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.

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.

Five Simple Things (August 13)


The smoke this week from the Middle Fork Complex Fire in Oakridge, Oregon, has been causing a bit of a smoke screen here in the parts of the Valley where we are. It started by lightning and the smoke has been heavy at times this week. We do get a bit of breeze to blow it away some, but overall I'm just thinking summers here are now just going to have some wildfire smoke during the season. I just hope no fires get close to us like they did last year. Along with the dry heat here we've been running our water sprinkler nonstop, it seems. Not just this week, but several weeks now. We are seeing less "crunchy" grass in the front of the house, especially. We have also been watering the sunflowers and pumpkin plants during the watering time in the evenings. We only planted sunflowers and pumpkins this year, because last year we last every single plant we had in the garden due to the wildfire smoke and ash. We also lost our crabapple tree in the process, too. So, this year we kept it simple just in case. Our air conditioner has been going nonstop, too, and I hate that we've had to depend on it so much this week. We are thinking of investing in some more eco-friendly air conditioner options for next year and we've been looking at this one, and this one. I like how minimal they look and seem to "blend in" with your d├ęcor and walls. Right now, we have this one. But, it worked overtime this year and having something less awkward, that could do the job for less work, would be great. Here are five things this week.

1. This Lunch.

Being part of the IKEA Family we always get a discount and lunch for our birthday. We needed a few things, so it seemed like a great time to go and enjoy lunch, pick up what we needed, and enjoy the day. We love eating lunch at IKEA and the view is always great!

2. This Appreciation.

I opened up on an Instagram post of Komuso Design and they ended up sharing it openly with their followers. My Shift necklace I received as a Mother's Day gift and I've been using it regularly since that day. I am beyond flattered that my story got shared with their followers and I hope it helps someone else, too. 

3. This Doggie.

Hardy is such a wonderful dog. The older he gets the more he makes us laugh. We moved the duck house this week to another part of the yard and the ducks aren't quite adapted to the change yet, but Hardy helps gather them up and put them in at night. He is getting good at corralling them when we need help. Min Pins are great dogs to teach responsibilities too and they actually thrive better at having tasks. Smart dogs and they know when and where to help when needed.

4. This Wool.

I ordered these wool dryer balls from Exactly Zero. I received a stick of their laundry stick in a past Kiwi Eco Box and loved it. Although we have white dryer balls already, I loved these gray ones. If you haven't tried anything from Exactly Zero, give them a go. The St. Louis, Missouri-based company was started by Michael and Charlotte Fritzius because of a cancer scare with Michael in 2012. Since that time they have been creating products that don't have health consequences after long-term use. Although their wool dryer balls are sold out, they have a lot of great, eco-friendly items that are just as awesome. 

5. This Devil.

Dirt devils here in Oregon are one of my most favorite things to see. I've seen so many of them since moving here. This one was one of the bigger, longer-lasting ones that we've seen in awhile.

 Did you catch the moon near Venus this week (10), or Perseids Meteor Shower (12)?

Positive affirmations this week:

No matter what you do for a living, a hobby, your opinions on topics, how you wear your hair, or live your life, you're going to have people that hate something, or all aspects of that. It can drag you down if you let it. For years I've had these feelings drag me down and destroy the small amounts of confidence that I have. But, the best thing I did for myself was know that, no matter how many people there may be that want to reflect hate onto you for your life, there are so many more that will support and tell you positive things. Focus on these positives over the negatives and hate. These are going to be your most loyal supporters and are the ones you can lean on when things get hard. Most of the time people that show hate towards you, or negatives, are projections of their own insecurities and fear of doing what you're doing. Thinking of these negatives and hate in a way that isn't about you, but about them helps navigate through them. Don't let these people ever take the wind out of your sails and listen to those loyal supporters that just want to see you succeed. 

Have a great weekend and happy Friday the 13th.

Abeego Food Wrap

Surely, by now, you've heard of the different forms of beeswax wraps for your food and other items. But, have you heard of Abeego? They have such cute designs and varieties and for a limited time they are offering a sample of their beeswax warps for free. It's a small size that will handle an avocado, half a lemon slice, or even a stack of crackers. I like to take the beeswax wrap and cut them into smaller squares and use them to wrap around our toothbrush heads, or cut them into strips and use them to coral pencils together, or silverware for a picnic. The possibilities are really endless with these beeswax wraps. The best part  about them, when they have reached their end of use lifecycle, you can add them to your compost, or use them as a makeshift lighting tool for a campfire or fire pit during a get together. You can use code (EVERYDAYECOABEEGO) to try the small size and then give feedback here on the blog, or on their site about what you think of their beeswax wraps. I guarantee you'll be wanting more. I have every size and shape of beeswax wraps and because of them we have completely cut out cling wrap, or any type of plastic wrap for over two years now. They really do work great and keep food fresh and safe just the same as plastic. We use them for our road trips and while traveling, too, and we just love them. Give them a try! And, right now they are offering free shipping on all US orders. Check out their giant Abeego for bagging breads and other large items.


1. Slice your avocado in half and wrap in Abeego with the pit still in place.
2. Place in the fridge, pit side up.
3. Wait three days, then unwrap. How does it look? Taste? Smell? Feel? How is it different than other halved avocados you've pulled out of the fridge? If you're keen to push the boundaries, wrap it back up and keep going.
4. Show off your avocado. Share your avocado results online and take @abeego and #BetterWithAbeego

AFTER 10 DAYS (with pit in):