Friday 28 October 2016

Parenting tribulations with an OOTD

Hello dear readers!

I trust this has been a productive and fruitful week. My son has started his final matric exams and the home has gone into study mode. All I need to do is offer support, food, quiet and the regular lifts to and from study sessions. 
With all this happening with my firstborn, the other two have also started their own preparation for exams, year end athletics, music concerts and the list goes on...
I have had to make a conscious effort to schedule time in with each of my younger sons, in order to spend quality time with each of them in their preferred activities. My youngest is12, and soon he will be entering the teen years; and by then his interests will change, with a significantly reduced need to spend time with me. I feel as if I want to stall this inevitable passing of time, there is still so much I want to do with my boys. My baby especially, is growing into a little young person, who occasionally exhibits bouts of moodiness, the isolated rebellion and need to be on his own at times. 

From past experience, I can now identify this as the beginning of puberty and I am able to deal with it in a different way to my first time. I can understand that this too shall pass, and it is a rite of passage, it is his way of finding himself and asserting his place. I can now, with the benefit of hindsight, nurture his growth without the clashing of minds and personalities. I have learnt so much in the past few years, more about myself, and more about how to be best version of me as a parent. And I suppose the version differs with each parent, as it is driven by our experiences, our passion, our souls and spirit. 
I have learnt that honesty with my kids goes a long way, admitting my mistakes goes even further and appreciating and celebrating them for who they are is really the best thing for each kid. 
I definitely do not have all the answers, but it does feel as if I uncover a little more by talking to my boys, about their day, what their plans are and little anecdotes they like to share. It gives me insight into what they find interesting, what the best parts and worst parts of the day was. I have also learnt that each one of my sons are individuals, each with a very strong spirit, and it highly impossible to handle each of them in the same manner. And I am able to articulate this to them when questioned on my methods. 
In between my first born and his milestones, my youngest and his approaching teen years, I have my twin soul, my middle son. So many of his behaviours mirror my own (which sometimes drives me crazy and other times I can relate to); and in a twist he has a well of courage, a fearlessness to try anything, something I lacked at his tender age. I admire this quality, although it has also brought us so many challenges through the years. However, I accept that he is driven to explore, he immerses himself in anything he attempts, and the best I can do is caution (not threaten as I would instinctively want to do) and let him know we are always there to guide, support, assist and we'll always do it with love. He knows we are committed to working through any challenge together, as a family... as hard as it may sometimes be. 
Parenting is hard, being connected is hard, being a reasonable parent in today's time is difficult, but the reward of having that connection whether they are teens, or grown men, is such a special goal and well worth the difficult times. I pray for more connecting, for more shared experiences and moments, even though they are rapidly becoming independent, separate and strong young men.

In today's OOTD, my mood is playful, it's an outfit I will wear when spending time with one of my boys, whether we're sharing a coffee moment, visiting the library or shopping. The t-shirt dresses are so versatile this season, but has to be in the right fabric so that it's not too clingy (for that more modest look). This one I picked up Mango and is made of a knit which is drapes heavily and is not too clingy. I paired it with my all favourite gold platform Superga sneakers, a South African collaboration with Poppy Ntshongwana. Since the t-shirt dress can come across as dull, I have added a statement neckpiece for some character.

Outfit details:
Mango t-shirt dress
Scarf old
Superga sneakers from Superbalist (shop similar here)
Necklace from Superbalist (shop similar here)
Paul Boutique shopper
Caio for now,
RuBe xoxo
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Tuesday 25 October 2016

Household cleaning at your fingertips!

Hi Readers, 

For those who have read my posts a few weeks ago (actually just before Eid), you would know that my housekeeper has been booked off - for at least 4 months! So I have been going insane slowly, trying to keep up with all the household duties, kids and work and it has not been going well. At all!
Trying to find a reliable person, who is able to only work certain days has proven near impossible with my crazy schedule. 
Until I was recently introduced to an amazing online company, Sweepsouth, who provide cleaning services, in a manner very similar to Uber. For me that was a no-brainer, an online service that would sort out the immediate crisis of a missing housekeeper? I was sold!

These were a few of the questions to which I needed some answers, these were:
  1. The cleaners are thoroughly vetted.
  2. The company provides insurance in the event of breakages etc.
  3. The cost is R38 per hour and you are able to request the exact number of hours you would require services.
  4. The service is available 7 days a week, and provide services from 7am to 6pm.
  5. Once off bookings or recurring bookings can be done.
  6. If you are really satisfied with a particular cleaning lady (known as a Sweepstar), you'd be able to request her for future bookings.
  7. If for any reason you are unhappy, Sweepsouth will offer a free reclean of the premises.
  8. They have introduced an app to make the booking process even easier.
  9. It is possible to do a booking even a day before the time which is handy if you're as crazy busy as I am.
  10. Arrangements can be made for a Sweepstar to be granted access to the premises required cleaning, in fact this is a common arrangement and is completely safe.
  11. Once you have confirmed the booking, start times, number of hours, and the size of your home and if any additional services would be required (ironing, window cleaning etc), you receive a confirmation of the booking. You are then able to log into your account, and you will be able to check who the Sweepstar will be, a photo and short bio will be available as well as the area she travels from and cellphone number.

