Hi! I'm Nicole. I'm here because snail mail is a fun, low-stress hobby I can invest more or less time in as the seasons of my life allow, and I enjoy the connections made with snail-mail partners from all over. :) The info in my profile is for those, like me, who prefer lengthy profiles to get to know their partners. However, if you are a "less is more" person, feel free to skip over the chattiness & just please avoid the items in the "Please No" section (hopefully not too constraining). Other than that, I enjoy the many creative ideas people come up with in their snail-mail and my partners need not feel like they have to be profile-specific unless the swap calls for it! :)
I live in the outskirts of Atlanta, GA, I'm 40-something, married to a cute & fun Brazilian man, mom to 2 beautiful young (adult) women. We became empty nesters in 2020. I'm currently in grad school slowly pursuing my Masters degree 20+ years after my undergrad.
Other than that... I enjoy snail mail (obvs), thrifting, reading, hiking/walking, healthy-eating, being active in my church, tea-drinking, houseplants, my cat, my dog, sunshine & summertime, and an occasional nip of whiskey! ;)
In sum- to quote one of my favorite poets, Langston Hughes, "Well, I enjoy eating, sleeping, drinking, and loving people. I like to work and read, to learn new things and to understand life."
My husband and I recently bought an RV, so we are excited to begin enjoying that. We also hope to move "out to the country" within the next year. I'm eager to embrace a small town lifestyle, having lived in a metro/urban area my entire life.
Travel has been a huge part of my life, personally & academically. Places I've visited &/or studied: Mexico (spent many summers there as a child), Canada, Cuba, Brazil, France, England, Spain, Slovenia, Italy (& the Vatican), as well as Puerto Rico and 25 U.S. states + D.C. so far. I love to travel, even though I'm skittish about flying!
I've received some packages lately where the postage is nearly $10 or more- and the package isn't even all that big, it's just the weight. I feel bad for my fellow swap-botters spending so much on postage when I know they could be saving a bit. If you send heavy packages out on occasion, order yourself some priority mail padded flat rate envelopes from USPS. There is no cost to deliver them to your home and you can fill them up as much as you want for $8.55 as of October 2021. These are usually not available in the post office (at least where I live) though, so you have to order them online,
Please know that this is is no way mean to be a 'list of expectations", just some info for swaps that call for well-filled out profile likes & because I personally like to have lots to go on when I'm reading my own partners' profiles. :)
Late 2021 Wishlist: blue & white/ off white/ tan color Christmas items, cow Christmas items, rubber stamps (used ok!) in any of the following themes: butterflies, cats/ pawprints, houseplants.
My favorite colors are probably blues- all shades from sky to navy, especially combined with white. I'm also currently loving the following colors or combinations of them in my dining room: lavender, plum, navy, leafy greens, and small pops of tangerine. These colors are in a scenic painting my husband had commissioned as a gift for me based on a photograph I took- I love it!
I believe in the "3 r's": reduce, reuse, recycle! Much of my clothing and home decor comes from thrift/vintage stores. I'm definitely not a minimalist but I'm drawn to the ideals of minimalism & strive to "live with less".
If you don't know what to write, I enjoy quotes, song lyrics, haikus, jokes, or simple notes about you or your day.
My postcard wishlist:
I drink tea every day, but I've become a bit picky over the years. I try to avoid black tea (sort of- but do love a cuppa Earl Grey), and mostly stick to green tea with jasmine or green tea with mint (not a fan of plain old green tho), or herbal teas- I especially love spearmint, hibiscus, and lemongrass. My favorite bagged tea brands are NUMI & Runa brands, and I always like trying new flavors in those lines or other unique surprises you may have to share! (Sadly I have a slight ginger sensitivity, which is unfortunate because I really like the taste, so I do try to avoid blends with ginger)
If anyone wants to pass along a book to me they think I would enjoy, that would be lovely! If sending media mail makes it more affordable, please feel free, and you can message me the "note" to go with it (since technically media mail is only supposed to include educational items, no personal correspondence).
For fiction I enjoy mostly realistic contemporary or historical, some magical realism, and some dystopia (mostly YA for that genre). I enjoy both classics and contemporary novels. My favorite contemporary author is probably Liane Moriarty. I also enjoy Fredrik Backman and I've recently discovered Amity Gaige and think she's brilliant. Please no horror, dark/occult, or graphic violence/murder. I'm also not into the "harlequin" type romances, but a novel with a romantic plot is fine (for example I loved "The Time Traveler's Wife").
As for nonfiction I mostly read memoirs, particularly related to travel and expats exploring international language and cultures, or people who had very rural or nature-rich childhoods. I'm passionately and professionally interested in linguistics (socio, psycho, historical, cultural, etc) and my favorite linguist is John McWhorter. I really enjoy his books as well as his take on current issues.
