Reviews, giveaways and memes - Jumpin Beans


Menu Tasting at Olive Garden #Atlanta

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.

All photos belong to Jumpin Beans Blog. 

The other day I got an email asking me to come and taste a few of the delicious creations that Olive Garden has to offer.  Of course, I was not going to turn that down... Just a few reasons as to why I just "had" to say yes :)
One reason - it was in my old stomping grounds and (hate to admit it) the last time I had actually visited that location, I was pregnant with Broxton and a dear friend and I went there for lunch one day!
Second reason- I love Olive Garden.
Third reason- We recently (within the last year or so) had the first Olive Garden location open up in my hometown... So, I thought it would be great to try out their dishes that I might not otherwise order, then I could give feedback - not only to them, but also to family and friends!
That Oh - So - Familiar sign from many years ago!   As soon as I knew that was the location, memories started floating back!  Himee, I am talking about you girlie!  

The night came and off we went... Did I mention we tried eleven (YES- ELEVEN - 11 different things?!)  We tried everything from appetizers to entrees and of course we got to taste an awesome dessert too!  
We were given the option to try beverages as well... Above is the Sangarita.
This is "the best of a margarita and sangrita!"  (Tequila, Wine, Fresh Fruit and Fruit Juice!)  They are not stingy when it comes to this drink, as it was a great size to last you throughout your whole meal!  
For a non-alcoholic beverage, what is better than their Strawberry- Passion Fruit Limonata?
This is lemonade, sparkling water, strawberries and passion fruit.  Personal tip -- as it sits there, give it a good stir before drinking, if not, you might end up with a bit more of the sparkling water without so much of the flavor over time. It was great and a very refreshing drink!  For sure a summer patio beverage of choice!  

 Although summer is slowly winding down, we were still given a few of their Italian Summer menu items to check out.  There is such a wide variety and I am so glad that I sampled things that might not otherwise be ordered from me.
Did I tell you I had the cutest dinner date there?  Yes!   My date for the evening!   
 As we were seated, we were warned not to fill up on breadsticks, as there were plenty of dishes headed our way.  Of course you are at Olive Garden, so you HAVE to have at least ONE breadstick and a little salad... That is a given!

 Now --- On to the food tasting!

Crispy Risotto Bites (“Small Plates”) – 
Bite-sized blend of Italian cheeses and rice, lightly fried and served in marinara sauce.

I thought these were delicious and will for sure be ordered on future visits to Olive Garden!  Loved them! 

Artichoke Fritti (appetizer) –
 Marinated artichoke hearts, lightly battered and fried. Served with a five cheese marinara dipping sauce.

This was pretty good, but I could not honestly see myself ordering this as an appetizer again.  I would like 1 or 2 of them, maybe as an accent to a dish... but if it is just Marc and I dining out, I see more being left over than eaten.  Don't get me wrong, they were good.. but I am just not a huge artichoke fan. 
 Polenta Shrimp alla Greca (“Small Plates”) –
Sautéed shrimp served on creamy polenta and topped with a fresh blend of olives, capers and tomato sauce.
With this dish, I personally would never order it.. because of the "olive" in the description.  Now, I am glad that I did try it out.. Since it was very tasty and to be honest, I did not taste any olive flavor,although I did push a couple olives to the side to enjoy the dish.  
Roasted Tomato Caprese Salad Topper – 
Fresh mozzarella bites, roasted tomato, bell pepper, basil, kale and an extra-virgin olive oil drizzle.

 No trip to Olive Garden is complete without their salad.  I absolutely LOVE it and now, they have kicked it up a notch!  You can add a "salad topper" to it for a small price. .  

Smashed Chicken Meatball Sandwich – 
Smashed chicken meatballs with roasted bell peppers and mozzarella on a focaccia bun. 

