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.

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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.


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Turning 30 years old!

Well, this week it finally came. I am 30! Where did the time go? I feel like I was just a care free child playing outside until the street lights came on. I had a great birthday week. We started out on Tuesday with a trip to one of my favorite cities, St. Augustine, FL. We took advantage of their locals special they are offering for the month of September, where all residents in my area are welcome to ride their trolley for free and experience some of the local attractions.


We first started out getting our tickets from Old Town Trolley Tours St. Augustine, and we got tickets for the trolley tour, the Old Jail, St. Augustine History Museum, Potter’s wax museum, and the Old Drug Store. Although we did not make it to the History Museum, or the Old Drug Store, we plan to go back soon and visit those attractions.

The Old Jail

Our first stop was to the Old Jail. I was a bit worried as we brought along Chief who is 3, and the inside of the jail on the first floor is kind of dark in the beginning of the tour. He did ok, but wanted to be held during this portion. It was very interesting to see the jail, as this was an actual jail in St. Augustine that was used from 1891-1953. During the tour you are guided by “inmates” in period dress, and are guided first through the court yard where they use to hang prisoners(very eerie), women’s cells, maximum security, the kitchen, the Sheriff’s living quarters, and then upstairs to general populations and the Sheriff’s private bedrooms. You are then left to wander on your own, exploring the cells, and information posted on the walls. You can see that the cells are very tiny compared to today’s prison cells and seem very inhumane as we are told that many times there are more then 4 prisoners to a cell.img_1506

Trolly Tour

After our visit to the Old Jail we took the trolley tour around the city with our driver Robert. He was a fantastic driver and narrator as we passed historic areas of downtown. As a frequent visitor it was nice to finally take a complete tour of the city and become familiar with some areas we have never seen before. Our tour lasted about an hour and fifteen minutes and we enjoyed every single bit of it. Chief did get a little antsy towards the ended but he stuck it out.

There are 24 stops on the trolley ride where you can hop off and explore, and then pick up the next trolley as it comes by. Mt favorite stop on the trolley is St. George Street. I HIGHLY recommend that you hop off here and explore this pedestrian walking street. There are lots of unique little shops, restaurants, and more.

Our favorite areas to stop on St. George are Colonial Quarter, it is absolutely beautiful, so much that we actually got married here under their great big oak tree filled with beautiful lanterns. Our next favorite place to stop is right across the way at Fudge Buckets, this is a must stop location. Head in to sample homemade fudge, and amazing ice cream or if your feeling extra hungry stop at their sister store Burger Buckets located not far from this location. If you head into Burger Buckets make sure to ask Gary, what he recommends to eat. He has never steered us wrong and our food is always amazing. After our trolley tour we had dinner at our favorite restaurant as mentioned above, Burger Buckets and then headed home for the evening.

Wax Museum

We returned back on Thursday, my actual birthday to visit Potter’s Wax Museum. Now this is an attraction that I would not recommend for young children as it can be a bit frightening and unnerving. While it is a very interesting attraction, it was nowhere near my favorite place to stop. The museum is filled with many historical figures, famous actors/actresses and professional athletes.  I am 30 (yikes) and it was terrifying to me, which is odd because I love all things creepy and scary. I love a good horror movie, but this just seemed way to real. I even briefly braved their horror section and quickly ran back out. Each wax figure is expertly made, and they were even crafting their next figure that will be joining their museum next week, Mr. Ray Charles. It was very interesting to watch their process. I can’t say that I won’t ever go back for another visit, maybe next time I won’t feel so anxious, but I can say it won’t be high on our list. Of course if we do visit again, it will be without Chief.

If you are interested in seeing this attraction at night, they do offer a ghost tour that stops at this location as it is reported to be a very haunted building in St. Augustine. Eeek!

Dinner Time

We of course made another visit to Burger Buckets for dinner after our visit to the wax museum. We had an amazing dinner, we shared their Bite of Fire Burger, and Extra Meaty Chicken Wings. Mmmm, everything was so amazing. I finished off my dinner with an amazing banana split sundae, where I went with the traditional toppings. You can choose your 3 ice creams and toppings. Chief got his famous scoop of Superman ice-cream on a cake cone, which is vanilla ice-cream tie dyed red, yellow and blue. They have tuns of different options for dessert such as milk shakes, ice-cream cones, key lime pie on a stick, frozen bananas, and of course lots of fudge to choose from! All their fudge is home made right there at the Burger Buckets location. Go check them out, you won’t regret it!

I do have to say that turning 30 was a lot better then I expected. We had a fantastic time visiting St. Augustine on both days, and we will be returning again in the future, as this is one of our favorite date locations. If you haven’t visited yet, we recommend that you do! Make sure to wear comfortable shoes, as some of the roads are cobblestone and can be a tad uneven. Check our the Visitor Information Center, for information about local attractions, restaurants, shops and more!