Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Diary of a P90X Failure (Ever Had a Fitness Flop?)

I saw this article on  the Glamour Magazine blog and thought it was great!  I'm certainly not posting it to encourage anyone to give up on their workout routine, but I DO think it's important to find what works for you and to always remember that CHANGE IS GOOD!  Hot Yoga might be great during 6 months of your life and terrible the rest of your life, and that doesn't mean you are a quitter or a bad person!  In fact, I admit without shame that I was planning to run my first half marathon this spring, but halfway through the training program I realized that this particular workout was making me more frustrated than happy, so I decided to try it at another time in my life.  And I don't think that makes me a wimp or a quitter, I like to think it makes me wise for listening to my body, and creating a better life balance. I hope you enjoy the article for what it's worth, too!
Sometimes there are health and fitness trends that we try and we ... bomb. It's OK. It's part of the journey to be healthier and happier. Hot yoga, barefoot running, and apparently P90X isn't for everyone. Popular blogger Liz Fenton is here to share her hilarious two-week experience...
Welcome Liz Fenton! Liz is an authorblogger and a newbie to P90X, the super-intense fitness program developed by workout guru Tony Horton and Beachbody. The grueling home exercise program combines cardio workouts, weight and resistance training, yoga, plyometrics, and stretching routines to improve coordination, flexibility, and strength. How did Liz fare? Well, let's let her tell us! Take it away Liz!

My P90X box had been sitting unopened since I forced sent my husband to buy it from some creepy guy from Craig’s List in the Walgreen’s parking lot last December. But with our vow renewal(ten years!) coming up, I knew it was time to get into shape. I needed to make sure that the ass-shaking dress that I bought for the renewal would jiggle in all the right places! But little did I know what we were in for….
Day 1: Decide that Tony, the trainer on the video, could possibly be the most annoying person on the planet. Am dying to mute but need his smug, know-it-all commentary to make sure I’m properly arching my back. Want to jump through the TV and rip his arms off so he’ll stop making an “X” with them.
Day 2: My inability to do one pull up or push up is slightly concerning. Getting on my knees feels like defeat but I decide it’s better than sitting on my ass saying. “This is so *#@% hard!”
Day 3: The Plylometrics DVD may just be the longest hour of my life. Tony keeps reminding us that this is “the mother of all workouts”(um, yeah, I think we figured that out!). And if he tells me to be light on my feet once more I might lose it-there is nothing light about my feet at this moment. Haven’t sweated this much since I wore wool pants too early last Fall.
Day 4: Have gained two pounds and decide to spend hours obsessively googling “Why do woman gain weight on P90X?” and try not to hate the hubs for having already lost five pounds. Take out my anger on him by criticizing his downward dog and smirk at his warrior pose during Yoga. Have decided to scream at the next person who tells me that muscle weighs more than fat.
Day 5: Slightly upset when I realize that Trainer Tony is growing on me and cringe when I hear myself tell my husband to “Do your best and forget the rest.” He responds by making his arms into an X. Not sure if he’s started drinking the P90X kool-aid too or if this is his new way of flipping me off. Want to die during the chair sits but other than that, feel like I kept up quite well. Have now officially exercised more with the hubs than in the entire twelve years we’ve been together.
Day 6: Still. Gaining. Weight. And my pants seem tighter too. It’s getting hard to log off Facebook and put myself through hell without any payoff. I become a slave to the scale.
Day 7: Catch a small cold and use this as an excuse to “take a fews days off” from Tony and his overly-toned, do-rag wearing army. The hubs follows suit.
Day 12: Hubs asks me if I’m ready to get back on the wagon. I turn up 30 Rock and act like I can’t hear him. Ironically, I’ve lost three pounds since secretly declaring myself a couch potato again.
Day 14: Officially give up and order Spanx. I know somewhere, Trainer Tony is shaking his head in disappointment. Guess I’ll have to live with that and cross my fingers that I’ll fit into my dress next weekend!
Love it. And, it makes me feel better about my less than ideal hot yoga experience. Let's face it, certain workouts aren't for everyone!

Read More http://www.glamour.com/health-fitness/blogs/vitamin-g/2011/05/diary-of-a-p90x-failure-ever-h.html#ixzz1Nwjhl42C

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Graduation Celebration and Etiquette!

