Reviews, giveaways and memes - Jumpin Beans

31.5.14

How to Lose a Lemur #LemursAreComing

*** I did not receive a review copy.  I have just really enjoyed the books from Sterling Publishing and thought this might be a great addition to your library.  This sounds like a super cute book... and I LOVE the message "give new friends a chance."  




HOW TO LOSE A LEMUR (Sterling Children’s Books, April 2014) by Frann Preston-Gannon is the tale of a little boy who has struck the fancy of a bunch of adoring lemurs!  While walking through the park one day, a friendly lemur starts following the boy – uninvited.  Before he knows it, even more lemurs are on his tail.  He does everything to ditch the playful creatures, from jumping on a train, to flying in a hot-air balloon, to climbing the highest mountain… but nothing works.  The parade of lovable lemurs stick by his side no matter what.

When the boy realizes he’s traveled too far and has gotten lost, his constant companions show why they make the very best of friends!  Can knowing a lemur be a good thing after all? 

Delightfully humorous and playfully illustrated, HOW TO LOSE A LEMUR shows children why it’s important to give new friends a chance.
Frann Preston-Gannon is an illustrator and designer based in south London. She has worked for a variety of clients including Vintage Books, Sunday Publishing, the PRCA, Spears Magazine, Pavilion Books, the London Times, and Burt's Bees. Frann has written and illustrated two previous picture books, and was selected to receive the prestigious Sendak Fellowship.

30.5.14

Gluten-Free Veggie Muffins

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.


There is no denying that we need to eat healthier.  I know it, but it can be so hard at times.  If you let the kids (or husband) see / know that healthy is even a thought, you would swear that they are thinking you are trying to poison them... At least that is how it goes in our house!   
When I was contacted about reviewing a new Gluten- Free Veggie Muffin from Garden Lites, I was thrilled.. but was secretly hoping that they would arrive when no one noticed so I could serve them without the box being seen...  Let's be real "Veggie Muffins" is not something that my husband will jump at!  
So- they arrived and I was thrilled!!  The Veggie Muffins come frozen - but let me tell you, they sure don't taste that way when you go to enjoy them!   The come in a box of 4 with flavors such as Blueberry Oat, Zucchini Banana Chocolate Chip, Zucchini Chocolate, Carrot Berry and Golden Corn. I am NEVER one to pass up chocolate - at least I can not think of a time that I did...   
So, I tried the Zucchini Chocolate one - amazing!   I will say, I was TOTALLY IMPRESSED with the individual packaging (with heating instructions and flavors printed on each package!)  The individual packaging allowed me to open and mix around the flavors I tried.  
They were super moist and full of flavor.  I honestly did not taste any of the veggies, but I have to say that I LOVE veggies, as does Broxton.   I served the Carrot Berry muffins for breakfast one day and Broxton enjoyed it... It was just right so that you could totally pass it off as homemade, if you are like me and have NO BAKING SKILLS!    



 


I really enjoyed them nice and hot, but it says you can enjoy them at room temperature as well.  I am thinking that this would be a great snack to take to the pool this summer...Or even an added treat to throw into lunch next school year.  I did cook dinner one night and then added the corn muffins to the plates as an added bonus.  I did not bother to tell anyone that they were frozen and "veggie muffins" but I did smile as they were enjoyed as if I had made them myself!!!!   

If you are looking for a great way to add a bit more Veggie to your Meal - look into Veggie Muffins!!!!  (Check them out - I am already wanting to try a few of their souffles!)

Check it out: 
Garden Lites, The Delicious Vegetable Company®, debuts the latest innovation in frozen cuisine with the launch of Garden Lites Veggie Muffins™, whose first and main ingredient is a vegetable!  These delicious, filling treats have just the right amount of sweet and are great for breakfast, lunch or anytime snack.  Veggie Muffins hit the shelves as the demand for healthier, convenient frozen food options continues to grow. 

