Mother's Day Gift Ideas ~ Nerdwallet Contest Entry



Dear Mom,

Thank you for kissing my boo-boos. Thank you for wiping away the tears of my first heartbreak. Thank you for taking care of me when I was ill. Thank you for your support in everything that I do. Thank you for letting me be "independent", but caring enough to cast a safety net just in case. Thank you for forgiving me every time we fight.

A million thank yous and all my love can't makeup for everything you've done for me. Thanks for being my mom. Even though it was fate that brought us together, and though we can have our rough patches at times, I love you with all my heart. I'll do my best to make every day Mother's Day. =)

Love,
Justine



Happy (soon to be) Mother's Day all! Although gifts are often very personal, I thought I would share some great and thrifty finds with you! When I give gifts, I try to keep in mind that there should either be a utilitarian or sentimental value to the gifts that are being given. The worst gifts are always the one's with the least thought put into them! So even though sometimes people can be tough to buy for, as long as you put some effort into it, you're sure to be rewarded with a smile. Although these may show a bias to my own mom (Hi mom!) I think many of you will find these gifts suitable for your own mothers as well. All the gifts I've chosen are under $25 dollars!

Utilitarian Moms:

Picture Courtesy of ThinkGeek
My mom loves tea, especially the loose leaf kind, but you have to hand wash teapots, prep the tea strainer, and then deal with the used tea refuse. Sometimes these mundane tasks become so tedious that the little prepackaged teas just make more sense, but why deny yourself a simple everyday luxury?



The Ingenuitea teapot takes all the stress out of hand washing delicate porcelain teapots or even heating up hot water over the stove. The BPA-free plastic can be heated up in the microwave for a quick brew and even thrown in the dishwasher for a quick clean. Best of all, you can just dump the used up gunky leaves straight out into the garbage after you're done. At around $19, depending what retailer you buy it from, it's definitely a utilitarian, albeit specialized, mother's day present. Did that sound too much like an infomercial?

Momism #1: Once my mom told my sister and I that she was giving up tea for lent and within the same hour made a cup of tea and drank it by accident. Lent was very long for her that year. ><

Purchase Links:
Ingenuitea Official Website
Vat19
ThinkGeek

Picture Courtesy of Poppin.com
Another thing that moms are masters of is the domain of organization. One thing that is super striking about my mom is her perfect handwritten script. I could recognize that handwriting anywhere, especially when they're secret notes tucked in lunch boxes, clues to scavenger hunts, or even notes from a "secret" Valentine (from the time before I had a boyfriend.)

My mom already has notebooks and notebooks of recipes, homeopathic cure alls, and general facts that she wants to remember; so I know if I present her this notebook it'll get a lot of use. To add a personal touch to the plain notebook, I'd write a little love note to her, include a picture of my sister and I, and copy down a script of her favourite poem: William Blake's "Auguries of Innocence." For only $15 dollars there's a lot of room to make this simple gift personal and special for your mom!

Momism #2: My mother is a true lover of the literary arts. =) She says that everyone should memorize at least one poem for the rest of their lives. Of course, she chose "Auguries of Innocence."

Purchase:
Notebook also available in white and aqua!

Shiny Baubles and Bits 


I think everyone in the world likes decorating their bodies with something; whether it be clothes, jewelry, or hair stuffs. This section is dedicated to the little bits and bobbles that make us smile, especially moms! =P My mom is incredibly particular about her jewelry, not only about the style and design, but also about the material. Sterling silver is an alloy made out of silver and copper, although it does tarnish, it is easy to clean and much more durable than fine silver, making it easy on the wallet and ideal for everyday wear.

Courtesy of Personalized Necklaces
This simple statement piece can be worn alone or layered. I think the infinity sign is also an understated way to say "I love you forever" or "Infinite Love." Cause lord knows, for a woman who cleans up your vomit when you're little and sick deserves as much love as "infinity" can hold! I think that $22 is a good price for a carefree, elegant statement necklace!

