Super size candy bars: is it worth it? 


I had to ask this after seeing these while shopping at Michaels. I saw someone pick up a giant bag of Twizzlers and noticed there were monster size Reese peanut butter cups, York peppermint Patties and Hershey bars. 

What are jumbo size candy bars? It’s pretty much s larger size version of the original. I was able to find a picture on Google to show the size difference. 

This isn’t the first time a candy company went jumbo size. 

 In August while grocery shopping I came across a party size bag of M&Ms. These super size bags are great if you have a large gathering of kids and want as a self serve or to separate evenly in small ziplock bags. When I saw these you had your choice of either peanut or milk chocolate. But at $9 a bag I opted to pass. Besides I don’t consume that much sugar. If I crave it, I get a regular size bag. 

For the longest time Hershey made a name for itself for making super size chickadee bars for the holidays.

One Christmas one of my friends got an 8×11 Hershey bar with cash stuffed between the wrapper and foil. And a few years later I got a giant Hershey kiss in my sticking. Today the giant Hershey Kiss is now morphed by a 5lb milk chocolate Hershey bar (see graphic if you need proof). 

The thing is, you only have a limited shelf life when you open candy. Yeah sure you can preserve it by freezing but even still after a while it has to be thrown out. 

Ihs it worth it? Yes. But only if it won’t go to waste. Understand these are by the pound now s days not by ounce. And most will require cutting into pieces. 

Cutting and serving: For the rounder items slice like you would a cake or pie (in triangles around the edges). But for bars containing grids carefully cut between the lines with a sharp knife. Stick bars cut into small blocks or chunks. 

Would I give as s gift? Probably not because of the size and cost. But if I were going to a party and needed to bring a desert, maybe. This year though I’m doing a chocolate tray consisting of individually wrapped Ghirardelli chocolates. So the freakishly size jumbo chocolate bars will have to wait until next year. 

If giving to an individual I recommend a tin or bag of their favorite candy. Its less expensive and you can add more than one brand of candy. Plus they can eat at their own pace.

Voting Issues During Election 2016 

Election 2016 came and went. I live in Pennsylvania. I voted but not in the presidential race. Donald Trump was elected in and while most are pleased by the results others were not. So much so those who voted Clinton rioted. I didn’t vote in the presidential race because the Electoral College elects who becomes POTUS. A candidate must reach 270 in electoral college to win election. I felt my vote was better off in state/local races. 
But that’s not why I’m blogging. See this was my first time voting as an independent in Pennsylvania. I made sure my photo ID and voter ID were up to date before hand. When I got to my district’s voting station this is what I went through. 
To make this easy to digest and not long winded or confusing. I’ll also include suggestions where there needs to be improvement. 
Long Wait Times & Lines

When I got there I waited almost an hour. 30 minutes to enter the building. 30 minutes to sign in and (even longer for others) to vote. 

Suggestion: extra voting sites as well as the option for early voting. 
Lack of Direction 

There were volunteers directing traffic in the parking lot but not at the door or inside building. Nor proper signage. That’s unacceptable. When I got to the sign in table I learned I was in the wrong line but wrong part of the building. Instead of giving me sighted guide (that I asked for and never got), I got verbal direction. 

Suggestion: train all volunteers night before. I wasn’t the only unfortunate voter who faced this issue. Early voting would cut down on traffic and confusion. 
Lack of Assistance For Special Needs Voters

This by far was the most complaint I heard on my Facebook page. Because of no early voting in Pennsylvania people with disabilities had to not only wait in long lines. But also had to have help with the machines. There were only 2 people helping special needs voters with their machines in my district. And no volunteers helping voters get to where they needed to go. Again unacceptable.

Suggestion: more volunteers. If there are 4 machines in a room (or multiple voting rooms), there needs to be more than one helper. This would speed up the process. 
Accessible Voting Machines

This was also a problem. Those who can’t see can’t vote independently. Especially if machines are touch screen. On top of that those who could see couldn’t see the print as it was so small. For me I had someone push the button for me.

