As I scrolled through social media pages and blog posts over the weekend, I started to see the familiar “thankful” posts that are published each November. I always enjoy these. I have never actually written a “thankful” post on my blog or social media pages, but they do make me reflect on all the things I am thankful for in my life.
My health, family, friends, faith, and my job are among the few obvious things I initially thought of, but as I reflected more, I know that I wouldn’t have gotten to where I am now without the solid foundation of skills and values that my parents instilled in me at a young age.
One of the most important of those being reading. Growing up, I can remember learning my ABC’s, my parents helping teach me to read with books like, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” (anyone remember that one?), and taking trips to my local Library with my Aunt Beth.
At the time, I may not have realized how valuable those experiences were, but the very fact that I am able to sit here and share my experiences through words just shows how many things in my life, as well as yours, are affected by our ability to read and write. And looking back, I have really come to cherish those memories.
Last Friday, November 1, was National Family Literacy Day and in support of this cause, McDonald’s launched a National Happy Meal Books Program to invite families to celebrate the joy of reading. Through November 14, children who order McDonald’s Happy Meals will find one of four limited edition books featuring stories that bring nutrition, imagination, and play to life. Each book also comes with it’s very own bookmark that kids can personalize.
I think this is so neat! I mean, the toys we got in Happy Meals when I was younger were cool and all, but books are something interesting and practical that kids can keep instead of hiding them in between the car seat cushions, or leaving them on the floor for you to step on, when they get bored with them.
Have you seen these books in your kids’ Happy Meals yet?
Along with these books being placed in Happy Meals nationwide, McDonald’s of Central Indiana is leading a “Give a Book, Get a Book” campaign! By donating a gently used children’s book, customers will receive a “Be Our Guest” card for a free Happy Meal to say thank you for helping to share the gift of reading with others in the Indy community.
Book donation sites will be set up around the area at the Ronald McDonald House, local libraries, and Indy Reads from Nov 1 – 14. In addition, participating libraries are hosting a “Happy Meal Day” with activities for kids and McDonald’s Happy Meal Books. To find a full list of book donation sites and participating libraries, click here: http://www.indywithkids.com/2013/11/happy-meal-day-give-a-book-get-a-book-locations/
Now, I know not all of you are in the Indy area, but I hope everyone can help me promote this event! To help in promoting the “Give a Book, Get a Book” campaign, McDonald’s Happy Meal Books program, and National Family Literacy Day, I am hosting a give-a-way for anyone who shares this post on their social media pages!
By entering the contest, and sharing these events, one reader will win a week of happy meal coupons, a $10 Amazon gift card and a copy of a Happy Meal Book! (Everything will even be put together in a Happy Meal box!)
Here’s how to enter:
1. Share this blog on Facebook, Twitter and or Pinterest leave a comment below with the URL to your post. Be sure to use the hashtag #mcIndyMoms so we can see your posts as well!
For additional entries: (each of these need a blog comment with the URL as well)
2. Tweet About The Give-A-Way:
Help @Chelsea_PA @indywithkids & @MyIndyMcDonalds promote reading! #McIndyMoms http://bit.ly/McIndyMoms
3.Like IndyWithKids on Facebook
4. Subscribe to Boilermakerag.com
5. Follow @MyIndyMcDonalds on Twitter
6. Follow @Chelsea_PA on Twitter
What was your favorite book as a child?
We have a winner!! Congratulations to Angie MCKie! You are the winner of the McIndyMom’s prize pack! Please email me at email@example.com to claim your prize! Thanks to everyone who shared my posts and followed the social media pages! Stay tuned to BoilermakerAg.com for more blog posts and potential give-a-ways!
Entries were put into a list randomizer via random.org and chosen from the results.
Here is the full list of results:
Hey Indy Foodies!
If you haven’t been keeping up with my Global Eats Indy posts, here’s the deal. A group of my friends and I travel to a new restaurant each month to try a new type of cuisine in Indianapolis and then I kindly report back here on my blog to let you know how it was! Any other ethic foodies out there? Check out our Italian and Turkish adventures if you missed them.
