InstaOctoNovember

If that title doesn’t have you thoroughly confused, then I haven’t done my job well. What it translates to is the fact that I forgot to post InstaOctober last month, but I’m too OCD to actually skip a month. As if hordes of you will show up at my front door and say, “HEY, lady. What gives with the missing Instagram highlight reel?” But just in case any one of you are en route, here it is. And I certainly couldn’t handle missing November, or moving every post back two months, because that just doesn’t make any sense. (But this line of thinking clearly does.) I should probably stop talking.

OctNovIG

1. We took a little road trip up to Chicago in November for the Chicago Toy & Game Fair. When I realized Eataly was just a few blocks from our hotel, I knew a visit was in order. If it wasn’t totally disgusting and against every health code, I’d want my ashes scattered here. I’ve never had any inclination to climb cheese, until I saw this intriguing sign in the cheese department.

2. Obligatory Bean photo every tourist takes in Chicago.

3. As part of the Toy & Game Fair, Mayfair Games held a very serious, very competitive Settlers of Catan tournament. The winner earned him or herself a trip to Gen Con to compete in the Catan World Championship. I promise I’m not making that up. Mike is the King of Catan in this house, as evidenced by his very official Catan crown the kids made him last year. He wore it to the tournament, right up until he lost in the semifinal round.

4. You know how you have the strictest rules and best advice about parenting … until you actually become a parent? The same holds true about being a pet owner. I swore up and down I would never let a dog sleep in bed with me. And then Gus gave me that look, and I said, “Okay. Just this once.” And then I realized happiness really is a warm puppy. The couch is still off limits. I swear (for now).

5. Elena and I have dreams of one day entering a gingerbread creation into Conner Prairie’s annual Gingerbread Village. We inched one step closer by taking a Gingerbread 101 class together at Conner Prairie. This is one of those traditions that I realize now I started waaaaaaay too early with my kids. Twelve is good. Twelve and in someone else’s space, where they clean up after you is even better.

6. Have I mentioned Eli is in Cub Scouts this year? He begged us to let him do it, mostly because he’d heard a rumor there would be BB guns. At this point it’s more like herding cats, but he did manage to earn his Bobcat badge.

7. I took my sister and my mom on a day trip to Cincinnati for some IKEA and Jungle Jim retail therapy. On the way home I introduced them to the best fried chicken in Indiana. If you find yourself near Oldenburg, Indiana, make sure you stop at Wagner’s and have some pan-fried deliciousness.

8.  Elena played volleyball this fall. It was 2% her wanting to try it, and 98% me wanting her to find a sport (any sport!) she might like. She ended up being the only one on her team who hadn’t played volleyball for multiple seasons. You’d think that would be a recipe for disaster, but she did great. She didn’t complain (much) and she improved drastically through the season. This particular photo is her serving to get her team into the championship game.

9. I had the opportunity to work alongside Future Farmers of America from around Indiana at the Colts annual Million Meals Marathon. The Colts partner with Thrive360 (formerly Kids Against Hunger of Central Indiana) to pack a million meals that will find their way to families facing hunger in Indiana. I packed for 2 hours, along with a couple of Colts cheerleaders, blogging pals, and the Colts Defensive End Cory Redding. It was such a cool experience, and I can’t wait to do it again with Mike and the kids.

10. What every parent’s floor looks like if they have a LEGO fan in the house … just kidding. It’s actually a sea of LEGO bricks for kids to play in at LEGO KidsFest. Super fun and a cool photo op, if you don’t think about how many germy little hands have been all over those bricks.

11. Mike and I have been able to go to two Colts games this year. This picture is from a home game against the Bengals. Incredible seats and lots of fun for us. Not so much for the Bengals fans we took with us. The weekend before last we went to the Colts game in Cleveland. The horse head did not make that trip with us. We’re not stupid.

12. My friend Sacha clued us into a KaBOOM! playground build that was happening in our community. I’m a big fan of KaBOOM! and their passion for making play accessible to kids in every kind of community, so it was a very special thing to be able to help. I hauled mulch for a bit and Elena helped paint signs for the new playground.

