Mother’s Day is right around the corner and it’s best not to wait until the night before the big day to run out for a gift. (Hey, I didn’t have to tell you that!) Here are some ideas in all price points that I would call “crowd pleasers” just because they are fun and practical at the same time–well, one or two are luxurious, too!
Village Candle has hundreds of great styles and scents of candles that would make wonderful gifts for any mom. This legend of the candle business leaves no stone unturned–they have candles of every size, shape and scent and I love the fact that they are a Maine-based family business that has been going strong for 25 years now. They truly believe in meticulous care and craftsmanship and do things the old-fashioned way. Village Candle gathers the finest ingredients from all over the world and artfully blend these with elements from home – authenticity, raw beauty and a vivid realness. By elements from home they mean favorite everyday scents, whether it be cinnamon from your kitchen or lilacs from your garden. They also have a knack for picking out locally sourced plants from Maine that smell delicious–and you just know that they have to slip in a little maple here and there. My top pick for Mother’s Day is Village Candle’s 25th Anniversary Candle pictured above. This elegant white candle blends citrus, spice, wood, apricot and coconut and is in a cute glass jar with a lattice pattern silver lid. The double wick guarantees you an extra long candle life. When you smell this intoxicating candle, you’ll want one for yourself and not just for Mom. It is well worth the $65 and you’ll find that you get over 30 hours of enjoyment out of it. For more info, go to www.villagecandle.com.
I am a huge Sodastream fan and had the original over ten years ago and I still use it. Not only is it economical but I am so happy not to have to carry heavy bottles of sparkling water or soda home from the supermarket anymore! You can see the three latest styles above. Fountain by Sodastream is pretty much an improved version of the original style. Carbonation on all Sodastream products is created with an inserted 60 ml CO2 tank which can easily be dropped off at a Sur La Table location when you are done (at least I find that the easiest way to return them in Manhattan). This is the perfect “starter” kit at a $49.99 price point and you can find it online at Amazon or at Bed, Bath & Beyond. If you want to step up your Sodastream game, you can go for the Fizzi or the Aqua Fizz. The Fizzi is made especially for those who love sparkling water and it comes with an orange sparkling water liquid flavoring but the lime is incredible and well worth ordering. The Fizzi fits in perfectly with the other appliances in a modern kitchen and retails for $79.99. The Aqua Fizz has a very Jetsons-like vibe and comes with two decorative carafes with caps that lock tight to keep the fizz in your sparkling water for days. The Aqua Fizz retails for $179.99 and is considered the very high end of the home beverage maker game. Sodastream products are totally green because they use nothing but a little “elbow grease” and CO2 to create bubbles and while they make plenty of both sweet and sugar free sparkling water and soda flavorings, you can also use your own flavorings, including juice. Sodastreams provide tremendous fun for the whole family and you might just find a kid or two fighting over who gets to be the “fizz creator” by hitting the big button on top!
Lalique knocks one out of the ballpark every time they create a new fragrance and you can peruse everything they currently have available at your local Neiman Marcus. They have something for every budget from $85 to $1600. Being touted as the ultimate fragrance for Mother’s Day 2018 is Mon Premier Cristal “Hirondelles,” Absolu De Parfum 2.7 Ounce Puff Spray which you can see on the bottom left. With its gorgeous 23k gold swallows, the crystal bottle will be one that goes up in value like most of the limited edition Lalique fragrance bottles do. It’s priced at $1200, this scent was designed by legendary French “nose” Nathalie Lorson and it has been described as a symphony of gardenia, tuberose and jasmine. The pink bottle in the center of the photograph is my current favorite Lalique fragrance which just came out last year–Mon Premier Cristal “Sensuel” Absolu De Parfum 2.7 Ounce Puff Spray which has a strong Madagascar vanilla scent that I adore. (Price is $730.) Reve D’Infini (not pictured) is a truly spring-like scent with its mixture of mixed flowers and peaches –and it is more reasonably priced at $175 for a 3.3 ounce spray. I strongly suggest a walk into one of the Lalique boutiques to take in not only all their great scents but the beautiful crystal vases they are so famous for. Lalique has many reasonably priced pendant necklaces and dome rings that would also make lovely Mother’s Day gifts. For more info on all Lalique products, go to www.lalique.com–but the best one stop shopping for Lalique fragrance shopping is Neiman Marcus stores and www.neimanmarcus.com.
