Saturday, 3 November 2018

Tapping out when life gets too hectic

Welcome back lovelies!

I did't get around to finalise my post last week, with work and my Summer Soirée event looming, I was seriously functioning in overdrive. Apart from work and event things, school obligations and music concerts peppered my diary. My middle son started his matric finals, my eldest started preparing for university finals and my youngest was his usual busy self! I have literally emerged from weeks of working 24/7, 7 days a week, which was catch up after my stint of looking after my nephews. 

And what becomes very clear is that when I am in this overdrive mode, my home reflects the same busy energy and the boys are all over the place.

So after my event this weekend, I felt like my tank was depleted, and I made a conscious decision to have an 'easy' week. So I chose to tend to my admin work, seeing to the boys who were studying this week, and ensuring the availability of food and snacks. I took time to go the salon, visit a few sick patients and had a lunch date with my eldest, after weeks of having no space in my diary, I did a long overdue Home Affairs visit, a breakfast date with hubby and really just recouped my energies. I went in store to restock my face products, as opposed to buying all my supplies online and started to feel more grounded, I even managed to attend an unplanned lecture on the last minute. Just by performing mundane errands, I started feeling like my old self again, energies restored and ready to get back at it. It's important for me to constantly be aware of an empty tank, as the consequences of this affects more than just me and I could see a settling down in my home once I was feeling restored. 

My home is an ecosystem, and one little thing affects every single member in my home. It may not even be conscious, but every nuance is felt, every moment of tension is sensed and in turn affects the behaviour and feelings of those in the ecosystem. This is why it is imperative for every single member of my family to be able to take their time out when necessary; we get it, we respect it and actually all benefit from it. It is understood that everyone needs different things to feel whole and engaged in the world, and that is ok.

We are currently in the midst of exam stress, and our home goes into quiet mode while having a muted bustling energy. Each of my kids also know that I advocate breaks and down time in between studying to keep them balanced, it's all about knowing when to recover the energies. It's the same concept as me having to take a time out when I felt that I was not able to function at optimal capacity and that my energy was running low. Letting the kids see that it is necessary, even for adults, to recharge and take care of themselves is a valuable life lesson. It's not something I was ever taught, and had to suffer burnout to realise the importance of self care. In today's world, kids are so busy, with jam-packed schedules, that there is very little opportunity for them to be carefree. Anxiety disorders and depression is a common reality which creeps into their lives and becomes chronic conditions they need to manage into adulthood. So it's critical to remember that self care is an important concept for young and old alike. And providing the space for that in the home is the start of teaching them this, as well as modelling this in our own lives.

This lookpost is a carefree, summery one, put together from my past season's pieces. The sneakers are new, gifted to me (because it's no secret that I'm a sneaker junkie!). It's a representation to not take ourselves too seriously, to tap out when we feel like life is too overwhelmingly busy and to prioritise self care. The old saying rings true: 'that you cannot pour from an empty cup'.
Take your time out when life gets too crazy, it's as important for those you nurture as it is for you ✨

Outfit details:
Shop, Style & Snap Kimono
A Sense of Style Skirt
Forever New Lace t-shirt
Old Scarf
Adidas Sneakers
French Connection bag
Opulence sunglasses

Ciao for now, 
RuBe xoxo

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Monday, 29 October 2018

Flying with Children

Hey lovelies!

Holidays are looming on the horizon and it's time we start planning our year end vacation. You may have already planned your trip, chosen your accommodation and even booked your flights, but there’s so much more to travelling with the entire family than just the logistics! 
I love travelling and seeing new places, and it is so rewarding seeing new places through the eyes of my kids, broadening their horizons and enriching their minds. The only trouble I have with travelling is usually the flight; I do not enjoy long haul flights. I cannot sleep, I struggle to remain still for an extended period of time and cannot watch a screen for too long.

Now that they're older, flying is much easier!

