Friday, January 16, 2015

January Giveaway

One of my new year resolutions is to host a giveaway on the blog each month, giving things to you guys that I love and hope you will too. 

Starting this off is one of my favourite things this year, this pretty journal. It's an organizer that has everything including the Hijri date and I religiously use this everyday for work and is the most useful thing so I decided to buy one just for you! 

Also included in the giveaway is this cute letter set (I bought two, one for you and one for me!) and already used up my one to write a letter to a friend. Love how totally cute it is, it has six papers and three matching envelopes. I also added this red paperclip bookmark I made so you can use it in your red journal. 

and here's my orange one that I love and use every single day. 

How to enter? 
You can enter via two ways. 
1. Leave a comment on this blog post. 
2. Enter via my facebook page
For two entries, do both! :D 

Giveaway ends on 30 January. Winner will be announced on 31st. 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

2014 in Movies

I didn't watch that many movies last year. For the most part I've ever forgotten what I have watched. I didn't even watch a lot of things that came out in 2014 because I was way too occupied with things. From the couple things I did watch, here are some highlights.

Best Animated: The Lego Movie
Loved this to bits, especially the song. The action is fast paced and I'm a huge Lego fan so I was hooked from the beginning. Frozen and The Lorax are also really good. 

Best Movies Based on a Book: Silver Linings Playbook
Jen Law is just amazing at what she does and she keeps continuously blowing my mind off with her fantastic talent. This book however was terrible as it actually spoiled a lot of books for me, which sucked. 

Best Geeky Movie: Guardians of the Galaxy
I'm really not much of a geek, but this movie was awesome. I especially loved Groot. 

Best Hindi Movie: Khoobsurat
Niu & I went to see this on Schwack and I had already been waiting for it because Sonam is one of my favourite Bollywood gals and she was so cheeky in it, I enjoyed it so much. Also Fawaz. *sigh*

Best Indie Movie: Frances Ha
I liked Frances. It was sweet, nice, real, very mellow but I enjoyed how completely realistic and non-happening it was. Maybe I could relate with Frances. 

Best Action: Avengers
Okay, so it's a geeky movie, but I liked Captain America a lot. It was pretty cool, and that is coming from someone who's not a huge fan of action. 

Best Teen Movie: The Art of Getting By
This is my category. Teen movies are my thang and Emma Roberts is the cutest. She's so funny and weird and annoying at the same time in this and there's Charlie from the Chocolate Factory all grown up, this movie makes you really appreciate things. I also liked Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist

Best Movie: Veronica Mars Movie
I'm very biased here because I love Veronica and Logan and was waiting patiently for this to come out, and I watched the heck out of it. Sigh. It was perfect. Everything and more you could ask from LoVe.

Meh: Jab Thak Hai Jaan
I guess I'm just not into Shahrukh anymore. Not that I ever liked him, but he seems to be plaing himself in all his movies recently. 

Other Notable Movies:
Always Kabhi Kabhi. Another cutesy teen movie, in Hindi. uh be still my heart.
We're The Millers. The ending when they all sing I'll be there for you is the best part.
The Vow. I love movies where there's happy endings. This one was a roller coaster but it was worth cos the ending was just perfect.
The Bling Ring. Emma Watson just cannot be any more perfect. Sigh.
Yeh Jawaani Hai Diwaani. The songs are amazing, and I actually liked the storyline. 

What have been your favourite movies last year?

Friday, January 2, 2015

2014 in Books

Last year has been a pretty okay year books wise for me, mostly because I had a kindle and I got to read a lot of books that I had planned to read. I also promised myself I would not finish a book I disliked at 10% which I'm still kind of not completely okay with because I have FOMO. 

I had planned to read 52 books (one per week) but was only able to read 34 books (65%) which is still a lot better than 2013. So, let me very quickly do a little recap of some notable books. Most books I read were recommended to me by people, or won/nominated in Goodreads Awards. 

I can't rave enough about this book. It's hilarious, sad, and very fascinating all at the same time. It's composed entireley of letters and pieces of note and the funny part is how it's narrated and you can't help but fall head over heels in love with the characters and feel like you are a part of finding Bernadette. 

