Clothes to Sweat In

{by alexis} I’m not going to sit here and pretend that I love to work out. The truth is, I don’t. It eats up part of my day and you guys, it’s HARD. But I do love the feeling I get when I finish whatever idiotic workout kick I’m currently on: I have energy, I’m happier, and I feel good about myself. These are the reasons I exercise.

If you follow us on Twitter, you’ve probably noticed that we’ve got a membership with ClassPass, a new way to exercise around the city. We’re having a great time picking classes and trying new things (like HOW IMPOSSIBLE PURE BARRE IS), so I’ve been building up my gym wardrobe considerably in the last few weeks.

Whether you’re getting back into the swing of things after the holiday eating contest (what, just my family?) or whether you’re trying to make good on those new year’s resolutions, you’re going to need something to wear. My stance on fitness fashion is that it should be inexpensive and comfortable. That’s it. You’re not going to find any $100 pair of Lululemon leggings on my list. I’d rather spend money on clothes I’m happy to wear. You know, like blardigans. So check out the places that I bargain shop for gym basics.

fitness fashion | wander & whineNordstrom skews on the more expensive side of my spectrum, but I legitimately cannot live without my Zella leggings. They’re super supportive and hold everything in and smooth it out. They look equally great paired with sneakers and a tee and riding boots and a chunky sweater. These are a must.

Alicia is a fan of the active wear collection at Old Navy. And who can argue with their price point! This funnel neck pullover is a great layering piece for in and out of class, or for a brisk dog walk. The ruching detail on the tee is cute but not too much.

Gap is a no brainer. There stuff is also priced reasonably and you can almost ALWAYS find a coupon code. I own these pants, and they’re a great alternative to the tight or legging. And this tank is cute without being obnoxious.

Amazon is a little trickier. Their stock is so large, you have to use a million filters just to get to a manageable amount of products. They’re good if you know what brand you’re looking for. These Soybu yoga pants are a new addition to my collection, and I’ll tell you the fabric is SO SOFT.

Target is obvious, right? It should be. You can snap up stuff from the clearance section or for full-price and you’ll never pay too much. A perennial favorite of mine is the boyfriend tee, available in a rainbow of colors. I also favor these sports bras for weekend wear. They’re not the most supportive, so I wouldn’t recommend them for running.

Finally, Victoria’s Secret is also a solid choice for active wear. They have plenty of cute pieces like this baseball tee or this scoop top, but they also have inexpensive basics. Wait till they offer a free shipping coupon and stock up.

There you have it! Almost all of my active wear was purchased from the retailers you see above. You don’t need to blow your paycheck on clothes to wear to the gym. Wear what makes you happy and comfortable, and enjoy the burn!


Presents to Self

{by alicia + alexis} It’s the time of year for the gift guide, no? We’ve posted one, and some of our favorite bloggers have posted their own versions, too. But what you don’t often see is what the bloggers are buying themselves. In this post, we’ll both list the treasures we picked up for ourselves while shopping for the other folks in our lives.

{Alexis’ List}

things I bought myself | wander & whine

one. This is the season for warm, over-sized sweaters, and, in my opinion, no one does it better than Vince. I picked this up on Gilt during Black Friday sales and paid next to nothing. Pro tip: do NOT size up. Not a member of Gilt Groupe yet? If you’re curious enough to give it a go, consider using my invite link; then I could buy more sweaters!

two. These are the Dannie pants from J.Crew. You hear a lot about the Minnies, and even the Curators, but these are the true unsung heros. In total, I’ve got four pairs of these pants, including a version with leather details. I like a work pant that’s slim, but not tight around the ankle. They come in three flattering dark colors, and the best part? They’re machine washable!

three. Ask Alicia: I’ve been hunting for a planner for MONTHS. After all the searching, I ended up buying the first one I looked at, which is this spiral bound beauty from Paper Source. It’s got enough room to write, and keeps the monthly calendars together and separate from the weeklies.

four. Anthropologie is my kryptonite. I was NOT disappointed by this beautiful blazer, though it needed a good steaming once it arrived.

five. I’ve been trying to hold off on buying any home goods till we buy a house (STILL LOOKING), but I couldn’t resist this gold constellation tray from C. Wonder. It can catch jewelry, nightstand minutiae, or even mail.

