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she’s 11

March 15, 2016

I decided not to buy Maya a gift for her birthday this year.

I came to this decision because Maya still hasn’t opened the sewing machine I bought her for Christmas. The one that she’s always wanted. The one that she had to have.


Balloons. It’s all about the balloons.

This sewing machine – in it’s original packaging – taunts me every time I walk by her closet because:

  • It was a giant waste of money.
  • It’s taking up much needed closet space.
  • Few things trouble me more than wasting money. Or space. (I know I say this about everything.)

I also decided not to buy Maya a gift because I couldn’t think of a single thing to buy her.


No pizza and cake for Maya’s party…instead she requested spaghetti with meat sauce, salad with avocado + balsamic + olive oil, garlic bread, and chocolate fondue. Her elevated palate fascinates me.

Me: Instead of buying you a gift I want to take you somewhere. Where do you want to go?

Maya: Dos Caminos.

Me: Anywhere else? Maybe a show?

Maya: No. I just want to go to Dos Caminos.

Apparently all it takes to make my child happy on her birthday is lunch at a sub-par Mexican restaurant. A restaurant that features unfriendly service and $26 guacamole.


Maya’s friends bought her books, which are the BEST gift.

Although I can probably fly to Mexico for the price of the guacamole at Dos Caminos, I’m not going to complain for once.

Mostly because Dos Caminos won’t ever taunt me from Maya’s closet, and that in itself is a gift.


41 Comments leave one →
  1. March 15, 2016 7:19 am

    Awwwwww Ameena what a beautiful refreshing post. She looks amazing. Really takes after you. I’m going to read it to my mum tonight. You’re her favourite organised person in the world. Happy birthday to Maya.

    • March 16, 2016 6:31 am

      Thank you Maha for the sweet comment. I love that your Mum likes my blog. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. seana permalink
    March 15, 2016 7:29 am

    Sometimes less is better. I asked my son where he wanted to go for his birthday. He wanted pizza and wings at home. So it was just him, his girlfriend and my husband and I, Can’t say anyone had any complaints. Bought his beloved ice cream cake. He did want money towards his new computer. Simple.

    • March 16, 2016 6:32 am

      Pizza and wings used to be my favorite meal in college. Hard to believe now but I totally get it. Simple, I love that!

      • seana permalink
        March 16, 2016 8:10 am

        I gave up wings after getting them not fully cooked. The thought of eating them makes me ill to this day. My son just went back to college for his Masters. Proud Mom here. They finally grow up a bit and see the light ๐Ÿ™‚

      • March 16, 2016 9:45 am

        You should be proud! What a great accomplishment. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • seana permalink
        March 16, 2016 8:11 am

        I meant to say I gave them up in college ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. March 15, 2016 7:35 am

    Ah, the must-have then unused toys – our house is full of them. But then I have a blender still in its box since Christmas, so I can hardly complain! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • March 16, 2016 6:33 am

      Can you believe I don’t even own a blender? Sad but true.

      • March 16, 2016 7:51 am

        It’s the only kitchen appliance I used regularly – I’m too lazy to eat vegetables!

  4. March 15, 2016 8:03 am

    See you are good at entertaining kids – even on their 11th Birthday. You’re a natural.

    Keep smiling…

    • March 16, 2016 6:34 am

      I’m not good at entertaining anybody, at any time. I’m far too selfish for that!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. March 15, 2016 9:20 am


    I like Maya’s idea of birthday fun! Pasta, chocolate, and guac. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • March 16, 2016 6:34 am

      When you put it like that, it’s not such a bad combination is it? ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Taking On Magazines permalink
    March 15, 2016 9:57 am

    Happy birthday, Maya! So give me some advice. I’m trying to come to terms with the fact that I’ll be mother to a child in double digits this year. How’d you handle it when Maya turned 10? I’m definitely not buying my child a sewing machine to celebrate the milestone. (But then again, she hasn’t told me that she HAS to have one.) ๐Ÿ˜€

    • March 16, 2016 6:35 am

      It was pretty crazy when Maya turned 10 last year, I definitely felt old. But turning 40 this year put it into perspective because suddenly I felt REALLY old. LOL

      Stay away from the sewing machine. She won’t use it! I swear.

