ST-Affiliate_468x60

Chief’s Firefighter Birthday Party

Wow! Has it really been 4 years since my little firefighter was born?! I can’t believe that the years have flown by so fast. This year he was finally old enough to really understand what it meant to have a birthday and a birthday party. This made the anticipation of both great.

Chief was born 3.5 weeks early on New Years Eve. This makes having a birthday party on his actual birthday difficult. It’s only 6 days after Christmas and everyone typically has plans on New Years Eve. For the past 3 years and this year included we did something special with him all on his own. I think this makes his actual birthday special and then he is able to have his birthday party with his friends and the rest of our family.

By the end of it we usually have about 3 celebrations for him. This year we did dinner, dessert and he got to go to the store and pick our a new toy on his actual birthday. Then on January 1st, we drove up to St. Augustine, FL to visit our friends Gary and Michelle for lunch and dessert at Burger Buckets(if you have never been, you must go!). Then on January 7th, we had his firefighter birthday party with friends and family.

Firefighter Decorations

I have never been a fan of store bought decorations. They are VERY expensive, cheap, and every child has the same thing. I want Chief’s birthday to be unique. Each year since he was born I have hand made the decorations for his party and each year the get better. I am a super crafty person, and Pinterest is my best friend.

This year we choose the firefighter theme. Chief is currently obsessed with firemen, firetrucks, his bunker gear, and everything it means to be a firefighter. This made things pretty easy because we have already began to combine his living space to reflect this.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Using the Cricut Explore One

All of our decorations were hand made by my self, with little help from my husband. I also made the majority of the party favors for the kids.  I did all this with my Cricut Explore One machine.  It does so much, and is so great for parents with children. Not only can you use it for party decorations, but you can use it for scrapbooking, home decor, holiday decor and so much more.

I started out by cutting out flames using bright colored card stock paper. I mainly stuck with the colors orange, red, yellow and black for our decorations and favors. Along with my Cricut machine I have a monthly membership to Access, with is very reasonable at $9.99 a month and has thousand of images and fonts included! I used my access membership to search for a flame file that I liked, uploaded it to design space and sized it to what I needed. I got 3 flames per sheet of 8.5x11in paper.

Firefighter Games

We had a fun obstacle course planned for the kids to enjoy. Sadly the night before the party we were under a severe storm warning and experienced thunderstorms through out the night and early morning. This storm also brought through a cold front and it was 38 degrees outside. While the severe storms are typical for Florida the 38 degrees of wetness is not. So we modified things and stuck to indoor fun.

My husband helped make my idea of a burning building come to life. We used a roll of brick backdrop from Hobby Lobby and flame cutouts that I made with the circuit.  The kids were able to use blue bean bags that simulated water to try and put out the fire. We originally planned to use water balloons, but of course that would not have been good indoors.

Eventually the children went outside to enjoy some fun as the sun made a brief appearance. They had fun playing, riding Chief’s John Deere Gator, and playing football. They did not miss the obstacle course one bit. I think I was more upset about it then they were, haha.

At the end of the day, Chief didn’t care about the decorations, the games, the food, or the gifts. He cared only about spending time with his friends and family. I am just happy that our little boy enjoyed his day! Even if he ate 4 cupcakes, and was hyper the rest of the day.

Do you make your own decorations for birthday parties, or do you buy pre-made items? Answer below in the comments.

❤️Brittny

P.S If you loved this post, please make sure to share with your friends and family. Don’t forget to subscribe to our blog to be notified of new postings.

ST-Affiliate_468x60

Coolit Plate Review

Do you struggle with screaming kids at dinner time? I can’t eat this mommy, its too hot! Mommy, blow on my spaghetti! Mom, it’s like lava(my husband grew up saying this)! Mom, it burned my tongue! Well, it’s finally here! A product to help with this task in the quickest way possible. No more sticking it in the freezer for what seems like a life time to your 4 year old, but is really only 5 minutes who then take this time to throw a fit and roll all over the kitchen floor.

So this Christmas my sister-in- law got me a Coolit plate. I opened it and thought, how cool could this really be?(Pun intended) So I gave it a wash and plopped it in the freezer. The recommended freeze time before use is 4 hours. Not so bad considering it was late morning when I added it to the freezer. It would be ready in time for dinner.

