April Foodie Pen Pal Reveal

Remember when I posted my first Foodie Pen Pal review?  I loved all the stuff that I received from Chrystal over at Yum Eating that I of course signed up for February eager to make another new “blog friend” and participate in the exchange.

Unfortunately, my February pen pal didn’t have a blog and there wasn’t much of a connection between us like my first month’s pen pal.  Regardless, I put together an adorable foodie package for my pen pal – coffee mug, creme brule coffee and some other items.  I never heard from her once I sent it and got a package from her about a month later with just a few items in it.

Needless to say, my experience wasn’t the best so I wasn’t going to sign up again.  I decided to try it again for April anyways because I wanted to give it another go and hope my next pen pal experience was better.

I was paired with a lady named Ronata and we emailed back and forth & then I put together her package.  In this one I included two Michigan made items – a delicious mustard that Bryan and I first got when we were up north and a berry jam.  Then some of my other favorites – a Mio, granola bar, drink mixes and my homemade Pad Thai recipe.  I was so sad to hear that the jam busted in transit :(  However, she did say she was able to salvage everything else luckily.

I love getting mail, especially packages so I was excited when Ronata’s pen pal box arrived. Below I pictured some of the stuff she sent me:

IMG_3994Her sons like to participate in the swap so she said one of them wanted to include the grape rope.  It was so good!  I love fruit snacks and this one was basically a healthier version of one.  In addition, I loved the purple sweet potato chips.  How clever and tasty too!  I am pretty sure I would eat an entire box of these in one  sitting if I allowed myself.

My favorite was of course her homemade hot salsa!  Like me, Ronata is a foodie and she loves to can her own stuff.  I told her in our correspondences that I love spicy food so she sent me her hot salsa.


Another interesting item in my package was a dessert decal.  I haven’t tried these out yet, but now I have an excuse to make a batch of cookies and use these.  Basically they are little edible designs that you place on top of frosted cookies or cakes etc.  I definitely will be taking a picture of these to share when I make them!

It’s not pictured above because I already used it, but she sent me a packet of Justin’s Honey Peanut Butter.  Sooooo good.  One of my go-to breakfast is a piece of toast with peanut butter, drizzled with honey.  This little sample was delicious and I most definitely will be buying myself a jar.

My experience this month was much better than the last and I am hoping to participate again next month.

If you are interested in joining, you can find out how by clicking on the button below:


The Lean Green Bean
What kind of mail exchanges are you involved in?

do you like to win things??



Happy Monday!

I hope everyone had a great weekend.  Mine was a ton of fun.  Friday evening Bryan took me to Verizon to get a new phone for my birthday.  My iphone has survived for 3 years – the absolute longest time ever for me.  I went through at least 4 blackberries back in the day.  My old phone had a lovely crack from dropping it on a pile ice while reluctantly walking into the gym this winter.  I love love love my new phone and spent a lot of time playing around with it to get my apps all organized etc..

On Saturday, we had people over to our house for a night of drinking.  I made these pretty good strawberry kiwi mojitos that I am posting on the blog this week.  There was a slight flaw in them so I will be sharing the fix for it too.  I consumed probably one too many drinks because Sunday was the laziest day of my life.

We started watching Scandal and haven’t stopped since this afternoon.  Also, if I haven’t mentioned it before, Bryan is obsessed with the weather and so the majority of this evening has been spent watching The Weather Channel while the tornados in the south are going on.  Ew.  I hate tornadoes. They given me severe anxiety.  Next topic.

Anyways —- Mondays are always difficult & in order to make yours a little better I am bringing to you a giveaway.  Cash.  Plus some extras.  Who couldn’t use an extra $150?? I certainly could!  So check it out below & be sure to enter by using the Rafflecopter!

Good Luck!

