Friday, 8 March 2019

Parenting One Day at a Time

Welcome readers,

The biggest role I fulfil is that of being a mother, I feel the significance of the Divine responsibility of being blessed with raising tiny humans upon me. Parenting is a responsibility that I do not take lightly and work at everyday. It means being the best I can be in my own world and being mindful of my Creator; setting an example for my boys, of how to manage themselves in the world; and through difficult situations.

Parenting is an ongoing journey, whether they're infants, toddlers, teenagers or adults. They will always be an extension of me walking around on this earth, like little pieces of my heart in different places. This means that as much as I have a responsibility to take care of myself, I have a responsibility to take care of those external parts of my heart. I am clear however, that they're young adults on the cusp of their own independent lives, and I therefore need to respect them enough to work at our relationship so that they would want me as a part of their lives. Right now everything is managed on their busy schedules, giving me a small glimpse of what life will be like when they've moved into their own spaces.

For now, managing young adults in the home is a continuous learning arena, each day brings new lessons, new perceptions and new ways of doing things. The moment I feel like I'm on the right path, I get a figurative kick in the head, reminding me that I'm not in control of this journey. Just like with life really, things don't always go as planned. And the only way I know to cope with any unforeseen hurdles, is to appeal and pray to my Creator for guidance. I am very aware that I do not have all the answers, and do not want to take on the burden of walking through life pretending I have all the answers. Frank discussions with my kids (i.e. my young men) where I am open about my shortcomings is key, and sharing my confusion or uncertainty around the next step in a solution. Often when I find myself at a loss for answers, I ask them for advice, a solution or way forward, and even what their recommended course of action would be. Sometimes they amaze me with their wisdom, and other times we just take it one day at a time.

Maintaining trust and living truthfully is a big concept in our home, and we understand that it has to go both ways. I cannot expect anything from them if I am not prepared to give it in return. After all, any relationship is a two way street, and means taking ownership on both sides of the relationship. Trust is a crucial component of any relationship; and when one looks at the parent-child engagement as a relationship, with the same building blocks, it brings trust and respect into the space. No feeling of kinship can be forced by some conditioned doctrine, it needs to be built on the fundamentals of a healthy relationship, regardless of the obligatory familial tie. I do not believe that I am entitled to be a part of their adult lives by virtue of the fact of who I am. On the contrary, I know full well that I need to firstly honour them, in order for them to honour me as a parent, trust them with truth so that they do the same; and at the core, treat them with dignity as human beings. For me this is what raising children is about, treating these parts of me as I would want to be treated, and being mindful that they are humans, with their own respective orientation in this world. It means being safe enough for them to own all the parts (the 'good' and 'not so good' parts) of themselves around me, without fear of judgement or fear of being admonished.

Furthermore, I have had to become accustomed to the fact that as adults, I am not privy to every single thing happening in their lives. I have to trust that they live their lives based on the principles I have instilled, taught and model. They are accountable for themselves, and fully understand consequences of their actions and behaviours. This is one of the hardest things to embrace, that these not-so-little young men do not need me to do much anymore. I miss those days where Mum was pivotal in their lives without it being an option, now Mum is a choice they make. My tendency towards separation anxiety kicks in when I think of it, and I know it's something I need to manage, and not burden them with.

There are many aspects to parenting adults which I am still grappling and coming to terms with. One of the biggest is that they need to make their own life decisions, and that it is not my place to protect them from whatever I may perceive will be hurtful. Their paths have been decreed, and my role is to support them from the sidelines, provide a safe haven when they need it or a healing balm to soothe their souls. It is essential that they always know that I will be around, arms wide open, for as long as they need me to be. Letting go of the apron strings and cutting the proverbial 'umbilical cord' is essential to empower them to live their lives without me placing any burdens or expectations on them. The only thing I hold onto is the premise that our relationship is built on a solid foundation, and will be able to withstand the inevitable storms which life will present.

I am currently in the training phase of weathering these storms in a parent-child relationship with  young adults.
Learning as I go along...

A thought for fellow parents to ponder:

“You can choose to disrespect me but I will not give you permission to hurt my spirit.”

― Lailah Gifty Akita 

My outfit today features a raw silk coat from Opulence, which I've styled before in a more formal way. Today I've styled it casually, paired with denims and one of my favourite classic heels.








  



  




Outfit details: 

Opulence Silk Coat
Woolworths jeans
Old Lace up heels
Mimco bag
Opulence silk scarf
Hse of Bespoke tassel earrings
Vogue sunglasses (Old)

Ciao for now, 
RuBe xoxo




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Friday, 1 March 2019

My Vampire Facial Experience

Hi lovely readers, 

For those of you who have been following my skin journey with Dr Asmal at Rondebosch Aesthetics will know that I have seen an amazing improvement in the past year. Not only has she gradually introduced aesthetic treatments into my relatively simple skin routine. I used to have extremely sensitive skin, prone to redness, burning and dry patches whenever I introduced a new skincare product or facial. Since I have started my aesthetic skincare regime with Rondebosch Aesthetics, my skin has not had one inflamed reaction or reacted badly to any treatment.

