Reviews, giveaways and memes - Jumpin Beans

26.3.16

Found Nemo, now we are Finding Dory!!!

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.
Well, we might not have found Dory at the Aquarium the other day, but we did find Nemo...
Have you seen Dory??  The movie is coming out on June 17th... hope you see her then!



Fun for all ages! @GeorgiaAquarium

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.

Most people know that Atlanta has tons of things to do.  As a child, I remember taking our vacations as trips to Atlanta.  You name it, they might have something somewhat like what you are looking for.  I am so blessed that we live here now and that I am able to take my children to different things around the city.  Recently we were able to take the day and enjoy ourselves at the Georgia Aquarium.  If you have never been before, you are in for a real treat. If you are familiar, you know how much fun there is to be had!!! 
I like how the Aquarium is laid out.  The easiest way for me to explain it would be to say it somewhat resembles a spider.  You have the center of it all (where you can sit and relax, enjoy food and now they even have live music.  I am not sure how often they have music there, but it was a surprise to see)  Then, where the spider "legs" would be, they each branch off into a different wing for you to see different galleries.  Did I mention it is 2 levels?  Don't worry... They have ramps / elevators as well as stairs.  It was perfect for us the day we went with the stroller.  If you are spending the day in that area and don't think you will need your stroller while at the aquarium, they also offer "stroller parking" so that is a relief.  

A map of the Aquarium so you can see the layout better.



The Georgia Aquarium. They have penguins, as you can see by their sign out front.  
(Broxton decided he wants a pet penguin now!)  

 
Georgia Aquarium will introduce a new California sea lion experience on March 31st, an exciting new program and gallery that will highlight this fascinating species. The Aquarium has been undergoing an extensive renovation for the sea lion habitat to celebrate its 10th anniversary. This new exhibit, named the SunTrust Pier 225 gallery, is among several other new and unique attractions opening at Georgia Aquarium this March.
In March of 2015, an unusually high number of sea lions pups were stranded on California beaches during an Unusual Mortality Event (UME), a sad phenomenon that is reaching a record-breaking high. Georgia Aquarium has provided a home for two of the rescued pups that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) deemed non-releasable after they stranded multiple times. Recently named by Georgia Aquarium’s fans, Jupiter and Neptune will serve as sea lion ambassadors to educate the public about the challenges these animals face in the oceans, including dwindling food sources. These two pups also join four other rescued sea lions at Georgia Aquarium that were deemed non-releasable.
Georgia Aquarium is active in sea lion preservation and a portion of proceeds from the Aquarium fosters this important work. Georgia Aquarium experts have assisted The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, Calif. which experienced overwhelming numbers of stranded and malnourished pups throughout this past year’s UME.  The Marine Mammal Center is one of many stranding centers located in California performing the important work of rescuing and rehabilitating these animals.

Southern Company River Scout showcases a wide diversity of animals found in the rivers of four continents - Africa, South America, Asia and North America. Species native to the state of Georgia itself make their homes in this gallery.
Animals range from reptilian albino alligators to colorful cichlids and Asian small-clawed otters. All live in a themed environment of waterfalls, logjams and a simulated North American river flowing overhead!

Dolphin Tales - Georgia Aquarium strives to inspire a greater understanding of common bottlenose dolphins and develop a lasting legacy for the conservation of marine mammals. The gallery and show underscore Georgia Aquarium’s commitment to educating the public about the aquatic realm in an immersive learning environment.
(We were not able to ago to check out the dolphins this time. We have seen them in the past and it is awesome. When we headed in that direction, Savannah had finally decided to take a nap and I was not about to wake her up.) 
Coldwater Quest - Species in this gallery showcase amazing adaptations to their harsh environments. From the coasts of South Africa and Japan to the Arctic Ocean, Cold Water Quest provides a glimpse at life in some of the world's chilliest ecosystems.
(Penguins... Yep.  We had to go through there a few different times.  Loved it!)  


