• Emory Ann Kurysh

    Hello, friends. My name is Emory. I am a blogger, photographer, store owner, prairie girl, freelance writer, and wife. Welcome to Hello, Scarlett Blog!

    helloscarlettblog@outlook.com

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    "Every dreamer knows that it is entirely possible to be homesick for a place you've never been to, perhaps more homesick than for familiar ground."
- Judith Thurman "You know what’s wrong with you, Miss Whoever-You-Are? You’re chicken, you’ve got no guts. You’re afraid to stick out your chin and say, “Okay, life’s a fact, people do fall in love, people do belong to each other, because that’s the only chance anybody’s got for real happiness.” You call yourself a free spirit, a wild thing, and you’re terrified somebody’s going to stick you in a cage. Well, baby, you’re already in that cage. You built it yourself. And it’s not bounded in the west by Tulip, Texas, or in the east by Somaliland. It’s wherever you go. Because no matter where you run, you just end up running into yourself."
- Paul Varjack, Breakfast at Tiffany's

Blogging about all things love, travel, and Tiffany's related today (link in profile).
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breakfast at tiffany’s

swiss11-1

“Well, when I get it the only thing that does any good is to jump in a cab and go to Tiffany’s. Calms me down right away. The quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could happen to you there. If I could find a real-life place that’d make me feel like Tiffany’s, then – then I’d buy some furniture and give the cat a name!”

– Holly Golightly

On June 6, 2015, Geoffrey and I will be celebrating our fifth wedding anniversary. I’m not sure if there’s a conventional way of getting engaged or married, but if there is such a thing, then we probably went against it. Yet, it was completely fitting for us as a couple, and for that, I cherish it.

Breakfast at Tiffany's 7I grew up, as many girls do, an Audrey Hepburn fan. You may have clued into that fact, given that our two dogs are named Holly Golightly and Truman Capote. In my first year of university, I would watch Audrey’s films over and over again. Breakfast at Tiffany’s became my favourite. I idolized Holly Golightly, and thought to myself, ‘if she can struggle and still make it in New York, I can do the same in Toronto’. That one film helped me get through many nights of homesickness.

Breakfast at Tiffany's 12Breakfast at Tiffany's 13swiss6-1After graduating university, I moved to Gossau, Switzerland. One of the reasons why I chose that country was because of the fact that Audrey herself lived and died there. After living there for a few weeks, my new friends and I took a day trip to see her house, her grave, and the museum that her son had built in her memory. Being at her grave in Tolochenaz, CH was so impacting. This was the first time in my life that I was able to visit the resting place of someone that I had greatly admired. That entire day subsequently became my favourite experience in Switzerland.

Why am I discussing Audrey Hepburn when this post is supposed to be about my wedding anniversary? I’m getting there.

swiss10-1

“You could always tell what kind of a person a man thinks you are by the earrings he gives you. I must say, the mind reels.”

I won’t go into great detail regarding our engagement and elopement, but I will say that it happened quickly. In my mind, the swiftness of it all was so romantic, and almost felt like a we were living out our own movie. I always knew that when I got married, it would be with a ring from Tiffany’s, just as Holly would have done. Yet, that didn’t happen.

Breakfast at Tiffany's 16Five years ago, we did the best with what little time and money we could afford. When I discovered that I wasn’t going to be getting a ring from Tiffany’s, I told my then soon-to-be husband that it was alright, but it was also something that I wanted for our fifth wedding anniversary. Fast-forward to today, and baby, it is finally time for my dreams to come true.

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“I’ll tell you one thing, Fred, darling … I’d marry you for your money in a minute. Would you marry me for my money?”

“In a minute.”

I think that perhaps Geoffrey forgot about our agreement, because when I told him that I wanted to make a stop at Tiffany & Co. in Denver, Colorado, he seemed surprised. We had went to that very store for our first wedding anniversary to buy one other anniversary gifts. It only seemed fitting that on our most recent trip to the United States, that we stop there once again. We drove to Cherry Creek Shopping Center, and I ran in while he waited in the vehicle with the dogs. I told him that I would hurry, and would be back in twenty minutes. Five years later, in true Emory and Geoffrey fashion, we’re still rushing. This is the story of how I picked out my ring.

