Tuesday 31 January 2017

Halaal Life cooking class

Hi Lovelies!

Late last year I attended Echi's Halaalife private Asian cooking class. The class is hosted at her home, and she prepares all ingredients prior to the class starting, including the cleaning the chicken!
Upon confirming the class, she will send menu options (which can be found on her website), I chose the Indonesian Sate Ayam with peanut sauce and jasmine rice with pandan muffin as a dessert option. 

I have always only eaten Simply Asia, and really did not venture into the unknown Asian options, I haven't even considered attempting to cook Asian food! I had just thought that the food always involved too much preparation, and frankly that it was just too complicated. 

I first met the beautiful Echi at an event where we were both guests, and a few times after. Her warm, friendly personality endeared me to her instantly, and this is felt when interacting with her during the cooking class. She welcomed me into her home with the familiarity of an old friend, and the lesson felt more like a catch up than a class!

When I arrived, the ingredients had already been placed on the counter,  and since it was a private class, the lesson was in her kitchen. She has an alternative space at her home for bigger groups. She had even prepared some delicious iced tea which we sipped while working and chatting. More importantly, I learned how easy it is to cook Asian food, where to shop for ingredients and how tasty it was! 
We finished off with some great conversation over lunch, and I got to take the leftovers home for the family. Even though the pandan muffins were Hulk green in colour, it was gobbled up by the boys and they have since been insisting that I make the chicken satay with peanut sauce, since it was super yummy!

Thank you Echi for your great hospitality, opening me up to Asian food, and the engaging conversation. 
After the holiday break Echi has resumed bookings for classes, so head over to her site for details.

I love the little touches

Everything prepared 

The menu

This ingredient is what gives the pandan muffin its unique taste

Peanut sauce from scratch

Ready to eat, with some chili sambal

Leftovers for the family!

Caio for now, 
RuBe xoxo

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Friday 27 January 2017

Bohemian miracles

TGIF lovelies!

It is with a grateful heart that I start today's post, the rain pouring down has indeed brought blessings- the answer to our prayers! And it ties in completely with my topic for today...

Earlier this week I heard someone say: "Miracles happen everyday...", but with such a sense of disbelief that it affected me. It got me thinking that we live so obliviously that it would be easy to miss the miracles which occur in our lives each day. The miracle referred to earlier this week was an obvious one, hence the disbelief... and this led me to ponder on the concept of miracles.

Last week I spoke about a sudden death and the importance of being present (read that post here), and the grief must be overwhelming when one is faced with such loss. However, if we look for the miracle in each day, it may make each day more bearable, it may make being present easier. We cannot question why tragedies occur, our constant faith is what get us through the hardships and will ensure that we accept what ever has been decreed. In the same way our faith will enable us to accept miracles without question, without the disbelief and constant wondering why. 

The word 'miracle' itself is loaded with implications, it is not easily used, accepted or believed. But if we embrace daily miracles, we become more acceptable of the concept and in a way we welcome miracles into our lives. So this week I have asked myself which daily miracles do I overlook? It does not have to be inexplicable, it just needs to be unexpected and special. 

Today, the thunder showers are a miracle, unexpected and welcoming in our time of need.

When I am feeling down, and receive a text, call or visit from someone who is special to me, that is regarded as a miracle. 

Having someone sent to ease a burden, offer support and encouragement without being asked, is a miracle.

Meeting somebody who years down the line has incidentally played a huge role in shaping a prosperous future - is a divine miracle. 

Being surrounded by people who volunteer themselves to add value to your life, with no hidden agenda - is a miracle.

Watching my little nephews and nieces develop into personalities of their own- is a special miracle.

And more importantly, being loved unconditionally is truly a miracle in my eyes. And having my children know love, and feel free to express love and show it- even more of a miracle.

We live in such a cynical society that our first instinct when faced with a 'miracle' is to question it. To try and reason why it happens, to dissect the meaning and find the reason or cause. Trauma and life has taught us to be on our guard at all times, to be careful of who we 'let in'. I know this firsthand, having gone through a big part of my life not trusting just anyone, not letting everyone see me. I used it as a coping mechanism, having experienced trauma at a young age, I didn't feel safe enough to trust. 

