Thoughtful Ways to Celebrate Mom

It might be tempting to buy flowers and candy for your mom this Mother’s Day, but that may not be what she really wants. Your special mom deserves careful consideration, and these three simple gifts will help you to make this Mother’s Day as unique as the mom in your life!

The Gift of Listening

Have you asked the mom in your life what she might like for Mother’s Day this year? The answer may surprise you.

Depending on the person, the special mother in your life might want to take a hike with the family or may want a couple of hours alone. Or, if she’s like me, your mom might want an unusual Mother’s Day gift, like a barbecue grill, or perhaps she won’t want you to spend a lot of money in order to cut down on potential financial stress.

The process of finding out what the mom in your life wants makes this gift special. The first part of the process is to ask seriously how she envisions that special day. The second essential step is to listen to the answer and act accordingly to make her vision for Mother’s Day a reality. The listening and follow-through on your part will provide a day to celebrate as unique as the mom in your life, and one she will remember for years to come.

The Gift of Surprise

What if your mom doesn’t really know what she wants on that special day? Don’t be discouraged – this is a wonderful opportunity to plan a surprise.

One of my favorite Mother’s Day gifts involved a surprise planned by my husband and children. On that Sunday afternoon, I was given our GPS programmed with a route that I was to follow, and at each stop I was greeted with a special treat – the first stop was a manicure, the second was coffee and a scone, and the third stop was at my favorite thrift store. This was a delightful way to spend the afternoon, and the surprise element only added to my excitement and joy.

The planned surprise doesn’t need to be elaborate or complicated, it just needs to cater to what’s special about your mom!

The Gift of Thoughtfulness

The crucial element to planning for Mother’s Day is to spend time thinking about what the mom in your life would really enjoy. Invest effort in thinking about her values and daily life, including how she spends her time and energy. Is she thrifty? Does she enjoy an occasional splurge and if so, what does she consider a “splurge?” Does she like to be active, or would she enjoy a relaxing massage? Could she benefit from some time alone with a gift card to shop without interruption? What is her favorite meal? Build your plans around your mom’s preferences and you’ll automatically be providing her with special treats.

These unique details are your keys to planning the best Mother’s Day celebration for the special mom in your life!

About the Author

Kelly Wilson is a busy mom and freelance writer who is looking forward to Mother’s Day. To find out more about the gift of teeth whitening for your special mom, check out Dr. Brett L. Johnson, DMD, a dentist in Oregon City, OR.

*Image provided by Organic Bouquet.*

Your parents’ lives revolved around you from Day One: from changing diapers through helping with homework, kissing boo-boos through dishing out dating advice, they’ve helped make you who you are today. But before fanny packs became their go-to accessory and minivans their car of choice, they were people, too!

In a digital age where we can retake digital photos until they’re “perfec,” the wildly popular website My Parents Were Awesome bucks the trend by appluading the everyday heroes – parents – with vintage photos. Launched in 2009 by writer, comedian and editor Eliot Glazer, the online collection of old photos of parents before parenthood proves that parents were once young, fun, and effortlessly cool. Yes – you know you want to check it out!

Now, Glazer combines the spontaneity and nostalgia of old photographs with stories by sons and daughters in a heartwarming collection of essays: MY PARENTS WERE AWESOME: Before Fanny Packs & Minivans, They Were People Too.

With intimate memories from Jamie Deen, Christian Lander, Laurie Notaro, and other acclaimed writers, comedians, musicians, and artists – MY PARENTS WERE AWESOME celebrates the hilarious stories of real parents: the mom and dad who traveled by VW bus to see Led Zeppelin for $1, the grandmother whose halter top and shorts belied her perfect demeanor, the father whose wanderlust passed down to his equally nomadic daughter.

A perfect gift for Mother’s Day, MY PARENTS WERE AWESOME includes a special section where you can personalize the book with your favorite image of your parents and write down your own cherished memories. With stories and photos that will warm your heart and make you laugh, the paperback edition of MY PARENTS WERE AWESOME reminds you to reflect, say thanks to Mom (and Dad) – and admit that, yes, your parents ARE awesome.

To learn more, or to order in time for Mother’s Day to let your mom know how amazingly awesome she is, visit myparentswereawesome.com.

*Company generously provided a copy of the book and cover image for this review.*

This Mother’s Day, pamper Mom and the planet in luxe, eco-friendly style! Tiny Green Mom has compiled a list of the latest eco-chic must-haves for Mom – with a little something for every Mom, Grandma, and special Auntie on your list!

Eco-Luxe Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Bialetti Aeturnum

Stylish and eco-friendly, the PFOA-free Bialetti Aeturnum cookware line will quickly become the foodie Mom’s favorite for preparing fresh, healthy meals for the family!