I really enjoyed this, but there was a bit of a kick in the spice area.  It wasn't overwhelming to the point that I did not enjoy, but it did surprise me a bit!  
Bucatini with Spicy Diavolo Sauce and Sausage Meatballs – part of Cucina Mia:Choose your pasta: New Large Paccheri, New Tri-Colored Vegetable Penne, Bucatini, New Cavatappi, Whole Wheat Linguine, New Gluten-Free RotiniChoose your made-from-scratch sauce:  New Creamy Garlic Alfredo, New Primavera, New Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato, New Spicy Diavolo, Fresh Tomato PomodoroAdd a topping (additional cost): New Chicken Meatballs, New Sausage Meatballs, Meatballs, Sautéed Shrimp
Up next was supposed to be the Bucatini with a special sauce and meatballs... Since I was not a fan of the spicy and neither was Broxton, they actually changed our sauce and both of us really enjoyed it.  (Broxton enjoyed it the next day for dinner, as he requested it and was happy to have leftovers!)  
 Garlic Rosemary Chicken 
Grilled marinated chicken breast topped with rosemary and caramelized garlic cloves. Served with garlic parmesan mashed potatoes and fresh spinach.
This was not a favorite of mine.  It was good and I enjoyed it, but I guess I was looking for more to it.  I thought Broxton might enjoy it, but he was not a fan of the gravy on the mashed potatoes.  If we were to order it again, I would ask for the gravy on the side.  The chicken was juicy and with 2 chicken breasts, it is a great option - but just didn't go with my tastebuds for a meal at Olive Garden that night.  
 Lasagna Fresca –
 Hand folded vegetable lasagna, sautéed shrimp and grilled tomatoes with sundried tomato sauce.
I absolutely LOVED this dish.  The lasagna filled with veggies- amazing.  The sun dried tomato sauce?  Outstanding!  This is a seasonal dish and that makes me sad, but I was told that this sauce is always available, so I will for sure be ordering it next visit.  

Chicken Abruzzi (Olive Garden Specialty, Lighter Italian Fare [under 575 calories]) 
Grilled chicken breast in a savory broth simmered with cannellini beans, kale and garden vegetables.
Oh My Word --- I almost fell out when this dish arrived... This is not "just soup" it is a MEAL (and UNDER 575 calories!)  It was amazing!  The beans, kale and veggies make it a great healthy (and hearty) alternative... Throw chicken in there and meat-lovers are happy too! The portion of this soup will shock you all!  
Pappardelle Pescatore (Olive Garden Specialty) –   Sautéed shrimp, bay scallops and clams tossed with pappardelle pasta, fresh asparagus and tomatoes in a creamy red pepper seafood sauce.
This was a great one for me to tell Marc and my brother about... Since they would love the scallops and clams... I just am not a fan of it... I actually loved the flavor and enjoyed the asparagus and shrimp!  Cute side note, Broxton was really concerned that they served us shells..  Ha ha ha ...   He was just not understanding that at all!   
Vanilla Panna Cotta with Strawberries (dessert) – 
Sweet summer strawberries top a rich and creamy vanilla custard inspired by Italy’s mountainous Piedmont region.
To end the night with this dessert was the best!  I normally would go for something different, but after eating this... I know how great it is and will for sure add it to my orders in the future!  

I am very appreciative of the invitation sent for me to come and check this out...  We had a great time and really enjoyed the evening!  If you are trying to decide where to go, make sure you see how close you are to an Olive Garden!  There are plenty of options there to make everyone happy!  

New Osh Kosh Opens in Buckhead - #Atlanta

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.
All photos belong to Jumpin Beans Blog.

Living in Atlanta gives us plenty of shopping options...  I was lucky enough to be able to go to the new opening of the Osh Kosh store in Buckhead for a back to school party!   I had never actually been in an Osh Kosh store before, so it was nice to get to check it out and see the options and prices.  
Stop it with all the cuteness!   Seriously, they don't just carry the basic overalls now!
I loved the different styles for girls and boys!  
Several sections through the store had big discounted sale signs for great savings!  
 I actually asked friends about jeans for boys and heard that Osh Kosh makes great ones.  Broxton wasn't feeling the festivities that day, he said after being in school all day, he just wanted to play with toys... not look at clothes!  So, we did not get to try any on, although I love the selections.
See this bin at the front door?
Check this out:  B’gosh Jeanius--- Customers can bring in a new pair of jeans to any OshKosh store in Atlanta and they will deliver them to students in need by the middle of September.  

