Ditch the gas station flowers and forget that dodgy bottle of fizz. Come on, it's almost Mother's Day and your eponymous celebrant is one of the most important people in your life, right? Would she really wants to gorge on shell shaped waxy chocolates? Or wince when atomised with an odious, sorry odorous, scoosh of Charlie perfume? We thought not. So why not give something about which she'll be properly excited? To assist, here's a C&J mini gift guide -- that spans the financial spectrum -- featuring inspired, prezzies, any of which would send your Mom into a state of elevated recipient frenzy. 'Cos she's worth it...
Suede Trim Cashmere Blanket by Ralph Lauren Home
Finishing touches, huh? The final frontier of home styling. Aye, we've long since opined that these last-minute layers are the gloss upon which the (well-appointed) domestic landscape sails. And, as luxurious pops go, they don't get much sexier than this. Composed of thick, dreamy cashmere -- and lined with suede for extra pleasure -- the touchy feely throw will tempt new levels of cosiness. Believe us; your Mom will spiral into hedonistic delirium...just don't mention the price -- $895. Yes, you read that correctly. She'd be furious. More info' (post smelling salts to bring you back from financial meltdown) at ralphlaurenhome.com.
First things first; we, and many others, have struggled with the pronunciation of this brand for as long as we care to remember. Just for the record, it's not Le Crow-eh-set and nor is it Le Croosy-et. Phonetically, it should be pronounced Le Croo-say. Language lesson complete, let's move on.
Le Creuset is a super stove brand and the type of cooking compendium that will last a lifetime. Literally. Cast from iron, the buxom pots come in various stunning colours and are rigid, easy to clean and suitable for use in oven or hob. The favoured product of chefs in the know, it's little wonder they're lauded the world over. More at Alternatively, be canny like us, and head to Homesense where you'll find selected elements of the Le Creuset range from $29 a pop.
Nespresso coffee machines and 'pods'
A selfish gift? Nah. Just 'cos you can't bear the thought of another dose of freeze-dried hell in a cup (at your Mom's behest) there's no reason for anyone to suggest this is actually a gift to yourself. She'll totally get it; it's all about coffee education and she'll love the journey. So listen up; Nespresso appliances, from our experience, are amongst the best the coffee market knows and, with ambassadors like George Clooney and Penelope Cruz, we wouldn't expect anything less.
On our own kitchen counter sits a 'U' machine and, each morning, as we crawl reluctantly from our slumbers, it pumps the most aromatic coffee; a caffeine laden life blood that propels us into the day. We experienced our first Nespresso gadget, years past, at The Saint Geran in Mauritius (all suites are equipped with machines) and were committed fans from the moment its inky black issue slipped down our eager Scottish throats. So what makes a good coffee? Well, as we see it, it's all in the blend. Nespresso Crus (the various coffee varieties) are staggeringly good. Linizio Lungo, for example, derives from Arabica beans sourced from South America; a balanced, smooth experience it showcases the cereal, malty notes of Bourbon beans which also feature as part of the blend. Combine the taste quality ($6.80 for a sleeve of ten pods) with the pleasing aesthetics of a Nespresso machine and your Mom's caffeine high will be complete.
Aston Martin One-77 Bottle Cooler
By God this is gorgeous. As you gift this cooler, you'll be instantly lauded as 'best kid ever'. And, doubtless, your Mom will weep a little. You'll feel justifiably smug. Crafted by visionary Grant MacDonald from hallmarked sterling silver, and featuring a carbon fibre inner layer, this wildly sexy booze chiller boasts sleek body lines inspired by the revered luxury car brand. But hold it a tic'; before you suggest cars are a blokes domain, take it from us, we know an army of women who fantasise about hot wheels. Retailing at around $41,000 (yes, you read that correctly) the One-77 is an undeniably pricey affair but it makes our inner pistons fire. If feeling extra flush, you might also like to invest in the matching set of gold and silver champagne flutes. And their cost? Just a shade over $56,000. Not much, as our old Scottish grannies might chime, if you say it quickly.
