Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: 50 Reasons to Exercise

We are winding down heart health month here at Thoughtful Presence so I leave you with these 50 reasons to exercise. I found this great inspirational post at Inspire My Workout. So get out there and make it happen!



Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Favorite recipe: Slow-cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

It's mid February and many of us have snow on the ground; some just an inch or two; some more inches than we care to think about! It's the time of year, we start getting anxious for longer days, warmer weather, and a little more sunshine. With a lingering cold, we're counting down to the first day of spring! If any of this sounds familiar, there's nothing more comforting this time of year than a little homemade chicken soup!


Ingredients:
  • 3 1/2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts and thighs, skinned
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 5 medium carrots, sliced
  • 4 stalks celery, slices
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dill
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup mini star pasta

Directions:

  1. Place chicken breasts and thighs in slow cooker.
  2. Add carrots, celery, onions and broth
  3. Stir in curry powder, dill, salt and pepper.
  4. Cook on low for 8 hours.
  5. Remove the chicken and remove meat from bones.
  6. Discard bones and stir meat back into the soup. 
  7. Stir in pasta and let sit until pasta is cooked through.

Enjoy and have a happy day!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

7 Romantic Ideas for Your Valentine's Day

Every year for the last several years, we have spent Valentine’s Day in a remote cabin up in the Northwoods with tons of snow – skiing by day and enjoying a warm cozy fire with a romantic dinner by night. This year, our trip was postponed by a few weeks, so we will be home for Valentine’s Day.



We will likely go out for dinner since it just so happens we have a restaurant gift card from Christmas. But since I also love to cook, I am conjuring up a little something special to cook on an alternate night. With that in mind, I've put together some of my favorite ideas for your romantic dinner at home.





First off, your romantic dinner should include flowers, wine, and mood lighting. A simple and elegant setting like this one from Fancy Cribs:



Photo credit to Fancy Cribs

Any of the aphrodisiac foods noted at modvive.com might be right up your alley. You can always incorporate one or two of these into your overall menu plan: oysters, mushrooms, figs, curries, asparagus, and ginger. (I have a great recipe for a mushroom soup with sherry that is to die for – email me if you’d like the recipe)

Photo credit to modvive.com

A decadent romantic dessert is a must. I love the look and flavor of this chocolate pudding cake from Fab Housewife.

Photo credit to Fab Housewife

If you happen to be romancing the family, kids or grand-kids, you might whip up these sweet red velvet cupcakes like these shown at DecoratedLife.

Photo credit to Decorated Life

Another great idea for family or the pizza-loving couple is this heart shaped pizza from iDiva.

Photo credit to iDiva

You might create a picnic theme (indoor or outdoor) with favorite finger foods for feeding each other (ah, ultimate romance!)
Photo credit to Romantic Food Ideas

Whatever you choose for your meal, take a little time to create the perfect setting to make this Valentine’s Day your very own.








Happy Valentine’s Day from us to you! 

Monday, January 26, 2015

10 Favorite Super Bowl Party Ideas

In order of preference, these are my favorite things about the Super Bowl:

1.       Hanging out with friends
2.       Fun food
3.       Preceding Puppy Bowl
4.       Crazy commercials
5.       Halftime show
6.       The Game

Sorry, guys, unless it’s the Packers or the Bears, the game itself is just a distraction. But that’s just me!

Anywho, whether you’re hosting a party for the Big Game this year or going to a friend’s, here’s a roundup of some of my best finds for Super Bowl party fun.





1. Football Drink Tags

Copy these or design your own to hang on bottles or wine glasses!

 Football drink tags
Photo taken from Book-a-Cook


2. Beer Stein Vase

You can go all the way and make beer colored ice cubes as they do here, or just fill the glass with water and colored stones for effect. 

 Beer stein vase
Photo taken from Eco Snobbery Sucks



Pick up some mason jars and kraft paper at your local craft stores and serve up your snacks in these trendy containers.

Photo taken from Mason Jar Crafts Blog


4. Snackadium

For the truly ambitious, you can follow Meagan's instructions from Sunshine and Sippy Cups and make this Grand Snackadium...looks amazing!


Photo taken from Sunshine and Sippy Cups

5. Field of Guac

 For the slightly less ambitious (like me!) serve your guacamole in a field design such as this one. Significantly simpler, but will still amuse your guests.




6 and 7. Field Table Runner

Whether store bought or handmade, like these two, a table runner to suit the occasion is always a nice touch. This would look really cool with a couple beer stein vases filled with flowers, don't you think? 







8. Football Cookies

I so love decorated cookies. Unfortunately, I never seem to have time to make the really artistic ones that I love to show off here. But these are fabulous! The field cookies with sprinkles for the crowd are super clever!


Photo taken from Munchkin Munchies

9. Field of Sweets

This is a fun recipe from Hershey's for their gridiron cake. I especially like the striped kisses for the officials.

Photo taken from Hershey's

10. Football Fingernails

And don't forget to get that themed manicure before the Big Game! 



Have a happy day and enjoy the game!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Thoughtful Presence Giveaway: Be Our Valentine Gift Set

I have the sweetest memory (literally and figuratively) of Valentine's Day as a child. My dad would come home every year on Valentine's Day with a large heart shaped box of Fannie May chocolates for my mom and 2 small heart shaped boxes for me and my brother. Of all the Valentines we'd receive at school, party treats, and such, that box of chocolates always meant so much. Of course, I loved the candy, but the heart shaped box from my dad really felt special. I knew he loved me by that little red box.

To help you create those special memories we're giving 15% off all Valentine gifts and a chance to win your own Valentine Gift Set. These are a few of our favorites:



 Be My Valentine Shaving Set for Men


 Elegant Candle and Chocolates Gift Set


 Pamper Me Pink Spa Gift Set


 A Treat for Valentine Gift Basket



What special memory will you create this Valentine's Day? Tell us in the comments and enter our latest giveaway:

Now it's your turn to win...

Be our Valentine with an entry into our Valentine Giveaway! One lucky winner will receive this beautiful Valentine gift set which includes Wisdom of the Heart, a heartwarming book about love; I am Peace glass jar candle and eau de parfum from the I am® fragrance collections. Your special Valentine’s gift comes packaged in this vibrant chevron gift bag.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Preserving the Season with Warm Winter Decor

If you’re like me, taking down Christmas decorations is a sad event. We love the season and decorate every corner of our house. After the decorations come down, it feels a little empty and plain. Realizing that, a couple of years ago, I started to recognize that some decorations are not specifically Christmas, but celebrate winter and can remain through the entire winter season. This made my husband really happy since he cries during the take down even more than me!



So as you’re preparing to take down your decorations stop and look around at what can be preserved or slightly modified to suit a winter theme for the next couple of months.  And if you’re looking to add some new ideas, we found these great ones on Pinterest. Preserving the season will warm your heart and help you celebrate the beauty of winter even after the joy of Christmas!

From Making Lemonade, this is a great ideas to preserve the use of pine cones, Christmas lights and a couple of your favorite ornaments.

Photo taken from Making Lemonade
From Fynes Designs, I love this burlap wreath which has such a lovely winter feel. Replace your Christmas wreath with this one for the remainder of the winter season.

Photo taken from Fynes Designs
Make a vase of winter greens and décor and add to your favorite room in the house. This one comes from This Silly Girls Life.

Photo taken from This Silly Girls Life
Use winter animals, candles and rustic décor to create warm, earthy winter feel to any room.  I love this one I found on Pinterest, and below that are photos of our very own stairway landing winter forest scene.









Have a happy day!