Husky Liners Review and Giveaway

Husky Liner Cargo MatOur new Husky Liners cargo liner and floor mats arrived the day before a huge blizzard hit Connecticut.  I was so excited to see the boxes on the front porch when I arrived home from work.  We love Husky Liners because they are custom-fit for each make and model.  They also have raised containment walls and tread pattern the mess stays away from your shoes. With a lifetime warranty against cracking and breaking, it is hard to beat the value of this great product.  The are available for Front Seat, 2nd Seat, 3rd Seat, Center Hump and Cargo in Black, Grey or Tan.  Husky Liners are also Made in the USA.

Husky Liner mats delivered hours before the blizzard hit.

Husky Liner mats delivered hours before the blizzard hit.

Features of the Husky Liners

  • Features the original “classic tread plate” design (My husband loves the diamond plate design)
  • Designed to contour the complex surfaces of your specific vehicle’s floorboard, using the latest in laser scanning technology. Laser Scanning Technology provides a precision fit contour design for your specific vehicle’s floorboard.
  • Raised containment walls to help keep mud, mess and spills on the liner and off your vehicles expensive, hard to clean carpet.
  • Most late model vehicles feature the Patented Form-fit Edge™ design.
  • Front & Back Seat Floor Liners are sold separately.
back_carseat_HuskyLiner

These mats hold the messes and are easily removed to be rinsed out. Also, look how it covers the hump between the seats.

floor_mat_HuskyLiner

This is after one week of use. I love the high sides that protect the carpet from all that water, salt and sand.


One reader will a set of front floor liners (subject to availability for specific make and model)
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<aa Rafflecopter giveaway

I was provided with product to facilitate this review.  All opinions are my own.

 

 

 

Lentil Taco Recipe, Plant Based and Delicious

When I was pregnant with my son, I ate a lot of Mexican food.  It was not uncommon for us to go to the same Mexican restaurant twice a week.  After my son was born, the waitress snatched up our “gringo” baby and showed him off to the kitchen staff.  Our love for Mexican food is still strong but, now I cook at home more often.  The numero uno request is for lentil tacos.

lentil-taco-recipe-vegan-vegetarian-glutenfree

Lentil tacos are easy to make, tasty and affordable.  I buy lentils from the bulk section and always have some on hand.  Cooked lentils have 230 calories per cup. 0.5 grams of fat and  17 grams of protein.  I prepare the lentils ahead of time and they are ready to make a quick meal on karate or soccer nights.  These tacos can be made “vegan” or vegetarian.

lentil taco vegan plant based recipe

What You Need:

2 1/2 cups cooked brown lentils

Water, oil or veggie broth to add to lentils

1 packet taco seasoning (or you can make your own)

Taco shells, corn tortilla or flour tortillas

salsa

taco sauce

chopped tomato

chopped lettuce

avocado

Sour Cream (I used a vegan brand)

Cheese (I used a vegan brand of this also)

What To Do:

Heat a bit of oil, water or veggie broth in a skillet.  Add the cooked lentils to the pan.  Mix taco seasoning with 1/2 cup water until dissolved.  Add the seasoning mixture and heat on medium until the mixture boils.  Add more water or broth if needed. As the mixture cooks, mash the lentils with a fork or potato masher.  I like mine mashed but with some whole lentils left.

While the lentils are cooking, prepare your taco toppings.

plant based lenti taco recipe

Here are some suggestions.

salsa

taco sauce

chopped tomato, chopped lettuce, chopped onions

jalapenos

black olives

avocado

Sour Cream (vegan or regular)

Cheese  (vegan or regular)

black beans

refried beans

rice

Once the lentil mixture has thickened to a desired consistency, you can start filling your taco shells or tortillas.  It is that simple to make these delicious tacos that everyone will enjoy.

 

What are your favorite taco toppings?    When you try this recipe, come back and leave a comment.

Lentil Taco Recipe, Plant Based and Delicious
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Lentil version of tacos
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2½ cups cooked brown lentils
  • Water, oil or veggie broth to add to lentils
  • 1 packet taco seasoning (or you can make your own)
  • Taco shells, corn tortilla or flour tortillas
  • salsa
  • taco sauce
  • chopped tomato
  • chopped lettuce
  • avocado
  • Sour Cream (I used a vegan brand)
  • Cheese (I used a vegan brand of this also)
Instructions
  1. Heat a bit of oil, water or veggie broth in a skillet.
  2. Add the cooked lentils to the pan.
  3. Mix taco seasoning with ½ cup water until dissolved.
  4. Add the seasoning mixture and heat on medium until the mixture boils.
  5. Add more water or broth if needed.
  6. As the mixture cooks, mash the lentils with a fork or potato masher.
  7. I like mine mashed but with some whole lentils left.
  8. While the lentils are cooking, prepare your taco toppings.

