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Friday, August 30, 2013
The beginning of a new school year means attending new classes, making new friends and buying new supplies. Most children also opt to bring their lunches to school. Unfortunately, children often waste quite a bit of their meals, throwing out salads, carrot sticks and other healthy items. Fortunately, there are some great tips that parents can use to get creative when packing their children's lunch boxes. This article will explore some great ways that parents can get their children to eat healthier, while still making lunchtime fun and exciting.



First, it is a wonderful idea to invest in a fun lunch box that a child will truly enjoy taking to school. Sesame Street is a particular favorite amongst pre-school aged children. A fun, colorful Cookie Monster lunch box is a great way to put a smile on any little boy or girl's face. Allowing a child to pick out a lunchbox that he or she will take to school will help them feel included in the decision making lunchbox. Whether it's a playful Cookie Monster lunch box, or one with a bunch of the lovable Sesame Street characters or a different choice, investing in a high quality lunch box will help a child look forward to eating the contents of his or her lunch.




The best way to get a child to eat healthy food options, is to present them in a fun and colorful way. A child is unlikely to eat celery or carrot sticks if they are thrown into a plastic baggie. For a great way to add a colorful new spin on vegetables, try lining celery sticks with a bit of peanut butter and dried cranberries or raisins on top. Although ranch is a standard favorite, hummus is packed full of nutrients, and can add a savory twist to one's lunches. Even sliced cucumbers can be quite tasty when they're tossed in a bit of vinegar or soy sauce.



Many children crave sweets from the vending machine, which can wreak havoc on a child's ability to focus during class. Instead of handing them change for processed junk food, pack a contained of chilled grapes or apple slices and yogurt. Yogurt makes an excellent dip for most fruits, and delivers that sweet taste that all kids crave, without the excess sugar and calories.



While water is considered to be the healthiest beverage, the truth of the matter, is that many children do not care for the taste. There are now a multitude of water enhancers available at most supermarkets and through online vendors. They are not only a tasty alternative to sugary juice and caffeinated beverages, but they are also a great, natural way to stay hydrated without the excess calories.



It can become incredibly easy to fall into a school lunch routine, packing the same things for weeks on end. By consistently asking for feedback from one's child about his or her likes or dislikes, a parent can adjust lunch menus as necessary, while empowering the child with the knowledge that his or her opinions truly matter.


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Tuesday, August 27, 2013
If you’ve ever tried to decorate for a child’s birthday party, you are probably aware of the challenges. There are tons of theme birthday parties out there, and each one comes fully equipped with everything you could possibly need. There are theme napkins, theme plates, and matching candles. These items will easily cost you three to four times as much as their non-themed, but equally festive cousins. Worst of all, your child has probably been to twelve birthday parties this year already and they attribute the joy they felt to the perfect theme cake, streamers, and matching balloons. You don’t have to break the bank in order to throw your child the perfect theme party, though. Here are a couple of ideas here that will calm your nerves and your wallet.



Decorations at a birthday party are all about the space. The goal as a parent is to tastefully fill the space and provide a festive atmosphere. If you’re buying theme decorations, prepare the second mortgage paperwork. Everything is available from wall decals to table toppers. There is a really simple decoration, though that helps to fill the room, and which children love. This is the inflatable birthday cake. The inflatable birthday cake is a fantastic decoration because it’s new and original. Most kids won’t have seen this at any other party, but it is super exciting. At 6 feet tall, the inflatable birthday cake is bigger than the kids and it really fills up the room. You can cut back on your decorations and best of all a birthday cake will always fit in a birthday theme. It can be used time and again and for multiple children.



With a large section of the room complete, it is time to turn to your child’s expected theme. There are several ways to do a theme on a budget and still light up the room. If the theme is character driven, check the local discount store for small plastic figurines that can be used on top of cupcakes. Children get excited about theme birthday cakes, but really they are excited about the toys on the cake. Using these inexpensive figurines on cupcakes gives every child at the party a toy. Your birthday boy or girl will feel like a real hero.



Yes, there are streamers and other decorations that are made to go with the selected theme. These things are space filler. If the space in which the party will be thrown is large enough to require these, don’t sweat it. A matching color to the theme will substitute for a fraction of the cost. Children rarely notice these things once they are up.



The theme plates are a necessity in most kid’s minds. This is where parents will bite the bullet and spend a little extra. Don’t blow the bank, though. Discretely find some solid color plates that match the theme plates. Little Susie’s mom doesn’t care if her plate has a princess on it. Chances are she will appreciate that it doesn’t.


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Sunday, August 25, 2013
Penny candy was once a favorite treat among school children. The candy's bright packages, low price, huge selection, and wide availability made it something that every child could afford and look forward to. To add to the appeal, many candies offered prizes to children who carefully saved up the candy packages and mailed them in. 



