3 Things Thursday {Week 34}

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Hi All! While thinking what to post for this week’s 3 Things Thursday I realized we only have a week left until Thanksgiving. Whoa yea, the year is almost over. That being said, I thought it was only fitting that I share some Thanksgiving inspiration on this weeks link up.

If you are new to 3 Things Thursday and would like to learn more check out my initial post about it. For directions on how to link up, follow the post!

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Potatoes

Vegan Mashed Potatoes

mashedpotatoes_1Purple Mashed Sweet Potatoes

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Roasted Potato Casserole

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Helpful Portions

I thought this portion chart was super helpful when menu planning for a big group.

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Dine and Dish

Beautiful bowls

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Simple table decor

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Mirrored serving trays

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Now it’s your turn! Share your blog post in the link up below. Just a few rules (well requests really). Please link back to one or all of the hostesses; Nisha from Love Laugh Mirch, Raj from Pink Chai Living, or Salma from The Write Balance, and share a link to your post (not your blog’s home page). Feel free to use the 3 Things badge in your post. We’re looking forward to reading your posts!



Visiting India | The Welcome of Home

Last night after being sick for a little over a week my mom suggested I drink Haldi Dhood (a mixture of warm milk, turmeric and honey). As I drank the milk I remembered my Nanima (maternal grandmother) and how she had lovingly made me Haldi Dhood the last time I was in India and fell ill. My Nanima is a huge advocate for natural cures and Ayurvedic remedies. Growing up, my Mom would call her up whenever we got sick to see which home remedy to use. While we never appreciated it much when we were younger, the moment I became pregnant I often found myself asking my Mom for “Nanima’s remedies”. In the past year and a half whenever my daughter has gotten ill or gotten hurt I’ve depended on my Nanima’s home remedies. These remedies not only provide relief and comfort, they make me feel as if my Nanima is close by. Her cures and love are a part of my daughter’s childhood.

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Recently British Airways launched their ‘Welcome of Home’ campaign with the video below and asked me to share it. I happily accepted as British Airways played a huge part in my childhood since we flew with them annually to visit my grandparents.

I can completely relate to Chitra’s emotions towards her grandmother in the video. My visits to India mean getting to spend time with my Nanima, hearing stories about my Mom’s childhood and learning more about our religion and culture. I cherish every moment spent with her. When I met my husband a few years ago and he told me his family was from Mumbai, the same city where my Nanima lives – I was relieved and thrilled. When you visit India your time is always limited, having both families in the same city meant I could visit them as much as I wanted without having to worry about internal flights or trains.

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The days leading up to the visit I’m anxious yet excited. I make lists of the things I need and a list of things that would be nice to have. I realized a few years ago if I don’t make a running list before I touch down in India, I get so excited about what’s in the marketplaces that I completely lose track of what items I need at home. As I make these lists, my husband pipes in about the foods he wants to eat followed by a childhood memory paired with each dish. For him it’s all about the food. Spices and saris are always at the top of my list. I love going to the spice markets in Mumbai and buying freshly ground masalas. The aroma and depth of the flavor profiles are completely different to what you find here in the states. After spice sourcing comes shopping! The variety of clothes and customization options you will find in Mumbai are endless. There’s a tailor on every road corner and a boutique on every street ready to make your “dream outfit”. It’s a colorful experience that’s simply magical. Selecting your own fabrics, laces, materials and watching your outfit come together has a charm all of its own. It’s something that can truly be done well and enjoyed in India.

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As the days approach we map out our time there and decide where we will stay and when. This is usually followed up by a giddy me messaging my cousins telling them the dates I’ll be staying with my Nanima. Arriving in Mumbai at my Nanima’s means there is an abundance of two things: lots of love and lots of food. After the exchange of hellos and hugs we’re greeted with a tall glass of ice cold Roohafza, a bright pink floral & fruity drink that was my favorite growing up. Dinner is served promptly and gajar ki saabzi, a carrot stir fry is usually included as my family knows how much I love the sweetness of Indian carrots. Dinner is followed by my Mama (maternal uncle) bringing out my favorite dessert Shrikhand, a sweet hung yogurt flavored with saffron and cardamom. He always spoils me by getting the original and a new flavor so I can have my pick. I always go for the original. This same welcome routine has been happening for years, each time we visit. Each time the love feels stronger, food seems tastier and dessert tastes sweeter. I wouldn’t change anything about our welcome to home.

