home: dreaming big, living small (tiny house teacher)

or PIC 3I could never have successfully done this Home series without having at least one Tiny House featured. For the last year, I have considered these little houses to be the ideal form of home ownership. I find nothing more desirable than to not only live mortgage-free, but to be able to move your lovely abode at a moment’s notice. Coming from someone who is able to commit, but also loves to change her mind, I dream of one day owning a Tiny House. When I do make the decision to build one, I will turn to one of the best teacher’s around, Lora from the blog The Tiny House Teacher.

For some reason, the most compassionate souls seem to follow HSB. Lora is no exception. I have been in contact with her for a few months now, and her goodness, coupled with her knowledge regarding Tiny Homes, never ceases to astound me. It is apparent that she truly loves her life in her tiny abode, and strives to share that expertise with audiences both near and far. She was brave enough to make a major life change, and for that, I am thrilled to share her home story on my blog.

<3

Emory

PIC 21. Where is your home located?

Currently my Tiny House and I reside at an RV park in Georgia. I chose this location because it was close to work, but I am loving it because of everything it has to offer.

It is perfect for the outdoor activities I enjoy, with great hiking trails, a couple of small lakes and stables nearby.

PIC 3But one of the best things about my Tiny House is that I can park it wherever I want in the future! The freedom of knowing I can move anywhere is incredibly liberating and exciting.

2. What are your thoughts on the idea of ‘home’?

My idea of home has always been more about the “feelings” a place evokes rather than the actual building or space. I have lived in 13 different states, 22 cities and 28 houses over the years. I have loved something about each of these homes, but I realize it’s my family and the experiences that I have had in each that made the house feel like a “home” to me.

PIC 4I know a lot of people think about an actual location when they talk about their “home”…and I have always wondered what it would be like to have one place that came to mind. I guess for me, my home is a place that reflects who I am at that moment in life. Right now, that moment looks like a Tiny House!

PIC 5“Home” is the place that has room for all of the things that are important to me. It has a cozy bed to sleep in, a place to cook, a bathroom for showers, and space for all of my passions and hobbies. Which right now include reading, writing, photography, triathlons and ballroom dancing!

PIC 6Home is also a place where I can share memories that are important to me. One of my bucket list items is to run a half marathon in all 50 states. Last year for Christmas, my sister bought me an amazing medal board to showcase all of my race “bling.” When I started making my “must have” list for my Tiny House, it was at the top!

PIC 7Overall, home is a place that feels like me. A space that represents all the things I love. A space that is organized and functional, but also comforting and relaxing. Most of all, my home is a space that encourages me to be thankful for what I have.

3. What kinds of things influence your design style?

My grandfather was an architect and my mom has always loved the designs of Frank Lloyd Wright. I grew up in a home that had clean lines, lots of windows and organized spaces. All of these things stuck and influenced my Tiny House design choices.

PIC 8As I got older, I found myself pulled towards items that were functional and comfortable. I like things to look “clean,” but I don’t connect with spaces that feel too modern or sterile. I want the words cozy and relaxing to come to mind in my home. To me this means a lot of natural materials and comfy furniture.

PIC 9A lot of people ask why I didn’t just move to an RV when I decided to go Tiny. The answer is always the same, “they don’t feel like home to me!” I don’t get a sense of comfort when I walk into an RV, they feel cold, impersonal and kind of cheap.

In fact, I stayed in one for a month before my Tiny House was delivered…and I hated it. Not because of the space, but because it didn’t really feel like me. It was dark, flimsy, and had limited storage. It was all of the things that didn’t appeal to me from a design standpoint.

The final item that influenced the design of my house was my strong need for organization and limited visual clutter. I have always been OCD to a certain extent, and I wanted to have storage spaces for all of the things I wanted to keep. I am not really a minimalist at heart, but I am an organizing fan (in fact, I had my own professional organizing company for 7 years). So as I started looking at designs, I knew I wanted to use all of the space I had effectively.

PIC 10My design list looked something like this…I want a bright space, with lots of windows. It needs to be well constructed and feel like home. I want lots of storage, a functional kitchen and a loft bedroom. Because I knew what I was looking for, I was able to pick a design that met my requirements for light, comfort, quality and storage. And I am thrilled with the results!