On our third excursion we traveled to Tata Cuban Cafe in downtown Indianapolis. It is a cute little cafe located on Market St., and its one of those hidden gems that might be easy to miss, but SOOO worth the journey to find it.
I was excited for this trip because I first discovered my love for Cuban food when I was in Disney World at Bongos Cuban Cafe. (Side note – MAKE this a stop on your next Disney Trip. Great atmosphere and awesome food!) Ok, back to Indy…
A few ground rules about Tata Cuban Cafe:
1. It is tiny. They only seat about 40ish? Maybe not even that many. But it kind of adds to the atmosphere, making it feel like a family restaurant in a small town.
2. They do not serve alcohol. But DON’T let this be a deal breaker for you. We typically give reviews on the culture’s traditional beverages, but the main thing is the food. There are plenty of establishments nearby to get refreshments afterwards if you so choose.
3. Make sure to look at the walls! They have a lot of cool pictures of people who have eaten there and festive decorations.
4. Every single thing on the MENU is good! The entrees are listed in Spanish, but even if you don’t habla Espanol, you can’t go wrong! Be adventurous!
We all had a hard time picking what we wanted but here were a few of our favorites:
Courtney had the El Guaso Cuban Sandwich – Cuban sandwich made with roasted pork, ham, swiss cheese, pickles and mustard, and hot pressed on Cuban bread. This is a good dish for someone who isn’t that familiar with Cuban food. It’s a classic!
I had the Ropa Vieja Habanera – Shredded beef marinated with citrus juices,mojo criollo, mixed with grilled onions and peppers. Served with white rice and sweet plantains.
Everything was soooooooo good! Did I mention that it was good? Well if I didn’t, it was good!
Not only is the food to die for, the price is good too! Their whole menu ranges from $5.00 – $19.99. Thats a deal if you ask me.
Overall we had a great time at Tata Cuban Cafe! It was nice to catch up with some great friends, meet some new ones, and enjoy a new type of cuisine. Oh and a fun little treat, we were the biggest group in there so the owner, Alfredo Gonzalez, came out to chat with us and even took our group picture to add to the Tata Facebook page!
Have any of you ever been to Tata?
Check out this video from their website to learn more about them!
Alfredo is a very fun guy! He really takes traditional Cuban elements and incorporates them into every aspect of the Cafe. I will definitely be going back there sometime soon!
I’m still full just thinking about all the great food we ate at Tata’s, but there’s no rest for the weary! Next up – Vietnamese food!
Anyone ever been to Long Thahn Restaurant? I’d love to hear any tips on what to order!
Until then, it’s time to call it a night for this #GlobalEatsIndy gal. TA TA! (Late night joke if no one caught that) 🙂
I’ve lived Indianapolis for over a year now and I think I’ve done a pretty good job of learning the ropes of the city. I do miss the rural life sometimes, but one thing I do love about Indy is that there is always some place new to try – especially restaurants! Even some of my friends who have lived here several years agree that there are places even they haven’t been.
So since my friends and I all like trying new types of food, we decided to start Global Eats Girls Night where we go out once a month to try a new type of food! (plus get a little girl time) 🙂
I was so excited about this, but sadly I had to miss the first outing! Fail…I know, but luckily I recruited my friend Tiffany to guest blog about their experience!
Check out Tiffany’s blog for the story:
“Our mission – to boldly go where others are from and experience new cultures through food and fun. (And, possibly have a good reason to get a bunch of girls together for a couple hours of catch-up time.)
First mission, Chinese.
Two of our awesome ladies were prepping to run 100 (that is not a typo) 100 miles to raise money for Heifer International, an awesome charity providing livestock as a family income source in third-world countries. So, if you’re prepping to run 100 miles, you carb-up. And carb-up we did!
This is pasta carbonara at Mamma Carolla’s Authentic Italian Restaurant.
Our outing was full of laughs, stories, our cultural adventures (good, bad, horrible, and life changing) and where we planned to go next. It is amazing how many places a group of girls in their 20-30’s have been and still plan to go. I’m pretty sure it says a lot about the world we live in. For the most part we all grew up in small towns or on farms, but have spent weeks and years traveling shores our parents and grandparents never dreamed of!
