me Life and Times of the Fireflies: November 2016

Friday, 25 November 2016

Wedding Season Style Inspiration #2

Wedding Season is fast approaching and our "what to wear" dilemma's and frustrations is part and parcel of the package! If you're like me, then you probably knee deep in the middle of end of year exam drama and assessment stress, which means planning ahead for that upcoming wedding is probably the last thing on your mind...let alone planning outfits for your entire family. And if you're Indian, worse still, since you'll be needing outfits for a whole weeks worth of festivities!
Having a teenage daughter means that she's constantly rummaging through my cupboard for things she can claim  wear. I really don't mind sharing a few items with her, but I am at a big disadvantage since I don't have the waistline to be able to snatch things from her wardrobe! Except maybe for ONE item that she owns! The faithful old Sari never ceases to perform miracles! It's the one item, that no matter how curvy or skinny your sibling or offspring is; you can still lay claim to when the need arises. It's the lifesaver hanging in the cupboard that never needs alterations and always looks elegant. And now, after all these years of being at a disadvantage, I can finally open my daughter's wardrobe and find something that fits (HAHA).
What I love about this particular piece is the vibrant colour combination. It's a modern and updated take on an old, timeless classic. The colours and subtle detailing makes it perfect for the youngsters, and the soft fabric makes for easy draping and comfort; which is key if you're new to wearing a sari. An arm full of bangles and dainty jewels completes this look for a young teenager just embarking on the journey of sari wearing!

To view the previous outfit inspiration post click here


Sari - Memsaab

Bangles - India

Jewels - our own

Photographs - 2Cherries Photography

Thanks for reading!



Wednesday, 16 November 2016

{ 3rd PRIZE WINNERS!! } The Bond of Sisters - Photoshoot with 2Cherries Photography

Family has always been the cornerstone of my existence! The close relationship I have with my mother is something I deeply value and cherish, and I spend endless hours each week relishing in her presence and her company. It's an honour and privilege I don't take for granted! The same goes for my sisters. Being four of us means that there is always a listening ear, a helping hand and a shoulder to lean on whenever we need it. It's a bond we have been taught to nurture from young, and something we still strive towards despite our busy lives. Relationships that I value with all my heart.

It's probably why I was deeply touched by the competition entry of Kim Muller. Sometimes a tragedy or deeply emotional setback steers us in the direction we need to be. For Kim and her sister, having lost their mom at the beginning of the year seems to have been the catalyst that rekindled their sisterly bond and brought them closer together. It's made them realise how quickly moments pass us by and that they really needed to make the most of their time together. It's why they so much desired to encapsulate their love and their bond with a photo that they could have this pivotal moment in their lives frozen forever!

For us, because the relationships between sisters has always been so important; the sisterly bond they rekindled made us deeply sentimental. And because capturing precious moments is what 2Cherries Photography lives for, they couldn't pass the opportunity to capture these memories for them. And so the date was set!

It did seem as though the weather was playing against us the morning of the shoot, and we feared we might have to reschedule; but we trekked through to the colourful streets of the Bo-Kaap anyway... knee deep in hope and silent prayers - and it worked!! We ended up with a window of perfect weather and lighting and 100's of photo's that I'm sure they will treasure forever.

For me, they really did remind me of my bond with my own sisters...their playfulness and laughter and love for photos is something we ourselves share. In them I saw a bit of me with every one of my own sisters! I hope you enjoyed making memories with us and I hope that you make many more together in the future. From all the Fireflies and also the 2Cherries,  we hope that your bond only blossoms and strengthens through the years <3

2Cherries in action! They will do anything to get the perfect shot!

To view more images from this shoot, hop over to the
 2Cherries Photography  Facebook page (here)

Thanks for reading!




Monday, 14 November 2016

To my Son on his 13th Birthday

These past few weeks as we entered your birth month, I've been watching you in bewilderment. Looking at your long limbed body sprawled out on your bed, or sofa, or filling up a chair.  Reminiscing about your birth, and every other small detail about your childhood. Conjuring up as many images and memories of little Rocky as I can, as if desperately trying to hold onto the moments of a time that has passed by too fast. And now, after all these weeks of weeping for my little boy with the bouncy hair, big eyes and even bigger smile who is not so little anymore, we have finally reached your birthday...and I get to help you celebrate 13!!