Once I became a mother and saw my own Mom squeal with delight and dote on my daughter every time she visited, I realized why my Nanima use to make a big deal about our visits to India. I understood how she must have felt when we visited her in India, every trip growing taller and older. I wanted her to experience the same happiness and excitement with her great grandchild, my daughter. This past year my husband and I took our (then one year old) daughter to London and Mumbai. It was one of the most wonderful experiences we’ve had with her. Our first stop was London as my entire Dad’s side of the family lives there. My Dadima (paternal grandmother) was counting the days for our visit and it would be the first time she would see me after I became a mother. We were greeted with hugs, tears and plates full of Aloo Paranthas. After a week full of delicious food, my cousins wedding and family time we flew to Mumbai where our daughter got to spend time with my husband’s parents and meet her Bua (paternal aunt) for the first time. My husband wanted to take us to places he grew up and show us where he ate and played as a child. We fed her our favorite foods, gave her an entire coconut to drink out of and play with and even braved it enough to go out shopping in the local markets with her. Soon the time came for us to visit my side of the family. It was the first time they would be meeting her and I felt so lucky that my Nanima would be giving her blessings to my daughter. Our usual welcome routine commenced upon arrival and the days following were filled with my cousins surprising me with a sleepover, family dinners and lots of masti (fun). I left India feeling satisfied and blessed. Having your child experience a part of your childhood and roots is an indescribable feeling. I hope that over the years she grows to love and cherish visiting India as much as I do.

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British Airways knows how important these moments are and would like to see photos of your welcome of home. Tweet your photos to @British_Airways using #WelcomeOfHome and you could win a trip home. Direct link to the giveaway can be found here.

The contest will run from November 11 through November 25, 2014. British Airways will randomly select and reward a participant with a trip home; the winner will be notified by December 1, 2014 and must claim the prize by December 7, 2014.

For more information on booking flights to India via British Airways, please visit their Welcome of Home page.

This post was sponsored by British Airways. All opinions and experiences are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that have relationships with Love Laugh Mirch.

Stay tuned to the site for a special giveaway for Love Laugh Mirch readers!

3 Things Thursday {Week 33}

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It’s Thurssssddaaayy! The sick bug has been visiting us the past few days and we are all taking turns recovering. I had this week planned out with errands but, guess they will have to wait.

If you are new to 3 Things Thursday and would like to learn more check out my initial post about it. For directions on how to link up, follow the post!

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10 Things Your Mom Never Told You

There’s no rest for a Mom, even when you’re sick you are still needed. After an exhausting sniffling day I read this and it touched a cord. However tiring, being a Mom is a reward every second I look at our little one.

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Slim Dining Tables

Coveting these sleek and modern tables

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Gorgeous Alert! Aren’t these shoes perfect for the holidays?

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Now it’s your turn! Share your blog post in the link up below. Just a few rules (well requests really). Please link back to one or all of the hostesses; Nisha from Love Laugh Mirch, Raj from Pink Chai Living, or Salma from The Write Balance, and share a link to your post (not your blog’s home page). Feel free to use the 3 Things badge in your post. We’re looking forward to reading your posts!



3 Things Thursday {Week 32}

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Hi guys! Hope you all have had a great week and are ready for the weekend. My week started out by being reunited with my friend Shweta who I haven’t seen in over two years! I was so happy to have her visit and meet Little Mirchi for the first time. Later this week my mom flew in so I’m getting some much needed dosage of home…. all in all a happy, love filled week!

If you are new to 3 Things Thursday and would like to learn more check out my initial post about it. For directions on how to link up, follow the post!

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India Home Sick

Recently I’ve been bugging the Hubs about our next trip to India. When will we go, what foods I want, my pending shopping list, etc. And then I read this article which pretty much gave me 22 more reasons to bug him about!

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Toddler Scarves

I want, I need… I mean Little Mirchi needs this addition to her winter wardrobe. Been lusting over these adorable tot scarves that have been making their way around internet. How cute are the little bows?!

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Mug Cake

mugcake

Stumbled upon this little gem recently. Who doesn’t need a quick mug cake recipe on a chilly Autumn night?

Now it’s your turn! Share your blog post in the link up below. Just a few rules (well requests really). Please link back to one or all of the hostesses; Nisha from Love Laugh Mirch, Raj from Pink Chai Living, or Salma from The Write Balance, and share a link to your post (not your blog’s home page). Feel free to use the 3 Things badge in your post. We’re looking forward to reading your posts!


3 Things Thursday {Week 31}

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Hi All! Hope you are having a great week so far. We are ladoo’d out from the Diwali festivities and getting ready to get candied out this weekend :)

If you are new to 3 Things Thursday and would like to learn more check out my initial post about it. For directions on how to link up, follow the post!

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Milestones

Our Little Mirchi turned 18 months this week. What…. almost 2?! I can’t. She keeps getting bigger day by day and naughtier by the second. She loves giving us kisses, helping me unload the dishwasher, carry around my purse, and running from me when I try and change her. She eats like a big girl now, by herself, after inspecting each and every bite.

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Oh darling, slow down!

