me Life and Times of the Fireflies: 2014

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Turning 40!


I love stories of beginnings... and even though I was not part of your beginnings, I like the story anyway. For that was the beginning of your journey, a journey that would one day lead to me, lead to now... I think stories of beginnings are very significant of who we are and that's what makes me very sentimental about yours!

I don't think it's coincidence that your first breathes and the early morning rays arrived simultaneously. Your presence to me is exactly like the warmth of the rays embracing the dark sky, your personality exactly like the sunrise! Your smile and laughter and witty sense of humour, your wisdom and positive outlook on life, your overall positive energy and demeanour makes me feel like I'm basking in a constant dawn!
 
As a young girl, I always had a vision of what my Prince Charming would look and be like. My naivety had an unrealistic destiny mapped out with someone who only ever came to life in my imagination. Needless to say, I was unprepared for love when I met you and I was even less prepared for real life. But falling in love with you came easy, almost automatic. As if my soul knew that in you I had met my destiny. I had no idea what our forever would look like, all I knew was that I wanted to spend my forever with you.
 



And now, here you are already at 40! They say "Life begins at 40" but we've been celebrating life together since we met! Every moment with you has been an adventure. From young love, to becoming parents, to our own personal successes. 40 is just another milestone we are seeing in together and I couldn't be more proud to be standing by your side. I couldn't be more proud to be the mother of your kids...or more proud of the magical bond you have with our children. In a future that is so uncertain, I choose to celebrate not just this moment...but every single moment with you!
 
Fate and Destiny have taken us down a winding road together and I have loved you each step of the way. I have loved you since I was 17. Blindly. Madly. Unconditionally.  I have loved you through my tumultuous twenties while discovering the wonders of Motherhood and the mysteries of real life. I have loved you through heartache and disappointment... and even on my darkest days, when my world felt like it was crumbling around me! And I love you still now, in my thirties. A calm, quiet kind of love. A dependable love. An independent kind of love that thrives on our individuality. And I will love you till my 40's, 50's....forever.

 
Happy 40th  Birthday my Beloved!
 
Forever & Always,
 
NAMU :)
 
 

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Time Well Spent

I'm not sure if I was pleasantly surprised, but surprised I was when I read the finer print of the kids' reports. I wasn't quite prepared for the longer than usual Summer vacation and although it's a welcomed change from our normal rat race and routine, I am struggling to find a balance between having the kids home full time and squeezing in some time for myself.
 
Sometimes, when we resist our present moments, we set ourselves up for more internal conflict and despair. It's true that my gym and writing schedules are slightly off sync, that alone time and quiet time is virtually non existent, that I've thought about secretly changing my name so that I don't have to respond to 'Mom' ....but in my longing for bits of my normal routine, I am losing out on my present moment, my moments with my kids.
 
I'm losing out on jumping into the pool and swimming all afternoon, I'm losing out on walks on the beach and trips to the park, I'm losing out on doing art and collective cooking and the random conversations (which is quite hilarious with the tweens!). I'm losing out on discovering who they are and how the year has changed them. How much will time still change them, I wonder, while I'm trying to steal moments for myself instead of actually BEING in the moment.
 
So, for the next month or so, I will be living in the moment. Which might mean less time for myself, but will mean a lot more time spent where it is needed. Where it is wanted. Which might, in turn, relieve me from the struggle of wanting to do it all...
 
 

 
Happy Holidays Everyone!
 
Peace,
 
NAMU :)
 

Friday, 12 December 2014

Fashion Friday

When it comes to Summer, one simply can't go wrong with the faithful maxi...dress or skirt. Maxi dresses are definitely my "Go to" items in my closet, mainly because of it's simplicity, elegance and versatility. It's that one item that is easy to style, never outdates and camouflages a multitude of flaws!

With countless ways to style this trend and endless styles and prints to choose from, this simple little wardrobe staple has the ability to transport us through the hot Summer days in style. From beach and lunch dates in pretty flats, to dinner dates and cocktail parties in a pair of killer heels, the maxi dress is definitely here to stay...and I certainly am not complaining :-)

What's great about our little blogging community is that there is always a set of hands ready to help propel us along this creative journey. Amina from A Girl With A Camera was kind enough to offer her photography skills for an afternoon of food photography fun and I'm excited to share more of those images here soon.

