me Life and Times of the Fireflies: May 2013

Friday, 31 May 2013

Family Cycle

Besides school, friends and fun; my greatest childhood memories are the moments spent with my family. Our childhood games, our teenage trials and triumphs, our adult successes... and the trivial treasures between...

We don't realise how the little things in life impacts us; how the simplest of moments impacts us in the biggest way. It's as I'm busy building new memories with my own family now that I especially relish in the memories of my youth. How the past influences the present...and this present moment has the ability to influence the future...

Having kids comes with its own set of sacrifices, and when the older of my kids were much younger, I found it difficult to balance it all. My days were devoted to these two beings and so much more in between. As I've become older I've also become wiser. I realise that giving to myself is as important as giving to others.

It's always going to be a challenge to balance family life with still maintaining one’s own interests and identity. I take my hat off to the working moms out there who slave the day away at work and still come home and manage kids and family!!! In an effort to balance family time, fitness and having fun, we decided to combine them all, and last year started our weekly family cycles.

It's as I trail the kids in these adventures; as they get excited at the obvious edge they have over me, as they laugh and cheer each other on, as they for once lead and I follow; that I see my own youth flash before my eyes. Five siblings racing up Rhodes Memorial, parents trailing...walks at Sea Point...tired me catching a ride on dads back...Constantia Nek hikes...Newlands Forest barbecues. It's as I travel this exact same route; but this time as a mother; I realise that in my effort to get fit and balance it all, I'm also creating valuable memories that could pave the way forward for my own kids. Hopefully they will be a lot fitter and healthier too...


My siblings...My best friends


My favourite memories are of the fun times I had with my family in our back yard!



Creating new memories with the next generation!
Namu :)

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

My Truths- Be thankful

Beauty is not achieved from the outside, it is a destination that starts in the beating heart, transported through our actions towards mankind, and then rests itself in our outward appearances, and the face we show the world. I've seen beautiful people look ugly, and beauty in the unassuming. When we are striving to be better individuals, our exterior is merely an accessory.

Sometimes we put pressure on ourselves to look a certain way based on the standards of the media and society. Our minds are bombarded with images and we start to believe that that is the reality we should be living in, and we lose sight of the bigger picture.

A good example of this is the way the media portrays celebrities, springing into shape so soon after pregnancies or how they are ridiculed when they are unable to do so.  Tabloids scoff at the sign of even the slightest bit of weight gain, cellulite, bad skin or anything else on the long list of imperfections that we ‘normal’ people face on a daily basis.  As a result we place the burden on ourselves to follow suit, failing hopelessly, and feeling miserable. Fashion itself seems to be solely marketed for thin people, made for thin people, modelled by thin people.

So often we get caught up in chasing these ideals, get lost in someone else’s idea of what perfection is, and become unhappy and ungrateful with what are certainly blessings. Sometimes we just need to put things into perspective. While it's important to look after our health and our bodies, it's also important to not lose ourselves in this fickle society we live in. Here is an excerpt from an old journal entry that helped put things into perspective for me and I am sharing it with you in the hope that it does the same for you!

"How can I be angry with this body?
How can I be angry with the legs upon which I walk...
How can I be angry with these fingers that yield the pen with which I write...
How can I be angry with this belly that has concealed, nurtured, and protected 3children; for 9 months...
How could I desire anything else, when YOU have provided me with all these gifts...

Time...though you move but slowly, you sure wreak havoc!!!
Raven locks may turn to grey, but look at the wisdom gained.
Belly might be laden with lines, but look at the treasures that came from within.
Those fine lines that cling to your face, maps to your laughter and sorrow.
Those arms, though not youthful and lithe; a comfort, an embrace, a helping hand to someone.

How can I be angry with this body, when it is healthy and not plagued by sickness.
How can I be angry with this body, when it is merely a vessel for my soul"


NAMU :) 


Monday, 20 May 2013

Battle of the Bumps

Pregnancy is far from glamorous! Sure enough paparazzi shots of Hollywood’s most fabulous looking preggy moms (Giselle Bundchen, Jessica Alba, Gwyneth Paltrow) circulate, with them lounging around on exotic beaches in bikinis, and make the rest of us feel like we're doing it wrong....Like somehow our spontaneously swollen noses is all our fault, but the truth is, it's hard being pregnant; with our ever changing shape, constant shifting numbers on the scale, nausea, heartburn, swollen ankles and raging hormones. It must surely be worse having to do it under media spotlight...

