October 20, 2021
Consumer Tech Innovation Shopping Technology

Give Mom Gear She’ll Actually Use This Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is a week away and you’re still struggling to come up with something other than a box of chocolates and flowers. Outdoor brunch reservations are already full everywhere you call and every time your finger hovers over that new vacuum cleaner for Mom a voice inside your head says “Don’t do it.”

So let’s ditch the traditional and think outside of the box. Look to what your mom is really looking for and get her something she’ll actually use.

For the Music-Loving Mom (Who Also Wants Peace and Quiet)

Shure Aonic 50

The Shure Aonic 50 headphones are comfy, classy, and with adjustable noise cancellation you can block out as much or as little of the world as you need to. When I worked in a noisy office, Shure earphones were my saviors. I knew that not only could I rely on them to shut out the world around me but deliver quality sound (that I could hear clearly without damaging my ears with high volume). That philosophy endures with the company’s first wireless headphones, the Aonic 50. 

Right out of the box, you can tell that these are premium headphones. The leather headband has thick cushioning for all day wear and that lush cushioning extends to the earcups as well. The stainless steel armatures that connect the earcups to the band add an appreciable amount of heft (and look cool too). The only issue I have with the form factor is that the earcups will definitely squish large ears. I didn’t have a problem, but there wasn’t a lot of room to let my ears breathe. 

The on-ear controls are easy to use, with distinct buttons for controlling your music and a separate switch for enabling noise-cancelling, environment mode (which lets outside noise in), and a blended mix that gives you ANC and environmental noise at the same time. You can adjust that middle mode with the Shure app, just keep in mind that the adjustment only works on the connected device, there’s no on-headphone profile storage. 

The battery life is phenomenal and with three different colorways, they look considerably better than a lot of other, premium noise-cancelling headphones on the market. Oh, and the ANC works. Someone standing right next to you will have to wave their arms to get your attention (I know from experience). These are an easy choice over more expensive Sony or Apple noise-cancelling headphones. 

For the Maker Mom

Original Prusa Mini+

The Original Prusa Mini+ takes everything from the Original Prusa I3 and shrinks it down. But it does more than that. The entire travel assembly for the printer head is on a floating gantry rather than the more substantial crossbar setup of the I3. The color mini LCD screen is a vast improvement over previous models, with a smarter chip driving the printer. Now, when you plug in a USB or send a print over ethernet it shows up immediately on the screen, in full color, so you can see exactly what you’re about to print. The printer controls are responsive and snappy. The new extruder motor quickly takes care of loading and unloading filament as well. It still has the flexible print sheets of the larger models, making it ridiculously simple to free your print when it’s finished. For such a compact size, it still has an effective print volume of 7x7x7. 

But what really counts is the printing and the Mini+ does that even better than the I3. I’ve found it to be the more reliable machine, pumping out prints quickly and consistently with barely any jobs lost. It’s quieter than the I3 too. That makes it a cinch to start a long job and go to bed, knowing that you won’t wake up to a plastic tumbleweed the next morning. 

If you’re interested in getting into 3D printing, especially if the models you’ve been eyeing are smaller, I can’t recommend the Original Prusa Mini+ enough. For the price, you won’t find a more satisfying 3D printing experience. 

For The Clean Eating Mom

Hurom HP Slow Juicer

The Hurom HP Slow Juicer takes everything that’s fantastic about their larger machines, a slow-rotating auger, quiet motor, and almost overwhelming versatility (it can make juices, sorbets, tofus, sherbert, and more), and shrinks it down to a countertop-friendly version. Unlike the black monoliths of their larger juicers, the HP Slow Juicer comes in a variety of lovely pastels that will complement just about any kitchen. The curves of the juicer give it a decidedly retro feel that’ll make you wish your other appliances weren’t quite so angular. 