4. What do you consider to be one of your favourite items in your home? What could you never live without?

This was the toughest question. Downsizing requires you to do a lot of self-reflection on the things that are important to you, but it’s hard to limit my “favorite” items to just one.

I will say that one of the first things on my “must-keep” list for my Tiny House were my books. I love to read! When I started thinking about downsizing one of the things that made me most nervous was the idea of getting rid of all of my books. I did end up donating over 200 to a local library near my old house, but I also had a custom bookcase made to hold all of my favorites.

PIC 11I also realized that I wanted technology to be part of my Tiny Life. I use my iPad and Computer daily, in part because I am a technology junkie and partly because they allow me to pursue my new found passion for writing and blogging.

I also couldn’t live without my Monkey…he is my traveling buddy and awesome pal. And as you can see, he is quite fond of our Tiny House Life!

PIC 125. Please share any ideas/stories/pictures that best highlight your home.

The first night I climbed in my bed in my Tiny House, I knew I had made the perfect choice. When I climbed up into my loft and looked out at my new space, I felt like a little kid with a treehouse. It was the best feeling ever!

PIC 12AA lot of people asked me what it’s like living with my dog in my Tiny House, and I can say it’s awesome. I own a two year old Australian Shepherd named Rocket and he has lots of energy! But we take lots of walks in the evening and he is adjusting well.

PIC 13About a month after I moved to the RV park, I noticed that some people named their RV’s. I didn’t want my Tiny House to feel left out, plus I really liked the idea of giving my house some personality, so I decided to go on a quest for a name. I posted my challenge on my Facebook and Twitter accounts, and I got tons of great ideas.

I decided on Ma’alahi…which means simplicity in Hawaii. This name resonated with me because it was unique, sounded pretty and because I read my first book about Tiny Houses on a trip to Hawaii. It just seemed like a perfect fit! Now I just have to get a sign for the outside. :-)

PIC 14Lora

THT: Blog
THT : Twitter
THT : Instagram

If you would like to take part in this series, entitled Home, please email me at helloscarlettblog@outlook.com.

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home: the little barn (hello, scarlett)

Home Series 1The day has come for me to commence my newest series, Home. This project emanated from our exhausting search for a new property in 2014. During which, I came to question my own views on the idea of ‘home’. Only recently have I come to understand that I had the wrong mentality all along. It was therefore inevitable that I turned this year-long journey into a new series. 

Readers, you have been so patient and so kind in sharing my house-building adventure with me. I truly hope that it was worth the wait! So without further delay, I present to you the very first and complete tour of The Little Barn.

Home Series 8Home Series 3Where is your home located?

The Little Barn is located in a Provincial Park area in Saskatchewan, Canada. It is surrounded by trees, dirt roads, few neighbours, a school, and a lake which can be seen from our second storey. It’s incredibly picturesque.

Home Series 4Home Series 5What are your thoughts on the idea of ‘home’?

My personal views on the idea of a home have changed so drastically over the last few years, and I feel as if this series was born from my modified ideology. Before I was married, I never gave much thought to where or what I considered to be my home. I just innately knew that it was wherever my parents were. From Saskatchewan to Northwest Territories, my home was associated with with my family, and not a physical structure nor specific city. This was also the case when I relocated to Switzerland after obtaining my university degree. I had an apartment, a job, and friends in that country, but I never settled in to the point that it was my home.

Home Series 7Home Series 9After meeting and marrying my husband, we immediately moved to a new city in a neighbouring province. We made the decision to keep our condominium in Saskatchewan and to rent it out while we were living elsewhere. Even though we were living in Alberta, I constantly referred to Saskatchewan as home.

Home Series 10 Home Series 11Less than a year later, I moved back to Saskatchewan while my husband continued his schooling in Alberta. I never really felt like I had ever settled into that city, and couldn’t wait to come back to our condo and resume my jobs that I had before we had moved. I also hated the idea of becoming a renter again. At that point, I began to regard a physical space as my home over where my family was living. Whatever kind of day that I was experiencing, I felt safe whenever I entered the doors of my house, and that all was right with the world. It helped that I also had Holly with me. Eventually, my husband moved back, and we bought Little Green shortly thereafter. Owning that little abode solidified the concept that a house is my home, and not so much my immediate friends or family. To me, it was all about the building itself.

