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Sometimes, it’s the things that take a little bit of effort that make the sweetest gestures!

Has your BFF been there for you every step of a break-up, have you gotten the best pressie ever from your favourite aunt or did all your mates come to your party when you feared nobody would show?

Surprising them with a simple ‘Thank You’ note will probably make their day!

Here are a few tips on how to create the perfect one.

Better late than never
No matter how much time has passed, still send a note. Simply start by apologising that it took you so long.

Keep it simple
Skip cards that are already printed with ‘Thank You’ on the front in favour of a nice design. Select a simple block or script font and look for flat versus fold-over cards. This means there is less room to waffle on a bit, and instead leave a simple, but lovely message.

Don’t mention it
Don’t mention any amount of cash – for example ‘Thanks for the €50, I bought new shoes!’ Thank them for the ‘generous gift’ instead. On top of this, never admit you’ll be returning the gift! And don’t toot your own horn – ‘I’m just the kind of person who appreciates her friends’. A thank-you is about them, not you.

Hard Copy or digital?
Do you need to pen a card, or will an e-thanks do? Ask yourself how memorable you want your gesture to be. An email gets the point across, but something handwritten leaves a lasting impression.

Do the maths
Add up these six elements: Dear So-and-So + Thank You For The Gift Or Action + How You Enjoyed It (or plan to) + Something Nice About The Giver + A Desire to Catch Up Soon + Sign-Off = job done!

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Follow these simple baking hacks to give Mary Berry a run for her money!

1. Ripen bananas in the oven
If your bananas are perfect for eating but not ripe enough for baking, don’t panic! Cook the bananas you need for your recipe in a medium temperature oven for 30 to 40 minutes. Be sure to line the pan with foil as some bananas may leak when cooking. Once the bananas are black and soft, remove them from the oven and let them cool for 20 to 30 minutes. Peel, and start baking that award-winning banana bread!

2. No rolling pin? Grab the vino!
If your mostly-unused rolling pin is on a dusty top shelf, save on cupboard space and just use a wine bottle as your rolling pin! Empty or full, remove the label and scrape off any residue, then wash the outside of the bottle.

3. Cheat! (a little)
If you want everyone to think the cake mix you baked was from scratch, just add one more egg than the box’s recipe calls for, use melted butter instead of oil, and use whole milk or buttermilk instead of water. Shhhh…we won’t tell anyone!

4. Make the perfect cookies
If you’re looking for perfect chocolate chip cookies that are crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside, follow these two steps! First, chill the dough prior to baking (one hour is good; overnight is better). Second, when you remove the cookies from the oven, bang the pan straight down on the stove to force the cookies to settle.

5. Keep brown sugar soft with bread
Throw a piece of bread into the container to keep your brown sugar from going hard. The bread magically keeps the sugar soft and never gets mouldy!

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