Monday, 24 November 2014

Autobiography: dinnawi square

Hey guys! I know it's been too long since I've blogged and I truly apologize. Most of my written work is going into uni atm & I just haven't had the time at all. Many of you are always urging me to post some of my written work, I've been reluctant largely due to copyright issues. However, I feel like I owe you guys a little piece of me. I wrote this a year ago, this piece is quite close to me and special due to the rawness and realistic element to it. 99.999% of it is true. Written from the heart. I've decided to upload the draft version with no grammatical corrections so I'm sorry if some of the text seems boring and blocked off.

This segment is based on my recent trip to Leb in summer 2013. It explores my feelings towards one of my home countries. I hope you enjoy it. Leave a comment, show your support and love. All criticism welcomed. Peace.

_



I stand outside my front door; I can still hear the sounds of the children playing on the third floor up the staircase while their mother mopped the grimy floors. I can still smell the testosterone and sweat dripping off the gelled youth in the gym on the ground floor. And I can still smell the metallic stench of the stone that covered our streets, burnt by the unforgiving sun. Our front door is built of two layers, first a heavy steel door with a thick coppery lock which opens to reveal a large, rich dark mahogany door that reminds me of a giant Galaxy bar. It looks much better than our neighbours’ who had a single steel door with rust the colour of defecation beginning to creeping off the edges. Their door was more often open than closed. Right now it was unlocked and I could faintly hear Ya Tayr by Fairuz play in between the clatter of pots and pans.

To the right of our door on the wall was a block of carefully smoothed and varnished wood with my father’s Brazilian name awkwardly engraved in curly Arabic calligraphy. I open the door and hear the terrifying clunk it echoes through the hallway. The cool air of the air conditioner hits me first, as well as the pleasant smell of lavender scented detergent I could tell my mother had used to clean the floor. Then the strong scent of garlic hit me, as well as mint and olive oil which smelt to me like breakfast. The living-room is extra tidy, even the remote which always seems to find its way out of eye-sight is sitting splendidly on top of the TV. Aljazeera blares and I quickly switch onto Rotana and increase the volume once I see Najwa Karam on the screen. I slide off my converses while mouthing the lyrics of the song rather badly. The marble floor feels cold underneath my bare feet which startles me and I hurriedly search for my slippers; the flip flops with a worn out Brazilian flag printed on them were an old gift from my father when he went to Brazil in 2008, without us – of course.

My eye catches sight of the painting on the wall to my right; there is a thick stream across the middle sandwiched between unrepressed grasslands, fervent trees and animals; dears, rabbits, and even a little fisherman sitting on the riverbank with his taupe bucket hat resting across his face. A passionate artist clearly lived in this apartment many years ago. He/she wanted to make such an imprint that they painted the art-piece onto the actual wall before framing it. My father hated it, but knew he could to nothing to get rid of it. The oil paints were layered and thick, with ridges across the thick grass stretching on meadows. Even the subtle waves of the river and the fisherman’s hat gleamed with ridged dimension. Painting over it would leave the wall looking uneven and scarred.

I start towards the kitchen, walk through the dimly lit corridor that echoes the slaps of my viva la Brasil flip-flops. My mother has her back towards me, tomatoes and spring onions spill from the counter, she is slicing haloumi cheese on a chopping board, juices splatter onto her nightgown. Cinnamon tea bubbles on the hub and I could smell the dampness of chickpeas boiling. She looks back at me and gives me a sarcastic smile; her dimples pierce her cheeks deeply, as if scored with a knife.

“Won’t you give your mother a hand?” she continues to slice through slabs of haloumi. The smell of it sickens me; sweaty and salty, my nose scrunches distastefully.

“I need to get out of these clothes and shower first,” I take a tomato in my hand and toss it into the pile of washed parsley sitting near the sink.

