Lane, Train or Plane: Spa Getaways

Hit the road for a little R&R before baby comes with these soothing spa picks from Jackie Burns Brisman of Spafinder Wellness 365.

Lane, Train or Plane: Spa Getaways

Between check-ups, finding nursery inspiration on Pinterest, and discovering all there is to expect when you’re expecting, you deserve to take some time for yourself. And with Valentine’s Day coming up (on a Friday, no less!) you have the best excuse to take a breather from the hustle-bustle of NYC and pencil in a weekend retreat at these soothing spas offering special treats for moms-to-be. By lane, train, or plane – we’ve hand-selected these three getaways especially for you. BY LANE: Lodge at Woodloch, Hawley, Pennsylvania Distance from NYC: 95 mile drive from NYC What's there: There is so much to love about the Lodge at Woodloch, a true destination retreat that will have you leaving feeling relaxed and renewed. The 57-room luxury spa allows you to indulge in a full-menu of spa and wellness programming while enjoying the Lodge’s 150 wooded acres and private lake. Add in organic gourmet cuisine, fitness programs and outdoor activities, and you’ve got a weekend’s worth of indulgence. Why we love it: 40,000-square-foot spa, Aqua Garden with heated hydro-massage waterfall pools, and customized spa programs – what’s not to love? But, what makes it perfect when you’re expecting is the Lodge’s Babymoon Escape package. The spa has designed a 360° program of offerings for you and your partner (or a group of your gal pals) aimed at releasing tension and easing worries as you get set to enter this new and exciting chapter of life. Plus, upon arrival, you’ll receive a special welcome gift complete with healthy baby food recipe cards and snacks for when cravings hit! Prenatal fitness classes focused on meditation round out your weekend. Be sure to check out: For an additional fee, you can experience private prenatal yoga with your partner where you’ll learn ways to help alleviate common areas of discomfort. You can even sign up for private healthy baby food cooking demos. Must-try treatment: Moms-to-be must try the Nurturing Body Polish treatment (50-minutes, $135) which includes an invigorating and antioxidant-rich scrub, gentle loofah cleansing, oil massage to help prevent stretch marks, and a refreshing foot massage! Cost: This package (which includes accommodations, spa credit, daily meals and more) starts from $399 per person per night. BY TRAIN: Mandarin Oriental, Washington DC Distance from NYC: 2 hour and 50 minute Acela Express train ride from NYC Why we love it: The Mandarin Oriental, Washington DC, is modern luxury in the heart of our nation’s historic capital. Accommodations are designed with feng shui in mind, making them a tranquil refuge while still maintaining the ultra-luxurious touches Mandarin Oriental properties are known for like marble bathrooms with soaking tubs and reproductions of artwork from the Smithsonian collections. Be sure to check out: Some of the best attractions in the city are within walking distance of the hotel, including the Smithsonian Institute and the White House, so be sure to bring your walking shoes. But after a long day of sightseeing, you might opt for a “night out” in, so check out the hotel’s highly rated restaurant, CityZen. Inspired by the five elements of wood, fire, earth, metal and water, the restaurant features a truly dramatic design with wood floors, crown candelabra lights, 20-foot ceilings, and an open kitchen. Chef Eric Ziebold’s menu changes frequently to turn both seasonal and local ingredients into mouth-watering masterpieces which you’ll be craving long after baby has arrived. Must-try treatment: The Forbes Four Star Spa at Mandarin Oriental sprawls out over 10,500-square-feet and offers its guests indulgent and relaxing full- and half-day programs. These Time Rituals™ begin with reflexology and are followed by a personal treatment consultation (a la carte treatments are also available). Mommies-to-be must try the Half Day New Life Ritual (1 hour and 50-minutes; $310). It begins with a foot ritual and moves into a Zents Body Scrub, a Shea Butter Belly Wrap (perfect for stretch marks!), and an Essential Body Massage to help alleviate all of the lower back aches and pains. Best of all, it includes full use of the hotel’s fitness center, swimming pool, and heat and water experience allowing you to fully immerse yourself into spa and wellness programing long after your treatment has ended. Cost: Rates start at $295 a night, but the hotel also offers great special offers. Amtrak rates start at $84 per way, but if there was ever a reason to spring for the $231 per way Acela Express, being pregnant is it. BY PLANE: The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Florida Distance from NYC: 2.5 hour flight from NYC to Jacksonville plus a 30 minute transfer to the hotel Why we love it: Mix 13 miles of gorgeous coastline with incredible southern charm and you have northern Florida’s Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, the southernmost of the Sea Islands. After a short plane ride from NYC, you’ll enjoy all that the cobblestone streets of historic Fernandina Beach have to offer including eclectic shops and delicious fare. Every room has a balcony to take in a quiet moment before baby and enjoy the stunning coastal views. And if you don’t feel up for going out, the hotel has five great restaurants just an elevator ride away. Be sure to check out: Amelia Island, known as the Isle of Eight Flags, has over 400 years of recorded history! In fact, Fernandina Beach, which was once a bustling Victorian village by the sea, has a 50-block historic district. Take a horse-drawn carriage ride on the cobblestone streets and get transported back in time, or do some window shopping and browse the art galleries on Centre Street. And what vacay is complete without a little sand beneath your toes? Search for shark teeth or just relax on any of Amelia Island’s white-sandy beaches. Must-try treatment: The spa partnered with one of our prenatal skincare favorites Mama Mio to offer six fabulous and cleverly named prenatal services. Among the picks: Lighten Up (30 minutes; $95), which includes a mineral-salt rich Mama Mio Foot Soak and a gentle hand, lower leg, and foot massage; and the Yummy Tummy (60 minutes; $165) which starts with a pulse point oil and gentle skin brushing and is followed by a concentrated serum and deep treatment mask on your tummy and a luxurious lower leg and foot massage. Cost: Rates from $359 a night, but check out these special offers as well. Airfare varies, but we just found a direct Delta flight for $383 for Valentine’s Day weekend! Bon voyage, ladies!

