Thursday, 4 July 2019

Superbalist Winter favourites

Hi lovelies!

I've been offline for a while, it was a necessary time out from the blog while hubby travelled and I managed work and held down the fort at home. I am slowly starting to get back to normal, and finding my groove, and with it the realisation that perhaps my wardrobe needs a little injection for winter. So whilst I still don't have the luxury of time to wander through the malls, I turn to my trusty online shopping sites.
I usually have a good idea of the pieces I need to inject some life into my wardrobe, sometimes it's a trendy print piece, a good classic pair of boots, some updated knitwear items, in different textures and fabrics or some contemporary accessories. My go-to online store for some clothing pieces to introduce some trendiness into my closet is always Superbalist. Their range varies from well priced items to more classic pieces, and I adore their leather boots which are always competitively priced. They also run amazing specials quite frequently, so I know I'll be able to snatch up some cool bargains!

So here's my wishlist of some clothing items from the Superbalist site to update my wardrobe:



A pearl studded beret for a change up to the usual hijab look.




Pants with some sparkle is right up my alley, perfect for those winter evenings, paired with some faux fur.


A more casual take with these super trendy loose plaid trouser, dressed up or down would be a versatile piece in my closet,


A romantic flowy top is always a good idea ♥️


A leather skirt is a wonderful addition and will perfectly complement any look work look, evening look or casual ensemble.


The pleated skirt is still a big seller, and can be adapted to suit any look you're going for. 


A good basic knit is the perfect winter accompaniment, whether to layer up or just as is.


Embellishments and sparkles is always a winner!


It's no secret that I love a good classic leather boot which will transcend a few seasons.


Introduce the python trend into your closet with these pretty boots!


A velour sweatpants is not limited to those on retirement, it can be a valuable addition to create a trendy athleisure look.


I'm a big fan of skirts and sneakers, and this skirt ticks all the boxes for a cool and casual look.

Pop over to Superbalist and grab some of your essentials at reasonable prices!

Ciao for now, 
RuBe xoxo

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Saturday, 1 June 2019

An Eid Look Reinvented

 Hello Lovely Readers, 

It's been a minute and this post has been in draft for a while... 

Ramadaan has flown by, and as always it has been a profound month for me. This year has been very different to recent years (although in some ways much the same), yet I am very clear that it just means I continue to grow with all the challenges presented along my path. This past month has been a fruitful one, it has been a spiritually rewarding one, where I have focused on my Divine connection whilst working at being the best version of me.

Ramadaan is a time of spiritual rejuvenation, where my soul feels renewed and my faith strengthened for whatever lie ahead. And with all of these amazing experiences this month, I have literally been snowed under with work. I have found myself working toward tight deadlines, having to manage many roles and still be centred enough to find my quiet and solitude I yearn for in the fast. And with all the extra demands on my time, I chose to cut back on cooking time to allow for this, which meant that we had relatively simple iftaar meals. I'd cook soup in bulk and freeze, prepare batter for fritters or pancakes for two days, and cook enough supper so my family can have it for suhoor as well. I have repurposed left overs, oven-cooked and airfried to ease the burden. 

I was conscious of not making it difficult for myself, especially since I spent longer days at our office than I had anticipated. The wonderful thing is that my family just rolled with it, without grumble, and stepped in to assist where they could. My boys already have fixed chores during the fast, and assisted over and above when they were able. There were days where I'd be running extremely late, and would rush into the kitchen in a huff, only to find bodies drawn to the kitchen earlier than normal to pitch in. I am thankful for this support, and know that it is hugely due to the fact that I have not had 1 day off from working this Ramadaan. I have been working non-stop as a result of taking my introspection time in between the crazy deadlines. After all, the reward of this month comes around only once a year, so my priorities had to be re-organised so I'd be able to spend time in supplication. Having said that, I am really looking forward to some rest time (or at the very least, weekend time) after the fast when our dinner times are not cast in stone. 

