Reviews, giveaways and memes - Jumpin Beans

10.11.12

Ice Age Activity Sheets

 
 To get ready for the release of Ice Age: Continental Drift, I get to share with you a couple of activities that incorporate the movie!!!!  Also, I will get to offer you a giveaway... (that is to come soon, so stay tuned for that!)
We LOVE Ice Age and Broxton and I were laughing... but Marc was cracking up too!  You know it is a funny movie if we are all laughing!!!
Enjoy the activity sheets and remember to come back soon for the giveaway!!!!
 


 
** I am posting this as I will be hosting a giveaway for a copy of Ice Age: Continental Drift soon. **

The Art of Silliness #Holidaygiftguide

 
Let me start by saying that I do not have a problem with technology..
Saying that, I will follow it up with the fact that I do love when kids (and adults alike) can entertain themselves without needing a television or phone or computer or gaming system. 
I grew up LOVING art..
I took art history classes... Color theory...
Yes, some were required for my major, but some were just for the enjoyment.
I can not draw or paint for the life of me, but its fun..   Especially when you are NOT being critiqued!  When I had the chance to participate in a blog tour for the latest book, The Art of Silliness, I was excited...   No matter if it was for me to do, or to do with the boys when they are here... I wanted to see what it was all about!
The Art of Silliness is a totally different book.
It says it is " A Creativity Book for Everyone" and I agree.

What I enjoy about this book is that it starts and tells you to pick whatever you want to use..
You can use a pencil, a marker, a pen.. It is up to you... and to make sure you enjoy what you are doing!!! Then, each page gives a different activity. 
Get this though, it isn't simple things like "draw a circle" or anything...
No, how silly is that?
It is a bit more...
Like the first activity:
Draw a Bird.   They even have the bird they want you to draw... but its not that easy...
You have one of three ways to draw it...
One - eyes closed.  Two- with your non-dominant hand.  Three - both

Ha ha ha... 
I think that is going to provide hours of fun for us...
I might try and see if the boys might want to try when they are here..
(They normally have to be glued to ALL electronics, so it might not work...  but I do want to try, I think it would be fun and a way to show our creativity...)
This book also has other activities, from drawing with a single line (can't cheat and draw over the line you already drew) to connecting the dots (but it can be loopy lines or jagged lines, it doesn't have to be straight!)

I have enjoyed looking at the book and I can not wait to play along and see how creative I can be (especially knowing that I don't have to be graded on it!)

If you have someone on your gift list... Think outside the box...
Think about this.. not just for art fans or for kids... but for anyone that might need a way to express their creativity and their silliness. 

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

Draw With Your Kids - Guest Post

I am participating in a Blog Tour for Carla Sonheim's new book, The Art of Silliness.  The following is a guest post to somewhat explain what you can expect if you purchase this book.
 
 
Hi there! My name is Carla Sonheim and I am an illustrator and author of three drawing books for adult students designed to bring the "fun" back to drawing! My latest book, "The Art of Silliness," is in a workbook format and is being released by Perigee Books on November 6th!
 
I am primarily a teacher for adults, but I started out teaching art in my sons' elementary school classroom, so almost all of the drawing exercises in my books and classes have been "kid-tested and approved."
 
Drawing together can be a wonderful family activity, full of surprises and giggles. Here is a fun exercise to do together tonight:
 
Keep Your Eyes Closed
1. Get a pen and a piece of regular computer paper, one for each person.
2. Instruct everyone to close their eyes.
3. Now, direct everyone at the table to draw a giraffe. Remind them to think "neck," "legs," "spots," etc.
4. Just do your best (no peeking!).
5. Now, instruct the group draw a bird sitting on top of the giraffe's back (eyes still closed).
6. Finally, draw a flower garden anywhere on the paper.
7. Now everyone can open their eyes. 
8. Cute, right?
9. Repeat as often as desired, everyone taking turns thinking up two or three drawing prompts per round.
 
Silly, right? Have fun!
 
