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.

Thank You!!!!!

Happy Thursday.
I went out for a "mental health" day today.
That is what I call a day with a girlfriend to shop and eat!!!!

It was only 14 degrees here but the sun was out so we had a great time.  

I came home and found this surprise on my door step and wanted to share it with you and say a big thank you to Vera for gifting me with one of her special creations.

Vera from Rowhomes and Cobblestones not only writes the best poems and stories she also makes beautiful creative treasures.  One item she makes is pillow on beautiful velvet and puts the cutest sayings on them.

Here is the one she sent me and I have to say it is so cute and I am going to keep it on my office chair.

Is this not the cutest pillow ever?!!!! Love the "gone junkin" saying and the cute little rhinestones and the cream tassel ends.

She had this sweet little bunny card in the box along with the sweetly wrapped pillow.

Here it is up close so you can see the cute rhinestones on the j and i.  Adorable!!!

If the pillow was not cute enough she also included CHOCOLATE!!!! Yep does she know me or what.  She had me at Chocolate!!!! Vera I am so happy I have met you in blog world and we have become friends.  Your sweet soul shines through with your special writings on your blog.  Thank you for gifting me with the special handmade pillow.  I will treasure it.  I will also make love to the heart chocolate later wink, wink!

Speaking of giving hearts, please come back on Saturday  I have a really special blogger that will touch your heart with her beautiful feature.

Somerset Spring Edition Feature

Happy Wednesday.

I got my Somerset Spring Magazine and was honored to see a feature about some of my home decor in this edition.

With the blizzard on Sunday here in our Chicago area and getting over 15 inches of snow and then another round of more snow yesterday it was nice to get this Spring edition in the mail to read.  It was fun to see Spring Inspiration in the hopes we will see Spring soon!!!!! I am so ready for winter to be over and Spring to move in.

Have a wonderful rest of the week.
Be sure to come back on Saturday to get to know a wonderful blogger in Spotlight.

Romancing the Bedroom

Hope your week is starting out nicely.  We got tons of snow this week end.  Ughhh knew it was too good to be true we would not get dumped on this winter!!!!!

Anyway I wanted to show you the new bedspread I got recently.

I had Karen Harmon from Design Stitching make me this bedspread out of some Ikea Fabrics.  I like that it is completely washable because......

This little basset hound thinks she needs to sleep on the sleep number bed!!!!!

Yep don't try to hide behind those big paws we are all looking at you Libby!!!!!
Libby likes to bring in all kinds of nature with those big paws from the backyard so I need to have bedding that is washable.  Sorry for the fuzzy pics of her but I took these with my cell.

Karen from Design Stitching sewed a long white ruffle for the sides of the spread and used the  Ikea check material that matches the duvets I used for curtains in the room.  Sorry about the wrinkles my steamer broke so I am letting the wrinkles hang out.  Keeping it Real!!!!
I took the TV out of the bedroom some time ago but left the armoire to store my bedding.  This throw is from Pottery Barn.  Terry gifted it to me for Christmas.  It is so sweet to lay under on cold days and the fur trim is so soft.  I love that some of the proceeds from buying this went to St. Jude's Children's Hospitals.

I like to use chandeliers when and where ever I can in my home.  I think Chandeliers just bring romance into the bedroom.

Terry put them on a dimmer switch so you can have them full brightness down to soft romantic lighting.

These are the drapes I made out of Ikea Twin Duvets.  A lot cheaper than buying drapes.  I just used drapery rings and hung them up.  They are in the same grey and white check of the fabric used for the bedspread.

This is one recent sweet find.  This pillow and the saying.  Loooove!!!! It is on my bucket list to visit Paris so this pillow is a reminder of that dream to come.

I like having the chandeliers hanging over the night stands instead of lamps.  Just more romantic and with the dimmers they can be easily adjusted.

The best item I have in my Master bedroom is this headboard that Terry made for me.  It is made out of three vintage cottage doors.  He hooked them together and used crown molding to finish the top.  We then hung them on the wall with a cleat.  With the doors being on the heavier side  he could sink the cleat into the studs to hold it securely.  Also leave less holes in the walls. If you would like to see how he made these you can go to this post.

I feel your bedroom should be a sanctuary you go to at the end of a day and find rest and peace.  I love my white chippy pieces in this room.  I know a lot of you love color in your bedrooms but for me the light gray and whites and creams give me a peaceful and serene feeling.

Have a wonderful week ahead.  Thanks for stopping by.
Parties This Week:
Treasure Hunt Thursday
Share Your Cup Thursday
Shabbilicious Friday Link Party
Home Matters Linky Party