Friday, May 22, 2015

Spotlight: Life behind the Blogger

Poppy from Poppy View

 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.

Happy Saturday Everyone.  I am loving this opportunity to invite you to meet and get to know Poppy.  This blogger lives in Crete, Greece one of the prettiest  country's on the planet.  Her views from her home are right out of a picture.  Poppy is so lucky to live and be surrounded by such beauty.  Please take a little time to read and get to know Poppy from Poppy View.

Our butter yellow home sits across a vineyard,
 now sprouting shiny, new grape leaves.

Hello everyone, my name is Poppy, and I am the author of two blogs. Welcome to my home, high in the hilly, Cretan countryside. I am thrilled to be visiting with you today, and would like to thank our sweet and talented hostess, Kris, for inviting me!

From our rooftop terrace: vineyards, olive groves, and mountain ranges.

For the past three years, I have been writing about my life in our charming, Mediterranean village, over at my first blog, Poppy View, where my adventures around the picturesque mountains and meadows, excursions to beautiful, pastoral places, 

In the clouds, the Monastery of Savvathiana, surrounded by rich
 and colourful vegetation, is a short, scenic drive from our home.

and days spent at the seaside, inspire me to share my thoughts and feelings with my wonderful readers, some of whom have become treasured friends, even though we've never actually met in person.

While my husband built our home, I designed and decorated it to reflect my love of both French country and English cottage flair - the perfect duo, since I was born and raised in Canada, a land that has been greatly influenced by these two nations, both culturally and historically, and one I miss terribly, every day, as three years ago, my daughter moved to my hometown of Toronto, to find work, where my parents, siblings, and their families all live. 

(click to listen)

Although I have a degree in English Literature, and having mainly taught ESL to Greek students, here on the island, I have also had the pleasure of singing professionally, while on an amateur level, I've acted in and directed community theatre productions. 


I spend my free time photographing the glorious landscape around me, cooking, gardening, baking, and blogging. I've always been interested in painting, and just bought myself some watercolours and brushes, hoping to capture our pretty countryside on canvas, too.

My second blog, Poppyprosodies is one I created just over a year ago, which I've completely devoted to my poems. It's a place where I can develop my writing skills, and interact with others who share the same passion for poetic expression. Creating, whether it be a craft, music, art, or writing, in my opinion, is essential for everyday joie de vivre!

Well, I've enjoyed 'spilling the beans' on what goes on 'behind the scenes' of my two blogs, so that you may have a better idea about the woman behind them. Thanks again, Kris, and everyone, for reading! In closing, I leave you with one of my poems, which presents some thoughts and feelings on the aging.

Have a lovely weekend!

  Raindrop Roses
Roses on my table,
floating in a puddle of dew,
petals layered next to savouries,
and a bittersweet, Greek brew.

  Posing on my dresser,
 claiming centre stage,
  they're luscious leading ladies
among gentlemen jars of sage.
They sparkle in the sunlight,
eclipsed only by a gingham shade,
 basking smugly in the fleeting limelight,
until their striking beauty fades.

Too much sun for a starlet,
can the process of aging start,
 wilting her vibrant spirit,
and breaking her tender heart.
Left with traces of her brilliance,
(when youth beamed on her face,
 allowing her to upstage those
 tattered, and time embraced),
 she, now uprooted, muted and diluted,
was replaced by fresh cut hopefuls
in a curvy, half-full vase.

Thank you Poppy for doing Spotlight.  It was so much fun to get to know you better.  Love your talented poetry and your beautiful home country.  Take a few minutes to hop over to Poppy's blog and introduce yourself.
Have a wonderful rest of the week end.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Every Day Blessings

Hi Everyone.  Today is not about decor crazy or new summer flowers or a new yummy recipe but about a very special story.

If you have a few minutes sit down and read this lovely story and think about this teacher's words and then go out and enjoy or notice something small, simple and cherish this moment in your life.