But the food shoot took a brief turn off course when Moon arrived (as always) camera ready and naturally took advantage of the opportunity to add a few new pictures to the archives! When 'Girl with a Camera' and 'Girl who is photo ready' collide, the results are worth a little fashion friendly blog post ;-) Sadly, I wasn't as photo ready...only my food was! hahaha Here, Moon shows us how a fun print and interesting style makes the maxi dress the perfect choice for a Garden Tea Party with friends!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dress by Nazir
 
Thanks for reading!
 
Peace,
 
NAMU :)
 

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Summer Mocktails

 
Summer is here and after a month (if not more) of non-stop slogging, I feel in desperate need of a holiday! Tranquil, turquoise waters would be an ideal escape right now.... Preferably a Tropical Island, where all I can do is lounge around on a secluded beach sipping fancy cocktails while working on a tan. Now more than ever, I feel the need to slow down and release (ever so slightly) the hold on my responsibilities, kick of my shoes and just RELAX!
 
But, with  just a day barely a few hours between me and the school holidays, it will be a long six weeks before I see even a glimpse of a quiet moment for myself (SIGH)! Stuck in the middle of year end festivities and school Summer Vacation, it's an all round defeat for me! Home certainly is the lesser of the two evils and I will be living out this summer with the mantra "If you can't go to the Island....then bring the Island to you!"
 
So, in just a few hours, I will be driving out of the school parking lot; holiday destination, home. Living my tropical island dreams in my own backyard, lounging by the poolside with a colourful drink in my hand while the kids have a swim...the only time I dare brave the silly season outdoors will be to restock the ingredients of my favourite Mocktails...Now, if only the universe hears my plea and plays it out exactly the way I picture it in my head ;-)
 
 
Berry Spritzer:  This drink was introduced to me by my oldest sister and is the perfect Summer cooler! Super easy to make, a pretty accompaniment to a Summer barbecue  and extremely refreshing...
 
  • Cherries and Berries Juice
  • Sprite Zero
  • Frozen or fresh berries (I used frozen)
  • Mint leaves
Add about a cup of berry juice, add mint and allow to infuse for a bit. Top up with sprite zero. Add the frozen berries and ice blocks if desired and your perfect poolside mocktail is ready to drink!
 
 
Pina Colada : This is a little (ok... a lot) calorie heavy, but oh so delicious! A real treat on those days where the days are heavy and the taste and smell of tropical island is in desperate need!
 
  • 4 tblsp chopped pineapple (fresh or canned)
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 2 cups coconut cream or milk
  • 4 scoops vanilla ice-cream
  • crushed ice
Blend all the ingredients together thoroughly. Pour into glassware of choice and serve! Best enjoyed chilled. This quantity is enough for a few people.
 
 
 
Food Styling and Photography : Amina Ebrahim
 
Glassware from : Mambo's Plastics Warehouse
 


 
 Have a fantastic festive season and stay safe!
 
Thanks for reading.
 
Peace,
 
NAMU :)
 
 

 
 


Friday, 5 December 2014

Endings and Beginnings...

She stood there silently. A lone, solitary figure standing still, facing the torment of a violent storm. Where the howling wind hurls towards her, lashing her frail frame, whipping up against her weakening silhouette; where the pelting rain is her only embrace. Feet shackled to the ground, bound by sentiment and memories, unable to move. Her only escape are the steps she is too afraid to take...
 
Dwarfed by the shadow of falsities that looms around her. Held behind a prison wall cast of lies and deceit. A prisoner of her own fears, she hangs on to the blanket of the night; however dark and gloomy it may be; because that is what is familiar, that is what she knows. She cannot see the horizon and therefore she fears it, preferring to languish in perpetual darkness rather than embrace the inevitable change.... Until one day, desperation propels her forward and she takes a slow and steady step towards a destiny unknown.

