Monday, January 25, 2010

Penpal of the Week #32

This time, let's meet our first Penpal of the Week from Finland: Tove.

1. Please tell us about you!

My name is Tove, I am 24 years old, at least for four more months! I am engaged to be married, the date of the big day is still not decided! But the wedding plans are in full mode! Together with my wonderful husband-to-be I have a beautiful baby girl, named Novalie. This means "new star" or "cloud" in Italian I've been told. Another child is very much welcome to our small family! I'd like to have my own "Brangelina clan" with biological children, that is.

Family portrait, Christmas 2009.
Novalie looks like a gingerbread lady, don't you think? ;D

We are living in the Turku Archipelago on a small island called Korppoo, Finland. Marcus's work keeps us out here. For you who don't know anything about this little island of ours it's about 80 kms from Turku, which used to be Finland's capital city back in the days ;) To get here you have to take two ferries, so we don't get a lot of unannounced company ;) I am currently working in a grocery store myself, planning on going back to school to study health care!

We are a very animal loving family. Fiibi is our four year old dog, who lives at my mothers; she didn't appreciate her new siblings, our cats Melvin, Miro and Matheo. Our boys don't mind sharing their home with Mollie and Minnie, our degus, which are half Guinea pigs and half Chinchillas for you who don't know what they are! And last but not least we have an aquarium.

Me and Fiibi (Phoebe in English)! This picture was taken
back in 2005 when Fiibi was only nine weeks old! Cute!

I love love love doing things with my hands! I recently made a portrait of Novalie using photopearls! It took me two days to get it done, it was worth it though! I also made a puzzle out of her kindergarden picture a while back. My grandmother taught me how to cross-stich, so I'm doing that too, so no, it's not just elderly people who do that kind of stuff x) My latest creation was a Christmas stocking for Novalie, who else? ;)

Photopearl portrait of Novalie, I made it in two days.
The puzzle was a Christmas gift to both me and Marcus.

2. Describe your personality in 10 words!

1. Honest – Honesty is number one in my book! I am a very honest person and I expect honesty from my friends and family too. Yes, the truth can sometimes sting pretty bad, but the lies and dishonesty hurt even more! I am not perfect but I tend to stick to the truth all the way around... a few white lies can't hurt though... right? ;)

2. Acceptable - I don't judge people, I accept them as who they are. I support gay rights, who's to say there can't be love between two males or two females? I accept different cultures, beliefs, and religions! I believe in equality!

3. Open minded - I like new ideas and I'll try anything once! We only have one life, why don't we make the most out of it? Go for it!!

4. Detailed – You can expect very detailed letters from me! In my letters I'm not shy, and I hope you're not either otherwise we might not click! I will tell you about anything into the last little detail!

This picture was taken at the autumn market
in Tammisaari back in 2009.

5. Shy – In new situations I tend to be withdrawn and shy. But once I get to know you I will open up more and you'll never get rid of me!!

6. Talkative – I recommend you bring a pair of ear plugs if you ever come to visit me! Otherwise I will keep you up 24/7!! I never shut up once I get going!

7. Opinionated – Ask me a question and I will answer. You might not like the answer though! I tell you exactly what I think, not what you want to hear!

8. Strong-willed – What can I say... What I want is what I get. For example my daughter's name, Marcus didn't like it at all when I first mentioned it in week 16. Once she was born I took a look at her and said "She looks like a Novalie, don't you think", he knew it was no point to argue, and I got my baby girl princess to be named Novalie.

My loves! Am I lucky or what?? :)

9. Fun – This I've been told by friends. I'm usually the one who lights up a dull moment. Not intentionally, but I seem to have a hidden talent of saying the right things at the wrong moment, you know? Weird, yes I know. That's me!!

10. Caring – I am the kind of friend you can call in the middle of the night and ask anything! Once I make a commitment to someone I'm there every day of the year every minute of the day. If you're feeling down I will do my best to cheer you up, and when you're happy I will be even happier for you!

