November Favorites

Salams :)

MsDieynaba here, coming at you with my favorites for the past month. Interesting fact: none of them is beauty or fashion-related. This post is more of a cultural one, cause I'm intellectual like that. :p

Those who have been following me for a while know that I'm a history freak. Anything history, I tear up! A French channel came up with Sous Les Jupons De L'Histoire, a show dealing with the lives of French female figures. Here's the twist: it is done in the form of a magazine, covering topics like popular beauty, fashion, and food trends of the time. 

I love history and would watch any show under the sun, but I admit that they can get boring sometimes. This show is similar to Horrible Histories and The Supersizers in that they present historical events in a light, original way. I think people who aren't history-savvy would enjoy this.

I've been watching every single episode of this show, I'm just waiting for them to come out with new ones :)

What I Eat

Salams :)

You probably guessed it from the title, this blog will be about food :)

My sister in faith and in fashion Asma requested that I do one a while back. Which I worked on, but the quality being pretty bleh, I decided to save the idea for a later time. 

Today I'm back on it, jumping on the showing-everything-going-in-my-mouth bandwagon. Let's go!

 Pancake with pear sauce and dried fruit topping 

Musical Crush

Hey everyone :)

Long time, no Musical Crush, right? (I discussed music a bit since my return, check out my West African playlist here.)

New, fresh music for your ears, and that is just what our first song is about. What struck me is the music in itself, which I wouldn't be able to classify. It's like pop with a hip hop beat thrown in the mix, which doesn't sound off, but rather cool and different. I also love that she's going against the wannabe-rich-and-famous attitude that the media/maintream music industry is trying to shove down our throats.

And we'll never be royals
It doesn't ruin our blood
This kinda lux just ain't for us
We crave a different kind of buzz

Very nice, Lorde :) I don't know much about her, except that she's is an upcoming artist from New Zealand, but this sure makes me want to explore some more!

OOTD -- Pastel Love

Hello lovely readers :)

I'm back with an OOTD -- I know it's been a while :)

The former days were warm, which was really enjoyable, especially since I hadn't adjusted to the French weather quite yet. I pulled out the light summer carrot pants, which I had bought for our trip. Although the cut is pretty loose, I still wanted a longer top. I picked a high-low oversize sweater, which is perfect, since it compliments the shape of the pants while providing some coverage where it's needed :)

I'm Back!

Salams everyone!

I'm finally back home! I feel like it's been centuries since I last blogged -- it might be the case :)

This trip has been such a blessing. I took a much needed break from daily life, got out of my cave, and changed environments.

My family & I stayed in capital city Nouakchott, but we also travelled south, as far as northern Senegal, to visit my grandparents.

Last time I went to West Africa, I was 10. It has changed a bit, but for the most part, it has remained the same. I've found all that I loved so much back then. I also found new things to be excited about. Senegal was a first for me, I loved it, and I can't wait to go back and explore the country some more.

I've been able to enjoy food, clothes, music and life à l'africaine. But what really made it all worth it was the people. Whether I knew them a long time before, or we had just met, these are relations that will last a long time iA and create beautiful memories :')

I came back with a bunch of things, and I have some I want to share with you!

First, go to my playlist aka the soundtrack of the trip to get in the mood!

What's In My Suitcase?

Salams everyone :)

As some of you may know, I'm Mauritania-bound *jumping for joy*! I'll be there tomorrow inshaAllah :)

As exciting as traveling is, it needed some preparation. West Africa is extremely hot at this time of year, we're planning to visit family and be in different locations. I want to be modest, presentable, and comfortable, so I took these settings into consideration and that's what I came up with.

2013 Ramadan Recap

Salam ladies!

Let's wish each other a happy belated Eid! Hopefully, you've enjoyed quality food with quality people. I pray that we've had a great month, with lessons and blessings to take with us as we try and survive the rest of the year.

Dates & cream +  North African pastries +  Mauritanian tea  / good food and love

Now, how fast Ramadan went by!

I genuinely enjoyed this month. Of course, apart from the hunger and thirst I experienced, I went through different emotions at times, but I've been able to keep thing under control. Not only have I not found it difficult, I actually found a sweetness in it. I've been able to perform under tough conditions sometimes, which would make me react differently in other circumstances, but alhamdulillah, I've kept it together. Of course, I slipped here and there, but I take it as a lesson learned.

Another thing Ramadan has taught me is humility. You wouldn't believe what a little food does to the man. Only a well-fed person can puff up and put up airs, when you're without food, you can't even pretend! I was fasting once outside of Ramadan, an acquaintance saw my face and thought I was sick! It's a time during which our frailty becomes so blatant. When you're food-deprived, you tend to be a little more worn out and fragile. When iftar time strikes, three dates and a glass of water, and you're "back to yourself". So I found that not eating forced me into humility: we can't be as important as we think when we are so dependent on external things.

2013 Ramadan Plan + Exciting News


First off, let me say Ramadan kareem! May Allah SWT bless you with a beautiful month, with many openings and realisations inshaAllah! Indeed, the much anticipated moment has arrived, and after all the prep, it is time for me to share my Ramadan Plan with you!

1. Guard the tongue. Same old same old. No matter how hard I try, I find myself saying harmful/unnecessary things. This month, "say something nice, or don't say anything at all" and "silence is gold" will be my mottos.

2. Cook. I think it is one of the best ways to give charity, be involved at home, bond with the fam, and make my mother happy -- you can never go wrong with pleasing the mom :)

3. Listen to the Qur'an daily. I'm currently working, and it seems to take over my life. I tried to complete my reading of the Qur'an last year, but I couldn't make it. Still, Ramadan is the month of the Book, to "fit" it in, I'll turn to audio versions. That way, I can benefit from its teachings while I commute!

