Sumaira Flower

Sumaira Flower

July 29, 2014

Carrie, You Were Onto Something...

              


"Maybe our girlfriends are our soul mates and guys are just people to have fun with."
Carrie Bradshaw

As I gracefully age, I'm realizing that Carrie may have been right. Maybe our girlfriends are our soul mates, and guys are supplementary characters. I dedicate this post to my best girlfriends (you know who you are) for sticking by my side through the greatest and worst, loving me unconditionally, and for never judging me. 


2014 has seen some pretty awful situations and intense romantic drama in my friend circle, including my own. While we already know that the ultimate healer of a painful breakup is time [and retail therapy!], having your girlfriends for support is completely priceless. The mere presence of them can be a huge catalyst to recovery. With all the guys that have come and gone, at the end of the day, we've stuck together. Through thick and thin, we're there for each other no matter what. Certain responsibilities need not be vocalized; they are simply understood.  

Back in the day, it used to be about the quantity of friends; now it's only about the quality. Having a core group of girlfriends is essential for survival... even if there are only 2 of you. I believe that every friend in your core serves a different purpose. Each friend is a unique dish in the potluck of friendship. Everyone plays a "role". While some may overlap, each friend has a dominant quality/habit that defines their role. I've come up with roles that I think most groups comprise of.  I'm sure there are variations amongst different people, but this seems like a solid umbrella that encompasses roles within friend circles.




1. The Willow Tree / Mother Goose
This is the friend who's had maternal instincts since she was 5. She's the wise one who everyone goes to for advice. Somehow, she is omniscient. 








2. The Party Animal / Wild Child
This is the friend who you can rely on to always have a great time - she is down to party at any given moment! She's the carefree one who brings out the party girl in you while everyone else lives vicariously through her. 










3. The Skeptic / Realist
Every circle has one of these. This is the friend you dread admitting your mistakes to for fear they'll tell you what you don't want to hear but what you need to hear. This friend can sometimes be mistaken for a pessimist or a straight up "hater" but at the end of the day, she's just trying to be your voice of reason. 









4. The Eternal Optimist / Cheerleader
This is the friend who is always rooting for you no matter what. Her drug is positivity! She is so excited for everything you do and thrives on your happiness and success.







5. The Empathizer / Sensitive One
I hope every girl has one of these in their lives. This is the friend who understands your pain and sympathizes with you. Simply put, she cries with and for you.






True friendships are built with unconditional love, support, and mutual respect. Cherish your girlfriends. Embrace the purpose each of them serve. Amidst major life events, make an effort to maintain your friendships. Hire a babysitter for girl time. And lastly, make sure your best girlfriends are life enhancers, people who improve the quality of your life and bring out the upgraded version of yourself. xx


July 21, 2014

25th: Reflection, Enlightenment & Sage Wisdom

Since I was a little tater tot, I sincerely believed that the entire month of July belonged to me. It’s never just been a birthday; I have a birth month. Though the mentality has remained the same, this year's a little different for a couple of reasons.

The first: I’m about to turn 25. I feel different; it's very difficult to describe and it’s definitely not what I thought it was going to be like…

25 always seemed like the most majestic age. I just couldn't wait to be 25 - it equated to sheer bliss and perfection in the eyes of 5, 10, even 18 year-old Sumaira. For reasons only children understand, I envisioned myself to be supermodel tall, rich & famous, newly betrothed, and naturally fabulous. Something about the way 25 sounded seemed so far away and too good to be true.

The second difference: At the start of my birth month this year, I met with my first (and hopefully last) health scare. I was diagnosed, sick, hospitalized, and then sick again for 2 straight weeks. I had never felt so sick and weak before. 


Thankfully, it’s not life threatening, but a burden and an eye opening experience. At my most vulnerable state, I looked at my surroundings and thought, "how did this happen to me?" My invincible spell was broken.

Young people tend to lead their lives as if they're wearing a bulletproof vest. That's the beauty of youth though, isn't it? You think you're forever unscathed and shielded from all bad until it happens to you. In a matter of seconds, your entire outlook on life can change. Priorities shift. Perspectives change. Relationships gain different meanings. And one finally grows up.

Life throws you curves but you learn to swerve [Rascal Flatts] Yeah, I'm not the tallest, I'm certainly not rich, and am very much single. That being said, 25 has arrived and given all the circumstances, I'm more than okay with who I've become. I'm happy, blessed, and enriched daily with so much love. Oh... and I'd like to think I'm naturally fabulous or at least en route! ;)

25 is going to be my year to thrive. I can feel it. 

Life is fickle as is the quality of it so...

Break the rules. Forgive quickly. Kiss slowly. Love deeply. Laugh uncontrollably. 
Never regret anything that made you smile. (Ethan Mascarenhas)


Happy 25th birthday to me. xoxo



July 20, 2014

ICONS BOUTIQUE


With great pride, I am honored to introduce you all to my sister's latest venture - Icons Boutique - an online boutique dedicated to producing high quality, trendy fashion while giving back to the underprivileged. 5% of all sales are donated to a foundation supporting underprivileged women and children around the world. 

Icons Boutique was materialized in 2014 after 2 years of designing, conscientious strategizing, and implementation. Sabrina Diana, my sister/designer & founder, has singlehandedly designed every article of of clothing and handcrafted all jewelry. 

Icons Boutique was officially launched on Sunday, June 29th at the ART Factory in Paterson, NJ. 