My mother has set my bed, a pile of neatly folded clothes sit on the corner waiting for me to tuck them away in my suitcase. I throw them onto my vanity beside the opened bottles of foundation and mascara. I take off my dress and sit on the corner of my double bed, my bedroom window is open and I lean forward with my chin resting on the windowsill. It led to one of our balconies which gave me a full view of the roundabout our building was situated in. It’s a very popular roundabout in Abou Samra (an area in Tripoli), called Dinnawi. The roundabout itself is covered in a neatly trimmed layer of grass with a few olive trees decorating the sides, also neatly trimmed. Right in the middle was a miniature green and white mosque, with tiny crescent moons balancing on the narrow minarets. There was a great buzz of activity going on; drivers beeping at one another, not always angrily but as a pleasant greeting to one another. A mother is strolling with her three children who fought to hold her hands. I could smell the delicious oozing juices of barbecuing chicken, marinated in butter, garlic and herbs roasting in the restaurant below. Men pushing small carts of fresh orange juice yell to the people to come and buy, while holding cigars in their mouths. I can smell the Maasal (honey apple) flavoured argilé (sheesha) that some guys have set up on the edge of the road, while they sit up on folding chairs playing chess and bubbling away in their stained vests and flip flops. There is something so encapsulating of watching the buzz of action from above, there is so much life running about; from the cockroach scuttling across a pile of sour green plums being sold, to the couple who I can see are getting it on through the not so discrete netted curtain on the fifth floor of the opposite building.

Tomorrow I am leaving. I will miss this place. But nothing seems more appealing to me than bipolar British weather, cuddling near a heater; no mosquito bites, no cockroaches, no gunshots, no explosions.

*

Last week my sassy second youngest aunt came over early in the morning, baring bags of 'فول' (pronounced ‘fool’; made of mashed beans mixed with garlic, fresh parsley, lemon juice, olive oil and tahini) and pickles. Her three young children trailed behind her; Amina in a tight pink top that accentuated her bulging stomach and a too-short pixi skirt that the entire family tutted about, Adam holding onto his Nintendo for dear life and Ahmed was banging his toy car onto the wall repeatedly while cursing. My aunt was wearing black palazzo pants, a tight-fitted tartan blouse showing off her slim and curvy figure, and had a satin scarf wrapped in a turban on her head. Her brows were plucked too high and too thin for my taste, but her large almond shaped eyes and wide, full lipped smiling mouth made up for it.

'Heyyyyyyy Haboub’ she sang, in a French nasal tone, passing me the plastic bags as she yelled at Ahmed to stop making so much noise. Lipstick was smeared on her front teeth.

I stood in my pyjamas with my hair an explosive disarray on my head; these late nights and early mornings were not treating me well. I was lucky to be such a light sleeper too, as I was the only one of seven to hear the doorbell ring. Sarcasm.

‘Morning Aunty, what got you up so early?’ I exclaimed while attempting to smooth my hair in a decent looking twist. It failed. She was the last person I would expect to come knocking at 8am. I thought it was the building cleaner, the neighbours or even one of my eldest aunts who worked early. But not Aunty Manar.

'Fadi woke me up. He was sitting up in bed since 4 o'clock tapping away on his laptop. I couldn't sleep for more than a minute,' she rolled her eyes as she fixed her collar in the corridor mirror. ‘And the kids got woken up by stupid Fatima while she was cleaning their room this morning, can’t do anything quietly, that silly woman. Can’t wait till I get a new maid, her contract is finishing in less than a month.’

‘Have you spoken to the agency yet?’

‘Of course. Next time it won’t be a Bangladeshi, I’m getting an Ethiopian, at least then Adam will stop singing these ridiculous Indian songs.’

‘Yes mama?’ piped Adam.

‘Nothing, pigeon.’

I took the breakfast to the kitchen table and began opening up the boxes and sharing the food into plates.

'Didn't you and Sumaya want to go to Max?' Aunt Manar asked while putting the tea pot on the hob. Max is a popular clothes store in central Tripoli which we had planned on going to soon.

'Didn’t we decide on tomorrow?'

'I thought I'd take you girls today, I'll leave the boys with your brothers, take Hayat and steal your mother away for it too. I feel like going out. And on our way back we can stop at Al Hallab and get some desserts,' she winked at me.

We left by 1pm after everyone was ready and breakfast was shared with a side of spicy mint tea. The spiteful afternoon sun prickled at my skin instantly and sitting in Aunty Manar's car didn't make the situation any better, it stank of metallic heat and musky air freshener and the seats burnt at the touch.

The shopping experience was decent and I managed to find a few pieces of clothing I really loved. And as promised, we visited the best deserter in Tripoli on our way back, cooling and indulging in thick creamy ice cream, the kind that strings off instead of cutting off.

In the early afternoon of the next day I was getting ready to leave to see a friend. My youngest Aunt Aisha was lounging on my bed as I yanked off yet another hijab.

‘Habiba, it looked fine.’ She insisted.

‘No, the material isn’t sitting right, I need a 100% cotton scarf. But I don’t have one in this tan brown shade.’ I puffed, sitting down on the bed beside her.

