help canada choose a national bird

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Do you live in Canada or the United States? If you do, then you can take part in this survey hosted by Canadian Geographic magazine. By doing so, you will help Canada pick its national bird!

Some options for Canada’s national bird include:

Whiskey Jack
Sharp-Tailed Grouse
Whooping Crane
Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
Tundra Swan
Snowy Owl

I chose my favourite bird, the Canada Goose. Which one would you pick?

<3

Emory

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tlb: our tongue and groove tale

Tongue And Groove Ceiling 4Eight months ago, when we were planning the design for The Little Barn, we apparently made the decision to have a tongue and groove pine ceiling installed. For some reason, this important detail somehow slipped my mind.

Tongue And Groove CeilingThe foundation went in, the walls went up, the installation and drywall were next, and finally it was time for the ceiling. Around the same time, I was at the house with our contractors trying to pick out flooring. I mentioned that I wanted dark flooring since the walls and the ceiling colour were going to be white. Our contractor proceeded to ask me if I was planning on staining the ceiling white? I asked him if he meant paint instead of stain? He replied that he meant stain, since we’re getting a pine ceiling. I was now very confused. I asked him since when were we putting wood instead of drywall up there? He reminded that it was always the plan, and that I had said that I wanted a ceiling similar to the one in my mum’s barn. At that point I knew that he was telling the truth, since it completely sounded like something that I would say. I just didn’t understand how I wouldn’t remember such a momentous detail. Is that not weird?

Tongue And Groove Ceiling 1This was not the only time that I had forgotten our house building plans while building our home. Some days I was just so tired from working, trying to cope with Holly’s health problems, and starting up my store, that I had no energy left for making decisions about our home. I would either just blurt out the first idea that came to my mind, or tell our contractor to surprise us. When I later asked how they were able to get the ceiling stained that particular colour, they said, “you don’t want to know.”

Tongue And Groove Ceiling 2I probably went about this home construction thing a lot more relaxed than most people would, but hey, to each their own.  

Tongue And Groove Ceiling 5In the end, everything turned out beautifully. Especially our ceiling.

<3

Emory

P.S. Only one more week until the final house tour of The Little Barn!

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buy this: vintage barn lighting

rustic-exteriorOur biggest inspiration behind The Little Barn was this Cruz Cabin (see above). After coming across it nearly eight months ago, we have tried to model almost every detail on The Little Barn’s exterior after this cabin.

TheLittleBarn6The remainder of the photos are of The Little Barn. See if you can you spot the resemblance!

So, why is this post on vintage barn lighting then, you ask? Prior to selling our last home and finding the lot for our new one, I purchased a barn light for the exterior of Little Green. It was very expensive, but it changed the exterior of our little 1920s bungalow from cute to sophisticated. I bookmarked the seller on eBay, and knew that I was going to purchase more barn lights from their store, Vintage Barn Lighting, in the future.

TheLittleBarn1Fast forward a little bit. One of the first things that I noticed about the Cruz Cabin were its lights. That, the barn doors, and the fact that it reminded me of Little Green’s exterior. Those three elements were what drove me to build something similar looking. It also went without saying that I already knew that I was going to hang several barn lights on its exterior.

TheLittleBarn3Working the lights into the plans was a different story. I told our contractor to draw in five lights (four is bad Chi). I wanted two in the front, two on the side, and one in the back. When we received the blueprints, there were only four. Not wanting to cause a fuss, I went ahead and bought four vintage barn lights. A few weeks later we went out to check on TLB, and Geoffrey noticed that the exterior was now wired for five lights. Confused, I sent my contractor a text asking why there was now an extra light, and he said something to the effect of, “Is there?” Knowing that the lights were vintage and one-of-a-kind, I panicked and immediately assumed that I would never be able to find another similar one to match any that I had just purchased. After a few days went by, I finally got a text back confirming that I would have to buy a second and a replica light for the front of the house.

TheLittleBarn2Taking a stab in the dark, I contacted the store seller and told them my predicament. They were already so kind in reducing the shipping fees on my previous purchases since I had essentially bought so many lights from them. I was told me to wait another few days, and that they would try to track down a duplicate light. So I waited again, and to my surprise, I received a message saying that they found one that would work, and I could have it at a discounted price. I counted my lucky stars and thanked them, and was once again reaffirmed as to why I prefer to shop with small businesses rather than big corporations. Sometimes, you can’t put a price on quality customer service.

TheLittleBarn4Six months later, we’re finally in our new home! The exterior lights were the last thing that needed to be installed. When they finally did go up, The Little Barn went from beautiful to jaw-dropping. The whole wait, confusion, cost, and stress over these lights were worth it. Don’t you agree?

Oh, Little Barn. You are by far the nicest looking house that we have ever owned. 

