Adventuring on the Brokenhead Wetland Interpretive Trail

I’ve been wanting to head up to Grand Beach for a few weeks now, but every Sunday it’s rain rain rain! Finally, this past Sunday, while forecast to be overcast was hot and not rainy. Beach time! On our way up to the beach, right off HWY 59 I planned a stop to do a fun walk on the Brokenhead Wetland Interpretive Trail! I had seen some pictures of the trail and it looked really really nice (and did not disappoint!). There is signs right on the highway for it so it’s not hard to find, and about 20m before the beach gates.

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The trail just had it’s grand opening last month and it’s gorgeous. Almost the whole 3.6km in and out trail is a wooden boardwalk. It’s an easy flat walk and even wheelchair accessible which is nice to see. There are bathrooms, a parking lot and some picnic benches at the trailhead as well as a map and some information about why this trail is so unique! The map states that insect repellent is recommended and while I totally agree with that, the bugs were surprisingly not bad! Especially compared to last week.

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The trail starts out as a short gravel path leading to the boardwalk. Immediately you are surrounded by trees!

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After a short gravel path we were onto the wooden boardwalk. My kids love wooden boardwalks so instantly the trail was a hit. The wooded parts were just gorgeous!!

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The trees were so tall and dense, it was amazing!

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The scenery was breathtaking!

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The kids were pretty excited to see an erratic. There was one in one of their favourite cartoons, Clarence, so seeing one IRL was pretty excited. On the boardwalk edge there is some info about erratics that B read aloud to us.

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Along the way are interpretive panels explaining various things on the trail.

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There were tonnes of lady slippers! This trail is known for its orchids and these were the ones we saw the most.

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After a while, the trees give way to fen. It was so interesting to go from balsam forest to cedar swam to fen.

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Along the way were also rest areas with large panels showing how far along the trail you are and some info on that particular part of the trail along with benches to take a break on.

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The kids were so into watching the water striders do their thing off the boardwalk.

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Carnivorous plants! The kids thought these pitcher plants were mega-cool.

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We learned on this info panel that there are 8 kinds of carnivorous plants in the area – we only managed to find three!

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Adventuring is more fun up high!

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I had never heard of sundews before! This panel was really well placed, if you looked just past it there was a number of patches of sundew.

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There were numerous butterflies all around us!

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Once we reached the end it was time to turn around and see it all again! We spotted many things on the way back that we did not see on the way in.

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A race to the car at the end!

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After the trail we drove off to Grand Beach and spent a relaxing afternoon in the sun. With some post trail ice cream of course!

Pink and gold are the best Project Life colours

I just finished this sweet Project Life layout using my favourite colours, gold and pink! Everything here is available from theinkroad.com and super super cute! Don’t forget to use code ‘odessa’ for 10% off!

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I just used a few things on this layout. I started with the Project Life Sweet Edition Instagram Cards because I just love the colours and gold foil on them. I combined it with the We R Memory Keepers Wildflower ephemera for more gold foil, some Heidi Swapp Washi Tape that went well and these Amy Tangerine Thick and Thin Thickers. And voila. A cute shiny Project Life layout.

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First Family Hike of the Year: Birds Hill Park

It’s been a fantastically busy busy week in our world, Ryan and I were both down with the flu, B had some day surgery, my yarn store moved to it’s new location. So I was looking mighty forward to going to the beach on Sunday. When I looked at the forecast Saturday night and saw all that rain I was so unimpressed. I think this is the second Sunday in a row our beach plans have been foiled by rain. Jerk clouds!

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Anyways, we still wanted to get out and get stuff done. Turns out, while there have been a few hikes in the past couple of months, none of them involved the whole family. So when Ryan suggested a hike, it was a perfect idea! We packed up our rain jackets and head out to Birds Hill Park. It was not a long drive kind of day so Birds Hill was perfect. It’s not too far away and has a wealth of trails. Because I know my kids love towers, I knew the Chickadee Trail was the one for us.

