Newlands Forest Hike

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Hey everyone! I trust you had an amazing weekend doing everything you day dreamed of doing during the hectic work week. I am back with another little picture post showing what I’ve been up to this weekend…

It was my Aunt’s birthday on Saturday which meant that she could go up Table Mountain for free. The husband and I dropped her, the Mom and Sister at the cable car station and spent the few hours admiring the sites from below, since we’re hella broke (LOL!)

Table Mountain from below

Table Mountain from below

Some of the indigenous plants known as Fynbos

Some of the indigenous plants known as Fynbos

Signal Hill

Signal Hill

Lion's Head

Lion’s Head

City Center

City Center

We waited for about 3 hours for them to return; and those 3 hours were probably the highlight of my weekend. Taufeeq and I had some ice cream, walked around admiring the beauty of our city and sang along to songs playing on the radio. We talked and laughed and acted like total idiots together, enjoying the fresh air and sunshine.

On Sunday morning we headed out for a hike at Newlands Forest. It was overcast and there was a light drizzle the whole way through; but even so the weather was perfect for hiking.

Creepy abandoned cottage

Creepy abandoned house

At the start of the trail there is an abandoned cottage which looks super creepy. I am really eager to know the history behind it because it looks very old.

Me enjoying the drizzle

Me enjoying the drizzle

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Misty view of the city

Misty view of the city

Screenshot_2015-10-26-19-52-58-1This trail was not as hard as the one we did a couple of weeks back. The trees provides lots of shade so it is an ideal hiking trail for the hot summer days headed our way. The change of scenery gives you an idea of why Cape Town is said to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world – and believe me these pictures do absolutely no justice.

Despite SA losing to the All Blacks on Sunday and being kicked out of the Rugby World Cup; it was a fun filled weekend which made me long for the Summer break!

What have you been up to this past weekend?

– Nihaad

Why no form of education is a waste

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.” ― Dr. Seuss

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
― Dr. Seuss

Ever since I can remember, my parents always drilled it into me that I needed to educate myself. I was brought up to seek answers for all the questions I may have, and because of this I have developed a love for learning and improving my understanding on the world around me. My Mother is a teacher (by nature and profession) who has this hunger to acquire knowledge like no one I have ever known; and it definitely rubbed off onto me.

After I graduated and started working, I became increasingly frustrated because I wanted more. I know I want to further my studies and it is something I would love to pursue for as long as I can – even if it is outside of the field I am currently working in. I realise this may sound ridiculous to some people because in their minds if I study something else then everything I worked for over the past few years would go to waste. This thinking bothers me…

Maybe it was the way I was raised but I believe that any knowledge you gain can never be a waste. We live in a world so vast and extraordinary that our minds cannot begin to comprehend the complexity of it all! And I believe that anything you learn builds a better understanding of the world.

If I ever decide to further my studies in a different field, all the knowledge I have gained up until then would not be in vain. I have improved my perception in a certain part of the world which ultimately means that I have a better view of things than what I had before I studied. Even more so, I have gained skills that would help me in the long run.

In this world we try to put a price on everything. And since we have to pay for furthering our education, we immediately put a price tag on our qualifications. Instead of looking at it as improving ourselves, and answering questions about the world we may have; we think of the experience as a commodity. And if we don’t use our qualifications then it automatically means that we wasted our time and money on something we “wont be using”.

However, I regard by knowledge and education as a key which I use to better myself. It is my tool which I can use to give back to the world in some way or another. And above all else it makes me appreciate the world I live in and the life I am living…

As my late grandfather Sheikh Shakier Gamieldien said:

“Your knowledge should make you humble; because the more you know, the more you realise you don’t know.”

– Nihaad

Wheel of Excellence Experience

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I left off my last post saying that I will write a separate blog post on what else I managed to do on Sunday. As I mentioned, we went for a morning hike which left me feeling with this incredible zest for life – a great way to start off a new week, I must say. After resting a bit to recuperate, the husband and I set off to the V&A Waterfront for a little date on the Wheel of Excellence. We bought a ticket off Groupon which gave us 50% off and since I always wanted to catch a ride on this beauty of a structure, we took advantage of the deal.