Legs heavy, weighed down by the burdens of her past, of the life she so desperately wants to leave behind. With each step, she conquers the fears that have held her back for so long. With each step, she moves further away from the storm that has enveloped her existence and the further away she moves, the more swift her steps become until eventually, the distance between past and the pending horizon, is an equal measure and she stands at the cusp of the very change she had always longed for...the hilly horizon in clear view, ready for the climb!

The end and the beginning starting with the same single step, the delicate colours of sunrise and sunset interwoven, the fragrance of midnight still lingering in the air...embracing change like a suit of armour, she rises like a phoenix against the storm!

 
Thanks for reading!
 
Peace,
 
NAMU :)
 
 

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Pink Tea Party for Cancer


I think it's impossible to be living in the age of social media and not encounter stories of Cancer...of hope, survival and those who are valiantly fighting. In some way or form we have all brushed against the topic...whether through awareness campaigns, peoples triumphant victories or through the suffering of a loved one. In my own personal circle of family and friends, I have witnessed Cancer steal some of the best from my midst, but I have also seen so many overcome the odds and conquer it!

A few weeks ago I made up part of Rachelle's Pink Army when I attended one of her fundraising events as part of the Goldiestyling Love Local Culture Media Team. Rachelle suffers from an aggressive form of breast cancer and is raising funds to contribute toward her operation which is scheduled for 16 December.

The event took place at Boere Sjiek in Brackenfell and the décor can only be described as vintage heaven!! At first glance things look a bit busy, but once your eyes start dancing around the room you can appreciate the attention to detail and soon realise that you're sitting centre stage of  a vintage lover's dream! The food might not have been halaal....but I made up for it by (over)indulging in the Red Velvet Cheesecake which was something simply out of this world!!

It was a truly inspiring to be in the company of this amazing woman for the afternoon! Pink Army is such an apt name for her fund raising team as she is certainly facing this battle with an army of supporters. I think Rachelle's main weapon in her fight against this dreaded disease is her positivity! Hearing her story and being in her company, even for such a small period of time, has definitely left it's mark on me. Her radiant smile and positive energy at such a trying time in her life was truly infectious and I left the event feeling touched and humbled by this woman's positive spirit.

Thanks to the Goldiestyling team for having me! It was an honour and a privilege to be part of such a professional team! To Rachelle, I pray the journey ahead; the operation and the road to recovery; is swift and successful and hopefully, very soon, we will have a Pink Tea Party to celebrate your full recovery!
 
 
 
  • With the bubbly Danielle of Goldiestyling <3
 
 
 
Danielle is always camera ready! haha


The Red Velvet Cheesecakes were my favourite!
 

I stuck to the Touch of Pink dress code by adding pink elements to my outfit
in the form of my bag, shoes and accessories!
 

The Media Team
 
Rachelle's Pink Army!
 

Radiant Rachelle
 

Wishing you Love, Strength and Faith <3
 
From
 
Namreen
 
  
*All photographs were generously supplied by Ashley Irvin Robertson, who was the photographer of the event.
   

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Hey Brother

Time has a way of changing many things...young become old, we embrace change and tackle new beginnings and it creates distance and space between people who once treaded the same shores. But there's a lot that time can't do. Time can't undo bonds and relationships. Time can't eradicate moments and memories. Time can't diminish love from our hearts...
 
I have many sisters, but I only have one brother! Separated in our physical form, but forever connected through our shared beginnings. I have no idea how it must've been growing up with four wonky sisters, but we built memories that will be treasured forever. 
 
Though we are miles apart, we are bound by found memories and unconditional love. We share a love for the kitchen and writing (you are the better one), but really, there's so much more! Thanks for igniting my love for reading, for leading me to literary treasures that have become firm favourites; the endless hours of video games, Crash Bandicoot and Tomb Raider; for bringing home pets, Roofus and Blanc and teaching us how to spot a hit before it's a hit (a trait Saafiyah is convinced she has). And now, thanks to Zee and Rocky, we are into gardening too, and they certainly inherited that from you! haha 
 
I think this video Deed made, the song and the memories, sums things up perfectly! Though time has passed and we are oceans apart...there's nothing in this world I wouldn't do...
 
video
 
Happy Birthday Big Brother!!!
 
