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Yassmin Abdel-Magied and Her Formula for Awesome

Today, I had the privilege of meeting renowned Australian Ted Talk speaker, Yassmin Abdel-Magied.

I recently had the privilege of meeting renowned Australian TED Talk speaker, Yassmin Abdel-Magied. Looking at that gorgeous feature photo of her, what kind of person do you think she is?

An oppressed woman trudging through the world wearing colorful scarves to alleviate her every day pain of being a woman? Is she a musician? An artist? An activist?

Nope. She’s actually a Formula One race car driver as well as a mechanical engineer. If you don’t already know, Formula One is the NASCAR of the eastern hemisphere which, essentially makes Yassmin the Danica Patrick of Australia.

But  Yassmin takes her cool streak to another level by being the only brown, scarf-wearing, Muslim woman on a team of men who have next to nothing to prove – I mean,they’re men. They’re already competent right? Sure.

I met Yassmin when she came to the University of Houston to speak at an event held by the Muslim Student Association. I entered the room that particular evening, grabbed myself a slice of lukewarm cheese pizza, and seated myself in the empty first row. Yassmin was there already socializing with other MSA members and cracking jokes as if she’d been here a hundred times and they were all close friends. Her energy was palpable. After she grabbed her own plate of room temperature food, she made her way over to the slowly filling first row and sat beside me. Her charm was instant. It was so engaging that I cannot put it into words but without so much as a few minutes passing by I just wanted to tell her all about my life and become her best friend.

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At some point in our conversation Yassmin excused herself and made her way over to the stage to begin her presentation. This amazing woman shared her experiences and made all of us laugh and through this monologue I discovered the depths of her awesome.

Yassmin is not only daring, she has also started free engineering camps to empower and teach young children technical skills, she created a mobile library in Indonesia, started a soccer team for headscarf wearing girls, and (because that’s just not enough) she started a “Masterchef Meets the Streets” program to teach local children to prepare their own meals – all this though an organization she helped found at 16, called Youth Without Borders.

Some notable words of wisdom Yassmin dabbled on:

  • Don’t care about what others think. Prove to them that if you are passionate about something, you will do it.
  • Change is bound to be uncomfortable. Get past it so you can make the situation the norm for others to follow.
  • If you want to help others, you will have to go out of your way to follow through. An idea isn’t going to cut it. Figure out how to implement it.
  • Figure out the steps to make it happen, then think about all the financial details. If you are passionate enough, fundraising/sponsorship is always an option.
  • If you make a mistake, get back up and fix it. You can’t be a winner without a scar or two.
  • All CEO’s will tell you the same thing: I didn’t quit.

While that guidance might seem simple, it carried so much weight coming from a successful Brown Muslim woman. It was like taking a peek into my own future. It was also exactly what I needed at that moment to boost my motivation to attack a few personal goals I had set for myself.

Yassmin is just another bright shining example that there is room for all of us amazing Brown girls and Muslim ladies if we’re willing to carve that space out with our own two hands. She didn’t promise that this would be particularly easy. But her life shows all of us that it is more than possible.

Featured

10 Fashion Hacks Every Girl Should Know

If you are ever in a fashion crisis, I am here to help with these handy tricks to keep up your sleeve.

Hold up. Before you do anything else…

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I don’t know about you, but I just don’t have the time or money to go out and buy new outfits whenever I have a wardrobe malfunction. Whether it’s a t-shirt that feels like sandpaper, high heels that are too tight, or some foundation stains on your blouse – there are creative ways to fix just about anything. If you are ever in a mini fashion crisis, here are some handy tricks to keep you looking fabulous.

1.Fix a Pilling Sweater by Rubbing the Pills With a Pumice Stone or a Razor.

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Just when you open your closet and imagine the perfect outfit for the day, you see little fluff balls all over your sweater. Pilling sweaters can be so frustrating that you avoid wearing that sweater all together.

The rough texture of a pumice stone catches the sweater fluff easily. Make sure to use  it gently with swift hand motions and avoid rubbing the actual sweater. If you do not own a pumice stone, another option is the handy razor. Just give the sweater a clean shave and dust off the separated pills. Whatever you do, do not pull the pills with your hands because this will disturb neighboring fibers and cause them to pill, since the fibers are not neatly cut off.

