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

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

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

The golden days

Today after lunch i went outside on our balcony. Usually Karachi summers mean scorching heat, sweaty people and bad news. But this summer has been different.the weather has been absolutely gorgeous.

There has been  lots of sunlight and humidity, but along with that there is ALWAYS a beautiful breeze blowing. I'm the kind of person who gets happy by the smallest things, and i adore good weather. Every single day i think about how this summer has been perfect( despite the lazy TV watching, pigging out on potato chips and ice lollies and staying inside all day long). My vacations are almost over( only a month left before I'm back in school) and I'm kind of upset that i wasted such a glorious summer, literally, a blessing to the whole of Karachi, doing nothing. But the i realized, why be sad about what i have lost, and why not stay positive for what there is in store for me, in the coming future? So i wasted my summer vacations. What now? What about making up for the lost time, by doing whatever you have wanted to do, and should do, in the time thats coming?

Hello guys. Today, you are witnessing a:
The REBUILDING of what remains shattered and in hiding.
The rise of the summer life that i have always wanted, and dreamt of.
my golden days.

You guys, stop lying in that pool of self pity..
Get up..
And be who you have always wanted to be.

 Whatever days are left of summer, lets enjoy them and take full advantage of them. Love the weather outside everyday? Go to the nearby park/ walk outside/jog/run/ bike whatever. Love the idea of waking up every day to witness the sun rising? Do it. Wake up early, make yourself a nice cup of coffee( or as i would prefer, a glass of peach iced tea), sit on the curb outside your house or  on the balcony, and enjoy the sun rising, and the sky changing colors. Want to do something different this summer, like trying to cook something for the first time, or dabbling in acrylic paints? DO IT!!

Don't let this summer go by.
Let's make it worth remembering. Do leave a comment below and tell me what you want to incorporate into your summer lifestyle!

xoxo Mana

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Art journaling madness

Play list:
1) She's in parties by Kerli
2) Under the sheets by Ellie Goulding
3) Fight for you by Morgan Page
4) Back to the start by Lily allen
5) Invisible by Skylar Grey
6) Intro by the xx
7) In for the kill by La Roux(skillet remix)

So one of my goals is to live a much more creative life style. To read more books. to art journal. To play guitar again. To try new things. To live the way i dream of living. To fight. and of course, to kick butt.
Today i art journaled again. I've been wanting to for quite some time and have been putting it off. Why? Maybe because of the mess. Maybe because it's too time consuming. Maybe because I'm just to lazy to get off my butt and start. But part of my goals is not to put off things, because you might never get the time to do all the things you want to do, later on.

a screen shot from my i pad. 

I asked my mom to come and help me out with the picture taking. I love how shes so enthusiastic to help out! I think shes just glad that my face isn't glued to the TV. By the way, here is the link to her blog.Ii think i get my 'emoness' from her.

 i told her specifically NOT to take a picture with my face..why mom...

The finished product..

The super gorgeous hand writing is my moms. You can totally tell the difference..I did the back cover..

I need hand writing classes..oh well.
That's one thing checked of my to do list..

Do you guys like art journaling? I honestly used to think it was stupid and a waste of time, but now I'm growing to slowly love it. *cue another selfie*
What? I was bored okay? DON'T JUDGE.
Here's the same picture, only edited a little. I love it!! Others are scared by it..

Be back soon with more..
xoxo Mana

Saturday, 13 July 2013

No, this wasn't a drunken night mistake, I WANTED it..

So I'm pretty busy today, but that doesn't mean I'm going to bail from posting!! Heres some eye candy for you guys to enjoy!!(urm..not the women, the tattoos...awkward). I love tattoos!! and i really, REALLY want to get one but there is a slight complication. I faint whenever i see a needle. Or blood. But you know, if a little pain( i mean agonizing torture) results in a beautiful piece of art that i can WEAR, it doesn't really matter.
Cant wait until I'm old enough!
 These pictures obviously don't belong to me! I got them all from here.
xoxo Mana

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Just keep wishing, just keep wishing, just keep wishing, wishing, wishing..

NO. don't just wish. DO.
Today i woke up and realized that my life has kind of come to a stand still. I don't do much. I eat, laze around, watch a lot of TV, listen to music, go on line, and thats IT. This has been going on for a month now. Well, actually to be completely honest, two. I have wasted my summer off from school doing absolutely nothing. And I'm TIRED of doing nothing. How am i supposed to kick butt staying at home watching TV all day?
It's time for change.
It's time for serious change.

