Friday 29 April 2016

Defying the rules

Happy Friday everyone! 

April has reached an end and it seems as if this year is passing by in a flash. In fact I feel the need to hit the pause button so that I can finish all those things on my to do list. Like a pipe dream, that’s never going to happen, so it’s better to get on with it than to lament time passed. 
This week I have been challenged on so many levels with my teens that I feel exhausted mentally and physically. I appreciate that my kids have their own opinions and feel comfortable justifying their viewpoints, but when it comes to discipline time, I do not need to enter into a vehement debate about it. For what seems like hours. 
Back and forth.
I have found this happening more often lately, even though we have rules and of course, consequences when rules or social boundaries have been broken. In my home the message behind rules and consequences is to make them aware from a young age that in society the same applies, if laws are broken there will be consequences (punishment). What has been happening recently is that the rules in the home are starting to evolve, out of discussion and debate, so that it can be understood and followed by the young folk. Constant communication and feedback is key, and I attempt this frequently in the crazy pace of life. To be honest, it would be easier to let it just go and not be flexible, and enforce rules without my kids being able to voice their feelings on the matter. But it would teach them that their voices are not important, it would set a precedent of following instruction without being able to contribute. 
It is such a great responsibility raising children, and more importantly raising children who are kind, considerate yet able to stick their values and morals in a society where these factors are declining. There are so many instances where it would be easier to let it slide, instead of engaging in a long drawn out debate on the whys and why nots. Parenting is a full time job, a thankless daily toil where one has to be present and aware of how external factors such as society, celebrity influences, and peer interactions affect the way you parent. And what you choose to discuss, or the rules you decide on to assist them to become the best versions of themselves. 
Upon reflection, I have had a difficult parenting week, because it took so much energy to constantly engage on a higher frequency, all the while trying to fulfil all my other roles. But it has been productive too, and I can see the change in my teens after a hectic lecture and debate. We’ve finally reached a cease fire where the punishment meted out was accepted without fight, attitude or even a sulk, more importantly the need for it was understood. 
That in itself is progress for me. 
On the topic of rules, today’s outfit is one I wore to the Mercedes Benz Bokeh South Africa International Film Festival last week. I had played around with wearing a beautiful gown from my wardrobe, and decided to be different (and defy the general rules of dressing) and wore a structured gold cocoon dress by local designer, Fortune, which I have had not an opportunity to wear yet. The weather was atrocious, wet and cold, so I accessorized and kept warm with a fur stole. A heavy turban and leather leggings finished off the outfit.

Outfit details:
Gold dress by Fortune Clothing from Spree (shop here)
Fur stole (old)
Pashmina wrapped as a turban (old)
Shutz heels
Necklace from Superbalist (shop here)
Honey earrings
Vickson leather and gold ball clutch (old)
Makeup by ME

Caio for now,
RuBe xoxo

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Friday 22 April 2016

3 Classic Winter essentials and buying guide

Welcome back and Hello to new readers!

Winter is suddenly upon us (again) and Capetonians go scrambling from their light layers to coats, knits and boots. Shortly after organising my closet for Winter; and then after a warm respite, having to dig into those warmer winter pieces again. Ahhh, the joys of living in Cape Town means not being sure when the warm weather has actually left us. As I’m writing this the wind is howling and I have a view of the mountain blanketed in ominous dark clouds. 

I have a few Winter favourites which have been in my closet for a good couple of years and the great thing is that they are still trendy and on point. This helps as I usually don’t have to buy so many pieces, which is especially important as a mum, where one has to constantly buy clothes for rapidly growing kids. I find winter to be an expensive season to shop for, the leather boots, good quality coats and knits and sweats. I am fussy with my knits as they need to retain shape, and look good for a while. Since we experience very wet winters, I prefer my boots to be good quality leather, this has paid off for me as some pieces in my collection of leather boots have been in my closet for more than seven years! I just add a new pair if I feel I’d like to update what I currently have. This is a more cost effective way of updating my winter wardrobe as I do not have to spend on several pairs of boots each year.

 Essential pieces for Winter and shopping guidelines:

  1. A good quality trench coat - Ensure that the cut is classic, take note of buttons and belt placement. Plain buttons are best as they are classic and timeless, with a length preferably just below or on the knee for a classic cut. The classic Burberry trench is always finished off with a single back vent.
  2. Good pair of leather heeled ankle boots - these can be worn for office wear as well as casually on weekends. A medium height chunky heel works well for comfort and timeless elegance. Stacked heels are so on trend right now as well, so it’s easy to find. Look for good leather, with toned down accents- if the accents are too gold, or with big buckles, it will date very quickly. 
  3. Classic knits - there are a variety of knits available in stores right now. From cotton knit to cable knits, crop tops and oversized knits. The main factor for me with knits is that they retain shape, breathe well and do not develop little balls of fluff on them. These can be avoided by buying natural fibres such as wool blends (wool percentage greater than 50%) and cotton blends. Cashmere is first prize, but so costly and not readily available. 
Good luck!