2.Soften Your Itchy Sweater With Hair Conditioner and White Vinegar. 

Did you feel like wearing your ugly Christmas sweater to class today? Then you remembered all the rashes it gave you when you first tried it on. Hold on, I have you covered.

Place your sweater in a solution of cold water and a few teaspoons of white vinegar for 15 minutes. Afterwards, remove the sweater and massage it with hair conditioner. Let it settle in for half an hour then rinse the conditioner out with cold water. The vinegar and conditioner soften the fibers significantly. Squeeze out the water and let it dry. Once the sweater is completely dry, fold it up and put it in a plastic bag. Place the bag in the freezer overnight and the sweater shouldn’t itch anymore the next morning!

3.Soften a T-Shirt by Brining It.

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If you have not been able to break into your cutest t-shirt yet, that’s OK! There is still hope for it. Salt isn’t used just to make food taste better – it has exfoliating properties and is known for its wondrous fabric softening properties. You can make your new shirt feel vintage-soft by brining it (no, this isn’t just a technique for meat!) in a solution of one quart of water and 1/2 cup of salt for two to three days. Since salt isn’t a harsh chemical,it takes a few days to work its magic. After three days, you can wash the shirt regularly and it will be super-soft and fluffy. You’re welcome.

4. Test If the Jeans Fit by Wrapping the Waistline Around Your Neck.

If you don’t have time to try on a pair of pants, here is a little trick to give you a basic idea.Wrap the waist of the jeans around your neck. If the two ends meet each other around your neck, then the jeans should fit. This rule of thumb is based on the concept of body proportionality.

5.Rub Deodorant to Prevent Blisters and Thigh Chafing.

No one wants to deal with blisters and you shouldn’t have to suffer to look good. Rub some deodorant on your soles to help prevent blisters from tight flats or heels. You can even use the same tip to prevent thigh chafing. #ChubRub is the worst, am I right? Rub deodorant between your thighs to decrease the friction. If Amy Schumer does it, so can you.

6.Add Glitter to Your Heels to Hide Large Scuffs on Soles. 

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Don’t sit awkwardly at a party to hide the scuffs on the bottom of your heels. Instead, you can fix this problem by glamming them up with some glitter! Use a brush to coat the bottom of your shoes with Modge Podge glue (I got mine from Walmart) – then, sprinkle on glitter that matches your shoes.

7.If Your Shoes Are Too Tight, Keep a Bag of Water in Each Shoe then Place in the Freezer Overnight.

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Online ordering can be either a luck of the draw or a complete disaster. If your dream shoes turn out to be one size too small, don’t head to the post office just yet! You might be like me, and don’t want to wait another two weeks for the right size to come in. Place Ziploc bags of water in your shoes and leave in the freezer overnight. When the water freezes and turns to ice, it expands and so will your shoes. They should fit so much better in the morning. If you really don’t want to put your shoes in the freezer, then I suggest you wear a pair of thick socks with the shoes on and heat the tight spots with a blow dryer.

8.Prevent Sweat Stains With Panty Liners.

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Sweat stains on your clothes can be embarrassing and a hassle to look after when you are out in the sun trying to have a good time. Take a panty liner and stick it on the underarms of your blouse from the inside. This basically absorbs all the sweat so you don’t have to worry about pit stains. Just make sure the panty liners are not visible to others, in case it is a see-through blouse.

9.Repair Bra Underwire by Adding Moleskin.

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Bra malfunctions are a real thing. When the underwire pops out of place and pokes your skin, you will want to trash it the moment you get home. Don’t do it! There is an easy fix. Quality bras are way too expensive to throw away when something like that happens.

First, you need to purchase moleskin. Moleskin is a thick, cushioned first aid bandage used to prevent and protect blisters. You can cut it into any shape you like. Place a tiny piece of moleskin on top of the hole in the bra, just enough to cover it up. Voila! No more underwire irritating your skin.

10.Remove Foundation Stains From Clothes With Hydrogen Peroxide.

This has happened to every girl out there, admit it. If not your own makeup, it is the foundation transferred from the faces of your friends who are big on hugs. Regardless, don’t worry. We can fix it.

