Dischem Baby Bag - Freebies for the soon-to-be Mommy

Who doesn't love freebies?! The Dischem Baby Bag was one of the first freebies I found out about while being pregnant. It's filled with loads of awesome little goodies, in full sizes and travel sizes and while I don't plan on using a lot of the brands given, it's always nice to have them on hand for those 'just in case' moments.

To receive the baby bag, you need to register for the Dischem Baby Programme.

How do you Join the Baby Programme?

You can do this in one of two ways:

  • Register in store at the Customer Service Desk
  • Call the Dischem Careline on 0860 347 243.

How do you qualify for the baby bag?

It's a really simple process. All you have to do is: 

  • register your pregnancy and due date with Dischem (either in-store or using the number posted above)
  • Earn 975 or more Benefit Points (or spend R950 or more) on your Dischem card
  • Book a consultation with our Clinic Sister for sometime between 20 - 26 weeks of your pregnancy (this date range is subject to change...call the careline to make sure of the date exclusions)

The consult includes the following;

  • Blood Pressure Check
  • Evaluation of Pregnancy
  • Information on Immunisation and Dischem Baby Services

Once you have met the above conditions and are in your 28th week or more of pregnancy, a baby bag will be ordered for you. The bag will only be available for collection two weeks after meeting the qualifying conditions. My bag was somehow sent to Balito instead of Pietermaritzburg, and so I had a family member pick it up for you. If you have someone collect it on your behalf, they need a copy of your ID (I sent along my old ID book as I have a new ID card) and they will also need to present your Dischem card.

A notification will be sent to inform you that you have qualified for a bag. Once the bag is available for collection in store you will receive a further notification.

Easy Peasy!

While I at first turned my nose up at the design/pattern of the bag, I have since found it to be an incredibly useful bag for traveling. I packed all of our little one's hospital things in it for labor, and even though I thought I might just give the bag away once I got it, I've used it for often.

I also love that the bag comes with a changing mat...super useful!

Here's a look at what was inside my bag (I have a feeling contents may vary):


Do you know of any other freebies for expecting moms? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below!

My Woodland Themed Baby Shower in celebration of our baby girl

Woodland Theme Baby Shower for Girl CityGirlSearching South African Blogger_Artboard 4.png

A few weeks ago I was suprised with the most incredibly beautiful baby shower, organised by my very special new friend, Bianca. I first met Bianca at our local Pilates class and we immediately hit it off when she told me she was a freelance graphic designer. I was pleased as punch to meet a new friend in the same industry as me, and one who lives here in the same town as me.

We became fast friends over the months, and I jokingly one day asked her how she would feel about planning my baby shower. Well, she took up the challenge and I have no words to express how incredible she was, and how loved and special she made me feel on the day.

I didn't really have any requests for my baby shower, I simply wanted it to be a surprise and Bianca quickly got to work by stalking my Pinterest boards and picking up clues from photos I had shown her of the inspiration behind our nursery. With the help of some of the local ladies here (and my mom & sister - in law) she got right to work and planned the most beautiful party I have ever been to,

I had no idea the baby shower would be across the garden at my in-laws house, and after removing my blindfold, I promptly burst into tears that came in wave upon wave as Bianca showed me around. I was completely blown away at the attention to detail that went into each and every single thing, from the food to the hand painted signs, to the biscuit favors, to the gift area set up. Bianca had even organised a wonderful photographer (Courtney from Courtney Clegg Photography) who took all of these beautiful photos.

I was absolutely delighted to have Courtney there as it meant I didn't have to worry about capturing all the details and I could just enjoy myself (while still knowing I would have lots of photos to post on the blog afterwards).

The details

The food!

Wow...I don't have much more to say about the food than WOW!

Everything was carefully planned and so thoughtfully prepared and laid out. And how sweet are the little name cards for each of the eats. 

To everyone who came and spoilt our little girl, thank you. Thank you for making us feel so loved and special. Baby Hutton is one very lucky little lady to have you all in her life.

Thank you to my mom for making it to the farm to be there for the celebrations, and a very special thank you to my Farmboy for putting up with all pregnancy hormones and for being so patient and loving with me over the past 9 months.

x

Here's to the last few weeks of life before parenthood!

P.S. Any advice for us for these last few weeks? I'm trying to enjoy long soaks in the bath, afternoons naps and binge watching my favourite series, and finally finishing the crochet blanket I started in my first few months of pregnancy!

As of the time of writing this blog post, our little girl has already been with us for 10 days! She decided to join the world at exactly 38 weeks (2 weeks early) leaving me no time to finish her crochet blanket! I'll be sharing more about these first few days/weeks with her, as well as posting the backlog of posts I had planned for the last few weeks of my pregnancy!

Sprout SA Kids Clothing - Brand & Product Photoshoot

A few weeks ago the lovely duo behind Sprout dropped by the farm for a morning of styled photographs for their kiddies fashion label. 

I had been in touch with Luke for the past week or so over Instagram, and we eventually found a date that suited us all to get together and start snapping and styling their gorgeous items. 


A little more about the brand...

 
Sprout South Africa childrens clothing and sleepy sacks
 

Proudly located in the heart of leafy Glenwood, Durban, Sprout is a kiddies fashion label offering an adorable, yet functional, range of kids apparel and sleepy sacks. Founded by Sarah Dalton in 2013,  the label exploded with the arrival of their little girl, Mae, in February 2016.

Sprout products are all made locally. The cotton fabrics, produced in local mills, use cotton grown from South African soil. Luke & Sarah believe in producing quality goods and spending hard earned cash locally to keep people in jobs, food on tables, and transforming harebrained dreams into realities.