In that little space of quietness a loud kaboom echoed from the opened window, it sounded like it was coming from a distance. The whole building grew silent, even the non-stop beeping from the streets below ceased. Although we had grown accustomed to the odd gunshot here and there, there was something terrifyingly different about this. The sound itself made every hair follicle on my body erect without hesitation and my heart felt heavy.

'Oh Lord,' my aunt whispered.

‘W-what was that?’ I mumbled, although I knew very well.

‘It’s probably just a landfill being dumped into.’ She brushed both our thoughts away.

‘Did you hear that?’ My mother came in with a distressed expression on her face. We nodded.

My mother's phone began to explode with messages from my uncles and elder male cousins warning us not to leave our building. My friend messaged me cancelling the meeting as she was too afraid to leave her house. Gunshots began to take over the streets, and the local Lebanese news channel blared with images of what had indeed just occurred. It was an explosion. On a mosque in central Tripoli which was also situated right next to Max; the shopping centre we intended on going to today at this exact time.

The whole family sat in silence surrounding the tv, only the news reporter's shrill voice echoed through the corridors and empty bedrooms. The amount of damage caused was terrifying. It was too close to home and for a moment I thought I'd never be alive to return to England. Heartbreaking images of charred disfigured, blackened bodies including infants being cut out of cars, dragged out of buildings and strapped onto ambulance beds made me weep for the lost souls. I completely forget that I could have potentially been one of them.

Outside in Dinnawi square the gunshots grew louder and frequent. This violence was seen as a grieving for the lost souls who died while on their knees at Friday prayer. Although I knew I was causing a risk, I left the living room where my family sat glued onto the TV and entered my room. I slid open my window and rested my chin on the windowsill. The roads looked like orange peel, the kind that’s left for a while until it has browned. They were empty. Not a soul walked on the streets. The early evening sun had slipped off the horizon. The green and white miniature mosque looked dull, dark and I couldn’t make out the crescents balanced on the minarets. The grass wasn’t vibrant and the olive trees looked awry. Smell of pungent sewage rose against our building. The lights of all the other flats were either dim or off. Life had been sucked out of the square. I wanted to peel it off my line of vision with the tips of my fingers and draw on the image of Dinnawi young Habiba had embedded in her mind, the happiness it brought, the feeling of homliness. But now nothing but unfamiliarity and alienation filled my heart and watered my eyes.



THE END



Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Comfortable, pinless hijab ft. Hazanah's Instant Hijab

Hello loves! I hope you're all doing well, can you believe it's already September? I'm still coming to terms with how fast this summer has gone by subhanAllah.

Anyway, as hijabis (and if you're not a hijabi & have tried on a hijab) you may have noticed it can get quite annoying to pin your scarf underneath your neck. It's either uncomfortable, or something happens to the pin and your hijab doesn't stay in place. What about those days when you're in a hurry to go somewhere but you can't seem to find your damned safety pin!? I've had all of these problems and trust me they're really annoying as I'm sure you'll all agree.

A Holland-based hijab company called Hazanah have tried to tackle this problem by creating this ever so useful 'instant' hijab. How many pins you'll need? None. The part of the hijab in which you would typically pin underneath your chin is already sewn for you! I was a little sceptical about this but upon receiving it and trying it out I was happy to find out that it was neither too loose or too tight around my face, it also helps that the material is a little stretchy.



The hijab is of a jersey mix, not a completely stick-on-your-face jersey and not too voluminous. It's size is perfect for volume (maxi), so girls who like their volume won't have a problem with it! It's soft and sits perfectly around your face. If you've seen most of my hijab tutorials you'll know I'm not a fan of using many safety pins in my hijab to begin with, and my signature hijab style (like shown in this photos) doesn't need a single pin (head over to my youtube channel to check out my tutorial on this style in 6 different ways). 



I'm not typically a wearer of pink but this soft shade of pink actually looks lovely on! Don't let your eyes deceive you :)



Unfortunately Hazanah do not yet have a website and function their sales via their instagram & email address so to check out this hijab and more follow them on @hazanahstore and for any enquiries or orders email them at hazanahonline@hotmail.com.

Habiba xoxo

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Update & makeup talk

Hello loves! I hope you're all doing well. As I did promise not long ago I will be pushing myself to persevere with blogging as this is where I blossomed & flourished. Writing has always been my assigned culture. 

First off, can you believe there's only over a month left until us students get back into school/college/uni. I'm actually looking forward to uni, surprisingly.

