Reviews, giveaways and memes - Jumpin Beans


Want the perfect box picked based on age and development? Look at @HootforKids {AD}

I am so loving the different subscription boxes that are out there.  Well, I say that, but I have not seen many first hand to know if they are as good as they look.  I was able to get a box to review from Hoot for Kids and to say that this is a fun box is an understatement.  It was a perfect box to help us kick off our summer break and I am so excited to tell you all about it.
FTC Compliant Review Policy:  The product(s) featured in this review were provided free of cost to me by the manufacturer or representing PR agency for the sole purpose of product testing. Opinions expressed are my own and are not influenced by monetary compensation

So, you might be wondering exactly what Hoot for Kids is.
Well, it is an awesome box with goodies perfect for the kid in your life!
Hoot stands for - Hands On Occupational Therapy

From their website:WHY HOOT?
Toys foster growth and can be used in many creative ways, including as a tool to enhance key developmental areas: fine motor, gross motor and sensory processing skills. In addition, the right toys and activities can also help parents be instrumental in facilitating developmental milestones. Toys can be utilized to address a child’s physical limitations, sensory integration issues, speech and language concerns and other developmental delays including Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).
When we opened the box, Savannah was so excited to see all the items in there, picked JUST for her!!!  It was as if it was her birthday! (Hint! Hint!  Great idea for a birthday gift!)  She was excited to see each thing and had to take them out and play with each one individually and then together!  

I kept Broxton's cars (in case we had a boy, not thinking that a little girl would love them just as much.)  Savannah loves the cars, so when there was a pink one just for her (Broxton isn't a fan of pink these days, so no need to worry about him wanting to play with it!) This is a car from Green Toys.  We have had a few of their toys over the years and have always been impressed with their brand, so I was excited about this one!

Hoot for Kids included a tube of colorful plastic animals of different sorts for her to play with.  I loved that they were so cute and the perfect size to fit in her hands!  She loved playing with them and before we knew it, they were riding in the car!  

If you know me, you know I love books. I was excited to see a different take on the classic "Wheels on the Bus" song that I know.  This has a bunch of animals on there and they are doing fun things! The fact that they have a handle on it for her to carry makes it great for her to carry around with her!

The box!  I just love it, isn't it just too cute??

My overall thoughts:

When looking online, it looked like the boxes had several items inside it.  I thought for $34.99, getting 5 or 6 items would be great.  When our box arrived, it only had 3 items inside.  I googled to see what the value was to buy these individually.
The car- $9
The book -$9 
The tube of animals - I could not find

I thought it might be a bit over priced, just looking at breaking it down like that.
Then, I thought more about it.
1 - The prices I saw did not include shipping.

2 - The prices didn't include the time it would take for me to research age appropriate toys, they did that work for me! 
3 - I have yet to mention the really cool BONUS that comes in each box that is not a toy you can buy.
3.5 -   You get a sheet with activities on it for each toy.  Yes!  I loved that!

Overall, I think this is a fun box and in the end, I think it is worth the money. I would like it to be more along the lines of $29.99 with free shipping, versus $34.99.  I do think had I received a box with more items, like I saw in the pictures, I could justify the additional cost.
I think this would be great to give as a gift to a child you might not really know what to buy for, since they pick it based upon your child's age and it isn't just a random box.  I think this would be great to have sent to a caregivers house, as it gives activities on playing so that you can have a little help when you get stumped.

The only other thing I wish I could change?  I wish the first box was more of a sturdy one.  Like a "
treasure box" of sorts, so you could use it to store the toys.  The box is not that strong, but I am sure it would make the price increase if they needed to make a stronger box.  I do love it and although it is a bit flimsy, Savannah still wants it to hold her toys,so she has them in there.   I think the box is ADORABLE, so I wanted to keep it as well.  

Now, how about this...If you want to check out Hoot for Kids, make sure you use this code for $5 off a box:


Great new Titles from Disney Publishing

Fathers Day is right around the corner and I wanted to share a few titles that were sent to me that would be great books to give to the Father figure in your life this year.  A couple of these would be great for new parents!
I have not read any of these, but did want to share with you in case someone was looking for a perfect gift!  Keep in mind you don't have to give these just as Fathers Day gifts either...  They would be perfect whenever!
FTC Compliant Review Policy:  The product(s) featured in this review were provided free of cost to me by the manufacturer or representing PR agency for the sole purpose of product testing. Opinions expressed are my own and are not influenced by monetary compensation.

