you know who i love?

daani. and niyya.

my family.

my family.

you know, daani won an award at school today?
oh man. that made me proud.

i also love women who make me proud to be a woman.
the kind that support one another
if not guide one another.
who love one another
and take care of each other.

and pray together and laugh together
and talk together and cry together.



women who support one another,
not tear down the other.

who treat each one with respect.
and empathy and understanding and…


so i’m thanking you now.
for reading this.

because if after reading this
you don’t feel compelled to be
some kind of
that kind of woman toward me
or any other woman for that matter, well…


i don’t know….

i guess i’ll love you.


ps. niyya…
she is so good at giving love.


this has been a long time coming.

i was tagged by the lovely @kayinto to share 20 things about myself.

so, here goes.

i’m just a girl.

just like you.

only, just like me.

one. my name is arabic and i pronounce it incorrectly. i tell people to call me tahsin, that’s jason with a t.  but it’s really طحسين, ttahh- seen. my maternal grandfather was the only one who called me that god bless his soul. #tarunaamsuchay

two. i’m in my under-mid thirties and i still don’t have my shit together. realizing more and more than no one ever really all the way does. #workinprogress

she feels, therefore she’s real.

three. im crazy emotional. tears, smiles, moods, melancholy, passion. one big (crazy) ball of emotion. #shefeelsthereforshesreal

four. my daughters are my blessing. they fulfilled a lifelong goal of mine to be a mother. now the goal is to just be a good one to them.

my mind is a creative one so the ideas flow.

five. i can get distracted easily. my mind is a creative one so the ideas flow. i’m learning to organize and execute.

six. i was born in brockville to immigrant parents, raised in oakville and thornhill, with a stint in the city for school and just after i got married, and now live in the burbs just outside of toronto. #suburbanite, but #the6ix has my heart.

seven. i love self-mastery gurus, books, guides. gimme all the tips, wisdoms and encouragement. #foreverlearningasigo

eight. i dream of traveling the world with my little family. meeting new people, experiencing new cultures and opening our eyes. my parents traveled a lot with us, and i plan to do the same with my bunch. #wanderlustre #vamonos #ttgncoonthego

nine. i started wearing hijab in the fourth grade. took it off at the end of high school and then started up again about 5-6 years ago. it’s been a tumultuous relationship and like any other, one i have to work on every day. #hijabidiaries

ten. i love to sleep. naps on any kind of day are how i de-stress. #napsnapsnaps

eleven. i have a love/hate with cooking. while i always, always, always enjoy eating, sometimes i really just don’t want to cook. oh, but when i do it’s gooood. #shecookgoodlookgood

twelve. my dad passed away about six  months after i graduated from university. that’s just over ten years ago. pre-marriage, pre-kids, when i was young and much much less wise. i miss his presence, and that of a father, especially at this point in my life. trying to remember and stay aware of the fact that his love can still be felt and that his wisdoms can still be learned. #loveliveshere #imissu

thirteen. i don’t keep to a schedule. sometimes i’m an early bird, sometimes a night owl. sometimes both. regimen and routine are foreign concepts for me. and funny enough i was pretty strict about it with my kids in their early early years.  i know it has its benefits but nothing seems to stick. yet…. #shegoeswiththeflow

the heart and intention is always good…

fourteen. self worth is a tricky thing for me. i doubt myself a lot despite the semi-confident shell. i have high standards for myself and while i’m sure that i add value, i don’t necessarily know what it is. the heart and intention is always good though. #lovemeloveyou

fifteen. i have always wanted to connect with people. i found that hard growing up due to extreme shyness/see above. now with this whole online sharing business it’s so much easier to get at the heart of me and others. therefore the connections are coming so much more easily and feel so much more real. and i love that. that being said i still believe irl>url.

sixteen. i went to school for fashion communications and entrepreneurship and learned a lot of different things yet mastered nothing. #jackofalltrades #girlforhire #projectsonprojectsonprojects

seventeen. i’m the baby of three. #littlesisterforlife. and maybe because of this i love spending time with young women. my very own little sisters. i learn from them, share with them and then we grow.

i am insatiably thirsty for sage wisdom.

eighteen. that said, i am insatiably thirsty for sage wisdom. advice from mothers, others, elders and such. i realize now more than ever how much i like to learn about people’s stories and what they have to share. there are teachables and learnables if you just look. #tellmeastory

nineteen. i’m setting myself up to be a #bonafideplantlady. just so you know, plants over flowers any day of the week. except if they’re peonies. in which case, get the flowers. stat.

twenty. i’m just a girl, just like you. only, just like me. #onlyoneyou #oneandonly

oh, and i love #hashtagging.



it’s the most wonderful time of the year!

and true, some loathe this time for the long fasts, grumbling bellies and dry mouth, but i love this holy month of ramadhan.

it’s such blessed month and a fun, community-filled time. with the girls growing up as fast as they are we are setting the trend for what this time of year will mean to them going forward and i want them to always be excited for its onset and to eventually understand its significance.

