Gift Guide

As a mom of toddlers, here's what I really want for Mother's Day (besides coffee)

As a proud mom of twin toddlers about to celebrate my third Mother’s Day, what I want most of all is for my kids and hubby to remain healthy, safe and happy.

Alesandra Dubin
My twins are the greatest gift!

Beyond that, I want coffee. And wine. And sleep. Living in a two-bedroom house that’s feeling smaller by the day, I definitely don’t need the clutter that comes with gifts I can’t use, no matter how grateful I may be for the loving intentions behind them.

Here's the kind of stuff I’d really get excited about ...

A fragrance that actually feels personal

Bobbie Brown's Beach Fragrance, $76, Sephora

The wonderful thing about scents is their power to transport us to another place or time so vividly as to bring on tears ... or chills. Someone who really knows me would know how intoxicated I get by the aroma of jasmine in my backyard, so Chanel’s Eau Tendre could be a great choice. As would Bobbi Brown’s Beach, a favorite that slays me for its evocative aroma that smells like sunscreen and paradise. More importantly, it reminds me of so many warm and wonderful memories of vacations spent with my family now and with my husband before I became a mom.

A polished outfit I could live in

Chambray Shirt Dress, $55, Lou & Grey

Lou & Grey

Look, even Victoria Beckham eventually had to give up her heels. Motherhood can be exhausting — not to mention messy as heck. (To say nothing of all the ways pregnancy changes our bodies.) So I’d be grateful for the gift of an outfit that would make me feel pulled together — against all odds — but is still comfy, cozy and doesn’t show stains. A chic (and forgiving) shirt dress fits the bill.

Sumptuous bedding that makes my room feel like a sanctuary

Vienna collection bedding, $35-$159, Crane & Canopy

Confession: After putting twin tornadoes — er, toddlers — down to sleep in the evening, sleep is the first thing I want to do, too. I love for my bedroom to feel like a quiet, calm sanctuary from the chaos — I mean excitement — of our days as a family as much as possible. Crane & Canopy makes rich-feeling, hotel-like bedding options — like the gorgeous and versatile Vienna collection.

A peaceful night’s sleep

Satin Cat Sleep Mask, $15, Etsy


To that end, wouldn’t it be great if we could simply gift a great night’s sleep to the ones we love most? That can’t happen, sadly. But as someone who struggles with insomnia, I have found some tools that help. They include ear plugs and eye masks, which make me feel, well, not so cute in the bedroom. A gift of a crazy-adorbable eye mask, like this cat shaped one from Etsy, would help in that regard!

Stylish jammies

Sant and Abel, $75, Spring


No mom reading this list would be surprised that I’m devoting nearly half of it to sleep-related items. Ladies, can I get an amen?! Not only do I lounge in my pajamas so I can be comfortable at home, but (shhh) they’re also my standard work uniform as a writer who works from a home office. So I love a set of PJs that are as comfy as they are cute and, dare I say, even presentable? I am loving the joyful “Palm Sunday” print on thesepajama pants from Sant and Abel.

Personalized jewelry

Signature Engravable Bar Cuff, $98, Stella & Dot

Yup, I’m a sucker for jewelry. And the pieces I love the most are the ones that make me feel like I’m wearing my family close to my heart. Stella & Dot has great engravables and charms too. Of course, personalized stuff can’t always be arranged at the last minute — but a hand-drawn gift certificate given on Mother’s Day that invited us to design something together? Even better.

Pampering at home

Monthly Box Subscription, $10 per month (or $99 for the year), Birchbox


As a busy working mom of twin toddlers, time is never on my side. So I am all about those subscription services that let you try things out at home without any fuss. Birchbox sends you five different sample size beauty products each month, and it's all really great stuff that I probably wouldn't have discovered on my own.

This article was originally published on May 3, 2016 on

For TODAY's complete Mother's Day Guide, click here!


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