CLOSE
amazon / istock
amazon / istock

60 Gifts to Give Every Type of Mom

amazon / istock
amazon / istock

This Mother's Day, give your mom a gift she'll love. Here are a few of our suggestions.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers, including Amazon, and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Good luck deal hunting!

CHEFS

1. CHEESE OF THE WORLD TOWEL; $14

This dish towel is a must-have for cheese lovers. It features 49 types of the delicious food from around the world along with their origins, characteristics, and flavors, plus handy cutting diagrams and a wine pairing guide.

Find it: UncommonGoods

2. MASON JAR HERB GARDEN; $20

These mason jars are a cute way to grow herbs. Simply add water and find a nice sunny spot for the plants to grow—the jars have an interior hydroponic system that makes sure the plants get the right amount of moisture.

Find it: UncommonGoods

3. CHOP WIZARD; $23

If your mom is looking to save some time in the kitchen, this device will make quick work of dicing up onions, peppers, or any other vegetable in need of chopping.

Find it: Amazon

4. SALT, FAT, ACID, HEAT; $23

This innovative cookbook (which features 100 core recipes with endless spin-offs) teaches home chefs four elements—salt, fat, acid, and heat—for more delicious meals. Illustrations and infographics bring the recipes to life.

Find it: Amazon

COFFEE AND TEA DRINKERS

5. TEA INFUSER SET; $17

These charming, sea creature-shaped silicone devices can be filled with loose tea leaves and hooked onto the side of a mug to steep.

Find it: Amazon

6. DEATH WISH COFFEE; $20

If your mom is always asking for an extra shot of espresso, you should introduce her to this super strong coffee. Considered one of the most caffeinated coffees in the world, Death Wish packs a punch of 660 milligrams of caffeine per 12 fluid ounce cup (a regular coffee will run 195 milligrams or so).

Find it: Amazon

7. CONSTELLATION MUG; $14

This mug just shows a blank starry sky, but with a little hot liquid, constellations will appear.

Find it: Amazon

TECHIES

8. BLUETOOTH TRACKING TAG; $40

Save your mom the trouble of searching for missing keys with a tracking device for her keychain. It connects to Bluetooth so the keychain can be hunted down on a smartphone.

Find it: UncommonGoods

9. FUJIFILM INSTAX MINI CAMERA; $69

This fun, brightly colored camera takes instant pictures that are perfect for sticking in a cubicle or on the fridge.

Find it: Urban Outfitters

10. ECHO DOT; $50

The Echo Dot is the perfect virtual assistant for all your smart home needs. Moms just need to say "Alexa," and they can turn smart devices off and on, order pizza, or call a cab.

Find it: Amazon

11. SAMSUNG GEAR VR; $50

Proof that we're living in the future: Virtual reality is now a thing, and it's affordable. This lightweight headgear can virtually transport the wearer to any environment, playing 360 degree games, videos, and images.

Find it: Amazon

ATHLETES

12. FITBIT; $150

This sleek black bracelet keeps track of heart rate, steps, and sleep patterns.

Find it: Amazon

13. RUNNING BELT; $16

Running with a smartphone can be tricky, what with the lack of pockets. This subtle fanny pack offers a zippered belt to store items while jogging.

Find it: Amazon

14. INFUSER WATER BOTTLE; $12

Fruits like strawberries and lemons can give water a nice little kick. This water bottle has a chamber for fruits and vegetables that give the water a refreshing taste.

Find it: Amazon

15. DOGA; $4

Yoga is a lot more fun with a furry friend. This hardcover book comes with full color photographs and tutorials showing the reader how to incorporate their pets into their yoga routine.

Find it: Amazon

16. WODBOM BOX OF THE MONTH; $35

If your mom has hopped on the crossfit bandwagon, then get a box filled with related goodies. The Wodbom subscription service sends a different box each month filled with fun items, shirts, and snacks.

Find it: Wodbom

17. SUNSKIS; $58

These stylish, durable sunglasses are lightweight (they're made with polycarbonate), and, thanks to flexible arms, they stay put on your face—they won't slide down your mom's nose during a workout. They're not so expensive that mom will be kicking herself if she breaks them, but even if she does, it's not a big deal: They come with a lifetime warranty.

