me Life and Times of the Fireflies: December 2016

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Wedding Season Style Inspiration #4

When your Instagram feed is filled with a combination of vacation pictures, our beautiful Cape Town scenery, and glamorous wedding OOTD's  (outfit of the day); then you know that Summer is here and Wedding season is in full swing! The glam game is strong on social media at the moment, and if you still haven't a clue what to wear to your next wedding, then maybe my final wedding season outfit inspiration for 2016 might help...

I bought this outfit from an Instagram/online company for my sister's wedding over a year ago and if social media is anything to go by, then it has become quite a popular piece since then! With it's rich, creamy, golden hue; elaborate embroidery and full tulle hemline; it's no wonder why people would be drawn to this eye catching outfit! It most definitely has visual appeal and a sophisticated elegance about it that would make it a must have as soon as you lay eyes on it...

What I love about traditional Indian outfits is how they play with colour combinations. Nothing is too daring and everything goes! It's part of the appeal of what makes eastern garments so mesmerizing. This Anarkali comes with a matching pants and scarf which I wore as is on my sister's wedding. On this occasion I decided to change things up with a red scarf from another one of my eastern outfits, and complimented it with hints of red in my accessories. I like how it brightened up the whole look and how easily I was able to transform the outfit by making a few minor changes.

When purchasing outfits the way I did, there is always a chance that someone else may have gone the same route; but I'm not one to let a good outfit go to waste and I like that I was able to reinvent it by adding my own personal touches in the form of accessories to make it unique to my own personal style.


Dress: Remsons 

Scarf: India

Earrings and Damini : Khan's Punjabi

Bangles: Memsaab

Rings : various 

Photographs: 2Cherries Photography 

Enjoy what's left of the holidays!

Thanks for reading... 



Friday, 23 December 2016

Life Lately - December 2016

We are well into the second week (or is it the third? I can't be too sure ) of the school holiday already, and I really thought I would be sipping on mocktails while soaking up the sun on one of our city's pristine beaches. But alas, it hasn't been quite that idyllic. It was wedding week for a bride I was meant to help get ready for her big day, and  between assisting the bride, and also running around between hospital and home to visit my sick aunt; the Summer vacation did not have a smooth take off at all.

In fact, it has been peppered with twists and turns that I'm still trying to recover from. But as usual, welded between our hardships and trials, there is always a valuable lesson to learn...

We tend to rely so much on planning...planning our day, planning for weddings, planning our school holiday's, planning an overseas vacation! So often we plan months in advance, and for obvious reasons planning is very necessary; but life and nature often paves it's own route. And no matter how much we plan and schedule our time, it's the unplanned route that we must always be prepared for, that we must be ready to accept and follow.

November was a crazy busy month and I was really looking forward to some down time and fun activities with the kids during the December holiday period. Last week Saturday I was supposed to dress a bride on her big day, instead, I landed up burying my aunt. I had a mental plan and picture about how I imagined things to be, but life...and the consequent death of a close family member meant that plans had to be forfeited for the unexpected...for the unplanned...for what was more important. It was a clear indication to me that no matter how much or how far ahead we may plan; the Almighty is the best of planners and we must always be ready to embrace and accept whatever plan he has set out for us!

It was an emotionally rough week for us all, but as always, we are getting through it with the strength of faith and the bond of family <3

Thanks for reading.

Monday, 19 December 2016

{2nd PRIZE WINNERS !! } Bed Rest Mom - Photoshoot with 2Cherries Photography

When my first 2 kids were born, barely a year after each other; life was an endless struggle! I was in my early 20's, had no idea who I was or what I was doing, and I was a complete and utter mess. A total fashion disaster! I struggled, and I cried - A LOT. But I survived those days with a tremendous amount of help of my family. I guess no matter how much time passes or how big my kids grow; the struggle and sacrifice I've been through stands out as a pivotal period in my life.

Worse still, There was no social media platforms to share my woes and struggles...nor, thankfully my fashion faux pas. I had no blog to record my children's milestones and memories. No cell phone camera or a Selfie cam in the initial years to capture every cute moment or epic adventure. No Instagram. In fact, my camera for a good few years was one of those old contraptions that needed a spool which you would end up spending a fortune on to develop, only to have half of them turn out blur. But despite my blur images, that time in my life remains as vivid as if it were yesterday.

I guess it's the memory of the struggling times that makes me sentimental every time I see a mom with a pair of kids with a seemingly similar age gap. It's what makes me strike up a conversation with one of these harassed mom's in the elevator of the mall. It's what drives me to point to my now overgrown duo, to give these moms some kind of hope that it does eventually get better. It's what drew me to second prize winner, Nazneen, in our photo shoot giveaway with 2Cherries Photography.

