Reviews, giveaways and memes - Jumpin Beans

8.10.11

Emerald Nuts: Breakfast on the Go teams up with Labels for Education

I reviewed Emerald Nuts: Breakfast on the Go in the past...
Remember, they were delicious!!!!

I just received an email letting me know that they have now teamed up with Labels for Education.
That was news that I just had to share!!!!

Here is the email I received:
With school in full swing it can be a struggle for families and students as they transition to the back-to-school routine. Getting up early, getting to class on time and going from school to activities can leave students in a time crunch.

As discovered in a survey from Emerald Breakfast on the go! - hunger strikes many people in the mid afternoon around 3:30 p.m., right around the time students are going from class to sports practice or after-school lessons.

Instead of grabbing something from the vending machine or stopping by a convenience store, kids can pack a convenient Breakfast on the go! pouch in a school bag to help those after school cravings.

Parents don't need to worry about kids trying to prepare their after school snack by themselves because Breakfast on the go! is conveniently packaged with Emerald nuts, crunchy granola clusters and dried fruit, giving kids the energy they need to make it through activity-filled afternoons.

And, while Breakfast on the go! helps fuel up kids outside the classroom, Breakfast on the go! can help kids in the classroom, too.

Emerald Nuts has paired with Labels for Education to provide free educational resources like art supplies, technology and playground equipment to schools across the country. Starting with the Campbell family of brands, Labels for Education partners with more than 40 brand products like Pop Secret and now Emerald Nuts. Breakfast on the go! is worth 10 points, the highest point value.

Kids can benefit from Breakfast on the go!, whether it's an energy-packed snack or a way to help out their school.



***** I was not required to post this, I just like that they have teamed up with Labels for Education and I wanted to make sure you knew as well!*****

Carving Pumpkins 101



Are you ready for Halloween?
Broxton has been seeing Caillou talk about Halloween and now that is all he says..
"Trick or Treat" "Halloween" over and over..

Marc has always loved carving pumpkins and last year he and Broxton worked on one together.
I guess this is a tradition that they will have each year.
With such a creative tradition, we need the proper tools!

Did you know that Pumpkin Masters has been at it for a bit and is celebrating 25 years?!
To celebrate their 25th Anniversary, Pumpkin Masters introduced a couple new items to their lineup and we were lucky enough to get to review them!!!!
To start with, we opened up the All In One Carving Kit.
This has the poker, the scooper, the cutter, crayon, stickers a light and patterns!!!
They weren't lying when they said all in one!!!!

Marc and Broxton started working on the pumpkin:
Broxton helped daddy scoop it all out:
While they worked on that, I started looking for a fun pattern for them to work on.
I noticed that they had a "level" up top so that you knew what you were working with:
Daddy hard at work on carving the pumpkin:
Finished result:
(Daddy ended up carving 2 different designs! One side is the ghost, that you see in the front, the other is the "silly monster" you see in the mirror reflection. Also, notice Broxton's face!!!)
Included in the All In One Carving Kit is a bunch of fun stickers to put on your pumpkins, as well as eyes and teeth. Broxton thought it was more fun to play with them, so they did not make it to the pumpkin!


Pumpkin Masters also has reflective stickers.
We put some on the trick or treat container that Broxton will be using.
I also plan on putting them on his costume!
They have 4 different colored stickers in one pack:
Yellow, Silver, Blue and Green
The stickers are pumpkins, bats, moons, witches hats, all sorts of Halloween themes!

They also sent us a light that goes IN the pumpkin.
Safer than a candle, but since we did not have the batteries for it, we just used a candle to show you in the pictures!

If you visit the Pumpkin Masters Site, you can download free pumpkin carving patterns.
Also, if you like Pumpkin Masters on Facebook, they have more patterns just for their fans!!

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.

#HolidayGiftGuide - @countrybobs Cookbook Review


There is no denying that we really enjoyed the Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce that we were able to review. You can read my Country Bobs Review if you would like.

