Friday 26 February 2016

Celebrating Youth OOTD

Happy Friday Folks, 

This week marked the 16th birthday of my second born, it brought to mind so many memorable moments of his life.
It brought back memories of a Friday of intense labour, and the day we were gifted this special little charge. The happiest bundle of joy whom we have had the privilege of raising for sixteen years.
I usually make a big fuss about birthdays, so from the beginning of the week, we plan the birthday menu, cakes and desserts he would like and party ideas / themes. Afterall, it is a celebration of entrance into the world and our lives. This year he insisted that he was way too old for the treasure hunt to locate his birthday gifts (I think it’s more because he always struggles with the clues in his sleepy state first thing in the morning). Even the party theme idea was ditched *sad sigh*.

The best part of birthdays is that the kids always reminisce on favourite birthday traditions of prior years, on how funny the treasure hunt was or favourite meals and experiences. It is important to me that they have these memories, that they know they are loved - without the expectation of being showered with material things. Very few memories are centred around the actual material gift, and happy nostalgia instead focuses on how the celebration made them feel. I want them to learn to treasure experiences as these last longer than the material stuff. It also teaches them to value others; and the enriching feeling of making someone else feel special.

The gratitude the birthday boy expressed for my tribute post (read here) yesterday, made me feel a burst of pride. The fact that he valued the intangible, and was thankful for effort that went into putting together the tribute was remarkable. All too often teens get caught up in the consumerism depicted in today’s media and forget about little gestures. It may not be possible to shelter our youth from the effects of society, and we shouldn’t attempt to cut them off from it either. They still need to function in this society and be active participants, but we can teach them the importance of a balanced life. 
We can teach them the significance of valuing an experience, a thought or a gesture over the material.

In light of todays’ theme, my outfit has a youthful feel with an oversized kimono shirt, leather leggings and sneakers. Helpful for when I’m running errands and getting that long list of ingredients for the birthday supper :-)

Outfit details:
Oversized kimonos shirt from (shop here)
Soviet Leatherette leggings also from (shop here)
Nike ZA sneakers from Sportscene
Accesorize Clutch
Witchery statement ring
Old Khaki scarf (old)
Forever New Chunky necklace

Caio for now, 
RuBe xoxo

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Thursday 25 February 2016

My Little Leader turns 16!


My special little person, who came into this world to teach me that life will always be exciting, interesting and never dull. You have brought such a lively energy to our home, with your infectious enthusiasm for life and mischievous tendencies. At times, that middle child syndrome rears its head, and we are reminded that in that body lives a soft heart and sensitive soul. I treasure the moment you were born, demanding to be fed at once and in that instant our bond was formed. In your special way you taught me to be patient, you challenge me constantly and have no problem with finding your path. In fact, throughout your brief life you have mastered everything you attempt with excellence, with the conviction and confidence that you can do anything. 

First birthday party
My only son who enjoyed their first birthday party to the fullest!
Always a happy baby

Beach bum from a young age (age 7)
Dressed up as Merlin (Age 8)
                                                        Always climbing and adventuring (Age 8)
Age 13
First day of high school (Age 14)
                                                            The die hard Barca supporter (2014)
Learning to ride the jetski, 5 mins later you off and ski-ing away (2015)
             Helping out and managing the guest list at my high tea(2015)
                                                      Eid 2014
                                                                              Eid 2014 (Already towering over both of us at age 14)
                          Doesn’t matter where you are, you’ll find a ball (2015)
           U-15 top goal scorer for your club
My precious bundle of joy, 
Who filled our lives with sunshine,
And injected that element of fun.
From three to four, my limits were tested,
I felt overwhelmed by responsibility, 
And at the same time overwhelmed with love. 
For this new little person, who brought a dynamic,
Energetic force into our home. 

You breezed through infancy,
With no demands, the easiest charge I’ve had.
Introduced challenges I had never contemplated, 
Always pushing, testing the waters, 
Always setting new boundaries 
In that amazing daring manner. 

Your journey into teenage years 
held daily trials. 
As you provoked and elicited 
Occasional feelings of exasperation. 
I know and I feel 
That on your journey through life
 You will fearlessly conquer adversities.
You will carve your place in this world,
 With precision, excellence and determination.

I am proud to call this leader, this warrior
My son and my second born.
Evidence of mutual love,
We anticipate joy and adventures,
Happiness and love ahead for you.

We are so proud of the young man you have grown into, safe in the knowledge that we have set good foundations. I believe that your sunny disposition will bring you happiness and cheer everyday and may you always be mindful of your place in society, your duty to those less fortunate and continue to lead as a worthy Muslim man.

With lots of love, 
Mum & Dad
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Friday 19 February 2016

Ditch the mommy guilt

Welcome readers, (on this gloomy Friday)