<3

Emory

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moving day: the little barn

MovingDay6I’ve received comment after comment asking (sometimes begging) for me to post photos of The Little Barn. I must apologize, lovely readers. For various reasons, I have been sorely dragging my feet. Let me explain why.

To begin, the move-in date for our new home was pushed back from October, to November, to mid-December, to the end of December, to the beginning of January. While technically we have moved in, our contractors are still putting the finishing touches on the exterior of our house. I didn’t want to show you The Little Barn while it was still under construction, during a time that it was supposed to be finished, all while not knowing when it would be completed. Too much was still up in the air for my liking, thus no photos.

Secondly, and to elaborate on that last point, I am a perfectionist. There, I said it. Our home is still not unpacked, given that neither Geoffrey nor I took any time off to move in. Thus, I have been left to unpack and arrange the entire house for a few hours a day between shifts, while my husband takes over at night for an hour or so, or on weekends. We’ve actually started taking boxes back to our storage unit just to get them out of the way in hopes of not feeling so overcome with stress. To summarize, there’s no way in hell that I will blog a messy house. Capish?

That being said, I am very appreciative for all of those who have been curious to see the final product of a project that’s been seven months in the making! You guys are what’s lighting a fire under my butt to get the house set up. While I may come across as annoyed, I am not in the slightest. I am just extremely overwhelmed. I also feel so emotionally drained, which I think is the opposite of what I should probably be feeling given that TLB is no longer in the construction phase.

MovingDay8Inevitably, I’ve so enjoyed sharing our house-building journey with all of you wonderful and encouraging souls! I promise that in February, the wait will be over. I will be posting at least once a week on TLB, with a final house tour at the end of the month. In the words of Gloria Walker, “Please don’t desert me baby!”

In the meantime, here is a look at the little bit of hell what we went through leading up to, and including, our moving day.

MovingDay2Two weeks prior to move-in, one week overdue on completion date.

We arrive to the house with my dad who is visiting us from out of province. After being told by our contractor that even though he was a week late, it would still be completed within the next day or two. This is what we saw. My dad said that they were weeks behind. We couldn’t even tell what was left to be done because of the mess. Christmas was days away, and we felt hopeless. I almost cried.

MovingDay4MovingDay3MovingDay5MovingDay7MovingDay9One week prior to move-in, two weeks overdue on completion date.

We returned to the home to drop off an armoire for our kitchen storage after not visiting it for a week. It was much cleaner, but was still missing soffit and fascia on one side of the house, stairs off of the back deck, a bathroom, plumbing, a hand railing for the interior staircase, exterior lights, and some trim and electrical. We were nearing January, and over two weeks late with our move-in date. Again, the feeling of hopelessness set in.

MovingDay11MovingDay10MovingDay13MovingDay14MovingDay12MovingDay21Move-in day, three weeks overdue on completion date.

By the grace of God, our contractors were somehow able to pull it together. On a Saturday morning, Geoffrey, Holly, Truman, and I finally move into TLB, being more than three weeks late. We still don’t have back stairs, exterior lights, soffit and fascia, a working bathroom, a kitchen sink that’s hooked up to plumbing, or a hand railing for our front, side, or back deck. The plumbers and our contractors meet us at our house around 11 am, after Geoffrey and I have already went to our storage unit and loaded up the U-Haul. It was -30°C that day, and we still froze our hands and feet even though I was wearing three pairs of socks and two pairs of mitts. However, the weather was not going to deter us. The plumbers stayed until 5 pm and finally got our bathroom in working order. Our kitchen sink would have to wait another week. We were finally in.

MovingDay15Second storey view.

MovingDay16 MovingDay17Shopping for still-needed supplies.

MovingDay19 MovingDay23Morning and afternoon walks on the lake.

MovingDay20As you can see, the last two months have been anything but smooth sailing. I felt like I needed to post this in order to be clear with you patient folks as to why you haven’t seen much of TLB yet. Whoever said that building a home would be easy?

Have a great weekend! See you on Monday!

<3

Emory

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what i wore: blue swan

WW7-3Hello, friends! Can you believe that there are only two days left in the month of January? Where did the time go?!

WW7-2This outfit post today is featuring one of my most treasured dresses, and one that I have worn before in a post. However, given that it was over a year and a half ago, my hair was short, blonde, and shaved on one side. Needless to say that I looked like a man in drag. While the fashion post can be found if you were to do some digging, I’m not feeling overly zealous to add a link for you today. Hey, I can’t be expected to do all the work around here. ;-)))

WW7-1This dress is one that I often wear to work, and for special occasions. I bought it as a ballet dress, and it’s sheer overlay with asymmetrical hem gives it such a distinctive and feminine look. It’s incredibly soft, and flows like a dream. I feel like a ballerina when I wear it, and so, probably to the annoyance of many, I wear it often.

In the words of Nina from one of my favourite films, Black Swan, “It was perfect.”

<3

Emory

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  • 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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