Spotlight: Life Behind the Blogger

Doreen from HouseHoneys

 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.

This week I have a fabulous and I mean fabulous blogger for you to get to know better!  It is Doreen from HouseHoney's.  You are going to love her sense of humor, learning about her very interesting past and especially learn about her family and life.

Before I begin, I'd like to express my sincere gratitude to Kris for asking me to be part of her 'Spotlight' family. I am truly honored, and super excited to meet some new blog buds here at Junk Chic Cottage.
As a blogger, I have no problem sharing a recipe, a project or even pics of my bedroom, but ask me to share who I am, what makes me tick, my likes and dislikes, and I suddenly feel the urge to stick my head under the covers. 
But, I believe these words are so very true:
quotes about fear
So when Kris asked me to be 'in the spotlight', I knew I wanted to share more than the stuff that's already on my blog. While it's nice to know how long someone has been blogging (3+ years), where they live (Massachusetts), how old they are (older than dirt), that's not really WHO they are, right?
So let's get down to business...
My story began 61 years ago. I was born and bred in NY, spending the first five years of my life in a modest home in Queens living with my parents, older sister and maternal grandmother. 
In case you haven't figured it out, I'm the cute one ;). 
Just in time for me to start kindergarten, we moved to a bedroom community on Long Island, where I spent idyllic, lazy days at Jones Beach in the summer, riding my bike for hours after school, playing hide n' seek in our yard and basically getting into trouble like any normal kid...
although admittedly I might have been more 'normal' than most. ;)
My grandmother was an accomplished sewer, and it was from watching her where I first got the itch to create. The itch was scratched while taking HomeEc in high school (and if you took HomeEc you're older than dirt too!).
I purchased a sewing machine with money I made from working at my first job at an Italian bakery (and no story about me would be complete without mentioning my insatiable appetite for cannolis). I had that Singer machine for almost 30 years, and it served me well. Here I am showing off a couple of the very first outfits I made:
Don't I look groovy? And why did everyone pose like this in the late 60's??  
When I wasn't behind a sewing machine, I was performing in (very) small community productions. Here I am doing my interpretation of Sally Bowles, 'cause life is a Cabaret, you know? ;)
sally bowles
At 22, I moved into my own apartment. It was in a two family home, located on the second floor, and I remember the bedroom and living room were so small if you stood in the middle you could almost touch the walls with your arms.
But the kitchen was another story. It was huge! And it was there where I learned to hone my cooking skills and get creative with budgeting. (I was dirt poor working as a dance instructor for practically pennies.)
finally decided to go to college and spent the next four years getting a BS in Psychology. There's a reason it's called a BS ;). In my last year of school I met my husband, got married, and two years later had our daughter, Sarissa, and spent the next 13 years working as a trainer for a cosmetic company, an out-sourcing consultant for a fortune 500 company and a bridal consultant at a major department store.
In 1999 I started a business, and you can read a bit more about that here on Brenda's blog, 'At The Women's Room' where I'm an occasional contributor. The business took up so much of my time that we couldn't do much traveling, so in 2005 we purchased a second home to escape to on the weekends, a log cabin in the foothills of the Berkshires. Around 2012 I had enough of the everyday grind and we decided to sell our home and business and move to the cabin full time, a process that took more than two years! 
Enter blogging.
I'm not entirely sure how I learned about the world of blogging. I know so many of you remember the very first blog you read, and how it inspired you, but I don't.
I just remember saying to a friend over lunch one day 'let's start a blog together'. She was a professional organizer, so the blog was going to focus on that as well as the endless projects I was working on at the cabin. 
If she hadn't said yes, I'm not sure what I would have done. I'm tech challenged and I was terrified of trying it on my own. But she did say yes, and for a few weeks (yup, that's it), it was fun, but she was way too busy with her organizing business to make a go of it so we parted ways.
Looking back, everything worked out exactly as it was supposed to. 
Like life, my blog has evolved into something different than what the original vision was. Instead of mostly organizing tips and projects, it's about life in our beautiful neck of the woods,
lake pic
fixing up our log cabin, and all the projects that go along with that including sewing, furniture redos and crafts. And let's not forget the chocolate recipes, because I've never met a piece of chocolate I didn't like. 
