20+ Mother’s Day Gift Ideas
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Friends, Mother’s Day is less than two weeks away. I’m getting this post out a little later than I had hoped, but most of the items, I imagine, will still ship in time. As always, I hope the ideas below serve as inspiration, and, as always, I love hearing your ideas, too, so please share in the comments.
My perennial favorites can be found in the shop. This post is organized as follows:
PS: Holiday Gift Guide 2020 | Mother’s Day Gift Guide 2020
Kate Baer’s What Kind of Woman
Like many, I learned about Kate Baer via Cup of Jo, fell in love with her Instagram posts, and bought her book of poems. I keep it on the coffee table, where it’s at the ready to pick up while sipping my coffee or anytime I can find a quiet moment throughout the day. The poems are short, easy to understand, and so relatable.
Marion Roach’s The Memoir Project
Most of you likely know the brilliant Margaret Roach, but you might not know her sister, Marion Roach, equally brilliant, who is a memoir coach. After listening to a conversation with her and David Leite at the Hillsdale General Store several years ago, I bought her book, which is about memoir writing and which feels very meta — I’m never sure I’m using that word correctly, but The Memoir Project teaches you how to write memoir while also being part memoir itself. (Meta, right?) That said, it’s so much more than a book about how to write a memoir — it’s a practical guidebook on how to write well or how to, as Marion says, “write with intent.”
Gabrielle Hamilton’s Blood, Bones & Butter
Speaking of memoir, this one is my favorite. I’m re-reading it now. Here’s a passage I love relating to mothers:
“Until this moment, more or less, I sat in her lap after dinner every single night. For a period I was too young for after-dinner chores—clearing, washing, drying—and possibly too favored, and so I eagerly crawled up and took my place in her lap, barefoot and drowsy. I leaned back into her soft body and listened to the gurgling as she chewed and swallowed. I breathed in her exhale: wine, vinaigrette, tangerines, cigarette smoke. While all of the others were excused from the table, I got to sit, alone with my mother and father as they finished. I watched her oily lips, her crooked teeth, and felt the treble of her voice down my spine while she had adult conversation and gently rested her chin on the top of my head. She cracked walnuts from the Perigord and picked out the meats, extinguished her occasional cigarette in the empty broken husks, shifted my weight on her lap; she squeezed the tangerine peel into the candle flame and we watched the oils ignite in yellow and blue sparks. I sat in that woman’s aproned lap every single night of my young life, so close to the sounds and smells of her that I still know her body as if it were my own.”
Of course, I’m always honored when you gift my book to anyone you think might enjoy learning how to bake simple bread. I also sell these peasant bread kits, which include all the peasant bread baking essentials: two 1-qt Pyrex bowls, a pink Dot and Army cloth bowl cover, a GIR spatula, a digital scale, a signed copy of Bread Toast Crumbs, and a Julia Child quotation notecard: “I think every woman should have a blowtorch.” There’s a “blue” kit as well.
Hetty McKinnon’s To Asia with Love
I recently wrote about Hetty’s latest book, which is “full of everyday Asian recipes made with simple ingredients (many of which you will already have in your pantry) along with personal stories of growing up in a Chinese household in Sydney.” It’s beautiful.
Because every gardener needs a trusty, comprehensive resource by her side, Margaret Roach’s A Way to Garden continues to be a favorite gift, but especially for Mother’s Day, when gardening season is just getting underway. Maybe pair it with a packet of seeds? These look fun. If you have questions about seeds, Margaret has a comprehensive FAQ page on her website.
Health, Beauty, Wellness
Anything from Beauty Counter
I love Beauty Counter products for both their quality and their standards: they ban the use of over 1,800 ingredients in their formulations. A go-to gift for my sister and soon-to-be sister-in-law is either a lip gloss or tinted moisturizer — I love this dew skin.
The lovely Bridget Hunt, who has a wonderful blog and Instagram, and who is a Beauty Counter consultant, has introduced me to a few other products I am loving, namely the overnight resurfacing peel and the bright side c serum. She also highly recommends this cleansing balm, which she describes as a “Swiss army knife of skincare products.” I bought one for my mom, and I’m tempted to try it out myself.
PS: Beauty Counter is currently offering 15% off everything … the sale ends today, April 28th, at midnight.
I learned about shower filters from Liz Moody’s Instagram. I bought this one a few months ago, and, incredibly, installed it myself — it took 5 minutes. I truly notice a difference in my hair, but apparently, a shower filter also can benefit your skin and nails, because chlorinated, chemical-ridden water can be the cause of itchy skin, dandruff, eczema, dry hair, and brittle nails.
A tub of Magnesium
This is another product I learned about from Liz Moody, but from her Healthier Together podcast. I don’t remember which episode it was, but I think it was one of her “ask the doctor” episodes about gut health. I stir a teaspoon of it into a very large glass of water and begin every day with it. I love it mostly because it helps me drink water — I am a terrible water drinker — so I start the day feeling hydrated. Apparently, it also supports relaxation and helps with sleep, stress, and regularity. As I remember, the doctor in that episode recommended taking it in the evening — I think for its calming benefits — so that’s an option, too, if you find winding down difficult.
