Mother’s Day Gift Guide: Ongoing Gifts

The Best Subscription Gifts for Mother's Day 2014 / Frock files

When I was a little girl, I always had a pen pal. (In fact, one of those pen pals is a real life best friend!) My mom, who understood and nurtured my love of mail, let me dip into her collection of thick cotton stationery from Crane to write notes to friends all over the world. To this day, I look forward to getting the mail in the afternoons on the off chance that a handwritten note is buried among the catalogs and bills. And I especially love getting care packages!

If you and your mom share the same love of great mail, here are a few ideas for gifts that will brighten her mailbox throughout the year.

Year-Long Mother’s Day Gifts:

(Vegan) Beauty in a Box. My mom and I love to exchange notes about the beauty products we’re using. She’s always one step ahead of me, especially with natural products. I love this cruelty-free gift box idea by VeganCuts. For $20/month, your mom can sample a range of vegan products ranging from makeup to mouth care.

Good Reads. There are two magazines that I absolutely love getting in the mail: Real Simple and The New Yorker. Maybe your mom loves to cook (Cooking Light or Bon Apetit), craft (Mollie Makes), or stay up-to-date with the literary community (The Paris Review). If she’s more of a bookworm, you might try the book subscription service Just the Right Book.

Bling! For the mom whose jewelry box is overflowing, RocksBox sends out a monthly box with three pieces of jewelry. She can buy the jewelry or wear it and exchange it down the road. ($19/month)

Small Batch Foodie Care Packages. For foodies, I really can’t think of anything better than the seasonal care packages from Eat Boutique. I’ve tried almost everything from Eat Boutique and I’ve enjoyed it all — and I’m totally obsessed with a bunch of the products. Can you say truffle mayo? Helloooo French hot chocolate! ($100/year)

Boutique Goods to Support Women. Umba Box always sends lovely, useful handmade products in their gift boxes, and I love their philosophy of helping women around the world to support themselves through their craft. It’s a beautiful way to bring together ethical giving and delightful things. ($30/month)

Which one would your mom like best?

How To Wrap Gifts With Fabric

Japanese Fabric Gift Wrapping Technique - Easy!

The other day, I was walking Kona when I heard a voice from above saying, “Hi! Up here!” It wasn’t a divine presence, but it was a neighbor I’d bumped into several times in the hallway. We’d never officially met because I’m always ushering Kona quickly out onto the lawn while she’s herding her 2-year-old twins toward their condo, but now she was cleaning her windows and I was right outside of them. We had a delightful little chat and I left feeling glad to know her.

Fast forward to Sunday, when James discovered that he had lost his iPhone. We searched high and low but found nothing. Several hours later, we got a knock on the door and that same neighbor was standing outside. “Did you lose something?” she asked. She had picked up the phone from the parking lot earlier and when she saw my name come up as a text she knew it belonged to us. Well, it’s a good thing we met that day! Maybe it was divine intervention after all.

To thank her, I cooked up some sweet cornbread. Maybe it’s an indication that I’ve been doing too much blogging lately, but it looked so sad in the boring old tupperware. So I used a great graphic napkin from West Elm and wrapped it up Japanese-style. Since I’m guessing lots of us will be giving food gifts over the next few months, I put together a little tutorial. It’s really easy to execute, and lovely to look at.

Japanese Fabric Gift Wrapping Technique - Easy!

1. Place your square tupperware (or box) in the middle of the napkin (or any other large square piece of fabric) at a diagonal.

Japanese Fabric Gift Wrapping Technique - Easy!

2. Lift the top and bottom corners and knot them in the middle.

Japanese Fabric Gift Wrapping Technique - Easy!

3. Then lift the left and right corners and knot them on top of the first knot. The four ends should point in different directions like petals on a flower.

The trick is to use a large enough piece of fabric so that you can easily make the knots. Easy, right? People love getting gifts wrapped in fabric — there’s something luxurious about it — but it’s also SO easy. Bonus: it’s environmentally friendly because fabric can be used over and over!

How To Make a Treasure Lei

How to Make a Treasure Lei

Even though I wrote about summer to fall fashion yesterday, I’m happy that summer is still in full swing. In fact, I’m so happy about it that I’m dedicating the entire month of August to the theme of celebrations! (I know, I’m a day early…I told you I was excited.)

To kick it off, I’m over at You Are My Fave today showing you how to make a highly personalized party favor for your favorite people. It’s my take on the traditional Hawaiian lei.

