Amazing music, lifestyle creating, art journaling, tutorials, all in one place. the life of an accidently stereotyped, teenage girl.

Monday, 21 October 2013


Hello people! So i know it's been 36472625 weeks since i've blogged. I think i gave up on blogging for a while.  My blogger was giving me a LOT of trouble. Also, i was busy doing this:
Yeah, 10th grade started. I've been harassed big time. Studying and making notes and staying up later than i usually do. And i LOVE it. I love living such a lifestyle. Yes, it makes me want to kill myself at times, but whatever. I've been working extremely hard and it's paying off. I just thought i would share some pictures with you guys to let you know that I'M BACK!

I painted the back of my wardrobe door. While listening to a lot of Shinedown.

Friday, 23 August 2013


(listen to bones ms mr. yes. again.)

 Tonight I'm sitting in a total mess. My room hasn't been this messy since, god knows how long. I'm wearing a very feminine very lace spaghetti strap top because it's night time and i don't have to answer the door hence i don't have to dress in a way thats acceptable to society. Tonight I'm listening to amazing music.
Well i always listen to amazing music.
  These pictures were taken by from a mall terrace which is a restricted area, only for staff workers. But i sneaked in and took pictures.
God, I'm so bad ass.

One of my favorite things to photograph our city lights at night. They're so beautiful. Today makes me feel kind of..invincible. Kind of awesome and kick ass.(and of course bad ass, i mean c'mon restricted area! Trespassing!)
    I'm thinking of a lot of things these days. I'm thinking about travel, nighttime, angsty teenagers, photo shoots, fruit roll ups, new bands and new music, school and school research projects, art journaling, band t shirts, dyed hair and ear piercings. I'm also of thinking of how I'm always complaining about not being able to travel right now, not being able to explore and not being able to photograph things because i don't have a professional camera. Today, gazing down from the mall terrace i keep thinking: have i been blind this whole time? I have an awesome city to explore, with new places to discover. Yeah Karachi may not be a safe city, it might not be the cleanest place ever, it might have crazy creeps around every corner but so what? Karachi is my city, and Karachi is beautiful. I love the stories that can be told by the random smashed bouquet of flowers on the street pavement. By the diamond ring found in the corner of the gutter. The stories that can be told by the lines on peoples faces. I love how the city never seems to sleep. I love Karachi at night. And yeah, so what if i don't have a professional camera? I can still document everything through my phone camera.
Because all i want to be able to is to tell stories. Great stories.
And i will. You'll see.



Time for a love list woohoo! Things i absolutely ADORE at the moment:
  • The picture above. I took it. Praising myself. AHAHAHA.
  • This totally amazing photo shoot
  • This blog. Well I've always loved this blog. It's what inspired me to start my own! This deserves a separate blog post.
  • This amazing sweater thing from Urban Outfitters.
  • His music.
Have an awesome week you guys! More is coming including guest posts, a post on the Children's Cancer Hospital that i'm visiting tomorrow and some diy tutorials. Oh and LOTS of selfie spam ;)

Thursday, 22 August 2013

The Road

(Bones by Ms Mr)
To lie down on the packed gravel after the rains.
To be able to look up at the stars.
or maybe just the one star that shines from above on that dark, dark night.

To be able to close your eyes and take a deep breath.

To be able to not let go of the broken dreams, once alive.
because you thought that thats where this road leads to.
But then realize this road doesn't end.
it goes on and on.
it never stops.

so just get ready and walk. walk all these miles.
with passion. with faith.
that something will come out of this difficult time through this barren, this empty land.
because i promise you, you walk.
you walk with those blisters on your feet. you walk with the scorching sun on your back.

something will come. even though the road doesn't end, their are always pits tops.
new experiences. new people. new love.

so promise me
you will move on.
in heat.
through storms.
and you will always have the same fierce look in your eyes while you battle through all these.
the look of determination.

don't forget to stop on the way.
to dance in the middle of the night.
under the millions and millions of stars on a deserted road, twirl around and around.

and if you cant do all this:
just lie down on that packed gravel after the rain.
close your eyes. and then open them.
look up.
remember that small tiny star twinkling up above?
one star is enough.
it should be enough.
to be remind you that there is a road.
and oh yeah, it does end.
it keeps going higher and higher.
somewhere up above the stars.
and the end of the road there is your final destination.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

School talk and more news.

