But what makes me happy may very well work for another like-minded mom and I'm not above dropping hints, so here's my highly personalized guide to Mother's Day gifts.
1. A new handbag. I am not one of those amazing women who coordinates her handbag to her outfits. I pick a bag and I wear. It. Out. My current crossbody bag, purchased at an art fair last November, is getting pretty dingy, so I'm eyeing a new one. Like this hippy-chic turquoise bag on Etsy or this orange crossbody from Fossil. Tip: don't try and substitute a cute tote for a handbag; a girl like me needs lots of pockets--interior and exterior--to keep things like my CTA card, my keys and my phone organized.
2. A fitbit. A growing group of friends and relatives have been singing the praises of the fitbit, which is basically a high tech pedometer. It tracks your steps and uploads them to your computer or mobile device and the information can be synched with an app like MyFitnessPal so you can track calories in against calories out. I'm not trying to lose weight, but I find that quantifying what I'm doing (or not doing) is highly motivating. Now if the mom you're buying for is sensitive about her size, you may want to tread lightly here. Either talk in general terms about the movement toward Quantified Self to gauge her interest or buy 2 fitbits and promise to compete for the most activity.
3. You can't go wrong with a highly useful and tasteful accessory like small gold hoop earrings or a striped summer weight scarf.
4. And you definitely can't go wrong with a gift certificate for a mani-pedi or massage (Well-Come Spa is my favorite place in Oak Park). Better yet, book the appointment and arrange to take the kids elsewhere while mom gets pampered. I don't believe I've ever let a gift certificate expire, but I've heard some martyr moms have. Don't let it happen!
If my overly specific ideas don't appeal, let me suggest you shop at my friend Alana's brand new Nest Vintage Modern storefront in LaGrange for an amazing selection of vintage inspired home and personal goods. Or memorialize your mom's best advice on a custom piece of art from my cousin Ann's new mixed media Etsy store.