The Story of Cooking - L & L Blog
Even before I became a mother, I often scoffed at the gifts people think women want. Valentine's Day and Mother's Day turns street corners into makeshift gift shops For Those Who Forgot. And it's always the same thing: red roses and teddy bears. Folks, please stop buying grown women stuffed animals. We've been allowed to vote for 80 years, yet are still fighting infantilization.
Last year I encouraged readers to ditch crowded brunch spots and serve her brunch in bed. This year, she won't even have the option to dine out. On top of this, many moms out there are overworked, with home-schooling and remote jobs. Others are stressed because they need to be out in the workforce, and fear contaminating their families. It's been a tough couple of months. She deserves a gesture. Here are some practical yet funny/luxurious/thoughtful gifts.
There are no stuffed animals. Only great ideas to pull together a basket!
Towels are practical, but can also be:
Mugs are necessary caffeine delivery systems. But they can also be:
If she loves flowers, get her some that will last for years, with:
- Decadent painted coasters (pictured top)
- Sweet, vintage-style apron
- Flowery baking accessories
- Cheerful melamine plates
Can't decide from all these fabulous options? You can never go wrong with a gift card!
Happy Mother's Day!
These days, self-care is a religion. And I'm here for it! Deep tissue massages and mugs of chai tea? You don't have to ask twice.
My friends and I are busy these days. Between kids, careers and side hustles, taking time for oneself can be guilt-inducing. But it must be done, because our own happiness is of great value to ourselves, and those close to us. That's why I hosted a night of pampering at my place.
In the old days, this type of party would've been a sleepover. Nowadays, everyone wants to sleep in their own beds. Whether it's morning traffic or the need for your own memory foam pillow, good sleep just matters more to adults. But before they retreat for their beds, help them unwind in luxury.
Here are some tips for a Self-Care Spectacular!
To women everywhere, this is a vitamin supplement. To a woman under stress, it's practically a defibrillator. Have chocolate in some sort, whether a batch of buttercream cupcakes or chocolate chip cookies.
One of the first things women do when they get home is unhook from all their anti-gravitational devices. The biggest offenders? Bras and high heels. Let friends arrive unbound in their pajamas.
To further create a feeling of ease, ditch all snacks that require flatware. Finger foods for the win, so friends can graze as they paint their nails and let their face masks dry. Make a platter of smoked salmon canapes with capers and lemon, or, if you'd like to go low-key, a big bowl of popcorn.
To fight the winter blues, I like to treat guests to an ice-blended taste of summer! At the end of summer, I buy ripe watermelon, cube them and stick bags of them in the deep freezer. For this party, I mixed 3 cups of cubed watermelon, one can of lime seltzer, an undetermined amount of vodka and Royal Rose Three Chiles Simple Syrup (it's spicy, sweet and available at Ladles and Linens). It was a hit!
People love options. Buy different types of face masks, from retinol to charcoal. Guests will need to clean their faces first, so lay out cleansers and exfoliants by the sink and give everyone their own towel. I added multiple moisturizing options, from organic coconut oil to a collagen face mist. Not only did I lay out nail polish, but I offered to paint toes! You are the host after all.
With all the chocolate and boozing, your guests will want to round out the self-care session with foods that nourish their bodies. You don't have to sacrifice flavor; it's all about balance! Serve some broccoli and cheese tater tots, a charcuterie board or slice up some fresh fruit.
We had such a good time that my movie picks (below) never got airtime. We spent the night luxuriating in the products, the food and most importantly, the company. You deserve the same, so gather your friends for a great night in.