Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Pet Gift Baskets for Our Four-legged Friends

September is a big month for pets!  All month it is Happy Cat Month and this week is National Dog Week.  We just received some great inventory for our new cat gift baskets and dog gift baskets that we'll be showing here and in our store later this week.

Until then, here are some fun facts about our lovable furry friends:
  • A cat can travel at a top speed of approximately 31 mph over a short distance.
  • A cat can jump up to five times its own height in a single bound.
  • Cats can make over 100 vocal sounds, while dogs can only make 10.
  • When cats are happy or pleased, they squeeze their eyes shut.
  • 21% of dogs and 7% of cats snore.
  • The largest breed of dog is the Irish Wolfhound.  The world's smallest dog breed is the Chihuahua.
  • The St. Bernard is the heaviest dog breed.
  • There are over 700 breeds of purebred dogs.
  • President Lyndon Johnson had two Beagles named Him and Her.
  • Three dogs survived the sinking of the Titanic - a Newfoundland, a Pomeranian, and a Pekingese.
  • Boxers were named after their habit of playing.  At the beginning of play with another dog, a Boxer will stand on his hind legs and "box" at his opponent.
I can testify to that last one with our Cody and Bosco!

Have a happy day!

(fun facts courtesy of and

Thursday, September 20, 2012

5 Ways to Celebrate World Gratitude Day

Okay, so it's not a major, well-known holiday, like Christmas or Fourth of July.  But perhaps equally important is the concept of taking a day to be grateful and let others know of your gratitude.  Friday is World Gratitude Day and it's a great feel-good for you and those around you.

You don't need to go far out of your way or spend a lot of money to show your gratitude.  Simply pick one or more people in your life and give thanks.  Here are 5 simple ways to show gratitude that anyone can do (even at the last minute):
  • Bring treats to work - For those you work with who provide endless support and an ear when you need it, bring in some cupcakes, cookies, or other office favorite treats and let everyone know you appreciate them.
  • Dial up a friend - In this day of texting and social media posting, pick up the phone and call a friend or family to let them know you are thinking of them.
  • A single rose - No, it doesn't have to be a rose - a big, gerber daisy, a gladiola, or any other favorite flower given to a friend or relative always makes a nice surprise thank you.
  • Send an e-card - Free e-cards are easy to find online.  Send a "thank you" or "thinking of you" card to soemone in your life.
  • Be spontaneous - Invite a friend or loved one out for lunch or dinner last minute and insist on buying.  Let them know you just want to say thanks for being you!
Post your own ideas here and have a happy day!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

What makes Thoughtful Presence gift baskets different?

Have you ever looked online for a gift basket and found the exact same gift basket offered at more than one company for various prices?  Last week, I did a search for new home gift basket on Google shopping to see how we were doing in the overall search results.  I noticed the exact same gift basket was offered by three different companies at widely different prices.  Not only was it the same gift basket but they used the exact same photo.  How unoriginal!

When I decided to start a gift basket company, I quickly learned about the option of drop shipping as a business model.  This is an option that would allow me to receive orders through my website and have the order fulfilled and shipped from a third party warehouse that would house the same gift baskets for any number of other gift basket companies.  I would not need to keep any inventory on hand.  I thought about this option for about half a second, and quickly decided against it.  Now I know this option works for many business owners,  but it just didn't fit with my overall philosophy for my business.  I wanted to create something unique and one-of-a-kind. 
At Thoughtful Presence, we design all of our own gift baskets in our studio.  After scouring gift trade shows a few times a year, we hand select each gift item that goes into each basket or container.  Then we package and decorate it for each unique occasion. That's why it's easy for us to customize any of our gift baskets to meet any theme or budget.
Another thing that makes Thoughtful Presence different is we don't use a lot of food in our gift baskets.  Rather than filling your gift with lots of food products that aren't particularly original, we fill it with the types of gifts you might choose yourself – picture frames, candles, books, music, kitchen utensils, accessories, keepsakes, and much more.  The result is sometimes a higher price than other gift baskets, but we think well worth it.  I love chocolate as much as you do (probably more actually!), but I use it (and a few other quality food items) selectively and only if it truly matches the theme of the gift basket.

