Friday, November 6, 2015

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?
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. 
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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:
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Don't I look groovy? And why did everyone pose like this in the late 60's??  
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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. 
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I have no idea what or who they're supposed to be here, but I'm lovin' her wig so I included it.
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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!
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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.
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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!!
charliebear
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. 
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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! 
maddox
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.
junkchiccottage
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.
Kris
:)

39 comments:

  1. I read every single word! I have always loved Doreen's blog and I just realized that I think my link to it must have quit working! I need to check that out. I have had that happen with two or three blogs lately...grrrr.
    I love her sense of humor and her honesty. A great combo.
    Headed over to check my link to her. xo Diana

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  2. Good morning Kris! It's always fun to see who you'll feature next, and getting to know new people is always fun. Enjoy your weekend dear!

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  3. I like this woman! Thank you, Kris for the intro!
    Rita

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  4. I loved reading this! Doreen was one of the first bloggers I followed - we started our blogs around the same time. She's just a delight. Thank you, Kris, for spot lighting her.
    Hugs,
    Cecilia

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  5. Doreen is a joy to know, her enthusiasm and passion for life jumps off the page!
    Such a darling lady with wit, humor and an interesting, vivacious, inspiring life.
    Thank you for sharing.
    Jemma

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  6. Hi Kris and Doreen!

    Doreen and I have had some very interesting conversations, and getting to know her has been a blast! BUT, she had not informed me of her career on 'the stage', her obsession with cannoli and her afternoon soap opera addiction! What else are you keeping from me, Bella?!

    Thanks for featuring her today!

    Happy weekend, girls!

    Poppy

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  7. Oh Kris how I adore your spotlights, Today again a delightful blogger I was not familiar with. You are right Doreen has a great sense of humor and I look forward to getting to know her better. I enjoyed reading her spotlight.
    xo,
    Vera

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  8. Kris, I am going to visit Doreen's blog. She sounds very interesting and it's like she has lived many lifetimes..I feel that way at times. Hope you are having a beautiful Saturday. It's pretty here...but the furnace has been on twice. Blessings, xoxo,Susie

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  9. Kris, I forgot to tell you...I am going to Horton's this morning and I will be thinking of you. Wish you were coming along. xoxo,Susie

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  10. Nice to see Doreen featured here today. Love her sense of humour and BAM spirit!

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  11. Doreen is a great lady, she has fabulous style and a super sense of humor. It was fun to read a little more about her today! xo

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  12. Love Doreen and it was so much fun to learn all of this info about her life. xo Laura

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  13. What a great blog and blogger! I am so happy to add her to my list of must reads. I love her sense of humor! Jane

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  14. Great read to find out more about Doreen. Enjoy your day!

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  15. Hi Kris and Doreen,
    I totally enjoyed learning more about Doreen. I love visiting Doreen and her lovely blog!
    Enjoy the weekend ladies.
    Julie

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  16. wow!
    a tour de force of humor warmth beauty wit and sheer fun!
    i love this house honey.
    what is not to love? a great heart there.
    XO♥

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  17. Doreen is one of my favorite people period. I'm thrilled to have known her. I think I know a lot about her and then I learn something new. I didn't know about the performing.

    I remember her making the bouquet for her daughter for her wedding.

    Tuscany would be on my bucket list for sure.

    Cindy

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  18. Hi Kris, I am so glad that you spotlighted Doreen. I just love her she has been a really sweet blogging friend. She is a hoot! Thanks again for your spotlight series. Jo

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  19. This was so much fun to read!! Doreen is a riot and I truly enjoy her writing style and her blog!!

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  20. Doreen, you're a sex kitten! Holy shamoly! When you find someone that can figure out how to get your 16 year old body back, please give them my number. My daughter stole mine :p

    You're one of the funniest, honest, kind people in blogland, my friend, and I'm glad we met.

    Kris, thank you for spotlighting Doreen. She's a one of a kind that truly deserves recognition.

    xo,
    rue

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  21. Thank you so much Kris for highlighting a blogger I love so much!!! So fun to get to know even more about her.
    Blessings. xo ~Carrie

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  22. How else would we be introduced to so many beautiful bloggers if not for you my dear Kris?
    It's always so fun to see the deeper side of how bloggers live, and there journey in how they got there.

