Thursday, May 9, 2013

Mother's Day: Have you Shopped for Your Mom Yet?

Haven't bought your Mom a gift for Mother's Day yet? Check out some of my great gift ideas on my latest piece below!

6 Gifts for the Jet-Setter Mom

Published May 09, 2013
Showing your appreciation for the mom that’s always on the go is never easy but this year we’ve put together a list of some of the hottest new gifts for the most travel-aficionado mothers out there.
Spending hours on a bus to a private resort or beach can be dreary, but listening to your favorite tunes can always help pass the time. Whether your mom wants to jam out to some classic oldies or relax over old-school blues, she’ll love wearing Frends headphones. These gorgeous and gold encrypted headphones will leave your mother feeling stylish and comfortable. The “earrings for your earbuds” come with an ambient silicone tip that directs sound right into the ear for a natural sound from a 13mm driver. It also comes with a chic little carrying case to wrap up its soft fabric cord and fashion-accessory like buds into so they don’t get tangled or lost. These made for women headphones come with a lifetime guarantee and are compatible with select Apple devices.  Available at Apple Stores, Best Buy, Nordstrom Price: $ 99.99.
Chilly Jilly
When your mother is getting ready to take a long flight you want her to be as comfortable as possible. First class tickets might leave you with a little extra leg room but wearing the right attire can truly upgrade your comfort level. Chilly Jilly has new lounge pants that are so cozy and soft you’ll want to wear them whether you’re traveling or not. Made with a high quality brushed wrinkle-resistant micro fiber, these pants feel and look amazing. These pants are nothing like dumpy sweatpants- with slick long pant legs that feature a fold-over waistband they’ll give mom and extra flattering and slimming touch to the waist. The Chilly Jilly Company also makes a Chilly Jacket that wears like a fashionable blanket with sleeves. It’s perfect for a warmer and restful flight and comes in a pretty drawstring pouch that can easily fit into a purse or carry-on. Available at . Price for The Lounge Pants $45.00 / The Jilly Jacket: $ 60.00.
Everyone loves to bring home a memorable souvenir, but with all the TSA rules and strict security checks it’s sometimes hopeless to think your fragile or liquid items will make it back in one piece. A brilliant way for your mom to protect her keepsakes is to get her a VinniBag. The wine bottle shaped like bag has inflatable air chambers that conform to the items you put in it, giving them isolated, immobilized and cushioned protection all around. With the Vinnibag your mom will never have to worry about flying with her favorite wine from Italy or special memento from Europe. The reusable and recyclable bag is also great to use when skiing, camping or boating. Available across the globe at airports and stores like Brookstone and Bed Bath and Beyond. Price $28 each or 2 for $25.
Hammacher Schlemmer Neck Massager
Sitting straight up for hours while you drive of fly to your next destination is bound to leave you with a painful sore neck. Hammacher Schlemmer recently released a deep or light pressure neck massager. Shaped to put around your neck like a travel pillow the massager has two rollers that knead the back of your neck like two human hands. For a quick bout of muscle pain relief this massager is a great new travel buddy to bring along on lengthy trips. Whether you like a deep tissue massage or a soothing gentle massage an attached controller lets you alter and modify the intensity and direction of the rollers. This travel-friendly device can be plugged into an AC or a car’s DC power plug- both adapters come included. Available Price $99.95.
If your mom’s idea of a relaxing vacation is basking in the sun while reading a good book then it’s the perfect time to get her an E-Reader. The lightweight and compact digital reads are one the best travel accessories to bring along with you anywhere. On Amazon they are promoting a special $179 for their Kindle Fire that originally goes for $199 (special lasts from now through May 12th), but if you’re looking for a more affordable price their original Kindle makes a great gift for under $100. At $69 the Kindle’s electronic ink screen will have your mom lounging by a resort pool with her favorite novel without any annoying glares from bright sunlight. Personalize the gift by sending your mom her first Kindle book to read. Some great new picks to consider;Parenting Without Borders (Penguin), takes readers on a tour around the world to learn about all the different parenting lessons and practices other countries are using. 65 Things To Do When You Retire: Travel (Sellers Publishing Inc) puts together exciting ideas and advice for retirees who want to explore the world with new adventures and opportunities. Available Price Kindle $69, Kindle Paperwhite $119, Kindle Fire HD $199.
Polaroid iF045 Digital Camera
It’s no secret that most mom’s love to take pictures. Maybe it’s in their maternal genes but whenever there is a special occasion or event going on mothers will undoubtedly have their fingers on the shutter button. If you’re looking for a reasonably priced camera that mom can use during her travels the Polaroid iF045 digital camera is a great option and is retailed at just $69.99. Mom doesn’t have to be tech savvy to work this highly functional camera either. With a one-press shutter button and dual screen LCD displays she can snap beautiful clear pictures or take her own selfies at all the places she journeys to. The waterproof, shockproof and sand-proof model also makes this camera the perfect travel companion for family vacations or days at the beach. Available at, the Polaroid store, Sears, Kmart and Staples. Price $69.99.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Tips For The Perfect Mother's Day Brunch

Need some tips for the perfect Mother's Day brunch this year? Take it from a Top Chef in my latest article on Fox News! 

