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I’m a former bartender in Seattle, so I have worked with all types of children. However, nothing could have prepared me for my current job as a stay at home mom. My oldest is 5 and my youngest is 3. My husband and I are learning as we go. I love to share recipes, crafty activities, daily shenanigans and reviews.
**I received a NewAir QuietHeat15 in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.**
Our heater broke this winter. It wasn’t quite the disaster as it sounds, but it was pretty annoying.
One morning, we woke up, and our house was a sauna. At night, we always set our thermostat to 62 degrees. On this particular morning, it was set at that, but the temp was pushing 90 degrees.
We couldn’t figure out how to turn it off so we just flipped the breaker. We did not want our heating bill to skyrocket during the already high season.
So now, our entire top floor of our house wouldn’t have heat…and our landlord is notorious for taking his time to fix things. (In this case, it was two weeks.)
Fortunately, a few weeks previously, I had received a NewAir QuietHeat15 space heater to try out. This was a perfect opportunity to test it to it’s limits!
It kept us nice and toasty the entire time we had our heat shut off. During the day, we had it in our kitchen/dining/living room area (around 500-600 sq ft), and at night, we moved it to our bedroom (again, the heat was working properly downstairs for the kiddo’s rooms, so don’t worry, they didn’t need it!).
It’s lightweight and has a handy handle on the back, so it was even easy for my preggo self to move it around.
I can’t decide which feature of this heater is my favorite. The timer, where you set it and it shuts off on its own-which is programmable up to 12 hours. Or the safety feature that turns it off if it were to fall over.
And I love that it’s nice and quiet. Sometimes I would have to walk up to it to see if I could feel the hot air to make sure it was on. Either it’s THAT quiet, or my household is just THAT loud. (Pretty sure it’s just super quiet.)
Some other important Safety features of the NewAir QuietHeat15 space heater:
-Uses ceramic heating, instead of glowing coils to provide even heat to your space.
-“Cool Touch Housing” which reduces the risk of fire or accidental burns.
-Overheat protection to cut the power if necessary. (We had it too close to a chair once and our NewAir shut off because the chair started to get too hot.)
-AND, not a safety feature, but the design is really nice! It doesn’t look like an eye sore in your beautiful home, in fact, it fits right in!
It also has a remote! We always used the timer when we turned it on, so we never needed it, but it’s still definitely worth a mention.
Our heat issue could have been so much worse this year. Last winter, our neighbors (in the same townhouse) lost heat to where it wasn’t working AT ALL. And they didn’t have our NewAir to get them through. They were just really, really cold for over a month (as I said, my landlord takes his time…)
If you have a space (office, dorm, RV, etc.), that could use a heater with fabulous safety features, that works great, I would highly recommend the NewAir QuietHeat15 space heater. And if you order now, you can use the code “MAMABYFIRE” to get 20% off. That’s a great deal for this awesome heater!
I received tickets for myself and a guest to attend the musical production of Book of Mormon at the Paramount Theatre in Seattle. All opinions are my own.
Warning-there are spoilers ahead!!
From the creative geniuses behind the show South Park, comes the 9 time Tony Award winning musical, The Book of Mormon.
It’s everything you would expect from Matt Stone and Trey Parker. It’s wildly offensive, vulgar, hysterical…annnnd, it makes you think.
The @BookofMormon Musical is wildly offensive, hysterical…annnd makes you think. Click To Tweet
Whether you like these guys or not, you have to admit, they are relevant, honest, and make you think about uncomfortable things going on in the world…and they just happen to try to make you laugh in the process.The Book of Mormon is about two Mormon missionaries. One of the two is a well-versed, “model” Mormon, ready to change the world. The second, is a self proclaimed follower just hoping to make a few friends, whom has barely even cracked their good book because he feels it’s “kinda boring.”
The pair are sent to a small village in Uganda, Africa, and they get their eyes spread wide open.
The villagers they are hoping to convert are dealing with unfathomable issues the young Elders had never even heard of. This is the part where it really makes you think, and truth be told, squirm in your seat. It makes light of the situation in parts of Africa, but in the end, reminds you these things are actually happening in parts of the world.
