PHOTO DIARY | Amsterdam

Hi there, long time, no write (again!)
Life has been getting in the way as per usual, I’ve been undergoing my training to become a Secondary School English Teacher and that in itself has been a whole bag of mixed emotions, driving me away from my hobbies and of course, my blogging.
Now, with the whole Coronavirus pandemic – 2020 really shook things up here – there’s this eeriness present in the World where literally everything and everyone is coming to a halt, something that myself and I bet many of you thought we would never witness in this generation.
With this, of course jobs, careers, schools have all been effected in some way and therefore, has interrupted my life schedule too. I was supposed to be on a School placement for the rest of this academic year, that of course has come to a standstill and now, the whole of mankind is just sat here in this weird limbo of not being able to do much “until further notice.” Scary times. However, the purpose of this post was not to actually talk about the pandemic (we get enough of that on the news and social media) but this time off actually allowed me to catch up on blog posts that had been sitting in my drafts folder since last year that I thought to finish…and it’s nice to actually reflect back on times where Coronavirus was just a Black Mirror episode or movie blockbuster.
Hope you enjoy…

From July 2019:

Were our eyes deceiving us? For once in our drizzly, downpour of a country, England was finally able to enjoy a proper Summer!! Literally, from viewing people’s Instagram and Snapchat stories, I legit could not tell if they were abroad or just chilling in their back gardens with a barbie.

Throughout this blooming gorgeous chapter of sunshine, my siblings and I flew a little ways down south of the Globe for a little weekend getaway to Amsterdam! So, I thought I would share a little photo diary of what we got up to, along with a few little tips you may want to know if you’re planning a little visit over there yourself…

Day 1

We set off early from Manchester airport and as soon as we landed in the Netherlands, we stepped out of the airport and our priorities straight – checked in at the hotel and headed for FOOD!!


So, courgettes, smoked chicken, coriander all embedded into a sweet pancake batter and cooked like a crepe…also not forgetting a mango chutney dipping sauce – this was a combination of ingredients I wouldn’t have even dreamed about putting together, but oh my word, it was actually amazing!! The perfect balance where sweet meets savoury, my sister opted for the full sweet taste of Nutella and ice-cream (and I personally feel like she massively missed out!)


And then we swiftly moved on to see some sites!!

Canal Boat Ride



Day 2


Best Apple Pie in all of ‘Dam…
…Oh Winkel, firstly, what a name! But my oh my, for a girl that is not a usual Apple Pie kinda lover, Cafe Winkel 43 managed to convert me. Shoutout to my girl May (AKA Doddsy, AKA Mad Dodds, AKA Legend) who was lucky enough to live in Amsterdam for a while and recommended this little gem to us.

Day 3

Happy Tosti
The cutest (and most healthiest) breakfast place I ever did dine at…






Some Trip Tips

You need to Pay to Pee…
…in majority of places. Even the Mcdonalds we went to had a wee lil’ turnstile to get to the loo, so I would definitely advise to always carry some spare change around.

Check the Weather! And dress accordingly…
…or should I say, check the weather again! We had checked what the weather would be roughly a week before we had set out to leave and it was forecast rain and lots of clouds. It lied, the weather channel lied to us. Thus bringing me to my next point….

Don’t peddle boat in 30 degree weather (in a denim boilersuit!!)
…emphasis on the ‘boil’ because heavy perspiration was an un understatement. It worked off all the food we ate though!

Anne Frank…
…She is one VERY popular gal. Although viewing the Anne Frank Museum was one of the main activities we had set out to do, our little unorganised selves weren’t aware that tickets were only available online now! There is an extremely slim chance to book tickets on the morning you wish to visit as they keep a percentage of tickets available to buy but of course there’s an online queue and it’s basically impossible. So, learn from our mistakes and book 2 months in advance!

Bikes, bikes and more bikes
…Throw your green cross code out of the window here because you never know when or where one of these little buggers will pop out from and clip you out of nowhere. It made trying to get an insta photo hella hard I’ll tell you that!

Funky smells
…for obvious reasons you may or may not already know, as marijuana is legal here. If you would like to avoid getting high, do not visit any places labeled “coffee shops” for coffee, stick to cafes and restaurants ūüėČ

If you would like to watch a little video I put together of the trip, you can view it here…

Screen Shot 2020-03-20 at 10.11.10

Keep safe,
I x


It’s no secret that I am the worst at keeping up to date with blog posts – I know life gets in the way and people go on blogging breaks etc. but jeeeez Iram, 2 years since my last post?? That, I’ll admit, is shambolic.

So, without further ado, instead of dwelling on any details of what I got up to in the last two years (nothing that exciting, I can assure you) – let’s just get stuck back in…

…Welcome to a brand new post!! This is one I am really proud of and one that I know my Mother would be so, SO proud of too. Mam, if you’re reading this (which she most defintiely is – she’s obvs my biggest fan) brace yourself because you’re in for such a treat!

