A “Bigg” Week For The Mint Chip Mama’s Public Relations – From Apple Pie to Apple Picking

The Mint Chip Mama - Bigg Week For The Wallensteins Public Relations

American Pie, Apple Picking, Apple Pies. The irony is not lost on us! The last few days have been exciting in our house! Quite the public relations parade!

The Mint Chip Mama - Bigg Week For The Wallensteins with Jason Biggs for Cash At Your Door Public Relations

We’re TV Stars!

On Tuesday, my family was on national television. The ultimate public relations! In the spring, I was contacted through my Instagram page to appear on a show about our home on E! Entertainment Television. We passed the production company’s video screener – including trivia questions – we were chosen and we picked a date. Our direction was to act surprised and natural when the big day arrived. This was not hard to do as a thirty person crew showed up in our driveway! Surprise! Then in walked Jason Biggs of “American Pie,” fame! 

The show, which premiered in August, is called “Cash at Your Door”. In this show Jason knocks at your door and “surprises” the homeowners with a chance to win $25,000! He asks an entry question and if the people get it right several series of trivia questions follow (including a hard one about their own homes).

Playing Giant Connect Four with Jason Biggs on Cash At You Door - Good public relations

Cash At Our Door!

They filmed our episode in May, 2021. We were hanging out in our backyard – like an ordinary day. There was a knock at our gate. Biggs yelled through the fence and walked into the backyard “surprising us”. I was “gardening” and my kids were playing. It was great. He played our giant game of Connect Four with the kids. Then came the big entrance exam question – officially beginning the game. As luck would have it, the question was about Superman. In our home, four out of five people have a PhD in this subject. We were ready to go!

My family and I waited on our patio while Jason and the crew snooped around our house. Little did we know he was looking for the “in home” questions that we would get wrong (oh the anguish). We had not let anyone in house in over a year so this was a big step for us. We agreed to it because the company tested us and the entire crew multiple times that week to confirm we were all negative for Covid-19.

Thank You Public Relations! We Won $5,000!

The crew quickly turned our kitchen into a television studio and invited my husband, daughter, and me to play (the boys were too young). Jason asked us a bunch of pop culture and historical questions. After a few tense rounds – and nail-biting pauses – we won $5,000! It was so exciting to finally have an outlet for our extensive library of useless knowledge! There was even a Harry Potter question in there for our Harry Potter fanatic!

My favorite part was after agonizing for five months over what they would show America from our house – the messy closets, the holes in the wall – they picked our crazy funny lamps! I bought them as a joke twenty years ago. The lamps got more press out of the show than any of us!

We had a great time making the show and I appreciate everyone from E!, NBC Universal, and Lion TV for their hard work (and COVID safety protocols) for putting it together. 

Thank You Public Relations! We Got A Full Page NY Post Feature!

Moving on from Apple Pie to Apple Picking… Recently, I wrote a blog post about how – as Moms – we only go apple picking for the social media pictures. This tongue-in-cheek topic is true so it was very well-received. It was so well received, in fact, that The New York Post wanted to write a broader story about the trend I described!

I had a nice conversation with Doree Lewak, the Post reporter. On Thursday – while I was at the amazing BlogHer Biz event in Brooklyn – we were notified that the story was running in the physical paper as well as online. Even more exciting – The New York Post was sending a photographer to our house to take pictures of us with the kids the next day!

An efficient use of the boy’s picture day haircuts – we were all camera ready. We had so much fun with a super cool photographer being silly with apples around our property.

Saturday, we woke up to a text from a friend with a link to the story. It all happened so quickly surprising half our friends. What a thrill!

The Mint Chip Mama - Wallensteins On Their Stoop
Photo Credit: Zandy Mangold for the New York Post, October 22, 2021.

Life Gets In The Way Of Apples

What a fun, big, funny week for us! From a famous celebrity (because of apple pie) to an article published about apple picking – and subsequently making an apply pie! Quite the theme!

Of course it’s Fall and if your kids play sports you know what that means. You constantly run from one field to another (times three) so they can play with a ball. Kids are so packed with activities that a simple and fun family activity like apple picking becomes a whole to-do. Despite my vitriol, we planned to go this weekend with our friends – despite the charade. Because the truth is – it IS a really nice thing to do. Then the baseball practices trickled into the calendar so we updated the plan to visit a local farm stand for the preferred accoutrements of cider and donuts. Then the baseball games trickled into our calendar. Now we have no time. Oh well.