Incidentally, I really love all of Liz’s “ask the doctor” podcast episodes. There’s one on skincare, hormones, anxiety, and aging, to name a few. Liz asks great questions, and I always learn a lot from each episode. Also: this is a favorite salad from her cookbook Healthier Together.)
A New Yoga Mat
I recently replaced my many-years old yoga mat with this one, which I bought at Studio 4 Hot Yoga (in Schenectady if you are local), and it makes such a difference! I am a sweater, and so I slip around a lot on my mat, but not anymore! Isn’t it pretty, too?
Incidentally, if you live locally, Michelle, the owner of Studio 4, has a lot of cute tie-dye cut-off shirts in stock right now. A gift card to Studio 4 (or to your local yoga studio) would also make a great gift.
Sleep pants or shorts from Mate the Label
Do you know Mate the Label? As with Vuori, Mate the Label came into my life via well-targeted Instagram ads. I was drawn to their neutral colors and purchased a pair of their sleep pants and sleep shorts this winter — I love them! They’re so soft and comfortable.
A Set of Champagne Coupes
I discovered Elsie Green sometime this winter and instantly fell in love with their vintage furniture and decor. I bought a set of champagne coupes, the shape of which I love — so much more practical than a flute, which I inevitably knock over and break after one glass of chapagne.
New Dinner Plates
I bought these plates from Food52 in early March of 2020 in anticipation of a large Easter dinner, which, of course, never happened. Having owned these plates for over a year now, I can say with certainty I absolutely love them. I love the matte finish, and I love the flat surface. Food looks very pretty on them, they have a nice weight, and they wash up beautifully.
A New Serving Platter
I have a few large circular platters, and every time I plate something on them on Instagram stories, people message me asking where I got them. This is one I use a lot. It’s from Hawkins New York.
Here it is topped with roasted cabbage. This is essentially this recipe but without the salsa — it’s basically roasted cabbage drizzled with reduced balsamic out of the oven, and it’s so tasty.
A New Mug
Your mother likely needs a new mug about as badly as she needs a new robe, but hear me out. I have a drawer filled with mugs, only one of which I truly truly love. It’s from Crate and Barrel, and it was something I got for my wedding. It’s the perfect size (for me), and it’s made of bone china, so its edge is nice and thin. Unfortunately, it’s no longer in production, and I hadn’t been able to find anything I like quite as much, until I found these mugs from Hawthorn New York. Note: these are not thin like bone china, but the edge is thin enough for me, and the size is just right — not too big, not too small.
Here it is with my favorite homemade latté: steamed cashew milk and brewed espresso. I use my Nespresso Aerochino to steam the milk, and I brew the espresso with my Nespresso Pixie. Incidentally, I love this cashew milk. I get a monthly subscribe-and-save delivery because I love it so.
Inomata Japanese Rice Washing Bowl
One of you recommended this Inomata Japanese Rice Washing Bowl, and I use it all the time. Love it. Thank you. It’s pictured below with split peas, but I mostly use it for this coconut rice recipe.
Food & Wine
Rosé All Day 🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷
It’s almost rosé season, and I think a bottle of it (or your favorite wine) would make a lovely gift. I really like the H&B rosé. Maybe make some homemade crackers and buy some stinky cheeses to pair with it? I love this aged gouda as well.
Or bake some bread and buy some good butter to gift with it?
A gift card to Goldbelly
Like many people at the height of the lockdown last year, I found myself both worrying about favorite restaurants and longing to visit them. When I learned about Goldbelly, which ships food from renowned restaurants nationwide, I immediately ordered a 3-Pack of Emmy Squared Detroit Style Pizza. The pizzas baked up beautifully, and it was a really fun night — it felt more special than the usual takeout. I ordered the vodka, roni supreme, and the Emmy (white), and we all loved them all.
In addition to offering food, they offer cooking classes. How fun does this pizza-making class sound?
Home + Other
A framed photo or piece of art from Framebridge
Every year for Christmas but often for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, too, I frame a photo of the kids for my parents and in-laws. Framebridge always does a beautiful job, and they’re fast, too. My favorite frame is the bleached maple (pictured below). Use code alexandracooks15 to receive 15% off.
A Moroccan Tote
I bought this one from the Vischer Ferry General Store, which, if you are local, is a great spot for both gifts and food, and I use it all the time. I’m not sure if they have any in stock at the moment. Call to see: 518-579-0195. Elsie Green sells a similar Moroccan tote.
In addition to the items above, here are a few more thoughts:
- Gift certificate to a local restaurant, such as The Vischer Ferry General Store or Arthur’s Market.
- Dates + almond butter is a favorite.
- Anything from Bloomscape, Dot & Army, Food52, Milk Street, or Burlap & Barrel.