The first penny candy in America was the Tootsie Roll, which was introduced in the late 1800s. Many candy makers quickly followed suit with the industrial revolution making mass production easier and a drop in the price of sugar making candy cheaper. Before long, hundreds of penny candies were available in stores nationwide. 



After decades of great popularity, penny candy saw a rapid decline in the mid-1900s. The decline was due impart to inflation and a changing market. Many penny candies even fell out of production during this period. While once available for purchase at every street corner market and candy shop, today penny candy is generally sold only in bulk at big-box stores or by the pound at specialty stores. 



The term "penny candy" used to refer to the price of the candy. Today "penny candy" is applied to any individually wrapped candy that has been in production for at least 50 years or is sold by the pound. Root Beer Barrels, Mary Jane, Bit-O-Honey, candy corn, chocolate bars, and suckers are a few of the more popular penny candy pieces that have lasted the test of time. Some new penny candies have also joined the market including fireballs, exotic flavored jelly beans, and Pop Rocks.



Old school penny candy has been making a come back in recent years. Adults now crave the candy that they once bought and loved as children. To meet this growing demand, many candy makers have begun searching for old recipes and clues to bring discontinued candies back to life. Thanks to this effort some old candies are available and enjoyed again (mostly at specialty stores). Even though old candies are returning, the price isn't. A piece of penny candy now ranges in price from 5 to 99 cents.

Old school penny candy has also become a popular gift. Adults enjoy the walk down memory lane while children can share in a little part of history. Specialty candy stores offer a variety of gift baskets brimming with penny candy. Some of these gift baskets feature candy from a specific decade or brand. No matter which gift basket is chosen, it promises the recipient a tasty treat.


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Saturday, August 24, 2013
If you are like most people, you remember the past and maybe sometimes even live in it. The past is always romanticized and thought of in high regard. Now, you don’t need a time machine to revisit the past, as there are tons of great retro gift ideas out there to bring you back to that glorious time. No matter what year you are looking to revisit, chances are there are plenty of retro gift ideas to choose from to make you or a loved one happy. Candy is always highly regarded when it comes to retro gift ideas. Many people have fond memories of being a young boy or girl and riding their bikes to the candy store to enjoy some of their favorites. Now, you can find this tremendous candy online as an awesome gift idea to put a smile on the face of someone very important to you. It will bring them back to a simpler and perhaps happier time in their life.



As the expression goes, everything that is old is new again and maybe you can introduce some old products to a younger person who has never even heard of this stuff before. It’s opening up their eyes to a time before they were born and expands their horizon in terms of delicious and tasty candy. Just imagine the joy it will bring to you to introduce your son or daughter to candy that you enjoyed as a child. It will be a tremendous bonding experience as you can share with him or her stories about the candy and how much it used to cost. You will be the cool parent, as your child will know about candy that even their friends haven’t heard of before.



The great thing about these awesome gifts is that they are affordable, easily accessible thanks to the Internet and will bring a smile to the face of the recipient. You don’t need to break the bank to enjoy this candy and share it as a gift. It’s affordable and reasonable, so you can enjoy giving it as a gift worry free. You can get a ton of candy that will last you quite some time at a price that will bring you back to the golden days of candy. That’s the true beauty of this. It’s done at a great price while still having that out-of-this-world taste!



Do you really want to give someone another gift card or a gift that they won’t use? Why not think outside the box? Retro candy is just that unique kind of gift that will get everyone talking and excited when they receive it. It will show tremendous thought and care on your part that you are not just going to get the same lame gift. It shows that you remember what they like, what they’ve talked about, and what they are interested in when it comes to candy. With fast shipping and a great selection, it’s truly a no-brainer to get one of those awesome gifts. They will give you many thanks, trust me!


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Saturday, August 17, 2013
A birthday is a very special occasion, but a 50th birthday is one that warrants some extra attention and a few amazing gifts. 



Coming up with 50th birthday party gift ideas can be tricky if you are left to go it alone. Of all of the birthdays that can be celebrated, this is one, of only a handful, that requires meaningful gifts. That doesn't mean that you have to run out and buy a “Precious Moments” collection, but what it does mean is that you will definitely have to put some thought into this one. Thank goodness for the Internet and the ability to search for really great 50th birthday party gift ideas.



There are many directions that can be taken when it comes to birthday gift ideas. There are, of course, the all-famous 50th birthday gag gifts that many people give to close friends or relatives. While these have the ability to put a smile on almost anyone's face, it doesn't work for everyone. Many even find them a little tacky and there is really no reason to take chances with this special occasion.



