Archive | September, 2013

September Sweeps ’13

30 Sep

Since I did a raffle last September and another one back in March for my pen pals, I won’t bother telling you how they work again. I will, however, share these words from our sponsor (AKA my mother) this time around:

I have always enjoyed my daughter’s writing. I’ve also enjoyed her dedication to writing, particularly with her pen pals. She talks about being OCD about it, but it’s actually amazing to see her binders of the letters she’s received over the years and how seriously she takes her hobby. So when she approached me several months back about sponsoring the prize for September Sweeps, I was happy to do so.

One of the things I love about Taiwan is the amazing stationery stores. While I love Staples and Office Max in the US and miss them terribly while I am away, the stationery stores give me a fix when I need one. So before coming home this past summer with the “prize” in hand, I made a few visits to local stationery stores to pick out things that had been popular with my daughter and things I enjoy as well. It was fun to have a reason to spend some money there, since I can’t justify going to the stationery store just because it’s cool. Well, maybe I can, but this “mission” that Kate gave me made it even more fun. I hope the winner enjoys the prize and has fun with all the goodies inside.

The Prize:

Stationery and some Odds and Ends

Stationery and some Odds and Ends

The Winner:


Congratulations, Kimberlee! I will send your prize to you whenever I’m sending you your next letter! Thanks to everyone who competed, especially Allison and Nicole; you and our winner were entered in the drawing at least 20 times each!

Sincerely, Kate ~!~

Postcards from Wonderland

25 Sep
DiVo from Russia

From DiVo from Russia

Irid from Russia

From Irid from Russia

Ifreda from USA

From Ifreda from USA

Makushenka from Russia

From Makushenka from Russia

Pingvinenok from Russia

From Pingvinenok from Russia

002Around this time next month I will have been on Postcrossing for a year. In general I’m happy getting whatever people want to send me, but I requested Alice in Wonderland friendly postcards in the hopes that some postcrossers had one they could send me. This blog is proof that 5 of ’em did! It’s amusing 4 of them came from Russia, but Elena (the girl responsible for #5) told me that Alice in Wonderland is very popular over there so I guess it’s not too surprising. What was surprising, however, is that in addition to her postcard, Elena also sent me this “Notepad of Cheshire Cat” over here –>

How awesome is that?! I’m looking forward to more postcards from Wonderland… and more postcards in general. It won’t be long until I have received 100 postcards via postcrossing! (To see my post from when I got 50 click here)

Sincerely, Kate ~!~

7 Deadly Sins: Lust

20 Sep

Lust [luhst] noun
intense sexual desire or appetite;
a passionate or overmastering desire or craving

Why Kate Sincerely thinks Lust’s considered a deadly sin:

I cringe whenever I’m watching something and teenagers who barely know each other “declare their love”. I don’t believe in love at first sight, I believe it’s merely an infatuation. And while I don’t think infatuation is wrong, lust gets into a gray area. People give themselves to someone they likely won’t talk to in a week, or marry someone because the sex is good but leave them the second the going gets rough. I’m not saying I was a saint– the math between my wedding day and Logan’s birthday is proof that I wasn’t– but it took me a while to admit I genuinely loved Gabe and that it wasn’t just lust. I think more people should take the time to learn the difference; the divorce rate might be lower if they did.

Some One of my Recent Sins:

Honestly I don’t commit this one too often, and if I do it’s been a lust for power and not for sex, haha. (The joys of having a toddler!) Anyway! Right now we’re about three weeks into another go at September Sweeps in the FB group I have for my pen pals, and just like last year I have been recording all the activity as if it’s my job, believing that if I miss one someone will call shenanigans. Yeah, it doesn’t really fit the “lust” description, but that’s the only current example I have.

1The picture on the left is one of me and my husband before we were much of anything. It was more than lust, but nevertheless!

The other night I finished a book, and while picking out what to read next I decided to start the Seven Deadly Sins series by Robin Wasserman because the first sin she tackles is Lust. Awesome timing, eh?

Sincerely, Kate ~!~
PS: My next book review will likely be posted early October 😉
PPS: Sins still to come: Pride, Sloth, and Wrath

Happy Anniversary, Sincerely Kate!

15 Sep

This popped up in my notifications a few days ago:

*throws confetti*

*throws confetti*

Although some of my posts have been better than others, I’ve enjoyed having this pen pal-friendly blog for the past year. I’m so thankful to everyone who has read it and showed some love!

To see the post that started it all, click here!

How I celebrated SK‘s anniversary:

The picture on the left is of the 12 postcards I made for the occasion, prior to adding any text to them.
The picture on the right is of the first 6 I finished. Not too shabby, eh?

PS: I sent one of these off via Paper Nostalgia so we’ll see if it winds up on The Happsters’ blog 🙂
PPS: And of course I sent the rest to my pen pals!

