Friday 30 September 2016

Armoured Princess

Happy Friday beauties!

If you follow my social media pages you would have seen me grace the Red Carpet Fashion Show in an original MCouture gown. It was such an honour to wear this beautifully made garment, finished with all the little touches that make Mohammad's pieces so unique and beautiful. Not only did he make magic with this gown in record time, it was practically a perfect fit aside for the length and the tail (a tall ask without having the time to take my measurements).

I don't usually make the effort to have an outfit specially made for an occasion as I usually just pull something out of the closet. But I can relate to the indulged feeling of slipping into a custom made masterpiece. Each little detail and embellishment added to make it ornate and exclusive. It creates the illusion of a Cinderella fairy tale, for most; however for me, it made me feel as if the beauty I have within was on full display on the outside. While feeling extremely glamorous in this gown,  it also made a striking statement in terms of modesty. The fact that I was wearing such a baroque piece, elicited quite a few compliments and even enquiries as to who the designer was. A true testament to the fact that modesty is timeless and elegant.

When working with individuals and their wardrobes, it has become clear that many use the garments they wear as armour. Clothing can act as a shield behind which people hide; we hide our sadness, our lack of confidence and in some cases we dress specifically to hide our physical selves and blend into the crowd. I understand this completely. With my self esteem issues (read my last post on that here), but filled with confidence, I used clothing to project that confidence, and once dressed up, I would feel ready to tackle anything. Apart from the fact that I love dressing up, I also enjoy expressing myself in the outfits I wear. My style is varied and you will find me in a jeans and sneakers one day and in a dress and heels the next. Having said that, it also used to represent an armour for me to face the world when I wanted to hide my true self. It helped to mask my vulnerabilities, and made it bearable for me to walk around when on ocassion all I felt like doing was curling up into a ball of tears. It helped me manage the overwhelm of emotions and allowed me to hide behind the super confident, well dressed career woman.

When I reflect now, I understand why some pieces from my corporate career no longer feel like me, as they were merely intended to portray a version of me. It portrayed the version I thought I needed to be in the corporate world, trying to hide the demons I walked with each day. I am grateful to have fought off these demons, and today I do not feel as if I need my armour. I dress the way I feel, I wear what is appropriate for me, in my own way. I make a statement that is me, without hiding any version of myself. 
So now when I wear a gown as fabulous as this creation, I feel as if I complement it from the inside. I no longer choose to let the garment hide something, instead it accentuates the inner charm. 
Mohammad Rawoot (M-Couture) is truly a talented soul who specialises in couture, bespoke bridal and evening gowns. His work is of an exceptionally high quality and his attention to detail impeccable. 

For more information on M-Couture visit their Facebook page for contact details.

Custom Made gown by M-Couture 

Caio for now, 
RuBe xoxo

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Friday 23 September 2016

Learning to Love Myself

Happy Friday Readers! 

I've just realised that this blog is almost FOUR years old! Wow! 

I feel as if these past four years have brought amazing growth, and so many opportunities to improve on myself. Before starting this blog, I hated being photographed- I always felt that I was not photogenic and looked really awful in photos. I understand that this emanated from self image issues, and so much more. 
As a start, part of my growth through this blog was to become comfortable with being photographed, and accepting who I was on the outside. It also took a lot to click 'PUBLISH' on my first post, it was as if I was not comfortable sharing anything of myself with the world.
 I look back at a few of my first posts, and while the writing has changed, more real, as I became more comfortable with sharing my words, I also no longer cringed when looking at photos of myself. I still don't particularly think that I look drop dead gorgeous in photos, but at least I don't want to crawl under a rock every time I look at a photo of myself. I suppose everyone has those days where there may be bad photos, and I have made peace with that. And I don't even mind those terrible photos being seen/ posted anymore, it's just a moment in time anyway.

