At first glance it might seem that I am just a happy, normal girl who loves to bake and walk her dog. However, I have suffered with an eating disorder since I was 13. It was only in May 2014 when I realised that this Voice in my head was slowly but surely trying to kill me. And so began the long, hard, and painful journey which is recovery...

I want My Cocoa Stained Apron to be a special place...a place for reflection, memories, shared stories...and of course a little bit of cocoa-staining ;) Recovery might be the hardest thing you ever choose to do in this life. But it is also the bravest and best decision you will ever make.:)

Thursday, 25 December 2014

My Christmas Eve surprise :) and a little wish for all my special readers :)

Yesterday morning as I was sitting in the lounge, gathering up my thoughts to make my next blog post, the doorbell rang. Glancing up, I saw the kindly, slightly weather-worn face of the postman peering through the porch window, a bundle of paper packages and stamped envelopes in his gloved hands.

I hurried to the door and quickly flung it open, curious as to know whether any of the carefully handwritten addresses were headed by my own name; and were accordingly meant for me to open. I didn't expect that any of them would be, of course...but to my surprise and delight not one, but two of these packages had Emily Snelgrove written on them in two very different scripts.

Leaving the other mail on the kitchen table, I carried these two envelopes into my room as tentatively and as carefully as if they were vases filled with diamonds. And there in the quiet, still warmth of my little room I gently tore through the paper of the first package. The very same package which had been sealed, with so much love and care and thoughtfullness, by a very special friend of mine all the wya across the North Sea. <3

Inside as you can see, were lots of traditional German foods eaten at Christmas time, from gingery lebkuchen, fragrantly-spiced cinnamon stars, little chocolate pralines...and even two small bars of hot chocolate powder. <3

I was like a little girl then, at that one wonderful precious little moment on Christmas Eve. I had given a soft squeal of delight when I had opened this exquisite little box to reveal the delightful contents that lay within....which had travelled, across all those hundreds of hundreds of miles, from Augsburg in Germany to the very heart of the Irish Midlands, to now nestle safely in my hands.

And if this wasn't so incredibly generous and kind-hearted enough...accompanying this beautiful little Christmas gift was a hand-written letter, just for me.

The thoughts and words of this little letter served to both touch my heart and bring happy tears to my eyes. One sentence in particular struck me, and the little illustration drawn alongside it. My reader...who is so, so much more to me than that; she is an inspiration, a heroine to me - and, above all, a true and very special friend - drew her beautiful composition to a close with the following group of words before she signed off.

Sometimes we just need to let things go.

Beside this one little sentence, a little balloon on a string was being wafted gently away. I didn't have to read the two letters on the balloon itself to know and understand what it exactly symbolised.

Letting go...something which the past few years have taught me is a very hard thing to do, in many different situations.

It's hard to let your loved ones go when you hold them in your arms at the bus shuttle, knowing that many a week and a month might pass before you are able to see them again.

It's hard to let go when you are forced to make that excruciating, painful decision at the vets when they tell you your faithful furry friend is dying and the kindest thing you could do for them right now would be to let her go. 

And it's hard, to let go of that voice which has controlled you, held you, manipulated you for so, so long, it has taken over you, become part of you, has become part and whole of your identity, so that your whole life is bent to revolve around it. You hate it, you detest it with all your heart and soul - but at the same time, letting go of that voice - pushing away its icy, cold hand and struggling upright by yourself - seems so, so hard it appears to be almost impossible....

But I know that WE can do it. :)

Now it's evening time and I'm sitting in the lounge by the fire, the fairy lights glistening in the smoky warmth, the smell of the pot pourris on the mantlepiece in my nostrils. The sound of laughter and happiness fill the air. Such a simple, but perfect little moment. My presents lie in a pile at my feet, Frozen siting atop of them, awaiting to be opened for my little movie session after dinner.

Thanks to the beautiful letter sent to me from my dear friend and reader, I suddenly do feel like Elsa in my favourite ever Disney movie. I am going to let it go. I can be strong and unique and beautiful - and I want YOU to realise this too. So please, please remember that, and that in this one short, brief little span of time known as deserve, for every single day of that life, to be happy.

I just want to take this opportunity to thank all of you, my readers. You have been there for me ever since I embarked upon this long and challenging journey, and for that I will never be able to thank you enough. <3

For every little comment, message, words of advice or will never be able to comprehend just how much this all means to me. And some of you have gone even further than that...I think you know who you are, but now, if I could, I would just love to reach out and hug you all, and thank you personally from the heart. Thank you, thank you, thank you -  you are all AMAZING and I hope you all have a truly magical Christmas full of happiness and joy, and I would like to wish you all best for 2015 and beyond. <3

