A Scrapbook on Steroids: A Fourth Dose

20 Sep

I have good news and bad news. The good news is that this little series of mine hasn’t gone on a complete hiatus after all. The bad news, besides the fact that I only have two pictures from it this time around, is that after the fifth dose come November I am no longer going to share pictures from this scrapbook on steroids. Well… at least not until the smashbook is full.

You see, I still love collecting things to smash into the book and showing the finished pages off, but giving myself a deadline– even one that’s two months apart– seems to have zapped a lot of the fun out of it. The obsessive part of me wants to see this series through until the end of the year so that’s why you’ll still see it in November. That and so we can end on five doses. I may not be diagnosed with OCD (and consider myself very fortunate because of that!), but I do think I still have a mild case. But I digress!

This page is a bit of a work in progress as I want to try to add things from Panda King Buffet, The RiverPlace, and Tim Hortons. The three places we went to for the meet-up. Inside the envelope is one of the invitations I filled out.

This page is a bit of a work in progress as I want to try to add things from Panda King Buffet, The RiverPlace, and Tim Hortons– the three places we went to for the meet-up. Inside the envelope is one of the invitations I filled out for the event.

Some washi was salvaged and some stationery sacrificed. I also held onto some cool envelopes from two cool ladies.

Some washi was salvaged and some stationery sacrificed. I also held onto some cool envelopes from two cool ladies and procured the “f**king urgent” thing from another one, hehe.

I have more things I could have smashed into my book, but the next few pages seem to be meant for something else and I didn’t want to skip around too much. I’m probably worrying about it way too much, but this is my vice and I’ll binge how and when I want to, haha. If you’re reading this blog you know how important pen palling is to me, and I just want this project to be a reflection of that and not seem like I half-assed it. There may only be two pages, but I think they lived up to the ones who came before it.

Want to see for yourself?
Click me for the first dose!
And me for the second!
Hit me for a third fix!

Enjoy the highs ;-)
Sincerely, Kate ~!~

Crossing T’s and Dotting I’s

15 Sep

I have a bit of unfinished business to tend to so I figured this shall be the time and place.

The first order of business is to announce the winner of my little giveaway, though is it really a win if you’re the only one to play along? Regardless, my 2nd copy of Flat Stanley is going to my lovely pen pal Kyleigh. If you’re reading this, young cardinal, I will send your book along with the next letter I write you unless I go to the post office before then.

My next order of business is to list ten books that have stuck with me over the years as well as fifteen movies. I know that the norm is to post this stuff on Facebook, but this seemed like a better place to do so, especially considering that those who challenged me have exchanged letters with yours truly.

So dear Justine, here are ten books I know and love:

  • He’s Just Not That Into You- Greg Behrendt
  • The Boy Next Door- Meg Cabot
  • The Guardian- Nicholas Sparks
  • The Catcher in the Rye- J.D. Sallinger
  • Of Mice and Men- Jhn Steinbeck
  • Alice in Wonderland- Lewis Carroll
  • 13 Little Blue Envelopes- Maureen Johnson
  • The Infernal Devices trilogy- Cassandra Clare
  • Gone Girl- Gillian Flynn
  • Fifty Shades of Grey series- E.L. James

And Missie and Stephanie, these are the movies that are near and dear to my heart:

  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Peter Pan
  • Meet the Robinsons
  • The Princess Bride
  • The Wizard of Oz
  • Hairspray
  • Rent
  • Moulin Rouge
  • The Phantom of the Opera
  • Rocky Horror Picture Show
  • Repo! The Genetic Opera
  • Labyrinth
  • The Witches
  • Donnie Darko
  • Star Wars

In other news, it has been decided that my pen pals and I will do Secret Santa this December instead of the Christmas Exchange, though a small group of us may still try the latter to see if that works a bit better than last year. If I had to make my wishlist for my Secret Santa right now it would include funky pins, silly refrigerator magnets, and colorful note cards. I am on such a note card kick! I recently unearthed several partially used notebooks and have been using them for a lot of my letters since, enclosing them in the cards as only so much of a letter can actually fit on a note card. I finished one notebook up already. Below you’ll see me modeling with my latest favorite card.


My last loose end to wrap up is my crafts. If I follow suit I should be posting both a “Vari-Kate-ions” post and a “Scrapbook on Steroids” one in the not-so-distant future, but I haven’t felt motivated to tinker with either project. I’m hoping this is not the announcement of a hiatus but if you don’t see those posts this month yet then that’s the way the cookie crumbled.

Well, I think that’s everything that’s been rattling around my head, at least at the moment. Take care and thanks for reading!

