me Life and Times of the Fireflies: January 2014

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Home Alone

I had an entirely different post planned for today; but sometimes things don't always go according to  plan. Sometimes the wind in our sails throws us off course ever so slightly and we have to try that little bit extra to keep things running smoothly...

This past week I have been somewhat of a single parent as hubby was away overseas. One would think I should be used to the separation by now as he is a frequent traveller, but I haven't quite gotten the hang of it yet. Sure enough we get through the day much easier than before, when the kids were much younger and demanded much more attention...we accept the way things must be and try to make the best of the situation...but the heart inevitably yearns.

It yearns for the familiarity of a voice, a smile and often unseen contributions towards my "everyday" yearns for the companionship, the friendship, the voice of reason. It yearns for the laughter, the fun and the precious moments we spend together as a family...And sure enough it gets easier...but when you love; it never is easy.

I think, most importantly, you realise how much you rely on one another. This week alone I was bombarded with so many little things that went wrong and had to face it on my own. My car wouldn't start, the chlorinator of the pool conked in, the down lights in my dressing room fused except for one little one, as well as a few lights in my kitchen, had to attend school meetings,...and finally, my twitter account got suspended (my new handle is @Namus_Blog )!!

I got through it all okay I guess, but it made me realise and appreciate what I have. As always, my family was supporting me all the way and without them the weekends would be just painful! We all spent some much needed quality time together...but more of that in my next post. For now, Hubby is back, and all is okay in the world...

True love...Unglam and carefree on the airport in Paris!
Until next time,

Monday, 27 January 2014

My Truths - Silence is Golden

As someone who uses words daily as a means to express myself; I feel that in some instances it is best to say nothing at all...because this world we live in, is plagued by fools, and though it is sometimes difficult to bite our tongue....sometimes silence is the best response.

But sometimes I feel that my silence is a curse. That it solves nothing. That it allows people to get away with egotistical behaviour...that it makes me weak...

Sometimes I wish that the words swirling around in my head can just tumble out of my mouth. That whatever is holding me back; whether it is my conscience or my fear of confrontations and offending people in a moment of anger; can release and let my thoughts flood out...The reality of what I'm thinking.

Sometimes I feel suffocated by these words. These words that are stuck. That refuses to be heard. Sometimes I wonder at what cost silence comes... My sanity?

The truth is, that sometimes words don't solve EVERYTHING! Sometimes, the raging torrents in our heads are more destructive than constructive. Sometimes it is best not to act in haste. To rather be still. To think. Sometimes it is best to be quiet despite the storms that rage in our minds...

The reality is, that two inflated ego's solve nothing. That silence, in some cases, simply is the best response. Because nobody truly gets away with anything. This I know is true. Each lesson has it's time and perhaps some lessons aren't supposed to be taught by us...But each human most certainly does get their due!!!

There is an art in remaining silent I have discovered. The trick to it all figure out who the real fools are ;-)

"Well-timed silence hath more eloquence than speech"
(Martin Farquhar Tupper)

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Cape Town Blogger Meet Up

It's barely been 8 months since I started my little blog...just me, my words, a laptop and a few loyal readers. I had no clear direction where I was heading, all I knew was that I had words that needed to be shared...a small fish in the vast ocean. Over time, and with the help of social media, I have found many little fish like myself...sharing their own journey. They have become familiar fixtures on my timeline...and with regularly reading their blogs, they have also become as familiar to me as my own voice.

 And so, even before the meet up on Saturday, it seemed like I already knew quite a few bloggers just from our regular interactions on twitter and the support we share in reading each others blogs! But... as much as we live in a modernised world, I am also  kinda an old fashioned girl, and to me, there is nothing better than a  good old face to face conversation!

And so, much more than the goodie bag I received (which was enormous and filled to the brim with so many fantastic surprises), I also took away new friendships and bonds. The warm embrace of the fellow human spirit and the sense of belonging to a wonderful community...a community of bloggers, each sharing their own special journey. Each providing their own special magic. Because in life, we all have something to give; and we all have something to learn... From fashion and make-up, to some inspiration...and even the art of taking the perfect selfie! LOL
I am not often at a loss for words, but I struggled a bit with this post because I really wanted to do it justice. I wanted my words to really capture the setting, the vibe and the company to perfection...I wanted to share all the moments and memories made...The best I can do, is share some pictures, in the hopes that it can relay the days events a bit better than my words!!
The venue was Shelley's Gourmet cafĂ©. A charming little destination on the busy Kloof street. A very vintage and homely vibe, which was the perfect setting for the intimate get together and set the mood for a really wonderful day, so much so that none of us were too eager to leave... take a look at some of the highlights!
Selfie with Aneesa, who was my travel companion for the day! Thanks for making it fun :-)

 A picture on arrival...and before the make-up meltdown!
 Name tag and lots of vouchers!!!
Each room had a different theme and setting...

 Vintage tea-cup tree!

Seated next to the beautiful Rushda! Finally got to meet and chat :-)

The 'selfie' queens!

We all got treated to neck and shoulder  massages by the lovely ladies of Rain

The food and cakes were absolutely delicious!