The view from the top

Table Mountain


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Taufeeq watching the Jolly Rodger Pirate Boat

Taufeeq watching the Jolly Rodger Pirate Boat


Signal Hill

Signal Hill


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The SA Rugby Museum

The SA Rugby Museum


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My husband and best friend

My husband and best friend


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I know that going out these days, especially with the economical climate here in South Africa, can be really tough. Petrol is a big consideration where ever you want to go because it costs so darn much. But I refuse to accept this as an excuse to not be able to explore. I love adventure and it is my dream to travel more, which is why I am starting in my own city. Hopefully this will encourage you to get out more too, I tell you, it makes Mondays a lot less blue.

– Nihaad

Sunday Morning Hike

After writing my last post, I’ve been more motivated to explore this beautiful city that I call home. Summer is headed our way and it feels like a long lost friend that we are welcoming with arms wide open. I want to start writing more about Cape Town with all that it has to offer, and to record the places I have seen. Hopefully this would inspire me to do more so that I can combat the FOMO.

Sunday morning we went for a hike with some of the cousins. I have seen so many pictures of the Cecilia Forest and I just had to get out there to see this beautiful piece of Cape Town that up until recently I never knew existed. Even though I am feeling the after effects now, it was amazing to get out of bed on a beautiful sunny morning and be outdoors.

The start of the hiking trail

The start of the hiking trail

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My sister in law and fellow book worm

My sister in law and fellow book worm

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The cousins and one dog

The cousins and one dog

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A kiss under the water fall

A kiss under the water fall

When we reached the waterfall I was blown away. Believe me these pictures do absolutely no justice to the beauty of it.

It was wonderful to get in touch with nature and enjoy the fresh morning air. The hike made me feel like I’ve done something productive for the day with so much time left to spare. But I am keeping that for a separate post… So this is it for now – I hope you take advantage of the beautiful weather we are having here in Cape Town. And if you are reading from a different part of this beautiful world, then I hope you stop the FOMO by being a tourist in your home town.

– Nihaad

100 Followers!!

Gigabyte Netbook courtesy of The Husband

In celebration of reaching 100 followers on the Little Blog of STUFF (you guys are awesome, thank you!!), I thought it would be fun to list a few things that I love so far in this new world of blogging:

1) I get to express my creativity

This is something that I’ve been struggling with a lot lately. In the field in which I work I don’t get much of an opportunity to be creative. I have always been a creative person, whether it be drawing, painting, writing a poem now and again – I just find it incredibly relaxing to express myself in some way. So since I started this blog, I have had the opportunity to do so. I enjoy taking pictures and editing them the way I like, I enjoy writing and expressing myself through words, I enjoy being in control of my space and how I want it to look. This blog has been an outlet for me and it helps me release what ever I am feeling through the next post I create.

2) Inner Geek, Unleashed

I have always been rather good with computers. I am by no means an expert, but understanding computers comes easy to me. I did a computer applications subject in high school which I really enjoyed, so when I got to university my computer literacy skills was quite good. Blogging is a way for me to better my computer skills and also a way for me to brush up on what I have learnt through the years. I also get to improve my writing skills which I would like to use some day in the future when I find my lifes calling.

3) Being inspired

I have stumbled upon some great blogs in the short amount of time that I’ve been blogging, and with that I have (virtually) met some great people. People who inspires me, who makes me think differently and people who teach me something new everyday. It is a weird and wonderful thing to get to know total strangers through the work they put out there, and it is even more wonderfully weird to find the inspiration you are looking for through this. Sometimes I need a bit of advice or I need to know how people dealt with an issue that I am currently facing; and it comforts me to know that I am not alone in my struggles.

4) Meeting new people

I absolutely love the feeling when I published a post and someone can relate to it. I love it when I receive thoughtful comments from people who just want to let me know that they liked something I wrote. It is a wonderful feeling to know that at least one person has read what I had to say and that it made an impression enough for them to take a minute out of their busy lives to leave a comment.

5) Path of discovery

I don’t have the luxury to pack my things and leave for an unforeseeable amount of time to travel the world in the name of finding myself. So blogging is it for me (for now). I get to explore different paths that I would not otherwise venture off into, and at the same time create a portfolio for myself for the future. I came to the realization recently, that I have not yet found my “passion” and maybe I have a passion for lots of things – this is a space for me to sort out the chaos inside my head in hopes of finding it.

