Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Food Swap and Chocolate

INCOMING...

     Today I'm just going to focus on incoming mail. I have been unbelievably busy this week so my outgoing mail has not been as prolific.  Here are some yummy things to hit my mailbox this week:

Chocolate Bar RR- Received from Postcrosser melis dogan in Turkey. This chocolate is delicious!!! I also had another bar, that I loved even more than this dark chocolate, but Matt threw away the wrapper before I got to photograph it. (Rather, I gobbled up the chocolate so fast that it didn't exist long enough to be photographed.) This was delicious and I'm sad because I don't know the name of the candy bar now. (It ranked right up there with my Dumle bar from Finland)
Her envelope had some cool Olympic Stamps too!

Food Swap- Received this package from Postcrosser Cockie in Japan.  Very exciting. I can't wait to try everything.

 Curry.
 In the US, I haven't really bought anything liquid that is packaged in an envelope. The curry is liquidy too.
 I think this is a fruit drink? Maybe a tea- ginger and small citrus fruit flavored
 Pasta sauce with cheese topping.
 Clam chowder. It will be interesting to compare and contrast with New England Clam Chowder
 Looks very yummy-  Miso flavored noodles
A poster that was in the envelope. She made her envelope out of a calendar :) Nice.

     Thanks ladies, I really like them both! I can't wait to try all the food from Japan.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Outgoing...

     I am doing an okay job of continuing to write, but I wanted to get some things in the mail so I didn't take pictures this time. The other day I mailed 5 Postcrossing cards-  4 to Russia and 1 to Germany. I also mailed a letter to Marianne in the Netherlands and a letter to adopted soldier #4.
    I have adopted 4 soldiers now through Adopt A US Soldier.  I send them mail weekly when I can, even if it's just a short hello- which it usually is since I don't always get replies so I'm unsure what to write. (That and penpal guilt.. lol) If any of my penpals want to write out a postcard to one of the soldiers, feel free to include it in your letter. I would just send it to whichever soldier is next. 

Incoming...

     Two goodies in my mailbox today:
BR-243221

This is 2 beaches of Brazil- Arpoador and Ipanema. Looks beautiful.  The stamps are of Jorge Amado, a Brazilian writer.

     The second envelope came from an address I didn't recognize so I was curious as to what was inside.
    I loved this pretty butterfly card. Inside was my first returned friendship book. If you don't know what a friendship book is, it's a little booklet where people write their addresses and if they're looking for new penpals, swappers, etc. and then pass it on to another penpal. When the book is full, they return it to the owner. This friendship book was made for me by someone in the Netherlands. It came back with 12 addresses. I'll send them all a postcard thanking them for writing in the booklet.

The 366 Project

Sent: 25
Received: 12 

Other...

    Contrary to the numbers above, I have not been inspired to write this week... at all. Timmy had a stomach bug on Saturday and throughout the long weekend. It passed to me yesterday and to Matt and David today. It has not been a fun week. (Though I do have to say how much I appreciate Matt this week. He has been working a lot so that I could rest and basically doing everything that needed to be done at home. He also had some not so pretty bathroom trips with David all through the night last night. So grateful.)   I hope to be feeling better this week since I have a concert tomorrow and have to bring kids to an audition on Saturday. This year has been a really bad year for illnesses. Is it the same in other states this year?
     I also saw that I have two more blog followers! I was very excited. Check out their blogs! Angie's and Marijke's    I love seeing what other people get in their mail too :)
    Ok, I'm off to try to write at least 1 letter tonight.

  

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Happy mailbox





Incoming...

     I have had a few great mail days. Yesterday I came home to find this Christmas envelope RR that I had started back in November. It went from me to the Netherlands, to Lithuania and then home. Here are the things that came in. 
   I forgot to photograph the tea that came too. They are from top left, clockwise: a reindeer gift bag, paper ornament craft (this was my favorite!), a Christmas tree candle, Christmas decorations to put on baked goods, a star ornament, napkins, a Santa ornament and a nice postcard from Jiska.  Thanks! I loved it. Oh.. I forgot the scarf too. I was wearing it today!
     Today, I had these beauties in my mailbox:
 
 
 I love this card! It says "A language can help you hit the right note in life. Got the German Edge?" It also glows in the dark. Love it!
 Here is my lip balm tag. Toasted mallow flavor. :) Mikaela also sent me a nice note and a cup of tea!

