Archive | Education RSS feed for this section

Farm Fresh FAM Tour with Dutchess County, EscapeMaker, Metro North #distinctlydutchess #hosted

3 Jul

I’ve always dreamed of moving into a big house having a farm and lots of land. I love the quiet life. New York is fine but it’s overcrowded. Who knew my dream was just a train ride away? If you hop aboard the Metro North you would think you have traveled to another world. Well that’s how I felt. It’s perfect. 

I was invited to the Farm Fresh FAM Tour with Escape Maker, Dutchess County and Metro North. 

I started my day early and met other journalists at Grand Central Terminal and we boarded the Metro North to Wassaic. From there we took a shuttle to our first stop on the tour to Harney & Sons Teas in Millerton, NY. If you appreciate a good cup of tea then I suggest you check out this shop. The company, which sources, blends, and packages their product from start to finish has grown from their original six teas, to more than three hundred. We sampled some of the teas and my favorite was the Hot Cinnamon Spice. Harney & Sons Teas gave us a nice variety of teas to take home. I absolutely fell in love with this town. So many cute shops and all the locals know each other and in no way is it overcrowded like Manhattan. Check out @harneyteamillerton on Instagram and http://www.harney.com for more info. 

Stop #2 was Irving Farm Coffee Roasters also located in NY. If you know me you know I love coffee. Iced, hot, cold brew and an occasional coffee ice cream and can’t forget coffee cake. Wait is there coffee in coffee cake? Don’t know, but it’s still good. Coffee samples were great. Coffees from Guatemala, Brazil and Columbia to name a few. I also purchased a coffee mug and bakery treats. Head to @irvingfarm on Instagram. 

Stop #3 the McEnroe Organic Farm. They produce premium organic meats, vegetables, and soils & compost. We took a tour on the shuttle through the farm and oh my did we smell the compost. I spotted chickens and sheeps. I also went inside my first greenhouse. There were tomatoes everywhere. We enjoyed the best organic, fresh, healthy lunch from the farm. Roast beef and chicken salad wraps, green salad cucumber water or iced tea and cookies were amazing. We were given time to shop in their market and McEnroe was nice to give us more cookies to take home. If you have kids or even if you don’t this can be a fun tour to take and learn all about McEnroe Organic Farm. Please check out their page on Instagram @mcenroeorganicfarm http://www.mcenroeorganicfarm.com

McEnroe Organic Farm has been NOFA-NY Certified Organic for over 25 years; it is one of New York’s oldest and most diverse certified organic farms and stands at over 1,100 acres of fields, pastures, and greenhouses.

Their Market has grown from a small roadside stand to year-round market, offering local, seasonal, and organic groceries. The talented kitchen staff uses the produce and meats from the farm to create healthy. delicious, and sustainable meals.

The farm’s methods include crop rotation, biological pest control, composting, careful cultivation, and cover cropping. They grow certified organic vegetables, fruits, herbs, and feed for their livestock. With green houses and cold frames, they extend the season for organic tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, field greens and herbs, enabling them to grow as early as April and as late as December.
Established in 1683 as one of the original counties of New York. Bestowed in the Hudson River Valley midway between New York City and the the capital of Albany it is easily accessible by car, train, bus, air and boat. With its abundance of historic landmarks, restaurants, festivals and natural scenic beauty, Dutchess County is 800 square mikes of fascinating sits, lively events and breathtaking vistas. 

Dutchess County is a year-round vacation getaway so there are plenty of events and activities for all tastes and styles. Listings are subject to change so it’s a good idea to call ahead. Check out the calendar at DutchessTourism.com for current listings. 

EscapeMaker.com, NYC’s guide to local getaways since 2000, announced earlier this year that it was selected by Dutchess Tourism, Inc. to administer the operations of their successful Dutchess County Farm Fresh Tours program through 2017 with Metro- North Railroad.

For 10 years, Dutchess Tourism, Inc. has operated the Farm Fresh Tours program, which offers guided day trips to local farms and producers in and around Dutchess County by providing bus shuttle service to train passengers arriving at Metro-North Railroad stations in Poughkeepsie and Beacon, among others. 

