acreage renovation: a basement play and rec room

This was a big renovation that we had no intentions of undertaking until a few years down the road. That is, until our basement flooded in December! Once it did, we were left with no other option but to renovate our entire basement- the majority of which is made up by this playroom and recreational room!

We began by having our old laminate flooring, trim, and bottom portion of the drywall removed. My goodness, was it dirty! The smell alone was that of rotten eggs, and there was just so. much. dust. Fans and heaters were set up to completely dry it out, and it was after a few days. Finally, we were able to start picking out new flooring and baseboards!

Initially I wanted to go with carpet so our basement would feel cozier. However, because of our cistern being located in our basement, there is always a threat of it flooding again. If it did, carpet is one of the hardest types of flooring to dry out- so I was advised against it. Laminate also gets instantly destroyed when wet, as we have discovered. Hardwood was not in our price point, so we ended up settling on a vinyl plank glue down floor. That way, if we do have another flood, we can lift up the flooring, dry it out, and glue it back down. How convenient is that?

We had the vinyl professionally installed as well as much larger baseboards. We also hung shiplap panelling on the one wall. We bought new door handles and switch plates. Then we painted, painted, painted. We painted all of the walls, the doors, shiplap, and stairs! It took a very long time, but eventually, we we were done.

I purchased climbing holds for a rock wall off of Amazon, and we spray painted and hung a makeshift ladder that came with my husband’s vanity on the wall. Now the kids have their own wall that they can just climb on!

We also bought pine shelving, a wood rod, and white brackets from Home Depot. This wall is dedicated for all of their toys, since I didn’t want any of them on the floor. The hangers for their costumes are from HomeSense, the wood crates are from Michaels, and the baskets are from JYSK.

One of the hardest items that I had a tough time settling on was a rug for the rec room. It took me months to find the perfect one. I actually purchased a much larger and greyer rug from Rugs USA, but after putting it under the couch, it just didn’t look how I wanted it to. Then a short time ago I went to HomeSense and was determined to come home with a rug that day. I found two that I liked, and so I FaceTimed my husband and we went over which one we thought would look best. It was between this one and a black and white one. I am soooo glad that we settled on the one that we did! It is just so cute and playful, I feel like it nicely ties in the colourful playroom with the more modern rec room.

I also now have a dedicated spot to get work done, and the kids have a crafting area.

That is our basement renovation in a nutshell!

Emory

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recipe: vegan dill pickle soup

Apparently Dill Pickle soup is suddenly sweeping the nation. When I first heard about it, I must admit that I was a little taken aback. I thought, that doesn’t sound good. Then I looked it up online. It looked a little better, but still not something that I wanted to eat. So I had no other choice but to make it! But rather than filling it with sour cream (an ingredient that I despise), I decided to make it me-friendly; which is vegan. I also decided to blend it, because in my opinion, it wasn’t as good or creamy when it wasn’t blended. 

So after all of those changes, how did it taste? Pretty darn good! But try it for yourself. 

Vegan Dill Pickle Soup

Ingredients:

2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2 tbsp oil, any kind
3 tbsp vegan butter (or regular if you’re not making it vegan)
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
6 cups chicken broth
2 cups almond milk (or regular milk)
1 cup dill pickle juice
6 large potatoes (red or yellow), felled and chopped
2 cups carrots, diced
1 1/2 cups dill pickles, diced
1 tsp dried dill
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp chilli powder

Steps:

1. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium. Throw in the garlic. Meanwhile, add the butter. Prepare the onion and throw it in as well. Continue to cook for a few minutes, then add the chicken broth, milk, and pickle juice. Prepare the potatoes, carrots, and pickles and add them as well. Cook over medium heat for approximately 20 minutes or until vegetables have softened. Remove from heat.

2. In a food processor or blender, blend the soup completely. Then return to the pot and add the dill, pepper, and chilli powder. Mix well. Serve when it’s still warm, or refrigerate for up to 3 days and reheat as needed. Finally, enjoy! This soup is kind of a big dill. ;-)

Emory

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SEO tips for promoting your small business

Search Engine Optimization is an important part of a digital marketing strategy. It can help drive traffic to your website and products, which means more chance of landing sales. Many companies offer SEO services, but there are also some things you can do yourself without having to outsource.

Some people might think that only large companies have the capital and necessity to use SEO services. As a matter of fact, SEO can even help more for local small businesses. No matter if you are running an appliance repair company or car detailing business, you can reach more customers by working with an experienced SEO team.

The best things you can use yourself are keyword generators, blogging, and optimizing your images. These tools are not expensive and can give you more visibility if used properly.

Keyword Generator

Keyword generators can help you find the right words to use for your business. Like searching for words relating to what you do. These tools rank keywords, so you can see how they perform on search engines currently.

It gives you some information on how searches change over time as well as if people use certain words regularly. These tools are there to help you narrow down the right keywords to use in your content.

Once you find keywords you like, make sure to save them. Having a list of keywords at the ready will help you get your content written and published quickly.

Start a blog

Now that you have your keywords, you need to utilize them. Several case studies investigated how SEO-optimized blog content can generate more traffic. Many of them analyzed some companies’ existing content and rewrote some of it with selected keywords.

Blogging can keep your website current. Regularly updated websites build more trust with readers. No one wants to land on a blog that hasn’t been updated in years. And outdated websites don’t rank well on search engines.

Google in particular doesn’t like showing outdated information to their searchers. Good content will also keep readers engaged and keep them on your website for longer.

Optimize images

Most people wouldn’t think the name of their file would make an impact on their reach. The truth is, it does! If you search for anything on your search engine, 8 times out of 10 the file name will contain your keyword.

Additionally, a good alt tag can provide context to your images. And even when images aren’t loading, search engines will still be able to help rank your website because it just ‘reads’ your alt text. The best option is to include brand-related words for a visibility boost. But, whatever you do, don’t keep piling on the keywords. It will become too ‘crowded’.

** This was a contributed post.

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wild geese

Wild Geese

“Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.

Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.

Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.”

– Mary Oliver

Emory

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basic invite

Basic Invite is a website that offers beautiful stationary to celebrate your life moments. They have almost unlimited colours, custom samples, dozens of coloured envelopes, and more. And with graduation just around the corner, now is the time to start considering what your announcement cards will look like!

So why hand out a graduation invitation? Simple! They are a wonderful way to add style and uniqueness to your special day. Why not go all out to commemorate such an important event? You only get to do it once.

Whether it’s an open house graduation, or a more private event, sending out an invitation is something that you can be creative about. You get to choose what pictures to use, the font, colour, text, envelope, and more. It’s a super fun thing to do where you get to focus on yourself and your achievements.

Here is an example of how you can customize graduation invitations. They have over 180 colours alone to choose from, which is what distinguishes them from other online stationary websites. There are also 809 options of graduation invites alone to choose from, so I guarantee that there will be more than one that you fall in love with! You can even get them printed on foil cards. Um, cute!

In addition to graduation cards, you can also choose from wedding, birthday, baby, and almost any special event. I know where I will be going to order my next birth announcement cards!

And don’t forget to add on your matching thank you cards at the same time. They offer free recipient address printing on all card orders. :-)

What’s more, you can take 15% off of your order with the code: 15ff51. So what are you waiting for? Hurry and click on Basic Invite’s website!

You can also find Basic Invite on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.

This was a sponsored post. I’m thankful for the brands and websites that I can partner with!

Emory

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  • Welcome, friends! My name is Emory. I am a wife and mother to three (two on earth and one in heaven). This is our life on the Canadian prairies.
    email: helloscarlettblog@outlook.com

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