Over the past few weeks I’ve probably talked the ears of off all my co-workers, friends and family about my best purchase to date in my whole entire life and that is…drumroll please….A wardrobe!!! I know, not that exciting but this isn’t just any wardrobe guys, this here is my DREAM WARDROBE. The babe that is IKEA had allowed to me finally, FINALLY bring forth some organisation into my life that has been loooong overdue by allowing me to customise and design my own space for all my gajillions of clothes.¬†This is the first time in my life I’ve been this organised, like, EVER – so naturally, I obviously want to tell the whole world.



So, I thought I’d share a few tips I learnt on the way for anyone else who wants a wardrobe re-vamp!

You ready? Here we go…



Once the wardrobes were all fitted, it took me a while take in the this giant blank canvas. Initially in my mind I had it all worked out of where I where I would want to put jeans, t-shirts, where I want to hang my dresses etc. but once everything was built, everything I had planned in my mind just flew out the window! So, I was back to square one and quite overwhelmed with all this empty space – the irony right? – so in the end I was like, Iram you have to start somewhere…and I¬†did!

Now, without sounding too dramatic here but the backbone of this whole operation was the HANGERS! I cannot shout out enough of how amazing these particular hangers I bagged from Wilkos are – and a pack of 10 cost me just ¬£3! I’ve linked them here.

They are versatile for both trousers and tops/dresses and are a stunning coppery/rose gold colour. Also, the fact that they are really skinny meant I could fit in waaaay more clothes into a small space, BUY SKINNY HANGERS PEOPLE, they are the way forward.


Whilst transferring everything into the wardrobes, I realised that all the years I’d spent working in retail folding and hanging had really shone through! ¬†Whilst watching a few epidsodes of Marie Kondo and several folding trials and errors, my wardrobe was finally coming together and rapidly filling up!

I had to keep reminding myself that if I place something somewhere, it wasn’t then permanently glued down, I could re-jig and move things as and when I needed to! And to be fair, that happened a lot which was perfectly fine to do if it meant I was finding the perfect home for that particular garment.




If like me, you have a whole plethora of T-Shirts, particularly graphic tees and slogan tees – I’ve found out a simple folding method to fold them all in a way that you can see the graphic/writing on the tee. Observe Iram Ahmed in her folding phase…

…And Ta-Dah!! You have a sea of tees all neatly folded and colour coded!

Folding them this way is a method I like to call Read your Clothing – this is seen in quite a literal sense with the tees where the majority of them have slogans, phrases, quotes etc. but reading your clothing is all about having an easy access to that specific piece you want to wear that day. This folding example¬†allows you to see ALL of your T-shirts at a first glance from when you first open the draw, and from there it’s just an easy grab and go ūüôā


…and this doesn’t just stop at t-shirts! I’ve carried this through to my sweats and pyjamas too…



Following on from how to read your clothing, I’ve also adapted this into my jeans!
Take a look at the clip of below…

Now, I am aware that towards the end of the clip, the stack of jeans doesn’t look all that neat. The way I have folded these is purely down to more practicality reasons instead of visual perfection.

If you have a lot of jeans, you are bound to have some pairs that are really similar to each other – but of course, to you, they’re not. You might have one pair that may be an inch longer than the other which of course only you would understand. So, when you are looking for said jean, you don’t want to get confused with other similar looking jeans which therefore may lead to you destorying your whole pile of neatly (ish) folded jeans.

…This is where my method comes in!

See how all my jeans are folded so that the labels and tags on the inside are visible and facing outwards? This therefore allows you to view the style of the jean instantly i.e. your Mom’s from your Skinny and Straight Legs etc. as well as also being able to view the size.

For example, you may have a blue Skinny, 28W 30L Jean but you’re really feeling that you want to wear your blue embroidered Skinny, 29W 32L Jeans that particular day. So, here we have two blue jeans that will look similar when folded. However, because you used my amazing folding method, you have an easy access to reading the tag, so you know exactly which ones to pull out! Easy peasy ūüôā


Okay, and now we are onto our final little installment … the FINISHING TOUCHES.

To give my wardrobe a break from all the heaviness of the clothes, I decided to incoportae some of my books and little decorative pieces to lighten up the insides and give the wardrobe amd clothes some breathing space too!

To achieve this, I tried to be as minimal possible and the key is to not overcrowd the space – just because there’s a gap doesn’t mean you have to fill it. As I am majority of the time all for maximalism, ¬†this is one of those rare moments where I feel that less is actually more, shocking, I know.


And there you have it! Probably the most organised post I have and will ever write in my whole entire life!

Now I’m ready for Netflix to notice me so I can start my own show, move over Marie Kondo …

…Folding freak out – I x

Photo Diary: Birthday in Barcelona



First off, I hope everybody had a really lovely start to the new year, if you’ve¬†already seen my Instagram and Snapchat spams then you’ll all know that I blooming had the best start to the year!! My family only went and took me to Spain for my birthday! Like what?!?! Absolute crazinesssssss! It was the best birthday of my life, besides the fact of how old I was turning – but¬†let’s not dwell on that…
I can’t thank¬†my sisters and brother-in-law enough for taking me – also for being my personal photographers and videographers – had to keep up-to-date with OOTD’s guys! This post is kind of a lengthy one but only because it’s jam-packed with pictures and very little writing so for now I’ll shut up and let you enjoy my little(ish) gallery of all the places I visited and things I did in beautiful Barcelona.