If you’re not already following me on Instagram already, please do! You can find me there as (the one and only) AngieSix.

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Green BEAN Delivery: Fresh, Local Foods at Your Door {$15 Promo Code!}

Green BEAN bin contents

Disclosure: Green BEAN Delivery provided me with a free bin in exchange for a review of their service. All thoughts and opinions are mine.

For years I was a loyal Green BEAN customer. And then, suddenly, I wasn’t. I cancelled the service shortly before we moved into our temporary housing with the best intentions to start it up again once we were settled in the new house. And, well … you know what they say about a certain path and the best intentions!

Are you familiar with Green BEAN Delivery? They are a local company that delivers top-notch organic and all-natural produce and food items to your front door. It’s been so fun watching Green BEAN grow in the midwest, both literally and figuratively. Many of the items offered are grown or made locally, including fruits and veggies from Green BEAN’s own Feel Good Farm in Sheridan, Indiana. I remember when they first started out here in Indy, and now they’ve grown to add delivery areas throughout the midwest, including Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, and Missouri. Beyond the jobs they provide and the farmers and artisans they support, they’re also very active in the community. They partner with local food banks and sponsor the Constant Canned Food Drive.

Of course, the most important thing to you is the food. Is it good? Is there a decent selection? Is it affordable? The answer is yes, yes, and yes. I recently reopened my account, thanks to the kind nudge from the good people at Green BEAN.

The service is very easy to use. You simply open up an account by clicking on the “Sign-Up Now” link on the Green BEAN homepage. Choose the size of bin you’d like to receive, and how often you’d like to receive it (weekly or biweekly). For our somewhat vegetable-averse family of 4, the small bin, delivered biweekly, is perfect. You’ll receive an email a few days before your delivery date in which you can customize and add to your bin. Then, on your delivery day, your bin of goodness will magically appear on your doorstep!

Green BEAN delivery

Here’s my last bin. Behold, $35 of produce and $13 of add-on grocery items:

Green BEAN fruit and vegetable bin

I’ve got local sweet corn, peppers, beets, tomatoes, cucumber, onions, and green beans. I also have pears, garlic, bananas, plums, and peaches. I added on some of my favorite bread from Scholars Inn Bakehouse (for my daily summer lunch of tomato sandwiches), and treated myself to something I’ve been wanting to try for ages: curtido from Indy’s Fermenti Artisans (it’s amazing, by the way).

I’d forgotten how fun it was to customize a bin to my liking, and to add some of my favorite local treats to round out my bin. Why did I wait so long to start it up again? I have no idea, but I’m glad to be back on the Green BEAN Delivery wagon again.

Now, I know you have some questions, but I’ve heard them from friends and family before …

What if I don’t like the service? What am I committing to?

If you don’t like it or feel like you’re not getting your money’s worth, you simply cancel the service. You’re not locked into any contract and you can quit at anytime.

What if I like it, but even biweekly is too much produce for me? What if I’m going to be out of town/too busy/not cooking for awhile? What if the grocery budget gets tight towards the end of the month?

You can always cancel a delivery, or even multiple deliveries, via the Green BEAN website. In fact, I do it frequently. I typically only order 1 bin a month, and supplement with regular grocery shopping in between. There’s absolutely no penalty in doing so.

What if I don’t like what’s going to be in my bin? What if I’m extremely picky? What if I have allergy issues in my family?

When you get your email with your delivery information for your upcoming bin, you’ll see a selection of products already in your bin for you. You can certainly take the bin as it comes, but you can also customize it to your heart’s/belly’s content. Hate kale? Not a problem, sub a fruit or veggie you love, or increase the quantity of something else that’s already in your bin. It’s very easy to do as well. Have allergies or dietary restrictions? You can search for items by category, including kosher, gluten free,  vegan, vegetarian, and dairy free products.

What if I’m not happy with something in my bin? What if my bread is moldy, the milk’s gone bad, or my squash got squashed?