4. Work on my character. Need I say more?

5. Read. I'm not sure that I'll be able to seek knowledge as much as I did last year, but I want to make sure I read as much as I can. I've picked a few books that I'll read on the go: Martin Ling's Muhammad and Faouzi Skali's book on Prophet Jesus & sufism.
6. Finish learning Rabbal 'Ibadi. I decided that I wanted to learn this beautiful supplication, written by West African gnostic Ibrahim Niasse several months ago. Unfortunately, I've only memorizing parts of it since. Now would be the best time to commit  to it again and master the whole thing inshaAllah.

7. Do extra remembrance. Dhikr all the way!

Ramadan Prep


It just dawned on me that Ramadan is only a few weeks away! Isn't it crazy how fast time goes by? It's like, one day you wake up and it's fasting time and next thing you know, it's all over. 

It got me thinking -- how can I go through the month smoothly without missing out on any of the objectives I've set up for myself? Answer: with preparation. They also say practice makes perfect, so I decided to make Shabaan my Ramadan prep month. Here's how.

1. Reflect on last Ramadan. Now is the best time to stop and ponder on last year's fasting. That way, you can either tick off met objectives from your list and move on to others, or work on those which weren't achieved in 2012.

2. Document yourself. I always find it useful to go back to the meaning of the sacred month and how to reap its fruits. No matter the idea I have of Ramadan or how many years I've been fasting -- Bani Adam are forgetful, careless creatures -- reminders always beneficial :) I found this and this helpful.

3.  Using all your research, you'll be able to come up with a 2013 Ramadan Plan, mentioning bad traits you want to get rid of, qualities you'd like to acquire, all that good stuff.

4. Get in a Ramadan State of Mind. See how you can make your computer change modes? The same applies to the mind: set it on "Ramadan mode". Block negative ideas, refuse to obey your nafs, show better chararcter. To me, the earlier you prepare yourself mentally, the smoother the adjusting will be.
5. Reduce eating to ease the transition into Ramadan. You can try and lessen the quantity of heavily consumed foods to prevent headaches, mood swings... For instance, some people like to drink less coffee or tea than usual during that time. What better time to cure unhealthy snacks cravings? ;)

6. Fast a few days. In my opinion, it's one of the best way to get ready, it involves all the points previously mentioned. It can serve as a real test for the special month while allowing you to get the baraka of fasting, killing two birds with one stone :)

Here are my tips to get the mind and body ready for Ramadan. Let me know what your tips are!

Musical Crush

Salams everyone!

I know it's been a while since the last Musical Crush blog, but I have to say that I haven't been listening to music so much, and when I did, it was mainly songs that came out a while ago. Plus, I haven't found new music I was enthusiastic about.

But lately, thanks to my little TV + cable connection, I discovered a few tunes that made the neo-soul fan in me jump for joy :)

When I first listened to the first notes of this song, I knew I'd love it. The singer's voice and the guitar give the song that cool, casual vibe, reminding me of singer Dwele's earlier work. It's fresh and luminous, like a beautiful spring day :)


3 Beauty Favorites

Salam :)

I wanted to share a few favourites with you. With no further ado, let's move on to the reviews!


Oatmeal. Yes, oatmeal. As surprising as it may sound, it has awesome moisturizing and soothing properties. I learned about it from beauty blogger Bubzbeauty. When I first tried it, I didn't think much of it and put it aside. That was until I woke up with dry, itchy, irritated skin -- extremely attractive, and it seemed like all the soaps I was using just aggravated it. I remembered oatmeal, and what a relief! After a week of using it, my skin almost got back to normal. Who would've thought a simple, everyday product could work better than expensive soaps?

Books & I

Salam :)

I thought I'd come at you a different kind of post. Today, we're taking a break from hijabs and beauty products to talk about books :)

Although I confess my love for music, I find that books are fulfulling in other ways -- listening to tunes makes my life more colorful, while books allow me to escape from everyday, boring life while enjoying good stories.

Reading was amongst my favorite things to do as a kid, I remember being so curious about the world and excited to discover new things. I used to read from all kinds of texts and formats, from novels to comics and magazines, even from dictionaries!

As I got older, I got to combine my love for languages & books. To me, there's nothing like reading one in its "mother tongue". Just like watching movies in their original version, you get every subtlety that give the book its sparkle :) English books make up a third of my bookshelf, I might own 4-5 Spanish books, the rest is in French.

My favorite things to read are history, sci-fi, tales and literature. I also enjoy learning about the deen -- these days, I'm really into anything spirituality/philosophy-related, which is ironic since I used to hate philosophy classes in high school!

4 Beauty Favorites

Salam :)

It's been ages since I blogged about beauty products - I'm actually wondering if I've ever blogged about beauty products, to be honest :) When it comes to cosmetics, things are pretty much straightforward: I buy it, try it out, keep it or toss it. Also, when I like a product, I tend to stick with it, so there is little room for discovery or experimentation. However, a few weeks ago, a few products have piqued my interest, and they turned out to be so awesome that I want to share them with you :)


OOTD -- Two Collars In One

Salam ladies :)

I'm a girl of simple tastes, that applies to clothing as well. Before hijab, I wore white tee and jeans so much you'd thought it was a uniform! Although I still dig simplicity, the fun of experimenting and trying new things is growing on me :) So what I'm looking for nowadays are simple, easy outfits with a kick, paying attention to details.

I have a thing for collars, from turtlenecks to mandarine collars, I love the versatility and crisp look they can bring to an outfit. I thought, the more you wear, the better :) The turtleneck was a little plain jane to me, so I added the shirt underneath, with the bottom of it and the collar showing.