Blot the stain with a damp paper towel to remove the excess solidified foundation. Now pour a few drops of 3% hydrogen peroxide onto the stain and massage it into the fabric. Rub the hydrogen peroxide deeper into the cloth by scrubbing with a toothbrush in circular motions. After this, you may wash the fabric like you normally would so that all the chemicals are removed. By the time this process is complete, you won’t be able to see the stain anymore.

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After years of trying crazy and unpredictable methods (a lot of them were epic fails) to resolve these common problems, I am glad to have come up with a concise list that actually gives me the results I want. I hope you feel the same once you try these out! What proven fashion hacks have you been using? I’d love to know in the comments below.

 

I Felt Numb After Watching 13 Reasons Why

For those of you who have been living under a rock with Patrick Star, Selena Gomez has produced a Netflix original series, 13 Reasons Why, and it is riveting.

For those of you who have been living under a rock with Patrick Star, Selena Gomez has produced a Netflix original series — an adaptation of the Jay Asher novel, 13 Reasons Why. The entire plot revolves around suicide. If you are sensitive to this issue, consider this a trigger warning, in which case, please do not read on. Also *SPOILER ALERT* if you haven’t seen/completed the show.

This post is a response to this article written by a psychotherapist.

Hannah shouldn’t have focused on seeking revenge which was her aim, and she shouldn’t have pushed people away and expected them to run after her. That was definitely wrong of her.

I completely agree that this show makes it harder to realize the permanence of death since Hannah has a voice and flashbacks in the show, and that might be dangerous for teens watching. But I don’t agree that this show is saying she blames everyone else for her death, even though the show is called 13 Reasons Why. From my understanding, all these problems obviously hurt her and had a huge impact on her life, and her not communicating these issues and giving others more of a chance to hear her out, was a dire mistake. But from the interview special episode, you understand that she doesn’t want to bother anyone with her problems and she frankly doesn’t think anyone cares enough. She basically felt alone going through all of this and this is why she says in the show “some of you cared… none of you cared enough.” The point of the tapes was to show everyone how much of an impact their actions had on her. She didn’t think anyone loved her so she killed herself. I watched multiple videos on YouTube from people who went through depression and I understood that some people who do contemplate suicide don’t think they are taken seriously or have friends who would care enough if they told them about their depression. So as a result, they think that maybe people will understand the seriousness of their issues if they just ended their life. Obviously everyone doesn’t think this way, but there certainly are people in the real world who feel this way, and Hannah was a representation of this.

You’re forgetting this isn’t some sort of PSA video. Despite the “recommendations” from the Reporting on Suicide site, the entire show is about the topic of suicide in a high school setting , so of course it’s going to discuss how the suicide was done (because when are high school kids politically correct?), why it was done and contents of the note (what’s the name of the show called again?), etc.

All the tiny things and the terrible things adding up put a lot of stress and pain on her heart. And yes Hannah did care too much about what others thought of her, and that is a flaw of hers, but then again, so many high school kids in real life are vulnerable like that. Maybe the others weren’t going through as much as her, or they were more vocal about their emotions, which Hannah wasn’t. It’s a bunch of things combined.

Everyone else in the show was going through their own share of problems too, but that doesn’t justify their lack of morality. I mean Justin was a jerk. Bryce was too. Jess and Alex could have communicated dating or at least still talked to Hannah rather than leaving her. They were her only friends at the time. Hannah did do a bad thing by making those tapes most of the people hated for it, which was clearly seen from the character’s reactions. I don’t see what consequence she could have now that she is already dead. Other than the tapes, Hannah never did anything remotely as rude to hurt anyone despite all she was going through. She never raped or assaulted anyone. Sure she was kind of impatient and snappy, which is normal when you go through something like she did. The other characters let their personal issues make them into monsters because they didn’t know how to cope.

