Tag: stationery

Cognitive Surplus Wax Seal Kits

Cognitive Surplus Wax Seals

Cognitive Surplus asked me if I’d like to try out their awesome array of Wax Seals. I had such a hard time choosing a design, they kindly sent me two because I could not make up my mind. I got the Erlenmeyer Flask and the Moon. The Erlenmeyer Flask came with a deep red wax stick and the Moon Seal came with a metallic silver wax stick.

If you love space and science themes, then their selection of of wax seals will be right up your alley too. Each kit comes with a brass seal mounted to a wooden handle and a coordinating wax stick in a small box with a lovely label. Each kit sells for $26.

Cognitive Surplus Wax Seals

Cognitive Surplus Wax Seals

The detail on the moon seal is excellent. This is so cool!

Cognitive Surplus Wax Seals

And the Erlenmeyer flask is also nerd cool!

Cognitive Surplus Wax Seals

I did my best to light the wax stick and pool the wax onto my envelope and then press the seal into it. I waited for for a few seconds for the wax to cool and the slowly wiggled the seal loose as the wax cooled and voila! the seal looks pretty good for my first try!

Cognitive Surplus Wax Seals

I had equally good luck with the moon seal and on my first try too. It looks so amazing! But I think my husband will steal it and take it to Skylab Letterpress. So if you want a letter sealed with moon wax, you better write a letter to Skylab.

Special Deal for Desk Readers: Receive 20% off your purchase when you use the coupon code WellAppointedDesk. Offer is good through May 15, 2016.

DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Cognitive Surplus for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

Ask The Desk: Good (and Pretty) Stationery


Cialina asked (me way back in October):

Hello! Holiday season is coming up and I’m looking for fountain pen-friendly stationery to gift to my friends. I’m looking for more than just blank writing tablets like Clairefontaine and more in line with Rifle Paper Co products. Any ideas? Thanks!

This is a question that frequently comes up. Folks are often looking for good quality stationery (emphasis on GOOD paper for fountain pens) but also pretty designs. While there are several good options that are plain paper like Clairefontaine, G. Lalo or Original Crown Mill, or even Rhodia Pads they are not very “fancy”. No flowers, dots, stripes, or embellishments that capture the sender’s joie de vivre. But the paper quality is excellent. I recommend having some on hand for second sheets, and for those occasions when you might not want to use floral, funky or Hello Kitty stationery. Goulet Pens and JetPens are good sources for these.

My first instinct is to go to the tried-and-true stationers like Crane (who also produces William Arthur and Vera Wang stationery), Kate Spade, other high-end producers of stationery goods.  I don’t have the budget to personally test out each and every brand but I was able to establish that Crane uses 100% cotton paper which is tree-free, obviously, and considered quite upscale. Cotton paper will be a bit more absorbent than cardstock notecards but overall, Crane has been making paper for handwritten correspondence for over a century. You can buy some of their pre-printed designs or have a monogram or custom design printed. Very posh indeed.

Rifle Paper Co. Monarch Writing Pad and Envelopes

Then, there are a few stationery shops that I basically have to hide my credit cards before entering because I will spend all my money. One of those places is Greer Chicago. The amazing proprietress and her staff stock such an assortment of paper goods as to make a grown woman weep with joy. Greer stocks lots of options for notecards and folded cards. Unfortunately, there are still not a lot of letter sheet stationery options on the market. Greer does offers the Rifle Paper Monarch Set with paper and matching envelopes for $29. Its listed as heavyweight paper and, while I cannot attest to the fountain pen friendliness, it is so beautiful, I’d be willing to take a chance on it.

Finally, here’s an assortment of some posh but not necessarily fountain pen friendly stationery options that I’ve found. Most of this is small batch printing, so the paper quality is probably much higher than most. It’s largely letterpress printed as well so they usually use fairly heavyweight stocks which will increase your odds of paper that will play well with fountain pens. Either way, they are super cute and non-seasonal and would be perfect to have a stack handy for dashing off your next letter or note.