I have been trying to think of great gift idea's for my family and I thought a cookbook would be a great idea for my brother.
I was so excited when the Country Bobs Cookbook arrived, as I knew this was going to be a great gift for him! It is filled with delicious sounding recipes...
But, it is also filled with scripture. (If you remember, "Christ is our CEO" is their motto!)
This cookbook has 4 sections:
Appetizers, Soups and Snacks
Grilling
Main Dishes
Desserts


I am not even going to lie...
After looking in this book, I am ready to grab a grill and make their poor man's fillet right this minute!!! It just sounds that good, to the point that I had to read it out loud to Marc!!!
We will be trying this when we visit my parents!!! (My dad loves to grill!)

From Meatloaf to Shrimp Scampi...
This book seems to have a bit of yummy goodness for everyone.
Looking for a meal with veggies?
Use their recipe for grilled cauliflower!!!

The recipes are simple enough that even I can make them, and best of all...
They use the Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce!
(Like I really even needed a reason!)

I do have to say, it is an odd combination...
but, it works. (Odd in a great way!)
Really, I wouldn't expect to pick up a cookbook with Scripture in it,
Just like I wouldn't expect to pick up a Bible with a cookbook in it.
But, it is this unexpected surprise that makes it that much more than "just a cookbook."

If you are looking for a great gift to give the cook in your life...
While also spreading the message of salvation...
This book is the perfect gift.
I love how it shares His Message, but also gives food recipes.
Nothing better than feeding our soul and our bellies at the same time!

Please follow Country Bobs on Facebook and 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.

Tree Of Life DVD #Giveaway


Enter To Win a Copy of This Exclusive Blu-ray Combo Pack
Available October 11

Bring home acclaimed writer/director Terrence Malick’s (Badlands, Days of Heaven, The Thin Red Line, The New World) thought provoking film experience THE TREE OF LIFE, available exclusively on Blu-ray Disc Combo Pack October 11 from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.

Through stunning cinematography and raw emotional power Malick’s hymn to life excavates answers to the most haunting and personal human questions through a kaleidoscope of the intimate and the cosmic, from the raw emotions of a family in a small Texas town to the wildest, infinite edges of space and time, from a boy’s loss of innocence to a man’s transforming encounters with awe, wonder and transcendence.

Under Malick’s careful direction THE TREE OF LIFE showcases complicated and haunting powerhouse performances by Academy-Award® nominee Brad Pitt (Fight Club), Academy Award® winner Sean Penn (Milk, Mystic River) and newcomer Jessica Chastain (The Help).

MANDATORY ENTRY:

Simply answer the following question:
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Terrence Malick cast which newcomer in this film?

  • Emilia Clarke

  • Jessica Chastain

  • Elizabeth Olsen


Extra Entries:
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Follow Jumpin Beans, must be public - 1 entry
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Contest will end October 29 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.

Company Reviewed is Responsible for fulfillment of prize. Jumpin Beans Blog will not be held liable. We will make every effort possible to ensure prize fulfillment.

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.

7.10.11

10 Retailers that Support Breast Cancer Awareness

10 Retailers that Support Breast Cancer Awareness

By Andrea Woroch

If every month of the year was assigned a color, then pink would surely belong to October. Breast Cancer Awareness Month turns even the manliest organizations (think National Football League) into pink-laden landscapes, all in support of breast cancr research.

One way consumers can show their support is by shopping for the cause. Many popular retailers and brands are currently offering products with some or all of the proceeds going to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. For a more comprehensive list of participants, consult the organization's Corporate Partners page.

1. Yoplait
As the National Series Presenting Sponsor of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, Yoplait's signature pink lids are one of the most visible reminders of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. With their Save Lids to Save Lives campaign, the yogurt manufacturer will donate 10 cents for each pink lid received.

2. Belk
Belk is one of Susan G. Komen for the Cure's nine highest-level sponsors and have committed to donating $3 million in three years. One of their featured brands, Ralph Lauren, also contributes 10 percent of the proceeds from their Pink Pony line to breast cancer awareness.

3. Dallas Cowboys
Speaking of the NFL, the Dallas Cowboys show their support by sporting pink accessories such as gloves and shoes during October games. Their "I Promise" campaign encourages players, fans and others to raise awareness and donate funds to the fight against breast cancer. The cause is especially dear to linebacker Bradie James, who lost his mother to the disease in 2001.

4. Ford
The all-American car manufacturer shows its softer side with the Warriors in Pink campaign. Launched in 2006 as a 365-day commitment to the cause, the campaign contributes to Ford's national sponsorship of Race for the Cure. Apparel and accessories are available to women, men and kids, with 100 percent of net proceeds going to the cause.