'The Hotel Book' - Great Escapes North America by Diasann McLane, Taschen Publishing
If we're entirely honest, we've become somewhat jaded by the great, er, 'homogenisation' of the leisure industry. Fact of the matter is, these days, loads of hotels look pretty much identical. The whole 'dark timber' aesthetic, for us, is as boring as the detail with which it is dressed; matching beige cushion stacks and the ubiquitous TV recessed into the wall.
Consequently, many of today's hotel books are somewhat compromised, packed as they are full of the, ahem, 'new' raft of options. Yawn. That's why, whenever we're asked to recommend a 'decent' hotel book, our default mechanism is always this 2006 published tome. Crammed with North American escapes it's much less about corporate tailoring and much more about individuality. Bag a copy for your Mom and let her lust over an Italianate villa in rural Massachusetts, a deluxe wigwam in Arizona's Navajo County or a Frank Lloyd Wright house on a wooded bluff beside Mirror Lake, Wisconsin. And these are just for starters; excavating further she'll espy a host of North American B&B's, moody cabins and tree house escapes that will send her over the edge. And not a spot of blandeur to be seen...
However big or small your budget -- and whatever you decide to give -- make sure your gift has 'special' written all over it. You only get one Mom, after all and, let's be honest, it was she who helped make it 'kids day' every day as you grew up to become the fabulous person you are. Blimey; that sounds so schmaltzy. But who cares? Only a mean soul would suggest that joyously flying one's true familial colours was a bad thing. So get the bunting out and cut the cake. Raise the flag and celebrate. The party starts Sunday...
<a href="https://twitter.com/kateygoalie" target="_blank">Angie Seth, Toronto, Ont. </a> "I am a Mother of three beautiful children (18-year-old, 3-year-old old and 1-year-old) who I cherish every day. My wish is almost the impossible: to ensure they will always be safe, happy, successful, healthy. That they will always follow their dreams, laugh every day, love to their fullest, and to take care of each other. A good night sleep for Mommy would be nice too! Happy Mother's day to all those heros out there!"
<a href="http://www.kiokko.com/" target="_blank">Cindy Cheung, Montreal, Que.</a> "A morning full of snuggles in bed and be showered with hugs and kisses all day long!"
<a href="http://www.hol-fit.com/" target="_blank">Ange Peters, London, Ont. </a> "I'd like to start the day with a breakfast that didn't come out of a blender and end the day being in bed at 9 p.m. with not single thing on my to do list for Monday morning"
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/andree-lau/" target="_blank">Andree Lau, Richmond, B.C.</a> "Since I'm incapable of sleeping in anymore, I would really like a luxurious brunch at a great restaurant with my great family. The best Mother's Day gift would be a stall-free toddler bedtime that doesn't take hours."
<strong>Kaila Beattie, London, Ont. </strong> "For Mother’s Day I would love a lazy day at home to enjoy some board games, but with NO FIGHTING."
<strong> Tehani Mott, Mississauga, Ont.</strong> "What I REALLY want for Mother's Day is a vacation with my family!"
<strong>Naomi Silver, Toronto</strong> "I am a first time mom who's excited to celebrate my first Mother's Day after many years of extensive fertility treatment. Our little girl is truly a miracle and I am so looking forward to Mother's Day. In the past it was the most painful day and I would hide under my pillow but this year I intend to lavish my baby with endless kisses and celebrate motherhood which is the one thing I have enjoyed most in my life. I don't need gifts or fancy brunches, having my little daughter to squeeze and kiss is priceless."
<strong>Makini Smith, Whitby, Ont. </strong> "What I really want for Mother's Day is breakfast in bed and a clean house with no kids fighting!"
<strong><a href="http://www.claire-cameron.com/" target="_blank">Claire Cameron, Toronto</a> </strong> "I want to hold the damn remote."
<strong>Aliya Jiwan-Thawer, Toronto</strong> "Aside from being able to sleep uninterrupted for hours, what I'd really like is an entire week without having to cook or clean, be able to leave the house without food or boogers on my clothes and some kind of potion that can make the guilt of being a busy working mom magically disappear."
<strong>Bj McCullough, Kanata, Ont.</strong> "The greatest blessing of just ONE day of complete family togetherness. Life is busy, my greatest love is motherhood, I love my kids as BIG as the world. One day with no agenda."
