art, mail, and more

I like to make mail when I procrastinate.  I know there are exams to study for, but I’d much rather make something fun for my pen pals in New York and Denmark.

Here’s something that I sent to Iben.  This is my first letter to her, so I wanted to make a good impression.   I thought a calming blue would be nice to send off.  It seems like she’s been having a hard time lately, so maybe this will cheer her up!


The next one is for Jessie in the Bronx.  I got the idea for her letter from something a penpal sent me.  You basically tape flashcards together and fold them like an accordion.  I embellished, of course, so it would look a little nicer.  I really like how this comes out– it’s easy to make but looks oh-so-cool!


Both of them have a little package in which I placed tea, some stickers, and stamp cut-outs.  I hope they both enjoy the mail… it’ll be a nice surprise right before the holidays.

Right now, I’m working on a letter to a pen pal in Chicago.  I’m almost done putting everything together– I just want to decorate things a bit.  Because she’s an artsy person I wanted to include something nice, and because I was procrastinating I made plenty of time to complete this piece of art.


I’m proud of it!  I used to do things like this when I played around with my visual journal.  I’m thinking I should start it up again– it’s so much fun.  It can be hard to make something when you’re faced with a blank page, and in the process I always feel like it needs something “more”… but then, BAM!  I get an idea and it really takes off.  I like being able to send things like this. I think I’ll do it more often.

I also got a bit of mail myself.  This beautiful card (with a 3-page addendum)  was sent from my cousin.  I love the bird stationary!  It was a bit unexpected and so sweet of her… it really made my day.


Exams are almost finished… I only have one more tomorrow morning, then I’ll be off!  I can hardly wait to go home and see my family.  This week has been pretty stressful, but there have been a lot of good things to balance it out.

How are all of you?  What are you looking forward to this week?



they miss me!

In October, I took part in a program that made me into a counselor.  I missed a week of class, was surrounded by lakes and mountains, slept in a cabin, did not have access to phones or the internet… it was one of the most amazing weeks of the semester.

As a counselor, I was tasked not only with teaching, but also with looking after 8 girls who slept in my cabin. I recently picked up some letters they wrote me, and they were incredibly sweet!  (By the way, my nature name for that week was Thyme.  Cute, no?)

one of the many things included in my letter bundle
one of the many things included in my letter bundle

Nothing boosts your self esteem like a bunch of little girls telling you how nice, kind, or pretty you are.  Although there were a lot of sad faces with tears on their letters… I guess they really wanted to break my heart?  Seriously, though, I miss them a bunch and I’m planning on writing them back.  I can have my letters sent to their school to be distributed… Hopefully it’ll make them smile!

PostcrossingI received this lovely postcard from China.  It’s the first time something from anywhere but Russia or Germany has been sent to me, so I was really excited to see it!  Hopefully I’ll be getting more cards from around the world.

In other news, my roommates and I held a secret santa last night.  It was so much fun!  I wish I had taken pictures of the gift I gave, because I was pretty proud of it.  It’s nice opening a gift made of a lot of little things, and my friend definitely seemed to agree with me.  In the end, she had tea, chocolate, candles, and a handmade booklet full of quotes to inspire her.

My gift was a thoughtful basket full of delicious candles, lotions, and a jar full of sweet notes.  I could tell my friend put a lot of time into it!

Overall I’ve had a good week.  What about all of you?



this past week

Hi, everyone!

It’s been busy!  Exams, essays… well, that’s pretty much been it.  But it gets so stressful towards the end of the semester– you’re looking forward to going home, but first you have to push past the final three weeks of cumulative tests.

Even so, there have been some sweet moments in my week.  While I was studying in the library the other day, I met an old friend of mine I hadn’t seen in a while.  We both picked an extremely obscure corner, surrounded by books and away from people, so it’s strange (but wonderful!) that we found each other!  Then only three days later, I found another old friend– one who stopped me and made plans to go to a movie.  Those connections really brightened my day.

I went to Barns and Nobles later in the week and bought a book I’m really loving:  How to Think like Sherlock Holmes by Maria Konnikova.  It has tips on being more observant and mindful so we can be more like Holmes than Watson.  So far it’s really interesting.  I wonder if I can hone my mind like the great detective?