It's a strange thing, watching your child grow. From little infant, to toddler, to a kid growing up too fast...until one day you wake up and in the place of this little boy who you forever hold in your heart, is a grown up teen who has now grown past you! It was still last year that I worried about you going on camp for the first time, when I still needed to linger around you before going to sleep...when I still felt needed in so many ways. I think you've been dependant on our presence for so long, that this giant leap of independence that has occurred almost overnight  still leaves me is this for real!?

You no longer climb into my bed at the crack of dawn like you used to on a weekend; preferring instead to laze till late and watch YouTube videos on your own. You no longer rely on me to wake you up for school, our phone alarms both blaring a few seconds apart. You no longer collapse simultaneously with me at the end of the day, preferring instead to stay awake and have conversations with Dad. Save for needing me for food, some help with projects, and carting you too and fro, I think I've started relying more on you these days - needing you to print everyone's projects, needing your help with technology issues, needing your length and height when I can't reach the top shelf in the supermarket, and it makes me think of you when you were little, climbing up things to reach the top cupboard all by yourself. It makes me feel like we've gotten here too fast.

But you do still give me little doses of a boy who still needs his mom...when you ask me to choose out your clothes and brush your hair and ask me with puppy dog eyes for treats from the shop. Inside this giraffe-like body is still a little boy who, even though doesn't ask for love and affection often, most certainly enjoys it when the spotlight turns to him. It's the little glimmer that shines and lets me know my vibrant, affectionate boy is still there.

Just last year when your sister turned 13, you promised to never burden me with mood swings (Amen and God bless your soul). So far we haven't experienced any of that , but instead, today, on your 13th birthday, I am pleading with you to not retreat too far into your own world, to always keep the doors communication open and to allow us to peep into your thoughts from time to time. Be a little more open to criticism and keep on reaching for the highest goals, because I know without a doubt that you are capable of achieving them.

These days I wear your bright blue Addidas slippers with pride! The ones that not so long ago fitted your tiny feet and now fits mine. It's a constant reminder that not so long ago you were just a little boy who needed me...and that in no time at all you will need me even less. It's a reminder to take advantage of every precious day and relish in all the moments I have with you. No matter how tall you my heart you will always be my boy, my jolly Rocky with the razor sharp wit and countless snide comments... who makes me belly laugh like nobody else can...


Happy Birthday Rocky!! Don't ever lose your charm and sparkle; don't ever lose your sense of humour! Keep on drawing people in with your infectious personality and don't ever let the world tell you that you're not enough!

 I love you with all my heart...
Forever & Always
MOM <3

You can read his other birthday stories in the links below

Rocky turns 12

My Little Ray of Sunshine

The Best Gifts are Unplanned

Friday, 11 November 2016

Recipe - No Bake Mocha Chocolate Cheesecake

My baking mojo has been dormant for a while. Trying to adopt a healthier lifestyle obviously means less treats, and less treats means a break from making them! But a family get together is a perfect time to reignite that baking mojo and whip up something exciting. Not only do I get to make something interesting, but with more people being present, it means I get to share, which equates to less consumption and minimal guilt!

Cheesecake is my weakness! I can resist a lot of things, but a generous serving of Cheesecake isn't one of them. Baked Cheesecake, Fridge Cheesecake, this fancy Rolo Cheesecake and even fruity flavoured Cheesecakes...I will indulge in them all-and this No Bake Mocha Chocolate Cheesecake I made for my nephew's birthday celebration was certainly worth the indulgent treat  cheat!

What I like about this Cheesecake is that it doesn't require much effort to make, and the combination of the various layers of chocolatey textures and flavours work well together to create the perfect balance between a smooth and creamy chocolate, and a rich mocha flavour. The end result is a decadent dessert that is not overly sweet and is easy on the palette, and sharing with family means you'll have automated portion control and no late night dreams about leftover slices in the fridge! Here's the recipe:

  • 1 1/2 packets crushed Romany Cream biscuits or any other chocolate biscuits (I used Oreos)

  • 60 - 80gr butter, melted

  • 500gr smooth creamed cheese

  • 300gr chocolate (I used 200gr milk chocolate and 100gr dark chocolate but you can use according to preference)

  • 375ml Fresh cream

  • 1-2  Tblsp black coffee 

  • 200gr chocolate

  • 100ml cream

  1. Crush biscuits and combine with melted butter.
  2. Press mixture into a 20cm spring form pan or deep flan dish. Refrigerate until firmly set.
  3. Melt chocolate and beat into cream cheese.
  4. Whip cream and fold into chocolate mixture.
  5. Pour into prepared case and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
  6. Melt together remaining chocolate and cream and pour on top of the cheesecake. Drizzle with white chocolate and allow to chill for 20 minutes.
  7. Your cheesecake is now ready to devour!

