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Archive for June, 2011

Host a 4th of July Backyard Bazaar for Kids and Adults Alike!

If you’ve spent any amount of time around children, you know that one of their most charming traits is having a creative and active imagination. They can dream up complex stories from scratch, create imaginary worlds with the help of random objects laying about the house, and find new and inventive ways to have fun with even the most limited of resources. After all, kids don’t have jobs and don’t drive, so they have to make do with what they’ve got! And make do with what we’ve got is exactly what the kids in my neighborhood and I did when we put together our first summer bazaar many years ago.

I’m not sure if I realized it at the time, but I was a very lucky kid. My parents weren’t overly-strict, my neighborhood was safe, and I had plenty of kids to play with in surrounding houses. As such, I had the freedom to float through my summer days, riding my bike here, swimming in a pool there, and just generally enjoying myself in a way that I would love to relive for a few days as an adult! My neighbor friends and I would often gather on my front porch as ours was the biggest, and we would play classic kids games like Jacks and Truth or Dare. But just as all kids do, we would also get bored. And when we got bored, we got creative! In fact, it was this boredom that brought about the first of many backyard bazaars.

I’m not sure if bazaars are the same all over the country, so I’ll clarify as to what bazaars are in the Blair Candy neck of the woods! A bazaar is a local outdoor event, typically held in the summer, that is hosted by a Church or non-profit organization. The event is designed to bring the community together for some fun while raising money for the Church or non-profit. Bazaar highlights include fair-style foods, like snow cones and pierogies, live music from local musicians, craft stands with unique offerings, and importantly…games! These games are typically very cheap, about a quarter per play, with prizes ranging from candy to handcrafted quilts. In many cases, everyone wins at least something small, while one person takes something a bit bigger. That something small is almost always candy – Dum Dums and Tootsie Frooties are popular – so there’s no crying kids (or adults!) walking away empty-handed.

The beauty of bazaars is that they are an awesomely-affordable good time, and the smaller bazaars can be just as fun as the larger ones. With this in mind, the neighborhood kids and I decided to try our hand at creating a bazaar just for us, and it was nearly-free and a whole lot of fun. Want to try it with your kids? There’s no time like the long 4th of July Weekend! The ideas outlined below were those we used in our backyard bazaars years ago, but the rules are only limited by your own imagination. Tip: Ask your kids for their ideas, too. They’ll definitely have good ones! :)

Backyard Bazaar Ideas

Plastic Kiddie Pool – Almost everyone has one of those tiny blue kiddie pools or knows someone who does. But you may not have ever used it for a ring toss! For our backyard bazaar, we filled the pool about 1/3 of the way with water and set some rubber ducks to float. We then found some weighted plastic rings (these were a pool toy for a larger pool) and those became the tossing rings. The goal was to get as many rings as possible around the floating rubber ducks! This game can easily be modified with whatever you’ve got on hand, and is a fun game for adults as well.

Set Up Some Tunes – If your children have instruments of their own, even if they are of the plastic toy variety, book them for your backyard bazaar! They’re sure to love being center stage as they perform whatever songs they like best. And don’t forget to pay them for the gig. Most kids will be willing to work for peanuts, but Bubble Gum Candy Coins make the deal seem more real!

Find Your Prizes – This part is not only fun, but it can help you cut down on some clutter, too. While it’s a good idea to stock up on some penny candy for the little prizes, you can ‘go shopping’ for the other prizes right at home…and we aren’t talking about shopping online! As I mentioned above, as kids we had to work with what we had. So we each went to our respective homes and looked around for trinkets and little whatnots we no longer wanted or needed, such as stuffed animals won in crane machines and puzzles we had already put together a dozen times. Once we had approval from our parents to offer these items up into the prize pool, we set out to play games to win them. These included the Ring Toss mentioned above, as well as simpler games, like Hot Potato. After hours of fun, we all got to walk away with someone else’s unwanted toys that were now our treasures!

Wishing you all a Safe and Happy 4th of July full of fireworks, fun, and perhaps something a bit bazaar!

Sweet Fashions that Look Good Enough to Nibble!