 Lovely Leana! You have to read her post on the meet up.
Shelley...the owner, who was really such a lovely hostess.
 Picture taken by Amina photography
Sak en Pak (captured again by Amina)
 The loot from the goody bag (Picture by Amina)
For fear of pictures taking over my post, I have only posted the highlights. I will post the rest on my Facebook page for everyone to view. Finally, a big thanks to Lauren  for doing such an amazing job with the organising of this function. I am definitely looking forward to the next one...and hopefully I will  also finally get to meet some of you who didn't  make it to this one. May this be the first of many!!
Thanks for reading today,

Monday, 20 January 2014

Old Fashioned Favourite

The great thing about living in South Africa is definitely the eclectic mix of cultures. Truly the rainbow nation it has become renowned for, it hosts and embraces many cultures and religions from a diverse set of backgrounds. With that, of course, it means we boast a wide variety of foods for everyone's taste palette and food can become quite an indulgence! From traditional Indian dishes and sweetmeats, Asian sushi and stir-fry, Italian Pasta's and breads and the vibrant Cape Malay style cooking...eating is an experience on it's own.
Perhaps one of the most well known South African recipes has got to be the Milktart! Adapted by the Afrikaner boer from the Dutch during the Cape Colonisation years, it is a deliciously smooth and creamy, slightly milkier (with a hint of spice) adaptation of the classic custard tart.
Over the years I have come across numerous versions of this recipe. Some hot. Some cold. Some baked. Some not....but always alluring and beckoning. Purely addictive! My personal favourite is the cool seduction of the refrigerated Milktart. This is my recipe, tweaked and fine tuned from a recipe I found years ago! 

For the base:  Traditionally, Milktart has a Shortcrust base. Since I am a mom who is always looking for shortcuts, I decided to replace the Shortcrust base with a crushed Marie biscuit base.
3/4 packet of Marie biscuits (crushed)
60grams melted butter
Ingredients for filling
4 1/2 cups full cream milk ( I substitute 1 cup of milk with fresh cream)
1 tin condensed milk
5ml vanilla essence (the fresh vanilla pod seeds are even yummier)
3 extra large or jumbo eggs
80ml Cornflour (use exact measurement for the perfect consistency)
 cinnamon for sprinkling
  1. Combine crushed biscuits and melted butter. Press onto the base of a cheesecake springform pan or a regular, medium size square dish.
  2. In a pot, heat together milk and condensed milk. You can also add vanilla essence/pods.
  3. Meanwhile, mix together eggs and cornflour (I use a hand blender).
  4. Once milk is nicely heated, gradually pour in cornflour mixture while stirring  simultaneously to prevent mixture from getting lumpy.
  5. Once mixture is thick and custard like, pour it over base and sprinkle generously with cinnamon. Leave to cool and then refrigerate for several hours; preferably overnight. I find that it tastes best they day after it is made!
*The milky custard mixture can also be made in the microwave, but I prefer making it on the stove as I feel I have better control to prevent it from forming lumps.

 The result is a combination of a sweet biscuit crust, creamy filling, and a hint of spice on the top! Pure perfection!!



Monday, 13 January 2014

Wedding Memories

I can't believe a year has already passed since my sister's wedding! As she takes this time to celebrate this milestone with her beloved; I, in turn, am left reminiscing the amazing moments and memories of the weekend long celebration of her Bollywood themed wedding!

I love everything about weddings!! I love the beauty and grace of the bride...I love the look of the groom as he sees his partner waltzing down the aisle...I love the look of Love reflected in the eyes of the the beauty of a commitment so deep.

I love the romance and the fantasy...and the beautiful reality of the sprouting of a brand new bond. I love that it brings families together...the laughter and the tears. I love the fashion and the glamour... the stories of love...the pure magic that every single moment brings!

I love that it's the beginning of a very beautiful journey...filled with love and laughter; and trials and triumphs that only strengthen the ties of the bond that started with a simple smile...and Faith in all that they must still come to see together as a team!!

Happy 1st Anniversary dear sister. May it be the first of many more to come and may the years ahead be a means for you build plenty of wonderful memories together. Let each passing moment only intensify your love and strengthen your bond...

All images courtesy of Larry English Photography


For more on the actual wedding, you can view the following links

Kids Bollywood dance choreographed by me here

For more pics view the gallery here
(There is still a month left for voting if you wish to do so)

Take a look behind the scenes with  dear family friend The Glam Locket here and here

Monday, 6 January 2014

New Year. New Me!

For the longest time I had allowed life to just happen to me and dealt with the hand I had been given. Nothing was planned, not even having my kids! I had become a soldier to my circumstances and for a while, it dictated my mind...I unwittingly became absorbed in the day to day mundane.  I merely just  existed.

The thing about breaking free is that we sometimes soar aimlessly for a while. Lost in the the beauty of the view... living from sunrise to sunset, only thinking of tomorrow and we neglect to plot our course forward.

For the first time in a long time, I am master of my own mind! No longer enslaved and entrapped by anger, hurt, sorrow. For the first time in a long time I am more than just free. I am also in control... And with that, I realise that I need to steer myself to the shores I wish to reach.

Our mind is a powerful tool, that we often underestimate and never use to it's full potential. It is capable of conquering great things if only we learnt how to tame our thoughts and direct it into action. If we can apply ourselves with the same vigour and determination we do to clamber out of the dark pits of despair...then our time in the light can be so much more fruitful.

So I guess there is beauty and wisdom in making resolutions...whether it's made in a new year or a new day doesn't really matter I's merely acknowledging a need for change, and planning a way to achieve it. If we set out little goals for ourselves and set out to train our minds to achieve it, who knows; after 365days, we may be better than we are today!

I don't usually make new years resolutions; besides the obvious "this year I am going to lose weight!" It's not really that I don't believe in's just that I never thought I had the discipline to stick to something for 365days! This year I would like to make a change...This year, I want to plot my course, choose a direction and hopefully reach the shore...
 So that's it from me for now...I hope everyone has had a good start to the new year and hope you manage to achieve whatever it is that you have set out to accomplish!