Congrats to all our recent graduates!  I loved these tips from RealSimple Magazine about what NOT to say to recent grads.  I know too many people who are unhappy because they chose their degree based on "what makes money" versus what they were passionate about--when the truth is that you'll always find a way to make money if it's something you're good at!  There's no better way to ruin someone's celebration of their hard work at college/university than with your negative comments about their chance at future success.  Let's give the recent grads something to be hopeful about!

To avoid a post-commencement faux pas, consider these expert-tested do’s and don’ts when speaking with a recent grad.

Artist with paintbrush standing in front of her canvas
Dougal Waters/Getty Images
“What Can You Do With That Degree?”
No one poses this question to electrical-engineering students. But ask a roomful of liberal-arts folks if they’ve heard it and every hand goes up. It’s frustrating for them. A better question might be “What have you learned that will help you do what you enjoy?” Today’s economy is rapidly evolving, and many new grads will end up as freelancers or entrepreneurs and perform jobs that don’t exist right now. Ultimately, what really matters is whether they have developed the critical-analysis skills to help them succeed.

Katharine Brooks is the director of liberal-arts career services at the University of Texas at Austin and the author of You Majored in What? ($26, amazon.com).
Gavel resting on books
David Chasey/Getty Images
“You Should Go to Law School.”
Many college graduates jump into law school because they don’t know what they actually want to do. Parents and friends suggest it because they think it’s a safe default. But a grad should choose his life’s path only once he knows himself well enough to be sure of what he wants. I think people should first spend a few years exploring to figure out what engages their passions. I ended up in law school because my mother pressured me to “do something already.” She wanted me to go to medical school but settled for law. I got lucky and stumbled into a field I love. Unfortunately, it doesn’t end up that way for everyone.

Larry Kramer is the dean of Stanford Law School, in Palo Alto, California.
Pen on newspaper job listings with resume
Tetra Images/Getty Images
“Do You Have a Job Lined Up?”
While firms in a few areas, like finance, recruit seniors before commencement, many companies fill positions as they open up. So this type of question can make students heartsick. Instead, offer them any industry connections you have. And be sure to ask them how they are feeling, listen to them express frustration, and offer hope.

Mark Presnell is the director of the Career Center at Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore.
Hands on computer keyboard in front of monitor
sot/Getty Images
“The Economy Has Been Bad Before. You’ll Get Through It.”
Grads are realistic, so don’t offer them empty platitudes or assure them that things will get better in a few years. They’re concerned about what they can do right nowto jump-start their careers. I suggest they spend time making their profiles on LinkedInand Facebook appear as professional as possible. That’s where employers are looking for new hires these days.

Nancy Shulman is a recruiter for the accounting firm Ernst & Young in Washington, D.C.
Waitress working in restaurant
Inti St. Clair/Getty Images
“My Fill-in-the-Blank Relative Just Got Out of College, and She’s Doing Great!”
Nobody receives more unsolicited advice than a recent grad, except maybe a pregnant woman. But my least favorite thing to hear is someone else’s success story. I’m sure people mean to inspire us when they mention their 23-year-old cousin who scored a position as a photojournalist for National Geographic right out of school. But in reality that’s terrifying. We would much rather believe that everyone feels as nervous and lost as we do. Tell us about your neighbor’s son who is balancing four part-time jobs—none of which have anything to do with his degree—and assure us that he’s doing just fine.

Rachel Walls, 23, of Brookline, Massachusetts, is a recent college graduate who is balancing two part-time jobs and doing just fine.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Bunny Bradley Pilates Scholarship

Hi Everyone!

We are excited to announce and invite you to be a part of the ‘Bunny Bradley Pilates Scholarship'.  Many of us knew Bunny, and were touched by her passion and love for fitness; specifically STOTT PILATES, the human body, and helping others. This scholarship is a way to remember Bunny and all that she lived for, as well as spread the benefits of Pilates to many others. 

The scholarship will be for a STOTT PILATES Certification Course at Intermountain Pilates Training Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. The application is open to all who are interested and can be for any Level 1 course; Intensive Reformer, Intensive Mat Plus, or Cadillac,Chair, & Barrels.  The student must submit a 500 word essay to info@iptconline.com and must be submitted between May 17th-July 1st.  No essays will be taken after the July 1st deadline.  

We would love for you to spread the word to anyone who may be interested.  If you have any questions please contact Jenny Carr or Jenna Hansen at Intermountain Pilates Training Center.  Thank you so much for your continued support.


