The 5 Best Gifts to Make Momma Happy this Mother’s Day

**UPDATE APRIL 12 — ADDED ITEM #6 — VERY COOL SILVER MOM JEWELRY!!
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Like many Moms right now, Mother’s Day may be the far from your mind.  TAKS, Easter, spring yard clean up, planning for summer camps, heck – even cleaning out the frig – all take precedence over thinking of ourselves and this once a year celebration of Mommy-hood.

But ladies, one of the many things I’ve learned in my almost-4 years as a Mom is that when you want something, you’ve got to ask for it.  While as a woman, I don’t always like to do that, I’ve also found that I don’t like getting disappointed even more than I don’t like asking for what I want.

Therefore, Moms, there is no excuse for disappointment this Mother’s Day.  Just pass this article on to the significant people in your life – husbands, children, sisters, boyfriends, your own mother.  If you really like one of the specific items on the list, circle it (the bigger, fatter, redder pen the better) as a subtle suggestion.  Then sit back and wait for a few weeks until the special day arrives . . . with something you really want in store for you!  (But don’t delay – all these options have fast-approaching deadlines so play close attention or you may miss out!)

1)  A Night Off to Celebrate at Mom’s Nite Out on May 7

MomsOutLoud.com is excited to partner with North Texas Kids to bring the National Mom’s Nite Out to our neck of the woods here in DFW.  We are finalizing our plans right now, but rest assured it will be a fun night of laughter, connections, and friendship among Moms in DFW.  So save the date:  Thursday evening, May 7.  Tell your husband/S.O./babysitter/care giver to block the night off as well (we’ll also have some great options for them and your kids for things to do!) so you can blow off Mommy-steam with your friends at a fun evening right before Mother’s Day Weekend.

National Mom’s Nite Out is a long overdue event and the ultimate attempt to unite moms and companies in celebrating motherhood.  The first ever National Mom’s Nite Out is the brainchild and passion of Maria Bailey, internationally known Mom expert and host of Mom Talk Radio, and books such as: “Trillion Dollar Moms: Marketing to a New Generation of Mothers” and “Mom 3.0: Marketing with Moms by Leveraging New Media and Technologies”. 

Stay tuned to MomsOutLoud.com for how you can participate in our local celebration!!

2)  Photo Jewelry

Diamonds?  Pearls?  Pandora bracelets?  While I would never argue about getting such an expensive gift, what I really want is a piece of photo jewelry.  None of us have enough ways to show off the most important people in our lives – our family.  And I personally love all the different styles that are coming out that give you even more options for showcasing great photos of beautiful children.

Options: 

Lockitz () – This company in Lewisville impressed me in several ways.  One – they’re in Lewisville (gotta love the hometown

Mompreneurs!!).  Two – I emailed them on Monday night at around 9:30pm to ask for a donation of one of their products for our Mom users and had an enthusiastic response by 9:45pm.  Three – when I actually did talk to Susan (the co-founder) on Tuesday, she explained to me their painstaking the process for creating the photo tiles and how strongly they focus on high quality materials.  (By the way, not only do they sell online, but they do home parties.  We’re going to do a Mom-owned business spotlight on them in the not-too-distant-future, so more to come!)

They’ve got lots of options which you can browse on their website and order easily.  My favorite pendant from their collections was the Harper Paige (shown, $125 for 2-strand pearl necklace and 2-sided photo tile).  But check out their site to pick your own favorite style!  Their Mother’s Day deadline for ordering is April 17.

Lockitz has generously donated a free “Harper Page” necklace to MomsOutLoud.com, which we are passing on to one lucky Mom.  This $125 value necklace is the same design as above and will be created for the lucky winner from her own photos and choices of selection.  All Moms have to do is to post something in our “Mother’s Day” group on MomsShare and we’ll draw a winner by April 17.

Another option I must mention as a more bargain alternative is Kimbra Studios ().  Their pendant options are really apples to oranges compared to Lockitz, and instead of a photo tile where the picture is adhered to a wood tile, they appear to use “charms” where the picture is slid between glass, but the price is lower ($30 – $42 for photo charm alone) and the Mother’s Day deadline is later (April 29th).

