Making memories with mom


Pictured above: Masada and Ruth Siegel show off their arrangements at the Arizona Flower Market.

At a party recently, a high school friend approached my husband and cheekily said, “You do realize your wife Masada is going to turn into her Jewish mother. Are you prepared for that?”

My husband, responded, “I should be so lucky.”

My friend’s grin turned to shock. I laughed, knowing why my husband’s greatest wish is for me to turn into my mother.

My mom, Ruth Siegel, is organized, thoughtful, kind and a fabulous cook – who makes everything from scratch. She’s well-educated, the perfect hostess, makes people feel at ease, a great listener, advisor, diplomat and one of the most well-read people I have ever met.

Mother’s Day is an opportunity to enact the commandment to honor your mother and father. Here are a few creative ideas on how to treat the wonderful person in your life who makes every day brighter and better.

Flower arranging class

Mom and I attended a flower arranging class at the Arizona Flower Market (azflowermarket.com/events) with about 20 other students. We were greeted with an enormous pile of flowers. Our instructor Brian Vetter, an aficionado, was fantastic.

Everyone was given the same flowers; yet each bouquet came out so different. Husbands attended with their wives, as did mother’s and daughters, and lots of ladies with their friends.

The Arizona Flower Market hosts classes monthly, each costing $75. They provide the flowers and instructions, and you bring home a beautiful bouquet.

Alternatively, try a do-it-yourself flower arranging class at home. A wedding website (bloominous.com), has an option called “Chef’s Choice,” where for $39 they will send you a lovely assortment of flowers that are color coordinated and instructions on how to make a bouquet.

They deliver the flowers Friday mornings, so your creation can become a Shabbat centerpiece, and as the flowers continue to open they are sure to look spectacular on Mother’s Day.

Something sweet

Making a sweet treat is half the fun of eating it. Experimenting in the kitchen with my mom is always a delight.

We used the Yonanas machine (yonanas.com) to make a healthy, dairy-free dessert. The machine transforms frozen fruit into what tastes like ice cream – without all the calories. The recipe book is filled with ideas, but we found it fun to experiment with the frozen bananas, adding a little chocolate and cinnamon.

Get to know yourself and your mom better

Mother’s Day is a great opportunity to get to know your mom better, and a DNA test is a great way to learn about generations of women in your family.

We ordered the “Living DNA” test (livingdna.com). My Mom swabbed the inside of her mouth, and in a few weeks, we learned some of our ancestors were Dutch, Finnish and Swedish! Living DNA does a comprehensive analysis of your DNA. It provided information on our ancestry throughout human history, as well as percentages of our ethnic backgrounds from 80 global regions.

They also offer an informative full-color coffee table book of your Living DNA results. It is an artistic way to preserve your family history for future generations.

Spa day

A personal favorite is to treat my mom to a relaxing spa day. The newly renovated Phoenician Spa (thephoenician.com/phoenicianspa) is dreamy. The three-story facility has a rooftop pool, dry bar, full-service nail salon, fabulous gym and movement studio.

Every time we have indulged, we enjoyed fantastic treatments. Now there are a plethora of new choices such as the “The Sleep Ritual Massage.” A therapist releases tense muscles, calms your mind and helps to promote better sleep They also include a DreamKit to take home.

They also have the “Harmonic Bowl Healing” treatment where a therapist will use hand-made Himalayan singing bowls on and around the body to create healing vibrations.

Another option is to celebrate mom with a do-it-yourself spa day. I set the mood by lighting candles, and we relax and giggle in comfortable chairs while we give one another facials.

The renowned East Coast spa owner David J. Witchell (davidjwitchell.com) has created his own all-natural line of products, which are delightful. For a do-it-yourself facial, try the Matcha Wash with Grit for cleansing. Best to use it with a towel or natural sea sponge, then apply the Shaman oil blend which firms and illuminates the tone and texture of the skin and then follow up with the Time Traveler skin soufflé which brightens, hydrates and protects your skin.

To complete the spa experience, steam up the bathroom, run a warm bath and give her Costa D’Oro body soaps (siegebrands.com/naturalsoaps); which are luxurious, natural, made in Arizona and leave your body feeling a decade younger. I especially like the Himalayan salt scrub with activated charcoal, the lemongrass and rosemary and the gardenia-scented soaps.

The best part of a do-it-yourself spa day is that you can continue the celebration, and use the products again. Whatever you decide, enjoy, rejoice and have fun! Happy Mother’s Day.

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