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Holiday Candy

Encourage Your Children to Do Their Chores with St. Patrick’s Day Candy!

We’ve all heard of “The Luck of the Irish,” but as an Irish lady herself, I can tell you much of that ‘luck’ comes from hard work! In fact, an excerpt from one of my favorite Irish blessings gives a hint at how important hard work has historically been to the Irish – “May there always be work for your hands to do, May your purse always hold a coin or two, May the sun always shine on your windowpane, May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain.”

I can still remember a much younger me sitting at my grandmother’s kitchen table sipping Ginger Ale and re-reading that blessing again and again. I didn’t realize at the time that work was a blessing unto itself, but I knew that I loved the little treats high honors on my report card brought! So I worked hard then, and I work hard now, and I’m lucky that my purse always holds a coin or two.

While we can’t expect young children to inherently understand the value of work, the time will come when teaching them is essential. There are countless ways to encourage your children to work hard in all they do, and just as many ways to reward them for it. This isn’t to say they deserve a prize for every dish they wash, but little presents here and there are fun for everyone. After all, you probably wouldn’t show up as often for your job were it not for the paycheck!

With St. Patrick’s Day approaching and “The Luck of the Irish” on our minds, we thought up a fun, festive way to help your kiddos cross some chores off their ‘to do’ list while earning some magical goodies!

Step One: Choose a Few Chores to Reward – The number of chores will depend on how many they have, but let’s imagine they include Dusting, Making their Bed and Vacuuming. Jot these down in a notebook, and move to Step Two!

Step Two: Get Ready to Channel Your Creative Side – The Irish Blessings we all know and love didn’t write themselves, and neither will yours! Don’t worry; this is designed to be fun. Think of the chore at hand and write a little 4-line blessing to give your child a clue at the prize. Let’s assume you will reward them with Green Apple Tootsie Frooties for dusting the living room. Your Irish Blessing might read: None of us like to live among dirt and dust, And this is what makes regular dusting such a must! But fret not for when you have finished your dusting duties, Your taste buds will be rewarded with Tootsie Frooties! OK, to be fair, it’s more of a poem than a blessing, but it’s close!

Step Three: Decide How Magical You’ll Be – Now you’ll have to decide how to gift the goodies. You can always let your child know beforehand that their chores will come backed by treats this week, sharing the Blessings with them, and handing the candy out upon completion. Or, you can make it more magical, which works especially well for younger kids, but can be fun for teens as well. For the magical angle, it will be a bit like a treasure hunt. Let’s take the chore of vacuuming as an example. You can first take the vacuum from the closet and have it ready for them to use. Then, you can place the candy prize in a bag in the spot where the vacuum lives. Once they’ve finished and are ready to tuck it back into the closet, they’ll open the door to reveal their riches! Were they left there by a little Leprechaun? That’s up to you!

Your kids can’t possibly consider work a blessing every minute of the day – no sane person can! But the truth is that it’s more than just an essential aspect of life; it’s a fulfilling one as well. And if candy can help instill that from an early age, we think that’s a pretty sweet deal. :)

Share the Love and Contribute to a Good Cause with Valentine’s Lollipops!

Whether you’re trying to raise money for a school team or group, want some help making a charitable contribution on behalf of your company, or need new supplies for a non-profit, a fundraiser can be key in achieving your goals. There are many types of fundraisers to consider, and many fundraising techniques that have been used successfully, but the results can be mixed at best, and several of those types and techniques require a lot of time input that you may or may not have at your disposal. Just like the money itself, time is an asset, and if your schedule is already packed with the team, group, company or non-profit that needs money in the first place, chances are good you don’t have the hours in the day to make countless phone calls or send out requests for donations. This is where a fundraiser with a tangible incentive can save you time, help achieve your donation target, and offer people something fun and flavorful for their support. That tangible incentive would, of course, be candy!

