Tag Archives: Travel


My husband is really into all things tactical and practical. If you ever find yourself stranded or in an emergency, he’d be the guy you’d want with you. He carries around a backpack that’s fully equipped for practically every situation you could imagine (and yes, it does have the world’s smallest survival kit in it). Lately he likes looking at those Every Day Carry (EDC) blogs. At first I thought it was pretty ridiculous, but then I started seeing all the neat little  things people feel they need on their person and it became interesting to see what different people carry around with them. It’s kind-of a little glimpse into ones personality, I think.

I thought it would be a bit funny to do one on here. So, without further apologizing for my silliness, here is Bria’s EDC:



(I tried to organize it in columns…but do your best to follow along)

  • House key, car key and our SUV key, held together by a carabiner (because those come in handy) along with a Rainbow Loom key chain made by my daughter and a paracord key chain made by my husband (which can come apart and has multiple survival uses)
  • Wallet (no, I’m not going to go through all of my change and cards…but I am hoping to get a leather one soon)
  • Sunglasses
  • Buck knife which is always clipped on the outer pocket of my bag for easy access (Edit: Model 327 Buck Nobleman with Titanium coated stainless steel handle which was a gift from my sister for being her Maid-of-Honor).
  • Coffee hook (hooks underneath of your coffee sleeve and then hooks onto your shopping cart).
  • Flashlight
  • 3 pens (one for me and one for each of our older children)
  • Black travel make-up case (everything else listed from now on fits nicely inside of it)
  • Advil
  • Bath & BodyWorks honey vanilla lotion
  • Instant Coffee (Starbucks VIA…you never know when you’ll need a coffee)
  • Band-Aid’s (Amelia is my daughter, enough said).
  • Ricola cough drops
  • Another knife…just because
  • Burts Bees lip-gloss, Lip Smackers Dr.Pepper lip-gloss, Lipstick (Elizabeth Arden in Perfect Melon)
  • Nail clippers
  • Tampon (a girl’s gotta be prepared)
  • Nicki Minaj Pink Friday perfume
  • Hello Kitty lip-gloss (Amelia’s)
  • Mints from the Wynn in Vegas
  • Floss

Not Shown: iPhone, reusable cloth bags that I usually stuff inside, a toque, a notebook, and the paperwork for my non-restricted firearms license that I still haven’t taken out of my bag and should really send away for.

All of which is carried in the medium Tobacco coloured Leather Satchel (which converts quickly and easily into a backpack) made by Saddleback Leather. You should really check them out. For real. We have a number of their products (my bag, a few leather pouches and our iPad case) and they really do make the best leather products.

So that’s that. My EDC. Maybe not full of cool gear like everyone else’s, but it’s what I need for being a busy mother of three on-the-go! So, is anyone else is brave enough to dump the contents of their bag or purse?



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Feeling Fear

Have you ever been so afraid that you can practically feel the fear coursing through you? So terrified that if feels as though your heart is about to burst out of your body?

The sounds around you become muffled as your pulse beats in your ears. You hone in to your breathing. You close your eyes and try to, unsuccessfully, calm yourself with reason.

This is how I felt 56′ in the air.

I have been trying to learn how to  take risks and put myself out “there”. “There” is ever-changing; a new friendship, a new skill, a new experience. It can be so easy to stay the same person year after year. You get in a rut or a comfortable spot and you forget to live a little or you have a dream but you feel as though it’s too big, too lofty so you don’t even try.

In October we took the kids to Mall of America. I’ve been to the gigantic consumer’s paradise numerous times, but they had recently revamped their whole amusement park. It’s pretty impressive now, in my opinion, and I highly recommend the trip. While doing some research for our short stay I read that Nickelodeon Universe had installed a 56′ ropes course in the park.  I got very excited and became determined to tackle this four-leveled monstrosity.

Fast-forward to me 56′ up in the air standing on a 3′ wide platform, trying to muster enough courage to step-out onto two wobbly ropes, with only one loosely hanging stabilizing rope, just beyond my reach.

I looked down to little ant-sized James and shook my head back and forth. He gave me a big smile and two thumbs up. “Easy for him to say” I grumbled to myself, “he’s not up here…and he’s scared of heights!”

Amelia had joined me on the ropes for three levels and then decided she’d had enough. Conveniently the third level is where you get off of the course and go down a massive spiraling slide. While I was dropping her off a guy began removing her harness and I asked him how many people make it to the gangplank, he told me about 60%.

