Wednesday, July 20, 2016

My Middle Grade Novel Debut!

I'm thrilled to announce that I won the New Visions Award for my Middle Grade novel, AHIMSA. It will be published by Tu Books in Fall of 2018!

You can see the announcement here:
http://blog.leeandlow.com/2016/05/18/announcing-the-winner-of-our-new-visions-writing-contest/


Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Upcycle Old Cotton Shirts Into a Play-Food Pizza


After seeing how much fun my kids had with an entire pretend pizza in a play kitchen at a Hands On Museum, I decided to make one for home. I turned two old cotton t-shirts into the pizza. Remember, I don't use clothes that are wrinkle-free, no-iron or treated with antibacterials/Microban/antimicrobials. To see the reasons why and where else these chemicals can be found, click above to read my earlier posts on the subject.

I started with some old shirts. I cut two circles out of the yellow and beige shirt to be my dough and one out of the red shirt to be the sauce.
  

I turned the dough circles inside out and sewed the two circles together, leaving an opening. I then stuffed it with other parts of the shirt and sewed it shut.








I cut out some yellow stripes from what was left of the shirt to be cheese.


I used old toppings from the pizza slices I had made a few years earlier, and the play food pizza was done!





To see some of my older play food tutorials, see the links below:



  1. Masala Dosa
  2. Idli Sambar
  3. Tacos
  4. Bowtie Pasta and Chef's Hats
  5. Pizza
  6. Sandwich
  7. Produce Stand
  8. Tea
  9. Indian food
  10. Another samosa

If you like what you see here, check out my Amazon Author page for my picture books, (including 3 Raksha Bandhan books, 12 Indian language books for kids, The Booger Fairy and Nishi Goes to India), and The Chosen One, my YA novel.   If you have a minute, I'd love some more reviews.
 You can also click here to see my blog posts on The Huffington Post. 
Follow me on Twitter @soups25


Thursday, April 21, 2016

Clean Eating Dinosaur-themed Snacks

Here are a couple of healthy snacks I made for Dinosaur Week at our house.

Using a pear, persimmon, and celery, I made a stegosaurus, grass and a tree. Sometimes when I make this snack, if I am not serving any other protein in the meal, I will use pumpkin or sunflower seeds for the spikes.

For the brachiosaurus, I usually make clouds out of yogurt or cottage cheese. The body is made from a pear with a small bit of blackberry for her eye. And pomegranate and blackberries help make the trees.

 If you like what you see here, check out my Amazon Author page for my Bollywood themed adult coloring book, picture books, (including 3 Raksha Bandhan books, 12 Indian language books for kids, The Booger Fairy and Nishi Goes to India), and The Chosen One, my YA novel.   If you have a minute, I'd love some more reviews.
 You can also click here to see my blog posts on The Huffington Post. 
Follow me on Twitter @soups25

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Outer Space Themed Card Table Panel #2: Astronauts



Last year, I showed you how I made the first panel of our outer space themed card table fort:


To make the American and Indian astronauts, I took a large piece of white felt to size out how big I wanted my astronauts to be. I first sketched the astronauts out lightly with a ballpoint pen:

I then cut the shapes out and placed them on the felt. I sewed them in place.


I then went over the drawing with a Sharpie Stained fabric pen and added in details with other colors as well.
Then I cut a shape out in each helmet for my kids to be able to stick their faces in, and sewed along the openings to hold the astronauts to the black felt.
And my astronaut panel was done!

This panel leads to great photo ops with the kids and their friends.  Check back for the rest of the fort and lots more!


If you like what you see here, check out my Amazon Author page for my picture books, (including 2 Elimination Communication books, 3 Raksha Bandhan books, 12 Indian language books for kids, The Booger Fairy and Nishi Goes to India), and The Chosen One, my YA novel.   If you have a minute, I'd love some more reviews.
 You can also click here to see my blog posts on The Huffington Post. 
Follow me on Twitter @soups25





Wednesday, March 16, 2016

2 Free Elimination Communication Picture Books!


I hope you had fun coloring my adult coloring book, Bollywood: An Adult Coloring Book.

I am excited to share two new picture books for kids with you.

As frequent readers of this blog know, I practiced Elimination Communication with my kids. That is when you take your child to the bathroom from birth. For my detailed post on EC, click here.

After EC'ing my children, I realized there was not a picture book on the subject for common phases in EC like when my oldest started having a few accidents when my youngest was born, or when we first make the switch from diapers to underwear, after a pee-strike. And so, Zuni's New Brother: An Elimination Communication Picture Book, and Nikhil's New Brother: An Elimination Communication Picture Book were born. 

Scroll down for more information and pictures from the books below.

Both books are available as paperbacks and e-books. And for a limited time, (3/17/2016 to 3/20/2016) the e-books are free! Just click on the links above during those dates and make sure you have selected the free Kindle version of both books if you want the free one. 


