Mini-Outing for Anniversary

It’s been four years, alhamdulillah. Wouldn’t have it any other way or be with anyone else. We’ve both learned so much from each other and have changed incredibly. We decided to celebrate and just have a mini-outing before our ALL OUT anniversary trip. Here’s a snap from when we wrapped up our evening. P.S. I thought this shot was going to be a complete waste, but it turned out beautifully.

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Hijab: Charming Charlie’s | Shirt: H&M | Pants: Guess | Purse: ToryBurch | Shoes: No idea.

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When We Watched “These Birds Walk”

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Recently, we had the opportunity to attend the screening of a friend’s film called “These Birds Walk”. A 2013 documentary film, “These Birds Walk” was directed by Omar Mullick and Bassam Tariq that follows the life of a runaway boy in Pakistan as well as the humanitarian efforts of Abdul Sattar Edhi.

In my opinion, the film was unconventional and a fresh breath of air. It didn’t romanticize the idea of running a grass root non-profit organization, nor did it over-embellish the ending or the raw emotions of the runaway kids that were followed in this documentary. To me, that makes a perfect film because rather than forming an opinion for you — this film gives you the facts and pushes you to ask questions, which is exactly what we did on our long car ride home.

The film comes out on Netflix in April. Definitely worth watching with your family.

Now, let’s talk about my outfit. My sister was over for spring break and she decided I needed to mix and match colors to look younger. Apparently, I started dressing like a granny ever since I started hijab. So, she ran through my wardrobe and gave me some pointers, hence my look for the film screening. Did I mention my sister is in high school? In any case, here are some snapshots from that evening:

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My sister, the wardrobe stylist of the day. Unfortunately, Rameen had forgotten her contacts and makeup and was not a very happy camper.

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Here’s a pic of someone praying Maghrib right before the film started. Always place yourself in good company because they will serve as reminders of what your first priority should be no matter where you are and what you’re doing.

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Meeting Photographer Brandon Stanton of Humans of New York

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This week I had the opportunity of a lifetime to meet the widely loved and appreciated photographer behind Humans of New York, Brandon Stanton, at SxSw! It was such an awesome experience. I think Pharrell’s song “Happy” was playing on repeat in my head during the entire event. Not to mention, can we talk about how the beautiful weather just added to making this such an amazing day.

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Who is he and why is he so amazing? 

He began Humans of New York in the summer of 2010 and thought it would be a cool idea to create an interactive catalogue of New York City’s residents. So he photographed 10,000 New Yorkers and plotted their photos on a map, however somewhere along the way, this project just took a shape of its own. Along with the pictures, he started collecting quotes from the people he photographed about their lives and lessons they’ve learned along the way. With more than 4 million followers, “HONY now provides a worldwide audience with daily glimpses into the lives of strangers in New York City. It has also become a #1 NYT bestselling book.”

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Why I like him? 

Honestly, I could type pages about why it’s important to have people like him in today’s time. I love humble and creative minds that think outside of the box and aren’t all about being lucrative. This is exactly why I love Frank Warren of PostSecret.com. Both of these people started something that they were passionate about and didn’t do it with the intention of making big money. There’s something rare about being genuine in a world of materialism and facade. Stanton also makes me realize that no matter how many headlines lead us to believe that this world is an awful place to live in, people at the core of it all are still lovable and jaded. I have always been very passionate about wanting to do something that makes my heart feel alive while also changing someone else’s life. Events like these remind you that these dreams aren’t that far out from reach. It’s all about being unique but also true to yourself.

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Awkward moment:

It was an awkward situation because I stood away from him but right when the camera clicked, he leaned in for the snap just like he did with his other fans. Totes awks situation, but couldn’t ask for another picture or explain why you can’t stand that close to Muslim girls, because of all the chaos. I did want to warn him though about not trying that with other hijabis, because he might get hurt.

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Sunday Lunch Date

My husband and I usually go out once a week just to spend time together and change up our routine a little. These pictures are from when we went to a Japenese restaurant and took advantage of the beautiful weather! We lean more towards lunch, since we try to sleep in late on Saturdays and then jump right into lunch. How do you spend time together with your spouse?

