Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A Nutty Night in NYC with #PeanutPower and the National Peanut Board!

Last night I was lucky enough to be invited to a sneak preview of the Perfectly Powerful Peanut Pop-Up space, which is open today (Tuesday, March 31) and tomorrow (Wednesday, April 1) at the corner of 47th Street and Lexington Ave. from 7:30 am to 1:30 pm, and then from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

If you're in the area, definitely stop by for some free, delicious (and healthy!) peanut samples and to meet the peanut farmers who are up visiting and happy to talk with you about life on a peanut farm. It is truly a great experience.

I honestly had no idea that the story behind peanut farming was so fascinating, or that the people telling it would be so absolutely charming. If I wasn't so thoroughly incapable of growing even a single Jersey tomato in my suburban garden I would seriously consider moving down south and starting a second career as a peanut farmer.

Even though I spent my childhood in a peanut growing state, Virginia, I realized I had never even seen a peanut plant, and really didn't know anything about how peanuts are grown and harvested. For example, peanuts need to be planted every single year, and they need a very specific and warm growing season, which is why almost all U.S. peanuts are grown in just ten states, with fifteen states in all growing peanuts. 

The peanut farmers were very clear when they explained to me there was no way I could grow a peanut plant like this one in New Jersey.

In addition to seeing a peanut plant for the first time, I learned a little about how peanuts are farmed (they must always be harvested on a sunny day) and how a hurricane or other natural disaster can wipe out a whole season's crop. One farmer was nice enough to show me photos of his farm, and when I admired the neatly planted rows he explained it's done by GPS now, which makes planting more efficient and environmentally friendly. The GPS comes in handy again when it's time to harvest the peanuts, as the GPS makes it easier to "find" the plants and take the peanuts out of the ground.

I also got to meet Carla Hall of The Chew along with other bloggers:

Another huge treat was trying peanut inspired recipes from Chef Joe "JJ" Johnson, like delicious peanut butter gazpacho and an amazing chocolate peanut tart. You can find all the recipes here, as well as learn more about why peanuts are a healthy and nutritious choice.

The Peanut Board was also there to talk about #PeanutEnvy, an important initiative to help feed those in need. Make a donation of $20 or more to Peanut Butter for the Hungry and receive a limited edition Peanut Envy t-shirt.

If you're in NYC today or tomorrow definitely stop by The National Peanut Board's Perfectly Powerful Peanut Pop-Up on the corner of 47th Street and Lexington Ave. to see the exhibits, try free peanut samples, and to meet the peanut farmers and their families, who are honestly the friendliest people you will find in NYC. Once you do, you're going to want to be a peanut farmer, too.

Thank you to the National Peanut Board for including me in this wonderful special event. I received an event gift bag, which included my all-time favorite peanut butter, White Chocolate Wonderful from Peanut Butter & Co. No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.

Monday, March 30, 2015

NYC Gets Nutty with the Perfectly Powerful Peanut Pop-Up! #PeanutPower

I'm checking out a special preview of the Perfectly Powerful Peanut Pop-Up space tonight in New York City, which will be open (and free!) on Tuesday, March 31, and Wednesday, April 1, from 7:30 am to 1:30 pm and then from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm both days at The Corner at the Roger Smith Hotel (47th and Lexington).

Stop by to enjoy free peanut powered breakfast and snack samples as well as to visit exhibits and learn about how America's peanuts grow and are feeding the world. You can even get your photo taken with a peanut farmer!

I'll be back tomorrow sharing photos of the Pop Up space as well as recipes from Chef JJ Johnson of The Cecil restaurant in Harlem.

To learn more, visit the Perfectly Powerful Peanut website.

The Perfectly Powerful Peanut Pop-Up is sponsored by The National Peanut Board, which represents America's more than 7,000 peanut farming families.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Have a Great Family Day at the Liberty Science Center! {Ticket Giveaway} #SpringBreakLSC

My family recently spent a fun-filled day at the Liberty Science Center as part of #SpringBreakLSC with Jersey Moms Media. The Liberty Science Center is one of our favorite places in New Jersey to spend a day. It's a great place for a family outing because there are exhibits and activities for kids of all ages, not to mention plenty of interest for adults, too. 

There were several new exhibits to check out at the Liberty Science Center since our last visit:

Sesame Street Presents: The Body -- open now through May 3, 2015, this is a wonderful exhibit for kids ages 2-8, filled and lots of Sesame Street fun and lots of hands-on opportunities for learning, with 17 different activities throughout the exhibit that has three areas that cover Your Outsides, Your Insides and Staying Healthy

Highlights for my kids included Oscar's Sneeze Machine (pull the lever to make a giant sneeze) and meeting the furry red monster:

You can find a full list of dates when you can Meet Elmo here.

Beyond Rubik's Cube - open just until Sunday, April 19, 2015, so catch it while you can! This exhibit is the first museum  exhibition about the Rubik's Cube, and is 7,000 square feet of games, puzzles and more devoted solely to the history, art and engineering of this amazing cube.
From the LSC.org site - I have no idea how they did the animation.

Infinity Climber - this relatively new addition to the museum described as "one structure, infinite possibilities" is an incredible play space high above the atrium floor. Made from curved steel pipes and individual platforms to step on, it is the first suspended climbing play space of its kind. Don't worry - the whole area is coverd with protective mesh wire so there's no fear of falling climbers. Please note if you are going with younger kids there is a 42 inch height requirement.

Other favorites from our day at the Liberty Science Center included the Touch Tunnel (the most popular exhibit there) and Our Hudson Home (don't miss seeing the Harbor Tank with live fish!).

** Experience a family day of fun and learning at the Liberty Science Center **

Enter to win a Family Four Pack of tickets to the Liberty Science Center!

Thanks to the generosity of Liberty Science Center, one lucky winner will win four passes to visit the Liberty Science Center. Enter here. Entries close Monday, March 30, 2015.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
I received admission for my family and me as well as promotional items and a travel stipend. All opinions are my own.

For more photos and coverage, look for #SpringBreakLSC on Twitter and Instagram!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Happy St. Patrick's Day

I love St. Patrick's Day in all its drunken revelry as much as I love the hoards of inebriated Santas roaming the streets during the annual delightful day drinking event, SantaCon.

I know now based on the Facebook updates of my peers, my opinion is not the one that is widely held.

Apparently most if not all of my middle aged friends want to avoid the trains, the streets and everywhere else that the youth of America might be puking while celebrating. I get it. I hear you. But still. There's something to me completely endearing about young people who might otherwise have nothing in common finding just that in these celebrations of questionable merit.

And for that reason, I'll always love St. Patrick's Day and SantaCon. Even if no one else does.

As for me, I was home making Leprechaun pudding for my children, because that's how I roll these days. As may or may not come as a surprise, it did not turn out as planned.

You can find out all about how (not) to make Leprechaun pudding at my home-away-from-home, CraftFail.

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