summer lace

I wore this outfit a couple weeks ago and although it was really hot and humid that day, I was able to keep my cool in this light-as-a-breeze outfit. I normally don’t wear halter tops because I’m just not a fan of the way they look on me and given the open back on this one in particular and the fact that the bottom half is see-through it was honestly too revealing for my taste. But I’m a sucker for anything with lace and the scalloped detailing convinced me to give this top a try and I’m glad I did because this top is just sooo pretty! To keep things covered while preserving the light and airy feel of the halter, I paired it with a white linen blazer, high waisted pants, and wore a nude colored tank underneath so the illusion of skin was still there but without actually showing any and the beautiful effect of the lace detailing remained uninterrupted.

uo top | h&m blazer | f21 pants | f21 shoes | hermes bracelets

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in the blink of an eye..

I had planned to spend today very differently but instead of the fun and relaxing weekend that I had in mind, I am now sitting in the Dr’s office for the second day in a row awaiting another evaluation in addition the the multiple x-rays and CT scans I spent all day yesterday getting. This past Thursday, I experienced one of the scariest moments of my life and it was all because of someone else’s negligence whilst behind the wheel. This past Thursday, I got into my very first car accident and it was BAD.

In the blink of an eye, the SUV that was driving behind me smashed into me with full force, and before I knew it the airbags deployed, and my head was violently rattling back and forth in between the head rest and airbag. I could smell the smoke and I was shaking, screaming “OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD”.. I was frightened and I couldn’t even fully grasp exactly what had just happened. Thankfully the police and firemen arrived almost instantly because from that point on, between the tears and the distress everything else was a blur. The fear and shock I initially felt quickly turned into anger as I heard the policewoman who was filing the report tell another police officer that it was a case of distracted driving– the girl who pummeled into my car was on her phone downloading music and never even saw that I had stopped my car. She was coming at me with full impact and hit my car so hard that it caused me to hit the car that was in front of me, who then hit the car in front of her. A four car pile up, all because this girl couldn’t wait to download a song and was too busy looking at her phone to notice what was going on on the road in front of her.

This ordeal was no doubt incredibly scary and even a little traumatizing, but I will not deny that there’s a silver lining to all of this. Everyone makes mistakes and I’m sure the girl who caused the accident regrets her choices immensely, but her actions (or lack thereof considering she never hit the brakes) have really opened up my eyes because I realize that I could’ve just as easily been the distracted driver. But after this incident I have promised myself that I will never divert my attention from the road for even just a quick glance at my phone because I know just how blessed I am to have been able to walk away from a scene where my car resembled an accordion– and the scariest part is knowing that this situation could’ve easily been way worse. In any other circumstance, I would never feel the need to talk about something bad that has happened to me because quite frankly those are the kinds of things that shouldn’t be broadcasted, however this is different. If by sharing what has happened to me will cause anyone to take a personal pledge to put their phone down while driving then I will have considered this situation a blessing in disguise. Take it from me– there is nothing, and I mean NOTHING, that is on anyone’s phone that could ever be worth any of the damage, physical/mental pain, time, money, or inconvenience that results from a second of inattentiveness.

So as I’m sitting here at the Dr’s office with severe back and neck pain, a stiff arm, a bruised hand, and an aching leg, is it weird that I really just want to know what song she was downloading?

red, white, & blue jeans

When Lupita Nyongo walked the Golden Globe red carpet this past January in that stunning red Ralph Lauren cape and gown number, my jaw (along with every other fashion enthusiast) dropped to the floor. It was just so simple yet so bold– and no one could deny that she stole the show. That’s why when I came across this red cape blazer whilst late night e-shopping I literally squealed for joy and have been in love ever since. Its just so effortlessly chic and has a hint of high fashion regalness that could make anyone feel like a movie star. So although I wasn’t on my way to a red carpet, I decided to wear my newfound love to a pre 4th of July party. Dressing the cape blazer down with jeans and a white tank perfectly fit the occasion and exuded patriotism without being too over the top or tacky.

I’m excited to spend tonight with family, fireworks, and delicious barbecue. How are you spending your 4th of July weekend?

nasty gal cape blazer | h&m jeans | zara shoes| hermes bracelet | h&m clutch

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taste the rainbow

Growing up, Ramadan was always about the food for me. Now I know that sounds very bad, and of course my viewpoints have changed drastically as the years have passed, but let’s face it– food (or lack thereof) does play a special role. There are so many dishes that make me feel nostalgic and will always remind me of Ramadan and honestly, Iftar just wouldn’t taste the same without the samosas, pakoras, patties, and of course fruit chaat (basically, a fruit salad with spices). At my mom’s house, making the fruit chaat was always my duty and I loved it because admittedly I’m a fruit chaat snob and I could make it exactly how I wanted– every fruit cut uniformly and equally in size (who me, have OCD?? noooo..) and keep a light hand on the seasoning thus letting the fruit shine.

