Our Daily Bedtime Routine That Works for Us & Our Child


Tips for Travelling and Working Moms. Handling the emotional logistics while on a business trip (4)

This post was sponsored by JOHNSON’S, as always opinions are my own

Like many parents, I too strive for the perfect bedtime routine for my son. After all, we all want calm evenings and some time for ourselves and with our partners. And over the last 2 years I have realized having a consistent bedtime routine for my toddler has now become a cornerstone of our family routine.

I started to establish a sleep routine very early on with my son when he was as young as 3 months old. Earlier it involved crib training and getting him used to sleeping in his nursery. And now it is about maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, a relaxing bedtime routine and a soothing sleep environment to help my son achieve healthy sleep. He sleeps for an average of 12 hours every night and wakes up at 8am on weekdays and around 9am on weekends. Yes! We get up late on weekends.

We follow a routine that has been put together by a predictable sequence of events that we consistently follow in the same order every night. It has evolved as our son is growing but the basics remain the same.

Bath Time has been central to our bed time routine for the last 2 years. My son loves his bath time as it is calming, soothing and helps him relax. We love JOHNSON’S bath products and have been using them for the past 2 years. They are an integral part of our daily routine as well. Their products have been free from parabens and phthalates since 2015 and now all their washes, shampoos, lotion and creams are even gentler without sulfates and dyes!

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I love using the Head-To-Toe baby wash and shampoo. It is pediatrician-tested and pH-balanced to baby skin. Also, it is ultra-mild and gentler on my son’s sensitive skin and eyes and lathers well.  Containing over 90 percent ingredients of natural origin*, this sulfate-free and dye-free baby wash & shampoo is gentle enough to cleanse my toddler’s sensitive skin. The Johnson’s No More Tears formula makes it tear-free and as gentle to your baby’s eyes as pure water. In my previous blog post, I shared how you can make the bath time a fun and safe experience for toddlers.

After bath we move towards the wash basin to brush my son’s teeth and get him to try to pee one last time before he puts on his diapers and PJs. Somehow my son doesn’t enjoy getting his teeth brushed and it’s a struggle every day to get him to open his mouth and use the brush. I am hoping this chore will also become as easy bath time soon!

Vir is not yet potty-trained but he has started to use the potty seat sometimes. This is another experience I will hopefully share a post on soon with all my readers.

Once the bathroom chores are completed I massage Vir with JOHNSON’S baby lotion made with coconut oil. I love how it absorbs quickly and has a calming scent. I love to use it on my skin too. That fragrance makes me nostalgic.

At this age, our bedtime routine also involves the process of putting on PJs and Vir likes to select which color he wants to wear. We also love to read a good-night story and these days we are using the Moonlite story projector to make it more engaging. We make it a 20 to 30 minute special and exclusive time with my son for reading, snuggling, and being together. He loves to sleep with his stuffed toys Pooh and Pluto that provide him comfort in his crib and have been with him since he was a baby.  And when it’s time to sleep, I kiss and cuddle him once more before turning off the lights. We use a nightlight too so that his room is not completely dark.

Bedtime routines work best if you reserve the hour before bedtime for quiet play. This will lower your child’s activity level and prepare his nervous system for relaxation. Running, playing, tickling games, and even watching action-packed TV shows or videos make peaceful transition to sleep especially difficult.

Aside from relaunching their washes, lotions and haircare product, did you know JOHNSON’S recently launched a new collection, CottonTouch™? The lotion is made with real cotton and is lightweight in texture and absorbs quickly. The wash has a velvety lather that is easy to rinse and leaves no unwanted residue and cleans the skin without leaving the skin dry. I highly recommend getting these products from a store near you and experience it for yourself.

Processed with VSCO with a5 presetFor 125 years JOHNSON’S mission has been to create the gentlest baby products in the world. And recently I had an opportunity to go to New York and experience these products and the story behind them from the company’s baby care experts and scientists!  It was such an insightful experience to learn more about the company’s mission and their CHOOSE GENTLE campaign. No doubt JOHNSON’S has truly perfected products so gentle that they can be used for every age and stage of a baby’s life! I love their range and recommend all my readers to go and try the new redesigned washes, lotions and hair care products. To learn more visit www.Johnsonsbaby.com or head over to Target to shop JOHNSON’S latest products.

