Summer-fit

It’s officially summer and I’m feeling free! My outfit makes me look like I’m going on vacation in the safari! Check out the details below.

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Hat: Old Navy
Pants: Forever 21
Shoes: DSW
Shirt: Target

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Necklace: gift from Nadiyah Seraaj

OOTD: Day 3 of Ramadan

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Photography: Muslimah Shabazz-Seraaj
Model: Intisar Seraaj
Purse: Target
Shoes: DSW
Necklace: Francesca’s
Black Cape: Forever 21
Dress: Gifted by Nadiyah Seraaj

Ramadan Mubarak 2014

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Ramadan Mubarak (blessed Ramadan)! This is the third day of Ramadan for most of the world; for some it’s the second day of fasting. This is my first blog post for Ramadan 2016, so let me tell you a little about what it’s all about.

Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. The time of the year in which it’s observed changes every year, because the Islamic calendar is based on the cycle of the moon (a lunar calendar).

Ramadan is the month in which the Qur’an began being revealed to Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him). In order to give thanks for this revelation, for the knowledge of the Qur’an, and to remember the favor God has shown us, Muslims are supposed to read a thirtieth of the Qur’an every day. During this month, Muslims also fast from food, drink, sex, and bad behavior every day from sunrise until sunset. Although Muslims can partake in sexual relations with their lawful spouse, eat and drink after sunrise, it’s best to not partake in  bad behavior during the entirety of the month.

Most people have probably heard that it takes about 30 days to create a new habit. Ramadan last for 29 or 30 days depending on the cycle of the moon. Also, the word Ramadan means to “burn” or to “purify”. Thus, this holy month is used to purify our sins, and to cease bad habits and create new, good habits like being more charitable and kind, and having more sympathy and compassion towards the less fortunate.

So here’s to creating new habits and being cleansed of our sins, God willing!

Cheers,

Intisar Seraaj

Faux vs. Natural Nails

By Intisar Seraaj

I’m 99 percent sure that no one likes dirty nails; tidy nails are an essential part of looking like a “put together” person. At the least, you should not have dirt under your nails – it’s basic hygene. But when you’re a woman, you might take nails to the next level: nails that are filed (square, oval, or pointy), buffed, and polished (clear or color). Some women, and now some men, take this “next level” route with their natural nails and some like faux nails. There’s a natural movement with hair, so why not with nails? I will tell you about my experience with both natural and faux nails, and you’ll see why I’m Team Natural Nails.

I took a walk around an outdoor mall with my older sister Iman a few weeks ago. Anyone who knows me knows that I love to shop, so this walk was teetering on torture. But as a shopaholic trying to save more, I decided to leave my wallet in the car. I had resisted temptation to buy anything thus far, as we occasionally stopped in non-tempting stores like Yanke Candle for olfactory therapy. That ended as soon as we passed by Claire’s. I convinced my sister to go in for browsing, reassuring her that I wouldn’t but anything because I didn’t have my wallet.

That didn’t stop me! She ended up buying a set of faux nails for me, because she’s a wonderful big sister. I saw my best friend Christina with faux nails on the week before and I had the Team Faux Nails itch. They looked professionally done, but they were faux nails with sticky backs. Disappointingly, I didn’t find any faux nails with the sticky backs, so I settled for the glue on type. I got the Mint Green, Silver Glitter Aztec faux nails. The picture on the right are Christina’s nails. She’s a promotional model and received her nails for free, and that’s why I could not find any sticky faux nails like hers at Claire’s, if you were wondering why I did not get the obviously less damaging stick-on nails.

 

I remember using the sticky and the glue-on faux nails when I was much younger, but I did not remember the downsides of using either of these. Although, I do remember now that the downside to glue-on nails is much more devastating to your natural nail than the stick-on faux nails.

I finally put my glue-on nails on last Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016. I was scheduled to attend the 100th Annual Alabama Conference of Social Work in Orange Beach, Florida for three days as a marketer. I figured this was the perfect time to test them out for practicality, durability, and compliments. Below is my list of pros and cons based on my week long wearing of these nails. The photograph on the left is of when I first applied my nails, and the photograph on the right is one week after when I was ready to take them off.

Pros

  • received many compliments
  • low cost
  • quick dry time
  • water resistant; kept well during showers
  • gives you boost of confidence
  • was about to paint over the silver glitter with silver glitter polish when they started to ware down
  • easily fixable when they come off
  • can be filed down like natural nails
  • look professionally done
  • beautiful designs are available and won’t cost you $5 per nail for a design
  • your nails still grow underneath but won’t show the growth between the faux nail and your cuticle

Cons

  •  people asked how long it took to do the Aztec design on my nails – Oh no! I was outed!
  • must be gentle with what you pick up
  • must be careful not to bump into hard things with your fingers
  • made of thin plastic
  • dirt easily gets under them (keep a nail brush by the sink)
  • if you use cream or lotion out of a jar, the substance will get underneath your nails
  • glue doesn’t come off easily of your nails or fingers because the directions say to use nail polish remover with no acetone
  • still have to file away the top layer of your nails when you’re done with your faux nails
  • they might come off at an awkward time
  • only have square shaped nails
  • have to soak off, and can be painful to take off

I have also had professionally applied faux nails, including gel and acrylic nails. Some of the pros and cons are the same, but the professionally nails are sturdier. But you get what you pay for, which is why nail salon faux nails are more expensive. However, faux nails (not including the stick-on) will cause damage to your nails no matter what kind they are. The professionals have a hard time taking off faux nails and have to shave off a layer of your natural nail to get the gel or the acrylic off, also. Nail salons usually shave off a layer of your natural nails before applying the faux nail or gel, also. So, that’s double damage.