Purchase Link:
Infinity Necklace
Photo Courtesy of MiNiBelle
Now for the mom that has a lot of charm necklaces already, you can always give her a simple layering necklace! That way, she can wear her beloved charm statement pieces without having them fighting for attention; or, if she's feeling simple that day, she can just wear this silver bar all on its own. Again this piece is made of sterling silver and requires no "real" extra care. Coming in at $20, I think that this piece is also really affordable.

Purchase Link:
Bar Necklace

Photo Courtesy of Personalized Necklaces
If you're a fan of customization, or if the charm or bar don't appeal to you, you can always gift you mom a customized sterling silver letter of her name. I think it's something simple and cute enough that she can wear it everyday, but at the same time simple, understated and mature. This is definitely a far cry from those full name necklaces that were popular once upon a time!

Purchase Link:
Letter Necklace

Momism #3: My mom loves jewelry so much, making it became her hobby! Her favorite material to work with has always been sterling silver. <3 nbsp="" p="">
If your mom isn't a jewelry lady, she might enjoy these cute hair pieces from Brydferth, a cute Etsy boutique. This boutique has all manner of accessories from pretty hair clips and elegant headbands to luxurious sashes and adorable shoe clips that all revolve around the owner, Hailey Rose's, hand sewn rosettes that are both elegant and cute.

Color Palette and Size Guide (Photo taken from Brydferth)


Example Headband (Photo Courtesy of Brydferth)
Photo Courtesy of Brydferth
Honestly, all headbands and hair accessories are adorable, I've been thinking of getting some items from them for a while now. Headbands for the ladies with longer hair, starting from $20 and going to $95, and cute barrettes for girls with shorter hair (or long hair), starting from $8.50-$30, you can't lose! However, one thing that I would definitely buy for my mother is something that one usually wouldn't think of....

Photo Courtesy of Brydferth

Shoe clips! As you can tell in this photo, again courtesy of Brydferth, this is one of their best sellers. It's a cute girly way to dress up some flats and I really feel that my Mom would like them. It's a simple way to spice up some flats, sandals or even some plain pumps. =) Again starting at $14 dollars, these little shoe clips are a unique and adorable gift.

Momism #4 : My Mom Martha Stewart-ed some shoe clips herself once and she was actually devastated when they fell off after a day of vigorous walking.

Nom Noms


For nom noms, I have a fool proof recipe that even newbies won't be able to mess up. After all, I am a total amateur myself. ;) With minimal kitchen cleanup, a simplistic recipe and customizable aesthetic this cake is definitely a home run. I mean look at it! 



Would you believe that this cake only requires two ingredients to make? 


Just six eggs and four chocolate bars. Easy, peasy. Now I have to tell you that making this cake, especially in this "double decker" form, was a happy accident. I was inspired by this video, originally made by the beautiful Ochikeron of YouTube, where she created a beautifully simple cake with only two ingredients. 


However, the pan that I used was actually too large in diameter and, by accident, I created a thin, thin version of her original thick, lush cake. However, to amend this mistake, I simply repeated the process another time, and instead of dusting the whole concoction with powdered sugar, I layered my two cakes together and frosted them with a simple whipped cream. Unfortunately, the strawberries I was going to use to decorate the cake and add a layer of "tartness" to the recipe had molded. =( However, I think the sweet chocolate and cream base of this cake would stand up well to any sort of fruit addition whether it be strawberries, raspberries or even cherries! 


If you want a very clear, cute, articulate video tutorial of what you should do check out the video above! I've taken some photos of what I did here: 

Recipe


Divide the egg whites and the egg yolks, while melting 160 grams of chocolate in a double boiler. 


After the chocolate has melted and cooled whisk in the yolks...


...until it is fully combined.


Whip the eggs until they form firm peaks and add half of the whipped eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until fully combined.


Add the other half of the whipped egg mixture and fold it in gently with a spatula.


Line the pan with parchment paper, pour in the batter, drop it a couple of times to get rid of the air bubbles and bake at 330 degrees Fahrenheit for 35 minutes (more or less depending on your oven)! If in doubt, always perform the toothpick test, by sticking in a toothpick or knife into your cake and seeing if it comes out clean.