six. This is the Kate Spade cupcake skirt I’ve been lusting after forever, and I can’t wait to wear it on Christmas eve! Don’t worry — I did not pay as much as you see on the link. This was another one of my Gilt finds.

seven. Sephora has been running a good amount of deals this month, and I’m always more than happy to pick out a present for myself. I’ve been into masks lately, and here’s a collection of trial sized goodies that won’t break the bank.

eight. Speaking of breaking the bank…I have been coveting this Tory Burch York Buckle tote, but it has been excluded from literally every sale she’s run on her site. Cue dramatic tantrums and epic frustration. But! Shopbop saved the day with their sitewide discount, and I saved myself a cool $50. (Still expensive, I know but it’s something.) This bag is the workday BOMB.

nine. Another Paper Source purchase! This personalized notebook is perfect for throwing in my bag for on-the-spot notes. I chose the “bombshell” font for a more whimsical look. No, I didn’t order one with the name Jeremiah Potter on the cover.

ten. Anthropologie strikes again. This removable fur collar won me over, and it’s coziness earned it some space in my closet. It will be perfect Christmas morning present-opening and pup-snuggling.

{Alicia’s List}

things i buy | wander & whine

one. Since I’m all about comfort these days, I have been living in this furry hooded parka from ASOS. It’s warm without being bulky, and I got it for an absolute steal during the madness of Black Friday.

two. Francesca’s is my go-to shop for statement necklaces, and it didn’t disappoint when I was looking for some sort of bauble to jazz up my holiday frock. I especially like this one because of the multicolor beads–it complements so many outfits! It’s also great for ramping up your everyday look without being too dressy.

three. My skin is hideously dry in the winter, and this light cleansing oil from The Face Shop gives me an extra surge of moisture while melting every inch of makeup off my face. Don’t be afraid of putting oil on your face. This cleanser doesn’t clog your pores in the slightest, especially when you follow up with a gentle foam wash.

four. I work at a startup, so the dress code is pretty lax. Though I try not to be a total slob, I took my footwear a step further and adapted these moccasins into an office slip on. The furry lining keeps my feet extra warm which is great for those of us with poor circulation, and I’m cozy all day long!

five. Do I even need to explain this one? It combines all of my favorite things into one perfect shoe. Cake! Polka dots! Pink! Conversation starter! I can’t wait until spring when it’s warm enough to bust them out every single day.

six. My mother is Korean, therefore my skin regimen is super Korean (she’s in her fifties and her skin is to die for, so my night routine is like 10+ steps). This also applies to my makeup regimen. There is a total difference between real BB cream imported from Korea, and the stuff I find in the states (which is more like tinted moisturizer). So, I tend to sway towards Korean brands like Skin Food and Tony Moly for my fix. Target is now carrying Laniege (another awesome brand), so I had to try their BB Cushion. This handy compact makes it easy to swipe on in the morning and touch up during the day. PLUS, it has SPF 50! Bonus!

seven. I love how this watch from Rakani is reminiscent of Dali’s melting clocks. Plus, I wanted a cheerful color for these gray winter days and this pink and rose gold combo fits the bill nicely!

eight. Philosophy’s  3-in-1 washes are the best. Not only do they smell delicious (I always want to eat the bottle), but they multitask, and take up less space in the shower. When I saw the Pink Frosted Animal Cracker scent (I almost wrote “flavor”), I had to have it!

nine. Blanket scarves are a game changer. Between these and my sweater cape, I am authorized to go into public swathed in a throw. You guys, blankets are parading as clothing and it’s socially acceptable! What’s crazier is that I get daily compliments on my said blanket outfits. Comfort fashion for the win!

ten. Adult onesies are genius. Don’t we all secretly want to revert back to childhood? Sure we do! I unabashedly rock a plush, cat-print version on the weekend (no shame), and it’s like I’m a cozy bear. I hear you laughing. Don’t knock it until you try it!

