Hey guys! I recently posted a video in response to a regular stream of questions I get from my readers. I don’t know why it took me so long to post this, I think something inside me was scared to say anything that would upset people since – spoiler alert: my views aren’t the majority Muslim opinion. But part of my New Years resolution is to be bold – and I was feeling a little extra fierce so I just did it. I realize that what I said wasn’t anything profound, but as a result I got so many emails and DM’s from girls sharing their own experiences and thanking me for doing this. That incredible response is just making me want to do more. So here’s my idea – let’s all keep encouraging each other to be bold, challenging old notions that don’t work for us, and support each other through difficulties we are bound to face because: life.
Watch the video to learn something I’ve never shared about myself yet on social media, and my thoughts on whether or not its ok for a Muslim woman to marry a non-Muslim guy.
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My New Year’s resolution? More date nights like these.
For our first overnight date since Sophia was born ten months ago (!!), I knew exactly where I wanted to go. I had been hearing buzz about the new Ace Hotel since it opened up a few months ago in the West Loop and had to experience it for myself.
The modern but warm vibe is right up my alley.
A black makeup washcloth?? Genius.
We had a medium skyline view room which was perfect for the two of us. I seriously want the gorgeous blanket that is on the bed and their bathrobe that feels like a sweatshirt, both items are actually available for purchase from their shop. The view from our room sparkled at night, which was a nice touch.view from the Way Down bar
We stopped at the Way Down bar on the 7th floor for a drink and apps (Tom loved the short rib Nachos). The bar is casual with a friendly atmosphere and the music was so good I briefly considered going out dancing but then I remembered I have a hard time staying awake past 10:00 p.m. these days so that wouldn’t work well. Chicago’s Restaurant Row is right around the corner so there were tons of great dinner options nearby. We ended up going to Momotaro for a Sushi dinner, sushi being another thing we have cut down on a lot, because we usually have a picky eater in tow.
The hotel restaurant City Mouse was our choice for breakfast in bed the next morning, the pretzel cinnamon roll is a must-have in my opinion, but if you are on a New Year’s health kick, the Avocado toast + soft boil egg was a big thumbs up as well. Or if you just want to live it up like me, have both 🙂
I left with tons of home decor inspo. Also side note: I kicked myself for not bringing more outfits because there were so many beautiful areas that were perfect for the ‘gram. If you are looking for a cool and cozy place to stay when visiting Chicago, or you are from Chicago but desperately in need of a date night out, do check out the Ace Hotel.
What is your favorite must-visit hotel in Chicago?
How Blue Meets Blue Founder Turned Her Passion For Fashion Into Humanitarianism
I’m so honored to be the face of the Fall campaign for Blue Meets Blue, not only because I got to get dolled up in some gorgeous couture pieces and imagine I was (model) Gigi Hadid for a couple of days, but really because I am thrilled to align myself with such a forward-thinking brand, disrupting the way we consume fashion in the best way possible. Check out their recent feature in Time and InStyle!
Many people, myself included, want to do something to fix some the numerous problems in the world around us but often don’t even know where to begin. Which is why I’m so inspired by Shahd Asaly for founding Blue Meets Blue – a company tackling two major issues facing us today: the world refugee epidemic, and the fast-fashion problem. Asaly took her dream of aiding the refugee epidemic, combined it with her love of Fashion, and turned it into a reality. Here’s how she did it.
Shahd Asaly, founder of Blue Meets Blue, combined her love of fashion with her dream to aid the staggering refugee crisis, and turned it into a reality. Here’s how she did it.
With her Fashion and Psychology background, Asaly thought of an idea to create a clothing line that could employ refugees. After surveying a group, she found there were women who were highly skilled in beading, pattern making, and sewing. Using the talents and skills they already possessed to create beautiful, ethically produced fashion, it was a mutually beneficial solution.
Asaly then teamed up with experts in order to bring her dreams to life. Randa Kuziez, who has an extensive background in refugee work is currently the Strategy Consultant. Heading up Fashion Design is Rakan Shams El-Deen who has designed his own line of clothing.
Blue Meets Blue is a labor of love for Asaly, who says:
‘Blue Meets Blue is so much more than a fashion line for me. We focus on helping refugees with their resettlement process (by finding employment and a network of friends), we focus on slow fashion and try to raise awareness about slow fashion, we try to change misconceptions about refugees by spreading love through our fashion, and most importantly we see this as a form of art therapy: we love seeing the artisans open up -have deep conversations, and transform through their work. Seeing how it has changed their lives has been our biggest success.’
On top of all of those reasons to love Blue Meets Blue, the clothes are absolutely exquisite. Treat yourself to some guilt-free shopping for yourself or anyone on your holiday gift list!
Use my discount code ZahraXBMB for 15% off of your Blue Meets Blue order!
Some background: The world refugee crisis had reached a level of epic proportions in 2016 with 65 Million people displaced all over the world. These are innocent people forced to flee their homes, many of them women and children. Side note: It is sad that I have to clarify that these are innocent people, but after the Muslim Ban was enacted by our current administration, which would also keep out refugees from Muslim countries seeking asylum, I realized there are many misconceptions swirling around regarding who these people are and why they deserve our help. Also a driver behind the company, people are growing increasingly frustrated with fast fashion and its negative impact on the world. The factory collapse in Bangladesh was a pivotal moment, and consumers today are seeking out clothing produced sustainably and ethically.