52 FACES / 14

51 FACES / DAANIYA / tahsin, the good51 FACES / NIYYA / tahsin, the good
“a portrait of my daughters, once a week, every week, in 2014.”

daaniya : you are growing up so quickly, mA. the other day you put on pants (all by yourself) that i used to have to cuff two times to get them to fit and now they are short on you. you are becoming braver and more confident by the minute. this is you stoked that you were able to jump. even though it was maybe an inch off the floor, it was something!
niyya : you are like a fiend when it comes to comforting yourself. all you need these days is your thumb and a piece of cloth. or this elephants trunk. or your little friends dress. if it is soft and you can grab it, it’s in your hands attached to your mouth. it’s so cute and so funny at the same time. your sister did similar things to, so you’re not alone in this quirky phase. the best part about it is that you love to do this while cuddling and cosying up to me. it is the absolute best!


SOUP JOUGH / tahsin, the good.

as promised here is the recipe for this traditional persian soup. my friend shahnaz made it for the soup exchange i had last month and the flavours are so divine you have to try it out at home.

shahnaz’s soup jough

what you’ll need is…

  • 2 tbsp grape seed oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 large onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 1/2 cups pearled barley, rinsed and soaked in cool water for an hour
  • 4 cups of stock, chicken or vegetarian
  • freshly ground salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
  • 2-3 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice
  • water
  • chopped flat-leaf parsley for garnish

and all you have to do is…

  • sautee the onions in the butter and oil until translucent
  • add the pearl barley to the pot and stir for one minute. stir in the broth, salt and pepper.
  • bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 1 hour.
  • to the pot add the shredded carrots and mix. add more hot water if needed. cover and cook for another 40-45 minutes on medium-low heat.
  • in the last 15 minutes of cooking add the lemon juice, taste and adjust the seasoning, if needed.
  • serve the soup in a large bowl, sprinkle chopped parsley on top and serve with warm bread.

what i love about making soup is that there is very little prep, long low-maintenance cook times and a hearty, healthy and delicious outcome every time. thanks shahnaz, you are awesome mama!

SOUP EXCHANGE / tahsin, the good.

who’s going to try this one out?


SOUP EXCHANGE / tahsin, the good.

a little while back i had a few of my friends over to my house for a soup exchange. it was a few weeks ago. a time when winter was still hanging around in full force. so i wanted to give winter a nice big send-off by having an exchange of one of my favourite things about the cold weather months – soup!

each person was to make one big pot of a soup of their choice and bring it divided into four 2 cup mason jars to exchange. the point was to have one jar of soup to enjoy that day for lunch and three to take home. not everyone went home with each soup, but we all definitely got a nice sampling and lunches for the week! bonus!!

SOUP EXCHANGE / tahsin, the good.SOUP EXCHANGE / tahsin, the good.

i wanted to have a nice variety of flavours and types of soup, so i asked my friends to let me know in advance what they were going to bring. just wanted to make sure there was no major overlap, you know. i am a big fan of squash soup, but really didn’t want to have jars and jars full of that flavour! we ended up with a really nice mix like roasted red pepper and potato, harira, and citrus curry lentil. mmmm my belly’s getting hungry just thinking of them all.

SOUP EXCHANGE / tahsin, the good.SOUP EXCHANGE / tahsin, the good.

i wanted to make a sandwich to round out our soup and decided to serve a gourmet grilled cheese with coriander pesto, sun-dried tomatoes and havarti on rye. it was a hit! i’m going to post a recipe for this soon, so you can try it at home. it’s so easy to make and so tasty to eat! actually, a few of my friends are still talking about them. not to toot my own horn or anything, but they were really really good. haha.

SOUP EXCHANGE / tahsin, the good.GOURMET GRILLED CHEESE / tahsin, the good.SOUP EXCHANGE / tahsin, the good.SOUP EXCHANGE / tahsin, the good.

how we worked out the exchange was simple. i really didn’t want any soup to be the last pick, so to make things fair i gave each guest a number from 1-8 and marked it on the back of their drink tag. when everyone arrived i asked them to pick four random numbered stickers to place on their soups. so in the end, you got the four soups with your number on it. makes sense, right?

SOUP EXCHANGE / tahsin, the good.SOUP EXCHANGE / tahsin, the good.

it was pretty funny watching everyone collect, and then ooh and ahh over their loot!