Find it: Sunskis

18. CHACOS OUTCROSS EVO 1.5 HIKING SHOE; $115


These hiking sneakers slip on and off easily, breathe well (and dry quickly) thanks to a mesh upper, and have an antimicrobial treatment to keep them—and your mom’s feet!—from getting too stinky.

Find it: Amazon

DIYERS

19. MAKE YOUR OWN HOT SAUCE; $35

Hot sauce tastes even better when it's homemade. This kit comes with gloves, bottles, ingredients, and everything needed to make five 6-ounce bottles of hot sauce at home.

Find it: UncommonGoods

20. FIX IT KIT; $30

This vegan leather case pretty much has all the tools your mom might need to fix things around the house. The case, which comes in black or pink, contains a hammer, flashlight, long-nose pliers, tape measure, screwdriver, interchangeable handle, four sockets, 10 screwdriver bits, and a socket extension.

Find it: UncommonGoods

21. DULUTH TRADING COMPANY RAILROAD STRIPED OVERALLS; $90


These adorable overalls are lightweight enough for summer, but come equipped with enough pockets—13 in total—to make your mom a walking tool box. The chest pocket system has pen slots, a cellphone sleeve, and a sunglass loop, and there's a deep utility pocket that's perfect for pliers.

Find it: Duluth Trading Company

22. TERRARIUM; $20

Why give mom flowers when you can give her a DIY garden that will let her express her creative side? This 5.9-inch-tall glass geometric case can house all sorts of succulents, moss, or any other items your mom wants to pack inside.

Find it: Amazon

JET SETTERS

23. SHRIMP TRAVEL PILLOW; $7

Have a humor-loving mother who loves to fly but hates neck trouble? This neck pillow will help mid-flight naps be more comfortable—and best of all, it looks like a gigantic shrimp. For Francophiles, there's also a croissant version.

Find it: Amazon

24. SCRATCH-OFF TRAVEL MAP; $30

Travelers can mark their progress on this world map by using a coin to scratch off areas of the map after they've visited. After enough trips, the maps will turn from gold to technicolor.

Find it: Amazon

25. MOUNTAIN HARDWARE CITYPASS TRAVEL DRESS; $90


This adorable dress dries quickly and resists wrinkles, making it perfect for the mom on the go.

Find it: Mountain Hardware

26. PACK THIS LIST; $5

When packing, it's good to have a mother around to ask "did you remember to bring...?" But who helps mothers pack? This helpful pad lists out all the usual things that someone might want to bring on a trip.

Find it: Amazon

27. CUSTOM SANDBOX CUBE; $100-$110

If your mother has a favorite beach, you can bottle up a piece of it for her to bring with her wherever she goes. Handmade in Massachusetts, these cube pendants are filled with a pinch of sand. Buyers can send in their own sand or choose some from one of the thousands of beaches the artist has in her Sand Bank.

Find it: UncommonGoods

28. BATMAN ROLLING LUGGAGE; $45

Now your mom can travel in style with this hardside rolling luggage. Four 360-degree wheels make it easy to turn on a dime and fight crime in the airport.

Find it: ThinkGeek

BOOK WORMS

29. NOVEL TEA TIN; $30

What first appears to be a Jane Austen novel is actually a tea tin. Each "book" comes with 12 servings of herbal mint tea leaves. If Pride and Peppermint isn't the right piece of punny literature, there's also Matcha Do About Nothing and Oliver Lemon Twist.

Find it: Amazon

30. BOOK PILLOWS; $25 - $50

Have a mom who loves to read long into the night? Give her a book that's at least comfortable to fall asleep on. These book-shaped pillows are perfect for cuddling with. Choose from Alice in Wonderland, Treasure Island, or The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

Find it: ThinkGeek

31. BATHTUB CADDY; $40

Reading in the bath is a lot easier with a place to put the book. This bamboo stand balances over the lip of the tub and even has a place for a glass of wine.

