F Simple and Serene Living: March 2012 09 10
Friday, March 30, 2012

a sort of Christmas story

We're at the dinner table. Mama's little piggy has mashed potaotes smeared on his face, when.............there's a knock at the door. 


It's here, the fed ex truck has arrived in front of the house. 

I stand at the door and nervously tap my foot. It's my major award. It's here and I think it's marked 
fra-gi-lay. I grab the scissors and open the box with the highest degree of anticipation. I am not disappointed.

Sonya of Kanelstrand blog had this wonderful giveaway from barnwood4u on Etsy, and I won!

I love the rustic barn wood look of these pieces and there are so many ways to arrange them.

like this

or this

and I can fill them with things like this

or this

or even this

I am going to have so much fun playing around with these. They will make great photo props or storage for my sewing supplies.

The thing that I was most excited about was this rustic barn wood frame, with mat and glass.

It is absolutely perfect for this sweet little photo of my grandchildren.

So thank you Sonya from Kanelstrand and Jim and Brenda from barnwood4u. Check out both of these. You'll be glad you did. I know they made my week very special.

joining today with:
Home Sweet Home
Inspiration Friday
Fridays Unfolded

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Thursday, March 29, 2012


Good morning everyone!! Today's post is being brought to you by someone other than Laura (no it's not). Laura has gone on a wonderful day trip (no she hasn't) and is unable to write today (she is actually too lazy and ornery).

Laura just sent me this wonderful photo of herself as she takes a leisurely stroll down the beach.


Okay, I know she almost tricked you with that photo. What was it that tipped you off? Was it the long straight brown hair, the perfect thin body, the age, or the fact that this girl is actually able to stroll?

Laura thought she was being pretty crafty, but she can't fool us. We weren't born yesterday. 

The truth is that Laura wasted half her morning doing the New York Times crossword puzzle. Have you ever done the Thursday puzzle?


Laura is so brilliant that she works the puzzle in pen ( that is a total bunch of malarkey. She makes so many mistakes, that there are holes in that cheap, thin stuff they try to pass off as newsprint)

So, Laura would have been with us today, but she needed that walk on the beach (she is actually popping a couple of aspirins) in order to soothe her completely fried brain. 

I promise that she will be back with us tomorrow. In the meantime, if you have any inside information to help her cheat on the crossword, it would be greatly appreciated.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

an outdoor room

Do you have a dedicated spot at your home that you consider your outdoor room. My favorite outdoor room was the screened porch in my last home. I could sit out there nine months out of the year. The ceiling fan would be cooling me off, and I could watch the birds at the feeders or gaze longingly at the pool when it wasn't quite warm enough to jump in. It was a great place to eat, work, and visit with friends and family. 

There are so many different kinds of outdoor rooms. Some are very simple and some are quite elaborate. In the south a wide front porch is often used as an outdoor room, but a patio or a designated space on the lawn can work just as well. 

Here are a few I found that I have put on my pinterest board to keep for future reference. I love pinterest, because it saves me having to fill up lots of scrapbooks and lug them around for the next decade. 







So many styles to choose from.

linking today with:
White Wednesday
What's It Wednesday
Thursday Favorite Things

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I won't grow up.....

I won't grow up. I don't wanna..... okay, I know I'm already a grownup, but when it comes to things like

I am not too happy. Yes, I made it through the cortisone injection in my knee, and I have prepared myself for the fact that there are going to be needles involved in 

but, no one told me I was going to have to inject myself subcutaneously in my abdomen with blood thinner for two weeks after the surgery. 


Yes, I realize that both of my daughters inject themselves subcutaneously for their medical conditions, but I am feeling they must be way more grownup than me. 

Okay, this is where I give myself a big pep talk. Just give me a moment


(um, we know that's not me. If I got my knees in that position we would have to either call 911 or fry me up as a pretzel). Alright, I can do it. It will be worth it. I'll be walking better. There will be less pain.....Wow, I had to do a lot of talking myself into it.

SO now on to the visit I had with the surgeon yesterday. He wanted to know how my knees got so bad so early. Ummm you're the doctor, aren't you. I mean I wasn't running marathons or anything. Bottom line was, he doesn't do both knees at once, so even though they both have to be done, I will have to have two separate surgeries. (wait a minute does that mean I have to do the shot thing twice?) So we chose the left knee, which is not the knee that the cartilage tore off in, in December. The left knee is actually the most worn of the knees. 

