The Bee Reveal

The holidays may be over but I’m not done celebrating. During the last several Christmas seasons, I’ve participated in a gift exchange with fellow bloggers from across the U.S. This year was unique in that I assisted in coordinating this year’s exchange, The Country Christmas Connection. My partner in crime is Darleen Sichley from Oregon. In our first year of the exchange, I had the pleasure of serving as her Secret Blogger. You can read the background here.

Let’s get the party started

Its time to reveal this year’s Secret Santa (blogger). Our matchmaker elf did a fabulous job in making our connection. Meet Erin Mullins, who happens to be a rockstar in the bee world and person I’ve admired for some time because of her dedication to pollinator education. She is a native of Missouri and grew up on a small farm, participating in 4H and FFA. Several years ago she became interested in bees. While she spends her days as a nurse in a monastery, Erin enjoys photography, quilting, baking and beekeeping, to name a few. All topics we both appreciate as hobbies. In 2014, she served as Missouri’s Honey Princess, followed by Honey Queen in 2015. This past fall she was honored with the designation of the 2016 Missouri State Beekeeper of the Year. Not too shabby! I’m especially impressed with her dedication to sharing the bee story in schools, organizations and at the Missouri State Fair. This all lays the groundwork for her amazing gifts.
With the help of my nosy friend (cat at top of photo), when I opened my package I found an item which has been on my wish list (unknown to Erin) – this lovely print of a Jersey heifer. I haven’t named her yet but she’s already become a main feature in our kitchen.
Next, I couldn’t believe my wandering eyes! The box was full of so many goodies. One of the questions we asked participants was to name an item you would love to have but never purchase for yourself. My item is those super cute boot cuffs (which match my grey boots to a T)! Thank you, thank you, Erin!
Erin gifted an assortment of beef snack sticks (yum!!), honey from her bees, home made peach-honey butter (heavenly) and oat and honey lotion, with honey straight from her hives!
 Many believe that consuming ‘local’ honey assists with allergies. While this claim is highly debated, I can tell you honey from different locations tastes differently – tried and true from the Schweigert kitchen. We’ve recently been using honey from North Dakota, a golf course and Germany (yes, Germany!). Sadly, all of those are either gone or nearly so. Before Christmas, we were scoping out our next flavor/location. Erin’s Missouri based honey was a welcomed sight. What’s more, she included home made peach-honey butter which we enjoyed during our Christmas day brunch.
I would be remise to not mention the honey and oatmeal lotion and creme brûlée handcrafted soap. Both items are created by the Benedictine Sisters, where Erin is employed as a nurse. I highly recommend these products – both can be found under the label, Monastery Scents or at The scent of the soap is a-mazing. I’m fascinated by the wax stamps they’ve used to adhere the label to the soap. As a young girl, I often used my great-grandparents’ wax and stamps to seal letters. A lost art that I intend to share with my boys very soon.
I have been so impressed by Erin’s work as my Secret Blogger. She worked magic, capturing details and creating a gift full of greatness. I’m anxious to learn more about Erin and nurturing our new connection!
Want to see more of this year’s connections? Visit our An InLinkz Link-up to see all of the goodness!

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  1. Jens,
    How fun for Erin to send you honey and something on your “wish list.” Looks like she did a great job making your gift special!

    Thank You for all your work co-hosting the Country Christmas Connection. Job well done and I hope you and Darleen decide to do it again.

    • No problem at all! I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed the exchange. Its been such a neat experience for Darleen and I…we do already have plans for next year. 🙂

  2. Erin Mullins says:

    I’m really glad you enjoyed your gifts!! Thanks again for hosting.


    • Thank YOU! We have thoroughly enjoyed the honey! The kids spent the night with gramma and they were bringing her up-to-speed on you, the varying flavors of honey due to location, types of plants, etc… We might need a road trip this summer so we can see your hives!

  3. What a perfect combo in your gift! I have soap and honey envy. And that Jersey! So perfect! Thanks again for joining me in this fun! 😉
    Happy New Year!

    • Erin really did a knock-out job on my gift and you were smart to pair us. 😉 Thank you for another successful year! xoxo

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