Holiday Shopping Guide: Flytrap Paper Goods

imageYesterday, Hubby and I went shopping for warmer clothes for all of us, and there, on the northernmost wall of the store it was… Christmas. Trees and garlands and sparkly stuff and holiday frames and all kinds of stuff, all on sale.

YOU GUYS. IT IS NOT EVEN HALLOWEEN. (Also: we are not Christian and therefore do not celebrate Christmas but that’s beside the point).

Did that stop me from looking at the items on sale and finding some very excellent gifts for people for the holidays? Of course not.  (We celebrate Hanukkah – the most excellent holiday ever because no matter HOW you spell it, it’s probably right. Really. It’s like spellcheck-proof. There’s 36 different ways to spell Hanukkah. Enjoy that. You still have to get your/you’re correct, though.)

So after some pondering I decided, let’s spread the IT IS NOT EVEN HALLOWEEN YET shopping fun around to the hot pink palace of Bitchery! First up: Paper goods.

Are you like me in that, if you go into a store like Papyrus or a bookstore that has lots and lots of paper goods, you get all twitchy and want to fondle the really fuzzy papers and look at all the notebooks, measuring for heft and purse-fit-ability? Do you look at all the cards and pick some out for people who would totally be all, “Wait, real mail? What is that?!” I love paper goods. I have catalogs of stationery that I drool over. It’s kind of sick.

Ergo, when I was contacted a few weeks back by Flytrap papers, who wanted to send me their press kit, I was like, “OH HELL TO THE YES PLEASE.” It’s adorable. The sides say, “Oh, my God, This is so awesome!” and “I can’t wait to see what’s inside!” Design quality, it is high, yo.

Flytrap has really freaking cute stuff, too, from the extremely off-color humor cards to sexy journals and miniature greetings cards for significant others, kids, friends, and family. 

I really liked the Laugh guided journal, and the Boink guided journal which encourages couples to have sex every day for 30 days and offers (ahem) suggestions to foster the enthusiasm.

There’s also pre-printed coupon gift sets for different people, and if you’re not shopping for the holidays, they have Halloween cards, too. I totally laughed at the one about 20something girls – have you SEEN some of the costumes for 20somethings—or even worse, young girls? *shudder*

Included in my press kit was some samples – three greeting cards and a pack of 12 “Smart Little Love Notes” – which I am giving away here. Leave me a comment and tell me which paper good you cannot live without: blank notebooks? Greeting cards? Really lush paper? Pens? What’s your favorite paper gift to give or receive? Comments close in 24 hours and I’ll pick one winner at random. Yes, you far far away folks on nice tropical islands outside the US, this is open to you, too.

And if you have a suggestion for a holiday shopping location I should feature, or a product you love to buy for people, email me at sarahATsmartbitchestrashybooksDOTcom with “Holiday Gifts!” in the subject line. I would love to feature small businesses as much as possible, so long as there’s good customer service and fun options. I have a few more gift and shopping locations to share but I would be giddy to expand my options for gifts that would appeal to readers, book lovers, or romance fans in particular!

Standard disclaimer: I’m not being compensated for the giveaway. Best paired with low-calorie, high-fiber diet. Some equipment shown is optional. You can’t read my poker face.

ETA: Behold! A winner! Dine, you win – stay tuned for email from me. Yay!

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Alison says:

    Blank notebooks! – have too many but never stop collecting them. I once received one each from five different people at – oops, better say the holiday was Hannukah, not the C-word – and I was ecstatic

  2. 2
    Karen H says:

    I always have greeting cards around as I have 4 siblings, my parents, 14 nieces and nephews and 8 great-nieces and nephews who all keep having birthdays and anniversaries.  I also love great textured writing paper though I admit I don’t actually use it because then I would no longer possess it.  I LOVE knowing it’s there to fondle.  I also like fat pens that use real ink (much better than ballpoint).  I like to receive greeting cards because then I don’t have to feel guilty about not using the lovely writing paper that I’d really much rather have.

  3. 3
    morwen says:

    My absolute favorite paper related gift I ever received was a quill set complete with black, red, green, and blue ink wells. It’s awesome, even though I can’t use half of the nubs that came with it. Still I like how nice and pretentious is looks on my desk.

    My favorite gift to give, however, is journals. I am a huge journaler and believe, and force the idea on others, that everyone should journal. So when I find journals that make me think of someone I buy it for them, doesn’t even have to be a holiday or special occasion.