  • Write_On Hello! Lucky Bird Stationery Kit $26.95 (via Paper Source)
  • Social Preparedness Kit TUBES WRITE-ON-ELOPES $18 (via Egg Press)
  • Violet Floral Set of 12 flat notes and envenlopes $18.70 (via Rifle Paper Co.)
  • WRITE ON notecards Set of 6 for $14 (via Hello Lucky)
  • STRING THEORY box set of 20 note cards and pattern-lined envelopes $8.25 (via Elum)

InCoWriMo Stationery Package Set: Bamboo Green

incowrimo kit-4

I swore to myself this year I would skip InCoWriMo/LetterMo because I can get so overwhelmed with too many letters and not enough time. However, everywhere I turn this year, all signs are pointing to a February full of letter-writing. I cannot diverge from the path, not when people are putting all these beautiful things on my doorstep making it impossible for me not to want to write lots of letters! To start, the folks are Goulet Pens have put together fabulous color coordinated Stationery Package Sets like the Bamboo Green Kit ($84.90, reduced from $100.90 retail). In this kit is Original Crown Mill Correspondence Set with 25 edged sheets and matching lined envelopes in lime green, a bottle of color coordinated Pilot Iroshiuku ink in Chiku-Rin and a Faber-Castell Loom fountain pen in Lime.

incowrimo kit-6

I’ve  always wanted to try a Faber-Castell fountain pen and this was the perfect opportunity to do so. The barrel of the pen is shiny, silver chrome with a brush solve grip section. The cap is lime green plastic embossed with the Faber-Castell logo and has a spring-loaded, silver clip. When I’ve seen pictures of this pen the cap always looks really bulbous. In person, its not nearly as noticeable. The cap is a little bit more rounded than the smooth cylindrical barrel of the pen but the cap is not onion-headed. Its much better looking in person. Is it possible for a pen to not be as photogenic as it is pretty in person?

The body of the pen is quite weighty. The whole pen with cap weighs in at 33gms, unposted its 27gms. Comparing it to other low-priced pens, you can see that the Faber-CAstell Loom is no lightweight. Surprisingly though, when I started writing with it, the pen itself is so well-balanced, I did not notice the weight though I did use the pen unposted so it was just a little weightier than a Lamy AL-Star.

Fountain Pen Weights

The Loom is 5.125″ (13cm) long capped, just 3/8″ (1cm) shorter than a Lamy Safari and the grip on the Loom is 3cm long to the Safari’s 3.5cm grip. So they are quite comparable in size but the Loom is a much weightier pen and the nib is much silkier out of the box (comparing F nib to F nib). Both also use snap caps and the Loom snap cap is very tight.

I got the F nib and I was kind of blown away with how smooth it wrote right out of the box. It wrote immediately upon filling and had no hard starts, even after I left it uncapped for 10 minutes.


The Pilot Iroshizuku Chiku-Rin also performed quite well even in the fine nib of the Loom. everything was readable and I got good shading out of the nib. The Loom plus the Chiku-Rin is actually a good match-up I was quite pleased with my results! I did my writing tests on my standard Rhodia Blank writing pad just so my results were consistent with all my all ink and pen tests and I was really happy with how it all turned out.

I haven’t tested everything out on the Original Crown Mill stationery yet but the paper is a nice bright white with some lovely tooth to the stock and I will be sure to do a follow-up about how the stationery performs but I’m not expecting any issues. Original Crown Mill is known for its good quality paper and it looks beautiful! The paper and envelopes came in a sturdy metallic silver box too which seems posh and old world. I miss stationery that comes in a good box and this set delivers! Lined envelopes!

Several other stationery color sets are available as well in navy, fuchsia, royal blue and dark green in a range of prices and each include a fountain pen, matching ink and a Original Crown Mill Correspondence Set if lime green isn’t your thing.

incowrimo kit-2

And the folks at Goulet Pens wanted my InCoWriMo/LetterMo to be completely decked out and totally color coordinated so they included an edelweiss wax seal ($12) and handle ($16) and two matching green wax seal wax sticks ($6 each) too. I love that the was sticks are embossed with “Atelier Gargoyle”.

incowrimo kit-3

I was a bit nervous to try the seals out on an actual letter so I thought I might practice first in case I made a complete mess.

incowrimo kit-7

I’ve never learned how to seal a letter with a wax seal so I looked for some videos on YouTube to learn how to do it. I now know why Brian Goulet was playing with blow torches on the Q&A video this week. I didn’t have anything that extreme so I practiced melting the wax using a long grill lighter which worked great until I ran out of butane. The example above was my first try and I think it turned out pretty good on my desk scratch paper. (The dust in the seal was from my second attempt with a candle and I got candle wax all over my desk. It was not the wax stick’s fault. It was a total user error)

The best thing is the wax his actually quite flexible, its not at all brittle and I think it will hold up well to the rigors of the postal service, even in the cold temperatures of a Midwest winter. I can see why Goulet chose to stock this brand. The wax melted easily, it smelled pleasing and stayed supple. And I’m impressed with the level of detail in the seal design. Wow, I’m officially a convert to wax seals. This was super easy to do. I just wish I hadn’t run out of lighter fluid.

incowrimo kit-1

So, it looks like I’m all set for February! Are you? Will you be participating in InCoWriMo/LetterMo this year?

DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Goulet Pens for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

Shop Tour: Oblation Papers

While in Portland recently, I got a chance to visit Oblation Papers. When the staff realized that we were a letterpress printer (my husband), a lettering artist (my friend Madeline) and a stationery blogger (that would be me), we got a full behind-the-scenes tour. We also happened to be in the store on the day of their 25th anniversary so we got to share cupcakes and cheer too.

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I took so many photos that I felt a gallery presentation was the only way to share these. (Hope that’s okay. There are more great “behind the scenes” photos on the Oblation blog if you can’t get enough.)

Oblation Papers is not just a retail stationery shop, its also a paper making facility and a letterpress print shop. There is also a magical closet of vintage typewriters that are repaired and cleaned and put out for sale.

Ron, one of the owners of the shop, happily toured us around showing us the paper making tools like the pulping and beating machines as well as the frames used to create handmade paper and shaped papers. Then we visited the mythical closet where I nudged everyone out of the way to stand, surrounded on four sides by shelves, in a room of vintage typewriters. Then we wandered into the print shop filled with Chandler & Price and Heidelberg Windmill presses and we met the delightful Jennie. She is one of the press operators who was such a good sport, she and her husband took our motley bunch out for beers after the tour.

I got a few last looks at the actual shop floor filled with lots of unique cards, both Oblation and other small indie brands, as well as a vintage Sheaffer case filled with vintage pens for sale and another case filled with newer pens and writing tools. Oblation also stocks wax seals and other goodies. Its an amazing place and the staff there were so kind and knowledgeable.

If you’re in Portland definitely stop by. OR check out their online store.

The National Stationery Show (#NSS2014)

Office Supply Geek spies J. Herbin mini bottles

The last couple days have left my Instagram feed in awash in photos from the Stationery Show in New York. This annual event is THE place where all our favorite stationery and card companies unveil their latest goods and buyers from shops, big and small, place orders for the coming year.

I thought I’d share a few photos but if you want to see the over 6000 images on Instagram, just search for #NSS2014. Click on images to see the original photo or post.

KnockKnock wrist reminders and a Rifle Paper Co temporary tattoo Exaclair unveils Rhodia Ice at NSS2014 easy Tiger Stay Fancy Soda Glass Screen Shot 2014-05-20 at 1.45.28 PM

Easy, Tiger Giveaway

Easy, Tiger Vending Machine

The folks behind the start-up Easy, Tiger are rocking the local KC scene with their inventive card vending machines in area coffee shops as well as their pop-up shop on First Fridays in the Crossroads. For those folks outside the KC area, you can purchase their unique, witty cards, tees and prints from their online shop.It’s not as fun as pulling the handle on a vending machine but the cards are just as cool.

The 2-person team has created an assortment of tees, cards and prints and the web site is hinting at journals being on the horizon. I can’t wait to see the journals!

Easy, Tiger Tee

Tees sell for $19.99.

Cowboy Card I blame you card Nothing I Won't Do Card

These are a few of my favorite cards. Fun, playful and everyday sendable. Each card is $2.49.

Best at Life Print

The new print is a gold foil stamped design on black paper. It’s 13×19″ and sells for $24.99. The perfect gift for the champ in your life.

Easy, Tiger have kindly offered a prize package that will include a print, a tee and an assortment of cards. Please tell me what your favorite Easy, Tiger card is in the comments to be entered to win.

FINE PRINT: All entries must be submitted by 10pm CST on Friday, December 13, 2013. All entries must be submitted at wellappointeddesk.com, not Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook, okay? Winner will be announced on Monday. Winner will be selected by random number generator from entries that played by the rules (see above). Please include your email address in the comment form so that I can contact you if you win. I will not save email addresses or sell them to anyone — pinky swear. If winner does not respond within 30 days, I will draw a new giveaway winner. Shipping via USPS first class is covered. Additional shipping options or insurance will have to be paid by the winner (this means that international readers are welcome to enter if you’re willing to pay for postage. If not, please do not enter this giveaway). We are generous but we’re not made of money.

