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!

  • 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


  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 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

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!