How To Style Mustard for the Fall 2017

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Hijab: Local store in MN (similar HERE)

Shirt: ZARA (similar HERE)

Pant: TOPSHOP

Shoes: ZARA (sold out, similar HERE)

Bag: PRADA

Happy Wednesday!! It's been a while! I have been busy moving out my whole life from Japan to the U.S. It was a very difficult, yet beautiful journey. Difficult in the sense that I had to leave my family, and the country that I grew up in. At the same time, I am loving every moment living together with my husband. mashaAllah!

Now on to the outfit. I have been seeing a lot of mustard lately, and I think its a fun color to incorporate for the fall. It is a very tricky color, and that is why I like to keep everything solid and plain, because the color it self pops out on its own. White and black are usually safe colors to pair with mustard. I would swap out my heels with black ankle booties if it was colder.

What do you guys think of mustard outfits? Comment down below!

Also, check out my previous posts if you haven't already. 

Until next time, 

xx Fariha

 

 

 

 

What I wore: Road Trip to Explore Cherry Blossom Forest

Happy spring!  The weather in Kobe doesn't know where it's headed. Some days it's cold like no other, and some days it feels like summer has come. 

The trees here are starting to shed. The picture above is of the trees outside our house that were completely bare just a few days ago!

Sakura Forest

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We recently went to a Sakura (Cherry blossom) forest in Kobe, and it was a different world all together. So soothing and relaxing, taking you to something beyond imagination. 

I love places where I can smell the history, and this was just it. It seemed so old, yet so refreshing. 

If you ever decide to visit Japan, second week of April is surely the best time! It's just heavenly over here.

Now on to what I wore on the road trip...

  • HIjab and Abaya: Karachi, Pakistan
  • Shirt: ASOS
  • Denim Skirt:  Sannomiya (A shopping street in Kobe, Japan)
  • Bag:  Sannomiya 
  • Heels: ZARA

We had a road trip and I couldn't really decide what to wear. I decided to opt for something out of my usual choices, which was this long denim skirt. It had been hanging in my closet for as long as I can remember (lol). Since it is spring, and spring is all about pastel colors, I decided to go all pastel blue with my shoes, bag, and hijab. With black abaya on top and my comfy kitten heels.

These kitten heels were definitely my inspiration for the look. 

 

LOOK FOR LESS

I have picked these items online for you to create your own version of this look for less! Enjoy ;)

That's it! Check out my previous posts if you haven't already.

Until next time! xo

What I Wore: Potluck Night

Hey girls! Happy Monday. I hope you all had a great weekend! I know I did, as we hosted a party at our home, and I got to meet a lot of friends.

 Anyway, I wanted to share this dress that my mom got for me that I'm totally in love with! I went to my friend's house a while back for a potluck (one dish party). I had just gotten married and I wanted to dress up, yet keep it classy. This dress turned out perfectly with my jewelry. It is flowy, girly, and it is an epitome of elegance. I love it so much, I already have repeated it like three times! 

 

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Because it was a potluck, I had some heavy stuff to carry. So instead of a small purse, I used this big chunky bag from ZARA. It kept my outfit together and I didn't have to carry heavy stuff in shopping bags!

MARIA. B. has become one of my favorites for Pakistani clothes after this dress! I will definitely be looking out for their new collection.

That's it girls! I hope you enjoyed. Leave me a comment, I love reading your guys' feedback! 

If you're new to my blog, check out my previous posts! Also, don't forget to follow me on Instagram, and Facebook. I do Fashion, Travel Diaries, Recipies, and a lot more!! 

See you soon. Ciao!

Honeymoon Diaries: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia + Tips

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Okay guys, so before I post my next country from our Europe excursion, I wanted to take a moment and go back to the beautiful memories..., our first vacation together! We went to Malaysia to spend some time after our wedding in April. It was such a last minute plan, I was told on our reception that we are going to Malaysia (I wasn't expecting the visa to come on time).

Now, if you know anything about Pakistani weddings, you know they last for a very long time, even after the wedding. This gave Mister a hint that we weren't going to be able to spend time with each other, if we had to attend parties with the limited time we had together (He had to go back to the US). So, he decided to take me the next day of our reception, which was quite different from tradition, and I ended up LOVING it! 

I had been to Malaysia before, but all I remember was food that we ate, and how much fun I had with my family, as I was only seven years old. Good ol' days.. 

The Restaurants:

Since everything is Halal, we went for places that we wanted to try that we normally can't in other countries. First place we went to was Pizza Hut, as I was craving pizza that I hadn't had for months (I know, bride problems XD). For breakfast, we went to places like Pancake House, near our hotel, Ben's in pavilion mall, and one day Mr. Idrees brought some stuff from Starbucks, also near our hotel. We also went to B.B.Q. Tonight, but I like the Karachi one better! I didn't take that many pictures of the food, because I didn't know I would be blogging about it one day 😂

Coming from a place like Japan, Malaysia was heaven when it came to halal food. Everything screamed "I am HALAAAL"

 Ben's Restaurant

Ben's Restaurant

Okay before we even went to Malaysia, this traditional dish, Nasi Lemak (above) was on our list. After speaking with concierge for about half an hour, and three restaurants later, we finally found the restaurant that served this dish. Everyone was raving about it, and we had to try it. Mister didn't like it (I'll explain why later XD), and he thought it was over hyped. I liked it, it was just like a mixture of Pak/Indian curry with a touch of Chinese. 

So, do you see those crunchy-looking-little-chips? Top left, underneath the cucumber? yes? Well that ain't potato fry or fried onion, it's DRIED fish that just smelled wrong. Mr. Idrees TRIED it.  Yep. You get why he said it's over hyped 😂 Otherwise, the dish was amazing! BTW, their wifi password was ''think big''.

Marini's on 57

Marini's on 57 is the highest restaurant and lounge in Malaysia. Located on the 57th floor of Menara 3 Petronas. It felt as if we were in the clouds! Not only that, their food was awesome! Especially pasta and salami pizza. Give them a try if you ever visit there!

They have a strict dress code, so I wore this dress with a gorgeous abaya (coat) below. 