We started my skin off with the non invasive, perfect for all skin types, On The Glow Peel, and gradually worked our way up to the Vampire Facial, which I had two weeks ago. Initially I was quite anxious, from what I could remember, the vampire facial looked painful and elicited a lot of bleeding! Dr Asmal very clearly explained the difference between the Vampire Facial and the Vampire Facelift. So my treatment was the Vampire Facial, whereas the Vampire Facelift involves injecting the PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) directly to the face. The Vampire Facial uses a micro needling device, in my case the Dermapen was used to work the PRP into the skin.

I arrived at the salon with my face and neck covered in Lidocaine, to numb the areas which would be treated. So once my skin had numbed completely, about an hour after applying the thick, gloopy Lidocaine, I was ready for my treatment. 
Here goes:

  1. Dr Asmal drew a vial of blood which would be used to extract the PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) to be infused into the skin. Platelet rich plasma is a component of your own blood, which contains platelets including stem cells and growth factors.
  2. The vial of blood is placed into a machine called the Centrifuge and then spun around for a few minutes.
  3. While this is happening, Nicola then prepared my face for the Dermapen treatment. She removed the Lidocaine and cleansed ready for the PRP to be administered.
  4. The PRP separates from the blood and forms a gold serum which is then drawn into a syringe and applied to the face.
  5. The Dermapen is then used to infuse the PRP into skin.
  6. My skin doesn't go red or inflamed easily, so Nicola had to go pretty deep to get the red result, and inflammation (which causes the blood to rush to the surface and for the natural healing to take place). This also prompts the collagen generation, resulting in smoother, plumper skin.
  7. My skin didn't bleed , just went red, and it wasn't painful at ALL! I just felt a bit sunburnt
  8. Since I had to attend an event just after, I asked Nicola to camouflage the redness so that I would look semi-normal on photos. She then applied a healing foundation with SPF and I was good to go.
The PRP from your own blood is used to promote good skin. It helps the skin function optimally m increasing everything from collagen to elastin production. This treatment helps with premature ageing, wrinkling and sun damage. 

I experienced no side effects, and by day two the redness had subsided substantially. The fact that my skin doesn't go red easily means it's not as sensitive as it was a year ago, and therefore quite capable of managing the inflammation. 

Two weeks later my skin is literally glowing, and looking plumper and healthier. In order to see long lasting effects, I would recommend more than one PRP treatment, even though you'd definitely be able to see results after the first treatment.

Some aftercare tips:

  1. I usually don't apply anything to my skin after the treatment for at least 5 hours, especially no makeup. I use a very gentle cleanser (one recommended by Dr Asmal) at night before going to bed.
  2. No alcohol toner for at least a week after treatment.
  3. Use a healing balm or post tretament balm on your face, it will soothe the irritation, tingling and help speed up the healing. It also helps makeup application, especially if you experience flaking.
  4. Use a good, high SPF face sunblock on your face and don't forget the neck area (and decollete if you expose this area to the sun).
  5. When your skin starts to flake, don't pick or peel it off, you may cause pigmentation. Apply the balm to help smoothen the skin.
  6. Do not exfoliate your skin for at least two weeks after treatment.

Get in touch with Rondebosch Aesthetics (0216879400, chat to Brenda), for your skin consult before trying out this cutting edge treatment. Drop me messages, I'd love to hear your stories if you've embarked on a journey to looking after your skin.



After the treatment, you can see how red  my neck area is, and my skin appears a bit rough
The blood after its' been through the Centrifuge

Enroute to my appointment, I keep the Lidocaine at home and apply an hour before my treatment 
For reference, this pic was taken about an hour or so after my facial, at least my skin doesn't look
too red! 
A few days after the treatment, no filter, no make up and only tinted sunblock and moisturiser
 Check out the short video on my Vampire Facial, with commentary and explanations from Dr Asmal and Nicola.





