me Life and Times of the Fireflies: February 2014

Friday, 28 February 2014

Late Night Ramblings

This past week hasn't gone my way at all!! I'm convinced that Trouble is stalking me....that it is lurking in corners, following, watching, waiting for the right moment to pounce. I am sure he is sneering, feeling content at the stir he has caused. And he has pounced a few times. On somewhat uncommon playgrounds to our regular encounters and caught me slightly off guard.
 
Now, I'm not usually one to fight back. I just roll back my eyes and let the words flow in my head...But I must admit, this week, I have found it difficult to silence my mind. The problem is, that people get away with saying just about anything. They don't pause to ponder their words or worry about it's impact...but blurt out falsities at the speed of a runaway train!! And often believe it to be true too.
 
Normally, I just leave things and walk away...and it is easy to do that when the person is a stranger or someone you rarely see. But how many times can you walk away from the same person when they are so far from right?? After a time it really starts to gnaw at you. Like your emotions are being pushed to the limit and quite frankly, it hurts you know!
 
There has to be a reason for this test...surely there is a message, something to be learnt. And I have started asking myself, if staying quiet hasn't perhaps caused things to get this far. If my silence has been the cause of broken boundaries and overstepped barriers. If my silence has escalated the war?
 
I don't like this unsettling feeling. I won't feel at peace until I find resolve. But at this point in time I feel like I've been pushed up against a wall and I am being choked! I would rather walk away from an argument than get stuck in trying to prove I am right. But there comes a point where it's not about fighting to be right.... but fighting FOR what's right! I have not decided how I'm going to settle this...For now I just know that this cannot carry on! 
 
Thanks for reading!
 
Peace,
 
NAMU :)
 

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Evolution of the Female Form

Day after day, on almost every media platform, women are inundated with images, adverts, advice, tips and tricks to attain the unattainable! Year after year, the quest for beauty becomes more arduous, and even with all the widespread advice and technology, nobody seems even remotely close to attaining this widely publicised, and very misleading idea of perfection!

As women, we are bombarded with a constantly evolving set of thoughts of what the 'ideal female body' should look like. These constantly changing standards, puts pressure on the everyday women to conform to what society; or more so, what the media informs her she should look like! Many fight their natural body types and embark on often unhealthy methods to achieve these standards, and a lot of us (myself included) feel defeated when we are not able to accomplish this goal.

"Strong is the new skinny"...While I have been looking at this phrase almost daily as a form of inspiration and encouragement to shift my goal to a strong and healthy body, this statement itself lends itself to the notion of the ever evolving 'norm'. It doesn't set a standard, but rather a preface that this is what is acceptable NOW ...and the possibility that things may soon change, and with that we will all have to once again alter our goals.

And the norm is changing. Constantly, in fact. Throughout time. It is no wonder women have a warped body image. We are fed media fodder constantly. Confusing us and this leads us to hate our bodies. To strive to change our God given form...and this has to stop!!

Through the decades, there have been countless beauties who have embodied the ever evolving definition of the 'perfect' women. What I find strange, is the fact that the 'perfect woman' size, has never stayed the same...

Renaissance

The very first form of media came in the form of renaissance art. The Renaissance woman was full, curvy, voluptuous and unashamed of their form. (I tried using the most modest pic here, but women were depicted as much more voluptuous than this.)

1920's  Flapper girls

The era that could, possibly, have started the boyish trend. Women wore loose dresses that that hid their shape and form and often taped their chest down to make them appear flatter.

1930 Hollywood Golden Age

Women became more body conscious, and many young girls started to aspire to look like the favourite stars. Women were encouraged to always be well groomed in the hopes of catching a husband (ouch)!!


40's and 50's

Marilyn Monroe was, and still is today, the embodiment of the real woman! No thigh gap, womanly curves, full face and an estimated size 12...she still had men swooning!

The 60's introduces Twiggy 


With the rise in popularity of the glitz and glam lifestyle of Hollywood, and the help of media, came the rise and popularity of various fashion houses! Fashion designers turned to the boyish figure to make their clothes look good thus drastically altering the norm of what the perfect woman looked like.