At BlairCandy.com, we eat, sleep and breathe candy – it isn’t only on Christmas Eve that we have visions of sweet treats dancing through our dreams! But for as many marvelous creations as we’ve enjoyed over the years, the times that we have worn candy are few and far between. Sure, we’ve all donned candy necklaces and Ring Pops at least ten times more often than most adults, but our clothing very rarely has a candy motif. We aren’t sure if this is because we get so much of the real stuff at work, or because candy-themed clothing is a newer trend on the scene. But whichever is the case, we’re excited to say we’re seeing it pop up more and more, which can only mean that more people are starting to see what we have been saying all along – candy is cute…and cool…and quite simply, fun to look at!

Want to up the sweetness of your own style? We’ve put together a short list of some of our candy fashion favorites. Hope you find something you love!

Sugar Skull Tee from Shirt.Woot.com – If you aren’t familiar with Shirt.Woot.com, a tee-focused division of the wildly popular deal-a-day site Woot.com, you’re about to click your way to a new addiction! Each day Shirt.Woot.com features a new tee designed by creative peeps from all over the world, and for 24 hours you have the opportunity to make that tee your own for just $10, with free shipping. After that, if the tee remains popular enough, you will be able to purchase it for $15, with free shipping. Still a great deal, but not as great as $10! And $10 is exactly what you’ll pay if you make your way to Shirt.Woot.com right now and nab yourself today’s delicious design – Sugar Skull. A candy-themed play on a traditional skull tattoo, this fun and fresh design features graphics inspired by candy canes, Starlight Mints, Peeps, and a big, blingy Ring Pop! We’ve liked a lot of Woot! Shirts in our day, but this one is very high on the list of loves!

Candy Dots Knee High Socks – Wish you could treat your feet to something sweet? With these cool and colorful Dots socks you can! Aqua and white stripes set the foundation for a fabulous pair of novelty socks that show the world you love Dots candy from the tip-top of your head down to your toes!

Rainbow Nonpareils Necklace – Do you want to let the world know that while you’re a softie for something sweet, you’ve got a tough side, too? There’s no better way to do just that than wearing this cool and colorful ‘candy knuckles’ necklace. Who needs brass knuckles when there’s lightweight candy knuckles? Certainly not me! Be sure to check out some of the other sweet pieces in the Black Swan Accessories Etsy Shop for matching earrings and rings, among other things!

Know of any other candy fashions you’d like to share? We’d love to hear about them! Please leave a comment below so we can share the sweetness with all our readers. :)

Cool and Colorful Lollipops that Keep Up with the Trends!

While we would be happy to eat candy that was shaped like work boots if it tasted good, it is always fun for candy to be as cute,cool and unique as it is delicious! At Blair Candy, we keep on the lookout for the latest and greatest candy out there. We’ll always have a soft spot and a sweet tooth for nostalgic candy of course, but we have enough room in our hearts and our candy bowls for favorites new and old! We’re always adding new candy to our brick-and-mortar and online candy stores, and we want to be sure you catch all the coolness, so we’ve put together a short list of some newer lollipops you may have missed that we think you’ll love!

Cupcake Lollipops – These colorful cuties aren’t to be confused with ‘cake pops’ – cupcakes on a lollipop stick. These are all lollipop, and a generous 1.8 ounce each at that! The colors are amazingly vibrant, and the cartoon-like look of the designs is eye-catching and just plain cool. Plus, cupcakes are all the rage right now, but they aren’t always an easy option. For outdoor summer parties, real cupcakes can quickly become a mess, and transporting them is no simple task. Cupcake lollipops on the other hand? Well, those are all wrapped up and ready to party!

Ugly Sucker Lollipops – To some people these may look like snarling, scary goblins and ghouls, but I think they’re simply adorable! With some of the most fun names to hit to lollipop scene, these are a treat to eat and cute to boot. Each huge box of 60 lollipops comes packed with 8 fruity flavors including Butt Ugly Berry Blast, Putrid Pina Colada and Rotton Cotton Candy, my personal fave! Snag some for Halloween, birthday parties, or just-because. It’s always fun to have something sweet and unexpected to offer guests.

