How to Make Your Mom Happy

A few original ideas that might show her how much you care.

Yes, Mom, we know. We do appreciate you every day. That special Sunday in May, though, is the time to create new memories.

Do something different together

The challenge: Invite mom to a home-cooked dinner that you prep solo or together; use a showy cookbook; then, gift the book. A few favorites: Green City Market by the community behind Chicago’s farmers’ market; Big Sur Bakery from Los Angeles escapees who opened their dream place in Big Sur; and Bountiful by popular Orange County bloggers Diane Cu and Todd Porter, better known as White on Rice.

The challenge: Run away and join the circus together. Just for a day, at Oakland’s Trapeze Arts.

The challenge: Why not try laughing from the belly for a full hour? Join a laughter yoga class in Laguna Beach.


See the world together

Within San Jose’s campy Rosicrucian Park is the Egyptian Museum, which houses artifacts grouped by their use, either in the “afterlife” or “daily life.” The building itself was inspired by Egypt’s Temple of Amun at Karnak.


Välkommen to the neighborhood of Andersonville, more of an authentic American gateway to Sweden than Ikea, especially during Midsommarfest (brush up on ABBA and bring a love of crowds). But the tastes of ligonberries and pickled herring are open to you anytime of year. On main Clark Street, Simon’s Tavern pours a glögg slushie (regular glögg is more appropriate for cold weather), and Svea’s Swedish pancakes are untouchable. To walk away with a full understanding of the culture, the second floor of the Swedish American Museum explains the Swedish immigration to America and to Chicago.

sweden-sommarfest-chicago_courtesyCourtesy of the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce

Within the former sugar-plantation town of Waipahu is a miniature look into the Philippines. The largest Filipino community center outside that island nation is here, hosting the annual Flores de Mayo Festival. A progressive around the restaurants of Waipahu might include bibingka latik from Golden Coin Bakery (rice cake with coconut jam topping), and lechon kawali from totally legit hole-in-the-wall Thelma’s (fire roasted pork belly). To glimpse at life long ago, tour Hawaii’s Plantation Village.

philippines-waipahuPhoto by Shihmei Barger via Flickr

philippines-menuPhoto by Coty Gonzales

Show her you care… big-time.

This year, we’re teaming up with Lyft to celebrate the amazing moms in our lives. Nominate a mom you know for the #BossMomAwards—the inspirations, the trailblazers, the do-it-all visionaires—and you both could win a weekend getaway to Chicago’s Hotel Lincoln, plus front-row tickets to see Taylor Swift.

Turn what would otherwise be a nice gift into an experience

Instead of a bouquet, a trip to a real garden. A couple standouts: The Arboretum at the University of Santa Cruz and Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, particularly this month during cactus blooms.

Instead-Desert-Botanical-GardenPhoto courtesy of the Desert Botanical Garden


Instead of a bottle of wine or tea, buy a round of sake flights at O Izakaya Lounge in San Francisco’s Japantown.

Instead of bath salts and soap, a session of hydrotherapy at Spa Vitale in a hidden rooftop bamboo garden, with a touch of lavender bath milk powder.


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