Spotlight The Real Life Behind the Blogger

Susan from Must Love Junk, and myself (Kris) Junk Chic Cottage wanted to do a regular feature on our blogs, something unique that hasn't been done before.   So we came up with an idea to 'spotlight the real life behind the blogger' in a more personal way.
There is so much talent and inspiration in blogland, and we thought it would be fun to bring you a closer look at the person behind the blog.

Every week on Saturday we will spotlight a blogger and have them tell us a little bit about themselves and their blogs.  You will be able to see and read about each of the bloggers on both Susan's and my blog. 

Good Saturday Morning to all of you.  Thanks for coming by to meet and learn  about another blogger in the Spotlight Feature.  I have the wonderful opportunity today to introduce you to Jennifer from Town and Country Living.  Jennifer lives near me but we have not yet met in person but I am hoping that will happen one of these days.  I have been following Jennifer's blog for awhile and love her decor style. Jennifer lives in a 140 year old farmhouse that is so full of charm.  I am always excited when I see that Jennifer has a new post on a room in her charming home.  

 Please grab your coffee and sit back and get to know this special blogger on a more personal level and then jump over to visit her blog.  It is beautiful and so full of inspiration. 

Hello Everyone! I'm Jennifer at Town and Country Living and I'm so honored Kris asked me to be in the spotlight here on her beautiful blog. I've been following Junk Chic Cottage for quite awhile now and am quite envious of Kris' garden and home. So thank you, Kris, for this opportunity to share with your readers! My little blog was born on November 30th, 2011. †After stumbling across so many inspirational decorating blogs, I decided to try my hand at it. Was I nervous? Heck yes! I had a point and shoot camera and knew nothing about photography, but I was determined. My thought was that blogging would motivate me to get stuff done around the house ... so I'd have something to blog about!
Farmhouse Cottage at Town and Country Living via is my humble home, a circa 1875 farmhouse that lives where the suburban streets of Chicago meet the country cornfields of Illinois. I have the best of both worlds where I live - the suburban towns and Chicago to the east, and God's glorious country to the west. And that's why my blog is called Town and Country Living.
Family Collage at to God, my family is the most important thing in my life. My 3 children are grown (upper left corner) and both my daughters were recently married. My daughter Bridget married Zac (upper right) at a country farm wedding while daughter Stephanie married Matt (lower right) in a formal hotel wedding. My son Cory is pictured at lower left with Amy, his adorable girlfriend of 3 years.
Grandkids at Town and Country Living via grandchildren are the light of my life and keep me young. I always wish I could spend more time with them!
Town and Country LivingHere I am with hubby Robert walking down the aisle at Bridget's farm wedding. It was a gorgeous day! Robert is my soul mate and he really keeps me grounded. When I'm trying to make everything perfect, he brings me back down to earth and reality!
Town and Country Living Home Tour via my blog, I mostly write about my home. There's a lot of upkeep to a 140-year old house! Floors and doors are crooked, the exterior clapboard siding needs to be painted every 10 years, and it seems something needs to be done with the plumbing every year. But I love our charming old home and overall it's surprisingly solid.
Recipe Collage at Town and Country Living via addition to decorating, I also love to cook! I'm a vegetarian but I do cook meat for the rest of my family. I'm a bit of a foodie and prefer making meals from scratch whenever possible. I also enjoy using fresh produce from local farm markets in my recipes.
Fox Valley Marathon via Town and Country LivingSince I love to cook and eat, I need to work off those calories! †One of my passions is running and here I am at the start of the Fox Valley Marathon 2 years ago. A marathon is 26.2 miles and you burn a lot of calories training for this event! This November, I'm running my 6th marathon - the Naperville Marathon. I'm running it with my daughter Bridget, it's her first marathon!
PR Performance Running Group via Town and Country LivingHere are some of my running buddies (that's me in the orange sweatshirt), early in the morning prior to the marathon, which is why we're still smiling. We won't be smiling at mile 20. But once we cross the finish line, all the blood, sweat, and tears will be worth it. I absolutely love running and wish everyone would do it! It just takes that first step ...
So when I'm not running, blogging, or spending time with family, what do I do? I work here:
Aqualand', headquarters of Aquascape Inc via Town and Country LivingThis is the home of Aquascape, Inc, the largest water gardening company in North America. †We call this building "Aqualand, a workplace utopia." I am truly privileged to work in this LEED Certified building (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) where we work with contractors and retailers to help create beautiful water features in backyards across the USA and Canada.
Aquascape Ecosystem Pond via Town and Country LivingThis is my view from work every day! I'm the marketing communications manager for Aquascape, which means I'm in charge of the company's social media, PR, and various communication vehicles like e-newsletters to pond installers, retailers, and consumers. I've written a book, The Pond Builders Guide to Break Even, and I write articles for various trade magazines in the landscape industry. I love my job and am so grateful to do what I love every day!
So ... back to my blog, Town and Country Living.
Town and Country Living in Casa Chic magazine via year my home was featured in Casa Chic magazine, which is sold in France and Italy. Remember when I was talking about that point and shoot camera? I traded it in for a Nikon D3000 and worked really hard on my photography. This all paid off when the editor of Casa Chic came knocking and asked if I would share my photos of my home with the magazine. Um, YES!! I was so honored to have my photos published! †And earlier this year, a photographer for Country Sampler Magazine was in my home taking photos, which should appear in their March 2014 edition. These are my biggest claims to fame from my little old blog!
Baby Boos on a French bread board via Town and Country LivingMy latest blog post at Town and Country Living showcases a Fall table setting in my kitchen's dining nook where I lined up Baby Boos and acorns on a French bread board for the centerpiece. My decorating style is a mix of farmhouse and cottage.
The last thing I'd like to share is ... keep working toward your goals and don't let anything or anyone deter you. In a marathon, you put one foot in front of the other until you reach your goal. The same is true with anything in life. When you hit a roadblock, learn from it and figure out what to do differently to overcome the obstacle. This is the stuff that makes you stronger!
Thanks again, Kris, for allowing me to share a little bit about myself, my dreams, and my goals with your readers!
I hope you'll visit my blog over at Town and Country Living.
Or you can follow me via email or on the social sites below!
Facebook † † Pinterest † † Twitter
Subscribe to Town and Country Living via email and follow along on social sites!
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Thanks so much Jennifer. I loved getting to know you better. It was fun to see your wonderful pictures and learn more about you and your family. 

