Just a Little Present

Just a Little Present

It is always the small, meaningful little presents that make me happiest. That goes for giving as well as receiving.  Thoughtful little treats are not about impressing someone; they are not about showing how much you are willing to spend on them… they are worth so much more than that and tend to come at the perfect time. I am sure it is also lovely to get expensive gifts from people you love, but the meaningful little attentions are always the ones that make me think I am lucky to have the friends I have. A little teapot when I was thinking of putting up a new kitchen shelf, nice bowls, a silver fork and spoon, a pack of sweets, cute homemade Christmas decorations, drawings from the children, a new notebook, my favourite shower gel from France, some pretty fabric, a piece of cake in a nice tin with the recipe attached to it… these have all been given to me recently, some of them to cheer me up after a rubbish day, others for no reason.

One of the best presents I have ever been given was for my birthday two or three years ago. It was cake mix. Not only was it layered in a pretty way in a jar, but it was also “instant cake” to which I only had to add eggs and oil, for a day I fancied cake but did not have the time (or the will) to make one from scratch. It looked so lovely I displayed it in my kitchen for a few weeks and it ended up being a well-deserved treat at the end of a long working day. Even though the cake was not the best in the world, I really enjoyed it.  I just loved the idea and have been thinking of making something similar ever since. One day, one day…

A few weeks ago, I decided to put together one such meaningful little present for a friend and for my children’s teachers, and as I stumbled upon cupcake cases in a shop, I remembered seeing on Pinterest a fun way to arrange them. I thought it would go well with a cupcake recipe and a jar of vanilla sugar. So I bought some Hummingbird bakery recipe cards, replaced vanilla essence with vanilla sugar on their recipe cards, layered the cupcake cases in jars saved by my lovely father-in-law, used jam jars for the vanilla sugar and my little presents were ready!

How do you spread a little happiness around you?


  1. thereadingresidence
    28/01/2014 / 6:44 pm

    That is such a lovely gift idea. And I think you’re right, these thoughtful gifts at just the right times can make you so very happy. Thanks for joining in with #SpreadALittleHappiness

    • 29/01/2014 / 10:33 pm

      Thanks for organising it! What a fab idea! I have really enjoyed writing this post and reading about everyone’s happy thoughts and anecdotes. Mel

  2. Steph Curtis
    28/01/2014 / 9:14 pm

    Love this idea – I’m a big baker myself so have all the cupcake cases all over the place! Love the idea of thoughtful gifts too. Someone once gave me a small bar of Dairy Milk just because she thought I needed cheering up – and I’ve never forgotten it! It’s true that it’s the thought that counts 🙂

    • 29/01/2014 / 9:08 pm

      Thanks, Steph! It is funny how you remember these little attentions, isn’t it? Mel

  3. 30/01/2014 / 12:00 am

    Gorgeous post and have seen those pretty layered cake mixes, would love one myself! Lovely post x

    • 30/01/2014 / 9:19 pm

      Thanks Vicky. As soon as I manage to make cake that would look nice as “dry layers”, I will share it! x Mel

  4. Alexandra Mercer (Broody Me)
    30/01/2014 / 9:02 am

    A lovely present!

  5. Erica Price
    30/01/2014 / 1:06 pm

    What a pretty present!

    • 30/01/2014 / 9:17 pm

      Thanks Erica!

  6. Pinkoddy
    30/01/2014 / 10:55 pm

    My most special present is a box my son made that had a poem saying that his love was inside. Your present sounds great too.

    • 30/01/2014 / 11:03 pm

      How sweet! Our children just give the best presents! Mel

  7. Julie
    01/02/2014 / 1:57 am

    What a lovely gift.

    • 01/02/2014 / 9:58 pm

      Thanks Julie. x Mel

  8. mummytries
    04/02/2014 / 11:37 am

    Simply beautiful xx

  9. Steph @www.MisplacedBrit.com
    10/02/2014 / 9:49 am

    Beautiful idea! I’ve seen it on Pinterest… and never done it 😉

    You asked how do we like to spread a little happiness around… I love tying a little bag of cupcakes to our neighbours door whenever we’ve baked a batch …I think they know it’s us!! Haha… you never know! But it doesn’t matter because it’s not the point 😉

    • 10/02/2014 / 10:58 pm

      Absolutely brilliant! I love the fact it is anonymous. It makes the whole thing mysterious and heart-warming… definitely a great way of spreading happiness! x Mel

  10. TalesofaTwinMum
    10/02/2014 / 9:40 pm

    What a lovely idea, and such a nice change from giving a box of chocolates. xx

    • 10/02/2014 / 10:51 pm

      Thanks Karen. Just like you would store a couple of boxes of chocolates just in case, you can have a couple of those little babies ready to brighten someone’s day! x Mel

  11. 02/04/2014 / 8:55 am

    What a creative and lovely gift. So very thoughtful to whom ever made it for you. I love it. Can’t beat instant cake. Although I would have had a hard time it just sitting there. I am too greedy. hahaa Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me. I love your posts each week. So lovely. #sharewithme

    • 02/04/2014 / 9:54 am

      I did want to make it straight away to be fair, but it was so pretty I also wanted to keep it! x Mel

  12. 02/04/2014 / 10:36 am

    Pretty pics, I love things like this. I so often want to make gifts for people so would love to make more time for it this year

    • 02/04/2014 / 10:00 pm

      It does take time, but it is so nice when you get something someone has put a lot of thought into. Mel

    • 02/04/2014 / 9:59 pm

      Thanks Merlinda!

  13. internationalelfservice
    24/07/2015 / 11:11 pm

    Ooh now I love that as a way of keeping / giving cup cake cases….!

    • 25/07/2015 / 9:04 am

      Thanks lovely. The friends I gave them to really loved their little present (I think).

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