Saturday 7th January (My Birthday!)



We stayed at the beautiful Vincci Mae Barcelona Hotel ¬†which is situated towards the centre of the city and walking distance from a lot of attractions. The staff were so lovely, always greeted with an “HOLA” from the desk every time we were leaving or arriving and the rooms weren’t too shabby either!


Sunday 8th January


Barcelona Zoo



Camp Nou (New Camp) Stadium


So, I’ve never been much of a football fan apart from when something big his happening in the footy world like the World Cup or something, but oh my, I fell so in love with the Barcelona football team – and the stadium too! Now, I’ve always been a fan of Lionel Messi, he’s one of the few footballers I know (and that’s only because he’s the greatest footballer in the world, debatable I know but he’s the best in my eyes). Anyway, we were able to see all the many, many, many, MANY trophies and cups that the Barcelona team have won over the years, many photos of the footballers too¬†ūüėČ Then there was the chance to walk out onto the sidelines of the pitch, visit the press pit and even take a gander into¬†players’ locker room!


ALSO, it’s not every day you get to have an Outfit of the Day photoshoot in an empty football stadium – apparently I had amused one of the tour guides by¬†taking pictures whilst sitting on the stairs rather than using the pitch as my backdrop… he clearly did not understand the ways of an OOTD shoot.




Monday 9th January



Sagrada Familia


All I can say about this building is that it is so so sooooo beautiful, I cannot even express in words or do it any justice in pictures of how beautiful. My sister (Adeeba) and I¬†had already visited it the night before – only being able to see it from outside – but even then when we could just see it in the light of the street lamps, it ¬†quite literally took our breaths¬†away. You just don’t expect something so grand and gorgeous to be in the centre of all the hustle and bustle of the city. Just from looking at the pictures I remember how bad my neck hurt from having to crane it all the way up to take in all the beauty… so worth it though. Gaudi, you bloody genius.

Gothic Quarter




Park Guell

To carry on with the Gaudi guide, we visited Park Guell. Just see for yourself how amazing it is…


I still remember making my own little fantastic and strange building out of clay from studying Gaudi in Year 7 Art and from then on, I’ve always wanted to travel to Barcelona to see his work in real life. Also, when I was younger I was a huge fan of the Cheetah Girls – please, please tell me that people remember the Cheetah girls – ¬†and to this day I still remember the scene they filmed in this very park in their second movie – anyone else remember? It was basically my 10/11 year old self’s dream come true, so of course I geeked out – but I was totally here for the art and culture too, not just because Raven Symone had been dancing on these stairs,¬†okay?




Tuesday 10th January

And this was the sad, sad day where we had to say our goodbyes to Barcelona and head home ūüė¶


But oh my word, it was such an amazing trip, the perfect birthday and the best start to the year. I cannot thank my family enough for spoiling me and all I keep thinking about now is…

“Where are you guys taking me next year?” ūüėČ ūüėČ ūüėČ

 I .. x

*All photos taken with an Olympus PEN

VLOG | Volunteering at Calais | With Help Refugees

So, I’ve received a lot of messages via Snapchat and Instagram from a lot of lovely people that they think I should start my own YouTube channel. And I’ve always sort of ignored it because I’ve always felt like I’ve never had the confidence, and I am a crazed fan¬†of Youtube lookbooks, hauls, and tutorials from all my favourite bloggers. So, I’ve always thought I’d never be able to rise up to that level. I always told myself that if I was to make videos I’d want to inspire people, so as soon as I found out that I was going to volunteer at a Calais refugee camp I thought, “this is my chance, I’m just gonna vlog the whole thing!” Even if the footage wasn’t going up anywhere I knew¬†I’d regret it if I didn’t have anything to remember the trip by. So, this is my little tester video to see if it inspires me to make more!

I tried my best to get as much footage as possible, but obviously I was there to work and help and getting my camera out and talking to it in front of a bunch of strangers allowed me to gain a few funny looks, haha!¬†Also, due to security reasons, we weren’t allowed to take pictures or film in front of the warehouse. We also had the chance to spend 2 days talking to a lot of the refugees in the camps, but again, footage of that was very limited. So, I’m afraid a lot of the video consists of my face talking to the camera, sorryyyyy! Talking to a camera lens was strange enough too, it’s something I feel will take a little getting used to – I have a whole new level of respect for those Youtube bloggers that vlog all the time and make it look like a piece of cake, because this stuff is¬†really hard! – But hopefully this will inspire some people to get out there and make a difference in the world.

