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Archive for August, 2011

Stock Your Concession Stand With Sweet Football Candy and Salty Snacks!

As football fans living in Pennsylvania, where the weather on game day can range from a tad bit chilly to can’t-feel-my-toes-frigid, we know firsthand that a little frost on the windshield won’t have you cancelling game plans! Most fans will weather even the coldest days with blankets and gloves in tow while wearing more layers than a cake! But for as open as we are to embracing what Mother Nature throws our way, it is imperative that the game we attend have a concession stand fully stocked with the many food groups of football, namely: Beer Nuts, Cheese Popcorn, Planters Heat Peanuts, Sports Lollipops and Freestone Pickles. There are a few other snacks and sweets you should have as well, but I want to be sure my favorites are covered before we move on. ;)

So what are the consequences of a poorly-stocked concession stand? What is the worst that can happen if you run out of popcorn or never even order Slim Jims? YOU DON’T EVEN WANT TO KNOW. It may start with an empty seat in the stands here and there that used to be filled, but with each passing week less and less people, and more and more empty seats in the stands, will become the norm. In time, the stands themselves will fall apart from depression, for all their joy lives in the excitement of the fans!

And then, of course, there are the football players, coaches and mascots. Have you ever seen a mascot shuffle aimlessly about the football field as though his whole purpose in life has been ripped away? Have you ever seen a player score a game-winning touchdown only to look out into the empty bleachers and realize it went largely unseen? No…you wouldn’t see that. Because you wouldn’t be there to see it, and no one else would either! And why? For what? Because someone forgot to place an order, followed by forgetting to place another order, and before anyone knew what happened the concession stand was full of nothing but forgotten dreams and absence of hope.

The entirety of ‘town spirit’ may be depending on your well-stocked concession stand. OK, we may be exaggerating just a little! But do you want to risk finding out for sure when prevention is just a few clicks away?! We can promise that the temperature climbing into the single digits won’t keep us away from a football game. We can even promise that we’ll pack extra hand warmers in case the game goes long. But by golly, we can’t promise we won’t be forced to venture elsewhere in pursuit of Planters Peanuts if they aren’t available. And that’s just the football-lovin’ truth!

Candy that ‘Works’ for Your Labor Day Party!

It’s hard to believe that summer is almost behind us for 2011, but alas fall is waiting just beyond the trees with a breeze in her palm and crinkling leaves in her wake. And for as hard as it can be to bid adieu to long, hot days of sunshine and swimming, fall always seems to arrive right when we’re ready for a change.

Maybe we’re trained to desire the pumpkin patches and sweet cider when their time comes, or perhaps we would welcome it with corduroy jacket covered arms regardless of a calendar letting us know it’s here. Whatever the answer may be, as summer winds down and fall gets her footing, plans for the last big blowout barbecue begin, and I for one find it to be one of my favorite parties of all! Of what do I speak? Labor Day, of course!

What makes a Labor Day party earn high ranking on my Party-o-Meter? For one, there’s no work that day. Now, spending many of my working hours surrounded by candy is quite literally a pretty sweet gig, but I know enough to enjoy a day off! For another, the weather is usually perfect for spending hours outdoors without breaking a sweat or battling buggies. You can lounge about, play a little badminton, throw some horseshoes, and fire up the grill – all the makings of an awesome day, and all sans scorching sun! Plus, we can wear all the white our heart desires (not that I follow that rule, but still!), and get our DVRs ready to catch all the upcoming football games so we can rewind and replay to our hearts content.

But for as fabulous as we’re sure your Labor Day party will be regardless, we have some candy in mind that you might want to add to the table for even more fun…

Jumbo Money Lollipops – This is Labor Day after all, and money typically serves as the fruit of our labor! It isn’t the money itself that enhances our lives, rather the things we can enjoy with the help of the money, such as heat, water, shelter, and lollipops! There are a few others in that list as well, but we only have so much room on the blog so I’m hitting the basics. ;)

Saf T Pops – Labor Day finds its roots in people working together to improve their working conditions, which included seeking out greater safety for themselves and others. For as long as many of us feel our days are now, in most cases we are blessed with much better conditions overall than our ancestors. We are also blessed with more candy, which is not to go unappreciated! Not only are Saf T Pops a sweet classic that many of us remember from our own childhood, but they take their name very seriously. The looped string is easier for kids to hold, and doesn’t present a poking hazard that a hard stick lolli might for little ones.

