8 Unexpected Gifts She’ll Love for Mother’s Day


The Duxbury satchel from Brahmin is a sweet, stylish, and practical gift for Mom. Photo courtesy of Brahmin.

Mom, Mama, Ma – whatever you call her, she’s special. Sometimes we all forget to tell her how much we love her or how much we really appreciated it when she cut the crust off of our PB&J or let us use her sleeve as a tissue. So let’s get down to brass tacks: Moms are the absolute best, and Mother’s Day is your chance to show your gratitude, whether it’s in the form of a boxed up gift, an experience, or just an “I love you.” Take the opportunity – and the initiative – to pour on the love. Here are eight unexpected ideas that we think she’ll dig.


1. Duxbury satchel by Brahmin

The Duxbury satchel from Brahmin is classically designed and features lots of interior space to hold all the things a Mom needs to carry to keep herself (and other people) happy. The Duxbury satchel (pictured at top) is from Brahmin’s White Hot Summer line. Need more inspo? The site’s Mother’s Day Shop can help, or head over to Bannister’s Wharf for expert input in the flesh. If Mom already has a closet full of handbags, don’t fret. Brahmin also sells bracelets, scarves, leather agendas, and home goods.


2. A day of pampering at The Bodhi Spa


The Water Journey experience at The Bodhi Spa provides an entire day of relaxation for a seriously reasonable price. Photo courtesy of The Bodhi Spa.

If your mom’s into Zen or Toaism or just wants to relax and get back her glow then The Bodhi Spa is the perfect place for her to rejuvenate and find some peace. This unique retreat, located on lower Thames Street in Newport, offers a Water Journey experience through three plunge pools, each one kept at a varying degrees of temperature. After submerging herself in relaxation, Mom can bask in the steam room and sauna and access the spa’s on site lounge and Zen garden. Massages for singles or couples are also available. And if hydrotherapy isn’t Mom’s thing, consider the gyrokinesis (gentle movement that opens energy pathways) or guided kriya meditation (which utilizes the breath and sound work) offerings. Services are offered in a wide variety of package options to fit anyone’s budget, needs, and time table.


3. Personal stationery from Papers

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A collection of the whimsical greeting cards made by Newport, R.I.–based E. Frances Paper is available for retail at Papers. Photo by Maaike Bernstorm Photography.

If your Mom loved your DIY macaroni necklaces and finger paintings when you were a kid, upgrade to a more sophisticated gift that still manages to maintain artistic integrity. Papers on Bellevue Avenue offers plenty of upscale stationery and greeting cards to choose from. The well curated shop also offers gorgeous personalized stationery; why not make Mom a nice set so she can send you letters from afar, and vice versa. Putting pen to paper is inexpensive, creative, and is something Mom can save forever – so don’t be afraid to get mushy.



Cooking class at Newport Cooks


These colorful ingredients for Pad Thai are used in one of Newport Cook’s classes. Photo courtesy of Newport Cooks.

Share an experience with Mom and learn how to make something new at Newport Cooks. The cooking school offers classes taught by great chefs from near and far. Each class is tailored around a specific theme; some are based on regional cuisines while others focus on kitchen necessities such as knife skills. Got a specific dish or food genre in mind? Newport Cooks will create a custom class just for you. On a budget? Hit the kitchen at home with your mother and cook together using recipe videos from the Newport Cooks website.


5. DIY ornament at Thames Glass


Photo courtesy of Thames Glass.

Spend your afternoon at Thames Glass, where expert glassblowers will guide you in making your own ornaments, paperweights, or vases. Hands-on lessons last from 10 to 40 minutes, so  you can get your craft on and still make it to brunch. If blowing into molten glass doesn’t sound like your mama’s thing, head to the studio to make an artistic creation by yourself then present her with the gift. Just don’t forget to bring a camera and document the process – all Moms love photos!


6. Goodies from Newport Wine Cellar & Gourmet


Did we mention that they also host wine tastings? Photo courtesy of Newport Wine Cellar.

To wine and dine your mom without spending a fortune, treat her to something she might procure for herself: fine wine and imported cheese. Newport Wine Cellar & Gourmet has a stunning array of artisanal cheeses and excellent wines coming in all price points. Add some local meats, prepared foods, and a loaf of fresh baked bread, and you’ve got yourself the perfect Mother’s Day picnic. The savvy staff members here are geniuses when it comes to wine (and beer) pairings. Want to give something that keeps on giving? Look into the shop’s wine-of-the-month membership, or ask about their fabulous gift baskets.



High tea at Spring Seasons


It’s high time for tea at Spring Seasons. Photo by Jacqueline Marque courtesy of Spring Seasons.

Envision a splendid, Alice in Wodnerland-esque day with Mom then make like a leaf and brew! Spring Seasons is a private bed and breakfast located on Spring Street in Newport, but their Tea Room is open to the public. Choose your own teacup from a large ensemble of antique vessels then settle in to their pretty salon backyard patio, just be sure to make a reservation first. After enjoying your afternoon steep, take mom by the arm for a leisurely stroll downtown.


8. Beauty treatment from The Apothecary


Photo courtesy of The Apothecary Newport.

Makeup tutorials, moisturizer, massage, and facials – what doesn’t The Apothecary do? Arguably one of the best skincare boutiques on island, this beauty boutique and day spa offers a full menu of services so that Mom can be her most beautiful. No time for an hour-long facial? The Apothecary’s express services give skin all the love it needs in only half of the time. After she’s done, Mom can stock up on quality skincare products (Mario Badescu is my personal favorite) to maintain her radiance. Not sure which awesome service or products to choose? Pick up a gift card and let mom pick for herself.

Jillian Tullgren is a native of upstate New York, happily transplanted to Newport, RI. A natural born explorer, she enjoys green juice and a daily dose of yoga and is motivated by the idea of endless possibilities and inspired by everything and anything. You can find her at the beach sipping Yerba Mate and planning her next adventure. Follow her on Instagram @gypseachild.


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