Sincerely, Kate ~!~

It Comes with Love from Me to You

10 Sep

It was exactly two years ago that I put up my first blog post here on Sincerely Kate. PHEW! I would have thought my interest in this would have fizzled out some time ago, but I’m still here and already have a bunch of ideas as we enter into my 3rd year of blogging. For now though, let’s talk about my ideas for celebrating today!

Idea #1: A Giveaway!

I seem to have wound up with two copies of the book Flat Stanley and am willing to give one to one of my faithful bleaders, likely with some other flat things enclosed. How can you sign up? Simply leave a comment on this blog entry telling me about your favorite post here over the past two years. It doesn’t matter where you live or if you only found this blog recently. If you’d like my second copy of Flat Stanley, I’d like to help make that happen! You have until Sunday (the 14th) to enter, and on Monday morning I will announce the winner of this little raffle. Note: If you’d just like to comment but aren’t interested in receiving the book, please mention that while you’re typing your little love note, please!

Idea #2: Flat Kate!

You know that Stanley kid from above? He was a normal little boy until a huge bulletin board landed on him in bed resulting in him being so flat he could be mailed. I have no intention of becoming flatter than a pancake, but I still wanted to make a version of myself I could send to six of my pen pals. Why six? Because that’s how many of the things I could get onto two pieces of paper. Why were there two sheets? Because it’s my 2nd blogiversary and I am a dork. I didn’t color Flat Kate (any of them) because I thought my pen pals would enjoy doing that… and that I’d enjoy seeing how they made me over.

Othella received her Flat Kate in person– The 31st and 1st on the calendar were very significant for Othella and the not-so-flat Kate :-)

Kate via Othella

Two others were also sent to their new homes as even my flat self tries to make letters worth their postage ;-) Jody’s Flat Kate is modeling next to one of the letters I have written her.

Kate via Jody

These three will be on their way to their owners today. I hope they have as much fun with her as I have coming up with this little idea!


You better believe I’m hoping that more of my mini alter-ego(s) will have adventures to share here during our third year! Even if (*knock on wood*) she doesn’t, I think this upcoming year of blog posts is going to be such a fun one. If there are pen pal-friendly posts you’d like to see here I’d like to hear your suggestions. Thanks to all of the bleaders who have made the past two years such a rewarding experience for me!

Sincerely, Kate ~!~

Hail the Snail #10

8 Sep

The snail definitely needs to be hailed after last week. Heck, Tuesday alone deserves to be hailed because I got all this:


All week long I have been annoying the pen pals in my FB group with my To Write lists. Between the stuff I wanted to send out from the meet-up, a couple intro letters, and the mail I received, that ever-changing list seemed to be the only way I could keep my wits about me.

Prior to the mail coming on Tuesday, my To Write list looked like this:

  • Jody (wrap up)
  • “Wrecked” postcards to select LEP members
  • Sarah S. (add to)
  • Kyleigh
  • Postcards to Othella and Amethyst
  • Intros to Brittney and Amelia

And then once it came it looked like this:

  • Sarah S. (wrap up)
  • Kyleigh
  • Postcards to Othella and Amethyst
  • Allison
  • Justine
  • Kari
  • Sarah M.
  • Intros to Brittney and Amelia

A LEP named Emily wound up between Sarah M. and the intro letters come Wednesday (responses trump intros in my little world). The two of us were interested in exchanging mail art with the letters being a bit of an afterthought. In the batch of photos below you can see what I originally sent her (the Hello Kitty set) and what I sent her this time around, as well as what I received from her this past week.

I was a bit relieved when just these two postcards arrived for me on Thursday! Note: It was on this same day that I modified my postcrossing profile. In addition to Alice in Wonderland-friendly postcards, I also mentioned how I like The Wizard of Oz, gnomes, post offices/ mailboxes, and comics &/or something funny :-P


When the mail came on Friday, this was my To Write list:

  • Sarah M.
  • Emily C.
  • Jody
  • Jenn
  • The 2 Intros

And on Saturday, Hannah’s letter came so that cut in line ahead of the introduction letters.

All of this stuff is now out in the mailbox, waiting for our carrier to grab it.


And when I go get the mail after she does, those two intros are finally going to go out.

Have a great week, everybody!
Sincerely, Kate ~!~

The Thellie Kitty and the MI LEP Meet-Up

5 Sep

Prior to this weekend I have only met two pen pals, but I have now met 4, and I met 3 other letter writers I have every intention of writing myself now, too. :-)

How did this all happen? Well, it all started not even two months ago when it was decided that Othella would be coming to Michigan from Oklahoma to visit family and friends. We knew immediately we wanted to meet each other since we have bonded bunches over the past 7 months, and that soon evolved into her not only spending the night here, but us cohosting a meet-up for all the Michigan members in the League of Extraordinary Pen Pals.

