The Gift of Uncommon Experiences

OK everyone: this isn’t that hard.

We know this already. The busy moms in our world don’t want a vase of flowers. Well, maybe some do. But what they all want is an experience of being away. Away from the busyness, away from responsibility, and freed up to do something that is life giving, enjoyable, and restful. Something they always talk about doing, but don’t often find that margin of spare time to actually do. It’s something we know they want, so let’s give it to them: the gift of uncommon experiences. Stop messing with garbage gifts that will be dead in a week or cluttering up the place; it’s making you look bad. You're embarrassing yourself. Do this stuff instead.

Idea One: Cooking and Cocktails with a Best Friend
I got my mom the gift of a cooking class at The Kitchen Engine recently. She loves to experiment with new meals and techniques every now and then, but had never actually made time to join in the fun down at Spokane’s historic Flour Mill. I gave her two spots, so she could bring my aunt as well. They made a night of it: met up for a drink and appetizers, and then went to Tiffany’s Italian Sauces class for hands-on learning (and plenty of sampling). “I’d definitely do it again,” she raved. “Tiffany was a lot of fun, and the food was amazing.” I can attest to that; mom showed off her skills by making the Piccata sauce recently when I visited my folks. Uncommon touch: if you’re in Spokane, Nectar Wine & Beer and the Butcher Bar at Sante are both within pleasant, Spokane-Falls-viewing strolling distance of the Kitchen Engine. Pair your gift certificates wisely to make sure mom gets a few hours away with a best friend, having hand-crafted drinks and creating culinary delights.

Idea Two: Yoga and Breakfast with Her Crew
For moms of little ones, the Saturday mornings that include a nice long session practicing yoga followed by a leisurely brunch with friends are certainly few and far-between. Make it happen, people. By location, you can pair things up easily: our favorites are iLa Yoga in Wenatchee followed by Mela Coffee Roasting Co, Evolve :: Local Yoga in Leavenworth followed by the Gingerbread Factory, Wild Walls in Spokane followed by Madeleine’s. Uncommon touch: don’t let her do it alone. Text around to arrange for several mom-friends to disappear together for a full morning of self-care and great food.

Idea Three: Overnight in the Methow Valley
Remember how we all want to support one of the most beautiful parts of the PNW that has been hit hard by wildfires the past couple summers? Impress a mom in your life by booking her an early summer night at the Freestone Inn or Sun Mountain Lodge, and pair it with whatever outdoor activity suits her fancy: each season offers a lot. Uncommon touch: she’s not outdoorsy? Get her a novel from Auntie’s by that local author she loves, but make sure she saves it to enjoy on the deck while she takes in the mountain views.

Idea Four: Boutique Shopping and a Serious Meal
Sprinting through Target to buy an ill-fitting pair of capri pants before you have to be back at soccer practice doesn't count as shopping. Show her a better way: an afternoon boutique shopping at the likes of Tumbleweed Shop & Studio and Posy Handpicked Goods in Leavenworth, Echo Boutique and Lolo Boutique in Spokane, or  Out of a Whim in Wenatchee. Add a generous gift cert from her very favorite local bistro for a carefree and upscale half day with a friend. As you can see, the relational theme is running through these: pair up with a couple of her friends for an experience gift (translation: get in touch with the people who should be getting her friends decent mother's day gifts as well. A touch of intentionality and planning goes a long way).