Tuesday, April 30, 2013

How To: Create a DIY Travel Map

Inspired by my sister-in-law, I decided to create a map to plot all of our travels!

It is was fun to remember all of the amazing places we have been... and to see all of the places we have left to explore.


  • Map (Cavallini World Map Wrapping Paper from Paper Source, only $3.95!)
  • Frame (20"x28" Ribba Frame from IKEA, only $19.99)
  • Cork (24"x48" roll from Michael's)
  • Spray Adhesive
  • Contact Cement
  • Utility Knife
  • Foam roller or brush
  • Scissors
  • Roller
  • Map Pins (Staples, only $2.69)

Step 1: Cut the Cork

Using the fibreboard from the back of the frame as a template, use the knife to cut the cork to size to match the frame.

Step 2: Adhere the Cork

Using a foam roller or brush, coat the fibreboard and cork with a thin layer of contact cement. Allow the cement to dry to tacky as per the instructions on the bottle.

Once tacky, glue the cork onto the fibreboard, sticky sides together, and roll smooth.

Weight down the cork and allow the glue to dry.

Step 3: Adhere the Map

Coat the cork and back side of the map with a generous layer of spray adhesive. Make sure to spray in a well ventilated area and to well protect your work surface - everything is going to get sticky!

Allow the glue to dry to tacky as per the instructions on the bottle. Place the map onto the cork, sticky sides together, and roll smooth. Trim if required.

Step 4: Frame the Map

Once the adhesive has dried, place the map into the frame.

Step 5: Pin Away!

Of course, I could not just randomly pin our map... I had to come up with a colour coded system... red is my travels, blue is David's travels, green is our travels together, yellow is places we have both been but not together, white is significant locations (our home in Calgary, the location of our wedding in Tofino) and black is where Scout has travelled on his own (Silversmith Farms, South Carolina).

Now we just have to work at filling the map up!


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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Assiniboine Lodge

After almost not making it out of Discovery Lodge in time to catch his next helicopter, Dave headed out to Assiniboine Lodge in Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park, BC for a week of skiing with his dad and brother.

This time I was lucky enough to be able to join him on the Friday! Although Dave is an old pro when it comes to helicopters, this was only my third time in one so I was extremely excited. Friday morning the weather took a turn for the worse and for an hour or so, they weren't even certain we were going to be able to fly in (which would have been disastrous considering I had the food for the whole group!). Eventually the pilot decided we were going to "give it a try" - not very encouraging words when talking about a helicopter! After a long bumpy ride and several landing attempts, I did make it safely to  the lodge where I joined the guys for three days of amazing skiing.




We stayed in the Naiset Huts, located just across the meadows from the main lodge. The huts are a great budget option at only $25 per person per night. The huts are extremely basic, with only bunk beds, wood burning stoves and a common cook shelter, but they provide access to the same spectacular skiing as the lodge at a fraction of the cost. Plus you can still take advantage of many of the lodge's services: beer, wine, fire logs, showers and saunas.

Instead of paying for the helicopter ride out, we decided to challenge ourselves with the 26 km ski out to Mount Shark. Having hiked the trail the summer previous, we knew that it was a mostly flat route... but I don't think we appreciated how flat until about 3 hours into the 6 hour long trudge along in our heavy touring skis.

I have never been so jealous of people in cross country skis!


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Friday, April 19, 2013

Office Progress

In one year, we have turned this:

April 2012
Into this:

April 2013
Things move at warp speed around our house!

We still need to sand, paint and install hardware...


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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Discovery Lodge

As I hinted way back on Valentine's Day, Dave was away skiing with friends at Discovery Lodge in Wells Grey Provincial Park, BC.

Despite the lack of fresh snow, he was treated to a fantastic week of skiing in the Caribou Mountains.

He was supposed to fly back out to civilization on the Saturday morning but a blizzard kept the helicopter grounded and saw them stranded in the hut for an additional day.

He finally arrived home at 10 PM on Sunday night... only to have to repack and drive back out to the mountains to catch another helicopter for his next adventure at 10 AM Monday morning...


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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Not Quite As Planned

Last summer, we thought we found the perfect solution to our drainage problems when we installed the french drains... and we did... well almost anyways...

That was until one February day when I looked outside to see that our downspout had been torn off the side of the house.

My first thought was that the contractor who had come to measure for the Juliette balcony railing must have been stupid enough to try to climb the downspout to access the upper French doors...

Then I looked down...

Apparently the drain had frozen solid and the ice had pushed the downspout up by almost 6"! Tearing all of the brackets in the process...

Thankfully after a full winter, it seems that the problem only occurs in the one downspout on the northeast corner of the house. Our only guess is that it is just that little bit colder, since it does not get any sun, causing the ice to form.

Any ideas how we can fix the problem???


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Monday, April 8, 2013

Still Here...

Despite the lack of blog posts... yes, we are still alive.

As per my New Years Resolution, I have been focusing on taking better care of myself and enjoying the little things in life.

I have joined a gym (Aaron Lipsey's Bootcamp - strongly recommended for anyone who wants to see results fast!) and forced myself to give up the mental road block of the "perfect home" to invite people over for dinner parties. It really is the company, not the surroundings, that make for a memorable evening!

Surprisingly, we have been getting a little bit of work done around the house too! And we have big plans for completing a list of projects this spring. Fingers crossed. I can't wait to share the progress.


Unfortunately, life is still BUSY and something always has to give... despite my best intentions I just have not had the time for blogging. I am hoping to change that too.

So in the meantime... thanks for tuning in despite the silence. I am planning to post more soon!


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