Hulk Phone Smash
Merry Laddermas

Tuesday Doldrums

My phone, as I more or less suspect, was completely FUBAR'd. The motherboard was damaged along with the screen, so...I got a new phone. 

And that's...kind of all I've got. I spent a tortuous amount of time yesterday trying to come up with something else to write about, as there's not really much of a plotline to buying a new phone. I had to go to two Verizon stores? Because the first one was fresh out of iPhones? Which I only learned about after waiting (and waaaaaaaiting) for the one lone salesperson to finish up with a couple who thought, hey, while we're here, let's ask this guy every tech support question we can think of, even ones that aren't even phone related, and also get his opinion on whether our online banking could ever get hacked by the Russians.

PLOT TWIST: There was another, bigger Verizon store one shopping center over that still had plenty of iPhones. Suburbia!

CONCLUSION: I got my phone from there and spent all weekend trying to remember all my various app logins. Then we watched Westworld while eating Velveeta chili dip and chicken wings. Oh and on Saturday there was an inexplicable amount of nachos and a sausage McGriddle. So like jeez you guys for the life of me I will never figure out where 10 extra pounds came from. Just out of nowhere, really. 

And thus ended a weekend with barely enough happening to warrant an update on the Facebookhole, much less a whole blog post. (Although if you haven't bought the Hamilton Mixtape yet, what are you even DOING HERE?)

Today is my mom's birthday though, so if you are here and still awake you could always be nice and say happy birthday to her. And then tell me what you're buying your mom for Christmas (I won't tell her, swears) because I hate all of my ideas and need some gift-giving inspiration in general. The years and years of everybody asking for nothing but Lego Lego Lego Lego has broken my imagination, especially since I am pretty sure my mom is happy to finally live in a place with zero Legos to step on. I also need gift ideas for 1) Jason, and 2) literally everybody else. 

Oh wait! I can actually go first, as I made this for my friend's birthday and gave it to her at some point between the nachos and McGriddle and can thus finally share my basic bitch craftiness with the rest of you:


I can probably make one for your mom, if you want. 



My husband's mom really went bonkers over a bouquet of the month-type gift. Not FTD, but some other random one w/a FB coupon I can't remember. The woman loves her some flowers.

In that vein, Happy Birthday, Amy's wonderful mom! You brought greatness to the world w/giving birth to this one!


My mom's birthday is next week. I bought her an online gift card on Cyber Monday and asked if they would wait until the 15th to email it to her. They didn't. Oh well. I'll be cooking her a special dinner on Saturday and going to a hockey game with her on her actual birthday. Cause that's the way we roll. I'm sure none of that is useful to your mom though. Unless you want to cook her supper. Or she wants to come have supper with my mom on Saturday!


I got my Mum, a huge tea drinker, a tea of the month club subscription and she loves it


I got my mom a subscription to Acorn TV, which has all the British (and Australian) TV she could ever wish for. She loves it, and has already hinted that renewing that subscription for next year would be a great idea.

Mrs. Claus

I got my mother-in-law a decoupaged wine bottle with dragonflies on it from a local handmade shop. I swear it's more beautiful than it sounds and we also got her a Legacy box so she can finally convert her slides to digital photos.



Like the first poster, I have given my mother a "bouquet a month" (except it's really every other month, because EXPENSIVE!). Anyway- there's a local florist in her area, who does really great stuff and is quite affordable (i.e. not FTD $50 for carnations b.s.). I give them my credit card number, and six times per year my mom calls them and says "I'd like a bouquet tomorrow" and then she goes and picks it up. She absolutely LOVES it. My dad bought her flowers for many years, and now that he is gone, I could tell that she wasn't buying herself flowers, so .......


is it wrong that I want one of those for me?


Jelly of the Month Club.
Now THAT is the gift that keeps on giving.

BTW, Shitter's full.


Happy Birthday to your mom! My mom is incredibly difficult to shop for because she doesn't want anymore stuff. I researched seafood restaurants in the Florida town where she lives and am giving her a gift certificate. She likes to go to dinner, but doesn't like to spend the money.