And before I sign off with my hot choc with one of my little German biccies for dunking alongside ( a little Spitzbuaba in the shape of a christmas tree :) ), I just want to send a special thank you out to the sender of my little Christmas Eve surprise...the box and letter which I will cherish forever. (the edile goodies, I'm afraid I can't guarantee they will be still around by the end of this week...;) but that is what they are intended for of course ;) ). I am so, so touched by your kindness and generosity Ange, and words will never be able to properly express how special our friendship is to me. <3 I would also like to mention that Ange too is the creator of her very own unique and truly amazing blog, How Nutella Saved My Life (Click HERE to see it :) ) . She writes with both enthusiasm and a positivity with is infectious, and she has made me laugh and smile when I have felt like crying and everything seems hopeless. She is an incredible inspiration and if you haven't read her blog yet, please do take a look. :) She will have you all reaching for the Nutella jar in no time.... ;)

Anyway, I MUST go now, or's my hot choc will be going cold. :o Happy Christmas everyone - Ganache-Elf sends you all her love and best wishes, at Christmas and always. <3

ps. I have been baking LOADS and I am so sorry I haven't put my recipes up yet. They will be up in the next few days, I promise. ;) xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


  1. Hii I hope you have a lovely christmas too!! :) yes I alwell read Anges blog and love it as well my fav along with yours and izzys :) thank you for writing your blog and I wish you all the best, on the big day and for the new year ahead,
    Merry Christmas and lots of love Livvy

    Xoxox :) <3

    1. awww Livvy!! <3 Thank you so so much I am so incredibly touched !! <3 I love your blog too <3 you are clearly a very talented baker and I admire you so much for everything you have done and achieved and for being so strong <3 I hope you have an AWESOME Christmas too hun <3 xxxxxxx

  2. Oh and those little cupcakes are absolutely adorable!!!! Soo cute!!
    Enjoy your hot chocolate ;)
    Love Livvy
    (again) xoxoxoxo

    1. ;) Thank you Livvy! The recipe will be up soon they aren't too hard at all ;) have you made the big cake yet? Lots of love Emmy <3 xoxoxoxo

  3. OMG**********___*************
    those are the most lovely, woooonderful and amazing words I have ever heard:) I can't believe you write such heart-warming woooords to me:) they are in your typical cuuute Emmy-Style and making such compliments to myself really made me cry;) especially this last sentence is so funny:) love it so much;)
    Wooow, this blog post is so special and honestly means the world to me hun;) I think I am going to print it and put it in my room:) I think you wrote in such a cuuute way and I am soooooooooooooooo glad my package arrived in time(puuuuuh lucky me:D) and you enjoyed my biscuits and sweet treats;) and I love the way you use those german words like Spitzbuaba in your post, sounds so lovely and funny too:) Alsooooo I am so proud of you talking with such an honesty and passion about my little letter:) made me feel so happy and proud :) you really are such a special friend to me Emmy and I looooove the way you pack the arriving of my present in such a cuuute story and I can only repeat myself again but I had to smile so much reading it and you are soooo lovely hunniiiii:) I loooove those piiiiiiiiics and I really at first couldn't actually believe that this is my little package you got up there in beautiful Ireland at your house:) This thought really made my day!!!!!;) such a great imagination!!! i love this post sooo much and It feels so great to know my advice helps you in your battle as well as yours does it in my case;) keep these thoughts up Emmy and I also wish you such a loooovely and enjoyable time, even though i am a bit late after christmas, but my internet didn't work at any time:( buut now I am back and I love you so much for this cute post and all the advices you share with me;) and also to you Livvy aaaaaa big huuug because your words also touched my heart in a very special way, because they make me feel sooo proud;) thank you so much, I love you both and you really keep me going on!!!!!
    Lots and lots of loooove from Germany
    xxx Ange
    ps: I sooooo much would wish that we all will be able to meet one day!!!!!!!

    1. <3 I mean every word I say though hun, you are such an amazing person and a true friend <3 aww hun I'm so glad you liked it <3 I wanted it to be special <3 Ooh hun I must say I think out of all the biscuits, I liked the Spitzbuaba the best, they were gorgeous hun <3 especially with hot choc <3 yes hun that's my room at home, haha I took them pics myself with my box, I'm not the best at selfies to be honest hun :( ;)
      Thank you so, so much hun <3 for EVERYTHING, and don't ever forget what a special little person you are <3 and I think your blog has really touched the hearts of so many people hun and you should be so proud <3 Lots of love to Ange and Livvy <3 and I would love that too hun ;) a little blogger union <3 <3 <3 xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    2. Wooow, those lovely words... *--* Blogger union :D :D what a greeeeeeat, crazy idea -> I would absolutely love it ;)
      Awww Emmy you are one of the most special people I ever got to know :) I love you as such a dear friend and I really don´t know how to thank you for such a sweet post :) It means honestly sooo much for me!! :)
      Hahaaa I think it is so funny the way you use such german words as Spitzbuaba :D I am soooo glad you liked those, I baked them together with my sis :)
      Hihiii no I am so happy about your pics, I think hey are really really niiiice :)
      Aaaaw thanks so much :) those lovely words mean sooo much to me ;) I think in absolutely the same way about your blog, too hun :) I loooove reading it daily :)
      Sending youu all huuuuugs ;)
      <3 xxx

