gift guide: mother’s day.

May 4, 2017

mother's day gift guide 2017 | reading my tea leaves
For anyone looking to give the mothers in their lives a little something special on Mother’s Day this year, here are a few ideas for the adventurous, thrill-seeking, tech-savvy, gadget-loving, handy, all-around brilliant and dynamic mothers in your lives.

A pale pink recycled duck bag.

A safety razor for going plastic-free with.

A fancy camera that fits in your pocket.

A bright orange tool box for wrangling tool sets.

A heavy-duty cooler for this summer’s camping trips. 

A pair of wireless headphones for binge-listening to S-Town.

A cloud watcher’s companion.

A portable grill.

A bag of exceptional coffee.

A classic rocker with a camp vibe.

Action items:

In an effort to ground all of this gift-giving in something a bit more down to earth, here are a few things we can do today to help mothers at home and around the world:

For pregnant mothers in precarious places: Support Every Mother Counts, a global nonprofit dedicated to making pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother. They work both internationally and right here in the US, one of only thirteen countries with a rising maternal mortality rate.

For indigenous mothers and mothers of color: Support Sistersong, a nonprofit with a mission to strengthen and amplify the collective voices of indigenous women and women of color to achieve reproductive justice by eradicating reproductive oppression and securing human rights.

For mothers who fear for the lives of their kids: Support Black Lives Matter, a nonprofit dedicated to “working for a world where Black lives are no longer systematically and intentionally targeted for demise.”

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  • Reply Erin May 4, 2017 at 9:26 am

    How I wish I could afford a Yeti cooler for my mom! I got her a three-generations necklace – one part for her, one for me, and one for my daughter. It’s like a modern day friendship necklace but, for families!

    My husband bought me an early mother’s day present – a bike! Yay! Hoorah for having a car free option for distances a bit too long to walk. 🙂

  • Reply Rylie May 4, 2017 at 9:38 am

    I just love how you’re combining the whimsical and lovely posts that have been regulars on this blog, but with practical action items that you stand behind ❤️

  • Reply Judith May 4, 2017 at 9:58 am

    As always, you’ve got it covered. In my family, meaningful donations have become the go-to gifts. One last thing though, for readers who can, hug your mother!

  • Reply Elaine May 4, 2017 at 10:01 am

    My mother passed in 2014 (this month is her 3-year anniversary). I will donate to Sister Song in her name as a Mother’s Day gift to her, something she would have supported. She was a strong feminist. I’ll post the Sister Song site on FB so that others will be aware of their work and may also donate. I’ll never stop being a daughter.

  • Reply Celia May 4, 2017 at 11:11 am

    Um, love love love how non gender cliched these are. So thoughtful + smart.

    • Reply Genevieve May 4, 2017 at 4:20 pm


  • Reply Carmella May 4, 2017 at 11:18 am

    I can give the razor a hearty thumbs up! Have been using it for a couple years now, and I still haven’t used up a the tiny box of blades I got with it. Love

  • Reply Jess May 4, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    That’s a safety razor, not a straight razor

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE May 4, 2017 at 12:15 pm

      Totally! Thanks for the catch, Jess!

  • Reply Danielle May 4, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    May I ask if you own this tool box? I’m actually looking for one right now. Do you use this model? Is there a reason you chose to lit this one in particular?

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE May 4, 2017 at 3:42 pm

      I don’t! My tool boxes are all vintage, but I loved the classic look and professional quality of this bright orange one and it fit into the color scheme I envisioned for this post!

      • Reply Genevieve May 4, 2017 at 4:23 pm

        I liked this toolbox–but in clicking through I noticed these similarly attractive ones (I think so anyway) in blue, which are made in Japan. Just thought I’d share in case anyone was interested. I ordered it for my sewing supplies, which I’ve been trying to reorganize this year in a more useful and pretty way than they way they were previously stored (in grimy plastic crates inherited from my sister’s dorm room).

        • Reply ERIN BOYLE May 4, 2017 at 4:26 pm

          Yes! Love a good Trusco, too!

  • Reply Marie May 4, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    I know this is a Mother’s Day post, but wanted to let you know that it just made my dad’s day too. He bought a Ny chair in the 70s, I loved it growing up, and he gave it to my husband and me for our first house (it’s a favorite of our toddler’s too!) We had no idea it was in MoMA’s collection. Thanks for making us smile over here!

    • Reply Janet May 5, 2017 at 12:47 pm

      We had the Ny chair in the late 70s through the early 90s, purchased from my aunt’s & uncle’s Danish import store in Fort Worth. I wish I still had it, but my husband decided to get rid of it during a move.

  • Reply Mary May 4, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    The duck bag is already sold out on the link you provided. But it is available on the Baggu site:

  • Reply Samantha May 5, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    I need to invest in a new camera myself (haha) and am debating between a more compact one and something larger like the Canon 5D.

  • Reply Carmen May 6, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    your links at the bottom of this post made me get tear-y eyed. thank you so much for speaking the truth! also this was the least shitty mothers day gift guide ive ever seen. thanks for including diverse gifts!

  • Reply chefxchange May 9, 2017 at 10:30 am

    Love this post! Even though it’s no longer Mother’s Day in the UK – even as part of a birthday gift these are fab!

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