They also have other galleries.  They are Ocean Voyager, Tropical Diver and Aquanaut Adventure.  
Ocean Voyager has whale sharks!!!   Pretty neat to see, if you ask me!
I love the Tropical Diver gallery because of the HUGE window where I could sit for ages looking at all the fish.  They were pretty busy as the day grew on, but we had to go through once more for me before we left.
Aquanaut Adventure is by far a MUST DO if you have children.  This gallery is very hands on as far as the educational aspect of it all.  They focus on STEM, which is a big thing these days!!  

This was pretty much Savannah's expression the whole time.  She seemed to really enjoy seeing all the fish and was mesmerized by so many new things to see.  

Broxton hated this.  Let me explain. He LOVED the gallery, he just hated me trying to take this picture.  If you look behind him, you see a diver back there feeding the fish.  I was trying to get him to stand in front and hold his hands so that it looked like the fish were all coming to him.  I think it turned out okay, but would have been better if I was directly in front of him. That spot was taken, so I did the best I could!!!! 

Stay tuned, as I will be sharing other pictures from our trip.  If you are planning a vacation, why not head to Atlanta and make the Aquarium one of the stops on your trip?  If you are planning a staycation and you live near here, you must check it out.  SO much to do!  Great place to visit for Spring Break,  if you can't make it to the beach!  

One more thing before you go... 
Okay, a few more. 
This is a great year to go visit, as the aquarium is making great changes!   Here's a look what's coming:
  • A very cool California sea lion experience will debut on March 31 in the new Suntrust Pier 225 gallery! 
  • A brand new dolphin presentation!
  • A completely renovated 4D theater
  • Several new touch pools located throughout the Aquarium's galleries
Make sure you visit the Aquarium site, as you can click on each gallery to see what all animals are there for you to see.  (You could even make a scavenger hunt for those going on the trip to see who can see everything.)

25.3.16

Make the most out of rainy weather. Be a Puddle Jumper!!!

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.

Let's be real here. Most times when it rains people start to complain.  I admit it, I do. It is hard getting a 7 year old that wants to run around in it and a baby under a year old in and out of the car in the rain.  Not even mentioning the fact that I really don't enjoy being soaking wet.  Here is the thing though... when did we start hating the rain?  As a child, we loved it. (Farmers still do, in moderation!)  
One of the latest books to join our ever growing library is Puddle Jumpers.  I am SO GLAD that we received this, as it reminded me to enjoy all of these moments!!!  Seriously, it is really fun and it is FREE!!!   What isn't to love???

PUDDLE JUMPERS by Anne Margaret Lewis (author) and Nancy Cote (illustrator) is a happy picture book that celebrates the simple, pure joy of jumping in a rain puddle. Nancy Cote’s cheerful illustrations are full of kid appeal, a perfect match to a story that captures the magic of being a child. Let your imagination take you on your own adventure the next time you encounter an irresistible puddle. 
 The illustrations are so cute throughout the book.  I think we all could use a bit more of the excitement and joy of childhood.  It goes away so fast!!!

Look at that face!  Jumping in puddles PLUS playing soccer.
DOUBLE WIN!!!!


There was an old lady who swallowed a skink!!!

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.

Lucky for me, I don't have a skink.  At least I don't think!
I had to look up on google to see what a skink was to tell you the truth.  It is a lizard.  (Did you know that before I just told you?)  I just love all of the "there was an old lady" books.  Yes, I have to sort of read it with a sing - song voice and that is fine with me. There is just something so fun about these books.  We were sent one about an old lady swallowing a skink and after learning what a skink was, we were good to go.
I thought it was a cute book and perfect to add to any growing library.  Kids (and adults) of all ages will enjoy the cuteness of it!  What all does she gobble?  You have to read to find out!!!!
THERE WAS AN OLD LADY WHO GOBBLED A SKINK by Tamera Will Wissinger (author) and Ana Bermejo (illustrator) is a wonderfully humorous take on the classic nursery rhyme. This story will delight children, adults, and all those who like fishing. It’s perfect for reading aloud and sure to be read (and perhaps even sung) again and again.