Neatography: A Subscription-Based Paper Goods Shop

Neatography Subscription

Neatography is a subscription-based paper goods company from outside Chattanooga, TN. As a former resident of Chattanooga, I was really excited to see what kinds of products Neatography would offer and to have a chance to offer support to a hometown girl. The package was wrapped in lovely grey-and-white twine with a hand-stamped tag. It felt like a delightful little present!

In the package, Lindsey includes an assortment of products that value at least $25. Since the monthly subscription rate is $23 +$4 shipping, that seems more than fair. My kit included a letterpress fill-in-the-blank card from Ruff House Art; a set of fabric-covered, polka dot thumbtacks in grey and orange from Girl of All Work; an “Old School” notepad, also from Ruff House Art; a roll  washi-style masking tape with arrow pattern from Side Show Press; and four US Forever stamps with the heart wax seal from this year. Neatography also includes a self-address, stamped reply postcard to send back to Lindsey with your comments about the set.

Details of Neatography Subscription


I think this is one of the nicest collections I’ve received from a paper good subscription and I particularly liked the inclusion of a block of stamps. Its a very thoughtful way to make keeping in touch quick and easy. All of the products seemed to come from small, independent companies and none were products I’d seen or purchased before which was quite a treat.

The notepad is lovely offset printed tablet of 50 lined sheets and I look forward to using it. I’m about to move offices at work again and I think the cloth thumbtacks will be nice on my plain office pinboards. And, seriously, who doesn’t love a roll of washi/masking tape? Its a giant roll!

The Neatography subscriptions are available in a limited quantity and can be purchased as a one-time shipment, monthly or on a quarterly basis. The price is the same per shipment regardless of which option you choose. A single one-time purchase would be a great gift for a friend. Sadly, it doesn’t look as if international shipping is currently available.

DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Neatography for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

Moglea Stationery

Moglea Couture Collection

Moglea is a tiny letterpress print shop run from a farmhouse in rural Iowa. They are creating some beautiful cards and stationery products as well as printing services and custom design and printing work.

Moglea letterquette

The Letterquette set was inspired by a vintage Eaton’s stationery set. The kits include notecards and envelopes.

Moglea notepads

They also created a series of notepads  for to do lists, grocery lists and assorted notes. Each pad is letterpress printed with artwork or an inspirational title in a casual script.

Moglea Mail Candy

Visit the Moglea shop on Etsy to purchase products. All the images are from their 2013 Lookbook.

Link Love: Pictures and books and many pens

Clockwise, from top left: Hermes Typewriter cleaning by DovBee, Grocery list and calligraphy practice by Bakanekosan, Render K collection by imyke and Old School Vanishing Point by Pen Addict
Clockwise, from top left: Hermes Typewriter cleaning by DovBee, Grocery list and calligraphy practice by Bakanekosan, Render K collection by imyke and Old School Vanishing Point by Pen Addict



  • The Missing Ink Book Review (via Behind The Curtain): I’ve been meaning to read this book and have it balanced atop my precariously high to-read pile. I’ll get to it soon, I promise!
  • The Etiquette of Letter Writing (via Letter Writers Alliance Blog): I too have a copy of this book. Fabulous albeit a little unnecessary for today’s letter writer. I do not have a yacht. Do you?

Paper and Notebooks:

From my Instagram, clockwise from top left: My Cambridge leather satchel, my last order from JetPens, a handwritten note from my elderly neighbor and the drawing tools used by Brian Kesinger as spied at the Spectrum Live Art Spectacular.


Link Love: V is for Valentine’s Day

Modern Printable Valentines


Did you wait until the last minute to do anything for your Valentine this year? How about I help you out with this modern printable Valentines from Paper & Stitch? Just print these off onto cardstock, fold and trim, and put your favorite pen to work writing a special message. Add a candy bar, a bouquet of flowers or maybe a bunch brand new pencils to show your loved one you care.