 

Are you looking for more plant based inspirations?       Here is my Pinterest Food Board link, http://pinterest.com/gpollick/food/

You can also find me chatting away on Twitter.  https://twitter.com/MonkeyThreads

 

I Am No Longer an Omnivore; Why I Don’t Eat Meat

vegan plant strong kale beans foodI grew up eating meat like most Americans. I happily gobbled down my meatloaf and pork chops, never really thinking about the source of my food or the impact it could have on my body. I was a kid with a lot of allergies and milk was one. Now, I would be considered lactose intolerant. I will spare you all the unsavory details, but in hindsight I realize that no animals products ever settled well with my system.
At some point in my teens I stopped eating meat. I don’t know the exact date but it was shortly before Thanksgiving. My family didn’t really get it but they were supportive and I could always fall back on items with cheese..loads and loads of cheese. Over the years I was not consistent. Sometimes I just ate poultry and dairy, with an occasional burger, then it would just be dairy and eggs. Finally, I was not eating any meat but, cheese was an ingredient at almost every meal. I was gaining weight and my cholesterol was elevated.

Vegan Coconut bacon sandwich
I decided I had to make a change. I cut way back on my cheese, dairy and egg consumption. It was gradual and it was not easy. I am still not 100% vegan and I never will be. I consider myself “plant-based”.   The majority of what I eat comes from plants. I know many people think it is extreme to eat a plant-based/vegan diet.   Common questions are, “Where do you get protein from?”, “Do you eat grass?”, “Does it taste good?”   I eat well, i  still love cooking and still eat out at restaurants. It takes a bit more planning especially when traveling but I have had some great “vegan” meals at all types of places.
Since cutting animal products and by-products out of my diet I have lost 40 lbs and found an energy level that I thought I left behind in my 30s. One key to my success is finding support. My husband has switched to plant-based eating and also lost close to 40 lbs. My mother, whom had given up on weight loss, has lost 50+ lbs so far, she started working out, and has an amazing glow about her. Twitter has been a great source for recipes, cooking techniques and acceptance.  I also am a recipes tester for Happy Herbivore’s cookbooks.

Everyday Happy Herbivore

I don’t consider myself a vegan, I am more likely to say I eat a plant-based diet.  Really, no label is needed, I am just another person going through life, making choices and doing my best on a daily basis.

vegan oatmeal raspberries

 

What would you like to know about a Plant Strong (vegan) diet?  What questions do you have for me? What recipes would you like to see?  I will be posting more on this topic and writing reviews of plant strong products, cookbooks and more.

 

Happy Campers, We Got an RV

CamperRVTravelMy family and I love to take trips and we always try to keep it affordable.  So, after spending some time at local campgrounds with some friends we decided to buy a camper.    I had no idea the amount of activities and amenities they offer at the campgrounds.   Previously my camping experiences consisted of damp tents, long walks to the bathrooms and bad sleep.  I don’t hate tent camping but RV camping is more desirable.  I spent a few months reading about RVs and learning the difference between, popups, hybrids and travel trailers.  I searched Craigslist, went to an RV show, and finally found one I really liked on Bargain News.  We took a look at it and we made an offer.  A few weeks later we became the proud owners of a cute Cruiser Fun Finder.

RV TV Stereo amenities

RV amenities, microwave, gas stove

The Fun Finder is currently parked in our yard.  We are getting to know all of the systems in it and enjoying just hanging out in it.  The first day we had it we watched a Garfield movie and had snacks in our home on wheels.  The three of us, my husband, son and I, are ready for some new adventures.  We love to see new places, be outdoors, hike, ride bikes and be together.  We are all excited to hitch the RV up and head to some new campgrounds.  We will start off staying pretty close to home as we get used to towing it.  There are some really great campgrounds in CT that offer daily activities for the kids, heated pools, large playgrounds and restaurants.  We also want to try out some of the state parks.  We won’t always be traveling alone.  Our dog, Beta will be an RVer soon too.

RV camping with a pet

Check out this great game for camping or backyard fun.    http://mamalovesherbargains.com/2012/07/snipe-hunt-family-game/

Have you ever been camping in a tent, RV, Yurt or small cottage?  What is your favorite thing about camping?

