Monday, April 30, 2012

Foodie Penpals - April Edition

The Lean Green Bean

A couple of months ago my friend Knittnerd told me about a program called Foodie Penpals. It's like a traditional penpal but better because you send each other FOOD. Yay, food. Once you are matched up with a penpal you exchange emails to discuss your likes and dislikes, then you get to go shopping! Food... shopping... it doesn't get much better than that, friends! April was my first month trying the program and I had a blast. I was paired up with my two penpals - one who shopped for me and a different penpal who I shopped for & sent to (this keeps it interesting).

My penpal Andie from SeaSalt & Pepa (don't you love that blog name?!) asked if I had any dietary restrictions, etc and I filled her in. A short while later I received a box full of deliciousness and a sweet note from Andie. She sent me a variety of her favorite healthy snacks and I was thrilled to see that many of them were items I had never tried before! Here's what was in the box:

Organic yogurt snacks (strawberry) - This made me smile because it says "for babies & toddlers" and we all know I'm a toddler at heart. Andie assured me they are not just for kids! I have not had a chance to try these yet but they sound delicious.

Tangy pineapple chips - As you can see from the photo, I pretty much tore into them as soon as I had them in my grabby little hands. I have never tried anything like this and they are AMAZING. Must find a local equivalent asap.

Organic strawberry fruit strip - YUM! It's like a fruit roll-up for grownups! And really, who doesn't love a fruit roll-up?

Larabar (banana bread) - I love me some Larabars. They are made of fruit and nuts, and everything on the (short) ingredient list is easily recognizable. This was breakfast one day. In hindsight I wonder if I could have popped it in the microwave for a few seconds... anyone ever tried that before?

Black olive tapenade - Oh yes, get in my belly. I haven't opened this yet but I know it will be amazing because I love, love, love everything about olives. I'm afraid to bring it to work because I don't want anyone to "mistake" it for theirs (although the company I keep at work have a palate more inclined toward doritos & mountain dew).

Nut mix - This delicious little packet had all of my favorite nuts in it: pecans, walnuts, pistachios and almonds. Plus there were dried cranberries, hello! Oh, I say was because they've since been snacked on. Yum!

Andie was such a great penpal for my first time participating. I can't wait to see who I'm paired up with next month! If you'd like to see the goodies I picked out for my penpal Jane, keep your eyes tuned to her blog Ramblings of a Pooh. She just ran her first 10k and I'm so proud of her!!

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And now it's time for some details about Foodie Penpals.  Here’s some info on what the program is all about:

-On the 5th of every 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 treats! The spending limit is $15. The 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 are 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.  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.

If you’re interested in participating for May, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions.

You must submit your information by May 4th as pairings will be emailed on May 5th!

*If you're from somewhere besides the US, Canada or Europe and want to participate, send Lindsay an email and she'll see if there's enough interest this month!

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