What I realised, is that by closing certain parts of myself off, I was not allowing miracles to happen. I was not allowing the grace of the divine to enter my life, regardless of my religious practices. By not sharing my value, by not serving others I was wrapped up in my own things, trying to protect myself from hurt- and in the process choosing not to heal. Once I had chosen to shed those behaviours, and open myself up to love, and to be authentic with others, did I make space for miracles to happen. 

And they happened, everyday, and at times I am surprised by them, and at other times I am just thankful. I am just thankful to have undertaken a journey into myself to be able to understand my inner workings, my value, and what I have to offer. 
That, on it's own, is a miracle to me.

Today's post features a bohemian maxi dress, which I bought from the Something Pretty Pop Up store. I really adore their unique pieces, which is imported by the beautiful Tasneem, who certainly has an eye for amazing pieces. This dress represents my unconventional side, seen by the way I have styled it - with a  sleeveless denim jacket and rose gold sneakers. The bodice of the dress is beaded, which blends in with the pretty pattern, ticking all the requirements for a classic fashion item in my wardrobe (some glam with a touch of alternative).

Outfit details:
Dress from Something Pretty Pop Up Store (shop here)
Sleeveless denim jacket (old)
Lacoste rose gold sneakers purchased abroad
Louis Vuitton bag purchased abroad
Black raw silk scarf (old)
Black Peacock pearls from Crystal Boutique (shop here)
Sunglasses from Zulu Lulu (check them out here)
'LOVE' earrings bought abroad
Caio for now,
Rube xoxo
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Friday 20 January 2017

Finding meaning in the present

Welcome back lovelies, and a warm hello to new readers, 

This week life returned to normal routine, with meetings and school lunches, after school meals and so on... The sudden death of a 31 year old woman has rocked my consciousness this week, she was a wife, mother to two beautiful souls, daughter and friend. It brought my uncertain mortality into stark reality, forcing me to look at my own life and how I conduct myself daily.
My philosophy has always been to live each day to the fullest, love with abandon, give back to others, remain steadfast in my faith and practise gratitude. All of these 'platitudes' sound all good and wonderful, but it doesn't just happen by accident. One has to first make the choice to live a certain way, and put in the work to make it a reality. 
Living life to the fullest is an exceptional concept and is really rewarding, but I have to remember to not get too caught up in routine and unnecessary distractions which inevitably derails this attitude. Distractions occur all the time, in my life... the cell phone is a tempting distraction- social media, emails, text messages etc can literally 'waste away' my day. So I am acutely aware of not allowing this to happen, I am aware that when anyone speaks to me, the phone has to be out of my hands and face down (so the notifications don't draw my attention). 
The television needs to be off, so I can pay full attention to whomever I am interacting with. 
If cooking, I will put the stove off to listen to my son talk about what happened at school (and it is usually an innocuous story- but one he wants to share). 
While driving home from school, my kids know I listen to news and traffic reports, so I will not be listening to anything they say at that moment, and afterwards the radio needs to be muted to have a conversation.

Living life to the fullest also means we try to share in memories, to give our kids of ourselves more than we give them material things. It means participating actively in their lives, despite the teenage resistance. It even means knowing when to step back and them the space to just be. As far as possible we will try new things, see new places, meet new people, as each of these opens up our horizons and minds. 
This means being present in my life, finding meaning in hardships, always being aware of my surroundings and impact on others. It means knowing my own value, and valuing others, loving without reserve and accepting love in return. Having couple fights is normal and human, and heaven knows I am guilty, but the important thing I have to be always be mindful of is the concept of mutual respect we both believe in... and how we contract to work through a disagreement. While working on myself, I have found that our disagreements have become rare, and when they do happen it is more of a debate and discussion. And yet I strive to be present in these moments too, as they inevitably lead to a new found perspective. I have not found the recipe to rein in my egotistical tendencies, but I am constantly aware of it and how it affects interactions.