Now, onto the real biz; makeup. I get hundreds of comments/messages/emails asking about products I use and looks I do. I have a couple of makeup videos on my youtube channel which you can check out here to see the practical side of things. 

For the past few months I've entrusted my face with the simple cat eye and the occasional bright lip, but lately I've tried to also go for the subtle smokey for day-to-day every now and then & have settled a slight addiction to a brown/nude lip.

Some of my favourite products for these have got to be my nude lipsticks Yash and Taupe both by Mac. Great formulas and last beautifully. When feeling confident for a bright lip I almost always go for a red (I don't like bold pinks on me) and my all time favourite is Ruby Woo (also mac) although the formula is much dryer, it's nothing a bit of lipbalm can't fix! For the neutral smokey eye I simply use any mid-tone brown shadow or even my bronzer if I'm in a hurry and I sweep it across my lid and blend, blend, blend. Some of my favourite, cost effective eyeshadows are the sleek i-Divine palettes. There's a vast selection of shades and finishes and the palettes are dirt cheap for the quality.



Let me know what you'd like me to blog about!

Habiba xxx


Saturday, 9 August 2014

Blessed

Hello loves! I was recently sent a lovely and unique t-shirt from Sidikii Clothing from all the way in the States. I've never seen anything like this design, and most of their other designs are just as unique! (links at the end of post.) I myself am very fond of ethnic/cultural flares in clothing, so this hits a spot. Working with the company was a very pleasant experience and the t-shirt arrived in no time considering it came from overseas. I am wearing size Small in the photos.




Website: www.sidikii.com
Instagram: @sidikiiclothing 


Habiba xxx


Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Cherry Blossom Hijabs & discount!

Hello loves, I apologize for my lack of blogging lately as I've been putting most of my time and effort in Youtube & I've been having major annoying issues with my laptop!

On the bright side, I was sent a couple of beautiful hijabs from Cherry Blossom Hijab that I thought I'd show you. They've also dedicated a 15% discount code on all their gorgeous merch just for you guys! (At the end of this post) 







Discount code: CBLOVESHABIBA 

Website: www.cherryblossomhijabs.co.uk

IG: @cherryblossomhijabs

Habiba x




Monday, 30 June 2014

Halal Sweets

With living in the West it could be very difficult to find sweets that do not contain gelatin (made of non-halal beef and pork). But now with online brands that sell halal gelatin sweets there is no excuse not to indulge! 

I recently discovered Luscious Kandy and tried out their sweets, they are beyond DELICIOUS!

My favourites are the green ones! Check out Luscious Kandy on their website www.lusciouskandy.co.uk and instagram @lusciouskandy





Happy Ramadan!

Habiba xxx

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Short story: Juliet

This is a short biographical story I wrote for university which my lecturer loved. Since many of you want me to share some of my creative work I decided to post this! I have an autobiographical piece which I wrote alongside this one, comment below if you would like to see it.

This creative piece revolves around Lebanese singer Sabah's relationship with her late sister, Juliet. I hope you enjoy it.





Juliet’s death prepared me for the pain I endured later on in life; she wasn’t only my sister, but my best friend and my primary source of support. I still hear her little voice telling me I will be singing in Egypt one day, while Umm Kulthum and Fareed watch me with soft smiling eyes. Every afternoon we found solace sitting at the corner of the riverbed in Wadi Shahrour, far away from our father’s terribly frightening gaze and grazing tongue; away from our mother’s sympathetic eyes. Away from the sweltering mid-summer heat of the hills above and into the cool breeze that whistled against the neatly segmented Cedar leaves. We trailed after the large silvery stones that lead to the river, hand in hand swinging, while I sang Umm Kulthum’s Sadaq wa-hubbik with Juliet tunelessly humming the oud instrumentals. We would fantasise about the love Kulthum sang of and share imagination of our dream future lives in Egypt. After our imagination finally spindled and the only tinkering we could hear is the far away metalwork from Uncle Amjad, the blacksmith, Juliet would hold my hand firmly and look straight into my eyes. ‘You’re a very talented singer Jeanette, you have a rich voice and one day you really will be famous.’ She pulled up her stained frock so that it was right above her knees instead of over, untied her plaits, half closed her eyes and strutted on her bare toes ‘you’ll be walking like this, with fabulous ironed hair and the prettiest little frock to show off your small waist,’ she flaunted, ‘and handsome men will be on their knees desperate to wed you.’ I joined in giggling, mirroring her walk barefoot across the river. She looked encapsulating; deep pine coloured hair thrashed across her face in the wind and she had the thickest lashes that accentuated when squinted. Instead of looking like a famous Egyptian socialite at that moment to me she held the demeanor of a warrior, save her frail gentle frame. And our imagination would be ignited once more.