For Him and Her Gift Guides

{by alexis} Somehow, Thanksgiving is behind us already, and before us we have the glorious gift-giving holidays, characterized by a frenzied shopping season and long list of those you have to buy for. Here at Wander & Whine, we are great fans of shopping all year round. In fact, I legitimately consider shopping to be one of my most beloved hobbies. So let me help you! What follows is a fool-proof gift guide. First, we have a guide for him.

for him gift guide | wander & whineSee, there’s plenty to choose from!

one. I’m not suggesting you try to buy Schmidt’s the building, but grab a logo tee or a package of sausages and he’ll love you forever.

two. Homage never fails. He wants to go to football games and you want him to not look like he just picked himself up off the floor of the frat house. If he insists that that old shirt with the holes and the mysterious yellow stain is lucky, assure him that this new one will be lucky after a few short games, too. I mean, he trusts his team, right?

three. Booze is always welcome in most places. Try some old scotch, or a new favorite like our own locally distilled Watershed or Oyo. Throw a bow around the neck, and done!

four. Again with the sports. Autographed memorabilia isn’t cheap, but you have so many options. Be sure to find one with a hologram or certificate of authenticity.

five. All of the men in my life love to grill, so you can’t go wrong with a gift set of precisely mixed spice rubs. Check out Etsy if you want something special.

six. Smart watches are perfect for gadget-y guys. This new one from Asus is getting great reviews, and I’ll bet money that the James Bond vibe he gets from this will have him grinning from ear to ear.

seven. Oh, look, we’re drinking again. Buy him fancy cocktail glasses for his new bottle of whiskey, so he can look out the window and pretend he’s Don Draper.

eight. Touch gloves may be unoriginal but I promise he’ll use them. I can’t be the only one who can’t find both gloves after stashing them away for the summer.

nine. Cashmere is another classic gift. He’ll most likely never buy this for himself, but he’ll love wearing it. This is kind of like Mammy’s red petticoat.

ten. Merge his two favorite things, college sports and Star Wars in this t-shirt.

for her gift guide | wander & whineShe’s a tad easier because, well, I’m a she!

one. In my head, I throw a million fancy parties and need to have a million ice buckets for a million bottles of champagne. Help a sister out.

two. Bangles from here to eternity! They go with everything. Buy a few sets for mixing and matching.

three. Why have we only now started putting faux fur on everything? Every year I ask for a giant furry blanket because they are the most wonderful thing to curl up with. Bonus points for a machine washable version.

four. Maybe she’ll want to be more organized if she has pretty things with which to work! Enter this adorable jewelry box.

five. If she’s more of a scatter-everything-everywhere type woman (I can relate), perhaps a tray is the better choice. This will catch jewelry, mail, hand lotion — possibilities are endless!

six. You guys, I’m here to tell you that slippers AREN’T BORING. Cold feet are the WORST side effect of winter, and a nice pair will keep your tootsies toasty.

seven. Though we associate wellies with rain, these warm socks outfit them for snow, too.

eight. Paper Source is the bomb. These wall calendars showcase some of the most original, whimsical patterns and posters I’ve seen. And points for functionality!

nine. If she’s a minimalist, don’t mess up her groove. Grab some geometric post earrings to add a little edge to her look.

ten. Seriously, buy her an infinity scarf. YOU CANNOT HAVE TOO MANY SCARVES. The fur versions are the most attractive to me at the moment, but you can’t go wrong with a cable knit either. The chunkier the better.

eleven. Behold, the blardigan. This magnificent piece combines a blanket and a comfy wrap sweater. I own this in the merlot color and I swear I wear it every day. Clothiers, please continue to make clothing that doubles as bedding. I’ll buy it all.

And there you have it! Hopefully, this will get those gears grinding and you can find something for everyone on your list. Check out some other gift guides from us, too, in case you need more ideas.

I can’t let you go without reminding you to ALWAYS google for a coupon code before you purchase. There’s no reason to pay full price, ever!

What are some of your favorite gifts to give or receive?

What to Bring Your Thanksgiving Hosts

{by alexis} This week is Thanksgiving! Is everyone as excited as I am? I’m sure that depends on whether you’re the guest or the host. If you’re the latter, you can go: I HAVE NO WORDS OF WISDOM. But! If you’re a guest, let me remind you that you cannot show up empty-handed! Forgot about that, didn’t you? I’m here to save the day! What follows is a list of gifts you can bring for your brave hosts, items that will guarantee you a seat closest to the stuffing (because it’s the best part).

I’m actually headed North to Michigan to break bread with my family. (I don’t care WHAT week it is guys: Our blog always includes the FULL ALPHABET.) Since I’m always yelling about how fabulous Columbus is, I welcome these trips home to expose my favorite Michiganders to all that is delicious about Ohio.

