11 April 2014

Weekly Tidbits

The last two weeks or so I have half survived on a mixture of hot water, fresh lemon juice and honey. No food - just drinks. I had some rather incredibly shit news early last week and the very next day my body seemed to react to the stress the news brought on. I woke up with a massive coldsore (I only ever get them when I'm super run down or stressed about once a year, if that.) and instant tonsillitis. It was as if my body was saying "Fuck this... I'm going into shutdown mode. See ya later..." and decided to give up for a while. 

I couldn't swallow any food, even my own saliva was hard to keep down it hurt that much. It was horrible. I'm actually considering getting my tonsils taken out in the future because I get it about twice a year and quite severely. Has anyone ever had them taken out before? I know kids usually get it done, but I was wondering if adults ever bother with it?

I was meant to start working on YouTube videos to incorporate into the blog but my throat has been so swollen and closed up that I sound like a broken down yeti (think Chewbacca) so that has been put on the back burner for now.

After getting considerably better I went and got my nails done and made up for a week of not eating by basically gorging myself on everything in sight. I haven't been in the mood to blog since my shitty news that I'm still dealing with but I have been keeping up to date on Instagram, posting at least once daily so make sure you follow me (@MissHijabi_blog).

So happy to learn San Churro has opened up near me! I've been twice in the last two weeks to get my Spanish chocolate fix.

Lunch today in Freo with my husband - grilled snapper, salad and potatoes.

Yesterday's breakfast at home - mini croissants with strawberry jam and tea.

I have a large pile of clothing to photograph, reviews to do, emails to get back to, etc. I've just been in such a lost space for the last two weeks, hugely lacking sleep because of stress and worry and now my laptop has died thanks to my daughter deciding it needed a shower. It did not. She then broke the TV for the fourth time by throwing balls at it. After dealing with that I went online and realised a lot of photographs on my blog weren't working so I had to re-upload a massive amount of data and images.

The shit has hit the fan so many times in the last two weeks. I'm just completely over April already. Can't wait until May rolls around! Vacation time! Hopefully it will bring me better luck and some much needed sleep...

04 April 2014

Electric Blue

A little while ago I styled a piece for Aussie label Baraka Women and mentioned that a second one was on it's way. This blue 100% silk blouse is a wrap style design in a hue I adore. It's pretty much perfect in shape and form, draping beautifully the body (especially down the bust) and has a beautiful sheen in the sun. It can work for smart daywear but being silk it really deserves to be worn in a more formal (non-casual) outfit.

My friend acted as model for me for the day while I tottered away on the camera because I mostly feel like nothing works on me lately. Maybe it's all in my mind but some days being pregnant gets me in a bad funk where I feel nothing fits, looks good or looks put together. I just want to languish away on the couch for eternity. Woe is me type stuff...

Check out Baraka's website, Facebook page and IG account.

29 March 2014

Hair Be Gone!

Every time I mention to my husband that I want to get my haircut he gives me this shitastic look of WTFness and a very vocal "Noooooo" because he keeps thinking I'm somehow crazy enough to get my long hair chopped off for something Ellen would go for. I have to keep reminding him I mean a trim and perhaps some layers, not a buzz cut. 

I don't dye my hair, I prefer it natural and I'm not into crazy styles but I need to get something done to it. It's quite long but I think the last inch or so of it is straight up split ends, plus there is a chunk missing out of it at the back where a hair cut went wrong many years ago so I'm thinking just to cut it a lot shorter to even it out (maybe shoulder length) and get rid of the damage. 

I've got red/auburnish hair and it is on the thick wavy side of things so I'm thinking any of these looks would be perfect. Choosing the right one however is the dilemma. Take a look and tell me which one you would go for. 
I know they're very similar, but this is what kind of style I'm heading towards. The top two are layered with long side fringes (bangs) while the bottom two are very lightly layered with no fringes. Which lady's hair do you think looks best? 1, 2, 3 or 4?

26 March 2014

Casual Weekend Wear

The downside to pregnancy? Half of everything you own refuses to fit. Sammy Dress sent me a few items to review, one of them being the grey knitted dress below which I had a friend wear for me (I played photographer for the day) because although the piece fit me, it was way too tight on me for modesty sake. I looked like a giant fish trapped in a fishing net. It was not good, lol. On my friend, however, it was perfect. The upside to this dress is that it is one size and only costs $16. So damn cheap and decent quality considering the price. 

My friend tied her turban herself in a scarf print I adore while the rest of the outfit we kept pretty casual as the Sammy Dress sweater dress isn't exactly formal attire in itself. It also gave me a chance to include a recent bag purchase of mine - the Cambridge Satchel in lilac. 