You can see all my books here. I have been able to give away thousands of copies of my Kindle books for free, and am happy to continue to do so. If you enjoyed any of my books, I would really appreciate some more reviews on Amazon. 

The illustrations are all done in collage, made out of old cards and magazines. Since I don't like to promote sexist stereotypes, the boys in my book happily wear pink. And since I don't want to contribute to the shadeism that is prevalent in the Indian community, I try to show picture book characters in various skin tones. Here are some of the images from Nikhil's New Underwear




And here are some illustrations from Zuni's New Brother:




So be sure to check out the books and get your free copies. And please take a minute to write a review on Amazon. Thanks!

Check back for new posts, including info on green products and DIY toys.
And if you like what you see here, check out my Amazon Author page for my picture books, (including 3 Raksha Bandhan books, 12 Indian language books for kids, The Booger Fairy and Nishi Goes to India), and The Chosen One, my YA novel.   If you have a minute, I'd love some more reviews.
 You can also click here to see my blog posts on The Huffington Post. 
Follow me on Twitter @soups25

Friday, February 19, 2016

Bollywood: An Adult Coloring Book

Adult coloring books are all the rage but even though many designs are based on Indian mandalas or common henna designs used in India, I didn't find many Indian-themed books. So I decided to make one, and Bollywood: An Adult Coloring Book was born.

As a lifelong fan of Bollywood, and a Bollywood screenwriter, I thought this was the perfect, fun topic for Hindi Film fans and for anyone who likes to color.

You can purchase the book on Amazon by clicking here.

Here are just some of the images (they are black and white in the book, of course):

Switzerland
The 2000s
Sindoor Shortage
The 1990s
The Evil Mother-in-Law

There are 26 one-sided coloring pages total in the book, with homages to common themes and characters in Bollywood:

  1. Singing in the Rain - featuring the romantic rains of the Monsoon.
  2. Comic Relief
  3. The Item Number- the sultry dance highlight of many movies.
  4. The Evil Mother-in-Law - you know the one from the 1960s and 1970s, who was always torturing her daughter in law, and always had a bottle of poison ready on the top of her dresser, just in case she needed to slip it to someone or threaten to take it herself.
  5. The Tribal Dance
  6. Kashmir 
  7. The Bus Song - because nothing makes you feel like singing and dancing than a bus ride.
  8. Dhishoom Dhishoom - the classic sounds of a good Hindi movie fight.
  9. The Bike Song
  10. The Widow
  11. The Courtesan
  12. Disco
  13. The 1980s
  14. The Snake-Person
  15. The Over-the-top, Insane Villain
  16. Pigeon Pal
  17. Switzerland
  18. The Bangles
  19. Twins Separated at Birth
  20. Sindoor Shortage- When you really need to elope but there is no sindoor around so you have to cut your finger open and use some romantic blood in its place.
  21. The 1990s
  22. The Thakur
  23. The Village
  24. The Gunda
  25. Kutte! - man's best friend.
  26. The 2000s.

Check back for new posts, including info on green products and DIY toys.
And if you like what you see here, check out my Amazon Author page for my picture books, (including 3 Raksha Bandhan books, 12 Indian language books for kids, The Booger Fairy and Nishi Goes to India), and The Chosen One, my YA novel.   If you have a minute, I'd love some more reviews.
 You can also click here to see my blog posts on The Huffington Post. 
Follow me on Twitter @soups25

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Finding a Bathroom Vanity that is Free of Triclosan, Microban and other Antibacterials/Antimicrobials

While looking to update a bathroom vanity top, I found that several of the vanity tops in the big box stores and even in specialty stores, were touting that they were antibacterial or antimicrobial!  I even found that a few vanity tops that didn't mention having those properties did end up having Triclosan or Microban applied to them, by writing each manufacturer to find out what was in their vanity tops.

If you're a frequent reader of this blog, you know I do not use Triclosan (click here on what antibacterials are linked to, where they can be found, and how to avoid them).

It was beginning to look hopeless.  Either companies didn't know what was in their vanity tops, or they didn't respond, or they had an antimicrobial or antibacterial coating. Finally, I got this response from Kohler, so I am going with them:



Unfortunately, it isn't just vanity tops that companies have been coating with antimicrobials. One of the leading faucet manufacturers makes several products with Microban. So I do the best I can before making any changes, to contact the companies I want to give my business to, and ensure that I am not exposing my family to chemicals I want to avoid.

Check back for new posts, including more info on green products and DIY toys.
And if you like what you see here, check out my Amazon Author page for my picture books, (including 3 Raksha Bandhan books, 12 Indian language books for kids, The Booger Fairy and Nishi Goes to India), and The Chosen One, my YA novel.   If you have a minute, I'd love some more reviews.
 You can also click here to see my blog posts on The Huffington Post. 
Follow me on Twitter @soups25