me Life and Times of the Fireflies: June 2017

Friday, 30 June 2017

Eid Mubarak from my family to yours!


I think it had a lot to do with the short winter days that made Ramadan feel like it passed at lightning speed this year! Nevertheless, I am grateful to have been enveloped in the magical aura that the month brings with it, even if it did seem like it was over before it even began.
With Ramadan, Eid and school exams all coinciding - plus having to motivate a little one fasting for the first time this year; I tried to be smart about all the prep revolving around the festivities. I didn't want to be caught up in the madness that usually ensues with Eid preparations; but I also didn't want to feel like we are losing out on all the excitement either - especially for Zee, who successfully completed fasting the entire month!

I managed to get all the Eid clothes done in the first week already, while the malls were still quiet and the options were plenty...but somehow still managed to forget to buy my youngest child shoes (I managed to get it last minute though)! Also, for the first time in my life, I ordered two cakes for Eid. It felt very strange not chasing my own tail in the kitchen on the day before Eid, but it did ease the load tremendously and gave me a chance to be more present with the also proved to be a life saver since I landed up sick in bed 2 days before Eid. God alone knows how I would have managed had I not ordered those cakes!

Sometimes I feel like I'm desperately hanging onto traditions and that the effort is futile. I worry that a lot of it will die down with the generations to come; but then I look around on days like Eid and see how wonderfully the community comes alive on days like these, and it eases the worry just a little bit. The roads are still busy with last minute shoppers, the shops fridges are still out of stock of fresh cream, and social media is still filled with everyone's Eid OOTD and family portraits!  As the children are growing, they are starting to add on little traditions of their own and it made me realise that even though the way we do things is constantly evolving, the sense of family still remains.

And because one of our favourite Eid traditions has always been lining the kids up for photo's, we certainly weren't going to miss out on that this year! Over the years it's been good to look back on in wonderment at some of our fashion faux pas (Rocky's neon jeans) and also the children's evolution! They have grown, they have blossomed and they still look forward to getting together for Eid dinner at Naani's house!


Eid Mubarak from all of us!

Monday, 19 June 2017

A Message to my Last Born on his 8th Birthday

It's a strange thing; watching your child grow. How one day you are marvelling at their tiny fingers and toes; and almost instantly, you are wiggling one of their loose milk teeth and waiting for it to fall out! Time has been kind in that regard, allowing us to hang on to those baby teeth of yours until just about now; and even though I half expected it to happen soon, it just seems like it was the one final thing  that was keeping you small...keeping you my baby.
I suppose it is apt timing too, since you have grown up so much in this past year...and I know I've been in denial about that, since I still seem to be buying you clothes and shoes in sizes too small - A clear indication that my heart doesn't seem to want to let go of my little Zee. But I also don't mean you growing just in size. I mean that you've really just grown! In all spheres of life, and very often I am blown away by it all! 
Gone is that timid, shy and insecure little boy; and in his place stands a strong, independent and confident young lad that I sometimes hardly recognise!  I used to see a lot of myself in you before...gentle, soft hearted and sensitive; and granted, that boy is still there...but lately I am starting to see a lot of your Dad in you too. You are hard-working, determined and refuse to give in to failure. You don't give up and keep on giving your best at all times <3 Your are unmistakably our child and you have inherited both mine and your father's most endearing traits!
There are times that you surprise me with the extent of your knowledge about things that pique your interest, and astound me with your photographic like memory, and leave me speechless with your ever expanding vocabulary. Sometimes you come across as a little indecisive, but I love that you don't make decisions on impulse or in haste, and that you take your time to think things through and weigh out all your options before you finally decide.  I selfishly wish I could take credit for teaching you some of the things you know, but I think learning is so natural and effortless for you. There's a genuine thirst for knowledge that I'm incapable of quenching and an undeniable fire burning inside of you - an unmistakeable will and determination to succeed! I only wish I played a bigger role in helping you become the super kid that you are!
There's no pause button in life and sometimes I wish that I wouldn't grow old and you wouldn't grow up. I am grateful that you are not in too much of a hurry to grow up. That even though you are growing, you haven't outgrown being my baby boy. I am grateful that you still demand my attention and cuddles and solo coffee and lunch dates. I am grateful that I get to be your mom and I am especially happy to have been blessed with a child like you! I am extremely proud of all that you are and I have no doubt that you will achieve great things in your life...but just remember one thing - no matter how much you grow, you will always be my baby boy!
Love Always,
Mom :-)