Poking fun (a crazy understatement) at Mormon missionaries is a constant throughout the show. What’s admirable to me though, is the Mormon characters stay strong in their faith all the way to the end.Stone and Parker never cease to amaze me. The songs are outstanding, they’re catchy and upbeat. The choreography was a lot of fun to watch. And, as mentioned earlier, the story really makes you think.
After all of the raunchy, offensive jokes, and all is said and done, there was a positive takeaway.
The missionaries and villagers agreed that if you believe in something, and pull together as a community, you can overcome anything.I feel so fortunate to have been able to see this show again. I saw it the first time it was in Seattle a few years ago with my husband. We both agreed it was just as fantastic the second time around.
This show is absolutely not for children, or for the faint of heart. If you offend easily, it would be a good one to skip. But, if you enjoy a very different type of show with all the familiar attributes of a great musical, this is an excellent one to see!
Good news! It will be at the Paramount in Seattle until January 14th . Tickets are available online at STGPresents.org, Ticketmaster.com, by calling 1-800-745-3000, or in person at the Paramount Theatre Box Office (M-F, 10am-6pm).
If you aren’t in the Seattle area, you can check Book of Mormon Broadway for tour dates.
I received a Jord Watch in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
It’s that time of year again where we get to start thinking about Christmas presents! I’m always excited about shopping at the beginning, but by the end, I start to run out of time and can never come up with something cool for my husband. That is the most frustrating thing ever! Do you have someone in your life that is really good at shopping for you? They always find you perfect, thoughtful gifts? Yeah, that’s my husband. It gets pretty irritating.
He always has a list of things he wants, which is great, but unfortunately that means he already knows what he’s getting. No surprises.
Finally, I have discovered the absolute perfect gift for him. He loves clocks and watches. Like, LOVES them. He’s always hinting for me to get him one every time Christmas or his Birthday rolls around, but I never know what type of watch is good. This year, my problem has been solved.
Jord Wood Watches approached me for a collaboration, and I nearly jumped out of my seat. Their watches are gorgeous! They are super stylish, and they have something for everyone.
Founded in 2013, Jord strives to create extraordinary designer watches from natural materials from all over the world.
And the results are stunning.
No two watches are exactly the same, which is nice to know you will get a one of a kind time piece.
I couldn’t wait until Christmas to give my husband his watch. In fact, I let him pick it out. I know, I know. Still no surprise for him, but he was stoked!
It arrived quickly after we ordered it in a beautiful cedar box. We were both instantly impressed and we hadn’t even seen the watch yet!
He picked out the Dover Ebony and Rosewood watch and said it’s his favorite watch he’s ever owned. It’s the most unique watch he’s ever seen and loves that it’s so different. And with this particular design, you can see the gears which is another highlight he really likes.
After seeing him wear his watch daily, I’ve started to become envious. I need to get one for myself because I’m allowed to have awesome accessories too! Now I just need to decide which one I want!
And now I have some fantastic news!! I’m doing a giveaway with Jord! Enter to win $100 off with FREE SHIPPING and FREE SIZING of your Jord watch purchase! That is a tremendous deal!
And for everyone, just use code “mamabyfire” to get 25% off of any purchase while the giveaway is running, until November 17th.
Enter the giveaway by clicking the link below and fill out a short form. Good Luck!!
I received tickets for myself and a guest to attend the musical production of Aladdin at the Paramount Theatre in Seattle. All opinions are my own.
One of my biggest loves in life (aside from the kids, duh), is getting away to Seattle for a Broadway musical. I was recently given the opportunity to see Disney’s Aladdin at the Paramount Theater. Since it is one of my husband’s favorite Disney movies, I thought I’d take him along. I only take him to a show if I’m at least 90% sure he’ll enjoy it.
I expected fun and extravagance, and was not disappointed.
The cast was such a pleasure to watch! Their singing, along with the amazing choreography was such a treat. I always love it when a production includes a mix of dancing styles, it keeps you interested all the way throughout.
Photo by Deen van Meer
This production includes all of the songs from the original animated movie, with a few new ones added. My favorite of the new ones was by far “High Adventure” sung by Aladdin’s friends. It’s funny, upbeat, and a ton of fun!
