me Life and Times of the Fireflies: June 2015

Friday, 26 June 2015

Ninjago Party


 
This year I was very keen to do a Pinterest party for Zee's 6th birthday. You know...Themed, colour co-ordinated, name tags, candy table etc. Personalised perfection fit for a prince! I even called in the experts...party planner, cake decorator and some entertainment. But somewhere during planning this extravaganza, I lost sight of what's important, until a gentle reminder from my son put things into perspective...

We've never been big on BIG parties in our family. Over the years, birthday celebrations have become a culmination of old traditions and new ones. Being woken up with singing (dad's tradition), homemade birthday cake (mom's tradition), a birthday story (new tradition), Moon dressing up in character and being surrounded by all those who are most important to us (age old tradition)...these are the things the kids have come to know. These are the things they look forward to each year...

Kids really can't be bothered by name tags and fancy d├ęcor. All they want is to feel special and loved! And coming from the big family that we do, there's never a shortage of love and attention; no matter what the occasion.

And that's how my extravaganza never got to see the light of day! But we had a party non the less. One that was just what Zee wanted. A homemade cake, a birthday story, his morning singing...and he was surrounded by all those closest to him (which is a ready made party guest list in itself), plus a few of his best friends from school. It might not have been perfect (or Pinterest worthy)...but it was perfect to my little boy...and that's all that counts!

SIBLING LOVE
 
 

COUSINS

 

MY BOY IS GROWING UP SO FAST
 
 
 
HOME MADE BIRTHDAY CAKE AND COOKIES
 
 

BIRTHDAY BOY WITH HIS BUDDIES

 






NO DETAIL WAS SPARED, EVEN THE BALLOONS WERE THE NINJAGO THEME

 
 


THE BIRTHDAY BOY THRIVING ON ALL THE ATTENTION....MUST TAKE AFTER MOON ;)

 

FOLLOW THE LEADER

THE WHOLE FAMILY IS PART OF THE FESTIVITIES




NAANI, NAANA AND A PHOTO BOMBER IN THE BLUE HAHA!

PRIVATE JOKE


TRUST MOON TO DRESS FOR THE OCCASION HAHA!


GUEST APPEARANCE BY COLE ESPECIALLY FOR ZEE'S PARTY

EVERYBODAY SAY NINJAGOOOOO!

 
LET THEM EAT CAKE



GRANDMA AND HER ONLY GRANDDAUGHTER

IN HIS ELEMENT

 

THE DIY PARTY PACKS
 
A BIRTHDAY IS NOT COMPLETE WITH OUT A SPARKLE IN YOUR ICE CREAM

ALL PARTY'D OUT

Happy holidays!
 
Peace,
 
NAMU :)
 


 

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

My Truths - Playing With Fire

Negativity is like lighting a match and playing with fire... It starts off as a small flame dancing on the tip of a miniature stick. It is almost intriguing, drawing you in like a moth. Leave the flame burning for too long, and you risk getting burnt. Let go of the burning match and you risk leaving a blazing trail, having the flame engulf everything in its path!  Life is like that...you need to know when to blow out that flame.


Human nature dictates that negative events affects us. Maybe, to a large extent, even shapes us. We identify strongly with stories of loss and pain and sorrow. But these moments of desolation are only beneficial if we are able to scratch beneath the surface of these experiences, and tap into the lesson. Allowing negativity to creep in and take over your psychic space is not only toxic, but it is contagious! Negativity perpetuates itself and breeds and once it takes over and consumes your mind (or social media feed), happiness and positive energy is much harder to come by!
 
It is true that no news travels faster than bad news! Newspaper headlines, celebrity gossip...there's nothing like a negative headline to get people intrigued and sales sky rocketing (or blog views soaring)! People are captivated by negativity. They embrace it and spread it faster than a story with a good moral and a happy ending!

The problem arises when we find the need to defend ourselves against these negative induced headlines, throw in our pennies worth, and in the process, lose our own peace of mind as we become embroiled in displays of angst and outrage. What people say and do is a reflection of their own reality... The problem is how we choose to respond! We can't take responsibility for how others think or force a change of opinion, but we always have the freedom to choose our reaction at any given circumstance, and choosing to respond negatively is a catalyst for spreading even more discord!

My faith teaches me Peace, and nothing has the power to ruin your inner peace more than becoming consumed by the world. The ONLY way to defend our Faith is through peace, tolerance and compassion. Sometimes, in the face of adversity, these things are hard to hold onto... 

Being a silent observer of events gives me the luxury to reflect without submerging myself in debate. It affords me the opportunity to process things and find MY lesson! In our day to day, we will always encounter negativity...views, opinions, beliefs...people. You can either blow out the flame and walk away...or you can fan the flame, fuel it with responses and become engulfed by it yourself. The choice is always yours....



Ramadaan Kareem to everyone! May this month be a shield and
sanctuary from all the negativity of the world! Hopefully
we will all emerge from the month stronger and wiser!
 
Peace,
 
NAMU :)



 

Friday, 19 June 2015

Zee turns 6!!