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At 4km of pretty much mostly all flat terrain, it’s a nice walk in the woods. Lots of wooded areas, benches along the path and a fun viewing tower to check out around 1/3 of the way in. It’s a really great trail for kids. Lots to see without having to worry too much about where you are putting your feet (unless it’s in the bush, because you are not doing that because omgpoisonivyouch).

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And because there are so many trails in the area, it’s really well marked. And lined with Saskatoon berries which made Little Bear very happy.

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There were a TON TON TON of mosquitoes, so we came out smelling like all the bug spray. B told me that they should name it ON instead of OFF because all the mosquitoes were on him and refused to hear that it would be worse without the bug spray. There were also a ton of other neat bugs, plants and flowers that kept the kids super engaged, including this super cute crab spider.

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And this gorgeous green bug. I haven’t had a good look at our bug book to identify it yet, but the colour is so vibrant!

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And some fluffy-as-heck bees that were just so cute the kids wanted to pet them. They were busy doing what bees do so we just watched them.

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Other than bugs and dogs with their owners we didn’t see much in the way of animals, but we heard some pretty bird calls!

We’re hoping to get a lot more hiking in this summer. We have a couple of bigger camping trips planned to Adam Lake and Kakabeka Falls, but I’m hoping we get in some smaller trips too as well as try to go on hikes together on Sundays.

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The last little bit of the trail was rainy for us, but luckily we had rain jackets. And it was pretty refreshing. We drove back into the city with a quick stop at Thom Bargen for all the post-hike coffees.

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This Project Life Layout is all about Peonies

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For this week’s Ink Road layout, I am all about the peonies! I’ve been hoarding the “Stop and Smell the Peonies” card from the MAMBI Happy Planner Pocket Card set for too long, but knew I had to use it on this layout! That gold foil! The My Fav card is from the same set. So lovely. All that pink! Everything I used on this layout is from Me and My Big Ideas. I love their stuff. Lara has some great MAMBI stuff in stock – don’t forget to use code ‘odessa’ when you check it out for 10% off!

The washi I used is all from the MAMBI Happy Planner Peony Washi tube, because well, of course! What goes better? I have seriously almost killed that roll of peony washi tape, it’s just so pretty! I used the MAMBI Alpha & Phrase stickers in gold to go with the gold foil. I love gold and pink together. Because I didn’t have a Project Life sleeve that fit both a 6×6 photo and some 3x4s well, I broke out the fuse to make it work! in the small 2×6 space leftover, I cut down one of the gorgeous papers from the Expandable Blank and White MAMBI pad to slide in there with a few MAMBI stickers to finish off the layout. It’s a little more simple than my usual layout, but I really like how pretty and girly it turned out.

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A Party Without Cake is not worthy of a Project Life Layout

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Here is my latest layout for The Ink Road. About cake! I find my albums are a balance between family fun and things I find pretty and this layout for sure falls into the second. I used a bunch of really fun stuff on this layout – use code “odessa” at The Ink Road to get 10% off!

Here’s a list of everything I used. Click on them to go straight to The Ink Road to check them out!

Illustrated Faith Homespun Alpha Stickers

Illustrated Faith She Blooms Cardstock – 3x4s 

The Happy Planner Pocket Cards

Pink Paislee Fancy Free Paper 01

Simple Stories Carpe Diem 3×4 Journaling Elements Paper

Better Together White Thick and Thin Thickers

Simple Stories Carpe Diem Word Label Stickers

MAMBI Clear Stickers – White Alphas and Words

The Happy Planner Watercolor Washi

 

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I made this meringue adorned cake for a really dear friend’s moving away party so this Beyonce stamp from The Ink Road – it’s not in the shop anymore, but there have been a couple of really awesome limited stamps from Lara like this One in a Melon collaboration with Right at Home!

 

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Sometimes I have a little too much fun working on layouts. Hahah. This Illustrated Faith Homespun Alpha is tdf! It’s just so useable. And it’s a yardstick finish so if you can’t find it in the colour you want, it’s easy to colour yourself! Paired with the cake card from The Happy Planner Pocket Card set, this little section of my layout makes me giggle. Planner or Project-Life-er, that pocket card set is pretty great. It has a lot of fun sayings (AND GOLD FOIL).