The Gift of Giving

 This week was a week of celebrations in the land of Nikbear. A week of celebrations means a week of epic baking projects!

On Wednesday I had a gathering to celebrate the arrival of my best bear, Hillary. She just moved up to NYC and it's been the highlight of 2012 for me. Naturally, I had to host a party and I figured in honor of Autumn I'd whip up some tasty fall treats. I made these delicious Honey Apple Mini Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting. What a hit - and super easy to make!

Additionally, this week was my fabulous friend and business partner Laura's birthday. Last night was her official bash and I decided to make two cakes for her: one was a simple white cake with chocolate frosting and the other was her special request for an angel food cake with homemade whipped chocolate cream frosting (recipes coming soon on my cooking blog!)

I'm a big fan of making birthday cakes for people. It might not be the most expensive gift, but it's the thought that counts right? I try and put a lot of love and fun into the cakes I make - I often have my girly friends over to help out, keep me company, or just watch as I freak out trying to bake a cake in my tiny little kitchen. I always make my cakes funk-a-licious with neon food coloring and so far I've had only a few minor mishaps. Not bad for being a novice baker!

The best part of it all, though, is the smile it brings to my friends' faces on their birthdays. I absolutely adore my friends and I would do anything for them.... literally ANYTHING. So if spending a day baking a neon green angel food cake is all that takes, I'd be willing to do that over and over again - birthday or not.

Giving gifts to friends and loved ones on birthdays or even just because is something that I find to be severely understated. When was the last time you gave a gift to someone just because it's summer time? When was the last time someone gave you a gift just because they love you?

I'm taking a vow on my journey to a happy place to give small gifts to my friends more often... just because. It's a nice way to count out the number of amazing people there are in your life and a great way to make them feel loved and appreciated.

Giving the gift of happiness, xx Nikbear