F Simple and Serene Living: February 2015 09 10
Saturday, February 28, 2015


This is one of those times that I said I would want your input on the changes I am making to the blog. It is very exciting to move forward. I have been brainstorming with some other bloggers and doing a lot of research on ways to make this a better space for all of us. 

One of the first things I want to focus on is the color scheme of the blog. I love blue. It is a color that I have always found to be calming. So I looked up the color that is associated with serenity. Guess what, it is blue. How do you feel about blue? 

blue vintage spindle back chair

Then to be fair I thought I should look up the color for simplicity. It was red. That kind of surprised me. I have to admit. I am not much of a red person. In fact, when I looked around my house to find something red to photograph I almost came up empty handed. I thought I was going to have to go out to the cold garage and dig through the Christmas stuff. 

white ironstone plates antique

That being said, I love to see how other people use red, it is just maybe too visually stimulating for me. 

Of course there are lots of other colors to choose from. My goal is for this blog to be a serene place to visit. I hope that everyone will feel welcome and relaxed once they pull up my page. Kind of like visiting with close friends over a cup of tea. 

What are your thoughts. Should I continue with the blue color scheme or do you think I should make a change?

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Friday, February 27, 2015


I am in love with old trunks. Just yesterday there was a fabulous one at auction, but unfortunately it went too high for me, and also there is the problem that I have given myself a stern lecture. As I plan to move to Georgia in hopefully less than a year, and I will have to move what I have here in Kentucky as well as what I have in storage in North Carolina (and who knows what is actually in there) I need to start downsizing here. 

So for right now I am dreaming of old trunks, which are wonderful for storage in small spaces. They also have the added benefit of looking fabulous. Double duty certainly works for me.

If you have unused space under a staircase, this is a wonderful idea. The space isn't tall enough for a closet, but the trunk fits perfectly.

vintage trunk storage idea
Many old trunks have ribs on their tops so adding a piece of glass works perfectly to give it a smooth surface.

vintage trunk with glass top
There never seems to be enough extra seating in a small space, but add a cushion to the top and some throw pillow to the back and you have a place for your guests to sit.

antique trunk used as a bench
This is certainly a clever idea. This old trunk has been set on a base and is being used as a bar. It would also work as a sideboard or a vanity.

vintage trunk bar
And of course we all know that old trunks make perfect coffee tables.

antique trunk coffee table
Do you use old trunks in your decor?

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P.S. You can find more of my small space living series here.

P.P.S. And there are even more ideas on my Small Space Living board on Pinterest here.

P.P.P.S. Don't forget to watch for my new URL soon, when I will be changing to Simple and Serene Living.

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Thursday, February 26, 2015


Social media.!!!! I have a love/hate relationship with it, and often wish I could tune it out completely. However, when your businesses are online, social media is a necessary evil. Believe me, I don't toss that word evil out lightly, but I do find it to be a hair pulling out entity. 

vintage ephemera and antique keys

A couple of weeks ago I was discussing Instagram with my daughter who is 34. (hmmm, same age as me) Just threw that blatant lie in there in case there are any millennials sneaking a peek at this post. I was lamenting the fact that no matter how hard I worked on social media I felt like I was spitting in the wind. My daughter, who has over 148,000 followers on Instagram, (that is a number I can't even imagine) said that the problem lies in the fact that advertisers are targeting the young hip millennials, and that she is barely squeaking in there. (in my opinion she is very young and very hip whereas I am.......oh wait we are the same age) 

Buffalo Bill and the Pony Express

I often wonder how those of us who are a wee bit older have been lost in the social media/advertising maze, because I do often feel like I have stepped into a maze and can't find my way out. Are the twenty somethings really the ones with all of the money. 

According to Wikipedia, Millennials are imbued with the trait of confidence. However, they are also a generation that is saddled with student loan debt and the inability to find jobs. So where is their money coming from to support the dollars that are spent on social media by advertisers? Is it their confidence, or as some have referred to it as narcissism, that propels them into the spotlight on social media? I wonder.

What are your feelings about social media? Do you love it, hate it, or are you completely ambivalent? How do you feel about the millennial driven advertising frenzy? Have we who are older than their generation been cast aside? If so, how do we combat it? Maybe I'll just sit down and write someone a letter of complaint.

vintage Webster typewriter

Let's chat. 

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P.S. You can find more Women Speak topics here.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015


Making Changes

I want to thank all of you for your wonderful and well thought out comments yesterday on finding myself as a blogger. Each one of them means so much to me, because I know that without you this blog would not exist.

First of all I want to assure you that the writings on this blog will not really change. I still love vintage and antiques. I see them as a way to help save and preserve our heritage and to help us achieve a cozy home environment. This will still be a safe and supportive place for women to gather and share. There will still be inspiration and motivation. We will still talk about life. 

I see all of the above as components of a simple and serene life. 