Home Series 12 Home Series 13A year and a half into owning Little Green, we began our search for another house. Specifically, one on an acreage. This is what kicked off the journey for what eventually became The Little Barn, and one that my readers got to experience alongside with me. Five months into our search, we were even more confused with what we were looking for than before we had even started. If we loved the house, we hated the land. If we loved the land, we hated the house. If we loved both, it was over 40 minutes outside of the city. We just couldn’t find our perfect home. I felt lost, desperate, and began second guessing if we would ever find anything that suited our needs and budget. However, we persisted. In what felt like the eleventh hour, we ended up finding a lot in a provincial park, and thus TLB came to be. Although it wasn’t an acreage, it was still in the country (which we liked), and was destined to be a beautiful home (which we loved). We thought that it was going to be a happy ending to our house story.

Home Series 14 Home Series 15While we were building our new home, we lived on my parent’s acreage in my Baba’s  house for seven months. I didn’t realize it at the time, but living there, on several acres located just outside of the city was the precise home that we were searching for all along. Only after moving into The Little Barn did I realize that I had the whole idea of a home and what I really wanted was entirely wrong. I discovered that it’s neither the house itself, nor is it much the community that it’s in that’s what is important. To me, home is Saskatchewan and my family. I am and always will be a prairie girl. I am humble and quiet but constantly have a storm brewing beneath the surface. I am strong and persistent. I know that I can survive months on end of -40°C weather, as well as +40°C in the summer. I know how to drive in whiteouts, and for hours at a time without seeing so much as a tree or hill all while keeping my sanity. I easily can find beauty in the simple things. I love to travel, but find comfort in coming back to the seemingly dull landscape of the prairies. As long as I have my family and my animals close to me, and I am somewhere in Saskatchewan, I will always be home. The Little Barn, although beautiful, is just a house.

Home Series 19 Home Series 20What kinds of things influence your design style?

My design style changes as often as I do. Currently, both natural and industrial elements are the biggest influences in my style. I love any sort of furniture that is made out of reclaimed wood, metal, or vintage leather. Lately we have been putting casters on the bottom of all of our furniture. I live for succulents and am always trying to find a creative way to display them. Although I am an animal activist, I do have several hides, antlers, rugs around our house. (A fact that I am not so proud of.)

Home Series 16 Home Series 17What do you consider to be one of your favourite items in your home? What could you never live without?

My favourite items in my home are without a doubt, my husband, our two dogs, and our cat. My plant collection is also up there. My computer and iPhone are very important as well. 

Home Series 22Home Series 2Please share any ideas/stories/pictures that highlight your home.

I’ll let the pictures do the talking. If you would like to know more about the story of The Little Barn, you can do so by clicking here.

<3

Emory

If you would like to take part in this series,  entitled Home, please email me at helloscarlettblog@outlook.com.

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home series

HomeSeries-HSBLast year I created a series in which I asked a different blogger every month to share a recipe of theirs on my blog. This year, rather than focusing on food, I will be featuring homes from people and bloggers from all around the world.

In Spring of 2014, Kinfolk magazine dedicated an entire issue to the idea of “home.” Given that I spent all of 2014 looking for a new home with my husband and our pets, this issue, as well as the topic itself, is one that I consider to be both an extremely important and equally complex one.

The Spring issue set out to explore:

“the meaning of home, what it looks like, how different people arrange them and the qualities that the best ones share. Whether you live with your best friend, partner, strangers or a lazy hound, your concept of home will change with every coat of paint. It’s what (and who) you fill it with that counts.”

 – Kinfolk 

I often think back to Issue Eleven with a sense of longing, wishing that I could read it for the first time every time I pick it up. It opened my eyes to the inconsistencies regarding the idea of a home, and how it can mean so many contrasting notions to so many people.

