Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Demise of the Whitman's Sampler

I'm working on a new seminar - so tough to come up with new ideas!  And I'm doing a little research on the Whitman's Sampler.  I came across this post that was just terrific!  Had to share it with you all.

Yes - Valentine's Day is coming!!


Fantastic post about the Whitman's Sampler


I am wondering why the Whitman's Sampler fell so far - it was the go to candy when I was a kid.  I bet it will be completely gone in 10 years.

Maybe because they haven't changed a damn thing in like 50 years?????

Maybe because Russell Stovers is LAME?  They bought the brand back in 1993 and have done absolutely nothing with it.

What do you all think?


Friday, January 4, 2013

Push Harder or Be Grateful?

I've been eating WAY too much chocolate lately, but I have taken some time out to actually write a blog post!

It's on my FireStar website since it's not really about chocolate.  But for those of you who might be thinking about your life (doing the whole New Year's thing), I think you'll find it interesting:

http://www.firestarspeaking.com/2013/01/04/be-grateful-or-push-harder/

Happy, Happy 2013!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

On Adventure - Big and Small


I'm a big fan of adventures - of not letting your life get boring.  

This past weekend I had persimmon pudding for the first time.  Pretty good.  I went to the NC Persimmon Festival just to try it. 

I also visited two Walmart stores to find the new Gingerbread Oreos.  They are pretty darn good.  The cookie part is the golden (vanilla) Oreo, it's the filling that is gingerbread.  Yum!

Basically if I see something I haven't tried, I try it (well, if chocolate, sugar, peanut butter, cake or frosting are involved).  Why not?  What a great way to have a mini-adventure!  And you may not be a fan of sweets, so you can name your thing.  But it sure helps if it's inexpensive!

My next big adventure is not inexpensive, but it will be fun and will push me out of my comfort zone.  I've always wanted to go to Italy.  To stand in the Sistine Chapel and see all the glories of the Renaissance.  And who doesn't want to see the canals of Venice and the coliseum in Rome?  I've been putting the trip off, waiting until after the recession or until the European economy settled down.  I was also waiting until I met Mr. Right.  Well, I've met Mr. Right, and he just started a new job and can't go!  If you wait to live your life, you'll never live it.  

I'm headed to Venice on November 15th.  Recession still here, Europe far from settled down, and going solo.  I'm going with a tour group, so I'll make new friends.  The recession might hang around for a long time to come, and who knows when Europe will get it together.  Meanwhile the great wonders of history are eroding.  There is no better time to go than now.

Is there something you've always wanted to do?  What are YOU waiting for?  There will never be a perfect time or a perfect situation.  The only time you are guaranteed is now. You'll never be any younger.  Your life is now - live it!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Hershey - It Really IS the Sweetest Place on Earth!

I was lucky enough to do work for a client in Lancaster, PA last week, and I got to head back to one of my favorite places - Hershey, PA! You know you are in the right place when you see this from your windshield:




And things just get better! Forgive the blurriness - I was driving. Yes, photographing and driving. Not good.
 


The streetlights really are shaped like Hershey's Kisses - they alternate between wrapped and unwrapped.  and you gotta love the American flags.  You can't see it here - but there was baskets of flowers everywhere and loads of green grass and quaint houses.  Hershey is so pretty.





As soon as I got there, I headed straight for Chocolate World.  I feel these guys were there just to welcome me.  "Yay!" they say!  "Yay!" I say!


As soon as I got there, they were doing a chocolate tasting, so I popped in.  The last time I was there was back in 2007 and things have changed a lot.  Back then you got TONS of chocolate, it was great!  Now they have a fancy room (back then you were just in a restaurant area, it seemed almost illicit.  People walked by, looking at you like you were getting something special.  Which you were.) and you get very little chocolate. Especially considering it costs $10.

The girl went through it like she had done it 1,000,000 times before which I'm sure she had.  But it's chocolate!  You are in Hershey!  Get some emotion going!!  You know how I feel about non excited chocolate people.  What the heck is wrong with them?  What could be more fun?

And don't say, "If you did it for a living, you'd feel that way too."  I do!  And every time I get to give "Motivation by Chocolate" I love it!  Maybe she was just having an off day.  (I wanted to cast her from the stage and take over.  I would have had a blast with that tasting!)

Afterward, I wandered into their bakery - how I love bakeries! I love anything with copious amount of frosting involved:



Who wouldn't love getting one of these for their birthday?


Chocolate chip cheesecake:


Wow - these looked really good - Reese's PB & J!:


Hershey's Bliss Raspberry:






Smores - yum!!!


Pina Colada - eh.  But Reese's White PB Cup? - YES!!!






