Join the Valentine’s Book Lover Postcard Swap!

Book Lover Postcard Swap Valentine's Round 2018

Barb of Rite While U Can and I are back for possibly my favourite round of the Book Lover Postcard Swap – Valentine’s Day! And this time, we’re asking you to write about a literary couple you luuuurve. Extra points if you find a bookish postcard to use!

See below for all the information regarding signing up.

Also for this round, we will pick a winner around Valentine’s Day to receive a gift of lovey stationery based on anything tagged on Instagram or Twitter with #BookLoverPostcardSwap.

Book Review: Nice Try, Jane Sinner by Lianne Oelke

nice try, jane sinner via paper trail diary

Nice Try, Jane Sinner by Lianne Oelke, out January 9.

Thanks to Raincoast Books, I’m kicking off the Nice Try, Jane Sinner blog tour, along with Trisha Jenn Reads! Check out my review of the book, plus a Q&A with author Lianne Oelke below.

I love a good sassy protagonist who is (to a degree) self-aware, driven, and smart. I got exactly what I wanted out of Jane Sinner. In this YA novel written like a diary, Lianne gives a voice that commands to be heard.

Jane has just dropped out of high school due to something bad that happened (which she does not reveal right away but I will say has something to do with mental health), but she knows she can’t go on just living in her religious parents’ house doing nothing. Jane wants to go somewhere where people don’t know her as the girl who did a thing; she wants to reinvent herself.

“…I’ve racked my brain trying to answer the question Well, what else are you going to do with yourself, Jane? and I’ve got nothing. Just restlessness and understimulation and this constant hum in my body from energy wasted on Netflix. I need to run a marathon or something. I hate living in limbo.”

Things fall into place once Jane discovers she can finish her high school credits at a local community college. When brainstorming what to do about her living situation, she finds out that her college is looking for participants to live in a house together for a new web reality series, House of Orange. She applies (lying about her age), and gets in. Talk about reinvention! Though blending in and being on a reality show don’t exactly go hand-in-hand.

Jane keeps her diary that detail the hijinks, drama, and tribulations of throwing oneself into a new world on camera, and she does so with so much wit. She plays out dialogue like a screenplay, including her imaginary conversations with a shrink. She works her way around things that happen with her family and cast mates. And because it’s a diary, it also includes gems like this:

“What is ridiculous: how many different scented products a girl could use in one morning. Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, shaving cream, face wash, hand soap, hand lotion, body lotion, facial moisturizer, lip balm, toothpaste, body spray, hair gel, hair spray, and deodorant. So I could, in theory, smell like tropical coconut, pomegranate, zesty lemon, raving razz-berry, apricot, peppermint, orange, green tea, chocolate strawberry, vanilla Coke, spearmint, Hawaiian ginger, cherry secret, and rainstorm ALL AT ONCE. Which is, of course, exactly what I want.”

Jane starts to fall for one of her cast mates, Robbie, but when you’re competing against one another (for a used car, because college students), trust is always a foggy cloud cover. Robbie is the first person who she’s comfortable enough to confide in about her situation, and he seems to be on the same wavelength as her. Lately I’ve been hyper-aware of all the YA books that are about strong female characters who are doing something interesting, but then they meet someone and that’s the story. So I was happy to see that Robbie didn’t turn into the main plot of this book, he didn’t really change Jane, he didn’t distract her from her goals, or anything like that. He just happened to be a guy she became interested in and has to compete against, so ha ha tension. There is growth between them through the novel, but that’s not what the novel was about, which I really respected.

I also enjoyed the rest of the cast of characters, from the other cast mates Chaunt’Elle and Mark, to Jane’s sister Carol, to the producer of the show AP. The scenes of their challenges and confrontations whilst in front of cameras were a lot of fun. That van scene will be burned into my memory for a while. The dynamic between the odd professor/guide Mr. Dubs and Jane gave me strong Greendale/Britta vibes a la Community. (Two words: McNugz Club.) The peppering of Canadianisms (it takes place in Calgary!) was entertaining for me, though I don’t know if anyone outside of the country will understand the goofiness that is a Don Cherry bobblehead. But it still feels like a win to have that.

