Monthly Archives: March 2014

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March on Women | Spring Home Decor + Giveaway

Hello everyone!

Today I’m featuring some of my picks for updating your home for Spring with beautiful pieces from talented female Etsy sellers, and a giveaway from one of them for an original painting.

Now that it’s finally Spring (or at least I’m pretending it is here in Chicago), I’ve been on the hunt for unique items for my home that can quickly brighten up my space without much hassle. Changing up artwork, throw pillows, small decorative items can easily accomplish this without major renovations, so here are some of my unique finds from Etsy, you can click on each item to find out more information.

Top row || Agate coasters | Pastel rose topiary (enter code springwhimsy15 for 15% off -ends 4/30) | Burlap monogram wreath

Middle row || Colorful tulip bowls | Spring printable art | Original bird drawing

Last row || Inspirational painting | Spring shower curtain | Flower throw pillow

||Giveaway Original Painting||

Win this original 5 x 7 painting by Rachel Bingaman

Win this original 5″ x 7″ painting by Rachel Bingaman

Today’s giveaway is hosted by Rachel Bingaman, a full-time professional artist. Her paintings focus on abstract realism and contemporary landscapes. Her original oil paintings are award-winning and internationally collected and can be found in private collections all over the world.

You can find more on Rachel and her art on her Etsy page, her Facebook page, and her blog.

||Giveaway Deets||

Title: Fields of Lilac
Size: 5″ x 7″ (12.7cm x 17.78cm)
Materials: Professional Grade Oil Paints, Impasto Medium, Canvas Panel
Certificate of Authenticity Included

Rachel is giving away {1} original painting from her Etsy shop, Fields of Lilac, to upgrade your wall or home decor for Spring. Just follow the directions on the rafflecopter widget below (everyone gets one easy entry). Giveaway starts 3.25.14 and ends on 4.7.14 (read terms on widget). Additionally, you can tweet about the giveaway everyday for additional entries until the giveaway ends.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have a great day, stay empowered, & good luck on the giveaway!

Umair’s Sweetheart,

Ayesha

*Giveaway painting is being sponsored by Rachel Bingaman. All opinions are my own.

March on Women | Divergent Movie Review

You’re different. You don’t fit into a category. They can’t control you. They call it Divergent. -Tori

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Hi all!

This past weekend I finally checked out a new movie with the husband, Divergent, which was completely filmed in Chicago.

Our main reasoning for watching it was to support it since it’s filmed in our city. There were no expectations nor did we bother watching trailers or read reviews- but boy were we surprised!

Divergent was fantastic, and not just because it was filmed in Chicago. The main actors are fairly new but they do an amazing job. The leading roles of protagonist and antagonist characters are all played by female actresses, the movie in our opinion was better than Hunger Games and definitely better than Twilight, ladies you will swoon over Theo James, the story is not as gruesome as other young adult films, the entire soundtrack is amazing and it is worth watching in theaters.

We were so happy to find out Divergent topped box office this past weekend and made $56 million- that’s insane but it deserves it in our opinion.

Here are our ratings for the movie.

AnU Overall Rating: 8.5/10
Action Scenes: 8/10
Direction: 7/10
Story: 8.5/10

If you would like to see the winner of the Eternal Girl Shop gift card please check out the rafflecopter widget on this post.

Have a great week!

Umair’s Sweetheart,
Ayesha

ModCloth’s Uniquely You | Dinner Party Darling Dress Styled

Happy Spring everyone!

This morning in Chicago didn’t look Springish, however the weather in the afternoon improved to the sun shining brightly. Yay! Now that it’s officially Spring, it’s all about pretty, and fancy dresses. In honor of dresses, I’m bringing you a beautiful little black dress that can be worn to an evening wedding, fancy cocktail party, or a lovely date night.

Is she lovely?

Isn’t she lovely?

ModCloth recently contacted me to be part of their Uniquely You campaign on Wanelo. They sent me a snap of one piece, in this case the dinner party darling dress, and told me to add up to seven other pieces from ModCloth’s current collection to finish off my look. I felt flattered and excited that I get to put my personal spin on a classy little black dress, and make it work in a conservative look without skimping on details.

As you see from my Wanelo board (click each piece to get further details), I chose the basic long sleeve tee and opaque tights for the conservative take, then added all the special pieces and sparkle. For jewelry I chose this stunning statement necklace, classy pearl bracelet, and dainty rings. Then I added the beautiful black clutch with the lucite bow to mimic the bow detail of the dress, and to finish off the look with a pop of color the stunning turquoise peep-toe heels! Doesn’t this styled outfit make you want to go on a fancy dinner now?