At night, despite the dusty village humidity, we would huddle together on a single thin-as-a-wafer mattress, whispering under our breaths so our father wouldn't hear us through the thin wall that divided our rooms. One certain night we got a little carried away talking about Fareed tuning a song just for me, we made up a melody and I jumbled lyrics from Kulthum and Asmahan. All of a sudden while I was slipping into my zone; my eyes closed tightly imagining myself on stage with thousands of fans cheering ‘Jeanette, Jeanette, Jeanette,’ there came a loud thud from our bedroom door. My father stormed in and grabbed me by my hair, pulling me with him towards the door. I screamed ‘no, no, no!’ and felt the sharp burning slaps of the belt on my feet before I dared to open my eyes to look. ‘How dare you still be awake at this time singing stupid songs while the world it trying to sleep? You foul girl!’ I begged him to stop but the slaps only hit harder. No matter how much terror my father racked into me and my sisters, we were unable to hate him at that stage in our lives. His unhappiness made us sympathetic, and every night when he returned home from selling plums at the market we would listen to him groan and moan and massaged his feet until his head lolled to the side. When he finally dropped the belt I could feel moist numbness on my soles. As I limped to my room Juliet’s concerned eyes followed me but she did not dare say a word so that our father wouldn’t hear us again. Her soft eyes blinked sympathetically while her hand searched mine under the covers.

My mother was a very simple woman that seldom smiled; she always sat on the porch under the sweltering sun crushing wheat between her rough palms and the burning stone. At 30 her under eyes were already hollow and she had persistent lines on the corners of her drooping mouth. Yet her emerald eyes were so alive, and the conflict between the colour of her eyes, her dark hair and olive skin was beautiful. She was a goddess to me. Her slim frame clashed with the swelling bump protruding from her gown, dangling between her legs as she squats to pour out the overused oil from the frying pan into the grass. While Juliet and Lamia helped my father bring wood, (being the youngest) I would sit near my mother as she washed vine leaves and stuffed them with rice, tomatoes and minced meat. With my knees folded and a wooden board placed on my knees I would cut off the stems and stack the leaves ready to be stuffed, throwing away the discoloured ones to the sheep. The village we lived in was an awry gathering of farms and cedar trees. We lived in a small barn-house that my father could barely afford. He blamed it mainly on my mother for conceiving three girls. He saw us as useless and cursed us whenever his eyes lay on us.

I sang to my mother often, while she stuffed the leaves and dipped them in olive oil and lemon juice. A smile would crack on her thin lips and her eyes would crease with happiness. She would later plait my hair, carefully wrapping my dark blonde locks together and kissing me hard on my cheeks she would say; ‘you listen to your father, ok? He’s harsh but he’s a good man,’ then her eyes would wander. And only now I recognise that she was convincing herself more than anything, remembering that troubled gaze was like looking into a mirror, the kind of mirror that doesn’t lie or beautify.

One day me and Juliet were spending the afternoon on the riverbed at Wadi Shahroor as usual; she was tying lilies and daisies into my hair. The sun was slowly dissolving behind the high cedar trees and the sky went from baby blue to burnt orange; we knew that it was getting late and we could hear Lamia shouting from the bottom of the hill ‘Jeannette! Juliet!’ but the cool air that we seldom felt down near our house felt amazing on our burnt skin and the lilies were so beautiful. As I stuck the last little daisy in her long blonde plait, we began to hear grunts coming from far above us towards the top of the hill.

‘We should be making our way now,’ said Juliet, getting up off the grass and smoothing down her dress.

‘Oh Juliet, just let me sing you one more song, there is something enchanting about the disappearing sun that makes me want to sing.’ 

Juliet tilted her head and gave me a little encouraging nod, and suddenly, as fast as thunder, a sickening blast filled the air for a split second before Juliet was slammed to the ground. I blinked wishing I was in a dream and when I wake up Juliet would be fast asleep with my head cradled into the hollow gap in her shoulder. But I couldn’t do anything but crumble onto her side and sob harder and harder as I took in the sight of her chest pumping blood that poured into the river. My little piece of happiness was forever spoilt. My only friend had left me.

