5 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD HAVE A MINIMAL WARDROBE



ethical fashion, fashion blogger, minimal wardrobe, ethical fashion tips, social action

People always ask me how much clothes I have as a fashion blogger. There are endless youtube videos of bloggers and their closets--some larger than my bedroom--and so it seems having a massive wardrobe is part of the job description.
But as a social action blogger, I have to instinctively go the other way and try to promote limiting a wardrobe rather than expanding it, as it is endless consumption that leads to exploitation of people and resources! While my mother might say otherwise, I really don't have as much clothes as you might think. I recently purged through my closet and it really feels so good. Converting my overcrowded wardrobe into a minimal one (oh and p.s. in this post, minimal here is meaning a small or limited wardrobe, not minimal as in the style that I have been currently craving.) has been such a great decision that really helped to clear up my closet and my mind! //

1. You can breathe better | really. After I purged my closet for the first time, I felt like putting together looks became so much easier.

2. You learn to disassociate your life with consumer objects | the act of getting rid of a large portion of your closet is a practice in lessening attachment to materialism (see number 3 in 15 Important Things 2014 Taught Me) and shifting the focus in your life on what really matters

3. You can help others | clean out your closet to not only help yourself but others as well--donate everything you are not wearing to a local homeless shelter and help people who really need the clothes more than you.

4. It helps define & develop your personal style | without the mess of clothes that is just no longer "you," your own personal wardrobe essentials are determined. For me, this meant a lot of button-down shirts and graphic jackets! Hone in on what cuts and shape you like, and what is comfortable and flattering for your own body shape. Knowing this will also help with your next purchases (not that we're planning on doing that anytime soon, right? c; )

5. More space | especially effective if you live in a smaller apt where space is an issue or just prefer a closet that is more aesthetically pleasing rather than stuffed & cramped.

If you're having trouble purging your own wardrobe, let me know in the comments & I can put together a quick little guide in the coming days! Did I leave anything out?

P.S. Hooray! I've finally bought a new phone on the black market in Rabat. This means I'm back on Instagram and will be updating with my travels to Tangier, Morocco this weekend! Follow along, here!

<(') 




CHECKING IN FROM CASABLANCA



casablanca, morocco, travel, grand mosque casablanca, fashion,

Status update | Phone: stolen (okay lost). Camera charger: left in the USA. Morale: high.
I just discovered coconut coffee and it's life changing. Thank you to Youssef for being a great unofficial tour guide in Casablanca despite the poor weather and my lack of Arabic skills. This little snap was taken at the 3rd largest mosque in the world (aka the location of our latest shoot, which I can't wait to share with you all!)

Looking forward to exploring Tangier this weekend and maybe hopefully buying a phone and/or camera charger so I can *fiiinnallllyyy* upload some photos per your requests! (Yes my Instagram is still being run by my Moroccan friends, so you can explore a bit of Morocco there, too!)

P.S. Don't forget that tomorrow is the last day to submit questions about Islam/Muslims that you would like to be answered/discussed! There have already been several great questions and I can't wait to chat with you all about them via video! You can submit your q's here

Sorry for the quick post--gotta run to class! 
Happy Tuesday!

<(')


CURRENTLY CRAVING: BLACK MINIMALISM



black editorial, minimalist editorial, daniel gurton, charlee fraser, emily stanley, fashion editorial

black editorial, minimalist editorial, daniel gurton, charlee fraser, emily stanley, fashion editorialblack editorial, minimalist editorial, daniel gurton, charlee fraser, emily stanley, fashion editorial
black editorial, minimalist editorial, daniel gurton, charlee fraser, emily stanley, fashion editorial

It might just be the fresh rain or a fresh perspective, but this pattern-clasher has retreated into the dark abyss of black minimalism. Not sure why. But I sort of like it here. Currently craving black pieces in unique cuts and shapes. Aka that jacket in photo 3 and the top in photo 4.

