me Life and Times of the Fireflies: January 2015

Friday, 30 January 2015

Chasing Sunsets

Getting dressed up for a wedding can be both a daunting and an exciting exercise! As I get older, I am starting to make wiser choices regarding my wardrobe, opting for quality fabrics and classic styles that flatter the figure, as opposed to restricting circulation in the name of high fashion! I'm finding beauty in simplicity and comfort and staying true to my identity...

 For me, this outfit encapsulates simplicity and elegance. A timeless piece that can be tucked away and taken out again and again...and the colours remind me so much of the beautiful South African sunset, which was the inspiration behind the flow of the following words.  

Chasing Sunsets
Trapped between the dawn and dusk,
moving faster than the hands of time,
enslaved by the confines of the day
until the sinking Sun makes it's graceful departure.
An explosion of colour,
one final performance,
It's last dance with the sky.
Final embraces of lovers being separated
The last rays of light lingering like perfume,
until the final curtain falls,
making way for the calming silence of the night
and the sky begins it's love affair with the moon.
And tomorrow, we begin the cycle anew.
Oblivious to the Sun's familiar embrace
only chasing the last dance,
only chasing the sunset...


Photography by: Saafiyah Sonday (My daughter)
Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Summer Highlights - Paintball Fun!

The best thing I could've done this past Summer, was let go of the strings of restraint...both for myself and my children. Initially, six weeks seemed like a ridiculously long time which I had envisioned to be laden with petty squabbles, endless dishes and little fun for me! But a change of mind set and a change of strategy created a six week platform to create beautiful memories with my children, siblings, parents, husband, nephews and nieces...and the 900 odd pictures I've managed to capture in this time is proof of that!
It was the first Summer in a long time that we just succumbed to the moment, moved with the wind, danced to a rhythm of our own beat. No wedding prep or travels to intervene and intrude on our love affair with the long Summer days. But with the kids now back at school and rapidly settling into their usual routine...all these moments will soon just be distant memories and the only way I can keep them alive is by documenting them here!
This is my way of hanging onto the final remnants of a Summer break that has ended far too quickly...making the magic last a tiny bit longer...languishing in the fading rays of a Summer worth remembering, before we get carried away by the current of another year!
One of the highlights for the kids was definitely the action packed afternoon spent at SWAT Paintball, a paintball venue in Somerset West. A rather delayed birthday party of sorts for my Rocky, who turned 11 in the middle of the exam period, we trekked his cousins and a few friends along to join in the fun on a rather scorcher of a day!
SWAT is not an elaborate venue if you're looking to host a full on, themed party, with very little to offer with regards to party facilities (not that we were even prepared for a party! lol) . But the kids were more than satisfied to just be together, playing the field, aiming, shooting, missing and getting 'war' bruises along the way. Of course we joined in the fun too...but to be honest, I could not handle the protective mask in the sweltering heat for more than one round! The kids, however, could've gone on all day!
Proud parents :-)
Nephew & Aunt...looking more like brother and sister <3

Getting instructions

Moon is always camera ready!


Faking injury!! haha

Whatever boys can do, I can do better!
Thanks to Deed for entertaining Zee for the day, 'cos he was too young to participate in the fun. 
Thanks for reading!

