Momentous Baby Hamper

If you are a part of Momentum's rewards program, Multiply (similar to Discovery Vitality), then during your pregnancy, you qualify for the Momentous Baby program (again, similar to Vitality Baby)*. We are fortunate enough to have this benefit and one of the pregnancy perks is that you receive a baby hamper which you can claim anytime after 24 weeks.


I received my hamper this week and wanted to share it with you in case you are curious about your own hamper if you are part of the Momentous baby program**.


  • Caboodle backpack which comes with a changing mat and a wet bag (to store dirty or wet clothes). The material of the bag is not the best quality and there aren't many pockets inside but the size is perfect to fit a little persons nappies and a change of clothes without it being big and bulky.
  • A BabyCity voucher booklet with various vouchers ranging in value. My vouchers added up to  R1,200.00. The hamper does not come with a pack of nappies however the voucher booklet has a voucher where you can claim a free pack of Huggies New Baby 42's from Baby City. All the vouchers only expire in 2018 so I could still use them once baby girl gets here.
  • A baby on board sticker. This is not one of those yellow signs with a suction thingie, it is a vinyl sicker which you apply directly to your car's window. Understandably my husband is very against sticking this in his car so we will most probably not use it.
  • A small 1.5ml sample of Lansinoh HPA Lanolin nipple cream. I have heard great things about this brand so I look forward to trying it. Also, perfect size for your hospital bag.
  • A pregnancy to birth book, one + one = three by Melodie de Jager.
  • TinyLove Tiny Smarts Crinkly Bunny toy. Apparently babies love the crinkly sound so this is a great item to have received. It has a handy ring which allows you to attach it to the car seat, pram or play mat.
  •  2 BabyJoy nappy pants - I am not familiar with this brand so it will be interesting to try out.
  • Pigeon products - digital thermometer 0+ months, silicone pacifier 0-5 months, 36 honeycomb breast pads (in a box) and one pack of baby wipes (82 wipes).
  • Living and loving Magazine 12 month subscription. This is sent through regular mail so I have not yet received my first copy yet.
I would love to hear what you received in your Momentous Baby bag. Comment below or follow me on Instagram and Twitter.

Xoxo
Claire
* This is not a sponsored post. The benefits redeemed by Multiply are covered by our own account and I write this post as a paying client of Momentum.

**Please note that the contents of every bag may vary according to sponsors and availability. This post shows what I received but you may get something different in your bag.

Snowflake Easymix Cappuccino Muffins

One of my most popular posts through Google's search engine is the post I did on Snowflake's Easymix muffin mix. I swear by these easymix packets when I'm in a rush and need a tasty snack for visitors, family and friends. Here's a quick guide on using these Snowflake easymixes.*


When purchasing your own easymix, check the back of the package for the ingredients you will need to dry mixture they provide in the packet. For the cappuccino muffins I needed, oil, eggs and water. I made these really cute DIY muffin pan liners using this easy tutorial but if you grease your muffin tins well, you don't actually need liners.


At the back of the easymix packaging you will also find baking instructions. Once all ingredients are mixed together, you only need to bake them for about 15-20 minutes.


Pre-cooked muffin batter
Cooked muffins ready to eat!
These are THE BEST quick and easy muffins which come in many flavours. In our house we also love the bran muffin easymix which we add nuts and raisins to, to make a healthy treat. If you are a busy body and just don't have tome to bake from scratch then these easymixes are just for you!

What is your favourite muffin flavour? Mine is Lemon and Poppy Seed!

Xoxo
Claire

*This is not a sponsored post. All items and ingredients were purchased myself.

Your guide to shopping at Target in South Africa

There is a slight sadness in the fact that here in South Africa, we do not have a great supply of infamous brands in our stores, like you see in the US and UK. Whether you are looking for new gadgets, that one shade of lipstick you saw on your favourite Celeb or even the worlds strongest superglue for your most recent DIY project, there is always something we want that is not readily available on South African shores. It is especially frustrating when you see articles and tutorials where they are using products/brands that we do not get here. This brought up my most recent discovery (with help from Malcolm), I can shop at Target right here in SA!