NY Post Article with Wallensteins on Apple Picking Public Relations

Even Public Relations Can’t Stop Baseball Practice

So, in the true arena of life imitating art – the only thing we have time for is to enjoy the apples brought to our house via The New York Post. The funniest part is we now have the apples – the whole point of apple picking – but who wants them? YES! Exactly! Who wants six bags of apples!? We missed the cute pictures for social media, we missed the picking, and we missed the donuts. However funny enough – we still had the yelling and screaming (maybe there is an anger releasing pheromone in apples…?).

A tween making an apple pie from scratch Public Relations

The Post photographer inspired my daughter to bake an apple pie. She’s currently on hour four of this endeavor. She has time for this because we canceled another activity for her. We are calling it an apology pie and giving it to our friends for being total assples with our time.

A Little boy apple picking at Lewin Farm Public Relations

Update – the apple saga continues. As I was putting my middle child to bed last night, he started crying. He was so sad we didn’t have time to apple pick this year. I said didn’t we just do it efficiently? The apples are literally in our kitchen! But he said no, he wants the experience of pulling them off trees, and getting that “fall feeling”. So here it is – yet another parenting lesson. When we think something totally sucks our kids see it as a wonderful annual family activity. They ignore the yelling (shocking), they ignore the shlepping, they ignore the expense, and they just want to pick those damn apples. An eight year old doesn’t have a camera or Facebook, he doesn’t have Instagram, he just wants to be with his family, outside, doing a fun “fall feeling” activity. Yet again, perception.

Apple Picking Blog Post Public Relations

Thank You!

Thank you to everyone who commented and shared my apple picking blog post and the New York Post article!

There has been so much news about social media‘s negative impact on mental health during the Covid-19 pandemic. It is a monster filled with smiling Jones’ making you just want to keep up. Happy families picking apples and in pumpkin patches fall into this category. We need to support each other and talk about the truth. It’s not all smiles, come on – it’s hard to be a parent!

The Mint Chip Mama - Kissing A Homegrown pumpkin Public Relations Shot

As you can see – it’s easy to fake a beautiful picture. This is in my backyard, I’m blowing a kiss to the ONE pumpkin we successfully grew from ten vines. But it looks pretty good, right? My grey hair streaks glistening like sparkles from the sky…

Continuing with this truth serum, I’m thinking my next post can discuss how all parents ruin their child’s Halloween with four little words: “put on your coat.”

The Mint Chip Mama - Bigg Week For The Wallensteins Public Relations

Published by Stacey Wallenstein

Stacey Gish Wallenstein created The Mint Chip Mama blog in 2013 to share her love and passion for giving children meaningful life experiences and helping moms like her navigate the challenges and benefits of raising children in the New York metropolitan area. Before becoming a full-time mom in 2010, Stacey spent the better part of the preceding decade as a high-end customer relationship management (CRM) professional for some of the most well-known brands in the hotel, luxury, fashion, and beauty industries, such as Harrah’s Entertainment, Chanel and Christian Dior, Inc. She managed customer loyalty programs for thousands of clients around the country and created social media strategies for a span of industries including healthcare services, restaurants, consumer packaged goods, specialty foods, local attractions and retail locations. After 13 wonderful years in Manhattan (the last three of which spent as a city mom), Stacey and her husband moved to Long Island in 2014, where they now reside with their three children (11, 8, and 5). There, she is a founding member of her local Parenting Center, which provides classes and coordinates events designed to educate and inform parents while fostering an environment of support and friendship within the community. Stacey is also an active PTA member ((including a former & current PTA president) as well as a Girl Scout troop leader. Her musings on motherhood, Manhattan, the suburbs, and more can be found here and on Facebook at The Mint Chip Mama. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Stacey has been active in the New York area alumni organization for nearly twenty years, serving as a board member on the school’s University of Michigan Alumni Club of New York City. She also holds a Masters in Psychology from The New School in New York City. For more updates, follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

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