New York Bound and Newly Found

Self

First thing’s first, let’s talk about how fast this summer has swung by. Life took over and the next thing I knew, I hadn’t blogged in months. College has me back in the rhythm of things and this fall weather is looking oh, so good. Hold your horses. It’s not boot season yet, folks.

So what have I been up to lately? Don’t worry, I wasn’t just lazing around all summer long on my couch binge watching Grey’s, as tempting as that sounds. I wouldn’t be putting this baby on the backburner if it wasn’t something big. If you’ve been following me on Instagram and Snapchat (@rafafarihah), then you should know that I was spending my time as a news video intern at BuzzFeed New York. That’s right. New York City. You know, the concrete jungle where dreams are made of?

You Won’t Believe What I Found While Cleaning My Bag

Self
Hello blogger friends! I hope everyone has been having a great week so far. I used a YouTube video as an excuse to clean out my bag. Don’t judge me¬†ūüôą
Is it just me or do you have a lot of trash at the bottom of your bag too? Comment below some of the most interesting things you’ve found! Subscribe and like please!

Follow me on Instagram @rafafarihah for fun updates¬†on my life and clumsy moments you won’t want to miss.

From Fandom to Fashion

Self

I peeked around the corner of the street and there they were. Hundreds of odd looking anime characters. Some presumably schoolgirls, and others, disturbingly ugly creatures that you’d think would haunt you in your nightmares during the depths of the night.

5 Beauty Hacks for Clear Skin & An Update on My Life

Self

Hi friends! Boy, has it been ages since my last post on here. I have a lot to catch you up on, from my acne flare up to my mental health. So here goes.

Not a single pimple in the year 2016 until the gloomy day of December 31, 2016. I thought I could keep the streak going, but my luck just isn’t that considerate towards me. Now I have a bunch of tiny friends popping up every few days, but luckily I restarted my clear skin routine that I made a video of below. It’s kind of going away, but considering the fact that my eating and sleep habits have been erratic, I don’t expect the superficial remedies to work¬†optimally. As far as my New Year’s resolution of working out consistently, I can kiss that one goodbye. The fourth time I worked out this year, was three days ago. I know, please stop cringing.

Farewell to Super Bowl Fever : 2017 MAXIM Party

Self

Did you show your patriot-ism for the Falcons last Sunday? Am I funny yet?

It was a one of a kind game, making history for the first Super Bowl overtime. As a Patriots fan, I was undoubtedly disappointed during the first half. I nearly gave up hope (until Gaga’s halftime performance of course), but when my Internet resumed to stream the game¬†after a brief lag, I noticed the Patriots went from 12 to 20 on the scoreboard. Like I said, Gaga makes everything better. The Patriot’s comeback was mind-blowing.

I sat on floor in front of my LCD TV, legs sprawled out, moping till the fourth quarter while I snuck in¬†whatever few homework questions I could during the commercials. Unfortunately, most of them weren’t even good. What I did notice was that many of them centered around the topic of inclusion and diversity. Budweiser, on the other hand, straight up made a commercial about immigration. Subtle much?

I have to admit the Skittles ad was my favorite, mainly because that was the only remotely engaging commercial that genuinely made me laugh out loud (and I don’t mean a courtesy chuckle).

Living in Houston, Super Bowl fever was prevalent in my life, whether I liked it or not. Super Bowl propaganda, radio promotions for free concert tickets, significantly longer commutes to college the week before, constant construction to widen highways and revamp the bridges are among some of them. The constant buzz about all eyes being on Houston was kind of empowering, though. When does Houston ever get this kind of exposure? The city officials even had the downtown homeless population relocated to the outskirts, to give tourists the illusion that downtown Houston is pristine beyond gentrification.

Now that it’s all over, it feels weird. What now? What happens on December 26 after¬†you hype up the entire month for¬†Christmas?

So I started my fellowship at Houstonia Magazine this past January. I absolutely love it because of all the new experiences I get, and interesting people I meet. One of these amazing events I was privileged to attend was the 2017 MAXIM Super Bowl Party on Feb. 4, which happened to be at a new venue around five minutes from my house.

I bought myself a Tadashi Shoji gown from Nordstrom Rack for $87 that morning. What I realized during the party was that there was an inch-long thumb tack embedded within the dress which poked out the entire night, scraping my arm. I now have a 2-inch scab by my left elbow. There is no way I am keeping this dress.

The party was phenomenal, and probably my once in a lifetime experience being invited to a celebrity event as a member of the media. I had a press pass and everything, granting me access to every nook and cranny of the arena.  Even VIP backstage with free valet parking.

