Urban Exploration: A Nosy Parker’s Dream Come True

I am a big fan of urban exploration – it feeds the nosy parker deep down. There is something about it that appeals to my sentimental side.

Every time I drive down Derry Road on my way into Milton, I look at the old farmhouses – there is one in particular with a “1905” on it, all boarded up, and I wonder what it must have been like in that house 60 or more years ago, before there was any developments around, and when the farm was functional and there was likely a large family living there. There is a distinct feeling about that house, and I feel it every time I drive by.

After some research, it looks like one owner tried to put a gas station there, but for some reason that was not approved. I think Imperial Oil bought the land in 2009, and now it sits. I wonder what would happen if they auctioned off the property? This house would be a dream for many willing to renovate it and restore it back to it’s original glory.

There are still a few houses left on Ninth Line that are designated historic, but with new expansion coming for that stretch of land, I am not sure what is going to happen to them. I imagine the development will take precedent, and they will be torn down. It’s a shame that there is no talk to save the old houses, or at least turn them into a museum/cultural site. I couldn’t find any mention of preserving the houses on any of the development plans, which usually means – there is no plan to save them!

I find it interesting watching videos of explorers that go into the abandoned houses; its curious to see what people have left behind. Houses that have been left to rot away, full of personal belongings. I wonder what happened to the people that lived in these houses – were they foreclosures? If so, why were they not sold by the bank instead of being left to crumble? Did someone pass without loved ones to leave their house to, and now it is government property tied up in paperwork? There are so many scenarios that could be in these situations. I just can’t imagine leaving a home full of personal memories and photos.

There are some great folks online who detail these – my favorites are RnK All Day and Retail Archaeology. They are both profanity free, and the commentary is pretty good.


Salad in a Jar

On Sundays, I do all my food preparation for the week. I clean out the fridge, move food into the ‘stock’ bag for the freezer (any unused chicken, or wilted veggies fall into this category). I also think about what we will be taking for lunch throughout the week. I love salads, but hate all the work in making them during the busy week. The Salad in a Jar is a perfect way to get your salad ready on Sunday, and enjoy it through the week.

Continue reading

Easy Meal Planning

Meal planning is one of those things that can take up a lot of time. Even when you do it every week, it still doesn’t get any easier, and sometimes it just doesn’t get done. If you don’t do a plan, then the week following is chaotic, filled with fast food and multiple trips to the grocery store. Continue reading

Pantry Challenge: What if I don’t shop this week? (menu plan included)

So this week was a busy one for me. I had family visiting, work was crazy and there just wasn’t time to do a big shop. I managed to do the menu plan, and I tried to focus on things that I already had around the house. Here is what it looks like this week: Continue reading

Consumers Distributing

One of my childhood memories is Consumers Distributing. I loved this store – and I loved the catalog. You could “shop” at home, then go into the store, and just order what you wanted, and they would bring it to you (they also offered free delivery). There was a small storefront, with a few displays, but nothing that you could pick up and look at. They were similar to the Sears catalog, except that you would go to the store in person. Stock issues were a common problem, as many items were often out of stock, and attempts to fix the inventory issues led to overextending the company, and they ultimately went out of business.

Here are some flashbacks from 1979, and what they offered. Continue reading

Do you reuse plastic containers?

As you know if you read the Bone Broth post, I made my own stock. Usually, I save empty sour cream and yogurt containers, and freeze the stock in there once it’s cooled.  I didn’t think too much about it, since I wasn’t heating foods in the plastic. But an article got me thinking – even if I am not heating the plastic, do the chemicals leech into my food while frozen in the freezer? Continue reading

Mississauga Grocery Flyer Deals

Happy Easter everyone!! Every week I scan the flyers to see what’s on sale, and what great deals exist that I can stock up on. Certain things only go on sale periodically, and it makes sense to grab those items while you can, and if your grocery budget allows, buy enough to get you through to the next time it goes on sale.

This week the theme seems to be “meat, meat and more meat”!  This is a great opportunity to get some special occasion meats at a great price.

Here are some of the best deals this week: Continue reading

Frugal Living: Doing more with less

A big part of frugal living is not only saving money, but finding ways to do more with what you already have. We are so used to running out and buying something new as the need arises. But how many of us will actually stop and think ‘what do I have that I could use instead of buying another…?’

It really is a shift in mindset. Especially when we are busy, it is easier to solve a problem with money, then to spend time trying to find a creative solution. When reorganizing my office this week, I realized that the small bookcase I bought at Canadian Tire 10 years ago had finally had it. I started automatically thinking about what I could replace it with, and how much it would cost.  As I put the books away, I started thinking ‘maybe I don’t really need to replace the bookcase – what would happen if I just moved a few things around?’ Continue reading

Dealing with baked goods when your child has food allergies

One of the things that changed for us when we had a child with food allergies was no longer being able to buy items from the bakery section of our grocery store. Most baked good have warnings about tree nuts, sesame, eggs etc.  Many are peanut free, but the other allergens are usually present due to the other items that are produced in the factory/store. There are a few brands of things we can buy here in Ontario (Old Mill English Muffins are sesame free), and some wraps, and one brand of rye bread, but that’s about it.

I have come to the realization that if I want brownies, cookies, buns, etc, that I just have to make them myself.  I have had a migraine all weekend, and haven’t felt up to doing anything except laying in bed with an ice pack on my head. As a busy mom, it’s a big deal to be down and out on a weekend – this is the time when I get everything done for the week (those of you that suffer from migraines will understand that everything just shuts down when the pain hits). To make matters worse, I missed a family get together (a triple birthday!!), as well as a beautiful day today (the temp was 19 degrees and sunny). So when the pain finally subsided late this afternoon, I got to baking, and produced a few things to get us through the week.

I have found a few sites that have wonderful egg-free recipes, and some standby’s that I have made time and time again. I made three things tonight- see the links below for the recipes.

Cereal Squares – there is no recipe for this, but if you check out Alexander’s Corner, then you can find a similar recipe. I used Corn Flakes and Rice Krispies for these ones – about half and half.

Banana Bread: This recipe from The Fresh Loaf is so good – it is really moist and versatile. You can use applesauce, oil, butter – whatever you happen to have on hand.

Brownies:  I found this recipe on Little House Living, and I double it since my pan is a larger pan than what they call for (I have a 9×13 pan). This recipe is a great one, and doesn’t call for expensive ingredients such as solid chocolate (uses cocoa powder).

Even without the food allergy component, homemade baked goods is a great way to know exactly what is going into your food, with the added benefit of saving money. It cost me very little to make the items above (I was able to make everything in under one hour, not including the time it took to bake the banana bread).

Happy Baking!