A little about my family. In the Spring of 2011, Sarissa moved to Singapore to begin a career in the nightclub/restaurant industry with Josh, her then boyfriend. Sarissa's favorite holiday has always been Halloween, so I think it's interesting how she found a career that not only lets her dress up, but encourages it. 
I have no idea what or who they're supposed to be here, but I'm lovin' her wig so I included it.
This picture was taken for a magazine highlighting the opening of one of their restaurants. The good news is they like what they do, the bad news is they like what they do. I don't think they'll be returning to the States any time soon :(. I raised her to be independent, but I never thought she'd take it this far! Geeez Louise!
In the meantime, Sarissa and Josh got married in the Spring of 2014 in NY. I did a shameless job of documenting that event, which you can see here, and you can also get a close up view of the bouquet here, which is one of my proudest diy projects to date.
At the risk of giving you cuteness overload, here's Charlie, our granddog, who was brought to Singapore to join his mommy by yours truly in the Fall of 2011. Oh how I love this baby!!
Just like his mommy, his also loves to dress up in silly costumes (that's my story and I'm stickin' to it). While Charlie lived with us just before and after Sarissa left the country, we had a routine. Every night I would get a bowl of Cheerios and bring them upstairs to the sofa you see here. Charlie's booty would shake a mile a minute and he would eagerly jump on the top of the sofa by my head and I would spend the next 30 minutes or so sharing the Cheerios with him while watching All My Children.
One small fact about me that not too many people know is I started watching that show from day one, back in 1970, and once the ability to tape it came on the scene, I don't think I ever missed an episode. Yes, the story lines were ridiculous and yes, the acting left something to be desired, but I loved it nonetheless. It was such a small thing, this ritual we had, but it was my favorite time of day and I miss it. We are planning to go to Singapore in May and I'm going to bring some Cheerios since it's not sold there, so hang in there Charlie! 
family photos
I've always been a huge proponent of recycling so I decided to become wife number 2 for hubby. He has a son from his first marriage who is now 41 who has two boys, Mikey age 12 and Maddox, age 5, which some of you have read about a few times on the blog. 
Here's me and Maddox getting ready to take off on a go-cart. Seriously folks. Look at that face. Can you stand it?
go-cart with maddox
Not mine silly, this one! 
Here I am with my Fisherman at the Cape last year and even after being married for 32 years, he's still trying to cop a feel of my left boob. It doesn't take much to make him happy.
This past Spring we purchased a used RV which we named 'BAM' (Big Ass Mama), and we're planning on taking it to Florida this winter for three months. And if BAM holds up, we want to explore other parts of the U.S. too.
fleetwood rv
A few places out of the country on our bucket list are the Tuscany region of Italy, Greece and maybe an African Safari. When we go to Singapore in May we also plan to take a trip to Cambodia, which might seem like an odd destination choice but it's suppose to be an awesome place to visit.  
So here's the part where I tell you what I love (besides cannolis): I love the country, and I love the city. I'm a true 'country mouse, city mouse' kinda gal. I love nature, animals, dancing, sitting on the porch on a rainy day, travel, taking risks, being adventurous (I'll do almost anything once), learning new things, singing (I'm terrible at that, but it doesn't stop me, much to everyone's chagrin. And I think I know the words to every song ever written), cozy fires, down to earth people who also have a good sense of humor, the ocean and creating. Doesn't matter what. I just have to create.
Even if it's chaos.
And my style? Well, I love cottage style homes, Victorian homes, farmhouse homes, modern homes, french country homes, rustic homes, tudor homes, tiny homes, big homes, homes with mountain views, homes with ocean views, homes with lake views, homes with skyline views, homes close to town, or homes in the boonies. You get the picture. I love almost all homes, and have always felt if you listen, a house will tell you how it wants to be decorated. So I really don't have a certain style. It just depends on the house, but admittedly I'm partial to porches, arched doorways and window seats ;). 
Oh, and if you've read this far, I love you too! :)
What don't I like? Well, my muffin top is high up on that list, but I'm also not liking the fact that the only time a company has gotten in touch with me was for a freebie plug. Seriously, why can't someone send me a new wardrobe, preferably one designed to hide the aforementioned muffin top, or a new RV so for sure we can get to some far away places? Someone, anyone?
I'll close with a picture of me on our lake, looking off into the sunset *cue music*. 
cranberry lake
Please stop by Househoneys and say 'Hi'. I'd be thrilled to hear from you!
very special thank you to our sweet and gracious hostess, Kris, for her genuine and warm hospitality!
(Doing this post forced me to look at old photos, and I've decided I want my 16 year old body back. Can anyone arrange that for me?) 

