Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Humans are the most selfish species that inhabit the Earth. We continue to harm our environment constantly in order to benefit ourselves through using fossil fuels, disposing large amounts of waste (usually non biodegradable), contributing to the meat industry and consuming great amounts of fast fashion that is rendered useless within a few years, if not months. We cut down trees to make more space for housing and commercial buildings. We fund companies that test on animals in order to use makeup products from brands we like (doesn't that sounds so trivial) We do things without considering the ramifications. Biologically speaking, there is a reason for this selfishness and lack of remorse, the theory of evolution through natural selection suggests that individuals must behave in manners that will maximise their ability to survive and pass on DNA. Because that is essentially what we are here for, from a biological perspective, to ensure survival of our genetic material for generations to come. Of course artistically speaking we could say life is to create and love but that is besides the point. We are intrinsically selfish creatures, by nature but we can change our habits and lifestyle to show more compassion to the world we live on. There are some altruistic decisions we can make to lower the negative impact we have on our environment and ourselves. I am a firm believer of your body being your temple and how we only have two homes in our life, our body and our earth, hence why I made the conscious decision a few months ago to completely cut out meat and most dairy because my tastebuds and personal satisfaction is not worth the rape of billions of cows for milk and the murder of 56 billion farm animals (excluding fish)

The cultural and religious traditions I have grown up with have always included the consumption of meat. When a new child is born into the family, it is almost ritual to kill and eat a lamb (or cow) to celebrate. I remember when my younger sister was born and we went to Morocco, my uncle slit the throat of a sheep that I had grown so close with a few weeks beforehand. The ground was bright red with blood whilst the sheep's body continued to bleed out. From then, at 4 years old, I made the decision to never eat lamb or beef again. Therefore I guess it was quite easy for me to cut out all meat products because I had gone without a big part of it for almost 13 years of my life.

Within the last few years there has been a new found consciousness regarding the meat industry (thanks to documentaries like Cowpiracy and What The Health) and subsequently, a soaring growth of vegetarians and vegans. I do not want anyone to feel like I am pushing my diet and beliefs upon them because that is the most counter-productive thing I can do. I respect everyones dietary choices, regardless of whether I believe they are "right" or not. I have a platform, regardless of how small it is, and I want to use it for good. If I can get one person to just question their eating habits then I will be happy. I do not like the stereotype that comes with non-meat eaters, especially vegans, as it is so misleading and only focusses on one type of person which is why I love Earthling Ed's channel, because he approaches people and gently questions them in ways that make them think rather than screaming at them for contributing to murder. You do not even have to cut out meat completely but perhaps limit the amounts of time you eat it per week. The average family incorporates meat into their meals almost every day of the week and consumes 40lb of meat a month. Too much of anything is bad for you and everything must be taken in moderation.

If you would like more reasons to go vegetarian then here you go...

  • Meat nowadays is detrimental to your health. And I don't only mean it in terms of cardiovascular health and cholesterol but actual antibiotic resistance and your immune system. The majority of livestock are kept in cramped conditions where infections can be transmitted across thousands of animals in a matter of weeks. As a result, farmers pump numerous antibiotics into their animals to prevent mass death and help the animal grow up to 3% larger which is significant in an industry where the meat is sold by its weight. 80% of antibiotics in the US are used for livestock, meaning only 20% are for human use.  When animals are fed antibiotics for a long period of time, they begin to retain strains of bacteria that are resistant to it (same principle for humans). Then you buy the meat after it's slaughtered and eat it which passes these resistant bacteria (MRSA is the most common one) to you, if the meat isn't handled with caution or is slightly undercooked. This means that no antibiotic can treat the bacterial infection because the over use of it when the animals were still alive led it to becoming resistant. Antibiotic resistance is a growing concern across the world as we begin to realise that these drugs may not be the solution to bacterial infections anymore, and the consumption of drugged up meat is continuing to contribute to this.
  • The meat industry is disastrous to our environment in so many ways. 18% of greenhouse gas, which contributes to climate change, comes from the livestock industry which is more than the emissions of cars and trucks around the world combined. You've probably seen the statistic that 1,847 gallons of water are needed to produce 1lb of meat. There are so many shocking statistics available online to show just how much livestock farming can harm our precious environment.
  • Possibly the most eye opening factor that led me to vegetarianism is the fact that we could end world hunger if we stopped consuming meat. We have enough food to feed everyone yet 36% of grain and 76% of soy consumption is for livestock and the land it is grown on is strictly for the animals when it could be used to grow crops for human consumption. More than 1 billion people cannot access food in the world even though the grain that is fed to livestock is enough to feed 2 billion people. 
  • I mentioned earlier that it takes almost 2000 gallons of water to produce 1lb of beef. Not only is this extremely wasteful and unsustainable (water is precious, people!) it also leads to water contamination as studies have found that 60% of US water is contaminated largely due to agriculture. Nitrate pollution from fertilisers used for crops for animal consumption is the main reason and also leads to severe eutrophication which is negatively impactful on human health and our ecosystem too.
  • Every animal deserves a chance to live, just like we do. We are not at all superior to other organisms on this earth. What makes your pet dog or cat different to a cow or pig? They are conscious animals at the end of the day that do not deserve to live a life away from its mother in dark and cramped conditions before being taken to the slaughter house to be stunned and packaged for human enjoyment. I find it so hypocritical that people refuse to wear fur (9 out of 10 people in the UK say they would not wear real fur) because of the "cruelty" behind it but continue to consume meat as if there is no cruelty behind that either.