Welcome: A Mo Willems Guide for New Arrivals
Written and Illustrated by Mo Willems
On Sale: May 30, 2017
Mo Willems’ introductory guide for new arrivals welcomes readers to the world using bold, eye-catching graphics and clever text that is perfect for reading aloud. With a fun and heartwarming message, WELCOME playfully interacts with the reader with its meta-humor, while addressing such topics as injustice, cats, friendship, and family. This one-of-a-kind guide to the world is a must-have for infants and new parents alike.

Night Night, Groot
By Brendan Deneen and Illustrated by Cale Atkinson
On Sale: April 4, 2017
It's been a long day for baby Groot and he's ready to be tucked in for bed. Just as his eyes start to close, Rocket Raccoon bursts onto the scene! Groot can't go to sleep yet, there's a whole galaxy that needs to be defended and they must work together to save the day! Then maybe, just maybe, Groot will finally get the rest he deserves!

Written and Illustrated by Matthew Cordell
On Sale: May 2, 2017
With beautiful pastel-colored illustrations throughout, Matthew Cordell pulls at the reader’s heartstrings with DREAM. Two gorillas take such pride when they look into their newborn’s eyes, and wonder what path their future will take. Cordell’s book is a celebration of the hopes dreams that parents have for children as they grow up, and find that no matter where life may take them, they always have a home with their family.

Bob, Not Bob: To Be Read as Though You Have the Worst Cold Ever
By Liz Garton Scanlon and Audrey Vernick and Illustrated by Matthew Cordell
On Sale: February 14, 2017
Stuffed with the sniffles, BOB, NOT BOB! by Audrey Vernick and Liz Garton Scanlon with illustrations by Matthew Cordell, is immediately relatable to any child (or adult!) who's had a bad cold, when the only thing you want is someone to take care of you. You see, every time sick Little Louie calls out for "Mom," his stuffed-up nose brings Bob the dog running instead. Filled with wordplay and situational comedy, BOB, NOT BOB! begs to be read aloud, and it pairs especially well with snuggling.
Books that inspire parents to empower their kids:

Feminist Baby
Written and Illustrated by Loryn Brantz
On Sale: April 11, 2017
Feminist Baby likes pink and blue.
Sometimes she'll throw up on you!
Feminist Baby chooses what to wear
and if you don't like it she doesn't care!
Meet the irrepressible FEMINIST BABY in this refreshing, clever board book about a girl who's not afraid to do her own thing, and wants to make as much noise as possible along the way!

Cars 3: Lead the Way
By Ace Landers and Illustrated by Garrett Taylor
On Sale: April 4, 2017
Ride along with Lightning McQueen as he revisits many of his cherished moments with the late and great Doc Hudson. Lightning has learned so many inspiring things from Doc that he would like to pass on to Cruz Ramirez, including a lesson about what it really means to win.

Choose to Matter
By Julie Foudy
On Sale: May 2, 2017
Julie Foudy, two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and former captain of the US National team, takes you on a journey to discover your authentic self. This book is a roadmap to unleash that courageous YOU. Along with sharing stories from her playing days and personal experiences, Julie taps into the wisdom of other incredible female leaders including "Good Morning America" anchor Robin Roberts, soccer stars Mia Hamm and Alex Morgan, and Facebook superwoman and Lean In founder Sheryl Sandberg.

Are you familiar with any of these titles? 
Which ones would you like to read, or give as a gift?  


My hand-print jewelry from @silversculptor is beautiful!

The last few months have been a bit hectic, so I hate that I was not able to share my new found love of Silver Sculptor's jewelry for Mothers Day. Let me tell you this though, just because Mothers Day has passed, it doesn't mean that you can not give a WONDERFUL gift of love. You could give it as a gift "just because" or for a late Mothers Day, this is a gift that needs to be given!   Don't just stop at moms either... They have great gifts for dads and the grandmother of my children (my mom) has been asking me for mine, so like I said... NOT JUST FOR MOMS!  

FTC Compliant Review Policy:  The product(s) featured in this review were provided free of cost to me by the manufacturer or representing PR agency for the sole purpose of product testing. Opinions expressed are my own and are not influenced by monetary compensation.

Okay, so let me tell you more.
Well, let me start by saying she has so much more, but the thing I am sharing because I am SO IN LOVE is the hand-print jewelry.  Head on over to the actual Silver Sculptor site to take a look at all the other beautiful jewelry she has to offer, but please oh please make sure to check out the hand-print jewelry. Joanne is so talented!

