chicken, cut into 1/2 inch (1 cm) strips
1/4 tsp (1 ml) each, salt and pepper
1 cup (250 ml) 35% whipping cream





Finely grate 1/2 tsp (2 ml) of zest from orange; set aside. Squeeze out 1/2 cup (125 ml) juice. In a bowl, combine orange juice, garlic, and honey.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken in a single layer and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Brown chicken, turning once, for about 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Pour orange juice mixture into pan and bring to a boil, scraping up any brown bits stuck to pan. Boil for about 3 min or until reduced by about half.
Return chicken to pan, discarding any accumulated juices, and stir to coat in sauce. Stir in orange zest and cream and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring, for about 2 min or until chicken is no longer pink inside and sauce is slightly thickened. 
Along with the chicken, I will be having brown rice plus

Stuffed Acorn Squash

This is for 2 servings. Just double the recipe for 4 people.
1 large acorn squash, halved and seeded
1 cup water
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 to 1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 large Granny Smith apples peeled, cored, chopped
1/4 cup chopped nuts of your choice




Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Place acorn squash, cut side down, in a large baking pan or dish; pour water into bottom of pan around the squash. Bake 20 minutes. Remove from oven.
Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine butter, lemon juice, cinnamon, brown sugar, and chopped apples. Divide mixture evenly among partially cooked squash and return to oven for 60 minutes or until tender when flesh is poked with a fork. Sprinkle with chopped nuts to serve.


and since I am still getting fresh tomatoes from my garden







Tossed Salad With Tomato Dressing
recipe via weightwatchers


serves 8
2 heads lettuce (any variety)


2 tomatoes, peeled, chopped and deseeded
6 spring onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
teaspoon salt
tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons tarragon vinegar
1 tablespoon mayonnaise

1. Wash the lettuce, dry thoroughly, tear into bite-size pieces and refrigerate.
2. To make the dressing, mash the tomatoes with the spring onions until they almost form a paste. Add the remaining ingredients, except for the lettuce, and beat with a whisk. Refrigerate until needed.
3. To serve the salad, place the lettuce in a large salad bowl, pour the dressing on top and toss well. Serve immediately.

Bring the outdoors in with some Autumn leaves and pretty candles on your table.

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Yummy. I can't wait. Have a great Tuesday.


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Friday, October 7, 2011

vintage maps

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I love vintage maps. They tell a history that can not be shared in any other way, and they are so beautiful. The study and practice of making maps is called cartography. It is not known exactly when map making began, but we do know that the ancient Greeks and Romans began the practice of cartography as early as the 6th century BC. 


The oldest maps were carved into clay tablets.


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Wow, I would love to see some of those. 


Today, vintage and antique maps are very popular for home decor and for repurposing.


They make beautiful wall paper.


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Some more ideas for repurposing vintage maps.


from the shop of cottonbirddesigns


so lovely when framed and grouped on a wall.




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a pretty way to spruce up a lampshade


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or an old metal trash can.


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Maps can give new life to an old piece of furniture.


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I can just see all those ideas spinning around in your head right now and if you need some vintage maps, I am currently adding them to Gossamer Memories. I have a few listed now, but there will be a lot more coming in the next few days. Stop by for a visit.


1923 map


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