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I'm Laura. Welcome to Simple and Serene Living. I've worn many hats in my life on this fabulous planet; daughter, sister, mother, grandmother, and friend. This space is one of my favorite hats.
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CHRISTMAS AT THE GARDEN CENTER

Monday, December 6, 2021

Saturday I was out for my usual walk around the shopping center when I walked by the garden center and smelled the Christmas trees. 

The scent was intoxicating and I just had to go in and have a look around.

poinsettias

Inside there were beautiful poinsettias of all sizes.

I have always loved the traditional reds, but I also love seeing a mixture of colors.

poinsettias in the garden center

This gorgeous winter white poinsettia was massive and I could picture it in a grand entryway surrounded by smaller poinsettias. 

large winter white poinsettia

After oohing and aahing over the poinsettias I decided to see what else they had inside.

I wanted to see what they had in artificial wreaths and I immediately fell in love with this one. 

christmas wreath

It was so gorgeous and festive. 

My budget didn't quite stretch to its price tag, but I did find this wreath on Amazon that I have added to my wish list.

It was time to move outdoors and smell that heavenly pine scent.

There were rows and rows of beautiful freshly cut trees.

christmas trees

I loved that they had labelled the different types of trees so that if you had a favorite you could go right to that type. 

There were also flocked trees, and although I have never personally been a fan of flocked trees there were certainly some beautiful ones. 

flocked Christmas trees

As I walked through the trees I was taken back to my first Christmas in Canada as a nine year old. 

My father drove us to a local tree farm where we walked around in the snow and picked our tree. The farm owner cut down the tree and loaded it onto our car all for $3.

It was the most beautiful tree in the world. 

Thanks for visiting today. Do you have a favorite Christmas tree memory?

This post contains affiliate links for which I may receive a small commission. This does not affect your cost.




MY CHRISTMAS GIFT FAVORITES

Saturday, December 4, 2021

Is it really Saturday again? I cannot believe how quickly each week flies by and it is time for a Saturday Shopping post again.

This has been a busy week for me. 

All of last weekend's orders from my Etsy Shop were quickly packed up and shipped. I like to make sure that everyone receives their orders in time for Christmas. 

There is still plenty of time to get your orders in.

twos company transferware platter

Etsy

I'm excited to be a star seller on Etsy this month. I work hard to give good service to my customers.

I have finally found the perfect jogger pants. I will be living in these flannel PJ joggers. 

Gap Factory PJ joggers women


Speaking of plaid. We were speaking of plaid, weren't we? I am in love with this shacket. It's long and it's plaid. What's not to like.

women long plaid shacket Banana Republic Factory


Are you celestial? I am probably not, but I do love looking up at the night sky. There is just something so calming about it.

You can get two of these journals and they are on sale right now. 

celestial journals


It's pretty, it's cozy, and right now it is 50% off. Works for me.

women quilted robe J Crew


I really did not like my neck being confused with the Thanksgiving turkey, so I immediately came home and ordered this.

Strivectin neck cream

Hey Santa. Dear Santa. This fabulous purple coat is 30% off right now.

Ann Taylor coat women


I've been awfully good. Ok, maybe not but I promise to keep trying, and it's on sale.

Ann Taylor pave metal bracelet


I love unique plant hangers and this vintage cowrie seashell hanger would look great in any decor.

vintage cowrie seashell plant hanger


Some of my Amazon purchases


This is definitely one of my favorite purchases and I get compliments on it all the time. You can't beat the price and it is amazing how much it holds.

I have the dark blue.

crossbody purse

My Roku streaming stick finally bit the dust last week, but fortunately I was able to get a new one and it is on sale.

roku streaming stick


This microwave popcorn maker makes just the right amount for one person.

microwave popcorn maker



Of course I needed a microwave and purchased this one at a reasonable price. I have used it every day and it has been great. 


When they claim these bowls are chip resistant they really mean it. I wash my dishes by hand and after eight months of heavy use there is not a chip to be found.

I am just about finished with my Christmas shopping. Now to get them wrapped and under the tree.

Oops I almost forgot. I bought these last year and like the Energizer bunny they seem to just keep going. 

I love that you can recycle them.

recyclable gift wrap



recyclable Christmas gift tags



Christmas gift favorites



Thanks for visiting.

Have a holly jolly weekend.

You can shop more herehere, here, and here.

Until we meet again join me on PinterestInstagramLTK, and Etsy.

This post contains affiliate links for which I may receive a small commission. This does not affect your cost. Purchases made through these links help to support this blog.




SIMPLE PLEASURES: IT'S THE HOLIDAYS

Friday, December 3, 2021

Last spring I decided to buy a microwave. I hadn't owned one, by choice, for five years, but I decided I really wanted the convenience again. 

I am so happy I did because I use it on a daily basis. I want my microwave to last a long time and I want it to be clean and clean smelling.

lemons

I have found that one of the best ways to accomplish that is cleaning with lemons. It gets the microwave nice and shiny and smells great too. 

I am now going to tackle the rest of my apartment. I have asked for an elf on the shelf cleaning fairy that comes into my apartment at night and cleans it all up, but I can't seem to find one.

Simple Inspiration

kindness is like snow quote

Lovely Reads

Some great holiday-themed reads this week.

Kim shares how to make clay gingerbread men ornaments for your tree.

Kris shares her beautiful Christmas twinkle wreath.

Janet shows us an alternative Christmas tree idea for small spaces.

DIY pinecone gnome ornaments from Simple Nature Decor.