Even though I was only volunteering in Calais for a week, it was enough for me to become majorly inspired and feel a part of a massive movement! Help Refugees is an organisation run purely by volunteers, some long-term and some short-term (like me) and each¬†and every person I met there had so much passion and determination for this cause. There were a number of people who had left their jobs and careers to volunteer full time and I know what you’re thinking, “How can they afford to do that?” But a lot of the long term volunteers lived in caravans on the warehouse site! My mum had this idea that I’d be slumming it in a sleeping bag in the middle of the jungle somewhere so she was fairly surprised too when she saw where I was staying! And I feel like this is something that a lot of people think, which may put them off going to places like this, but¬†I went within a group of 10 lovely, lovely people and we had a fair bit of luxury as we stayed in an Air BnB – and by luxury I mean that we had showers and cookers – and we didn’t have to splash the cash with that either.

It sounds really soppy but with every person I had met there, it felt as if I’d known them a lifetime, and I won’t be able to justice to the atmosphere and feeling you get within an environment like that, so I’m going to stop writing and just let you watch the video.¬†When you’re there¬†it’s like you were inside a little bubble and sort of switch off from the rest of the world and the video does a little more¬†justice to the experience, but basically you have to just go there and see it for yourselves! I’ll shut up now and just let you watch the video..Oh, and let me know what you guys thought of it, please! Just click on the image below to view it ūüôā

First time vlogger, out x

help refugees thumbnail

Getting Lippy | With Gerard Cosmetics and NYX

Hi Guys!

So now that my university assignments are out the way, ¬†I have something called a life back!! However, the internet hasn’t been my friend recently, and after some technical difficulties – stupid WordPress wiped out the initial draft of this post! – I AM BAAAACK! And it is with this post where I feel like I am finally doing some justice towards my blog name!

Yeah, as you’ve probably already guessed I am talking all things lippy and sharing with you all my favourite shades of the season! More specifically about these “Liquid Matte Lipsticks” that I am obsessing over, and if you haven’t already familiarised with them, then where the bloody hell have you been living?! ¬†Because they’re everywhere! I¬†was getting bored with my current lipstick collection as I don’t really go all out and daring with some colours – quite frankly because I don’t suit them – so I tend to go for nude and natural colours (obviously with a few red lippy’s thrown in there too)! So, I thought the liquid lipsticks would be a perfect update to my makeup bag and when I saw the word “matte” printed across these babies, I was sold! Well, it doesn’t really take much to sell to me, but let’s not dwell on my shopaholic problems just yet, we’ll save that for another day. For now, let’s see some shades…



I have chosen NYX and Gerard Cosmetics products today because up to now they have been the only liquid lipsticks I have tried that last, ALL DAY. Once I found the beautiful NYX counter standing there all pretty and ever so beautiful in the Boots store, I was hooked. It was like one of those moments in a movie where the girl sees the guy she fancies and everything else around them just fades away and is suddenly non-existent, apart from that guy. Well, that’s what this felt like. And I saw that I wasn’t the only person who was in love with this counter as much as I was, the NYX display was HEAVING with girls! So after I elbowed my way through the crowd – yes, you read right – I literally ELBOWED my way through to the lips display, until I finally reached the front! And seeing that the lipsticks were ¬†¬£6.50 a tube, I admit things got a little cray-cray from there as I bought more than I intended! It was one of those sorry, not sorry moments! As for obtaining the Gerard Cosmetics lipsticks, it was a simple online order from the comfort of my own home with a cup of tea, the best kind of shopping if you ask me! At ¬£13.59 a tube though, I was very weary with the colours I was purchasing, but looking at them now, I feel like I made some good choices!

The Gerard Cosmetics application is lovely, it glides on easy, I find only one coat is more than enough and once it’s on, the colour ¬†doesn’t budge, like at all. Even with a makeup wipe you will need a little bit of elbow grease to get it off. The only downside I found was the slight stickiness that would be left on your lips after the colour dries to a matte look. They look amazing but that sticky feel just takes some getting used to! With¬†NYX¬†it’s exactly the same! – minus the stickiness, the texture is much softer. However, I did find having to reapply throughout the day with NYX. BUT apart from a massive price difference, I didn’t find these two brands that much different at all! Now, let’s go into further detail of my faves…

The following shades range from lightest to darkest:

Lip 1: “Soft Spoken” – NYX
The perfect everyday lip, it’s like having nothing on your lips, but you have something on your lips, the ‘no-lipstick’ lipstick, the barely there look .. you get the idea. Nude with a peachy glow!


Lip 2: “Iced Mocha” – Gerard Cosmetics
This was an “I’m going to try a colour I’ve never worn before” kind of buy, and I have to say I am lovinggg¬†it! I have never found a colour that is more true to its name, this frosty brown is totally unique.


Lip 3: “1995” – Gerard Cosmetics
So take a wild guess as to why I bought this colour, not because I was born in 1995 or anything, jeeez, who would do something like that? I would do something like that, me, guilty. But I have no regrets from it! It’s similar to the Iced Mocha but with a much warmer tone!


