Friday 31 March 2017

A challenging time

Welcome lovely readers,

Wow, what a beautiful rainy Friday morning we have been blessed with in the Cape. To go to sleep with the sad news of the cabinet reshuffle; and waking up hoping it was a bad dream, just finished off another insane week on a crazy note! 

2017 has brought so many challenges and obstacles on my personal path that I have become adroit at navigating around them, over them and through them. Each of these challenges helping me understand a little more about myself and my abilities. One day it can feel as if the world is literally crashing down around me, and after some introspection and prayer, I am able to turn around and face things head on. The biggest hurdle this year has been re-examining parenting; raising three teenagers in a world which is significantly different to the one I grew up in, is a mammoth task. Each day I learn a little more from these young men, and with my youngest who turned 13 this week, new boundaries had to be negotiated (again).  For me parenting is a constant negotiation of boundaries, rules and evolving the family unit to be safe and stable in an ever changing environment. 

I suppose the dynamic, fast paced world necessitates a constant negotiation of boundaries, for oneself as well as for the youth. It necessitates constant personal growth, to be able to function effectively in a society where things change overnight. From one moment to the next, things change in a heartbeat, like the tanking of our currency when recalling our Finance Minister, or reshuffling an entire cabinet, or the tragic death of a struggle stalwart, Ahmed Kathrada. And while these occurrences provoke anger, rage and the sense of injustice, it is also a time for reflection and the presence of mind to know that we need to deal with the present, the here and now. Ahmed Kathrada (like so many others) is an icon, a figure to be revered and learnt from, but our focus should be on the future, and being able to nurture such character and values in the present and next generations' leaders. And in the same way that I have had to address some really harsh circumstances this year, I feel as if the country is in the same way having to weather this new landscape, with the view to coming out stronger, with new leadership on the other side.  

In light of all upheaval happening around us, the droughts and fires, politics, school beatings and killings and kids going missing, it is apparent that we have to create safe spaces for our kids to just be. Societal pressures are hectic, superficial habits are applauded and intelligence and values placed on the back burner. As I have had to learn through challenges, the youth too will have to weather these difficulties, maintaining their sense of self with their confidence and self esteem intact. I trust and have faith that it is indeed possible.

Today's look is an ethereal one, light pastels with tulle and nudes to reflect my inner child. It echoes my hopeful thoughts and faith that things will turn out as they should. 
That I need to trust and fulfill my purpose in a greater plan.

The ZARA is a peachy nude silk top with tulle, paired with a skinny jeans and leopard print heels to add some edge for a work meeting. 

Outift details:
ZARA top
H&M skinny jeans
Nine West heels (old)
Ted Baker bag (old)
Jo Borkett scarf (old)
Lovisa rose gold neckpiece

Ciao for now,
RuBe xoxo

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Saturday 25 March 2017

Detoxing the wardobe (and life)

Welcome readers, 

This week's post is a day late, with Fashion Week happening, I have been frantically working, rushing to get mommy things done with enough time to get ready for the shows. I usually don't wear serious make up, and for this event I decided to do a proper make up look.... which takes time for me. So some things (like the blog post) took a back seat, I didn't even have time to schedule it!

Last week I touched on the disasters which happened in the Cape, and as I am writing this morning, we are waiting in anticipation to hear the verdict on shows cancelled at Fashion Week due to extreme weather conditions- and whether there will even be any shows today. The wind has been blustery, blowing everything upside down including such large scale events, a stark reminder indeed that we are not in control of life.

Autumn is on the way, the sun rises later, the temperatures will soon plummet and we will need to layer clothes. This is usually the time I am called in to do a wardrobe detox, or would recommend that it be done. Read more on my wardrobe services here. As with any detox, it's a way of cleansing, whether it is the body, a detox from social media or a general detoxifying of life. In my experience of working in wardrobes, people hold onto items and pieces for various reasons, all of which are not necessarily good. Even holding onto items with the hope that one will lose weight and fit into those clothes again is not the ideal space to dwell in. The reality of weight loss, is that you will be a completely different person (inside and out) to the one who wore those items. You will not be able to relate to the 'old' you and so those clothing pieces will not reflect the new, stronger person you have become. 
I usually work in wardrobes where clients need to revisit their wardrobe due to a fundamental lifestyle change, this could mean weight loss (as mentioned above), a change in career path, becoming a parent, widow or just someone who has gone through a process of healing after some traumatic incident. These events change the course of life fundamentally as essentially they empower an individual to a stronger place. During my consult we will talk about colour, styles, preferences and lifestyle, taking into account the impact that a change/adjustment in wardrobe will mean. It is not something to be ventured into on a whim, as our clothing are extensions of ourselves, in some cases it acts as armour and for others it is a vital expression of creativity. 