  4. 4
    Tina C. says:

    I collect greetings cards with the intent of stocking up so that I don’t have to buy them later.  In actuality, I’m collecting them so that I can forget about them until I stumble over them a year or so later, when I don’t need them anymore.  I’m forever finding birthday cards I didn’t send and Christmas cards I forgot to fill out. 

    I do love, and use, lined post-it type notes, though.  Bookmarks, grocery lists, telephone numbers—they have a million and one uses!

    As for Christmas/Hanukkah shopping ideas, I covet these so very very much!!  (I wonder if we can convince them to do a free give-away! *sigh*

  5. 5
    BillieB says:

    I love stationery sets. Not just paper and envelopes, but the sets that include blank cards and postcards and little seals and maybe some of those foldy letter things. I always promise myself that I’ll actually use them and start writing letters to people and that lasts for about a month until no one writes back and then it’s back to e-mail. Sigh.

  6. 6

    The librarian before me was a notebook/notepad hoarder. No joke. I’ve never seen so many unused paper items in my life. Me, I love blank notecards. Being southern, I feel guilty if I don’t send a thank you note within 20 seconds of receiving the gift, so I stay really stocked up on notecards of all sorts.

  7. 7
    Debbie says:

    Hi my name is Debbie and I’m addicted to Post-Its.  It’s actually become a problem because anything that can be written is written on a post-it (and those little suckers are not cheap!) At any given time, I have about 37 1/2 Post-Its telling me what to do and when to do it. Some people listen to the voices or to the Rice Krispies, I do what my Post-Its tell me to.

  8. 8
    Sarah says:

    Cards. I LOVE me some good greeting cards! I can spend hours shopping for one birthday card and end up buying and mailing 5 because I love them all! I buy cards for all occasions. Boss’s day?? I don’t have a boss but I have a friend who is a boss! Check! Grandparents day? My girls have 10 great grandparents and 7 grandparents, check, check check!!! Healthcare appreciation day? Well, I only see my gyno once a year, but she did delivery my two kids. Check! Oh.. and my dentist! Check!!

    My husband HATES and I mean HATES shopping for cards with me. I think he plans our shopping trips so that I don’t get to even see the card aisle and get twitchy fingers.

    I have a card that is going out today to a friend of mine that says: “Mommy’s going to the grocery store for drinks, I mean groceries.” LOL and on it inside it says “Look forward to ‘grocery shopping’ with you sometime soon.”

  9. 9

    I’m a blank book addict, me. I’ve kept a journal since high school, volume after volume of blank books filled up with my handwriting. I also have a weird almost-fetish for awesome blank books—I can spend ages in the blank book/notebook section of any book/paper store, examining the covers, feeling the pages, seeing if I like the way the lines are spaced and how thick they are. I pretty much always have a bunch of spare blank books of varied sorts, some I’ve been saving for years until I feel just right about using them for a particular project or for the next volume of my journal. Ahhhh, blank books. So full of possibility.

  10. 10
    joanne says:

    Real mail! I love real mail.

    First there is the mystery.

    Is it another invitation to a shower for someone I haven’t seen in 10 years? No?
    Is it an announcement that makes me have to send a gift to someone I haven’t seen in 10 years? No?

    Okay then, it’s mail! A card, a note!
    I’m Happy & Surprised.

    I Love real mail, both sending and receiving.

  11. 11
    Jessica says:

    I love lined blank books that I can use as a book journal.  I start a new book journal every year on Jan 1 and usually spend the preceeding week shopping through all the paper goods sections to find just the right one – long enough, right size, with the ribbon book mark, interesting looking but different from last years, etc.  I never let alone come with me on these trips as I want to be able to really take my find and find just the right one.

  12. 12
    Ana says:

    My absolute absolute favorite is my Moleskine agenda, you can see the entire week on the left, and has space for notes on the right side. On the first page there is a space (like in all the Moleskines) to put your name, adress and reward so people will return it to you if lost (mine says 30 bucks, so if you ever find it, you know…). Plus it came with a tiny pen that fits on the middle of the cover : ___ . ___ (view when flat on the table). And it has an amazing elastic band to keep it closed. It has an A5 size so it fits in all my handbags, plus on the back cover there is a folder to keep stuff. Finally, it has a travel planning, a global time zones map, worldwide dialing codes and holydays (USA: 11 national bank holidays, same as Spain, but HK’s got 17!), measures and conversions tables (also for clothes!)… and it’s not heavy at all.
    And before you ask, no, I do not work for Moleskine (Tm), I just really love my agenda (too bad I bought it in Belgium and can’t find the same one for 2011-2012).
    And that’s all I have to say about my favourite paper gift (though I love to spend time at paper shops, picking out pens, and clips, and tiny notebooks that I don’t ever get to use)
    Anyway… Feliz Navidad!