This brings me to the aim of today's post... 
I have clearly not been able to shop, and merely popped into the Islamia market to stock up on my collagen. Other than that, I have had zero time to shop, and zero inclination to even consider what to wear this Eid. Although, I must admit I have dear designer friends who usually help me out, so I may just be sorted! If you've also been too busy to even consider an Eid outfit, perhaps reinventing a previous Eid look would be the way to go? I didn't blog last Eid's look (due to the babies I was care-taking at the time), and realised that it would work perfectly for another Eid. A timeless classic printed silk dress, with various textures to add to the autumn feel, makes for a simple and easy Eid look. 

I'd wear this again, and possibly change it up by losing the fur, adding a bulkier neckpiece and dainty earrings. I'd even wear this dress casually with sneakers, of course, but that's not the point of today's Eid look.😛 This printed silk will transcend seasons, the faux fur will remain a constant and the velvet is still a key texture this season. The heels have been in my wardrobe for years, and the gold fishnet stockings adds some glitz and pulls the look together seamlessly.
PS: the velvet scarf is in stock again with RifWrapped if you're keen to grab one for yourself, even as the only piece you'd purchase for Eid.

Last year I repurposed an Eid look, and thought I'd carry on the tradition, since the idea was so well received. What are your thoughts on reinventing previous Eid looks?













 



Outfit Details:

A Sense of Style Silk Dress
Faux Fur stole from Huemine Image
Velvet Scarf from Rifwrapped
Heels (old)
Clutch (Old)
Earrings & Pearls (Old)
Gold Fishnet Stockings from H & M (last year)

Ciao for now, 
RuBe xoxo


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Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Are we blind to abuse?

Asalaamu Alaykum & Welcome Readers,

It's been a while since I popped in here and shared my thoughts, and with the start of Ramadaan I felt I really wanted and needed to share my musings. Firstly, things have been really crazy with the launch of our travel agency, The Travel Connexion as you may have seen on social media, and of course life continues in between. This meant that we have literally been working 24/7 to get things off the ground, and at the same time I am trying to balance that, my own work, home and family life. So unfortunately the blog took a back seat, but with the start of the fast, which is my time for reflection and introspection, I wanted to drop you a few lines.

My topic may seem a bit heavy for the start of Ramadaan, but this has been something that has been sitting with me for a while. And this post has actually been in draft since January. Abuse comes in many forms, and I have seen it and experienced it in every sphere of my life. What is disturbing is how blind we are to it, and how normalised it has become in our interactions with each other. Rather than talk about the more common versions which we all know without a doubt is abuse, such as domestic abuse, child abuse, emotional abuse and so on, I would like to highlight the more subtle versions which are carried out every day without anyone batting an eyelid. 

My belief, and I have said this many times, is that every single person needs to be treated with respect as a human being first. Therefore any violation of an individual's basic human rights is a form of abuse, this refers to malice, disregard for a person's humanity and feelings and emotional warfare. I refer to emotional warfare, which is actually launching a full on personal attack without having the decency of having a discussion first. I have been at the end of vindictiveness without even knowing the rhyme or reason, and while I am very clear that this says more about the other person than it does about me, I find it totally unnecessary. 
The not so subtle digs in the virtual realm is another form of abuse, where the person dishing it out cannot say or do it in person, and hides behind a screen. Furthermore, slander or gossip (or fitnah which is a serious sin in Islam) is another form of abuse, and strips the dignity of the one perpetrating it, Subgaanallah. Cyberbullying and feeling entitled to the right to tell someone off in a public space causes more harm than good, and has resulted in really dire situations for our youth. Spreading fake news and rallying sensationalism and anger are further ways of violating someone else's dignity, it is even worse if the information has not been verified nor addressed with the individual in question. 
Basically, abuse is perpetrated when one uses power and influence in an underhand way, when one intentionally sets out to harm another in a malicious and venomous manner. I cannot condone this behaviour, and truth is the only panacea for this kind of violation. I am raising young men, future generations of leaders, and to show them that it is OK to stand by an accept abuse would be to fail in my Divine duty to my Creator. It is also not OK to allow abuse to be perpetrated when it is within your power to say or do something, this too is a Divine order