"Perhaps the greatest contrivance in human evolution is the notion of "the self." By virtue of the fact that each and every one of us believes wholeheartedly in our own significance, our own primacy, we are selfish. One could conceive of humans as barely sentient creatures that imagined virtually everything we are able to experience in reality. Our capacity to label, quantify and organize information and ascribe meaning and direction to the shift in matter gives us a kind of god-like ability that is not evident within what we believe are lesser animals. I have spoken to and interacted with various people from all walks of life, and from what I can discern, none of them are "happy" or "satisfied." This is because we are not biologically programmed to be either. Almost all humans strive for the same thing and participate in an artificially constructed social system that perpetuates suffering and ecological domination. Most of us believe in the idea of "deserving" more, having more, being better...But in truth, we own nothing, are never truly better and don't deserve a thing. We are entitled, and the narratives we have prescribed to for centuries have become so deeply entrenched in our genetic makeup that we are all convinced that we are all special and that we are all worthy of happiness and fulfillment. This is fallacious, and our presence on the planet has triggered certain events that are now unavoidable. Billions of animals are slaughtered yearly for our benefit, we produce tonnes of waste and expand at an exponential rate without any real understanding of the consequences. We believe in time but cannot see that it is a man-made construct and that in fact there is no time, no linear upward progression or improvement in circumstances. We all dream this life, believe that we're going somewhere afterwards and that if we do this or that or buy this or that, we're going to be happy forever. It's a terrible, terrible joke, and every day we live the worse it all gets. Life never considered the ramifications of its own ambition, cannot conceive of an end, yet all of us must inevitably perish. In the expanse of infinity we are but a drop in the ocean, and we are an aspect of nature that should not have been. Our consciousness is an incontrovertible mistake, and we are all going to pay dearly for our egregious selfishness and lack of foresight. Humanity had its shot, but it never thought about what it was...What it was doing...And now we sing our swansong - and ultimately, it's for the best."

If you are interested in learning more about vegetarianism or just want some good veggie recipes I live by then comment down below and I'll find a way to contact you. Also, please feel free to exercise your right to freedom of speech in the comments- I love a good debate.

The (not so) Ordinary products

Thursday, 3 August 2017

You have instagram, right? So you're probably familiar with this brand and their clean and very Scandi inspired aesthetic. It's a rarity to come across non-drugstore skincare products that are below £15 these days and rightly so, good things come at a price. Therefore when I saw these products for the first time, the packaging, ingredients and pledges screamed high end to me yet when I saw that the prices were literally £10 and under I had a little "well damn" moment. Because nothing this good can be so cheap (welcome to capitalism)

I searched for my nearest store and ventured there with the intention of gifting these to my mum. I asked for items more suited for "mature" skin (sorry mum) and if most of the things hadn't been out of stock, I would've left with more than two items. I got the Alpha Lipoic Acid 5% and 100% Plant-Derived Squalene which both aim to moisturise and brighten and slow down the effects age. All for a mere £11.40. My mum and I share these, using a few drops of the squalene every morning and night whilst saving the lipoic acid for use bi-weekly. I'm not sure whether it's the absence of a-levels that has made my skin so much more healthier and -I hate this word- glowy or if these two products are actually working but I assume it's the latter. Considering that these products are full of (gentle) chemicals, they don't smell strong or harsh at all which is always a plus especially as a bio student, I don't want to be smelling Phenoxyethanol and Potassium Sorbate anywhere outside the labs lol.

What I love most about these products is how they are so focussed around the foundations of products, the biochem behind it. The Ordinary develop different formulas to cater to their demographic and sell them at such a low price to show that good skincare can truly be accessed by anyone. Not only are they super affordable, they're cruelty free, vegan, alcohol free etc. I'll paste their statements regarding these things below. Everything about the brand is so transparent and overflows with integrity which is why I'm patiently waiting for their lactic acid suspension, hyaluronic acid, caffeine solution and salicylic acid products to come back in stock in the Shoreditch branch (hint hint)

"All DECIEM products, across all brands including The Ordinary, are free of parabens, sulphates, mineral oil, methylchloroisothiazolinone, methylisothiazolinone, animal oils, benzalkonium chloride, coal tar dyes, formaldehyde, mercury, oxybenzone. If you have questions about any ingredient that we use, please reach out to us and our lab will provide a response. 

DECIEM does not test on animals and does not pay others to do so. For this reason, none of our brands are sold in mainland China since such sales require animal testing for registration purposes."

As I read through this post, I realise more and more how much it seems like I am being directed to saying these things. I can assure you that all my views are totally genuine and this is not sponsored (a girl can dream) but it would be amazing to work with the cool people at The Ordinary (hmu)

I don't even know whether this is a product review or me continuously gushing about this brand but nevertheless I hope I've managed to clarify the brand and their products a bit more!

Have you heard of The Ordinary or tried anything from them?

la dolce vita with seventeen

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Hello. Sorry for the really close up shots of me staring you down. I promise I'm not mean.
(as someone who hates taking pictures of her face, uploading these is kinda freaking me out but hopefully my face doesn't offend many of you)

I've never really been one to experiment with makeup (here we go again) but seeing as the summer season is usually one of experimentation and recklessness -in a good way- I thought I would be more daring with my face. And whilst a bold red lip and exaggerated beauty spots aren't usually what spring to mind when we think spontaneity and adventure, for someone who can barely be bothered to curl her eyelashes in the morning this is a pretty big deal.

The fab PR people at Seventeen asked me if I was willing to be part of their 'blogging relay' and as a track and field runner, I had bouts of heart palpitations just thinking about the 400m sprints. But you'll be pleased to know that this is more of a share beauty tips throughout the whole beauty blogging community (not super pressurising physical exhaustion) so hopefully by the end of it, we'll be swimming in advice and nifty tricks to make your makeup look 10/10.

Although makeup and beating my face is not my forte, I have a few tips to help you achieve a really natural, summer appropriate look:

If the faux freckles trend looks too artificial for you, or if you're like me, looks like it requires to much effort to a) dot them around and b) make them look as natural as you can then I would definitely recommend accentuating any natural beauty spots you may have. I have a few faint ones around my mouth so I used a brown eyebrow gel to lightly put over them. It may not look very authentic up close but for the most part, I think it adds a really nice sun kissed effect.

bright lip has always been said to be the perfect way to slack on other aspects of your face so this is no exception. Not only is base and eye makeup a drag to put on, during the heat there's always the tendency of it transferring and melting off. Keeping it subtle with a lengthening and separating mascara, light BB cream, highlight and filled in and brushed up brows will allow full attention to your colourful lip of choice. I find that a creamy matte red shade suits my skin tone best but always experiment, I've seen lilac lipsticks which looks amazing.