They value originality. They don't do mass produced. All of their items are produced in small quantities to maintain the integrity and exclusivity of the brand.

Above all, Sprout is run by a pair of parents, who are doing our best to make a difference in their little girls’ life everyday.

 

I first came across the Sprout brand over on Instagram, and it was their famous range of sleepy sacks which first caught my eye. From there I was introduced to their beautiful rompers, and their most recent additions...leggings and T-shirts.

Each item is carefully and thoughtfully created, and their fabric designs are just beautiful...see for yourself:

With my own little girl on the way, I was delighted to get really hands on the styling and photographing of each of their beautiful items. I had a wonderful time getting to know both Luke and Sarah and their sweet little Mae, who really had fun meeting all our our farm creatures.

To Luke and Sarah, you are both such kind and creative people, and I wish you nothing but the best for Sprout. I can't wait to see all that lies in store for your wonderful brand!


If you are looking to update your brand photographs, then please get in touch! I've worked with product & service based brands to create an updated look and feel for their businesses using my camera, and I'd love to do the same for you!

Scroll through & click the posts below to see the brands and businesses I've worked with:

If you're still wondering what brand photography is and why you need it, here's a blog post that you might enjoy reading...What is Brand Photography and why you need it to grow your business.

Pregnancy update - Week 36 & all the aches and pains

Week 36 Pregnancy Update by Roxy Hutton CityGirlSearching-01.png

Welcome to the next instalment in my pregnancy journey. I'm just a few weeks away from ending my 9 month journey...this is equal parts terrifying and exciting. These progress posts are a way for me to capture these memories and to share my own personal experiences with you.

I hope you enjoy following along!

HOW FAR ALONG:

36 weeks & 6 days

SIZE/FOOD COMPARISON:

A large Spanspek/Sweet Melon

My last gynae visit put my 'little' girl at the 3.2kg mark. Considering that was 2 weeks ago (and I still had a month to go at that time) I'm pretty sure she is going to be a pretty tubby baba.

My mom was able to come with me to my last scan, and it was just so special. We were able to do a mini 4D scan of her face, and all we could make our were her chubby cheeks and the sweetest button nose. My heart melted, and needless to say there were a few tears shed between both my mom and I.

WEIGHT GAIN:

18kg's...eeeeeeek!

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BABY BUMP:

My little girls seems to have 'dropped'. What I should be noticing is a little more breathing room as we has quite literally moved further down into my pelvis as she makes her way to the birthing canal.

Although my family have said to me they think she has definitely dropped, I have not noticed any more breathing room, and find I am still struggling to breath easily when sitting down. I also get all sorts of aches and pains when sitting, as there is very little room for all my organs right now.

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MOVEMENT:

The most incredible thing that has been happening over the past few weeks has been feeling her hiccup! It's just the sweetest thing feeling her little lungs expand and contract as she gets the hiccups.

EXERCISE:

I've still been going to Pilates, although the last class I went to last week left me feeling very frustarted as I just couldn't.do.anything.

I spent most of the class trying not to be too hard on myself, and just stretching. It's becoming more and more real that my body is preparing itself for pop a little baby out.

SLEEP:

Since my last update I've been sleeping really well again. I'm lights out by about 9:30/10pm and then I wake up to go to the loo when Farmboy gets up at 4am to start his day (he has to be at milking by 4:30am which is going to be very handy when baby arrives...he can be in charge of feeding/nappy changes at that time!).

CLOTHING:

I've still been living in my H&M maternity leggings and coupled with a long strecthy Cherry Melon vest, I've been able to continue wearing my T-shirts and other long sleeve tops (although these are definitely rather stretched due to my bulging belly.

This is me and Uncle Dave (my younger brother). Dave is going to make the most wonderful Uncle to our little girl, he is so excited to meet her.

This is me and Uncle Dave (my younger brother). Dave is going to make the most wonderful Uncle to our little girl, he is so excited to meet her.

I've also really been enjoying wearing my CherryMelon dresses now that we have had a few days of warm & very Spring like weather.

HOW I’M FEELING:

I have had a wonderful past 2 weeks, with no aches or pains. I experienced really terrible upper back pain around weeks 30 - 32, but after a session with the Physio I have been pain free for the last couple of weeks.

Over the last week or so I have also been experiencing lots of Braxton Hicks contractions. At first I didn't really know that that was what was happening to my tummy, but I've since realised these practice contractions (my stomach literally gets rock hard) are my body's way of gearing up for the big day!

I had a special friend, Claire (who Farmboy and I first met on the plane ride to South Korea back in 2010) come and stay with us here on the farm. I picked her up at the airport and she treated us both to a magical afternoon at Talloula's in Botha's Hill.

Talloula has a Garden Spa and had just advertised an amazing 2 for 1 special. We had lunch and drinks on arrival, as well as both leg & back exfoliation and massages for R495. It was SUCH a treat!

After physio and the spa treatment at Taloula I was feeling fantastic. But alas, it was not to last. This past weekend I well and truly over did it on Farmboy's and my little weekend break at the coast. Farmboy and I had a wonderful long weekend away in Balito, and even managed to fit in the MamaMagic Baby Expo. I think this was the start of the end for me) and I've had swollen and puffy legs, feet and ankles and found it next to impossible to get comfortable in the car on the 2.5 hour journey back from Balito to the farm. I think my body is trying to tell me something ;)

I've also been getting a lot of strange 'pressure pains' from really low down. My girl is lying head down and so often moves around & puts A LOT of pressure onto my bladder. I've actually cried out a few times (and really scared passerby's whom I quickly assure that I'm okay and not actually about to pop a baby out right then and there). It's not so much painful as it is uncomfortable, and I'm pretty sure one if these days it's going to be a sign of my waters breaking so I better mentally prepare for that!

