Monday, November 3, 2008

A Wonderful Blogging By Mail Box from a Special Blogger

Blogging By Mail is a wonderful event hosted a couple of times a year by Stephanie at Dispensing Happiness. You sign up, are given a blogger to pack and ship a package of goodies to and another blogger gets your name and info and packs and ships goodies to you. This time round the theme was "10 Items or Less"; 10 or fewer of your small, favorite, must have things. I shipped my package out to Malaysia a couple weeks ago and found out it made it there (I always worry about that) and I was really excited to get the package pick up slip on Friday telling me mine had arrived from Australia. I have never visited Australia but I since I have always wanted to, getting a package filled with fun stuff from there is great.

My BBM box came from Barbara at Winos and Foodies. I didn't know much about Barbara before this but had heard of her blog through events like Hay, Hay, It's Donna Day and A Taste of Yellow. I have to say that I feel somewhat foolish in sharing the wonderful things in my box because I discovered last night in reading her blog, that Barbara, the beautiful woman who sent it, starts another round of chemotherapy for her cancer tomorrow and her health matters so much more than the objects in a box do. When I emailed her on Saturday to thank her, I had no idea what she was currently going through and told her I was going to post about it on Monday. Since she replied she was looking forward to the post, I am going ahead with it because I know the box was packed with care and a generous and loving spirit and I want to honor that. I hope as I share it with you, you will join me in putting Barbara and her family in our thoughts and prayers. From what I can tell, she is a very strong and very courageous woman and will get through this next battle as she has in the past, but sometimes we all need a little help and love to give us the strength to get through the tough times.

Here is what Barbara so thoughtfully included:

The first thing I saw was a beautiful red and blue woven scarf. Blue is my favorite color and red a close second so this is perfect. (Barbara said it was to wear or use for a prop for my photos--I may just do both!)
The most special thing in the box was a handwritten note, explaining each item and including a picture of Barbara and her family. (They look like a great and loving group!)
Barbara thoughtfully set me up for some holiday baking with some wonderful things; fun chocolate molds (I was just telling my friend Nat I wanted to start making chocolates), some great holiday cookie cutters, a little sifter (perfect Barbara said for sifting powdered sugar or cocoa on things), a pair of mini tongs (very handy) and some cute candy-striped cupcake liners (peppermint cupcakes maybe?). Someone wants to change my NOT A BAKER ways which is just the push I need!
TimTams! I love TimTams! I have not had them in ages since a group I worked with from Australia brought them to Seattle. These are the pink filled ones, only available in October to support breast cancer research so they are all the more special. (These will not last long I am afraid).
Also included were a couple other "iconic" Australian snacks according to Barbara --Twisties, a cheese snack (similar to an American Cheeto but seem to taste a lot cheesier. OK I have eaten 1/2 the bag already while typing this!) and a Cherry Ripe candy bar from Cadbury (an interesting combo of dark chocolate, cherry and coconut I can't wait to try).
Finally, some Murray River Gourmet Grinder Salt that is Barbara's favorite and she says as good as Maldon (I love salts of all kinds so this is a great addition to my "collection"), and a container of Quince Paste from an Australian food writer, TV host and chef named Maggie Beer. (I love quince paste, especially with some Manchego cheese. The box says to pair it with Cheddar and I am willing to try that too!)
Thank you so much Barbara! What a wonderful box, filled with a great variety of fun things. I feel truly special and spoiled to have received it and to get to know you. Again, you are in my thoughts and my prayers, as I see from the comments on your blog that you are in so many peoples' minds. Be strong and take care of yourself and know that someone in Hawaii is thinking about you. I wish you Aloha, which although it can mean hello or goodbye, also has a deeper meaning of affection, mercy, compassion, love and peace. I wish you all of them.


  1. A lovely post Deb. Thank you for your kind words. I love quince paste with Manchego cheese too. I look forward to seeing the results of a little Christmas baking. Hugs from Oz.

  2. You got the pink salt! I am buying boxes of that when I am home at Christmas. It is a fantastic product (and helps in a small way to reduce the salination problems that are killing the Murray-Darling basin).

    I think you will love the cherry ripe! They are a great chocolate bar. In Australia you can get cherry ripe icecreams as well, which are awesome.

    I will hold Barbara in my thoughts - what a lovely, thoughtful lady she must be to assemble such a fabulous parcel!

  3. Deb, my thoughts and prayers are with Barbara as well. You are just the kind of person to write such a lovely post about her. My hat is off to you my friend. What a wonderful exchange between foodie bloggers.

  4. How very touching and kind. A lovely post indeed. This shows, once again, what a tender and generous group of food bloggers there are.
    Barbara's openess with her challenges lets us learn and share and open our own hearts.
    The gifts you have recieved are wonderful - now you have no excuse not to bake! And you know me, I especially love the pink salt.

  5. I love Barbara's blog and hope she will be cancer free soon! What great thought she put into those items in your box, I hope you enjoy them. Great post, Deb!

  6. What a fantastic idea! And it is so touching to be able to give happiness to a fellow blogger at the other end of the world...

  7. That is an inspiring and thoughtful post, Deb. I am thinking of Barbara now undergoing that dreaded chemotherapy and hoping that all turns out well soon with her health.

  8. A beautiful post, Deb! Barbara sounds like a strong woman, and I'll keep her in my thoughts and prayers. What a great box of goodies that Barbara sent you!

  9. what a wonderful idea and a special treat for you! It was also a sweet post and I enjoyed reading it.

  10. Barbara--Thank you again for such a special box! Hugs & Aloha!

    Foodycat--I love the salt and can't wait to try it. The Cherryripe is great and I bet the ice cream is fantastic!

    Teresa--thanks! I know all of our positive thoughts will help.

    Natashya--food bloggers are a wonderful group. I am excited about the salt too. ;-)

    Kat--I feel very lucky to have been paired with Barbara.

    Johanna--BBM is such a fun and great way to connect with other bloggers.

    Rachel--thanks! Keep thinking those positive thoughts!

    Cathy--thanks! She is incredible.

    Peggy--thanks so much. It was a special treat.


Mahalo for visiting and for leaving a comment. I love reading them and they mean a lot!

All advertising, spam, inappropriate (or just plain rude) comments will be promptly deleted. I do appreciate your right to free speech and to your opinion but I'm not into mean, rude, or mean snarky (non-mean snarky is just fine!) ;-)