This one's going to sound really strange but everything on this blog does to be honest. You know when you're back in from a whole day out in the sun and the middle of your cheeks and the bridge of your nose is bronzed and rosy (also known as the sunglasses tan?) We can recreate that, minus the sun damage. Dusting some shimmery bronzer across the tops of your cheeks and the bridge of your nose is more than enough to do the trick.

The last, slightly mainstream, tip is to use your lip colour as a blush. I dotted a bit of my lipstick on my cheeks and blended it with my fingers in an out and upwards motion. It looks really natural, gives a subtle rosiness and brings lots of warmth to the face without having to use yet another product!

I didn't conceal my undereyes or my blemishes just because I didn't feel the need to!

Products used (all by Seventeen)*

-BB cream in medium
-Brow kit
-Bronze and Illuminate palette
-Mega Matte lipstick in 'Roses are Red'
-SkinWow liquid highlight
-Eye Eye crayon in 'Iced' (perfect inner corner highlight)

Well that's it from me! The blogger I'll be "passing the baton" to is Mona from Through Mona's EyesDo hop onto her blog for the next set of (probably much better) beauty tips on the 26th!

What are some of your top beauty tips and hacks for the summer?

hello again...

Monday, 17 July 2017

Friday 16th June (kinda late but when am I ever punctual)

You're probably used to reading posts where the blogger explains the strange, weird, wacky place they're writing that exact post from. Well I'm currently in a manky bathroom somewhere in Peckham, south east london, listening to reggaeton to make myself feel better whilst trying to devise a plan that can allow me to sneak out of the one of the most difficult yoga classes I've ever attended without the instructor catching me with her beady eye and making me wearily attempt "Taraksvasana" once more even though I've emphasised that my legs can't possibly twist and contort so much so they can reach my face (I've read this sentence through so many times and it still makes no sense, just google image the pose) This quick "freshening up" session has been going on for 10 minutes and counting. Who will win? Probably her... she's broken me already. That just got deep. To make everything worse an amalgamation of exams, orange is the new black season 5 and love island have totally made me their bitch and have had me on lock so not only do I have an impossible yoga mish, a hearty dollop of procrastination and guilt of my unproductively have been added on too.

Quick location change. I safely made it home and (shockingly) did not meet my peril at the yoga place. Instead I'm leaning over the river Thames listening to the faint crashes of "waves" and slight whir of boats moving down as the sun is setting over Tower Bridge on my left and as a pink hue continues to descend over the Canary Wharf to my's safe to say that aesthetically-wise, everything is going swimmingly well. A seagull is repeatedly diving down into the water and coming up again, making small ripples in the water. It keeps picking up this pink thing and then dropping it again. For a second I thought it was an actual fish and had a little moment because I had no idea that the (terribly) polluted river Thames would actually have wildlife that isn't seaweed and algae. I think I was right because that same seagull is still at it with the plunging and un-plunging. 
In the brief moment I've looked up from my phone after writing that last sentence, the sky has now transformed into a whole new array of colours, think vivid oranges, pinks and reds- kinda like the ABH Modern Renaissance palette. It's crazy how much a sunset can change in the space of minutes. I think that's an analogy that can be applied to life in general. Sometimes we need to take a break and look up at everything around us. We're so caught up on everything, life passes before we can experience it. That's why I've started getting into yoga (that isn't a threat to my life ahem) and deleted my social media. Ok hang on this seagull is really irritating me. I wonder if it's their instinct to pick up something, drop it, hover above it and then pick it up again. Maybe it's training for real prey. That seems pretty legit. I'll research later. 

This, my friends, is what you call an hyperactive mind. Cool and collected in demeanour, bouncing of the walls on the inside. I think that's a good thing though because it's a surprise.
I just looked up again in the hope of seeing a new collection of colours in the sky. Same old. What a disappointment. 

A lady has just come up behind me and asked if I'm alright and whether a combination of what I've been typing for the last 10 minutes and looking up wistfully has been the makings of a long winded break up text. I assured her it's not. And now I'm terribly conscious at the fact that she's been watching me for all that time. 

But who knows, maybe this will be where I come when everything shit goes terribly wrong. I guess I'll be here almost everyday. Nothing really ever goes to plan. A, what I assume is a party boat has just sped past and given me my daily dose of club music but alas, the Doppler effect has made that a very fleeting experience. Best things come in small packages (or quick speed boats???) right? But by that logic, everyone who's tall, large or both isn't the best. That's not fair.
My phone is now on 1% and I'm more or less just milking how long it'll be until the screen goes black. Oh wait, another party boat. This time they're playing that upbeat typical hip hop music they usually play in those rom-coms when introducing the black "hood" characters. Gotta love those cultural stereotypes being enforced in mainstream media. The boats horn has just tooted. I don't know why that's significant but it was subsequently followed with a roar of cheers so I guess it means something. I'm glad they're enjoying themselves. Meanwhile I'm here. Still stuck to my phone.  Let me see if the seagull is still there. 

It must've flown away whilst I was being questioned about my relationship status/watching two party boats go past/writing this. I'm going to round this mental regurgitation up right by figuratively packing up my stuff and leaving. 

Hope you liked this brief insight of my stream of consciousness.

spring jewellery with aurate

Thursday, 4 May 2017

I've been meaning to do a post like this for the longest time ever but my laziness always manages to overpower any motivation I ever do get. So as you can imagine, when I came across the Aurate website after stalking checking out their social media sites, it all felt a little bit like fate. You see, this post has been sitting in my drafts since 27/8/2015- so this was like a wake up call and it's about time I actually got started on it. 

A little bit about the brand first though...their products are completely ethically sourced (100%) gold at a more affordable price as they skip the extra steps which usually heighten the price of their pieces and instead, get it to the consumer straight away. I love this concept as it really does make a difference to how much you're spending whilst still being able to get classic and durable gold pieces.

