Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Hello, hello!  Just sitting here grooving out to Erykah Badu's new album, and LOVING it!  I have never really listened to her music before now but I checked out her album after all the media attention was given to her new music video, and I ended up really liking the CD!  Her voice is just so unique, and the music in her songs just puts me in this really relaxed, almost dreamy state; it's really cool.  I always do this with new music though, I listen to it non-stop, just over, and over, and OVER again, and then I end up getting tired of it, so we'll see if I overdo it with this one too, LoL.  As of right now, though, I am in musical heaven.  Sooo....MAIL TIME!

Today in the mail I got a much anticipated letter from Belen, and a piece of post I was afraid actually got lost in the mail, but thank goodness I was wrong.  Usually mail only takes 2 days to get from her to me or vice versa since we are only a couple hours drive apart, but this letter took about a week, so I was worried! It was quite a thick envelope, though, and a little lopsided and special, and I can tell by the blurred/cockeyed/cut-off stamp cancel that the mail machine didn't do to well while sorting it, so that probably explains the lateness.  I was so excited to see it in the mail today!  ANYWAY, it was well worth the wait, as it was chock full of goodies!  A wonderful letter (as usual) and mail tag responses and requests.  Take a look:

^Front - love the envelope and stamp!

^Contents: Letter, her mail tag requests, and my mail tag requests: paint samples (LOVE THEM), list of ten, and some vanilla rooibos Tazo tea that I really can't wait to try; it smells so good and she said she enjoys it latte style, which I will definitely try since I always get vanilla lattes...perfect choice Belen!

Can't wait to reply to Belen, really.  That's it for incoming for the past couple days.  Here is some outgoing mail:

^Front of a postcard for Postcrossing.  From Postcrossing I checked out the receiver's blog and found out she is Courtney, a follower of my blog!  Cool coincidence, huh?  Her blog is really fun, and she's got some great mail on there, too.  Check it out!

^Back of the postcard...little blue fish is a 3D sticker I got on sale at Michael's in a sticker pack for like, $1.00.  I've been putting them on lots of stuff lately.

^A thank-you postcard for Anu.  She sent an entry for my 50 State Challenge and asked for a postcard in problem there!  :)

^Back of postcard...another 3D fish and some other fishy stickers I got in a Swap-bot swap.

^Handmade map envelope and intro letter to Zoe.  I have such a hard time writing intro letters...anyone else in the same boat on that one?  I just find that I'm kind of at a loss for what to say to a stranger.  I hope that doesn't come off the wrong way - I am so excited to write to new people and build up my contact list, but things just seem to get rolling easier for me after the first couple letters have been written.  

^Back, with big ol' 3D octopus from the same sticker pack as the fish.  

^Cat fold-n-seal with a quick note to The Missive Maven

Just a quick note before I wrap up the mail portion of this post: I am totally always looking for new pen-pals!  Last post, Zoe commented and said she'd like to become pen-pals and I was so happy...I feel like I haven't really expressed that, and since I don't make my address public it's not as easy for people to just write if they wanted to.  So, that said, always feel free to comment on posts and exchange e-mails and we can write from there...I would truly love it!

Oh, and one more note for mail...and I'm sure if you're reading my lonely little blog, you've already heard about this, but just in case you haven't, Bianca is doing a fun giveaway to celebrate the opening of her Etsy store/200th post/reaching 200 followers, so you should totally enter and try to win!  Speaking of which, I have to go do that myself.

To celebrate Easter this past Sunday, J and I cooked a nice dinner for my mom and grandparents.  I don't give up anything for Lent, but my mom gave up wine and my grandma gave up sweets/treats/snacks, so this was definitely a joyous day for them, especially because during Lent it's both my grandparents' birthdays and there couldn't be dessert because of my grandma's no-sweets thing, and both celebrations this year ended up on Fridays, which means no meat either!  We go to go all out for Easter dinner this year.  Once again, our menu came from Suzanne Goin's Sunday Suppers at Lucques.  As I've said before, this is a cookbook with recipes that require some time and TLC to complete, which is why we save it for occasions like this.  Farmer's Market produce helped make this meal super fab:

^Kabocha squash and fennel soup with candied pumpkin seeds.  I'm not a huge squash fan, and haven't loved Kabocha when we've cooked it before, but this was one yummy squash!  Super fragrant and sweet tasting...yum yum.

