Sunday, 13 August 2017

The Art of Living Well: Gallivanting in Nature and Outfit Post

Hi there my dears, you may be curious from the title as to what on earth 'The Art of Living Well is',  in order to amplify I think it best to begin from the source of it's conception. You see, the start of my  series called 'The Art of Living Well' was extracted from a conversation I had with a friend of mine who told me in a very matter of factly tone 'Sumeyye, you like living well'. This resonated with me beyond what he could have ever envisioned.. so what is the art of living well? The definition of well in this context doesn't refer to lavishing oneself with luxury, on the contrary its the infinitesimal, simple things in life that we often overlook or don't always make the time to incorporate into our lives. T'is true, I do enjoy living well; I enjoy taking the time to wander aimlessly around the national trust parks, engrossed in a book or eating my boots meal deal on a blanket under the canopy of trees sheltering me from the rain, I enjoy breathing in the unadulterated air and listening to things other than human voices and the sound of cars, I enjoy pursuing hobbies such as drawing (scrawled doodling to some) and sewing, I enjoy the moment of discovering a hidden treasure in the depths of charity shop and adorning my box room with trophies of my thrifting quests, I enjoy flicking through books in bookshops saturated with the scent of coffee and I enjoy adding pesto to everything and anything (pesto ought to be renamed ambrosia) to the point I may adopt it as my middle name.... and yes they are are all as idyllic as they sound when one takes the time savour them. The series entails what I do best, naturally we're referring to my tendency to dish out unsolicited tips on enjoying, appreciating and savouring those aforementioned simple pleasures of life. 

Today's art of living well is a known one; taking time away from the concrete jungles in which the majority of our lives are spent. I am a through believer in recharging oneself in nature, in a time where we hustle between our occupations, school and then return home to collapse on to our beds, many of us seldom make time for nature unless the weather lures us out of our homes. Today I spent my time away solitarily wandering through the greens of Dunham Massey Park, the weather wasn't ideal, in fact it was overcast with the occasional shower. whilst taking pictures of the picturesque scenery and wildlife it envelopes, I was approached by a volunteer who kindly provided me with the trivia of the swans that reside in Dunham Massey, I spread a blanket on the vibrant green floor of the forest, unpacked my hamper and relished a cup of steaming brew with a good read in complete serenity. On my way home I decided to seek out a souvenir of my excursion; sometimes it's an acorn, a pine cone and on this occasion it was delicate fern leaf that I intend to press at home. 

As promised I've returned with my second and by far improved attempt at Dress making. For as long as I can remember i've lusted after a gingham skirt with the perfect fabric, the perfect fit and flare silhouette and the perfect length. Disclosure I never did discover a skirt that suited my ridiculously unattainable standards.....however something better came along, I made it!
I styled my dreamy gingham skirt with my billowy embroidered Zara blouse (which I carefully tucked in to my skirt to reduce the volume of it), my trusty backpack, shoes and hijab which I am sure you have memorised by now. 

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Guide and Outfit: Sewing Endeavours!

Hi there my lovelies, the time has come to finally introduce you to my first ever sewing project; a plaid midi skirt!  

Learning to sew has always been a longstanding aspiration of mine that I got around to fulfilling. a couple of months back I had been casually browsing the haberdashery section of Hobbycraft when my eyes fell upon an advertisement for sewing classes on the notice board. I instinctually looked over at my mother who gave me an encouraging nod and said 'go for it'. One of the chief driving forces for me to pursuit sewing is that as a muslim woman who has a rather quaint sense of style, I have always been limited in the selection of clothing based on affordability, availability and modesty. Learning to sew has opened up a whole new horizon where I can bring my designs that used to be strictly on paper, to life. I'm naturally still in the midst of learning this new skill, yet here are couple of tips that I feel have facilitated my sewing endeavours so far:

1) If you're familiar with the notion of having to be prompted to initiate the acquisition of a hobby like myself and find it both overwhelming and difficult to maintain the motivation for self instructing, consider joining a class. We live in a era where youtube can basically guide and teach us virtually everything, however sometimes commencing something entirely unfamiliar can be a little overwhelming and intimidating. Going old school and actually interacting with people who are all on the same square as you can make it less daunting and help form a bridge from complete inexperience to amateur to outright dressmaking genius (dreaming big), it accommodates for hiccups, readjustments, practical skills and an abundance of prototypes.

