Today, I guess.

“Monday’s aren’t so bad, I’m into the whole start of a new week productivity kick, but I find listening to a Ted Talk in the morning is really motivating and interesting depending on what you listen to…” – M (answer to last Monday’s question by @fromheretothereblog, who shared her Monday routine, which is strikingly similar to mine!)

This would be my third post since university has started, which from an idealist point of view, is a ‘job well done’ for keeping up with blogging whilst getting into the new academic routine. But let’s be realistic, if I carried on at this rate then within the next two months – my blog would be as dormant as it was before summer.

However, the difference between this September and September 2015, is that I know i’ll continue blogging (regularly) simply because I really, really enjoy it.

Well Hi,

It’s been a week since I have started university as a second year student and I have a couple of things to say. Firstly, what’s with all the maths and computing students. I mean sitting in the library trying to focus on work with a pair of frantically calculating math-ers sat near by sort of just, blows the words right out of me.

Ok that was a slight exaggeration and

Math-ers isn’t a word. My point exactly.

Just seeing the stress suddenly falling on to their face like a ton of acute angled bricks (get it) makes me feel a little well, nauseas. Don’t get me wrong, I admire them for doing what they love.

I do not hate numbers, but I do have a problem with the way mathematics are taught. You might have figured by the nature of this impromptu rant, that me and math don’t really form the most successful marriage. I struggled with math as a child. I still do. I wasn’t the smartest kid in school. However, my ‘above average’ performance in English, meant that I was just ‘expected’ to excel in all other subjects too.

Before I move on, what does ‘average’ even mean. I understand certain levels are set in the education system, in order to recognise those that are struggling and need the extra attention. But how me performing well in one subject meant that I had to automatically do well in maths too, didn’t make much sense to me. 

Recalling my own experience at school has made me think of children at school as young as 6 years old that think they’re not ‘good enough’ because they don’t fit a certain academic criteria. I don’t think that’s the healthiest mind set a child should grow up believing. 

Well that concludes this rather shaky update (literally…im on a train) 

Rimsha 

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To contact me regarding a collaboration or to simply get in touch, drop me an email at: rimsharasul8@gmail.com

 

Papergang: Review

I received my second helping of the stationery subscription box (papergang), yesterday but I had to wait 24 hours until I could tear the box open. I’m sure most of you can understand the level of self-control I had to reach in order to wait.

Again, no – this blogpost is not sponsored by papergang, or anybody actually.

This is simply the Tuesday morning confessions of a stationery lover!

Papergang is (according to their Instagram page) a monthly subscription box by Ohh Deer, for paper lovers. I subscribed to their monthly box some time in August, before the August box was issued and what I will be reviewing today is the September box. Before even getting into the review, I must say what I love most about this subscription box is that it comes in a slim box that the post man can just slip through your post-box and the packaging is always extremely eye-catching, papergang post sure does brighten up my day.

The Contents:

wp-1474964387835.jpegscreenshot_2016-09-27-09-13-36-2.pngGiftwrap: animals in party hats. In other words, the coolest giftwrap you can find

screenshot_2016-09-27-09-13-36-5-1.pngPlanner: blue ombre weekly planner ‘my week’.

screenshot_2016-09-27-09-13-36-6.pngPrinted Calendar: for the month of October

screenshot_2016-09-27-09-13-36-4.pngGreeting Card: a card which reads ‘Its your birthday’ with cute birdies all over.

screenshot_2016-09-27-09-13-36-3.pngGreeting Card: which reads ‘Hedge Hugging’, I adore this as it gives you the option of giving this to a friend for any occasion.

screenshot_2016-09-27-09-13-36-1.pngSticky Notes Pad: it reads, ‘lets get this shit done’.

A little more about the hands behind the box. The accessories are designed and illustrated by independent UK artists with the funkiest designs I have seen on stationery, which I think gives the box a unique touch.

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‘artwork by Lizzy Doyle’

 

Despite claiming to love stationery, I have actually never bought a planner before because, well I guess I’d never found one which suited me. The planner in this month’s box is a whole other story.

Firstly the turquoise ombre cover is gorgeous but other than that, I was sold by the plastic cover around the planner – which has a zip at the back.

It is basically a planner with a built-in pencil case *inserts heart eyes emoji*. Of course I had to show you the stationery inception in action.

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The box also includes greeting cards that tie-in with the animal theme of the box.