Salvation in the 70


Although still lean, Farah Fawcett was a salvation to women across the globe. She replaced the skinny ideal with a more healthy, energetic and fitness orientated goal for the women of the 70's. With her natural beauty shining through, she embodied a girl next door vibe and was loved for it! The thinking thin phenomenon was now out in full force!

The 80's reign of the Supermodel


Cindy Crawford rose to fame in the late 80's and was one of the first lot of  Supermodels! Having grown up in this era myself, Cindy Crawford was one of my icons. Following the footsteps of Farah, she was an image of health and fitness and still maintained her femininity and curves. It is appalling to think that in todays time, she would be classified as a plus size model!!!!!!!!!!

Heroin chic 90's


And then there was Kate...who infamously said that "nothing tastes as good as skinny feels" and changed the face (and taste) of beauty forever! Thigh gaps, bony hips and flat chests ruled the runway (and still does), media and red carpet. Everyone wanted to be that thin! Size zero became an actual thing, and eating disorders were on the rise...

Turn of the Millennium

The turn of the century introduced us to a new type of beauty in the form of bootilicious babes JLO, Beyoncé and Kim Kardashian. Curvy was the new skinny and finally there were real representations of the female form once again. But it also brought with it digital enhancement...salvation, short lived!!

Present Day

The present day woman has many resources at her disposal. Media has become multi faceted, and more and more real women are stepping out of the shadows and reclaiming their power, yet there are still some who live with the expectation of being impossibly thin. Truth is there is not just one body type! How we should look cannot be dictated to us. We are all different and all beautiful. There is NO perfect size...only a perfect size for YOU. It's time we each find our own happy medium (or large, whatever makes us happy) and stand proud!  We have ourselves become 'media', so let US dictate what the new age woman should look like...Tall, short, boyish, curvy, hourglass, renaissance curves and all...strive to be the best possible YOU!

Peace,
 
NAMU :)
*All images in this post have been sourced

Friday, 21 February 2014

Because I Care

When you kids were younger, I could not wait till you were bigger...a little more independent...a little less needy. Life was hectic and busy and a little chaotic! Some days I had no idea what I was doing...but I watched you grow with pride. I helped you conquer milestones and need me less and less...and for a while, that was okay. I thought that when you were bigger, things would be easier. That the challenges would ease. But a parent's worries never cease!

Some days, I wish you were still 4...where teaching you was easy...numbers, adding, the alphabet, mammals and reptiles, and colouring within the lines. Teaching you about real life is so much harder!!!

Some days, I wish you were still 5...that everything I said to you, mattered. That the hugs were easy and the conversations easier. That it wasn't so hard to break down barriers.

Some days, I wish you were 6...that all the answers you ever sought, were found in me. That you trusted me with everything! And I'll take those exhausting years back any day if it means I can be a part of your world and have you love being a part of mine!

I wish I was more patient in answering your questions. That maybe if I was patient then, you would be more patient in answering mine, now. Some days I wish you were all small enough to still squeeze into my bed...me squashed in the centre. Some days I wish you still fell asleep wrapped in my arms. But you are too big for that now. Or maybe you think you are too big. Or maybe I think you are too big...but you are not! 

There are days you feel misunderstood...when you think I don't understand. That I am being mean. That all I want to do is ruin your life and spoil your fun. Those days hurt the most! Because I do understand. I understand more than you know...and I feel more misunderstood than you! Because all I really want is the very best. And I understand that it sometimes comes out wrong. That it sometimes finds it's way out as a scream and ends up as a fight...

I could not wait for the day you grew up, but now I realise that growing up means leaving my side and figuring things out for yourself...and I'm not quite ready for that! There will come a time for that. For letting go. For moving forward. But that time is not now. For now, I am mom and you are very much my child. Although not 4...5...6..You still need caring and still need my guidance; now more than ever!! And even if it comes out all wrong, one day when you read this, you will know it's because I cared...
 
Love,
 
Mom :)

Monday, 17 February 2014

My Truths - The Meaning of Friendship

Since I started blogging I have found that people often ask my thoughts and opinions on various topics. And though I generally write about my own personal journey and experiences, these questions give me a chance to reflect on topics I haven't given much thought before. One of the questions asked was about my thoughts on friendship.
 
From our very early years we encounter people that shape our lives and through their presence, moulds our identity. In my life, I have encountered many, many people. Within each individual I have learnt something valuable...but not all of them would I call my friend.
 