Many Dutchess County farms are family-owned and welcome visitors to “pick-your-own” produce, make purchases from their farm stands, or join them during family-oriented festivals. Apple picking, wine making, visiting breweries and learning about cheese making are all examples of agritourism, which supports local farmers and producers.

Stop #4 Taconic Distillery. If you’re a bourbon whiskey fan this stop is for you. Yes you get samples of spirits here. I’ve been in Distilleries before but if you see all the land that the Taconic is on you won’t want to leave. It’s breathtaking. I learned quite a bit about how the bourbon whiskey is made and how long is has to rest to become Straight Bourbon Whiskey. (2 years in case you wanted to know). I wrote my name on a barrel and will check it in 2 years. There’s also Founder’s Rye Whiskey, Dutchess Private Reserve, Rolling Hills Rum, LIMITED EDITION Double Barrel Bourbon Whiskey with Maple Syrup and Cask Strength Straight Rye Whiskey. We also tasted pure maple syrup. I purchased a bottle of the Barrel Bourbon Aged Maple Syrup which is enhanced by the hint of their Dutchess Private Reserve Bourbon. My pancakes and waffles won’t know what hit them!!! There was also a raffle and I won a cool tshirt. Instagram: @taconic_distillery and http://www.taconicdistillery.com for more info. 

Our final stop was at Crown Maple. This is where magic happens. Pure, organic maple syrup is made at Madava Farms. Lots of syrup tasting going on here. I also love the shop where I made sure to take home Madagascar Vanilla syrup for the kids. You can find them on Instagram @crownmaple https://www.crownmaple.com/visit-madava-farms

I really enjoyed myself on this Farm Fresh FAM Tour. It was great meeting new people and exploring for the day. Everyone on the tour was great!! 

Farm Fresh Tours will officially kick off for the season on Saturday, September 2nd and will run through the end of October 2017. Packages will go on sale via Metro-North Railroad in July 2017 and can be purchased from full-service ticket windows and ticket vending machines. Attendees will be required to make reservations beforehand at EscapeMaker.com/FarmFreshTours 
EscapeMaker .com will continue to offer many of the existing farm and destination itineraries from past seasons, which include Metro-North transportation. All itineraries transfer from the Beacon, Wassaic and Poughkeepsie stations and highlight artisanal eats, craft beverage tasting, apple picking, eco-friendly and organic farming, festivals and more. Following the 2017 season, EscapeMaker.com will be exploring ways to expand in other seasons, including working with GrowNYC’s Greenmarket and farmers to educate their shoppers about trip options.

Metro-North Railroad, is a suburban commuter rail service run by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, a public authority of the state of New York. The service also offers packages, special fares and deals to area local attractions and weekend getaway destinations.

Disclosure: This tour was hosted by EscapeMaker, Metro North and Dutchess County. Swag , tickets, transportation and lunch was given. Opinions are mine 100% as always. 

Mythbusters & Illusion Exhibits At Liberty Science Center & Ticket Giveaway #MTMyth

6 Mar

We’ve been to the Liberty Science Center quite a few times now with Momtrends and the fun never ends. This time we were there to attend Mythbusters The Explosive Exhibition and Illusion Exhibit. 


What does Illusion mean? 

Illusion: something that looks or seem different from what it is; a misleading image presented to the vision. 

I was excited for this exhibit and the hands on Mythbusters exhibit as well. 

We ate lunch first then headed to the Mythbusters exhibit where we tested out our skills. We love mental challenges science in general and couldn’t wait to experiment. 

If you’ve ever seen the television program Mythbusters on the Discovery Channel upon enetering the exhibit you see different props from the show and interactive videos. Under the guidance of the scientific method, MythBusters: The Explosive Exhibition is your chance to try the MythBusters’ unique “Put it to the Test” methodology for yourself.

I think trying to pull the tablecloth off the table without dropping the dishes was the most popular. My daughter actually did it and I got some on video. It was fun seeing everyone try to pull it off. It’s actually very simple.

The exhibition team filtered the  “rainwater” with glow-in-the-dark florescence, which is completely stainless and harmless, but stays on your body and shines under black light. It’s perfect for counting the number of raindrops that land on you. My kids enjoyed this. On one side a person walks and the other side a person runs and you find out at the end which one gets wet more, less or the same. 