Love you lots <3
 
From all of us!
 

Friday, 21 November 2014

What makes you Beautiful - Feauturing Lee-Ann

Lee-Ann and I attended school together and although we were in different classes and had a different circle of friends, she was one of those girls, through passing each other in corridors on the way to classes, that you couldn't help but like. Always smiling, pleasant and had a positive word to say. But our paths diverged when high school ended. Not bound by memories or the empty promises of not allowing distance to ravage our bond ....no more than passing ships in the same ocean.
 
Fast forward a decade and some years, and thanks to the introduction of Internet and Facebook...old school friends and passers by were reunited! Albeit with extra baggage (kids) and kilos. We spoke more to each other in this cyber reality than we ever did before. We bonded over kids pictures and parenting dilemma's and got to know each other better. That's how I was reintroduced to Lee-Ann. As a loving mom to a son, Deen. 
 
What I didn't know at the time, was that Deen was not her biological son, that she suffered severe endometriosis, that she was told she might never have kids of her own. It seemed an unfair fate to befall someone with the biggest heart!!
 
So, what makes Lee-Ann beautiful to me? Some things are destined for our paths merely as a test. How we conquer these tests will determine our reward...Lee-Ann is one of those rare humans who sees beyond religion and race, and sees one Humanity. I have come to know her as someone who is always supportive, kind and compassionate, and always ready with an encouraging word. She is sensitive to animal cruelty as much as she is to human suffering...if she could help everyone on the planet, she would!  But what makes her most beautiful of all is her big and generous heart that had enough space to house some love and affection for a small, innocent child. Lee-Ann is proof that you don't have to give birth to someone in order to nurture, love and care. She has taught me that Biology has nothing to do with being a mother, that motherhood is what happens after birth! It takes a mother to recognise mother's love and Lee-Ann is a mother to Deen in every respect! I think it's one of the biggest reasons she defeated the odds. Why God blessed her with another child, took her through the biological process, and blessed her with a little girl to make her family complete...
 
 
 
So, Lee-Ann, what makes you beautiful?
 
 
Wow! This is probably the 20th time I am typing, deleting and re-typing what is supposed to be the start of this paragraph. I am finding it so difficult to answer the question about what makes me beautiful. My first thought was, "Me?" "Really?". I have struggled with my 'beauty' since having my daughter 8 months ago. I've just not felt it. At all. So, I asked my 8 year old step-son what he thought made me beautiful, and his response was the most amazing part of my day. "Everything", he said. "From the way you dress, to your hair. Even if your hair isn't growing fast enough. It's even the way you walk Annie". I was blown away. And then it hit me. I am a Mom. A biological Mom. But it is more the fact that I love someone else's child as my own, that makes me beautiful. The unconditional bond I have developed with this amazing little boy, brings out whatever beauty I hold within me. So, in a nutshell, it is HE who makes me feel beautiful and who makes me see that even though I feel like complete crap most days, what he sees is someone with "shiny hair" and who "doesn't wear a lot of make-up like Lady Gaga". Being a Step-Mom, a totally committed and dedicated Step-Mom... That is what makes ME (yes me) beautiful.

Lee-Ann says that this moment...the moment before the birth of her daughter, is when she felt most beautiful!


 
You are a beautiful spirit Lee-Ann and I am blessed to know you!
 
Thanks for reading!
 
Peace,
 
NAMU :)
 


Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Biodermal Aesthetics Clinic Opening

Ageing is a natural and inevitable process of life. We crawl, we walk, we run, we reach adulthood, our prime...and then we make the gradual decline towards old age and frailty. When I was younger, I always envisioned myself facing age without a fight! I Accepted my inevitable fate of grey hairs and wrinkles before they even arrived. But now that I've reached that age where the tell tale signs are beginning to surface and I find myself face to face with that very fate, I'm not so sure I'm ready to lie down and let it ravage me just yet. I'm still not afraid of getting old, but I'm all for preserving, maintaining, looking after what I have. I'm not afraid of ageing, but there's certainly no harm in ageing well!
 