                                                  

The Coolest Product out there

The Coolit, is a 2″x8″ dish that holds about a cup of food, and cools food in approximately one minute. This product is made by two loving parents, who have two littles of their own and have experience with dinner time melt downs. 

WOW! Can I say that I am AMAZED at how COOL this product is! Seriously! The first meal I used it for was Spaghetti. I figured it would cool quickly, and be ready for the table in seconds. Chief had been all over me in the kitchen wanting to know when his noodles would be done because he was starving. No mention of the fact he ate a snack 15 minutes before I started cooking. 

After many uses I decided to try it the other night when I made beef stew in our Instant Pressure Cooker. I took the soup straight from the pot practically still boiling and placed it in the bowl. Within the first minute the broth was cool enough to eat, but the meat and veggies were still fairly hot. I Poured the broth into a bowl and chopped up the veggies and meat a tad smaller and they cooled within the second minute. Afterwards though the bowl was not cool enough to cool another meal.

I have noticed that with some meals such as pastas, meats, and veggies, that you can get at least two servings out of one Coolit plate, but when used with the hot soup I was only able to get one serving. If you have more then 2 little kids, or plan to use it frequently on soups I would recommend you get more then one Coolit plate.

   

Directions for Coolit

The Coolit is seriously easy to use. There are 4 steps to the Coolit process.

  1. Wash Coolit before first use and place in the freeze for at least 4 hours before use.
  2. Place hot foods on frozen Coolit(cut larger pieces into smaller chunks)
  3. Stir for approximately 1 minute or until cool.
  4. Test food to make sure it is at a good temperature, and transfer to plate.

Seriously, that’s it! Time for dinner!

Overall, I really recommend this product. I wish I had know about it sooner, it would have helped with meal time as we usually had to place Chief’s dinner in the freezer for 5 minutes before it was cool enough to eat.

If you would like to order this product or find more information about this product, you can find it here. This review is my own personal opinion and I was not provided anything as compensation to write this review.

❤️Brittny

P.s. If you like this post make sure to share it with your friends and family. You can also subscribe to our blog by entering your email to the right of this post.

ST-Affiliate_468x60

New Year, New Adventures

Have you decided what your new years resolution will be? This year I have decided that I am not going to make a resolution. I tend to just break it within a few weeks anyways. So, I have decided to do something else. This year we are working towards more adventures, lots of family fun, and new journeys.

First thing of the New Year

We are starting off this year right! With Chief’s birthday on New Years Eve, it makes it a bit tough to celebrate officially. We always schedule his birthday for the first weekend in January, giving his friends time to return from Christmas vacations and any other holiday celebrations.

We are planning a firefighter themed birthday celebration, since Chief LOVES anything firefighter related. I am super excited that I am able to hand make almost all of his birthday decorations this year. It really helps save on the cost of party decorations. Here is a little sneak peak at what we have finished so far.  I am super excited to see it all come together.

 

 

 

 

 

Saving for our Adventure

Wow! It’s finally January and we are just 4 short months away from taking our big adventure to Michigan. We are so excited to go up and visit the town that we will possibly be moving to. This is going to be one of the biggest decision of our lives and we are not taking it lightly.

I have done an EXTREME amount of research into the area, town, medical facilities, jobs, etc. So far everything I have found points to this area being the perfect place for our family. It is a small town in Northern Michigan, we will be able to have a little hobby farm, hopefully a little veggie garden and lots of land! The land is the best part! Being on 10 acres, with so much beautiful wildlife around will lead to many many adventures with Chief.

Now, if only we can catch a break and finally be able to stop pulling from our savings. At the beginning of December my transmission blew in my car and will cost $3,500.00 to fix it! At this point we are looking at just giving up and getting a newer car, as mine is already 14 years old.

Family Adventures

This is my favorite part! 2016, was a VERY tough year on our family. With the loss of my grandma, the loss of my husbands grandfather, losing my job, medical issues, family issues, and so much more. I am looking to make a HUGE change with 2017! I want to make this year a very memorable year for Chief in a good way.