I liked how through her diary, Jane learns more about herself and who she wants to be. Her biggest concern is what she’s going to do with her life, which feels all too real. She opens up more about her mental health, she learns how to make new friends, and she finds comfort in her family again. You can really feel like you’re seeing her grow up. And again, what I valued the most about this was the emphasis put on how it’s her growing up into a person on her own.

Now for my question to Lianne! As I’m a big fan of her hilarious tweets/references about her cat, I knew I had to fit that in somehow, so…

Q: The book is well-known for being funny even if the subject matter is darker. Did you test out jokes on your cat? If so, how’d that go?

A: Yes, I did. She never laughed. Alley Cat supports me emotionally in other ways, though. I didn’t set out to write a funny book– I just wrote down anything I personally found hilarious. I wrote Nice Try, Jane Sinner in secret, partially because I would have been devastated to find out that I was terribly unfunny after all. It was almost claustrophobic at times, keeping everything to myself. I didn’t have any perspective, so I had to trust in my own, weird, dry sense of humor. I’m somewhat surprised that it translated so well!

~~ It definitely did, Lianne. Thank you for such a well-rounded book! That’s all for my blog tour stop, now head on over to Trisha and see what she has to say about Jane Sinner. And make sure to keep up with the rest of the awesome Canadian book bloggers this week!

Nice Try Jane Sinner Blog Tour

This entry was posted in Books.

My top 2017 books

paper trail diary best books 2017

As we all breathe out a sigh of relief that 2017 is over, but breathe in a hesitant breath of oh-god-what-if-2018-is-worse-but-for-now-I’ll-look-forward-to-it, whether we want to or not, it’s a time of reflection. So today, I’m coming in at the very end of the year to share my favourite books of the year, to your great luck and enjoyment!

It’s been tough figuring out this year’s list due to being indecisive on specific placements and sitting around trying to recall how I felt after reading each book, and an important part: how much I remember about them months later. If I can remember names and details still, to me, that’s huge :p I must say that my top three were rock solid in there, though. I more than loved those books, I felt them with my being. They’re the ones I haven’t stopped talking about, the ones that hit me to my core, the ones that were incredibly beautiful to me. While I do love all ten on this list for their own reasons, these three are just ingrained onto my heart.

So, my top ten 2017-published reads! *drumroll*:

  1. Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu
    • For its protagonist who learned how to stick up for herself and others, its story of girls in a conservative Southern high school striking back, and for the zines!
  2. The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
    • For Molly Peskin Suso being the closest character to myself I’ve ever found, and for just the pure love that fills this book.
  3. Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley
    • For the whole writing letters and leaving them in books in a bookstore thing, but I also had so much love for the four main characters.
  4. Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy
    • For Ramona being just the best and for her story of learning she’s bisexual. And for Julie’s gorgeous writing.
  5. Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer
    • For being so good I read it in a day, for its beautiful exploration of grief and for its lovely characters who are hilariously clueless.
  6. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
    • For being so powerful and full of purpose, for what it’s done in the book world, for Starr being the character you never want to be separated from, for Angie’s storytelling.
  7. You’re Welcome, Universe by Whitney Gardner
    • For Julia’s rage, art, and passion, and her friendship with a girl she dubs Yoga Pants.
  8. Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall
    • For its amazing portrayal of mental health and Louise’s lovely writing.
  9. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
    • For being addictive, fascinating, and really well told.
  10. The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed
    • For making me uncomfortable and angry, for showing how so many girls face sexual harassment and abuse, for its amazing three main girls who are the last people you’d think to be the secret organizers of an anonymous feminist group.

Want to know more about these awesome books? 8/10 are linked to posts of their own on the site where I gush a lot!

Now I really like to take a look at my overall reading at the end of the year, so here are my observations:

All the books in the top 10 are written by women. 9/10 are YA. I’d say 4 are considered diverse, and I’m pretty disappointed to see that out of these 10, only one was written by a WOC. My top three are all about white girls who are straight. And I fully realize that part of why I loved those books so much was because they tied into my identity or resonated with me personally, so I definitely need to work on identifying books I love for other reasons and unpack that. Reading more diversely was something I aimed for this year, and I’d at least say out of the 83 books I read, I did better than previous years, but this is still clearly not enough at all.

