The Art of Letter Writing

I first started writing to pen-pals when I was 13. I love receiving letters from all over the world and more than anything I love the stamps! I’m a bit of a geek when it comes to some things and collecting stamps is one of them but that’s a story for another time.

I love technology and I love how quick and easy it is to send a text or an email and receive an instant response. Technology has it’s place in our fast paced lives and I wouldn’t want to live in a world without it don’t get me wrong.  For me there is nothing better than corresponding with people via the postal service. I love the sound of letters falling through my letterbox, seeing the plain or decorated envelopes and knowing instantly who sent the letter. Looking at the stamps and carefully peeling them off to stick in my albums and finally reading the letters.  I worry that the art of letter writing may become a thing of the past.

I love to read, it’s another one of my hobbies.  I’m very curious about other people and how they live so for me reading letters from a pen-pal is a little bit like reading an autobiography in sections.  I find it fascinating how different people live their lives, the jobs that they do, how they bring up their children or animals, what they eat, what they collect and what sort of stationery they use.

I have pen-pals from all over the world, most are female but there are a couple of men in there too, the ages vary from early 20’s to my oldest who is in his 70’s.  Some are married some are single, some have children, some have cats and others don’t have time for either.  Since April this year I have written letter to 47 different people, a large percentage have not written back and this makes me sad.  I think some people like the chase, like to receive letters but then realise they have no time to write back and that’s fine but it doesn’t take a lot to send a little card to explain.

Stationary writing sets

As a self confessed stationery addict I love to buy writing sets. I like bright colours, quirky patterns and embossed papers.  A5 is my preferred writing paper size and I favour lined paper over plain as it helps to keep my erratic writing in check.  I sometimes get lost in the words which can result in my letters drooping to one angle rather than being straight.

I can’t imagine a life without words and letters and so I’ll continue to write them as long as people are happy to receive.

Where can you find pen-pals?

Well that depends on the sort of pen-pal you want.  Most of my penpals have been found via Instagram using the hashtag #penpalswanted and #penpalsrequired  I find Instagram penpals are the most flaky.  There are a lot of facebook groups where penpals can be found, just use the search and add yourself to some groups.

I’ve found some of the most reliable penpals have come from the Letter Writers Alliance, maybe because you have to pay to join? It’s only $5 but worth every penny in my opinion.  The second option is maartens penpals, I’ve found a couple of lovely penpals who like writing long letters   it’s free to join and updated quite regularly.

 

Do you write letters or correspond with Pen-Pals?

the art of letter writing

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Weather Chart Craft for Preschoolers

Arthur is 3 and is at that age where he “needs” to know about everything and anything, one of the things he has taken an interest in recently is the weather and a couple of weeks ago here in the UK we had a couple of days when the weather was incredibly erratic and like nothing I’ve ever seen before.  Who would have thought that you could have sun, wind, rain and snow all in one day?  The only time Arthur has experienced real snow was when we went skiing in France back in 2014 but he was sadly too little to remember so you can imagine his delight when he saw snow flurries out of the window only to be incredibly disappointed moments later when the rain started.

I’ve tried to talk about the weather in laymans terms but I find that sometimes visual learning can be so much better especially when it comes to 3 year old livewires with a very short attention span and that’s why we made our own weather chart.

weather chart craft

To make this incredibly simplistic weather chart you will need:
A paper plate
Glue
Pens to draw or sticker/cutouts
1 arrow
Paper fastener

How to make a weather chart

Stick or draw shapes to show the different types of weather to the paper plate, attach the arrow using a paper fastener and you’re ready to go.

When Arthur wakes up each morning he asks if he can be the weather watcher and goes to the window to see what the weather is like outside, he then moves the arrow and asks me to check that he was right.  It’s such a simple craft yet you will have days/weeks/months of fun with it.

Interested in our previous crafts? Click here

Don’t have time to make this today, Pin this craft for later

pin this weather chart craft for later

 

*Some of the craft items used in this post were provided as part of the on-going Bostik Bloggers campaign


Planning A Ball Is Hard Work

Back in October 2015 I decided that my NCT branch (Warwickshire Central) would hold a ball to celebrate the 60th birthday of NCT.

