cff Simple and Serene Living

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.
The blog


Tuesday, May 30, 2023

I am not a big shopper but my seven-year-old, at least, tee shirts were really getting on my last nerve.

Seriously, there was a time in my younger life when I loved fashion, loved to shop, and even owned a clothing boutique. 

Somehow life got in the way and fashion was relegated to a back seat.

Need new clothes, but where in the world would I start?

need new clothes

This month has been good for me on Etsy (thank you shoppers) so I had a bit of extra cash to spend.

I started by buying a couple of shirts and pants on a significantly discounted site called Temu.

In all honesty I was concerned about the quality, but they turned out great.

This cute plaid shirt is adding some color to my wardrobe.

long plaid shirt from Temu

This oversize blouse is so cute and comfortable.

temu oversize blue blouse

Love these stylish pants.

slant bottom pants Temu

Just a couple of notes about Temu. Be sure to look at their sizes. They tend to run small. Also, it takes a couple of weeks for them to arrive.

As I am a bit tired of nothing but capri pants I decided I wanted to find some dresses and skirts so I began to shop around.

After ordering and returning one dress because what was supposed to hit below the bust hit in the middle of the bust (not meant for large busted women) I decided to rethink my style.

I googled dresses and found some maxi shirt dresses. 

They looked perfect for what I wanted because they can be worn as dusters, as simple dresses on their own, or layered over pants. 

Looking on Amazon I found this dress in many colors. I purchased the khaki and on Mother's Day I paired it with the pants from Temu and some jewelry I took out and dusted off from my cache. 
I have since also purchased it in white.

long shirt dress Amazon

My teenage granddaughter told me I looked sophisticated. High praise indeed.

Why did I not know about Quince?

I love linen and Quince has beautiful linen clothes and sheets for less and the quality is amazing.

What did I buy?

Black European linen shirt dress that looks great with white pants.

Quince linen shirt dress

I also bought a great pinstripe linen shirt that unfortunately is sold out.

Last week I went with Cary and the girls to shop for summer clothes for the girls.

Mall shopping is pretty exhausting, but it was fun to see what they chose.

Tessa, who is now ten was more interested in trying to convince her mom to buy her stuffies instead of clothes. 

I currently have some other items, including shoes on order, and will share those with you later. 

Hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend. 

Over 50: new clothes for summer

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, May 23, 2023

I have been so engrossed with reading lately that I have forgotten other things.

Those other things are writing my blog posts.

muffins books and tea

No matter the time of year, I can't think of anything more enjoyable that settling down with a great book, a cup of tea or coffee, and some freshly baked muffins.

Good Reads

I have been so engrossed in my latest read that I haven't done much else.

Fellowship Point is an outstanding novel. 

Fellowship Point

Alice Elliott Dark is also the author of In The Gloaming.

“An ambitious and satisfying tale” (The Washington Post), Fellowship Point reads like a 19th-century epic, but it is entirely contemporary in its “reflections on aging, writing, stewardship, legacies, independence, and responsibility. At its heart, Fellowship Point is about caring for the places and people we love...This magnificent novel affirms that change and growth are possible at any age” (The Christian Science Monitor).
I believe that the two women in this story encompass every woman. 
Their differences along with their shared experiences weave their lives together.
I stayed up late this weekend and got up early because I couldn't put it down until my eyes were too gritty to see the pages. 
I also was finally able to read two other books I had been waiting on.
Jacqueline Winspear's  Maisie Dobbs series is one of my favorites and I was skeptical about her newest book The White Lady featuring a new heroine.
Would I like it? Would it be as good?
I could have saved myself some handwringing. It was absolutely as good. 
The White Lady

The other book I finished last week was the latest book by Deborah Crombie.

I always enjoy her Duncan Kinkaid and Gemma James novels and this was no exception.

Nothing better than a good British mystery.

a killing of innocents

Muffin Recipe

I recently found this delicious recipe for cinnamon banana bread muffins and decided to whip it up Sunday afternoon.

So glad I did because they are yummy.


I followed the original recipe exactly except I substituted gluten-free flour.

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, May 16, 2023

Sometimes I find myself having a crisis of faith in myself.

I find myself berating myself for things I perceive that I have been doing wrong, and if I allow this negative talk to go on, I find confidence in myself spiraling downward. 

butterfly on flowers

The negative speak we hear from others can affect our self-confidence, but when we internalize these words and then turn around and speak to ourselves with the same or even worse words, it can be devastating. 

So how should we be speaking to ourselves?

speak to yourself with love

I was the hand-me-down child in my family and was spoken to in that manner into my adult life. 

I allowed that to seep into my soul and it is how I learned to speak to myself. 