Hey guys. sorry i haven't been blogging much and the posts have only been picture heavy, not content heavy. its not that i'm not 'feeling it', i have tons of ideas for blog posts but..i don't know. school has started and remember when a few weeks ago i was completely freaking out about me going to tenth grade and the CIE exams and blah blah blah? i' ve been pretty relaxed these days, actually. school is fun, and thats a sentence i never thought i would be saving again. the term started off with a bang, and i actually feel like the old Maham, the nerdy girl who studied well. well, actually i don't feel like THAT girl either. this is a side of me i never knew of. every single class at school i enjoy. i understand the lectures, and unlike last year, i actually LISTEN to the lectures! a new and improved version of me.
     i also have enrolled in the Duke of Edinburgh award program. alot of people in my school are doing it. just click on the link and see what its all about, there is too much to explain. basically its a personal achievement award program. every week for two hours each you have to practice a skill, go for community service and enroll in some physical activity. I'm thinking of going for yoga with my good friend Qanetah to cover the physical activity part, i'm going to play and practice guitar for the skills part, and community service our school is helping us with. for our first community service part we will be visiting the childrens cancer hospital to try and brighten up their days.
  what have you guys been up to?

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Lost somewhere in Wonderland

 Hey guys! I know i haven't blogged in quite a while! My blogger hasn't been working for a month now, and I've been extremely upset and distraught because of this. I even took it as a sign for me to give up blogging! But recently people have been commenting on this blog, and you have no idea how happy that makes me, to know that there ARE people out there, other than my family and some friends, reading this blog! I have so much to share with you guys! Ideas have just been piling up and finally i get to share them again.
Anyway, these are some pictures my friend  Neha and i took together. She took most( i wont lie) and i edited them! Can you believe this is my neighborhood? So magical.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Rain and emo-ness go well together

(listen to lego house by Ed Sheeran ft. P Money the Gosling remix.)

I'm feeling kind of weak. I'm kind of crumbling.
 i don't know what to do.
 i don't know where to run.
 i don't know where to seek refuge.
i don't know who i am.

This blinding light should mean that I've come out of my dark place right? So then why is it that i feel so lost here? I don't know myself here. 

I want to feel that way i used to. Before all this. Before the darkness. Before this blinding new light. When i was unaware. Unaware of every thing that's wrong with this world. I'm tired of knowing

'Save me', i plead. But am i talking to myself or someone else. Am i the hero of this story?
I don't think so because i don't think i can save myself from my own worst enemy: me.

Thank you for cooperating with my sudden emoness. 

Friday, 2 August 2013

Forgotten Photos

 (listen to Better than this by Hinder)
 A few days ago i found a neglected cardboard box in the store room filled with scrap booking goodies and other treasures my mom did not want anymore. Day before yesterday i put on nice music and spent the day sifting through the things in the box. Well, i found these really old family photographs in there as well.
I cried a lot that day.
I don't know, something about the music playing and the old pictures made me kind of emotional. I didn't even know half the people in the pictures. My mom said i can keep some. And you can not believe how happy that makes me. I've always loved the idea of playing around with old cameras. Intax, film cameras, disposables, Polaroids. Especially Polaroids. maybe I'll start collecting cameras. I think that is something i would really enjoy! But first i need a proper DSLR. Ugh. Why do i waste all my money on random, useless stuff?

I'm loving these gorgeous photographs of Murree or Islamabad, i don't know exactly which place. I'm going to ask my mom. I don't know what to do with them, but i do know that i don't just want to put them away in some photo albums! Any ideas? I'd appreciate the help! Maybe i can frame them..

 I love the tint of these pictures..the purple-ish pink. They are wedding pictures of god knows whos' wedding.

 Some pretty pictures of my paternal grandmother. She must have been a real beauty when she was young. Sigh. I love how the second picture is all dark and don't have to be perfect to be beautiful.

I love photographs. I love taking pictures, capturing moments. I think I've finally found something I'm really passionate about.


Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Sometimes, you just have to open your eyes and see all the great things in life that have happened to you

Hey Mom,
     Happy belated birthday. You're gorgeous and passionate and smart and just an incredibly beautiful human being.
I love you.
 -Your really awesome, and extremely pretty daughter. Mana.


Remember those times, two weeks  before school starts again, when your'e screaming your head off all day, every day, because school is starting again? And you realize that you have wasted your summer vacations doing nothing but staring at the TV screen( or in my case, staring at your feet, because they just look so darn amazing with that unchipped black nail polish on)? Now remember that time, two weeks  before FREAKING O'LEVELS/ HIGH SCHOOL starts for the first time..and instead of screaming your head off, this time you write a suicide note for your loved ones and pick up that gun?