2) Figure out your pace, every person has an optimal environment and condition in which they thrive, some perform best in a slow paced relaxed atmosphere in which they can digest what they are learning. Others like myself blossom under pressure, I made a leap of progress when I made the foolishly valiant decision decision to take on 4 projects with a deadline of 4 weeks for when they were due. This meant that I couldn't solely rely on my poor sewing instructor Kate (who is a godsend.. check out her Instagram) to help me out of the hole I had managed to dig myself into. I had to take initiative and make progress at home, resulting in me becoming proficient much quicker knowing that I had the responsibility bearing on my shoulders to complete several Eid outfits or else suffer the dismay of several members of my family.

3) Treat yourself to a quality sewing machine! After dabbling into the art of sewing, if you can envision yourself sustaining the pastime of sewing for the foreseeable future, invest in a sewing machine. It takes the pressure off classes as you can always depend on the flexibility of finishing your task at home, in your own time, at your own pace. Mine is a wonderful midnight blue coloured beauty from John Lewis (curiously both resembles and functions like the costly Janome one...hint hint)!

4) If you feel a particular sewing pattern works well for you and can't purchase it, ask if you can trace the patterns onto greaseproof paper. That way you can amass a collection of patterns that you can refer back to.

5) There's absolutely no rule that you have to depend on one sewing pattern for a project... mix and match the bodice from one, the skirt and sleeves from other sewing patterns to create one whole masterpiece.

6) Create a Pinterest board to inspire your future dressmaking pursuits. You can use trends, eras, silhouettes, prints, shapes of Pinterest pins and make them entirely your own by adding personal touch.

 After having been taught the fundamentals of sewing you may now seek the divine wisdom of youtube for further tutorials!

Image from my Instagram

Outfit Details: selfmade skirt, Romwe blouse, Accessorize embroidered back pack and Clarks t-bar shoes

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

An Oldie but a Goodie!

Hi there my lovelies, gosh with the way I'm struggling to compose a blogpost you'd think it was my first time! I know I know, I have an excuse at the ready every time I go on a lengthy hiatus however with the series of tragedies in the UK; another happening before I have time to digest and mourn for the previous, I haven't been in the spirits to make a proper comeback to blogging. 

 This is by far the most impromptu and spontaneous blog post I have ever done. My dear friend Selma who is a henna artist extraordinaire, selfie aficionado and whom we are kindred spirits in amateur photography, met up with me last week for iftar (our sunset meal after fasting in the month of Ramadan), I barely managed to greet her as she whipped out her camera at the speed of light and marched me to the neighbourhood park.  Had I known, I would have dressed for the occasion however as I wasn't looking too shabby, I complied. 

Today's outfit is an oldie but a goodie; featuring all of my classic faves accumulated into one outfit; my trusty denim jacket embellished with an abundance of Primark pins, a staple turtle neck that has practically become a second skin for me, my peachy perfect skirt from Zara that I wore for last year's Eid and my whole existence summarised in the form of a novelty bag (chocolate milk,  pastels and cuteness overload)!

If you recall from a previous blogpost I mentioned I had taken up the hobby of sewing. As a result I have so far produced three pieces; a plaid skirt, a gingham skirt and a Wednesday Addamsesque velvet dress! I'd love to hear some feedback from you guys as to which one you would like me to style for the blog first!

Clearly deliberating how much food my stomach can possibly contain for Iftar.

Proud Ravenclaw!

Outfit Details: Zara denim jacket and skirt, Primark turtle neck and pins and Accessorize milk carton bag!

