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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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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.








SIMPLE PLEASURES: HOLIDAY SEASON

Friday, November 26, 2021

I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving.

I consider the holidays to be a time of simple pleasures, but if you are feeling stressed, like many of us, you might want to get some coping tips. 

As we head into the next few weeks we will once again be entertaining, buying gifts, and decorating our homes.

Despite Tessa's frowny face of disapproval my apartment was all decked out for Christmas before Thanksgiving.  

christmas decor santa

I'll start to share what I have done as soon as I clean up the big mess I made while putting it all together.

I envy people who can somehow be creative without making a mess. 

Simple Inspiration

holiday inspiration quote

Lovely Reads

Are you looking for holiday inspiration?

A natural woodland-inspired home for the holidays.

15 holiday mantle ideas the whole family will love

10 charming living room ideas to inspire your holiday decor



Favorite Gluten-Free Recipe This Week

There is always leftover turkey and this gluten-free turkey tetrazzini recipe is perfect for cool days ahead.

gluten free turkey tetrazzini

Catching Up

Posts from the past week.




Shopping Favorites This Week




Book Of The Month

November - A Little Hope - An Ode to the beauty of the every day, this novel traces the losses, loves, and dreams of a small Connecticut town.

Thanks for joining me today. 

You can find more Simple Pleasures here.

holiday season
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.

HEALTHY HABITS FOR A HAPPIER LIFE: SIX TIPS TO SURVIVE THE HOLIDAYS

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and it is also the unofficial start of the holiday season here in the US. 

give thanks


Why The Holidays Can Be Stressful

We think of the holidays as the most wonderful time of the year, but holidays are also stressful. 

The holidays can bring about financial pressures, unrealistic expectations, and too many commitments.

Family gatherings can also be stressful as we gather with family members that we may not get along with.

For many people just thinking about the holidays can bring on bouts of anxiety and depression. 

We are encouraged to be happy at this time of year, but that happiness pressure can actually contribute to making us more unhappy.

bowl of fruit

Tips To Survive The Holidays

  1. Be Good To Yourself. I made this #1 because I think this is the most important. Too often we are thinking about the happiness of everyone else and we forget about ourselves. Be there for yourself.
  2. Maintain Your Routine. Doing this as much as possible will help to normalize the few weeks of the holidays. So if you normally exercise keep it up. You will feel better for doing so.
  3. Reach Out To Family And Friends. This is a two-fold tip. Connect with people you love and miss that you will not be seeing this year. Your love and support can help them and in turn, they can offer you love and support. 
  4. Stop Feeling Guilty. Do you really know anyone who can do it all? You may think they can, but at what cost to themselves. You do not have to be a superpower.
  5. Just Say No. I talked about saying no in this previous post. Once again, you do not have to be a superwoman. It is perfectly okay to say no.
  6. Focus on The Here And Now. So many of us look back at earlier holidays with rose-colored glasses and this leads to unrealistic expectations. Focus on who you are now and how you want this holiday season to be. 
bird sitting on a fence in winter

As you prepare and gather for the holidays this year my wish is good health and happiness for all of you. 


Self Care






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





SIX BEST PUMPKIN AND SWEET POTATO PIE RECIPES

Monday, November 22, 2021

Last Monday I shared five best hot chocolate recipes. 

This Monday is all about six of the best pumpkin and sweet potato pies. 

pumpkin pie


Come on, you know you are thinking about Thanksgiving dinner. 

Although to be honest, Tessa and I are already bickering over the apple pie. I think she is convinced that I am going to eat the entire pie and she isn't going to get any. 

Southern Sweet Potato Pie

Although I do like pumpkin pie, as a southerner I prefer sweet potato.

This recipe calls for a buttery crust, but you could substitute a store-bought or other homemade crust.

southern sweet potato pie

Sweet potato pies tend to be lighter with fewer spices than traditional pumpkin pies. 

Bourbon Pumpkin Pie

If you happen to be a native of Kentucky. like me, you know that bourbon can be used in almost anything., so it didn't surprise me when I came across this bourbon pumpkin pie recipe.

bourbon pumpkin pie recipe

Oh, and don't forget to top it off with some bourbon whipped cream. 

