Friday 18 March 2016

Transitional blazer; No Judgement

Hello dear readers, 

It’s Friday, school holidays are upon us and I have a week getaway on my horizon; so I’m on a high. A break from playing mom’s taxi, classes, cooking meals, helping with homework and weekend soccer matches… These little vacations make the routine bearable and when I return I will be ready to resume with gusto.
Despite having a dream holiday on my radar, and feeling on top of the world, this week has certainly raised some disturbing issues. It has been a week where we have seen cyber bullying at it’s best (worst), judgements being passed and individuals being attacked. 
With the growing influence of social media, our youth think it is ‘acceptable’ to pass mean comments and make hateful statements, all with the premise that it’s OK to express an opinion, whether solicited or not (albeit from the safety of behind a screen). It has become ‘acceptable’ to express an opinion on how badly dressed someone is, or how fat someone has become and the reactions spiral into a frenzy of sensationalism. This kind of behaviour illustrates how destructive we are as a society, without giving a thought for the feelings or struggles an individual (celebrity or not) may be going through. Just because their vocation has placed them in the public eye does not mean that it is fine to pass hateful comments, or express a malicious unsolicited opinion. Everybody experiences difficulties at some point, and we have no idea of the space the person we are directing it at, may be at the time of making these venomous judgements or statements. 
Young girls and boys are struggling with body shaming, self esteem and peer pressure apart from the pressures of just being an adolescent and all the changes happening within themselves. Society creates unrealistic expectations for the youth and celebrities provide such skewed versions of role models, that as parents we have a tough job ahead of us… Just to ensure our kids grow up with healthy body image, good self esteem and confidence and at the same time respecting the next person. I aim to teach them empathy and diplomacy, able to stand their ground without arrogance. 

And while I have focused on the youth, it has become plainly obvious that this behaviour is not unique to teenagers. Adults have shown the same mean, judgemental side without respect or regard for the next person. I reiterate that everyone is entitled to have an opinion, but if you have not been asked, a negative remark may sting in a place you were not aware of. A negative remark may just deepen a depression that person is fighting, may reinforce their low self esteem or be the straw to break the camels back and prompt a withdrawal from the world. 
Having suffered from low self esteem myself, I know the hard road one has to travel to build it back up, that even a veiled insult could derail your healing. I was always an overachiever, probably due to the fact that I needed to excel to be able to feel good about myself, but this in itself sends a message to society that I am strong enough to handle the nastiness, the judgements; when all it does is affect the healing; until the day you reach a point where these things no longer affects your balance. Unfortunately this point only happened for me as an adult, I hope and pray that the youth of today will be able to withstand the punches thrown at them by societies trolls.

“When you know yourself you are empowered, 

When you accept yourself you are invincible” 

- Tina Lifford

On that note, today I’m sharing a relaxed work look using a blazer to transition into Autumn. I’ve paired an oversized t-shirt and olive skinny (this colour is in all stores this season) with chunky heeled sandals. Fringe remains relevant into Winter as can be seen in all the Bohemian influences in the latest ranges.

Country Road blazer
Woolworths t-shirt
H&M olive skinny
Heels from Zando
Zibastyles neckpiece
Scarf from Bespoke Hijabi (now Hse of Bespoke by WH)
Pearl earrings purchased abroad (Bali jeweller)
Mimco chunky bracelet