*

When my brother was born my father stood on the baking village streets telling every one of his great fortune and happiness; he finally got a son. His abuse even ceased for a while. My mother held the new-born in her arms so tenderly, as if those hands were not the ones that burned, dried and cracked against hard wheat grains and the hot, hot stone. I’d never seen her look so happy; tears streamed down her face for days on end that beamed so smooth and lineless. She would cuddle him for hours and he wouldn't cry before she was holding him hard against her chest; wrapping his small sluggy fingers around her own, resting his fat pink palms on her chest. Did she ever feel it, I always wonder, did she see into the future? That those very fingers would be the ones that end her life.

*

I’m sitting on a satin chair I bought with me from Paris while on a shopping visit in 2012, dressed only in my pink satin nightgown and a pair of woolly slippers.

“Are you sure about this, Sabah?” He asks once again.

“Oh Fadi, stop with the questions you know my answer.” I touch my drooping cheek and feel disgusted.

“I don’t want to kill you. Your age makes it so dangerous.” He pushes his specs up the greasy bridge of his nose, his eyes are empty little green pebbles and his eyebrows are perfectly trimmed.

“It must be fixed, whether it kills me or not – and make sure, if I die, you finish off the 

operation before they bury me.” 

He’s fidgeting in his seat before pulling out a notepad from his back pocket.

“Is this the photo reference?” He pulled up a black and white photograph of Juliet. A few weeks before she passed away, at 14; she smiled at me with her plump glowing cheeks and full lips. I grinned back, and for a moment I am 10 again, sitting on the riverbank of Wadi-Shahrour sucking on lemongrass and throwing pebbles into the river. My knees are muddy from sitting and my dress has been spoilt too, I’m scared of going home because my mother had just washed my dress the day earlier. Juliet is sitting next to me laughing and making a crown out of Jasmine flowers, fitting them perfectly into each other before resting the finished crown onto my head. 

‘What was the name they were calling you in your dream, ya Jeannette?’ she asked me.

‘They were calling me Sabah!’ I grinned happily.

‘Here you are, crowned as Sabah, the phenomenal Lebanese singer about to fly to Egypt where people will fall in love with her voice!’ She began to turn in her dress. ‘Sing, Sabah, sing!’

“Sabah?” Dr Fadi shattered through my thoughts. “Shall I come back another day? You look like you’re in need of some rest. Come on I’ll help you up.”

I put up my hand, I could no longer smile. “No. Fadi I’m fine.”

“But Sabah-”

“Fadi, please. I’ll give you as much as you want.” He’s standing, not saying a word, an expressionless face and his pebble eyes are now gleamless stones.

“This won’t help you psychologically. You will never get over it, you’ll never forget.” He is 
speaking quietly, almost like he doesn’t want me to hear him. 

“I never want to forget, I want to always remember”. I smiled at him sweetly, and in my head I am 10 year old Jeannette again, insisting that I sing another song, insisting for another Jasmine flower crown. 


THE END



Habiba xxx

Friday, 20 June 2014

Quirky bespoke cards for any occasion!

I was recently sent some very cute cards with lovely messages! Khanom Kards make cards with a twist for any occasion. And they donate 30% of their profit to charity too.

Here are the cards I was sent.



Check out Khanom Kards on Facebook, Etsy and IG (@khanomkards).

Habiba x

Saturday, 14 June 2014

mermaids, jaguars and the hummingbird

I don't post much of my creative work for copyright reasons but here's something! 

These fingers roll into knuckles,
And the humming bird pierces my ear,
They surround me like mermaids
Singing a tune I longed to hear:
Triangular.

Tears and fireworks and sorrys and maybes
confessions and stories that shuddered like crazy,
It went against their odor
Too sharp against the curve of their toes.

Still I stand inside
tongue twisting against itself,
Eyes shallow and burning,
fingernails rubbing against my palms
MISTAKE
And still they stand before me:
These three Jaguars
paws mowing, scoring
reaching for me

Whilst Commitment starves,
nestled deep inside the hummingbird's intestines.


Wednesday, 23 April 2014

I love Afrobeats TAG

Hellerr hellerrr helllerrrrrrr my flowers :P How're you all doing? So a few days ago I mentioned something about doing an 'I love Afrobeats' tag video, on instagram. I chose to do a blogpost instead, becauseeee;


1. I barely have time to film lately
2. I know I'll be a complete haramy and not control myself from dancing and making a fool of myself

However I still wanted to do this very fun tag so here it is! In blog format :D

Background info and disclaimer: I've been listening to Afrobeats for over 5 months now, it's my favourite genre because it's so positive and upbeat & I love catchy music that makes me want to dance. Most (if not all) the songs I listen to are either Ghanaian or Nigerian, but there are many other types of Afrobeats from other West/Central/East African countries. 

