How to Ace your Holiday Staycation with Kids

The mama behind Raising Wisdom shares some local inspiration.

How to Ace your Holiday Staycation with Kids
*We’ve partnered with Bugaboo to inspire you to get out and explore this holiday season. There’s something about the holiday season that makes even a trip to the grocery store seem festive. Everything feels fresh and exciting when it’s decorated with a string of lights, and everyone is a little friendlier once they catch that holiday cheer. The holidays are a great time to plan a family staycation and get out and discover (or re-discover) your neighborhood with your kids. Of course, if you’re heading out on an adventure with your kids, even if it’s just around the block, you’re going to need the right gear. So we’ve partnered with global mobility brand, Bugaboo, to share how some modern parents make it work when they’re on the move during the holiday season...and how they’re creating some new holiday traditions along the way. Porsha Ellis of Raising Wisdom is one mama in need of a major holiday staycation. She recently moved her family out to LA, and while she’s no stranger to west coast life, everything looks different when you’ve got two little ones in tow. Find out how she’s exploring her new hometown with a little help from her Bugaboo Donkey², and how she’s navigating the transitions, both big and small. Has it been hard to move across the country so close to the holidays? Moving at any point with two young children can present some challenges, and being away from our immediate family can make it tough. Family is definitely something I've taken for granted on many occasions. We’re fortunate to have my partner's brother nearby and his mother has also come out from New York to help out. How is LA different than New York City in terms of mobility with your kids? New York City requires the minimalist approach; the less baggage the better. But here in LA, it's easier to get around with kids and take more with you on your journey. I keep my Bugaboo Donkey² in my car for easy access all the time, so no matter where we go, I’ve got my stroller with the Bugaboo Comfort Wheeled Board attached. How has your Bugaboo helped you get out and discover your new city? We've done a fair amount of exploring so far. We love the boardwalk and Santa Monica Pier. We also love to hit up the playground and parks. Picnics are Steele's favorite. It was cool to check out some of Silver Lake/Echo Park recently. We don't go East much, but I’m excited to check out more areas and try some new things over the holidays. One of the things I love about the Bugaboo Donkey² is its adaptability. For example, I can push Sage, my youngest, in the stroller while Steele, my 3-year-old, stands on the Bugaboo Comfort Wheeled Board or walks. Alternatively, I can have Steele sit in the stroller, and have Sage in the carrier, or I can expand my stroller into duo configuration and push both girls together in side-by-side seats. All of the options allow me to be mobile when I’m on my own with the kids, which is nice. And since the updated version of this stroller includes foam-filled wheels, I never have to worry about stopping to pump them up. What’s your routine with your daughters now that you’re in LA? I work during the week, so I spend weekends with the girls. We go to the grocery store, and we try to get to the farmers market as often as possible. We try to stay active with friends, so playdates and activities are a must. Depending on the weekend, you can most likely catch us outside enjoying the beautiful weather. Our Bugaboo Donkey² makes transitioning from place to place less of a hassle (and also keeps my kids contained!). What are you best tips for spending the day running around and exploring with your daughters? Expect delays in your day, but be nimble enough to work around them. Patience is a virtue! Be open to trying new things. Explore activities outside of your comfort zone to give your kids a fresh perspective. Always be prepared. I keep my Bugaboo Donkey² accessible at all times, because you never know when you might need it. Tell me about your plans for the holidays. We just bought property in Tulum, Mexico, so we will most like be heading that way for the holidays. I love Tulum, so I'm hoping this will be our new tradition moving forward. Why is it important to have your go-to gear handy when exploring a new place? Although I believe change to be extremely good, there's also power in consistency. As a mother, finding trusted product like the Bugaboo Donkey², that we can rely on, enables me to shift my energy and focus on whatever’s in front of me, instead of worrying about my gear. What are your fave bugaboo accessories for LA living? My favorite accessory is the Bugaboo Comfort Wheeled Board, hands down. Steele loves being able to stand up and jump off and play whenever she wants. I also like the fact that both girls can see each other and talk to one another. Oh, and I love that the Bugaboo Donkey2 side luggage basket and underseat basket each hold up to 22 lbs. Who doesn't need additional space to put bottles, baby toys, snacks and all that jazz?! The side luggage basket also has built-in pockets and a cover so I can stay organized and keep Steele’s curious hands out of the basket! Photography by Sarina Cass of Red Anchor Photo.

The brand new Bugaboo Donkey² is the ultimate multi-purpose stroller with superior maneuverability, spacious storage, customization options and the ability to grow with your family.

Shop a few of our fave Bugaboo Donkey² combos and accessories below.

Bugaboo Donkey²

Bugaboo Comfort Wheeled Board

Bugaboo Comfort Wheeled Board Adapter

My village lives far away—but my Target baby registry helped them support me from afar

Virtual support was the next best thing to in-person hugs

They say you shouldn't make too many major life transitions at once. But when I was becoming a mama for the first time nearly five years ago, my husband and I also moved to a new town where we didn't know a soul, bought our first house and changed jobs.

