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.

A Special Meet Up.

My trip with Terry to Chapel Hill North Carolina was a great couple of days.  Terry went through a two day interview process for a position as a Fire Chief.

While Terry was in the two day assessment center I met up with Shirley from Housepitality Designs.  Shirley was the hostess with the mostess!  Shirley spent time taking me around showing me some wonderful places to live in the area if Terry is to get this position.  The fun part was we had some time to get in some shopping too.  I will have a post on Sunday after Spotlight on that.

On our last night stay Shirley and her husband Tom took Terry and I to dinner at the Fearrington Village Farm that has the most wonderful restaurant.  

These are the resident belted cows that we all affectionately called the oreo cows.

They also have "oreo" goats on the farm too.

"Fearrington’s gardens celebrate seasons, holidays, and special occasions and North Carolina’s rich horticultural traditions and plant diversity. The mild climate of the Piedmont region means the gardens are attractive and engaging throughout the year".

You can read more about the farm, the restaurant and Inn by going here.

We had our fun waiter take a picture of the 4 of us after dinner.  We had delicious food and a wonderful time all together on our last night.  The next few weeks we should find out if Terry will be offered the position.  While this would be a great position and a wonderful place to move and live I am still holding out hope something where we live now will come through for us.  The next few week we should hopefully know more.
Thanks for all your prayers and good thoughts for us.

On a fun note!!!! Our newest little family member went on her first outing with my daughter Kim to Pets Mart and before her puppy training class began Kim thought it would be fun to dress Snickers in this costume.  Snickers is not too sure about being an elephant lol!
Have a great Friday.  I have another wonderful Spotlight blogger for Saturday and the I will give you a post on my shopping trip with Shirley on Sunday.

Have a wonderful week end.

Something New and Something to Say Thank You and Something Found

Happy Sunday.  Hope you are having a wonderful week end.

I wanted to share a few things that happened around here this week end.

First we have a new family member.  Yep we drove 3.5 hours to pick up little Snickers that my youngest daughter Kim is adopting.  Snickers is finally part of our family.
Kim and Snickers

My Car ride to my new home.  We discovered that Snickers has one blue eye and one hazel/green eye.  Love this unique quality.

My daughter Jen's new home was on our way so we stopped to introduce Snickers to my granddaughter Abby.  Abby loved Snickers.

Then we got to my home.  Libby was checking out the new family member.

Snickers loved checking out all the flowers.

You can see in this picture with her on the grass by the bricks how tiny she is.  She is just a little peanut.

My blogging friend Cindy from Cloches and Lavender blog has two doxie's Peanut and Reeses.  Peanut and Reeses sent Snickers a sweet new puppy gift.

Lots of yummy treats and a cute piggie toy and a couple of puppy chews.  Thank you Cindy and Peanut and Reeses .  Snickers already loves the pink pig.  Thank you for sending this little welcome gift.

Snickers is a keeper.

Grandpa agrees.

Ok now the Something Found.  While I was clearing out the shed this past week for Janet from Lucky Junk to come over to see what she would like for the shop,  I came across some cute signs I forgot I had.  So I added them to the deck flower decor.

This cute little blue and cream striped Cottage sign was added to the flowers in the bike basket.

I found this Cottage Rooms For Rent sign and thought it would look good added in with the flowers on the deck.

This Main Cottage painted sign was added to one of the deck boxes.

Found this old chippy weathered roses sign and put it in the ground in front of my Knock Out Roses.

So it was fun to find some old treasures I forgot I had and then add them to the garden flowers.

Hope you have a wonderful week.  Terry and I are headed out to Chapel Hill North Carolina tomorrow for a few days.  Terry is in the final process for a Fire Chief job there.  They are paying all our expenses to come out.  It is a beautiful part of the country.

As most of you know I do not want to move away from my family and friends but I am going with an open mind and heart.  If this is where Terry finds employment then the journey will begin for us.  Still hoping one of the positions here will come through for him and we will not have to move away.

Most importantly we are just praying something good in the way of employment will come for Terry and I soon.

Another plus to this trip is I will get to meet up with Shirley from Housepitality Designs.  Shirley lives in Chapel Hill and is going to give me a tour while Terry is in the assessment center.  So I am excited to meet Shirley and  have the day together.

I will take some time off while we are traveling.  Hope to be back on the blog soon.

Have a wonderful week ahead.