I would not be welcome in the house without a wrapped package of Bahama Mamas from Schmidt’s. We’ve been known to cook this up on Thanksgiving itself, and serve them alongside that gargantuan turkey. A little spice goes a long way!

schmidt's sausage haus | columbus, oh

You can always go a more traditional route. This year, Columbus Monthly published a great piece on where to get pies in the city, complete with order-by dates WHICH I WILLFULLY IGNORED. Take pity on me, Just Pies? The photography on their piece will prove you can’t go wrong with any of the local pie people.

If pie isn’t your bag (we need to identify a Thanksgiving Day Cake immediately), feel free to up the fancy factor and pick up a treat from Pistacia Vera. Today at noon is the last time they’re accepting orders for Turkey Day, so I’ll forgive you if you stop reading to make that important call. GO FORTH.

pistacia vera | columbus, oh

Prefer to drink your dessert? Can we best friends? Pick up a bottle of festive Apple Pie Mead from Brother’s Drake. It’s sure to warm the cockles of your heart and set those shimmery lights aglow.

If your host insists you musn’t bring a thing, and has talked your ear off for weeks about their perfectly crafted menu, don’t mess with their plans! Grab a beautifully wrapped box of chocolate from Winan’s to set out with coffee, and don’t be surprised if your host tucks them away to enjoy alone while recovering from the madness that is Thanksgiving.

winan's chocolates | columbus, oh

credit: Winan’s website

Don’t forget the adorably decorated sugar cookies from Cheryl’s too! Individually wrapped, there’s no pressure to eat them all at one time! (But it’s always an OPTION.)

chery'ls cookies | columbus, oh

credit: Cheryl’s Cookies

My mom and I will be doing a bit of early Christmas prep, so I couldn’t come home without several rolls of the loveliest paper on earth from Paper Source. We get positively giddy about the selection here, and it’s sure to make your gifts stand out under the tree. Below is my current favorite!

paper source gift wrap

credit: Paper Source

And last, but certainly not least, I’ll be sure not to forget Indiana Bones! He’s pretty good entertainment and he’s a great garbage disposal in a pinch!

indiana bones

he’s giving me side-eye

I wish you all safe travels over the river and through the wood! Happy Thanksgiving from Wander & Whine!

How to Tailgate Like a Pro

{by alexis}–For many, fall means pumpkin spice lattes, sweaters, and a variety of plaid. Here in Columbus, fall means football. Even I get wrapped up in it, now, and since I spend so many of my Saturdays outside in the sun (or wind, rain, and sometimes even snow), I thought I would share with you my tips for a successful tailgate. Follow my lead, and you’ll be comfortable and prepared for whatever comes your way — win or lose.

ohio stadiumBig 10 football has always been a part of my autumns. I spent four glorious years at Michigan State University, and moved to Columbus shortly after graduate school. Here’s the thing: You guys here in Columbus are crazy. “Fanatical” does not begin to describe the level of fandom I have experienced here. I admit to being a little frightened during my first football season.

ohio stadium

Who wouldn’t be scared of that sky?

And then guess what I did? I married one of you! Joe lives and breathes OSU football, so of course I would pick up an interest. As a student at MSU, my attention waned usually around the first half of the second quarter, and a group of girlfriends and I skipped out for nap time. But now, you’ll find me at the stadium five hours early, red cup in hand. I have perfected my loud clap (though Joe still has me beat), and I frantically check the MSU score whenever I can get service. I’m not quite one of you, since I still prefer green, but I’m right there with you.

148863_10102572947090224_689197163_nAnd I’ve learned a lot, thanks to Joe, a few of his college buddies, and his ever-prepared sister. So, without further ado: How to Tailgate Like a Pro.

1. Let’s start with the most important: FOOTWEAR. Girls and their shoes, I know, but really: the quickest path to misery begins with a blister. Choose a shoe with a lot of support. Rely on an old favorite: Today is not the day to break in those new leopard sneakers you picked up at Target (LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES). When you’re shopping for comfort, don’t cheap out: These aren’t the type of shoes that are thrown together in two months to match the latest spread in Lucky magazine. Don’t be afraid to spend a little money on something with more craftsmanship. In my Clippers post, I shared with you my all-time favorite walking shoes, a version of the Clark’s women’s Wallabees. clark's women's wallabeesI’m also a big fan of these Hush Puppies loafers that took me through the rain and cobblestones of Italy. These shoes are genius: they come in a million colors, and several different widths (some of us have feet worthy of a sideshow tent, you know).

hush puppies

This is the kind of footwear you need to be thinking about. Check the weather forecast. Is it raining? Good, break out the Hunters you bought after seeing Kate Moss at Glastonbury. Also, I suggest skipping the flip-flops. They offer zero support, and you stand a good chance of having your toenails ripped off by the crowd while shuffling to your seat.

