Friday, 20 January 2017

Finding meaning in the present

Welcome back lovelies, and a warm hello to new readers, 

This week life returned to normal routine, with meetings and school lunches, after school meals and so on... The sudden death of a 31 year old woman has rocked my consciousness this week, she was a wife, mother to two beautiful souls, daughter and friend. It brought my uncertain mortality into stark reality, forcing me to look at my own life and how I conduct myself daily.
My philosophy has always been to live each day to the fullest, love with abandon, give back to others, remain steadfast in my faith and practise gratitude. All of these 'platitudes' sound all good and wonderful, but it doesn't just happen by accident. One has to first make the choice to live a certain way, and put in the work to make it a reality. 
Living life to the fullest is an exceptional concept and is really rewarding, but I have to remember to not get too caught up in routine and unnecessary distractions which inevitably derails this attitude. Distractions occur all the time, in my life... the cell phone is a tempting distraction- social media, emails, text messages etc can literally 'waste away' my day. So I am acutely aware of not allowing this to happen, I am aware that when anyone speaks to me, the phone has to be out of my hands and face down (so the notifications don't draw my attention). 
The television needs to be off, so I can pay full attention to whomever I am interacting with. 
If cooking, I will put the stove off to listen to my son talk about what happened at school (and it is usually an innocuous story- but one he wants to share). 
While driving home from school, my kids know I listen to news and traffic reports, so I will not be listening to anything they say at that moment, and afterwards the radio needs to be muted to have a conversation.

Living life to the fullest also means we try to share in memories, to give our kids of ourselves more than we give them material things. It means participating actively in their lives, despite the teenage resistance. It even means knowing when to step back and them the space to just be. As far as possible we will try new things, see new places, meet new people, as each of these opens up our horizons and minds. 
This means being present in my life, finding meaning in hardships, always being aware of my surroundings and impact on others. It means knowing my own value, and valuing others, loving without reserve and accepting love in return. Having couple fights is normal and human, and heaven knows I am guilty, but the important thing I have to be always be mindful of is the concept of mutual respect we both believe in... and how we contract to work through a disagreement. While working on myself, I have found that our disagreements have become rare, and when they do happen it is more of a debate and discussion. And yet I strive to be present in these moments too, as they inevitably lead to a new found perspective. I have not found the recipe to rein in my egotistical tendencies, but I am constantly aware of it and how it affects interactions.

Bottom line: 
I am a work in progress, and I am aware of the impact of my thoughts, words and actions on those around me. So while I try to live my life fully, I pledge to do it with grace and consideration for others.

Todays #OOTD features a layered Summer look. I love the longer kimonos which work with anything, they can be thrown over a jeans and t-shirt (as seen below), over a slim/bodycon dress for an evening out and even over a swimsuit for a fashionable beach look.  
I paired a bohemian inspired kimono with a relaxed jeans and t-shirt, finished off with some nude wedges. The look was accessorised with a French Connection saddle bag I bought in London, Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses and tassle earrings.

Outfit details:

Zulululu kimono (shop Insta here)
Victoria Secret Dubai t-shirt 
Gap Jeans
French Connection bag (purchased abroad)
Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses from Sunglass Hut (4 seasons ago)
Lovisa earrings
ZARA wedges 
Woolworths scarf
Various bracelets (Tiffany & Co, Desray & gifts)

Caio for now, 
RuBe xoxo

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Friday, 13 January 2017

Hello 2017!

Welcome 2017! 

May this year bring lots of joy, prosperity and love. 
After a phenomenal vacation in frosty Paris and London, I returned exhausted from all the sightseeing, shopping, mommy duties and tour manager responsibilities. While the experience was one we will cherish forever, reliving the memories often, it is great to be home and resume 'normal' life.
I spent a lot of time with my family this holiday, an international trip forced us into close proximity for two weeks. The boys shared a hotel room for 2 weeks, we ate every single meal together, prayed together everyday, shopped, shared in experiences which weren't necessarily our own choices and made the most precious memories. 
I will do a post soon on my trip, so keep an eye on the blog 😊

I don't usually do new year resolutions, as I make any changes during and after our month of fasting, so for me it's like a continuation of life after a break. There are no grand declarations of what I would like to change for 2017, and instead I will continue on my path to be a better version of me, a better wife, parent, sister, child and friend. I have found a change in the relationships within my family unit after this vacation, travelling together really improved the family dynamic. And the timing was perfect, just as my first born sets off to university, my youngest steps into the senior role at primary school and my second born, whom I've noticed, is maturing into a compassionate, responsible young man.

