Posts in February 2018
Give Me Experiences - Valentine's Day

A few years ago I posted a photo on Instagram and captioned it "give me experiences". Then I got a whole bunch of what does that even mean? questions. I used to be known for my random "deep" captions, but this one meant something. Forget the chocolates and the roses. Keep the necklaces and bracelets aside for now. Give me your hand to hold as we fly to visit new countries. Give me conversation. Give me your time. Give me experiences. Give me you. What it means is the older we get, the less we care for gifts. I realize the best things in life are memories and experiences. It is the simplest, yet most luxurious gift anyone could wrap up and offer me. On special days, like Valentine's Day, sometimes we want to do something different than Netflix and takeout —or an overpriced, prix-fixe dinner. A night of karaoke will make you happier than a new sound system, because experiences make us happier than material goods. I used to believe we were too young to celebrate Valentine's Day, but with school and work, sometimes we need to dedicate a day to enjoy time together, or even a cute card written just for you.

So with Valentine's Day approaching, here are some ideas to make the day (or upcoming weekend) unique and special. Spice things up and be spontaneous! (whether you're a couple or single showing yourself some self-love with your friends). 

1. Go on a staycation

You don't need to go anywhere to be spontaneous and travel. To experience the feeling of a home away from home, book into a romantic hotel. Take off work, don't make any plans and then get creative together for your day of relaxation.

2.Go Dancing.

Real dancing - You can take a class together or hit a salsa club.

3. Ice skating.

There's a reason why couples are always hitting the rink in our favorite rom-coms. Go with your girlfriends or your significant other. Ice skating is always a fun idea. 

4. A scavenger hunt.

You can make up your own, complete with creative challenges, photo missions, and sexy prizes or look for a local public event like the Amazing Valentine's Day Scavenger Hunt in New York City.

5. A wine & Tapas crawl.

Skip the prix-fixe Valentine's Dinner restaurant - Hop from place-to-place (you can always check Opentable for ideas), grab seats at the bar, and order different kinds of wine and tapas all along the way. Way more interesting experience than a sit-down dinner.

6. Be a tourist in your own town. 

Especially in Miami or NYC, there is so much to do that we sometimes don't take advantage. Put everything else on hold for the day and do all the activities you have on your list but haven't made time for. 

7. Watch old romantic movies. 

If you want to stay in but need a change from Netflix shows - stream classics like Casablanca and Roman Holiday or timeless favorites like Say Anything and The Bodyguard

8. Make a fort. 

Build a fort in the living room, lighten up the space with candles, and watch a movie to make the night more romantic. A fun adorable way to tap into your inner child, plus stay in and still enjoy Valentine's Day. 

9. Go to an Event

Tickets to a local jazz club, a musical, sports game or museum tour? Either idea will be fun and outgoing. Dress up and splurge on fancy cocktails to make the outing extra special.

But I get it who doesn't love flowers and some jewelry, or Valentine’s Day chocolates and fancy dinners. There's no reason you can't do both, if you can't think of a gift to get, below are some ideas. This Valentine's Day Abd-Allah and I celebrated early (since the 14th falls on a Wednesday). We chose to enjoy a weekend hotel staycation and act like tourists in our own city, but we still exchanged some gifts. And I love my gifts (as you can tell from my photos), but what I'll cherish most is the memory of laughing so hard at dinner it felt like an ab workout and watching the sunrise together on South Beach. I'll remember laughing and screaming as he was carried me into the ocean (because I didn't want to get my hair wet) and visiting the Frost Museum of Science (finally) because we kept putting it off. Point is whatever you chose to do, appreciate the time you spend with the people in your life. Don't stress and ruin the day over gifts or getting the best photo to share on Instagram - live in the moment and enjoy. 

gift ideas: For HER

gift ideas: For HIM

Travel Guide: Italy

NOWHERE IS QUITE LIKE ITALY. THE FOOD, WEATHER, ARCHITECTURE AND NATURE - ALL SO LOVELY IT'S HARD NOT TO DAYDREAM OF, BECAUSE DON’T WE ALL ASPIRE TO LIVE IN A VILLA WEDGED ATOP A TUSCAN HILL? A TRIP TO ROME, POSITANO, SIENA & FLORENCE IS ONE EVERYONE SHOULD TRY TO VISIT.

Rome, italy

Where I ATE:

  • Rooftop Garden Bar (Inside the Hotel Minera)

  • Dar Poeta : For the best pizza

  • Osteria Delle Commari : Italian food near the Vatican

  • Typo: Modern spot in the MAXXI Museum, cool experience

What I Did:

  • Vatican City

  • MAXXI Museum

  • Colosseum

  • Pantheon + Trevi Fountain

  • Aventine Hill Keyhole

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Positano, Italy

Where I ate:

  • Terrazza Cafe (In Il San Pietro di Positano, overlooks the coast)

  • La Sponda (La Sirenuse Hotel)

What I Did:

  • Amalfi Coast (Boat Ride)

  • 100% suggest renting a boat for the day and exploring

  • Church of Santa Maria Assunta

  •  Explore the Grottos

Where I Shopped:

  • Safari: This tiny shop just above Positano's main beach sells handmade sandals.