2. Think about the rest of our outfit in the same way: Comfort should be your first priority. I have seen so many girls sporting what amounts to denim underwear, and — style aside — that just can’t be comfortable after the fifty flights of stairs it takes to find your seat in the C-Deck. You want something loose-fitting and breathable. If you’re unsure, try repeatedly standing and sitting in your questionable item: Are there love handles where there once were none? Did your tank top crawl steadily up your torso? Go with something else, something bigger probably. I sized up in this new Where I’m From tee, that I picked up from Devoted last week.

where i'm from3. I want to touch quickly on makeup. It’s hard to keep a good face on when it’s 85 degrees, and you’re baking in an oven called the Shoe, but it just takes some planning. Try a face primer. I am a longtime fan of Clinique’s Pore Refining Solutions Instant Perfector. It makes everything stay put even when I’ve got sweat dripping down the backs of my ears. How’s that for a lovely image?

4. For the love of God, do not forget sunscreen. I swear, every time Joe goes to the game without me, he comes back with a sunburn the size of Texas and just as red. I have used Cetaphil’s daily moisturizer under my makeup nearly every day of my damn life, and I’ve never gotten sunburned watching a football game. This goes for men too. NO ONE ELSE CAN SEE IT.

5. Think about transportation. Are you planning on dropping six beers or a bourbon slushie? Awesome, you do you, but PLEASE think about how you’re getting home. This goes double for 8 pm games that empty at the same time as the bars. Joe and I are huge fans of the bus: It is cheap, reliable, and if you miss one, there’s another 25 minutes behind that one (unless it’s the aforementioned night game). Uber and Lyft are now becoming staples in the area, alongside the classic taxicab that is perfectly functional if you can manage to snag one amidst the swarming masses of humans in red.

6. Also, I need you dopes to eat. Have a BIG, hearty breakfast (jello shots don’t count) before you have your first drink. It will give you energy, and prevent that drink from going straight to your head.

7. On that note, please drink water. Try to chug a few water bottles at various points throughout the day. Is it hot? Drink twice what you normally would. (I mean drink twice the water, you delinquent.)

8. This may seem obvious, but look at the weather report, yo. Is it raining? Not the best time to wear your leather jacket, probably. You have a raincoat right? What’s wrong with you; go get a raincoat. If you refuse to conform to even these most basic of societal pressures, you can always swing by a drug store for a pocket poncho.

9. Before you leave, grab a few squares of toilet paper and put them in your bag. You’ll be happy to have them when you find yourself in a row full of stalls with empty cardboard tubes and not a square to spare. While you’re at it, grab a tiny bottle of hand sanitizer. Paper towels are the first thing to go after the TP.

10. Prepare yourself for port-a-potties. It’s going to happen; steel yourself.

11. Pack only the essentials in a small, hands-free purse. You want free use of your hands for cheersing and high-fiving your way through the day. For me, the essentials are always chapstick, a tube of concealer, my phone, ID, a few credit cards and my health insurance card. Bring only the things you know you’ll need. In addition to your own convenience, many stadiums are cracking down on the size of women’s bags, and you don’t want to be given the impossible task of getting rid of your bag at the last minute.

12. Contributing to a tailgate? How generous! While scouring Pinterest, keep in mind food safety. For example, mayo-based dips and salads may SOUND like the perfect tailgate addition, but you’ll have second thoughts after your dish sits a few hours in the sun.

enhanced-buzz-8710-1381950704-1913. While you’re planning your food contribution, be sure to use disposable containers. You’ll lose track of anything you brought after the game, and you’ll not want to clean and haul it home. Convenience is key.

14. Do throw out your trash. No, the curb doesn’t count. We’re all adults here, and you know what to do.

15. If you’re meeting folks after the game, agree on a rendezvous point. With all the people, cell phone service can be unreliable, and it’s next to impossible to look for and find someone in that crowd.