CRAVINGS/AVERSIONS:

As with the rest of my pregnancy, I haven't really had any intense cravings or versions to things.

I have moved on from my staple lemon, honey & ginger tea and have been drinking a lot of lemon water (we have a huge lemon tree in our garden so I have been trying to make the most of the fresh fruit!).

WHAT I MISS:

  • Sleeping on my stomach 
  • Being able to sit on a chair/in the car comfortably
  • Not snoring! Apparently, I have developed a bit of a snoring habit (according to Farmboy...I'm not sure I believe him though!) and after doing some research, it seems like a lot of pregnant ladies start snoring through pregnancy. It's got something to do increased swelling, but the good news is if you didn't snore before being pregnant, it should go away once baby is here
  • Being able to breathe easily. I have become a very heavy breather in my third trimester (thanks to baby taking up all the room in my tummy and not leaving any space for my lungs!)
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NURSERY / PURCHASES:

Farmboy and I went to the baby expo and stocked up on lots of Pure Beginnings goodies (the wipes and body wash were hugely discounted), a Baby Throne Potty (click here to find out more about this very cool potty/toilet training seat that you can start using from about +-4months or as soon as baby can sit unsupported) and a few other bits and pieces.

My hospital bag is now just about ready (filled with snacks which I picked up this weekend).  

I have also been washing and preparing all the things for baby's bag.

According to the list we got from our hospital (Mediclinic in Pietermaritzburg) we need to pack lots of clothes too. I"m sure she will spend most of her first few days in vests & swaddled in blankets, but I want to make sure I've got a few items of clothing packed just in case. These things I've packed into ziplock bags so the dirty clothes can be put back in the bags and taken home to wash.

And of course, her going home outfit is all set too!

I just can't wait to dress her and pop her in her car seat for her first ride home. We stay about 2 hours from the hospital, so she's going to have a good long time to get used to the car. Here's hoping she is easy on car trips.

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HUBBY:

Farmboy has been amazing over the past few days (jumping up from his man-cave...yup, he has one room in the house that isn't grey and pink...to rush to the bedroom & massage my swollen legs and feet.) He also did incredibly well at the baby expo, managing to stay positive and supportive of my 'must-buy-all-the-things' nesting tendencies, and helping me stay on track with regards to what is and what isn't really necessary.  

We have also finalised our Doula, whom I have met with and have on speed dial. She has been so great so far, answering all my questions and just being very encouraging and supportive so far. 

Here is a photo of us from a recent snow expedition we did a few weeks back to Underberg. We didn't find any snow on the ground, but we were able to see the beautiful snowcapped peaks just near Sani Pass.

Snow in Underberg Kwazulu Natal South Africa by Roxy Hutton CityGirlSearching (19 of 21).jpg

CAN’T WAIT FOR:

Although I have had more aches and pains in the last week than I have had my entire pregnancy, I am still not wanting to wish this time away. I'm enjoying slow, late mornings of pottering around the house doing chores and enjoying long hot soaks in the bath.

I really don't have long to go now (+- 3 weeks!), and so I"m going to try and make the most of the time we have left.

Thanks for reading and following in this next chapter of my life. Click below to read more updates in my pregnancy series, as well as all my other pregnancy related posts:

Winter afternoons on the Farm - Life on a Dairy Farm in Creighton, South Africa

Winter Afternoons on the Farm Life in Creighton South Africa CGScreative_Artboard 3.png

Winter has been especially mild this year (although as I type this I've been told we are in for one last cold spell before Spring officially arrives).

My good friend Storm (you might remember her as my stylist and florist friend from Korea whom I worked with on numerous styled shoots over the past few years...see posts below) came to spend a few days with us on the farm. It's been a good time to have friends stay with us as the countdown to Baby Hutton is well underway (at the time of writing this I have 4 official weeks to go!).

While Storm was here we spent a most wonderful afternoon chasing the last sun rays and showing her around the farm. Here are some photographs of our afternoon adventure...the golden afternoon light of Winter is always my favorite time of the year to shoot.

For any photographers interested...all images below were taken with my Nikon D750 & 50m 1.4 lens, with a few gentle edits done in Lightroom.

Enjoy

x

Thank you to Storm for taking this family photo below:

Creighton Steam Train Ride through the Aloes

The little village of Creighton, the place I now call home, is home to so much more than dairy cows and wide open spaces. It's got two wonderful attractions that bring thousands of visitors every July.

June and July mark the start of Aloe season, and with that, our town hosts the Creighton Aloe Festival, a weekend of activities for the whole family; from hot air balloon rides to market stalls, pony rides and great food.

And, throughout the month of July, the Creighton Steam Train is up and running and visitors hop aboard for a journey through the valley of Aloes.

The train leaves the Creighton Railway Station and makes the 3 hour round trip from Creighton to Riverside, along the Ngogwaan River.

Farmboy and I, along with some friends (all armed with a delicious picnic lunch) boarded the train at 10am after stuffing our faces with bacon & egg rolls and cups of hot chocolate on the station platform. The train starts its journey by making its way through the neighboring farms (the best part was catching a glimpse of our own farm from the carriage window) before it winds its way down to the river.

Depending on the train schedule, there are either 1 or 2 stops along the way. Our train just stopped once, and we all piled off in search of the perfect picnic spot.

Farmboy also had his drone with him and will be putting together an awesome video of our trip. 

