Recall from yesterday's post (how to actually enjoy your mom's NYC visit, rather than just twiddle your thumbs and stare at each other over the prix fixe omelets at the same brunch place you always go to anyway) that Mother's Day is Sunday, May 11. Recall from the dozens of unused candles in the cabinet below her sink that she doesn't need another. And finally, recall from the laws of nature that flowers last five days tops. This year, make an effort to be a touch more thoughtful and give a gift not only on time, but one that also took a twinge of effort. Consider:
Designer playing cards + a bottle of spirits + hand-written instructions to your favorite drinking game. This is for the mom that likes to party—"entertain," in the adult world. Alber Elbaz lent his illustrating abilities to a two-deck set of Lanvin playing cards, which will pair adorably your handwritten instructions on how to play Kings, the drink—entertaining game.
Hanging planters + culinary herb seeds. Does your mother cook? Do you always get her cookbooks and/or gift certificates to Williams Sonoma? Go nuts with this year's present and send her a set of Boskke Sky Planter Minis, some basil, mint, and cilantro seeds, and instructions to hang the plants by the kitchen window so she can conveniently pluck from them as she makes dinner.
A chic new wallet + DIY coupons. You already know that moms love paying for things, so pimp her handbag with the sleek pebbled leather Miranda Continental Wallet from Michael Kors. You also know that no mom wallet is complete without a healthy set of coupons, so fill it with the home-made variety you used to dole out as a child, although these will include a QR code (seeing as though it is 2014...), and they'll be for things like phone conversations longer than three minutes and an email with a current photo of yourself so she doesn't have to pull from your Facebook—because nobody wants their mothers going through their Facebook photos.
Pearl studs from the cool Brooklyn jewelry shop. What else do moms love? Your cool neighborhood shopping destination. They relish in being able to respond to an accessory compliment like, "Why thank you! My cool daughter got it for me at this cute little shop in Brooklyn!" Pearl studs are a failsafe, but can be a bit uninspired—that is unless you got them at that cute little shop in Brooklyn, obviously. The two-toned, double-ended Hortense Majorette Pearl Earrings from Catbird are like mini pearl batons for your ears and have been ITG mom tested and approved.
A pretty set of face towels + cleansing bar. Since you're out of the house, your mom now has all the time in the world for a luxurious evening skincare routine. Gift her an Erno Laszlo cleansing bar (the golden Phelityl bar is great for dry skin) and a set of seven Aurelia Probiotic Skincare woven bamboo facial cloths—a new one for each day of the week.
Wooden iPhone amplifier + custom playlist. The Koostik Wooden Amplifier is a genius mom gift as it takes almost no technical know-how (not that moms aren't capable of figuring that stuff out, but a gift should be easy, right?), and she can use it in a variety of situations from toting it along to the garden to the kitchen, to the pool...anywhere—it doesn't even need to be plugged in. She can blast the playlist you make her in literally any situation she feels comfortable. And if you're wondering what kind of music moms like: Rod Stewart, James Taylor, and the Bee Gees.
A custom engraved hairbrush. Wouldn't it be adorable to give your mom something she'll use every day that simultaneously reminds her of how much you care about her? Buy her a pocket Mason Pearson brush (moms die for stuff they can throw in their purse), and take it to your nearest trophy engraver (employed unofficially but also single-handedly by the local youth sports league), and have them engrave her name, which is "Mom," on the back. If you think it can't be done, know that Guido has his name etched into the back of his Mason Pearson.
Illustrations by Annie Kreighbaum