5. Kitchenaid
This year, Kitchenaid celebrates 10 years of fundraising for Susan G. Komen, having already raised over $8 million with its Cook for the Cure campaign. In addition to their Pink Product Collection, Kitchenaid has a special 10th Anniversary stand mixer for the compassionate cook.

6. Mobile Edge
Through their Caring Case Collection, Mobile Edge offers stylish laptop totes with pink accents, including the symbolic breast cancer ribbon. Ten percent of the Collection's sales go to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. This month, Mobile Edge is offering a free shipping code and complimentary water bottle with each Caring Case Collection purchase.

7. Nordstrom
As part of the Nordstrom Fits America campaign, the high-end retailer provides complimentary bra fittings from certified experts for women nationwide. Nordstrom will also donate $1 of every bra purchased at fittings, with participating bra manufacturers also pitching-in $1.

8. American Airlines
American Airlines' commitment to the fight against breast cancer is exemplified by its 23-year partnership with Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Their AA Komen Gift Cards, Miles for the Cure, Fly for the Cure and AA Celebrity Golf and Tennis Weekend are just some of the programs offered by the airline.

9. Sephora
Sephora's Beauty That Gives Back campaign offers pink-ribbon products from several brands, each committed to donating a portion of proceeds to raising awareness for breast cancer. Some of the top brands participating include Clinique, Shiseido and Ole Henriksen. Pay nothing for delivery when you spend over $50 and use Sephora free shipping codes from sites like FreeShipping.org.

10. Caribou Coffee
Roastmaster Amy Erickson, who died at the age of 33 from breast cancer, is the inspiration behind Caribou Coffee's Amy's Blend Collection. Ten percent of retail sales from the Collection's gourmet coffee and tea, as well as mugs and other accessories, go directly to the cause.

###

Andrea Woroch is a consumer and money-saving expert for Kinoli Inc. She has been featured among top news outlets such as Good Morning America, NBC's Today, New York Times, CNNMoney and many more. She is available for in-studio, satellite or skype interviews and to write guest posts or articles.


***** This is not a sponsored post or anything, just trying to do my part.*****

#holidaygiftguide - Easy Freezer Meals Review


With the holidays, that normally means being busy.
Busy going to parties, busy shopping, busy hosting people.
Busy, Busy, Busy!

Making great tasting meals isn't always on the top of the list...
Not for any reason except for running out of time.
At least time seems to get away from us quite often.

That being said, I was excited for the opportunity to share a great book with you!
The Complete Idiot's Guide has a solution for those nights!
Whether it is due to shopping or due to games.
No matter the case, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Easy Freezer Meals is one that you should have with all of your other cookbooks!

Think about it..
Take one day and dedicate it to cooking several meals.
Then, when you are rushed for time...
Or sick...
Or just really don't feel like cooking...
You can grab a meal already made and dinner is done!!!!

We haven't started making the different meals in here, but I am glad that we have this book.
(Meals will come soon, just as soon as I get the dishes to cook them in!)

As with the Complete Idiot's Guide...
It is an easy read.
For me, that means it will get read!

There are 18 Chapters:
1- Freezing 101
2- Tools of the Trade
3- Shopping and Cooking Strategies
4- Cook for a Weekend, Eat for a Month
5- Traditional Breakfasts
6- Outside-the-Box Breakfasts
7- Appealing Appetizers
8- Satisfying Snacks
9- Let's Do Lunch
10- Soups and Stews
11- Meaty Mains
12- Poultry Pleasers
13- Sensational Seafood
14- Eat Your Vegetables
15- Breads and Grains
16- Sauces and Accompaniments
17- Cakes, Cobblers and Pies
18- More Delicious Desserts

Now, let me try and explain WHY I like this so much...

For starters, they explain the "science of freezing" to get the best results...
(Also explaining what freezes well and what doesn't!)
Next up, they help you with "maximizing your grocery budget" and "holiday strategies."

