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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.
The blog

BRAIN FOG

Friday, September 23, 2022

As many of you know I have been battling trigeminal neuralgia since it relapsed in March. 

A couple of months ago I was able to get an appointment with a great neurologist and started on a medication called oxcarbazepine.

Oxcarbazepine is great, but I had to up the dosage several times and that has resulted in increased side effects. 

fog off a dock

Along with mood changes, and twitching, one of the side effects is brain fog, which has slowed me down. 

Wednesday I went to see a pain specialist who recommended I try different prescription medications.life

He also told me about an over-the-counter cream to try in case my nerve is inflamed. 

I thought that sounded like a good plan rather than having a needle stuck in my cheek and numbing medication injected, which would go up to my brain. 

I feel like my brain may be numb enough on its own. 

my brain has too many tabs open

The injection will only happen if I can't tolerate other medications.

As you may have noticed I didn't write my normal Simple Pleasures Friday post.

I have spent a lot more time this past week helping Katy, as Cary and her family had a flu bug and so she had to keep away from Katy. 

That and the brain fog have slowed me down. 

tree in fog

I do have one funny story.

On my way back from the pain doctor I sort of had to drive by Trader Joe's.

I decided to run in (okay there was no running involved) and pick up three things.

Thirty minutes later I came out with $84 dollars of groceries and managed to forget two of the three things I went in for. 

I am blaming it on the brain fog. 

LEAVES OF GOLD

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

I love the cooler mornings we are having. 

Yesterday it was in the sixties, and when I went outside it felt wonderful.

It is the perfect temperature for walking or just hanging out with a cup of tea. 

leaves turning gold

As I looked up at the clear blue sky I noticed that the upper levels of the trees were turning gold.

It brought back a memory of a book I had in the 1970s called Leaves Of Gold.

Somehow over the years that book disappeared, but I remember the beautiful poems, prose, prayers, and sayings that were in the book.

leaves of gold book

Apparently the book can still be purchased.

Seeing the first gold leaves of autumn also reminds me of a poem by Robert Frost.

Nothing Gold Can Stay by Robert Frost

Gold is fleeting.

But we must enjoy it in the moment.

For the leaves will turn gold and then they will fall away. 

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Just as we can only enjoy each moment that we have.

BEDROOM WALL DECOR

Thursday, September 15, 2022

 Simple Pleasures #

For me, nothing defines a space more than what you hang on your walls.

Recently I shared how I updated the hanging shelf in my bedroom.

Since then I have been adding to the other wall spaces in my bedroom.

vintage wall art

(My bedroom is very dark so I apologize for the quality of these photos.)

Today I thought I would share more of that wall.

This is the space above my bed.

wall art

In the center is a signed original oil painting that I purchased several years ago from an estate sale in Kentucky.

It is based on an oil painting titled "Whistling Boy" by Duveneck.

I believe that it may have been done by one of his students. 

I paid $10 for it and it is definitely one of my best purchases.

It is surrounded by four framed vintage butterfly prints that belonged to my mom.

Since people often ask me how I have decorated my home on a budget I plan to share more of my finds in the near future.


As we move into fall we look forward to the coziness of a new season.

Simple Inspiration

moving into fall quote

Inspiring Reads From Around The Web







Gluten-Free Blueberry Banana Muffins

Hot tea and muffins are definitely favorites of mine when cooler weather rolls around.

Whether first thing in the morning or mid-afternoon they are a perfect combination. 

I am always looking for new ways to use my overly ripe bananas and these muffins are a very tasty way to do just that. 

gluten free blueberry banana muffins

These muffins contain very little fat, so they don't even have to be a guilty pleasure.

You can find the recipe here.

If you love banana bread check out my favorite recipe here.

What I Am Watching

Have you watched Abbott Elementary?

Of my goodness, I don't think I have ever laughed so hard.

Abbott Elementary

I am currently catching up on season one on Hulu because season two starts next week.

In a world where everything seems to be bad news, this will definitely brighten up your day.

Let's Shop

Shackets From Amazon

fall pillow covers

fall placemats

fall throw blanket

fall wreath

Yesterday I got my Omicron booster. I am doing everything I can to avoid getting covid and to help stop its spread. I hope you will consider getting your booster too.

Thank you for your visit.


Visit my Etsy shop for vintage and antique collectibles and printable art.

Bedroom wall decor

This post contains affiliate links.

SUMMER IS WANING

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Summer is waning.

Here in Georgia, that means daytime highs are in the 80s and nighttime lows are in the upper 50s and sixties.

It is a welcome reprieve from a sweltering summer.

flowers by a picket fence

Although I like actual fall and the beautiful colors, I am not a fan of winter. 

I know it is just around the corner.

Melancholy starts to creep in as the flowers start to fade.

fading flowers of late summer

Time is passing much too quickly.