For example, here is what it means to these individuals:

JORDAN HERNANDEZ: THE CHILDHOOD DWELLER

Home is one of the first words we learn as a child. It falls from our mouths and rolls off the tongue the way mom and dad do, providing a sense of where we belong. I still remember my first home: the white shutters, the slanted, creaky hallway and the light blue carpet. I remember blowing out birthday candles and seeing snow from the front windows for the first time. It was the only place I recognized as a haven strong enough to collect my childhood. When we moved, I cried in the back of our van as the bricks that laid the foundation to all my memories became a small speck in the rearview mirror. Then there’s the defining moment when you return to an old house that you once knew so well and suddenly feel like a stranger. The cracks and crevices that once held your secrets no longer recognize your voice. You’ll never stop mourning the loss of a first home but rather grow more resilient each time you move. Allow yourself sentimental feelings when you leave a piece of yourself behind somewhere, and look forward to blowing out more candles in a new place.

AUSTIN SAILSBURY: THE NESTER

We started out like newlyweds often do: deep in love, low on cash and living with mismatched furniture. But then we moved to Scandinavia and discovered a whole new way of nesting. Day by day, a little at a time, we’ve made a home for ourselves. Here are the best lessons we’ve learned so far: 750 square feet (70 square meters) are, in fact, enough room for man and wife to live, work and dream together in harmony. Having less stuff is the best way to fight against clutter. An artful light can become a surrogate sun during the dark season. Only homemade furniture will ever properly fit the crooked walls and sloping floors of a stubborn old apartment. A good kettle and a faithful oven are worthy investments for their work is never done. You can’t put a price on dependable neighbors or a view of the sea. And lastly, we’ve learned to put candles in the windows like tiny flickering lighthouses so that friends and loved ones will always be safely guided home.

MOLLY YEH: THE FARMER

Our day begins with eggs from a nearby coop. My farmer leaves for his long harvest hours and my day of homey solitude brings a cake flavored with rosemary from the farmstead garden. My previous life in New York wasn’t for this solitude or private cake: There was always somewhere to be, something new to do. My apartment wasn’t my home—the city was my home. The park was my living room complete with boats and a castle. My apartment was a temporary space, a sleeping place. In North Dakota, my new town offers what half a New York block would. With air to breathe and permission to be still with the land, I can finally love my very own space. Just past dark, when my farmer comes in, he carries elk gifted by Tom from down the road. We prepare it for our supper and enjoy it at the table that we built. Later, the silence and the stars tuck us to sleep.

LOUISA THOMSEN BRITS: THE EVERYWHERER

Home is about presence, not property. Thoughts of home follow the contours of landscape and memory, but the shape of home shifts as I grow less attached to stuff and can live closer to the heart of things. Home is a clearing in a patch of woodland, the curve of a hill, the pulse of life on a dance floor, a shared blanket, birch trees, backyard fires, a strip of beach, dusk, a place to plant things. Home is a lit lantern, slow mornings, spooning, the smell of coffee and wind-dried washing, the dust and heat of Africa, silence, bare feet, everyday rituals, a notebook, a dark field, a small hand in mine. Home is our wooden table with its burn and pen marks, cup rings and scratches, and our huge bed of mattresses pushed together on the floor. Home is wherever we discover we belong: to a place, to another or to a passing moment. Home is honesty, acceptance and relatedness: complicity, community and connection wherever we are.

MIKE PERRY: THE PARENTAL RESIDER

Living with your parents can be a strange, bittersweet thing. I moved back in right after college to get my life in order and then set out on my own. It was a nice change of pace from the school life: Laundry was getting done by someone else and dinner was real food, not just microwave noodles or yesterday’s pizza. I figured I’d stay a few months, but those months became a few years. I moved out again for a year, trying to carve out a life in another country. Unfortunately things there didn’t quite pan out and I found myself back home, again. As I find myself approaching 30 in a struggling economy, it can be difficult and stressful at times—for everyone. But, as with everything, you take the bad with the good, and I’m lucky to have such supportive parents who are happy to have their son still home.

