Friday 24 June 2016

It's not you, it's me

Happy Friday lovelies!

This week marks the end of school term and the start of the school holidays, may we all survive these next two weeks!!

It's not you, its me... these words are renowned for being said in bad situations...

As mentioned before, this month is one for rejuvenation for the soul, and I reflect on ways to become a better version of myself, for the sake of my creator, as a wife, as a mum and as I interact with the world around me. The realisation I have been sitting with for a while is that when something happens to upset the balance, the best way to deal with it is to reflect on my part in the occurrence. I make a conscious choice to instead focus on the lesson to be learnt from the matter, depsite it being negative, as there will be an outcome which will strengthen me. 
What has been a profound understanding for me, is that when there are things that annoy, upset or irritate me, it is more a reflection of me than it is the other person. I have had to sit with a few situations where I did this exercise and found it to be the absolute truth. Earlier this week I shared this quote: 

"Unless you learn to face your own shadows,you will continue to see them in others.Because the world outside you is on a reflection of the world inside you." -Unknown

It has rung true in so many ways, in fact, it cements the concept of no judgement, and instead focussing on being a better person for yourself. It really doesn't matter what the next person is doing, as they too are on a path, whichever one that may be. The past couple of weeks, I have read and heard so many stories of traumatic experiences that others have endured. As I digested the information it occurred to me that every person has had an ordeal which has shaped their reality. And there are so many who have survived some kind of misery, who feel alone and as if nobody understands where they are. When in fact, everyone walks around with a variation of trauma, from childhood abuse, bullying, body image disorders, absent parents, terminal illnesses etc - and there only a few who use these hardships to boost themselves to shape a constructive future.  The best way to effect a positive change is to just be the best version of yourself, celebrate others and their achievements and lend a helping hand where possible. This in turn will bring a turnaround of a positive nature, and the lessons learnt from hardships have strengthened and taught many new skills to live confidently. It is such a waste of time and energy to feel envious, to sabotage and manipulate. 

Imagine the examples we will be able to set for the next generation! 

To reiterate the theme of introspection, which is an alone space, today's lookpost was shot at an abandoned and deserted spot. But the beauty that it can present on an image is indicative that everything is not always all bad nor all good, splendour can be found in the most unlikely places.
The OOTD, features a suede biker jacket, an old pleated maxi and finished off with leopard print sneakers. An unusual ensemble, to reflect the fact that we're all individuals and that it's all right to be our true authentic selves.  

My outfit:
Superbalist suede jacket (shop here)
Old pleated maxi skirt
Adidas ZA sneakers
H & M Floral top
Zibastyles necklace
Old Khaki scarf
Ralph Lauren sunglasses from Sunglass Hut (Bali)
Valentino handbag purchased on a cruise liner

Caio for now, 
RuBe xoxo

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Friday 17 June 2016

Youth Day lessons OOTD

Welcome readers, 

What a beautiful day Cape Town has been blessed with, it may still be chilly but the sun is out! I hope yesterday was a great relaxing day, and that we at least took the time to reflect on the importance of Youth Day in our country and the significance thereof. Public holidays are great, but there is usually a greater message behind it, which we need to mindful of.

Youth Day, is such an important one, as we commemorate the Soweto uprising of 1976,  and the senseless killings of the protesting youth. The 1976 protest was against the policies introduced into schools with the Bantu Education Act of 1953, and directives implemented in accordance with this act in schools from 1974. Without going into too much history, it is suffice to say that this uprising changed the socio-political landscape of our country. It is a reminder to those of us living in democratic South Africa of how far we've progressed and how lives were lost fighting for freedom. Freedom, so that we can attend any schools, choose where we want to live, and be free to exercise our voice with democracy.
Today, we can certainly take a leaf out the books of our fallen comrades and freedom fighters. Back then, the youth felt it necessary to voice their opinion and play an active part in making a difference in our country. These are moments which make me proudly South African, in fact, I am always proudly South African. Regardless of the politics, the crime or the recurring tales that centre around our weak rand, poor socio-economic conditions or corruption. I strongly feel that as patriots it is our responsibility to give back to this country into which we were born, just like our compatriots gave their lives for freedom. We now have the freedom, even to leave and become citizens elsewhere, but this is the land we were born to, and it encumbent upon South Africans to try and make a difference. Even if we help just one person without needing anything in return, that's one less needy person requiring assistance. That's an example we can set for our youth and future leaders- we can teach them that it matters to make a difference, no matter how small, in your part of the country and world by extension. 

I realise that we have daily challenges, and that is part of life and part of growing, whether in South Africa or any other part of the world. Our democracy is still growing and if we all abandoned our homeland, what would be left? If we all felt the need to run away to safer shores, what message does that send to our kids who are meant to make a difference? I feel a responsibility to teach my kids to love their country, despite the challenges we see each day- we love our kids, warts and all, so why not the land of our birth? I feel an intense need to pass on the mindset of giving back, and trying to effect positive change, as we need the youth to believe in this beautiful land we call home. 
The world will always be full of cynics and those who choose to leave, and that too is OK, but I refuse to participate in bashing my country because of its growing pains. I refuse to pass on the legacy that it's better to live somewhere else in the world and that the pastures are greener elsewhere. I love travelling and seeing the world, but my heart will always reside in SA, and sometimes things may happen and we need to leave for the briefest encounter abroad. I believe that the encounter would have occurred so we can bring those worldly lessons back to teach our growing democracy. 
Let's teach our youth to be responsible citizens, to be proudly South African and zealous about effecting positive change for our country.

And onto the lookpost of the week. 
The shirtdress is a comfy easy piece to have in the wardrobe. It is versatile and can worn in diverse (like our country hehe) ways. Here I have paired it with flat boots, but it can also be belted and paired with heels for a workwear look. Or it can be dressed down with sneakers and a biker jacket for that casual daytime look.