Suggestion: better accessibility. If there is a way to enlarge print or get audio feedback I was not informed. Some places had accessible keypad devices that help with navigation. Others like mine required audio description of the screen and hand over hand guide. If you enlist to help with the machines, then you need to learn proper etiquette to help a person with disabilities. Every person is different, all ya gotta do is ask “Will you need assistance with voting? how can I assist you?” and then take it from there. 
Everyone Wants Early Voting

In my state November 8 was the ONLY day to vote. Sure I could vote absentee. I would still need help filling out the paper ballot. Not to mention there are strict guidelines to vote absentee (and every state has different rules). Electronic voting is a better option. If my state allowed early voting (and was available in my area), I would vote early not on Election Day. This must be a nation wife option. Not state by state. The problem with early voting is the option to change your mind. I feel if you vote you vote your ballot can’t be changed. The last thing the state wants is a person to cast ballot, change their mind then go back to the original plan. If a ballot change is issued there should be only a one change per ballot. Meaning you change your mind you only get one do over. 
Until something is done by the next presidential election I won’t participate in future elections. Most of these issues can be corrected quickly. Others will require time. And some will require authorization be state government which could take time and action by the state’s governor. The ONE MAJOR thing I shoulda done was contact the polling station in advance. Even still I would’ve had issues getting assistance. 
If you don’t have a disability you technically don’t have an excuse. But if you want change its best you contact your state governor and legislative body so that future voting in your state and district will be stress free. 
YOU have a voice.cYOU have a right to vote. Your VOICE should be heard. 

Presidential Candidates on DIsability Issues

Reader’s Note: This came from an e-mail from the Pennsylvania Council of the Blind (An affiliate of the American Council of the Blind). While this came from a blindness advocacy this is directed at all disabilities not just blindness (Thus why I’m passing it long). Talking points 1-5 discuss education for those with disabilities. There are links embedded in each talking point for references (if the reader wants to investigate further).

DEMOCRATIC AND REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE POSITIONS
ON ISSUES WHICH CAN EFFECT THOSE WITH DISABILITIES

Why is this analysis more important this year than other presidential election years? The answer is that never has the choice between candidates been so starkly different.

According to the latest 2010 federal census, nearly 1 out of 5 Americans have some form of disability.
https://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/miscellaneous/cb12-134.html

In 2010, this meant almost 60,000,000 Americans were persons with a disability. In 2016, where the current population in the U.S. is around 324,000,000, around 62-million Americans are persons with a disability.
http://www.census.gov/popclock/

This makes Americans with a disability one of the largest minorities in the United States. And yet… and yet… we have all heard of the Silent Majority, well, one could argue that persons with disabilities in America constitute the invisible minority. There are many reasons for this apparent “invisibility,” but it is beyond the scope of this article to explore these myriad reasons. Instead, let us focus on the two major candidates for President of the United States of America, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and attempt to identify their principles, policies, and plans for addressing the concerns and needs of Americans with disabilities.

We attempt to set forth a nonpartisan analysis. We present research for informational purposes only. We hope that the data presented herein will help voters with disabilities, as well as those who know, love, work with, and share a concern for persons with disabilities, to understand where each candidate stands on the issues that many persons with disabilities care about.

1. On Education

    Trump’s website, which showcases such issues as “Live Free or Die,” “Political Correctness,” “Trump University Truth” and “The Establishment,” includes one mention of education, in a video. “I’m a tremendous believer in education,” proclaims the businessman and reality TV star, as he bemoans how much the nation spends per pupil.
    http://www.donaldjtrump.com

    Clinton’s website offers proposals on K-12 education, early childhood education, college affordability, health care and labor unions. “I want to fight for you and for educators, and for students and for families. I think they go together,” reads a quote on the K-12 education issue page.
    http://www.Hillaryclinton.com

2. Over Testing

    Clinton: “We should be ruthless in looking at tests and eliminating them if they do not actually help us move our kids forward.” International Business Times, 10/24/15

    Trump: No position.

