Birth stories come in all forms. And while it’s always fascinating to find out how that miraculous moment transpires for new mamas, that small window right before the big day can be just as fascinating. The road to labor. Whether you’re of the mama set that’s “ready to get this baby out” before the due date is within reach, or at the end of your “ this baby has decided to take permanent residency in the womb until college” rope, you may find yourself wondering how to induce labor at one point or another. The “expert” advice you’ll get from everyone and their mother for inducing labor includes everything from long walks to sex to acupuncture to even castor oil. Gulp. And while all those are worth a try (except maybe the castor oil), our favorite advice to shell out? EATS. But not just any eats. The best eats around town. We recently took one of our favorite (and hungry) pregnant mamas to follow on instagram, Adriana Aldridge, along for a pregnancy food tour in a 2017 Ford Escape. We hit 3 different NYC food spots in 3 different boroughs to taste test some famous dishes we’ve heard so much about that just so happen to be labor inducing as well. Equipped with cool features like auto-maneuver, which obviously came in handy when parallel parking on NYC streets, in the new Escape (and some big appetites on team Well Rounded) we found 3 of the best spots for labor-inducing food around. We’re super confident you’ll want to eat them over and over again until baby arrives. And who are we kidding? Way after too. Check ‘em out. Eggplant Stop: Mike’s Deli Where: 2344 Arthur Ave, Bronx, NY Labor Inducing Food: Eggplant Parmesan Why: This Italian-American classic is layered to perfection, the cheese it toasted in just the right spots and oozes mozzarella goodness with every forkful you take. It’s the eggplant that will get the labor juices going though. Insider Secret: The owner of Mike’s Deli, David Greco, loves pregnant women! No really, he told us. Touch your belly and push it out to get a little extra love with your food. Spicy Stop: SriPraPhai Where: 64-13 39th Ave, Woodside, NY Labor Inducing Food: Drunken Noodles and Green Curry Why: If you can handle the heat, this is the place you’ll want to end up. The simple composition of noodles, meat, basil and a punch of spice is the perfect food to satisfy your taste buds and get that baby moving. Insider Secret: While we know Queens is the place to go for authentic eats, we know it can sound intimidating to others. It’s a quick ride off the 7 from midtown and if you choose to drive, there’s sweet parking nearby. Pineapple Stop: Summers Where: 155 S 4th St, Williamsburg, NY Labor Inducing Food: Pineapple Juice Why: No matter what time of year, stepping into Summers makes us feel like we’re on a mini vacation. Especially when getting a fresh juice blended right before your very eyes. Order the Pineapple to show baby the exit route and make sure to get one of their egg sandwiches (one of the best in the city) or a delicious corn flake blueberry muffin by Ovenly on the side. Photography by Lauren Crew. *Adriana was not full term and only did a tasting of each of the dishes the day we photographed this story so (thankfully) did not go into labor after this day! *This post was sponsored by Ford.
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Flexible schedules mean more vacation options. 🙌
Looking back now, last winter feels like a lifetime ago. At the time, my husband and I were eagerly planning our summer vacation just as we've done in years past. You know how the next part goes: COVID-19 came into the picture and changed our plans not only for vacationing, but for so much else in life.
In the time since then, we've gained a truly valuable new perspective on what matters—and realized we don't have to look so far to make beautiful memories with our kids. By exploring getaways within driving distance of our home, we've developed a new appreciation for the ability to "pack up the car and go."
Of course, that isn't to say that travel is the carefree adventure it once was. With COVID-19 still a very big part of the equation, we've become much more diligent about planning trips that allow for social distancing and exceed cleanliness standards. That's why we've exclusively turned to Vrbo, which helps us find nearby accommodations that meet our new criteria. Better yet?
Thanks to the money we've saved by skipping air travel and our remote-friendly work schedules, we're able to continue with the trips throughout the fall.
Here are a few more reasons we believe it's a great time for drivable getaways.
Flexible schedules allow us to mix work + play.
After months of lockdown, my family was definitely itching for a change of scenery as the summer began. By looking at drivable destinations with a fresh set of eyes—and some helpful accommodation-finding filters on Vrbo—we were able to find private houses that meet our needs. (Like comfortably fitting our family of five without anyone having to sleep on a pull-out couch!)
With space to spread out and feel like a home away from home, we quickly realized that we didn't need to limit our getaways to the weekends—instead we could take a "Flexcation," a trip that allows us to mix work and play. Thanks to the ability to work remotely and our kids' distance-learning schedule for the fall, we're planning a mid-week trip next month that will allow us to explore a new destination after clocking out for the day.
We’re embracing off-season deals.
With Labor Day no longer marking the end of our vacationing season, we're able to take advantage of nearby getaways that mark down their rates during the off season. For us in the Mountain West, that means visiting ski-town destinations when the leaves are falling rather than the snow. By saving money on that front, we're able to splurge a bit with our accommodations—so you can bet I search for houses that include a private hot tub for soaking in while enjoying the mountain views!
Vacationing is a way to give back.
If we've learned one thing this year, it's that life can change pretty quickly. That's given us a new appreciation for generous cancellation policies and transparent cleaning guidelines when booking trips. By seeing both of these things front and center in Vrbo listings along with reviews from fellow travelers, I feel confident when I hit the "book now" button.
Beyond that, I know that booking a trip through Vrbo isn't only a gift to my family. On the other side of the transaction, there are vacation home owners and property managers who appreciate the income during these uncertain times. What's more, taking getaways allows us to support our local economy—even if it's just by ordering new takeout food to enjoy from our home away from home.
While "looking ahead" doesn't feel as easy as it once did, I am confident that there will be a lot of drivable getaways in our future.
This article was sponsored by Vrbo. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.
Winter is coming. ❄️
I live in the Northeast and when I woke up this morning, my house was freezing. It had been in the mid 40's overnight and we haven't turned the heat on yet. Suddenly, my normal duvet felt too thin. The socks on my bare feet too non-existent. Winter is coming, and I'd been drinking rosés still pretending it was summer.
I couldn't put it off any longer. It was time to do my annual tradition of winterizing my home—and I don't mean making sure my pipes and walls have enough insulation (though obviously that's important too). I mean the act of evaluating every room and wondering if it has enough hygge to it.
If you've never heard of hygge, it's a Danish word that means a quality of coziness or contentment. And what better time to make sure you have moments of hygge all throughout your house than right now? As far as I'm concerned it's the only way to get through these dark winter months (even more so during a pandemic.)
So I went room by room (yes, even my 4-year-old's room) and swapped in, layered or added in these 13 products to get us ready for winter:
I can't see past you right now, I'm so small and everything's a little blurry.
All I see is you.
When you feel alone, like the walls are closing in, remember I'm here too. I know your world has changed and the days feel a little lonely. But they aren't lonely for me.
You are my everything.
When you feel like you don't know what you're doing, you're making it look easy to me. Even though we're still getting to know each other, you know me better than anyone.
I trust you.