When you get a manicure with your natural nail, there’s no need to shave off a layer of your natural nail at all. You can still get beautiful designs, although you may not be able to get the exact shape of nail you want based on the lengthen and strength of your natural nail. It’s hard sometimes to behave in such a way, but health is more important than beauty. However, in this case, you can still have health and beauty on Team Natural Nails.

Are you Team Natural Nails or Team Faux Nails, and why? 

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Model: Intisar Seraaj-Sabree
Shirt: Target
Skirt & Scarf: sewn by Intisar Seraaj-Sabree
Cape/Cardigan: Forever 21
Clutch: JannahNaima

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By Intisar Seraaj-Sabree

Recently, I saw an old YouTube video of Muslim fashionista Nadira Abdul Quddus with a beautiful green clutch with gold Arabic calligraphy on it! I had to have one for myself! So I went to http://www.jannahnaima.com to purchase several; I bought one for myself and one for each of my sisters and mom.
The purse in the picture is the same clutch Nadira had but in a different color, and it’s called the “metallic” clutch. The designer offers several colors of the metallic clutch. She also offers several colors of a “traditional” clutch, which is like the metallic clutch, expect that the calligraphy isn’t shiny. Then there’s several colors for the “tribal” clutch, which is the same size as the other clutches but has an African pattern and no calligraphy on it.
All of these clutches come with a thin metal shoulder strap and are the same price: $40. One of the best things about the clutches with calligraphy is that it’s not Quran and doesn’t say الله (Allah). They’re just random Arabic letter; thus, you’re free to take this literally anywhere with you (including the bathroom).
Even if you’re Muslim or have an affinity for Arabic, at least check out her tribal clutch collection. To further see why you should purchase one of the gorgeous purses, read Nadira’s blog review.

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By Intisar Seraaj-Sabree

My mom is one of the most generous people you’ll ever meet, and that’s probably why she’s heavily involved in volunteer community projects. One of the organizations she’s involved with is called SisterLinc.
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For nine years, SisterLinc has hosted an annual hat tea. 👒 ☕ My mom headed this hat tea by finding the venue, which turned out to be The Grandma Home House Retreat in Waugh, Alabama (an event venue founded and owned by my father). She also hosted several of the organizations’ board members at her home, and volunteered me to direct their first ever fashion show! 💄👠👘
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This was also a first for me. I have previous modeling experience thanks to Alabama State University and Atlanta Masjid of Al-Islam, but I’d never directed an actual fashion show. With the help of Christina Dahl, my best friend who is a professional promotional model, actress and singer, I was able to pull it off. Christina helped me with model rehearsals and organizing the walk pattern for the show. My cousin Tamika McGhee, A.K.A. “DJ Meek“, provided me with a runway mixtape. Everyone volunteered to help put this together! Even my models were my friends and associates volunteered just for the fun and experience. I truly appreciate everyone who helped put this together, and may God bless them for it.
Last but not least, the designer Ikhlas Muhammad put the most faith in me by trusting me to organize a fashion show that would properly showcase her beautifully unique designs.
This experience was definitely stressful, but I’d do it again. I actually made all of my models and the designer a thank you swag/goodie bag. I was surprised and excited when the designer have me a bunch of free swag at the end of the show, including a custom-made brown leather purse, several scarves, and a cheetah print crop top I modeled. 😄
To see all of the photos from the fashion show, visit The Grandma Home House Retreat’s Facebook album: “9th Annual SisterLinc Hat Tea & Concert”.

By Intisar Seraaj-Sabree

Megan Monique Johnson, owner of Adorn Her Accessories Boutique, is a multi-talented woman! She’s a photographer, lifestyle blogger, fashionista, and an all-around sweet and fabulous person! But this post is dedicated to her talent and passion for jewelry design.

Below Muslimah and I are wearing Megan’s “Purple & Gold Suede Crown”. This is an eggplant-colored headband with gold accents. This color combination screams “Royal”! From the velvety texture to the way the gold reflects the light, you truly feel royal, chic and beautiful when you’re wearing this headband.

Watch our video on instagram about this headband to see how Muslimah reacted when I requested the headband. You’ll see the positive effects it has on the wearer of this fab headband.

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Model: Muslimah Shabazz-Seraaj
Scarf: EastEssence.com
Shirt: Forever 21
Lipstick: “Tantalize” by Cover Girl
Headband: “Purple & Gold Suede Crown” by Megan Monique

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Model: Intisar Seraaj-Sabree
Dress: Target
Scarf: H&M
Blazer: Forever 21
Jeans: Target
Shoes: moda spana from DSW
Headband: “Purple & Gold Suede Crown” by Megan Monique

Megan Monique Johnson is on Twitter (@emberlove), Facebook (Megan Moniq), instagram (Megan Moniq), and on Etsy (Adorn Her).

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By Intisar Seraaj-Sabree
I’m really loving brooches right now! They’re classy, decorative, and helpful.

When I need to keep my scarf in place,  instead of using a safety pin I’ll use a brooch to keep the fabric from snagging in the safety pin. It’s also more decorative than just a plain safety pin. It can also be used in place of a button on a jacket, kimono, cardigan, etc. If you want a little extra coverage and your top layer doesn’t have a button, try using a brooch.
Brooches are simply great accent pieces, also! They come in a variety of looks, from elegant to exotic. Wear them on a blazer, in your scarf, on a hat, on a plain cloth headband, etc. Be creative, and start collecting some brooches. I suggest looking in thrift stores first. Great fashion doesn’t have to be expensive.

Model: Intisar Seraaj-Sabree
Cardigan: Target
Pants: Forever 21
Brooch: gift from mother-in-law
Shirt: It’s Fashion Metro
Shoes: ShoeDazzle.com