January #FoodiePenPals

The Lean Green Bean

How did January fly by so quickly? In the blink of an eye we went from holly, lights, and tinsel, to pink and red hearts. In the midst of all this I sent off a package to Kat, and April sent a box of goodies to me.


April sent some quick prep dinners,


snacks, dessert, and a coupon for some tea.


She’s thrifty, a girl after my own heart.

Are you interested in joining Foodie Pen Pals for February? Sign up with Lindsay here!

November Foodie Pen Pals!

Today I was reminded why I pre-write these posts as soon as I receive my goodies.

Someone had her two month check-up, complete with shots. She is not a happy camper 😦


And neither am I. If baby isn’t happy, nobody is happy!

The Lean Green Bean

But I’ve finally gotten her to sleep, so I’ll make this short and sweet. This month I was paired with two readers. I sent off this box of goodies to Erin:


I’m not sure if she received it yet, after a few attempts I haven’t heard back from her.

And Genevieve (yes, same name as my daughter! Our match was written in the stars, haha) sent me this box of delightful treats.


She created a day of food box, complete with breakfast:






and dinner:


And something just for fun too!


How cute is she? The only thing I’ve had before is the Dave’s Gourmet Sauce (which is very tasty). I love getting boxes with foods I’ve never tried before.

Thanks again Genevieve!

Foodie Pen Pals is taking a break for December. Lindsay is encouraging us all to donate the money we would have spent on our packages to Hurricane Sandy victims instead. She’ll be posting details on Monday, December 3rd – be sure to check it out!

October Foodie Pen Pals

Have you seen the Skittles pox commercial? It is so gross. That really has nothing to do with Foodie Pen Pal Reveal Day, other than the fact that I’ve never watched this much tv, while simultaneously being so busy, all while munching on my pen pal goodies. One-handed food is the best!

As mentioned last month, I didn’t know if I’d be able to participate this month because of my due date. And I have to admit, it wasn’t easy! The shopping part was easy, Genevieve even had her first trip to Trader Joe’s to help me pick what would wind up in my foodie, Natalie’s, box.

But physically opening up my computer has been quite the chore! My iPhone has become my best friend, and is my sole source of email checking, facebooking, and blog reading. I’m not really sure how Kath and Caitlin were able to be back to daily blogging right after giving birth. I’m lucky if I manage a shower before noon!

But I digress. Genevieve is finally napping, therefore I had enough time to photograph my goodies and get this blog post written, all while slamming an early dinner. I’m totes impressed with myself. #itsthelittlethings

Andrea of Pretty Wings & Other Things sent me a fabulous package this month!

She included a fun little book she made to describe all of the items. Cute, eh?

She treated me to some fun Texas snacks, including Texas shaped crackers and some salsa.

To wash down the snacks were lots of fun drinks, including sparkling water, iced coffee, and k-cups for hot chocolate and sweet tea.

And my absolute favorite item? Pumpkin spice English muffins! OMG, why are these not available year round? #pumpkinismyfavorite

Are you interested in joining in the fun?  You don’t have to be a food blogger (or any kind of blogger) to participate, everyone is welcome! Please click here and fill out the form no later than Sunday, November 4th. Lindsay will send matches on Monday, November 5th. The spending limit is $15, and boxes need to be mailed out by the 15th of the month.

September Foodie Pen Pals Reveal

Hello October, aka best month of the year! And welcome to foodie pen pals reveal day.

The Lean Green Bean

In September I sent off a package to reader Rachel, and totally spaced taking a picture of the goods, and I received a package from Mike.

Umm, yum! Mike took my love for garlic and ran with it for an Italian themed box. Love his business card and Made by Mike pen!

These are going to be fab with some cheese and wine (soon!).

I’m ueber excited about the Himalayan Pink Salt! The meatless spaghetti sauce is Mike’s favorite, and I think it will be very tasty with tortalini or ravioli.

I’ve eaten almost this entire bag of deliciousness.

And finally, Mike is a fellow lover of Skittles, so look what wound up in my box! Thanks again Mike!