3. Charter Schools

    Clinton: Too many charter schools “don’t take the hardest-to-teach kids or, if they do, they don’t keep them. And so the public schools are often in a no-win situation, because they do, thankfully, take everybody.” The Washington Post, 11/08/15

    Trump: “We’ve got to bring on the competition — open the schoolhouse doors and let parents choose the best school for their children. Education reformers call this school choice, charter schools, vouchers, even opportunity scholarships.” “The America We Deserve,” by Donald Trump, 07/02/00

4. Respect for Public Schools, Educators

    Clinton: “I will ensure that teachers always have a seat at the table in making decisions that impact their work.” U.S. News & World Report, 10/03/15

    Trump: “Schools are crime-ridden and they don’t teach.” “The America We Deserve,” by Donald Trump, 07/02/00

5. College Affordability

    Clinton: Clinton‘s New College Compact spells out how students can attend a four-year public college without taking loans for tuition, and attend community college tuition-free: “We should have debt-free college if you go to a public college or university. You should not have to borrow a dime to pay tuition; I disagree with free college for everyone.” Business Insider, 02/27/16

    Trump: Trump University was a way to build a “legacy as an educator,” said Trump. He is being sued by the New York Attorney General for allegedly defrauding thousands of students. The Washington Post, 06/04/16
    http://educationvotes.nea.org/2016/06/08/clinton-vs-trump-stand-education/

6. Health Care for Both Children and Young Adults

    Clinton: “When I put together all the influences on me and what I really cared about, it was to be a champion and advocate for kids. That’s why I helped create the Children’s Health Insurance Program.” While First Lady, Clinton played a lead role in creating the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, expanding health care to millions of children. FactCheck.org

    Trump: Trump vows to “completely repeal” the Affordable Care Act, which among other things, allows young adults who cannot get coverage through their jobs to stay on their parents’ plans until age 26. It has resulted in 5.7 million young adults getting health coverage.

7. Campaign Speeches

    On September 21 2016, Democratic candidate for President Hilary Clinton gave a speech in Orlando, Florida, that specifically addressed disability issues.

    As far as we could tell, no major network covered this speech live and a brief search showed that no major network spent any appreciable time covering the speech during their evening programming.

    An internet search revealed no hits regarding disability and trump’s rallies.

8. The party platforms and disability

    The Democratic platform:
    While it may appear that platform’s disability rights section has shrunk in comparison to the 2012 platform, when the document is examined in entirety, people with disabilities are included in numerous other sections, from employment, minimum wage and housing to technology, education and voting rights.
    http://therespectabilityreport.org/2016/07/12/dnc-platform-integrates-people-with-disabilities-in-show-of-powerful-inclusion/

    The Republican platform:
    One of the 17 items listed under the Republican platform’s section, “Great American families, education, healthcare, and criminal justice,” is the link: Advancing Americans with disabilities:
    “Under the last two Republican presidents, landmark civil rights legislation affirmed the inherent rights of persons with disabilities. Republicans want to support those rights by guaranteeing access to education and the tools necessary to compete in the mainstream of society. This is not just a moral obligation to our fellow Americans with disabilities. It is our duty to our country’s future to tap this vast pool of talented individuals who want to work and contribute to the common good…”
    https://www.gop.com/platform/renewing-american-values/

9. The candidates’ websites

10. The candidates and the ADA

11. The candidates and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

12. Simply searching the candidates name with “disability”

    A search for “Clinton” and “disability” brought up the official Clinton website, coverage of her September 21 speech, and numerous articles regarding the candidate’s many statements on and actions about disability, including, but not limited to:

    Fact-checking Clinton’s story of meeting disabled children in New Bedford in 1973 [in which the newspaper concluded there is no reason to doubt Clinton’s story]:
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2016/09/19/fact-checking-clintons-story-of-meeting-disabled-children-in-new-bedford-in-1973/

    Hillary Clinton Has a Long History of Supporting Disability Legislation

    Hillary Clinton Has a Long History of Supporting Disability Legislation

    An Internet search of “trump” and “disability” brings up the following hits:

    Donald Trump’s Worst Offense? Mocking Disabled Reporter, Poll Finds [NBC News]:
    http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2016-election/trump-s-worst-offense-mocking-disabled-reporter-poll-finds-n627736

    Trump Mocks Reporter with Disability [CNN video]:
    http://www.cnn.com/videos/tv/2015/11/26/donald-trump-mocks-reporter-with-disability-berman-sot-ac.cnn

