All For Mom

May 8 is just around the corner and with it, a day that is dedicated to M-O-M. This carefully curated list of gift ideas appeals to different tastes and preferences and there is sure to be something every mom would appreciate (or at least I would)! All of these gifts can be found online and ordered, except for the weekend getaway, of course!

Mothers Day Guide(1) Fitbit Alta Luxe
Motivation Is Your best Accessory.” The updated and more glam Fitbit Alta comes in a trendy array of colors including: blush leather, graphite leather and stainless steel. The classic version still comes in black, blue, plum and teal. The updated look and features will keep mom moving, grooving and on trend.

(2) Oscar de la Renta –  a Restrospective at the de Young Galleries in San Francisco running through May 30. An overview of the exhibition is described as follows, “Oscar de la Renta’s designs celebrated the best in us—beauty, optimism, and confidence. Including more than 130 ensembles, this world-premiere retrospective pays tribute to one of the most beloved and influential fashion icons of our time.” Definitely a reason to visit San Francisco with your mom, and if geography poses an issue, check out the art galleries in your town. A relaxing Sunday viewing art, lunching, drinking champagne…O’ Happy Mother’s Day!

(3) Juice Beauty Gift Set. “As the new creative director of makeup for Juice Beauty, Gwyneth [Paltrow] collaborated with the company on a line of organic makeup this winter. And this month, in further partnership with Juice Beauty the launch of a new organic skincare line goop by Juice Beauty.” (Glamour Magazine, March 2016). The company is based in California and the all organic formulations offer everything from skincare to make-up that starts with a pure, unadulterated juice base. Juice Beauty offers FREE shipping on orders over $30 and 15% off your first purchase by signing up for their newsletter. The product line is extensive and reasonably priced.

(4) Simone Le Blanc Spa Indulgence Gift Box. A company that curates anything but ordinary gift boxes, Simone Le Blanc believes in connecting people through carefully selected gift experiences. The way they package their gifts, along with the quality would absolutely make me want to be the recipient of one of these special packages at my front door. They offer everything from her to him to babies and more. Classy. Elegant. Unique. Their pricing starts at the reasonable and ramps up to the high but there is a wide array of quality selections for every budget. This particular Mother’s Day gift box includes:

  • Coyuchi Organic Cotton Robe. A beautiful and elegant bathrobe handmade of 100% organic cotton, fabricated to be both lightweight, incredibly absorbent, and soft-to-the-touch. S/M, fits most.
  • L’Objet 28 Candle. Bright mint, deep Rose de Mai, orange flower, topped with warm honeyed amber notes swirl in this candle inspired by travels to Morocco. Hand blended and poured into a keepsake porcelain and brass vessel. A truly luxurious candle.
  • Rodin Body Cream. A luxurious formula of calming jasmine and nourishing neroli essential oils, moisturizers, healing agents and antioxidants to smooth skin and restore glow.
  • Rodin Body Oil. A gloriously rich elixir for restoring suppleness and radiance. Made of eleven aromatic and skin-soothing essential oils derived from flowers and other botanicals.
  • Cousus De Fils Soaps. A trio of fine soaps handmade in France using traditional techniques. Naturally scented and made without artificial ingredients. Beautifully wrapped in antique wallpaper patterns.
  • Simone LeBlanc Gold Foil and Stone Leather “Moments” Journal. Dove gray leather journal with gold foil embossed “Moments” lettering for capturing special memories. A timeless keepsake.
  • Crystal Geode. A unique geode to fill the home with charm, vision, and an open heart. The perfect sparkling memento.
  • Signature Simone LeBlanc Keepsake Wood Box. Handmade in Los Angeles. Reusable and just right for storing beloved heirlooms or personal mementos.
  • Menu with inspirational quote and component details.

(5) Alexis Bittar 4-Piece Stacking Ring Set. Alexis Bittar is the CEO and Creative Designer of the jewelry company bearing his name. He is best known for his lucite bangles and high fashion runway collaborations. His jewelry is modern and just different enough to always invoke the question from others of, “That’s beautiful…where did you get it?” My mom gave me a very unique Alexis Bittar stacking necklace for my birthday and I get compliments on it EVERY day (I am NOT being dramatic). The jewelry price point is very reasonable and his line is carried widely at Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s. I loved this ring and thought it would be a very well-received Mother’s Day gift!

(6) The Giving Keys classic “Inspire” necklace. A “pay it forward company” that helps employ others impacted by homelessness. Custom-made in Los Angeles, The Giving Keys exists to employ those transitioning out of homelessness in Los Angeles to make key necklaces and other jewelry out of repurposed keys. Singer/Songwriter Caitlin Crosby is the company’s founder and lives by the motto, “Keep your eyes open to all the needs you see around you. They are all over the place.” Today, The Giving Keys are carried in over 1200 stores in the US and internationally including Nordstrom, Fred Segal and Kitson. There is a large, budget-friendly priced product line which can also be found online. The company also says, “Our products are worn proudly and intentionally by individuals from all walks of life who want to be inspired and touch others with their words.” I can’t imagine a more meaningful gift for the woman that inspires you.

