For the love of HijabFest

(This post should be properly titled: For the love of HijabFest and Getting Over My Fear Of Public Speaking but I decided due to the longevity I wouldn’t use that as my title. But that’s exactly what this post is)

Hijabfest

Hijabfest

New Brunswick Islamic Center (NBIC) hosted its first ever HijabFest in New Jersey this past Sunday. I was invited to give a small presentation on modest fashion. I agreed. I thought it would be more of a workshop on the side and I didn’t realize I would be on stage front and center. One of my greatest fears is public speaking. I despise it. I get nervous, start sweating, stammering, shaking etc. It’s not a pleasant sight to see and it’s quite embarrassing actually. Some people are scared of heights, bugs, spiders, whatever it may be and public speaking is it for me. Friends and classmates can attest to this fact and they all say it’s the strangest thing because it doesn’t fit my personality at all. For whatever reason, it is what it is. I decided not to cancel after realizing I would be front and center because I had already given my word. I debated taking drugs to calm my nerves but I don’t like taking prescription drugs unless it’s very necessary and so I decided against it. (OTC drugs are a different story. If you have a minor ache, pain or fever take a Tylenol or Ibuprofen. Or take two. You will feel great afterwards)

Upon arrival, Hijabfest was a sold out event (it sold out a few days before the event) and the entire area was buzzing. It was a smaller venue so it was pretty full to capacity. There was a great fashion show from some of the designers there. Each designer showcased 3 looks. I captured a few of them but it was hard to because I was running in and out because I had to make arrangements for my presentation. Some of the designers at the event included: Kotton Love, May Ade Designs, True Faith Apparel, Bulbul, Laila’s Collection, Unique Hijabs, and Amirah Couture. I especially loved the jilbabs from Bulbul, the scarves from kottonlove and I loved the variety and affordability of the hijabs at Al-Mujalbaba.

There was some enlightening speeches which were great everyday reminders. It was a well thought out, well organized event and it was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

 

Uniquehijabs and their models

Uniquehijabs and their models

 

designer and her models

designer and her models

 

Kottonlove and her models

Kottonlove and her models

My presentation was scheduled for 3:45 and at about 2:30 I met backstage with my models, one of them being my sister. I was going to present 4 outfits and 2 hijab tutorials. I got all the girls dressed in coordinating outfits and hijabs from my personal collection. Then it was showtime. I was shaking, my heart was beating through my chest and I couldn’t even stand. I took a seat behind stage while I was being introduced. My sister and all the models were so supportive and told me to relax and calm down and breathe slowly. That helped a bit. I wanted to turn around and run (just kidding?) but obviously I knew I couldn’t. So there was no turning back, indeed it was showtime.

Prior to HijabFest, I went over what I wanted to say a few times and I went over it with a friend the night before. I didn’t write anything out because that tends to make me more nervous. So I just winged it. No papers, no index cards, no cellphone and I just did it. I was nervous and my voice did stammer at times and when it was done I realized my presentation was 20 minutes long! It was so much easier than in school because this wasn’t a report and I wasn’t getting a grade on it. Also, I was doing something I take pleasure in so that must have made it easier. I was thoroughly impressed with myself. Alhamdulilah. I may have overcome one of my fears in doing something I enjoy. How wonderful! :)

I met some great girls from NYC and NJ. I added some backstage pics with my models and some pics during the presentation on my instagram account @sanahrashid. You can check that out here.

 

here you can see the beautiful flow of the dress

here you can see the beautiful flow of the dress

My Outfit Of The Day (OOTD) details:

Maxi Dress: Loft. I bought it on sale for $28. It has a flowy fall and a black braided rope tie as a belt.

Turtleneck: H&M

Jersey Hijab wrapped like a turban: purchased at ISNA convention

Summer scarf: Loft

Beaded matching brace cuffs: Arden B

Bag: Rebecca Minkoff with rosegold tone hardware and spike details

*This is one of the first times I have experimented with mixing 2 different prints. If they are of similar colors you can totally do it. I think it perfected the outfit by giving it a casual trendy look. What are your thoughts on mixing prints?

hijabfest

hijabfest

 

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For the love of New York Fashion Week

 

#NYFW

#NYFW

Last week I attended my first ever fashion show during New York Fashion Week. The show had 4 designers and it was sponsored by FUSE and was held at Alvin Ailey studios. The designer I came for was Ashley Peciola- AP for Women. I love how the outfits were so unbelievably modest. It consisted of pieces I would easily wear like blazers, trousers pants, long sleeved tops, skirts and long dresses. One of my favorites was this emerald green jumpsuit. It had a deep cut down the back but can be easily accommodated by wearing a shirt under. It came with a detailed belt. It was such a standout piece (I do have a slight preference towards jumpsuits, especially long sleeved ones).

designer list and description

designer list and description

green jumpsuit

my fav piece- green jumpsuit from AP for Women

yellow skirt

yellow skirt from AP for Women. I loved that the skirt had pockets!

