Simple Ways We Made Mother's Day Special This Year
This year for mother's day, I was lucky enough to spend time with not only my mother, but also my paternal Grandma Vivian. At this age, it's not extremely common for my peers to be able to see their family for these types of holidays, so I am always grateful that I get the opportunity.
I was in charge of getting personal gifts for both of them, and my mom was in charge of making dinner, drinks and desserts for other visiting family members and family friends. In total, there were 11 of us around the table, so she knew she had to really win everyone over on the desserts. While I can't say my mom had the most relaxing Mother's Day of all time (don't worry about her, she'll get to relax in the coming weekends,) I'd say we each did our part to make this year's celebration very special. I hope you'll enjoy these small efforts and that they can inspire you the next time you want to make a day or event just that much more exceptional
Personalizing Card Envelopes
Next time you write a card to someone, if you're not mailing it, you can use its envelope to create a custom design personalized for the recipient or the theme of their gift. (Or you can of course mail the card in a decorated envelope in an even larger one.) I like writing their name in the center and framing the name with cute simple drawings. This touch always makes people feel very special and is always much appreciated. Please don't laugh at my crude orchid branch drawing, it's the thought that counts isn't it? And if you don't fancy yourself much of an artist, check out the adorable and easygoing drawings I adorned my grandma's envelope with. Most people can get away with that one!
Picking Out COLOR-CODED Cards
Another small tip for making a gift just that more beautiful is to choose a color theme for your gift and match your card to your giftbag or tissue paper. This keeps things looking cohesive and really shows how much effort you've put into your gift. It doesn't have to be an exact match to look impressive.
And if you're giving multiple gifts at the same time, feel free to have their gifts match or have some colors in common so you can keep gifts looking like they're for the same occasion. I've done this by having chartreuse in the color schemes of both my mother and my grandmother's gifts and using the same tissue paper for each.
And just in case anyone wanted to know, my cards were from Paper Source. I really like them and Papyrus for special occasion cards. However, if you don't want to spend a full $4-8 on a card, you can always use a blank attractive thank you card that you buy in a set for really cheap. As long as you write "Happy Mother's Day" or whatever the occasion is on the inside, no one will know the difference. For those sets, I usually shop Chronicle Books.
Picking FLOWERS that reminded me of them
It's so easy to get caught up in the traditions of what kind of flowers or display type to get your mother on Mother's Day. And stores realize that, so they always encourage you to purchase a big ornate bouquet, hand-crafted by a professional with flowers that have been decided by someone else to be on trend that season. But not all moms are the same, and not all tastes are the same. You really want to try to buy flowers that speak to their tastes and lifestyle!
I could have gone for bouquets of roses for my mother and grandmother, but instead decided to do a bundle of pink tulips for my very classical feminine grandmother to enjoy during her time visiting, and a potted purple orchid for my mother, who has a deep appreciation for the flower and an incredible knack for its upkeep. I knew she would appreciate something she could take care of and watch get more and more beautiful over time. It's a shame I never got her green thumb, because she can really make these last forever!
And I guess I wasn't the only one who thought that these flowers matched the styles of my mother and grandmother, because our family friends who came for dinner brought the exact same flowers for them! Orange tulips for my grandmother and another purple orchid for my mom. I guess we both read them the same way! At least it will keep displays symmetrical around the house.
Sharing gifts I knew they could really use
It's always tough buying presents for women with established homes. They pretty much own everything they need. But I really didn't want to purchase them gifts that would just sit on a shelf collecting dust. I wanted to get them items they would really enjoy and use.
So for my Grandma Vivian, since she travels often and uses a lot of medicines daily, I got her this gorgeous minimalistic pill case that she can use as backup or keep in her purse. It's from a company called Port and Polish. I have one in black and one in charcoal, and they are fantastic for your daily medication. Or you could even ignore the days of the week tabs and use it for headache or allergy medication. I can't recommend this product enough. And she loved it so much that she immediately transferred her pills into it and took it with her to church.
My mom is hard to shop for in some ways because you never know what she's in need of. Sometimes it's nail polish, sometimes it's a new handbag, but you always want to make sure you know what it is. So I asked her, and she told me she wanted a new nice blouse. You may think a tip like this will take the surprise-factor out of a gift, but in reality if you ask someone what they'd like over a month in advance, they rarely remember what they said later on. Plus she didn't give me a link to a top she wanted, so whatever I bought would for sure be a surprise.
Steven and I went to about 20 different stores before I stumbled upon this gorgeous blouse from Talbots. And success! She loved it, it fit her, and it was still a pleasant surprise.
Trying Out a New Recipe
Anyone who's ever visited my mom's house know that the evening cannot be over until dessert has been served. And she made Mother's Day just that much more memorable with this beautiful tres leches cake topped with homemade whipped cream and fresh strawberries.
My mom and I are alike in that we always have a few changes we like to make to each recipe we try. We both love making a recipe our own. To make this recipe the exact way my mom made, it replace the suggested fresh strawberries in the middle of the cake with her favorite recipe for pineapple filling, replace the evaporated milk with coconut milk, and for the whipped cream, use 1/3 cup of confectioner's sugar instead of granulated sugar.
This recipe was a huge hit. Can't wait to try it on my own one of these days!
and also an oldie but goodie
One dessert that's a huge go-to in my mom's house is her creme brûlée. So we busted out the torches and caramelized some sugar. I've always watched her in amazement each time she does it, but this time I got to take a crack at it. Caramelizing the sugar is easy. It's using the torch with one hand that's the tricky part. My mom must have thumbs of steel.
I feel so grateful to have been able to spend Mother's Day with my mother and grandmother. These two women sacrificed so much of their time energy and resources to be there for me in my life. My grandmother often took care of me during the day when I was a child, as both my parents worked full time jobs. And my mother is my biggest emotional support and confidant on a daily basis without fail, who has truly dedicated her life to making mine the best it can possibly be.
No flower or gift or display could ever truly convey the love between a mother and child, but I think it's always worth adding touches of detail and effort to really drive home the fact that the day is special, and that the people you're celebrating are special. Whether you live nearby your mother, traveled far to be with her this past Sunday day, or had to stick to a Skype call and presents by mail, your efforts regardless of your resources are always worth appreciating and remembering.