Friday 24 February 2017

Stages and phases

Hello lovely readers, 

With my eldest son starting University orientation this week, I have gone into reflection mode. Reflecting on the phases I've experienced, the stages through which kids progress and how fast it all happens. 
As we prepared for his week of orientation, I left him to arrange his transport, to register for classes and manage the week on his own. Monday morning he was ready to go, waiting on his lift club to collect him, with a brief hug, peck on the cheek and a hurried "Good Luck' and "Love you"... from mom, a quick "Love you too"  and he was on his way... Off onto another stage, this time with more independence and increased confidence.
And it brought back all his first days, with such a realness, I felt as if I were reliving those moments again.
His first day at nursery school, with a backpack bigger than him, all smiles and excitement. He was so easy, and so comfortable to have his grandad as principal, and thus present throughout the day. Of course, he needed to check that Grandad was there several times throughout the morning, and he really was the happiest little chap at nursery school.

His first day at Primary school started at Grade R, this time he was a little more apprehensive without the security of principal Pa. I remember feeling more anxious than he seemed, and luckily I was on maternity leave and able to be at home for a few months at least to help him adjust. Not only was he at a new school, he also had a new baby brother to 'take care of'. That year was easier than I had anticipated...
Then Grade 1 happened, the first day was quite an event, the first grandchild on both sides, and my firstborn off to school, looking adorable in his little uniform. The structure of grade 1 took some getting used to, and we used to watch him run off into the playground each morning, eager to join his friends. With a few waves to mom and dad, and a couple more glances, he would start his day.

Then came high school, a very different young teenager to the eager little boy. I was very fretful, sending my first born off to a school where he had no friends, no familiarity and at the same time still finding himself. Mum and Dad were instructed to drop him off at the gate, and leave without lingering and without waving. At least I still got a perfunctory hug and kiss before he dashed off. I was further told to avoid the sports practice fields, and wait in the car *muffled sobs*, and to stay in the car when collecting him after school.

That was a short 5 years ago, during which he went through stages of wanting me around, and then not needing me. I am grateful that the hugs have returned, the pecks on the cheek and "I love you Mom", but these are now accompanied by constant debates around rules and boundaries and fights about responsibility.

How far we have come since that first day at nursery school, the little boy who was always happy, soft natured and always a fussy eater! I pray each day that he is guided on his path and that he will always be mindful of his responsibilities as a young muslim leader.

Today's lookpost features a peasant 'coat' which ties in the front with tassles, paired with wedges and a skinny jeans. This cobalt blue and white top reminds me of simple times, and relaxed lounging. It is the perfect boho look for a chilled mom day.

Outfit details:
Glamour peasant blouse from Superbalist (shop here)
 London Hub skinny jeans from Spree (shop here)
ZARA wedges
Forever New Scarf
Make a Statement beaded earrings
Rebecca Minkhoff fringed bag

Caio for now, 
RuBe xoxo

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Friday 17 February 2017

Valentine's Musings

Welcome lovely readers, 

This week Valentine's Day was the highlight for many, for me, it was another weekday peppered with romantic posts and images of flowers and hearts popping up every couple of minutes. Hubby and I don't really do a big Valentine's Day fuss, although I got the cutest card and I just about managed a special sushi dinner to be delivered for the two of us. But I really do enjoy seeing the declarations of love everywhere, couples planning romantic evenings and just the effort people put into making their significant other feel special and adored. 

It gives me hope in humanity, at a time when our news headlines report daily murders, rapes, child abuse and gang violence. The cynics may say it is a huge marketing drive, aimed at consumers who spend money unnecessarily. I would think that if we at least have one day in the year that people can take the time out of busy schedules to connect, then I am all for it. I believe it is important to let your special partner know they are appreciated and loved, and sometimes our lives are so busy that we pass each other by like ships in the night. 

Our time becomes so consumed by chores, work, family, routine and of course, social media, that time passes by in a haze of activities. None of which is planned, and occasionally we remember the abandoned practice of a weekly date night, and resurrect it for maybe two weeks before life engulfs us again. And on those dates nights, parents spend the time watching the clock, worried about the baby with the sitter or wondering if the homework is done and if the kids are down for the night. (I am clearly referring to myself here...)

For me this week passed by in a blur, with a stolen moment to post a cheesy Valentine's Day picture for my guy and then back to crazy. However, hubby and I usually take time to catch up while I'm cooking, or while we're waiting for the eldest to get home. We try to grab the little moments to check in with each other, a call during the day or by sending an uplifting note. 

With that in mind, and the fact that I now have the time... I dedicate these few words to my other half, my best friend, confidant and biggest supporter:

I know life grabs us and throws us into the whirlpool, 
I know it sometimes feels like a neverending rollercoaster, 
But I also know that without you by my side,
I'd feel washed out and fatigued, 
I'd feel sick and weary. 
You bring a vitality to my days, 
And a purpose to my ramblings.
You make me feel like I can do anything, 
Like I can vanquish any obstacle.
And with you by my side, 
I know the sky is the limit.
And with these words
I want you to know this,
I love you, 
I appreciate you,
Pray that we're blessed with many more adventures.

Today's post is a Valentine inspired outfit, the romantic floaty skirt, paired with the pink leopard print top finished off with statement pearls.
Once again, all pieces worn are classic items, some of them from about 3-4 years ago.