Ciao for now, 
RuBe xoxo

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Friday 11 March 2016

Pre-Autumn Colour and Tragedies

Welcome readers, 

We have such tragedies in the Western Cape this past week with the death of two teenage girls. The senseless violence has shocked me to the core, mainly because the one incident happened after 4pm on a Monday afternoon, at a time when kids are out and about around people. My kids are walking to and from activities at that time, they are on that routine of sport and school and life. To hear that another teen on the other side of Cape Town was attacked while my son was making his way to sport practice (at exactly the same time!),  a 15 minute walk, threw me off  kilter that day. 
I had the urgent need to rush through the roads I knew he’d be walking, to go and wait at the open soccer field they practice at, just to ensure his safety. But the reality is that it’s not practical, at some point they need to exercise their independence if they are to be well functioning adults. And while it may not be practical, the urge to protect and shield our kids from the atrocities in this world is so strong. Kids are being harmed at every turn, from young toddlers to teenagers just entering young adulthood with their faces turned towards the future. It’s heartbreaking when those dreams and aspirations are cut short by a pointless murder or violent act.
It’s even harder having to explain to kids that something like this has happened, unprovoked and with no reason. It leaves them feeling confused, scared and unsure of how to avoid the same fate. This is one of those instances where parents don’t have the answers and there are no solutions. 
The best one can do is raise our youth with a sense of responsibility and a belief that humanity is not all about these incidences, that humanity is still good. We have to highlight the good acts, with the hope that the good will outweigh the bad. And even though we have serious challenges ahead of us as a country with social inequalities, struggling emerging economy and political issues, the only way to effect positive change is to empower our youth. Our youth will be our saving grace, so let’s work at protecting them, inspiring optimism and hope, helping them recover from trauma and provide the best support structures equally at all levels of society.
Today’s outfit features an old bargain jumpsuit paired with a Witchery First Edition cape. The idea is to demonstrate that even a low cost piece can still be dressed up; and when paired with the right accessories and pieces can combine into a stylish outfit.

Mr P floral jumpsuit (old)
Witchery Cape
Trenery scarf
H&M wedges
Gifted bag (old)
Ralph Lauren sunglasses (Sunglass Hut, Bali)

Caio for now, 
RuBe xoxo

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Tuesday 8 March 2016

My Kuala Lumpur Experience

Welcome readers, 

I have finally found some time to document some of my December travel experiences. This year has started off with a bang and I have had to re-prioritise so many things.
Reminiscing on my first foray into Asia has been put on back burner until now, when I’m feeling the need to recharge the batteries again.

A bit of British Colonial architecture … the old railway station
 We flew out of Cape Town on a beautiful Sunday morning via Dubai, which was not my first choice because I hate connecting flights, but it was the best price at the time. After about 20 hours of travelling, we finally glimpsed the smoggy skyline of Kuala Lumpur. As we stepped out of the airport we were confronted by the extreme heat and humidity, which hit us like a brick wall. It’s definitely not something a Capetonian is prepared for!
We stayed at The Intercontinental hotel which is situated in the heart of this bustling metropolis, within walking distance from The Petronas Twin Towers, and immersed in the retail cluster (Bukit Bintang District). So it is ideally placed for a shopping getaway. Their service standards are impeccable and the hotel concierge was happy to assist with booking taxis, arranging tour guides, tailor made day tours and confirming travel arrangements. 

During December, the weather is unpredictable and thunderstorms can be expected most afternoons and evenings, so we chose to travel back and forth by taxi most days. We hired a tour guide for half days and managed to tailor our tours to only include places we were keen on seeing. The rest of our time was spent shopping and relaxing.
Shopping selfie in front of the Swarovski tree in Pavilion mall
I was really in awe of the peaceful co-existence of cultures and the great respect shown to all religions. Since it is an Islamic country, most of the food is halaal, and becasue there is also a very big Chinese and Hindu community these traditional foods are also easily found.

The shopping was the highlight of my visit, especially after prior travels to cities in Europe, the UK and Middle East, it was refreshing to see actual SALES before Christmas- where I could shop with the Rand. Designer stores, high end chain stores and branded stores all displayed bright red sale signs and in some cases one could pick up bargains with  as much as 70% discount. Now that is a REAL sale. I always buy pieces abroad which I cannot purchase in SA, snd there’s no better way to do it than with amazing discounts :-D

Since we were two ladies on our own buzz, we could shop, grab a bite, resume shopping and relax without the plaguing guilt that things needed to be done at home or work. Whilst I missed my family terribly, I was able to appreciate the opportunity to enjoy some much needed girl time without all the constant demands of homemaker, wife and mom. I had daily FaceTime sessions and phone calls with my loved ones, so I was virtually present, but the time difference ensured that there were times of the day where I could just enjoy the sights, shop and de-stress.

