Tag Archives: pen pal

DIY recycled calendar envelopes

6 Jan

It’s time to change calendars and I couldn’t let the perfect Sierra Club landscapes of last year go to waste, so I made some envelopes.  DIYEnvelope7

Supplies

old calendar pages

ruler

scissors

glue

washi tape (optional)

SuppliesforEnvelopes

I made 4×6 envelopes. I started by drawing a big 8inch by 10inch square on the back. I usually free hand the rest of this but here is a template to show you what I do.

DIYEnvelope8Cut out the large rectangle. Then take 1 inch off of each side of the bottom flap and 1 inch off each side of the top flap. I also trim the top flap at this point, which are the diagonal lines I drew in.

DIYEnvelope11Just add some washi tape around the edge and you’re ready to send it. I suggest using a white paint marker or metallic Sharpie for addressing darker pages.

DIYEnvelope13I also used a couple pages to line envelopes I had on hand. Simply trace the envelope on the image, cut it out, slide into the envelope, and the secure it to the flap with a line of glue.

Foodie Pen Pals #3

30 Nov

FoodiePenPals

For November’s Foodie Pen Pal Swap, I was so lucky to be paired up with Lindsey from Running With Whisks. She is an avid runner and healthy foodie from Ohio. She sent me a bunch of Midwestern treats and a RECIPE! I love new recipes and I must say this one is amazing. First off, here’s what she sent me:

Foodie Pen Pals

Coffee from La Crema Coffee Company
Skyline Cincinnati-style Chili
Reese Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
Larabar Pumpkin Pie Bar
Lipton Green Tea
Montgomery Inn Barbecue Sauce
Crystal Light Green Tea
Roasted Almonds

Here are my thoughts:

The coffee was great. She sent two seasonal flavors from her favorite local coffee shop. How sweet!

I loved the Roasted Almonds! So good! She made them herself, they were just a little sweet and very cinnamony. Really prefect.

My absolute favorite thing was this recipe though. I made it for Thanksgiving and it did not disappoint!

Sweet Potato BiscutsThanks again Lindsey!  And thanks to the Lean Green Bean for setting up the swap every month! If you want to join in for January, just jump over to her page and sign up!

PS Don’t forget to sign up for my stocking stuffer giveaway! It ends on Sunday!

Foodie Pen Pals #2

31 Oct

FoodiePenPals

For this month’s Foodie Pen Pal swap, I was paired with Meg a sweet girl from Kansas who is a self-described lover of the outdoors, bikes, and her husband of course. Meg sent me a great box and did a great job of introducing me to some things I had never tried before, which is what it’s all about. I can’t thank her enough!

Here are the goodies she sent me:

Foodie Pen Pals

Sweet Chili and Red Pepper potato chips
Bison Jerky
Rawxies Lemon Poppy Seed cookies
Cajan Sesame sticks
Equal Exchange Spicy Cocoa
Dark Chocolate Dreams blended peanut butter

Here’s what I thought:

The Sweet Chili chips were amazing, I think I found a new favorite I hope I can find them around here.

I tried Bison for the first time when I was at Yellowstone a few years ago and it was great. So I was really excited to see the Bison jerky, and it did not disappoint.

Rawxies Lemon Poppy Seed cookies were delicious! They are made by a company based in Kansas (local to Meg), but according to their website they do sell them at a few places here in LA so I may have to track some more down.

The Equal Exchange Spicy Cocoa was a little too bitter for me but my boyfriend loved it.

Thanks again Meg! And thanks to the Lean Green Bean for setting up the swap every month! If you want to join in, just jump over to her page and sign up!

Foodie Pen Pals #1

30 Sep

FoodiePenPals

This month for the first time I participated in the Foodie Pen Pals swap through The Lean Green Bean! It pairs you with another eater for a one-time swap of favorite foods, local foods, and specialty foods. It’s a great way to try some new foods and make new connections!

