• Hello, friends. My name is Emory. I live on the Canadian prairies with my husband, daughter, and animals. Welcome!
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    Swiss Braided (Zopf) Bread:
3 ½ cups flour
1 ½ cup milk
1 egg
1 tbsp active dry yeast
1 tsp salt
1 ½ tbsp sugar
4 tbsp butter, melted)
1. Warm the milk. In a bowl, combine the egg, milk, yeast, and butter. Stir. Let the mixture sit for 15 minutes, ensuring that the yeast completely dissolves.
2. In a separate large bowl, mix the flour, salt, and sugar. Make a well.
3. Add the wet ingredients to the well. Mix with a wooden spoon until it forms a firm dough.
4. Move the dough onto a floured surface. Knead for approximately 10 minutes.
5. Brush a new large bowl with butter. Place the dough in the bowl. Cover with a dishcloth and put into the oven for 1.5 hours. It will double in size.
6. Remove from oven. Cut the dough in half and place on a floured surface. Taking one half, divide again into three equal pieces. Turn each piece into a long rope, 12” in length.
7. Lay all three ropes side by side. Pinch the end of three pieces together. Now braid. When you get to the end of the first loaf, fold the bottom under. Repeat with the second loaf.
8. Grease a baking sheet with butter. Place both loaves onto the sheet. Butter the loaves, then cover with a dishcloth and place in the oven for 1 hour. They will more than double in size.
9. Remove the loaves, and heat the oven to 400°F. Place them back in and bake for approximately 20 minutes.
10. Once the loaves are golden brown, remove them from the oven. Serve with a preserve or with any meal. "Kids are super easy. It’s being an adult that’s hard." @girlshbo @lenadunham
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remy’s room (again & again)

childs-room-1I think that I may have a problem. A renovation problem. If you all remember, we have already made-over Remy’s room twice. The first time we painted, changed the fixtures, and decorated. Second, we replaced the carpet, painted some more, and rearranged a few things. Yet, it still hadn’t turned out the way that I hoped that it would. I continued to obsess over the room.

childs-room-2I had originally gone for a look that was child-friendly vintage. Given that our home is over 100 years old, I wanted to keep all of the charm. I had used antique crates as shelves, put old toys on display, purchased a retro-looking crib, and more. I was largely inspired by this room. I feel like I had achieved the feel and soul of that room, but it just wasn’t matching the rest of our home. Hence my problem.

childs-room-4After months of looking on Instagram, I started saving pictures of the types of rooms that I was drawn to the most, and I noticed a trend. Rather than filling the walls with crates and “things,” I found that I most envied bare walls. These rooms also had practical children’s furniture, including wicker baskets for toys and books. They were still quite playful, but on a scaled back level.

childs-room-9I decided to take down everything from Remy’s walls and start over. After trying a few different spots, I decided to leave the crib and change table where they were. I removed the London bookshelf and brought up a white storage unit in its place. I put her books in a wicker basket and toys in the trunk.

childs-room-3-1I only hung a few things back onto the walls. I kept Buck Jr. and Buck Jr. Jr., which was my Gedo’s. I also hung the antique clipboard that has a racoon hat from Colorado and wooden gun from Waskesiu. Beside it is the bird hook that we were gifted upon moving into our home, and my favourite bib from babybbasic. Her ultrasound pictures are above her change table.

childs-room-5I ended up reusing our Waterfall Ruffle Shower Curtain from Urban Outfitters as her window curtain. I had wanted to purchase this one, but since it was on back-order and our shower curtain was just laying around, I thought that it might look good in her room. I was right! I actually prefer it covering a window.

childs-room-7Finally, I purchased a black, industrial shelving unit to hold everything that was in the crates. I think that it really suits the room, and it makes it look much tidier. I think that overall the new look is more of a Scandinavian nursery.

childs-room-8Hopefully this will be the last post on her room, at least for awhile! Now to get back to renovating the main floor.

<3

Emory

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hallway renovation: after

hallway-after-7Hi, everyone. Welcome to our revitalized hallway!

In all of our years of renovating houses and rooms, this was probably the smallest and most time-consuming project that we’ve undertaken. I didn’t claim that it would be easy, but I also had no idea that it would take the time and effort that it did. Let me explain what happened.

hallway-after-2-1The first task was to remove the wallpaper. That seems simple enough, only I had never done it before. I asked Geoffrey to research the best and (more importantly) easiest method, and he came up with using a wallpaper stripper in the form of a gel. We went with a non-toxic option, called Dif. Though it is the only brand that I have used, I highly recommend it. There was next to no smell, it didn’t drip, and the wallpaper came off easily with one coat.

hallway-after-1For the most part, removing the wallpaper was a breeze. However, there is one wall in particular where the previous owners turned a doorway into a wall when they combined two rooms to make our master bedroom. They didn’t prime the drywall before applying the wallpaper, and so when I scraped the wallpaper, it also took off the drywall. It was a bit of a nightmare, but I eventually got the wallpaper off without damaging too much of the wall itself.