Photography: Daniel Gurton | Model: Charlee Fraser | Styling: Emily Stanley

P.S. Today is the last day to enter the Minimalist V Necklace giveaway

<(')


ON THE STREETS OF RABAT



Fashion, Morocco, travel, streetstyle, hijab, morocco fashion
Fashion, Morocco, travel, streetstyle, hijab, morocco fashion
Fashion, Morocco, travel, streetstyle, hijab, morocco fashion

Just a few quick snaps from the streets of the capital of Morocco! Excitedly reunited with one of my incredibly talented friends who came to visit me in Rabat to help me find a Setar (a traditional Iranian musical instrument...why I thought we could find this in Morocco I am still unsure....and yet have still not given up..) but rather ended up helping me lose my phone.
Okay jk that was entirely on me and my tendency to be oblivious to the world around me.

Anyway, please excuse the super-quick post but I am dreadfully sick (shh, don't tell my parents) and am trying to squeeze in as much sleep as I can (despite the fact that I am inevitably waking up at 4am to the sound of my roommate's snores) before heading off to Casablanca to shoot some streetstyle this weekend (apparently it is the fashion capital of Morocco)!

P.S. Don't forget to submit your questions to the Q&A about Islam! So far the questions have been incredibly interesting and I look forward to *trying to* answer them via video! 

P.P.S Happy 200th post! x


Photos: Youssef Harzy | Location: Rabat, Morocco | Sweater: Zara | Blouse: Zara
(similar below)



<(')




Q&A ON ISLAM: ASK ME ANYTHING!



Islam, Muslim, social action, muslim fashion blogger, what is Islam

In light of recent tragedies and therefore endless floods of emails and questions (and er, anonymous twitter hate) about Islam and Muslims, I have decided it is just about the time to do a little q&a and part II to the Islam 101 post I did ages ago. Also I decided to get two things checked off at once and will reply to all of your questions in a little video because apparently according to the results of the reader survey, you all want to experience my social awkwardness that is only heightened in front of a camera on a tripod.

Anyway, I will keep this post short and let you all take this as you will. If you would like a place to start, you can read my last post on Islam here or what others are saying about it, here.

I am obviously no expert and will research what I don't know, but I think it is important to address your questions as best as I can! Feel free to ask in the comments or ask on Survey Monkey if you prefer to be anonymous:

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world's leading questionnaire tool.


 I will keep the form open for a week and then start putting together the post! Questions can be about anything from what does Islam even mean to why I wear a headcovering.

Please note: I will assume all of your intentions are nice and good, but please note that offensive comment (fyi--comments are not question!!) can and will be removed. This is a q&a, not a fight (but if it was I would totally win because I'm hella strong. Jk.) 

Looking forward to hearing what you are curious about! 

<(') 


(please share this post!)

2015 READER SURVEY RESULTS



Morocco, cat, travel, oudaya, reader survey

Oh P.S. my phone was stolen by Moroccans (aka I was being silly and oblivious per usual and accidentally left it in my taxi and didn't realize until several hours later) so enjoy this little cat photo that I grabbed from my Instagram because the rest of my photos are gone. ;( Until I can buy a new phone I will probably let my Moroccan friends take over my Instagram and update with photos from Morocco and just pretend that I am not actually devastated and am actually having a blast okey :)

In other news, THANK YOU so much to everyone who took a few minutes from their day and filled out the 2015 Reader Survey! Your responses have helped me so much in my planning for the rest of the year! As promised, below are the results:

Ages 15-25 | 75%
Ages 25-45 | 15%
Ages 45-65 | 10%

Female | 90%
Male | 10%

USA & Canada | 60%
Europe | 25%
Africa | 6%
Asia & Middle East | 9%

University Student | 50%
Non-University Student | 50%

Bloggers | 80%
(On average you have been blogging for about 2.5 years)
Non-Bloggers | 20%

<$60,000 Household Income | 65%
>$60,000 Household Income | 35%

Primary method of following | Bloglovin or Url is bookmarked/memorized

Favorite types of posts | Personal fashion, social action, religion & culture
Posts you would like to see more of | Streetstyle, Vlogs, personal fashion, blog tips, religion & culture, social action, DIYs
(Someone wrote "Tips on how to pose" LOL you are asking the wrong person! Really though, my friends are always making fun of my poses)
What you like the least about the blog | the small font. (Omg. SORRY. I will try to get that fixed hehe).

