OOTD -- Winter Layering

Salam :)

I'm coming at you with an OOTD. For the past few weeks, France has been really cold. To combat wintery weather, I chose layering. In addition to keep off the cold, it makes an outfit more interesting and modest, which are great pluses!

The idea of layering came after I realized that the sweater shown below was "too short" for my taste, adding a longer article of clothing underneath would "lenghten" it. I opted for a jean, oversized shirt, because I like the sweater-over-shirtlook, and the heavier jean fabric would keep me warm.

Musical Crush


I initially wanted to start with a "long time, no blog", but I think it's getting old, so I'll spare you the speech :) I'm coming at you today with a few songs I've been digging these days.

The first song I want to share with you is by Solange Knowles. I loved her 60s-inspired LP, "Sol-Angel & The Hadley St. Dreams", and the fact that she's different and original. The good thing about it is you know you'll get unique music, although sometimes you don't really know what to expect. This song was a pleasant surprise, though :)

Love her hair ^^

My Fall 2012 Lookbook

Salams :)

Yes, it is that time again: fall is here! The weather change may or may not be as drastic depending on the area you're in. What I get is falling leaves, lower temperature, rain, shorter days... But the colder season also comes with good stuff: more tea, more soup, and some Fall trends!

This year, I'm thinking warm sweaters and cute jackets, light colors vs darker, richer shades. 'Tis the season to pop out darker lipsticks too, it seems!

Dealing With Hardship Pt III - Feel-Good Music

Salams :)

Here's another part of the Dealing With Hardship series. Today it's about something you know I love, that is music! There's nothing like a good song to cheer you up when you're feeling down and you need a pick-me up!

I decided to make my own feel-good music playlist and share it with you. It's a mix of feel-better, merry and motivational tunes, in several musical genres. Feel free to use it, adjust it to your liking, or create a new one.

Here's my little sample :)

Dealing With Hardship Pt II - Feel-Good Moments

Salams :)

As some of you may know, I posted this blog featuring a few tips on how to cope with hard times. This post was the first of a series on that topic. Today, I'd like to discuss ways to divert from problems and trigger positive thinking through easy methods.

One of the ways to do just that is to think about the small things. Paying attention to the details, the things that oftentimes go unnoticed, but brighten your day. Sometimes, we feel so burdened by our problems that negativity is all we can see. To the point where we ignore the simplest things, which may not seem like much, but when lined up, make life worth living - so cheesy, but so true. 

Some people see happiness as something linked to social status, money, material things, "I'll be happy when I have this/when I achieve that..." What if you don't make it? What if Allah SWT takes you before you get to where you wanted to be in life? Don't get me wrong, dreams and aspirations aren't bad, but happiness doesn't necessarily depend on them.

 India did said it all

To see whether this thing is accurate or not, I tried and thought of the little things I was grateful for. Surprisingly, I came up with a bunch of feel-good moments, which are listed below.

OOTD -- Gloomy Days

Hey ladies!

Today's blog is an OOTD blog - I can hear you screaming and jumping up and down in excitement ;)

These pictures were taken a while back. The weather wasn't summery at all, more like gloomy and rainy. I opted for something casual and comfy, as you should expect of me.

I picked a long tee and added a sweater for warmth. I liked the contrast of the teal against the purply blue. To compliment the light color blocking and to tie the look together, I opted for a colorful scarf. Jeans and sneakers are for convenience :)



Hope you like! See you soon!

Musical Crush


I'm coming at you with a musical crush today! It's been a while, but I finally came up with a few songs that want to share with you :)

This one I discovered a while back. This is a cover of Frank Ocean 's song by the lovely Yuna, and from what I've heard, it has reached a certain popularity. I like how she she stayed true to the song, but brought her own vibe to it at the same time.

Been humming to it all Ramadan :)

We're not done with her yet! I came across a remix of her song "Someone Out Of Town". I usually resent remixes, I feel like either they don't bring anything new to the table or the song is rearranged to the point where you forget where it's from. Surprisingly enough, I enjoyed the remix!  It had the beauty of Yuna's track plus an extra kick, perfect balance :)

2012 Ramadan Recap


First off, I want to send out a belated Eid Mubarak message to everyone, hoping you all had a good one. I also hope Ramadan has been good to you, with many prayers and openings.

