Hijab Trends: Snood Hijabs

Snood hijab

Snood hijabs are the perfect way to keep warm during colder winter months.

I personally love being a hijabi blogger because it forces me to see what other stylish hijabis are out there doing. One new trend that has come out in the hijabi fashion world is the snood hijab. A snood is basically a scarf that is knit like a tube. While it was traditionally worn around the neck, some hijabis are taking a step further and wearing it to cover their necks and chest while rocking the turban style or wearing on top of their hijabs for extra warmth during these cold winter months. This cold weather hijab look is not only practical, but it is really cute! I personally have not tried the snood hijab, but check out this really cute sweater hijab style below:

Sweater Hijabi

Sweater Hijabs can be practical yet stylish during cold weather months.

What do you think about the snood hijab? Would you rock it during a polar vortex?

Fashion Friday: Long Tulle Skirts

Imaan Ali from The Hijablog rocks the tulle skirt

Imaan Ali from The Hijablog rocks the tulle skirt perfectly.

Salaams my lovelies and Jumah Mubarak to you! You are in luck because I have another Fashion Friday blog post for you today!

I don’t know about you, but in terms of modest fashion, you have to get creative if you want to keep your wardrobe fresh. I personally get a lot of my fashion inspiration from Instagram so when I saw long tulle skirts on bloggers like Imaan Ali and Winnie Detwa, I just knew I had to let you readers know about it. What I love about long tulle skirts is that it is something that you can wear not just to work, but kids’ birthday parties, special events, or any time you want to have a girly moment. My favorite tutu moment is when Sarah Jessica Parker is wearing her tutu through the streets of Manhattan in the opening credits of Sex and the City and no one bats an eyelash. While most modest fashionistas may not want to wear that exact skirt, it can certainly serve as a bit of fashion inspiration.

I promise you that if you wear a long tulle skirt, you won’t be getting strange looks because there are some excellent skirts that just have added swing, but none of that dreaded frou frou puffiness of a traditional tutu skirt.

I personally prefer long tulle skirts in neutral colors and a little heavier so that there is less of a puffy tutu factor. For example, this gray long tulle skirt by Anna Hariri is perfect for work because it looks less ballerina and more polished. For some reason, my favorite work clothes are gray and then I pair the gray pieces with more colorful accents. In the Anna Hariri skirt, you can see just how swingy and pretty long tulle skirts can be.

My favorite thing about long tulle skirts is that there is a lining in them because tulle is so sheer. So you can always stay modest yet stylish. What are your thoughts on long tulle skirts? Yay or nay?

Online Shopping Review: Simply Zeena

Simply Zeena

Simply Zeena Winter 2014

Salaams my lovelies! I hope you are doing well inshallah and that you are having a nice Friday! I typically do a Follow Friday post, but today, I wanted to make it a Fashion Friday post because I am just over the moon in love with a modest fashion clothing line that I am sure that you will love too. Have you heard of Simply Zeena? For some reason, I had heard of the line, but I never had the time to really browse and shop their site online. Another one of the challenges of online shopping is that you just don’t know how something will drape or look on you unless you try it in person. I was lucky enough to have the chance to meet the ladies of Simply Zeena at the Fashion Fighting Famine San Francisco show and see their Winter 2014 collection in person.

The Simply Zeena 2014 Winter Collection is an array of extremely wearable and flattering pieces that can work for anyone looking for a modest wardrobe that is polished and chic. As a working hijabi mom, I need quick pieces like the ones in this collection to put on and go yet still look polished. I love that the materials are wrinkle resistant because who really has the time to iron? Not me! But I also still want to look elegant and professional and Simply Zeena allows me to look my best. I personally bought the purple hoodie and the Audrey which is a classic top in the making. When I wore the Audrey, I felt as elegant as the iconic Audrey Hepburn. I paired it with slim fit black pants, ballet flats and I know I got a ton of compliments from Muslims and non Muslims alike. A mom at Trader Joe’s actually stopped me and asked, “Where did you get that cute top?” I was so happy to share my fashion secret with her and with you. Simply Zeena has clothing for anything you may need. They even sell modest active wear and swim wear. I was super excited to see that.

Online Browsing: Their site is super easy to navigate to find what you need and more. They have a super easy to locate top navigation bar that can take you directly to clothing that are Basics, Activewear (as a gym buff, I LOVE that they have modest activewear), and other categories that make sense for easy shopping.