The majestic lobby of The Intercontinental Hotel

Suria Mall has levels and levels of affordable shopping 
Dancing fountains reminscient of Dubai Mall fountains
Apparently drinking lukewarm water is a thing

The breathtaking Kuala Lumpur Skyline
At the waterfall… Templar park
Batu Caves, with the 420m high Lord Murugan statue 
After climbing the 272 steps to the top of the Batu Caves, one encounters some 
more steps!
Visiting the National Mosque
The tranquility of the National monument
View from the National monument
Halaal TGIF burger
Istana Negara- The National Palace

View of the fountain from the Petronas Towers observation deck
It’s possible to see Kuala Lumpur on a budget, even with the erratic exchange rate. There are so many sights which do not charge entry fees, hotels which offer shuttles to and from shopping malls and great food options for less than one would pay in South Africa. I discovered so many bargains and really found Malaysia to be more cost effective than United Arab Emirates, so it is a definite on my ‘must do again’ list!

Caio for now,
RuBe xoxo

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Friday 4 March 2016

Summer White reflections

Hello March! 

We’ve started the third month of the year and I feel as if I’ve just started 2016. I’ve made lots of progress in many areas, and my studies and classes can attest to it- and yet somehow I feel it’s not enough. I had planned this year very well on paper and life just doesn’t seem to be following the plan. There are so many ‘distractions’, so many things summoning me this way and that way, that my time each day is too limited. 
I know that some of you may feel the same way, and I understand that despite the best laid plans, life happens as it is meant to be. I know this to be true. However, I cannot fathom how an increase in my teenagers social life quickly translated to no social life for me and husby. This, coupled with an increase in their activities, sports, academic, music and cultural activities have just usurped whatever extra time I would have used for work. Whilst I can manage reduced work productivity, couple time has also suffered.  We find ourselves at the mercy of the kids schedules, reduced to ’stealing’ an hour or two here and there. An hour or two that is basically just spent catching up on the past few days where we may have just passed each other running to and fro, pausing at the dinner table. 

Nonetheless after 20 years of partnership, I am grateful for the place we are in - he understands me, listens to my crazy rants, supports me in so many ways and, more importantly, does his utmost at being the best dad he can be. I can only hope I offer the same or more in return. There really is no secret to a happy relationship - it is based on mutual love, respect, consideration, trust and being grateful for the flaws that make each of us human. It means being happy when they’re happy, offering that shoulder when they’re sad and being the best cheerleader on whatever sideline you find yourself on. The most significant thing for me, is that he accepts me for who I am, he’s seen the darkest parts of me and loves me regardless - he makes me feel safe and loved. 
That is what a relationship should be, it should be the space where you can be yourself without judgement. We already judge ourselves so harshly, we don’t need our closest adding to that.

So in this crazy time of reduced output, I have realised that even though I’ve had to slow down the work pace, my family has prospered. The hours we ‘steal’ to be together as a couple, and a family, will only strengthen the marriage and family bond. Those forces which attack from the outside will face a strong opponent, as we continue to reinforce our armoury. I am therefore content with whatever distractions have come my way, content to follow the road where it takes me. I am grateful to be able to face whatever challenges with my own little army behind me.

Today’s look is a summer white, paired with a bit of cool green and orange tints. This light layered coat was purchased on the H & M sale and caught my eye immediately, with a bit of a sleeve for some cool coverage and playful tassles as ties. A pair of bright coral sandals pulls the outfit together.

“White is a colour of protection and encouragement, offering a sense of peace and calm, comfort and hope, helping alleviate emotional upsets. It creates a sense of order and efficiency, a great help if you need to declutter your life.”

My outfit: 
H & M  gilet 
T-shirt- old
Woolworths skinny jeans
Woolworths, Studio W leather heels
Ted Baker bag
Raphaella Booz cuff
Country road necklace
Jo Borkett Scarf (old)
Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses from Sunglass Hut (old )
Caio for now,
RuBe xoxo
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