So there you have it! If you follow my tips, you’ll be comfortable and safe, and ready for all-day (and night) fun. Both Alicia and I will be tailgating and attending this weekend’s game, and we hope to see you out there!

Did I miss anything? Please leave any other tailgating tips you can think of in the comments; I may be a pro by now, but I’m always eager to learn more!

ohio stadium

Father’s Day Gift Guide


I’ll keep this post short and to the point because, you guys, Father’s Day is THIS WEEKEND. You can’t spare any gift-buying time. But don’t worry: There is surely something on my list that your dad will appreciate.

The fall-back plan for Moms is usually flowers or chocolate, but I’m sure that wouldn’t fly for most fathers. No, the flowers equivalent here is meat. Meat of any shape, animal, and casing will cause dad’s eyes to light up. Specialty, local meats are always preferred, and I’m sure I’ve mentioned that I’m not allowed to visit my folks in Michigan without a package of Bahama Mamas from Schmidt’s in tow. Go grab a package (and a cream puff or two!) and make Dad’s day.

schmidt's sausage house

Is Dad not much of a griller? Does he prefer a more refined charcuterie plate before he digs into his main course? Head over to Katzinger’s. Even if you don’t know what the hell you’re buying, the intelligent and friendly deli workers will point you in the right direction, and you’re sure to leave with a collection of meat and cheese to rival Lindey’s. The picture below is their graduate package, but I think Dad is a better fit.


If none of these seem exactly right, don’t be afraid to go for classic steak. If you don’t know a great butcher shop (if you do, please share!), Omaha Steaks are a great bet. They’re running a few Father’s Day promotions now (including free shipping), so click your way to a great gift.

You can always go the equipment route, too. Pick up a set of grilling tools or accessories. Crate and Barrel is running a great sale right now on grilling tools, so stop by their Easton store, or place a quick order online. Please don’t forget this adorable pig apron!

crate and barrel pig apron

That was a lot of meat. So what if Dad doesn’t like meat? Well, he’s not my Dad, then. Anyway, I’m sure he likes beer! I’m not saying you should go grab a 30 pack of Natural Light on your way to the party. No. We’re lucky to live in a town that’s full of tasty, local brewers. Pick him up a couple of growlers from around town. Fortunately for me, I don’t have to reinvent the wheel and list every fill station in town — Cheryl Harrison at Drink Up Columbus has done that for us (thanks, Cheryl!). I’d probably head to Columbus Brewing Co, Elevator Brewing, or Zauber Brewing. While you’re there, don’t forget to sample the wares!

Let’s be real, the thing Dad wants the most is to hang out with you. Be extra nice and treat him to something he likes to do. Hit a few buckets of balls at the driving range, or spring for a whole round. And don’t let him pay when you find the beer cart! You can also grab tickets to a Clippers game. Baseball, beer, and sausage are always a safe bet.

If you’d rather not GO to the game, but still support your dad’s fandom, head to local t-shirt stores Homage or Devoted for cool pieces he’d never buy himself. Just because he’s a dad doesn’t meant he CAN’T be hip: he just needs your help. The shirt below is from Devoted.


I’ll admit, dads are a bit harder than moms, but there are gifts out there. Think about him: what does he do when you aren’t annoying him? Where would he go out to dinner if you finally let him choose? Let these answers guide you, and you’ll make him happy indeed.

Mother’s Day Gift Guide


You guys, Mother’s Day is coming up. You have just over a week until Sunday, May 11, when your mom will either be crushed or elated by your gifting decisions. No, not really, she’ll probably like you no matter what, because that’s what moms do, but why don’t you go pick her up something nice anyway. Take this opportunity to say, ma, thanks for dealing with my fifty calls a day, and for listening to the self-obsessed whining that I wouldn’t subject anyone to but you (but really, you raised me, what can you expect).

So now we show our thanks. Sometimes, moms can be difficult to buy for, so here I am, happy to help! I’ve put this list together based on things I plan to or have bought my mother, as well as advice from some very kind, very pregnant moms (hi, Megan!). Let’s get to the good stuff.