Intermountain Pilates Training Center  

Personal Boundaries

Loved this article from Gwyneth Paltrow's blog www.goop.com--hope you enjoy it, too!


“As a woman who was raised in a society where it is implied that women should be agreeable and amenable, where speaking up for yourself can label you 'difficult', I personally have found it difficult to do that very thing. Why is it important to have personal boundaries and make sure they are not crossed? More importantly, how can we keep them while coming off strong and not strident?”
Monica Berg replies:
These are great questions, and we can best answer them by zeroing in on the first issue you raise, the inhibiting effect that society & upbringing have on our spirit, and consequently how we feel about ourselves and what we deserve.
Women are, by nature, caregivers.  We have a great capacity for compassion and mercy, and as young girls we are brought up to nurture and take care of others.  Most of us learn to become excellent multi-taskers.
But at some point we get the message—sadly enough from our own parents or peers—that we need to excel at everything. Academics, career, mind, body & spirit—and we’re expected to keep it all in perfect balance.
This creates a total impossibility.  We become afraid to act because we are afraid to fail.  And that’s why so many of us are trapped in prisons made up of beliefs such as, “I can’t disappoint my family,” or “I mustn’t speak up because I will be labeled as “difficult,” or “I have to be perfect all the time.”
I loathe this word:  perfect.  Mostly, because I tried to be this person most of my young adult life. Unfortunately, this unconscious image of perfection is totally at odds with what our soul wants—to be free, to make mistakes & grow stronger through life experiences, and to express itself fully.
It’s important we see how our seeking for approval gets in our own way.  Once we become more aware, it’s then important to set a mandate by which we can live, a certain line that we draw, a set of rules to place for ourselves.  This means creating a personal credo that speaks to our soul aspect.
I spent the first 28 years of my life turned too “outward.”  I was always worried about what “they” thought about or needed from me, whether it was family, school or work.  And because of this, I didn’t fully express myself out of fear of rocking the boat.  It wasn’t until I got more in touch with my “inner” aspect that I became conscious of how I was handicapping myself, and more comfortable expressing the power I possess.
This meant getting to know the motivations that drive me each day, the intentions behind my actions and what my purpose is each morning.  And perhaps, most important, holding the belief that I deserve to have good things come my way.
That, we all deserve, to experience true love and simple happiness in this lifetime.
When our core beliefs are clear, we find that we no longer worry about coming off “too strong.”  In fact, we often become aggressive or act in ways not in our integrity because we react to things and people that we find threatening.
Our beliefs are only threatened when we don’t know what they are.
In addition, in order to create clear boundaries and feel comfortable with who we are, we need to have compassion for ourselves.  If we cannot give & be kind to ourselves, we can never love ourselves enough to believe we deserve to be unconditionally loved, truly heard & treated with human dignity.
The result of not creating this compassion for ourselves will be that we don’t think we deserve enough of anything.  We’ll have no voice to protest when someone is taking from us more than we want to give, making us feel less than enough, or simply making us uncomfortable with who we are.
If we don’t believe we deserve, simply because we exist, then we cannot and will not demand anything from others.
When we believe that we deserve then what is at stake of being lost is so clear and therefore takes precedence. Putting ourselves first isn't selfish but a necessary step in our life's growth.  When we have appreciation for ourselves, others will too.  Because we teach people how to treat us.
We women wear so many hats that we lose perspective.  We get so caught up in accomplishing the goal of “What has to be done for others” and “how will they see me” that the scale of giving & receiving gets tilted to one side.  Learning to find balance is key for us.
An important distinction I want to make is I’m not saying be self-centered, but rather become self-aware and strengthen the soul aspect within, and build strength on that foundation. When you do, questions like, “How do I know when I am giving too much?” will be replaced with, “Am I tending to my deepest needs?”
You will find this balance—and the best version of yourself—when you know who you are, let yourself be seen and believe that you are enough.
This is a favorite aphorism of mine that gives me a lot of inspiration.  I trust it will move you too:
"Be who you are, and say what you feel, because those that mind don’t matter and those that matter don’t mind."
 - Dr. Seuss
Monica Berg is a spiritual teacher, writer and guide who specializes in assisting people as they identify and overcome life’s challenges so they can reach their greatest potential. In 2005, Monica, her husband Michael, and Madonna started Raising Malawi, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping orphans and challenged youth throughout Malawi. To learn more from Monica, you can watch her classes onwww.ukabbalah.com, or visit her blog, www.askmonicaberg.com

Friday, May 13, 2011

Touching the Void

I was inspired last week when I was re-watching the movie Touching the Void.  This is a true story, it is both gripping and inspiring.  (It started as a book by Joe Simpson--Touching the Void:  The True Story of One Man's Miraculous Survival)  The first time I watched it, it helped me make a difficult decision, and it certainly makes whatever I'm dealing with seem a little less devastating.

