me Life and Times of the Fireflies: September 2016

Friday, 30 September 2016

The Bike Park at Constantia Uitsig

Remember the good old days when it was safe to play outside? Remember the time, when we'd rush through our chores just so we could go out and play...and we kept out of our mother's hair...and we didn't really require her for our entertainment? When we used to cycle outside for hours on end with the neighbourhood kids...and the house stayed clean... and we only ever went inside when we heard the athaan (call to prayer) and to eat (and at the end of the day to go bath and to sleep) ? Remember the time...when we were those carefree kids and not the stressed out parents!!! I long for those days! And as nostalgic as all that sounds, it's not exactly for the reasons you may think. The school holiday is starting today, and the prospect of having my name bellowed out constantly is making me feel rather anxious!

Times have changed, and though it may no longer be safe enough to leave your kids to play outside without supervision...and the kids don't do their chores with speed and enthusiasm...and the house doesn't always stay clean...and sometimes we have to be more involved than our ancestors and predecessors - when does the holiday end again?- all is not lost and there is still some respite for us mothers! 

If you're finding the prospect of being cooped up with the kids a little daunting, then rest assured, I have an inexpensive solution for you. While biking up and down the street might not be a visible option for everyone, there is a way to make sure their bicycles don't gather dust altogether. There is a way to get the kids excited about getting outdoors and cycling again...there is a way to get them out of your hair and it's totally amazing and so much fun that YOU would want to join in and get jumbled up in THEIR hair for a change...WIN!!!

The Bike Park at Constantia Uitsig is the brainchild of Chris Nixon; former Downhill World Champion; and was designed with the ideal of honing one's bike handling skills. The bike park features a variety of pump tracks and is a great place for people of all ages and varying skill levels. It boasts beginner jump lines all the way to expert drop offs and a suspension sky bridge that tracks the canopy of the trees; providing hours and hours, and lap after lap of adrenalin boosting fun!

The Bike Park is open 7 days a week, from as early as 8am, up until 6:30pm ...which means  hours of outdoor fun, which in turn equals tired kids and the promise of a clean house on return ;-). It's also the perfect meeting place for friends. Bring along a picnic basket and a blanket; or you could visit the adjoining coffee shop and restaurant; and enjoy the view and tranquillity of the Winelands while the kids use up all their energy! Plus it's safe, supervised and fun! There's also the option of the Bike Barn, which is a perfect hideout if you've decided to  be a spectator and also doubles up as a pitstop for cyclists with bike repair services on site!

Whether you decide to sit it out and observe the surroundings  from a safe distance, or whether you're brave enough to join in the fun; The Bike Park is certain to become a family favourite and a regular feature on your family's agenda. Friendly and helpful staff, reasonably priced, an awesome riding experience and spectacular views, makes it a winning combination that will keep me going back over and over again!

What you need to know:

Entry Fee : R50 entry free and you have access to The Bike Park for the entire day.

No charge for spectators: You are welcome to watch your kids take on the track free of charge!

Suitable ages: 3 and up. There's more than enough space for young ones, without deterring the adventurous spirit of a more seasoned cyclist.

Parties : There's a party area beside the track, making it an ideal venue for a party.

Bikes : Bring your own or rent a bike. The cost of the outing will go up if you decide to rent and there's also a 2 hour limit to a rented bike...which is ample, but also good to keep in mind.

Eatables: There are things available, but you're more than welcome to bring things along if you're going to make a day of it.

Bookings : Not necessary except for parties.

The Bike Park staff looks forward to welcoming you this holiday!

You can also watch our YouTube Video by following the link below

Thanks for reading!



Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Eid-Ul-Adhaa 2016

Eid has come and gone and is already long forgotten as we've just continued along the path of  "being busy". This year, Eid-ul-Adhaa seemed to have arrived smack, bang in the middle of the mid term storm of assessment, assignments and term exams! It meant that there wasn't much of a build up and excitement like we usually have; and also that I was more disorganised than usual.  Surprisingly though, everything seemed to fall seamlessly into place with minimal drama!

