Archive of ‘Featured’ category

Update your space for fall

 

Fall has arrived! As the season changes from summer to fall, it’s the perfect time to freshen up your living space. Personally, I don’t like to really decorate the inside of my home for fall (or any season really), but I do like to add little seasonal updates and subtle touches throughout our space. For fall decorating, I like to add a couple warm-toned throw pillows and definitely a chunky and cozy throw blanket. Are you with me? A warm cozy space feels so inviting, especially as the weather begins to cool.

fall decorating

above: hurricane vases wrapped with simple twine add a rustic texture that’s perfect for a fall update

For that final seasonal touch — bring the scents of the season into your space. I’m loving Glade Expressions® Oil Diffusers and added one to finish off our living room. They smell wonderful and the design looks great in our space.

 See, nice touch right?

Why you will love it too: Glade Expressions® Oil Diffuser releases a long-lasting fragrance for up to 30 days without the hassle of electricity. The spill-proof oil diffuser infuses layers of true-to-life scents throughout even the most open living spaces. The trendy holder matches décor perfectly, making it a convenient and stylish home-fragrancing option.

How will you update your space for fall?

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Glade via Glam Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Glade.”

 

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The Ultimate Host :: Challenge #2

As you know, I’m partnering with Sterling Vineyards, Padma Lakshmi and 3 other bloggers to help judge this year’s Ultimate Host Challenge and today, I’m announcing the second of four challenges that YOU can enter!

 

I know you are all capable of winning the title of Sterling’s Ultimate Host. You know how to put those thoughtful touches on your events and I know you are all great at finding inspiration. I’d LOVE it if one of you, my talented and charming readers, won this title … so please be sure to enter!

Padma explains the challenge in this video:

 

 

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Challenge 2: Dessert Pairings

“Will you pair zesty lemon squares with Sterling’s citrusy Sauvignon Blanc? Or will it be a romantic evening with chocolate and robust Sterling Merlot? Crafting the perfect dessert and wine pairings is just one hallmark of the Ultimate Host.”

How to enter: Simply submit your video, photo, or text submission to show us how you would complete this challenge. All entries should be submitted on Sterling Vineyards’ Facebook page here. Entries must be submitted by October 9, 2012.

What you can WIN: Winners from each of the 4 challenges win a Sterling gift basket and a chance to compete in a grand finale event in NYC for the top prize of $25,000 plus a trip for 2 to the Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival in Carmel, CA. PLUS, the title of “Sterling Ultimate Host” for the year.

I know you are brimming with ideas for this challenge! Submit your video, photo, or text entry with your great ideas for a Ladies’ (or Guys’) night in over on Sterling Vineyard’s Facebook page!

Okay tell me, who’s entering (’cause I really want to meet you in NYC!)?

 

 

 

 

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Reeses Pieces Shake

Warning: this recipe is dangerous. Proceed with extreme caution.

Reeses Pieces Shake

Reeses Pieces, peanut butter, vanilla ice cream, cool whip. Enough said.

Be carfeul.

peanut butter shake

 To me, this is perfection (and I may or may not have consumed this after I took this photo. Yes, it was 9am).

It’s THAT good.

………………………..

Reeses Pieces Peanut Butter Shake

 In a blender, combine:

Vanilla Ice Cream, Handfull of Reeses Pieces, Splash of Milk

Once blended, in a glass layer the shake with peanut butter.

Hostess Tip: Put a big scoop of peanut butter in a ziploc with the tip cut off. Then just squeeze in a thin layer of peanut butter.

Repeat  layers.

Top with cool whip and a few more Reeses Pieces.

 

Don’t share. Enjoy.

 Love Reeses Pieces? How about Reeses & Nutella Cookies?

 

 

 

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The Ultimate Host :: Challenge #1

Last week I shared that I’ll be partnering with Sterling Vineyards, Padma Lakshmi and 3 other bloggers to help judge this year’s Ultimate Host Challenge and today, I’m announcing the first of  four challenges that YOU can enter!

