F Simple and Serene Living: January 2015 09 10
Saturday, January 31, 2015

COME BACK LITTLE LEMON

Just one of those days.

Just one of those crazy days.

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You know the kind I mean. If something can possibly go wrong it will. 

The toast burns. The printer won't print. You get a huge estimate for car repairs on a car that may not be worth as much as the repairs. Your ninety year old mother calls to tell you she has the stomach flu.

And then there is the lemon. You know the one I am talking about. The organic one. The one you just paid extra for so it will be free of nasty pesticides. 

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You open the car door to take out the groceries and the bag turns upside down onto the driveway. Out rolls the lemon. Yes, that lemon. The organic, more expensive one. As you watch it roll across the parking lot, you think that maybe, just maybe that lemon isn't so organic anymore. 

SIGH!!!

Some days just aren't quite as simple and serene as you would like.

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Friday, January 30, 2015

SMALL SPACE DECOR: AN OFFICE IN A CLOSET

When I was looking at an apartment in Atlanta, I noticed that there was an alcove in the living room that looked like it might have been a closet at one time. I started thinking about what I could do with that space, and as I sat here staring at my messy desk this morning I thought how nice it would be if I could use that as a sewing table and have a tiny office somewhere else. Cue the light bulb!! Why couldn't I use that alcove for a desk and storage place for some of my Etsy things.

Time for some ideas.

This is probably the size of the space in the apartment I looked at, and as I really don't use my computer at the desk, I would have room for my printer and office and shipping supplies. 

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This is a cute "cloffice". I love that word. Not sure who originally coined it, but I am definitely going to keep using it. I like that she has added a curtain to hide the closet (I would definitely do that) and pretty wallpaper which lightens up the space.

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This is a cozy little space. Great use of white with just a pop of color. I bet this person is very organized.

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Love color? This would be the space for you. 

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Painting the back wall with chalkboard paint is a good idea, but I'm afraid if I closed the curtain, my To Do list might get lost in time.

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Well, I didn't find my perfect "cloffice", but I am getting a lot of great ideas. 


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P.S. For small space decor ideas check out my new board here.

P.P.S. You can find more of my small space living series here.
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Thursday, January 29, 2015

ONE AGING WOMAN WHO WILL NOT BE MADE IRRELEVANT

Let's face it, we are all aging, and no matter where you are in the process you may be feeling that you are becoming irrelevant. I have noticed that the more I age, the more I am pushed aside by society. It is as if only the younger generation are relevant. Advertisers target the 19 to 39 year olds. They want their money. The workforce forces out older workers. Television shows cater to younger viewers. I want to stand out in the middle of the street and yell I may be aging, but I will not be made irrelevant. 

With my luck I would probably be run over by a young driver who couldn't see me because to him/her I was invisible.


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Since when did aging become a sin? Why is it that in our society wisdom, accumulated through aging, is no longer valued. There was a time when it was children who were expected to be seen but not heard. Today, it seems that this applies to older people, and I'm not sure that the young even want us to be seen. 

Is this a byproduct of a society that is so rapidly changing no one and especially older folks can't keep up. Is it because younger people don't believe that they will ever be old, or is it because they know that they may become old and don't want to face it. 

There are some things I really hate. If you are young don't patronize me. I am not senile, and even if I was that doesn't give you the right to treat me as if I have no idea what I am talking about. Don't under any circumstances call me honey. I am not now nor will I ever be your honey. Don't call me baby. Do I look like a baby. I don't think so. 

I want you to know that I am definitely not done yet. In fact I feel as if I am just beginning. There is a lot of life left in me and no matter how hard you push me, I am going to push back. I may not be as fast as I once was, but I will make it to the finish line. We all will. Along the way I still have a whole lot of living left to do, so don't think I will allow you to make me irrelevant. 


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P.S. I would love to hear your thoughts on this and if you would like to see more posts about women's issues you can find them here.

P.P.S. I am adding this quote from the wonderful Annie Lennox because it speaks so well to this post.

"There's this youth culture that is really, really powerful and really, really strong, but what it does is it really discards people once they reach a certain age. I actually think that people are so powerful and interesting - women, especially - when they reach my age. We've got so much to say, but popular culture is so reductive that we just talk about whether we've got wrinkles, or whether we've put on weight or lost weight, or whether we've changed our hair style. I just find that so shallow."–Annie Lennox, who turns 60 today
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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

BRING SPRING FLOWERS INTO YOUR HOME

I think there is a strong possibility that I am having a mid winter meltdown. I am missing flowers. I need them. I want them. I am thinking that I may go to Trader Joe's tomorrow and get some, but in the meantime I wanted to get some ideas on how to display them.

