She fed you, bathed you, and clothed you. She dried your tears, kissed skinned knees, and changed your diaper. And don't you forget it.
Mother's Day is Sunday, May 11, and gone are the days when a card colored outside the lines will cut it. Yes, pedicures are pretty, and bouquets are always appreciated, but more effort doesn't mean less memorable -- or less sentimental. We've compiled a gift guide for every mom on your list, from new mother to grandmother. Slip her one of these between brunch and the madness of Monday morning as a token of your appreciation. We can't guarantee she'll love it -- but we know she'll be glad you did it.
Great gifts from Frances boutique
When shopping for mom, there is no better one-stop shop than Frances. The two-room boutique houses everything from deliberate cookwear to handcrafted jewelry -- all perfect presents. Specifically for, or about, mom, try My Mom. The hardcover interview journal ($12) is filled with questions like, "What was your old neighborhood like?" created as an heirloom to keep for generations. For kitschy gifts that will make her smile (and won't send her back a few decades) try hand towels ($15) with cute phrases such as "kiss my grits" and the always popular "eat your veggies." Or, for $42, wrap up a hand mirror -- a step up from the everyday compact with detailed designs like flowers on one side.
You know your mom better than we do, so take an afternoon -- or at least an hour -- and wander around the little shop. Take our advice and avoid heading for the clothing racks: If guessing sizes for any woman is a gamble, buying the wrong outfit for your mother might be a matter of life and death.
"Hollywood Costume" tickets at Phoenix Art Museum
Mother's Day also marks the beginning of summer and the upswing of three-digit temperatures. Why not beat the heat and kill an afternoon with your leading lady at the Phoenix Art Museum with tickets to "Hollywood Costume"? The exhibitions is on view through Sunday, July 6, and "Hollywood Red Carpet," on view through Sunday, July 27. The fashion collection comes from all the way across the pond, courtesy of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Fawn over the elaborate gown worn by Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra and Dorothy's ruby red slippers during the multimedia experience. Exhibition times vary; tickets are $20 and include access to the rest of the museum. Visit tickets.phxart.org.
Handcrafted jewelry from GROWop
This time of year, it's impossible to escape the radio and television advertisements begging you to show mom how much you care with this sapphire ring or diamond pendant. For truly individual accessories, shop local -- and unique. Stop at Sixth Street's GROWop boutique for a wall filled with necklaces and earrings next to plenty of vintage wares. We're partial to Kelly Welsh's handmade pieces, which run from $31 to $42, in metals and spring colors.
In addition to selling locally sourced jewelry, the GROWop regularly hosts workshops at the Roosevelt Growhouse on a variety of topics -- like hand crafting metal cuffs, rings, and pendants. For $30 your mom can prove her badassery and proudly wear something she's helped create -- think of it as an adult, DIY version of those macaroni necklaces you made that once adorned her jewelry box.
Horseback riding at Ponderosa Stables
At one point or another, little girls of any generation have all asked for the same thing: a pony. Chances are good that most had to settle for the My Little Pony variety or galloping around on a plush head attached to a stick. Your mother might not be jockeying at Churchill Downs anytime soon, but you can still take her riding at Ponderosa Stables in South Mountain Park.
Trail rides vary from one hour ($33) to an entire day ($150) beginning at 8 a.m. Specialty rides are also available, including lunch (of the hamburger and hot dog variety) or the T-bone steakhouse event. No experience is necessary, and be warned: There's no guarantee her next Christmas wish list won't include a membership to a stable.
Spring scents from Citrine
Our memories are tied closely to our senses, particularly our noses and most especially with our mothers. The smell of a newborn may be a scent all mothers cherish, but the perfume they wear or the smell of their baking will always remind their children of home. Since smell is that important, why not create the perfect unique fragrance for her at Citrine Natural Beauty Bar in Union at the Biltmore.
The shop's two-ounce custom blends ($110, $125, and $180) highlight scents like juniper berries, vanilla, black pepper, or Egyptian jasmine for a unique "flavor" profile combination that lasts day to night. If you're apprehensive about creating a scent for her, Citrine also sells fragrances from Apothia LA and Kai that may even convince her to abandon her Chanel No. 5 and start wearing a new scent.
Killer abs, Inner peace
Between shuttling one to ballet and the other to basketball, the modern mom hardly has time to fill up the gas tank let alone get time in for a workout of her own. The perfect solution? Yoga. A chance for even the busiest of bees to find time to center their busy lives while toning their abs.
Get mom a five-class pass ($70) at The Madison Improvement Club for yoga or "party on a bike" spin. It's more cost effective than a drop-in class ($16) without the commitment of a membership and works right into her busy schedule. Or pick her up a pass to try any variety of classes at Sutra Midtown, where she can indulge in any variety of classes, from body conditioning Skullpt classes to a different kind of lunch during PowerHour. Single classes are $15 and $17 with five and 10 series options available, as well as monthly and mini-monthly memberships.
Grade school redux
Remember when you used to come home with a slab of painted clay and presented it as though it were a masterpiece? Well, she does, and we're equally sure she's saved it somewhere. Even if she didn't give birth to the next Picasso or Pollock, you can still take a crack at making something she'll appreciate above most material possessions. Enter Mesa Arts Center, which offers a variety of classes for kids and grownups alike to learn how to do everything from bead and blacksmith to glassblowing and watercolor ($75 to $175, prices vary).
Instead of engaging your creative side alone, bring mom along and make a day of it. After all, these days what most mothers seem to want more than anything is time with their children.