Features include:

  • Made with a pristine white nanoceramic nonstick coating. The unique white ceramic surface also provides excellent thermal properties and even heat distribution, so dishes are cooked to perfection every time
  • Italy’s #1 selling nanoceramic cookware line
  • Responds to consumer demand for healthier, greener cookware – PFOA-free (free of perfluorooctanoic acid), a harmful chemical used in the manufacturing of nonstick coatings
  • Attractive, eco-friendly and a breeze to use and clean

For more information on the Bialetti Aeturnum cookware line, visit www.bialettishop.com.

Brooks Cascadia 6 Trail-Running Shoe

Slip into planet-friendly comfort with the Cascadia 6 Trail-Running Shoe by Brooks! For the serious trail runner or eco-crusader, the Cascadia 6 is hands-down the top pick for the Mom on-the-move. Stable and sturdy, the Cascadia 6 offers unsurpassed traction, and every aspect of the shoe itself has an environmentally-friendly component. Available in two bold color choices, in women’s half and whole sizes ranging from 5 – 12. Check them out online at www.brooksrunning.com.

Earth Creations® Clothing

Mom will look and feel eco-fabulous in this trendy line of organic, sustainable, and clay-dyed clothing! From flirty dresses that can be dressed up or beach-ready to feminine organic cotton tank tops & tees, there is something to suit every style at www.earthcreations.net.

Edward Marc Chocolatier

Indulge Mom with rich, decadent chocolates from Edward Marc Chocolatier! Sinfully delightful, these handcrafted chocolate creations are made from high-quality ingredients including cocoa from West Africa, vanilla beans from the South Pacific and citrus fruits from the Mediterranean. Pure chocolate bliss! Choose from a wide selection of gourmet chocolate collections online at www.edwardmarc.com.

eyecandy Soothing Eye Coolers

Over-stressed Moms need a quick fix for tired, puffy eyes! For an appreciated gift this Mother’s Day, these reusable candy-colored soft gel rounds reduce puffiness, relieve allergy symptoms, minimize dark circles and fine lines, and provide an overall quick fix for busy mamas. Available in 4 styles, including Classic Chillin’ Cucumber, Sugared Ice Blue, Tart ‘n Tangy Tangerine, and Cotton Candy Pink. Visit eyecandycoolers.com.

Zulugrass™ Jewelry

Show Mom how much you love her, and celebrate other mothers, as well, with the Pink Show Your Love Bracelet from the Leakey Collection. A gorgeous pink porcelain heart (which is removable) is strung on eco-friendly Zulugrass™ intermingled with Czech glass beads, and is handcrafted by Maasai mothers. Simply lovely, this is a gift that gives back on Mother’s Day! To locate a retailer near you, go to www.leakeycollection.com.

Duca del Frassino

For an elegant Mother’s Day luncheon, or a worry-free picnic that includes wine but not a breakable glass bottle, look no further then Duca del Frassino, Italy’s premium wine in a box! Each varietal is the equivalent of 4 bottles of wine, contained in eco-friendly packaging. Duca del Frassino wines cost $19.99, and are available nationwide, in four blends to suit Mom’s taste. Durello/Chardonnay and Merlot/Pinot Noir are the newest additions to the line’s already popular Garganega/Pinot Grigio and Cabernet Sauvignon/Corvina blends. Visit www.cantinasoaveusa.com to learn more.

Colure True Color Care Shampoo and Conditioner

Treat Mom to luxurious, green hair care products from Colure True Color Care! Made with certified organic botanicals and free from sulfates, parabens, SD-40 alcohol, petrolatum, sodium chloride, dyes and irritants, each Colure Hair Care system offers UVA & UVB protection, hydration and more! The packaging is 100% recyclable, as well. For more information, visit www.colurehaircare.com.

REI ecoSensitive®Trail 25 Pack

The trail-lovin’ mama will look pretty in pink with the REI ecoSensitive®Trail 25 Pack when she hikes with the family this Mother’s Day! Made with 100% recycled PET polyester fabric, each pack keeps 19 16-oz. plastic bottles out of landfills! With a roomy main compartment to hold all of Mom’s essentials (and everyone else’s, too!), a zippered front pocket, and side mesh pockets for smaller items, the pack also can accomodate a hydration reservoir with 2 exit ports for the tube for hydration on-the-move. Sleek and comfortable, Mom will be hiking and trail-blazing in style! www.rei.com

Spoonk ™ Acupressure Massage Mat

Ease Mom’s stress naturally and in the comfort of her own home with the Spoonk ™ Acupressure Massage Mat! Made of Organic Hemp and eco-foam, these unique mats contain no synthetic AZO dyes which can cause skin hypersensitivity and allergies. Spoonk™ massage mats are portable, making it easy for Mom to destress anywhere, anytime! www.spoonkspace.com

*Companies listed above generously provided samples and images for this article.*