Head on over to You Are My Fave for all the sweet details.

P.S. Another DIY on making an unraveling treasure ball.

Indulge Your Summer Skin (and a Giveaway!): CLOSED

Frock Files | Nivea Indulgence Giveaway
The change in the seasons makes my skin crazy. Throughout the winter, my skin gets dry and flaky everywhere – especially on my cheeks, my elbows, and my legs. And while summer offers a reprieve, I still find that I need to get into a routine to get my skin looking healthy. Participating in the Nivea Indulgence challenge for two weeks gave me just the push I needed. Here’s how I’m taking care of my skin this summer:

Eliminate: One of the things I neglect is exfoliation, so when Nivea sent me their Touch of Renewal lathering body scrub I was excited to see how much of a difference it made. The changes weren’t just in the rough spots, but also in areas where my skin had become a little congested, like my back. I’ve also begun to exfoliate the skin on my face using a glycolic serum once every three days.

Get Oily: As someone with an oily T-zone, I thought it was totally crazy the first time an aesthetician suggested that I try cleansing with oil. But it turns out that she was absolutely right! Check out my post on how I began cleansing with Jojoba oil, which I’ll continue to do all year long.

Find Balance: Because of the humidity and heat in the summertime, a lot of people forget to moisturize – I’m guilty of doing the same. But sweating takes a lot of moisture from your body and so does the sun, so it’s important to get some moisturizer into your routine. Once I started using Nivea’s Touch of Smoothness moisturizing body wash, I found that my elbows got smooth and no longer required extra moisturizer to keep from becoming ashy in appearance, and I switched to a lighter moisturizer for my legs.

Hydrate: Drink. More. Water. It’s so much easier to drink water when it’s warm out, so make use of this time to get your skin glowing! The more hydration you can bring your skin during the warm months, the better off you’ll be when it gets chilly again.

To help you get your summer skin glowing, Nivea is inviting you to join in on the indulgence. They’re offering one Frock Files reader a gift box containing the two Nivea products mentioned above, a $50 Bed Bath & Beyond gift card, and a cloudlike, fluffy robe.

Entrants must live in the U.S. and be at least 18 years of age. To enter, let me know what you’re indulging in this summer in the comment section below, and don’t forget to log your entry in the Rafflecopter! This giveaway closes on Sunday, June 30th at midnight and the winner will be contacted by email.

Legal Disclaimer: The content and opinions on this blog are purely those of the author and do not reflect the views of Beiersdorf Inc., or any of its affiliates. The author has been compensated with free products as part of the author’s participation in this promotion. Even though the author of this blog receives compensation for the posts or advertisements, the author will always provide his or her honest opinion, finding, belief, or experience on those products. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question. In addition, the author is professionally and/or personally acquainted with the manufacturer of the products being reviewed. Any results described by the author may not be typical of what consumers should generally expect. Lastly, the author of the blog is not responsible for any comments made in comment section of this blog.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A Care Package for Mom

Frock Files | Mother's Day Care Package

With Mother’s Day right around the corner, I got to work picking out a few things for my mom. She’s such fun to shop for because we’re essentially the same person! I’m actually turning into my mom and that’s a good thing.

It all started out with this bamboo cookbook stand, which I fell in love with because I’m always bringing my iPad into the kitchen — and I knew my mom would love it too. And so would James’ mom. (Yes, I bought three.) But then it looked so lonely that I just had to buy a cook book. The Momofuku cookbook is filled with so many scrumptious things, many of them gluten-free, which is just up my mom’s alley.

Frock Files | Mother's Day Care Package

It’s from my mom that I inherited my love of pretty things and paper. These Kate Spade note cards are beyond perfection. Don’t you just want to frame them – or wear them? I love the attention to detail, with the black and white stripe inside the envelope. Every detail is just right.

Frock Files | Mother's Day Care Package

Growing up, my mom always loved grapefruit soap and she once told me she wished The Body Shop would create a grapefruit perfume. Every weekend, I submitted a request in their comment box at our local store. So when I saw that Jo Malone carries a grapefruit scent I nabbed a sample. Who knows if she still wants it? The tiny vial will do until we find out.

I hope she likes it! What are you getting your mom for mother’s day? Is she near or far? For all you moms out there, any Mother’s Day wishes?

P.S. I’ve asked my mom not to look at my blog until after Mother’s Day. It’s a good thing she and my dad are in Napa celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary! Mom (and Dad), when you do read this, happy anniversary!

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