This year, I've had hits and misses, but Ramadan was interesting nevertheless. Remember how I wanted to read the Qur'an and seek knowledge? Well, I barely did so, I had so many things to do, I could barely set out time to sit & read :( When it comes to fasting with all members, I'm afraid I had a hard time zipping it, not good! As for the tiny successes I've had, I've been able to reflect a lot and limit Twitter use, which I'm happy about. Also, I found myself cooking a whole lot for iftar dinners and/or suhoor. It wasn't even part of my Ramadan plan, but it's still a good thing :)

As said earlier, I had so much to do that I haven't benefited from the first two weeks. When we entered the last ten days, I was disappointed because I could see time slipping through my fingers. Alhamdulillah, God has allowed me to take advantage from the end of the month. 

Now that Ramadan is over, I'm in that awkward out-of-Ramadan, in-between phase. I'm slowly going back to my regular habits, but I kinda miss it. Strangely enough, people around me feel the same - even West African TVs keep broadcasting Ramadan programs by popular request :)

So my 2012 Ramadan didn't go exactly the way I wanted, but I still learned from it.

Ramadan Beauty Tips

Hey ladies!

As you all know, Ramadan is a holy month, during which we fast and put an emphasis on spirituality and prayer. It's also a time for sharing and conviviality, and food plays an important role, ironically enough, from sadaqas to iftars and dinners.

Although this equates to a pretty busy schedule, we don't want to neglect our appearance. So, these past few days, I've decided to tweak my beauty routine to fit my daily activities. That's how I came up with a few tips who will work perfect for lazy, tired, busy, and/or people who are on a budget!

1. Moisturize you skin. Since our water intake is greatly reduced, moisturizing from the outside is even more important. Use a moisturizing body wash, and team it with an emollient lotion. I find that natural oils and butters work just as well, if not better, than manufactured lotions. My favorites are coconut oil and Shea butter, I would use either or and apply from head to toe.

2. Keep it odor-free. As for deodorant, I actually use lemon juice*. It might seem crazy, but lemon juice has great antisceptic, firming, anti-bacterial and anti-odor properties. It reduces perspiration and smell without leaving your skin scented. If you want to stay away from scent during Ramadan, but still want to be fresh, I highly recommend it!

3.  Get long-lasting smooth skin. If you want to be free of unwanted hair, I suggest waxing. Yes, it's painful, but worth it: you'll have smooth skin for weeks, i. e. until the end of Ramadan, without having to shave, pluck, use creams everyday. Less hassle = one happier you :)

4. Don't forget about face masks and exfoliators! One product that really did the trick for me was plain yogurt. It's known to be moisturizing, soothing, tightening, AND exfoliating! This is killing a thousand birds with one stone :)

5. Fancy some makeup? If I don't get out of the house, I don't bother with it. If I do, I'd use a minimal amount. Check this out for more info.

My 2012 Ramadan Plan

Salam ladies!

First off, let me say Ramadan Kareem to everyone! Hopefully, we'll make the best of this month and work on ourselves - that's what I intend to do incha'Allah. Like I did last year, I came up with a Ramadan plan, and although it has started already, I wanted to share it with you :)

1. Read the Qur'an. Sadly, I didn't get to finish it last year, which is a little disappointing, but I still benefited greatly from the reading. So this year, I won't set anything in stone, I'll just try and read whenever I can.

2. Fast with all members. Basically, that means not doing things I'm not supposed to do, plain and simple :)

3. Contemplate. Taking time to think will enable me to sort some things out, to maybe change my outlooks on them, and achieve a better understanding on what is happening around me incha'Allah.

4. Retire from social networks during the day. That's mostly Tweeter :) I don't want it to distract me from the goals I'm trying to achieve for this month. Also, I use it often, maybe a little more that I would want, so Ramadan will be the perfect opportunity to keep that growing addiction in check!

5. Extra dhikr. Goes hands in hand with pt 1 and 3.

6. Seek knowledge. As for books, I don't have any to read, except from the Qur'an, so I will search online for my favorite shaykhs' works.

What are your plans for this year? Let me know in the comment box :)

How To Deal With Hardship


Long time, no blog - you're used to it, I know. I've been busy lately and I'm trying to provide better content, God knows it takes times, but thank you for visiting and bearing with me :)

These last months were a little tough on me, it seemed like nothing was going my way. I've had my share of ups and downs, but I know it's all Allah. Things aren't really looking up, but along the way, I've discovered a few things that have helped a little.

1. Know that you're not alone. Everyone has to face difficulties at some point, even though they don't mention them spontaneously.

2. You're supposed to face problems. Yep, that's right. This world is the place for trials and tribulations, you get out of a situation, and you jump right into another. That's the nature of the world, don't except a trouble-free, easy-peasy kinda life.

