Reviews, giveaways and memes - Jumpin Beans

6.4.13

Puppet Monsters Really ARE Fun {Review}

I know that normally when Broxton watches TV and sees an infomercial, he normally will start talking about how he "needs" whatever it is that they are trying to sell...
I know he gets it honest, because if my mom and I had tons of money to blow, we would own over half of the "as seen on tv" items!  
When Broxton started in on wanting the Puppet Monster, I knew he was going to go on and on about it... That was why I was so excited when we had the opportunity to review a Puppet Monster on Jumpin Beans!

You might not be familiar with the Puppet Monster....
They are "hats" that come with a face on it...
You can buy other "accessories" to change their face whenever you want...
Not to mention that the arms are interchangeable as well!  The arms also have little pockets in them near the hands so that they can place their fingers in them to allow the arms/hands to move when they are playing!
(The arms and the face pieces have these button type fasteners to make it easy to switch around, but not so flimsy that they will get lost.)
Get this....   they even come with this little carry all bag so that when you are not wearing it, you can pack it up to play later... or to store other accessories!

Of course, he "needed" all of them... but I knew that it would be another item that he "needed" that quickly ended up in a pile that he doesn't play with...
Boy was I wrong!!!  The day it arrived, he needed to wear it to school.....  He walked in carpool and into the classroom sporting that Puppet Monster like he was on the runway!!!  He was so excited and all the teachers commented on it!  He even had to "peek" around the corner and go "boo" to scare his teacher!!!  He was loving it...
Once we came home, it did go to the floor, but it never stays there long!  He has worn it on more than one occasion and has thrown impromptu puppet shows on the side of the couch and around the corner of walls for me!!!


If you have been trying to decide if a Puppet Monster would make a great addition to your house, I highly recommend purchasing one and seeing the fun your little one has!!!!

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.

What is Your Favorite?

Hey all.... 
I would love to get your feedback on a couple of my pictures... 
If you could just let me know which ones you like, I would greatly appreciate it!
Thanks so much!!!!

Image 1

Image 2

Image 3
Image 4

Image 5

Image 6

As I said, I would like to know which ones are your favorite...
As in if you were to make a set of them, which ones would you include?
Thanks so much for your input!!!
Have a wonderful weekend!!!!

Dougie In Disguise Volume 1 {Review} from @OrganaKids

From Organa kids ...  a DVD to get the creativity and imagination in all kids flowing..
Dougie in Disguise Volume 1 is sure to have them exploring!!  Organa kids DVDs are DVDs that are not "mainstream" but they sure do grab young ones attention!!!


Synopsis:
Dougie is a curious kid who loves to play with sticker albums and is never without his friend, Tim the dog. Curiosity and imagination combine when Dougie dresses-up in a disguise and has an adventure. He will need your help to choose stickers from his book that will help him in his travels. 

Dougie In Disguise Volume 1 Includes:
as a Cloud
as a Glassmaker
as Merlin
as a Shoemaker
as a Masai Warrior
as Peter Pan
as a Gym Instructor
as Robinson Crusoe
as a Flower
as a Pirate
as a Jockey
as a Teacher
as a Jeweller

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.

4.4.13

It All Started with a Turtle - #LemonadeDay


One of the reason's I love books is because I get to escape to another place and explore the world through the characters in the book...  The other reason I love books is because it is always so educational and you can learn so much through reading...
I love turtles and frogs (not the real ones,we don't have pets...) but the cute illustrated ones and the beautifully photographed ones...
Anyways, we were sent the book It All Started with a Turtle and I knew from that cute turtle on the cover, I was going to like it.
This book is such a great book to teach!!!

Long story short, the main character of the book asks her dad for a pet turtle and he tells her no.
(As he tells her no, that she has enough pets... we see that she literally has all sorts of pets and is really not in a need for a turtle, unless she is going to open a zoo or something... )
Instead of pouting and acting rude, she thinks of a plan and the next morning gets the ball rolling to have a lemonade stand..
She isn't having much luck... so dad teaches her a few things about running a business.
After the lemonade sales are finished for the day, dad teaches her even more...
To the point where dad goes further than just teaching her... he teaches the community... and in turn, we now have Lemonade Day...
Really, this is a movement... There really is Lemonade Day now, thanks to this book.  Read more about Lemonade Day to get involved!
I think that this is a great book for kids of all ages... It really does help with forming a plan to reach a goal!  

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.