__________
Carla Sonheim is a painter, illustrator, and creativity workshop instructor known for her fun and innovative projects and techniques designed to help adult students recover a more spontaneous, playful approach to creating. She was recently interviewed on KUOW, Seattle Public Radio about her latest book, "The Art of Silliness: A Creativity Book for Everyone." She holds online classes from her website: http://www.carlasonheim.com and lives in Seattle, WA, with her photographer husband, a game-playing teenager, and her blog.
 
 
 
***** I was provided a copy of The Art of Silliness for posting this guest post.  *****
 

9.11.12

Ice Age : Ice Palace at Select Taubman Shopping Centers

We absolutely love the ICE AGE movies and we were laughing with everything we had at a couple scene's in the latest, Ice Age: Continental Drift. 
I love living near Atlanta, but at times like this.. I wish we were closer to other places...
To kick off the celebration of the latest release, Taubman Shopping Centers have Ice Age displays!!!
 
 
Press Release from November 8th:
The Ice Age Ice Palace display at Taubman shopping centers opened today and features a 30-foot ice dome with falling snow, a light show and, new this year, the beloved prehistoric herd from ICE AGE: CONTINENTAL DRIFT.  Interactive globes will showcase Scrat on his endless mission to catch his precious acorn, while the whole ICE AGE herd is adrift on an iceberg in pirate waters.  Families can measure their prehistoric heights against Sid and Diego, go paw-to-paw with the herd and track down Scrat’s missing acorns throughout the palace.  The high-seas adventure culminates with a visit to Santa and a special ICE AGE gift, along with the exclusive option to pre-order ICE AGE: CONTINENTAL DRIFT on Blu-ray™ and DVD.

 
Participating Taubman shopping centers include:
  • Beverly Center (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Cherry Creek (Denver, CO)
  • Dolphin Mall (Miami, FL)
  • Fairlane Town Center (Dearborn, MI)
  • Fair Oaks (Fairfax, VA)
  • Great Lakes Crossing Outlets (Auburn Hills, MI)
  • International Plaza (Tampa, FL)
  • MacArthur Center (Norfolk, VA)
  • Northlake Mall (Charlotte, NC)
  • The Mall at Short Hills (Short Hills, NJ)
  • Sunvalley (Concord, CA)
  • Twelve Oaks (Novi, MI)
  • The Mall at Wellington Green (Palm Beach, FL)
  • Westfarms (Farmington, CT)
  • The Shops at Willow Bend (Plano, TV)
  • Woodfield Mall (Chicago, IL)

Do you live near a participating location? 
Will you go and check it out?
*****  I was not required to post this, just thought I would share.. Will be posting my Ice Age review soon, so stay tuned... *****

8.11.12

Stay Warm and Bundle Up with Rothschild Children #HolidayGiftGuide


Living in Atlanta, you never know what the weather will be like for winter...
Two years ago, we were knocked on our butts with the ICE STORM that was completely nuts, shutting down the entire city...   Last year, we basically did not even have a winter.  Yes, we wore pants, but there was never a huge need to have jackets/gloves and what not...