After the wallpaper was gone, I turned my attention to the carpet. This is what I was most excited about, for I knew that there were hardwood floors underneath. It turns out that the floors were in a pretty decent condition. That is, aside from the fact that they were covered in stipple. However, none of the boards had to be replaced, and I could even see the remnants of the old stain.

I began pulling up the tack strip. That was a process in itself. After that, I had to remove the hundreds of staples that were stuck in the floor. I think that I spent about 6-8 hours on that alone. To say that my hands and forearms were sore the next day would be an understatement.

hallway-after-4Next, I was ready to start sanding. Because it is such a small space, I ended up using a small electric sander. It worked so well, and I completed the floors in approximately 3 hours.

hallway-after-3The next step was to paint the hallway. This is what ended up taking the most time, mostly due to the unevenness of the trim, using such contrasting colours, and the difficulty of painting a popcorn ceiling. To make matters worse, I ended up spilling the white paint can onto my freshly sanded floors. After cleaning up the mess, I had to sand the massive spot where I dumped the paint. Paint also dripped down from the ceiling, so for the third time, I sanded the floors once again. Are you beginning to see why this hallway took so long?

hallway-after-6I purchased a new light fixture and Geoffrey switched our yellowed smoke alarm with a new one. They are a vast improvement from what was there before.

After painting the walls, trim, doors, and ceiling white, we painting the bottom half of the walls black. I thought that we had finished, but after we began removing the painter’s tape, we ended up having to spend another day touching up both the white and the black. When we finished the touch ups, we were finally finished the hallway!

hallway-after-5I hope that our blood, sweat, and (many) tears are evident in this transformation. It was quite the process, but one that I am incredibly thrilled with!

<3

Emory

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hallway renovation: before

hallway-2Hello, March!

In the six months that we have owned our house, we have renovated three rooms. Three of many.

hallway-3The hallway was the latest room to receive our attention. These are the before pictures.

hallway-1hallway-4This brown carpet can be seen throughout the majority of home. The same goes for the stippled walls, chair rail, brass fixtures, and wallpaper.

hallway-5In the end, this was the most time-consuming project that we’ve undertaken thus far with this house. However, the results vary quite drastically from these before photos. I’m excited to reveal them to you in just a few days!

<3

Emory

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bathroom: after

bathroom-after-8Everyone, welcome to our new bathroom!

bathroom-after-6A few days ago I showed you the before pictures. It was a white disaster. We decided to go with grey for the walls. Always a creature of habit, this is the exact colour that we used in our first condo that we owned together, as well as in our next home. But it’s been a few years since then. When we went to the paint store, it was the first colour that I gravitated to, and Geoffrey agreed that it would look best. It’s called Fine Silver by CIL.

bathroom-after-7If you recall, I was originally going to choose one wall to hang wallpaper on. However, after searching through a few stores, I couldn’t find any wallpaper that I loved as much as what I hung in our back porch or what I saw on Pinterest. Still wanting a feature wall, I was contemplating painting one black. In being such a dark and drastic colour, I decided to paint all of the walls grey first, and if I felt that something was still lacking, to do it then. In the end, I’m glad that I decided to wait.

bathroom-after-3We purchased a new toilet for our bathroom. I also bought a white shelf to hang above the toilet, as well as a picture for the shelf. I reused an old tin as a plant pot and found a purpose for our IKEA spice rack that I gotten a few years ago but had never used. We put it above the sink and it now holds the hand soap and a succulent.

bathroom-after-2I love the way that the bathroom turned out. I think that it has a somewhat modern yet peaceful feel to it. I’m shying away from rustic elements with our new home given that it’s so old, and am going for more of an updated look but with modern and antique elements. I hope that it shows.

<3

Emory

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bathroom: before

bathroom-before-2Remember this post? In it, I had written about how we were going to renovate our one and only bathroom. Today I will show you the before photos.

bathroom-before-1Everything in our bathroom was either white or a variation of white. This included the walls, baseboards, flooring, bathtub, sink, registers, and more. It was too much. It felt sterile and dated.

bathroom-before-5bathroom-before-6Additionally, the technique that they used on the baseboards made them look dirty. No matter how hard we scrubbed them, they never looked clean. It annoyed me to no end.

bathroom-before-3I really wanted to replace the linoleum flooring, and I even inquired about doing so over the Christmas break. However, given that we would have to remove absolutely everything in our bathroom, it would’ve turned into too big of a job. This is something that will have to wait until we have a second bathroom in the house, since we will be without a toilet while they replace the floor.

bathroom-before-4I’m so pleased with the way that our bathroom turned out. I’ll reveal those photos to you in a few days. I knew that this bathroom was ugly, but I didn’t realize just how ugly it was until we made it over.

Until then, stay tuned!

<3

Emory

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