Thrift store swaps
When I thrift, I always look out for blue & white dishes or pottery & Longaberger baskets, though I realize those are tough to mail. For smaller things, I enjoy vintage hankies or napkins with embroidery, vintage/ retro brooches, silk scarves, interesting belt buckles, small original paintings, needlepoint, & vintage (unstained) baby clothes.
Skin care products
Some swaps I join may call for skin care type items. I have very sensitive skin, so if at all possible, I greatly prefer very gentle, mostly natural products. Burt's Bees is an example of a brand that is easily found in most stores. I find many places, including Wal-Mart, now have a nice selection of more naturally sourced products. If you use essential oils like YL or DT, I would love any recommendations of EO products you have enjoyed, including DIY formulas.
crudity, nudity, profanity, or religious/ spiritual materials in swaps I'm sent (Orthodox Christian iconography is in my likes, so obviously, that's an exception). Thanks for respecting my beliefs and preferences, I'll do the same for those I send to.
As for book swaps, please no horror, dark/occult, or graphic violence/murder.
the following things won't offend me, but in the interest of full disclosure and saving your postage on things I probably won't use or pass on...
I prefer not to receive:
Please do NOT send me friendship books or sticker bags or other such "pass it along" mail. I don't participate in them, so their journey will probably end with me.
broken or rusty jewelry or other such items. I know some people are very creative with these things, but I'm not.
I don't sew or do any needle crafts so please save your extra needle craft supplies for someone who will actually use and enjoy them.
Also I have been put on a restrictive diet by my nutritionist & physician so other than bagged teas, I'd prefer not to receive anything edible.
I'm not super crafty. I know to many people this might seem strange because they consider swap-bot to be a craft exchange site. I consider it and use it as a pen-pal/ snail-mail site.
I do enjoy creating collage journals/ glue-books/ smash books, zibaldones and mail art
If you are digging through your stash and supplies and trying to figure out what to send me, crafty/ random destash things I would enjoy and use include:
* random single playing cards with images of cats on them. Why? I don't know, but I've received a few over the years here, and now I have an odd little collection that I find myself strangely fond of :)
* glassine or vellum envelopes or pockets of any size
* beautiful/ interesting ephemera or images to put in my glue books
* ephemera pockets, folders, and tags
* die cuts, especially nature themed (butterflies, animals, plants, celestial, weather themed...
* nature/ animal themed rubber stamps (gently used fine)
* still usable/ inky ink pads
* blank labels to use to write addresses on mail art envies
* good quality crafting glue sticks (not the kind for hot glue guns, the kind for paper crafting:)
* nice colored pencils
* "grown-up" pretty stickers (flat, I'm not a fan of 3-D), I esp. enjoy washi stickers, nature, & vintage travel themed
* washi (the papery kind, not the plastic-y kind)
* blank kraft paper stickers/ seals I can use my rubber stamps on here's an example
* handmade or decorated envelopes
I rate fairly according to swap-bot's rating criteria. If I receive a swap that meets all posted swap requirements, including being sent on time, I rate a 5. If I personally feel the swap was extra special to me, and that actually happens a lot, I add a heart For those that are new to swapping, and aren't aware, though, I'd just like to point out that it's generally considered very bad form to ask for hearts; it's really subjective. If the swap does not meet requirements, including being unreasonably late, I'll rate a 3. If I feel a reasonable amount of time has gone by and I have not received anything I will contact you first before rating a 1. I try to reflect my swap experience honestly and fairly, both for the person sending to me & the rest of the s-b community. You can count on me to rate quickly (although I don't check my POB every day, so don't get nervous if your d.c. says the package has been delivered & I haven't rated the same day; probably just didn't check my box yet, give me a day or 2;)).
To those I send to, I pledge to swap unto others as I would have swapped unto me; I'll send on time (or would pm you if for some extenuating circumstance I couldn't) & I'll put effort into making swaps that I hope would make my partners smile.
My swap-bot weak spot: replying to profile comments. I will reply to pm's (that need replying) but admit that since I can view comments from e-mail without logging into s-b, I sometimes forget to reply later or they get pushed off my profile quickly by other comments & there is no way to mark them "unread". So the short of it is: if you really need a reply from me, better to pm than comment, though I do love sweet comments I get that require no direct reply!:)
These days I'm in less official swaps, and enjoy granting wishes for my favorite groups, Wishlist and Cheap Postage swaps, tags, and fun
I have so much fun granting wishes & finding happy surprises in my mail box! :)
Note to self, waiting on a rating from:
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