Find it: Paper Source

32. SCRATCH-OFF BOOK POSTER; $35

Like the scratch-off map, this poster lets the owner show off. The chart has 100 "essential novels" with gold covers. As your mom works her way through the books, she can scratch off the foil and reveal a new cover underneath.

Find it: Pop Chart Lab

33. BICYCLE BOOK ENDS; $65

These carbon steel bookends look like a bicycle, suggesting that each book is a journey.

Find it: UncommonGoods

AUDIOPHILES

34. BEACH RADIO; $48

This turquoise radio combines the best of the old and the new: It comes with retro dials to help tune to the right radio station, and inside, there's a place to secretly connect a smart phone or iPod with an auxiliary cord.

Find it: Amazon

35. RECORD PLAYER BRIEFCASE; $70

Moms can take tunes on the go with this record player hidden in a briefcase. The baby blue device comes a with a 3-speed vinyl record player and mp3 player that takes USB and auxiliary inputs.

Find it: Amazon

35. MUSIC TRANSPOSITION RING; $17

This ring comes with a music transposition chart that can be kept on hand at all times. The lovely homage to music theory is both fashionable and practical.

Find it: UncommonGoods

36. WIRELESS HEADPHONES; $69

According to Lifewire, these lightweight headphones are the best bang for your buck. The Bluetooth-compatible device is adjustable and provides eight hours of use.

Find it: Amazon

DRINKERS

37. TEQUILA MOCKINGBIRD; $9

Fans of literature and puns will be tickled by this clever book, which features cocktail recipes with names inspired by classic books. There are 65 recipes in total along with blurbs about the books' history, recipes for bar snacks, and charming illustrations.

Find it: Amazon

38. WINE TABLE; $22

Enjoying a glass of wine at the beach or on a picnic is suddenly very possible with a transportable table that can be speared into any soft ground. The 16-inch-long table has enough room for two glasses of wine, plus some snacks.

Find it: UncommonGoods

39. SPACE WINE TOTE; $5

If you decide to give your mom a bottle of wine this year, at least put it in a tote bag that she can enjoy in the future. The navy carrier comes with metallic silver constellations like the Little Dipper and Pisces.

Find it: ModCloth

40. BEER MAKING KIT; $32

Beer tastes so much better when someone you know brewed it. This kit provides everything needed to create an IPA right at home. With replacement ingredients, the whole kit is reusable.

Find it: Amazon

GEEKS

41. PI BLANKET; $20

This snuggly fleece blanket is covered with the first 413 digits of pi. The 45-inch-by-64-inch throw is perfect for cuddling up at home with some complicated math problems.

Find it: ThinkGeek

42. DOCTOR WHO COOKBOOK; $12

Have a Whovian for a mother? Now she can make all kinds of meals and treats loosely based on the popular franchise. The cookbook comes with 40 time-bending recipes to try.

Find it: Amazon

43. BEAKER SALT AND PEPPER SHAKERS; $14

Cooking is a science, especially when the salt and pepper shakers look like beakers.

Find it: Amazon

44. DEATH STAR TEAPOT; $25

The Death Star is a lot less imposing when it's serving tea. Pick up the top and reveal a hidden teacup underneath.

Find it: ThinkGeek

45. SOLAR ORBIT NECKLACE; $40-$80

Deck your mom out in jewels that represent the planets of the solar system. The 18-inch chain comes with the sun, Mercury, Venus, the moon, Earth, Mars, the asteroid belt, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and of course Pluto.

Find it: ThinkGeek

46. MOTHER OF DRAGONS WINE GLASS; $15

Wine glass

If you and your siblings ever acted up, your mom might have felt like a mother of dragons. Get her this set of stemless wine glasses with the Targaryen sigil as a nod to her patience.

Find it: HBO

ANIMAL LOVERS

47. BOSTON TERRIER UMBRELLA; $20

This umbrella has a bubble shape that allows your mom to protect her face from oncoming rain. It's clear so she can still see while walking, but is adorned with two fun illustrations of Boston terriers.

