Why I decided to skip the toys this year, and instead, gift memories.

Every year I spend countless hours shopping for and wrapping my kid’s gifts for the holidays. Christmas morning comes, they open said gifts, and all we’re left with is a heaping pile of garbage.  Literally, garbage.  I can tell you my kids don’t remember that dollhouse or that race-car they got, but what they do remember is that trip to the movies in our X-mas pajamas.  They remember decorating cookies at the holiday festival, and they remember story time with the Grinch at the local book store.  And before you lose your breath, I’m not suggesting you get your kids nothing–although I do believe the holidays are about much more, and that’s for another blog post on another day.

This year, I’ve decided I’m done with the crap, and I’ll be gifting my kids nothing but memories.  Memories that will last much longer than any Elsa doll.  And if you’re excited about this idea, and want to try it out, I’ve got you covered.  Let’s do this.

You can probably take all these individual “memory makers” and wrap them individually under the tree, however, I decided to create a coupon book.  There are several online with more pages, but I chose to buy this from Amazon for both my kids.  I’ll leave the delivery and wrapping part up to you.

Now let’s talk ideas.  And let’s be real, memories can cost just as much as toys, and often times more.  So I’ve created a list of both free (or very cheap) ideas, and some that will cost you some money.

Free (or almost free) fun:

  1. Hiking, or a nature walk
  2. Trip to the park
  3. Picnic at your favorite outdoor place
  4. Community events (there are always a ton, check online)
  5. Trip to the library (especially fun during story time)
  6. Trip to the beach (if you live near one)
  7. Trip to a museum
  8. Game night at home
  9. Volunteer work (trust me on this one)
  10. Camp out in your backyard
  11. Camping trip
  12. Date with mom
  13. Date with dad
  14. Date with  ________
  15. Community concert
  16. Visit the animal shelter, or local Humane Society
  17. Stay up a half hour or hour later past bedtime (for little kids)
  18. Trip to the pool (for the summer months)
  19. Favorite meal coupon
  20. “boss for the day”–a pass to be the boss and call the shots for the day

Fun with a price tag:

  1. Tickets to the movies
  2. Tickets to an amusement park
  3. Tickets to the zoo
  4. Tickets to go on a vacation
  5. Trips to indoor playgrounds like Chuck E Cheese, My gym, or lazer tag
  6. Tickets to the aquarium
  7. Tickets to a broadway show
  8. Tickets to a concert
  9. Tickets to a local fair or festival
  10. Spa Day
  11. Miniature golf
  12. Bowling
  13. Boat ride, whale watching, or all things water related if you live near a coast
  14. Classes or lessons–Like cooking class, art class, dance classes, piano classes, sports clubs, science camp…etc
  15. Tickets to a sports games
  16. Trip to favorite restaurant
  17. Go out for ice cream or their favorite dessert
  18. Waterpark passes
  19. Annual passes to their favorite places
  20. Roller skating or ice skating

Look, you get the point.  These is just a list to get your juices flowing, and the internet is filled with ideas and fun local spots, events, and free things happening in your community every week.  Are you as excited about this as I am? Screw that Elsa doll, who’s with me?  I’d love to hear what YOUR ideas are, and I’d love to know if you plan to do this.  Visit me on Instagram, share your thoughts.  And please, sign up for my email updates below.  I promise I won’t spam you.  We can be best buds.

Love,

Deema

Rainbow “Ice Cream” Cones For Pride Month

Ok, so it’s Pride Month guys.  And, besides it being the month where my favorite parades take place, it’s also a month where the LGBTQ community celebrates the freedom to be themselves.  And as a mother of two little humans, I don’t miss an opportunity to Celebrate. Literally. Everything.  Plus, how cute does she look in that outfit, I mean come on.

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So we generally get dressed up from head to toe and go to the Pride Parade in West Hollywood, however, this year we unfortunately missed it.  So what did we do?  Rainbow “ice cream” cones.

Ok so here’s what you’re going to need:

  1. Ice cream cones (any size or shape works)
  2. Boxed Cake (Already baked–any flavor)
  3. Icing (any flavor)–Get two icing jugs per boxed cake
  4. Wilton Candy Melts (any colors)
  5. Rainbow sprinkles
  6. Bag of M&M’s

Alright, let’s get this party started.

Step 1:  Crumble

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First thing you need to do is grab that baked cake and put it in a bowl.   Toss it and start to crumble it.  TIP:  If you do it really fast, I think you lose like a lot of calories.  

Step 2: Mix

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Once it’s all crumbled, add the icing.  You can use a spoon like a pampered diva, but you’ll get the job done much faster if you just use your hands.  Mix it all together.

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You’re really going for a doughy-like feel, or your cake is going to taste too dry.  But don’t put too much, or the mold will slip off the cone.

Step 3: Refrigerate 

Throw it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.  It needs to get cold.

Step 4: Stuff ’em

Ok, now grab your ice cream cones and the cake/icing mixture.   Scoop that gob of calories out and stuff that ice cream cone like a Turkey on Thanksgiving.  And, seriously, use your hands.  Fill the bottom of the cone first.

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Next, grab more of the mixture and put a half mounted ball on the top.  The idea is that you are mimicking the shape of an actual ice cream cone.

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Step 5: Melt the good stuff

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Put a handful of candy melts in the microwave.  Try it in 20-30 second increments and keep stirring in between.  You don’t want the chocolate to be watery, just a nice thick paste.

Step 6:  Now watch me Dip..

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Now take your ice cream cones, and dip them in the chocolate.  It’s ok to have a little drip, it actually looks more like melted ice cream.  Just be sure to not let it look too sloppy, and let the excess chocolate drip into the bowl before putting it back upright.

**You can pick whatever colors you want for these steps.  I chose white as my base.

Step 7:  Toppings!

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Lastly, to get that real ice cream look, you need to get your “syrup” (Candy Melts),  your “cherry” (M&M), and your rainbow sprinkles.

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First, melt some fun colors.  Then take a spoon and put it on the top of each ice cream cone.   Second, add an M&M right in the center.  And last, top it off with some rainbow sprinkles.   Put that sucker back in the fridge for 5 minutes and they’re ready.

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Alright guys, get your fat pants on.  Hope you try this out yourself, and it’s not a complete disaster.  I have faith in you.

Love,

Deema

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