Almond Joy:

Take 5:

Heath Cheesecake - woohoo!!




Now here was a little enthusiasm!  I was raving and taking pictures and basically dancing with glee at the sight of all this fat and sugar.  And one of the cute bakery ladies pulled this out of the back to show to me.  How lucky is Elizabeth?



And how lucky are we?  Milton Hershey's birthday is on the 13th - and I, for one, am so glad he had the vision to build the Town of Hershey.  So think of him on Thursday and raise a bar (or a chip or a cookie) to the man who built the Sweetest Place on Earth.  Happy birthday, Milton Hershey!  And thank you.

Friday, June 29, 2012

On the Cover of the Rolling Stone.......Not Quite

I thought since my loyal readers went through my hip replacement with me, WAY back when I was a regular blogger, you all might get a kick out of seeing the cover of this month's Arthritis Today magazine:
Yep, that's me!

Can you believe it? They came across my blog posts and thought my story would be an interesting one for their readers. Working with them was a blast and I have to say, it's kind of cool to be on the cover. I've already had two old boyfriends e-mail me. (Not really the way you want to dazzle them, but what the heck!)

Just goes to show you, every cloud has a silver lining. You might not know it at the time - I was so bummed and sad when I first was told I had to get a hip replacement, and now I'm pain free and on the cover of a magazine! If you're going theough something tough right now, keep your chin up. You can't even imagine what the future holds for you. I can promise, it will be better.

Have a great 4th and eat more chocolate!!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Brink of Summer

I know, I know - three months since a post! What the heck kind of crappy blogger am I?

I assure you, I have been eating my share of chocolate, I just haven't been writing about it.  But I have been talking about it - I've been giving loads of "Motivation by Chocolate" speeches!

I scored three bags of Godiva's almond butter Easter eggs on sale for half price and have almost polished them off. The great gals at my local Lindt store were happy to see me cart off a pound of their amaretto, almond and pistachio eggs as well as the BOGO pound of raspberry cheesecake truffles. I left the store with over three pounds of chocolate. Madness, I know. But it's so exciting!!!

On my recent trip to Vegas I dropped a cool $100 at the Jean Philippe Patisserie in the Bellagio. And I am on a Tootsie Roll bender as we speak. So my tastes range from the sublime to the mundane. Here's the patisserie - and yes, the lady in the dress is made of chocolate:



Here's me and my huge grin at my birthday dessert at Stack in the Mirage:


Better pic of the dessert:


Love the restaurant name in white chocolate - shouldn't all of us have white chocolate calling cards?

And here's me at one of my favorite places in all the world - the Bellagio:


So I am indeed guilty of not writing, but I am out there indulging in chocolate and savoring life! What about you? Here we are at the brink of another summer. What adventures - culinary or otherwise - will you have? Are you going to live your life or is life going to live you?

Don't let any chance to have chocolate or ice cream pass you by.  Life is short.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Cover Girls, Motivational Speakers, and Betty White

I am getting old. 

How do I know this?  Technology drives me insane.  I fought for hours trying to figure out how to change the font in the e-mail updates from this blog.  They were in this hard to read brownish color and had shrunken to about 3 point type.  I could find no way to alter how the e-mail updates looked.  I finally gave up and changed the whole layout of the blog in an attempt to fix it.  I won't know what they look like until this post comes to my own inbox.  If it is in a hard to read brownish 3 point type, I will age another three years.  My hair is turning grayer just thinking about it.

How else do I know I am getting old?  Social media makes me want to jab a knitting needle into my eye.  (Okay I don't knit, but you know what I mean.)  See? I'm like an old crotchety Grandma yelling at the kids about rock and roll.  I am now on Empire Avenue (totally clueless about that one), Facebook - business and personal, LinkedIn - my profile and FireStar Speaking's profile, Twitter, this blog and another one called The Spark, have a YouTube Channel, and still have a MySpace page somewhere.  Oh and Google Plus - personal and business.  Not to mention SpeakerMatch, eSpeakers, and other speaking directories.  Pinterest, FourSquare, Flickr - I feel my wrinkles deepening.  How about speaking, my actual job?  When should I do that? 

And the final way I know I'm getting old?

I'm going to be on the cover of Arthritis Today magazine.  Not Elle, not Glamour, not Health, not Fortune......Arthritis Today.  I am, for the month of May anyway, going to be the poster child (woman) for arthritis.

But you know what?  I'm good with it.  Getting to be on the cover of a national magazine is a WAY cool honor.  And getting old is not a bad thing - check out Betty White.  You can fight it (ala Demi) or ride it for all it's worth (like Betty).  I say, "yehaw!"

I just hope the font is better on the e-mail update.