3. How long have you been penpalling? How did you first start? Tell us about your first penpal!

I wrote my very first letter when I was eight years old. I had read an ad in a school paper and answered it. It was the beginning of my (soon to be) seventeen year long hobby! I loved it as much back then as I love it today! Besides, I thought it was so unfair when my mom got mail and I didn't... The only difference was that she was receiving bills when I received one sheet letters! Haha!

Maria, my first pen pal and I still have contact today. We don't write letters anymore but we do chat online from time to time. She's currently busy studying and I accept that, education is important! I used to be so happy when I found a letter from her in my mailbox, even though it only was one page long with big messy handwriting and a lot of questions. I still have the letters today! I save all my letters in a big red treasure chest, it's fun reading them over and over again some years later!

My treasure chest, filled with lovely letters from all over our globe.
Keep them coming!! :)

4. How many penpals do you have now and where are they from?

Gosh, I don't know the exact number since it changes a lot. At this moment I have to say I have around 20 pen pals. Whom I love very much!

I've met them all at InterPals where I have an account. They are all over this globe of ours! To mention a few countries: Finland, Sweden, Germany, Italy, Austria, USA, Australia...

Some of my penpals are still quite new to me like Muriel, whom I already love to pieces, Julia, the Austrian girl who writes her letters in Swedish, Sabrina who moved to my beautiful home coutry to be with her loved one, Ramona, the girl from Germany who was one of my first penpals from InterPals, Mandy, whom I actually already knew without knowing who she was (You know what I mean), Monica, who got me inspired to begin writing themed letters, Whitney, I know you gonna make me some beautiful wedding jewelry, Sarah, who sends the most interesting parcels with lots of suprises... And all the rest of you, you mean the world to me!

To explain what I mean with "themed letters". For example I sent a Moomin themed letter to Monica, (complete with Moomin drawings and candy) and a "Kiroileva siili" themed letter to Sabrina! Mandy got a really creative snowflake letter. I must say I did pretty good with the glitter on that one x)

5. What are your favorite topics to discuss in letters?

I don't have one favorite topic! My letters usually contain stuff about everyday-life, my thoughts and dreams. Experiences from the past, hopes for the future and anything else that pops up to mind! When I begin writing a letter I don't have it all figured out, I let it come as it comes. That's why you never know what will come next! I really do write about everything! In my letters I'm not shy! I will tell you about my lovelife, daughter, work, my past and what I'd like my future to look like. I will tell you about my happiest memories and my darkest, about my darkest secrets... EVERYTHING! I really do trust my penpals, like they were friends that live close by even though they don't. I consider my penpals to be so much more than "just penpals"!

This picture is taken on our forest adventure back in 2009 :)

6. What are you looking for in a penpal?

I am looking for long lasting friendship to start with. I'd prefer you to write long detailed letters as I do, that's not the main thing for me though! I hope, once we start writing that you won't disappear after a few letters! If you don't think we hit it off it's okay, tell me that, don't just stop writing! I want someone who's gonna be by my side in all situations! You know I'm going through a rough period right now and I'm so happy to have all of you! I will be there for you too!

Someone who really opens up and talks about everything! No one is perfect and neither am I, just be you! And don't hesitate to write me whenever you need me!!

But please, share the same values!

7. What do you like the most about penpalling?

I like to get stuff in the mail, the bills I can do without, but not letters from my friends and loved ones! I like the idea of having friends from all the corners of our planet! It's especially great if I would decide to travel the world someday! I would have a lot of places to go, and a lot of lovely people to meet up with! Besides, who doesn't love getting a letter in the mail from a really good penpal? Just to know that someone half around the world sat down to write a letter that's just meant for you to read! Love it!!

Me and my beautiful baby girl Novalie.
She was just a baby, now she's all grown up ;D

8. In what language(s) do you correspond?

For the most part I write in English. I also write in Swedish! Julia, who is from Austria, really impressed me (and still does!!) by her talent in languages – I love getting her letters, especially since she learned the language in just one year! AMAZING!!