But looks only get you so far. Luckily the HP Slow Juicer is a solid performer, with just as much juicing acumen as other Hurom products. The slow auger really does extract every last drop of juice from the ingredients you put in the top, which is good since pineapples aren’t getting any cheaper (also, make sure you have ginger and pineapples on hand for its initial run…trust me). The pulp is cleared from the chamber automatically and the stainless steel strainer ensures that your juice remains free of particulate matter. You get a crazy amount of accessories as well to make a wide variety of products beyond juice. While it can be a bit of a chore to keep all the various bits and bobs together, I appreciate that the HP Slow Juicer breaks down completely so that you can thoroughly clean it between juice sessions. 

Especially if you’re making smaller amounts of juice or you just want a juicer that you can leave on the counter all the time, the Hurom HP Slow Juicer should be your first pick. 

For The Mom that Wants You To Make Your Own Dinner For Once

June Oven

Anyone who cooks loves the June Oven. Those who don’t cook should also love the June Oven. The June Oven is one of those all-in-one appliances that you think sounds like a bunch of hype until you actually use it. After all, how can one countertop appliance replace your toaster, oven, dehydrator, slow cooker, pizza oven, broiler, bread proofer, roaster, air fryer, grill, rotisserie oven, and more? 

The answer is carefully engineered hardware backed by seriously smart software. The June Oven is programmed with enough recipes that you can make just about anything by tapping a few commands on the touchscreen embedded in the door. Even better than that is the cornucopia of foods that you can just stick into the June without touching any controls at all. The June’s onboard AI processor recognizes the food and starts cooking it. It remembers your preferences (if you stop the cook early or continue it past the recommended time) and is constantly downloading new foods to its database. Seriously. I shoved a tray of frozen taquitos into the oven the other day and not only did it immediately recognize them, it cooked them to perfection without me having to do anything more than press Start Cooking

When you pair the June Oven with its app you can do even more. A premium membership gives you access to an ever-growing library of recipes. Just follow along and the app sends commands to the June as you scroll through the steps. You’ll discover things that you would never even think possible with countertop oven (check out the Detroit-style pizza). 

Version 3 of the June Oven adds some new tricks and refinements to the mix, the most impressive being zone activation. The June recognizes when an item has been placed in the front or back of the oven and only activates the heating elements directly above or below the food. It can even activate them in a rotating pattern to simulate a rotisserie if you’d like to slow roast a chicken (or maybe make gyros). It can even do things like making your favorite boxed Mac & Cheese. The June Oven is the most versatile, most used appliance in my kitchen. I honestly don’t know what I’d do without it.

For the Caffeinated Mom

Clio Brewer

Pod coffee makers are, generally, weak, bitter, and generate more waste than caffeinated satisfaction. Not so with Clio. Each pod produces 10 oz. of pressure-brewed Italian coffee with a nice head of crema. It’s strong without being bitter (and you can choose from dark, medium, or mild pods) and can be brewed as either a double espresso shot (perfect for lattes and iced coffee) or as a full cup of coffee. There’s a tea option as well (unfortunately only English Breakfast is currently available). It takes about a minute for the machine to warm itself up and, once it does, about 75 seconds to brew. The only issue? It’s loud while brewing. The pods drop into a basket in the unit when you go to brew your next cup and the pods themselves are fully recyclable. Dump out the grounds and recycle the rest. There’s even a subscription service so that you never have to worry about running low.  

For the Fit Mom

Garmin Venu 2S

The Garmin Venu 2S is a next-generation smartwatch designed to be your constant companion. It boasts 11 days of battery life (8 days if you use the GPS regularly) and tracks workouts, sleep, respiration, hydration, steps, stress levels, and more to help you monitor your overall fitness. It has a gorgeous AMOLED screen that you can use to track over 25 different sports activities such as running, cycling, strength workouts, yoga, swimming and even HIIT workouts (with support for AMRAP, EMOM, and tabata sets). The Venu 2S is serious about your overall health as well, providing you with a daily Sleep Score, your Fitness Age, and even a graphic highlighting which muscle groups you’ve worked during a workout.