Here is the video he made last year documenting the route the train takes.

This year we were able to actually go on the train so keep a look out for that video soon.

We stopped for just over an hour, long enough to soak up the sunshine and enjoy our picnic amongst the aloes.

It was a really enjoyable morning, and I hope we are able to go again next year.

How to book:

Contact glynnis@toocee.co.za or rayna1@telkomsa.net to make your booking.

Price per person:

Children age 3 to 12 apply. Children under 3yrs are free.

Coaches:  Adults // Children

  • Sisonke Coach:  R280  // R230
  • Casual Lounge coach:  // R230 // R200
  • Sitter & Family Coach:   // R200  // R170
  • Vintage coach:  R180 // R150
  • Caboose Coach:  R180 // R150

Pregnancy Update - Week 32: Engage Full time nesting mode!

Welcome to the next instalment in my pregnancy journey. I'm nearing the end of my 9 month journey (this is equal parts terrifying and exciting) and these posts are a way for me to capture these memories and share my experience. 

I hope you enjoy following along!

HOW FAR ALONG:

32 weeks a.k.a 8 months (eeek!)

SIZE/FOOD COMPARISON:

My little girl is on the larger end of the scale, and has been for a little while now. My gynae estimates her weight at about 2.7k's (pretty frightening considering she has about 8 weeks of growing still to do!).

I'm not sure the generic food comparisons are quite right anymore for our 'little' one hehe

WEIGHT GAIN:

I'm not sure what's happened over the last month, but either the scale is lying to me, or need to accept the reality...I've gained a total of 15kg's so far. Seeing as our bundle is on the bigger side too, perhaps my body is wanting to make sure she doesn't feel so out of place when she arrives ;)

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BABY BUMP:

Well no one is going to confuse my belly with anything but a baby bump now. It seems that everybody loves a pregnant lady, and I get all sorts of smiles and happy faces and well wishes from strangers wherever I go.

Those smiles never ceases to leave me feeling happy.

MOVEMENT:

Goodness me has she been kicking up a fuss lately. I actually cried out in the mall the other day after she gave me the biggest kick yet, and then hastily had to reassure the people around me that, no, I wasn't going into labor, and yes, I was okay.

EXERCISE:

Still loving my Pilates, and try to stick to my twice weekly schedule. Although, I have been struggling for the past 2 weeks with her pushing my stomach and lungs around, often leaving me breathless and like I'm going to regurgitate my lunch.

SLEEP:

Sleep for the past few weeks hasn't been great at all. I'm up at least twice a night to go to the bathroom, and I have to sleep with 3 pillows...one for my head, one between my knees and one around my tummy. Poor Farmboy is not very pleased about this, as he often wakes up just in time to catch himself from falling out of bed.

CLOTHING:

I've been living in my H&M maternity leggings and my go-to Cherry Melon vest that goes under all my clothes. Luckily the vest ensures I can still wear my pre-preggy tops because it doesn't matter if they creep.

HOW I’M FEELING:

I have been getting the WORST upper back pain for the past 2 weeks. It's one spot, above my right shoulder that aches and aches and aches if I over exert myself. I'm not sure whether I pulled something at some point, but it's been awful. I think it's my body's way of reminding me to take it easy and not over do myself.

I've been for a wonderful full body massage (in case your wondering how it's possible to have a fully body massage when you can't lie on your tummy...basically you're on your back or your side as the therapist does their thing) and I'm going again tomorrow in the hopes that I can get a bit more relief from the pain. A very helpful lady at Clicks also told me I could use DeepHeat spray, which I did yesterday and which did provide a bit of relief. I have also been told to use a hot water bottle/wheaty bag which is safe for baby too. 

My friends and family also threw me the most amazing baby shower a few weeks ago. I was completely blown away by how beautiful everything was, the attention to detail was out of this world and I was left feeling so totally and utterly loved and spoilt. Will be sharing more photos from the day soon.

CRAVINGS/AVERSIONS:

I haven't really had any of the above, although I have been hankering after sushi for the first time in my entire pregnancy. We've never been huge sushi eaters, but for some reason it's been on my mind (and tummy!) a lot lately. Not too long to go until I can really tuck in to some salmon rolls.

I have still been been drinking A LOT of hot lemon tea (boiling water poured over a few slices of lemon and ginger mixed with honey) which has become my staple drink. It really leaves me feeling refreshed and I try to drink a cup on an empty stomach in the morning to give my body a good start.

WHAT I MISS:

  • Sleeping through the night!
  • Not having back pain
  • Sleeping on my stomach
  • Being fully submerged in the bath! Now my belly just pokes out and gets cold, leaving me unable to really relax and enjoy the bath.

NURSERY:

Thanks to the baby shower, our little girl now has just about everything she needs, and we have been putting all the final touches to her room.

I have also been spending the past few days washing all her blankets, nappies (we are going the cloth nappy route!) and towels. It's made my heart fill with such joy to see all the little baby things hanging on the line. Another huge thank you to my Dad and stepmom for spoiling our little girl with so many practical and thoughtful gifts and baby related items.

The moses basket is a family heirloom, and a very special item in the nursery. I can't wait for our little girl to have her turn to sleep where her family have also slept.

Farmboy has put up my framed photographs above the cot.

There are no words to describe how amazing it is seeing your work displayed in printed form. A very big thank you to my wonderful mom for having them printed and framed for me. 

PURCHASES:

Lots of last minute purchases have been happening, the majority of which have been items for my hospital bag. After having so many people ask me whether my hospital bag was packed (it wasn't until just yesterday!) I realised I better get on it pronto. 