My partner was Colleen from Secrets from the Cookie Princess jump over to her blog to see what I sent her and check out some of her recipes. She’s an avid baker who’s been blogging for 3 years. I feel so lucky to have found her blog; it’s an absolute treasure trove of recipes with over 150 different cookies and bars! She has really put me in a baking mood, just in time for cool weather!

Here’s what she sent me:

IMG_2232

Popped potato chips
Homemade caramel pretzel chocolate chip cookies! YUM
Raspberry  yogurt pretzels
Peanut butter cups
Penzey’s Spices BBQ 3001
Apple Strawberry fruit leather
Trappist cranberry pepper jelly
Pumpkin spice chai latte mix
And two bonuses a raspberry ice cube tray and a mini recipe book!

Everything was great but I’m just going to highlight my favorites:

I tried the Penzey’s Spices BBQ 3001 on some chicken and it was great! It has a nice smoky flavor.

The Trappist Cranberry Pepper Jelly was good on a bagel with a smear of cream cheese, but I feel like it has more potential than that. I’m thinking of trying to make a glaze with it for a pork loin. Any other ideas?

The Pumpkin Chai Latte Mix from Trader Joe’s has been a long time favorite of mine! This stuff is so good, I always feel the need to stock up when it’s in season. It makes a yummy drink, but I’ve tried it in a couple recipes too. It adds such a great fall flavor to things.

I saved the best part for last, the cookies, they were unbelievable! Just the right combo of sweet and salty, my favorite! Caramel, pretzel, AND chocolate chip what could be better! She has clearly earned her title as the Cookie Princess, at least in my eyes. If you don’t believe me go try them for yourself, here’s the recipe.

Caramel, Pretzel, Chocolate Chip Cookies from SecretsFromTheCookiePrincess

I loved everything and I can’t thank Colleen enough. She really put together some yummy treats for my first swap, I know I’ll be looking forward to this every month from now on.

Pen Pal Kit with *FREE PRINTABLES*

27 May

Everyone loves mail! Chris and I sent a pen palling kit to his little sister this week. She is 9 and she wrote him during the school year for class. Her letters were great and it gave him a chance connect with her in a different way. It was interesting to see what was important to her and what she choose to write about.  He’s learned things that he wouldn’t have even thought to ask about, like she learned cursive this year and after about 4 letters it started to be readable. Did I mention her drawings? Amazing. Anyway, he is hoping this will keep her interested now that it’s not a requirement.

But this would also be a great way to start pen palling with someone you don’t get to see enough.

#DIY pen pal kit by makingmondays

Items to include:

Photo Box to put it all in

Envelopes

Postage Stamps

Construction Paper/Scrapbook Paper/White Paper/Stationary

Die-cut shapes

Stickers (letters and cool things)

Tape

Glue stick

Scissors

Pencils/Pens/Markers/Colored Pencils/Glitter Pens

Notebook (optional, we decided to send a notebook back and forth rather than traditional letters, so the conversation is complete for her to look back at later)

Choose a notebook that appeals to you and personalize it. On the back inside cover, we added a handmade envelope to send secret messages, pictures, and other finds. And on the first page, we put a map of the US with our location and her location marked so she has a better understanding of where we are.

#DIY pen pal kit by makingmondays

Make your letter fun and personal. If your pen pal is young, it is important to give them examples of what they can do through your letter. And there is so much you can do. You could paste in comics and photos . Or start a correspondence game of tic-tack-toe or hangman. Or write a secret code key and include a message to decipher. Be sure to give them something to write back about. To get the process started, you can print these fill in the blank questions for your pen pal to answer.

FILLINTHEBLANK printable by makingmondays

Lastly, we attached our address to the lid of the box, so it can’t get lost. If your pen-pal hasn’t mailed a letter before, you may want to use this as an address label and an example of how their envelope should look.

envelope printable by makingmondays

FREE PRINTABLES click on the images above to open them as full size PDFs, then you can save or print the files from there!

P.S. How great would this be as a going away present?

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