I want to wrap my arms around the summer flowers and beg them not to leave us, but they know that there is a time in nature for every season.

potted summer flowers by a brick wall

Just like nature, our lives have seasons too.

Unfortunately, we can't stop time, but we can embrace the time we have now.

So I will think longingly of the summer flowers but I will enjoy the cooler temperatures where I can get back outside to walk.

summer flowers on a picket fence

After taking a break I have reopened my Poshmark closet.

Poshmark has really evolved since I was on there before and as I need to buy a recliner I hope to use some of the money from there to help out.

If you have never shopped on Poshmark I think you will be pleasantly surprised. I know I was. 

I just bought a new pair of Banana Republic pants for $20 off retail.

If you use this link to join you will get $10 and I will get $10 when you make your first purchase.

Hope you have a great day and are able to enjoy some cooler weather.

THE IMPORTANCE OF GRANDMOTHERS

Friday, September 9, 2022

 Simple Pleasures #55

There was a time when it was the norm for extended families to live together. 

When grandparents were an integral part of a family's day-to-day living. 

It was a time when an older generation was deemed to be a source for teaching and sharing life experiences with younger members of a family.

elderly woman hands

Although those days for the most part have ended, it doesn't mean that grandparents and especially grandmothers are no longer needed in the raising of children?

"Some scientists think women evolved to live way past their childbearing years so that in middle age, unencumbered by babies of their own, they can make sure their daughters’ kids thrive.
These scientists posit that back in the days before farming, young mothers were better able to keep their kids alive when their own mothers were around to help forage—an advantage that has been dubbed the “grandmother effect.” (source unknown)
grandmother hands and baby feet

As most of us are no longer out foraging, what is our purpose now?
Are we meant to take cruises where we play shuffleboard or hang out in bingo parlors?
The importance of grandmothers has ebbed and flowed over time. 
Maybe grandmothers were less important in the mid twentieth century when most mothers stayed at home, but the importance of grandmothers may be on the upswing once again. 
with granddaughter

I know that I love spending time with my grandchildren and passing on the things that I learned from my own grandmothers. 
My hypothesis is that grandmothers are pretty darned important.
What do you think?

Simple Inspiration

a garden of love grows in a grandmother's heart

Inspiring Reads From Around The Web






Apple Cranberry Chicken Salad

I was sitting here a couple of days ago thinking about how tired I am of my lunch choices when I came across a recipe for apple cranberry chicken salad.

I love chicken salad and this is the perfect time of the year to add fresh crispy apples and cranberries.

apple cranberry chicken salad

I also love grapes in my chicken salad so I am tossing a few into the mix and serving it up on some gluten-free tortillas.

apple cranberry chicken salad on tortillas

This is a simple way to use up some leftover chicken.

Invite some girlfriends over and enjoy it on the deck with a glass of white wine or some iced tea on a late summer or early fall day.

Catching Up

Some past posts you may have missed.




Let's Shop

Cozy up your home this fall with baskets from Amazon.

baskets form Amazon

Fabulous fall finds from Pottery Barn.

fall decor from Pottery BArn

Thank you for your visit.


Visit my Etsy shop for vintage and antique collectibles and printable art.

Shop my Poshmark closet.

the importance of grandmothers

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ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

I just have to come right out and say that...

sometimes my attitude stinks 

When I wake up each morning I try to start my day by feeling gratitude. 

I say thank you for something and how grateful I am to be alive for another day. 

But then, some days my attitude takes a huge detour. 

road closed

It's as if someone put up a big road closed sign in my mind and I can't get around it.

Why is that? 

I just feel a huge pout coming on. 

It's the why me syndrome. 

Why are my sales so low? 

Why am I  living in this very small apartment? 

Why can't I afford a new car, a recliner, a new computer?

WHY? WHY? WHY?

sad dog

Well, I think you get the point. 

We are all human and we all have our bad days, but I really want to do better and have fewer of those days. 

I need to work on it. 

Yes, I need an attitude adjustment because I believe that when you change your attitude you change your life. 

Because I know that into each life a little rain will fall.

rain gear

My five-part plan. 

1) It's my life and I get to choose how it goes. I may not be able to control the external things that are happening around me, but I can choose how I react to them.

2) No one knows more about me than I do. So no matter what anyone else thinks I should do I know what is best for me. After all, I am an expert on myself.

3) I will remain calm in the face of adversity. This is a hard one for me at times because I just want to shout at life and say "how dare you treat me like that". That's when I will go back to #1

4) I will choose love. Not only love for others but love for myself. I will choose to love my present moment, knowing that I have everything I need at this moment. I will focus on what I have instead of what I lack because then I will always have enough.

5) I will remember that I am on a wonderful journey. It's the journey called life.