All varieties of Garden Lites Veggie Muffins™ are gluten-free, vegetarian, low in calories, high in fiber and Kosher Parve.  Individually wrapped, these 2 ounce muffins offer convenient portability, and heat up in the microwave in only 35 seconds.  They can also be enjoyed at room temperature which is especially great for on-the-go snacking.  Stores nationwide are now carrying Veggie Muffins™which are available in 5 great and guilt-free flavors:
  • Veggie Blueberry Oat Muffins are filling and flavorful due to the combination of oats and sweet blueberries.
  • Zucchini Banana Chocolate Chip Veggie Muffins are the perfect blend of delicious vegetables, sweet banana and chocolate chips.
  • Zucchini Chocolate Veggie Muffins are made with fresh veggies and the finest chocolate.
  • Carrot Berry Veggie Muffins are made with fresh veggies and three different berries.
  • Golden Corn Veggie Muffins are chock-full of sweet corn every corn muffin lover will enjoy.

The need for healthy frozen food options has never been higher, especially with consumers looking for fast options that fit in with their hectic schedules.  After the successful launch of new and innovative Pizza SoufflĂ© and Southwestern SoufflĂ© in 2012, Garden Litesfelt the market was ready for the next level of delicious veggies.  Made of 1/3 fresh vegetables, each Veggie Muffin™ combines healthy nutrition with mouth watering flavors.  Garden Lites launched with the Zucchini Chocolate Veggie Muffin flavor early this year, followed by Carrot Berry and the other varieties. 

Brunch? Try #bajasalbany

*** This is not a paid / sponsored post.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Since visiting this location, I have asked the owners if we might be able to work together in a review... but this post was just something I wanted to share with you...

We recently went back home - one of the boys was graduating high school (different post about that soon!)  and we had to go home to celebrate...   We also had to hurry home to be back in time for Marc to be back for work... but before we left, I had to try out a new restaurant.
You see, I asked friends where to go for lunch (wanted to try something different) and was told of Baja's Albany.  I had NO CLUE what they were talking about, but after looking them up... I knew I wanted to try their brunch..  Why?  SALMON EGGS BENEDICT.
That right there got me... I love, love - LOVE Salmon and eggs Benedict... come on... It is hard to find a good eggs Benedict... the Hollandaise has to be JUST right...

Anyways - so we showed up, right when they opened.  Immediately seated and Marc and I both were talking about the decor... Looks nice and I love how open it all is.  They actually have 3 different seating area's... and a private patio as well!  Marc looked at the brunch menu and then we ordered... I knew what I wanted - no question about it...
While we waited, they offered us chips and salsa.
Since I am NEVER one to turn them down - and since they were homemade, I wanted to try it out.  SURE! Send it on over!  Broxton was not a fan, since he thought the colors were going to make them taste funky or something.. but I had no problem enjoying them!  Side note- they do table-side guacamole at night ..  MUST TRY that soon. I am a semi new fan to guacamole and I HATE that I missed out on it all these years!

HOMEMADE CHIPS AND SALSA
Then, the food arrived.  My Eggs Benedict looked amazing.. Marc ordered some Mexican dish and
Broxton stuck with the basics...  I immediately had to get Marc to try the grits.. something about them... They were delicious... They had a hint of a sweetness to them?  Come to find out - fresh stone ground grits...  Yep, they are so much better than the instant ones I treat us to from time to time!  I will be honest and say that the eggs were a bit over cooked... I stopped and asked them if that was how they were normally prepared and was informed that next time they would be runny, just like I wanted them, but they did come and ask how we wanted the eggs cooked when we ordered, so it was our mistake on that one.  Obviously it wasn't that bad... since I ate them and THEN mentioned it, versus when the food came out.  Get what I am saying??  The Hollandaise alone was amazing and made me love the food that much more.  Will for sure be ordering this again whenever I am in town for brunch!
SALMON EGGS BENEDICT 
 As I said, Marc went with some Mexican dish.  He is not a huge Mexican fan, but for some reason, that was what grabbed his attention.  He loved every last bite and did not leave anything on his plate...  AT ALL.
HUEVOS RANCHEROS
Broxton went with bacon, eggs and toast.  He was kind enough to share the toast (because he got to use the butter knife to cut it up) with us, but other than that, he ate all of his food and said it was good.  
Broxton enjoyed his kids breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon and toast.
While the food was plentiful, we still wanted to try more... I really wanted to see how their home fried potatoes were, so I ordered a side to test out... while doing so, Marc went ahead and ordered the French Toast.  The food came out and it looked amazing.  You could tell the potatoes were cooked to order and they had just enough seasoning to not be bland.. but not so much that you were distracted by the flavor.  It was a win - win for me... Until I went to test the French Toast...


