Samara O'Shea

Archive for the ‘Gifts’ Category

E-Thank You Notes

Tuesday, October 30th, 2018

A friend of mine sent me a thank you note last week, over email. I’m not judging. I’m praising! She thanked me for the 40th birthday present I gave her, the 4-hour trip I took to attend the party, and she attached photos to liven up the message. I have received more handwritten thank you notes from this friend over the past 15 years than any other friend. At 40, she has two young children and not as much time to hand-write notes. She’ll get back to it in 18 years or so. I understand. The note brightened my day nonetheless.

I must confess: I’ve written a few e-notes over the years. I’m not talking about the practical emails we send all day every day but rather the emotional messages that require a little more thought. It can happen that time is of the essence and it’s better to send an e-message than no message at all. When that’s the case, I turn to Paperless Post. (more…)

Welcome to Whoville

Friday, November 11th, 2016

This is what I posted on Facebook the morning of November 9th:

Friends, It’s as if we are the Whos of Whoville and we woke up to discover that our gifts and the food for our feast had been stolen in the night. We know what to do: Go outside and hold hands and sing anyway—through our tears and through our fears. Let the Grinch hear the sounds of a group of people who love each other and who will stand by and protect each other come what may.

Transform Your Holiday Cards Into Something Actually Useful

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

I was interviewed for a little ditty on holiday cards for Men’s Health also got into touch with me recently for a short piece they’re doing on writing love letters. As we’ve suspected all along, people are still writing letters!

Sweet Treat

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

Happy Halloween!

I received a treat today (no tricks but the day isn’t over yet). The Duquesne University Alumni Association sent me a note congratulating me on the book. What a fun little surprise! I hope there are some confections (expected or unexpected/paper or candy) headed your way today, too. [Click on the image to enlarge].

Letter from Duquesne to Samara


Thursday, March 29th, 2012

Tomorrow will be my last day at my current job and I will begin a new one on Monday (no rest for the weary!) I will give details about the switch in the weeks to come because there’s a great big benefit that comes with my new job. I’m excited to share, but not yet!

In any case, I am saying goodbye to my coworkers by giving each of them a mini bottle of top shelf alcohol. I see these adorable things in the liquor store and wonder what people use them for. Gifts! They are $2.99 (and under), and I’m pretty sure they will be appreciated.

A little bag of these makes a nice hostess gift or 21st-birthday gift.

Missives with a Mission

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

Do you have tissues nearby? You might need them. . .

Following my interview on WPR , I received an e-mail from Brian in Michigan introducing me to Paperworks Studio. Paperworks is a card company with not one but two incredible missions.

Mission 1. The gorgeous cards are made from recycled materials including coffee (yes coffee), denim, flowers, and wool. The cards are also acid free.

Mission 2. The cards are created by a team of artists with special needs and disadvantages. Paperwork Studio is their positive entrance into the working world. This experience helps build confidence and gives the artists a sense of independence and pride in their work. Take a look:

Brian was generous to send me a few of the cards, and they are all they promise to be–unique, charming, and very usable.

The one on the left is my favorite. It’s called Mocha and made with recycled (you guessed it) coffee grounds. I’m not certain of the material used to make the one on the right, but the package says “recycled” and the color is lovely. (The photo isn’t doing it justice).

The card on the left is made of wool (yes, it’s fuzzy) and the card on the right is made of denim. Excellent use of these materials I say. From the site, I also adore these Marbled and Groovy cards. They remind me of summer. Paperwork Studio – keep up the wonderful work!

Not this Thursday but Next. . .

Monday, January 30th, 2012

. . .I’ll be teaching a love-letter writing workshop at Harcum College in Bryn Mawr, PA. It’s free, open to the public, and starts at 6:45 pm on February 9th. I’ve taught letter-writing workshops before but this is my first one dedicated entirely to love letters. I’m excited! Stop by if you’re in the tri-state area. did a nice write up on it: Harcum invites community to love, write.