Here is the storyline from imdb.com:
In the mid-80's two young climbers attempted to reach the summit of Siula Grande in Peru; a feat that had previously been attempted but never achieved. With an extra man looking after base camp, Simon and Joe set off to scale the mount in one long push over several days. The peak is reached, however on the descent Joe falls and breaks his leg. Despite what it means, the two continue with Simon letting Joe out on a rope for 300 meters, then descending to join him and so on. However when Joe goes out over an overhang with no way of climbing back up, Simon makes the decision to cut the rope. Joe falls into a crevice and Simon, assuming him dead, continues back down. Joe however survives the fall and was lucky to hit a ledge in the crevice. This is the story of how he got back down.Written by bob the moo  

The quote that inspired me so much from the movie came from Joe after he's found himself stuck in a crevice after his climbing partner cut the rope, leaving Joe to drop approximately 150 feet onto a ledge.  After assessing his situation, calculating his options and deciding the best choice, Joe says, "You gotta make decisions. You gotta keep making decisions, even if they're wrong decisions, you know. If you don't make decisions, you're stuffed."  Joe's decision, after realizing he had no way of climbing out of the crevice, was to try descending further into the crevice.  He had no way of knowing how deep the crevice was, if his rope was long enough to take him anywhere, or if there was a way out.  The story is incredible--I highly recommend the movie!  

The reason I love that quote so much is because it is such a good reminder of how we need to keep moving even when we're not sure what the best decision is.  By not making decisions, we are essentially choosing to stay in the same place until we die-- whether that death is physical or emotional depends on the situation.  Though it may be a difficult decision, and unpleasant to think about the consequences, we must use our resources, our knowledge, and some courage to make a decision, see what happens, and continue from there.  I have definitely learned through experience that even when you realize you didn't make the best decision, you can usually figure out a way to fix it.  Sometimes it takes work, sometimes it takes time, but we learn from that experience and we move on--hopefully with more wisdom!  

Do you have any ideas to share on how to make a hard decision?  Please share them in the comments below!And watch Touching the Void when you need a little inspiration, or at least some comfort that you're not stuck in a deep crevice on an unmapped mountain in Peru with a broken leg, no food or water, and no one to rescue you!  

Monday, May 9, 2011

Stay Hydrated in Style

It's finally warming up!  Are you geared up to stay hydrated for your outdoor adventures and activities?  I know I enjoy the experience a lot more when I have plenty of fluids.  Thanks to The Outside Blog for these great ideas!

Gear Girl: Good Hydrations

--Stephanie Pearson writes the Gear Girl column for Outsideonline.com
There’s no better place to hike, mountain bike, and dehydrate than in Arizona’s Coconino National Forest, which also makes these red-canyon trails in the hot sun and high, dry air an ideal testing lab for hydration systems. While it’s tough to calibrate exactly how much water you’ll need while exercising—it depends on your body weight, how much you sweat, the temperature, and other intangibles, like how many espressos you drank for breakfast—one thing is certain: There is a bottle, bladder, or receptacle out there that's the perfect fit for you. A few recent innovations:Geigerrig
• Designed by a former Marine officer who spent hours in the field sucking from substandard bladder systems, Geigerrig’s Rig 500 ($125; geigerrig.com) is the smallest in a series of packs with three game-changing features: First, the rig comes with a pressurized two-liter hydration system: Pump it up and the water sprays right into your mouth. Second, the bladder is compatible with an inline filter system, meaning that any trickling stream is fair game; and three, the ballistic nylon exterior, which holds 500 cubic inches of dry gear, is literally bombproof—yes, Geigerrig has a YouTube video to prove it.
Kor Vida
• KOR’s Vida “Hydration Vessel” ($25; korwater.com) is one smooth way to re-juice. The stainless steel bottle with an easy-to-grab handle, which holds 750 ml of liquid, is nearly indestructible. But KOR’s design genius is in its “perfect spout,” a mouth-sized opening that allows you to actually sip water instead of gulp or suck—a comforting luxury on a hot, sweaty hike.
• If you like to amp up your H2O with electrolyte fizz or have trouble remembering to clean your bottle after a ride (which has resulted in an interesting mold experiment at the bottom of it), Clean Bottle ($10; cleanbottle.com) is your solution. With a leak-proof, screw-off bottom, the Clean Bottle is a breeze to wash. Since it’s BPA free, there’s no fear of the plastic breaking down in the dishwasher.
Hydrapak Reyes
• The Hydrapak Reyes ($75; hydrapak.com) made from durable yet ultralightweight “Baby Rip” nylon is the perfect fit for minimalist hikers. The easy-to-clean, three-liter reversible reservoir, fits snugly into its own zipper pocket and the 325 cubic-inch main pocket offers just enough space for an extra layer, a cell phone, an energy bar, and a small First-Aid kit. With small, yet secure straps at both the sternum and waist, you can cinch this pack up so snugly you’ll forget it’s on your back.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Cinco de Mayo!!!!

