Mother's Day Edition

By Griffin Miller

Assuming April’s showers produced an eruption of May flowers, it’s a given that Mother’s Day 2021 will be serving up no end of arrangements and bouquets. But whether your mom fancies orchids, tulips, roses, or (my favorites) lilies, why not add to her special day with presents rare and unexpected. And as you check out my hand-picked array below, keep in mind there’s no harm in starting the celebration a few days early on Cinco de Mayo with, say, one or two muy bueno options!


This might be the year to skip the customary box of mom candy in favor of a Color My Cookie decorating kit. The regular size kits—there are also mini-kits—come with six cookies, an edible paint palette, paint brushes, icing, sprinkles, and a link to a tutorial. Not only is turning ingeniously shaped cookies into works of art fun (in my case, also a tad outside the lines), there’s the delectable grand finale. And should your Mother’s Day be a virtual one, consider sending kits to the whole family for a cookie Zoom-a-palooza. Info:


Striking, effortless, upscale, contemporary: the hallmarks of Walters Faith jewelry and most certainly the celebrated brand’s recent collaboration with noted interior designer Cara Woodhouse. Melding Woodhouse’s passion for marble and precious stones with Walters Faith’s timeless aesthetic created The Cara Woodhouse x Walters Faith.  The four-piece collection includes an engravable charm, bold ring, diamond charm enhancer, and to-die-for marble statement pendant. A 5-star way to spoil mom. Info:


Guilty pleasure disclosure: Watching Internet divas deftly apply makeup with chichi tools. (FYI, these women aren’t experts but rather fledgling influencers, young moms, and budding raconteurs. My 20-Piece Expert LUXIE Artist Kit—a killer professional brush collection tucked into an ingenious belt bag—is way better as the brushes are a) Earth/creature-friendly vegan; b) exceptionally supple and soft, and c) designed with insights from industry pros and celebs like Christian Serratos and Khloe Kardashian. Love, love, love! 


Having spent much of my adult life seeking comfortable casual shoes that aren’t sneakers—which isn’t to say sneakers don’t have their place in my heart—I have narrowed my search to weekend-in-the-country-brunch-in-the-city footwear. Found. Raum Goods Slip-On Earthing Shoes rate an A+ for chic and buttery leather comfort. With a bit of a moccasin gestalt, they are ethically sourced and come in myriad colors. And while mom will love any color you pick, my vote goes out to “Tumeric” and “Scarlet.” 


Ever since my allergist pulled the plug on all things synthetic, I’ve become fixated on natural fabrics. My latest obsession? CILQUE® (pronounced “silk”) luxury pillowcases and accessories made of 100 percent mulberry silk charmeuse. One of their newer items, the Top Knot Headband, goes beyond pushing bangs and stray strands off the forehead for cleansing and makeup application. It’s a go-to savior for everything from a.m. video chats to dinner dates. And the color palette includes such stunning hues as Amethyst and Emerald. 


It sounds impossible, yet the benefits surrounding the coveted Canopy Humidifier keep multiplying. As much a dry skin solution that hydrates while you sleep as it is a godsend for allergy sufferers, the Canopy consistently rates accolades for its anti-mold technology and invisible mist (bonus raves from houseplants!). Newly introduced for use in the unit’s diffuser: Aroma Kits with three curated fragrances (subscriptions available). Talk about home, sweet home! Info:


Envant Active has a distinct advantage over the adage “When you look good, you feel good,” seeing that their performance wear pieces feel as good as they look, thanks to Enavance™, the company’s trademark fabric. Created for “the modern woman who is always on the go,”—their designs are 100 percent fashionista-forward with items like their single shoulder Palm Bra Top and The Leila Set—an off-the-shoulder top and high-waist pants that read sophisticated casual squared. 


When it comes to bath towels, my husband is a study in persnickety. Absorption is a big deal, as is softness, and he believes the heavier the towel, the better. I, on the other hand, couldn’t care less about heft. I want a towel that recreates a posh spa day at home. I want Tombo Towels, and since he’s tried these lightweight, quick-drying towels, he’s a convert. Woven on vintage shuttle looms in Osaka, Japan from 100 organic cotton, only 20 are produced per day. To Mom: A rare and luxurious post-bath wrap. Info:


Subscription boxes, Savvy or iffy? Depends. So, what about one filled with things that fragrantly diffuse stress during work hours and downtime? Should mom be even mildly candle-obsessed, I urge you to think Vellabox. Not just subscription-centric, Vellabox’s product line offers candles and accessories for individual purchase. Flickering even as I type is a scent called “Empathy,” but on my wish list are “Five o’clock Shadow” and “But First, Mimosas.” 


Aside from using lipstick as an emergency blush, I’ve never really dabbled in two-in-one beauty products until I made the acquaintance of Flowerdose Lip & Eye Serum by True + Luscious. Infused with botanicals and hyaluronic acid), this powerhouse pen goes the distance in keeping fine lines in line and smoothing even chronically dry lips. Dividends include the lessening of under-eye baggage and as a primer for both eye shadow and lip color. 


When it comes to Mother’s Day bouquets, the best come in small, hand-picked bunches, presented with pride by tiny family members with an eye for wildflowers or stealthily plucked garden blooms. Short stems are key, which means a suitably sized vase—say 5 inches tall? My delightful discovery: Haand’s Cloudware Skinny Vase with its sweep of clouds against a sky-blue background. Made by hand (no two are alike), these porcelain pieces are so charming you might want to consider several for a vase shelf display. 


HIn the aftermath of an art class disaster involving a paint-filled airbrush, I’ve shied from the temptation to test-drive one of the original Luminess systems. So, I’m intensely pleased to announce the launch of the Luminess Breeze Airbrush System, a handheld, wireless, stylus-free airbrush with a precision trigger that delivers a “micro-fine layer of cosmetics” (aka the new Rose-4-in-1 foundation) for a polished look and the endorphin high that comes with transcendent skin. A mishap-free application was merely a perk. 


Within Columbia’s indigenous
Zenú community are a group of artisans celebrated for their skill at weaving locally sourced fibers, known as caña fleche, into hats, ornaments, and accessories. And while their signature black and white sombreros vueltiao is most famous, they probably aren’t as enticing a choice for mom as Etnikarte’s Triangle and Round Woven Bags. The material used to create these exquisite pieces is hand-dyed, adding a vibrant intensity to their singular designs and construction. 


Decades ago, I recall how impressed my mother was when a waiter at a Mexican restaurant began grinding guacamole ingredients with a rough-hewn mortar and pestle. We later learned the utensil is a molcajete and a fixture in Mexican kitchens. Crafted from pure volcanic stone, molcajetes are prized for bringing out the flavor in various spices, sauces, and oils. As Cinco de Mayo and Mother’s Day share calendar space, let’s ramp up the festivities in true culinary style with Verve Culture’s Molcajete with Tortilla Basket!


Cinco de Mayo is all about chilling—laid-back parties with friends and family, Mexican cuisine, mariachi music, and copious toasts of margaritas--traditional or frozen. Mixing it up (literally), I’ve been testing out IZO Mezcal’s take on the beloved cocktail. Using the same essential ingredients as the Tequila version, MargarIZO boasts an irresistible take on the classic that won me over with its smooth, smoky sophistication. But, if you’re a purist, IZO’s Tequila is excepcional!