I think Secret Santas are cool. Being a Secret Santa gives you the opportunity to do something special for someone other than your loved ones. And as a person who enjoys giving, this is right down my alley. So, when I saw that Social Fabric was hosting a virtual gift exchange, I jumped the opportunity to sign up. This was my first year participating, but I'm already looking forward to signing up again next year! Now on to my virtual gift recipient.
Meet Elizabeth aka Libby from Libby's Library!
I'm actually excited that I got selected to be Libby's Secret Santa because we actually have a lot in common. For starters, we're both named Elizabeth. She's also a wife and mother like me. She has 10 children and 18 grandchildren. I come from a big family. So, 10 kids doesn't really seem like a lot to me.
Honestly, if the Mr and I win the lottery, we might revisit adding more kids after our third. The amazing part is that Libby has given birth to a few of her children naturally seeing as to how she didn't quite make it to the hospital in time.
We both love tweeting (follow her on Twitter @LibbysLibrary). Seriously, if you're like me and love giveaways, reading product reviews and craft related posts, then you'll definitely want to check out her Twitter timeline. She stays up to date on all the best giveaways, reviews and I've found more than one cute holiday craft tutorial since following her. While we're on the subject of crafting, she likes to do that too just like me. She's really into making jewelry and tutus.
Now, I really knew Libby was a woman after my own heart when I discovered that she likes to cook! Y'all know I love food and I enjoy cooking it and being in the kitchen.
She is too sweet because she shared a picture recipe of her homemade spaghetti meat sauce recipe using Pompeian Olive Oil. Now, I like to make my spaghetti sauce from scratch too. If you follow me on Instagram, you've seen more than one picture of my famous sauce. However, you won't get my recipe or any pictures of my secret ingredients. So, hats off to Libby for revealing her recipe!
Needless to say, she's also a blogger like me. I recently read her review for Standzout and now I'm talking the Mr into getting us one. If you have an iPad, you'll definitely want to check out her review and see what Standzout is all about.
She enjoys reading! I imagine that like me her night stand must have pretty decent stack of books on it. I'd love to swap book recommendations with her. Most likely though, we've probably read a lot of the same books since we're so similar.
She's a fellow dog lover. She has 4 adorable fur babies! And she's not shy about getting creative with their names either. There's George Henry Lester the Fawn Pug, Gracie Lou Freebrush the Carolina Dog, Gung Poe Wigglebutt (my favorite) the Black Pug and her service dog Gabriel Guardian Angel the Plott Hound/Wemaraner.
I have to admit that I am slightly jealous because due to the kids' allergies, I can no longer have dogs. And this girl who's always had a dog that is just heartbreaking. Thankfully, I can live vicariously through fellow dog lovers like Libby and just adore their pooches from the safety of my computer screen.
Other interesting facts about Libby is that she's from Baton Rouge, LA! That's close to NOLA and y'all know I love me some NOLA. I love Louisiana period because the soul food and sea food there no matter what city you stop in is just heaven on a plate. No wonder Libby enjoys cooking.
O Negative. If you don't know, people with O Negative blood type are very unique in that their blood type is compatible with other blood types but they can only accept blood transfusions from another O Negative donor. She's a hard worker. She's worked in home sales, been substitute teacher (another thing we have in common), served as office manager (me too) and is currently a writer/blogger (again me too!).
Her family motto is: What doesn't kill us...makes us stronger. And let me tell ya, Libby is strong. She suffers from severe food allergies (y'all know that I know all about these with the kiddies), Reynauds Disease, Hypo-Thyroidism, Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. Lord bless your heart Libby. You're really going through, but still you keep so positive.
I know it's difficult and that you probably have your days where you wish you could snap your fingers and make it all go away. My children suffer from severe allergies, asthma and a few other things and it just kills me sometimes when I have to watch them battle it all. Life can be really unfair sometimes. However, I love that you have not let any of your health issues get you down.
Libby says that she has "chosen Joy over Sorrow.. an Attitude of Gratitude and instead of living with a woe is me mentality, I try to look at hardships, as a way to learn and grow." Well, I take my hat off to you.
I've learned so much from Libby after spying on her via her blog and social media sites these past few weeks. She's truly an inspiration. And the one thing she wrote that stood out to me most was "I live, love, and laugh as much as possible." Well, with the New Year upon us, I am going to try my best to adopt this as mantra for 2014. Libby has inspired me to not let all the negative things steal my joy. I too refuse to live a life of sorrow, but to set a better example of making lemonade out of lemons for my children. Thank you!
If you want to get to know Libby, here's where you can find her hanging out at:
Blog: Libby's Library
Check out some other Secret Santas writing about their virtual gift recipients in the linky below.