No date set yet, they are supposed to call me this week, but hopefully, sometime in April. That will give me enough time to heal before my daughter has her baby and then I can plan the next one. In the meantime, I'll be doing my leg exercise like a good girl, eating healthy, and writing lots of postings on my usual "whatever I happen to be in the mood for."

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Monday, March 26, 2012


It's Monday, so that means it's time to curl up in your favorite chair, grab a second cup of     tea or coffee, and shop on Etsy. If the weather is as warm at your house as it is at mine,  you might want to break out that porch chair and browse outside with your laptop. I found  some real pretties this week. My favorites list is really growing.

these are definitely at the top of my list. 

six french white enamel canisters

I love handmade baskets, and these are beautiful in their simplicity.

large bean pot basket with handle

peonies are one of my favorite flowers, and this is one you can keep year round.

white peony hand stitched and painted fabric art.

perfect for a rustic farmhouse style garden

rustic barbed wire heart wreath

nothing lovelier than pretty botanical prints. especially when framed in a beautiful handmade frame.

1850s botanical print framed with reclaimed wood

I had a dress almost identical to this back in the day. Love it.

lace crochet dress 1960s

and just in case you are planning a picnic or a day at the beach, this is certainly a pretty take-along.

tote bag picnic blanket set

well, I am off to see the surgeon this morning. I'll bring you up to date tomorrow..

Linking up with:
Cowgirl Up

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Saturday, March 24, 2012


Do you hate criticism as much as I do? Do you get all defensive and up in arms about the whole thing, like me? I mean really, who could possibly not like my fabulous blog, my wonderful shop, my twirly whirly hair........ 

I met up with an old friend a while ago and while we were having lunch she looked at me and said "Does your sister (who is older than me by the way) have as many wrinkles as you do? OUCH!! " I immediately became defensive and said, "well she is older than me and baked in the sun all the time, so she probably has more". HMMPH!!

I used to be a counselor, so you would think I would have better coping skills than that, but I am just as vain as the next girl, and my feelings were hurt, and it's hard not to care what other people think. (not to mention I immediately went home and started slathering on more Clinique moisturizer). 

I follow a blog called Positively Positive. I like it because it gives positive ways to deal with life's gigantic ginormous little stresses. Instead of acting like this


with a big frowny face and a defensive retort, take a second to reflect on something you really like about yourself. I like my twirly whirly hair, for example. It is so very me.

She also talks about how to hand out criticism (come on, you know you do it).  

" "Before you criticize, start out with an affirmation, as in “You really have an eye for color, and I like what you did with the furniture. Though I’m not really crazy about the new bedspread.” By starting with an acknowledgement of what you do like, you are far more likely to avoid getting anyone’s defenses up, and increase your chances of having a reasonable, hostility-free discussion. Either way, you are probably stuck with the bedspread.' "

I like this. I have been working hard at using more positive "I am"  statements about myself. You know the ones. I am smart. I am prosperous. I am happy......

It's amazing, but the more I use those statements, the better I feel about myself and the easier it is to cope with those unnecessary criticisms. 

Let me say right now, I think you all are wonderful. I can't imagine ever criticizing you. After all. you do read my  blog, and leave me wonderful comments, and I'm sure you love my twirly whirly hair. Don't you???

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Friday, March 23, 2012

little cottage work spaces

So many people are choosing to live in small cottages these days. I love cottage style living. It's cozy and comfy, but it does offer challenges when it comes to work space. This is especially true for people who work from home. I know I am always looking for storage and work space solutions. Here are a few fabulous ideas that I know I am adding to my pinterest board. 






I hope everyone has a wonderful day. I am off to take my sister back to the doctor. She fell and 
re-injured her broken ankle. Sheesh!! Monday is my day to finally see the surgeon. I'll let you know how it goes.

 joining up with:
Vintage Inspiration Friday
Home Sweet Home
Inspiration Friday

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

just a few......

of my favorite things.

driving out of my townhouse today

a chair photo holder from Mamie Janes

a gorgeous bed from Maple and Magnolia

a fabulous two toned dresser from Turnstyle Vogue

an amazing rustic kitchen via Country Living

a place to nap from A Well Traveled Woman

an old fashioned vacation from Rambling Renovators

Joining up with:
Wow Us Wednesdays
Swing Into Spring
White Wednesday
What's It Wednesday

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