It seems lately, that almost every magazine cover has an unflattering picture of Kim Kardashian, plastered beside a glowing Kate Middleton. I can't help feeling a bit sorry for Kim in this one.  Once praised for her famous curves, she is now being criticised and compared to someone with a completely different body type!!! The media, it seems, can be your best friend, and just as quickly become your foe.

Although much can be said about Kim's dress sense (come on Kim, Kourtney did it so well), some of us have no control over our bodies during pregnancy despite our hardest efforts....and the media's perception of what of what perfection should look like, is slightly obscured. To compare these two is greatly unfair to Kim.

While Kate certainly is glowing, thousands of us "normal" people look rather much like Kim (With better fashion choices), and while the media may be laughing, there are some of us who are relieved  that finally there's a realistic image of what pregnancy looks like! Now make us all proud, Kim. Ditch the heels and put on some maternity clothes!

Celebs who got it right.

Kate vs. Kim:  Unfair Comparison

Come on Kim, What were you thinking?!?!


Taking the term "if you've got it, flaunt it" to the next level #FAIL


Who wore it better?... I would have to agree with Robin Williams! ;)

I must be on to something as Grazia Magazine SA chose my comment for this week's issue of their magazine.
(See pg. 46 )

But wait,....there's hope for Curvy Pregnant Women....


Pregnant and curvy doesn’t have to be frumpy.  Jessica Simpson  manages to rock her pregnancy curves by wearing stylish, yet flattering clothing.


NAMU :) 

Sunday, 19 May 2013

My Truths- New Beginnings

With the birth of a new day, comes the chance to set things straight, a new beginning, a fresh perspective...

When we live consciously, our souls will never get any rest, twisting tortuously through the night, uneasy...unsettled...until we find the balance we need.

Sometimes, the course we try to follow becomes obscured. The goal remains the same, but the route needs to be altered. Sometimes the people we're travelling with may need to be convinced. Some might be too small to understand, but life is a journey and the path may need to be changed along the way.

Sometimes, we may need to leave people behind. We just need to decide who our worthy companions really are. We all have choices to make; we just need to make time to consider what they are…

We can't go back and change things, but we can choose a clearer route forward, a fresh start, a new beginning- The dawn of a new day....We need to seize our moments instead of wondering aimlessly and continuously, cutting ourselves by the same thorns. We have to take charge - stop waiting for tomorrow, when we have today. We CAN make a change!!!

All of us have a story, a journey of how we've reached here. Journeys that are very different from each other but evoke the same kind emotion. We have all stumbled and conquered and move forward still. Some of us might still be fighting battles and demons...learning and growing. While some sit with the knowingness and wisdom we have still yet to reach. We are different, yet the same and below is an excerpt from something I wrote a while back and I thought it would be nice to share as a tribute to all those who have overcome obstacles, and give hope to those still fighting theirs....

“As I grow it seems I write less, the pain of my wounds no longer overbearing to me....I am happier, stronger, content...but not devoid of how I've come to get here.  Wounds of the heart it seems , are very difficult to heal...But my tears it seems, no longer fall like streams down my cheeks, and my heart no longer pounds like an open wound. My fears and sorrows no longer harass me in my solitude and my heart beats with the seeds of a rekindled joy.

The scars a remembrance of a time fought and conquered...Faint, often forgotten, but there nonetheless. Time they say, heals all wounds...but sometimes the scars remain....even on the heart”



Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Tea-Time Treats for Moms on the Go

With so much to celebrate this past weekend, it was a perfect opportunity for me to make use of my renewed passion and get busy in the kitchen. Being a mom on the go, I am constantly on the lookout for things to make life easier and quicker so that I'm not drawn away from my kids and their needs for too long.  I recently came across these ready to use mini shortcake cups and thought it would be perfect to use to make one of my favourite autumn tea-time treats, Lemon Meringue.

I usually make one large one, but individual desserts always look pretty and inviting :-). These ready cups definitely cut down my time in the kitchen!

Here is my quick and easy recipe for Lemon Meringue.


Ready to use shortcake cups

3 egg yolks
1 tin condensed milk
125ml lemon juice

2tblsp sugar
3 egg whites

Pre- heat the oven to 150°C
Separate your eggs.
Whisk egg yolks and lemon juice together. Your mixture will increase in volume slightly.
Add condensed milk and mix.
Fill the shortcake cups, right to the top, with  the lemon curd mixture.
Now whisk egg whites till stiff, gradually adding the sugar. (Just a tip that I read somewhere a few years ago:  egg whites to be whisked in a stainless steel bowl).
Once the meringue mixture is stiff and able to hold its shape, add a spoonful of meringue on top of the curd.
Bake for 20 minutes
Let the meringue cool.
And Voila! 