Thank you to every single person who took the time out of their busy lives to like or comment on a post. Thank you to the people who are following this blog, who are in a way sharing my journey as I attempt to find what it is that I want out of life. I appreciate it all and I hope that it continues to be my happy place that I can be proud of for years to come.

– Nihaad

5 things I’ve learned studying engineering

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I’m not sure if I ever mentioned it, but I studied Civil Engineering. My husband will be graduating this week (also in Civil Engineering) and I am so incredibly proud of his achievement because I know just how hard he worked to get to this point. So in honour of his achievement, these are 5 things I/ we have learnt from studying Engineering:

1) How to keep cool under pressure

During first year I felt as if I was drowning in the work load that hit me from every direction and it was a challenge to adjust to university fresh out of high school. I thought if I got through first year then the rest would be much simpler. Boy, was I wrong! As the years rolled by it became increasingly harder, and looking back now it all seems like a blur. Studying engineering taught me how to keep calm under pressure. Sitting through the exam with your brain almost fried because you are struggling to find a way to balance your equation, blatantly aware of the seconds ticking away, you learn to keep calm. You realise very quickly that if you freak out and start panicking, you will mess everything up.

2) The purpose of mathematics

You know in school, when you are sitting in a math class and you ask the teacher, “Where are we EVER going to use this??”. I found my answer studying Engineering. Mathematics is a language used to understand the science that explains the world around us. It gave me an understanding of how elements of the Earth react in a certain way and how it can be used to our advantage, or how it needs to be changed in order to improve the specific design. I also developed an appreciation for a calculator! When I learned the function to solve integrals and matrices, I was so happy and excited; you would have thought someone invented time travel! (Yes, I’m a nerd; and I’m proud of it!)

3) ask questions

Engineering is a field that requires one to solve problems, scientifically. But in order for you to answer any question, you need to have an idea of what the question actually is. I learnt the importance of asking questions (perhaps unnervingly so) if something does not make sense. I learnt not to accept things at face value, but to keep searching for facts that can put things into perspective for me.

4) Time management

During preparation for exams it wasn’t only about knowing and understanding the work, it was also about working efficiently with the time given to complete the test. You see, it didn’t really matter how much you knew if you couldn’t apply that knowledge in the set time. I learnt how to work smart so that I could produce my best work and meet the deadline. And now, in the professional world, I am able to manage my time effectively and get the work done that I have set for myself to complete by the end of the day.

5) Don’t give up

It is ok to fail and it is ok to make mistakes. It’s not the end of the world if this happens. During my studies I met people from all walks of life. These people persevered and pushed through no matter what, because they simply wanted to qualify themselves and better their lives. I learnt the importance of working smart, being dedicated and to never give up on the goals you have set for yourself. I learnt that sometimes getting a second chance at something is better for you because you are able to correct your mistakes and see things more clearly.

What have you learned during your studies that helps you today?

– Nihaad

Why you should not care what people think

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Something that I am becoming increasingly aware of, is that most of us tend to care far too much about what other people think of us. It can be a good thing if it allows you to perform to the best of your abilities, but in most cases it has far more negative effects. This is my little list of why you should stop caring what other people think:

1) It will make you happy
As long as you worry about the opinions of others’, it will control the way you live your life. You will be miserable. You will constantly try to please everyone around you which is impossible to do! Focus on what you want, and what brings you joy – this way you know for sure that at least one person (and the most important person, in this case) is happy.

2) You will be less stressed
If you try to please everyone around you because you’re so concerned that they might think badly of you, it will stress you out to no end. The faster you learn to not let it get to you, the faster you will get rid of the unnecessary stress it causes. There is so much more you can gain from a single day if you cut out the negativity that comes with worrying about another person’s opinion. At the end of the day, if your choice makes you sleep better at night and puts an extra bit of bounce in your step, then that is all that matters really.

3) You will not resent others’
If you are not following a path that YOU have chosen for yourself, you will become resentful. This could make you really bitter because you will not be able to be happy for the next person who does their own thing as it reminds you of the possibilities you might have missed. And so the vicious cycle continues its rapid spin; creating another unhappy, cynical person in this world, who places the exact kind of stress on another person – the same kind of stress, mind you, that you were trying to avoid for yourself to start with.