Shopping

Sneak peak of le shopping. Except for the phone and the perfume. Mister gave me those before the trip. The perfume (Parfums de Marly DARCY) has such a beautiful story. He bought it in Saudi Arabia when he went for Umrah before he even knew me! For his future wife, AKA meee 😍 MashaAllah! It is a very intense and long lasting fragrance, with citrus accents, sweet floral notes, white musk and patchouli. I love it! 

Fresh coconut water at the local market!🌴 AND my wedding henna :)

At a furniture store casually sitting there pretending like ☕☕☕ 

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Accommodation

We stayed at "The FACE Suites". It was GORGEOUS. Everything, from the rooms to the roof top.

 

Their infinity pool was👍 

Mr. Idrees😍

 Petronas Towers at night from our hotel.

Petronas Towers at night from our hotel.

We were told to visit Langkawi, and other places when we were in Kuala Lumpur, but as it was such a last minute plan, we didn't go anywhere which was the best decision! We really got to know each other, because the time was spent together doing little things like getting ready and going out for dinner and shopping. Not spent commuting and exploring the city. Don't get me wrong, I think exploring the city has its own perks, but honeymoon isn't for it. It is to spend time together, getting to know each other. 

Some tips if you are planning your honeymoon trip soon:

  1. Choose a country that you don't have to explore. 
  2. If you have a strict diet you follow, then choose a country that won't disappoint you when it comes to eating out. (ex. if you're muslim, choose a country where halal food will be easily available)
  3. Take loads of videos! It's fun to watch in the future, more than pictures!
  4. Remember, you end up remembering the memories that weren't planned! So, plan less and live in the moment, because those are the moments you all will cherish for the rest of your lives! :)

That's it peeps! I hope you enjoyed ;)

Check out my previous style post, our Paris and Italy travel diaries + tips if you haven't already. Also, stay tuned and subscribe for next destination from our European excursion, Germany!

 

What I Wore: Cold day in Kobe, Japan.

Happy Tuesday girls! It's getting cold in Japan day by day, and it's perfect weather to layer up! I love winter outfits, because you can layer as much as you'd like. Here, I am wearing a zig zag maxi dress that is typically worn in the summer, but if you dress it right, it can be a life saver for Hijabis for that last minute plan all year long! I love short jackets, as they don't take over the whole outfit like long coats (not to mention how warm they keep you ;) ).

Layering a patterned maxi dress can be tricky, but keeping other things such as jeans, outerwear, bags, shoes and scarves in solid tones without any pattern will most definitely cut the risk of looking like you have too much going on.   

 

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I was feeling extra fancy, so I wore heels. You can change it up into a comfy and casual outfit by wearing loafers, or booties with thick heels! Although these pumps are by far the comfiest ones I own! I guess it depends on the length of the heel, and these are not that tall.   

That's it loves! 

Have you checked out my other posts yet? If not, check out my Travel Diaries  (more coming soon), more Style posts, Recipies, How to loose weight HERE

Also, I am having a $150 Visa Gift card giveaway, that will end and I will announce the winner on my Instagram on January 12th, 2PM Eastern Time. (I have extended the giveaway because of so many entries rolling in last minute). So, don't forget to enter if you haven't already. Check HERE to learn how to enter.

See you soon. :)

(CLOSED) GIVEAWAY! $150 VISA GIFT CARD

GIVEAWAY ALERT!
I'm giving away A $150 worth ''VISA'' gift card.
Simply enter the giveaway by following these 2 STEPS down below.

1.Follow me on INSTAGRAM page
INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/farihaidrees/

2.SUBSCRIBE to my blog by entering your email HERE→ http://farihaidrees.com/subscribe/

THAT'S ALL!
You MUST follow ALL 2 STEPS above to enter.
Lucky winner will be announced here on 12th of January, 2017 at 12PM Eastern Time. (I have extended the giveaway deadline because of so many entries rolling in last minute)
Good luck!

※If you are under the age of 18, make sure to ask for your parent's permission

※The gift card can be used online or in any store, wherever the visa card is accepted. 

※Giveaway is open Internationally

Thank You

First of all, I would like to thank each and everyone of you for taking your time and entering the giveaway! It was very difficult to choose the winner as I did not expect to get so many entries. 

The Winner!!!

Drum roll please........The winner is ''@romai_sa92''!!! Congratulations!! I have sent you an email for next steps, so please reply back to claim your prize.

If I don't get a response from the winner within 3 days, I will choose another winner.  

 For those who didn't win: I will be having more giveaways in coming weeks, so there's always another time! :)

In the mean time, check out my previous POSTS!

THANK YOU!

 

 

 

5 Things To Make 2017 An Awesome Year

If you find yourself getting happy for others' happiness, know that you have mastered some awesome happiness skills. We tend to get jealous over little things. As I dive into this thing called life, I'm coming to realize that happiness is all about contentment.

A poor man with a roof over his head and food on his table can be more happy and rich than a person that seems to have it all.  Happiness doesn't happen to people who are not content with their ''TODAY''. Who are waiting for their ''TOMORROW''. That ''tomorrow'' will always become ''today''.  So if we learn to accept our present (today), and be content with it, our lives will be set.

 You have goals to achieve? Great! You want to better yourself? Perfect! You want to have better life than her/him? why? Why not live our own beautiful kind of life? What good will we get after living a ''better'' life. It is all a game in our minds, that we are in control of.  YOU get to decide the definition of ''better''.

 

You want happy life? 1.STOP GOSSIPING! If you find that you are gossiping about others, know that you are NOT happy with your life. Gossiping about others' behind their back is a major sin and we should refrain from it. Is this really why we came in this life? To gossip? To compare? The tragic death of our late brother Junaid Jamshed last year has seriously got me rethink about life. About how we think it is in our control, but it is actually not.

2. Remember death often, because when you know you just are a ''guest'' in this world, you will act nicely with others. You will 3. Make sure that nobody is hurt by your act whether it is intentional or unintentional. I can never thank my mother enough for telling me to take care of one thing in life no matter what. And, it is so beautiful that I want to share it all with you. She said ''If someone is hurt by your words/act, it could destroy your life. Never hurt someone whether the person is young or old, poor or rich''.  

I make sure since then, that nobody is hurt by my acts. If I did hurt you, please forgive me. 4. There is no shame in asking forgiveness in this world as it will be so difficult to get it in the hereafter.  