3. You're pretty lucky. It might be odd to think this way, but we're quite priviledged. If you're like me, you're Muslim, alive and healthy, you have close, trusted relatives, and live in a land where your own person and goods are protected. A lot of people are severely abused, sick and/or destitute, and cannot access some of the things that God gave you and that they wished they had. Whatever happens, I guarantee you it could be a lot worse.

4. Think of examples. Whenever I feel overwhelmed, the one person who comes to my mind is Seydina Ayyoub (PBUH). He's the epitome of courage, when he's been tested in his wealth, his family, his health, even his friendships, he remained patient and faithful until God removed all his afflictions and rewarded him. When depression and despair are around, I try and get inspiration from him (PBUH).

5. Keep busy. The best way not to think about problems is to be active. It can be anything, chores, hobbies, whatever keeps you busy during the day.

3 Headwrap Styles


I'm coming at you with a scarf tutorial, yay :) They're not hijab styles per se, rather headwraps. They've been worn in West Africa and beyond for modesty, beauty and/or convenience. These days, you see them on catwalks, it girls and celebrities, so you can say tradition meets fashion :)


I find myself wearing these quite often now, just because they're cute, convenient and gave me a break from my everyday hijabs.

The three styles displayed below are quick and easy; they can be paired with a turtleneck or a scarf for neck and chest coverage. I also like to add daingly earrings to add extra flair. And ladies, there's no need for underscarves nor pins :)

Here we go!

Styling Urban Clothes


I haven't done one of these long posts in a while, even though they're some work, I enjoy doing them. So when co-blogger Asma asked me how I'd style an outfit with sneakers, I thought it'd be the perfect occasion to blog :) I thought about the whole idea, and decided to extend it to urban clothing in the broader sense.

I love street style, whether it be hoodies, sneakers, or baggie jeans. I like how it can give an outfit a casual vibe, attitude or even sassiness, depending on what you're going for. In this blog, I'll select street items and show you how I wear them. Let's get started :)

1. The hoodie. Convenient, casual and oh-so comfy :) To me, hoodie sweaters are the epitome of street wear, but they can be toned down into a casual look.

Khaki jacket, grey hoodie sweater, bootcut jeans, boots

To me, hoodies look their best paired with a jacket. It gives that layered look, which is great to add warmth and multi-dimension to an outfit. To serve the same purpose, I like adding a loose shirt underneath. As for the lower section of the body, jeans are perfect, and tube skirts are good too. Add sneakers to go 100% casual, or boots for a little bit of height.

OOTD -- Light & Tan


As promised, another OOTD!

This one was worn during the warmer days, which are now long gone, unfortunately. 

As usual, I wanted something casual and comfy. I started picking out different pieces, which ended up creating this look. It's mixing light-coloured clothes and tan accesories, which I've never done before- such a rebel, I know... 

Also, I know that tan articles of clothing were hot a couple of seasons ago. I don't know if it's out of trend or not, I don't really care. I like, and it's all that matters :)

Let's take a look, shall we?

Oversize denim shirt, beige straight-leg pants, crossover bag, wedge sandals

The shirt is actually from Zara's men section, I've never bought men clothes for myself before, but I've always had a hard time finding women's shirts that fit right. The other day, I just went into the store and found this one. I think buying men shirts is great, they're looser, longer, versatile, they're a hit for me!

To compliment the light, washed coulour of the shirt, I picked beige pants, which are straight-leg, not as tight as skinnies, but not wide to the point where they would hide the shoes.

I added these wedge sandals because I felt it was in the same color family as the rest, and they're uber cute:)

Lastly, I picked this tan bag, as I thought it would be a good addition to the whole light/tan thing going on, without being the exact same color than the shoes. I don't really like mitchy-matchiness, and look after similar tones rather than pairing same colours. That gives an outfit more of a casual vibe, with a hint of "negligé", for instant coolness :)

OOTD -- Cool & Casual

Salam ladies=)

I hope everyone's doing well! I was supposed to study for my Arabic test tomorrow, but my brain decided to stop halfway through my vocab learning session, so I thought it was time for me to take a break=)

Let's do an OOTD, I know they're long overdue!

I was going to a friend's house to spend the weekend. When I left home, the weather was great, but I knew it would rain by Sunday. As always, I wanted something casual and comfy. Also, these days, I've been making an effort to mix and match my clothes to come up with new combinations, for more fun and originality.

I've been thinking about picking a shirt that I hadn't worn in a long time, because I couldn't think of a modest way to rock it. Well, I finally had an aha moment=) See for yourself!

Cropped jean jacket, shirt, oversize T-shirt

This is my aha combo^^ To compliment the lightness and casual feeling of the shirt, I opted for an oversized tee. I also left the shirt of the sleeves hanging, loose and unbuttoned. I threw a cropped jean jacket on top with rolled up sleeves, to add some layering and make the outfit extra interesting.

