Monday, August 16, 2010

LovingHut for Extreemly Creepy Vegan Dining

I was excited to learn about a new vegan restaurant a couple weeks back from a blogger (Eat Well. Live Well. Be Well) who shares my frustration about the sad state of vegetarian-friendly dining in Tampa.  I had the chance to check it out today with my husband and kids....I think it's safe to say that it was the weirdest dining experience I've ever had.  Let me explain....

My first introduction to LovingHut came from their website. I was genuinely impressed. It's an international chain with a slick website. The food looks promising. I was expecting something on par with Evos.

Boy was I ever wrong. The first clue was the location. The restaurant is smack in the middle of "suitcase city". It's a seedy little neighborhood, to say the least, but its proximity to the university makes for an eclectic mix of businesses. So, we reluctantly gave it the benefit of the doubt as we pulled in to the nearly empty parking lot.

The atmosphere was actually quite pleasant at first glance - it was clean, bright, open - but something just seemed off. On the way to our table we passed a shelf full of pamphlets and reading material covered in pictures of an Asian woman with long blond hair - the same woman on the rather strange sign out front positioned above the more familiar, professional-looking logo I saw on the website.

Okay, that's weird, but it gets even weirder. Right above our table was one of several large television screens playing a strange news channel at an exceptionally loud volume. The screen was covered in subtitles from a dozen or so languages and the narrator was speaking in this hallow, soothing tone. It certainly wasn't CNN. After closer look, we saw that this channel was called Supreme Master TV.

As I confirmed from a quick Wikipedia search, LovingHut is affiliated with a spiritual organization headed by a lady who calls herself Supreme Master.

Now, I don't know anything about this Supreme Master. Maybe she's the next Ghandi or something. But from where we were sitting, being inundated by the telescreen, it was just plain creepy. It was more funny creepy than scary creepy, so we went ahead and ordered.

I will say the food was okay, but certainly not great. There were very few options on the menu that weren't made from processed soy meat substitutes. Frankly, I was so weirded-out, that I had a hard time being objective about it.

So, do I recommend it? Not unless your looking for some entertainment and can't afford dinner theater. The experience has left me with two lingering thoughts:

1) The best veg cuisine consists of whole-foods - not processed meat substitutes.

2) I hate those moments when trying to adhere to a vegan diet feels like being in a cult.
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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Scholastic DVD Collection $44 Shipped
on Amazon (Today Only)

Amazon has priced the Treasury of 100 Storybook Classics at $44 (free shipping) for today only. This is 55% off the regular price. The price fluctuates a lot, but this is the lowest I've ever seen it. So, if you have any interest in getting this DVD collection for your kids, today is the day to do it!

I paid significantly more than for this same collection a year ago, and I still feel like it was well worth the money. The 16-disc set contains animated versions of 100 quality children's picture books. The titles include Where the Wild Things Are, Is Your Mama a Llama, Strega Nona, and Chrysanthemum, just to name a few.

I was skeptical about how the animated versions would measure up to the original print version. I was amazed to see that the words and pictures are pretty much identical. Not sure how they do this exactly, but it's as if the books have come to life.

Of course, watching a video is not a replacement for good, old-fashioned story time. However, I feel like this is a great option for those times when my kids do watch television. They are just nice, wholesome stories. I also think the animated versions can be a good way to enhance comprehension of a story, especially when you pair it with a reading and discussion of the printed version.

I actually enjoy watching the DVDs myself. A lot of the stories are narrated by movie stars (including Sarah Jessica Parker, Forest Whitaker, and Meryl Streep). Some are better than others, but overall it's a great collection that is well worth the money.
Scholastic DVD Collection $44 Shipped
on Amazon (Today Only)
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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Are You Cloth Pad Curious?

I recently received a free sample of a cloth panty liner from Party in My Pants. Given the delicate subject matter, I'll just say that I loved it and leave it at that. ☺

If you are curious about cloth pads, click HERE to receive a free sample for the cost of shipping ($3.99). Party in My Pants has also offered a 10% discount to Healthy, Green and Frugal readers. Just use the promotional code: MYHEALTH (expires August 20, 2010).

Sometimes they have a Surprise Party option under Sales. If you're not picky about the pattern, you can get a really good price. 

I had never really thought about using cloth pads before, but now it makes perfect sense - they reduce a lot of waste, they save money over time, and they are a lot more comfortable.  By the way, Party in My Pants also offers organic varieties as well as nursing pads and pads for postpartum mothers.
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Monday, August 2, 2010

Save 30% on Organic Valley Milk on Amazon

Use promotional code OVALL454 on Amazon to get a 15% discount on certain Organic Valley milk products (offer valid through September 11, 2010). Combine this with the 15% Subscribe and Save discount to get some really good deals.

For example, you can get Organic Valley White Lowfat Milk, 8-Ounce Aseptic Carton (Pack of 12)for a total of $11.19 shipped.

To learn more about how to save money using Amazon's Subscribe and Save program, read my blog post: Amazon's Subscribe & Save = Cheaper Groceries.
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