(via Paper & Stitch)

Argh! Notecards

Engraved Skull Notecards with lined envelopes

My darling friend Annie sent me a pack of gold engraved, skull-and-crossbones note cards from the London-based stationery shop Mount Street Stationers. The envelopes are lined with glossy black paper and are perfect for my next order of rum or official decree for someone to walk the plank.

engraved stationery close-up

Practice the fine art of LetterFu

LetterFu foldable letter

Feel like dropping a quick note to a friend or loved one using a lovely stamp and those friendly folks at the post office? Then check out the downloadable templates at LetterFu that let you print out a foldable paper letter/envelope. Learn how to fold a standard letter-sized or A4 sheet into an envelope and start sending those missives! Several styles are available and LetterFu encourages you to create your own designs as well. Write on!

Memo Books from French

If you work in the print design field, you’ve heard of the French Paper Company. Its one of the few independent American paper mills left and they also have a fabulous marketing team that has wisely teamed French up with designers like Charles S. Anderson to create some great packaging and products. One of those products is the French Paper Memo Books. Yeah, sure, everyone is doing these now but a pack of two of these little books is just $2.50. Inside is 32-pages of top quality French paper and sturdy cardstock covers printed with graphics from the CSA Images archive. The memo books come in pre-selected sets but there is bound to be one you’ll like.

French Paper Co. Mod-Tone Paper and Envelope

While you’re shopping, pick up some fun, reasonably-priced paper and envelopes and get a jump start on your promise to make your own Christmas cards this year. The Mod-Tone patterned paper and envelopes (shown above) sell for $30 for 50-sheets of 8.5″x11″ and the $20 for 50 A6 (4.75″ x 6.5″) envelopes. Solid papers sell for $15 per 50-sheet pack and solid A6 envelopes are $12.50 for a pack of 50. Obviously, you’ll get a better value if you buy larger quantities.

(via French Paper Company)

Vintage office goodies from Life Japanese Stationery

For someone who loves the aesthetics and apparatus of the vintage office, the Life Japanese Stationery products will surely please. Life uses the same featherlight paper stock for their Airmail stationery that they used in 1946 when they opened their doors. They even have matching Airmail envelopes. Airmail paper pad is $12.95 AUD for 50 sheets and envelopes are $9.95 AUD for pack of 10.

If the Airmail stationery does not entice, what about the Typing Bond? The pad is standard A4 sized and includes 50 sheets. Oh, my growing collection of typewriters are going to enjoy stomping little letters across sheets of this fine paper! $8.95 AUD

And no office is complete without a couple steno pads for quick notes. These three lovely pads in subdued vintage colors. The green cover is the traditional Gregg ruled, the yellow with blue lettering is ruled and the yellow with red lettering is grid paper. Each sells for $12.95 AUD.

All products are currently available through Notemaker. Don’t forget to take advantage of the 10% discount at checkout by entering the code “WELLAPPDESK12” at checkout.

Link Love: Lots of Pens with Video Bookends

(video of hand-lettered cards with the lyrics to Bob Dylan’s Subterranean Homesick Blues from Leandro Senna.  It looks like it was lettered with an assortment of Pigma Micron and Faber-Castell PITT artist pens)

Fountain Pens



Everything Else

(Evan Hecox paints with ink and dip pens for InCase. From The Arkitip Chronicles on Vimeo)

Updated: Fixed the Wired and Rhodia links. Sorry for the snafu! (10/10/12)

Nicely Noted Notecard Subscriptions

Last week, I listed several of the paper-related subscription services. I failed to mention Nicely Noted which is a letterpress notecard subscription service. Once a month a kit arrives with three cherry-picked letterpress notecards and postage (current USPS stamps). You can purchase a monthly subscription for $18 or select a gift subscription of  2-, 3-, 6-months or a year.

If you do not live in a major metropolitan area with access to independent card shops, Paper Source or the like, this would be a great way to get some small press stationery. It would also make a great gift for your favorite letter writer.

(Photography by Kate Lesueur, All Rights Reserved.)

Link Love: Pen and Papers and Inks, oh my!

Pens, Inks & Pencils

Paper Goods



A new stationery subscription service launched today called OliveBox. Each month, subscribers receive a parcel filled with paper goods. Some of the items that could be included in an Olive Box are stationery, greeting cards, art, books, magazines and home decor and lifestyle products. Each offering is curated by former Bllomingdale’s buyer, Grace Kang who is also the founder of the Pink Olive Gift Boutique in New York.