Most Emotional Book: The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult
I haven't read any Holocaust setting books and this was definitely a great start because it showed a very clear picture of it all and I wasn't at all ready (not that anyone could ever be ready to read the horrendous details of it all) and kept crying and I researched and read up a lot on it and it really opened my eyes to all the hate, and all the courage stories and I was overwhelmed by it all. I also did read The Book Thief last year and it was definitely very emotional as well but more exhilarating and kind of nicer than The Storyteller. Picoult's writing really gets to you. I would recommend this book to everyone. 

Most Boring Book: The Interestings. 
The irony of this never baffles me, haha. It was a borefest throughout and I don't even know why I was reading. It was too real-life, too depressing, too ugly in some ways. Coming to a very close second is The Burgess Boys but I did like the Somali culture angle in it. Third is Loss of Innocence but I did like that the book shed a lot of light into the Vietnam War and the ending was really inspiring.

The Book That Made Me Laugh The Most: Attachments. 
This book is hilarious and sweet and I read it in a day because it just was that good. Rainbow Rowell is one of my current favourite authors and Fangirl by her was also very nice and Eleanor and Park. I plan to read all of her books within next year.

The Most Inspiring Book: Thirteen Reasons Why. 
It was kind of depressing at first and it hits you hard but at the end, I was a different person. I like books that can make you think different and want to become a better person, and this was one of those books.

Best Children's Book: The School For Good and Evil. 
This book was seriously better than expected. The fairytale setting is wonderful and it has some MAJOR twists and sometimes you can hate characters but overall, I think it was rather nice and children and adults alike can enjoy it. 

Best Love Story: Someday, Someday, Maybe. 
It was nicely paced, I liked it. Also The Longest Ride. Sparks writes some of the best love stories. 

Best Fantasy: The Ocean at the End of the Lane.
Gaiman is amazing. I can't talk enough about how extremely clever he is and his writing drags you in, head first. I read two of his books and both were so fascinating and witty and really interesting.

Most Interesting Book: The Shining Girls. 
This book is a bit hard to keep track of because it will warrant your complete attention but it is fascinating. It's just brilliant and will keep you rigorously turning the pages and being in awe at the same time. I loved it but also was kind of distraught by it.

A Book That Gave Me Hope: The Good Luck of Right Now. 
I loved how sincere and genuine this book was and I really liked it. It made me so hopeful about people. 

Meh: Beautiful Day. 
Extremely annoying characters, and the writing style is kind of weird. The Marriage Trap. Nothing exciting, just a Mills & Boon type romantic book with a millionaire in it. A Discovery of Witches. So annoying it made me roll my eyes as I read it. 

So overall, I had a pretty decent year reading some very good and some not so good books. This year too, my Goodreads challenge is to read 52 books. Follow me on Goodreads and let me know what books you loved in 2014 and if you have any recommendations for me. 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2014 in a Nutshell

Hi guys. I am still kicking but have been very lazy when it came to blogging but hopefully this year I will actually follow my blogging schedule (which I have yet to make). I've already done a small 2014 highlights on my facebook but obviously had to do one here as well. 

I started a new tradition at the start of the year by making a list of my top 10 friends and giving them a little new year gift and a card. It always feel great to be on the giving end of things. The start of the year was slow but nice. 

Right after that I headed to Bandos to facilitate the Leadership Camp for Girls organized by Hope for Women which was very nice and a great experience for me. I met the most lovely and courageous girls who are unafraid and have such high hopes for them. 

Shinzou Con was such a fun event and I had a great time with Mick (we both dressed as the TARDIS) and with all the amazing cosplayers. 

Then came my birthday which was nothing exciting, just some good times with my family and friends. The FMC gang (my former classmates from uni) actually gave me a cake which was such a lovely surprise.

During March, I got the chance to teach part time at a local college. Being a teacher was something I wanted when I was young so it feels great to be realizing that dream now. I'm so happy to teach, it's a wonderful experience. 

