... I never intended to disappear for that long! A very belated Happy New Year to you all. I hope that you had a wonderful holiday time. Here in our household it was declared 'the best Christmas ever' so I would call that a resounding success.
I was fully capable of blogging a number of days ago but my laptop had been kidnapped by a Minecraft obsessed younger child and being the good mother I was I felt that she was very quiet whilst occupied with said computer game and like a total wuss I rolled over and let her have the computer. The girls went back to school today and I skulked into her room and released my laptop from captivity.
So, Christmas - it seems so long ago. We had family over, friends around, ate too much, laughed a lot and caught up on sleep. Watch Dr Who; slept some more. It was bliss.
And I can finally let the cat out the bag about what we surprised the girls with for Christmas. They had two small boxes, one item in each box.
The little bottle of maple syrup was their clue that I am taking them to Canada during the Easter holidays (for non-Brits the Easter school holidays are two weeks long here). The mouse ears, as I am sure you can guess, represent a trip to Disney which will also take place over Easter. We will fly to Canada and stay a few days before flying down to Florida with my best friend. There will be a week of fun in the sun before we return to Canada for another five days to spend with my family there. I can not wait! The girls got the clues right away, were over the moon and are very, very excited. And it was so very, very nice to be able to plan a surprise like this for them. That is where all my commission money has gone for the past year, and all commission money for the foreseeable future too, if I think about it.
We had them open the surprise boxes very last so they wouldn't detract from their other presents. The lovely part of the day was that every one of us cried happy tears at some point whilst opening gifts due to the thought that went into them. Even himself had a leaky moment. Here's what made me cry. Not the fact that the girls (ably assisted by himself obviously) gave me an iPad Air but by the sentiment engraved on the back.
That totally got me. Sorry for the blur. Put that down to the fact that I go all mushy when I read it.
A couple of fun gifts that were received was an old fashioned stove top waffle iron for me from him, and Emily got a taiyaki pan from my brother in Scotland. They seem to be basically the same thing in most matters, except shape.
The waffle pan works a treat. The recipe I found online and use makes about fourteen waffles and I have taken to freezing the leftovers which then can be popped into the toaster as and when required. I had never expressed an interest owning a waffle iron but am loving having one. The taiyaki pan is Japanese and you use a batter similar to a pancake batter but once a little batter sets on one side you take out the excess batter and add a filling - traditionally a sweet red bean filling, but we used Nutella. You then top the filling off with more batter and proceed to cook both sides, enclosing the filling (theoretically, we didn't always get it right). I would love to experiment with non-sweet batters and savoury fillings.
Over the holidays I also received my Secret Santa gift from Brit Bee. I happen to know that Fiona was my Secret Santa as I was the one who assigned partners but everyone kept their makes secret so that we would be surprised by whatever we received. You can imagine the happy dance I did when I got this -
Fiona knows me inside and out. Absolutely perfect present. Teeny, tiny hexies. Heather Ross. Wooden spools she has filled with goodness from her own stash. Needles with my name on them! Seriously going to treasure all this stuff forever. Except the chocolates and candy canes. Obviously they were gone soon after arrival.