Scarf: La Moda Boutique
Blouse: H&M
Watch: Michael Kors
Skirt: “Borrowed” from mom

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Priyanka’s inspired makeup look

Recently, I watched a video called “Jiya” with Priyanka Chopra looking super seductive with a neutral and earthy look. Bollywood star and newest addition as a model to the Guess family, she rocks this video! I decided to recreate this look for a Friday night get together. Here’s how it turned out:

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Is Celebrating Valentine’s Day Haraam?

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This Valentine’s day was our fourth one celebrated together. As haraam (forbidden) or halal (permissible) as it might be, I’m just a sucker for consumerism.

To be honest, I’m a big supporter of celebrating any event or giving into the Hallmark money-making scheme. I’m guilty of it. I admit. It’s a great way to spice up your mundane life. However, the purpose of it is not to shake the foundation of any religion, so that conspiracy theory is kind of rubbish.

This year, however, I was a little less of a perfectionist and more laid back. After four years of being together, you realize that as great as it is to make a big deal about Valentine’s day it kind of starts to feel constricting. There is immense amount of pressure to meet the ideal standard of being a significant other in accordance with social media. So we decided to keep it simple and exchange a few words reminding each other how much we really value and love each other. We were, however, still cliche with the card-chocolate-flowers trio.

C’mon, it’s a free pass to eating chocolate. How could anyone resist?

And you know what, it actually felt kind of nice. It felt warm and fuzzy and not fake at all.

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As far as it being haraam to celebrate Valentine’s day goes, I don’t think I personally agree. It is suggested that the whole basis of Valentine’s day is corrupt, and to participate in it is only encouraging immoral behavior. But then, wouldn’t Mother’s day, Father’s day and birthdays all be placed under the same category? Are those holidays not just all about showing affection and how much you care? I think majority of the people don’t even consider the real reason behind why any of these holidays came to be in the first place. In fact, most of the time they just want a day out of the month to look forward to and be able to have an easy day at work or enjoy at home with family and friends.

In my opinion, if you look at it that way — it’s actually far more beneficial, if done in moderation, in leading a healthy life. What’s your take?

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Opportunity of a lifetime

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A few months ago, I had the opportunity to speak about my experiences as a hijabi reporter in front of a room filled with journalists. I spoke at the 2013 Religion Newswriters Conference about the ups and downs of wearing a scarf and how it affects my career. Telling my story liberated me in many ways that I couldn’t even explain, because someone was out there to listen and understand how real the struggle is. (Well that, and the fact that I got to be on the same panel as Shahed Amanullah and Mohamed Elibiary.)

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Fortunately, with great family support, I have also been blessed to find a friend in my mentor and cheerleader, Eileen Flynn DeLao. I fell in love with journalism all over again in my last semester when I took her Journalism and Religions class. There’s just something about seeing a woman so passionate about what she does that you can’t help but admire her.

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Ever since that class, not only did it change my opinion about the different religions we studied, but it made me more compassionate and open-minded. Isn’t that what the entire college experience is about? In fact, I could go as far as to say that I would be the happiest person to cover religion stories because they somehow make you have faith in humanity all over again (no pun intended).

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Birthday in Tejas

I had the opportunity to celebrate my birthday twice this year since I was going to be in New York on the actual day.

Here a few snaps from the day I celebrated with my friends in Tejas! I’ll post pictures soon from the day I celebrated my birthday in NYC!

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 Pink blouse: Forever 21
 Scarf: Target
 Jeans: American Eagle
Shoes: 
DSW
Watch: 
Michael Kors

Mac That All On the Floor!

I took a few snaps before heading out to MAC. As you can tell, we have to wear all black.

Also, how often can you find a long length dress with full sleeves and a complete slip attached for under $20? This was definitely a STEAL!

Today, I decided to experiment with nude lipstick and see if it washes me out. I think the verdict is still out on the look. Opinions are welcomed!

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Dress: Ross
Scarf: Random store (or borrowed it from my aunt and never returned it)
Watch: Michael Kors

Blue-ing It Up!

Would you believe me if I told you this top was $35? I absolutely love the combo of the two blue colors. (Also, I realize that I look angelic because of the absurd lighting around my hijab area. Please excuse it.)

What do you think of the outfit and do you think it was worth the money?

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Top: Sammy K (designer)
Tights: Old Navy
Scarf: Random hijab store
Necklace: Charming Charlie’s
Watch: Michael Kors