Saturday Spotlight: Life Behind The Blogger

Susan from Must Love Junk, and myself 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. 
May 17th
Donna from My Shabby Chateau

I know I say this every week but I really am excited to introduce you to Donna from My Shabby Chateau.  I have just recently been following Donna and so happy she said yes to Spotlight.  I think you are going to enjoy reading and getting to know Donna.  Donna is an adventurer and a sweet sweet blogger so enjoy.

Hi!  I'm Donna, from My Shabby Chateau.  I was so excited when Kris asked me if I'd like to be a guest here at "Life Behind the Blogger"!  So, a big thank you, Kris!
I began blogging a little over 4 years ago, and I can't imagine it not being a part of my life!  I've met so many wonderful, supportive and generous women here in blogland.  I am truly amazed at not only the creative spirit of so many bloggers, but how kind and thoughtful everyone is!
 I was raised on a farm here in Michigan, so I guess it's only natural that I love to dig in the dirt!
(I think I'll always be a farm girl at heart!)
To me working in the yard among pretty blooms, listening to the birds singing, and just being in nature are the makings of a perfect day!

 So come warm weather, you'll find me in the yard, tending to my flower beds and just having fun.
Our "chateau"!
My husband John and I have been married almost 14 years.
(he's known as "handy hubby" on my blog!!)
John has been a pilot for many years, and together we enjoy all sorts of flying adventures in his airplane!
We love flying out to dinner, often taking friends along.  We've also flown to Chicago, Toronto, and even over Niagara Falls!
While vacationing in Hawaii, we've also rented planes (yes, you can do that!) and flown over the islands, the views were just amazing.
 While living in Washington State a few years ago, we flew to the San Juan Islands, which were just gorgeous!
 That's Mount Baker in the distance.

We share our home with a fun and crazy little cocker spaniel named Katie.
She's just a little over a year old, and still very much a puppy.
Here she is as a little pup.  She grew up so fast!  Once she matures a bit, I hope to begin training her to be a certified therapy dog.  My goal is to take her along on visits to nursing homes and hospitals. She loves people, especially kids, and everyone always seems so happy to meet her, too!
John and I have a motor home, and we love traveling all over the place in it. 
 (That's my idea of roughing it!)
We've been from coast to coast, the southern states, and up into Canada. And of course we love camping adventures right here in Michigan, as well. Katie loves to camp with us, too!
John retired two years ago, after a life long career working for the airlines. So, that means we have flight privileges, and we love to take advantage of that!
Together, we've been to Italy, Ireland, Greece, France, Germany, Switzerland, Norway, Austria, the Caribbean, and more!
Our very favorite place in the world is Paris!
Last May I celebrated a milestone birthday, by climbing the Eiffel Tower on my big day.
That's me taking a break about mid way up!
I'd climbed it before, but I was in much better shape (not to mention younger!), so it was no easy feat this time making it to the top. But, that was my goal, and I'm happy to say that I made it!

Sacre Coeur, below.
Chateau Fontainbleau, below.

The next few photos are in the gorgeous Alsace region of France, near the German border.

That's hubby, below, when we visited Monet's gorgeous gardens at Giverny several years ago.
Believe it or not, I really am a home body at heart!  One of my very favorite places to be is my craft room, which takes up much of the lower level of our house.
I found this cubby at a moving sale several years ago. It holds many of my crafting supplies, and the counter top is perfect for spreading out with projects.  John added the pegboard to the side, and mounted it on the wall, too.
It's so handy to have things right at arms reach!
I can decorate my craft room as girly as I want to!
This is where I create goodies for my Etsy shop, which is also a huge passion of mine!
Another passion, no, make that an obsession, is thrift shopping!  There is hardly a week that goes by that I don't visit one (or more!) thrift shops in search of treasures in the making.  Believe it or not, I rarely ventured inside of thrift stores before I started blogging.  When I saw the amazing things that other bloggers found while out thrifting, well, I was hooked!
So I'm always on the hunt for things that I can transform with a little paint and tlc, and add to my Etsy shop.  Even hubby has gotten hooked on thrifting, he knows just what to look for now!
It's no secret that I love all things that glitter!
I had fun making these little glittery French buckets.
Feeling stressed, tired, down?  Break out the glitter!
It's my remedy for chasing the blues away:)
Below are some glittered French themed Christmas candles I made for an Etsy client a few years ago.
One of my favorite things that I talk about on my blog are what I call "drab to fab" makeovers!
I love sharing projects that began with something looking a little less than great, like this cabinet, below.
And transforming them into something like this!
A decoupaged French cabinet.  Oooh, la, la!
I even lined the inside with vintage French book pages.
One of my latest projects has been learning how to stencil.
I shared this Parisian themed sign on my blog awhile back.