I’m constantly amazed by the use of the stage by crew and set designers, but truth be told, watching Aladdin, I was blown away. I don’t want to give too much away, but the scene in the cave was like nothing I have ever seen on a stage. I just watched in awe, trying to take it all in.
The costumes were also a favorite of mine. They were stunning!! So many bright colors and sparkles, with beautiful flowing fabrics!
Photo by Deen van Meer
One of my biggest questions headed to this show was about the magic carpet. Will there be one? How will they do it?
Yes, there most certainly was a magic carpet. And I have no clue how they pulled it off. It’s still making me crazy trying to figure it out. Maybe it was just where I was sitting (fantastic seats, center and up close), I couldn’t see any sort of supports or suspensions. It was so trippy and cool!
Aladdin, performed by Adam Jacobs, was fantastic! He was adorable and charming, easy on the eyes, and he has a wonderful voice.
Photo by Cylla von Tiedmann
The crowd favorite was the Genie by Anthony Murphy. He’s charismatic, has an incredible voice, and he included the crowd any chance he got. His character was a bit over the top for me, but the audience loved him.
My husband was disappointed Aladdin’s monkey, Abu wasn’t in it. They made up for it with three human friends. I think they did a great job filling the void of his furry friend.
It was a fabulous show and we had a great time!
It is playing now in Seattle through October 29th. Tickets start at $35 and are available online at STGPresents.org, Ticketmaster.com, by calling 1-800-745-3000, or in person at the Paramount Theatre Box Office (M-F, 10am-6pm).
In my opinion, Game of Thrones (GoT), is the best show on tv. Sure, it has a tremendous amount of violence, incest, and unsettling scenes, but the storylines are so intricate and fascinating. And I love that it’s filmed all over the world, incredible!
*This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through a link, I will make a small commission. Thank you for supporting Mama By Fire!*
I’m not a huge fan of violence, but I can usually handle it…unless it comes to kids. Violence against children, even though it’s fake, hurts my mama brain. So I thought I would put together all of the parent triggers, large or small, so you can decide if you want to watch the scene, or if you want to skip over it.
First, I will type out the season, episode, and times of the episode to avoid. (Times may be off a little. I was watching on HBO Now so if there was an ad at the beginning, I tried to start the time where the HBO shows up on the fuzzy snow screen. If nothing else, you’ll at least know what to expect for each episode and the general area for each scene.)
At the bottom of the post, I will write about the scene. So, again, you can decide if you want to watch it or skip it. I will also put three asterisks next to the scenes that I really did not like, as in, it almost made me stop watching the show (Maybe two or three for the whole series).
Notice!! Spoilers below!! If you want to look ahead so you can decide if you want to watch the scenes or not, then feel free to read them, but they are spoilers!!!
#GameofThrones is my fave show, but there are some scenes I wish I could have skipped! Click To Tweet
1. The Ranger sees dead Wildling body parts, including children.
2. The Ranger sees a little girl that has turned into a White Walker.
3. Daenerys is raped by Khal Drogo
4. Jaime Lannister pushes Bran Stark out the window on top of a tower.
1. Khal Drogo is raping Daenerys.
2. The Hound, Sandor Clegane, walks by with the dead butcher’s boy on a horse.
Arya Stark stabs a young boy who was threatening her.
Daenerys finds out she lost her baby.
***King Joffrey orders all of Robert Baratheon’s bastards be killed, including all the children.
Jon Snow watches Craster as he takes a baby boy to give to the White Walkers.
The King’s Guard kills a young boy.
King Joffrey is taunting and terrorizing Sansa Stark and having her beaten.
Sansa is attacked and almost raped.
It shows two boys that were burned and hanged.
Another shot of the two boys that were burned and hanged.
I hope this was helpful. If you have any thoughts on how I can make this easier to navigate, please let me know!! Stay tuned for Parent Triggers for Seasons 3 and 4!!
My daughter is going back to school this week (Woohoo!!), and my son will in a few weeks. And so begins the hectic life of the school year. When it comes to the day to day, I get caught up with the rush and I rarely take time for myself. Which means I will start to feel frumpy, and ugly. So, I have a few things on my list that each take me less than a minute, (minimum effort!!), but they make me feel pretty and confident. And then I start to feel better about myself.