This is how I've been feeling for the past few days. 10th grade is about to start in, you know.. A WEEK, and I've basically been freaking out! mom doesn't know about this so..shhhh. Okay so basically i seriously need to get my act together. In about a year, i will be giving my CIE examinations, a.k.a, the exams which your whole future depends on. "KILL ME", was the first thing i thought when i realized that i'm about to start 'the most important two years of my life' as stressed upon by..well everyone. This makes
 me feel scared, nervous, unprepared and just..UGH. Yeah..I've been feeling really 'ugh' these days.

I realized that I am in serious need of a 'Maham Insha Action Plan' also known as MIAP.( yes..lame, i know). And I also realized that if I'm so scared for this, there must be millions of kids out there just as scared as me. And i feel bad for them, really, since i know what they are going through.
 That's when i decided that nobody should go through o'levels/high school academic hell, and that I am going to share bits and pieces of MIAP with you guys. I hope i can help you guys as i help my self. Lord, help us survive this. PLEASE.

So. this is what I've come up with. My first MIAP step.

I've come to the realization that no one really ENJOYS studying. Yeah, that's just crazy talk. BUT, it is possible to enjoy parts and elements of a subject, or if not enjoy, but at least realize its important for the future. What i have done is that i have stated for every single subject i have to study this year:
  • things i find interesting about the subject
  • things about the subject that i think will help my creative side( writing etc.)
  • things/skills that i think will help me out in everyday life and in possible careers 
Everyones' interests in a subject vary. You will have to figure out yourself, what you find interesting about each and every subject. I've written my reasons to love the subjects on paper and i have stuck them to the back of my closet door so that i can read them whenever i open the closet, and be inspired to study.

Here are some of mine...(I'm sharing only a limited number of subjects with you so that you don't get bored by this post. In total, I'm taking 11 subjects. Yikes!)

English Language:
  •  Creative writing: Think of it as way of working on and polishing your skills as a writer, as a journalist. When handed back a checked assignment, see where you went wrong. Place a post it on that assignment and list all the things you did wrong eg: spellings, grammar etc. so that you don't forget next time. Imagine if writing/ journalism/documenting were your chosen career/ college major. Better start working on your writing skills NOW. Make every assignment interesting.
  • Comprehension and Summaries:  These show how well you can comprehend and pick up information and important points from any type of topic given , of your interest, and not of your interest. Summarizing information is an extremely useful skill.
English Literature:
          Literature also improves your writing skills. You learn all sorts of things from classic stories by famous writers. The way these writers think, the way they come up with such genius and intricate plots, the way they portray their characters, the way they add emotion, suspense, or any kind of mood or theme  to their works. Analyzing essays help you find the writer in you, help you make realizations and answer YOUR questions, about this world, and this life. Poetry helps us understand this world, all kinds of emotions and the depth of us.

         Colleges will want to know how well you know your own country. Apart from that, history teaches you how much other people have sacrificed for us to have our freedom, our independence. Find out how this country( Pakistan) came into being, how a government works, how to rule a country and how not to make the same mistakes people have made before. History essays can be fun. You get to become a better writer in a diversed range of topics. 

    Math helps us in many, MANY ways. It helps us with financial problems, of which we will have to develop an understanding of at some point in our life. MATH IS ESSENTIAL. It  helps you in areas like graphic design, architecture, building models, and in everyday life, like measuring objects and things, finding out the area of the floor to see how many tiles will be needed etc.

Environmental management:
     Take this as an extra credit subject. Environmental management teaches you how this world works, what people are doing wrong, that is effecting this world. Also learn how to save this world from various environmental problems. Help save earth.

      Economics is an important business subject! It's a social science and it teaches you how to allocate scarce resources, for NEEDED good and services, and WANTED services. Economics teaches us about different kinds of economies, organizations and companies, and how they generate and work, which will come in handy for the possibility of starting your own business. It teaches you about money, and stock markets, and how to run your own company. It also teaches us how an country is taken care of, how it's resources are allocated, and how we can improve our economy for the well being of our country.

Hope this post helps you in your journey of kicking o'levels BUTT!!

xoxo Mana.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Lets get to know you..

 Recently i interviewed a good friend of mine- Inseya. She is a wannabe journalist and one of the most creative people i know! Her writing is deep and thought provoking. She just started blogging! Check her blog out!!

What draws you towards journalism?

I was always into writing on a serious level, but it was mostly poetry and various novellas. When I moved to Pakistan a few years ago, I read articles by research journalists and tried to understand the problems of our country. And thus, I started to write about it. I wanted to study social problems, political state, instability, divides and links that needed to be brought into light. In short, Pakistan made me a journalist, as well as a major patriot. 

