Contributed by Kowalski's Culinary and Brand Director, Rachael Perron
Food, namely cooking for others, is my love language, and I'm pretty fluent in it. Breakfast in bed from my kids speaks volumes, but I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't like a nonfood gift on Mother's Day. No matter the cost (I love homemade presents!), I simply treasure the idea that my busy teens took a few minutes out of their full schedules to do something just for me. As they have less time these days for the handcrafted macaroni necklaces and tissue paper flowers of old, I've become amenable to the idea of something purchased. And while I generally balk at the idea of wish lists or having to tell others what I'd like, I don't mind offering a few "suggestions" you might consider for your own gifting purposes come May 12.
Fortunately, Kowalski's Gift Department has a robust selection of all of these items (as well as the makings of the aforementioned breakfast in bed). Happy Mother's Day!
I am a sucker for handbags and probably don't need another, but I do have my eye on a cute macramé handle bag from Shiraleah. I love the pale pink color and the retro '70s vibe, which reminds me of my own mom. Bags from Scout are roomy and easy to clean. They're great for carpooling moms-on-the-go to and from school, track meets, piano lessons, etc.
I never leave the house without it! Many of my favorite pieces have come from the sales floor right below my office. I have my eye on a few gems from local designers Marquess Studios and Amy Louise, and the new, colorful summery bracelets from Ink & Alloy are calling my name!
Of course! Moms love any and all flowers. If your mom is a gardener, a garden bowl or something she might plant outside is perfect for her. I'm more of a cut flower mom. A simple arrangement of yellow tulips makes me smile, and exotic and fragrant tropicals last a long time and give me the feeling I'm on vacation somewhere beachy and warm.
Succulents are trendy and low maintenance, and orchids are always popular. As a well-known "black thumb," I am not one for keeping them for very long, so I prefer a kalanchoe. I can put them on my front porch once the threat of frost is officially over. Their vibrant blooms last all season with occasional deadheading.
I am a sucker for a handmade card from my children, but when it comes to a card for my own moms, our selection can't be beat. We have cards you can't find elsewhere from some unbelievably talented local artists. My favorites are from Artists to Watch, particularly Duluth's Nick Wroblewski, whose hand-cut wood block prints are true works of art. I also love Amy Rice's Japanese screen prints made from hand-cut stencils
If the five bottles in my desk drawer don't say enough, I am obsessed. Every mom needs this. Local partner Natural Inspirations has the most lovely scents, but my newest fave is Thymes' Passionfruit Neroli.
I am probably the only female on the planet who isn't a fan of candles (a college roommate who was a bit obsessed with them may have turned me against them entirely), but I am definitely in the minority. We have some particularly alluring scents from Illume, Field + Fleur and Archipelago Botanicals in gorgeous containers and colors.
Aromatherapy Products and Perfumes
I may not appreciate scented candles, but I definitely appreciate scents. I practically hoard both and never leave the house without spritzing myself with something. I even have a scent I put on to go to bed (Skeem Design's Night Jasmine)! Diffusers, inhalers and oils from local partner rareESSENCE are intoxicating. I'm also into the personal fragrances from Minneapolis-based Thymes. Timeless, classic Goldleaf is one of my all-time favorites. Thymes also has a new line of Home Fragrance Mists, of which I enjoy Mandarin Coriander.
If you are going to wear socks, wear World's Softest. They truly are amazing. I love to wear their Weekend Collection around the house in place of my slippers.
As a fashion lover it is sometimes hard to focus on my culinary duties when I have to walk through a trendy clothing boutique every day. I recently picked up a cute olive green denim jacket from CharlieB that I plan to rock all summer long. I've also got my eye on a few pieces from local partner Lakegirl.
Well, technically it's not food! And it's one of my favorite gifts no matter the occasion. Right now I am digging a sparkling Lambrusco duo – Via Emilia and Piazza Grande – from Cantina di Carpi. These are not your mother's Lambruscos! These fun sparkling wines are high-quality selections and nicely dry, not sickeningly sweet. Add a patio and a cheese plate and you have the perfect way to kick back and relax with the moms and mom-like figures in your life this Mother's Day and all season long.
The Kowalski's Wine Shop is located at our Uptown, Grand Avenue, Oak Park Heights, Excelsior, Woodbury, Eagan and Shoreview markets.
Selection and availability of products vary by market.