The Magic Notepad

Supercalifajilisticshfhdohvohvoho, well hello there! I’ve started with gibberish because it’s a great way to start a long winded post like this so sit on yeh bike and have a read. I’m just going to go straight in with my words of wisdom. 

So many of us go through phases of our lives where we think that we’re not going where we want to be, how much time we have wasted and we end up feeling sort of rubbish about ourselves. We also have the best days ever and we go through strange encounters on a day to day basis.

Sometimes we don’t have words to explain how we feel or we don’t really want to talk about it. It’s hard to explain to someone what you’re feeling when you don’t even know. That’s where my tiny book comes in. I bought this writing pad from the Lowry Outlet about two months ago.

I didn’t really do anything with it, I just knew that I wanted to have it there (I sort of hoard things like this). Now last month, I felt a mix of emotions. Stress, sadness, happiness, you name it. I didn’t know how to talk it, so instead I wrote it in my book.

Since then, I have carried this with me especially when I’m feeling weird in the morning like I’m ready to have a bad day. When I’m on my way to university or anywhere in fact, I’ll put my earphones in and write. My plans, my feelings and whatever comes to my head. I’ll doodle or I might just read what I have already written in it.

(I like this idea because it’s a space almost; if you want to treasure a memory then in it goes. It doesn’t need to be something you do constantly, just whenever you want to.)

Keeping a pad like this can actually help you because you’ll know how you’re feeling and you can keep track of how you’re doing. You also begin to accept that it’s okay to feel sad some days and even if you don’t feel like talking about it, you can write about it.

I’m not saying that it’s better to not talk about the way you feel but I’ve definitely benefited from this idea of writing and doodling whatever comes to my head when I’m on the bus or when I’m taking a break from revision or work.

I would recommend this to anyone because I have really benefitted from this and you never know, a tiny pad in your bag might bring back really good memories or just the tiniest things.

Give me a shout if you give it a try and tell me how it goes!




Northern Food Festival attracts visitors from all around the UK into Manchester.

The well known festival is running for the fifth year and has not only moved to a bigger location but also attracted all different people will all different diets.  

The festival previously held at the Sheridan Suite, moved to the Convention Complex in Manchester after being a success from the previous four years.

Attracting people from all over the U.K, it was described to be “the biggest one yet” by stall holders and visitors.

Josh Williams, 21, from Southport said: “I travelled here from Southport for my girlfriend Hannah, I’m not even a vegan but I think it’s brilliant because it’s awareness for animal rights.”

“It just shows that vegans can basically eat everything we eat but just in a none cruel way.”

Meat lover Sian Rose also attended the festival and said that she was open to the idea of veganism. “Before today I genuinely thought veganism would be so hard to take up.  Cutting meat and dairy out of your diet would be so hard but this event has just taught me that it’s not. You have so many other options.” she said.

This year, the festival was held at four different venues, the Convention Complex being the main. Other venue’s included The Friends Meeting House, Cross Street Chapel and  The Thirsty Scholar.

Vegan’s Samantha and Matt also attended the event. Both were surprised by the amount of people who showed up at the event.

“People who aren’t vegan might come along with their vegan friends and eat something vegan. They’ll realise it’s not just eating grass and seeds; it’s a good way to raise awareness.”

Stall holders “Mex it Up” said that the festival was ‘booming’ their business. The small business led by couple Marc and Sara serve 100% vegan food inspired by dishes from Mexico and USA. The stall holders said that the festival allows veganism is to expand.

“Last year it was smaller, this year it’s so much more bigger and better.”

“I couldn’t have cats and be like, I treat cats in one way and cows the other. I can’t do something massive but in my own space and life, that’s something I can make a big change in.”

The festival have now collaborated with other vegan festivals across the U.K and the world including ‘Halifax VegFest‘ and ‘Vegfest Guelph!’ in Canada.

Many visitors said that the festival should last for an entire weekend next time to not only generate more awareness about veganism but also because of the success of the festival.

Successful Film Festival ‘Lift-Off’ moves from Liverpool to Manchester after six years.

Lift Off Film festival has been a success for six years and this year, the festival organisers have decided to make a move from Liverpool into Manchester.

Photo credit: Shafia Begum

Co-founders James Bradley and Ben Pohlman said that the decision to move the festival into Manchester was a “business decision,  a cultural decision and a film quality decision”.

“Liverpool was a really great place but it feels like Manchester is much more. Media City is here, there’s industry here, it’s really creative  and the majority of submissions come from here so it made sense to make the move here”.
Ben Pohlman

The film festival which is held in nine other locations around the world including New York and Paris is expected to have over 150 guests over the three nights here in Manchester.

