15 marvelous Mother’s Day gifts

Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 14.  Show your appreciation for your mom this Mother’s Day with one of these fabulous gifts that will make her day.

Got that sunshine in my pocket-book

Give Mom a gift she will cherish and literally keep close to her heart every day — the M. Hulot Gia cross body bag ($199), perfect for work, shopping, travel and everyday outings. With its luminous yellow color, luxurious Italian vegetable-tanned leather and bespoke craftsmanship, Mom will admire it each time she carries it. Designer Anna Kreeger chose the materials for the M. Hulot line based on an “emotional response,” which this purse is sure to elicit from Mom, for its beauty and hand-finished detail. Like the bag itself, the collection’s intriguing M. Hulot name, taken from a character of a classic French comedy, is a conversation piece that adds to the fun Mom will have carrying it. Available at www.waremakers.com.

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Here, there every wear

Mom wears many hats, so give her the clothes to go with them. Royal Robbins makes a versatile line of go-anywhere clothing for Mom, and the whole family, for a classy casual day at the winery, or a weekend campout. The Royal Robbins line, created by an active, outdoorsy, rock-climbing married couple, are as comfortable as they are functional, with smartly designed pockets and details, like reinforced bartacks at stress points, and they are made of eco-conscious materials, such as UV blocking, wicking and odor resistant fiber blends. Outfit Mom for a relaxing Moms’ Day weekend in the uber-soft wool blended Merinolux V-Neck Tee ($65) paired with the comfy Jammer Capri or fun hybrid Jammer Skort for trekking and travel ($65); or suit her up in the tailored-for-comfort Diablo Camp Shirt ($70) or the perfect-for-layering breathable Cool Mesh Shirt ($70) for a sophisticated casual look that works on the trail, a picnic, at the office, on a plane, or at dinner.

A face any mom will love

Even if you can’t afford to send mom to a tropical island for Mother’s Day, you can still give her a glowing sun-kissed tan with Skineral’s organic California Sunless Bronzer (8 oz., $27.99). Applied with a special velvety mitt, its unique foam formula goes on smoothly and absorbs quickly without streaking, and it has no strong unpleasant smell like many other self-tanners, and the natural looking color lasts for days.

Help Mom keep her skin feeling and looking healthy, youthful and dewy with dermatologist recommended Skineral’s line of skincare, including cleaners, moisturizers, anti-aging serums and the best-selling mineral spray, Topazanite Theraceutical Skin Solution (2.5 oz., $19.99), containing organic ingredients with more than 77 powerful mineral and earth elements sourced from seven parts of the globe, for miraculous effects on acne, sunburn dermatitis and eczema skin.

Fry easy

Mom can bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan, so give her cookware that’s worthy of her culinary abilities, from the Hexclad collection (starting at $79.99 for 8” frying pan). This new high-tech cookware blends tri-ply stainless steel with a patented nonstick surface that can handle whatever Mom throws at it. It has faster heating and greater heat retention than traditional cookware, so it uses less energy to cook, and its unique hexagonal honeycombed-pattern nonstick surface takes less energy to clean up — and Hexclad ware even can go in the dishwasher. It has a stay-cool handle, so no potholders are required to handle it, and it can be used in the oven up to 500°.

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Drink up-scale

Mom can stay hydrated in style with Not Vodka bottles, the sleek and colorful line of designer insulated drink thermoses that keep beverages cold for up to 30 hours and hot for up to 12 hours. Not only will Mom enjoy having her drink taste cold (or hot) and fresh all day (and night), she will feel great about using this reusable container to replace disposable bottles and knowing that the company donates a portion of proceeds to charities that help hydrate humanity in water-starved areas of the world. The line comes in an array of feminine and pretty hues, like rose glitter, neon pink and Tiffany-ish sea foam, emblazoned with the conversation-starter brand name Not Vodka — but if you do fill it with vodka, who would know? $25 for 17-oz., $32 to $59 for 25-oz.

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A run for the money

There are those moms who get a flutter over Jimmy Choos, and then there are those moms who can run circles around them, in Icebug running shoes, the absolutely cutest athletic footwear she will ever blaze a trail in and that are as hard core and durable as her. Running wonder moms can rely on these Swedish-made hi-tech and high-performing but low-maintenance shoes for serious runners that will get them over the hills and through the woods and streams in comfort and style. Emblazoned with the distinctive Icebug emblem, she will stand out as she tears up the trails, in one of the many specialty styles designed for just about any weather conditions, such as the feather-light, mesh upper Oribi RB9X ($149), an everyday running shoe that can conquer rocky terrain with aplomb.

