Yes I am a digital aficionado.

It’s pretty obvious with my ‘Stylish+Geek’ blog name and my technical communicator credential.

But make no mistake I LOVE TRADITIONAL HANDWRITTEN LETTERS! Yes, I used all caps if only to demonstrate my absolute penchant for this craft.

IMG_5548.JPGIt all started in 7th Grade. Our English teacher had our class participate in an international-letter-exchange. My pen pal would be a teenage student from Paris. The program ran for 3 months, which totals to three letters.

I was ecstatic every time it was the first week of the month because that would be when the postman would deliver my Parisian’s letter. It was thrilling to know a perfect stranger from another culture and read the stories about her life and environment. It opened up my eyes and expanded my vision of the world. It also piqued my interest on the possibility of travelling to another country and see their traditions in motion.

Although that English assignment was brief, I continued my snail mail affliction. And it did not matter if the recipient was in close proximity. It was just a nice feeling to write and receive a letter. Soon I was collecting different kinds of stationery (it was such a cool thing to do back then!).

Then the email became extremely popular in college so my practice of letter writing was somewhat halted. Soon even writing in script became rusty. My skill in penmanship, which I was proud of, deteriorated.

IMG_5552.PNGSo it comes to no surprise when I became excited after stumbling upon a post of blogger friend Esther (I do not really know her in person but we support each other’s posts and social media that I consider her already a ‘virtual friend!) sharing her home-grown blogger snail-mail exchange!

It was called Lovely Letters and the concept was simple:

1. Just sign up by a certain date in the month

2. Wait for the email from Esther that partners you up with another blogger.

3. Send your snail mail package by a deadline date.

4. Receive your own snail mail and write a post about it.

5. Share you Lovely Letters experience and support the other bloggers by reading up on their own stories.

IMG_5549.JPGWithout hesitation I signed up right away, which was the first week of January! And within a week’s time Esther’s email came with information with whom I was paired with. Her name is Genae Banks. And she is a lifestyle photography, event planner, stylist, and fashion blogger residing in Atlanta.  I sent an email to Genae to introduce myself and asked for her mailing particulars, while providing mine. After she responded I began to think of the ‘package’ I was going to send her way.

Lovely Letters isn’t just about writing a letter in a pretty stationery. It is also sending over some thoughtful trinkets that you feel the recipient might enjoy. It took me awhile to think of what to put together in my package. Little did I know that I should have probably paid closer attention to a couple of sentences in the instructions. Therefore, in addition to the 5 simple steps above, I will add this one, which, I will definitely admit, I did not follow:

6. Take note of the ‘theme’ of the exchange. This will guide you on how to curate items to include your Lovely Letters package.

IMG_5550.JPGBecause I was remiss in following the theme of ‘New Year’, my first Lovely Letter package was very different. I decided to put together some items that would introduce Genae to my heritage and the country from where I was born – the Philippines.

So I gathered the following:

  • A cultured pearl bangle bracelet (because the Philippines is known to be the ‘Pearl’ of the Orient)
  • A sachet for the bracelet made of Pina cloth (Pina is a fiber from pineapple plant leaves and is known to be the ‘queen’ of Philippine fabrics).
  • A leather hand-made coin purse
  • A long rayon warp and silk woven scarf
  • A delicate evening purse made of Jusi, a hand loomed fabric of raw silk

With that I included a few assorted greeting cards and note cards. There is also a hand-made Valentine card that I thought Genae could give to someone special.

IMG_5972.JPGAfter assembling everything together and wrapping it in yellow tissue, I placed it inside a Priority shipping box and sent it on its way.

A few days later my own Lovely Letters mail from Genae came in a bright pink package. I was so excited to open my loot:

  • A handwritten note
  • Delicious Lindt Lindor truffle chocolates (Yum!)
  • A two-strand and gold-tone resin bead pearl necklace (Genae saw some of my posts and noticed I decorated my book shelves with my jewelry collection)

Thank you Genae! I enjoyed reading your letter! Now I have made a blogger friend in Georgia!

