Dress Well


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Gift giving can be pretty tricky, but even more so when you’re gifting a parent. Christmas, birthday, and Mother’s Day come around every single year. It can be hard to keep coming up with meaningful, or useful gifts. This year I’m giving my Mom a Mother’s Day gift basket–I’m going to have to hide this blog post from her–to make her feel celebrated.

I LOVE putting together gift baskets.

They fit any budget, and all occasions. My favorite part is curating every single piece, so the recipient knows without a doubt, I had them in mind. Another reason to love gift baskets, is the convenience. They can often be put together entirely at one store.

Not too long ago I had an unexpected event come up, and I needed a gift ASAP. It was for a good friend, so a last-minute gift card wasn’t going to cut it.

Panicking, I ran to the nearest grocery store to look for a basket, tissue paper, and a card. Then, I paced the aisles putting random items in my cart, trying to decide on a theme. I landed on “BBQ,” because I found some fun grilling accessories, a locally made brand of BBQ sauce, and a fancy marinade kit. In just a few steps, I had a gift basket! Customer service was kind enough to let me borrow their pens and tape so I could get it put together on the spot.

If you’re still stuck looking for the perfect gift for Mama this Mother’s Day, follow these five steps for building the perfect gift basket.

When building a gift basket, diversity is the key. It’s fun to choose a theme–exercise junkie, wine & dine, coffee addict, etc.–but you definitely don’t have to. And please remember, each of these steps can be as elaborate or inexpensive as you want.

1. Something to eat

I chose to use these special cookies my friend Jannica makes. If the gift basket has a theme, such as “exercise junkie,” as I mentioned before, you’ll obviously want to stick to that and choose protein bars or trail mix. Bonus points if you already know your recipients favorite foods.

Jannica's Cookies Utah
Is this not the CUTEST cookie ever?

For a more frugal choice, I opt for the recipient’s favorite candy. Or, I make the treat myself. This Mississippi Mud recipe is a fool proof brownie that everyone loves. For a special occasion, the edible option can be a vintage bottle of wine or a gourmet ingredient like truffle oil.

2. Something to pamper

I like to give my mom things I know she won’t buy for herself. For this year’s Mother’s Day gift basket, I picked one of my favorite face masks to pamper her. Now, I know my mom well, so I feel confident choosing a skincare product for her to use. Be sure to find out about any allergies or issues–like psoriasis or acne–before gifting a product that could potentially be useless.

Gift Basket Facial Sheet Mask

A few safe pampering options: a pumice stone, organic unscented lotion (I use this one), a hair mask for all hair types (this one is my personal holy grail), or, for a splurge item, this incredible facial cleansing system.

3. Something to use

Useless knick-knacks are the worst. Cutesy stuffed animals or figurines might be fun for a short time, but they end up collecting dust. (Unless, of course, it’s a collectors item for your recipient. Then, by all means, buy that ceramic chicken.)

My third addition to a gift basket is always something that can be used long-term. This year I went with the cutest mug for my mom’s new office. She’s a fan of tea and I know she will just be tickled to put this on her desk.

Gift Basket

Some other useful gift ideas: A beautiful planner-slash-bullet journal (have you seen Corso journals?), A wine-stopper, bamboo socks (seriously these are the BEST socks in the entire world), or a set of cute cookie cutters for someone who likes to bake.

4. Something to do

I opted for a gift certificate for two to Wallaby’s Smokehouse, so my mom can have a date night. I picked Wallaby’s because they’re my favorite BBQ spot in Utah. Seriously, this Texas girl doesn’t leave disappointed. The brisket salad? AHHHmazing.

Wallaby's Smokehouse Gift Card
Wallaby's Smokehouse Utah
I mean, look at that.

In the past I’ve given her movie tickets, massages, or personal training. (She had mentioned she wanted a personal trainer, so I promise I wasn’t calling her fat.) This might sound pricey, but it doesn’t have to be! Try a magazine, book, or audible credit if that’s their jam. Manicures are pretty affordable, or you can find tons of deals on Groupon.

5. Something to spend

Depending on what else I’m putting in the gift basket, this is either the shining star, or a modest little bump. I’m a believer in gift cards–even for people I’m close to–because it allows them to have the fun of picking something out themselves. Of course, where the gift card goes to is the key here. Make sure it’s somewhere you know they shop regularly, or stick with Visa.

This year I just grabbed a $10 Starbucks gift card, because I splurged on the custom cookie and BBQ. In the past, I’ve made the gift card the star of the basket, sending my mom to Nordstrom or her favorite local grocery store (yea…that’s a thing with her!).

Starbucks Gift Card

Gift cards you can never go wrong with: Amazon, Target, and Visa.

A few other things to keep in mind…

The basket itself. I never actually use a hard woven basket, because I see them as throw-away items. Instead, I like to use organizing bins, or decorative baskets that can be used or displayed long after the contents are used. I’m using a photo storage box this year, as my mom loves to hold onto old school printed photos.

I once had a friend gift me a “basket” on a gorgeous serving tray–like this one–from Crate & Barrel. That was easily my favorite gift basket ever.

Check out this round up of both classic and unique “basket” ideas:

A useful tote bag, that can carry lunches, groceries, or beach gear.
This is a super useful small laundry basket, and it comes in three different neutral colors.
I can’t get enough canvas organizing totes! They add functional design to any room.

Decorative filling. To make your gift basket really special, you’ve got to have some sort of tissue, glitter paper, or ribbon around the items. I once saw a kitchen themed gift basket that was filled with rolled up dish towels. So. Cute!

Gift Basket
You can find these items at dollar stores, or any big box store like Target. Amazon has great deals too!

The finished product…

Mother's Day Gift Basket

…minus the cookie (it will be fresh for mother’s day!) which I will prop up right in front of the mug. I can’t wait for my Mama to see this year’s basket. If you make a basket for your mom, I’d love to see it! Tag me on Insta or Facebook @thechicgourmay.

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