Whether you’re a pen pal of mine, a faithful bleader, or someone who just stumbled on this page, feel free to tell me what your favorite posts have been, what you’d like to see more of on this blog, or whatever else that flops your mop (as long as it’s appropriate, of course). It’s been a fun experience blogging here and I’m looking forward to the next year full of it. For now, I leave you with this picture of some “mail mayhem” of mine:

Books with a letter theme and other mail-related goodies

Books with a letter theme and other mail-related goodies

Sincerely, Kate ~!~

Pen Pal of the Month- September

10 Sep

retiredOriginally when I decided to do this PPOTM thing I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to include my three international pen pals because of the little prizes I send each of the winners. However, when I raided the list of people I heard from last month who had yet to win the honor, I decided to include Sophie’s name in the little drawing I had. In a perfect world I would have used someone I heard from this month, but I’m glad my English friend won and it sounds like she is, too.

SK: How do you feel about being pen pal of the month?

Sophie: It’s very sweet to be pen-pal of the month! I feel quite touched that I am. Never have been before, since I tend to take a bit of time to reply, sometimes, so, I thank you.

SK: When and why did you get into pen palling?

Sophie: I first got into pen-palling in 1997, when I was 10. I thought it would be a great, and fun way to get to learn about other countries, their cultures, and see how different they are to British culture. Also, should any of them ever wish to come to England, they’d at least have the option to have the guest room at my house, if they wanted to visit Birmingham in order to visit Stratford – upon – Avon (Shakespeare town), and I could advise them on all the lovely places to visit.

SK: What’s your favorite thing about pen palling?

Sophie: My favourite thing about pen-palling would have to be knowing that someone has gone to the effort of hand writing a letter, as have I. Hand written letters are such a rarity these days, with all the technological advancements, so it’s nice to keep that tradition going.

SK: What’s your favorite thing about having me as your pen pal?

Sophie: My favourite thing about having you as a pen-pal would be that you put lots of effort into your letters. They’re always gorgeously presented, long, and fun. Plus, you ask some really cool, thought provoking questions. Not to mention, that you weren’t judgemental when I discussed a certain relationship situation to you.

SK: What’s your favorite thing about September?

Sophie: My favourite thing about September would have to be the approaching Autumn. Autumn is a beautiful month. I love seeing the streets lined with the golds and reds from the trees, makes for excellent photo opportunities. Also, the start of the new term at school. Everyone’s excited about the forthcoming new semester.

SK: What are you looking forward to this month? This year?

Sophie: This month I am looking forward to starting college, and getting into studying again, I’ve missed it terribly, so it’s really exciting. The rest of this year is always quite exciting. September, we have the new term. October, we have Halloween (which I adore). November, we have Guy Fawkes Night (otherwise known as Bonfire Night) where we have celebrations with a huge bonfire and fireworks. Definitely my favourite holiday, after Christmas. Then December, the preparations for Christmas. That time of year is so exciting, and everyone’s in such a cheery mood.

SK: What other hobbies do you enjoy?

Sophie: Other hobbies that I enjoy are reading, watching movies, swimming, badminton, and typical girly things like shopping, hair, make-up, etc.

Although I don’t hear from Sophie as much as I’d like to, it’s always really good to hear from her. Her letters have been affirmation that I made a good decision in bending my USA only rule, and now her being my newest PPOTM is validated as well.

Sincerely, Kate ~!~

The 26 Letters Project

5 Sep

For a while I had another blog called AlphaBits where I docmented my attempts at teaching Logan the alphabet bit by bit. Although I haven’t used that blog since the letter T, I have sill been working on letters with the little guy and he now knows just about all of ’em despite some of the original posts below saying otherwise. Should you go to read any of the following, the password is 26letters.

1Week 1: Down A Rabbit Hole
Week 2: Books, Baking, and Books about Baking.
Week 3: Cowabunga, Dude!
Week 4: The Toddler Decathlon
Week 5: Easter Egg-stravaganza
Week 6: Footloose and Fancy Free
Week 7: Great Expectations
Week 8: A Handful of Handsome
Week 9: Imagination Library
Week 10: Just for Kicks and Giggles
Weeks 11-13: The Past 3 Weeks
Week 14: Numbers Ahoy
Week 15: If you want to make an Omelette
Week 16: Parks and Recreation
Week 18: Reading on Rapanos Drive
Week 19: Stars and Stripes
Week 20: T is for Theater

So here’s the U for Update for the last 6 letters! Logan can say U, V, W, X, Y, and Z, though W was a bit tricky at first. As far as education disguised as recreation goes, he played with the umbrella you see above, visited his grandparents, used watercolors on a sheet we xeroxed, watched a bunch of Super Why, and went to the zoo with his parents and his Uncle Erik and Aunt Mindy.


Although that last sentence wasn’t nearly as fun as the activities themselves, that’s all you’re going to get! I don’t know, between the umbrella pictures taking a couple weeks to get here and me losing interest in AlphaBits weeks before then the blog just fell apart. Fortunately I still have this blog and I fully intend to keep it going 🙂 This particular post may not be all that in depth, but it may potentially lead you to other ones that are. The password again is 26letters.

All the best, whether you like to read and write or you’re teaching your children to do the same.
Sincerely, Kate ~!~