In our last blog post we talked about how Valentine’s Day can be a special holiday not only for kids and couples, but for all the people we treasure, from friends and family to co-workers and beyond. In fact, many of us may feel especially inclined to share a little sweetness with the special people in our lives who won’t be celebrating Valentine’s Day with a romantic partner; to add a smile to a day when the whole world seems to be telling them that love is in the air for everyone else!  This is what makes a Valentine’s Day fundraiser so easy and enjoyable – people will love the opportunity to gift their friends a sweet treat, and you can hit your goals more quickly in the process.

I’m stealing the idea for the Valentine’s Day Lollipop Drive from my high school, which I attended more years ago than we will openly discuss here! However, I’m sure other high schools had a similar drive, so you might remember it even if we didn’t grow up together. While this idea worked out very well for my school, helping to raise money for the football team, it can also work to raise money for almost any institution where a lot of people work or visit every day.

The price you charge for the Valentine’s lollipops, or whichever sweet you choose, should take into consideration how many you think you can sell, and how much money you hope to earn. There should be a limit, of course – most people won’t spend more than a dollar or two on a small lollipop. But let’s assume you work with 100 people and everyone interested would want to send a special Valentine to 5 friends in the building. If even half of your co-workers participated and bought a $1 lollipop for 5 friends, you can bank $250 in a day! If your lollipop of choice is our Jolly Rancher lollipops, 9 bags would equal 252 lollipops, costing you just $36.81, leaving you with over $200 to devote to your fundraising goal. Pretty sweet!

As for where to sell the lollipops? If your building has a front desk or central area that most people will pass by throughout the day, these are good locations to consider. A secretary or other employee can collect the money for the drive, and keep track of who the lollipops are from, and who they will be going to. Near the end of the day – or the next day, if you want to be sure to capture as many sales as possible – someone can act as Cupid and deliver the Valentine’s lollipops to everyone. Whether or not to make it a secret Valentine is up to the person who purchased the pop!

Valentine’s Day Candy – Something Small, Something Sweet, for all the People that Make a Big Difference

While Valentine’s Day is typically thought of as a romantic holiday, it can also be a time to share something special with all the people that make our lives happy and full. Don’t worry – we understand completely that this isn’t everyone you know! But in ways big and small, it is many of the people you know, from the lady who always makes your latte ‘just right’ and greets you with a smile, to the guy at work who always tries his best to fix whatever you’ve done to your computer this time, even though he might be busy. Then, of course, there are the people who yield the biggest influence – family, friends, and importantly, pets! All of these people make morning a little bit sweeter to wake up to, and all will surely appreciate a sweet something in return.

One of the best things about Valentine’s Day candy is that most of it is quite cheap. One of the other best things is that it’s delicious, but you already know that! If keeping within a budget is a concern, first consider how many people you’ll be gifting, and who among those people will get a ‘bigger’ gift. For example, if you want to get something for 20 people, spend no more than $30, and 2 of those people will get ‘bigger’ gifts, you can opt for 1 box of Necco Conversation Hearts boxes for just $15.50 (36 individual boxes inside!), and 2 boxes of Cella’s chocolate covered cherries for your bigger gifts. For the smaller gifts, you can give 18 people two individual boxes of Conversation Hearts each – for the larger gifts, you can give each of the ‘bigger’ gifts people a box packed with 12 Cella’s cherries – and you can come in under budget at just $22.50!

Conversation hearts and Cella’s chocolate covered cherries aren’t the only thing on the menu at Blair. Our Valentine’s Candy collection also includes Jolly Rancher lollipops, Valentine’s Hershey’s Kisses, Hot Cinnamon Gummy Bears, and more. And don’t forget to swing by the pet shop for a special treat for your favorite furry, feathered, or scaly sweetie!

Conversation Hearts Do More Than Get People Talking…They Get Them Crafting and Creating!

Here at Blair Candy, we’ve already got Valentine’s Day on our minds weeks before we’ve packed up the Christmas decorations and put our presents in their proper place. Don’t get us wrong – we aren’t ‘holiday rushers’! We like to devote our personal time and energy to the current holiday season no matter what it may be, but when we’re at work we have to prepare for the next special day on the horizon. And that is precisely why we were placing orders for Necco conversation hearts and Valentine Peeps while we were still listening to Christmas music and sucking on candy canes. Yeah, we can holiday multitask with the best of ‘em!

