8 ways to celebrate Mother’s Day

Moms are so easy to please. They loved your finger painting, your fourth grade pottery, your homemade cards and even gave you a break that time in college you forgot to send a card.

They tell you every year that making brunch for the entire family on Mother’s Day is a pleasure and those wilted flowers you picked from the backyard: Lovely.

Don’t believe it. Just like anyone else, moms love to be pampered and gushed over. They love it when family remember their personal interests and, maybe most important, don’t have to do a lick of “mom” work on their special day.

While we love Mother’s Day brunches, there’s more to today than eating. Here are eight alternatives that are one hundred percent mom approved.

Dinners on You: Three Leaves Heritage Foods is our new favorite way to cook healthy without actually cooking. Jeff Nunes and Tiana Kraus create nutrient dense, locally-sourced meals that come in reusable mason jars and recyclable containers, and can stretch to several meals depending on how hungry you are. A recent pick-up included clam chowder soup, citrus roasted beet salad with raw sheep milk cheese and pickled fava beans, Quinoa kale, herb pesto aioli, a roasted half chicken with crispy potatoes and carrots, and “hippie” crispy treats with almond butter and dark chocolate. Sign up for the week or month online, with prices ranging from $80 to $375 for five weeks of pickups. You can also stop by their kitchen for a la carte dishes each Wednesday from 3-6 p.m. 2484 W. Third St., Santa Rosa,

Deliver Some Dirt: Mom will be thrilled to receive a steaming pile of compost delivered to her front yard this Mother’s Day. Really! Provided someone else does the shoveling, there’s nothing nicer than some nutrient-rich dirt, compost and mulch to get her summer garden off to a solid start. It’s delivered to your door (okay, your driveway) so she can spend the afternoon up to her elbows in supplies. A perfect pairing? A gift certificate to her favorite nursery (King’s Nursery is a Santa Rosa fave at 212 13th St., Santa Rosa, 542-4782). A few decorative rocks might be a nice touch, too, from Sequoia Landscape Materials at 1330 King St., Santa Rosa, 527-5512.

Spa Retreat: Osmosis Day Spa is a perennial favorite because this Occidental spot offers both massages and cedar baths, as well as a Japanese tea garden and the option of a healing luncheon from the Ceres Community Project in the picnic grove. A variety of packages, from the $99 enzyme wrap to luxurious all-day treatments make it an option for most wallets. 209 Bohemian Hwy, Occidental, 823-8231.

Photo Class and Safari: If mom’s a budding photographer, Shutterbug Camera Shops offer digital camera rentals by the day, along with one day classes ($69-$149) from basics to advanced tips and tricks for better photos - and even an IPhoneography class. Once she’s got the knack, take her on a photo safari at Safari West (3115 Porter Creek Road, Santa Rosa, 579-2551). A guided exploration with a professional photographer is available in the fall, but you can simply book a tour ($72 to $93 depending on the season) and get your camera up close and personal with giraffes, birds and cape buffalo right here in Sonoma County. Shutterbug Camera Shops, 3011 Santa Rosa Ave, Santa Rosa or 1 Petaluma Blvd. North, Petaluma.

Yoga for a Month: Sonoma County has a lot of incredible yoga studios, so you really can’t go wrong with a surprise class or two anywhere. A favorite is Yoga One, which offers a variety of classes from Belly Dancing and Pilates to traditional yoga practices. Mom will emerge in a Zen-like state, with tight glutes to boot. Win-win. $49 for a trial month, or $70 for a five-class pass. 589 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa or 100 Kentucky St., Petaluma.

Meat Box: Maybe mom’s on Paleo, or just a die-hard carnivore, but if you’re gonna eat meat, it’s best to do it right. Sonoma Meat Company’s 5-, 10- and 15-pound meat boxes can include anything from chicken and rabbit to sausages, bacon, beef and the cultish beef jerky (one bite and you’ll get it). Call in advance, 35 Sebastopol Ave. South, Santa Rosa, 521-0121.

Gardens, gardens, gardens: One of the number one requests from the moms we asked? Garden tours. Russian River Rose Company offers a variety of ways to stop and smell more than 650 varieties of roses. It’s at its most beautiful this time of year, and if you’re on a budget, entrance is only $2 for self-guided tours most weekends. 1685 Magnolia Ave., Healdsburg, 433-7455.

Another favorite: The Kendall-Jackson Wine Center culinary and sensory gardens contain hundreds of varieties of tomatoes, as well as fruits and vegetables used in the winery’s tastings and at its restaurant, Partake by K-J in Healdsburg. Tours start at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. 5007 Fulton Road, Fulton, 571-7500.

You can reach Heather Irwin at 526-8544 or

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