HOME FRIED POTATOES
Marc and Broxton had INHALED the French Toast...  Seriously. Not one bite left for me.  I asked if it was good since they didn't bother to share --- and they both tried to pass the blame onto to the other as to who ate it all!  
French Toast

So-what am I getting at?
If you are down around South Georgia .. swing on by Albany and try out Baja's.  I know I want to go back and try out their lunch...
(They also have live music on the patio Friday and Saturday nights!)

I will let you know when I return what I thought about the lunch menu... Plus get pictures of the place - and will share more about Baja's...  This was just to tell you what a great brunch we had the other day!
Check out Baja's Albany on Facebook.

29.5.14

How Savvy are You When it Comes to Beach Safety

This is not a paid or sponsored post.
This is a guest post - We can never be to safe, can we?


Since June 1 - 8 is National Beach Safety Week, below is an easy—or enlightening—quiz courtesy of Wrightsville Beach, a North Carolina beach that offers families crystal-clear waters and smoke-free air. After passing (3 or more right) or failing (2 or less) the quiz, learn more by watching this short video — Clean Beach and Clear Waters—or read here to learn about how Wrightsville Beach goes above and beyond to eliminate worry for parents who deserve a less-stress summer vacation

How Savvy are You When it Comes to Beach Safety?

TRUE or FALSE
1.      Water-resistant sunscreen is the same as waterproof sunscreen.
2.      Wearing a white cotton t-shirt is not as effective at blocking UV rays as wearing SPF 15.
3.      If you find yourself caught in a rip current, the safest way to get back to the beach is to swim parallel to the shore until you’re out of the current. Then it’s okay to swim towards shore.
4.      Most beach lifeguards are high school students who need summer jobs.
5.      Since public beaches are public and not exclusive, smoking is allowed by law.
ANSWERS
1.      False, according to the FDA, a water-resistant sunscreen has to maintain its SPF protection after 40 minutes of exposure to water. A waterproof sunscreen has to maintain its SPF protection after 80 minutes of exposure to water.  
2.      True, a white cotton t-shirt has an SPF that ranges from 4-7 depending on if it’s wet or not.
3.      True, swimming towards shore while you’re in the outward-pulling rip current will only tire you out. Swimming sideways requires less energy, and it’s the best way to get out of the current so that you can safely swim towards shore.
4.      False—at least at Wrightsville Beach where most of the 32-person staff are county and city firefighters. Wrightsville’s USLA-certified agency is actually a division of the local fire department, and they call themselves Ocean Rescue, not lifeguards.
5.      False, according to the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation, almost 200 municipalities in the U.S. have beaches that are entirely smoke free. Wrightsville Beach was the first beach in North Carolina to ban smoking.

28.5.14

Dora and Boots - Best Friends Forever

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.

If you have a Dora Fan - get ready to buy a new DVD!!!  Dora and Boots - Best Friends Forever- out on DVD May 27th.  Get ready to be the one putting smiles on your little ones face as you wow them when you gift them the latest from Nickelodeon.  


