OPERATION: FIELD DAY
A family-friendly event that also benefits Florida firefighters.
ROBO PUP A NEW VIRTUAL COMPANION
Meet Aibo – a new type of family pet.
GIVE THE GIFT OF EXPERIENCE THIS HOLIDAY
Things only last so long, but what about experiences?
GIFTS FOR GRANDCHILDREN
Think outside the box.
RECIPE OF THE MONTH
Fresh & simple strawberry milkshake.
You are invited to join Edgewater Ranch for the inaugural Operation: Field Day. Proceeds will be donated to Florida Firefighter Charities as a thank you to everything our first responders do to help us on a daily basis.
This is a family-friendly event, so bring the kids along. We will have dunk tanks, tug-of-war, cornhole, face painting, and more. This is a free event, but parking on-site will be $10.
Stay tuned for updates on all of the bands & food trucks attending on Facebook here.
If you know someone who spends a lot of time at home alone, they may long for the companionship of a cat or dog. We all know that pets can provide a rewarding relationship and ease the pain of loneliness, but for some people, whether due to limited mobility or allergies, taking care of a pet is out of the question. Enter, robot puppy Aibo.
Just in time for the holiday season, Sony has introduced its latest Aibo (“eye-bo”) robotic dog with artificial intelligence, which it says will be available for purchase in the U.S. for a limited time. This latest design of the robotic pup is equipped with image sensors and artificial intelligence, making it uniquely able to respond to its owner with a personality perfectly suited for the relationship.1 Like live pets, it learns about you as it gets to know you better and can even recognize faces, so it doesn’t forget a friend or foe.2
In short, Aibo behaves much like a real-life dog, learning how to read facial expressions and patterns in order to react to its environment and owner. According to Sony, Aibo will race to greet an owner returning home, romp with toys, learn tricks like fetch, shake hands and roll over, respond with cocked head to words of praise or lean into a scratch on the head.3 Better yet, Aibo doesn’t need potty training, walking, feeding or even the occasional bath. Plus, Aibo never outgrows that adorable puppy stage.
Aibo is battery operated and goes automatically (or on command) to “nap” on his charging station when batteries are running low. With gentle yips, head turns and an accommodating personality, this year’s Aibo sells for about $2,900.4
What can you buy for the person who has everything? Or the person you really just want to spend some time together with this holiday season? Eschew material goods; buy an experience you can share.
Here are some ideas to help you design a more meaningful, lasting gift experience for loved ones this holiday season.
Masterclass.com – Indulge an interest, with a cooking class taught by Gordon Ramsay or Wolfgang Puck; writing classes by Shonda Rhimes or James Patterson; photography taught by Annie Leibovitz; tennis by Serena Williams; acting by Helen Mirren or Samuel L. Jackson; filmmaking by Martin Scorcese or Ken Burns; and the list goes on and on.
Indoor Skydiving – You don’t have to drop from the sky. New indoor skydiving studios have cropped up all over the country that suspends you in the air and let you experience the thrill of skydiving while staying closer to the ground.
DJ Lesson – A unique idea for music-loving teenagers, a hands-on DJ course teaches mixing techniques and tips for entertaining audiences. This could possibly even save you money on the next family wedding.
Rosetta Stone or Babbel – Do you know someone who has always wanted to learn to speak a foreign language fluently? They often never pursue this goal, thinking they won’t make the time and don’t want to spend the money. This makes the perfect gift – you spend the money and they probably will make the time.
Vacation Experiences – Surprise a spouse or significant other with a mini vacation somewhere unexpected, like holing up in a yurt at a state park, a bed and breakfast in town or a houseboat on the lake. Or, if you already have a vacation planned, find unique experiences you can add to enhance and personalize your time away. Perhaps indulge a hobby, like taking a yoga class on the beach. Or sign up for a bike tour or restaurant-tasting or whatever might be indigenous to the area. Even if you’ve already booked a hotel, you can find and reserve these types of experiences through services such as Airbnb.com.
Parents often buy what’s on the list, but grandparents can think a bit more outside the box. Consider gifts you can participate in with your grandchildren, so they remember your time together. For example:
- A favorite book or board game from your childhood that you can read or play together
- An annual pass to a children’s museum, theme park or state park, either near you or them – but someplace you can visit whenever you are together
- A dining and shopping day where your grandchild can choose to do anything, just for the two of you
- A night or two at an indoor water park and family resort, where the weather never spoils the fun
10-12 large, ripe strawberries
2 1/2 cups French vanilla ice cream
2 cups whole milk
Start by carefully washing your chilled (but not frozen) strawberries, then chop them into 1/4″ pieces. Place chopped strawberries into a blender (6-cup blender or larger).
Next, add your vanilla ice cream in small globs (as opposed to one giant scoop). Finally, pour in your milk, distributing evenly.
Blend. You’ll want to be careful not to over-blend. You want it smooth, but still thick.
Pour into glasses, garnish with half a ripe strawberry (if desired), and serve!
* Serving suggestion: Pour into a frozen glass and/or top with whipped cream for an extra cool treat.