renovating our bonair pop-up camper

Last month we bought a vintage pop-up camper off of Kijiji. The ad seemed like we wouldn’t need to put a lot of work into it, and the pictures were few and shot from afar. After speaking with the owner, she made it seem like we would be able to pick it up and go camping right away! How misleading that all was.

My husband went and bought it on a day off and I stayed home in order to take Remy to a birthday party. It was listed for $2000. He told me not to negotiate a price until he arrived, so I didn’t. When he got there, he said that it needed work. He offered her $1000 and they settled on $1500. When I heard how much he paid for it I thought that she was getting the short end of the stick and I felt a little guilty. Then Geoff came home with the camper, set it up, and I realized that $1500 was a more than generous offer. 

The owner was not truthful about a lot of things. She said there were no leaks when there were leaks, that the fabric was all in good condition when really every cushion was ripped and had holes, that the canvas was in great shape when it wasn’t, and so on. On top of it all, it was missing the sink and faucets, the propane stove was in hideous condition, the furnace didn’t work, and there was no water tank, among other issues.

Above is a “during renovation” photo. In one month, this is what we ended up accomplishing:

– installed new screens

– curtains + hooks

– bedding

– wall plates

– furnace

– fridge

– cabinet knobs

– hinges

– lighting

– plumbing

– propane tanks

– water tank

– door handle

– stove

– sink + faucets

– countertop 

– table

– dinnerware

– rug

– peg shelf

– scraped the ceiling 

– mended the canvas

– ccclllleeeaaaannnneeeeddddd

I’m tired from just recounting and writing all of that! But in all seriousness, it was a lot of work. We certainly could never have just picked it up and gone camping with it. However, it was worth it. We were able to keep her vintage qualities and yet make her new again.

Emory

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easter egg hunt

In one of the books that I read to Remy, Happy Easter, Little Critter, all of the church-going critter children have an Easter egg hunt in a field. I loved that idea so much, so I decided to have one of our own!

I bought the cutest baskets from Michael’s, eggs from Dollarama, and made them bunny ear floral crowns. Then I waited for a warm day. I told them that the Easter bunny would be coming twice this year- once to do an egg hunt in the field, and once when it was really Easter. They were just so, so, so excited. It was the sweetest thing!

The Easter bunny left them baskets and a sign outside …

then laid out the eggs in the field …

and off we went to find them.

This will now be a yearly tradition for us. I can’t express enough how much joy it brought to everyone. The neighbour even joined in!

Have a hoppy Easter, everyone!

Emory

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zero waste (mama + daughter outfits)

Hellllooooo spring!!

During the long winter months, I took up sewing items by hand. I have never been good with a sewing machine, and while I hope to be one day, right now I find that I just don’t have the space or time to learn.

What I do instead is while Wilder is having a nap and Remy is having quiet time, I cut out patterns for clothing and I sew them. It takes me weeks to do it by hand, but being able to rest on the couch and watch Netflix for an hour or two while I stitch the fabric together is such a nice break in my otherwise long day.

The clothes are always something that we need. From dresses to shirts to shorts, we always end up wearing it all. I simply purchase a vintage sheet from a thrift store for usually $6 and under and from it, I get a few separate pieces of clothing. It’s sustainable living at its finest.

(You can see Remy’s black dress and my tan dress here, both of which I also made.) Have a lovely week!

Emory

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diy: simple christmas tree craft

It seems that every year we end up spending money on decorations for our tree. Now there is nothing wrong with that- getting into the holiday spirit is fun and infectious. Plus, having a few new ornaments gives you something to look forward to.

However, like the rest of the world we have spent even more time than usual at home this year. I, for one, have noticed how we were able to save more and spend less in doing such. So, in keeping with this year’s theme of saving some money and getting creative, I decided that any new ornaments to go on our tree would be made from our hands and hearts.

Inspired by the cutest snowman ornament that I came across on Instagram, the kids and I set about one evening collecting pinecones and twigs.

The following morning I grabbed the remaining supplies from our craft room. This included:

– a hot glue gun
– google eyes
– red, orange, and black pipe cleaners
– twine
– white paint

The first thing I did was paint half of the pinecones white. I chose ones whose tops fit together nicely. Then I set those aside.

Next, we set about making the reindeer. We glued the eyes on, followed by the red nose and antlers. Finally, we topped them off with twine.

For the snowmen, we glued their tops together. Then we fitted them with eyes, a nose, and a scarf. Lastly, the twine for the tree.

Remy and Wilder loved making them and hanging them on the tree. Over and over again (they keep rearranging the ornaments). Most of all, they cost nothing and provided us with an evening and entire morning of entertainment, and lifetime of memories. Best. Craft. Ever.

If you are wanting more Christmas DIYs, be sure to visit this post!

Emory

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acreage renovation: white modern jungle gym

Oh, this jungle gym.

When we moved to the country, there was nothing in our yard except an old, neglected sandbox in the front. We needed something that the children could play on and with. During that first summer, I spoke often of how I wanted a play structure for them. However, because we had just bought a trampoline, I said that we could wait another year until we got one. In the meantime, they could play at the park that was within walking distance.

It was my brother-in-law that told me he often saw free jungle gyms on Kijiji. I asked him if he ever came across one to then send it to me. Over the next few months, he had sent me a few listings. I would message the owners within a few minutes of them posting the ad, but someone always seemed to beat me to it! Finally, one day in early fall, he sent me a listing that I was able to secure. On Geoff’s first day off, they went to the Kijiji-er’s house, dismantled it, brought it home, and set it back up.

Fast-forward to nearly one year later and after putting it off for this long, we decided to fix its problems. The jungle gym was missing structural pieces to make it sturdy. The sandbox was nearly empty. The rope ladder wasn’t getting used and was tripping us every time we went to turn the corner. Most of all, it desperately needed a roof to provide shade on our hot, shadeless property. Above is what it pretty much looked like before.

I happened to stumble an outdoor playset on Instagram one day that was stained white with black accents. I immediately sent Geoff a picture and told him that I was going to try replicating that. The next day I got to work on building a roof.

Admittedly, I had no idea what I was doing! I had never built a roof before, and so I Googled how to do it. Insert eye roll here. I followed the directions from one blog where they basically did what I was trying to do. I used the proper tools (including a saw and rafter square) and it turned out to be not nearly wide enough. Because I was home alone with the children and didn’t want to take them shopping, I was using scrap wood. That meant that I didn’t have enough to fix any mistakes.

Luckily, Geoff came home from work later that day, and was able to fix the roof as best as he could! It ended up being incredibly sturdy, it just didn’t look very professional, thanks to me. Haha.

I bought two cans of white Beauti-Tone acrylic stain which covered the entire structure nicely.

We took down the inconvenient rope ladder and in the process some of the rungs broke and the rope became tangled. We discussed the many ways that we could try to fix it and rehang it somewhere else, but because the kids never even used it, we eventually gave up on the idea.

I ended up painting Wilder’s baby swing white, in order to match the rest of the jungle gym.

Geoff had to secure the slide better to the playset in order to ensure its safety.

I bought a black hammock swing that we could all enjoy and hung it where the rings used to be. Finally, we moved the rings to the end in order to utilize that empty space.

Really, all this makeover cost was two cans of stain, metal roofing, and a new swing. What was once a neglected, hot structure on our property, is now a well-loved, well-played on, shaded spot for all of us.

Emory

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