 Hello Frances (plus two months ad space) // Elizabeth Simon
A Fresh Start On A Budget (use code YELLOW for 30% off ad space)
 Deloom // Use Code LIY For Free Shipping
 Sequins And Scissors // Use Promo Code Sequins for 10% off



Hello Holiday // Use Promo Code HELLOYELLOW for 15% off

DIY Spice Jars By Paige

Hey everyone!  Happy Hump Day :)  I am excited to swap blogs today with Paige.  I first emailed her about guest blogging on her site with a DIY seasoning blend.  She loves DIYs and agreed to let me post my homemade taco seasoning!  Then she had a great idea to share a DIY spice jar with chalkboard labels.  DIY-ers and Foodies come hand in hand so I knew it would be a great idea.  So welcome Paige to Not So Doughie and break out the craft supplies this weekend!


Hi everyone! I’m Paige and I blog over at A Dose of Paige. I blog about a few different topics but one of my favorites is blogging about easy DIY projects. So, you may be wondering why I’m at a food blog, huh?

Well, Sara and I decided to trade blogs for the day! I’ll be honest, I only barely know my way around a kitchen, but I still wanted to share something useful to you guys. She’s over on my blog showing you how to make your own taco seasoning and I’m going to be sharing how to make your own DIY Spice Jars with chalkboard labels! I actually shared the free printable to the labels I’m using in this DIY on my blog yesterday, so be sure to go here to download them before getting started!

The process of this DIY is very similar to some DIY Tile Coasters I made recently.

The first thing to do is to gather your supplies. Here’s what you’ll need:

Spice Jar Label Supplies

  • Small Jars. I used these very small Ball Mason Jars that you can find for about $6 for 4 at Target, although I’m sure they are cheaper elsewhere. Any small size (4oz or less) jars will work.
  • Mod Podge
  • Paint brush/foam brush
  • Clear Acrylic Spray
  • Chalkboard Spice Jar Labels

First, you need to cut out your labels. I cut them as close to the circled edges as possible and then trimmed when I got done.

Spice Jar Label

Next, you need to paint one side of your jar with Mod Podge. Since one side of my jar was embossed with the Ball logo, I just did the other, clean side.

Spice Jar Label

When you get done with that, carefully spread your label over the jar, making sure to get out any air bubbles. As the Mod Podge dries, you will probably get a few more bubbles, so just smooth them out as they appear.

It doesn’t take long for the Mod Podge to dry and when it does, simply spread another layer over the label.


When that step is done and you are sure that the label is exactly the way you want it, it’s time to seal it. The purpose of sealing it is so that the labels become waterproof. This way, you can wash the jars and you don’t have to worry about splashes in the kitchen.

Despite sealing them, I do recommend that you gently handwash the jars, just so you can be absolutely sure you won’t mess the labels up.

The acrylic spray I got is from Wal-Mart and it smells strongly, so I always use a piece of cardboard outside and seal things there to avoid breathing in the fumes.

Spice Jar Labels

Allow the sealing spray to dry for awhile and then you’re done!

Spice Jar Label

I only did a couple so far, but I fully plan on replacing all our spice jars in our cabinet with these jars!

If you’d like, you can create holes in the top of the jars using a nail and a hammer, but for now, I just did the spices that we tend to use “pinches” of, rather than ones we sprinkle.

DIY Chalkboard Spice Jar Labels

That’s all I’ve got for you guys today! I hope you’ll head on over to my blog to read Sara’s post and check out some of my other easy DIY projects, free printables or blogging tips and tricks!


Happy Thoughts Thursday


Sending happy thoughts your way to wrap up the rest of the week!  Struggling to make it through and letting negative thoughts get the best of you?  Stop everything you are doing.  Go do something you love.  Whether it is a workout, petting a baby kitten, cooking, dancing, singing, meditating, laughing, bathing, whatever it is.  Do a 5 minute minimum stress reliever to bully those negative thoughts away.  Practice happy.



Happy Thoughts Thursday


Life is so busy.  We go from one thing to the next to the next.  We think hard all day about a lot of things.  However, sometimes we need reminded about the little things that are the most important.  I am practicing all the following in 2014.  Today, I am going to dive back into reading.  What will you be focusing on?



if I could go to lunch with….