My Everyday Makeup


Long time since I last blogged, I know. I haven't had a lot of time to do anything, but I'm having a few days off from work, and I intend to use them to feed in my bloggie=)

This one will deal with makeup. I saw my beauty-related posts --check out here and there -- were kinda popular, and I enjoyed writing them, so I figured I should make another and make everyone happy!

I'm not against makeup. If used wisely, it can enhance a person's features. I see it as part of the attire, with the clothing, the accesories, etc. Personally, I'm more of a neutral kinda gal, rarely do I use color, and when I do, it's as an eyeliner. As a result, I always go neutral, or even "natural" when it come to everyday makeup. Below are pictures of the products I use on a day-to-day basis :)

Here's my little mess!

Musical (Poetic?) Crush


Coming at you with a music, or poetry-related post. I haven't been listening to a lot of music lately, I've been more into spoken word art or straight up poetry. It's strange though, since poetry-wise, all I remember is the poems we had to learn by heart and recite on front of the whole class as kids!

I'm rediscovering poetry, it's great to think and meditate over things.


Also, I'm still hooked on Baraka Blue's music. This one is a poem about Man. I CAN'T wait for his second album to come out!


Getting To Know Me Pt IV -- Black Girl Problems


This is another getting-to-me kinda post, but we'll do things a little differently this time. I was surfing the Web, and I stumbled across this video:

This girl is hilarious! You can check out her YT page, she has other funny videos for you to enjoy -- I suggest this one=) Anyways, it made me laugh, but also think about some things I experience as a black girl. I started listing pet peeves in my mind, and I thought 'why not blog about this?' So there you go, MsDieynaba's BGP- keep in mind, some are similar or related to things mentioned in the video!

1. Finding jeans that fit is a pain! Most of the time, they're too loose or too tight in certain areas. Thank God for belts and longer tops!

2. Our hair is a lot of work! My hair requires biweekly washing, conditioning treatments, detangling, styling, as well as daily moisturizing- to preserve your sanity, I won't even mention the whole steps! I tried doing things faster, cutting down on the products, but it doesn't work. I have a hair regimen with specific products I have to use, if I don't, my hair will give me hell!

What I've Been Reading Lately


I'm coming at you today with another kind of post, dealing with my reading- I know the title says 'What I've Been Reading Lately', but it will deal with the books for the newt three months, I guess. You can call it a false claim =)

1. The Qur'an. This is our must-read book, right? Unfortunately, i haven't read a lot of it since Ramadan (boo me!), I do miss the reading and the reflection upon it, but I'm willing to get back on track insh'Allah!

2. The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer. If you knew me in real life, you'd know that I'm a sucker for anything history, especially the Middle Ages era, for some reason. When I was in middle school, my class and I went to Kent, UK for a week, in order to visit and learn about British history. Our teachers brought us to that place in London where they recreated the whole CT atmosphere and decor, and the characters were human-size puppets. We were given headphones, where the story was aired, and we would move in the decor, alongside the puppet characters. The whole thing was super creepy and cool at the same time. I think it stuck with me. In one of my British literature classes, the professor mentioned it, and I remembered all about it.

It deals with a group of pilgrims that are on their way to Canterbury, where a saint called Thomas Beckett was buried. To make the travel more entertaining, they all agree to tell a story. There are several characters from a variety of backgrounds, the whole thing is rhymed, the stories are different, based on the teller… Very interesting!

3. Roots, Alex Haley. What can I say about this book? I discovered it through the TV series based on this work. It was aired in France, each Sunday afternoon, my family and I would sit and watch the story of Kunta Kinte and his offspring. I was about 7, and it upset me. I remember I was struck by the brutality of slavery, how Kunta's legacy made it through and was preserved, and also the fact that they're Muslim. I was really happy I bought it, goes to show that Muslims were in the West for some time now- check out Sylviane Diouf's work for more info on that subject.

That's it for the books I'll read. Let me know what you've been reading :)

Islamic Music


I'm coming at you with a different type of music-related post. This one is about what people call 'Islamic music'- might sound like anathema to some, but hey, that's what it is!

Some people may not agree, but I actually believe Islam and music are a match made in heaven, literally! At least, I know I love both- not the same way, obviously- but I like the idea of connecting with the Divine through music, it's like a spirituality enhancer. I like listening to nasheeds and any song revolving around religion.

Here are a few songs I like. Some are from West African artists, others from French singers, and for others, I don't really know.

1. This song is from a Senegalese singer called Oustaz. The song is praising the Prophet (PBUH).