Here's a pic of what's inside it so far (full post to come soon):

I also got hospital authorisation from Momentum & booked our bed in our chosen hospital (we are going to Mediclinic in Pietermaritzburg). We had to pop in and sign some documents which meant we were able to have a quick tour of the maternity ward. It was such a special moment, walking around the ward and hearing the soft cries of other babies and meeting the nurses.

Needless to say I was in tears...the happy kind of course!

HUBBY:

Farmboy is patiently waiting for endless afternoons digging in the garden, showing her the cows, chickens and horses, and taking her for long walks around the farm. Here's a lovely photo of us in the place he loves to spend his free time...the veggie garden. Thank you to Julie for the special photo.

We go for our antenatal class this weekend (I managed to find a one day workshop so we don't have to make the big trip to town every week) and I'm so looking forward to attending this with him. I think it's going to really open both our eyes to what's to come. We will also be chatting with the two ladies who run the workshop, one of which is a doula and the other a midwife. We will be asking one of them to be with us for the birth of our baby. Will keep you posted on that.

CAN’T WAIT FOR:

The full reveal of photographs from the maternity shoot I modelled for a few weeks ago!

I organised a collaboration out here on the farm, amongst the aloes, and had an incredible team of creatives join in.

Here are a few sneak peeks of the day from Julie (of Julia Jane Photography & Design): 

A huge thank you to the following people for bringing my maternity shoot ideas to life:

Thanks for reading and following in this next chapter of my life. Click below to read more updates in my pregnancy series, as well as all my other pregnancy related posts:

Until the next update!

Lots of love

x

My Joburg Baby Shower

If you're new around the parts I thought I'd give you a little background info into me and my life at the moment. I'm originally from Joburg (this is where most of my family stay) but I live on a dairy farm in a teeny town called Creighton with my wonderful husband, always referred to as Farmboy, and our assortment of rescue pets (including our gorgeous Korean rescue pup, Shadow, who made the big move across the seas from South Korea last year where we had been living since 2013). He was even at the baby shower to celebrate with us!

I am pregnant with my first little one baby, I'm sure you'll quickly be able to guess what our little bundle is from the photos below, whom we will be welcoming into our family in September this year.

Here are some very special photos from the baby shower my mom and friends threw for me last month in Joburg. It was so wonderful to celebrate our little one with all my family and friends whom I don't get to see much now that I live so far away.

The photos were taken by my mom (she's an avid photographer too!) and a there are a few that I managed to sneak in before being told to put my camera away and just enjoy the festivities :)

Our little girl was thoroughly spoilt and I've been having so much fun going through all her things and getting her room ready. 

A huge thank you to all my friends and family who came to celebrate with us.

Click below to see more pregnancy posts:

Momentum Multiply Baby Bag & Freebies

Momentum Multiple Baby Bag Freebies for members CityGirlSearching Blog-01.png

Who doesn't love a bag full of freebies?! Especially when the world of baby & pregnancy related products can end up costing you a pretty penny, it's always wonderful getting goodies for nada.

When choosing which medical aid to join last year, we eventually settled on Momentum Health basically due to their wonderful Maternity Program. Another bonus of the programme is of course the baby bag hamper they send out to you around week 28 of your pregnancy.

Here is a little more about the programme:

Members who register on the maternity programme when they are between 8 and 12 weeks pregnant, qualify for up to 12 antenatal visits at either a GP, gynaecologist or a registered midwife, as well as 2 pregnancy or growth scans - one before the 24th week and one after.
The Scheme's Health Platform benefit even covers 2 paediatrician visits in the child's first year on all but the Ingwe and Access Options.
It is worthwhile to note that one needs to be a member of the Scheme prior to falling pregnant, in order to enjoy the full value and benefits of the maternity programme, and actual benefits will differ depending on a member's choice of option.

Here is an in-depth look at the Momentous Baby Hamper for qualifying Momentum Health mommies-to-be.

What you get

*As advertised on their website...I'm sure the bags differ from time to time*

  • Caboodle backpack (I also found a changing mat & clear plastic pouch inside)
  • Toiletries & other goodies from Pigeon (I got a digital thermometer, wipes, breast pads & dummy)
  • a 'Baby on Board' decal sticker from BabyCity (not pictured)
  • a Tiny Love development toy
  • a one-year subscription to Living and Loving magazine
  • discount vouchers from Baby City (I didn't find any vouchers in my goodie bag but I did get a copy of the 'One + One = Three' baby book by Melodie de Jager)
  • I also got a sample pack of BabyJoy pants (we are planning on doing cloth nappies so not sure if we will get to trying these out)

How to get your bag

  • To qualify for this benefit, you must be a member of Multiply Premium at your 24th week of pregnancy. 
  • To get your bag, you need to register with the Momentum contact centre after your twelfth week of pregnancy.
  • They will contact you to confirm the delivery address for your hamper around the 24th week of your pregnancy. Your hamper will be sent to you via registered mail.
  • Expecting multiples? Ask about Multiply's special arrangements for multiple births when you register for the programme.

Some important info

  • This benefit is only available to members on Premier Multiply who register their pregnancy between 12 & 18 weeks
  • This benefit is only available for the main member and partner.
  • You can claim this benefit for one pregnancy each year.

Click here to read more details on the Momentum website.


Do you know of any other places to offer freebies for baby & mommy-to-be's?

 

Apart from Dischem and their baby bag, Momentum is the only other one I've come across so far. If you know if any other places that offer freebies/samples for expecting moms, please do leave me a comment below and let me know!

