When it comes to made up, unnecessary holidays, I will always be the first to say how stupid they are. Case in point: wtf is National Fruitcake Toss Day and why do we set January 3rd aside for it? As far as I’m concerned, January 3rd is a day of post-NYE rest. Mother’s Day, though, is not one of those holidays, and it is as legit as it is necessary. I applaud all mothers for all of the incredibly hard work that they do. I, for one, was a supreme brat from ages 12-23, so I am definitely going to spend May 10th bestowing upon my mother a thoughtful gift that says, “thank you for putting up with my bullsh*t for so long.”
Here’s the thing, though: my mom deserves like 25 Hermès scarves, the Tiffany diamond (you know, the one Lady Gaga wore to the Oscars) and a few other luxuries, but I just got laid off and can barely afford organic strawberries these days. Luckily, there are a few great Mother’s Day gift options for under $100 that say “You are a queen and you deserve the best, but, as you can see, I am poor rn.” Good enough, I guess.
I’m sure some of you may think that no respectable woman would carry around anything that says “mom” on it, but this phone is not for regular moms; it’s for cool moms. Seriously, my mom is a classy broad with amazing style and I know for certain she’d f*cking love this leather case. It’s totally customizable, so if you’re not into pastels with navy accents, you can pick whatever color combo your mother would love most. Have fun spending the next four hours designing this bad boy!
Earl Grey Tea Tin, $8.95
Most mothers I know subsist on tea, and these super cute vintage-looking tins from Society Social make for a great gift. Each tea flavor comes in a different colored tin and contains 20 tea bags, so she’ll be set with her tea habit for a good while. Also, if you ask me, this is a literal steal.
Slip Pillowcase, $71
This silk pillowcase is a perfect example of something I’ve always wanted, but could never bring myself to actually buy. Luckily, I dropped enough
super subtle hints to my roommate and she bought it for my birthday. Let me just say, it totally lived up to the hype. Here’s why your mom will also love it: it’s anti-aging. For starters, she won’t wake up with creases all over her face, but more importantly, the silk won’t absorb her serums, moisturizers and eye creams. It also protects her hair. Win-win!
Levain Bakery Cookie Assortment, from $27
If you’ve ever been to New York, you’ve been to Levain. They make the densest, richest cookies I’ve ever had, and I mean that in the best way. The sweet relief that comes with taking a bite of the classic chocolate chip walnut is what I imagine doing opioids must feel like. Seriously, they’re so f*cking good and can last for months in the freezer. I don’t know your mom, but I promise she will love them.
Local Eclectic is a female-founded and female-run online marketplace for emerging and independent jewelers to sell their gorgeous designs. I have gotten so much jewelry from this place that I’m embarrassed to admit how much of the money I don’t have has supported my jewelry addiction. Anyway, these birthstone rings are super delicate and can be layered, so getting a few for your mom based on the months you and your siblings were born is so cute. Or just get her one to remind her who her favorite is.
This robe is currently on sale, so don’t wait to get it if you want to save serious $$. It’s made of Turkish cotton, which means it’s soft af. The inside is a super plush terry cloth and the exterior is a very on-trend waffle pattern. I am really tempted to get this for myself because I’m pretty sure that my current dark gray floor-length robe was inspired by the Grim Reaper’s from the Sims. Serena & Lily is a home brand beloved by many moms, so I’m sure any of them would appreciate this.
Let me just start by saying if you have principals and refuse to spend $67 on a candle, check out Voluspa for gorgeous candles at a less offensive price. Anyway, Jo Malone is known for her perfume and, as of late, her candles. I actually have this one on my nightstand and I get whiffs of it even when it’s not burning. The glass container has a really nice minimalist look and the candles all smell amazing, so you really can’t go wrong. The Wood Sage & Sea Salt scent is the most popular, and I love that not-so-subtle “bougie parfumée” flex on the bottom of the label.
Barr Hill Gin, $44
Guys, listen: for my first Mother’s Day, I would really appreciate a bottle of 90-proof liquor. In all seriousness, this is a great gift! Everyone loves a good cocktail—especially now that we will most likely still be staying at home on May 10th—and gin is a crowd-of-less-than-10-pleaser. Also, this bottle looks like something Julia Engel would have displayed on her bar cart because it’s so charming and whimsical-looking.
In the Pursuit is kind of like Local Eclectic, but for literally everything, not just jewelry. If your mom is into crystals, burning sage, and palo santo, she will lose her mind at this kit. It contains a rose quartz crystal, clear quartz point, sage wand, beautiful matches and a bunch of other sh*t that will definitely clear the bad energy from her house.
