“My mom smiled at me. Her smile kind of hugged me.” ― R.J. Palacio, Wonder

To me that is a beautiful sentiment. The best kind of all…how we make our kids FEEL. The greatest gifts we can give our children is the knowing that we are there, we care and our love is lasting. When they leave us, hopefully they know how deeply our love goes. When just a smile can help get them through anything. LOVE that.

It is that time of year where we get to celebrate some incredible people…our MOM’S!!

I know it is a couple weeks out, but I thought everyone may need a little time, preparation and great ideas to make this year a bit more memorable. Life is short. Take the time to GIVE YOUR LOVE.

My Mother is in another state, so I need some extra time to make things special, so here are some ideas, gift suggestions, and traditions to help get you moving in making moments really count this year.

Traditions, Unique Gift & Gathering ideas to incorporate from around the globe:

I obviously cannot do every country, so please understand I am just doing various places.

Peru: They celebrate for a week!! Oh, YES. That sounds like an incredible idea to me. Who doesn’t want at least a week of your favorite foods, family time, free entry to places like museums and festivals. I think Peru has the right idea of making the moments really count as a family. Mother’s are adorned with flowers and gifts throughout the week. Who can get too many LOVE notes, really? Right? Another one of their traditions is gathering at cemeteries of those beloved women who have passed on. Families socialize, eat, drink, clean and decorate the grave in honor of them.

My Idea: Make something Peruvian inspired by the fun, colorful patterns of the country. Create a bright card with detailed patterns, Cross-stitch something for Mom, give something llama themed, take her on a family hike, or make a handmade gift. Give your Mom a Rosado (Pink) flower and tell her she is bonita (pretty).

You could also go and decorate a grave of a beloved woman you have lost.

PhilippinesFilipinos, who think of mothers as the ilaw ng tahanan (the light of the home), typically honor their mothers with flowers, chocolates, and small gifts.

My Idea: To remind her that she is The Light of the Home you could gift her with a beautiful candle or a decorative strand of lights, or a special lantern.

Australia–Very similar to the festivities in the US. Lots of flowers are given as gifts, primarily carnations and chrysanthemums are the most popular – chrysanthemums because mom is called “mum.”

ThailandA traditional way that Thai children recognize their moms is with a gift of white jasmine flowers, which symbolize the purity of a mother’s love.

My idea: Gift a special vase of flowers with a ribbon tied to the vase that shares the meaning of the specific flower symbols.[ie: Rose is Love, Lily of the Valley–Return of Happiness, Calla Lilly for feminine beauty, Bellflower means gratitude] OR you could gift them their birth month flower. [ie: April is Daisy] You can google these lists for specific details.

UK calls it Mothering Sunday: Simnel cake– a light fruit cake layered with marzipan are given, breakfast in bed. Families who had moved away would return to the original church they attended. Today, the holiday remains grounded in religion, with many churches handing out daffodils for children to give to Mom. Traditionally, girls also bake a fruitcake for their mothers.-scholastic

My idea: Bake one of her favorites. Whether she is a pie gal, cake or cookie lover–make her something to let her know how special she is to you. Personalize it with frosting or add her favorite fruit for flare. Bake her something yummy.

Italy: La Festa della Mamma [Mom’s Day or Mom’s holiday]—everyone comes home for the holiday OR you must call. Handwritten poems and letters are given with fresh flowers, heart-shaped cakes, the day off from any meals, and all about the quality time with family.

My idea: Give a gift of some kind in a heart shape, whether it is a baked good, a heart rock you find at the beach, a handmade, origami heart garland, heart jewelry, etc. Give a little love and create a quality family memory.

France: Pull out the awards and medals. haha. The idea of a Mother’s Day in France originated during the Napoleonic era when families with a large number of children were presented with medals. Some localities still honor this tradition and present moms with medals on Mother’s Day. The French gift flower bouquet cakes, have intimate, family dinners with everyone bringing handmade gifts, flowers and poems.*

My idea: Well, this would be what I am doing this year for my Mom—vintage flower cards adorned with the specific meanings of each flower and then a personal list of the flower sentiments I would hand deliver in a bouquet (if I were in the same state).