I have plenty of ideas on how to feel better emotionally in my post 8 Ways to Uplift Your Mood. Most of them take five minutes or less, so all extremely attainable.
Disclosure- I received shopping credit for Centime jewelry in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own, and as always, I only share things that I love!
But for now, how to feel pretty in less than one minute. These are all ridiculously simple, hardly take any time at all, but for me, when I take the minute or two for a few on this list, I feel a ton better about myself.
It doesn’t take a lot to make yourself feel good, these are just a few quick ways to make yourself… Click To Tweet
Brush your hair. I know. Duh. But to be honest, I run a brush through my hair maaaaaybe once a week. Seriously. I always, always, always just throw it up in a mom bun, or a jacked up ponytail. But when I take the whole minute it takes to brush my hair, it looks better and the head massage I get from that brush, aaaaaahhhh, I almost feel better just writing about it.
Put pants on. I’m not saying do this every single day! I rock the yoga pants a few times a week, and if you do too, I say more power to you, I live for comfort! But when you need to get shit done, I mean really need to focus, put some actual pants on. It changes your entire mindset for the day.
Wear chapstick/lipstick/lipgloss/lipstuff of your choice. It takes a mere seconds which is partly why I love this one. You can feel it on so there’s a tiny reminder that you look good. My favorite these days is Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer. They have several tints to choose from, which is great because who doesn’t like variety?! And also, as a mama on a budget, you know these suckers aren’t going to be spendy!
Throw on your favorite piece of jewelry. Because that’s all it takes, just grab it, “throw it on,” and go. My latest obsession is this gorgeous necklace I got from Centime. Each loop has one of my kiddos names on them which I love. I’ve been wanting something like this for ages. I got the shorter necklace length to keep it from running into my tops, so it literally goes with everything I own. And the few times I forgot to put it on, my daughter reminded me-so she’s a big fan of it as well.
If you want to get some Christmas shopping done early, you can shop at Centime in their “mom jewelry” and use the code MAMABYFIRE for 20% off!! I have a list of moms AND grandmas that would LOVE one of these beautiful necklaces!
Make-Up. Since this is a list for things that take one minute or less, for make-up, you get to choose one thing. Everyone is different. We all have aspects of our face we want to highlight, and some of us have parts we may want to hide. For me personally, I would have to choose between cover up to cover my crazy under eye circles OR mascara to highlight my eyelashes.
Obviously feeling pretty isn’t the most important thing in the entire world, but it can certainly have an impact on our confidence. Besides that, you deserve to feel good about yourself. Sometimes a boost in self-esteem is all we need to get out of a rut!
For the first time this summer, we took the kids on a really long vacation. In the past, our vacations were always fairly close to home and only for a few days-five, at the most!
This summers trip was not only a road trip, but it lasted 17 days!!
I don’t think I have ever been on a trip where I’ve seen so much in my entire life.
Well, now we’ve gotten the bug. We are planning on taking our kids on more trips that are farther from home. We already have a trip booked for April 2018 for the kiddos first plane ride, and for summer of 2019, we’ve begun our plans for another road trip.
As much fun as we had on our trip this year, we decided to take a break from road tripping for a year, and we’ll do another one in two years.
Such a Simple Souvenir Idea, I can’t believe I didn’t think of it sooner! Click To Tweet
When we first took off on our trip, I wanted to come up with a simple souvenir idea for the trip that would represent each place we visited. I was ready to start a collection of something, but I really didn’t want it to take up a ton of space on a shelf. And I also didn’t want to spend a ton of money. We stopped at a bunch of places and all of those little purchases would add up!
It took me until the last few days of our trip to figure out what souvenir to collect at each stop. And while I regret not thinking of it sooner, I’m so glad that I decided to collect what I did.
So, so simple! They’re everywhere, for one, they’re super cheap (.25, or for the “fancy ones,” $3), and they don’t take up very much space. Also, you can write on the back of them. Date of the trip, how you and your family felt about said stop-because I can guarantee you, not everyone is going to enjoy every single stop. We sure didn’t.
I feel silly that it didn’t occur to me sooner because they’re so simple, but I always just thought of them as something to mail to people when you’re on a trip.