“you fast for the whole month straight, that’s cray!”

i know many of you might not know much about it, so if you have any questions at all, just ask. like, “wait, what? you can’t drink any water at all?” (no.) and “you fast for the whole month straight, that’s cray!” (no no, that would be cray!  just from dusk till dawn. it’s totally safe and doable.)

no question is too small or big. for now you can brush up on some background info here.

may it be blessed and full of connections.

and for all of those who do know a bit about this month. may it be blessed, full of connections with your community, your family, your body, mind, spirit, book, and most importantly, your Lord.


oh, and just a reminder of the mercy and acceptance that this month is all about is a poem by rumi, to just come, as you are to this feast. you are welcome.

Screen Shot 2015-06-21 at 9.42.36 AM




i’m telling myself this after a few major blunders this past week.

because the reality of it is that i am human and i screw up.

and the fact that i’ve learned from my mistakes is the only reason it’s all ok.

if i kept being hard on myself past the twenty minutes or so that i allowed to dwell on things, then it wouldn’t be ok.

if i kept inside my head and didn’t balance my frustrations with some sort of release, then it wouldn’t be ok.

if i kept saying the awful words i said to myself, and i admit i did, then it wouldn’t be ok.

if i kept on going at the rate i have been without a keen sense of awareness, then it wouldn’t be ok.

living, and learning from living is the way about the mistakes, or rather experiences, accumulated over time.

so i say to my parking ticket, almost towed car, missed event – just so you know, you’re not going to get me down.

and i’m telling you right now, don’t let yours get you too.

you’re so much better than that.

and it’s ok.

credit / it’s ok print


i love these types of quizzes.

take two guesses to figure out which one i am.

actually to be honest, out of the four i could possibly be two. and although my results came out as one solid personality type, i’m definitely, as with many things, on the borderline.

find out which type you are and let’s talk on insta.




1. my phones screen saver of late. read it how you want to. love yourself so you can love others well. or love others so you can get love back.

2. empty pools. there’s something about the surrounding colours, angular lines and cavernous space that appeals to me so.


3. i have this thing with shadows. shall i hashtag that?


4. posted this on instagram the other day and i think it deserves a repost here. it’s a good month islamically to give as well, so it’s a nice simple reminder to myself to give more and more. and iA the riches will follow.


5. last week i was living at lowes. this week i’m praying for seedlings (grass seedlings) to sprout. should i just bail on this plan and opt for a fast growing ground cover? this post from a lazy toronto environmentalist (his words, not mine) are really making me think twice.


6. niyya got a new dolly from her dadi for her birthday a few weeks back. and  at first glance thought, “cool, i’ll just go and exchange it for a darker haired doll.” you know, one that looks more like us. but then, as i got to thinking, changed my mind about that completely. the point of a baby dolly is to love and care for someone other than yourself. and i thought, why not love and care for a blonde haired blue eyed baby? even though she doesn’t look like us she is still one of us. in the human sense. right? so baby ina is here to stay and we all love her so.

U_ISSA / tahsin, the good

7. one of many likes on instagram this week courtesy of u_issa.


8. there’s a new path i discovered in my forest the other day and those 6am walks in there with the sound of my thoughts, breath and the leaves on the trees are just the best.


9. finally read thru mr. steve jobs commencement address for the graduates of stanford from a few years ago. wow, there’s a lot of good insight in there. click  to read the speech in its entirety, or if you’re a mac user and into a hunt, find it tucked away in the hard drive of your computer.

CHRISTINA NORBERG / tahsin, the good

10. christina norberg art is nice. her work explores places “where everything intersects. where everything feels right.” my kinda girl.



some things is my musings post. i share photos and ideas of things that i’ve been up to lately, or that i just want to share.

i share and discuss more on my instagram, pinterest and twitter. follow along and see.

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THE GOOD SHOT / JASON HUDSON / tahsin, the good

since i teach a workshop in mobile photography i thought it would be fitting to share some of my favorite iphone-only photographers that i have come across on instagram.

it’s amazing to see what this tool can do and looking at photos like these are part of my daily inspiration re-up.

next up is jason hudson.

THE GOOD SHOT / JASON HUDSON / tahsin, the good

i had the luck of finding his feed early on in my time with this fun little app. i think, if i’m not mistaken, his feed was a suggested one to follow right from the jump.

and with good reason. his photos are consistent, but not predictable; beautiful, but not pretty; and somewhat themed, but definitely not boring.

by following his feed i have learned, among other things, a lot about composition, colour and repetition. all of which appeal to my visual sensibility.

his photos are really beautiful to look at.

and he is hilariously dry, a little sarcastic and fiercely loyal. that is, from what i gather.

his palette changes with the seasons. or location, for that matter. while not totally on the go, he has lead a very nomadic lifestyle in the last few years. traveling around the world from australia to amsterdam last year, to holing up in bahrain for the past six or so months. to say his photos cure/ignite my wanderlust is an understatement.

his photos tell a story of far away places, wandering, and because he shares so much the places ended up being refreshingly familiar.