I am hopeful though that the new school year brings them happiness, success and the opportunities to learn in more than just academics. I am hopeful to continue being of service to others, inspire where I can, and continue on my constant journey to seek knowledge and improve in every aspect. I am mindful that I will make mistakes along the way, and will experience downs along with the ups, but I'll be prepared to learn whatever lessons I am meant to learn. My journey will consist of lots of introspection, as this is the best way to be of service, to be a better person and take in the daily blessings which cross my path each day. It is imperative for me to remember to cherish those close to me, to let them feel loved and appreciated. 

I forsee another busy year ahead, with challenges as always; but I am prepared for whatever comes my way without expectations. 

“We can't be afraid of change. You may feel very secure in the pond that you are in, but if you never venture out of it, you will never know that there is such a thing as an ocean, a sea. Holding onto something that is good for you now, may be the very reason why you don't have something better.”
C. JoyBell C.

My first lookpost of 2017 is a relaxed one, worn to spend an afternoon at a beach cafe, indicative of my view for the year ahead.  A pretty ruffle dress purchased on the Asos Black Friday Sale, so it was a good deal and the perfect colour I had been searching for. I paired it with embellished Dune flat sandals (also a sale purchase) and my newly acquired Louis Vuitton neverfull (which hubby and I queued for patiently at their Paris store) and an essential sunhat.

Aside from the splurge on the bag, every single piece in this ensemble was a sale buy, from a recent Black Friday to sales dating 3 years back. All good quality classics.

Outfit details:

Asos dress (purchase here)
Accessorise hat
Dune sandals
Ralph Lauren sunglasses from Sunglass Hut -Bali (purchase similar here)
Gifted wooden bead necklace
Louis Vuitton handbag
American Swiss earcuffs
Tiffany & Co bracelets

Caio for now, 
RuBe xoxo

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Monday, 19 December 2016

Ending 2016

Happy holidays lovelies!

Even if you're not on leave, or leaving town, the holiday fever has descended. With long weekends, sweltering hot days, Christmas carols blaring in shopping malls and insane traffic. The festive cheer (and crazy throngs of tourists) have arrived to remind you that the year is almost over. 

I always reflect on the year, what I've achieved, how much I have grown and what I have given back. For me growth is a constant, and I cannot thrive when I'm stagnant, it is in my DNA to be in constant reflection, introspection and learning - resulting in personal progress.

Last week was my 21st anniversary, and every year we sit back and  contemplate our life together. We take a little bit of time away from the kids, even if it is for an hour or a few, just to connect on this special day, which invariably sparked a change our lives and set us on a certain path. We celebrate the day, for the significance it played in our individual growth, for the precious blessings in the form of our kids, for the trials from which we have grown stronger, together; and for the joyous moments which we experienced together. 

I would not have survived 2016 without the guidance, support and unconditional love bestowed by my husband, my rock, my constant companion and partner in crime. During this year I had to confront many demons, I had to excavate inner parts of myself which were not always pretty- and yet he was still my constant companion. Whether he was quietly assisting from the sidelines, or cheering me in his spirited manner, he was by my side; always supported by my army of angels, my boys. This year has been a great journey for all of us, there have been traumas, losses, sadness and there have also been special gifts, precious moments, tough challenges and immense growth for each of us in this nuclear family. This year has brought an expansiveness into our home in a way that nurtures every individual in the space. 

In the spirit of the phenomenal transformation this year has brought, we've decided to embark on a phenomenal vacation to celebrate. Whilst I will miss my Wilderness break, I will soak up the European experience with my kids. I will revel in seeing their reactions to some of my favourite spots in the world. I will bask in the special memories we'll create for a lifetime, and return for another year of  trying to be the best version of me.

This is for you, my constant companion:

I could not envision a day without your presence, 
I would not want to experience a day without your smile,
And I hope to always bring sunshine into our space. 
You have gifted me a special place in your heart, 
A lodging I have taken up and I pray have made jubilant. 
I have planted seeds of joy in the space you inhabit in mine.
For joy is a constantly evolving state, 
It blossoms at times, 
It sheds at times, 
And requires work to ensure it stays.

Our army we have raised is more than a blessing,
They're versions of us we send into the world.
And I know, 
If they absorb just a fraction of who we are, 
They will walk with love and compassion for always. 
They will strive to be better, 
Yet know they are always enough...
Always treasured, always loved,
Always supported.
Just like our bond.

Happy 21st!!💝💝💝💝

Today's look features a sequin pants with a Human Image tropical parka to dress it down for a light glam look. Perfect for a night out at the theatre or dinner date. It perfectly represents 2016, filled with so many areas of growth (like a rapidly sprouting tropical forest) and some really amazing achievements (the sparkling moments).

Have a great Festive Season, and see you all in 2017!

Outift details:

Human Image tropical lightweight parka (website launching soon)
H&M t-shirt and sequin pants
Country Road Scarf
Studio W sandals from Woolworths (shop similar here)
Lovisa neckpiece
Mango quilted slingbag
Earrings purchased abroad

Caio for now, 
RuBe xoxo

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