I personally use Uber on a regular basis, when I am unable to manage to collect or drop my kids, so clearly I am very comfortable with this offering  (placing my little darlings in their capable hands). So with the introduction of Sweepsouth, I only needed to confirm the safety aspect for myself, and thereafter I was really keen to use the service.

I was really impressed with the efficient manner I could book, easy and fuss free. The following day I received a notification via the app when the Sweepstar left home, when she arrived at my place and when she was done cleaning. 
She was professional, friendly and thorough. When you book, you are able to see what the cleaning service entails, right down to wiping down kitchen cupboards! 

If you're still unsure, visit their website or just download the app and check it out.
Furthermore, they have a comprehensive FAQ section on the website, which covers most if not all concerns.

So if you're stuck without any household help and in need of a proper clean, or merely assistance with a spring clean, or the oven, fridge or windows cleaned only, this is the answer to your prayers. 
Visit Sweepsouth for more information.

For first time clients, use the code below to redeem R100 off the first booking.

Caio for now, 
RuBe xoxo

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Friday 21 October 2016

Are we losing Compassion?

Hello lovelies!

It's rather strange waking up to the sound of softly falling rain, after the beautiful week we have had. But in true Cape Town style, we have been blessed with some rain after the intense heat, a bit of a respite I suppose. And just like the Cape Town weather, we have a diverse and mixed society- visible in the way we handle adversities.

Last week a terrible incident of cyber bullying was trending, and shared and removed... and shared again. People started bullying the cyber bully... And things went downhill and became ugly very fast. It was an issue that was discussed at length with my sons, and how they feel it should have been handled. We had one son feeling very compassionate towards the bully while my other son felt that the bully's subsequent public humiliation was well deserved. And while I try to encourage them to have their own opinions, voice them and debate respectfully, I found myself horrified that my son would feel the bully deserved it. I felt that I had taught him to be compassionate and kind, and yet... when it came down to dealing with something as horrific as the video that the entire world sensationalised, I could see that it really depends on your own personal point of reference. 
My son was not bullied, he is not a bully, but having experienced a peer's teenage suicide earlier this year, he can only view bullying with extreme disdain. This specific suicide of his classmate was not bullying related, however the reality remains that teenagers are struggling with so many issues nowadays,  and adding to their woes by cyber bullying them was just intolerable to him. Needless to say, after many debates, I was unable to sway his perception, but I'll continue to try and insert some compassion!

And my other son was really compassionate, he was worried about the state of mind that the bully was in to feel it necessary to lash out at someone in such a public and cruel manner. And it further disturbed him to see how children and adults alike responded with bullying, name calling, insults and profane language being directed back at this young individual. Whatever her background story may be, and may well be filled with trauma; retaliating by humiliating her would just wound her even more. I felt that we let ourselves down as society when we feel justified in breaking someone down who is clearly troubled and in need of some benevolence. As a society, we did not stop to consider what may have triggered her behaviour, we did not first offer help. I would like to believe that the bully has at least been offered the support to deal with whatever the issue may be. I would like to believe that there were as many people empathetic towards the bully as there were people enraged with her behaviour. 

I cannot comment on the feeling of a parent whose child has been bullied. I can only imagine the despair, the anger, the helplessness they must feel. It must have been so difficult to encounter this cyber bullying video, while being in the position of instinctively needing to protect the bullied. We live in an unfortunate society where our system and resources cannot assist all victims, nor counsel all perpetrators in our schools today. Bullying incidences do not all make it to social media, they remain underlying societal problems with parents fighting desperately to resolve them and restore a sense of safety for the kids. The question remains: what can we do to help the system, to assist resources? Can our schools not appeal for funding to engage corporate giants to sponsor workshops? An intervention is crucial, and just as we are passionate about abuse, domestic violence, can we not start an anti cyberbullying programme? One which provides support for both the bully and the bullied? 
If anyone knows of any programme like this, please comment below and let me know. 
Our youth are the next generation, and it is our responsibility to equip them with compassion, strength, leadership and the ability to know right from wrong. If we fail, we fail society, we fail the divine responsibility we have all been trusted with to ensure that we lead and develop our future generations.

So today's outfit post is a quirky one, an unconventional one which is intended to show that I am proudly me. I am confident enough to wear an unusual ensemble (because it reflects who I am) to an event, without being concerned of what others may think. Here I have paired a traditionally conservative tropical print dress, with sneakers and a leather jacket to add some character to my outfit. 
This is me.