Shauna Neill Jewellery #AW17 Collection - Brand & Product Shoot

Earlier this year I had the pleasure of working with Shauna Neill to create the look and feel for her Autumn & Winter collection of jewellery.

All Shauna Neill pieces are handmade in Durban, South Africa by a small team of previously unemployed women, who have trained in the art of jewellery making and general business skills. The range of necklaces, earrings, rings, and bangles is available online and in stores throughout South Africa, as well as in France, Italy, Austria, Namibia, Mauritius, Australia, the Seychelles, and the UK.

The Shauna Neill brand ethos is deeply rooted in the desire to create pieces which appeal to the contemporary woman wanting something unique and considered, that not everyone else is wearing.

Thank you to each and every one of the following creatives for working so hard to bring Shauna's dream to life, and for making my job oh-so-easy:

Here are some of my favourite photographs from the day.

P.S. If you're looking to update your brand with your own new high res images, please get in touch today! I specialise in creative headshots & styled brand photography and work with both product and service based businesses, helping them showcase their brands in the most beautiful way possible (click here to find out more). 

Click here to get to touch to book your brand shoot today!

Pregnancy Update - Week 28 Hello to the third and final Trimester

HOW FAR ALONG:

28 weeks a.k.a 7 months (eeek the countdown has begun!)

SIZE/FOOD COMPARISON:

My little girl is the size of a cauliflower apparently (41cm) , and according to the WhatToExpect pregnancy app, she weighs 1.1kg.

But here's the thing.

Three weeks ago I went to the Gynae and he said she weighed about 2kg's at that point and definitely commented on how big she was and even gave me a new expected delivery date of nearly 10 days earlier than previously thought based on her weight and size. Considering she has about 3 more months of growing to do, she could be one rather big baby!

Will have to wait and see what Doc says at my next appointment (which is at the end of this week). I'll keep you updated :)

WEIGHT GAIN:

I am rather chuffed to report that I am about the same weight as my last post 3 weeks ago. I have put on about 12kg's so far, but it seems to be holding steady (for the time being at least!)

BABY BUMP:

I don't really feel any bigger than my last update. I am still carrying very neatly (I have been told girls are much kinder on the bod that boys) and haven't seemed to put on any weight in any other areas apart from my expanding belly. I am definitely not as fit or toned as I was pre-pregnancy (I'm going to also blame this on it being Winter) but for the most part my bump is where I am carrying all the extra weight.

MOVEMENT:

I feel her all bumbling around all day, and find that she is particularly active at night, just before going to sleep. Is this an indication of things to come? I hope not!

Her little butterfly kicks are also not just little taps, and I can feel her moving around, turning and generally kicking up a bit of a fuss. It's so sweet!

EXERCISE:

I have been back to Pilates for the last 3 weeks and I feel great! I really missed it while we were away and I can feel how much happier my body is from all the stretching 

SLEEP:

Sleep for me has been a bit up and down over the last 2 weeks. I have been more tired lately. It's like my body instantly changed from second to third trimester, and I now really need my afternoon naps again.

Also, I've been getting really bad sciatica (or hip pain) which may even be round-ligament pain...all of the pains associated with the pulling and stretching that is going on in my body. Because of this, I now HAVE to sleep with a pillow between my knees or else I wake up with terrible aches in my hip bones. Pilates has definitely been helping, and the pillow seems to do the trick too. 

I had fleeting moments of this same pain while in Italy, but I assumed it was because the beds were all so hard.  I think it had nothing to do with the beds and all to do with my ligaments stretching. I'm not sure if you've ever slept on the floor (i.e on the floor with no mattress) while camping etc? And you wake up and need to almost pound the life back into your hips? We often slept on the floor in South Korea (in case your new around these parts...Farmboy and I taught English and lived in South Korea for 4 years before settling on the family farm last year). And so I assumed the pain was due to my spoiled body being used to soft and cushy mattresses...it seems it's just a pregnancy thing.

CLOTHING:

I've been living in baggy tracksuit pants and long sleeve shirts layered with vests and tank tops underneath. I haven't needed to put on anything nice as I haven't been to town in a while (thank goodness I live on a farm and no one minds me looking like I just crawled out of bed).

What I have been loving is my pretty pink poncho from PicknPay clothing! It's so cosy (and not to mention...pretty!) and it's great to layer over long sleeve tops.

HOW I’M FEELING:

I'm definitely not feeling as fantastic as I did in my second trimester. The hip pain, coupled with a few moments of back pain and tiredness have left me feeling a bit down. But, I can't really complain, I've had it so easy to far so a few weeks of discomfort I can put up with.

It's my birthday next week...I'm hoping Farmboy has taken all my hinting and booked me a spa day! Although, it's not easy finding a place that caters for preggy ladies (I can't lie on my stomach and I can't really get a back massage if I'm lying on my back, can I). 

I have been REALLY getting into my crocheting too! Having so much fun making squares and my goal is a big baby blankie. I even managed to finish my first ever crochet project...a teeny tiny little beanie/turban thingy for my little girl.  It was easy to make and the best part is it only took a few hours...Click here for the full tutorial.

CRAVINGS/AVERSIONS:

Haven't had any funny cravings or aversions really. I've been drinking a little more caffeine lately (nothing nicer than a warm cup of coffee while sitting in the sun on the verandah) but I've been limiting myself to 1/2 cup a day.

I have been drinking A LOT of hot lemon tea (boiling water poured over a few slices of lemon and ginger mixed with honey) which has become my staple drink. It really leaves me feeling refreshed and acts as a bit of a detox from all the carbs of Italy.