4) You cannot make everyone happy
And quite frankly, you shouldn’t try! Those who matter will support you and encourage you to do what you want to do, simply because they want to see you happy. Anyone who has something negative to say based on choices you make (that you feel are the right ones for you) are people who are not brave enough to take the necessary steps required to change their own lives for the better.

It can be extremely difficult to ignore what people think. Sometimes we do it without meaning to and it causes more harm than good most of the time. But in order to find peace and happiness, in order to be satisfied with the choices you have made for yourself, you need to figure out how to stop caring too much about what others’ have to say. Live your life for yourself – you will thank yourself one day!

– Nihaad

50 things that makes me happy

Yesterday I got tagged by the lovely Karen from Confetti and Curves in a fun little challenge to list 50 Things That Makes Me Happy. This is the first time I was nominated to complete a blog challenge so I was super excited to accept the invitation – I really enjoyed making this list and I hope you enjoy reading.

Now, it goes without saying that what makes me most happy is my marriage, my family and friends, and all that I’ve achieved up until this point in my life. So I will be listing some of the random things that makes me smile, and some of the little things in life that I may tend to over look. These are the 50 Things That Makes Me Happy:

1. Making my husband laugh – his laugh is infectious!
2. My Mum’s food and advice she gives when ever I need it
3. Long conversations about life with my Dad – and his hugs of course
4. Evening family time with my in-laws
5. Reading a good book that you cannot wait to share with another person
6. Winter – and all that comes with it
7. Ginger sweets – it makes me feel so warm
8. When the house is clean
9. A strong cup of tea with just the right amount of sugar
10. Sleep!! I love my sleep
11. Watching reruns of my favourite series
12. Walking on the beach breathing in the fresh ocean air
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13. Doing something adventurous
14. Blogging!!
15. Jumping into my onesie pyjamas
16. The smell of petrol or permanent markers
17. That earthy smell after a rainstorm
18. When my favourite song plays on the radio
19. Good Sci-Fi movies – i.e. Anything by Marvel
20. When India wins a cricket match
21. The feeling when I put my glasses back on after I’ve cleaned them – I can see clearly now…
22. When a baby smiles at me!!
23. Pay day!! Haha
24. Staying at home all day being lazy with the husband
25. After the initial feeling of guilt for over indulging – buying books!
26. Ice-cream – it just makes everything better
27. When I buy a sale item and get to the till, only to have them say its been marked down even further! – SCORE!!
28. Laughing so much that my stomach hurts – I’ve yet to meet a person who doesn’t enjoy this
29. Sitting in front of a fire
30. Exploring new places
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31. When you’re driving and the road makes an unexpected dip and your stomach does that tumbling thing
32. Meeting new people from all over the world through blogging
33. Going home after a long day at work
35. Macaroons – yummy!!
37. When my tablet is fully charged
38. A long, hot shower
39. Gift shopping for someone else
40. Making a difference in someone’s life no matter how small
41. Inside jokes with the hubby
42. Fluffy socks
43. The smell of books
44. Eid morning (and lunch)
45. Getting a gift for no reason
46. Looking through old photo albums and reminiscing about life that used to be
47. The crisp of clean sheets
48. Taking photos – I find I really enjoy photography
49. When I’ve been struggling with a problem for days on end and then I finally get the correct answer!
50. And just for extra emphasis – MY FAMILY!!

That’s all folks – My 50 Things That Makes Me Happy . Thanks again to Karen – the sweetheart behind Confetti and Curves – for nominating me to take part in the challenge; I had so much fun writing this!! Visit her beautiful blog where she talks about all things glitzy and glamorous; from beauty to fashion and some helpful tips to plan your dream wedding.

I hereby tag the following fellow bloggers to complete this challenge:

Candice – Beauty Candy Loves

Poppie Tee – Poppie Tee

Nadia – My Hartjie

Razaan – My Passion for my Little Minions

Tasneem – City Girl Vibe

(And anyone else who would like to complete this challenge, please feel free!!)

I really hope you girls accept the challenge – I would love to read all about the 50 things that makes you happy!

– Nihaad

My 4 university tips

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I miss varsity. The ability to answer: “I am studying”, when people ask what you’re doing with your life, instead of having to explain what it is you do for a living. Taking personal days when you want to do nothing but lie in bed and watch reruns of your favourite TV shows. I miss the freedom!! And even though I am excited about moving forward as an adult with responsibilities, I think I could’ve done some things differently to help pave the way for the next step. So if you’re still in university and you’re looking for a few ways to enrich your experience, this is for you. If you’re not, well, then you can reminisce on the good old days when you could wear sloppy jeans and flip flops when you just feel lazy.