The company behind making all this possible is Borderfree by Pitney Bowes. They work in tandem with retail brands such as Target, Macey's, Old Navy, Dune London, Harrods and many more. Find their store list here.

I tested the service and was really impressed by the whole experience and how quickly my packages arrived on my doorstep*. I want to share some tips and ticks if you would like to place your own order with Target and Borderfree. Here is a quick guide:

To start your order, first you will need proceed to the Target Website where they will pick up your location as South Africa and automatically change all pricing to ZAR (this is very handy). Browse the categories as you normally would when shopping online and add items to your basket. Keep in mind that the prices you see are a lot lower than what you would pay in SA but customs duties and shipping fees bring the price up again and may work out more expensive - do your research beforehand. Once you are done you can proceed to checkout. From checkout, you will be dealing with Borderfree which is Target's International Fulfillment Service, so if company information changes, don't be alarmed.

When proceeding to checkout you will get a breakdown of charges such as the items purchased, shipping fees as well as Duties and Taxes. "Customs duties are imposed by the Customs and Excise Act 91 of 1964. They are levied on imported goods with the aim of raising revenue and protecting the local market. They are usually calculated as a percentage of the value of the goods." - Source
Target Currently has a promo where you get $20 off international shipping on orders $100 or more**. You would be wise to use this as shipping can be a big bulk of the cost.

You have the option of rather paying the customs duties when your package arrives however I strongly advise against it as these fees can vary a lot and you may get a shock if you are expected to pay over a thousand rand duties on your package. There will also be a delay in getting your package to you as they will not deliver before all outstanding duties are paid. It will be a lot less stressful if you pay the duties to Borderfree upfront and if they stumble upon customs issues then that's their problem to sort out, not yours.

Submit your order and add your payment details. We did have some billing confusions where we though we were being charged double for the order but after a quick email and a prompt response, everything was clarified. Let me give you a heads up:
  • Just a reservation - you should get a notification from your bank to advise that the amount for your entire order has been reserved on your account (on your order confirmation email it will mention billing procedures in the fine-print). This is to ensure that the funds stay in your account whilst the order is being fulfilled.
  • Actual deduction - when they ship your packages (yes more than one - read along) you will receive another notification that Borderfree has taken funds from your account for each individual package sent out.  
Processing your order takes some time but still within a reasonable time frame (ours took about 6 days from when we initially placed our order). You will then get a shipping notification that your package is on its way to you, with the tracking number and what is in that specific package. We had a total of 9 items in our order however this was shipped in 5 different packages. I assume this is due to customs and your items will get cleared a lot faster if they are shipped separately according to product category and weight e.g. Electronics, clothing etc.

Once all your packages are shipped you can easily track their journey on DHL's website with the waybill number provided by Borderfree. We received our packages 3 days after they were shipped which is impressive. All our items were 100% intact and just as if we bought them in store. I would definitely use this service again in the future if there was something I really wanted and could get it cheaper by importing from Target. Or maybe I will treat myself to a large order once or twice a year especially for all the cute baby clothes!

Please let me know if you would like to see what I ordered and I will share the gorgeous goodies. Remember to follow me on Instagram and Twitter!

Xoxo
Claire

*This is not a sponsored post. I did not get any monetary incentive for writing this post. The order and products received were paid from our own pockets
**This promotion can end at anytime but is still valid at the time this post went live - February 2017.

Six months - Growing a human

Thank you for supporting my blog and reading up on my pregnancy. If you missed my last update, you can read it here. Baby and I (plus hubby) had a prenatal appointment this week which we passed with full marks. Her heart is beating perfectly, her organs have formed well and she is growing right on track. Here's my 25 week bump-update :)


How far along?
25 Weeks (6 months) 

Total weight gain/measurements
I am up another 1.9 kgs (4.1 lbs) since my last prenatal appointment 5 weeks ago. My doctor did comment that this was good. *phew*

Maternity clothes
Still dressing my ever-growing belly in bigger sizes. I do find that walking around the house in undies and a loose shirt is the most comfortable. This may change as the months get colder. Don't forget to read my tutorial on easy DIY maternity pants.

