A Special Mother’s Day Gift Guide.

April 14, 2016 |  by  |  Branded Content, My Stories

On my wife’s first Mother’s Day, Ava was only a few months old. Without the ability to walk, talk or have an opinion on anything other than ‘Yes, I want to breastfeed OR No, I’d rather spit up on dads face’, I was left in charge to make some big decisions on how to make it special. The problem with most of the gifts that I buy for my wife – I wait too long. Normally, about three days before a major wife-celebrating holiday, I get a really fantastic idea about buying her a rustic, handcrafted pendant or set of earrings from an Etsy shop owner who lives in a small Eskimo village in Alaska, then come to find out it will take 2-4 weeks to get it.

So I frantically run to the old go-to, Tiffany & Co. or Jo Malone and mill around, trying desperately to find something for under $350 or rather a fragrance that will live in our bathroom for the next six months that won’t push me into therapy.

As the kids began to get a little older, it became a fun thing for us to do together – give them each a small budget, take them to the craft store or Target and let them figure out what they’d like to buy or perhaps, ‘make’ mommy for her special day. And I’d do the same, occasionally making a homemade card or collection of heart-shaped rocks in a shadow box – and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this – there are tons (several dozen) of women across the country that LOVE the thoughtful energy put into something like this. Every mom is a sucker for a handmade gift from their child, but maybe not from their hubby.


Notice the bows on the boxes made with blue painter’s tape – lol.

Now don’t get me twisted, if you’re whittling an armchair out of cedar or slapping together a harvest table for the dining room out of reclaimed barn wood from her childhood home town, I aspire to BE YOU. But my napkin holders and milk carton bird feeders won’t last forever.

So I came up with a list. I’m still going to continue my Mother’s Day ritual with the kids, because I think it’s important AND fun, but here are a few ideas that totally get my support…

If you’ve never heard of them, no big deal, I didn’t expect it. These are kinda like the Tory Burch Reva Flat for 2016…


Tieks are the new incredibly comfortable (says my wife) foldable Italian leather ballet flat with the Christian Louboutin-style colored sole—teal. They come in some pretty outstanding colors and patterns and knowing my wife like I do, these make her happy. And for whatever reason, it’s also a major bonus to be able to keep a pair of shoes in your purse or jacket pockets just in case.

Woodhouse Chocolate, St. Helena, CA
When Jen and I were on a road trip from Los Angeles north through wine country in Napa Valley, we drove into a small, incredibly picturesque town called St. Helena. It was as if a Williams-Sonoma had come to life on a tree-lined Main Street with amazing boutiques, antique stores and restaurants. We stopped in a chocolate shop (where they use white gloves to handle the goods) and tasted their truffles—and my wife has never been the same.


Lock me in the closet with these and throw away the key!

I have to admit they made Godiva seem like they’re made by Willy Wonka. Woodhouse has the thinnest of chocolate shells and the fillings are just decadent and out of this world (my wife wrote that part). You can order a box of these babies shipped anywhere in the country—the best special occasion chocolates out there. Click below for a chance to win your own Woodhouse Chocolate Assortment!

R. Riveter
A Purse. A real one.
My wife’s bag collection over the past six years has been comprised mainly of milk and throw-up stained diaper bags masquerading as work bags. I wanted her to have something that is hers, and only hers.


This is one of their Signature bags, The OTTO.

One night a few weeks ago, after the kids were in bed, we were watching Shark Tank on ABC and saw Lisa Bradley & Cameron Cruse. Together, the two army wives founded R. Riveter, along with developing a bag line that has created jobs for other military wives across the nation by outsourcing each part of the bag manufacturing to a woman who can make it in her own home. She crafts her items in bulk and ships them back to their main headquarters where the bags are finished. It’s an incredible business model, taking telecommuting to the next level. We salute these women for being innovators and making the world fit them instead of the other way around. Click below to be entered into a raffle to win your own R. Riveter PATTON BAG (pictured below) valued at $120!

Movie with the Girls at Arclight or iPic Cinemas
And not with you, LOL. Check out a local reserved-seating movie theatre similar to the Arclight or iPic in our area. Then get in touch with two or three of her friends to make sure they’re free… and then buy your wife and her friends tickets to a movie—make sure to choose one they would enjoy, and go ahead and purchase the tickets that they can pick up at Will Call.

