me Life and Times of the Fireflies: July 2016

Friday, 29 July 2016

Bollywood Babe

There's something alluring about a Bollywood movie...The romance, the dramatic storyline, the family dramas and the even more dramatic plot twists There's the captivating songs and elaborate dance sequences; and the even more elaborate outfit changes. Then there's the exotic (and conveniently deserted) locations that said songs take place; and of course...there's also John Abraham. Can you tell that I love Bollywood!?

I know "Old Hollywood Glam" is a 'thing'...but my oh my...Bollywood glam is MY  thing! In fact, Bollywood is my go to evening/wedding look when I don't feel like first squeezing into a Spanx before squeezing into a body hugging dress that squeezes and hugs me the wrong way (which is all the time these days)!

Eastern attire, more especially a Sari, is forgiving on the body. It hugs and shapes your body in a way that is elegant, comfortable and flattering! It hides a multitude of sins, while still allowing one to look and feel glamorous!! And when a baby comes along, it's the one item in your wardrobe (besides tights) that you can depend on to make you look  fabulous even if  you don't feel it!! It will have you gazing into the mirror exclaiming "Baby weight? What baby weight??" and make you want to live out the rest of your days in a sari.

People often have a desire to wear a Sari, but find the prospective idea daunting! Clever pleating and pinning makes sure that everything is secure, movement in the garment, easy; and gives one the freedom to drape it in a modest way. Hand crafted beadwork and careful attention to detail makes eastern garments truly exquisite and pleasing on the eye. The combination of  classic black with subtle hints of red and turquoise; and the intricate zari beadwork, makes this particular sari a timeless piece!   Once again, Moon shows us that having a baby doesn't mean we have to give up on looking stylish. She even makes glamorous look fabulous with a baby on the arm!

Outfit Details

Sari : Gift

Bangles : Colaba Market, India

Henna artist : Ayesha

Photographs : 2Cherries Photography

Thanks for reading!



Tuesday, 26 July 2016

A Message to my daughter on her 14th Birthday

When you're a young mother expecting your first child, the 9 long months is filled with a lot of wondering. Wondering whether it's a boy or girl. Wondering if they are healthy. Wondering what kind of personality they will have. Wondering if they will be an easy baby and if you will be prepared enough for the task at hand. Wondering what type of parents we will be and what lies ahead in their destiny. Wondering about childbirth and who they will look like and what they will inherit from me. In fact, at each monthly scan we try and spot the long toes and Dad's sharp nose...we want to see a likeness to ourselves.

When you were younger, I always thought you resembled more your father than you did me. You have his pointy nose; his long, thin legs and athletic physique, and you even have his crooked little baby fingers on both hands!  Save your eyes and smallish forehead which I think you get from me :-)  You are no doubt a Daddy's Girl...the apple of his eye and the Princess of his heart...but as you are starting to blossom and grow, as we've broken down the walls and barriers between us, as you have started to open up more and I've started to pay more attention, I have started to see all the parts of me in you that I never got to see before.

I get to hear your thoughts and the way you view the world. I get to listen to your opinions on things like war and humanity. I get to have discussions about faith and religion. I get to understand you better when you let me listen to the lyrics of your favourite songs. I get to delve a bit deeper  into your understanding of life when I'm too frustrated to see the understanding in situations myself. I get to see  beneath the tough outer shell that you keep up as a shield; I get to see your softness, the kindness and generosity in you in the way you treat others, the way you make friends with ease, the way you embrace all kinds of people. I get to read your poems and listen to the ideas for your essays,  the way you interpret literature and your hopes and dreams for the future... and the more I hear, see and discover; the more I realise that though you look like your father on the outside, the person on the inside most definitely resembles me!

But even though you are a lot like me, you are also a lot stronger than me. You are kind and gentle, without allowing yourself to be vulnerable. You are soft and nurturing, but you don't allow people to take advantage of you. You give of your heart, but you don't wear your heart on your sleeve. You like to be loved, but you also know how to stand on your own two feet. You like the idea of romance, but you also have goals and dreams of your own. You know your worth and don't need anyone (except your nearest) to validate you. You are a strong willed girl, and though I don't tell you often enough; I am extremely proud of who you are!!

I love the closeness you have to your brothers...the special and unique connection you have with Rocky and the way you love and care for Zaydaan unconditionally. I love that, even though you're growing up, you haven't outgrown being my little girl... being tucked in at night...kissed before going to school...or climbing into my bed. I love that you love to wear things from my wardrobe and I even love that it looks better on you. I love it when you can't wait to share something exciting that happened at school or when someone says something that reminds you of me. I love when your lip curls up when you are angry and when daddy diffuses it with a silly joke and turns it into a wry smile. I love that I get to see all these parts of you. That I get to watch you grow and discover who you are!

I used to be afraid and worry that you will be swallowed up by this world. But today I am proud because I have raised the type of human the world needs more of...

I am so grateful that Allah blessed me with a daughter...and especially grateful for
 a daughter like you!

Happy 14th Birthday!!

Love Always,

Mommy :-)

Photographs : 2Cherries Photography 

You can read all the previous birthday  stories  I have written for her in the links below :

Friday, 22 July 2016

We Have A WINNER!!!


Today I turn 37. 37!! THIRTY...SEVEN!!! That's almost four decades worth of memories. Four decades worth of treasured moments to reminisce over and remember. Though it's usually customary for the birthday person to be on the receiving end of the gifts, today I am excited to be giving away something that I personally value tremendously; and that to one my valued readers!

