New Hijab Obsession: Yellow

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Cassidy Skirt by Tory Burch

As I admitted before, I was in a hijabi fashion rut where I tended to wear a lot of black (it’s slimming!), brown, and gray. When I did venture into color territory, I stuck with pastels for a very long time. This season, I have been embracing bolder, brighter, colors. Even with brights, I stuck with the universally flattering shades of cobalt blue, hot pink, and scarlet red.

Then, I read a blog post by the video blogger Amena from Pearl Daisy. and I loved what she wore! She looked so chic but still elegant. So taking some inspiration from her, I bought a lemon yellow cashmere sweater from Uniqlo. I wear it a LOT more than I thought I would. It is my new favorite thing to wear!

The other amazing thing about wearing the color yellow is that it really does seem to make me more optimistic. Since it is such a bright and happy color, you can’t help but smile as you step out of your home to begin your day. Another added perk is that wearing yellow seems to make other people smile too. I know my daughter loves it when I wear yellow and tries to feed me bananas in order to show me that she thinks I look like one of her favorite foods. It’s very sweet.

Today, I am surrounding myself with yellow and it really is uplifting my mood. I am wearing my sunny sweater, eating my favorite fruit (pineapple that my father in law brought for me) and feeling very thankful for the people who bring sunshine into my world.

Bring some sunshine in to your own by embracing my new favorite hijabi obsession: yellow!

Fashion Tips For Hijabis With Curves

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As a hijabi, it can be challenging in general to figure out what to wear. Now imagine adding curves to that equation. As a curvy hijabi, I always feel an additional pressure to ensure that what I am wearing is modest, but doesn’t look like a potato sack either. I love all of my sisters in Islam, but it drives me crazy to see only smaller framed hijabis featured in Islamic magazines, sites or Instagram! Curvy ladies can be fashionable too!

Well curvy hijabis, there is help! Here are my tips for making sure we stay modest, but still embrace the fashionistas that we are.

Embrace Color: As a woman with curves, it can be tempting to drape ourselves in either black or gray. Ladies, don’t do it! One of the coolest visual tricks we have is to color block. Use a bright color to highlight a nicer feature. Wear a colorful printed hijab, wear a nice bright belt, or wear brights on the lower half of the body.

Belt It In: Before the haram police descend, it is possible to belt loose clothes tastefully without cinching it too tight that you can’t breathe. Wearing a belt helps curvier hijabis deflect looking like a blob by adding some definition.

Go Long: Hijabis with curves should embrace trends like tunic tops, longer blazers, or dress shirts. It helps cover certain areas that may be too appealing to show off outside our homes!

Always Start With A Good Foundation: Wearing items like a long sleeved turtleneck layered underneath a top with a low cut front can ensure that no “whoopsie” moments happen. I wear a high necked long sleeved top underneath all my maxi dresses, under my cardigans, and under anything that may expose skin. Also, for special occasions, wearing body shapers helps to eliminate any unsightly bulges. I personally use Spanx for special events.

Love Yourself: All hijabis should love who they are. If you are a slender hijabi, mashallah! If you are a curvier hijabi, make peace with yourself. Know that all hijabis are beautiful in the sight of Allah (swt). Let me know if these tips help you. Add some of your own if you have them. Know that I love you all.

Must Have Ruffle Jacket

20121112-171416.jpg Xhilaration Ruffle Jacket from Target

Now that winter is fast approaching, hijabi fashionistas have to bundle up! As a Muslim mom, I try to save where I can so that my little baby can get the best items she needs. That means I look for decent fashion finds that are great deals. One of my favorite places to go is Target. They have on trend fashion pieces for way less than the original designer pieces go for.

Ever since I saw Kate Middleton (yes my Anglophile crush) wearing a ruffled Burberry trench coat, I have been meaning to pick up a ruffled jacket. But for some reason, I could not find any this fall season!

Finally, I was strolling through Target and I found this! It was on sale for $35, but I think even at its regular price of $39.99, it’s a steal compared to the Burberry trench I am obsessed with.

I have to warn you to try it on until you find a size that fits since this is a juniors’ line of clothing so they run small! I had to go up two sizes from my normal size!