While Simply Zeena is an online shopping destination, I can’t really give you the good details on how fast shipping is, or the buying experience, etc. However, that gives me a great excuse to go and buy more online. I will let you know how my next pieces come and how the true online shopping experience is. In the meantime, if you have bought from Simply Zeena, what did you think? Share your comments below!

Giving Back: Fashion Fighting Famine SF

20140112-235128.jpgOne of the main reasons that I started blogging about modest fashion was because I wanted it to be something more meaningful than fashion as know it. I wanted it to be more inclusive of all shapes, colors, and sizes. I wanted it to inspire and empower us as Muslim women. I wanted it to give back something to our greater community.

That is why I am so eternally grateful to have had the chance to volunteer with Fashion Fighting Famine for their San Francisco show because that is exactly what they stand for. Not only does the organization raise money for local charities within our communities, it does it while inspiring generations of women that modest fashion can be beautiful inside and out.

From the executive members of the organization, all the way to the models, there was a collaborative spirit throughout. If someone needed help unloading a car, there were helping hands. If someone fainted, there was a sister to pick her back up. If there was work to be done, sisters would pitch in. As someone who has seen tradition fashion shows from the behind the scenes, there was no diva behavior at FFFSF and I truly believe it is because the beauty of the Adab (etiquette of Islam) of the Prophet (saws).

Seeing this beauty behind the scenes gave me my own courage to face the crowd and be able to MC the show. What a wonderful experience that was! To see a crowd of beautiful women of all ages smiling back at me made me realize that Allah (swt) made us all beautiful alh.

By the grace and mercy of God, I felt like after the first few minutes of being nervous that all my fears went away and I was able to not only enjoy the show, but feel honored to help a wonderful charity like the North American Islamic Shelter for the Abused.

So often, the Muslim community ignores domestic violence as an issue. Thanks to the amazing volunteers and the guests of this fashion show, we are able to give these voiceless women a voice in our community.

I sincerely hope that all of my readers reflect on how just one person can make a huge impact by way of example of this show. Anum, one of the executive members of Fashion Fighting Famine, pushed the group to have a second show based in San Francisco. Thanks to her, she motivated hundreds of women to travel from Dubai, LA, and all over to help our community! So never feel defeated to give back my readers. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again.

PS: Major thank you to Rahat for glamming me up. And thank to all of you awesome ladies for showing up to the show!

Online Shopping Review: JewelsNGems

20140102-231134.jpgSalaam my lovelies! I hope you had a wonderful New Year inshallah. If you have one new Year’s resolution, I hope it is to pamper yourself a little bit more. As a wife and mom (but even when I was a single student), I used to put my needs on the back burner just to take care of my loved ones. Well, think of taking care of yourself as a way to ensure that you can keep taking care of your loved ones without burning out. So one of the things I barely do is actually buy any hijab accessories or jewelry. Everything I wear is actually given by someone else. Alhamdulillah I can’t complain, but isn’t it nice to wear jewelry that you personally picked out? I know I feel the prettiest with jewelry that I adore!

If you want to spoil yourself, there is an amazing online store called JewelsNGems that has the most luxurious and unique hijab accessories that I have ever seen. Here is my rundown of the site:

Online Browsing: Here I have to say that the company has done a wonderful job in terms of cataloging and displaying their high quality jewelry and accessories. Their tabs allow users to find exactly what they are looking for; whether it is hijab pins or necklaces or ornate Indian style fantasy jewelry.

Buying Experience:Their site is also easy to convert to different currencies and you know exactly what price each of the items are. You can keep adding items to your cart and browse. When you actually check out, it’s via Pay Pal and it is very easy to either check out as a guest or create a Pay Pal account.

Shipping:Given that my order came through during Christmas and this vendor is located in the U.K., I am very pleased with how fast these items came through! I will warn you that as with all U.K. sites that I have come across, the shipping may be more than the accessories you order so be sure to save up and order a bunch of items or share an order with a friend to ensure that you feel like shipping the items is worth it.

Once I received my package, I was struck by the care that went into not only the items, but how it was presented. Each item was bagged in its bag, and the site even sends you a complimentary chocolate (which was European deliciousness and gone in minute!).

Every accessory is the highest quality and each crystal placed on the accessories are held into place by sturdy prongs to ensure that it will stay intact for a long time. The crystals are iridescent and have an incandescent beauty. If you want to feel like a hijabi princess, this is the site for you.