Outfit details:
Leopard shirt dress from Superbalist (last season; shop similar here)
Forever 21 leggings
Country Road boots (shop similar here)
Kate Spade bag purchased abroad
Scarf old
Various bracelets
Lovisa gold tassel necklace

Caio for now,
RuBe xoxo

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Friday 10 June 2016

Inspiration for the mind and soul

لسلام عليكم
Peace Be Upon You

On the first Friday (Jumuah) of Ramdaan, I am happy to report that the first few days of fasting have passed by successfully. I have managed to complete a lot of what I had planned these past few days, apart from merely abstaining from food and drink between sunrise and sunset. A lot of personal introspection takes place during this month and I usually find the inspiration for any big life changes during this month. Whether it is a personal behaviour, studies to pursue in the upcoming year, business decisions and plans around the home. 

"Fasting is not about a diet of burning calories,
It's about burning ego, pride and sins."
- Unknown

I truly believe that when the body is weak (when fasting especially) the mind and soul is strong. The ability to clear the mind of clutter becomes enhanced and one can focus on that which is important. There is no time to be concerned with trivialities, unnecessary dramas and being obsessed with food. There is no time to be concerned with what others are doing, or not doing, and instead rather focus inwardly. When one focuses internally on our own faults, and concentrate on mending these, everything else fades into oblivion. This is the time to reflect on what we'd like to improve, to reflect on our shortcomings and seeking mercy and forgiveness. In the same way we seek forgiveness, it is helpful to forgive those we feel have wronged us, so that it doesn't take up or foster any negative energy.

This past week has already set the scene for peace in the home, and the kids, even though they are studying have settled into fasting without complaint. This is amazing since they are usually voracious eaters, always scouring the pantry. The sense of tranquility have infiltrated their consciousness too, and there have only been occasional bursts of disagreements with each other. It's great how this has just happened without the reminder from mom, and they have even taken to stepping in with preparations when I am unable to be present at Iftar time. I am hopeful that this will last through the month without complaint.

I am thankful for the opportunity to experience another Ramadaan, in good health (apart from the flu) and that my family has pulled together to step in and help me, especially since I have engagements which take me away during Iftar time (time we break fast). More than ever, I can tangibly feel the power of a family that supports one another without judgement, without the pressures and need for conformity. Every single person in our home is vastly different and those differences are accepted without criticism. Earlier this week, we had a family meeting to discuss how we would deal with the challenges of our schedules during this month, and it was precious to see how each one was able to agree to a compromise that worked for everyone. 
We're off to a good start Algamdulilah.
And let's hope it continues...

All the best to those readers fasting!

Winter is back, after a relatively mild week, so today's look features a warm, bundled up outfit. The oversize camel blazer and blanket scarf are two staples in the wardrobe this winter, they are versatile, add extra coverage for that modest look and the best way to keep warm! All pieces are from previous seasons, except the bag, which was a recent purchase abroad.

Outfit details:
Woolworths camel blazer (last year sale purchase)
Woolworths skinny jeans
Country Road white shirt
Forever New wool blanket scarf
Old Country Road scarf
Woolworths leather boots (two years ago)

Caio for now,
RuBe xoxo

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Friday 3 June 2016

Preparation for remarkable month

Welcome readers,

Today is the last Friday before we start fasting, and I can feel the tangible anticipation in the air as I go about my day. I see the ladies scurrying about finalising last minute things, in the mosques the topic of most of the lectures focuses on preparing oneself for the Ramadaan.

This month usually marks a place in time for me from which I evaluate what I've done in the preceding 12 months and whether I had made a difference in the way I had intended. A lot of time is spent in introspection and reflection during this month, so I usually make plans in terms of my business decisions and personal goals. I find that the intense spiritual connection during this month really clears my mind of all the unnecessary clutter, and the solitude fosters a heightened awareness of life.

This month is not merely about abstaining from food and drink, it is a time to focus on our connection to Allah (God). It is a time where we spend more time in prayer and recitation, in remembrance of our Creator, giving thanks for all our blessings and increased charitable acts. Our social calendar also goes very quiet, and as a result, as a family we spend a lot more time together. I involve my kids in the Quran reciting schedule, planning around mealtimes and helping in the kitchen. They are also active participants in charitable initiatives; recently I have let them 'adopt' a less fortunate child and each of them will help shop for their adopted boy. We buy Eid clothes, toiletries and a treat. It's heartwarming to see how excited they are to be giving back and to be making a tangible difference to someone in need.

This month is like food for the soul, where I refill my soul with enlightenment, a time where my family's bonds are strengthened with all our shared activities. It is indeed a remarkable month, and I usually emerge feeling a sense of renewal, hope, tranquility and gratitude. 
This year we will still be in the midst of high school exams, so it will include some strict routine around studying. The days are shorter, and they will continue with sports and practices so this year the logistics are a bit tricky to navigate. But with all the time challenges, the shorter days are a blessing, as it means more time for quietude.

I would like to wish all readers observing this holy month,  a blessed month and may all your prayers be accepted Insha Allah (God Willing)

Today's lookpost features a waterfall coat, which is a recent purchase. It is warm, comfy and so versatile as it can be worn in several ways. This coat can be dressed up, belted with heels or worn casually thrown over as I have done in the pics.
Sneakers and a denim shirt completes the outfit.


Outfit details:

Waterfall coat purchased via Luxury Fashion SA
Spree leggings
Country Road Denim shirt
Happy socks
Nike ZA sneakers
Precious Rose scarf
Michael Kors bag
Various bracelets
Caio for now,
RuBe xoxo
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