Escape By Gray Malin, $28.95
Gray Malin is a photographer whose pictures are reminiscent of Slim Aarons, but way more affordable. I got this book for myself at a book-signing and, after flipping through it, bought myself one of his photos. His work, mostly aerial photos of beautiful beaches around the world, is really beautiful and the book is a great way to see it all without having to drop thousands on a big-ass picture your mom has no wall space for.
Everyone loves slippers, and if anyone tells you otherwise, they’re a liar. UGG may not be as cool as it was in 2006, but their slippers are still unparalleled. If your mom is aching for a canary yellow slide that she can wear around the house, she’ll love these. They also come in black, though.
If your mom loves yoga as much as she loves the environment, this towel is the perfect gift for her. I know what you’re thinking, “a towel?” but this is no ordinary towel. In fact, it’s made from recycled fabric and is non-skid, so your mom can use it as a yoga mat. I mean, who doesn’t love a good multi-purpose product, right?
If your mom lives in the tri-state area, don’t even think about getting her flowers unless they’re from PlantShed. If Rufus Humphrey was a botanist instead of an art-junkie, he’d have opened PlantShed (it’s half charming flower shop and half coffee shop). They teach you how to care for your new plant so that your mom couldn’t kill it if she tried.
Images: Brigitte Tohm / Unsplash; Bloomingdale’s; Gray Malin; In The Pursuit Studio; Caskers; Jo Malone; Serena & Lily; gopjn.com; Levain; Slip; Society Social; Casetify; Kin; PlantShed
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Since I am an underpaid peasant, most of my clothes are from Zara. Tbh I have nothing against Zara because I like looking fancy as f*ck in my crisp, cropped blazer over my tea-length flowy skirt, and knowing that I spent less than $100 on the lewk. However, as I enter my 27th year, I want to wean myself off of fast-fashion and invest in higher-quality pieces, AKA shirts that won’t unravel on the gentle cycle of my washing machine. That said, I’m not about to walk into Saks and buy myself a new wardrobe because, like I said, I’m poor. The solution? Shopbop’s bi-annual sale!
Now, if you’re not familiar with Shopbop, climb out of the hole you’re living in and join society. Shopbop, which finally has its own storefront on Amazon, carries literally thousands of designers that are perfect for people who want to graduate from Zara but not quite reach Saks. Shopbop is affordable and that is why I love it on any given day; obviously, I love it a little more when everything is up to 25% off (with the code SPRING). If you get overwhelmed easily, allow me to share our favorite things on sale, and make sure to buy before the sale ends on March 8th!
Rag & Bone Razor Booties, $495
I am that annoying girl who wears boots in the peak of summer and guess what, idgaf. I have no shame in my game because boots—booties, to be more specific—are stylish all damn year. Rag & Bone sells all sorts of stuff, but the brand is most-loved for its amazing leather boots. My bank account weeps every time I admit that I own three pairs, but there’s a very logical reason for that! The leather is thick af, which makes me feel a little fearless when I wear them because they’re basically indestructible. I will say, though, the white definitely gets dirty, so make sure you get yourself a good leather balm to keep them clean.
Soludos Lauren Espadrille Sandals, $85
I never would have bought these because they are obviously a tad loud, but I got them in one of my Trunk Club boxes and they are literally my favorite shoes. They are so f*cking cute and they surprisingly go with everything. I’ve worn them with a pale blue fit-and-flare dress, I’ve worn them with denim cut-offs and an oversized white tee, and I’ve worn them with skinny jeans and a cropped denim jacket. Seriously, they’re more versatile than they seem. The only tiny issue is that they are definitely not made for long strolls. They do have a rubber sole, but it’s very thin, so be careful where you wear them. Other than that, they’re perfect.
Schutz Cloe Sandals, $170
Schutz is the underdog of shoe brands because I always forget about it when I’m on the hunt for a specific style, but they always end up having the exact pair I’m looking for. I have a pair of kitten-heeled boots, silver ballet flats, and sky-high, strappy stilettos from Schutz (can you tell I have a shoe addiction?) and the one thing they all have in common is that they are f*cking comfortable. Like the Soludos, they aren’t meant for a walk along the beach, but if you are going to a dressy event and know you’ll be on your feet for most of the night, these babies are the move.
Tiger Mist Toronto Top, $75
Tbh, I can’t really say why this top is speaking to me so much because I haven’t worn a crop top since 2012, but there’s something about this hot pink number that I absolutely love. I would probably wear it with an aggressively high-waisted skirt, but I am also loving the way the model is wearing it. Even though it’s obviously a very specific look, you can pack it for a trip and wear it a few different ways. I would, however, make sure it’s the highlight of the outfit because anything that would compete with a top like this wouldn’t be a good look.
