Orphans, charity, love, humanity and more…

I have had this project in mind for the past 2 years…I was perhaps a little to ambitious in my mind. I would have wanted to produce more items and give back as much as possible. As I decided to “retire” from the fashion industry and no longer create massive collections, I decided to venture into more of a humane/ethical world. I wanted to put myself to good use and make a positive impact in my community…which led me to think, why not use the fabrics/trims/buttons for a good cause. I wanted to create these items for the purpose of making children happy. I wanted to make 100 dresses (initially) for charity and give them to orphaned children in Jordan. I completely fell in love with the country and wanted to perhaps be able to leave a positive mark there. I searched high an low for the right place to invest my time in and with the help of some wonderful people, I was able to find the perfect place I will give my dresses to (will be keeping the name anonymous for the moment).

As I work on many  different project from running a business, to working full-time, to blogging, to planning a wedding…this project was on the back-burner. Truthfully, I was super disappointed with myself for not being able to complete the set amount. After some struggles and some squeezed time, I was able to complete 35 dresses. That doesn’t mean I will not set another goal, it just means that for the moment, this is what I have.

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These dresses are collectives of different fabrics I owned, however, some were donated to me by friends. I used up loads of my trims and buttons to embellish them. I didn’t want to make regular boring dresses, I wanted something cool, different and unique. I wanted to make different size dresses and different dresses. Each one unique to its kind; never the same. I wanted the orphans to feel like princess in the special coming times. Since it will be Ramadan soon for us Muslims, Eid will follow. Taking the time to make these dresses in time to make the children feel happy and joyful is super humbling. I wanted to be able to offer those little beautiful angels something special just like them. Eid is a time of celebration for us, it is the time to share your wealth with the needy to make them feel like your equals. It is the time to be happy and celebrate with your loved ones. As Muslims, we grow up with charity instilled in us, because it truly is the essence of religiousness. To be able to share your goods with the needy is a marvelous feeling. It is necessary for me to keep the concept of unlimited love and kindness alive ad going.

Although I didn’t spend much time working of them, I enjoyed every minute and sincerely gave it my all.

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PS: this is one is one of my favorite!! I mean look at how cute it looks!! So novelty ❤

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I did not just stop at making little girls’ dresses, I decided to go all the way to teens. I did dresses for starting at 2 yrs till about 25 yrs. Now I would have wished that I had the chance to stay at the orphanage for a while and volunteer a little bit all through the holy month of Ramadan…but unfortunately, like I said, sometimes life takes us to different paths…paths we never dreamed of being in.

All in all, these 35 dresses all have a story behind them and I hope that this will at least make the girls happy, even if it’s for a couple of hours. I want to be part of their lives as they are the future and to make them feel loved and wanted is a blessing.

Since I was a little teeny weeny girly, I always wanted to go to Africa and “save” the world. I want to give my time to charity and not have anything in return except gratitude, friendships and memories with real people. Now, I never had the chance to go to Africa (yet), but I decided to start somewhere…although small, I am hoping that it will leave a great and positive impact. Philanthropy is a part of me and I am hoping to continue to share my love of humanity with those around me. For those who are interested in getting involved, you can shoot me an email and I will gladly transfer your messages to those in charge. This is completely non-profit for me. These orphans could use help getting the basic necessities such as school supplies or toiletries.

As Ghandi said; be the change you want to see in the world…I always, since a was little, tried to keep this in mind!

 

September Fashion Favorites

This is a first favorites post for me and since I haven’t done one of these before, I feel quite thrilled to share it with you guys. I will not have a long long list of endless favorites items. I just wanted to share my top 5 favorite fashion items of this month. Items I have been loving to death and have been wearing endlessly. Without making this intro too too long..here are the 5 items I couldn’t live without for the month of September.

1) My huge ass heavy necklace from my recent trip to Palestine:

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This is one heavy baby!!! I couldn’t for the life of me keep it on all day. It’s beautiful but fantastically heavy. I bought this baby in a recent trip to Jerusalem while shopping some antiques shops.  It’s a great accessory because it helps finish any outfit to perfection. It adds a Je ne sais quoi to any outfit and make something simple seem so exquisite. It’s unique, it’s special and it’s super poetic in a visually artistic kinda way.  If you’re looking for something similar and along those line, you can find it here.

2) My favorite favorite marsala colored light knit dress:

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I cannnnnottt ever stop wanting to wear this dress. I got it on a whim thinking it would be a great transitional piece from summer to fall, because of the color and because it’s light. I was scared that this color in particular would made me look like a great ole’ pumpkin, but seriously though, this is the most beautiful dress I own. I found it in Winners for about 24$. The fit, the comfort, the length, the color…everything about it is perfection. It’s stylish and so me on so many levels. You can find something similar to this here.

3) My ultimate favorite flat oxfords.