Now after learning about Jennifer on my blog you can hope over to Susan's blog and meet and learn about Jann from Have A Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson.  

Junkin Fun Day

Hi Everyone.  I think I have told you that Anne from White Lace Cottage lives not to far from me and we have gotten together on occasion to Junk together.  Anne told me that her friend Janet that has the blog called Lucky Junk and lives near us was having a big sale at her home today.  So she wanted to see if I wanted to tag along.

You did not have to ask me twice.  So off Junkin we went.  Oh My,  Janet and her hubby Bill are the sweetest ever and when we pulled up to her sale they had an old vintage pick up truck in the drive!!! It is in mint condition and I knew this was going to be a great Junkin stop.  Janet had some of the best treasures for sale.

She had some really wonderful things.  I had my eyes on a few pieces but I am just running out of home to put another big piece in my house.  So I tried to stay glued to the smaller treasures.  I saw this box just filled with all these little old clay pots.  Of course I had to get some.  Not sure what I will do with them yet but I knew they were too cute to  pass up.

Aren't they sweet.   I got 25 and the box was still full.  If you are looking for cute little clay pots Janet has them.  They had even smaller ones than these that were adorable.

Then while we were on our way to the sale we saw this garage sale and Anne said do you want to stop and I said yep!!! There was this vintage old chair that was screaming to me.  I got out of the car and while Anne was eyeing up an old beautiful headboard.  I saw the chair.  It had old mauve pink upholstery but the curves to her and the character were fabulous.  She was marked $20 and in mint condition.    I said to Anne ok if the chair is still here on our way back from Janet's sale I will get it.  Well there is a whole story that went into getting this chair but she is mine and I will save the story for when I transform her and do a post.  So stay tuned.

Here she is.  Great bones.  Sturdy and has pretty legs.  The upholstery was in great shape considering the age of the chair.  The color was the only thing dating this old gal.

I took off her seat cushion and I actually kind of like her without the cushion.  Stay tuned to see the transformation of this chair.

It was fun to go with Anne and also meet some new bloggers at the sale.

Have a great week end.  Be sure to tune in tomorrow for Spotlight and learn about another couple of wonderful bloggers on my blog and Susan's blog.

Happy Anniversary

Where does the time go?????

Happy Anniversary to my wonderful husband of 32 years.  Where does the time go?  We have been blessed with Two daughters, a son in law, granddaughter and two basset hounds and 4 granddogs over these 32 years together.

I have loved every minute.  This is my true sole mate.

Who are these youngster's?  Our wedding day September 12, 1981
See somethings haven't changed I am still a natural blonde!!!!!
Have a great evening.

Right In The Middle Of An Ordinary Day!

Right in the middle of my ordinary day today I was out watering (ughh still watering) and my mailman Jim stopped to bring my mail up to me.  We have rural mailboxes down by the street so when I saw him get out of his truck with a package I got pretty excited.  

I thought Ohhhhhhh something other than bills or junk mail.  Wooooo Hooooo.  So he handed me my mail and said this has come from a long way from California to get to you.