Now that I have about 10 postcards, all documenting each stop, I’ve decided to put them in a photo album. I haven’t found the perfect album quite yet because I want to be able to see both sides of the postcards.
If I had been collecting them from the beginning of our trip, I would have had triple the amount of post cards, for sure!
Now for our next trip, we can just add to our “travel” album.
Do you have any simple souvenir ideas for when you travel? What do you look for?
My family and I just got home from the trip of a lifetime. We got to explore several states and in the process, we got to experience some interesting stops.
One such stop, was the Montana Vortex.
Also known as the “House of Mystery, ” it’s a tourist attraction about 25 miles before entering the west entrance of Glacier National Park.
I wanted to share how I felt about this place because we stopped and it made an impact on me. Not necessarily a positive impact.
“A vortex is believed to be a special spot on the earth where energy is either entering into the earth or projecting out of the earth’s plane.”
I’m a big believer in energy and the positive effects it can have on people and their healing, so this place had a lot of potential to me (still does!). I was excited to explore the site and feel the energy. I studied Reiki in a previous life (before kids), so energy healing is very close to me. Which may be the source of my disappointment for this place. I’ll do my best to explain.
It was $12 per person to get in which included a tour. Kids under six are free, a good thing too, our kids were not into it at all. I wouldn’t recommend taking kids under 10, maybe even older.
You walk out of the gift shop to a back yard of sorts. There were different sections and set ups demonstrating the power of the energy that was present.
Unfortunately, the tour was very long, and extremely thorough (as in WAY TOO LONG). I don’t fault the tour guide though, bless him, he raced through as fast as he could! But, I would have been much happier paying $15 to get in and explore on my own.
I love the idea behind the Montana Vortex, but in the end, I was disappointed in the experience. Click To Tweet
I did not like the “House of Mystery” one bit. It was built on part of the Vortex where the energy is strongest. But the house was built sideways to increase the appeal (?). I guess, anyway. You walk into the building and you don’t know if you’re disoriented because of a powerful energy force from the earth, or if it’s because you’re walking in a crooked shack. They have a bunch of optical illusions, and I’m sure some of them were caused by the energy, but again, it was hard to tell if it was the energy, or the crooked building.
I understand not everyone is “in tune” with feeling energy like that, so perhaps that’s why they built the house the way they did. They felt they needed to exaggerate it to the point where no one can deny feeling “different” or “weird.” I feel sad that this place can’t just be what it is, so we can experience it and appreciate some of the things we may not fully understand.
The Montana Vortex could be really cool. I just wish it didn’t feel like such a tourist trap.
Notice how crowded the house was during our tour. There wasn’t much room to move anywhere. The vortex is large enough that with that many people, if they were to spread out, there would have been plenty of room to see all the sights.
After our tour, we were free to roam around and “discover” things on our own. Unfortunately, there was a tour immediately after ours, so we couldn’t test out the little experiments they had throughout the property.
I love the idea behind the Montana Vortex, but in the end, I was quite disappointed in the whole experience.
When I was a teenager, I went on a road trip with my family. For part of it, we drove through the (extremely huge) state of Montana. All I remember from that part of the trip was that it snowed in June (whaaa?!!), we saw lightning storms that were miles ahead of us, and that it was an extremely long and boring state. The lightning was cool, but otherwise, I was not impressed.
We recently went on a road trip from Seattle to Iowa and during our visit to Montana, we actually took the time to SEE Big Sky Country. And it was incredible.
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My favorite parts were on the west side of the state which I will be highlighting. We pretty much booked it through the eastern part of the state. It’s extremely flat, as far as the eye can see. But I can guarantee you they are not lacking in bars and casinos, no matter how tiny the town.
Our Visit to Montana, or Big Sky Country, was gorgeous and unforgettable! Click To Tweet
Glacier National Park
If you set foot in the state of Montana, you must, must, must visit Glacier. Whether you’re just passing through, or stopping to camp a few days, it is one of the most gorgeous places on earth.
It is all wilderness though, so you must be prepared. There are warnings all over the place about bears. At night, you have to stow ALL FOOD ITEMS in your car. Also, be smart-bring bear mace, and don’t go near them!