This past week, I have seen a few moms raking themselves over the coals, racked by mommy guilt for a array of things. From having to work long hours, to not being able to lift with a school excursion and being unable to take time off work because the child is ill. 
I feel it necessary to offer some useful advice to counter some of this guilt, I too have suffered the same and of late have realised that each parent does the best that they can. That’s all our kids really want - our best; just as we expect them to just do their best. We understand that all kids are different and this means that they will handle situations differently and sport different strengths- same applies to mommies. 
I started my family at a very young age - with the intention of being young enough to relate to them during their teenage years. In hindsight, I really wouldn’t change a thing, but being so young meant that I was always berating myself when I didn’t do something just right. It was an insane time, trying to manage two young ones (both under the age of 2), working and studying and at the same time trying to be the good wife. The guilt I felt when something fell through the cracks was self deprecating, and looking back I realise it was an enormous waste of energy. 
At the same time we moved into our own home, and with hubby working extremely long hours I was  often left with the boys, on my own. A lot of how I coped is a blur, but the ever present guilt remained a constant. Despite this I continued with my studies, my eye on the goal of that career I was coveting. I put my career on hold with every maternity leave (mommy guilt, again), staying home for up to 9 months if I could and resumed working when I could. Years passed with me literally working myself to a standstill, trying to be the perfect wife, homemaker, mom, student and employee and trying assuage mommy guilt. By the time my first born entered his teen years, things started to shift in my head. I had achieved my career, luckily my marriage was still intact and my kids had turned out well adjusted - I looked at this picture and realised that the guilt didn’t help nor did it contribute. I realised that they would turn out well, despite me having to work; and trying to be super mom all the time. Many women today, have to work, are single moms and just struggle make ends meet. These women really don’t need mommy guilt to make life harder, in fact, they need to appreciate that their kids are happy with them just doing the best they can. And more importantly they need to be told that they’re appreciated, by a spouse, a friend or parent - just to make this mommy experience that much sweeter.

Two years ago, I decided to put the big job title behind me, to fully embrace what all those years of struggling had attained. I now still have moments of mommy guilt, like when I have to attend a class at night or work on a project over a weekend, but I have the will to suppress it and just enjoy every moment as it happens, clear in the knowledge that it’s ok.

On that note, this mommy took some time out this week to enjoy the sun, the sea and quick chat with hubby, in between the crazy life. Guiltfree enough to shoot some OOTD pics. 
This outfit is all last season and while I love this top I bought in Dubai two years ago, the nude colour doesn’t necessarily work with all skin tones- in summer I’m tanned enough to pull it off with a bright pop of colour to balance the bland colour.

Outfit details:
Vera Moda top (purchased in Dubai)
Woolworths jegging
Errol Arendz wedges
Ted Baker bag
Ralph Lauren sunglasses from Sunglass Hut (Bali)
Sass scarf
Tiffany & Co earrings
MrP neckpiece (old)

Caio for now, 
RuBe xoxo

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Friday 12 February 2016

Coping with the hectic schedule

Hello readers,
It’s astounding the amount of people I have chatted to in various situations who say that the pace of 2016 is already insane. It seems as if this year is a very significant one for many people, or it may just be that the universe has placed me in the company of like minded busy people. Whatever the reason, I take comfort in the fact that I am not the only one who seems to be living at an accelerated pace. As a wife, mother and entrepeneur, I face each challenge head on and proceed at the new level of hectic. 

As a woman, trying to fill various roles, and trying to do everything with excellence, it naturally means that at the end of the day, one feels completely weary. There are always unexpected, unplanned incidences - like a sick child, a home emergency where something breaks down, a school event that happens at short notice, an urgent meeting and so the list continues. I regularly advocate taking time out for recuperation, whether it is a spa treatment, a weekend away or just a catch up coffee with a friend. However, I have realised that unless these times are actually planned and scheduled they do not happen. Life will continue on its insane rhythm and one needs to be vigilant of how quickly the week passes by, or the month passes by and the opportunity for downtime has been lost. 
In an attempt to ensure that I have that me time (read sanity time), I schedule my week. 
Here are some ways to do this and how I try to adhere to it:
  1. Buy a calendar/ planner (with various columns for each person in the home) and put it in a visible place, so that everyone is aware of what is happening and when.
  2. All daily activities for the kids (and yourself) are pre populated in their respective column at the beginning of every month. At the same time, they are put in my electronic diary (phone and laptop).
  3. I then decide which day of the week will be appropriate for a morning (or at least 3 hours) off.
  4. This personal time is blocked out each week (or however often you are able to fit it in) for the entire month… (subject to change due to unavoidable emergencies such as illness, last minute school commitments etc).
  5. My week is usually planned during the prior week, where meetings are scheduled, class and assignment time, admin time and even errand time is planned out. My days are theme specific ie, specific days for meetings, and admin and assigments.
  6. If my personal time is to have a coffee date, girls catch up or spa appointment, I confirm these times a week ahead of time, to ensure this time is not absorbed elsewhere.
  7. My meals are loosely planned at the beginning of each week, and even cooking times- my sons tend to finish really late in the evenings and I have driving commitments all afternoon. 
  8. I start my day with yoga and meditation to prepare me for the hectic day followed by an update on financial markets and world news to get the brain functioning.
  9. As mentioned in last weeks post, my social media (read time thief) times are set, and planned so they do not interfere with family time.
This may seem restrictive, but the reality is that unless it is a work meeting, client or class that cannot be rescheduled - everything else is merely a guideline. There are some negotiables and others will be non- negotiables. This depends on family circumstances and the availability of time.

I wish all those crazed mums good luck coping with the madness of life!

Today’s lookpost was one shot on a day where I had chosen to have a girly catch up. All of us are extremely busy and even though our time was limited, it was a refreshing break in the middle of a day filled with obligations.
In the current heat dresses are the perfect piece to make me feel less layered and bothered. This dress is an archive piece, from ZARA about 3/4 years ago but a firm favourite for those scorchers.

Outfit details:
ZARA dress and Sandals
Witchery scarf
Ted Baker bag 
Vogue sunglasses
Gifted neckpiece
Tiffany & co bracelets

Caio for now, 
RuBe xoxo

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