Reviews, giveaways and memes - Jumpin Beans

29.1.11

The Path We Share by Lois Hjelmstad - Book Review


Okay, so we all know that Valentine's Day is slowly approaching...
Do you buy gifts for your Valentine?
I remember growing up that I would wake up and my mom and dad would have a heart shaped box of chocolates and a card for me...
Every single year!
Although I was not the nicest one growing up...
My mom still loved me, although I know she did not always like me.

Well, if you are one to buy gifts, but you want to get something a bit off the "traditional route"...
I want to share one of my finds for a great gift!

A book.
Not just any book, but a book of triumph, trials and most of all, LOVE.
In my opinion, this is a great book to give to any woman in your life.
The back of the book says it would be great for a new bride, but I think it extends way more than that!
I loved that this book starts at the beginning of their journey and shares with us all of the roads they traveled down... Literally.

Lois was 16 when she met her future.
He was 24.
She KNEW she would marry him... and that was after their third date!
Lois was a writer, so throughout the book of their story, we also get to read the poems that she quickly jotted down as the events happened.

I was sad to learn of the struggles of "The Plan" they had made..
but I was so happy to see that through it all, their love grew.

Even when they began to question things...
Their struggles proved that love would come through.

The simple things, like their ice creams at McDonald's put a smile on my face as I would have loved to have been one of the patrons, as I am sure their love always beamed like the ray of sunshine they managed to always sit in!
Their 4 children are very lucky to have been able to witness a love, 60 years and going strong!

I admit, I felt sorry for the Hjelmstad's at times...
Then, I felt bad for feeling sorry.
It just seemed like they had so many struggles that I would question where their strength came from...
Then, I would realize, it was their love that was always their strength through it all.
Not only did they have struggles in the beginning, when most new couples would give up...
Just when things were looking better, in the later years of their marriage...
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome appeared...
Later followed by breast cancer.
Not only did this make their love stronger, they were able to serve a greater purpose to others...
Lois and her husband, Les, began travelling and speaking...
Sharing their life experience's with this cancer with others..
Those in the medical field as well as those that facing cancer themselves...

I loved this book, I cried, I smiled...
But most of all, I cherished it...
Knowing that the divorce rate is so high these days, it makes me smile to see a detailed history of a love 60 years and going strong!
(Now, if I could only get my grandparents to write their history down for me! )

As I said, with Valentine's Day approaching, give the gift of love...
This would be a wonderful book to give:

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

27.1.11

Aloha Friday - # 70


Welcome to this week’s edition of Aloha Friday. In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day that we take it easy and look forward to the weekend. So I thought that on Fridays I would take it easy on posting, too.

Therefore, I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response.


My question to you:
Do you watch American Idol? Have you in the past?

My answer:
I have watched off and on for years...
I did watch each week when a friends friend was on there... (Michael Johns)
I did however start watching this year...
Did you see the night with Chris Medina?
If not, look HERE.


Also, will you help me out?
I am hosting a giveaway for 4 tickets to Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus - IN ATLANTA
I would love it if you would tweet it to your followers, this is to good not to have someone win!
Thanks:

Please RT Atlanta? Enter to# win 4 Tix to Barnum's Funundrum#giveaway@Jumpinbeans09 @PhilipsArena http://tinyurl.com/4n7sltw

Feel free to tweet about the Parents Palooza tickets to :) - Also in Atlanta...

Want to #win tickets @ParentsPalooza in Atlanta? You can enter @jumpinbeans09 to #win http://tinyurl.com/4pj9qef


THANK YOU :)

I hope you saw - American Idol - Chris Medina

Did you see American Idol last night?
OH. MY. GOODNESS.
I cried...
Yes, it was great...
This shows TRUE LOVE

Hope you have your tissue handy if you have not seen it...
(Although I cry everytime I see it... )


Swing Sets = Love ... At Least It Seemed That Way

Working with CSN and sharing all their stores with you has shown me that I can pretty much buy anything from them... and in doing so, I can know that I will have great customer service. My product will arrive on time and in great condition!
So, imagine my surprise when I found out that CSN also carries swing sets for kids!!!!

Now, I know I have blogged about my brother from time to time...
But, this was just too great to pass up!
Let me tell you a great story about him...
(When he was younger... and when he loved his big sister!)
Stay with me... You will see where this is going in regards to CSN...

So, I finished the first two years of college at a very small arts school...
I was moving to Atlanta to finish a 4 year degree...
We had mostly everything we needed...
But, we still needed a washer and dryer.

