Friday, 27 February 2015

Bring Back (Fancy) Paper

A few weeks ago my Mother was on a mission to clear out the drawer in her home that had housed mine and my siblings school reports for decades. While I was collecting my pile of depressing reminders of exams gone by I noticed another, smaller pile. It was the soot-stained letters we had written over the years to Santa Claus - returned, by that same jolly-old-elf, when we came of age... I assume...

One of the letters was written by me, on behalf of my youngest sister. But it wasn't what was written that caught my attention - it was the paper it was written on. A piece of genuine, 1980's, Pierrot-the-Clown, FANCY PAPER. The wave of nostalgia that overcame me at the sight of it almost brought me to tears.

If you are not Irish, and not of a 'certain age' you will likely have no idea what I'm talking about. You can click here for a hilarious and thoroughly accurate description of what collecting fancy paper was like in 1980's Ireland (the comments are also well worth a read) but I can safely say that the craze for collecting and swapping cute paper goes a long, looong way to explaining my obsession with all things stationery.


Still caught up in that swoon of nostalgia I happened upon an intriguing hashtag on twitter:

#bringbackpaper

and immediately investigated. It brought me to the home of the modern day equivalent of swapping fancy paper - The Reading Residence's monthly #bringbackpaper activity. This month it was a stationery swap - which I couldn't sign up for quickly enough!

I got paired up with someone in Southampton in the UK and I sent her the envelope pictured above. (Emily, one of your cards made the journey!) In return, I received this bundle of loveliness:


The pencil case has already made itself useful in tidying up the pen-strewn bottom of my handbag and I adore the paper-cut notecards. They are so pretty! I'm looking forward to thinking up a plan for those little canvases too, seeing as there are four people in my family and four canvases - I'm sure I can come up with something... And look at those toast post-its! Perfect 'Fancy Paper'!

It's so lovely to get things in the post that are not just boring bills and statements and it's so much more fun when it's a complete surprise. I also love that this is a perfectly acceptable way for me to re-live my childhood obsession ;)

If you want to get involved with the next activity you can check out the details HERE or if you, like me, enjoy swooning over papery goodness you can follow #bringbackpaper on twitter and instagram too.

To make some cute stationery of your own, grab the small person in your life and follow THESE INSTRUCTIONS.


Wednesday, 25 February 2015

A Very Important Trip to New York

In 'very exciting, never thought it would happen, can't believe it actually is' news: Devo and I are going to New York! 

*happy dance*


Devo has a certain VERY IMPORTANT BIRTHDAY coming up soon and for years and years we promised that when said, VERY IMPORTANT BIRTHDAY came, we would go on a massive family trip to the US in honour of the arrival of his golden years.

Even though all of his favourite things (excluding me and his daughters, obviously) are American in origin he has never been 'Stateside', so we wanted to go and soak it all up by seeing as much of the huge, giant place as possible.

Then, I went and spent all of our savings on taking a prolonged period of parental leave and the road-trip dream was well and truly shattered.

But a VERY IMPORTANT BIRTHDAY is still a VERY IMPORTANT BIRTHDAY and though the budget was more or less non-existent, I still wanted to give him a tiny piece of the gift I had always promised.

The two-month mega-trip has been 'trimmed' down to a 5 day city-break - but what of it? WE'RE GOING TO NEW YORK!

Lately, a good portion of my days is spent daydreaming about what we'll do when we get there. What we might eat. What we'll see. What we'll buy, etc. But the more I think about it the more I remember that we're not actually very 'touristy' tourists. 

Neither of us really cares to see Times Square or The Statue of Liberty or press all of the buttons in the lift in the Empire State Building. Schlepping out to some gigantic Outlet Mall does not appeal either. And visiting ground zero seems like a bit of a depressing thing to do on such a short little dream-break.

Both of us would like to get a feel for the real city. A taste of what it would be like to actually live there (you know, if you didn't have to get a job or anything...) To that end, we've opted to use airbnb and stay in some guy called Dan's apartment for the few days we're there. He seems nice... I hope he's nice...


Devo has a list of places he'd like to visit that he's heard of from reading interviews with musicians, listening to podcasts, watching comedy shows... and pretending to not watch Sex and the City with me...

I have a few ideas of my own. Mostly from reading blogs and books where the city features... and ok, maybe from Sex and the City too...

But I want to make sure we have the BEST five days possible. So I'm asking for your help.

Give me some tips, please! Have you been to NYC? What did you LOVE? What did you hate? What was the best thing you ate? What off-the-beaten track stuff did you get the inside scoop on? What should we watch out for? What is unmissable? What is 'only ok, don't waste your time'? What did you wish you'd done differently? 

If you haven't been before - what's on your wish list?

Please just tell me all of the things.

Yay, New York!

***********************

P.S. If you want a €22.00 discount on your next airbnb booking please feel free to use my personal referral code: sdevlin10. This is not a sponsored post, by the way, I just thought I'd share the code I got after I booked!

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