Amethyst, Othella’s friend from Muskegon, MI who moved to Colorado, wound up joining her on her trip and it was a little after 8pm on Sunday that the two of them pulled into my driveway. In my head I pictured us sitting at the table writing letters or making envelopes or SOMETHING, but we were just so caught up talking we never left the living room– even Gabe joined us for a while. Staying up until 3am probably wasn’t the best idea because A) the only crafting we got in were the souvenirs we wanted to make for the meet-up and B) we showed up at the restaurant a bit late– whoops!

Not going to lie, the meet-up was a bit awkward at first. When you stick a group of people who are more comfortable writing letters than speaking out loud at a table, it’s not surprising that socializing felt a bit uncomfortable. Fortunately Amelia’s extroverted boyfriend, Kevin, tagged along and served as our social catalyst, getting us talking more and encouraging us to play the “in bed” game with our fortune cookies (e.g. “You have an appreciation for music and arts… in bed.”). After we were done eating our Chinese food, we wrote to two women in Canada– the fearless leaders of the LEP. I gathered all of our letters upon their completion to be shoved in an envelope and sent their way.

And then we were on our way to The RiverPlace for some window shopping. Well, mostly window shopping. In an outdoor mall full of novelty shops a couple purchases are inevitable. While I loved stumbling upon buried treasure with all the members, I also was happy to get a bit of one-on-one time with Kyleigh. Prior to the meet-up she was the one person besides Othella I exchanged letters with so I was glad I had the opportunity to give her some undivided attention… and introduce her to SugarHigh Bakery. Once the group was back together we split up again… to head to Tim Horton’s.

I always imagined sitting down in a coffee shop with a pen pal and writing together over drinks. I was not disappointed. Granted we didn’t actually write letters in a comfortable silence, but “wrecking” postcards and filling out yearbook sheets for each other over laughs was still right up my alley, and something I’d gladly do again.

In addition to me deciding that Amelia and Brittney deserve intro letters, the general consensus of the group has been that we should do this again. I’m already thinking about potential meet-ups at Johnson’s Pumpkin Farm &/or Painterly Pottery. I’d like to thank Amelia, Amethyst, Andronic, Brittney, and Kyleigh for coming and Othella for being the cause this time around– hopefully when some or all of us meet again Cassie and Jasmine, the other two Michigan members, can join us! And thanks to all of the above for proving why it’s the League of Extraordinary Pen Pals.


Sincerely, Kate ~!~

Hail the Snail #9

1 Sep

I may have only gotten 3 letters last week– 1 from Sarah S. and 2 from Jody, but a few other things of note have recently arrived.

The first thing was this pretty awesome postcard from France.


But that was quickly overshadowed by this batch of postcards my Aunt Ruth sent me that once belonged to my paternal grandmother.


It was around the same time that Julie, the founder of the League of Extraordinary Pen Pals, featured me as Pen Pal of the Week on her blog! Click the pic to see the post!


My newest set of address labels came a couple days later. I ran out of “the ones with the colorful letters” from here a week or two back so that gave me an excuse to order these.


My latest arrival here was Othella and her friend Amethyst! Sadly I have no pictures to share just yet. They arrived last night and we were up until 3 or so talking and drinking some Faygo. I’ll post more about their visit and the LEP meet-up we’re going to today next time :-D

Have an extraordinary week!
Sincerely, Kate ~!~

Birthday Triplets

30 Aug

When I became a member of the League of Extraordinary Pen Pals earlier this year I didn’t go in hoping for a bunch of new pen pals. I wanted three people: someone who responds about as quickly as I do, someone interested in exchanging postcards, and someone who shares my March 1st birthday. The first two came easily, but it wasn’t until recently that I found my birthday twin. Actually, I found my fellow birthday triplets, Sarah from Arkansas and Hannah from England. With our half birthday a few days away I thought now would be a great opportunity to introduce you to them a bit :-D

10647661_10203738598838298_526694486_nMeet Sarah, AKA S’moore! 

How old were you when you decided to get into pen palling?


What’s something you want to accomplish by March 1st?

Losing some weight, as boring and predictable as it sounds. I’ve been really good about going to the gym for about six months now, and I’m still not seeing much in the way of results. (I think that just happens when you turn 40.) Anyway, I’m hoping to see some progress by the time I turn 41.