 What kind of music appeals to you? Which genre? Why? 

Rock is probably something that catches my eye, but I can't digest too much of it. I mean, I love Linkin Park and bands like Three Days Grace..but I know what kind of influence music has on you and don't really want to be thinking of the reasons I hate the world all the time. So, I am also a huge fan of any song that starts with a strumming guitar solo (i.e Collide by Howie Day, The Beatles). I feel it keeps me balanced, and its actually how I got my Pen name: The Optimistic Cynic. 

If there was one message you could send the world, what would it be?

 We need love people. We need humanity. That's what I root for. I have faith in a lot of stuff, but after my religion the notion I strongly believe in most is 'Humanity'. The lack of it in this world scares me, and i feel frightened looking at the future and thinking: 'Is it going to get worse?'. I live in a country where I feel the humanity has been utterly squelched out of the people and we to get it back. I have a theory. The movie '2012' was hypothetical somehow. 21st Dec 2012 didn't mean the end of the physical world, but it meant the end of humanity in the people. And where there is no humanity, means there is no justice and mercy. So be humane, and save this world. 

Describe the perfect teenager life you wish you were living

 Very honestly, I would not change a thing about my life. Not that I don't have my own up and downs (trust me, I got the Downs part covered) but I have everything a girl needs (except a new cell, but okay). I got a beautiful family, 2 amazing sisters, a nice house, great friends and I actually LIKE school :P Yeah, there are things that don't make life perfect but thats okay. 

 Why did you start a blog?

 To be honest, I started a blog because I wanted my writing to reach a larger audience. I am a little shy when it comes to broadcasting my writing so this was a big step for me.

 What is your favorite art medium? Do you create art?

 Yeah, I paint every once in a while and I've taken O Level art as well. At my internship I've also learnt a lot bout digital art. Basically, painting comes to me like writing does. Easily. My favorite medium is watercolor, because I feel that its subtle as well as great for still life, portrait, landscape etc...I even use it for fashion design and abstract!

If you could leave your mark on the world, how would you go about it?

 I would like to leave my mark on the world by changing someones life. I want to help that little girl who's been raised in an orphanage and give her hope for greater days, I want to give confidence to that cancer patient who thinks shes bald and ugly, and I want to reach out to someone through my articles and make people aware of their rights. I believe if I help people find their goodness, then that would be the greatest mark anyone could leave on the world. Bad things will always continue to happen, and you need to help those who have been turned bitter by them. 

Quick Questions: 

1) Coffee or tea: Coffee 
2) Art or music: Art
3)  Favorite artist: Jackson Pollock 
4) Favorite band: Beatles 
5) Favorite quote:  'You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and      affection' -Buddha 
6)  Favorite thing about blogs: The pictures 
7)  One place you want to visit: Greece 
8)  Describe yourself in five words: Loyal, friendly, smart, weird, happy

Thanks for letting me interview you Inseya!

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Sorry for the quiet around here..

Above there is a picture of me trying my hand at artsy looking self portraits. A complete fail. It describes what's really been going on in my life. Me failing. Me being pulled down. Me struggling with studies, responsibilities, the truth. Me trying to cope with rules, religion and lies. Me stumbling, falling, and flailing about.
This is the reason it has been quiet around here, but i promise that it wont be for long. I've got some interviews, features and photography that i'll be sharing soon with you guys!

If there is one thing that i have learned about this world, and this life is that when you feel like your'e drowning, something better will come along. It always does. So just hold on.

My friend sent me a link to an amazing remix of a daft punk song, and it's lifted my spirits. I absolutely adore good remixes! I can't find the link but i'll ask my friend for it and when he does give me the link, I'll share it with you guys.

Stay tuned. I  promise more is coming. REALLY soon.
xoxo Mana

Sunday, 21 July 2013


This is my week in pictures..

I snapped some pictures of the city. Karachi is beautiful. I seriously love the random street art and graffiti all over the walls.

I went to the playground near my house. These little girls had brought their kitten. I took some pictures of it. Its so adorable!

 I practiced taking self portraits. Yes, calling them self portraits now, not selfies. Selfies are for fun and they aren't serious pictures. These portraits...are serious and mature...

I created new Pinterest boards. One for blog design, and one to market my own blog!!
And as you can see, I'm also learning how to edit pictures!

