Friday, 9 October 2015

Instagram's #WWIM12: Karachi

Last Sunday, I attended my first Instagram meet up, also known as InstaMeet or World Wide InstaMeet. It is a community event that Instagramers from all over the world celebrate just before the Instagram community’s birthday on October 6. The event in Karachi was scheduled on 5th October. There were two, actually. But I could only attend one. Though I really wanted to go the other one as well.
The theme for this meet up was to share #todayimet portraits. Basically, you were to drag a fellow under the spotlight of your camera and ask them about who they follow on Instagram and stuff. As simple as it sounds, the event was a lot more fun.
The event in Karachi was all set at Frere Hall, one of the buildings from the British colonial era, in the old city area. The place itself was very photogenic (yes, you must understand this reference).
Areeba and I were there on time, victory!!!!! We were in treat, as there was a book bazaar going as well. Hashtag bookaholics problem.
I absolutely loved the location. There is something about old buildings, they hold a bunch of memories, at every inch of their existence. They might belong to people who are not here anymore, but they did back then & these locations still tell their stories in silent ways.
If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen all the portraits I did. If you haven't, check them out at @Noor_Unnahar. I tried my best, doing them in HONY's Brandon style. Whew wheew! 
There were a lot of people, some people I didn't know were friends of my friends. Which technically made us mutual friends & the socializing was a lot more fun. 
I picked up an Agatha Christie novel from the book stalls. I didn't have much time to browse through more books or else I would have had a big pile.

This is how Frere Hall looked at the twilight. Beautiful. 
I love Instagram for so many reasons. It has helped me a lot, with the creative side of photography. It seemed like a wonderful opportunity to go out and celebrate the community side of this social media channel. Cheers to extrovert life.

Have you ever been to an InsatMeet up? If not, do you plan to?
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Monday, 5 October 2015

The Serene Garden

I'm planning to set up some indoor planting in my room, which should be super rad and marvelous at the same time, so these days I'm always looking out for planting ideas and new varieties of plants. It's sort of a family thing to be plants obsessed, really. I don't remember it liking back then, but now I definitely do.
I spent this weekend with my Barri nano (grandmother) and we explored her plants' collection thoroughly. She has so many plants, from succulents to cactuses and other types.
Areeba and I were excited to learn about each type & I realized how I love succulent plants more than anything. Blame it on Pinterest, yeah! They look so good.
Is it only me or cactuses are fantastic? I don't know why, but they look just so cool.
I am not sure what these plants are called. Lol. The plant above was an interesting one. The flowers grew on the point of the green grass (?!?) and they bloom occasionally.

Here's to prove my point, the succulents are wonderful.
I love these flowers. They're like, wildflowers and smell-less but since they make a great decoration so it's totally acceptable. Ouii!

Do you some favorite plants?

Today, I have to announce something. I'm giving iGraphy a break. I am not sure if I would like to continue this photo series in future, but for now, I want to work on my themed topics more and less of obligatory posts. Wish me luck :) I had a lot of fun while brainstorming for ideas and I'm grateful for everyone who kept joining. Huzzah, people!

L I N K   U P   T I M E
Welcome to #iGraphy - photography link up. Every weekend, this link up invites bloggers and photography enthusiasts to share their creative photos on the world wide web. The aim of this link up is to focus on everyday objects or surrounding and take photos of everything you like and share it with the world. Photography isn't limited to huge fancy cameras but is a passion. So grab your point and shoot, iPhone or tablet and take wonderful photos to share with the world. Be an iGrapher!
#iGraphy - A Photography link up
Follow your host, that's me. 
Add a post on photography theme, below in link-up.
Add a link back to this link-up or grab a button to add in your post. 
Visit at least one blog in this link up and appreciate the iGrapher in them. Leave a comment of encouragement. That's what we all should do, right?
Best shots will be selected from #iGraphy posts to be featured (posts must be linked back to iGraphy post for eligibility)
*any link outside of the theme or not linked to #iGraphy post, will be deleted. 
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Monday, 28 September 2015

What's On My iPhone?

