New Experiences, Memories and Bruises

I haven’t posted in three weeks… BECAUSE I HAVE EXAMS THIS WEEK. I have exams already, and it feels like just yesterday I was starting kindergarten with my hot pink Barbie backpack and pigtails. I CAN’T just CAN’T even fathom how I wasted an entire summer having fun, when I could have just slept. Every year, I vow the next summer will be devoted to sleep but then every year, I get older and realize I’m a mixture of the #yolo and #youngandwildandfree and #cantbuymelove generation (LOL @ that last one, I wish, bruh).

Moving on!

For the past few weeks, I’ve experienced new things, made a couple of friends and bruises, so here’s a glimpse of the life of Zahra, the tired shopping/cinnamon/cereal addict:

1. New Experience: I won a contest

I ACTUALLY WON A CONTEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Mom, Dad, I won a contest! I won something!!!! I never win anything ever, so I’m half expecting ItsmyRayeRaye to forget I won her Eyeko instagram contest. Then again, I had nothing more to do than to repost the following picture with the #makingeyes hashtag, follow ItsmyRayeRaye and Eyeko on instagram and say why I need to win. Which I did:


2. New Memories: The ‘sister’ effect

So yesterday, after working so hard, I went out with some girlfriends for a typical GNO: pasta+shots+dancing+bruises. At first, we had a lovely candlelight dinner, you know, being posh and eating a home cooked bolognaise/mozzarella meal. And then this happened:


And then someone bruised her ankle to the point that her fair skin was tinted black and blue. Not the pretty midnight blue, no, it looked like someone broke a fountain pen and blotted the ink all over her ankle. How we got her home in heels, remains a mysterious miracle to us.

But what really got us, was that we realized how impossible it was to go out in a group of girls without being harassed by EVERY MALE in the city of Lyon. There were all types: Moroccan, Angolan, Senegalese, Senegalese who pretended they were Spanish, French people pretending they spoke English, English people speaking French, drunkards, teenagers, high-on-everything-from-coke-to-spray-deodorant guys, the boring and the old (we nicknamed him ‘Papy’).

I realized that the only possible way to get rid of ‘scrubs‘ was to use the sister effect. It goes a bit like this:

Annoying Guy with Brown Teeth: “Yooooooo where are you little ladies going tonight?”
Girl Annoyed by Guy with Brown Teeth: “Do you have a sister?”
Now Confused A.G.W.B.T: “Uh.. yeah, why?”
Girl Annoyed by Confused A.G.W.B.T: “Because if your sister was walking home with her friends, and some random guy harassed her on the street, wouldn’t you be mad?”
Now Thoughtful and Confused A.G.W.B.T: “Of course, I’d beat him up!”
Girl Annoyed (etc.): “I’ve got two older brothers. Good night.”

And I can PROMISE you, I used this on about five people yesterday, and they all had the same reaction. I guess nobody likes having their sisters harassed.

3. New Bruises: I’m done

I am DONE with my clumsiness. I am DONE with jamming my pinky toe into a random chair. I am DONE with banging my elbows and knees on tables. I am DONE with tripping on my own feet. I am DONE with choking on my own spit. It’s like, my body is trying really hard to kill itself. It’s like, even though I, my conscience and heart, LOVE my body, my actual body hates itself.

That’s why when it was raining the other day, and I was literally running late for class (don’t run in the rain, kids), I almost tripped on my feet and I caught myself in time only to have a DOUBLE glass door wack me on both sides of my body. While the lovely French idiot in front of me who didn’t hold the door for me, looked back, shrugged and continued. I was left tried-and-true, bruised, banged up, broken-hearted AND late.

That being said, can everybody reading this blog post PLEASE, just KEEP THE DOOR OPEN FOR THE PERSON BEHIND YOU. How is that even hard? How is that annoying for you? What if your mother NEVER opened a door for you when you were a toddler who could barely walk? She’d just leave the front door to slam into your chubby face, breaking your nose and sending you flying down the pavement. That’s how I felt a few days ago. And if I find you, young idiot who didn’t keep the door open for me, BE-FREAKING-WARE because I remember your face.


T’ai Chi, Kina Grannis, Matte Nail Polish, Sushi and Grease !

Hey guys! It’s been a good month since I haven’t posted. I’ve been busy getting ready for classes, preparing English lessons and eating.

Today’s blog post is a special one because I’m going to share the top 5 things I did/tried/tasted in the past month.