Breakfast at Tiffany's 1

“You musn’t give your heart to a wild thing. The more you do, the stronger they get, until they’re strong enough to run into the woods or fly into a tree. And then to a higher tree and then to the sky.”

I walked into Tiffany’s with butterflies in my stomach. Immediately, the first ring in a glass case by the door stood out. However, it wasn’t the one that I had come to try on. One clerk spotted me, and asked if he could be of assistance. I had told him that I was there to pick out a new wedding ring. He looked a little taken aback, but proceeded to ask me if I had anything in mind. I told him about one ring that I had seen online. He knew the precise one I was talking about, and brought me over to the case. It was the Elsa Peretti Wedding Band Ring:

Breakfast at Tiffany's 2After trying it on, I was in love with the shape, but disappointed in how small the sole diamond actually was. Seeing the look of disappointment on my face, the clerk asked me what I was looking for. I told him something very simple, that could embody both an engagement and wedding ring. My hopes are to only wear one, as I dislike wearing jewelry and wanted a fresh start with a new ring. I also told him my price point. We went through the next few cases in the store, and eventually, my eyes had found another. It was the Tiffany Harmony Ring:

Breakfast at Tiffany's 3He pulled the ring out, and I tried it on. I liked it very much, but wasn’t yet certain that it would be the one. We spent the next ten minutes circling the store twice, and looking at every ring in Tiffany’s. However, I didn’t see another one that I felt compelled to try on. Suddenly, I asked him about the yellow diamond ring at the front of the store. He said, “well, it’s a little out of your price range, but let’s go take a look.” We went to the case, and it was even more beautiful than what I first imagined. I thought, this is the ring. As he was taking it out, I asked him how much it actually was. He replied, “$10,000.” I told him thank you, and to put it back. Given that it was $7,000 above our limit, I didn’t want to tempt myself and try it on. Would you like to see it? It was this ring, the Tiffany Bezet Yellow Diamond Ring:

Breakfast at Tiffany's 4

“You know what’s wrong with you, Miss Whoever-You-Are? You’re chicken, you’ve got no guts. You’re afraid to stick out your chin and say, “Okay, life’s a fact, people do fall in love, people do belong to each other, because that’s the only chance anybody’s got for real happiness.” You call yourself a free spirit, a wild thing, and you’re terrified somebody’s going to stick you in a cage. Well, baby, you’re already in that cage. You built it yourself. And it’s not bounded in the west by Tulip, Texas, or in the east by Somaliland. It’s wherever you go. Because no matter where you run, you just end up running into yourself.”

Feeling a little disenchanted and out of time, I decided on that moment to go with the Tiffany Harmony Ring. I asked the nice clerk to write down the information, and that my husband would order it in Canada. When I got back to the vehicle, I told Geoffrey that I had picked out a ring, but I wasn’t crazy about it. I said that the ring that I fell in love with was too pricey, but I did find a substitute. Nearly one month later, I changed my mind.

After coming back to Canada and not being able to get the yellow diamond ring out of my mind, I began to wonder if I could find a different ring with yellow diamonds that I would love just as much. It took me a little while to figure it out, but when I finally did, the long-awaited result was this:

Breakfast at Tiffany's 5This is my ring. The Elsa Peretti Wedding Band in Tiffany Yellow Diamonds. It has the shape of the first ring that I tried on, with the beauty of the yellow diamonds that I so loved. I find it to be so gorgeous. Although I am a little apprehensive about not having tried on this very ring, I also feel as if this is a very befitting conclusion. To me, this ring is perfect.

“Holly, I’m in love with you.”

“So what?”

“So what? So plenty! I love you. You belong to me.”

“No. People don’t belong to people.”

“Of course they do.”

“I’m not going to let anyone put me in a cage.”

“I don’t want to put you in a cage. I want to love you.”

“It’s the same thing.”

“No it’s not.”

swiss5-1After five years, I will finally be able to bring our own love story to its rightful place. The only way to do that, is with a ring from Tiffany’s.

<3

Emory

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“From contentment with little comes happiness.”

