Thursday, April 30, 2015


{ With my mom at the MoMA a few weeks ago }

To be quite honest, I have never been one to make a big thing out of Mother's Day. I usually keep things low key with a phone call to my mom or a card if I'm feeling really plan-y. At this point neither of my parents really want or need more things—but that doesn't mean a great gift is without merit. I would imagine many of your folks might be the same way, in that sentiment goes a lot farther than a scented candle towards showing how much they mean to you.

For most of us Mother's Day is not an occasion where we go all out like we would for a birthday or non-Hallmark holiday, but we should do something. No matter your budget and time constraints, there is always a way to make your mom feel special and appreciated. I've rounded up my best ideas for how to treat her to something thoughtful, whether it's a shared meal, a special piece of jewelry or all the fixings for a family happy hour.


LUXE & PERSONAL: Consider going all-out on the kind of personalized jewelry your mom will treasure forever. Create a custom secret message for her with Lulu Frost's code collection. Each stone represents a different letter, so you can spell a word or represent each sibling with the first letter of their name... Or to keep it more simple, select a pre-designed piece that spells LOVE or COOL. (She's not a regular mom, she's a cool mom!)

ARTSY: The brand new Whitney Museum of American Art opens in the Meatpacking District on May 1. Buy tickets for you and Mom in advance, and plan a downtown day with a stroll on the High Line, lunch at Bubby's and some shopping along Washington Street. Obviously if you're outside New York, check out upcoming exhibits at your local museums and make a lunch reservation at a new spot neither of you have tried. (Moms love reservations!)

TECH SAVVY (OR IMPAIRED...): Upgrade your mom's tech game with a stylish, personalized case for her phone or tablet. Personally, I like the simple python-embossed cases from Gigi New York, especially because they can be monogrammed. To score extra mom love points, add a homemade coupon (so old school and cute) for a lesson in her prefered app (I recently got my mom on Uber and Instagram...). 

DELICIOUS QUALITY TIME: Put an adult spin on the old 'breakfast in bed' Mother's Day treat and prepare a meal together. Ask her if she can teach you a favorite family recipe or pick something new and fun to try for the first time (and gift her the cookbook it came from!). Also, meals are meant to be shared, so this is a great "gift" that can also incorporate Dad, grandparents, aunts and uncles and your siblings, too.

BOOZY: Need an excuse to call a family happy hour? Want to get your mom a little tipsy and ask her stories about her wild-and-crazy teen years? Might I recommend a cocktail kit or gift set from Merchants of Beverage. My mom happens to love Manhattans, but there are all kinds of fun ideas from Aperol Spritz kits, to brunch cocktails (cleverly called the 'mama mosa') and a trio of springtime bottles—the Bouquet of Ros├ęs.

OUTDOORS: When I was living at home after college, our Mother's Day activity was always a day hike somewhere outside Seattle—and I just kind of tagged along, not contributing much. Rather than depending on your parents to make the plans... Offer to drive, scout out a new or favorite trail and come prepared with picnic supplies in the trunk. (Might I suggest: a 6-pack of craft beers, fresh baguette, salami, a hard cheese, a tiny jar of fancy mustard, apples, green grapes + dark chocolate for dessert...)

SWEET & MINIMAL: If your mom doesn't want any "stuff" for Mother's Day, go for sentiment and send her a card in the mail. Skip the Hallmark aisle at Duane Reade and find a cool and unique card she'll proudly stick on the fridge from Rifle Paper Co., 9th Letter Press, 1canoe2 or Sycamore Street Press.

CHARITABLE: Again—if your mom doesn't want stuff, consider making a donation in her name to a cause she's passionate about. Need an idea? How about earthquake relief in Nepal or the local animal shelter where you adopted your family pet.

CLASSIC: Truly, you can't go wrong with a bouquet of flowers on Mother's Day. If know her favorite blooms that's even better, but if not, seek out a florist that creates gorgeous, can't-fail bundles. In New York or D.C. I recommend urbanstems, and elsewhere try something fun like The Bouqs.

For my NY and DC readers, urbanstems is offering a $7 discount on your first order (just in time for Mother's Day). Just use the code SHUTUP7 at checkout!
[Breakfast image credit + recipe: Half Baked Harvest]

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