Tuesday, 17 November 2015

"An Experience"

We were recently invited to a birthday party of a friend's daughter's - who was turning the big 0-5 and I wanted to be sure of what kind of gift to give.
Last year we gave some pretty awesome pajamas and a Dr. Seuss book and maybe even a quickly sewn blanket to go with (I can't remember).
This year because she's 5 and she probably knows what she wants compared to her younger toddler years - I figured it'd be best to find out what she wanted or more importantly, NEEDED and go with it.

This year, I asked what we could get the birthday girl "E".  E's mom said that they would prefer less on the materialistic side because they want to raise their child with more experiences instead.  And also they only had so much space for more toys - fair enough!

I loved the idea and instantly thought one of the following:

  • Movie tickets
  • Restaurant gift card
  • Hop Lop (indoor play arena) gift card
I had to clarify after a day of thinking what she meant by "experiences".
She kindly explained that it didn't have to be expensive.  It could be an experience of something they could do as a family or with another family.

Fair enough.  Now I had to re-think things and be mindful of our own budget too.
These were the things I thought of:
  • Little indoor garden kit - herb garden or beans or something... (boring)
  • Nail polish (I'm sure the father would love this..ha.) (messy)
  • Cooking or baking utensils - but they probably have a lot already...
  • Hiking with us - but they're probably going to do that at some point anyhow - so not very "special" in terms of birthday-ness.
  • Handicraft kit - but if the parents don't know how to do it - sure they could learn online or ask questions - it might just be more frustrating for everyone involved.
So as I was cruising through Pinterest (part of my bed time routine - some people wear face masks - I use Pinterest!) - I came across cookie mix in a jar.

So simple and I had 99% of the ingredients at home.
I just needed a jar, some sort of ribbon and a birthday card to write the ingredients and instructions.

I can't find the recipe I used but it was some sort of M&M cookie mix! I figure they're more or less the same depending on how sweet you like your cookies!
That's 2 cups of flour on the bottom - at least I can remember that!
So if you don't know how one of these puppies work it's fairly simple (and obviously you should buy a better sized jar than I did - or fill that up with small cookie cutters or something).

You layer the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda or powder, sugar(s), cocoa powder and candies) in a neat and tight fashion (press down especially if you need the space!) and then put a lid on top.
You can get all fancy pants with it and use a Sharpie, stickers or labels or nice ribbons to decorate it and usually there's a tag involved (I was already over an hour late for this party) - with the instructions.  You can stick the label on the outside of the jar or inside or in a card or on your forehead - I'm sure it'd be greatly appreciated ;) .
Usually an egg or milk or butter is involved and of course the baking instructions!

And guess what?  You don't have to make cookie mix.
You can make brownie mix, bread mix, hot chocolate mixes...the possibilities are endless!
Just be sure to put only the dry ingredients in the jar eh? :)

Here's some fabulous ideas from Pinterest!
Just look up "Mason Jar cookie mixes" or recipes or "brownies/bread" whatever you want mixes :D

These would make great gifts for any season or event and excellent party favours (you can find smaller batched recipes for smaller sized jars online too).


PS I don't remember the measurements but here's what I put in that jar:

  • 2 Cups of flour
  • 2 tsp of baking soda (or maybe it was only 1 - like I said - don't quote me on this!)
  • 3/4 Cup of brown sugar
  • 1/4 Cup of white sugar
  • A good shaking of hot chocolate powder mix :D
  • 1 bag of M&M-like chocolate candies

    Then I scribbled instructions on her birthday card.

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