Halloween Fun

We have been having fun getting ready for Halloween, and decorated the house this weekend. The above pic is the mantle, formerly decorated for Thanksgiving, and with a few modifications, we changed it to a Halloween theme. The lights are a cute addition – I found those at Walmart a few years ago and they have been hung in different places around the house over the years. The pumpkin covers come off, so you can use them as regular lights also if you like.  Continue reading

Halloween Chocolates – Allergy Friendly

With Halloween right around the corner, we have started to make some treats. It’s tough to buy chocolate novelties at the store with food allergies, as many have the ‘may contain…’ label, so we just normally make our own.

These chocolates are tree nut, peanut, egg and sesame friendly. Hershey is really great about allergens – I have called them in the past, and their customer service takes the extra step to ensure that you have all the information you need about your allergen. We used Chipits, which have worked well for us, and they melt beautifully in the microwave. Continue reading

Allergy Friendly (non food) Treats for Halloween

With Halloween approaching, we are all starting to think about buying treats for Halloween before all the ‘good stuff’ is gone, and we have to resort to handing out bags of chips (kids always seem to hate the minuscule bags of chips!). Our problem has always been buying too soon, and then having to go out again and re-buy candy because someone (ahem) has eaten it all before the 31st.

But why not try something different this year, and give out treats that are both fun, allergy friendly, and something that they will remember? And as added bonus, they won’t end up eaten before the big day.

Here are some fun ideas that will be sure to delight the little ones:

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The Teal Pumpkin Project

Attention all allergy friendly families – this year you can show your support for children with food allergies.  The Teal Pumpkin Project, created in 2014, is a program that promotes safe alternatives for Halloween treats for kids with food allergies. This is an international initiative, and you can participate by providing non-food treats in lieu of candy (stickers, stationary, small toys, etc) and downloading some of the materials available on the Food Allergy Canada site to display in your window/on your door.

As the parent of an allergic child, I am thrilled with this campaign, and hope to see these signs in front of many homes this year. Halloween always brings an element of stress for many families, picking out the unsafe snacks, and hoping that the snacks that are normally safe haven’t been cross contaminated. This is a great way to provide an alternative, and start to spread awareness.

In previous years, we have been fortunate that many of the houses we visited have started to separate the nut free snacks, and offer them as an alternative. This program takes that a step further, while still allowing kids to feel included in the special day.

 

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. Continue reading

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.

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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