This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ShareYourSummer #CollectiveBias
The post you’re about to read to me is SUPER near and dear to my heart in many ways, mostly because it features two of my DEAREST friends, fans, and unconditional supporters (who you’ll be meeting today, yeee!). What’s more, today’s post is a rare chance for me to put my blogging overdrive on pause and say a BIG thank you, thank you, THANK YOU to the people who have meant the most to me throughout this amazing blogging journey: yep, that’s all of you!
An Introduction to the SUPPORT (SUPer ImPORTant) Team: Behind every blogger is a critical SUPPORT–or SUPer ImPORTant people–system. Whether this consists of the entire food blogging community or just your mom, blogging is never a solitary activity. It takes a lot of dedication to update your Instagram account every day at 6 AM with #frappuccino, photograph everyone’s food every time you go out to a restaurant, and hurl your kitchen into a tornado disaster zone on a semiweekly basis only to clean it up again right away because the clouds set in and all of your hard work is no longer photograph-worthy. Sure, who doesn’t admit that we’ve got our work cut out for us?
Cheering squad at the annual Edible Book Festival
In Vancouver 2014, meeting Nancy, the wonderful, lovely, multi-talented lady behind Gotta Get Baked
But when you’re the person who has to put up with the person who does all of this loco stuff on the regular, like most of my friends and family do, it takes much more than time: it takes patience, enthusiasm, and a genuine willingness to put your faith in the fact that your friend is not perhaps just a crazy loon whose life goal is to give every single person around her onset diabetes. Okay, so we do go through 50-pound bags of white sugar every six months or so, and it’s true that every unfortunate soul with whom we come in contact seems to put on 10 extra pounds within a month of meeting us. Even armed with this knowledge, however, our supporters never throw in the towel: they take it and quietly wipe up the melted chocolate we just splattered all over their brand-new kitchen countertop.
The most amazing supporters behind my 2014 Etsy Shop launch
Swim club ice cream cookie sandwich + sundae + cake night
Two Blog VIPs: Since I started this blog in 2012 (eeks! Has it really been that long?), I have had an incredible crew of friends and family to keep me going–you can see just a smattering of them in the photos above!–but I am especially indebted to two: Fong and Bob. (The one exception is my mom – but you’ll hear about her this weekend! Love you, Mom!) When Coca-Cola asked with whom I would want to share some very special personalized Coke bottles, I immediately thought of them and all of the incredible things they have done to keep me inspired to blog. So I popped over to my local Walmart, which has the biggest organized selection of personalized proper name bottles, and searched through the small refrigerator drink displays near the cash register until I found the perfect ones…
When I got home, I immediately started throwing together everything in my kitchen and making care packages to go with the bottles. (All the photos from this post are from my favorite treat of all –Peanut Butter Chocolate Rice Krispies-Smothered Jumbo Marshmallows – and yes, you can find the recipe at the end of this post!) And then I quickly sent both boxes off to my dear friends, to whom I’m excited to introduce you now!
If you ever run into Fong, you’ll know. Her presence will hit you like lightning, because if you stop to say “hello” (which you obviously should), not only will she also stop and say “hello” back–she will look you straight in the eyes and give you her full attention as she waits for your next response. Even after 5 years, she’s still probably the only person willing to put up with my insane shenanigans at any time of the day or week, no matter how busy she is, unconditionally and without judgment. Her only possible shortcoming is the fact that she hasn’t watched all of the classic Disney animated films yet (don’t worry though–we’re working on that).
Fong and I met in my senior year and her sophomore year of college. The first time I heard her name had, unsurprisingly, to do with her generosity: she had loaned our coordinator team a mini stapler to use during our interview sessions, even though she was a tutor and had no real reason to entrust us with her office supplies for an entire week. I remember thinking to myself, What a nice mystery person! I’m not even sure I’ve ever mentioned this to her (our first real encounter was over a campfire telling stories at one of our coordinator retreats)–so if I didn’t before, sorry…and now you know! 😉
That first impression never faded. Every interaction we have had since we began coordinating together has reinforced for me what a beautiful, caring, thoughtful person Fong is, and it’s for these reasons that I’m so glad to be appreciating her here today. She received her care package in the mail on Wednesday, and apparently all of the goodies are already gone. She also sent this lovely selfie collage:
Though she came into my life as I was leaving college, Fong has been a hero to me in so many ways throughout the past few years. She’s also one of the main reasons I continue to blog: though we don’t talk nearly so often as we used to, she still orders baked goods from my Etsy shop frequently, does her best to keep updated on my posts, and occasionally sends me a message about something that particularly resonated with her. I can’t emphasize how much that kind of real-time support means to a person like me who feels like she’s constantly drowning in updates, memos, and research.
