(Last Minute) Gift Ideas: Mother’s Day

Mother's Day + 10 Non-Traditional Gift Ideas | Sense of Sunny

Every holiday that involves planning a gift for my mom has usually started with me asking what she wants. Which is a terrible tactic for someone who has often said something along the lines of, “nothing” or “everyone to be good.” My siblings and I haven’t always been able to be good agree to disagree when we’re together, so we’ve often had to overcompensate with presenting a slew of gifts, each one different than the last, and usually painted, cut, glued, cooked, wrapped and/or delivered.

While “being good” comes more naturally the older we get, the unique and worthwhile gift ideas start to wane after many years of birthday celebrations, Christmas mornings and Mother’s Day’s have come and gone. While I’m definitely not one to hate on a fresh bouquet of flowers or a new candle, those things usually end up in the same place. The trash.

And how terrible is that?!

Making memories will warm the heart for a lifetime. If you’re still piecing together the perfect Mother’s Day for that wondrous woman in your life, look no further than this list of (last minute) non-traditional gift ideas.

  1. Write a heartfelt and thoughtful letter detailing a happy memory or your appreciation for all she’s done for you. Bonus points if you use nice stationary. Check out my favorite store, Paper Source, for all your paper needs. Or Target, they’re nice too.
  2. Take her somewhere new, like a local restaurant that you know serves one of her favorite foods, a new museum exhibit, or a funny play. If you need some help, look no further than this list of The Best Cheap (or Free) Museums in All 50 States.
  3. Utilize Mother Nature to give the gift of active relaxation and go on a hike, scope out a scenic view, or take a long walk together.
  4. Find a farm and go strawberry picking. It’s the perfect time of year for it. You can let the fun go on and bake something together when you return home with 14 pounds of berries. One time I obsessed about strawberries and made some bangin’ fruit salsa.
  5. Visit your local botanical garden. Mom’s love plants.
  6. Get the family together and snap some updated pictures to replace the ones where you look embarrassing. Even better if you get a little goofy–those are the most fun.
  7. Find some old home videos and plan a viewing party with Pinterest worthy snacks.
  8. Check out GroupOn or LivingSocial and choose a random experience you can both do for the first time like going on a rock climbing adventure or taking a dessert making class or dance lesson.
  9. Create a special Mother’s Day brunch menu and surprise her with a home-cooked meal. And then clean it all up when you’re done. Food & Wine is the mecca of all Mother’s Day recipes.
  10. Spend the afternoon at a winery and learn how to experience el vino the real way. If you’d rather teach her yourself, this article is good place to start. See, swirl, smell, sip and swallow.


What is your Mother’s Day plan this year?


Favorite Things 1.0

Can you believe it’s already May?? Time just flies right on by. Today I’m sharing a new series! One of my blog weaknesses is reading lists and link roundups. Mostly because I’m nosy about what other people are doing and discovering. Hopefully my favorite things will inspire you to discover more of yours.

Favorite Things 1.0


The book I’m currently reading for my book club is “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)” by Mindy Kaling. I’ve heard Mindy is a pretty funny gal and I always see her books hanging out at Barnes and Noble. It’s all true! She writes just like she talks and I’ve found myself LOL’ing quite a few times. Have you read it? What do you think?

I’m doing something rare and trying to read two books at once. Thanks to the ladies at (my favorite website) Career Contessa, I discovered Dr. Zelana Montminy and her newly released book, “21 Days to Resilience.” In a nutshell, it’s about the importance of discovering your emotional strength on the quest of living a fulfilling life. Be sure to go check out her bio on the Career Contessa website. (And while we’re on the topic, everyone should have a little bit of CC in their life. Sign up for the weekly newsletter here!)


Currently Playing: Podcasts

International Women’s Day + Feminism


24 Things: Birthday Bucket List If you remember from three whole months ago, I celebrated my 24th birthday with a very comprehensive bucket list. I am still working away at it and have officially accomplished two pretty big things. Check it out to read my latest update!

Favorite Things 1.0


Strawberries…so many strawberries. About two weeks ago I was browsing my local Fresh Market and noticed how so very red their strawberries looked. On my long pursuit of healthiness, this was beauty to my eyes.

Besides just tasting amazing and being my favorite fruit ever, apparently there are at least 8 more reasons why you should be eating these beautiful berries.

If you’re looking for an easy pot-luck recipe this Spring, try this fruit salsa and cinnamon chips recipe. It’s definitely a crowd pleaser. Mostly strawberries, 100% delicious.

Please watch this very sobering story of “The Extraordinary Life and Times of Strawberry.” It’s a tear jerker.