Broxton was able to enjoy getting a special friend before we left!  He loves his new friend Hickory!
If you are in or near Atlanta, why not head in and donate a pair of Jeans to the campaign?
Thanks for having us, Osh Kosh!  


Only 18 Weeks Till Christmas - Look at Zoob Toys! #MakingMyList @alextoys

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 don't know about your house... but around here, Broxton is always adding things to his Christmas list... I guess it is my fault..  Every-single-time you turn around, he sees something he thinks he just "has to have" and instead of listening to him ask about it, I tell him to add it to his Christmas list... Then, once it is closer to Christmas, we actually write a list and see if he remembers everything.    (Thanks to INFOMERCIALS, we always have a nice long verbal list going!)
Well, not that long ago we went to an event and saw some pretty new (to both of us) toys.  I loved watching him play with them all and I loved making mental notes as to what he really REALLY enjoyed and what he just sort of added to the list in passing...   
One toy?  Zoob Toys.  I don't really know what you would call them, as they are not "BLOCKS/BRICKS"  but they are "building items" that really let your creativity (or in my case, NON CREATIVITY) shine!
 We were lucky to get a set sent to us for review and as hard as it was.... I have hid them until Christmas!  Now, that doesn't mean that Mama hasn't played with them without Broxton...  I really didn't want to sit in the store on the floor to play with them, so this was a great time!
Their description: 

Ready, set, get creative and start building! The ZOOB Sparkle 60 Piece Kit includes fun new ZOOB colors! Everything is included to make a dolphin, elephant and even a sea turtle. Use your imagination to make your own creations.
Includes 60 pieces and easy to follow step by step instructions.
ZOOB pieces are based on a natural and living system and features pieces that snap, click or pop together in different ways, making building easy and versatile. ZOOB building sets are unique in that the pieces move after they are put together, allowing for truly interactive creations. Collect ZOOB sets for more interactive pieces!
 I was EXTREMELY LUCKY that they included 2 different books to help you out.. because sad to say, as soon as they were all dumped out - any sort of creativity I was feeling went flying out the window!
They include a BOOK ONE - that works with around 20 Zoobs or less... and then they have a BOOK TWO for those that are already familiar with the Zoobs... This works with the 60 Zoob set!  

 Once you dump them out, you are totally lost --- Well, when you are 35 and THINK you are going to totally make the most awesome creation yet...    Yeah... I am sure that all kids will be just like Broxton was when he saw them in the store and will have a blast with them!  
 In this particular set that we were sent, there are 5 basic designs / shapes of Zoobs for you to work with ...  Each shape is in its own color.  The hook like things snap over the ball shape... and the best part is that the ball is like a reversed golf ball, so the dimples on a golfball are actually little balls that are sticking OUT on here.. That allows for the hook thing to be able to stay in place in a wide variety of angles.
Yes, I am totally aware that my technical terms of "hook things" and "reverse golfballs" are NOT going to be in their next set of directions!  HA HA HA!!!!   

As I started making this, I thought it was like a dog.. but once I was finished, it looked more like a dinosaur to me!  I added legs on it and made it into a pretty neat looking caterpillar but I did not want to scare you on this!    

The ONLY draw back I have to this?
I wish it came in a storage box/bag of some sort.
I think a bag would be best than a box, that way if you have  pretty neat creation, you could always throw it in the bag, where as in a box you might have to break it apart!
I think that this would be a great toy for taking on trips...   perfect for any "down time" in a hotel and they are large enough that it would be fun to let them build creations on road trips too!

If you are like me and are already trying to somewhat plan a Christmas list...
Look into the Zoobs!   We were sent the Zoob Sparkle set, but it says that all the different Zoobs work with each other, so you can always add more to your collection!  