To put it mildly, we didn't heed that advice. Luckily, our family and friends still made it feel like such a magical time for us by supporting our every move (literal and otherwise) from afar. They showered us with love through a virtual baby shower (expectant parents nowadays can relate!) featuring the unwrapping of gifts they were able to ship straight to me from my Target registry.

Here's one piece of advice I did take: I registered at Target so I could take advantage of the retailer's benefits for registrants, which include a welcome kit valued over $100, a universal registry function and more. Fast-forward a few years and Target has made the registration perks even better for expectant parents: As of August 2020, they've added a Year of Exclusive Deals, which gives users who also sign up for Target Circle a full year of savings after baby is born on all those new mama essentials, from formula to diapers and beyond.

Honestly, even without the significant perks of a free welcome kit with more than $100 in coupons, additional 15% off coupons to complete the registry and a full year of free returns, registering at Target wasn't a hard sell for me: Even though the experience of shopping for baby items was new, shopping with Target felt like returning home to me… and the comfort of that was such a gift.

And of course, Target's registry plays a vital role right now, as expectant parents everywhere are being forced to cancel in-person baby showers and navigate early parenthood without the help of a hands-on village. A registry like this represents a safe way for communities to come through for new parents. If you're anything like me (or any of the other mamas here at Motherly), you certainly have emotional ties and fond memories associated with Target.

What to register for at Target was also an easy talking point as I began to connect with moms in my new community. I will always remember going on a registry-building spree with my next door neighbor, who had young children of her own. As we walked the aisles of Target back in 2015, she suggested items to add… and we laid the foundation for what has since become one of my most cherished friendships.

Even as I made connections in my new hometown, I was nervous that expecting my first baby wouldn't feel as special as if I were near family and friends. But my loved ones exceeded all expectations by adding the most thoughtful notes to gifts. They hosted a beautiful virtual baby shower and even encouraged me to keep the registry going after my baby made his debut and new needs arose.

In the years since, "community" has taken on a wonderfully complex new meaning for me… and, in these times of social distancing, for the rest of the world. I've come to cherish my newfound friends in our local community alongside those long-time friends who are scattered around the county and my virtual mama friends.

Now, as my friends' families grow, I'm so grateful that I can show them the same love and support I felt during my first pregnancy. I sing the praises of Target's baby registry—especially in light of the pandemic, since I know mamas can do everything from a distance thanks to Target's website and the added benefit of getting trusted reviews and helpful registry checklists.

And now that I'm on the gift-buying side of the equation, I've found new joy in picking thoughtful gifts for my friends. (Because goodness knows Target has something for everyone!)

For my friend who is a fellow runner, I teamed up with a few others to give the jogging stroller she had on her registry.

For my friend who is a bookworm, I helped her start her baby's library with a few books that are also well-loved in our home.

For other friends, I've bundled together complete "sets" with everything they need for bathing or feeding their children.

I know from my own experience that, yes, the registry purchases are so appreciated, but the thoughtfulness and the support they represent means even more. Because although my village may have been distant, the support they showed me was the next best thing to in-person hugs.

Start your own Target Baby Registry here to experience a Year of Benefits including a Year of Exclusive Deals through Target Circle to enjoy for a full year following your baby's arrival, a year of free returns, two 15% off completion coupons and a free welcome kit ($100 value).

This article was sponsored by Target. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners

Sorry, you can’t meet our baby yet

Thank you for understanding. ❤️

In just over three weeks, we will become parents. From then on, our hearts will live outside of our bodies. We will finally understand what everyone tells you about bringing a child into the world.

Lately, the range of emotions and hormones has left me feeling nothing short of my new favorite mom word, "hormotional." I'm sure that's normal though, and something most people start to feel as everything suddenly becomes real.

Our bags are mostly packed, diaper bag ready, and birth plan in place. Now it's essentially a waiting game. We're finishing up our online childbirth classes which I must say are quite informational and sometimes entertaining. But in between the waiting and the classes, we've had to think about how we're going to handle life after baby's birth.

I don't mean thinking and planning about the lack of sleep, feeding schedule, or just the overall changes a new baby is going to bring. I'm talking about how we're going to handle excited family members and friends who've waited just as long as we have to meet our child. That sentence sounds so bizarre, right? How we're going to handle family and friends? That sentence shouldn't even have to exist.

Keep reading Show less

The 6 biggest lies I believed before having kids

Just about all of us had set assumptions about raising kids before we became parents ourselves.

Just about all of us had set assumptions about raising kids before we became parents ourselves. Some of these ideas might have been based on our own ideas of how we would absolutely do things differently than everyone else. Others, we believed what everyone else told us would happen would apply to our littles, too. But, that's not always the case, mama.

Below are six of the biggest lies I believed before having kids—and the reality of what actually happened for me.

1. Put your baby down drowsy, but awake

Keep reading Show less