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Moms need support

It may seem like a rather intimate Mother’s Day present, but Mom will never forget the gift of all-day comfort and confidence in her clothes that a ThirdLove luxury bra ($68) will give her. Guaranteed to fit, the ThirdLove bra system begins with an online survey that she can fill out, indicating her shape and form and bra fit issues. She can select her preferred style, from the 24-hour T-shirt bra style to full coverage or push-up styles, and she can even indicate a half-size. Using the try-before-you-buy option, if after wearing the bra for up to 30 days she decides the bra doesn’t fit, she can return it or exchange it, until she’s completely satisfied. The styles come in a variety of neutral and flashy colors to suit any mom’s style.

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Cabana girl

Moms of all styles and shapes will love the way they look and feel in Cabana Life swim and beachwear ($50 and up), with built-in 50+ UV protection, designed by mompreneurs who are skin cancer survivors. With flowery and flashy patterns, stripes and solids, the mix-and-match collection suits every taste and body type, with multi-functional two-piece and one-piece swimsuits coverups, rashguard swim shirts and skirts and even swim pants. Perfect for the mom who likes to go paddle-board yoga, sunbathe or splash at the pool or beach with unique style. She can top off her look with a Cabana Life sun hat and accessorize with a colorful tote or even a matching cell phone cover.

Barking up the cocoa tree

If Mom loves to indulge in delicious chocolates, but you don’t want to be cliché with a traditional box of bonbons, treat her to JoJo’s chocolate bark. This sweet and rich 70-percent dark chocolate was created by breast cancer survivor Jodie Jones, who wanted to satisfy her chocolate cravings in an antioxidant-packed, brain-boosting, heart healthy way. She formulated a blend of all-organic chocolate infused with slow-digesting protein and pure ingredients that tastes scrumptious and offers an uplifting and guilt-free chocolate fix. $13.99 for an 8.4 oz. bag/one-week supply.

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A cut above

Mom can cut it anyway she wants it with a new shiny set of Edge of Belgravia stainless steel precision knives ($86.00 for complete set), the remarkably light but durable cutlery that will look stylish in her kitchen and makes slicing and dicing quick and easy. A unique creation of contemporary London designer Christian Bird, the ergonomically designed diamond-like facet shape handles offer a comfortable and steady grip, and the razor-sharp non-stick coated stainless steel blades can cut through the toughest meats like butter.

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Sweet dreams

Let mom sleep in on Mother’s Day, but let her rise and shine other days with the gentle and hi-tech wake up experience of BEDDI Glow ($79.99), the new smart alarm clock that features a glowing LED light that mimics a sunrise and can be set to wake her up to her favorite radio station or streaming her favorite tunes from iTunes or Spotify premium music services. The light changes color to suit mom’s mood and even pulses to her favorite music if she desires. Other features include two USB charge ports and a white noise generator with a variety of sound effects, such as rainforest or crashing waves.

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Always effervescent

Forget the reservations, make Mom brunch at home, and toast her with Gran Campo Viejo Cava Brut Reserva ($16.99), perfect for mimosas with its complement of aromas of white fruits with hints of wood. As festive as it is delicious, this refreshing golden-colored Spanish sparkling wine is aged 18 months and undergoes a second fermenting process in the bottle, giving it a persistent stream of bubbles and a sensational finish on the palate.

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If wine is the way to Mom’s heart, she will savor Campo Viejo Rioja Reserva ($12.99), a bright and deep ruby-red colored wine that balances fruit flavors of cherries, black plums, ripe blackberries and the nuances coming from the American- and French-oak casks where it is aged 18 months before rounding off the aging process for another 18 months in a wine cellar.

Cover girl

Spread out Toad &Co’s Debug Ground Cover ($55) and treat mom to a bug-free Mother’s Day picnic. The light-weight ground cover can fold up compactly to carry along wherever she goes – from the sidelines at soccer games, to camping, the beach, or anywhere bugs might be pesty. The odorless Insect Shield Technology built into the fabric is a safe and effective alternative to insect repellant sprays, and it stays effective for up to 70 washings. Toad & Co also makes fashionable insect-repellant Debug apparel for Mom and the whole family, made of eco-wise and organic materials.

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Grill momma

Summer is coming, and moms who are flippin’ crazy about cooking on the grill will love quick-and-easy cleanup with Grill Daddy ($14.99), the mother of all grill cleaning tools. This baby is a wire scouring brush with steam cleaning power that will shine up a grill rack in no time, so that mom can get to some serious searing and enjoying steaks, burgers, whatever she wants to charbroil without worrying about the mess.

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Get rolling, and get out tension

How to use a foam roller to relieve muscle stress and soreness

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Dr. Michelle Beamer, PT, DPT, Cert MDT, ASTYM, Rapid Rehabilitation guides me through my roller routine.