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The review would be almost incomplete if I didn’t introduce you to Drew. When I received by first box last month – this was the first thing that popped out –

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Drew is an iron on patch, and leader of the papergang. If you’ve figured out anything about me by now, then you’ll know just how adorable I think this idea is. A cute iron-on patch to initiate membership for me, gives the entire connection a personal touch.

I thoroughly love all the items in this months box and I would definitely recommend you to subscribe to the box to. The contents card totals the contents of the box to just over £20, the box is sold for £9.95.

They do ship to most countries, if where you live is not on their list, you can also request for them to add it on.

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There you have it, my Tuesday blue’s.

See how I customised a plain old notebook using last months papergang packaging and washi tape here.

I hope you have a wonderful week ahead,

Rimsha

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To contact me regarding a collaboration or to simply get in touch, drop me an email at: rimsharasul8@gmail.com

What’s In My Bag

I can’t think of a more fitting introduction to this post, than to tell you that I officially go ‘back to school’ tomorrow! Which means the official end of summer and the official kick start to getting things organised.

I was inspired quite a few months ago to do a ‘what’s in my bag’ when I saw aclockworkhafsa‘s version on her (ever so wonderful) blog. This may not be half as interesting as I thought it would be initially, but to my trusted readers that stay tuned till the end – answer this weeks question in the comments (the quirkiest answer will have their blog/site/Instagram page shouted out at the start of my next post or the next respective Monday.)

So, the bag.

I’m quite a fashion wimp when it comes to bag type accessories, as I tend to go for the most comfortable for university (because I commute, hence – walk around..a lot). I cant bring myself to purchase any colour other than black for my rucksack/backpack. I fear an alternative colour would get a little too mucky for everyday use in the winter.

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The bag is of a velvet feel, with gold zips and (faux) leather straps – I bought this from New Look not too long ago.

The basics I need in my bag (minus my books and crumpled assignments) are,

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screenshot_2016-09-19-12-23-35-4.png A lip balm, because I’m not a fan of chapped lips. Ok that was too scripted a reason, the truth is, I just love the smell of it. I mean its blackcurrant flavoured, do you blame me?

screenshot_2016-09-19-12-23-35-3.pngA mirror

screenshot_2016-09-19-12-23-35-5.png A roll-on, ehem. I am human and therefore I sweat. That sounds like a philosophical quote (it flows with the rhythm of – I think, therefore I am). I prefer roll-ons over spray deodorants, as certain fragrances can sort of make me travel sick. Or at least, add to it.

screenshot_2016-09-19-12-23-35-2.pngA travel cup/mug, some mornings – I prefer my tea on the go.

screenshot_2016-09-19-12-23-35-7.png A notebook/journal, because a girl needs a little paper in her bag!

screenshot_2016-09-19-12-23-35-8.png Speaking of paper. My wallet. I keep everything in here. Up until last year, I was in denial about large mum-ish wallets – it wasn’t until I got one that I realised just how much easier it makes life. I keep everything in here. You can even find my keys stuffed in one of the pockets.

screenshot_2016-09-19-12-23-35-1.png An umbrella. British weather is as unpredictable as my mind on a Thursday morning. It tends to rain almost everyday in autumn. All day. Did I mention everyday? eh, I’m not complaining.

screenshot_2016-09-19-12-23-35-6.png Lipstick/lip crayons, you know as well as I do that uni days can drag. I hate the look of a long day on my face, especially when I still have a lecture to go. For times like that, I need an emergency ‘pick me up’ to feel fresher and more motivated to continue. I find, pops of colours are like Paracetamol for my drained mind.

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Now I do have a tiny confession to make. I never use the mirrors I keep in my bag, I just buy them because I cant resist the pocket-sized cuteness. Who can?

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Being a student is synonymous to balancing larger than life text-books without toppling over. I don’t like to fill my bag with text-books, firstly; I doubt they would even fit in and secondly; I may not be strong enough to carry 8 + giant books on my back. Which is why I carry this …

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A pouch that contains a plastic/waterproof reusable bag. It may not be the most glamorous thing to carry books in, but it does the job!

and that is all that’s in my backpack. I have this very grey feeling that I have missed something crucial, but if it wasn’t in my bag and it was that important – I’ll realise when I’m frantically looking for it at the train station tomorrow morning.

Now tomorrow is Tuesday and the first day back to university for me – but I LOVE Mondays. I know I know, I’m probably one of a rare few. Share the Monday love with me by answering in the comments –

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE MONDAY QUOTE/SONG, ROUTINE OR SNACK THAT KEEPS YOUR MONDAY MOTIVATION AT ITS PEAK?

