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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

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

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

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

What you should and shouldn’t buy at the dollar store

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I read a lot of posts from people who sing the praises of dollar stores, and many of their household items there, including food. While there are a lot of great deals to be had, there are definitely things that you should leave on the shelf, and buy elsewhere.

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How to feed your family for $100/week

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I have been wanting to do a segment for a while on how to eat well within a budget. Every week, I scan the flyers, see what’s on sale, and plan around that for each week’s menu plan. When something I use often is on sale, and the sale is particularly good (good=only on sale once every few months at that price), then I stock up on that item. My rule of thumb is to buy enough to get me through until the next time it goes on sale. Continue reading

Apple Picking in Mississauga

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It must be getting close to fall. While in the garage the other day, I saw the scarecrow decoration, and wondered if it was too soon to put it up.

We decided to go apple picking today – I have missed it the last few years for one reason or another, and decided this year we were going to go, and set out today in the semi-rainy weather to give it a go.

There are a number of places to choose from if you live in the west end  – here is a rundown of the top ten to choose from:

Orchalaw Farms: This farm offers scenic views of the Credit River, along with a play area, free wagon rides, and a promise that they grow everything they sell onsite. Farm opens September 10 and offers over 20 varieties of apples. They do have Pick Your Own available or 2016. Also carry squash and pumpkins (with a pumkin patch for the kids). Continue reading

What does your key chain say about you?

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You can tell a lot about someone by looking at their key chains. When I was a teenager, I didnt have much of a one to speak of, because I didnt own anything. As time went on, my key chain got heavier, and more expressive of my personality. I would buy novelty key chains when I travelled, get special ones as gifts, and eventually it was so big and heavy that I wondered whether it would one day cause the car key to fall out of the ignition while I was driving.  After a number of years, there were keys on there that I couldnt even identify anymore. I eventually pared it down, but I couldn’t bear to part with the extra key chains I had been carrying around forever. It felt like I was throwing away a little part of history. Continue reading