When I was young, making friends was easy, it was simple and it was built on mutual interests and experiences. It was uncomplicated...all we had to offer was ourselves and that was enough! Bonds built on the simplest foundations; untarnished by superficiality and personal gain; in my personal experience, has survived the longest! Many of the friendships I forged in my youth have survived; perhaps because we see ourselves as no different to those goofy teens we were back then. 
 
Fast forward a couple of years...add money, career and status...and your simple self becomes "not good enough". The relationships in this era proved most problematic! Facing the world with good intentions and my heart on my sleeve...searching for acceptance...searching in all the wrong places....all the wrong people!

Sometimes in life, there is a void that needs to be filled...that we think can be filled by the presence of others. We go searching for these people we think can fill this gaping hole, failing to realise that we do not need anyone to make us feel validated!!! We offer our hearts and souls in exchange for acceptance and often get left feeling hurt...
 
But no experience in life is ever in vain. Even hurt...I have learnt and realised that the only person you can count on is yourself. I have learnt to guard my privacy and my thoughts...to allow only a privelaged  few access to them. The less people that know the details to your life; the less chance of getting hurt. I have learnt that I have nothing to prove...that I have to accept myself and not seek acceptance in the eyes of others!

The purest friendships are never based on personal gain. They are forged through similar mutual experiences, provide us with comfort and security, and are the safety nets to life's falls. Those are the friendships that survive...the next best thing to family. We see in the next person a likeness to ourselves and that is what we are drawn to...A common moment...a similar strife. Some friendships will last a long, long time...and some won't last long at all...and that's okay too! The most important thing is that you are okay with YOU! 
 
People cross our paths for a reason...and sometimes they leave for a reason. The many friendships forged and lost has taught me something I needed to learn about myself and grow from as an individual. At the end of it all, we are all on a journey and everyone has something to learn. Sometimes that lesson is learnt from someone that is not good for us at all!

 

 
Peace,
 
NAMU :)
 
 
*If you have any suggestions for topics you would like me to write about, feel free to email me at namreensonday@gmail.com or send me a message via my Facebook page.
 

Friday, 14 February 2014

The Same, But Different...

When two people look the same, people mistakenly think they are the same. That in the same way they inherited similar shape eyes and noses...they automatically inherit the same strengths. The same weaknesses. People assume a duplicate nature, personality, interests. Nothing is further from the truth! Having grown up being compared to my sister my whole life...we may look the same and resemble each other in so many ways, but in reality, we could not be more different.
 

With just a year between us, it was an inevitability to be mistaken for twins and it didn't help that my mom dressed us identically!! I honestly did not see the resemblance, but it did make our high school years quite amusing! We were mistaken for each other so frequently that people eventually started searching for things to tell us apart and in that, though we look so similar...we discovered so many things that were different!


One had long hair; the others hair was short. One was always smiling; the other was a little stern. One was shy and reserved; the other was quite outspoken...an extrovert. One was quiet; while the other was loud...the list goes on!

So, you see...We're the same, but different, you and I...The same blood runs through our veins, same beginnings, same heritage...Same brother, same sisters...same yesterdays....and even though the tomorrows that greet us may be different; it's the same in us both that helps us embrace the different! For in this world, each individual holds in them a key the other doesn't have...and it is in that difference that we start to rely...and that is the difference we come to celebrate!!


Happy Birthday Deed!! Here's to celebrating all that is different, and embracing all that is the same...Your coy smile; my loud laugh...I have to wonder though, if one day when we're old and grey...we will still be confusing the heck out of everyone, or if they would be able to tell the difference by then!!
 
 
 
  Peace,
 
NAMU:)

Friday, 7 February 2014

Date Night at the Movies

Date nights with hubby has become a routine that I quite look forward to after the busy week and it is a great way to stay connected as a couple! In today's busy lifestyle, I find it is important to make time and maintain a healthy relationship and bond that extends beyond family life; and I rather enjoy getting dressed up for the occasion ;-)

As my husband  has an obsession with movies, we tend to frequent the cinema... but an overcrowded movie house is hardly romantic! But date night has just gotten a whole lot better with the opening of the new luxury cinema, SCENE, at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town! It is a little shocking that we completely overlooked this new addition to the V&A cinema, especially at the rate we watch movies; which is why I decided to tell you a little bit about it. My usually camera shy husband graciously embraced the fact that he had to feature multiple times in this post...mainly because the pictures he took of me were horrible!!