I got my first phone last week. It's a pretty iPhone 5s in gold with 32 GB space. I was thinking to try 16 GB, but since my iPod had the 32 GB, so syncing all the old data and some new one was going to take up a lot of space. I usually don't have much to store in hand-held gadgets anyways.

The best thing about this phone is the fingerprint sensor. One single press and you wouldn't have to do the hassle of typing the passcode, every time. I was eyeing the gold phone from the very start. I had choices of all three colors, but I knew I was going to pick this one.
It came with iOS 8 and I updated it to the latest update right away. I've been seeing people complaining about iOS 9, but it's been super smooth on my phone. In fact, the speed and ability to switch between apps is tremendous. I don't even miss my iPod 5, ha ha!

My lock screen features a selfie. Not even guilty. I hadn't had time to browse through Pinterest for pretty or motivational wallpaper so far, so I'm just considering it the best choice. Well hey, selfies are a lock screen must.
My home screen is full of built-in apps like Messages, FaceTime, Calender, Photos and everything. I use every single app almost every day. With Phone, Mail, Safari and Music in the front tray, they're pretty accessible.
Flip through the other screen, it has 5 folders. Extras, Apple Trash (I'll tell you why), Miscellaneous, Social and Photography (shining heart emoji for this one).

It has all the apps I use for different purposes. Like, they don't have the same theme or something. Can I call them homeless type? I might do that. The apps in this folder are:

(i) Phonto: It offers amazing fonts. Trust me, their collection is fabulous. Whenever I have to add some typography to a photo or plain canvas, I use this app. It's free and easy to use.

(ii)Soundcloud: I love discovering music from this site. A lot of independent artists, remixes of old songs and exclusive sound clips from upcoming movies, everything is available. Their iOS app isn't an ideal one. but it runs smoothly if the internet speed is fine. I was using it on 3G yesterday and it ate up all my data and didn't even load properly. I regret using it on cellular data. BUT I love it nonetheless. Follow me on Soundcloud to see what I'm listening.

(iii) Duolingo: I randomly downloaded it while browsing App Store. It offers different courses of multiple languages. I'm learning French with it, in my free time. This app has many cute graphics so it's a must-keep for me. Oui Oui!

(iv) GarageBand: It's an official app from Apple. It never downloaded on my iPod, due to some glitch. I thought this app was dead or something, but it worked on my iPhone. I haven't tried it fully, but it offers different instruments to play and mix music to make new tunes. The interface is awesome. Who knows, I might rise as next Enya with this app.

(v) Betternet: It's a VPN that actually works with a swift speed. It also has a cute logo. I'd recommend using it since there are no stupid ads or hidden charges

(vi) Youtube: Youtube is my boredom cure. It's banned in Pakistan so I have to open Betternet before I can log into this application. 
Next two folders are Apple Trash & Extras. I guess their names speak it all. Apple Trash has all the apps I'm probably never going to use and I feel pretty bad that I can't even erase them. I might use Find iPhone but the rest? Find Friends is useless, I am not an official stalker. Watch app isn't for me since I would never buy one. News takes a lot of time to use, I could browse through Twitter and get the updates. Wallet is the redesigned version of Passbook that I used only once. Health app is too technical for me to use. In short, I named it very precisely.
Extras folder has all the almost-essentials. I use calculator and podcasts often. Voice memos, sometimes. Compass and Tips were only opened when I was testing every app that came with the phone.
These folders have all my favorite apps.
You know, all the apps we're obliged to use in order to be social. From Facebook to Whatsapp, errrything!

(i) Messenger: I would never download this app if Facebook hadn't made it necessary to use for chats. Seriously!

(ii) Facebook: Good old facebook. I would rather use it on the browser, but web version doesn't support groups on the web so this is why it's in my list. Uh-huh!