Fruit chaat really is super simple to make, actually so simple I was wondering if I should even do this post but I’m very particular about how I make mine (okay, so maybe I can be a *litttttle* OCD about things) and it’s interesting because everyone has their own way of making it, so I wanted to share mine.

What you’ll need:

-a banana
-a peach
-a mango
-freshly squeezed orange juice
-a pinch of salt
-a pinch (or three) of cayenne pepper

Those are pretty much the only fruits I ever put in mine, but of course you can switch it up and add whatever you fancy or whatever is seasonal/available to you. I like to begin making my fruit chaat by dicing the banana into tiny chunks- to the point where it almost looks minced- and then to keep it from oxidizing and yucky looking, I add freshly squeezed orange juice. Continue dicing (uniformly, of course) the rest of the fruit and add it to the bowl and finish it off with a pinch of salt and cayenne pepper– the cayenne adds a delicious and unexpected kick which balances all of the super sweet flavors and gives you that “party in my mouth” kinda feeling without being too overpowering.

And that’s all there is to it! Enjoy! Xo

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tie-dye for

I wore this outfit to brunch the other day and while I love the way the final product came about, getting there was a whole different story. I was beyond running late and had less than an hour to shower, do my hair + makeup, and pick out an outfit– which is the part where I waste the most amount of time because I literally just stand in front of my closet and stare at my clothes hoping something will pop out at me. So after having wasted about half of my allotted “getting ready” time, my husband was already asking me how much longer I was going to be.. *yikes* that’s when I know that the pressure to hurry up is REALLY on.

Seriously, I don’t know how Beyonce only takes 45 minutes to get all dressed up.

Anyway, jeans and a t-shirt are the first thing I’ll gravitate towards when I’m low on time because it’s easy and doesn’t require any ironing. To dress it up a bit I paired it with this colorful tie-dye button down maxi dress/cardigan. I’ve only worn this maxi cardigan a couple times but every time I do, I always get so many compliments on it (which makes me wonder why I don’t wear it more often) and the compliments are always followed with questions on where I got it from. I bought it a couple years back from Zara and it is obviously no longer sold at their stores but if you search for “tie-dye cardigan” on eBay, you can find pretty much the same exact thing for a fraction of the price that I paid. Now thats a deal that’s “tie-dye” for! LOL

zara maxi cardi | gap tank | levi’s jeans | shoemint shoes | saint laurent bag

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spring in my step

primark peplum top | jcrew pants | cathy jean pumps | jcrew bracelet | zara clutch

raves about my faves

Goodness gracious, I haven’t done a beauty post in a WHILE! Since I get asked a lot of questions about the makeup products I use and love, I decided it was time to dish the deets on some of my new (and old) favorites!

1. Sleek Makeup Corrector and Concealer palette in number 01– I’m very particular with my concealers because I have super dark under eye circles and while this concealer palette is very creamy, it has a very light consistency, which means it doesn’t do the best job at hiding dark circles. However, layered with another concealer under, it serves as a nice highlight and because of it’s light consistency it doesn’t get too cakey or heavy.

2. L’oreal BB Cream in Medium– I’ve tried a number of different BB creams in the past and all of them have always failed me– leaving my face feeling really icky and greasy. I was on the verge of ruling out BB creams altogether when I decided to give this one a try and I’m glad I did because I really really love it! It has a super light formula which means I still look fresh faced after having it on pretty much all day and the best part is that it does NOT leave a greasy or oily residue on my face. Another perk is that it primes, corrects, hydrates, and perfects all in one (although I’m still waiting on it to perfect my skin).

3. Vaseline Rosy Lips– Its pink, mini sized, and smells like roses. Need I say more?

4. Tarte Pure Maracuja Oil– This product claims to be “The Pure Miracle” and after using this for several weeks, I’m a believer! Maracuja oil is rich in vitamin C and has lots of essential fatty acids which helps to boost the skin’s radiance. I decided to use this moreso as an eye cream which is why I opted for the rollerball and it has left my skin hydrated, brighter, and the areas and lines around my eyes are noticeably smoother. Seriously, believe every good thing you hear about this product!

5. Essie nail polish in “Madison Ave-Hue”– Its the perfect pink for spring and summer!

6. MAC Mineralized Blush in “Dainty” — I love mineralized blushes because they give you such a pretty glow and this is definitely no exception! The color is just so feminine and gives you the loveliest flush of color.