Nazneen's story was like a chapter out of my own book...but with some added drama! When she was pregnant with her first child, she was put on bed rest at 27 weeks. In this modern day and age it meant no maternity photo shoot; and after suffering from post natal depression, it meant that she wasn't in the right space to have a new born photo shoot either! As mothers all over the world usually do, she was constantly behind the camera capturing all the precious memories, and hardly ever in the pics with her son. Fast forward to a year later, and she was admitted into hospital; 33 weeks pregnant with her second child and in pre-term labour! Her hopes to have a maternity shoot completely dashed once again! Nazneen really wished for a photo shoot to capture the first memories of them as a family of 4, and 2Cherries Photography couldn't pass on the opportunity to grant this young family their first family photo shoot...

We made our way to their home one sunny Saturday afternoon, and the shoot took place in a lovely, lush, open landscape just across from where they live! Nazneen reminded me so much of my sisters and me...she was fully prepared with colour coordinated outfits PLUS outfit changes. She was a complete dream in front of the camera and has the most delightful, vibrant personality. It was really lovely being part of this young mother's family shoot. She provided me with some major flashbacks of my own struggles...only difference is that she is still managing to do it all in style ;-)

To see more images from this shoot, visit the 2Cherries Photography Facebook page here
Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Things to do in CapeTown During the Summer Holidays

It's been a mad dash to the finish line, but we have made it! The school Summer vacation is finally here!! To be honest, we kind of shut down the day the kids put down their pens after their final exams, and even though I've had to sit through the numerous awards ceremonies of ALL the kids, we totally capitalised on the extra week and a bit of having absolutely nothing to do, and took a sneaky head start on the summer vacation.

The Summer holidays can be long and tedious if you don't plan ahead. We obviously don't want to be hitting the roads on a daily basis, but having an idea of fun places to take the kids means that when you do decide to venture out, it has to be worth braving the traffic for. Over the past few years, I've documented quite a few of our family outings - and while we will definitely be building on those memories this Summer, I decided to draw up a guide of my favourite places to visit while the weather is good...

Giraffe House:   Situated in Stellenbosch, about 35 minutes outside Cape Town; Giraffe House boasts several kilometres of open land, fresh air and an array of African Wildlife. Read more Here

Acrobranch:  With various not so easy obstacles perched high up in the trees and with three varying difficulty levels, it is the perfect thrill for adventure seekers and adrenalin junkies; also the kids, who possess seemingly endless amounts of energy! Definitely targeting core and arm strength, I left feeling like I had a solid workout! Read more Here

The Bike Park: One of our newest discoveries, 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!  Read more here

Waterworld: Situated on the beaches of Strand and hidden in a lush, green nook; Waterworld provides you with an intimate and secluded venue - perfect for a fun family day out! Boasting five slides of varying sizes; suited for everyone from the mini adventurers of under six years to the more adventurous spirit with tummy churning vertical drop; Waterworld offers good, clean fun for the whole family! The no alcohol policy, is an added bonus! Lifeguards on duty provides some peace of mind for parents who prefer to escape the chaos  fun  while relaxing in the cool shade of the Bedouin tent and sipping/snacking on the delicious drinks and treats the informal outdoor cafĂ©  has to offer (or your own picnic goodies if that's what you prefer). What I like about it is that you have a birds eye view of the slides from wherever you are which means your kids are always within sight. Read more here

Ratanga Junction: Summer is not complete without our annual family trip to Ratanga! You cannot live in Cape Town and not know about this famous theme park. Rides and thrills for all ages...this year will be Aryana's first trip with the mad bunch. Read more here

Hikes: Every outing doesn't have to include spending exorbitant amounts of money. Cape Town's natural splendour means that there's a scenic spot to visit around every bend. From idyllic beaches to perfectly kept parks; but nothing beats the thrill of soaking up our views than from the top of any one of our famous mountain tops. There's so many trails to choose from, it's FREE and the bonus is that you will be keeping fit at the same time!  Read more here

Boat Trips:  Beat the heat and capture the cool ocean breeze on one of the many boat trips or sunset cruises on offer at any of our famous harbours! Stunning scenery and memories that last a lifetime!  Read more here

Indoor Play Parks :  If you want to beat the midday heat, then one of the several indoor parks are still viable options. My favourites are be.UP Park (read here)  and CityROCK Rock climbing (read here)

Be a Tourist :  This time of the year our city is buzzing with tourists. Why not join in and be a tourist in your own city and visit some of the more touristy spots like Cape Point and the iconic Table Mountain!      Read here

Looking back at all these memories and revisiting all these posts made me realise how much growing my kids have done over the past few years. It's made me extra sentimental and also made me realise the significance of penning it all down....There are so many treasured memories bound on this site, and after going back and re-reading so many of them, I can totally say that the journey had been worth it ❤

Thanks for reading!