*Since there is no regulatory definition of “natural,” they follow the only independent international standard for naturals in cosmetics—the International Organization for Standardization. According to this standard, “natural origin” refers to ingredients that are more than 50% from natural sources, such as plants or minerals.

XOXO

Arushi (2)

 

Twinning: Mommy and Son Style

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Who says only girl moms can do matching outfits with their kids?  This boy mom is proving otherwise today!

Let’s face it: We only get a few years with our kids before they decide that dressing like their mom might be the world’s biggest fashion faux pas. So I am making most of these years with these absolutely adorable ways to dress up together. Being a boy mom I hardly find outfits that we can really twin in, similar to the vast variety available for  girl moms. So I started to color coordinate and find clothing pieces with similar style, patterns, designs and colors to play “Matchy Matchy” with my toddler .

Here are some of my favorite looks I created in the last 2 years from our basic wardrobe essentials without splurging too much. I am also adding some links to shops I got our outfits from and some styling tips. You will find these memories on my Instagram Feed. Hoping to send all boy moms some inspiration .

Jumpsuit Love

One of my favorite looks! I love Mien Studios Its my to go store for shopping soft, comfortable organic clothing.

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So H A P P Y to be back with my babe after an entire week. Although I travel every month or two for work. This was the first time I spent a week in another country, almost 8500 miles away from my sweet son. I was nervous how he would do without me, and am glad to tell you all he was fine, ate well and didn't miss me too much ! Thanks to my amazing husband 💕 . Here we go twinning again #FallVibes in these comfortable and super soft Mommy and Me romper and jumpsuit collection by @mienstudios. Love the clothing is in organic cotton, hand dyed and made in California. Check out this great store 💕 . #twinning #boymom #kidsstyle #momootd #letthembelittle #workingmom #toddlermom

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Simple T shirt and Jeans Twinning with white shoes 

This was one of our first looks, it was a coincidence until I realized we were matching. You can take it a level further by matching the T shirts and wearing similar sneakers like the famous Adidas Superstar shoes or the Converse Chucks for baby and mama.

Matching Mommy & Me T shirts with some added humor. 

One of my recent looks from my IG Feed. T shirts from BonOrganik the store has some fun family matching outfits. I added a twist to it with a short  denim skirt. You can pair it with similar color bottoms.

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Keeping up with our energetic bunnies is a different skill set all together for us moms ! My spirited and strong willed kid seems to have extra batteries and honestly it takes a Herculean effort to get him to sit at the dinner table or settle him in bed! However, I promise to never tame his spirit since I believe our strong willed children will become adults who will change the world! Until then let’s keep charging mamas ! 🔌💓 . Loving our #mommyandme matching T’s from @bonorganik ! The store has some great designs and matching outfits for everyone! Click the link in bio for more ✨ . . #twinningtuesday #boymom #besties #momentsofmine #pixel_kids #LTKfamily #momootd #momstyle #mommyandmini #momsofinstagram#childofig #morecolorplease #holdthemoments #colormehappy #streetart #ltkunder50

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Color Coordination with a maxi dress and child vest or blazer

I created this looks for my son’s 2nd Birthday celebration. Looked great for photo ops. You can find our outfits at Masala Baby

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I never knew a love like this until you were born. It’s a love that can put the biggest smile on my face and make me cry tears of joy at the same time. One that makes everyday a great one, even if there has been challenges. One that continues to grow even though I don’t think my heart could get any bigger. It’s indescribably the best feeling in the world. It’s a feeling I will never take for granted. As you journey into the next year—which I’m sure will be the tremendous twos, with some terrible thrown in for good measure—I’m filled with anticipation to watch you become more and more uniquely you. Happy Birthday VIR ! 💕💕 . And Happy Mother’s Day to all the lovely Mamas ! 💕 . I had to share a twinning moment with my son on this special day and these beautiful #mommyandme outfits from @masalababynyc were perfect to capture our special memory. . #love #toddlermom #lethembelittle #mothersday

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When in doubt wear Denim

The most essential item in our closet. This is my go to look for boy moms. You can never go wrong with it. A denim dress is perfect way to twin with your mini me.