Most people who have known me most of my life, will testify that I am pretty confident, an overall achiever and always happy. I performed exceptionally well in my studies, while being married and nurturing a growing family. I tackled my career, while studying and did it all in my stride, and made it all look really easy. It was however unbelievably hard work, but my inherent personality would not allow me to take a moment to even feel the strain. I just powered on for years, climbing the corporate ladder, raising 3 kids, running my home... all while studying for various degrees. There was no time for me to reflect on anything, except what was happening, and with the never ending support of my partner and rock, I made it through in one piece. 
I was 'forced' through ill health to exit my career, the first step to this empowered version of me. Over the last few years, I have had to examine my motivation for the need to constantly excel, to be everything to everyone, and to make it look effortless. I have realised how so much of my childhood trauma still sat in my present and influenced my behaviours. Without going into too much detail around my personal process, I learnt the significant distinction between confidence (which I possessed in abundance) and self esteem (which I lacked). I learnt that my childhood had stripped my self esteem and in order to refill it and feed it, I excelled at everything I attempted. Without this awareness, the cycle continued, and while my self esteem was at a low, I continued to outperform (in life generally) but was never satisfied that it was enough. And so I would seize the next challenge and master it, and when it was conquered, not really feel the sense of accomplishment. 
I have learnt through intense personal work, that I don't need to excel at everything, and I don't need to make it look simple. I don't need to always look and be perfect for anyone but myself. I accept that my accomplishments are for myself and not to fill an empty childhood void, and I am now able to value my achievements for the diligence and commitment with which I pursue my ambitions.
I am now able to accept myself, warts and all, understand my weaknesses; and celebrate and value my strengths.

I am able to love myself, and accept the authentic love showered on me.

Today's post is a work look for me, one I wouldn't have worn in my corporate job a short few years ago. I planned on wearing my corporate formal trousers which I would would usually wear with this blazer, but it somehow didn't feel like me anymore. I can no longer relate to the woman I was when I wore those outfits - I now no longer wear what is considered appropriate but what I feel is appropriate for me.
So a t-shirt and ripped jeans with the blazer, and even the turban would not have been worn by the 'old' me. I am proud of how far I have come and overcoming childhood demons which walked with me each day.

My outfit:
Country Road Blazer
Style Republic jeans from Spree
Nine West heels (old)
Ted Baker handbag (old)
T-shirt (old)
Pearls (old)
Scarf from a market
Bracelets from Tiffany and Swarovski

Caio for now, 
RuBe xoxo

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Friday 16 September 2016

Pause: #LoveLivesHere

Welcome back lovelies!
And a belated Eid Mubarak to all those who celebrated.

Eid is such a special time, especially this past celebration, which centres around our pilgrims and the culmination of their esteemed spiritual journey. There is a sense of peace, tranquillity and even camaraderie with those on their final days as we can now follow their movements live on TV, social media and live streaming sites. Oh how I yearn to join them, but I will patiently await my turn IA. 

With Dad still in hospital this Eid, it was a sobering celebration, however it brought the importance of  living life in the present to light. With our busy schedules, we zoom from one place to the next without a thought for the present. We are always focused on the next thing that needs to be done, and even though I try every day to present, I too fall into the habit of rushing from one point to another. This week I decided to take a moment to pause, between missions, work and family and savour the time (and health) I am blessed with to be able to live and be free. It is indeed a privilege, when we reflect on war torn countries, refugees and the constant state of instability around the world. These moments helped me to reflect on my life and assess if I am making the most of each moment, and being grateful for them.
Having growing kids, one does tend to get caught up in the doing, in the actions of running a home. I have realised that I need to be mindful to show my family how much I love them, show appreciation for the little things, and more importantly, say thank you for just being them. And while we fight constantly with the teenagers, it may just be a temporary disagreement, but the lesson I take from this to compromise and even agree to disagree on certain issues. Unfortunately it's not always possible to compromise. I try really hard to be accepting of them as individuals, without my expectations clouding the point. I believe acceptance in the home is important, as it cements the feeling of being loved unconditionally. If I express my love and acceptance (especially when I may feel differently about a situation) I am hopeful that it will build their esteem in their own abilities. Unconditional love and acceptance will foster their sense of self love, self esteem and confidence in their own contributions. 