It happens (though not very often). Shoot Green BEAN’s customer service an email. They’ll make it right.

I’m pleased as punch to be able to offer you a special discount code for $15 off your first bin. Use the code 15JLNml when placing your first order for the discount. (Note: this code expires one week from today on 8/29/14) So, seriously, what are you waiting for?! Order up that bin and tell me about your favorite items so I can add them to my next bin!

 

 

 

 

 

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Earth Fare Greenwood {Grand Opening & Gift Card Giveaway}

This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to the winner, e michelle!

Disclosure: I was provided a gift card for personal use as well as a gift card to give away by Earth Fare. All thoughts regarding Earth Fare and photos of the store are mine. Any prices shown in photographs are specific to the Greenwood, Indiana location and may not be available in your local Earth Fare.

I have a thing for grocery stores. I can’t help myself. While some people search out museums, points of interest, or can’t-miss restaurants while traveling, I make a bee line for new-to-me grocery stores. I love looking for unusual products, local foods, and items I can’t find in my own stores at home. I stopped in a grocery store or market nearly every day we were in Spain, and if you give me a town in the US that I’ve been too, I can probably name my favorite grocery store there. I know, it’s strange.

I get just as excited when we get a new grocery store closer to home. So when Earth Fare invited me to take a tour of their brand new store opening in Greenwood, I couldn’t say no! I’m already familiar with the Earth Fare stores, as we have two branches that have opened recently in my neck of the woods (one is located in Noblesville, the other in Carmel).

Unlike traditional grocery stores, Earth Fare’s Food Philosophy sets them apart. They do not carry any items that contain high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, artificial colors or sweeteners, or synthetic growth hormones. Have you ever spent ten minutes in the cracker aisle, reading teeny-tiny labels, trying to figure out which brand doesn’t have all that junk in it? That won’t happen at Earth Fare. Often when you choose to focus on healthy food items, you have to sacrifice savings. Again, not at Earth Fare. They offer lots of opportunities to save, via coupons, sales, and texts.

Each store has a commitment to buy local when possible. Handy signage lets you know when an item is local. Check out all these tasty treats that originate within 100 miles of the store:

Earth Fare Greenwood local foods

The Greenwood store has an impressive health and wellness department, where you can find everything from vitamins and supplements to beauty products. Not sure what you need, or which product to buy? Extensively trained employees are there to help you out.

Earth Fare Greenwood health and wellness

We are fortunate that food allergies are a non-factor for our family when we shop, but I know many of you have to be vigilant about the products you buy. I love that not only does Earth Fare stock many allergy-friendly products, but they make it easy for shoppers to locate them. For example, throughout the store, any products that were gluten-free were stocked on shelves designated with a wooden shelf marker, distinguishing them from the other products.

Earth Fare Greenwood gluten free shelving

Sadly, the closest store to me doesn’t sell alcohol. But I was happy to see that this Earth Fare carries its own line of wine, bottled exclusively for them! I’ll be back to try a few varieties of Big Tomato wine.

Earth Fare Greenwood Big Tomato Wine

Of course, I’ll need some cheese to go with that wine. Nothing like a few weeks in Europe to get you craving delicious cheeses. Again, Earth Fare has you covered.

Earth Fare Greenwood cheese department

Another service that sets Earth Fare apart is their prepared foods department. Every Thursday is Family Dinner Night, where kids eat free with the purchase of an adult meal. The Food Philosophy carries over into the items served here as well, so not only can you save money while eating out, you can feel good about the food you’re eating. The pizza is especially delicious. Bonus: you can eat it in the store or take home a pie to bake!

Earth Fare Greenwood pizza

The kind people at Earth Fare would like to make it even easier for you to give them a try. They’ve provided me with a $50 gift card, good at any Earth Fare location, to give away. Just use the handy Rafflecopter giveaway widget to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

In the meantime, be sure to check out an Earth Fare store near you! If you’re near Greenwood, your Earth Fare store is open and ready for you to visit! Earth Fare Greenwood is located at 2110 East County Line Road. Visit the Earth Fare website for other locations.

 

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