It is my goal that we take at least 1 adventure each month. 12 adventures this year, 12 amazing family memories, 12 happy times. I don’t know yet what our first adventure will be, but I know it will be a good one. Maybe we will take a day trip to one of our state parks. Chief loves to run around in the woods and have fun. At least once this year I want to plan a family camping event, weather we go someone local, or somewhere further away, I want Chief to have the opportunity to camp the way I use to as a young child.

Everyone should have family adventures. I challenge you to have at least 1 family adventure a month. It doesn’t have to be anything expensive, or outlandish. It can be done locally, with minimal funds, as long as you are doing something fun together. Make sure to leave a comment, let me know what your adventure was and how it went. The only thing I as is that you do something outdoors, get away from the electronics and have fun!

Have fun, be adventurous, get outdoors, and be a family!

❤️Brittny

P.s. If you loved this blog make sure to share with friends, and family! Also, sign up to receive notifications when we post a new blog!

ST-Affiliate_468x60

Dollar Tree Wonders!

Have you heard about Dollar Tree? Have you ever been inside? I highly recommend you take a trip there as soon as possible.

 

Dollar Tree Snacks

Let’s talk about snacks. Every mom knows that kids go through snacks like they do underwear. They seem to go even faster right after you buy them and the novelty of new snacks is there.

Every week I head over to the Dollar Tree with a $10 budget for snacks. Every Dollar Tree varies on the items they have, and they also vary by week. But I am guaranteed to find good name brand stuff every time. The best part, it’s all a buck! That’s right, $1! No funny business.

Our favorite snacks are veggie straws, chocolate animal crackers, goldfish, cheese puffs, pretzels, and much more. We have even gotten lucky on occasion and found applesauce pouches! I try and buy the largest bags possible, and then I get snack size baggies and separate it all out. I have a snack bin in my pantry that is accessible to my 3 year old and he can pick and choose own his own.

Dollar Tree Dry Goods

Who would have thought that Dollar Tree has a dry grocery and frozen section?! It is AMAZING! Again, name brand items at bargain prices. Of course you still have store brand items, but they are just as good.

Canned Veggies, Canned Soup, Canned Fruit, Tuna, and much more. You can’t forget the pastas, pasta sauces, condiments, sodas and juices. I always take advantage of these items when I find them. These are all house hold staples that everyone has in their pantry, and it’s great to stock up.  During our most recent Hurricane, I was even able to stock up on non perishable items at a low price, and a very small budget.

Now, always make sure to check your local sale prices as some times you can get an even better deal at your local grocery store. But in most cases you get a better deal at the Dollar Tree.

Dollar Tree Frozen Foods

This section is hit or miss. You can find great things, and not so great things. Its also the area you have to watch the prices on, because its possible that they could cost more. Chief loves Red Barron Pizza Minis. I can purchase them in the grocery store for $3.79 for a box of 8 mini pizza’s, Chief usually only eats 3 of them. At Dollar Tree I can get 1 package of 3 for $1 and get 9 for $3.

This section seems to be the most random, but you can find some really good things here. My favorite find has been the Cinnabon pull apart. These make great snacks for moms after a long stressful day, and cook in 45 seconds!

Dollar Tree School Supplies

Every homeschooling parent knows just how expensive supplies can be. this burden is completely on us, as we are the educators in our classroom. This gives me an appreciation for them as they are only given a small list of supplies and they have to close the gap.

Dollar Tree is where its at when it comes to homeschool supplies on a budget. Paper, pencils, pens, dry erase markers, flash cards, arts and crafts materials, the works. At the beginning of the school year they even carry workbooks for all grade levels. I have found that these are a great supplement to our curriculum, or great to use when traveling.

If you have a younger child, they have great classroom decorations. Our classroom take a more Montessori approach and I don’t use the items. But they would work for a pre-k, or kindergarten student.

Holiday Dollar Finds

Are you looking to decorate for the holidays on a budget? Head over to Dollar Tree to find the latest holiday offerings. We were able to score some awesome Halloween, and Christmas decorations so far this year. This really helped when Chief wanted to decorate, but we had a very minimal budget.

 

Over all, Dollar Tree has TUNS to offer! The biggest plus, EVERYTHING is truly $1! Happy Shopping!

 

❤️Brittny