DIY Closet Reno

So because we’re in a century plus old house, our closet rod at the front fell down the other day completely. But good thing it did in a way because it allowed me to see what the space looked like without it in. And I decided to move the bar to the other wall for something different. Sometimes what appears to be something bad is a blessing in disguise (actually most times it is). So I set to work thinking of how I was going to mount the closet rod again and planned what board I would use for the shelf on top etc.

After a day or so, I was able to go to the store and pick up a couple new closet rod brackets at the Home Depot which would work nicely ($10) and wouldn’t break my budget. By the way, I almost always try to do things the cheapest way possible because I love to see how I can repurpose things I find for free or laying around our workshop in the basement. So it just so happened we had an old but ding-free board from an entertainment unit in the basement which I chose for my shelf. Next I had to measure how long the shelf would need to be, so I took my tape measure and measured off the space for the closet, and asked my hubby to cut the board accordingly (he used our jigsaw which I cannot bring myself to use yet). So after that, I held up the board and took a bracket in hand, and drew lines under the shelf where the holes would be drilled for the screws to go in from the underside of the brackets. This part was tricky doing on my own, but I didn’t have much choice as my hubby was laying down with a headache/sore muscles. I finally managed to get everything lined up and marked the holes out. Then I got ready to drill holes into the shelf board, matching up the appropriate sized drill bits for the screws that came with the brackets. To make things easier, I first attached the brackets to the bottom of the shelf, then I decided to attach the brackets to the wall. I’m glad there was already some boards along the wall to rest the shelf on at one side, which helped when propping everything up. I was able to secure the top screws into the wall through this board, but next I had to cut some short boards to go in behind the bottom half of the shelf brackets along the wall since there was a gap there between the wall and the brackets. So I cut two equal-sized boards, and nailed them to the wall behind the brackets. Next I drilled holes for the screws to go into the bottom fo the brackets and put those screws in. Everything went pretty good overall, I just had a bit of trouble at one point when I went to drill some holes and the drill bit wasn’t quite lined up properly so when I went to drill, the bit came out sideways a bit and scraped one of my fingers which was holding the board… 🙁  Thankfully I didn’t drill a hole in my hand! But lesson learned – always make sure the drill bit is in straight!!

So there you have it, I was able to finish putting up this closet in one evening and finished hanging back up all our jackets and sweaters. Next step will be to put in some hooks for my cleaning supplies since I don’t have a linen/broom closet. Catch you next time, folks!



Camping Trip 2012


Thought I’d say a bit about our latest camping trip since it turned out quite nice, and do a bit of mini-promo for the campground – Rubber Ducky Campground and Resort in Woodlands, MB (about 20 mins. outside of Winnipeg). This was our first time camping there, and the idea came from my sister-in-law, who did lots of research beforehand as she took her family too. So we all packed up (two adults and two kids in my family and in my brother’s family), and drove out to the campground on Saturday afternoon. It was a nice weekend as has been the case all summer long – like plus 30 deg. Celcius so it was a bit hot for camping, but nice for swimming in a pool, which they have two of! So we spent most of the time in the pool helping our kids learn to swim (and for myself, getting over my own phoebia of water). This was my first time in a pool all year so it was good to go in, even if just to get somewhat used to it. I’m slowly learning how to swim because I want to, and because I need to for my kids’s sakes. Anyhoo, more on that later, but here’s our camping story.

We drove to the campground, after getting a bit turned around, but I had printed some directions from off the Internet which helps a lot since our GPS isn’t too useful for rural addresses. Well, if you have a family, you’ll love this place – first of all they have a nice HUGE pool area complete with two pools – a kiddie one, and another, slightly deeper, heated pool, plus 2 hot tubs! It’s perfect if you go for a swim and then want to warm up then go back for more. The pools are free and are right beside the campground office/restaurant which has some nice showers and arcades and puzzles/games to rent if you’re rained out. There’s also a really awesome gumball machine that costs 25 cents, but gives your kids a cool show by sending your gumball through a rollercoaster of sorts and playing music for you! (We loved it’s entertainment value so much we each had to try). And it’s nice that the resort is family owned and operated so it felt good because I know that they do care about their customers. Everything is family friendly! There is even an outdoor movie area by the pool where they had a movie on Saturday night. Also, each weekend they host different events for either charity or fun. So lots to do!

As a bonus, our campsite was right beside a big playground where the kids could slide, swing, go on a see-saw, or play in some playhouses. Plus they had dumptrucks to play with at the playground. Even though we didn’t try it, they also loan out badminton rackets, baseballs, bats and mitts, etc. for their extra recreation areas. I thought we might do that, but the weather was just too hot to try that out.

After arriving, we set up camp complete with tent and lawn chairs, then decided to go for a swim. The boys really enjoyed the ducky slide in the kiddie pool, and jumping in. Unfortunately there is no life guard on duty so you need to stay alert because even other people’s kids are not always behaving properly and I had to keep an eye on some rowdy kids who were being rambunctious around us. I made sure to take lots of pictures too as I wanted to remember everything like it was yesterday. Next we decided to grill some smokies with my brother and roast hot dogs. It was good as usual. We also roasted marshmallows after and made smores – mmmm! I love campfire cooking, the only downside is that my allergies acted up so all night I had breathing issues and even though the weather cooled off nicely at night, I was wide awake so I think I got like 2 hours of sleep lol! Yeah, I was not a happy camper that night. 🙁 But at least it was a vacation, so I couldn’t complain.

The next day we had bacon, eggs and toast for breakfast, did lots of swimming too, but decided to get out of the sun for a few hours since the UV index felt really high and we were almost burnt. So we took a drive to nearby towns, first Warren, (which wasn’t too exciting), then to Stonewall where we did a bit of shopping at the dollar store and bargain shop, then stopped for drinks at Tim’s. It was a nice little outing and a chance to get in some air conditioning. ;p Good thing we took a break too as we could have gotten sick from all the heat. After we got back, we had a bit of a swim, then decided to get out as it was getting very cloudy nearby and we had to eat supper anyways. So good thing we packed everything up as it ended up raining heavily for at least half an hour. We would’ve got soaked, but we were safe in the restaurant which was nice and cozy. I also want to add that the food was awesome, and quite affordable! I loved the poutine! 😉

Unfortunately we lost one of our water wings which blew away to who knows where. We found one by the duck pond – another awesome part of this campground – where there are always ducks swimming and waddling around. My oldest child thought he could play with them, but got chased away – thankfully he didn’t get bitten, but we warned them not to chase the ducks. Kids don’t always listen though do they? Sigh… Afterwards we made some yummy cherry pie sandwiches (toast with cherry pie filling inside). Yummy! It was also a nice cool evening, and since I was beat from the heat and from not sleeping the previous night, I ended up crashing shortly after returning to camp.

The last day of camp, we had some more bacon and eggs, and the kids had oatmeal too. After that, we did a bit more swimming, then one of the employees came around asking if we wanted to ride the Ducky Train so the kids and I, and my sister-in-law and her kids went for a scenic little trip around the campsite before leaving for home. We would have played some mini-golf too if it wasn’t for the heat, as it was cheap!

Overall, it was a great trip, despite the fact that we forgot to bring pillows for us (the kids had theirs packed up early), and we didn’t bring a fan (which we thankfullly didn’t need to use because it was cool enough). I would go back there again in a heartbeat, and recommend it to other Winnipeggers who want to get away for a short while but not want to travel too far or spend too much money (the campsites are a great price). Thanks for listening, feel free to comment on your own camping experiences/recommendations!