Monthly Archives: October 2014

Some Sweet Facts About Halloween Candy

It’s October 31st and that means most kids (and many adults) have one thing on their mind – – CANDY!

So let’s talk candy with the help of Rebecca Harris, director of the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University and a contributor to the program Essential Pittsburgh on Pittsburgh’s NPR news station.

Rebecca recently sunk her sweet tooth into The Business of Halloween Candy for a story on Essential Pittsburgh and now she’s graciously sharing some of the sugary highlights with us.

The Sweet Truth About Halloween Candy

There is no shortage of holidays that prominently feature candy in their festivities (umm…no complaints here!) And with Christmas, Easter and Valentine’s Day keeping the candy aisles hopping, it’s still Halloween topping the charts for candy sales.

 

Business of Halloween Candy

Is that sweet tooth aching yet?

Because when trick-or-treating is over and it’s time to shake out the pillowcases and dump out the plastic pumpkins, what can we expect to find in there? For the average U.S. child, 3,500 – 7,000 calories of treats and goodies.

And let me be clear, I’m not anti-sweets. I’m soooo not anti-sweets, but that’s still a lot of candy coming your way. And if you’re like me you may find that hiding or saving candy for later never works; those deliciously wicked Snickers, Twizzlers and KitKats  will tempt you, tease you, and call your name from whatever deep corner you’ve stashed them.

So with Rebecca’s help we’ve got you covered with some ideas for sharing, experimenting and swapping that leftover halloween candy.

7 Creative Ideas For Leftover Halloween Candy

  1. DONATE to your local Ronald McDonald House – they accept wrapped candy for patients and their families. Contact your local chapter for details on how to donate in your area.
  2. DONATE to a local Food Pantry or Emergency Shelter
  3. DONATE candy to our troops –  Operation Gratitude organizes a program for collecting and donating sweet treats to the troops. Their website provides guidelines and instructions. Hurry – the candy needs to ship by November 15th!
  4. REVERSE TRICK-OR-TREATING – contact local children’s hospitals, hospital pediatric wards and nursing homes about opportunities to come trick-or-treat and GIVE your treats to their patients and residents. Now that’s what I call treating!!
  5. TRADE with a local dentistThe Halloween Candy Buy Back Program is supported by local dentists who trade cash and prizes for candy. The dentists then ship the sweet loot to the troops overseas (they probably slip some toothbrushes and dental floss in there too…)
  6. EXPERIMENT – You don’t want to miss candy science experiments like The Incredible Growing Gummy Worm and Floating M’s and S’s. Check out the Candy Experiments website and book.
  7. BUILD a candy city – Why wait until December to start building a house of gingerbread?! Bite-size candy bars are like little edible LEGO blocks.

 

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Anatomy of a Thank You Note

Have you ever found yourself sending a late thank you note – or maybe not sending one at all? Fortunately and unfortunately you’re not alone. And like many tasks deferred, they are often left undone all together.

A prompt thank you note is always best, but it’s never too late to send an expression of appreciation.

Thank You!

I’m not gonna lie, after my wedding I sent my thank you notes late – really, really – I’m still embarrassed about it – late.

I sent them late because I was avoiding them. In truth, I was uncomfortable – uncomfortable with everyone’s generosity. Not only had we received lovely gifts, many friends and family traveled in from out of town. And more than a few people were instrumental in helping pull off our perfect day.

Every time I sat down, pen in hand to write in my beautiful thank you cards, I felt an overwhelming pressure to channel Emily Bronte or to find my inner Martha Stewart.

I spent hours googling thank you note etiquette, searching for the words to adequately express my gratitude for all of this love and attention. And with the crushing weight of expectation to write the perfect thank you note, dozens and dozens of individual notes, no wonder I procrastinated – and I procrastinated for months.

Today I have a less intimidating approach to the anatomy of a thank you note and I’ve come to really enjoy the process of writing a personalized note (even with my less than perfect penmanship.)

The more imperfect and casual your prose – the more personal the message.

Take it from me, your thank you note is not likely to be a published work of art and it’s even unlikely that the recipient will frame it and hang it above their mantel. So let go of the pressure to write the perfect thank you note. Find a cute note card that makes you smile and tell them how much you appreciate their thoughtfulness.

A thank you note is an expression of time – that you took the time to send a message and acknowledge the giver and the gift.

4 Easy Steps To Writing a Personal Thank You Note

  1. Use their name in the greeting.
  2. If they attended an event (party, shower, wedding) include a fun memory of the event of how great it was to see them.
  3. Mention the gift and how you look forward to using it and/or how it will remind you of them.
  4. End with a personal wish to see them soon or that your message finds them well.

Writing a personalized thank you note

My last piece of advice, take a cue from Jimmy Fallon, turn on some great thank you note music and have fun! I guarantee that your energy and enthusiasm will shine through in your message.