Before working with a brand I always like to research a bit to find out if I'll even be able to create content for/with that's exactly what I did. For every purchase, a book is donated to an economically underprivileged child which hits really close to him seeing as I'm one myself (sad times) Also, one of the creators is Moroccan which heightens my pride in my country and made me want to work with this brand even more. Wow I can really ramble on can't I? 

Minimal and dainty jewellery have become accessory staple for the every-day fashion forward individual. Pieces that can be worn alone or layered with each other are the epitome of versatility and for a generation that's constantly moving around, it's perfect. I've tried to annotate the photos in the collage above so I'm hoping you can understand my handwriting- it's pretty bad but I promise I tried to neaten it up for this post hah.

Geometric shapes have been super popular when it comes to jewellery due to it's very minimalist and architectural structure, and these circular and triangular shapes can really elevate a crisp all white or black outfit. Similarly, if you're sick of the generic thick banded cloth chokers that are on every high street right now a more simplistic and elegant option is a more structured collar necklace- the black stone breaks up the gold, giving it a little more versatility.

Onto my jewellery. I have a necklace and choker that I always wear, almost like my signature look. Both are very minimal and simply but go really well with my everyday style which is what I like the most. My necklace is made of real gold and was bought for me as a gift in Morocco a few years ago (gold is huge in Moroccan culture!) and then my choker was bought on a beach in Essouaira for around £2. The man who makes them actually goes onto the shore to look for shells to use for his jewellery! I wish I could photograph them nicely but it's much more difficult than you would think, soo whenever I do I'll make sure to upload them on here as an update.

Do you prefer gold or silver jewellery? Or are you more of a mixing metals person?

la hora dorada

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

The golden hour, a period of time coveted by photographer across the sphere due to it's rich, warm hues and striking casts on photos. I've always found brown eyes interesting because of the whole melting pot of colours that amalgamate to make it that exact colour. You can see the hints of amber and golden rays merging into one with black trails extending from the pupil. For me, the golden hour is what exaggerates this and transforms these "boring brown eyes" into something else. I haven't edited these photos at all mainly because I don't want to alter the natural colours...I hope you like them.

where I want to go

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Currently listening to No me reproches by Cafe Quijano and have 5 british airway tabs open as I write this, further fuelling my burning desire to just travel and chill out in South American countries, soaking up the extensive culture and white sand beaches they're blessed to have. I wish it was as easy as just stepping onto a plane and going but it isn't. Nowadays you always have to factor in cost, time, accommodation and so much more. I sometimes wish I never went to school just for the fact that I'd have more time free to travel, I'm sure it would serve as a much more educational and cultural experience than just being sat in a classroom. But that's life. I wrote a post similar to this last year, almost like a summer bucket fun.

I have five countries on my ultimate travel bucket list, all of which are in South America or in the Caribbean. If you look at my travel board on Pinterest, it's full of 'pueblos viejos' (old towns), brilliantly blue bodies of water and vivid hues. Cuba, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Colombia and Mexico are all places I am dying to visit. I'm going to sound incredibly basic but the culture in each of these countries is so rich and intriguing with complex relations with superpower countries during the Cold War, dictatorships, colonialism, indigenous people and more. I'm so glad that I do get to learn a bit of this through my a-level Spanish lessons but if only I could physically be there and explore myself. The Spanish language is one of my favourites and again, I wish I could go to these countries sometime soon because I'd love to finally be able to speak the language somewhere other than my classrooms and Spain because although they share the same language, the dialects are so much more different. So many people long to visit Greek islands like Mykonos and Santorini and other mediterranean islands but no one really pays attention to some of the places I listed above which is a shame because I'm sure they're equally as beautiful, if not more. Ever since I started writing this post somehow everything around me seems to be talking about's like they're signs. My spotify has been flooded with adverts about visiting Old Havana in Cuba and becoming a Spanish teacher and then my twitter feed has got lots of Mexico travel diary posts. I guess the quote "when you want something all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." is completely true...or maybe I'm just reading into it too much.

Anyway, if any travel companies are reading this then pls contact me. jk. not really.
-Dalal 🌞

ootd | another day

Friday, 14 April 2017

Most basic outfit ever, I know. As the weather gets increasingly warm, I've finally been able to bring out my lighter t-shirts and shove my turtle necks at the back of my wardrobe. Before I continue with the post though I must ask, am I the only one who doesn’t completely enjoy the good weather we're having (especially during March) because they're conscious that it's most definitely down to global warming? It's definitely unsettling and I just wish people knew that this 'lovely sunshine' isn't so lovely at all.

I digress, back to the outfit. If you know me, you know that my style of dressing can be incredibly basic, almost on the verge of laziness- but I always try to adapt it into something more appropriate for society because toothpaste stained trackies apparently aren't. When I tell you, I've never loved a grey t-shirt more in my life, I'm not even joking. I bought this from Brandy Melville a few years ago during their 50% off sale so I probably got it for around £6. This always gets so much wear in the spring and summer months because it's simply so versatile, it really does go with everything and is the perfect basic. As it's v-neck, it pairs amazingly with both strappy and lacy bralettes which always helps to add a little more to something so simple and neutral. 

I have no idea how to describe these trousers so please excuse the following, very shambolic description of them. They're like cargo pants but skinny and are a bleached/washed out navy colour with lots of gold hardware which gives it a more expensive look. A for effort. What I love about these is the colour, they're not a typical khaki green that you would expect from this style and are also a refreshing break from the abundance of denim we're all seeing this season. The cropped leg is definitely not intentional, I bought them from the kids section so that paired with my height does explain the "ankle grazing" style. 

