me Life and Times of the Fireflies: November 2017

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Transitional Look Post to take you from Spring to Summer

New season, new wardrobe? With the current weather patterns we've been having, it certainly doesn't need to be that way it seems! We should be well on our way into the new season by now, but still, the weather patterns seem unpredictable and erratic to say the least! It's not unusual for Cape Town to have multiple weather conditions in one day; but with the temperatures still fluctuating and not nearly resembling Summer, it made me wonder whether it's safe enough to  unpack my Summer sandals just yet! Is it??
It's certainly kept me off from doing my seasonal wardrobe clean out, as I've still been dipping into the Autumn and Winter end of things some days, while scouring through the cupboard for Summer staples the next! Thankfully I'm not making any wardrobe decisions early in the morning when there's often still a chill factor to consider; which gives me more room for flexibility when getting dressed for the day.
Anyway, I've been battling a bit with shopping for the upcoming season. While the stores are full, they are full of things that I don't think I want to wear. So it's left me reliant on previous season's staples. And while none of the items in this outfit are brand new, it is proof that you can pull you through several seasons with good, quality classics. And who can argue that maxi dresses saves us every single Summer! Paired here with another wardrobe essential, a denim jacket for that unpredictable gust of wind, a side braid for a Boho effect, and this years must have shoe, the espadrille - this old outfit is definitely pulling me through another season :-)







Dress : Truworths
Denim Jacket : Woolworths
Espadrille : Woolworths
Photographs : 2Cherries Photography
Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Recipe - Mini Mango Cheesecakes

It's that time of year again! No, I'm not talking about Summer. I'm referring to the end of year mayhem and the relentless onslaught of back to back parties and festivities! School parties, office parties, birthday parties, Christmas parties, garden parties, New Year's parties, bridal shower parties - just a never ending list of celebrations and partying. And if you're like me, then at some point, you will even be helping someone else plan a party. Maybe even offer to contribute by making a dessert or two to take to one of these parties.
 Just like Winter owns the decadence of a hot, Malva Pudding; and Autumn possesses the rich and spicy aroma of a Carrot Cake; certain fruity flavoured desserts are seasonal and synonymous with the hot Summer months. From a Summer berry Eton Mess or Pavlova, to a light on the tongue Mango Mousse; typically Summer desserts tend to always have a fruity element as opposed to the more perennial chocolate flavoured counterparts. And it makes this fruity take on a classic cheesecake a big winner for the upcoming season!
This recipe is adapted from one out of the infamous Australian Women's Weekly recipe books. Before the time of the internet, I relied heavily on my collection of Australian Women's Weekly's for interesting recipes and I still turn to them for some of my all time favourites and old time classics. This recipe was originally meant to be an Apricot Nectar Cheescake, but I swopped the apricot with mango puree and the result is genius! Here's the recipe.
  • 1 packet tennis biscuits

  • 75 - 100gr of butter, melted

  • 1 cups mango puree (I like to use the canned puree as it has the right amount of sweetness)

  • 1 tablespoon gelatine

  • 375gr cream cheese, softened

  • 1/2 cup caster sugar

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 250ml fresh cream


  1. Process biscuits until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add butter and process until just combined.
  2. Press crumbs evenly over base (1 23cm size cheesecake or 15 mini containers like I used) and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, pour the one cup of puree into a small saucepan. Sprinkle gelatine over the puree, place over low heat and stir until the gelatine is dissolved. Leave aside to cool.
  4. Beat cream cheese and sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Add lemon juice and then mango mixture and mix together.
  5. Lastly, whip the fresh cream and fold into mixture.
  6. Pour cheesecake mixture into one big tin or individual containers - whichever you decide to choose.
  7. For the marble effect on top, you can dot the top of the mixture with some puree and pull a toothpick through it.
  8. Refrigerate overnight and decorate as desired.
  9. Any leftover puree can be frozen and used at a later stage.

 Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Raising a Confident Child

As a parent, it's easy to observe our kids through rose-tinted glasses; to only acknowledge their positive traits as opposed to magnifying their indiscretions. And I've been wondering lately, if, for your entire life, this is how I have viewed you - if it is the illusion of those rose-tinted frames that parents wear that makes me see you as my eternally happy, jolly and self-assured child...or if it is those very same frames that make me oblivious to the range of emotions that may be hiding behind that smile. 

I've spent 14 years watching you grow and fine tuning your character, so I think I'm qualified enough to know almost every smile and every scowl that comes from you. I know when you narrow your eyes and knit your brows when I shout or nag or reprimand too much...I know the mischievous grin you have when you're guilty for ruining your brother or sister's mood and I know the way your lip quivers when you feel disappointed or angry or someone attacks your self-worth. And I know these things because I've invested quality time into nurturing who you are. I don't think I observe you through a filtered lens...but I will admit that I parent you slightly differently, especially when my mom intuition tells me that you only project one side of who you are to the world. 