Hijabi Beauty: Beautiful Hands

20131120-163941.jpg

Salaams my lovelies! As you know, the winter season is fast approaching. Which means there will be plenty of time for beautiful jackets, sweaters, and scarves. However, winter also means having to deal with dry chapped winter skin too. The part of the body that bears the brunt of winter’s harshness is your hands. From the cold whipping winds, and the dry harsh heat of indoor heating, the thin skin of your hands can get dry, scaly, and start to hurt. Since the hands and face are the parts of the body that practicing hijabis expose the most, it makes sense that those areas may need the most TLC. Here are some tips to keep those hands looking pretty year round:

Wear gloves when you can:

In the winter, there are still some crazy people (for example me) that sometimes refuse to wear gloves. However, gloves serve as the first barrier of protection for the sensitive skin on your hands from the elements. In fact, women up until the early 1900s used to wear gloves year round (even in the summer) because those ladies knew that the secret to youthful beautiful hands was to keep them out of the sun! Knowing myself, I still won’t wear gloves in the summer or spring, but I will most likely embrace them more this winter.

Use a hand cream:

Carry a hand cream that you know you will use regularly. I promise you that if you like using it, you will be more likely to use it when you need it. I used to adore the L’Occitane hand cream, but then I discovered this hand cream called Tocca Crema De Mano in Cleopatra. It is the freshest hand cream fragrance I have ever smelled! It’s a mix of pomegranate and cucumber and while that sounds like an odd combination, this smells like a garden after a refreshing rain shower. Just the smell alone gets rid of my winter blahs!

Shape nails weekly

It is recommended in Islam to clip your nails weekly. I prefer to actually shorten my nails by shaping them with a nail file because it prevents nails from getting fractured or broken.

I hope these tips keep your hands looking beautiful all season long! What are your tips for nice hands?

Hijabi Trend: Winter Pastels

Jessica Alba pink skirt

Jessica Alba pulls off the cold weather pastel trend perfectly

Salaams my lovelies! I know I should be blogging more, but you know how it goes when you have a full time job plus a little babykins. Life basically happens and then there is no downtime to craft a good quality post for you!

That being said, I am going to make more of an effort to stalk my favorite hijabi style stars and curate the best and the brightest trends for you. Also, since Thanksgiving is coming up, expect a few recipe posts inshallah (God willing)! I actually did an amazing apple tart last night as a test run dessert, but it was devoured in minutes before I could stage and take pictures for you! Neddless to say, I will be replicating that recipe and sharing that with you before Thanksgiving.

Now that we are on full on winter mode, the instant reflex is to toss out all of our spring/summer pastel pieces in favor of darker jewel toned pieces. I adore jewel toned pieces, but I live on a real world budget and need to rely on great clothing combinations in order to avoid spending a ton of money on clothing. One of my favorite tactics is to take a page from Jessica Alba’s style book and actually pair a winter sweater with all of my pastel skirts. I bet most of you already have a pastel skirt AND a black sweater. Pair the two together with some accessories, and voila! You have an instantly chic outfit that would make any Parisian proud (or in my opinion, any British hijabi vlogger).

If you happen to be the one hijabi without a pastel skirt, please visit Hijabi-ista.com and check out their pastel pleated skirts. They are not see through and they are as comfortable as pajamas (I kid you not).

Try out the combination and let me know what you think! What are your tips for wearing pastels in winter?

Online Shopping Review: Rhonda’s Collections

Kaftan

Rhonda’s Collection is a great place to shop for fully lined figure flattering kaftans for a glam look.

I am always on the look out for great places to shop for modest, yet fashionable clothing items. My latest find is an online store that sells butterfly kaftans and other modest fashion designs. Meet Rhonda’s Collections, an online store based in the UK that should be on your online shopping destinations list:

Here is a rundown of how I ordered my items through Rhonda’s Collections:

Online Browsing: For this, I feel like Rhonda’s Collection should do a refresh and add kaftans under the clothing category. All of their kaftans are currently listed under Dresses. I would click the drop down that says Clothing, then select the option that says Dresses (UK 6-12). Other than that, the images are true to what you order and there is a diverse group of options.