Friday, 9 December 2016

Wedding Season Style Inspiration #3

Alas, we have made it to the Summer holidays! The season to be jolly, brave crazy traffic whenever we venture out, avoid malls while everyone shops for Christmas...and it's also the official start to wedding season! I have a full week of wedding festivities ahead next week, and now that we've finally made it through the school year, I need to scramble to get my wardrobe in order!
By now it should be obvious that my outfit of choice would be something Eastern. Vibrant colours and intricate detailing that is very often done by hand means that no 2 outfits are exactly the same, and also makes choosing the right outfit extremely hard to do. Over the years, designers have taken traditional eastern attire and given it an updated, modern twist.  Though Eastern wear is most well known for their unique embroidery and hand beading; the clever addition of lace and other western influences enhances the visual appeal.
Though the sari could be the most iconic item of clothing hailing from the East, another one of my favourites is the Lehenga. Traditionally the outfit of choice for brides; the Lehenga comprises of a full, flowing skirt with a contrasting top, and a matching wide, long Dupatta (scarf). Proper scarf pinning is imperative when successfully pulling this look off, along with the proper accessories which is always a key element when wearing these exquisite garments.

About this look: Moon's Lehenga shows us the perfect balance of old and new with a very modern take on an Indian classic. The skirt is made up of a layer of rich, gold lace which shows beautifully through the top layer of cerise netting. The hem of the skirt and the matching cerise scarf's border is covered in a combination beautiful intricate Indian embroidery and beadwork. The top is made in a contrasting colour and fabric, which is enhanced further by a richly embroidered neckline and sleeve in red. Mehndi patterns on the hands and classic Indian jewels; necklace, earrings and bangles completes this very modernised Indian look.

Though this piece lacks the heavy beadwork and embroidery that typical bridal pieces possess; it is one of those unique Lehenga suits that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. Wearing her hair down with more subtle jewels and make-up, Moon shows that you can look fab without being over the top. However, the same outfit with different accessories and hair can easily be worn as a bridal outfit for a Bari, Engagement or Mehndi evening, making it an easy choice to purchase as you can wear it in many different ways.


Lehenga : India

Mehndi : Ayesha

Bangles : Various markets in India

Necklace and earrings : own

Photographs : 2Cherries Photography

Thanks for reading!



Monday, 5 December 2016

Battle of the Bulge - My Summer Body

God knows I've worked hard towards my summer body this year! I made drastic changes to my diet, worked harder than ever during my workouts, strived towards being more consistent, lost some...struggled to stay motivated through Winter, persevered through it anyway and then came back stronger with the changing seasons. And now, here we are at the beginning of Summer...and still my Summer body is not ready!!!  
Last year, despite not having anything remotely resembling a Summer body, I decided to let go of my inhibitions and scratched out my old swimsuit anyway. I decided not to rob myself of enjoying summer with my kids and amongst a whole lot of other self realisations (there's a very sentimental post you can read here ), when I look back at all those pictures and memories captured, it was also glaringly obvious that I needed a new swimsuit!!

 My body has changed so much over the years. Housing 3 kids has had it's obvious effects, and despite working hard towards losing weight, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and keeping the jiggle at bay, I also have to be realistic that some things I just aint never getting back. My body has changed and so my swimsuit HAD to change too!  And so, even though I'll mostly be swimming in my back yard, I wanted to do it in style, and so it was a mission of mine that this summer; armed with my newly liberated mind set that you don't have to have a perfect body to have fun; to find the perfect swimsuit for my not so perfect body ;-)

Amidst the colourful array of high waist bikinis, tankinis and perfectly cut out monokinis...between the board shorts and the surf tops and the printed kaftans, I found the one for me! Black (because it's always slimming) with a bonus built in bit for tummy control. It comes padded with a bit of a lift, because after 3 kids and the gravity effect I sure as hell need it, and it has  a high back so it perfectly camouflages the back fat I didn't manage to melt away in time. I added a shorts to wear over, and it's just the thing for that extra inner thigh that all my excruciating exercises didn't quite get rid of...and I grabbed a brightly coloured kaftan on the last minute to throw over when lounging on the beach!  It's perfect and I've never been more excited to welcome in Summer!

I've worked hard on my health and fitness this year, and though my body is far from perfect as we venture into the warmer season...and isn't quite "beach ready" according to societies standards; I'm going to be heading out and having fun with my family anyway...because I'll take perfect memories over a perfect body any day...or at least this season...or till my body co-operates. Who am I kidding; I'll take the memories ...but still always strive towards keeping fit and healthy!!!

Swimsuit : Woolworths
Shorts: Cotton On
Mesh Kaftan : Woolworths
Heliocare Tinted sunblock: SkinPro
Sunglasses: Cotton On
Hat: Foschini

Happy Holidays and thanks for reading!!