<strong>Ghidei Mahmoud, Toronto</strong> "Continued health and success of my children."
<strong>Heather McDonald, Toronto</strong> “I would like it to be Mother’s DAY not just Mother’s MORNING. I would like to be spoiled all day with homemade gifts and smooches from my sons. I would also like a romantic poem written by my husband, read aloud, telling me how he would be lost without me.”
<strong>Sarena Seidman-Kornblum, Toronto</strong> "A pastry brunch at city bakery in NYC with my son and husband, followed by some family time in Central Park!"
<strong>Barroso Homes, Toronto</strong> "What I really want for Mother's Day is to sleep in (for once), take a long bath (in silence) and then enjoy/share a beautiful breakfast with the two most wonderful and loving children ever. They are truly my 'sunshine' and I could not bare to think I would spend a moment of Mother's Day without them."
<strong>Courtney Lewin, Richmond Hill, Ont. </strong> "What I really want for Mother's Day is homemade cards or special homemade gifts from my sons, a nice bouquet of flowers and to spend the day with the people I love the most in this world."
<strong>Lindsay Collins, Toronto</strong> "I'm running my first 10k on Mother's Day this year and I want my daughter to be at the finish line. I want a moment or two without all the chaos of 'family' to just enjoy being with my kids and my amazing husband. I also want a solid picture with my mom and my kids - with everyone's eyes open, no one with food in their mouth and clothing covering all inappropriate parts. Nothing fancy necessary here; a cell phone picture will do."
<strong>Shawna Newbery, Ottawa, Ont.</strong> "Couch time and cuddles. Better than a croissant any day."
<strong>Tiffany Collins, High Level, Alta </strong> "I'd really love to be able to go to B.C. so my children could meet their grandparents!"
<strong><a href="https://twitter.com/@love_the_design" target="_blank">Christine Flynn, Toronto</a></strong> "This Mother's Day I'm wishing for the three B's - a Break from work, and some time spent with my three Boys (my hubby and my two sons) on the Beach where we spend the summers, near Lake Huron."
<strong>Laura Cheng, Toronto</strong> "For Mothers Day I would LOVE one night of uninterrupted sleep (even if this requires pumping milk and sleeping alone), a relaxing uninterrupted bath and a nice meal with my family at a restaurant we have never been to."
<strong>Brett Liske, Regina, Sask.</strong> "What I really want for Mother's Day is a glimpse into the future to see my children as joyful and wise people, having traversed through life's trials successfully. This glimpse would give me great joy and peace, knowing that they will be ok.
<strong>Maria Cianfrano, North York, Ont.</strong> "What I would love most for Mother's Day is TIME. Whether it be more time with my family or more time for me. Of course, during my "me" time I'd love to have a mani/pedi :)."
<strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/charlotte-singmin/" target="_blank">Charlotte Anna Singmin, Toronto</a></strong> 'For Mother's Day I want for my son to grow up surrounded by love and sunshine, in a world that is peaceful and just. Oh and anything in a little turquoise box would be nice..."
<strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/rebecca-zamon/" target="_blank">Rebecca Zamon, Toronto</a></strong> "I would love for my two-month-old son to allow me to get eight straight hours of sleep — and maybe let me in on what he's thinking. But mostly I'm just thrilled to be celebrating my very first Mother's Day with my beautiful, healthy boy."
<strong>Erica Zamon, Toronto</strong> "My Mother's Day would be perfect if it could include a couple of hours of pampering and some relaxation time — as well as the chance to enjoy the day with my husband and son, and our extended family."
<strong><a href="http://lailabiali.com/" target="_blank">Laila Biali, Brooklyn, N.Y. </a></strong> "For Mother's Day I would like to be carried in a hammock through Prospect Park while I catch up on some reading, and then deposited at a local day spa to enjoy four hours of quiet, vanilla-scented bliss. Dinner with the boys afterwards would also be nice -dine-out only, of course."
<strong>Bhairavi Patel, Richmond Hill, Ont. </strong> "I know boys will be boys, but if they could do a little less fighting and show more love towards each other that would be the best mother's day gift ever!"
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