Continuous Small Treats

The following is a reprint of a previously published post. We just received our Easter ginger cake and I’m looking forward to savoring it with my morning tea.

Our dear sweet neighbor gave us this Easter basket. He baked the ginger cake himself. I can’t wait to enjoy it with tea tomorrow afternoon. It will perfectly embody the concept of Continuous Small Treats. By the way, the flag reads “Joyenses Paques,” which means “Happy Easter” in French.
The late British novelist Iris Murdoch said “One of the secrets of a happy life is continuous small treats.” She was happily married for 43 years to Oxford professor John Bayley. According to Bayley, one of Iris’s greatest pleasures was swimming.
So here is my list of 20 small treats for a happy life:
1. homemade ice cream
2. stroking a purring cat
3. listening to the ocean
4. the smell of freshly brewed coffee
5. a room lit only by candles
6. any track on Miles Davis’ “Kind of Blue”
7. a cup of tea
8. a warm bath at the end of a long day
9. freshly baked bread
10. a note from my sweetheart
11. the cooing of a mourning dove
12. a good hard laugh
13. a walk at magic hour
14. a perfect margarita
15. a horse eating an apple out of your hand
16. fresh herbs
17. reading a good book in my favorite chair
18. black licorice
19. a footrub
20. a big hug
I’ll be enjoying my small treat tomorrow at tea time: fresh ginger cake with tea.
What are your favorite small treats? Please share in the Comments section.


  1. Persuaded says

    I must concur with #18 of your list.. and I especially appreciate mine well aged (aka stale;)

    some of my favorite small treats..
    *holding a sleeping baby
    *fresh hot coffee with a slosh of heavy cream
    *any novel by Grace Livingston Hill
    *sitting down for a moments rest in a perfectly clean room
    * the Psalms

    My goodness, just thinking about that list reduced my stress level and put a smile on my face.. Thanks so much for sharing☺

  2. Laura says

    I'll also go along with #18. Thankfully no one else in the family likes it, so when I buy a package I get to keep it all to myself (is that another small treat?). I also find Persuaded's rest in a perfectly cleaned room one of my favorite treats.

    Other favorite small treats:

    – homemade peach walnut ice cream
    – a warm chocolate chip cookie
    – an "aha!" moment when I figure things out in a mystery
    – a morning campfire

    I know I'm going to enjoy reading all the responses today!

  3. Marie-Josée says

    Angela, that's "Joyeuses Pâques" in French. Have a lovely Easter!

    My favourite things:
    – a perfectly chilled glass of red wine.
    – a spontaneous mark of affection from a loved one.
    – enjoying a nice meal with family and friends.
    – perfectly ripe grapes.
    – a good latte.
    – a foot rub.
    – a mark of affection from a pet.
    – flowers.
    – the smell of rain.

  4. Gina says

    What a great list Angela. I really need to do some thinking on this one. It will help me to reframe some of the things I take for granted in my life as treats, and to relish them more. I might even do my own post and link back here. Thanks.

  5. Magdalena says

    My how I love that Easter (Pascha!) cake and I hope to remember it next year when I do my paschal baking1 Congratlations to your friend on a beautiful, geneuinely Paschal cake!

  6. Angela says

    Thanks for all your comments! I definitely agree with many of your small treats. Isn't it nice to know so many of them are free for everyone?

    Magdalena- Yes, it's a lovely mold he uses. He says it's the only time he bakes all year.

  7. psmflowerlady says

    1)Lounging in my bed while the sun filters through the leaves and onto my sheets.
    2)A long HOT shower after yardwork
    3)The smell of lilacs
    4) Peonies
    5) The smell of tomatoes cooking down to sauce
    6) Snuggling with kids and/or dogs
    7) Meteor showers
    8) The smell of rain
    9) Grilled cheese sandwiches on home made bread
    10)Picking/harvesting something I grew myself
    11) Singing and dancing alone in my living room to some "oldies"
    12) Peepers @ night and birds in the morning
    13) The smell of suntan lotion and an ice cold drink
    14) Knitting and crochet
    15) The feel of handknit socks
    16) Seeing the look of accomplishment and excitement when my kids finally "get" something.
    17) The moon & stars and lightening bugs

  8. Betsy Talbot says

    I love the idea of continuous small treats! Sounds like the recipe for a very happy life.

    Some of my favorites:
    1. Catching your lover looking at you from across the room and smiling back
    2. A snuggle with the dog
    3. The first flowers of spring
    4. Finishing a great book and finding out the author has written others
    5. That feeling of accomplishment right after a good run

  9. rosa rugosa says

    What a great topic! There are too many to count, but I'll mention one that I've been delighfully aware of this week. I work in a venerable old office building of a large company in Boston, and we were temporarily relocated to the eigth floor when our dept suffered water damage last week. I worked on this floor several years ago, and I had completely forgotten about my 4 beloved little oil paintings in a small corridor until I ran into them again this week. The other night I looked up the painter online, and found that he was a Swedish immigrant who lived and painted in New England until his death in 1975. I am making it a point to walk past these great little Boston cityscapes every day while I'm working on this floor. I feel like it's my own secret art gallery – only because nobody else seems to even notice them. I think I'm lucky to get so much enjoyment from them. I like to imagine that Arthur Lingquist would be pleased.

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