– African proverb

These items are available at Potomac Trading Post, Ltd. :

⚒ Vintage crochet runner // $4
⚒ Handcrafted Japanese tea cup // $5
⚒ Antique lock and key // $8
⚒ Travelling terrarium // $10
⚒ Indian chief bowl // $12

<3

Emory

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scrumptious shrimp pasta : recipe

Shrimp Pasta 6-1This recipe is one that I chose to make for the first time on Good Friday, in lieu of being able to eat any meat that day. Now, one could argue that shrimp is in fact a type of meat. I often did when I was a vegetarian. However, my parents have always permitted us to eat fish on said religious holiday. Thus, overlooking the debate and rather following my own traditions, my in-laws and I happily devoured this scrumptious meal of shrimp pasta.

Here are the instructions on how to make it:

Shrimp Pasta 1Ingredients:

shrimp
fettuccine pasta
spinach
red pepper
mushrooms
lemon
butter
salt
pepper
garlic powder
sesame seeds
parmesan 

Steps:

1. Place shrimp in a bowl. Add lemon, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Mix well, then set it aside.

2. Shred spinach. In a medium pot, add pasta and spinach to boiling water. Cook through. Remove from heat and drain. Add sesame seeds.

Shrimp Pasta 23. Slice the red peppers and mushrooms. Heat butter in a medium skillet. Add red peppers and mushrooms. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Cook until brown, approximately 10 minutes.

Shrimp Pasta 34. Combine vegetable mixture to pasta in a large roaster. Add butter and shrimp mix. Place in oven at 200°F and cook for 30 minutes. This is done to simply warm the pasta.

Shrimp Pasta 55. Remove from oven. Garnish with parmesan. Enjoy!

Shrimp Pasta 7I did not add the measurements for this recipe because I believe in adding ingredients to one’s own personal taste. That, and I steadfastly refuse to directly follow any recipe. I simply look at the instructions, and decipher how much of each ingredient I will ultimately add. Cooking should be about having fun, and trial and error. I tried this recipe once, and I know that I will certainly make it again. It was the most delicious pasta that I have made to date.

Shrimp Pasta 4<3

Emory

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“I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.”

– Laura Ingalls Wilder 

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8 pet-friendly hotels in america

American Hotels 5When we took our dogs with us on our road trip to the United States, we were worried that our hotel choices would be unremarkable. It turns out that finding pet-friendly places was incredibly easy, and we were able to stay in some outstanding accommodations. Here is a list of where we slept and what our thoughts were on our lodgings.

American Hotels 21Super 8 Motel – Swift Current, SK, Canada

Our rating : 3/5
Google rating : 3.3/5
Stay again : no

American Hotels 20This was not the greatest start to our trip. Our hotel room was dark, dingy, and smelled terribly like smoke. However, the hotel did have a continental breakfast, was located on the outskirts of town, and was next to several empty fields, which was perfect for walking Holly and Truman. Overall, it looked better on paper than in person.

American Hotels 10Best Western Plus Clocktower Inn – Billings, MT

Our rating : 3.5/5
Google rating : 3.7/5
Stay again : no

American Hotels 22The Clocktower Inn was physically much more appealing than the Super 8 Motel. It had a nice layout, a designated pee area for dogs, and a fantastic bakery just around the corner. The rooms were comfortable with colossal beds and tiny, but nice, bathrooms. In my opinion, this hotel should not be dog-friendly. To begin, it is located on Interstate 90 in the middle of the city. Walking your furry friends is a difficult task. Secondly, they put us on the second floor. With no elevator and a staircase that wasn’t completely closed off, travelling up and down the stairs with a senior, stubby-legged canine was impossible. We therefore had to carry her up and down with every trip. This got annoying considering she is 50 lbs. Additionally, the rooms are quite small in themselves. I would not stay here again with pets, and advise other pet owners to do the same.