Trader Joe's has lots of tulips right now and I love how these tulips are displayed in an old silver trophy.

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I wish I had an old French basket. Look how beautiful these flowers look inside this one.

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An old primitive metal bait container makes a perfect vase for some spring flowers.

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I just happen to have an old water can hanging around somewhere. This would be adorable on a kitchen table or in a sunroom.

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This is a great idea if you have some old canning jars around the house. Applying some gold leaf adds just the perfect touch.

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Have you brought flowers into your home to give it a touch of spring?

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

BEDROOM DECORATING: COTTAGE STYLE

I love my cottage style bedroom. More and more it is really beginning to reflect who I am. This past week I have made two new additions to my room. I got them both at auctions and I'm really loving them. I thought I would share one of them today and save the other one (which my physical therapist told me that if I don't stop lifting heavy things my shoulder will never heal. OOPS!) until next week. 

You may remember that the corner of my bedroom looked like this.


I liked everything about it except for (unfluffed pillow) the rather empty corner and the bed. Another OOPS!! I may have given away what the second thing is I bought. 

When I saw this dress form at the auction last week I knew I loved it. I wasn't really sure what I was going to do with it, I just knew I wanted it. 


It sit around for a few days until a lightbulb went off (yes friends there is a tiny bit of light still up there) and I knew it was going to be perfect to fill in my corner.


I was right. I love it, and I can also use it for a photo prop for my Etsy shop.

You'll have to wait until next week to see my other fabulous purchase. It was well worth the aching back and shoulder.

Linking with:
Cozy Little House


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Monday, January 26, 2015

LETTING GO OF THE PAST

Inspiration On A Monday:

One of the hardest things for us to do is let go of the past. I have talked about it on here before, and as a counselor I worked with many people who were letting the past destroy their present and their future. Letting go of the past takes effort, but it is well worth putting in the effort it takes.


I too have trouble letting my past go. Each morning I have started a meditation practice, and as part of that practice I sit quietly, breathe in the future, and exhale the past. I visualize what I want my future to look like as I let the past go. 

The psychologist, Carl Jung said it well: "I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become." 

With that in mind I am doing something Wednesday that I have put off for a long time due to fear. I see it as a big step towards healing my life and letting go of something that I have carried with me for many years. Yes, I still feel panicky thinking about it and the outcome, but I also see it as exhaling the past. I have recognized that it is time to let it go. It is time to take back my life and have the life I want now. It is time to truly forgive. Not to help the other person, but to help me.

Letting go of the past may not always be easy, but it can lead us all to a simpler and more serene present and future.

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P.S. You can find more Monday Inspiration here.
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Sunday, January 25, 2015

JUST WATCHING THE SNOW MELT

I've done my weekly Trader Joe's and Whole Foods run, and now this little birdie and I are just sitting here relaxing and watching the snow melt. 


It was pretty while it lasted, but it has warmed up into the forties this afternoon and rain is on the way. I think I will spend what is left of the afternoon visiting some blogging friends. Tonight of course I will be tuned into Downton Abbey.

What are you up to?

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Saturday, January 24, 2015

FOLLOWING THE ROAD TO SIMPLE LIVING

I spend a lot of time thinking about living a simple life and what leads to getting there. I have written some posts in the past on the simple life. You can read those here. We live in such a complicated world, but I firmly believe that there are so many roads we can follow to get to the place where our lives become much more simple and serene. 

When I woke up this morning I was greeted by an unexpected sight. 


What was supposed to have been a trace of snow turned into five inches. It was our first real snowfall of the winter, and although I am not really a fan of winter these days, I felt awed by the beauty that greeted me. Bundled up in my boots and heavy coat I took a few moments to just breathe in that simple beauty. 

I found a simple living manifesto by Leo Babauta. You can read it in its entirety here. Like Babauta I believe that the road to a simple life is one that leads us out of chaos and into simplicity. Babauta gives us 72 ideas to find that simple life, but as he says the short list is really about determining what is important to you and eliminating everything else. As I sipped my tea and looked out on the winter wonderland that is my neighborhood today, I was thinking exactly those thoughts, and I wondered what holds us back from doing just that. 


