Our Best Bites 2013 Mother’s Day Gift Guide!

CATEGORIES: Friday Faves, Gift Guides, Kate

Sara and I were talking the other day and realized that we haven’t done a theme week in a long time–like a week where we post every single day about a certain theme. Since this is the week before Mother’s Day, and since we’re moms and since many of you are moms, and since pretty much everyone has a mom and/or mom figures in their lives, we figured this was something worth celebrating. If you see something on the list you love, you can subtlety send this to your significant other/kids/dad and let them know you’re in the market for something awesome. We have lots of fun things planned this week, so be sure to check back every day!

Our Best Bites Mother's Day Week

Now…let’s talk Mother’s Day gifts. Everyone has their views on Mother’s Day presents and what they want or don’t want. Mother’s Day can be intensely personal, rife with lots of emotions, so let me preface this with these are things that I have and that I would want for Mother’s Day–this is like Kate’s Favorite Things, Mother’s Day edition. That said, there are a few of MY hard, fast Mother’s Day gift rules.

1. Buy her something for HER. I know as a mom, especially when I’m pregnant (I’m NOT, by the way…just clarifying that times 1,000), I end up spending a lot of my “funny money” on baby or kid items and don’t buy anything for myself. I also remember a moment when my older two kids were about 4 and 1 and all I wanted in the universe was my own water bottle without having to fight someone for it. It’s easy to let our identities be defined by our kids and our mother-ness, but there’s nothing wrong with a little something just for her.

2. Don’t buy her a scale. Unless she specifies, like, 22 times, don’t buy her new exercise clothes or workout videos or gym memberships or sessions with a personal trainer or a vacuum or a scum buster.

3. Unless she tells you, “Honey, there is nothing more in this universe that I want than a Harry Potter Lego set,” don’t buy her Harry Potter Legos. Not speaking from any kind of personal experience here.

Now…what should you get? There are always gift cards (Target, Starbucks, one for a spa/massage/pedicure, iTunes, Amazon, etc.) But what if you want to get something a little more personal? Well, today I’m your girl–here’s a collection of some of my very favorite things, ranging from $6-$450. As always with favorite things posts, all of these opinions are TOTALLY my own and I haven’t been compensated in any way for any of these products.

Our Best Bites Mother's Day Kitchen Gifts1. Yeah…that’s a Blendtec. Did your wife have triplets? Did your mom kick cancer’s butt this year? Did you buy her a scale last year? Are you all-around awesome and need something to show for it? If so, this is your thing. This is the grand-daddy of all Mother’s Day gifts. Shop around–it’s likely you can find a deal on these somewhere, but that pricetag can be a tough pill to swallow no matter what. The damage? $359-$454.

2. If the Blendtec is the grand-daddy of Mother’s Day gifts, a 7 1/4-quart Le Creuset is the Godfather. Literally. Those things are heavy enough to use as a weapon. Luckily, it’ll clean up nicely afterwards and will last forever, definitely something that becomes a family treasure. The one in the picture is $299 on Amazon.

3. Moms love Our Best Bites cookbooks. Just sayin’…Find them here and here at Amazon for $18-$19.

Mother's Day Kitchen Gifts from Our Best Bites4. These little OXO beakers are so handy! They’re for measuring small liquid measurements, like under a tablespoon. Plus they’re adorable. $10 on Amazon.

5. Every time this whisk shows up in my prep pictures, I get about 10 emails wondering where it came from. Also…in case you can’t tell from this picture, I like rainbow-colored stuff. Like a 5-year-old. Sue me. Anyway, you can find this whisk here at Sur la Table for $15.

6. I talked about these pans in this post and they are AWESOME–hands-down the best bread pans EVER. You can get them on Amazon for $15.

7. Can we talk knives for a second? Knives and I have a complicated relationship. When we remodeled our kitchen in 2011, I bought a new set to celebrate and I kind of ended up hating them. Enter these bad boys. They are so cute and so sharp and so easy to take care of and they work AMAZINGLY. And the best part? You can get this set without breaking the bank–they clock in at $55. This is seriously the first knife set I haven’t regretted buying.