Now that the weather is getting colder, it’s perfect to keep me warm, but looking like a posh mom! What steals have you found so far?

Tears That Soften The Heart

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I noticed that in America, crying is seen as a sign of weakness. It is what helpless beings like babies do. In fact, when you complain about something, people often retort “Don’t be a cry baby!”

I have also noticed that as I get older, my heart is getting softer. Very seldom can I mention my nani or nana (maternal grandparents) without crying. They played a huge role in shaping who I have become. I cry when I remember my parents’ sacrifices in raising myself and my siblings. I cry in prayer, I even cry when I watch movies like Wreck It Ralph.

At first, I was embarrassed. I mean who wants to be known as a cry baby?

But then I realized that some of my tears are actually washing away the dust in my heart. Some of my tears are good for me. Now, I don’t claim to hold any special sway with Allah (swt), but I have noticed that my tears have helped me have more empathy than I ever had in my teens and twenties!

I can admire people like my older sister and my cousin Nipa because they have sacrificed a lot to be working moms. When I cry to Allah in my duas about hoping my little girl grows up to be a good person, I think of them and I can admire them. As a single girl, I had less empathy.

I used to wonder why my grandma used to cry all the time. Now I know why. It is because I realize that this life is short and we need to appreciate what we have in this life and prepare for the next. The Prophet (saws) used to cry in prayer.

Great men and women cry over important things.

In fact, one of the most moving moments of the Obama campaign came when Obama cried while thanking his staffers after he found out he won.

So I guess being a cry baby isn’t so bad after all.

Luxe Touches For Winter Wear

20121109-172915.jpgClockwise from top left: hijab from Inayah Collection, maxi dress from Forever 21, pumps from Banana Republic, and cardigan from J Crew

Fellow hijabi fashionistas always want to keep using a bulk of their wardrobe without having to do a complete rehaul. One way to update your hijab wardrobe is to refresh your fall staples with some luxe touches.

For example, take a maxi dress you already own and top with a cardigan that you use. The new updates may be new heels and a new hijab with pearl detailing.

This winter, it seems like ladylike touches such as pearls and lace can update any look. Think Audrey Hepburn and Jackie O.

There are amazing new offerings all over the place. Look for new cardigans trimmed with lace (Banana Republic has an amazing Anna Karenina inspired collection) and look for lots of pearls. A another trend that carried over from summer is pastels. I stuck with an orange creamsicle hijab for this outfit of the day.

While this look may be daring for some, try taming it with flats. Also, I make sure I wear a long sleeved shirt underneath my maxi dress and cardigan so there are no wardrobe malfunctions!

If you are less adventurous, try stacking pearl trimmed bangles or rings. Or even adding a lace overlay (or underscarf) on your hijab. One easy update I did was wearing a lace headband under my hijab with just a bit peeking through.

What do you plan to wear this winter?

Best Laundry Secret Ever

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PSSSSST! Can you keep a secret? A dirty little secret? I am terrible at laundry. But I have a secret weapon that has helped me overcome my secret weakness.

Yep, you can tell by my photo what my best laundry secret is. It’s using Shout spray! Before I learned about the beauty of using a stain remover like Shout, I was used to throwing what I thought were lost causes in terms clothes. Clothes that had seen better days, and were too stained to wear in public anymore.

However, shortly after my little girl was born, my good friend (Sarah, mom of 6) told me how she kept her kids’ clothes pristine. If you know Sarah, you will know that even with 6 kids, she and her kids are always styling mA. So when she told me to use Shout spray on badly stained clothes before I did my laundry, you better believe I listened to her!

Now my girl has seen her clothes reused till she outgrew them. It doesn’t matter how badly she stained them. Pee, poop, spit up, throw up, and baby food have all been obliterated in the wash thanks to Shout.

Do you have a great laundry secret? Let me know. Until then, run (don’t walk) and pick up some Shout to get perfect laundry every time.