 

Ashley with all of her models

Ashley with all of her models

Ashley, 2 of her models and I

Ashley, 2 of her models and I

 

Sir Algernon and his models

Sir Algernon and his models

 

with Amani

with Amani

I met Amani of MuslimGirl.net !

cobalt blue

cobalt blue matching

 

outdoors after the show

outdoors after the show

My Outfit of the Day (OOTD) details:
Leather pants: Helmut Lang. These are my first time wearing leather pants. It was an Eid gift to myself and I was so excited to finally be able to wear them! I love how it’s two colors dark teal in the front and black in the back. I love the front pleats and the sash in the front. It’s such supple leather. It can be paired perfectly with a simple cotton top and it would look great with booties as well.
Silk top: Jeunesse purchased on ruelala.com
Cotton hijab wrapped like a turban: kottonlove.com . This hijab is cotton and makes for the perfect turban because it gives slight volume and a great shape as compared to a jersey scarf which clings more to the head.
Flats with studs in black and rugged silver: Luxury Rebel

After the fashion show, my friend and I met up with Langston for a photo shoot. He is an extremely talented photographer from Detroit and he was in NYC working on an exciting project to be released next year. You can follow him on instagram @langstonhues

after the photo shoot with Lansgston

after the photo shoot with Langston

 

** I will be attending HijabFest this Sunday in New Jersey and will be giving a tutorial on Hijab Essentials and Everyday Looks. Will you be attending? Make sure you buy your tickets as soon as possible because it’s almost a sold out event! Place the code: MODHIJABI at checkout to save $5 on registration. You can purchase tickets here. Hope to see you there!

Thanks for reading! Xoxo

 

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For the love of DC

I came to DC with some friends to attend the ISNA convention. ISNA stands for Islamic Society North America and the ISNA convention is a convention held annually which brings speakers from all across America to enlighten us with some great lectures and workshops. There is also a bazaar which has clothes, paintings, furniture, jewelry etc from all over. It’s great to hang out with friends from near and far because these conventions bring tons of people together from all over.

outside the convention center

outside the convention center

I finally met Farrah of Greater Lenghts!

I finally met Farrah of Greater Lenghts!

I finally got to meet some people I have been networking with. One of them is Farrah of go to Greater Lengths . She’s awesome and I love her blog! You can read all about it here. She did a great section on ISNA as well entitled Modest Marvel and highlighted girls who she thought were dressed fashionably and modest and it is definitely worth checking! I spent a good amount of time at the bazaar because of the great hijab shopping. I bought hijabs from KottonLove and Zeena. I also bought hijabs from Zeena when I went to Fashion Fighting Famine in California. I love their unique prints! I bought a headscarf with chains on it. I am loving chains as a print and wearing chunky chains as well. It’s definitely a trend this season.

 

a handful of the ladies from Saturdays dinner

a handful of the lovely ladies from Saturdays dinner at Busboys and Poets

 

NURA!

NURA!

Nura is a complete sweetheart. Check out her youtube channel here and you can follow her on instagram @nuralailalov.

 

not the best of pics, but the only solo shot I have in this dress

not the best of pics, but the only solo shot I have in this dress

Here is my Outfit of the Day (OOTD) details:

Pleated Dress: W118 by Walter Baker purchased on gilt.com

Turtleneck: H&M

Statement necklace: C Wonder

Jersey hijab wrapped as a turban: Hijabista

 

grabbed dessert with these ladies

then I came back to Busboys and Poets and grabbed dessert with these ladies

With none other than Aaisha Shaikh of Bakingparttime.com

Monday we did tons of sightseeing with the kiddies. We went to the Smithsonian Institute- National Air and Space museum and there was no admission fee! And I was surprised it was actually open because it was labor day (in NYC everything is closed). It’s so great to see different cities and how they each function uniquely. We also did touristy stuff and went to the National monument, Reflection Pool and Lincoln’s Memorial.

from the National Air and Space Museum

from the National Air and Space Museum

Here is my Outfit of the Day (OOTD) details: (I needed a makeup free day after the fun filled weekend so Monday was #nomakeupmonday)

Jumpsuit: Jealous Tomato from KaRa (at Roosevelt Field Mall)

Blazer: Zara

Crossbody bag: Vince Camuto

Sandals: Tory Burch

Necklace: White House Black Market

from the National Air and Space Museum

from the National Air and Space Museum

To read about all of my delish eats during my DC trip make sure you read my previous post by scrolling down or clicking here.