But our multitasking abilities go beyond this talent alone. We’re also good at multitasking while working – you know, answering an email while checking out the fresh candy stock while perhaps browsing a bit? And that’s precisely what happened this morning. Once I caught sight of the Necco conversation hearts – bags and boxes upon bags and boxes of sweet sentiments – I quickly remembered all the fabulous accessories the countless talented artisans of Etsy have whipped these sweet wonders up into, or used as inspiration for awesomeness!

We can’t possibly feature every conversation heart creation on that we love – after all, this morning’s search for ‘conversation heart’ yielded 872 items! But we’ve chosen 3 favorites that we think would make a wonderful Valentine’s Day gift for the conversation heart lover in your life. Just don’t forget to include a bag of conversation hearts they can eat, too!

Conversation Hearts Soaps – With an Etsy Shop name like SoStinkingSweet, we were already in love!  That love only got stronger when we started perusing her virtual soap shelves and found not only the adorable oversized conversation heart soaps, but also “Goodie Goodie Gum Drops” soap and soap on a stick that serves as a delicious-looking double for a Neapolitan ice cream bar. Getting clean just got even sweeter!

Conversation Hearts Valentine Cards – The Etsy artist behind the craftynikki shop creates some of the coolest, cutest Valentines you’ve ever seen! But for as darling as her set of Vintage Valentines are, it’s the Glitter Candy Hearts cards that have won me over most. Each set of 6 mini cards is just $3, making these aww-dorable and affordable!

Conversation Hearts Jewelry – If you’re looking for fun Valentine’s jewelry you can wear all year round, take a peek at the micahjonesstudio Etsy shop! Crafted from sterling silver, these pieces are as fun and fresh as costume jewelry, but have an unmistakable quality and wearability that costume jewelry often doesn’t. My favorites include the “Soul Mate” ring, which would make a truly touching gift for a partner or close friend, and the blue conversation heart necklace accented with a clear, heart-shaped CZ. Though I might like the second one so much because blue conversation hearts are my absolute fave! Well…blue and white. And pink. And yellow. And really every color except orange. (Sorry, orange!)

There’s Still Time to Get Your Christmas Candy Before Santa Comes – And Save 10%!

The Christmas shelves at your local big box store may be bare, save a few broken candy canes and chipped mugs filled with cocoa packets, but we’ve still got plenty of sweetness in stock. And if you order today before midnight (EDT) you can save 10% storewide! Simply enter the code “SANTA10” at checkout and 10% will slip away into sugarplum dreams.

Judging by the number of orders we’ve had rolling in, this was definitely a year for waiting until the last minute! (Don’t worry – most of us haven’t bought our Christmas candy yet either, and we work here!) The 10% savings will apply to whatever temptations you’ll find at, but we thought we’d put together a short list of popular picks to help keep your shopping short and sweet if you’re in a time crunch. Or should we say if you’re in a Junior Mints Peppermint Crunch?! It’s a mighty tasty crunch to be in, for sure.

Candy Cane Trees – Awesome for every age! With our 10% off coupon code, these cute and clever candy cane trees come in at just over a buck apiece, making them a fabulously affordable little gift – and, they’re already decorated. (With little candies, of course!) These also make adorable little ‘favors’ – perfect for adding extra seasonal spirit to your holiday table. Simply place a mini tree at each place setting, and step back to admire the festive forest of peppermint pretties!

Old Fashioned Ribbon Candy – A Taste of Christmas Past! Is it simply not Christmas until you’ve had your first taste of spun sweetness wrapped into ribbons? I’m with ya! This very box has found itself on the coffee table for Christmas as long as I can remember, and every year the pink and red ribbons are the first to go! I think a ribbon candy monster must sneak into my house at night and eat only the pink and red before company arrives. Because I would never do such a thing, oh no! ;)

Pez Dispensers – Many to Choose From! I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t have a soft spot for Pez and the collectibly-cool dispensers those tiny tabs of sweetness come packed in. Kids and adults alike can’t help but smile at the countless incarnations of Pez that have rolled out over the years, and Blair is excited to offer 11 different sets to choose from. Each box comes packed with 12 individually wrapped Pez dispensers with candy. Your set choices include: Disney Princess Pez, Star Wars Pez, Hello Kitty Pez, Marvel Comics Pez and many more!

