Monday, September 30, 2013

September Foodie Pen Pals!!

So this month, for the first time ever, I participated in the Foodie Pen Pal program created by Lindsay over at The Lean Green Bean. My Pen Pal was Daniela, and I got the nicest box of tea time goodies from her! But before I start telling you about all the tasty treats she sent me, let me first describe the program for you, in case you're interested in joining! (And you should - it's so fun!)

Here’s a detailed explanation of the program:
-On the 5th of the month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treatsThe spending limit is $15The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you can choose to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.
- Foodie Penpals is open to US, Canadian residents & European residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa. So, I’m going to keep two separate lists and match US w/ US and Canada w/ Canada!
***If you’re in Europe, please contact Carol Anne from This Is Rock Salt at to get involved!

So what did I get from my wonderful Foodie Pen Pal Daniela? All the makings of a perfect tea time - which is wonderful, since I am trying to get over a cold that just won't quit. I got some super tasty looking Key Lime Cookie Straws, some organic hard candies in the Iced Mint Mango flavor (can we say Yum? Perfect throat lozenges), Ginger Peach tea - also great for a very sore throat, I'm sure  - and some Dulce de Leche, as well as the required written element. What an amazing box of goodies!! I am definitely going to have some of the tea tonight, because this sore throat is a killer and I really think the Ginger Peach will help. I'm saving the Key Lime cookies until tomorrow after work, for my de-stress time, and I want to buy some vanilla ice cream so I can have a dulce de leche topping... Yum yum yum!!!!

This is such a great idea for people who want to expand their friend and food horizons. I had so much fun with this, and cannot wait until next month to do it again!

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Crazy Month of August

First of all, I can't believe that August is over. How did that happen? Here's a quick overview of what happened last month:

My sweet baby started walking!
My sweet baby turned one!
I got a part-time (but this week I'm working almost 40 hours... so yea, "part-time") job at a gluten free, nut free, mostly dairy and soy free bakery.
I realized that I have absolutely incredible friends who are willing to watch my little rascal for me while I work, and not always with the most advanced notice.
I joined Foodie PenPals!

And now to elaborate...

Little man started walking about two weeks before his first birthday. He did a lot of the super adorable take a step and then fall on your bum type walking, and then got the hang of it and took off. He's non-stop now, and the cats aren't sure they like his newfound mobility - unless he finds a toy of theirs, and then it's just joy all around.

And then my little dude turned one! We had an ADORABLE safari themed bash, with lots of friends and family and wonderful presents. You can tell most of my friends are teachers - the gifts were heavy on the blocks, books, crayons, creative theme, which is exactly what I was hoping for. Yay for inspiring creative thinking in the youngsters! He wasn't super into his cupcake, but this is a child that almost never gets anything with sugar in it, so I think he was just really confused as to what he was supposed to DO with it. He liked the frosting (that's usually my favorite part) :-)

My part time job is pretty cool. It's very different than what I usually do, since my degree and almost all of my experience is in Special Education or Early Childhood Education, but it's a nice change. Heavy on the customer relations, and for the  most part the customers are great people who are interested in establishing a relationship with the people who are feeding them. I work with cool people, which is always a plus! Of course, the constant need to find a babysitter is a little draining (like today, when I actually had to call out of work because I Could.Not.Find.A.Sitter. Could not.)

And, I joined Foodie PenPals! It's a very cool idea started by Lindsay over at . Basically, you email Lindsay before the 5th of a given month, and she adds your name to her master list. Then on the 5th of the month she sends out the list of who is paired with who, you email your penpal and get all of their dietary information plus their address, and then you shop! There is a $15 limit on food, you ship it, and at the end of the month you blog about what you got! How cool is that?! I really love this idea, not only because it puts you in contact with new people, but also because it is a chance to try new food that maybe you wouldn't have tried otherwise. Always cool!

I promise I will try to be better about posting, which is another reason I decided to join the Foodie PenPal program. If I know I HAVE to blog about something, then I will remember to do it more often. Maybe I should find all sorts of link-ups for this very reason!!

I hope everyone is having a good back to school experience. This is the first year in a long time that I have had to do no back to school prep of any kind - since I worked in a school for 3 1/2 years after I graduated college AND taught Sunday School, I was pretty much a back to school junkie. I miss it, a LOT, but I also know that sooner than I want to believe, little man will be heading off to preschool and I'll be thinking, "Geeze, didn't he just learn to walk? Why is he so grown up?!"

So - enjoy your weekend, spend some time playing with your kids, read a good book, enjoy nature, and I will be back here soon!