WHAT I MISS:

  • Lying on my tummy. I am never going to stop missing this!
  • Being able to bend over and paint my toe nails. I did this last week and my gosh it took me an age! I had to contort myself in all sorts of directions so I could remove the polish, file, cut and re-paint. I'm so glad no one was around to see me ;)

NURSERY:

Farmboy has put up our cot (we bought the Cozi Stijl cot from CoziCot in Joburg while it was on special a few months ago) and it has sat in it's box for a good while. It's finally up and I just love it!

PURCHASES:

I picked up my feeding chair a few weeks ago, and got a bit of a shock at it's size. I'm not sure whether I am just really small, or whether the chair is abnormally big!

Here's a picture so you can see just how roomy it is.

feeding chair south african mommy blogger

I'm definitely not complaining as it's incredible comfortable, and the cushion is real down feathers, so I'm sure I'm going to have plenty of naps in there while feeding. I bought it second hand from a lady in Hillcrest and have needed to get it recovered. I will be picking it up on Friday. I'm hoping the fabric I chose for it won't be too dark for the room (I went with a gorgeous dark grey almost velvet fabric) which will suit our home in the future too, after the chair does it's nursery duties.

I just need to get some big pillows for it, and a ottoman/pouffe thingy for my legs (and to help me launch myself into it haha). 

HUBBY:

I'm not sure what else needs to be said that hasn't been captured in this photo:

CAN’T WAIT FOR:

Like I said last time, I'm actually really trying to savour the next few days/weeks/months. I'm trying to really enjoy the quiet days of being in the house, sorting/cleaning/organising things on my own schedule, and I just know thats ALL going to change soon.

I've been trying to be intentional with a few late morning lie ins, and having the time to crochet for hours on end in front of the fire. I'm excited for our next gynae visit this week though, and to hear from him whether little one is still growing at such a rapid rate as she was at our last visit.

Until the next update!

Lots of love

x

Italy Through Photographs - Highlights of our three week Babymoon through Milan, Lake Como, Bologna, Rome, Venice, Florence, Tuscany, Pisa, Amalfi, Naples & Bergamo

In June this year, Farmboy and I headed to Italy for 21 days of {backpacking} adventure to celebrate our baby-moon (or rather, the celebrate our last few moments of life as we know we it before our little girl joins us in September). 

I will be writing travel guides for all of the places we visited, but it's going to take me a while. Along with our trip to India last year (eeeek I still have yet to finish the travel guides for that!) this was one of the most extensively planned trips we have ever done. This was all due to the fact that we had to have ALL our bookings (trains, planes, accommodation, buses etc) booked ahead of time in order to secure Farmboys Schengen Visa. I am lucky enough to hold dual citizenship and so have a British Passport, which makes traveling a breeze for me, but which unfortunately gives poor Farmboy no special treatment.

We stayed in AirBnb's for 90% of the trip, only staying in Hotels on the Amalfi coast when we couldn't find an AirBnb within our budget. We were backpacking (or rather, Farmboy was...I carried the camera bag and of course our little baby) and managed to survive 3 weeks living out of a 13kg bag.

I will be sharing more on what we packed (including what toiletries I packed) in another post. I also will write more on what traveling while being 6 months pregnant is like soon.

All in all, it was FAR easier than I had thought. Bonus...being able to skip all the queues at the airports!

Here is a breakdown of our 20 day trip:

Johannesburg > Istanbul, Turkey > Milan

Milan (1 night)

Milan > Bellagio, Lake Como (2 nights)

Bellagio > Milan > Venice (2 nights)

Venice > Bologna (1 night)

Bologna > Florence (1 night)

Florence > Todi, Tuscany/Umbira (3 nights)

Todi > Rome (3 nights)

Rome > Amalfi Coast (1 night in Ravello & 3 nights in Conca dei Marini)

Amalfi Coast > Naples (1 night)

Naples > Bergamo (1 night)

Bergamo > Milan > Istanbul, Turkey > Johannesburg

It's going to take some time before the travel guides are up, so in the mean time, here are a few of the photographic highlights of our trip.

We bought a second hand Fujifilm x100T especially for the trip, and had planned to only take that camera along but I ended up taking my Nikon D750 at the last minute. I'm so glad I did as it took me a while to figure out how the Fujifilm worked and to get used to it. So here are my photographs from both cameras.

Farmboy is working on a travel video too, which I'll link up here in this post when it's done.

Enjoy!

x

 

Here are some of my other Travel Guides for you to browse through in the mean time while I create the guides for Italy.

Enjoy!

For moms, by moms - a list of newborn, baby & nursery essentials

A few months ago I reached out to my friends on Facebook and asked them the following question:

"Mommy friends, I'm wanting to write a blog post on newborn/baby/nursery items you couldn't live without. Please pop me a comment below with those things you loved/found so useful/couldn't live without <3

Please include the brand names you liked!"

Here is a list of items/tips/recommendations & advice that my wonderful (and experienced!) mommy friends shared with me. I hope you find their thoughts as helpful as I did, and if there is anything else you'd like to add please feel free to leave a comment below: 

list of newborn, baby  and nursery essentials

I am so thankful to all my friends who took the time to leave their thoughts. If there is anything you feel is missing, or you have some more items you think are MUST HAVE's to add to the above, then please feel free to leave me a comment! As a first time mommy-to-be, I'd love to hear from you.

My Winter Skincare Routine - Combating Winter Dryness & Pregnancy Eczema

Since the start of my second trimester, I developed really dry skin (also aggravated by the change in season) and my eczema flared up on my hands, wrists and arms. I don't have chronic eczema, but when it flares up it's incredibly itchy and I tend to scratch and scratch until my skin is red and raw. You need to try treat is as soon as you notice it flaring up, and to keep your skin well moisturised.

