it’s my turn to cook for wednesday dinner again. i can’t believe how fast five weeks goes by. i swear, it feels like I just cooked for my fam.


I think I was unwise in my choice of food too. bbq chicken and shrimp, with corn, green pea rice, grilled veggies and a salad. not that the meal is going to be bad, because it’s not. it’s just that the prep is taking so long! when cooking for the big fam less prep is best and in this case skewering all those shrimp and chicken pieces took forever.

and then, whenever I think anything is arduous, I think of my friend nish. and I say to myself – what on earth are you complaining about?


and some things so are.

while I’m stressing about making a good meal for my family, nish is fighting for her life.


she was recently told that her cancer came back. a devastating piece of news I’m sure you can imagine. and when I say came back I mean she was diagnosed (with acute myeloid leukemia,) fought hard, won and then, a little over a month age, the bloody thing came back. no pun intended.
she’s strong as hell. a true fighter in my opinion. and will likely say sayonara to this round of cancer soon insha’allah because she is so tough. her mental is on point.

but she needs your help.

you see, in order for her cancer to be fully gone she needs a stem cell/marrow transplant. she needs a match. and so far she hasn’t found hers. but that doesn’t mean one isn’t out there.

this weekend, one match is holding a drive so you can come and get swabbed and potentially save a life.

here are the details /
sunday august 31st at the jcc
9000 bathurst st

so now, I have a really big request of you. well actually it’s a small thing, but could yield very big rewards.

please come out and get swabbed. and if you cannot come out please connect with one match to see how you can do it at home. it really only takes a minute of your time. the husband I did it together after daani was born because we couldn’t make it out to a drive the first time around.

and granted, you may not be a match for nish, but who knows. you could be a match for someone.


and what’s a bigger reward than that?



photo / some things are not important, by conceptual artist, author, ilustrator and all-round creative, keri smith.


GET THAT SHOT 'SHOP / OCTOBER 4 2014 / tahsin, the good

the next get that shot ‘ shop dates are up. the last two workshops were really awesome, but because the class is so packed with information and tips i kept running out of time to get the class to put into practice the things learnt. and i really felt like that was a problem. i wanted so badly to actually physically be there to assist my students in setting up their shots, helping them with the editing process so they could find their own personal filter, and taking that extra time to munch on snacks and talk to everyone in the class.


so now, the timing for the workshop is a little bit longer and the cost is a little bit more. now when you register for the class you’ll get a half day workshop out of it with just enough time to cover all the bases. and for those of you who are new here and have no idea what i’m talking about, check this.

get that shot ‘shop is a mobile photography workshop i created for you to learn how to take better photos using the camera you seem to pick up majority of the time for your blog, business or home photos. it’s a response to so many of my friends asking me how i get my pictures to look the way they do. and i give it all away. really, i do. i want you to be happy with the photos you take so you can be excited to look back on them and proud to share them.

and just to be clear, i’m in no way saying that dslr’s or better quality cameras are unimportant. because i soo am not. they definitely have their place. it’s more let’s make the photos we take with our mobile phones way better. because we take way more photos with them. right? but you can easily parlay some of the tips you learn into your experiences with photography in general. regardless of what camera you use.


and then seeing the outcomes of the class makes me so happy. check the hashtag #getthatshotshop on instagram to see some of my favourite shots and my students new skills at work.GET THAT SHOT 'SHOP / OCTOBER 4 2014 / tahsin, the good

you can read more about it here and also register for the next class which will be on saturday october 4th from 10-1pm here.

here are a few snaps of the last few workshops -


goodie bags/mini polka-dotted rice bag pouches included monogramed notebooks, a cheat sheet on the workshop topics, and a set of notecards from light+good.


and here are some “best in class” shots. you know who you are.


so whether you are interesting in ambling your skills for your next vacation, the launch of your online shop, or simply want to take better photos of your ever-growing kids, come. you can guarantee you will learn at least one trick or two, taking your photos from being ehh to ooooohhhhh!

again, you can register for the next class which will be on saturday october 4th from 10-1pm here.







now that camp, big summer events and some work projects are out of the way we are making the most of what’s left of our summer. and even though it’s pretty chilly for august it’s not stopping us from getting a little wet!