SOUP EXCHANGE / tahsin, the good.SOUP EXCHANGE / tahsin, the good.

while i plan to share the soup recipes here on the blog, i’m not going to bombard you with all of them just now. i will however share this delightful soup jough that my azizam, shahnaz, made for the group in the next post.  she is lovely, and her soup was too!

SOUP EXCHANGE / tahsin, the good.SOUP JOUGH / tahsin, the good.

SOUP EXCHANGE / tahsin, the good.

the day of the exchange also happened to be one of my favourite peoples birthdays, so we celebrated her and satisfied our sweet tooth’s after all that savory with some carrot morning glory muffins. i got the recipe from here.

SOUP EXCHANGE / tahsin, the good.HAPPY BIRTHDAY CUPCAKE / tahsin, the good

it was a really fun lunch to organize and host. we all ate well, laughed out load, and learned a few new tricks for the kitchen. i’m definitely going to make this a yearly tradition, but next time i’ll have it once the cold weather sets in so we can soup it up all winter long. it’s also got me thinking that i want to have a salad exchange soon!! who’s in?




BLUSH CONVERSE / tahsin, the good

i really need to update my about page. please don’t go reading it now. i wrote that a long time ago and while some of it, well most of it, remains true, there are some outdated parts for sure. niyya is not still in my belly!

i’ll get to that soon, insha’allah.

for now, i’m using my worktime to get ready for the shop opening. funny enough i want to open for business on may 3rd. niyya’s 1st birthday. so pray for me. that i get all that i need to get done, done! ok? thanks!

also, i am in love with this colour right now. blush. rose, call it what you want. it’s just so pretty. see. i even posted about it here. and how does one get a pair of converse that are nice and worn in. my cream ones are not comfortable at all. tips?

photo / here


DIP DYED STOOLS / urban outfitters /tahsin, the good

i have been pinning a lot of furniture like this these days. i love the dip-dyed look.

DIP DYED STOOLS / urban outfitters /tahsin, the goodDIP DYED STOOLS / serena + lily / tahsin, the good

we have this stool from ikea. i would have liked it in white, naturally, but bought the black because it was the only one in stock. and i’m impatient like that. if i have it in mind that i will buy something, i more often than not, go home with something bought. it’s a bad habit, i know.

daani uses it all the time to wash up, and play around, however much we don’t love that, at the kitchen sink. now i’m thinking i should have bought the natural wood, stained it a nice caramel colour so that i could dip it for a look like the one below found here.

DIP DYED STOOLS / tahsin, the good


my only problem now is deciding which colour to do.


or should i shock with a bright like this one?

decisions, decisions….

photo credits / 1 2 3 4 5



i learned i was becoming a mama just over three years ago. it has since been the most crazy, rewarding, stressful, bi-polar emotion inducing ride i have ever been on. in these three years i have had two babies, both girls and calling life hectic and full, of love, etc. is an understatement.

i have been on instagram for just about the same amount of time. i admit i didn’t post as much as i do now, but i have been part of this community for some time. as a mom, who is mainly at home with her kids, (or out adventuring with her kids,) this daily place i go is a haven for me. in it i find inspiration and motivation and life lessons and simple beauty on the daily. friendships with people i have never met and connections with, if not for this place, total strangers.

i love the internet and especially instagram for this. the husband thinks i’m addicted, but i just think he has a different experience with it.

anyway, some of the feeds i am most drawn to are those of other moms. like me. who share the little and big things and who tend to make me laugh out loud, who i feel a strange sort of closeness to and empathy for, and who i can relate in some ways to.  for i awhile now i have wanted to share some of those people with you. and so, mamagram was born.

MAMAGRAM / LADYNOEL / tahsin, the good

the first in this feature is the insanely talented painter, boldly beautiful mama of two boys from florida, lauren noel. i was instantly attracted to her ig gallery for her gorgeous artwork and then for her honest approach to how she shares. it’s always a pleasure when her photos pop up in my feed.

1. to instagram the way you do is to document. why did you choose this platform? have you always been a photographer/documentor?

i actually attended and art school for middle and high school. there i took photography classes but never messed around with digital work and it was obvious then that photography was not my calling haha. even now and using instagram i don’t really find myself a photographer in a way. i mean we all kind of are that use this platform but i wouldn’t really say my feed is the kind of feed that you’d find jaw dropping images.