Browse and shop the first collection at www.iconsboutique.com and enjoy 10% off with promo code FLOWER. Check out some of the pieces below... xoxo






July 02, 2014

How Films Have Warped Our Perception of Men & Romance



As I become more acquainted with modern-day dating, I'm slowly realizing that most of what I grew up believing about men and romance are completely mythical.   

Let me preface this post by declaring that I am not jaded; I am simply observing and learning. This post also is not reflective of one particular situation but is an analysis of my adulthood dating experience thus far.



I'm starting to believe that women of my generation are at a slight disadvantage when it comes to dating mainly because of 2 reasons: 



1. We grew up watching Disney movies, the most amazing romcoms [romantic comedies] there ever were, and in my case, unrealistic Bollywood films. We've been brainwashed from the get go that there is one prince charming for every princess [which we all are] and that he'll sweep us off of our feet while effortlessly riding his horse.

Don't even get me started on Bollywood movies...they have falsified men into being super humans. My apologies but they’re just given way too much credit. They’re defying families to be with the ones they love, beating the crap out of the “enemies” in elaborate action scenes, traveling from Italy to India via foot in one week (Oh yes! that is a scene in a very popular Bollywood movie). As ridiculous as you can imagine, it’s been shown in these movies and alongside many, I've believed it all!  



2. We grew up in an age when technology was on an upwards slope but are now experiencing adulthood in an era when technology has overpowered social interaction thereby making dating that much more cumbersome.  

 If you know me personally, you know that I am a HUGE movie buff. I analyze movies to the T. But even I've been suckered into believing some ridiculous scenarios displayed on celluloid. Let's take a look at some of our favorite, widely appreciated romcoms and open our eyes a little bit. 

I'll call this bit - What We Saw & What We Should Have Seen


1. How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
Note: One of my all time favorites. I'll be the first to admit that I'm guilty of having watched it 35 times. 
What We Saw: After Andi and Ben both realized they were using each other to advance their respective careers, they walk their separate ways, both seemingly distressed. In the last scene of the movie, Andi is in a cab on her way to the airport to move to Washington DC when all of a sudden Ben flags her down with his curly locks flowing while riding his motorcycle. He admits he's in love with her and convinces her to stay in NYC to begin a life together and live happily ever after. So cute right? WRONG!

What We Should Have Seen: Andi busted her ass in Columbia where she earned a degree in journalism. Throughout the movie, she makes it very clear that writing the "How To" columns were trivializing her degree and what she really wanted to do was be a journalist who wrote more substantial content like politics or world affairs. As Andi was on her way to Washington DC to snatch a golden opportunity, selfish Ben whisks her away from her lifelong dreams by promising to love her forever after having known her for merely 10 days and also having shamelessly used her as a spring board to get an account in his advertising firm. Come on Andi, you're smarter than that.. What an ironic movie title for an ending that showed a girl lose her career dream for a manipulative d bag. 



2. The Wedding Planner
Note: Conveniently, another Matthew McConaughey movie. Perhaps he's been type casted as the resident douche bag of Hollywood. Regardless, I love any movie that J.Lo is in... ;)
What We Saw: The lonely yet successful wedding planner, Mary, finally finds true love in the dashingly handsome doctor, Steve Edison, who also happens to be the fiance of her high profile client. Their love conquers all and they live happily ever after while enjoying M&Ms (all but the brown ones of course) in front of drive-in movie theatre. How romantic... NOT!



What We Should Have Seen: The beautiful and highly successful wedding planner, Mary, succumbs to the temptation of cheating, slimy Steve Edison whose fiance is head over heels in love with him, causing herself to get an ulcer because of wedding planning stress. Steve leaves his annoying but innocent fiance at the altar causing her to feel utterly humiliated because he was hanky pankying with their wedding planner. Meanwhile, he decides to go break another relationship by attempting to stop the wedding of Mary and her childhood friend Massimo. Can anyone say serial cheater/home wrecker?






3. Two Weeks Notice
Note: No denying that the chemistry between Sandra Bullock and Hugh Grant is **ELECTRIFYING**.
What We Saw: The endearing development of a friendship/relationship between ivy-league attorney, Lucy, and real estate tycoon George Wade. Lucy and George are complete opposites and witnessing them banter is just oh so adorable. Lucy realizes her work is not satisfying and decides to leave George's company. George's multiple attempts at getting her to stay are supposed to be perceived as cute and heartwarming. Making calls to surrounding law firms and convincing them to not hire her is so adorable? Who does that?

What We Should Have Seen: George became so heavily dependent on Lucy because she was the only pillar of strength and stability in his life. Therefore, when she decided that she was overqualified and wanted to do something that brought more satisfaction to her life, George made all attempts to make sure she didn't leave him i.e. calling everyone in the area and letting them know she was not worth hiring. Additionally, if he had loved her, why would he be shamelessly hooking up with the new annoying, Southern employee right in front of her? Am I the only one who thought George was an immature, spoiled, selfish prick and Lucy was way too good for him?



While I don't think "prince charming" as we've known him exists, I do still believe that true love is out there and in various forms. Is it our fault that we continue to search for this non-existent, unrealistic person who was presented to us while we were impressionable toddlers up until our 20's? Absolutely not. However, I think it's time to make a conscious effort in troubleshooting our expectations and mentality when it comes to romance. Wouldn't it feel better to expect less but be pleasantly surprised when they do exceed our expectations? I think so! ;) xx. Yours truly.