If this one style wasn’t enough –check out my picks for Spring and Summer dresses from ModCloth. While looking through the collection of dresses it was so hard to choose a few to showcase.

Hope you all have a wonderful start to Spring. Stay empowered because it’s still Women’s History Month, and have you entered the giveaway? There is still time so hurry deadline is Monday 3.24.

Umair’s Sweetheart,

Ayesha

*Not a sponsored post. Just a collaboration with ModCloth for their Uniquely You Campaign.

March on Women | Meeting George Kotsiopoulos & Swarovski Event

Hi all!!
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If you didn’t know by now it’s Women’s History Month and I’ve been celebrating all month long — here are some posts (here, & here) if you missed them, plus there is a giveaway which you can enter here!

Some FYI for Women’s History Month– proves why it’s important to celebrate achievements of amazing women.
womens history month-rebecca-cohen-cartoon-vitaminw.co-REVISEDA few weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending an event at Swarovski in Chicago Michigan Ave. where George Kotsiopoulous from E!’s Fashion Police was promoting his new book, Glamorous by George: The Key to Creating Movie Star Style. It was a fun event to browse Swarovski’s collection, mingle with guests while enjoying some sweets, sips, and chat with George who made his way around to guests of the events to sign his new book and take photos. George looked handsome in his suit and amazing tweed tie, of course.

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When I got the chance to chat with George I asked him what key advice would he give to women styling their outfit everyday and here is what he replied,
1. wear pop of color, 2. some bling/sparkle, 3. attitude!, 4. a beautiful smile – which he told me I already had. Yay!, 5. and a great handbag –then glanced at my outfit and told me that I was already doing all. Double yay!

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Ayesha, your glam jacket matches my gloves!! (referring the the cover of the book)

I’m excited to finish reading Glamorous by George over the mini school break I have coming up. If you want to upgrade your style, then check out George’s new book for practical style tips.

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HOOTD || Hijab/Scarf – random old | Blazer – Zara | Striped tee – Loft | Pants – Forever 21 | Watch – Brina box | Bracelet & ring – Swarovski

(I apologize for the low quality snaps as these were taken by my iphone 5)

Have a great week, stay empowered & remember to enter the giveaway!

Umair’s Sweetheart,
Ayesha

March on Women | Date Night HOOTD + Giveaway!

Happy Monday everyone!

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Today AnUblog is hosting their first giveaway to celebrate Women’s History Month, thus the title “March on Women” being used throughout the month. Stay tuned for more details on the giveaway below.

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Friday night and at times Saturday is date night. Date nights are hardly planned ahead of time and mostly we go with whatever is the mood that day. The plan was to check out Sarah Jessica Parker’s appearance at Nordstrom, however that quickly changed once realizing there was madness at Nordstrom due to the appearance. We decided to check out the Beauty event at Nordstrom that was happening later in the night, and then headed over to Bandera for dinner–surprisingly good!

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HOOTD || Hijab – random (old) | Top – Nordstrom rack (old) | Pants & Shoes – Asos | Coat- Ann Taylor | Statement necklace – Charming Charlie | Henna-inspired necklace – c/o Eternal Girl Shop on Etsy | Bracelet – Forever 21

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Isn’t this such a lovely necklace with the personalized A&U? It was sent by Eternal Girl shop on Etsy. Julia Toussaint, is the designer behind this piece, and her specialty is henna inspired hand drawn jewelry and greeting cards. The necklace featured on this post has an antique gold/vintage feel, it’s delicate, but very well made that looks even better up close. We’re excited to promote Eternal Girl shop and this giveaway, as she is a female entrepreneur and this month is about empowering women to succeed in their endeavors.

Julia is giving away one gift card to her shop so that you can choose a piece from her shop or have one custom made! In order to enter the giveaway just follow the directions on the Rafflecopter widget below (everyone gets at least one easy entry, and chance for additional). Good luck!

Prize: 1 – $10 gift card to Eternal Girl shop on Etsy
Giveaway ends 3.23.14 open worldwide (except Canada)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can find more on Julia and her beautiful henna inspired pieces on her blog. And also follow her on social media fan pages Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Have a wonderful week! Stay empowered!