Lisa Beamer on Good Morning America - If you remember,   

she's the wife of Todd Beamer who said 'Let's Roll!' and 
helped take down the plane over Pennsylvania that was 
heading for Washington, DC back on 9/11. 
She said it's the little things that she misses most about 
Todd, such as hearing the garage door open as he came 
home, and her children running to meet him. 
Lisa recalled this story: "I had a very special teacher in 
high school many years ago whose husband died suddenly 
of a heart attack. About a week after his death, she shared 
some of her insight with a classroom of students. As the 
late afternoon sunlight came streaming in through the 
classroom windows and the class was nearly over, she 
moved a few things a side on the edge of her desk and   
sat down there. 
With a gentle look of reflection on her face, she paused 
and said, 'Class is over, I would like to share with all of you, 
a thought that is unrelated to class, but which I feel is very 
important. Each of us is put here on earth to learn, share, 
love, appreciate and give of ourselves. None of us knows 
when this fantastic experience will end. 
It can be taken away at any moment. 
Perhaps this is God's way of telling us that we must make 
the most out of every single day. Her eyes, beginning to 
water, she went on, 'So I would like you all to make me 
a promise. From now on, on your way to school, or on 
your way home, find something beautiful to notice. 
It doesn't have to be something you see, it could be a 
scent, perhaps of freshly baked bread wafting out of 
someone's house, or it could be the sound of the breeze 
slightly rustling the leaves in the trees, or the way the 
morning light catches one autumn leaf as it falls gently 
to the ground. Please look for these things, and cherish 
them. For, although it may sound trite to some, these 
things are the "stuff" of life. The little things we are put 
here on earth to enjoy. The things we often take for 
The class was completely quiet. We all picked up our 
books and filed out of the room silently. That afternoon, 
I noticed more things on my way home from school than 
I had that whole semester. Every once in a while, I think 
of that teacher and remember what an impression she 
made on all of us, and I try to appreciate all of those 
things that sometimes we all overlook. 
Take notice of something special you see on your lunch 
hour today. Go barefoot. Or walk on the beach at sunset. 
Stop off on the way home tonight to get a double dip ice 
cream cone. For as we get older, it is not the things we 
did that we often regret, but the things we didn't do. 
If you like this, please pass it on to a friend, 
or quietly reflect on this for yourself. 
"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, 
but by the moments that take our breath away." 

The nicest place to be is in someone's thoughts. 
The safest place to be is in someone's prayers, 
and the very best place to be is.... 
right here in the moment.

I enjoy each and every one of your sweet visits and comments to my blog.   May you find a simple little "stuff of life" today to make you smile.

Have a great rest of the week.  Enjoy the beautiful week end to come.  Join me back here on Saturday for a new blogger for you to get to know in Spotlight.


Sunday, May 17, 2015

Before and After

I wanted to show you this bench that I got for Mother's Day from my girls and what I did with it.

My two daughters gifted me this lovely bench from Home Goods for Mom's Day.  I had thought about putting it at the end of the bed in my guest room.
But then,  I thought about re loving this bench a little bit and having it for seating in my dining room.

So I painted the legs white to match the chair legs of my dining chairs.  Easy enough to do.

Then I got out more of the gray and white check fabric and the tablecloth ruffle left from doing the chairs you can see that post here.

So I added the gray and white check Ikea fabric to the bench with a staple gun and then stapled the ruffle under the bottom of the bench.
So now this sweet little bench that was gifted to me has been re loved into additional seating in my dining room.

Have a great start to the new week ahead.

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Friday, May 15, 2015

Saturday Spotlight: Life Behind the Blogger

Jen from Sweet Auburn Life

 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 would love to introduce you to a sweet blogger from the beautiful country of Ireland.  Jen has her blog called Sweet Auburn Life.  I love when I meet and become friends with international bloggers.  It is so wonderful that blogging brings friendships to us from all over the world.  You will really enjoy getting to know sweet Jen with her feature today and then hop over to introduce yourself and see her lovely blog.  

When Kris asked me if I would like to be included on one of her Saturday Spotlight features I was flattered and excited but also nervous. As I explained to Kris, as a blogger I have always 'guarded' my identity if you like. It's scary putting yourself out there on the internet for the world to see and potentially ridicule. I am pleased to say however, my experience to date has been nothing but positive. Thank you Kris for the opportunity. Here goes nothing...

My name is Jen. I am 35 years old and live with my husband in a two story three bedroom eco-friendly house in the middle of Ireland. We met in college and have been together for almost 14 years.    

Just before Christmas 2011, we married in my local church (where I made my first holy communion and my parents married) and had our reception in this lovely country house near my parents home. 