You can have fun at Killer Card Toss, Dodge A Bullet- how fast you can dodge a bullet (don’t worry no bullets actually fly at you), Change Like A Superhero- how fast you can change in a phone booth like a super hero, Cliff Hanger- how long can you hang off the ledge of a building. 

The Illusions exhibit was just as fun. The exhibit includes optical, perceptual, and audio illusions. Science and art intersect in this mind-boggling, mesmerizing exhibition.

My daughter put her hand on a screen and it looked like bugs were crawling up her arm. Now if those were real bugs she wouldn’t have done it. She enjoyed it though. My son gazed into a mirror and watched himself morph into his inner animal. 

Take a look at the pictures to see what other Illusions we came across. 
Mythbusters The Explosive Exhibition will be at Liberty Science Center till September 4, 2017. Get your tickets. The Illusions Exhibit will also be there till August 27, 2017. For all ages. 


Check out the Liberty Science Center for all types of programs, and exhibits and fun. 

GIVEAWAY: Want to see how cool these exhibits are ? Liberty Science Center was kind enough to offer one of my readers a family 4-pack of tickets. Just leave a comment below letting me know what Exhibit you want to see. Winner announced March 13, 2017. 

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All opinions are ours 100% as always. Thank you to Momtrends for a fun science filled hands on day. 

#AccuWeatherReady Program & FDNY Want You And Your Family Prepared & Safe #ad #BeReady

23 Nov

Disclosure: AccuWeather sponsored this post. Opinions are mine 100%. 

AccuWeather Partners with FDNY’s Fire Zone to Help Keep NYC Families Safe and Prepared for the Upcoming Winter Season with special presentation for 80+ Bronx 1st Graders. 

The AccuWeather Ready program is a new year-round weather preparedness program that focuses on keeping people safe and informed. All of the AccuWeather Ready information is available on the 24/7 AccuWeather Network, http://www.AccuWeather.com/Ready and the AccuWeather app.

I headed to the FDNY Fire Zone to meet with FDNY Foundation Chairman, Stephen Ruzow, FDNY Foundation Executive Director, Jean O’ Shea, Nerisha Rivero, Fire Zone Director and Lieutenant Mancusto, Fire Safety Spokesperson.

 Also in attendance were the AccuWeather staff: Chief Executive Officer, Barry Lee Myers, Chief Marketing Officer, John Dokes and Meteorologist Laura Velasquez.


With winter quickly approaching, AccuWeather, the global leader in weather information and digital media, has extended its continued mission to save lives, protect property and help people prosper with its new severe weather preparedness program, AccuWeather Ready, that focuses on keeping consumers safe and informed. 

With a shared goal to help educate and protect people, especially throughout the cold winter season, AccuWeatherhas partnered with the FDNY Foundation to educate local students on how to be ready for winter weather – with preparedness plans and fire safety. 

With the cold weather and holidays approaching some people might not have  enough heat and depend on space heaters, some might want to decorate the house with candles or attempt to fry a turkey indoors. Some of these could be very dangerous and start a fire in your home. If you must buy a heater find one that is approved for indoors and keep things away from it (blankets, shoes, anything can can catch on fire being next to it), Also don’t fry a turkey indoors that’s a No-No, You can now buy flameless candles. Ive heard a lot of people say they left their house and forgot to put the candle out. That could have resulted in a fire if it got knocked down by wind or a pet. Also cooking can cause a fire. I’ve had relatives leave pots on the stove on and walk away. Next minute the pit is smoking and the alarm is going off. I know when I cook I stay near the kitchen unless I’m cooking in a crock-pot where I can walk away. I never leave food cooking unattended. I also do not keep lighters or matches in my house. Those who smoke cigarettes aren’t off the hook either. It has happened where someone fell asleep with a cigarette in their hand and you know what happens next. That’s like going to sleep behind the wheel. If you know you’re tired don’t do it!!! Lives are more important. Make sure your smoke alarms are working. The new smoke alarms lasts for 10 years without having to change a battery. 

AccuWeather presented the FDNY Foundation with a check for $25,000 for all the incredible, courageous  hard work they do. 