Has Mom been looking for a set of luggage that is fun, sturdy and that she will able to spot the minute it comes off the carousel at baggage claim? How about a set of hard body luggage by that legend of fun and feminine patterns, Vera Bradley? I was immediately drawn to their suitcases the minute I saw them in the Vera Bradley showroom on Fifth Avenue a couple of weeks ago. I was really there to see the fall line but these knocked me for a loop as they say. The name of this style is simply the Vera Bradley Hardside Spinner Suitcase/Butterfly Flutter Black. You are looking at sizes large and medium here and they are priced at $491 as a set on www.verabradley.com. They weigh under ten pounds each and the strong exterior is made with a durable polycarbonate shell and can really handle a licking, as they say. You can trust that your valuables will be protected. The telescoping handle and swivel wheels get you where you need to go fast, which is the best part. These suitcases extend in the center by 1.5 inches for those trips when you need just a few extra clothes and accessories! You can go to www.verabradley.com for a zillion other great gift ideas for Mother’s Day as well. (And yes, you can get that cute spotted throw pillow shown on top of the suitcases in the above if you want!)
The 17-ounce bag of Setton Farms Extra Large Premium California Pistachios seasoned with sea salt are an inexpensive but thoughtful gift if your mom is a pistachio maniac like so many of us are. This is the finest quality pistachio out there and the straight from the farm look of the cotton drawstring sack of just so adorable; Mom can undoubtably reuse it for something fun like a shoe bag or a place to keep a secret stash of something that she doesn’t want her kids to find! Anyway, I have to admit that I ate an entire sack of these in two days. You can get this wonderfully fun and highly nutritious item on Amazon for $14 right now but if you want more detailed info, go to www.settonfarms.com. Just for the record, there are larger sizes and pistachio flavors other than dry roasted with sea salt available. I hope to try the Garlic Onion and the Jalapeño someday!
I recently discovered Turbo Pots by Eneron at a recent preview for the Housewares Show in Chicago and was intrigued by the fins on these restaurant quality pots! They help make heat conduction 30 per cent faster so you can actually turn down the flame on your gas burner and get the same results that you normally do–these pots truly save energy making them greener than most cookware out there. They help food retain nutrients better than standard aluminum cookware, help create a better indoor air quality in your kitchen, are dishwasher safe–and there is even a cute tea kettle in the collection! Famous chefs using Turbo Pots include Chef Mikhail Shvarts from SAP in Pal Alto and Chef Reimund Pitz who was the former executive chef of Disney World. Most pots are between $48 and $98 and there is free shipping over $99. Go to www.turbopot.com for more info. Products available to consumers are: a 2.5 quart saucepan, 3.5 quart casserole, 8.1 quart stockpot, 2.5 quart tea kettle and a 10″ nonstick fry pan.
I adore all the flip flops in the Harley Davidson Footwear line for Spring/Summer 2018 and not only because they have great everyday styles with so many fun details like metal nameplates, crystals and buckles but because they are made of durable leather that can really take a licking and keep on ticking. Pictured left to right above are the Larnes, Creston, Mayson and Kenton styles and they are all very reasonably priced at $30 to $40. For more info on where to buy, go to www.harley-davidsonfootwear.com. Be sure to check out some of the boot styles while you are on the HD site–they really have solidly made styles that range from “classic biker” to “fashion forward diva” including unique wedge and fringe looks. You will find that HD Footwear has the longest lasting soles in the shoe business and they take the fact that most people want an anti-slide material that can stand up to all sorts of bad weather. Harley also has some very interesting l embossed logos and silver name plaques on their footwear that really make a statement.
The T-Tapp workout has become a “thing” in the past couple of years because of the fact that in only 15 minutes a day of subtle but well-aligned movement, one can not only tighten up their muscles and lose inches but also soothe joint paint, reduce inflammation, decrease fatigue and improve blood sugar levels. Founder Theresa Tapp leads you through fun exercises that you will look forward to doing, some of which appear to be slower, slightly altered versions of classics like arm raises. There are only eight reps of each exercise and many devotees claimed that they saw noticeable results in only two weeks. Tapp is a big fan of skin brushing because she believes that good circulation enhances results of her workout (including tightening lose skin), so when you order her starter kit, her logo brush is included. The perky fitness guru also has a 45-minute basic T-Tapp workout for those who want a greater challenge and a brand new walking-based workout called the Power Posture Walk. This sounds like the ideal workout for New Yorkers who like to wander around Central Park to me! For more info, go to www.ttapp.com.
It took me less than a New York minute to fall in love with the futuristic-looking LG Tone Studio HBS-W120 Headset. I have them in the super-cool Titan Gray which Amazon has on sale for $132.50 right now and I wear them about 12 hours per day! I listen to podcasts and classic rock stations all day on them while I blog and the sound just amazes me. The LG Tone Studio HBS-W120 Headset gives you at up to 35 hours of personal surround sound immersion. They provide Real 3D Surround Sound via four strategically placed speakers designed to deliver the best in dimensional surround sound. If you love bass, the Tone Studio HBS-W120 Headset features a system called Wearable Bass that maximizes the sense of immersion with special vibration speakers that engage your whole body in low bandwidth. To say that I am impressed with these is an understatement; like I am in an IMAX movie theater when I have my LG Tone Studio Headset on. LG has a multitude of Tone headsets including the Tone Active that your mom would love! Check out all the unbelievable bluetooth Tone headsets at www.lg.com/us.
