Farm Foraged Flowers - foraging for flowers with The Holloway Shop

Farm Foraged Flowers with Storm Ross of The Holloway Shop Photos by Roxy Hutton of CGScreative & CityGirlSearching_Artboard 3.png

A few months back my friend Storm (of The Holloway Shop in Cape Town) came to visit us here on the farm.

We spent a wonderful few days catching up, drinking tea, eating delicious homemade meals and delicacies that Storm whipped up from our veggie garden, and most notably, I photographed Storm doing what she does best...forage for flowers and create the most beautiful floral arrangements out of thin air. Click here to see what the warm winter afternoon light looks like on our farm,

Here are some photographs of her working her magic with flowers and fruit and leaves she collected around my home.

Enjoy!

If you're based in Cape Town and looking for a florist, I can't recommend Storm more highly enough. She is incredible talented when it comes to flowers and is so creative with her unique designs, she is in a league of her own. Here are some photos of bouquets she whipped up for her portrait shoot last year:

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!

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:

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:

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

Pregnancy Update - Week 25

25 weeks pregnant south african blogger citygirlsearching

Following on from my last pregnancy update (click here to read more) I am back and sharing more about my second trimester. 

Farmboy and I just got back from a magical 3 week holiday in Italy (cleverly disguised as our babymoon!) and I have to say, traveling while being 6 months pregnant was far more manageable than I expected. Plus, everyone loves a preggy lady, and there are loads of travel perks to being pregnant (skipping the que at the airport, being offered seats on buses and trains...and being allowed to use the bathroom for free!!!). That last one may sound a bit odd, but considering the public bathrooms in Italy cost a small fortune (especially in the bigger cities) and considering HOW OFTEN a pregnant women needs to go to the bathroom, a free bathroom became a luxury. And one I didn't take for granted!

Here are a few phone snaps of our trip to the land of pizza, pasta and gelato:

italy babymoon 6 months pregnant

I'm going to be doing more posts on traveling while pregnant, as well as sharing travel guides on our trip (click here to see past travel guides I've written on Vietnam, Bali, India, Philippines, Cambodia & Borneo) so stay tuned for those!

6 months pregnant, south african blogger, italy babymoon

HOW FAR ALONG:

25 weeks (or just over 6 months for my friends who have yet to live by the whole 'weeks and days' counting method that pregnant women rule their lives by). 

SIZE/FOOD COMPARISON:

Rutabaga (Swede or Yellow Turnip for my South African friends) and she (yup! We are having a little girl) weighs about 1.5kg's.

WEIGHT GAIN:

12kg's (eeeeeek!)

Considering my little one only weighs 1.5kg's...the other 10.5 kg's is supposedly made up of my ever expanding uterus & placenta (and possibly a few of those gelatos and pizzas we ate while in Italy).

BABY BUMP:

My little bump is no longer little! I've gone through a rather large 'popping' phase and now look decidedly pregnant. I have been told that my tummy is very 'neat' and that I'm carrying very well. If you look at my from the back you wouldn't say I was pregnant. I don't know though, I feel HUGE...but I guess I'm in for a shock then as I can't imagine being any bigger than I am now.

25 Weeks Pregnant

MOVEMENT:

This little one has been kicking up a storm! It took till about 23 weeks for me to be absolutely sure that I was feeling kicks (and that it wasn't just normal gaseous exchange going on haha). Her kicks are very gently, and happen throughout the day. I was told that lying on my left hand side after drinking a glass of orange juice/eating a chocolate would intensify the kicks, as I was starting to get worried that I hadn't felt anything by 22 weeks. Turns out she was just taking her time to start prodding me.

EXERCISE:

While in Italy we walked between 10 & 14km a day (totalling 150km!) over a period of 3 weeks...how insane is that!

Because of this, I am happy to report that my weight gain has seemed to only be baby related, and a number of family members have commented that I looked like I had actually lost weight...score!

Walking is one of the best forms of exercise for pregnant women. Now I just need to keep it up and not get lazy again.

I am REALLY looking forward to getting back into Pilates! It's been so long I don't even know if my body will let me do any of the poses any more. Will keep you updated.

SLEEP:

I slept REALLY well in Italy. Although the beds were pretty hard and I would wake up with a few aches and pains from the mattresses, I don't recall ever waking up in the middle of the night. Not to go to the loo, and not even to roll over. This really goes to show just how much good exercise does the body.