Happy Cinco de Mayo!  Do you need a reason to celebrate today?  Here are some fun ways to broaden your world view...

Thanks to the Christian Science Monitor for the info!

Cinco de Mayo: Six fun facts about the Fifth of May

Cinco de Mayo: Although the holiday observes a historic battle in Mexico, it is celebrated with much more fervor north of the border with fiestas, parades, and concerts. Here are six things about Cinco de Mayo, or Fifth of May, that may surprise.
Lourdes Medrano, Correspondent
Do you know why this statue of Abraham Lincoln is in Tijuana, Mexico? (Newscom/file)

1. What is Cinco de Mayo about?

Cinco de Mayo marks an outnumbered Mexican army’s victory over an invading French army on May 5, 1862, in Puebla, east of Mexico City.
Although Mexico’s triumph lifted morale during a time of political and economic upheaval, it was short-lived. Mexico later succumbed to French rule in a period known as the French Intervention that lasted until 1867.
Keeping the French from creating an empire in North America was a mutual interest that sparked cooperation between US President Abraham Lincoln and Benito Juárez, his counterpart in Mexico. Today, statues of the American president stand tall in Mexico, and statues of the Mexican president, one of the country’s most beloved leaders, grace US soil.
Cinco de Mayo, or Fifth of May, that may surprise.
Lourdes Medrano, Correspondent
1001 uses for avocado on Cinco de Mayo. (Hass Avocado Board )

2. Food!

Cinco de Mayo merits the consumption of lots of Mexican food – and avocados rise to the top because you need them for guacamole, a popular food staple. Americans on this holiday alone are expected to consume more than 70 million pounds of avocados, according to the California Avocado Commission.
So get your avocados, mash them to a pulp and mix in onion, tomato, hot peppers and whatever else you like. Break out the corn chips and you’re set for Cinco.

Is all the pomp of Cinco de Mayo – including the 18th Annual National Cinco de Mayo Festival in Washington last year – thanks to a few California college students? (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP/file) 
3.  How did it start?

Although Mexican immigrants observed Cinco de Mayo here as far back as the 1860s, some researchers have traced the first recognized festival to a group of California college students searching for a meaningful way to celebrate their Mexican heritage in the 1960s.
Thanks to commercialism, some say Cinco de Mayo since has gone the way of St. Patrick’s Day and become nothing more than an excuse to party. Community organizations in several cities are working to reclaim the holiday from commercialism.

4. The bigger Mexican holiday

Cinco de Mayo is often confused with another Mexican holiday with more cachet south of the border: Dieciséis de Septiembre, which celebrates Independence Day. Mexico’s 10-year struggle to break free from Spain began Sept. 16, 1810 – half a century before the Battle of Puebla.
Conventional wisdom has it that US marketers had a clever hand in catapulting to popularity Cinco de Mayo, partly because it just rolls off the tongue even if you speak no Spanish. Now try saying Dieciséis de Septiembre.

5. The world's largest Cinco de Mayo party

Fiesta Broadway, held in downtown Los Angeles, is considered the largest Cinco de Mayo celebration not just in the United States but also around the globe. At least that’s how organizers bill the event that draws more than a half million people to the city of angels each May.
The area is a hub for California’s 10.5 million residents of Mexican descent, but many other cities with high and low Hispanic populations also boast signature Cinco parties. In Chandler, Ariz., near Phoenix, the festival’s main attraction consists of dog races featuring 150 Chihuahuas and the coronation of a Chihuahua king and queen. Ay ay ay.