NuGo Bars Review and Giveaway

nugo nutrition barsToday the mail carrier brought me this incredible selection of NuGo Dark Chocolate nutrition bars.  I am already quite familiar with the Chocolate Pretzel variety.  That is my breakfast most work days.  It is easy to throw in my work bag and it is so good, it makes me happy. The combination of the sweet and crunchy filling, the dark decadent chocolate and the amazing sea salt is something I will never get sick of.

NuGo bars are  Gluten FreeNon-Dairy, OU PareveVegan and have 10 Grams of Protein.   My husband has one of the Peanut Butter Cup bars everyday.  Before switching to a plant-based diet, my husband was a huge peanut butter cup fan.  This bar fills that craving without making him compromise his dietary plan.  They are truly delicious and pack a load of flavor into 200 calories.  The NuGo Dark bars are filling and almost make me feel like I am cheating and eating something unhealthy.

You can buy NuGo Bars online or use their Store Locator to find one of many stores in the US and Canada that carry them.  I get mine by the case at my local Whole Foods Market.  NuGo Bars are clearly labeled and NuGo Nutrition, the company that makes REAL dark chocolate coated protein bars for many lifestyles, urges the FDA to create a standard of identity for dark chocolate. Consumers deserve to know what is in their food!  They have an online petition that can be signed to support this issue.

NuGo Nutrtion Bars giveaway  vegan gluten free dairy free

NuGo also likes to give back to the community.  They donate a portion of their sales to The Children’s Alopecia Project which is the only non-profit devoted specifically to all forms of the incurable autoimmune hair loss disease, Alopecia. Their mission is to help any child in need who is living with this life altering disease. Their goal is to build the self-esteem in children so they become stronger teens and more productive adults and become the advocates of tomorrow.

 

NuGo has offered to giveaway a mixed box of all five certified gluten-free NuGo Dark flavors (a total of 12 bars) to a winner who lives in the continental US.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Samples of these bars were provided to facilitate the review.  All opinions are my own.

 

Monster Jam at Hartford XL Center Family 4 Pack Giveaway

Advanced Auto Monster Jam family 4 pack ticket giveaway  Who wants to go see Monster Jam?  I do!  I do! and so will my 8 year old.  He does not know yet but we will be going to see Monster Jam at the XL Center in Hartford this Saturday.  He is going to go nuts!  This year’s show dates are Saturday February 9th at 2 pm & 7:30pm and Sunday February 10 at 2pm.  Tickets are available online or at the door.

 Special Deal: All Kid’s Tickets are just $13!   

Special Discount: Save $5 Per Ticket Valid for Sat., Feb. 9 at 7:30PM and Sun, Feb. 10 at 2PM  Valid on $28 and $38 price levels  Just use the Promo Code: FAMILY5

Featuring

Monster Jam® Trucks: Son-Uva Digger® driven by Ryan Anderson, El Toro Loco® driven by Marc McDonald, Monster Mutt® Rottweiler driven by Rod Schmidt, Iron Man™ driven by Morgan Kane, Crushstation driven by Greg Winchenbach, Thrasher driven by Pat Summa, Higher Education driven by Jim Tracy and Shockwave driven by Bill Braukman!!
Subject to change without notice.  The show also includes Quad wars!

 About the Monster Trucks

Approximately 12 feet tall and about 12 feet wide, monster trucks are custom-designed machines that sit atop 66-inch-tall tires and weigh a minimum of 10,000 pounds. Built for short, high-powered bursts of speed, monster trucks generate 1,500 to 2,000 horsepower and are capable of speeds of up to 100 miles per hour. Monster trucks can fly up to 125 to 130 feet (a distance greater than 14 cars side by side) and up to 35 feet in the air.

Giveaway

The great people at the XL Center have offered a family 4 pack for Sunday February 10th at 2pm.  Leave a comment below with your email address, for your chance to win a family 4 pack to Hartford XL Center Sunday, Feb. 10 at 2pm. Tickets will be left at Will Call under winner’s name.  Winner will be picked on Friday and contacted via email.

 

Which Monster Truck is your favorite?

 

Tickets were provided to facilitate this review.  All opinions are my own.

Valentine’s Day at Whole Foods Market

Whole Foods Valentines day Chocolate and GiftsI already love Whole Foods Market and I love chocolate.  So, you put those two together and I am a happy mama.    Last week I went to Whole Foods Market in Glastonbury for a blogger event.  They put out a spread of desserts and some savories for us to sample as we chatted about blog stats and posts.  They were showcasing their chocolates and Valentine’s Day offerings.