SHELBY GILL: THE MOBILE HOMER 

For me, home is ever-changing, not one static place. It doesn’t have to be brick and mortar: Sometimes home just is. Sometimes home is sitting at the counter of my parent’s kitchen and listening to my mother sing Johnny Cash songs while she makes gazpacho; I’ve never liked gazpacho, but she does, and that makes me happy. So maybe home is the fact that, in that brief moment, she’s happy too. Sometimes home is the third booth back in a small café on Gregg Street, squeezed somewhere behind the woman who plays the mandolin on the front patio and the man who reads the local paper over a double Americano. So maybe home is that feeling of familiarity. Sometimes home is the second chapter of a really good book, where you’re just far enough to be familiar, but haven’t been reading long enough to feel stagnant. So maybe home is just that comfortable place between beginnings and ends. No matter which it is, home is the place that never seems to be stationary. It changes, and so do I.

REBECCA PARKER PAYNE: THE HOMEOWNER

The story of my husband and I is not just about me, him or us, but a story of place. It’s a story of how we married, wrapped warmly in the arms of our community, and bought this tiny house not unlike a small brick box for us to make livable and loved. Ours is a story of believing that buying a house is more than a mortgage and lawn care: It’s understanding that making a home is a responsibility to the walls you live in, the ground you walk on and all the people that will tread here. There’s no escaping this responsibility for us. Ours is a story now intertwined with this place—inseparable, really. Ours is a story that will unfold and grow here. This is the place of our home and the place of our lives, and I’m grateful for it.

– Kinfolk

For the duration of this year, I will be presenting a varying space to you each month, readers, so that you may also witness the diversity amongst us humans in the way of our homes. I hope to take you on an exotic ride, broaden your knowledge about different cultures, and get you thinking about what you really need to feel comfortable in your own homes, among other things.

This month is merely an introduction to an ambitious new series. The above photo is of two homes that I have lived in over the last year. Both are set in the prairies, a type of land that will always be home to me. In February, I will feature the first house, which will be none other than The Little Barn.

If you would like to take part in this series, which is simply entitled Home, please email me at helloscarlettblog@outlook.com.

I’ll see you guys tomorrow!

<3

Emory

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home & harvest

HomeHarvest1Many of my HSB fans are aware of the fact that I am also a freelance writer, and have written for a small number of publications around North America. I steadily write for one of my more favourite online magazines, which is entitled HaveHeart. Very recently, the magazine has gone from being solely online to newly printed format! What’s more, in the first week alone, 5000 copies of HaveHeart were picked up by readers. Apparently this number was expected to last two months. Hey, the sky’s the limit when it comes to dreaming big.

HomeHarvest4While this news should warrant a post in itself, the same woman that does 99% of the behind-the-scenes work herself for HaveHeart, has bravely chosen to create another printed magazine to target a much different audience. This captivating publication is called Home & Harvest. The caption for the new magazine says that it’s “devoted to celebrating the lovely life and community of the Palouse!” 

Heather, my editor of both mags, picked two of my DIYs that were once featured in HaveHeart, and had them published in the premiere issue of Home & Harvest!

HomeHarvest2One was the Wood and Wire DIY.

HomeHarvest3The other was the Make Your Own Snow Globe. Little did I know that upon creating it nearly one year ago, that it would eventually land me a regular writing position for two magazines.

This month’s issue features my Reindeer Plate Tutorial.

HomeHarvest5The first issue of Home & Harvest turned out just beautifully, and the second was very recently put into print. Heather and her husband Tony are doing such an amazing job. I can only imagine how difficult, stressful, time-consuming, and yet, fun and rewarding it must be to have not only one circulating magazine, but now two! I most definitely feel proud every time that I see my own name in print, and I look forward to collecting these monthly issues and adding them to my own collection of freelance work.

Please take your time and read Home & Harvest. If you like my blog, then I know that you will love this magazine!

<3

Emory

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a blogger’s dozen: walnut and maple biscotti (me + orla)

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESIt seems that with every Blogger’s Dozen post, I’m saying that “this month I’ve decided to do something different.” Perhaps it’s  because I’m constantly trying to think and act outside of the proverbial box, or because I try not to be a creature of habit. It could also be due to the fact that this is only the eleventh post and eleventh month of this series, and is therefore still seemingly new and open to experimentation. Or perhaps I just think too much and am making a mountain out of a little (foodie) molehill! Yes, most likely it is the latter.

