Thursday, July 31, 2014

My Favorite Celebration

I love birthdays. I love Harry Potter. I love J.K. Rowling for creating Harry Potter. I'm glad to share my birthday month with her and Harry. (Mines July 20th, theirs are today, July 31rst.)
Happy birthday Joanne Rowling.
Happy birthday Harry James Potter.
They say love is this, and love is that,
but for me, love has always been the only word strong enough, only emotion real enough, to express what those seven books mean to me.
For every hand not reached out to me,
For every friend I didn't have,
For every emotion I couldn't describe,
For the magic of life I required assistance to see,
For every word too thick to block out,
For every laugh, cry, smile
every little thing in-between,
you were there, little black words etched onto parchment like ants crawling a yellowed picnic blanket, waiting with open arms to catch me every time I stumbled.
Over, and over, and over again.
When this world gets too hard, when this world becomes too much, when everything becomes too much of something and anything isn't a possibility; it's then, and during the good days, too, that only one thing is reliable: your series.
When my friends aren't there, Harry, Ron, and Hermione are.
When I can't smile, when I am too empty, too tired, too this, too that I never lose hope.
Once you've found what you've been looking for, hope stays, it becomes permanent and folds its wings down, tucks them away. Because they, those books written by a woman "thank you" isn't sufficient enough for, they are the flame once extinguished on the candle we call life, and it is they we make our wishes on.
This is love.
Thank you, Joanne Rowling, for everything you have given to us. 
Nothing can compare to what those books did in shaping our lives.
Happy Birthday.
xoxoxo always

[***bolder part indicates portion added on February 9, 2015; original from July 31, 2014] 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Salt Lake Caramel | Food Fashion

Watch: Citizen Eco-Drive (A gorgeous, eco friendly watch that uses any light source as fuel instead of batteries? So worth the reasonable cost.) // Sandals: Macy's // Maxi Dress: Any Department Store // Undershirt: Old Navy

 Watches complete any and all outfits, making them the ultimate go to accessory. Speaking of which, the go to with this teal-blue maxi would be a black layer and black scarf, but resist! The easiest option isn't always the best. The extra five minutes spent hunting down a camel beige/melted caramel colored scarf were worth it. Black on black, while definitely an attractive combination, won't make you stand out. This simple summer outfit tells a story of black lagoon monsters lurking under the sea and hard saltwater taffy + caramel squares sticking your little kid teeth together. Or maybe one of a woman sitting on warm sand by an ocean, checking her watch every few seconds as she waits for her special someone to arrive.

Make your clothes speak who you are,
xo Aiman 

[If you like my blog, share it! I appreciate every act to get it out there. Love always]

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

DIY Henna Drawing

Henna. Part of the Middle Eastern culture, and also known as mendhi, it is a beautiful, pain-free body art. This year my motto/resolution was a new outtake on life, which included opening myself up to new things. And one of those new things is self teaching myself to do hennna through lots and lots of practice. Here is my tutorial on how to draw/make the designs. (I'll be making a tutorial on how to actually make the henna paste sometime next week, so make sure you follow me via bloglovin' so you don't miss any posts.) Keep reading for the full scoop!

Monday, July 21, 2014

My Own Birthday

Serenaded at midnight on the dot by my girls, I spent my birthday surrounded by the people I love and with the ones who weren't there with me in person in my heart, and in my mind, which was daydreaming about each touching birthday message I received. Feeling blessed and content, I thanked God for giving me the best journey from my last birthday to this one. I think I will always be that five year old girl whose birthday isn't complete without making a wish on her candle.
Maxi Dress: Kohls // Breathe Bracelet: Charming Charlie // Rings: Ardene's (the Canadian shop) // Headband: Charlotte Russe

Life is spontaneously splendid. Muah! 

[If you like my blog, share it! I appreciate every act to get it out there. Love always]

Friday, July 18, 2014

DIY Birthday Cake Sunglasses

Since my birthday is tomorrow, I thought I'd do a birthday related tutorial for you. Here are my stunning sunglasses, perfect for a gift, for up cycling old sunglasses and unused nail polish, and for wearing on any sunny day. My first tutorial! How exciting!

• Sunglasses (preferably white ones)
• Tape
• Nail polish in assorted colors (at least three) and white (if your sunglasses aren't) 
1. Place a few strands of tape over both lenses to protect from the polish.

2. If your sunglasses are colorful like mine, use your white nail polish to paint the entire base and sides. This involves some waiting since you'll have to apply about three to four layers, depending on how dark your sunglasses are, so be patient! This is the vanilla cake.

