My favourite adventuring things – Books

I just love going on adventures with my family! We have so much fun and see such neat things. It’s the best! It’s as simple as going for walks on nice paths or trails or as fun as going on a big camping trip. And I can’t wait until they’re just a bit older and stronger so we can go backpacking! Anyways. I’m working on putting together my adventure must haves. Some are camping specific, some are Canadian Prairies specific, but these are the things I <3.


For my first personal adventure musts post, here are the books I use to help plan and go on adventures. These are pretty Manitoba specific, but I am pretty sure the Prairies have the least resources like this across the provinces. I could be wrong. Anyways, you should be able to find something! I use the internet a lot too, but these books give me ideas and starting points and I’ve gone on a few adventures I would not have otherwise thanks to them!

  1. Manitoba Backroad Mapbook – this is a good area resource. I usually use this map book when I have decided on a location to see what’s around it. It has a nice section in the back with blurbs on adventures, fishing spots and more.
  2. Hiking The Heartland – this is probably my most used resource. It’s all written in and has remnants of pressed flowers. While not definitive, this is a great place to find trails. I often plan our camping trips around trails and things to see so I usually start here. It has pictures, maps, GPS coordinates and is organized into sections like day hikes, in town hikes, family hikes and more. If you’re into trails and hiking I really recommend this book, it’s the one on this list I use the most.
  3. Saskatchewan and Manitoba Nature Guide – This one is a bit different than the other ones on the list, but probably our second most used book. The kids are always asking me what plants we’re seeing or what kind of bug just landed on them so I always toss this slim book in my hiking bag. It’s also great for identifying things around the campsite or to figure out what’s in the area. I love this book!
  4. Manitoba Trans Canada Trail Maps – I use the Boreal one the most, but these maps are a great resource for the Trans Canada Trail. The maps are easy to read and the backside is full of things to see in the area. There is a lot of Trans Canada Trail in our province so this is a great way to plan short or long hikes along it.
  5. A Daytripper’s Guide to Manitoba – This book is a newer addition to my local adventure planning library, but a good one. It’s divided by regions and is packed full of attraction and day trip suggestions. It’s a great place to look for out of the ordinary attractions when planning a trip.

Pink and Gold Project Life Layout


Today I’m at The Ink Road with a super cute white and gold and pink Project Life layout. I used just three things to make this layout. Remember, you can use code ‘odessa’ to get 10% off:


Fancy Pants Designs Millie and June Collection Ephemera – this ephemera collection is so so so cute! I was pretty excited to use the Best Mom Ever ribbon. Add in a cupcake with a speech bubble and those tiny stars and this ephemera pack made me so happy!!


Hero Arts Hello Gorgeous Stamps – some super fun phrases that just work for so many things. I use this stamp set a lot. Awesomesauce!


Golden Project Life Specialty themed cards – these gold and white cards are just so classy! I love them.


My First Traveler’s Notebook.

Well, maybe not quite my first, but the first I’ve stuck with for sure! Here’s a video flip through of a Traveler’s Notebook I recently did from our trip to Kakabeka Falls in Ontario (there will be a post about that soon enough!). I had grabbed the little Yellow Paper House notebook that came with the Studio Calico Scout Planner kit to start making some packing/shopping notes for our camping trip and decided to try to continue documenting our trip in it.


I packed up two little pouches – one with various sticker sheets and such (mostly from Studio Calico and Ali Edwards Story Kits. The second pouch was full of stamps. Summery fun stamps, alpha stamps and roller stamps. Most of them came from various Studio Calico Kits or add-ons.


I made major use of the Ali Edwards Time Roller Stamp to get our timeline down. And I used this alpha stamp a lot! Also in my stamp pouch was a mini dark grey pigment ink. I decided for sake of ease to just take one colour of ink with me, especially since the paper was so colourful. Finally, I used my 7Paper Goldie List Stamp like bananas because it’s such an easy way to make a ton of checkboxes. I LOVE that roller stamp. A couple of other stamps I used a lot are the Studio Calico Urban Summer, Let’s Chill and the stamp from the Annette add-on – these are perfect summer documenting stamps!


I think my most used things in here were stamps (duh) – I used them wherever I thought they worked or to emphasize dates, times or specific words. I also used word strips and washi a tonne – I brought flat sheets of washi stickers with me to take up less room and have variety. Most of the stickers are from various Studio Calico planner kits with a few other Studio Calico or Ali Edwards sheets thrown in. I just love those small sticker sheets, they are so portable!


I seriously had so much fun working on this notebook – it gave me something to do during downtime and a chance to reflect on the day. I plan to make a little place for it when I get around to adding the photos from our trip to my Project Life album. And I for sure plan to do another for our next camping trip – this time I’ll share what I am bringing along!

Simple Stories Project Life Layout

Today I’m showing off an Ink Road project I did using some fun Simple Stories products. I just love the bright colours they use. Below I’ve linked to everything I used on the layout – use code ‘odessa’ to get 10% off your order!


I found this burst of photos on my phone from when my oldest son went off to camp on his own for the first time and knew I had to make a layout showing his excitement! I was so excited about the Simple Stories Sunshine and Happiness cut apart page that I had to use it. It’s just so cheerful! I combined it with some Simple Stories Washi Tape and embellished with some Simple Stories Brads (love that they are stick on!!) and Carpe Diem Ephemera (which is just so fun!). I also used some Simple Stories Word Stickers to fill in the blanks on one of the 3×4 cut outs.  I added in some Amy Tangerine stickers to finish it off. I just wanted a layout with bright colours that showed off how really excited he was.



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.


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.


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


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!!


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


The scenery was breathtaking!


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.



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


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



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


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.


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


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


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


Adventuring is more fun up high!


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.


There were numerous butterflies all around us!


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.


A race to the car at the end!


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!