Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Lentil Sloppy Joes

If you haven't tried doing a meatless meal at least once a week, I think you should give it a shot! It is budget friendly of course and most importantly, healthy! Adding more vegetables, beans, legumes, fruits into your diet is always beneficial.

What I love about this tasty and filling meal is the homemade sloppy Joe mix. I remember the very first time I made my homemade taco seasoning. Ever since then, I was hooked. I think homemade spices are way more tastier and no doubt, healthier. I am also in love with 21 day Fix homemade seasonings. You can check the 8 clean eating and 21 day fix seasonings HERE.

I've also shared 9 Pantry Staples that you can absolutely make at home. See it HERE. Now back to this amazingly delicious no meat sloppy Joes, serve it with your favorite wholewheat buns.


2 cups brown lentils, picked over and rinsed
2 tbsp olive oil 
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 cup red bell pepper , diced and seeded
2 tbsp homemade sloppy Joe mix ( ingredients below)
1 can tomato paste, no salt added
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
4 garlic cloves, .inced
1 can (14 oz) crushed tomatoes, no salt added
2 cups water
pita bread or hamburger buns

For the Sloppy Joe Mix:
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp smoke paprika
1tsp garlic powder
1tsp slt
1 1/2 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tbsp dry mustard


Make your sloppy Joe mix. There will be some extra seasoning.  Store the rest of the seasoning in an air tight container.

Cook lentils. Put lentils on a pot covered with at least 2 inch of  water, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer lentils until tender. On a large pot, heat with olive oil. Saute onions and bell pepper. Cook until onions are translucent . Add the garlic and cook until slightly brown. 

Add the tomato paste and 2 tbsp of the sloppy joe mix. Stir until the spices and tomato paste are incorporated and fragrant. Pour in the red wine vinegar and stir. Add 2 cups of water and the crushed tomatoes. Reduce heat and let it simmer for 30 minutes. Drain the cooked lentils and add it to the pot. Stir and you can mash the lentils if desired.

Serve with pita bread or whole wheat hamburger buns!

It is very tasty and you won't even miss the meat! I was actually surprised that my meat eating husband loves this recipe.

Lentil Tacos


Spinach and Lentil Soup


Shared with these amazing LINK UPS and BLOG HOPS.

Friday, July 8, 2016

The Gondola Getaway That is Not Just for Couples

   When hubby and I were still dating, we did travel a lot. We did a lot of fun things together. I am glad of those big and small trips that we did. We sometimes reminisce those days and it never fails to make me smile. 

  For our 8th year Anniversary , I was on the look out for something fun , exciting and new to experience with my family. I got really excited about the Gondola Getaway! First of all, it is just in Long Beach. Second, we  have not experienced it yet. We live about 1 hr and 45 minutes from Long Beach but we did other fun things too while we were at Long Beach! That is also one of the things I love, is that you can plan your day in the vicinity. There are plenty of things to do!

   I kept this getaway as a secret from my family. They literally found out when we were in front of their location. Needless to say, our girls were so excited.   The Gondola Getaway may seem like a "couples thing" only. Let me be the one to tell you that it is not! While it would cater more to romantic couples, our girls ages 6 and 4 were so happy! As soon as we arrived, Mac greeted us and the whole staff was so friendly and accommodating.  Mac was so good with kids too, he gave our kids a small cup of shells! Which we all decided to make a picture frame craft and use it for our gondola experience. You will not be intimidated at all. Believe me, I don't do fancy. Our gondolier, Max was equally nice, kind and easy to talk to.

Lily Belle showing off her collection of shells.

Here's  gondolier Max, with our girls.

You would need to arrive early for your booked reservation. While we waited , we enjoyed the view and told the girls what to expect.

 Did I mention that I am a bit scared of small boats?  I sure did my own reading first, the boats are professionally and carefully crafted. The gondoliers are trained as well! While we were at the boat , I felt the total opposite of scared..it was very relaxing!

We booked for 7pm, so we can wait for the sunset. We brought snacks with us ( corkage may apply ), but they do have other kinds of cruises. You can book a brunch or a pizza getaway!