Why was it so graphic? You can forward through it if you don’t want to watch it, just as I did. It’s disturbing of course (it is rated accordingly as MA). Watch the interview special with the cast and producers. But the reason they did that is to make us feel in the moment and understand to some small extent what she is feeling. Most people who watched the show and haven’t dealt with depression etc. felt bad throughout the whole show, but in the last 3 episodes, they cried because they could understand the pain to some small extent as an outsider. Kind of like when watching horror movies, someone is getting stabbed and you may feel like you are the one in pain as you watch. Of course, this show will impact everyone in different ways. The graphic content may be seen as basically a “tutorial” to someone contemplating suicide, but to others, it helps us understand that we need to be there for those who are in pain. Watching the scene makes us feel so disturbed that it clicks with us that we never want anyone in our lives to do that to themselves. Also the attention after her death wasn’t meant to tell people “commit suicide because everyone starts caring about you after.” It’s not like new people started caring about her later. The people who cared even the slightest bit before, still cared after her death but the guilt heightened it. They now know the severity of what she was going through after the suicide, which could also be achieved if she told Clay or someone else about everything she was going through. Sure, they could have offered options in the show like the suicide hotline, which they did in the special interview episode which was an analysis of the show, but the point of having ignorant characters and parents was so the viewers understand not to do the same. It’s meant to show that suicide shouldn’t be an option. It’s all about how you interpret it and what mindset you are in when watching it. The producers and writers can’t make everyone who watches happy. They had an idea in mind and went with it, but everyone can interpret it differently and take what they want from the show. So any show is going to hurt someone.

Let me know what you think in the comments below. How would you respond to the article below? Share this article on social media so we can start an open discussion.

IG: @rafafarihah

You Won’t Believe What I Found While Cleaning My Bag

I used a YouTube video as an excuse to clean out my bag. Don’t judge me 🙈

Hello blogger friends! I hope everyone has been having a great week so far. I used a YouTube video as an excuse to clean out my bag. Don’t judge me 🙈
Is it just me or do you have a lot of trash at the bottom of your bag too? Comment below some of the most interesting things you’ve found! Subscribe and like please!

Follow me on Instagram @rafafarihah for fun updates on my life and clumsy moments you won’t want to miss.

From Fandom to Fashion

I peeked around the corner of the street and there they were. Hundreds of odd looking anime characters.

I peeked around the corner of the street and there they were. Hundreds of odd looking anime characters. Some presumably schoolgirls, and others, disturbingly ugly creatures that you’d think would haunt you in your nightmares during the depths of the night.

As a complete outsider to the Japanese culture (19 and I just had my first successful attempt at sushi) and having barely any anime knowledge, I walked into the eighth largest anime convention in North America, wearing what is my failed attempt to cosplay Lulu Bell from D. Gray Man. Who is Lulu? Don’t ask me, because I went with the idea after simply Googling “easy cosplay ideas” and there she was.

This event from April 7- April 9 at the George R. Brown Convention Center covered three floors of everything from cosplay, music, fashion, anime, to art and collectibles. It was overwhelming to say the least but I took it one event at a time. I asked my way around to reach the will-call booth. If getting my pass was this much of a struggle, I had no idea what I’d do the remainder of the day.

Admiring the intricate costumes made my wandering experience a little more enjoyable. Multiple Pikachu’s, clichéd schoolgirls and a random Spider-man later, I found my way to the main Exhibition arena. To simplify what I saw, it looked like the shopping concourse at the Houston Rodeo, except with all anime and Japanese collectibles. From Samurai swords and a J-fashion center, to stuffed Pokémon characters and action figures, they had it all. It was pretty fun walking around to see all of it.

Aside from live concerts and exhibit halls, Anime Matsuri is known for its grand Japanese fashion show – typically on Friday evenings – as it’s the first anime convention to host a large-scale Japanese fashion show outside of Japan. The fashion show is always known to start exceptionally late, so I got myself situated in a seat during the wait, but it was worth it. The clothes were absolutely unique and gorgeous.

Chairman Deneice Lee, who I had spoke to before, invited me to moderate the Japanese fashion panel with some of the most renowned J-fashion designers in Japan. Most of them needed a translator as they didn’t know English too well. Hearing their stories of what inspired them was heartwarming. It shows that no matter where we are from and what language we speak, passion and drive to pursue dreams remains a universal idea. Afterwards, I was given a tour of the designers’ Lolita fashion collections. In every direction, there were dresses adorned with ruffles, puffy sleeves, and pictures of cupcakes or cats, while bonnets, patterned stockings and hair bows were used to complete the look. It was all so interesting to me. Seemed as if the anime world had come to life, but I learned that these “coordinates,” as they call outfits, are casual and party-wear in Japan. The only store in the Greater Houston area where you can find J-fashion, is Deneice’s store, Shop in Wonderland.