Sabrina, the girl who moved from Germany to Finland and learned Finnish is another great friend of mine! I write my letters in Finnish to her, and she answers in which language she prefers! I must say that these two girls really have made their mark in my heart, so talented! (Pssst girls, teach me German!!)

So, I am writing letters in English, Swedish and Finnish.

Not the best picture, but that's 100 % my handwriting! :)
I hope you can read it!?

9. What are some of your habits in regards to letter writing?

I usually sit down to write a reply straight away! I actually sometimes manage to get a letter written in time for it to be mailed the same day I got mine! I don't like to keep my penpals waiting!

Before I get started to write a letter I have to figure out which paper to write on, it has to be perfect! I also choose a pencil very carefully, yes, I'm a perfectionist when it comes to writing letters! I want my penpals to really like them as much as I’ve liked their letters!

I write all of my letters in our living room or, rarely, at the kitchen table. I need to have some noise in the background which Novalie, my daughter, is more than happy to provide for her mommy ;)

Novalie goofing around. She LOVES the camera!

10. Has anything strange/funny ever happened to you since you've been penpalling?

Yes! I once had a male penpal from Ghana who tried to scam me for money! He portrayed himself to be a student with economy problems. He also sent me some necklaces to sell for him since he needed to feed his family... I sent them back and told him that as much as I'd like to help him I can't, and that I would be there for him if he needed a friend, but I wouldn't be able to send him food or money. I never heard from him again.

That's why I am taking some distance from male penpals. I'd like to have one, but unfortunately it's really hard to find someone who's "for real"... Hopefully I get one through this interview!

11. Have you met any of your penpals?

No, not yet. We are however talking about a penpal meeting with some of my penpals! If anyone of my current penpals are interested please let me know! I would LOVE to meet all of you one day! You mean the world to me!!

Novalie takes after her mommy!
How happy she is mailing Moni's package :D

12. Are you currently looking for more penpals?

Yes!! I am also looking for males to write to since I think it can be interesting to see what we might have in common! Please notice that I am engaged and only looking for friendship!

If anyone liked my interview and would like to get to know me better I'd be glad to write with you! So don't hesitate, contact me on InterPals and we take it from there!!

This is the most recent picture taken on me!
Posing with me is Fiibi, my four year old four legged baby.

Thank you for reading my interview, and thank you Julie for giving me the chance to do this!

You're welcome, Tove! And thank YOU for this lovely interview.

If anyone would like to be featured as Penpal of the Week on my blog, just reply to this post!

Julie xox


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  2. Your baby is beautiful! I liked a lot the picture where she is playing with the tire-shaped air cushion! She looks so happy there!

  3. Great post, as always! ;) I really enjoy reading "Penpal of the Week". They are so inspiring!!!
    I'm not sure if I would like to be featured, but I'd like to read stories of those fellow penpals from South America, Asia and Africa, not only from Europe and North America. I'm sure there're many wonderful penpals from those area too, and it would be very interesting to read their story, perhaps because I'm from Asia myself. :)

  4. You're totally right, Shihori! :) And I have great news for you: someone from Indonesia will be featured on my blog in a couple of weeks.

    There are 2 girls from South America who have been interviewed so far... But it's hard to find people outside of Europe and North America who want to be Penpal of the Week! I'll try to find more though! :)

    Julie xox

  5. Awesome interview Tove <3

    Well, I hope now that pals from Europe still have a "chance" ;) if so, I'd love to take part (

  6. Would love to be your penpal. I'm Chele, 28, australia.. if you email me your address i'll write the first one :) celticwench at iinet dot net au :)

  7. You seem very cool and we seem to have a lot in common! I'm a mom too (4 boys)and am from the USA. If you would like to be pals, just let me know!!

  8. I would love to be one of your penpals. I'm a mommy to. I live in the US and have all my life. You can email me at and i'll give u my address.