There was something about the illustrations of this book.  I liked the way I felt I was looking at a super cute coloring book.  I loved how you could see the lines of the illustration.
If you are a fan of the Old Lady books, I think you will love this one too!
Also perfect to give to any little fishermen in your life!!!

24.3.16

Our trip to Ikea for their Swedish Smorgasbord

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.

Last week I posted about the Swedish Easter Smorgasbord that was happening at Ikea.  Today, I want to give you a quick recap.  Obviously it is over already, but at least you will have a better understanding for their next event. Come to find out, they have around 4 of these type buffets each year!  
First of all, they close the restaurant down early for the day so that they can get things decorated and ready.  They had a big sign out there letting everyone know.  You can purchase the meal day of, or in advance.  I was surprised, they had a line going with people buying their tickets then... but also a good amount of people that had ordered their tickets in advance and were ready to go chow down. 
Sign letting you know what was going on.  

They had an assortment of foods.  Some were self serve, like these eggs, but others were behind the counter and they had employees making your plate.  This area had a few different meats and salads. 

Another self serve area was decorated for Easter with eggs and bunnies.  This section had meats, cheeses and pickles.  

My plate. I LOVE Salmon, so when I saw that they had a couple different options, I asked for a little of both. It was delicious!!!

Broxton wanted to go for the hot foods (and dessert!) He got meatballs and a couple different potato options.  He would have grabbed every dessert, but I had to say no.  

Now that we have Savannah, I pay more attention to the baby needs that are available.  Here was a station with a bottle warmer, a microwave, plenty of napkins and even disposable bibs.  

If you are around an Ikea when they have one of these events, I suggest you check out the menu and see if it is something you would enjoy!  

23.3.16

Ice Age Eggscapade #Giveaway #InsidersEggscapade

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.

Hope you were able to watch The Great Egg Scapade when it was on Fox this past weekend.
Just to keep the Ice Age excitement going, I get to host a giveaway for one digital download code for one lucky winner to enjoy. I am not sure about you, but we almost always watch Ice Age when we see it.  It is just so enjoyable to the whole family!!!

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Soduko ( click to enlarge)

Dot game (click to enlarge)


Enter the rafflecopter below to try and win!  





22.3.16

Spring break plans? Why not plan Summer Camps!!!

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.


Plans for spring break?  I know some people plan trips, some plan staycations and some don't plan anything at all.  I am not one to judge,so don't worry about that here.  I have recently learned that some places have "mini camp" type events planned for spring break that is basically a sneak peak to their camps they offer during the summer.  While I LOVE the thought of that, as well as the thought of sending Broxton to a day camp of some sorts, lets just be totally honest.  It is not in the budget.  Remember, we have a new baby!!!!   That is fine with ALL of us,as we find ways to make the most out of our summers as it is!  I did want to share two camps that I recently learned about in case you were looking for something to sign your children up for this year.  

Up first, we had the chance to go and visit Trees Atlanta not too long ago.  It is right there on the BeltLine and I know it will be a hit for kids of all ages.( If they like being outside.) They have camps for spring break and more for the summer.  If you are near there, I suggest checking it out.  Looks pretty fun and exciting, just not close to us and for sure out of our price range.  Read more about it below and make sure to visit their site to learn more.   
Our exciting new environmental education and research center is ideally suited for classes, workshops, special exhibits, and exploration for all ages. The TreeHouse is adjacent to the Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum, which serves as an outdoor classroom and laboratory for adult and youth programs. This is the first significant expansion for Trees Atlanta in more than 30 years!
Types of programs offered at the TreeHouse include: 
  • Homeschool environmental science classes
  • Girl Scout & Boy Scout badge programs
  • Citizen science projects/STEM
  • Arboretum adventures
  • Pre-school story time
  • Day camps ($10 per camper referral fee) 
  • and more! 
Many of these programs are free to the public!
The other?  Kindercare.  I know I shared more about their early learning program when I blogged about them before, but I sure enough wish they had a Kindercare near us. They have great summer camps lined up (*you can do a sneak peak over spring break to make sure it is something you and your child both will enjoy knowing they are going to daily!)  
I am just really impressed with Kindercare.  
They seem so awesome on open communication with the parents. 
* They have bulletin boards when you enter (and in each classroom) letting you know what is currently going on and what is planned for later events.  
* They send home papers letting you know what your child is learning.  ( I know for us, it has always been like pulling teeth to get any information as to what goes on each day, this is great! They also incorporate education with the young ones, so they might not be able to speak to tell you what is going on, but you can read the sheets to know what they do all day long.)
* They have their daily schedule posted so that you always know what happens when.