I'm hoping this pattern of sleep is going to stay now that we are home because it's SO cold here on the farm and I just can't bare the thought of going to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

25 Weeks pregnant

CLOTHING:

I spent the past 3 weeks in dresses (luckily my pre-preggy dresses still fit!), two pairs of flowy & linen pants, as well as my favourite pair of CherryMelon shorts and tops.

Now that I'm back into Winter, I have been given a number of long sleeve shirts and tops from the H&M Mamma range and will pair them with my H&M leggings as well as my favourite CherryMelon leggings. Luckily most days on the farm I can get away with wearing big baggy tracksuit pants and Farmboy's hoodies. The cows and chickens don't mind my lack of dress sense.

HOW I’M FEELING:

I'm still feeling pretty great! I've been very lucky and had a very easy pregnancy so far. No morning sickness...teeny tiny moments of nausea, and only a bit of fatigue in the first trimester.

I'm also really happy that my eczema has cleared up. I have no idea if it was a symptom of pregnancy or the dry, winter weather, but being overseas in the sun and warm weather seemed to clear it up. Will have to see what happens now that we are back in the full force of Winter.

I've been rather emotional the past few days (poor Farmboy) and have found my patience levels nearing zero. I am increasingly irritable, which leads me to feeling even more emotional as I feel bad for getting so annoyed with people so easily. 

I am happy to report that (at least it's been my experience so far) that the second trimester has been as wonderful as everyone said it would be. Loads of energy, enthusiasm and general happiness. Let's hope this lasts!

CRAVINGS/AVERSIONS:

There hasn't been too much that I've been craving/feeling averse to lately. We ate A LOT of carbs this holiday, and so we did come back craving anything and everything green but I think that had more to do with the Italian diet being pretty starchy in nature, and not to do with pregnancy.

WHAT I MISS:

  • Lying on my tummy. I like to sleep on my side with my one leg pulled up, but my poor tummy just gets squashed and it's sooo uncomfortable.
  • Sitting up in the bath/sitting up in bed/getting out of bath without assistance.
  • Sitting in a chair...comfortably. My belly just seems to get in the way leaving my feeling restricted and uncomfortable.
25 weeks pregnant - backpacking in italy when pregnant

NURSERY:

We were very spoilt while in Joburg (we spent a few days before and after our trip to Italy with my family in the City of Gold) and returned home with all sorts of lovely things for the nursery.

My mom also threw me a lovely baby shower for my Joburg friends and family (blog post to come soon!) and my little girl was really spoilt.

A few other baby related additions, courtesy of my Dad and Step-Mom...a Thule pram/stroller & bassinet as well as an awesome burgundy coloured Maxi Cosi carseat which were from the MamaMagic Baby Expo. There were a lot of great deals on all sorts of baby related things at the expo, if you are brave enough to face the crowds.

PURCHASES:

We bought two things for our little girl while in Italy. Once of them is the sweetest little mouse doll from Zara Home, and the other is a compactum storage set from IKEA. Yup, I was THAT person that managed to convince Farmboy to take me to an Ikea while in Italy. We don't have IKEA here in South Africa, and that store literally BLEW MY MIND! 

HUBBY:

Farmboy has been getting more and more excited about the prospect of being a Dad. Yesterday he even modelled the baby carrier and walked around the house looking decidedly chuffed with himself.

He's going to make the most wonderful dad.

BEST PART OF THE WEEK:

Meeting our new Gynae (I mentioned in my last post that we had decided to switch to a more affordable Gynaecologist) and I have found the sweetest gentleman doctor. He is very pro-natural, and is even very pro having a Doula as part of the birthing team.

Farmboy and I have been talking a lot lately about the idea of having a Doula for the birth, and are planning on meeting with a few ladies in the next few weeks. I was sceptical at first (it all sounded a bit airy fairy to me) but have since heard wonderful things about them from friends who have had them. Someone also pointed out to me that they are there as much for your husband/partners support as for yours, and I really like the idea of having a calming presence on hand to support us both (especially with this being our first baby). I'll keep you updated on how the search goes. If you're in South Africa and would like to know more about Doulas and what their roles are during childbirth, then click here

25 Weeks pregnant

CAN’T WAIT FOR:

I'm actually really trying to savour the next few days/weeks/months. I realised yesterday evening, while taking a really long, hot bath, that I'm not going to have that luxury in a few months time. 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.

Until the next update!

Lots of love

x

Shadow The Korean Jindo at home in South Africa

It's nearly been a whole year since our rescue pup, Shadow The Jindo, arrived on South African soil.