Stateside Poplin Twist Front Shirt, $162
I have a weakness for white button downs. Whether they’re boyfriend style or super crisp, I don’t even care. I want them all—especially this one. I am absolutely loving the menswear vibe and think it would look chic af French tucked into a pair of tailored bootcut jeans. A classic white shirt is timelessly elegant, but I love that this one has a little bit of a style moment with the subtle twist on the front. Obsessed.
Birds of Paradis Carla Blouse, $218
For the record, I would not classify my style as preppy, but I appreciate very preppy pieces when they’re paired with something a little grungy. For instance, this top, which screams Blair Waldorf circa season one, would look amazing with a pair of distressed boyfriend jeans and a pair of beat up high-tops. Or, of course, you could go the more neutral route and wear it over a pair of skinny jeans and metallic flats. Either way, this top wins.
Gorjana Farrah Huggies, $45
I am a big earrings gal and I am proud to admit that I have about a million pairs. It’s a rough estimate. Anyway, as you can guess, I have multiple piercings and I would probably wear these with a few studs or smaller hoops in my other holes. **Cringes** These are a nice, contemporary shift from the classic gold hoop and I’m definitely into it. They aren’t the kind of earrings someone will stop you on the street to ask about, but they can be the finishing touch on any look. Next!
Botkier Cobble Hill Mini Crossbody Bag, $198
If color scares you, fear not because this very chic bag also comes in white with a tortoise shell handle. Tbh I love the yellow because it’s attention-grabbing, but not too in-your-face because it’s pretty pale. Another thing I love about this bag, aside from the sharp, structured shape, is the fact that the leather is textured, as opposed to smooth. If you’re wondering what the f*ck difference that makes, let me just say, it makes a huge difference because all you have to do for smooth leather to scuff and scratch is, like, breathe near it. Textured leather, however, is tough af and, in my experience, is incapable of scuffs/scratches.
Krewe Prytania Sunglasses, $275
I lose every pair of sunglasses I come into contact with, so I never spend too much on them. These are definitely a little bit of a splurge, but they’re so stylish and timeless that I will put extra effort into not losing them. Of course, these will look good or horrible depending on your face, but this oversized rounded square shape is generally pretty flattering. The tri-color detailing on the upper rims make them a serious fashion find.
FARM Rio Mini Cashew Mini Dress, $155
Yes, this is a dress with a cashew pattern, but it’s so cute that it’s nuts! I hate me, too. Personally, I think all dresses with a snatched waist like this are flattering regardless of your body type. You obviously have to be pro-color if you’re going to buy this dress, but one thing I love about the palette is that it’s pretty muted. This is something I’d wear to dinner on a beach trip with a pair of straw wedges and a big-ass pair of sunglasses.
LOVESHACKFANCY Edie Dress, $295
I don’t know how they do it, but the designers at LSF make extremely flattering and sexy peasant dresses. This is the kind of dress, though, that would only look good in white. If it were in any other color, it would look like a nightgown my grandma would love, but in white, it looks like something a Grecian goddess would show up to brunch wearing. The eyelet details and the high slit in the front make it young-person friendly, and I am excited to wear it since I fully just purchased it as I am writing this article. I’d wear this with a pair of lace-up flat leather sandals or a pair of cork wedges. I seriously cannot get enough of this dress; it better fit me.
Z Supply The Reverie Dress, $60
As you can tell, I like a good oversized piece of clothing, and this dress is no exception. I love that it’s cotton because that means I can get away with wearing it as a cover-up to the beach and to dinner later that same day! It is my personal opinion that everything looks good with heels, but I actually think this dress would look pretty stupid with anything other than a sensible flat. The dress is so casual that trying to dress it up with any type of heel just wouldn’t work.
Images: Jakob Owens / Unsplash; Shopbop
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I still don’t know why I did this (maybe I’m a good person, or maybe I was seriously duped), but I planned my brother’s entire wedding, and if I learned one thing from it, it’s that I am done planning weddings that aren’t my wedding. And honestly, I’m not even that sure I want to plan my own wedding. One thing I do know for sure is that I want to enjoy planning it, not spend the year leading up to it stress-eating Krispy Kremes and ripping all of my hair out one strand at a time. If you are getting married sooner than I am—like, within the next year or two—and don’t want to have to choose between sleeping at night and having a great wedding, hire yourself a wedding planner and let him/her do everything. To understand why this is the right move, I reached out to Jamie Lipman at absolute. Wedding & Event Planning to learn a little about how this whole process works, and she definitely taught me a thing or two. Because I’m so selfless and want to help all of the brides out there, here are five things your wedding planner wants you to know.
