I apologize profusely for having, without warning, left the blogosphere for such an extended period of time. I moved into a new house, and that, plus 3 kids, a husband and multiple jobs, has kept me very busy!
But…. I’mmmmmm baccckkkk! And just in time for Foodie Pen Pal reveal day! If you have never heard of Foodie PenPal (FPP); it is a wonderful program created by Lindsay at theleangreenbean. Every month, you are paired with a FPP from anywhere in the USA and someone else is paired with you. You send a package of food (after corresponding with your penpal to see if they have allergies, interests, preferences or dislikes) to your penpal and someone else sends one to you.
Here are some more details about the program, taken directly from Lindsay, the Lean Green Bean!
And now it’s time for some details about Foodie Penpals. In case you’re a new reader, here’s a reminder of what the program is all about:
-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.
-Foodie Penplas is open to US, Canadian & European residents. Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. Same with Europeans. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa.
This month, my Foodie PenPal was Kelly from PA. She sent me a phenomenal package!!
Check out this fantastic assortment of goodies!!! Chips and nut crackers, Kind bars, Raw Revolution Bars and SoyJoy bars, coffee and cocoa, and DARK CHOCOLATE!! And… these really fun little ginger chews called Chimes. I left for a trip to Atlanta with my son for his drama festival the day after I received my package and I was so thankful to have so many of the things that Kelly sent to me on my trip (FYI… the trip included a 9 hour drive each way). I noshed on the chips and nut chips on the ride and used bars as meal replacements to cut costs (and not have to eat hotel food!) But, those little ginger chews turned out to be the star of the package, 1) I LOVE THEM… I am almost out and I have to buy more!!, and 2) one of the younger children in the car ride to Atlanta (3 adults and four kids.. don’t be jealous of my awesome life), got carsick (again.. don’t be jealous) at 6AM (2 hours into my fab ride) and the ginger chews calmed her stomach! Yay Kelly, you saved the day!!
In case you are dying to try these ginger chews, Amazon has them! Click here to check them out!
I know.. this is a book review blog and I have been such a lazy blog matron lately that you are all probably just chomping at the bit for one of my fabulous reviews. Well, I will not let you down. I did manage to get some reading in during my crazy moving month (especially during the aforementioned Atlanta trip), so here are some summaries of the books that I read during my blog hiatus:
1) City of Women by David E. Gillham. Phenomenal!!! Amazing story of Sigrid, an average woman trying to maintain a normal existence in Nazi Germany. She is married to a German soldier serving on the Russian front, lives with her cranky mother-in-law and through the course of the book manages to have an affair not only with a clandestine Jew, but also with an atypical Nazi officer. If that alone doesn’t convince you to read this book, I don’t know what will! What makes this book unique amongst WWII books (and I have read many a Holocaust book, my mother is completely obsessed with the Holocaust. If she meets anyone who is Jewish from Europe, she must immediately find out where their parents/grandparents were during WWII. Obsessed!), is that there are no descriptions of death camps, no recreations of HItler’s henchmen and their conversations; it is merely the story of a woman, trying to live an ordinary life, during a very unordinary time, who is unwittingly drawn into a very extraordinary course of events. Sex, intrigue and Nazi Germany.. it’s my mother’s favorite trio!
2) The Last Duchess by Gabrielle Kimm. So when I read (well, skimmed) the description of this historical novel and saw one of the main characters was Lucretia, I just assumed that this book was about Lucrezia Borgia. Well.. you know what they say about assuming…. Not at all about Lucrezia Borgia, it was actually Lucretia de Medici (completely different famous Italian Renaissance family), said de Medici being much less infamous and much less interesting than her Borgia namesake. I kept waiting for Lucrezia to become the raging lunatic, incestuous, tumultuous Lucrezia of history, but it didn’t happen. Nonetheless, The Last Duchess was a decent story, based on the aptly titled Robert Browning poem, The Last Duchess. Interesting concept, fairly well executed with believable characters and decent writing. Worth it if you can borrow the book, not sure it’s worth a purchase.
3) Faith by Jennifer Haigh. I love Jennifer Haigh. I have read all of her books and was really looking forward to reading Faith, Haigh’s literary answer to the Catholic priest pedophilia scandals. The main characters in the story are Sheila, a middle-aged woman whose brother, Arthur, is a priest accused of molesting a young boy. Set in Boston, Faith is a very unusual take on religion, the priesthood and sexual mores. We learn about Sheila and Art’s childhood, and the events that led to Arthur taking the collar. We learn about Sheila’s life, her doubts, fears and estrangement from her faith. We learn about Arthur’s experience as a priest, his doubts and fears and what leads him to become an accused pedophile. And, in the end, we learn that not everything is as it seems. Yet again, Haigh is a master story teller, and I was genuinely surprised by the ending. I love that!
Happy Reading!! Look for a SOMETHING NEW coming to BareBookReviews… this Sunday!!!