3. When your shades are completely dry, paint a few dashes of each color onto the white. (I used Lightening yellow by Sally Hansen and pastel pink, mint green, and lilac by Pure Ice.) These will be your sprinkles.
4. Wait a few minutes for them to dry, and rock your birthday cake sunglasses.

[BONUS TIP: for a gift, make them two days in advance so the nail polish fumes can dry up and the sunglasses won't smell] 

[Disclaimer: All tutorials, projects, opinions and recipes are entirely mine unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved to]

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Book Corner: a spider free and brightly lit corner for book lovers like me.
Insurgent- ah, what a book! Divergent recently came out as a well-made and high grossing movie, but I've been sucked into this series since early 2012, concluding it last October. Insurgent is the sequel, and this is one of those popular dystopian trilogys people generally love.
I say try every book because no matter what prejudice you have, how much you hate the topic, or how many bad reviews it may get, there will always be those books you felt completely sure you'd hate but find yourself shocked to love.
I am not here to advertise Veronica Roth's books, though. I'm here to chat. So pull out your tea and get comfortable.
Out of the three books, Insurgent is my favorite. It is absolutely beautiful. The way throughout the entire book Tris, the main character, describes death and how she's ready for it only to realize that no, she isn't, is what I think to be very unique and powerful, especially in the format it's written in. It didn't come across as selfish or ungrateful to me at all; her motives for being less than happy with her life were justified by everything that happened. (But life and death weren't really the focus points of Insurgent; I just tend to grasp/love the unnoticed things.)
I think often times people talk about suicide and death like they're ready for it- but as a post on the internet showed me, more than half of suicide survivors claim in the last seconds before going through with their plan they realized 90% of all their problems had solutions. Remember that suicide is just an elaborate way of running away from problems/escaping. It is never the answer to anything.
Try reading the Divergent series, at least until the end of Insurgent, and let me know what you think!
Happy Reading! xo

Monday, July 14, 2014

Flowing With the Moon | Clothes&Things

Go with the flow- that's what they say! And that's just what I did this weekend. Under the gorgeous full moon, too. Saturday evening my family gathered with some close friends and broke our fast together over a yummy meal. I then ended up spending the night at my friends house in a random turn of events. The next day was equally as spontaneously hectic. After baking red velvet cupcakes and showering as fast as I could for an on-the-spur decision to gather with a few of my friends to open our fast together as a pot luck of which I was bringing said cupcakes, I got ready once more. Only while baking did I remember I was fasting, my mind was so occupied. Unfortunately the picture didn't capture the magnificent sunset at all. But good food and two nights to dress up- what more could a girl want? Ramadan is crazy. Summer is crazy. Life is crazy. No, life is spontaneously splendid. You never know just what'll happen next or when you'll find yourself having fun. Hoping everyone had a weekend as enjoyable as mine,
Aiman xo
[I love details, and personally I find a little jewelry is the perfect kick to transform or put any outfit over the top. You can mix and match the same pieces with different outfits like I did, so the creative possibilities are endless. Rarely can you look worse with jewelry than without! 
Blue & Silver Bracelet: Sears // Flats: Famous Footwear // Silver & Teal Bangles: gifted, Charlotte Russe // Pink Mixed Colors Hijab (headscarf): Target // Red Casual Clutch: Macy's (or the like) // Charm Bracelet: gifted, Wal-Mart] 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Pucker Up

ChapStick. Uh oh. The conversation begins and ends there. Literally, because if that's what you turn to during chapped lips season, you'll have to pause every five seconds to reapply a coating.

Why? Because ChapStick doesn't help. The companies care about your money, not your health. As someone who stopped using ChapStick after seven straight years of multiple applications per day, you can bet I speak from experience.

*The chemicals camphor, salicylic acid, phenol, and menthol cause the dryness, not stop it
 *Soothing tingling feeling is actually protective layers of dead skin peeling off your lip
*The stronger the artificial fragrance, the more the moisture will be sucked out
(I.e. most Carmex, some Blistex, some The Body Shop, and some Nivea lip balms)

*Read the ingredient list. If none of the above ingredients are mentioned, you should be good to go
*Jojoba oil, shea butter, beeswax, and SPF including lip balms moisturize best
(I.e. EOS, which is also 95% organic and 100% natural. Babylips is also generally highly reviewed, but be wary due to artificial fragrances, as mentioned above)

(Ultimately, moisturized lips look so good you won't need any of those $4 lip balms all your friends use to look pretty.)
*Use petroleum jelly based products, such as Aquaphor by Eucerin or Vaseline
*Drink tons of water. No matter what you do, if you aren't at least trying to drink eight glasses a day your lips will never be movie star quality

After seven years of ChapStick and many lemonade stands and allowances worth of money spent, I began drinking a glass of water almost every two hours and only use petroleum jelly. Chapped lips? The conversation begins and ends there, because I have none to discuss.