Now, say you have guests and they are spending a couple nights with you..
Sure, you can serve cereal, go out for breakfast, skip it completely...
OR - have a couple freezer meals made and just pop it in instead of having to wake up and cook!
From Breakfast Burritos to French Toast Casserole.
They have several to choose from.
This is actually a great section for making breakfast (burritos, muffins, sandwiches) that would be perfect for before school/work breakfasts daily!

Speaking of guests or even school..
The appetizers and snacks section had my mouth watering!
They have several options there that would make feeding whomever gets hungry just what they need to satisfy their hunger!
Shrimp Wontons to Pizza Bites, just to get you thinking!

With mealtime, you have options from your seafood to your poultry.
Veggies to breads...
They really have it all in here.
All that is left is for you to start cooking and start getting prepared!

Say you have unexpected dinner guests...
Just pop a freezer meal in and go mingle while it cooks!!!!

I think this is a great book and I am really excited to start testing out the recipes!
(By the way... this is a perfect book for PORTION CONTROL! Dieting? Try this out and it might help in the over eating area!)

Keep up with The Complete Idiots Guide on Facebook.

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.

6.10.11

"Are You Ready for Some FOOTBALL?!"

Okay, so maybe that isn't the right title I should have gone with...
Giving all the attention with it right now, but still..
When I think of Football, I think of that!
Hey, I did work in a sports bar for 10 years...

Moving on...
Are you a lover of NFL or are you more of an NCAA fan?
I personally love College Ball.
I think it might have something to do with the fact that I was born and raised in Bulldog Nation!
I don't think I need to elaborate... but, just in case..
Dad went to UGA, brother is at UGA... Broxton is being steered in that direction already!
Ha ha!!!

Anyways!
Game day for us means snacking...
No matter what time the game is, I just do not think you can watch football and not snack!
Can you? Maybe you can, but I can't.

Being that football season is just starting...
Okay, so not just starting, but not over either!
Come on, you know what I mean!

Now is the time to think about a bit healthier snacking options!
Here are a few for you to consider:

Craisins Original Dried Cranberries:
Surprise your taste buds with the sweet, delicious taste of Craisins® Dried Cranberries. Made with real fruit and good as a snack or in a recipe, they’re naturally fat-free and cholesterol-free. Plus, they’re a good source of fiber and 1/3 cup is equal to a serving of fruit.

Smart For Life Protein Bars:
Eliminates post-exercise hunger, so you gain muscle not fat. Supports healthy cardiovascular function, helps promote weight loss, boosts metabolism and controls hunger.

Medifast Cheese Puffs:
These sweet and savory products will tempt taste buds and keeps you feeling full plus they offer a daily requirement of 24 vitamins and minerals!

Hint Water:
Staying hydrated, refreshed and in shape is a must, which is why HINT Water is offering great flavors like Strawberry-Kiwi, Mango-Grapefruit and Pomegranate-Tangerine without adding those extra calories.


To keep enjoying football and eating healthier...
One lucky winner is going to win a goodie box with the above products!!!!

Mandatory Entry:
Leave me a comment telling me your favorite dish for game night.
(Please leave email address if not visible in your profile.)

Extra Entries:
Follow Jumpin Beans, must be a public follower - 2 entries
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Tweet about this giveaway - 1 per tweet, can tweet once per day
Enter to #win a goodie box of healthy snacks #giveaway @jumpinbeans09
http://tinyurl.com/3o9flye ends 10/30

Contest will end October 30 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.

Company Reviewed is Responsible for fulfillment of prize. Jumpin Beans Blog will not be held liable. We will make every effort possible to ensure prize fulfillment.

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.

Travel the World in your living room - We Did

Obviously, we can not jet set around the world...
Money doesn't allow for it, nor does Marc's schedule.
Not to mention 3 of the boys are in school.
Plus, even if we had the chance to travel, that doesn't mean that we would learn about a day in the life of someone from a different area.

That being said, we really want to know more about other cultures and how they live.
I was so happy that we were able to review two DVD's that were released last month!
The first we chose to watch was Families Of Germany.
I was really excited about this and they did not disappoint!
First of all, it was neat that we got to see "their world" through the eyes of a child!
Each video shows two different families.
One from a rural area and the other from an urban area.
We learned that with all kids, they have English as one of their courses.
I think that the thing I loved most about the German video was learning about their "conversation bikes!"
That would be so neat to see here, basically it is a bike where several people peddle.
But, there is only one person steering, so you can all face inwards (like a circle) and carry on a conversation while travelling to your destination!