As the month of Ramadaan approached, I found myself in the space of wrestling with this concept. And my guidance came when I supplicated and performed Tahajjud salaah (prayer performed in the last third of night and before dawn) : "Speaking the truth may not be the easy thing to do, but it is the only thing to do to end abuse." And furthermore, I needed to accept that whichever way my Lord has decreed it should happen, I will accept with Grace. I have also had to sit with what my role in any form of abuse is and has been, and to rectify this as best I can. It is not enough to point fingers and say that others are meant to rectify something when I am not prepared to step in and do the same. Accountability starts with me and it is the only way to open the heart to forgiveness. Afterall, I cannot ask my Creator for Mercy or for Forgiveness if I am not prepared to sincerely make room for this in my own heart. 

So as I enter this month, with a clear heart and conscience I will continue to reflect and introspect, and ensure that I engage in the world from a place of truth and authenticity. Knowing full well that whatever I expect on this earth is something I am willing to do myself. 
My motto: "Check myself first."


One of my favourite Hadiths:

On the authority of Abu Sa’eed al-Khudree (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say, “Whosoever of you sees an evil, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then [let him change it] with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart — and that is the weakest of faith.” [Muslim]

This look was clearly from two weeks ago, and I'm sharing it as it's a piece from the Huemine Image label, owned by my dear soul sister Aysha. This yellow python print piece jumped out at me when I popped into her studio. We've had this conversation around abuse many times, so I felt a little piece of her in this post is appropriate.💛















Outfit Details:

Lasercut Leather top (Old)
Huemine Image skirt
Shoes & Bag (Old)
Ralph Lauren sunglasses
Earring (Old)
Raw Silk Scarf (Old)

Caio for now, 
RuBe xoxo
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Friday, 5 April 2019

Lessons Learnt from my 15 year old

Welcome lovelies!

I know that every week has been a hectic one this year, and I fully understand that it is just life actually. Being present with everything that happens, addressing what bothers me and always making time to introspect, requires energy to navigate every day. It means that there's no space for pretence, harbouring grudges or being concerned with what others are doing. 
This last two weeks of school holidays turned out to be another big learning curve for me as a parent. My youngest approached me with a rumour of  a classmate being murdered, and their group of friends who play online games with him had tried to get a hold of him upon hearing this. This young man was unreachable via watsapp and didn't engage in any online gaming for more than a week, so the group of young men became worried that the rumour may be true. About a week later, the rumour was confirmed and a few days before starting school we sat down and had a conversation with our youngest. 
As an adult, I have dealt with many deaths, very few close to me, but I would think I have the capacity to process it. A murder is entirely another story, it highlights the dark side of human nature, and the close proximity it shows up in our lives. I had to first work through my own shock and my own sadness so that I could listen and be present for my son. Because, despite how I felt about it, he was having to deal with it from a young mind and an innocent heart, which was ultimately my concern. How does one explain to a 15 year old, that sometimes these events are decreed, and will set everyone on a path in their own lives. How do I explain that trauma is also a Divine decree, whether as a test, strengthening your faith and that is what we mean when we say "May Allah/ God place sabr/patience and contentment in the hearts of the family"? It's a shock yes, it's heartbreaking to hear, and at the same time I know that everyone experiences some kind of trauma in their lives, it's a given in life. However, it became obvious that I was unnecessarily worried, he understood it as I said it, without any further qualification, he got it!