Back To School With Crayola Products

7 Sep

School supplies don’t have to be a difficult shopping experience when you know exactly what brands you can trust. Ever since I was in school my parents always chose Crayola crayons, markers, paint, and colored pencils. I always wanted the ginormous pack of crayons with the sharpener in back. It had to be CRAYOLA! The cheap crayons didn’t cut it and I loved the variety of colors Crayola had and still has. They even have glitter crayons now. 

Since I grew up using Crayola it’s only right my kids use them too. There’s even new products that I know my kids will want.

New Products

· Crayola Emoji Maker: Drawing inspiration from the growing popularity of emojis, kids can experiment with Crayola colors to make 16 custom color emoji stampers and share their unique emoji messages with friends. Using the included design labels, kids can also create custom color names and decorate their barrels. For children ages 6 and up; suggested retail price is $19.99.


· Crayola My Way: Crayola My Way allows fans to customize their own box of Crayola Crayons – from a personalized message on the front of the box to the colors of the Crayons inside the box – in an easy, highly interactive an fun process. After choosing the First Day of School theme, kids can make the Crayola Crayon box their own by uploading a personal photo or piece of artwork to the front of the box, adding their favorite nickname, and selecting their favorite Crayola colors. The personalized 64-count box starts at about $5.99 and can go up to $24.99 depending on the level of customization.


With the new school year just around the corner, kids want to have the best materials and coolest new supplies that reflect their unique interests, while parents want their kids to have best-in-class products that will last them through the year. From tried-and-true classroom staples like Markers, Crayons and Colored Pencils to make –your-own Emoji Markers and customizable Crayon boxes – Crayola offers a wide selection of products that will inspire creativity and get kids excited for the school year.
Classroom Staples

· Crayola 24-count Crayons: Crayola Crayons are a classic kids’ art tool that generations have used to learn to color, spell and draw. Crayola Crayons are designed with a focus on true color, smoothness, and durability.


· Crayola 10-count Classic Markers: Crayola Classic Broad Line Markers are the classic, long-lasting, durable markers that many generations remember from childhood. They lay down brilliant color, yet won’t bleed through most paper. Crayola Markers are also preferred by teachers for all of their projects.


· Crayola 10-count Ultra-Clean Washable Markers: Crayola Ultra-Clean Washable Markers are formulated to provide brilliant color where you want it while washing easily where you don’t. Crayola’s classic markers now have an improved Ultra-Clean washable formula and come with two new bold colors.


· Crayola 24-count Colored Pencils: Crayola Colored Pencils are an essential creative tool for kids to use at home or school. Each pack contains pre-sharpened Colored Pencils and a range of vivid colors to inspire children’s self-expression and imagination. Made with thick soft leads that won’t break easily, the pencils create brightly colored lines that are perfect for school projects and creating detailed artwork.


Check out @Crayola on Twitter and http://www.crayola.com for more info. 

Disclosure: Crayola sent my kids products for back to school. Opinions are 100% ours as always. 

 

National Park Foundation Celebrates At Brooklyn Bridge Park #FindYourPark #ad

24 Aug

National Parks Day celebrated their 100th birthday August 22nd at Brooklyn Bridge Park and we were invited to join in the fun and partake in all the activities. 

The National Park Foundation and National Park Service, Bill Nye and Questlove celebrated the 100th birthday of the National Park Service on Monday, August 22nd. In partnership with Brooklyn Bridge Park and One World Trade Center for the celebration, for the first time ever, New Yorkers worked together on a giant digital circuit board to control the color of the lights of One World Trade Center’s spire. The celebration featured music by Ramblin’ Dan, Questlove and a surprise musical performance.

Brooklyn Bridge Park is one of those parks that you could spend hours at because of the beautiful skylines, boats, restaurants and all the fun your kids can have there. Definitely a tourist stop and any picture you take there is beautiful. My son took some amazing shots. 

The first thing we did when we arrived was got free ice cream from The Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory. From 1:30-3:30 free cones or cups of ice cream were given. My kids and I enjoyed that very much. 




We met up with more bloggers and Melissa Musen Gerstein from (The Moms) to explore. My daughter made a sand necklace and took home coloring books. We also spun the wheel and answered trivia questions about history and won prizes. 