With Broxton being in school this year, I wanted to make sure we were prepared for whatever weather would come our way.  I was on a website, Rothschild Kids, looking at the different jackets they had available and I was impressed at the selection and prices! 
The thing that caught my eye was that it looked thin enough to not be complete torture for my hot natured son (we all are actually, but I was only looking to get him a jacket for now) but it had a fleece lining to make it warm on the chilly days....
I ordered Broxton the Outdoor Adventurer Jacket in size Medium (Size 5-6) as I did not want to get it and it be too small on him.  He is in size 4 now, with some coming up a bit short on him.  This jacket appears to be true to size, as it is a bit big on him.  That works for us!!! It fits him great, but it is a tad too long, but that is really the only thing.  I do LOVE that the hood doesn't have the strings to tighten around his face.  It is made to have a couple area's that cinch closed, but there is no need for a string.  I love this.. I am not a fan of the strings, so this made me happy! 
Another thing that I love?  The wrists.  It has Velcro on each wrist to tighten them up as to not allow any cold wind to get in and chill their little arms.  I used it to tighten the sleeves up so that the fact that the jacket was a little long would not have an impact on Broxton when he wore it.
The color I chose was grey, black and green.  The black and grey allows for it to be worn with anything.. and the green makes me feel better when it is grey and drab that you can still see the child in the dreary day! 
The jacket comes with two pockets on the front and it even includes a loop inside to hang it up on a hook when not in use.  Oh, did I mention that it is wind and water resistant? 
Rothschild Children also has several other jacket styles for boys... Don't even get me started on the simply adorable jackets for little girls... from puffer jackets to the cute quilted toggle jacket
If you are looking to purchase a jacket for someone... Take the time to look at Rothschild Children, head over now... they have great prices and as of this morning, they had a discount code listed at the top of their website to save 20%.   (I am not sure how long this will be valid, so hurry over now!)

  Make sure to sign up for their newsletters and to follow them 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

Be Thankful this November, Gratitude Journal


Fall is such a great time to appreciate what we're grateful for. This year, take time to recognize, document, and share it with friends and family. Enter the coupon code THANKFUL2012 through November 28th, and take 50% off gratitude products.


Visit Paper Coterie today!

*****  The link in this post is an affiliate link.  All opinions in this post are my own, although I do receive review products from time to time. 

Day Out With Thomas 2012

We were lucky to have the chance to continue our tradition with my parents and spend the "Day Out With Thomas" the other weekend.
We have gone for the past couple years and each year Broxton has a blast! 

This year the theme was "Mystery On the Rails"  although I am not really sure what the "theme" means, besides just something to call it...

We drove to Cordele, Georgia and of course, my dad was excited to have the tomato salad...
We normally get there and grab a bite to eat to start with ....
They normally have hamburgers, hotdogs, chicken, fries and then this salad that is a hit with us! 


Tomato Salad to start out the day!
 After eating lunch, we were full and ready to start our day with Thomas...
This year they had several stations that seemed new to me.
We got there a couple hours before our ride started, but we overheard some people that had been there since like 9 in the morning when we were leaving around 3.

Broxton enjoying the sand station.

The train tables were a big hit for all the kids... This seemed to be the busiest station of the day.
Once we were on the train, they came and gave all the kids their Jr Engineer Certificate! 
We enjoyed the different stations they had set up around the place..
They had the train tables that were huge hits... If we had the room, I know Broxton would be in heaven to have one of these...   They also had a coloring area where they could color different pictures of the characters of Thomas and his Friends...  They also had face painting, a tattoo station, an area to pickup a rubber duck and win a prize... Oh... don't let me forget that they also had story telling and music! 
That was all up front...
Then, you headed to "Sodor Island" where they had mini golf, a bubble making area, two bounce houses and an area where they could play with sidewalk chalk! 
After that, you loaded up to ride Thomas ...
I love that where we go has us go over a lake... it is nice to see the trees and the water and on this trip, we were surprised with a boat that had a family and their dog on it riding by and waving to us!!!
Of course, no excursion would be complete without a gift area...
Yes, they had ALL sorts of toys from Thomas and Friends.. but the best part is that it isn't set up that you HAVE to go through it... You can go in the tent if you want... but it isn't set up that you have to... You know that makes it more enjoyable...
Yes, we go in and get a souvenir train each year...
(They make one with the logo and year on the bottom and we have one from each year we have been!)
If you have a kid that loves Thomas and Friends, you might need to go ahead and be looking to see when they will be near you... It is these memories that are so special to us...   and I know they will be to you and your family 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.

7.11.12

Ruby Sparks on DVD and Meet the Stars in LA Nov 8th


I love watching movies... and  I do enjoy the ones that make you think.
Seeing the previews for Ruby Sparks and the cover art for the movie...
I was eager to see if this was going to be one that made me think, or just had me lost...
I think it actually did a little of both.

