4 Ways to Celebrate Galentine’s Day in Houston

Take a Chill Pill, Wellness
DID AMY POEHLER KNOW WHAT SHE WAS PUTTING OUT INTO THE WORLD when her character Leslie Knope invented Galentine’s Day on Parks and Recreation? Heartbreak and single syndrome can be combatted by sobbing over a tub of Chunky Monkey during a Sex & the City marathon, sure, but who needs men anyway? But whether or not you have someone to celebrate with on the 14th, Galentine’s Day has already moved from rom-com cliché to real-world holiday. Here’s four ways to celebrate it in Houston.

 

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Retail Therapy

It’s time to melt that block of ice inside with your credit card. Grab your flush friends and sign up for a Galentine’s Day Shopping Soiree ($65-$140) on Saturday through Houston Shopping Tours. The afternoon event includes signature cocktails, entertainment, chauffeured cruisers, party favors and exclusive discounts at Houston’s hottest boutiques.

Looking Good Is The Best Revenge

They say never to make big hair changes post-break-up, but we think this counts as an exception. Why stick to the conventional Valentine’s Day Hallmark card when you can wear your heart on your hairline? Birds Barbershop in the Heights is offering lovebirds a discounted price of $14 (get it? for Valentine’s?) for a buzz cut with a heart or arrow etched into their hairdo. The offer is good now through Tuesday, but you might as well show up on Monday (yes, they’re open) for the Galentine’s Night party featuring complementary bubbly, a Verb hydrating mask hair treatment and blowout and a wild dance party to beats by DJ Girlfriend.

Girly Getaway

There’s nothing like a suite escape away from the city life. Pamper yourself with a girlfriend getaway at the luxurious Hotel Sorella inside Houston’s CityCentre development. Sip on cosmos poolside, shop at all the stores without having to find a parking spot, sample Italian light bites from Radio Milano, indulge in a hot stone massage at the spa, or attend the matinee premiere of Fifty Shades Darker on Feb. 14.

Bust The Windows

Not every girl’s night out has to be full of cute and kumbaya. Hold onto your sledgehammers and baseball helmets, because this Galentine’s Day is going to get violent. The only place that encourages destruction and vandalism of property, Houston’s Rage Room is a hub for people who want to let loose. No, breaking a bunch of stuff won’t heal your broken heart but it helps a little bit. Whether you are stressed out, a recent divorcee, lost your job, or just want to have fun, simply pay the entry fee, get geared up and start smashing!

Farewell to Super Bowl Fever : 2017 MAXIM Party

Culture, Fashion & Beauty, Take a Chill Pill, Wellness

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” while tossing them everything from DNCE “currency” 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.

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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 “Antidote.”

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.

Goodbye 2016…Hello to a Fresh Start

Blog, Motivation & Inspiration, Take a Chill Pill, Wellness

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.

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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’s 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 Average Black Girl

Motivation & Inspiration, Wellness

No one should be considered “average,” let alone an “average black girl.” For that matter, no one should be compared to a stereotype for any race. Each person is unique and special in their own way. Be proud of who you are and where your ancestors originated from. Strive to be the best representation of yourself and your role models, not some stereotype that misrepresents your individual character and personality. Some stereotypes may even be positive, but it’s not right to assume a person is something just because of the color of their skin.

I read in the news that Versace allegedly has a special store “code” that alerts the employees every time a black customer steps into the store. The employees say “D410” to each other when this happens so they can keep a close eye on the customer.

There was a recent viral video about a black woman entering Victoria’s Secret with her friend to shop for lingerie. Earlier that day, another black woman stole some merchandise, so an employee assumed they were in on the crime together and asked the customer to leave. However, she never questioned any of the white customers who entered the store. Unfair practices like these are what are reverting the social development of this country. This is the epitome of racial profiling.

Can You Find the Mystery in This Video?

Motivational Video, Wellness

I found this video to be so cute initially…until I watched till the end. Keep your eyes peeled while watching this and try to find the hidden message throughout, before it is revealed.