The Ultimate Host challenge 1

 

I know you are all capable of winning the title of Sterling’s Ultimate Host. You know how to put those thoughtful touches on your events and I know you are all great at finding inspiration. I’d LOVE it if one of you, my talented and charming readers, won this title … so please be sure to enter!

Padma explains the challenge in this video:

 

……………………………………………………………..

Challenge 1: Ladies’ (or Guys’) Night In

“Do your friends always congregate at your house for dinner parties? Do you make an effort to include special touches in décor and theme while creating memories in your home? If so, this could be your challenge to shine!”

 

How to enter: Simply submit your video, photo, or text submission to show us how you would complete this challenge. All entries should be submitted on Sterling Vineyards’ Facebook page here.  Entries must be submitted by September 20, 2012.

What you can WIN:  Winners from each of the 4 challenges win a Sterling gift basket and a chance to compete in a grand finale event in NYC for the top prize of $25,000 plus a trip for 2 to the Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival in Carmel, CA. PLUS, the title of “Sterling Ultimate Host” for the year.

I know you are brimming with ideas for this challenge! Submit your video, photo, or text entry with your great ideas for a Ladies’ (or Guys’) night in over on Sterling Vineyard’s Facebook page!

Okay tell me, who’s entering (’cause I really want to meet you in NYC!)?

 

 

 

 

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Could you be the Ultimate Host?

 

Do you love to entertain? Do you often gather friends and your favorite wine and make it an affair? Sterling Vineyards is searching for the next Ultimate Host …. could it be you?

 

 Sterling Wines Ultimate Host Challenge

 

I’m so excited to share that I’ve partnered with Sterling Vinyards along with 3 other chosen blogger experts  (see below) and the lovely Padma Lakshmi from Top Chef to act as the judging panel for the Ultimate Host Challenge!

 

 

So, get ready to showcase your creative flair for entertaining in four biweekly challenges announced here on Thoughtfull Simple and on Sterling Vineyards Facebook page. The winner from each of the 4 challenge rounds will recieve a gift basket from Sterling Wines AND will be joining the other finalist for a grand finale event in NYC this December (and I’ll be there too!) to compete for $25,000 and the title as Sterling’s Ultimate Host.

 Along with Padma, there will be a panel of judges for each round of challenges and for the finale event.

Meet Your Judges

Be sure to check out all the expert tips we’re sharing over on the Sterling Facebook page. And stay tuned for our announcement of the first challenge!

Update: Challenge #1 is live — details here.

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Nutella & Reeses Cookies

Looking for festive and delicious Halloween Cookies?  Well, after I made these Nutella Cookies for my girls, I was dreaming up all sorts of reasons to make them again. But what could be better than Nutella Cookies, right? Well, how about if you add in Reeses Pieces? Yep — Nutella & Reeses Cookies have been born.

You’re welcome.

Halloween Cookies ::  Nutella Resses Cookies

This recipe was adapted from the one here courtesy of two peas and their pod

Nutella & Reeses Halloween Cookies

Yield: 3 dozen cookies Cook Time: 10-11 minutes

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup dutch-process cocoa

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 teaspoon hazelnut extract

1/3 cup Nutella

1/3 cup milk

2 cups Reeses Pieces

Directions:

1. Whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and cocoa, set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the butter and sugars. Beat on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about two minutes. Add the vanilla and hazelnut extract and beat until extracts disappear. Add the Nutella and mix until batter is smooth.

2. Add the flour mixture in 2 batches, alternately with the milk in one batch, mixing well. Fold in Reeses. Chill dough for at least 15 minutes before baking. You can make the dough a few days in advance, just wrap it in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.

3. When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Take a tablespoon of cookie dough and roll it into a ball. Place on lined baking sheets and gently press down on the dough ball. Continue making dough balls until the cookie sheets are filled-leave two inches in between cookies.

4. Bake cookies for 10-11 minutes or until soft, but starting to set. Remove cookies from the oven and let cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.

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