Reviews, giveaways and memes - Jumpin Beans


Learning to be Curious - #MeetDennis

April is Autism Awareness month and I wanted to share this with you. Make sure you tune in April 6th to watch Dinosaur Train and #MeetDennis!  

Lessons from The Jim Henson Company’s Dinosaur Train on PBS KIDS
by Stephanie E. Meyer, Ph.D.

The Dinosaur Train creative team contacted me to be an advisor when they were developing a new character who would serve as a challenge for Buddy the T-Rex in their new episode “Junior Conductor Academy” (check your local listings). Buddy, whom they described as a “super nice, positive guy,” was going to have to adjust to being put “out of his comfort zone by another kid named Dennis who beats him at every turn.”
“Oh, and we’re thinking that maybe Dennis has autism.” they said.
I loved the idea that Dennis’ autism was beside the point. As a child psychologist, the most exciting part to me is that the episode isn’t about Dennis having special needs, in fact, it’s an episode about friendship, understanding, and acceptance. Meeting Dennis is a growing experience for Buddy, not because Buddy has to learn to accept Dennis’ developmental challenges, but rather because at first Buddy feels threatened by Dennis’ strengths.
As articulated by University of Cambridge professor Simon Baron-Cohen, if we’re able to portray children with autism spectrum disorder in value-free and nonjudgmental terms, in the future, it “could mean the difference between whether the diagnosis of autism is received as a family tragedy…[or] received as interesting information, akin to being told that the child is right- or left-handed.”

This episode provides an opportunity for dialogue among parents, teachers, and children about differences in various ways:
The Distinction Given to Similarities
Having watched the episode, I am completely smitten with Dennis. He’s a deeply lovable character, whose quirks make him all the more compelling. Dennis is cozy and familiar, not alien and mysterious. Dennis is a fully nuanced character whose behavior goes well beyond stereotypes. The episode highlights the ways in which his behavior overlaps with those of his peers, not just the ways he is different from his peers.
Differences Are Valued, Not Shamed
I recently had the opportunity to watch this episode with a 5-year-old super fan named Benjamin. As Buddy, Shiny, Tiny, Don, Oren and Ollie each arrived at Junior Conductors Academy, Benjamin confidently informed me of each character’s species, but when Dennis showed up, he seemed unsure how to categorize him “I don’t know what Dennis is!” Benjamin said. He was somewhat perplexed by his idiosyncrasies “I can’t even hear Dennis because of the way he talks! Why does he talk so funny? Why does he always talk so loud?”. As “Junior Conductors Academy” got underway, Benjamin watched in awe as Dennis repeatedly outperformed the other students in class. While he continued to take note of Dennis’ social idiosyncrasies, these seemed to increasingly engender feelings of empathy and familiarity, rather than fear and distancing: “I wonder if he has super-human hearing,
like me!” said Benjamin. Ultimately, when Dennis’ uniqueness proved instrumental in everyone earning their Junior Conductors’ First Class pins, Benjamin turned to me, his face lit up with excitement. He was eager to know whether Dennis could be a regular character on the show. He had come to view Dennis’ differences as a source of strength, and reason to celebrate. “Dennis is kind of awesome! he declared “He’s like a whole different species!”
Empathy Is Demonstrated
While Dennis does not always conform to the laws of etiquette, he experiences deep feelings of connectedness, and displays genuine kindness and sensitivity toward his new friends. In turn, the other dinosaurs lower their voices when they notice Dennis covering his ears, and no one judges his verbal rituals, atypical speech patterns, and tendency to blurt out answers.
The episode breaks down the barriers of discomfort, using narrative storytelling to engage viewers in a way that can promote empathy, identification, and recognition of our common humanity. Dennis faces realistic issues faced by children who are seen as “disabled” while at the same time he is able to thrive despite, or even because of, his differences.
The overarching revelation of “Junior Conductors Academy” is that, in a setting where differences are valued, celebrated, and expected, outside-the-box characteristics are viewed as gifts rather than evidence of impairment.
Dinosaur Train offers a new approach to portraying the varied behaviors of children, including those with autism spectrum disorder. Its central insight is that we have more in common than different. When parents, teachers, and children remain curious and open, autism spectrum disorder becomes beside the point, allowing all children to explore friendship in new and mutually supportive ways.