American Hotels 15Sleep Inn & Suites – Douglas, WY

Our rating : 4.5/5
Google rating : 4.2/5
Stay again : yes

American Hotels 12This was our first decent hotel so far on our trip. Hallelujah. Situated more on the edge of the city, it is still conveniently near major food chains and gas stations. It is also right next to a residential area and a few small but beautiful parks. Our walks were quiet and enjoyable, and we felt more like residents than tourists. The hotel also offered huge and spacious rooms, and overall was very clean. The added bonus of a gym, pool, and continental breakfast made this one of the best hotels that we stayed in on our vacation. I would certainly choose this chain again.

American Hotels 4The Hotel Denver – Glenwood Springs, CO

Our rating : 5/5
Google rating : 4.7/5
Stay again : yes

American Hotels 17American Hotels 18American Hotels 11Praises aside for our previous hotel, The Hotel Denver is by far the most unique and finest accommodations that Geoffrey and I have ever been lucky enough to stay in. I don’t know what kind of travel gods we rubbed the right way, but for some reason, we were given a corner suite with views of Glenwood Springs and the mountains. It was the most picturesque views of our collective trip. The hotel was just to die for. The furniture alone in the halls were all antique pieces. Our room, with its exposed heating ducts and brick walls, was incredible. It was bigger than our first apartment. It had a seating area, office, walk-in closet, bedroom, wall-mount TV, and massive bathroom. The linens were handmade and exquisite, and the overall feel was that of pure class. We were also overlooking the river, railroad tracks, bridge, and hot springs. The hotel also had the trendiest, two-storey restaurant and brewpub which streamed movies on a brick wall. Although it was in the heart of the downtown area, it was such a pedestrian town that our walks were still enjoyable and equally adventurous. It still baffles me that the hotel was pet-friendly. 

American Hotels 2Best Western Turquoise Inn & Suites – Cortez, CO

Our rating : 2/5
Google rating : 4.1/5
Stay again : no

American Hotels 19How the hell is this rated 4.1/5 on Google? Granted, the rooms were spacious and there was a designated pee area for the dogs. However, I personally couldn’t see past the fact that we had an ant infestation in the bathroom, the linens and towels were incredibly old and worn, and the general feel of the building was that it was in desperate need of an upgrade. Also, they listed that there was a fitness centre. Big lie! How can they get away with that? The fact that again, there was no place to walk our dogs left a sour taste in our mouths. And it wasn’t the pizza that we ordered for supper.

American Hotels 3Hotel Monaco Salt Lake City, A Kimpton Hotel – Salt Lake City, UT

Our rating: 4/5
Google rating : 4.1/5
Stay again : no

American Hotels 1American Hotels 6This hotel was stunning. It is an old building that was tastefully converted to have all the modern-day amenities. There was a gym, a gorgeous (pet-friendly) restaurant, huge lobby, the list goes on. Our room looked like it was suited for a palace, and we really were treated like royalty. It was our first time visiting Salt Lake City, and I wouldn’t have wanted to stay in any other hotel than this one. Yet, would we stay there again? Probably not. The fact that it was right downtown and only had valet parking were two major turnoffs for us, with dogs. Holly and Truman were terrified of the people and the streetcars, and the residents kept giving us glares for even having our dogs next to them and their formal attire. There was no grass in sight, and Holly kept pooping in the most awkward places. One was in front of the Hilton Hotel doors and their guests, and the other was in plain view of the morning news cast. If you are not travelling with dogs, you must stay here when visiting SLC. If you do have them, please think twice!

American Hotels 7Residence Inn – Idaho Falls, ID

Our rating : 3/5
Google rating : 4/5
Stay again : no

American Hotels 9Staying at the Residence Inn with pets makes you feel like you’ve been quarantined to a hospital ward with an infectious disease. The staff makes you use a back entrance rather than the main doors, keeps you away from other guest rooms that are pet-free, and makes you display a sign on your door informing others that you have dogs. It’s effing ridiculous. I even had a deranged mother come up to us with her baby saying, “ooh puppies, puppies,” and when 15 lb Truman growled at her, she turned around in a huff and started getting upset and mad. Normally quiet, I was fed up with the hotel and the guests, and I yelled after her, “oh, calm down!” It didn’t matter that they had a gym, the hotel itself was very well maintained, and included an incredible walking area outside. The treatment that we received alone was enough for me to have negative feelings towards the entire experience. However, if you like that sort of segregation with animals, be their guest!