Girl power was a huge theme this year, especially under Moxie and The Nowhere Girls. I took immense delight in watching how people reacted to these books online and how they were inspired. Reading these books made me feel so many feelings from empowered to angry, which means they did their job.

I set my reading goal for the year to 60, knowing that I was starting a job in publishing, thinking that would mean fewer books read for pleasure due to reading for work. Looking at my progress on Goodreads, out of the 83 books I read, 58 were books for personal enjoyment, and 25 of them were plays I read for work. While this isn’t due to losing time, it’s just is what it is. Fine by me! I’ve really enjoyed adding plays to my reading repertoire, and getting more folks to do so as well.

I feel like continuing my top list to 20, so these are what 11-20 would be:

11. Dear Martin by Nic Stone
12. You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins
13. Everything All At Once by Katrina Leno
14. Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde
15. The Lost Art of Letter Writing by Menna van Praag
16. The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Perez
17. I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maureen Goo
18. Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
19. They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
20. When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

I have slowed down on reading grip lit and series. For grip lit, I was growing tired of feeling like I was reading the same story over and over again. For series, because for all the ones I started in 2016, I kept going with one of them (and the second book was a disappointment). I find that I get cravings for series that I can binge like a show or like Hunger Games (sadly movies not the books) but I haven’t found anything satisfactory yet, and I don’t like waiting a year+ for the next instalment. I tried Lauren Oliver’s Delirium trilogy and wasn’t thrilled with it, but it did give me the binge high.

Since I’ve become a book blogger, almost everything I read is from the same year that I read in… which is… weird. It puts me under pressure, to always be up on the new releases, and there are SO many coming out that grab my interest, but I only catch so many. Before I was a book blogger I just read whatever book I wanted regardless of when it came out or what publisher it was from.. :p Two books I read this year that were not published in 2017 were actually two books that I loooooved. They were Rooms by Lauren Oliver and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. I absolutely adored them, and if I had a list of any books I loved from 2017 these would be on it! Next year I hope I can loosen up on this some more and be able to find a more comfortable balance between new and ‘old’ books.

So! I’m looking forward to all the great books I’ll read in 2018.

What were your favourite books of 2017, and what do you like to observe about your reading habits? 

This entry was posted in Books.

Join the Book Lover Postcard Swap – 2017 holiday edition!

book lover postcard swap holiday 2017

The Book Lover Postcard Swap is back again for our holiday round – this time the challenge is to send your partner a bookish postcard about what book(s) are on your wish list!

See the instructions on the form below. Looking forward to this!

And make sure if you’re posting about it to use #bookloverpostcardswap! This time we’re stepping it up with a giveaway – by the end of the month we’ll choose a winner out of every public post with the hashtag to receive a package of holiday stationery 😉

Etsy updates!

I opened up a Paper Trail Diary Etsy shop a while ago, but didn’t put that much work into it. Now I’ve refreshed it for a 2.0 soft launch, and I want to show you what I’ve got!

So far, I have some zines and scrap paper packs available. Eventually I will add bunting, word banners, letter sets, and more. I’m open to suggestions of what you’d like to see there, too.

There are my 100g scrap paper packs:

paper trail diary scrap paper packsMost of the paper is scrapbook paper, and packages are chosen at random to mail.

My two issues of the Chain Letter Short Story Project zine:

paper trail diary chain letter short story project zine 1paper trail diary chain letter short story project zine 2The Chain Letter Short Story Project is something I started a few years ago, in which I start writing a short story, and send it to volunteers around the globe like a chain letter to keep adding on to the story, and then I finish it. I wanted to share the fun way the stories develop and so I also got the contributors to do illustrations, and put them together as zines! These both took about a year to go around the world each. I plan on starting #3 in the new year!

My Pillars of The Paper Trail Diary mini-zine collection (one on each of my blog’s four subjects!):

pillars of the paper trail diary zinesThese were sooo fun to make. They’re just my reasonings as to why each category is the bestest.

And the latest, my This is What It’s Like to be a Huge Stationery Nerd zine!:

paper trail diary stationery nerd zine

This was also super fun to do, and I did it in a night, which is unheard of for me! I think most of my readers will understand the pain I shared in these pages :p I named it the first in a Paper Trail Diary series so it’s something I’d like to keep going with, though I’m not sure with what yet! Each zine will likely be a different kind of topic. Let me know if there’s anything you’d like to see in a Paper Trail Diary zine!