Nobody is perfect, and we all need reminders in life to succeed. This was just a quick reminder to you and myself, that 5. we only live once, how we live and feel is in our own efforts

With that said, happy new year to all of you! Let's start this year with positivity and zero negativity. May you find peace with your family. 

Thanks for reading, now hit that share button to spread the positivity. Ciao.

Travel Diaries: Rome, Italy

Rome. Where do I even start? This city has some magical power. My historical-place-loving soul was so happy to be there, and it was so fascinating to see buildings and other old architecture that are over two thousand years old, scattered all over the city. People were very welcoming and the food was AWESOME.  What made it even more beautiful was the fact that I got to explore the city with my special person <3  

The Colosseum

Dress: ALEX EVENINGS My beautiful mama got this gorgeous dress for me! Hijab: Sannomiya, Kobe  

Vatican Museum

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Sistine Chapel 

WARNING: You're not allowed to take pictures in the chapel. I didn't know this and the security told me not to after I already took this picture below.  

We went inside to see one of the most famous work of art in the world, which you can see in the mural below.                                                     

 

The Trevi Fountain

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Coat: ZARA, Hijab & Bag: Store in Rome, Nail Polish: GUERLAIN (#042, Firebow)

When my family went earlier this year, it was completely covered, under renovation. Feel so bad as it was honestly breathtakingly GORGEOUS!

We threw a coin together in the fountain (more like I begged Mister to do it with me lol). Something I wanted to do forever. They say that your wish comes true if you throw a coin in it. We don't believe in that, as true love is everlasting, but we still threw one in just for the sake of fun! 

Close up of the nail color swatch, Fire Bow #042. The color looks red in the picture but it has an orange-pink hue. Gorgeous color.  

Piazza di Santa Maria in Trastevere 

Street of Smart Cars and Your Iconic Italian Vespa

The Food

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Did I mention how awesome the food was? No.  Even though we couldn't have meat at most places, it didn't feel like it at all. The food was fresh and simply made from natural ingredients. One thing I heard about Italian chefs was that they don't like to ruin the pizza/pasta by adding lots of artificial flavoring and sauces. This trip proved it right. Any cooked meal we had was made from minimal ingredients and was excellent. This trip has given me some serious tips on Italian cuisine. Food is no problem in Italy, whether you eat Halal, Kosher, Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Wheat Free, or Dairy Free.  

We had countless amount of Gelato (Italian-style ice cream). Gelato is everything in Italy. Feeling happy? Gelato. Wanna grab something? Gelato. Dessert? Gelato. 

Some unique flavors that we loved:

  • Coconut cream - sounds weird, but it tastes exactly like, as if you are eating coconut meat! Awesome for coconut lovers!
  • Chocolate Mint - This flavor itself has been a favorite of mine since I was young. It is refreshing and creamy at the same time.. just try it once!
  • Espresso - A little bitter for my taste but excellent for coffee lovers! (AKA Mister)
  • Nutella - Creamy, Chocolaty. Can never go wrong!! A little on the sweeter side though.
  • Moca - In between sweet and bitter. 
  • Pistachio - Reminded me of ones in Karachi! 
  • Passion Fruit - It tastes exactly like passion fruit, and the texture is more like sorbet.

 Nutella tubs <3 Oh, See that little sticker on the wall? 

Yes, this white one at the bottom. This was put on there because of me! I asked the guy if the gelato with cone was gluten free, and it took him at least twenty minutes to figure out, basically to find the packaging. So, after he was done telling me that it is not gluten free, he put the ingredient label on the wall! I made history! Creeps me out a little as well, because this is going to be there for decades, just like the buildings and structures. Which reminds me, it is already 2017! Happy new year peeps! Time is flying by so fast. Catch and make memories with loved ones before we run out of time!  Speaking of gluten-free diet, check out my results after being on it for three months.

Accommodation

We stayed at Sheraton. We had a suite, but I would recommend to just get a normal room, as you hardly spend any time in the room. Majority of the time is spent exploring the city.    

Roaming Around The City

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THAT'S ALL! I hope you enjoyed and found this post helpful in planning your travels. Check out my Paris Diaries if you haven't already, and stay tuned for the next destination, Munich, Germany!

 Don't forget to subscribe down below and like my Facebook page, Instagram for more posts like this!

Coat Hacks For Winter 2017

Hey guys! So it is getting cold day by day, and it's that time of the year where you can't go out without wearing a coat. Styling the same coat with same things can get repetitive and boring, so I figured I'd share tips on how to style coats depending on the occasion.

These tips would still work even if you don't wear hijab(cover your head with scarf)!

Let's get on to the first look,

The Casual Chic

Keeping it casual, yet making it look like you put a lot of effort. The hijab is tied effortlessly, and the style of the coat is bulky. This kind of coat can be pretty tricky with hijab and can make you look all over the place if not styled right. The skinny jeans, and booties along with a classy bag pulls the whole outfit together.

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  • Hijab: Sannomiya  Kobe, Japan
  • Coat: Zara
  • Booties: Banana Republic
  • Bag: Local store in Rome
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The Elegant 

When in doubt, wear white! (I don't think the saying goes like that, but let's just pretend it does :P ) When you have to look feminine but you don't want to put the effort, just wear white, with neutral tone scarf and shoes. If it doesn't make you feel feminine, I don't know what will ;) You could do nude pumps with this look as well, and change the bottom to white, that would be another classy look. 

  • Hijab: Dolmen Mall in Karachi, Pakistan
  • Coat: COMME CA ISM
  • Shoes: Bershika

The Urban Chic

 

Black headscarf already compliments the trench coat and makes it look edgy, and adding the black backpack completes the edgy look. Keeping the girliness with cheetah print booties.

  • Hijab: Dolmen Mall Karachi, Pakistan
  • Trench Coat: Zara
  • Shoes: Moca in Sannomiya Kobe, Japan

    

    And last but not the least, my favorite:

    The Classy

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    My favorite kind of look; perfect for a date night out. (I still rock it in the morning when I go out with my friends tho... teehee) A classic pair of black heels never go out of style. They change and spice up the whole outfit like no other. Try it someday ;) Keeping the colors of the accessories, hijab, bag, and shoes the same makes you look done up and elegant.