Germany

Synopsis

In Families of Germany, meet seven-year-old Sophia from the village of Reimershausen, who lives with her parents, sister Johanna and brother Simon. After a breakfast of bread, cheese and jam made from the fruit in their garden, she is off to school where she and her 19 classmates study English and biology among other subjects. Sophia studies guitar after school when she’s not helping out at a neighbor’s farm where twice a week she feeds cows and collects eggs from the chickens. Following dinner, she heads back to school for crafts and skits. During the weekend her family eats breakfast together, then enjoys activities – this particular weekend they are celebrating St. Martin’s Day, visiting Marburg Castle and attending her sister’s choral concert. A bedtime story from mom and dad and it’s off to sleep!

Ole is ten years old and lives in the capital city of Berlin with his parents, two brothers and two tortoises. It’s Halloween, so we get to tag along as Ole carves pumpkins, prepares treats for his neighbors before taking two trains to spend the day uptown, where we see conversation bikes, Segues and tour boats on the river. Upon their return, they head out for some trick-or-treating. The next day it’s back to school where Ole studies English and math while his dad, an engineer, works at a jet plane factory and mom teaches at an animal museum. After school it’s time for homework and dinner before heading off to handball practice. It’s been a long day, so bedtime is a welcome event!


After watching the German one, we were intrigued to learn about the Families of the Philippines.
I hate to say it, but I never really knew much about the Philippines at all.
I mean, I have heard of it, but that was about it!
Watching this video, I have to tell you...
The Philippines are on my list as to a place I would LOVE to travel to!
Yeah, I had no clue that the Philippines were made of like 7,000 islands!
Once again, we get to watch a "day in the life of" through the eyes of two totally different children.
One child lives with his grandparents and goes to a school with over 10,000 kids!
What?!
The neat thing about his life was seeing that after school he stops by an "arcade" where he puts money in and then looks up things on you tube!
The other we follow is a girl that lives in the city.
She says that they all wear name tags to help the teachers identify them.
Talk about crazy!!!
I have never been in a school that big, not even college!
Also, at her house..
Her mom shops for fresh fruit and veggies daily.
I wonder how much they spend on food like that!

Philippines

Synopsis

In Families of Philippines, meet 13-year old Khim, a boy who lives on the rural island of Cebu with his grandparents, aunt and her two children. Living close to the coast, see the dozens of outrigger boats Khim points out as he explains how the fisherman collect the fish that he and his family eat nearly every night. Awaking early in the morning from his sleeping mat, Khim bathes, eats, and then makes the 10-minute walk to his public school, which boasts over 10,000 students. On the way home from school, he stops in the local video arcade to play games with his friends. Later at home, he completes his chores, which include feeding their goats, collecting firewood and cooking the rice for dinner.

Shahani, 7, lives in the capital city of Manila, a thriving city boasting many modern skyscrapers. Living with her mom, dad and older sister, the early riser (5 a.m.!), gets help from mom getting started in the morning before she’s off to school, where she wears a name tag to help the teachers with the over 5,000 students. During the 10 months she attends school, she studies English among other subjects. Mom shops for fresh fish and vegetables every day while Dad works as a children’s costumed birthday party entertainer and also teaches dance, which Shahani also studies (and excels – she won a local competition and was featured on television). Enjoying adobo stew for dinner and mango for desert, she and her sister welcome friends over in the evening for games and fun, then it’s off to bed for rest before her big test the next day!

It was really neat watching and seeing how different their lives all are in comparison to ours!
Oh, not to mention, the school...
I hate to say it, but seeing how focused they are on teaching other languages at such EARLY ages, that just goes to show yet another reason why kids from other area's seem to excel in education compared to the USA at times.

It was also pretty neat to watch and see how we are similar with other area's, but also how we are so different!
This is for sure a couple videos that we will show the boys when they come to visit!
Marc even enjoyed watching them, so you know they were good!!!

With him being in Afghanistan for a bit, I really think it would be neat to see the Families of Afghanistan video. He says it is COMPLETELY different from anything I have ever seen.
Quite honestly, I would love to watch them all, but Afghanistan and the United Kingdom are the two I want to see next!!!!

