Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The Big Reveal - Christmas in the County 2015

For the second year, I participated in the Christmas in the Country Blogger Exchange.  This is a fun gift exchange program organized by Laurie Link of Country LINKed, Jamie Rhoades of This Uncharted Rhoade, Kirby Lineback of 15009 Farm House and Lara Durben of My Other More Exciting Self.  The gift exchange is for agriculture bloggers and is a great opportunity to get to know other women in agriculture.

This year I received my "Secret Santa" gift from Lisa of Cow Spots and Tales.  She is from Minnesota and blogs about life on her family's century old dairy farm, running, and family.  (Which by the way, her family will be growing in the New Year, as her and her husband will be welcoming their first born in April!)

The Big Reveal - Christmas in the County 2015
My box of goodies from Lisa of Cow Spots and Tales as part of the
Christmas in the Country 2015 Gift Exchange

I had so much fun opening up my box of goodies from Lisa at the beginning of December.  She included a cute dairy cow Christmas card, snowman photo holder, homemade sauerkraut, a jar of Minnesota cranberry jelly, caramels and chapstick.

I have to admit, my favorite thing from the box was the jar of her homemade sauerkraut!  This fall Lisa and one of her friends made almost 90 pounds of sauerkraut!  This was the first time they used real fermenting crocks to make the sauerkraut in.  I don't know if it was their fermenting crocks, or the homegrown cabbage from Lisa's garden, or the Minnesota sauerkraut magic - but it was delicious!  As soon as I saw the sauerkraut I automatically started craving some of our pork brats.  So lucky for me, I just pulled some brats out of the freezer and we had brats and kraut later that week!

Besides receiving a gift, I also had a lot of fun making and sending a gift.  This year I was the "Secret Santa" for Leann from The Purple Martin.  Leann is from Missouri.  Her and her husband love the rodeo and just welcomed their first little cowboy to their family earlier this year.  They are also first time farmers and have dreams of making farming their livelihood.  I had a lot of fun making a wreath for them to hang up on the door of their new farmhouse.  I used some craft supplies that I had on hand and some I bought from the craft store, as well as some neat "accents" from one of my local gift shops to complete the wreath.  You'll have to check out Leann's blog to see the big reveal.

Do you participate in any "Secret Santa" or gift exchanges?  Remember to Comment for a Cause!

16 comments:

  1. Thank you Val for participating again this year! You received a wonderful gift from Lisa!
    Laurie - Country Link

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    1. Thanks for hosting the gift exchange Laurie!

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  2. What a fun Christmas swap. I love meeting new bloggers through swaps and I am doing one right now as a matter of fact so am anxious to find out who it is and what is on their wish list! What a great box of goodies!

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    1. They are always so much fun! Have fun with your new swap!

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  3. I think homemade gifts are the best! I also love how the ladies share treasures from our areas. Sauerkraut, that is thinking outside the crock.

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    1. I love homemade gifts. Yes, Lisa thought outside the "crock"!

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  4. I must say - I think that sauerkraut is the maybe one of the most usual gifts I've seen in the exchange - but it seems like she hit it right on as a great gift for you! Funny how that works out sometimes! I can't wait to see the wreath you sent to Leann as well, it sounds so cool! Thanks for participating and sharing again this year!

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    1. It was a hit and the first thing I opened out of the box! Thanks for hosting!

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  5. I love your gift from my good friend, Lisa - she is just the sweetest and I'm glad you are both connected now. :) When I read she sent you sauerkraut, I was a wee bit nervous about that but obviously Lisa knew exactly what she was doing! Looking forward to following your blog in 2016 and beyond, Val!

    Lara - My Other More Exciting Self

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    1. Thanks Lara! Sauerkraut wouldn't probably work for everyone but it was perfect for me!

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  6. Thanks Val! We love the wreath and it hangs happily on our door! :)

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  7. This looks like so much fun!! I love homemade sauerkraut. We had some at our Thanksgiving this year.

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    1. It was delicious! I'm going to look into getting a sauerkraut crock now after having Lisa's!

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  8. I agree that homemade gifts are the best. Would treasure that sauerkraut:)

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    1. I know you would :) If I find a sauerkraut crock and make my own this year I'll send you some!

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