Thanks for reading!
NAMU :-)

Monday, 7 November 2016

To Aryana on Your 1st Birthday

Today my mom has taken over the writing on the blog as she pens a heartfelt birthday message to the littlest Firefly, my niece Aryana, on her 1st Birthday which was celebrated yesterday...

I know that you don't understand the workings of the world right now, and by the time you do figure it all out I might be too old or even already gone from this world. So I decided to write you this letter the hopes that one day, when I no longer have a voice, you will read this and know what you are too young to understand now - and that is how incredibly valuable your presence has been in my life, and how very much you mean to me.

My life has always been centred around raising kids. From being involved with my younger siblings, to raising my own children, and then affectionately nurturing all the grandkids who have now blossomed into young adults and capable teens. All my life I've watched, helped and nurtured children to grow...and then watched them go on and leave to live their own lives. My heart had almost had enough of this cycle of setting kids free...I had withstood an empty nest too many times - the first when my own children left to start their own lives, and then again when the grandkids, your cousins, grew too big to fit onto my lap and curl into my arms. My heart still had so much love to give and yet the house that was always bursting and competing for that love was starting to feel very empty once again...and it started to weigh me down.

I had all but given up hope and then you entered my life like a ray of sunshine when I needed it the most!! You banished all the dark and gloomy clouds that hung over my head and have given me a new sense of purpose. You make me feel young and youthful even when my body sometimes fails me, and you've made me sing songs that had long been forgotten, you are the life, the sun and the music of my life and you give me a reason to look forward to each day!

All the older kids had the advantage of growing up with me. They have watched me get old and they will remember. I also know the day will come when you too will grow and need me less, but I don't know if I will ever have the pleasure of seeing you grow up completely. I want you to know that I will forever treasure this time...these moments...and the memories I have created with you. There is so much I say to you daily that you don't understand and won't ever remember. But one day when you are all grown up, I want you to read this story and look at all my picture memories with you, and know that you are incredibly special to me and very deeply loved! It's all I can leave you with when I am no more...

I love you with all my heart...

Forever and Always


A huge thank you to 2Cherries Photography for always being on hand to capture all our families memories, and working overtime to deliver the images for today's post! 

Friday, 4 November 2016

Life Lately

I had a string of posts planned and semi drafted for the past 2 weeks, none of which came to fruition because, happened in between! I knew this final term was going to be challenging, I even mentally prepared myself for it, but I was very unprepared for the numerous curve balls sent my way this past week alone which left me too mentally exhausted to pop around here to write anything legible.

Most times I capture our memories, share sentimental images and stories that centre around perfect moments...but I wouldn't be true to myself if I brushed past life and created content that doesn't truly reflect what life is like right now; and right now, like every other mother on the planet, I feel like everything is falling apart 'cos things are pretty hectic!

In the midst of building a "Haunted House" with my Grade 1, supervising projects of the older kids and trying to be PA to my husband; I managed to mess up documents my husband needed for an important of the kids accidentally deleted the research of the other one...we ran out of ink for the printer - twice (don't even ask)... and didn't read enough books for the reading competition currently happening in grade 1. It really did seem like I was failing in every aspect of life at one point and I was certainly buckling under the pressure of it all!!

But even when things appear to be falling apart, there is always a silver lining. In the midst of all the things going wrong, the kids showed true grit and character. They didn't flinch under the pressure, they helped each other when help was needed, forgave one another with ease in times of a mistake, persevered through adversity even when things felt a bit tough, learnt to save documents correctly 😂...and reminded me to look for solutions and lessons in sticky situations! We got through this week ok...and the best part is that we got through it together as a family.

As for you November, I know you've just started...but I seriously can't wait for December!

Thanks for reading