Headphones are a travel essential for young travellers

My kids on the other hand love flying! It is one of the aspects of our vacations which they really look forward to. With our first trip, our baby was still quite young, and my concern was to keep him still for a 9 hour flight. These are a few things which helped me make the flight more bearable for him (and me!): 

  1. When travelling abroad, ensure your documents are in order. For kids under 18 you’ll need their unabridged birth certificate, an affidavit if one parent is not travelling with you; and try to keep an official document handy with your maiden surname if your passport reflects your married surname. I was held at Heathrow because I didn’t have any document which reflected my maiden surname (I’m not entirely sure why though). 
  2. Leading up to your journey, talk to your child about how amazing the vacation will be. I included the kids in deciding which tourist activity or sights they wanted to see at our holiday destination - so we put together our own itinerary. I let them google the destination and find what they felt they’d enjoy, this heightened their anticipation and made the flight bearable for them. Because at the end of the long flight there awaited an adventure for them! 
  3. Let them decide what their favourite quiet activities are, and plan their in-flight activities together. I purchased travel boardgames which they chose. A few other activities we planned was how much screen time they’d be allowed (ie games on the iPad- ensure all electronic devices are fully charged), some movie time, and my youngest loves the Where’s Wally books which kept him occupied for a while. 
  4. Take along their favourite soft toy and, if possible, their own small pillow. My youngest loves his own pillow, so he has a special travel pillow, which we use for road trips, and whenever we’re away. It goes a long way to calming any anxiety they may have during the flight, which becomes really restrictive. 
  5. Some kids are really fussy with food, and airplane food may not be appetising for them. So pack in some of their favourite snacks which will come in handy if they refuse to eat the kiddie box one gets on the flight. 
  6. I prefer to fly during the night as they would sleep for a large portion of the flight, try to wind them down on the flight as their usual bedtime approaches. I would try to read his favourite bedtime story, get him comfortable (sometimes this means laying across the parents laps) and try the usual bedtime routine. ie the story, prayer time and the usual rituals. 

What really works for me is preparing them before the time, and really getting them involved in planning for the trip as well as the flight. This creates a sense of anticipation which I will remind them of as they start to get restless on the flight. I’ll show them the places we would be visiting once we land at our destination (saved offline on the iPad). Flying with kids may be trying and exhausting and can leave one feeling frazzled- but always remember that the young ones do not necessarily know how to manage the frustration of being cooped up for so long, or what to do for the earaches. So it is imperative to avoid getting annoyed and impatient with them in the hopes of having a relatively fuss-free flight. 

So for those of you flying this vacation, have a safe journey and enjoy the precious family time! ♥️

Ciao for now,
RuBe xoxo
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Friday, 12 October 2018

Another phase ended ...

Hi lovely readers, 

Shew! This week has been a rollercoaster, the most notable event was standing at my sons Valedictory ceremony, recording the entire matric class's rendition of 'End of the Road'. Firstly this song was released when I was still at high school, so it brought back my own school memories; of my youth; and in stark contrast, here were these young kids animatedly singing their hearts out to this song. And secondly, it was such touching scene seeing them perform their last unified act as Matric 2018.

In that moment, the reality hit me, that I now have another young adult on my hands, and even though I've been through it before, it landed like a ton of bricks. I witnessed the end of his childhood years in that ceremony, as they put twelve years of schooling behind them, banking those memories and experiences which have shaped them into the young people I see today. I listened as the speeches covered memories from the beginning of high school, significant moments which are etched in their very beings; thanks was given to peers, teachers, parents and grandparents. As they talked, all my memories of my second born, Ameer, filled my head. From his first day at grade R (and some of his current classmates have been around since then) to his grade 7 farewell, the highs and lows and how much he has flourished during this year.

As a parent, this year has brought many challenges, navigating the parenting landscape with a 20 year old and an 18 year old, has resulted in countless sleepless nights. I have had to embrace the reality that these young men have developed into strong, capable and headstrong individuals. I am thankful that they still seek our advice, that they heed our guidance and I can only hope that the foundation we set will steer them on their way in life. Today, I stood there and absorbed enormity of having another son entering a phase which leads to adulthood. And leaving behind the carefree days of a carefully designed learning environment, detentions, leadership camps and drama productions. My heart skips a beat as I realise this means that childhood has officially been shelved in favour of adult choices, career options and less structured learning environments. I realise this past year has partially prepared me for this young man and his journey into the world. And it is vastly different to the first time I experienced matric with my first born. Our children are individuals and therefore cannot be painted with the same brush, nor can we have the same expectations upon them or expect them to deal with things in the same way.

I have always been conscious of each of my sons personalities, their likes and dislikes and the way they orient themselves; and as such I am 'prepared' to handle each of them differently. Each one is unique, with their own respective love language, which I aim to 'speak' in the hopes of supporting them developing into whole human beings. This was something the principal mentioned in his address today, that they can only hope to have contributed to whole individuals leaving the school. Being whole means so many things, although ultimately for me, it means that these young people know themselves intimately. That they understand, and can embrace themselves entirely: weaknesses, strengths and what triggers they travel the world with. 