3)  Photo bag

I’m seeing more and more of these bags out and about, and again, makes me jealous.  Who needs Kate Spade, Louis Vuitton, or Hermes when you can slap a picture of your own beautiful children at the beach on a bag and tote it around town?  Not me.  I’ll take Jack, Luke (and coming soon – Baby Kate) over expensive leather any day.

while there are lots of options for Photo Bags out there, I have to point you to PhotoJojo first ().  I found their website

while researching these options, and was so impressed with their selection and, frankly, writing on the site that I spent much longer than I had intended just surfing around.  (By the way, if any of you Moms out there can write like whomever is doing the copy on their site, contact me.  I will happily replace myself!!)

Photojojo has several styles available, with prices like $30 (coin purse), $50 (small clutch purse), $75 (beach bag), $110 diaper bag, $120 (classic tote).  My favorite, shown here, is the EveryDay Bag for $90.  

There is another alternative that a photographer friend tipped me off to, called Bagettes ().  She was carrying their very cute “hipster” bag the day I saw her ($40 online).  Prices are comparable, and a few items are still available to order without rush charges (as of April 10)…check website for the full line up and order deadlines.

4)  Personalized stationary

Even in this age of email, Facebook, iPhones, blackberries, and online social networking, nothing is nicer than getting a hand-written note from someone you care about.  Part of the joy as a recipient of such a note is seeing the cool, unique stationary that the note is sent on; part of the joy as a sender of such a note is actually having cool, unique stationary to write the sentiment on.

As someone who writes (a lot), I am a sucker for personalized stationary, even though the majority of my writing is on the web or email.  (I aspire to spend more time on handwritten notes – really!!)  But as a Mom on a budget, I don’t splurge on this as often as I’d like for myself, so these products are always a great gift for me.  My favorite source is Expressionery.com ().  I loved them because of all of their fun, hip designs and great pricing even before I figured out they are based in New Braunfels, TX (if a business isn’t based in DFW, the Texas Hill Country is close enough to count).

Some of my favorite products that they carry are the customized stamps (PSA Essentials, $45), Paper People by Laura Kelly designs (flat cards shown – $26 for 26 cards), and various personalized note cards, memo sheets, etc. (initial embossed note card shown is $24 for 24 cards). 

Right now through May 12,Expressionery.comis offering 40% off their entire site with the code:  MOM40 (see link for details).  This is a dangerous for stationary junkies like me, and I can’t wait to take a few moments to browse the site for some deals!!

5)  Personalized Products with Your Kids Art

We all have more artwork from our kids than we know what to do with.  And while each piece is special, well, let’s face it, some are “more” special than others.  With the wide accessibility of scanners, it’s easier than ever to put those masterpieces onto any number of products, from mugs to mousepads to note cards to T-shirts.

Shutterfly, Snapfish, and Kodak Easy Share Gallery are obvious (and well-known) choices for any of these products.  But if you haven’t heard about this website, you should know about it:  Personal Creations ().  It is one of my “go-to” sources of gifts for Grandparents and Dad for products that are both custom and a great value; I’ve ordered everything from the “Family of Characters” stationary products to Christmas ornaments to doormats from here.

Some of the things you might think about as a way to display that special artwork are (in addition to any of the items above): I Love Mommy Photo Frame ($24.95), Photo Mug ($12.95), or one of the very many options on their website.  You can just picture these products with art work on them (vs. the photo), can’t you?

#6 – Sterling Silver Stamped Jewlery

A friend of mine has a triple-band ring stamped with her children’s names on it. 

I’ve asked her so many times where she got it….and I can never remember.  And now I’m to the point where I can’t ask her again, because she’ll know what a flake I am by not remembering after so many times.  (PH, if you are reading this, now you know that I’ve spaced out on this one!)

So, you can imagine my delight when I opened a Parents magazine and saw an ad showing the exact same triple band ring — plus some other very cool silver jewlery

with stamped names and initials.  I have no idea if this is the same company my friend got hers from, but this one looked really professional with beautiful designs.  And when I checked the “Contact Us” info, I saw that they are based in Ft. Worth!  Double bonus!!

The company is Nelle & Lizzy (website: www.nelleandlizzy.com).  Their line up of rings, bracelets, necklaces, and charms are, as they describe it, “understated yet meaningful.”  I love them.  Order deadlines for Mother’s Day is April 22nd with no rush charges.

I hope all of you (as well as myself!!) get at least ONE of these items for Mother’s Day this year.  But again, ladies, if you don’t ask for it, how’s he gonna know you want it?  Email this article to those you love!!

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