#1 Travel

I know this sounds crazy because while studying you’re usually broke. But I only realized later that there are so many amazing opportunities for students to travel. You could teach English as a foreign language, work on a cruise and tour the world by sea, you could volunteer to pick apples in Australia for crying out loud!!

#2 Network

I mentioned before how important it is to network because it can open doors to new opportunities. It is even better when you start early. University is the perfect place to start because you can build your contact list with people who know you better than passing acquaintances.

#3 Start a new hobby

When I was studying I always felt like I had no time. I could not have been more wrong! During your time on varsity is when you have all the time and opportunity to do what you want. Start a new hobby and try new things which could build your skills and broaden your field of interest. It will come in handy in the future and it can be something to add to your blank CV. Start a blog, take up photography or go surfing; the possibilities are endless.

#4 Build your skills

Don’t limit yourself to your curriculum. Try to find skills that will be useful in your career or develop new skills in areas outside your course. Your time on university is a great place to do this because like I said, you have all the time you need. Brush up on your computer skills, learn how to cook or try tutoring to improve your communication skills. Simple tasks that we tend to overlook can really serve as an opportunity to build the skills you may need in the near future.

What tips do you have for those looking to make the most of their days on University?

– Nihaad

A few things I’ve learnt since working

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I started my first “official” job some months ago, in the field for which I have studied – Civil Engineering. The reason for me writing this post is that I wanted to share what I have learnt during these last few months in industry. Maybe it would help anyone who is starting out, or it could give some insight as to what those who are still headed for this experience can expect.

#1 it’s all about the networking

These days the working world is extremely saturated. Having a good academic record and resume is not necessarily going to land you your dream job. This is why it is so important to network, as it gives you the opportunity to build your connections in the field you plan on starting a career in. Meeting new people and reconnecting with old acquaintances broadens your horizons with different opportunities that could be useful not only now, but in the future too.

#2 You are going to make mistakes, LOTS of them

The sooner you accept this, the better. It will shake your confidence in ways that you never thought possible, but it is the way you build experience. The only way to perfect your skills and improve in your work is to make mistakes so that you can learn from them. People might get frustrated with you and you may think you are useless at your job, but don’t give up. Your boss was in your position once too, and as long as you fix your mistakes and learn from it you should not be so hard on yourself.

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#3 Try to think of it as a stepping stone

Your first job may not be your dream job and you may feel frustrated about this. But you should remember that the experience you are gaining today will count in your favour for your future job application. It may help to think of your first job (or any job) as a stepping stone required to get you to the place you wish to be in your career. Make the most out of it so that you can slowly build the path for where you want to be one day.

#4 Always uphold your good reputation

Where ever you work, remember that you are leaving your mark at that company. It’s completely up to you what kind of mark you want to leave. Be someone that your team can depend on by simply showing up to work on time. Being late shows a complete lack of respect towards the people you’re working with – which is not a good impression you want people to have of you. Try to build a good reputation at your place of work because you always want your ex-employer to be a good reference for you when/if you decide to leave.

#5 Find a balance between work and play

Everyone needs to find this balance. Your life cannot revolve around your work, but at the same time you can’t allow your personal life to affect your job. People are depending on you in both aspects of your life. Try to produce your best work during working hours. If you can do this then there is no reason for you to sacrifice your free time.

#6 It doesn’t happen over night

You are not going to become an expert in your field over night. You have to be prepared to work hard and build yourself up so that you are an asset to your company, or so that the next person would want to hire you. Continue to educate yourself and develop the skills you need to stay up to date with the ever changing world out there.

#7 Be a sponge

Absorb every bit of information and every ounce of knowledge thrown your way. Ask questions when you’re unsure about something and don’t be afraid if you don’t know. Remember that whoever is giving you this information was once where you are. They too knew very little and had to ask questions in order to gain knowledge to become the professionals that they are today. Sometimes your boss or mentor expects you to know something, which is really unfair if you’ve never dealt with a certain situation before. Do research and try to soak up as much as you can, so that you can improve at your job.

What advice can you give based on what you’ve learnt in the working world?

– Nihaad