A little while ago I got rid of basically 90% of my bags and clutches when I decided to minimise what I did own and promise myself to only buy quality. Since it is made of leather and is made in England I had no doubts about its workmanship. The fasteners are really handy because when worn over your shoulder and across your body it is pretty hard to nab. There are so many bag thieves and pickpockets in Perth. I hear about incidents almost on a daily basis thanks to a certain Facebook crime watch page so having a secure closing bag was important to me. I only wish it was a little bigger so I could fit my camera in it too. Other than that I love it. It is a tad expensive but seeing that it is leather I completely expected that and had no problem paying a bit more than I usually would for a bag knowing that it will last a hell of a lot longer than any synthetic bag on the market. Besides, a lot of synthetic material made bags can have a similar price tag so it didn't phase me paying $200 odd for a decent handmade leather bag. 

The lilac colour was limited edition so I'm not sure if they still sell the exact same colour anymore but they're always producing new models in a plethora of different shades. Good news is ShopBop sells them and offer international free delivery which is a huge bonus in my opinion. 

Details + Links
Dress ~ Sammy Dress
Cambridge Satchel ~ ShopBop
Everything else ~ Friend's Own

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23 March 2014

Back In The Abaya Game

I was talking to Imaan of TheHijablog, who like me was blogging way back in the early hijab blogging days of 2008 and we started discussing personal style. I brought up my opinion that a lot of the much younger hijab bloggers all seem to wear very similar styles that at times make me question whether they are dressing according to their own personal style (something which I realise develops over time so it may just be an age related thing) or they are merely following trends - aka the original Ascia and the trillion Ascia turban  copycats. Skinny jeans, oversized tops and turbans. It seems to be part uniform for the new generation of hijab bloggers.

For a long time I was known for wearing abayas. I obviously have opened up my wardrobe range slowly over the last year or so but being currently pregnant for the third time (about to hit that 20 week half way point!) has me reaching back into the depths of my closet for abayas again because up until a few weeks ago my usual pants fit great. Now they barely do up with the help of an extender elastic. 

It has made me realise that I kind miss wearing them - they are so graceful, elegant and ladylike; but more importantly they are damn comfy to wear. No belly restrictions, no reason to feel like you are going to bust through your clothes any minute now after eating half a meal. Last week at lunch with my friends I actually had to undo my pant's top button because I thought I was going to cut off my blood pressure and die facedown in a bowl of mansaf. Still haven't gotten around to buying maternity pants... probably should. I nearly bought a few the other day from ASOS when they had their 20% off discount but by the time I got my two kids in bed the sale was over and I lost out. 

In the meantime my old abayas are getting more and more use and being introduced to new friends - this NA Exclusive abaya being one of the new lot. It's definitely a night time piece but night shots wouldn't capture the true sparkle of this gown. Those golden offshoots of light blinging off the sequins are 100% natural. I did not edit them into the pics except for one on my face in one particular photo because I'm not photogenic and nine times out of ten my normal looking face contorts into shrekdom when dealing with the sun. Just one of the many times that I look back on photos and think "Holy crap... do I really look like that?" while laughing and jokingly pondering "How did I ever get a man?". I'm not a selfie taker by any means so practicing camera appropriate faces isn't really a skill of mine. I didn't want any of my readers shitting themselves in terror, hence the facial star. But seriously... the abaya... so damn sparkly. The sun is just bouncing of it. 

The strip of golden sequins goes all the way down the sides of the arms, across the neck (which you can't see - scarf's fault) and down the sides of the body, flaring out at the bottom. The sequins are lined on the interior of the sleeves. They're not on the body section though. The belt is a wrap around so you can wear it or not wear it to your heart's content. The matching hijab also has a strip of sequins on one end but I went without it today as I thought it was a little too much gold going on at the one time.

The material is light but a little too thick for Perth's summery desert-like days but the piece is so in your face that you wouldn't want to wear it in the daytime anyway so that doesn't really matter. 

As always the abaya was custom made for my measurements so it was a perfect fit, even with the baby bump.

Details + Links
Heels ~ ASOS
Ring ~ Egypt
Nails ~ Sally Hansen

Crazy short nails because they never grow for me when I'm preggers. Sad face. 

21 March 2014

The Drawbacks of Freely Given Trust

The recent IMFW scandal Aquila Style wrote about (it's not often you hear the word scandal tossed around in Muslim circles) has definitely brought up the issue of trust and how much you should trust a stranger, an acquaintance, a supposed friend, etc.

