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05/09/2014 02:35 EDT | Updated 05/09/2014 02:59 EDT

How To Plan A Mother's Day Spa Surprise (At Home!)

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Whether you're a grown daughter, or a dad hoping to pamper his wife and little girls, get creative this Mother's Day with a morning of bonding time and personalized relaxation for Mom.

  • Step #1: Send her a card beforehand
    She probably knows that you intend to spend Mother’s Day with her, but sending a pretty note or handmade card a week early shows thoughtfulness and ensures she won’t make alternate arrangements. Clockwise from top: Pink card, $9; Mom card, $9; Embroidered card, $10; papyrusonline.com
  • Step #2: Lay everything out the night before
    If you live together, set up a room with supplies the night before. If you’ll be driving over first thing in the morning, make sure your bag is packed with everything you’ll need, from towels and slippers to scented candles and nail polish. You’ll want to have everything ready to go so you aren’t rushing. This “Pretty in Pink” spa gift basket, $72, was made by Cranberry Corners Gift Baskets in Ottawa, but you can easily make your own “tool kit” with beauty products you already own or fun finds from the drugstore.
  • Step #3: Breakfast in bed
    Let her lounge awhile with treats delivered directly to her bedside. The basics — coffee, fresh fruit, yogurt and toast with jam — will be plenty satisfying, but if you want to make a big impression, try one of our fabulous make-ahead brunch recipes. Try adding fresh blooms to the tray, or include a handwritten note detailing your morning plans.
  • Step #4: Set the mood
    Light scented candles — we all have a stash needing to be used — and lay out her robe. New slippers are a nice touch, but if money’s tight, the ones she already owns are completely fine. Put on her favourite music, or find a relaxing playlist on songza.com themed by mood (“soothing”) or activity (“lying low on a Sunday afternoon”). Babyterry satin bow robe, $60, lavieenrose.com Fresh Sugar Scented Candle, $66, sephora.ca Sleepover cotton slippers, $25, victoriassecret.com
  • Step #5: Spa it up
    It’s time for the spa portion of your Mother’s Day extravaganza. We suggest doing one or two of the following: 1. Face masks: Cleanse and exfoliate your faces, then apply masks together. You can find plenty of cheapie one-off mask packs at drugstores or at Korean beauty store Holika Holika. 2. Manicures: Let her pick her favourite polish, then give her a hand massage with lotion. If you feel capable, give her nails a quick file and push back the cuticles. Apply a base coat, two coats of colour, and you’re done! 3. Pedicures: While Mom sits on the couch, fill a basin with warm water and bath salts. Allow her feet to soak while you massage her neck, hands or scalp. After her feet have soaked for five minutes, pat them dry and scrub her foot pads. (We love the Micro Pedi.) Clip or file her nails, then apply base, colour and top coats. Finish with lotion and a lengthy foot massage. Caudalie Hand and Nail Cream, $10, sephora.ca Dermalogica Skin Prep Scrub, $44.50, dermalogica.ca Crabtree & Evelyn Nail Lacquer in Lady Slipper, $6, crabtree-evelyn.ca Trind Nail Magic 3-Way Buffer, $6, spaboutique.ca Holika Holika Premium Sheep Milk Yogurt with Wild Berry, $12, holikaholika.ca
  • Step #6: Draw her a bath
    Move the music and candles into the bathroom. Fill a tub, adding bubbles or a bath bomb to the running water, then leave Mom alone for some quiet, stress-free time. Lush Pink Bath Bomb, $5, lush.ca Fruits & Passion Foaming Bath in Tonic Freshness, $14.50, fruits-passion.ca

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