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I have an immense love of handwritten letters, cards and postcards. As grateful as I am, especially now, for all the many instant ways I have to connect with friends and family, there is just nothing quite like the feeling of opening the postbox and discovering between the bills and flyers for pizza delivery, a small stiff envelope with my name scrawled in pen across the front. The joy that rises inside me in that moment is one of the greatest everyday highs!

Usually I don’t make it up the three floors to our front door before the letter is out of its envelope to discover who is the wonderful person to have take the time to send something. Because this is why it is so special: someone cared enough about me to find a piece of paper or card to write on, sit down and write something funny or encouraging, find an envelope, look up the address, check again how to spell my surname, find a stamp and then make the trip to the post box.

That’s why every handwritten envelope that appears in my postbox holds more significance than its size and weight would suggest. And why I also love nothing better than sitting down with a cup of coffee and taking the time to write to someone I care about. Because I like to imagine that the smile on their face when they come home to the letter lying on the door mat is about as big as mine is when I slide it into the postbox at my end.

My friend Ellie is making one of her new years resolutions to write more handwritten letters. So this week’s Friday favourites is for her: here are some of my favourite ideas for things to send in the post!

Ideas to send in the Post

1. Send a bouquet of balloons to someone you love! Victoria at a subtle revelry came up with this idea to write your message onto balloons, then send them (without blowing them up first!) in an envelope. They’ll get a lovely surprise when they open the letter and blow them up. And who doesn’t love balloons?

2. Tea bags! (Or loose-leaf if your friend is a tea-snob…) This is something I have done a few times before. Find tea bags that are individually wrapped – there was a tea shop opposite the building I used to work in that sold individual Kusmi tea bags. They are perfect for slipping into an envelope with your letter, and the recipient gets to have a lovely cup of tea while reading all your news!

3. Recipes. This is another favourite of mine if I am writing to a friend who I know likes to cook or bake. Buy some recipe cards like these gorgeous ones from the Rifle Paper Company, and slip one in to the envelope with you most recent favourite recipe… gingersnaps anyone?

4. Cute notecards are of course a basic necessity. I am a little in love with these typewriter parrot notecards from Quill and Fox (which I recently discovered is owned by a friend of a friend… small world!)

5. Confetti!!! Yes it may make a bit of a mess, but how much fun! You can easily make your own of course but I found this confetti by etsy seller The Lonely Heart, made from the text of Pride and Prejudice which I find just a little exciting…

Do you have any good ideas for things to send in the post?


p.s. Happy Epiphany everyone! May your day be filled with wise and divine revelations.

I do not particularly look forward to exercising. I try to make myself do it semi-regularly because I know it’s good for me, I like feeling healthy rather than lethargic, and it can, occassionally –  like that run in Denmark last month when the sun was coming up over mist-laden fields – be quite enjoyable.

But not since my teenage years taking ballet and jazz classes three or four times a week have I really looked forward to exercising. In Florida, we woke up early three mornings a week to beat the crazy heat and humidity to run loops of our little retired community. But then we got to California, and I didn’t have much to do during the day, and no one to hang out with.

Searching google maps for things to do nearby that didn’t involve eating, I discovered a fitness studio called Time 2 Shine, that ran pilates classes. Wanting something to do, I signed up for my free introductory class and loved it so much that I kept going three times a week. I’d even reschedule anything else that came up to fit in around my classes.

I loved it because I could feel I was working every muscle in my body hard, but it didn’t feel like hard work. I mean, those ladies worked me hard until I was shaking with the effort, but I enjoyed it. And after three or four weeks of those three classes a week, my muscles were all tighter and stronger and for the very first time in my whole life I was actually just a little bit proud of my upper arms. I know, miracle of miracles.

I’ve been missing it since we got back from the US but am already looking up studios in Luxembourg so I can get back that healthy, strong feeling. I might not be especially athletic, but there is nothing like the feeling of being able to climb the two floors to your apartment with the shopping without feeling like you’re going to drop dead at any moment…

We gave my niece a very traditional baptism present at the weekend: a book of bible stories for children. Oh and a Donald Duck soft toy because everyone needs Donald Duck in their life from an early age. (Did you know his name is Anders And in Danish?)

Her farmor and farfar (paternal grandparents) gave her a beautiful art print of the Noah’s Ark filled with all the animals on top of each other inside it. It was really lovely and it got me thinking of other good gifts for a baby baptism, Christening or even a baby shower or birth too I guess. So I went looking for ideas (any excuse to have fun with pinterest…) and found these:

1. This beautiful family tree image can be customised with the baby’s name and family members. $65 in evajulliet’s etsy shop.

2. A sweet rain cloud mobile to hang above the crib or changing mat. $45 in leptitpapillon’s etsyshop.

3. Reading is so cool! You can buy this print with either a little boy or little girl. $20 indazeychic’s etsy store. (I have her “So very happy” print in red and I love it!)

4. This may be the most stylish crib I’ve ever seen. If you’re feeling generous, it’s R8500 fromWeylandts in South Africa.

5. This adorable hippo is actually a bookend and you can buy him with his friends giraffe, lion and dinosaur. $58 from Serena & Lily.

6. Every baby room needs a uniquely shaped lamp, oui? This mushroom lamp by Egmont is £70 from Bodie & Fou.

7. These moccassins are made from real elk hide to keep those wee feet warm and stylish at the same time. $60 from Freshly Picked.

8. Christian Jackson has made a great set of minimalist fairytale prints. This Goldilocks print is my favourite. $21.35 from Imagekind.

Now that I spend most of my day at home studying (aside from all the coffees and lunches and brunches with my girlfriends of course) I am wishing for a lovely new desk. We have a beautiful dining table that I could work on but it’s the furthest point in the flat from any heating source and the chairs are not designed for sitting on for hours. So I tend to end up on the sofa, my papers spread all around me, and my laptop elevated on the lovely wooden tray-with-legs that Rasmus bought me for my birthday this year.

Half an hour of surfing brings up this delightful array of beautiful desks which I am certain would inspire me to be the most devoted and disciplined student you ever did see…

Which do you like best?

Sources: 1. House Doctor Everyday 2011 Collection; 2. from Nina’s photos on Stylizimo; 3. Stephanie Wiegner‘s home office; 4. Source unknown, via Pinterest; 5. Phoenix Work Table from Crate & Barrel; 6. Wooden table by Julian Kyhl, via Boligliv; 7. Dairymens Cooperative Work Table from Factory 20; 8. Source unknown, via Pinterest; 9. Home office of Trine of Ferm Living, via Design*Sponge.