~

In the "any last comments/remarks" section you all blew my breath away. Seriously, I cannot thank enough for all of your kind essay comments. Your support is what keeps me going! I wish I could have had the chance to personally thank each and every one of you, but your responses are anonymous so I can't find you :(. Your overwhelming love and warmth is really so appreciated. The goal of this virtual space is to make people feel safe, enjoy their own bodies, share and learn from each other, and support ethical alternatives through fashion, and it makes me overjoyed to read that you find this mission successful so far. Thank you for your readership, and I hope you can bare with my Moroccan friends taking over my Instagram because frankly I'm sort of nervous. 

P.S. LOL A VLOG oh goodness I was afraid this was going to happen. I don't know if you know what you signed up for...I will see what I can do. :/ 

P.P.S. I will be in Casablanca next weekend shooting streetstyle so stay tuned! xx

P.P.P.S Due to recent tragedies, I am putting together another post on Islam. Please let me know if you have any specific questions while I put together this post! 

P.P.P.P.S If you didn't get a chance to fill out the survey, please feel free to leave any comments/criticisms in the comment section! You can still do this anonymously :) 

<(')




TOP 18 WAYS TO GET YOUR BLOG OUT THERE





1. Guest post | this is also a great way to build backlinks! Also be sure to have a strong 1-2 sentence bio at the end of the post to really entice readers to check out your blog!

2. Engage with other bloggers | check out, share, engage with, and support the bloggers who leave comments for you and with other bloggers in your niche. Blogging is about connecting with--not talking at--others.

3. Join blogging networks | these are great ways to meet new bloggers, collaborate, grow your social media, and support each other. (let me know in the comments if you need suggestions on what to join!)

4. Be active on social media | join twitter chats (I haven't done this personally but I've heard a lot of great things about doing so!), make sure your blog is on Bloglovin, and really utilize Pintrest! Many bloggers with more visual-focused content (like myself) receive a large part of blog traffic from Pintrest!

5. But also be active offline | step away from your computer and phone and go out and meet other bloggers in the city, attend local fashion events, etc. These are great networking platforms!

6. Optimize your pins | check out how to make "rich pins" on Pintrest, here.

7. Create strong visuals | especially the first photo--vertically oriented photos usually are the best at grabbing attention on Bloglovin and Pintrest especially!

8. Post frequently & consistently | I've always seen a spike in my pageviews & readers when I am posting frequently and consistently throughout the week (even though currently I am in Morocco and the wifi is less reliable and I have not been able to follow this one myself, boo)

9. Quality > quantity | but on that same note make sure that you are not just posting whatever just for the purpose of reaching a certain quota of posts per week. Make sure every post is something that you are proud of.

10. Have a clean, navegateable (is this a word?) blog layout | this might sound picky and ridiculous but I know that a very large reason for me returning/not returning to a blog is because of the layout. Try to keep a white background with clean and organized pages/sections. This will also help load your page faster and lose less readers due to slow page loading time!

11. Have clean, navegateable posts | make it easy for your readers to skim through your post and understand the main idea without having to read every word. Aint nobody got time for that. Use large, relevant photos to break up endless boxes of text (so opposite of what I'm doing here, basically).

12. Make your posts share-able | add AddThis or other similar add-ons to the end of each post to make it easy and encouraging for your readers to share your posts. (I currently am having technical difficulties with AddThis on my blog, so I make each post shareable manually at the end of each post until I stop procrastinating and try to fix it!)

13. Give people a reason to share you posts | if you came upon this post on another blog would you share it? If the answer is no, you have some editing to do. Make each post worth a share--add a call to action at the end of each post!

14. Enhance your blog's SEO | this is definitely going to be a whole post on its own, so stay tuned!

15. Use keywords based on search trends | Check Google Keyword Planner while writing titles, subtitles, etc!

16. Create unique content | don't be just another fish in the sea--be the sea (er, sorry, just read poetry before writing this post...). Here are 5 Unique Post Ideas that Will Help Grow Your Blog's Audience

17. Update & refresh old content | don't let your hard work on your past posts go to waste--continually recycle them by linking back to them in your newer posts (like I just did in no. 16!) and every so often tweet/instagram/share on facebook a post from your archives.