    • Hijab: Sannomiya Kobe, Japan
    • Coat: Weinberg Paris
    • Heels: Unbranded Shoe Store  Rome, Italy

    That's all! I hope you enjoyed. Don't forget to subscribe down below and like my Facebook page, Instagram for more posts like this!

    And check out my previous post about gluten free diet if you haven't already!

    See you soon ;) 

     

     

     

     

    After 90 Days on Gluten-Free Diet

    Hey guys, I have been meaning to write on gluten/wheat free diet, but I wanted to make sure that I am on a gluten/wheat free diet long enough to talk about it. Here I am, after three months on being on a gluten/wheat free diet. 

    What is ''Gluten'' anyways?

    Gluten is a name of protein found in WHEAT, BARLEY, and RYE. It is what keeps the food in shape acting as glue. 

    What is a ''Gluten Free'' diet and who is it for?

    Gluten Free diet is when you don't eat anything that includes gluten. And, it should be led by those who have Celiac disease, gluten sensitivity and ''wheat allergy''.

    Celiac disease

    Celiac disease is an auto immune disorder, in easy words, eating gluten foods can cause damage to the lining of small intestine to people who have the disease.  The intestine fails to absorb the nutrients. Symptoms of Celiac disease include chronic diarrhea, vomiting, chronic constipation, fatigue, irritability, decreased appetite, and failure to gain weight. Most people with Celiac disease are undiagnosed, and the symptoms vary from person to person, some people have mild while others have severe symptoms.

    Gluten sensitivity/intolerance

    Gluten sensitivity/intolerance is a condition that causes a person to react when eaten. It is diagnosed in people who experience symptoms after consuming gluten, but test negative for wheat allergy and celiac disease. Reactions include bloating, abdominal pain, fatigue, gas, brain fog, and depression.  

    Are gluten sensitivity and wheat allergy the same thing?

    No, people who have wheat allergy need to avoid everything that includes wheat. Wheat allergy should not be confused with gluten sensitivity.  If a person who has wheat allergy eats food that contains it, it can trigger an allergic reaction from mild symptoms (rashes, itching, hives, or swelling, sore throat) to severe symptoms (trouble breathing, wheezing, and loss of consciousness). Not all gluten free products are safe for people with wheat allergy. Some manufacturers use wheat that has had the gluten removed to make gluten free products.  Therefore, they are gluten free but not wheat free.  It is better to consume food that is labeled ''Wheat free''. However, people who have wheat allergy can possibly be allergic to other grains as well. So it is better/safer to avoid gluten altogether until you have gotten your blood test done for other grains and have asked your doctor. 

    So, how will I know if I have any sensitivity? 

    There are 2 ways to diagnose.

    1. Get a blood test done. (obvious haha) 

    2. Note if you have any of the above symptoms, then avoid gluten/wheat for a few months to see if you feel any different.

    Can I avoid gluten because it seems healthy and will I lose weight? 

    If gluten/wheat is avoided by a person who doesn't have celiac disease, gluten intolerance, or wheat allergy, it will not affect them at all. In fact, gluten free products are not always healthy because they include a lot of ingredients to make them taste like wheat products. Which means more processed food which is unhealthy. I have been on a gluten/wheat free diet for almost 3 months now.  And, surprisingly I have not lost any weight XD Because we are human, we need calories to survive. I still eat carbs, but just not made of wheat/barley/rye. Please stop going on gluten free diet just because it sounds healthy and seems like a new trend. Because it will not do you any good if you're not suffering from one of the above conditions/symptoms. 

    Does it feel any different after 90 days of gluten/wheat free diet?

    Yes! It sucks big time when your family member are eating an awesome looking burger or pizza slice, but it is all so worth it. Because I have wheat allergy, I feel different after the diet change.  One of the main results I have seen is that I do not see the rash that I used to get on my wrist. And, I do not have sore throat in the morning which I thought was a normal thing to have every now and then. No headaches, feeling tired all of a sudden after eating hearty meals.

    Now, whilst you were reading this, if anything triggered, making you think you have any of the above conditions, I would HIGHLY recommend you to get it checked. Majority of us suffer from these symptoms, but never get to know what actually is happening. I want to spread awareness of hidden allergies that we have, as food is a big part of our lives, and how it makes you feel can leave a huge impact on a daily basis.  

    Thanks for reading. Share with your friends and family, like my Facebook page and Instagram for more posts like this! 

    See you soon! 

    Travel Diaries: Paris, France

    Paris indeed is a city of love. The atmosphere, the people, everything about this city was just elegant. Despite being a little feverish during my stay there, I enjoyed it a lot.  Mr. Idrees and I spent our time in Paris wandering around the main attractions, shopping at Champs Elysees, stopping at cafes for a quick warm cup of coffee, basically loving every corner of this beautiful city.

     

    The Eiffle Tower

    The Eiffle tower in person is huge, and it's quite difficult to have it all in one picture unless you are taking the picture from afar. 

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    It lit up at night, making it even more gorgeous. 

    The Arc de Triomphe

    We stayed at The Hotel Lancaster, located in the heart of Paris, right off of Champs Elysees. 

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    Breakfast in bed.. they also had fresh gluten free(wheat-free) bread!

    The shopping malls and one of the most famous fashion street, Champs Elysees was walking distance which was very convenient. I loved the hotel, the service they provided was amazing and beyond expectations. 

     

    When we got back after a long day, they had covered the floor with rose petals that was very unexpected, and so pretty. Despite being a luxury hotel, the historic side of it was maintained very elegantly. Even their elevator was quite unique and old fashioned, giving it an 18th century vibe.

     Evening stroll along the river. 

    We got this painting that I fell in love with the moment I saw it. Too classy for words! I can't wait to frame it!!

    It was a memorable trip.. definitely not what I expected it to be. The people were very nice, and hearing them speak french was a treat to the ears! AND it made everything sound so beautiful.  

    If you can't decide if you want to go to Paris or not, I'd say definitely go if you have not been already, because Paris is always a good idea!

     

     

    That's all! Don't forget to like FB and instagram for more posts!