(7) Spa and relax away at The Bernardus Lodge & Spa in Carmel Valley, California. Okay, not everyone can just take off for a weekend in Carmel Valley with their mom. BUT, what a great sentiment! You can always schedule a special day at a local spa. We did this for my mom’s birthday this past weekend and what a great day we shared. We worked out overlooking the ocean, had a delicious lunch, received amazing massages and finished our day with a glass of rose and a beautiful ocean view. Maybe the Bernardus Lodge & Spa can be on a future list. It is sooooooooo worth it. Tucked away in a beautiful valley – the calm and mellow feel coupled with gourmet locally-sourced food and the incredible scenery will keep you coming back year after year.

(8) Pamela Love: Muses and Manifestations Book. This beautiful hardcover book would not only be gorgeous on a coffee table or nightstand, but the content is inspiring as well. Give mom a copy of this tome and wrap it with a soft afghan. Trendsetting contemporary jeweler, Pamela Love, invites you into her universe, revealing the obsessions and inspiration behind her cult jewelry line she began in 2007. Part of the book, which inspired me, shows her process for jewelry creation and the use of vision boards and where she finds her motivation. The pages are colorful, elegant and so captivating. This is an excellent gift for mom to enjoy and think of you every time she sees it.

I hope you find something appealing on this list for your mom, or maybe for YOU. Happy Mother’s Day.

lemon-thyme cake

FullSizeRenderIsn’t it annoying when a recipe calls for a few sprigs of a particular fresh herb and you are essentially left with the full amount? In my case, the culprit was thyme, whose two sprigs capped off my perfect pot roast. Rather than toss the bunch, I decided to try a few different recipes and really max out the versatility of the herb. One such recipe is this scrumptious cake that popped up as soon as I Googled “lemon-thyme cake.” The talented ladies from the blog Spoon Fork Bacon published the original recipe in 2014 and it is a winner.

No one in my family could pass the cake stand without breaking off pieces of the light fluffly deliciousness. We chipped away diligently until all that remained was a smattering of crumbs.

The Lemon-Thyme cake will debut at my sister’s house on Mother’s Day; one cake wrapped for my sister as a thank you for hosting and another cake as an “I Love You” to my mom. I’m picking up white cake boxes and wrapping each one in soft yellow ribbon with sprigs of thyme on top. Personally, I think it’s a gift everyone will enjoy and it comes straight from the heart (and, of course, will be accompanied by a bottle of champagne).

This piece might seem big, until you take a BITE.

This piece might seem big, until you take a BITE.

Makes 2 (8”) cakes

Cake Ingredients
2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups superfine sugar (I used C&H pure granulated sugar and it was fine)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup whole milk
3 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon almond extract
zest of 1 lemon
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh minced thyme

Frosting Ingredients
I strayed from the SFB frosting and made a lemon buttercream which was easy and divine, especially with the hint of lemon subtly popping through.

1/2 cup butter, softened
4 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
5 to 6 Tb lemon juice
1 tsp grated lemon peel
Lemonthyme1

Cake Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350˚F.
2. Place flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a mixing bowl.
3. Place sugar, butter and eggs into another mixing bowl and whisk together. Pour the flour mixture into the egg mixture and whisk together until very thick and combined.
4. Stir in the remaining ingredients except for the zest and thyme, until fully incorporated and the batter is smooth.
5. Gently fold in the zest and thyme until just combined.
6. Pour the batter into two prepared cake pans (bottoms lined with parchment and lightly greased) and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the cake.
7. Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 15 to 20 minutes before removing from pans and letting them cool completely before frosting.

Frosting Directions
1. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter until creamy.
2. Beat in the confectioners sugar, vanilla and lemon juice
3. Beat until well-blended.
4. Fold in the lemon peel just until mixed.
5. Frost each cake layer when cool and assemble.
6. Decorate the top with a few leaves of thyme and a lemon wheel

Beautiful on the outside and tasty on the inside

Beautiful on the outside and tasty on the inside

special gift ideas for mom on mothers day

Mothers Day Gift GuideHere’s a little gift guide for the special mom, sister, daughter or friend in your life who will celebrate Mother’s Day this Sunday, May 11. If you need a little inspiration, a reminder or just a jump-start, use this guide as a source.

TOP ROW
1) The Ella Cork Mini Tote by Tory Burch; updated for the season in cork, neutral tones and gold
2) losselliani 5 Brass Bangle Set; ready to wear together or separately to polish off any outfit
3) Cabana-Striped Notebook from Sugar Paper LA; stylish notes, to-do’s and thoughts on-the-go

MIDDLE ROW
4) Kendra Scott Pave Linear Feather Earrings;  a dusting of femininity and glamour
5) BE YOU Print from Sugar Paper LA; words of wisdom and love from the heart of every mother
6) Deep Sleep Bath Oil by this works; unwind, refresh and soak in essential oils of Lavender, Peppery Patchouli and Camomile

BOTTOM ROW
7) AISH Yellow Mahi Mahi Scarf by Shop Latitude; hand-crafted from Jamdani Muslin created via an intensive hand-loomed process
8) Liquid Gold Crystal Encrusted Draping Ring by Alexis Bittar; an elegant reminder of your love and appreciation
9) Giselle Cover Up by Melissa Obadash; flirty styling with artful knit patterns, this delicate cover up has a cool ’60s feel