Friday 24 November 2017

Catching up with life

Hello beautiful readers!

This week I realised that I am operating 7 weeks behind everyone else... As I was chatting to a colleague about business plans for the rest of the year it dawned upon me that it was already November!! And that meant that the end of the year is actually upon us 😮
I had a little bit of a panic, as thoughts swirled around my head of all the things I still had to do before the holidays...

These past few weeks of exams have literally passed by in a haze of work (for me) and extreme stillness in my home. My two eldest sons decided to take turns studying from the home office *which is in a really quiet part of the house* - so they basically shut themselves away and only emerged at mealtimes and snack time. My youngest son needed a bit more directed structure from me, ie reminders that no electronics are allowed, nor TV and for him to stick to his study time table. 
As I look at these young men, I feel a sense of peace that all those years of 'nagging' for them to plan their study timetable, get regular breaks and fit in some physical activity in between, has indeed paid off. Thankfully they are at the point where they understand the importance of planning their time effectively during exams and they even attempt to practice self discipline without the consistent mommy reminders!
Of course, when some or other soccer match is on TV, they get all distracted; but I do feel that some balance is required and I often leave them to it. With the kids following their own time tables, and taking responsibility for it themselves, it freed up my time considerably. It was such a welcome respite from stressing about exams previous years, and I fell into a complete work haze. So much so, that I didn't even realise that the year had passed at such an alarming rate! This time of year is always insane and it's not unusual for me to work 7 days a week 😲 A reality of a work from home mom, who has to cook in between meetings and emails, ensure availability of healthy snacks and the ever present need to fetch or carry from activity.

It's therefore no coincidence that I am still operating behind everyone else, I was away for the entire second term of school and my head hasn't quite absorbed that we're in the final stretch. And when the reality hit me this week, I went into mommy overdrive - finishing up 2018 stationery orders, arranging high school entrance exam appointments, buying uniforms and attending awards ceremonies. I had to catch up with life instantly and now I feel as if I've also caught up with the widely spread year end fatigue! Funny thing, even though I had the most amazing 7 week journey a few months ago, I am so ready for a holiday! 
I guess I have caught up with life, and operating on the same plane as everyone else. It does however mean that my usual crazy schedule has materialised along with the reality that mommy-duties have resumed full time! 
Some wise words, which got me through the crazy this past few weeks:

"Focus on what you can control.
Forgive yourself for what you can't."

This colourful outfit represents the longing for Summer holidays, the floral kimono an ode to outdoor picnics and sticky sandy days at the beach with the little ones...

Outfit details:
Shop.Style.Snap Floral Kimono 
Gap Jeans
Lace trim scarf by Rae's Scarves
Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses
Desigual backpack 
Ralph Lauren, Polo shoes

Ciao for now, 
RuBe xoxo

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Monday 13 November 2017

Thomas Sabo Dreamcatcher GIVEAWAY!

Hello beauties!!


About two weeks ago I alluded to a THOMAS SABO giveaway, and I'm sure my readers have been waiting with bated breath!! Well here it is! 😃

When they released their new collections, I was particularly taken with the Thomas Sabo amulets, specifically the dreamcatcher pendant, which is often worn as symbol of protection and, according to Native Americans,  also believed to have healing powers. Turquoise was sacred in its adornment and for power, luck, and protection and was mined and used extensively in ancient Egypt and Iran. These pieces are crafted in blackened sterling silver, with  cubic zirconia, turquoise and jasper beads.

This hand crafted necklace and elegant studs are easy to wear and the beads are on totally on trend!

"Artistic necklace design meets ethnic spirit: The magical cut-out pendant captivates on the handcrafted Beads necklace by virtue of its sophisticated design and workmanship, as well as classic sparkling stone embellishment."

"Filigree look: The ear studs with vintage charm impress by virtue of delicate details and can be combined in both sporty and elegant ways."

I am giving away a Dreamcatcher necklace and a pair of ethno turquoise sterling silver earrings, to the value of R5,000!

To enter:

  1. Like my Facebook page : here
  2. Comment below and tell me about your favourite item of jewellery that you cannot leave home without.
  3. Please share this competition on Facebook and tag RuBe's Closet on your post.
  4. This competition is open to South African residents only.
  5. This giveaway will end at 12pm on 24th November.
Good luck darlings!