Were you excited to hear a fellow LEP member (two actually) shared your birthday?

Yes indeed! And I’ve already exchanged letters with both of them.

Have you ever celebrated a half birthday?


What birthday stands out for you and why?

I’ve had a lot of good ones, but there’s not one that stands out in particular. I usually try to take the day off work and spend the day doing exactly what I want. It usually involves getting a massage.

What was the best birthday gift you ever received as a kid?

The Mongoose dirt bike my dad got for me at a pawn shop in Texas.

What was the best birthday gift you ever received as an adult?

A DNA ancestry kit from The Genographic Project.

What’s something you already know you want for your next birthday?

A massage!

Meet Hannah (and Pepper and Chilli)!10515168_10201437680144031_4575029922136081387_o

How old were you when you decided to get into pen palling?

I have been writing to people since I was about 8. I wrote a letter to a penpal section of a magazine and my parents had no idea that I had done so until I started to get letters from all over the UK! by the time I was 12 or 13 my dad used to joke that he had to go to work just to pay my postage bill as I got more and more global penpals.

What’s something you want to accomplish by March 1st?

I want to study several courses related to dog training in October, November and January. These will involve written work that will probably run on until March time. I would also like to plan out my trick classes for next year and also work on a few new ideas for classes.

Were you excited to hear a fellow LEP member (two actually) shared your birthday?

I was aware of bday twins but years ago I never spotted someone with the same bday. I think having bday triplets is pretty cool – to see if there are similarities and to see the differences too.

Have you ever celebrated a half birthday?

Never celebrated a half birthday.

What birthday stands out for you and why?

I can remember a great bday spent with my now hubby when we first got together and we had a old fashioned photo Victorian photo done where you dress up in Victorian clothes. We had another done by the same photographer on our wedding day as I loved the first so much.

What was the best birthday gift you ever received as a kid?

I think the best present I ever had as a kid was my first bike. It was a present from my grandparents. It was most likely secondhand and my grandfather had probably done it up a bit, but I loved it. I can remember trying to teach myself to ride it because I could wait for anyone to teach me. I rode up and down the drive falling off then getting backing on again – repeated many times – until my knees were sore but I knew how to ride it!

What was the best birthday gift you ever received as an adult?

I don’t remember a specific present as an adult – I’m not really into presents in a big way – more little things and sharing experiences with other people.

What’s something you already know you want for your next birthday?

Next bday is the big 4-0! Still trying to think up something creative and fun for that! Planned to get another pup for that bday but am getting one in 2 weeks now so kind of preempted that one! ( may be the pup counts as a half bday present? !)

imageedit_3_7043639957Bonus! This Birthday Triplets answers:

How old were you when you decided to get into pen palling?

I was 18 when I officially got into pen palling, though prior to that send letters to my paternal grandmother as well as my Aunt Karin.

What’s something you want to accomplish by March 1st?

It’s in the fall of 2015 that we plan to put Logan in preschool and I’m planning to go back to school myself. I’d like to have everything I need to change my name (the school knows me by my maiden one) and apply for financial aid by March 1st, if possible, so I/we have several months to tackle that mountain.

Were you excited to hear a fellow LEP member (two actually) shared your birthday?

I think this blog is proof that I’m a happy camper.

Have you ever celebrated a half birthday?

Although I’ll be spending September 1st with Othella, Kyleigh, and some other League members, I never actually celebrated it before. Well, unless trying to score the occasional present out of my mom counts. I remember Titanic was released via VHS on 9/1 and I convinced her to get it for me :-P

What birthday stands out for you and why?

Gabe planned to propose on my 23rd birthday, but just like I couldn’t wait until the weekend after Alice in Wonderland was released to see it in theaters, he asked me to marry him several days before. Regardless of the timing, I still consider my 23rd birthday an incredibly happy one.

What was the best birthday gift you ever received as a kid?

My memory’s not the greatest as I keep thinking of Christmas presents instead of ones I was given when I was a little birthday girl. Perhaps my mom will recall something…

What was the best birthday gift you ever received as an adult?

Although my engagement ring is high up there, I’d actually rather do something than get anything. Gabe and I have gone pottery painting every year we’ve been together.

What’s something you already know you want for your next birthday?

In addition to going pottery painting, I’d also love a bunch of stamps– domestic, international, postcard-friendly… I promise they won’t be bought in vain!

Well, I hope you enjoyed hearing about me and my fellow birthday triplets, and that you have a very merry un-birthday, unless, of course, today is your actual birthday :-P

Sincerely, Kate ~!~


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