 When we partnered with 2Cherries Photography for this giveaway, we knew that the winning story would have to stand out and be BIG ! What we didn't bargain for though, was the emotional roller coaster we would be sent on when reading the entries. Gosh, you guys made making a final decision excruciatingly hard!
Creating and preserving memories is so important to all of us, that to us, everyone seemed as deserving as the next to win, each story as important as the other. All of your memories worth preserving. It seemed so unfair to have to choose!
In the end, there was one defining story that stood out amongst the rest and it was a unanimous decision that it was the winning entry ...but we were still too and fro regarding a few others that had equally touched our hearts, stories we found hard to turn our backs on. The 2Cherries made the final decision, the selfless decision, a decision that ultimately only gives way to show their bulging and generous hearts and how passionate they are about capturing precious moments; and in a complete twist of events, the decision was made to offer their time and skill to a second and a third prize winner as well!!!!
A colossal THANK YOU to all who entered, and also to everyone who takes the time and effort to stop by my blog and read and offer me support!

1st  PRIZE :- Winning the 2 hour photo shoot to the value of R2000 and a feature of her story on the blog is

2nd  PRIZE :-  Winning a mini 1 hour shoot with her growing family is

3rd  PRIZE :-  Also winning a mini 30/45 minute photo shoot  with her sister is

To set a date for your shoot, please contact Audrey or Benita on 079 296 2977  or Email them
A big congratulations to the WINNERS!
Thanks to everyone for their contribution!

Friday, 15 July 2016

Eid-Ul-Fitr 2016

No matter how prepared we think we are, nothing tests one's patience like the last few days before Eid! There's always a mad dash and a last minute scramble and a recipe that flops! Living in the middle of a predominantly Muslim community means that the entire area becomes an explosion of people and cars venturing out in a last minute attempt to get things done. It definitely contributes to a uniquely South African Eid vibe which I've come to appreciate and love!

 Eid itself was a lot less stressful and chaotic than it usually is. I suppose a little bit of planning and much better time management created a better balance in which I was able to get things done without any major stress. The kids being older and a bit more understanding and co-operative definitely  helped.

There were times when I used to feel like I could do without the drama of getting  dressed up on Eid day. When you're struggling with young kids, getting glammed up is the furthest thing from our mind, but I've come to realise the importance of upholding certain traditions...upholding OUR traditions in a world where our heritage is being watered down with the western culture we are submerged in. It certainly makes me grateful to be living in a community that proudly values our culture and heritage, to be able to step out on Eid (and the days before) and be engulfed in an ambiance that is rich in tradition instead of one where we are desperately trying to hold onto it!

It's a huge contributing factor into why I put so much effort and fuss into this day. It's so that my kids have moments to remember and traditions they can treasure. It's so that they have a heritage to pass on to the next generation! And even though our landscape is constantly changing and we are constantly evolving to accommodate it, the one thing that will remain unchanged is that these big days and special moments will always revolve around family....

A week has passed since our Eid festivities, and I'm kind of grateful that it's been a week of relaxation instead of heading full throttle into the busyness of everyday life. It's given me a chance to absorb the impact the month has had on me, process my thoughts and embrace the calm! And now that the school holiday is also coming to an end, I feel rejuvenated; body, mind and soul; and ready to tackle things once more!

So many pic.. but not a single one where all of them are smiling!

These two have a bond that's unbreakable <3

Brother love!

Aryana's first Eid

Sister Selfie

Neeraj's first Eid too LOL

Signature teenage expression!!!

Thanks for reading!




Friday, 8 July 2016

Battle of the Bulge - Back in the Saddle

It's been a while since I've done one of these posts...with time and numerous distractions taking my focus away from my goal. But when you've been at something for a while, sometimes the shift in focus is also welcomed and sometimes it proves to be a necessary reprieve in which we can re-gather our thoughts and reassess our approach.
As much as it's important to push past plateaus, it's also important to listen to our bodies! I think that after my last post I was just mentally exhausted from counting steps and calories. From trying to make it to every single gym class. From filling up my weekends with workouts and activities. I didn't want to quit. I just needed a break!
And so I slowed down my pace. I exercised, but I didn't exercise every single day. I pushed hard, but I didn't push myself to the limit. I tried to eat well, but I didn't obsess over  counting calories and micro and macro nutrients. I maintained a healthy approach, but I also cheated in between. Gosh! I even tried to binge eat before Ramadan, but surprisingly, my system couldn't handle the junk!! The good news is that even though I didn't lose any weight during my rebellion, I managed to maintain (I'm not including the kilos lost during the fast. Those always return soon after anyway); which to me, is a victory on it's own!!

I guess those seemingly small and insignificant changes that I stuck with through this time proved to be more monumental than I thought. That even though I slowed down, I didn't revert to old habits, and that has made all the difference. It's made it possible for me to pick up where I left off  instead starting from scratch!

And now, as I  emerge from our month of fasting, I feel ready to tackle things once more. I've had my break, survived through my rebellion and quite ready to return to the saddle! And this time it's not my mind directing my body, but more my body that is guiding me! When it rejects the samosas and the pies and starts crying out for exercise,  then it is an indication that I didn't choose this fit life, but the fit life chose me!

If you've missed out on my previous posts, you can catch up with the following links:

Part 2:  Starting Slow

Part 4 :  The Mental Plateau

Thanks for reading!