Then there is the versatile, universal gift card that too many people fall back on when they run out of time and still have no idea what to get. This can work for some individuals, depending on where the gift card can be used, but all in all, it is less of a gamble than the gag gift idea would be so it might be worth a try. The only problem is that the chances of delivering a birthday gift with meaning, by giving either of these gifts as a 50th birthday gift, are slim to none.



A 50th birthday is a milestone birthday and should be a time to reminisce about times past. Think back to a time when you were able to buy your favorite candy, for a nickel, and enjoy every last bite of it. But they don't make candy like that anymore so you're left with dreaming about those terrific times. Now imagine if you could find that very same candy, and have it delivered to anyone celebrating their 50th birthday (or any birthday for that matter), in a matter of a few days. 



There are websites that make finding the best 50th birthday party gift ideas simple by selling gift boxes full of all of the classic candies you once enjoyed. The list is quite large but a few of the names you might remember include Bubble Gum Cigars, Zotz, Pop Rocks, Chiclets, Candy Necklace, mini Necco Wafers, Mary Janes, Candy Lipstick, Chick-O-Stick, Coconut Long Boy, Chuckles, Bonomo's Turkish Taffy, and much, much more. The gift boxes, available on these sites, come in several different sizes and with a variety of different candy combinations. They even have a few gift box selections that include some very retro toys that are guaranteed to take you back.



Coming up with a great 50th birthday gift idea is easy when you look in the right place. Take the time to find the perfect gift and make it a birthday to remember.


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Friday, August 16, 2013
Most people have already done the sentimental birthday gifts, but when someone is turning 60, it is time to make the gifts all about fun. Usually, people who are turning 60 are just getting their second wind in life, and they are ready to enjoy themselves. Keeping things fun and lighthearted is good for someone who doesn’t want to slow down just because they are getting older. Some people like to buy gifts with a little meaning, like a box of nostalgic candy that reminds them of the past. Taking a walk down memory lane can be an amazing stroll, especially if it makes a person feel like they are a kid once again. 



Some great 60th birthday gifts include things like “Happy Birthday 60 Glasses”. These quirky glasses make the birthday boy or girl stand out in style. As an inexpensive gag gift, these glasses are sure to make everyone have a great laugh and to make growing older a happy event. Everyone has to grow old, but why not laugh along the way? Turning 60 should be embraced as a major accomplishment, and as retirement is just around the corner, a time to relax and have fun.



A lot of people love to pack their bags and hit the road when they hit the big 60. With everything being able to be done online, it is easier than ever. Purchasing an airline ticket is a great gift for someone who is turning the big 6-0. Adding a “Fun 60 Celebration Pack” to the bon voyage package would be perfect. This pack includes amazing candies that can be consumed while waiting at the airport or making the long trek across the country. With old-fashioned candies like Good & Plenty, Candy Cigarettes and Chiclets, not only will they have a good laugh remembering eating these candies as a child, but they will enjoy the tasty treats too. Who doesn’t love Atomic Fire Balls?

There is truly a gift for everyone who is turning 60. Most people retire around this age and giving up work is a welcomed time, if proper planning has taken place. Getting rid of the 9-5 and the grueling schedule means a celebration is in order
. Order some customized balloons that can be used for an all-out bash. Want streamers to go with the décor? This is an important birthday in a person’s life and the more effort that goes into this celebration, the better it will be.



If it is a queen who is advancing to the sixth decade, one of the great 60th birthday gifts could be the “Too Sexy to be 60 Tiara”, which will make anyone feel great, especially when it is put together with an amazing candy basket and the love and support of friends and family. Having a big party is always a great way to celebrate this momentous milestone in life.


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Thursday, August 15, 2013

We all know that certain birthdays are anticipated, like turning 21 for instance, but other birthdays just do not seem quite so glamorous. Many people dread their fiftieth birthday because folks seem to think of it as the beginning of old age. If you have a friend or loved one that is about to turn 50, you can turn that around for them, by throwing them one of the best parties ever. A 50th birthday party can be a lot of fun. Here are some fiftieth birthday party tips that can brighten up this “not so sparkly” number for your loved one.

Birth Year Packages


“Birth year” gift packages are a really fun way to help you loved one celebrate their awesome birth year. There are some websites that have a variety of birth year gift packages to pick from. The packages come with candy, toys or other items that were popular the year the birthday girl or guy were born.



Invite 50 Folks to Celebrate



This might seem like a lot of people to get together for a party, but if you plan a casual get together at a local park, and do a pot luck style meal or cook out, this would not be impossible or insanely expensive. Your loved one will feel so special when they see how many people turned out to celebrate with them

Present a “Nifty Fifty” List




Here’s a fun way to celebrate your loved one's life and accomplishments. Take some time a few weeks before the party to put together a list about your loved one that includes;
         -50 Funny Facts

         -50 Amazing Accomplishments
        
         -50 Surprises (or little known facts)

         -50 Reasons Why We Love You


Designate a special time during the party to share the list.