I thought who do I know in California then I ran in and opened up my package.

Look how cute the packaging is.  I knew right then with the cute packaging who this was from.  Carol from Art and Sand.  Ok, Ok,  I also saw her name on the front of the envelope too!!!!

Remember that cute table cloth she just made and posted here.  Well she made me some cute napkins out of that beautiful material.  She crocheted the edges.  Aren't these so pretty.  Ohhhhh Carol I love them and I love you for thinking of me and making these. 

I tried them out with my little chippy bird cage napkin rings.  Yep, so adorable.

I took another picture of them by my angel to say thank you to a very special angel.  Carol you are the sweetest person ever and I love that you sew and make such beautiful creations and share them.  I so love these napkins.  I will cherish them and think of you when I use them.

One more picture by my angel.  I love these Carol and you are really so sweet and generous.  Carol has been going back and forth on opening a shop on her blog for awhile.  I think she needs to do this.  Carol is not only so sweet but very creative and talented.  I know she would do really well with a little shop.  I probably will be her best customer.
So if you stop by Carol's blog you need to drop some hints to her about starting a shop.  She is going to put up a post on some cute pumpkins she finished.  I cannot wait to see those.
Thank you again my angel of a friend.  I love these little napkins and I love that you sent them special to me.
Thank you

Trying to bring out some Fall Decor

Slowly I am starting to add some fall to the house.  It is hard to think of fall when it is in the 90's again this week.  Last week it was beautiful in the low 70's and 55 to 60 at night.  The perfect sleeping weather.  Now we are humid, hot and crabby!!!!

I tried to feel some coolness by starting on my fall decor inside.  Outside will have to wait with the summer flowers still going strong.

This is the table scape I made in whites and creams for the center of my dining room table.

Remember my little chippy chair transformation.

It needed a little Fall decor.  Do you see where I got bold and added the bright yellow fall leaves!!!! Ha Ha I am rebel with adding some color to the white neutral fall decor!!!

I added some small white boo pumpkins to my sideboard light.

Added some Brown Eyed Susan's to the vintage garden basket on the old shutter

Added some cream dried hydrangeas to the our nest sign in the entry way.

Added some cream and white mums to the old flower gathering basket hanging on the hall tree.

Added some flowering crab apple stems to another gathering basket at the front door.

Have to give a big shout out to Becky at Time Washed  for this cute pumpkin she made and I bought.  I loved the colors she used in this one and how it really matched in the  living room. If you have not been to Becky's beautiful blog or her Etsy shop you must jump over there and check out all her cute fall decor.

Stuck that beautiful pumpkin in an old chippy urn.

Added some baby boos and fall flowers to the top of the TV cabinet for some fall color.

Then I tried to do up the arrangement on top of my coffee table.  Still was feeling too fussy and too much.

So I tried it up on the TV cabinet again.  This time I put the fall flowers and decor over to the side more.  I tired to give you an up close shot so it looks a little crowded but when you stand back and look at the whole cabinet it does not look so crowded.

Even though they are saying 95 today I tried to get some fall up inside.  There is a saying here in Chicago that goes like this, "If you do not like our weather here just wait 5 minutes and it will change"!!! They are now saying by Friday the high will only be 60!!!! So we will melt today going out the door today but by Friday we will need a sweater!!!!
Hope your weather is nice where you are.
Have a great week.
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New Treasures for the Guest Room

While I was out treasure hunting last week I came upon a few windows for my guest room.  They were a dark black but with the help of some chalk paint I got them looking brighter and chippy to match the room.  

I had this long blank wall on this side of the guest room.  I had an old window out in the shed and the two new windows that I painted white.

So I decided to hang them on the wall.  These two longer identical windows had heavy leaded glass in them and when we were taking them out of the car one pane fell and the glass crashed all over.  My poor husband Terry  got a cut on his leg in the accident.  Now I have to decide if I want to have a piece of glass made and put them back in the windows or just leave them they way they are without any glass.  What do you think?

I also stopped and fed my Home Goods addiction this week and found this cute little bench.  It had dark legs so I got out the Annie Sloan chalk paint and painted them.   

If you were wondering what happened to the bike she is still in the room.  Just moved her from the end of the bed.  I have plans at the holidays for that bike and mail box.  When my guests come at the holidays I was going to move the bike anyway.  Did not want anyone falling over the bike in the middle of the night.

I also found these cute chippy's at a shop in Geneva.  $20 bucks for the pair.  They came home with me.  Look at how chippy and wonderful they are.

I added them to the other guest room wall where I took down that door to put up in the bigger guest room.  These front bedrooms are so hard to get a decent picture. They brighten up that wall in the corner.

I had some good treasure hunting time this past week.
Have a good week.
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