Ruby Sparks .... the tag line is " She's out of his mind."
Long story short... Calvin is a "genius" writer that has been having hard time with a case of writers block.  Then, he dreams of this girl and decides to write about her... He names her Ruby and then starts to develop her character background as he writes the story...
Slowly but surely, Calvin falls in love with the character he is creating...
The thing is... the character comes to life!!!
He is freaking out trying to see if he has gone completely nuts, or what is going on...
Even his brother feels he has lost his mind! 
So, he does a "test" to see if she is real... and then completes other "tests" to prove that she is real.
I was lost as to how the whole concept... I mean, it is just a movie, but I was trying to see if it was going to be one of those weird movies that would have me all lost at the end... I don't think it did, but then again, I could have missed things!!!
I did feel bad for the Ruby character.. as well as Calvin...
To need/want to be loved that bad...

Synopsis:
From the directors of Little Miss Sunshine comes a “charming and delightful” (Marshall Fine, Huffingtonpost.com) romantic comedy starring Paul Dano and writer-actress Zoe Kazan.  Struggling with writer’s block and a lackluster love life, once-famous novelist Calvin (Dano) creates a beautiful fictitious character named Ruby (Kazan) who inspires him. But not only does this bring his work to life- it also brings Ruby to life- literally! Face-to-face with an actual relationship with his once virtual girlfriend, Calvin must now decide whether to pen this love story or let it write itself. Also starring Annette Bening, Antonio Banderas and Elliott Gould, Ruby Sparks is a smart coming-of-age story that proves true love can be remarkably magical.              


If you are looking for a "different" movie to watch, I think that this would be a decent one to watch.  I can not say it was a great movie that I would watch again and again, but it did make you think.. At least it made me think about how sad it is that someone would need/want love that bad... Don't get me wrong, I love to love and be loved... but Calvin...   it was just sad.... Although, I will say, Calvin's brother is the typical mans man... ha ha... watch to see what I mean!!!!
Also, if you are in or near L.A. this Thursday night,
the 8th of November...   Head out and meet the stars of Ruby Sparks while you "recharge."

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.

Melissa & Doug Terrific Twenty List and Giveaway

 
How is your holiday list coming along?  I know for our house, I think I am doing pretty good. 
I have bought for several already, but the kids are the last ones to buy for. 
With the older boys, they change their minds so much, that we will wait a bit longer to make sure what they want... Right now, they don't even KNOW what they want...  As for Broxton, he wants everything!  I want to buy him toys that will stand up to being played with on a daily basis with a very active preschooler! 
Lucky for me, Melissa and Doug have released their "Terrific Twenty for 2012" gift ideas.



What I really like is that Melissa and Doug toys have stood up to the test of times for us so far...   We have a couple toys that we got when he was younger and he still plays with them now.. and they are in good condition! 
Not to mention that out of the twenty gifts listed, 19 of them are under $40.
I love gifts in those price ranges... Talk about more for your money! 

The one item I have had my eye on for a quite some time is the Trunki. 
Broxton would love to have his own bag for when we travel to see my parents, so I think that this would not only be a great item for the need of it, but also for the fun of it all, I mean... How fun would it be to roll on your luggage to get to your destination?  (The swirl design is currently out of stock, but they should be getting more soon. )  I love the orange one and I love that you can get stickers for them too!
 Melissa and Doug not only has great products for your kids... they also want to help you give a great gift this year!  Right now, you can visit the Melissa and Doug facebook page to enter to win a gift!  They have a daily giveaway going on and you should enter now!  (From what I read, you enter once and you are entered for each day's giveaway!)
 
To help you get set for the holidays, I am holding a giveaway for one of the Melissa and Doug Scratch Art Portable Light Boxes.  I think that this would make a great gift for a boy or girl... This also looks like it would be great for working on while on a road trip.... Not to mention kids of all ages would enjoy this.. I think I know a few parents that would love one too!!!  Talk about letting those creative juices flow!!!!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

W/W - Pumpkins and Flowers

Remember when I told you what we had been up to?
Well......


