me Life and Times of the Fireflies: November 2013

Thursday, 28 November 2013

My Truths - The Ugly Truth

Nobody chooses their circumstances. Nobody asks to be born into poverty...yet day after day there are children born amidst the horror of extreme deprivation, starvation, desolation...

Nobody wants to be brought up in war...yet day after day new life springs into places where the only horizons seem to be doom. Where gunpowder and rotting flesh is the only smell they will ever know.

 Nobody wants to be a part of broken lives. A part of wars that are not theirs to begin with. Part of oppression, pain and sorrow. Yet, in us all, lies an ugly truth we are hiding from the world.

If a mother could shelter her offspring from all the ugly truths that exist in this world, she would. The truth is, for every beautiful, wonderful thing; there is an equally tortuous ugly! For every best enemy. For every smile...a tear. For every happiness...a hurt buried deep.

Some truths, we cannot just 'un-know'...We cannot erase them from our minds and carry on. Some truths are a burden we will have to bare until the end of our days. It will weigh us down and eat at us...gnawing at our core in a parasitic haze...But some truths, however ugly they may be, gives us reason to fight the darkness and strive towards the sun.

I refuse to bare the burden of someone else's mistakes! Refuse to become a part of the tangled vine of wretched, miserable souls. Tortured by the mistakes, wrongs, the hidden secrets of others. I do not want that reality...

I cannot un-know what I know. But I can choose how I deal with it. I can choose to languish perpetually in the shadow of someone else's truth...or I can forge forward, creating a better truth for myself.

We have no control of our circumstances, but we can control our destinies...I believe, that without the shadows that loom over us, we wouldn't strive as valiantly towards the light. For the strongest tree was once a small seed buried in the dark depths of the sand.....

Image: sourced

Monday, 25 November 2013

Beautiful Beginnings

In our lives, we will always encounter new beginnings. Our entire childhoods are marked with wonderful life experiences, with new discoveries at every turn and corner. We are constantly entering unchartered territory; from primary school to high school, then the wide open field of University, beginning a career...marriage...motherhood.
There is something purely magical about beginnings...about facing life fearlessly and forging forward excitedly, about embracing change willingly and effortlessly. There is something purely euphoric in this journey of constant change and perhaps the most beautiful, rewarding and life altering; albeit the hardest; is the beginning of a journey as a parent.
I love beginnings...and I love being part and sharing the joy of someone else's beautiful journey. From weddings to having babies, I absolutely LOVE celebrating the magic that is a new beginning in life!
I was recently invited to a Baby Shower; to join in the celebration of a friend preparing for her first baby; and it was the prettiest shower I have ever attended! Lot's has changed since I have had kids, and perhaps the biggest change is in the way we celebrate. From décor and detailing, to the radiant mom to be...everything seems to be so much more fabulous!! But not enough for me to go down that road again ;-) HaHaHa

 The Expectant Parents...


How gorgeous are these cupcakes!? 
Love this dispenser!! And the berry drink was sublime too!

 Cool presentation don't you think!
 Guess who's finally out of study hibernation...

Stunning cake made by the mom to be herself!
Even the cake layers were ombre!

Cake Pops. Love the bow detail

More of the Décor

Moon was the games co-ordinator


Stunning centre piece

Watermelon, Feta and mint fruit sticks

I found the elephant theme to be very cute and original

Everything was labelled...lovely detailing 

 Had to squeeze in some sister shots ;-)


Some of the cute games that was organised.

 Even the water bottles were labelled!

 Each guest walked away with a thank you gift
Samhita did all the planning of the event herself! Brave lady!!  
Samhita is a freelance designer and owner of Samhita Event Planning and Design. For any info on events and services, you can check out her website

Hope you enjoyed today's post.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Delectable Desserts Made Easy

 So much to do...and such a little time in which to do it! This seems to be the rat race we all are in. Despite my love for making things from scratch; sometimes life gets in the way of things and I  am left struggling to catch my tail. As much as whipping up something delicious in the kitchen is somewhat therapeutic for me, there are times where making things is more of a task!  

Even though I have a reputation for being the family baker; I must admit to have learnt a thing or two from my siblings! It is good to know; that in the event of time restraints; there are plenty reliable options that don't necessarily need plenty of time to be made.  Now don't judge me...I do this only in emergencies. And I'm sharing this secret with all of you because, lets face it; nobody feels inspired ALL of the time.

