Station 43

Station 43
Station 43 is an amazing little jewel tucked away in Solon, OH. It can be found at 39910 Aurora Rd. Solon, OH 44139 for those who want to punch it into the GPS. While in Solon for some training we’ve been doing a lot of eating out. I’ve been hearing raves from the other trainees about this place and decided since we’re almost through training I should get out and try it!
My buddy and I went out just the two of us and I was immediately impressed by the catering advertisement parked behind the building. There are two doors you can get in, front and back, if you come in the back, you can just walk over to the front door to the hostess station for seating. The catering ad should give it away, as well as the name of the restaurant, but the theme of it is firefighters.
I think my favorite part of the décor was the turnout gear on the ladder. The little fire chief car on the ladder was also very cute! There was really too much for my to capture it all, but I got my favorites on my trusty S4. I learned from the website that one of the original owners was a firefighter, hence this beautiful tribute to the men and women in turnout gear and the canines that back them up.
I was originally told that it was very pricey, but I can tell you that it is not! It’s not cheap, but for the meal you get, it’s worth every penny! I ordered the Station Combo, which included a half rack of ribs (delicious sauce!), 6 wings, fries and coleslaw (you can substitute the sides with other choices, I went with onion rings). All that for less than $20!
The Station Combo
Doesn’t that look delicious?! I ended up eating everything except my ribs, those were my lunch the next day. The ribs were fantastic, hot and cold, with the meat practically falling off the bone.
I know I’ll be coming back to this place with my family. My wonderful husband, Tony, was a volunteer firefighter for several years in New York before we got married. I also have a lot of friends who wear turnout gear. If I can get my friend Christa and her family to come down to Ohio, I know that I’ll be taking her here for a meal, as her husband is a firefighter still.
If you roll through Solon, or come close enough and have a soft spot for firefighters, be sure to stop in for some delicious food and amazing décor. Let me know if you enjoy it!
Happy dining!
Restaurant’s full website is at

Another Way to Blow Up a Balloon

Another Way to Blow Up a Balloon
This was a fun, snowy day activity for our family. Kids get to be a little crazy when they’re cooped up in the house during a snow storm! Mom and dad can quickly follow suit if you can’t shake things up. This was a simple thing to do, and I had all of the requirements on hand. If I did, I’m sure you will too.
All you need for this fun little activity is a plastic bottle, like a soda bottle, baking soda, vinegar and balloons. You start by filling the bottle about 1/3 of the way up with vinegar. The next step was a little interesting to figure out, but Tony and I made it work. You need to put baking soda in the balloon, we filled it about half way (half of an empty balloon is a few tablespoons). I held the balloon open with both hands while Tony put in the baking soda. Next step is to stretch the balloon opening around the bottle opening without spilling any of the baking soda. A little tricky, but possible!
Before Inflation
The next part goes fast so be sure everyone is paying attention, even though I’m sure you’ll do this multiple times. Once everyone is watching, flip the balloon up so that the baking soda falls into the vinegar. The reaction is fast and intense. I’ve always loved the way these two elements interact. If you want to get science-y you can tell your kids this is called a double replacement reaction. It’s the same chemical combination you would use to make “lava” for the science experiment volcanos.
Sadly this doesn’t make helium, which would’ve been the coolest ever, but it will inflate fast! My kids were giggling like mental patients every time we did this. We went through almost a half a bag of balloons before I decided that was enough vinegar for the day. Since Pinterest has taken over my life I’ve started buying vinegar by the gallon! We did play a bit of a guessing game to find the right vinegar-to-baking soda ratio. Some of the combinations barely inflated the balloon and others bubbled the solution into the balloon. It doesn’t really matter if it bubbles up, it will all settle back down.
Enjoy your own experiments with your family! Remember it’s just a good time for everyone!
Original idea came from

Have a Valentine

Have a Valentine
It’s rolling around to the time where kids exchange those cutsie cards, or little candy treats, maybe even both! I remember the excitement, when I was younger, of getting to pick out which one I got to give out to all my classmates. Of course this was all pre-Pinterest, and I had no idea of the excitement I would experience when my kids turn came! I won’t lie to you, the first two years my son was in preschool, also Pre-Pinterest, I bought the cute little boxes of Valentine’s at Wal-Mart. Last year I did a Pinterest Valentine, and if you want those details, you can check it out at This year, Arthur is in kindergarten and Chiara is in preschool, so double fun for mommy!
I started this project a few weeks ago by posing my kids in front of a door for a clean backdrop. They thought I was a little crazy. Understandable, as I was making them look off in the distance and hold their fist out. It took a few takes to get one I could work with. Arthur has kind of a silly face on in his, but he’s still one of the cutest six year olds on the planet! He was getting bored with standing there, so I decided it was fine. Once I had the picture, I cropped it to a size I was happy with.
The first time I sent them to be developed in the Wal-Mart photo lab, I had forgot to put the message on the picture. After realizing my mistake, I did a little playing around in paint. I chose simple, and wrote on them “Happy Valentine’s Day! Love, Arthur” and obviously “Love, Chiara” on her’s. I then sent those to be developed. Be sure you take into account where the top of your sucker will be when you place your words!
When they were finished and ready for pickup, I selected my choice of treats, going with the cherry Blow-Pops. Looking back, they may have been too big for my project, but they still work. After getting back to my hotel room, I’m currently away from home for some training, I sat down with all of my supplies.
I used my trusty Wal-Mart box-cutter, but I needed to be sure not to damage the surface I was cutting on. Before you ask, yes, that is a Pizza Hut box. It was trash anyway, so I could gash it all up. You use your cutter to cut a slit at the top and bottom of the fist. Make sure the slit is big enough to slide a sucker stick through. Then you slide your stick through and you have a Valentine!
I hope you enjoyed this little project. I got my inspiration for this particular one at Be sure to check them out as well!
Happy Valentine’s Day!

Balloon Powered Lego Car

Balloon Powered Lego Car
This was a fun afternoon for the whole family. We got hit with a snow storm, one of many to hit Northeast Ohio, and the kids were starting to go a little stir crazy. Meaning mommy and daddy were going a little nuts too. I dug this one out of my Pinterest hat and started playing with Arthur’s Legos. They were conveniently spread over the living room floor, so it seemed like the thing to do. Arthur likes playing with me, so he was ok with it! Tony was relaxing on the couch, asked what we were doing, so I explained: “I’m going to build a little car with an opening on the back for a balloon, so it will move across the floor.” His response was to join us on the floor.
The kids weren’t really sure what we were doing. Arthur continued to build whatever struck his fancy and Chiara started playing with the balloons. Tony and I came up with several styles of cars.
My sad little car
Tony’s, the one up top, was the best design, but you have to expect that from the crazy guy who modifies lawn mowers for his own purposes! The one shown here was my design. It did move, but not near as well as Tony’s did. The amount of space you have for air to exit the balloon is very important. My first attempt had too little space, the refresh had too much space. Tony discovered the secret:
proper opening
Tony used one of the arches from Chiara’s Lego set and it seemed to let just enough air out to give it a nice long run. My style had a nice burst of speed, but it fizzled out really fast!
My car in action
The picture on the hardwood is my sad little car only making it half the distance of Tony’s! It was really interesting blowing up the balloon while it was in the frame we built. I would say if you have Legos, to give this a try on a snowy or rainy day. I know a lot of the US is getting hit with crazy amounts of snow, so hold this one in reserve!
Original pin came from
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