My wife can shop—and while the last thing she needs (IMO) is an EASIER way for her to spend money, I have to admit this is pretty cool…


A new business called RocksBox popped up in my email and the owner asked if my wife would like to try it out—and Jen has been enjoying a membership for awhile now. $19.99 gets you a box of three pieces of jewelry to enjoy for a month. There is pre-paid shipping both ways and you just pop the box back in the mail when you’re through—if you like any of the pieces you can keep them. It’s a fun idea for the girl who likes to change up her jewelry or style often, and if you buy your wife a six month or year subscription she’ll get a reminder of you in the mailbox every month (and it won’t be a bill!).

Footprint & Fingerprint Jewelry by Colleen Berg
The fingerprints… ahh fingerprints. They’re all over everything. Windows, glass tables, mirrors. You name it. I have trouble with it—rather my OCD does. But I know that someday we’ll miss these little smudges and smears, and to cement this moment in time my friend Colleen Berg at Colleen Berg Jewelry has a way to take an easy fingerprint of your child and turn it into a one-of-a-kind moment.

Colleen Berg Jewelry

She made a necklace for Jen with all three babies’ index finger prints—and it’s really pretty remarkable. She sends you a small kit which takes two seconds to do—you ship them to back her and in a couple of weeks have your own little one’s fingerprint to have forever–she works in all types of mediums, but her silver and gold jewelry line is outstanding.

KEEP Collective
My wife loves charm bracelets. First it was her grandmother’s antique silver charms, then Alex & Ani and now this. Meet Keep Collective, the newest in a line of charm jewelry. She loves it so much she signed up to sell it—but only so she could get the deal on the jewelry. Leather bands for your wrists that allow you to buy “Keys” or charms that identify important moments in your life.

KEEP Collective

Mom, partner or kids’ initials, or days of birth or birthstones. It’s a company that was started by the Stella & Dot co-founder and it’s barely a year old. This is the trend that will be taking over Alex & Ani and the best part is they’re inexpensive–starting at around $6 each. Pictured above is my wife’s double leather strap “Keeper” with the “Keys” or charms she’s chosen that represent our life.

All Out Celebrations
Our friend and fellow mom, Sarah Brice Calver, whom you might recognize as the last woman standing on Charlie O’Connell’s season of The Bachelor, started a new company with her friend called ALL OUT CELEBRATIONS… it’s meant to keep all those “Pinterest Fails” at bay and allow families to spend more time enjoying life’s milestones, and less time fretting over the details surrounding them. Many parents have a desire to create fun and exciting childhood memories for their kids, but sometimes it seems impossible when life stress or a lack of creative juices get in the way.

All Out Celebrations

Surprise her with breakfast in bed (in a box!)…

All Out Celebrations sends you these mini party-in-a-box packages with all of the small details you need to create a special experience… and they have a KILLER Mother’s Day box—complete with everything you need to make Mom an amazing breakfast in bed. And for Bachelor fans among us who are curious, Sarah dumped the guy and landed herself a really great husband and now has three little boys of her own. Click below to enter our raffle to win your own Mother’s Day Breakfast in Bed Kit (a $40 value!)

Vintage Jules
We have known Linda Schotz for over a decade when Jen started working with her husband Eric, an incredibly accomplished executive producer. Linda started Vintage Jules to pay homage to her dad. She says, “I find unusual one of a kind vintage pieces, pocket watches, watch chains, fobs, Buddhas, charms, prayer beads, vintage medals, vintage coin purses and create jewelry with each found treasure from flea markets around the world.

Vintage Jules

A sampling of Linda’s work.

Each piece is special because it carries a unique history. I collect pieces that speak to me & what makes that piece so special is…when it finally finds you.”
Vintage Jules was created in memory of her father, it is how she travels through life with her dad still by her side.

I hope this gives you guys a few ideas to make this holiday special for that important mom in your life and don’t forget to enter the three raffles below! Please check out a new endeavor from Dad or Alive (and wife!) – THINK OUTSIDE THE LUNCHBOX – a creative exploration into food for your AND your kids! Follow us on Facebook & Instagram with more to come!

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Thanks for these great ideas! I'm a big Shark Tank fan and loved the R. Riveter presentation, they're bags are beautiful and what an amazing conversation piece. So excited for the opportunity to possibly own one!


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