I hope you enjoyed this somewhat overly-descriptive log of whats in my bag,

Thank you for reading.

Rimsha

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To contact me regarding a collaboration or to simply get in touch, drop me an email at – rimsharasul8@gmail.com

Stationery + Notebook Cover; DIY

Last month, I purchased my first ever subscription box. The first thing that caught my attention was the funky marble cardboard packaging! In fact, I thought it was soo beautiful that I should cut it up and make good use of it. I’ve never done a DIY on my blog before, but there’s a first for everything right. Since ‘back to school’ season has commenced, this DIY is for those of you that like to add a personal touch to your stationery.

Today, I will be showing you how to customise a plain notebook and pencils using printed paper/card (which happens to be recycled packaging in my case) and the washi tape that I received in my paper gang subscription box.

No, this blogpost is not sponsored by papergang.

Of course, you can substitute the print and washi tape I use for colours/designs that you prefer.

D.I.Y Notebook Cover

  1. a plain notebook (or cover a notebook with black card)
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  2. pens/pencils/stationery of your choice
  3. a glass jar/glass mug (these are available at most kitchen/homeware stores and are very affordable)wp-1473936927040.jpeg

4. Basic equipment to cut and stick (scissors, glue, a ruler and pencil)

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To begin, you need to faintly line a large section of the card using a pencil and ruler (to ensure a straight edge) and cut the card along the pencil line.

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I cannot cut a straight line to save my life, but that can be fixed once you know how much card you need.

 

Next, measure the length and width of the space you would like to cover.

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Cut your desired shape (I kept mine as a long rectangle) and stick the card on to the notebook, like so –

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You may choose to finish here and leave your notebook like this,

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(or)

Roll out the washi tape and pull the tape along the length of the spiral/wire.

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cut the tape and neatly fold the excess over the edge of the cover and stick down.

 

Once I completed the notebook cover, I was obsessed with how the copper foil effect came out and proceeded to add washi tape to the ends of my favourite black pen, pencil – and also along the length of my ruler.

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TIP: Stick a small piece of card (left over from the material used to cover the notepad) at the end of your washi tape. This way, you wont ruin your tape whilst looking for the end the next time you use it.

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Finally, I filled my gold – rimmed glass jar with pens.

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the final look!

 

I think the matching notebook and stationery are great accessories to go in your school bag, or to use as display on your desk.

If you liked my first minimal DIY and would like me to share more, let me know in the comments and if you try this yourself – I would love to see how yours turns out!

Support my little blog by sharing this post with friends.

Love, Rimsha.

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To contact me regarding a collaboration or simply to get in touch, drop me an email at: rimsharasul8@gmail.com 

Self – Help

Hi,

Before you read on, I would like to make a couple of things clear (in the most non-disclaimer tone possible). What you’re about to read today is a collection of thoughts and feelings collated through the experiences of many lovely individuals who shared their stories with me – in hopes to help somebody else. I am not an expert.

If you’re familiar with my work on Instagram, then you might be aware of the fact that this is not the first time I am writing about mental health, well my reasons for that are because I strongly believe that the lack of attention towards mental health is a global issue that affects most nations – one that has not yet been properly addressed.

We are often under the misconception that mental health is linked to the ageing body and we class it as an issue that affects the elderly. Well, we couldn’t be more wrong. Although the figures cannot be measured exactly, mental health disorders as well as issues such as anxiety and depression have been known to affect children as young as five years old.

Don’t Suffer in Silence

People that are affected by mental health issues tend to suffer in silence, for many reasons. They fear that people would start to look at them differently, or that they would be treated differently, or they simply feel that nobody would be able to offer them the support they deserve without being judgemental.

The first step in helping yourself, is recognising that their is some sort of a problem. Often times, we’re in denial about our health – be it mental or physical, and we’re so caught up in our urban lifestyles that we lock any health concerns in to a tiny corner of our mind and some even throw away the key.

Either speak to somebody you can trust, yes you may not have much to say at all and you feel that you might sound ‘crazy’, but the matter can only escalate if you never let it off your mind. You don’t need ‘help’, if the four letter word scares you then don’t use it. What you do need, is to talk it out.

screenshot_2016-09-09-12-22-05-1.png(tip: if you like to write, record your thoughts in a journal – scribble therapy can do wonders)

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But…what is ‘it’?

There is a lot of controversy about what mental health is and the cause/symptoms of certain disorders. Some of the most common problems associated with mental health are; anxiety, depression and OCD.