Sian Bumsted

I got my mom a vintage Coach bag from an online vintage store, since she's always complaining about her current purse and hasn't found one she's liked in about 15 years.

Gail Zimmerman

Happy Birthday Amy's mom!

Sue W

Happy Birthday to the woman that birthed you!


Happy Birthday Amy's Mom! Give yourself a big or on the back because Amy turned out great and we love her. :)

I actually gave my parents blue apron last year lol. One gift we have given my mom that she adores is one of those pandora bracelets. I know, I know, but I did the first initial of each of my girls and a pink beads in between and she adores it. She calls it her granddaughter bracelet and wears it all the time. Maybe a boy version for your mom? If she's into bracelets. Or an Etsy necklace with their names or first initials?


Heh that was supposed to say give yourself a big pat on the back Amy's mom...


I once gave my mom a gift certificate for a massage, which is generally a good and well-received gift. Except my mom never used it. But others (your mom?) might!


Happy Birthday Amy's Mom!

I got my Mom a printer/scanner (by request) and a huge ass box of Godiva chocolates, which are her favorite. And, I dunno... a super nice Anthropologie candle maybe?

I got my mother-in-law a poncho sweater thing, which I also got myself and will wear on Christmas to be like OH LOOK WE MATCH because she gets a kick out of that. I also got her a blanket with all of her grandkids' (dogs and cats included cuz she loves them too) pictures on them and it says "we love our Granny" because she loves sentimental gifts. If we go on vacation together, you best believe she is getting a shutterfly album of all of our pics. I have made her cry twice at Christmases. Booyah.

Husband gets all drone related stuff because he is a drone racing pilot. Yes, my beloved darling races drones and it is way more than a hobby. Don't be jealous.


My mother and I are estranged, and my husband's mom died years ago, so I don't have to buy any mom gifts. But I have seen on The Facebooks where they put a sample of a loved one's handwriting on a piece of jewelry, which I think would be a nice gift for a jewelry person. Also, one year, I could not figure out what to get my (now ex) MIL, so I ended up giving her a 3 picture frame, with a picture of each kid holding up a card. When it was put together, it said "I" "*heart*" "U".


I buy everyone Cougar Gold Cheese. I'm not alumni or anything, but the cheese is amazing and they ship it for me and it's just too easy and everyone loves it. DONE.


Happy birthday, wondrous mom of Amalah!

We use Bouq for all the older people on our gift list, so thanks for that recommendation!


i made my mom a ceramic "handle-less mug" (also known as a tumbler, mom), a 2017 calendar filled with photos of my son from 2016 with each month corresponding to photos from the previous year, and a beautiful hand-dyed scarf from a local craft fair a few months ago.

for my MIL: same calendar, a ceramic spoon rest (also made by me), a jewelry set (earrings, necklace, bracelet) in her favorite college football team's colors from the same local craft fair.

my husband is getting a new wallet and a nice cordless drill complete with two lithium batteries, which is apparently the important part. Oh, and some deadpool socks.

Most of the other people in our lives (aside from children) are getting some sort of pottery or jam as I started taking pottery classes in March and we have a fig tree so I make a big ole batch of jam each year.

Happy Birthday Amy's Mom!


Mom is immersion blender, a new Kate Spade wallet...and (this one's for Mom & Dad) a custom painted ornament with my parents' new house (I gave them one two years ago with my childhood home, which the whole family was honestly one of the most special gifts I've ever given)...and, spoiler alert, the rest of my family (including my fiancé, so we will have one with house) are ALSO getting custom house ornaments, and I just can't wait for everyone to open them!! If you are interested, I highly recommend this Etsy shop...Claire is so talented!

Joanna Moore

Happy Birthday, Amy's mum!

For Christmas I got each set of parents a 7x7" photobook (by Blurb) with 5 pictures from each of the 4 photo shoots our wonderful friend the photographer did of our son in his first year. For my mum specifically I have been thinking about buying her some Downton Abbey seasons.


i got my mom the hamilton mixtape, so...that might not be helpful for you.


