• Hello, friends. My name is Emory. I live on the Canadian prairies with my husband, daughter, and animals. Welcome!
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    This was taken one year ago. It's hard to believe that she was so little. At 2.5 months old, I felt like I had already known her for years. Yet, I still had no idea what I was doing. I was a new mother, and I felt completely on my own. I told myself to take it day by day, and so I did. Somehow, she and I made it through and although she's still so young, our bond today is so unbelievably strong. 
If it's not yet apparent, I'm in an extraordinarily sentimental mood. This morning I found a notebook that I had purchased when @omgkersh and I were seriously considering adoption. I was planning on detailing our journey for our future child. Looking at the date of the receipt, it read 02/25/15. Little did I know that exactly one year later, my daughter would be born on 02/25/16. 
I truly believe that we are constantly being shown signs, we just don't always pay attention. I view what happened today as a reminder to stay strong during times of uncertainty. Things usually work out for the better. I just need to have faith. To say that she has a piece of my heart would be an understatement.
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clay cross planter: diy

I saw a hanging clay planter on Etsy awhile ago, and it’s been on my DIY list ever since. Actually, I’ve always wanted to learn how to throw pots on a wheel. It looks like so much fun! So until I can get my hands on one, here is my rendition of a clay planter. It’s still very fun to create.

Materials

Packaged molding clay
Acrylic paint
Paintbrushes
Toothpicks
Succulent
River rocks
Rope
Rolling pin

Steps

1. Remove the clay from the packaging. Place it on a flat and clean surface. Using a rolling pin, flatten the clay so that it is roughly an inch thick.

2. Now it is time to form a pot. Start with the sides. Determine the height that you would like, then form one cohesive piece of clay that is that exact height. Use the rolling pin to make it smooth. Ensure that the length of this piece will be long enough so that when you bring the ends together, it forms a cylinder large enough to hold your succulent or plant.

3. Take another piece of clay and make it into a circular shape. This will be the base of the pot.

4. Now form a cylinder with the clay in step 3. Gently place it on the base. Attach the cylinder to the base with your fingers. Spend some time blending all of the visible lines on the pot.

5. Using the wooden ends of the paintbrushes, create a drainage hole at the bottom of the pot, as well as two on either side and closer to the top. Make sure that they are wide enough for the rope, and are level with one another.

6. Using the toothpicks, carve crosses into the pot. Once you have completed this, set the pot aside. Let dry overnight.

7. After the clay is completely dry, you may begin to paint it. Start with the base color, covering the exterior and interior of the pot. Once dry, use a different color for the crosses. Let dry once again.

8. Add the succulent and river rocks to the pot. Then take the rope and string it through the two holes on either side of the pot. Knot the ends, and proceed to find a sunny place to hang your new and beautiful creation!

<3

Emory

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hanging geode terrarium kit

terrarium-kit-3A few weeks ago, I ordered this Hanging Geode Terrarium Kit from Urban Outfitters. We had a space on our wall where it would fit perfectly.

terrarium-kit-1terrarium-kit-2I wasn’t sure what to expect with the kit. Geoffrey had bought me a terrarium kit two years ago, and unlike the package had promised, nothing grew. That was a Sedum + Moss kit. This one’s main feature was a geode. It is more or less for decoration, so already I had higher hopes for it in that nothing was expected to grow.

terrarium-kit-5This kit also came with a cute glass vase. It was incredibly easy to put together, and it looks just like the one on the website!

terrarium-kit-7Overall this was a really great purchase, in my opinion. I definitely want a few more to hang around our home. Maybe I’ll get some in April. ;-)))

<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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1st birthday: tips for a successful party

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Hey guys. Prior to even thinking about throwing Remy a first birthday party, I researched several ways on how to throw a successful one. Small children can obviously be unpredictable, and so finding ways to increase their happiness and avoid things that might set them off is imperative. We are lucky in that Remy hasn’t yet thrown a tantrum. However, with her first birthday fast-approaching, I’m sure that they are just around the corner. Until then, I will include a list of surefire ways to have a (somewhat) successful party for a one year old! These are taken from what I have found online, in addition to my own knowledge as a new mother.

1. Keep it short. Babies can get overwhelmed quite quickly, so try to have the party run for no more than 2 hours.

2. Invite people that your children know and like, and not those who they make strange with or are guaranteed to cry around. However, this can’t always be avoided.

3. Avoid balloons and any other party favours that are choking hazards or are potentially dangerous.

4. Dress them in clothes that they are comfortable in. Remy hates anything on her head, so although I wanted to make her a feather crown to wear, I know that trying to keep one on her head would end in a disaster.

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5. Don’t go Pinterest crazy. If you’re going to DIY a lot yourself, make sure that it’s well in advance and things that are manageable to create.

6. Also, don’t go all Top Chef for the party. Buying ready-made food or desserts is a great way to eliminate stress for yourself. I ended up ordering cupcakes for Remy’s party nearly a month in advance, and we are serving chips as a light snack.

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7. Hire a photographer if possible. Just like Remy’s birth, I didn’t want to worry about capturing the perfect moments, nor about editing any photographs afterwards. I also wanted plenty of pictures of us as a family. We have hired someone to photograph her party.

8. Bring a few of their favourite toys along. Because we’re having her birthday in a rented room at the library, I’m going to set up an area for large blanket and several of her toys. This way, she will have a place to play that feels familiar, and the other children can easily join in.

9. Don’t try to set up everything by yourself. Because I’m planning on having Geoffrey watch Remy all morning, I’m going to enlist in the help from a few friends to come to the library and assist me in decorating the room.

10. Schedule the party around naps. This one is for obvious reasons.

11. Finally, if you’re feeling especially adventurous, include some fun details for your guests, such as a photo booth or colouring books!

That’s all that I can come up with. Do you have any tips to add? If so, please write them in the comment section.

<3

Emory

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