Favorite Gluten-Free Recipe This Week

I can't remember exactly when I tasted my first bite of carrot cake, but what I can tell you is I fell in love. 

When I came across this gluten-free version I of course was hooked.

gluten-free carrot cake

This is not an overly sweet recipe, so the cream cheese frosting adds just the right amount of sweetness.

Catching Up

Posts from the past week.





Shopping Favorites This Week











What I'm Watching This Month

I entered my teen years at the same time as the Beatles became popular, so I am looking forward to watching Let It Be on Disney+ this month. 

Thanks for visiting today.

Read more Simple Pleasures posts here.

It's the holidays

Until we meet again join me on PinterestInstagramLTK, and Etsy.

This post contains affiliate links for which I may receive a small commission. This does not affect your cost. Purchases made through these links help to support this blog.



HOW TO GAIN A NEW PERSPECTIVE ON LIFE

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

In my lifetime I have learned many things and one of those is how I want to look at life. 

Life throws many things, both good and bad, at us and those things affect our life views. 

They also make us realize what is truly important. 

So often our perspective on events is skewed by our past experiences.

basket of roses

No one's future is all roses, but we can gain a new perspective at any time in our lives.

Don't Believe That Everything Is Your Fault

When things go wrong in our lives it is easy to believe it is because of something we have done wrong.

When we blame ourselves we also get in our own way and it becomes difficult to move forward. 

Of course this doesn't mean that we are never at fault, but what we can do is think things through and plan ahead for a better future. 

Don't forget. You are in charge of your own life.

you are the hero of your own life


Step Away Without Guilt

Sometimes for our own mental health we need to step away either temporarily or permanently from an unhealthy situation or relationship.

Taking a break can help you gain a new perspective and allow you to see your way forward. Do you want to continue in a situation or is it better to move away from it, and if you decide to stay how do you see it changing?

A break can be either short or long depending on the situation. Make sure to give yourself enough time to gain a new perspective.

life is good mug

Keep Your Friends And Loved Ones Close

When are you at your happiest? For me it is when I am with my family and when I surround myself with happy people. 

When you are around people who genuinely care about you and have your best interest
 at heart you will find that you begin to get clarity about the things that are bothering you.

Happiness begets happiness.

In the absense of positive people a good self help book can also help you change your perspective.

you got this


Learn To Enjoy Your Own Company

While it is good to be around positive people, it is also important to be happy on your own. 

We all need to develop our own perspective on life and alone time helps us to block out outside influences and to become more resilient. 

It is important to learn to make your own choices that are not influenced by anyone else. 

believe in yourself

Remember. Life is not static. It is always changing and we can change right along with it. 

Gaining a new perspective will allow us to do just that. 


As an Amazon influencer, this post contains affiliate links for which I may receive a small commission. This in no way affects your cost. 

CHRISTMAS TREES INSPIRATION

Monday, November 29, 2021

It's just a few short weeks until Christmas day and everyone seems to be in full-on decorating mode.

I remember as a child my father hanging the bubble lights on our tree. If one went out they all went out and you never knew which one was the culprit. He would then hang the silver garland, and we would be allowed to hang ornaments and toss icicles onto the tree. 

Christmas tree ornaments


Before we know it stockings will be hung by the chimney with care, wreaths will adorn front doors, and Christmas trees will be lit up everywhere.

All of this has led me on a search for some inspirational Christmas trees.

Simple Old World Style Trees

There is something very charming about a simply decorated old-world style tree. 

simple old world style Christmas tree

Paper decorations and faux candles blend with the red walls and carpet.

This old-world traditional-style tree is adorned with simple white lights and elements of nature. 

https://www.elledecor.com/design-decorate/news/g2802/haddon-hall-derbyshire-house-tour/?slide=1

The tree seems to soar to the rooftop and is set off with an antique red rug.

Elegant Style Christmas Tree

For those of you who were to the manor born or feel like you should have been this elegant room with its Christmas tree may be for you.

ELegant room christmas tree

Toss a log on the fire and I could spend a day relaxing in front of this tree with a good book.

Rustic Christmas Trees

Trees that are perfect for a rustic or farmhouse decor can be set in a basket

rustic Christmas tree

or decorated with dried oranges. Think how heavenly this must smell.

christmas tree with dried oranges

Candyland Christmas Tree

Finally, what child wouldn't love this sweet treat of a Christmas tree.

candyland Christmas tree

Have you decorated your tree yet? Mine is finished and I will share soon.

Tree Decorations






This post contains affiliate links for which I may receive a small commission. This does not affect your cost. Purchases made through these links help to support this blog.

SATURDAY SHOPPING: CHRISTMAS GIFT LIST #3

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Time for some more great gift ideas.

Scandi bird runner.

scandi bird runner

West Elm

I played this with my family on Thanksgiving and we were all really laughing. Such a fun game for age 8+.

Grounded for Life Game


A night light for your little kitty cat lover. It has the Tessa seal of approval.

kitty cat night light


This was on my son-in-law's list. My knives could definitely use some sharpening too.

knife sharpener


Cashmere touch screen gloves

J Crew cashmere touch screen gloves


Brushed herringbone throw.

brushed herringbone throw west elm



Paper towel holder.

west elm paper towel holder



Old Havana cereal bowls.

old havana cereal bowls anthropologie


Polo cardigan sweater.

Madewell cardigan sweater


Leather belt bag/fanny pack.

leather belt bag fanny pack


Happy shopping.


This post contains affiliate links for which I may receive a small commission. This does not affect your cost. Purchases made through these links help to support this blog.