You can watch their You Tube Video Channel and learn as well.


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.

#holidaygiftguide - @GelThotics - For the One that Has it ALL




When trying to come up with a great gift idea, I try to think outside the box.
I want it to be something that they will use, not just something to open that was under the tree and then get shoved to the back of the closet.

I have mentioned before that Marc has to wear boots like all the time.
For work - work boots.
For drill - combat boots.
See a familiar thing here?

I was looking online for great gift idea's for men when I thought about Marc and his boots.
So, I reached out and contacted Kendall GelThotics to see if we might be able to host a review and let you know about them as well.
As you can see, they said yes!!!!

What are Kendall GelThotics?
They are SILICONE GEL shoe inserts.
Being silicone, they will never breakdown. Also, it says that they will not retain moisture or odor!!! That is just too many great things for me!!!!
FROM THEIR SITE:
GelThotics® SupportXGel Inserts combine optimal
therapeutic support and shock absorption with performance enhancement to relieve and prevent foot pain. The unique cobra-shaped design fits under the existing insole and into the limited space of the shoe without changing the fit.
This minimal design in combination with revolutionary,exclusive SupportXGel ensures the greatest degree of support available without a prescription.

Let me just get to it...
The box came and we immediately tore into it.
I was just as excited as Marc, as I hate that his feet hurt so much.
Speaking of which...
Umm, have you ever touched the inside of a combat boot?
No worries, I hadn't until the other day!
Those things are hard as rocks.
As in, I felt like I was knocking on concrete!
We put the GelThotics in and Marc was already talking about the fact that they would not work for him, as they moved as soon as he went to put his shoe on.
So, we got the tennis shoes out...
Same thing!

Then, we did the unspeakable!
WE - READ- THE - PACKAGE!!!
(Note, Marc is not one to read the boxes or directions or anything... )
At that point, our answers were solved!
DUH!!!
You put the GelThotic UNDER your shoe insert!
Talk about making a huge difference.

Now, you take your shoe insert out...
Place the GelThotic in your shoe.
Place the shoe insert OVER it...
and you are good to go!
Marc spoke of how they did provide a bit of cushioning on his feet after having drill...
He was trying to break in a brand new pair of boots, so he has blisters on the tops of his feet now.
I think that we have determined that these GelThotics will be for his running shoes.
I personally like them, as I felt that they gave me a bit of arch support that I really need!

*** For those of you that wear high heels / dress shoes... These work perfect for you! ***
So, if you are looking to supply comfort to a friend or loved one... (or even yourself!) ... this would make a great gift for that hard to buy for on your list!


Follow Kendall GelThotics on Facebook and 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.

5.10.11

My Top 10 Tips for Holiday Planning

With the Holidays sneaking up on us faster and faster...
I guess it is time to start planning!

So, let me know ... How do you do it? Do you write lists and mark things off or do you just wing it all the way through? I used to just sort of go with the flow... but these days, lists seem to be a best friend of mine!!!
That being said, my Top 10 tips to holiday planning are as follows:
(Please feel free to add to my list, as I know I will forget some things!)

Number 10 - Go ahead and start getting idea's for gifts. That includes writing my list of who all I need to buy for. Budget out how much we will spend on gifts and then start watching sales advertisements and comparing prices between stores.
I make sure to write this down in pencil, as gift ideas change and you may need to add names to the list.

Number 9 - Enjoy spending time with my family. As the hustle and bustle of the holidays are supposed to be for enjoying your family, sometimes things get so rushed, you have always got to have time for family.

Number 8 - Buy wrapping paper / gift bags/ gift tags. I like to wrap as I go. That way, it isn't waiting to be discovered. Not to mention if you wrap a few here and there, it isn't such a big task as having to wrap everything at one time.
That being said, I also use a wrapping system.
Gifts that are going to be taken out of town go in a totally different wrapping paper than the ones that are to be opened at home. Also, Broxton has fun "kid" wrapping paper to distinguish his from the other gifts. I like the different wrapping paper technique as you can scour all the ones left under the tree to make sure the "out of town wrapped" gifts are not left there before you head out.

Number 7- Start that holiday card list. You know what I mean! I have mentioned before that I love Christmas cards! I work and work on my list to make sure everyone is included. I get my address book out, write down my list. Make sure it matches to the correct address... I double check to make sure I have not forgotten anyone.

