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

FEATURED SPACES 2/24/2023

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

As I slowly make my way back into blogging I thought I would start a series on spaces and home decor ideas that I love.

If I love them I have a sneaking suspicion that some of you might just love them too.

Nesting With Grace has added this hanging chair to create a cozy corner in her family room. It might just get the kids to slow down and curl up with a good book too. 

hanging chair in family room

Jenny Rose Innes describes her style as traditional but not structured. I would describe it as absolutely perfect.

traditional cozy keeping room

Kim, at Junk Chic Cottage has the most amazing knack for finding salvage pieces and transforming them into the perfect pieces for her home.

This mirror is spectacular.

white ornate floor mirror

I keep waiting for My English Country Cottage to invite me to tea in her amazing 400 year old cottage in England, but each day when I check my mail I find nothing but an empty mailbox. 

I guess I will have to drool from afar as I sip me earl gray tea.

english country cottage dining room

My small apartment seems to be overflowing with old books, and I have been racking my brain to come up with places to put them (besides under the bed).

Robyn's French Nest has given me some great ideas for how to incorporate them into my decor. 


Those hearts are really precious too.

So happy that I have found a way to justify all of the hours I spend in a hamster trance looking at everyone else's fabulous homes. 

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

LIFE'S PRECIOUS MOMENTS

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

First, I want to thank everyone for their sweet and heartfelt comments about the death of my beautiful daughter, Katy



Right after I wrote that post my only brother died unexpectedly

Needless to say, it has been a challenging time.

Although I usually would respond to each of your comments I hope that you understand I wasn't up to it. 

I have spent a lot of time living in the moment these past few months. 


A couple of weeks before Katy passed she told me I needed to take better care of myself because my family has a history of longevity and that I would probably live at least another 20 years.

Twenty years may not seem that long, but I realize that 20 years was half Katy's life. 

Katy did a lot of living in those years and took advantage of each precious moment. 

She gave me so many gifts, not the least of which was the gift of choosing me as her mother, and I hope that I have learned from that gift. 

When I find myself feeling stressed or annoyed I stop and center myself in the moment.

I also am learning to enjoy the little moments more.

I have spent a lot of time thinking about my past, current, and future life. 

What I realize is that although I would love to stop working it is not an option for me. However, I know that I am not going to stress out about it like I have in the past. 

I haven't exactly figured out how it will look for me, but I will figure it out as I go along and I will strive to enjoy each precious moment.

On a side note one of the things I have been doing is jigsaw puzzles. They help me to focus on the moment.

Cary and family gave me a wonderful birthday and one of my gifts was this great puzzle board.

puzzle board 1000 piece

Amazon

I love that it has four sorting drawers, a foldable leg so that it can be tilted as an easel, and a heavy cover to keep the pieces in place if it needs to be moved.

It's great for my small space because when I tilt it I can reach the whole puzzle without having to move around the table. 

Thank you for visiting today. I hope you enjoy your precious moments.

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GOODBYE MY SWEET ANGEL

Monday, December 5, 2022

As many of you know who read my blog, my precious daughter Katy has been quite ill for some time.

On November 5 a beautiful light went out in this world. My amazing, loving, wonderful daughter Katy flew away with the angels.


She left peacefully the way she wanted with her sister and lifelong best friend Cary and me by her side. Katy touched so many people in her time here on earth and fought bravely through an almost lifelong illness.

Her loss will be felt by so many, but her love and bravery should be a beacon to all of us.

I miss my sweet girl, more than she could possibly ever know, but I know she is somewhere resting peacefully now.


One of Katy's friends wrote this about her.

Dear Katy,

In this time of grief, it is too hard for me to assemble a message that does you justice, but I want to write you something now. You share a few of your many titles: artist, aunt, actress, poet and dreamer. While you were wonderful in all of your roles, you were much more than any title could convey.

You absolutely adored your family and took ultimate joy in your close relationships with them. You were a sincere friend with whom I could talk for hours or sit in silence with understanding. Your thoughts and passions were informed and insightful, and you communicated these with eloquence, tact, and sensitivity, infused with your sweet right-on humor. You advocated for what mattered and what was in everyone's best interests. You were the strongest and bravest person I knew and fought Primary Immunodeficiency and its complications with grace while spreading awareness. You were gentle, but resolute and inspired higher standards for all of us with your values and dignity. You were exceptionally talented and made far-reaching impacts on this world, with your expressions, advocacy, and in your relationships. Your beauty inside and out was one of a kind. Everything you were and did was a work of art - a masterpiece - that will live forever.

Simply put, you were too good for this world, too often full of injustice and pain, of which you had an undo share. Yet you cherished all of the good you could find, illuminating the beauty in life for us all.

I won't say goodbye but will learn what this new phase of communication will be like. Katy, my irreplaceable friend I hope you know you will be a part of my life in countless memories and in my heart forever.

Love you always,

Kelly


I heard from so many people who talked about how Katy touched their lives. She had a unique ability to really listen.

Katy fought so hard for so many years, but in the end, she knew her fight was over and her thoughts were for her family and how it would hurt us that she was leaving.

The day before she passed I told her I loved her and she whispered I love you too. That was the last thing she said to me.


Cary found this poem Katy left on her phone.

When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse
to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle-pox
when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,
I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?
And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,
and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth,
tending, as all music does, toward silence,
and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.
When it's over, I want to say all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
When it's over, I don't want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.
I don't want to end up simply having visited this world
Mary Oliver
When Death Comes

Katy worked hard to raise money for the Immune Deficiency Foundation so that new treatments would help young people to not have to suffer the way she did.