OCD, which stands for obsessive compulsive disorder, is an anxiety disorder (which according to the oxford dictionary definition) is a disorder in which a person feels compelled to perform certain stereotyped actions repeatedly, to alleviate persistent fears or intrusive thoughts’. I don’t like to dwell on the intricate definitions of issues that can’t be identified or defined absolutely.

However, over the past few years, I have seen the term OCD being thrown around unconsciously and the disorder has been, what I like to call – glamourized. I myself, am not sure whether the humour that has been associated with the disorder is a good level of awareness, I often feel that the ‘jokey’ nature that has been created, takes away from the severity of the issue. Regardless of what you see OCD as, it is one of the most common disorders – 2.3% of the world’s population of adults aged 18-54 suffer from OCD.

“There will be days when getting up and going back to sleep will be all you do and the guilt of being usless will eat you alive – but don’t give up! You are important, your intentions are important” 

Anxiety, is known to lead to people unable to coordinate simple day-to-day tasks, making ordinary decisions can seem daunting and cause distress.

The build up of anxiety and stress can lead to panic attacks,

An anonymous contributor said,

“people should know that there are breathing exercises and techniques to monitor and trigger their attacks.” 

This is where the idea of ‘self-help’ may get tricky for some, the thought of having to manage something as terrifying as a panic attack alone seems impossible, but the truth is that a lot of these attacks can take place when you’re alone, and certainly have no ‘professionals’ around.

(reminder: if a therapist is not available, you can speak to your gp or family doctor – there is no shame in getting help)

What Can You Do?

If you are driving, pull over and park. Trying to get home during an attack would be dangerous, your attention does not need to be diverted, it needs to be relaxed. Focus on your breathing, panic terrors can lead to short quick breaths but try to take deep breaths and focus on your inhaling and exhaling. Most importantly, do not try to fight the attack as this can increase the anxiety and panic.

screenshot_2016-09-09-12-21-15-1.png(tip: try to focus on one thing that you know will always be around during these attacks, for example – count your fingers)

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Depression

Most people that offered me their experiences, said that they found that keeping their minds occupied in certain crafts is what helps them. Finding a hobby shouldn’t be an escape, but should be seen as a safe way of expressing yourself by realxing.

Some find solace in prayer.

screenshot_2016-09-09-12-22-58-1.png(tip: take time out of your day/week to do what you love, be it writing, painting or photography – what ever channels your positive thoughts)

For further advice or to talk, here are some helplines dedicated to easing the percussions of such issues

United Kingdom (TheMix.org) 0808 808 4994

United States (Teen Health and Wellness) 800 784 2433

more

South Asian Society & Mental Health.

Whilst writing this post, I searched for helpline numbers and sites that people could contact should they feel the need to reach out to someone. As a large number of my readers are from Pakistan, I searched for helplines based in Pakistan but unfortunately, I found nothing.

It is slightly upsetting to think that mental health is disregarded in the South Asian and Middle Eastern community. At first, I was disheartened but soon realised that mental health has only started to be recognised as an issue by leading nations fairly recently. The older generation (worldwide) are not properly educated to understand that mental health does not need to be kept ‘hush hush’, it is not something to be embarrassed about.

I urge anyone reading this in Pakistan to get in touch with healthcare organisations/youth centres/or anyone that you think could do something about the matter and create some sort of a helpline that young people, or people of any ages can call or email and know that they are not alone.

The ignorance towards such issues can only be changed by the younger generation. Change does not need to be something substantial initially, even if it is to simply raise awareness, we need to accept responsibility in ensuring that something is done.

screenshot_2016-09-05-18-46-54-1.pngWhilst speaking to someone about their experiences, they said: “..one must get help about mental health, but in case you can’t, remember how important you are”

You’re not alone.

Thank you ever soo much to those that shared their experiences. If you have any advice/suggestions of your own, comment them below to help anyone reading this. 

Rimsha.

*this was a self-illustrated blog post, all doodles were created by me*

To contact me regarding a collaboration or simply to get in touch, drop me an email at: rimsharasul8@gmail.com

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The last 3 days of summer

Hey.

Hi. My intro’s are still as awkward as ever. Today’s post is just to update you on one minor (or major) change to my blog, that is; my site name. I have switched my blog to a self-hosted site which also means that you are now on ‘auburnrhyme.com’. Watching my blog grow the way that it has this summer has motivated me to decide to self-host a little earlier than I had anticipated.

A great big thank you to anyone out there who reads my posts and supports my writing. I appreciate your feedback.

Before you click exit, I have a question.