Twinning is Winning when in Pajamas

I love the variety available online and instore for family pajama sets. Be it for the holiday season or your daily precious moments. This is definitely one of my favorite ways to twin. Our pajama sets are from Target.

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SNUGGLE with me kiddo ❤ As parents we do everything we can to try and keep our kids from becoming ill or feeling pain. But sooner or later, no matter how hard you try, your kid will get sick, and it will suck. My sweet son is suffering from an ear infection and it is devastating to watch this happy, energetic child turn into a tired kid who would rather sleep than play😞 . While these sweet smiles, cuddles and snuggles when he wakes up are nice, I know he isn't feeling well and I would gladly trade his calm demeanor for his usual wild and energetic behavior if it meant he felt better😘 . For now we are enjoying the little things like twinning in our pajamas and playing peek a boo. And since he is not very excited about his food, I am trying to make it as much fun as I can while making sure he stays hydrated ❤ . How do you handle sick days at your house?💁🏻 . #thesnuggleisreal #twinningtuesday #toddlermom #parenting #mommyhood

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Ethnic style color coordination- 

It was my son’s 2nd Diwali and I wanted a color scheme for our house party. So we stuck to white and gold and bought these kurta sets for the entire family from Fab India.

 

 

Family Vacation Color Coordination

I wanted to wear my new dress I bought for vacation and definitely wanted some pretty pictures of our family trip. So I choose Dark blue and white color scheme to go with a beach background. It was easy to put together for me and my husband as he wore white shorts and a blue T while my son wore all white with some blue print. You can create similar look in different colors from your and your little one’s closet without additional shopping. Use colors that complement each other.

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#OnTheBlog ! Our family's mini summer getaway to Los Cabos Mexico. ❤Vir has already been to 4 countries in this past year! And this trip was our 14 month old's first official summer vacation. Our son started traveling in flights since he was 3 months old. His first trip was to New York, followed by India, Switzerland, and Amsterdam and recently to #Mexico 🇲🇽 . I am sharing our lovely family vacation pictures and anecdotes with you all if you wish to see ! { link in bio}💕 . Don't you think a vacation is like love — anticipated with pleasure, experienced with discomfort, and remembered with nostalgia? ⛱ . #mytravelgram #familyvacation #toddlermom #snazzymomtravels

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Fall is around the corner and I can’t wait to share more looks that I create in our winter wear. Keep Twinning!

Love

Arushi (2)

 

The Gift of Gentleness. How I am working towards raising a gentle and compassionate child.

 

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This post was sponsored by JOHNSON’S ®, as always opinions are my own

 

“You cannot give your children what you do not have.”

– Brene Brown

 

This is one of my favorite parenting quotes and a good reminder for us to teach and character-build our children. This also include confidence, resilience, perseverance, kindness and self-esteem. But to teach this, we must first exhibit these characteristics ourselves.

When I was pregnant, I couldn’t stop myself from finding out the gender of my child. One of the biggest reasons was choosing the name early on. It was important to me to bond and connect with the life growing inside me. The feeling of having a child, a baby boy, became more real to us at that moment.

This also helped me prepare for a boy. I’d spent time thinking about how I’d raise a baby boy to be strong and gentle and to not feel forced into the super hero, big muscles and bravery stereotypes. For every car or truck toy I have given to my little boy, I gave him a color book or musical instrument.

While growing up my mom empowered me by laying emphasis on dreaming big and not be confined to society’s boxes. Similarly, I knew I didn’t want to raise my boy with society’s idea of a real man. I want to raise a little man who knows that it’s ok to cry; who knows what it means to respect others, including animals; that showing compassion and empathy is a good thing; and that if he’d rather play with a soft toy than an action figure, that it is just fine with me. Also, I remind myself every day that I too need to be gentle with his dreams and ambitions.

I can’t believe our baby is already a feisty two-year-old, and is growing, learning and exploring the world daily. We are ensuring he learns to be kind with actions and soon with his thoughts. Now that Vir is in full toddler mode, he has become incredibly enthusiastic about both exploring things and asserting his will. Kids at this age don’t understand that pushing and pulling can hurt someone and so we are teaching him how to be gentle to his friends at daycare and to his furry brother at home. By patting or caressing his hand, we tell him, “This is Gentle.” One of the best ways to explain to him this concept has been to practice it with his favorite stuff toy.

