The Little Known Reason That Mother’s Day Kind of Sucks

Hey Guys,

First of all thank you so much for the dozens of you who took the time to help this tired designer! It took me two days to recover from reading and responding to all of your kind messages about my bedroom.

Sorry, after nearly 100 comments from you plus a lot of emails, I’m done pooped. So, I had to turn them off, but just for that post. I’ll be updating you soon about that.  (I hope)But please know that your suggestions are very helpful.

One thing I’ve pretty much decided on however, is that the Haiku fan should go in the kitchen. But that too needs work! Oh dear… I’m working on it!

In the meantime, it is three weeks before Mother’s Day and I don’t usually do gift lists, but think it’s high time I did. I don’t know about you, but it always feels like my mind goes blank before I have to get a gift for someone–especially my mom.

But, as far as I’m concerned, I’d rather do without it. I’ve had too many Mother’s Days that were well… how should we say, not exactly what one would expect. Maybe some of you have had that too? But for those who get treated right, I thought it would be fun to come up with– well, mostly stuff I would like. haha!

I figure if I, a mother would like it, then some others would too?


To make it a little easier, I’ve broken things down into a few different  categories


  • Cheap but classy– Well, I think so. Gifts $25.00 or less.
  • Mid – range – between $25-$50
  • Mom Deserves it – between $50-$100
  • Best Mom in the World and/or you’ve got bucks to spend and/or you need something from her ;] over $100.00
  • Gardening Essentials (if she digs gardening)


I would head over to Terrain. And actually, not just for gardeners. They have a fabulous collection of beautiful gifts for Mom and it’s just a great site. For Laurel’s Rolodex owners, you can find it on page 184.



  • Kitchen Essentials – if she likes to cook or even if she doesn’t like to cook, but wants to impress her friends on instagram.

Williams-Sonoma really does have it all.

You can even get Mom a La Cornue!

pretty please? I just need the little one. :]



I’ve also tried to include some things you might not have thought of… Most gifts are well under $100 but some are more than that. Something for everyone, hopefully.


Cheap, But Classy (Well, I think so.)


World Market English Garden Chinoiserie Infuser Mugs

English Garden Tea Infuser Chinoiserie Mugs for only $12.00


How pretty is that! But there’s much more below.


My son Cale gave me a pair of funky PJ bottoms from Anthropologie for my birthday a couple of years ago. I’m wearing them right now!


More Gifts Under $25 from Anthropologie

And more charming trinket dishes. I love these!

Does Mom Love Vintage style for her kitchen?

I love this line of cool kitchen necessities found at Anthropologie

Mother's Day Gifts mini bowl set

I have a set of the mini bowls in turquoise and I love them!


Next comes the Mid-range Mother’s Day gifts between $25.00-$50.00


Like how about these fabulous Staffordshire porcelain dogs from Biscuit Home

awwww… They’d look great sitting on the fireplace mantel.


Or how about starting or adding to a collection Mom already has.


Every special occasion, get her a new piece or two for her collection. That would be fun.


More Anthropologie teapots

Love this Hobnail Pitcher. It also comes in green and blue.

More Anthropologie Pitchers

Pitchers are great for drinks and also for flowers and like Nancy Keyes  uses them for storing kitchen utensils.

Nancy Keyes beautiful kitchen with her sterling pitchers used for holding utensils – love!



Does Mom have a brown thumb?  Or does the thought of shelling out 100 bucks for flowers only to have them die in a few days seem like a waste? (although, there’s nothing like fresh flowers!) French Bee on One King’s Lane has dozens of gorgeous silk flower arrangements.

Stage Mom’s console table for her ala Mark D. Sikes.


Speaking of which… It’s the High Point market (I stayed behind this time) and that boy is ripping up the interwebs with his Giga-gorgeous collection for Henredon. Can I say that I singled him out a few years ago as one of the 20 designers I would hire.


  image via Marisa Marcantonio of Style Beat

I should hire him to do my bedroom. LOL My directive would be.

“just do it!”

Mark D. Sikes Collection for Henredon at High Point Market Spring 2017

kitchenaid artisan mixer

If it was 10-15 years ago… I would’ve wanted one of these beauties. But, let’s not go there. :]


Can’t afford it? Well, it’s not the same quality mixer, I’m sure. But it’s awfully cool looking from World Market. I would be happy with this too!

nicole dinardo - kitchenaid mixer hand painted

BTW, Have you ever seen these hand-painted, or maybe they are decals – mixers by Nicole Dinardo?