Find it: Amazon

48. CAT ZODIAC BOOK; $5

Horoscopes aren't just for humans: Now your mom can decode the perplexing actions of her pet with this cat zodiac book. Now when Socks knocks over a vase, she can chalk it up to typical Scorpio behavior.

Find it: Modcloth

ART LOVERS

49. FRIDA KAHLO DOLL; $19

This 11-inch-tall plus doll of painter Frida Kahlo is clad in a traditional Mexican dress and has a little monkey on her shoulder.

Find it: Amazon

50. ART SOCKS; $14

This set comes with eight pairs of socks, all dedicated to different pieces of artwork. Your mom's feet will love paying homage to the classics.

Find it: Amazon

51. STARRY NIGHT PUZZLE; $17

Van Gogh's Starry Night makes for a surprisingly good puzzle. This 1000-piece jigsaw promises a great family night trying to reconstruct the classic painting.

Find it: Amazon

52. GARDEN OF EARTHLY DELIGHTS FIGURE; $49

Action figures aren't just for kids—moms will love them too, especially when they're modeled after classic paintings. Amazon has a whole collection of nefarious characters from Hieronymus Bosch's The Garden of Earthly Delights.

Find it: Amazon

53. THE SCREAM BANDAGES; $6

Most moms have a few bandages hiding up their sleeves in case one of their children gets hurt. Arm your mom with special bandages featuring The Scream. There are 15 large strips in each tin (plus a free prize).

Find it: Amazon

BEAUTY ADDICTS

54. LIGHTED MIRROR; $19

Light-up mirrors are so helpful, your mother is going to wonder why you didn't buy her one sooner. The ring around the mirror gives off a natural hue with LED lights and offers magnification that helps her see tiny details for precise makeup application.

Find it: Amazon

55. FACE MASKS; $16

Face masks are one of the easiest ways to relax and take care of your skin. Mom will love these luxurious pre-moistened masks that come in great smells like aloe, wine, and avocado.

Find it: Amazon

56. BATH BOMBS; $27

Bath bombs can be a pricey luxury, but this set offers 12 for just $27. The scents included are angel, black raspberry vanilla, shower, beach, kiwi strawberry, lavender, lemongrass green tea, love, mango papaya, melon ball, shea and coconut, and Victorian rose.

Find it: Amazon

57. TOO FACED NEUTRAL EYE SHADOW; $59

A pallet of natural colored eye shadows is a must-have for any beauty maven. This highly regarded set from Too Faced is a win whether your mom is a summer or a winter.

Find it: Sephora

FOR MOMS WHO LOVE THE CLASSICS

58. FLOWERS

If you want to keep it traditional, you can't go wrong with a bouquet of flowers. The Bouqs is a wonderful flower company that gets its supplies from eco-friendly farms. You can order ahead or use their same-day delivery option.

Find it: The Bouqs

59. PERFUME

Mail your mom a fresh bottle of her signature scent with the ScentBird subscription service. There are over 450 different fragrances to choose from, which all come in .27 ounce bottles.

Find it: ScentBird

60. GIFT BASKETS

Harry and David has long been a favorite destination for family gifts. After all, who can resist their chocolate covered fruits or their sea salt caramels? And if your mom doesn't have a sweet tooth, the company offers gift baskets with things like coffee, wine, and other food items.

Find it: Harry and David

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
Live Smarter
3 Reasons Why Your New Year's Resolutions Fail—and How to Fix Them
iStock
iStock

You don’t need a special day to come up with goals, but New Year’s Day is as good a time as any to build better habits. The problem is, by the time February rolls around, our best laid plans have often gone awry. Don’t let it happen this year: Heed these three simple tips for fail-proof resolutions.

PROBLEM 1: THEY’RE TOO OVERWHELMING

Let’s say your goal is to pay off $5000 worth of credit card debt this year. Since you're giving yourself a long timeframe (all year) to pay it down, you end up procrastinating or splurging, telling yourself you’ll make up for it later. But the longer you push it off, the bigger and more overwhelming your once-reasonable goal can feel.

