Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Zero Waste Wednesday: A couple of kitchen cleaners that are rocking my world

I'm deep into my zero waste project over at The Simple Year, and it's been both overwhelming and amazing. Overwhelming because there's still SO MUCH TO DO, and amazing because I now have an excuse to be full-on zero waste crazy.

Which is kind of fun.

Recently I've been researching do it yourself (also known as DIY, except I always want to say DYI. It flows better, don't you think?) ... everythings ... and found two kitchen cleaners that have passed all of my tests: They're simple, you can get everything you need for them in the bulk aisle, they smell fantastic, they clean like a champ, and nothing separates when you leave it in the bottle for extended periods of time.

So basically like a lazy girl's dream.

Total ingredients: Two.

All-Purpose Cleaner
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon castile soap (I like peppermint)
Mix that around in a spray bottle and go to town. Give it a shake with each use.

Why this is so great: It takes very little to get a clean counter, it smells great, it's cheap and it's easy. This is my new favorite counter cleaner, and I have no desire to go look for any other recipe, THAT is how great this is.

Also, fun fact, I just learned that you aren't supposed to mix vinegar and castile, or you get the worst of both because of some scientific reaction that I'm not even going to pretend I understand. My old homemade cleaner mixed the two. I solemnly swear to never do that again.

Looks like marshmallow fluff, smells like candy canes.
Uh, if you use peppermint castile like me. ;)

"Soft Scrub" Sink Cleaner
6 tablespoons baking soda
2 tablespoons castile soap
1 1/2 tablespoons water
Mix and store in a jar.

Why this is so great: It's not great -- it's perfect. Again, it takes very little to clean my sink, it smells lovely, it's easy to knock together and cheap as hell, and it doesn't separate during storage. Go make this RIGHT NOW. See? I told you!!!

BONUS CLEANER: Did you know you can use used coffee grounds to clean and deodorize? You can put a jar in the fridge to absorb odors AND sprinkle in your pans to super scrub. Technically I haven't tried either of these yet, it just sounds weird which makes it right up my alley.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

April books

April ended up being a pretty good book month -- the eLibrary really came through. Actually it came through a little too well, as I've got a couple of books I haven't been able to crack open yet. As long as I keep my Kindle in airplane mode, I can keep them in my queue. Otherwise, they'll get automatically checked back in -- they're way over their due dates.

Is that against eLibrary law? I have no idea. Or regrets.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future by Michael J. Fox (177 pages)
So, look. I think this book is supposed to be for, like, graduates (high school or college, either is fine) who are looking for advice from this actor guy who has had the highest highs and the lowest lows. Or something. And I think this is supposed to be reassuring, as in, "I've made mistakes and I've taken some chances and some crap happened and some good happened, and that's just life."

But you guys... this is drivel. I have "Lucky Man" on my Kindle (I bought it when Amazon had it on sale for 99-cents), and that was actually kind of interesting. This is just a reserving of his other writings meant to suck you in with the ol' Back to the Future reference, because who doesn't like Back to the Future?

In other words, I'm not really his target audience. On the upside, it only took a couple of hours to get through, and I had nothing better to do anyway. Another upside: I got this on my eLibrary account, and I got to check it out IMMEDIATELY. That never happens.

But lord, it's dull.

One Good Turn: A Novel (Jackson Brodie Book 2) by Kate Atkinson (433 pages)
I like Kate Atkinson. She writes fun books. Her use of language is fun, I mean. Sometimes her storylines are just alarming.

Eh, but what could happen? I was again on eLibrary, trying to find something to read (irony, since I can buy stuff now), and I remembered how I enjoyed "Case Histories" (or Jackson Brodie Book One) and I just wrote about how much I love "Life After Life," so really, it was a no-brainer to add this to my virtual book bag. Or whatever.

Just like in "Case Histories," we're introduced to a whole load of different characters who, eventually, you realize are all part of the same story. The ending on this one, though? I did NOT see that coming.

This was enjoyable enough -- I scarfed it down in three days -- but in some places I found myself just skimming because I wanted to hurry up and see how it ended. That's why I generally have to read books twice: Once to get it down quickly, and once to actually read it. ;)

I liked it. I immediately went and placed a hold on "When Will There Be Good News?" which is the third in the series. Our eLibrary doesn't have any of her other books, though, which is a bummer because I'd love to read "A God In Ruins" (with Teddy from "Life After Life"). Ah, well.

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell (529 pages)
You guys, I was not prepared for how much I was going to love this book. It's the ... well, it's the fictional book that's featured in "Fangirl," another Rainbow Rowell novel (which I thought was okay, but kind of long). So I sort of knew what it was going to be about, just because excerpts from THAT book are in THIS book.

Except she hadn't written it yet.

Anyway, seriously, I LOVE THIS BOOK. Another eLibrary ordeal, but I think I'm going to have to buy it. It's fun, well-written, and just when you think you know how it's all going to end -- because we've all read these "chosen one fantasy stories" more than once -- she changes it up.

Read it twice. (But only counted the total in my "pages read" once.) Rainbow Rowell is awesome.

Pages read: 1,139
Plus all the other pages I've read: 3,267
Equals! 4,406

Sunday, May 1, 2016

My conversation with Eric this morning

Eric: I won bear spray at the auction last night.
Me: Uh...
Eric: No, it's good, 'cause when we go hunting in Wyoming, there's always a chance you'll get into bear.
Me: That's not exactly what I want to hear.
Eric: And also when you and I go on a backpacking trip through Yellowstone someday, we'll be ready. Doesn't that sound FUN? That's on my bucket list, by the way.
Me: Oh, God. Is it really?
Eric: No.

I high-fived him. It's like the student has become the master.