    The True Story: Donald Trump Did Not Mock a Reporter’s Disability [CATHOLICS 4 TRUMP]:

    The True Story: Donald Trump Did Not Mock a Reporter’s Disability

    Donald Trump’s revisionist history of mocking a disabled reporter [The Washington Post]:
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2016/08/02/donald-trumps-revisionist-history-of-mocking-a-disabled-reporter/

    And, early on in his campaign, Trump mocked Senator McCain who, by virtue of his capture and subsequent torture is a person with a disability by saying “I like people who weren’t captured.” http://www.businessinsider.com/donald-trump-john-mccain-war-hero-2015-7

13. The candidates on Social Security and Medicare

    Clinton: We must preserve, protect, and strengthen these lifelines.
    https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/social-security-and-medicare/

    According to AARP, here are the views of the 2 candidates on Social Security:
    http://www.aarp.org/politics-society/government-elections/info-2016/election-2016-and-social-security.html
    Hillary Clinton:
    What will you do to make Social Security financially sound for future generations?
    Social Security must continue to guarantee dignity in retirement for future generations. Hillary understands that there is no way to accomplish that goal without asking the highest-income Americans to pay more, including options to tax some of their income above the current Social Security cap, and taxing some of their income not currently taken into account by the Social Security system.
    Republicans are using scare tactics about the future and effectiveness of Social Security to push through policies that would jeopardize it. The real threat to Social Security is Republican attempts to undermine the bedrock of the system. Hillary believes that Social Security must remain what it has always been: a rock-solid benefit that seniors can always count on—not subject to the budget whims of Congress or to the fluctuations of the stock market. She fought Republican efforts to undermine Social Security when she was a senator and will fight them as president. As president, she would:
    • Fight any attempts to gamble seniors’ retirement security on the stock market through privatization.
    • Oppose reducing annual cost-of-living adjustments.
    • Oppose Republican efforts to raise the retirement age—an unfair idea that will particularly hurt the seniors who have worked the hardest throughout their lives.
    • Oppose closing the long-term shortfall on the backs of the middle class, whether through benefits cuts or tax increases

    Donald J. Trump:
    What specific plans do you have to ensure that Social Security provides adequate benefits to meet the needs of future retirees?
    I will work with Congress to ensure we have a pro-growth agenda in place. If we are able to sustain growth rates in GDP that we had as a result of the Kennedy and Reagan tax reforms, we will be able to secure Social Security for the future. As our demography changes, a prudent administration would begin to examine what changes might be necessary for future generations. Our goal is to keep the promises made to Americans through our Social Security program.
    Hilary Clinton on Social Security:
    http://www.ontheissues.org/2016/Hillary_Clinton_Social_Security.htm

    Donald Trump on Social Security, “social security is here to stay”:
    http://www.ontheissues.org/Celeb/Donald_Trump_Social_Security.htm

14. The candidates, jobs, and disability<ul>
Hillary Clinton Outlines Vision of More Job Opportunities for People with disabilities:

Trump Says He’s Hired People with Disabilities, Discusses Plan To Stop Drug Addiction
http://therespectabilityreport.org/2016/01/15/trump-says-hes-hired-people-with-disabilities-discusses-plan-to-stop-drug-addiction/</ul&gt;

15. National Democratic and Republican Conventions, 2016:
Clinton/Democratic<ul>
Disabled finally have a place at the DNC

Donald Trump Is Bad for Students with Disabilities and America

Disability rights took the spotlight at the Democratic convention this year
http://www.vox.com/2016/7/27/12299686/disability-rights-spotlight-democratic-convention

Trump/Republican:
How do Convention Goers at the RNC with Disabilities Feel about Trump and Republican Party?
http://therespectabilityreport.org/2016/07/22/how-do-convention-goers-at-the-rnc-with-disabilities-feel-about-trump-and-republican-party/

RNC Delegates with Disabilities Talk Accessibility
http://therespectabilityreport.org/2016/07/22/rnc-delegates-with-disabilities-talk-accessibility/</ul&gt;

Blind Americans Equality Day & Wear White Initiative


graphics: White ribbon graphics with text. Graphic 1 reads: Blind Americans Equality Day Tobar 15 with 3d braille font. Graphic 2 reads: wear white initiative to support the blind and visually impaired October 15.