Designated Photographer Babe
Instagram: @onelastfarewell 

Wednesday, 24 May 2017


I try not to get too political or emotional here on my Instagram/blog however the heinous, callous attack perpetrated by a radicalised 'Islamist' has left me deeply heartbroken and that is nothing next to what people have had to suffer today. No one should have to lose a loved one in such an awful way and no parent should have to witness the death of their child. These people, and I use that term very loosely, don't represent Muslims, they don't represent me. They have no compassion for anyone; no man, woman, child, religion or race.. Terrorism has no religion, the countless Istanbul attacks are evidence of that.. these scum are nothing more than cowards lurking behind a religion to justify their actions. I'm proud to be British, I'm proud to be Mancunian and I'm proud to be a Muslim. And I'm proud of my city and the unity, diversity and love that it harbours, I'm proud of all those who cooperated to save lives and deliver the victims safely to their families. I'm proud that many chose not to respond to such a hateful act with hate. Peace be upon you all.

Monday, 3 April 2017

Outfit & Guide: 14 Ways On How To Shop On A Budget!

Hi there and welcome back lovely readers of this humble little blog!
Today's blogpost is presented to you from Quarry Bank Mill greenhouse, and alongside this outfit post I thought I'd rekindle my love for sharing retail related advice by imparting my hacks that I always find myself referring back to when it comes to affordable, carefully curated and effective shopping. For me shopping has never been about keeping on top of the latest trends or spilling the contents of my purse over. By all means I adore shopping, but more specifically I enjoy careful shopping. What on earth is she going on about you may ask, well from my humble perspective anyone can see an item in a shop and purchase it there and then for the full price, whether it's a long term investment or not.. who knows?! For me, each shopping venture is a little game and each item I buys is an investment as nothing beats the satisfaction of acquiring a must have for an absolute bargain. The little quest I like to entertain's ultimate purpose being to bag some amazing finds that will astonish both you and others that ask you how you always mange to find such steals. Yes, the prospect of affordable shopping and the compliments that succeed it, strokes my ego. Sorry not sorry.

So without much further ado, here are my top tips to dressing affordably:

1)   Four words
Set yourself a budget.

2)   Do I need this?
We don't want to find ourselves in the I.R.L sequel of Confessions of a Shopaholic, so ask yourself this; Do I need it? Will it revolutionize my wardrobe in a way that an pre-existing similar item doesn't?

 3)   Don't sell your soul over an item
If you spot something that will result in you emptying the entirety of your pockets' contents and possibly searching in the crevices of your purse, consider waiting for the sales unless of course it occupies your mind to the point of possession, then for health's sake buy it.

4)   Until our next meeting
If you do consider postponing an item purchase until the sales, make sure to get there at the start of the sales or else it will be a grim case of 'finders keepers, losers weepers'.

5)   Shop turn-arounds, friend or foe?
Shop turn-arounds don't necessarily mean your item has vanished from the face of the earth, they often reappear in the sales!

6)   Stalker shopper
Keep tabs on the impromptu sales that pop up rather than depend on the end of season sales!

7)   'One man's trash is another man's come up'
The end of the sales doesn't necessarily mean the dregs, there may be the occasional prince amongst the hundreds of frogs for the price of almost nothing (I'm not a romantic).

8)   True love requires sacrifices in the form of a purse
If there is a piece you're lusting after to the point it's infiltrating your dreams. Just put yourself out of the misery and get it.

9)    Sleep on it
This may be an obvious one however if you're indecisive about the use you'll get out of an item... leave it, at least for a while.  In most situations it is a temporary blip from your usual bearings and disappears almost as instantly as it appears. Sleep on it, if after a sufficient amount of time has passed and you are still keen, go ahead!

10)   It's a keeper
If it's a wardrobe staple, consider it a justification for paying the full price. The cost per wear will even it out eventually!

11)   She who hesitates is lost
Whilst being an exclusive sales shopper is perfectly commendable, don't let it cloud your judgement. If you've been lusting after an item that is both popular and has miraculously made it's way to the sales rack.. don't risk leaving it for the next round of price reductions, seize it, she who hesitates is lost.

12)   Mixing and matching
Sale or no sale when you're intent on a piece, consider the various different outfits you can pair it with. If it's not a very versatile piece that barely complements anything in your wardrobe, it may result in you not getting enough wear out of it. My personal purchase barrier is 5; so if I can come up with at least 5 outfits off the top of my head I would consider it a worthy purchase.

13)    Outlets are your new friend
Do your research on whether there are discount outlets of the shops you love!