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The modified car show was stunning too. Just when I thought sports cars couldn’t possibly look cooler, adding pictures of anime characters and spunky background designs across the exterior was the perfect touch. Lustrous shades of purple and tree branches on one car, and the cast of an anime show on another, it’s nothing like what I’ve seen before.

Not only have we been checking out Japanese trends to bring to the States, but the same goes for Japan. I realized that Japanese companies have been incorporating themes from comic books and Marvel movies to come up with new anime movies such as Ghost in the Shell, that attract millennials globally.

Deneice brought in the hottest voice talents, anime creators and producers, Japanese musicians and fashion designers from the other hemisphere. This includes legendary Masami Suda, a character designer and chief animator of countless prominent anime shows. Even Japanese media hopped on the plane just to cover the event. With everything from K-Pop dance battles and 3-D printer workshops to a night club and Hentaifest, admittedly, there is something for everyone here. I can vouch for Anime Matsuri to pleasantly surprise you.

Welcome to the World of Anime

Just when you thought Houston couldn’t get any better. It’s home to the 8th largest anime convention in North America.

600 staff members and a year of planning goes into the annual Anime Matsuri convention, the 8th largest anime convention in North America. Promoting the Japanese culture, this 3-day event from April 7- April 9 at the George R. Brown Convention Center covers everything from cosplay, music, fashion, anime, to art and collectibles.

Founder Deneice Leigh started Anime Matsuri 11 years ago in the Woodlands, and as it grew exponentially, the convention was rezoned to downtown Houston to accommodate a larger, more diverse audience. Anime Matsuri is one of the few conventions that utilizes every single floor of the George R. Brown Convention Center.

Leigh strives to bring in the hottest voice talents, anime creators and producers, Japanese musicians and fashion designers from the other hemisphere. This includes legendary Masami Suda, a character designer and chief animator of countless prominent anime shows. To Leigh, it’s all about bringing the latest Japanese anime and trends to the audience here, even if that means traveling to the country itself multiple times a year.

“We travel quite a bit to Japan. Last year, my husband alone went seven times for meetings or to see what’s popular, and also to network with some of these companies,” says Leigh.

Not only have we been checking out Japanese trends to bring to the States, but the same goes for Japan. Japanese companies have been incorporating themes from comic books and Marvel movies to come up with new anime movies such as Ghost in the Shell, that attract millennials globally.

In collaboration with Japanese company Sailor Moon, Anime Matsuri is also working with Aniplex USA and Studio Trigger to showcase exclusive clips of new anime shows just for the convention attendees. The Anime Matsuri convention is anything but conventional, as it has no particular theme encompassing the event.

“We like to be kind of unconventional. I like to challenges myself and my team does too. We like to see people’s reactions to various things. 90 percent of the time, it works because often times, our guest don’t know what they like themselves. There is no theme so it varies each year.”

Aside from live concerts and exhibit halls, Anime Matsuri is known for its grand Japanese fashion show – typically on Friday evenings – as it’s the first anime convention to host a large-scale Japanese fashion show outside of Japan. Just when you thought that is amazing, wait till you hear about the Club Anime Matsuri featuring Aural Vampire, the modified car show, and the Cosplay Contest which has had nearly 6,000 attendees in the past.

For more information, visit www.animematsuri.com or download the AnimeMatsuri app available on both Android and Apple. April 7-9, tickets from $30-$75

Spring Break Getaway OOTD

During spring break a few weeks ago, my family decided to go on a mid-week getaway at a secluded resort in Austin, Texas.

During spring break a few weeks ago, my family decided to go on a mid-week getaway at a secluded resort in Austin, Texas. Barton Creek Resorts was beautiful, surrounded by flourishing plants. Greenery pervaded the acreage as we had a front-view of the golf course from our window. This technology-free vacation was exactly what I needed to reconnect with my family and take my mind off of worldly stress. I left that back at home. There was a cute nature trail and mini-golf course right by the outdoor pool on the cliff overlooking the large bodies of water and surrounding mansions. The sight was breathtaking. I finally had my chance to eat out for almost every meal, trying new varieties like Vietnamese Pho and Japanese California rolls.

