Saturday, May 9, 2015


Hello friends,

Well, I know it's been quiet a while since I've made a blog post. Lately, my creative juices have been flowing though and I look forward to picking blogging back up again. I come to you with this blog post to share another hobby that I love, snailmailing. I love writing letters to pen pals and Postcrossing. Postcrossing is a website where you send and receive postcards all over the world from random people. I started Postcrossing about 5 years ago, but dropped off from it. I started it up again about 3 months ago and the addiction is back!

Some of my favorite stamps
I'm a person who loves to learn about different cultures, religions, and languages. Postcrossing and meeting pen pals all over the globe definitely feeds into that. As an introvert, I also enjoy quiet, reflective activities. Sending postcards and letters really allows one to be creative as you can get quite fancy with how you decorate your snailmail. I love to add some flair to mine such as stickers, colored envelopes, washi tape, and fun colors to write in. Some people who are more artistic even add doodles and intricate paper folds. Other ways to express yourself are through stamps and stationary.

Recent incoming mail from Texas, Canada, and China
Penpalling is an especially therapeutic activity, similar to journaling. It's great to have quiet time to reflect on your life or day and share that with someone else. Writing a letter allows one to turn inward for some self-reflection. With Postcrossing the whole family can get involved. This is a great way to teach children about geography and other cultures. We look forward to checking the mail and see if we have any surprises from another state or country. When we receive a postcard we mark it on a large atlas in our living room and my son has fun trying to locate the country. We hang our postcards around our map. We are quickly running out of space though so I've bought some twine to hang postcards from on another way. You can get really creative with how you store or display your postcards! They're also a great conversational piece.

My son helping to hang up a postcard from France.
For my letters from my pen pals. I've bought a binder, sheet protectors, and dividers. I divide the sections by continent. Then I store my letters inside the sheet protectors- including the often elaborately decorated envelopes which are too pretty to throw away! A lot of heart often goes in to writing a letter, even if it's just on a basic college-ruled sheet of paper and in a plain envelope. Your letters will quickly become very valuable and sentimental to you. 

Do you wonder how you and/or your family can get involved in snailmailing?

A great place to start is Postcrossing. You have to send 5 postcards first and as those are received your name will go back into the system and someone else (not the person you mailed your postcard to) will then send you a postcard. It's always a surprise because you never know where your next postcard will come from.

For pen pals, you can use the Postcrossing forum or, I prefer, Instagram. Just search a hashtag like #penpalswanted or #penpals. There's also several accounts that will allow you to post your own ad for a pen pal!

There's really a great snailmailing community out there! Facebook also has groups dedicated to postcard swaps and pen pals.

You may wonder where you may find time for penpalling especially if you're a parent like me. Doing my snailmail is my "me time". I like to do it after the kids go to sleep and the house is quiet so I can focus, relax, enjoy, and reflect. I love to put on my headphones and listen to my music and really get into "flow". Flow is what psychologists call those times when you're so involved in an activity that time passes quickly and you have something like tunnel vision on that activity and all your focus is there. During "flow" your at your most focused. I read about this in a book about how having children changes people. 

The table while I'm working on letters.
Other places and times you can work on your snailmail:

-Eating out at a fast food restaurant where your children are playing on a playground such as Chick-Fil-A or McDonald's. The former is my preferred fast food destination as it's cleaner and a more positive environment. There's something sad about McDonald's.

-The park, again while children are playing. I'm obviously not the interactive type on playgrounds. You're not going to see me helping my child down the slide. I'm the mom on the bench reading a book.

-At a coffee shop or small cafe. This is my favorite while my children are away during summer. I love small hole-in-the-wall places. Coffee and reading or writing letters just seem to go hand-in-hand. Plus, I feel like these places have the right ambiance to for those activities.

-While tanning at the beach or pool.

A postcard I received from Ukraine

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