WIAW - Foodie Penpal Virgin Diaries

8:29 AM

I'm such a sucker for some random shit stuff....

The Lean Green Bean

I love food. I love pen pals. I love snail mail. So why wouldn't I love Foodie Penpals by Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean? I cannot for the life of me, remember how I found this little fun adventure, or else I would share. But after reading about it, I knew it was something I wanted to try out. It's super easy, besides my laziness regarding getting my goodies into the mail. I deserve a cookie, I was only one day late (please don't tell Lindsay)! But I did let my FPP's know that I'd be shipping them a day late.

Instead of copy and pasting the whole terms & conditions text, I'll break it down for you really, really, really simple:

1. Before the 4th of every month sign up, fill out the form.
2. Lindsay will email your match on the 5th of the month.
3. Ship goodies by the 15th of every month (maximum spend is $15 and you must include something written).
4. Recap your goodies and post on the day Lindsay says (generally the last day of the month).
** No posting earlier (even if it's killing you to post what you've sent)

Unexpectedly, and long story short, I ended up with two FPP's for my first month! My original FPP didn't respond right away, so I asked for another one. Lo and behold, my original FPP was just super busy and hadn't had a chance to respond. So, instead of ditching one or the other, I kept both. Yeah, it costs a little more - but I thought it would be fun to do for the first one. Tracy is my original FPP and Belle is/was my bonus FPP for April!

So, you never know what restrictions and/or preferences each FPP will have - so that was the fun part of this adventure. Waiting to see what their e-mails would say and shopping for them is the challenge and fun in this whole little, random adventure I signed up for.

Here's what I had to work with!
-Vegan (necessity, honey acceptable) No dairy, eggs, meat, animal products of any kind (vegan can be very strict sometimes so buying food can be challenging, let me know if you need any additional info)
-No additives (artificial colors, flavors, etc) or preservatives (necessity) I'm allergic to several dyes
-Organic (preference)
-Soy free (preference)
-No items with the ingredient: natural flavors (preference) 

** I was a little worried to shop for her. I didn't want to send something she couldn't eat, although she did clarify that her BF is a garbage disposal he'd eat anything she couldn't. Still, the whole point is to send good stuff, so I tried my hardest to find items that would meet her list.

I am not allergic to anything but I am trying to stay healthy! 
** I knew she would be much easier to shop for, since there is basically no restrictions - with the exception of whatever I felt was "healthy"!

Let the shopping begin!
**So you aren't supposed to share this portion, but neither of my FPP's have a blog, so I'm being a rule breaker sharing for them ;)
I've mentioned it a few times in the blog and on various social media accounts, but I am a happy member of the Sacramento Co-Op! So I headed there to get some goodies for my FPP gals. The staff there was insanely helpful, it helps to have known the produce manager since 3rd grade, so I think I got a little extra VIP lovin' in my hunt for goodies!!

For Belle - I wanted to theme her goodies from Northern California since she is from RI. These three goodies are sourced locally, the furthest is near the Bay Area.
Belle's goodies!
For Tracy - I really relied on the fellas from the co-op. The don't have a "vegan specific" section, so I had to go on a treasure hunt. I love a few of their vegan desserts, but I was worried about how they'd hold up in transit, so I found a granola bar from the same company.

Tracy's goodies!
So I will admit, I was a day late shipping these items out. But, I did let them both know. Since we can ship from our office, I chose to use UPS. However, Lindsay recommends the one price shipping boxes from USPS. I just didn't really have time to get over there after I finished shopping, maybe it will save me some extra moola next FPP attempt! Both received hand written cards from me! I wasn't sure what to write, so I kept it short and simple!


I mean Saturday mail is always fun, but when both of your FPP packages arrive on the same day - one might tend to get overly excited and giddy!!

Belle's FPP Package:
April FPP from Belle
Belle packed her box perfectly!
FPP // Goodies from Belle

Primo Granola, Peanut Butter - Since I love anything PB I was already a happy camper. I can appreciate that it has "nothing artificial everything delicious". It is also made in RI, so another state specific item, pretty cool. Although it is granola, it wasn't as crunchy as I'm used too. The flavor was good and you can really taste the cinnamon in a few of the bites.

Chuao, Ravishing Rocky Road - I cannot for sure say I've tried this flavor, although (thanks to my sweet job) I've tried the rest of the entire line of this companies products, for research of course. This one was delicious, not only because it had almonds, but because of all of the flavors. I am not a fan of marshmallows, ever really, but in here it was good. I think it is because these are not gooey and soft, these are more chewy and add a great texture to the chocolate! I know these aren't cheap, but this one is worth the investment!

 Tracy's FPP Package:

April FPP from Tracy
Tracy packed it all in there, too!
FPP // Goodies from Tracy
Uber Cherry Cobbler - I wasn't too specific on what I didn't like, because I didn't want to limit myself. So when I received this and I saw dates and raisins in the ingredient deck, I sucked it up and ate it. It was pretty tasty. Although it has two items I generally don't like, I ate it as a snack and I was okay with it. Maybe I'm becoming more tolerant of them. Thanks for pushing me to try new things Tracy!
Homemade Goodie - Tracy was kind enough to make me a goodie and even wrap it so cute and simple. She even hand wrote every ingredient in the breakfast bar. It was healthy, but still tasty. I will admit, I could not eat the whole thing in one sitting. I split it up and had it with whatever else I was having for breakfast or a late morning snack.

Mango Slices - These were also another goodie, because I buy these from TJ's fairly often. I knew I'd like them, but it was nice to try a new brand. These are a little less sweeter than I'm used too, but still have the same mouth feel. They only have two ingredients as well, another nice and clean ingredient deck.

I'm glad I stumbled upon this program, put on my the lovely Lindsay. Sadly, I haven't eaten all my goodies, but as I ate them in the time I had, I made sure to add them to this post. It's so fun to open a box and have no idea what is going to be in there. I also really enjoyed shopping for them, well...because I love shopping, for anything really...

I highly suggest you give it a try for one month. Worst case, you don't like it and don't ever do it again. Best case, you'll get fun food packages every month and get to make someone else's day by sending them a fun package of goodness!

Sorry, (I'm not sorry) I'm also double dipping for my other weekly link-up:
Peas and Crayons
Thanks, Jenn!
I'm down with FPP, yeah you know ME!!

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  1. I really need to look into this. Getting food in the mail ranks right up there with puppies and shoes for me. I get beyond excited when I KNOW what food is coming so this sounds amazing...

    1. I know, when I read about this, I was immediately all in. I figured I might as well try it once and then go from there. The great thing is that you can decide, each month, if you want to participate or not. You aren't committed the entire year! If you do sign up, I can't wait to hear how your experience goes :)


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