Yes, those are the adidas stan smith's I'm gracing only 3 years late to the whole trend. Do I even have any shame? My lack of punctuality clearly follows me every where ha. These are so comfy and I've been wanting a pair of fresh and crisp white trainers for the comes the task of actually keeping them pristine. You've probably already heard many fashion bloggers singing these praise so I'll save you that ;)

A way I like to elevate an otherwise drab outfit is through a statement piece. Although I'm beginning to incorporate more prints and colour into my wardrobe, I still like to stay on the safe side and carry something small like a bright bag instead. I'm renowned for never holding bags and instead just stuffing everything into my pockets, so when my sister gifted me this I was a bit meh about it but obviously had to put on the "ah omg thanks so much" front, but now I can't leave the house without it. It's so small and compact but surprisingly fits much more than you'd think, and the colour is definitely my favourite part of it. It's really well made and has so many compartments which I love as it definitely maximises the capacity of it. 

What's your go-to outfit?
-Dalal 🍒

social media

Monday, 10 April 2017

social media, instagram, twitter, snapchat, social media detox
STRANGE FORMAT, I KNOW. I wanted to try something new. Anyway, I hope you liked and please exercise your right to freedom of speech in the comments below, I would love to read and debate with you.

-Dalal 🍑our obsession with social media as bloggers

ootd | i tried out smart-wear

Thursday, 6 April 2017

*I'm literally only posting this because I've got writers block and don't know what else to write- if you have any post suggestions, please comment them below*

heyyy guys,

I've decided to share an outfit that has been my go-to for whenever I have to dress more smart and formal. It's really easy to dress down as you can easily replace the heeled loafers with a casual pair of trainers like high top converse or vans old skool's. I just love the versatility and effortlessness of this whole outfit, I feel like those LA girl bosses who just stroll around and buy their employees fast-food n shit.

Turtle necks have been a staple for me (I once wore turtle necks for a whole week) and this camel toned one is the perfect neutral. It was my mum's so she handed it down to me and I've been getting so much wear out of it on colder days, besides it's so cool to wear something someone close to you used to love. It is getting so much warmer now so this will probably take a backseat :(

Black slim trousers are an essential for when jeans don't make the cut but a skirt/dress is overdoing it. Mine are from J Brand buuut I got them for 50p at a car boot sale a few summers ago- do not sleep on car boot sales, you can find some reaallyyy good things for such cheap prices and it's a whole lot more sustainable as you don't have to buy new things.

I've got my favourite coat on to elevate and smarten the outfit once more, it's the only structured thing I have in my life ha goals yay :))) The high heeled loafers are back on again because I mean, issa smart outfit and these are the most formal shoes I own. I just wish this coat was a little longer, maybe around knee length, to add to the dramatics of the whole outfit. extraaaa.

I know hair isn't really a main part of an outfit but I think the style it's in can really impact the feel of what you're wearing, so I've swept my hair into a very messy low bun with random curls just sticking out because it makes it much more laid-back and effortless. If I had straight hair, I'm sure a sleek top knot or the slicked back, wet hair look would go really well with this.

Okaaaay so that's that post done. Again, please send me some post ideas because I'm currently on my easter break and want to get as many posts up as possible *what a convenient time to have no idea what to write*

-Dalal Follow

blogging woes

Friday, 31 March 2017

I really feel like I've neglected my blog lately, even though I have been posting regularly it's just not enough. I remember my 'a realisation' post marking a huge pivotal step in my blog and looking back on my most recent posts, it has definitely been put into place yet I still think there is more to be done. Much more. Blogging is a hobby but I want to make it more. That doesn't necessarily mean I intend for my blog to become into a full blown money-laundering business but perhaps just develop into something that will make it a little more worthwhile. Maybe this is just me being impatient but it's like my blog has been stationary right now and I just want it to finally start moving along and developing. I've come a long way but I push for more. Perhaps so I can achieve the generic blogger dream of being whisked away to a Caribbean island for a blog campaign, or more likely just for my own personal sense of self-achievement. I've dedicated myself to my blog since 2015 and I just don't want it to end up being a big waste of time. Admittedly, I hold the majority of control over how my blog flourishes and grows and I definitely was negligent of that fact in the first few years of starting, simply hoping that people would just find and share my blog posts for me and there we go, quick fast-track ticket to blogging success. But alas, that is a deluded view of the world and I should have realised that nothing comes easy and we should not rely on others to achieve what we want for ourselves. I cannot help but just wonder where my blog would be today if I had just paid more attention to it and interacted through it more. To cut myself some slack, I must say that as a naive 13 year old I wasn't that aware of the sheer power of social media and how much of a difference it would make to my blog and it's engagement if I had just shared my posts. Blogging was definitely picking up speed back then but centralised blog promoting through various social media channels was not common. (nope, still feel bad) Regardless of past actions, there is nothing I can do to change them other than try and not make the same mistakes. I started sharing posts frequently but it's still not enough and my laziness just screams 'ho don't do it' but again, nothing comes easy and if I really want to be proud of this platform then I guess I've got to work for it- even though scheduling tweets is the most tedious thing ever. I have to say, posting once/twice is not enough either and I want to post more frequently and actually schedule them before rather than quickly scouring my photo gallery for a universal photo that can fit into any blog post context and then speed-typing something that vaguely resembles a plausible blog post on the day. I'm going to take my blog seriously from now on and not as something I just have to keep up for times sake. Thankfully I have a 3 week break from the hectic sixth form life therefore blog posts can be well planned, scheduled and posted maybe 3 times a week- or more if I'm really on top of my game.
This post is such a weird one, written in a sudden flurry of frustration- nevertheless, I hope you understand and maybe I'm not the only one.


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Tuesday, 28 March 2017

trendz that i'm onto in the name of fashun:

-gingham print (although I can't find anything I like online)

-anything yellow, shock horror indeed

-off the shoulder tops

-big statement earrings

-thin chained gold jewellery

-floaty, bohemian tops

-carefree curls

-using pretty silk scarfs as clothing

-heeled mules

-"granny" heels

-gucci t-shirt, can't afford it though :)

As you can tell, I'm getting increasingly excited about spring/summer dressing. I've completely transitioned from bland neutrals and into prints, patterns and primary colours. Also different silhouettes and necklines too. All about that channeling the laid-back and effortless lazy summer days spent lounging about. I used to think mules were the ugliest shoes to ever exist but boi am I being hypocritical now as I'm so ready to get a pair of simple black ones or basic coloured ones. Cannot wait for the school year to be over!