Well, that sweet kid brother of mine...
He traded his swing set for a washer and dryer!
Granted, he was getting a bit to big for it, but still...
I thought it was sweet, family friends of ours wanted a swing set for their kids...
We needed a washer and dryer...
Great trade!
I am not sure he even remembers doing it...
But still...
Sweet brother, what happened to him? LOL
Now, he's the college kid...
and I love messing with him!
Wonder if I can get him to buy Broxton a swing set for kids from CSN when we finally get our house?!

This is their deal of the week right now, and it is perfect for whenever we get a house!
What do you think?
It also somewhat reminds me of the swing set / washer dryer deal as well!!!!


26.1.11

Atlanta Parents Palooza Giveaway

Remember when I shared with you about the Atlanta Palooza?
Well, I just wanted to let you know that one lucky reader is going to win a 4 pack of tickets!
Yes!!!!
How fun?

Think about it!
One of you can win FOUR tickets to come and spend the day!
What all is going on?
Well............

For starters...
Those of you that like to win prizes will have a hey day!
They have all sorts of giveaways going on...

Just a few companies sponsoring different giveaways:

~ Carousel Designs
~ Kokopax
~ Kushies
~ Medieval Times
~ Cobb Children's Theater
~ Georgia Aquarium

Worried that your little one might not have a great time?
They also have tons of activities for the family to enjoy...

Just a handful of all the activities going on:
~ Rock Band Atlanta Event
~ Meet and Greet with Universal Pictures upcoming movie HOP
~Princess Story Time and Crown Crafts from Medieval Times
~ Game Truck
~ Radio Disney
~ Circus Camp
~ Tumblebus


For the Parents...
Lots of great Speakers/Workshops!

Some of the information you can learn about:
~ Baby Wearing : Benefits and Safety
~ How to Pay for College Without Going Broke
~ The Importance of Dating and Staying Connected to Your Partner

OF COURSE, DO NOT FORGET
PARENTS PALOOZA is HOSTED BY:
SLANGMAN


Now, who wants to win?!

What you will win:
4 Tickets to Parents Palooza

Mandatory Entry -
Leave a message telling me what you are looking forward to at Parents Palooza.

Extra Entries:
Leave a separate comment for EACH entry.
As well as user name for whichever entry means.
Follow my blog, publicly - 1 entry
Subscribe by email - 1 entry
Follow me on twitter - 1 entry
You can tweet 4 times a day (must be at least one hour apart) - 1 per tweet

Want to #win tickets @ParentsPalooza in Atlanta? You can enter @jumpinbeans09 to #win http://tinyurl.com/4pj9qef

Follow Parents Palooza on twitter - 2 entries
Like me on facebook - 1 entry
Sign up for the Parents Palooza newsletter - 3 entries

Contest will end February 12 at midnight.
Contest for US residents, 18 and older.
Random.org will select the winner. Winner will have 72 hours to respond to winning email or a new winner will be selected.

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



W/W - We Love to Color... and be Outside

Broxton loves to be outside...
Even when it is cold out...
So, not always a good thing...
When it is time to come in, he still wants to stay...
Always.
But, it is great that we can go and color on the porch!

He loves it... and we have to lay all the crayons on a piece of paper first...
Then, he lays down...
and we color...
I love it...
and love the time I get to spend with this sweet baby!
I think this is one of my favorite pictures of him!
I love this because it shows how he has to lay out and color!!

Happy Wednesday all!!!!

Easy Meal for the family...

My friend Sara over at All In an Iowa Mom's Day posted a recipe for Pizza Casserole.
I saved it because I knew it looked EASY and like something that would go over well in this house.

We made it...
and boy, it is good...
but it makes a ton!

So, if you are making for 2 and a toddler that eats random meals...
This is going to give leftovers... or a freezer meal for down the road.

If you are making it for a house of hungry children...
Such as when the boys are here...
This is perfect!

I was going to add a salad to go with it, but this was plenty and I had no room left over!
LOL

Thanks Sara!


RATUKI!!!!! Fun game with lots of laughs

Now that the holidays are over and people have settled back down into some what of a routine...
Well, you know, minus the whole Ice Storm and Winter Weather shutting things down...
Any who...

Keep game night alive and the fun flowing!
We were able to review Ratuki over the holidays...
The boys LOVED it!

Over and over again, they would ask...
Can we play Ratuki?!
It was so easy and fun...

I played at first, but Broxton did not like feeling left out!
So, I played with Broxton and the boys played the game.