1) T’ai Chi Chuan

Two weeks ago, I signed up for Tai Chi classes because I decided that my vacation from physical activity is over. I hate sports, yoga classes were full, so I took Tai Chi. For those of you who don’t know what Tai Chi is, let me explain it to you because I used to think it meant curry thai noodles. Tai Chi is an internal Chinese martial art according to Wikipedia. I personally do not share this opinion because if there’s one thing I do know, is that I am so not a martial arts person. When I was a preteen, I had a crush on this guy that did Taekwondo after school. I begged my parents, “Please can I do Taekwondo pleaasseeeeee!” I even brought them the sign-up sheets but somehow they were ‘misplaced’ and I ended up taking ballet lessons.

Anyway, Tai Chi for me, is like a mixture between stretching, yawning, breathing, yoga and flower power. It’s all about the peace you find within yourself, feeling the earth, sky and environment’s energy, blablabla. Whatever, it gets me extra credit and I like it.


2) Kina Grannis’ Elements album

I have been a fan of Kina Grannis since Myspace was cool. I actually love her just as much as Beyonce, and almost as much as the Beatles. She has the voice of angels and humming birds mixed with life, melody, clouds and flowers, if that makes any sense.

Her latest album Elements is AMAZING. My favorites are the first four: “Dear River”, “The Fire”, “My Dear” and “Winter”. They sing exactly what my heart and soul feels and everything about her is beautiful. I have nothing negative to say except that Kina Grannis should come to Lyon and be my best friend.

So PLEASE check out her album here, and buy it on iTunes (you will not regret it, even if it may be the only album you’ve ever bought, I pinky promise) !

3) Matte Nail Polish

This is such a YES on my “Do I really need to buy these things?” list. Matte nail polish changed my life for two glorious reasons:
-Black nail polish finally looks good under a clear coat of matte nail polish. I used to look like a wanna-be emo whenever I wore black nail polish.
-It dries quickly, and you can see when it’s dried because it looks *mAtTe*.

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4) Sushi Girls Night In

So as a child, I used to love sleepovers. In fact, every chance I got, I would ask my parents to let me have a sleepover. I don’t know why this was my passion because my friends and I usually did nothing less than eat junk food, watch chick flicks and do each other’s make-up.

Friday, a friend of mine invited a bunch of girls over for a girls night in, and I had a great time as usual. The only difference, is that we’re all 18+ so we had a grown woman sleepover with cocktails and SUSHI. I capitalize SUSHI because it’s just so good. We didn’t order overpriced sushi like most people seem to like wasting their money on. One of our friends already knew how to make sushi, so we bought all the ingredients and materials, and we made about 60 sushis. We only spent about 7 euros between us, which is the price of two pieces of sushi. From now on, when you feel like eating overpriced raw fish in a fancy manner, visit: and you’re golden ! (You’re welcome.)

Here is the masterpiece our dear friend Xinyi created for us, which entirely disappeared 15 minutes later.


5) Grease !


I love this movie! Even though it’s been out since long before I was born, I watched Grease for the first time a few days ago. I loved how cheesy it was. I loved how surprisingly colorful the characters’ language was compared to the watered-down play my old high school put on. (I was supposed to be Ms. Lynch, some unknown BS teacher nobody ever knew/cared about. Then I said nah, because I wanted to sing so they made me a random cheerleader. This was because apparently, “Sandy must be white”, “the Pink Ladies must be white”, “the T-birds must be white” and all us black people were background characters or “decorators”. If that was the case, why didn’t they do Hairspray instead, in a predominantly black school, huh?) On another note, I absolutely enjoyed the movie, especially the “Beauty School Drop-out” scene because let’s face it, Frenchy’s guardian angel’s truth-telling is pretty mean.



Good morning creatures of the world. I was up all night working on something that I hadn’t done in a long time and I would like to share it with you.

Before I do, I’d like to tell you a little bit about the song and the original artists.


“M’bifé” is a beautiful love song written by the talented Malian couple Amadou and Mariam. Oh, and they’re both blind, which makes this song even more heart-warming.

M’bifé in Bambara (one of the languages spoken in Mali, West Africa) means I love you. The lyrics are very simple, sung over the balafon instrument and guitar.

So yesterday, I felt inspired. After listening to Valerie June’s last album Pushin’ Against A Stone and then Amadou & Mariam’s Dimanche à Bamako, I decided to cover “M’bifé” and mix the two styles.

I hope you guys like this song as much as I do. And when you’re done, feel free to visit my music page on Facebook here for more covers and originals :)

Piña Colito Recipe

What I’m about to show you is not only the secret to happiness but super healthy for your mind, body, soul and end of vacation.