Look What I Can Do - @abramsbooks


Look What I Can Do is a cute book from Abrams Books for Young Readers that we recently added to our library collection.
I really enjoyed reading this book with Broxton, as it took us on an adventure of watching all sorts of creatures learn and grow.
It amazes me how much he learns each day and this book was a great way for us to talk about how everyone and every thing has to learn.
In Look What I Can Do, we watch as a squirrel learns to gather and store nuts...
We watch as a bear catches a fish... Each is an adventure and an accomplishment!!!
But the best is that every couple of pages, the wise old owl is watching the baby owls and reminds us all....  keep trying, be proud, have fun....  and then the friendly reminder ... it will all be a memory soon enough, as you will be grown!!!
Broxton loved pointing out the animals.. and I loved reading the simple words to him throughout the story.
To me, this was a great book for all ages!!!!

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.

Down At the Dino Wash Deluxe

If you have a little one that is a fan of dinosaurs, you will love the latest from Sterling Publishing...
Down at the Dino Wash Deluxe by Tim Myers.
This book is super cute, but I tell you, I had a hard time pronouncing the names of the different dinosaurs!!!
Down at the Dino Wash Deluxe follows a couple of kids that run a "Dino Wash."
Each different species of dinosaurs come in for a wash, but they all warn the kids that T.Rex is in town...   That seems to cause fear among everyone, as T.Rex is a meat eater... BUT, the kids have never actually met him before...
Then. He. Shows. Up.
Bigger than Big...   and wants to get a wash...
The kids running the wash end up washing him and in the process we learn that everyone just might be scared of something... and really, you should not be afraid of anyone, especially if you have never met them!!!

Broxton's favorite part was seeing the T.Rex.  I am not sure if it is because he is most familiar with that dinosaur or what.. but it was nice seeing him smile as I read each page.
I loved the illustrations on each page!!!
I also loved the last two pages of the book.  It had a drawing of each dinosaur with the name and pronunciation.  It also included a bit of information about the dinosaur.

We loved the book and it was so cute to see a different spin on a dinosaur book!!!!

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   

3.4.13

Lift the Flaps and Learn to Count - to 100?!!!!


Whenever we get a new book here, I am always so excited to read and explore with Broxton.
We were recently asked if we wanted to check out a "life the flaps book."
Of course, especially when it was full of 100 lift the flaps!!!

David Carter's 100 Lift the Flaps and Learn to Count does not disappoint!
The day it arrived, we were outside enjoying the weather and Broxton was in his sandbox.  He loves books, so he asked me to read it to him... As I started the book, he quickly got out and came to climb in my lap.  As we turned the pages, I was worried that with 100 flaps, he would lose interest...
That did not happen, instead, he was more and more thrilled with the book and wanted to go through it all again when we were finished!!!

In this particular book, each 2 page spread has a "theme" full of flaps...
From the depths of the ocean to the hustle and bustle of a city street...   Each page has 5 things to count... so you have 5 per page, but it adds up to 10 per scene.
I really liked that, as we are still learning our numbers!
Broxton can count up to 20, but then it gets a bit lost... at least this way, we can continue to work on them, without it being overwhelming!  

We have enjoyed this book and I know we will continue to use it, not only to work on our counting, but to enjoy the book as well!  I loved it and thought it was different, yet fun!!!
Here is a link to it on You Tube if you want to check it out:


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

Headed To Chattanooga for #dayoutwiththomas @TrueBlueEngine

We have had the pleasure of spending the Day Out With Thomas the past several years...
Each year, we meet my parents in Cordele and have a great time...
Well, I do believe that the yearly trips with my parents are over...
So, this year we are changing it up a bit!
We will not be going to Cordele, Georgia for the event...
This year, we are headed to Chattanooga, Tennessee!!!!

I have to tell you, I am so excited for this!  I absolutely LOVE Chattanooga and I think it is beautiful!  To know that we will be taking a ride on Thomas to see new sites, I am ready!!!


If you are not sure if Thomas is headed near you, CLICK HERE to see what is the closest location.
The Day Out With Thomas is a great event for any Thomas fans you might know!!!
They have different activities going on to make everyone happy... and they also have a store to purchase any souvenirs you might need!  (We have actually purchased the Day Out With Thomas official train car souvenir each year we have gone.  They have the event and the year stamped on the bottom!)  You can see my posts from 2012, 2011 and 2010.
I can not wait to see what 2013 has in store!!!!

Let me know if you are going... and I will be sure to post pictures after we go!!!!
Hope to see you "On the rails!"

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

Charlie: A Toy Story {Review}


Broxton and I love to watch movies together...
He always wants popcorn (no matter what time we watch a movie... )  and I always want him to snuggle and watch the movie with me!
We were recently surprised with a new movie in the mail...

Charlie: A Toy Story
It was a cute movie, but I will be the first to admit that the acting needed help.