It's impossible to describe you without using the words funny and happy. For a teenager; whose reputation is generally to be moody, sulky and sullen; your mood remains relatively unaltered and your sharp sense of humor and quick wit has been a constant fixture throughout these 14 years...amplified only by a willing audience. But that doesn't mean I'm entirely oblivious to your other "endearing" traits. You're lively...boisterous...humorous; in equal parts as you stubborn, bossy and strong willed. You like to take charge, be in control and lead; as much as your like order, structure and routine. You've remained consistently you in every single way. Unperturbed, strong, happy, confident. But there's another layer to you that's shrouded beneath this strong and stubborn sheath. 

 Being confident and self-assured are not bad qualities to have - gosh, some parents go their whole lives trying to build these qualities up in their kids to make them stronger and less likely to be swallowed by the world, and here you are with this quality already. I'm also aware that you sometimes use it as a front to mask your own insecurities. Rest assured I'll always be here to help you differentiate between the two and also to keep you in check so that your self-confidence doesn't spill over into something...well... a little less desirable! 

Sometimes, just when I think I need to come down on you a little harder and reel you in with a lasso, you surprise me with this other, softer, side. The side you hide behind you hard exterior and quick witted responses to   e  v  e  r  y  t h i n g!  The side that always has the defenses up because you're afraid to get hurt. Hidden behind this suave shell that you like to show the world  is the son I am most proud of! 


  I love that you can be razor sharp with you mouth as easily as you can be caring when we need you to be. I love how close you are to your sister and that, in your own unique way, you look out for her. I love that you make time for Zaydaan...even if it's sometimes for your own entertainment. I love that you will, without fail, bring me panados and water if I have a headache and that you would much rather cycle the promenade with your father, than have a  day out with your friends. I love that you can ruffle your feathers at the world, and that deep down you value your family most. But what I love most of all, is our open relationship that leads to important conversations - and that more than anything in the world, you value the opinion of your parents, what we have to say, and the way we see you. I love that, despite this happy bubble you like to keep yourself in, we matter.
And lastly...even though I sometimes give you a hard time about it...I am proud of raising a confident child too! Just always remember that your confidence is not a bad thing if it is coupled with empathy and compassion.
Rocky, you make me smile and laugh on a daily basis and my world is forever brighter because of you! You are indeed my not so little anymore ray of sunshine and I am infinitely grateful and proud to call you my son <3
Happy 14th Birthday, smarty pants!
I love you,
MOM <3


Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Happy 2nd Birthday Aryana

I thought your first year flew by quickly, but the second sped by even faster. It seems like just the other day we were overcrowding the hospital waiting room, eagerly anticipating your arrival, and now you're already 2. And what a lot of growing up you've done in this past year!

A year ago, you could barely walk or talk; and now you string together so many words and sentences that it's sometimes hard to believe that you've only just turned 2. I'm constantly amazed at how intelligent you are; and how quickly you master doing things just by observing a couple of times. From one day to the next, I'm always surprised when I discover that there's something new that you can do. You know all your colours, love singing and role  playing,  and are obsessed with dolls...which I'm convinced you've inherited from me ;-)

  I'm truly amazed at how quickly you pick up a catchy beat and memorize song lyrics (definitely got this from your mom) - a real  superstar in the making! You're strong willed and know what you want...even domineer Zaydaan who's a good 6 years older than you.  You're always happy and content...except, maybe, when we pull up my driveway - then all hell breaks loose! You're a little firecracker of a personality and it's impossible not to love you <3

But my favourite thing is that I get to be a part of your life. That I get to fetch you from school and how you always direct me towards cuddles and watching dvd's on Naani's bed. I love how excited you get when you see your cousins and how you love all of them differently and uniquely. That you know all their names and no longer call all of us Appa - how, even though you've arrived right last (so far), you have crept into everyone's heart. And perhaps the crowning cherry on top is that you finally call me Jaan...well Jaani Appa, but I'll take it!

My dear little Ary, you came at a time when I thought I was done with car seats and nappies; but you have reopened my heart...and the hearts of everyone else in the family. You have a special place in all our lives, and we are absolutely thrilled that we get to watch you grow.

Happy 2nd Birthday Aryana!
Love Always,

Monday, 6 November 2017

WFOT Congress 2018 - Top 10 Hiking Trails in Cape Town

There's no place like home; especially if the place you call home, is Cape Town! There's a lot of things to love about this beautiful city, but perhaps the most popular of all is undeniably the spectacular views and scenery.

Now, there are various ways to catch a good angle of the city with no bad angles -  Whether you're lounging on one of our spectacular beaches or taking a drive around the famous Peninsula; but if you want to be a little extra while on holiday, then pack in a pair of hiking boots, because the views from the peaks of our most famous mountains are just beyond iconic!

