Families Welcome & Foodie Approved… Part 1

Raising a silver spoon

I’ll be the first to admit, I am one of those moms. I’m a party crasher. I show up with my kids at the restaurant where you are having your first awkward date or a stuffy business meeting.  I’ll be wearing yoga pants, have a buttload of cheerios stuck to my shirt, a crazed look of hunger in my eyes. I’ll be eager to sit down at the next available table and take some food photos all while bouncing my 11-month-old and entertaining my 3-year-old. I swear, I’m not nuts. I’m just a mama squirrel tryin to get some nuts *wink *wink. For me, meal time is family time.  With the exception of date night with my hunk-of-a-man, eating out is an all inclusive affair and I like my lil nutty love muffins to be included. I’m all about raising my kids to be shiny, happy silver spoons (minus any pretension). Not to worry, I got ’em well trained. They do pretty darn well at restaurants and they enjoy the experience as much as I do, especially when there’s rice involved.

Yes, I picked this up before leaving. I also see why some people are anti-kid for this reason and this alone. But let’s give rice and peas a chance, right?

What is Foodie Approved?

Foodie Approved: Somewhere i can get this

I’d like to re-invent the idea of “Kid-Friendly” into “Families Welcome AND Foodie Approved.” As much as I love a playground and good food. I’ll take the food over the playground. During my journey to feed my children gourmet goodies I have noticed two things: First, even folks who are so called “foodies,” sometimes  give their kids mystery meat with a side of red dye #5. Why?  Convenience, low cost, or maybe just too many hairy eyeballs at the cool spots?  I write this without judgements.  Heck, I go to the Starbucks drive-thru at least 3 times a week due to convenience and living in the burbs. Secondly, when visiting a new city with my children and asking a seemingly food lovin’ local for a lunch recommendation more often then not they suggest mass produced muck (Friendly’s, Denny’s or IHOP).  Three words: Yuck, Gross and Disgusting!  Just because I come encrusted with crispy cheerios does NOT mean I want to feed my family junk. I want the place where the food enthusiasts roam, where the local meat is being tenderized, where the beef is as grass-fed as a hamster, where the walls look like the 60’s we born again, where the hipsters are a plenty, you get it.

Where am I going with this? If you’re a parent with a mountain of Mickey D wrappers in your minivan, I invite you to join me as we re-invent the family foodie wheel.  Or if you’re recommending a restaurant share the good spots not the grease spots.

What are your thoughts on this subject? Be honest. Let’s stir the organic soup pot. Either, I’m as loony as a bag of fruit loops or are you are on the “foodie approved” bandwagon?

If you’re with me please sign up for the FAST FOOD FREE petition, (no worries: Chipotle is not considered fast food) you can sign your name by commenting below.

If you think I’m coocoo for cocoa puffs and should shut my food lovin’ pie hole, kids n all Please dish…

*Check back soon for more information and a list of certified, “Family Friendly and Foodie Approved” places.

Guest Post by Great Dates Orlando

This is a wonderful guest post written by a dear friend, Kristin Manieri AKA “The Date Diva.” Kristin is a freelance writer and published author of Great Dates Orlando: a one stop shop of fun, play and food in the Orlando area. I thought this post was fitting to the “Trading Red Roses For Red Meat” occasion coming up on February 14th…  Please enjoy.

A Valentine’s Day Rant

I’m going to let you in on a little secret about me… I am totally ‘bah humbug’ about what most people consider to be one of the most romantic days of the year.

Surprised that someone who constantly touts the benefits of romance and quality time would be so jaded? Excuse my French but Valentine’s Day, in my opinion, is a crock of sh*t.

It’s become a day, hijacked by marketers, that guilts you into spending money on and time with your significant other because not doing so would make you a jerk.

Guess what? Opting out of Valentine’s Day does not make you a jerk… but not having a regular date night throughout the year surely does.

There are a lot of really great things happening around the city over the next week and by all means, do as many as you can. Marc and I are going to Nude Nite on Saturday. If we weren’t going there, we’d surely be going to Harbor Night Romantico at the Portofino Bay Hotel. There’s a free Michael Andrew’s concert happening this Sunday in Park Avenue that’s sure to be stellar. Enzian has created a great event themed around the epic romance An Affair to Remember. All kinds of restaurants have planned special Valentine’s Day menus.

By all means… I encourage you to get out on the town and celebrate.

But then do it again the week after… and the week after that… and the week after that.

What makes Valentine’s Day so lame is that for so many people it stands as the only day ALL YEAR when they really put any effort into their love life. And we wonder why the divorce rate is skyrocketing!

A University of Virginia study finally revealed what I have been trying to tell people for years… that couples who devote time to one another at least once a week are more likely to enjoy high-quality relationships and lower divorce rates.

So, here is my request: use February 14th as the beginning of a renewed commitment to a regular date night. Read this blog frequently for ideas. Follow me on Twitter for a least 25 more date night ideas each week. And join the conversation on my Facebook page where I you’ll not only get a few more ideas but I hope you’ll share some of your own as well. You might even win a pair of concert tickets or a free dinner.

Put as much effort into your love life as you did when you first met and it will start to feel like it did then too. I promise.

For more zesty posts from the Date Diva herself check out Great Dates Orlando dot com