The basis of the story is that a little boy (Caden) tries to help his dad out with his dream...
While dealing with the bullies/bad guys of the neighborhood.  They are two mean boys that go to school with Caden and they are so technologically centered...  Like many kids out there these days...
Well, Caden and his dog, Charlie have a "home alone" sort of adventure.. where they try and help his dad out, all by themselves.

As I said, it was a cute movie, but it is more for younger kids that will not let the acting have any major impact on their views of the movie.  We enjoyed it.   I think the kids will get into the scenes where Caden and Charlie try to keep the bad guys away...
More than anything, I loved that this movie reminds kids to be kids... that they do not need to always be "plugged in" to have fun!!!!

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

2.4.13

Let's Go to The Museum @abramsbooks {Review}

Working on building a library for Broxton is such a fun thing for me.
I love how books will allow you to explore.  Travel.  Imagine.  Dream.
If you are sick, its raining, its cold, its to hot, its Saturday, its Tuesday ... No matter the reason, you can always go on an adventure through a book.
We had the excitement of going to THE MUSEUM a couple times lately.
Not just any museum, but through the book, The Museum from Abrams Books.

We actually had a museum in the bathtub!!!!  That is right, I read it to Broxton while he had a bath!!! What fun that was!!!!

The Museum is a great book that I loved to explore with him.
It opens with a girl going to a museum and all of the exhibits she sees.
From paintings and drawings to sculptures and more..
She even takes a moment to "think" and we see Rodin's famous work!
Broxton and I even had a minute to do "The Scream" as the girl in the museum passed by Munch's piece and she stopped to do the expression too!
As much as I love art.. and we loved looking at this book together...
I loved when she came to an empty canvas hung up.

It is at that point that Broxton and I talked about how many things can be done with a blank canvas...
We talked about how he could draw, write, paint, color... the opportunities are endless.
You just have to use your imagination!  It was so cute to hear him repeat it back to me!!!
We enjoyed reading this book, not only for the fun of the artwork...
But the rhyming in here lets me know that it is one that Broxton is going to learn to love to read aloud!

If you are a fan of the arts... Or if you are just looking for a great new book...
I highly recommend adding The Museum to your collection!!!!
(You don't even have to be "young" to enjoy this...   )

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

November 25th - #FINDINGDORY

I love when I open an email and it puts a HUGE SMILE on my face...
That was what happened today when I learned that November 25th will bring Dory and the gang back to the big screen.  (Finding Nemo has been on of Broxton's favorites, so I can not wait to see this one!)  

Here is just a piece of the email that made me smile:
“I have waited for this day for a long, long, long, long, long, long time,” said DeGeneres. “I’m not mad it took this long. I know the people at Pixar were busy creating ‘Toy Story 16.’ But the time they took was worth it. The script is fantastic. And it has everything I loved about the first one: It’s got a lot of heart, it’s really funny, and the best part is—it’s got a lot more Dory.”

Director and Pixar veteran Andrew Stanton takes audiences back to the extraordinary underwater world created in the original film. “There is no Dory without Ellen,” said Stanton. “She won the hearts of moviegoers all over the world—not to mention our team here at Pixar. One thing we couldn’t stop thinking about was why she was all alone in the ocean on the day she met Marlin. In ‘Finding Dory,’ she will be reunited with her loved ones, learning a few things about the meaning of family along the way.”

According to Stanton, “Finding Dory” takes place about a year after the first film, and features returning favorites Marlin, Nemo and the Tank Gang, among others. Set in part along the California coastline, the story also welcomes a host of new characters, including a few who will prove to be a very important part of Dory’s life. 




Anyone else as excited as I am???

***** I was not required to post this... We just really love Nemo here... (and Ellen!) 

The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult - Summer Read Must Have

I have to admit something to you all:
I absolutely LOVE Jodi Picoult!  She is one of my favorite authors and it is like an obsession for me when she releases a new book.  It is like I have to read it as soon as I can and once I get the book... It all comes back to me!!! (No not the story line, the love of her writing!)
With every book that Jodi Picoult has written, you are left asking questions on what you would do if you were placed in the same situation.
Image: Target. com
I saw that Jodi Picoult had released a new book, The Storyteller, and I once again was like a child at Christmas, eager to open it like a present and lose myself in the book.  As soon as it arrived, I would find myself taking a few extra minutes in the bathroom, as I would enjoy a nice hot bubble bath a couple extra minutes just to sneak in a few more pages... Carpool saw me there a bit earlier, as I could read a bit more while I waited for school to get out...