^Devi'ls chicken thighs with braised leeks.  (We all laughed when we realized we made a dish called Devil's chicken thigh's on Easter...)  I wish this was a more photogenic dish, but oh well, it tasted delicious!  The chicken is seared on the stovetop, then coated in a dijon mustard sauce, and then topped with homemade herbed breadcrumbs before being baked on top of the braised leeks, which were also really, really tasty.

^Dessert: hazelnut-brown butter cake with sauteed pears.  OMG, best part of the meal in my opinion.  Cake made with, and pears sauteed with, fresh vanilla bean, which makes such a HUGE difference!  To make the cake you grind hazelnuts with powdered sugar and flour for the dry ingredients, then alternately fold brown butter (butter that you cook until it's super nutty and delicious) and the dry ingredients into whipped egg whites for a super light and yummy cake.  Fresh whip cream for fun on top, plus syrupy goodness from the pear pan.

Hope you all are well, and hopefully the rest of the week brings me some good mail and/or food to blog about in the coming days.  Until next time!

Song of the moment: Window Seat
Artist: Erykah Badu
Album: New Amerykah, Pt. 2: Return of the Ankh


    It looks awesome I'm so excited.
    Intro letters are definitely hard and since I am just getting into the writing people again I feel like that is all I write lately, so I'm super-excited to get yours and actually have a letter to REPLY to instead. I'm sure it's awesome. But I definitely agree that things are easier once they get rolling, so I'll be sure to put a reply in the mail as soon as I get your letter ;)

  2. Intro letters are hard arent they! But once you get over that hurdle its well worth it. Oh i am so happy Bianca has opned an etsy store i think ill be her best customer haha.
    I put a postcard in the mail for you on Tuesday :-)

  3. Hey Aaron,
    Your awesome Milton the cat fold-and-mail arrived yesterday! Thanks so much.

    I don't find intro letters hard, but I guess I've written enough of them now that I've got a style down.

    I am torn between thinking this will be annoying or helpful, but helpful wins out, so a practical mailing tip for you: beware of using 3D stickers on envelopes (or postcards). They do not play nicely in the mail sorting machines. They may slow down your letter or get ripped right off. That being said, I've gotten 3D stickers successfully on envelopes many times, even from overseas - just be aware of the risk when you use them.

    Happy mailing!

  4. I totally know what Ilona's talking about with 3D stickers. In fact, I had to learn this from my postal working dad. Whenever I use to send out mail with 3D stickers, he'd tell me to seal it down with clear shipping tape. Kind of like laminating them. It'd help them slide through the machines safely.

    I knew I should've taped up the sides of the envelope. Sigh. But I'm glad it got to you in one piece! A couple of times, my parents have received their mail in pieces in a plastic envelope from the post office with an apologetic note saying it was caught in the machine and they tried saving as much as they could. My dad's had to package TONS of mail that have caught in machines. It's sad esp when they CAN'T save it.

  5. Aaron,
    I came across your blog from Illona (the missive maven) and would LOVE to be penpals with you! If your intrested please email me at rashelfr@[dot]com
    Thanks so much

  6. I randomly stumbled across your blog after a bit of comment stalking (hope that's okay!). You've renewed my love of snail mail, those are great letters!

    x Jasmine

  7. Stopping by your blog from Missive Maven ..ive been postcrossing too and isnt it lovely to just send and receive lots of mail ??
    And am totally with you on the intro part too ...its kinda hard in the beginning but then so much fun once you know the person ...
    glad i found your blog !!

  8. Hi, Aaron!
    Now that you've mentioned intro letters - I've been following your blog for some time now, but never got around to ask you if you wanted to be penpals :) my email address is vagaboheme@yahoo(dot)com, so if you're interested, please send me a note!

    xo Nicole

  9. I had no idea that envelope was your favourite, but I put it aside after I made it for you - something about it just made me want to send it to you! Guess I knew your taste subconsciously!? Hope you like it as much in person! :) x

  10. Hey Aaron!
    It was really enjoyable reading your blog and I do admire you for appreciating snail mail, I haven't met any guys that actually does =P I would love to become penpals with you! if you're interested do drop me an email :

    xsummerainx at gmail dot com

    looking forward to hear from you :D