Ciao for now,
RuBe  xoxo

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Arrival in Madinah

Hi beautiful readers!

Just reflecting back on the beginning of my #HajjJourney makes me extremely nostalgic, followed by a burst of emotion and an immediate welling up of tears😢 Each moment so starkly ingrained in my memory, I can feel the heaviness of the heat and the pounding of my feet on the pavement as I walked towards the mosque....

When we departed from Cape Town, we opted to spend a night in Johannesburg to rest up before the flight to Madinah. This was the best idea, we were absolutely knackered from the preceding days and nights, during which we barely slept, whilst receiving hundreds of guests and well wishers. It was the absolute best feeling, to be honoured so greatly by all the wonderful friends and family, some whom we hadn't seen in years, come and wish us well on our journey. This practice is unique to Cape Town, and yet it is such a special part of the sendoff for pilgrims; as one leaves home with a full heart, flying on wings of blessings.

Our evening in Johannesburg was literally spent in resting up, sleep, eat and pray... 
We met up with the rest of our travelling group the next morning as we checked in for our flight to Madinah. I was so grateful to have a direct flight to Madinah, I am not a keen flyer, so 6 hours direct to our destination was just perfect. We landed around 7pm, and as we disembarked and stepped onto the tarmac, the intense heat hit me like an oppressive wall! I felt a bit disoriented, as if my brain was trying to comprehend how to deal with the heat, and the reality that I had actually set foot on Saudi soil!❤️

After a couple of hours, as the bus neared our hotel, we glimpsed the minarets (turrets) of the mosque, lit up so beautifully. And every momentary glance of those minarets filled me with wonder, and as we recited salutations in unison, I could tangibly feel the emotion take residence in my heart. I was filled with awe as our bus entered the vicinity of the mosque and pulled up at our hotel, just a few meters from the entrance of the mosque. I could barely contain my impatience as we dropped the luggage in our room, and made arrangements to meet in the foyer at 12am to experience our first visit to the second holiest Holy mosque and (for the men) to visit the burial place of our beloved Prophet (PBUH).  

As I stepped out of the hotel, once again accosted by the unexpected brutality of the heat, I was inexplicably stirred, as our spiritual leader briefed us on the history of our surroundings. I was overcome by the magnitude of walking in the city that our esteemed Prophet (PBUH) lived, fought and prayed; and making our way to the mosque, his final resting place. After a few meters, we turned a corner and laid eyes on the main entrance of the mosque; here we paused to absorb the beauty of Masjiudul Nabawi, and to just gather ourselves. Some of us were openly crying, the tears of joy flowing down our cheeks; I was still really overwhelmed, just by virtue of the realisation that I was indeed HERE ⭐️ 
As I approached the gates and stepped onto the mataf, I could feel the tranquility and was immediately engulfed by the magnificence of  Madinah. I entered the mosque, and like a typical tourist, stood for a few moments taking in the beauty of the architecture, the captivating smells and the enormous significance of this particular mosque.  
My first night in the mosque was spent in thanksgiving; for being granted the invitation and to be amongst the few honoured guests to visit for Hajj this year. I had also received special notes from my kids and others close to me; these letters and notes I had promised to only read during my first few moments in the mosque. And so I took this quiet time, when the mosque was practically empty, to absorb myself in their words. I can so clearly remember the early hours of that morning, reading those letters, tears flowing freely and feeling like I had walked into another dimension, where everything felt so surreal, like a fantasy...

There is so much more to share so keep an eye out for the next instalment...

A restful moment in the airport lounge before flying to Jhbg

Off to check in for our Madinah flight

Arrival on Madinah airport

Prayer times on display in the hotel lobby

First few moments walking the streets of Madinah

Briefing on the history of our surroundings

First Tahajjud (pre sunrise) prayer

The mosque was relatively empty the first few days

Exploring on the first day, we only realised after walikg about for a while just how the heat affects one
during the day

The minarets, lights and air of tranquility all combine to present this picture of magnificence

Ciao for now, 
RuBe xoxo

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Thursday 9 November 2017

Nomination Composable Collection

Hi lovelies!

The Festive Season is racing towards us and it's a time when stores are bedecked with glittery decorations, and the choice for gifts are endless. In fact, there is so much variety one can easily become overwhelmed. A nomination bracelet is a thoughtful and beautiful gift idea, and one which you can build upon to celebrate many treasured moments.