I love that they really get into decorating the place.  When we were there it was Dr. Seuss theme (for his birthday) and they had all the doors decorated.  They also have photos of the students throughout their classroom with what they are learning. 

I love that they make learning FUN.

As fun and educational as their daily school is, I can only imagine the amount of fun and education they have planned for summer camp!!!
Make sure you head over to see what they offer and if it is a great fit for you!  

Family Night with an @AmeliaBedelia #Giveaway!

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.


We all know how crazy and hectic life gets. It seems like its even busier when you have children, well at least that is how I feel these days.  Add a second one to the mix and oh my goodness, we feel busy even when I know good and well that we aren't! Busy days are always going to be a part of life, but it is nice to know that companies like the Ovations Brand of restaurants ( Old Country Buffet, Ryans, Hometown Buffet and Country Buffet) have family nights planned.  Know what that means?  Dinner and fun (shhhh and education too!) while enjoying time as a family! This spring they are featuring a book character I loved as a child and it is one that Broxton is starting to enjoy now....  Amelia Bedelia!  She was always so funny to me, without her meaning to be and now that I get to share her craziness with Broxton, I love it!!!  
Let me tell you more about this "family night" at one of the Ovation Brand restaurants near you.  (Please call to make sure your location is a participating location.)  From now until May 12th " kids of all ages are invited to participate in educational yet lighthearted group activities that celebrate words, science, cooking, the seasons and even this years presidential election."

ACTIVITIES FOR SPRING
All Family Night Kids’ Activities are free to all guests at participating Ryan’s®, HomeTown® Buffet, Old Country Buffet® and Country Buffet® locations. Kids simply meet up in the designated activity area, where an adult staff member will be leading the night’s fun-filled experience. Parents are welcome to enjoy a quiet meal in the meantime, or join in with kids as desired. Along with each weekly event, children will also receive “fun sheets” that relate back to each night’s theme.

Upcoming events include:-       
-          March 24 “Let’s Run for Office!” teaches kids the basics about election time and how to campaign by making slogans, buttons, and campaign promises before holding their own mini election.
-          March 31 “Spring Selfie” is a great social media photo-booth-style experience the whole family can take part in. Frames, decorations, and mini props will be provided at each location.
-          April 7 “Bake Off!” gets children into the wholesome fun of cooking by baking one of Amelia Bedelia’s favorites – classic Apple Pie. 
-          April 14 “Recipes Done Right” helps kids see how important it is to follow instructions – especially when baking – with a fun ‘scramble’ game to see which team can re-create certain recipes.
-          April 21 “Fly a Kite” celebrates one of Springtime’s most popular activities by coloring and assembling a miniature kite for flying or decorating their rooms
-          April 28 “Dream Pie” invites children to explore their imaginations and their appetites with a colorful design-your-own pie creation to share with the group
-          May 5 “The Power of Words That Help Out” features Amelia Bedelia and her silly mix-ups of common phrases as kids discover the multiple meanings of words and phrases during a Simon-Says-style game.
May 12 “Magic Words” highlights Amelia Bedelia once again – but this time showing how words can make a difference through manners and also through magic – with multiple magical demonstrations kids can recreate at home


To help spread the word, I get to offer one reader a special prize pack, with an Amelia Bedelia sticker pack, bonnet pack, poster, brochure, and 4 paperback books – Amelia Bedelia’s First Apple Pie, Amelia Bedelia Makes a Friend, Amelia Bedelia,Amelia Bedelia Means Business)
 Just enter the rafflecopter form below: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
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