October 15 is Blind Americans Equality Day (Formerly White Cane Safety Day.). Below are some quick facts:

  • White Cane Safety Day is an unofficial holiday in the United States and certain parts of the world. In the United States it is now called Blind Americans Equality Day.
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  • Celebrated on October 15 of each year since 1964.
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  • Set aside to recognize the achievements of people who are blind or visually impaired.
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  • The important symbol of blindness and tool of independence: The Long White Cane was the main focal point. Today all aspects of blindness (white cane, guide dog, braille, technology, education and advocacy) is celebrated.
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  • It is used as a way to educate advocate and bring awareness to the public on the topic of blindness.
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  • Signed into law on October 6, 1964: a joint resolution of the U.S. Congress-HR 753.
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  • This resolution authorized the President of the United States to proclaim October 15 of each year as “White Cane Safety Day.”. (Now Blind Americans Equality Day.)
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  • President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the first White Cane Safety Day proclamation within hours of the passage of the joint resolution.
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  • In 2011, White Cane Safety Day was renamed Blind Americans Equality Day by President Barack Obama.
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  • Remains largely unknown to the general public.

 
Where Can I Go For Information?
Where to go for events or Information on blindness or Blind Americans Equality Day? See the list below:

American Council of the Blind
 
American Foundation for the Blind
 
National Federation of the Blind
 
Blinded Veterans Association
 
Foundation Fighting Blindness
 
Lions Club International

While there are organizations out there that assist blind and visually impaired persons that welcome support such as donations, volunteering and membership. The above is only a short list. Be warned in advance these organizations use Blind AmericansEquality Day as a day for fundraising and membership recruitment. It is best to call in advance (or if lucky) even browse the website before attending events. If you go without researching the organization first, make sure you alert the chairperson hosting the event that you only are to participate in the event. If you would like to donate time or money—even become a member you can make that decision on site or at a later date. Always be polite and take some form of information with you (flyer, form or business card) so that if you do have questions or feedback someone can reach you. Most importantly have fun. The biggest complaint I always have (or hear) is lack of feedback. Feedback at these events are critical to organizations. They use this as a tool to see what people liked or disliked. What could be added or improved. Unless you the participant peak up no one will hear you. Remember these organizations rely on public interest to host these kinds of events so definitely check them out.
 
What to Expect
When I started out lions club handed out little white cane pins and all white candy canes with red tips. When I moved to the east coast organizations just did flyers, post cards and stickers. I even did a trifold on the white cane. Most Lions Clubs I assisted would hand out their white cane stickers and flyers in advance. When I joined American Council of the Blind my chapter did cane demonstrations. With the name changed from White Cane Safety Day to Blind Americans Equality Day organizations do different things. For me I simply do promotional graphics that are eye catching and easy to understand (instead of a flyer with text and no graphics). When I did Wear White Initiative graphic I wasn’t sure how people would react. I got compliments on my design. This year I updated the graphic as I moved the website to my personal server. I also was able to reuse the white ribbon to do up a second graphic (with the text: Blind Americans Equality Day) but with braille underneath. There are quite a few braille fonts but I can’t get enough of the 3D braille font. I do these graphics because I can’t get out to events often and most of my social media followers just share what media I have on my timeline.
 
Wear White Initiative
Wear White Initiative is strictly an awareness campaign to compliment Blind AmericansEquality Day. Simply either photograph yourself or a group of people wearing white. Or use the above graphics on social media, blogs or websites and use the hashtag #WearWhiteInitiative. The graphics at the top of the page and can be saved to computer or mobile device/tablet. For more info click/tap on the link in the links of interest.
 