Friday, 23 January 2015

What Makes You Beautiful - Featuring Leana

The blogging world can be quite an aesthetically driven industry. From blog layout, to picture quality; blogging is equally a visual journey as it is a literary one. For some, this is where the journey starts and ends. A click on a link...a brief affair...a little peep into the life of someone who risked to share aspects of their lives online. But beneath all the aesthetics lies a voice...a person...a soul...a familiarity we come to love.
Leana is a fellow blogger with a strong online presence! Managing her own blog (Hipstyler, Pretty & Ginger ), as well as the Hey Gorgeous brand's twitter account; reading through her daily tweets and weekly posts gives one a little insight into how this quirky little mind thinks! Upbeat and full of energy, Leana first crept into my heart when I newly emerged onto the blogging scene. She was one of the first people to reached out to me during those early blogging days... and while I was still struggling to find my way around the internet!
Sometimes, in this virtual world (filled with editing apps and filters) one comes to rely on the voice instead of the visual. Every tweet, every update, all the things you blog about...these become your virtual footprint. Leana has become notorious for her funny faces and sharp sense of humour and she wears these like a suit of armour against the world. But sometimes she let's her guard down; and littered sparsely between her humour induced posts, we get a glimpse of the vulnerable Leana too. So though I've only physically met Leana on two occasions, her presence, conduct and support online has made her someone to admire.

What makes Leana Beautiful to me? Besides her to die for figure and enviable set of abs?...It's the positive energy she exudes on a daily basis! The love and laughter she spreads amongst fellow bloggers. She is completely unselfish at casting the spotlight on fellow bloggers; new and old and even went as far as featuring bloggers in her #projectfeelgood series. It's despite what life throws at her, she continues to smile, to make us laugh, to uplift the next person with kind words and wicked sense of humour...also, her abs and her funny faces ;-) These are the things that make Leana special to me...these are the things that make her Beautiful!

So Leana, what makes You beautiful? When I was asked to write about what I think makes ME beautiful, I instinctively wanted to joke with a simple “makeup”. As I giggled at myself, I quietly conceded that, while I’m no oil painting, one of my most beautiful traits has to be my (sometimes warped) sense of humour. Over the years (and believe me, coming to this revelation wasn’t easy) beauty isn’t one dimensional or uniform – it should actually be called individual beauty. Individual beauty encompasses everything that makes you, you. I quite like my long nail beds, my skin tone, my arms and shoulders, my perky B-cup boobs and I’ve made peace with the physical traits that I can’t change. I like the way I look after myself, love and care for others, carry myself despite the fact that I sometimes wish the world would swallow me whole. I like that I pray on my drive to work, carefully think things through before I speak and how I don’t care if people don’t like my ensemble for the day. Though these aren’t conventional means of measurement for “beauty”, they make up who I am, which I think, makes me beautiful. There’s also makeup…

Please don't ever stop showering us with your wit and humour <3
Thanks for reading today!

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Back to Basics

I'd be lying if I didn't say I was slightly fearful of the 6 week break...and not for the reasons you may think. I started of this Summer vacation a size smaller than the last one and really, I didn't want to have to take out that 'Fat Jeans' !!

Holidays are probably the toughest times to stick to a healthy exercise and eating programme...well for me it is anyway. Without my regular routine and schedule, it takes extra mental dexterity to stay committed and focused. My approach to this six week hiatus was to eat clean, exercise often and stay far away from temptation; and on the most part I'd say I succeeded!
But somewhere along the line, things went a little awry ( I know this because of the soggy lettuce and cucumber in the fridge drawer...and my too snug jeans). I got a little carried away, got lost in the moment (actually, about 10 days) and overindulged; and for a day or two, had to rely on my faithful 'Fat Jeans' to pull me through. Proof that there are no 'off days '  allowed when trying to follow a healthy lifestyle. Constancy and Consistency are the key to success I guess.
The great thing about eating clean is that when you stray a little to far off course, your body sends you warning signals to stop in your tracks!! If 2014 has taught me anything, it is to listen to my body. And so getting back on track was a little easier than it was before.
I don't really believe in shakes as meal replacements. It's quite pricey to maintain and I feel that inevitably, we have to learn how to eat correctly anyway. I have, however, come to rely on the Future Life Protein Shakes as a pre and post workout snack and also in times when I have gone a little astray. They're healthy, convenient and ideal for an on-the-go breakfast or an afternoon snack and quite affordable compared to similar products on the market.

