Mom has endured a lifetime of boo-boos, cutting crusts off sandwiches, and glittered macaroni birthday cards. She's given her best. Isn't it about time that you did the same? This Mother's Day, forget the same flowers, candy and giant tub of bath salts. Instead, try giving her the gift of convenience. Yes, we mean a little something high-tech. We didn't think you'd actually do your own laundry. The laundry might help and a hug wouldn't hurt, but showing up with one of these eight items on May 9 could just seal the deal for "favorite" status in the family.
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iHome iP39 Kitchen Timer/Alarm Clock Radio
This handy-dandy tabletop radio has two independent timers, so mom can keep track of a turkey and chocolate-chip cookies at the same time. It also keeps her pretty entertained during marathon cooking sessions, thanks to an iPod/iPhone dock and FM radio features. When she takes that much-deserved break from you and dad, her device should be charged and ready to rock. Yes, your mom does rock. She's also pretty chic, so she'll appreciate how the iP39's stainless steel accents match the fridge, the coffee maker, and other appliances.
With the economy and high food costs, mom may want to grow a few extra veggies, even if you just feed them to the dog. Just because she has nice nails doesn't necessarily mean she has a green thumb. This garden gizmo is exactly the little helper that you'll never be. Just stick it wherever you plan to plant and it will analyze things like light, humidity, temperature and soil conditions. Pull it out, clean off the dirt, and plug it into your computer for a feast of options on the best fruits, flowers, herbs, veggies and other plant life. Once everything is in dirt, it can also help keep it green, alerting you to ailing plants and watering times.
Mom loves being a know-it-all. Instead of acting like she's a walking Wikipedia, she can walk with the WikiReader, a palm-sized device that provides access to millions of Wikipedia entries on the fly. Take it on trips, to the store, or to family gatherings. No web connection or subscriptions are needed, just two AAA batteries. Use the stroke of your finger to easily get around and access pages. Updates are available four times a year, and available for free on the company's website. They're also willing to send you the info on a microSD card for $29 a year.
Buffalo Technology MiniStation Cobalt
www.buffalotech.com, $109.99 to $189.99
We all love the ease and volume associated with digital cameras. However, it's hard to stuff hundreds of pictures into a family album. The computer can get cluttered and keeping photos on an SD card doesn’t make sense for a safe, long-term solution. The Cobalt is an external drive that's easy to maintain. After all, even mom can drag and drop. It's also nice and portable, so she can easily take it to a friend's house for bragging. Available in three colors to match her computer, the unit also features three storage options to match the size of her digital collection.
Able Planet True Fidelity Headphones
Most moms love to hear about your day. For those that don't, Able Planet's True Fidelity headphones will keep her stylish as she blocks out you and other surrounding noise. Even better, she can feel good about her neglect because $5 from each purchase of this pink model goes to the Susan G. Koman foundation, which supports breast cancer survivors and activists nationwide. Using Linx Audio technology, this set boasts crisp, clear sounds for gaming, walking, exercising, or just hanging on the couch. It also features a microphone port and interchangeable ear cups, so mom can have a say on the design.
Brother Project Runway Limited Edition Sewing & Embroidery Machine
Now mom's addiction to Project Runway can actually be a good thing. Instead of shushing you during seasonal marathons, she can channel that energy into pumping out some creative designs on this computer-connected sewing machine. Don't become a fashion victim to the economy; this machine can make a ton of homemade masterpieces, with 67 built-in sewing stitches and 98 stitch functions, in addition to 70 built-in embroidery designs, 120 frame pattern combinations and five embroidery lettering fonts. Hook the unit to the computer to import embroidery designs and even download machine updates.
Mom may have a soft heart, but she's got kind of a lead foot. PhantomALERT should cut down on her little ticket problem, sending out an audio and visual alert as she approaches red light cameras, speed cameras, and even areas with sudden drops in the speed limit. Pay a one-time lifetime fee and over 400,000 enforcement locations can be downloaded to any GPS, Android Google Smartphone or iPhone. If you don't have one of those, the service also sells compatible GPS units from Garmin, TomTom and Magellan, with some of those locations pre-loaded.
Nuo Chloe Dao Collection
nuo-tech.com, Starts at $24.99
Years ago, mom's travel bag was filled with snacks and stains from various sippy cups. Now, she can carry laptops, cameras and even a pacifier or two in something stylish and functional from Nuo's Chloe Dao collection. Oh, that pesky Project Runway again? It may seem hard to escape, but it's even harder to resist some of this Runway winner's fabulous designs. There are various sizes, so mom can travel light or carry the load she's been doing for years. Either way, each one is bursting with colors, geometry and shapes, which is perfect for the chic geek in your life.