14)   Play your quirkiness to your advantage
Deliberate over the item of interest as to whether it is a popular, sought after piece at the moment. If your style is quite quirky and the demand or hype for the item may not be very high, consider leaving it to enter the sales. Pieces that don't immediately strike people's fancy often find their way to the sales rack!

Today's outfit is an accumulation of all my aforementioned tips: My H&M mustard jumper was a mere fiver from the remnants of the sale, my Zara skirt was £12 and I decided not to leave it for another price drop as it already ticked all the boxes and missing out would be truly a great loss. You may roll your eyes at the sight of my trusty brogues, but they are a classic, a wardrobe staple for me and a shoe I can always depend upon. Since Clarks always produce the same shoe which rarely graces the sales section, I ventured into the Lowry Outlet Mall and after a fair bit of rummaging emerged from the shop with a whopping 40% off. My denim jacket was an investment piece, one of the rare moments I have spent the full price tag's worth of money on something. You see, being petite whereby the grand majority of items hang loosely or make you appear frumpy means that when a rare gem crops up that fits you as snug as a bug in a rug, you just buy it. Treat yo'self!

I really do hope you guys found my tips conducive! Do you have any personal shopping hacks? 

 If you came solely for the outfit, there is something here for everyone.....

My mama, bless her golden heart not only took these pictures for me but also offered to do so. Considering the fact she occupies the highest band of technophobia, let us take a moment to appreciate what a fabulous job she has done of it.

Outfit Details: Zara cropped denim jacket, H&M jumper, tights that have existed from the beginning of time, Clarks' brogues and Accessorize Bag.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Outfit Post: Welcoming Spring!

Hello there beautiful people! 
 As this is my first post of March, I wanted to honour the occasion by infusing the spring vibes into my blog! I could not be more excited about spring as I am so over wearing coats! Not to mention being able to experience spring in Manchester which I haven't been able to do in quite some time! For the first time in four years I'm welcoming the vast blue skies, nature walks, waking up every morning to the view of our blossoming mighty plum tree and having the liberty of wearing spring colours without having to be bundled up in layers! My outfit is one that I have been living lately; it has been over six months since I purchased these dungarees and have worn them so often they've become a sort of uniform if you will, however I haven't had a chance to formally introduce them to you guys! For as long as I can recall I had been on the hunt for a pair of wide legged, cropped, cute as hell, dungarees and could not believe my eyes when they fell upon these at Bershka.. and with that my dreams had finally come true, yes I am very easy to please. 
My candy cane striped blouse is the result of months of waiting for it to enter the sales, patience really does pay off...when it comes to pretty, frilly blouses apparently! My coat is the prominent reinforcer of the candy floss vibe to my outfit and I whipped out the first ever novelty bag I owned, which is in the shape of a milk carton and my t-bar school girl shoes to complete the look! 

I also have a couple of updates up my sleeve: Since permanently moving back to Manchester, this resulted in a profound lack of people that I can plague about blog photography. Having always had the luxury of my friends and loved ones being willing victims of my photography sessions, the comfort of it made me lazy and I never researched into the self timer option of my camera. Now left to my own devices, I've sought the aid of the self timer option, which can be tricky and not always ideal as my camera isn't the best admittedly. However it does the job meaning I will be able to produce blog posts more frequently, something I have always wanted to be able to do!

Secondly, I've also started taking sewing classes, eeeeek! I physically cannot contain my excitement at the prospect of making my clothes, who's with me on this?! My first project is a plaid midi skirt, which I hope to be styling for an upcoming blog post! Would you guys be interested in seeing my sewing endeavours (successes hopefully)?

Outfit Details: Zara coat, Bershka denim dungarees, H&M blouse (currently on sale), Accessorize bag and Clarks shoes.

Featured: Cut Out and Keep Weekly Superstar

I was kindly offered to feature as a weekly superstar for Cut Out and Keep! A range of my Diy tutorials are present on my profile including: a miniature artist palette pin/brooch, my hanging vintage school map, an incredibly easy method to achieving the Scandinavian honeycomb shelf look, naturally a Harry Potter themed necklace, a braided turban tutorial and lastly, how to easily create a cute bow tie with any collared blouse!