It became my belief system, and the way I spoke to myself in the past became a self-fulfilling prophecy. 

roses in a metal basket

There came a time in my life when I realized that I wouldn't speak to someone I love the way I had been speaking to myself, and shouldn't I love myself first?

We all have failures and hopefully, we learn from those failures. 

I have vowed to brush myself off and to treat myself more gently. 

I have vowed to speak to myself the way I would speak to someone I love. 

If I find myself speaking in less than a loving way I will give myself encouragement. 

I will start fresh.

The wonderful thing is starting fresh is not finite. We can start over as many times as we need. 

I hope you will speak with love to yourself today and every day.


Friday, May 12, 2023

I went to the endocrinologist on Tuesday  for my annual osteoporosis checkup.

I will be getting my Reclast infusion scheduled and in November I will have a new DEXA scan done to see if the Reclast is helping. 

The goal is hopefully to see that the osteoporosis hasn't progressed or is possibly a little better.

walking shoes

My Vitamins

Between the pandemic and Katy's illness, I have really slacked off on my part of my osteoporosis care. 

I was honest with him about it and we talked about what I need to do going forward.

My vitamin D levels have been low in the past and so along with my regular calcium with Vitamin D (which I have also been a slacker on)

vita fusion calcium

 I take extra vitamin D.

Vita Fusion Vitamin D

I'm like a little kid when it comes to vitamins. They have to be chewable because otherwise, I hate the taste.

I'll be having a blood test before my infusion to check my Vitamin D level.

Exercise, Exercise, Exercise

One of the most important things to do to fight osteoporosis is exercise.

I started riding the exercise bike a few weeks ago and I am doing two miles a day.

While riding the bike is good for my heart and helps to build up my legs it is not weight bearing and so doesn't help osteoporosis. SIGH!!

ON walking shoes

So on to the weight-bearing exercises. 

Wednesday morning I started walking up and down my hall and managed to do one mile before boredom completely set in.

Thursday I drove to Decatur, went to the thrift store, and walked the indoor track at the Wellness Center. Less boring.

Next Tuesday I am going to start back in with Silver Sneakers Aerobics classes at LA Fitness.

Well, at least I now have something to fill my days.  

Happy Mother's Day to all of the mothers out there. May it be a sweet day for you. 

happy mother's day balloons

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, May 9, 2023

I didn't exactly get my normal blog post written for today.

While looking back at my calendar from last year I realized that I had my first Reclast infusion for osteoporosis last May.

I called to see about getting it scheduled for this month and was told I needed to see my endocrinologist first and he only had appointments open in September.

child in doctor costume

Ummm!! Why didn't they tell me last year that I needed to do this and made a yearly appointment for me or told me I needed to schedule months in advance.

My Reclast infusions are supposed to be given twelve months apart. 

Where are the grownups in the building?

Fortunately, someone canceled for this morning.

towels and a rose

So I am off to the doctor. It is seven miles north of me and it isn't my favorite area to drive to, but I will be glad to get it over with.

The next obstacle is going to Emory Hospital for the infusion. It is the hospital where Katy passed away and I haven't even been able to drive past there. 

One thing at a time.

Currently, screening for osteoporosis is recommended for women who are 65 years old or older and for women who are 50 to 64 and have certain risk factors, which include having a parent who has broken a hip.

Katy had severe osteoporosis and her spine and rib fractures contributed to her death. She was 41.

I hope that if you fall into a group that should be screened that you will do so. 


Friday, May 5, 2023

On Tuesday I wrote about how I am working on my apartment to make it more comfy for me.

I started by arduously finding a new place for my record player.

There are a lot of other things I need to do, but I thought I would share some small things I am doing or have done.


This is the chair where I spend a lot of my time.

I have had this chair and its ottoman for quite a while and I hope to replace it with a recliner. (That will be a large change)

There were definitely some changes that I needed to make for the chair to work better for me. 

I know that the weather is warming up, but I get cold in the air conditioning so I like to have a nice throw. 

throw blanket artistic weavers

The pillow is vintage needlepoint.

I found this pillow on Etsy and it is very similar to mine.

vintage floral needlepoint pillow

Does anyone else have a problem with wandering remote controls and cell phones?

I know that I live alone, but it feels like I waste a lot of time looking for them.

They slip down between the cushions and fall under the chair. 

I decided I needed something to corral them and found this on Amazon.

armrest organizer

I can also use it for pens, an extra pair of reading glasses, and a notebook.

My pretty notebooks come from Amazon too. I use a lot of these notebooks.

Now that I am nice and comfy this will definitely be my reading corner and I will start sharing what I am reading with you.

reading corner

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.