When a company too thinks like a parent, you know that they are doing something right. Like how I want to be gentle with my child’s dream and ambitions, and want my child to be kind and caring to the world, JOHNSON’S mission for last 125 years has been to create the gentlest baby products in the world. When I think of JOHNSON’S I think of pure. And for that reason, I grew up using JOHNSON’S products and today, my son is also growing up with the same. The brand recently redesigned all their washes, lotions, and haircare products and reduced the number of ingredients by more than 50%, including removing sulfates and dyes!

What caught my attention is that 96% of the ingredients in their products are naturally derived.

I wanted to share with you why JOHNSON’S new standard of gentle guided by the below five promises to parents struck a chord with me. Here are the 5 promises made by the company:

  1. Use Purposeful ingredients
  2. Never stop raising the bar
  3. Be open and honest
  4. Think like a parent first
  5. Help make the world a gentle place.

I want to use a brand in my daily routine that wants to make the world a better place. In our home we try to practice this in our daily life by choosing goods and services that give back to the community or care for our environment or even source raw materials that are fairly traded. This is the simplest ways to make sure a portion of every dollar or cent we spend goes to a better cause as well.

When I dug deeper to see how JOHNSON’S contributes to the community, I was glad to find that they partner with Save The Children on international efforts to provide healthcare, aid and education to families in communities affected by crisis or poverty. This promise resonated with me at many levels. One of the life lessons taught by my dad was to give back to the poor and needy. And every year on Diwali, we would visit an orphanage in Bombay and celebrate the spirit of Diwali with the kids by playing board games, sharing sweets and gifts and dancing to some Bollywood music. That life lesson did change the world for me and my brother when I was 11 and my brother was 9 years old. We have continued this tradition and have promised to give back to the community what we can, when we can. I want to continue this tradition with my son too and teach him the importance of being kind, generous, loving and help make the world a gentler place.

Here are few things we are working on at our home to make sure we teach our son the characteristics that we as parents can model first.

  • Think before reacting. This is something I am working on myself daily. As moms our patience get tested every minute however, I am trying to take the time to think about how my reactions and responses affect others, especially my kid.
  • React in a calm manner. Screaming only escalates the situation with my toddler, so I have realized approaching a situation more calmly is the best way to react. I sit down at his eye level and look right into eyes to let him know what he did was wrong or he needs to stop it. This is a work in progress lesson. It’s all about the tone in our voice, and so speaking softly is one of them.
  • Teach our kids to empathize with others. As I mentioned above, the best way to tell our kids to not end up hurting anyone is by being gentle. I often tell my son that please don’t give anyone “Ouchie” as it hurts, Mama doesn’t like Ouchies. He has started to understand and relate the concept and we are trying to ensure that there are no signs of hitting, biting or pulling expressed by our child.

  • Always Respond with kindness. Teaching our child ways to treat things with care helps him develop the understanding that actions have consequences. We are ensuring our son understand that he needs to share his toys with kids in the park. Also, I have started to say sorry to my son if I have been short tempered with him. All parents make mistakes. It’s how you address them afterwards that makes the difference. He’ll learn that everyone, even Mom, admits it when she’s wrong.

We have influence in fostering our child’s ability to empathize, with so much hatred and turmoil in the world today, it seems more important than ever to raise kids who can understand and be kind to other people.

Love

arushi

Tips for Travelling and Working Moms. Handling the emotional logistics while on a business trip.

Tips for Travelling and Working Moms. Handling the emotional logistics while on a business trip

Let’s face it, being a working mom can be extremely challenging. It takes a lot of planning and support to manage a household. Add business trips and travel into the equation and things get exponentially more difficult.

I always get emails and messages from my Instagram followers on how fun and glamorous my work travels are. And yes honestly, being able to visit new places and try new things is fun, but every month being on the road, another hotel, another restaurant eating alone, the glamour fades, especially when you miss your child a day or two into a five-day trip.

I have come to think of it as a necessary sacrifice that I am making to ensure I continue to build my career and not give up on my aspirations, while also providing for my family. I love my job and everything I do, but I won’t sit here and say I love it every single day. Days get long, sometimes I don’t get to FaceTime with my son before bedtime, I miss my own bed, and I feel guilty for being away and probably miss on some new words too that my son started to speak.