today we went to this splash pad that, before earlier this summer, I had never heard of. it’s crazy how you can live in a place for so long and not know what’s out there. anyway, a few weeks ago when my mom, the girls and I were at the park at high park, a lady told us about kidstown in scarborough. and let me tell you, it ain’t your ordinary splash pad. it’s a free, city-run kids water park, with slides and huge water apparatuses dumping, squirting, spraying and shooting water at your kids. we went with “the gang”, our fun-loving three-pack of cousins and they all loved it.

and if you’re a parent of young kids, you will know that splash pad water is freezing. like, freezering freezing.20140819-012735.jpg

but that didn’t stop them from jumping in and having a blast.

my kids, well at least the littlest one, was a bit too small to enjoy fully. she’s only just getting steady on her feet on dry, flat land, so that was a bit of a challenge here. next summer insha’allah.

in the end we picnicked, we parked and we splashed, then we all crashed for nap. myself included!20140819-012753.jpg

have you ever been to kidstown? how have I never heard of this place?! and if you have not been, check it out the next time we get a sweltering hot day. which will hopefully be soon!



ps. I realize how funny this all looks that there is no water in any of the shots. ha. for some reason this particular zone didn’t have water running yesterday, but it ended up being my kids favourite part!



holy mother, it’s been a while. the last month has been busy busy to say the least (ramadhan, nights of qadr, my first pop-up shop, camp, eid, the salad exchange, the #mvbbq… phew! that was. mouthful!) and it all comes to a head today with my second pop-up shop for light + good at the silk of paradise tea party.20140816-014332.jpg

i met sundus, the mind behind this party and online shop of fun costume jewelry, at a meet and greet in the city back in april and keep, happily, bumping into her at different events since then. she’s a pretty rad girl doing so many different things (full-time jobbing, blogging, night-time jewelry ‘slinging, event organizing,) I was really excited she asked me to take part in her tea party.20140816-014321.jpgit’s going to be fun, so come out with your girls, your fam or your man for some local shopping, cupcake-eating and davids tea-drinking. yep, this girl got davids tea to sponsor her party, so this ain’t gonna be your gramma’s cuppa. not to say that’s bad or anything, but you get my drift. so come and sip a little forever nuts or kokomo green with us (those are my two favourites!)


oh, and it’s a free event, so you can spend more at my booth! lol.

no, seriously.

i’m going to have a selection of prints, some new notecards, tassels, kid necklaces, tees and some other goodies with me. cash is king, but I’ll take your plastic too. 😉

here are the deets -

silk of paradise anniversary tea party pop up
artscape youngplace
180 shaw street
toronto, ontario
today from 12-9pm
click here for more info and to rsvp if you are so inclined.

i really hope to see some of you there!

so anyway, that’s where i’m at these days. back to a bit more regular programming here on the blog in the next little bit. and i’ve got lots to fill you in on. hope you’re all well!

besitos mamis,






wasn’t it?

it’s been quiet here on the blog for a bit, but not quiet in my head. not quiet at all. as I type this I’m so full of frustration with what is going in the world today. abroad, and so close to home too. bad news, then more bad news and then even more.

it seems when it rains it pours.

and these things are not directly affecting me. only indirectly so, but man, I’m sad.

and I don’t feel like blogging about a recipe or what I did today. I feel guilty. and blessed. and thankful, but angry. I’m a big ball of emotion these days. and I can’t seem to concentrate and keep it all together.

blogs are typically so bright, full of life, pretty things and happy times. but it doesn’t feel right to use this forum for only that.

so I just took a pause.


and remembered why I started.

to dream big. love hard. and fight for what’s right.

fighting for what’s right is crucial now more than ever. the world is in a dark place. and what is currently going on in palestine has never been right, but now more than ever it’s grossly, unjustifiably, inhumanely wrong.


you only need to go on facebook for a minute to see the loss of life and destruction. can you imagine what that might do to a persons mind? seeing it first hand? living it?

and I’m a mother. of two little babies. if we lived (if you can call what they do living) in palestine right now we would likely be dead. this is not a joke. or taking things too far. this is real. and those lives are real. and i just want to say that out loud because some don’t seem to think so. and that completely boggles my mind.