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It’s almost December

Yeah… can you believe only a few more weeks left until the end of the year. Ugh… I can’t.

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Little Mermaid Wedding

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Have you guys seen this?

It’s a photo sesh of how Ariel and Eric’s wedding would be if they were real. Oh my gosh Little Mermaid was one of my favorite movies growing up and this just made me so happy!

Now it’s your turn! Share your blog post in the link up below. Just a few rules (well requests really). Please link back to one or all of the hostesses; Nisha from Love Laugh Mirch, Raj from Pink Chai Living, or Salma from The Write Balance, and share a link to your post (not your blog’s home page). Feel free to use the 3 Things badge in your post. We’re looking forward to reading your posts!


3 Things Thursday {Week 30}

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Happy Diwali! Wishing you and yours a happy and blessed day! Sharing three of my favorite Diwali ad campaigns in this week’s link up.

If you are new to 3 Things Thursday and would like to learn more check out my initial post about it. For directions on how to link up, follow the post!

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Ghar Wali Diwali {At home Diwali}

Pepsi and Kurkure did a great job making us nostalgic with their latest ad. #gharwalidiwali

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No more shor {no more noise}

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Over the years people have started opting for a firework less Diwali, better for the environment and a calmer atmosphere this clever campaign urges to do just that. #nomoreshor

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My Diwali Break

Kit Kat celebrates India’s mission to Mars with their latest Diwali music video

Now it’s your turn! Share your blog post in the link up below. Just a few rules (well requests really). Please link back to one or all of the hostesses; Nisha from Love Laugh Mirch, Raj from Pink Chai Living, or Salma from The Write Balance, and share a link to your post (not your blog’s home page). Feel free to use the 3 Things badge in your post. We’re looking forward to reading your posts!


Kala Chana | Spiced Black Chickpeas

DiwaliSong

I’ve been singing this all week at home – driving Hubby Darling crazy. Is it obvious I’m in the Diwali spirit? Anndd that would be my lyrical talent for the year.

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Kala chana, halwa & poori, without these three things, the festive season in our house is incomplete. The first time I made Kala chana was my first married Diwali. I was fasting and wanted to prepare a perfect Diwali thali (Diwali plate) just like my Mom did while we were growing up. I asked her for the recipe over the phone and set forth making the dishes one by one. As I started to make the dish I followed the recipe step by step, checking every ingredient off the list. After Diwali puja (prayer) my husband and I sat down to eat. I was so excited for him to try the kala chana (it’s one of his favorites). He gave it a taste and did all he could not to spit it out. In all the jumble of cooking so many dishes I had notated the recipe wrong and double the salt! They tasted terrible to put it gently, but we had a good laugh at my fumble. You can bet the next time I made this dish was on a non fasting day, so I could taste as cooked.

This recipe is a fasting version (meaning onions, garlic are omitted) but it’s full of flavor and tastes great any time of year. If you are looking for a “wetter” version with more gravy you can sauté 1/3 cup chopped onions and tomatoes as step one in the recipe. Black chickpeas are high in protein and fiber and are considered a ‘super food’. Growing up if we made a fuss about eating then my dad would reply “It’s horse’s food, it will make you strong!” After getting married I remember my husband mentioning how it was horse’s food, all I could do was smirk at the coincidence. Black chickpeas are very dense so soaking them overnight is not only suggested it’s almost necessary to ensure quicker cooking time.

Kala chana are a great finger food for kids if they are at the chewing stage. You can add them in chaat, salads; have them with roti or just on their own. My favorite thing to do is roll them in a hot poori with some halwa… a sweet and spicy poori roll – yum!

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Ingredients:

1 cup Kala chana (Black Chick Peas)- soaked overnight
2 teaspoon finely crushed ginger
1 1/2 teaspoon jeera (cumin)
1/2  teaspoon Red chili powder
1 teaspoon roasted jeera powder
1 1/2 teaspoon kala namak (black salt)
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
fresh cilantro for garnish

Method:

Wash the soaked chick peas and pressure cook them for 3-4 whistles (or until soft). In a heavy bottom pan heat oil and add cumin seeds to it. Once the seeds start sputtering add the drained chick peas. Add the black salt, ginger, red chili powder, jeera powder and mix thoroughly. Keep it on simmer for 10-15 minutes. Turn off heat, add lemon juice and chopped cilantro.

Enjoy!



A version of this recipe first appeared in Masalamommas magazine.

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30 Children’s Books on Indian Culture & Festivals

Having to raise my brother and I outside of India my parents had to make extra efforts to teach us about our culture, language and religion. When you live in India, you just know when the festive season is around the corner, shops start putting out their finest pieces, it’s blasted across televisions and street signs, families start hosting big dinners and mothers get busy in the kitchen. Due to the zero commercial influence in the States, my parents would have to make up for it at home by making it a big deal. They would tell us colorful stories from their childhood, cook our favorite foods, and get us involved in fun and festive help tasks. My dad had a shelf in his library dedicated to Indian books and comics, just so he could teach us the culture in a ‘fun’ way. Years later I still find myself indulging in those books every time I go home to visit my parents.