 
So often in Life, time passes us by too quickly. A single thought is replaced by another almost instantly! New achievements and milestones a constant reminder that time never stands still. Moments quickly fade into memories and eventually, memories fade into a haze...like a picture that has been faded by the light of the sun.
 
Without a doubt, one of my favourite things about writing this blog has been the birthday messages I have written to my children! As life presses on, pausing and reflecting on these little milestones, pouring out my heart, having them frozen into words, has become a kind of solace and provides some kind of comfort in this rapidly changing world...Hopefully one day they will unwrap these little fragments of their lives, and even if their memory has faded, this will be a reminder that they were dearly cherished.
 
Today we celebrate because (not so) little Zee turns 6! To me, Zaydaan will always be a symbol of my own liberation! Having spent my 20's anchored down by the restraints of society's expectations, approaching 30 was like approaching the horizon of salvation. In so many ways his milestones mirrors my own growth! As he embraced Life, I learnt to embrace myself. As he learnt to crawl and walk, I learnt to take the necessary steps to steer my life in the direction I wanted to go. When he got bullied, I learnt to stand up for myself! His milestones have been a portal to my own...
 
This past year Zaydaan has transformed from the timid little boy of previous years, to a strong and independent 'Big boy' ! He stands his ground when he knows he is right and has found his voice while still remaining true to his gentle nature. I think I am most proud that he is no longer a pushover, something that has taken me almost 36 years to figure out for myself. He is happy and content, both mischievous and honest, and completely undemanding! 
 
Sometimes I wish that I still had my little boy. That he still needed me the way he did back then. That time didn't rob me of my baby. But if time had stood still, then I would still be an undiscovered soul, tied to the ground, weighed down by the what if's.  Together we have grown, and together we will move along with time, reach new heights and grow beyond where we are now...
 

 
 
Such a big part of his life, Zee requested I include a picture of just him and cousin brother, Agu <3
 
 
 Happy Birthday Zee!
You will always be my baby boy <3
 
Love Always,
 
MOMMY :)
 
 
 

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Recipe - Rolo Cheesecake

Winter in Cape Town usually arrives rather coyly. Settling in quietly and making her presence felt rather unassumingly; the naked trees a stark contrast against the backdrop of blue skies...until eventually she is comfortable enough to show us the true intent and nature of  her stay...

This year however, Winter has wasted no time in engulfing us in a bitter cold! The past week a clear indication that Winter this year, means serious business!! With the Winter woollies already out in full force, this Winter cold also has me reaching out for my recipe books and oven gloves, 'cos there's nothing like a hot oven and the aroma of freshly baked goods wafting through the air, to warm up the home...

I have not been posting many recipes of late, which is partly due to my attempts at eating clean. But with the fast only a week away, I've been inundated (by Moon) with  new recipes and am seriously enticed to try them out and add to my collection! For now, though not a typically Winter dessert, it's still an "all year round" favourite! A classic Cheesecake with a choclatey twist! Originally a Bar-One cheesecake, I decided to switch to my gooey centred favourite.




INGREDIENTS
  • 250 gr plain chocolate biscuits (I just used Tennis biscuits)

  • 150 gr Butter (I use less than this)

  • 5 Tblsp brown sugar

  • 40 gr Butter (extra)

  • 350 ml Thickened cream

  • 100 gr milk chocolate, chopped finely

  • 3 tsp Gelatine

  • 1/4 cup (60 ml)water

  • 2x250 gr packets cream cheese, softened

  • 1/2 cup (110gr) castor sugar

  • 3x60gr Rolo or Bar-One chocolates, chopped finely
METHOD

  1. Process biscuits until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add butter; process until just combined. Using your hand, press crumb mixture evenly over base and side of a 21cm springform tin.  (note: I did not cover sides as I personally prefer it only on the base, but covering the sides makes for a neater looking cheesecake). Cover and refrigerate  for 30 minutes it until firm.
  2. Meanwhile, combine brown sugar, extra butter and about 4 tablespoons of the cream in a small saucepan; stir over low heat until sugar dissolves, to make the butterscotch sauce.
  3. Combine chocolate and another 80ml of the cream in another small saucepan. Stir over low heat until chocolate melts.
  4. Sprinkle gelatine over water in a small heatproof jug. Stand jug in a small saucepan of simmering water. Stir until gelatine dissolves. Cool for 5 minutes.
  5. Beat cheese and castor sugar in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Beat remaining cream in a small bowl until soft peaks form. Stir slightly warm gelatine mixture into cheese mixture with the chopped Rolo (or Bar-One if you prefer). Lastly fold in cream.
  6. Pour half the prepared mixture into prepared tin. Drizzle half the butterscotch and chocolate sauces over cheese mixture. Pull skewer (I used a knife) backwards and forward through mixture several times to create a marbled effect. Repeat process with remaining cheese mixture and sauces. Cover cheesecake and refrigerate for 3 hours or until set.


Thanks for reading and happy baking!

Peace,

NAMU :)