Dr. Stephanie Meyer is a child psychologist with over 20 years of research and clinical experience in the field of child psychology. Her private consultation practice in Los Angeles, California specializes in the comprehensive assessment of young children. She received her Ph.D. from the Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota, and she has played a leadership role in research
across a variety of institutions, including Harvard Medical School, the National Institute of Mental Health, and UCLA. Dr. Meyer has published several articles stemming from her own and collaborative research, and her work regarding gifted preschoolers has been featured on such outlets as NPR, Yahoo!, the History Channel, and The Mother Company. Find out more at her website,

Tune In as @DinosaurTrain Spreads Autism Awareness with #MeetDennis

April is Autism Awareness Month... 
Just thought I would share this with you all. 

Dinosaur Train  
Meet Dennis in the All-New Episode “Junior Conductors Academy”
on Wednesday, April 6
 As Part of Autism Awareness Month

April is Autism Awareness Month and The Jim Henson Company is embarking in a brand-new episode “Junior Conductors Academy” in which Buddy and his siblings become friends with a dinosaur who knows a LOT MORE about dinosaurs than Buddy, but has some trouble making friends. Like all dinosaurs, their new friend Dennis Deinocheirushas his own dinosaur features. And, like all of us, he has strengths in some areas and challenges in others.  PBS stations across the country are hosting screenings and events for this special episode and Dinosaur Train has teamed up with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” initiative, aiming to improve early identification of children with autism and other developmental disabilities so children and families can get the services and support they need.  Learn more at:

Join us on April 6th via Twitter @DinosaurTrain as we introduce the newest member of the Dinosaur Train family, Dennis.  


Do you like to work in the Yard? @PikeNurseries has a giveaway for you!

Received this email and thought I would share.  I would LOVE to have a gift certificate to go and do some damage at Pike Nurseries!!!!   We have a yard that once had lots of trees.  We have been trying to clean out the "jungle" as I call it and I have told Marc time and time again that I think planting a ton of Azaleas would be perfect in the area that is no longer such a jungle. Growing up, I remember my yard had a fence full of Azaleas and I want to try and recreate that for my children to enjoy. (Makes a great backdrop for photos too!)
Do you enjoy working in the yard? 

ATLANTA (March 29, 2016) – Just in time for the prime gardening season, Pike Nurseries is debuting a new, eye-catching plant variety that will set any landscape ablaze with vibrant color and interest all year long. Starting Friday, April 1, all garden center locations will carry Autumn Fire™, the newest variety of high-performing shrubs from Encore® Azalea.   

Known as a hallmark favorite of Southern gardens, Azaleas showcase stunning spring blossoms in a variety of dazzling hues. As the most recent addition to Encore® Azalea’s superior collection of easy-care, multi-season blooming shrubs, the Autumn Fire™ takes this signature color display up a notch with fierce year-round appeal. A nod to its fiery name, this new dwarf azalea flaunts semi-double velvety blooms in a true, robust red from spring through fall. During winter months, its glossy, dark green foliage deepens to a saturated purple-bronze. 

“We take into account many factors when deciding which varietals will be featured in stores, and the Autumn Fire™ azalea hit the mark in every category,” said Mark Malaguerra, Tree and Shrub Buyer for PikeNurseries. “Its showy scarlet blooms and striking foliage – combined with its other noteworthy features – make this new dwarf shrub an absolute must-have in any Southern garden.”

As if its pop of vivid color wasn’t enough, Autumn Fire™ is also known for its weather durability. Having recently received the best cold hardy rating of all Encore® Azaleas in university trials, this variety can endure harsh temperatures while providing much-needed color and interest to stark winter landscapes.

Because it’s a dwarf shrub, the Autumn Fire™ is perfect for containers, shrub borders, small hedges, as accent plants or planted in mass. It grows 2 ½ feet tall and 3 feet wide with blooms about 2 ½ inches across, and requires little pruning due to its compact growth. The best time to plant this variety is when temperatures are generally mild in late spring or early fall. The Autumn Fire™ just needs partial shade, well-drained soil and regular watering to thrive – perfect for green thumb gurus and budding gardeners alike!

As part of the big debut for this new variety, Pike Nurseries is hosting two giveaway opportunities for customers to win a 1 gallon Autumn Fire™ shrub of their own! Guests can look for a dedicated social media post on the garden center’s Facebook page and Twitter page and enter to win now through Friday, April 1 by sharing the post via Facebook or re-Tweeting via Twitter. 16 winners will be randomly selected and announced onFriday, April 1. Customers can also participate in a register-to-win raffle drawing on Friday, April 1 during the annual Garden Party from at all store locations. 5 winners will be randomly selected at the event and contacted the following week. All winners must be able to pick up their Autumn Fire™ in one of Pike Nurseries’ store locations.