Ciao for now, 

RuBe xoxo 






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Friday, 22 February 2019

Al Aqsa Part II


Welcome back lovelies,

I have kept you hanging long enough for part II of my Al Aqsa trip, but life was really busy and the blog took a back seat while I re-centered my groove for 2019. I have been working on this instalment for a while, and just writing about it is a wonderful trip down memory lane indeed! It brings back all the exceptional moments, the unforgettable places we visited, and accessing the vast treasuries of history.
I had arrived in the Land of the Ambiyah, Algamdulilah! ♥️

After sharing a double bed with our youngest (due to our accommodation bungle), we were up early for morning prayers at Masjidul Aqsa (PS: There was some confusion about whether there was Tahajjud salaah or not; I can confirm that they do open the mosque for Tahajjud). I was so excited, and the downpour and freezing temperatures could do nothing to dim my mood. I was in a city I had literally been yearning to visit for the longest time (and my intention had always been to perform my Hajj first- so it was a long wait), and I was ready for whatever lay ahead. So we bundled up against the cold in fur lined jackets, thick socks and set off into the rain. Our hotel was a few minutes outside Herod's Gate, and since we arrived in the dark, we kind of found our way to the Old City. Luckily we could see the walls of the Old City so we at least knew in which direction to walk, and from there we followed the signage to the mosque.

Even though it was raining, I was immersed in my surroundings from the moment I entered the gates of the Old City.  As we walked along the cobble stoned streets, surrounded by centuries old buildings which housed the locals, as the Muazzin's call reverberated through the city. I felt as if I had stepped back in time, and was present alongside all our Ambiyah who had walked these very streets enroute to the very same masjied. Subghaanallah! I cannot even begin to describe the emotions that coursed through me at that point. To say that I felt privileged would be a huge understatement, I felt honoured and awe struck to be in a place which had formed a fundamental part of my Islamic history lessons, the very scene of those stories of the prophets I grew up reading about and listening to. After many turns, we eventually arrived at a military checkpoint, where we were stopped, and Ghaalid was asked to recite Surah Al-Fatiha, to confirm he's Muslim. This was at the gate entering the Al Aqsa compound, I must admit I was very nervous as this was our first encounter with the military police in the Old City. They looked at me and wanted to know if I was Muslim, several times, and hubby confirmed that I'm his wife and Muslim. That was the extent of our 'interrogation' and we proceeded to enter the sacred grounds of Al Aqsa. 


At this point my heart was pounding in a mixture of nerves and anticipation, and we followed the lone bodies walking towards the sound of the Athaan. As we ascended the steps, the gold dome of Qubbat al-Sakhrah (Dome of the Rock) reared up in all it's majesty. I was videoing this walk on my phone, just so I could capture the moment I first laid eyes on this revered mosque. It was drizzling, frosty cold and I couldn't take my eyes off this beautiful sight, when we then noticed was bolted shut. So we continued past, descended another set of stairs, where we first saw Masjid Al Aqsa. I entered through the women' entrance, a door which is right next to the mens entrance. At the back of the masjied is small section cordoned off with screens for the women's salaah section. I found it intriguing to see female elders of the mosque all seated at the back, directing the formation of safs (prayer lines in a mosque) and reciting Quran. For me, it represented the closeness of this community, where they congregate at the mosque for prayer times, catch up on chats, have some snacks and worship together. It was the most spectacular experience just to be in the mosque, and whilst the interior is beautiful, and it is not as gilded as Makkah or Madinah harams, but it radiates a warmth and tangible spiritual energy which is soul-stirring.

By the time we returned back to the hotel room, we were soaked through! My socks and sneakers were wet, and I couldn't feel my feet, so our priority was to get dry and warm. Our hotel was a smaller locally owned hotel, which was really close to the Old City, just outside the walls. After a traditional breakfast, (their buffet is geared towards local foods, so the meze platter essentials are always on offer, scrambled eggs, cereal and limited fruit) we met our tour guide in the foyer for a full day of sight seeing. With all the sights we visited on our first day, I will need to share it in more than one post. 

Some important comments and tips:

  1. Since we were without a representative from our travel agency, we had to try and resolve the accommodation mix up on our own. We had tried booking another room, but the hotel was full- it was not only umrah season but also Christmas. December is peak time especially since all three Abrahamic faiths have their origins in Jerusalem, therefore a few days before Christmas was the wrong time to have issues with accommodation. 
  2. We were a bit lost on how the day had been planned as we had been joined with a group from another agent, so we had to locate their representative and find out what our programme for the day was. Again without a representative the communication on these kinds of things is poor.
  3. Furthermore, we appealed to the caretaker agent to try and assist with sorting out accommodation for my son, while our own agent tried to fix it from SA.
  4. I cannot stress the importance of having a representative from your agent along, someone who knows what your bookings requirements were. We were also quite comfortable to make our way to the mosque without assistance on the first morning. This may not be the case for everyone, and for those who do not travel often, or are travelling for the first time (and in occupied territory as well) it can be extremely intimidating to navigate their own way around. These travellers may appreciate assistance with getting to the mosque for the first time, or having someone with them when confronted with military police.
  5. All in all, the challenges we faced were only related to not having our own travel agent present, however, I chose to deal with our accommodation issues after we had completed our tour that day. It would have been pointless to let that ruin a long-awaited and costly trip. So I took in the entire experience with every single fibre of my being, leaving any issues I was experiencing to be dealt with later.
Before I had visited Palestine, I did not fully comprehend how much this visit would impact me. This city, particularly this sacred mosque has found a space in my heart, where it will forever be lodged. I am forever transformed by this captivating city. 

