I’ve been participating in Foodie Penpals for almost a year now.Every month I get super excited–waiting for the package, opening the package, eating what the package contains. It’s always something great to look forward to! Well, except for this month. I got a dud. My sender emailed right away, what seemed like minutes after Lindsay at the Lean Green Bean sent out the pairings. He was enthusiastic and excited. I told him about myself, what kind of food I liked, my address and waited. And waited. Nothing. Zilch. Radio silence. That was the last I heard of him. I tried emailing a few times, without response. Hopefully everything’s okay on his end. No Foodie Penpal box for me this month. BUT! At the very same time I was waiting for my nonexistent package, I was preparing to send a package to my penpal, Jessica. And even before I learned I wasn’t getting a package this month, Jessica agreed to write my first ever guest post because she didn’t have an active blog. No package for me, but still a great post to read!
You know, I think things almost worked out better this month. Sure, I’m sad not to get my monthly supply of chocolate (because, really any Foodie Penpal knows that’s what this is really all about). And while I know you love hearing about my experience with the program and living vicariously through my goodies (how do I know this? Well, you tell me so.), it’s about time we get a new perspective. This month I was paired with Jessica, a Boston native, now living in Las Vegas. Jessica has been training for the Boston Marathon for 4 years now (god bless her–I still struggle to run a single mile without walking). She is an extreme couponer and strives to eat healthy but also struggles with a sweet tooth. I can totally relate. She never skips dessert–good woman! Jessica technically does have a blog, but has struggled to maintain it. The Organic Mrs. K is a really cute blog. I encouraged Jessica to keep it up; hopefully she takes my advice! But in the meantime, Jessica has agreed to write my first ever Foodie Penpal Guest Post! Take it away Jessica!
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My name is Jessica. I am a nurse and I live in Las Vegas with my husband, 3 dogs, and 2 cats. I extreme coupon. Over the last 2 years I have lost 120 pounds, and 2 months ago I started training to run a marathon.
I have been participating in Foodie Pen Pals since last August. I really enjoy it, for a few reasons. 1) I enjoy meeting people from all over the country. 2) I find lots of products that I would normally never buy (ones I receive and ones to buy for my pen pals). And, 3) If you are a foodie…it is just fun!!
Since you can only spend $15 on your pen pal’s gift, you have to be a little creative. I usually like to have a little bit of a theme. For example, last September I did an apple themed box because September is my birthday month and it always makes me think of apple picking in the fall when I was growing up in New England. That was my inspiration. I always like to include a recipe for my pen pal, and that month I included my grandmother’s apple pie recipe. Lastly, you must include something handwritten for your pen pal. This is one of my favorite aspects of FPP. I save all of the ones I receive, and usually write the ones I send on a Las Vegas postcard.
I have a huge sweet tooth, but this month I asked Melissa for some healthier snacks treats. She sent me some lemon cookies, some DE-LI-CIOUS granola, pizza seasoning (because I adore pizza), some homemade peach salsa & pickled jalapenos, and some dehydrated pineapple (a huge favorite of mine). I was most excited about the pizza seasoning just because I am so obsessed with pizza and it smelled SO good, but then I tried the granola, and it was SO yummy that it became my favorite. I’m, also, really excited to try out the peach salsa since I have never had it before. It sounds so fresh and summer-y…maybe with some grilled pork?? I hope Melissa’s package was as good as mine!!
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UPDATE: A few weeks late, I did receive my Foodie Penpal Package. It was delayed because my penpal was traveling and there was confusion with the instructions he left to ship it. Diggie and his wife Deb sent me a great package from Tennessee, complete with mini pies, moon cakes (chocolate covered cakes with marshmallow filling–yum!), cheese straws and coffee. A bit late but worth the wait!
And now, everything you need to know about joining Foodie Penpals:
- 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 Penplas is open to US, Canadian & European residents. Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. Same with Europeans. 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 joining, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions. You must submit your information by June 4th as pairings will be emailed on June 5th!