I’ve been on a mission to master my skincare routine. While I haven’t quite gotten it down to a perfect science, I have found my favorite face mask! The Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask is clearly sent from heaven. I recently found a duo pack of this mask with the Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask for only $34 at TJ Maxx. Can you say, SUPER STEAL. So, if you’re also on the hunt for the perfect products, never forget your local discount store. Charcoal masks are really becoming popular and for good reason. The claim that they extract impurities from your skin proved to be so very obviously true after I globbed this stuff all over my face following a weekend of much drinking. Toxins are serious stuff ya’ll.

Another favorite of mine this month is the Shea Butter Whip Body Lotion from the Body Shop. IT’S AMAZING. It’s so moisturizing, doesn’t leave a sticky residue and the pump bottle is so much easier to use than digging your hands into their body butter jars. I basically smell myself all day long. So good.

Favorite Things 1.0


If you’ve listened to any of the playlists I’ve posted, than you know my taste in music is all over the place. Lately, I’ve been really into my new Spring 2016 playlist, which will be posted once it contains more than three songs 😉 One song off the playlist is really giving me good vibes lately.


I don’t really like turning into a sweaty mess and bugs are not my thing. Lately, though, I’ve been very into daydreaming about everything that happens during summer time–eating ice cream, going on hikes, being in nature, flowers, island drinks, sunshine, being chilllllllll. Maybe it’s my changing attitude towards life or maybe I’m just ready for the season to match up with the temperatures, but I’m readier than ever.


What are your favorite things these days?


Currently Playing: Podcasts

Currently Playing: Podcasts | Sense of Sunny

I used to travel back and forth between campus and my parents’ house for college breaks. During an average academic year, this would amount to at least 10 four-hour car rides that I desperately needed to get through without looking at my phone or crying of boredom or sleepiness (that happened…) The podcast world is one that I’m so lucky I discovered, and I haven’t looked back since.

There are so many reasons why podcasts are perfect. They pass the time, spark all sorts of creativity and inspiration and not to mention, they don’t give you car sickness! A win-win-win.

This week I will be doing a lot of sitting around as I fly my way to Florida for wedding celebrations and fun in the sun. I have my book club read ready to go, but wanted to get my podcast arsenal updated. These are some of my recommendations:

The 5AM Miracle with Jeff Sanders | I haven’t actually listened to this one yet, however, I keep seeing it float around the internet and couldn’t resist the download. I’ve started trying really hard to wake up earlier and earlier every morning. It’s amazing what good comes out of rising before the sun.

“The Jedi Master of Productivity: Paul Minors”

“Super Genes with Deepak Chopra and Rudy Tanzi”

“I’m Up. Now What?”

The School of Greatness with Lewis Howes | If you’re into former pro-athletes who have something worthwhile to say to the world, this guy doesn’t disappoint. These podcasts have left behind lasting impressions in my life. For a girl who has terrible memory and fact recall skills, that’s a big deal.

“Master Confidence, Humility, and Leadership with Brad Lomenick”

“Share the Light”

“Neil Strauss and the Uncomfortable Truth about Relationships”

TEDTalks | It’s no surprise that I’m obsessed with the mission behind TED. The brand is so powerful and creates a stage for passionate people who need to share something extraordinary with the world. I love so many TED talks.

“What really matters at the end of life | BJ Miller”

“An invitation to men who want a better world for women | Elizabeth Nyamayaro”

“How my mind came back to life–and no one knew | Martin Pistorius”

Stuff You Should Know | I love the informational and conversational tone of both Chuck and Josh. What a duo. Each podcast is so interesting, even when they’re discussing topics that you’d think are otherwise pretty boring. Like if you can engage someone for almost an hour on the topic of tea…that’s magic.

“How Egypt’s Pyramids Work”

“How Tea Works”

“Nirvana: Not the Band”

Raise Your Hand Say Yes with Tiffany Han | I first came across Tiffany on my search for creative entrepreneurs. The topics of each episode are so relatable. Bravery, vulnerability, and “saying yes” are applicable to creatives and non-creatives alike.

“Ep. 41: The Quiet Side of Bravery”

“Ep. 35: Jen Louden on Vulnerability”

“Ep. 2: Erin Loechner on Saying Yes”

Being Boss | What I most admire about creative entrepreneurs is their prioritization of authenticity and hard work. This collection makes ya feel empowered and ready to take on whatever life’s throwing your way. (Side note: Brene Brown is basically a goddess, so any podcast that features her is a fav of mine.)

“#42 – Brene Brown”

“MINISODE – Mindfulness, Boundaries, and Rules”

“#19 – Communicate Like a Boss”

There are billions of podcasts out there in the world! Do you have a favorite?