Most of you are aware of my adoration for Instagram. I’ve said more than once that it is one social media outlet that I cannot live without. Consequently, this month’s guest blogger is one of my favourite people and artists that I follow on IG. Sara is mostly known in the media world as the girl behind @me_and_orla. With over 45,000 followers, it goes without saying that many people, including myself, find her photographs elegant, inspiring, and so very majestic. Additionally, it turns out that she also has an equally beautiful WordPress blog that can be found here

For those of you who have Instagram and WordPress, you must become a follower of Sara. In the meantime, here is her delicious Walnut & Maple Biscotti recipe. Her spectacular photographs aside, this is sure to be the most delicious treat.

Have an amazing weekend!

<3

Emory

P.S. If you want more from Sara, and to learn about her own views regarding Instagram, you may hear her radio interview here. She explains the community and process of taking and posting photographs in the most eloquent way. It’s well worth the listen. :-)))

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESWalnut & Maple Biscotti:

10 tbsp salted butter, melted
1 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 tsp good quality vanilla essence
1/2 cup maple syrup
3 large eggs, lightly whisked
3.5 cups plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder (or just use self-raising flour)
1.5 cup chopped walnuts 
1/2 cup ground almonds

For the glaze: 

2 tbsp maple syrup
1-2 cups icing sugar (confectioners sugar)

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSteps:

1. Mix the eggs, melted butter, syrup and essence & sugar together in a large bowl until well combined.

2. Stir in the ground almonds, flour and baking powder. If the mix still feels wet and sticky, slowly add more flour until you have a soft dough. Finally stir in the walnuts.

3. With floured hands, divide into two and shape into two ciabatta-shaped loaves – long and quite flat. Place each one on a sheet of parchment on a baking tray. Bake loaves at 250c for 20-30 minutes. It’s important that they are solid, but a bit soft in the middle is fine.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES4. Allow to cool thoroughly – about half an hour. Slice into 1 cm thick slices with a good serrated bread knife. If you’re feeling fancy you can cut them on the diagonal.

5. Turn the oven down to about 100c. Spread the slices out across the wire oven shelf (or on a cooling rack above a solid shelf). This is an important as it allows the air to circulate and dry the biscuits on both sides, giving them their finished crunch.

6. Bake for as long as you can bear it. An hour is good. They’re done when they feel hard & dry to the touch.

7. Allow to cool. Mix together the remaining syrup with icing sugar until you reach your desired consistency. I like mine slightly stiff to minimize the run-off. Drizzle over cooled biscuits and allow to set before packing away. (These seem to keep fine in the open or in the fridge, but I prefer to use a tin just in case.)

8. All done. Dip in your coffee for breakfast or a mid-afternoon pick me up. Crumble over espresso & vanilla ice cream for a quick & fancy dessert. Slip one into your loved one’s lunch to let them know how sweet you are. Enjoy!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESI’m bringing biscotti back. Maybe it never actually went away, but it’s definitely under-appreciated by coffee drinkers and afternoon snackers across the western world. Handing out a test batch to my family last week, I recoiled horror to see them chomping on them dry. Can we all just agree right now that if you bake these, you have to dunk them, in whatever hot beverage you prefer. It’s non-negotiable.

This recipe is based on my tried-and-tested perfect biscotti recipe, but here I’ve given them a seasonal twist for autumn. I’m usually a purist, but this variation is subtle and classic, and the icing is kind of a game changer …

Sara

A Blogger’s Dozen is a series that was launched in 2014. If you would like to be featured in a post, as well as have free advertisement for that month, please contact Emory at helloscarlettblog@outlook.com. Be sure to send any food-related ideas that you may have. Hello, awesomeness!

  • Hello! My name is Emory. I am a wife, mother of four (three on earth in heaven). This is our life on the Canadian prairies.
    email: helloscarlettblog@outlook.com

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