Influenster: Dino Lingo.

So I received an email from Influenster about a new language learning program for kids that they wanted us to review via YouTube and blog about. At first I was a little reluctant because I've come across some kiddo language programs in the past that were pretty rough and way too advanced. So I gathered up the little one and clicked on the link assuming that she'd probably only sit thru one short 3 minute clip. I was quite surprised when she not only sat through the Spanish and English one -- but we watched a clip in Dutch, Hebrew and German before she grew bored and wanted to get down. I think though if these would've been on the big TV screen, she might've sat there for a lot longer. The YouTube clips were mainly centered around learning greetings and animals, which I definitely think helped with the attention span. She got particularly excited about the Spanish one since she's in a local Spanish immersion school two days a week -- and she loves dogs and cats which happened to be the first two animals that they went over. The graphics on the videos were quite interesting -- they went from real life pictures, to animations to weird little graphics. In my personal opinion, I think it's more geared towards younger children because of this, but I think overall, it depends on each individual child.

The program targets 30 different languages and from what I can tell, they're adding new ones on a regular basis, the latest ones being French and Hebrew. They have an entire page that explains to parents the 'science' behind why there program works and what you can expect from the videos -- I was impressed at how much thought actually went into the discs.

Like I mentioned, the kiddo is in a Spanish immersion school, so I decided to see what the Spanish program would run me and was thrilled that there were several different options. The big package consists of (5) 35-minute DVDS, 150 flash cards, 10 posters, a vocabulary book, a coloring book, a world map, Spanish flag, parents teaching book and a dinosaur plush for $148.95+free shipping. At first I thought this was kind of steep, well truthfully I still think it is -- but when I started looking at everything that came with it, I guess it's not that bad of a deal. It looks like the posters, flash cards and vocab book are equally as important as the DVD set since it covers all the basics from animals to numbers to fruits/veggies to colors and so much more. The 5 DVDs run $89.95 for the set, so I think the rest of it is worth getting for just $60 bucks more. And it looks like they do a 10% discount/refund if you order $500 worth of language discs. Best part of the whole deal is that they do a 100% satisfaction guarantee for a full refund if you're not happy with the program.

I personally am thinking that I might invest for the kiddo -- maybe for Christmas *wink wink* -- and I plan on passing the word on to her school. Right now is such a crucial time in their learning process. They say it's much easier for a child to learn multiple languages now then it is for them to try and learn when they're adults. As someone who took two years of Spanish in high school and passed with flying colors, I'm sad to say that I've lost almost all of my ability to carry on intelligent conversation with someone who speaks Spanish only. Maybe we can both learn together :)

If you could teach your child a language -- what would it be?

**Disclaimer: I was able to review these clip(s) complimentary through Influenster. All products that are mentioned and reviewed on my blog are my own personal and honest opinions, or those of someone I've shared my goodies with. I am not being compensated additionally for my thoughts or posted reviews -- whether good, bad or indifferent.

EYC: Green Edition.

So this time of year is great for greens -- I just had the pleasure last week of eating some of my mom's fresh from the garden Collard Greens. And not the typical southern cooked way where they're dripping in butter and bacon and are so mushy that you don't need teeth to eat them. No, I'm talking cut in strips, lightly steamed, still crunchy with hot sauce on top! It really just doesn't get any better than that in my book. If eating green veggies isn't really you're thing, you can always try adding them to your juices or making green smoothies. There are tons of companies out there too that make powdered greens that you can just stir into water or drink so you don't have to keep fresh greens on hand. One way or another, you need to have them in your daily diet, not just for roughage, but also for your cholesterol and blood pressure. 

What are some of your favorite ways to get your daily greens in?

Juice Fest.

Haven't had time to juice this week -- imagine that -- but actually had a dream about it last night. Hoping to track down my juice.Nashville lady this week on Saturday and get my hands on some much needed goodness for my body. If you haven't juiced before, you don't know what you're missing. But for those of us that are familiar with the benefits and the difference it makes in our day to day lives, you know exactly what I'm going thru right now. Withdraws. Enjoy your Instagram Inspiration for the week!