Have fun blowing fresh kisses! 
Aiman x

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Midsummer Night's Dream Come True

Midnight shopping for delicious food that you may or may not have picked based upon pretty packaging will never get old. 

(Boom Chicka Pop, in my opinion, tastes like movie theater popcorn, and it's healthy to boot, made gluten free with just three ingredients. Healthy and, that's not too common of a combo!)

Saturday, July 5, 2014

(Fourth of July Recap) Hearts Thudding | Summer Smoke

Hi loves :-) I hope you're all faring well. (Faring. I'm fancy.)
And to all my American readers- I hope you had fun yesterday celebrating our Independence Day!
In my town we have our fireworks show on July 3, and unfortunately this year I was unable to attend it and was down with a case of summer blues because for whatever reason, I love fireworks. And for that reason I don't have many pictures to share. Cameras just don't do justice to them.
My July 4th turned out to be amazing. Because I got my fireworks show, after all, and I got to see the stunning display right from my backyard patio. The neighbors across from my backyard, and several to both the left and right, were doing fireworks. It was thrilling and a little scary when the neighbors across from us shot their fireworks off right over my head. It always seemed like the flames would shower down on us, but they always sizzled out beforehand, of course. And when the fireworks began from a few houses down I was in the perfect viewing position. They weren't plain sparklers- they were booming, sparkling, huge fireworks. The boom of fireworks- which I always compare to the sound of your heart thudding in your chest- and the sweet, smokey smell that accompanies the image of a summer night in your mind surrounded me. Fireworks are sparkly and loud and exciting and magical and like showers of miniscule, colorful shooting stars raining down on us from the raven black sky, ready for our wishes. They are one of the simplest joys of, and will forever be linked to, summertime and childhood.
The picture down below of what looks like a ball of light is actually a floating lantern. Seems like my neighbors were trying to signal Rapunzel. (Disney's Tangled reference psst). They sent off a few of those. My sister and I had fun watching them be swallowed by the night, disappearing when they passed our line of sight.
Life is spontaneously splendid. You never know when something good will hit you. Never lose hope, because maybe, just maybe, the universe (or God) is keeping you from doing something because it has a better surprise in store.
Happy summer adventuring. Make your cup of life.
Aiman xo
The Rapunzel-esque Lantern, floating in the night like a balloon.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Hunger Games | Book Corner

Hello and Salaam to all!
There's this very unfunny joke that goes around every Ramadan where people go "The true Hunger Games are about to begin!" This is because we Muslims, followers of Islamic faith, honor Ramadan each year. This year it began this past Sunday. I'm thrilled to have my two favorite months, July and Ramadan, coinciding. We fast (refrain from eating or drinking anything) from sunrise to sundown, learn to control our desires, and practice being the ideal Muslims we should be throughout the rest of the year. We also have additional prayers after our fifth and final one (Muslims have five obligatory prayers to pray/day) and honestly, we eat so many amazing foods in Ramadan and it is so enlightening and you get so close to so many people and going for ice cream after the additional prayers that come after the fifth one (the additional ones are called taraweeh prayers, spellings vary) and meeting up with friends and family for small parties where you break your fast open together really makes up for the hours spent not eating and drinking :)
That being said.....I really love the Hunger Games series. I have read each individual book of the three at least twenty times. (I actually prefer books to music, so the time ratio spent on one or the other balances out, I'd think.) My favorite of the three is Catching Fire and of all my favorite books (Life of Pi, The Book Thief, Harry Potter, etc.) I read Hunger Games first! My first (real) book love. Comment below this post or my latest instagram picture (you can find me at @/_spontaneouslysplendid_) what your favorite books are! I love getting suggestions.
Down below is my surprisingly mint condition copy, and below that is the inside of my book, which shows my failure at taping the book jacket on (I taped it backwards.) On my hand is henna, which is a sort of two week temporary tattoo Arabs and Pakistanis and lots more middle eastern and far away nationalities use primarily around the time of our Islamic holiday, Eid, which comes twice a year, but which I use a lot more because I love it that much.
Until then I wish sunshine and daisies to fall upon all your troubles. make your cup of life.
Aiman x