Saturday Spotlight: Life Behind The Blogger

 Saturday Spotlight: Life Behind the Blogger is a feature done each Saturday that introduces you to a blogger you may already know or a new blogger for you to get to know. This feature gives you a peak into the personal life of the blogger.  Getting to know the special person behind the beautiful blog.

There is so much talent and inspiration in blogland so enjoy getting to know these talented bloggers each Saturday.

Barbara from 21 Rosemary Lane
February 7th

It gives me great pleasure to introduce you to Barbara from 21 Rosemary Lane Blog this week.  Her story will touch your heart in so many ways.  Please enjoy getting to know Barbara and then hop over to her blog to say Hi and see her beautiful blog.

Hello and happy Saturday Junk Chic Cottage and Must Love Junk followers! My name is Barbara and I am the creator of the blog 21 Rosemary Lane. I want to first thank Kris for the invitation to participate in this unique and interesting series which spotlights bloggers from around the blogosphere. What a great way to get to really know more about one another. We all have our back stories and well this one is mine, so here I go!

I grew up just outside of the city of Philadelphia in a little suburban town called Glenside. The same town in fact where my father grew up. My mother was raised in the coal region of Pennsylvania, in a place called Mahanoy City. I am the oldest of three children.

(kim, steve and me 1984)

Life was pretty normal for me in this little town of Glenside. I had my friends, went to school, played sports, was a cheerleader with my best friend Alison, and hung out at the dime whenever I could. All in all my life was filled with pretty much normal low key sort of kid stuff. 

(circa 1971)

That was until summer after I finished the 8th grade. During the summer of 1975 I was diagnosed with large abdominal growth and had to have surgery that August to remove a 10 lb tumor. The tissue samples were sent off to various labs and all came back positive with some cancer cells consistent with a type of tumor called a teratoma. So as I began my freshman year of high school, I also started my first round of chemotherapy treatments. My parents were devastated, but my mother is a women of great faith, so she hung in there with faith and prayers, and her prayers were eventually answered. As it turned out, the chemo treatments saved my life. Then at the age of 25 I was re-diagnosed with multiple tumor growths, but again thanks to the chemo I received as a child the tumors were all benign. 

This series of events in my young life ultimately led me to the medical profession. After college I went back to school to become a Radiologic Technologist. Then at the tender age of 38, I went back to college again to become a Registered Nurse. 

I am here to tell you that it is never too late to do anything!

The same year I graduated nursing school I married this incredibly wonderful guy from New Jersey, my husband Chris (aka Mr. Rosemary Lane), and we settled down in Hunterdon County to begin our life adventures together.

(me with my sister Kim on our wedding day, november 30, 2002)

First we decided to do a little traveling so we went to...




The great Southwest

and Niagara Falls

We even took a 10 day long trip to Ireland which is where my husband's family ancestry originates. 

We also knew we wanted a family, however given my past medical history plus the fact that I had just turned 40, we decided to adopt.

In 2003 we began international adoption proceedings and in 2005 we made the trip to Asia and spent a month in Semey, Kazakhstan adopting our two children, Grace and Michael. 

(leaving the orphanage december 5, 2005)

(our family day december 5, 2009)

Like I mentioned before it is never too late to do anything, so at age 44 I became a first time mommy.

You are also never too OLD to try anything new. As a matter of fact I beleive that the older I get the more brave I become in trying something out of my comfort zone. Instead of thinking "I can't do that", I think "Why can't I do that?" 

So the day before I turned 50 I celebrated my milestone by running in the New York City marathon!

(november 6, 2011)

Since I was a little girl I always loved anything to do with decorating and design. Whether I was admiring the beautiful architecture of Mary Richard's Minneapolis apartment, or the smart looking ensembles she would sport, I was always visually driven and drawn to design.

(MTM show)

And I was completely enamoured by decorating and cooking magazines.

My parents were also the original DIYers. They remodeled every room in both of the homes where I grew up. My mother would design it and my father carried out the construction of what ever project they were tackling. We lived on a very tight budget back in those days so my father would have to get pretty creative in finding any way he could to build it, paint it, mold it, or whatever else it, just to achieve the desired goal of the finished project. Hiring out was never an option for my parents. 

Well as they say, the nut never falls far from the tree!! 

As a grade schooler I would sit and draw for hours. Actually I enjoyed art all the way through high school along with the subjects of science, gym, and any cooking class I could find! According to my mother, I inherited the cooking and baking gene from her mother, my grandmother.

So in 2011 I decided to throw my heart and soul into blogging and created 

I not only had the desire to share some of my life's passions, but also wanted some way to document the precious time we had with our children while they were growing up. I want Grace and Michael to always remember what their home and bedrooms looked like, the adventures they had been on, how to make their favorite dishes, and of course some of my mommy thoughts and feelings. 

I consider blogging my greatest outlet for creativity and along the line I discovered how much I love photography as part of this creative process. For my 50th birthday I received a Cannon Rebel LED camera from my hubby, and then immediately enrolled myself in a photography class at our local community college.

(new orleans french quarter)

(cape may nj)

(atlantic city nj)

Lately I have also begun to really find my style ...

Not sure what you would call it. Maybe an ecclectic bag of painted and re-purposed cast-off items in a suburban cottage style, with just a touch of bling! 
(Or something like that.)

But whatever it is or whatever you want to call it, it sure does feel like home to me.

