Cravings Blog

Entries for August 2013

22
How to Crash a Tailgate Party

As the final blog post in this series of party ideas, here is the ultimate party idea:  Forget about planning, take this advice on How to Crash a Tailgate Party – no planning required.  Cravings Gourmet Popcorn  makes no guarantees or promises that you won’t get thrown out for crashing a party. 

Examine your motivation.  If you are thinking to crash a party for a free meal or drinks you are going to have less success than if you are crashing to find some kindred souls that care about the team, the sports, and the tradition of tailgating. 

Be prepared to do a little six degrees of separation conversation, in other words: find some common ground fast.  Everybody knows somebody that knows somebody that knows you. 

Size up the tailgate landscape; if everyone is huddled in close with their backs to the common walkway; chances are you are going to have a tough time breaking in or through this group.  Better to make your approach to a group that seems literally and figuratively open.

Plan some entertaining opening ice-breaker comments.  Know that if you can appear to effortlessly contribute to the conversation and raise the level of fun just a bit, you will more than likely be warmly welcomed.

Note the level of food preparation, if it is obviously significant, chances are the host tailgaters may have a problem sharing, unless of course, you break out your Foodie persona and demonstrate you interest and skill in food preparation.

Come at the tail end of the tailgating.  Chances are people will be more willing to share than to figure out what to do with leftovers. 

Come dressed for the part, wear the colors of the hometown team and you will have 1000s of new best friends, and by all means DO NOT show up empty-handed.  Bring something popular like…Cravings Popcorn!

Remember where you are and who you are talking to, because if you are successful at crashing, you may be invited back for the next big game.

If you are brave enough to do this party idea, be sure to let us know how it went.

Cravings Gourmet Popcorn is located in Old Town Lansing, the hippest area of Lansing, Michigan.  Cravings Gourmet Popcorn can be purchased online at cravingspopcorn.com and shipped to anywhere nationwide and for gifting virtually to Lansing area residents via Conpoto.com.

Posted in: Entertaining Tips
19
Back to School - Party of Two

In our series of blog posts on parties Cravings Gourmet Popcorn looks at several occasions to have a party.  In this post we fear that the partying will be all one-sided.  Here is a way to re-frame the celebration.

No matter what the age of your student, after you finish your back-to-school shopping, it could be a great time to come to Old Town, find a quiet corner in one of our many local restaurants and have a small parent/student Back to School party.  Take this time to reflect on the significant accomplishments of the last school year and talk about some goals for this upcoming school year. (Bring a pad of paper and pen, or your smart phone or tablet to record the details of your goal-setting)  Now you have cause for celebration.

When the deal is done be sure to stop in to Cravings for a congratulatory treat. While you are here don’t forget your new teachers.  They can be your most important allies at school to help your student accomplish their goals.  Why not start the new school year and new relationship with teacher on a good foot.   Our suggestion – you guessed it – the gift everybody likes: POPCORN!  

A tall cellophane bag with a bright ribbon tied on it means that there will be some good snacking after school on those long first days of school  or a gift certificate or a Conpoto certificate means when the teacher is ready the popcorn will appear. 

As you start a new school year remember this wise saying from Albert Einstein:  “Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.”

Cravings Gourmet Popcorn is located in Old Town Lansing, the hippest area of Lansing, Michigan.  Cravings Gourmet Popcorn can be purchased online at cravingspopcorn.com and shipped to anywhere nationwide and for gifting virtually to Lansing area residents via Conpoto.com
Posted in: Entertaining Tips
15
Up Close and Fresh - Potluck Picnic Alfresco

In this series of blogs Cravings Gourmet Popcorn explores lots of good reasons for having a party.  For Foodies and food lovers this one is for you.

This is the time of year when food fresh from the farm market or garden reminds us how glorious local food choices can be to a menu.  For this party idea we suggest that you throw a Potluck Picnic al fresco with the only stipulation being that the main food ingredients be fresh, local and a favorite dish of the preparer.

Some say that the history of the phrase potluck referred to the surprise or “luck” of having a meal made up of every person’s surprise dish to pass. No cheating by prescribing the types of dishes, just allow the meal to unfold – potluck.

Now to the picnic part of this party, why not discover one of the dozens of parks in our great city for your location, and why not try someplace different?  Here is a map of all of the Lansing Parks and River Trails for your consideration. 

If you would like to stay within striking distance of Cravings Gourmet Popcorn (just in case you want to stroll in for a little before or after treat) we suggest:  Durant Park, Bourchard Park, Louis Adado Riverfront Park or the park space near the Brenke Fish Ladder.