It tracks activities both indoors and out with an advanced suite of sensors including a heart rate sensor, GPS (plus GLONASS and Galileo), wrist-based pulse oximeter (for measuring blood oxygen), barometric altimeter, compass, gyroscope, accelerometer (especially useful for determining gait while running), an external thermometer, and an ambient light sensor (for monitoring environmental sleep conditions). You can also use it as a smartwatch with NFC for contactless payment and smartwatch notifications (though you can respond to text messages on Android only). 

Garmin devices are amazing for athletes looking to get an edge on their training. The Venu 2 series constantly monitors your health and encourages you to make good choices. Taking into account your sleep health, hydration, overall training effort and more to ensure that not only are you training effectively, you aren’t overtraining. Basically, the Venu 2 is a fitness-buff’s dream. It tracks more metrics than I even knew could be tracked and then gives you a holistic package, providing a nuanced overview of your training and overall health. The numbers provided by Garmin give you a much deeper and more accurate view of your fitness and health than any three rings ever could. 

For the Gardening Mom


This little robot came out of nowhere and it’s safe to say that every Mom who’s spent a weekend breaking their backs pulling out weeds wants this. The Tertill Garden Weeding Robot is an autonomous mini weed-whacker that trundles around your garden, destroying any weeds it discovers. It never needs to be plugged in. It doesn’t need programming from you. You just set it loose in your raised garden and let it do the work you hate. 

Once you take Tertill out of the box, you’ll need to do a tiny bit of prep if you have fresh plantings or areas that you don’t want it to patrol. The included plant guards and row guards keep the robot from chopping down seedlings that you want to keep. You’ll also need a barrier of some sort around your garden, otherwise the Tertill will wander off (there’s no GPS or software-barrier – raised planters are really the best use case for Tertill). 

But none of that even begins to reach the hassle of having to keep a freshly-planted garden weed-free. The Tertill takes care of that for you with zero input from you. It’s solar powered and weatherproof so you don’t have to worry about it once you’ve set it loose. It operates by trundling between plantings for 1-2 hours every day, churning up the top layer of soil as it goes so as to discourage weeds. Any weeds it does find (i.e. any plants under an inch high), it destroys with a tiny nylon string whacker. It keeps doing this as many times as it needs to, until the weeds run out of stored energy and die. 

Talking to my gardening friends, there was every indication that they would come to my house and steal my Tertill in the dead of night. But with Tertill’s current Mother’s Day deal, you can just get your own! Using the code Tertill4Mom you can get $50 off the Tertill Gift Bundle which includes the Tertill itself, plant and row guards, stickers to personalize your Tertill, and enough seeds to start your own garden. I’ll readily admit, I’m not a gardner, but Tertill makes me want to be. Pulling weeds in Florida is a never-ending chore. If all I had to do was water and harvest? Now we’re talking. 

For Mom Who Wants a Garden But Doesn’t Want to Garden

Edn SmallGarden

The Edn SmallGarden brings fresh, sustainable herbs and lovely plants and flowers to whatever room it’s placed in. It’s a lovely little unit, with a wooden planter and a “handle” that’s actually a string of LED lights that simulate sunlight. It’s so bright in fact, you might need to adjust the brightness in the connected app! 

Setup is simple. You pair the SmallGarden with the Edn app. It walks you through the rest of the setup – placing the seed pods into the unit, filling it up with water, and setting a schedule. When your SmallGarden runs low on water, the Edn app will alert you. When you need to care for your plants, it’ll let you know that too (whether it be harvesting or trimming back). All the fertilizer needed is built into the seed pod itself. It’s all the benefits of gardening, but indoors and without having to fight against your black thumb nature. 

You can get a wide variety of pods including herbs, lettuces, ornamental plants, or even plant-your-own seed pods. It’s easy to use, even for the blackest of thumbs, and it’s a gift that will continue to give long after Mom’s box of chocolate has been devoured. Use the code MOMGROWS this week to get $50 off the SmallGarden.