Creativity Day in #Atlanta - RECAP - Creativity In a Can

I was not required to post this.  I just wanted to share this event with you guys!  

A bit ago, we were invited to go to a free event at Learning Express.  We decided to make a day of it, so off we went!  We had friends meet up with us and we had a blast.  
First of all, I had NEVER been to a Learning Express, so that was new to me. 
I was also not familiar with the Creativity for Kids- so I was thrilled!  
This was part of the email I received.... 
The Atlanta budget agreement puts money back into the community. However, the CRCT scores continue to lag in many metro Atlanta Schools. Many elementary and middle schools along metro Atlanta's southside continue to have trouble meeting standards in several subjects, particularly math, according to Georgia Department of Education data released Tuesday.  
That is why, Faber Castell Creativity for Kids selected Atlanta for 'Creativity Day' being announced this Saturday. Faber Castell, is the leading imagination brand in the country for fostering children's imaginations with art supplies, crafts and more. 

Tell me, as a mom --- how could I read this and not want to go and have a Creativity Day???
 We got there and I will say, it was pretty neat.  There were different Creative Cans..  You just grabbed the color you wanted...   (For this particular event, all the materials inside were the same, just the outer color was different on the can.)  At that point... It was up to you and your child for the creativity that they wanted to go with.  
 At one point, Broxton was making his to look like an egg was cooking on top of it... Then, he decided to go with making it like a Robot and put wheels on the bottom. Add stickers, feathers and googly eyes on it... The options were endless!  He had a great time and after a while, he decided that he was finished - for the time being- and he simply put the other materials back in the can and took it home to play with at a later time.  
The creativity cans are really open ended, so kids - and dads - of all ages can have a great time.  This is a friend of ours and his son... they worked for a bit on their creation too, then took it home to play later!
The great thing was that this event had a great turnout - (I tweeted telling you about it, so if you didn't see it, make sure you are following me on twitter!)
There were kids of all ages and it was neat -- all of the same materials in each can, but no one had the same looking art once they were done!

I for one am very appreciative that Faber Castell made such a fun day that was free for us all to go to.   (Not many things are really free in Atlanta these days!)

Have you ever been to an event like this before? 


Ready for a Little FLAG FOOTBALL???? #MakingMyList

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.
All photos belong to Jumpin Beans Blog. 

Over the summer, Broxton was invited to one of his best friends house for the coolest birthday party!  They are big Georgia Fans... (Go DAWGS!)  They decided to do a "football themed" party and we had a blast!!!  While there, towards the end, they busted out a little Flag Football game for the boys and at that point it hit me...   THIS WOULD BE AWESOME FOR MY WILD BOYS AT CHRISTMAS!   
At that point, I started thinking more and more about it... 
Great gift idea - CHECK

Great way to have them active - CHECK
Great way to cut down on injury - CHECK 

 So, I decided that would be a great way to get smiles out of them....
Luckily for us, I saw that they have a "flag football" all in one kit type... and now I get to tell you about it!
Their description:
Flag football is a classic game loved by people of all ages! This set features a soft and durable 9.5 inch foam football for safe play. Using a foam football is great for developing kids’ throwing and catching skills without having to worry about bumps and bruises! The foam football even has molded laces to simulate the feel of a real football. This set includes 2 different colored sets of 8 clippable flags – perfect for 4 on 4 games. A great outdoor game for kids 5 years old and up!

 There are clips in green and orange... BRIGHT colors, so that if the game lasts a bit longer than expected, you can still see them and be good to go!  I love that they are plastic and look as though they will hold up to the roughness of a group of kids / grown men.  
The highlight for me?  They include all these clips... and the football.. but they also have a great drawstring bag to store it all in!  With this house, that is a major plus!  You can throw it all in there and hang it on a hook outside or even on a doorknob.  