Bottom line: 
I am a work in progress, and I am aware of the impact of my thoughts, words and actions on those around me. So while I try to live my life fully, I pledge to do it with grace and consideration for others.

Todays #OOTD features a layered Summer look. I love the longer kimonos which work with anything, they can be thrown over a jeans and t-shirt (as seen below), over a slim/bodycon dress for an evening out and even over a swimsuit for a fashionable beach look.  
I paired a bohemian inspired kimono with a relaxed jeans and t-shirt, finished off with some nude wedges. The look was accessorised with a French Connection saddle bag I bought in London, Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses and tassle earrings.

Outfit details:

Zulululu kimono (shop Insta here)
Victoria Secret Dubai t-shirt 
Gap Jeans
French Connection bag (purchased abroad)
Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses from Sunglass Hut (4 seasons ago)
Lovisa earrings
ZARA wedges 
Woolworths scarf
Various bracelets (Tiffany & Co, Desray & gifts)

Caio for now, 
RuBe xoxo

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Friday 13 January 2017

Hello 2017!

Welcome 2017! 

May this year bring lots of joy, prosperity and love. 
After a phenomenal vacation in frosty Paris and London, I returned exhausted from all the sightseeing, shopping, mommy duties and tour manager responsibilities. While the experience was one we will cherish forever, reliving the memories often, it is great to be home and resume 'normal' life.
I spent a lot of time with my family this holiday, an international trip forced us into close proximity for two weeks. The boys shared a hotel room for 2 weeks, we ate every single meal together, prayed together everyday, shopped, shared in experiences which weren't necessarily our own choices and made the most precious memories. 
I will do a post soon on my trip, so keep an eye on the blog 😊

I don't usually do new year resolutions, as I make any changes during and after our month of fasting, so for me it's like a continuation of life after a break. There are no grand declarations of what I would like to change for 2017, and instead I will continue on my path to be a better version of me, a better wife, parent, sister, child and friend. I have found a change in the relationships within my family unit after this vacation, travelling together really improved the family dynamic. And the timing was perfect, just as my first born sets off to university, my youngest steps into the senior role at primary school and my second born, whom I've noticed, is maturing into a compassionate, responsible young man.

I am hopeful though that the new school year brings them happiness, success and the opportunities to learn in more than just academics. I am hopeful to continue being of service to others, inspire where I can, and continue on my constant journey to seek knowledge and improve in every aspect. I am mindful that I will make mistakes along the way, and will experience downs along with the ups, but I'll be prepared to learn whatever lessons I am meant to learn. My journey will consist of lots of introspection, as this is the best way to be of service, to be a better person and take in the daily blessings which cross my path each day. It is imperative for me to remember to cherish those close to me, to let them feel loved and appreciated. 

I forsee another busy year ahead, with challenges as always; but I am prepared for whatever comes my way without expectations. 

“We can't be afraid of change. You may feel very secure in the pond that you are in, but if you never venture out of it, you will never know that there is such a thing as an ocean, a sea. Holding onto something that is good for you now, may be the very reason why you don't have something better.”
C. JoyBell C.

My first lookpost of 2017 is a relaxed one, worn to spend an afternoon at a beach cafe, indicative of my view for the year ahead.  A pretty ruffle dress purchased on the Asos Black Friday Sale, so it was a good deal and the perfect colour I had been searching for. I paired it with embellished Dune flat sandals (also a sale purchase) and my newly acquired Louis Vuitton neverfull (which hubby and I queued for patiently at their Paris store) and an essential sunhat.

Aside from the splurge on the bag, every single piece in this ensemble was a sale buy, from a recent Black Friday to sales dating 3 years back. All good quality classics.

Outfit details:

Asos dress (purchase here)
Accessorise hat
Dune sandals
Ralph Lauren sunglasses from Sunglass Hut -Bali (purchase similar here)
Gifted wooden bead necklace
Louis Vuitton handbag
American Swiss earcuffs
Tiffany & Co bracelets

Caio for now, 
RuBe xoxo

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