Off the cuff confessions about awesome people (especially my other moms and our kids), rants, other people’s rants, and anything else that tickles our collective fancy.

I’m allowed to say this because I’m a mom, but Mother’s Day is a Hallmark holiday. Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Grandparents’ Day all fake holidays.  That being said – I love presents! I love handprint art. I love jewelry. I love presents that are well thought out. I hate presents that mean nothing.  If you, the giver, don’t think of me – ME, ME, not generic Mom-me, then don’t bother.  I would rather have a Heath bar from the grocery line because you know it’s my favorite than some weird shirt, with weird ruffles because I might like it (and, look, you put the gift receipt in there so I can get what I really want! Thanks, another errand).  Dinner. Yes! Take me to dinner where I don’t have to cook or clean or anything other than look pretty.  Or brunch, because then I won’t be yawning at dinner because 9PM is getting a little late to still be upright.

If, however, you are running low on meaningful gift idea here are some options. They still count as long as you are thinking of the giftee when you add these bad boys to the cart.  And, just because everyone likes something doesn’t mean it’s not thoughtful for one person (that’s why chain restaurants are popular). This list will use affiliate links.


The Mother’s Day Gift List…for Awesome Moms


1. Breakfast-in-Bed, a Card, Flowers, and a Good Attitude

I know, not what you were expecting for number one, but it’s a classic for a reason.  Seriously. If you have young kids make the card. If you have older kids (and they don’t want to make a card because they can’t be bothered) let them loose in the card aisle to choose something before the good ones are all picked over.

Flowers – get nuts, it can be a plant.  If she has a favorite, go with that.  If not, something pretty…like her.  For a plant choose wisely. Don’t make more work for her – nothing high maintenance. Succulents are lovely. Many come in a pretty pot already.  A herb garden is also good – kids love to pick out and pot plants!  For something nice that does well in Houston, I like Mandevillas. They are pretty, they flower a lot, they don’t have thorns (like the similar, but not related, Bougainvillea) and do well in pots or hanging baskets.  They are a vine and many varieties can be perennial in our zone (9) so you can even find a nice spot for it on a patio or near a fence if she wants to keep on keepin’ on.

Here are some flower and garden related ideas if you’re just not down with K.I.S.S.

What is happening here?! Human Honey-Badger hands…seems right.
New shears are always welcome!
Air Plant stand…don’t forget the plant








2. Fun Jewelry

It’s Mother’s Day not a wedding. Something quirky and fun is an awesome idea here. I guarantee you she has plenty o’regular jewelry.  If you don’t like quirk at least stay away from anything that says the word “Mom” (and iterations) and skip the hearts.  Classic studs are always a safe go especially if they’re real – doesn’t have to be diamond, but real is nice.

I like some of these snazzy options from around the webs (okay it’s just Amazon, because let’s be real you’re going to need it in two-days):

Nano Jewelry saying ‘I Love You’ 120 times! And, yes, I know there’s a heart (rules are meant to be broken).
Subtle Potter love
Give her the universe








Fur babies count too!

For the mom who’s dope…amine.
I’ve never seen spherical opals, these are the bomb







Birth Month Flower Pewter Cuff Bracelet
IDK, it’s so cute.

I love it and I don’t know why!

3. Scissors

Yes, really. Like her own set that nobody touches or moves or does anything weird with. NOT EVEN JUST THIS ONCE. Go find you own oily, dried on glue, blades sticking together pair!  If it doesn’t seem like enough pair it with a Michael’s or JoAnn’s Gift Card.  Hobby Lobby is alright too, I just like the coupon options at the other two better. In fact, go buy the scissors while you’re there to get the gift card – don’t forget to use a coupon (they’ll take them off your phone and they all have apps).

I own this set, they are awesome!
This looks like a good set too, especially for the price!









4. Free Money

I know it seems weird to give your wife, mom, whomever money but bear with me.  When you are in a healthy relationship you discuss finances.  Most couples I know have a number (each couple’s number is different) but that number is the number at which a discussion is required before purchase.  Spending $150 at the grocery store is not the same as dropping $150 on a pair of shoes, usually, whether it’s a heads up or a full on discussion there is a “couple-number”.  Sometimes it’s nice not to have that discussion. So, give her a VISA gift card (because yeah handing her some cash is a little weird) and go in peace.

5. Custom Playlist

Remember mixed tapes? Burning CD’s? Probably going to have to explain this one to the kids. It’s nostalgic, it’s sweet, it’s completely personal and it shows you spent some time thinking about her.  Amazon has a Moms Who Rock Playlist to get you started but definitely, consider customizing it to your Momma-of-the-Day.

6. Alone Time

Moms don’t need their family to go away, but if you’re going to sit around and whine and make it her problem then maybe do that (at least for a day). Or send her away (even better, bonus points if you get lodgings above 3 stars, throw in a friend, and a pre-purchase six bottles of wine (you get a 10% discount for six!).  If that’s not in the budget give her somewhere her brain can go away to.  They say coloring is as good as meditation!

Good old fashioned Mandalas….om, om, om.
Less zen, more comedy.
Words in our heads that come out on paper.
Religious and multi-tasking.