Todays outfit features a Trenery trench coat I have had for over six years, and when I bought it initially it was extremely heavy on the wallet as they weren’t available in many stores. However, years down the line  it has proven to be a gem in my closet. The boots are last season from Mimco and handbag from Country Road.

Outfit details:
Trenery trench coat
Legit skirt
Marks & Spencer tights
Mimco boots
Country Road handbag
Scarf old
Necklace gifted

Caio for now, 
RuBe xoxo

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Friday 15 April 2016

Reality check

Happy Friday everyone!

This week I was faced with the experience of matric ball planning. It’s generally less of a headache when you have a son in terms of the oufit and hair etc, but the reality of realising your baby has grown up hits home. We’ve been discussing studies and future plans, talking about important dates like a learners appointment and final exams, but it all seems really intangible until I saw him fit his suit. 
And shirt. 
And tie. 
That’s when it hit me, my firstborn will be going into the world to fulfil his destiny pretty soon. 
In retrospect, it hasn’t happened in a flash, but in little bits over the years…
 It starts when he doesn’t need you to :
… Read his bedtime story
… or tuck him in at night
… Choose his outfits
… or buy his clothes
… Accompany him to sports matches
…or watch his matches.

The list goes on and on, and in a blink of an eye he is on the brink of entering the adult world.
Being a mother is one of my most rewarding roles, I enjoy watching my kids grow from little people into individuals with their own ideas and opinions. It gets hard at times dealing with all these personalities, yet knowing that I am contributing to future leaders and generations makes the stress worthwhile.
At this point in his school career I reflect on his first day of primary school, his first day of high school and they are as clear as crystal in my memory. Being the firstborn, I navigated my way through milestones and the rocky road of parenthood with trepidation, unsure if my choice for him was the best one. Whether they were the right choices or not, they were the best I knew at the time, and even though mistakes were made, kids quickly let you know when things aren’t suitable for them. 
When I look at this young man, preparing to attend a celebration which marks the end of a primary and secondary school career - all my instincts kick in and I want to hold him near. I want to protect him from the world which I know will hurt him, challenge him and not love him like I do. I have to remind myself that it’s a path I cannot change; he will grow as a result of these hurts, challenges and live up to the amazing potential he has as an individual. 
This milestone fills me with pride, nostalgia and anxiety for what lies ahead. Letting go is the one aspect of parenthood that hinders the spirit and cuts like a knife. 
But I shall weather it with grace, not falling apart on the outside containing a turbulence of emotion on the inside.

Today’s OOTD is a typical outfit worn to run errands, playing taxi mum and catching a coffee with a buddy. These are all previous pieces, which can transcend trends and remain trendy for while to come. The boyfriend jeans is still a favourite since it offers comfort and modesty at the same time.


ZARA t-shirt 
Gap jeans
Converse sneakers (old)
Kimono (old)
Woolworths scarf
Country Road cuff
Accessorize bag

Caio for now, 
RuBe xoxo 

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Tuesday 12 April 2016

Bali Wanderings

Hi beauties!

I have carried my completely amazing Bali trip with me since I returned, and I often go back into the space, I will now call my zen place, for some peace. Bali spirituality crawled into my consciousness and remained there, it has brought about an awareness of life on another level.

A typical sight in Bali, ornate statues and carvings. This particular statue adorns the government buildings in Bali

A typical road in one of the villages

Entrance to one of the locals homes/villas
I was not really prepared for the awe inspiring experiences, for the impressive hospitality and openness of the locals. I had intended it to be a time for recuperation, sun, sand and sightseeing. Instead, I got all of those including some well needed spiritual healing and inner peace. The locals have an intrinsic need to do good and to live their lives with a sense of gratitude and awareness of the Divine. It is really refreshing to visit such a place, where one can feel the positive energy and see it translated into their daily lives.
We arrived one evening from Malaysia, tired and ready for bed and greeted at the opulent Nusa Dua resort (The Laguna) in complete luxury. The gong was sounded as we entered (traditionally announcing happiness has arrived), welcoming us in Asian fashion and we were given warm towelletes to refresh ourselves in the cloying heat before heading to our room. The resort is an oasis of beauty with the heady scent of jasmine and frangipani filling the air, the fallen frangipani blooms creating a fragrant carpet under our feet.