There was a serene “tranquility room” by the spa and gym area, which was essentially where they found a cave while constructing the resort. So they turned it into a room with glass windows facing the stalagmites and stalactites. With some creative vibrant lighting over the mineral formations, natural sounds and ethereal music, candles, chaise lounge chairs and a variety of teas, they were able to successfully create a meditation room of sorts. To end the night, I worked out at the gym, and came back to my suite for a hot bubble bath with a floral Lush bath bomb. I highly recommend a getaway once in a while.

Shop my outfit shown above:

Shop my look

Turtle Neck: Forever 21, $5

Faux Leather Skirt: JustFab

Black Opaque Tights: Walgreens

Converse: Journeys, $49

Purse: Macy’s

Scarf: Get it on AliExpress here

Concealer: Kat Von D Lock-It Concealer – Deep 34, $25

Foundation: Maybelline SuperStay Better Skin Foundation – Warm Nude 30, $10

Eyebrow Liner: Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade – Ebony, $18

Lipstick: ColourPop Ultra Matte Liquid Lipstick – Kapow, $6

mixed with NYX  Lip Lingerie – Embellishment, $7

Watch this tutorial to get my hijab look & check out ColourPop Ultra Matte swatches here!

Make sure to request on my Instagram/Twitter @rafafarihah any other OOTD ideas you want me to try!

5 Beauty Hacks for Clear Skin & An Update on My Life

Not a single pimple in the year 2016 until the gloomy day of December 31, 2016. I thought I could keep the streak going, but my luck just isn’t that considerate towards me.

Hi friends! Boy, has it been ages since my last post on here. I have a lot to catch you up on, from my acne flare up to my mental health. So here goes.

Not a single pimple in the year 2016 until the gloomy day of December 31, 2016. I thought I could keep the streak going, but my luck just isn’t that considerate towards me. Now I have a bunch of tiny friends popping up every few days, but luckily I restarted my clear skin routine that I made a video of below. It’s kind of going away, but considering the fact that my eating and sleep habits have been erratic, I don’t expect the superficial remedies to work optimally. As far as my New Year’s resolution of working out consistently, I can kiss that one goodbye. The fourth time I worked out this year, was three days ago. I know, please stop cringing.

This may be the year of the Fire Rooster, but as far as my mental health goes, it’s probably the year of insecurities, lack of motivation and self-pity. Knowing myself and the way I uphold myself, I seem pretty confident according to what people tell me. That was true for a few years, but 2017 has really been kicking me to the curb. I think the fact that this is my first fellowship ever, while pursuing two bachelor’s degrees and a YouTube channel is taking a huge toll on me.

I used to be great at answering texts and emails within minutes or worst case, an hour. Having so much to do has stressed me out to the point where I have anxiety looking at my calendar, and I don’t mean the healthy kind of stress. I am so worried about how I am going to get the work done, to the point where I spend most of my time stressing and not even starting the job till later. At the same time, I can’t just disappear into the twilight zone and finish off my work all day because I still need to maintain some sort of social life. I’m still trying to figure out how to calm my nerves more, but any suggestions would be appreciated.

Constantly getting emails, social media alerts, a constantly spamming GroupMe, and all this work to do makes me want to throw my phone out of the window and just forget about this world for just a moment to self-reflect and rediscover the confident, passionate, and determined Rafa I used to love being. I think what I need is a social media cleanse.

All these never-ending notifications fades into a background hum that I don’t want to deal with. Constructing a professional email takes effort, just as editing a YouTube video, writing an article, and creating a great Instagram caption does. So what did I start doing? I let notifications sit there, and if an email or text requires a response longer than a paragraph (you would be surprised how many of those I have), I just mark it as unread and let it sit till I get the time or rather “feel like” responding to it. These unattended messages and perfunctory jobs only make me feel incompetent and worthless, and I have never felt this way before. This constant whining about my self-inflicted problems has trickled down to impacting the way I think others see me. I feel like others see me as the sob story I see myself as.

What I need is motivation, a tactic to relax and a social media cleanse. Hopefully this reinvigorates my confidence. Any advice or suggestions would really help.

As usual, please check out my video and subscribe. Pass along the link to friends who would be interested in this video and tell them to subscribe as well! Love you all.

No Brushes Makeup Challenge

No Brushes Makeup Challenge! Was it an epic fail or pretty decent?

