I’m In the Home Stretch!

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Don’t tell me you thought I fell off of my “30 days” challenge, simply because you haven’t been given voyeuristic privileges? I know, I know, that was so uncalled for and I apologize profusely. But seriously though, don’t underestimate me like that. After all, with all of my meager startups, restarts, revamps and life makeovers, I should have learned something by now right?

I have gotten tons accomplished, and I’ve been taking pictures along the way, but I decided to give an update on my successes when the 30 days is over. One of the many tips I’ve picked up over the last few weeks (which I’ve actually been using) is ridding myself of mind clutter. It has allowed me to work much more efficiently. Initially I wanted to blog on a daily basis to keep you updated on my journey, and although idealistically it would have been lovely, it wasn’t practical based on my new mind clutter practices. Frequent blogging can be a drag if other parts of your life aren’t structured. In essence, I couldn’t keep up with blogging while getting thangs done!

With only seven days left I have to admit that I’m nervous, but I’m determined to get everything on my to do list completed. I shall go for now, I may hold off posting until I’m at the finish line, but before I go, I thought I would leave you with a home stretch selfie.

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Watermelon Makes Me Happy

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I woke up this morning with a heavy heart. Personal struggles aside, I delved into world news last night more than I have in quite some time. My empathy level runs deep, and at times I feel guilty for enjoying the simple pleasures of life.
It takes a minute for me to regain my composure after reading about certain events, those involving children are especially difficult for me.

When I was younger my sister and I watched a movie named Pollyanna, it was about a little girl who changed a town based on her cheerful outlook on life. No matter what difficulty she faced, she played “the glad game,” finding something to be happy about everyday, no matter how big or small. It has been at least twenty years since I saw that movie, and to this day I play the glad game. It’s got me through some rough times.

While gearing myself up to make a few products, I realized I needed a pick me up, just a little something to get me through the day ahead. I have formed a serious relationship with watermelon over the last month or so. Naptural85 (youtuber) has talked about how much energy she has after eating a large amount of watermelon in the morning. I can attest to the fact that my energy level has gone up tremendously since I started consistently eating it over a month ago. I don’t know if it’s a psychological thing, but today it made me happy. It gave me a reason to smile, and sometimes that’s all I need!
Now off to design some scarves!

7 Day Menu

Stuck in a cooking rut?
Here is a 7 day menu I created to make my week go by more smoothly. I’m including the links to the recipes I found online. Some of them are my own dishes.

1. Bowtie Pasta with Sausage link: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Bow-Ties-with-Sausage-Tomatoes-and-Cream/Detail.aspx?evt19=1
NOTE: I substituted the pork sausage with ground beef.

2. Teriyaki Chicken link: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Baked-Teriyaki-Chicken/Detail.aspx?evt19=1

3. Greek Pasta link: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Greek-Pasta-with-Tomatoes-and-White-Beans/Detail.aspx?evt19=1

4. Buffalo Chicken Fingers link: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Buffalo-Chicken-Fingers/Detail.aspx?evt19=1

5. Baked Tilapia (My Recipe)

6. Moroccan Lentil Soup link: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Moroccan-Lentil-Soup/Detail.aspx?evt19=1

If you try any of them, please let me know how they came out!

7. Fried Chicken with Macaroni & Cheese (My recipes)

Fabric and Banner – Day 4 & 5

Wednesday I made this banner. I got busy later in the evening, so I didn’t blog.

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I started a sewing channel on Youtube, it’s structured for young girls, but of course anyone can follow along. I really want to perfect my craft, and what better way than to teach it.

Thursday
I’ve been wanting some new skirts, my old ones are knit maxi skirts from two years ago, they are old and dusty now. I found this rayon fabric, it’s OK, but not what I was looking for. I wanted a brighter color, the print is acceptable.
I’m waiting for some daring individuals to open up a fabric district in Houston, our fabric selection is lame.

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In keeping with my productivity goals, I made a seven day menu, I’ll be posting that separately. Thursday was busy because I went grocery shopping, and made the first item from the menu. I usually make quick things like Tacos, or hot dogs on the same day I go shopping, but I was feeling adventurous, and I had a volunteer sous chef who ended up nearly making the whole dish.

So far I’m pleased with the amount I’ve gotten done in less than a week. Doing the banners removed a lot of my mental fog. I’ve had them in the back of my mind for along time, confusing and harassing my thoughts. The next major thing is getting our website (matichic.com) in order. Working on SEO, and other things to maximize it’s potential, along with a few other business related things.

Graphic Design – Day 3

I finally finished the two banners I was working on!

My banner
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My sister Bee’s banner
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We both love the same color palette, so they are somewhat similar.
I’m so happy to scratch them off of my massive to do list. They’ve been on the back burner for at least 6 months now, insane right?
Although I just started taking graphic design officially, I’ve been playing around in Photoshop for awhile now. My experience is limited, but I can’t wait to get the newest version of Photoshop to create with.

Next up is the banners for our blogs, they will be the same design (or very close to the same) as the ones above, but with different dimensions.
YAY for productivity!

It’s All A Blur – Day 2

Who was the first woman to put coconut oil on her eyelashes? Hmm, I wonder. I hear it’s marvelous for keeping the skin supple, amongst other things, so I apply it on my face before bed. Tonight I decided to use it on my eyelashes as well, you know, so they stay moisturized overnight. Snuffleupaggus is going to be jealous soon!
The only problem is, I can barely see through all this grease, and I have a few more things to do before I turn in.
Note to self: Do not apply oils of any kind to eyeballs unless climbing directly into bed!