Bug spray is also a must, and of course all of the other essentials you might need for hiking or camping-whatever that may mean for you. If there is anything I learned from our first camping experiences with the kiddos, “needs” and “extras” for camping vary for everyone.
West Entranceof Glacier
Since we were traveling from the west side, we stayed the night at a campsite just inside the west entrance of the park. My biggest regret is that we only stayed one night.
Before you enter the park, there is a town called Apgar Village. They have lodging, restaurants, gift shops, and all you would need for camping and fishing. If we had more time, we would have perused the town a bit more, but as it was, we were on a tight schedule.
The west side has a very similar feel to Washington parks. The trees are tall and piney, the temperature was always comfortable and mild. Never humid or cold.
Everybody was super friendly, which was good because the campsites were a bit packed into each other.
A little tip, make reservations early! We made our reservation for July back in April and they were already near capacity.
This was our first camping experience with our kids, and we had no idea what to expect! My daughter took to it immediately. She loved exploring the forest and sitting by the fire. Our little guy was a bit more tentative, but in the end, he enjoyed himself (even though he and I ended up sleeping in the car.)
As I said, I wish we stayed longer so we could have enjoyed the trails and the lakes, which there were many. When we left our first campsite, we stopped at Lake McDonald for a picnic and some swimming. My little guy refused to take his swim trunks and life jacket off for the rest of the day.
I would be doing the park a disservice if I didn’t mention at least a few times how beautiful it was. You’re set in between mountains, trees, lakes, and that sky! Incredible.
My husband and I had to drive our little guy around at night to get him to fall asleep (sound familiar?), and we had the pleasure of watching a gorgeous sunset.
This is the road that goes directly through Glacier National Park. It’s about 50 miles long, but takes upwards of 2 hours because the speed limit is about 25 the whole time.
To date, riding on that road (I was in the front passenger seat), was the most terrifying experience of my life. You are driving on the side of a mountain, thousands of feet up. There is a small barrier between you and the drop off, but that didn’t stop my hands from sweating the entire way. Honestly, even writing about it is getting my heart rate up and putting my stomach in knots. My fears aside, I’m glad we went, and we will be taking the kids back when they’re older.
So, yes, terrifying, especially if you have reservations about heights. But so very worth it.
About 32 miles in (going east), you can make a stop at Logan Pass. It has a visitor center, gift shop, and most importantly, a restroom. I didn’t want to stop because it was pretty packed and I was ready to be done with the heights, but it was a worthwhile stop, for sure. We were able to stretch our legs, and the kiddos got in some much needed running around time. And they were amazed to have snow to play in while it was hot outside! (Notice the life jacket that I mentioned earlier? Ha!)
East Entrance of Glacier
We spent one night camping at the east entrance of the park. The trees were much different than the west side. They were significantly shorter, leafier trees as apposed to the fir trees. It was quite a bit windier on the east side as well, maybe because the trees were too short to block the wind?… But it was still gorgeous in its own way with more rolling hills and Montana’s signature wild flower fields.
We liked this particular campsite because of the privacy. The much shorter and leafier trees created a better barrier between sites, but that’s about it. Instead of feeling like we were camping, we felt like we were in a trailer park. There were power lines everywhere and without a forest, there was not a “foresty” feel.
The Sweet Palace
We stopped at the Sweet Palace in Phillipsburg, MT on our way home. It’s a candy store filled with every single type of hard candy you can imagine. And for us chocolate lovers, the center of the store was where they made their specialty chocolates. They also had house made fudge. But, to be honest, I don’t think the kids even noticed the chocolate. haha!
When we stopped, we were on our last day of a 17 day road trip with two kiddos that had done a PHENOMENAL job. I wasn’t sure what I was expecting out of them for all that time on the road, but I was thoroughly impressed. So it was fun to be able to tell the kiddos to help themselves and go nuts at the candy store for being so well behaved.
They each grabbed a baggie, and went through all of the candy barrels and added whatever their little hearts desired (my husband was included on this, he was as into it as the kids, ha!).
It was such a fun stop, we’ll likely have to stop there every single time we go to Montana from now on.
We made another stop while in Montana that turned out to be a bit disappointing. You can read about my review of the Montana Vortex here.
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