No Brushes Makeup Challenge! Was it an epic fail or pretty decent? Let me know in the comments. I personally felt that my makeup didn’t come out too shabby. The eyebrows were definitely the worst part, as it was hard to get just the right amount of product on my fingertips. Using my fingers the entire time was frustrating because I had to keep washing my hands between products, and the entire process just felt so unsanitary considering how acne-prone my skin already is. I don’t need extra oils from my fingers all over my face to make it worse. I hope you enjoyed this video. Make sure to like and subscribe!

4 Ways to Celebrate Galentine’s Day in Houston

Did Amy Poehler know what she was putting out into the world when her character Leslie Knope invented Galentine’s Day on Parks and Recreation?

DID AMY POEHLER KNOW WHAT SHE WAS PUTTING OUT INTO THE WORLD when her character Leslie Knope invented Galentine’s Day on Parks and Recreation? Heartbreak and single syndrome can be combatted by sobbing over a tub of Chunky Monkey during a Sex & the City marathon, sure, but who needs men anyway? But whether or not you have someone to celebrate with on the 14th, Galentine’s Day has already moved from rom-com cliché to real-world holiday. Here’s four ways to celebrate it in Houston.

 

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Retail Therapy

It’s time to melt that block of ice inside with your credit card. Grab your flush friends and sign up for a Galentine’s Day Shopping Soiree ($65-$140) on Saturday through Houston Shopping Tours. The afternoon event includes signature cocktails, entertainment, chauffeured cruisers, party favors and exclusive discounts at Houston’s hottest boutiques.

Looking Good Is The Best Revenge

They say never to make big hair changes post-break-up, but we think this counts as an exception. Why stick to the conventional Valentine’s Day Hallmark card when you can wear your heart on your hairline? Birds Barbershop in the Heights is offering lovebirds a discounted price of $14 (get it? for Valentine’s?) for a buzz cut with a heart or arrow etched into their hairdo. The offer is good now through Tuesday, but you might as well show up on Monday (yes, they’re open) for the Galentine’s Night party featuring complementary bubbly, a Verb hydrating mask hair treatment and blowout and a wild dance party to beats by DJ Girlfriend.

Girly Getaway

There’s nothing like a suite escape away from the city life. Pamper yourself with a girlfriend getaway at the luxurious Hotel Sorella inside Houston’s CityCentre development. Sip on cosmos poolside, shop at all the stores without having to find a parking spot, sample Italian light bites from Radio Milano, indulge in a hot stone massage at the spa, or attend the matinee premiere of Fifty Shades Darker on Feb. 14.

Bust The Windows

Not every girl’s night out has to be full of cute and kumbaya. Hold onto your sledgehammers and baseball helmets, because this Galentine’s Day is going to get violent. The only place that encourages destruction and vandalism of property, Houston’s Rage Room is a hub for people who want to let loose. No, breaking a bunch of stuff won’t heal your broken heart but it helps a little bit. Whether you are stressed out, a recent divorcee, lost your job, or just want to have fun, simply pay the entry fee, get geared up and start smashing!

Valentine’s Day Party Makeup Look

As promised, I made a video of my makeup tutorial for the MAXIM party. This look is perfect even for a Valentine’s day date night or just a fancy party. Let me know in the comments below if you have any tutorial or video requests! Like and subscribe!

Farewell to Super Bowl Fever : 2017 MAXIM Party

Did you show your patriot-ism for the Falcons last Sunday? Am I funny yet?

Did you show your patriot-ism for the Falcons last Sunday? Am I funny yet?

It was a one of a kind game, making history for the first Super Bowl overtime. As a Patriots fan, I was undoubtedly disappointed during the first half. I nearly gave up hope (until Gaga’s halftime performance of course), but when my Internet resumed to stream the game after a brief lag, I noticed the Patriots went from 12 to 20 on the scoreboard. Like I said, Gaga makes everything better. The Patriot’s comeback was mind-blowing.

I sat on floor in front of my LCD TV, legs sprawled out, moping till the fourth quarter while I snuck in whatever few homework questions I could during the commercials. Unfortunately, most of them weren’t even good. What I did notice was that many of them centered around the topic of inclusion and diversity. Budweiser, on the other hand, straight up made a commercial about immigration. Subtle much?

