In today's day and time, with social media at the forefront of everyone's mind, not to mention in front of their face, it seems as though putting pen to paper has become a lost art. I recall being a teenager and having a pen pal. YES! A pen pal. Try hard to scoop your jaw off the floor now because I'm just getting started here. Nowadays we are satisfied just being able to keep up with old friends and new ones via social media, and all the while, it's becoming more and more impersonal. I myself am the worst at knowing when someone's birthday is and sending a proper card. But hey, who needs to have a calendar full of birthdays when you have social media platforms to remind you when Joe Blow's birthday is, just in time to send the classic post "Happy Birthday Joe Blow!", right? WRONG! I am refusing to see all of the lovely handwritten letters and stationary perfection in some museum somewhere labeled as an ancient artifact alongside the history of The Pony Express. When you get a letter in the mail that has been written by someone you love, it has a completely different feel than a post on your timeline. It's so much more than just a card or a letter, it's literally their time, in an envelope. Anyone can sit from the comfort of their home, with phone or laptop in hand and send an impersonal "Thinking of you" post, but when you take the time to put your feelings on paper, what you are telling that person is that not only are you thinking of them, but that they are worth the time and effort it takes to give life to those words. I'm about to tell you something about me that you didn't know. I'm a stationery junkie. While I may not be great at Birthday Cards, I do love to send a note to people to tell them they are on my mind. One of my all-time favorite companies when it comes to lovely stationery is Rifle Paper Co. If writing letters and staying connected the old-fashioned way isn't your thing, you will for sure be feeling the writing bug when you have the appropriate tools. Rifle Paper Co. has always been the object of my affection because their prints are fresh and fun but also appeal to the lover of all things vintage side of me. I'm sort of a nerd when it comes to the history of a company. I love to read the "About" or "History" section of every website I visit. I want to know their story and how they began. I know what sparked me to create The Braided Root, and I want to know where their spark came from. I love the fact that Rifle Paper Co. started by a husband and wife team in the garage of their Florida home. Listen, I have worked with my husband before. I am very hard hitting and he is very laid back. All I can say is that we both survived. Barely. I love a good victory story and to see a company go from garage to New York Times, Southern Living, and Instyle, just to name a few, is a joy sparker for me. So, when I'm looking for stationary, they are one of my favs. If you want to make a solid effort to connect with others on a more personal level, start by giving yourself the tools you need to do so. I have a caddy that holds my favorite stationery, a journal, stamps, a pen, and a small blanket. When the weather is begging to be appreciated, I will find a tree and outside and live there for a bit. There is something magical and meaningful about getting lost for a bit, letting words swirl around your mind and then putting it on paper. Take a moment to be more connected with your loved ones and breathe life back into sending letters instead of texts. Live, Love, and Grow Roots.