The festival includes 30 Shorts, 10 Feature films and three short movie screenings. Festival volunteer Hannah Farrugia said she is volunteering at the festival because of the success of it; the opportunities it has previously provided for film makers, aspiring film makers and that it would be great experience for her as an aspiring actress.

The move into Manchester’s event and bar place Texture in Northern Quarter came after organisers realised the space was in the heart of Manchester whilst also supporting independent projects an creative individuals.

Volunteer Isaac Cunningham said: “I’m studying a festival management course at university so begin able to attend festivals like this, makes me want to be involved even more.”

Writer, director and filmmaker Adam Losurdo submitted his short called “Hope” this year and said: “The move to Manchester was definitely a good idea. It’s allowed the creative individuals from here, Manchester, to come forward and I think with the festival being here, it’s allowed so much more art to be noticed”.

Co-founder James Bradley said that the film festival hope to stay in Manchester for upcoming years but this would depend on the success of the festival in its first year at Manchester’s Texture bar.

Co-founder James Bradley said that the film festival hope to stay in Manchester for upcoming years but this would depend on the success of the festival in its first year at Manchester’s Texture bar.

The festival now moves on to London where more talent will be showcased along with the best being voted in to get the ultimate Lift Off trophy.



















19 Things to do before I’m 19.

I turn nineteen in July and I would like to make a “tiny” bucket list of what I want to do before my birthday so here it is.

Last year, I was able to take part in three different charity run’s (well I say run but really I mostly just walk/run/walked). This year I have not yet taken part in any but I don’t think I’ll be able to take part in one before my birthday which is a shame really because it’s such a great way to raise money for any great cause. However, I do still have plans to raise money for charity before I turn nineteen and here it is!
1) Do a charity 160ft Bungee jump in Salford Quays.

I have already signed up to this but who knows, I might be too scared to jump when it comes about. I think this is a great way to raise money for charity and I know that is will be incredibly fun to do.

2) Visit three places outside Manchester. 

I love Manchester and my home, but really I have never had the chance to visit places outside Manchester or really go out of Manchester. Before I turn nineteen I would really love to go out of Manchester and visit these new places. It would be really exciting to get some video logs there and also do some photography.

3) Start wearing contact lenses, get use to life without glasses.

I have worn glasses since the age of 13, I attempted to wear contact lenses last year in October but I never continued to wear them. Before I turn nineteen I want to try wearing contact lenses again and this time keep it up because it was actually nice being able to see without glasses.

4) Finish watching Pretty Little Liars on Netflix. 

Now this sounds like it’s such a small goal but I began watching the series but then stopped to watch other series and never got back to watching it again. The new series is now coming out so I will just continue being behind so before I turn nineteen I need to catch up on this.

5) Attempt to become Vegan for a week. 

My sister is a vegan, though I’m a vegetarian I would like to attempt veganism because not only is it better for the environment and less cruel to animals but it is also a challenge because without DAiry Milk I shall cry.

6) Go on a social media detox for a week. 

Now this is NOT a realistic goal to reach before my birthday but I want to set myself a challenge and this is definitely a challenge for me. I would say I spend about 10 hours on social media a day so living without it for a week would be refreshing.

7) Wear heels.

This is a mad challenge, I have never worn heels. Well, actually I did at prom for about 2 minutes.

8) Finish my 500 piece puzzle.

Before Christmas I bought a 500 piece jigsaw puzzle; I never finished making it and I would like to finish this puzzle before my birthday, that’s a challenge.

9) Publish 20 video logs. 

I have posted two so far on my YouTube channel but I definitely need to keep up with this and reach at least 20 before my birthday.

10) Go out in a colourful item of clothing.

This is a strange goal to reach before my birthday but I why not right? Maybe bright yellow.

11) Eat 5 fruits a day for a week. 

We are told to eat five fruits a day but hardly any of us do it. We never realise how easy it is to do it and to eat healthier like is. Especially in the Begum’s household. We have fruits in all the time.

12) Try coffee. 

I have never ever drank a cup of coffee in my life. I have never really wanted to and the smell of coffee puts me off it but I would like to try it before I turn 19 so there it goes on the list.

13) Finish reading the Quran. 

As a Muslim I think it’s important to be reading the holy book and as Ramadan approaches, I would like to read the entire Quran.

14) Reach 200 blog posts. 

I am slowly getting into regularly blogging what I do and just general things. I want to reach at least 200 blog posts before my birthday of good content which is meaningful and interesting.