18. Collaborate with local photographers, bloggers, & brands | I've had the opportunity to meet& work with so many amazing and talented people through blogging, and it is really what makes the whole process so rewarding!

What have you found to work best for you? 

Based on popular demand, 'blogging tips' is a new section geared towards helping my readers grow and develop their blogs. Posts like these will be published every other Sunday. 

P.S. *Last day to be wonderful and fill out my 2015 Reader Survey!* I've already received quite the response and really appreciate everyone who has taken a minute to fill it out! I'd love to hear from more of you! This is super helpful for me, and will help you see more of what you like!

P.P.S. Yes, yes, I mentioned earlier that I would be writing about Urban Outfitters. My apologies! I have been busy exploring Rabat without wifi! I will get on that asap!

P.P.P.S. The first photo is from my last trip to Morocco! Follow along on my Instagram for more!

<(') 


(if you enjoyed this post, please share!)



BACK TO MOROCCO + A LOT OF FUN NEW STUFF!



morocco, agdal rabat, moroccan blog, travel,

Ahh, it really feels so wonderful to be back in Morocco! The weather is a lovely 60F and the ice cream is still as beautiful as I remember. Unfortunately this time I do not have the privilege of traveling with my friend (& photographer!), so I will have to make-do with tripods and rooftops and the occasional shoot with my photographer & blogger friends here in Morocco :) 

Unlike last time I traveled to Morocco, I won't be neglecting JooJoo Azad--rather, I hope that I can use this opportunity to take you with me on my little travels around the country. In the next few months during my stay here, expect mini photo diaries, a vlog (*maybe!*-- it was surprisingly the most requested type of post in my reader survey so far (psst if you haven't already filled it out, please do! You only have a few days left before I can stop bothering you about it!) but I am still not very excited about sharing my awkward personality and voice with you all in video format, but we will see!), Moroccan streestyle, collaborations with other Moroccan fashion bloggers, shoots in hidden locations, and of course posts on social action/ethical awareness/culture per usual! 

In the meantime, please do fill out the 2015 reader survey (this is super helpful for me!) and feel free to enter the gold V necklace giveaway from Eve's Addiction (also if you are in high school be sure to check out their scholarship program)! Just a reminder, the reader survey will close Jan. 11th and the giveaway ends Jan. 19th @ 12:00 CST. 

P.S. I will still try my utmost best at continuing to publish on JooJoo Azad every other day. (And once I've started a streetstyle these photos will be uploaded onto the blog live as they are taken, so expect these several more times throughout the week!) 

P.P.S Sorry for being sort of deceptive and only posting one photo from Morocco on this post and just endless text...I'll be posting a photo collection soonish but if you really are far too excited you can peruse through this one from last summer! 

P.P.P.S. A Social Action post detailing why Urban Outfitters is on the Boycott List is up next! (It will be in a fashion similar to this one on Victoria's Secret)....help me think of a catchy title!

<(')


if you enjoyed this post, please share!

5 UNIQUE POST IDEAS THAT WILL HELP GROW YOUR BLOG'S AUDIENCE



blogging tips, post ideas, social action blog, growing blog audience


Based on the results from the 2015 reader survey thus far, it seems many of you are bloggers and many of you would appreciate a few posts on blogging tips. Here is the first in what I hope will be a bi-monthly series on Sunday! Going through my & others' most popular posts, I've noticed a little trend in posts that my readers seem to enjoy the most and those that have brought in more pageviews. Of course, I don't recommend writing about these topics simply for the increase in pageviews, but rather to provide rich content on your blog and for your readers! c:

1. Create a Boycott List | your money speaks. And unfortunately, it can overpower most human voices. Buying from brands that are devastating the world and exploiting the people within it is vocalizing your support of their unethical production methods. And fashion/products in general should never be valued over human life. Research and put together a list of brands and companies that are destroying the things you care about/supporting causes you are against. Don't know where to start? Take a peek at my Boycott List!

2. International Fashion | I think one of my favorite things about fashion is that it is a global language that has the power to bring people together from all walks of earth. Take your readers (and yourself!) on a little adventure around the world by sharing street style unique to a particular region of the world. A new source of inspiration leads to developments in personal style! Bonus points if you take street style photos yourself during your travels!