@beme71 -- I love the glass straw! Can't wait to get my hands on some.
@freshncrunchy -- they have a great IG and blog that I follow!
@nancyvegantastisch -- juice prep!
@theveggieme -- runs juice fasts up in Canada. Eh?

What color combos have you been making this past week?

Local Eats 2.

So I had the pleasure a couple weeks ago (yes, I know I've been busy) of getting two great back to back meals at some local eateries that I've wanted to dine at. Being as it was only a couple weeks before the wedding and I was on a meat-free kick, I was pleasantly surprised to find a few things on the menu at both places that would accommodate my eating choices.

Cantina Laradeo (the Gulch): The girls took me here for a tame bachelorette party and we started the night off with some margaritas and fresh, made at the table, guacamole. It's seriously fantastic and not for the faint of heart if you don't like spicy. There were HUGE chunks of jalapeno in the mix and it was so good!  I was sad to see that they only had two vegetarian things on the menu but even more sad that I had to choose between the two because they both looked amazing. Luckily for me, someone else at the table ordered the other and I got a few bites of theirs! Sorry the quality of these pictures isn't so great, I was in a dark restaurant with only my iPhone.

Enchiladas de Avocado -- avocado and artichoke enchiladas 
on a bed of spinach, topped with tomatillo sauce.
Enchiladas de Espinaca -- sauteed spinach, monetary jack cheese
and mushroom enchiladas with sour cream poblano sauce.

Caffe Nonna (Sylvan Park area): I had actually never heard of this restaurant before and was thrilled to try it out after I scanned the menu online. They had several meat free salads to choose from and the option to make your own pasta combinations which is always one of my favorite things to do. And while I could've done one of their veggie pizzas and been on the safe side -- I HAD to try their Lasagna Nonna. And boy was I not disappointed in the least. And if that wasn't yummy and rich enough, we each got one of the four desserts on the menu and passed them around. They had a cinnamon ricotta cheesecake that was out of this world! Again, sorry for the cruddy pictures.

Lasagna Nonna -- layers of butternut squash, spinach, pasta and ricotta
cheese on a bed of sauteed swiss chard and two sauces. 
Top: Cinnamon Ricotta Cheesecake.
Bottom: Homemade Cannolis. 

What are some of your favorite eats around town? I'm always looking for a new spot!

Review: Jovial Foods.

It's been a while since I've done a review and was glancing through the pictures that I've taken for my blog prep and came across this one from my Jovial pasta night a week or so ago! I came across this company via one of my subscription boxes -- they had a little sample bag of their whole grain einkorn penne pasta and I loved everything about it, but it was such a small taste! I was ecstatic though when I got my package from Jovial and discovered that they not only had pasta, but also flour, rice pasta, pasta sauce/tomatoes and cookies! They were nice enough to send me a big box of those to try too!

Story: I love what this company is doing for food -- they not only care about what ends up on the shelf as the end product, but they are first focused on what's being grown from the very beginning. They're really focusing on the ancient grains and heirloom varieties of foods from our ancestors -- that's where the organic whole grain einkorn came from. Read more about their story here.

Details: I was thrilled that it had 9 grams of protein and 4 grams of dietary fiber per 2 oz serving -- and let's be real, who only eats one serving of pasta at a time? Certainly not me! When comparing it to other brands of pasta too, I noticed that it only has two ingredients unlike other brands - organic whole grain einkorn and water. You'd think that something with this much fiber and protein would taste gritty or 'thick' but it was neither and extremely filling. My only regret was not having any Parmesan cheese to put on top :) You can purchase this (and the rest of their products) thru their website - the pasta was only $3.49/box and there's a bulk discount too if you buy 5 or more at a time.

I also thoroughly enjoyed the Crispy Cocoa Cookies ($4.39/box) -- because of the whole grain einkorn, these little vegan beauties had 3 grams of protein for every serving of 3 cookies. That's a win win for people like me that try to get our protein from things other than meat. They had such a great crunch too -- and these were definitely toddler approved! I should have snapped a picture when I first opened the box, they were gone before I even realized it!