Like I said, it was my Mothers Day gift, so Broxton helped decide what I really "needed" since you know, I did NEED it! Joanne offers everything from necklaces to cuff links, bracelets to rings.  We decided to go with a necklace, as that would be the piece of jewelry I would wear most often.
After deciding on the necklace being the piece we wanted, we had to decide on the style.
Again, Joanne has gone the extra distance.  You can choose between a dog tag, a guitar pick, a heart or a basic oval.  Broxton wanted to go with the heart since he and Savannah have my heart!
At that point, we waited to see what would be sent.
Now, I bet you want to know how their hand-prints ended up on my jewelry, but we didn't have to go anywhere to have their hand-print made...

Get this.
She sends you a hand-print kit. It has a special paper and an ink-less wipe.
I will admit, I was SO NERVOUS that I was going to do it wrong. I put it off, out of fear.  I mean, I had a 1 year old and an 8 year old and I had 1 wipe and 1 piece of that special paper.
So yeah, 1 piece of paper and 2 wild children with the ultimate goal to make a masterpiece.
I was eager to see the finished product, but I knew it would never happen if I didn't send in the stuff.  I finally saw the window of opportunity and I went for it.
I sat down and did Broxton's hand-print.  Then, we did Savannah's.  I got it ready to be mailed back to her (you can mail it back or you can scan it and email it, the choice is yours.)  and prayed it was done correctly.

All that worrying was for nothing!  She said it was a great job and she would start working on it!
Next thing you know, this beautiful package arrives and I was so excited.  I couldn't even wait for Mothers Day!  I opened it then and fell in love.  Broxton loved it and we had to take a picture to send to show my mom.  That was when she decided that it was the perfect gift for her to have of her grand-babies.  (Maybe one day, but not right now!)

Tell me it isn't beautiful!  The best part is it is MY babies hand-prints.  Then, on the back she has their names stamped in there so I will always know which is which.  Perfect for twins or kids closer in age that might have hand-prints that are closer to the same size!

I love my necklace and wear it with pride. Having my babies hand-prints on a beautiful piece of jewelry is something I will treasure forever!

If you head over to the Silver Sculptor site, you can sign up for the newsletter and get a code for 20% off your purchase!  Fathers Day is right around the corner, wouldn't cuff links or golf ball markers with their little ones hand-prints be a perfect gift that is one they will love forever???

Make sure to follow on Facebook and Instagram!


Five Beach Safety Tips Every Parent Needs to Know

Five Beach Safety Tips Every Parent Needs to Know:
Guest Post by Steve Kardian

According to the Center for Disease Control, each year about 4,000 people drown in the United States.  Drowning kills more children 1-4 years of age than anything else, except birth defects.  Among children ages one through fourteen, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury or death (after motor vehicle crashes).  Being aware of the risks and learning some life saving techniques will keep you safe at the beach.

1) Your Span of Control is Limited
In the perfect world, every child would have a designated adult supervising them at the beach or pool, but two children is a comfortable number for one adult to supervise.  Any more can become overwhelming and increase the risk of something going wrong.

2) Drowning Doesn’t Look like Drowning (or:  Drowning Doesn’t Look like You Imagine)
In the movies, when someone is acting out a drowning scene they wave their arms and scream for help. In real life, drowning is, for the most part, a silent act. Once a person goes into distress mode, they are fighting for two things: air and keeping their mouth above water.
My first experience witnessing the onset of a drowning occurred at my family pool when I was about ten years old.  My much younger cousin was in two feet of water, bent over at the waist.  It looked he was looking at his feet or the bottom of the pool but something didn’t seem right. When I lifted his head out of the water, he began vomiting and crying, he had been stuck. In a case I investigated, witnesses reported seeing a young girl bobbing her head up and down in the water.  She had drifted from the shallow end of the pool into water above her head (or:  the deep end) and was pushing off the floor of the pool to get air because she could not swim. She was saved, but nearly drowned. If something in and around the water doesn’t look right, it likely isn’t.

3) Set Up by a Lifeguard - No lifeguard No lifeline.
Set up your stuff near a lifeguard station so that if you venture into the water with your children there is an extra set of eyes to watch over you and your child. Don’t allow this to replace your diligence but rather supplement it. Your child is your first responsibility.

4) Don’t Get Lost in Conversation
Going to the beach or pool is a social event. If you’re caught up in a conversation, keep your face and your eyes on your child. Mishaps and accidents can occur very quickly and with a mix of children and water, seconds matter. Keep your hands glued to your babies or toddlers at all times.  If at the beach, keep an eye out for rouge waves.  Chat with the lifeguard in advance about any dangers you should know about. Ankle deep water can quickly become a hazard if you are not paying attention. Outfit your child with bright colored beach wear.  Know your limitations and educate yourself on riptides.  While you are on child watch duty turn the cell phone off, and keep the Ipad or book out of your reach.

