The best Mother's Day gifts

As I mentioned last month, I'm making some changes around here and featuring more things I've actually bought. In this particular case, I thought I'd share some of my favorite things that would make great Mother's Day gifts. So considering Mother's Day is less than two weeks away (early this year, yikes!), let's dive in. Step into my living room, and pardon the clutter...

The best travel bag

Remember travel? Now that we're vaccinated, we can do it again, yay! For those of us who live apart from our moms and have a visit coming up, a new carry-on bag would be a very useful gift. I have both the deluxe small and the deluxe tote version of this bag, and I find the deluxe small far more practical—it's big enough to use as a weekend getaway bag, and as long as you don't overstuff it, it works as an under-the-seat carryon (I also use it as my main carryon when I check my larger suitcase). It has all manner of handy pockets, plus a zip sleeve that fits over the handle of your suitcase, and it comes in a bunch of tasteful neutrals. Best part? It's on sale right now! 

The Catalina Deluxe Small $150.50 (on sale) 

The best leggings 

They're not jeans, but they're a step up from sweatpants and, let's face it, moms love leggings. My absolute favorites are by Spanx (here's my review of all their pants as well as their faux leather leggings) because they suck you in and make your butt look amazing. My current go-to is the Look at Me Now Moto Legging because it's performance-y enough to wear to work out in, but it looks cute with an oversized sweatshirt for lounging (which, let's face it, is what Mom is going to end up wearing them for). Mom will appreciate the shaping details in the legs, which are super flattering, plus the lack of seams (no camel toe)!

Spanx Look at Me Now Moto Leggings $88

The best cookbook

I own two of Julia Turshen's cookbooks: the essential Small Victories covers the classics and the surprisingly excellent It's All Good is about eating healthy. But her newest one, Simply Julia, is about comfort food and it may be one of the reasons I've gained 5 pounds since my birthday (whoops), because everything we've made so far was so freaking delicious. I'm particularly a fan of the weeknight dinners (meatballs are my love language) and literally can't wait to make the French onion meatloaf. And while I tend not to read the personal essays that accompany the recipes in cookbooks, I found myself unexpectedly moved by several of Julia's. 

Simply Julia: 110 Easy Recipes for Healthy Comfort Food $22.49

The best hand lotion

If there's one thing I've inherited from my mom, it's dry hands. My mom is never without hand lotion—in fact, she generally has 3-4 on her windowsill at any given time to address varying levels of dryness. Having learned nothing from her, I found myself in (incredibly dry) Santa Barbara with cracked hands, walked into Cos Bar and walked out with this ridiculously expensive yet gorgeously designed tube of hand crème (not lotion, crème). Putting it on feels luxurious and indulgent (it smells ah-may-zing) and, yes, it moisturizes your hands incredibly well. 

Oribe Cote d'Azur Nourishing Hand Crème $22-$52 (on sale through 4/29)

The best candle

Ok, I know what you're thinking: a candle? How original. But hear me out: if your mom still can't go to the spa, she can light this candle, put some cucumber slices over her eyes, turn on her heating pad, and it's almost just as good. This candle is potent (it's got what we call "throw" in the industry) and I'd describe the scent as "green juice in candle form"—it's herby and not at all artificial-smelling (a big pet peeve of mine with more inexpensive candles). Great for clearing the sinuses too.

NEST New York Wild Mint & Eucalyptus candle $44

The best kettle

Now this sounds more like a mom gift, right? It's not...your grandma's tea kettle though. The Stagg is intended more for pour-over coffee (this is what Sean uses it for), but I use it multiple times a day for tea and it has literally changed my life. It will quickly boil water and hold it for up to an hour at the exact temperature you like, which in my case is 183 degrees—no more scalding your tongue or waiting 20 minutes for your scalding-hot tea to cool down. As a bonus, it looks very chic on my countertop and matches my matte black kitchen hardware, although it's available in several other equally chic colors. 

Fellow Stagg EKG electric kettle $149 

The best splurge

This was one of my Christmas gifts to Sean last year—he missed going to the gym, mostly because of the sauna—and if there's a more quarantine-y gift than an infrared sauna blanket, I'd like to see it. Sean freaking loves this thing and uses it at least every other day, although his one quibble is that it doesn't get quite as hot as he'd like it. I, on the other hand, tend to run hot, so I am perfectly comfortable at level 5 and am sweating bullets anywhere above that. So at worst, this is a full-body heating pad; and at best, it's a much more cost-effective (and safer) alternative to the local infrared sauna. 

HigherDOSE Infrared Sauna Blanket $499


Carrie @ Curly Crafty Mom said...

A sauna blanket? That is so cool and I've never seen that before!! I love that kettle, too!


Mica said...

I have never seen a sauna blanket before! What a fun and unique gift! I like the sound of mint and eucalyptus for a candle scent too, can't imagine what that would be like but we are lucky enough to live near a little bit of bushland so I love the eucalyptus scent, especially on a hot day after a storm, it seems to get stronger :)

Hope that you are having a nice week :)

Away From The Blue

Lovely said...

Fantastic picks! These would be great gift ideas. I need those sauna blankets!

R's Rue said...

I love your picks. I want a sauna blanket now.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Fun ideas! I keep thinking of trying some leggings from Spanx. My mom always loves comfy items or experience type gifts.


Laura B said...

I've never heard of a sauna blanket! How interesting! These are all great picks! The cookbook sounds fantastic, especially that french onion meatloaf! Yum!

Shelbee on the Edge said...

Great gift ideas, Cheryl! I think everyone needs a good overnight travel bag and candles are always a winning choice in my book! Thanks for sharing!