There are worse vices …


Saturday I drove to Santa Barbara and like I always do, stopped by Pierre Lafond Market on the way.  I feel like I’ve written about this before.  I didn’t find it in previous posts so here it is.  I attended Westmont College in Montecito, CA and lived near this market for one year before moving back to campus.  Every time I drive to Santa Barbara I exit San Ysidro Road and make the quick, albeit sometimes expensive stop to one of my favorite stationery stores in town.  Pierre Lafond is a winery, market, bistro and known brand in this area.  I’m not really a foodie, but their food is delicious and desserts to die for.  Brownies.  Yum.  What gets my attention though is their “wall of cards”.  I need to write them and thank their buyer.  He or she is phenomenal!  I snapped a quick photo before spending at least ten minutes purchasing way too many cards for my quick stop before proceeding north.  I seriously LOL along this wall.  I think I startled an older couple who were sitting there enjoying their salad.  There are always new brands of cards when I shop here.  Sometimes I go three or four months without visiting and other times only a couple weeks.  The best is knowing I can always count on a good smile or chuckle when perusing their cards.

The average card I purchased was $3.95 and a few for $2.75.  Take that Hallmark.  I did however splurge on a couple.  As soon as I see cards that would fit someone I know I don’t even look at the price, but imagine the recipient laughing, smiling, enjoying the card I chose for them.  The photo below is of a local card that had a price of $10.  I normally wouldn’t pay that amount, but this is also an ornament.  Very cool.

My dear friend Felicia who I went to Westmont with lives in Florida now, but she fell in love in Santa Barbara, had a ton of fun in college there and her daughter now attends Westmont.  I thought she’d enjoy this keepsake.  I’m all about supporting local so I was thrilled to turn the card over and read that it was designed locally by Alessaro Designs.  The ornament was made in Mexico–so I’m cool with a collaboration and hoping this person receives some compensation for their artwork.


This card below was one I busted out laughing over because I actually thought this last weekend.    I’m recovering well from my surgery, just need to get moving and drop a few…I don’t know who I’ll send this to, most likely just a “hi”, “thinking of you” type correspondence.  There were about a dozen of these cards from Hit and Run Greetings along the wall.  I limited myself to only two.  Too bad you can’t see all their cards on the website, but I know I’ll be purchasing more soon.  I escaped the market under a $100, but not by much. The brownies are only $2.25 🙂   So much for simplifying and scaling back with cards this year.  We will see how I do this month.  There are worse vices, right?


Happy February!  We know what fun holiday is in a couple weeks so I’m sure I’ll post more about that soon.  ~J

First letter of 2015

I was excited to write a friend a thank you and wrote the wrong year.  I never do that!  Welcome to 2015.  I do script a lot while watching sports events, so I could blame it on Florida winning the toss in the Rose Bowl.  A friend from high school was so kind to surprise me with not only a letter, but a package of goodies from where she lives now in Colorado.  The best thing about receiving this was that it wasn’t expected and it was very thoughtful.  Her timing was impeccable as I had just returned from the hospital (explained in previous post).  On a side note, if you ever have to have surgery, I do recommend around Christmas so at least you receive cards in the mail daily and they cheer you up.  So, back to my package and the best bonus that I will now start including in an envelope is a lottery scratcher ticket.  I’m all about someone has to win and though I’m not obsessed about playing it is always fun to put one in a birthday card or now I will start adding them in my out of state correspondences because if they win they will be forced to mail it back for you to cash it in for them.  I’ll keep you posted on that.

Notice the date...
Notice the date …

There have been many times I’ve wanted to write about Hannah Brencher, but since I am using her new fold-and-mail stationery, it is as good of time as ever to write about a  young mover and shaker that I had the pleasure of talking on the phone with a few years ago when she was just starting The World Needs More Love Letters.  (Which, you must check out the website if you haven’t!)  Hannah has a very cool story on how she created her website and will now be an author because of its success.

The fold-and-mail stationery that I purchased comes with 40 sheets of paper and ideas on who to write and what to write about.  They also come with fold over seals which immediately reminded me of an old letter I received from my great grandmother when I was in college way back in the late 1980’s that I still have.  I’ll have to google them to learn about the history or when they disappeared and are now making a come back.  I have only used two sheets of paper and though I’m not wild about the patterns, it is a great gift idea and because it looks like a thin book, it would be great to travel with or keep in a briefcase, backpack or bag.  The size is perfect with lines, so if you didn’t want to write that much you could skip one.

Back to Hannah.  If you are a twenty something person, I encourage you to browse through her website. If you are younger or older you may also like what she says, I just think her main audience is college and post college young people.  She has a way with words that I believe will have you agreeing or reminiscing to some part of what she blogs about.  I look forward to her coming to Southern California where I live and having coffee with her or walking on the beach someday.   She has a book coming out in March, which I highly recommend pre-ordering from your local book store or Amazon.


I honestly don’t remember how I connected with Hannah, but I wrote to her and her then publicist talked to me and we had a short conference call.  Like many things in my life, I don’t want to job, I just want to be the cheerleader about it.  She was on the east coast and we discussed me being a west coast liaison.  I knew from the conversation it wouldn’t really materialize as she was still developing it and I was ok with that.  I get pretty excited over stationery and letter writing which I think I conveyed (even though I’m not really a ‘writer’-whatever that means), but one of the most profound things anyone has ever said to me back in May of 2012 after I apologized for being so hyper about what she was embarking on, she said, “You’ve got to own that energy!”  So, I like to write letters for MLL (More Love Letters), I’m a follower on Instagram and Facebook and I’m much better about owning the energy about things I have a passion for.  There’s a whole different blog about how MLL helped me surprise a friend which I promise to blog about in a future post. Stay tuned!

To go along with what Hannah said to me, why don’t you consider using some energy to write someone you’ve been meaning to thank, encourage, reconnect with or just say hello.

1 Step to Letter Writing

bdaycardsI don’t know about you, but I am so tired of reading 10 steps for this, Seven sure ways to do that.  There are so many tips out there on how to write the correct blog post to and ways to get more readership.  I am writing this blog solely as an outlet of my passion of letter writing.  As you can tell (if you scroll back, I guess), I haven’t written in a few months.  I’ve written lots of letters and taken a few photos for blog posts.  I’m living life and the days keep going by.  The reason for this post is to just say I don’t think you need a reason or a how to write a letter.  When you feel compelled to write, just do it. Yes, you’ll need to put some effort into what to say and buy some stamps and know where the nearest post office or mailbox is, but I guess that’s where the time and thoughtfulness comes in.   My card choice may not be perfect or my writing sloppy, but my intention ALWAYS behind writing is to sit and connect with that person for a moment–even if they don’t reply.

Above is a sample of some of the stationery I received from girlfriends this month for my birthday.  It’s a such a great gift for me and I love thinking of my friends when I send notes to others.   I have a French Bulldog that looks just like this card so I was thrilled to receive these.  It’s also nice to get stationery that you have never seen before.  That’s where specialty card stores are a must for me, especially when we travel.  The fall leaves is blank inside and was perfect for this time of year and green is my favorite color so of course I loved these too.

Happy letter writing whatever method you choose …