I have to admit the Skittles ad was my favorite, mainly because that was the only remotely engaging commercial that genuinely made me laugh out loud (and I don’t mean a courtesy chuckle).

Living in Houston, Super Bowl fever was prevalent in my life, whether I liked it or not. Super Bowl propaganda, radio promotions for free concert tickets, significantly longer commutes to college the week before, constant construction to widen highways and revamp the bridges are among some of them. The constant buzz about all eyes being on Houston was kind of empowering, though. When does Houston ever get this kind of exposure? The city officials even had the downtown homeless population relocated to the outskirts, to give tourists the illusion that downtown Houston is pristine beyond gentrification.

Now that it’s all over, it feels weird. What now? What happens on December 26 after you hype up the entire month for Christmas?

So I started my fellowship at Houstonia Magazine this past January. I absolutely love it because of all the new experiences I get, and interesting people I meet. One of these amazing events I was privileged to attend was the 2017 MAXIM Super Bowl Party on Feb. 4, which happened to be at a new venue around five minutes from my house.

I bought myself a Tadashi Shoji gown from Nordstrom Rack for $87 that morning. What I realized during the party was that there was an inch-long thumb tack embedded within the dress which poked out the entire night, scraping my arm. I now have a 2-inch scab by my left elbow. There is no way I am keeping this dress.

The party was phenomenal, and probably my once in a lifetime experience being invited to a celebrity event as a member of the media. I had a press pass and everything, granting me access to every nook and cranny of the arena.  Even VIP backstage with free valet parking.

Six rounds of security checks and a metal detector separated guests from the party entrance as celebrities waltzed down the red carpet.

Singers, reality show stars, celebrity wannabes, and fans took to the Smart Financial Center, looking like a million bucks. You could see the fuchsia-lit stadium from miles away. Stunt motorcyclists flew through the air at the Monster Energy FMX Motorcycle Show outside the center, which had been transformed into a glamorous party hall. Models danced on illuminated platforms as waiters served light bites.

Famous faces we’d seen on TV and in tabloids stood inches away. Patriots cheerleaders walked out of their bus, posing in their cocktail dresses for the flashing cameras. Pop stars Fergie and Nick Cannon were there, as was Rocket James Harden and Dallas heartthrob Chace Crawford from Gossip Girl. Chace passed by me on the red carpet, as he avoided most of the media, keeping a low profile before hopping to another party with Fergie.

Even Ludacris made the bash. Some stayed only for a bit before hopping to other parties, while others spent the entire evening in their private suites. I spoke with Texans player Andre Hal and his girlfriend. I interviewed a Patriots cheerleader, former Cheetah girl Adrienne Bailon, Bow Wow, and even Olivia Caridi from the last season of The Bachelor.

As guests entered the grand hall, they were greeted with bright red lights, blaring music, lingerie models, and elaborate displays of macarons, cupcakes, and spiked ice cream. The Monster Energy Lounge and the open bar kept the audience in good spirits throughout the night. After crowds spent hours socializing, at around eleven, the performances got underway and everyone went insane.
Agile, graceful, acrobatic dancers hung from the ceiling on red ribbons as DJ Khaled dropped beats. DJ Khaled is cool and all, but a DJ can only entertain the crowd so much before he just gets boring, as he stands behind a booth for an entire hour scrambling to find a song we aren’t already tired of hearing on the radio. It got boring after 20 minutes, and I was left there swaying to the music for 40 minutes as I prayed for DNCE to swoop in to save me from my boredom.

DNCE came on at midnight and got the crowd screaming along to hits “Cake by the Ocean” and “Toothbrush” while tossing them everything from DNCE “currency” and roses, to beach balls and sex dolls. Yes, it was weird. I was front row in the VIP section during DNCE’s performance. Joe Jonas (aka my crush since the 3rd grade) held my hand twice during his brief performance. Just when I thought I died, I was reincarnated, and died again the second time. Ok I’m done fangirling.

Maxim Super Bowl Party - Inside
Me awkwardly staring at my phone despite being beside the love of my life.

Travis Scott ended the night at around 2:30 as the partiers roared along to his hit “Antidote.”

Follow me on IG @rafafarihah to see my interviews and photos with some of the stars. I will have a MAXIM makeup tutorial video out tomorrow on my YouTube channel.

Check out my original Houstonia article here with a video of the event.

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