My sister Safiya and I discovered something incredible this summer: a blender.

And with this blender, and the help of a former bartender, we created the most amazing drink in the world: the Piña Colito. If you haven’t already guessed, it’s basically a mix between two of my favorite alcoholic drinks: Piña Colada and Mojito except that we replaced rum with vodka just ’cause life.


So here’s the most guesstimated version of the Piña Colito cocktail:

Ingredients: Serves 2

-8 mint leaves
-1 ½ cups of water
-1 cup of coconut milk
-½ a pineapple (chopped in pieces)
-1 cup of pineapple juice
-1 cup of brown sugar (optional)
-½ a lime’s juice
-A pinch of cinnamon powder
-1 cup of vodka (or add another cup of water if you want a virgin cocktail)


Put everything in the blender except for the ice. Press the button. Stop the blender. Pour into a chilled glass full of ice. DRANK.

Upsides: The virgin Piña Colito is super healthy. You can drink it instead of a meal because it’s pretty filling. You can add greens like spinach or kale, and it may taste better/worse.

Downsides: It’s really filling. Like really really. So have it for dessert or dinner or something.

Plans and Procrastination

So here I am, almost at the end of my 5-month-long vacation realizing that I have done absolutely nothing on my to-do list this summer. I did have the time, but I was so busy procrastinating, I now sit in my bed at 9:30 in the morning, awoken by cruel neighbors drilling holes into their walls, wondering where in the world has my summer gone?!


Recap of my to-do list and how I managed:

I did not learn to sew/mend, instead my mother did it for me.

I did not learn to finger pick on the guitar, instead I listened to Michael do it.

I sorta did learn how to cook beef until it’s tender, not by doing it though, by googling it.

I didn’t go to a foreign country or city I’ve never been to before, because I’m so broke, I don’t even have paper towels. (Hi Mom!)

I did clean up my iTunes though. If by ‘cleaning up’ you mean reenacting middle school memories while dancing to the Gwen Stefani, then yes.

I’d like to think I repaired my hair, by cutting off the split ends, using organic masks and braiding it. Only to find out that one of my hairstylists was a total B.F.H and tore my hair apart.

I did not watch a single Olsen Twins’ movie. Instead I watched Maleficient, Hansel and Gretel, Cars Trains and Automobiles, Sanford and Son, Totally Spies, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, The Truth about Emanuel, the first 5 minutes of The Hobbit and Pretty Woman.

I have written one song this summer that I don’t even remember and I have a show in October.

Recap of what I did do:

-Partied with my sister like every other day.
-Ate my parents’ food.
-Hung out with THE Ali Rabie.
-Went shopping.
-Was forced to listen to this horrible song on repeat: Pegale – Emilia Cheranti ft. DJ Erise.
-Meet random people that were potential besties but never heard from them again.
-Drink mojitos.
-Spend three weeks with three other crazy girls in my apartment.
-Try vegemite. (EWW, NEVER AGAIN!)

© All Rights Reserved 2014

© All Rights Reserved 2014

Summer 2014 Playlist :)

It’s that time of the year again! This summer, I spent three weeks in Dubai to visit my family, chilling to chill music. Now, I’m back in Lyon, with my sister and cousin, and it’s a constant party.


So here’s a bunch of chill/party music I’ve been dancing to over the last month or so!

Budapest – George Ezra

Ordinary Love – U2

Kukere – Iyanya

99 Red Balloons – Nena

All of me – John Legend

Rude – Magic

Wiggle – Jason Derulo ft. Snoop Dogg

Am I Wrong – Nico & Vinz

Stay Alive – Jose Gonzalez

1904 – The Tallest Man on Earth

Sunday Morning – Velvet Underground

Yonkers – Tyler the Creator

Breezeblocks – Alt-J

M’bifé – Amadou & Mariam


Enjoy !

A Response to ‘Women Against Feminism’


Educate yourselves on Feminism for women everywhere in the world !

Originally posted on iwantedwings:

Imagine this:

The year is 2014. You are a white Western woman. You wake up in the morning in a comfortably sized house or flat. You have a full or part-time job that enables you to pay your rent or mortgage. You have been to school and maybe even college or university as well. You can read and write and count. You own a car or have a driver’s licence. You have enough money in your own bank account to feed and clothe yourself. You have access to the Internet. You can vote. You have a boyfriend or girlfriend of your choosing, who you can also marry if you want to, and raise a family with. You walk down the street wearing whatever you feel like wearing. You can go to bars and clubs and sleep with whomever you want.

Your world is full of freedom and possibility.

Then you…

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