    3. Awwwwww <3 <3 <3 thanks so much hun <3 You are so, so welcome hun! The Spitzbaua are divine hun, I wonder if I should try making them myself ;) But I doubt they will be as nice as yours hun <3 awwwww <3 How Nutella Saved my Life hun is very special to me hun <3 I can relate to it in so many ways and it is a real credit to you hun <3 Lots of love and Happy New Year to you huni :* xxxxxxxxxx

    4. Omg you are soooo lovely girl!!!! <3 <3 unbelievably I am sooo lucky to have a chat with you hunni ;) Hahaaaa oh eyes great idea, you definitely have to try them ;) I swear they are not so difficult and you are such a baking champ, I am sooo sure that they would be amaaaazing :-* just as you are!!
      Aaaaaw :-* thaaaanks so much for those niiiice and honest words about my blog, you are sooo sweet :)
      I hoopoe you alsooo have a great great great new year with maaaany new opportunities and chances ;) surely be wonderful :) and I hoopoe so much that we meeeeeeeeeeeeet :_* xxxxxx

    5. Awwww hun <3 I can only say hun, I feel so, so lucky to have gotten to know you and to have you as a friend <3 awww hun that is so so sweet of you ! <3 I can't express how touched I am by your words huni <3 Thank you so, so much hun :* For the Spitzbuaba hun, Do you follow an old family recipe, or do you have one off the internet or a cookbook?:) xxxxx

    6. I feel absolutely the same way ;) I still am sooooo proud of being mentioned on your loooovely blog ;) and this post is so special for me and I will always keep it in my heart :)
      According to the recipe ;) I don´t know how you handle the measurements, because you have different units of measure, but you will be able to find really good ones in the internet :) Sooo I don´t really follow any special one :) but I as well as you looove the buttery taste of those :) You are soo cute hun, I am so glad you are always here for you and I hope we soon be able to bake together :) 2015 will be our year I am sure huni ;) xxxxxxxxx <3

    7. awww <3 and you are very, very special to me too hun, so don't ever forget that <3
      Awww I will look the Spitzbuaba up on the internet then hun!! ;) I was thinking hun of creating a new page on my blog called "the National Bakery". where I will categorise specific baking recipes according to the countries they originate from? ;) For example there will be Germany with the Spitzbuaba and the Black Forest Gateau, and then for England, Cherry cake and Victoria sponge, and then for France, baguettes, eclairs, and so on hun..what do you think? ;)

      That would absolutely make my year hun, if we could meet and bake and eat Nutella and drink hot choc together <3 aww hun that would be just so, so amazing <3 I really hope our little dream comes true hun :* xxxxx

    8. Oooh you are so lovely thank you ;) and don´t ever forget I am always here for you hunniiiiiiii :-* <3
      Hihiiii yes I am sure you will find a niiiiice and yummi recipe and they will beeee so gorgeous if they are baked by u :)
      AAaaaaaah this is a very very nice and interesting idea Emmy!!!! ;) I think it would be great opening up a special link like this ;) think of all the different options you will haaaave, such a huuuge variety of what to bake *_* sooo I am sure this would work so well on your bloooog ;)
      OOOOOH yes it would also make mine ;) such a lovely thought and I would love to realize it ;) I know we will!!!!!!! :) and the Europe Tour, too huuuuunniii :-* <3 xxxxxx

    9. awww hun thanks sooo much I really appreciate your feedback on this new idea hun!! ;) aww hun <3 you know hun, it is thoughts and ideas such as these that help me to smile again and remember I have so much to live for and that I must never give up on recovery!! And I hope you feel the same too hun <3 you must NEVER give in to Miss Mager hun! I know it is easier said then done hun of course, but truly hun, life is so wonderful and precious, but you know as well as I do that the Ed is holding us back and preventing us from enjoying life and reaching our full potential :( so say NO to Miss Mager hun! ;) and we will get to meet hun! We shall say hi to one another and auf wiedersehen to Miss Mager, FOREVER ;) can't waitttt for that hun!!! <3 ;) xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    10. Oh yes, i would love to see you realizing this idea, it sounds so interesting and special I think ;) sooo I am definitively waiting for it curiously ;) Aww, yes you are so right, something like having new ideas and realizing them makes you feel more back in normal life and recovery ;) this really helps, so in my eyes you definitively should give the idea a try ;) I proooomise I will follow it and have an outrange for it ;)
      Oooh your words really always keep on touching me huniiiii ;) they are wisely and helpful and next to this lovely and heartwarming :-*
      You are so right, we have to say NO to Miss Mager and YES to live and its pleasures *_* like meeting ourselves ;) I promise, I will keep on forcing myself to get healthy just to meet you in 2015 :) we will and we can make it, I am so sure of that hun :) I will wait for this moment so eager Emmy ;) love the picture of us saying hi and bye to MM :) hahaa so nice :) Looots and lots of love xxxxxxxxx