our most pinned diys

Hey guys! 

I recently added a widget for my top blog posts. Since then, I’ve been noticing how a few of them change almost daily while others remain constant in those coveted spots. Because Pinterest is the main catalyst behind their numbers, I thought that I would share my most pinned posts, how they held up over time, and provide updated photos if I can!

Here we go:

Spare Bedroom
(8000+ clicks)

I am almost embarrassed of this post now. I published it nearly 8 years and 4 houses ago. I was showing my favourite bedrooms on Pinterest and how they influenced both of our own spare bedrooms in our home, Little Green. The trend was very early 2000s- colourful, eclectic, and home-made. Almost everything was thrifted. Not at all what our style is now.

That said, I must say that the house did sell very quickly and we made more from the sale than we did with any other home. It’s also my most popular DIY. So I guess there’s something to be said about busy bedrooms?

Wood Pallet Playhouse
(3000+ clicks)

Although the spare bedroom post is currently my most popular, this post that I published 2 years ago on how to build a free wood pallet playhouse is quickly going to surpass it. I am very proud of this project. It was a labour of love for our children and is definitely one of the things they use the most when playing outside.

So how did it hold up after being outside for the last 700 days? The wood pallet platform that it initially rested on only lasted until the end of the first summer. By then, the wood had buckled and split so badly that we ended up getting rid of it. That makes sense though, right? If you were to leave wood laying flat outside for months on end, of course it’s going to warp from all of the precipitation.

What we did instead was create a base of river rocks for the playhouse instead (pictured above). This is something that I recommend highly. We removed the grass, laid down plastic, and then filled it with bags and bags of rocks, as well as larger ones that we collected from neighbouring fields. The river rocks were somewhat pricey, but it ensures that we don’t have to move the playhouse to cut the grass growing inside and around it.

Other than that, the playhouse itself has stood the test of time! It has survived several wind, rain, and snow storms. It hasn’t moved an inch, and hasn’t fallen apart. It is my favourite free DIY to date!

Rocky Mountain Decals Wallpaper
(2000+ clicks)

This wallpaper.

The back story was that I had contacted Rocky Mountain Decals through their website when we were about to renovate our living room. I wanted a wall of wallpaper, but because it would have been several hundred dollars to purchase it all, I thought that there would be no harm in reaching out to companies asking for a collaboration.

They were the first and only company that I ended up contacting with. As luck would have it, they accepted my application and told me to send my top 3 wallpaper preferences along with the wall dimensions. I did, they narrowed it down to one, and a few weeks later I received about $800 worth of wallpaper!

Now applying it wasn’t the issue. I was able to do it easily enough, alone, while five months pregnant. It only took one morning and it looked fantastic. Where the trouble came was afterwards. You know how flooring expands and contracts after installation? Apparently the same goes for wallpaper. What you get as a result in your perfectly smooth application is air bubbles. Bubbles on bubbles on bubbles.

When I first noticed this I thought ‘no big deal, I’ll just smooth it out and they’ll go away.’ I did, but they didn’t. What I came to realize is that air bubbles never just go away on their own. Once they form, you basically need to cut them out. Thus, I spent the next few weeks making slits in the wallpaper wherever I saw a bubble, then very carefully lifting and gluing the backside of the paper down, and finally smoothing it out once again.

The entire process almost drove me to tears. At a few different points, I told Geoff that I wanted to just take it all down. However, he convinced me to leave it up. You really can’t notice the lines that I cut, but I know that they are there.

So what is the verdict? Wallpaper is beautiful. It is a quicker albeit more expensive alternative to paint. Would I wallpaper another wall? Probably not. I am too much of a perfectionist and the bubbles drove me crazy. But if I did, I would have no problems with using Rocky Mountain Decals again. It really is thick and durable wallpaper. Just expect bubbles (with it and with any other brand)!

Tongue and Groove Ceiling
(600+ clicks)

Although this post doesn’t have my highest views, it is the one that I receive the most emails about. Unfortunately, I am unable to answer the questions that I receive about it. Let me explain why.

When it came to this ceiling, it was our contractor’s idea for the wood and for the stain. I had assumed that we were putting up drywall, but he had insisted on tongue and groove. Because he had already budgeted for it, we went ahead with his vision.

He asked us to pick out stain for the ceiling. So we did. We went to Home Depot and picked out a grey Minwax stain. I cannot remember the name. We assumed that he would cover the ceiling in it and that would be the end. However, when we went to the house and saw it, we noticed that it wasn’t stained in the grey that we chose. It was a mix of the grey and a brown. We loved the finished look so we didn’t care that he had made the change without consulting us. When I asked him how or why he did it his reply was, “don’t ask.”

I didn’t press him on the matter. That said, I still get several emails per year from people telling me that they absolutely love the colour of the ceiling and they’d like to know the name of the stain that we used. Unfortunately, aside from the brand, I can’t help them!

Nevertheless it remains my most popular post on The Little Barn on Pinterest.

Reclaimed Pallet Dog Bed
(500+ clicks)

We made a bed for our pets and subsequently published this post over 7 years ago. It was a fairly straightforward DIY that served us very well!

While we went on to make more (and even sell a few on Kijiji), we ended up removing the casters from the bottom of the bed given that our dogs at the time were so small. However, I still suggest using them, especially if you are wanting a more elevated bed for your pets!

Gender Neutral Nursery
(200+ monthly views)

I think that this is probably the room that we have renovated most in our home. And renovated, and renovated, and when Wilder goes downstairs in less than a year, will be renovating one more time. Oye.

But it is also one of the rooms that I love most. While I did mention in the post that we have already changed a few things, it has mostly stayed the same.

It is a super cute and functional space and for that, it is one of our more popular DIY remodels.