The world of beauty and aesthetics is constantly evolving. Every year, new products and technologies emerge to help us combat and minimise the signs and effects of the ageing process. The quest for eternal youth may be futile...but the quest for warding of and prolonging the ageing process may be closer than ever before.
 
This past weekend I attended the opening of  Biodermal Aesthetics Clinic,  located in Wynberg, which specialises in a new generation of anti-ageing skin care! Housing technology of the global leaders in advanced clinical skin care, Bio-Therapeutic, the event was an extremely informative one, especially for someone like me who is fighting off Father Time by ploughing a bit more effort into my skin care regime. Bio-Therapeutic is a non-invasive, technology based skin care system and is said to be the ultimate solution to looking younger WITHOUT the surgery. Now, who wouldn't be excited about that?!?

What appeals to me most is that treatments do not involve any harsh and abrasive chemical peels. No down time is required after treatments at all!  Bio-Therapeutic uses a variety of devices and systems to improve skin conditions by lifting, toning and firming facial muscles and easing out fine lines, thus drastically reducing the signs of ageing, delivering superior results that conventional skin care methods alone cannot achieve. As the saying goes, "Seeing is believing" and the live demonstration that took place at the event showed us exactly how effective this technology really is! Results were instantly visible, which makes me very eager to try this out for myself.

The event itself was so well organised! Director of the Biodermal Aesthetics Clinic, Nadhiya, whose flawless and radiant skin is proof of the effectiveness of her treatments and products,  did an amazing job in hosting us for the morning in what was a perfect, picturesque little garden setting! The weather behaved, food was fantastic and the company was great! The beautiful Qaanita from ONQ Makeup was also on standby to give guests mini make-up makeovers. Definitely a morning well spent!

With all the revolutionary anti-ageing techniques and technology making it's way to our shores, it's important not to lose perspective of our natural journey. There is beauty in ageing, though sometimes we may not see it. Ageing is a way of ridding ourselves of vanity. As the clock ticks, life hands us the tools to shine from within. With every wrinkle and grey hair earned; through acceptance; we get stripped from vanity, our exterior veil, our shell. As much as I intend to look after my skin as best as I can, I can only hope that one day when I'm old and grey....once there is only a shroud of mortality left...I am more beautiful than I've ever been...

Partner in crime for the event was Moon :-)
THE VENUE
 
Biodermal Aesthetics Clinic is situated on the corner of Riverstone and Remington road, Wynberg. Nadhiya's room is housed on the same premises as her Orthodontist husband, which features a lush and tranquil garden...perfect for a morning of unwinding and some rejuvenation treatment! 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 


 
 

Catching up with Rushda


 

 THE FOOD

The event was catered by Green Caterers, but the menu was selected by Nadhiya herself. Each item on the menu is symbolic of her travels around the world! Her journey has led her full circle to this point...I just love it!

 
How cute are these menu boards??
 
 

 
 
 


 
My favourite of the day


 
CONSULTATION ROOM

Everything about this consultation area is stylish and chic! The colour choices and the details in the décor create a calm and tranquil ambiance which ties in so well to the aspect of rejuvenation...



 
Just outside the consultation room is this beautiful garden. Naturally we stopped for a few pics!
 
Love Moon's modest take on the Crop Top trend...

Love that I have sisters I can borrow from! Thanks for the bag Deed :-)
 
THE DEMONSTRATION
 
I love that there was a live demonstration. What better way to inform guests about your product and brand, than by showing them first hand!! And the ladies behind the brand certainly showed off flawless skin too, making it an easy choice for me to give the treatments a try.
 
 
The beautiful Nadhiya


Look at their glowing, healthy, youthful looking skin!

 
 

 
 
FINAL ROUNDUP BEFORE LEAVING...
 
 
Nadhiya and the stunning Qaanita from ONQ makeup
 
 
 
 
 
 


 

I felt so short! Forced to wear flats since my ankle is still not healed!
 
 
If you are interested in finding out more or booking a treatment session, then contact
Nadhiya at 076 680 1199
 
 
Thanks for reading!
 
Peace,
 
NAMU :)