  7. March 15, 2016 10:16 am

    Happy birthday to Maya! I hope 11 treats her well. I’m pretty sure she was somewhere in the age 5-6 range when I started reading your blog, so her turning 11 freaks me out a bit. Does that mean we’re getting old!? Also, I don’t blame you for not buying her a present. If I ever decided to take the parenting plunge I hope to go about presents the same way.

    • March 16, 2016 6:36 am

      We’re getting old unfortunately. Especially me. Turning 40 and having an 11 year old really put things into a whole new light.

      And thanks for reading my blog for so many years!! You are unbelievably kind to do so. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. hcoving permalink
    March 15, 2016 11:08 am

    Happy birthday Maya!! I think the no present plan is a great one. My twins birthday is tomorrow. They have a ridiculous number of toys (and all they really want to play with is my iPad) so I asked everyone to get them books and puzzles. I love Maya’s birthday food request. You have to love that she can think beyond pizza and other gross typical kid fare.

    • March 16, 2016 6:37 am

      Happy Birthday to your twins!

      And yes, it iPad obsession. Drives me nuts but at least it cuts down on the clutter.

  9. March 15, 2016 11:08 am

    Happy Birthday Maya!!!

  10. March 15, 2016 5:23 pm

    Happy Birthday Maya !!! Books are definitely best gifts.

  11. March 15, 2016 10:06 pm

    I literally laughed out loud when I read this post. My daughter also pulls out the “but I really want it and I promise I’ll use it all the time” card, and then, when I get suckered and buy these things against my better judgment, I find these items in the corner of a closet, tucked in a bag under the couch, and, too often, in the backseat of my vehicle. Sigh.

    Love the meal Maya selected! It’s making me want to fondue.

    Happy birthday, Maya!

    • March 16, 2016 6:38 am

      I think this promise is universal. Although, I don’t recall saying this to my parents and not following through!

      Thank you for the bday wishes!

  12. March 16, 2016 7:55 am

    She sounds exactly like me when I was 11. I was obviously the coolest person in the entire world at age 11, so I couldn’t be bothered with having a party or something fancy. I need to it to be “low-key” (whatever that means at age 11) with just a few “close” friends come over for a sleepover with an “intimate” dinner party in my dining room. Of course we ate junk food and played Ouija instead and swore the thing moved on its own. So I feel Maya on this. She’s an adult now Ameena. Duh. If she says she wants an item, it’s a must-have item she’ll use never but will tell all her friends she uses it all the time. ๐Ÿ˜‰ No one will know the truth!!
    Happy Birthday Maya! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • March 16, 2016 9:47 am

      I never had partiesโ€ฆunless they involved family. Funny, my parents didnโ€™t really encourage us to have school friends over.

      Iโ€™m the exact opposite type of parent as I want Maya to be way cooler than me. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. March 17, 2016 1:05 am

    Tell Maya I need her to give me sewing machine lessons once she figures out how to use hers!

  14. March 23, 2016 12:10 pm

    Happy birthday Maya! ๐Ÿ™‚ Juliet will be 12 soon. I’m hoping that we can skip Christmas presents this year and go visit our friends in India instead. But this is also a year for US travel and house renovations so I just don’t know. Sometimes no presents is a good thing.

  15. Jessie E. permalink
    March 27, 2016 4:29 pm

    Happy Birthday, Maya!

    Also, $26 guac??? At least the sewing machine is longer lasting, I suppose ๐Ÿ˜›

    • March 28, 2016 8:58 am

      Thank you Jessie! And yesโ€ฆI have few words for the $26 guacamole!

  16. March 30, 2016 4:14 pm

    Happy Birthday Maya! So cute.. love all the balloons too!
    I love Dos Caminos guac, haven’t been in a while. Maybe it’s different. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • March 31, 2016 7:45 am

      Thank you Nisha!! And yes, Dos Caminos has improved, marginallyรขย€ยฆ.

  17. April 1, 2016 11:15 am

    Happy happy Belated Birthday Maya! This is the best birthday month ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. May 24, 2016 3:44 pm

    Kids’ birthdays are a nightmare there’s no doubt about it! I hope she had a great time on her birthday. I’m sure she did ๐Ÿ™‚

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