Movie Night

We decided to go see Hunger Games at the last-minute last night. On Tuesday they have a deal on tickets, plus we had a coupon from a cereal box. I was dying to see it, but was going to wait a few weeks and not have to brave the crowds. We didn’t wait, and we paid for it by sitting elbow to elbow with people. Luckily, they weren’t a rowdy bunch.

When we bought the tickets online, we didn’t really consider the time. We realized after that our lasagna would not be done in time. So Kurt had a brilliant idea to leave it in the oven at the lowest possible temperature. I was a little nervous because I hate leaving things on when we’re not here, but we did it anyways.

The movie was fantastic, not as great as the book, but whichever you read/watch first is almost always your favourite, so that’s fine. The lasagna on the other hand, well it resembled horribly burnt skin. Which, especially after watching a graphic movie, is not fun. It was actually not bad, but it was very gross looking.

Lesson learned: Plan Ahead!

Here’s a picture of it from today. It actually looks waaaay worse today that it did yesterday.

Laundry Soap

For a few years now I’ve been making my own laundry soap. I love it. It takes very little time, works great, leaves my cloths with no scent (I hate smelling like anything), and it dirt cheap. Here’s how I do it:

I start with a great big pot. Add some water, I usually start with about 4 cups. Add half a cup of borax and half a cup of washing soda. Put it on the stove at about medium heat. Stir until the powders dissolve. Then take a bar of soap. I use Linda soap that they sell in the laundry aisle. I’d prefer to use something purer, like castile, but it’s so darn expensive. Take the bar and a knife and make a little mark where half is, then mark quarters. You will need a quarter of the bar for each batch. I usually grate the soap in with my mom’s old cheese grater. This is hard work. I think I read that some people use food processors, but I would look into that before doing it.

Anyways, grate the soap into the pot. Turn up the heat a little and stir once it a while until it melts. Add 12 more cups of water. It should get sort of clear.

Wait for it to cool a little then either pour it into whatever vessel you want to store it or, or using a funnel, put it into old, clean detergent bottles.

Leave it overnight to set. When you want to use it the first time you will have to shake the crap out of it because it gets a layer on top. Then use a quarter of a cup. Don’t worry if it is clumpy or gross looking. It’s homemade after all. I use it with a cold water wash and it works better than most store-bought stuff.

Tuna Troubles

I decided recently that we should be eating more fish. So far this has mainly taken the form of tuna and salmon (of the canned variety). I figured it is cheap and easy to add to dishes. In fact just last night we had tuna melts. I felt quite guilty eating though, because a couple of weeks ago I saw this video from Greenpeace:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RaeJhVqW8GY

It’s a great video because it is informative in an approachable way, without a lot of gore and guilt-trips.  So today, in reaction to the video and my tuna guilt I checked out Greenpeace Canada’s website to see what brands of tuna are ‘pole and line caught’. Of course, there does seem to be some debate on whether this is really a better form of catching tuna or not, but I think it makes sense. It seems much closer to how things should be, instead of a giant net sweeping up everything. It also seems that they are really pushing for this in the UK. Yet another thing they are ahead of us on.

From what I can tell from the report on the website, there are only a couple of brands that are decently sustainable, neither of which I have ever seen or heard of. I’m going to check the ‘green section’ of my local Loblaws next time I’m there, as the website recommends, but I’m not expecting to find them. If I do I’m sure they will cost a lot more. So it looks like there will be very little tuna in my future, and for that matter, everyone’s future if we don’t start treating our fish populations with some respect.

Another Meat Recall

Well, they have announced another recall of meat products in Canada due to possible E. coli contamination. It’s all ground beef (which we don’t buy) and almost all processed stuff (which we avoid at all costs), so I’m not worried, but am really hoping that other’s check their products. Here’s the list. It’s frighteningly long, and includes many products sold to restaurants so I hope they’re diligent. It’s a pretty scary world out there. I long for the day when I can grow all of my own food and not be scared about it making me sick.

 

Not So Successful

I didn’t get quite as much done as I had hoped today, though there is still time. From the projects I had hoped to get done, really all I finished was making yogurt, but I also have a no-knead loaf rising away and I did get all the supplies I need for the head-board I am planning on making. I didn’t get to my sewing because my dratted sewing machine is broken. We spent about an hour trying to fix it, but no luck. I am proud of myself, though, because after about 3 weeks of talking about it, I actually started the Couch to 5K running program. Okay, I know, completing one day of a 9 week program isn’t huge, but I feel good about it.

Projects on the Go!

Today is officially the last day of March Break so I am trying to get some things done, or at least started. So far I have started three projects today.

Firstly I’m making yogurt. Okay, I do this fairly regularly so it isn’t really a project, but it is one of the tasks I started today. I make my yogurt in my slow cooker by putting in some milk (I used some that was in the freezer from before we left, so I’m hoping it still works the same), heating it on the low-level for an hour or so, then letting it cool for a while. Next I add some already made yogurt, stir it in, cover the whole slow cooker in a towel and leaving it for about 8-10 hours.

I will keep you posted on the other projects a little later!

New Projects

I’m away right now, happily enjoying my March Break. Today I went shopping with my Mom. We hit a few fabric stores. I’ve never been a sewer before, but I’m going to attempt to jump in with both feet with a quilt. I’m not exactly sure what colour scheme I want yet though, so I’m just trying to build a little store of fabric so I have something to start with. Above is what I have so far.

I’m also hoping to make new cases for the pillows on our couch. I’ve been perusing fabric for a while online, but I can’t make up my mind. The couch is brown so there are so many options. I also wanted to make a long skinny pillow to go in the middle of the two square ones, but pillow forms are so expensive. Luckily, today at the dollar store, I found this little guy:

It isn’t exactly as long as I wanted, but it was $2 so I really can’t complain. Plus, the cover zips off so I won’t have to worry about cutting it off or anything. Now I seriously have to choose a fabric!

Hey, I Remember You!

Ah, Spring! Well, at least Spring-like days. They are so beautiful. Not asthetically, but as least they feel really good. Spring in Ontario isn’t pretty, with all the mud, and dead grass, but hey, if a snowstorm can look great but be horrible, than Spring can look horrible and be great. Even though this Winter was the mildest I can ever remember, it’s still nice to get outside with just a sweater.