You could also do a family award night & give each family member some type of award–[ie:The funniest in the family, The best at family tree.com, The last to be early, etc.] The awards can be fun and light-hearted or you could make it a sincere evening with loving roasts and quality, family time]

Japan: Japanese dishes associated with mother’s day are the Tamagoyaki (a rectangular omelet) and Chawanmushi (a savory egg custard). Younger kids make handmade gifts or draw portraits of their moms. Calligraphy gifts are also popular.* Thank the moms in your community who help your family by writing notes of gratitude. Tie the notes to white carnations and leave the flowers on the moms’ doorsteps. -scholastic

My idea: Do an omelet bar or sushi night for family. Have everyone bring specific ingredients and enjoy the meal together. You could also draw a portrait or make he a handmade origami garland or card. OR gift her with a special set of sushi utensils and have everyone eat with chopsticks. You could also buy bulk fortune cookies and have everyone share what their fortune reads. fun!!

Some countries create and dedicate songs to the women in their families. Other countries dance to specific music with friends and family. Some give cake over flowers. In Canada it is customary for husbands to give their wives and mothers a rose. China makes handmade cards, while some take holy baths in Nepal. There are so many various traditions to keep families closer and to ensure Mother’s feel loved and appreciated.

*some parts of the info https://www.storiesbysoumya.com/mothers-day-traditions-around-the-world/. Scholastic. 1800flowers.



75 Gift Ideas (all sorts of DIY projects to make a great gift for MOM) https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/holidays/mothers-day/g2412/mothers-day-homemade-gifts-crafts/?slide=33 (Some of MY FAVORITES from the list: Lip scrub, Salt gift set, Garden herb planter, Wrapping paper bouquet, New Mom, Floral bath bombs, Bath tea, Floral pots, Marbled dish, Rope basket, Monogram clay Keychains (or you could make into tiny charms too), Stamped tea towels, arm knit blanket)

Thoughtful and unique gift ideas https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/holidays/mothers-day/g511/mothers-day-gifts/. (Some of MY FAVORITES from the list: Bucket list book, hummingbird feeder, Cloud slippers, “What I Love about Mom” book to add your thoughts and sentiments–these are great! Silk pillowcase [many swear by them], Tabletopics are always good for family gatherings (like Mother’s Day), Petite lemon tree, A small purse to fill with some of her favorite things & tiny notes of love hidden throughout, A 5 yr Q&A journal (Could be a priceless gift to have filled by your loving Mom)

60 DIY Gift Ideas from HGTV https://www.hgtv.com/lifestyle/holidays/diy-mothers-day-gifts-mom-will-love-pictures. (Some of MY FAVORITES: Love the Cozy Night In Gift Basket idea, Gardener Tool box, Wildflower seeds, Twist gift basket, Paper flowers, Lip & Body scrubs, Stamped napkin, Tabletop fire pit, cupcake bouquet, handmade cards, Macrame plant hanger)

Oprah’s Favorite Mother’s Day List https://www.oprahdaily.com/life/relationships-love/g26788572/gifts-for-mom/utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=arb_ga_opr_d_bm_comm_org_us_g26788572&gclid=CjwKCAjwxr2iBhBJEiwAdXECw9NuH-kd7cj9BSna1I-tX9KXvQHUFpcv_epMKvfY8hhsIhEAT_RWDBoC_xAQAvD_BwE

(MY FAVORITES from her list: Warmie Slippers (I want to try some), Oprah’s Love & Happiness Journal (I may want this too), Meditation app, Softies hooded lounger, Mindfulness deck, Barefoot Dreams (love them), Succulents trio, Cooling blanket)

Mom’s Happy Box: I did this for my Mom recently. She was feeling a bit down because of the weather, so I made her a Happy Box and filled it with everything BRIGHT–socks, a couple movies, cut out paper hearts, quotes written on all the sides with happy messages, stuffed plush teddy bear, some of her favorite things. Anything that helped brighten a day!

Special Family Recipes: Frame a special family recipe & share it with all the Mom’s in your family, so they all have a copy. I did this once with a digital recipe book idea. I had everyone share some of their favorite recipes & any special recipes they had from their Mom. Then I made it into a digital book & sent it to everyone in the family. Great gift idea.

MicroGarden: Can buy your home gardener mason jars for an indoor herb garden OR buy an indoor light system to grow herbs.