Solution: Set Smaller Milestones

The big picture is important, but connecting your goal to the present makes it more digestible and easier to stick with. Instead of vowing to pay off $5000 by the end of next December, make it your resolution to put $96 toward your credit card debt every week, for example.

In a study from the University of Wollongong, researchers asked subjects to save using one of two methods: a linear model and a cyclical model. In the linear model, the researchers told subjects that saving for the future was important and asked them to set aside money accordingly. In contrast, they told the cyclical group:

This approach acknowledges that one’s life consists of many small and large cycles, that is, events that repeat themselves. We want you to think of the personal savings task as one part of such a cyclical life. Make your savings task a routinized one: just focus on saving the amount that you want to save now, not next month, not next year. Think about whether you saved enough money during your last paycheck cycle. If you saved as much as you wanted, continue with your persistence. If you did not save enough, make it up this time, with the current paycheck cycle.

When subjects used this cyclical model, focusing on the present, they saved more than subjects who focused on their long-term goal.

PROBLEM 2: THEY'RE TOO VAGUE

“Find a better job” is a worthy goal, but it's a bit amorphous. It's unclear what "better" means to you, and it’s difficult to plot the right course of action when you’re not sure what your desired outcome is. Many resolutions are vague in this way: get in shape, worry less, spend more time with loved ones.

Solution: Make Your Goal a SMART One

To make your goal actionable, it should be SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. When you set specific parameters and guidelines for your goal, it makes it easier to come up with an action plan. Under a bit more scrutiny, "spend more time with loved ones" might become "invite my best friends over for dinner every other Sunday night." This new goal is specific, measurable, time-bound—it ticks all the boxes and tells you exactly what you want and how to get there.

PROBLEM 3: YOU FELL FOR THE “FALSE FIRST STEP”

“A false first step is when we try to buy a better version of ourselves instead of doing the actual work to accomplish it,” Anthony Ongaro of Break the Twitch tells Mental Floss. “The general idea is that purchasing something like a heart rate monitor can feel a lot like we're taking a step towards our fitness goals,” Ongaro says. “The purchase itself can give us a dopamine release and a feeling of satisfaction, but it hasn't actually accomplished anything other than spending some money on a new gadget.”

Even worse, sometimes that dopamine is enough to lure you away from your goal altogether, Ongaro says. “That feeling of satisfaction that comes with the purchase often is good enough that we don't feel the need to actually go out for a run and use it.”

Solution: Start With What You Already Have

You can avoid this trap by forcing yourself to start your goal with the resources you already have on hand. “Whether the goal is to learn a new language or improve physical fitness, the best way to get started and avoid the false first step is to do the best you can with what you already have,” Ongaro says. “Start really small, even learning one new word per day for 30 days straight, or just taking a quick walk around the block every day.”

This isn’t to say you should never buy anything related to your goal, though. As Ongaro points out, you just want to make sure you’ve already developed the habit a bit first. “Establish a habit and regular practice that will be enhanced by a product you may buy,” he says. “It's likely that you won't even need that gadget or that fancy language learning software once you actually get started ... Basically, don't let buying something be the first step you take towards meaningful change in your life.”

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
Lists
7 Hangover Cures Backed By Science
iStock
iStock

Science has a lot to say about bogus hangover cures (coffee, hair of the dog, and saunas aren't doing you any favors), but not as much about which treatments are legitimate. That's not for a lack of trying: The quest to banish the headaches, nausea, and dizziness that follow a bout of heavy drinking has been going on for centuries. We still don't know how to prevent hangovers or how exactly they happen, but if you're feeling miserable after last night, there are a handful of science-based remedies that might ease your pain.

1. ASIAN PEAR JUICE

Have some extra Asian pears at home? Run them through your juicer before your next night out. According to researchers at Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, just 7.4 ounces of Asian pear juice is enough to soften the blow of a hangover. The scientists say that the juice interacts with enzymes that break down alcohol, speeding up your metabolism and leaving less surplus alcohol for your body to absorb. There's just one catch: The juice must be consumed before you drink anything else in order to be effective. Apologies to anyone currently reading this through heavy-duty sunglasses.