I do want to apologize if my post yesterday made you think I was selling out to a younger audience. This will never be a mommy blog, or a fashion blog. I am proud of the things I have learned and accomplished in my life and I hope that this blog will be a place for women (and men) of all ages. I want women of any age to feel that this is a place for them. That we want them to join in with us. 

Our society has moved away from valuing older people and I would love for us to be a part of changing that. I believe that there are things we can learn from all ages. I love listening to my mom's generation and I remember the things my grandparents taught me. They are the people who showed me the value of simple living. I love listening to my daughters who help me find serenity, and I also love listening to my grandchildren. They are reminding me the value of enjoying each moment. 

So only the name of the blog will be changing, as I hope to attract a wider audience. I want you to be a part of this journey and I will be asking for some suggestions in future posts. You are all my friends and my partners in finding a simple and serene life.

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P.S. Speaking of change, I sincerely hope these are my last photos of snow. I am ready for spring.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015


Who Am I In This Blogging World

I remember, barely, the start of my blogging life. I really had no idea what a blog was, but I had an Etsy shop and I was looking for ways to increase my business. The name of my shop, then and now, is I'm So Vintage. The name was chosen to reflect the fact that I am all about loving vintage, not to promote the fact that I am in my dotage. After I chose the name I began to realize that maybe it wasn't the best choice, but at that time Etsy did not allow name changes and by the time they did I felt that I was too well established to change it. So I kept the name across social media. 

In the last year or so I feel like I have found what I consider my own niche in blogging. My focus now is living a simple and serene life. In my own life I am shifting my focus to healthy eating, smaller space living, meditation, motivation, spirituality, and issues that affect women. My blog has gradually transitioned, and I am becoming happier with it. 

You may have noticed that I have been gradually changing the title of my blog to Simple and Serene Living, although I have not changed my URL. I know that simple and serene living is what I want my focus to be, but I have not decided if that is the name that I want for my blog. Do I want something catchier or do I just want it to state the fact? If I change the name of my blog then I will have to consider changing my name across social media. 

We live in a very youth oriented and controlled society, and although I am proud of who I am and will not be made irrelevant (see that post here) I am also realistic. I love all of my readers, but I want to attract readers of all ages, and I believe that the name of my blog is keeping a wider range of readers away. I hope that what I have learned and am still learning in life will appeal to all ages. That by drawing them in they will stay. 

That being said, I love all of you who are my friends and remain loyal to me through thick and thin. (there has been a lot of thin) I will still talk about aging, because let's face it no matter what our age is, we are all aging. I am working hard to find more serenity in this chaotic world we live in and I am formulating other ideas for sharing how we can all find that. 

So, sweet friends, I would love your input. Without you, I would have none of this. 

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Monday, February 23, 2015


There is something about baking that brings me a sense of serenity. Life has been very chaotic and stressful lately, and I have found that the gathering together of ingredients can also help me to gather together my thoughts and emotions. 

gluten free banana bread

When I was younger I made a lot of homemade bread. I loved the kneading of the dough. It always seemed to ease the troubles of the day. These days it would be difficult to do the necessary kneading of bread because of my arthritis, but I find I still enjoy the quiet time alone in my kitchen. So I limit myself to quick breads. 

There is nothing like the smell of something baking in your oven. It evokes memories of family and togetherness. Of arriving home from school on a cold snowy day to find your mother has spent her afternoon baking an afternoon treat for you. Of baking those same treats for your own children. 

When you take the bread from the oven there is something so satisfying in seeing that perfect loaf cooling.

loaf gluten free banana bread

The anticipation of cutting that first perfect piece is a wonderful part of the ritual,

gluten free banana bread

and then there is the reward of sitting down in your chair with your freshly baked bread and a cup of tea, remembering other days of baking, and knowing that it was time well spent.

afternoon tea and gluten free banana bread

Baking. Such a wonderful part of a simple and serene life.

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P.S. You can find more Monday inspiration here.

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Saturday, February 21, 2015


As I sit here today listening to the steady sound of freezing rain hitting against my windows, my mind wanders to the warm days of spring and to gardening. 

Coming from a long line of florists, my extended family owns the oldest florist and greenhouse here in Lexington, I have always been taught the value of wildflowers. My mom says that during the depression her family would go out into the country and pick wildflowers to supplement the flowers they grew and sold. 

gardening perennial flowers greenhouse

At one time all flowers were wild. and although we have cultivated them so that we can grow and sell them in areas where they do not naturally grow, it is important to maintain them in the wild. To maintain the natural habitats. 

Yes, we enjoy the beauty of wildflowers, but just what is it that they do so freely for our planet? An article from Mother Earth News which can be read here, lists some of the things wildflowers do.

• Attracting and sustaining beneficial wildlife (the pollinators and other creatures essential to keeping the plant and animal kingdom – and us – going)
• Creating extensive recycling, composting, land repurposing and self-regulating water filtration systems
• Mastering extreme weather survival
• Developing a continent-wide erosion control program
• Nurturing the expansion of a wide range of living organisms
• Doing all of this practical work while giving us the great gift of their beauty

Due to the increasing loss of our natural wildlife habitats, we have steadily been losing our honey bee colonies, monarch butterfly populations, and many of our native birds. All of these losses have a direct impact on the pollination of our food crops. These losses are a direct result of humans taking over natural habitats through urbanization and through the use of pesticides. 