We live in the country and both make daily commutes to work. Mr. Auburn definitely has it worst, leaving the house before 6am for Dublin! I work in Mental Health, my husband in Telecommunications. We both spend up to 12 hours a day out of our home so evenings and weekends are precious!

We bought this house in 2008, an empty shell and it has been our first home together. We don't have plans to leave just yet but it is not our forever home. We hope to build a house someday on a rural site we have a couple of miles from our current home close to my in-laws. 

We are both reasonably creative, somewhat frugal and fairly sentimental which has lead to a home full of handmade and homemade, hand-me-downs and upcycles.

I read many blogs and have done so for years while for so long my own life was an undocumented blog; living in the country, decorating our home, crafting and gardening. It was my husband that suggested I start my own blog, so in early 2013 Sweet Auburn Life began.    

For the most part I blog about our home, decorating, make and do, baking, things we get up to. Life and work occasionally get in the way but I always come back to it. I have met so many ridiculously talented, inspiring people from all over the world whose stories and opinions are so important to me.

Sure, sometimes their amazing homes make me want to gut mine!! Mostly though it is motivating and energizing and educational to be connected to the amazing network of creative people you all are.

Jen xx

Thank you Jen for sharing a  little about yourself, your hubby and your life in Ireland.  It was fun international feature for this week.  Have a wonderful rest of the week end everyone.  

Thursday, May 14, 2015

For the Love of White!!!!!

Happy Thursday.  
I know this post is going to be a real shocker!!! NOT!!!!

I painted something white.  Yep I wasn't going to and then the decor crazy of my love of white got to me.

Ok remember that sweet church alter I scored back in March.  Well I really loved this piece with all its history but I have been staring at it for some time thinking maybe it should be white and chippy to match the other vintage white and chippy's in the room.

Ok after talking Terry into painting this white.  Yep I got the look!!!! but still convinced him to paint this white.   We put up paint plastic and decided to use his handy dandy indoor paint sprayer.

Yep this little baby paints in no time flat.  It is called the Home Right Finish Max I got it for Terry for Valentine's Day from Home Depot.  Took all of 10 minutes to paint this alter.  We let the first coat dry for an hour and then 10 more minutes and we had coat two on.
Easy Peasy.  Love this sprayer.  It keeps the paint on the piece and there is little if any paint spray anywhere else.  I put up the plastic just in case but it was all good.

Two coats and this was ready to be chippified!

Took the mouse sander to this and got the distressed and chippy look I wanted.

I like this alter white and chippy.  Just is more my style.
Come back on Saturday I will have a wonderful blogger in Spotlight.
Have a great rest of the week.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Beginning Summer Front Yard Garden

We have been having just awesome weather here in Chicago Land.  I was able to start my summer gardens.

I thought I would share the front of my house today in this post.  The rains were moving in so the sky was gray but perfect to take pictures so you can see the pretty colors.
I did a blue and yellow theme out front this year.

I will start with my signature vintage bike out front.

I am on the hunt for a bike rental sign to hang above the bike on the tree.
Old potting table out front.

Love this old blue barn door that was made into a potting table a couple of years ago.  It has held up nice with the harsh winters and all the watering I do in the summer months.

I did the blue and yellow and white flowers to go along with my yellow cottage front door.

You can see how vibrant the yellow and blues are this year.

This is the old painted cottage nest door that I made into a planter using an old dresser drawer for the flower box.  You can see the faint hand painted nests and birds on this old door.

This fence piece use to be a headboard of a bed and a couple of years ago I moved it out front in the garden.

Every year I have the same Sparrow couple move into this bird house to raise a family.  Usually I can capture the female with her head sticking out of the hole.  She is being shy today.

Hung a yellow petunia bag on this old chippy shutter on the brick wall.

So the front yard beds of perennials are filling in nicely  and the annual flowers are all planted.  Now I will feed them and take good care and in about a month they will be over flowing with blooms.  The colors out front will be so pretty.  The house will have lots of curb appeal.  As you can see by that gray sky the rain is moving in.  The new flowers and grass will get a good drink of water.
Have a great week.  Hope your Mom's Day was nice.  I am such a summer girl and love to get my flowers going.
Stay tuned for the backyard and deck flowers.

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