Now…does your mom love her iPhone? Your BFF have a DSLR camera? These are some of my favorite things!Techy Mother's Day Gifts1. Canon 40mm lens. This is a cute, tiny little pancake lens that’s relatively new in the Canon world. Many people swear by the 50mm lens, and I LOVE mine and think it’s fabulous. But it can be a little limiting. I think the 40mm is a fantastic all-purpose lens–it’s great for keeping on your camera when you’re walking around, it’s great for food, it’s great for snapping pics of your kids, AND, in terms of lenses, it’s a steal at around $149.

2. There are tons of cute camera straps floating around, but I think this one might be my favorite. It’s pretty, feminine, sturdy, and comfortable. $49 on Amazon.

3. There are people out there who love a big, fat Otterbox for their iPhone, and honestly, based on how my phone gets abused, I probably should have my phone in one. But I like something sleeker and smaller. And, of course, available in a rainbow of colors. These are available for iPhone 4/4s or iPhone 5 for about $10.

Now…I’m not going to get into fashion or jewelry because I feel like jewelry is super personal and I’m by no means a fashionista. But here are some of my favorite things I think are just CUTE.

Mother's Day Cute Stuff 1. This shirt from Gap is comfortable, cute, forgiving, available in lots of colors, and looks great with shorts or jeans and it’s $25.

2. This is my FAVORITE purse–it’s cute, it’s practical, it’s the perfect size, and it even has pockets for bottles/sippy cups/water bottles so it can double as a diaper bag. This is the pattern I have, but there are lots of other adorable prints here. If you’re not sure about the purse, the wallets, clutches, and smaller bags are just as cute. $98 at Zappos.

3. I love flip flops. These cute little Roxy flip flops are cute enough to wear out of the house (unlike those cheap $2 ones from the bargain bin, which also have their place). $19 at Amazon.

Our Best Bites Mother's Day Beauty Gifts1. Sara and I love all things aqua and Essie’s Turquoise and Caicos nail polish is no exception (I also love Candy Apple Mint) $6 from Target.

2. This mascara. Oh, my gosh, I’ve been searching for this mascara for all of my post-pubescent years. I got a sample of Benefit They’re Real mascara and it is a mascara miracle. I get effortless, non-clumpy, long, pretty eyelashes. At $20 for the full-size at Sephora, It’s spendier than drugstore mascara, but you can also get a decent-sized travel tube for $10.

3. Crimpers are all super cool right now, but since I lived through the ’80s and early ’90s, I don’t need to re-live it. The Bed Head Deep Weaver, on the other hand, gives you big, beachy waves in just a few minutes. And at $21, you can’t really beat it when it comes to hair tools (hello, $100 flat irons).

4. I have a hard time with coconut-scented stuff. Sometimes it smells like Hawaii and sometimes it has a weird after-smell. I tried this lotion on one day and ended up smelling myself all the way home. It smells like the stuff they use in tanning salons (although I’ve never actually gone tanning, cross my heart and hope to die. I did, however, have one rather unfortunate experience with spray tanning when my legs turned green.) If that’s up your alley, Aruba Coconut Body Cream is $12.50 at Bath and Body Works.

Now…have you hated everything I’ve posted so far? Not seen anything that’s grabbed your fancy? That’s okay, I’ll give it one more shot. Here’s my collection of random stuff…

Random Mother's Day Gifts1. These Copco cups are my FAVORITE! I fill them up with water throughout the day. They’re cute, easy to clean, and come in lots of colors. Plus, they’re perfect for filling up with smaller trinkets like gift cards, chocolate, chocolate, and chocolate. $8 from Amazon.

2. Hitting the road this summer? Luggage a little trashed? This luggage set is sturdy and comes in great colors. It’s nice enough to hold up, but it’s not SO expensive that you’ll die inside when it gets marked or ripped or crushed as luggage inevitably does. $149 for the set of 3 suitcases at Amazon.