I had a blast at work last year. I got to participate (and organize) some major events and that felt really nice. I also made so many mistakes and learnt from them. Everyday at work is fantastic and I love that I get to do something I absolutely adore and get paid for it. 

Last year I got into some amazing new personal projects. Snailmail (meaning sending handwritten letters through post) opened my eyes to so many amazing people and I got to have friends around the world who would take time to get to know me and write. Postcrossing is a site where you can send postcards to strangers around the globe and I'm trying to send and receive at least one postcard form each country. The stories I get to read from these people and the amazing postcards are absolutely worth the wait. More Love Letters is a project that Hannah Brencher started and inspired by her I started leaving love letters to strangers around Male' and I hope that it has helped at least one person.

I also started doing my MBA but I'm not at all happy with how unorganized I was and my grades are very low so I am going to dedicate more time to my studies this year and hopefully get my GPA up.

DYM-wise we had a nice year (a bit low-key though) and the magazine gave me lots of new opportunities to meet some VERY talented people and it was such a blessing.

I also baked somewhat last year. I plan to bake more this year. Cakes, cookies and more hopefully. Also I joined Snapchat (add me at @heyshaha. I do lots of daily vlogs and random stuff), Vlogged on Youtube (I plan to do more in 2015, if I find any time), and Vine (@shaha, I do comedy vids mostly).

Entertainment wise, I hosted two scavenger hunts which went rather fun and countless game nights, one picnic in the park and Love Letter Wednesdays. I also joined with The Little Red Events to host a tea party which was so great. I also OBSESSED majorly over Taylor Swift (I have been a fan of her for so long but this year she really made a huge impact in my life), got into John Green's books and started watching Full House which is very fun. I hope to write more about my favourite movies and things last year.

I made a couple new friends, met a lot of great people and was able to be a part of a lots of people's happy moments for which I am so grateful.

Most people noted the highlight of my year to be when I won a national award in November. It really was extremely happy and I'm so glad that I get to make my parents proud through it. 

I would say the highlight of my year was that I finally started becoming more open and genuine. Last year was a year of loving myself and becoming a version of myself I was prod of and I am very happy to say that I love the current version of myself but of course self building is a continuous process and perfection is something that can never be achieved so I'll always try to be the better than I was yesterday. 

This year my main goal is to strengthen my faith. To be closer to Allah, to learn more about Islam and try my best to be a good Muslimah. To believe in people, in humanity and not to hate or think negative things about people. 

I hope your last year went well and wish all the best for the this year. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

When baes collide.

Right now there's just so many things going on with my life, with our country, with my friends, with everything. I wish I could just block everything for a day, just sleep or maybe stay watching the sun rise and then set again but life must go on. I was going to write a very deep dark post and then realized that's just not me, and I should not be letting the monsters under the bed get the worst of me so I'll tell you about something that I like to call when baes collide (like when world's collide but since I'm super obsessed with the word bae, I use that). 

When baes collide basically means that in pop culture/fiction or real life, when people I love talk about or mention other things/people I love. Basically one of my baes talking about another bae. 

I first noticed this when I was watching this one episode of Dr Who where the Doctor meets Shakespeare and he also references to Harry Potter in that episode and I felt so very anxious. Good anxious and honestly that feeling was really good. It was the kind of feeling you get when you taste that very first taste of an ice-cream right out the tub or lick the cone. Except it was like you were licking three ice cream cones at the same time and you have a brain freeze now. 

I like how it's not under my control because these things I can't control and I like that. It's also a surprise and I like finding out these things. Maybe it sounds super weird to you but I like it. I am a sucker for sentimental things like that, maybe that's my hamartia. Every time Hannah Brencher mentions Taylor Swift, or that time Bethany Mota danced to Shake it Off on Dancing With the Stars or Mindy Kaling and Emma Watson being on the same frame in that movie that I can't remmeber the name right now, I feel the same way. I love how we are all so connected and yet so far away with our thoughts. 

