Hey there!

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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Friday, March 24, 2023

I have two record players in my small apartment. 

Yes, you heard me correctly. I have two.

There is one in my dining area and one in my bedroom. 

record player

I was thinking that I was hopelessly old school until I heard that young people are now into vinyl.

Yes, I listen to music on my phone when I am walking and occasionally listen to iTunes or Amazon music on my TV, but there is just something about records that I love. 

This is the record player in my bedroom.

I set a record on top of the player, but I don't think she is happy with my choice.

oil painting of girl and record player

Don't even ask that houseplant what it thinks because it seems to have given up.

I have a very nice collection of old records.

This is approximately half of my collection.

record collection

I inherited my mom's collection so I have some great records from the 40s and fifties.

I can remember her listening to them on their fancy stereo in the living room. 

We were forbidden from touching that stereo so I listened to my Beatles records on my little record player upstairs in my room.

I don't have a fancy stereo, but my Beatles records have survived and sound great on my player.

record player

When I hear those old songs I am transported back to my bedroom in the small Canadian town where I grew up.

I can smell dinner cooking, the snow is falling, and I'm talking on my princess phone to one of my two best friends.

Those records may have a few scratches here and there, but then so do I. 

I might not rock around the clock like I used to, but there is nothing better than dancing around the apartment while dinner is cooking. 

Record players on Amazon

Oldies records on Amazon

Have a great day and I would love for you to check out my Etsy shop where I sell vintage and antique finds along with digital downloads of beautiful antique artwork.

This post contains affiliate links


Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Living in a small space, I always look for creative decor and organizational ideas.

I love decorating and have a lot in my apartment as a maximalist. 

Today I went searching for some fresh ideas.

small home in the country

Featured Small Living Spaces

One of my biggest challenges is my small kitchen so I love seeing what other people do with their small kitchens.

Like my kitchen, there is no built-in microwave I found @myhouseinsprn. Wish I had open shelves, which always make a kitchen look larger. 

small boho kitchen

Spring is here and what I wouldn't give for a small outdoor space of my own.

It's amazing what you can do with even a small deck or patio. 

@cozyhommes found this wonderful deck. I could sit there for hours with my needlepoint or book.

cozy city deck

Love this small but pretty bathroom from the home of  Hannah @thistleharvest

It is so wonderfully light-filled.

light filled small bathroom

If you are a gardener how could you not love this small colorful gardening space from Sue @talesfromwisteriacottage

small colorful gardening room

Although this bed appears to take up most of this small bedroom marzena.marideko has created a cozy spot.

cozy bedroom

I don't know about you, but I have gotten some great new decor ideas.

What I'm Up To

I think Mother Nature looked at Georgia and said, "wait a minute I think I forgot to give you any winter" and threw some cold weather our way. 

Fortunately, it is short-lived and will be back up into the 70s by Wednesday.

Thursday it is supposed to be 80 so I have plans to spend the afternoon at Cary's doing some porch sitting.

In the meantime, PBS has new episodes of Call The Midwife and Sanditon so I will be watching those. So sad this is the last season of Sanditon.

I have also ordered Debra Crombie's new book from the library, but of course, there is a waiting list. (I ordered it before, but somehow missed the notification and missed out on my turn.) 

If you can't wait to read it you can purchase it from Amazon.

Have a great day and I would love for you to check out my Etsy shop where I sell vintage and antique finds along with digital downloads of beautiful antique artwork.

This post contains affiliate links

Featured small spaces


Friday, March 17, 2023

Every morning one of the first things I do is make my bed.

I love smoothing out my pretty sheets in preparation for the night ahead.

I use two sets of these sheets almost exclusively because they remind me of my younger years.

They have such a wonderful vintage cottage look.

floral bed sheets.

I purchased my first set from Amazon several years ago and love them so much that I bought a second set.

I think they have held up better than any sheets I have ever had.

You might have noticed my antique iron bed frame.

About nine years ago I went to an auction and there it was. I held my breath when it went up for auction and then while no one bid on it. 