5) Learn CPR and Rescue Breathing
Your local fire, police, recreation department or gym and health club often sponsor certified CPR courses. You will not realize its value until you need it!

Steve Kardian is an American career law enforcement officer, detective, sergeant and chief criminal investigator, who specializes in crime prevention and risk reduction for women's safety. Kardian is the author of The New Superpower for Women (on pre-sale until August 8, 2017) and founder of Defend University, where he trains thousands of people each year on safety and self-defense, as well as strategies and tactics uniquely tailored to women's safety.


Krystal #CountryFried is back! #Giveaway

What can be more Southern to a girl from South Georgia than BBQ Picnics and Comfort food? Krystal is going back to my roots with a great giveaway for one lucky follower!  In celebration of their "Country Fried" menu, that you all need to go and check out!
FTC Compliant Review Policy:  The product(s) featured in this review were provided free of cost to me by the manufacturer or representing PR agency for the sole purpose of product testing. Opinions expressed are my own and are not influenced by monetary compensation.

From Krystal:Fan favorite, the Country-Steak Krystal, is a tender all-beef steak coated in a secret blend of spices, fried to a delightful golden brown, topped with gravy and served on a soft steamy Krystal bun. The Krystal Chik patty is topped with country gravy to create the Country-Fried Chik. During breakfast hours, guests can indulge in a variation to one of the classic Southern staples, biscuits and gravy, by swapping the buns out for a fluffy golden biscuit.

One winner will win a Country Fried Gift pack thanks to Krystal!
The pack includes: 

Krystal Country Fried Coupon
- Apron to keep away the Southern cooking mess
- Spatula for a good ole BBQ of a time
- Table Cloth for a true Southern table setting
- Picnic Basket to help embrace the picnic spirit
- Mason Jar Cup to sip on the Southern tea
Country Music CD to tie it all together

Want to win?
Just leave me a comment on here letting me know what you like to do during the summer, what you have planned this year or a great picnic spread you like to enjoy!
Comment must be at least 8 words long to not be considered spam.
Contest ends Thursday at noon and winner will be notified immediately.  

*** Update, Janet W. is the winner!***


Battle for Metropolis is now open at #SixFlagsOverGeorgia ! #JusticeLeague

Hope you are familiar with Six Flags Over Georgia, if not, you need to be!  As a child, I remember vacations to Six Flags.  When I moved up to Atlanta, I got a season pass with my roommate.  With an 8 year old, we are loving Six Flags these days.  We were invited to come check out their newest ride, Justice League: Battle for Metropolis.  I am NOT a ride person, so Broxton was thrilled to have his big brother there for the day!  I thought we would be there for just a couple hours, due to the Georgia temperatures (I love the air conditioner!)
FTC Compliant Review Policy:  The product(s) featured in this review were provided free of cost to me by the manufacturer or representing PR agency for the sole purpose of product testing. Opinions expressed are my own and are not influenced by monetary compensation.

Like I said, I am not a ride person and we were invited to check out the newest ride. I was excited for Broxton, since he is all about the Justice League and super heroes. I asked his older brother to join us, knowing he would ride the ride with Broxotn.  They rode it and came out to Savannah and I.  Broxton asked me to go with him, because I would like it. (Pregnancy with Broxton changed my love of roller coasters to not liking them.)  He said I would not get sick, so I said I would take him to ride it a second time.  He then told me that would be his fourth time!!!!    
As you approach, you come to the Hall of Justice arch greeting you.  Talk about massive and gets your curiosity going!!!!

Battle for Metropolis, the newest 4d ride!!!  It was really cool! You enter the area and a cyborg is waiting telling you whats going on. Then, you hop on the car to get going.  (Each car holds up to 6 people, so grab your friends to go!)  You head into fighting the joker and other guys to help save Superman, Batman, The Flash, Green Lantern and Wonder Woman.  You shoot the targets as you ride through and it was fine.  Then you hit a Loop and a crazy turn.  At that point, I will tell you I had my eyes closed. I have said before I am not a fan of rides, because of the movement.  Yes, I know we weren't really going and turning like that, but it got me a bit motion sick.  Closing my eyes, I was fine, so I think everyone that is of the right height should give it a go!!!! If I can do it, you can too!!!

Someone was excited to have mama on the ride!  

Once the ride was over...  I had to get a picture to remember the day!  

