These are a few of my favorite things . . .

Today marks the start of my favorite month . . . and the start of the month my husband dreads all year long!  I love the month of May and he hates it for the exact same reason.

May 6 is my birthday, and if you’re a skilled mama you’ve probably learned how to stretch your birth day into a birth week or weeks.

Next up: Mother’s Day

And just to keep things interesting, May 17th is our wedding anniversary.

Every year about mid-April, my husband starts the annual inquisition related to gift giving.  I have to say, I’m not sure I could come up with gifts for his birthday, Father’s Day, and our wedding anniversary all in the same month either!

In an effort to help all of you wanting to purchase something for that special mama out there this month, I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorites! (Range in price from about $3 – $150) Happy Gift-Giving!

(Side note: If someone could get their husband/important male in their life to compile a similar list for Father’s Day . . . send it my way!)

favorite gift ideas for moms

Gifts that Pamper

The gifts you know the important woman in your life would like, but that she just won’t spend the money on.

Capri Blue Volcano Candle–Never heard of it?  The candles are most well-known for being sold at Anthropologie stores around the U.S., but Nori in downtown Iowa City sells them also!  They are a little more than I would spend on a good-smelling candle ($29.00), but would smell great in my your house!  (someone tell my husband!)

Cupcakes–Iowa City has a Molly’s and a Scratch, and everyone knows that if you get baked goods as a gift they don’t contain any calories. Enough said.


Gifts that Give Back

Such a fun idea.  All of the companies in this category give some portion of their profits back to a cause near and dear to their hearts…awesome!

Three Chords for Hati–I got introduced to this company at ICMB’s 1st Birthday Bash by a mama wearing one of their super cute headbands.  They offer much, much more than headbands, but I think those are still my favorite!

Project Repat–Turn that special mama’s old t-shirts into a t-shirt quilt (but be sure to ask before sending them off to be cut up!)

Better Life Bags–Such a cool company.  I love their products . . . most of the women in my life have a better life bag from me 🙂


Gifts from Iowans

A few of my favs!

Palette–I went to college with this mom-trepreneur and I love her stuff!  She even has wares for the little ones in your life (maybe a mom-daughter or mom-son gift set for Mother’s Day?)

Mast Brothers Chocolate–U Iowa grads that make chocolate?  You know it must be good!  I ordered some this Christmas as a gift for my mom.  They don’t mess around with their chocolate–it showed up wrapped in cooling gel!

{made}–I graduated from high school with these two lovely ladies!  Have you seen the new customizable necklace they’ve created for Mother’s Day this year?  Pick the jewel and the color of the metal disc.  This has the potential to be a great everyday necklace, or even better I’d love to layer them . . . one necklace for each of my babies! They also make awesome bracelets, earrings, and more. Plus these ladies share 9% of their profit with local non-profits, so they fit in the Gifts that Give Back section too!


Do you have any favorite things I could add to my list? Please share!


Kate lives in Iowa City with her husband (Matt) and three kids, ages 7, 5, and 2. She works at the Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development at the University of Iowa. She earned her PhD in Curriculum and Supervision in 2012. Prior to working at the University, she taught high school mathematics at many public schools in Iowa. Kate has also coached junior high and high school cheerleading squads for 10 years. Kate has a personal blog . . . stop by and relive your junior high and high school mathematics classes! (without the anxiety or the homework :) )


  1. Ooohh! Thanks for some great ideas! I’ve never seen a few of those companies. For some personalized mommy jewelry, I recommend checking out
    I just got a set of stacking rings & love them!

  2. Herteen &Stocker has some cute sterling mother‘s pendants and sterling stacking rings. And you would be shopping local.


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