While we were a bit of a spectacle, we had a great time! Full of laughter, good drinks and good olive oil, you can’t help but be amazed at how much food brings people together and brings out the stories. Who knew we’d be in an Italian restaurant discussing camels?
We really enjoyed Mamma Carrolla’s – and while it is a more intimate restaurant for romantic dates, we found the patio a great spot. It is small and they don’t take reservations, so be prepared for a bit of a wait. Expect to take some home too – its way filling and you’ll want it for sure on day 2! All in all, from these smiles, you can tell it was a success.
We’re off to Turkish on mission two. Should you choose to accept the challenge you will enjoy baklava like you’ve never had before!
Cultural Captain, mission accomplished!
Thanks for the great blog Tiffany! I can’t wait for the next adventure!
Q: What’s your favorite type of cuisine?
Now, some of you might be slightly confused by this title, especially if you didn’t read my post from yesterday. But I have to admit, I did drink wine for breakfast on Saturday (don’t worry this isn’t a regular occurrence) at our first stop of the Marion County Farm Bureau Wine Tour.
I mean technically it was only a few sips during the tasting, and it was more like brunch because it was at 10a.m. but I’d say it still counts – wine for breakfast.
We kicked off our wine tour at Easley Winery in Indianapolis, IN, where we were able to taste several great wines from their collection.
I had never heard about Easley Winery before this trip, being a southern Indiana girl and all, but it was a great little place!
A little history about their winery:
“Jack & Joan Easley purchased the former Fertig Ice Cream factory in downtown Indianapolis and had their first grape crush in the fall of 1974. This facility is still in its original location and is located in downtown Indy’s Cole Noble Commercial Arts District. Today, second generation owners Mark & Meredith Easley continue the family tradition of creating and selling award-winning wines and champagnes made right in the heart of Indiana. Easley Winery offers 20 or more wine and champagne offerings depending on the year and season. Great wines are meant to be shared, and at Easley Winery, we’ve been creating memories since 1974.”
During our tasting, we were taken to their Barrel Aging Room and got to select 7 wines to taste.
Here were my favorites!
I am more of a ‘sweet wine’ person so naturally my favorites were the sweet wines. My #1 fave was the Reggae Red, which makes sense as it is their #1 bestseller! (So naturally, I had to help increase my economic impact by purchasing a bottle.) ♥
They also gave us several good tips on what to pair the wines with. One cool thing that I thought was unique was they gave us recipes to take home for making fun summer cocktails with their wines!
I can’t wait to try these!
Have any of you tried Easley’s Reggae Red or any of their Reggae wines? Let me know what you think if you do!
We had a great time during our first stop and I’d like to say a big THANK YOU to the staff at Easley Winery for your hospitality and great tips!
But I repeat, this was only our first stop. We still had a long day ahead of us, so we headed back to the bus to travel to our next stop on the tour – Oliver Winery!
Be sure to check back soon for Part 2 of the Wine Tour “Indiana Vino Adventure: Lunch” at Oliver Winery! I have a lot of cool things to include in this blog so you won’t want to miss it!
Oh, and P.S. – did you know that Easley Winery has a Pinterest account? Check it out for some fun recipes, facts, and wine inspired décor!
So… my day started off like most mornings: coffee and social media, but then a certain email made my day!
I am excited to announce that I am now officially a member of Indianapolis Bloggers!
Indianapolis Bloggers is a hub with the all informative bloggers of the Indianapolis area. @IndyBloggers blog about all-things Indy and frequently have posts about upcoming events and activities.
As a newly added resident to the Indy area, I am excited to join this group to learn about cool things happening around town, as well as share my Indy Adventures as I get to know the city.
I have some awesome things planned for this summer and I am excited to share them with you! Be sure to check out me out on Indianapolis Bloggers site!
THANK YOU to everyone at Indianapolis Bloggers for selecting me to become an Indy Bloggers member!