Example: From the Streets of Tehran: Iranian Streetstyle

3. Support Ethical Fashion | there are endless unsung brands that both have beautifully-designed products and are making a difference in the lives of people around the world! Show them that you support their mission and appreciate the work that they do (while simultaneously providing alternatives to your new dandy boycott list!) by putting together a post to highlight all of their do-goodness! Who knows, they may even reach out and ask to collaborate (it has happened to me)!

Example: Ethical Giftguide for Her

4. Get Personal | no, no, I am not encouraging publishing the details of your breakup or your browsing history (that goes with me to the grave), but rather to open up to your readers on who you are! Some of my more popular posts have been about my life as an Iranian Muslim living in America--what I celebrate, why I cover my hair, etc. Use your next blog post as a space to get personal with your readers and share a part of your culture, tradition, faith (or lack thereof), beliefs, ideas, etc. Just make sure when speaking on sensitive topics to be highly respectful and open-minded towards other ways of thinking. Remember, this post should be about yourself, not about how others may be wrong! Whether you open the comment section up for discussion or not should be based on your relationship with your readers. I'm very lucky to have incredibly kind, respectful, intelligent, & thoughtful readers (that's you! Thank you! c; ) so I always allow anonymous comments, but this might not be the best idea for everyone.

Example: We're Not Terrorists

5. Share your Passion | reading JooJoo Azad is obviously your #1 passion, but you must love something else, as well? A blog is a powerful space that can reach a large audience--why not use your corner of the internet to raise awareness about a cause/issue that is close to your heart? Research an issue you care deeply about (animal welfare, human trafficking, etc) and devote a post to spread awareness (bonus points if you can find/create a relevant petition for your readers to sign on to)! Let your voice & passion run down the page--this is also a great exercise (teehee bad pun intended!) in writing!

Example: This is not What Feminism Looks Like: The Feminist Shirt Controversy

Happy blogging! 
If you ever do mange to crank out one of these posts, tag me in your social media & I will share/retweet! I'd love to read! 

If you have any other ideas for unique posts that also help grow your audience, please do share in the comments! xx 

<(')

P.S. If you haven't already, please fill out the super-short 2015 reader survey so I can get to know you better! Thank you! :) 
P.P.S Don't forget to enter to win a minimalist gold V necklace--enter here
P.P.P.S. While you are reading this I am probably in a plane over the Atlantic Ocean somewhere! Follow along on Instagram (@hodakatebi) to see if I managed to snap a photo of myself being racially profiled at the airport! ;) 


~if you enjoyed this post, please share! :) ~


GOLD V NECKLACE GIVEAWAY | JOOJOOAZAD X EVE'S ADDICTION



necklace giveaway, minimal jewelry, gold V necklace, minimalist gold jewelry

See that beautiful minimalist gold V necklace? It can totally be yours--for free! I've teamed up with Eve's Addiction to giveaway this beauty as a little gift to celebrate the new year!

As an avid pattern-clasher, I love jewelry that is clean and minimal because it allows my look to breathe, and is a nice way to add a level of sophistication. I've been looking for a delicate necklace with a minimal geometric shape for some time, and when I ran into this baby on the interwebz, I knew it would soon become great friends with my neck! (they've been getting along great!)

It's also exciting that this necklace is from Eve's Addiction because not only do they have an endless collection of lovely sterling silver jewelry, but they also give out a scholarship for graduating high school seniors! Hooray for brands that give back!

Anyway, we decided it wouldn't be quite fair for me to keep this all to myself and not share with my readers--so now you can enter to win your own CZ V Necklace in gold! Just enter the Rafflecopter below! (P.S. Please make sure, when entering, to use an email that you check often as this is how we will notify you if you win!)

The giveaway is open internationally and ends January 19th, 2015 at 12:00am CST. 

Best of luck! xx

y



If you are having any issues entering please feel free to leave a comment/shoot me an email! 
Good luck! 
Happy 2015!
(P.S. When is it no longer socially-acceptable to wish people happy new years??)

<(')


P.P.S. If you haven't already, please fill out my 2015 Reader Survey and check out my Top Social Action, Fashion, and Travel posts from 2014!


Powered by Blogger.