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I have has these bad boys for about 2 years now and they’re still going strong. I find that these shoes offer timeless style. They’re perfect in every way possible. They’re cut out oxfords from Charles & Keith. I had bought these when I was on vacation in the Middle East and they were discounted for about 60$. I bought them knowing I would keep them for a long time because they sincerely offer fashion and style. They’re definitely a statement piece but in a good way (they’re not too out there). They’re comfortable and they can be worn with dresses, jeans, skirts..you name it! With and without socks and stocking. I wore them almost daily this month and they still look brand new! (I’m pretty sure y’all noticed them in my blogs X) If you’re looking for similar oxfords, then you’ll find your match right here.

4) My Coach clutch/mini bag.

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A recent new addition to my wardrobe. I got this with a gift card I receive for my birthday and I so do not regret splurging on it. This is the perfect size clutch bag. It offers style, space and versatility. The color is super unique and the design is damn awesome. It’s subtle not to so much that it’s muted. I wear this bag with anything and everything. It’s pricey but well worth the money, really! Coach always has cool little things here and there and I took a chance getting this one and I do not regret it 🙂 You can look at more of its details on their website.

5) Last but not least my favorite ring ever!

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Okay so I bought this ring when I participated in an even recently and this cute little designer was exposing her work. I when to her kiosk. She’s talented and if I could have bought all her pieces, I totes would have!!! Like no joke! Everything she had on the table was to die for. Her pieces are well worked and invested in. You can super see that she loves what she does and has a huge passion for it. I got this ring for 85$ CAD and she was nice enough to give a 10% discount. I love the color contrast between the materials. The copper and the sterling silver is a perfect combination. Her pieces are minimalist yet very geometric, which I absolutely adore!!!! I haven’t taken this ring off since I got it. You should check out her work right here and maybe you’ll get a little something for yourself.

 

Hope you guys enjoyed this post. Please feel free to let me know what your fashion favorites have been this month in a little comments below.

Until next time xx

OH!! PS: here’s an extra picture to show you all of my pieces at work 🙂 (Check my previous post for more details on my outfit).

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What I wore: Palestine 2016

I took it upon myself to document what I wore everyday throughout my vacation. I wore everything I packed, which was pleasantly surprising…kinda means I am an efficient packer…

 

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What I wore: Thrifted bodysuit – Beaded maxi skirt (purchased from a random store while vacationing in the Middle East) – Zara shoes – Calvin Klein bag – Betsey Johnson sunglasses – Vintage necklace from Jerusalem.

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What I wore: Topshop graphic printed top – Rachel Zoe skinnies – David Jones bag – Thrifted sandals – Aldo sunglasses.

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What I wore: Miss Me beaded top – Rachel Zoe skinnies – Thrifted sandals – David Jones bag – Aldo sunglasses.

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What I wore: Forever 21 top – Rachel Zoe Jeans – Calvin Klein bag – Studded Italian slippers – Aldo sunglasses.

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What I wore: Forever 21 floral top – True Religion skinnies – Italian slippers – Calvin Klein bag – Bulgari sunglasses.

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What I wore: Long striped top (purchased for a local shop in Jordan) – True Religion skinnies – Charles and Keith sandals – Calvin Klein bag – Betsey Johnson sunglasses.

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What I wore: Forever 21 top – Thrifted skinnies – Gifted slippers – Antique necklace from Jerusalem – Claire’s sunglasses.

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What I wore: Zara checkered shirt – Thrifted skinnies – Italian studded slippers – Betsey Johnson sunglasses.

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What I wore: VS Pink burnout top – Forever 21 jeans – Thrifted sandals – Calvin Klein bag – Betsey Johnson sunglasses – Antique necklace.

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What I wore: Forever 21 top – Zara culottes – Squid shoes – Betsey Johnson sunglasses – Calvin Klein bag – Vintage necklace from Jerusalem.

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What I wore: Thrifted graphic print top – Forever 21 jeans – Thrifted sandals – Calvin Klein bag – Antique necklace.

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So which outfit is your fave?

 

 

 

Behind the Western Wall: Palestine in 2 weeks.

So I am finally back from vacation..I am not going to lie, it feels so damn good to be sleeping in my bed after a 6 week hiatus. I love traveling because it is the best way to enrich the soul with culture, heritage and history. I love meeting new people, seeing new places and learning new things. Although I had gone to Jordan quite a few times this past few years, I always seem to discover something new. I was also able to pass through Palestine and this was magical. I got to spend time in my ancestors’ country. I spend 2 wonderful weeks there where I got to explore the deepest parts of Nablus, Nazareth, Jaffa and more….In this blog, I will be sharing with you some of Palestine’s highlights. I wish I could have had more pictures..but I was so immersed with my family, that I just kept forgetting to take snaps.