Here is Broxton at his Pumpkin Patch Day at School...

Of course, I had to share with you Marc taking me to the flowers...
 
Hope you have a great week!!!!!

6.11.12

Find a Family Movie in Love's Christmas Journey #holidaygiftguide

 
If you are looking for a great family movie this year...
Look into Love's Christmas Journey. 
This is a movie from the Love's Come Softly series. 
Now, I have never seen any of the other movies, but I do not think that mattered. 
In the latest movie, Ellie goes to visit her brother and his family. 
She has recently lost her daughter and husband, so being with family is both something she needs, but also something that hurts too.  Her brother, Aaron, goes off to purchase land and leaves Ellie to care for his two kids... (He is a widow as well)  Ellie loves spending time with the kids... and falls in love with the town.  While Aaron is gone, several events happen that threaten the holidays... Including the fact that he goes missing! 
I am not sure when this movie was supposed to have taken place, but it is older.. as in horse and buggy days...  
I enjoyed it and plan on "gifting" it to my Mema this year...
This is something that I do believe both her and my granddaddy would enjoy!
 
 


 
Synopsis:
Love’s Christmas Journey (DVD)
While still mourning the loss of her husband and daughter, recently widowed Ellie visits her brother Aaron and his children for Christmas. Ellie does her best to enjoy the holidays, even making new friends. Settling in nicely, Ellie also meets Erik, a young man abandoned by his outlaw father whom Aaron has taken in as one of his own. When Aaron travels out of town to purchase adjacent land for farming, Ellie agrees to watch his children, but the season’s festivities are threatened when Aaron goes missing.                                                   
 
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.

My First Handy Bible #HolidayGiftGuide

 
I decided that I wanted to get a Bible for Broxton to have, as he had been asking for one. 
When I saw that B & B Media Group had one called "My First Handy Bible" I knew that this would be great for him!!!  I had planned on giving it to him for Christmas, but then I thought it would be good to read the stories in there to him at night along with his other books...
Not to mention that he had been asking me again for one...

                                        
This book is cute and 1perfect for his little hands! 
It is a thick board book that has a little handle on it on one side and then a little "clasp" on the other side to keep it closed.  I like that the clasp keeps it closed, but you do not have to worry about it hurting little fingers as they open and close the Bible.
Another thing I like is that there is the text on one page, with illustration on the other. 
Each page tells one of the stories from the Bible..  Yes, text is on one with just illustration on the other, but the illustration goes over both pages. 
 

Broxton has grabbed the Bible on numerous times to sit there and read through it.  I know he can not read yet,  but they are stories he has heard in AWANA, so the pictures help him to know what he is looking at.  I love that although he loves his story books, he also loves his Bible!
I am glad that I went ahead and gave it to him now, as it really does my heart good!!!
 
If you have any little ones, or have a little one on the way, the My First Handy Bible would make a wonderful gift this holiday season!
 
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.

5.11.12

I See The Sun in Mexico #holidaygiftguide


I love the "I See The Sun" book series.. 
We have the Afghanistan book and the Russia book and now we can add Mexico to the list! 
Add caption

The reason that I enjoy these books is that you are able to get an "inside look" into the country the book is about.  Also, they do not just use pictures or drawings, they do a collage type and incorporate both works of art into the book.
In I See The Sun in Mexico, we spend the day with Luis. 
He wakes up and wakes his siblings up for the day while his mother returns from church services...
Then, he heads out to meet his dad for him to have the time to spend the day with him at work.
Luis' father works as a chef on an excursion boat, so he was able to spend the day with him on the boat, helping get the food ready and then enjoying the time in the ocean.
I did enjoy the book, as far as learning the day on the boat, but truthfully, I wish it would have had more time to focus on the day in Mexico.. Like maybe around town more (they do have Luis visit the market to buy vegetables on the way to the boat.) 
I loved reading it to Broxton and having him learn about Peso's and Sea Lions... He enjoyed looking at the book with me to see the pictures and learn about Mexico. 
The end of the book has two pages that tells more about Mexico and as in all the "I See The Sun" books, the  story is written in both English and Spanish!

