Some days you’re running from adventure to adventure, and food’s only purpose is to add fuel to the fire. Other days? Food is the adventure. Especially when you live in New York and there is something mouth-watering on every corner. For our final *sniffle* Spring Showers installment with Ergobaby--we’re not sure if that’s rain or tears on our face now-- we decided to indulge a little (sometimes mama needs some rainy day activities too!), so we took the kiddos to Chelsea Market. After they dropped Libby at school, Jess and Elsie met up with me and Oliver at the 14th Street/8th Avenue stop in Manhattan to walk the block to Chelsea Market where we planned to get our drank (coffee) and nosh on. The beauty of a place like Chelsea Market is that there’s dozens of indvidual shops all under one roof, so you can hop from food to food and keep your taste buds totally engaged. There’s also room for the kids to roam free (under strict parental supervision, of course) if you get there early enough to beat the lunch crowd. First stop: caffeine. While Oliver was already on my back in the Ergobaby Orginal Carrier in the Sea Skipper pattern, Jess quickly moved Elsie from front to back in the Four Position Ergobaby 360 Carrier to make sure she could drink her steaming hot coffee safely. The lattes at Ninth Street Espresso were exactly what we needed to wake us up on this rainy day. A little while later Oliver was ready to get on his feet and make sure we remembered one of the very important reasons we went to Chelsea Market: the Doughnuttery. Bite-sized and flavored to order, Doughnuttery donuts are the perfect breakfast indulgence. Plus they’re small enough that you don’t feel guilty eating more than a few before noon. Even little Elsie enjoyed a few bites while in the Four Position 360 side carry. There’s nothing more clutch than the side carry when mama’s munching to avoid getting the fated crumbs on babies head! After our sweet little treats at the Doughnuttery, we only had to look the other way to find Sohha Yogurt, so we chowed down on a healthy serving of savory yogurt to balance things out. From delicious carbs at Amy’s Breads to artisinal cheese at Lucy’s Whey, authentic tacos from Los Tacos No. 1 or even vegan fare at Lucky Duck, Chelsea Market’s got something to fulfill even the pickiest cravings (pregnant gals, take note!). We can’t tell you how much fun we had testing out the latest Ergobaby gear at some of our favorite kid-friendly indoor spots in New York City and hope you did too! Make sure you sign up for our newsletter which enters you to win a brand new Four Position Ergobaby 360 of your very own. Destination: Chelsea Market, 75 9th Ave, b/t 15th and 16th Street Nearby subway: A/C/E or L at 14th St./8th Ave. Hours: Monday - Saturday: 7am to 10pm, Sunday: 8am to 9pm Mama Tips: Avoid lunch hours for a more leisurely experience. Photography by Evan Gubernick of 485 Creative. Oliver's DOPE shirt by Welkin NYC.
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.
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.
Ready, set, shop!
Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.
So, what's new this week?
Earth Mama: Effective, natural herbal care for mamas and babies
Founded and grown in her own garage in 2002, Earth Mama started as an operation of one, creating salves, tinctures, teas and soaps with homegrown herbs. With a deep desire to bring the healing powers of nature that have been relied on for thousands of years to as many mamas as possible, Melinda Olson's formulas quickly grew into Earth Mama Organics. Since then, the brand has remained committed to manufacturing clean, safe and effective herbal solutions for the entire journey of motherhood, including pregnancy, breastfeeding and baby care, and even the loss of a baby.
Bravado Designs: Soothing sounds for a good night's sleep
With 28 years of serving pregnant and postpartum mamas under their belt, Bravado Designs is a true authority on the needs of changing bodies. It's true that we have them to thank for rescuing us from the uncomfortable and frumpy designs our own moms had to live with. Launched in Canada by two young mamas, they designed the first prototypes with extra leopard print fabric certain that a better bra was possible. Throughout the years they've maintained their commitment to ethical manufacturing while creating long-lasting products that truly work.
The Sill: Instagram-ready potted plants
We've long admired this female-founded brand and the brilliant mind behind it, Eliza Blank. (She even joined Motherly co-founder Liz Tenety on and episode of The Motherly Podcast!) The mission behind the business was simple: To make the process of bringing plants into your home as easy as possible, and as wonderful as the plant themselves. With their in-house, exclusively designed minimalist planters, the end result makes plant parenthood just a few clicks away.
Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:
You'll obsess over these newborn baby pictures.
As you're preparing for baby's birth, we bet you're dreaming of all of the amazing photos you'll take of your precious new babe. As a professional photographer and mama, I have some tips for newborn photos you'll want to capture.