With this cake I spent around $14.50 to get the ingredients, but I already had the baking materials at home to whip up this simple recipe. Best of all, this cake is also gluten-free (depending on what chocolate you use)! =)

Momism #4: As of late my mother has really, really gotten into the world of gluten-free baking. Which is amazing! Especially since I get to eat all the goodies she makes, however, she never follows the recipe exactly after the first time. She could make the most amazing, mouth wateringly delicious cake ever, but she'll never make that iteration again...she'll either add or take out ingredients to see what they do to the overall recipe. Honestly, mom, I love you, but JUST MAKE IT THE WAY YOUR ORIGINALLY MADE IT. IT'S DELICIOUS. LEAVE IT BE.

Experience

Some of my mother's favourite movies, with her favorite nail color, our most used clay face mask and some moisturizer
Honestly, my mom loves family the most. Last year my sister and I, created a scavenger hunt around the house that ultimately culminated in a "spa session", that included, a manicure, pedicure, massage and facial, and the whole family watching her favorite movie, "Kate and Leopold" with some popcorn. Best thing about this is, is that you can use items already found in your house, you just have to make the experience special and relaxing for your mom. Create an atmosphere! Light some candles, dim the lights, play the movie, and look up some Youtube massage videos. :)

Some drugstore face masks that I've heard good things about are:

Photo Courtesy of Walgreens

Available here and at your local drugstore as well as for around $4-$5 dollars and

Photo Courtesy of Neutrogena
available for around $7-$8, online and in stores. So you can use these guys for a thrifty and relaxing way to spend the evening.

It's also a great opportunity to try out some home made face masks and face scrubs. Of course, there are recipes all over the internet and YouTube, but I'm going to link some that intrigued me down below!





And I couldn't have a post in homage to my mother without her favorite TV Guru Dr. Oz. You can check out his recipes and homemade spa treatments here!

Momism #5: We tried to surprise her with a "movie sesh" in several iterations, but the scavenger hunt plan worked out the best. At first we tried to get her to "work out" with us, because she just bought one of those "exercise at home and lose ten pounds" dvds, and she never came. Even though my sister and I were using the workout session as a reuse, my mom completely avoided the two of us with chores, errands, and other mom-ly duties just so she could get out of exercising. 

Crafty Ladiez


I must say although my mother is super crafty and amazing, none of those genetics passed down to me. So for those DIY-ers that can knit your mom something, origami a wish jar, draw or paint her something, and compose or sing for her....I'm jealous. For me, I definitely need to lean heavily on the crutch of technology. 

My mom's office is quite sparse, so I thought I would combine her love for Vogue, fashion, and knitting, with making some small framed posters from the covers of Vogue Magazines. The internet can find everything now-a-days, so I've found some vintage Vogue Covers from her birth year and birth month. However, the only thing I would be careful about is image size. Unfortunately, even with all the magic of technology, you cannot maintain image quality if you're trying to resize a smaller image to a larger one. Do you best to find the largest image you can find on the internet or even go old school and go to the thrift shops about down to look for some old magazines with nice covers. 

I printed the below images out on some glossy photo paper and framed them with some spare frames lying around the house. Photo paper seems to average around $13 dollars online, but you can even print your images on plain paper and then dress them up with the frames. =) 

Here are some good resources that I found: 

Photo Courtesy of Vintage Scans Blog

Photo Courtesy of My Luscious Life

Photo Courtesy of My Luscious Life
I'm too afraid to take out the little prints that I did, for fear that my mom will see them, but I'll let you guys know how her gifts were received. 

Finally, perhaps the best gift of all is probably being nice to your mom. I know that my relationship with my mom can get pretty rocky sometimes, because we're both stubborn and headstrong, but be patient, kind, and pleasant. All the things your mom was to you when you were throwing up, ill, leaning some new math formulas or practicing piano...thank you mom. I love you! My mom deserves the world for dealing with all of my crazy. <3 div="" nbsp="">

As stated in the title, this blogpost is a contest entry for Nerdwallet's Mother's Day Contest, where you choose gifts under $25 to honor your mom. I encourage you all to apply and good luck to all the entrants!

I think she fits right in with the Vogue ladies! =)

Thanks for reading! 

4 comments :

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  2. @Steve Thanks for coming!

    @Meowchies Hideout: Awesome! I'm glad I could provide some inspiration =)

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