Apple Butter Pumpkin Pie

I have to admit that I would never have thought of pumpkin pie made with apple butter, but this pie has rave reviews.

apple butter pumpkin pie

The apple butter gives it a fruitier flavor. (Maybe I can convince Tessa to eat this instead of the apple pie. Ha, that kid is way ahead of me.)

Best Vegan and Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie

This vegan and gluten-free pumpkin pie is so good that you can trick your persnickety relatives, who turn their noses up at vegan and gluten-free, into eating it and asking for seconds.

vegan and gluten free pumpkin pie recipe

It is pretty easy peasy because you can make the whole thing in the food processor. 

Easy Crustless Pumpkin Pie

I am not a huge fan of crusts so it is nice to know that you can have pumpkin pie without the crust.

easy crustless pumpkin pie

Using all-natural ingredients is bound to take out a lot of the calories. 

That's my story and I'm sticking to it. 

Sweet Potato Chocolate Pudding Pie

Did you really think I would not include chocolate this week? Have you met me?

This sweet potato chocolate pudding pie looks so good I almost went to the grocery in my pajamas at one in the morning for the ingredients.

sweet potato chocolate pudding pie

Do not tell Tessa about this one. I plan to keep it all to myself.

Have you planned your Thanksgiving Day meal yet? It is just three days away so you better get busy picking your pie.

six best pumpkin and sweet potato pie recipes

Pie Baking Essentials

The Essential Pie Cookbook: 50 sweet and savory recipes






Thanks for visiting.

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.







SATURDAY SHOPPING: CHRISTMAS GIFT LIST #2

Saturday, November 20, 2021

 It's another Saturday. Let the shopping begin.

Vintage-inspired breadbox and utensil holder. 

farmhouse breadbox and utensil holder


Tessa, who is nine is obsessed with all things Minecraft. 

minecraft card game


Bodum coffee press

Bodum coffee press


Houseplants 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle

1000 piece houseplants puzzle


Quilted scuff slippers in recycled faux fur.

Madewell recycled faux fur scuff slippers


Worldwise dice game.

Worldwise dice game


Reusable plaid canvas tote.

reusable plaid canvas tote


Long sleeve pajama set.

J Crew women long sleeve pajama


Vintage golfer cast iron doorstop.

vintage golfer cast iron doorstop


Olaplex healthy hair essentials.

olaplex healthy hair essentials

Happy Shopping!

Shopping links are provided for your convenience.

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

SIMPLE PLEASURES: GIFT FAVORITES

Friday, November 19, 2021

Ho! Ho! Ho! The holidays are quickly approaching. I don't know about you all, but I am starting to get excited and have started to decorate for Christmas. 

Christmas tree decor

I texted a photo to Tessa of my lit tree and her response was.

"You have a lot of nerve. It isn't even Thanksgiving yet." I have gotten a lot of laughs off of that one. 

Hopefully, I will be able to finish up my decorating this weekend.

Simple Inspiration

I am determined to find as much joy as possible during this wonderful season.

Joy quote

Lovely Reads

I haven't found anywhere to put my tiered tray this year, but if I do I can find plenty of ideas from these 40 tiered trays Christmas decor ideas.


I love this vintage Christmas side table decor.

Speaking of vintage here are 21 ways to use vintage in your Christmas decor.

Favorite Gluten-Free Recipe This Week

I do love pumpkin pie, but when I saw this recipe I knew the pie would have to take a back seat.

Could there be anything more decadent than a gluten free pumpkin cheesecake with oatmeal crumble?

gluten free pumpkin cheesecake with oatmeal crumble

Yum!!!

Catching Up

Posts from the past week.




Shopping Favorites

Tablet Stand


Over The Sink Colander

over the sink colander


Tales Of Extraordinary Women

good night stories for rebel girls


Boho Throw Blanket

boho throw blanket


Plant Terrarium

plant terrarium



Hanging WIndow Planter

hanging window planter


Metal Desk Lamp

metal desk lamp



What I'm Watching

I wanted something light and funny for the holidays so I am watching a new series called The Madame Blanc Mysteries on Acorn TV.


Thanks for visiting today.

amazon favorite gifts




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.