In the last year, I’ve realized that even though it is necessary, there is a way to handle it in a way that I don’t feel horrible for the decision I made and to not get frustrated or burnt out from my work travels. You may wonder – How can we be a good mother while also traveling for extended periods of time? Contrary to what society may tell you, there are plenty of ways to make the situation work for you and your family. Here are few tips I recommend for travel savvy moms-

  • Take it as a Break – Being a parent to a toddler can be Pickups, drop offs, swim days, play dates, other activities and your day to day chores at home while working full time can be tiring and monotonous. And so, I’ve started to look at my trips as a “break” from the job of parent at home. It’s a little break from the busy lifestyle of having to work full-time and then be on again at home as a mom
  • Make a calendar and set reminders – I usually have a calendar in front of me of my upcoming travels and start to work on putting up a plan for the family on what to do while I am away. List out all activities at daycare that needs special attention like soccer practice timings, splash day packing, events or special celebrations that week etc. Also, it lets me also confirm with my caregiver on her availability.
  • Maintain your child’s routine. While it’s important to have something fun planned for while you’re gone, don’t abandon routines. Bedtime, naptime, meals, school and playtime should remain the same. Kids rely on their schedules and if they are interrupted, it can be confusing and upsetting.
  • Leave a Meal Plan– To ensure my home is running smoothly in my absence I make a meal plan for my family and mail it to my husband and my caregiver, while also placing a print out on our refrigerator. You can also freeze meals or use local services of cooked meals that deliver at home for the days you are away. Also, I make sure to do groceries before I leave so that we are not short of the important items like Bananas, Milk, Eggs, Bread and snacks that are needed on a daily basis.
  • Don’t hesitate to ask for support when and where you need it- Without my family and my in laws here in the US to check in or help out when I am gone, I rely on the support of my close friends, neighbors and my son’s teachers. I ask them for extra help when needed. Lately I have been looking to share a nanny with a close friend on the days when my husband gets late at work. It is very important to have several backups and foresee few situations that you might need help with, when you are away.
  • Create Fun Rituals – Baking cupcakes or banana bread or pudding for days when I am gone is a sweet way literally to treat my son. He is very young to understand the association, but I am sure it makes him happy especially if he is moody or cranky. Also, I try to leave a new book to read every night in my absence and come back with a small gift from my travels for my son to open. He is 2 and he thoroughly enjoys it.
  • Ditch the guilt.I know it’s tough, but you should not feel guilty about this choice. I never let others negative opinion affect how I think about myself. It may not be an ideal situation in your mind, but if you love what you do, never feel guilty about that and the fact you are providing for your family. Remind yourself that you aren’t a bad mom for traveling and don’t compare yourself to other moms on the block. If you communicate with your child before, during and after travel, they’ll be prepared for your departure and be fine while you’re gone.
  • Let your significant other rest and have a day/night to themselves.
    Even though I come back tired from traveling, I always make sure to give my partner a break, it could be some time away at the weekend with friends or a short getaway. It is very important to tell your partner you appreciate them and that it’s okay to go out and take a break and let me take on everything you’ve been doing the past few days.

In the end I will like to say that to have a family’s ability to function well with a travelling mother is also linked to the attitudes of its members. We need to make sure our partner is happy to contribute and is appreciated, and that the kids adapt well to the changes in routine, so that all goes smoothly. In our house we have learnt to treat Travel as just another facet of life that needs to be managed. I always say it’s all about Teamwork! And so, me and my husband try our best to treat travel with resourcefulness and optimism. It is hard to leave on a monthly basis, but I look forward to coming home to see my son’s face and get a hug and kiss from him (as there will come an age when he won’t  want them from mommy). His smiles make it all worth it.

Please do share your opinions and thoughts on how you are trying to balance travel and home duties.

If you are a breast feeding mom and travel for work, check my previous post –How I Prepared to Leave My Breastfed Baby for a Work Trip

Love

Arushi (2)


 

 

Moms Give Yourself The Gift Of a Solo Getaway – Sharing My Experience From My Hiking Trip to Machu Picchu

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In my recent post My Inca Trail Hike to Machu Picchu & Solo Trip to Cusco, Peru: An Adventure of a Lifetime I shared with you all my three minute movie , lots of pictures and so many other details of my amazing SOLO trip. (Check it out if you haven’t) This post focuses on what this journey meant and how it has affected me personally . Also I am sharing a list of benefits of jet setting alone and going on a getaway by yourself.