The other side of the coin was how does my young son deal with a sudden and brutal loss of a classmate? I have been through this before with my firstborn, when a classmate committed suicide in matric. Having had a similar experience doesn't make this one easier as I'm dealing with a different child. Yesterday my son told me that they had decided to leave his deceased classmate's desk empty for a while in remembrance of the space he occupied in the class. They have been undergoing counselling to come to terms with the loss and the manner in which it occurred, and as I sat and spoke to him, it dawned on me that this young gentleman knows exactly how to deal with his own shock and grief. It became very clear, that while he was extremely sad, he was OK and managing the honouring of his classmate very well.
This led me to a realisation that sometimes as parents we have a need to place our own drama, shock, grief or whatever other emotion into the space. When all our kids really need is a space to be able to work through the trauma in their own way, on their own terms and time line. So his decision not to have a party for his birthday last week, was not out of context, merely making a choice of what was best for him. 
The biggest thing I take from this experience is that our kids know exactly what they need, and as a parent, I need to acknowledge and support this. I cannot burden him with my own reactions to his trauma, I cannot expect him to deal with it in a way that I would. As young as he may be, he knows himself well enough to tell me he's fine in handling it. That should be enough for me.
And I know, without a doubt that if he finds himself floundering, he'll know where to look for support knowing that he won't need to take on any of my baggage as well. I have witnessed the grace with which these young kids expressed their grief, without focusing on the perpetrator. Their sole focus being on honouring their classmate and supporting each other through a shocking and traumatic experience. I have learnt an important lesson from my young man, and with it a new respect for the quiet strength he's able to tap into without engendering drama or making it all about himself. 

“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.” — Nelson Mandela


This outfit is a fun twist on the pleated tulle skirt, one I have had in my wardrobe since I started blogging about 6 years ago. I really didn't think that tulle skirts would still be a thing! Paired with a denim shirt and red velvet sneakers purchased on one of our travels. 





















Outfit details:
Levis denim Shirt
Old Tulle skirt
Adidas red sneakers
Chimpel leather bag
Scarfstop scarf
Hse of Bespoke tassel earrings
Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses

Caio for now, 
RuBe xoxo

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Friday, 22 March 2019

Al Aqsa Part III - Taking in History


Hi beautiful readers, 

It's been rather frustrating trying to work and get things done, especially with our load shedding schedule now on stage 4! I now have to plan my work, meetings, Skype, printing and cooking around three load shedding incidences in  a day (and I only have so much data on my mobile router 😩).

Anyways, I now try to do my work offline, and then upload when we're back up again. So now I'm able to bring you the next instalment, and I believe, the one many want to see, in my Aqsa journey. Because my trip to Palestine was a highly anticipated one, I am very happy to have been able to see as much as I could in the short time I was there. At the time of writing this, my mom had just performed her first Jumuah in the Dome of the Rock, her entire journey is taking me all the way back to December...

My last post just captured our first sights of Al Aqsa and Dome of the Rock mosques and our first Fajr experience. After we had dried off in the hotel, had breakfast, we prepared for our full day guided tour by one of the local guides. It was unfortunately raining profusely so my views from the shuttle was all fogged up, and when we got out at the some spots we got soaked. Nonetheless, I was not going to let a little rain dishearten me.

Our first stop was Jabal Muqabir, which according to legend, is the mount from which Caliphate Umar (RA) entered Jerusalem and loudly proclaimed Allahu Akbar. His entry precipitated the surrender of the keys of the City of Jerusalem into the hands of the Muslims by the Patriarch Sophronius fourteen centuries ago. From this vantage point one has a clear panoramic view of the Old City with the gold dome gleaming in the distance. We boarded the shuttle again and drove for 40 minutess towards Hebron, where Masjid Ibrahim is located. This mosque is built over a maqbara (cemetery) which is believed to house the tombs of Nabi Ibrahim (AS), his wife Sara (AS), Nabi Ishaq (AS) and his wife Rifqa (AS). Some say  Nabi Yaqoob (AS) and Nabi Yusuf (AS) are also buried in the cave (also known as the Cave of the Patriarchs) below the mosque. Inside the mosque there is a domed cupola or furnace which allows one to peek down to the cemetery cave below. The heady smell of oud mixed with warm air came wafting up from the cave as we leaned over the rail. It was such an incredible experience for me to just be in this mosque, whether the actual bodies of our prophets and their wives are physically present or not. There is still a feeling of intense spiritual energy in the air, while at the same time feeling calm and sanctified. Hebron, the largest city in the West Bank, forms part of occupied territory, so there is a strong military presence and a checkpoint to pass through to enter the mosque. This city has been a contentious one throughout history, torn by centuries (and even in recent decades) of unrest and conflict. We spent about 45 minutes at this masjid before heading off to our next stop.