7. Milani Lipstick in “Creme Nude”– This is my second tube of lipstick in this color and I just can not get enough of it! It is a beautiful opaque pinkish nude and it’s so creamy and glides on so smoothly. Another plus: it smells like watermelons!

8. Too Faced Melted Lipstick in “Melted Nude”– This lipstick is still relatively new on the market but let me tell you, it is simply amazing! The application is easy, the formula is long wearing, and the colors are intense. I’ve since added the “Melted Fuchsia” color to my collection as well and the colors are just so vibrant and pretty.

9. False Lashes– How is it that I am just NOW discovering the magic that is false lashes and what rock have I been living under? I’ve always been intimidated by falsies because I thought the application was just too difficult or I was afraid that the glue would be too messy and consequently ruin my makeup. But finally I decided to suck it up and try them and WOW what a difference they make! I’m obsessed with the instant drama they add to any look– it took me a while, but I’m glad I finally found the light!

10. Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation in “Tan Honey”– Although this color is a tad too dark for me (its the closest shade to my skin tone available) I don’t really mind because I really really like the formula. When applied, it gives me flawless full coverage and has a velvety matte finish which leaves my skin looking natural. It’s also paraben and sulfate free and has SPF of 15 which are all the more reasons to love it.

11. L’oreal Youth Code Texture Perfector– Don’t you just love a product that does exactly what it says it will do? I apply just one pump of this serum nightly before bed and it leaves my skin feeling smooth and supple, not to mention that it has dramatically minimized my pores since I’ve started using it.

Have you tried any of the aforementioned products– if so, what do you think? If not, what are some of your current favorites? Lets talk beauty products! Xo

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time flies

When I started The Style Menu a year ago, I honestly didn’t know what to expect. I was reluctant to start blogging because I was unsure about how it would be received and quite simply, I was afraid of failure. And now a year later, I realize that stepping out of my comfort zone and trying something new proved itself to be one of the best things I could’ve done for myself. Through TSM, I’ve been able to meet an array of wonderful people and have had a number of amazing opportunities come my way and those are things that I wouldn’t have even imagined possible all in less than a year.

I am so humbled and grateful because I know that none of this would be possible without YOU. To everyone who takes the time to keep up with TSM and my various social media accounts, leaves comments (be it positive or negative), and to anyone who has supported and encouraged me either directly through your words or indirectly by recreating a dish or styling a look inspired by a post of mine, from the bottom of my heart, I thank you and truly appreciate you so much.

*tight huggy*

I’m proud of how far I have come and with your continued love and support, I am so excited and have so much faith in how far The Style Menu can go.

abercrombie shirt | windsor tulle skirt | louboutin pumps | f21 beaded clutch | hermes bracelet

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sunday rendezvous

This past weekend was definitely one of the most exciting weekends I’ve had since I started The Style Menu– my friend and internationally known photographer Langston Hues (whom I met through his Modest Street Fashion project) planned a meet & greet here in Chicago and I was fortunate enough to be a part of it.

I’ll be honest, going into it I really had no idea what to expect because I’ve never even gone to a meet & greet (let alone being a part of one!) but I was genuinely surprised and so amazed. Being able to connect with so many beautiful and intelligent girls made me so happy, and to think that these girls actually care to keep up with me via my instagram and blog just completely blew my mind. I can’t even begin to tell you how excited, happy, and blessed I felt and continue to feel to have been on the receiving end of such kind and encouraging words– and for that I am extremely grateful to you all. Thank you so so so much to each and every one who came out to this past Sunday’s rendezvous and made the afternoon especially amazing.

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My mom is the ultimate kitchen queen and a glass of water in her house was never just a plain glass of water. She was infusing water way before it was the trendy thing to do– simply because it was more aesthetically appealing and at any given moment a pitcher of infused water could always be found in the fridge. So lately, as I’ve been trying to wean myself off of sugary drinks (which is a lot harder than I anticipated) I’ve found myself turning to infused water to help with the process.

The possibilities are virtually endless when it comes to infusing your water and the health and physical benefits plenty. Not only are you drinking more water (which is always a plus) but by adding various fruits and herbs you’re also getting essential vitamins and antioxidants– which I’ve notice has dramatically helped to improve both my skin and hair.

I usually let the fruits/herbs steep for a couple hours or if I don’t feel like waiting, 30 minutes at the least before drinking it. I’ve experimented with lots of different fruits and herbs and some of my current favorite flavor combinations (pictured above, L to R) include;

-orange, strawberry, and rosemary
-cucumber, mint, and orange
-blueberry, raspberry, and lime
-lime, blueberry, and orange

Have you tried infusing your water? If so, what are some of your favorite combinations?

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