[ A Mother's Day of Your Own Making ] ~ from Monterey Bay Herb Company
Mother’s Day, the day in which we honor motherhood and all of the motherly figures in our lives, is just around the corner. Given consideration, the word “motherhood” invokes varied emotions beyond the literal definition of being in a maternal state. In ancient Greece, Cybele, the Mother of Gods, and Rhea, the Titaness of Motherhood, were revered as mothers of creation and defenders of the homeland. But in the modern world, the woman who bears the unique title of “mom” wields far more power than any Earth Goddess, for she is the keeper of Legos, the kisser of skinned elbows, and the one who first plants the seeds of love in our hearts.

This month we celebrate mothers of all types everywhere, and to help you pay homage to your mothers, sisters and the other maternal mavens in your life — as well as honor your own motherhood — we hope to inspire you to craft sure-to-be-treasured botanicals for gifting, from calming tea blends for frazzled nerves to indulgent, skin-softening soaps and delicately-scented herbal perfumes.
Oh, mama!
Petals Intro

[ A Mother's Day of Your Own Making - The Splurge Surge ] ~ from Monterey Bay Spice

the splurge surge

How we celebrate Mother’s Day hasn’t changed much since inception of the official holiday, but how we define motherhood since then has changed a great deal. While we may still hold the traditional “June Cleaver” model dear, nearly 10 million women in the US are challenged with raising their children solo, and approximately half of married women, or roughly 5 million, are stay-at-home moms. Collectively, almost 45 million American women are on the receiving end of breakfast in bed, a necklace made of macaroni, or a bouquet of flowers on the second Sunday in May. (1)

On the commercial side of things, spoiling mom is big business. Mother’s Day spending in 2017 reached record levels, topping out at $23.6 billion laid out for everything from greeting cards to gardening tools. Not surprisingly, greeting cards top the list of purchases each year, with flowers and brunch following close behind. The majority of gifts, more than 60%, are intended for mothers and stepmothers, followed by wives, daughters, and others, including a generous 9.2% of gifts purchased for, apparently, no one else at all. (2)

[ A Mother's Day of Your Own Making - Mother May I? ] ~ from Monterey Bay Spice

mother, may i?

Mother’s Day as we know it today is celebrated in May in more than 50 countries around the world, including the United States. Observed on the second Sunday of the month, the exact date changes each year with the lunar calendar, with this year falling on May 13th. But the holiday has had several precursors championed by different women of different eras. The first of which was Ann Reeves Jarvis of West Virginia, who organized Mother’s Day Work Clubs in the 1850s to improve infant mortality by coaching mothers in the best sanitation practices of the time. During the Civil War, these women also nursed both Union and Confederate wounded soldiers, and in 1868 Jarvis gathered mothers together for the first Mother’s Friendship Day picnic, along with their sons and former soldiers from both sides in an effort to mend a divided nation. In 1870, Julia Ward Howe, the abolitionist and poet who penned the “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” furthered the effort by establishing Mother’s Peace Day with her Mother’s Day Proclamation that called on mothers of all nations to abolish war.

It was the work of Anna Jarvis, daughter of Ann Reeves Jarvis, that officially put Mother’s Day on the calendar, although not as she intended it to be celebrated. Upon the death of her own mother, she launched an exhaustive letter writing campaign from her home in Philadelphia that eventually moved President Wilson to declare the day a national holiday in 1914 in “reverence for all mothers.” But Anna, holding firm to her belief that the day should remain an intimate exchange between children and their mothers, and not a day to honor all mothers, passionately rallied against the commercialization of the holiday that quickly ensued. In fact, she put every penny and ounce of energy she had into the fight, eventually succumbing to dementia and passing away in 1948 in a sanitarium at the age of 84. Ironically, she never had children of her own.

