On Nov. 27, 2021, I mailed out my 1000th swap & Nov. 23, 2022 will mark 15 years as an active member of swap-bot woo-hoo! :)
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 wonderful man, mom to 2 beautiful young (adult) women.
Other than that... I enjoy 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 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 & briefly studied at a university), Canada, Cuba (study abroad), Brazil, France, England, Spain, Slovenia, Italy (taught English for a summer), Vatican City, 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!
Please know that this is is no way meant 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. :)
My favorite colors are probably blues- all shades from sky to navy, especially combined with white. I'm also drawn toward lavender and pinks. I actually enjoy most colors depending on the context (e.g. some I like generally but wouldn't wear). The exceptions would probably be I'm not much a fan of large doses of drab olives, mustard yellows, oranges, or browns- I guess the fall colors are not my palette unless it's seasonal.
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 love a cuppa Earl Grey in the morning, flavored green tea with jasmine or mint in the afternoon (not a fan of plain old green tho), and herbal teas in the evening- I especially love spearmint, lemongrass, and flavored rooibos. 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, which includes chais- boo)
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 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/ fragrance products
Some swaps I join may call for skin care/ fragranced type items. Due to skin & sinus sensitivities, 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.
For fragranced items, I cannot use most that soak into my skin (lotions, perfumes) or creates smoke (candles). I am fine with sachets, potpourri, things like car air fresheners, anything scratch n sniff, etc. I do diffuse pure essential oils, so 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.
Not a fan of: items with loose glitter that falls off when I open the package, or anything poop or barf related (e.g. emojis, and while I enjoy cats-not so much images of them in litterboxes, etc).
not into most licensed character imagery/ items (e.g. Disney, Marvel, Starwars, etc) with the exception being cat characters which are usually a "yes please!" (i.e. I do love Garfield, Pusheen, Aristocats, etc)
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 & 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:
* would really love a bone folder tool or a mini paper cutter if anyone has one to pass along
* number 2 lead pencils with erasers intact for the students I work with (&/or pencil topper erasers like these )
* random single playing cards with images of cats or owls 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 :)
* fun, novelty shaped paper clips- another tiny collection I've started without realizing it :)
* 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 for hot glue guns, for paper crafting:)
* nice colored pencils
* "grown-up" pretty stickers (flat, I'm not a fan of 3-D)
* 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
*Sharpie S-gel pens or Pilot G2 pens are my favorites (black or asst. colors)
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! :)
I've received some packages lately where the postage is $10 or more & the package isn't even that big, it's just weighty. I feel bad for my fellow swappers 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 & you can fill them up as much as you want for $9.35 as of October 2021. These are usually not available in the post office though, so you have to order them online,
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