TGBTL Linkup Button 200x200

So it’s been awhile since I linked up with all the lovely ladies participating in The Girl Between the Lines.  Being mainly a food blogger, sometimes I find it difficult to write as freely.  However, I really love all my other favorite lifestyle bloggers out there and it is starting to become more natural.

Also, I have to mention… when I posted about Bryan and I being together for 3 years, my blog views that day were the highest ever.  And by best ever, I mean surpassing my previous best ever by 100 views.  He likes to think his good looks & awesomeness were the cause of all this traffic.  Either he is right or people are interested in my life?  Not sure, but my lifestyle posts seem to be pretty popular around these parts.

That being said, I wanted to link up with Hayley & Lauren again because I love that everyone in the link up is posting about the same topic.

This week on The Girl Between the Lines we are discussing:

2/26   If you could have lunch with any blogger, celebrity or public figure, who would it be and why?

Figures though, I am never really good at these kinds of questions because I have trouble picking one.  I am going to pick one from each category!

1.  I would LOVE to go have lunch, accompanied with several cocktails with the lovely Erin from Living in Yellow.  People.. I have to read her posts at home most of the time for fear of busting out laughing at work uncontrollably.  I work in a pharmacy, nothing is ever THAT funny… except that one time I was told to “please hold while I change my diaper”.  Anyways, Erin’s blog is one of my favorites to read.  Before starting this blog, I read Living in Yellow regularly.  Not only is she hilarious, her writing flows, she loves a good cocktail, and she shares great tips on fashion & has some tasty recipes as well.  I am quite envious of her life too.  She works her booty off in the morning & blogs away the rest of her day in her freaking adorable office.  Have I officially sounded like a stalker yet?  Great.  She will never want to have lunch with me!  Erin loves life & reading her adventures each day makes me excited to be part of the blogging world.  She is really talented and I cannot wait (if I convince myself) to meet her at Blogcation!  So Erin, here’s a little ode to you and your awesomeness.  Rock on, girlfriend!

2.  If I could meet a celebrity who would it be?


Need I say more??

Unfortunately, lunch with Ryan Reynolds may not be very verbal as my eyes would be just sparkling looking at him.  Therefore, my lunch date would be with Lauren Conrad.  I mean she was on Laguna Beach, practically the best show in its day, right?  I think she is such a talented woman regardless of her somewhat lame role on the show.  She seems fun, yet down to earth & I feel like our conversation would come easy.  Lauren? Ryan? If you are out there reading this, can we have lunch?

3.  A public figure… I pick Ellen.  I love her.  She is hilarious & has such a big heart.  I wish I didn’t have a job just so I can watch her show each day.  I feel too awkward watching it recorded, not the same feel.  I am not a spontaneous, outgoing person, practically the opposite of Ellen, so I feel like lunch with her would crack my shell a bit.  She is always looking to help people & share the little things which I admire.

Now, off to work I go with my lunch pail in hand.  Peanut butter jelly and all.  No lunch date for me TODAY :(


Happy Thoughts Thursday

I love the weekly posts that other fellow bloggers have on their blog regularly.  I want to become more consistent with that kind of stuff on top of my culinary adventures.  Thursday’s are a nice day of the week because it is almost, ALMOST Friday.  Therefore, in order to get through the last leg of the week I am presenting to you HAPPY THOUGHTS THURSDAY!

A little something for you to read to inspire, smile, regular laugh, nose laugh, motivate and think.

Today’s happy thought is by one of my all time favorite buds (yeah we are bff), A.A. Milne.  I think you have seen him float around this blog a few times & Mr. Winnie the Pooh was featured in my Maid of Honor Speech at my sister’s wedding.  Today’s happy thought is about living in the moment – it is a gift, a present, the present, that we are here so enjoy it, savor it & be happy.

May your present be happy.

Do you have a happy thought today?  Share it in the comments!