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Kids, here's what I really want for Mother's Day — love, Mom

I'm an empty nester — these are the gifts I hope to find on my doorstep this year.
Sterling Forever; Bota Box; Farm Girl Flowers

"The most precious jewels you'll ever have around your neck are the arms of your children" — wise words once said to me by a friend. Besides those hugs, my favorite Mother’s Day gifts were always homemade; I still have many of the colorful paintings and pieces of pottery my three kids gave me growing up.

But now that they’re a bit older — away at college and living in other cities — I not only look forward to our video chats on special occasions when we can’t be together, but also to the thoughtful presents that arrive at my door. This Mother’s Day, I thought I’d make gift giving a little easier for my kids who live out of state by putting together a wish list of things I've had my eye on lately. And I’m betting all mothers — near or far — will love these gifts, too!

Heirloom Memories Video Book

I’m gifting this memory-filled digital book to my mother-in-law, but I wouldn’t mind receiving one myself. It looks like a hardcover book, but it actually opens up to a 5-inch HD screen (with speakers!) that can fit up to 20 minutes of video, 300 photos or a combination of both. All you have to do is upload your selections, and the website will create a slideshow for you, accompanied by the background music of your choice.

Olsky Deep Tissue Massage Gun

There’s nothing I love more than running a good massage gun over my body at the end of a long day — and I'm in desperate need of a new one. This one works on a rechargeable battery and has a digital display that lets you know when it needs charging. It comes with 10 massage heads and 30 speed levels to help you work out any knots. Not only will it make for a great gift this year, but it will also make for a good investment, considering a professional massage costs around $100, and this gun is only $26.

AncestryDNA: DNA Activation Kit

My husband (an Italian who knows exactly where his family is from in Italy) and I just got back from my first trip to Ireland, which has me longing to know exactly where my family comes from in the country, too. So I've added a DNA test to my Mother’s Day gifting list, with the intention of sharing the results with my kids so they, too, will know more about their Irish roots.

Elemis 3-Piece Pro-Collagen Rose Radiance Discovery Set

After experiencing the Elemis cleansing balm during a spa facial with my daughter, we became obsessed with this skin care brand. It does an amazing job at removing makeup (one swipe takes care of my mascara and eyeliner) and its floral scent smells so good, I almost don’t want to wash it off. This three-piece travel set includes the balm, as well as an anti-wrinkle cream and facial oil, and is perfect for summer weekends away.

André Assous Nolita Espadrille Wedge

When the weather turns warm, I start searching for a neutral-colored pair of sandals that are versatile enough to wear with casual shorts or a dress for nighttime events. I’ve had my eyes on these leather cushioned raffia espadrilles — their wheat color matches pretty much everything in my closet and the 3-inch heel is the perfect height for all types of summer dressing. They’re a little pricey, but they're also handcrafted and well-made, so they'll be a great investment as they’ll last all season. (Kids, if want to order them in time, make sure to check the overnight shipping box at checkout!)

Bota Box

I know what you’re thinking — boxed wine? But I tasted this one at a party recently, and it was surprisingly smooth and delicious. The host had everyone fooled into thinking we were drinking an expensive bottle, but she let me in on the secret that it was actually coming from a box. It includes a built-in spout — so, no corkscrew required — and the storage bag prevents air from entering, so the wine stays fresher for longer. Bonus: the box is 100 percent recyclable.

Cuisinart Bread, Pasta & Dough Maker

My friend purchased this machine recently, and I saw firsthand how easy it is to use for making fresh noodles. It comes with six discs to help you create different pasta types (spaghetti, rigatoni, bucatini, fettucine and smaller macaroni), and it can even knead bread dough in less than half an hour. What's more to love is that it comes with measuring cups, a storage bag and a tool to make cleaning easier. Since every Sunday night is pasta night in my house, this would be a great addition to my cooking appliance collection.

Sterling Forever Medium Pearl Pendant Necklace

When my daughter was born, my husband and I started an “add-a-pearl” necklace tradition, where we would add a pearl to her accessory to commemorate special occasions. This well-priced baroque freshwater pearl jewelry piece reminds me of that special gift. It comes on a 14K gold- or rhodium-plated brass chain, which will no doubt look gorgeous against glowing summer skin.

Fancii LED Lighted Makeup Mirror

I'm starting to notice my vision getting a little blurry when I go to put my makeup on in the morning. My doctor assured me I was fine, just suffering from presbyopia (farsightedness!), which happens to most women over 40. She told me to buy a magnifying mirror, and I think I already discovered the perfect one. This option has both 1x and 10x dual magnification, which will allow for closeup viewing and better precision whether I’m grooming my eyebrows or applying eyeliner. It also comes with three light settings and a battery charge that lasts up to 10 hours, according to the brand.

Lesure Dog Carrier Pet Carrier

Being an empty-nester can be lonely, which is why we recently adopted a dog. This TSA-approved carrier will allow me to travel in style with Luna, my 10-pound shih tzu, whether we’re visiting my son in D.C. or popping in on his sister and brother in New York City.

Made for pets 15 pounds or lighter, it has mesh on three sides for breathability and easy viewing, a bed cushion covered in a machine-washable microfiber fabric to make cleaning a breeze and a wide-padded shoulder strap for a more comfortable carry. Plus, the side pockets make it easy to store treats and a leash.

Tommy Bahama Half-Zip One-Piece Swimsuit

I love it when I can throw a pair of shorts or a sarong over a bathing suit, making it easy to grab lunch or a drink with my kids or friends. This strapless black and white one-piece is made of 95 percent recycled nylon and 5 percent spandex (with a piqué fabric that is said to feel soft on the skin) and has a trifecta of benefits: UPF 50 UV protection, a stylish front zipper design and built-in tummy control. Plus, there's a variety of shipping options to make sure you get it in time for Mother's Day!