Delicious, bite-sized treats perfect for those concerned about portion control ;)


Namu :)

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Bitten by the Moon Bug

31 years ago, my mother was blessed with a very special Mother’s Day gift...her youngest child, a daughter, my sister, my friend. Although I have no recollection of that day, judging by old pics, I looked less than impressed at this little being(okay, not so little weighing in at 5kilos) that had taken over my space, my role as youngest.  Today, however, nothing can be further from the truth and I couldn't be a prouder big sister.

For years my mom would tell the story about the best Mother’s Day present she ever received, was the cute, button nosed girl that livened up her house, and Moon would sit wide eyed and beaming with pride. I’m sure at the time I wished I was born on Mother’s Day too, 'cos everyone seemed smitten by the Moon Bug!!!

As the years passed, and one by one we all became mothers too, this little girl (who was not so little anymore),who was the best Mother’s Day gift my mom had ever received; had to share her day with all of us. Until one year she devised a plan that I must give her credit for, was a damn good one! Mother’s Day is in honour of mothers you see, and birthdays are meant to be celebrated!

If there's anyone I know that can organise themselves a party (never mind 3),then it's Moon...So each year, from then on, she has 3 celebrations. She organises a family outing that all our kids can enjoy, after all she is the fun, young aunt with a reputation to keep; a sisters only outing, which we rarely did at the time she started this plan; and then a special celebration with just her and her husband.

So now it's become somewhat of a tradition that everyone looks forward to....especially the kids....and it seems they too have been bitten by the Moon Bug!! 

This year we celebrated at Let's Go Bowling, Stadium on Main.

Birthday Bowling Fun:  A Family Affair

Birthday Cupcakes baked by Yours Truly (Recipe post coming soon)


Yummy Chocolate Squares....Always a hit with the kids!

It's my party and I'll eat carbs if i want to!!! ;)

Partners in Crime :D

Sisterly Love! xxx


Happy Birthday Moon!
You're not only the best Mother's Day Gift
You're the best little sister too!

Sunday, 12 May 2013

A Message for my Mother

I wanted you to know how much you mean to me, but just this once it seems my words can't do justice...

I don't think I realised all you have done until the day I became a mother too, and I often wonder as I'm sure you do too, if my kids will ever know how much they mean to me... Today, mom, I wonder if you know what YOU mean to ME!

I know I'm not the perfect daughter, often making mistakes too,
But I wouldn't be half the person I am today,
Without a push and shove from you

I know that over the years I've grown big and tall,
But in my heart of hearts I'll always be your little girl

Today I run my own home, mother to my own brood,
But never have I felt more at home, than in my mother’s room

My cooking may sometimes be different or a little better too...
But nothing tastes yummier to me,
Than when it's coming from you

I take comfort in your voice and our many chats,
I know each day I can do that still
Is a blessing to the max
You laugh you scold, and guide and play
And I'm grateful I still have you
Each and every day

Today I'm a mother too,
Helped along largely by you...
There are certain things I could never be
If you weren't there to see

When I look in the mirror these days,
It seems like you're staring back
And I hope I resemble you indeed
In more ways than that

I hope to be the mother to my kids
That you have been to me,
And all that I do for you,
Is in the hope, that someday when I'm old and grey,
My kids would do it for me too


Friday, 10 May 2013

My Truth...Lessons Learnt

True fulfilment comes from following your own dream and not always being a vessel to achieve someone else’s. Sometimes, the shore we're trying to reach may be the same, but our means of getting there will be different!      

True happiness comes from cherishing the moments we are given and not by chasing the moments that have not yet been destined to reach us.

True friendship can only prosper when we accept an individual for who they are and not in how they can be altered to fit into our lives, for it’s in their diversity that lays their treasure.

True strength comes, when you move to the beat of your own drum.  It took a while for me to get here, but I feel like I've finally arrived!  The following quote echoes my sentiment:

"I walk slowly but I never walk backward"- Abraham Lincoln

So often in life, we get lost in a maze of tangled lives that we forget our own purpose, and though our stories may overlap, our endings can never be the same. Our dreams, desires, and wishes though similar in their sincerity can never be likened to one another. It's time now I stand up and live my vision!                                            





Thursday, 9 May 2013

Confessions of a Belieber

Months ago Justin Bieber tickets went on sale as part of his world tour concert in South Africa.  In a record breaking time- 2 minutes, I think- all tickets were sold out and there were many a teenage girls’ shrieking with excitement while many were paralysed with disappointment.  I was the lucky one to be left with a disappointed and heartbroken pre- teen.  With her two best friends lucky enough to get Golden Circle tickets I was left with a girl whose dream just got dashed.