I was super blessed and luck to visit the following cities in Palestine: Jaffa, Tel Aviv, Jericho, Ramallah, Nablus, Nazareth, Haifa and Jerusalem.

Palestine is basically the most important country in the world…I guess this is war never ends. It is the home of religion and history. The home to Jesus, Prophet Mohammed, the home to Christianity, Judaism, Islam…the beginning and the end of human life. Palestine is where we find the oldest city in the world…a city that was there for a little more than 10 000 year…which is quite fascinating for history buffs. It is also the hottest city in the world…gosh!!! so freaking hot because it has the lowest altitude…humidity level…1000000. I like almost died…but I gotta admit that when there’s a breeze at nighttime; it’s lovely. Oh and also, you’ll find the Dead Sea…the saltiest sea in the world…they call it dead sea because there aren’t any living creatures to be found in it.

Jerusalem of course is an important city for all 3 abrahamic religions. It is the home to faith, belief and conviction. The city is always full of devoted pilgrims that come from all over the world and gather to pray and find peace. I love it so much because it feels familiar and warming. I was able to visit the Church of Resurrection, the place where Jesus of Nazareth was crucified and resurrected. I also visited a Roman Church where I learned so much about Russian Orthodox Tradition. I got to explore the old street of Jerusalem and bought so many souvenirs from the old souks. Something I was excited to see live was the Wailing Wall, a wall  where  Jews practice their faith; weeping at the site over the destruction of the Temples. Jerusalem is a must see city and if you ever think of traveling somewhere holy and full of rich history, then you need to put this on your bucket list.

Tel-Aviv, Jaffa and Haifa have beautiful beaches because they border the Mediterranean coast. There are many beautiful sites to see, places to visit and souvenir shops to rampage. So many cool places on the waterfront promenades..just magical. The smell of the cities when you near the ocean..is just inexplicable. It smells like salt, sand, seashells and summer air. It’s a sight to see. I could totes live there. I could totes wake up every morning and just swim in the ocean ❤

Nablus is a little meh, although downtown Nablus is amazing, I didn’t quite enjoy it as much…I felt like it was a little boring. There wasn’t much to do except shop and eat (which is totally fine…but I would have wanted more sightseeing).

Ramallah is a beautiful city that kinda reminds me of Montreal. There are plenty of people and plenty of cars. There are loads of important government offices and companies. There are loads of beautiful condos and yummy restaurants. A great place to party at..I went to a graduation party there once and man!! Danced till I couldn’t anymore!

All in all, you get to see a bit of the Byzantine empire, a little bit of the Ottoman empire, a little of Palestine culture, a lot of Israeli touches, loads of Christian symbols and a whole lotta love. What’s wonderful about this country is that you see everything you need to see.

Enjoy the photos…here y’all go:

 

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Hope you guys enjoyed the pictures…I truly wish I had more photos…but I was too busy falling in love with everything.

Cheers xx

Multiculturalism, Feminism, Girl Power and Freedom of Speech

This post is going to be a little of a random post but anyway I have no idea how I came across this blog, literally none! However, I am so glad I did. This girl is powerful, wonderful, expressive and just plain awesome. She’s a feminist, an activist, a fashion lover. She writes about heavy issues that matter, such as political view, racism, Islamophobia, and some light hearted one such as fashion and photography. Hoda Katebi is truly inspirations because she has the balls to speak about issues many people are afraid to address. I usually don’t spend so much time reading blogs (simply because I work too much and there aren’t enough hours in a day), but when I came across her blog, I sat there for 3 hours straight reading up her work. She’s a gem and she’s adorable.

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*Photo via her website*

I feel like I know her, I guess maybe because we somewhat share the same ideas. Being Middle Eastern and growing up in Canada is a little difficult at time; simply for the pure fact that we’re talking about two entirely different cultures. You have so much struggles trying to figure out where you fit in and what you should say or do. Sometimes, I believe that this was meant for me because I am strong. Because I know how to take the positive from each side and use it for goodness (at least I hope I am). I always say the road to evil is easy and we can fall into that if we don’t work on ourselves and find ways to stay positive and inspiring. I believe that people like Hoda and I have the opportunity to open other people’s eyes to the realities that occur in our own countries. We are often misjudged, don’t get me wrong here, a lot of people are misjudged. But it is our job as humans to educate ourselves about our fellow brothers and sisters of the world. We are, at the end, the same. I believe our lives are more interesting because we all have our own stories to share and tell.

I am a proud Palestinian, born in Saudi Arabia, who grew up in Canada. I am African in my heart and American in my thoughts. I love Chinese food, die for Socca music, I speak Italian and Spanish, drool over the German soccer team, admire the Chinese for their work ethic and love to discover about other’s heritage and cultures. This is how I was raised by my mother, to always be kind to others..even though it’s hard at times.