  13. 13
    Daisy says:

    Blank notecards.  All of my family live far away and I love blank notecards to put into the boxes I send to them. 

    They also come in handy to send a note to a teacher, a friend who needs a lift, sympathy cards that do not include all that gooey mush that card companies insist on putting in and anytime I just want to drop a note to someone.

  14. 14
    Patrice says:

    Pens. We lubs dem. I cannot go in the pen aisle yet wind up with many, many pens. But aside from that, I love notepads. And post its. Which now come in labels, and you can get free samples at their site. But because I try to reuse/recycle I wind up using junkmail envelopes or the ends of printer paper, since all the freekin coupons print on two pages even if the coupon is a quarter page at most! and that’s after I click the printer friendly button. annoying. I feel guilty not reusing all that “junk” paper so I never buy myself notepads. But I love to get them as gifts! I received a notepad in a lovely floral holder with a PEN. Score! My preciousssss I horde that papers yesss. My kitah loves de pens to play, good toys, skittery to catch! :)

  15. 15
    Lauren says:

    years ago when i was about 12 my grandpa constructed and my grandma painted a little lap desk for me. i think it was intended as a place for me to do my homework, but instead it immediately became a place to house my stationary. that sweet little desk still holds my stationary and calligraphy set, but it isn’t quite large enough to hold all my paper products anymore.
    i love a good pen – ballpoint, felt-tipped, nib – if it feels good to write with, i’m going to hold onto that sucker for dear life!
    i also love cute and quirky stationary and invitation cards. i throw a holiday party each year, and i’m always on the lookout for fun invites.
    i’m with you, sarah: sending (or receiving) snail mail for no particular reason is lovely and delightful.

  16. 16
    Sarah says:

    I can’t live without blank notebooks.  So much so that my house is full of them.  Some are full of writing.  Some are full of possibilities.  All of them fill me with delight.

  17. 17
    AndieG says:

    I have a dual addiction to blank notebooks/journals and any nice, smooth-writing, gel ink pens.  I have far too many of both but can never resist a trip down the pen/stationary aisle at any department or office supply store.  I have given a few really nice pens as gifts in the past, but usually buy those for myself more than anyone else.

  18. 18
    Sue K says:

    Blank notebooks… all sizes…. from the moleskins to the B&W composition notebooks to spirals & wirefree notebooks.

    Paper to give as gifts? origami!! My favorite origami to give to my friends outside the US is paper dollar rings! folding a dollar bill into a ring for the average or small sized finger.

    and, yes, I have stacks of paper stationery… different sizes & colors & styles & graphics… plus I’ll design my own & print them up!!

  19. 19
    Lisa J says:

    Greeting cards.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE greeting cards.  If a card seems perfect to me, I buy it and refuse to send it to anyone.  I have a box of favorites I show people, but never give to anyone.

  20. 20
    Seadanes says:

    I’m obsessed with notebooks – usually Composition books and pens, especially Sharpies. I can’t get enough. Stationery is a problem, too.

  21. 21
    Jerusha says:

    Ooooh yes to the notebooks and journals, especially those with gorgeous covers, my current journal is fabric covered – turquoise with different coloured butterflies. It’s very strokable. I think it’s the potential that an empty journal has that makes it so exciting, and then there’s the fun of looking through them years later, and remembering. I have mine stashed in a shoebox in my wardrobe.

    And the code is own79 – I’m afraid I own considerably more than that!

  22. 22
    KTG says:

    I can’t leave home without a little notepad! In case I wrote a list, or need a number or address, or to scrawl the name of a song I hear on the radio and don’t want to forget. My favorite are the ones you can get in Barnes and Noble that have an initial printed on them. Mine are purple K’s!

  23. 23
    Mama Nice says:

    I love little notebooks / journals. From the elegant and classy to the funky and sassy – you can never go wrong if you buy me something I can take with me to write in.

    And thanks…for some reason Adam Sandler’s Chanukah song is in my head (I just made THAT spelling up – does it work?)