And with busy schedules with kids, which I imagine must be even worse for working ladies; we need quick, easy and reliable recipes that still looks mouth watering and tastes delicious too! As a working girl herself, Moon knows all too well the woes of time management and has shared her secret with me, which I am now sharing them with you...

As the kids exam period draws to and end this week, and the Summer holidays approach; I will be trying out a lovely new Summer dessert recipe in the coming week which was kindly sent to me by one of the lovely reader's of the blog! The recipe looks amazing, and I am quite excited to try it out, and obviously share!! Enjoy these tried and tested baking kits in the meantime...

I usually make my cheesecakes from scratch...but these ones taste just as good and can be made in a fraction of the time!


These mini cheesecakes were made by Moon!
What I like about this mousse is that there are so many ways you can serve them! From these mini shot glasses, to adding a sponge base and chocolate ganache at the bottom or even adding crushed oreo biscuits in can land up with a different dessert every time!

While I tried out  the Woolworths Mousse duo! 


Thursday, 14 November 2013

The Best Gifts are Unplanned...

Name: Raqeeb; Language: Arabic; Meaning: Guardian (Also the name of one of the Angels that guards the door to heaven)

Where do I begin...

 Sometimes, a memory has the power to evoke emotions you thought you had buried a long time ago...but every birthday is a reminder of this unexpected surprise! This is Raqeeb's story...
When I chose the name Raqeeb (Guardian), it was out of the sentiment of the meaning... I had laid my faith in the fact the God had his reasons for everything, that each child arrives with it's own special blessings...little did I know, that this little being came with his own invisible suit of armour, and his own unique way to protect. Raqeeb, to me, will always symbolise strength and hope and a fighting spirit in myself that I didn't know I had.
Sometimes, life's greatest gifts arrive at rather unexpected times
They are not tied up in ribbons and bows
and some of them, take 9 months to grow!
I wasn't quite prepared when I found out,
the news left me stone cold...
For your sister you see,
was just 7 months old!!
I cried and I wept.
I just could not understand.
Until your Grandma told me,
the best gifts are unplanned.
You grew and you grew,
till my tummy blocked my view.
Who would've thought that my biggest baby (3.72kg)
would turn out as skinny as you!
You were in some rush to reach here,
things must sure have seemed fun.
You started stirring inside me,
but I was still a little dumb.
One week early,
I wasn't prepared at all...
I think it was partially due
to the trip to the mall.
A day and a night
 and some photo's in between.
You arrived rather hurriedly
on November 14.
You made your way into the world
Dramatic and Grand.
The best gifts you see,
are often unplanned!
It's amazing how quickly 10 years  flew.
How the memory of things evokes emotion anew.
10 years I have watched how you blossomed and grew.
But the thing is, it's not only you who did,
but I did a whole lot of that too!!
I remember...
your teeth, steps and words arrived a little late,
but by the time you were 2
you more than stepped up to the plate!!
Witty and smart, with a razor sharp tongue,
a good sense of humour since you were very young.
Your quick witted answers drives us all a bit mad!
But the best thing about you,
is that you are a lot like your Granddad!

You are kind and affectionate
 and a bit sensitive too...
Who would've guessed that an unplanned gift,
would turn out as awesome as you!

 Happy 10th Birthday!! You have captured all who know you with your infectious smile and laughter; and your awesome personality too!!

Love Always

Mom :)

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

View From a Mother's Heart

Sometimes, the things that make us strong, also makes us weak....

My kids have all inherited something good(and some down right annoying things too) from me. Saafiyah has inherited my sense of caring and nurturing, while Raqeeb has inherited my intuition and sensitivity... Zaydaan seems to be most like me; from his almond eyes to his gentle heart...and sometimes, this bothers me...

Sometimes, I lay beside my boy, engulfing him in my warm the hopes of sheltering him from the world...

Sometimes, I hold his small hand in the hopes that I can protect his fragile little heart from being hurt..

Sometimes, my heart aches with the knowledge that the strength I see in my child will also be his weakness. It worries me because, in this world, the kindest hearts always endure the harshest hurt. For this reason, I hold on tight... in the hopes that I can shield him from all the suffering and tears that accompany those who are gentle.

I see it in you...see it in your eyes...I see it in your words ... I see it in all that you do. You are me...and I am afraid of what it will do to you! And for that, my darling son...I hold you close...because our greatest trait, is also our vice!