    Satisfying Oatmeal Pancakes | Healthy + Wheat Free |

    I know how frustrating it can be to avoid gluten when you love food that has loads of it. Here, I am going to share my go-to recipe for those cravings in the morning, or for that typical late night snack. This is a guilt-free, gluten-free pancake recipe :) Literally you can make the batter in a blender, in seconds! Delicious food that is quick and guilt-free? YES please!

     

    Ingredients:

    1. Oats      200g
    2. Milk     130ml
    3. Egg       1
    4. Salt       1/4 teaspoon
    5. Sugar    1 teaspoon
    6. Baking powder        1/2 teaspoon
    7. Vanilla essence        1/2 teaspoon
    8. Cinnamon powder   1/2 teaspoon

    Instructions:

    1. Blend the Oats

    Blend the oats in a blender until it's near the consistency of flour.

    2. Make the Batter

    In a bowl, add oat flour that you just made, and add the egg.

    In goes the vanilla essence, baking powder, salt, sugar, and cinnamon powder. Optional: If you don't have vanilla essence available, you can add same amount of maple syrup instead.

    and the milk...

    Mix it until it forms into a batter-like consistency.

    Optional: If you are in a hurry, you can also dump all the ingredients in the blender after blending the oats, and make the batter that way. Quick and easy.

    3. Cook

    Heat a nonstick skillet, brush with oil. 

    I use organic extra virgin coconut oil when I cook certain foods like pancakes, sauteed apples, basically any snack that I have to cook with oil.  We think that olive oil is the healthiest oil but, not when high heat is applied. In easy words, certain beneficial features in olive oil can be lost through cooking. Heat, along with light and oxygen, can destroy the nutrition in olive oil. Olive oil, being a monounsaturated oil, is the most fragile and is not recommended for cooking. It is excellent when added at the end of cooking and eaten uncooked. Coconut oil; however, being mainly a saturated fat, is able to withstand higher temperatures than other oils, making it one of the best oils for cooking. 

     

    When the pan is hot enough, pour some of the batter on it and let it cook. You will know that it's time to flip when you see little bubbles on the surface. Cook both sides, and keep layering on top of each other when they are done. Put some butter on top, pour maple syrup or honey and you're done! ;) 

    Give it a try, and like my FB and Instagram pages to get notified of my latest post! Until next time ;)

    What I Ate Today | Healthy & Gluten Free | + Recipies

    Hello beautiful people!  So, I get asked a lot as to what I eat, and what my daily intake looks like. Here, I am going to show what I usually eat to inspire some of you guys showing that you can actually enjoy food that is delicious and maintain a desired figure, only if your choices are right. Before we start, I just want to clear one thing. I am avoiding gluten these days. Hold your thoughts. I am not avoiding to act ''cool'' or whatever, the struggle is real xD I knew from before that I was allergic to wheat, but it never really bothered me, as I didn't get any symptoms or reaction after eating. Recently, I've noticed that excluding gluten (a protein composite found in wheat, barley, and rye) has reduced my symptoms that I have been noticing lately.  I will dedicate a whole post to discuss allergies in the coming weeks.

    Here's what I ate today:

    Breakfast

     

    So, I start off my day with some cold Soymilk. Not as a milk substitute, but just because I love the taste of it!  Just 150 ml though, because it has more calories than milk. Best part? It is good for the body! Soymilk is an excellent source of high quality protein and B-vitamins. It also contains isoflavones, plant chemicals that help lower LDL (bad cholesterol) if taken as a part of a "healthy heart" eating plan.

    I was craving pancakes but... remember? We can't do wheat no more (because of my allergy). So I made these oatmeal pancakes that taste JUST like regular pancakes, but healthier. Now, when I say healthy, I don't mean less calories, it might be the same or more even, but I mean that oatmeal is always better than flour. Check out step by step recipe here

       Lunch

    I had chicken mozzarella salad for lunch today, that might have had more calories than a subway sandwich. Salad is not supposed to be only vegetables that will make you hungry again in like 2 seconds. It should be filling, so that I don't get me hungry again! 

    To make this salad I used cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, an avacado, some lettuce, and finally some sauted chicken. You do not have to use all these ingredients in order to make a yummy salad, use whatever you want or whatever that is already available in your fridge. 

     Cherry tomatoes (my favorite), and lettuce are packed with vitamins and minerals. Not to forget how cute they make the salad look!

     Avacado is incredibly nutritious, from vitamins to protein to fiber, and is a high fat food. It is high in monounsaturated oleic acid, a ''heart healthy'' fatty acid that is believed to be one of the main reasons for the health benefits of olive oil. A good fat that our body needs. 

    I scooped the Avacado with a spoon to take it out and sliced it into long pieces.

    I also added some fresh mozzarella cheese, just for the sake of taste! I love it. 

    Gently took the fresh mozzarella out of the packet and cut it into slices. 

    Sauteed some chicken with salt and pepper. 

    And... Voilla! Just put together all the ingredients in one bowl and added some mint leaves! YUM! 

     Dinner

    I had basic fusilli pasta, but what was not basic about it is that it was made of RICE. Completely gluten free.  

    I saw these couple of days ago at the grocery store and I had to try it as I love pasta and there was no way I was leaving pasta just for allergy reasons. I have to say, if I didn't know it was made of rice, I would not have ever known. It tastes just like regular pasta. A must have for people who love pasta and are going gluten free.

    The recipe for this is pretty basic and self explanatory, I sauteed some chicken on the side and chopped up some tomatoes and sauteed them until they became like a puree. Then, I added salt, pepper, and paprika powder. Mixed it with boiled pasta and topped it off with some dried basil (adds so much flavor) and sprinkled it with dried garlic flakes. I ended up eating a little portion of it as the salad from earlier was really filling. 

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    That's all! :)

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    Burn Fat While Sleeping: Get Your Body Fit

    Did you know that there is a way to burn fat even when you are sleeping? Sounds awesome right!? Well, there is. All you have to do is breath, and you will burn calories :) Why you ask? Let me ask you a question, why do we eat? We eat to live (well, some live to eat xD ). But, why does our body need sustenance? Because food gives us energy, and we need energy to be able to walk, talk and live. Now, if we do not give the body food, it will go into starvation mode and use it's stored energy deposits; fatty deposit, and worse, it will use muscle first! Muscle readily breaks down, much more easily than fat, releasing ketones (without getting into the science behind it, it is energy the body can use from muscle degradation) in the body that it can use for instant energy. Albeit fat may have more stored energy, it also takes time to convert to energy, and is the body's last resort. 