Travelling Solo was one of my top goals for the year and I knew that this year for my birthday I wished to do something different, something special, something truly just for myself. I wanted to rediscover the girl I was, before spouse, before a kid, before all the parenting responsibilities. So, a few months before my 33rd birthday I decided to challenge myself, both physically and mentally with a Solo Trip to Cusco, Peru.

I have had several opportunities to travel around the world with and without my family and friends. Travelling alone for work to a new country or state has been a part of my lifestyle and something I am familiar with since I was sixteen years old.

However, planning a getaway on my own to a country where I have never been before, hiking for two days with a group of complete strangers or for that matter living in a hostel and meeting people of all age groups from different parts of the world…… truly made this trip an Experience of a Lifetime! This journey has given me one of the most valuable collection of moments and experiences that has added depth and value to my life and who I am.

“Traveling Alone is Radical Form of Self Care”

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On this solo trip not only did I get to discover the stunning landscapes of Machu Pichhu on my hike and enjoy the breathtaking architecture, lively artisan markets and the delicious local cuisine of the vibrant city of Cusco, I also got to spend time by myself — walking alone, eating alone, writing alone and sitting alone. And honestly, this was far from lonely. It was in fact restorative!

I can’t think of the last time I had been alone long enough to revel in my own thoughts without being interrupted by my child or the nagging to-do list that lives in the back of my mind. I could have conversations with people that didn’t revolve around my child or me being a mom. It was kind of strange and exhilarating. Radical Self-care is the assertion that you have the responsibility to take care of yourself first before attempting to take care of others.

There is endless list of benefits to jet setting alone and by sharing my experiences I hope to inspire others to try out a solo adventure too.

Makes you Independent and Empowered: One comes back with a new perspective. Solo travel represents independence, wanderlust and of course freedom. One gets to create their own When and How to do it list!

Self-Discovery: Through solo travel you get a chance to listen to your gut and control the direction you want to go to. You get to know you, be you and reflect upon yourself.

Self Confidence: Yes, solo travel is a brave endeavor. There is a lot of planning and preparations that one needs to go through, especially us moms. And as women we need to research more into topics like safety, cultural norms etc. By stepping out of your comfort zone and travelling anywhere new and unknown we learn to face various types of scenarios and gain much confidence.

Making new Friends and lifetime connections: One can always choose to be alone, but on a solo trip you get an opportunity to connect and make new friendships on your journey that could last a lifetime. Travel leads to exciting adventures and meaningful connections, it provides you an opportunity to meet like minded people in a new cultural setting devoid of digital distractions.

Your well-being gets healthier: Each one of us know spending time alone makes us release a lot of stressful toxins and travelling makes us happy. Research shows that travelling alone is such a healthy option as it makes you a happier person and cuts out your depression and stressful phases.

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Being a Mom is hard work! By taking time to focus on myself, recharge and relax a little, I have returned home more mindful. I can’t think of travelling alone as “Selfish” now, as this trip has nurtured my body and nourished my mind while giving me chance to follow my dreams and do what I love – Explore! Also, I want my son to see me as a person with interests, rather than the person who does everything

Have you taken a solo trip? What was your experience? 

Love

Arushi (2)

 

Tricks to Get Your Kids to Eat Vegetables

fruits that you need to try

As a parent, sometimes getting your toddler to eat anything, let alone eat healthy can be very stressful! There are sick days, moody days, fussy days, some really happy and hungry days and this list could go on and on.

For me it is all about teaching my kid to love healthy foods especially fruits and vegetables, and some days we all need to have a backup plan. On my Instagram stories you will see regular updates of my morning latte cups and some days meals, recipes and food pictures of what I am offering my son.

I have been getting several questions from moms on my email and DMs on what I am cooking for Vir requesting for recipes of my favorite spinach and veggie loaded toddler meals. So in this post I am listing out few of my recipes that have worked for us and some great ideas for back up plans on feeding your picky eater.