    Thank you again.
    Much love,

    Dore

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  23. I adore Doreen and now I adore her even more!
    Thank you for spotlighting her!

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  24. Thank you Kris for sharing a great new blogger for us.

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  25. Hi Kris,
    A great post from a blogger that I had not seen before...I enjoyed reading this entire post from start to finish!
    Now I am going to visit her blog and say hello!
    Have a wonderful Sunday!
    Hugs, Kimberley

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  26. It is always fun to read about bloggers and learn more about their lives.

    I love that you do this feature each week.

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  27. Doreen is one of my favorite bloggers, and I had the privilege to meet her in person this past week! As much as week talked, we barely scratched the surface, so reading all about her life here was a great treat! Doreen - you were (ARE!) quite a hottie, and yes, I do remember Home Ec, which makes me old as dirt, too! I remember posing exactly as you did in your 60' s photo. Truly enjoyed this spotlight!

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  28. I had the pleasure of reading Doreen's blog a few months ago, and have become a faithful follower ever since. Thanks for filling in all the blanks.

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  29. I have always enjoyed Doreen's blog and this was a fun read with so much new information :)

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  30. I've been a follower of Doreen's blog for some time but it was fun to learn so much more about her here.
    Doreen has a zest for life we all could use! And I'd say the apple hasn't fallen far from the tree with her beautiful daughter.
    Thanks for the Spotlight feature each week Kris.
    Take care!!

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  31. Thank you Kris for introducing us to Doreen - what a gem she is! I will hop over to visit her soon.
    This is a great platform you provide for spotlighting bloggers and I've made a number of new friends through your party.
    Lovely to catch up, as usual Kris!
    I've had a wee blogging break and done some soul searching - you can read about it on my latest post!
    Love
    Shane

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  32. I very much enjoyed reading about Doreen and her story! Love the sense of humor!

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  33. Doreen is so talented in every way, I just love her zest for life! These are wonderful pictures of her and her family, and I love the fact that she sewed some of her own outfits. My mom sewed many of my clothes growing up, so I could totally relate. She has such a beautiful family, and I absolutely loved the picture of the bride and the bouquet she made. And that sweet little fisherman guy, how precious he is. Doreen is a doll, and I'm so glad I met her in blog land. Thank you for sharing this "life behind the blogger" with us, Kris.

    ~Sheri

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  34. Doreen has become a dear friend. She's hilarious and kind and giving and...did I say she is very funny? Love that gal! Thanks for highlighting her.
    Brenda

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  35. I love Doreen and her blog! How awesome that she is in your spotlight....she has so much personality and always has some great stories to share!!

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  36. Wow! And I thought I knew you, Doreen! I loved every sentence and now understand even more the spirited, fun, adventurous woman you are. I didn't know that you were going to Singapore in May! And future traveling hopes in addition to the winter getaway. I think I'll change the way I think of you from Househoney to Travelin' Babe! And the blue eyes set in that black coat of your sweet grand-dog would make me miss your cheerio loving little guy too. I don't think my mother ever missed an episode of All My Children if she could help it!

    Terrific spotlight post, Doreen! And a thank you to your sweet hostess, Kris!

    Dewena

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  37. So happy to see Doreen here and learn a little bit more about her....Had a great pleasure of meeting Doreen and hanging out at Haven.....I so remember the wedding of her beautiful daughter and that gorgeous broach bouquet she made for her. Love reading about Doreen's activities and travels....She is a great person!...Great feature here Kris!

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  38. Dooreeen! I loved this start to finish...yes I read it all. No one can say you are not chatty. Seriously enjoyed learning so many wonderful things about you that I did not know.

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  39. Hello Kris! What a terrific spotlight! I had so much fun reading all about Doreen. I knew some of this already from her blog (I'm a huge fan), but there were a few things I didn't know. Doreen is such a fascinating, witty, charming, and talented blogger. I'm so happy you featured her here. Thank you!

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