We were so lucky that the temperature that day was so nice! We brought sweaters because I know it can get chilly but they do provide blankets. Our Gondolier Max mesmerized our girls, he was very accommodating to them. Patiently answering their multitude of questions. He was also knowledgeable on the area , he was actually like a tourist guide too. You will not be bored for sure. And the houses?!! My word, beautiful houses! This picture doesn't do justice.

When we reached one of the bridges, Max graced us with a song. That guy can sing! I did advocate "The Voice", I said he should definitely join "The Voice". I know..., I'm a TV nut too.

Obviously, our girls loved and enjoyed the singing too. Guess who gave Max some singing too, yep..our girls. Not to be outdone, they did sing to the tunes of Baby Beluga and Dora the Explorer. Never a dull moment for sure.

How about this for a view ? That is an excellent way to end our day long celebration! My husband totally enjoyed this experience. A great experience that we can deposit on our kids memory and family getaways bank. One that we can look back and smile .

About the Gondola Getaway:

Established in 1982, the authentic and original Gondola Getaway brings old world charm and thousand year old tradition to Southern California. Authentic Venetian gondolas gently cruise the enchanting canals and waterways of Naples Island, near the resort area of Belmont Shore in Long Beach, CA. The Gondola Getaway offers relaxing and romantic cruises from 11:00am to 11:00pm, 7 days a week. Each cruise is approximately one hour. Receptionists accept reservations Monday-Sunday 10-5. They have the first and largest fleet in America. Gondola Getaway is the best Gondola experience in America!

This a perfect romantic or even family getaway experience!

 My readers get to save 15% off Gondola Cruise! Receive 15% off a 1-hour Gondola cruise for any size group! Cruise the beautiful Alamitos Bay and Naples Island Canals! 

The Gondola Getaway
Social Corner

---> All opinions stated are all mine and I will not provide any reviews that I have not tried or will not advocate, see full disclosure HERE. 

Shared with these amazing BLOG HOPS and LINK UPS.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

The Life We Never Expected - Review + Giveaway

For most of us, we all have that dream of a perfect life. We dream of having a great career, finding the perfect spouse , have children and raise our family the best that we can. Sure, we expect that life won't be that easy and raising kids will be challenging. What happens if life as we expected does not turn out the way we want it to be?

Andrew and Rachel Wilson, author of  The Life We Never Expected, are the parents of two children with special needs. They shared their deepest, personal pain and joys in unexpected areas of their lives. I don't have kids with special needs but this book is something that I think every parent should read. We all have different struggles and celebrations. We all have different family dynamics. While some parents worry about feeding their kids organic and how much junk food they can allow, others are simply trying to function with little to no sleep attending to a child with a special need.

Our hard days are different from the hard days of a family with a child with special needs. This book reminded me of how nowadays, we are too quick to judge. When we see kids acting differently or having a big melt down, the first thing that we have in mind is that-- the kid is not disciplined enough, not attended to or neglected at home.  We don't know the real story behind it. We don't know that family.

This book will inspire you on how faithfulness and praying can deeply impact your parenting. Not just as a parent of a special needs child but again, even if you are not a special needs parent finding encouragement rooted in God's word is where you will find joy and strength.

While it's hard to be a morning person, I need to be a morning person. After my husband leaves for work, I do have a choice of going back to bed. I chose not to. The way I start my mornings , dictates how my whole day for me. I need that quiet time with the Lord.  I need my scripture reading time, that quiet hour with Him . That solitude time where I raise all of my worries and thoughts and be thankful for all the blessings. Andrew and Rachel did such an amazing job on pointing out how important it is to fight for your joy- the joy that can be found in loving and trusting God. The story is raw, it is okay to cry, to lament and be hurt. lamenting but trusting God's way even if we can't truly and fully understand His purposes.  This book will also remind you how important it is to have that community of support. Your tribe. People, family who support you and lift your spirit up.


What do you do when hard or painful circumstances turn your world upside down, resulting in a life you never expected? Andrew and Rachel Wilson grappled with this question after both of their children were diagnosed with regressive autism. Refreshingly honest, this book explores the highs and lows of raising children with specials needs, reflecting on the broader question of how to cope with suffering of all kinds. Sharing personal stories from their lives and encouragement rooted in the truth of God’s Word, Andrew and Rachel highlight lessons they’ve learned related to fighting for joy and thriving in the midst of trials—ultimately pointing readers to Christ, the One who promises to make all things new.