That leads me to Number 6 - Decide on what type of cards you want to go with. Do you just buy a box from the store? If you are looking for stylish holiday cards, be sure to head on over and check out Storkie Chirstmas Cards!
Now that I have a family, I love the whole idea of the photo cards and this one sums it up!
If photo cards aren't what you are looking for, they have several other options, you just need to visit their site and see what all they have available!
Number 5- Figure out your plans... Are you going to be out of town for several days? Is your house the meeting place? Are you the host/hostess? These are great questions that you need to figure out soon! If you are going to be out of town for a few days, you need to see about someone watching over things for you. I always hear that the holidays are when people like to rob houses the most... As they know there are lots of presents and that people travel. Speaking of travel, make travel arrangements! Book flights, book your hotels / rental cars... whatever you need. And write it all down where you can easily find it with your confirmation numbers.

Number 5 leads me to Number 4- If you are going to be hosting people, you need to make sure you have the house decorated the way you want it. Not only the decorations, what about the dishes and what not to serve on? Also, are you cooking everything, or are different people going to be bringing different items? I say invite family and friends over for a decorating party... That way you have help and its fun! As for cooking, I would ask for everyone to bring a dish or two... as we all know I am not a great cook and I can admit it!

Number 3 comes from the questions of Number 4 - If you are cooking everything, when are you cooking and what are you cooking? There are several food items that you can prepare in advance, so that you are not left trying to cook everything the night before. As I already mentioned, you do not want to be rushing to get things done to the point that the fun times of the holidays are not taken advantage of.

Number 2 - Make sure you have a great camera. Or at least batteries that are fully charged. Or charge up your camera. Whatever way makes sure that when perfect photo memories come along, you are ready to capture them! If you don't have a decent camera, put it on your list!

Number 1- Enjoy family. Yes, I know I mentioned it before... But it really is important. Start traditions... Make new traditions. Continue on with the traditions you already have. Watch a movie. Hey, watch several movies. Pop popcorn. Drive around and look at lights. Whatever it takes... Enjoy in the magic around you... WITH your loved ones.

Okay, please add to the list...
As I know I forgot things...
(This is just another reason I start now, to give me plenty of time to make up for everything I forgot!)

You can follow Storkie on Facebook and Twitter .

I wrote this blog post while participating in the Storkie holiday blogging program. I received compensation for my participation. All opinions are 100% mine

#holidaygiftguide - Master Lock #giveaway


Today we are giving away a Master Lock Storage Security Safe Space.
This is just the neatest thing to me!

I have been playing with it since it came in.
I was worried that the little dial would be hard to deal with, since it has a cover over it..
Not so!
The dial is easy to use... The safe is easy to open and close.
I love that there is plenty of padding in there so that you aren't just sitting it in a big old box.
Not to mention, it seems to be weather proof.
Meaning, water and sand!!!
Now, I am not saying to go dunk it in water to find out, but if it starts raining, you are good to go!

I think that this is a great idea for those with kids in college or getting ready to go to college.
They can just throw their items in there and lock it up when need be.
Or for those that love to travel.
I don't always trust the hotel to be secure..
With this, you can just lock it up in there and be comforted knowing it was secure.
I am sure you are wondering why they can't just pick it up and take it with them...
Well, they can!
UNLESS - you use it correctly and wrap the cable around a fixed object!
See? Solutions solutions!
(Cable can also be used as a carrying strap.)
Or, for those that go to sporting events, you can take it and snap it to the bleachers during the games...

Once again, if you are looking for something a bit different...
You can make someone smile with the security of the safe space!!!!

One Lucky winner is going to win a Master Lock Safe Space for your very own!

Mandatory Entry:
Visit Master Lock and tell me another product or two you like.
It can not be the item mentioned in this review.
(Please leave email address if not visible in your profile.)