[ A Mother's Day of Your Own Making - Mom Tribute, Through the Ages 1 ] ~ from Monterey Bay Spice
“But there's a story behind everything. How a picture got on a wall. How a scar got on your face. Sometimes the stories are simple, and sometimes they are hard and heartbreaking. But behind all your stories is always your mother's story, because hers is where yours begin.” — Mitch Albom

[ A Mother's Day of Your Own Making - Mom Tribute, Through the Ages 1 ] ~ from Monterey Bay Spice
[ A Mother's Day of Your Own Making - Gone-A-Mothering ] ~ from Monterey Bay Spice


In some places around the world, the day of honoring mothers is known as Mothering Sunday, and has very different origins that began in England and Scotland in the 1500s. Observed on the fourth Sunday of the month in which Lent occurs, also known as Laetare Sunday, the day was originally recognized as the time to return to one’s “mother church,” usually the one in which a person’s baptismal took place, if distance permitted. If you were a 16th century person observing this tradition, you would be said to have gone “a-mothering.” Later, the day was expanded to afford servants one day in the year in which they could abandon their domestic duties to visit their mother church, along with their own mothers and families. Children in domestic service also took the day to return to their families, often picking wild flowers on the way to gift to their mums.

By the early 20th century, the holiday as a religious observance waned in most of Europe. Inspired by a newspaper article written by Anna Jarvis, Constance Adelaide Smith, herself a “high church” Anglican and vicar’s daughter, started the movement to revive the holiday as a day for families to honor mother church during Lent, and by 1920, Mothering Sunday was re-established throughout England. Today, the day is celebrated much like Mother’s Day in the UK and Ireland, as well as in Canada and Australia. It is also interesting to note that, like her American counterpart, Smith never married or had children of her own.

[ A Mother's Day of Your Own Making - Heartfelt and Homemade ] ~ from Monterey Bay Spice

heartfelt & homemade

Nothing beats presenting a macaroni necklace to mom when you’re seven, but now that you’ve reached an age where maturity and wisdom drive your sense of style and creativity you’re ready to branch out in the homemade gift-giving department. The DIY projects suggested here require a minimal investment of time and money to produce, but they will be thoroughly enjoyed and your thoughtfulness appreciated long after the last sip of tea or splash of bath oil is gone.

When choosing a formula to make, consider the personality and preferences of the recipient. Does she tend to wear floral scents or fragrances that are warm and earthy? When it comes to tea, does she prefer black, green, chai, or non-caffeinated herbal blends? Is she a foodie? If so, you might want to consider putting together a collection of seasoning blends. Whatever you choose to make, you can’t miss with the one essential ingredient that can only come from your heart: a big dose of love.

botanicals for DIY herbal spa personalization
[ Image : Lavender ] ~ from Monterey Bay Spice
bulk lavender flower

Use the dried flowers in tea blends (try it with Earl Grey!), in soaps and in baked goods. Use lavender essential oil in massage oils, bath oils and in lotions and creams.

[ Image : Rose Buds and Petals ] ~ from Monterey Bay Spice
bulk rose buds & petals

Whole rose buds, either pink or red, make anything you make look good! Use them in formulas for the bath, skin care products and in teas.

[ Image : Chamomile ] ~ from Monterey Bay Spice
bulk chamomile

The flowers are soothing to skin and to the soul when steep as tea. Chamomile pairs well with just about any other herb too.

[ Image : Sea Salt ] ~ from Monterey Bay Spice
bulk sea salt

Mineral-rich sea salt is the key base ingredient in bath salts and scrubs, enhanced with the addition of your favorite essential oil or dried fruit peel. Comes in regular or large granule.

[ Image : Cinnamon Chips ] ~ from Monterey Bay Spice
bulk cinnamon chips

Not just for baking, these little nuggets add warm flavor to teas and spicy fragrance to skin care formulas.

[ Image : oatstraw ] ~ from Monterey Bay Spice
bulk oatstraw

Add to teas for a calming effect and nutritional boost, and to soaps and bath bags for a soothing experience for the skin.

a few easy DIY herbal spa forumulas to get started

and some pinterest board inspiration