  • One of my favorite bloggers on the interwebs is Jaclyn Day. She focuses on affordable fashion, and has single-handedly jump-started my love affair with Target. Ever a supporter of comfortable slug-wear, she recently launched her own line of scarves, heavier for the winter, and a lighter collection for summer. Right now, she’s running a promo at her Etsy store: if you buy two, you get 30% off! Check it out!


  • Jewelry is classic, but honestly, not many of us can afford to pop into Tiffany’s and present mom with a little blue box. So instead of expensive, go for something more personal. As I mentioned, I’m from Michigan, but my family and I have discovered this new, wonderful state thanks to my move. I thought my mom might like these delicate little bracelets with a reminder of where her favorite child lives (sorry, CR). We’ve mentioned her before, but pick up a piece from the Tutes Etsy shop.


  • Summer is coming up, and if your mom is anything like mine, she likes a refreshing cocktail on the patio in the sun. For some recent special occasions, I picked up these margarita glasses from Crate & Barrel, and this elegant, rustic ice bucket from West Elm. She’ll be the hippest hostess on Lake Huron come summer.



  • On that note, you can also buy mom the main act, rather than the accessory. Pick up a bottle of champagne, or a fine wine (skip the three-buck chuck this time, kids), or her favorite bottle of bourbon, if that’s how she rolls. Or, if you’re buying for my mom, just pick up the mega bottle of Lambrusco you can find at 7-11.
  • Don’t under-estimate the idea of spending time together to celebrate. It may seem cliche, but treating mom to a girls’ pedicure (men, you can get your feet done, too!) may be just the ticket.
  • Flowers are a classic, and wonderful choice. Please, though, don’t go through the mega-web sites. Cut out the middle man, and call up a local florist. Tell them what mom likes, ask for some recommendations, and tell them how much you want to spend. They’ll have a better idea of what they have in stock as well what their other orders look like, so you won’t have to deal with last minute substitutions and delivery disappointments.
  • Let’s move onto the edible suggestions! Go classic and pick up a box of her favorite chocolates. Visit local stores like Anthony Thomas or Winan’s, and she’ll surely be reminded how sweet you really are (I KNOW).
  • I know my mom is always thrilled when I ship her a collection of Cheryl’s cookies. Sign up for their emails and never purchase without a promotion or a coupon code.


  • We mentioned them before, but if your mom likes salty and sweet, do pick up a pack of Mel’s ‘Zels. You won’t regret it, and if you’re really good, she might even let you have one!


  • I would be remiss not suggest my constant favorite: Pistacia Vera. I’m aware that not a post goes by without a mention but they’re that good. DO IT.
  • Don’t worry, I’ve even got ideas for newer moms! My girlfriend raved about a lovely present she received last year. Her husband gave her a framed photograph of their baby girl, smiling away, happy as clam, holding (well, propped up against) a “Happy First Mother’s Day” sign. It hangs in her office now. Easy, and so sweet! Just takes a bit of planning.
  • She’s also been eyeing these minimalist, stackable rings, personalized with baby’s name. You can pick them up at Kathryn Riechert’s Etsy shop.


  • Let’s be real though, what new moms really want is time away, for themselves. Treat her to a day at the spa, or even an hour alone at the mall to nurse a Starbucks the size of her baby’s torso and wander on her own schedule.
  • Are all these ideas too cutesy for you? I hear you. Go to Nordstrom’s. Just go there now. You’ll find these universally loved Diptyque candles, that add a little glam to her bathroom or living room. Look, this one is mimosa flavored! Er, scented.


  • My mom flips for anything Jo Malone, so you can’t really go wrong. She’s into the orange blossom scent, but the others are just as popular.


  • MOM STOP READING. I think this seasonal Estee Lauder perfume is what I’ll be sending this year. I caught her while shopping the other day, and she was sampling the scent at the fragrance counter. It should be no surprise: the woman goes nuts over anything with gardenia. And look: free gift with purchase!


  • On a budget? Mom not so into accepting gifts? A card will do. Check out this simple one, specially made for those sending our love outside of Ohio.


  • Or there’s this one (locally made!), that’s brutally honest, and gives mom credit for the biggest favor she ever did you.


That felt like a lot! What are you getting your mom this year? Any favorites from years past? I’ll leave you with this: DEFINITELY don’t get her anything that plugs in: My father made that mistake enough times for all of us.

Happy Mom’s Day! Thanks, Mom!