Give More than a Gift Card With the Help of Empty Candy Boxes!

There is no denying the appeal of giving and receiving gift cards for the holidays. As fun as it is to shop for gifts, and open a shiny present full of promise, the simple fact is that even when we know which stores our friends and family love, we don’t always know exactly what it is they love in those stores. Or which color. Or which size. You get the picture! It’s not that we aren’t listening or aren’t attuned to the things they like, it’s just that the possibility for making a mistake can be pretty high, and mistakes mean waiting in long lines after the holidays to make exchanges and returns. And that’s only if they feel comfortable enough asking for the receipt!

In tough economic times, many of us have cut back quite a bit on buying non-necessities. That makes the gifts we receive all the more important, allowing us the little luxuries we may not need, but definitely want! Getting gift cards from our favorite stores helps us check some items off this wish list without feeling guilty that we really should have saved the money, paid a little more on a credit card, or put it toward any of the other million more practical things. Gift cards force us to treat ourselves to something nice without worry, and that always feels good! But the simple fact remains that they aren’t as fun to open as presents. And giving pretty presents is as fun as opening pretty presents. Much more fun than just a card for sure. Oh, the dilemma!

Don’t worry, we didn’t just write this post to let you know we share in your struggle. We wrote it because we have the solution! And, as it so often is, candy is the answer. A whole box full of candy, in fact. With a gift card nestled inside. You get to give the gift of choice, they get to go shopping without guilt, and you can wrap all that awesomeness up with some fabulous candy so they have a box to open and candy to open. This fairy tale practically wrote itself.

So which candy to put inside? Consider the ages of the people you’ll be gifting, as well as how much candy you want to put inside each box, and how much you’d like to spend. Our white empty candy boxes start at just $6.95 for 25, and can be easily personalized with stickers, markers, or glitter glue. You can also simply wrap them up with a ribbon or top them with a bow! To keep the filler cheap, opt for selections from our parade candy and bulk candy lineup. Options include: Jaw Breakers, Tootsie Frooties, Dum Dum pops, Goetze’s Caramel Creams and Jolly Ranchers. All tasty, all perfectly-sized for customized candy boxes!

Giant Candy Makes a Great Gift for Christmas!

I’ve always believed that there are two easy ways to make something cuter, cooler or just plain funner – make it mini, or make it jumbo! Of course when the thing we’re talking about is candy, jumbo is the preferable choice. After all, you don’t often hear someone say, “This candy bar would be perfect if there weren’t so much of it!” That’s like wishing a bubble bath had less bubbles, or puppies were less adorable. Who would want that?! So with jumbo candy being the oh-so-better choice, it goes without saying that it makes an awesome Christmas idea that’s affordable and sure to bring a smile. And we just happen to have some of that giant goodness here at Blair Candy! Let’s look at 3 of our many tremendous treats…

Giant Gummy Bears – Nope, they aren’t an urban legend. Neither are they in a cage at a roadside carnival alongside the bearded lady or world’s tallest man. They’re right here at Blair, and they’re as delicious as they are delightful! These chubby fellas are a staggering 4 inches tall and 2 ½ inches across. Think of your average gummy bear and it’s easy to see one of these could serve as their gummy god or goddess! Packaged in a clear case to keep them clean between snackings (chances are good you won’t finish this all at once!), these make a really unique gift for just $3.50 each.

Giant Hershey Bar – This candy car isn’t messing around! It could crumble fun size bars with a passing glance, and leave classic size bars breaking into blocks with the sheer magnitude of its S’more-making possibilities. This Hershey bar is more than a handful or mouthful at a whopping 5 pounds. Yup, FIVE POUNDS of pure Hershey heaven. One weighs as much as some newborns! Two weigh as much as a bag of potatoes!