Lip 4: “Cherry Skies” NYX
Because you always need a traditional red lip! It’s some kind of rule, right? Well, you can never have too many red lippy’s – and that’s a fact!


Lip 5: “Vintage” – NYX
It’s dark, (much darker than it what it shows in the picture I promise you) and daring! This is the kind of colour you would base the rest of your makeup look around! I love the punky, rocker edge it has to it without being too harsh!

And that is the end of my Lippy Lookbook! I honestly had so much fun shooting and writing this that I definitely want to make more posts like this! If there’s anything else that you guys would like to see from me then drop a comment, email me, message me on Instagram, tweet me, whatever you want, but just get in touch! And if you have any other lippy recommendations for me then let me know ASAP! I’m addicted!

So, my makeup advice usually stops at just the lips, I am hopeless at everything else but I know somebody who slaaaaays in the makeup game, and that is Louise Kaur. She has her own YouTube channel where she gives tutorials and shows you makeup hauls and honestly she’s just damn right hilarious, so go take a look at her magic heeeere!


Lippy Lover out x

Lost in a Fairytale: Celebrations and Dissertation


Talk about you March Madness! Let me give you an update…

My eldest sister is about to tie the knot at the end of this of month and I am way too excited about this because guess who gets to be a Bridesmaid!?! Yeah, I doooooo! And it’s got the point where everything is starting to come together and all the exciting stuff has come around like appointments with florists, choosing bouquets for the Bride and Bridesmaids, button holes for the Gents and all that jazz. Picking the perfect dresses, getting fitted into those dresses etc. But I think the most adorable production that has come from all of this, is the invites. The wedding has a Fairytale theme to it, therefore,¬†my sister wanted the¬†invites to have a specific look to them. So it was left to her loving family to help make them exactly the way she wanted. For those who have added me on Snapchat would have seen the hard work that went into creating these babies. The boxes were flat packed¬†and yours truly had to make them up. The ribbon tie around the scrolls was cut and glued together and the boxes were finished off with pretty pink organza – and I didn’t know what organza was until I was tieing the bows – See, I learned something new from all this! And without being biased or anything… they looked AMAZING!


Soooo pretty, right?


Alongside all of this wedding prep I have to keep reminding myself that I am still a student and I still have assignments and yep, still writing that dissertation!! That is due next month. Right now I do feel like Sleeping Beauty who has just woke from a 100-year slumber, except it’s more like a 2-month slumber because I did not see January or February go by at all! And there was no curse (as far as I know) or spindle wheels…or a Prince. So yeah, maybe Sleeping Beauty was a bad example but you get the gist. But the weird thing is that my dissertation also has a Fairytale theme to it! It was a complete coincidence but it’s as though everything around me has got me feeling like I’m in a Disney movie.

I remember at the end of the second year of uni we had to pitch our dissertation ideas to our tutors before the third year began. That was when quite a few people said to me “Don’t choose a topic that you enjoy, you’ll end up hating it when you’re finished.” And I understood where they were coming from because it is possible to ¬†research things to the extent of having enough and wanting to be done with it. So I followed this advice and I initially had the idea to write a short story of some kind of dystopian or parallel universe, which I know has been done over and over and over before but I wanted to challenge myself into trying to make it unique from anything else that has been written before. And guess what? I tried it and failed at it, so it was time for the backup idea!

Enter: The Fairytale.

Now, I absolutely love the fantasy world. In the childhood days, Walt Disney held a special place in the hearts of the Ahmed household, getting us to believe the bird from Dumbo delivered all the babies in the world (still thought it until I was at an age I am too embarrassed to state) Ah, so naive! So it was easy to see where my dissertation would be heading, yep, down the path of Dragons and Pixies – there are actually no Dragons or Pixies in my dissertation at all – but there is a mix of poetry and prose in, so still a challenge, but a good one! My research involved a lot of readings of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, it’s been my favourite from a small age and recently I found a really cute edition of it in Waterstones here!¬†With other reads such as Peter Pan, The Snow Queen, and Grimm’s Fairy Tales all counted as research I regret not writing about something I love sooner. I wasted so much time trying to look into a genre that I couldn’t really wrap my head around and I am really glad I changed my idea before it was too late.


It’s got pink flamingo’s on it! What’s not to like about that?!

So, for anyone who is about to go into their third year, it’s sometimes best to follow your own instincts. It’s good to get advice from others, but I wouldn’t follow it blindy! But maybe that’s just me, in my opinion, when you research something you’re passionate about then that passion and enthusiasm will show in your writing too. That makes sense right? But just remember everybody works in their own way. It’s worked for me because I am actually loving writing this dissertation. There have been quite a few hiccups along the way that have been smoothed out buI feel like my only problem right now is TIME! It’s coming around far too quickly.


My desk most days!