[TAG created by LydiasMadness on youtube]



1. Who is your favourite artist? Currently it's Brymo (amongst many); I love his voice (he has that deep dark melting chocolate voice) and his music style is so catchy and meaningful. I also love how he became an artist from absolutely nothing.

Some of my favourite songs:


Other artists I'm fond of are Dammy Krane, Olamide, Wizkid,  Wande Coal, 9ice, Fuse ODG, Bisa Kdei and Terry G (the list goes on..)

2. What are your favourite Azonto songs? Ahhh, I love the azonto! I can sit and watch dance routines on YT for hours on end. Azonto music is so upbeat and catchy. Here are a very few from many;

3. What are your favourite bum bum shake songs?
Has to be the following;

[Bottom line: Timaya makes good bum shaking songs.]

4. Which song always makes you happy?

Trojan - Check your weight Always puts me in a good mood!

5. Which song always makes you cry?

I don't think any! Afrobeats always have a positive uplifting vibe. 

6. What are your favourite love songs?





7. What is the most embarassing song in your playlist?

I don't find any of them embarassing :P you could be the judge of that...


8. What are your favourite songs right now?


R2bees ft Wande Coal - Kiss your hand

Blackmagic - Repete

May D ft P-Square - You Want to Know me

Dammy Krane - My Dear (all time favourite)

Davido - Aye


9. Which song describes you best?


Fuse ODG - Million Pound Girl *blushes*


*

I hope you enjoyed this post and listened to something you might like!

Habiba x

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Mama's double chocolate cake recipe

I hope you all enjoy this very different post, I've made a new section for recipes so let me know what else you'd like to see. Once you make this please tag me in your photos so I can show my mother! I can't get my hands off this cake :P



Ingredients

- 3 eggs

- 200g sugar

- vanilla essence 1tsp

- 1/4 cup sunflower oil

- 1/2 cup yoghurt

- 175g self raising flower

- 50g cocoa powder

- teaspoon baking powder

- 50g dark chocolate chips


Method

(Preheat oven 160c)

1 - mix eggs and sugar in mixer until thick and creamy & mix in vanilla (around ten minutes)

2 - add yoghurt and oil and mix for about 2 minutes

3 - add cocoa powder, baking powder and self raising flour. Mix for another 2 minutes or so

4 - grease cake tin with butter/oil and dust with flour, add mixture, sprinkle the chocolate chips without mixing then place in oven

5 - take out after approximately 30-40 minutes (keep watch of the oven)









Habiba xxx

Friday, 11 April 2014

Spring outfit ideas featuring Hijab Candy hijabs & GIVEAWAY

Salaam lovelies, since spring is now greeting us with full bipolar throttle I thought I'd put together a wearable outfit for the slightly warmer days. Both hijabs used are from Hijab Candy as well as the spike bracelets I'm wearing on my writst (click here to visit their website).











Hijabs: Hijab Candy

Nail polish: Tuesday In Love

Cardigan: (sister's) H&M

Belt: from an old Primark dress

Nude Maxi dress: Primark (£3 in the sales :OOOO)

Blouse: (mother's) Vintage


Check out my most recent video to see how I styled my hijab and to enter my most recent giveaway!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnPQGXJsy6o

Habiba xxx

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Youtube, suggested blogposts & update.

Salaam ladies!
Those who follow my blog will now know that I've become so quiet on here and have been instead frivulously updating my youtube channel with videos every other week or so. I have been blogging for just over a year now and I don't plan on loosing the essence that I've instilled here. I would like your suggestions on future blogposts; maybe a discussion post, a how-to post, outfit photos or even 'face-of-the-day' posts with makeup details (I like the sound of that!).
As for the 'update' side of things I have currently been quite busy with University work: as some may know I study English & Creative writing (second year) and I'm currently drowning in my Multiculturalism and Life-writing assignments/groupwork. Yes I am 19 (until July 3rd :DDDDD) and no I do not whiten my teeth and never have done (current FAQ's answered.) How are you all doing? Anything interesting happen in your lives? I think the most interesting thing that's last happened in mine in the past few months is when I accidentally opened a UNISEX toilet on a man *sigh*.
Love always,

Habiba x

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Bespoke Cushion from WaterLilly

Recently I was sent a beautiful bespoke cushion done by a very talented henna artist. I told her that I was a cat lover and she came up with the cutest design! Not only that but the cushion itself is quite large & amazing quality, and it was packaged beautifully!






