i’m so excited to share with you a new venture that i’m launching today. it combines my love for photography and documenting with teaching and sharing what i know. it’s called get that shot ‘shop and is a workshop in iphoneography/mobile photography for parents, business owners, bloggers and photography lovers alike. basically, anyone who wants to step their photo game up when it comes to the most widely used camera of our time, the mobile phone, is welcome to participate.

in this in-person workshop you’ll learn tips on taking great photos for work and home. you’ll find out more about what to shoot, cropping, composition, lighting, post-production, apps, and so much more.

i’m going to be teaching it and i’m really looking forward to it. the idea for me to run this workshop came about after getting a lot of positive feedback on my own photos that i post on instagram and here on my blog. i have become somewhat addicted to “getting that shot.” you know, of food, my kids, my selfies, my home, my products, etc.  and i know i’m not alone here. we all use our phones to take pictures because its easy. and accessible. i have a dslr, but don’t use it nearly as much as my iphone because its bulky, and i have my hands full already. that’s just how it goes for me right now with my two little ones. and you know what? the cameras are actually very good, if you know what you’re doing. i feel like so many people can get more out of their image capturing if given the right tools and a little guidance.

so the first workshop is going to be held on may 24th at my home. i’m doing it in my home because i want you to know that getting good shots can come from anywhere. you don’t have to be in a studio or outside. a lot of my photos come from this place, so i feel it’s the most natural space to begin this journey. the class will be capped at 8 people so we can maintain a small and intimate vibe as well as give you a lot of opportunities to get your questions answered and photos critiqued. so you can get the most out of this learning experience.

and i know i talk about this being an iphoneography workshop, but i’m not going to limit participants to iphone users only. samsung phones on the android system are built with good cameras too. so you are welcome as well! just don’t come close to me with a blackberry…. sorry. haha.

here are the details, clearly and concisely:


if you are interested in registering please email me at tahsin dot dhirani at gmail dot com. i will issue you an invoice via paypal as well as location details for the class. at this time payments for workshops are non-refundable and your space will be saved once your invoice is paid in full. this is a first come first serve sitch, so don’t sit on this.

if you have any questions about the workshop please use the email above to do so! i hope to see you at the ‘shop.

ps this is not to be confused with my online shop venture that is going to go live mid may. that’s a whole other love affair with similar affinities. more on that soon time!!










last week I made a major blunder.

I took daaniya swimming along with my phone. yes. you read that right. I took my phone along for the swim. the thirty minute class. the totally immersed in chlorinated water kinda swim.

I said it was a major blunder, ok?

so obviously I didn’t know I had my iphone along for the swim. I realized as I was walking out of the pool and wondering what that thing sticking out the side of my leg was. (I wear workout leggings and this pair had a convenient/not-so-convenient side pocket. oops.

I had it immersed in another substance for a few days after that. rice. I had heard such good reviews and positive outcomes about this method and didn’t hesitate to give it a try.

I was calm. I was cool with it. what was done was done. don’t get me wrong; I felt bad, and pretty dumb for it, but wasn’t about to beat myself up over it. it’s just a thing at the end of the day.

so I went phone-free for the longest time since I had a phone in the first place. that was about 15 years ago!

here’s how it went -

I made artichokes! so easy and really yummy. I used this video to teach me how to prep my ‘chokes, and a really simple recipe to grill them. you can find a million and one on pinterest that tickles your fancy.


I finalized a few details, including the packaging, for my shop. yeah!


I sorted out the girls and my clothes for all the events for my cousins wedding celebrations this week. the girls got into it. and yes, there were clothes everywhere – there are a lot of events!


me and the girls cuddled more. read more. talked more.


