Sometimes Wants (Autumn)

These are the autumn time "Sometimes Wants" that have caught my eye lately.

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During the summer months the sun and salt water really beat up my hair and as the autumn season rolls around I like to give it a bit of a boost. This apple cider hair rinse really comes through. It is not only a better-made product and nonchemical, it really gives my hair a good recovery from all the product, sun damage, salt water, and anything else I tend to beat my hair up with over the summer. You can pair it with the Avalon Organics Shampoo and Conditioner, but any shampoo and conditioner combination works great. As the seasons change, I try to mix up the colors I use. I love this lip and cheek coloring by Mad Hippie. There's fig, poppy, and plum color, but I love the plum color for the seasonal change. And, their eco-friendly packaging is a plus. This product comes in a glass tub with a bamboo lid. We've been looking for more eco-friendly outdoor furniture that can put up with all the rain Oregon gets throughout the year. And, I think we hit it with the Polywood collection. Made from recycled plastics and can definitely withstand the weather changes here on the Pacific Northwest. With the change of seasons comes germs and colds, and I like to use this time to switch out our hand soaps throughout the house. I love the organic lemon rosemary scent from Moon Valley Organics. And, even though our guard is a bit lowered now that the pandemic is getting controlled we still haven't let our guard down with hand washing with soap and water, and using hand sanitizers. We've also found some great lunch items that are more sustainable, and also switched to using natural loofahs in the shower over plastic loofahs. I also have been taking a liking to small bags to use for lunch, day trips, change for filling our water jugs, and even small snacks. And, with the change in seasons, a new throw blanket was definitely in order. Our old blankets always get handed down to Hardy, Eleven, or even in our duck house to help with insulation. Hopefully these items peek your interest, as well, and help you make some seasonal changes for the better. Happy Autumnal Equinox!

Peanut Butter Cookies

This past weekend we decided not to hit the waves, but clean out a lot of forgotten spaces in our house. One space being the pantry. We are good at rotating foods in our pantry, but every once in awhile we find out we have more of one item than we think. This weekend it was peanut butter. Six jars later we realize that we are pretty set on having enough for awhile. I tried to think of ways to use it and there is so many possibilities. After sorting through all of the options, we agreed on making peanut butter cookies and played around with some of the chocolate candies we picked up at the local food co-op here. We love these chocolate candies and they are similar to M&M's, but are made with Fair Trade chocolate and dyed with better ingredients. Since changing our eating habits to better quality, it's amazing how many things that once tasted "good" now taste off. One of the main products I've noticed the change in taste is chocolate and peanut butter. I used to love Hershey's, especially Hershey Kisses, but now, nope. I can't eat them without feeling like I'm eating chocolate-flavored wax. These chocolate rainbow drops can be purchased online here, if you wanted to use them like we did in this recipe. Here's how we made our peanut butter cookies.

Ingredients:

1 cup organic peanut butter, 1 cup organic sugar

1 large organic egg, ½ cup organic flour

Chocolate candies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix the peanut butter, sugar, egg in a mixer and add flour on low speed until well combined. Don't over mix, just enough to combine everything and make a wet/oily dough base.

Roll into balls, or create your own pattern of cookie. Pressing a fork into the tops of the cookies creates the lines on the top of the cookies shown here. Add the chocolate candies anywhere on the cookies that you chose. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the tops of the cookies start to brown a bit. 

These cookies are great when they are still slightly warm.

Safeparty Fire Pit Mat

I had the wonderful opportunity to team up with Daxlena and test their Safeparty Fire Pit Mat this past month and we gave it the best testing we could think of. We used it on the beach, at home on our deck, and even in the grass. With the dry temperatures here and a burn ban put into place by the state fire marshal, we were worried we weren't going to get to test it out with heat. But, we got that opportunity this week when the heat finally broke and gave us a small sprinkling of rain, along with some milder temperatures. 

Daxlena's Safeparty Fire Pit Mat was created by accident with an unfortunate incident. The incident happened with a poor quality fireproof mat that not only caused a first degree burns, but also lots of damage to a newly installed porch. The experience, although unfortunate, it wasn't in vain and Daxlena decided to change things for people in the future and prevent others from having similar experiences. They worked with multiple materials and product suppliers over the course of a year and developed the blend of materials that are now part of the Safeparty Fire Pit/Grill Mat. The high-quality materials have been tested to provide optimum heat resistance and protection for your deck, patio, or lawn, and also to help protect against heat penetrating surfaces that could lead to injury, or burns. 