I thought September might be my last foodie pen pals experience for a while, but it looks like I’m in for October! My first month of participation was January, and I’ve really enjoyed the program! Thanks so much Lindsay for making it happen month after month!

And due to Baby Spinach’s due date (Oct. 4th) I figured October was out. I’m a little anal neurotic obnoxious type-A, and really wanted to participate each month of the 2012 year. So I was a bit bummed about the prospect of missing October and the hubs offered to buy whatever I wanted for my October foodie pen pal. Whoo hoo! I’m in for another month 🙂

Are you interested in joining in the fun?  You don’t have to be a food blogger (or any kind of blogger) to participate, everyone is welcome! Please click here and fill out the form no later than Thursday, October 4th. Lindsay will send matches on Friday, October 5th. The spending limit is $15, and boxes need to be mailed out by the 15th of the month.

August Foodie Pen Pal Reveal

Ahhh it’s August 31st! And that means it is Foodie Pen Pal reveal day. Did you know tonight is a blue moon? Pretty nifty. Good things come in pairs…and I am going to count these two bits of information as a pair, even though they are in no way related to one another 😉

The Lean Green Bean

This month I sent off a package to Mel, (her guest blog is below), and Alicia of Live Alicia Live sent me a box of goodies.

Alicia was so generous with her package!

Alicia lives in Florida and I mentioned that I LOVE Key lime pie. Her note explained that she wanted to send me one from Publix – best Key lime pie ever I was told – but the laws of physics forbid it. Her note cracked me up! So instead she sent me the mix to make my own 🙂

Also included with the key lime theme were these really yummy looking cookies, and not key lime but bright green Izze drinks. Those will give me some much needed energy on first few days of school!

Other snacks that promptly made their way into my snack drawer at work are these snickerdoodle cookies and bars. I’ve never had either of the bars, which is always a plus. I love finding new products through FPP!

Alicia also sent some loose tea that is local to her area. I love local favorites!

And finally, she sent a gift for Baby Spinach! How sweet is she?

Thanks so much Alicia!

And now I have Mel’s guest post. I spaced taking a photo of what I sent, but I’ll let her descriptions paint a picture for you 🙂

Thank you so much Leila for my first foodie pen pals package! It was such a nice housewarming piece of mail to receive during my first week back at college. My roommates and I have HUGE sweet tooths, so the “reduced guilt” brownie mix is perfect for us. The fig bars were also up our sweet alley and were quickly eaten. We also immediately devoured the Jalapeno Cheese Puffs from Trader Joe’s, they were such a delicious light snack with a spicy bite. Anything from Trader Joe’s is always delightful, so the freeze dried mango and classic trail mix were also delicious (although I have a tendency to pick out all of the dried fruit.. so now it’s just a bag of almonds to be snacked on!) The freeze dried mango had such a different and interesting taste! The rice pilaf mix will be great for one of our family apartment dinners that we have each week, it looks delicious! Thanks again, Leila!

You’re welcome Mel!

Are you interested in joining Foodie Pen Pals for September? You don’t have to be a food blogger (or any kind of blogger) to participate, everyone is welcome! Please click here and fill out the form no later than Tuesday, September 4th. Lindsay will send matches on Wednesday, September 5th. The spending limit is $15, and boxes need to be mailed out by the 15th of the month.

July Foodie Pen Pals Reveal

Ahh, July needs to rewind, I am not ready for August to be here tomorrow. August = school starting, which means I need to shift my focus from nursery/birth/newborn to classroom organization/lesson plans/first week of school/meet the teacher night. I’m not ready for that yet!

But as Tracy Lawrence says, time marches on.

wow, that brings back memories!

Thanks Linsdsay for hosting another round of Foodie Pen Pals – we’re up to over 1,000 participants!