The Lobby at The Lagoona, Nusa Dua

One of the many pools around the resort
After a restful sleep, we spent the morning exploring and taking in our lush surroundings, finished off a day of relaxation with a visit to a traditional Bali spa. This was an authentic experience, without the western influence one would find at spas at 5 star hotels - absolutely worth at least one visit. Public transport is almost non-existent, so we relied on establishments which collect and drop off at the hotel, shuttles provided by malls and the services of a driver (ours was recommended by a family member who had previously visited). We occasionally walked around the Nusa Dua area, and quickly got caught in unexpected showers.

View from our room, in the middle of an impromptu downpour 
Being led to our pamper room at an authentic Balinese spa
Our driver doubled up as a tour guide, and quickly proposed day tours for us, around our planned activities. Some of the experiences I would highly recommend include, swimming with the dolphins (if you’re a strong swimmer, you’ll be able to interact with them one on one) and visiting at least one of their traditional healers is something you will find most inspiring.
 I was most curious to check out the Bali healers and their methodologies. My experience with the first healer was interesting (even though she was an expat who had been living in Bali for over 25 years), the discussions around my life and decisions which were playing on my mind were raised. She is an astute observer, able to aptly identify my personality and character, forcing introspection into matters I chose to ignore, which is where I derived the most value. She empowered me in a way, and encouraged me to look at situations differently; engaging a side of me I was not ready to embrace.
The stunning Javanese villa which is home to Elisa Sense,
the first healer we consulted
A Temple selfie!
Of course, we also needed to visit Ketut Liyer (‘Eat, Pray, Love’ ), who is known locally as a palm reader. I am sceptical at best of palm readings but went as a novelty; and again, I was pleasantly surprised at how powerful he is at reading people and their characteristics. Unfortunately Ketut is now too old to see people so his son, a teacher by profession, did our readings. My sister and I were taken aback by the amount of truths revealed in these interactions, without us having to disclose anything. It brought a sense of awareness around the abilities of reputable ‘Balians’ as the traditional healers are usually called. As I recall these encounters, I cannot believe how my mind has been opened to the power of positive energy and the knowledge that in all aspects of life, we need to focus on ourselves instead of others; coupled with submission to God in all things. This reinforces all of my beliefs, and it is gratifying to see that across the world, in a different culture and a different religion, that the same fundamental principles apply.
Interacting with these intelligent animals was a special experience indeed.

And in the middle of an amazing experience another downpour starts!

I was really impressed with this charismatic Balian 
There are also some must see sights, Kintamani Volcano (which is usually viewed from a distance), at least one of the resplendent temples, the paddy rice fields and a visit to a coffee plantation. The Kuta area is a favourite in the surfing fraternity, and even though I do not surf, we enjoyed a sunset dinner on the beach in this bustling part of the city. Our shopping trips were infrequent, only because we had just come from a shopping destination, Kuala Lumpur; but their prices in Bali are competitive and the jewellery is really well priced. Since it is a really impoverished island, designer brands aren’t popular, although they can be found at department stores. Shopping is usually for keepsakes, souvenirs and many tourists come specifically for their infamous wooden furniture and carvings.

A buffet restaurant serves as a vantage point to view Kintamani Volcano
(as seen in the background)

Clockwise from left to right:
1. A pic with the waterfall in the background, we descended about 150 steps
 and back to view the magnificence
2. Rice paddies
3. Watching a traditional dance at a local theatre
4. Coffee and tea plantation
5. Having a moment in the Sacred Monkey Forest, Ubud
I am fascinated by the art of Batik

Batuan Temple, Gianyar - it is compulsory to don a sari skirt upon entering a temple
And my driver, Putu giving me some background to their cultures.
Variety of teas for a tasting at the coffee plantation
Caviar restaurant on the Jimbaran Beach

Sunset Selfie on Jimbaran Beach, Denpasar

Bali Collection Mall
Traditional dancers at the hotel
A selfie in the Sacred Monkey forest, Ubud
The food was not always halaal, and I’m not that big on certain Asian foods, so we frequented eateries at the resort (who would cater halaal on request) and seafood places around Bali. Most fastfood chains, Starbucks and the like are also usually halaal, but because both of us don't have huge appetites, meals were haphazard and only when we were ravenous. 
Overall the trip was indeed a memorable one, for the new experiences and more so the intense sense of heightened spirituality one leaves with.
It is also a really affordable vacation in light of the erratic rand.

Caio for now, 
RuBe xoxo

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