The auctioneer refused to take less than $50.

antique white iron bed

The next week I offered him $25 and he accepted. I quickly hauled that heavy bed out of there and loaded it into my van.

Over the years I have added pretty pieces to my bed.

A white 18" ruffled bed skirt covers the area under the bed that I use for extra storage.

white 18" ruffled bed skirt

There is a white matelasse coverlet. I couldn't find the exact one I have, but this one from Amazon is very similar.

matelasse white coverlet

The throw pillow came from the thrift store at a hefty price of $3.

blue throw pillow

I believe I got the duvet at Ikea. I'm looking for a new duvet cover for it and the body pillow, which came from Amazon stays at the bottom of the bed during the day.

duvet and body pillow

Now for the finishing touches.

I just have to add this wonderful antique quilt I got from Katy

antique quilt

and this amazing bed cover that my great aunt Rose crocheted.

antique hand crochet bed cover

 Feeling pretty cozy.

cottage bed

cottage bed

Time for a muffin and a cup of tea.

Have a great day and I would love for you to check out my Etsy shop where I sell vintage and antique finds along with digital downloads of beautiful antique artwork.

This post contains affiliate links


Tuesday, March 14, 2023

How is the weather where you are?

After an unseasonably warm February here in Atlanta things have cooled off a bit.

However, as much as I hate having winter in March, the highs are still in the fifties and low sixties.


Last Thursday when I was driving across the city to spend the afternoon with Cary and my granddaughters I couldn't believe how beautiful everything was.

It was like a painting of purple wisteria, pink and white trees, colorful tulips, and green spring trees. 

I would have loved to take some photos, but unfortunately, it was a rainy afternoon.

This week I decided to feature some spaces with spring flowers. 

Even if it isn't quite spring where you are flowers indoors can certainly make it feel like spring has arrived. 

Featured Spaces

Nothing says spring more than yellow daffodils.

Isabelle from merryfieldpottingshed has added a beautiful bouquet of daffodils to her victorian cottage in the English countryside.

daffodils and floral curtains in an English cottage

What could be more wonderful in your spring home than a large basket of tulips and a pitcher of pink tree blossoms?

Margyl has this gorgeous room and more spring ideas at theoldhouseonmain

spring tulips in a large basket

You may still need a warm fire for the chilly days where you are, but adding a bouquet of pink and white tulips as toni_marianna has makes for a lovely transition to spring.

pink and white tulips in a cottage living room.

Ania at mojeaniutkowo has added some pink flowers in a rustic pot to her spring bed for a simple spring look.

spring cottage bed

Francesca at francescagentilli has created this gorgeous living room set off by these unique potted tulips.

living room with potted tulips

What I Am Up To

Since I let my medical appointments slide last year I have been catching up. 

So far so good with the results although I am going to go for a little PT on my left knee as I have once again strained the tendon. At least the x-rays show that my ten-year-old knee replacements are holding strong. 

It was interesting to find out that I have the hearing of a twenty-year-old. Tomorrow I go for my eye exam. Before the pandemic, I still had 20/20 vision. We will see how much that has changed. 

Next month it is the skin cancer screening. 

Aaah the life of getting older. So exciting.

I have been working on my needlepoint. I really had forgotten how much I enjoy it.

needlepoint project

Having the organizer for my embroidery floss has really been a time saver. 

When I eventually get finished with this project I am going to drag out my sewing machine and turn this one and another one I completed a couple of years ago into pillows.

Finally finished the Paris puzzle. I really hated to take it down, but as I borrowed it from Cary I had to return it so she can work on it.

paris puzzle

This is my next puzzle. Yes, I know it is a fall theme, but by the time I get finished, it might be fall. Ha!!

featured spaces and more blog post

Have a great day and I would love for you to check out my Etsy shop where I sell vintage and antique finds along with digital downloads of beautiful antique artwork.

This post contains affiliate links


Friday, March 10, 2023

Looking back over my life, I realize how much has changed and yet how much has stayed the same.