Farmboy and I found Shadow as a teeny tiny little ball of fluff wondering along a dark country road late at night. We were living & teaching English in South Korea at the time, and had absolutely no plans, whatsoever, to adopt a dog. We were far too independent,  loved traveling, and if we were to get a pet, we would absolutely have to bring them back home to South Africa with us. Taking animals to South Africa is FAR more expensive than taking them to any other country (bar the UK which is also crazy) and so it never once crosses our minds. That is, until Shadow came along an stole our hearts.

Here he is as a teeny tiny pup:

If you're wondering what a Jindo is, it's a dog breed native to South Korea. Not much is known about them, and they aren't seen much outside of Korea unless bred by authorised breeders. A lot of the 'street' dogs in Korea are Jindo mixes, just like our precious pup Shadow.

Pure breed Jindo's come in 5 main coat colourings (white, brown/yellow, brindle, black & tan and grey). Shadow is of the 'black & tan' variety, but is most definitely a mix due his long hair and very long ears. We think he is crossed with Husky/German Shepard, but there is no real knowing unless a DNA test is done. He has 100% all of the characteristics of a Jindo (click here to read more about the breed) and we just adore him.

Shadow grew up in our teeny tiny Korean apartment, and is now loving his life roaming the wide open spaces of dairy farm life now that we are home in South Africa. We've had a few issues with him and getting his bathroom routine sorted out (well these issues are more to do with the fact that he is an incredibly private dog when it comes to his toilet time, and now regards out entire garden as his 'home' and will not, under any circumstances, soil his home!). This means he quite literally  'holds it in' until I take him for a walk where we can run free and find a suitably private place to do his business. Funny dog this one haha.

Anyway, here are some recent photographs I've taken of him in the months since we have been home. He is such a happy pooch, and the most incredible dog either of us have ever had. We both can't wait for the many happy years ahead of him as a big brother to our little baby coming along in September this year. My camera is going to be FULL of baby and pup pictures...I can't wait!

In the mean time, I hope you enjoy these photographs.

x

You can follow Shadow on his adventures with his cat siblings over on Instagram:

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Prenatal Vitamins - the low down on what to take as well as some South African brand names I recommend

prenatal vitamins, what to take south africa, pregnany vitamins

One of the first things you will start reading about once you are pregnant (or perhaps you were very prepared before hand and had already started taking these) is the advice to take a good prenatal vitamin.

If you have been trying to have a baby, you will probably have already been taking one for a while, but if you are pregnant already and haven't been taking one yet, don't worry too much but start taking one as soon as you can. Not only is your body going to need lots more nutrients in the coming months, but your little bundle is going to need all the help he/she can get to start growing.

There is  lot of great info out there on the quantities you need of each vitamin, but as I am not really a label reader and was very relaxed in my first few weeks of pregnancy, here are the basics:

prenatal vitamins, what to take vitamins for pregnancy, pregnant vitamins folic acid

1. Folic Acid (good for BEFORE, DURING & AFTER pregnancy)

Neural tube defects occur at a very early stage of development, before many women even know they're pregnant – which is why it's recommended to start taking folic acid before you start trying to conceive.

Recommended Dosage: 500 micrograms or (5 milligrams) per day

You don't need to buy a fancy folic acid, you can get a bottle of them (little yellow pills) over the counter at Clicks or Dischem. Just make sure you do check the labels properly...I nearly walked out with what I though was a really great deal on Folic Acid at Clicks, only to look closer and see that the R22 bottle was for 0.5 micrograms per tablet.

Folic Acid is a teeny tiny yellow pill that is taken once a day. If you take nothing else for the duration of your pregnancy, at least ensure you take Folic Acid.

Price: +-R80 for 100 tablets (which is just over 3 months supply)


2. Prenatal Multivitamin

Pregnavit M ~ (BEFORE, DURING & AFTER pregnancy)

Pregnavit prenatal vitamin south africa, what vitamins to take when pregnant, pregnant mulitvitmain

For the first 3 months I took Pregnavit M (pictured above) which I bought from Clicks and Dischem for about R70 for 30 capsules. I had NO idea what was considered a 'good' prenatal multivitamin, and so picked something that was middle of the range in terms of price. After going to my Gynae for our first check up, she mentioned that most of them are much of a muchness, and so I finished all of the capsules I had before going on to a fancier brand.

Pregnavit M contains folic acid (but not as much as is recommended) so I took both this as well as a Folic Acid tablet once a day for the first 3 months.

I wasn't great about taking either of these vitamins  and as much as the internet and some mommies out there will frighten you into thinking, baby and I seem to be doing okay ;)

Bear in mind that no multivitamin can take the place of (or should ever take the place of) a good balanced diet.