These are all up on the shop to purchase now! 😉

Stationery Spotlight: the Well Inked subscription box

well inked box via paper trail diary

As we know, I’m a huge fan of notebooks and pens. So I was delighted to find out that one of the participants in my recent Notebook & Pen Swap was one of the organizers of the Well Inked Box — a Canadian-run subscription box for just those things! They run quarterly, and include a notebook and 3-5 other items like pens, pencils, highlighters, etc.

Here’s what their website has to say:

We are a quarterly subscription box which features creative supplies delivered to your door. Our goal is to encourage creators in various disciplines to step out of the digital realm, put pen to paper, and develop their creative vision. We want to provide you with the basics like you’ve never seen them before; notebooks, pens, pencils and more that will leave you asking why didn’t I know this was out there?”

Whether you’re a designer, an artist, a writer, or someone who simply likes to experiment, our goal is to curate a box that will allow you to try your hand at a variety of creative practices and encourage you to use supplies in new ways.

I was lucky to receive a box and you can too! Check out what I got, and then enter our contest to win one yourself.

well inked box via paper trail diary well inked box via paper trail diary

I was excited to see what I got — I thought the mini list notebooks were handy, and it was nice getting three because I could give one to my partner. And I like using the Uniball pen – I haven’t found a Uniball pen I’ve liked maybe ever! Since I have Muji here in Toronto, getting one of their pens wasn’t as thrilling as if I lived somewhere that didn’t have a Muji. But guys, Muji pens are the best. I also do love a good Tombow brush pen. I rarely use highlighters, but it is good to know of ones that last longer than most. I think this box would do well for those who live in areas that don’t have a lot of paper supplies around, or for the kind of people who are more spontaneous with what they use. I spend too much time in supply stores 😉 I appreciated the note they included in the box that gave some more context and ideas for each items, too!

Want to win this box? Comment below about what you like to use notebooks and pens for, and I will pick a winner at random on Wednesday, November 1.

Reading Round-Up: What I’ve read in the last few months

It’s a known catch among book bloggers: we read faster than we review. Recently I’ve found my books waiting to be reviewed in a giant pile, and rather than bog down the blog with big reviews for all of them, and stress about it, I decided I wanted to just come here and share them with you and share my thoughts. That’s what we’re here for anyway. So here are a whole bunch of books I’ve read in the last couple months!

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Join the Halloween Book Lover Postcard Swap!

book lover postcard swap halloween

Can you believe Barb and I have been running the Book Lover Postcard Swap for a year now?! Me neither! We’ve had so much fun with this project, and love seeing how people get into it.

This time around, we’re focusing on spoooooky reads, in time for the Halloween ~moods~. You’ll write on a bookish/Halloweenish postcard about a book that’s given you chills, witchy vibes, and/or nightmares. Muahaha.

To sign up, check out the form below. You must sign up by Saturday, October 7th!

Book Review: Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

moxie the paper trail diary

Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu, via Roaring Brook Press, out now.

It’s been fascinating watching what kinds of YA books are coming out now in tandem to the world’s current political climate. I think this is where we can see change in lit, starting with young people who are fired up or need something to fire them up. We’ve seen this with Angie Thomas’ The Hate U Give most specifically this year. And when we get onto talking about history repeating itself, it’s good to talk about the positive things that are bubbling up, too, like how we can show people how tools like zines and music and power in numbers can pack a punch.

I am the last person to say that ‘zines are dead,’ but I do think that they mostly exist within certain subcultures and that they ebb and flow through decades. The riot grrrls of the ’90s are now moms, people! I hadn’t thought much about how they’re being made by teens these days, or if they could fit into YA books, until it happened (so I’m glad someone else was thinking about it). When I heard about Jennifer Mathieu’s book Moxie, I practically fell out of my seat. This was the book I didn’t know I’d been so desperately waiting for.

I’m so happy Moxie is now out in the world, because this book means SO MUCH to me.