Decorate with 50 Pictures



You can either use framed pictures or string up a clothes line and simply pin snapshots up around the party. Ask family and friends to help contribute to the collection of 50 pictures.



Insist on 50 Candles



This is actually a lot of fun. Most people begin skipping the tradition of a candle for every year once they start getting older, but stuffing all those candles on the cake, is not only traditional, but can also be a really fun moment in the party.


Gifts for Fifty



Fifty is often considered the “Golden Birthday”, so this is not a time to go cheap on the birthday gifts. Classy and elegant should be the theme of the gifts for someone turning 50. Also consider that around 50 many people begin to reflect on what they still have not accomplished. Ask yourself if you or a group of people close to the loved one turning 50 could pitch in together and make one of those dreams come true. Perhaps the individual has always wanted to go on a cruise or go skydiving. Think about ways you could possibly make this happen. Fifty is an important birthday. Make sure your loved one knows how special and celebrated they are.


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Friday, August 2, 2013
So someone you know is turning 50, and you want to know just what you can do to make this a special and memorable occasion. It is not every day that something like this happens, and so it might be a good excuse to pull out all the stops and truly make this particular party one that everyone in attendance will remember for years to come. To give you a little bit of insight into what you can do to get yourself started, you should consider a few of these fun ideas for 50th birthday party.


One thing that is almost always successful is a decade themed party. If the person turning 50 knows that they have a party coming, talk to them about the best era of their life. When the music was the best, when they were really out on the prowl and in the prime of their life. When you have the decade that was deemed to be the favorite, theme an entire party around that decade. Play songs from that era, dress like people did then and talk with the same vernacular. If you can get all of the guests to join in, it will be a party that no one will forget any time soon for all the right reasons.


Another thing that you might consider, instead of the traditional “over the hill” jokes that tend to plague parties with ugly black balloons and depressing talks of how the birthday guy or gal is past their prime, consider throwing an “Other Side of The Mountain” party. This can be done in one of two ways, depending on the adventurous nature of the guest of honor. If they love the outdoors, then have their birthday party outside on a big camping trip complete with all of the people they know and love. While everyone might not stay the night, most people will at least come spend the afternoon and evening sharing in the celebration. The alternative is setting up camp inside the place where the party is, but just more for decoration then.



If you are just looking for fun ideas in general, here is an icebreaker that will work at any of the above-mentioned party ideas or anything that you might have planned. Take pieces of paper with famous/infamous people written on them. Try to add only the kind of names that the bulk of the attendees will know, and as guests come in attach one of these names to their back. Encourage them to figure out who they are by interacting with other guests and asking questions that are only able to be answered with yes and no. This will get people talking and sharing with one another, and can help keep people engaged until the typical birthday events begin.

So if you wanted fun ideas for 50th birthday party, hopefully this was able to help you out. Of course there are other things to consider and other themes that you could select, but these options listed above are solid approaches for memorable parties for the person you care about.


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Thursday, August 1, 2013
Shopping for loved ones can sometimes be the most difficult thing to do. One has to be creative every year or try to figure out what that loved one already has or wants. For some this is so troubling that it just becomes easier to pick up a shirt or a movie. Why not be creative though and think of something unique? Sometimes some forget that something creative doesn't have to cost a lot out of pocket either and can be as simple as getting something sweet to eat. Well, shopping for some 80th birthday gifts for Grandma could probably be one of the most difficult things one has ever done. So when that time comes, it is a great idea to be prepared with a couple of ideas in mind so it is easier to pick up the items needed to make this birthday a memorable one. 



One of the coolest things to do for 80th birthday gifts for Grandma is to go with something that might spark a memory from when they are younger. Grandparents love to tell stories about their past and that is something they hold onto very dear. One of the greatest things about the past is their childhood and every child loves candy. So for the 80th birthday gifts for Grandma, try getting her some candy that she may have had in the past as a child.



This will not only spark up a great laugh, smile, or memory but in return she may even tell a story about a time she remembers eating that same candy back in the day. You may very well be surprised at some of Grandma’s memories of days gone by – she will enjoy sharing them and you will be very glad that you listened to them. This is a great way to give someone a time they will always remember with their Grandma. The types of candy that they may remember eating would be for example, wax bottles, candy cigarettes, bubble gum cigars, pixy sticks, candy buttons on paper, or even root beer barrels.


There are also other great ideas that you can get Grandma for her 80th birthday such as antiques, old time music, or even a picture book. The main thing is to let her know that she is still very loved, needed and remembered.  Getting the perfect gift for that special day is what's going to matter, so go ahead and make the most of it. Be sure to find some of Grandma's favorite candy so she can share her bittersweet 80th birthday with the ones that she loves and adores.


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