I'm not going to lie; I enjoy the occasional hike, but I'm certainly not the hiker of the family. That title goes to my sister. But if you're looking for an inexpensive way to get out and enjoy a different perspective of the city away from the hustle and bustle of the normal touristy spots, then hiking is probably the best way to do it. Whether you're a seasoned hiker or an aspiring trail blazer, there's a walk or hike to suit you! From an easy stroll through lush, green forests to some more challenging climbs; you will be sure to find a route that suitable for you. Here's a list of a few of the most popular hiking trails.


 Wide, inclined paths; shaded by lush, tall trees makes this a really great trail for beginners. There are a few trails within Newlands forest...some leading to little streams and other offering some spectacular views. Either way, it's a pretty grand way to burn calories, enjoy the outdoors and see another side of Cape Town. Difficulty level : Easy


Similar to Newlands Forest, Cecilia forest is situated in the beautiful part of Constantia and offers a few captivating hours out in nature. If you prefer to avoid the heat of the day, then this walk through the forest is ideal. The walk sometimes features fresh mountain water streams and a waterfall.  Difficulty level : Easy to Intermediate


If you're looking for something moderately easy, then this one's for you! The Pipe Track stretches from Kloof Nek (bottom part of Table Mountain) to Camps Bay. There's a varied terrain and has enough of an incline to make you a feeling that you're getting a workout without leaving you feeling exhausted. Also, as with all these trails...the views are amazing!  Difficulty Level : Easy


I remember coming here a lot as a kid and haven't done this trail in a while. You can start the hike from the parking lot at Rhodes memorial, but there's also a path that joins up from Newlands forest. I'd rate this trail as intermediate as there are some parts that requires a little more effort than others. Added bonus is that you can catch either breakfast, or a post hike bite at the Rhodes Memorial restaurant.


It's supposed to be a quick hike with a short summit, but that really depends on your fitness levels. This hike offers panoramic views of the Atlantic seaboard and apparently the sunsets are spectacular! You also get some great visuals of Table Mountain, Signal Hill and Robben Island en route and makes for some great photo opportunities at the summit.  There's a little bit of climbing involved, but nothing too hectic. Difficulty level : Intermediate 


Your walk begins on the forestry road just above Constantia Nek. There are two routes to follow depending on how fit and strong you are. On the left hand side you will find some steep steps to climb which will take you to the last section of the climb. It's technically a "short-cut" but it is also slightly harder than the alternate route which is a slower and more winding route up the mountain. There is one ridiculously steep incline right at the end, but if you make it up, it gives way to a more even pathway that takes you to a dam. Truly spectacular! Difficulty Level : Easy/Intermediate

Woodhead Dam, Constantia Nek. Picture courtesy of @shaqct


Steep inclines and steps can be a challenge for some, but the panoramic views make it worth the climb! Highlights include views of the city, Table Mountain, Robben Island, the Atlantic Seaboard, Sea Point and Devil's Peak. Summer sunsets are also spectacular.

Picture courtesy of @shaqct (Instagram)


The name is enough to scare the living daylights out of you, but I promise it's not so bad! Skeleton Gorge is one of the more strenuous routes around (according to me) and covers a distance of about 6.2km and gains around 930 metres of elevation. I wouldn't say it's a struggle, but at the same it's not a walk in the park. I've seen some fit people cruise pass me on this hike even though I thought I was "managing", so if a casual stroll is what you're after then this is NOT for you!  The first half of the route follows a forest ravine and is well shaded (with lots and lots of steps and incline) but once you emerge from the forest as you reach the top, you will be bombarded with views from all directions! From here you could follow the pathway to Table Mountain and take the Cable car down, or you could head towards Nursery Ravine and return to Kirstenbosch Gardens. Difficulty Level : Moderate to Hard


Most people will tell you that the top of their bucket list when coming to Cape Town, is to go up Table Mountain. Now you could take the easy, clich├ęd, touristy route and go up the cable car...or, you could save yourself a good buck or two and hike up! The trail is basically a stairway of  1800 stone steps to the top of Table Mountain. I'm not going to's quite a climb; but the breaks you take along the way gives you plenty of opportunity to absorb the view. The route gains around 700 metres over a distance of only 3km making the gradient steep and relentless, BUT the views from the top is beyond amazing!! Plus, if you're too tired to hike down, there's always an option to take the cable car ;-)  The route is quite exposed so be sure to go early to escape the impact of the heat. Difficulty level - Difficult


Now if you're really up for a challenge then this one's for you! I've haven't personally done it myself, but I've heard that it is relentless. This trail is for the adventurous!

And that's it! A few of the most popular hikes in Cape Town.

Thanks for reading!