6. Show your Cinco colors

Cinco de Mayo colors mirror those of the Mexican flag – red, white and green. The meaning of the flag colors has evolved over time, with green representing hope and independence; white, unity and purity; and red, religion and the blood of the national heroes. The Mexican coat of arms, a golden eagle devouring a snake in the center of the flag, is steeped in ancient Aztec mythology.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

What to get Mom??!!

Still trying to figure out what to get Mom?  Thank goodness for Real Simple Magazine for answering the question for me!  Maybe you'll find something that will be just right for your mom!  If these ideas don't work, check out these other links they suggested for the best flowers and other ideas :)

Mother’s Day Gift Basket Ideas

Make one of these for the woman who has everything and insists she wants nothing.

Pink gift box for Mother's Day
Grant Cornett
For the Sentimental Mom


A stylish file box to keep everything organized on her desk.
RS pick: Semikolon Folder Box, $32,seejanework.com.


  • Elegant stamp holder. Since she still sends a hand-written note, she’ll need to keep her roll of stamps easily accessible.
    RS pick: Pewter Stamp Holder, $35,seejanework.com.
  • Personalized rubber stamp. Upgrade her correspondence with a custom return address stamp.
    RS pick: Pearl Border Custom Stamp, $30, paper-source.com.
  • Address book. To keep all her contacts organized and up to date.
    RS pick: Robin’s Egg Blue Saffian Address Book, $31, paper-source.com.
  • Interview journal. Have her fill in this thought-provoking journal and see your mother in a whole new light.
    RS pick: My Mom: Her Stories, Her Words, $10, paper-source.com.
  • Monogrammed stationery. Whether for thank you notes, sympathy cards, or just-because, you can’t go wrong with a personalized set.
    RS pick: Monogram Notes, $15 for 8 cards and envelopes, etsy.com.
Festive ice box gift basket for Mother's Day
Grant Cornett
For the Mom Who Loves to Entertain


A festive ice bucket perfect for chilling that bottle of bubbly or keeping at hand while mixing drinks.
RS pick: Ice Bucket, $34, alicesupplyco.com.


  • Coordinating coasters. Her bar set doesn’t need to be completely matched, but look for coasters in a complementary pattern.
    RS pick: Rosehips Floral Coasters, $8.50 for 12, rockscissorpaper.com.
  • Drink mixer. Keep a bottle of her favorite drink mix in stock for any impromptu get-togethers.
    RS pick: Stonewall Kitchen Mimosa Mixer, $9, stonewallkitchen.com.
  • Champagne flutes. What better way to toast than with a set of elegant flutes?
    RS pick: Ocassions Flutes, $10 for 4, bedbathandbeyond.com.
Watering can gift basket for Mother's Day
Grant Cornett
For the Mom Who Loves to Garden


A patterned watering can, so everything can come up roses.
RS pick: Celia Birtwell Watering Can, $54,sprouthome.com.


  • Gardening tools. Get her flowerbeds off to a good start with the right tools.
    RS pick: Soboten Heirloom Trowel, $8,sprouthome.com.
  • Seed Packets. If you’re unsure of her favorite bloom, a wildflower mix is always sure to please.
    RS pick: Assorted seed packets, $2 per pack, wholefoodsmarket.com for stores.
  • Gardening gloves and hand cream.Protect her hands while digging in the soil and after she’s done.
    RS picks: West Chester Leather Women’s Gloves, $4, homedepot.com and Crabtree & Evelyn Gardners Hand Therapy, $18 for 3.4 oz., crabtree-evelyn.com.
Striped beach bag gift basket for Mother's Day
Grant Cornett
For the Mom Who Deserves a Getaway


A chic straw tote for carrying all of her beach or pool-side essentials.
RS pick: Stripe Farmer’s Market Tote, $50,jcrew.com.


  • Bright flip flops. You can’t go wrong with a classic sandal in the color of the season.
    RS pick: Two-Tone Skinny Flip Flops, $12.50, jcrew.com.
  • Plush beach towel. Perfect for lounging about and drying off, bigger is better when it comes to beach towels.
    RS pick: Chevron Beach Towel, $10,bedbathandbeyond.com.
  • Stylish sunglasses. The right pair can add a certain je ne sais quoi to her beach ensemble.
    RS pick: Ray Ban Cats 1000, $135, ray-ban.com.
  • Lightweight scarf. As the sun goes down, she’ll need something to wrap up in.
    RS pick: Ostrich Scarf, $198, anthropologie.com.
The Movie Night Basket
Wendell Webber
For the Movie-Loving Mom


A ceramic popcorn bowl. Holds a supersize amount of popcorn.
RS pick: Mixing Bowl, $20,crateandbarrel.com.