We tried to keep things simple this time round; but even simple requires effort when you are part of a large family. I know we tend to lean towards extravagance on days like Eid, and maybe our busy schedules allows for less; which is both sensible and understandable (and healthier), but I hope that things don't get watered down to the extent that we lose it's value and essence. As usual, the day centred around family (and food); and as always, our community did not disappoint in contributing to the Eid vibe! For a Monday, our streets were alive with our vibrant culture and tradition.

 Our day revolves around going too and fro between the homes of our matriarchs who put a lot of effort into preserving our traditions. For now, the responsibility lies with us to continue keeping the flame burning. As life changes and the daily demand begins to weighs us down, I hope, that for the next generation, upholding these things doesn't become a tedious affair. I hope, like we've done this year, they are able to put down their tools, forget about their worldly obligations and focus on the significance of days like these...

Thanks for reading!



Saturday, 24 September 2016

Our Heritage

2Cherries Photography

In a world where western culture, pop culture and the likes is slowly starting to take precedence in our lives; it is refreshing to have a day dedicated to our roots. South Africa has a rich colonial history, and as disturbing as our past is, the happy ending and silver lining lies in us all being able to bask under the African sun and embrace our diverse culture despite the perplexities involved in arriving here...

Growing up as an Indian in Africa, in a country where your own culture doesn't dominate,  is not always easy and sticking to your roots can become difficult when you are in the midst of  so much diversity. I think it makes days like today all the more the office, schools and the internet ;-)'s an opportunity to stand proud, learn more and embrace our identities instead of shying away from it and being forced to conform. It gives our own kids a chance to revel in their identities as Indian, Xhosa, Zulu, Malaysian, Chinese etc. ...and understand the beauty of being able to stand proud in the midst of it all.

My own identity is tied heavily to my Indian heritage. Both my parents have a deep rooted history in India and it is through them that our culture has been passed on. My mom has been pivotal in keeping us in touch with our Indian heritage and keeping it alive!  Where others tend to shy away from it, we proudly embrace it! It  is very much a part of us and forms a huge part of my identity. It's great to live in a country that celebrates our diversity and it certainly makes it easier to pass these things on to the next generation.

My mom has done a great job in handing down traditions. While the rest of my siblings picked up on the dress code and the language...I dropped the language...but nailed the dress sense and the cooking LOL! But soon the baton will be passed on to us to uphold, upkeep and pass on...It is why it's so important that we embrace things like our heritage; while still being able to differentiate between our culture and religion; and we proudly hang on to the things that define us...where we come from, where we are and where we are headed!

                                                                     Our matriarch  <3                                                       (2Cherries Photography)

                                                                                                                                               (Larry English Photography)

                                                                                                                                                  (Larry English Photography)

                                                                                                                                                              (2Cherries Photography)

Happy Heritage Day! 


NAMU...and contribution from MOON :)

Friday, 23 September 2016

This is Us...Celebrating Our 15th Anniversary

I've picked up my laptop numerous times this week in an attempt to complete this post before today. I've stopped and started several times...picked up my pen to jot down random thoughts and thought up elaborate metaphors to describe our relationship...our marriage; only to have to put it down and have my thoughts and feelings lost to the demands this week has brought and it left me feeling...well...defeated! But I suppose if there ever was a metaphor for "us" then this week was it...drudging through the demands this catastrophic week(s) has brought with it; when often times I felt like I was snowballing to the finish line; it was the traces of  "us" that shone like rays of sunshine through the thick of things that managed to saved my sanity from it all. The laughter, the stolen kisses and reassuring glances that things will always be okay.

And so, despite the fancy words I wished to spill out to show my love and appreciation. Despite the elaborate display I wanted to conjure up...I know, that for us, the most meaningful things lies in the seemingly small moments and gestures that manage to fill up our whole hearts and proves to be our beacon of light when we need it most. And so, this is my offering today as we celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary; most probably in pyjamas with the kids scattered around us; because this is "us" and this is how I like it to be - both complicated and uncomplicated at the same time, fuss free and fabulous in it's simplicity.

I used to think that forever was a very long time to be together, but at the rate the last 15 years have flown by; forever seems hardly enough time to be with you. There are moments that feel like no time has passed at all; fleeting glimpses of the people we used be, little reminders of our youth filled days (and I'm not referring to the wardrobe of clothes that don't fit) that often times seem misplaced amidst the chaos of everyday.