I’m sitting at the park right now with niyya so close while we wait to pick up daaniya from camp. and there is laughter, kids running around, playing carelessly in the splash pad. as they should. kids still played in palestine, as they should, but their games end not in going home to rest, but in death and critical injury.


I pray for these families, for these mothers, fathers and children, these people, and think to myself what can I do to help? how can I play my part in all of this? because at this point I am consumed. I cannot unsee what I’ve seen or unfeel how I feel. I pray on this. hard. because even though I’m far away, I have a role somehow. right? don’t we all?

so what I’ve concluded right now is that I have to keep talking. to use my voice, however quiet it may be, to bring about awareness. for myself and for others too. knowledge is power, right?

and I have to fight, however i can, for the rights of people around the world who are being mentally broken, stolen from, killed, attacked, made to leave their homes out of fear.


as an artist/designer/maker I can only do what I know at this time. so, my shop is taking a slight shift to reflect this new goal of mine. most items will now have a cause that portions of the profits are going to go towards. for example, the i heart Allah tee proceeds will go towards the children of iraq who have been made to flee their homes due to the terror caused by isis. (that’s a whole other story) and the peace is universal tee will be back on for pre-order to aid the people of palestine during this nightmarish time. insha’allah, we can each do little and collectively do a lot.

and i have to keep on keeping on. life does go on. i have those two babies to raise. with good, happy, tolerant, loving and kind hearts, so that they can share their goodness with the world. i have to get out, but not too far away,  from under the cloud in order to do this.

tonight is another night of powerful prayer. insha’allah our prayers for patience and faith will get to those oppressed the most.

be well.






ok everyone! i’m having a salad exchange! well, my friend, zehra and i are hosting one together and we want you to come. this all came about a few months back when i had a few of my friends over for a soup exchange. the soups were all so good and the company was even better. i thought to myself then that i really wanted to do something like it again and what better way to do so than to share salads in the summer.

so here i am inviting you to come and exchange salads with zehra and i. the exchange is going to be held on friday august 1st in richmond hill in the evening. so mark your calendars ladies. yes, sorry this is for the ladies only!


what on earth is a salad exchange, you ask? well basically each person brings jars full of salad to exchange with the others at the party. you’re only making 4 jars so it’s not a huge commitment. you make 4 jars of the same salad and you will be taking home four different jars. so you come with one type and leave with a variety to try out for the week!

salad in a jar, you ask? yes! if you layer your salad into a jar with the heartiest and wettest parts on the bottom and the lightest and dryest parts on the top you will have a salad that stays fresh and crisp for days in the fridge. it’s genius i tell you!


this infographic has been making the rounds on pinterest for a long while now (sadly, i don’t know who it belongs to..) and i have some friends who prepare their salads for the week this way.  so don’t fret. it’s tried and true. follow these guidelines for your typical leafy salad and you’ll be good to go, er… share!

i get my mason jars at canadian tire. they always have a good stock. and the size you’ll need for this are the 1L jars. they come in a case, so i plan to split mine with some friends, but can i tell you something? mason jars are so rad, you’ll find uses for your case for sure.


i’m excited to be doing this with my friend. i love spending time with her and her kiddies. last week we got together and made a big salad for our fams dinner and it was just so nice to catch up, chat and laugh together in the kitchen. time goes by real fast with her around and all that chopping was interspersed with lots of talking. so come with a friend. prep your salads together. i mean, why not?

if you’re not into salads, that’s cool you can still come and hopefully someones concoction will make you a believer. salads are so so good. so fresh and healthy. and with the right dressing, sometimes i prefer my salad to my main! we will be serving a few feature salads made by some of our whiz-in-the-kitchen friends, so we won’t be eating your stash that night, but we will be sharing recipes. if you need some ideas for salads check out my salad pinboard. lots of colour, lots of tasty ones to try out there.


you can make your salad however you want with whatever ingredients you want. fruits, nuts, greens, veggies, whatever. although, i will say, if you plan to use meat or chicken please make it halal! and no bacon. ok? sorry, but none of that stuff, ok? lol.


i’m excited to be doing this with my friend. i love spending time with her and her kiddies. last week we got together and made a big salad for our fams dinner and it was just so nice to catch up, chat and laugh together in the kitchen. time goes by real fast with her around and all that chopping was interspersed with lots of talking. so come with a friend. prep your salads together. i mean, why not?