And this is my most recent stenciling transformation.  
I would love to have stop in and visit my blog some time!  It's always fun to meet new blogging friends!
Thank you again, Kris!!

Thank you so much Donna for letting us feature you today on Spotlight.  It was so much fun to learn more about you.  Love Katie she is adorable and what fun to have your own private plane to transport you to fun places.

Now that you have gotten to know Donna please hop over to Susan's Blog and meet another wonderful blogger Meg from Oliver and Rust.  Have a great week end.

Garden Tour Anyone?!!!!!!!!


Why do I live in the Midwest?  It is the middle of May and this is what I woke up too this morning.

This is ridiculous to say the least.  After getting my planting done this week you know when the temps were in the 80's this is what happened today.
I am just sick about this.

I have to get my planting done before we leave for a 10 day vacation on Saturday because if I waited until we get home after Memorial day everything is picked over up here for flowers.

This is how my dining room looks now!  I was out in my pj's and slippers bringing in the flowers from the deck.
Yep out in my slippers and  pj's hauling in the hanging baskets and planted boxes.

Bike ride anyone???????

Even Libby is looking out the window in pure discuss.
That Fresh Flowers sign above the french doors is suppose to mean out on the deck not in the dining room Ughhh!

So do you like the new decor at Junk Chic Cottage!

Pulled in as much as I could from out front!!!

Even the birds are shaking their heads.

I think the birds like all the rest of us in the midwest need to roll with it!  Look at the little guy being smart and staying under the bird feeder out of the snow.  Tomorrow I am headed to Florida where it is 90!!!! So over this stuff.
I hope where you are today you are not dealing with this mess.

Summer Garden Beginnings

Happy Monday.  Hope all you sweet mom's had a great day yesterday.

I traditionally start to plant my summer flowers on Mom's Day.  This year I was a little hesitant to do this with the harsh winter we had and how late all the spring plants have been.

The people at the nursery where I get my flowers assured me it was safe to start to plant.

I am such a summer girl and love my flowers so I got a good start yesterday.  Boy my back and knees are telling me today how old and out of shape I am LOL!

Here are some pictures of the front garden start up.  There will be more tweeking and movement but at least I got a good start.

The pictures are not real bright as it started to rain last night and is very cloudy today when I took these pictures.

I am doing a yellow, white and blue color scheme out front this year.

Got my old chippy window box planted and a hanging basket and pot for on the old bench.  I need to find another cute garden hat or watering can to add to the bench.  I also need to find my blue gardening boots from last year.  I think I need to still dig in the shed.  Anyway it is a start out on the porch.

I hung this old garden door hanger.  Need something cute like old garden tools or a cute straw hat to hang on this hook.

I know it comes as no shock that I have this old vintage cottage nest door out in the garden.  Gotta love a door in the garden decor.  The old chippy wood box is a planter and it is stable on the old porch post.

Remember my blue bike from last year.  Well...........

She got a paint job and has been moved to the front yard tree and flower beds.

She will be getting more gussied up with a basket put on the back of the bike.

I have my old potting table out in the front garden.  Love this chippy ole girl.  I can't wait to add my planting pots and garden tools to this table.  It is a fun decor feature but it is also very functional for planting.

I put my old hand painted garden bird house behind her.
There you go it's a start.  Lot's more decor additions and more flowers to come. I will post more as I fill in and the garden start to take.   It just felt good to get a start on the summer garden.  I have been working on the backyard too.  I am adding more vintage architectural pieces out in the back garden.

I love when I can mix old vintage pieces in with the flowers.
So happy we are starting to see nice weather here in the midwest.

Hope your week will be a good one.

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