  • Emporio Sirenuse: classy little boutique, with dolce vita lifestyle through women’s and menswear and home accessories.

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Positano, you're a beauty 🍋

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Tuscany, Italy

Where I Went — Siena, Chianti, Florence

Where I Ate:

  • Caffe Dell'oro

  • La Menegere

  • Azienda Agricola Montechiaro

What I Did:

  • Chianti Sunflower Fields

  • Azienda Agricola Montechiaro Vineyard

  • Piazza Del Campo

  • Il Campo, Duomo

  • Piazzale Michelangelo

  • Uffuzi Gallery

  • Piazza Del Duomo

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☀️

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Aviator Club
Simply Gharib Outfit
Simply Gharib Outfit
Simply Gharib Outfit
  Wearing : Zara  coat  | Topshop  boots

Wearing: Zara coat | Topshop boots

PERCEPTION IS REALITY

Ever feel like you're doing something you never thought you would. Maybe I'm not the only one who isn't following life the way I planned? I, for one, never (ever) thought I'd actually start a website, much less be sharing these thoughts (or any thoughts publicly for that matter). I spent the last 20 years in school studying and working towards a plan - my plan - but as I've learned over the years: Life doesn't always go the way we plan. That's a difficult pill to swallow, in case you haven't noticed - I'm a planner. 

I may not be able to control what happens to me, but I can control my perspective of it. It takes a conscious effort to control how we process what life throws at us. So in the moments when we feel like life isn't going according to plan or it's too hard or too sad: readjust, be flexible and see the beauty in the little things. We can't control the outcome of our plans, but we can control how we respond to it.

 "you can decide not to be reduced by them" - Maya Angelou

Many of us have our lives mapped out and when something unexpected happens (the loss of a loved one, a bad break-up, struggling with finding a job, not graduating on time, not being married yet or just having a single bad day), it shakes us to be unsure of ourselves, unsure of what to do, and it's uncomfortable. Be brave, be honest and be open, because the sweetness of success only comes after tasting the bitterness of trials. For me, I'm processing it all through writing (may not be the best writing, but it's mine), traveling and rediscovering things I love and enjoy doing. It's not to say "to hell with planning I'm living carefree" (pretty sure that's impossible for me) because my dreams and goals are the same. It's learning how to readjust the plans to achieve those goals, looking at the big picture & moving forward, and more importantly knowing we have control over our own happiness. 

  Model:  Arthas, the adorable dog

Can't fight the trend - welcome to the Aviator Club. My sister's first comment on my jacket was "you look like a pilot" (obviously, it's an aviator jacket) but I love it. First saw it at Acne Studios, which of course made it's way down to Zara where I bought this one. Can't ever go wrong with black on black (at least that's what I believe). Threw on the jacket with some studded boots and went out for a walk, in the brisk cold...where my thoughts began to wander. 

Oversized Street Sweater
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  Wearing : H&M  sweater  | Abercrombie jeans | F21 boots

Wearing: H&M sweater | Abercrombie jeans | F21 boots

Winter Woes

I've always stuck to Instagram, I have fun posing for a quick photo and posting it to match my feed. Like I've said before, I never thought I'd be writing my thoughts or outfits, but here I am walking around Manhattan trying it out. There's something about this city that makes my heart beat faster, an excitement to find something new. Life has a way of draining a person out, after being in overdrive at school or work, even if we love what we do, it has a tendency to turn life stale. It's like eating your favorite food, enough of it over and over again, and it loses taste. It's fun to treat yourself; it can be a new restaurant, new movie, new haircut, walking outside on a sunny day, reading a book. 

For me dressing up gives me that excitement. I believe an outfit is more than just throwing on clothes to leave the house, it's an expression of who we are and how we feel. It's that exciting "look good, feel good" connection and what looks good is our own choice. My mom used to always say the best way to start the day is to shower and get dressed. "I don't have time" isn't an excuse when it comes to self-love. Confining ourselves to the dull and boring equals a lack of inspiration. Sometimes we do lack the inspiration, there are days when I stare at my closet with the there's nothing to wear woes. And I remember how difficult it was to feel good when drained by schoolwork. 

There were days, like today, when a minimal oversized beige sweater, with plain grey jeans and beige booties was simple enough to give me the confidence I needed to go through my day. Look good, feel good: while a lot of it has to do with what we wear, it’s how we feel and the confidence we emit. Getting dressed gives me inspiration, adds excitement to my day, and hopefully sharing these outfits can give others inspiration on those "I have nothing to wear" days.

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