Padma Lakshmi: Mother’s Day is a Thanksgiving of spring

Published May 08, 2013

When it comes to Mother’s day celebrations, everyone loves the delicious and bountiful tradition of brunch.

Padma Lakshmi, the beautiful host of Bravo’s "Top Chef" and mother of 3-year-old daughter Krishna, says Mother’s Day brunch is a great time to get all of your family together to share good food and family memories.

“Take out your family photo albums and put them out on your coffee table,” Lakshmi said. “Encourage your guests to talk about the history of your family and the family traditions that they remember growing up with.”

Padma’s First Mother’s Day

Lakshmi reminisced back to her first mother’s day when she gathered around her closest friends and family for lunch. After years of struggling with endometriosis, a painful uterine condition, Lakshmi’s pregnancy was called a ‘medical miracle’.

“I had such different circumstances around the birth of my daughter. On my first Mother’s Day I honored my cousin. I bought him a present and got up during lunch and said I want to thank you,” Lakshmi said.

Lakshmi says she couldn’t have made it through it all without her family’s help.

“I think it’s really important to remember that we are parented by a lot of people in our lives. From my cousin taking me to my sonogram appointments to my mother coming to live with me while I was bed ridden, they were all there for me when I needed them most,” she said.

A Table Full of Generations

When your family table speaks for more than one generation it can be tough to find something for everyone but Lakshmi, the author of two cookbooks, says putting together a healthy menu for everyone at your table can be done.

“I don’t believe in being a short order cook, we all eat the same thing in this house,” Lakshmi said.

Yet Lakshmi does suggest that if you know a guest has special dietary restrictions, like avoiding meat or heavy salted foods, then you should try to offer alternatives.

“Whenever I’m hosting I try to remember who I’ve invited and what their preferences are,” Lakshmi said. “You may want to under salt things if someone has salt limitations as you can always put salt on the table for those who want to add more.”

Most of Lakshmi’s family is vegetarian (which she is openly not) but being the gracious host that she is, Lakshmi likes to please the ones she loves.

“At first it was hard to collate that meal, but I’ll make sides that cater to everyone and have a main meat dish along with a vegetarian option as well.” Lakshmi said. “You could easily do a white bean dish or a black eyed peas dish with a little pumpkin or zucchini, something that feels hearty. It’s also really easy to do a lentil salad with chopped bell peppers and apples with a light lemon juice and oil dressing,  it feels cool and refreshing.”

A Healthier Sweet-tooth

You won’t find this celebrity chef in line for a brunch drizzled with sweet sugary syrups and crispy fried fat-traps.

“I personally don’t like waffles and sugary things for breakfast. Why not do a yogurt parfait with beautiful cut fruit and yogurt. You can sprinkle in some raw sugar with a dash of cinnamon for a little extra touch of sweetness.”

If your mom enjoys something more on the sweeter side then try to keep it lighter.

“If you love pancakes I would opt for the crepe, it’s much thinner and then you can fill it with some stewed fruit or baked apples. And rather than adding whip cream to it you can add a dollop of vanilla yogurt instead,” Lakshmi added.

Remember It’s Your Party Too

Although hosting a Mother’s day brunch might seem like a culinary challenge only for the pros, Lakshmi says to remember that the idea is to enjoy the time with your loved ones. If your guests feel like you’re stressed, it will stress them out too.

“You don’t want your guests to arrive and you’re all frazzled, so select a menu that 75 percent of it can be made ahead of time,” Lakshmi said. “You could do a simple roast chicken and a lentil stew the night before so that all you’re doing is warming them up the next day before your guests arrive.”

One of Lakshmi’s favorite stress-free dishes to make is a Spanish tortilla. 

She says the inexpensive meal is easy to make with just a few ingredients; eggs, sautéed onions and potatoes. Best of all, it can be served at room temperature so you don’t have to worry about reheating it or serving it as soon as it comes off of the skillet.

“It’s a holiday like Thanksgiving, you don’t look at your email, you don’t answer your cell, it’s about stopping what you’re doing to spend time with your family. Mother’s day to me is like a Thanksgiving of spring.”

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