I was just introduced to Young Living Essential Oils last September during the company’s NYFW event. I instantaneously fell in love with their lavender and lemon oils–and began to use them to help go to sleep and wake up, respectively. It is a lovely and thoughtful gift for Mom to mix a few of the Young Living Essential Oils with a diffuser such as the Orb Portable USB Ultrasonic Diffuser. This white diffuser is about five or six inches tall and egg shaped–and it fits in with any decor. If you want to go all out, throw in some of the great bath salts available from Young Living as well. This company makes any home feel like a sanctuary. Just FYI, YL just launched a line of natural yet fun baby products called Seedlings including lavender scented wipes that are extremely soft and durable at the same time. I am using them to remove eye makeup and to remove light spots like coffee and lipstick from clothing! For more info, go to www.youngliving.com.
It didn’t take me long to fall in love with the Echo Spot. Not only is is fun to have as your personal assistant but it is super cool looking–it looks like the New Millennium version of an alarm clock. It truly fits in anywhere in your home–not just at your bedside–and to me looks cooler that the standard metal cylinder speaker-shaped assistant devices out there right now. The Spot uses 2nd generation far-field voice recognition to show video flash briefings, music lyrics, weather forecasts, to-do lists and more! You can ask it to play any song and it will fetch it right off of Amazon Music for you! Alexa will become your new best friend and you just might find yourself speaking to her even when you do not want her to perform a task! The Spot proves that Alexa has come a long way since her early days as an voice assistant, and now she can do everything from order pizzas to help you browse books on Audible to request an Uber for your kids. Best of all, she can control all your smart home features so you don’t have to run around the house at night turning off all your lights and turning on the home alarm. Heck, Alexa can even turn off your TV before you go to bed. Order for $129.99 with free shipping for Prime Members at www.amazon.com. To say that Amazon has a million great Mother’s Day gifts is an understatement–just do a search of the words “Mother’s Day” and you will get a list of great ideas!
Is Mom looking for a lightweight fabric spinner suitcase that she can get enough clothes, toiletries, shoes, etc. into for a two week trip–one that will resist marks and stains and come with a lifetime warranty? This might sound impossible but such a thing exists and it is called the Travelpro MAXLITE 5 29″ Expandable Spinner. It measures a generous 29″ X 20.5″ X 8.5″ and weighs an incredible 8.5 pounds (this makes an incredible difference when checking a bag as most 29″ suitcases weigh twice as much)! The Travelpro MAXLITE 5 29″ Expandable Spinner has four 360 degree aerodynamic lightweight wheels combined with a two-position PowerScope light handle that just makes it breeze through the airport and glide smoothly along on sidewalks. This suitcase is made of a super-durable polyester fabric that has a wonderful Duraguard coating–rain rolls right off and stains are virtually unable to sink in! It goes without saying that the Travelpro MAXLITE 5 29″ Expandable Spinner is roomy but never have I seen so many specialized pockets in one suitcase! As an example, when you open up the front pocket of the suitcase, you will see many different size pockets including one perfectly sized for an smartphone, one that could fit an iPad or notebokk, one that is perfect for six to eight pairs of socks, etc. This suitcase could send a mom on her way to becoming the world’s most organized person and she will also adore the gingham patterned lining! Just FYI, Travelpro has rockin’ customer service and Mom will get her bag serviced by a company with representatives who are truly happy to help. This is a super deal at around $179.99 (with many sites having sales on this suitcase for Mother’s Day). The Travelpro MAXLITE 5 can be bought in smaller sizes or in sets as well. Color choices are Slate Green, Dusty Rose, Black and Slate Blue. For more info, go to www.travelpro.com.
When you think of Maison Du Chocolat, you can think of nothing but the finest French chocolate of all natural ingredients including cocoa butter, vanilla bean, cream and sugar made the old-fashioned way–in small batches. They are pricey but oh-so-worth-it! There is an adorable 14 piece Gesture Gift Box for Mother’s Day in cute pastel yellow flowered packaging that is only $30 and a great intro to this most satisfying of luxury sweets! In the 14-piece box you get a selection of the most popular MDC individual chocolates that will send mom onto another planet when she bites into them: Quito, Sylvia, Traviata, Caramelo, Rigoletto Lait, Figaro Lait, Salvador, Andalousie, Akosombo, Anastasia, Zagora (x2), Rigoletto Lait and Caracas. My favorite flavors ever produced by MDC are the Rigoletto Lait which is carmelized mousse coated with milk chocolate and the “plain and simple” Sylvia, which is all milk chocolate ganache! You still have time to order for Mother’s Day on both www.maisonduchocolat.com and on www.williamsonoma.com. I also recommend that if you are a New Yorker, visit the store at 79th and Madison for the full Maison Du Chocolat experience–you can take in all their chocolate, desserts, drinks and beautiful displays of unique packaging in one super-elegant storefront!