At the end of her life, the money we raised was one of the things that brought her joy.

If you are able and feel it in your heart I would love it if you could donate to IDF for Katy Walker

I will continue to take time off from blogging but hope to come back some in the new year.

IMMUNE DEFICIENCY FOUNDATION AND KATY

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

As many of you know I have been taking a blogging break to be with and help out my daughter Katy.

Katy has been hospitalized for over three weeks now. 

I have been at the hospital most of that time with her.

roses and rain

Taking steroids for years to help control the autoimmune illnesses that she has because of her primary immune deficiency has left her with severe osteoporosis.

Because she is premenopausal osteoporosis medications were not approved for her.

When she started getting compression features in her spine this past summer the doctors finally got approval to give her injections of an osteoporosis medication.

When she entered the hospital she had three spinal fractures and one broken rib. She now has nine rib fractures and a displaced sternum.

heart and rain

Katy is focused on getting help for other immune deficiency patients so we are raising money for the Immune Deficiency foundation. 

My daughter Cary, who has been with us at the hospital much of the time, has taken over the fundraising for Katy and here is what she wrote.

"Hello friends and family. I know many of you have already donated to Katy’s fundraiser for IDF, and thank you! BUT… I’m looking to raise more. I’m taking over a little bit for Katy, who’s already done a great job but is hoping to raise more for an organization so important to her. Many of you may not know that Katy is in the hospital. This is not uncommon for her, but this year has been particularly hard. She is a private person, and I respect that usually but wanted to share just a little. After ending up in the ICU this Spring, she was hoping for a healthier year. She is still spending her days in isolation as the rest of the world has moved on. Unfortunately, what she thought was a strained back, turned into compression fractures in her spine. She spent all summer trying to heal and using a walker. She was getting ready to finally start physical therapy when she had another fracture in the spine, as well as six rib fractures! I’m sure you can imagine the pain. All of this is caused by Osteoporosis due to her immune condition. On top of that, she is struggling with an unknown infection that has had her in the hospital for well over a week so far. Despite all that, she told me she is disappointed she hasn’t been able to fundraise more for the IDF walk, and won’t be able to participate in the actual walk, even though it’s in our neighborhood this year. So, I will walk for her. I’m really terrible at asking for money, and I know that people are bombarded with requests to give all the time. If you can give even a little and haven’t, it would be appreciated. If you have and could give a little more, it would be appreciated. If you can give a lot, it would definitely be appreciated.

Thank you. It would mean so much to Katy, and to others this organization supports. They do really amazing work through their research and advocacy, and literally, save lives."

*** This is the link to Cary's fundraising page. ***

I hope this post makes sense as I am a bit on the tired side.

We are hoping to get Katy out of the hospital in the next couple of days so that she can recover at home from all of her fractures.

I will be staying with her as long as she needs me and hopefully, we will be able to get some home healthcare.

Thank you all for being wonderful blogging friends and for all of your prayers for my precious daughter.

A LIFE BREAK AND POSHMARK

Thursday, September 29, 2022

My daughter, Katy has been in the hospital since Monday night so I have been spending my days there. 

I am taking a bit of a break from posting and reading blogs.

Please keep her in your prayers.

fall

While I am away I have to ask the question, Are you a posher yet?

I am back selling on Poshmark and I am also a buyer. I have found some great buys on there.

I bought a new pair of Banana Republic pants for less than half of retail.

However, Poshmark is not just for clothes anymore. 

You will find women's, kids', and men's fashion and accessories, new personal care products, home goods, pet items, and select electronics.

If you sign up using my referral code you will receive $10 in Posh credit and once you make your first purchase I will also get $10 in Posh credit.

After you sign up using my referral code you can visit my closet or use it to shop anywhere on Poshmark.

Have a wonderful weekend and Happy Poshing.

MY SMALL KITCHEN ORGANIZATION

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Some days it feels like my kitchen just keeps getting smaller. 

Take my word for the fact that if it actually gets any smaller I will not be able to squeeze in or cook.

small gallery kitchen

Mine is not a fancy kitchen like the ones I ooh and aah over on Instagram..

It's a kitchen where refrigerator art, courtesy of my grandaughter Tessa, just keeps on giving every time I open the refrigerator door and glitter floats down to the floor.

child's refrigerator art

It's a kitchen where I really do like to be able to cook some healthy meals like my favorite eggplant tomato casserole.

I continuously work on organizing it in the best way I can so that it works for me.

small kitchen organization

Having paper towels on the counter just took up too much space, so I recently purchased this magnetic paper towel holder.

magnetic paper towel holder

To replace the Brita water pitcher I managed to knock off the counter and break a few months ago I bought this slim new Brita.

Brita water filter

You may have noticed the glass storage jars. Mine are vintage, but I found some similar one on Amazon.

glass kitchen storage jars

One thing I do love about my kitchen is the wall space at one end. 

I have been able to utilize it by hanging some of the things I use most.

wall hanging kitchen bars with hooks

These bars are similar to the ones that I have.

kitchen hanging bars with hooks

As you can see there just isn't a lot of space and no natural light.

small galley kitchen

These are some of the other things I have purchased to help get me organized and to free up some space.

I love this. I use it when I need extra counter space. 

I place my cutting board on top and when I am finished it rolls up and gets tucked away in the cupboard.

roll up drainer

Cutlery drainer.

cutlery drainer

Perfect-sized microwave.

microwave

Single-serve coffee maker

single serve coffee maker

Pop in the drawer can opener.

kitchen mama can opener

Well, I am now looking for ways to organize under my sink.

Right now everything falls out when I open the door. 

Maybe you have some suggestions.

my small kitchen organization

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