Handwritten Letter Love

There is something really special about getting REAL letters in the mailbox. If your mail stack looks anything like mine, you might get tired of Capital One and local dentists begging for your attention. I’m in marketing, so I get it. Those are actually thought-out efforts, but a letter! A real letter. That’s special. I decided it was a good weekend to begin a marketing effort of my own: more handwritten letters. I started with an envelope I received from a friend in a “junk swap.” (Sudden Blog Idea: “10 Ways to Know You’re Really 100 Years Old”). IMG_2996I used my 2-inch paper punch and popped these adorable circles from the Dear Lizzy Documentary collection stack I just got from Michaels for $6.99. Three cheers for Paper Hoarders – hip! hip! hooray! IMG_2994There is also something therapeutic about carefully punching out circles into a pile of beautiful paper.IMG_2991I folded my white cardstock into three before I started gluing anything down, so I wouldn’t end up pasting a circle on a fold, something I’ve learned from past experience.
IMG_2997I pasted down some circles in random little spots, and started my letter with my calligraphy marker, even though that’s an art I haven’t mastered. 
IMG_2998I didn’t take a photo of the actual letter I wrote, because it’s personal and raw, and that’s the point, right? I also ended up taking on this weird Jane Austen tone, and totally went with it, because again, why not? It was actually super fun using the word “whilst” in a completely serious way.IMG_2999The easiest was to dress up a letter with one extra little step is a little bit of washi tape. I had a friend send out Christmas cards with a little bit of washi, and upon seeing it in my mailbox, I immediately yelled OUT LOUD: “Who is this crafty person whose shit is this pulled together in the month of December?” I was impressed.IMG_2995I finished it up with my new little toy – The Lettermate – the most exciting $10 I’ve spent in a while. I saw it in Pinterest (of course) and had to have it. I tried it with a skinny black marker and I heeded their advice: start with all caps so you don’t have to worry about hanging letters, and they were right. Even my caps need a little bit of work. But HEY, again, the point is to share the love, so just do it your way.IMG_3001In this busy, crazy, techy world we live in, it’s nice to take a step back every now and then and do something really old fashioned. I hope you get a chance to write a handwritten note to someone you love.








Birthday Girl

I’m 28 now! I know everything! Just kidding. I still know nothing.

I had a really quiet birthday, and I realized that’s exactly the kind of birthday I need. If you know me well enough, you know I used to hate my birthday. So back up to three years ago when everything in my life that had just been falling apart…finally started to get better. I was 25 when I decided I wasn’t going to hate my birthday anymore. It’s just another year I get to be here, soaking up the love of my favorite people.

The exact moment I stopped hating my birthday: My 25th Birthday.
The exact moment I stopped hating my birthday: My 25th Birthday.

So now, here we are, three years later, and I’m so grateful for the way it’s all been playing out since then. I especially love that even though my perspective on my birthday has changed throughout my life, there is one person who has consistently made me feel truly special about it: my mom, of course.

Now that I have a child of my own, I GET IT. I totally get it. It’s just like the gap in my teeth. I’ve always hated the gap in between my two front teeth, and then I had Magical Maggie, who also has a gap in her teeth: a gap that takes my breath away and fills my heart with love every time she smiles. I get it now. Everything I do is magical to my mom.

So, what does a mom get her 28-year-old daughter who hates social situations that require her to put on pants, and only recently started liking her birthday? THIS.

My mom bought a beautiful binder, and filled it with the most magical pieces of paper.

“If you use these reciPIES, please put them back in alphabetical order,” says my elementary-school-aged Mom to her Mom, I assume, since I’m not sure how much cooking my uncles and grandpa did in the kitchen. I imagine the time she put into alphabetizing those recipes, and how proud she must have been of her work. I imagine my grandmother’s quiet smile of approval.


Just when I started to realize the amount of awesome that was about to ensue, I flip to pages of little hands and scribbles: Maggie’s hand, Ryan’s hand, and Kinsey’s hand. I immediately know I’ll pour over these pages when I’m older, when I’m missing Maggie, and her smallness.


She made copies of handwritten recipes from our family, including recipes in her handwriting that I remember looking at when I was a little girl. I immediately know I’ll pour over these pages when I’m older, when I’m missing my mom.


They weren’t all fancy, hence the permanent markered “Cheese Sauce” that has no title – I just know what it is by looking at the ingredients. Watch out, cauliflower, I’m comin’ to get you.

She even included this recipe, handwritten by our beloved Nick, and I know that I’ll make this recipe when I need the warmth of a familiar friend standing beside me, even if I can’t see him.

IMG_2778My new recipe book is a living, breathing book, filled with memories and spirits and ink that weighs on my heart in the most special way. I’m so grateful my mom thought I was worth the trouble – for the cookbook, for giving me life.

I don’t hate my birthday anymore.

Happy January, Y’all!

Happy New Year, Friends! It’s the best time of year for planner-obsessed people like me. It’s January, and that means it’s time for a fresh start. I managed to find some time in my favorite room in the house today. I opened the curtains and watched the cold rain fall, while I spread out out my 2016 planner goodies and made some plans for this year.

(Left) My 2015 Inkwell Press LiveWell Planner (Middle Left) My Erin Condren LifePlanner (Middle Right) My Whitney English Day Designer in Chloe Floral and (Right) My Erin Condren Address Book

For the past month or so, I’ve slowly been pulling useful information (birthdays, anniversaries, payments, goals, deadlines, etc.) from my 2015 Inkwell Press Planner and transferring over to my 2016 Whitney English Day Designer (detailed post coming soon about why I switched and how I plan to use it). But today, I spent some time with my 2016 Erin Condren LifePlanner and decided this is where would do my ListersGottaList, since I don’t have a whole lot of time to make an individual book per month.

2016 Erin Condren Planner in Watercolor Palette

If you haven’t heard of ListersGottaList, I’ll give you the two-second version: Cori, aka TheResetGirl loves lists, and she creates daily prompts so you can create your own lists. I’ve been following #listersgottalist for quite some time now, and it’s so much fun watching people create beautifully ornate lists on a daily basis. It’s also fun to see other people like me who have enough energy and time to make the simplest list, like the ones below, and that’s okay too. It’s a perfect, non-intimidating way to journal your life. I LOVE that!

My first two ListersGottaList for 2016

As much as I love a big, blank canvas to play on, most days, I only have enough time to jot down something simple anyway. Bonus: If your sticker bucket is as ridiculous as mine, then you need all the help you can get dwindling that down anyway.


I have so much to be thankful for, and I’m planning for a great year ahead. Keep an eye out for more frequent posts, now that I’m not cutting off body parts any time soon. (Mastectomy joke, see what I did there?)

I hope you’ve had time to sit back and reflect on 2015, and plan for an even greater 2016 like I have. Happy New Year, everyone!