I guess what I’m trying to say is Hoda has more guts than me and a lot of people I know for standing up for what she believes in and it’s truly something. Here’s a huge massive shout out to her and her blog and if you want to check it out…here’s the link:

http://www.joojooazad.com/

Multiculturalism is a beautiful aspect of our existence and we should take advantage of that to learn, explore, grow, and be free. Freedom comes from the cleanliness of our minds and this is something I believe in.

I am so ecstatic I found Hoda because she’s one to watch and I suggest you take a moment to read her work. And also, obviously, the girl’s got style!!! If you check her photos, you’ll find them quite colorful and fun. I’m totes girl crushing here..but who cares?!

 

Until next time!

 

Cheers xo

 

 

 

 

Etsy: Home of the Ingenious…

So as you all know by now, I am an Esty shop owner for about a year now. After being on the catwalk for 3 years, I realized I was part of the fast fashion industry and I didn’t want to contribute to more pollution to our planet. Long story short, being an Etsy shop owner made me discover loads of other shops that I absolutely fell in love with. Talented shop owner beyond anything I have seen…literally! And what I love about Etsy is that it’s a platform for handmade experts to expose their work and shine. Some of these shop owners use recycled materials and come up with the most genius products ever. This is a great way for recycling and up-cycling…a great way to be green, efficient and helpful to the environment. I sell on Etsy but I also like to shop because I know I will find some unique items that cannot be replicated anywhere else.

I came across 3 stores that I just couldn’t get over and I wanted to share them with you.

 

Sara Amrhein
Florence, Italy

Sara is an American artist that moved to Italy to pursue her career in jewelry making. What I absolutely fell in love with from her store is obviously her work…but more importantly the way she describes the items, the way she presents her work and the way she introduces herself and her work. I can clearly feel her passion and that is something I connected with even though I never met her in person. Her work is beautiful and I suggest you take a moment to check it out. If you are on the hunt for a new statement piece, I suggest you invest in one of her pieces. She works with polymer clay and the results are quite astonishing.

‘‘I love the way I am able to mix colors like tubes of paint and form it into any shape or design imaginable. It’s my way of creating miniature sculptures or works of art that can be worn and become part of our everyday lives.’’

 

Divamp
Barcelona, Spain

Boyd is a true artist, in every sense of the word. He’s super talented and I am super impressed with his ability to work with different materials and turn them from nothing to magnificent futuristic costumes. He’s just…ahh!! Perfection! Boyd doesn’t have to write or say anything, his passion shows through his work. If I could rock one of his pieces one day, I so would! Take a look at his shop, you will not be disappointed.

 ‘‘This Divamp shop is what I really like to make and where I truly can put all my efforts love, devotion and creativeness into, this is what I enjoy most’’

 

NoonOnTheMoon
Stratford, Canada

Felicite is a self taught artist and a dreamer. Those are the types of people I love to hang with. Having a dream and just going for it; success becomes much for delicious and your will becomes stronger. Felicite creates beautiful head pieces and jewels for weddings and special occasions. I came across her store while looking for a floral belt for a party I have this summer. She was willing to help me turn a head piece into a belt and I was super thankful for her cooperation. Although I did not purchase anything at the end, because I ended up changing my outfit, I will not hesitate to wear one of her special pieces to my own wedding. From what I can read up on her store, I feel her humbleness and kindness through her words. I urge you to go take a look at her store and if you have a special event coming up, don’t be afraid to invest in her pieces because they’re super adorbs!

‘‘Three years have now gone by since I started Noon on the Moon. Back then I had little more than a dream, but I used it to guide me. I had no education in art, or fashion, or photography, so I taught myself. I struggled with frustration and disappointment, (and still do), but it has been worth it. My bridal accessories have been worn by thousands of brides from over 35 countries. I sometimes have a hard time believing it!’’

 

 

Miami Fever

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This post is featuring one of my favorite go to matte lipstick. The color is beautiful and suitable on any skin tone, but, it is particularly amazing on olive skin tone. This Ofra-Kathleen Lights collaboration is exciting! She’s a young American youtuber who has the sweetest personality.

This terracotta-y color is part of the long lasting lipstick range. It wears super nicely and last pretty well (as long as you don’t touch it). It doesn’t dry out my lips. It feels comfortable for as long as I have it on..The only thing that bugs me is the fact that it ends up on my teeth…takes a while to dry! Therefore, when I am sometimes in a hurry, I end up having people to clean my teeth. It smudges easy. But for the most part, I sincerely do love this color ❤

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It sells for about 19.90$ USD on the Ofra website (https://www.ofracosmetics.com). Packaging isn’t super wonderful but since the product is good…I kindda look past that.

This lipstick was my inspiration for today’s outfit..

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What do you guys think of the outfit? Also have you guys tried the Ofra long lasting liquid lipsticks? What do you think of them?

Until next time!

Cheers xo