I know that this is going to be an awesome gift for the boys this year... But I think it would be a great gift for any football fan anytime.  Perfect for the summer... Or with football season coming up, a great time for a little pregame fun?  I know a football is always tossed around at our Thanksgiving get together, this would make it a bit more interesting!
Are you a fan of flag football???

World of Reading- Marvel - Volume 1

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.

Boxed Set - Volume 1 
As I mentioned, Broxton is in Kindergarten now... Part of his nightly homework is for us to read a minimum of 10 minutes together.  I love this time with him and as we all know, if a kid is interested in something, they will pay more attention to it... That is one reason I let him pick out his books for us to read each night.  (There is not much worse when it comes to reading than when you have to read something that does not interest you at all!)  
Last night, he decided that he wanted to go with the Boxed Set of Marvel books.  He thought it was just one big book and he was THRILLED when he opened the box and saw that it actually has 6 books in there... I couldn't even tell him that with this set, he also gets a Marvel e-book as well!  

The books included in this set?
This is Spiderman!
This is Thor!
This is Captain America!
This is Wolverine!
This is Iron Man!
These are the X-Men!

I love the books because they are simple and will be great when he starts reading them to me. They are all Level 1 books, meaning beginner reader: Pre-K - Grade 1.  I know that these will be shown lots of love, as he loves Super Heroes and gets so excited learning about them!   I love it too, since I can honestly say I am not "Super Hero Savvy" and now I can start to be!  

This is a great set of books for any Marvel fans you might know!    You could even have them make their own super hero mask --- and come up with a name... Then let them be a superhero while you read about other ones!!!  If they are new to these characters, after you read the books, have them come up with their alter ego!  

Thinking Thursdays

Okay, so I used to do "Aloha Friday" but it seems that it has died down...
I have random questions of things that run through my head and I am going to start asking a question each week...  Would love to hear your answers!!!!!  
I would also love for you to join in with me... Ask a Question of your own - either here in the comments or on your blog (leave me a link so I can visit and answer)  If it seems that a couple of you start doing this with me, I will totally put up a linky, but for now, I just want to know your thoughts...

Today's Question - 
What is your favorite Disney Movie?

My answer -
I would say that it is a toss up between Frozen and The Little Mermaid.
I love the musical parts in them both... and the story of both of them are great...  I love almost all Disney Movies, but these are the top ones right now!  


Leading the Way With Gillette Flexball - #SmoothSummer #Shop

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser.  All opinions are mine alone.

As most of you know, Marc is Army, so that means a clean shave is a normal thing around our house.  Luckily, he is now National Guard, so it isn't an every day thing... But still... When it is time to shave, it is time to take care of your face and shave right, right? That means a trip to Wal-Mart is planned...   Luckily for me, they had the Gillette Flexball on the end cap, so it made for easy locating, but other razors aren't so lucky!  

I was lucky enough to surprise Marc with the latest Gillette Flexball Razor, working with #CollectiveBias  and let me tell you this... I thought Broxton was going to fall out from excitement!  He kept saying/yelling "I can't BELIEVE you got dad a flexball!  I saw that on a commercial!" (I can't believe he did not know they were at Wal-mart, since we go there often and if you ask him... EVERYTHING is at Wal-mart!)
 I was actually telling Marc the other day that I love him both fresh shaven, as well as with a "little fur" on his face... The moments he creates with Broxton... Well, that just melts my heart!  Not only was this a great opportunity to use this new razor, it was a great time for him to make those special memories with Broxton!  He knew that the "big shave" was coming, so he went and got a pretend razor for Broxton, as he wanted to show him a perfect way to shave!  
 Broxton was THRILLED to have this time with daddy ... and I was so excited that I was able to snap these memories to treasure forever!  
 Of course, with getting Marc the Gillette Flexball for a #SmoothSummer - I had to treat him to the Hydra Gel to let him enjoy and get the best shave possible.  He gave Broxton a little and they set out to have a great time.  
 Yes, I love knowing that Broxton has a great daddy to look up to.  He has a great role model to show him how he needs to be!  
This photo here melts my heart seeing the look in his eyes watching daddy...  You can tell he is proud of him, always!  The last time he returned home in his uniform, Broxton begged him to go out to eat with him in his uniform... and even had to tell him that some kids might want to get their picture taken with him!  