You’re one-of-a-kind, Fong. Serious with a capital S. Raging rivers. Thank you!! <3
PART 2: Meet Bob!
Okay, so here’s the caveat: technically, Bob is his online alias–I call him by another name in real life–but since this is an online post and I really wanted to include him in this post, he’s Bob, one of my dearest grad school friends! If you’ve been following my blog since its advent, you might even remember him sharing this recipe for Toasted Almond Bars with lots of colorful candles in it to celebrate my birthday that year <3
This picture basically epitomizes our dynamic (yes, those are double-scooped dipped ice cream cones from Disneyland Main Street–go big or go home, right?):
If I had to describe him three words, they would be: generous, thoughtful, and crazy-supportive. (Okay, so sue me, I couldn’t stick to just three words!) I have never met anyone more unconditionally supportive of my dreams than Bob, before or since. We met at Dinner for 12 Strangers, an awesome event where 12 students meet for the first time with a former alumnus/a who hosts a massive dinner banquet. Over the course of the night, you get to know everyone present, and voila–you leave with a round dozen new friends!
And I was lucky enough to leave with an absolutely fabulous one. Over the course of the next year or two, we went on all these great adventures, getting Greek food and visiting Disneyland and exploring the city in the randomest of expeditions. Bob helped me grow into myself so much over those months, and he helped me realize that it means everything to chase your dreams, no matter how out of reach they might seem. I never felt foolish telling him about my latest vision for the future or crazy idea for my latest blog post. He would always look me full in the face, nod, and say the same thing: “Yeah, you should do it.”
He’s all the way in Seattle now, but we got to visit him over Spring Break this year and it’s always wonderful to see his familiar face! He’s also one of the few friends who can bring some of my blog updates into conversation without even blinking an eye–it always astounds me how much time he takes even staying updated on Wallflour Girl. Generosity comes super naturally to him, and it’s small gestures like that that make me eternally grateful that we both attended that dinner three years ago. Whether it’s blogging, or career aspirations, or just some far-fetched scheme about nothing in particular, his support keeps me inspired to move forward and always keep my eyes fixed on the stars!
A Recipe to Share
That brings me to the recipe I’m just dying to share with you guys today. If you’re looking to thank somebody in your life, this one is it. The photo says it all, but I’ll say it again really fast:
Peanut Butter Chocolate Rice Krispies-Smothered Jumbo Marshmallows.
I love this original recipe because it basically takes the best of all worlds–chocolate, peanut butter, rice krispies treats–and balls them all up into one glorious, simple no-bake bite. The fluffy jumbo marshmallow in the center is a wonderful surprise and basically offers a texture explosion that contrasts so nicely with the crackling krispy cereal exterior.
I would totally recommend whipping up a batch in the next 5 minutes and sending them to somebody you want to thank. After all, ’tis the season to be thankful–365 days a year, right?
So last but not least, in the spirit of thankfulness, I want to say a final BIG THANK YOU to all of you dear readers who have made it with me this far. Every comment, every connection, every shared moment with each and every one of you is one that I treasure, and not only could I not have done this without you–I would not have loved doing this without you. I hope you’ll all carry a morsel of this thanks-giving with you throughout the rest of your day and week, and spread it with all those wonderful people in life about whom you care!
If you’re looking for more creative, heartfelt ways to say your big THANK YOU this week, stop on by the Share A Coke website and personalize a bottle for your loved ones. You can also check out and share more #ShareYourSummer moments here! I’m so glad I got a chance to work with Coca Cola on this idea, and to stop and appreciate some truly amazing folks who have made all of my endeavors possible. I hope you all enjoyed today’s post–and THANK YOU!
Feeling inspired? It’s your turn! To whom–and how–do you resolve to say Thank You this week? (Share your thoughts in the comments!)