• Hello, friends. My name is Emory. I live on the Canadian prairies with my husband, daughter, and animals. Welcome!
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    It's now officially summer? How did I miss that? Maybe because I've been calling it that for the last few months. 🙊 Oh well, happy 5th-ish day of summer, all. 🌸 A typical afternoon for my gal.
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recipe: apple & banana bran muffins

Quick Apple and Banana Bran Muffins

Ingredients:

Makes 1.5 dozen

2 cups flour
1 cup bran
¾ cup brown sugar
½ cup milk
⅓ cup canola oil
¾ cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup banana, mashed
2 eggs
2 tsp cinnamon
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
⅓ tsp salt

Steps:

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. Stir.

2. In a separate medium bowl, whisk the remaining wet ingredients together.

3. Add the wet mixture to the dry one. Stir until thoroughly mixed.

4. Brush two muffin pans with margarine. Spoon the mixture into 18 cups, and place in the oven. Bake for approximately 18 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Let cool before gobbling up!

<3

Emory

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main hallway: before and after

I’m so excited to show you the before and after pictures of our main floor hallway renovation! The first photo is what it looked like before we got our eager little hands on it, and the second is early into our project.

It all began with the replacement of the light fixture. I also wanted to continue the look of the black and white walls seen in the upstairs hallway.

We had to remove the wallpaper in the stairwell and on the main floor. That was a process in itself. Once it was all gone, we set to tearing out the carpet on the staircase and continuing down into the hallway. I cannot express enough how disgusting that was. There was literally between 1-2 inches of sand and dirt covering every square inch of the floor. The staples were also covered in rust. It was just a smelly, dirty project. Our hands were definitely so sore after removing everything. However, once the carpet was out, we had begun to see an improvement.

Sanding the floors this time was not an easy feat. Unfortunately, Geoffrey’s sander (that we used for the upstairs hallway) died early into the sanding process. After he purchased a new one, it worked very well for the most part. It just took rather a long time. I would say that we sanded for over 15 hours. Next time we will certainly rent a large floor sander!

Geoffrey also had to add 3/4 round moulding along the walls. I was not in the best mood, and so I told him that he had to start and finish it all in one day. Mean, I know, but it worked! He got it all done in about 10 hours.

After cleaning up the sawdust that seemed to hang in the air and around the house over the next while, we spent the following weeks painting. We did the upper walls white and lower section black. I wanted something a little different for the ceiling. After much thought, I decided to go with black. The ceiling is high enough that I felt like it wouldn’t feel too closed-in. It turned out looking really great. What I didn’t take into consideration was the fact that we were also staining the stairs black. I perhaps overused the colour. Next time, I would go with either a black staircase and white ceiling, or white staircase and black ceiling. It is striking, though!

Finally, the stairs nearly drove us mental. As I said, we had to remove the carpet and staples. After doing so, we spent many hours stripping the layers upon layers of paint that were on the stairs. The smell of the chemicals mixed with the old wood was atrocious. It didn’t matter how many times I washed them after that, it would just not go away.

Geoffrey spent an entire day sanding the staircase. I felt really bad for putting him through more sanding, so I promised him that I would finish the project. I ended up applying three coats of black stain. It took me a few weeks, but in the end, I was able to complete it during Remy’s nap time. Phew.

Overall, this renovation took months to get it to the state that it’s in today. While we still need to stain the floors, I think that it looks much better than when we bought it. Do you agree?

P.S. Don’t forget to see how I made the hallway console and clay planter.

<3

Emory

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a home birth story

Caitlin Newborn-4Just over a week ago, my sister gave birth to her sixth child.

It was an unplanned home birth. She had called me at 11 pm and had asked me to come over and watch her sleeping children so that she and her husband could make their way to the hospital. By the time that I had arrived 45 minutes later, I had expected to see them waiting in the driveway. What I saw instead was their garage door open, my step-dad’s truck, and an ambulance parked outside.

Caitlin Newborn-3I quickly parked and ran inside. I wanted to throw up and cry all at once, for I thought that something terrible had happened. What I saw instead was a scene of calm. Everyone was standing around and my sister was on the phone. I asked, “what happened?” The first responder said, “she had the baby.” I thought they were joking. I saw that my sister was holding a towel around her waist, but I didn’t see nor hear a baby. After looking more closely at my sister, I saw that she was indeed holding her daughter. I began to cry.

Caitlin Newborn-2My sister’s water broke as soon as she had got off the phone with me. She and her husband went downstairs to leave for the hospital, but the baby didn’t want to wait any longer. After getting 911 on the phone, my brother-in-law delivered his beautiful daughter into this world. She apparently came in four pushes, while my sister was standing up.

Caitlin Home Birth-29 - Version 2My sister is a warrior, and such a strong mother. She also had the home birth that she always wanted. I got there in time to witness the birth of the placenta. I was so thrilled, since my sister was there for the birth of Remy.

Caitlin Home Birth-3In the end, God and luck and everything else was on her side. The baby is healthy, and of course, very loved. What more could we ask for?

I hope everyone had a lovely Father’s Day! Welcome to the world, Esme Marie.

<3

Emory

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cake smash photography

Before becoming a mother, I don’t think that I knew what cake smashes were. Sure, I had seen babies dive into cakes and cupcakes on their first birthdays. They would get super messy, and everyone would take photos and coo over how cute they looked. I didn’t know that it was an actual thing to have a photography session that solely involved smashing a cake to bits. Now I do, and I find that they are so popular!

There are so many elements involved in a cake smash session.

Over the last month or so, I’ve photographed two very different cake smashes. The first one was actually a donut smash. It was a 30-minute session that included family photos before the smash, and then the smash itself. The second session was quite a contrast. It was an hour long, there was two outfit changes, and the family photos occurred after the cake smash.

Both were quite fun, and again, both babies reacted quite differently to the sweet treats in front of them. I love not knowing how much they will actually smash, and how they will feel about the cake. It’s always so cute to see!

These are just a few of those photographs. To see more, or to book your own session, visit Prudence + Me Photography.

<3

Emory

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books remy loves: the classics

I must confess that I actually took these photos a few months ago with intentions to use them right away. However, too many more urgent blog posts needed to be published, hence the delay. That said, Remy still adores these books, and so the post’s relevance has not changed!

Goodnight Moon and Dear Zoo are two very sweet, and very classic children’s books. They’re also both amazing for two totally different reasons.

Dear Zoo is visually a very simple book. Each animal comes in a different cage- that of which the door opens. It therefore has the added bonus of being a lift-the-flap book. Plus, it has animals. What child doesn’t love a book filled with animals?

Goodnight Moon, on the other hand, is filled with delicate illustrations, colourful pages, and the best rhymes. It’s such a gentle and lovely little book.

Goodnight Moon remains one of my favourites to this day. I didn’t know that it came in a board book option until Remy’s grandma and grandpa bought it for her. I’m so glad! She loves it, and will look at it over and over again by herself throughout the day. I’m not sure why it’s so popular, but children and adults alike seem to love it.

I’m curious, readers. What are some of your (or your little one’s) favourite classic books? Please let me know in the comments below!

<3

Emory

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