These new arrivals from the Motherly Shop are *so* good you need them all

Noodle and Boo, Mushie and Plan Toys—everything you need, mama.

Motherhood is hard work—finding great products and brands to make the journey easier doesn't have to be. Each week, we stock the Motherly Shop with brilliant new products we know you'll need and love from brands and makers that really care.

So, what's new this week?

Noodle and Boo: Holistic baby skin care

Through working with chemists who specialize in natural and holistic skin care, Noodle and Boo has developed exclusive formulas that nourish, replenish and protect especially delicate, eczema-prone and sensitive skin—including laundry detergent. Their signature, obsession-worthy scent—which is subtly sweet, pure and fresh—is the closest thing to bottling up "baby smell" we've ever found.

Mushie: Kids' dinnerware that actually looks great

We're totally crushing on Mushie's minimalist dinnerware for kids. Their innovative baby and toddler products leverage Swedish design to marry both form and function while putting safety front and center. Everything is created in soft, muted colors from BPA-free materials.

Plan Toys: Open-ended toys that last

Corralling and cleaning up the toys becomes less stressful when you bring home fewer, better, more beautiful ones. Plan Toys checks all the boxes. Made from re-purposed rubber wood, they're better for the planet as well.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

Mushie silicone baby bib

Mushie silicone baby bib

There's no going back to cloth bibs after falling in love with this Swedish design. The pocket catches whatever misses their mouths and the BPA-free silicone is waterproof and easy to wipe down between uses.


Mushie kids' square dinnerware plate set

Mushie kids' square dinnerware plate set

We're totally crushing on the soft muted colors that flow with our table aesthetics and the thoughtful high-sided design that helps babies and toddler who are learning to feed themselves.