  24. 24
    Galadriel says:

    I have tried very hard to curtail it, but I can only stave off the impulse to buy them for so long: I’m addicted to blank, spiral-bound lined journals. I’m a sucker for the pretty ones, the cute ones, the geeky and funny ones, but I try very hard to only buy them on sale now, because I have far too many in my house that I simply haven’t used yet. *sigh*

    For a long time it was simply that I didn’t want to muss them up with scrawled, messy writing, but it kind of defeats the purpose of having notebooks at all if you won’t use them. But a number of years ago I found myself realizing, in the midst of a layover on the way to a conference, that I’d forgotten to pack any paper for note-taking purposes at all. Well, the airport stores only had notebooks, not pads, so I bought a pretty journal, and steeled myself for writing in it. Necessity won out. Who knew all those fantastic pretty notebooks were actually for writing in?

    Of course, I have (temporarily) moved far away from my home in pursuit of an upper-level degree, and while I brought a notebook along with me, that hasn’t stopped me from going out and buying five more in the past three weeks. Um. In my defence, the first 3 were on deep discount and I needed one or two anyway, and the other 2 are just plain *pretty.* I am attempting to curtail the desire to go out and look at some more today.

    I do love pretty journals—especially the fact that the covers on spiral bound ones can be tucked completely away for ease of writing for a Southpaw like me, and that the spiral itself is a great place to clip a pen or mechanical pencil—and quirky postcards, which I’ve been collecting at an increasing rate and then failing to send out, but one of my favourite paper gifts to give/receive is origami. Sets or already-made shapes, it doesn’t matter. I love those little jars filled with tiny origami stars, and I’ve made origami ornaments to send to far-flung friends before, and a full-blown origami mobile for a birthday present. I only wish I could reliably remember how to fold more than just cranes. *G*

    (“provide86”—I could probably provide 86 friends with enough journals and postcards to keep them well-stocked for years.)

  25. 25
    kimsmith says:

    Office supplies are hot!

    Post Its, rubber erasers, staplers that go “click-click-click” when you tap on them, little dishes or boxes from stationairy sets to put Starlight Mints in, the tall, slender cups that hold ink pens—and pens!  OMG, PENS!  The clicky kind, the kinds with clips on the side, red pens, blue pens, black pens—uniballs are the best, wtih their smooth flow of ink, but pens with business names on the sides—just rolling them together between the palms of my hands while I’m thinking is a delicious, satisfying sound.

    When I was little, I was excited by school supplies, the blank spiral bound notebooks with their crisp, white pages and straight blue lines just waiting for me to write something in them.  I don’t use notebooks to write in any more (word processors hold so much more so conveniently), but I still get a little tingle of excitement when I see a clean notebook.

  26. 26
    Pam says:

    I love blank notebooks with lush paper and interesting covers, but I can resist them.  What I am really a sucker for are cards—both greeting and note—that have Asian motifs.  Japanese and Chinese art is my favorite—particularly subjects from nature and some of my best beloved Christmas cards have featured totally holiday-unrelated Asian art.  Who doesn’t need a little touch of beauty for the holidays

  27. 27
    Carin says:

    It’s post it notes for me.  Bright colors preferred to pastels.  Funny sayings optional but appreciated.  I would have a hard time remembering ANYTHING without post it notes!

  28. 28
    LisaJo says:

    I love me some gorgeous pens, although I don’t get the opportunity to hand-write much anymore. And yes, I bulk-buy my gift cards in advance, finding special cards for specific people and I generally end up buying “no reason” cards for other people too. I miss hand-writing!

  29. 29
    Steph says:

    Post-Its.  Love them, need them, have to have them.  Note pad of any sort.  Post-Its, make notes to myself while sitting down, stick them to my pants so I notice them and remember whatever it was when I stand up (or at least hopefully remember, otherwise I walk around with them on my pants or until they fall off).  Any type of note pad (Steno Pads are a fave) beccause I make endless lists.  I probably spend more time making list than I do time finishing the things on my list, doesn’t matter, MUST MAKE LISTS *maniacal laughter*
    And must use fine tip ball-point pens so I can actually read said lists later (horrible handwriting and gel pens smear…eww)

  30. 30
    Diatryma says:

    The single biggest stationery-related thing I want is someone who will write back regularly.

    Other than that, a good fountain pen and paper that stands up to it.

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