It might surprise you that I went to boarding school in high school.

st marys raleigh north carolina
my school

My classmates were daughters of members of congress, a niece of Jimmy Carter, and girls whose fathers were CEOs of large corporations. 

I lived in a large home and hobnobbed with debutantes and other fairly snobbish young people. 

As a young woman, I owned a clothing boutique, ate at the governor's home, and traveled on helicopters with my husband to horse tracks to watch the races of horses he trained. 

horse racing

I was never wholly comfortable with this lifestyle and when it all came crashing down due to my husband's serious mental illness my life changed.

I was thrown into a life that I was not prepared for. I had two daughters to raise and one of them was diagnosed with a serious illness.


My life was not easy. 

I eventually returned to college to complete my degree and then went on to three years of graduate school. 

It was during this time that I realized that what I wanted was a simpler life.

I thought back to my childhood, growing up in a small Canadian town, and what I loved about that time.

I loved the simplicity of life in a small town.

simcoe ontario park
park in my town

It was a place where you seemed to know everyone, where how much money your family had didn't seem as important, and where you felt safe.

Maybe this was coming from the naive perspective of a child, but I know I was happy then.

Maybe the first years of my life and the last years have simplicity in common.

woman in field of flowers

I have found from talking to people recently that many people wish for a simpler life. 

I know that I want a simple and serene life because basically, I have realized that at the heart of it, I am a simple girl. 


Tuesday, March 7, 2023

If I had a dollar for every minute I spend oohing and aahing over pretty spaces on Instagram I would be a wealthy woman.

It is so easy to get lost in all the fabulous offerings there.

chair in a greenhouse

Of course, they aren't actually offering them in the sense of here, don't you just love my space so come on over and move in.

If they were I would spend all my time choosing which one I would take, because choosing has never been easy for me.

Well, choosing husbands was apparently pretty easy for me and let's face it I wasn't very good at it.

However, that's a whole other subject, so let's move right along.

Featured Spaces

1) Linda from @itsybitsandpieces always has such pretty things and of course, I gravitated right to this sweet window treatment. 

cottage corner

I was so happy with my own half-window curtains which I shared here

I found these similar items on Etsy

2) Equally fabulous Linda #2 of stonecottage2250 has really brightened up this bedroom with the help of some springtime sunshine and flowers. 

I love that little chair. I remember my daughter Cary having a similar one when she was little. Unfortunately, it somehow got lost in the shuffle of so many moves.

Similar items

sunny spring bedroom

3) Heather from heathers_vintagecottage has created a wonderful pop of springtime color along with her white ironstone.

If I could afford eggs I would paint a bowl full of Easter eggs in turquoise and yellow. 

Similar Items

turqouise and white china

4) Michelle shares her simple old-fashioned life in an English country cottage at rememberingtheoldways.

I am striving to achieve that look and feel. If only I had the beautiful English countryside outside my windows.

My grandmother had a beautiful corner cupboard like the one here, but unfortunately, my uncle snatched it from the hands of my mother. 

Similar items

English country living room

5) Leah is turning a house into a home through French, English, and traditional design.

You can find her beautiful home at the frenchcountryfarmhouse.

Similar items

french country living room

What I Am Up To

Have I been up to no good this week? Well not really.

I have been working on my needlepoint and trying to finish up my Paris puzzle. You can see those here.

Other than that, it has been such a warm week I have been trying to enjoy it by walking outside and reading in one of the rocking chairs outside my building.

I have wanted some light reading so I have focused on short stories by Rosamunde Pilcher.

rosamunde pilcher short stories

I have pulled out things to list in my Etsy Shop. I need to get a move on with those things.

johnson bros brown dover transferware plate

For the most part, I have been enjoying looking out the window at all of the new green leaves popping out on the trees

spring trees

and the beautiful spring flowers.


If this last year has taught me anything it's that life is short and we need to take time to enjoy every moment.

featured spaces and more blog post

Have a great day and I would love for you to check out my Etsy shop where I sell vintage and antique finds along with digital downloads of beautiful antique artwork.

This post contains affiliate links