The Lean Green Bean


This month Katy Beth of Curlyrunnerbug Move In was paired with me. Katy Beth sent me some scrumptious treats:

Mmm peppermint stick Luna bars are my favorite 🙂

And my oh my, this s’mores popcorn is insane! I told Katy Beth I’d love a local treat, but I am very disappointed that this is local to Las Vegas. I want it to be available everywhere! I need to keep it out of sight though, otherwise I’ll devour all of it in one sitting.

And I sent a box off to blog reader Jessica. Since she isn’t a blogger I took a picture of what I sent her:

Since Jessica doesn’t have a Trader Joe’s near her, I decided to pick up a reusable grocery bag full of goodies, including: corn chile salsa, jalapeno refried black beans, chile spiced mangos, dried seaweed, cinnamon sugar pita chips, jalapeno hot sauce, Middle Eastern flatbread, and some fleur de sel caramels.

Here is her guest post:

Hello my name is Jessica Sain and this was my first time joining in with foodie pen pal. I received some great items from my pen pal, Leila, which she found it very strange to shop for a person who did not like nuts or chocolate LOL. I really do wish I like those things because it would be a great healthy snack. I have been battling with my weight over the past few years and decided to join the pen pal for some motivation. I have always heard great things about Trader Joes and was excited when I opened my box and saw that all my food was from the store. I want to thank Lindsey for organizing this great program. Also, thanks Leila for sending me great healthy food!!!

Are you interested in joining Foodie Pen Pals for August? You don’t have to be a food blogger (or any kind of blogger) to participate, everyone is welcome! Please click here and fill out the form no later than Saturday, August 4th. Lindsay will send matches on Sunday, August 5th. The spending limit is $15, and boxes need to be mailed out by the 15th of the month.

What is your favorite way to eat popcorn?

June Foodie Pen Pal Reveal

I can’t believe June is already over. I know I say that every month, but seriously, where did it go? I have a lot of to-dos to accomplish before school starts again, and I feel like the sands of time are slipping away from me quicker than I’d like. At least I have lots of yummies to munch on as I’m whittling down my list.

The Lean Green Bean

Thanks to Lindsay for another month of foodie pen pal fun. This month I sent a box to Nicole, and I’d tell you to check out what I sent but she dropped her phone in a pool and all the photos were lost. Pray to the phone gods that the bag of rice trick works and her phone is salvagable! But you can still check out her blog anyway 🙂

Lindsay matched me up with Racheal, which was really exciting because I had just found her blog via What I ate Wednesday, and she recently revealed that she is pregnant too! It has been fun exploring her blog and following her pregnancy over the past month.

The day my package arrived I eagerly ripped it open to discover a very sad strawberry situation.


Luckily the jar that broke was near the top, so the jam didn’t infect the rest of the foodie goodness.

Racheal sent me lots of Trader Joe’s treats including:

almond cocoa butter (because I love tasting new nut butters), 21 seasoning salute (for veggies or meats), eggplant garlic spread (for sammies or apps, I think it would also be great slathered on some chicken and a slice of provolone while on the grill),

a bunch of keurig pods (I’m drinking the chai latte flavor right now – it’s wonderful!),

and my absolute favorite: zucchini chocolate chip bread made from zucchini in her garden! I was very excited to receive this because I saw her eating some on this week’s pregnancy update and I was so jealous her zucchini were already up! I’ve already eaten half the loaf!

I was so excited to dive into the bread that I forgot to grab all contents from my box for the group picture. Racheal also included some gummy tummies, and some orange citrus seltzer water – which I’ll be drinking en route to Yakima this afternoon.

Thanks again Racheal – everything was wonderful!

Do you want to participate in the July edition of Foodie Pen Pals? You should, it is a lot of fun and you get to meet new bloggers!

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

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

*If you’re from somewhere besides the US, Canada or Europe and want to participate, send Lindsay an email (theleangreenbean at gmail dot com) and she’ll see if there is enough interest this month!

What is your favorite zucchini bread recipe?

I love the one Racheal used, which I think is the same she talked about in the pregnancy update post – a blend of two Gina’s Skinny Taste recipes. I’ll have to get the full recipe from her because it is pretty amazing!