Boston Baked Beans – A favorite for all ages, Boston Baked Beans pay homage to the first Labor Day of all, observed on September 5, 1882 in Boston. The celebratory side of Labor Day has been in place from the very beginning, and if something is designed with a party in mind, we certainly aren’t about to complain! Plus, Boston Baked Beans are delicious, and there’s no other candy quite like them. Just like there’s no holiday quite like Labor Day!

Candy for Dinner Can Be a Winner!

While I don’t endorse making a habit out of replacing meals with candy, I must confess that my dinner a few nights ago consisted of cola, M&M’s, Flipsticks and Candy Cigarettes. The day was long, I got home late, and even heating a TV dinner seemed too much work when all I really wanted was a smattering of sugary treats. So…that’s what I had! I laid them out on the table beside the couch and lazily ate my candy dinner while I watched Hoarders. I enjoyed every bite of candy goodness while I marveled at the Hoarders’ homes with eyes wide, occasionally uttering an “oh my gosh!” in response to something especially shocking. In short, it was a nice end to the day – some of my favorite candies complemented by one of my favorite TV shows.

While it felt a bit like a childlike thing to do at first, making dinner of candy, I was soon struck by how very adult it actually was. Surely I wouldn’t have been permitted a candy dinner as a child, or been allowed to eat so late in the day while watching television for that matter! But as an adult, these are the decisions we all get to make. Little treats to ourselves that make all the stresses and obligations of being a grown-up a bit more bearable. We can’t make them every day, of course. A daily candy dinner would not only lack the nutrients we need from such an important meal, but would also take away the pleasure an occasional indulgence brings. And that pleasure is important to me. While being an adult means we have to make a lot of tough decisions, expensive decisions, and potentially life-altering decisions, it also means we can let the chicken freeze for another day from time to time. We can kick our shoes off, fire up the DVR, and make a meal of Sour Punch Twists and Gummy Strawberry Creams.

Perusing CNN’s Marquee Blog today, I learned that I am not alone in my ‘candy is for adults’ thinking! I mean, I always knew, but to have celebrity confirmation is always fun. Right there before me was an article – Ryan Gosling really, really loves candy. Well, I really, really love candy too, and I also really, really love Ryan Gosling, so you can bet your Assorted Sixlets I clicked! This short and sweet post quotes Ryan as saying, “Sometimes I think that the one thing I love most about being an adult is the right to buy candy whenever and wherever I want.” Swoon! A man after my heart and my chocolate hearts, it seems! :)

Celebrate National Smile Week with Humor, Compliments, Candy and More!

While it may not be recognized on most calendars, the 2nd week of the awesome month of August is indeed National Smile Week. And while we certainly don’t think you should ever wait for a specific week to roll around to smile, we do think this week calls for celebration! Because in the words of Buddy from Elf, “I just like to smile; smiling’s my favorite.”

So how does one celebrate National Smiling Week exactly? We think a nice way is to help others smile, which will in turn make you feel good, and likely result in a little smile of your own! But how can you help others turn a frown upside-down, or go from so-so to smiling? We have a few ideas in mind that should do the smiley trick! :)

Do something for them. Yup, it’s that simple, and it can be almost anything! Whether you have a half hour at the end of the day to help a coworker wrap up a project, or you take the time to make that sun tea your kids or parents love so much, doing something for someone ‘just because’ is one of the greatest gifts you can give. It’s always nice to be reminded that a helping hand or sweet gesture can pop up when we least expect it.

Tell them a funny story. While a joke is always good, a really great story delivered well is infinitely better. Whether you have naturally great storytelling skills, or you can use a little practice, sharing your story with someone and adding just the right emphasis to all the best parts is a fun break in the day for both of you. Plus, the person may choose to ‘pay it forward’ and share your story with someone else, continuing the smile chain and giving everyone a good laugh.

Compliment someone. We often travel through our days a bit oblivious to our surroundings and fellow humans, rushing here, rushing there, rushing everywhere. Slow down and look for positive changes or simply things you like. Perhaps a cousin is sporting a new haircut, or your husband finally bought a new baseball cap. Even the shyest among us can’t help but feel good that someone took notice of us, and a little affirmation can go a long way toward making other changes down the line without apprehension.

Give them candy. Oh, you had to know this one was coming! But honestly, one of the best 3-word combinations ever conceived has to be, “Want a piece?” Don’t worry “I Love You” fans – that one is pretty great, too! But we think there’s enough room in everyone’s life for love and candy. While almost any sweet treat should do the trick, you can initiate an unexpected candy surprise, leaving Cupcake Lollipops on coworkers desks, tossing some Gummy Burgers in your wife’s purse, or leaving your children wide-eyed by presenting them with an after-dinner Giant Gummy Bear.

          We’ll look forward to smiling along with you – next week and whenever we can!

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