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10 Spectacular Ways to Spoil Mom

by Lisa Diggs

There’s an argument to be made that every day of the year should be Mother’s Day, but let’s face it, most are kids days instead. Thankfully, the second Sunday of each year, we finally focus our attention on all the moms who work and give and love, to make life special for their families. Take some time to honor the women whose motherly guidance has made your life better on or around Sunday, May 12th, and do it with Michigan style. Here are some ideas to get you started.

You can rarely go wrong giving her a bauble to add to her collection, and fortunately Michigan is filled with creative jewelry designers. Silver Loon Jewelers has an extensive selection of pendants, many with a Michigan theme. HOMES Bracelets feature stones from the Great Lakes. For something truly luxurious look to the creations of Northern Michigan’s Becky Thatcher Designs. Down in Detroit you can find cool and unusual pieces from Rebel Nell, where each is crafted from old graffiti. If your mom is creative herself, then try a kit from Hoola Jewelry in Chelsea. They contain a variety of parts so she can mix and match and create her own pieces.

Many women have almost as close of a relationship with their purses as they do their kids. They go everywhere with them. The Jenna Kator Collection out of Howell features a wide range of stylish bags made from vegan leather and named after Michigan towns. Art Wear Detroit adds flair to simple bags by accenting them with reproduced works of art from talented local artists. The result is creative versatile handbags that are true conversation-starters. If she loves Motown, she’ll be a fan of the Messenger Bag from Detroit Scroll, which features famous spots in the city that were once bus line stops.

Who doesn’t love getting something fresh and new to wear? Gaylord’s Livnfresh offers tees, hoodies and hats that emphasize local pride and life around the lakes. Check out the Michigal line from CSG Tees for state pride with a feminine flair. For something a little dressier Brightly Twisted makes hand-dyed tops, skirts, and scarves.

Framed Memories
We take tons more photos these days, but they’re typically buried within some electronic device. Print out her favorite family photo and put it in a Mutual Adoration frame that is made from recycled wood. Finding it too difficult to narrow the choice down to just one photo? Frames from Lena Marie Creations can store up a dozen photos, and you can give a variety of magnetic borders so she can constantly change the look of the frame as well as the photo inside it. If a special old family photo would bring her the most joy, but it’s been damaged, check out the photo restoration services offered by Suite 104.

Culinary Tours
Eat, drink, and bond with your mom in a manner that suits her style. Winetasting is always a great option. Visit one of the state’s incredible wine trails, or a Michigan by the Bottle tasting room to sample selections from multiple local wineries under one roof. Feet on the Street does guided walking tours of the foodie paradise known as Eastern Market in Detroit.

Sure you can find almost any recipe you want online these days, but true foodies love to flip the pages of a cookbook to find more than just a list of ingredients and instructions. Sister Pie, has a best-selling cookbook on the market that features recipes and stories from the incredibly popular Detroit bakery. Zingerman’s Bakehouse in Ann Arbor has a delectable book available as well. How about discovering the secrets behind Frankenmuth’s iconic Bavarian Inn Restaurant? Legendary matriarch, Dorothy Zehnder, has written a variety of cookbooks filled with scrumptious recipes and delightful stories.

Tastes of Michigan
There are so many incredible sweet and savory products being produced in our state now that it is unlikely she has tried them all. Gather a collection of her favorites and a few she has yet to discover. If you’d rather have someone do the legwork for you, Detroit Basket Company and Heart of Michigan have excellent selections in a variety of prices ranges. At Mitten Crate you can make a one-time gift box purchase or sign her up for a subscription so the surprises keep on coming.

Most moms are way overdue for a little self-care. Consider a gift card to an independent spa near her. If spas are not her style, Healthy Body Investment and Natural Red each offer high-quality bath and beauty products that she can use to treat herself in her own home for months to come.

Home Décor
If your mom has a green thumb then she’ll be delighted to add a terrarium from Leadhead Glass to her home. Each one is handcrafted out of reclaimed glass from deconstructed homes in Detroit. Pewabic Pottery vases, bowls, and other ceramics are legendary, and make an excellent addition to any table. Ann Arbor’s Motawi Tile creates elegant works of art to adorn a wall or shelf. The Wood Garage handcrafts a variety of products ranging from whimsical signs to throw pillows to wooden furniture.

Tea Party
Sharing a spot of tea can create a unique bonding experience. The famous Whitney restaurant in Detroit offers a traditional afternoon tea. You may even be able to arrange a tour of the historic building. For a rare and eye-opening experience, take her to the Japanese Cultural Center Tea House and Gardens in Saginaw for an ancient tea ceremony. The setting is truly serene. Celebrants wear a traditional kimono as they perform this 400-year old ritual. Guests may ask questions, take photographs, or just enjoy the tea and sweets served in the ceremony itself. The surrounding gardens are sublime.

Skills & Knowledge 
How about discovering unknown talents together, or giving your mom a nudge to take a class and learn something new on her own? At Glass Academy in Dearborn she can try her hand at the art of glassblowing and make a piece to take with her. Renowned photographer, Monte Nagler, offers workshops that will really step up her Instagram game. Chateau Chantal is a delightful destination for taking a cooking class or she can learn some inside secrets from the culinary whizzes at Zingerman’s Bakehouse. Downtown Market Grand Rapids offers a wide range of subjects from crafting cocktails to rolling sushi.


If you and your mom share a passion for the great outdoors, then adventure awaits. Grand Traverse Bike Tours offers plenty of pleasurable peddling opportunities. Some even include winetasting. Uncommon Adventures offers culinary tours via kayak, or hop aboard the Tall Ship Manitou and set sail in Grand Traverse Bay.

No matter who the motherly influences are in your life, there’s a Michigan-made gift or experience that will delight them. Happy Mother’s Day to all.


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