Entertainment Note: If you plan your picnic in mid-August bring a blanket so at nightfall you can lay down and watch the Perseid meteor showers.

Cravings Gourmet Popcorn is located in Old Town Lansing, the hippest area of Lansing, Michigan.  Cravings Gourmet Popcorn can be purchased online at cravingspopcorn.com and shipped to anywhere nationwide and for gifting virtually to Lansing area residents via Conpoto.com.

 

 

Posted in: Entertaining Tips
12
A New Take on a Retirement Party

As we continue to explore any idea for a party, Cravings Gourmet Popcorn reflects on those individuals that have given decades of service to one employer.

Employment trends tell us that fewer and fewer workers will be retiring from a job or career that they have held and nurtured for decades.  Times have changed considerably (for better or worse is yet to be determined) and we know that there will be fewer people of a certain age that will be retiring from  service to the same company with 30+ or even 20+ years.  For those that are, this is cause for celebration.  Time for a Retirement Party!

If you are planning a retirement party for someone you care about, here are our top 5 ideas for a retirement party to make it a success and very special event for the guest of honor:

1.   Find and invite former co-workers.  Having people that knew your honoree way back when will enhance the value of the conversations and remembrances.They may also remember some things your honoree might choose to forget.

2.   Choose a place for the party that offers plenty of room for mingling and sharing conversations.  Music is nice but it should not be the star of the show. Many restaurants have private party rooms, be sure to ask about table set-up and room capacity.  (Not Too Big and Not Too Small is the name of the game here).  In Old Town consider our neighborhood party planning place, the Old Town Marquee; the space is flexible enough to accommodate most sized groups.

3.   Make sure the menu reflects the likes, tastes and interests of the guest of honor. If their hobby is craft beer brewing, be sure to serve some craft beers; if they have a sweet tooth check in with Aggie Mae’s Bakery for something special. 

4.   Choose someone to be the party host.  A well planned party will seem like it is not planned at all. But the party will do well under the firm guidance of a party host that knows when to call for the food to be served, the next round of toasts, or for the music to be turned up or down. Your guest of honor should be able to forget all about those responsibilities.

5.   Since you have worked so hard to gather so many friends and associates consider including time and space for people to record some video or retirement quotes of remembrance and encouragement. We may not know just how important a role we played in a co-worker’s life if there is no effort to capture that information.  Paul Schmidt of Uno Deuce Media suggests having a few starter questions to choose from for the interviewee to answer.  Once you have all of the raw video taped messages, consider having guests toss in some dollars to have the tape professionally edited to a length which would be an affordable and share-able keepsake production. 



There you have it, our best retirement wishes for a successful Retirement Party …oh yeah, don’t forget the Cravings popcorn!

Cravings Gourmet Popcorn is located in Old Town Lansing, the hippest area of Lansing, Michigan.  Cravings Gourmet Popcorn can be purchased online at cravingspopcorn.com and shipped to anywhere nationwide and for gifting virtually to Lansing area residents via Conpoto.com.

 

Posted in: Entertaining Tips
08
Squeeze the Most out of Summer - End of Summer Celebration

This month at Cravings we are talking parties, all sorts of ideas for interesting parties.  As the summer winds down and before we turn our thoughts to fall and back to school, this party is right for kids of all ages. It is time to get goofy with some sponges and buckets of water.

This party involves lots of buckets, water and big sponges, large rolls of plastic, a garden hose, and stacks of dry towels. There are no rules, no age limits and no end to the fun for these water games…especially if it is a hot and sticky “dog-day of summer.” 

What would you do with buckets and water?   How about a modern bucket brigade that delivers plenty of water to a parched garden of an unsuspecting, yet forgiving, neighbor?  How about a little bucket race to see who can fill up a bigger container first…no running, just speed-walking!

What’s the plan for sponges?  How about a sponge toss like an old fashioned egg toss? This could be great for the beginning of the party when people are still in dry clothes.  Contestants pair up and form two lines with partners facing each other.  Make sure there are buckets of water strategically located and begin the tossing of water-filled sponges back and forth. If you fail to catch the sponge, your team is out. Take a big step backward with each toss making it harder and harder to toss and catch.  Winners are the farthest apart and the driest.

What to Do with the Plastic Roll?

Combine the roll of plastic, the hose and maybe a nice gentle sloping yard – you guessed it; you just made your own water slide! 

These ideas are just a drop in the bucket, we are sure you can think of even more fun ideas…like maybe a game of Twister with  a sprinkler in the mix.  Just remember to be safe while you are having all this water soaked fun.  Word to the wise, if you are planning to have Craving’s Popcorn snacks for this party (and we hope you do)…wait until the water is off and the towels have been used before you breakout the popcorn because nobody likes soggy popcorn!