 

SCENE is situated within the same area as the main movie houses, but has it's own private entrance which is completely cordoned off from the hustle and bustle(and long queues) the rest of the other movie goers have to endure, making it a completely relaxed experience. It enables one to enjoy the latest movies in the most refined environment!
 

 

 We were welcomed by friendly and efficient staff, who eagerly guided us through all the wonderful and unique pleasures available exclusively to SCENE. Included in this luxury experience is a....

Private lounging area to relax while you wait... Arrive early and relax in this laid-back lounge area and enjoy one of their wide range of drinks.
 
 A menu that offers a variety of finger or fork meals; sandwiches, salads, confectionery, dessert, teas and coffees...and the compulsory popcorn and coke...that you don't need to wait for, as it gets delivered directly to your seat...inside the cinema...while you watch the movie!!! (I failed to enquire if they are halaal as we did not order any meals that night)



And then there's the seats...With only 16 seats per movie house, this cinema house was designed with comfort in mind! Boasting full leather reclining chairs with plenty of legroom and wide armrests; it was a uniquely luxurious and intimate experience...we almost felt as though we were watching the movie in the comfort of our own home!!



This luxury experience costs R85 a ticket excluding your meal or eatables. Even though it is pricier than regular tickets, I quite enjoyed the comfort and luxury that came with the extra cost. It is a perfect date night option and of course there's the added benefit of having your meal at the same time. I would definitely go this route again...those seats are enough to keep me going back!!!

Nu-Metro is currently running a Valentines Day special exclusive to SCENE and is valid from 3-14 February. R190 per person includes:
  • 1 movie ticket 2D/3D

  • Select 2 courses from the set menu
Course options include - Starter and Main OR Main and Dessert
  • A glass of beverage of your choice
Go on, book your ticket!!
 
Peace,
 
NAMU:)



 

Monday, 3 February 2014

African Adventure


 
Everyday is an opportunity to create wonderful memories that will have the potential to leave a deep imprint on the hearts of those you have created them with. Shared memories bonds people together like nothing else. It is the glue of old friendships, strong marriages and family legacies. It unites us, rekindles forgotten emotions and bind us together for all eternity...
 
If you read my blog often enough you would've noticed that I come from a very close knit family...so close in fact, that even though I moved out and got married a long time ago, I am still very much at home in my parents home. As siblings, we make a lot of time to maintain the strong bond we have with our parents and also each other... and together, we make an effort to nurture the blossoming bonds that our kids share.
 
 Even though we are living in a time where we are juggling a multitude of things on a daily basis, Family ties is something we always strive hard to maintain. I believe that if something is important, we will make all the effort to ensure that goal comes into fruition. For me, that goal is to maintain the wonderful relationship my kids have with their family...for what we nurture today, will flourish tomorrow...
 
It is in this spirit of togetherness that we headed off to Giraffe House Wildlife Awareness Centre, situated in Stellenbosch about 35min outside Cape Town. Giraffe House offers a wonderful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city centre. It boasts several km of open land, fresh air and an array of African Wildlife, and focuses on educating young and old about the importance of nature conservation. They offer the added bonus of hosting kids parties as well, but the highlight of the visit is definitely the animal encounters!!! 
 
 Giraffe House is home to numerous farm animals and African Wildlife, including various snakes, birds, meercats and these cute monkeys!
 
 
 
 The animal encounters is a definite highlight! Presented by the hilarious Pieter Oosthuizen, we all learnt so much about nature conservation and all the kids had an opportunity to get up close with animals we would otherwise be afraid of!
 
 The wide open spaces, fresh air and animal interactions; makes this a perfect venue for kids parties that's both educational and fun! Includes a party area and also a jungle gym...
 
Memories are what stays behind long after souls have departed and they provide us comfort, warmth and contentment in our hearts! No matter where time or circumstances may lead us, shared moments are what will always keep us united!!
 
video
 
 A video montage of our African Adventure!
 
Hope you enjoyed,
 
Peace,
 
NAMU:)