Also you can check out my previous post that has a list of food items I offered my child as he started solids and a Free Printable with all nutrient information for different food types with nutrients information. Click Here 

My son is 18 months old, and is still figuring out his taste buds, so I try to provide a balanced meal while including veggies in his favorite Pancakes, Pasta, Muffin , Stuffed tortilla and Soup. My tip if your toddler refuses to eat any veggies – SNEAK THEM IN !!! Some might think it’s sending a wrong message, but for us it’s a work in progress. There is ample time to develop my kid’s understanding of his food and I will like take as it goes. However, I am doing this to make sure he has a balance diet.

To sneak in veggies especially on those fussy days :  Boil Spinach, carrot, some kale and blend it. (You can add veggies of your choice depending on how you plan to use them.) Replace water with this mix in all the dishes like Pancakes, Pasta, Muffin , Stuffed tortilla and Soup

Toddler Approved Recipes!

Spinach And Banana Pancakes– Add boiled and blended spinach and carrot mix with Banana, oat flour and 1 egg to make healthy Spinach breakfast.

Veggies loaded Mac and Cheese/ Pasta– Sauté diced pieces of carrot, peas with onion and spinach in butter or olive oil. Add boiled pasta with desired pasta sauce. I add cheese slices in the pasta too, it never hurts to add more. Offering really small pieces of veggies is a good start and later moving to bigger pieces.

Veggie mix Roti/Tortilla-  My son is not a big fan of stuffed breads , so I have started mixing the boiled veggies directly to the flour or you can use the blended mix as an alternative to water while making the dough. I recommend including beets and sweet potatoes too as they look colorful and are nutrient dense.

Veggie and Fruit Muffins- Fruit and veggie muffins have all of the elements to basically be a complete meal!  I recently came across this great recipe on Pinterest and it has been a great success. It is loaded with lots of vitamins and minerals and fiber . Click here for Power Packed Fruit Muffin Recipe from Super Healthy Kids.com

Make a Dip Bar

veggie dip tray

In Dr Sears’ book, The Portable Pediatrician, he suggests serving all types of chopped vegetables and foods in an ice tray, with some yummy dipping sauces on the ends. Making it fun, colorful and full of variety can encourage little ones to eat more vegetables. Marinara sauce, ranch, Parmesan cheese, Coriander chutney are great to start with. I am currently offering steamed carrots , broccoli with Marinara sauce to Vir

 

Cook Veggies in different ways

Raw, Roasted, or Steamed has been a hit in our house.  We all vote for baked and boiled as my son loves grabbing small pieces of sweet potatoes, carrots and peas. Seasoning the veggies is a winner in my friend’s house and I will be starting that soon too. Let me know what seasoning you use.

Beat the Veggies (Smoothies for the WIN )

smoothieSmoothies are a great (and easy) way to get nutrient dense fruits and vegetables into your kids without them really knowing it! Spinach, Kale, Beets and Fruit of course! The best part is that toddlers and kids think that smoothies are the equivalent of having a milkshake.We love the Banana+ Peanut butter+ Spinach+ Kale+ Milk smoothie. Tip : Start adding veggies slowly in the smoothie and get to the right amount of sweetness and taste. I started with small quantities of spinach and kale at first and once my son got used to the taste we added more.Check out this Toddler Approved Smoothie from one of my favorite blogger mom Ashley. I love the Jamba juice cup idea.

Butter them up

Young tongues are particularly sensitive to bitterness, and kids may instinctively repel from bitter foods. Masking the bitterness with butter especially for broccoli is working for us so far . “Everything tastes better with butter, especially vegetables. Try adding 1 tablespoon of butter per half cup of mashed sweet potatoes, green beans, broccoli, and cooked spinach to temper the bitterness.

 

Hope this post helps you get some veggies in your fussy toddler’s meal !! Please do share your tips and tricks and any great recipe .

Now, go get some broccoli and LOVE it

Arushi (2)

Get Your KIDSto LOVE Veggies (1)

 

How I Prepared For My Boy’s Cake Smash Photo Shoot

 

 

oatmeal cookies (2)I can’t believe my son is already a year old ! How did this happen? Where did all the time go ? It was only yesterday when we brought our tiny guy home and now all of a sudden he is a toddler. Time flew by so fast and I guess it was also because the first year is full of trails and treasures.