THE GOOD SHOT / JASON HUDSON / tahsin, the good

since i think he’s so cool, i had to holler at him and pick his brain a bit on a few things. some to do with photography and some to do with.. life.

dig in if you’re a curious cat like me.

me: tell me a little about yourself.

him: oh god, i haven’t had to put myself into words in a long time! i honestly don’t know how. i’m a 33 year old person.

THE GOOD SHOT / JASON HUDSON / tahsin, the good

me: what would close loved ones say about you?

him: i think they’d say i’m enthusiastic and wacky. that i’m passionate about unexpected things. that i’m funny and smart. i like tidbits of information and facts.

me: what is/are your favourite things to shoot?

him: commercially, i like shooting food and spaces. artistically i like shooting people. i always like taking pictures of buildings and places. i like telling stories, so for me words and photos are sort of inextricably linked.

i like telling stories, so for me words and photos are sort of inextricably linked.

me: you’ve been around the world. do you have a favourite place? or top three and why?

him: you’re killing me. how do i choose? we always say bali, new zealand, and amsterdam. but i sincerely love every place i’ve ever been because, i mean, i just feel so lucky to have been there.

bali is beautiful and special. the people are great. there are so many parts that haven’t been squashed by tourism. it’s really bound by tradition and religion, but in a decidedly non-restrictive way. hinduism, of course, is unlike most formal religions.

new zealand is like another world. in a simple 2 hour drive the landscape could change 14 times. it’s mysterious and sparse and untouched. but also super familiar, in that it’s a commonwealth nation. so it sort of feels like canada, but with those accents and palm trees.

amsterdam was fun. and adorable. we rented a houseboat on the canal and enjoyed atypical weather (sunny and hot) so it was just this perfect combo. it felt like canadian cottage country. and we got to smoke pot for the first time in a while, which was fun.

when i’m really needing a spark, i don’t do or seek anything.

me: current inspiration and influences vs your youth inspiration and influences. has there been a big shift or steady growth over time?

him: music has always been a big one for me, though i don’t know if i’d describe any one thing as “inspirational”. like, when i’m really needing a spark, i don’t do or seek anything. i’m a typical creative – at my least-inspired, i probably do the worst thing, which is shut down completely and go into some sort of anxiety-driven depressive state. so at an inspiration-low-point, it’s probably not the best time to try to be creative. you gotta wait for it to pass and hop on when it’s already moving. it’s a timing thing. i tend to let myself ebb and flow and i don’t get too involved. i’m not a great self-motivator.

me: how did you spend your youth?

hanging with my best friend (20 years of friendship this year!) going to the mall, hanging in her bedroom playing music. singing and dancing and being silly. being sentimental and nostalgic. we could reminisce within hours of an experience. now that i think of it, i do that with most people i’m close with. the need to tell stories, i suppose. i mythologize my life instantaneously. i don’t know why that is. probably a comfort mechanism. my grandmother was a big storyteller. when we were quite young, she and my sister and i would have sleepovers and we’d request certain stories time and time again. i think life looks better in retrospect, when you can clear away the clutter and get to the essential truth of it. or the part that feels most true. i like perspective.

i mythologize my life instantaneously. i don’t know why that is. probably a comfort mechanism.

me: can you share a handful of your own iphone tips/apps that you use?

him: ig, afterlight, snapseed, skrwt, retouch.
if you only do one edit, straighten your damn horizon lines!

(note: after jason told me about skrwt, it has been one of my must-use apps! get it. get it now!)

me: who are some of your favourite photographers whose work you love? on insta or otherwise.

him: ritts, testino, liebovitz, seliger. i love the classic celebrity portraitists of my youth. i remember being so enamoured by the original us magazine and 90s vanity fair. portraits of princess diana. the vf hollywood issue.

and on ig – @dearleila, @timrobisonjr, @taraobrady, @nazfilms, @ryan__marshall

THE GOOD SHOT / JASON HUDSON / tahsin, the good

you can connect with this good ol’ canadian boy on his instagram, twitter or his blog.

thanks so much for sharing jason.



the good shot is a visual feature i share about people who take absolutely gorgeous, yet simple, story-telling photos with their iphone only. get inspired people, captured moments like these are only a click away.

it is also the name of the workshop i teach on mobile photography for your blog, business + home. the next class will be this summer.

have an insta account you love that you think i should follow? talk to me. you can find me on instagram, fb or twitter.

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