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Welcome to my world: Where I'm just living my life the best that I know how... Day by day.

Friday, August 3, 2012

July Foodie Reveal Day!

The Lean Green BeanIt's that time again! July was my second month as a Foodie Penpal, and I couldn't have asked for a better match! This time, I'm not going to give a description of the program, but if you are interested, you can check it out here. Let me tell you a little bit about Jennifer. Born and raised in Rhode Island, she is coming up on her 10-year anniversary with the place she now calls home, Denver, CO, and with her husband Jeremy! Since Jennifer first contacted me, we have become very close and exchanged a number of emails. We really hit it off right away! I never expected to become so close with someone through this program, but I am thoroughly grateful. Jennifer and I are like long lost friends. You know those friends that you have had for what seems like forever, you can tell them anything, and you always look forward to hearing from them or to telling them something? Well, Jennifer and I have become those friends. I have sent her some of the longest emails I have ever typed, and as soon as I send them, I look forward to her response. We have really enjoyed getting to know each other, and we only continue to grow closer day by day. If you guys only knew how GREAT she has been! There aren't enough words in the world to describe what an amazing friend she has become. It seems like we have been through a lifetime of trials and tribulations together, and I cannot begin to relate that to you. Jennifer, where have you been my whole life?!

I may not be able to explain the bond between Jennifer and me, but I can go into great detail about the AWESOME package she sent! First of all, I will tell you about the two items I have not yet experienced, unfortunately: the 2 alarm chili kit and the ranch dressing packet. The two alarm chili kit looks delicious and SO easy. All I have to do is add a pound of beef! The ranch dressing packet goes along with the yummy-looking recipe Jennifer included. It also looks very easy; all I have to add is two ingredients! She says it goes great with Ritz chips, which I can imagine it will. "Delicious" and "easy" are the two main inspirations for just about EVERYTHING I make. I am heading back down to Jacksonville on Saturday, and I plan on bringing them with me to make. I can't wait to give them a try, and they both look like things Justin and I will both thoroughly enjoy! I'll let you know how they turn out. 

Now, onto what I HAVE gotten to in the box. The first item that caught my attention in the package was a clear, plastic container filled with cookies that look like ice cream cones. The label reads "Gianna's Handmade Baked Goods; All Natural Scoops Sanded Sugar Cookies." I remember my first thought being, "OH MY GOSH, if those cookies TASTE as good as they LOOK, I'm in big trouble!" Well, they were. I am a huge fan of sprinkles. To me, sprinkles are kind of like bacon; they make everything better! To get a waffle-cone-like effect, there is caramel drizzled over the cookie. These cookies are absolutely fabulous in every way imaginable, and I love seeing the words "all natural" on the things I eat! Guess what? You can order these online as well as many other goodies made by Gianna! Check out her website here.
Next, I found the bag of toasted pita snacks called "Crispy Pitas" made by Ozery Bakery Inc. These too are all natural, and they can be found in four different flavors. The flavor of pita chips Jennifer sent me was rosemary garlic. She decided to send me these because the whole foods store she goes to carries Ozery pitas, so she thought these would be just as awesome, and they are! I wish I would have stopped eating them to go get some hummus. I think these would go PERFECT with some hummus. Anyways, you can check out the Ozery website and products here! The next thing I discovered in the box just put a big dumb grin on my face. Jennifer, how did you know I love granola?! This was not just any granola, this was VANILLA granola! I don't know what it is about my first two foodie penpals sending me granola, but keep it coming people! This particular granola is made a hop, skip, and a jump or two away from Jennifer in Denver. She enjoys putting it on vanilla yogurt for breakfast, and I'm sure I will too. As for now, this granola is only going one place: in my mouth. Do not pass go, do not collect $200, and do not stop in any yogurt along the way. I'm such a granola freak. Can you blame me? This granola is mouth-watering! And guess what y'all? Also all natural! Check it out here. Onto the "Justin's nut butter" packets. All I can say is, YUM! I hope I can find these close to home. They are great to take on the go, and as Jennifer suggested to me, it goes great on fruit, especially apples! She also sent me a bear of honey, and I must say, it is not like other honey. I can't quite put my finger on what is different about it, but I'm not complaining! I love to put honey on toast. Last, but not least, the jerky. This is by no means any ordinary jerky. It is completely meatless. Meatless jerky? Before seeing this item, I would have though that was a contradictory statement, an oxymoron if you must. However, instead of meat, this jerky is made of shitake mushrooms! I bet you didn't see that coming! Jennifer knew she was daring sending something that would be so outlandish to me, but I love trying new things! I must say, it wasn't my favorite thing in the world, but it definitely wasn't terrible. One thing I can say is that it tasted better than it smelled. I really shouldn't smell food before I eat it. I am a very unbiased and nonjudgmental person, but unfortunately, my sense of smell is quite judgmental and often quite condescending. Overall, I think my biggest issue was grasping the fact that it wasn't meat! What an exciting and unexpected snack!            

Thank you so much Jennifer for everything! I enjoy getting to know you more and more every day, and I am so excited to have been matched up with you for July. I am still just ecstatic about everything that you sent me in my package, and I can't wait to get to the two items I haven't had a chance to get to! I will definitely let you know what I think about them.      

Changing the subject, this past weekend I went to my sister and brother-in-law's in North Carolina. I was so excited to see them and my almost 6-month-old nephew, Carter! He wasn't quite himself all weekend, as he and I both were a little sick. We still had a blast, even with our runny noses. I look forward to seeing them and the rest of my family again at our "cabin adventure getaway" in Asheville, NC later this month!

On another note, as I previously mentioned, I will be heading back to Jacksonville, FL on Saturday. I will be driving this time, and I will be heading out tomorrow after work. I am going to stay in Macon, GA for the night at my brother and sister-in-law's. I look forward to spending some time with them and my 9-month-old nephew, Andrew, before I continue my trip on to Jacksonville! I have never driven more than 5 hours by myself, so I thought the 9-hour trip to Jacksonville would be a little too much for me in one day. I figured driving 5 hours Friday and 4 hours Saturday would be a much better option. I have off work all week next week, so I don't have to be back to work until the 14th. I'm not sure I will stay down there that long, but I at least have that as an option. Unfortunately, the pipeliners will start drilling into the bay tomorrow. So now they have to have people there around the clock in case something goes wrong. What exactly does that mean? Justin's work schedule is now 6pm to 6am, 7 days a week. BUMMER! That will take some getting used to. He is going to be so worn out, bless his heart. However, this also means the job is almost over, so he will be done soon, and hopefully home in the next couple weeks! I'm excited to take another vacation and spend some time with Justin before I go back to school! I am absolutely dreading the 27th. Not a hair on my body wants to go back to school. I just keep reminding myself that in 9 months from now, I will be holding two degrees in my hand, and nursing school will be OVER. I just hope I can live to see that day!

Have a great weekend y'all!