She can do anything to your mixer.


Want to see more gifts?


And more here too!  (below. just use the little arrow to see more). Hope this guide gave y’all some great ideas for Mother’s Day. And if you happen to be like me and your children always forget or can’t be bothered, just get something(s) for yourself. :]

But once in a while, they surprise me. The trick is to not expect anything and then I’m never (too) disappointed.




This post contains affiliate links which means if you click on something and make a purchase, I’ll probably make a little something. It’s at no extra charge to you and it helps defer the massive expense of running this website. I only post products that I have used, wish I could have and specify for my clients.


46 Responses

  1. I’ve ventured on your blog quite a while ago and really enjoy your content, advice and your witty personality, however, I have now fallen in love with you and your blog! I LOVED your bedroom post for its realness and especially your openness about Mother’s Day that touched my heart. Just wanted to say Thank You for your honesty you’re putting out there! You truly are a breathe of fresh air – xo

    1. Oh thank you Tracy! This makes my day! I’m probably even more “real” than I’m making myself out to be. lol In my mind, I’m Carolyne Roehm. The reality… Well, I do keep on trying and I so appreciate those who live in beauty, seemingly effortlessly.(money does help with the effort part) But, I’ve come to realize that I love looking at beauty (and writing about it) more than I like working at it. Ya know?

      1. Yea, I hear ya! In my mind I’m currently living on Patina Farm – hahahaha Reality is I have laundry that awaits and dishes in the sink and a weeks worth of piled up mail all while I blog hop to escape in beauty for just a bit. xo

  2. Hi Laurel,
    Your post made me chuckle. A topic I’ve often thought about but never said out loud. I have two unmarried sons, 28 and 31, whom do not live in the state I live in… a triple whammy – sons, unmarried, and out of state. I’ve tackled this coming Mother’s Day with a plan for a 5k (walking with a girlfriend) in which every finisher gets a medal. Ok,ok, not ideal. My secret hope is that someday they have wives who recognize the joy of marking the day. I’ll be thinking of you on May 14.
    p.s. If you ever want to walk in a 5k, I’m about a hour from NYC.

    1. Hi Joanne,

      I think it’s a boy thing. Well, male thing since they are actually grown men now. haha. The walk sounds lovely. Which way are you an hour from NYC? I’m a smidgey north now. I used to be an hour north of the city.

    2. Central NJ, west of NYC. *But I come into NY a few times a month to the East side in the area of the 60’s. Occasionally eat at Etaly by the Flatiron building. I often look around and think… Laurel might be here! 😀

  3. I’ll take the last item shown! I need a new hat for gardening. Just invited my mother-in-law for dinner. I don’t mind cooking and having my kids at the table is the best gift! Wishing you a blessed day.

    1. Oh hi Maura! I had to check the email address to make sure it was THE Maura. :] I don’t think I’ve ever had a conventional life. But it’s like I came full circle and now i’m back in my 20s. haha!

  4. The love and care you put into your family comes through in every post where you mention your boys. The challenge of parenting a special needs child are heart wrenching. You are a hero. Happy Mother’s Day!

  5. I have certainly had my share of mother’s days that I was not happy about. I suppose anyone who is a mother probably has. Sometimes my son does something wonderful, like the gorgeous set of Chinese dinnerware he sent me right before Thanksgiving. (He lives in Beijing) One year I visited him when he lived in Santa Monica, and we went to the Getty Museum and then to the Farmer’s Market where I got a humongous bouquet of beautiful flowers. So — I suppose we remember the good ones, let the lesser ones go. One commenter mentioned how we bring them up to be independent, and I think that’s the best gift of all — when we know we have succeeded. I have a cousin whose 45 year old son still lives in her basement — so I tell myself that I must have done something right.

    1. Hi Ellen,

      It sounds like you did a lot of things right. But a mother (and father) can do everything right and even go the extra thousand miles and it doesn’t matter. A neuro-psychologist told us once. “You can’t make your kids better than they’re going to be, but you can make them worse.” I very much believe that.

  6. Hi Laurel, I’m always in need of ideas for gifts. Thanks for this treasure trove! This is the fourth time I attempted to write a comment but I keep getting sidetracked by looking yet another link and getting lost in time! Focus!