 Yum yum! Draniki. Potato pancakes from Belarus. even put a recipe on the back. Thanks. We will try them soon.
 Hello Bonnie! Thanks for your great letter, friendship books, and stickers. I will pass the fbs along very soon. Bonnie is my closest penpal. She lives about 20 minutes away :)
David, my latest mail convert. Check out the cool flowers on Bonnie's letter. 

Outgoing...

 US- 2041832
   Headed to a 72 year old man in Germany. 

     Headed to Finland and Turkey.

The 366 Project:

 Received: 10
Outgoing: 15

 
 

Monday, January 14, 2013

My night away






    So, on a personal note, my husband and I went away last weekend for a date night. (I put together a year's worth of date nights for his Christmas gift.  There will be one a month. This was the first.)  We went up to this bed & breakfast in Wakefield, NH. This was our 4th time there. We had gone for our anniversary one year when Matt's parents offered to take the kids for the night. The owner has been trained as a chef in France and makes incredibly delicious breakfasts.
     This was our room:

 A king sized bed would never fit in our apartment. This bed was so incredibly comfortable. The duvet and pillows were made of down feathers. The sheets were super expensive very high quality and soft.  It didn't hurt that I didn't have children trying to climb near me in the night/early morning.
      This is a day bed that is opposite to where the picture above was taken. The door on the right opens to the staircase in the last picture.
      Because I'm a nerd, I had to read the entire journal for the room. People from all over the world had stayed in our room and I came across this fantastic sketch. The view is what you would see from the window on the left side of the first picture.
      I'm not going to lie- I totally wanted to find some ink and write a letter with this old pen and inkwell. I restrained myself (though I know Ashley totally would've encouraged me to go for it!! lol).
                                             spiral staircase at our New Hampshire Inn

    This is a super cool spiral staircase from the front door all the way to the 3rd floor. The 2nd floor had a stagecoach door where stagecoaches could unload to the 2nd floor. There is a whole gallery of brides who have had their picture taken on this staircase winding up the wall. Very cool.
     I wish I had taken a picture of breakfast, but I forgot. (More like I ate it before someone could snap a picture..  ha ha!) For starters we had a fruit cup with fresh strawberries, blueberries, cantaloupe (I just seriously spelled cantaloupe wrong 5x. Wow.), red grapes, and bananas. I don't know how the fruit tasted so fresh in the middle of winter in New Hampshire but it was delicious.  Next came something that seemed like a Yorkshire pudding bowl (or popover type bread) filled with blueberry compote and a few slices of bacon. I also had a glass of cranberry juice.

    Matt has always enjoyed cooking so the reason I decided on this place for a date night is because there is an option to sign up for a cooking class.  We took a class with 4 other people. (Remind me to tell you about the older woman who hacked her chicken apart while we were learning how to quarter the chicken. I had a very difficult time not laughing as she ummm- mangled- her poor chicken carcass.)  We made a 5 course meal- simple bread, chicken glazed with honey and fig, mushroom bisque, butternut squash and cranberry risotto, followed by a chocolate mousse.
     After we cooked, the 6 of us sat down and shared a meal. I actually really enjoy sharing  meal with people. It was interesting to sit down with people who were basically strangers and conversing with them. One of the women was deaf.  She and I talked most actually.
     This is what our main dish looked like:
Download CAM00184.jpg (651.7 KB)
    This doesn't look so pale in person. The chicken was a golden brown. The dark things are figs. It wasn't bad. We got the recipes so maybe we can cook you the recipes we made sometime.

    No good mail for the past few days.  My 1st lip balm tag got to Finland and she liked it. 

   

Friday, January 11, 2013

Outoing mystery envelope and food swap and postcards

Incoming...

     It is not often that I open my mailbox and am greeted by a naked woman. I'm glad Timmy didn't get the mail with me! This is a painting that that is in the Hermitage. It is by Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) It is called The Union of Earth and Water and it was painted around 1618. The people in the bottom of the painting freak me out a bit. 
RU-1434551

Outgoing...