March on Women | International Women’s Day & Islam

Wishing all AnUblog readers a Happy International Women’s Day!

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International Women’s Day stands for showing respect, appreciation and love towards women and celebrate women’s economic, political, social achievements, and strive towards progression.

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*AnUblog doesn’t take credit for these pictures/graphics.

P.S. AnUblog is under construction. If a link seems broken do let us know. Thanks!

Stay empowered!

March on Women | Ann Taylor & Marie Claire Own the Room Event

Happy Friday everyone!

March is Women’s History month, and March 8th is International Women’s Day–in honor of this women empowering month AnUblog will be featuring women empowering messages, and giveaways (Monday 3/10 first giveaway).

I recently attended an event hosted by Ann Taylor, and Marie Claire magazine with my friend Fatima.  Own the Room was the theme of the event and had a panel featuring Marie Claire’s Director Lea Goldman, Marie Claire’s Merchandising Editor Madison Shoop, and personal finance, career expert and author Farnoosh Torabi.

Marie Claire magazine

The panel highlighted empowering message for women most important being women should invest in themselves & others will invest in them!  Farnoosh Torabi author of When She Makes More mentioned how many women are now the breadwinners of the family, and how they are more educated because careers that are on the rise are more women driven.  Lea Goldman discussed ten tips on how women can own the room, my favorite was “never underestimate the power of great accessories.” Madison Shoop shared her fashion picks from Ann Taylor and emphasized on buying separates that can work in multiple outfits.  Here are some snaps from the event.

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Author of When She Makes More, Farnoosh Torabi

Author of When She Makes More, Farnoosh Torabi

Marie Claire’s Features Director Lea Goldman

Marie Claire’s Features Director Lea Goldman

Marie Claire’s Merchandising Editor Madison Shoop

Marie Claire’s Merchandising Editor Madison Shoop

Guest enjoyed sips, sweets, browsed looks by Ann Taylor, and mini makeovers by Trish McEvoy for updated head shots by onsite photographer to use on professional online profiles. Attendees of the event will also receive a copy of the book When She Makes More when it releases May 1, 2014.

Here are some outfits featured by Madison Shoop, and a few looks featured around Ann Taylor store.

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Have a blessed Friday & stay empowered!

Memorable Quotes | Best of Oscars 2014

Happy Monday everyone!

Yesterday the husband and I watched the 86th annual Academy Awards. I for one love watching the red carpet live to see the dresses and all, then might watch the Oscars–this year was no different. Ellen Degeneres hosted keeping it funny like her usual self, and then we’d switch back and forth to watch the premier of The Voice.

In my opinion, all the “trending” actors & actress’ were spot on with their choice for outfits and accessories, no major blunders–accept for Jennifer Lawrence falling–once again. And a list of best dressed can be found on a million places online along with a list of winners for the night–I won’t be critiquing that.

The acceptance speeches were what blew me away. They were inspirational, genuine, and perfectly delivered. While I don’t look up to celebrities as heroes or role models, I will say they might have done a thing or two right in order to be successful and be where they are today. Here are my top favorite acceptance speech quotes from Oscar 2014 winners. Moral of the post–Believe in yourself!

1. Lupita Nyong’o |

When I look down at this golden statue, may it remind me and every little child that no matter where you’re from your dreams are valid.”

Lupita Nyongo in her beautiful "Nairobi blue" custom Prada dress.

Lupita Nyongo in her beautiful “Nairobi blue” custom Prada dress.

2. Matthew McConaughey | Thanked God, his family and his hero–who is himself.

My hero’s always 10 years away–I’m never going to attain that. That keeps me with somebody to keep on chasing.”

Matthew McConaughey looking dashing in his white tux from D&G

Matthew McConaughey looking dashing in his white tux from D&G

3. Cate Blanchette |

Perhaps those of us in the industry clinging to the idea that female films with women at the center are niche — they are not. Audiences want to see them, and they make money. The world is round, people!”

Cate Blanchette looking stunning in her Armani Prive illusion gown.

Cate Blanchette looking stunning in her Armani Prive illusion gown.

4. Kristen & Robert Lopez |

This song was inspired by our love for you [their girls], and hope you never let fear or shame keep you from celebrating the unique people that you are.”

Songwriters for Frozen, Let it Go.

Songwriters for Frozen, Let it Go.

Photo credit Getty image

That’s all for today. Have a wonderful Monday and week!

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