    How absolutely wonderful that you and your son had the visit to the botanical garden. Magical.
    The only time I’ve been was on a Mother’s Day about 25 years ago. I attended a program there at what is now a wedding venue! The theme was “Growing up in the Bronx”. Later, I wandered the grounds, totally transported by the beauty, the people and a timeless quality. Even if that nature was well-manicured and managed!

    I’m glad for you that you are freed from a soul-crushing situation. You are creating a ‘better past’ for yourself as you navigate the ever-changing ‘present’.

    A belated congratulations on your
    Blogaversary and wishing you Happy Mother’s Day!

  7. Dear Laurel,
    Special needs children are indeed special. Nuff said.
    My son in law sends me flowers for Mother’s Day so it is always special when I get them…….and every year I wonder if last year was the last time….haha.
    I mentioned to Hubs last week that raising children is so interesting….you raise them to be independent and responsible and make their own decision, and then you are sort of heart broken when they grow up and do exactly that….hahaha talk about ironic….so I enjoy them when we are together or in contact and live my own life when we are in different place! Wishing all a lovely mothers day and hope everyone is pleasantly remembered. Love your posts; I learn alot. Thanks!

  8. How I would love to see list of Favorite Books, but there are only the various categories, and no actual titles to click on. Is there some other way to see the list?

    I just spend an hour looking at the Terrain site. Your blog is always the portal to enjoyment.

    1. Hi Beverly,

      Sorry that the books won’t open up for you. You’re not the only one. I looked into that a few weeks ago and it might be a browser issue that I have no control over. If you have another browser installed, please try that one.

  9. Hi Laurel,
    Always get a kick to scroll down and see one of my photos. You are great PR! Love the white Anthro bowls, they are Lily’s! XO

  10. I plan on giving a gift certificate for a house-cleaning service.
    Not that she’s a bad house keeper but to giver her a break.

  11. I was sad when I read that your kids forget but I cheered up when you described the lovely day you spent with your son. A few years ago my family decided we had enough stuff and that time together was more precious than anything we could buy. Of course, we have the luxury of living within an hours drive of one another. For Mother’s Day my sis and I (neither of us have kids) cook lunch and bring it to mom’s place. We spend the afternoon just hanging out together and I love it every year. This year my hellebores are spectacular. They make wonderful cut flowers that last forever so I’ll bring a bouquet in this lovely little rose bowl I found at Salvation Army for $2. Wishing all the moms a wonderful day.

    1. Hi Gail,

      My older son does call. My younger son has special needs and in his world things like MD and FD are meaningless. Empathy is a concept that is foreign and therefore inconceivable. And yes, it is sad but mostly I am sad for him and pray that one day things will get better for him. Thanks so much for your kind words!

      1. Laurel, thanks so much for sharing your son’s story. I worked with special needs kids and adults for many years and I was always inspired by the parents and sometimes heart-broken for them too. The selflessness you express here is so beautiful. It’s reminiscent of how giving you are with this blog and your talents and expertise.

        1. Hi Gail– Well, thank you but it’s a little like you just do what you have to do. Conversely, you are the one to be commended. You had a choice. We didn’t. Most parents would do the same. But some, unfortunately, are in denial. I just wanted to do whatever it took to give him the best chance to lead as normal a life as possible.

          At 22, he says that we ruined his life. Isn’t that rich? We ruined it by advocating (meaning being a royal PITA) to get him 120,000 dollar a YEAR education– paid for by the school district, of course. I have no regrets whatsoever.

  12. Laurel,
    What a lovely list of super charming gifts for all sorts of occasions, not just for Mother’s Day, or for the “just because I was thinking of you” reason ! Thank you 🙂

    1. Thanks so much Maggie. Yes, I tried to stay away from the overly-sentimental. Never really liked all of that anyway. Not that I’m not sentimental, I am, but hopefully in an authentic way.

  13. OMG! Now I know why I never splurged on a KitchenAid mixer. It wasn’t because I don’t bake that much and my hand mixer does fine whenever I do.

    It wasn’t because I could never decide on a color over the decades. (How does anyone ever commit to one?)

    It was because I’ve been waiting to find one covered with CHERRIES! Most beautiful mixer, ever! I could design my whole kitchen around that. And I’d have to do it because it’s only about 40 square feet and that mixer would cover a lot of my counter.

    You seem to like tea. Do you know about Harney’s Tea? If you haven’t been to their website, you might take a look. They do reviews on their flavors, which help me choose which ones I’d like. They also sell samples for $2. They make a tea in honor of their mother with rosebuds, cornflowers, and orange peel. And their tins are pretty, which matters a lot to me. Not as pretty as my future mixer, though.