    You must be thinking, why did I even click on this post then? If I only have to be alive to be able to burn calories, like while I even sleep I would be burning calories. Well, how many calories you burn depends on YOU and your lifestyle choices. You can burn more, you can burn less. In addition to lifestyle choices, partly depends on your metabolism too.

    The metabolic rate: the rate at which the body burns calories without doing any physical activity - is partly determined by the amount of muscle we have. The more muscle we have, the higher the metabolic rate; the less muscle we have, the lower the metabolic rate. In other words, More muscle = more calories we burn, even whilst sleeping. The body will require more food, so we CAN eat more, and subsequently burn more. Less muscle = less calories burned, and more food will lead to weight gain. That is why when you eat extra food that your body doesn't need (can't burn), it becomes fat, unless you burn it with working out and exercise. Caloric intake is directly related to muscle gain, and without physical activity, obesity. This explains why men, who have a high portion of muscle, eat more, and have faster metabolism than women who have less muscle (normally). And, why a 20 year old has a higher metabolism than a 80-ear-old - again, the 20 year old has more muscle than the latter (usually), and with age too, the metabolic rate slows down due to muscle and bone degradation over the years. 

    Some are blessed with faster metabolism since birth, and some need to work to get it. Metabolic rate is under your control. If you love eating food, start building muscles and enjoy all the food in the world :)

    Check your metabolic rate here and get an idea of how many calories you burn without doing any rigorous exercise, you can balance your weight and at least prevent weight gain.

    Mine: I need 1955 calories a day to survive, that means if I don't eat this many calories, I will start going into starvation mode (Read more about Starvation mode here). On the other hand, if I want to eat more than 1955 calories, and still maintain my current body weight, I can simply do that by burning extra calories on treadmill. If I want indulge into sweets, I have to  to do something even more rigorous, like going on a shopping spree for three to four hours! Continuously standing, walking, bending and flexing trying on clothing, you're working out! 

    You want to eat a box of cookies that's 300 calories? Earn it and eat it :)   YOU DESERVE THAT COOKIE alright!

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    How to loose weight in 7 days: Get Your Body Fit

    How to loose weight in 7 days? Easy. Drink plenty of water one day, then weigh yourself and note down the number. Flush it out from your body the next day. You'll see the difference! People who are looking to 'loose weight' in x amount of days, keep reading and you'll know how.

     This topic is so important, as it is effecting many young girls. Whenever I hear someone is on a 'diet' and they are going to 'loose weight' in certain amount of time, typically between 1-2 months, I just feel pity for them. Not because of their weight, but because they think they are doing their body a favor. When in reality, it is the worst thing we could do with our body, as going on a diet (and by diet, I mean the starving diet where people cut certain foods out of their daily intake) not only effects our emotional health, but also it can have huge rebound effects (gaining more fat/weight), which can lead to serious health issues and further depression in the long term.

    Now, I am not saying that cutting certain foods out (eg. CARBS, SUGAR, FAT) will lead to rebound, but it is the commitment that will. For example, a person who has carbohydrate intolerance (people who have difficulty digesting carbs and feel worse after eating carbs) would most likely avoid carbs their whole life because they feel worse after eating (eg. bloating, fatigue, flatulence). But people who ENJOY eating pizza, pasta, or cake, will end up eating in the future when they're done with their 'diet'. If you are 100% sure you will not eat the food you are going to cut from your diet your whole life, then you are set! But, most people cannot be sure about the future so not really. (lol)

    Also, this advice is for people who are wanting to get fit and are NOT morbidly obese (100 pounds over his/her ideal body weight, BMI of 40 or more and experiencing obesity-related health conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes). If you fall in the last category, this does not apply to you. Please refer to your doctor and follow his or her directions. 

    How it works:

    Stage 1: You decide to go on a diet and loose weight! YAY!

    Stage 2: Carbs out, Sugar: a big no no, Fat: never in my life will I ever eat!

    Stage 3: Body starts to freak out, thinking you'll never give it food and goes into starvation mode.

     

     What happens when body goes into starvation mode:

    Body realizes it is not getting enough food/calories that it needs to survive, thinks that you are starving, and slows down your metabolism to conserve energy and uses fat (body's energy) to survive. That is why you feel like you 'loose weight' and you're diet is a huge success. So when you're done with your diet, and you DO feed yourself and go back to your normal eating habits, your body will store most of your consumed calories as fat, because those are your long -term energy deposits, to prevent starving in the future.

    Stage 4: You start loosing weight and getting skinnier day by day! WOOOHOO!

    Stage 5: You reach your goal of loosing x amount of pounds. Now I can eat whatever I want!

    Stage 6: And, back to usual habits. Eating everything that you avoided during your diet. 

    Stage 7: Body stores every food you're giving as fat to prevent starving in the future.

    Stage 8: You gain weight. Not only that, you also loose muscles (further details will be explained in next post in this series). Your body gets more prone to getting fat. 

    Stage 9: Repeat, repeat, repeat, and one day you look back, you were always on diet your whole life, and you never achieved your goal of loosing weight and rather gained, now more prone to getting fat. 

    How to prevent that?

    1. STOP SKIPPING MEALS, OR CUTTING CERTAIN FOODS TO LOOSE WEIGHT. 
    2. Cut off the vocabulary 'weight loss' from your dictionary. We need to focus on fat loss and getting FIT and gaining muscles. 
    3. Eat what you desire. A pizza slice is not going to make you fat, but emotional sacrifice definitely will lead to it in the long run.
    4. Move your body during the day.
    5. Always judge your body in the mirror not with numbers.
    6. Be happy with what you have. 
    7. Know that at the end of the day, what matters is how you FEEL rather than how you LOOK. 

    Thanks to this knowledge I acquired, I never dared being on a diet, I eat pizza (I'm craving pizza, hence all the references to pizza if you can't tell already xD) whenever I want, and am still able to maintain my BMI between 18.5 to 19.   