What trends are you looking forward to venturing into this season? 

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landan town

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

twas one of those Sundays where I just couldn't stand staying indoors any longer. soo, my sister and I took the bus to Shoreditch and walked to Boxpark to look around- but the main objective was ice cream (which I shall talk about later) Whilst we were there I just thought I’d capture what London is really like, the whole free travel for under 18s culture, the shiny multi-storey buildings opposite an exposed brick, run down and graffiti covered wall. The usual. I’m really into debunking the whole romanticisation of London and the typical view of parliament square, the London eye etc. There’s so much more to the city than that and if you tour it in a way where you're forced to take up the diversity and overall individuality of the city, I’m sure you'll enjoy your trip much more. Therefore, I shall be doing a photo series showing the parts of London you don't see (hurray) Oh the council estate kid is really shining through isn't it. 

The majority of the photos above look fairly gloomy, so to brighten this up a bit here's a chocolate 'freakshake' my sister and I shared (from Soft Serve Society in Boxpark) It tasted sooo good like honestly AMAZING: a chocolate milkshake, whipped cream, chocolate sprinkles, a white and dark chocolate chip brownie, a gooey milk chocolate chip cookie, more whipped cream, sweet and salted popcorn, more sprinkles and chocolate sauce. That was a mouthful, literally. It usually comes with a marshmallow but it had pork gelatine so I couldn't get it which was so sad because it was massive. The little shop itself was so cute and made the experience 10x better. Even on a dull and grey day, it was still packed. I would deffo recommend 10/10. GO GET ONE IF YOU'RE IN LONDON!!!!!!
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what i've been...

Friday, 17 March 2017

new lifestyle post series coming through, probably going to be posted weekly. enjoyyy

what i've been doing-
honestly, just school. I've been drowning in english coursework preparations (who knew an essay plan had to be so thorough) and spanish speaking sessions but it's all good. I had a school meeting and it definitely provided that ever so needed wakeup call. I'm doing well and I'm somewhat ahead of all my classes but there's more effort to be put in. My form tutor stressed that I need to stop relying on "natural intelligence" and put more work in, in order to really excel. And he had a point. All my essays for english, history and spanish are written the night, if not break/lunch, before they're due in which obviously means that they're rushed and not the best they can be- yet I manage to not do horribly. BUT what if I actually took time to plan all my essays (idealistically a week before) at least two nights before? if I just take time whilst doing these things then maybe the full marks can be on the cards. but who knows. I also really need to get on top of my bio notes.

My attempt at being vegetarian was a feeble one- not because of my lack of self control but because I will simply starve and die if I adopted the diet full-time whilst still living with my parents. Although my mum was fine with my exploration into such a diet, it was really inconvenient for her to get back from work and then cook not only one, but two meals. I could cook for myself but the last time I did that I, quite literally, passed out yaayyy me. I may not be a full on veggie but I'm still making conscious decisions when it comes to my meals and I try to avoid meat as much as I can, besides I never really have the will to eat it anyway.

Contemplating on whether I should start a youtube channel. Not a beauty and fashion one but more of a study/school related one where I make videos tutoring certain GCSE topics, sit down videos on study tips and little check point videos to look back on. who knows.

what i've been reading/watching-
I've been reading the Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo. It's a really light read which is why I've been enjoying just reading it on the bus journey to school and whenever I have free time, it's a refreshing break from Atonement and A Room with a view (the books I'm writing about for my coursework) which I've been having to analyse almost every page of to the point where I feel ready to let death envelope me (right, that was very hyperbolised) On the note of english coursework, the fact that I've started -and finished- watching the first season of Riverdale is slightly alarming considering the fact I still haven't found a single alternate reading for my essay. It's such an addictive show though and although Archie is meant to be the star of the show, I just can't take my eyes off Jughead. I just feel like I can relate to him on a whole new level. how sad does that sound.

what i've been listening to-
every. set. of. earphones. has. broken/disappeared. in. my. household. therefore, the music listening has been little to nothing lately which sucks because there's so much new music being flung around everywhere #GSAP.

what i want-
I really want to buy a disposable camera or perhaps get someone to ship over my dads old canon film camera. regardless of what camera I use, I just want to experiment and actually get photos developed and ultimately have a physical copy of them. I miss that feeling of going to the photo shop and waiting as the photos get developed in the mysterious dark room that's closed off with the outdated, faded 80's "do not walk past this point" plaque. A drawing tablet would also be interesting. Even though I lack artistic ability, I think it would be fun to start doing handwritten posts and annotating photos in my posts too and allow me to be more creative with content. I need a tripod too.

what i've been anticipating-
ahskdajdhf. definitely not my mock exams in mid-June. but definitely my UNIQ summer school at Oxford for a History course that I'm absolutely buzzing to study. and slightly but not really my DofE Gold practice expedition straight after, in which I'll have to eat copious amounts of dried foods whilst trying to avoid lyme disease from ticks. oh and the walking for hours on end only to end up sleeping on the cold, hard ground. fun times. buuut another fun thing is my trip to morocco in late July where I'll be learning how to surf, climbing the Atlas mountains and riding a camel through the sahara desert all whilst (hopefully) getting a tan because I'm honestly so pale right now and it's extremely distressing for a naturally light brown person to be turning a ghastly yellow.

oh, also my whiteboard and the four whiteboard pens that were so smartly shown on the side (damn you strategic marketing)...I've been needing that to arrive for some time now. Amazon, fix up.

I'm going to 'tag' a few bloggers to do this "what i've been..." post as i think it would be interesting to read about what others have been doing (lol i didn't realise how creepy that would sound) but anyway I'll tweet the bloggers so yaaah.


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ootd | a mixed era mishmash

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Look, issa collab post! Lexie and I gave each other specific eras and set the challenge to styling ourselves in a way that relfects that certain period of time. I was (thankfully) given the 90's which I find is most easiest to dress around as it's been such a prominent influence over today's fashion. I didn't want to go for the typical mom jeans and a crop top look. Instead I opted to channel the grunge scene and heroine chic look that was growing (or dying? idk) during the time.