Lite Up Ring Pops – An update on a much-loved classic (Don’t worry – regular Ring Pops are still available!), Lite Up Ring Pops come with a bit of brightness tucked inside to illuminate your lolli like never before. Blue Raspberry, Green Apple, Strawberry and Lemon set the sweetness to shine with a flashing light that takes this treat to whole new sensory level!

Which of the lollipops above are you most excited to try? Or is there another new candy that’s caught your eye? Let us know in the comments – we’d love to hear from you!

Perfect Candy to Pack for Summer Vacation!

For as delicious as the many mouthwatering varieties of chocolate bars are, discovering a Snickers at the bottom of your beach bag is more of an ‘ut-oh’ than a ‘yay!’ Unfortunately, not all the things we love get along as well as we would like them to, including chocolate and the hot summer sun. But that doesn’t mean your summer vacation need be sans sweets.

Whether you’re taking a road trip and want some tasty treats for the car, are beach-bound and want something to lazily enjoy as you soak up some sun, or are headed to any other number of vacation-worthy destinations, we have some cool candy ideas to consider taking along! It is important to remember that no candy is summer-proof, so use caution and consider the weather before heading out with candy in tow. If the temperature is climbing high enough, it may be best to keep your candy somewhere cool, dry and away from the sun, and enjoy it once you’re back at the hotel. :)

Twizzlers – Whether you’re sweet on strawberry, go bonkers for black, or choose cherry every time, Twizzlers makes for a tempting year-round treat that can stand the heat! It is also a low fat candy that’s loved by all ages, from toddlers to grandmas, making it a smart selection for family getaways where a snack with mass appeal will save you space and make packing a bit easier.

Single Wrapped Sour Patch Kids – Imagine regular-sized Sour Patch Kids had a teenage sibling, and you have a good idea of what to expect in our single wrapped Sour Patch Kids! Each oversized Kid is tucked inside its own clear wrapper keeping it clean and easy to toss in a beach bag, purse, or vacation-classic – fanny pack! Your bag is sure to be swimming with everything from sun block in varying SPFs to suit the whole family, to mountains of maps, brochures and loose change. The last thing you need to worry about is getting enough sand off the Sour Patch Kids to give them to the little ones! Keep ‘em clean and convenient with this vacation candy must-have.

Gummi Bear Rings – Think candy doesn’t get much better than gummy bears? Well…you’re half right. Gummy bears are tough to beat on the ‘fantastic classic’ front, but even candy that’s pretty perfect can be re-imagined into something even more fun. Case in point…gummi bear rings! With 100 fat free rings per box, these are sure to bring plenty of smiles all vacation long. Why simply eat a gummi bear when you can wear it first?! These are a bit more ‘melty’ than some summer candies, so we do advise that if it’s a very hot day, you keep these back at the hotel room to be enjoyed later.

Coconut Fruit Mushrooms – One of the latest and greatest arrivals at BlairCandy.com, these coconut mushrooms are making quite a splash! From Gerrit Verburg comes one of the prettiest, most unique candies of all, with a mouthwatering, fruity coconut flavor that just screams ‘summer!’ Fun to look at, fun to share, fun to enjoy – these little pieces of candy art are a pleasure to the eyes and the taste buds.

There’s plenty more vacation-ready candy at Blair just waiting for you to take it along! And if you have any questions about whether something is a good pick for your trip, reach out to us at the Blair Candy Twitter or Blair Candy Facebook and we’d be happy to help. It is always your best bet to keep candy out of the sun and heat as much as possible, and to add Ice Packs to your Blair Candy order, but there are of course some candies that are more up to the summer challenge than others!

Safe Travels and Sweet Treats, everyone!

Gloating About Gumballs!

We had the pleasure recently of connecting with the Gumball Machines blog, where they pay homage to the wonder and often eclectic world of vintage gumball machines. The blog is filled with photos of gumball machines to tickle every fancy, from Hello Kitty gumball machines to gumball machines that are larger than life!

Gumball Machines

We hope you’ll fill your gumball dreams and visit the Gumball Machines blog!

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