My sister’s wedding is before the dissertation deadline- win! – but being the sister of the Bride is apparently a big deal or something. Oh did I mention I was a Bridesmaid? Yeah? Oh, okay. Anyhoo, that means sharing my time doing all the things that Bridesmaids are supposed to do alongside the dissertation (as well as other assignments), being a good student and trying to attend all lectures and seminars whilst holding onto sanity and maintaining a social life. And I swear if one more person asks me what I am going to do after I finish Uni you’re just gonna get glared at and ignored by me because honestly I have no idea. I only have 2 months left of being a student and I’m trying my best in taking advantage of all the student perks. (Although my NUS card doesn’t expire until December 2017 – not complaining about that!) The next step for me is entering the big, scary, real world and I feel like my sister is kind of in the same situation as she’ll be entering a whole new world too – okay, the Aladdin pun was seriously not intended there.

It’s as though we have just read the words Once Upon A Time¬†of this tale and it is beginning to skip all the pages in between. For my sister, according to the way¬†of a lot of fairy tales, once you marry the Prince you have reached those closing words of Happily Ever After and she can now see those words there at the bottom of the page.

I’m kind of at my own Happily Ever After but instead of a Prince I’m hoping mine right now will be in the form of a degree! And very soon I’ll be starting all over again at the beginning with another Once Upon A Time as I step into the adult world of work.

So, now I’m gonna fix myself a cuppa’ and watch the new episode of Pretty Little Liars! But you can keep up to date with all things weddingy¬†on my Instagram¬†and add me on Snapchat too with username iramahmed95¬†where I’ve recently been updating and commentating a behind-the-scenes look at wedding preparations and other things that I see as potentially interesting.

Bridesmaid-to-be out!


Book Review: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

It has now got to the point where there is a lot going off at university with assignments and research and that dreaded dissertation! So, I felt that to keep me sane I needed a small break! For normal people that may mean a little trip somewhere, a small getaway. But no, I decided that my break away from all that uni reading had to be filled with oh, more reading. Yep, it’s come to that now. But I was bloody glad I did because this little gem was just the most amazing thing I had read in a really long time.

As some of you may already know that Me Before You¬†has been adapted into a movie that’s going to be released later this year in June (starring Sam Claflin and Emilia Clarke) and it was from watching the trailer that willed me to buy the book. I’m still into the whole ‘reading the book before the movie’ kind of thing so I can then criticise the movie for missing out my favourite parts or changing little bits in the plot and ruining the overall magic of the book. But judging from the trailer I watched I have high hopes for it! Then again, Sam Claflin (who I adore. A lot!) is in it so I already know I’m going to love it.

So, without any spoilers here’s a bit about the story itself…

Jojo Moyes sets the scene in a cute, quiet, little town which is where we meet our protagonist, Louisa (Lou) Clark is currently living. For any girl in their twenties and trying to cope with life, you will find yourself instantly relating to Lou and everything she says and does. Believe me. Not only her but I love the way Moyes characterises¬†the whole of the Clark family; a very close-knit family living a typical British lifestyle with their love, support, and many cups of teas just warmed my heart and makes the book feel so real. Then there’s Will Traynor. A quadriplegic patient bound to a chair for the rest of his life due to a motorcycle accident and is in need of twenty-four hour care. He’s sarcastic, grumpy and I quote from Moyes ‘a bit of an arse’ but through Lou’s perspective, somehow you fall completely in love with him. Although they both grew up in the same small village, Will and Lou have never encountered each other until now. They come from two very different¬†worlds who¬†need each other and begin to show each other all the thing they¬†have¬†been missing out on in life. I don’t know how Moyes does it but she perfectly captures the reality of the situations that Lou and Will find themselves in. There were times when I felt¬†awkward and uncomfortable in some scenes but it was because you become so connected with these characters it is hard not to feel what they feel.

From start to finish the novel is completely full of ups and downs. Moyes has this sheer writing talent of being able to write with such wit where you’ll be laughing at one point but then you’ll turn the next page and be in floods of tears. (There may or may not have been a bit I was reading that caused me to cry, a lot, whilst sat on a train, in a carriage full of people, sniffling whilst pretending to¬†check my phone but secretly looking to see that my mascara wasn’t halfway down my face.) Again, I don’t know how Moyes does it! The way she transitions her writing style from heartwarming to suddenly heartbreaking is a very talented thing to do indeed!


Buy your copy here

This book will inspire you and maybe make you appreciate life a little more. That sounded really cheesy but it’s the good kind of cheese, I promise you. The book is roughly 500 pages long and I read it in two days, I’m quite a slow reader so that is like a world record for me. I just couldn’t put it down. Then, after I had finished it¬†I was in a slight daze, it was that stage where I was like ‘what the hell do I do with my life now?’ That was when I saw that magical word that every bookworm will appreciate – sequel – yes, the sequel to Me Before You¬†is quite rightfully titled¬†After You¬†and one that I will be reading kind of immediately.

All I can say is reeeeaaad it. That’s all.