Elegance and whimsy grace every piece of wearable art in the Leakey Collection™! Zulugrass™ jewelry specifically offers the modern woman versatility in the gorgeous and bright strands of color that can be worn separately or together to compliment any look. Handmade by skilled Maasai artisans, each bracelet, necklace, or pair of earrings captures the spirit and essence of the Maasai, and feels as though you are wearing a part of history itself. Brilliantly colored beads made from readily available and sustainable grass are hand-dyed, and then strung together with hand-blown Czech glass beads, and the outcome is simply gorgeous! Not only are the pieces truly one-of-a-kind, but the women crafting these pieces are given a chance to provide for themselves and their children through their natural talent and abilities. To learn more about the story of the Maasai, click here.

The Zulugrass™ Collection is simply beautiful! You can create your own look by twisting various colored strand necklaces together, wearing a bracelet as an anklet, or adorning your wrists with a variety of bangles! The possibilities are endless for this eco-chic collection. Plus, with every purchase, you are supporting an amazing cause by helping the Maasai women empower themselves by providing an opportunity for them to care for their families with grace.

To learn more about the Leakey Collection™, to locate a retailer near you, or to order online, please visit www.leakeycollection.com. With Mother’s Day just around the corner, now is the perfect time to find a stunning, eco-fabulous gift for the special Mom in your life that also gives back!

*Company generously provided samples and images for this review.*

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways! Show the love of your life how much you love them with these elegant, tempting Heart Shaped Madeleines from Donsuemor! An elegant gift box is packaged with a variety of chocolate and vanilla madeleines, hand-dipped in chocolate or white chocolate coating, which are sure to delight your sweetheart!

Made from all-natural ingredients, Donsuemor Traditional Madeleines are soft, moist, and baked with pure butter, eggs, and vanilla. They are a lovely accompaniment to coffee, tea, or a tall glass of organic milk! Placed on a serving platter, the Madeleines or Cute Cakes make a stunning display at any soiree, as well!

Donsuemor offers a tempting selection of gift sets, all at an affordable price for any special occasion. Visit www.donsuemor.com to learn more, or to order something sweet for you or your loved ones.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this review.*

For the chocolate-lover on your gift list, don’t forget to tuck a couple of packages of Newman’s Own Organics Chocolate Cups into their stocking for a delectable treat! With five rich, decadent flavors to choose from, there is something for everyone, including Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup, Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup, Dark Chocolate Peppermint Cup, Dark Chocolate Caramel Cup and Milk Chocolate Caramel Cup. “Mom’s” favorite? Dark Chocolate Peppermint Cup, a decidedly holiday-inspired treat!

Newman’s Own Organics Chocolate Cups carry the Rainforest Alliance Certified™ Seal, and both of the Caramel Cups bear the USDA Seal. To learn more about Newman’s Own Organics, to locate a retailer near you, visit www.newmansownorganics.com.

Looking for a great last-minute stocking stuffer this holiday? SIGG, the manufacturer of premium Swiss-made reusable beverage bottles, CafePress, the online source for custom printed merchandise, and Paul Frank, renowned designer of the beloved “Julius the Monkey” character have come together to bring a fun-loving twist to the world of custom water bottles. You can now personalize SIGG water bottles by choosing from a wide selection of Julius clip art and adding your own text to create a one-of-a-kind SIGG bottle at http://paulfrank.cafepress.com/.

These Paul Frank SIGG bottles make the perfect gift for anyone who is green but still wants to make a fashion statement. Made from pure aluminum and 100% recyclable, SIGG is the ideal alternative to plastic bottles and does not leach any harmful chemicals such as BPA’s, alleviating the plastic waste dilemma that plagues our oceans and landfills. The durable bottles have baked on, non-porous interior lining that is taste neutral so you can have lemonade one day and water the next with no lingering taste or odor.

Affordable, eco-friendly and fashionable, they make the perfect personalized stocking stuffer! Depending on size, SIGG bottles cost $26 – $30, and you can customize yours today online at http://paulfrank.cafepress.com/.

*Company generously provided images and samples for this review.*

Those with a sweet tooth will appreciate Newman’s Own Organics new licorice twists, made with organic ingredients! Perfect as a stocking stuffer, these delightful twists are available in four tantalizing flavors, Black, Strawberry, Pomegranate and Tangerine.

Mom” could not believe how juicy and true-to-life Newman’s Own Organics licorice twists tasted! The three fruit twists just burst with flavor in the mouth, and are nothing like their non-organic counterparts. It will be hard for anyone to eat just one! Plus, the licorice twists are low in fat, sodium and cholesterol-free, and contain absolutely no trans-fats. This will definitely be the snack of choice this season (and beyond)!

Newman’s Own Organics licorice twists cost $2.99, and are available nationwide, as well as online at www.newmansownorganics.com.

