Monday, August 24, 2015

#mugswap15 a blessing in a box

Last year, a friend of mine participated in a mugswap and it looked amazing so I stalked the coordinator's Instagram for a year, waiting for the next one.  The swap works like this: you give the coordinator (Kim aka @cuppakim) information about yourself with your address.  Kim sends this information to one random person (this thing is international now but the majority are US participants).  Then you receive someone else's info.  And then you cyber pinky-swear that you will ship your box by Aug22nd.  You are also asked to donate a minimum of $5 to the adoption fund she has chosen for that year, in this case it is the Barnetts who are currently adopting 2 different kids from two different places at the same time.  Expensive.  So this year, I signed up during the first round of 50 extra spots (1300 spots where filled 2 days before!).  I had my swap partner sent to me that night.  

Her name was Kendra, and she is 15 years old.  My initial thought was : "do her parent's know she is doing this, and are they going to get mad when a random stranger that is 13 years older than her sends her a package?"  What I sent her:

Notebook and pencils because she started school soon, real bubblegum because she just got her braces off, sparkly nail polish because she is a teenager, hair ties to control her awesome head of curls, my favorite granola bar, and the amazing instant coffee my brother sends me on occasion, with a little note.  And of course, a cute mug!

I did my research; stalked her rarely used Instagram, looked at her Pinterest boards, and immediately went shopping.  Because Kyle is on a super light rotation this month and was getting home early enough to watch Myles while I went out on my own.  And you don't procrastinate when that sort of thing happens.  I had her box shipped out within a week.  

And then the waiting began.  Myles and I were stalking the mailman.  And I was checking the #mugswap15 hashtag every few minutes, to see what everyone was sending and to try and guess if maybe I could figure out who had me.  I totally didn't.  But if you need a pick-me-up/want to be reassured that there are still good people in the world, you should go look.  There is serious love being sent during the month of August.

Myles and I did some grocery shopping today, and when we pulled up, I got to scream: ITS HERE!!!

He may have then thrown the box off the steps as soon as these photos were taken.  

I took it inside, and locked myself in the back bedroom so I could open it undisturbed.  It was filled with beautifully wrapped things for me, and one for Myles, from a mother of teen girls named Connie.  

I loved that everything was individually wrapped so that every piece was a new surprise.  Completely worth the wait.  Little did I know, the heartfelt card would hold the biggest surprise of all.

Connie, you blessed my socks off.  I might have cried a little.  I am so excited that I get to be new e-friends with your whole family, because you all seem like truly beautiful people.  Thank you for making MY first mugswap so memorable!  I cannot wait to do this again next year!

clockwise from top left:  BodyShop mini spa set, WorldMarket pot holder, plastic measuring spoons, linen napkins, cozy aloe socks (I just threw away my old ones so these are perfect!), a stack of fun family recipes (in honor of Foodie Friday!), fabric coasters, 4-ink pen, pocket notebooks, a little dinosaur for Myles, and the white version of mug that I sent her daughter!

In total, the 2015 mugswap raised over $7000 for the adoption fund this year.  The Barnetts said that this completed the payments for the first child they are bringing home.  So awesome to be a part of this!  

Wednesday, August 5, 2015


creating : more bibs.  There is a bit of a baby boom happening in our circle of friends right now... So I broke out the sewing machine from its long hiatus.  I also picked up a cute yard of fabric on clearance last week and am thinking about trying to make my first piece of clothing soon.

wishlisting : since discovering that you can buy select colors in the Sensationail at home gel starter kit on Amazon for about $35 versus $50 in stores, I have been seriously considering this purchase.  Maybe.

hoping anticipating : I have followed @cuppakim on Instagram of a year waiting for this year's Mug Swap to start back up after seeing a friend participate last year.  And then I missed the sign up this weekend.  And then I just happened to check my IG right after she opened up 50 extra spots last night.  So I'm in!  This is similar to the #scarfament national gift swap I did last Christmas, I will send someone a mug and someone else will send me one... a way to make new "friends" and have fun.  This is also a fundraiser for a couple currently adopting 2 littles from overseas!

eating : I recently downloaded the Yummly app on my Kindle and so far I like it.  It found me this pork chop stroganoff recipe which was so easy and so amazing.  Next I plan on trying these chicken zucchini poppers.  Yum!

watching : We got rid of cable a couple of months ago.  But that hasn't stopped us from watching a show at a time via streaming services.  Currently, I have just started watching Lost (I put it off as long as I could...) while Kyle is at work.  We just finished getting caught up on Grimm together so will probably start back to SyFy's Defiance.

What are you currently up to?

As always, I am linking up with Anne and Jenna!  Go say hi!