2. MUSIC

Anyone who's ever suffered through a massive hangover knows that sound is the enemy. But while your roommate's 9 a.m. tap dancing practice might exacerbate your symptoms, music may have the opposite effect. Research has shown that listening to music can provide relief to migraines, which are similar to hangover headaches. As long as the music is pleasant and suits your taste, it should help to drown out the chorus of pain playing in your mind. Head sensitivity isn't the only symptom music helps with: According to researchers at the University of Edinburgh, listening to your favorite music also eases pain. There hasn't been research specifically on hangovers, but at the very least it should hide your pained cries.

3. SPRITE

If you're looking for something to nurse your hangover, skip the bloody Mary. A team of Chinese researchers found that Xue bi, the Chinese version of Sprite, is actually the best beverage to combat the lingering side-effects of alcohol. Of the 57 drinks tested, Sprite was the best at helping enzymes break down acetaldehyde, the metabolized version of ethanol that's blamed for some of the nastiest hangover symptoms. The scientists also identified which concoctions you should avoid: A drink containing herbs and hemp seeds was the worst offender, as it actually prolongs acetaldehyde metabolism instead of speeding it up. (We should also caution that this test was done in a lab and might not be applicable to actual drinking scenarios.)

4. PEDIALYTE

Although not the primary cause of your hangover, one of the many ways alcohol can leave you feeling worse for wear the morning after is dehydration. Alcohol is a diuretic—it makes you pee a lot more than you would otherwise. If your fluids are depleted when you go to bed, you can expect to wake up feeling groggy, achy, and all-around not your best. Water is the simplest fix for dehydration, but for more extreme cases, there's Pedialyte. The drink was originally developed to rehydrate kids sick from vomiting and diarrhea, but it's marketed as a hangover treatment for adults as well. It contains nutrients, sodium, and other electrolytes—all things that can nurture your body when it's dehydrated. It won't cure the hangover, but it might help alleviate the worst of it.

5. ANTI-INFLAMMATORY DRUGS

If your first move when you're hungover is to reach for a bottle of aspirin, you have the right idea. Anti-inflammatory drugs may not do much to stop the underlying causes of your condition, but they can suppress your symptoms long enough for you to get out of bed without feeling like your head's been replaced with an anvil. On top of easing headaches and muscle pain, there's another reason these pills are good for hangovers: They may directly combat alcohol's inflammatory effects. But there's one over-the-counter painkiller you should never take while or after consuming alcohol, and that's Tylenol. Any drug that uses acetaminophen will only further abuse your recovering liver.

6. EGGS

The best way to tackle a hangover with food is to eat while you drink. Chowing down after the damage has already been done may distract you from your turmoil for a short while, but it won't soothe your physical symptoms. There are a few exceptions: Eggs, for example, have hangover-fighting potential thanks to a special ingredient. The food is packed with cysteine, an amino acid that breaks down the drinking byproduct acetaldehyde. So whether you prefer to enjoy brunch out or at home, make sure your meal includes eggs in some form.

7. HONEY ON TOAST

While you're at it, put some honey on toast next to your omelet. According to Britain's Royal Society of Chemistry, while it won't cure a hangover, the breakfast can help alleviate the symptoms: "The best breakfast is toast and honey (or golden syrup) which provides the body with the sodium, potassium, and fructose which it now needs." The BBC talked to a junior doctor about this hangover remedy and he recommended adding banana. While he cautions it's an acquired taste, the doctor explained, "Bananas are a high source of potassium—an electrolyte that gets depleted when you go out on the binge. The honey will give you that spike of sugar in your bloodstream and that energy rush to help you get back on your feet."

BONUS: DRINK LESS

While this is definitely the least helpful of all suggestions, in 2005 an article in the BMJ looked at 15 studies of hangover cures, noting that "the paucity of randomised controlled trials is in stark contrast to the plethora of ‘hangover cures' marketed on the internet." Their conclusion? "No compelling evidence exists to suggest that any conventional or complementary intervention is effective for preventing or treating alcohol hangover. The most effective way to avoid the symptoms of alcohol induced hangover is to practise abstinence or moderation."

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios