Howdy. I'm Matt Todd. My wife and I have four kids and a dog,. I'm passionate about orphan care. I'm a die-hard fan of the Evansville Aces, the Indiana Hoosiers, and Star Wars. I'm trying to live life by the Todd family motto: "It behooves us to live!"

Sweetest Day is almost here!

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Sweetest Day #SweetestDay

What? You’ve never heard of Sweetest Day?

That’s OK. I’d never heard of Sweetest Day until a friend of mine from Chicago mentioned it while we were at Milligan.  I wondered.

Well…

Yeah. It is. It’s a made up holiday. Its roots have something to do with candy makers wanting to “bring happiness to those who were forgotten,” like the poor, old folks, and orphans. Since the first Sweetest Day in the early 1920s, the day has evolved into a day to spread goodness and cheer to everyone – especially your significant other, and especially if you decide to give away sweets. Because that’s what makes it sweet, right?

So, it might be true that Sweetest Day really is nothing more than a made up holiday in a thinly-veiled attempt to get us to buy more chocolate on the third Saturday of October, even though we’re already stocking up for Halloween. It’s still a good opportunity to make sure that Special Someone knows you’re thinking about him or her. Right? I mean, who doesn’t like being told that they’re on someone’s mind?

Go Big or Go Home?

You could choose to go all-out and do something like plan a romantic getaway with BedandBreakfast.com. Since Sweetest Day is always the third weekend in October, you might want to check out south central Indiana. It’s beautiful this time of year!

eCreamery $10 Off Banner AdOr there’s ice cream. There’s always ice cream. What’s sweeter than ice cream? That’s the perfect gift for Sweetest Day, do’t you think?

And what makes ice cream an even better treat for Sweetest Day? Personalized ice cream!

We like to say that there’s always room for ice cream, even if you’re full beyond full. That’s because ice cream oozes through the cracks. It’s proven.* Because science.

Of course, if you haven’t done it yet, you could always try your hand at writing a love note.

Or, there are a few other small gifts you could give for Sweetest Day. They’re simple. They’re corny. And they’re sweet. For Sweetest Day. Get it? And you can find many of these items at Dollar Tree (you can order them online with FREE In-Store Pickup. [Restrictions may apply]). So it’s a pretty good deal!

Socks

Sweetest Day gift

Who says you have to give food for Sweetest Day? You could give a pair of socks with a note attached that says something like “You knock my socks off!” They could be serious socks. They could be silly socks. It’s really up to you!

Corny? Yes. Absolutely. But wait. There’s more!

Donuts

Donut you know I love you? #SweetestDay Sweetest Day

Or you could always surprise that Special Someone with donuts (or some other type of snack cake) with a silly note like “Donut you know I love you hole lot?” Or something like that.

It’s goofy. I know. You might even call it punny. But it’s a simple way to celebrate Sweetest Day, don’t you think?

I know there are other simple, punny Sweetest Day gifts you can give. Share your ideas in the comments below!

I hope you have a fun day, sharing sweetness with your friends and family!

 

 

*No. It isn’t proven. This is just a joke. But it sounds good. Doesn’t it? That’s why we use it as an excuse to eat ice cream.

The BEST Halloween Candy

Halloween Candy

Happy Halloween, y’all! Most communities in our area have decided to postpone trick or treating because of the threat of some pretty nasty weather this evening. The way the news has been breathlessly reporting this late-breaking development, you’d think we were in the middle of some twisted holiday special and Halloween is in danger of being cancelled! No tricks. No treats. No caramel apples. No inappropriate costumes. No Headless Horseman. No Great Pumpkin.  Ever. Nope. Halloween is wiped off the calendar, never to be seen again. What will the little kiddies do? Where’s Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer when you need him? He’d know what to do! Oh. They get to go trick or treating tomorrow? That’s great! More time to buy candy! And just in case you’re looking to buy some candy, here’s a handy-dandy, completely unscientific, totally subjective list of the best Halloween candies. And why do I care about what candy you buy? Because of the Daddy Tax, of course. It is, after all, my civic duty to continue to teach my children about the reality of taxation. You’ll thank me later when they’re contributing their fair share to society.

If you love your country, you’ll give away these candies

  • Krackle (unfortunately, they’re only available in mini, no-fun size now. Boo.)
  • Reese’s Pieces
  • Mr. Goodbar
  • Twix
  • Kit Kat
  • 3 Musketeers
  • Caramello
  • Milky Way
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
  • Peanut M&M’s

If you’re unAmerican, you’ll give away these candies

  • Candy corn
  • Circus peanuts
  • Bit-O-Honey
  • Anything with licorice
  • Skittles
  • Now & Laters
  • Hot Tamales
  • Starburst
  • Bazooka gum
  • Twizzlers. I used to like them. Until I ate some kind of Twizzlers sundae at Cold Stone Creamery. Totally ruined the candy forever.

So, my fellow Americans, ask not what candy to buy for yourself. Ask what candy to buy for your country. Or something like that. I hope you have some ready for us when we knock on your door today tomorrow.

Just a kid in a See’s Candies shop

See's Candy Grand Opening in Indianapolis, Indiana

Last week, I had the privilege of attending a grand opening event at See’s Candies at the Keystone Mall. I was vaguely familiar with See’s because of this glorious sign:
Free samples at See's Candies!

I found out during the tour that See’s Candies gives away over one million pounds of chocolate every year. It’s great marketing because they know they’ve got a great product. Once you try some, you find yourself counting down the days until you’re able to make a return trip to See’s to have even more of their chocolate. It’s not like I would know anything about that or anything. Let’s just say that giving away that candy is a great investment on their part. And they get a great return on that investment.

Even though See’s isn’t very well-known here in the Midwest, we definitely know our classic television episodes. OK…maybe not all of us. But sure do! One of the most memorable bits in the history of sit-coms has a connection with See’s Candies:

Lucille Ball and Vivian Vance trained for this episode at the See’s factory. And it seems that the good folks at See’s are proud of this connection. As they should be. And so as part of the grand opening, they invited all of us to try our hand at packing our own quarter-pound boxes of candy. Just to keep things interesting, we had to race our fellow participants.

Man in hair net. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

I’ve made and cut pizzas before. I’ve scooped countless scoops of ice cream before. But I’ve never done anything as complicated as picking a piece of chocolate and packing it in a tiny box. You have to hold the paper cups just so. And it’s much more difficult than it looks at first glance. So I watched other participants and picked up a few tips from the great employees who were there to answer any questions we had. Oh – these employees were also holding boxes of chocolate for us to sample. I think I tried five different pieces. Really loved the Polar Bear Paw and the Scotchmallow. The most unique, however, was the  the pineapple dark chocolate. I even texted Christy about it, to which she responded:

Ummm -the dumbest thing to do is give your wife a play by play of each of the yummy chocolates you are trying at a candy store’s grand opening, just FYI. 😉

Note to self: You’ve known this woman since 1995. You know that was a pretty boneheaded thing to do. It doesn’t matter if you knew you’d be bringing some kind of chocolate home. This is the perfect way to get yourself in the doghouse and a great way to make sure you’re sleeping on the floor in the Living Room for a month. No. You don’t even get to sleep on the couch. Not a wise move there, Matty.

So I need to remember that next time. Or better yet, figure out a way to bring her with me! 😀

But anyway…back to boxing the candies. I gathered up my tips from the experts and prepared to be humiliated by my lack of co-ordination. Remember: this is the guy who can’t sing and clap at the same time. How is it that I made it through marching band again?

Re-enacting the I Love Lucy episode at See's Candies in IndianapolisAs you can see, I was hardly a natural. And, like Lucy, I was tempted to just shove the chocolates in my mouth. Didn’t think the fine folk at See’s would appreciate that though. They’re quite proud of their chocolates. And they should be.

Doing a really bad job at packing the candy at See's Candies in IndianapolisPaper cups were flying around. Arms were flailing. And chocolates were bouncing out of the box. See the lady on the left? I think she’s getting a kick out of my performance. It was quite pitiful.

Grand Opening at See's Candies in Indianapolis

Can I help it that I was doing such a poor job of keeping the chocolates in the box that she decided to help? No. Absolutely not. And in spite of what some people might say, she wasn’t my private coach. Just a good Samaritan. And there was definitely no illegal doping going on. I was already too jacked up on sugar.

That's a fancy box of chocolates from See's CandiesYou know, Forrest’s mama makes even more sense. You never know what you’re gonna get. Especially if I’m the one packing your box of chocolates. You might not even get them turned the right way. I know. It’s sad.

See's Candies at Keystone Mall in IndianapolisDid I mention I won the race? Well…I guess I should say that we won the race. But that’ll be our little secret.

Right?

I mean…I’ll gladly have a rematch if See’s wants to provide the candies again. 😉

It was a great evening of camaraderie, chocolates, and a little friendly competition. In addition to learning about the great story behind See’s Candies, meeting some pretty cool people who work with the company, and seeing first-hand how proud they are of their chocolates, I came away with one great tidbit about their chocolates.

Almost all of their candies are gluten-free! The only candies that contain gluten are the ones that have a decoration on them (like this). This was amazing news for our family. It might even be life-changing.

When all was said and done, the good people at See’s Candies sent us home with enough candy to last well past Valentine’s Day – unless some children find the secret stash. That’s a good thing, too. I really didn’t want to have to sleep on the Living Room floor. Thanks again, See’s for a wonderful evening!

Bag of candy from See's Candies at the Keystone Mall in Indianapolis

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