I have been bitten by the Lovely Letters experience, and now I want more! So off I go to sign up for the February Lovely Letters.

If you are interested to sign up please do click the link below for details! 



66 Responses to My First Lovely Letter

  1. WAHMBrenda says:

    This is so cool! I wish I’d known about the drawing LOL Oh well, maybe next time.

    I also used to have a lot of pen pals when I was a child. I remember we’d move so much I’d stay in touch with my really good friends this way. Seems like a lost art today though, unfortunately.

  2. growingupmomma says:

    This is such an incredible idea! I miss snail mail so much, and also got the bug after my junior high penpal from Turkey lol. I think I’ll definitely look into doing this, is sounds like such a great idea and an awesome way to know some fellow bloggers. Thanks for sharing your experience 🙂

  3. HilLesha says:

    How exciting! It seems like handwritten letters is a lost art, but I have actually always preferred them over an email. They seem more genuine and personal. I may have to sign up for this sometime! I’d love to have a penpal.

  4. Of how lovely is this, I love the paper your pal wrote the letter on too. I used to be a snail mailer, I sent thousands of letters between 2009 and 2013 🙂

    • Stylish+Geek says:

      Thank you! The first photo actually showed my letter to my pal using the white and green clover stationary. My penpal had a nice letter but she utilized a torn page from a notebook. Nevertheless it’s the thought that counts 🙂

      I’m so impressed! Thousands of letters! How how fun is that!

  5. Sarah says:

    I love the Lovely Letters linkup! This is my second month and I am hooked – I plan on doing it every month I can!

  6. Oh what a fun thing to be a part of! I love snail mail and handwritten letters and journals. It’s really irreplaceable.

  7. torrs13 says:

    This sounds like so much fun! I miss the days of writing notes and getting letters from people.

  8. krystaprice says:

    What a great idea to hold onto such a forgotten experience. As someone who lives in a remote part of Costa Rica, we don’t even have “real” addresses, so this is a very nostalgic thing for me! Very cute.

  9. lisa says:

    This sounds like a fantastic idea! I still love handwritten letters even though I believe my grandmother is the only other person I know who still sends them!

  10. This is a super idea. I can’t remember the last handwritten letter I received. It must have been way before email caught on, lol.

  11. aw this is so awesome i love hand writing letter i still write love letters to my husband and i love writing encouraging lil notes for my son i pin in on his desk

  12. Nina Say says:

    Written letters are incredibly heartfelt and meaningful. I haven’t received one in a while.

  13. Tara Joy says:

    This is so much fun, I absolutely love hand written letters and wish more people would write them! I will be checking this out!!

  14. Nancy says:

    I’m not sure I’ve written love letters before but I do write snail mail letters ALL the time. I know people appreciate it more than a quick e-mail 🙂

  15. Owen's Mom says:

    What a fun experience! I don’t think I have actually written a letter since my own pen pal days as a child. I had a few amazing pen pals, one from Egypt and we would send money, stamps and photos. It was so much fun.

  16. Natalie says:

    I saw the Lovely Letter on her blog and signed up. I got paired with someone who lives within my state but we both have been snowed in this last week and haven’t been able to make it out, so we’re both doing it on Monday, when everything clears up. I love doing swaps like this, it’s so much fun to meet new people!

  17. Angie says:

    You guys both did a great job with your packages! Esther’s link up is so fun, I’ve done it a few times and am sure I will again. Great post!

  18. Tami @ ThisMomsDelight says:

    I had two pen pals when I was a youngster. One of them was in Florida and the other one was outside the USA and for the life of me I can’t remember where. I enjoyed writing them. I don’t write letters much anymore. It is truly a lost art almost.

  19. Beth says:

    This is such a cool concept!! I might just have to take part sometime, it seems like fun. Also, that bracelet is adorable!

  20. I'm Cia! says:

    OMG I love the idea of this. I just came across a letter my grandmother hand wrote for me while I was in the military. I am definitely going to sign up for this!