3. Yes, that is Stephen King. As in Stephen King, the horror novelist. 11/22/63 is big and heavy and I totally recommend reading it on an electronic device because it’s not nearly as daunting that way. It’s about a time-traveling English teacher who is trying to stop the assassination of John F. Kennedy. It’s funny and sad and not really scary (although there are some crossovers into some of his other stories, like It) and, at the heart of it all, a love story that left me in tears in the final pages. It’s not exactly G-rated, but it’s a book that was kind of life-changing for me (for the better). It ranges from $9.99-$24.99 on Amazon.

4. Yeah, I’m still addicted to Bath & Body Works candles. These are 3 of my favorite summer scents (apparently I’m into fruity smells this summer). Every time I’m burning Island Margarita and someone comes over, they comment on how amazing it smells. Market Peach and Lemon Mint Leaf are equally yummy. These range from $3-$20 at Bath and Body Works, but coupons and promotions are NOT hard to come by.

Hopefully this gives you some ideas for Mother’s Day gifts, even if we’re kind of down to the last minute! Be sure to come back every day this week–we’ve got giveaways, recipes, and other fun stuff that you don’t want to miss!


  1. I love that aqua blue luggage. Think how easy it would be to spot your bags coming off the belt instead of wondering if that black bag or the other black bag is yours. Great suggestions, Kate. Can’t wait to see what else is up your sleeve for this week since I have no clue what I’m going to cook for my mom this Sunday.

  2. This is a fabulous list! I am doing a new kitchen soon, I think. I’m happy to hear your review of the adorable knives! I always wonder about them when I see them pictured. Glad to know you like them. I’m still using some awful ones from my wedding 12 years ago.

  3. I got 2 of your bread pans for mother’s day last year. I loved them so much I got 4 more for Christmas and now I have enough to make all my bread. Love them! And I love your knife idea, but I think they might make an appearance for my husband on Father’s Day instead of this week. Great post!

  4. I love this post! I love to buy my mom& MIL thoughtful, useful, and beautiful gifts and these are all great ideas! And a tool for leaving hints for the hubs for me too. I’m gonna leave this page up on his computer! Sara & Kate, hope your upcoming Mother’s Day is full of love! Thank you for all the great posts & recipes!!!

  5. Just so you know, I did ask for Harry Potter Legos for Christmas . . . and my wonderful husband got me them for me. Maybe I can swing a Le Creuset for Mothers’ Day?

  6. Can you please clue me in on if these USA bread loaf pans rust? I have a ton of pans that rust if I put them in my dishwasher all except my porcelin coated pan, which I can’t find anywhere.

    1. They do say in the product information not to put the pans in the dishwasher. They argue the harsh cleaners break down the nonstick properties.

      1. I barely even wash mine at all. My bread comes out with not a single crumb left on the pan so I just wipe them with a soft cloth while they’re still hot and put them away. If anything, it will only season the pans and make them better. I use them every single week and after a year they still look brand new — no gunk in the corners or anything. They are awesome!

  7. Great list! My husband and I LOVE Le Creuset. I received a big–and I mean BIG–pot from my boss a few years ago for Christmas. What a dream! Since then, my husband and I have expanded our collection. We are extremely fortunate to have a Le Creuset outlet within an hour of our house and have scored some awesome prices. It might be crazy, but I will never be upset if hubby buys me a piece of Le Creuset for every holiday/birthday/occasion. 🙂 Enjoy your Mother’s Day!

      1. My nephew laughs and says his kids don’t understand the concept of shopping at a store. They think you just order whatever you want from Amazon and it comes to you. I’m not sure they realize someone pays for it to get the stuff shipped. I balked for several years about an Amazon Prime membership but I have to say it is worth the cost. Free 2 day shipping on any size order plus the other perks like Prime videos and (if you own one) a free Kindle book to read each month. Love Amazon!