I am not going to go into those 72 things on his list today, but what I am going to do is think about and research those things. Then I am going to start devoting Saturdays to talking about them and about other ideas for simple living. 

Yes, our world is complicated and can be very chaotic, but the world has always contained chaos. I hope that we all can find our own bit of simplicity among that chaos. I know that I am certainly going to continue trying and I hope you will too.


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Friday, January 23, 2015

NEW LIFE...SMALL SPACE DECOR THE LINEN CLOSET

When I was looking at an apartment in Georgia, (see more posts on small space living here)I noticed that there was a small linen closet in the bathroom. I would have to give a big hooray!! for that. I love linen closets and I was thinking how nice it would be to remove the door and have it be not only functional, but pretty. 

I love this linen closet. I don't think I know that I have never had a linen closet that was this neat and organized. 


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How clever that she has not only put things in baskets, but she has labeled them so prettily. In all honesty, I'm not sure I have that much time or energy, but I do love the idea of baskets. I am definitely a basket girl. 

I guess there could be some definite benefits to leaving the door on. Of course this is a built-in, but I like the idea of the hanging shelves on the inside of the door. A definite space saver in a small apartment.


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I love the use of the pretty canisters and glass jars in this linen closet.


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Oh, and white towels. I only use white towels. I can do that now that I am on my own. 

More labeled baskets. That seems to be a pretty popular theme on Pinterest.


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This is an interesting idea for bed linens. I'm not quite sure how I feel about this one. What do you think?


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(PSSST!!! I don't want to get in Martha Stewart's bad graces, but I think this takes up too much room.)

I love the idea that if you don't have a linen closet that you can create a beautiful one.


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I think that one was pretty perfect.

I was a bit disappointed in what I found on Pinterest. I guess there are only so many things that you can do with a linen closet. Storing toilet paper just isn't that exciting. 

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P.S. I've just started a new board on Pinterest called Small Space Living. You can find it here.
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Thursday, January 22, 2015

WHAT IS SEO

Last week I wrote a post about how it seems that the harder I work these days the less traffic and income are coming into my blog. If you missed that post you can read it here.

What I have realized since I wrote that post is that it is up to me to drive more traffic to my businesses. I don't want to be any more invisible online than I do in person. 

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That means I am home schooling myself on all the ways to drive traffic to a blog. One of the most important things that I have found is that it is extremely important to make your blog Google friendly. 

That brings us to SEO or Search Engine Optimization. I have heard a lot about SEO, but I just kind of blew it off. Now I have realized that it is important for me to learn what it is and how to use it. 

Wikipedia describes SEO as "the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine's "natural" or un-paid ("organic") search results

Okay, so just what does that mean to you and me. It means that when someone goes to a search engine like Google or Bing for example, and types in a search we want them to find us. We want a high ranking placement in search results. 

There is a ton, and I do mean a ton, of information out there about SEO, and let me tell you that I didn't understand 99% of it. I felt like Linda Blair in the Exorcist. My head was spinning round and round. 

I did find this posting about SEO basics that I like. It was kind of an SEO for Dummies. That would be me. It gave 8 essentials when optimizing your site and it compared my blog to a cake. I mean, who doesn't like cake.

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Yes, they are both cakes, and I think my blog may be the cake on the left. I want it to be the cake on the right. 

So now that I know what SEO is, I am going to work on how to utilize it, and of course I will share it all with you.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

I DREAM OF BLUE AND WHITE DECOR

I have had a love affair with blue and white for as long as I can remember. It always leaves me feeling serene. Maybe it is because I love a sunny day with a blue sky and white fluffy clouds. Whatever the reason, I always gravitate towards it. 

Blue and white in the kitchen is always perfect, whether it's pretty tea towels,


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or a cupboard filled with an assortment of dishes.

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How about blue and white on a wall mixed with other pieces,


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or just a collection of plates.


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I would love to sit and read in this cozy blue and white spot, although it looks like someone may have beat me to it.


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The subdued blue and white of this sofa is fabulous.


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So toss me a throw,


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let me wander up these well worn stairs,


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and then send me off to dreamland here.


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Something tells me I would have no trouble falling asleep.

So what colors are you dreaming of for your decor?


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P.S. Check out my blue and white Pinterest board here.

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