Today, I am sitting with all the emotions, happiness, nostalgia, love, joy and pride. 
Happiness: for my son who has arrived at this long-awaited moment 
Love: for the Divine gift  bestowed upon us in Ameer
Joy: for all the moments of pure delight he brings into our lives
Pride: for the young man he has developed into

The principal ended his address with this Gaelic blessing, which spoke to me and spurred the tears streaming down my cheeks:

"May the road rise up to meet you.

May the wind be always at your back. 
May the sun shine warm upon your face; 
the rains fall soft upon your fields 
and until we meet again, 
may God hold you in the palm of His hand."

Today's look features a bold Opulence silk embroidered pashmina, for those days when you're not sure of the weather. Paired with a wide legged pants, crisp white shirt, raw silk scarf and finished off with a pastel pink leather bucket bag and gifted leather sandals. A preppy look for the office, ladies brunch or lunch date.



Outfit details:
Opulence pashmina & bag
Old Raw Silk Scarf
Striped pants (old)
White shirt (old)
Mimco heels (gifted)
Earrings (old)

Ciao for now, 
RuBe xoxo

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Friday, 28 September 2018

What does it mean to be 'authentic'?

Welcome back lovelies!

The end of the year is rushing towards us, and again I am completely swamped with life and everything around me! And as usual, in my manic times I still have to take some time out for reflection, to give thanks and introspect. The thought that has been bouncing around in my head has been ... 'What does it mean to be authentic?'. The recent buzz word has been all over the place, this is my take on it...

The one thing I strive for is to be the best version of myself I can be, in reverence to my Creator, to honour the Divine in my life and serving in the path of my purpose. My intention is to be open to whatever has been decreed and for me to accept it with Grace. So each day, it is with the consciousness that the only way to serve my Creator is to be authentic, to be true to how I was created, to embrace my weaknesses and accept my strengths. For me, being authentic means not being concerned about others' opinions of me, it means living my Hajj every day and not getting caught up in unnecessary drama. We are so accustomed to drama, and inauthenticity that we do not even blink when confronted with it. Authenticity means being the same person in every space, in every interaction and knowing full well that there is no other way you can be. It means knowing my orientation to the world, my  tendencies to get caught up in this world and how to bring myself back in line. It means taking off the masks we journey with each day.

I believe that for me to be authentic, is to accept that I am human, predisposed to making mistakes and having to learn from them. I cannot believe that I am infallible, or always right, and need to constantly check myself and my intentions. Being authentic brings me peace in most of my interactions, it does not mean there will not be confrontations, or disagreements; but it does mean I'll deal with it in a way which will please my Creator. This is my benchmark for authenticity, if my actions will please the Almighty then I'm on the right track. My quest for authenticity does not entail pleasing other people or going against my own values and beliefs. It does not change from day to day, it is a constant way of living my life, being the same each day, taking responsibility for myself and my actions.

In the same way when I engage with others, I accept that they too navigate the world from their own perspective. I understand that like me, they too have been created a certain way, and that they are on their own path to their purpose. So there's no room for judgement of others, or for dictating how others should live. Instead the biggest realisation is that I am a role model, setting the stage for how my children journey through the world. My only hope is that they receive the message and take it forward... That this ☝🏼is what authenticity is.

This does not make me any more enlightened than anyone else, as I am on my own eternal journey of building scaffolding within myself. It is a continuous road I walk, with my loved ones as cheer leaders (and sometimes first aiders), being very aware that being 'authentic' is nothing more than just being comfortable to be yourself. Just being able to show up as you are, sometimes with bells and whistles, sometimes without and always with flaws- and being ok with it. Knowing without a doubt that I work as a package 😊

In today's lookpost I pair a sequin pants, with a casual top and silk bomber, paired with sparkly sneakers. This is a perfect representation of me, sparkly, imperfect, unconventional, seemingly uncomplimentary, and yet it all works when looked at holistically.




Outfit details:

Sequin pants (old)
Superbalist top
Huemine Image silk bomber (old) 
Adidas Stan Smith sneakers (purchased abroad)
Forever New pearl embellised bag
Giorgio Arman Sunglasses (Old)
Make a Statement earrings

Ciao for now,
RuBe xoxo

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