After reading a few posts by other bloggers about the Foodie Pen Pal program, I decided I needed to join in. I’m so glad I did!Just a bit of background on the program before we dive into the awesome box I received in the mail. Foodie Pen Pals was started by Lindsay over at A Lean Green Bean. It has over 600 participants in the U.S., Canada and even th U.K. Members include bloggers and readers. On the 5th of each month, you receive the contact info for the person who will receive a box from you. You don’t send to the same person who sends you a box. You can only spend $15 and must ship by the 15th of the month to make sure it arrives in time for the reveal on the last day of the month. Easy enough, right? You can include just about anything you want from homemade goods to local fare, etc. You also have to include a note, which can explain what’s in the box or even be a recipe to share.
For my first time, I was paired with LaVonne from Pinkhorseshoes.com.
Brigitt at CookwithB was my other pairing. She lives in NYC so I was really excited to see what she would send me. I knew she’d have access to some great shops that we don’t have here in State College. Brigitt certainly didn’t disappoint! (Pardon the backdrop for the photos)
Wow, first item out of the box was Cookie Butter. I had never heard of it before, but before I tried it I checked out this adorable card Brigitt included in her box to me. In it she described each item and why she chose to include it. She also mentioned that she included a few Trader Joe’s items since she noticed there wasn’t one in State College…yet! So I decided I was super curious about cookie butter and opened it immediately. It’s, to put it simply, incredible! I don’t know how many of you have had the cookies on Delta flights, but it tastes very similar. I love those cookies, hence I love the Cookie Butter. I highly recommend it on an english muffin or toast. Mmmm, mmmm good!
The next item I spied was also a Trader Joe’s item!
I opened them at my office and everyone had a sample. They were a big hit! Being a tad greedy, I took them back home 🙂 I enjoy cranberries on my salads, but I rarely ever just eat them. I also don’t tend to mix chocolate and fruit. However, this turned out to be a great combo. I’ve actually managed to savor them and not scarf them all in just a few days. They’re a nice, small after lunch treat!
The Nimble Bars by Balance Bar was another new item I’d never had before. These are the new line of bars. They kind of taste like a creamsicle, which is not a bad thing right? I’m sure we’re all used to having energy/nutrition bars that are supposed to taste “great”, but in reality are rough to get down. The Nimble Bars proved to the exact opposite. I ate one right before a workout and it was the perfect size snack. What’s great about Balance Bars, and you can read more at their website, is that 40% of calories come from carbs, 30% from quality protein and 30% from fat. Nimble bars are unique in that they’re 120 calories, use all natural truvia as their sweetener, and have lutein and beta carotene for your skin. So they’re a health and beauty bar! They also come in a peanut butter flavor I can’t wait to try.
We all know how tough it can be to eat healthy on the weekends. Add in a girls weekend, picnic or nights out on the town and any plans to watch your diet can go right out the window. So we all know alcohol can add a ton of calories to your day. Brigitt included a drink mixer to combat that potential issue. While I haven’t tried it yet, I think it will definitely come in handy. Plus who doesn’t like a Cosmo?
I love Shot Bloks. I was first introduced to them at Tough Mudder in 2011. They’re small, portable and tasty! Since then, I’ve used them on many a long run. Overall, I really enjoy Clif products. I also used their energy gels before Tough Mudder and again before and during my half marathon. They have certainly kept me going with my energy high. I also recommend their bars, especially the chocolate chip and the white chocolate macadamia. They will fill you up and keep you going!
Who doesn’t love minty, fresh breath? I was afraid I wouldn’t like this as I had to wrap my head around the idea it wouldn’t just be plain water. It didn’t take much effort. I opened my Metromint water, took a big whiff and instantly knew I’d enjoy it. I took a sip and it was light and refreshing. Plain ole water can get old sometimes so this is a perfect change-up! I had never seen this before, but was pleasantly surprised to find it at our local natural food store called Nature’s Pantry. There are several different flavors, including one with cocoa! Need your chocolate fix? Sounds like you can get it calorie free while hydrating!
The final item in my first Foodie Pen Pals box has been a big hit with Gabe and I.
This stuff is delicious. I’ve eaten it as cereal with milk, with yogurt and just by itself as a nice snack. I love its versatility. Seriously, I can’t wait til the Trader Joe’s in State College opens so I can have access to all their great products!
So again, I’m so glad I decided to participate in Foodie Pen Pals. Visit this link to check out what other Pen Pals received this month. I’m already signed up for next month and can’t wait to see what I get!