Archive for August, 2012

August 28th, 2012

Back to school


Louis-Justin is starting school again tomorrow.


Do I really have a child who’s in the second grade already?!


Louis-Justin 08/2012


Well, apparently yes…


Does anyone else think that their kid is growing up too quickly?!

Posted under Life | 9 Comments
August 27th, 2012

Penpal of the Week #91


Good morning! I was up early so I’m already posting this week’s interview.


Please tell us about you!

Hello from Pennsylvania! My name is Samantha or Sam. I go by both equally. I’m 26, and I live with my husband, Greg, and our four legged “kids”. Greg and I have been married for a little over 5 years, but we have been together much longer. We met in a Yahoo chat room when I was just 14 or so, and we started dating when I was 17.


Samantha 1



I am a huge animal lover. I have 2 dogs and 8 cats. They can be a lot of work, but I love them all like crazy. I love dogs, but I’m definitely a cat person. Most of my animals came from rescue situations. A lot came from shelters while others came to me directly from bad situations.


Aside from penpalling, I like reading, writing, crafting, and drawing. I’m always working on some project or another. My general interests are pretty random. I love cupcakes, anything pink or sparkly, tattoos, and body piercings. I’m definitely a geek, and I adore Harry Potter and The Hunger Games. I’m also a huge fan of zombies, and I’m obsessed with all things Alice in Wonderland.


I have struggled with anxiety most of my life, and I’m not able to work at a regular job because of it. Instead, I’m currently working from home as a freelance writer. I’m also in the process of launching my own stationery and gift shop online: The Smiling Mailbox and The Smiling Mailbox on Facebook. I have trouble finding cutesy stationery where I live, so I figured, “Why not make my own?”.


Samantha 2

My husband and I at Niagara Falls.


Describe your personality in 10 words!

Loyal, Caring, Unique, Creative, Random, Worrier, Geeky, Compassionate, Tolerant, Open-Minded


How long have you been penpalling? How did you first start? Tell us about your first penpal!

I found my first penpal through a class project in third grade. Everyone in the class was assigned a penpal from a class in another state. My penpal was Emma, and we stayed in touch up through tenth grade or so. We lost contact for a while after that, but we have since reconnected on Facebook.


How many penpals do you have now and where are they from?

This question is a tricky one for me. For one thing, I’m not very organized. And for another, I’ve written to some new people lately, and I’m not sure how many will write back. As of this moment, I know for certain that I have three penpals here in the US.


Samantha 3

One of my beautiful cats, Zephyr.


What are your favorite topics to discuss in letters?

Almost everything! I’m not someone who is easy to offend. I’m an open book, and nothing is off limits. I really like writing about day to day life, relationships, hobbies, etc. The only topic that I tend to stay away from is politics simply because I’m not particularly educated on the subject.


What are you looking for in a penpal?

I love penpals I can make a real connection with. I find it so enjoyable to truly get to know someone through written letters. That being said, I am looking for someone who is willing to respond on a regular basis and take the time to write in-depth letters. I’m looking for more than just small talk about the weather. I adore reading (and writing!) long letters. I’m only interested in corresponding with people who are open and honest. While it isn’t necessary, I would also love to find a pal who is into making mail art.


Samantha 4

An envelope I’m getting ready to send out :)


What do you like the most about penpalling?

I really like the feeling I get when I open the mailbox and find a letter that was written especially for me. There is just something so special about someone taking the time to hand write a letter and mail it. Emails are great, but they just don’t have the same personal quality.


I also love knowing that I am sending something that is going to put a smile on someone else’s face. There is no greater feeling than spreading a little joy to someone.


In what language(s) do you correspond?

Unfortunately I am only able to read / write in English.


Samantha 5

Here is a sample of my writing, although it actually changes a bit from time to time.


What are some of your habits in regards to letter writing?

I usually lay in bed to write letters, but sometimes I sit on my front porch to write on nice evenings. I’m typically able to respond right away. Sometimes I mail out a reply the next day, but I almost always have one ready within a week. I have a tendency to ramble a bit, so my letters are usually pretty long.


My letters are usually written on some type of cute stationery. Right now, I’m working through a stash of kawaii-themed sheets. As I get more of my own stationery printed, I will most certainly be using it :) I don’t use colored pens very often because I find them difficult to read, but I do love to decorate with stickers.


Samantha 6

A sample of some of my cards.


Has anything strange/funny ever happened to you since you’ve been penpalling?

Unfortunately, no. Who wants to be my first strange experience? :) I’d love to receive something totally bizarre in my mailbox! I guess I have a bit of an odd sense of humor.


Have you met any of your penpals?

Sadly, I haven’t had a chance to meet anyone. I hope that changes in the future!


Are you currently looking for more penpals?

Absolutely! Especially if you are into mail art and / or writing long letters. My only other request is that I prefer female penpals. Please drop me a line at if you would like to write!


Thank you Sam! Best of luck to you on your new stationery venture!


And now my dear, faithful readers… I would love to interview YOU! If you’re interested in being featured on my blog as Penpal of the Week, please email me!


My name is Julie and I'm 37.
I'm French Canadian and fell
in love with an American,
so I'm now living in Vermont
with my wife.

I write letters, I love stationery and I have a handwriting fetish. I often eat sushi, still feel like I'm 16 and only wear skirts & dresses (with colorful tights when it's cold).

I'm happier with a mind full of ideas, a mailbox full of letters from my penpals, a shop full of stationery, a house full of pens and a day full of hugs.

Read my Top 10 Quirks here.

This is me with my wife,
Denise. We met through the
League of Extraordinary
Penpals and are living
happily ever after in the
Stationery Kingdom.

Denise blogs here too and is
the one in charge of the
social media: Facebook,
Twitter and Pinterest.

She's 40 years old,
from South Dakota,
and in love with me, washi
tape & imperial rolls.

Send your penpal ad & top 10 quirks to:

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