15 years is a long time I guess...We're not old enough to be considered old, but possess too many grey hairs to be classified as young! We have conquered the years of sleepless nights, teething babies and a bed full of toddlers...together we have just barely survived the tween and adolescent years...and right now we are smack bang in the middle of the minefield that is the Teens; and in the midst of it all, we have  managed to maintain an "us".  Together we have a history...built spectacular memories...conquered mountains...and as always, we stand together, ready to embrace whatever another year brings!

If this past year of marriage has taught me anything, then it is  that things can change at any given moment. That nothing is ever constant and to always be prepared to shift gears and change course. It is a reminder to not have our anchors too deeply rooted to the ground, so that when the wind and the waves change direction, it's easier to adjust our sails and go with the flow. It has taught me that beginnings don't neccessarily happen at the beginning...that through our life, we will face numerous endings and several new beginnings. But I want you to know, that even if we had to start over a hundred times more, there's nobody I trust more to be by my side than you. You are both my anchor and my sails and I  will love you forever...however long our forever will be...

Here's hoping we celebrate many more...

Happy Anniversary!

Love always,


Photographs by the amazing 2Cherries Photography 

Friday, 16 September 2016

Dash Studio Makeup Workshop

Social media has become a powerful marketing tool for anyone with a skill and looking for a way to grow their brand and their business. Back in the day, it was difficult to get your name out there and become recognised for your craft, especially if you took a career path that strayed from the conventional. So it has been great to see how social media has transformed the way we do business and also helped small business owners with a more creative flair to flourish and grow! It's given these individuals a visual platform to display their honed skills and talents and made their skills more accessible to everyone! I mention this because, without the power of social media, I might never have heard of DASH  STUDIO, let alone sit in one of her coveted makeup workshops and learn from one of the best at her craft!!!

One only needs to browse through her Instagram feed to see that she might well have been born with makeup brushes and an eyeshadow palette in her hand! Looking like a true Bollywood princess herself, I don't think it's any wonder why I would be totally obsessed with this makeup guru. What's even better, is that every once in a while, she hosts makeup workshops to share her knowledge and skill with those wanting to learn a few key tricks, as well as tips on how to execute the latest makeup trends to help us along the way.

Makeup workshops are great for everyone; from the beginner, wanting to learn the basics; to someone more experienced, looking to enhance their skills and learn the latest techniques.It's great to have your makeup done FOR you every once in a while; but it's even better being able to do it by yourslef whenever you want and these workshops are a great platform to learn how from the best.

I confess to going bare face most of the week and I have no problem letting my freckles show. Being a mom to a daughter, I feel it's important, in a world obsessed with aesthetics, to show her to be comfortable in one's own skin... but being able to glam up every now and again definitely makes one feel good too!  Although I think I do a fair enough job of applying my own makeup, I haven't quite caught up to all the latest tricks and techniques. Sometimes I feel as though trends are evolving at such a rapid rate, that before I can master one makeup trend, there's another one already taking it's place. Non the less, I think it's important for a woman to know a little bit about makeup so that she feels empowered enough to do it herself whenever she feels like it.

For some one still hanging on to old school trends, I found the workshop to be a good opportunity to update my skills. I left there feeling a lot more confident about contouring and highlighting, and was pleased that even though I had my makeup done, I still looked like myself...if only just a little enhanced ;-) I'm not going to be contouring myself to the point that I'm unrecognisable, but I feel a bit more confident that I now have the tools to do things by myself whenever I want.

The beautiful Tasleem...owner of DASH STUDIO 

Our tools for the day

Only a fraction of her makeup collection 😲

Gorgeous model for the day

Showing us how to create a day look

Midway through we stopped for breakfast and treats

Next up, we were shown how to transform the day look into a glam evening look

Then it was time to put what we learnt to the test

Getting my makeup done by the guru herself

How gorgeous isn't she 😍

My date night makeup courtesy of DASH STUDIO 

You can follow Dash Studio on Instagram and Facebook for updates on the next workshop.

You can also contact her via whatsapp or email for any of your makeup needs


Phone: 082 378 9819

Book her for your wedding makeup...and if you want a true Bollywood affair, she has a special Bollywood package running with her brother!

Thanks for reading!