    I'm launching a Get Your Body Fit section on the blog today. New series where I am going to discuss topics pertaining to FAT LOSS, and sharing tips on getting fit. All confirmed by a doctor (aka Mr. Husband), so it just adds that much more credibility, right? ;)

    This is it for today, I hope you enjoyed.  Stay tuned for next post in this series coming next week!

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    What I Wore: Eid-ul-Adha 2016

    Eid Mubarak everyone! Since the last what I wore post was such a hit, I assume you guys like to see more posts like this. :)  So, this post is about what I wore on Eid-ul-Adha 2016. This gorgeous gown. Everything about this gown is just elegant. The color, work that it has and even its silhouette! 

    • Details

    Fabric is net, and work done with pink bugle beads and silver thread. It has a slight tail at the back. I think what makes a gown standout is if it is made to measure, custom to one's body.This gown was quite loose for me, but I still rocked it xD

     

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    • Jewellry

    Pearl Jhumki Set from my mom.  The rings: Chunky middle gold one has an interchangeable center stone, and halo of Swarovski crystals. The ring finger one is (you guessed it) from my husband.

    • Clutch

    I wore this cute little clutch that just completed the whole outfit <3  

    • Shoes

    Finished it off with these super chic pumps that I won't ever stop loving. Got them from Zara. 

    It was amazingly gorgeous and I got a lot of compliments, but I would say, I am not really the one to wear heavy outfits. It felt so refreshing after a long day at the mosque to just change into some ghar-ke-kapre (home clothes) after I got back and just relax! :D And yes, I wore the gown to the mosque because people from various cultures come there and dress traditionally for Eid prayer and get together to celebrate.

    Until next time peeps! Like my FB page to get notified for future posts like this and PLEAASE share, share!

    Rules To Be Happy From Within: #1 The 'Me' Time

     Happiness. Happiness is something that we run after. From babies to adults, everyone is running after it. We need to realize that happiness is a journey, not a destination. With that said, I want to share rules that work for me and I hope would work for a lot of people. 

                          #1: The 'Me' Time

    Quick question, when was the last time you recited Quran? Don't remember? okay now tell me when was the last time you stalked someone on Facebook?  We waste our time on the phones, youtube, PC, etc, thinking that it's our 'me' time and we need it to survive. When in reality all we are doing is just: 

    A. Connecting with people who won't even be there when we need them

    B. Checking what is going on with other people's life

    C. Watching videos and feeling like we've moved mountains.

    when all we are doing is sitting there like a statue and the precious time of our lives is going by like tick, tock, tick, tock. Quran is the way to happiness. It is a way of life. A book that has every solution.  Quran recitation will become your 'me' time if you recite with all your heart and understand its meaning and connect with Allah. You will immediately notice the difference, when you have that 'special' connection with the most powerful being, Allah the greatest, you are bound to feel secured and happy. If you are having any trouble in your life, or that emptiness that nothing seems to fill even if you have everything you want in life, try reciting Quran.   I understand that I have a lot of non-muslim readers as well, but trust me, guide yourself to happiness and search its meaning.  Quran is the only book that has never been altered since it came down to the earth 1400 years ago. You will never find any other versions of Quran, because it is perfect and Allah is protecting it. 

     

    Allah says it in the Quran:

     

    إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّكْرَ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحَافِظُونَ 

    ''Indeed, it is We who sent down the Qur'an and indeed, We will be its guardian.'' (Quran 15:9)

     

    Allah also says:

     

    وَنَزَّلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ تِبْيَانًا لِّكُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةً وَبُشْرَىٰ لِلْمُسْلِمِينَ
     

    “… And We have sent down to you the Book (the Quran), as an exposition of everything, a guidance, a mercy, and glad tidings for those who have submitted themselves (to Allah as Muslims).”  (Quran 16:89)

     

    Quran is a book of healing

    Quran is a means of both physical and spiritual healing. Allah says in the Quran:

    يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ قَدْ جَاءَتْكُم مَّوْعِظَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَشِفَاءٌ لِّمَا فِي الصُّدُورِ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةٌ لِّلْمُؤْمِنِينَ

    “O mankind! There has come to you a good advice from your Lord (i.e. the Quran, ordering all that is good and forbidding all that is evil), and a healing for that (disease of ignorance, doubt, hypocrisy and differences, etc.) in your breasts, – a guidance and a mercy (explaining lawful and unlawful things, etc.) for the believers.”  (Quran 10:57)

     

    So, recite Quran, and embrace the happiness! 

     

    Stay tuned for next post coming next week!

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    How To: 4-Step Fun Summer Nail Art

                                          

      &nbsp; I LOVE PLAYING AROUND WITH NAIL COLORS,&nbsp;EXPLORING DIFFERENT STYLES AND DESIGN.&nbsp;    THIS IS ONE OF THE NAIL ARTS THAT I'M REALLY PROUD OF (I ALWAYS GET A LOT OF COMPLIMENTS WHEN I DO THEM!)&nbsp;    HERE ARE STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS TO GET THIS NAIL ART!&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;

     I LOVE PLAYING AROUND WITH NAIL COLORS, EXPLORING DIFFERENT STYLES AND DESIGN. THIS IS ONE OF THE NAIL ARTS THAT I'M REALLY PROUD OF (I ALWAYS GET A LOT OF COMPLIMENTS WHEN I DO THEM!) HERE ARE STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS TO GET THIS NAIL ART!    

    Things you'll need:

    1. 4 different nail colors of your choice (A, B, C, D)
    2. Top&Base Coat
    3. Stones, Nail Studs
    4. Nail glue
    5. Tweezers
    6. Nail Polish Remover&Cotton Bud
    7. A little love for art ;)

    I used:

    • Colors

    (A) Mint Candy Apple by Essie  

    (B) Purple Palazzo Pants by OPI

    (C) Yellow - Pippa by ZOYA

    (D) White - Alpine Snow by OPI

    Top&Base Coat

         Dry Fast Top Coat by Seche Vite

    This is by far the BEST top coat I have! It drys quickly and makes the art look polished, and prevents from chipping.

        Nail Foundation Priming Basecoat by butter London

    Base coat is a really important element to prevent your nails from staining and make the nail art last much longer. You can use top coat as a base coat, but as base coat is much harder, the nail polish sticks to the nails better hence, top coat should only be used as an alternative if you ran out of your base coat.  