MAMAGRAM / LADYNOEL / tahsin, the good

2. what do you love about instagram versus other forms of online socializing? are you on any other social media?

there is something about instagram that allows you to connect with others in such a different way than twitter or facebook. i do have a facebook but really only use it for the purpose of my family members getting updates on the boys. i love that instagram has brought women into my life that inspire me constantly. i’ve made some incredible relationships, it has allowed me to share my love of art, and it’s been a great tool in bringing awareness to autism. i don’t have a ton of relationships with others that have children with autism. instagram has brought these relationships into my life. it has allowed me to not really feel alone in the world of autism.

MAMAGRAM / LADYNOEL / tahsin, the good

3. you are so raw and real in your posts. that’s part of the reason i love your feed so much. talk to me about sharing and what it means to you.

i’ve always been an incredibly open person. i think being vulnerable has it’s pros and cons like anything. i never want to portray myself in a way that’s false and untrue. i think we all have a story and i’m just telling mine one photo at a time. it’s become more important to me with using instagram to send a message. it’s not always the same message. i think that instagram has truly given us the means to change things. i want to share with others my love for life, my love for parenting and my love for god. really my favorite feeds are not always the ones with great photos but the ones that are open and true and brave enough to share the appropriate and deep parts of their lives.

4. your photos are high contrast, full of colour, bright and beautiful. every. single. one. what’s is one take-away you can share to getting great shots like yours?

hahaha i don’t even want to say they are great shots. shoot sometimes i’ll have 50 photos of one pose or scene and there will be just one good shot.  some photos are more natural than others. i am a freak though about how my feed flows. i think that’s the artist in me because truly they are our galleries. i try to find a color pattern almost you could say. where there is one staple color that is in one photo and that carries on into the next.

MAMAGRAM / LADYNOEL / tahsin, the good

5. i usually take my time taking in your photos and words and when i scroll to the next i always leave inspired. who and what inspires you? on instagram and other (don’t want to say “and in real life”, because instagram is part of real life too (despite what some may say!! lol))

i have found a various group of ladies and artists that inspire me. sometimes it’s not even people but images of clothes the patterns on things the colors in a room. on instagram i’m always inspired by @milkfriendly. @kassibaquet that mama is a warrior to me. also @avintagecloud is also just one of those artists where she is constantly working andi love seeing all of her images. mydisciplertina who is one of thosepeople that you know god put on your life for a reason. she is constantly challenging me andi’m just inspired by her convictions and her love for god.

MAMAGRAM / LADYNOEL / tahsin, the good

6. you are a very loving, wide open-hearted, dedicated mama with a lust for life. at least that’s what i take away from what i see and seem to know. is this how you would describe yourself?

lust for life? oh absolutely!! i love my children with all my heart and i want them to experience everything that this life has to offer. i crave adventures and excitement. i can’t wait for the day where i can go backpacking with my boys in europe or even take them to jamaica where they can learn more about their heritage. we are not promised tomorrow so i want my children to feel the most love they possibly can today! i want them to enjoy life but also learn how to be great men of god. having and raising children is not something we are entitled to it is a gift. i was lucky enough to be blessed twice so i plan on trying to be the best mother i can for my boys. that means loving them unconditionally, making sure they never feel like a burden and always being honest with them.

MAMAGRAM / LADYNOEL / tahsin, the good

7. i’m sure you have many, but what is one little gem you will undoubtedly pass onto your boys? in sharing here, you are passing it on to me and my girls. that is invaluable currency imho. 😉

not sure if you mean an item or a teaching. i don’t really have anything of value other than something’s that were passed down to me from my grandparents. what i will try and pass down to my kids is hopefully my love for god and everything i believe in. i think it’s important for us as parents to help our kids to believe in something. what ever that is for you and your family. i want my relationship with jesus to be something that is obvious to my boys that my life reflects my beliefs and what i preach.

MAMAGRAM / LADYNOEL / tahsin, the good

8. tell me a little more about your art. i can’t  imagine that you have not been painting forever, your lines are that good!!

hahah thank you!! well i went to art school like i said before when in grade school. after high school i kind of lost my way a bit and wasn’t painting or drawing. it wasn’t until last summer where i found my love for pencil and brush again. my art for me is something that is all mine. it’s the one thing that still helps me remain and individual. i think sometimes when we become parents we lose part of our identity. yet i believe becoming a mother has allowed me to grow as a person but also an artist. i am a mother first and for most but i still am also me! painting helps me to have that. it gives me the opportunity i need to express myself and to honestly keep my mind sane at times. i always love those pieces that i work on the bring me to tears. those moments are rare but are so beautiful to me. it’s almost like through painting i am able to work through things i haven’t already.