Stretch marks?
No stretch marks yet. I do feel my skin getting tighter so I have upped the lotion applications to twice a day (with Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula).

Sleep
Sleep has been great. I do find I need to have a nap in the afternoon on some days especially if I have back aches and pains.

Best moment this week
Getting to see little princess at our 25 week ultrasound. She is approximately 730 grams (1.6 lbs) and her feet measure 5 cm (1.9 inches) already! I think she will be tall like her dad!

Miss anything?
After seeing her, I really can't complain about missing anything. I am soaking up all the ups and downs of pregnancy this week, making sure to appreciate everything.

Movements
Yes. She is currently lying transverse (head on my left and butt on my right) kicking down at my bladder. She is very active at night before bedtime and if I am lying in a position she does not like, she will kick and let me know I need to move and re-adjust.

Food cravings
My appetite has gone down a bit this week but I am still enjoying juicy fruit.

Anything making you queasy or sick?
I did have terrible back pain which made me feel nauseous but it did not linger for too long.

Gender
Girl!

Labour signs
No.

Symptoms
Back pain still knocks me down every now and then. My doctor says that this is normal as the uterus gets bigger and the ligaments around the uterus stretch. The extra weight also affects your posture which I need to keep an eye on seeing as I sit at a desk most of the day. I have also started lactating (of some sorts). A clear fluid and only a drop every now and then when I lay down.

Belly button in or out?
In but getting shallower. Malcolm is horrified at this change.

Wedding rings on or off?
On :)

Happy or moody most of the time?
I am placid most of the time. I presume this is due to my energy level and the fact that I remind myself to take it easy.

Looking forward to
Planning the nursery's smaller details, picking our paint colours and getting her space ready. I will most likely do a video once everything is ready but for now here is a picture of her crib!

A photo posted by Claire (@mommyhowse) on
Remember to follow me on Instagram and visit my YouTube channel!

Xoxo
Claire

How to save money on baby clothes

We are preparing for the arrival of our first child and with that comes the lengthy lists of "products you cannot live without" and "top 10 must have items for your new baby". No wonder moms get so overwhelmed by all of this. If your hubby is the breadwinner in the household, it is even more stressful for him than you realize. He now has to support a new life and expenses on the same budget.  He will most likely nip your shopping sprees in the bud and that's why I wanted to share a simple tip on how to save money on baby clothes, seeing as moms tend to go overboard when we see all the cute outfits.

I won't be telling you to only buy essentials and stick to the basics in order to save money, because who are we kidding, that is simply not realistic and causes more stress in the end as we clearly look unprepared. So dearest mom-to-be, you are allowed to gush over the cute outfits and you can load more than just one item into your basket but here's the tip; only buy on clearance!

Instead of shopping less, shop smarter. Buy Summer clothing when your favorite stores' Winter stock comes in and they need to get rid of the old stuff. And Vice Versa, buy winter clothes when it starts warming up. Most stores will mark their items down to at least 50% off at clearance sales. You can easily gauge how big your baby will be in the months ahead so you can easily prepare by only shopping clearance sales.

For Example, our baby is due in Winter and right now all the Winter stock is trickling into my favourite stores but I am not buying those fluffy bear costumes yet because I have my eye on the Summer clothes that they are pulling off the shelves. Baby Girl will be 6 months in Summer so I can purchase Summer clothes, in 6-12 month sizes, as soon as they are hung in the clearance section. In the end you will most likely get that fluffy bear costume at your baby shower so win, win!

That's it!
This tip can save you quite a bit of money which you can then spend on other much needed items. One less worry for the mom-to-be.


Watch my most recent video where I share the items I have purchased, 90% of them I bought on clearance.

Xoxo
Claire