Moxie is the story of Vivan Carter, whose mom was once a riot grrrl, but any evidence now sleeps in a box in the closet while her mom works extra shifts as a nurse. Vivan’s a ‘nice girl’ and keeps to herself but fantasizes about her mom’s riotous past. Viv expects to live a normal, boring life, but when she sees a series of awful sexist things happen at school, something inside her explodes. She gets royally pissed off and knows exactly what to do: start a zine that calls out the problems and secretly leave it around the school. It’s in her blood. She wants to be kept secret from the zines – she doesn’t want or need the attention, and she wants girls to pick them up on their own accord. Nobody expects it’s her. She includes calls to action to see if anyone will join her – like in the first zine, she asks people to come to school the next day with hearts and stars drawn on their hands. While students are hesitant at first to be marked as rebels, soon others start to take Moxie into their own directions, and suddenly, Viv’s started a feminist revolution at her conservative Texas high school. BAM. Moxie girls fight back!

If you liked 13 Reasons Why but wanted to see more of a resistance or girls fighting back at their abusers and the system – this is what you’ll be looking for.

So, the zines. They’re in the book! Jen has made zines before, so she didn’t come as a newbie to this concept (thankfully), and she made the Moxie zines that are within the pages. It does a huge service to the story, and shows how simple it is to make a zine. Also, as someone who makes zines, I got a huge kick out of any time someone referred to Moxie as ‘that newsletter’ and Viv thinks ‘it’s a zine, but whatever.’ Classic. I really hope this inspires teens and adults to take up making zines as a way to get their thoughts, opinions, and feelings out there – it’s incredibly cathartic and can be quite effective, as we see here. I also just love that readers will be learning about zines and how they’re used.

I also love how much learning about feminism is in the story. Viv and her friends didn’t exactly identify as feminists before, but you see how they learn about it, grow with it, and then work with it. Viv’s love interest also gets a good reality check as a guy who wants to be an ally but doesn’t realize that some of his actions are sexist. (And the love interest is not the main part of the book, which I appreciate.) I know we all have our points on modern feminism, and there are parts that could’ve used more inclusion, but I see this book as a great starter for teens who don’t quite understand it yet. Hopefully they can see how it’s written out that certain actions and comments from men can be really hurtful. And thus I really hope young men read this and learn from it, too.

In a moment celebrating with friends, Viv says: “it occurs to me that this is what it means to be a feminist. Not a humanist or equalist or whatever. But a feminist. It’s not a bad word. After today it might be my favourite word. Because really all it is is girls supporting each other and wanting to be treated like human beings in a world that’s always finding ways to tell them they’re not.”

Moxie is about finding your voice and making people listen. Moxie is about using anger in a constructive way. Moxie is about friendship and looking out for each other. Moxie calls for change. Moxie is coming out at the perfect time.

It’s funny, I’ve been mulling this post over for days, and I feel like there should be so much more to say because I burst at the seams any time someone asks or brings it up. But I don’t want to overwhelm you! I just really wish the best for this book, and am so happy it exists. I was thrilled the whole time I was reading it. This is going to be either my #1 or #2 of 2017 for sure. But if you see a copy of the latest Broken Pencil magazine out in the world, you’ll find more about Moxie in it from me!

I so loved spending time with Viv and her friends, and you will too. It’s fun, inspiring, and the right amount of ragey. I drew a lot of hearts and underlines and wrote a lot of ‘omgs’ and ‘you sucks’ throughout my copy (that last one aimed at the awful bros). I think this is a good book to make your mark in. Amy Poehler’s already optioned it for a movie, so that means hopefully more Moxie in the future.

Now looksee, I got an interview with the author!

What inspired you to write a book about zines?
I first learned about zines when I read a book called Zine by the writer Pagan Kennedy; the book was a collection of Pagan’s zines called Pagan’s Head. A friend of mine gave me the collection in college and I loved it so much. I love the intimacy a zine provides, especially in this digital age. I love paper. I’m a big believer in writing about your obsessions and interests and translating that love into fiction, so when I started thinking of what I wanted to write next, I made a list of interests and zines were on there, along with feminism and Riot Grrrl. The idea for MOXIE came to me very suddenly and I was in love with it instantly!

