Friday, February 20, 2009

A Pair of "Favorite Things" Swaps

In my state of obsession with swaps I signed up for a whole slew of 'em in the last few weeks. I was really excited to come across a couple "Favorite Things" swaps. One was hosted by Sarah of It Might Seem Crazy But We Call It Life who paired me with Anna of One Day at a Time.

Just what are some of Anna's favorite things, you ask??

All wrapped up...

Look at it all!
-Spatula with hearts on it!
-Her favorite recipe for Soft Gingersnaps...cannot WAIT to make those!
-Mary Kay Eye Primer
-Philosophy's "Amazing Grace" perfume oil
-Choxie's Milk Chocolate Hazlenut Biscotti Truffle, yes, it was just as ridiculously yummy as it sounds
-Breakfast at Tiffany's dvd
To top it all off she included a sweet note in the "strawberries & cream" card. I love this assortment of things!
And I sent her...

-Reading material: The Unlikely Romance of Kate Bjorkman by Louise Plummer, Better Homes and Gardens magazine and "Piggies", a childrens book by Audrey and Don Wood (I love me some childrens books). Please go read all of these right now. You'll be glad you did.
-Ocean themed file folders: I read on Anna's blog that she is very organized, so I had to include a couple of these gorgeous file folders. I LOVE ocean themed items.
-Purple pens: don't you enjoy writing more when you are using a pretty pen? I love these purple gel pens, and I'm sure making that grocery list will be that much more fun for Anna when its in purple!
- Lotion: Dry skin is a major pet peeve of mine, but so is greasy lotion that won't soak in. Aveeno is very rich yet it soaks right in and leaves your hands all soft, not residue-y (I hate residue).
- Candy: I love candy. I went to the All Candy Expo last year (heaven). I just can't get enough, so I had to include a selection of my favorite candies: Cinnabon Cinnamon Caramel Pecan Cluster (oh my gosh...these are sublime), Atkinson's Chick-o-sticks and Peanut Butter Bars, and some sort of something from South Korea. I have no idea what they are called, but they are like little pieces of super fried dough with a bit of a honey taste, and they are GOOOOOD.

Yay for all the swapping! The Winter Blues Swap, in which we sent our partner 5 of our favorite things, was hosted by Josie of The Poor College Students Guide to Raising a Baby who paired me with Selissa of All Palmer.

Here are the items Selissa sent me:

- Apron that Selissa made!! (I LOVE aprons!)
- Cutie long socks! With a bit of bling, no less (that top heart is a little plastic crystal!)
- Cuuuuute headband that Selissa crocheted
- Sweet Pea bubble bath
- Peanut butter M&Ms

We each told our partners one of our favorite things; mine was the color pink and you can see that Selissa spoiled me with all sorts of pink!

And my favorite things sent to Selissa:

- Reading material: The Unlikely Romance of Kate Bjorkman and Better Homes and Gardens magazine. You still haven't read these?? Get to it!

- Bookmark: I love a fun bookmark (used to collect bookmarks when I was a little thing) and Selissa loves spring, so I couldn't resist this cutie to go with her new reading material.

- Lotion: I told you I loved that Aveeno.

- Candy: I'm just proud I had two sets of this collection of candy, and both sets made it out of the house intact. I wanted to eat feels good to admit that out loud.

- Monogrammed throw: I am cold much of the time, and I love snuggling while watching tv or reading, so we have quite a collection of throws and blankets. Also I have a weenie dog and, man, do those dogs like to burrow...gotta have a blanket for the dog to burrow in, for goodness sake. Selissa loves the color red, so I had to bust out my button monogram sewing skillzzz and personalize a throw for her.

"Favorite Things" swaps are pure fun minus the pressure because you pick what you like and send it; regular swaps (while still lots of fun) can involve obsessing about whether or not you are picking things your partner will like. A favorite things swap is great for everyone, especially first timers who are looking to get their swapping feet wet.

Thank you Sarah and Josie for hosting these swaps, and thank you Anna and Selissa for great packages of goodies!

Valentine's Swap

A Thrifty Mrs. hosted a Valentine's Swap and paired me up with Rosey from Agapanthus and Goldsworthy. Rosey lives in Australia and makes the cutest softies which she blogs about at I Cant Sew and sells in her Etsy Store I Cant Sew Creations.

Look at these lovelies Rosey sent me!

- Penelope the softie bird (bigger picture below)...look at the beautiful pattern and colors of that fabric (um, yes she can sew)
- Softie heart (more evidence of ability to sew)
- Sweet cherub
- Dressed up chickie

- Candy and vegemite! The hearts (there were more...that have been consumed already) were made in Melbourne, Australia, and the other chocolates have been made since Rosey was little. She said they used to be wrapped in foil, and the kids would try to collect all the designs. And vegemite! I was so excited to see this as I've heard of it before ("Land Down Under" by Men at Work, anyone??) but never tried it. Rosey recommended a very thin layer spread on buttered toast, so that is what we did for part of our breakfast this morning.

Verdict: It reminded me of a beef buillon cube: salty and meaty (yes, I have eaten one of those middle school I was curious and went through my mother's spice cabinet trying all manner of things; she was gone at the time as I'm sure she would not have condoned the wanton eating of random spice cabinet items. Yummy = packet of Equal poured into a spoon with a chocolate syrup layer on top. And Fruit Fresh crystals are yummy all on their own. I bet she wondered where stuff was disappearing to). Hubs sampled the Vegemite and said, "Very salty" and "If I didn't have any meat to put on my sandwich...".

Look at cutie Penelope! She came with a little card telling her story. You can get a wee softie like Penelope in Rosey's Etsy shop, I Cant Sew Creations. You can't see it, but Penelope has a ribbon attached to her back for hanging in some cute little nook.

This little bird makes me laugh...I pecked at hub's cheek with it when I took it out of the box. So CUTE!

Click here to read Rosey's post about the swap. What a sweet box of lovely items; thank you so much, Rosey!

I sent Rosie:

- Softie kit: Sewing tin, fabric, thread, ribbon, buttons, crochet hearts (from Etsy seller Annie Design)
- Edible love notes: edible paper and edible fun is that!
- Stained glass hearts from Etsy seller
- "Love" banner I made: Rosey's favorite color is yellow and for Valentine's she chose pastel pinks.

I have to share my adventure with this package. When I took the package to the post office it weighed 4 pounds 3 ounces and the lady said, "Postage will be $45." It was like one of those cartoon moments where your head whips around and your eyes bug out...


"Seriously!" she said all cheerful like.

"I-I-I can't DO that...", so I found out how much postage would be at 2 pounds and 3 pounds and I went home and ripped open my snug little box and took out a big ole vanilla candle that weighed over 2 POUNDS! I know this because my repackaged goodies weighed 2 pounds 0.7 ounce and postage was under $20: I can DO that. Learn from me: research international postage rates before you get all attached to everything you've packaged hurt me to take that candle out of that box. Rosey likes flowery scents anyway, so I think it was all for the best.
Thanks to Thrifty Mrs. for hosting this swap and thank you, Rosey, for my lovely Valentine's treats! They are so sweet!