Monday, July 28, 2014

Penpal of the Week #140


Hello! It’s a cold and rainy day here in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, which makes me want to curl up on the couch and watch 5 episodes of Mad Men. But I’ll be nice and post this week’s penpal interview instead.


Please tell us about you!

Lisa Smith, 48 living in Philadelphia, PA since I was 11, moved from New York but I still consider myself a New Yorker sometimes. Married almost 25 years, mom to two kids, 3 fur kids and 1 bonus kid.



Facebook: Lisa Gerardi Smith


Lisa 1

Lisa and Hubby Phil color coordinated.


Describe your personality in 10 words!

old fashioned


Lisa 2

I’m Italian American.


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

Since I was 12, my grandmother was technically my first pen pal until I was 15 got my first official pal from Maine, she and I wrote faithfully every week until up to a few years ago when she went all email on me, got my second official pal when I was 17 and we still write today.


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

Approximately 50, hard to keep a firm number because everyone writes at their own pace so I may not hear from them for a while, but it helps me manage. They are from all over the world which is a dream because I won’t get there in person, so not only am I making friends but I’m learning about these places.


All of my pals get my full attention when I’m reading and replying to their letter.


What are your favorite topics to discuss in letters?

Anything that keeps us going back and forth with a fun correspondence, I don’t even mind the touchy subjects one on one because we can discuss among ourselves without fear of hurting someone’s feelings.


Lisa 3

Kids PJ & Christy, bonus kid Stephanie.


What are you looking for in a penpal?

Someone who enjoys chatty letters that are a combination of lightheartedness and seriousness when the situation is there, supportive and loyal, someone who is excited to get my letter and reply. Someone responsive who opens up and considers me a friend and one that I can consider a friend. Humor and sarcasm and someone who doesn’t get offended or take things personally, who is honest and wants honesty.


What do you like the most about penpalling?

The sense of friendship coming from all over, even though technically we haven’t met, I feel like we know each other and share our love of letters, stationery, pens, stickers and all the goodies.


In what language(s) do you correspond?

English and sarcasm :)


Lisa 4

My first tattoo.


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

I like to read my letters at the end of my day when I can sit down with a drink and enjoy each visit, I have a comfy chair that I do both reading and writing unless I type from my computer.


I type sometimes to pals who have a little trouble reading my swirly penmanship, it’s no bother I’d rather know and make it easier and not lose a friend, they are always personally written for each person, no copy/paste.


I usually answer within 3-4 weeks sometimes sooner for US pals, longer only in the event that I am physically unable to write, in which case I will certainly let my friends know that I will be delayed. I don’t like to wait too long yet not reply too quickly as to bore my friend and give time to have something to write about, and I don’t hold anyone to a time, as long as I hear from my pals I’m happy.


My letters can go from 2-20+ depending on the letter I’m answering and my chatty mood.


Lisa 5

Sample of my handwriting.


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

My pen pals have enabled my Wizard of Oz addiction to where I’m almost needing an intervention, some of them have sent me the most wonderful things, stuffed animals, dolls, stickers, bookmarks, collectibles. That touches me so much because they went out of their way to get somethng they know I love.


Strange and unusual have been very few and I’m lucky.


Have you met any of your penpals?

Met my first pal in 1993, she was on her honeymoon and was nearby, so her and her new husband came to hang out! We ate chinese food and had a great time, just like a relative I hadn’t seen in a long time. I’m the one on the right.


Lisa 6

Deb and Lisa – my pen pal meeting.


Are you currently looking for more penpals?

I am not searching at the moment but that doesn’t mean a compelling intro won’t interest me, I reply to everyone in a reasonable time frame.


Thank you Lisa!


I’m looking for other people who would like to be featured as Penpal of the Week on the blog in the next few weeks. Are you interested? Please email me!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Weekly Recap


In my utopian state no day goes by without the opportunity to eat imperial rolls and sushi. However, in reality, I am grateful for the chance to ingest my favorites more like every week or two. This week was banner because I did eat both.


On Tuesday, Julie and I went into the city and we ate sushi. Sushi is really her favorite, but she’s my favorite. And so now her favorite is also a favorite of mine. Makes sense, right? After the sushi we went to watch a series of short films. On Thursday we had reason to celebrate, so we reveled in imperial rolls for lunch. Our week also involved preparing for a big SOTW sale, as well as dreaming & planning for fun things coming to PPOTW in August and September.


And since I know you’ve been really curious about what TV series we started since we finished OITNB, I wanted you to know that we are a couple episodes into the first season of Mad Men. I have actually watched this series before, but I love it so much that I’m really happy to be watching it again. There are times where it’s hard for me to focus on the actual story because I’m swooning over every little detail in the costume and visual style of this 60s set show.



On the Blog:

Monday’s Penpal of the Week was Ellen in Virginia. One of the really neat things about Ellen is that she had a vintage love letter themed wedding. She enjoys the friendships made through the exchange of letters. Get to know more about Ellen.


Tuesday’s post was a penpal ad featuring Kelly in the UK. Kelly is learning French and is looking for a penpal who can correspond in French with her. She lives in London, got married in Vegas & has family in the Caribbean. Get to Kelly here.


On Wednesday, I wrote about what it’s like to live in the Stationery Kingdom. If you’re like me and you appreciate the smell of paper you will want to read about being surrounded by so much paper happiness.


We surprised you on Thursday! Instead of revealing a new SOTW, we made it possible for you to purchase all the #1 – #14 stationery packs. This is a limited time offer, and we have already ran out of some. Don’t miss this opportunity, these packs will only be available until Wednesday.


Friday’s penpal ad was so beautiful, look at the peacock loveliness from Penelope! She is a collector of postcards, stamps and words. Penelope is looking for more penpals, perhaps you could be one!


Julie and I are quite different, yet we have some weird things in common. Julie hand wrote Saturday’s blog post, Made for each other. You can read 10 interesting things about us here.


And just like that, now you know what happened in our week. I’d say for me, the highlight was the sushi. What about you, what was the highlight of your week?

Posted under Weekly Recaps | 2 Comments


My name is Julie and I'm 34.
I live in Québec (close to Montréal) and I speak French.

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 cats and a day full of hugs.

Read my Top 10 Quirks here.

This is me with my girlfriend,
Denise. We met through the
League of Extraordinary
Penpals and are living
happily ever after amongst
piles of cats and stationery.

Denise will blog here
from time to time and is
the one in charge of the
social media: Facebook,
Twitter and Pinterest.

She's 38 years old,
from the United States,
and in love with me, washi
tape & imperial rolls.

Send your penpal ad & top 10 quirks to:

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