gender reveal

I am happy to announce that our fourth baby is a GIRL!!!!

This is our first time finding out the gender. We did so mostly for our children. Remy was asking if it was a girl or boy everyday, and Wilder was saying that he wanted a brother. We didn’t want to make them wait any longer, and wanted to be able to provide an answer. Hence this reveal!

We are over the moon. This is what Geoffrey and I have hoped and prayed for- not just the gender but more importantly that our little sweetie would appear healthy and active. To us, that outweighs the sex of the baby every time.

I am feeling beyond blessed these days. Have a wonderful week!

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 good 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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hello 2015, goodbye 2014

Lotta Sanita 4Hello, friends and family! Happy New Year!

I am going to start off by apologizing. My intended “week off from blogging” has turned into nearly twelve days of no posts. That’s like The Twelve Days of Christmas, but instead of you all receiving gifts, you were given radio silence. Or internet silence, in this case. Don’t worry, though. I’m back, renewed, and am ready to knock your socks off! Let’s begin by recapping the entire year of 2014.

IMG_11.jpg oneMy first post of the year began with food, and the recipes continued to pour in over the next eleven months. I featured a dozen guest bloggers with various sweet and savory posts in my Blogger’s Dozen series. From cookies, to tarts, to pasta, to quesadillas, to hot chocolate, I had such a blast meeting and working with these amazing people, and expanding my audience to many new readers around from the world!

IMG_9.jpgPHOTO_15.jpgIMG_7.jpgHolly01Mum Guin 8IMG_3312 copyNext, I dedicated many posts to nature and our animals. I showed you our incredibly snowy Canadian days herehere, and here. I wrote six succulent posts since God apparently decided to finally bless me with a green thumb after twenty-eight years on this planet! This one was your most favoured, readers! Holly and Truman were never far from my mind or my keyboard. Nor were cats, horses, or other pets. I documented Holly’s health struggles which spanned the entire summer (thankfully, she is on the mend). Additionally, my big, beautiful St. Bernard, Dear Prudence, had to be put down in the spring. Between Pru and Holl, those were the most emotionally draining few months that I had ever experienced. However, whenever I felt down, I could always count on nature to fix my wounded soul.

PHOTO_1-1.jpgIMG_2.jpg122.jpgSo what did I have to be thankful for this past year? Well, the month of January meant a birthday celebration for my husband, and subsequently, many more parties followed! With one or more birthdays each month in my family, I only had time to blog about a few of them. We celebrated my oldest niece turning six with a beach party at our (then) future home, as well as my week-long winter bash. I also blogged about Valentine’s DaySt. Patrick’s Day, Canada Day/Independence Day, our fourth Wedding Anniversary, Thanksgiving, Halloween, Día de Muertos, and Christmas! Phew.

IMG_7.jpgIMG_1.jpgJ+J 521.jpgThe year was one of many ‘firsts’. It began with my first iPhone, then onto my first hand tattoo, regular freelance position for a magazine, pop-up shop, and paid for photo shoot. My favourite ‘first’ had to be the opening of my retail store, Potomac Trading Post, Ltd!

IMG.jpgIMG_1.jpg01.jpgJanuary also began with one of my favourite DIYs of the year; A Painted Teapot. What followed were popular posts such as a Sherlock Terrarium, Wood and Wire Succulent Holder, Address Stamp, Classic Pumpkin, Wednesday Addams Make-Up (a post that brought in over 700 views in under two days), Harvest Wreath, Reindeer Plates, and an American Plant Holder.

IMG_12.jpgBeFunky_6.jpgOver the last year, I gave insight into blog organization, good antique shopping, tattoos, small home living, choosing an ad photo, and finding a dream home.