This is my week in pictures. I'm glad that I'm learning new things( portraits, picture editing) and am making an effort to not be scared of approaching people.
I did not exactly go along with the 'baby steps' game plan, but i did recap my week, and it's not like i didn't do ANYTHING this whole week! I'm proud of myself. But I'm going to push myself further. Become more confident. Become more independent. Create more. And study more.( yeah..really need to work on that one..)
I DID accomplish SOME of the things on the list though! I have been marketing myself on twitter, to bring traffic to my blog, and i also did a guest post for Seductive Mania! And today i went and bought two plain t shirts to practice stenciling on, so hopefully, if my experimentation goes well, I'll be lounging in style! ;)

Okay today's Sunday, and Sunday means the weeks recap^ and a new step to my game plan.
The next step is all about confidence and creativity!
I find that its really hard to go outside and take pictures without being stared at as if you are some kind freak!! I find it really, really hard, like SO hard, i cannot put it in words! So for the next whole week, i need to become comfortable with doing things alone, and in particular, doing creative thing alone! The next week will be all about taking photographs in the neighbour hood and not feeling weird or/and self conscious. You guys should try that out too! Just be careful, you don't want creeps following you home!!

xoxo Mana

Friday, 19 July 2013

Guest post up on Seductive Mania!!

I guest posted for Seductive mania! The owner of this blog, Becky, is letting people sponsor her blog...wait for it...drum roll.....FREE!!! You can guest post for her, or have a banner put up under sponsors on Seductive Mania's sidebar! You can even market your business, boost your sales, whatever!
 Becky also created this banner for me, and I'm really loving it!

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

My blogging lifestyle

 (listen to the 1940 by submarine)

Yes yes i know. Why listen to a girl who JUST started blogging?! Well, i personally love reading about peoples lifestyles, where they blog, room tours, how they study, how to stay productive etc.
My goal is to make sure this blog is something that i would read. With posts that interest ME. With pictures and content that would make me come back for more! And maybe there ARE such posts(as mentioned above^), but i can't find them! I can't find EXACTLY what I'm looking for! So why not write  posts on these topics myself? So that others don't get frustrated while finding content that adheres to exactly what they're looking for! Also, maybe my blogging life style might inspire others to keep blogging and have a balanced blogging schedule! :)
I wake up early in the morning( by early i mean around 9 or 10, LOL) for two reasons. To take pictures for future blog posts and to, This time of the day is the best since there are no adults at home and my brother is still sleeping so there is peace around the house. I take pictures mostly in the morning, since there is a lot of natural light coming in from the windows( plus the weather is to die's soo breezy whooo!). Through out the day, i take pictures that may be blog material.Like this one:
Yay selfie with the new phone!! Haha i'm so gonna abuse Instagram all the time!
 Anyway..coming back to the topic..
Like i was saying, i work in the mornings. These days I've been taking the lap top to my moms study and working over there. I love the change of environment! I mean who wouldn't want to work in a room with a huge gorgeous window that lets sunlight streaming in?
When I'm blogging in my moms room, i set up the laptop on the coffee table. I love mornings over there. something about the room motivates and inspires me.:) 

If I'm not working here, i blog from the desk in my bedroom. It looks kind of like this:
My desk is not the prettiest thing. I need my blogging surroundings to be beautiful, airy and inspiring with plenty of light. That's why i prefer to work in the study. I have tried my best in making the desk space pretty. On the right side i have propped up an art journal that i made a few days ago. I keep it there on display because it brings color to my desk, but basically because i made it all by my self, and when i look at it, it reminds me that i can do anything by my self. Silly, but it works. Display on your desk anything that you have made yourself, like  a bracelet or a book you binded. Anything.
  Before i start blogging i put on some music. A system thats been really working for me is listening to 'radio'on jango. I usually put on the Ellie Goulding radio and her music, along with music by artists similar to her, keeps on playing. Other artists included on  Ellie Goulding radio are Tegan and Sara, Florence and the machine, Morgan page, La Roux, Lily Allen etc. I  keep the volume low, so that it doesn't distract me from working, and i do not use head phones.
  I keep my email account and Wunderlist open in tabs at all times. I just recently started using Wunderlist and i absolutely love it! It's free! It keeps you organized! And it helps you make to do lists! Yay!
I use Wunderlist on my phone as well, but thats for when I'm on the go, or away from the lap top. I find it too distracting, switching from the laptop to the phone while blogging.
I keep a writing pad on my desk and nightstand, so any ideas that might come to me while working or before sleeping can be jotted down. I also make sure that the laptops charged at night, so in the morning i don't have to lug around an adapter.
So this is my current blogger lifestyle. It's gonna drastically change when school starts. No more blogging in the morning*sniff sniff*. But of course, blogging should never EVER get in the way of studies! Kind of excited for school to start, and kind of nervous at the same time. Which reminds me..better go read my economics book..

xoxo Mana