Dark Chocolate Covered Straberies and Valentine Heart cookies Whole Foods Market The main thing I love about Whole Foods is that they always have options for people with different diets.  I do not eat meat, dairy or eggs and they had gorgeous dark chocolate covered strawberries and samples of vegan candies and chocolates.  They also had a gluten-free chocolate cake.  For the omnivores, as my son calls himself, they had a mashed sweet potato topped with panko crusted shrimp and a maple/chocolate coated bacon.

Whole Foods is more than a grocery store.  They always have a great selection of books, fitness videos, clothes, candles and gifts for all ages.  For Valentine’s Day they have stuffed animals, candles, bath salts, cards, chocolates and more!  They even have great Valentine themed napkins.  As I write this post I realize I should have taken pictures of their amazing floral department.  The staff there are so knowledgeable and helpful.  You can run in last minute, pick up some flowers, chocolates and a prepared meal to make the perfect Valentine’s date.  Or better yet, send your loved one in with a list and let them bring it all home!

wholefoodsgiftswholefoodsswagI took a picture of just one of the end caps filled with gifts ideas.  They also sent me home with a fun swag bag that had some chocolates and an awesome soy candle in it.

Do you have a Whole Foods Market near you?  What is your favorite department?

World Vision Gift Catalog and Necklace Giveaway

World Vision Gift Catalog  Necklace giveaway World Vision Gift Catalog

Give a gift.  Change a life.

Holiday gift giving can get stressful.  Most of us carry around wishlists, store flyers and store coupons.  We search high and low for that “just right” gift  for everyone on our list.  I love shopping for others but sometimes I wonder if the gifts I buy get used, returned or if they collect dust.  We also get stuck the week before, wishing we had ordered earlier.  This is a great idea for last minute giving.

Through World Vision’s Gift Catalog, shoppers can choose a meaningful, life-changing gift to meet the urgent needs of children around the world. These alternative gift ideas— such as goats, school supplies, and fresh water wells— honor the recipient and create a lasting impact for people in need.
For the person who has everything, or for the shopper who doesn’t want to purchase one more meaningless gift, the World Vision Gift Catalog offers a welcome alternative (or addition to) traditional holiday gift giving. Shoppers can match the gift to the hobby or interest of the recipient. Ideas include:

  • Children who love animals will enjoy giving a goat, cow, or chickens to provide a family with new sources of nutrition and the potential to sell eggs or milk, helping the family climb out of poverty.
  • Sports enthusiasts will get a kick out of four soccer balls donated to a school.A gardener may like hybrid or drought-resistant seeds for a farmer, helping feed the farmer’s family for seasons to come.
  • A cyclist – or a child receiving his or her first bike – will enjoy giving a bicycle to a girl in Africa or Asia, allowing her to safely travel to school.

When giving a gift to a friend or family member, that person can receive a special card describing the gift and its impact. Donors can also receive free handmade gifts such as ornaments from Nairobi and jewelry from Thailand with a contribution to the Maximum Impact Fund, which helps in the areas of greatest needs.

This year marks the 17th annual edition of the catalog. Since 1996 the catalog’s popularity as a gift-giving alternative has grown with more than 160,000 purchases last year raising over $33 million that helped more than 825,000 people around the world.* Goats remain the most popular item – more than 67,000 goats were given to families around the world in 2011.

World Vision has agreed to give one lucky MamaLovesHerBargains reader a necklace.

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A necklace and catalog were provided to facilitate the review. All opinions are my own.

 

Seventh Generation ‘Cold Care Kit’ Review and Giveaway

Seventh Generation Cold Care Review and Giveaway household and personal care products I am truly excited to tell you about these fabulous household and personal care products.  I don’t love to clean the house so when I do,  I want to know that the products I use are safe for my family and effective.   Seventh Generation is a line of  products I use and trust.

Seventh Generation is the nation’s leading brand of household and personal care products that help protect human health and the environment.  Established in 1988, the Burlington, Vermont based company remains an independent, privately-held company distributing products to natural food stores, supermarkets, mass merchants, and online retailers across the United States and Canada.

Seventh Generation currently has four lines of products, household, personal, baby and laundry care.  They were generous enough to send me several products in addition to the “Cold Care Kit“.

What’s in the cold care kit?