Did you make zines when you were younger? Did you listen to riot grrrl? If yes, please explain what you made/listened to!
I actually did make a zine! It was called Jennifer (boring title!) and I started it during winter break of my senior year of college. I was partly inspired by Pagan Kennedy, partly interested in finding a way to express my confusion over impending adulthood. I can’t remember how many issues I made, but I think there were about 13 or 14 over the course of several years, like from age 21 until 26 or 27. I did listen to Riot Grrrl. In college a friend sent me a mix tape of Bikini Kill songs. A bit later I bought Sleater-Kinney’s Dig Me Out album. I had an instant connection with that music. It spoke to me on such a deep level. I loved it.

How did this get in the hands of Amy Poehler’s company? What can you tell me about what stage this is in? Do you have a casting wish list?
I’m fortunate enough to have a brilliant agent named Kerry Sparks who got the manuscript into the hands of the equally amazing Dana Spector, a book to film agent. Dana read the manuscript and immediately thought it would be of interest to certain folks, including Amy Poehler. She sent the manuscript out over the Thanksgiving weekend and by Christmas we had a deal. It all happened very quickly. Speaking with Amy on the phone during the negotiation process was a dream come true. She was so genuine, funny, and smart. She got what I was trying to do with the book; I cried when I got off the phone because she is such a hero of mine! For right now it’s really in development. Her company has a set amount of time to try and write a script, find funding, etc. I don’t really have a casting wish list, and ultimately, it will be Amy’s call how all that develops. But I trust her so much I’m not worried one bit!

What kind of research did you do for the book?
I love doing research and normally do quite a bit for my books, but for this one – not much! All of it came from my own background, experiences, interests, etc. So no research this time – besides getting very nostalgic and replaying old favorite songs and rewatching interviews with Riot Grrrls like Katheen Hanna.

Did you listen to riot grrrl while writing?
Oh, totally! I don’t always listen to music when I write, but for this book, yes. I listened to a lot of Bikini Kill, Team Dresch, Bratmobile, Sleater-Kinney, and other bands. I found this new Riot Grrrl-inspired band out of San Antonio called Fea that I also became obsessed with. They are a Chicana punk band and cool as hell.

Did you make the zines that are featured throughout the book? (Fantastic idea, btw.)
Yes, I did! I’m so glad you liked the idea. I had so much fun doing that. I keep thinking about how my old friends from my college days and my twenties are going to laugh so hard when they see them because they have the same vibe and feel as my zine from way back when, including the type of clip art I used.

What do you want teens to take from this story? Why is it so important to be told now?
I want teenagers, especially young women, to walk away from reading MOXIE knowing that living your life as a feminist is a joyful, wonderful way to live. Women’s liberation is about fighting for gender equality and freeing women and girls up from the toxic hold of a culture that expects them to follow a very prescriptive role that isn’t healthy or rewarding, but women’s liberation is also full of joy! As a feminist, I have created amazing bonds with female friends that aren’t about competition for men, for example; they’re just supporting each other. Being a feminist has had a positive impact on my life as a wife and mother, too. Because I’m a feminist, I married a man who supports my dreams and goals just as I support his, and he sees his role in raising our son as just as important as mine. Because I’m a feminist, I can raise my son to understand being a man isn’t about suppressing feelings or domination but about being a person who stands up for justice and for the right thing.  Choosing to live your life as a feminist means living a better life.

Buy on Indigo | Buy on Amazon | Buy on Barnes & Noble | Buy on Book Depository | Reserve at the Toronto Public Library | Add to Goodreads | Follow the Moxie blog

A look back on the 2017 Notebook & Pen Swap

A few months ago, I started the 2017 round of The Notebook & Pen Swap – which is quite literal in its name – and I think now we’re in pretty good shape to be able to show off our wares!

Over 80 people all over the globe signed up to be matched with someone to send each other a notebook and pen. With a little form filling out of preferences, they were good to go. I then matched everyone and sat back to enjoy seeing what they would make of it! It was so fun to scroll through the hashtags #notebookpenswap and #notebookandpenswap (yes I forgot my own hashtag and told people to use the wrong one) to see the gorgeous wrapping jobs and how above and beyond people go for their partners.

Check after the jump to see all the pretty photos of swaps!

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