In my own mind I tend not to trust people wholeheartedly no matter who they are. A close friend can always turn their back on you, a family member can let you down, your spouse can betray you and you yourself can be your own worst enemy at times. However, when it comes to business I think we owe it to ourselves to walk into situations with a little bit of cynicism and a healthy dose of doubt. Even something as simple and usually hassle free as online shopping needs to be looked at carefully before handing over your hard earned cash. A well renown and long established company is usually a safe bet, but a brand new business or one that has a history of not so good reviews really needs to be examined before parting with your dollars. I myself have had an experience with a Muslim clothing company who had sent me items to review on the blog which were great only to turn around and swindle actual customers out of their money, not to send a single thing and then proceed to simply disappear into the internet abyss with pockets full of stolen cash. 

It pays to check things out. A simple google search of the IMFW organiser's name (Shea Natrice Bates, so I've been told) will lead you to many first page results of her alleged past arrest mugshots. The crime in question? "Theft by taking". Although people should all be given the benefit of the doubt, sometimes you have to be smarter, put two and two together and cast some serious doubt on the issue at hand. If something doesn't look right, back away. If the smallest thing worries you about a person or a business then listen to your gut and keep your distance. If you know something and feel it will affect others involved then say something - that is another aspect to trust. It is not always about you trusting others but what are you doing yourself to ensure others can trust in you? 

Apparently other bloggers knew of her alleged criminal past where she had allegedly swindled others out of their money by promoting fake events and still they said nothing. Their reasons are their reasons, some legal, some not and while it is their prerogative to either say something or not it could have saved many Muslim women from purchasing event tickets, purchasing domestic and international plane tickets, hotel payments and the high cost and associated fees that vendors and designers had to pay to be a part of the now famously "scammed" event. I know a few of the designers that forked out a lot of personal money that they had to take away from their families in order to participate. It has been a huge financial and emotional blow to them and by the looks of it and what I have heard they may not even get their money back as according to police nothing can really be done about it. 

Trust is a huge issue and being Muslim doesn't make it any less important. We tend to think that because someone practices the same religion as us, wears a hijab, has a beard, has a good Islamic name, etc that they are all of a sudden one hundred percent trust worthy. We automatically assume that they fear God and therefore would be a good person. Not the case, my friends. Not the case. Would you hand your children over to a stranger merely because she is Muslim? Would you pass your personal banking details over to a random man simply because he attends your local mosque every week? No, you wouldn't, nor should you. Trust is something that is earned, not freely given on sight. If you don't know the person and they are asking something substantial of you then it pays to do your homework. Research them if needs be, ask around in regards to their reputation, etc. If they come out squeaky clean, great. If not... take it on board and make your decision from there. 

For me, this event didn't affect me in any way.  I was asked to promote this event and for a time I did as the person in question repeatedly asked many bloggers and Instagram peeps to share her event to their followings for free. Most legitimate businesses or events that require promotional services from bloggers, no matter what form it is in, will pay for that service in one way or another. I didn't feel it was right for a business to use me for free to promote their money making event. Any legitimate business knows that if you want to make money you have to spend money, particularly in advertising.

Other bloggers however paid out of pocket to fly internationally to attend the event, being told that they would later be compensated for flights, hotel costs and appearance fees. Now they are stuck with the payments and the stress of it. 

I feel incredibly sorry for all the women and families that have lost money, time and faith in the Muslim business community as a result of this disaster. Hopefully something can be resolved for their sake but many of us doubt that will actually happen. If anything can be taken away from this situation, it may just be that we need to be more wary of those whom we deal with and treat the issue of trust on whole with a little more distrust if only to safeguard ourselves in the future. You know... tie your camel first and all that. 

15 March 2014

Introducing Mod Shop

Mod Shop is a brand new US based business created by Sweet Modesty blogger Sadeel which caters for "the woman who embraces technology with style and a caring edge with brands that make you feel good about what you wear" as they are very selective about providing ethical fair labour clothing pieces that are stylish yet modern without compromising the livelihood of the garment's makers. You can read more about their fantastic cause for slave-free labour made clothing here on the Sweet Modesty blog.

They have plenty of plainer pieces but these exquisitly embroidered kaftans are what really stood out to me. I love the bronzed gold matched with the softer mint and purple shades.

They also sell some very unique jewellery, scarves, custom made pieces and design your own bridal clothing.

Make sure you pop on over to their website to see their collection. You can also follow ModShop on Facebook and Instagram.

11 March 2014

The Pro-Hijab Statement T-shirt

Hijab Louvre sent me their pro-hijab t-shirt and at first I honestly didn't know how to style it because I'm not a t-shirt type of gal. I don't even own one and probably haven't since I was a young child because as a whole they can be quite masculine looking on me so I always stayed away from them. I did have to see how other hijab bloggers were wearing this shirt (it was sent out to a few as far as I can see) to get some ideas and decided a card-like open blouse over the top and a maxi skirt would seal the deal for me both style-wise and shape wise as t-shirts always make me look bigger than I am. The mixture of broad shoulders and a larger bust don't do well in t-shirts, hence me tucking it into the skirt at the waist and hiding the sleeves. You really have to know how to dress for your own body shape!