MAMAGRAM / LADYNOEL / tahsin, the good

see? i told you. inspiring. full. bold. beautiful.

follow lauren here on instagram and check out her etsy shop here.

who do you love to follow and get inspired by on insta?


CUSTOM LUCA JEWELRY / tahsin, the good

update / this giveaway is closed and the winner is wendy at wild morning. wendy, please email me for details! congrats!

ok, isn’t this jewelry lovely?! i was gifted this pair of necklaces from luca jewelry from the husband at this beginning of this month for my birthday. i called it a combination anniversary, birthday and double push present since it has been a while since i chose something truly special for a gift. this is not to say i haven’t received presents, it’s just, this was extra meaningful for me.


i have had these personalized gold-fill necklaces favourited in my etsy for the longest time! i just never got around to buying. or communicating my wants specifically with my primary gift giver. bless his heart, he sometimes needs things spelt out for him. i’m ok with that. i’m a particular person with particular tastes and this way makes life a little easier on all of us.

SOME OF MY FAVOURITE THINGS / photos of my babies, rocks, luca jewelry nameplate necklaces, my ipad mini, and pinterest! / tahsin, the good

one piece of advice i read somewhere and am a huge proponent of is to check out someones pinterest when deciding what to buy them. for a few reasons. one, almost everyone is on pinterest, and two, they are pinning things they like. basically, your wife, girlfriend, bestie, business partner, etc is telling you exactly what they want! it’s not rocket science here folks, but that to me is a win win! simplified, no-brainer gift-giving, happier gift-receivers, and more outside of the box gifts for all! lol. i told you, i’m a proponent of this. now i just have to put it into action. ps. feel free to check out my pinterest for you know, any ideas at all. wink wink.


ok, back to this lovely shop and its gorgeous, minimalist-chic custom jewelry. you can find luca jewelry on etsy and let me tell you, it was such a pleasure communicating with my new favourite shop girl, geeta! she is major talent and super hardworking.

since i am in the middle stages of opening my shop i am now obsessed with doing “research” online. i am so interested in the women behind all of my favourite boutiques. who they are, what inspires them and advice they may have for me at this phase or anyone else who has similar goals. and in addition to all that brain-picking i wanted to know ten things about her. random things, things the typical shopper may not know. so here’s the deal with that. she has been crazy busy lately with all of her orders and the possibility of a new studio (!!!) that she couldn’t get back to me in time. it’s all good, i’ll get the lowdown soon. once her studio space is set up, i plan to do tour on here and continue the feature then.

for now, here are a few things about geeta that i now know -

1. she has been running luca jewelry since 2012, and had another jewelry line before that,
2. but it has been a concept percolating in her creative mind for a lifetime.
3. she studied fashion (like me!) at central st. martins (that’s london’s top school for post sec fashion education)
4. she has worked as a designer with the likes of hussein chalayan, donna karan, and narcisco rodriguez.
5. she is british born, currently living in the states.
6. she has two daughters (again, like me!) who she devoted 10 years of her life to before launching her jewelry line.

she is so inspiring to me and….. generous to you! today you can win a $60 gift card to her shop!!

CUSTOM JEWELRY GIVEAWAY / tahsin, the good

i know the month of march is officially over, but i’m taking a few more days over here with this giveaway party because our typical schedule has been thrown for a loop a bit. still figuring out that balance!

LUCA JEWELRY / tahsin, the good

i really love this forever bracelet and the moi et toi necklace. and the heart and tiny star charm necklaces…. all of her jewelry is handmade and designed, cut, and finished in her studio using traditional metalsmithing techniques. her pieces are classic, modern and dainty. perfect for layering and everyday wear.  i’m so excited for the winner of this one!

CUSTOM NECKLACE / LUCA  JEWELRY / tahsin, the goodCUSTOM NECKLACE / LUCA  JEWELRY / tahsin, the good

daani received a necklace similar to this with her name on it for her first birthday from her fui and its such a beautiful keepsake. i am going to need to get one for nini so they can match.

so, i’m so glad we finally pulled the trigger and got them. if i’m nice, i may even gift them to my girls when they are older. maybe not though. haha.


some photos are courtesy of luca jewelry.

here’s how to enter this giveaway

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