Outfit details:
Witchery pleated skirt
Glamour top from Asos
Daniella Michelle heels
Scarf bought abroad
Studded pastel bag from ZARA
Superbalist pearl necklace
Ralph Lauren sunglasses purchased abroad

Caio for now, 
RuBe xoxo

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Friday 10 February 2017

Over-parenting struggles

Hello lovelies, 

Another week, another month... This year is flashing by too fast. I need some time to catch my breath (and also to catch up!). 
This past week has been a better one, and I've been trying to work on adjusting my parenting style a bit. Growing teenagers and young adults in the home necessitates the need for some parenting adjustment... I am really struggling with this as it means letting go of control.. (yeah my inner control freak still lurks around occassionally). It means letting go of over parenting and trying to protect them from everything bad, potentially bad and sometimes just unsavoury experiences. 

While waiting for university to start, my eldest has started working part time, it was a huge relief for me, because :1) he would be occupied and not lazing around for weeks and 2) he would have some cash to spend and wouldn't need to rely on me for everything! This has also brought some challenges as he is now fraternising with working young adults who are wholly independent and accustomed to just being (without parental interference 😩)
This is where I struggle, at this phase I need to carefully balance no parental interference with just the right amount of guidance and support. During the past week it became clear that there were times where I was over parenting, and by doing this I was making it harder for him to choose, or make a decision. I thought I was helping, thought I was providing him with options, when all I was actually doing was confusing him even more, at a time when life is just generally confusing. I guess being a young adult, is hard enough, having to navigate your way from childhood into adulthood. It comes with increased responsibility, choices and consequences. 
So I have been trying to manage the parental instinct to protect my kid at all costs, where I would usually end up getting involved unneccesarily; and now, letting my son handle situations on his own. I have also understood that I have always tried to shield them from the harsh realities, and that  just by living life, they will experience things and see things we cannot always guard against. They are destined to experience their own life, find their own purpose and walk their own path. That is a difficult reality for me to accept, when my inclination is to make things easier for them, so that they go securely into the world. However, this is life, and in the same way that I walked a path which has shaped me, they will do the same. 

It is time to let him be.

Today's OOTD features a collection of classics which have all been in my wardrobe for a while now, except the sneakers... Every single piece is more than 2 years old, which reinforces my philosophy of buying high quality, classic pieces which can transcend trends. All brought together for an easy Saturday morning brunch appointment. 🌸

Outfit details:
Human Image crochet lace blazer
ZARA linen pants
ZARA sequin t-shirt
Adidas sneakers (Footlocker London)
Rebecca Minkhoff bag (old)
Rebelfunk scarf (old)
Lovisa Rose Quartz earrings
Giorgio Armani sunglasses from Sunglass Hut (old)

Caio for now, 
RuBe xoxo

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Friday 3 February 2017

Life happens


Shew! I am glad to see the tail end of this week, I was challenged on so many levels that I really need the weekend to recover. I had fully anticipated a manic year, and thought I had it in the bag, with my well organised plans, lists and schedules. 
Life has a way of throwing you off balance. So you're forced to change course midway, or even right at the beginning. And nothing rings more true for me right now than this: 

“They plan, and Allah plans. Surely, Allah is the Best of planners.” #Quran 8:30

This week life threw me off track, and for a while I was struggling to keep everything together, my family, my routine, my work and my sanity. Whilst it is not my ordeal which brought the chaos, I was impacted significantly and with the ever present support of hubby and sister, life has resumed some semblance of normalcy. Even though I try my utmost to live life one day at a time, I am still required to schedule  and plan things like work, school requirements and lift times, that's just a reality. 
And with two sick kids as well, my time was basically theirs. I cleaned up puke, performed Vicks rubs, arnica massages, applied Transact patches, and did countless driving trips (even while I was without a car for two days- and just grabbed hubby's). I googled recipes for meals which are good for upset stomachs, and had to run to the store for the ingredients, played nursemaid for days and fluffed pillows while carrying trays of meals back and forth. 
As a parent it is very difficult to allow life to crumble, our kids look to us for support and guidance, they trust us to create the space for them when needed. However, I allowed myself some grieving time, and then resumed my way on the path. In spite of my plans, there are greater plans decreed and I will follow with it implicit trust and faith. This year has already had so much anguish for so many people, all over the world, that my post last week about miracles was vital for me.  With all the chaos surrounding me this week, I tried to find the miracle which I could hang onto with gratitude. I also remained present in each moment with my kids, which really brought me so much comfort. 
They were all in various stages of illness this week, and yet they were still able to make me smile, beam with pride and just be grateful to have them in my life. My little army of angels indeed, they helped me pull myself out of the chaos of an upheaval, and accept where my new path is headed. 
For that I am eternally grateful.

Today's outfit features a red dress worn as a tunic top, a powerful colour which helps with increased enthusiasm, it stimulates energy and can increase the blood pressure, respiration, heartbeat, and pulse rate. The colour red also encourages action and confidence and can often provide a sense of protection from fears and anxiety.

This colour was therefore appropriate for my state of mind this past week.

Outfit details:

DailyFriday top from Superbalist (shop here)
ZARA pants
ZARA wedge sandals
Chanel bag (purchased abroad)
Scarf (old)
Earrings by Lovisa
Zulululu Sunglasses
Caio for now,
RuBe xoxo
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