I see the rejection. See what it does to you...see you hide it behind your smile. I see you get up and question why; and then get no valid reply. I see your desire to be accepted...see that it doesn't always come, and see; that despite my burning desire for you to fight back; you still remain kind! My you, I see myself...and that is what makes my heart bleed.

I know that a kind heart and a good soul always triumphs in the end...but I also know it makes us easy targets in a world where gentle equals weak!

I know that right now you don't see the world as I do. I know that right now these things don't bother you as much as it does me. I know that there is still a long path ahead. But, I want you to know, that you never have to face this world alone...That for as long as the heart in my chest beats...this world will never gobble you up and eat!

Image sourced


Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Don't Care...

I don't care...I seriously don't! I don't care that we used to be friends...and that now we barely even talk...

I don't care that we never quarrelled...that you just decided to call it quits...that you decided I wasn't worthy of your friendship.

I don't care that we used to be able to talk for hours on end...laughing, making jokes...and that now the atmosphere is strained between the two of awkward silence hanging in the air.

I don't care that I shared my secrets with you...that I laid my soul bare. That I trusted you...and you betrayed it...

I don't care that it's not the first time...that the last time, I actually forgave you!

You're not looking for friends you say...I believe that, because there's a hidden agenda behind all that you do! But I don't care...because I'm not looking for friends too...most definitely not in you!!
I think you've always been inherently rude...that it's part of who you are. Cold, callous, uncaring. That it masks your own insecurities. I think that deep down, you're an unhappy person. Miserable! That neither your fake smile or your fake friends can mask.
And so, I don't care! Because the problem is definitely not me - it's YOU!!! And I refuse to spend my time questioning and doubting myself over someone who has never seen me as anything but an opportunity. A pair of ears to listen to their woes...I was available, and willing, and kind enough to give you a chance!
But I don't care...not anymore...because I can see clearly now...and I see you for what you are!


Friday, 1 November 2013

Book Club - Songs of the Humpback Whale

It is true, that once you've become a mother (and I can affirm, worse when you have kids a year apart), things like reading, watching television and just general alone time becomes somewhat of a luxury. Now that my kids are at a fairly independent age, it's been great getting back into the swing of reclaiming my identity! Part of that means I get to concentrate on my fitness, navigate the mall without a pram and entourage, write my little stories here on the blog...and read a little bit more.
When I got invited to join a book club recently, I eagerly accepted as it meant I could indulge and get lost in some reading a little bit more often than I have been of late. Our first meeting took place in September, where we shared our recent reads and favourite reads of all time, and also decided on the book we would be reading to discuss at our next meeting.
Songs of the Humpback Whale - Jodi Picoult
The novel centre's around Jane, who flees from her very famous scientist husband (he does research on whale's) with her teenage daughter Rebecca after a seemingly minor and trivial argument. The story is being told from 4 different perspectives, and slowly delves deeper into Jane's troubled past in the hopes of giving us insight on her decision to flee.
I was a little bit disappointed with this book. Perhaps, because of the unfair comparison I was giving it to My Sister's Keeper, which remains one of my favourite reads. Although beautifully written, It  lacked some of the more complex moral  dilemma's that Jodi has become known for, and did not grip me in the same manner as many of her other novels.
That being said, I discovered some interesting information after having completed the book which changed my perception slightly.... This was Jodi's first published novel !! She was 25 when she completed the novel and had just had her first baby...
So, I suppose, with that knowledge, it gave me  a better understanding and appreciation of this tale...that of a woman in search of herself, finding her voice and breaking free. It made me see the hidden messages in Jodi's imagery, and gave us plenty to discuss and dissect (and we did plenty of dissecting) at our October book club meeting.  I think all of us left with a sense of fulfilment with grasping the message of the book, and unravelling a few of the mysteries and unanswered questions that Jodi Picoult always likes to leave the reader with.
Some people may find the structure of the book confusing, as it flows through different narrators and different time frames...but there is method to Jodi's madness here, and if you think you've figured it all out at the end of the novel, you might want to take a second look. It is through this hidden mysteries that Jodi has left us; that you can truly appreciate the crafting of this novel, and the message she is sending!
I would not classify this book in the league of my favourites, but I definitely appreciate it more after our discussion than I initially did. For a first novel it was great, and one can appreciate the growth of one of the best known authors of our time!

Book Club will resume after the 2 lovely ladies on the left have had their babies (both due in December) and have settled into their new roles, where we will be discussing a novel of  my recommendation A Thousand Splendid Suns... 
 Thanks for reading.