The beauty of life is that we are constantly evolving, without noticing that as events in our lives unfold we make little tweaks here and there based on what we choose to apply to our growth. And with any change, it requires time to become a part of who we are, for us to accept, integrate and to move forward... In the same way a wardrobe detox will be something one has to be ready for- a change which will enhance your self image or at the most dramatic, alter the image you present to the world. 

Today's look for me is evidence of how my daily style has evolved to suit my current lifestyle. I am no longer kitted in corporate wear every day, business suits and heels. I am able to dress as creatively as I choose, glam when required, work wear when I feel like it and athleisure for comfort. 
This outfit features a black dress, raw silk bomber finished off with sneakers - perfectly relaxed for my busy mom day and chilled business meetings. 

Outfit details:
Asos maxi dress
Human Image raw silk bomber
Lacoste sneakers (Asos)
Kate Spade handbag (purchased abroad)
Old scarf
Rose gold shades from Zululu
Lovisa elephant necklace

Ciao for now,
RuBe xoxo
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Wednesday 22 March 2017

Christmas at Eurodisney

Hello lovely readers, 

It's been a couple of months since our family vacation, and upon our return life resumed immediately! Whenever I travel abroad with the kids I am exhausted beyond belief and usually feel like I need a timeout to regain some stamina. It feels like it's been more than 6 months since we got back when it just been 3!

So when life gets crazy, I pop over to my happy snaps and I relive all the memories, the funny, the enjoyable and even the frustrating moments. 
My first post covers our time at Euro Disney, Paris.
After a packed flight via Heathrow, we had a short transit in an airport crowded with festive travellers. Everywhere I looked families were travelling with kids, it was so different from my last festive trip in 2010/2011. It sure seems as if there are more and more people travelling with kids over the Christmas period, despite the cold winter.
Our first experience of Euro Disney was only a day trip, after New Year's and without kids. It was cold, but really so much fun and the park wasn't even very full. It was so magical we planned to bring the boys back when our youngest could appreciate and participate in all the rides and activities (i.e taller than 1,3m which is the requirement for the really hair raising rides).

We set off to Disney for three days, with our sons aged 13, 16 and 17, lodged at one of the hotels just outside the village. We stayed at the Radisson Blu, which is a shuttle ride away from the park. Due to work travel arrangements I had to move our trip to over Christmas and New Year and discovered too late that this period would be extremely busy; and thus all the Disneyland and Disney Village hotels were fully booked (which is where one would preferably stay). Having said that, it was pretty easy commuting with the shuttle, as long as you were pretty clear on the shuttle times. The hotel was comfortable, with all the required amenities and a very good breakfast spread. Our rooms were also quite spacious (which is a new experience in Europe).
My initial thoughts were that Disneyland would not be full as it was winter and our previous experience post New Years was leisurely with few queues. It was unfortunately not the case, it was jam packed, from the minute the parks opened until after it closed at 10pm.
Families with young kids were milling about in the 2 degree weather, unfazed by the occasional drizzles. Christmas music, Mickey and Co, fairy lights and a huge Christmas tree all contributed to the ever present festive feel and magic. The Christmas parade was enchanting and the Mickey tree lighting ceremony so delightful!

Things to remember when visiting Disneyland Paris

  • When choosing accommodation, try as far as possible to stay at a Disneyland or Disney Village hotel, as listed on their website. Your access to the parks will be free for the duration of the stay.
  • If you have not managed to book into a Disney hotel, one would need to buy tickets to access the parks. There are two parks, and it is usually cost effective to obtain tickets prior to your visit on the website as these are discounted compared to tickets you purchase on the day. It also makes entry quick and easy, without having to queue to purchase a pass.
  • There are certain rides which always have hectic waiting times, Hollywood Tower of Terror is one, and we opted to use a fast pass on this ride. Best to decide early in the morning which rides to fast pass as you are only allowed to fast pass tickets at one time. 
  • We chose to stay at the parks for meals, however their are also many themed restaurants available outside of the parks in Disney Village.
  • Depending on the age of your children, your experiences will vary, however there will be a host of activities for adults, teenagers and young children alike.
  • When you arrive at the park be sure to grab a programme of events to determine which shows, parades, photo opportunities you would like to see. The parks are really big, and it may take some time navigating your way between parks. 
  • Be prepared for the overwhelm of quaint little retail shops grabbing the kids attention. You will most probably be badgered for soft toys, caramel corn, figurines, princess costumes and just anything sporting their favourite Disney character.
  • Because the park is open for the entire day, way past bedtime for younger kids, it would be a good idea to have nap time at the hotel (hopefully you're staying on the park) and return refreshed with little ones to watch shows, experience the rides and take in all the magic.
  • The older kids are more inclined towards thrilling rides, and even the parades and shopping!