Join best friends Dora and Boots on EIGHT of their greatest adventures in the all-new DVD Dora and Boots – Best Friends Forever.  Come along with the inseparable duo as they explore a magical rainforest amusement park, celebrate Best Friends Day, rescue Boots’ beloved shiny red boots, recover Boot’s lost cuddly dinosaur, and much more! Enjoy more with this set including over three hours of fun with Dora and Boots. Created by Nickelodeon Home Entertainment and distributed by Paramount Home Media Distribution, Dora and Boots - Best Friends Forever will be released on DVD on May 27, 2014.
 
Dora and Boots - Best Friends Forever Episode Synopses:
 
Riding the Roller Coaster Rocks
Dora, Boots and Abuela explore the magical rain forest amusement park, Adventure Forest, so they can ride the Roller Coaster Rocks!
 
Best Friends
Happy Best Friends Day!  Today is a special day for best friends to play together.  Boots and Dora decide to meet for a picnic to celebrate.
 
Dora’s First Trip
Dora tells the story of how she first met Boots.  On their very first adventure, Dora and Boots have to bring instruments back to the Fiesta Trio so they can play for the cranky Queen bee.
 
The Big River
Boots loses one of his shiny red boots in the Big River.  Dora and Boots set off on a wild water adventure as they chase after the runaway boot.
 
Boots’s Special Day
Today, Boots gets to do anything he wants because it’s his special day!  His most favorite thing in the whole world is to visit his daddy at work.
 
Baseball Boots
Boots loves baseball!  He loves to run, catch, and throw, but so far he’s never gotten a hit.  So when Dora and Boots have a big baseball game, Boots is determined to get his first hit.
 
Boots’s Cuddly Dinosaur
It’s bedtime, and Dora and Boots are having a sleepover.  Dora has her teddy bear, Osito, but Boots can’t find his cuddly dinosaur.  His dinosaur must have fallen out of his bag at Play Park.
 
Call Me Mr. Riddles
Boots is thrilled to hear about the riddle contest today at the Tall Mountain.  Boots is sure he can solve the silliest riddle.

Little Free Library, Jumpin Beans and @hdatlanta #SummertimeFun #DIGINTOREADING

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.

I am so excited to be telling you more about the Little Free Library and how Jumpin Beans Blog will be working together.  If you read my earlier post - about Alpha Bits Cereal and Little Free Library, you knew something was headed this way... Now to tell you more!!!

We were sent a Little Free Library (that Marc put together for me!) and we will be putting it up soon, for the community to enjoy!    I am so lucky that I will be working with our local Harley Davidson on this!  
You see, long story short- Little Free Library is all about sharing the love of reading!  
Say you are on a road trip (or visiting friends) and your younger one needs a book to enjoy.  You can just visit the Little Free Library and see if there is one near you... Swing on by (they are in public places) and grab a book.  It is sort of like the "need a penny, take a penny / have a penny, give a penny" approach - BUT WITH BOOKS!    So, you can leave a book you finished and grab a new one... leaving it at whatever Little Free Library you find along your journey.  If you have kids that are getting older, you can take your older books there and donate them so that others may find a love of reading as well!  


The plans for our Little Free Library?  It will be geared more towards the younger kids, but that does not mean that if you have older aged books you would like to donate that we will say no, we would love them all, as we want to PROMOTE reading!
The great thing, I mentioned our local Harley Davidson Dealership.... Well, many people don't really associate kids and Harleys.. Truth be told, many people have bad images of 'bikers' and I hate to say it... but they are normally the farthest thing from the truth... Some bikers are some of the most caring and compassionate people you will ever meet.  (Keep in mind there are good and bad in ALL sorts of people!)
Well, we will be placing the Little Free Library at our local HD dealership... and the grand "reveal" will be at their kids day!  Yes.  You read that right!  They have Kids Day and for June - it is June 21st.
We would love to have you join us... and maybe grab a book - or leave a few!



WHEN:
June 21st, 2014

WHERE: 

501 Thorton Rd
Lithia Springs, Ga 

Hope to see you there!!

We would also love it if you brought a book or two to donate to make this library a huge success!!
 
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