Next we took a group photo then headed to the entertainment. Ramblin Dan and the Freewheelin Band did a wonderful job with his songs keeping the kids and parents on their toes. I couldn’t stop singing and dancing. This band is a husband and wife duo. I would attend any event/party they are performing at. 


Park Rangers took visitors on tours and took pictures with those that requested. It was a beautiful day to just enjoy whatever was going on. Even celebrities came by to show their support. 

Here’s the schedule of events:
1:00 PM: Event opens to the public

1:30 PM – 3:30 PM: Free scoop of ice cream at Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory

2:00 PM – 2:45 PM: Ramblin’ Dan & the Freewheelin’ Band at the stage

3:00 PM – 3:10 PM: Junior Ranger Centennial Pledge Ceremony at the stage

3:00 PM – 7:00 PM: Smart Parks Game Jam at American Express tent

3:15 PM – 4:00 PM: Ramblin’ Dan & the Freewheelin’ Band at the stage

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM: Park RX Fitness class at the Harbor View Lawn

5:45 PM – 6:45 PM: Atlas Genius performance at the stage

7:30 PM – 7:45 PM: Remarks, including Secretary of Department of Interior Sally Jewell and Centennial Ambassador Bill Nye

7:45 PM – 10:00 PM: Edison Interactive Floor open to the public

8:00 PM – 10:00 PM: Questlove DJ set

10:00 PM: Event closes

The Park Exchange event series are designed not only to celebrate the National Park Service’s 100th birthday throughout the summer, but also to bring parks to life in unexpected places throughout the country.

There are over 400 national parks, even in big cities across the country. Join us in celebrating this historic moment and come #FindYourPark, o mejor dicho #EncuentraTuParque, in Brooklyn Bridge Park!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. Opinions are mine as always. 

Office Depot Donates 200,000 Sackpacks To Deserving Kids

10 Aug

OFFICE DEPOT FOUNDATION CELEBRATES 16TH YEAR OF NATIONAL BACKPACK PROGRAM BY DONATING 200,000 SACKPACKS TO DESERVING CHILDREN 


For the past 16 years, the Office Depot Foundation has been giving children important tools they need to succeed in school – and in life – at the beginning of the new school year. 

In 2016, the Foundation – the independent charitable giving arm of Office Depot is celebrating the 16th year of its award-winning National Backpack Program by donating 200,000 colorful new sackpacks to nonprofit organizations, schools and agencies across the United States and internationally. 

 

By the end of 2016, Office Depot and the Office Depot Foundation will have given away more than 4 million backpacks and sackpacks since the National Backpack Program began in 2001. 

 

“We believe that every child should have the opportunity to go to school with dignity and hope,” says Office Depot Foundation President Mary Wong. “For most children, the first day of school is an exciting time complete with new clothes and back-to-school gear. But for kids in families where money is tight, the experience can be just the opposite. The sackpacks and school supplies we donate help to level the playing field and give these wonderful children a reason to stand just a little bit taller.”

To deliver sackpacks directly to children, the Foundation is hosting Back-to-School Celebrations in select cities across the U.S. in July and August. 

 

Thousands more sackpacks are being given to kids through the Office Depot Foundation’s continuing partnerships with a number of nonprofit organizations serving children nationally and globally. The Foundation is collaborating with the AARP Experience Corps, the National Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Association, Feed the Children, Food For The Poor, the Kids In Need Foundation, the National Foundation for Women Legislators, Operation Homefront and Samaritan’s Feet International. For the eighth consecutive year, children of the Navajo Nation in Arizona will receive sackpacks.

 

The specially designed, drawstring-style sackpacks come in seven bright and colorful designs – several of which are new for 2016. Each one includes a zippered pouch containing a pen, pencil, pencil sharpener, eraser, six-inch ruler and four crayons. The sackpacks do not have any Office Depot Foundation or Office Depot logos or markings.

More information about the National Backpack Program can be found on the Office Depot Foundation’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/officedepotfoundation. To learn more about the Office Depot Foundation and its initiatives, go to http://www.officedepotfoundation.org/. You can follow the Foundation on Twitter @OfficeDepotFndn; the National Backpack Program’s hashtag is #ODFcares. The Foundation is also on Instagram: @officedepotfoundation.