Just what is Ratuki?
Well, it is just the fastest, most fun card game out right now!

You see, each player gets their cards...
Then, you race to see who gets the top card and win the pile!
You see, there are the same number of "piles' as there are players...

Then, once the game starts..
The fun begins!
You have to pile cards in order...
You can place either the card before or after.
(If there is a 3, you can play a 2 or 4)
You go on until you get 5.
Then......
You slam it and yell
RATUKI!!!!!!

You win that pile and it starts again...
Wow...
Talk about fast...
and fun!

Add to it, the cards are not just numbered 1-5...
You have a "wild" RATUKI card.
You also have your "numbered" cards, but they might also have Dice, Roman Numerals, or a Hand!!!!

This is one that is sure to bring lots of fun!!!
(and as a card game, it is easy to take when you travel!)

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

25.1.11

The Circus is Coming! The Circus is Coming!!!!


I remember going to the circus when I was younger...
and I knew that whenever I became a mommy, I would want to take my little one as well.
It is just so fun!
The atmosphere!
It is just full of excitement and so much going on...
Like pure OVERLOAD for a child!

When Marc first returned from his deployment, there was a tiny travelling circus that came to my home town...
We tried to take Broxton, but it got rained out!
It just was not meant to be!
Imagine how excited I was to see that Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey were heading our way!
Not just any old circus...
This particular show is "200 years in the making."
Wow... Now, this should be fun! No pressure!

Also, I learned that an hour before show time, you can go for a "behind the scenes!"
Yes! They have an "All Access PreShow!"
You can meet the performers!
Get autographs!
Learn the "tricks of the trade."
Take pictures!
Whew...

With all this excitement...
Who is ready to WIN TICKETS?!

What you will win:
4 tickets to the ATLANTA Barnum's FUNUNDRUM OPENING NIGHT!
February 17th at 7:30

How to enter:
Mandatory:
Just tell me, why are you wanting to go?
Pretty easy!
Leave me your email address so I can contact you if you are the winner!

Extra Entries:
Follow my blog (Publicly)- 1 entry
Subscribe by email (and verify) - 1 entry
Follow on Me on Twitter - 1 entry
Like Me on Facebook - 1 entry
Tweet Daily - 1 entry
Please RT Atlanta? Enter to# win 4 Tix to Barnum's Funundrum#giveaway @Jumpinbeans09 @PhilipsArena http://tinyurl.com/4n7sltw

Blog about this, linking back to this post - 5 entries

If you are not in this Area, I would LOVE it if you posted this on your blog, linking back here... You might have an Atlanta reader that I don't... By doing so, and leaving me a comment here... You will gain 5 entries into any ONE current OR future giveaway of your choice.

Contest will end Feb.7th at midnight.
Contest for US residents, 18 and older.
Random.org will select the winner.
Winner will have 24 hours to respond to winning email or a new winner will be selected.

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

Kidorable Wishes YOU a Happy Valentines Day!


Remember me showing you Broxton in his cute Kidorable jacket and boots?

Well, Kidorable wants your little Valentine to have warm (and absolutely ADORABLE) hands!
So, they are offering you a FREE pair of these loveable Heart Knit Gloves.
You know you want a pair for your Valentine!

How do you get them?
Just place an order at Kidorable for $20 or more...
(Jackets/Scarves/Boots, they have what you need to have your KID-ORABLE!)
Then, place the heart knit gloves in your cart.
Once you get to checkout...
Enter code:
LOVEYOU

THIS ENDS February 14th.


Pretty easy...
and what a cute reward!!

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


Cold Weather - Take care of your nose! Ocean Saline - Review


The weather outside is frightful...
Okay, I know you do not come here for me to sing.
But seriously, you know with all this cold weather...
That means you have your heat running...
That in turn dries out your nose...
SO.....................

Have you heard of Ocean Saline?
It is a NON Medicated SALINE Nose Spray.
I have had bad ear/nose/throat problems as long as I can remember...
Well, a few years ago, a doctor told me to make sure to always keep a thing of Saline Nose Spray for keeping my nose moist.
I buy some from time to time, but normally do not think about it until I am in pain.
Well, now I have Broxton.
:)
We keep Saline around for him..
You know, to clean his nose...
and to keep his nose moist while we have the heat on.
I really do not want him to ever suffer like I did!

Ocean Saline Spray comes in Premium.
This is the one I use...
It is to help moisturize my nose as well as helps with flu like symptoms.
(It doesn't hurt that the doctor recommended this brand!)