I'm not talking about the occasional hot cross bun or packet of chips you may have guzzled in bed last night.

I'm referring to a diet that consists of mostly fruit and vegetables, low GI or complex carbs (for those of us not able to stick completely to the Banting/Low Carb High Fat eating plan) like rice cakes, oats and whole grains as well as a good amount of dairy. I have been a bit all over the place with my eating habits over the last 4 months of pregnancy, but I do make sure to eat clean/healthily about 75% of the time. I'm planning on doing a blog post on my pregnancy eating habits soon, so bear with me on that one!

Recommended Dosage: 1 capsule per day

Price: +-R70 for 30 capsules (1 months supply)

Pregomega prenatal vitamin, pregnancy vitamin, what to take when pregnant, multivitamin south africa pregnancy

Preg Omega Plus~ (BEFORE, DURING & AFTER pregnancy)

PregOmega Plus is seen as the Gucci of the prenatal vitamin world, and as such carries with it a hefty price tag (+-R250 per box). Luckily my sister-in-law gave me the heads up that you can often buy it on special at Clicks for about R190 - R220 and so I waited until I saw it was on special before stocking up. I've been taking it for the past 2 weeks.

It's more of a pain to take because each 1 month supply box comes with 3 separate tablets (30 vitamin and mineral tablets, 30 Omega-3 Fish Oil vegicaps and 30 Calcium, Vitamin D and Magnesium combination tablets). It also contains folic acid (a whole lot more than the recommended dosage) and extra calcium to promote good bone and teeth health. This means you don't need to take Folic Acid alongside this multi-vitamin so at least there's that.

**I was told by a friend that her Medical Aid covers one box of pre-natal vitamins a month, and she is able to claim back for the full cost of the Pregomega Plus. So make sure to read the fine print on your medical aid policy to check whether you can claim back for prenatal vitamins**

Recommended Dosage: 1 capsule from each foil pack per day (3 in total) after meals

Price: +-R250 for 90 capsules (1 months supply)

There is a Pregomega version (without the Plus) which is a bit cheaper than the Plus version, but it doesn't contain the calcuim, magnesium or Vitamin D tablets.


Are there any great prenatal vitamin brands that I'm missing in this post? I'd love to hear from you!

Please leave me a comment below letting me know what you took while pregnant, and if there's anything else that us mommy-to-be's need to know about prenatal vitamins!

We're having a baby!

FarmboyCityGirl Baby Announcement-01-03.png

We have such happy news to share with you today! We will be welcoming a little bundle into the world in September this year, and we couldn't be more excited.

I have to be very honest and say I wasn't sure I was ever going to feel 'ready' for kids, but that feeling of readiness really does come to you when the time is right. Of course, it doesn't alway happen as quickly as it did for us (the moment we both decided the time was right, I was basically instantly pregnant) and I know a lot of people for whom the process can take a while.

Everyone's body is completely unique, and you really just have no idea how long things will take or what your pregnancy will be like. It's great hearing other ladies share their stories as it helps to open your mind as to what might happen for you. But definitely be prepared for the chance that it might take a whole lot longer (or a whole lot shorter) than your friends.

On that note, I read the most amazing book that covers everything and anything you've ever wanted to know about getting pregnant, but were too nervous to ask. I learned SO much from this book and can't help but tell everyone I know about it. Even if you're not thinking about having kids now, this book will help you prepare mentally & physically for what's to come. It helped me understand why I kept getting negative results on my pregnancy tests, even though I just knew that I was pregnant (turns out there is a waiting period after actual conception and you won't be able to test for pregnancy until your next period is due...around 2 weeks later).

The book I keep mentioning is The Impatient Woman's Guide to Getting Pregnant and I just loved every page. It's written by Jean M. Twenge who is as informative as she is funny, and each chapter is filled with everything you need to know about getting pregnant, including when you can test for pregnancy, how to prepare your body both physically and mentally and it also has a whole chapter dedicated to natural ways of enhancing your fertility.

I actually only bought the book for the chapter on how soon you can test whether you're pregnant, but found every single page to be full of useful information.

It's not just for first time mom either, Jean also talks about trying to conceive baby number 2 and 3 and also goes into great depths dispelling myths around older women not being as likely to fall pregnant as younger women. It's a must read for anyone even thinking about possibly having a baby at some point in their lives.

Farmboy and Citygir are having a baby

I am now in the last week of my first trimester (I'm 12 weeks pregnant) and that means I'm a third of the way there...eeeek! Nine months has always felt like a long time, but it's just flying by. 