    Have I ever mentioned that I like giving things more than receiving sometimes? Well, I really do like getting mail but I like picking out things that I hope people will like too. Here's my outgoing mail from the past few days:

Mystery Envelope 22-
     I took the postcards, lip gloss and the 5 Spice soup mix. I replaced those with stickers, Oreos (you people are missing out if your country does not sell Oreos... eat with milk.), and Lip Smackers lip balm.
Food Swap Round 5-
     There is a slight chance that this person may check here so I'm not going to say where the swap is going to. I hope the person likes it.
For those of you not from the US- Brach's candy hearts are little, chalky hearts that have words printed on them. They are only sold near Valentine's Day. Teddy Grahams are graham crackers shaped like little teddy bears. My children really like them, though we don't have them often. Graham crackers are kind of like a mix between a cookie and a cracker. Goldfish are small, cheese flavored, salty crackers. Again, my children love them. Spanish Rice mix- flavored with spices that is similar to Cajun cooking.Corn bread mix. I'm not a big fan of cornbread but when I do have it, I like to eat it warm with butter. Hidden Valley Dip can be used for salads, potato chips, vegetable platters, etc. I really like that. Lastly, Oreo cookies, mentioned above. I also threw in some tea and a few pieces of candy including York Peppermint Patty and Reeses's Peanut Butter cups. I can't wait to see where my food is from!

US-2035968
   What do you think the name of this woman should be? Love the skull necklace.  Headed to Russia.
US- 2036926
Headed to Germany. It's a day of odd postcards.

Headed to Monique in The Netherlands. Like my new deco tape?  Cute.

The 366 Project:

Sent: 12
Received:5

     Still on track and looking forward to finishing up with my respond pile :) 

Other...

     We tried the Malaysian 5 spice mix last night. Here's what it looked like:
My plastic, green bowl does not make this look appetizing at all.
Reviews:

Timmy says "It's okay. It's creamy."

David, Mr. "I don't want to eat dinner", said that he really liked it. Then he ate 3 bites and was done..

     I thought it was pretty good. My husband thought that the soup needed more vegetables so he added almost double the vegetables. I thought that made the soup taste too corn-like. I would've preferred to just have it made the way it was supposed to be. He cooked it while I was at a dr's appointment. Matt thought it had some "earthy, Indian tasting spices."  It smelled a little like Ramen noodles.

     Tonight Matt and I are going to a bed and breakfast in New Hampshire and then taking a cooking class tomorrow. Should be fun! I'll update when I'm home.


    

 



 
  

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Mystery Envelope 22

Incoming...

     Today I arrived home from work to find a large, stuffed envelope in my mailbox. This is from a round robin I often participate in. One person starts an envelope with 10 items in it and then the envelope passes between 5 other participants before returning home. When you receive the envelope you take out the items that you'd like and replace those items with items of similar value. This envelope started in Japan and has been sent to me by Verlustangst in Malaysia. Here's what was inside:

4 postcards that will be perfect for my A Month of Letters challenge or for Postcrossing.
     A flower handkerchief
 A 5-Spice Mix. I think I'm going to keep this to try it. You cook it with chicken, peas, carrots, mushrooms and baby corn.
 Sorry for the bad picture. This is a bracelet on top of a small patch of bubble wrap.
 These are toothbrush holders. They clip on the top part of the toothbrush and they have a suction cup on the back. Hey Miss Tricia, this could work at the preschool! I love the smiley faces.
 Pencils. I might keep these to give out as student prizes. They'll be excited to know that they're getting something from a different country. (Even though most of the stuff they have is also from different countries)
 Lip gloss. I'm keeping this and I'll probably add in more Lip Smackers from the huge pack I got for the lip balm swap.
 Matryoshka keychain. She was round and wouldn't stay put.
 An expo2012 pin from Korea
 Eyeliner. I couldn't pull off gold eyeliner though I was tempted to see what I would look like
  I will update what I added to the envelope before I send it out. Any suggestions? (It should be pretty light and worth the value of the things I took out.) It will head to The Netherlands, England and Brazil before heading back to Japan. 

Outgoing...

    I have a letter headed out to The Netherlands but I want to wait until I photograph it. I also plan on finishing another letter tonight so I'll take a picture of that too.

The 366 Project 

Sent: 8
Received: 4
    

Other:

     I have decided to join A Month of Letters to help keep me on track in February. It looks fun. If you've ever wanted to start writing, check out the site. If you'd like to send me a letter, or want one from me, message me. (I need to finish catching up with penpals first but I anticipate being caught up before February.)
     Have a great day! Thanks for checking in.