Future Life can be quite grainy in texture on it's own, so I blend mine using Almond Milk, a small banana, a tsp/tblsp of peanut butter, some ice and 3 Tblsp of Future Life High Protein (chocolate flavour).  This seems to work wonders at controlling my appetite and keeping those pesky sugar cravings at bay...Thus making healthier choices throughout the rest of the day a little bit easier.

For now, it's back to school, back to reality and with more of a routine and structure in place, back to basics with my healthy eating.

 Bottoms up people!! Here's to a healthy 2015 :-)


Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Recipe - Mango Mousse

There are certain scents, sounds and flavours that are synonymous with Summer! The smell of the ocean, the sound of the waves crashing against the shore and the exotic flavours of fresh tropical fruits....this is what perfect, lazy Summer days are made of.
Watermelon, pineapples and perfectly ripe mangoes are definitely tastes of Summer and goes hand in hand with any form of entertainment. Who needs dessert when nature has already provided the best there is to offer right!? Unless, of course, you combine nature with a few key ingredients to produce only the best Summer Mousse ever!!
This Summer has made me a little lazy and I am currently in a permanent mode of relaxation. The best part of this dessert is that it takes minimal effort, requires a few basic ingredients and produces a great end result! A refreshingly light textured mousse with a distinct Mango flavour makes this one of my 'go to' recipes during the lazy Summer season. It has me in and out of the kitchen in no time, which makes this recipe perfectly suited to my current mood...But don't take my word for it. Go on and try it!

  • 2 packets mango/orange flavoured jelly
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup mango puree ( I add a little extra)
  • 250ml fresh cream, whipped
*HINT: I prefer using the canned mango puree as I feel it is sweeter and richer in colour than if I make it myself. The canned puree is easily found in stores that stock Indian produce and the leftover puree can easily be frozen for later use...but if you are making your own puree, then remember, the riper the mango the better the mousse!
  1. Dissolve the jelly in 2 cups of boiling water and allow to cool.
  2. Add mango puree and stir.
  3. Fold in the whipped cream until combined and pour into desired bowl.
  4. Refrigerate till set and voila...your Mango Mousse is ready to enjoy!


 Photographs and Food Styling by: Amina Ebrahim
Mirror Tray: Mr Price Home
Shot Glasses: @Home
Thanks for reading!

Friday, 2 January 2015

Easing Into the New Year

So begins the dawn of a brand New Year, a new beginning and a fresh start. There's something about a new year that has people hopeful. Hopeful for change. Hopeful for happiness. Hopeful for a long list of happy endings. It's impossible to take strides towards a new beginning without glancing back at the year that has passed...a little reflection. Looking back helps us identify where we have faltered and leads us to the doorway of where we can improve...

New year, new me? Absolutely!! If the year that has passed has left us unchanged, then we haven't made proper use of our time...2014 was a year of great personal growth for me. I started off the year a little timid and slightly the deep end of an unfamiliar playground. Looking back now, the seemingly tiny steps have resulted in big internal development and I feel like I've emerged from it changed. Renewed. New... Cliché as it may sound, looking back on the year that has passed has me hopeful for the year ahead!

If it weren't for this online journal, I might have trodden along oblivious to the silent changes within. I am definitely starting this year as a newer, stronger, more assured version of myself! I'm still not sure about setting goals and making resolutions. Sometimes we make big, bold resolutions that are impossible to achieve. We have our eye on the destination, but we fail to plot the course and our good willed intentions fall short.

 Reflection should really be a part of our everyday. With regular introspection we become more aware and recognise the areas in our lives that needs attention. It might be a tall task to ask, but this coming year I don't just want to stumble through it. I want to be more alert, observant and in tune. I am hopeful that the year ahead will bring with it more growth, bigger changes and that when I emerge from it, I will greet the next year a newer, better version of Me!

Where will this new year lead? Who knows! What I do know is, that wherever this journey takes me, whatever it may reveal, I am looking forward to sharing all my  adventures, lessons and experiences, right here as I always do!

Happy New year!