Noodle and Boo nursery essentials kit

Noodle and Boo nursery essentials kit

Stocked with everything a new mama needs to care for her little one's delicate skin, Noodle and Boo's nursery essentials gift set is the perfect way to create a holistic and natural skin care routine from day one.


Plan Toys doctor set 

Plan Toys doctor set

Ideal for quiet time and imaginative role play, we love the gorgeous planet-friendly doctor kit from Plan Toys. The rubber wood stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, thermometer, syringe and reflex hammer pack up neat and tidy into the red cotton case should they need to dash off on a rescue mission.


Noodle and Boo instant hand sanitizer

Noodle and Boo instant hand sanitizer

Since we're buying and using hand sanitizer by the truckload these days, we're thrilled Noodle and Boo has made one we can feel good about using on little ones who cram their hands in their mouths 24/7. Not only does it kill 99.9% of germs, but it also leaves hands moisturized as well.


Plan Toys natural wooden blocks set

Plan Toys natural wooden blocks set

A toy box isn't complete without a set of blocks—and this set is one of our new favorites. The sustainable, re-purposed wood is eco-friendly, comes at a relatively affordable price point and are certain to last well beyond multiple kids, hand-me-downs and even generations.


Noodle and Boo family fun pack cleansing set

Noodle and Boo family fun pack cleansing set

Because their products were developed for delicate and eczema-prone skin, Noodle and Boo's full line of skin care has become a favorite among those with sensitive skin of all ages. This set is the perfect way to pamper the entire family.


Mushie kids' round dinnerware bowl set

Mushie kids' round dinnerware bowl set

No need to sacrifice safety or design with the sustainable dinnerware from Mushie. Their minimalist, functional dishes are perfect for serving up meals and snacks to your tablemates who might hurl it to the floor at any point. They're made in Denmark from BPA-free polypropylene plastic mamas can feel good about and dishwasher and microwave-safe as well.


Plan Toys geo stacking blocks

Plan Toys geo stacking blocks

The best engaging, open-ended toys are the ones that are left out and available, inviting little (and big!) ones to play. These beautiful gem-like blocks make for addicting coffee table play for the entire family.


Plan Toys wooden green dollhouse

Plan Toys wooden green dollhouse

Energy-efficient design isn't just for grown-up real estate. This green dollhouse includes a wind turbine, a solar cell panel, electric inverter, recycling bins, a rain barrel, a biofacade and a blind that can adjust the amount of sunlight and air circulation along with minimalist furniture we'd totally love to have in our own houses.


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


14 sweet 'just thinking of you' gifts for every mama

A sweet surprise that tells her you've been thinking of her might be the pick-me-up she needs.

Who says you have to wait for birthdays or holidays to give your bestie a great gift? A sweet surprise that tells her you've been thinking of her might be the pick-me-up she needs in these more-than-trying times. We've rounded up some of our favorite go-to gifts that are certain to be a bright spot in her week. But be warned, you may want to snag a few for yourself. (You deserve it, mama.)

Here are some our favorite "just because" gifts to give our hardworking mama friends.

New Mother face + body care duo

volition face + body care duo

This correcting oil and stretch mark minimizer is perfect for the pregnant mama looking to keep her pregnancy glow. The correcting oil brightens the skin while reducing dark spots, and the stretch mark minimizer works to smooth her ever-growing belly.


Allover roller

esker allover roller

This jade roller goes beyond your typical face roller and can be used anywhere on the body. It works to increase stimulation and reduce puffiness and is perfect for applying any oils to the face or body. Plus, it feels like a mini spa treatment.


Kombucha making kit

farmsteady kombucha making kit

What could be a more perfect gift for the health-obsessed friend? This kombucha making kit comes with everything you need to brew your own homemade green tea kombucha. They'll think this is the tastiest gift ever.