With all of her books, you actually feel the characters and you see yourself posing the same questions as the characters... You really do allow yourself to lose yourself and become one... Well, at least I do!!

Book Synopsis:
Sage Singer becomes friends with an old man who’s particularly beloved in her community after they strike up a conversation at the bakery where she works. Josef Weber is everyone’s favorite retired teacher and Little League coach. One day he asks Sage for a favor: to kill him. Shocked, Sage refuses…but then he tells her he deserves to die. 

Once he reveals his secret, Sage wonders if he’s right. What do you do when evil lives next door? Can someone who’s committed a truly heinous act ever redeem themselves with good behavior? Should you offer forgiveness to someone if you aren’t the party who was wronged? And most of all—if Sage even considers his request—is it murder, or justice?

Of course, I can not really go into the book more than the synopsis, but I will tell you this... 
As you read each page, your heart opens up more and more to Sage...   I know for me, I could never actually "murder" someone, but I will admit, my mind doesn't always wish for health and happiness for people that do wrong...  Maybe it makes me a bad person... or maybe it makes me human... But I tell you this, as you read this book, you see where the characters are coming from... and I know I questioned if placed in the same situation... What would I do, or at least, HOW WOULD I FEEL?

Once again, Jodi Picoult comes through with another great book!  This is for sure another one that I would totally recommend to everyone.. Especially those in book clubs, as you have so much to talk about once it is over...

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

Beat Sugar Addiction Now - For Kids {Review}

Image : Amazon
How often do you allow sweets at your house?
When Marc was deployed, Broxton had none....
Then, daddy came home and it was time to spoil him!!!
We have tried doing really good with sweets, as in just special occasions and desserts, but when you have friends and family always giving him sweets, it gets hard at times!
To the point where I actually had to ask a friend to NOT give him anything sweet for Easter, as we still had birthday candy, valentine candy, and candy from 3 Easter parties!  (All of it from other people, as we bought NONE of it!)

As much as Broxton loves sweets, I would not say that he is "addicted" to it... Not like the kids they mention....  This book talks about seeing if you have a sugar addicted child...   Broxton loves fruits and veggies... Broxton loves meat... but yes, he loves candy too!!!

I loved looking at this book, as it is full of useful information:

Chapters:  (With each section having Parent Pull Out Sheets)
One - Getting Started : The Parent Tool Kit for Ensuring Success
Two -  Part 1 -  Step 1 - How to Limit Liquid Sugar in Your Children's Diet
           Part - The Lowdown on Liquid Sugar
Three - Step 2 - Revamp Breakfast
Four - Step 3 - Limit Sweets to One Per Day and Enjoy Healthy Snacks
Five - Step 4 - Make Over Dessert
Six - Step 5 - Find and Replace Hidden Sugars


I really like how easy the book is to read... not only that, but it also has charts in there to help explain things a bit more.  Yes, I have a four year old.. and this book works for us, but it also works if you have older kids...  tweens / teens... and even has a section about working with limiting sugar in your spouse... I am telling you this, because even though it says for kids... you can use it for any age!!!!

Bottom line - if you want help weaning out sugar in your life.. Or need to know more about the bad effects from too much sugar... (or want to try and explain it to someone else!)   Look no further!

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

1.4.13

Let's Go Out To The Movies: The Croods

Okay, let me know...
Have you seen the movie, THE CROODS yet?
I know we want to ... especially with all the talk about it...
So - in order to share with you the excitement....  I have a few photos for you:
 In celebration of the Spring Solstice 2013 and in conjunction with the release of Twentieth Century Fox's 3D animation‘THE CROODS - a family animation centered around the first ever pre historic road trip - a giant monument will be erected at Stonehenge at sunrise on Tuesday 19th March.  This marks the first time a modern structure has EVER been allowed on this historic site.  Recreating the original construction of Stonehenge, the local boy scouts troop will also be on hand to help roll the new colossal monument into place.

The Spring Solstice or ‘Vernal Equinox’ recognises the first day of spring and each year sees druids and pagans gather at Stonehenge early in the morning to watch the sun rise above the prehistoric stones.  This year an additional monument, in the shape of ‘THE CROODS, will become part of these special celebrations at daybreak.



About “The Croods
The Croods is a comedy adventure that takes us back to a previously undiscovered era in the history of our planet, known as the Croodaceous, when nature was still a work-in-progress.

The world's first family embarks on a journey of a lifetime when the cave that has always shielded them from danger is destroyed. Traveling across a spectacular landscape, the Croods discover an incredible new world filled with fantastic creatures -- and their outlook is changed forever.


***** I was not required to post this, I just wanted to share with you a great movie that you might want to go see...
 
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