Getting my mama a necklace from Etsy with her grandkids' birthstones in them. Hopefully she likes it. :) Happy Birthday Amy's mom!


Aw, it's my son's birthday today too! Happy birthday to your mom!

I love the idea of a fancy wallet (TJ Maxx/Marshalls or Nordstrom Rack FTW) or something else fancy for everyday that she wouldn't buy herself. One year I got my Dad a really good insulated travel mug - he's a coffee addict & had been using a broken-down plastic one. The one I got was probably $25 but it was a huge upgrade for him & something he'd never buy for himself (I told my mom to throw out the BPA-filled one). I see a TON of people around here with Yeti cups & gear. I haven't pulled the trigger on one - they are $40 minimum!

We've done themed ornaments - one year everyone got an animal, another year a trip-related ornament. Crate & Barrel has great ornaments for reasonable prices. I love the Santas from around the world.

I also like to give the gift of consumables. I've introduced my spice-loving family members (split about 50/50 with the no-spice-whatsoever crowd) to the joy of Cackalacky peanuts from NC. (spiced, not Beer BQ, although I'm sure those are awesome too). If Jason likes spicy, it's a perfect stocking stuffer. My Dad is seriously addicted now. Or go to a local foodie store & look for products local to your area. If he's into cocktails, friends of ours from MN started this company & make artisan shrubs: The habanero ones are amazing with tequila.

We are doing photo albums this year for my parents because we took a bucket-list trip to Ireland with my family. With Husband's family, we are doing a charitable gift exchange. They picked a semi-religious one that seems OK (focus on housing & food, not converting anyone) & we picked the ACLU. I'm SUPER HAPPY my Trump-voting FIL will now be on the ACLU mailing list. Winning!


For my mom's birthday, I adopted a beehive in her name. She said the honey was delicious! I think I added on some honey stuff from the store too.


My mom is getting the complete collection of books written by and about Hillary Rodham Clinton because she's not just my mom she's my inspiration.

Amy in StL

Happy Birthday Mom!!! Last year I bought my mom a subscription to Book of the Month Club, because she loves to read but never buys new books for herself. I've just let it roll over each month, and when she complains about me spending money on her I promise to remember to switch it to her credit card but I conveniently forget. This year I'm kind of lost. I'd like to get her a gift certificate for house cleaning because I just discovered how wonderful it is to have someone clean for you; but I'm worried she'll be insulted. I might get her a coupon book for stuff she can ask me to do without guilt. It's hokey but I'm busy and she's always feeling guilty about asking for help. I want to help but I get busy in my life and I don't get up there as often as I should. (even though I call every day) She needs a new couch but is waiting until she moves into a community in a couple years to get one, so that's out. Gah, I don't know!


I found a subscription called Grandbox. My in-laws will now get gifts every month for a year, and I can upload 5 photo files a month that will get printed and included. This will not jut be "Christmas" but also Mother's Day in May, Father's Day in July, birthdays in two other months, etc. - they feel they should get ALL THE GIFTS whereas my parents thought gifts were for children and it was weird for us to buy them things now that they are grown up.


Happy Birthday, Your Mom!

On my side this year, the adults are doing charitable donations. The idea was for each couple to choose a charity and draw names, but one family member kind of hijacked my idea and now we are all giving a "joint" donation to one charity that wouldn't have been my first choice. Not the worst, but I'm kind of irked over it.

But I still got my parents some Uniqlo special warm socks, b/c they live on a farm in the Midwest. And I got my MIL a nice JCrew Factory cream-colored puffy vest with gold zippers that I think she'll like. And for my SIL, a pretty grey and lilac-y leather and suede clutch from Banana that I got for a steal. For my childcare provider, a Smashbox makeup kit, because she, like everyone under 30 these days, seems to be a makeup wizard. I blame the Snapchats.

XOXO, fellow liberal bitch-ass feminazi


Happy Birthday to your mom <3
I am the world's worst gift giver, but when my Mom was still with us, she did love pictures of my kids. Of course that was before Facebook et al, but I still think a beautiful frame with a picture of a grandkid is a good gift. She also loved things like perfume and nice lotion - definitely something personal and not for the house as the house was full enough. Except for grandkid pictures. Never enough of those.