Another lovely thing: I found two letters in my mailbox on Sunday!  One from a Christmas swap and another from my pen pal.  I was so happy to see both of them.  Overall I received tea, some crafting things, and even a pretty silver bracelet.  It made my day.  An e-mail a day later told me I have some mail from my campers…  I looked after them when I was a counselor a few short weeks ago.  I can pick up the letters tomorrow!  I spent almost a straight week with them, so when they left I couldn’t help but cry… I’m happy they sent me something.

From my pen pal- filled with lots of goodies!
From my pen pal- filled with lots of goodies!

Now for a kind of embarrassing thing: I set off the fire alarm.  Twice.  Two nights in a row.  We managed to get the alarm to stop by opening windows and batting at the air with pillows for circulation…  I’m glad no one’s called to ask what we’re doing!  My friends must think I have some sinister stuff going on.

As for today, I have my little act of kindness planned: there’s a certain class that only meets on Tuesdays, and today is our last lesson.  I’m bringing a card and little bag of candy to my teacher.  She’s been incredibly inspirational throughout this semester and because of her class, I now know that teaching is definitely the career I want to get into.

I like to make little goodie bags tied with ribbon and a bell... I hand them out before Christmas!  These are for my teacher and TA.
I like to make little goodie bags tied with ribbon and a bell… I hand them out before Christmas! These are for my teacher and TA.

Wow!  I had originally thought there wouldn’t be much to talk about, but this just goes to show me… even if I don’t think life has been particularly extraordinary, it probably has been in subtler ways.

I hope you all have a lovely day!



a great week

This last week was absolutely lovely, filled to the brim with little moments for me to rejoice in.  From visiting the beach to shopping with my rarely-seen family, I had a beautiful break.

The beach is one of my favorite places to be, and I miss it terribly every time I’m away.  Asking my dad to take me to the boardwalk should have been unsuccessful– it was cold and raining, so I thought he would put it off until winter break.  Surprisingly, he jumped right up and took me without comment or complaint, finding me his huge, yellow, waterproof fishing jacket and shuffling to the car in no time at all.


In little moments like that I remember how loving my father is– not so much in words, but certainly in actions.  And at the boardwalk, we encountered a few other silly people who decided rainy weather is the best weather to walk in– one who kindly took our photo and another who stopped us for a little chat.

Thanksgiving day was nice, too.  My uncle set aside a vegan batch of Chinese noodles for me… surprising, since I was told to bring my own food (corn chowder– it got many compliments!).  I’m incredibly grateful my family is accommodating of my veganism– they ask the stereotypical questions but never in a judging way, and are always willing to hear what I have to say.  A few of them even tell me how they’re cutting down on meat due to my influence– a trend I’m happy I started.

There are too many moments for me to recount, with friends I haven’t seen in months and little happenings with my family, so suffice it to say my trip back home was refreshing.  I hope the past week has been as lovely for all of you!

Coming back to uni, I was excited to check the mailbox– I spent a week away from home, so surely I had some letters waiting for me!  I did get a little something, as well as a lovely package from a Christmas exchange.  The letter was from Ary in the Dominican Republic– she was my partner for the Snail Mail Ideas swap!  I had given up hope of receiving anything, but it seems it just took a long time for the letter to be delivered (about 25 days… wow!).


The Christmas package was via The Postal Society, and it’s so pretty I haven’t finished opening it yet.  To be completely honest, I’m afraid to mess it up!  It’s simple and classy, two things I’d like to emulate for my next swap.

Her present was beautifully wrapped in black paper with a bright flower glued on top!
The package waw arranged so artfully!  Twine, candy, a stocking filled with ribbon, a wax and a seal with my initial,  and sparkling red and green clothespins.
The package was arranged so artfully! Twine, candy, a stocking filled with ribbon, wax and a seal with my initial, and sparkling red and green clothespins.
This is how I want to wrap packages for the rest of ever.

One last thing that made my weekend- I visited Barns and Noble and found three magazines that are so completely in line with my interests, I’m annoyed I’ve never seen them before.


Flow is a magazine for paper lovers, filled with fun and practical articles on everyday life.  It’s extremely cute and I know I’m going to cut things out to add to my mail.   This particular edition contained a small “happiness journal” and a sample of 4 huge pieces of beautiful paper to craft with.

The Indie Chick is a magazine for the self-empowerment of women and has articles I actually want to read, as well as pictures of real women instead of perfect, photoshopped models.  I don’t think I’ve enjoyed so a magazine so much in a long, long time.