Six rounds of security checks and a metal detector separated guests from the party entrance as celebrities waltzed down the red carpet.

Singers, reality show stars, celebrity wannabes, and fans took to the Smart Financial Center, looking like a million bucks. You could see the fuchsia-lit stadium from miles away. Stunt motorcyclists flew through the air at the Monster Energy FMX Motorcycle Show outside the center, which had been transformed into a glamorous party hall. Models danced on illuminated platforms as waiters served light bites.

Famous faces we’d seen on TV and in tabloids stood inches away. Patriots cheerleaders walked out of their bus, posing in their cocktail dresses for the flashing cameras. Pop stars Fergie and Nick Cannon were there, as was Rocket James Harden and Dallas heartthrob Chace Crawford from Gossip Girl. Chace passed by me on the red carpet, as he avoided most of the media, keeping a low profile before hopping to another party with Fergie.

Even Ludacris made the bash. Some stayed only for a bit before hopping to other parties, while others spent the entire evening in their private suites. I spoke with Texans player Andre Hal and his girlfriend. I interviewed a Patriots cheerleader, former Cheetah girl Adrienne Bailon, Bow Wow, and even Olivia Caridi from the last season of The Bachelor.

As guests entered the grand hall, they were greeted with bright red lights, blaring music, lingerie models, and elaborate displays of macarons, cupcakes, and spiked ice cream. The Monster Energy Lounge and the open bar kept the audience in good spirits throughout the night. After crowds spent hours socializing, at around eleven, the performances got underway and everyone went insane.
Agile, graceful, acrobatic dancers hung from the ceiling on red ribbons as DJ Khaled dropped beats. DJ Khaled is cool and all, but a DJ can only entertain the crowd so much before he just gets boring, as he stands behind a booth for an entire hour scrambling to find a song we aren’t already tired of hearing on the radio. It got boring after 20 minutes, and I was left¬†there swaying to the music for 40 minutes as I prayed for DNCE to swoop in to save me from my boredom.

DNCE came on at midnight and got the crowd screaming along to hits “Cake by the Ocean” and “Toothbrush‚ÄĚ while tossing them everything from DNCE ‚Äúcurrency‚ÄĚ and roses, to beach balls and sex dolls. Yes, it was weird. I was front row in the VIP section during DNCE’s¬†performance.¬†Joe Jonas (aka my crush since the 3rd grade) held my hand twice during his brief performance. Just when I thought I died, I was reincarnated, and died again the second time. Ok I’m done fangirling.

Maxim Super Bowl Party - Inside

Me awkwardly staring at my phone despite being beside the love of my life.

Travis Scott ended the night at around 2:30 as the partiers roared along to his hit ‚ÄúAntidote.‚ÄĚ

Follow me on IG @rafafarihah to see my interviews and photos with some of the stars. I will have a MAXIM makeup tutorial video out tomorrow on my YouTube channel.

Check out my original Houstonia article here with a video of the event.

6 Things Anyone Who Moves A Lot Knows

Self

As a child, I was raised by parents who decided to move around every one or two years, whether it was because of a job far away, or shifting from an apartment to a suburban town home of our very own. Some people say ‚ÄúOh I am sorry. That must have sucked,‚ÄĚ but in retrospect, you think it was pretty awesome to get cultured in so many ways. Sure, it was stressful¬†at first but I learned to adjust.

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If you were one of those kids, you definitely relate to the following list:

1. Everyone assumes your dad was in the army.

And when you tell them he wasn’t, you have to sit through an entire conversation explaining why you moved so much, and how it really wasn’t as bad as they presume it to be.

2. Everywhere you travel, you will have a group of friends close by.

Going to Austin City Limits music festival and you need a place to crash? No problem! You know your bestie from high school goes to UT and she can totally hook you up with a place to stay.

3. You know how to determine which friends are keepers.

With the number of people you have met, you already know which guy is the jerk just by looking at him. You also know which friends are worth hanging on to for life. #squadgoals for real.

4.  College was an easier transition for you than it was for most people.

New place and new friends? You got this! Talking to people and starting fresh is your forte. You probably even have the emotional strength of a Scorpio and emanate confidence to all your peers.

5. When people ask you where you’re originally from, you tell them the place you lived longest or the place you lived last.

Be honest, your answer to this question changes a lot but who is there to check? I think it’s pretty awesome saying you are from New Jersey, Texas, and India.