I'm wearing a rust coloured, pleated midi skirt from Pull and Bear which I managed to get for £3.99 and I'm a huge fan of the airy and light look of it. It's definitely not something I usually go for, especially considering it's a bright colour and is a skirt, but I'm glad that it's forcing me to step out of my comfort zone and explore al the ideas there are to offer. It's a deep, almost brown colour so it's not too bright and vibrant which I think reflects the colour choices of the time really well.

Graphic tees have made a huuuge comeback, mine is one that I bought from Brandy Melville back in summer and it was one of my most worn pieces. I decided to tie it up into a knot to provide a little more shape and structure in the outfit otherwise I'd just look like I'm wearing a sack (oi oi sexaaay)

Admittedly, I don't wear my Doc Marten 1460's as much as I should -and no where near as much as i wear my 1461's- but they're slowly edging their way back into my most worn shoes. They definitely reflect the whole fashion scene back in the 90's and the whole untied and clunky look really helps to loosen and toughen up and otherwise 'meh' outfit.

A black structured coat isn't really the most suiting for the era but you all know how much I like to juxtapose ;)

how would you style a 90s outfit?

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So you want to start a blog?

Sunday, 26 February 2017

I started my blog in 2013 (???) and would take photos on my iPod touch and then wrote the posts on the terrible blogger app on my phone; so it's safe to say that my blog has improved almost astronomically. I don't know what made me want to start my blog, especially back then when blogs weren't even that big or influential but if you are thinking of starting now (which is a v good idea) then this post is here for youuuu. I'm going to try and make this as laid-back and easy to follow as possible and most of all realistic. I've also included bits about how I blog and what I use in case it could help those who are hesitating over joining the blog hype or even those who are already in but just want to improve etc.

my "equipment":
canon 100D
18-55mm kit lens
macbook air
iPhone 5s



I use the canon 100D camera for my photos with the standard 18-55mm lens. I'm perfectly fine with this camera and lens although you can definitely branch out and improve lenses if you want (I've heard that the 50mm lens is fab) but for now, I'm pretty happy with what I've got. You definitely do not need to use a DSLR, you can just use your phone to take photos but just make sure that you have natural light and that you do not over edit your photos otherwise they will look grainy and low quality overall. If you are looking to get a DSLR then my recommendations are: the canon 100D as it's very easy to use and much smaller and lighter than others, canon 700D as it also has a flip out screen and the nikon D7100. Although they're not the most affordable, a good camera is going to prove really useful throughout your blogging journey and it's a great investment. I don't really use a tripod but if you're into taking flatlay photos or maybe even shooting your own outfit photos then it would be a pretty sensible option.


I only ever take my pictures in natural light mainly because a) I can't afford studio lights and b) I genuinely prefer photos taken in natural lighting to those taken in artificial light. I hardly ever edit my photos, I just use the editing software that comes with my MacBook and tweak brightness and contrast of the photos and that's all. I tried using photoshop but I just couldn't be bothered with all the fancy settings and adjustments tbh, if I have to colour correct a photo that's the only time I'll use it. When I upload my photos onto my blog I need them to be at the largest they can be 'original size' as I personally can't stand small photos uuuuhh. When it comes to outfit posts either Ambra or my sister take them for me. As I mentioned, natural lighting is the way to go however if your time is limited (especially when it comes to short days) then do buy some soft box lighting. I know a lot of bloggers pair up with someone and buy the softboxes (which usually come as two) so they pay half the price and take on each! Also, a really quick and easy editing software to use is 'picmonkey' which is equally as useful when it comes to making your blog header. 


My phone is crucial for when it comes to actually promoting my posts, I usually share the link on twitter a few times and post about it on my blog instagram too (@_monochromedaisies) I can never be bothered to actually do this though so it only happens when I'm on my blogging hustle. I've been using the instagram stories feature for everything blog related and I'm actually loving it. It allows you guys to see the real person behind the blog as I sometimes just talk to the camera about anything sooo yeah, go and follow to see what I'm like ;) Pinterest is a good place to start, make sure to pin some of your blog photos and link your post to grow traffic. Twitter is perhaps the most blogger friendly platform, join lots of blogger chats, make friends and share your posts! I'll leave a link to the blog chat calendar here. Every Wednesday and Sunday there's a blogger promo hour which is where you can share your posts with others and gain new readers, it's really helpful and so convenient. Also add your blog to bloglovin, it's the main platform for bloggers to publish their work and allows people to follow your blog through it being as GFC is basically dust. Another useful resource is Google Analytics which is what I use to track the statistics and numbers part of my blog. With that being said, don't stress over numbers too much (I know a lot of people say it's not all about the numbers but that's so idealistic...we are all motivated by the numbers in some way.) However do not obsess over them, remember Hitler had millions of followers but Jesus only had 12. Okay that got religious.


My blog is hosted by 'Blogger' which I find is the easiest to start with as it's so simple and practically ready to use from the start. I've still got the '' but I'm not really ready to invest in a proper domain and I'm thinking of a blog name change in the future anyway... i quite like the lowkey-ness of not being self hosted. For blog templates, less is more. I remember my first ever blog template was the pink ethereal template with a hideously garish header, it was so bad buuut lucky for you there are so many free templates on the internet- just download them and upload them to your blog. My current blog design is completely free, I downloaded a simple template and then edited some of the HTML to make it into what it is now. If you must buy a template then go for Etsy, you can find some really cheap ones there. Most importantly you need a design that isn't too distracting and noisy and one that is responsive, especially on mobile. Make your header simple and not too animated, add a photo of you on your sidebar along with a small description. Add an archive too so your posts can be easily navigated through and never forget an about me page and contact me page. With your about me page always try to make it as un-autobiographical as possible otherwise you'll bore everyone...and please spare us the "Welcome to my little corner of the internet" line because it's cringey and overused. Make your contact me page as straightforward as you can, brands and other bloggers visit the page to find your email address and other social media platforms they can contact you through, nothing more. 