Perfect Foundation Match: Sephora + Pantone Color IQ

20121107-155807.jpg Sephora + Pantone Color IQ station in San Francisco

Are you always searching for the perfect match in terms of foundation makeup? I know have! In fact, for me, searching for my HG (holy grail) foundation has taken years! It was actually easier to land my hubby than it is to find a perfect match for my skin tone with a foundation.

I tried the wide spectrum of Bare Minerals to Armani Luminous, and still no luck.

As a woman of color, I think it is quite challenging to find a foundation color that is not too chalky, but at the same time, not too muddy.

Well that is a thing of the past now! The geniuses over at Sephora seem to have a solution to the problem of finding the right color match in terms of foundation makeup. They have partnered up with Pantone to create a Color IQ.

What happens is this:

20121107-160418.jpgFirst, they ask you your makeup preferences. For example if you want full coverage versus sheer.

Second they take this amazing little scanner:

20121107-160644.jpg and they scan your face in a few different areas.

Since the skin color on our face varies in different areas, the machine then averages the skin tone of the various scanned spots to come up with the perfect match.

Finally, it pops up a list of perfect foundation matches for your skin tone. The lovelies at Sephora will then offer you samples of each foundation match to try at home. This allows you to find the best match for your own skin tone!

I think it’s brilliant! What about you? Have you tried this out yet? It’s only available in Sephora in NYC and SF for now, but I bet it will hit more stores soon.

Beat Winter Skin Blahs

20121107-083101.jpg Clockwise from left: Olay Quench body lotion, Frederic Fekkai PRX Reparatives hair mask
Winter is fast approaching which means that our daily skin care routine should change a little. With harsher elements such as cold air, frost, and even indoor heating, our hair and skin can take a beating when winter is in full swing.

Switching over to body lotions that are richer in moisturizers such as shea butter can help combat these elements by providing a barrier between your skin and the elements that can damage it. That is why I love Olay Quench. It absorbs fast, but it hydrates so effectively, even if your elbows look like elephant skin.

Now some hijabis (ahem me) are notorious for not taking care of their hair. But in the winter, I try to pay special attention to it because the cold air plus dry indoor heating seems to suck the shine right out. Using a hair mask helps bring that shine back. This one by Frederic Fekkai is especially nourishing and also feels super luxurious. This hair mask turns my straw like ends in to silky bouncy hair.

Finally, there is an old saying that you can tell a woman’s age by her hands. Well if that is the case, keep them guessing by using a hand cream. This L’Occitane hand cream makes my hands so soft! They sell two sizes so if you are not sold on hand creams yet, try the mini version and let me know what you think.

I hope that this post helps you survive the roughest of winters all while looking great.

Jenny Packham’s JC Penney Collection: Cult Classics

20121105-224724.jpg Jenny Packham for JC Penney

It’s been a crazy weekend here in the El-Rahman household with colds, flus, and projectile vomit!

However one of the blessings of being holed up at home has been the ability to shop online. It is a blessing to be able to catch up on what is hot in the market in terms of fashion finds.

Now, I have to tell you that JC Penney is really cleaning up its act. Once infamously known in my circle as “desi penny,” the chain has started to appeal to my budget fashionista. I think it all started with their partnership with Sephora (also known as my not so secret addiction). I went in to just look at Sephora items and then it was like “ooh great pashmina!” and then “they carry Mango here???!!!”

Yes, JC Penney has taken a cue from Target to partner with trendy lines and designers.

One designer that I currently adore is Jenny Packham.

I am an American who is a secret Anglophile. I love Amenakin from Pearl Daisy (her accent is so charming!) I sat up and watched the whole royal wedding in its entirety just to see what Kate Middleton wore (Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen).

So of course, I follow Kate Middleton’s favorite designers. One of Kate Middleton’s favorite designers is Jenny Packham. However, I don’t have a princess’ budget to blow on accessories. So, when I heard JC Penney is doing a line with Jenny Packham, I was thrilled! It’s only for the holiday season so act fast.

Some standouts from the line are the sparkly bracelet and golden envelope clutch. I think I may have to buy multiple items from this collection because it is THAT good.

So hijabi fashionistas, run, don’t walk to your nearest JC Penney! You don’t want to miss this limited edition line.