Ocean Saline Spray also comes for Kids!
As I stated a minute ago...
We use this on Broxton...
He doesn't seem to mind!

Now, they also have a Complete Sinus Irrigation...
Marc used this, I am not about to...
You can use this product to "flush and irrigate" or to "mist and moisturize."
LOL, people talk about it working wonderfully, but I just don't know.
I mean, the nose spray works for me!

Just remember, Ocean Saline Spray is what will help with this bitter cold hitting everyone right now! Keep that nasal passage taken care of! :)

You can follow them on facebook as well as twitter.

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


Random Thoughts


People have asked before, but why are there only 8 hot dog buns to a pack but there are 10 hot dogs in a pack?

Why can't all gas tanks be on the same side? I hate trying to remember what side for the car I am in...

Why do most apartments have their eating area's carpeted? It would be much easier if it wasn't carpet, then I wouldn't have to worry about stains as much.

Why do most apartment have peepholes on the doors, but you hardly see one on a door to a house?

Why does it seem like I can never find my sunglasses? I have two pair that have been missing for a bit & one that just recently became missing. ** Update on this... I had a NEW PAIR, that Broxton wanted to wear and then Marc stepped on and broke... So, the need for sunglasses continues!!

Why do some celebrities think they are better than everyone, yet they would not be famous without us everyday folks!

Just how much money is in one of those money trucks? Like, what is the highest amount and does it ever go completely empty?

Why are there some people that are so rich they could burn their money & never miss it, but we still have people that are homeless & kids that go to bed hungry?

Why was this Ted Williams able to have tons of jobs offered to him, but there are so many people still searching for jobs? What makes them not qualified?

Why is MTV all about showing everything BUT MUSIC TELEVISION these days?

What do I have to do to meet Ellen Degeneres? :)

Why is the UFC fight talking about "giving back to our military" and they are filming at Ft. Hood (Army Base) but all they keep showing is stuff for the Marines and Navy?


24.1.11

How do you floss? BrytonPick Review


My mom carries a little string of dental floss with her at all times.
We keep those pre-flossed toothpick things at home.
Recently we were able to review the BrytonPick Flosser.

I was a bit unsure at first, being that it was a thin piece of steel that I would be using.
Well, I of course had to try it...
It worked, after the initial nervousness wore off.
I mean, a little piece of steel?
Wouldn't it cut me?
Not if you are careful!
:)

I like that it is so small and that it comes with its own carry case!
Also, it is reusable, so it lasts for 30 days...
Less trash!
Oh... and talk about a great item for anyone you know with braces!
Take it from me...

You can not floss with braces...
Now you can!!!
Check it out...
BrytonPick
Go ahead and get a few for your whole house!!!!

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

Why Am I Always Behind? Boba Baby Carrier Review!

Marc and I wanted to get one of those baby carriers when Broxton was born.
I thought I would love being a baby wearing moms...
You know, throw the carrier on and go about my day, having Broxton snuggled up close to me?
Well, we could not find one that we liked that we thought would work.
Sure, we saw several of them, but they seemed rather pricey for just a piece of fabric.
Also, some did not seem like they would last long with us.
I mean, Broxton was a BIG baby...
That weight limit would surely be hit earlier than most!

Now, you know...
Since he is ALMOST two..
(Next month, don't remind me... It will make me cry)
We finally found THE CARRIER.
Hey! This is one that lasts...
Also, who says we can not go ahead and start planning for baby number 2?
Nope, not pregnant yet...
but I know what we will be using!
Boba Baby Carrier!

Let me tell you what I love about this...

One - The colors.
Very much neutral based...
Mommy and Daddy can BOTH wear it with no problems!

Two - The size.
I am a big girl. SURPRISE!
Yeah, I know... you thought I was a teeny tiny thing!
No, really...
This fits me!
Yes, ME! Most of these "one size fits most" don't fit "MOST" that I know..
This does!
It is a 28 inch waist belt that goes to 56 inches!
Like I said... most everyone can wear this!!!

Three- Baby Weight
It holds little ones up to 45 pounds!
Yes, you read that right...
45 pounds!

Four- Comfort
It is SUPER comfortable.
I had Marc wear it for the post pics.
(Just because I wanted to see how cute the two of them were together!)

Five - Price!
This bad boy is only $100.
I have seen them for much higher prices!

