It's hard to believe that August is coming to a close, and that Fall is just around the corner. The weather here in Minnesota makes it a little more believable - it's been unseasonably chilly the last few days.
I'm torn - Fall is my favorite season. Bonfires. Sweatshirts. Crunchy Fall leaves. But Fall also means my return to work. I feel like I didn't fully enjoy the Summer. It went so fast preparing for Britta, and then recovering after having Britta and finding our groove as a family of four. And just like that, it's Fall.
This Spring I did something I had never done before - a blogger exchange. Read about the experience here. I was a little hesitant to participate at first because I don't really feel like a "real" blogger. I follow some awesome, creative bloggers who post regularly, take and share awesome pictures, and host giveaways and sponsored posts. I wasn't sure I could do an exchange justice. But after some convincing, I decided I'd give it a try. I'm so glad I did! It was a lot of fun to get to know some other mama bloggers, and to give and receive fun care packages.
So when Jess approached me to take part in a Fall Blogger Exchange, I knew I wanted to participate. I may have been a little crazy to jump in so soon after Britta was born, but I knew I could make it work. Granted, I was a bit late in responding to e-mails, and sending out the package, but I think I managed okay given a brand new baby.
The way the exchange works is that each blogger is matched with another blogger. Everyone then puts together a care package to send to their "buddy."
This time around I was paired with Leslie and her sweetie pie little girl Mila. I wasn't following Leslie's blog prior to the exchange, so it was fun to "meet" someone new. To get to know one another a bit, we sent a few e-mails back and forth, and checked out one another's blogs. Leslie and her family seem so sweet, and I was happy to be paired with them!
Armed with a bit of information about Leslie and Mila, my family set off to do some shopping! Although I thought Jeromy might drag his feet a bit (he has a tendency to get impatient with extended shopping, and me being indecisive), it was actually great. He had some good ideas, and got into it almost as much as I did! All three of us had fun thinking of fun things that Mila would enjoy.
Here's a peek at what we chose (complete with a Linnea drawing). Hop on over to Leslie's blog to get the full report...
We received our package right before Linnea's birthday (which I think made it extra fun and exciting for Linnea). It's really cool because especially since this is our second exchange, I think Linnea really "get it." She knew that when we were shopping for Mila, the gifts weren't for her (even though she would have liked to have the things we chose). Then when our package came, she understood that these gifts were from the "little girl" we sent gifts to. So fun!
Leslie was awesome and wrapped and labeled all the gifts - most for Linnea, but some for me and Britta too! Linnea was THRILLED that some of the gifts were wrapped in birthday wrapping paper. She didn't waste any time to dig right in!
First up was a Frozen notepad. For a girl who loves Frozen, and is always wanting to color or do stickers, this was well received.
Next came a Minions art pack - coloring book, crayons, and stickers. My camera wasn't fast enough to get her initial reaction. She LOVES Minions, so she had a huge smile and a little cackle laugh too. She thinks they are so funny! (Sidenote: when she dug into this one, she literally paged through the whole coloring book and admired each picture. Each page made her throw her head back and belly laugh. She then showed me every page with a comment like, "Mama! Look at them. So funny."
Also, mamas - have you discovered these little packs? They are the best. Perfect for purses/diaper bags. They are a great size and have everything you need to keep your little occupied.
This next one is probably the pick of the box - for me and Linnea. It's a magnetic "paper doll" Elsa. Basically a little wooden Elsa (like a paper doll) with different magnetic outfits to dress her in. Funny thing - we bought Linnea a larger set like this as a "big sister gift" from Britta. Linnea loves it, but it's too big to travel with. This one is awesome because it is easy to throw in my purse to take with us. (Do you sense a theme? Ha ha ha. Now with Britta I am always in need of having things with me to keep Linnea occupied as needed.) This doll came in handy right away when we needed to go out of town that weekend for Jeromy's cousin's funeral. Elsa did a great job keeping Linnea quiet and busy during the service. WIN!
Finally, Linnea got a fun mermaid canvas to color. She was so excited to dig in to this one! Girlfriend loves art.
Not pictured, but equally well received were an adorable outfit for Britta, and a super cute notepad set for me.
We had a lot of fun with this exchange! Thanks, Leslie and Mila for being great "buddies." It's such a cool experience to get to know people in this unique way.
Just in case you were curious, here's a full list of mamas who participated in the exchange:
Amy at Keeping Up with the Smiths
Jess at The Newly
Ashley at Words about Waverly
Sara at Running from the Law
Alisha at Simple Luxury
Bekah at I Prefer My Puns Intended
Jess at Secrets of a Stay at Home Mom
Leslie at This is for Keeps
Becky (me) at B Happy in Today