There are just a few things to know about Mother's Day. First, remember the holiday. This year Mother's Day takes place on Sunday, May 12, so you don't have many shopping days left. Second, book a table. Restaurants are packed on Mother's Day, so if you're going out to celebrate, get on Yelp, OpenTable, or some other dining site now. And third, don't limit yourself to the classics and the clichéd. When choosing a Mother's Day present, the sky's the limit, as you'll see below in our selection of gifts for the mom who . . .
Wants to stream video. The updated Roku 3 ($100, shown) is one of the best streaming-media players. It offers tons of content, including more than 750 channels, plus a faster processor for speedier loading and a new graphically rich interface. Our favorite feature is a headphone jack built into the remote. If Mom gets all her content from iTunes or the Apple iCloud, the Apple TV ($99) might be a better choice.
Longs for peace and quiet. The Bose QuietComfort 15 over-ear headphones ($300) provide very good sound quality and excellent noise reduction. You can also use the noise-reduction circuitry without listening to music when you just want to muffle the din. Yes, they're expensive--but isn't Mom worth a quality pair of headphones?
Shoots like a shutterbug. The wireless capability on the Nikon CoolPix AW110 point-and-shoot ($350) makes it easy to snap a shot, then immediately send it to a nearby smart phone or tablet. The AW110 can withstand rough-and-tumble handling, including falls and dunks in water, making it ideal for the beach, pool, and the great outdoors. Check out other digital cameras we've reviewed.
Reads voraciously. E-book readers remain the best way to read digital books. Our recommended models start at $70, but $120 or more gets you a model with a built-in light, such as the Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch With GlowLight and Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Without Special Offers.
Desires a tiny tablet. The Apple iPad mini ($329 and up), weighing just 0.7 pounds, lives up to the name. You don't have to trade functionality with this easy-to-hold device—every app works just the same as on the full-sized iPad. It's also much less expensive than the larger version. It lacks a high-resolution Retina but the iPad mini is still easy on the eyes. Check out other tablets we've reviewed.
Plans to get in shape. The Nautilus CoreBody Reformer ($250, shown) lets Mom perform well-rounded routines without bone-jarring motions or muscle-popping weights. The Nike +SportWatch GPS ($200) is a watch-style pedometer that includes a GPS. It's our top-rated pedometer. Also consider a treadmill or elliptical.
Does whole-food juicing. To liquefy the ingredients found in a typical juice recipe, you need to use a blender. The Vitamix 5200 ($450), one of the top scorers in our Ratings of more than 60 blenders, is up to the job. In just a minute, this Vitamix turned apple, carrot, orange, pineapple, ice and water into a creamy concoction with a smooth consistency; it also aces ice crushing and making icy adult libations drinks (good to know if Mom wants to indulge).
Appreciates fine wine. Maintaining a uniform temperature is key to preserving the flavor of any wine. In our tests of wine chillers, the Electrolux IQ-Touch EI24WC65GS ($1,530) delivered very good temperature performance and energy efficiency.
Likes to bake. In our mixer tests, the Breville BEM800XL ($300), KitchenAid Classic K45SS[WH] ($200), and KitchenAid Artisan KSM150PS[WW] ($300) were excellent at mixing large batches of cookie dough, kneading bread dough, and whipping cream, The Breville has a bevy of features, including a leaf beater with a flexible edge that scrapes the bowl as it turns, easy-to-use 12-speed control dial with an indicator telling you what speed is right for various tasks, a timer, and a lift-assist handle.
Insists on a fresh cup of coffee. The DeLonghi Nescafé Dolce Gusto Piccolo EDG200T single-serve coffeemaker ($100, shown) shares some features with other tested models of the same brand, but the penguin-shaped unit costs less. It's fairly easy to use, refill, and clean, and it delivered both the first and subsequent cups with little delay. You can even adjust brew strength for the Nescafé-brand capsules you have to use. Check out other coffeemakers we've reviewed.
Read "Three thoughtful Mother's Day gifts for first-time Moms" for other gift ideas.
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