Giant Jawbreakers – Whether you choose ‘The Bruiser’ or ‘Psychedelic Sours’, these jawbreakers are a definite multi-day snack. Each box holds 12 individually wrapped giant jawbreakers, making these colorful candies less than $2 apiece. A fun take-home treat for a holiday party, or a sweet stocking stuffer for someone with quite a few socks to fill, we recommend giving your tongue a break once in awhile with these. The temptation to keep licking will be strong, but talking, breathing and drinking are important, too!

Stocking Stuffers That Look Good Enough to Eat…Because They Are!

If your Christmas Morning Agenda (CMA) is similar to mine, the first thing you reach for with one groggily-opened eye is your stocking. And apart from it simply being tradition, there are a few very good reasons the stocking gets top billing. Not only does it hold the little things I so love, but it’s also easy to drag back to the recliner with me where I can plop it in my lap and open everything slowly while I struggle to really wake up! Also, if Santa was good to me, I’ll find breakfast inside my stocking, too. And not the bacon and eggs variety…even better. The candy kind of breakfast. The kind you only get to enjoy on special holidays (and when no one’s looking; don’t judge me!)

While everyone’s Christmas candy preferences vary, with the possible exception of Reese’s Peanut Butter Trees, which I’m pretty sure everyone loves, we have a few nearly foolproof ideas for adding Christmas breakfast to the stockings you’re in charge of stuffing this year. It is, after all, the most important meal of the day – even Christmas Day. ;)

Marshmallow Christmas Lollipops – Ooey, gooey goodness in Santa and Snowmen shapes, these plump lollipops are almost too cute to eat. Except, well…no matter how cute they are I’ll eat them anyway! Just don’t eat them too close to the fire. Santa is a winter weather kinda guy, and we all know how well snowmen handle the heat. There’s a song and a movie about it and everything.

Milk Chocolate Hershey Snowman – Generously-sized at 3.5 ounces, this festive little fella is the perfect culinary complement to the Christmas lollipops above. Sometimes the simplest sweets are the best, and Hershey’s reminds us of that time and again with every holiday-themed incarnation of their classic milk chocolate bar. Or should we say mmmilk chocolate bar!

Gummy Peaches – With the marshmallow and chocolate food groups taken care of, it’s time to freshen the palate with something fruity and fun to wear on my fingertips. Yup – gummy peaches! Starting with the left hand, I push a gummy peach to the top knuckle of each finger, excluding the thumb. The right hand is next, and it’s admittedly a tad bit tougher with gummy peaches already on every finger of the left hand. Nevertheless, I press on! I then happily wiggle my 8 peachy digits at anyone who will pay attention to me, before consuming them one at a tasty time.

Now that you know a little more about my CMA, I’d love to hear about yours! Will you be sitting in your own recliner working your way through the candy food groups your stocking holds, or do have different traditions you’re looking forward to this year?

Decadent Dessert Ideas from Taste Of Home!

Photo from

With Halloween now behind us and Thanksgiving on the horizon, my mind has been swimming in savory thoughts of juicy turkey, flavorful stuffing, fluffy mashed potatoes, buttery crescent rolls and my sister’s culinary masterpiece, oh-so-amazing-I-can’t-stop-eating-it zucchini casserole topped with melted cheese. There is little debating that when it comes to ‘food holidays’, Thanksgiving takes the turkey! But did you know Thanksgiving could take the cookie as well? Take the cookie and turn it into a delightful dessert that is fun for the whole family and delicious, too? Well…it can!

