Your answer to "What is your favorite Portland bridge?" says a lot about you. Are you showy like the Fremont? Flaky like the Sellwood? Reliable like the Marquam? Show how versatile you are with the Portland Bridge Ceramics Collection, dishes printed with all our city's spans, commissioned by local ceramics shop Elsa & Sam from Kentucky's Dovetail Studio. Then ask your dinner party guests the all-important question to decide whether you want to invite them to your next one. $26-$40 per piece. Elsa & Sam, 4314 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 517-9942, elsasam.com.
Balancing the kid in one arm and a latte in the other is easy. Add in the baby wipes, the hairbrush and Oprah's book of the month and it gets harder. Keep it all together in Keen's Northrup bag. A hybrid between a reusable grocery bag and a Timbuk2-style messenger, it's big enough to carry the diapers and an extra sweater while still being made out of 100 percent recycled materials, like shoe scraps and rice bags. $40. US Outdoor Store, 219 SW Broadway, 223-5937, usoutdoor.com.
Nowadays, Oaks Park might be a little too seedy for the kiddies. But back in the day, it was the coolest place for artists to display their work. For art history buffs, Oaks Park Pentimento captures the rich history of the old carousel from the local amusement park in photographs by Jim Lommasson. Three layers of different murals flake to combine the images into eerie collages of the past 100 years. $25. Powell's City of Books, 1005 W Burnside St., 228-4651, powells.com.
Give a gift that you can enjoy, too! Inspire your mom to start the book club the two of you are always daydreaming about with Penguin Classics' new hardcover editions of literary classics. CliffsNotes are for high school. Beautifully bound hardback editions of your favorite stories, like The Picture of Dorian Gray and Sense and Sensibility, are for life. $20. Powell's City of Books, 1005 W Burnside St., 228-4651, powells.com.
Mom needs some flair. Something bright, and soft. Something like a bamboo-fiber shawl from Beaverton-based design house Naturally Knotty. Super-soft, warm and available in eyecatching hot pink, lemon yellow and citron green (along with boring-but-classy black), each shawl comes rolled inside a bamboo cylinder—no wrapping required. $39.99. Naturallyknotty.com.