Saturday Spotlight: Life Behind The Blogger

Chel from Sweet Briar Dreams

 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.

 I am excited this week to bring you another wonderful blogger from "across the pond"!   It is Chel from Sweet Briar Dreams.  I clicked right away with Chel when I found her blog.  She is married to a fire fighter like I am and loves to blog about all  fun and positive things on her blog.  She always inspires me with her lovely posts.  I love when I can Spotlight bloggers from a whole other part of the world.  It is fun to see how they live and get to know more about their personal day to day lives.  Chel is surrounded by beautiful history and I love that she posts about the history that surrounds her.  Sit back and enjoy getting to know Chel and then hop over to her blog and say Hi.  Enjoy.

When I was asked by Kris at Junk Chic Cottage to write a post about myself I have to say I was out of my comfort zone.  I don't really talk about myself, I'd rather show you the places I have visited, the trials and tribulations of being a mother to two teenagers and life generally, but not ME.

So, here we go...

My name is Cheryl but most people call me Chel and I am a forty something Londoner who now lives in the flat Fens of Lincolnshire.  A big BIG difference!  It's been 14 years since I moved to this county and I am still adjusting.  I usually go on trips with Mumsy, who is a true Cockney (born within the sound of Bow Bells!) and has also moved to Lincolnshire too.

However, I do try to get down to London as much as I can to get my 'London Fix'.

My blog is called Sweetbriar Dreams as many years ago me and hubby moved to a gorgeous thatched cottage in the middle of nowhere called Sweetbriar.  It was built in the 16th century, and extremely run down.  We spent seven years restoring the cottage and enormous garden back to the typical chocolate box cottage it deserved to be along with a cottage garden.  Oh how I would love to be back there right now, what a different blog I would have written then!  So when I was thinking of a title for my blog, it had to be Sweetbriar Dreams as I dream about that place all the time.  Sadly, the cottage would not have been children friendly, so when they came along we had to move. 

I work full time (for now) in Peterborough, which explains why there are occasional updates around the medieval area that I work.

I am married to an ex fire-fighter who unfortunately had an accident and so started his own business in fire safety.  Mr Teen is now at college studying car mechanics and Miss Teen (the artist) is about to start her final year at school.  Life can be extremely hectic and I find the teenage years have been the hardest to deal with.  However they do make me laugh with their different 'language' and their alien ways!

Until recently our lives were blessed with Coco Mistletoe Moonbeam, a beautiful Cavalier Kings Charles Spaniel but we lost her to Syringomyelia.  I have used my blog to help with information on this disease and the petition to try and get this amazing breed tested.  So sadly missed and it has been difficult to blog afterwards, but I am getting there and have started to think about re-homing another.

I sometimes say 'So where shall we go on our journey today?', this is something that my late Grandad used to say to me as we stepped onto the shores of Greenwich, London and then disappear down roads and into museums.  Day's long gone, but I try to instil the same excitement into my two teens (it's hard work though).  So what do I write about?  Well, anything that gives me that spark of inspiration.  I try to keep positive in my posts as the last thing you need is to read about doom and gloom (we have Facebook for that!).  I love to visit places and then take you with me, even if it is a virtual tour and you will never visit - just make sure you bring tea and biscuits with you (my posts can be a bit lengthy when it is a good trip).

Photography!  Oh how I would love to turn the clock back and get into this from leaving school!  I love it.  Seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary is my thing.  Something that we take for granted and then look at it in a whole different light.  I have used various cameras over the years, but I always go back to Fujifilm Finepix cameras.  My current one is the Fujifilm Finepix 50 EXR and I am still getting used to it and its weight, but so far it hasn't let me down, and that's all I really need.

When I have time and I see a great crafting idea, I go for it.  Crochet is one of my favourites and have just picked up the hook again to make a new blanket for any potential puppy/dog that wants to come my way.

I love discovering new blogs and always visit those who have visited me and have built up some fantastic friendships along the way and have started putting together an additional blog that will detail my Grandad's research into the London Docklands and the East End of London during the War when he was a fire fighter.  This is a project that needs great care and attention (and time), so will eventually be launched.  I do hope you follow me along this journey too!

I look forward to meeting you through my blog and through yours and thank you Kris for this opportunity.

Chel @ Sweetbriar Dreams

Glad you took sometime to get to know Chel.  London is on my bucket list so this was fun to see all her cool pics.  Thank you Chel for sharing a little about your self with all of us.
Have a great week end.


  1. A delightful and most interesting read this morning, Kris - thank you! Chel, I'm on my way to your blog. :)

  2. Kris, thank you for the introduction! Chel, I enjoyed reading about you and I'll be checking out your blog right away!
    Have a great day Kris and Chel!

  3. Thanks for featuring me Kris, this was so much fun to do. And a little update... I have met a rescue Cavalier and she will be joining the Sweetbriar Dreams journey very shortly :-) Have a wonderful weekend and week (I am putting my feet up after last week's journeys!). xx

  4. I enjoyed reading about Chel and her blog-great introduction!

  5. Hi Kris, I love Chel and beautiful blog! She is my first blogging friend I made! Thanks for featuring Chel. Chel if you read this I love your blog and had fun looking at the photos and reading about you today! Have a nice weekend ladies!
    Julie xo

  6. Kris,
    Wow a delightful spotlight of a delightfully interesting woman. I'm heading over to Chel's blog to get to know her blogging style and read her posts. Happy weekend!

  7. I am a blogger pal of Chel's so stopped by to read your/her post today. It was great to find out some more about Chel! It is great that you share about other bloggers like this! xx

  8. Chel, I feel a kindred spirit in you. Years ago my husband (a volunteer firefighter) and I remodeled a home too. For us it was an American four square on 75 acres of farmland with woods and a stream running through it. Back then I remember people used to say, 'you should document what you're doing...', but we didn't have blogs like we do now to share our progress with. Now, I work full time also and take pictures of the city I work in. I checked out your blog. It is beautiful. Here is mine: Sending good thoughts your way.

    1. Hi Juli, I tried to look at your blog but it isn't letting me on. Can you contact me through my blog and I'll make sure I pay you a visit. Chel xx

  9. Thank you so much Kris for introducing me to yet another amazing blogger. I went over and introduced myself, she has a wonderful blog, so full of history about one of my favorite countries. Have a wonderful weekend my friend. Hugs, Jo

  10. Thanks Kris for introducing us to Chel - great blog.

  11. I have seen her blog but not followed regularly. It was great getting to know Chel and she is such a positive person. I love the way she expresses herself-quite English for sure.

  12. Thanks for the intro to Chel. I love that row of cottages.

  13. Hi Kris, so nice to see Chel in your spotlight this week. Lovely feature and pics.
    Have a nice week ahead. Hugs, CM

  14. Well, I am headed over to learn more about Chel. I have a thing for all things English.

  15. So nice to meet Chel! It will be interesting to view the sites of England.
    I do dream of going there someday!

  16. So fun to learn more about Chel. :-) I love her photos.

  17. Nice to meet you Chel!....loved reading about you and your family....and so very sorry about the loss of your precious dog.

  18. Nice to meet you Chel! I have a friend who lived in Lincolnshire for many years before coming to Canada.
    Marie@The Interior Frugalista

  19. How fun it is to take a peek across the pond!! Thanks for the introduction, Kris!!

  20. I'm so sorry you lost your beautiful Cavalier, Chel. My sister has 3, 2 who were from rescue organizations. They are so dear and have had their share of health issues now that they are in their senior years. They have the sweetest dispositions.

    I'll look forward to visiting your blog!


  21. I love Chel's blog and I read that post with tea in one hand and chocolate in the other!

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