Outfit details:
Trenery tropical print midi dress
Urban leather jacket from Asos (old)
Adidas ZA Stan Smith sneakers
Black silk scarf (old)
Kate Spade handbag bought abroad
Lovisa black crystal necklace

Caio for now, 
RuBe xoxo

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Tuesday 18 October 2016

GIVEAWAY!!! Hollywood Oxygen Facial

Hi Beauties, 

With party and event season approaching, and the end of year stress getting to us, it's a good time to indulge in a pampering revitalising facial. The Hollywood Oxygen facial, which I have experienced and can attest to, is offered by Biodermal Aesthetics Clinic. Read my post here.
This particular treatment is very popular with celebrities, and is used specifically for pre-event skincare treatment, as it plumps, rejuvenates and improves the skins texture and elasticity in one treatment.

Celebrities such as Madonna, Kim Kardashian, Victoria Beckham and Jessica Biel have professed to enjoying these facials to give their skin a boost, especially during event and red carpet season, and have even invested in their own oxygen machines.
So if you're a bride and haven't the time to book a series of facials, or have a big party, award event or year end function, give the Hollywood Oxygen Facial a try.

The machine delivers bursts of oxygen to the skin via a jet, which is done at varying pressures depending on your skin condition. The high pressure infuses product, specifically accelerates and hydrates into the skin ensuring that it dos not just coat the skin, but instead is fully absorbed.
A mask is also applied with the oxygen dome over it to ensure maximum absorption of the mask. This non-invasive treatment is safe for all skin types, dehydrated, sensitive and acne prone skin.

Biodermal says:

"The bt-Accent AIR system revitalizes the skin by inducing break through , age defying skin care products containing powerful and scientifically proven ingredients to target signs of ageing , fine lines and wrinkles . It works by purifying the air removing nitrogen and other potentially harmful elements . The purified air is then used to apply revolutionary skin care products to problematic areas . Complete with three unique accessories

bt-Accent Air benefits
  • > Complete product penetration 
  • > Addresses expression ageing
  • > Firms and improves skin's suppleness
  • > Hydrates and revitalizes skin 
  • > Improves circulation
  • > Reduces acne
  • > plumps sunken and deflated skin

The method of delivery used in order to pump oxygen into the skin is gentle , which makes treatment a viable option for those with sensitive skin and who have difficulties with injections or other harsh treatments to get rid of wrinkles ."

 To celebrate party season, we are giving away a Hollywood Oxygen Facial, valued at R620 to one lucky lady or gent, hopefully to be redeemed for a special occasion. 
All you have to do:
  1. Like the Biodermal Facebook page
  2. Follow the Biodermal Aesthetics Clinic Instagram page
  3. Like RuBe's Closet Facebook page
  4. Comment on the post on either the Biodermal Facebook or Instagram post of the below image, and tell us what your idea of inner beauty is. 
  5. Don't forget to use the hashtag #biodermalfacial to be eligible to win.
  6. Giveaway ends 1 November 2016.


Caio for now, 
RuBe xoxo
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Friday 14 October 2016

Life is filled with magical moments

 TGIF darlings!

Today marks the end of another emotional week, it seems that it's been the case for a while now. I suppose it is largely due to the fact that my first born is in his 18th year, a year I have dubbed as his "Year of Firsts". And along with those 'first' experiences, I have a little bit of a wobble and a sniff for days gone by. 
Yesterday was his Valedictory, a bittersweet day for all parents, and I was especially struck by the speech the head boy delivered. It is astounding to hear these young adults deliver such profound words, filled with a wisdom that is not always evident. His message: (very loosely quoted as I was too emotional myself to get the words just right, but these are such appropriate words )

"I would not want my high school years to be the best years of my life, 
I would want every year to be the best year of my life, and so it should continue into the future." 

These words are so impactful and I can only hope that his message will resonate with his classmates for years to come. For high school may seem like the best years of your life, work at making every single year a phenomenal one. And phenomenal can mean so any different things to different people - it's all about priorities and what brings you joy. 
As I sat through the ceremony yesterday, I reflected on my own high school years, which were  relatively OK. But it was also pretty dreadful and filled with trauma, and my coping mechanisms allowed me to find joy at school while it was constantly being drained at home. So while I can say I enjoyed high school, it was not necessarily the best years of my life. However, I have learnt and grown from the distress - so I wouldn't change a minute of my teen years, for it has shaped who I am today. And like the young man delivering his speech, I made a conscious decision to savour each day for the moments it presented. In this way I was able to live the best years of my life each day, and even with the turmoils of general life, find a way to savour and be grateful,despite occasional heartache. It is a difficult thing to master, and yet for me it has been a coping mechanism to get me through some of my life's more anguishing times. The daily grind gets to everyone, and we wish so hard for the week to go by and for Friday to come or for our kids to be older, that we often miss the magic in each moment. And because I know sadness and have felt desolation, it has become an intrinsic part of my being to look for the magic in the moments. These joyful, magical moments have spurred me on when nothing else could.  