I would love it if you'd stop by sometime to visit me over at 21 Rosemary Lane.

Thank you again Kris for allowing me to share some of myself here in your Spotlight: The Life Behind the Blogger series.

Have a great weekend everyone!!!
Thank you Barbara for sharing yourself with all of us.  It is so fun to see you live life to the fullest.  Love that you travel, have changed up careers and even with all the medical issues you still could have a wonderful family through adoption.  Loved sharing your story this week.  Thank you sweet friend.
Have a wonderful rest of the week end.


  1. What a wonderful feature as always. Aren't the kiddos adorable! The home and designs are magnificent!

  2. I am so enjoying these spotlight posts. Barbara seems like she really lives life to the full. I will certainly be heading over to 21 Rosemary Lane..

  3. Thanks for featuring Barbara. I am headed over to Rosemary Lane right now.

  4. What wonderful pictures! (And my husband is from near Mahanoy City--I drive through there a LOT!)

    1. OMGosh someone who has not only heard of Mahanoy City but has actually been there! What a small world it truly is. Thank you for reading my story Kirby!

  5. Oh I love her and her blog, such a very special person. Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful story Barbara.

    1. Marty thank you for your kind words and unending support you have always so freely given me! You are a very special person and a true inspiration! XO

  6. Kris, I think this is the "best" featured blogger story. Barbara is a brave strong woman. I love this. Blessings, xoxo,Susie

  7. OMgoodness, Barbara, what a wonderful story of a survivor, crusader and overall strong woman! Kris, home run! Thanks for sharing Barbara's story.

  8. What an inspiring story from a very talented blogger I've enjoyed visiting the past few years. Thanks for sharing, Barbara. You're a gem.

    1. Rosemary I remember your were one of my first followers. Thank you so much for your support and wishing you a wonderful weekend! XO

  9. Kris thank you for your Saturday spotlight feature. Barbara is inspirational and demonstrates the power of faith and belief of never giving up sight of wellness and your dreams. Heading over to check out Barbara's blog right now.

    1. Thrilled to have you stop by and thank you for your sweet words.xo

  10. Love the Spotlight of Barbara. I follow her and what a strong woman. I have such admiration for her. What strive and ambition. Bravo Barbara and it was fantastic getting to know more about you and your life


    1. Thank you Cynthia for your kind words and thank you too for being a loyal follower.

  11. Thank you so much Kris for spotlighting me this week. Writing this post really made me look back at the course my life has taken and I feel more blessed than ever at what I have been given in the way of family, friends and well-being. I am so glad I had the chance to share my story here on your beautiful blog. Have a great weekend! XXOO

  12. What a beautiful person and a beautiful story. And those children are adorable!!!

  13. Thank you Kris for sharing Barbara with us today. I've popped in for a visit now and again on your awesome blog Barbara but it was so nice to learn more about the blogger behind 21 Rosemary Lane. I couldn't help but notice how scared your two little children looked in the photo the day their lives changed and then to see them just a few short years later with huge smiles on their faces and looking so happy was heart warming. You have a lovely family and beautiful home. Heading over to your blog to get a closer look at the DIY mercury glass you recently made.
    Marie@The Interior Frugalista

  14. Kris, great feature! Barbara, thank you for sharing your beautiful family with us! Love your 'story'! :)

  15. I still remember that tablescape out in the snow from last year :)

  16. Great story and beautiful that white cabinet with the pretty dishes. :)

  17. I have loved Barbara and her blog since I first found her. What a wonderful story. You are as pretty as you were as a bride and your hubby gets even more handsome as he ages. Y'all did good!;>) xo Diana

    1. Thank you so much Diana. I always love reading the beautidul comments you leave on my blog posts. Mr. Rosemary is handsome devil isn't here?

  18. Fun learning your personal side. I didn't know you adopted your cute children. Wow, my kids were planning weddings when you became a mom. Always love your photos and style.

  19. Great choice Kris, I have been following her since I started blogging. I am going to pop over and tell her how terrific she is.

  20. Am so glad to learn of your blog, Barbara. You are the ONLY PERSON that I've every run across that was as crazy over MTM's decor as I was!!!! I LOVED her pull down stained glass partition between kitchen and living area!!!! Really enjoyed your story. I'll sign up right now to follow you!

  21. That was very intresting to read the life story of Barbara. I love how unconventional she is. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go to Rosemary Lane!

  22. How fun to learn more about Barbara! Her strength and determination are so inspiring and that tortilla soup looks delicious!!

  23. What a wonderful feature! I loved to read about her great story.

  24. Thanks, Kris, for telling us about my friend, Barbara. She is such a super lady and I love everything about her. She is a courageous, beautiful and caring woman with a talent as big as her heart. We share the same birthday even though she is just a baby and I am so happy to call her my friend..Happy Tuesday..Judy

  25. OMGosh Judy...Thank you! XXOO right back at you you most special lady!!

  26. thanks so much for sharing barbara's life story, kris!

  27. What a nice story. Those kids are beautiful, and they have beautiful parents. Thanks for introducing us to Barbara, Kris. I'm late visiting, but I'll be sure to hop over to Barbara's blog and say "hi". xxx

  28. Barbara is so talented and I love her style! Wow, what she went through as a teen is amazing. I'm sure it attributes to her strength. How wonderful to get to travel so much and her kids are absolute dolls! So happy for her!!