The complete message of the top was a little cut off in my pics so for comprehension sake I have to tell you it says Hijab is Freedom, Fierce and Faith. The colours are very soft and girly so I worked in some brown and soft pinky-peach hues in to dress it up.

I'm heading over to Malaysia for a week in a few months time with some friends for a girly pampering trip and we have mostly decided on making use of the gym hotel in the mornings while we are there, knowing that every single day we will be devouring fancy high teas and cakes galore. I don't really have any workout clothes besides a pile of cute Adidas clothing pieces that I KNOW will not fit me once the holiday time arrives and this baby is busting out of my torso so I'm thinking this top would be cute hotel gym apparel with a pair of trackies. For this reason I got the biggest size they sell which means although it is extra roomy now, it will be maternity perfect in a few months time. 

On a side note - I've had this skirt for quite a few months now and have never worn it and I have no idea why because I think it is just absolutely beautiful! It is all black at the back while the front is colour blocked in very feminine colours. I just love it! I really need to wear it more often.

Details + Links
Top ~ Hijab Louvre
Scarf ~ Egypt
Skirt ~ ASOS
Shoes ~ Zara
Blouse ~ Big W/Kmart?

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10 March 2014

Jade Kaftan to the Rescue

Sahara Boutique sent me this kaftan and it really came at the right time. I've hit the part of pregnancy where everything begins to not fit anymore. I'm having to say goodbye to pants and most of my maxi skirts because they are all too tight to the point where I feel like I'm choking myself from the stomach up. It's bloody depressing, especially when it comes time to get dressed to go out when I have to rummage through piles of clothing that are no longer comfortable which just leaves me wanting to sit on the bed and have a hormonal cry about fabric and how much it sucks. I foresee spending the rest of my pregnancy in kaftans and abayas, possibly tents and stretchy pants if I can get away with it.                                                    

I've been wearing this piece on its own at home on and off since I received it in February (I'm very behind on catching up on my product reviews and let me tell you they are piling up at home!). When I get back from going out I just want to rip everything off and slip a comfy kaftan on where I can die comfortably for ten minutes on the couch. Going out though, it needs a little help in the sleeve department (hence the dreaded carina top underneath) and I do have to wear either fitted pants or a maxi skirt underneath because it's just a tad too short for me. 

The dipped hem at the back is rather cool and not something you tend to see in most kaftans. The sides are not meant to be split but I split them up the sides more (without ruining the dress or stitching) so I can make sure it lasts me further into my pregnancy. There are ties on the inside of the kaftan to tighten it more around your waist but it is mainly wasted on me considering I said goodbye to my waistline last month and it won't be reappearing until later on in the year. The coiled embellishment on the chest is made from a golden yellow plaited thread with metallic gold stitching run through it to make it glisten in the sun. I couldn't quite capture it with my camera but it was really sparkly. 

It comes in other colours (there's a gorgeous navy blue version I was originally going to get) and they have plenty of other designs, all of which you can check out via their Facebook page

Details + Links
Kaftan ~ Sahara Boutique
Top ~ Carina (Egypt)
Hijab ~ Egypt
Maxi Skirt ~ Dunno 
Shoes ~ Zara
Bag ~ Palestyle

Check below for similar pieces.

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07 March 2014

DIY Labato Jewelled Phone Cover

Labato have sent me phone covers before and have decided to send me two more again - similar in design to the last one but in a more updated version. The main difference between these and the last lot are that the newer models have plastic inserts that holds the phone a lot more securely and of course colour variations. My hubby uses the black one while I took over the brown (big fan of earthy colours here even though I tend not to wear them too much).

Once again, the covers are made of leather so it is more durable and of higher quality than the usual plastic crap on the market. The Labato phone covers are sold online via Amazon, AliExpress and Ebay. You can get both the black and my brown one here for iPhone 5 and 5s.

I loved the shade of brown I got but wanted to spice it up a little (as I have done before to an older phone) and did a little DIYing in order to do this. The big cluster of moonstone white and amber bling was part of an old earring set (that I wore in this old post) that broke but I always held on to it thinking "I'll use that someday for something else". Use it I did by simply coating the back in superglue and sticking it on to the phone cover, making sure it was smack bang in the centre.

It was probably the easiest, cheapest and prettiest DIY trick I have ever done - all in under thirty seconds!

What do you think of my pretty new accessory? Have you ever DIYed something old into something new?