  8. Just got a blendtec (designer series) for my birthday and I love it! We bought it at Bed Bath & Beyond using a 20% a single item coupon and it saved us 90$. Bed Bath & Beyond takes expired coupons and it seems like they are always sending new ones out. Just an idea for someone in the market for one.

  9. I love, love lists of favorite items! Thanks for sharing your gift ideas. Your site and recipes are amazing. Happy Mother’s Day:)

  10. Oh my goodness, you had me seriously laughing with your comment about the Harry Potter Legos. Hilarious! I’d love to hear the full story!

  11. My 2-year-old stole my water bottle just this morning! How is it that any time a kid takes a drink of anything there are suddenly nasty floaties in your drink? Even when they haven’t eaten in an hour? So gross.
    I’m campaigning for a Blendtec. I never thought to use 20% off at BB&B. Game changer!!!

    1. Not only can you use the coupon but any gift cards…no matter the number. I got one using the coupon and seventeen gift cards.

  12. You can buy the Blendec at Costco for $329 right now. I saw them there last week, and it has the bigger wildside jar with it.

  13. Had to laugh when I just saw a deal at Target for 20% off Legos (just in time for Mother’s Day!). I agree with you on the bread pans and the muffin tins are super too. I’d like to replace some old nonstick loaf pans with these as well as a muffin pan that has no edges and is totally annoying to use in the oven when you try not to bump the soft muffins or cupcakes with the oven mitt. And they are great for releasing things. Some really great ideas on both ends of the price for folks buying for mom. Mine is 3 days away by package so all my shopping is done but I still plan on making a cake to mail with all the goodies. Thanks for a fun and informative read. Still other holidays out there for Mom…or just “because” because moms are amazing…no doubt about it.

  14. I’ve got bread pans that are very similar. I wash them by hand and, call me compulsive – I can own it, I use a toothpick to get any gunk hiding in the cracks in the corners out. How do you wash yours?

  15. This past Saturday night I received the Our Best Bites cookbook for my mother’s day gift! Love it! I have both of them now and I’m so happy with the contents. My family loves the recipes too! Thanks ladies!

  16. Just had to say that I have those knives – my guys gave them to me for my birthday – and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them!!! Super cute and they work so well.

  17. Totally shared this with my husband “hint hint” He got me a sewing machines for our anniversary/mother’s day but my birthday is coming up! 😉 Love the beakers. Every time you use them I show the post to my husband and say THOSE ARE SO CUTE and he doesn’t get it.
    Ps. How do legs turn green with spray on tan??

  18. The Legos cracked me up. I live in house full of boys and they always think Legos are the gift everyone would love…especially now since they make girl themed Legos 🙂

  19. I recently moved, and have a whole foods store half a mile away. Gosh, what have I missed all my life. I am making baked goods for my grandmothers and mother this mother’s day. I also made them little wooden boxes with photos on them. But, seriously an e-card to WHOLE FOODS…. WOW I NEED ONE BADLY.

  20. Love your pages! What I would like for mother’s day is a picnic on the trail – going with the burn more than you consume, if you have to carry your food in, you can eat the really good stuff! And premade sandwiches and salads from Whole Foods would be perfect 😉

  21. Love all the ideas. But that Bed head deap weaver is awesome. (Nothing compares to the Blendtec)
    But awesome summer hair at that price… sold.

  22. I’m with you on 11/22/63. Changed my life. LOVE this book, and as much as I want a movie (can you imagine how much fun to recreate the 50’s and 60’s on screen?), I’m afraid it wouldn’t do this amazing book justice. Everyone should read it.

    1. I heard they’re actually talking to JJ Abrams and are considering making it into a TV series–like a real TV series, not a miniseries. I thought that was super interesting–one of the things I love about the new breed of TV shows is that they’re given the time to explore something so huge.

  23. I like your Mother’s Day gift suggestions and also the theme week. I’ve tried many of your recipes and there are a lot I still want to make.

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