Having said all that, what's your take?  Is our concept worth all that?  

Post your feedback and have a happy day!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Spread Positive Thoughts Through Unique Gift Basket Designs

Today is Positive Thinking Day.
That got me thinking about how I can spread some positive thoughts! And that got me thinking about all of the gift products I have observed, reviewed, tested and purchased that have their own subtle ways of spreading positive thoughts everyday! Here are a few of my favorites, most of which we use in our various gift baskets.
Good Fortune Lavender Sandalwood soap
Good Fortune Soaps - These all natural body products are all about social consciousness and nothing is more positive than that.  We love their natural fragrances and how they feel on your skin.  We put together gifts with a variety of Good Fortune products packaged in a fantastic travel toiletry bag - available for both men and women.

Kala style soaps - Kala style has many wonderful soaps, but my favorite are their statement soaps.  We currently use the Joy soap in our Especially for Her gift basket filled with wonderful personal items for women (including some favorite jewelry)!

Kalastyle Joy soap

8 Petals handcrafted fused glass jewelry
8 Petals handcrafted fused glass bracelet
Statement Jewelry - Statement jewelry is abundant and great for spreading positive thoughts.  You can give as a gift or simply wear yourself as a constant sharing of all things positive, whether it be thoughts of peace, joy or love.  I'm sure you've all seen the wonderful charms made of various metals stamped with positive words.  My personal favorites not only display happy words, but are brightly colored designs that also inspire positive feelings.

Jennifer Jangles hand crafted jewelry
Jennifer Jangles handcrafted ceramic beaded jewelry

Keepsakes - Of course, with decorative keepsakes you can add positive messages throughout your home or workspace for that daily lift.  You'll find many of these at your local gift shop.  I sometimes pick up a little something for myself or a friend for no reason at all other than to bring a smile and a positive thought their way - that is everyday, not just on Positive Thinking Day!

Have a happy and positive day today!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Signs of Autumn Inspire Seasonal Gift Basket Designs

I just love all the familiar signs of autumn that come immediately after Labor Day:
  • The chill in the early morning air as I take Cody out for his morning walk
  • The first football game of the season and its promise of hope when they win
  • The local event listings for Octoberfests and Apple Festivals
  • Seasonal Halloween shops popping up at the local malls
These and so many other sights and sounds have me excited for the changing season with its fall colors and pumpkins, ghosts and goblins, and coming soon turkeys and Christmas trees!  So while I'm unpacking my sweatpants for those early morning walks, I'm inspired with design ideas for my new seasonal and holiday gift baskets.  Although still wearing shorts and flip flops in the warmer afternoons, the cooler weather designs are starting to take shape!

Have a happy day!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

New Baby Gift Baskets - Something for Everyone

Whether you're attending a baby shower, Baptism, or welcoming the new little one home, a new baby gift basket can be the perfect gift choice.  Since new parents generally need a bit of everything (including some new mommy and daddy treats!), a new baby gift basket allows for a mix of gifts for all. 

Baby gift baskets are some of my favorite gift baskets to design.  I just love picking out all of those adorable baby products - little onesies or creepers, squeezably soft stuffed animals, first baby books, and so many other irresistible baby products!

All of our baby gift baskets can be arranged in a decorative baby carriage basket or the essential diaper bag.  We love the stylish diaper bags from Jimeale.  They are well made, sophisticated, and highly functional.

If you're in need of a gift for this very happy occasion, take a look at some of our designs or
contact us for something custom made.  And if you're looking for some unique ideas for the new parents, check out our ezine article.  You're sure the find the perfect gift for your next baby occasion!

Have a happy day!