When I put it on, Broxton laughed and laughed.
Then, he decided that it was time to play with my hair!
Mental note, next time, no ponytail!
I don't blame him..
Who wants a ponytail in your face?!
Marc said it was just like a ruck sack in the Army.
He strapped it on and he and Broxton had a great time!
After a bit, I asked if he was ready to take it off...
He wasn't!
(At this point, I am still referring to Marc!)

The Boba Baby Carrier really is great!
Let me tell you more about it:
(Some of this might make you say, DUH! But for first timers, it is things like this that you do not think about at times... )

~You can wear your baby on your front or back.
~It has foot straps so that when you are walking around with your little one in back, he/she can have a place to put their feet to rest! (I for one don't like chairs that make my feet dangle, that's why they have those bars... same thing for this carrier... just put their feet in and you are good to go.) The foot rest straps are also adjustable, so it to can grow with your baby!
~You can easily put this on by yourself, you don't have to have someone help you strap them in!
~ There is a "baby sleeping hood!" Yep! A hood so that you can cradle their head while they sleep, once they wake up, just roll it back up and snap it in place, out of the way! ( It says you can also use the hood as a "nursing cover" as well as a protective barrier from sun/wind. I am telling you, they thought of it all!)
~ It is light and compact, so it is PERFECT for travel!

I am telling you...
I will be telling everyone about this!!!
If you do not have a carrier (and you have a little one)
BOBA BABY CARRIERS is THE answer!!!!

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.

Music Moves Me Monday - Van Tramp - Hope & Pray

I FINALLY remembered to link up for MMMM at XMAS DOLLY!!!!
It is Freebie week!!!!
So, to decide what I want to share...
This is Van Tramp - they are from England.
The lead singer is WONDERFUL!
I met him in NYC, he played in RENT.
Met him after the show, got to talking...
Ordered his CD ...
And the rest is history!!!
They have so many great songs!!!!!
(The whole cd is awesome!)


23.1.11

Chicken Soup - Family Matters - Review & Giveaway


Okay, so I have been reading all of the Chicken Soup Books lately...
I am so glad that I have the opportunities to share them with you!

I have not finished Chicken Soup for the Soul - Family Matters, YET...
But, I just had to go ahead and tell you about what could be my favorite story so far!

It is one of the first ones in the book.
(That is another thing I love about their books, you can skip around!)

Anyways, the story...
It is called The Optimist by Garrett Bauman.
This is one of those stories where you literally laugh OUT LOUD.
It is about a dad that has the horror story for everything...
Be careful of such and such, because this might happen...
You know what I mean?
Well, I laughed reading it...
So of course, I had to read it to Marc.
I had to stop several times because I was laughing so hard!
It was that funny...
Well, at least to me!


I hope there are more stories that funny!
Let me tell you about the book.

This is one of the latest Chicken Soup For The Soul Books.
It is Family Matters : 101 Unforgettable Stories about Our Nutty by Lovable Families.

As all of their books, it is also broken down into 10 Sections.
The sections are:
Forebear...ance
Relatively Embarrassing
Newlyweds and Oldyweds
Happily Ever Laughter
Family Fun
Relatively Strange
Kids Will Be Kids
On the Road
Not So Grave
The Serious Side


They even have a couple of the funny cartoons that always bring a smile to my face!
Of course, they even include the wonderful quotations before each story!
The one that I want to share with you...
The great gift of family life is to be intimately acquainted with people you might never even introduce yourself to, had life not done it for you. - Kendall Hailey


You want to win one for your own library collection, right?!

Mandatory Entry -
Tell me something ...
ANYTHING AT ALL :)
Also, leave your email address if not visible so that I can contact you if you are the winner.

Extra Entries -
Follow my blog, must be a public follower - 1 entry
Subscribe by email - 1 entry
Follow me on twitter - 1 entry
Follow Chicken Soup on twitter - 1 entry
You can tweet daily, linking back to this post - 1 entry per day

Enter to win @chickensoupsoul FAMILY Matters @jumpinbeans09 http://tiny.cc/rkjih

Follow me on Networked Blogs - 1 entry
Like my facebook page - 1 entry
Like Chicken Soup on facebook - 1 entry
Go to the Chicken Soup for the Soul website and tell me a book that you like - 1 entry
Comment on any REVIEW (non-giveaway) - 2 per review, limit 3
Comment on any personal post - 1 per comment, limit 3
Place my button on your blog, leave the link to where it is – 2 entries

Contest will end February 5 at midnight.
Contest for US and Canadian residents, 18 and older.
Random.org will select the winner.
Winner will have 72 hours to respond to winning email or a new winner will be selected.

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

 
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