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. Sackpacks were given to me. 

Amazon’s Emmy-nominated Annedroids

16 Jun

I’m all for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and applaud those who are taking a part in it now and pursuing a future in STEM careers. 

I was asked to review new episodes from the third season of Annedroids which will debut on Amazon Prime Video Friday, June 24th.

Amazon’s Emmy-nominated Annedroids, a live-action adventure series about Anne, a young female scientist, her human friends and the android assistants she’s created, and the amazing scientific discoveries they make while undertaking the biggest experiment of them all: growing up. The series spotlights, through trial and error, how science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) can inspire children to do great things. 

As a mom of four I love watching educational kids programs and shows that teach my kids how to problem solve or think for themselves and how friends help each other in certain situations and how to have fun while learning a lesson.

As soon as the show started I knew I was going to like it. My daughter even asked what I was watching and sat down and watched with me. We loved it. Friends meet in Anne’s secret science lab (junkyard) where Anne created android assistants. They’ve been with Anne since she was little. She’s taught them so much and they’re great helpers. Anne’s human friends are also great helpers, funny and smart. Anne lives with her father and he also plays a big part in helping her with her androids. We’re ready to see all the episodes and start from Season 1. 


Pal is my favorite Android who asks lots of questions and seems like a real kid with real feelings. I would love to have Pal as a friend. 


On June 24th, Prime members can stream the third season of Annedroids at no additional cost to their Prime membership with the Amazon Video app for TVs, connected devices and mobile devices, or online at amazon.com/annedroids. Prime members will also be able to download the series for offline viewing on iOS, Android and Fire devices at no additional cost. Annedroids is also available as part of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, the all-you-can-eat subscription service designed from the ground up for kids. FreeTime Unlimited is available exclusively on Amazon devices including Amazon Fire TV and Fire tablets, and a year-long subscription is included with every Fire HD Kids Edition.

Here’s the link to the Annedroids page on  Amazon:(https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dinstant-video&field-keywords=annedroids).

Let me know if you check it out. Hope you do! 

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of KidzVuz. Opinions are mine 100% as always. 

Leapfrog’s New 2016 Product Lineup

14 Jun

LeapFrog hosted their annual product showcase in New York on Tuesday, June 7th and I was invited to an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at their new 2016 product lineup.

LeapFrog announced LeapStart, a new interactive workbook that helps to prepare kids for the classroom and life beyond, as well as the full 2016 toy lineup for Back to School and Holiday. 
This year’s products focus teaching 21st Century Learning Skills, which intertwines school curriculum with new ways of thinking, problem solving and collaborating, to prepare children for a quickly-evolving, globally-connected world.

 The 2016 product lineup includes:

LeapStart: A new interactive system and library of activity books that bring learning to life to teach key school and life skills. There are two platforms, one for Preschool & Pre-Kindergarten and one for Kindergarten & 1st Grade and each is compatible with the LeapStart activity books that help build key skills and challenge kids to get ready for their next step in learning. Priced at $39.99 for the LeapStart system and $12.99 for 16 additional LeapStart Activity Books.


Melody the Musical Turtle: Ten musical activities prompt toddlers aged 2 years and up to find numbers and colors, repeat sequences from memory and create tunes by pressing light-up buttons on Melody’s shell. Priced at $19.99.


Count Along Register: Budding entrepreneurs can run a store and expand their imagination through pretend play and exercise social play skills that help them build a foundation for core and life skills. The talking, interactive cash register features an adorable character that talks, sings and lights up, offering much more than typical calculator-like cash registers. Priced at $19.99


Learn & Groove Musical Mat: An interactive floor mat that develops cognitive and physical development. Kids get to move, dance, and play music while they learn foundational mathematics skills, as well as 21st century skills, such as creativity as they compose their own tunes, and collaboration as they play with friends. Priced at $29.99.

Which product catches your eye? Check out http://www.leapfrog.com for more information and @leapfrog on Twitter. 

Disclosure: I was invited to the showcase. Opinions are mine 100% as always. This post is not compensated.