15) Get my ears pierced. 

I once had my ears pierced but this healed up very quick after I stopped wearing them. I want to get my ears pierced once again!

16) Raise 100 pounds for a homeless shelter or charity. 

Homelessness is a big issues in society. I want to be able to do my part and raise as much money as I can for a homeless charity before my birthday.

17) Go to Blackpool Pleasure Beach.

Believe it or not, I have never ever been here. I have always wanted to but I have never had the chance so there it goes on the list.

18) Learn how to make a mocktail.

Sam came up with this idea, she says to master the skill of mocktail making with different colours would be extremely challenging. 

19) Write a short story and attempt to get it published somewhere. 

Now I like writing but don’t know if I would be great at writing a short story. Before my birthday I would like to attempt writing a short story and event trying to get it out there.


Ask Away Your Questions…

Hi guys,

I was supposed to be posting my video log up for this, this afternoon but I’ve not been able to upload it to Youtube because of technology (hOW BRILLIANT!). Instead, I’m typing it up on a blog post so I don’t miss it and it’s a better solution than having nothing!

I asked people to ask me questions on my social media and I simply answered them. Course the video I went into much more detail with the answers but here is just how I answered them anyway.

Why have you started vlogging?
I answered this question on my very first video log two weeks ago but in short, I’m hoping to go places and actually DO things this summer so video logging was the best way that I could think of to share my experiences and what I’m up to. It’s also a challenge and as someone who loves a bit of a challenge, I thought why nOT?

Do you find it difficult to balance out blogging and your work life, i.e. university?
Well, my university encourage us to blog and we’ve actually got a module on our course where it requires you to blog so I don’t think I find it that difficult to balance it out, I’ll be blogging for my university work anyway so why not blog my personal life too and what I’m up to?

Favourite Netflix shows at the moment?
At the moment I would put Pretty Little Liars up there, I’m on Season 4 now and it’s got me hooked (WHO IS A?). I’m also liking 13 Reasons Why. Though it shouldn’t take a Netflix show to make people understand how important mental health is, it has done that and that is definitely good. I could also put American Horror Story here, this is usually NOT my sort of show to watch but I’m actually liking it, it’s very creepy.

How long have you been wearing glasses for?
Well, quite a while! I started wearing glasses in Year 8, so how old was I then? So around 13. It’s a funny story about that but I’ll save it for the video log.

What do you think about Jude Law playing Dumbledore in the 2nd Fantastic Beasts film?
I’m not too sure about this, maybe it’s because of the original HP, I don’t know if he’s the right person to take on the role but we’ll find out when the film comes out I guess.

If you could have a superpower what would it be?
Probably to read minds, then you’ll know what people are thinking without them knowing that you know. To be fair, I think this would eventually drive me nuts.

What is your favourite sport?
I can’t believe someone actually asked me this, walking. If walking is a sport then definitely, rather than that I do NOT do any sport. Shafia and sport do not go together.

Top 3 places to visit in MCR?
I did a video log on this last week but I’ve not edited or finished it yet so stay in tune.

What is your favourite thing about blogging?
The fact that I can share content, create content and just talk to myself. It’s so nice knowing that you can just talk about a subject and people actually read it. It’s also nice reading other people’s thoughts on whatever the subject it and just engaging with people. I love that.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
Could not answer this question. I can’t even tell you where I see myself in five years time. Everything changes so quickly so it’s hard to know really. I know where I want to be but I don’t know if it’ll come true or go the way I want it to go.

There were a few more questions but I’ll save the rambling for the video log when technology decides to work with me, not against me.

Sorry for the no upload this week,

I shall try my best to get it edited ASAP next time.


My First Ask Italian.

So I have always gone on and on about going into Ask Italian but somehow I have never actually gone in (until now).  As someone who eats out very often, most of the time being the same places, it was nice to try something different but sort of the same food.

The Ask Italian menu has a wide range of food, though most is Italian (it is called Ask ITALIAN after all). It was actually really good with the Vegetarian options and even has a Vegan menu (so they cater for different diets). Though I stuck to my standard margherita pizza, it did actually taste different and I could definitely tell the difference between this one and the usual pizza places I go to.

The food prices weren’t too bad, though the dessert menu is a bit pricey. Course I can’t judge the entire menu because I have only really tried the most basic meals from the lot but from the taste of the pizza, I would definitely put it up in the top 10 Pizza’s I have ever had. You could easily tell that it was freshly made with the waiter coming up to you asking you what type of cheese you want and actually grating it in front of your eyes (this was something I really liked because who likes their pizza overly cheesy?).