Andrew and Rachel Wilson are the parents of three children. They attend King's Church London, where Andrew serves as a teaching pastor. Andrew has an MA from the University of Cambridge and a PhD from King's College London. He is also the author of several books, including If God, Then What? and Incomparable? 

TO PURCHASE THE BOOK: The Life We Never Expected

G I V E A W A Y   T I M E

 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

DISCLOSURE: I received one or more of the products/services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this is in accordance with FTC guidelines. 

Shared with these amazing BLOG HOPS and LINK UPS

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Healthy Living Link Party #70

Welcome to the Healthy Living Link Party # 70
 We had another great party last week.  We’d like to thank each and every one of you for making every week so amazing! Keep sharing your healthy and inspiring posts with us.  If you are new here , we are so glad to have you!! Have fun and make new friends! I appreciate each and everyone of you for joining us.

The Healthy Living link party is all about living a healthy life. Link up your posts related to healthy living and recipes that are low carb, low calorie, paleo, keto, organic, clean, etc. Eating healthy doesn't have to be boring and is more fun when you share your recipes and find some new ones. We all pick our week's feature, so don't forget to stop by their blogs!

 Here’s what your hosts have been up to this week

Crockpot Black Bean and Butternut Chili

Crockpot Baked Beans

The Importance of Preventative Medicine


    by Courtneys Cookbook



    Four Type of Mushroom Pie


     Don't forget to grab your button if you are featured
     photo Feature Button_zps3bx7qsie.jpg

    Rules of the Party:
    • Leave a link to your actual post and not your home page. A link back to your host, is greatly appreciated.
    • Please link up only healthy living related post --> recipes, tips, guidelines, giveaways, etc.  If you want to share your other post (non-healthy living) and promote your linky party, you can do so at Bloggers Spotlight Linky and Pin-it Party, every Thursday 7pm PST
    • You are welcome to link up both NEW and OLD post that needs more attention :)
    • Don't link up and run, please visit other bloggers. Make new friends or say hello to old friends. Say hello to us and let us know if you are new here, we will follow back.
    • Please follow your hosts and guest hosts in some way.  
    We PIN ALL entries and share the features on all of our social media platforms. Feel free to follow our Healthy Living Link Party board :

    By adding your link to this blog hop gives A Bountiful Love and all the Co-Hosts permission to share your posts and pictures via social media. Emails are obtained ONLY TO NOTIFY participants of the next link-up and for that reason only. You may opt out of these emails by unsubscribing from them at any time.

     Let's party, link up below!

    Friday, July 1, 2016

    Would a Worm Go on a Walk - Review + Giveaway

    “Would a worm go on a walk, if you could lead him down the street? Would he wear his tiny tennies, if he had two worm-sized feet?”

       One day, Lucy asked us how come snails walks so slow. How come Sharks have sharp teeth and so on. We always told her that God made them that way. "Would a Worm Go on a Walk" is such a special children's book about all the goodness of God's creation.  You will fall in love with the colorful, cute and funny illustrations. The rhymes are engaging! This is a great book to read on explaining the uniqueness of all God's creation. Not just on animals but also on us. We all have different but wonderful qualities and strengths.

       So begins this humorous and imaginative picture book that introduces children to the idea that animals are uniquely created by a loving and wise God. Would a Worm Go on a Walk?, with its colorful, comical illustrations, is a fresh, fun way to teach young children that God created all things very good. He gave all the animals, and children, too, wonderful qualities and unique strengths. Children will giggle over the ridiculous scenarios presented, and they will come away with the knowledge that we all are loved and special.

    About the book:
     Format: Jacketed hardcover
        Page count: 32
        Reading age: 4-7

    About the author:
    Hannah C. Hall is the author of best-selling children’s books, including God Bless You and Good Night and God Bless Our Christmas, as well as an award-winning blog, HannahCHall.com. Hannah lives in Prairie Grove, AK with her husband, Josh, a worship pastor, and their four children.
    To purchase the book : SEE HERE 
     DISCLOSURE: I received one or more of the products/services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this is in accordance with FTC guidelines.

    G I V E A W A Y   T I M E 
     Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

    ----------------GIVEAWAY CLOSED--------------
    Maria Dizon of Fontana. CA

    Shared with these awesome LINK UPS and BLOG HOPS