I got symphony tickets for my mom and stepdad this year, though I'm a big fan of Penzey's Spices ( as gifts (especially considering their CEO's recent Facebook posts). Also have to throw in a local recommendation - check out Joe's Kansas City BBQ ( They have phenomenal food and started shipping this year.


When my mother-in-law was alive I gave her a Netflix subscription every year. This year I have a new step-mother-in-law and I have NO IDEA what to give her, so am watching this space for ideas.

My own parents are downsizing and call me weekly with offers to send me this or that from their attic, so getting them MORE stuff would be silly. Last year I gave them tickets to an upcoming show in their city (Celtic Women, they had a blast). This year we'll be celebrating Christmas together with my brother and his family, and my brother and I are going in on a gift--a big family outing to a huge local Magical Winter Wonderland Light Spectacular Extravaganza, on Christmas Day. I think they're going to love it. :)


Happy birthday to your mother! We have an obnoxious amount of December birthdays in this family (including my son), so I have to save up my good ideas all year.

But for Jason for Christmas, if he likes booze-related products:

For my hubby for Christmas I got him a city map glass of Vegas, the Constitution and Declaration of Independence set, and one of the Literary glasses. I already have them and wrapped them but I pulled them out of the box and checked them out first - they're GORGEOUS, sturdy, and I personally think an amazing price for what you get.


My mom loves taking pictures but hates scrapbooking. I inherited this trait, too messy. I do some graphic design so I'm putting together a couple books of our "girl trips" in Adobe InDesign and printing it with It's a hardcover, glossy book... but take up way less space than typical photo albums.

Also a super big fan of the Yeti type coffee mug. I got one recently (because lukewarm coffee is the worse) and it will seriously burn your mouth with coffee hours later. I'm getting my dad one for Christmas.


I'm getting my Mom the Artisan box subscription from GlobeIn.


I got my mom a year long subscription to Kindle Unlimited. She's a huge reader, so it saves her over $100 a month.


Mrs. Amy's Mom: I pray that you have a blessed and happy birthday and a great year ahead!

Mrs. Amy: Email me if you're interested in an Etsy vendor who transposes original handwriting onto a photo you send her, and then enlarges it onto a canvas. So so so awesome!


I try to give my mom little luxuries she wouldn't buy herself. Last year it was a cashmere wrap from Garnet Hill. This year I gave her a piece of artwork from a local artist.

If she doesn't want more things, how about a subscription to Audible?


Happy birthday Amy's mom! It's my mom's birthday today too, so a banner day for lovely moms apparently.

My mom is not super easy to buy for, but she recently found a set of dishes she loves, so I've been buying her pieces of that. I need a couple more things for her Christmas, so I'm combing though the comments for suggestions. Tickets to something maybe?


I can't help, I'm actually getting my mum Lego for Christmas.


My sister and I buy joint gifts for our mom. This year we're getting her a hand-turned wooden bowl, a down vest, a heating pad, a new garbage can (I know, but she really needs one!), and then little knick knacks like a trivet and and sun hat and wine.
My dad is the one who's super hard to by for. Last year I came up with a good plan for him that I'm reusing this year -- I buy him a handful of books and get the same books for myself and then we read them at the same time and it gives us something to talk about. For the same reason, events that we go to together (movies, plays, exhibits) are usually a go-to gift.
My sister is tough because she lives in a teeeeny apartment and doesn't have much room for more stuff. I'm thinking of getting her fancy face stuff that she wouldn't buy for herself. But I'm not set on that yet...

FFS Amy, can we have one post without mention of your weight?



My mom is getting a Tricia Yearwood cookbook (basic but feel good food, which she needs), instant read thermometer, and garlic press. My MIL is getting a robe and gown set, and some Pampered Chef cookware protectors. Small kitchen, must stack everything in her cabinets.

For Jason maybe consider an overnight in RVA, and go here:
I hear they are fantastic, and you'll never see a better selection of whiskey.

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