Now for the actual blog writing, arguably the most important part of a blog, I don't really do much. I never plan blog posts and hardly ever pre-write them, I just write them on the day I want to post, so I don't know how to help there. I just write in the way I think -this sounds so typical- I find a lot of blogger's say this but they all sound the same lol. There are barely any blogs that actually are totally unique to me, unfortunately. Also, please don't force it, honestly we can tell you're trying too hard through your writing- it just sounds unnatural. Always remember, do not do the most (ugh urban dictionary it) Anyway yeah I'd just say write the way you genuinely want to write, keeping everything original, and then you should be fine. 

What do I write about tho? I don't know, it's up to you mate. Your content does not have to be one dimensional, write about whatever you want. It is your blog. Don't feel like you have to have a niche, when I'm asked what I blog about I just say "I don't know" because I honestly don't and that's fine. I would give you a list of blog post ideas but they're all so generic and typical and I want to spare you from that. I think a good first post is one featuring some of your favourite photos (yours or other people's- just give credit) and then talk about why you like them. Not only will your first readers have cool photos to look at, by wrtitng about each photo you're revealing a lot about your personality, your likes and dislikes...all that stuff. Nearly forgot to mention a blogging schedule. Scrap that (I only say that because I always forget to post on my designated days) It's so stressful feeling like you have to post every ____ so just post when you want :-)

and most important of all...
mentioned this before but don't write to fit into the typical mould of what we are told a blogger should be. admittedly, I've made this mistake since I started and it's a massive regret of mine. read more about my realisation regarding 'niches' in my post here

best of luck,
Dalal 🌵              
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ootd | easy does it

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Who said fashion had to be hard when it's as easy as 1, 2, 3?

Exactly what I'm wearing, three items of clothing (well the ones that you can see ha) which form a substantial outfit that I think I'll definitely be repeating for the next few months. I'm all for basic clothing in basic colours simply because of the endless possibilities there are when it comes to outfit combinations, plus it just makes everything so much easier: black jeans, grey jumper and black platform loafers or even a simple pair of trainers can be formed with just a few minutes of thought. This is a good time to mention that everything I'm wearing is from zara, some old, some new. Onto the outfit.

This grey sweater has my heart, it's so soft and fluffy and the black stitching detail on each side is always nice to break up the grey-ness. The shape isn't the most flattering, I must admit, but aren't boxy cuts and bell sleeves 'in' anyway? Pulling this over on a cold morning makes Monday just a little bit more bearable- oh how I love clothes that double up as duvets.

Another item that shares my heart with the fluffy jumper are these black ripped jeans which I've worn so much, the rips has started to rip in the wrong places...that doesn't stop me from wearing them and I'll probably stitch them back up soon. They're a staple piece for me and are worn almost daily until my mum screams at me for having so many jeans yet only wearing this pair. Then I have to alternate buuut you get the gist.

You thought I'd be wearing my vans old skool's with this outfit didn't you? Well you thought wrong, I'm boujee now. I bought these leather platform loafers from zara and they were a bargain, £15.99. At first I was slightly hesitant about how much wear I would actually get out of them but now I can't imagine certain outfits with out them #truelove. Only problem is that when I wear them I'm approximately 6" however I can't really blame the shoes for my lankiness can I.

What are your favourite items of clothing and why? What do you think about when you get dressed in the morning?

*note to self: put down your phone when taking outfit photos* 

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makeup "organisation"

Friday, 10 February 2017

Lo and behold, here's a post explaining how I store stuff I barely ever use. how fun!

My makeup "collection" is not extravagant at all, in fact it's pretty basic and the majority of the stuff photographed barely ever gets any use (except from last week saturday when I had 15 minutes to get ready for a wedding, cried it all off due of stress, kept screaming that my lipstick didn't match my dress and my crease colour wasn't blended enough and had to do my winged eyeliner in the uber whilst random pakistani music was blaring)

small crisis

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

I'm a firm believer that everyone exists for a reason, they have an aim to achieve and once they have reached that, they have proved themselves worthy of life. If not then you're a lazy prick who's taking up all our jobs, if these bloody immigrants weren't coming into my country I'd be a doctor.

jk. just wanted to mimic some of the stupidly funny comments I hear on the jeremy kyle show...not that I watch it or anything.

I feel like my purpose is blurred. I don't think there is one. I mean all I do is use short sentences, too many rhetorical questions and am easily distracted- SQUIRREL. exhibit a. Apart from academia, do I really have anything to fulfil? Is my life solely based on getting pristine grades, attending a highly esteemed university, graduating with a firsts in some kinda Law, Social Anthropology, History, Political Sciences degree? Because if so then 'nah.' I want to see things and do things not just briefly mingle with them.

The meaning of life is different to different people, some believe that being amicable is one whilst others believe that love is the true meaning of life. From all I know, love makes you dizzy and short-breathed. Oh wait...that's asthma- my bad. No but in all seriousness, people think uniquely and those unique thoughts correlate to unique beliefs and that's what makes the world so fascinating. 7 billion people all with different thoughts on why they're doing what they're doing right there and then. A multitude of thoughts leads to a multitude of ideas which could potentially change the world. We need to encourage people to use what they're thinking and fabricate it into something plausible enough to change something in their community. No two minds are alike so we have a lot of potential that is yet to be unlocked and further explored.

Do you feel like there's something that assigns us tasks to fulfil or do you think that you set your own goal? Perhaps a divine power or maybe just magic- I love magic: the way a magician can miraculously pull a rabbit out of a hat, the way google finishes your sentences for you...I guess it's different according to your religious beliefs.

It's an age old question that even the most highly-esteemed philosophers can't answer (so I don't know what made me think I could) but it's one that is worth a try. Always think about what you want to get out of what you're doing, perhaps not in the extreme long term but maybe just in the short term. Whilst you're at in your early teens, what do you wish to achieve? Small thoughts = big discoveries, it all starts with a simple self questioning with a dash of self doubt of course.

I want to know what you think your purpose is and how you managed to come to that decision (I want real spiritual answers that makes you thiiink) 

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