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.

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.

Convention OOTD

Fashion

Happy holidays everyone! This past Friday and Saturday, I spent my days purifying my soul and enhancing my spirituality through lectures and workshops at a religious convention called Texas Dawah Convention. I was bewildered by the number of community members that showed up to unite and learn together, with even some who travelled across America just to attend. The lectures consisted of topics about dealing with Islamophobia, how Trump’s presidency impacts us, respecting our elders, giving charity, the influence of social media and creative art on our generation, gender identity in Islam, and a tour of paradise. There was even a workshop where we could ask questions to two FBI agents, and we ended the convention with a comedy show by Jeremy McLellan. It was interesting how varied these topics were because I came home with different perspectives to ponder upon.

Here is my OOTD for the second convention day.

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Shop my look

High Neck Top: Forever 21

M-Slit Cardigan: Forever 21

Palazzo Pants: Charlotte Russe

Strappy Ankle Heels: Forever 21

Watch: Fossil

Scarf: Get it on AliExpress here

Water Permeable Nail Polish: Tuesday in Love – YOLO, $12

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

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

Lipstick: Maybelline Super Stay 14hr Lipstick – Enduring Ruby, $7

Watch this tutorial to get my hijab look & check out ColourPop Ultra Matte swatches here!

Make sure to request on my Instagram/Twitter/Snapchat/Facebook @rafafarihah any other OOTD ideas you want me to try!

Simone Manuel, the “Black Swimmer”

Lifestyle

Simone Manuel has made a remarkable achievement this year after becoming the first African-American woman to win an Olympic individual swimming event. What is amazing is that I went to high school with Simone two years ago. She graduated a year before I did. Although I did not personally know her, the fact that a normal teenager from a community I am from was able to reach such great heights, shows that any amount of dedication and perseverance can help you achieve your dreams.

It’s a shame that many undermine her strenuous training and stamina by placing her on a pedestal for being a “black swimmer” who won a gold medal. I mean of course, it is a step in the right direction, just like having our first black president, and maybe someday we may have our first female president. It’s okay to acknowledge it once. But giving her so much attention solely on the fact that she is black, seems like a slap in the face for the work she has done, just like any other competitor.