Having said that, I realise the tribulations of having opinionated, soon-to-be-adults in the home, they challenge and question constantly. Whilst trying to stay in the moment and be present, I usually listen and will calmly (not always though) assert my opinion on whatever matter we're discussing. It doesn't always go as well as I hope, and I often have a sulky teenager mumbling under his breath. Our solution to this is to usually take a time out, and resume the discussion when we're both less worked up. This is the equivalent of my pause moments I have taken this week. A time out to assess the landscape and approach it with a composed attitude, ready to compromise (if necessary) or declare the outcome (based on house rules). 
This pause has helped keep me on an even keel, it has helped me get through each day without getting over emotional (especially having Dad in hospital for almost a week) and it has given me the opportunity to express love and share joy in each moment. 
PS:  These pause moments are only effective when there are no distractions ie phones, laptops, TV or tablets. 

Today I'm sharing my Eid look, a dress from local designer, Mareth Colleen, one that I've had in my wardrobe for almost two years. I paired it with a lace t-shirt, Valentino heels and a lace Kashka turban.

Eid morning, family pics

My outift:

Mareth Colleen Dress
Old lace t-shirt
Lace Kashka scarf from Riehanas Scarves
Valentino heels
Earrings by Anine
Rose gold sunglasses by Zulululu
Old pearl necklace
YSL bag (old)

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Friday 9 September 2016

Let it go ... with fur

Another insane week done, where things just continually added up to the crazy pace. I feel like the insanity steps up a notch as we near the end of the year, and somehow I find myself just taking it in my stride. There are days where I feel totally overwhelmed by all the things I need to do, then all I have to do is take a step back, figuratively take a pause and a breath, and step back in. This approach helps, as I can take in the landscape from afar, and rework my plan of action. 

This week my housekeeper, who is an integral part of the family and helps maintains my sanity, was involved in an accident and landed up in hospital in PE. Notwithstanding the fact that I was left to do her duties, I was also unable to visit or see how she’s doing. This was disturbing as I am concerned for her, being far from home, her family and unable to get back until she has recovered sufficiently to travel. My workload had instantly grown and I literally took it day by day, not thinking beyond the next day, or when she’d be back home. This attitude really helped me keep things in perspective, since it is usually in my nature to plan meticulously and ensure that things are organised, where I know exactly how things will work for the rest of the week (at the very least). 

My middle son left for grade 10 camp and I was very calm and relaxed about this too. I am usually very anxious about his health and his behaviour, since he’s usually a mischievous little being. He’s also my most accident prone kid, the one who’s been to the emergency room several times, set several fires in the home and landed up in hospital in a foreign country. So my concerns are based on actual occurrences, however this time around I sent him off unperturbed, despite the absence of cellphones and no communication for a few days.

Today a family medical emergency threw me off kilter, and all my plans for the day went out the window. Again, I found myself unflustered about all the things I didn't get to do, focused on the family members health and what needed to be done logistically. And even though I am so grateful to see the end of this week, as it has been a whirlwind, I find myself quite unshaken by the pace. I am centered and ready to face whatever is next; and even with Eid around the corner, and a long list of things to do to prep, I am at ease that what must be, must be. 

This trust in outcomes and trying not to be too pedantic when things fall through the cracks has added a new dimension to my days. My serious control freak persona has gone on holiday, to be replaced by a less uptight version of me. I realise that this is probably the best way to deal with life, and whilst planning is still important , if things change midway, its best to just roll with the punches. It’s amazing, but things actually work out the way they should. 
And I actually feel better with less stress.
 I don’t know how long I will be able to maintain this serene demeanour, but I plan to hold onto it for as long as I can. It has helped me navigate turbulent times, with grace and ease.

Today’s outfit represents the unpredictable, changing, seasons and how we can wear items across seasons, especially with our weather. I have paired a winter faux fur gilet, lightweight tunic dress and riding boots which have been in my closet for ages.

Modest and trendy for our transitional weather.

New Look (Dubai) faux fur gilet
David Jones Tunic dress from Woolworths
Country Road boots (old)
YSL bag purchased abroad (old) 
Old Khaki scarf (old)
Necklace (old)
Double Pearl Earrings (Bali jeweller) 

Caio for now, 
RuBe xoxo

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