Picnic Blankets and Pina Coladas

Fashion

Fall is in the air and new styles are trending. Shopping for chic but modest outfits that don’t break that bank is like searching for a needle in a haystack. It’s vexing to scour heaps of clothes only to find one embroidered long sleeve top that ends up costing $50.

So I have resorted to online shopping and I don’t mean on the sites of mainstream retail stores. My friend Merziya  introduced to Boohoo and Shein which, to be honest, I was a little skeptical about. Online stores don’t give me the option of returning clothes at the physical store and quickly picking out an alternative.

Minimalism: Less is more

Fashion

It’s officially the first day of fall but this Houston heat hasn’t backed down even a smidge. It might even be mid to late October till we get a cool breeze around here during the daytime. My wardrobe sure as hell won’t be waiting around for that (trust me, we’d be waiting till January for a decent drop in temperature).

It’s a new season, and I’ve got a new fashion approach I’m willing to take on. It’s trending, it’s in, and it’s what all the broke college kids are talking about these days — minimalism. You mean like minimal body coverage? Ummm, no. It doesn’t mean minimal effort either. Minimalism is about living with fewer material possessions and making the most of what you have so you can focus on what’s really important in life. This can mean redecorating your home in the simplest way possible, reducing clutter, and donating things you really don’t need.

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?

Summer Lookbook

Fashion

I hope everyone is having a fantastic summer! This summer has kicked off to a great start, with Ramadan already half way through and a looming internship in the big apple. I know it’s been a while since I posted here so I promise I am going to get back into it.

Filming this lookbook took a great deal of work, but boy was it worth it. I really do hope you enjoy it and maybe even end up buying some of the statement pieces. The looks were meant to be as diverse as possible, with different styles and color schemes.

RAMA-WHAT?

Thoughts

What is Ramadan?

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is considered a Holy month by Muslims across the globe. Muslims endure a month of daily fasting in order to honor the first time the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him), according to Islamic belief. This month lasts 29–30 days based on the sightings of the crescent moon.

This year, Ramadan begins on June 6 and lasts until July 5. We celebrate the end of Ramadan with the religious holiday Eid al-Fitr (or just Eid).

I Felt Numb After Watching 13 Reasons Why

Thoughts

For those of you who have been living under a rock with Patrick Star, Selena Gomez has produced a Netflix original series — an adaptation of the Jay Asher novel, 13 Reasons Why. The entire plot revolves around suicide. If you are sensitive to this issue, consider this a trigger warning, in which case, please do not read on. Also *SPOILER ALERT* if you haven’t seen/completed the show.

This post is a response to this article written by a psychotherapist.

Spring Break Getaway OOTD

Fashion

During spring break a few weeks ago, my family decided to go on a mid-week getaway at a secluded resort in Austin, Texas. Barton Creek Resorts was beautiful, surrounded by flourishing plants. Greenery pervaded the acreage as we had a front-view of the golf course from our window. This technology-free vacation was exactly what I needed to reconnect with my family and take my mind off of worldly stress. I left that back at home. There was a cute nature trail and mini-golf course right by the outdoor pool on the cliff overlooking the large bodies of water and surrounding mansions. The sight was breathtaking. I finally had my chance to eat out for almost every meal, trying new varieties like Vietnamese Pho and Japanese California rolls.

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.

me

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.

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 “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.

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 “Oh I am sorry. That must have sucked,” 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.

funny

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’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