Since ‘school’ season is around the corner, I have a few post ideas in mind – such as,

  • what’s in my bag
  • my school/university study essentials
  • class routine

Let me know what you would like to see on my blog this September in the comments.

and I would love to hear any suggestions of your own. Though my blog is ran off of my random train of thoughts and what I feel I need to say, I would like to accommodate posts that my regular readers would like to read.

I don’t know about you, but my mind automatically categorises the end of August as the end of summer, even if the weather says otherwise. So I hope you enjoy your last three days of summer.

Rimsha

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To collaborate or inquire about my blog, drop me an email on: rimsharasul8@gmail.com

My Fray’d Notebook

Yesterday I received a notebook, which was sent to me by Fray Design Studios. Or should I say, I almost missed it! the rain was relentless as I tried to reach home in time for my sudden delivery which was due to arrive on the 23rd but made it here a day earlier. Oh heck, a prompt parcel delivery service…I’m not complaining.

Although this is the first time that I have reviewed a product on my blog, I would only ever review something sincerely. If it was any other way, I would just be wasting your time as well as mine.

Firstly, the customer service was perfect. I had a few queries about shipping etc., and lets just say – my questions can get a little bothersome. My inquiry was addressed in a polite and friendly manner which is always a plus.

The Notebook:

A5 ring binder – style.

There are two things I love most about the notebook

  • The sheets are lined in black and they do not have coloured margins – I personally do not like to write on a page that has pink or blue coloured lines. I prefer my pen ink to be the only colours on the page.
  • The cover art.

The cover is of a smooth PVC material and although it is flexible, it does not bend or crease. It is sturdy, which I can imagine would not get damaged at the bottom of your bag whilst travelling.

Oh, the cover art! The design/print of the notebook cover is inspired by Pakistani art, more specifically; truck art. The highlight of the cover is the word ‘desi’, which is printed in the centre in Urdu. The colours and art definitely do give off desi vibes. Overall, I am impressed by the quality of the product. It is a beautiful piece to keep around your desk and I would definitely recommend it (it would also prove to be a great gift idea).

The business and the products are based and made in Pakistan.



From a dream to a business

When customer-business interactions are solely based online, they are minimal and it can be hard to get a feel of the personality behind the products, which is why I had a few questions of my own to ask Faran; the founder of Fray Design Studio.

– Tell us about the inspiration behind your brand name.-

Faran: Fray is my nature

The ‘frayed’ edges of a fabric is relatable to textiles as well. That gave me my brand name.

– Where did your journey begin? –

Faran: I was fortunate enough to stand 4th in a competition held by Messe Frankfurt’s Karachi office. 

The guys that arrange Heimtextil, the largest textile expo in the world. I got a chance to visit the exhibition that year. That was a game changer.

We have been always prepared in uni to work for a company and rarely to work on our own, but after visiting the Fair…it was such an impactful journey that I started thinking about turning my studies into a business back when I was in my final year. After graduation I took a break, was jobless for a while and then started working for Alkaram textiles

It was quite a learning experience, but I wanted to do more.. and in the mean time, Crafter’s Expo started to show up in my fb feed.

I have been following a few brands namely Firefly and Ghazal Peerzada Creative Studio.. and I was sooo impressed and motivated by their work that I planned to quit my job and start to work on my brand to showcase at the Crafter’ expo. It boosted me and then I got an offer from a local Interior studio, Pith, to stock my products there.

– As a fairly recent start up, how do you stay motivated? –

Faran: I like to explore things, and I’m always curious to try something new.. sooo.. this is like my catharsis.

 

I love Pakistan.. I try to bring every element of pakistaniat I can into my designs.

It’s been 1.5 years and one hell of a ride, businesses is not easy and I’m very new to it, was a realization that hit me a few months into doing it. I have a full time job, I freelance and run my business alongside this. 

 

– What is Fray Designs moto? –


Faran: To spread happiness.

I love a few people’s vision: Elon Musk, Mir MAK and YouTubers such as Superwoman and Marie Forleo, and a photographer Brooke Shaden.. 

They sort of helped me by sharing their stories and struggles.. which made me believe more in myself. I might be quite an introvert, but their lectures and stories have helped me understand myself better, taking risk now seems fun.
I’m not afraid to fail.. I’m afraid not to try at all.

~

I would like to thank Faran for sharing his unique journey. I feel inspired by his efforts and the success he has achieved thus far, to check out his original range of products, you can shop at:

Fray Design – Facebook

Fray Design – Instagram
~

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To share your story/inquire about my blog, drop me an email on: rimsharasul8@gmail.com