Remember how I wrote earlier this week about wishing I had been able to take dance or ballet lessons as a kid? Well, under that same list of "memories I wish I had" falls these two all-American treasures: attending summer camp and having a pen pal.
Summer camp, to me, means s'mores by the campfire and care packages sent from home. And a pen pal to me necessitates having a longtime permanent address, which my childhood lacked.
So here I am, at age 35, finally getting my summer care package and pen pal. File under "so awesome!" Yes, I am a happy camper. All thanks to Foodie Pen Pals, an awesome exchange for food lovers around the United States.
Foodie Pen Pals, the brainchild of fellow FitFluential Ambassador and The Lean Green Bean blog author Lindsay Livingston, melds the pen pal concept with food. Foodie Pen Pals from around the nation are paired up randomly each month to exchange their favorite and latest "foodie finds," from snack mixes and local granola to regional must-haves like key limes from Florida and maple syrup from New England.
Pen Pals get a spending limit of $15 to keep it fair and simple, and participants send the packages at the same time each month so that we all get our goodies at about the same time. I participated for the first time this month, and I am absolutely doing it again!
My Italian genes move me to share food, and they also move me to love receiving food treats, so this is the ultimate win-win. And really, who doesn't like getting care packages?!
I wasn't sure at first what to get my pen pal Amanda. She lives in New Mexico and loves both healthy and not so healthy eats. So I went with the theme of "happy snacking," leaning to mostly healthy but some indulgence. My treats hailed from World Market and Fresh Market, and included Sahale snacks, Kale chips, ginger gummy treats, Australian licorice and curried pretzels.
My package came from Foodie Pen Pal Johanne, a Quebec native and fellow blogger who lives in Virginia. She sent me an awesome package that included a Virginia postcard plus native-to-Virginia treats, including homemade granola, Virginia peanuts, caramel apple candy treats, and marcona almonds with tart cherries. All delicious, and pretty healthy! As you can see, I was pretty excited when the package arrived!
Want to be a Foodie Pen Pal? You don't have to be a blogger to do it. You just have to love to give, and receive, food! Sign up here.
Coming next week: What's been satisfying my sweet tooth sans guilt, and my move to a Paleo diet...