Broxton trying to shave just like daddy... He kept asking dad about the flexball and how it was going to move, to keep it from hurting him... and I kept joking with Broxton to quit talking and be careful, as I did not want him to cut himself with his razor!   
 We were quick to notice that with the Gillette Flexball Razor, the razor blades had the up-down motion that we were used to, but it also had the flexball that would also rotate it left to right, allowing for a smoother shave as he used it to get his entire head and face "Army" approved!  
 Yep!  He is a keeper!  Smooth once again and ready to go!  
Yes, the Army has certain standards that they expect ... but Marc is so much more than that...   The tough exterior of the "Army Soldier" isn't always what he is... I always heard about how women would fall more in love with their husband once they see them as a daddy... boy is that ever true!
I know that Marc takes the time to clean up for the Army, but he also does on other days...
Birthdays, when he is home and able to go to church... and it is so sweet to me... When he is home and is able to attend functions for Broxton, he always shaves and says he wants to make Broxton proud of him...
I know for a fact that Broxton is proud of him and it makes my heart so happy....
The Army might have molded him into the man he is today.. but it is so much more... He is setting the example for the man Broxton will become.

Follow Krystal's Kitsch's board Smooth Faces of Summer on Pinterest.

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.

Diaper Cakes Make it Awesome

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 friend having a baby, take it a step further... 
Instead of just a box of diapers, make it a center piece at the shower... 
Go with a Diaper Cake!   
I think these are just so cute and so adorable!  
The one we received was from McKenzie's Diaper Bakery out of Atlanta.  

This is a Diaper Cake that we went with a Neutral Gender.... 
I know you can do pink for girl and blue for boy, but I wanted to see what making it neutral would do as far as the decorations....
I loved the extra touches...
They added travel sized lotion, shampoo, baby powder and more!
A gifted this to a friend of mine and everyone who saw it thought it was just the cutest...
Talk about making something special!  

Have you ever given or received a diaper cake? 


Baby Buddy - Natural Bath Sponge #BringingUpBaby

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 know of someone that is having a baby, don't you like giving them gifts that they will need?  I know when I was pregnant with Broxton, I really had NO CLUE what to register for.  Sure, I registered for the big items (like a swing / stroller and what not) but then I really had no clue what I might need that were smaller items.  I did not register for diapers, since I was not sure what brand I would want to go with.. That ended up biting me in the butt, as we were a bit unprepared on that end for a minute, but I am glad I didn't register, as the brand I thought I would want to use ended up being the ones I didn't want...  
Anyways, I could ramble on forever...  
But let me tell you something - the gift baskets with random items were the ones I loved the most... and since then, I try and do that when I have baby gifts I need to give.  A bag / basket full of a little of this and a little of that...   A new to me product that will be making the gift list?  Baby Buddy Natural Bath Sponge!

A Baby Buddy Best Seller! Babies and moms will love our premium quality, natural sea wool sponge, specially selected and sized for baby. Super absorbent and unbelievably soft, this sponge produces great lather and makes rinsing baby quick and easy. Natural sponges are more resistant to bacteria than are synthetic sponges. All natural, recyclable and renewable. MADE IN USA.


Left Behind - In Theaters October 3rd

Not a sponsored post.  
Looks like a good movie and I love Chad Michael Murray from One Tree Hill days, so I want to see it.

LEFT BEHIND follows Rayford Steele (Nicolas Cage) who is piloting a commercial airliner just hours after the Rapture when millions of people around the globe simply vanish. Thirty thousand feet over the Atlantic, Rayford is faced with a damaged plane, terrified passengers, and a desperate desire to get back to his family. On the ground, his daughter, Chloe Steele (Cassi Thomson) is among those left behind, forced to navigate a world of madness as she searches for her lost mother and brother. 

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