  • 1 box of Facial Tissues that are made from 100% recycled paper, minimum 50% post-consumer content.  These tissues are strong, absorbent and get the job done.  They don’t need to hide behind scents or lotions.  I love these Facial tissues and the simple box design goes with any decor.
  • 1 easy spray bottle of All Purpose Cleaner that is non-toxic, VOC-free formula works great on marble, granite, stainless steel and many other surfaces.  The Free and Clear bottle I got does not leave behind an odor and keeps my surfaces clean and shiny.
  • 1 bottle Disinfecting Multi-Surface Cleaner with cold and flu season upon us, we could all use some disinfecting spray. This cleaner Kills over 99.99% of household germs, specifically: Influenza A viruses including H1N1, Rhinovirus (type 37, the Common Cold virus), Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella enterica, Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa on hard, nonporous surfaces.
  • 1 container  Disinfecting Wipes.  These wipes are handy and effective, they are all said to kill over 99.99% of household germs.  Great for the house, office or classroom.
  • 2  12oz. bottles of  Purifying Hand Wash.  These are available in lavender or mandarin scents. I have tried both and they smells are pleasant and not too strong.    The bottles are a simple design and would look great in any kitchen or bathroom.

One reader will win their very own Seventh Generation “Cold Care Kit” The Seventh Generation Cold Care Kit  (ARV $25.50)!
To enter: What Seventh Generation product is your favorite, or do you most want to try?
Want extra entries? (Leave a comment for each entry method you do and either leave your username or the URL of your “share”)

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*Share this giveaway on any social networking site- can be done 1x/day but leave the url of each share in it’s own comment!

Sample was received to facilitate this review.  Opinions are my own.  This giveaway will end on December 21 , 2012 at 11:59PM EST. Winner has 48 hours to respond. US only.  One entry per household.

Excailbur Dehydrator Review, Recipes and Giveaway

Excalibur Dehydrators are considered to be the best dehydrator on the market. After receiving mine and using it I can see why they are so greatly loved. The Excalibur 5 tray is perfect for my small family and our dehydrating needs. In the short time I have had mine, I have made fruit rolls, “sun-dried” tomatoes, coconut bacon,tofu jerky, kale chips, and dehydrated fruits. In addition it can be used to make, granola, meat jerky, crackers, raw foods, bread crumbs, dried herbs, and more. A quick search for dehydrator recipes will give you a good idea of how valuable a dehydrator can be.

Kale Chips are a favorite snack in this mama’s house. Everyone, including the dog and cat, love them. They can be purchased in the store at the cost of $7.99 for 2.5oz. WOW, they are good but at that price we can not buy them often. Instead,I can pick kale from the garden, buy some at the farmers market or grocery store and make my own for a fraction of the cost. I like knowing what ingredients go in to my family’s food and I like saving money. Here is the recipe I followed to make these delicious and healthy chips.

Spicy and Cheesy Kale Chips

Adapted from The Best Cheesy Kale Chips

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 or 2 bunches of kale, washed, dried, stems removed and cut in to bite size pieces.
  • 1 cup cashews, soaked in water for 2 or more hours and then drained.
  • 2-3 T lemon juice
  • 2 T nutritional yeast ( I used a bit more, I love nutritional yeast)
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped
  • 1 t ground chipotle chili pepper
  • a dash of sea salt
  • cayenne pepper (to taste)
Preparation:
  1. Add all ingredients expect the kale to a blender or food processor. Process until smooth.
  2. Massage mixture in to kale with hands.
  3. Dehydrate at 115° until crispy. (8-12 hours)

Here they are in all of their cheesy, crispy goodness!!

kale chips excalibur dehydrator giveaway

 

Fruit Rolls Many of the fruit roll brand on the market actually include very little fruit in them. They are loaded with corn syrup, artificial coloring/flavoring and preservatives. They are really candy disguised as a fruit snack. So, I decided to make fresh, natural and delicious fruit rolls in the Excalibur Dehydrator. They turned out so good and were really easy to make. All you need is some fruit of your choosing, apple sauce ( I used 365 Unsweetened organic apple sauce), parchment paper, a blender and the dehydrator. This is a great recipe to have the kids help with. They can choose their own fruit combinations.

Excalibur Dehydrator giveaway

 

holiday gift guide

 

One reader will win a Excalibur Dehydrator!

To enter, tell me YOUR favorite comfort food in a comment below.

Want extra entries? (Leave a comment for each entry method you do and either leave your username or the URL of your “share”)

To enter, tell me YOUR favorite comfort food in a comment below.

Want extra entries? (Leave a comment for each entry method you do and either leave your username or the URL of your “share”)

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*Follow Me on Pinterest

*Share this giveaway on any social networking site- can be done 1x/day but leave the url of each share in it’s own comment!

Sample was received to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own. This giveaway will end on December 10 , 2012 at 11:59PM EST. Winner has 48 hours to respond. US only. One entry per household.