Even before Little Mirchi was born I started a running list of Indian inspired books that I wanted to add to our home library for her to learn and read from. My hope is that she too will learn and hold on to the memories the way I cherish the books my Dad collected for us when we were kids. Sharing some of my favorite books that teach children about Indian culture, festivals and language below. I’ll be adding to this list as I come across more Indian inspired fun reads. If there are any children’s books in your collection that you think should be on the list, please share in the comments section!

 

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1. Amma, Tell Me About Series

  1. Amma, Tell Me About Holi
  2. Amma, Tell Me About Krishna
  3. Amma, Tell Me About Diwali
  4. Amma, Tell Me About Ramayana
  5. Amma, Tell Me About Ganesha
  6. Amma, Tell Me How Krishna Defeated Kansa
  7. Amma, Tell Me How Krishna Fought The Demons

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8. Diwali (Bright Baby Touch & Feel)

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9. The Drum: A Folktale from India

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10. Indian Children’s Favorite Stories

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11. The Story of Divaali

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12. Ramayana: Divine Loophole

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13. Ganesha’s Sweet Tooth

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14. Mina Goes to India: Mina Chali Bharat

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15. Lots of Lights

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16. Rani and the Safari Surprise

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17. The Diwali Gift

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18. Rani Vists the Taj Mahal

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19. The Little Book of Hindu Deities: From the Goddess of Wealth to the Sacred Cow

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20. Rani Saves Diwali

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21. The Big Poster Book of Hindu Deities

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22. Chaat and Sweets

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23. Elephant Prince: The Story of Ganesh

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24. Diwali: A Cultural Adventure

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25. Lighting a Lamp: A Diwali Story

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26. My Dadima Wears a Sari

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27. Hot, Hot Roti for Dada-ji

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28. Monsoon Afternoon

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29. The Road to Mumbai

roadmumabi

 

 

 

 

 

30. Lily’s Garden of India

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**Added after original publish**

31. The Story of Little Babaji

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32. Chachaji’s Cup

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33. Celebrate your Name

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34. The Happiest Tree: A Yoga Story

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35. India ABC’s

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30 Children’s Books on Indian Culture & Festivals


3 Things Thursday {Week 29}

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Happy Thursday! I’m not sure about you all but I am SO looking forward to the weekend.

If you are new to 3 Things Thursday and would like to learn more check out my initial post about it. For directions on how to link up, follow the post!

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Scientific Reasons behind Hindu Traditions

Pretty interesting article as to why we follow certain cultural traditions.

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messykids

So this was me today. Entire house cleaned and ten minutes later a 2.5 foot storm comes in. Sigh…

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Tired

I’m feeling super exhausted lately. In between construction errands and Diwali planning – I need a mini mental vacay.

Now it’s your turn! Share your blog post in the link up below. Just a few rules (well requests really). Please link back to one or all of the hostesses; Nisha from Love Laugh Mirch, Raj from Pink Chai Living, or Salma from The Write Balance, and share a link to your post (not your blog’s home page). Feel free to use the 3 Things badge in your post. We’re looking forward to reading your posts!

3 Things Thursday {Week 28}

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Hi All! This week I’m sharing a few of my favorite articles that I’ve read in the past few days.

If you are new to 3 Things Thursday and would like to learn more check out my initial post about it. For directions on how to link up, follow the post!

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What kids all around the world eat for breakfast

Rise & Shine – While I completely agree that culture should influence a families breakfast vs. the sugary food industry I am curious if the proportions depicted in this article are correct. They seem massive! I did however enjoy seeing all the diversity in the meals and am a sucker for savory breakfast foods myself!

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 Beauty

31 backstage beauty secrets – Loving all the simple makeup tips in this article that are actually doable!

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Nom Nom Nom

Getting your kids to eat everything – Mark Bittman’s story on how he introduced a variety of foods to his children while they were growing up and how they ate them (and enjoyed them!). We have also noticed that Little Mirchi is much more interested what is on our plates vs if we try and feed her separately. This is one of the reasons we try and keep our meal times at a similar time when she eats, so that she will be open to trying new foods and enjoy them.

Now it’s your turn! Share your blog post in the link up below. Just a few rules (well requests really). Please link back to one or all of the hostesses; Nisha from Love Laugh Mirch, Raj from Pink Chai Living, or Salma from The Write Balance, and share a link to your post (not your blog’s home page). Feel free to use the 3 Things badge in your post. We’re looking forward to reading your posts!

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