(iii) Twitter: I love their app. It's my favorite social media channel. My username is @Noor_Unnahar, in case you haven't followed me yet. *Grinning*

(iv) Whatsapp: It's the best messenger I have ever come across. Everyone I know have been using it for a long time and I had to bear all the "why don't you get one?" & "you should get it" from friends. Now when I have it, it's easy to understand why they say so. It's super fast, syncs with your contact lists and has all the basics like voice notes and built-in camera. It doesn't take much data from cellular service so it's a win-win.

(v) Instagram: It's my favorite photography outlet. I've found a bunch of amazing photographers and creative people through this app. I'm planning to go to my first ever insta-meet this week as well. In case you don't know, it's an event celebrated all around the world by the Instagrammers.
Follow me on Instagram here.

(vi) Snapchat: It's so fun to use. Basically, you share life's behind-the-scenes through it. A bunch of celebrities also use it so you can get a sneak peak of their lives through it (in the most non-creepy way possible okay) They share world's most hyped events and stories from famous sites like Buzzfeed & Cosmopolitan as well.
My stories include a bunch of behind the scenes and the music I have on repeat. Find me: noorunnahar

(vii) Tumblr: This app is so rad. It's micro-blogging + photography based, so I scroll through my feed when I need a dose of inspiration. Oh and when I need to be more sarcastic as well.

(viii) Skype: The good old Skype, for a number of "Can you hear me?" and "Can you see me?" type of conversations and video calls. I'd be surprised if someone would claim that they don't know what it is.

(ix) Pinterest: This app is my creativity booster. I love Pinterest for all amazing articles on the web, so having their app on the go is totally needed for me.

This folder doesn't have much in it. I don't edit with multiple apps. But these four are my favorite:

(i) VSCOcam: This app is wonderful. I edit my photos with this. Even if you don't use filters, their basic photo-fix is wonderful. Adjust brightness or contrast and you're ready to go. It's the best photo editor, to be honest.

(ii) Filterloop: This app provides a number of overlays and exposures. I haven't used them much but the quality of each overlay is wonderful and you can adjust the exposure according to your need which is the best thing.

(iii) PocketVideo: It's a vlogging app. You can edit small videos with it. I love all the features it offers. Text, music, video trimming and everything is very easy to use. They claim it's the first vlogging app on the store so if you're vlogging enthusiastic, give it a go! I'll also be learning it all along.

(iv) iMovie: It's an app from Apple. I wanted to try it back when I had iPod, but it was up for purchase (nahh!) It came free with iPhone. Talk about luck, hah! I have yet to learn how does it work, but so far, I know it's an essential. So I'd give it a go.
The mandatory mirror selfie!
I'll surely be downloading more apps in future. It's my progress of one week, with the phone. I'll also change the phone carrier since they ate up all my credits in super crap 3G & I'd rather switch to another network ASAP!!!!!

What are some of the must-have applications on your phone?

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Monday, 21 September 2015

Everything VS Bad Days

Another Monday. I was supposed to write a long speech for my college event, prepare an iGraphy post, finish homework and a bunch of things that matter in a serious way, before the weekend. What I did instead, was fighting off flu and cursing the fever I have at the moment.
When I'm sick and unable to do things, I'm badly nostalgic.

There are good and bad days. In good days, I feel like the most accomplished person on earth and when the bad days strike, they bring self-doubt, lack of creativity and writer's block. It's hard to face them with head held high. That's where nostalgia hits hard. The good old days, the time spent with people I adore the most, flashback of adventures and everything.
The only way I've found to work these out is to remember the reason to move forward. It could be a simple long-set dream, a small goal or something similar, but as long as it helps me out of this phase, I will go for it.