Have I not mentioned the gangplank? Oh yes, it’s this 4′ long x 1′ wide plank that you walk out on with no sides and nothing to hold onto! At the end you pull down on a rope and a big horn blows to signal that you’ve made it. This was my goal. Get to the horn. But first I had to walk across two wobbly little ropes and in order to do that….my feet had to move. I had to take two steps out and grab the overhead rope. I knew as soon as I had that rope in my hands that it would be fine, but when you’re 56′ up in the air, it feels like the biggest distance, the biggest risk. What if I put all my weight onto the ropes and they wobble too much? What if I lose my balance? What if I panic half-way?

As I stood on that platform I contemplated turning around and calling it quits, heading back down to the slide and getting safely to the ground. I didn’t want to be so high anymore. I didn’t want to be this freaked-out.

Then I thought to myself, “Half-way home I’m going to regret it. I’m going to wish I’m right back here at this very moment, feeling this fear. But instead of turning around and picking the safe route I’m going to wish that I had stepped-out and taken the risk.”

This ropes course excited me for two reasons; I’m a bit of an adrenalin junkie and I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. I wanted to set a goal for myself and follow through. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m very good at giving-up. I start things and when they get hard, I don’t finish them. I’m tired of that.

So I shuffled my toes off of the platform and stepped out with one foot, then the other. In a split second I had the rope in my hand and I was moving across the 20′ stretch to the next platform. When I got to the gangplank I looked down. There was a crowd gathered and some people were pointing at me, way up in the air. I looked straight ahead and marched forward. I did it!

Sure, it’s a silly amusement park “ride”, but I conquered it and I am damn proud of that fact.

It was as though this little blip in my day was a physical testament to my desire to overcome some of my fears, to take risks and to walk into the unknown.

It’s there a chance of failure? Yes, but there’s also a chance of success and I’ll never know until I step off the edge.

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This Girl

Who has an amazingly awesome husband?

This girl!

Who gets to celebrate their 30th birthday and 9th anniversary with a surprise trip to Vegas?

This girl!

Who is beyond excited to spend six days on an actual child-free vacation?


(Seriously though, what a guy! All I have to do is pack a bag because he took care of everything else! Eeek! I can’t wait.)

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Snapshots Of A Cottage Life – Part II

I look forward to our time out at my In-law’s cottage with much anticipation. There’s always such great food and good company in such a relaxing and beautiful setting. The perfect place for our last few days of summer. The kids love it there. Between the fun toys, the wonderful grandparents, the boating, the swimming, the fishing, the fires, the dog, the chocolate milk and the calm mother, what more could they ask for?

There’s nothing like waking-up to the sun poking through the white cotton blinds, sleepily curled under the flowery Ikea bedding. The air crisp and clean carries the sounds of the woods and the river in through the open window.With comfy slippers shuffling downstairs to grab a cup of coffee, I sit in the cushy chair, book in hand, and I breathe.

The cottage is a place to slow down. A place to breathe. It’s a place that reminds you of the simple and good things in life. Family. Friends. Food. Play. {and red wine in the afternoon}

I love cottage life.

Snapshots Of A Cottage Life – Part I



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Gimli Beach Day.

This past week my sister and I took our kids out to Gimli for the day. We had a grand ol’ time jumping the waves and warming ourselves in the sun. It was my first beachy day of the summer! Not having a vehicle had put a damper on most of my summer plans and I had almost given-up on getting out to a beach when, out of nowhere, my sister told me she would be by my house in 45 minutes to pick us and that we’d better pack. Gotta love sisters.



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Calming Cottage.

This weekend we were able to sneak away from the all the hustle and bustle of Thanksgiving for an overnighter at the in-law’s cottage. It was lovely. The weather was just beautiful and I had such a relaxing time. It’s hard to come home and get back into the swing-of-things once you’ve finally calmed yourself down by sitting around drinking cider and chatting. But it’s well worth it. There’s something about the simplicity and slower pace of cottage life that gets me every time. I just don’t want to leave; the cozy couches, the clean air, the water, the fishing, it’s all so good for the soul.


I hope you all had a great long weekend eating lot’s of turkey and getting your fill of pumpkin pie. I’m off to finish making some Chili Con Carne Soup!

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Snapshots Of A Cottage Life.


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