For the active gal or guy on your holiday gift list, the new GreenLaces Collection by Hydrasip, reusable, stainless steel drinking bottles, make an excellent stocking stuffer! This eco-fabulous new collection are 100% (304) food grade stainless steel, extremely durable, and oh-so easy to clean! Both BPA-free and non-leaching, the bottles can be used for both hot or cold beverages, making them an excellent choice throughout the season & beyond! What “Mom” loves about the Hydrasip bottles is that not only are they recyclable, but each bottle arrives with two different caps, for your desired preference! The GreenLaces bottles are available in Classic ($16.99) and Insulated double wall ($19.99) styles and can be purchased online at www.hydrasip.com.

Founded by Women’s Professional Soccer Player Natalie Spilger, GreenLaces aims to unify environmentally conscious individuals and leverage athletics to reduce their environmental impact. A percentage of all purchases made of the GreenLaces Collection will benefit GreenLaces.org

To learn more about Hydrasip’s GreenLaces Collection or to order, visit www.hydrasip.com.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this review.*

Three Last-Minute, Low-Cost, No-Craft Gifts You Can Make in an Hour

By Sherry Richert Belul

If you’ve got someone on your list who has everything, or you are one of those people whose bank account has barely nothing, then read on! I’ve got three gift ideas for you that you can easily pull together in the next few days. Any of the three can be done without spending a dime. And the best part? The recipient’s gonna love ‘em! (And you!)

1. Make ‘em a Love List.

One of my all-time favorite gifts for someone who has everything is simply a list of reasons why you love them.

Say you want to make this really unique gift for your husband. All you have to do is set aside an hour of quiet time in which you can focus on him. Just sit down with some paper or at the laptop and start brainstorming what you love about your wonderful husband. Jot it all down. Think about qualities that are unique to him, things he does for you, special times you’ve shared together. Think about his quirky jokes or stories. How he always spends time helping the elderly lady next door. The way he makes up songs in the shower. How he saved the day that time in New Mexico. Tell him you love that he always answers the phone with a hearty “Hey there!” That he taught the kids how to ride their bicycles. That he can always make you giggle. Tell him you love his eyes, his intelligence, his love of puns. Tell him you love how well he treats Champie, the family’s four-legged, furry gal.

Your list can have twenty things or two-hundred things. It can be written in pen on a plain white piece of paper. Or you can do a fancy design on the computer and print it out. You can add a photo or two. You can draw a picture on it. You can frame it. Use your imagination.

Alternatively, you could make a list of things you’ve learned from this person or your fave memories of times with them. Same process as above. It could also be three top ten lists: what I love best about you, my favorite memories of times we’ve shared, and things I’ve learned.

These lists are treasures for someone to hear. I swear to you, they are the best gift someone can receive. It is amazing to receive a gift that mirrors who you are. It is a gift to be seen. And unfortunately, people often don’t get to hear these kinds of things in their lifetime. For some reason in our culture, folks wait until funerals to express their love. Love Lists are a way to express your love and appreciation NOW!

Simply Celebrate has made it really easy for you by creating a free PDF download that is a ready-made gift. Check out the Love List at http://www.simplycelebrate.net/home.html.

2. Go for experiential, rather than material.

One of the other things I always suggest for those folks who have everything is a gift that can be experienced together.

Can you give a handmade certificate good for a free jazz concert at the community music center, an upcoming art festival, or a surprise adventure or beautiful hike? Does your loved one have a favorite hobby that you can join in somehow? Could you plan an afternoon at a historic location and the two of you bring your cameras to feed his love of photography? How about morning birdwatching followed by a cup of tea at a local cafe? Could you plan an art day with a child or teach your best friends how to dance?

What people of any age, but especially adults, really want is quality time with people they love. Give the gift of your time and attention.

3. Lend a Hand.

Another great gift for someone is something that helps them out. Again, think about making a simple certificate you can give them which could be handmade or printed out. You could set up a new program on her computer or cook a gourmet dinner at his house. You could make a gift certificate good for babysitting the kids one Saturday night so their parents could go out on the town. If you have handyman skills and you notice she needs something replaced, you could buy all the parts and do the work. You could make a gift certificate good for “Three hours of at-your-service help around the house.” Think about this person and what kind of help they need or what kind of help would make life more fun.

Sherry Richert Belul is founder of Simply Celebrate and author of Present Perfect: It Really is the Thought That Counts —an ebook that includes dozens of no-to-low cost gifts that are fun to make and full of love. (http://www.simplycelebrate.net/presentperfect_ebook.html)

Find her books or sign up for Simply Celebrate’s free newsletter at www.SimplyCelebrate.net.

Email Sherry to tell her your gift experiences or learn about the one-of-a-kind tribute books she makes at [email protected].