Instead of waking up and plopping in front of the laptop i decided to sit out side at the dining table. To write. Get some natural light from the open balcony door, clear my head and write.Write, realize, see what i really want from this life. All i know is that I'm not gonna waste this one month left before school starts.
Goals can be big and small. Your goals can be simply ANYTHING like making and drinking that smoothie every morning or organizing a teen rave.

This game plan and this post is directed towards teenagers( since you know, I'm a teenager), but i hope it inspires any one, of any age.
Okay, want to change your self, your habits and lifestyle? Want to reinvent your self? Here are the rules:

1) You have to get out of your comfort zone, and do things even if it scares you
2) Your dreams and goals can be shallow as well.

So, every week i am going to add new goals to my list and  record how much i have accomplished, and how much closer i am getting to a certain dream. Every Sunday( not including the coming Sunday), i will add a new step to reaching my dreams! You guys are welcome to join in and reach your dreams with me! So todays first baby step towards accomplishing my goals is writing down random goals and wishes down, and beside each one, writing down what is my first step to achieve that certain goal.
Here is my disorganized, random list:

-buy cute pajamas and lounging clothes/ lounge in style
first step: make those stenciled graphic tees i have been planning to make

-buy my first DSLR camera
first step: my mom's giving me some money to save and start out with. around 1000 rps( 10 $) I'm guessing. start from saving that.

-get rid of the dark circles under my eyes
first step: sleep earlier. go to bed at around 10.

-get a nice messenger bag thats really big for when school starts
first step: go looking for bags

-prep for my O 'levels
first step: do a little practical work like math and accounts every day

- get more people to read my blog
first step: market on twitter

-live your dream lifestyle( will write a separate post for this)
first step: control your Internet and electronics usage

-have a healthy break fast
first step: learn how to make scrambled eggs

-make more bracelets
first step: buy embroidery floss

Just by the way: here is the link to my twitter. I've just made an account, and am slowly learning how to use twitter! !! Also, I'd love to hear about your dreams and goals!!! May be your goals will inspire me further! :)
So do leave a small dreams list, and your first step to accomplishing them down below in the comments section!

xoxo Mana

Monday, 8 July 2013


(listen to i hate every thing about you and animal i have become by three days grace)

These days have been filled with increasingly weird selfies, confusion, anger, disappointment and questions. Lately my nails have been black and i'm living in huge, over sized t shirts and shorts. The weather has been gorgeous, and i'm grateful for that. I'm listening to lots of three days grace. God, i miss that band SO much. My hair stays up and out of my face, and I've been talking to my self quite a bit.
The pictures above aren't perfect at all. I'm supposed to have amazing, pin-worthy images on my blog, say the  blogging info graphics. I don't have an amazing camera first of all, to take those pin-worthy photographs. and second of all, i don't care.
I don't care if my pictures aren't perfect. In fact, i like the grittiness of them. The pictures are like those of a film camera, even though they've been taken by my i pad. Similarly, i don't need to make my bed for one stupid picture! I believe the fact that it's not made shows more character, shows that no one has a perfect life. It speaks the truth, instead of the lies. And i promised my self before i started this blog, that my blog will be really me, and really honest. I'm DONE being fake! So why not show pictures of whats really going on in my life, instead of tidying up and making every corner of my room picture perfect?
I put up a stack of books i have yet to read, and books i have to finish on top of a pink stool beside Burt. I miss reading. Speaking of Burt..there's a picture of him above! Yes, that's my lovely couch that i have named..
My bed is unmade. I'm just so sleepy these days. My desk has been cleaned and its drawer and cupboard have been organized. Now i have to organize and set up the top, in a way so that its inspirational, but does not distract me while i'm studying. I usually spend my mornings and afternoons propped on top of Burt, so that i can look outside of my window and enjoy the weather outside. I'm loving my black toe nails. they haven't been black in ages. I usually go for dark colors on my nails, but lately I've tried mint green and purples and i like them, but not as much as my signature dark nails. I've got so many ideas for future blog posts! I just don't feel like blogging these days..heck, i don't feel like doing anything! Maybe a day out in this weather, doing something really fun will cheer me up. These days I've been dreaming of getting a tattoo, meeting Adam Gontier ( ex vocalist and guitarist for three days grace), and traveling.