After riding several times on Battle for Metropolis, we headed to explore the park!  Normally Broxton just wants to go to the Kid Section, but this time Big Brother talked him into checking out Superman. That was the first ride of coasters for the day.  

They ended up riding pretty much every ride there that day!
 Savannah was there too and had a great time riding the rides in Bugs Bunny Boomtown!

More about Battle for Metropolis:
Engaging in a full-sensory journey on JUSTICE LEAGUE: Battle for Metropolis, guests will battle alongside BATMAN™, SUPERMAN™, WONDER WOMAN, THE FLASH and GREEN LANTERN against Lex Luthor, The Joker and his henchmen. The interactive attraction features:

·         A 22,000 square foot HALL OF JUSTICE to house this full-sensory thrill ride;
·         A 4D ride experience with wind, fire, mist and fog effects, plus life-like animatronic characters;
·         Non-stop action, as the JUSTICE LEAGUE Reserve Team travels through laughing gas and flames in 11 high-intensity scenes;
·         One of the first-ever virtual loops, giving riders the feeling of going head-over-heels;
·         High definition 3D animation that fully immerses riders inside the city of Metropolis;
·         All-new, Unreal 4 Gaming engine; and
·         6-passenger vehicles with multi-degrees-of-freedom to transport riders through all the exciting twists and turns.

Help Your Child Avoid Summer Tantrums with These 5 Tips from Brain Balance

Help Your Child Avoid Summer Tantrums with These 5 Tips from Brain Balance:

Summer time is about fun and relaxing from school, at least it is in our house.  This summer we are changing things up a bit (in more ways than one, but that is neither here nor there.) My mom thought a great thing to do would be to make a "coupon book" for Broxton for different things to do over the summer. What all is included?  Well, there is movie night, bike rides, grilling, going to the library and more.  It has been fun for all of us and it keeps the "boring" days fun and even educational!  
So I partnered with Brain Balance —a drug-free, holistic approach to addressing the challenges of behavioral, social, or learning disabilities—to try some of their summer activities, and to share a little bit about their philosophy. And let me tell you, their activities actually work. I'm so excited to keep this momentum going into the summer! 
First, here's the context I learned from Brain Balance about why my children sometimes act up. We all know about the left and right halves of our brain—but did you know that the root cause of most learning, behavioral, and social difficulties is an imbalance between them? Left hemisphere dominant children are very detail oriented and logical, while right hemisphere dominant kids tend to be more emotional. It's because of this imbalance that programs that combine sensory motor stimulation, academic stimulation, and nutrition can correct brain imbalance and ultimately improve achievement. The activities are great for children without difficulties, too! 
Here are some of those Brain Balance summer tips I told you about:  
Activities that involve active physical motion help children to read with greater comprehension and retain more information. Enjoy the spring sun by taking your child on an outdoor gallery walk, or take the fun indoors to an exploration-style, hands-on museum. Additionally, children should maintain a daily practice of prescribed left/right brain stimulating activities, including primitive reflex, core, and eye exercises. 
Routines keep children grounded—and they are especially necessary during breaks, when the regular school schedule goes out the window. Let your child have input into their schedule—it will give them agency and make them feel empowered. 
Sugar-free, processed-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free foods bring tremendous benefit to your child's overall health and development. Spending time as a family cooking together also allows everyone to enjoy discovering healthy eating through a fun and engaging activity. It's also a great idea to let your child do simple activities like measuring ingredients, dividing up portions, and reading recipes. This reinforces their reading and math skills without making them feel intimidated. Plus, it helps you with dinner!
Let me tell you about what these tips did for my children...
Turns out, my children love activities! I tried taking them to museums, on walks... activities I never thought they'd try. And while they were a little iffy about my ideas the first couple of times, they ended up really enjoying the new experiences! The more they tried, the more they were willing to do in the future. 
They loved getting out of the house, but I was also surprised to learn that they really enjoyed helping me with in-house activities, like dinner. These activities don't "feel" like learning, but I noticed my children were practicing skills they'd normally hate (like reading and math) with pleasure. I tricked them into learning, and it felt great! While I loved that they were learning, I know that they loved getting to eat all their creations—so it's a win-win.
It feels so good to turn summer into another opportunity to keep my children engaged, and I'm excited to try more of Brain Balance's summer tips. 
Not sure whether your child has a right- or left-brain weakness? Check out this simple online assessment to gain some preliminary insight into your child's functional strengths and weaknesses.
Brain Balance Achievement Centers are located all over the USA, just click the link to find one near you.
Would you like to get more summer activities straight from the source? Check out Brain Balance.
How do you plan to make your child's summer productive? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
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