She also designs home decor, candles, canvases and does bridal/party henna.

To book her or order a bespoke design contact her on the following:

Instagram: @waterlillyb


Email: waterlillybespokehennaart@gmail.com


Habiba xxx

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Secret to a flawless, luminous base: Habiba's tips


One of the most frequent questions I get is how I get a luminous and flawless base. Here are a few tips and tricks at how I go about to get perfectly luminous, natural looking skin. Enjoy!


  • Primer: I sometimes use Illamasqua's satin primer on the top of my cheekbones, bridge of my nose and cupids bow (before applying foundation). This primer gives a gorgeous natural luminous finish even after powdering the skin and makes foundations that often get cakey look beautifully smoothed and airbrushed.
  • Powder: I've recently stopped powdering my face all together, I only powder areas that will eventually crease throughout the day such as my under eyes, around my mouth and around my nose. I use the Lancome translucent powder which is extremely light and provides moisture to the skin (perfect for winter).
  • Foundation: It's very important not to use a heavy foundation that will end up caking throughout the day. I've recently fallen in love with the Estee Lauder double wear light which is a perfect natural looking yet long-wearing foundation (which is very hard to find). It sets to a satin/natural finish (not completely matte or completely shiny which is perfect for combination skin). Its lasting power will never cease to amaze me. I apply it using the beauty blender (the only thing I use for applying foundation. Ever.) which gives a perfect smooth finish.
  • Highlighting: One of my favourite things to do in the winter! I've tried all kinds of highlighters, from cream to liquid to powder. My favourite highlighting routine at the moment is to use the Nourish Golden Glow Illuminating Face Shimmer (cream) as a base (after foundation) and then dusting it off with my all-time favourite shimmer powder - Stila eyeshadow in 'kitten' - this is one of my absolute FAVOURITE eyeshadows; for eyes and face. I dust this on the tops of my cheeks, cupids bow, tip and bridge of my nose. Just be careful no to overdo it... you don't wanna look like a ball of shimmer, now, do you? :S


Hope you enjoyed this post!

Love always,

Habiba xxx








Monday, 3 February 2014

Tuesday In Love new cosmetic line review & discount code

Some of you may know Tuesday In Love for their popular 'halal' (water permeable and peel-able) nail polishes. Tuesday In Love are an online brand based in Canada that specialise in their nailpolishes, their products contain no harsh chemicals and are not tested on animals. They have recently sent me a few of their new cosmetic and nail polish range which is now live on their website! Here is my 100% honest review w/ photos, links and of course a cheeky discount code. 



 I was sent two nail polishes; a top coat and 'Vampire kiss' a gorgeous dark raspberry shade. The application was great and I was very impressed with how long it stayed on before chipping (a few days) even though it is peel-able. How it is described on the website: a revolutionary polymer that allows water molecules to penetrate through micro pores. Easy to peel and remove without the use of harsh chemicals or nail polish remover. Does not contain any formaldehyde, toluene, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), or camphor.





Next was the cute eyeshadow trio - I received 'party girl' which had three shimmer colours: light pink, deep warm purple and blue toned dark purple. The pigment and creaminess of these eyeshadows truly astounded me. They're extremely easy to blend, I loved blending the middle shade in my crease paired with a neutral base and crease shade. Although unnecessarily large, the box is very cute & I just love the shimmer! The three colours are also great to create an easy smoky eye, great to experiment with. There are two other sets available (different shade ranges).




Crazy pigment with one swipe!


The liquid liner is very easy to apply and is very black. 





Most of you that follow me on Instagram will know that I'm a nude lip addict and steer quite clear from bold colours especially dark colours! But I'm so in love with the colour of this and the formula. It's slightly dry so I suggest using a lip moisturiser beforehand, the pigment is amazing, the colour is beautiful, what else do you want in a lipstick? Not only that, but the rich cranberry colour lasts amazingly well. How it is described on the website: Our exciting new lipsticks provide beautiful coverage and easy application for sustained color durability. These luxury lipsticks do not contain any animal fat or byproduct and are hypoallergenic. Our paraben free formula is enriched with Vitamin E and Vanillin extract for healthier, beautiful lips.



Wearing liquid liner and lipstick.
To get a 10% discount on Tuesday In Love products simply enter the coupon code lifelongpercussion (no capital letters or spaces).


Website: www.tuesdayinlove.com

Instagram: @tuesdayinlove



Habiba Da Silva xxx