If I could just freeze time, I would continue to gaze in his eyes , nibble his toes, kiss his chubby cheeks and just keep listening him giggle. My heart melts thinking how fast time will slip and my child will outgrow my arms and lap in the coming years.

First birthday is a momentous occasion in any child and parent’s life. This is such a huge milestone for our family too and it warranted for a special photo shoot, so that we can savor it now and reminisce about later (like during the tumultuous teenage years)

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One my favorite captures by Brianne Hardcastle Photography 

Nothing quite says beautiful mess like first birthday cake smash photography. But when you decide to go the DIY route, the results tend to be less beautiful and more mess. I am sharing on the blog few tips on how I prepared for my son’s outdoor cake smash photo shoot. I am not sure who was more excited for the cake smash session me or my son. That excitement make its pretty easy to go overboard with props, but i wanted to keep it simple.

Photography: Hiring a good photographer ensures great results.It may not always be the most ideal option to spend money on a professional, but really and truly, paying for a service makes SUCH a huge difference. I am so glad our pictures from the cake smash session have come out so beautiful. Thanks to the talented Brianne Hardcastle who was committed to capture the best moments. Check out her FB Page for more details.

Location: We wanted to shoot outdoors as it was in tune with our theme and also excellent for good lighting and for that we choose the Bayou Bend Park in Houston.

Keeping Props Simple: An outdoor shoot saved us from all the expensive background decorations and detailing. I used item that were available at my home.

  • The Teepee was the main prop that was central to the entire theme. My son’s lovely Teepee is from – Tnees Teepees. They have a wonderful collection of modern and stylish teepees for boys and girls that look great in any room. I also used a white rug and a cushion under it .
  • Cake: Of Course a cake is the highlight of the cake smash photo shoot, you can use different colors according to your theme. I didn’t want to spend too much on it either, so I went for a simple white butter cream chocolate cake.
  • DIY Cake Topper: Since the cake was very plain and simple , I added some fun to it by making a cake topper with paper straws. I used a craft thread and cut paper triangles and wrote ONE with a sharpie on it and glued them. You can also buy some really nice cake toppers online.
  • DIY Chalkboard first birthday sign– The details of your child’s first year can be forgotten over time, but with a stunning Chalkboard First Birthday sign, you can cherish them forever! I made this chalkboard with some inspiration from Pinterest. Took me an hour to work on it. You can also get one professionally down from etsy and print it .
  • A huge Balloon can cover a lot of space for pictures and also add a pop of color. I used a white one as it went with our theme. This is a 36 inch balloon.
  • Fabric banner: The only main decorative piece I really splurged on was the fabric banner that I got from Etsy (displayed on the teepee). It can also be used as a garland or even a high chair decorative piece. I also used it for decorating Vir’s high chair at his birthday party at our home.
  • Outfit: My sister got Vir his cake smash outfit , she bought it from amazon . There are some great shops on etsy to you can buy cute cake smash outfits . Note its really hard to get something unique for boys.

Color coordinate:  I stuck to a low a key background with white , black and natural green for keeping the pictures neat and bright. Start with one item that you would like to coordinate in the session then, add in colours that coordinate or complement that item.

 

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All these beautiful moments are captured by Houston Based Photographer Brianne Hardcastle. Click here more info

Timings for the cake session is very essential : You want it to be stress and fuss free. I planned the session in the evening after my son’s nap time. The weather was great too. (And yes, it’s perfectly fine if the cake smash photos aren’t done on their actual birthday.)

Get the baby to dig in: Our son was shy to dig in the cake after he touched the frosting. He was weirded out by the sticky texture. I got our dog to join the party and also put my finger in the cake to excite him about the process.

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I had to frame this !! He won’t stay so little anymore

Post session Clean up : This is one thing I completely forgot about, while rushing for the shoot from our home. You need to have paper towels handy, plastic/paper bags to throw away the mess. And a spare change of clothes for the kid after the session is over.

The first birthday cake of our child was a huge milestone for us. And so for that reason I took a break from taking a few cell phone photos and completely avoided the plastic highchair cake smash experience. This was truly a momentous celebration and I hope these tips can help you prepare for your big occasion.

You can see his birthday party video at our home on my Instagram page

#letthembelittle

Love

arushi