After performing Thuhr at the Mosque of Nabi Yunus (where His tomb is located), also in occupied West Bank (located on Mount Nabi Yunus) we headed off to Bethlehem. An hour and a half later we arrived in Bethlehem, parked off and had a quick lunch stop in a shopping centre. We then took a short walk to the Church of Nativity, situated in Manger Square. It was really amazing to walk through this little town, all Christmassy and covered in tinsel, teeming with tourists from all faiths. This is still part of the West Bank, so movements are carefully controlled by military police in certain areas. This is the oldest major church in Jerusalem, originally commissioned in 327 by Constantine the Great. It houses a very significant site for those of the Christian faith, a grotto in the basement of the church believed to be the birthplace of Jesus, which has earned its place as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

As we headed for our next stop, the Maqam of Nabi Musa (AS) the sun was already low, at around 4:30pm dusk was almost upon us. This Maqam which is situated just outside Jericho, is not confirmed to house the body of our Nabi Musa (AS) as it is generally believed that the location of his remains are unclear. However, tradition holds that Salahuddin Ayyubi once had a dream where he was shown this spot and he subsequently ordered this mosque to be built at this site. After completing Asr and Magrieb we departed for the town of Jericho. Walking through these sacred sites stirs an indescribable feeling and filled me with a sense of humility, gratitude and immense reverence. History literally envelopes you as you reflect back on the lives of our prophets ♥️.

Shortly after we were back on the shuttle headed to Jericho, the oldest city in the world. We disembarked at the Mount of Temptation, significant for the Christians as the place where Jesus was tempted by the devil. By the time we arrived it was already dark (even though it was just after 7pm), so it was difficult to see anything. We could just glance at the lights of the Greek monastery situated against the steep cliff of the mountain. After some refreshments and Esha salaah we started back towards East Jerusalem.
Along the way we stopped off at the Mount of Olives, which boasts a stunning panoramic view of the Old City. It also houses the Jewish cemetery since biblical times until present day.

Our last stop for the evening was the Maqam of Salman al Farsi (Salman, the Persian) who was a companion of the Prophet ﷺ  and the first Persian to embrace Islam. Salman first met the Prophet ﷺ in Yathrib (Madinah) and is notable for being the one who suggested the digging of the trench around Madinah during the Battle of the Trench, which resulted in a victory for the Muslims. We ended off an exhaustingly full, but enriching day at this masjid located on the Mount of Olives.

This amazingly detailed tour fostered a new respect for Jerusalem and the Land of our Ambiyah, it has elevated Palestine in my heart and filled me with such appreciation and love. If I haven't said it before, it is imperative to add Palestine to the bucket list and experience the heightened spirituality of a place where every single messenger of Allah (SWT) has dwelled. More importantly, it is the land the Prophet ﷺ  travelled to within a short span of the night, Subhaanallah!

On Mount Muqabir, the weather obscures the view of the Old City in the background 



Walking up to Masjid Ibrahim, Hebron
Tomb of Nabi Ibrahim (AS)
Tomb of Nabi Yunus (AS)
Manger Square, Bethlehem
Church of Nativity, Bethlehem


The Grotto in the basement at the Church of Nativity, Bethlehem 

We arrived at Masjid of Nabi Musa as dusk was falling

The tomb of Nabi Musa (AS)


Driving through the City of Jericho



It was too dark to see much from the Mount of Temptaion, but one can see the
lights of the Greek Monastery


Tomb of Salman Al Farsi 

View from the Mount of Olives (with the Dome clearly visible)

Ending off a full day and so ready for bed!

Caio for now,
RuBe xoxo





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