When we hear the term DIY, we usually think of home improvement, but in an age when insurance coverage is uncertain and responsibility for one’s own health care is more important than ever, it is empowering to know there are many things we can do at home to take care of ourselves.  Recently I discovered a physical therapy tool that I now use daily to maintain the progress I made in therapy sessions.

Everyone likes a massage, and now you can do it for yourself with a number of tools designed for self-massage. The most common of these are foam rollers, which can be used for a variety of applications that can release muscle tension, stretch tense areas and rub out sore spots.

Manipulating your body on a foam roller gives you a sense of control over what muscles need the most work and how much pressure to apply.

A company named OPTP makes a wide variety of these rollers. They have rollers of different density and firmness, different textures, sizes, links, and even an assortment of colors and patterns. For just about every musculoskeletal ailment, they make a roller for that.

My roller of choice Pro-Roller soft style, which runs $22.50 to $36. Since I am a bit of a light weight when it comes to “no-pain, no-gain,” I prefer a softer consistency roller which I find more comfortable, particularly on my neck and back where I have chronic soreness and stiffness.

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Rollers come in a variety of firmnesses, textures, sizes and shapes.

The soft compression of this roller works well on tight and rigid areas and is ideal for lying supine. In this position I use the roll like a weight bench, using light dumbbells to do chest flies; or I edge up to the top of the roll to do neck extensions.

For these exercises I lie with the roll in the middle of my back, cushioning my spine. This is also a great position to do core exercises where I lift one arm off of the floor and raise the opposite leg, holding that pose while balancing to keep the roll in place.

A terrific feature of foam rollers is that they are easy to use, relatively inexpensive, easy to store —  hidden away under a bed or desk, and you can conveniently use a roller several times a day without a lot of set up, to get in a little relief or relaxation when needed, even at work, if you have the space and privacy where you can lie down on a floor.

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Rollers can be used to perform core exercises for balance and strengthening.

For those people who like to have someone walk on their back to crack it, rollers let you achieve this same effect using your own weight against the roller, and if that is not enough pressure you can apply force as you roll. When I first began rolling, my back would crack frequently; then, as I rolled more often, the cracking diminished, as my alignment improved.

There are plenty of online videos and articles about roller exercises, though I would advise getting a baseline program from a professional physical therapist who can tell you if there’s any contraindications with your particular condition. My physical therapist provided me with an illustrated printout of base exercises which I have built upon, and already within six weeks I have seen measurable improvements of 30 and 40 percent in my flexibility and range-of-motion in my problem areas. Clearly, I am on a roll.

Nanit baby monitors checks in on baby’s sleep

nanitFirst comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the Internet of Things in the baby carriage.

After Baby Gigl, the smart baby bottle that notified caregivers via an app of the quantity of nutrition babies received and detected bubbles that could cause colic, now there’s Nanit, the “Tesla” of baby monitors and the first video monitor which can measure sleep and evaluate how well the baby is sleeping— without a wearable device.

Going beyond mere surveillance, Nanit provides comprehensive reports that measure a baby’s sleep behavior throughout the night. Since it launched, Nanit has been featured in Forbes, Fortune, BabyCenter, and The Today Show. In December 2016, Business Insider included Nanit in its “Best startups to launch in 2016” list.

The creators say Nanit is the most advanced baby monitor ever created, using cutting-edge computer vision technology to deliver scientifically-backed insights designed to help babies and entire families sleep better.

Nanit features a mobile app experience that allows parents and caregivers to share important information with each other via Nanit’s private social feed. Other key features include an easy set-up floor stand, a night light, a “white noise” maker, six nature soundtracks, a fully integrated cable management system, sound/motion notifications, and HD surveillance of the nursery.

Nanit is designed to help new mothers (and fathers) for whom baby’s sleep is as elusive as those sheep jumping over the fence.  It might even help those weary parents get a few extra winks too.

Check out the video here: https://youtu.be/qASwMefxodM

Nanit costs $279, not including an additional monthly subscription fee for analytics.

LA Parenting

DSC_0668Okay, this will probably be the yuckiest egg hunt you read about this season. Yes, I know, this is something most parents will have to deal with, and embarrassment and shame about it just perpetuates the issue, but really, did they have to bring it up in association with Easter?

Here’s the pitch from the PR folks:  This year there is a new type of “egg hunt” you’ll want your family participating in: a hunt for Super Lice and lice eggs. With the continued news of Super Lice invading most of the country, parents might be worried their little ones are picking up more than just chocolate bunnies this spring.

To help the local community, Lice Clinics of America wants to give families the opportunity to eliminate lice and eggs with their own Egg Hunt on April 8th. On that Saturday, clinics in Tustin, LAX, Los Angeles, Huntington Beach…

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