Friends, what are your current favorite items to gift?
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
22 Comments on “20+ Mother’s Day Gift Ideas”
That is a great list of gifts, Ali! One thing I have really been loving, as an avid tea drinker, is David’s Tea. They have the most amazing, and unusual selection of teas – black, herbal, green, mate, infusion, white. Very different than any teas I have enjoyed, and I’ve tried and enjoyed a lot of brands! They also have special sets, for spring, Christmas, Autumn, etc. – flavors to compliment the season. But beware!!! You might get carried away, like me!!!
Oh Nancy, I love this idea! I’m going to order some immediately. I almost always include some sort of tea in these gift guides, and I spaced this time around. I can’t wait to give these a go — they all sound so good! I’m a sucker for anything mint, so I think that Peppermint Amour is calling my name.
Do the dinner plates scratch up at all?? Always so tricky with matte finishes but they are so pretty! I always love your gift guides, Ali! <3
Hi Molly!! Thank you 💕💕💕💕 Incredibly these plates barely scratch! I just looked at all of them, and only on a few are there are a few teensy scratches, but they don’t even look like scratches. I tried to take a photo to text it to you, but it doesn’t even register on the screen. I think you’d be pleased with their durability.
I always enjoy your gift lists. The Gabrielle Hamilton memoir is one of my favorites too, and I still think about the essay she wrote a year ago when the virus forced her to shut down her restaurant in NYC.
Thank you, Claire! That essay made me weep. So sad.
How do you do this, Ali? These are spot-on recommendations! Too funny about the yoga mat…. I recently started a daily practice (Breathe 30 day Yoga Journey – Yoga with Adriene on Youtube…. gaaahhhh! she’s incredible like you). And my yoga mat is a purchase from a number of years ago from a cheap retailer, and I just can’t get a grip! LOL.
Gonna visit the mother unit for the first time in 15 months…. I can see myself putting together a basket of several of your ideas – but most especially some homemade peasant bread.
I love Yoga with Adriene!! Did so many of her vids when everything shut down last year. Thank you for the kind words. Means a lot. Enjoy the visit with your mama!! 15 months is soooo long 💕💕💕💕💕
I love this list! You help me to know what is “in”. Always great ideas! But when are you going to come out with a new cookbook! I just love your recipes and ideas!
So nice to hear this, Amita 🙂 🙂 🙂 And thank you for the encouragement re book. I’m thinking about it!
Love ALL of these ideas!!!
Oh yay! Thanks Neighbor 💕💕💕💕
Hi, Ali. This is such a great list! I might even get one or two for myself😉
Have a happy Mother’s Day!
Do it, Trish! You deserve it. Happy Mother’s Day to you as well!
Great list of gift ideas for Mother’s Day! I’m able to buy many of your “local” products! I’m a “local” too and have been to many of those places. The yoga place not yet but the owner went to HS with my daughter. Arthur’s Market in historic stockade , Vischer Ferry store haven’t been in years. Plan to visit soon. Love your book and have made most of the bread recipes. Just made your pizza recipe and now it’s my go to! Love Our Area! I’m near Toga!
Oh yay! So nice to hear all of this 🙂 🙂 🙂 I love our area, too. Michelle, the owner of Studio 4, is the best, and Vischer Ferry and Arthur’s (recently renovated!!) are favorites. I love Saratoga, too, and wish I got up there more. Thanks for saying hi!
Hi Ali! I’m getting married in July, and am registering for new kitchen items. What pots & pans would you recommend? I only use cast iron right now, because I’ve had bad experiences with “non-stick” pans. Your recommendations would be so helpful!!! Thanks!!!
Oh yay! Congratulations!! Very exciting. My brother is getting married in July as well.
Tsipora, all of my favorite pots, pans, knives, appliances, gadgets, etc. can be found here: https://alexandracooks.com/shop/
Love this list – it is so thoughtful. (And well organized for those of us who get easily overwhelmed, ha!) Do you have any favorite Etsy shops?
Thank you, Stephanie! I don’t have any favorite Etsy shops, but I wish I did — I always seem to purchase the odd thing here and there, but never a bunch of things from one shop. If I discover any gems, I’ll be sure to update this post or include them in a future gift guide. Thanks for writing 🙂
Ali, I didnt know where else to ask this question, so I hope its OK if I ask it here! I looked in your “shop” section of your website (and getting some shopping carts ready 🙂 and I see you use some mesh bags for produce which I presume is what you use when you bring produce home from the grocery store. Do you use these for storing the produce in your refrigerator as well? Or do you have other storage containers that you store your fruits and veggies in, after you bring them home from the store, or the CSI produce you have gotten? I LOVE your produce focused recipes!!!!
Hi Nancy! Of course it’s OK to ask here 🙂 🙂 🙂
So yes, I use the mesh bags for produce I bring home from the store — I bring them to the store with me. When I get home, I always snip away rubber bands or remove any ties. And I store the produce in my veggie bings.
Thank you for your kind words, as always!