If you are looking to expand on cultures of the world with your children, I think that this is yet another book to enjoy reading together! 

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.

MOPS, Scarecrows, Dates, Oh My!

So much has been going on around here and I just realized I have yet to talk about Broxton starting Preschool.  Forgive me if I repeat myself on a couple things, but for those just joining, it is a quick catch up.
I have been fortunate enough to have been able to stay home with Broxton.  He is 3 years old and we recently found a church we really like.  We started going there in April and have loved every minute of it.
We actually enrolled Broxton into their K-3 program!
I admit, I had mixed emotions...
Part of me wanted to keep him home and enjoy the time we had left together until he "had" to go to school..
But then, the other part was so excited for him...
To have the chance to play with other kids...  Be in a "learning" environment.  Have teachers and a classroom setting.. Not to mention that it is through the church, so they are able to talk about God!
I was lucky enough to meet his teacher before orientation, as she is also a nursery teacher at the church...
That also meant that he had the chance to meet her on the playground before school started!
Side note, she is now his nursery teacher on Sundays!

Well, he started school and Marc and I were able to drop him off the first day together...
The second day, he went through Carpool and that was when I lost it and cried the ugly cry.
My little boy is officially growing up!

He loves school, although when he gets time out, he decides that he doesn't need to go anymore...
Ha ha... I point out that if he were to just listen, he would not get time out... so, then he decides that yep... school is fun again!  (Main struggle for us is him listening... he wants to go go go 24/7 and he is having to learn that isn't always the case... I am happy that he is learning how to now, in K3, versus when he starts Kindergarten!)

Broxton has made friends with his classmates and it is so cute to hear him come home and tell me about the events that day....  He was particularly excited one day, because they had a birthday party with cupcakes and rings for the class.... and he had a "Justin Beaver" ring!    The other day, I made a comment about needing to go to the bank to get Cash and he was all excited, then I realized he thought we were going to pick up one of his classmates... So, we are trying to say "money" instead to keep him from thinking that we are talking about his friend, Cash!  It cracks me up how much he listens, even when we don't think he is!

The school has been great... They have fundraisers each month... Where you go to a Pizza Place and tell them the school name, they then donate proceeds to the school... They also do that a couple times a year with a Yogurt place!  They sent home paperwork the other day for you to order their artwork on items for the house... (T-shirt, apron, mugs, items like that... Of course, it was his hand print as a FLAG... HOW could we say no?!)

He started school the end of August and they have already had Donuts for Dad one morning... A pumpkin patch party (On campus, just fun activities for the kids) and then the other day, instead of a "Halloween" party, they had a "scarecrow" party!
I love that they allow the parents to be there, but there is no pressure if you are not able to make it...
Of course, I have been there, trying to photograph everything, so I have loved seeing him interact with his classmates!

As for me...
I have joined MOPS.. it is Mothers Of PreSchoolers and it is through the church...
I have loved making friends with other moms ...
Marc has also taken me on a few "dates"...
Ever since Broxton has been born, we have pretty much done everything with him... You know, due to Marc's work schedule and us not really having anyone near us... You would be surprised how wonderful it was for us to go to Chick-Fil-A for breakfast... just the two of us!  Then, Marc surprised me the other day with a "special date" he took me to the most beautiful place.... full of flowers!  I even commented that instead of him "bringing me flowers" he brought me to the flowers!   It was wonderful and just so sweet and unexpected!

If you remember, I said I was having computer issues...
So, if you are wondering why there are no pictures in this post..
That is why...
But, hold on to your seats...
I plan to post a couple pictures this week for Wednesday...
Hope I can and hope you enjoy them!!!!!
 
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