And so my motto in life is to cherish each day for the joy it brings. 
There will be moments of frustration, anxiety, anger and fear, but if we look for it we can find the magic underneath it all. 
So go and find your magic ❤️

With Spring upon us, and being blessed with such a beautiful day, my OOTD features another Human Image design. A light maxidress, with striking blue print and customised for me with gold hand painted detail. This dress makes me feel ethereal, happy and filled with magic. Aysha is indeed an artist, and each garment she has made reflects a bit of me. I paired this maxi dress with a vintage bag, and blue suede shoes.

For more exclusive, consciously sourced and manufactured pieces contact Aysha Allie, the designer behind the Human Image label:
Studio: 65 4th Avenue, Rondebosch East
Call Aysha to arrange viewing or shopping times at the studio: 0723711695. 

Outfit details:

Human Image maxi dress
Ted Baker heels from Stuttafords
Vintage LV handbag
Trenery Scarf
Lovisa neckpiece

Caio for now, 
RuBe xoxo

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Friday 7 October 2016

10 Tips for trendy moms feat the Silk Bomber

Happy Friday readers!

While I have had a busy week, it was interspersed with precious time spent with the kids. School holidays is really the time where I get to catch up with them, even if it means a chat while playing chauffeur to the teens, carting them to and from their planned activities. I've had to become accustomed to not having my entire family home for supper, which is strange, but I also accept that they require some time out during school holidays. It's merely a rite of passage and an indication of them growing into independent beings. 

Being constantly on the go means I require comfort, as it could easily mean that I'm running around all day. However, I do not believe in sacrificing my personal style for comfort, and will still put some thought into my chosen outfit for the day. There are so many trends which I have just fallen in love with; but I am keenly aware of what suits me and, more importantly, what is appropriate wear. I am conscious of the fact that the line between being trendy and looking like a teenager can be easily trespassed, so I shop mindfully. As a mom to teenage boys, I do not want to surrender my personal style as it is an expression of who I am, and at the same time I do not want to try and look like their peers. And since I dress modestly, I believe the stores and boutiques I frequent stock items which help strike the right balance.

So here are 10 tips for moms wanting to remain trendy, without looking like teenagers:
  1. Know your personal style and how you want to express yourself. (Side note: Sloppy is not a personal style- but casual is...)
  2. Know what works for your body type and skin colouring. 
  3. Accept that some trends are just not meant for mommies eg. short play suits
  4. Do not be afraid to incorporate high fashion items into your current wardrobe, sometimes one does not need an entire outfit to tick all the trend boxes.
  5. Do not wear high fashion pieces which will make you feel uncomfortable, if you feel uncomfortable it will be plainly obvious. And if you don't feel great in an item, you will be self conscious all day.
  6. Take inspiration from celeb style, do not copy an entire celeb outfit, as you will lose your own character in the outfit.
  7. Buy good classics that can transcend a few seasons, as the budget is usually spent on buying for rapidly growing kids.
  8. Comfort is key, and this comes with good quality natural fabrics, so keep an eye on fabric composition when purchasing.
  9. Accessorising an outfit can change it from being dull to being perfectly stylish. Textures and prints will also change an outfit into an interesting ensemble.
  10. And finally, whether you're a stay at home mom or a busy career woman- make time for grooming. (Anything from 5 minutes in the morning, to a threading or waxing appointment applies). It will help you look well put together and also make you feel amazing and confident each day.
With that in mind, today's outfit features the current bomber trend- my take on it is in the form of a raw silk bomber, exclusively made by local designer, Human Image. (website is currently under construction, please find her details below.) This ensemble was intended for comfort, I attended a morning seminar & networking breakfast, and thereafter straight into errands and picking up kids from school. I have always loved sneakers, and celebrate the fact that I can wear them to a morning meeting, where they will be considered acceptable and trendy instead of sloppy. I have accessorised with a statement neck piece to add a bit of an edge to the simple mosaic tile dress.

For more exclusive, consciously sourced and manufactured pieces contact Aysha Allie, the designer behind the Human Image label:
Studio: 65 4th Avenue, Rondebosch East
Call Aysha to arrange viewing or shopping times at the studio: 0723711695. 

Outift details:
David Jones mosaic tunic dress from Woolworths (shop similar here)
Human Image silk bomber
Forever 21 leggings
Nike ZA sneakers
Precious Rose scarf 
Country Road sling bag (shop similar here)
Ziba Styles statement neckpiece
Bracelets from Tiffany
Zulu Lulu sunglasses (shop here)

Caio for now, 
RuBe xoxo

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