instead of monthly films for july and august, i’ve split all of our summer footage into three. this is the first — camping with some of our favourite people in garner lake and writing on stone provincial parks.

sun and rain and fun and love.

this is camping in hankiland.

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truth be told, i’ve never been a “car person”. as long as a vehicle can get me from point a to point b, i’ve been pretty indifferent about all of the details. that said, we’ve been considering a pickup truck for a while — mostly for the extra cargo space and towing capacity required when camping with five people — so when ford approached us to participate in their #fordoutdoors program the same week we were planning our camping trip to southern alberta, the answer was easy; sign us up!

because of the mental and physical health boosting power of spending time outdoors, ford is encouraging canadians to escape the city this summer and get outside to reap the benefits for their health and well being. for a family who spent much of our summers outside rain or shine, this is messaging we can get behind.

the first thing mark and i did when we got on the road in “our” new f-150 was try out the built in active motion seat massage feature. remember what i said above about not being a car person?! turns out i just hadn’t ridden in a vehicle with cooling massaging seats for a six hour road trip before 🤣

having never travelled in a full sized truck before, the kids were super happy in the spacious back seat, with ample room for the bazillion toys and books they deem necessary for every road trip. and considering it has a two hour battery life, being able to charge her ancient ipod herself in the back seat entertainment centre was especially exciting for lila.

while comfort was obviously a highlight for me, there are also a lot of safety features that made me enjoy the ride. typically mark does all of the trailer towing on our camping adventures (while i’m constantly handing the kids the book or water or toy they dropped, haha) but with the extra control of the adaptive cruise and lane keeping system, i felt more than confident enough to take the driver’s seat to get out of the city.

one of many other features that makes towing extra simple with the f-150, is the blis (blind spot information system) that notifies you not only of vehicles travelling in the truck’s blind spot, but those in range of the trailer as well. i really didn’t think driving a different vehicle would make much difference, but the features included in this truck honestly took away so much of the stress of pulling a trailer for me.

we usually toss the kids’ bikes into the trailer while heading out on camping trips, so it was great to have the additional cargo space to keep the associated dirt away from our beds and in the truck box; but let’s be serious here, the highlight for me was definitely having the extra room to transfer all of our floaties and paddle boards to the water for an epic float down the milk river.

(if you’re ever camping in the writing-on-stone area, ten thumbs up from the hankis for the paddle and float from weir bridge to the campground!)

honest review, the ford f-150 was such a comfortable way to explore the beautiful views across our province AND to get back home safely just in time for bedtime. i have the distinct feeling i’ll be seriously missing the built in massage on our next road trip.

while we did partner with ford canada for this blog post, all thoughts and opinions expressed are solely my own.

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a sand castle, a beach ball and a flamingo pool floatie walk into a bar…
starting its life as a shipping container, this particular cardboard box has been reimagined as a robot ballerina, a space man, and finally, a sandcastle. the beach ball began as a newspaper, and later became a planet before transforming into a colourful ball (the scarlet stripe front and center for our red loving boy). materials for the floatie include a slice of a cardboard construction tube, scrunched up kraft paper, the stuffing from two old pillows, two pairs of old tights, scrap fabric, three cans of pink spray paint and a whole lot of mod podge — essentially whatever we had on hand! it was a good halloween.

  • November 8, 2018 - 3:24 pm

    Amanda - seriously, i love your creativity! it’s got me thinking up for next year!ReplyCancel

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our backyard is seeing a lot more of us this summer, thanks largely in part to our new springfree trampoline.

we are always looking for ways to get our kids spending more time outdoors being active, so when we were presented with the opportunity to try out a springfree trampoline this summer, we jumped (😆) on it!


truth be told, i’ve always been a bit nervous about trampolines and for years i’ve been hesitant to put one in my yard despite the kids begging for one for as long as i can remember. thankfully, my childhood memories of getting pinched by open springs and being bounced off the side, are far from the reality of modern springfree trampolines.

with flexible rods located underneath the jumping mat, instead of the traditional ‘springs around the edges’ design, and the safety net around the perimeter, there’s far less risk of anyone getting hurt while bouncing, which definitely has eased my mind while the kids (and let’s be honest, the parents too!) spend hours outside.


throughout the summer, our trailer is parked on our driveway out front and the kids have really missed having a chalk canvas the last couple years so they are pretty excited they can now draw on the trampoline instead!


we’ve had a lot of hot afternoons (and mornings. and evenings.) this summer and one of the kids new favourite things to do is put the sprinkler underneath the trampoline and bounce around in the water. even better, just add water balloons. bonus: the sprinkler quickly washes away any left over chalk residue!

i really cannot rave enough about what an awesome addition our springfree trampoline has been to our backyard this summer. the kids are spending way more time outside than they used to and i’m hearing was less of the “i’m bored” i’m accustomed to hearing. overall, it’s a win win around here!

for anyone in the edmonton area, the springfree pop up shop and test jump trampoline at west edmonton mall are only open for another week or so, so i’d highly recommend heading over there for a bounce and to see if a springfree trampoline is a good fit for your family!




while we did partner with springfree trampoline for this blog post, all thoughts and opinions expressed are solely my own!

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