Kinfolk_Scent-Of-Salted-Air_v2-10-15-11_04_gallery

Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset

During this past year, readers witnessed a big change in our residence(s). We began our search for an acreage in January 2014, but I didn’t let any of you know until March. Being guarded doesn’t always go hand in hand with blogging, and it’s something that I’ve have to work on over the last two years. (Fun fact: when I first began blogging on tumblr, I didn’t reveal our first names, where we lived, or even our faces! I was simply known as *e* and readers only ever saw the back of my head.) I posted about our search for the perfect home many times over the next few months. We were finally on the right track by May, and both listed and sold our beautiful house, Little Green, by June. We ended up buying an empty lot in a provincial park, and have chronicled our adventures ever since! The final reveal will be coming within a matter of weeks. :-)))

Screen Shot 2014-07-17 at 9.24.14 PM8.jpghr_Nightcrawler_65.jpgScreen Shot 2014-08-31 at 8.36.07 PMFinally, we travelled lots but always stayed close to home, moved twice, watched many great films, ate amazing food, laughed, cried, were inspired, and learned invaluable lessons. I would say that the best part of my year was nearly each and every day, and seeing how much I grew into being a woman who knew exactly who and what she wanted out of life. Self-realization is a tricky thing, and I feel as if this year was my year for it to happen.

Cemetery 02I hope that you are all excited to take this journey into the year 2015 with me! My blogging resolution is to gain 5,000 followers! What will yours be?

<3

Emory

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close the laundry door and tiptoe across the floor

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(Image via Pinterest)

Oh, Pinterest, you slay me. You are the cause of my late nights, and the inspiration behind my latest endeavours. I turn to you for warmth and comfort, and you never cease to lift me up when I am down. I hope that our relationship will continue to grow, our bond deepen, and that you will never leave me. I think that I love you. Does anyone else feel this way?

BeFunky_cleobella.jpg

(Image via UO)

I never gave much thought a Laundry Room before planning The Little Barn. In fact, our last one consisted of an old washing machine in the middle of our bathroom, sans a dryer. However, our new Laundry Room is quickly become the most diverse and important space of our new home. Isn’t that funny? This room has to function as a Mud Room, Office, Closet, Dog Room, Greenhouse, and Laundry Room, in addition to having access to the crawlspace beneath our home. Tall order. The size? 11′ x 9’10”. Can we do it? Yes we can!

Here are my reigning finds on Pinterest that are making me excited to create (rather than cower away from) this multi-functional space. I call the style primitive-meets-farmhouse-modern.

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(Image via Pinterest)

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(Image via Pinterest)

9b46a7d27a1146e054f5b4cdf9b50ac6Too much? (Image via Pinterest)

<3

Emory

prairie photography outtakes

BeFunky_1.jpgBeFunky_2.jpg BeFunky_4.jpgBeFunky_5.jpg BeFunky_6.jpgI consider ad photographs to be one of the hardest yet one of the most fun aspects about blogging. Think about it. This one picture not only has to sum up what your entire blog is all about, but it also has be inviting and strategically display your sense of style and skills as a photographer/photo editor/graphic designer/blogger without looking like you are trying too hard. I find that I am always experimenting with my ad photographs. Every few weeks I will take my camera and my tripod out to a new territory and photograph it. I prefer to let the landscape do most of my advertising, yet I always try to work my little face into it one way or another. I do this because I believe blogs are such personal spaces that I want whoever sees my ad to connect with me on an emotional level rather than just witnessing a prairie scape. Well, at least my blog is personal. I really have to struggle sometimes with letting the whole world know my story, since I’ve always been an honest but yet quiet and guarded person. I’ve come to realize that readers appreciate forthcomingness and want to learn more about the person behind all of the posts. Otherwise, why would they keep on coming back?

This particular photo shoot occurred over a month ago on an extremely warm day in Saskatchewan. I had the day off so I made the best of both the weather and my free time. I drove out of the city and to an acreage that my husband and I had looked at a short time before. I loved the location and knew that the empty fields that surrounded it would be the perfect place to shoot for the day. Because the snow was still melting, the ground was extremely soft and muddy. One of the first things that I noticed was that wearing my 1970s platform boots wasn’t the wisest decision. Every time I ran across the field I rolled my ankle. Yet, winners never quit and quitters never win (or something to that effect). So I set the timer, grabbed my hat and antlers, and painfully ran as fast as I could and as far as I could away from the camera while dancing and jumping around in each shot. It was exhausting, but incredibly exhilarating. These photo shoots will always be my favourite.

best prairie gifEmory

P.S. The last image is an unedited GIF of my mad prancing skills. I hope that you like it!

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

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