    • Stones & studs

    I got my stones, studs and nail glue from Daiso, a dollar store in Japan. Get Similar

    • Nail Polish Remover

    OPI Polish Remover

     

     1. Prep and Protect your nails

    Prepare your nails by shaping them, and clean with a nail polish remover so there is no oil on the nails. Apply base coat and let it dry. 

    2. Paint your nails

    Paint color 'A' into #1 section. My color 'A' was mint blue. Let it dry.  Apply Color 'B' to #2 section. I chose lilac purple. While that dries, color your middle finger, #3 area, with color 'C'. For this, I chose Yellow. Finally, paint the pinkie finger with Color 'D'.  Mine was White. Wait 5 to 10 minutes, or until it's completely dry before moving onto next step.

                                                                                 

     3. Put stones and studs

    Choose stones and studs you want to accessorize your nails with. Put some Glue on the back of the stud/stone and put where ever you want with tweezers. I personally like to place between Color 'A' and 'B'.  

                                          4. Seal It

    Once the glue dries, and the studs and stones are in place, go ahead and top it off with top coat!    

    And.. You're done

     

    Don't forget to follow on social media for more tutorials! 

    See you soon :)

     

     

     

     

     

    8 Things I Learnt From Going Blonde

    I always wanted to dye my hair blonde, but I was afraid of several things. Will it suit me? Is it going to damage my hair?, etc. 

    Here, I'm sharing 8 things you need TO KNOW BEFORE GOING BLONDE.

    1. THE RIGHT TONE MATTERS

    Anyone can look good with blonde locks, but it has to go with your skin tone. Unless you want to get attention, in a bad way. I'm guessing you don't ;) So do some research on different tones of blonde that will compliment your skin color.

    2. IT HURTS/ALLERGIES DO EXIST

    Not many people share this, but it actually really hurts when the bleach is on the scalp, and it just makes the scalp drier and sensitive altogether. Before you decide to go all out and put bleach on your scalp, place a little bit of bleach on your scalp and see if you can withstand it for a couple of minutes. 

    3. IT IS A COMMITMENT

    It is costly to maintain the blonde look. Don't go and get your hair done thinking that's the only expense. Cost ranges anywhere from $120-$250/per month depending on what you are getting and where you are getting it done. Never try to cut corners, I know I did and I had to go the next day to a different salon to get it fixed (lol).

    4. A LITTLE DAMAGE IS GOOD

    I'm loving the damage I got from dying my hair. Yep I know that sounds crazy but let me explain. I have super straight, healthy, and silky black hair. I get it from my mom. I love it, but whenever I would curl my hair, it would go back to straight no matter what I did to it. Now that my hair is slightly damaged, it actually holds the curls better than before, and gives me those bouncy curls that every girl with hard-to-curl hair desires.  

    5. DON'T GET SCARED

    Black hair is going to have strong orange-yellow tone immediately after bleaching that just doesn't look right. You have to tone your hair after bleaching if you do not want to look like an Oompa loompa. I didn't know this and apparently the first hair dresser I went to didn't know either. I did my research and went to a really good salon. They were asking for $250, which I thought was ridiculous to spend to just dye hair, and I felt as if I was getting ripped off. So, I basically tried cutting corners and went to a place that was doing it for half the price. After it was done, and the moment I saw my hair in the mirror I was almost about to burst into tears. It looked horrible, with strong orange/pumpkin tinge. It was not cute at all. I thought they did it wrong, but turns out it just needed toning. I got it fixed the next day at the same salon that I initially overlooked.

    6. IT TAKES TIME

    If you have long hair, and it is black, it is going to take a lot of time. It took 5 hours. Yes, FIVE hours for two people to dye, wash, and dry my hair. The process is long.  

    7. GET IT DONE

    If it is the first time you are bleaching your hair, get it done by a professional. Never try doing it at home for the first time, unless you're lucky and your best friend is a hair dresser.

    8. PURPLE SHAMPOO IS EVERYTHING

    Purple shampoo is not going to color your hair, but it is going to cancel out the orange-yellow tone, and keep the perfect blonde color last much longer. 

     

    Little Extra: 

    If you ever visit Kobe, and you want to go to a salon that has hairdressers who have experience with foreign styles, and have private rooms (at a surcharge), I would suggest going and checking out a salon in Sannomiya, KAINO. The girl that I got my hair done from was trained in London with styles to compliment the individual's complexion and physique. 

    The service they provide is amazing, I was very content with the results.

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    She even brought me some hot chocolate and biscuits! :'D

    I hope you enjoyed!

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    See you soon! :)

     

    What I Wore: Eid 2016

    I got this dress when I was shopping in Karachi with my mom and I absolutely fell in love with it the moment I saw it. This was one of the first outfits I picked out myself for my wedding clothes. It is very traditional and heavy, full of work, and yet so effortlessly chic.

    • Details

    The fabric is Crinkle chiffon, and it's got a mixture of a lot of different work. Rhine stones, thread work, etc.

    With.. A gorgeous back! 

    • Jewelry 

    For jewelry, I wore this set that my mom got made for me in Pakistan. 

    • Clutch

    I got a lot of people asking me where I got it from, but my dear mother-in-law got it for me from the U.S., so I'm not sure if it's still available.  

    You can find similar here:

     

     

    The pants had an ombre' effect. It transitioned from a light to a very rich grey color. 

    • Shoes

    I love these shoes, they're very versatile, you can dress them up or dress them down. 

    Here I found something similar for affordable price:

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    That's ALL!

    What I liked about this dress is that it's heavy and traditional, but not too old fashioned. It has a modern touch to it, which makes it perfect for people who don't like typical heavy clothes.  AKA moi ;) 

    Look for less:

    It is on the pricier side if you are looking at a ready to wear dress that is this heavy, but you can definitely cut the cost by getting it custom tailored to your exact size. When I was in Pakistan few months ago, they have some of the best tailors that can make fabulous dresses to your liking in terms of fit and finish. Just make sure you have time until the event, in which you want to wear it to (depending on heaviness of work, some designs can take months to make).

     

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    Until next time :)