So what can we do to bring back these dwindling populations of wildlife? It is simple. Plant wildflowers. You don't have to have a large yard to plant wildflowers, they can be planted anywhere, and if you do have a yard, instead of giving your entire space to manicured grass, devote a portion of it to native wildflowers. The environment will thank you and you will reap the rewards of a beautiful outdoor space.

It is all about sustainability while enjoying a simple and serene life.

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Friday, February 20, 2015


Storage is always a problem when moving into a small space, and as much as we may try to downsize our possessions, there are still always things that we need and want to keep. 

Having living room furniture that doubles as storage seems almost essential to me.

A small space means that you probably don't have an entry hall, but who needs one when you can create the illusion of one as beautiful as this.

antique chest small entryway
via BHG

Are you loving the new boho trend in decorating? This colorful small living room will definitely appeal to you. I love the console table behind the couch. It offers a place for reading lamps if you don't have room for end tables, a shelf for books, and the large space underneath is perfect for storage baskets. 

console table small livingroom storage
via BHG
Trunks are perfect storage solutions in small spaces. They can be used beside a bed as a nightstand,

antique trunk nightstand small space decor
via Savvy Southern Style
or as a coffee table in the livingroom.

trunk coffee table small space decor
via Shanty 2 Chic
An armoire has so many uses. Many small spaces also have tiny kitchens with limited cabinet space. An armoire makes a perfect pantry, and with curtains covering the glass it could be used anywhere in your small space. 

armoire pantry small space decor
via Cynthia's Cottage Design
Be sure and check out my Small Space Living Board on Pinterest for more great ideas, and my blog series on small spaces here.

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Thursday, February 19, 2015


Record snowfalls and record low temperatures have hit Kentucky. They have even shut the University of Kentucky down for the next two days. That is something that they never do.

This is what my sister's car looked like two days ago. (my car is currently on the injured list) It was covered and surrounded by more than 10" of snow. 

For some reason they didn't plow this parking area when they did the driveways. So armed with my trusty broom I ventured out. I'm under there somewhere.

I did manage to get the snow off the windshield and windows, but there was nothing I could do about the parking lot. So I sat in the car and prayed. Then I gunned it in reverse all the way to the driveway. Somehow I made it. I got to the grocery and pharmacy, arrived home quickly, and unloaded the groceries. Then hooray, there was a parking place right across from the entrance to the apartment. 

There was snow, but as someone had pulled out of there, I figured there would be no problem with me getting in. Halfway into the space I got stuck. Couldn't go forward, couldn't back out, and I was blocking the truck next to me. Oh boy!!! Got out with my broom and started sweeping. After about three tries I was able to go forward. 

However, it is now stuck there and as far as I am concerned it can stay there until this weekend when it is supposed to get above freezing. I don't know about you, but I am so over winter. 

So while I am stuck inside, I will be dreaming and planning for the warm days that are not too far down the road.

may calendar and birds nest

Enjoy your day.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015


If you are fortunate enough to have beautiful carpeting in your home, you should do your best to take care of it and make sure it always looks great. Carpeting a home can be very expensive, so protecting your investment should always be one of your top priorities. If you have carpeting long enough, you will eventually need to hire a professional rug cleaner Manhattan NY. The trick is to know the right time to have it cleaned. Here are some of the main indicators that it is time to pick up the phone and schedule a professional carpet cleaning.

1. You are going to have an important event at your home

If you are going to be entertaining business clients or friends and family from out of town who you do not see often, you should go out of your way to make their visit special. This means making your carpets look like new. Your home says a lot about who you are as a person. Like it or not, people form opinions about you based on the cleanliness of your home. Having clean carpets will impress your guests and give them a positive impression of you.

2. It has been over two years since your last professional cleaning

Two years is plenty of time for dirt, dust and dust mites to become deeply imbedded in the fibers of your carpet. It may even look good at first glance, but a host of allergens will most likely be lurking beneath the surface of your carpet. Each time your vacuum your carpet, all of these allergens get lifted into the air, where they are breathed in by all the people living in your home. Needless to say, people with asthma or other breathing disorders will be adversely affected. Elderly people will also have a hard time breathing. 

3. You have a newborn child

Having a baby is truly a miracle. Therefore, you should do everything possible to ensure that your baby stays healthy. Babies spend a significant amount of their time on the floor. Since your newborn baby will be in such close proximity to your carpeting, it is imperative that you take steps to have it professionally cleaned. This will remove harmful allergens that could make your baby become sick and have breathing difficulties. You do not want to take any unnecessary chances with the health of your precious infant.

This is a sponsored post for which I was compensated.

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