Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween from Thoughtful Presence!

Here it is, October 31, another day of tricks and treats!  I'm well-prepared, with my very large bowl of treats waiting by the door, and our slightly scary decorated house ready to welcome our

As a child, Halloween is all about candy and costumes and going door-to-door.  As an adult (at least for me) it's still about candy and costumes, but add in a few other fall favorites that this time of year brings.  Pumpkins, gourds, and squash, whether for cooking or decorating, signify the season and help to kick start the upcoming holidays.

It's a busy time for Thoughtful Presence, with upcoming holiday craft fairs and boutiques, new baby and pet gifts soon to be added to our collection, not to mention our winter holiday gift baskets.  But we'll take a break today to enjoy our ghosts and goblins, pass out our treats, and catch a scary movie at the end of the day.  We hope, wherever you are, you will do the same.

Have a happy day, and if you've taken time to read this, share with us your favorite Halloween trick or treat!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Fall and Holiday Gift Baskets, Candles Included

I'm a huge admirer of candle crafters.  It is such a beautiful craft, with its designs, colors, and fragrances.  I love candles for just about any occasion and although I don't put candles in all gift baskets, I certainly could!

My husband, manly man that he is, has one weakness - candles!  When I met him, I was amazed at his affinity for candles.  Although admittedly, I turned him into a candle snob, as I am super particular about candle quality.  He was more into the concept of candles when I met him, but not being the shopper type, he didn't realize the vast variety of candles that exist in the market.

Since starting our gift basket business, we are both enthralled by the many candles we view and sample for our gifts.  And, yes, we test them all!  A good candle not only must look and smell beautiful; it also must burn right.  It must burn evenly, down to an empty glass.  It must be long lasting.  It must not put out too much smoke, especially black smoke!

It's a fine balance when choosing candles for a gift basket.  Its fragrance cannot interfere with other items in the basket.  Size is important as it must fit the overall design.  Price is a factor as it is a contributor to the overall cost of the complete basket.  And of course it must fit the theme of the basket, either by design or fragrance or both. 

Although I am not a candle expert, I am a candle snob, and am grateful for the many options in the market and especially for those vendors we've partnered with so far who've made beautiful candles to enhance our gift baskets!

Have a happy day!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Sweets For Your Sweetest

October 20th is Sweetest Day, often thought of as the secondary Valentine's Day.  Although I like to think of Sweetest Day more as a day to share some good quality time with someone you love, be it a spouse, companion, friend or family member.  And if that quality time can include a sweet treat, then there you have it - Sweetest Day!

Here are my recommendations for your something sweet to be shared:
  1. Go to a movie and have your favorite movie theater candy.  My fave is red licorice.
  2. Go to your favorite coffee shop and have a pumpkin spice latte and a chocolate cupcake.  At least, that would be my pick!
  3. Spend your quality time at home and bake cookies - pumpkin or chocolate chip anyone?
  4. If it is not too cold where you are, go out for ice cream.  Get three scoops of your favorite flavor.  (Okay, I've never really ordered 3 scoops!)
  5. Enjoy a nice relaxing dinner and save room for dessert - of course!
What's your pick for your sweet treat?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Watch our Video: Custom Gift Baskets for All Occasions

We've completed our first video highlighting our many different styles of gift baskets.  We've received a lot of compliments on the quality of the video.  Thanks to my husband, Ken, for his advice and input.  He's much more the video expert than me! 

Already working on video #2 - Enjoy and have a happy day!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Palatine High School Fall Craft Fair

We are happy to be participating in the Palatine High School Booster Club Fall Craft Fair on Saturday, November 3.  We will have Fall, Thanksgiving, and Christmas themed gift baskets for sale, along with some of our best year-round selections.  If you are in the area of Palatine, IL, please stop by and see us.  The fair runs from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.    Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Moms, Dads and Babies - They All Love Our Unique Baby Gifts!

Today I received a comment from a mom who was the recipient of our Baby Bath Spa baby girl gift basket last year.  She commented on how much she loved it, and specifically the "very plush" hooded bath towel.  She also said her baby girl loves to play with the basket itself and keeps her toys in it. 

Baby Bath Spa - Baby Girl Gift Basket
Those comments reminded me of a couple of others I have heard along the way.  One baby boy loves the monkey rattle the best; another baby girl has found her favorite with the caterpillar wubanub pacifier. 

Mango Monkey rattle by Mary Meyer
Mango Monkey rattle by Mary Meyer
Caterpillar wubanub by Mary Meyer
Caterpillar wubanub by Mary Meyer

I am so delighted to hear those comments because choosing high quality, high value gifts for all of our gift baskets is so important to me.  And with the baby gift baskets, I love to know that the different selections make both parents and baby happy!

We are actually in the process of creating two more baby gift baskets, that will focus on small baby toys and some very adorable baby food sets.  We have an owl collection coming for girls and a puppy and trucks collection coming for the boys.  These should be completed in the next two weeks, and I'll be sure to highlight them here in my blog.

Have a happy day!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Custom Gift Baskets Celebrate the Colors of Autumn

Octoberfest - Apple Picking - Halloween - 2012 Election Parties
Harvest Festivals - Thanksgiving

All of the above are reasons I love Autumn!  We've just introduced some new fall themed gifts that make great hostess gifts or thank you gifts.  All of these gift baskets are actually ceramic or metal planters that can be re-used as planters or as everyday storage containers.  They are all neutral and intended to enhance any decor.  We like these better than traditional baskets because they really provide much more value to the recipient.  They are also more distinctive and better looking, and who wouldn't love that!

Gift Basket of Gratitude

My favorite is the white ceramic container with "Laugh" scripted across the front in the Gift Basket of Gratitude shown here.  I love this container for its sentiment and many uses.  I also love the owl designed crystal paperweight.  I don't know about you but I always use paperweights on my desk and in my kitchen, and this one is particularly elegant.

Another of my favorite items is the ceramic owl tealight holder in this Autumn Gift of Thanks.  The owl comes from Grasslands Road and is trendy in style, yet classic in color. Owls are all the rage, and as a symbol of wisdom, adding the owl to this container of treats, just might prove most flattering to your recipient!
Autumn Gift of Thanks

Abundant Thanksgiving
This is our Abundant Thanksgiving Gift Basket, which is a collection of home and kitchen gifts.  The candle sentiment is "At Home find comfort and rest" which seems most appropriate for the holidays.  My other two favorites in this gift are pumpkin chocolate malted milk balls from South Bend Chocolate Company, and a delicious creamy potato soup mix from Country Home Creations.  I've tasted them both and will attest to their true tastiness!

I hope this gives you an idea of how we choose each item individually to go into each of our gift baskets.  Being selective on products is our top priority!
Have a happy day! 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Autumn is a Time to be Thankful

It's not just Thanksgiving that makes Autumn a time to think about gratitude.  Think of these other upcoming days of recognition to remember those who make a difference in your life:

October 5 - World Teacher Day
October 16 - Boss's Day
October 20 - Sweetest Day