I also found patches of dry skin started popping up on my face, and to top it all off, those dry patches also started to break out. So all in all, I felt very for myself. Here are the products I've been using to keep my skin calm, as well as the products I've tried and recommend for keeping your ever expanding belly moisturised and stretch mark free.

A little note on eczema...there are numerous steroid based creams you can use (some that are prescription based and you need to get from your doctor, and others that are sold over the counter) but these are not recommended for prolonged use, and can weaken your skin barrier. The main culprit behind eczema is dryness...so make sure to drink plenty of water and keep your skin well moisturised to help prevent the pain and discomfort (and itchyness!) that usually shows up. 
For me, it's also aggravated by eating lots of citrus, so I have to avoid oranges and most fruit juices which also contain loads of preservatives and other nasty things that your body really doesn't need.

My Winter Skincare Routine

For the body

I wash my body with either Epimax (the Original formula or the Baby & Junior cream) or Epizone (not pictured).

After drying, I immediately cream up with Epimax (focusing on the areas of my body where the eczema is the worst...for me this is my hands and wrists)  and then I follow the below face routine before continuing with my body routine. This is to make sure my face doesn't get too dry. 

After my face is done, I then apply Bio Oil all over my tummy and boobs, making sure to massage it in as much as possible. I hate putting clothes over an oily body. I've been using Bio Oil everyday since I found out I was pregnant and have, touch wood, yet to get any stretch marks. I still have about 3 months to go so there is plenty of time for them to show up. Although I would like to prevent them, stretch marks are a very normal part of pregnancy, and almost everyone gets them.

Here is a really lovely extract from my favorite pregnancy website & app, What to Expect:

More than half of all expecting women get these pink or red (sometimes purplish) streaks; you'll most likely notice them across your belly, butt, thighs, hips, and breasts.

WHAT CAUSES THEM?

Stretch marks are actually tiny tears in the supporting layers of tissue under your skin as it's pulled tight to the limit during pregnancy. Susceptibility has lots to do with genetics: Chances are, if your mother got them, you probably will too - while if she sailed through her pregnancies with smooth skin intact, you'll probably stay as smooth as your baby's bum. Rapid pregnancy weight gain can also make you more likely to get stretch marks. And darker-skinned women are less likely to get stretch marks as fair-skinned gals (plus they're not as visible on dark skin).

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Try as you might to avoid stretch marks, there's no proven way to treat them or to stop them from zigzagging their way across your body. Fortunately, they won't stay so vividly hued forever. After delivery, they usually fade to a less noticeable (and more easily concealable) silvery gray color. Meanwhile, try to wear them with pride.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Whether or not you get pregnancy stretch marks is usually a matter of genetics - but there are a few ways to try avoiding them (or at least to slow down the stretch):
  • Moisturize: Cocoa butter certainly won't hurt (though no stretch mark cream is the miracle cure it's touted as). If nothing else, moisturizing daily will help with the dryness and itchy skin associated with pregnancy (plus it's fun to have your partner rub some onto your belly!).
  • Nourish your skin from the inside: Plenty of vitamin C foods in your pregnancy diet may also help keep your skin toned and less subject to stretch marks.
  • Watch your weight: Keep an eye on that scale during pregnancy and put your pounds on slow and steady instead of in big spurts. Keep in mind that eating for two doesn't mean literally eating twice as much - so as much as possible, try to follow the general recommendations for caloric intake during pregnancy.
  • Wait it out: Of course you wanted a solution yesterday. But keep in mind that your dermatologist can offer treatments such as Retin-A or laser therapy after you give birth. (Neither is safe for pregnancy - plus, the stretching ain't over till it's over.)

For the face

I wash my face with Epimax (the Original formula or the Baby & Junior cream) or Epizone (not pictured). I use a soft facecloth to remove as much dead skin as possible, without stripping my skin.

Then I tone with my all time favourite toner...Natur Vital Rose Water Toner (I've only ever found this at Dischem and it is often out of stock. When I do find it I make sure to stock up! It's super gentle on skin, smells heavenly, doesn't have a whole lot of yuccky chemicals and retails for about R55. I usually apply this with a cotton pad, but while on holiday I used a squirt bottle which sprays the toner in a fine mist (it was just one of those cheap travel bottles) but I've found I prefer spraying the toner on as opposed to wiping it on with cotton wool. This toner also works well as a gentle makeup remover.

After toning I use my new favourite serum, Malachite Jojoba Oil which works amazingly as an intensive skin treatment/essence/serum. I've been using it for the past 3 months and I just love it! I stock up on mine at the Bryanston Organic Market in Joburg, but you can but it online by clicking here. I use it everyday, morning and night, and it leaves my skin feeling incredibly soft and supple. And it smells incredible!

Next I apply cream (Epimax or Epizone) and then if needed use my little jar of Klairs Midnight Blue Calming Cream on areas that are really sensitive (like the sides of my nose and around the corners of my mouth). Click here for a full review on this lovely Korean beauty product. 

For day time, I finish off with my favourite suncream, the Missha All Around Safe Block Soft Finish Sun Milk (unfortunately another Korean beauty product that I stocked up on while living in Korea...I wish we could get our hands on products like these here in South Africa!). 

So there you have it, a comprehensive list of what I've been using to combat winter dryness and eczema (which I am pretty sure has a lot to do with the pregnancy hormones surging through my body right now).

Are there any other great products you would recommend for dry skin or eczema? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below!