**I will be attending a show during New York Fashion Week, NYFW, as I was invited by a designer- Ashley of AP for Women. Her latest collection is Mod Lux. You can see a preview of what she will be showcasing in NYFW by clicking here. I love how she mixes modesty and fashion. Sound familiar? I can’t wait to see what she has in store for the runway. There are some outstanding pieces!

 

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For the love of Washington D.C. – Food Edition

I travelled to DC for Labor day weekend with friends and family. The post was getting so long that I had to split it up. Here is the food edition of my DC trip. It’s a detailed description of the restaurants I went to. (some of these restaurants are actually not in DC but 10-25 mins away)

Busboys and Poets: very trendy laidback “community gathering place”. The chicken is halal and the meat is kosher. There are tons of vegetarian options, dessert, drinks and coffee. A major added plus is it’s completely inexpensive. I had the chicken Panini and some of my friends had the steak and asparagus salad which was a mere $13. It had 3 pieces of steak, salad with asparagus, dressing and gorgonzola cheese. It was so fresh. The dessert was great as well. I had iced mocha (twice) and shared desserts with friends. I loved their cheesecake. Link here. I cant emphasize how much I loved this place, probably one of the reasons I came here 3 times during my stay!

at Busboys with my iced mocha

at Busboys with my iced mocha

picstitch of Busboys

picstitch of Busboys

 

RJ cafe: this restaurant is nothing fancy but the food is outstanding. It’s a mom and pop type of restaurant with minimal décor. It could be described as All American and soul food. Their signature dishes include melt in your mouth ribs, BBQ wings, and chicken fried steak. For appetizers, we had the wings which are exceptionally large and are dripping in this BBQ sauce that is perfection. The crunch under the sauce was still there.  Whenever I see halal steak available, it’s hard for me to resist and so that is what I ordered. Unfortunately it was too dry for my liking. The chef saw me and asked how everything was and I said the ribs were exceptional (I had some from my friend) but I mentioned that in my meal, the steak was a little dry. He insisted on bringing another one. We came with such a large party that there was so much food I was actually almost full due to the appetizers. I thought that would serve as a mutual agreement to not bring out any more dishes. Within minutes there was a full plate with ribs (and sides) in front of me. Exceptional service. The ribs were melt in your mouth delish and the meat just pulled off the ribs with such ease. (Restaurant is actually in Maryland about 25 mins from DC). Link here.

BBQ wings

 

ribs at RJs

ribs at RJs

 

Burger 7: If you know anything about me, my all time favorite food is a burger. We have some good options in NYC but nothing that I am fully 100% head over heels in love with. Well, I just had one of my best burgers EVER in DC. Yes in DC. If you ever had Elevation Burger, I would say Burger 7 would be similar to it but substantially better. I felt like the meat was juicier and the B7 sauce added an extra kick of flavor with just the right amount of spice but not overpowering. The meat is 100% organic (free range grass fed) and it definitely adds to the taste. The burger is not too large. I ate one within minutes and ordered another one. You  can add toppings to your liking, which is probably another reason why I love it so (Restaurant is actually in Arlington but that’s only 10-15 minutes from DC). Link here.

(I think I am still looking for a burger spot that is preferably not a chain because I feel like that would be more authentic. Do you know of any? What’s your favorite halal burger spot?)

burger7

burger7

burger7

burger7

posing outide of burger7

posing outide of burger7

 

 

Ravi Kabob: I needed to get my traditional Pakistani/Indian meal fix on the last day of the trip so we picked up Ravi Kabob before heading back to NYC. They don’t carry biryani on Mondays so we had to order plain white rice and bread (naan). The bread was great even after we got back to the hotel room. They did have the chicken karahi which is a dry chicken in curry with tons of spice. It was bursting with all exotic flavors. It was so tasty that I couldn’t stop eating it. The entire order was devoured in a few minutes (restaurant is actually in Arlington but that’s only about 10-15 mins from DC). Link here.

So that was a summary of what I ate in DC. With food options this unique and delicious, I am definitely coming back to DC very soon!

Next post will be on my outfits and pics with friends and some fabulous ladies.

**Next week I will be attending a show at New York Fashion Week, NYFW, as I was invited by a designer- Ashley of AP for Women. Her latest collection is Mod Lux. You can see a preview of what she will be showcasing in NYFW by clicking here. I love how she mixes modesty and fashion. Sound familiar? I can’t wait to see what she has in store for the runway. There are some outstanding pieces!

 

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