I love my own Nomination bracelet, as it is an ode to memories I'd like to keep dear and close, and just a glance at the bracelet, or a specific link will bring back those special moments. They have specific themes to honour milestones or occasions; these range from love, travel, Mother's Day, new baby arrivals etc. The Composable Collection links and symbols are crafted in 18ct gold, sterling silver and 9ct rose gold and is constantly evolving with new links being added each season.

  To celebrate the new Nomination collection, I will be giving away one bracelet with some charms to the value of R5,000! Keep a close eye on my pages for this. Just in time for the holidays ♥️

"Nomination celebrates life with its new composable collection.

Nomination's new collection of Composable links is called Life, because each link reflects an important moment in your life. Birthdays, weddings, graduations, christenings, a new baby or an important anniversary, there are so many milestones to celebrate and what better way to remember and relive those special moments than with a precious jewel you can wear every day."

"Choose from thousands of precious links decorated with handcrafted letters and symbols in 18ct gold, sterling silver, 9ct rose gold with cubic zirconia, coloured enamel and precious and semi-precious stones. The result is jewellery which tells a personal story, and a bracelet that is precious and unique.

Made in Italy at the Nomination atelier studios near the Renaissance city of Florence, Composable links are made from the highest quality stainless steel to ensure your bracelet is hypoallergenic, will not tarnish and is strong enough to be worn everyday."

For more information, visit

Ciao for now, 
RuBe xoxo

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Friday 3 November 2017

Life goes on #PostHajj

Weclome dear readers!

Occasionally I find my mind drifting to Saudi shores, and very quickly I'm abruptly brought down to earth by some or other task needing my immediate attention. I suppose the reason Hujjaj's thoughts keep wandering back to Saudi is to relive that intense spiritual connection, where nothing but prayer mattered. Where one felt as if you had a direct line of communication to the Divine, where miracles happened all around you.
 Someone once told me that they felt depressed upon returning from Hajj, sad and despondent with the constant yearning to return. I certainly yearn to return, but I have to consciously remind myself that my Hajj continues here and now.

My life back home is actually the continuation of the journey I undertook, the pilgrimage merely being more of an initiation into a certain way of life, and of a new perspective on life and one's purpose. I have started doing a #HajjSeries on the blog and these posts will be shared as I am able to articulate the aspects I'd like to share. As I process these, life as I now know it evolves every day. I still have long conversations about the journey, with people, with my hubby... And every time another penny drops, and another message reveals itself. I can see why people who have journeyed for Hajj more than 30 years ago, can still relate as if it was yesterday. The experience will forever remain in the consciousness, alive with endless new perspectives.

I have returned with so much to share with my kids, and in turn they have so much to share with me (lessons learnt during my absence). I chat to them about how I had to master acceptance, of trials and difficulties, and having to embrace the fact that we would never be burdened with situations which we would not be able to deal with. We talk about how deeply this journey has altered me, and how I intend to live with the newfound realisations. It is important, and difficult, but my intention is to live in a way that honours my pilgrimage. I aim to honour it by being mindful of the potent energy of spirituality which always surrounded me in Saudi, so potent that one is immediately caught up in it. 

Living in remembrance of my Hajj is a daily struggle... learned behaviours creep in very quickly and once one is back in the familiar environment, old habits can easily return. Patience (Sabr) is something I had to learn and practice on this journey, and I am consciously trying to incorporate it into everything I do. This includes how I deal with plans going awry, teenage issues and managing the expectations and judgement of others. When one returns from pilgrimage, the expectations and judgement becomes a tangible thing, and I have to remind myself that I have changed fundamentally, and I therefore need to approach these matters with an revised mindset... i.e.
To be the best I am able to be, for my CREATOR & MYSELF.

Today's lookpost was taken some time ago, when I had a burning need to be at the beach (my ultimate happy place), to smell the sea air and absorb the beautiful energy of the coast. Even though the sun was out, the air was cool, hence the need for a light silk bomber.


Outfit details:

Asos Maxi dress (old)
Human Image silk bomber
Lacoste Rose Gold sneakers (purchased on Asos)
LV Bag (LV Paris)
Jo Borkett Scarf
Ralph Lauren sunglasses (Sunglass Hut Bali)
Necklace gifted
Swarovski bracelet
Various gold arm jewellery

Ciao for now,
RuBe xoxo

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