Extra Entries:
(Lots of ways to gain entries, just leave a SEPARATE comment for EACH entry.)
Follow Jumpin Beans Blog, must be public - 1 entry
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Like Master Lock on Facebook - 1 entry
Comment on Master Locks Safety Tips Post here - 1 entry
Comment on ANY "HGG" Review(Not giveaway, just review, they start 10/1) - 2 per review
Follow any #HGG sponsors - 1 per facebook/twitter follow
(Just leave a comment saying who and how you follow(
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Blog about this giveaway, leaving a link back to this post - 5 entries
You can tweet daily :
Keep your items secure with Master Lock #giveaway @jumpinbeans09
http://tinyurl.com/3znk8hu Ends 10/19

Contest will end October 19 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.

Company Reviewed is Responsible for fulfillment of prize. Jumpin Beans Blog will not be held liable. We will make every effort possible to ensure prize fulfillment.

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.

4.10.11

Keep Your Family Safe with Master Lock


Master Lock Offers Advice for Keeping the Active Family Safe

Security Fundamentals for Families on the Go

MILWAUKEE, WI--(Marketwire - Aug 31, 2011) - Studies show that 4 out of every 5 students participate in some extracurricular activity outside of their required classload.* As fall approaches, family schedules inevitably fill up with these after-school practices, work obligations, parent teacher conferences and more. Before heading out, take a step back to discuss your family's security routines and the measures everyone should take to keep their homes and each other safe throughout the year.

"Fall brings an abundance of schedule changes and families working to adapt to new routines," said Rebecca Smith, vice president, marketing for Master Lock. "As calendars become full of different activities, Master Lock can help families with a variety of security measures to ensure they can safely maintain a busy lifestyle."

Master Lock offers these five key guidelines to help balance family safety with a busy schedule:

1. Embrace the key safe. If your children will be coming home to an empty house after school, or you need to provide secure access to your home for the family dog walker, a key safe such as the 5400D will safely store your house key for easy entry, and eliminate the risk of family members or authorized visitors losing a copy of your key while in transit. Simply set your own easy-to-remember combination on a key safe, and have peace of mind that family members and authorized visitors can enter your home safely when needed.
2. Talk to your children about a "home alone" routine. If your child gets home from school while you are still at work, or if your family is involved in a variety of activities on weekends, it's important to have guidelines for your children to follow when home alone, including locking the door immediately behind them after entering the house, not spending time outside without a parent home and not answering the door for any visitors.
3. Share schedules. Be sure that your family is aware of each other's schedules including work, school and extracurricular activities. Keeping a calendar updated with everyone's activities in a common room such as the kitchen will prevent miscommunication about who will be home and when.
4. Lock up while on the go. We carry valuables with us at all times. Encourage your children to store cash, jewelry, cell phones or other small valuables in a secure container such as the SafeSpace® (5900D) or MiniSafe™ (5408D) when at sports practice or other after school and weekend activities. Parents should also secure similar valuables when watching their children's games, heading out for a Saturday morning walk at the local forest preserve or going for coffee on the weekends. These products safely hold your valuables and can also be secured to a fixed object, allowing you or your children to enjoy various activities carefree.

5. Stay safe in the digital space. Use secure passwords and store them well. As your virtual world continues to grow, it's tempting to utilize one, easy-to-remember password for access to all of your important on-line accounts; however, this puts you at a greater risk for a security breach. Instead, create more secure passwords by varying the code for each of your accounts, and using a combination of letters and numbers in each of your passwords. Then, store all your confidential data including these user names and passwords in the Master Lock Vault. By remembering one user name and one password for your Vault, you will have 24/7 secure access to your confidential information through the website or smart phone app. With the highest level of on-line security available today, the Master Lock Vault ensures your important information is safe and secure, and available to you anytime, anywhere.

For more information about these on-the-go and other security solutions, please visit Master Lock's website at www.masterlock.com or the Master Lock Facebook page at www.facebook.com/masterlock. Visit www.masterlockvault.com to utilize the free, secure online data storage application and download a smart phone app for easy access on the go -- an ideal place to keep important bank account and other information.

About Master Lock

Master Lock is the world's largest manufacturer of padlocks and related security products providing innovative security solutions for home, automotive, campus, power sports, bike and storage security needs for consumers and contractors alike. Master Lock Company L.L.C. is an operating unit of Fortune Brands, Inc., a leading consumer brands company. Headquartered in Deerfield, Ill., Fortune Brands (NYSE: FO) is included in the S&P 500 Index. (www.masterlock.com)

*According to a study from the National Center of Education Statistics.


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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