Star Wars Mom
For the Mom who is waiting for winter.
For the medical professional, who time travels…
For the mom who knows the difference between Levi-O-sa and Levios-A.

For awesome moms.
For awsomer moms.
For awesomest moms.
Hey, I don’t judge.






Don’t forget the pencils!

7. Appliances, Housewares, Gadget, Clothes, etc.

Yeah, okay. Only get her gadgets, appliances, cleaning things, clothes, etc. if she has EXPLICITLY asked for them. It’s really okay, but those are the parameters.  Not if she mentioned hey, “We should get our own steam cleaner.”  Only, if she has said, “I really want a steam cleaner.  I’ve looked into it and I want the SuperMop5000!”  If she wasn’t specific stay away. Stay away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Except for these coffee cups, you’re probably okay:

A given.
I’m a little offended they offer this for other states.



Allrighty then, good luck with your shopping

and may the odds be ever in your favor.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Most of us are familiar with the expectations surrounded by the term: school.  We picture a brick and mortar building, children sorted by age, a fair amount of seat work, a thirty-minute recess, a thirty-minute lunch, and homework.  However, the landscape of education is changing and all of the major research supports anything but “regular” school.  If you are looking for something a little different here are some “off the beaten path” options.

1. Homeschooling:

Yep, I know – that’s not a school!  But, in Texas, it is. Each and everyone is its own private school. The knee-jerk response to homeschooling is generally somewhere between, “I can’t teach my kids!” to “How will those poor children ever make friends?”  Good news, Houston, you live not only in a homeschool-friendly state but in a homeschool-friendly city.  The opportunities for homeschoolers in Houston are bountiful.  In fact, the real problem may be opting out of activities.

Homeschooling is not one size fits all.  You can buy a complete box and follow scripted curriculum; you can pick and choose your own math, science, and arts. Additionally, classes, co-ops, and enrichment services are becoming available all over the city.

To get started homeschooling in Texas you merely need to send a letter to your school stating that you are doing so. That’s it!  Once you are a homeschooler join our closed facebook group to connect with other homeschoolers across the city or join our public group to dip your toes in the water.

2. Hybrid Programs:

So you like the idea of homeschooling but it seems daunting.  This is where the hybrid program comes into play.  Hybrid programs choose the curriculum and provide a combination of campus and home days.  These are much cheaper than full private schools and a bit more expensive than buying a boxed curriculum.

3. Acton Academy:

Have you heard of Elon Musk starting a school for his kids and some SpaceX employees’ children?  This is that kind of school.  Student-led is more than a philosophy at an Acton Academy.  The students are called Heroes and the idea is that they are on their own journey and should be the hero of their story.  The teachers are Guides. The guides are not there to teach the children but to facilitate their journey.  The day starts with Socratic discussion.  Then they use technology to spend time individually working on “core skills time” and every six weeks they focus on a project, concluding in an exhibition.

4. Waldorf

Have you heard of Steve Jobs? He and loads of Silicon Valley tech execs send their kids to low-tech/ no-tech schools like Waldorf.  Waldorf schools are inspired by Rudolf Steiner’s educational philosophies.  They strive to bring students to education in a beautiful, gentle natural way that works in pace with child developmental stages.  Their methods include activity in learning, spending time outdoors, art, music, language, and movement as integral parts of education.  Houston is home to two full-time Waldorf schools and several Waldorf programs for younger children.

5. À La Carte Education

Imagine choosing the exact course load your kids are taking. That’s what these schools do. Some will utilize them for everything, but many might consider it as an accompaniment to homeschooling. So you cover the basics, they cover the electives or the courses you just don’t want to or feel qualified to teach.  These arrangements are great for those needing a very flexible schedule.

6. One on One Education

This differs from the pick and choose method above because the curriculum is set and students attend daily like a regular school.  The school day is a bit shorter, but otherwise a traditional set up. However, there is only one student for every single teacher.  Yep, 1:1.

*Fusion is included in this option as well because they offer a complete curriculum as well as individual classes

7. Montessori:

Montessori schools have become increasingly popular, particularly as an option for Pre-K and early elementary. From the American Montessori Society: “Components necessary for a program to be considered authentically Montessori include multiage groupings that foster peer learning, uninterrupted blocks of work time, and guided choice of work activity. In addition, a full complement of specially designed Montessori learning materials are meticulously arranged and available for use in an aesthetically pleasing environment.”

Houston is home to one Montessori school that follows children all the way through high-school. (HISD does have a Montessori magnet school that goes through 8th grade, but you will need to apply and live in HISD’s attendance area).

8. Sudbury

Sudbury schools leave the complete responsibility of a child’s education up to that child. The schools themselves are run by direct democracy.  There is no prescribed curriculum or instruction.  “Teachers” are brought in to teach what children are interested in learning.  The school relies on the inherent belief that people are naturally curious and the most profound learning comes from that which the learner seeks out.

9. Boarding School

Maybe they aren’t Hogwarts but Houston has two schools that are full boarding schools.  Typically, they serve international communities.  These are regular schools, not those that are meant to serve students with extreme disabilities or behavior problems.


“People should be free to find or make for themselves the kinds of educational experience they want their children to have.”

― John Holt