Writing it Down

Writing it Down

So as many of you know, I’m a writer. And not just in the sense of my profession of being a writer, but more in the fact that I like to write things down. A lot.

If you know anything about me, I love notebooks! Some might even say I have an obsession with them. I currently have more notebooks than I’m using; I just buy the ones I like and stick them in my closet with the hopes that I’ll use them one day. And I promise I will! (Side note: how cool would a notebook library be?)

I used to have one that was more my book ideas/plot planning/story ideas, etc. and then an everyday one for lists of things to do. These days my book writing notebook is kind of non-existent and I find myself reaching for my phone memos more and more, especially with a new and updated smart phone, for my every day lists.

But I still prefer to write things down. I’ll even do it twice if it means I can write it down in my notebook. It might sound weird, but when I look back on these notebooks later on, it feels like they’re almost windows into my life at the time. Whether it’s grocery lists, things-to-do lists, blogging ideas lists, etc., it definitely reminds me what was going on my life at the time.

More than that, I still prefer the feeling of a pen in my hand as my the ink forms the words. There’s just something so therapeutic about it! I also find that I remember things more when I write them down.

In addition to my notebook, I like to have an agenda or a planner as well. It might seem redundant but I like seeing things according to timing. It’s great to make things-to-do lists, but unless you specify the day or week you need to get them done by, it’s kind of useless. So I’ve become obsessed with these super cute agendas from Chapters. They have the cutest colourful illustrations and come with stickers! And since I’m clearly still an elementary school student inside, I love having an agenda. 😛

I feel like I’m part of a dying population though, since everyone prefers to use the computer or their phones. My husband often tells me I’m wasting paper too with my notebook obsession. But I can’t help myself! Putting things on paper still helps me think better. :)

What about you? Do you still like writing things down with pen and paper? Or do you think it’s a totally useless (and environmentally destructive) medium?

Let me know in the comments below!

Thanks for reading,

Ikhlas

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Review: Finding Audrey

Finding Audrey Review14 year old Audrey is not like other girls. She’s got an anxiety disorder that keeps her at home for the time being, while the world continues to move on around her.

Audrey prefers to wear dark sunglasses at all times, even when she’s indoors. She doesn’t like having contact with other people, other than her family.

But then one day all that begins to change when her older brother’s friend, Linus, comes over to play video games. He treats Audrey like everyone else and soon Audrey can begin to see herself thawing, bit by bit, as her and Linus become friends.

But the road to recovery isn’t a simple or easy one, as Audrey discovers. It’s sometimes one step forward, and one step back. (more…)

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These Words

These words flutter helplessly against my lips, clamouring to be let out, to be allowed freedom to escape and soar into the wide, wild, world. To sweetly caress and to kiss. To make statements and to solve arguments. To discuss and to delve deeper into issues.

But they remain trapped inside of me. They jangle loudly against the cage where they’ve been locked up inside of me. They are safer there. Inside of me.

Fear is the lock on the cage. Fear is the one that strangles them and chokes them. Fear is the one that plucks their wings and kills them violently. Before they can fly.

They say the tongue is mightier than the sword, swifter to cut, and sharper to bleed. So inside, their dull edges never cut through hearts, never pierce through hopes, or poke through dreams. They never make it to the tongue.

Before, they would trickle down my fingers and escape onto the page. They’d find a way out into the world through the pen, through the curves of ‘I’s and ‘L’s and ‘U’s. On the page, they’d make statements louder than the lips ever could. They’d speak truths bolder than the mouth could ever utter. They’d paint a perfect picture of longing and loss and love, of heartbreak and hate and home.

But now they are blood clots in my fingers, helplessly lodged there and unable to move. So they rattle against all the other thoughts that turn into words that make it out, all of the ‘okay’s and the ‘yes’s and the ‘no’s, hoping to latch onto something so they too can fly into the wild.

A few of them manage to squeeze themselves out. They are dizzy and have been locked up for so long. So they stutter and stumble from my fingers onto this cold, white page, lost, a little bit broken, and not so beautiful, to become these words.

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Friday Things

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Hello friends!

So it’s been awhile sine I’ve done a proper update and I kind of feel bad. There’s been a lot going on, and I haven’t really been able to blog about it. Things have just been so crazy! But I’m hoping to get back into a routine soon so that I can get back to sharing yummy recipes with you all :) I miss cooking and baking so much!