Fast forward a couple of months with many people selling tickets as the day fast approached a random and chance visit to Gumtree revealed 5 tickets for sale!! WOW!!!  What Luck!!!  Even better though, was in all the excitement, my daughter remembered my words of so many months prior (by now I'd even forgotten what I had told her) that good things come to those who are patient, I told her not to dwell on the disappointment and that she will get a stroke of luck that will be even better in the future…hugging me, echoing every mom's dream words:  "Mom, you were right!!!" My day was made!

I must say, that even better than the ticket, was definitely the lesson learnt.... and with that, at the ripe old age of 33 I attended my first ever concert...with my kids nogal… Priceless! :)  And what an experience it was.

What put a damper on things though, are people in general who have negative opinions and judgements about attending concerts.  They are always going to say bad things I guess.  But I am a person who looks for a lesson in everything and the biggest lessons are often found in the strangest places.  As much as the queuing from 1am is OTT the concert in itself had a strong message if that is what you are in search of...the strong message of showing gratitude to  the people who help you along your journey no matter how high you fly, remembering your humble beginnings, and believing that good things happen to good people.  Start with the smallest seedling of hope and belief in yourself!

So I am a Belieber, I guess.  Not because i am making a GOD out of a human, but because I Belieb in that message! :)

"There were days when I was just broken, you know
There were nights when I was doubting myself
But your kept my heart from falling
It didn't matter how many times I got knocked on the floor
But you knew one day I would be standing tall
Just look at us now

Cause everything starts from something
But something would be nothing
Nothing if your heart didn't dream with me
Where would I be, if you didn't believe

Believe by Justin Bieber

Sunday, 5 May 2013

For the love of Cupcakes!

All who know me knows that I have a passion for the kitchen. Since my youth, you'd always find me milling about in the kitchen, scouting for new recipe books and trying out new recipes. Of all my sisters, I'm probably the only one that cooks and bakes for the love of it and not out of necessity...

It's probably, then, a big pity that I have not been doing enough of it, or that my time in the kitchen has been reduced to rushed menu's...I've somewhat thrown in the towel on something that is a very big part of me, something that I find rather therapeutic. It's a sad fact, that the last time I've made pastries was 12years ago!

I've been thinking a lot lately, about rekindling that passion and re-awakening a part of me that's been slowly dying. The kitchen, you see, has become a symbol synonymous with torture. The reasons for that are rather complicated...but I've figured, just as I have picked up my pen and started writing, I might as well put on my apron and start baking.  After all, I would hate to disappoint those who know me, and know I love to bake!

"Until I discovered cooking, I was never really interested in anything."  Julia Child.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Not a losing battle...

The hardest thing I have ever tried to go on a diet! Give me a grueling workout everyday and that would be much easier for me to conquer than to not dunk cookies in my afternoon tea!
When I was younger, I had no trouble with weight. I didn't try to be thin, I just was. So after two back to back pregnancies and a third one a few years later, I found myself many kilo's heavier and a couple of sizes out of my comfort zone.
I've invested money in almost every health magazine, googled every diet, and introduced exercise I never imagined I could do. The result...I'm fitter, healthier and stronger than I have ever been since my dancing days. My eating is a lot cleaner, and I even eat breakfast and veggies too for goodness sake!!
It's painful to see others spring into shape quicker and with what seems like a lot less effort, but I have read recently "weight loss is not a physical challenge, it's a mental one."
I realized that with being a mom, I am constantly catering to different needs, and I acknowledge that a lot of unaccounted for substances (cupcakes, chips, a few nuts here and there, kids left overs, bites from a burger) passes my lips and is probably sabotaging my progress, and although I haven't unleashed the correct formula for me, I have certainly not given up trying!


The Journey Begins

Often in life, we wouldn't embark on  a journey without a push, a nudge and some inspiration. Perhaps its fear of stumbling along the way or the unknown territory that lie ahead that makes one feel apprehensive, but what is certain, is that all journey's teach us something new, needs courage to start, and team effort to succeed. I don't think I would have started this blog without some encouragement and shared creative ideas from the people close to me. 

This post is dedicated to the two people joining me on my journey. My Editor in Chief, Deed, and my partner in crime, Moon.

There are certain things in life a mother does with her child, a father does with his son and best friends conquer together. This is a journey I am choosing to do with my sisters.