Where We've Been

You may have been wondering where I'VE been lately. I seem to have gone missing after my half-bathroom reveal, but no worries -- I'm still here!  Life has been busy, and this little hobby takes a back seat when that happens.  I've been working on a client project, helping my mom choose a few new finishes and fixtures for her kitchen update, and last week was M's last day of 2-day Preschool. All that, on top of a whirlwind trip to New York for my cousin's bridal shower, beginning a Whole 30, planting our vegetable garden, and working outside with my flowers has made for a busy May. More on all of that later... hopefully.

For now, this post is about where WE'VE been! "We" being my little family.

Growing up, travel played an important role in my life and husband's life.  As a kid, I took countless road trips with my family, and specifically my mom. From visiting relatives all over the country (and sometimes internationally), to traveling state-to-state showing my Arabian & Half-Arabian horses, and enjoying some relaxing (aaaand sometimes crazy fun!) tropical vacations and cruises with friends, I had experiences that are irreplaceable and unforgettable.

My husband's travel record is nothing short of fascinating either.  As a teenager, his dad had an exchange student from Denmark who he's stayed in close contact with. He and his family are such incredibly interesting people who make you feel so comfortable when they come to visit. They operate a mission and travel quite a bit, living in different countries. My in-laws have visited their friends several times over the years, a couple of trips were when my husband was younger. He got to experience so much over in Europe, including seeing the Berlin Wall still standing, and after the fall. He visited and learned about Concentration Camps which undeniably had a impact on him. His parents visited a few years ago while their friends lived in Cypress, and rode camels in the desert. How fun!

So needless to say, we are trying to continue this priceless tradition with our children. They already have their passports (T's 1 year old passport photo is sooo cute!), and have traveled out of the country.  

Last year we went to Florida with them, a non-stop flight for our first experience, which went quite well! Then a couple of months later my whole family took a Disney Cruise to the Caribbean for my mom's 60th birthday. That was a blast! We stopped in Grand Cayman, Costa Maya, Cozumel & Castaway Cay -- Disney's own private island. Truth be told, we only got off the ship in Castaway Cay, which was a beautiful beach perfect for toddlers to enjoy. Mexico was sooo hot with nothing for our age children to do (although the thought of sitting in a cantina or somewhere on the beach with a frozen drink in my hand sounded delightful!), and it was pretty windy in Grand Cayman, a port which you tender into. That was fine with us. On those days we played in the pools and splash pads with not many other people. 

Soon we will be departing on our second Disney cruise to Alaska (I'm 100% sure we'll be getting off the boat at all three ports). That's what really inspire this post and tutorial. Hey Disney, if you're listening, maybe you could sponsor our next trip, because I'm pretty excited about the Hawaiian cruises you've added for 2015! ;)

I've really been wanting to document our travels in our home with a pin map, but when I searched to buy one, they were really pricey What do I do when I want something that's outside of my ideal budget? Make it myself, of course! 

This took me all of 10 minutes and less than $20, and I love how it turned out! 

*A map of your choice (I chose a world map, for obvious reasons, which I purchased at Hobby Lobby for around $3 using my 40% coupon)
*Spray Adhesive (3M Super 77, which I already had)
*Insulation Board (about $13 at Home Depot for a 4'x8' sheet. Plenty left over for future projects!)
*Utility Knife

Step 1:

Unroll your map, and roll it up the other way. This will help quickly flatten your map out. I suppose you could lay it out and put books on it, but this way took about 5 seconds. 

Step 2:

Spray the back of your map (NOT the insulation board!) with the spray adhesive. I let it dry for about 30 seconds, so it's tacky and not wet. In college I used this Super77 spray a lot to make design boards. It's much cleaner than a brush on paste, and it makes your finished project lay nice and smooth.

Step 3:
Starting in a corner, attach your map to the insulation board, smoothing the map as you go, to ensure no bubbles or wrinkles. The spray adhesive allows the map to be re-positionable for a short amount of time.

Step 4:
Once your map is all adhered, take your utility knife and cut along the edge of your map. You can use a metal straight edge (like a ruler or large level) to be sure your cuts are clean, but I didn't, because I'm just that good... kidding. The insulation board is much easier to cut using a sharp knife than my other option - foam core board.

Step 5:
Step back and enjoy your new pin map!

See how easy that was? Now you can either frame it (my map is 50"x32", so a frame that large was not available) or attach it to your wall in some other creative fashion. Since I'm still loving the mirror in my half-bathroom, I decided to recreate that look with this map.

The tones in this map compliment the colors used throughout our playroom/formal living room. How did these two rooms end up in the space space? Kind of an oxymoron, but it's just one giant extra room that should be used as a formal living and dining room. I should call it our Christmas room rather than our "formal living room", since that's usually the only time we really sit in here other than to play. Either way, this adds a fun piece of artwork to the space, and a learning tool for the boys. Oh, and the blue of the water works nicely with my freshly painted built-in backs, which took my husband weeks to notice! Ha!

Linking Up To:
A Bowl Full of Lemons - One Project at a Time
Thrifty Decor Chicken - June Before & After
I Heart Nap Time - Link Party Palooza #44

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