Samara O'Shea

Archive for the ‘Gifts’ Category

No, Thank YOU

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

I received the sweetest thank you note from Hope Wallace Karney a week or so ago. Hope, the doyenne behind, sent me a belated thank you package, which included several of her gorgeous cards. She was thanking me for participating in her Paper & Pen & Proust series earlier this year. No thank you was needed, I was more than happy to play along. I read the Proust Questionnaire in almost every issue of Vanity Fair. It was fun to participate. In any case, I was glad to receive the spontaneous gift. It’s a nice reminder that it’s never too late to say Thank You! Here are some of the cards:
These cards are elegant on the outside and blank on the inside. The card on the far left says “Congratulations on Finding Your Darcy.” I’m going to send it to friends of mine who just got engaged. They are gay guys and the card is perfect!

Color Me Happy

Friday, March 11th, 2011

This day in digital age, we often keep up with our friends by checking out their websites/blogs to see what they’re doing. Last night, I stopped by my friend Jennifer Paganelli’s page. She owns a colorful company called SisBoom, and she’s got some really fun stuff going on! First, she has a book coming out called Girl’s World: Twenty-One Pretty Sewing Projects to Make for Little Girls. I’m not much of a sewer, but I could certainly give the book as a gift. More importantly, she has a custom SisBoom journal coming out. Look at this:


Jennifer spent her adolescent years in the Virgin Islands, and everything she makes has that lively Caribbean way about it. She’s also created a vibrant notecard book:


These will both be in my paper collection soon. As one final, shameless promotion for my buddy Jen, here is a dress she made. It’s colorful and very comfy:


My Funny Valentine

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

I was in Target two days after Christmas and saw that they had the Valentine’s Day cards on full-frontal display already. That was fast! I thought. It wasn’t until about ten minutes later that I realized, for the first time in years, I did not feel assaulted by the Valentine’s Day display case. I was tempted to jump up and down but managed to control the urge. I did an instant replay in my mind: I walked by the cards without a passing thought other than They got them out quickly. In other words, the cards weren’t whispering to me You’re useless and unwanted as they have done so many times before.

It was an extraordinary personal achievement, and it’s a place I’ve been trying to arrive at for a while. I’ve had a boyfriend—or a date—on Valentine’s Day maybe five times in my life, and not in the past few years. I have had romantic situations come to their end just before Valentine’s Day, which makes it that much more painful.

Years ago I learned to appreciate the love—any type of love—that is shared on V-Day, and I’ve had some amazing Valentine’s Days spent with friends. I’ve just never been able to fully overcome the uncomfortable moment between me and the Hallmark display case. It sits there in all its red and pink glory reminding me that I don’t have anyone to buy a romantic card for.

Until this year! Booyah! Take THAT display case! I realized once and for all that whatever the display case was saying to me was in my head, and the voice has left the head.

One of my most memorable V-Day’s was 2007. My mom and I took a train to D.C. for my first radio show. At the end of the day, I received the most wonderful voice message I have ever received—it was my agent telling me what a great job I did.

Yesterday was a relatively tame V-Day, but I did receive some amusing gifts. From my sister, SpongeBob stickers and chocolate-covered pretzels:



From Masa in Louisiana, a unique and thoughtful rose petal and pistachio chocolate bar.


Presidential Gratitude

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

I mentioned that I was due to receive a thank you note from the president. It has arrived! obamafamily.jpg


You are very welcome Mr. President!

365 Thank Yous

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

I just ordered this book:


I look forward to reading it, and I look forward to writing my own 365 thank you notes one of these years. Probably an even year–I’m a little OCD with my even numbers. The book was published on December 28, 2010, which means Letter writing lives into 2011!

Here’s the book trailer:

New Year’s Gratitude

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

I’d like to start the year off by saying thank you to all of my lovely readers. Drawing specific thanks to the following three. Masa from Louisiana sent me this “Santa on the Bayou” card. I love it. Only in LA would you come across something like this:

It randomly has a recipe for bread pudding on the back:

Masa also sent these Fleur de Lis chocolates. I’m not sure if I ever told him, but I have a Fleur de Lis tattooed on the small of my back, so these have more than one meaning for me:

Mike and Lynn from Virginia sent another set of gorgeous homemade cards. I think these work well for winter (they could be poinsettias) or spring (they could be any sweet spring flower):

Reader Audra from Connecticut sent me a link to therapeutic Things Unsaid Project. It encourages people to write unsent letters and anonymously send them in. It’s a fantastic idea. Thanks for drawing my attention to it Audra.

Thank you everyone! I haven’t been to my P.O. Box in a while. If you sent something there you will get credit for it. I promise! I hope your New Year is off to a splendid start.

Shea Butter Socks and Love

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

One of my co-workers gave me the greatest gift yesterday: Fuzzy socks infused with Shea Butter. I put them on as soon as I got home. They are soft and smell sooo good. I kept thinking, “What is that wonderful smell? Oh! It’s my feet.” The tags says the Shea Butter will survive twenty-five washes. Whether they do or don’t, I’m glad to have them to wear on Christmas Day (a day in which I live in my pjs).


They have those plastic thingies on the bottom to keep me from slip-sliding all over my hardwood floors. These are a thoughtful, inexpensive gift to give someone you see in passing—a co-worker, bus driver, teacher.

In an unrelated point: Here’s another stellar quote from The Art of Loving, which I mentioned three blogs ago. There’s more to come. This is an outstanding book:

“Love is possible only if two people communicate from the center of their existence, hence if each one of them experiences himself from the center of his existence. Only in this “central experience” is human reality, only here is aliveness, only here is the basis for love. Love, experienced thus, is a constant challenge: it is not a resting place, but a moving, growing, working together, even whether there is harmony or conflict, joy or sadness, is secondary to the fundamental fact that two people experience themselves from the essence of their existence, that they are one with each other by being one with themselves, rather than by fleeing from themselves.”

~ Eric Fromm