the other part of this exchange as the idea of it all got rolling is that we wanted to use it as a vessel to raise some money and awareness for a group that we have been a part of for the last little bit. it’s called hands 2 hearts and it’s made up of a bunch of like- minded ladies who just want do something productive to give back. to the community locally and worldwide in whatever ways we can. with our hands, to someones hearts. charity and volunteering has been ingrained in us from such a young age, we just all felt this desire to start acting on it in a more organized way. currently we are working on various events to raise funds for the children of zanzibar, a non-profit working towards bettering the lives of zanzibarians through education, food, and health initiatives. for more information on this cause click here. the site is not super updated, as it is a one woman show and that one woman is working tirelessly to make change. we are only here to help her help them. we are planning a few other events in the near future, but this one is the first.

so if you are free and want to hang out, please click here to reserve your spot. and if you can’t make it, but still want to contribute to our cause you can still click on the link above to make a donation.

we are looking forward to it!






EIDVENT CALENDAR / starting ramadhan traditions for our kids / tahsin, the good

months before ramadhan started, like, last december, leading up to christmas-time, my pinterest feed was overloaded with the most lovely images of advent calendars. the creative community that i followed had cooked up sweet little packages for their little ones to open each day in anticipation of christmas day. it’s a way to make the holiday season fun for the kids and not just about the one day. and it really is a season. a season of giving, loving, sharing, and spending time with loved ones amongst many other things. and when i saw these pins i thought it would be so nice to do something similar for my kids during our big season of our holiest month, this month of ramadhan.

i am learning that with kids it’s so important to start traditions that appeal to them to involve them in our culture to ensure that it doesn’t get lost in the midst of all the other cultures they are exposed to. check out our milad un nabi tradition here and here. for me, ramadhan has always been about good food, going to the mosque, spending time with family and friends, giving charity, pariticipation, community, and of course, the spirit. connecting with Allah and reviving my relationship with Him.

so i made plans to prepare a calendar to kick off the month and incite cheer and fun in anticipation of eid. hence the name eidvent! then, we decided to go away on vacation and return two days prior to the beginning of ramadhan and it just didn’t get done. but that didn’t mean i didn’t still want to prepare something for the girls. so a week in (hope it’s going well for everyone so far!) i finally completed ours and put it up. never late is better, but better late than never. right?

i made a list of all the things and experiences i wanted to include. i didn’t really want our calendar to be about stuff so much as fun and experiences. I remember growing up the advent calendars sold in stores were filled with chocolates and i definitely didn’t want to do that for the girls on the daily. having it be only about food would defeat the purpose of this tradition as they grow up because eventually they will be fasting too. i could have also gone to the dollar store and picked up little trinkets and toys for each day, but we’ve got enough stuff hanging around.

EIDVENT / its more about experiences than things / tahsin, the good

so i thought up fun things to include and talked to friends about some of the things they included and was able to come up with thirty unique “treats”. things like a love note and loose change to give for sadka, baking together for the bake sale at mosque, calling/face-timing someone of their choice, going to the splash pad. some had to do with the month and it’s values, some were just for fun and some were what daani would call treats. i mixed it up a bit.

now that i had my list, (planned out and coordinated to suit the days on our regular calendar) it was time to make it pretty! lol. i was inspired mainly by the minimalist advent calendars i saw and pinned a bunch of them here on my eidvent board. then i collected my materials (paper bags, paper, string, tape, markers) and the other day while daani was painting, i created my numbered tags by painting a sheet of paper, cutting them into circles, and painting the numbers on. once everything was ready to go, i assembled and hung it all up. the husband even helped!

20140707-101853.jpg20140707-101842.jpgEIDVENT / brown bags, string, numbered tags, and imagination! / tahsin, the good

both girls seemed to be excited about it, (when daani an i opened the first one, niyya kept inching closer and closer) and now a few days in daani is longing to open the next bag. like i said before, with these traditions it’s all about making it fun for them and, i could be getting ahead of myself here, but, mission accomplished!


did you make an eidvent calendar this year? or an advent calender at xmas? tell me about it. if you didn’t make one this month, and want to, you could just make it for the last ten nights! why not, right?!


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