    • Stylish+Geek says:

      How wonderful Cia! Interestingly, my grandma didn’t write a lot of letters. But when she passed away I saw that she kept every single hand-written letter and card I sent her. I kept them to this day because it reminded me of what I was experiencing while I was writing to her.

  21. Thanks for sharing this post! I’m a huge snail mail advocate and fan of all things handwritten. There is just something about receiving or sending an actual letter that an email or text cannot even come close to. Happy letters to you!

  22. Laura says:

    What a fun project! I love ideas for keeping us in touch with eachother IRL, not online 🙂

  23. That’s so sweet! I absolutely love getting and sending mail! It’s so much fun!

  24. justamom8225 says:

    That is such an awesome exchange. I was in a box swap once and had a great time with that.

  25. This is such a great idea! I’ve always been more of a fan of personal handwritten letters. There’s just something more personal about them. Plus it’s so much exciting to wait for something to arrive in the mail. 🙂

  26. Lauren R says:

    I am in love with this fabulous idea!! I am a huge snail mail fan, and I really love to send gifts! I am definitely going to sign up for the march one! And maybe we’ll be able to be partners one month!!

  27. This is such an awesome idea! I have quite a few penpals from all over the world- it would be nice to do this with fellow bloggers though! How great. I wish the link was still open but I’ll have to remember for next month.

  28. Rosey says:

    That’s a nice package you put together and sent! I like handwritten notes too. The only person who gives those to me is my mom (and sometimes my DIL). 🙂

  29. So lovely to see inside your package you received. This looks like such a great thing to start doing, love keeping handwriting alive.

  30. I love to write letters by hand. It is always nice to get a letter in the mail instead of bills.

  31. I would love to join this letter swap, but got to wait another month before I can commit. I think the aspect of trading packages under a certain theme is pretty cool! It must so fun to anticipate something like this coming in the mail!

  32. Mommy Sanest says:

    What a great idea! It is rather sad to get the mail every day and only get bills and junk mail.

  33. leahgrammer says:

    What a great idea!!! I love writing letters!!! You might want to look into Post Crossing. It’s exchanging post cards from people around the world! We have gotten post cards from Russia, China, and Norway. I love writing letters and getting them. I love mail!!!

  34. Camesha says:

    This post totally reminded me of my grade school pen pal. I forget what part of Africa she was in. Her name was Nadia. I was always so excited to get mail from her.

  35. Courtney says:

    Omg What a cute and super cool idea!!!! My daughter and I just started sending people what we call “happy mail” every now and then because it is nice to open something that’s not a bill for once 😉

  36. adanna says:

    I’m like the snail mail queen so I really really love this concept. Your package was very thoughtful and sweet. I think that getting some bring in the mail that you know someone touched really adds personality.

  37. this is lovely! and cara i have been wanting to tell you that we made several things from the book i won here, and we LOVED everything! xx

  38. Ow. that looks really nice and looks so beautiful words inside of your love letter.

  39. roselynn787 says:

    The whole Lovely Letter concept sounds like so much fun. I wish I had more time on my plate to participate in it. Your package was so well-thought out, you did an amazing job on it.

  40. Jessica says:

    This is great! I’ve never had a pen pall but I’ve always wanted one. This is like that but for grownups. ha! I loved the items you chose for your package. Everything looked so lovely!

  41. That looks like such a cute program. I remember in elementary school writing people in another country, it was so much fun.

  42. I can not remember the last time I hand wrote a letter! What an amazing letter you sent and received. I remember how much I used to love to get letters when I was younger and this is a great way to bring back fun mail.

  43. This is pretty awesome! I love snail mail! I think getting mail is seriously so much better then any e-mail or text! hehe I love that you were able to share things about yourself with another! Truly awesome! Reminds me of being pen pals with someone! Thank you so much for sharing!!

  44. Rebekah says:

    I love receiving handwritten letters, but I hate writing them! lol. This is such a great idea, lovely exchange!

  45. I am so glad you linked up on Monthly Themed Fridays! You are being featured this Friday the 27th of February! Congratulations and hope you link up again some time!

  46. thedeb83 says:

    I don’t know the last time I got something in the mail besides a bill! Love this.

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