6. Your personality is a combination of fragments from all the different places you lived in.

You wouldn’t have been the person you are today, even if you hadn’t lived in one of those areas. You got your accent from Kentucky, a huge appetite from Texas, your love for rap music from New York, and met your soul mate on a mission trip to China. Say what?

Goodbye 2016…Hello to a Fresh Start

Self

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a safe New Year’s Eve celebration. I know I had to get home before midnight, when drunk driving peaks to an all time high in the year.

drinking-and-duis-during-the-holidays-infographic-download

For New Year’s Eve I spent the night at a family friend dinner party as I stuffed my mouth with food. We ended up reaching my house at 11 pm, when my best friend came over and we walked around the neighborhood in our PJ’s to watch the fireworks. It’s become a tradition of sorts and I always wear my TMNT fleece onesie. Not only were we on a hunt for the radiant explosions of colors in the murky sky, but we were desperately trying to capture the fireworks on Snapchat and Instagram.

My neighbors were¬†having a New Year’s bash in their backyard with the radio blaring and a parade of fireworks. My friend and I stood in their lawn, phones ready to Snapchat, as we danced and screamed along to the songs like the children we are in our hearts. I am pretty sure the party people heard us but as soon as someone began walking towards the front of the house, we¬†bolted. Crazy, adventurous moments like these make up my highlights of the year.¬†This exhilaration is what I look forward to in 2017.

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Here are my New Year resolutions:

  1. Be more compassionate, generous, and hopeful
  2. Spend more time with friends and family
  3. Be more consistent with YouTube, IG, and blog posts
  4. Hustle Hustle Hustle
  5. Work out everyday even if it’s just for 10 minutes
  6. Smile and laugh more
  7. Go on crazy spontaneous adventures
  8. Eat healthier and sleep on time
  9. Submit a short film to SXSW

Highlights of 2016:

  • Made amazing friends and memories¬†
  • First road trip and weekend getaway
  • Smooth transition after transferring colleges
  • Started YouTube channel; first 200 subscribers on Jan 1
  • My own radio show
  • Contributor for Elite Daily, MissMuslim, Society19 and Her Campus
  • Support from you all¬†
  • Landed an internship for Spring 2017
  • Cooked my first 4 course meal with friends
  • Arlington and Austin trip with friends
  • Toured a news station
  • Went to Canada
  • Atif Aslam and Sonu Nigam concert
  • Crashed into a hotel room with friends
  • All A‚Äôs in business
  • Awards for singing and writing

Downfalls of 2016:

  • Car accident
  • Rough times in my personal¬†life
  • Crazy elections
  • Trump is president
  • Deaths of famous personalities and community members
  • Paris attacks
  • Terror in Aleppo and other countries

There might have been several terrible events that happened last year but don’t give up hope! Alhamdulillah (Praise God) for everything. Here is a video that will start off your new year with a laugh.

How was your New Year’s¬†Eve and what were your highlights? Let me know in the comments below. Follow me on Instagram @rafafarihah¬†

The Day After the End of Time

Self

It was December 21, 2012. I woke up at the dusk of dawn hyperventilating from a nightmare, my body aching with shooting pains accompanied by the sensation of my brain throbbing against my skull. Apart from my own discomfort, something was terribly wrong and my conscience was not permitting me to believe otherwise. The city of Los Angeles was in turmoil knowing all the prophecies of doomsday associated with the date 12.21.12 but my family did not raise me to believe in such notions. I was a firm believer in science. Then why was I feeling this way?

I went about my normal day trying to remain oblivious to the local gossip, refusing to worry about something I knew was not going to happen. The more I went along with this attitude, the stranger the events seemed to me. At noon, I could hear the tides of the Hermosa beach in front of my home crashing vigorously as the ground began to tremble and break in ripples like an unsteady pond. My parents and younger sister began shrieking my name. Our first instinct was to bolt outside before our abode crumbled to pieces on us. Upon reaching the beach, we met with a tide higher than anything I had ever seen, enveloping us with a shadow so dark as if it were about to consume us. My family and I held hands and prayed. Whatever happened, we would be in it together. We thought there was no possible measure we could take, but to wait for the colossal tsunami to hit us while we still had our dignity and solidarity.

I knew what was about to happen. This was no ordinary earthquake on the San Andreas fault. The Mayans were right¬†about their Mayan Long Count¬†calendar and I was a fool. This was the last earthquake, larger¬†than any Richter scale could measure. This ‘earthquake’ would wipe out all life forms as we knew it. But this didn’t happen quite as it should have. Here I am telling you my story. My family and others somehow managed to make it out safely. No life would be worth living without them, and they are my saviors.

We are survivors.