Ok everyone wasn't this fun to get to know Doreen.  You must stop by her blog HouseHoney's and say Hi.
Have a great week end.

Winterizing the Master Bedroom

I just did a post the other day on Perfect Linens and the set of sheets they sent for me to review.  They are beautiful and soft sheets.

Well one thing lead to another.  New sheets had me inspired to change a few things up in the bedroom for the up coming winter.

Paint was involved in this change to the room.   This is one of the two night stands and they were painted a light gray.  Pretty but.....

I felt they needed a little brighting for the long winter months.  So I painted them back to white.  Easy peasy and it gave me a little project to work on.

Then while at Tuesday Morning this sweet chenille bedspread jumped into my cart!  Yep just minding my own business going down the bedding aisle and this sweet love jumped in my cart!!!! Loved the detail of the sweet lace trim.  

The spread has a vintage and soft pattern.

I had this large King throw that is soft faux fur in grey, cream and white.  It was put away for the summer months but was happy to bring it back out for fall.  Love the warmth and softness of this large throw.

Now I think the soft gray walls and all the winter whites give my bedroom a serene feel.

This faux fur gray and white throw gives a little bling to my favorite chair.
So there you have it.  Just adding some things I had and finding that beautiful new chenille bedspread gave the room a softer feel for fall and the winter months.

Have a great rest of the week.  I am excited to start some of my holiday decor.  Time will fly by so fast these next few months.
Enjoy your day and thank you for stopping by.

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Perfect Linen Sheets

Perfect Linens contacted me about trying out their new all white smooth "Baby's Bottom"  500 thread count sheets.  You know I do not do any kind of advertising on my blog but they just wanted an honest review from me after trying them.  So I thought I would give them a try.  

Oh my gosh they are the softest sheets!!! Sleeping on these is a dream.

Even Terry said "Wow nice sheets" when he got into bed!

They wash beautifully and no ironing needed.  That is the best part!!! I do not iron,  so these coming out of the dryer soft and not a lot of wrinkles was a plus for me.  You just smooth the wrinkles out by hand.

Perfect Linens now have all new sheet sets with no border embroidery.  They can go with any decor and color scheme.

Seriously these sheets get a gold star rating from me.

To read the specifics about these sheets on their website, please click HERE.

Want to know why these sheets are so "perfect"?  

Here are some facts about these sheets.

  • We're sheet experts, the only website that specializes in sheets; other retailers sell 500 types of products. With over 30 years experience selling sheets to the biggest retailers, no one knows sheets as we do. 
  • We search the world for the best sheets.  Using tests and fabric analysis like Nike and NASA, we identify the most comfortable sheets.  We are unique with our novel emphasis on objective research. 
  • Sheets change after use so we test after multiple launderings. Shoppers know how they'll feel during their lifetime, saving money and eliminating frustration. We offer free shipping both ways as a satisfaction guarantee.
  • Instead of searching through hundreds of products and tens of websites, we offer a small curated selection of exceptionally comfortable sheets... the best of the best.

 Go to Perfect Linens website for their email newsletter. (located at the very bottom of their website)   Click HERE to do that.

You Can also Follow them on at least two of their social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest).   Click HERE to do that.

 For those of you who want to order a set of your choice, Perfect Linens is offering $35.00 off if use the code:  JUNKCHIC35   and this code does not expire.

All opinions are my own on these wonderful sheets.  I was  not paid to advertise for Perfect Linens but since they were so gracious to send me this set to try out I decided to do a post on how wonderful they really are.

So if you need a new set of sheets that feel so wonderful to sleep on go over and check out their website.  Remember if you order a set use the promotion code JUNKCHIC35 to get $35 off your order.

I will show you my new winter bedding in my Master Bedroom tomorrow.
Putting these wonderful sheets on the bed lead to me changing up some things in my bedroom!!!

Have a great day.

Dress Form Find

When I had a "girls day out" with a wonderful friend last week.  We visited one of my fave stores in Morris called Vintage.  There is a sweet vendor named Barb that has a spot in Vintage.  Barb's booth is full of vintage white treasures.  I got this wonderful dress form from her booth tutu and all!

Look at the detail to this dress form.
The minute I saw this sweet dress form,  I knew I had to have it for my upcoming holiday decor.  My decor happy wheels were spinning as I laid eyes on her in Barb's booth.

She was a beauty but had this plain jane base to her.  With the house up for sale my decor crazy has been stifled!!!  I decided enough of ignoring my decor happy!   I needed a little project!
The tutu had a blush tint to it that too needed to be fixed!

Hmmmmm as I looked out the back door to the deck.  I think that chippy garden pedestal with the bird cage resting on it might just need to be re loved onto the dress form.

So with a little help from Terry and his trusty tools this dress form got a new base!

Yep! much more character to her now.

Her tutu got a good washing with some oxy clean and a cap full of bleach.  It took the blush color out of the tutu and left it sparkling white.

I also bought a couple of beautiful angel wings made by Diana from Sissie's Shabby Cottage last week.
I am doing an angel theme with my tree and decor this year.  It will be fun adding these wings into my decor theme.

I love both sets of angel wings.  I am running all kinds of ideas through my head as to how I will add these to the decor theme this year.

Diana is sooooo talented and super sweet and added this angel wing charm attached to beautiful pieces of lace in with the wings.  So I attached it to this set of wings.
If you want to see some of Diana's creative and pretty treasures  you can visit her Etsy Shop here.

My beautiful new dress form is waiting for a new pair of beautiful wings to be attached and for her to become one of the focal points in my holiday decor.

I start my decor early since my daughter host's Thanksgiving.  So as early as next week end I will begin to start to create my decor theme.

I cannot wait to unleash my decor happy and get my holiday decor started.
Everything moves at a rapid pace during the holidays so I am excited to start my decorating early.

Have a great week ahead.