As I stood in line at the grocery store over the weekend watching the woman in front of me unload what must have been the 100th can of soup onto the belt, I decided to make the most of my wait and flip through the magazines at the register. I skipped over the tabloids in favor of something more appealing – the brightly-colored little glossy full of Thanksgiving recipe cards, taste of home. While I whole-heartedly recommend you grab a copy for yourself, I should warn you this is not an issue to read while hungry. It is absolutely packed with deliciousness! But beyond the mouthwatering recipes for apple & herb roasted turkey and gingered pumpkin bisque – and mouthwatering they are! – I came across a couple dessert recipes that broke the traditional Thanksgiving mold of pies and muffins. Don’t get me wrong, I love pies and muffins! But these petite treats are much cuter, and include candy, which I’m kinda partial to. ;)

Turkey Pilgrim Cookies – The first candy-covered dessert to catch my eye was the Turkey Pilgrim Cookies. These are almost too cute to eat, but I think if I close my eyes I can manage! The recipe calls for the following ingredients, which should give you some insight into what makes these so good: Oreos, candy corn, miniature peanut butter cups, candy corn kisses, chocolate frosting, vanilla frosting, mini marshmallows, mini Oreos, Rolos and orange food coloring. And the best part, other than all the tasty ingredients, that is? There is absolutely no baking required! The frosting serves as a ‘glue’ of sorts for all the candy and cookie building blocks making these a dessert the little ones that can help put together. As there is no baking required, the kids can create these while you’re cooking to keep them busy, or it can be a fun family project the night before.

Pilgrim Hat Cookies – Just like the Turkey Pilgrim Cookies above there is no baking required for these yummy treats. Ingredients include: vanilla frosting, yellow food coloring, orange mini Chiclets, miniature peanut butter cups and fudge-striped cookies – that’s it! These are even easier to create than the Turkey Pilgrim Cookies, though I have to admit they aren’t quite as cute. What can I say – a dessert with marshmallow eyes wins my top vote! That said, I plan to make both cookie and candy concoctions this season, if not for Thanksgiving itself as a fall-themed snack for anytime. After all, with so much amazingness on Thanksgiving day, and the days full of delish leftovers that follow, I want to give my candy-packed desserts an opportunity to shine.

The Thanksgiving Recipes Cards issue of taste of home is $4.99 and marked for sale through November 22, 2011. Grab your copy the next time you hit the grocery store, and check out more great recipes on today!

It’s October 24th. Do You Know Where Your Halloween Candy Is?

For as quickly as September slipped away, October went and won the race for speed! Even if these last 7 days trickle by like molasses, this month will surely come out on top for fastest. But just like December, October holds one of her most exciting days for the very last day of the month, and with that happy holiday on the horizon, we can’t quite find it in ourselves to complain that the month is almost over!

Yes, in just a week Halloween will be here, in all its ghoulish, goblin-y glory. And for as cool as all the costumes are, and as devilishly delightful the decorations, Halloween just isn’t Halloween without the candy! Have you been putting off Halloween candy shopping for fear that you would eat it all before the 31st? Don’t worry – you won’t find any judgment here; we’ve done it, too! But with Halloween just a week away, the time for candy shopping is now or never. And Blair Candy still has plenty of awesome choices available and ready to rock your goodie bags. Let’s look at 3 fun and unique options…

Glow Stick Pumpkin Lollipops – When it comes to trick-or-treating, the only thing that’s more important than having fun is being safe. The simple fact is that it’s getting dark earlier and earlier, and the brighter your costume and accessories the better. These lollipops help make it a bit easier to be seen with a stick that snaps and glows like a traditional glow stick. Kids should still carry flashlights and wear reflective gear, of course, but this adds a little extra illumination that’s also just plain cool!

Twisted Terrors Halloween Lollipops – Do you prefer to give 1 or 2 ‘big treats’ instead of a bag of smaller ones? Twisted Terrors lollipops are perfect for you! Each box contains 24 twirled lollipops in the shades of the season, which are decked out with 4 Halloween plastic rings shaped like skulls, spiders, pumpkins and witches. A super unique lollipop for kids ages 3 and up, these are sure to elicit at least a few exclamations of “Awesome!”

Palmer Eye Candy Mix – This bag proves that the eyeballs have it! The chocolate eyeballs, eyeball bubble gum and eyeball lollipops, that is. It’s not hard to ‘see’ that this is a full-on bag o’ fun, and with 60 pieces per bag it’s an awesomely affordable way to ‘envision’ Halloween goodie bags that are an absolute ‘ball’ for kids to dig into! OK, we’ll stop now. :P

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