on the road

America Road Trip 3-1Today is the day that we are leaving for our great southwestern adventure! We had initially planned to leave on the 28th, but we were too excited with our itchy traveler’s feet and decided head out tonight instead.

I have a post scheduled for tomorrow, and on Monday March 2nd. After that, my next post will be the following Monday March 9th. In the meantime, you can see our travel adventures by clicking here. You do not need an account to do so. :-)))

See you in week and a half! 

<3

Emory

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“They have worries, they’re counting the miles, they’re thinking about where to sleep tonight, how much money for gas, the weather, how they’ll get there – and all the time they’ll get there anyway, you see.”

– Jack Kerouac, On The Road

road trip: the rockies and southwest usa

America Road Trip 1-1Family, friends, readers, wanderers. You have no have idea as to the monumental secret that I have been keeping from you. As someone who has been spilling on everything for the last year and a half, not being able to divulge any narratives on this particular adventure has been nothing short of torturous. Not physically, thank goodness, but certainly mentally. So what am I rambling on about? Well, perhaps the title might have tipped you off. WE ARE GOING ON VACATION TO AMERICA!

Ok, you’re probably thinking that I should calm down. No, I will not! The reason why I am so darn excited is because Geoffrey and I haven’t left the country in 4 years. The last real vacation that we went on consisted of us driving from Saskatchewan, Canada, through Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, South Dakota, and North Dakota for 6 days. It was our honeymoon, which we took a year after our wedding, and our goal was to stay at the Stanley Hotel in CO, since we are both Stephen King and paranormal enthusiasts. We stayed there for four nights, in a haunted room, and came back with the most insane stories ever. It was probably the best honeymoon that we could have ever had.

America Road Trip 2-1Our travel dates are from February 28 – March 7. This vacation is going to be a few days longer than our previous one, consist of a couple more states, and will include our pets. We will also be driving, of course. This is our itinerary:

Day 1: Saskatchewan to Montana
Day 2: Montana to Wyoming
Day 3: Wyoming to Colorado
Day 4: Colorado to Utah
Day 5: Utah
Day 6: Utah to Idaho to Montana
Day 7: Montana
Day 8: Montana to Saskatchewan

Now I require something from you. Please list in the comment section everything that you feel that we should see along the way. We need suggestions for amazing sites, spectacular meals, and possible meet-ups! Keep in mind that dog-friendly places are a must.

What do you think? Do you think that these are good states to visit? 

<3

Emory

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a week of valentines: heart-y meal

Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 presetHey guys!

Call me crazy, but with Valentine’s Day coming up, I’m thinking that you’re probably going to be sharing a meal with your loved one. Why not make it a delectable homemade dinner? After all, they say that the way to someone’s heart is through their stomach. Or gifts. Wait, the latter may just be pour moi. ;-)))

This meal is guaranteed to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. It’s also perfectly filling for those chilly February evenings. I made this Chicken recipe just after we moved into our new home and before we had gone on our first grocery trip. I had chicken in the freezer, a box of half-opened Shake’n Bake, potatoes that had seen better days, and frozen corn in the freezer. What I also had were a ton of spices. I thought, I can make something out of this. 

This is how I worked my magic:

Chicken

1. Turn the oven to 375°F. In a bowl, combine chicken wings, oil, salt, pepper, and Shake’n Bake. Adequately cover each wing with mixture. Place on a baking sheet and cover with tin foil. 

2. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil. Bake for an additional 15 minutes or until wings are golden.

Mashed Potatoes

1. Bring water and salt to a boil in a saucepan. Turn down to medium-high heat.

2. Peel the skins off of the potatoes. Cut them into chunks and put them in the boiling water. Cook until a fork can easily pierce through the potatoes. Drain the water from the pan.

3. Add milk, butter, pepper, and dill to the potatoes. Mash until creamy. Add more spices to taste.

Corn

1. Bring water and salt to a boil in a saucepan. Turn down to medium-high heat.

2. Add frozen corn to the water. Cook for approximately 5-10 minutes. Drain.

3. Add butter and pepper to the corn. 

Don’t be surprised if you have to beat your significant other off with a love stick after they taste this Valentine’s Day feast! Just chalk all of those kisses up to another HSB win.

<3

Emory

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

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