Laetitia lipstick

cupid & psyche laetitia

This red lipstick is perfect for your makeup enthusiast bestie who is looking to spruce up her life in quarantine. Crafted in the United States, these bee and vegan-friendly and cruelty-free lipsticks are created to flatter all complexions. Cupid and Psyche Beauty makes finding the perfect red lip way too easy!


Jigsaw puzzle

inner piecec jigsaw puzzle

Mamas need to destress now more than ever during quarantine. This adorable jigsaw puzzle is perfect for the mama who needs a brain break! The 500-piece puzzle designed by artist Ray Oranges features an abstract gradient design that fits a standard frame when completed. Bonus: It's printed on recycled paper and the company donates $1 from every puzzle sold to youth mindfulness programs.


Matilda's Bloombox

matilda's bloombox

If we have to be stuck inside, we might as well have some gorgeous florals to brighten up the space. Matilda's Bloombox locally sources blooms, delivers them to her door and provides simple tips on how to arrange it into a beautiful bouquet.


'I Am Enough' bracelet

I Am Enough bracelet

Let this dainty bracelet serve as a constant reminder to your bestie that she is enough. She'll wear this on her wrist and read this daily oath to herself, "I Am Enough."


Glow assorted teas

vahdam low assorted teas

This tea gift box set covers the entire spectrum of flavors from sweet to spicy. Individually packaged in beautiful tins, your gal pal will feel like a queen sipping her morning tea. Originally $40, this set is currently on sale for just $24. We'll take two, please.


Find your voice journal

find your voice journal

Journaling is a great way to ease anxiety and will slow your bestie's racing mind before bed. This gift is perfect for first time journalists and includes prompts, daily quotes and coloring pages to help her unlock her potential and find her voice.


Premium frother

shore magic premium frother

This gift is fitting for your latte-sipping bestie who can't go a day without her coffee. All she has to do is add two scoops of collagen to her favorite drink, and she'll have a perfectly foamy drink ready in seconds. Skipping the drive-thru line has never been so easy!


Bath soak infusion kit

maude bath soak infusion kit

Say hello to hydration! She'll be feeling smooth and relaxed as ever after a long bath soaking in these salts. This vegan + cruelty-free set incorporates dead sea salt and dehydrated coconut milk powder for an ultra hydrating experience.


Tiny Tags 'mama' necklace

Tiny Tags 'mama' necklace

It's a hard-earned title she answers to a hundred times per day. Whether she's new to the club or a seasoned professional, this delicate script 'mama' necklace is guaranteed to be a perfect fit.


Superfood honey

Beekeeper's Naturals B.Powered honey

With a lack of sleep and jam-packed days, getting through the afternoon can be a real challenge. Send her a powerful pick-me-up in the form of a therapeutic blend of royal jelly, bee pollen, propolis and raw honey. It makes the ideal companion for tea, smoothies, yogurt or even on its on.


Calming midnight mask with melatonin

Who doesn't deserve a reminder to pamper themself every once in awhile? Even better, this mask does all its work at night while you're sleeping with no extra effort needed. It's an amazing plant-powered antioxidant-packed mask that has melatonin, wild dandelion leaf and hyaluronic acid to rehydrate, repair and reset facial skin. It's so good, you might want to gift it to yourself. We won't tell, mama.


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


I have two kids—and I think I'm done

The idea of "more," making more money, obtaining more things—and in my case, creating more life—is not necessarily the ticket to a happier life.

I met my best friend Katie in fifth grade and one of our most favorite games to play was MASH. Our future fates would be decided by one "magic number" where one of us counted the rings on a spiral circle after the other screamed STOP as loud as humanly possible. "Future Husband" and "Number of Children" were clearly our two favorite categories. I remember my "magic combination," and it was marrying Mel Gibson plus having four kids.

And my plan was to do all of this by the time I reached 27. Getting married and having children would be the ultimate climax of life. At the age of nine, the pressure was on to best prepare for the long climb to the top.

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