Cravings Gourmet Popcorn is located in Old Town Lansing, the hippest area of Lansing, Michigan.  Cravings Gourmet Popcorn can be purchased online at cravingspopcorn.com and shipped to anywhere nationwide and for gifting virtually to Lansing area residents via Conpoto.com.

 

Posted in: Events
05
Kid’s Cardboard Birthday Party

This month at Cravings we are talking parties, all sorts of ideas for interesting parties. If you have a kid’s birthday party coming up here is a wickedly creative approach to a kid’s party.

There is a You Tube video that has been floating around the internet for over a year that was part of the inspiration for this party idea.  It is Caine’s Arcade a video about a boy that created a whole arcade of games out of loads cardboard, cast-off toys for prizes, and one fierce imagination.  

Homemade Miniature Golf Course Party

To make your Cardboard Birthday Party with a Mini-Golf theme make sure that you have plenty of boxes, cardboard packing materials, packing tape, duct tape, scissors, and markers.  If you have lots of kids at the party you can pair them up to make miniature golf obstacles.  Set a reasonable time limit for the construction and testing – make sure those creative minds and tummies are fed with yummy popcorn snacks from Cravings Gourmet Popcorn.   If you are planning a mini-golf event be sure the kids bring a putter and golf ball (which can also be decorated).  

For prizes make a trip to the Dollar Store with your Birthday Girl or Boy and let them choose all the prizes. 

Throw in some cake and ice cream and you have a Kid’s Cardboard Birthday Party.  (Other riffs on the cardboard construction activity could be Cardboard Robots or Cardboard Town with prizes for the best or most creative construction).

We hope you have fun with this one. There is nothing more engrossing and satisfying for kids than to have the time and materials to explore their creativity.  Let us know how it goes and send us some pictures.  

Cravings Gourmet Popcorn is located in Old Town Lansing, the hippest area of Lansing, Michigan.  Cravings Gourmet Popcorn can be purchased online at cravingspopcorn.com and shipped to anywhere nationwide and for gifting virtually to Lansing area residents via Conpoto.com.

Image courtesy of Anna, showing her cardboard car wash, inside features rubber gloves as the washer "fingers". 

Posted in: Events
05
Determination and Perseverance

Your resolve. Your inner drive that propels you to a goal. Determination is what drives you to be great. Your greatness drives others to become determined. Do your best because you may inspire someone to be their best.

Posted in: Videos, Community
01
Euchre Party with a Twist

This month at Cravings we are talking parties, all sorts of ideas for interesting parties. If you are a card player this idea is for you even if you don’t yet know how to play Euchre.

Euchre is an easy going, easy to learn card game for four people in teams of two.  While it is easy to pick-up there are nuances to strategy for the game that make it fun and competitive.   We are suggesting a tournament of 4 to 5 tables.  In a traditional tournament the winning pairs continue to advance in brackets to the end of the evening and a big pay-off.   However, instead of continuing to reward the winning pair to advance, find a way to throw an unexpected twist into the night by planning some surprise split-ups where the winning pair is split and are matched up with one of the losing players.

Even though there is strategy to winning at Euchre, a less than seasoned player can be dealt interesting winning hands or unmindfully play a gutsy move.   The evening is sure to be a fun mixer so encourage non-Euchre plays or novices to come along for the fun, food and prizes.  To make it easier you can share this link on the basics of playing euchre.

You can make your own chart or order a Tournament Euchre score chart online at www.tournamenteuchre.com. You will need several things to set up a euchre tournament: Euchre playing cards (one deck per table), large piece of paper or you can order a tournament Euchre Chart at the above website, the number of players should be divisible by 4 since each table has 4 players. You can have each guest bring an appetizer or dessert to share and their own beverage. Check out Cravings Gourmet Popcorn for unique popcorn flavors and classic or obscure sodas.

You can spice it up at your Euchre Party with a Twist by adding money for the winner’s pot or just play for fun bragging rights or crazy white elephant prizes.

Looking for a reason to party, try a Euchre Tournament Party. Looking for great party snacks; look no further than Cravings Gourmet Popcorn.

Cravings Gourmet Popcorn is located in Old Town Lansing, the hippest area of Lansing, Michigan.  Cravings Gourmet Popcorn can be purchased online at cravingspopcorn.com and shipped to anywhere nationwide and for gifting virtually to Lansing area residents via Conpoto.com.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Posted in: Events