Emotionally unstable bookworm out xx

Wishlisting over on ASOS


So, over the past couple of months I’ve done a fair bit of grafting in the world of work and today I woke up to find I had been paid not just from one of my jobs but BOTH of them! Say whaaaat! I promised myself that when this day arrived that I would be a good girl and not buy anything (I had this whole save, save, save state of mind thing going on) but it’s as though I have this natural instinct (that I have no control over whatsoever) and before I know it I’m¬†immediately reaching over to my laptop and the pretty pretty clothes and shoes on the Asos website are staring straight at me. Then I’m sat there thinking how did this happen? I don’t know what’s going on? But then something else inside of me pipes up and is shouting out things like;¬†‘you deserve this”look how amazing those jeans are’ *adds to saved items* ‘you already have the perfect shoes that will match that top, get it.’ *adds to saved items* And the process never ends! Does anybody else get this way too? This battle with yourself? Anyways, moving away from my personal psychoanalysis… here we have my top picks from Asos at the moment that have already made reservations in my wardrobe. Just click on a picture to shop it, there’s a nice little variety on there and with this ongoing, freezing cold weather situation, a lot of it should keep you snug as a bug! I’m¬†obsessing over the navy and powder pink colour combo and have recently been introduced the beauty that is¬†the cylindrical heeled boots!¬†If any of you have any favourites yourself, share them with me! Because I’m filthy, stinkin’ rich dontcha know? *she exclaims with wishful, delusional thoughts.* Oh, and don’t forget to take a peek over on my Instagram¬†to see some of these pieced together in full outfit form (when they eventually arrive that is) ūüôā

Happy shopping!  xo

All images shown in this post belong to ASOS

Published, Baby!

Happy New Year, Guys!

So, I’ve been working on this post for some time but with Christmas, work, assignments and the New Year getting in the way it got really delayed. Also, it took a while for me to wrap my head around what actually happened and it was something¬†very very VERY exciting! If I haven’t already spammed your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram news feeds, (sorry about that) you may have guessed from the title, that yes, I’M PUBLISHED! One of my short stories –¬†The Cores –¬†that I began writing in my first year of University has been printed in the pages of The Young Writers’ Anthology 2015¬†by Electric Reads – exciting! This is Electric Reads’ first ever anthology and that just made me feel even more honoured to be a part of it! It’s publishing companies like these that I absolutely adore because they search for those unknown British writers lurking in the shadows just waiting for opportunities to strike and they give them that chance to put a foot in the door of the world of writing – as it has done for me! And right now I feel like the luckiest girl in the world! What a lovely way to end 2015 eh?


The paperback version of The Young Writers’ Anthology and also in Kindle format!


I highly recommend you all to pick up a copy of the anthology, not because my story is in there (who am I kidding, of course it’s because my story is in there!) But there is also a huge variety of raw, young, British¬†talent out there that is featured in this one publication. As I was reading some of the other short stories within it I was immediately asking myself how I was considered to be chosen to be in the same category as this gifted bunch! Of course my mum will argue that mine is the best, so to keep the peace let’s all agree with her. Agreed? Good. ¬†ūüėČ

On a more serious note though, if any of you are aspiring writers and want¬†a platform such as this to get your name out there somewhere, here’s what I did.

*Cue my publishing journey*

I was lucky enough to stumble across the Electric Reads ‘Call for Submissions’ article on my creative writing university blog (Beyond the Walls) If you’re in school/college/university then taking a look at their creative arts programs for competitions and submissions is a good place to start. I saw this article in¬†early September and when I saw the closing date was the 31st October I quickly jumped at the chance to apply for it!

I had taken a look-see at the submission guidelines – I can’t emphasise how important this is, for any aspiring writers,¬†you could¬†write an epic, amazing piece for a magazine/journal/anthology/article or whatever and it won’t be what they are looking for! So they’ll simply dismiss it and it will break your heart. Luckily, Electric Reads were looking for prose (my speciality!) and something unique, creative and original (not as easy to¬†achieve!) Oh, and I had to be 25 and under and British so, from reading this I seemed to be ticking all the boxes that the submission guidelines consisted of – debatable about the originality part – and I instantly thought that my short story The Cores¬†would¬†be perfect for it. After drafting and re-drafting what I had wrote a year and a half ago I finally thought it was acceptable to submit (well, I wasn’t perfectly happy with it but then again I never am when it comes to my own writing!) So I submitted it a few days prior to the deadline.

A few days later. . .

To my surprise¬†I received an email to say my piece had been SHORTLISTED! So that’s when I thought, wow! Okay, that’s it that’s as far as I’m going to get, to be shortlisted is such an honour and it’s something I can still put on my CV, always thinking ahead me! But as a shortlisted writer I was told by the publishing company that I still had to provide some details about myself like a short bio and a photograph! Believe me, the hardest part about this whole experience was trying to find a photograph of myself that didn’t make me look like a mug. We got there in the end, well, kind of.