Subscriptions start at $25 per month plus shipping charges but pre-purchased subscriptions for six months or a year will receive free shipping (I suspect that applies to US customers only but you may want to contact them directly to verify).

(via OliveBox)

Notice Life Business Stationery

Notice Life is an Australian-based office stationery company that has created a whole series of large-scale project planning and goal-mapping tools. They sent me a copy of their weekly planning pad, 2012-13 financial year wall calendar and a set of to-do sticky notes.

The financial calendar is designed to align with the Australian fiscal year but as it starts in July, its more than adequate to start those long term planning goals stateside. It clocks in at a whopping 33″ x 23.5″. The months are listed across the top with the days below in long columns. In a small team or office, it would even be great to use to track time-off, holidays and other activities that effect the whole team. It could even be used as a family activity calendar.

The planning pad is a substantial 11.75″ x 16.5″ with 65 heavyweight sheets glue padded on the left edge — more than enough for a whole year with a few extra for mistakes. Along the left side are spaces for tasks for Monday through Sunday, in the center is space for general to-dos, Best of Web and rewards and at the far right is a space for notes. I keep thinking it would make a great desk blotter for an individual or wall-mounted to track activities for a whole team. Since the paper seemed so sturdy, I reached straight for a Sharpie pen and a Le Pen and didn’t even get any show-through on the back. Later, I tested with a Sharpie marker and only got slight show-through on the reverse of the stock but no bleed-through. This is some quality paper!

The to-do stickies have been divided up into areas to list to-do, notes, the owner of the task and the finish date. Its A7-sized, about 2.75″ x 4.25″ and has 50 heavyweight paper sheets.

The whole line of Notice Life products are available through our esteemed sponsor, Notemaker. If you order any of these products, you can receive a 10% discount when you enter the code WELLAPPDESK at checkout.

If you would like to win this Notice Life office collection (the planning pad is less one sheet used to test pens), please leave a note in the comments.

FINE PRINT: All entries must be submitted by 10pm CST on Monday, August 27, 2012. All entries must be submitted at wellappointeddesk.com, not Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook, okay? Winner will be announced on Tuesday. Winner will be select by random number generator from entries that played by the rules (see above). Please include your email address in the comment form so that I can contact you if you win. I will not save email addresses or sell them to anyone — pinky swear. Shipping via USPS first class is covered. Additional shipping options or insurance will have to be paid by the winner. We are generous but we’re not made of money.

Packing tips, follow-up

Stationery acquired from hotels in China

Having just returned from a three-week trip abroad to Hong Kong and China, I thought I might reveal a few of my own tips (both things I wish I had packed and things I’m glad I packed) from my experiences.

  1. If you’re traveling in Asia, or anywhere really, pack a few packages of travel-sized tissues. In Asia particularly, many restrooms do not have paper of any kind so you really need to pack your own. Some restaurants even charge a fee for napkins or tissues in an effort to be more “green”. The theory being that if you have to pay for napkins, you won’t use as many. Right.
  2. A small backpack can be the perfect overnight bag. If you are making a day or two jaunt away from your hotel of choice, you can leave your larger suitcase behind with the concierge and take the small pack. I used a pack as my “plus one” on the plane to carry and extra sweater and my can’t-live-without toiletries in case my luggage went astray. On days when you are out shopping, a backpack can be a great carrier for purchases and maps and such. Just remember not to put your passport or any valuables in your pack in case someone gets wily and tries to pickpocket you.
  3. If you plan on packing an extra pair of shoes, choose a pair you wouldn’t mind losing if you need to free up space in your luggage on the return trip. I dumped a bulky, old pair of shoes in order to make more space for items I collected on my trip.
  4. As much as you may want to take advantage of the convenience of pre-packaged, travel-sized bottles of toiletries, be careful. I switched brands of lotion and facial cleanser and halfway through the trip suffered from major skin irritation that lead me to wander desperately through the aisles of a Hong Kong drug store in search of a more gentle replacement. Don’t switch horses mid-race. Trust me on this, I looked like I’d run into a belt sander with my face for a whole week.
  5. Many nice hotels (at least all the hotels I stayed at in China and Hong Kong) stock the desk with paper, envelopes and even postcards. If you’re in a really nice place, they may even stock the desk with an array of office supplies. Don’t steal shampoo. Steal office supplies. Or put them to good use and write to friends and family back home.If you are away from your home country, ask the concierge to mail your letters for you.