Ball, Charity, NCT, Jubilee

When I first came up with the idea of running a ball I wasn’t sure how it would go down with the rest of the committee, thankfully they were all happy to help. I had big plans for the evening but as the weeks went on and I realised we were the only branch in the country running a ball, I can tell you I was scared! Planning such a big event isn’t easy but as we’re one of the top ten fundraisers in the country I knew we could easily make £1000 from the night thanks to lovely people who had purchased tickets to attend, for example at our November 2015 nearly new sale we made just shy of £4000 sheer profit.  We’re a pretty awesome branch I’m sure you will agree.

The charity is very important to me. I’ve never actually taken an NCT class, which to some people may seem odd – why would I have dedicated the past 3 years of my life to a charity that I’ve never used? Well the answer is simple. I moved to the midlands 4 years ago and I didn’t know anyone – I had no friends or family here so I needed a way to meet people. By volunteering, I’ve made so many friends so not only do I help the charity but in turn the charity has also helped me.

It all started on 4 May 1956 with a small advert in the personal columns of The Times and The Daily Telegraph. The ad called on women to join a new association that would support them through natural childbirth. It would be two more years before the first antenatal classes took place.

Today, NCT courses are attended by over 100,000 parents each year. There are over 300 branches with 15,000 volunteers on hand to help. Online support reaches over 2.3 million parents and parents-to-be each year.

NCT conducts important research to use to lobby for changes to improve maternity and parent services.  Automatic enemas and shaving were scrapped and fathers or partners allowed into delivery rooms all thanks to NCT.  I look forward to seeing NCT help improve services further by the time my daughter has children.

We raised a whopping £1431 on the night and all of the money raised will stay in our community and go towards paying for our breastfeeding services and parent support. We run 3 support sessions every week which are open to all and are free.  These have been invaluable to many local parents.

Cake, NCT, Jubilee, Charity

We were gifted some incredible raffle prizes and one lovely lady in our area donated the amazing cake shown above.  I’m personally looking forward to the next ten years and to see what changes are made in that time.

 



Save Money With Groupon Coupons

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

Everyone likes to save money when they can and I for one spend a lot of time looking for bargains online.  I love spending money and I love it even more when I get a discount as it means I can often buy myself something unexpected or put the money that I’ve saved away for a rainy day. Remember that old saying “Save the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves” Well the meaning behind that is that if you take care not to waste money you will accumulate capital and by purchasing something that you were already going to buy at a discount means that you end up with more than you would have if you hadn’t used the discount.

Did you know that you can save money on hair appointments, afternoon tea and meals for two with groupon?

One website I like to browse on a regular basis is Groupon.  Over the past few years I’ve saved an awful lot of money on hair appointments, spa days and restaurant meals by using Groupon Coupons.  Retailers and discounts may be different depending on where you are in the country but I’ve found that in my local area I can usually pay around £12 for afternoon tea for 2, £10 for a gel polish nail treatment, £16 for a two course Indian meal for two and £15 for a cut and blow dry.

Of course Groupon doesn’t just offer discounts in your local area, there are often a lot of courses available like Interior design, Veterinary assistant and personal trainer courses for £29. If you’re interested in websites and hosting companies like GoDaddy have great deals on domains and hosting and you can save yourself a lot of money by going through Groupon rather than direct.

Have you ever purchased a Groupon Coupon before? What did you buy?

 

 

 



National Stationery Week 2016

I’m a huge stationery fan.  I have a chest of drawers and a small bookcase filled with the stuff, I consider myself to be a collector of stationery but I know others will say I’m a hoarder.

The 25th April to 1st May 2016 is national stationery week and I think it’s important to celebrate it for a couple of reasons which I will go into below.

  1. There is nothing more personal than a handwritten letter or card.  We are a nation of computer/tablet and phone users and I really fear that the art of letter writing may one day not exist.  I’ve been writing to penpals since I was 13, I currently write to 8 people all over the world and for me there is nothing nicer than sitting down to read a handwritten letter.
  2. Handwriting encourages the correct use of language and as a parent there is nothing I hate to see more than text talk.  I encourage my children to write even if it’s just a handwritten thank you letter as this ensures they are using language correctly and in turn stimulating their brains.

drawing for national stationary week

I received a lovely package of stationery bits which Arthur couldn’t wait to get stuck into!  Seeing a child with a pencil and paper instead of watching tv or playing on a tablet makes me so happy.

National Stationery Week

Will you be celebrating National Stationery Week? Are you a collector of stationery?

*This post contains a press sample

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