And now for something a little different.

I've decided to create short weekly/monthly (I haven't decided how often I'm going to make them) videos to document my pregnancy, and I've just wrapped up the first one.

I hope you enjoy this little look into my pregnancy so far, and if you have any questions/comments/queries please feel free to leave me a comment below! 

Creighton Aloe Festival Steam Train

Creighton Aloe Festival Steam Train

We have officially been back in South Africa for 3 weeks! In case you're new around here, my husband (Farmboy) and I were living in South Korea for the past 3 years where we were teaching English. It was a wonderful 3 years, but we are very happy to be back home.  My husbands parents are dairy farmers in a small town called Creighton, about 2 hours inland from Pietermaritzburg and we have been here visiting them for the past week. It's been wonderful seeing family after such a long time of being away, and we plan to spend the rest of the year between the farm and my family in Joburg, until we decide where we want to settle.

Hopefully we will have figured that out by January!

Creighton Aloe Festival

We just missed the Creighton Aloe Festival which takes place once year here in Creighton. The aloes are absolutely beautiful, and this year there were four hot air balloons offering views of the gorgeous countryside.

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Goodbye Korea!

Farmboy and citygirl leave Korea south africans in South korea

I can't quite believe that Farmboy and I have been here in our little town in Korea for 3 years and that it is time for us to say goodbye. We have had a wonderful time living and teaching English in South Korea and have had so many adventures over the years (the biggest one was definitely rescuing a little black and brown ball of fluff who has grown into a most handsome wolf).

As we wrap up our final days (as of writing this we have 2 more days in Korea and will land in South Africa on Monday, 27th June) I wanted to leave you with a few of my previous posts to keep you entertained until I am back here on the blog.

We have had some complications with getting our dog, Shadow back home, and currently he is waiting to be allowed to board his flight back to South Africa. We aren't sure when that will be but have been told it could be on Monday (fingers crossed!). South Africa has really strict pet import policies, so not only does it cost $1000's (and yes, I literally mean thousands of US$) but animals are not allowed to fly with you on the plane but must fly as manifest cargo. So please keep little Shadow in your thoughts for the next few days as he waits to find out when he can fly. I am a bit of a wreck right now as he has to stay at a boarding kennel until his flight and I can't see him. We also have to pack up three years worth of stuff, fit it into two little suitcases and say goodbye to the town that has become out home. There have, and I'm sure will be, more than a few tears shed as we say our goodbyes.

So in the mean time, here's a bit more 'light reading' for you for the next little while.

See you soon,

x

#FromBlog2Biz My journey from Blogger to Business Owner: Let's start at the very beginning

#FromBlog2Biz My journey from Blogger to Business Owner: Let's start at the very beginning

Hi everyone!

In case you're new around these parts and have stumbled across this blog series, I thought I'd take a moment to introduce myself.

My name is Roxy and I am the blogger, photographer, planner, crafter, maker, designer and general busy-bee behind CityGirlSearching. I am South African, but have been living in South Korea with my husband and rescue pup (Shadow, who yes, has his own # and Instagram account and FB page because that's what you do these days) for the past 3/technically 4 years.

We are about to wrap up our final contract and will be heading home to South Africa at the end of June...yippeee!

In this series #FromBlog2Biz, I am going to be sharing with you my journey from blogger to business owner. In this post (Part 1) I want to share with you my blogging journey so far (it's been a good number of years) and to set the scene for you for where I am at right now and how I have been making money from my blog and how I plan to monetize moving forward from here.

I do hope you'll join me on this journey as I share with what I've done so far, what has worked and what hasn't. It's going to be an awesome adventure so let's get started right away.

 

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My blog holiday - See you in a couple of weeks!

I'm writing this from a spot of wifi I found here in the North of Goa, India. I'll be away from my blog for the next 2 weeks, stuffing myself with curry and naan and trying to capture the beauty of this country with my camera so I can share it with you when I get back at the end of January. 

Currently I'm in Goa, soaking up the sun sea and sand but head to Delhi next to explore the Golden Triangle (Agra and the TajMahal, Jaipur and the Jodhpur) from then it's west to JaiSalmar where we will be staying in the dessert before finally heading to Nepal for our final few days.  

If you'd like to follow our adventures, pop on over to Facebook (@CityGirlSearching) or find me on Instagram (@RoxyHutton). I can't wait to share my photographs of this incredible place when I get back.

See you soon!  

Roxy

xxx

 

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