Abu Dharr (RA) reported that he asked the Prophet (SAW), “O Messenger of Allah, which Masjid was built first on earth”? The Prophet (SAW) replied, “The Sacred Masjid of Makkah”. Abu Dharr (RA) again asked, “Which was next”? The Prophet (SAW) said, “Masjid Al-Aqsa”. Abu Dharr (RA) further asked, “How long was the period between the building of the two Masjids”? The Prophet (SAW) said, “Forty years”. Apart from these, offer your prayer anywhere when it is time to pray, although excellence is in praying in these Masjids”.
[Bukhari]

The rest of the day was spent visiting phenomenal historical sites, which will be featured in the next instalment.

Video of our first few moments in the Old City


The cobble stoned streets, my first sight of the Old City

Walking through military checkpoint, following the few lone souls towards  Al Aqsa

The first proper sight of the Dome of the Rock, still bolted shut for Fajr

Breakfast essentials at the Holy Land Hotel

The first sight of Al Aqsa Mosque
Ciao for now, 

RuBe xoxo



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Friday, 15 February 2019

Making my Circle Smaller


Hi lovelies, 

My first lookpost of 2019! Wow I cannot believe that January has already passed and we're already into week 2 of February! I feel as if I have been working for months already. Someone sent a meme in one of our watsapp groups which read "January was a tough year but we made it"🤭 It was so appropriate! Was your January so hectic as well?

Since my return from my travels, I have literally had my head down, in serious work mode. There have been occasional down times, but shew it's not only been busy, it's been rough! Despite this, I am, as always, thankful for lessons I've learnt through trials and continue to have faith that I am exactly where I am meant to be, doing exactly what I am meant to be doing. Faith is my only anchor to hold onto when I find myself flung from side to side along this road of life. And through it all I have a select few who stop along their own path, check that I'm ok and help me out if needed, before continuing on their own path. Four of them live in my home, others are scattered, some are even on a different continent. And yet, they are not too caught up in drama to stop, check in and then move along on their own journey.

It's a sobering realisation when you're man down, and cannot do much, not even cook for your family, when you see who steps into your space to help out. I've always known who these special people are, who are quietly in my corner, through the good times and the bad times. I've heard many people talk about how small their circles become when they decide to take care of themselves first, and no longer allow themselves to be mistreated. I get it, 100%. It seems as if self care is not allowed, a frivolous luxury even, and yet it is essential for connection. Connection being a genuine relationship with another, without the expectation of anything in return.

Apart from being sobering, the culling of my circle has been a difficult one, but also a liberating one. It's liberating to know that I don't have to be on my guard in conversations, for fear of saying the wrong thing, or that I need to show up in a particular way to please someone else. In my circles, I am accepted wholeheartedly, for speaking the truth, and being authentically me. I have had to hone the skill of knowing when there is no place for my authentic self in a situation; these are the times I have to walk away, without the need to justify me. In order to be true to myself, take care of myself, and honour my Creator, I cannot deny who I am. I cannot deny what my purpose is, or the truth, no matter how painful it may be. The hardest lesson of introspection is learning about what's happening within, it means being at peace with how I was constructed by the Almighty. I cannot take on anybody else's opinion on that, or let it influence me in my interactions in the world.

So I am navigating my way with a smaller circle, of people who matter, and to whom I matter. Ultimately this is important to me, for those who matter to me, make the effort to show up authentically and tell me the truth even when its ugly. And that too is ok, at the end of the day, it's hard to dispute true facts. And yet, in today's society it becomes a play on words to make the ugly truth seem more acceptable. Hiding from the truth, or pretending that something hasn't happened has become a skill we're modelling for our kids. I refuse to stand by and play a part in this. I have young men who look to me as a guide on how to to traverse the tough terrain of society, and I would want them to see that truth, and authenticity is the only way to do it . Furthermore, I am also fully conscious of the fact that whilst I do my best, I am still learning; and saying this to my kids is such an open authentic way,  means that it has taken away a lot of the stress of parenting (not all though!). So any wise words on parenting (at this point it's more like guiding since they're young adults) is always welcome :-D

The outfit in this look has been in my wardrobe since September I think, and I just didn't have the time to open the packaging, steam and wear. I was a bit intense with work, so I missed a quite a bit late last year. I'm now catching up, with a view to plan some me time. This floral ensemble reminds me of happy tropical holidays, and just brightens up the day.

 



















Outfit: 
Floral Suit from What Ladies Luv
Witchery heels
Country Road Belt
Accessorise bag
Zulululu earrings
Kashka Scarf

Ciao for now, 

RuBe xoxo


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