Mama Bella, my mother, Peggy Aura Arlene Grell, is a woman of elegance and good taste. She loves the finer things in life. Every ounce of my fabulousness comes directly from her.

Right before my wedding, 10 years ago!

Mama Bella knows what she LOVES and isn’t afraid to say it. She also isn’t afraid to respectfully speak her mind if she’s confused by a gift. I remember when I was young, my big brother Clint gave her an iron for Mother’s Day. And my mama was NOT having it. I called her up yesterday to ask her why she had that hilarious and memorable reaction. “Well you see, in my mind, that’s how he looked at me. Like I am there to serve. So let me equip her with items to serve. It was NOT the thing to do,” she explained. And remember that year that Dad got you an exercise bike for Mother’s Day? That didn’t go so well either. “Yes, I remember. That threw me off completely.”

Baby pictures from Belmont, Trinidad

The typical gifts that Mama Bella LOVES? Flowers, fragrances, special clothing items and spa trips are all par for the Mother’s Day course. But to find out the VERY best gift a mother could get, I had to dig deeper.

My parents renewed their wedding vows for their 25th anniversary. I was 12 πŸ™‚

It’s Friday! Mother’s Day is SUNDAY. And according to my mother, these are THE BEST MOTHER’S DAY GIFTS YOU COULD GIVE.

Mother’s Day gift #1 — “Your presence and personal attention on that day. Get up, have breakfast with her, maybe you prepare her favorite thing and bring it to her on a tray. Or maybe you take her out for breakfast, lunch, dinner, whatever. The salient point is, spend time with her and be happy to be there. Remember in 2009, when they brought you?” (In 2009, my mother’s Mother’s Day present was ME, brought in on a surprise trip from Miami, right before we moved to Chicago). “The main factor that made that Mother’s Day so special, is that you were here.”

Mother’s Day gift #2 — After gift #1 I had to ask my mom, what if you’re not able to hop on a plane and surprise her, what’s another great gift idea? “Well if you can’t actually be there, just keep in touch. Let her know how you feel. Skype is a good tool for that. Call on the phone, send a card, all those little things mean something on Mother’s Day.”

I plan to Skype with my parents — I got them a Logitech camera a few years back and Skype sells Skype approved cameras and phones to make the process painless on both sides. It’s revolutionized communication. It’s so amazing to be able to literally SEE each other, show your relatives your apartment, eat a meal or play a game with them via the camera. It’s so awesomely Back to the Future, I LOVE SKYPE.

Mother’s Day gift #3 — I had to press Mama Bella to discuss actual material gifts, she’s definitely a woman with a lot of stuff (as am I, as am I). But she’s always had specific loves and she believes just about every woman would agree with her. “Gift number three…. flowers. To me, flowers say alot. Flowers and fragrances. Because your children can’t truly buy you the jewelry you might want unless they’re very wealthy. But a daughter or child should know what kind of scent their mother would like, and more than anything else it’s the thought behind the gift. The fact that you took time and effort to choose something special. You get extra points for effort.”

Me and my mom in Salybia, Trinidad, in January during my last visit home!

And there you have it, straight from my mom! She’s given me the best beauty advice, the best life advice, the best upbringing. I love you so much, mom. Thank you for everything you are, and everything you’ve done. Happy Mother’s Day!!!

Bellas, what are you giving or getting for Mother’s Day? Tell me!

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