Speaking of baking, I recently enrolled in a baking program at college and can’t wait to start! It’s more of an academic program, instead of a Wilton type class, and is taught on more of a professional level. I even need to buy a uniform! I’m not sure how the chef’s hat is going to look with my hijab, but let’s see… Lol.

I’ve enrolled in my classes already and they sound like fun. It’ll be interesting going back to school after a year of being out, even though it’s more of a practical, hands-on program. I love academics, but I also love baking, so let’s see how I fare!

I’ve been wanting to improve my baking skills for ages and this is why I choose this program. I really do want to take my baking to the next level, and sometimes you can do it yourself but sometimes it’s good to have someone to guide you.

I tend to stick to the same type of desserts and usually avoid anything with yeast so I’m so excited to finally be taken out of my comfort zone and expand my knowledge and experience.

Speaking of growing, it’s my birthday tomorrow and I’m officially going to be in my mid to late twenties. -_- Ugh!

I still remember the excitement I felt of turning twenties and the feeling that my twenties were going to last forever. But they’re not! I’m officially 4 years closer to 30. I know age is just a number, etc. but I still feel old. There’s so much I still haven’t accomplished and the years just keep passing me by!

It’s one thing to feel like a teenager when you’re 21 or 22, but it’s another to feel like a teenager when you’re 26. >_> But I do! I still feel like a kid sometimes. And then I’ll suddenly realise that I’ve got responsibilities and have left my parents’ care and home. Then I’ll realise that being an adult is not as fun as I imagined it would be when I was a kid!

But alhamdulilah for everything. In this past year I’ve accomplished so much that I need to be grateful for everything.

As some of you know, I run another blog and it’s been getting some media coverage lately in the past few months. First I was contacted by a writer for the Today.com website who wanted to interview me for some modest styling tips in the summer. It was such an honour! You can check out the article here.

Around the same time, I was contacted by a journalist in India, who writes from MINT, a journal which is part of the Hindustan Times, the second largest English newspaper in India, for a feature on hijabi fashion. This piece was more around the world of hijabi fashion bloggers and had a more serious tone. The writer featured me in the article, and also interviewed me separately about mainstreaming the other.

Lastly, I was recently asked to write a few fun list type posts for Metro UK, a site very similar to Buzfeed in its list-based approach. I’ve written 2 posts for them so far, one on Eid and the other on the struggles of hijabis.

It’s been quite a busy month!

It’s been so busy that I neglected blogging. This blog has been suffering for some time, but that blog also began to suffer, especially as major changes in my personal life took its toll on my desire to blog.

Despite all of these things, lately I’ve been feeling a bit uninspired about the other blog. I’ve gone more than a week without posting and sometimes feel like I should give up. But then I get emails. Not the emails asking to interview me or whatever, but emails from regular girls asking me for advice. Some of these emails are quite serious as these girls share their mistakes, their hopes, their desires, and their fears with a virtual stranger. It makes my shoulders droop a bit with the responsibility of it all, but then I remember to be grateful to Allah for giving me this opportunity to help people. I’m not perfect and nor do I always know what to say to these girls. But I try my very best to guide them and help them.

When I get their replies, as well as comments on posts about having faith or being grateful from people telling me they needed that reminder or thanking me for writing that particular post, I feel like what I’m doing might actually be helpful to people. I might not be a doctor saving lives or an engineer building bridges or a celebrity being famous, but I’m doing what I can. And what greater joy can there be in doing what you love and helping people along the way?

It’s quite a lovely thought to realise on the eve of your birthday :)

Alhamdulilah.

Whew! This has turned into a long, heavy post. Sorry! There’s just been so much to catch up on though. Hopefully I won’t go as long without posting :)

Hope you enjoy your weekend, wherever you are and whatever you do!

As always, thanks for reading,

Ikhlas

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Baking Cheat Sheets

As someone who loves to bake, I’m a big fan of little tips and tricks that make it even easier. Unlike cooking, baking is an exact art and you will most likely notice if you put one teaspoon or two teaspoons of baking soda or sugar, etc. into a recipe.

That’s why I love baking cheat sheets or infographics, which make baking even easier! These are especially helpful when you’re trying to modify a recipe, substitute ingredients, or just figure out which pan you can use to bake your recipe.

So have a look below at these helpful cheat sheets that’ll instantly make your life easier!

(more…)

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