I loved penpals when I was a kid.  When I was about seven years old there was a girl who rode her horse past my house all the time.  She must have been about twelve and had the cutest riding outfits.  I was too shy to talk to her but secretly I thought she was the coolest girl in the world.

One day my Mum found a note in our mailbox that the girl had written just to say Hi.  She’d included a bag of lollies (that’s how awesome she was) but sadly, ants had destroyed them.  Lollies were my sole reason for existence back then but strangely enough, I didn’t care about the ants.  The coolest girl in the world had written me a letter!  ME!

The magical penpal seed had well and truly been planted.

Whenever my parents started new jobs after that I would pester them to try to find someone with a kid who would be my penpal.  For a little while I had a penpal in America and I swear I nearly screamed the house down with excitement whenever I found one of her letters in the mailbox.  When times were tough and I didn’t have a real penpal, I convinced my school friends that we should post each other letters even though we saw each other every day.  Yup, I was a complete and utter letter-writing geek.

So naturally when I heard about Foodie Penpals, I got pretty excited.  Some romances last forever.

Hosted by the amazing Lindsay over at The Lean Green Bean, Foodie Penpals had been largely an American party up until the Aussie/Kiwi contingent gate-crashed it this month.  Thank you for letting us join in the fun, Lindsay!

My package arrived from Samantha in Canberra last week and I could barely contain my excitement!  Samantha is not vegan so I knew it would be a bit of a challenge for her to find vegan options but she absolutely nailed it.  Check out that loot!!  Soooo spoilt!

I’m crazy about tea these days so I was thrilled with the herbal tea.  I also devoured the coconut water and the spicy broad beans.  Sesame snaps are one of my all-time favourite treats (how did she know??) and I’m a bit obsessed with quinoa salads, so they will all be put to good use.  But my absolute favourite item was the coconut chips!!  O.M.G. where have these dudes been hiding all my life??  They are sooooo good and I can just see myself adding them to absolutely everything when I find some in a store near me.  Nom.  Thank you so much, Samantha!


My package went to Emma in Gisborne, New Zealand, who sent me this photo when it arrived: 


Posting food to New Zealand is tough as they have some of the strictest quarantine laws in the world, so all my favourites (nuts, seeds, dried fruit, muesli bars) were out the question.  What else do vegans snack on??  Emma is diabetic so the food had to be low-carb as well.  Just in time I remembered the sugar-free vegan chocolate that my Mum always buys for me when I stay at her place.  Phew!  Chocolate for everyone!

Emma emailed to say she loved the biscuits most (yup, vegan and lowish-carb!  fist pump!) and that she has decided to go Vegetarian!  WHOOHOO!!  That news completely made my day.   You rock, Emma!

Want to join the party in August?  CLICK HERE to sign up.

Happy penpal sparkles, everyone!




20 Comments on Foodie Penpals Reveal

  1. Jia Ni
    July 31, 2012 at 6:25 pm (12 years ago)

    What a FUN idea!! All these food look absolutely YUMMO. And I think it’d be awesome to be able to just try products from different countries which we can’t find here! 😀 x

    • * Vegan Sparkles *
      August 1, 2012 at 4:13 pm (12 years ago)

      Absolutely! And even things that we haven’t tried before – like the coconut chips! Ohhhh, so so good. 🙂

    • * Vegan Sparkles *
      August 1, 2012 at 4:13 pm (12 years ago)

      Loved it, Gabby! I had a ball. 🙂

  2. Annette @ Wellness WA
    July 31, 2012 at 8:11 pm (12 years ago)

    Such a cute idea!!!!! And I loved reading your nerdy penpal story, haha!

    This one time when I was about 10-12 I got a chain letter saying I had to send 6 postcards to the last 6 people on the letter, and that I’d receive 25 postcards from around the world.

    I was so excited and wrote the postcards, but I didn’t receive any back so I was pretty sad at the time!


    • * Vegan Sparkles *
      August 1, 2012 at 4:12 pm (12 years ago)

      Ohhh, you poor girl – I completely feel your pain. I would have been crying to the postman! 😉

  3. Mariell @ HealthyPantz
    July 31, 2012 at 8:31 pm (12 years ago)

    I’m SO glad you got to participate!!! Agreed- penpals are really the best. 🙂

    • * Vegan Sparkles *
      August 1, 2012 at 4:11 pm (12 years ago)

      ME TOO and thank you SO MUCH for introducing me to the party, Mariell! I had a ball! 🙂

  4. Kristy
    August 1, 2012 at 2:39 am (12 years ago)

    It looks like you got spoiled! I love it!

    My school friends and I used to post letters to each other as well. As if seeing each other every single day wasn’t enough! 😉

    • * Vegan Sparkles *
      August 1, 2012 at 4:11 pm (12 years ago)

      haha, I’m so glad I wasn’t the only crazy one! 🙂

  5. Alaine @ My GF & DF Living
    August 1, 2012 at 5:18 am (12 years ago)

    This is such a cool idea! I have never heard of this before today. I definitely want to try it. So much fun.

    • * Vegan Sparkles *
      August 1, 2012 at 4:10 pm (12 years ago)

      Get on board, Alaine! It’s so much fun. 🙂

  6. Reia@TheCrueltyFreeReview
    August 1, 2012 at 6:35 am (12 years ago)

    It would be so much fun to get a surprise in the mail every month. Can you be matched with penpals from different countries?

    • * Vegan Sparkles *
      August 1, 2012 at 4:09 pm (12 years ago)

      I’m not sure but it doesn’t hurt to ask! 🙂

  7. Karen H
    August 1, 2012 at 9:40 am (12 years ago)

    Those coconut chips are yum! You can get them in Woolworths in the dried fruit section.

    • * Vegan Sparkles *
      August 1, 2012 at 4:09 pm (12 years ago)

      Ohhhhh!!! Thank you SO MUCH, Karen! I’m heading down there right now. I need to pace myself though – I can see this becoming a very dangerous habit! 😉

  8. Jade
    August 1, 2012 at 2:50 pm (12 years ago)

    Argh I’ve just read the blog and all I can see in the posts is that it’s only for Canadian and US residents! Am I just being really ditzy and not reading it right? I need more coffee to deal with this haha xx

    • * Vegan Sparkles *
      August 1, 2012 at 4:08 pm (12 years ago)

      haha, grab a coffee and then send Lindsay an email. The Aussie/Kiwi part opened in July so you can join now, YAY! 🙂 xx

      • Jade
        August 3, 2012 at 10:45 am (12 years ago)

        Done 🙂 I emailed her and I’m included for this month!! Can’t wait 😀

      • * Vegan Sparkles *
        August 6, 2012 at 10:11 am (12 years ago)

        WHOOHOO!! Great stuff! 🙂 xx