Intentional card decks: You could go a couple directions with this—you could buy a simple set of cards that are already made for mindfulness, creativity, meditations, affirmations…the list goes on with options. You could also buy a collage set of cards that have various designs, some have photos, some have patterns, styles, places (like beach)… and add your own quotes, personal activities, personal affirmations, date ideas, challenges to give your mom, Love notes from each person in your family, recipes, the options are endless of what to write on the back. Get creative. Give with intention.

Jewelry. Jewelry can be a great gift, but jewelry given with meaning…oh, the sentiment. Find a piece of jewelry that speaks or shares a simple message. Maybe you find something with her birthstone OR maybe you find something that has a special symbol of something she loves [ie: maybe her favorite flower is a daisy, so you find a sweet, daisy chain inspired necklace or ring] Maybe she collects something. Maybe she has a specific dream she is after. Think of a little charm that symbolizes something meaningful [ie: She wants to take more pictures, so you get her a tiny camera charm to accompany a new camera bag] OR maybe she loves the ocean, so you get her a simple, tiny shell necklace that you gift with a thoughtful ocean quote. So many options.

Personal pics: Pictures are always a favorite. To see cherished memories looping on a digital frame, hundreds layed out in a picture book or a simple video made to share with family and friends… Priceless. Pictures bring memories to life and help you hold those moments to be cherished forever. Just share—in some way.

Whatever you do in your family—just do it with LOVE. xoxo

Make heartfelt gifts, write handwritten notes, take the time to express your gratitude and sentiments to those dearest to you. It is one time a year, so take the time. Share your heart. Give with your greatest feelings. People need to feel, hear, be seen and cherished, especially our moms.

Well, I hope these ideas get you thinking of something very special you can create for your mom. Life is a great occasion, so do your best to make Mother’s Day a GRAND OCCASION. The beautiful women in your life deserve your very best!

Peace. Love. Light and Happy JOYS to you. xoxo -H

Happy Mother’s Day Week

Tammy-Swales-Rochester-NY-Photographer-Portraits-mother-daughter-laughing-studioHappy Mother’s Day Week

I wanted to share with you the following beautiful you tubes..share it with your sons & daughters. [I am putting two separate versions–son & daughter]

As a mother we have a responsibility to lift our children higher, to see them as the beautiful gifts that have been given to us. We get to love them every single day and cherish the moments and memories that we experience. I hope this Mother’s Day week you will take a moment & share with your children why you LOVE being their mother. Those moments are priceless. Make this week memorable: Write your children a love note, sit and watch a fun movie together, go on a Mommy/Missy or Mommy/Me date, Make friendship bracelets and wear them all week, give them a special charm that means something between the two of you. Sure it is your Mother’s Day Week, but make it special with those that made you a Mother.

Enjoy the movies.

black-and-white-daughter-family-love-mother-favim-com-110567FOR DAUGHTERS


Some other fun pics & quotes to make you smile about Mother’s Day


A great gift for Mother’s Day…


I read this beautiful parable and was so touched by the beautiful images and emotion that it holds. This would be a wonderful gift to share with your Mom this Mother’s Day. Blessings to you and your family.

Parable of Motherhood

Temple Bailey

this was originally published in Good Housekeeping Magazine in 1933

The young mother set her foot on the path of life.  “Is the way long?” she asked.  And her guide said, “Yes, and the way is hard.  And you will be old before you reach the end of it.  But the end will be better than the beginning.”  But the young mother was happy and she would not believe that anything could be better than those years.  So she played with her children and gathered flowers for them along the way and bathed them in the clear streams; and the sun shone on them and life was good, and the young mother cried, “Nothing will never be lovelier than this.”

Then night came, and storm, and the path was dark and the children shook with fear and cold, and the mother drew them close and covered them with her mantle and the children said, “Oh Mother, we are not afraid, for you are near, and no harm can come,” and the mother said, “This is better than the brightness of day, for I have taught my children courage.”

And the morning came, and there was a hill ahead and the children climbed and grew weary, and the mother was weary, but at all times she said to the children,  “A little patience and we are there.”  So the children climbed and when they reached the top, they said, “We could not have done it without you, Mother.”  And the mother, when she lay down that night, looked up at the stars and said, “This is a better day than the last, for my children have learned fortitude in the face of hardness.  Yesterday I gave them courage, today I have given then strength.”