Links of Interest:
Jessica’s Personal Website
Wear White Initiative

Album Review: Unleashed 


Today I heard Skillet’s song “Feel Invincible” on the radio when heading home frm the gym.  I’m not gonna lie. I’m not into religion hands. I never heard of a genre called Christian Rock. I never thought Skillet would ever fit this categorfy. And what’s most shocking is that radio stations that air rock/metal with loads of censored vulgar language, violence and sex . Yet some how some way rrock stations sneak this band’s music over their air waves. And even more shocking fans of rock/metal are giving this band’s album respect (it is one of few that’s doing super well depending where you live) in sales. So when I heard this I had to sample the album. This band can be just as hard, loud, edgy and talented without the graphic language, violence or sex. The musical part of this album will blow your mind. Right out of the gate with “Feel Invincible” the music just grabs your attention right away. Granted tracks like “Watching for Comets” and “Lions” aren’t all that great lyric wise the music will keep you hooked until their last song “The Resistance” which has great guitar work at the end.

Track List

  1. “Feel Invincible”
  2. “Back From the Dead”
  3. “Stars”
  4. “I Want to Live”
  5. “Undefeated”
  6. “Famous”
  7. “Lions”
  8. “Out of Hell”
  9. “Burn it Down”
  10. “Watching for Comets”
  11. “Saviors of the World”
  12. “The Resistance”

Favorite Tracks

  • “Feel Invincible”
  • “Back From the Dead”
  • “I Want to Live”
  • “Undefeated”
  • “Out of Hell”
  • “Burn it Down”
  • “The Resistance”

Preview Album

Star Rating & Review
5 out of 5 Stars

Totally worth it. Will I become a fan of Christian Rock? Provably not. But for those who are and are looking for new music or band, then o will recommend Skillet.  

A surprise from Hershey: a Massive S’mores Kit

LOOK WHAT CAME!!!! This morning my free Hershey chocolate gift set arrived! I wasn’t expecting a massive s’mores kit. Makes 36 servings and comes with everything including chocolate, gram crackers and marshmallows. 

I may have to take chocolate out of box and send it to the freezer because it came with ice packs to keep from melting. Will save for when I have company or family.

So how did I get a free gift? Hershey started a hashtag #SmoresFun on Twitter. I tweeted my camp story:

They selected mine and a few others to follow and private message them. One of those selected earlier got their chocolate surprise. So naturally I thought I’d get just milk chocolate. Then the box came and I finally got my surprise.

My sister bought a smaller similar kit and said they’re worth every penny. I highly suggest large kits for large gatherings and smaller kits for smaller gatherings. My mom would always cringe when my sister and cousins would crave s’mores. Simply because of our large crowd you had to buy things separately and in bulk. If you want a kit that includes everything these are totally worth it. 

Cost: I wish I knew. I got this free. Incase you want to buy something like this you might have to buy online. Check with major retailers like Target or Walmart before looking on Amazon.

Even if no one doesn’t want s’mores they can eat the crackers, chocolates and use the marshmallows any way they want. 

Definately thanked them for the tfree gift. 

Thin Mint Brownie Sundae

Sadly with brownie after a while they become hard as a rock. And with the brownies I reviewed into small pieces they were getting old. So I put them into an ice cream sundae. Actually tasted like a Dairy Queen ice cream cake minus the chocolate ice cream layer. Its easy to make and you can add your favorite ice cream flavor or toppings. While I didn’t use toppings if you want to use toppings its your choice. 

You Will Need:
Thin Mint Brownie pieces 
Vanilla ice cream

Optional:
Chocolates Chips
Chocolate sprinkles 
Fudge topping
Whip cream 
Thin Mint cookies

Instructions

  1. If you haven’t already done so bake Review: Pillsbury Girl Scouts Thin Mint brownie mix into a square cake pan. Follow the instructions and tips on the back of the box. Cool and cut into small squares.
     
    Once cool and have a crunchy texture prepare your sundae.
  2.  

  3. In a bowl break up 2 brownies them with a spoon crush into small chunks.
  4.  

  5. Using an ice cream scoop scoop out 2-3 scoops of vanilla ice cream. Scoops should cover crushed up brownies completely.
  6.  

  7. Add your toppings. Use one or all items listed above or leave plain.
  8.  

  9. Smash and swirl brownie chunks, ice cream and toppings. Or leave toppings on top of ice cream.

Serve and enjoy.