For now, I am happy knowing that there are so many great things with life and I thank Allah for blessing me with everything I have, and everything yet to come. I tell myself that everything is a test and that Allah never gives anyone more than they can handle and that this is a strength of how strong I am and I will take it as exactly that. 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

September in a Nutshell

Okay, I know I say this all the time but September was seriously the busiest month so far and I loved it very much. I might actually be a workaholic. *screams*

Hung out with the kiddo. I really need to do it more often | Finally wrote to my pen pals after the longest time. I hope they reach safely | Since September was Hipster Sister's birthday, I helped mom to decorate this cake. To be honest, mom baked the cake and I decorated it with these chevron lines. It's way too pink for her liking but oh well | I also got the chance to visit H.Alif Dhidhoo on a seminar and has a very wonderful time there. It was excruciatingly hot | Hoodh delivered a nice session on project planning, man I'm proud of that dude. My session was on leadership and I was very nervous but Masha Allah I was able to have a very smooth and fun session | Baked biscuits with the family. These actually taste better than it looks, believe me | Celebrated Oony's birthday with the kids. It' very rare we get all the kids together these days so I make it a point to cherish all the moments we spend | Also celebrated the twins birthday, it almost seemed like we brought them home just yesterday | and as always, no month can ever be complete without some good tea. That teacup is my Eid gift to myself and I don't have tea as much as I like nowadays because I'm hardly home.

Overall, it was a busy month as usual. As I write this, the state of this country is becoming worse and everyday is a struggle for us and I pray that we see a better future ahead and remember my twitter friend Moyameehaa and hope that he will be returned to us safely.

How was your September? I hope your October is filled with great things and love. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Letter from a Paper Person

This is a part review of the book Paper Towns by John Green. I love Mr Green, he is fantastic and I loved TFIOS so just putting it out there. 

image credits

Dear Margo Roth Spiegelman

You make me really sad. You make me furious and you make me hate my own kind. You are the ultimate manic pixie dream girl and while Mr Green says otherwise, this is one instance where I disagree with him because you see Margo, you think you are this very deep person who can uproot someone else's life, not talk to them ever and then one night like a dream, come to that person and go on a manic pixie adventure with them only to pull off the most extensively planned disappearing act ever. Margo, YOU are not the center of the world but you can never see that because you don't even want to get off your high horse and you see the rest of us as paper people, living in our paper towns and eating our pretty cornflakes while you go and shave off people's eyebrows and leave dead fish everywhere. 

I am not impressed. You dragged Quentin along this whole thing and didn't look back to see how he was doing. If you really care about Q, perhaps that was not the way to do it. You like to romanticize pain, which is okay to some extent. I do too, but Margo YOU do not exist just so you can get some guy out of his misery. YOU are a person who has people but you push them away and then run. You leave notes and clues and live off on your own which I actually really liked but the way you chose to do that was awful. You missing your graduation, classes and life so you can get away and live on an actual paper town is everything you tend to stand against. 

I tried to understand you Margo because I thought I could relate to you but in between road trips and missing a whole senior year, I liked Q's friends more. At least they have things they beleive in and when things don't go the way they want, they don't run away. They face their problems and don't drag their neighbors into a mess of a Nancy Drew debacle which you would call an adventure. Afterall, Q coming after you is the best thing to ever happen to Q right? Wrong. Q cares about people, especially you and that's his hamartia. His blinded love for you makes him weak but also strong but you have no right to drag him into your mess while you never ever involved him in your life before. 

If you really didn't care about being popular, when why did you always hang out with them and date the hot guy and basically treat everyone else as crap? If you so dearly love the metaphors and you want to have the deep understanding of life, why didn't you actually do anything to change yourself that way or change the people close to you? 

What a hypocrite you are Margo Roth Spiegelman and that's the lowest form of insult for you. One thing I'm glad is that Q realizing that you are not some precious thing nor a line of poetry and that you are just a girl, I would more put it as a selfish brat. 


One of the paper people you dislike so much.  

Also, this is the best sum of of the book I found by a Goodreads member, Lev." Guy wastes his senior year to find a girl who likes to sleep in random places" hahahaha. I'm sorry Mr G, but I kinda hated this book with burning passion.