After I sent all that the next step was just to wait. Yes, it was painful because whilst waiting I was thinking to myself ‘OMG, what if I was too ego-centrical in my bio? What if I really did look like a mug in my photo and they don’t want anything to do with me now?’ I’m an over thinker, okay? So after what felt like a year (I think realistically it was like 4 days) I received an email to say that I had been chosen within the top 25 to be PUBLISHED!!! That’s when it all started to feel completely surreal and everything moved really quickly. I was assigned an editor to work with and he read over my piece and returned it to me with feedback and suggestions of what he thinks I should change/add. This was a process I didn’t mind doing because I love constructive criticism, this guy is just trying to make my story better, how could I argue with that?! So within the course of about 2-3 weeks my story had evolved massively. After a final proof-read it was ready for print!

THEN, IT WAS THE DAY WE HAD ALL BEEN WAITING FOR! The release date came about on the 11th December and the anthology was first available in an¬†e-book and then the paperback version followed it a few hours later on Amazon. Of course, mum was already on the job ordering her own copy and arrived at our door a couple of days later. The whole thing just felt so surreal (it still does!) I don’t think it’s really sunk in yet. When we opened the book to my page (the biggest shock was seeing my face take up a whole page on all its own) but they were MY words printed in that book, MY story, and I don’t think I’m ever going to get used to that feeling.


ALSO, I also had the privilege to be published alongside a fellow York St John Creative Writing student and friend, Bryony Eilish Porteous. She has had her short story The Drude printed in this anthology too and I have to say it is such a unique, stunning read! This girl is crazy talented in story-telling which is why you need to pick yourself up a copy!

And I think that’s about it! Hope you guys enjoyed the post and¬†have an AMAZING New Year!¬†All the best for 2016!

I xo






Photo Diary: A Weekend in Whitby

From light breezes to blustering winds, drizzly¬†spells to torrential rainfall and times where you are just simply left breathless – and I’m not just talking about walking up and down those hundred and ninety-nine steps several times – but whether it be in the warmth of the golden sun or through blurred vision¬†because¬†the wind has struck you and you’re crying rivers,¬†Whitby is still without a doubt, breathtakingly beautiful.

You see, writing can get so overwhelming and stressful at times that a break is needed to avoid the risk of one becoming a sectioned patient. Luckily for us, our amazing creative writing tutors understood this and organised a weekend retreat to Whitby where we able to escape, to write, or to just take in the lovely sights that Whitby consisted of where inspiration was lurking on every cobbled corner. And it was definitely a wonderful break indeed! Minus those killer steps of course Рour hostel was situated on the cliff top and the easiest way to get into the town was to go down that bugger of a staircase Рbut no pain, no gain right?

We arrived at the hostel and I’m sure the first question asked was “what’s the WIFI password?” (I may or may not have wanted to know that myself.) So¬†once all that important stuff¬†was out the way we had¬†our chance to explore! Yes, we were at the seaside but let’s not forget it’s November (and this is Britain) so I¬†basically wanted to wrap up so much that if I fell and hit the floor, the goal was to bounce straight off the ground and get back up again! (Fortunately I didn’t fall but that meant I was never able to test that theory.) So, hats, scarves, boots were the basics, obviously gloves were out of the question because then I wouldn’t be able to use¬†my phone. #FirstWorldProbs

Whitby has always been a special place from a literary perspective as its mesmerising scenes has influenced many great writers – Lewis Carroll and of course, Bram Stoker are just a couple. Now, it was OUR time¬†to become inspired!¬†We¬†had the pleasure of walking through cemeteries where the gravestones¬†looked more like¬†props stolen from a movie set (except there were actual real people buried underneath these ones.) We took a gander round the little town, discovered tiny coffee shops that seemed only fit for hobbits – there was a lot of “Mind Your Head” signs about it – I met some overly friendly donkeys and I think I probably made friends with more dogs than I did with people ūüôā

We had a night dedicated to the students for their chance to read out what they had written over the course of the first day, I just have to say, I was surrounded by some crazy, mad talent in there! Being in the company of such a lovely group of people, bonding and meeting some amazing new friends has definitely been the highlight of the trip! Okay, soppy moment over.

And I think that’s it in a nutshell! So, here I have created a little photo diary of my time over the retreat. I switched into photographer mode quite often, okay, very often (I got a little excited at the Abbey ruins as you may be able to tell)¬†and of course, there’s plenty of selfie action!

Somehow all 199 of those steps seemed to have had some kind of inspirational powers because writer, Michael Farber has wrote a whole novel about them. I don’t know what he was on whilst he was walking up (and down) them, but I want some of it. The point being, I intend to read his novel that is, oh shocker, called¬†The Hundred and Ninety Nine Steps to¬†try and find some positivity from the devil that made me feel like I’d done three straight days of¬†leg-day at the gym! Okay, I’ve never been to a leg-day session in my life but if I did, I imagine it would feel like that.

Also, a massive, massive thank you to the Creative Writing Team at York St John! We had a blast!

Follow @YSJWriting on Twitter for more pictures of how the trip went down.

Relaxed Retreater out x