I felt freer. lighter. when I left the house I didn’t have to worry if I had my phone on me or not. i knew i had everything i needed.

after a few days I went to check in on my phone. they say after a few days sitting the rice soaks up all the moisture and your device should work like new-ish. haha. that did not happen to me. after a little further research I found that chlorine is the worst thing your phone can get near. the chemical totally fries the phone after a short dip! basically I lost the game before I started with my silly situation.

because life gets busy I didn’t have the chance to go out and buy a new phone right away. so I made an appointment with the genius bar when I could a few days later. all in all I ended up going just shy of 7 days without my beloved iphone. and i survived!

there were a few things I missed though -

I missed instagram and getting updated on the goings-on of those i follow, but didn’t miss the accessibility of it. I think I used to spend a lot of undue time on it and actually liked having my hands “free” to do other things.

I missed what’s app. it’s my mode of communicating with those closest to me. family chats, group chats with friends, picture swapping, inside joke telling, simple one-liner updating. while I did and do make the effort to see friends and family frequently I can’t do it everyday nor with everyone. we are all busy after all. so I felt a little out of the loop in this area.

and the last thing I missed really badly was the camera on my phone. it has become my go-to camera for home and work of late and the ipad, while good for many a thing, does not stack up when it comes to the click-clicking. I’m bummed about the photos I lost because of not backing up my phone (lesson learned big time!) but also for some of the moments missed this past week.

and I started to get annoyed with not having a phone to talk on to get things done for work. I resorted to our never-used home phone and ugh. dialing out numbers on that thing is mucho annoying.

so anyway, just about one week after the swimming episode, I’m plugged back in. but it’s funny. I’ve been slow to get fully back to it. and maybe I never will. my phone is not with me all the time anymore. and I don’t mind if it gets left at home accidentally. and it’s ok to not check in or be available all the time.

I think I’ve turned a new leaf and I like it!

has this ever happened to you? what would you fill your time with if you went smartphone-free?

also, I think I’m going to make this a thing. every so often I’m going to go “off the grid” on something. be it my smartphone, the internet (whoa! that’s big), to my current addiction, sugar. I’m going to let it be a mini challenge and a major lesson for myself in cutting back and exercising moderation.

ps. i obviously accomplished a lot more things last week. these were just a few highlights. just making sure you know and i know. ;)



i’m trying to get on my a-game when it comes to my health. i want my girls to grow up knowing nothing other than a happy healthy lifestyle for this family. good clean food is on that list and although making the full switch to organic might be tricky, i’m going to do my best to eat fresh, balanced meals every day.

sometimes i just get lazy.

but the other day, i wanted to eat nothing else but a light and fresh quinoa salad with an equally light and fresh ginger citrus dressing. daani helped me make it and helped me eat it! check out the recipe below.

cranberry apple quinoa salad with a ginger citrus dressing

all you need is…

  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1/3 cup red quinoa
  • 1/3 cup quinoa
  • 1/3 cup moong dhaal or yellow split peas
  • handful of dried cranberries
  • 1/2 medium red onion, diced
  • 1/3 cucumber, diced
  • 1 apple, diced
  • handful of kale, chopped and massaged
  • handful of chopped curly parsley
  • for the dressing you will need -
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • zest of one orange
  • nub of ginger, finely grated
  • juice of 1/2 lemon or orange
  • salt to taste

and all you have to do is…

  • bring 2 cups of salted water to a boil. add in 1 tsp of oil
  • rinse grains in a bowl and cook in a medium-sized pot for 20 mins in 2 cups of boiling water.
  • with 3 minutes left on the clock, drain a little bit of the water out of the pot.
  • fold in the onions and cranberries. the extra water will continue to cook up the grains and plump up the cranberries.
  • continue stirring until the water is gone.
  • remove from burner and let cool completely.
  • once cool add in the cucumber, apple, kale and parsley.
  • for the dressing, whisk together all ingredients.
  • pour dressing over the salad and toss to coat.

serve as a side to grilled fish or on its own at lunch! this tri-blend grain mix is one of my favourites. i like the bite of the moong with the smooth and hearty quinoa. i usually make this mix and add in chopped veggies and fruit of all kinds for new takes on this salad base.

also, i talked about having a salad exchange soon here, what’s your go-to salad?



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?



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