SPOILER ALERT BELOW

It’s always important to determine the early signs of violent behavior and address it before it is too late. Anger is one of those things that doesn’t go away if it is ignored or bottled up in your heart. The grudges keep building up until one day, you just explode and let out those feelings, and not in a good way. Cry if you have to. You aren’t pathetic or weak because you cry. I know I do it a lot when I am stressed. I promise you will only feel better afterwards. Talking to a friend or someone who wants to help is a good idea. Seeing a professional can be even better if you feel like you can trust one better than someone you already know. If you need anything at all or just someone to talk to, feel free to email me and we can chat there. You can find my email in the “About Me” tab of my blog.

I recently started watching the Scream TV series, which is about a serial killer who strategically plots the murders of the main character’s friends to ultimately get to her. I won’t reveal anything just in case you want to watch. I absolutely love this show, but it got me thinking about real life serial killers. No one is born with deranged thoughts. Even Ted Bundy was brought up by wonderful parents. He was never bullied, sexually assaulted, abused, or tormented in any way. He developed these graphic thoughts over time with exposure to pornography and various other sources, as he says in an interview hours before his execution. So the point is, talking to someone about how you are feeling is always a good idea. If it’s someone else you are worried about, approach them in a comforting and nonjudgemental way.

Casual College OOTD

Fashion & Beauty, Motivation & Inspiration, Wellness

Nowadays, especially in the midst of election season, hostility seems to have taken over as the dominant emotion during social interactions. It’s important to use the Golden Rule of treating others as you would like to be treated. It’s okay to disagree, but do it respectfully because we are all entitled to our own opinions. I have a challenge for you. Make at least one person smile today by performing an act of kindness. It can be a big gesture, or even a tiny one.

I made a video of five things you can do to warm someone’s heart. Please like and share the video so we can spread the love with others.

Now let’s get back to the outfit of the day.

I like to look presentable wherever I go, and it’s not to please others. Looking good is one more thing to get out of the way, so people can focus on what I am saying. Isn’t that why we are encouraged to wear standard black suits to interviews? A shabby outfit should never be the reason you aren’t taken seriously. Besides that, I live and breathe fashion, so if I do look nice, it’s to express myself and give my life a pop of color.

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Shop my look

Plaid Shirt: Forever 21

Arizona Jeans: JCPenney

Converse: Journeys

Scarf: Get it on AliExpress here

So I changed up my makeup products because I needed a closer shade to my skin tone.

Concealer: Kat Von D Lock-It Concealer – Medium 29, $24

Eyebrow Liner: Walmart; Salon Perfect Brow Pomade- Dark Brown, $5

Lipstick: ColourPop Ultra Matte Liquid Lipstick – Trap, $6

Watch this tutorial to get my hijab look and check out ColourPop Ultra Matte swatches here! I swatched the ColourPop Metallic Lipsticks as well.

Make sure to request on my Instagram/Twitter/Snapchat/Facebook any other makeup swatches/tutorials you want to see or other OOTD ideas you want me to try!

The Origins of Halloween

Motivation & Inspiration, Wellness

It’s Halloween! This is the perfect way to start off the week, so get your costumes on and bring the pumpkins out. But did you know what the origins of this “joyful” holiday are? Nothing but eerie.

Regardless, Halloween happens to be at the top of my Favorite Holidays list. I try not to think too deeply about the way it started because most people just go for free candy and because it’s fun to dress up for a night. Tonight, I plan to visit a haunted house and go trick-or-treating. Look forward to a jack-o-lantern photo tomorrow, but bear with me since this will be my first time. For those of you going out, please stay safe, watch out for clowns, and always check your candy first.

What do you think about Halloween?

I went to a Halloween party on Friday and I have to admit that getting ready was my favorite part of the night. I did both of our makeup. We went as the possessed cowgirl and a broken doll. Scary, huh?

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