1. Trust Them
This is tough because it’s your wedding and you know what you want, so why would you trust someone else to execute your vision who isn’t you, right? Wrong, control freaks. Your wedding planner’s job is to help you execute your vision, so trust them to do their job! Lipman says, “All great relationships are built on a foundation of trust. The same way you trust your doctor to help heal you; the same way you trust your accountant to tell you how to properly spend and save money. You hired us for a reason, so trust our advice because we are truly experts at what we do.” Obviously, your planner will want you to be involved and give input, but when it comes to the nitty gritty, let
Jesus the planner take the wheel. They knows what they’re doing.
2. Know When To Stay In Your Lane
This goes hand-in-hand with trusting your planners. I mean, look, event planning is difficult because there are so many little details you will not want to deal with. For instance, when I was planning a wedding, the florist called me at 8:07 on a Saturday morning to tell me that the platinum-colored votives I had my eye on were out of stock and wanted to know if I’d be okay with the white gold-colored ones. I mean, white gold and platinum look the exact same, no? Also, at 8:07 on a weekend, I don’t give a f*ck about anything—especially choosing between two identical candle holders. This is the kind of sh*t the planner deals with so that your valuable time can be spent tasting eight different cakes and picking out ugly bridesmaids dresses that they can totally wear again.
Lipman adds, “Allow yourself to be totally taken care of! Not just on your wedding day, but through every step of the planning process. Let us worry about spreadsheets, budgets, orders, negotiations, and all of the other things that can turn this magical time into a stressful, overwhelming experience.” I mean, enough said. You hired your planner for a reason, so remember that when you feel like you want to show up to every vendor meeting and offer your two cents.
3. Planners Like Getting Your Input
I mean, duh, but some brides feel like they’re being annoying/a burden by checking in and offering their opinions, but planners don’t mind! In fact, they like it because without your direction, they have no idea what they’re supposed to do! “We love being a part of one of the most special days in your life. We’re honored that you trust us to hold your day in our hands. We speak a language that you never need to learn and have spent years forming vendor relationships.” Lipman says. And let me just say, thank the good Lord for that, because I don’t know anything about the things like how many bottles of each type of liquor will quench the thirst of 113 people! Like, if I didn’t consult a planner, I would have had 19 bottles of gin, three bottles of whiskey and one of those airplane bottles of tequila. Good thing planners could step in and seamlessly fix my error.
Planners know that brides are an especially anxious breed of human, so they aren’t going to be annoyed if you ask them whether or not a donut wall is cute or overdone (it’s overdone). They are there to offer suggestions and help make decisions so that you don’t have to!
4. Try To Understand The Price Tag
Some people out there are cheap af and will take crazy shortcuts like asking their guests to double as vendors in order to cut costs, but if you aren’t an asshole, you will just accept that weddings cost money. Lipman says, “You pay for experience, expertise, and peace of mind knowing that your most important day is in great hands.” She has a point. You didn’t hire a wedding planner because it sounded like a fun thing to do; you hired a wedding planner for their knowledge and ability to make sure that your wedding looks exactly like your Pinterest board. That costs money, people! When you meet your planner for the first time, establishing a budget should be one of the first things you do so you don’t end up spending your future kids’ college tuition on your wedding.
5. Don’t Try To Negotiate
Wedding planners recommend vendors with whom they have strong relationships, so the price they give you is trustworthy. No one is trying to swindle you, honey. “The vendors we refer treat our clients amazingly well because you are our client, period. We know they will do a great job and give you an incredible value for the money you’re spending. You need to trust that the price we give you is the best price that will ever be available because of our personal relationships.” Preach. Also, negotiating sucks. I once bought a necklace on Etsy and tried to negotiate the price down via the online messaging portal and didn’t sleep for three whole days because it was so stressful and nerve wracking, and by the time I got the necklace, it became a daily reminder of how much I hate negotiating. When it comes to negotiating with your planner, just, like, don’t do it.
Look, if you’ve ever tried to organize a dinner with more than three people, you know that planning sh*t is really hard. When it comes to your wedding, which is the same thing as that dinner we talked about, only plus two hundred more people, just hire a planner and trust that they’ll deliver on their promise to give you the most perfect Instagram wedding there ever was.
Images: Photos by Lanty / Unsplash; Giphy (5); Unsplash