Additionally, here a few other posts that turned out really well and have remained really popular on Pinterest. Our Pop-Up Camper, Culverts, Dog Run, Exterior Doors, Jungle Gym, and Hallway Staircase.

I hope you enjoyed this update! Let me know if you would like another popular pins post.

Emory

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wild geese

Wild Geese

“Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.

Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.

Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.”

– Mary Oliver

Emory

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our canadian vacation

This August, I packed up the kids and took them on a two week vacation to British Columbia. Not a fan of flying, I chose to instead drive the 4000 km (round trip). We spent the first eleven days driving there and then venturing across the province. We stayed with family in various parts and went to at least one attraction everyday. A lot of the time, we did two things. Naps were skipped and we were wiped out by the end of each day, but in the best way possible. Geoffrey then flew out to meet us on the twelfth day, and drove back with us over the next three days.

Before leaving, I prayed that it would go well and that we would make it back safely. So many things could have gone wrong, but they didn’t. God certainly kept us out of harm’s way, and we had the trip of a lifetime. Here are the highlights taken from the day Geoff joined us until we made it home.

August 28:

Early that morning my brother, Wilder, and I picked up Geoff from the airport and we met Remy, her cousins, and my sister-in-law at a nearby park and lake. We visited for less than 1 hour then sadly said goodbye. Thus began our trip as a family of four.

We made it to 3 Valley Gap around noon. We had already stopped at the ghost town on our way through about two weeks prior. We loved it so much that we decided to visit it again, this time bringing dada.

We explored old buildings, rode a train, played, ate, and ran around. It is such a fun place to visit, and spending a couple hours there is almost not enough time. Revelstoke is definitely a city of immense possibilities for families, from the Enchanted Forest to the Locomotive Museum. It is one that I look forward to visiting again and again.

After leaving 3 Valley Gap, we drove for a few more hours and made it to Golden, BC that evening. I had already stayed the night in Golden with the kids, and knew that there weren’t any attractions in the small but beautiful town. That said, we still needed something to do that evening as well as the next morning before hitting the road. I therefore asked Geoff to book us a room at the Kicking Horse mountain resort, hoping that there would be trails and/or parks within walking distance.

Located just outside of Golden, it is one of the most picturesque places that I have ever been to. We acquired a room at Winston Lodge and given that the busy season was just ending, a room turned out to be the same price as one at a lower-rate hotel within Golden.

The lodge reminded me of The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, CO. It was huge, beautiful, homey, full of history, had amazing food, and so much more. Guys, if you need to stay the night in Golden, please stay at the lodge or anywhere else in the Kicking Horse resort. What a gorgeous end to an overall fun and fulfilling day.

August 29:

The next morning we ate our complimentary breakfast. Then we went back to our room, packed up, and headed to a park before returning to the road once again. I didn’t want to leave, and wished that we could have stayed another night. Being in the mountains and in a secluded resort felt so freeing! I would have loved to explore the trails and ride the gondola for one more day. Alas, we had to go.

Our next stop was in Banff, AB. We drove through the Rocky Mountains and made it there within two hours.

Once in Banff we parked downtown and went to Central Park so Remy and Wilder could run around and work up an appetite. Then we walked the main street until we settled on a restaurant. After we ate, we went shopping. Afterwards, we returned to our vehicle and loaded everyone up.

Our final destination that day was Drumheller, AB. We arrived around supper time and went straight to the Royal Tyrrell Museum. Remy is in love with dinosaurs, and so naturally she had a blast. We chased her around the museum, going from exhibit to exhibit, naming all of the dinosaurs. Wilder sat content in his stroller.

At the end of the museum visit, she and Geoff climbed the large hill outside, and Wilder and I took photos of them from below. What an amazing place for children!

August 30:

The next day was dedicated to the long drive back home. Although our time with Geoff was short, it became our favourite family vacation to date.

Emory

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arie : newborn photography

Arie Newborn - 12.1Arie Newborn - 11Arie Newborn - 1Arie Newborn - 14.1Arie Newborn - 10Arie Newborn - 3.1Last month, I had offered to take pictures of my sister’s newest son, Arie. I had never done a newborn photo shoot before, so I felt like it was an opportune time to try it. He was a mere three weeks, and slept through the entire thing. Even with his four siblings running around and trying to kiss and hold him, he never stirred. What a perfect little subject.

Arie Newborn - 8Happy Monday, everyone!

<3

Emory

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our trip in photos

Jan Lake Lodge - Trip 4Happy Labour Day, Canada and USA!

Jan Lake Lodge - Trip 1In keeping with the holiday theme, I wanted to share with everyone the pictures that were taken on our most recent vacation. I chose to do things a little differently this time around. Rather than relying solely on my digital camera and iPhone, I had purchased a disposable camera prior to our trip. I was worried that I was going to quickly burn through 27 photos, and would need to buy more than one. To my surprise, it was actually the other way around. I found myself being extremely selective about what I chose to document. Come the last day, I had not yet used the entire roll. Keep in mind that last year, I took over 300 pictures with my Canon. 

Jan Lake Lodge - Trip 7Jan Lake Lodge - Trip 6While the quality is much more grainy, and the cost of the camera and to develop the photographs came to around $40 (a little steep), I actually think that I prefer to use rolls of film rather than digital prints. It made me much more aware of my surroundings, in addition to cherishing the results that much more. Besides, there’s nothing more exciting than waiting a few days to see the results. At least for me, that is.

Jan Lake Lodge - Trip 5Jan Lake Lodge - Trip 8Jan Lake Lodge - Trip 12Jan Lake Lodge - Trip 10Jan Lake Lodge - Trip 13What are your thoughts on film vs. digital prints?

<3

Emory

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