Above you can see the dessert I had; I can’t tell you how delicious it was. Three scoops of ice-cream, biscuit and chocolate sauce cannot be beaten. Although it was pricey as I have mentioned already, I think the taste of it balanced it all out and I was very happy with it. (I am pretty sure Sam was also happy with her pear tart too!)

Overall, I thought that my first experience of Ask Italian was good. I would definitely go there again however order something different, not just the standard pizza. I would also ensure that I go in an empty stomach because I was full after three slices of that pizza. The place was also very clean, no doubt I can say that it was one of the cleanest places I have ever eaten. The staff cleaned up straight away, however we were in no rush to leave.

Laved it, another restaurant ticked off my list of places to try!


Surviving deadlines at University.

Hello all,

My first year at University is now coming to a close; I have about two more weeks left then exam period comes along and after that I am officially finished. It has flown by so quickly and though I have been stressed a few times over the year, I’ve survived (well, it’s not actually over yet, so we’ll see about that!).

To upcoming university students, I have a few tip top tips for you. Though I can’t really say anything about accommodation and surviving the pain of cooking your own food (because I commute), I can give you tips on going about your assignments and deadlines.

Here are my tip top tips on surviving your deadlines over the first year at university.

  1. Doughnut leave your assignments to be done a night, or two nights in fact before.
    A lot of university students do this, it’s really not a good idea because you’ll end up stressing and the quality of your work will seriously be affected. Though it’s hard, it’s definitely better to begin your assignment/s when the brief has been released. This way you have time and organise yourself with how you want to go about completing it.
    University is so much more stressful than you think it will be, you can have 0 deadlines in one week and 3 the next so being organised with your assignment/s is so important.
    I found myself planning out my assignment/s when the brief was up and this really helped me because I was able to go talk to my tutors and improving it was so much more easier.
  2. Ask for help with your assignments if you need it!
    This sounds quite corny but a lot of university students seem to think that lecturers are just lecturers, not people you CAN actually approach for help and advice. Some assignments can be really tricky and sometimes you just can’t get yourself to even begin them because you simply don’t know how to. Asking for help is so important especially as a first year university student because you’re just beginning to learn how it all works and finding your feet.
    You’re also working toward a deadline so asking for help when you know you’re struggling can actually help you finish the essay or whatever it may be quicker – which means more time to relax and paRTY.
    Even with practical assignments – so assignments where you need to go out film, draw, interview etc, help is always there if you need it. You’re paying £9,000 a year, should you not be taking advantage? (Oh wait, it’s changing to £9,250 per year, so you NEED to take advantage of them).
  3. Don’t buy books if you really don’t need to.
    Now, everybody knows how expensive books are especially when they are on a specific topic but sometimes the books you need and the books that are on your reading list are available through Google Books or you can buy them cheaper from Amazon or Ebay. I know it’s sometimes impossible to do this because the books on the reading list aren’t always available online, in the library or the ones available are too old. However, always check before you order any books, what’s the point spending £30, £40 + on one reading for one assignment when it was already available to read online/print?
  4. Make sure you get enough sleep (but not too much).
    We all love sleep. We need sleep and without it we do nOT function. To survive the first year at university, you need to get enough sleep so that you are fully functioning at your lecturers and seminars (but not to the point where you actually miss your lectures and seminars because you love sleep so much).
    It’s obviously hard to sleep when you’ve got so much work, trying to socialise and make time for other things but it helps to make sure you’re in bed by a certain time and to wake up early enough to get yourself ready for the day.
    I know students who sleep at 3, 4 even 5am in the morning and they struggle with managing their time and sleep. If you can, try getting at least six/seven hours of sleep, else it just makes life difficult and stressful.
  5. Make time for yourself and enjoy yourself!
    People often forget that university isn’t just about getting a degree and then moving onto the next stage of your life. Making friends and enjoying yourself there is just as important but it’s just finding the right balance. If you’re constantly working on assignments and finding it hard to make time for yourself, stop. Take a breather, rest and then go back to it. This is exactly why you should plan out your assignments once the brief has been released because by knowing when and what you’ll be doing, you’ll know when you can relax and make time for yourself.

In a nutshell, I’m saying to survive deadlines at university, be organised. If you know what you’re doing, it’ll make life so much more simple. Don’t overwork yourself to the point where you’re not getting sleep but don’t relax too much to the point where you aren’t getting assignments done.
I know it’s so much harder to do than just saying all this, deadlines can be very stressful and you can have about 104 things to do for them, therefore sleeping can be impossible but managing your time effectively helps you with everything.