Daxlena is a family-owned business and their perseverance in creating a product that they themselves would use on a daily basis is important to them. Their Safeparty Fire Pit/Grill Mat is one of the products they stand behind and know that it will save your family and friends from suffering similar accidents like the one that prompted the creation of the mat. 



The mat is designed to protect your deck, patio, or even the grass from the heat given off by a fire pit, grill, or heating element.  The mat can withstand up to an incredible 1300 degrees F! It's heat resistant, easy to use and clean, and durable. It's waterproof with nonslip silicone on the bottom that allows it to stay in place and not slide when being used. It has thermal insulation between the layers that offers that extra help in stopping the heat transfer. And, on the top, it has an aluminum fiber fabric that reflects up to 95% of the heat being given off by your fire pit, stove, grill, or heat source. It's triple-layered and at 38" around, it gives a large protection area from heat.

Burn and heat marks on anything is annoying and at times extremely costly to remove or repair. This fire pit/grill mat is definitely worth it! With it being waterproof, if any sparks, coals, or tender fall out of your grill, or fire pit, you can rest assured that this mat will catch it and allow you the easy clean up without the burns. No more grass burns, either!





You place the reflective side up, place it where you plan on having your heat source, place your grill, or fire pit directly on top of the reflective mat and relax. It protects all surfaces with high quality materials that actually work. It's compact enough to take anywhere and everywhere. Just fold it up and place it back into the soft bag and place in your truck, or even in a backpack. Once you're done using it, spray the mat and you're good to go for another cookout, party, or gathering.




Thank you to Daxlena for allowing me the opportunity to test out this great fire pit/grilling mat! It was a real pleasure and it exceeded my expectations 100%!

(If you're here from the Instagram giveaway, please tell me below how you would use this mat if you won. Be sure to do all the required steps on the Instagram post here in order to be qualified. Good luck!)

Don't want to wait to see if you're a winner? You can purchase the Safeparty Fire Pit Mat here.


Congratulations to Miguel Maguire. You are the winner of the Safeparty Fire Pit/Grill Mat. An email was sent to your email you registered here in your comment.

Lemon Squares

I hate cooking. Anyone that knows me well will tell you that. Cooking, baking, or even standing in the kitchen making a sandwich, I hate it all. Which, seems odd to say, as most people that are in my bloodline seem to enjoy it a lot. I've never been one to find any joy in it. I've heard people say that it gives them joy, or melts their heart to watch people eat what they've cooked. Nope, not me. If you like it, cool, if not, I'm not surprised. Ha! But, there are random times where I will go into the kitchen and make something completely unexpected. Skylar tells me all the time that he likes that part of me the best. When I cook, or bake something that no one expects. He tells me that's his favorite kind of cooking and describes me as-"The unexpected cook." 


The unexpected baking I did this week was lemon squares. I took advantage of our local food co-op's citrus sale in January and stocked up on organic Meyer lemons. I ended up juicing all of them and freezing the juice to use at a later time. Well, this week was the "later time." 


These lemon squares are five ingredients and are delicious and easy to make. 
Here's what you'll need:

For the crust:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, or 176 degrees C.

Mix butter, 2 cups of the flour, and ½ cup of the sugar in a bowl. Press the dough into the bottom of an ungreased glass 9x13-inch* baking dish. Bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly golden. Do not over bake. Set out to cool completely.
(*roughly)


For the lemon filling:

Mix in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, or by hand, 1½ cups of sugar, ¼ cup flour, all of the eggs (one at a time), and add the lemon juice slowly. 


Pour over the top of the cooled crust.



Bake at 350 degrees F (176 degrees C) for 20 minutes, or until the top is firm and set. 
Allow to cool completely before dusting with powdered sugar. This step is optional, but it does make for a tastier lemon square and it just looks pretty. Place them on a plate and serve. We like to eat them when they are still a slight bit warm, but they are also delicious when they are chilled.