Six hip things to do with the coolest lady you know

By Aliesha Jones

My mom has to juggle dealing with work, cooking dinner, cleaning the house, and keeping our family in order, so she doesn’t have a lot of time for what she calls “diddle daddling” (read: relaxing and having fun). Trying to spend quality time with her is like scheduling a doctor’s appointment or running errands. To show my love and appreciation for her hard work, I looked up some fun activities in Pittsburgh that are partly practical and entirely enjoyable. Sip martinis, bond with Mom over South East Asian stir-fry, or sweat it out together in a gym class. (It’s a lot better than helping her clean the bathroom.)

shaken, not stirred

My mom loves to order something fancy from the bar. I figure, why not learn how to make a fancy drink, too? The Pittsburgh Bartending School offers a free visit to one of their classes for people who are interested in learning about bartending school, jobs, or just bartending in general. Invite Mom out for a night and learn about a variety of drinks and how to make them at home (there’s the practical bit!). There is no obligation to sign up, and the bartenders-in-training might serve you something for free. I’ll drink to that!

Did you know? The strawberry daiquiri is considered the traditional Mother’s Day cocktail.

edible education

No time for drinks? It’s OK. Everyone’s gotta eat, and I’d love to give my mother a break in the kitchen. Look into Dorothy Tague’s Chop, WOK, & Talk! cooking classes, the original South East Asian cooking school in the Pittsburgh region. This month, there are classes offered in Thai cooking, and the school even offers a crash course on how to cook a Moroccan Dinner and a night of Spanish cuisine. Most workshops are at night, but some are also available during the afternoon. Check out the Website to see all of the classes available, and mingle with Mom over the hot kitchen stove.

tip-top shape

At an age I cannot disclose (she’d kill me), I must say that my mother looks FAB and keeps her figure looking slim. Since we both love to hit the gym, we can test out unique classes together at Club 1 Fitness. With more than 30 years in the game, Club 1 offers distinctive classes, such as Bodiography, for Pilates-lovers who like to dance, and E1, the low-impact intro to group exercising. If Mom is feeling adventurous, check out a Zumba or Hip Hop class at Amerifit Fitness Club. There are week-long trial memberships that Mom can enjoy for free, and students can try out classes for a daily rate of $5. For a more personal approach, trainers are available and often work with pairs. “We meet [trainees] exactly where they are. Sometimes the mother is stronger, and sometimes the son or daughter is. We tailor the program to meet their needs,” says Jeannine Richardson, manager and personal trainer at Amerifit. To focus on more than just the body, try Evolve Wellness Spa, which provides a more relaxing environment for Mom to get her fitness on, offering Yoga and Tai Chi classes, as well as nutrition counseling, personal fitness training, and coaching in personal development.

consignment assignment 

Sometimes lending Mom a hand with her to-do list is more meaningful to her than we realize. Help make her errands less daunting by pitching in and cleaning out those old clothes and shoes. Ambiance Boutique only accepts in-season clothing, but jewelry, handbags, accessories, and shoes are timeless (like my mom), and always welcome. Call ahead to make an appointment with the boutique, and share some of Mom’s old Chanel pearls or Coach purses — or buy her some as a gift! Proceeds from sales benefit Bethlehem Haven. To consign for another good cause, be sure to check out Designer Days Boutique, where the proceeds benefit the National Council of Jewish Women’s projects that serve women, children, and families in the Pittsburgh region. Designer Days accepts only the finest clothing and accessories, from vintage jewelry to fur coats. If items in the store have not sold after eight weeks, they can be returned to the owner or donated to a thrift store. It’s a win-win-win situation for the store, the charities, and for moms.

joy ride

If my mom is going to continue to drive me crazy on a daily basis (just kidding — love you, Mom!), she might as well drive in style. Lexus, Infiniti, Mini Cooper, Porsche — these are the names of cool in mom-speak. Depending on the style, there can be enough room in the car (or van or SUV) to fit all of the groceries, soccer equipment, book bags, and even, the family! Chauffeur Mommy Dearest to the nearest car dealership, and let her test-drive the car of her dreams. It’s a seductive thrill to sit in the comfy leather seats while Mom is behind the luxurious wheel of a Lexus or Porsche. Convince her to come out for a test drive by offering to help with that to-do list, letting her know that the day of errands and chores will be as smooth as the car ride she’s about to enjoy.

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