Buying Experience: Once you purchase your items, you will get a note with salams via email thanking you for your purchase along with a convenient tracking number that you can use to track your shipment. Very handy especially if you need the items before a big event like Eid or a wedding. They also make sure to always add a free gift with any purchase and it is typically a very pretty piece of jewelry that you can use to accessorize with your purchase.

Shipping: There is FREE shipping for all orders in the UK at special times of the year. For all other countries, shipping is a flat rate of $27! That is a lot of money, so I would suggest ordering with a group of friends, or at least ordering multiple items so you can stock up. It ships quickly and you will get an email notification of when it ships along with a tracking URL. You can track when your package will arrive which is always nice!

When I finally opened my package, I thought the kaftans looked even better in person than they did online! My mom has already told me I need to order her one and one for my sister, so I foresee a lot of shopping with Rhonda’s Collections inshallah. Make sure to check them out for the nicest butterfly kaftans and butterfly abayas around.

Meet the Brand: Numi Tea

Reem from Numi Tea

Reem from Numi Tea enjoying her beverage of choice

Salaams my lovelies! It is my favorite season of all: Fall. Fall is a time where we all snuggle a little closer, enjoy sweater weather, and of course, sip tea. When I reach for tea, I invariably return again and again to my favorite tea brand of all, Numi Tea. Numi Tea is a local Bay area company that blends artisanal teas that are based on global tea flavors around the world. If you have not tried them, please take some time and try them out. I promise they will transport you to far flung places like Morocco, dusty plains of central Africa, or the lush verdant gardens of India without you having to even step out of your pjs. The power of tea is as transformative as it is nourishing to the soul.

Numi Tea is kosher certified as well as organic and offer consumers a sustainable way to enjoy tea.

Here is an interview I had with Reem Rahim, one of the co founders of Numi Tea:

Q: Let me start by saying I love your tea. What made you so passionate about tea that you wanted to start a tea company?

A:Thank you. I’m glad you enjoy our tea. Coming from Iraq, my family has always drunk tea as the hot beverage of choice. So I grew up with black tea all my life. We had also always drunk a Dry desert Lime called Numi Basrah. That was the inspiration for the starting the company. Ahmed had owned and operated teahouses in Prague. During that time, he was exposed to many varieties of tea – green, white, oolong, Pu-erh and many herbal teas. He taught me about all the varieties and nuances of teas and I have fallen in love with the beverage.

Q: Who serves as your main inspiration for new tea flavors? How do you go about product development?
A: This is developed though travelling and trying all sorts of new things. Keeping one’s ear to the ground in terms of trends and what’s new helps as well. Ahmed develops the new tea products and we work as a team to come up with the formulas and taste until they are finalized.

Q: If you have a great business idea, what is the first you need to do to get started?
A: Research the market to see what’s out there. Then refine your idea, who you’re marketing to, what is the problem, the need and the solution. Create a one-page synopsis of your concept.

Q: As a Muslim entrepreneur, what is the most important piece of advice would you give someone starting out?
A; Firstly, I don’t consider myself a Muslim entrepreneur. I am an entrepreneur and keep my religious practices personal and private. I wouldn’t recommend combining one’s religion with their professional life. That will only get in the way and cloud one’s work; and not allow you the freedom to pursue your capabilities. That said, one’s background and personal life always informs their beliefs, principles and ethics. Having grown up in an Arab, Muslim background, generosity, family, fairness and giving back has always been in our culture and is infused into our daily business practices.

Q: When you are not working on Numi Tea as a business what do you do for fun?
A: I spend time with my family – my husband and 5-year-old step-son. I like to be outside and work in the garden or go for walks. I also am an artist and paint when I can. I also love to travel.

Q: What do you hope resonates with consumers about the Numi tea brand?
A: I hope that people firstly taste the difference in quality of our teas and really enjoy those moments of tea sipping. We put a lot of care into making our teas and I hope that care is felt. I also hope that our brand sets an example of a new paradigm in business where you can sell a product and do good at the same time.

Q: In your tea instructions, you add little tidbits like setting water to boil while humming. Who was the inspiration behind that?
A: I’m not sure who the inspiration was. This was something we came up with when we first started to make the experience of unwrapping our packaging fun. We wanted to take the customer through a story and a meaningful experience rather than just drinking tea.

Q: Thank you for taking the time out for answering questions for my Hijabi Life readers. Is there one special tea house you would recommend our readers to visit here in the Bay Area?
A: Samovar in the Castro!