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Recipe - Chocolate Sef-Saucing Pudding

It's here! Finally, my favourite season of the year has arrived - albeit in a very dramatic way (with the worst storm the Cape has seen in years and all schools being closed for the momentous occasion) - but nevertheless...the sudden chill in the air is undeniable!
I usually love Winter mainly for the fashion and the prospect of hiding underneath oversized jerseys and warm, cosy coats; but this year (or rather these past 2 weeks of proper Winter weather); I don't even feel like getting out of pyjamas, never mind putting together a sensible looking outfit, or  putting on makeup and taking selfies!!!  I have however, been warming myself up with the heat of the oven, by whipping up a few easy to make and decadent desserts to help keep the winter chill at bay!
One of my all time favourites is this Chocolate Self-Saucing pudding, because who doesn't love chocolate! I've been making this dessert long before Woolworths starting selling them, so I always feel a little sad at the prospect of paying R60 for something that barely takes 5 minutes to make!
In this recipe, the mixture separates during cooking to form a cake layer over a smooth creamy sauce- Divine!!!

  • 60 grams butter

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence

  • 3/4 cup sugar

  • 1 cup self-raising flour

  • 1 tablespoon cocoa

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

  • 1 tablespoon cocoa, extra

  • 2 cups boiling water


  1. Combine butter and milk in a saucepan. Stir over heat until butter is melted.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in essence and sugar, then sifted flour and cocoa.
  3. Spread mixture into a greased ovenproof dish (6 cup capacity).
  4. Sift brown sugar and cocoa over mixture, then gently pour over boiling water. Mixture will separate  during baking.
  5. Bake in a moderate (180 deg Celsius ) oven for about 35-40 minutes. Dust with icing sugar before serving.
  6. Recipe best made just before serving and can be doubled...just make sure that the correct size dish is used so that the proportion of cake to sauce is even.

And that's it!! Thanks for reading and happy baking!

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Life Lately- Ramadan Diary

It feels like we barely even started, but already, we have passed the halfway mark of the fast! It's crazy how quickly the days have sped by, and how all too soon our focus will turn to Eid and all the preparation it entails. It's strangely beautiful though, how each year, we start to look forward to this month with increased enthusiasm; and how we exit it feeling like we haven't utilised our time enough.
It's no wonder then that I'm feeling particularly guilty about the time slipping through my fingers this year without having  invested it in the way that I intended. My momentum completely ruined already on day one! It's hard enough starting Ramadan  on a weekend; with the kids at home and not getting that hour to yourself that you crave; but it's only made worse when one of said kids is starting his first year of fasting...demanding all my attention, as well as whatever little energy I  have! Add to that the pressure of exam month and the kids coming home super early, and I have been left with hardly any time for myself.
But as chaotic as life can be with kids - especially when you're trying to steal some moments of solace- there's also something genuinely rewarding in those moments as you lay with your children and fill their hearts with love as you help to encourage them as they embark on this journey of self-improvement. I've had to accept that part of my purpose is not only securing my own growth, but also the beings who have been put in my care. It's made me think that sometimes we are so busy looking for big dramatic moments and great epiphanies, that we forget to look towards  these smaller moments that too is directing big changes to start churning within. Because this month, it has been in those moments with my children that I have felt the greatest connections to my Creator.
I think us moms have it the hardest! When you have kids, you always feel like you're never doing enough. Constantly pulled in different directions...torn between what we want to do and what life throws our way. But as always, when we our minds are awakened to the prospect of change and growth; we often find it in the most unsuspecting places!
It hasn't helped (or perhaps it has) that every time I have logged onto the internet I have watched a video that has made me truly sob and weep from the bottom of my heart! All with a similar message and undercurrent that I am certain was purposefully directed to me through Divine intervention. Somewhat forcing the wheels of change that I have been craving for and felt like I was missing out on...
Needless to say, the first week was tough- on me and my little guy; but it completely amazes me how much my child has changed in just these few days...far less demanding, much more accepting, and in a time and era of instant gratification; perhaps the most noticeable change is new developed sense of patience!  
As for the older ones; trying to juggle fasting and studying has been a bit of a challenge, but they're doing so much better than last year! A little more focused and a bit more determined than before...and I'm hoping their increased efforts will yield better results Inshaa Allah <3
That's if from me!
Thanks for reading!