Finally, Bella Grace, a beautiful publication with amazing photography and essay-like writing is focused on capturing magic in an authentic life.  It’s extremely inspirational and so pretty to look at!  How lucky am I to have found all three of these delightful magazines at random?


That was my week!  I don’t think I’ve been so relaxed and content in a long time.  Although finals are coming up, I’ve got an “I can conquer all!” feeling.  How was your week?



stationary, outgoing mail, and great news

I have a lot to talk about today!

I finally finished my letter for Stefany.  I’ll be sending it off a little later.  There is many a quote, a (disorganized) letter, stickers, and spiced chai tea.  Hopefully it’ll get to her soon!

Stefany Pham Nov 22

Yesterday I visited a local stationary store.  It has so many cute things, and if I had the money I would buy much, much more.  Even without lots of cash, I sill managed to find postcards, a pack of matchbox stickers, and a huge sheet of label stickers.  The postcards look fantastic-  I’m a bit fan of those from the John Derian Company.  All in all, I’m happy with everything I found.

Postcard Haul 1Postcard Haul 2StickersStickers 2

Other than that, I have great news:  I’m going to Ecuador this summer!  I am so incredibly excited and grateful that I was accepted into the program.  This past week has been awful in terms of suspenseful waiting– it took more than a week for me to get an answer after that initial interview.  Now I know for sure I’ll be teaching this summer and I couldn’t be happier.  In a little over half a year, I’ll have a teaching certificate in English as a Second Language, not to mention a lot of first-hand experience, and I’ll only be 20!  My friend and I are are already brainstorming things to do when we get there.

Now I’m getting ready for my first visit home since late August.  Seeing my family again will be wonderful…  Last time this year I was fine, but I recently started getting homesick– quite unusual for me.  I’ll have one lovely week to see and talk to everyone and I’m ready to make the most of it.

What are you doing this weekend?  Whatever it is, I hope it’s fun (and just as great as you)!



incoming mail and sweet treats

Hi everyone!

Yesterday I received some mail from Stefany, a young German woman from Snail Mail Ideas.  I was the one who sent her an initial letter and she didn’t have to send anything back, but I’m really glad she did.  I never ended up getting mail from whoever was paired with me (maybe it was lost?  something went wrong?) so I was a bit disheartened.

Her mail really cheered me up!  It was so absolutely cute and I couldn’t stop smiling when I opened it.  Her handwriting is adorable and the card itself was very creative.  She included tea, a sweet letter, and a little wrapped package with some paper crafting things.  I absolutely love it!

StefanyLetter1 StefanyLetter2 StefanyLetter3

I’m working on a response already and I’ll send that out later.  I’m trying to go for a reddish theme… I like color-themed letters but don’t have the hang of it just yet.

In other news, I baked today!  I tutor two young girls on Thursdays and promised I would bring some treats along, since this is the last session before break.  I made cupcakes for one and cookies for the other… hopefully they’ll like them.  They’re both vegan, and even though I used completely new recipes, everything was delicious!  The cookies are buttery from coconut oil and the cupcakes smell so sweet and chocolatey… yum!

CupcakesNov20.2 CookiesNov20

Hope all of you are having a wonderful day!



my day & some postcards

Something sweet:  Yesterday on the bus, a young woman apologized to me for having to squeeze in so close.  It gets so crowded around 3:30 that it’s impossible not to be in someone’s space, but I don’t mind.  We all have to deal with that at some point, so there’s no use in getting grumpy about it.  Anyway, we got off at the same place, and she ended up asking my name, which led to a short conversation…  We went our separate ways, but I know we’ll definitely talk if we see each other again.  I thought it was really interesting how that worked out– I don’t usually meet such friendly people on public transportation!

Other things:

I’m sending out two Postcrossing cards today.  The first is a movie still (Creature from the Black Lagoon), while the other I found at MissHoneyBird‘s Etsy shop.  One’s headed to Russia, the other to Germany… I hope they’re delivered sometime soon!

Postcrossing Postcard 2 Postcrossing Postcard

Later today I’ll be headed out to lunch with a friend… she’s going to give me a few tips for an interview that will follow this afternoon.  If I do well, I’ll be accepted into a program that would basically allow me to teach English in Ecuador for six weeks.  At the end of the course, I would earn a Teaching English as a Second Language certificate!  It’s a bit nerve-wracking… I primarily want to be an English as a Second/Foreign Language teacher, so having this experience under my belt would be amazing!  Wish me luck?

Hope you’re having a wonderful day!