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!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Thoughtful Presence Giveaway: Make it a Joyous Christmas Gift Set

I usually try not to think too much about Christmas until the day after Thanksgiving. No Christmas music, no Christmas movies, no Christmas decorating or baking. Thanksgiving has always been the official kick-off of the holiday season and I have always been pretty strict about that policy. At least that was my policy before I started a gift basket business. It's a little hard to wait until the day after Thanksgiving to think Christmas when you're in the gifting business. It's more like we start thinking Christmas in June or July!

All of those traditions - decorating with lights, baking cookies of varied flavors, sending cards to those near and far - are just a few of the ways we make our own joyous Christmas. While I am excited to begin all of my own family traditions, I would love to hear about yours. Tell us about your own favorite Christmas tradition and enter our latest giveaway:


 Joyous Christmas Gift Set Giveaway

Friday, November 21, 2014

10 DIY Great Gifts for Guys

There’s something special about a handmade gift. Knowing it was made with love, specially designed for  you. No matter what else is on your list of wishes, receiving a handmade gift from someone you love always holds lifelong memories. And that’s what gifting should be about.

When you’re stuck on what to get the men in your life, you can’t go wrong with something handmade. They’ll love you even more and remember it forever.


We're featuring 10 of our favorite DIY handmade gifts for men, all intended to be customizable to your guy’s unique style and interests. Check them out!



I love the rough and rugged look of this Woven Paracord Watch from Instructables. Choose watch or bracelet, whichever best suits your guy, and create it in his best color. 



Every guy who BBQs needs his own designer towels. 1) so he won't use yours, and 2) so they can show off his favorite foods, drinks, colors....whatever you decide! Easy instructions from Silly Pearl.



For the classy corporate guy, the stays are an everyday need, and monogrammed adds that special touch. You can do some monogrammed and some with a short special message of your choice. These are from Shrimp Salad Circus.



The best thing about this pillow from curbly is that you can create any message, song lyrics, favorite places or just about anything you choose to stencil! Very personalized!



What guy doesn't have a favorite comic strip? These comic book coasters from Mod Podge Rocks make a fun surprise, and he won't believe you actually made them!



Whether it's Jack Daniels or another bottle, this manly soap dispenser from curlybirds will be a welcome addition to his side of the sink. 



I think I love these copper trimmed glasses from A little nutmeg just as they are, but you can certainly choose any design or color or glass shape to suit your guy. 



Great idea for the biker or gadget lover, this clock from Instructables is simply genius! 



This laptop sleeve from Sweet Verbena is a little more work, but if you're up to the task, it's super stylish and he won't let it out of his sight!



Fun and ultra modern, choose your own color and create your own shapes with these geo cuff links from Almost Makes Perfect!



If you have a favorite DIY gift for guys that you've made or found, please share in the comments!

Have a happy day!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Favorite Thanksgiving Recipe: Mashed Yams in Orange Cups

I remember making this side dish for a Thanksgiving dinner at my brother's house quite a few years ago. It has always been one of my favorite ways to make and serve holiday sweet potatoes. The recipe is from Bon Appetit, but I've added some of my own tips below (as I am known to do!)

Enjoy!

Photo taken from epicurious.com

Makes 18 servings.

Ingredients
  • 6 pounds large yams (red-skinned sweet potatoes)
  • 3/4 cup marshmallow creme
  • 9 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 3 large eggs
  • 9 large oranges
  • Additional marshmallow creme
  • 36 pecan halves

Directions

  1. Pierce each yam all over with fork. 
  2. Working in 2 batches, cook yams in microwave 15 minutes. Turn yams over; cook until tender, about 12 minutes longer. Cut yams in half; scoop pulp into bowl. (I actually don't microwave to pre-cook the potatoes. I boil them until they are good and soft - about 45 minutes. I then peel them and slice them into a bowl.)
  3. Add 3/4 cup marshmallow creme, butter, and syrup; mash until smooth. 
  4. Season with salt and pepper. 
  5. Whisk in eggs. 
  6. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.)
  7. Preheat oven to 350°F. 
  8. Cut thin slice from top and bottom of each orange to make flat surfaces. 
  9. Cut oranges in half. Scoop out pulp; reserve for another use.
  10. Place orange cups on 2 baking sheets. 
  11. Divide yam mixture equally among cups. Top each with dollop of marshmallow creme and 2 pecan halves. 
  12. Bake until beginning to brown, about 30 minutes. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

10 Random Acts of Kindness You Can Do on World Kindness Day



Today is World Kindness Day, and no matter your age, location, or occupation, there's something you can do today to spread a little kindness. You very well might be doing some of these every day, and if so, I commend you. World Kindness Day is intended to raise awareness of how small acts of kindness can make a huge difference and to encourage practicing small acts of kindness.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  1. As you go about your day, make it a point to share a smile and a greeting with strangers you encounter - at the office, grocery store, or gas station. Just a little smile will make a big difference to someone who might be having a bad day.
  2. Bring a little treat to share at your work place.
  3. Make a donation today to your favorite charity.
  4. Leave prime parking space for others today.
  5. Bring a neighbor a small treat or flowers and wish them a happy day.
  6. Stop inside a nearby church and say a special prayer for kindness and peace around the world.
  7. Sign up for a volunteer project today.
  8. If you're out shopping, ask the cashier how their day is going. Tell them today is World Kindness Day and pay it forward.
  9. Clean out a closet and donate some things you no longer need.
  10. Practice patience on the road. Yield and take it slowly.
Randomactsofkindness.org has many other great ideas and inspiring stories. Take a few minutes to read and be inspired.

Have a happy day!