Mrs Mo's "No Excuses" Mother's Day Gift Guide (Central/South Jersey Edition)

Is there a Mother’s Day that stands out in your mind as being extra special or unique?

Last May was my first Mother's Day and I had the unique honor of being a 3-day old mom. Even though we celebrated at Princeton Hospital, I only hope other women have a similar opportunity like that.

I’m all about doing something different and unique for Mother’s Day, so with the help of some of my friends on Twitter, Facebook and good old Google, here are some thoughts on making your Mother’s Day a memorable one:

New Mom:

  1. Got a new mom celebrating this year? Give her a copy of Today’s Moms:Essentials for Surviving Baby’s First Year written by Today Show producers Mary Ann Zoellner and Alicia Ybarbo. It’s fun, it’s real and it’s not scary!
  2. A New mom could definitely use a lot of pampering this year (hint hint!), but give her something special that will last forever like an at-home newborn portrait session with Carrie Steffe of EMA Photography, located in South Jersey.

A Toast to Mom:
  1. If you’re on a budget and your mom enjoys good wine, try a local winery like Cream Ridge. Brian Mulligan, the 3rd generation owner, recommends the Chambourcin or Riesling. They are also well known for their fruit wines (and I’ve tasted them all, so I can tell you that they are delish!)
  2. If you think Mom would enjoy an entire weekend devoted to wine tasting, send her with some friends to the Mother’s Day Wine Trail Weekend sponsored by the Garden State Wine Growers Association with events at various participating wineries across the state. For the list, including Cream Ridge and my other favorite, Hopewell Valley, click here.

Family Outings:
  1. If the theater is more her scene, take Mom to the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick for the final showing of New Year’s Eve starring Marlo Thomas and Keith Carradine.
  2. Let your kids have their moment in the spotlight when the 10! Show of NBC10 in Philadelphia comes to the Adventure Aquarium in Camden for a meet and greet. Best part: only $10 admission!
  3. Take a gamble on something different and enter Mom in the Borgata Mother’s Day Giveaway with prizes given every hour from noon til 7pm. Giveaways include: a Rolex watch, a girls night out package, an overnight stay and dinner for 4 and pretty pretty jewelry!
  4. And of course, there are plenty of restaurants throughout New Jersey offering Mother’s Day brunch.
Pretty Things for Mom:
  1. Handkerchiefs are back and they are bolder and funkier than ever! Amanda at More Than Gifts in Marlton told me about a new product they just got in called The Happy Hanky. With floral, damask and mod print motifs, Mom can sneeze, blot or wipe away happy tears in style!
  2. 94.5 WPST Radio is running a “Mother’s Day Makeover” contest ending Friday which is like the jackpot of Mother’s Day gifts. Grand prize includes: spa day, new wardrobe, brunch, massage, jewelry gift cards and more! If you don’t win, you can still get local gift ideas.
  3. Visit your neighborhood Brighton Jewelry retailer for their special “Ears Looking at You” promotion: Buy any necklace or bracelet and get any pair of earrings free! Top Picks: North Jersey- Bearpaw Central-Charmed by Claire South- Donna’s Bag
  1. Elizabeth Norton, founder of, offers something for everyone: families on a budget, dad-friendly crafts, gifts for Grandma and Mother-in-Law, gifts for Foster Moms and how to honor a mother who has lost a child.
  2. Go Green this Mother’s Day and give Mom a break at the same time. EcoMaids, with locations in North Jersey, is a full-service Green Cleaning company. If you book them for a home deep-cleaning, Mom will get a $25 gift card to the spa of her choice!

There you have your Mother’s Day 2009 No-Excuses Gift Idea List! You would be hard-pressed not to find something that would appeal to your mom. And don’t be shy about calling around to stores, spas or restaurants to see what they are doing for Mom this year!

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