American Hotels 14Townhouse Inn – Havre, MT

Our rating : 0/5
Google rating : 3.7
Stay again : not in a million years

American Hotels 13What a frightening experience this was. I literally do not know where to begin. Let’s start at the back entrance. This hotel is an extensive maze. Not at all labeled, we had to guess what back door led to our wing. When we tried it, it was locked and our key would not open it. I ended up sneaking in another way, and tried to find the door that Geoffrey and the dogs were waiting at. I was instantly hit with the suffocating smell of the pool, that was located about two feet away from the lobby and with no ventilation, and I felt incredibly dizzy and sick. After a few minutes of wandering around, I finally found our room, and to my surprise, Geoffrey was already waiting there. I still don’t understand how he got in or made it there before me. When we opened the door to our room, it took a few minutes for our eyes to adjust even with the lights on. It was that dark. The carpets were stained so badly with what must have been pee from other animals that it almost looked intentional. The brown recliner from the 1970’s was disgusting, as was our bed. The TV hung so crookedly on the wall that I thought it would come crashing down at any given moment. The bathroom was so disgusting that I didn’t dare have a bath or shower. The sink was incredibly rusted, the toiled was plugged before we had a chance to use it, and the tub had more hair in it than I knew what to do with. Additionally, each time that our neighbours took a shower, it sounded as if they were in our bathroom. Speaking of neighbours, you could hear every word that they were saying and from every direction in the room. Geoffrey swore that the people above us were rearranging the furniture.

Upon checking in, Geoff told me that they had free soup and cookies near the lobby. I said that I would go and grab some soup for the dogs, and he told me to grab him some sweets. I made my way back to the lobby, once again feeling sick from the smell of the pool. I reached the free soup, and went to go pour some in a coffee cup. There were no bowls, of course. One staff member peaked their head through the glass window and said, “it’s probably not ready” as it was bubbling in its pot.

“That’s ok,” I replied, “I’ll just heat it up in our room.” I looked up, and suddenly another staff member appeared, put her hand in the cookies, and began eating them one by one, all the while never taking her eyes off of me. It was the creepiest thing, ever.

The only ATM machine in the building was in the Casino. It was also broken. We ordered pizza and when they came to deliver it they said that they didn’t bring their card reader along, so Geoff and the delivery guy went in search of an ATM. They tried the one in the Casino, which of course didn’t work, so they both had to leave and drive to Pizza Hut just so we could pay them. Because the staff didn’t ask us how we would be paying in the first place, got our order wrong, and were rude when Geoff showed up, for a tip he wrote, “better service.” I think that our crappy hotel stays were making us crotchety!

The next morning, I decided not to risk my life with the continental breakfast. Never one to pass on a free meal, my husband tried it. He said that it was the worse tasting food that he had ever experienced. When a grown family of men got in a fight over the waffle-maker, the chef came out, haggard, and with a cigarette hanging from her mouth. That was when Geoff left, came back to the room, and told me that we were leaving.

It wasn’t over. After speeding away from the hotel, we made one last stop in the town to get gas. I stayed in the vehicle while Geoff filled our vehicle up. I was entertaining myself by watching one worker come out with a cup, dump it near the pump, go back inside, then come out and do it again. He must have done this at least five times. When Geoff returned to the vehicle, he said, “oh my God, did you see what he was doing?” I said that I assumed he was putting salt on the ground, even though there wasn’t really any snow. Geoff said that the gas pump was leaking, and that he was dropping saw dust to soak up the gas. How dangerous! Not only that, but Geoff’s shoes were soaked with gas, and about 20 minutes after leaving the town, he threw them out the window because the fumes were making us sick. I had also asked him to get me a cappuccino from the gas station. He did, but informed me that the machine had run out of water. I took a sip, and nearly puked. It was the sweetest and strongest tasting drink that I had ever tasted. Geoff asked what was wrong and I told him to take a sip. He did, then pulled over, and spit it out. I swear you can’t make this stuff up. Needless to say that we couldn’t wait to leave Havre.

<3

Emory

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