Ciao for now, 
RuBe xoxo

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Friday 17 March 2017

A week of disaster

TGIF lovelies!

I am so grateful for the rain we received this week, and I can only pray for more 🙏🏻 
We are certainly in taxing times where acts of God have caused serious havoc in our community. The drought, the devastating fire over the weekend, and the extreme wind which cancelled the Argus Cycle tour, have all combined to shock us out of oblivion. 
Whilst all these occurrences are out of our hands, it is in fact a wake up call to society to become conscious of what is important, and how the constant pursuance of power and humdrum of daily routine have blinded us to the importance of the fundamentals of life. 
The pillars & principles of my religion are based on the fundamentals: 
Faith, Belief and accepting a Higher Power,  Being Charitable, Striving for a spiritual connection with the Divine and attempting to live life as the best version of ourselves, in the same manner as the last Prophet (PBUH). And regardless of whether you practise the same religion as mine, or are not religious; the fundamentals centre around being true to oneself, being aware of our interaction and impact in society and serving others authentically.

Since the fire in Hout Bay, I have been walking around with a very heavy heart, made somewhat lighter by the swift co-ordination of aid for those affected by the fire. It is heartwarming to see our city come out, dig deep and find something, and any way that they would be able to offer assistance. People have enlisted the help of friends, family and colleagues for the collection of food, clothing, medical supplies etc. I truly believe that the way a community takes care of its needy is a reflection of  that society, and it is encouraging to see the continuous actions of our citizens in pulling together for the affected families. 

My kids have come home and turned out wardrobes, my youngest has opened the pantry looking for non-perishable food, he has even gone through his soccer ball stash saying that he's sure it will cheer up the kids to play with a ball while they don't have a place to call to home. The horror of what it must be like to have your world go up in smoke overnight has affected him,  and he has been expressing concern for these kids every day since. He's been asking important questions: "How long will it take to rebuild homes?" , "How do they use bathroom facilities?"  and "It must be so scary not knowing what's going to happen the next day!" His biggest concern is for the kids because he has had to imagine his own world going up in smoke and how it would affect his stability, his sense of safety and security of knowing what life will bring. It has brought a sense of clarity for him (in fact all the kids), of what is really important and what is a privilege. It has reinforced their sense of gratitude, compassion and empathy (all very important traits to have in our current society!)
An important lesson fro them to learn from a disaster in our immediate community and not from preaching parents!

Today's lookpost features a matchy tropical print shirt and pants combo from A Sense Of Style,  aiming to capture the last of Summer in this colourful ensemble. The outfit was pulled together with a bright turban, fringed bag and classic sneakers.

Outfit details:

A Sense Of Style shirt and pants
Country Road scarf
H&M fringed bag
Adidas ZA Stan Smith sneakers
Crystal Paradise pearl necklace
Witchery earrings

Ciao for now, 
RuBe xoxo

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Friday 10 March 2017

My gratitude list

Hello beautiful readers, 

The weather is slowly turning, the days are getting shorter and our prayers for rain is constant. Our situation in the Cape is becoming dire, and even though it is a huge concern, I am choosing to focus on things to be grateful for. I have seen and heard so many heart wrenching stories of illness, death and trauma this week, that it has made me even more conscious of being thankful. 

So today I am grateful for these 10 things:
  1. My health and the health of my family.
  2. A loving and supporting spouse, who is my best friend and confidant. And who knows the deepest, darkest parts of me and loves me without judgement.
  3. Family members who have helped me through the hardest year of my life, and shown me that love is a healing force.
  4. Being able to practise my religion without persecution, and even though our country is not perfect, there are still so many things to appreciate.
  5. Living in one of the most beautiful cities in the world (although I feel it is THE most beautiful city!)
  6. Being able to learn from my kids, they are the wisest, kindest individuals and it's amazing the lessons I learn through them.
  7. The ability to understand the importance of forgiveness and move forward.
  8. Knowing when to ask for forgiveness and admit to my mistakes. This too is an important lesson learnt from my kids.
  9. Being surrounded by amazing individuals who bring sunshine into my life.
  10. That I am happy with myself, just as I am, and being able to say I accept myself in totality. 

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. 

It turns what we have into enough, and more. 

It turns denial into acceptance, 

chaos to order, 

confusion to clarity. 

It can turn a meal into a feast, 

a house into a home, 

a stranger into a friend" - Melody Beattie

Today's look features nude lace top and a metallic pleated skirt purchased last year on a Mango sale. I love the feminine lace paired with metallics and finished off with Valentino Rock Stud heels.

Outfit details:

Forever New Lace top
Mango pleated skirt
Advance Culture paisley scarf
Lovisa Crystal earrings
Necklace Old
Ray Ban shades, Sunglass Hut (old)
Valentino heels
Louis Vuitton Handbag

Caio for now, 
RuBe xoxo

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