Remember those scarves I was going to design last night? Well, I lost the inspiration, somewhere between running errands and cooking dinner. Yes, I’m one of those designers who waits for divine inspiration, the alignment of stars, and
a personal call from Tim Gunn before I execute a piece…of anything.

Today was a perfect illustration of why I need this 30 day life makeover. I sat down to paint bracelets to match with scarves, only to discover I was out of the colors I needed. Instead of the three bracelets I intended to paint, I could only do one.

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I didn’t have the exact color paint I needed for this one, but after a good ten to fifteen minutes of blending, I got it. I was so proud of my decision not to take the easy route of buying the exact color. Being a small business owner requires tenacity in so many areas, stretching your dollar is a major one.

Anywho, yesterday I wasn’t able to make myself a pair of earrings, but it turned out to be a good thing. I was going to use beads I already had in my jewelry supplies, I knew I wanted something silver to start with because it goes with almost anything.
While I was out shopping for paint, I found these beads on sale for $1.99.

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I know what you’re thinking…”cheap” right? Well get your mind out of the gutter! These beads have a little weight to them, that’s what I usually look for when I find beads that are inexpensive. I don’t care for “cheap” jewelry, the look or feel of it. I’m not sure what style the earrings will be, but I’m attempting a matching necklace with the third bead. Oooh, she’s getting jazzy!

Tonight I worked on my Youtube channel art banner. It’s something I’ve postponed for a long time, and I know if I hadn’t decided to do this 30 day challenge, it would still be the furthest thing from my mind. It’s amazing how many things I’ve procrastinated with. I owe my sister a banner as well, I told her I would make her one ages ago. One of my goals for this month is to create a new banner for this blog…ok, I’m dozing. Abrupt end to post!

30 Days

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Ramadan Mubarak to my Muslim readers, and to those who aren’t Muslim, good day/evening!

My plans for this month consists of the usual: spiritual enrichment, attending iftars (break fast meals) around Houston, and exercising discipline in different areas.

During the hours of fasting you use an enormous amount of self control, to not think about food, not want food you see others around you eating, to not mistakenly taste food while you’re cooking it (hey, it happens) or coincidentally “yawn” for really looooong during a rainstorm (ok, now that’s just pathetic).
My point is, the discipline fasting requires is unparalleled.
Since I won’t be fasting this month (nursing baby), I’m going to miss a great deal of the “discipline” part of Ramadan, so I’ve decided to challenge myself by exercising it in other areas that I feel are lacking.

My overall goal is to formulate habits that encourage a healthier and more productive lifestyle.
I figure that if I use this month as a habit forming period, then I could be a new woman by the end of Ramadan.
Well, we shall see!

DAY 1
I jumped out of bed this morning only to realize the sun was already shining through my window, and the entire house had missed suhoor (pre-dawn meal). Although I’m not fasting, it was a bummer because my plan was to make a lovely suhoor for my family, at least on the FIRST day of Ramadan. In a flurry of disappointment I quickly moved onto the next plan of action, working out. I kept it light this morning, did some calf raises, squats and a few other exercises.
Whew, at least I knocked one productive thing out the box!
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Changing my eating habits is going to be a biggie for me, I love waffles, pancakes, french toast, biscuits, danish, donuts, bread, bread, and more bread. I want to eat healthier, but I’m not interested in losing any weight. I’m on a mission to find foods that are healthy but won’t have a trimming effect.

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I settled for a bowl of Frosted Flakes this morning, instead of pancakes.

I bought an assorted box of yogurts, only to discover that no one in my house likes the “mixed berry” flavor, so I knocked off one of those after the cereal.
Hey, I’m used to a hearty plate of pancakes, my stomach felt like an empty treasure chest with that little bowl of cereal!
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I’m “color lifting” Pashminas later this evening, and hopefully I’ll have time to make myself a pair of earrings. My jewelry collection is pretty grim! I’ve never been a girly girl…it’s about time that changes!

Eyeko Liquid Eyeliner

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CAUTION! This eyeliner sucks!
I received it in my February Birchbox and I’m just using it for the first time. It came in the color black, but was more of a dusty black when I applied it. The solution is very thin so I tried to layer it, but rubbing over the same spot just removed the part that was there, and yes I layered it after it was dry. Although it’s been several months since I received it, it hadn’t been opened so I think it should still be good. Let me know if I’m tripping in the comments section!?

I would not buy the full-size liner, nor would I accept it as a gift :P.

Fashion Show and Outfit of the Day!

A friend of mine is graduating this month, and one of her last classes was making a five piece collection. Here are a few photos of her collection “The New India,” and a few of what I made to wear to it.

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Another addition to my wardrobe!

Top – I made
Harem pants – I made
Pashmina – Ma’ti Designs
Gold Bracelets – Ma’ti Designs
Cuff Bracelet – Forever 21
Heels – Nine West
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New Talk Show “Muslimah On Location”

I’m excited to share the first episode of “Muslimah On Location,” hosted by Nafeesah Abdullah Muhammad.
The show’s mission is “highlighting the many fascinating and substantial contributions made by Muslim Women to America and Society.”

I loved this first episode because it was about young Muslimahs living in America, the joys and struggles of growing up as covering Muslims. The young ladies interviewed also shared their plans for the future.
Truly inspirational.
Check out the video below!

Show your support for this show by liking the Facebook page, and sharing!
https://www.facebook.com/MuslimahonLocation