Now the things I received were not certified gluten free, but they do carry several things in their GF line of foods including some pasta, cookies and tomato based products. On a final note, they also have some great recipes on their website that are broken down into dietary categories so there's literally something for everyone from carnivore to vegan and everything in between. Enjoy!

**Disclaimer: This box and all the items within were kindly sent to me to review by Jovial Foods. All products that are mentioned and reviewed on my blog are my own personal and honest opinions, or those of someone I've shared my goodies with. I am not being compensated additionally for my thoughts or posted reviews -- whether good, bad or indifferent. 


So after making poor eating choices over the last week -- oh did it taste so good -- I've decided that I have to get back on the band wagon with my health. Slowly but surely I'm going to get control over it again this week. I can't even tell you how many sodas I drank over the last week, probably 2 dozen or so. So here's some Instagram Inspiration to help get everyone back on track -- smoothies are always a great way to supplement a meal and still get a lot of nutrients that our bodies need!

@divaeatslife -- love this layered green smoothie!
@itschincha -- makes me think of spring/summer!
@jims503 -- smoothie + apple chips. Great snack!
@kevsblog -- another fun layered smoothie!

What have you guys been doing to get back on track with good eating this week?


So, many of you might have actually missed me over the last week -- yes, an entire week of no blog posts! If you can even believe it -- I've been wrapped up every day this past week. Monday/Tuesday - packing and last minute errands. Wednesday - traveling. Thursday - Thanksgiving. Friday - decorating for wedding + family dinner + bachelor/ette party. Saturday - wedding! Sunday - two year old birthday party and traveling home. Whew. I can't believe we made it out of this week alive, but we had so much fun doing it! I think in hind sight though, we would've postponed the wedding till spring and just enjoyed the holiday, but we had fun nonetheless and are happy to finally be married! Enjoy some of the fun shots from this past week!

Hope you all had a fun and safe holiday week like we did -- hopefully we can re-coop and catch up quickly before we get any further behind :)

Eat Your Colors.

Hey guys -- just passing thru today...busy, busy with so much procrastination! I don't know why I do it to myself every time :) Guess I just like the rush of getting everything done at the last minute. Carrying with the Eat Your Colors Friday theme + with all the love in the air, I wanted to share this fun picture I found the other day. It's a great mixture of my 3 favorite (and easiest) colors to eat: green, red and orange! Let's make sure that we're packing tons of these into our daily/weekly diet guys! ENJOY your weekend and this beautiful weather.

Anyone have any big plans for this weekend?

Juice On.

OMGosh guys! We're literally in the single digits for the wedding countdown -- I can't believe it's already here! Not like we gave ourselves a whole lot of time to plan and dwell in the first place, but it still flew by WAY too quickly! As if Thanksgiving and the wedding weren't enough to bite off in one weekend, our little one is going to be celebrating the big terrible 2! Even with all this going on in my life (and the holiday chaos that I'm sure you all are going thru as well) we need to buckle down and think about our health first and foremost. The worst thing we can do is let that slip and then have our bodies put us on hold while we mend. I hate being sick when I have a ton of stuff going on -- so juice on my friends! Enjoy this week's Instagram Inspiration!

@b_lynn2 -- one of  my favorite IGers!
@carmensage -- this has been a newbie for me.
@thisiswhatieat -- juice prep, what a beautiful sight!
What have you guys been juicing on lately?

Food Play III.

So as I've said in the past -- playing with your food can be fun. Why eat just plain boring food when you can be creative with it? I wish sometimes that I would take more time in my day to enjoy the food I make instead of just going with the 'old faithfuls' in my arsenal like wraps and lentils. My eating routine is definitely boring to say the very least. So until I find time to change that, I'll have to just enjoy other people playing with their food. Here's some Instagram Inspiration from a new find of mine -- @idafrosk from Oslo, Norway.

She has WAY too many cute ones for me to post, so check her out on Instagram!