  • Movie-theater gift certificates. Treat your mom to a flick even if you live far away. Available at your local theater.
  • Her favorite DVD. Pick classic films that aren't yet a part of her collection.
    RS picksThe Graduate, $15,amazon.com; The Seven Year Itch, $15,amazon.com.
  • Leonard Maltin's Movie & Video Guide.A must for any closet critic. Contains more than 19,000 movie reviews, from smash hits to sleepers, plus an index of leading actors.
    To buy: $10, barnesandnoble.com.
  • A pocket pack of tissues. For when she watches Lassie Come Home, Bambi, orTerms of Endearment.
The Baking Basket
Wendell Webber
For the Mom Who Bakes


A jumbo measuring cup; she can measure and mix the dough in the same spot.
RS pick: Pyrex 8-cup bowl, $10,pyrexware.com.


  • Alphabet cookie cutters. She'll be able to spell out anything: "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Take Out the Trash."
    RS pick: Alphabet Cookie Cutters, $30,surlatable.com.
  • Wooden spoon. The essential and inexpensive kitchen tool.
  • Flexible spatula. Supple enough to wiggle under soft dough.
    RS pick: All-Clad Stainless Steel Flexible Spatula, $24, williams-sonoma.com.
  • An apron.
    RS pick: Personalized Apron, $29, williams-sonoma.com.
  • Sweet smelling body scrub.
    RS pick: Fresh Brown Sugar Body Polish, $38 fresh.com.
  • Real Simple's Sugar Cookies recipe.
The Guilty Pleasures Basket
Wendell Webber
For the Mom Who Indulges


A pink plastic trash can. Flirtatious yet functional―perfect in a boudoir.
RS pick: Umbra Garbino Can, $7,umbra.com.


  • Valley of the Dolls, by Jacqueline Susann. The 1960s trash classic about three bombshells who fail to make it big in the Big Apple, begin popping pills, and bottom out.
    To buy: $14, amazon.com.
  • Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov. The Queen of the Banned. Nabokov's erotic, rhapsodic story about wanting what you shouldn't.
    To buy: $15, amazon.com.
  • Good in Bed: A Novel, by Jennifer Weiner. A fast-paced modern fairy tale about a woman whose intimate secrets are outed in a magazine by an ex-boyfriend.
    To buy: $15, barnesandnoble.com.
  • Pen Pals, by Olivia Goldsmith. From the author of The First Wives Club, a revenge novel about a Wall Street woman who takes the fall for her boss.
    To buy: $8, amazon.com.
  • Vanity Fair, by William Makepeace Thackeray. The renowned Victorian social satire about two status-hungry heroines.
    To buy: $9, barnesandnoble.com.
  • Note cards. So Mom can write to you about all the dirty details.
The Simple Pleasures Basket
Wendell Webber
For the Mom Who Likes to Relax


A magazine rack. So she can clear the coffee table and really put her feet up.
RS pick: Iron Magazine Rack with Canvas Lining, $30, overstock.com.


  • The New York Times Daily Crossword Puzzles book. Because one puzzle per Sunday is never enough.
    To buy: $11, amazon.com.
  • Slippers. For cushioned padding around the house.
    RS pick: Temperature Regulating Memory Foam Slippers, $20,bedbathandbeyond.com.
  • Pajamas.
    RS pick: Cotton Mayfair Pajama, $39.50,victoriassecret.com.
  • Bundle of pencils. For solving puzzles and making lists of the things she didn't do on Sunday.
    RS pick: See Jane Work Basics Pencils, $7 for 12, seejanework.com.
  • Tea cup and loose tea.
    RS picks: Bodum Yo-Yo Mug Set, $18, bodumusa.com; Dammann Freres Loose Leaf Teas, Earl Grey with Flowers, $18, surlatable.com.
  • Journals. To record loving thoughts about you, or observations on the birds she spotted out the window, or the number of times your father interrupted her.
    RS pick: Paperthinks Recycled Leather Notebooks, $17, katespaperie.com.