And with the next day came strange clouds which darkened the earth, clouds of war and hate and evil–and the children groped and stumbled, and the mother said, “Look up.  Lift your eyes to the light.”  And the children looked and saw above the clouds an Everlasting Glory, and it guided them and brought them beyond the darkness.  And that night the mother said,  “This is the best day of all for I have shown my children God.”

And the days went on, and the weeks and the months and the years, and the mother grew old, and she was little and bent.  And her children were tall and strong and walked with courage.  And when the way was rough they lifted her, for she was as light as a feather; and at last they came to a hill, and beyond the hill they could see a shining road and golden gates flung wide.  And the mother said, “I have reached the end of my journey.  And now I know that the end is better than the beginning, for my children can walk alone and their children after them.”  And the children said, “You will always walk with us, Mother, even when you have gone through the gates.”

And they stood and watched her as she went on alone, and the gates closed after her.  And they said, “We cannot see her, but she is with us still.  A mother like ours is more than a memory.  She is a Living Presence.”

Ideas to make Mommy Day special.

Image“Being a mother means that your heart is no longer yours; it wanders wherever your children do.”  -Unknown

It’s Mommy week!! Cheers to all you Mothers out there who do your best to make each day a little brighter for those little ones in your life. Mother’s have this amazing job to take a little piece of heaven, nurture it, teach it, watch it grow and tenderly love it through every life challenge, every moment of frustration, every turn of events, every tear, every joy! That is the gift of Motherhood. So please take a special moment this week to admire, recognize, thank, hug and squeeze your Mommy. She needs it!! So send her some love. Here are some ideas to do just that…

Tell her you love her by saying Thank you: I can’t tell you how my heart sings when my little daughter says thank you for something I have done for her. A Thank you goes a long way.

Personalize it: Make a gift that is especially from you…write her a song, dedicate a song, make a cd with music she’ll like, write a special letter, create a 50 things I love about you list, make a card, a page of history, write her a poem, take a photo & frame it, Personalized mug, ring or necklace with her birthstone, Make a scrapbook page, Frame artwork from the kids, do a fun photo poster or calendar (walmart) with a collage of your family favorites, Make a recipe book, Make her a personalized rice bag to warm sore muscles, Make a fun letter that has a variety of ways to say I love you in different languages,

Give some service: do chores without being asked, help in the yard, baby sit, clean & dust the house, make her breakfast in bed or a fancy, candlelit dinner, clean her car, clean the fridge or oven, fold the laundry, change all the baby diapers for the day, etc.

Other great gift ideas: Take her out to dinner, Buy her flowers with a special meaning that is personalized for her (i.e.: May is known for Lily of the Valley which means sweetness; humility; return of happiness. There are specific flowers for each month, so you could also do flowers from her birth month–google flower meanings), Make her a special piece of jewelry that is truly one-of-a-kind (have every child pick out a charm at a craft store–something that symbolizes mom & put them all on a necklace or charm bracelet), Go shopping with the kids & pick out a special outfit perfect for mom, Have everyone pick out a favorite flower & plant them in a special pot & create a cute planter pick signed by all the kids, Give her a spa day–a new robe, new slippers (with love notes & lotions tucked inside the big pockets) & some alone time, Make her a garden grow gift–get a big pot & put gloves, shoes, small garden tools, seeds & special notes of thanks for ‘helping us bloom & grow’, Have a fun night of dipping fruits in chocolate, Make special ‘Reasons I Love you’ notes & put them in a special bottle or jar, Buy a plain phone case & have the kids sign & decorate it (with sharpies, gemstones, good stickers, etc), Buy a cheaper yoga mat & have the kids write a love note on the mat edge with sharpies, Buy her a new bag & fill it with her favorite things (magazine, lipgloss, snack, water, book, movie, etc)

More Unique Gifts: Try uncommon goods.com (they have unique gift ideas), Redenvelope has tasteful, special gift ideas, Personalizationmall.com (personalized gifts), Walmart has lots of fun photo gift ideas

Make this Mommy Day Memorable. She is one of the most important people in your life.

-Make it Great!!  Heather