I'm in the middle of switching to my first ever phone, from iPod. Hashtag a grown up life. Though I've never liked the idea of being virtually available 24/7 (that's the main purpose of a phone, sigh!) but it's a necessity nonetheless. I'm both excited & annoyed at the same time. Ha! Ha! This is something I'm looking forward in this week. Also, college is getting more social and hectic so I need to focus on that too. I've missed writing poetry so much that all I want to do is jump out of bed, maybe slowly since flu makes me terribly dizzy, so yeah slowly jumping out of bed to jot down some ideas for new poems.
In these rows of bad days, I've got to know a few things:

  1. Failure is inevitable. And I don't care. I'm progressive and failure is just another word.
  2. I utterly dislike being sick.
  3. Some of the cough syrups don't taste bad.
  4. If I had screwed up a few things back in time, I can still fix them.
  5. Gadgets are hard to understand.
  7. Friends will always help you get back on the track. 
  8. My twin sister is kind of awesome.
  9. I'm obsessed with Pinterest, fo' sho'.
  10. I despise archaic English.

Wish me luck. I have a long way to go today and tomorrow and the rest of the week.
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Friday, 18 September 2015

5 Must-Read Sophie Kinsella Novels

Today, I'm quite excited to have a guest poster. Jamal, who is a fellow member of our book club (remember, the book club party?) & an avid reader, he's sharing the best books from Sophie Kinsella.
She is one of my most favorite authors. Her humor is FLAWLESS, literally. My personal favorite book from her is I've Got Your Number. In the long run of authors, I can hardly put down books from Hashim Nadeem, Paulo Coelho, Sophie Kinsella and Dan Brown.

Let's see what Jamal has to share with us today.

Sophie Kinsella is one of the most popular and most followed authors in the world today. Known for her novels which revolve around women and their lives, she, in a matter of a few years, managed to get a loyal audience who seem to love her books. A popular author of chick lit, Sophie Kinsella has produced some of the finest bestselling books worldwide. Being a fan of literature, there are some books that you must have in your library, irrespective of your tastes and preferences. Her books have been really successful. Among them, Confessions of a Shopaholic has been adapted into a leading Hollywood Motion Picture.
Following are the 5 Sophie Kinsella novels you must have in your collection:

1. Finding Audrey:
This novel by Sophie Kinsella revolves around a 14-year-old girl, Audrey, who is recovering from an anxiety disorder. She falls for her brother’s friend and develops a deep connection with him. The story is a great tale of how the relationship has an effect on her recovery and her family. It is a great read and one which everyone should have in their collection.

2. Wedding Night:
Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella tells the tale of two sisters, both with different takes on love. When one sister decides to get married all of a sudden, her sister thinks she’s making a mistake. The book explores the relationship of the two sisters.

3. Cocktails for Three:
Cocktails for Three is a story by Sophie Kinsella. She wrote the book by her name Madeleine Wickham. The story revolves around 3 women who work together and each evening meet up in a bar. Over cocktails, they chat and gossip about their lives, until one day, some secrets are leaked which set in motion a chain of events. This is a great story and you will instantly find yourself immersed in it.

4. Shopaholic Abroad:
Shopaholic series has been a best seller for Sophie Kinsella.  This book, Shopaholic Aboard, is the second in the series and immensely popular just like other books in the series. It tells the story of a woman who has everything going for her and even though her motto is to shop only what’s needed, she goes on a shopping spree in New York City. It is a hilarious take on shopping patterns of women and all those who love to shop will find themselves completely immersed in it.

5. Confessions of a Shopaholic:
Confessions of a Shopaholic is a must-have book in your library. It is a bestseller and was even adapted to a major Hollywood movie with Isla Fisher in the lead role. The story revolves around the central character, Rebecca Bloomwood, who is a shopping addict and just can’t stop shopping. She lands a job at New York City which helps her keep up with her shopping sprees. The whole story is hilarious and you will be constantly kept entertained.
Whether you are a Sophie Kinsella fan or not, these 5 books are a must have in your collection.
// Follow Jamal on Twitter //

If you have read any of her books, which one's your top favorite?

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