    1. Hi Elle,

      Those mixers are so cool! The first one I saw was blue and white! I do like tea but am boring as I like plain old English breakfast tea the best. And I like coffee too, but again– love Dunkin’ Donuts and HATE Starbucks. It’s either bitter an undrinkable or like a liquid candy bar. yuck. But thanks for the info about Harney’s. I’ll have to look into it.

  14. Laurel, The last 7 years I’ve cried every Mothers Day. Twice I went to church and that was a huge mistake…cried all the way through. After devoting myself to hubby and 2 great kids they all left at same time..2 to college and one to his job and new apt…lost him, empty nest, my beautiful beautiful home, and my dad all at once ( and my little dog)…
    so hang in there …you’ll be in my prayers.
    love you

    1. Hi Maureen,

      Ahhh… well, your life mirrors my own quite closely. I have to remind myself of my many blessings. And remind myself WHY I left my husband. He forgot to stop “dating” for 23 years… ’nuff said. It’s not a pretty picture.

      I’m so sorry for your losses. But you still have your children even though you don’t see them every day. I found that the relationship with my older son has become very special even though I only see him a few times a year. My younger son has special needs and that too, is another story.

  15. We’ve had a family tradition of garden flowers. One son gives me a beautiful hanging petunia for my hook and one gives me a tropical climber for my deck trellis. It’s easy for them and I get two show piece plants I would find a luxury to buy myself.

  16. I just bought the teal tray from One Kings Lane! Might as well tee up the breakfast in bed suggestion. The aprons from Anthro are awesome. I often give them as hostess gifts instead of the predictable wine.

  17. Hello Laurel, We like to give antique or vintage gifts in my family. For example, this year I am giving a group of early 1900’s postcards from the town in which my mother grew up. For practical gifts, such as small appliances, we usually just give them when we find them. Also we don’t believe in a ceiling on the number of gifts, or having to wait until a “special” day to give them. In fact, some of the most prized gifts are those given just because someone was thinking of us, not because of a mandated occasion.

    1. Hi Jim,

      Oh that sounds wonderful! And you are so right.

      I just spent an entire day with my older son. We went to Arther Ave in the Bronx which is more like Italy than Italy lol and then we went to the Bronx Botanical garden. I just remembered that I got some lovely shots.

  18. Hi Laurel:)
    I think Anthropologie should pay me already-the damn store always manages to have something new and pretty.
    And yes, I have 3 pajama pants from them..two with birds(one got too old though) and one with deers lol. And I gave a pair to my DD as well. Good thing about Anthro-they often carry petite sizes.
    Since my Mom is overseas she doesn’t celebrate Mother’s Day.. But her beloved gift is always a book. Well clothes too, but nothing brings her more pleasure than a new book. So whenever I put a gift together for her it has to have a book too.

    As for me myself..I know that I want a painting. Will probably have to get it myself. Unless I exercise some restraint. Because it’s in the range of Best Mom in the World and Worlds beyond it..:)
    ah and we have a cafe around here-great cocktails. I can settle for that too.
    And you know what? I really want to start to collect teapots. For now, I have 2 or 3. If I analyze it-it’s very telling lol. This sudden affection for vessels. Love cups too.And mugs. OK I’ll be honest-plates and saucers are cool as well.
    That mixer is something!! I’m no cook these days-but this mixer might just make me do something heroic, like an apple pie?
    Terrain is a great site as well, that’s very true. Didn’t buy from them yet, but have several things planned.
    (frankly this Mom(me) doesn’t need a separate day..))
    but! she just remembered one very new Mom who needs to be congratulated and celebrated and all. oh my. While I was blubbering I realized that’s another gift I need to choose fast.
    I wish you a good and restful weekend, dear Laurel..a very good and very restful, and just you, and enjoyable and happy. This weekend, upcoming Mothers Day weekend..whatever weekend it is, may it bring joy to you, from your kids first and foremost, and all your dearest and loved ones.

    1. You’re such a dear Jenny! Oh, get the painting! Life is just too short!

      Today, I am going on a guided tour on the upper east side of Manhattan to see the mansions of the gilded age. You know… Andrew Carnegie et al. It’s a classic spring day. But actually a little too sunny for me. I know… metaphor or not, I actually prefer a cloudier sky.

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Hi, I’m Laurel, and Laurel Home is the website and blog for Laurel Bern Interiors.
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