Customers can visit their local Pike Nurseries store to purchase or receive more information about the new Autumn Fire™. Other spring favorites available at Pike Nurseries include tomato varieties, cocktail fruit trees, encore azaleas and more. As always, the experts at Pike Nurseries are available to provide professional advice, offer suggestions and even help custom design homeowners’ landscapes.

Friday or Saturday? Have a nice weekend! @Ihop

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... we don't get to sleep in EVER.
Broxton has his whole routine down and I am lucky that he is so easy to get up in the morning for school,but come the weekend, I wish he could find a way to take a bit longer to sleep and rest.  Oh well, teenage years will be here faster than I want and we know that probably means a change in his sleep.  Why am I telling you this?
Well, since we still get up early on weekends, I decided to have a bit of fun with it.
He was up enjoying his morning and I ran out into the room he was in... I told him we were wrong, it was in fact FRIDAY, NOT SATURDAY and he was late for school. Yeah, he told me I was crazy and it was Saturday, but I kept on about it... He finally said that although I was crazy (everyone at school told him to have a good weekend, they could not all be wrong, could they?) he would go to school just to show me...  Then he frantically got dressed, because maybe, JUST MAYBE mom was right.
So, we load up and off we go to school, but instead of turning towards school, I didn't and he was all sorts of confused.  That was when I told him the surprise.  

We were headed to IHOP!!!!
The face was worth it all, as he loves going there.  

Top View: 
NEW! Banana, Peanut Butter & Chocolate Double-Dipped Brioche French Toast
We take French Toast to a new level by dipping thick slices of brioche in our vanilla batter, then in our cornflake and oatmeal mix. We top it off with sliced fresh bananas, chocolate chips and a decadent drizzle of Reese’s® Peanut Butter Sauce.

Side View.
This was a side order that I got to go along with my eggs and bacon.
You can order it as a side or as the main meal.
I have to be honest with you.  While the flavor was amazing I will not be ordering it again.  The fact that it is "double dipped" makes it a bit too crunchy for me.  (I was not the only one that thought that, as I overheard another table make the same comment to their server.)  Yes, you could possibly add more syrup to it to try and soften it.  I added a little, but not enough to make a difference in the texture. It was to be expected though, I mean HELLO... Double dipped...  Outmeal and cornflake mix.

Yes, I know this picture is blurry... but it shows my son inhaling his food like I will never bring him back to IHOP.  (Don't worry, he stopped and I did promise to bring him again!)  
If you are looking for something different, why not try it out? Let me know what you think!!!!   Remember, this is available ONLY for a limited time and is offered all day / night long!!!

Thanks IHOP for letting me make such a fun memory with him.  He still gets the giggles when he talks about the surprise trip to IHOP!!!


Do you Ugga Mugga?

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.

When Broxton was younger, we loved Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. I loved Mister Rogers as a child, so I know the hint of nostalgia was a big reason we started watching.  Even now, we still "ugga mugga" at times (if you don't know about ugga mugga, you need to watch an episode!) and it always makes my heart happy.  I am so excited that they have new DVD's coming out, so we can fall in love all over again watching with Savannah!
Super Daniel - Feb 2, 2016 

SUPER DANIEL!” will be available on DVD starting February 2, 2016. The DVD has a run time of approximately 110 minutes and an SRP of $12.99. The “SUPER DANIEL!” DVD includes the stories below.

Super Daniel!
Daniel and Grandp√®re are at home pretending to be superheroes when Daniel notices that Dad has forgotten to take his lunch to work with him. He and Grandp√®re take Dad’s lunchbox to the Clock Factory, and Daniel uses his imagination to have several super adventures along the way.

Goodnight Daniel” (BONUS STORY)
Tonight, Daniel is pretending to be Super Daniel! But after dinner, he has to follow his nighttime routine even though he would rather play. Young viewers follow Daniel as he gets ready for bed and eventually learns that even superheroes get sleepy.

Daniel Doesn’t Want to Stop Playing
Daniel is playing “Trolley” with Mom and Dad in the living room. When Mom tells him that it’s time to work on his school project, Daniel doesn’t want to stop playing. Mom helps Daniel move on by allowing him to pick one more thing to do with his toy Trolley. Daniel makes one last stop and then he’s ready to work on his project.

Daniel Fixes Trolley
Daniel accidentally breaks one of his toy trolley’s wheels while playing. When Mom is too busy to help Daniel put the wheel back on she urges him to try to figure it out on his own and explains that fixing it on his own will make him feel good about himself.

Daniel Tries a New Food
Miss Elaina is having dinner with the Tiger family, and she encourages Daniel to try some new foods: Veggie Spaghetti and Banana Swirl. Daniel is convinced he won’t like Veggie Spaghetti, even though he’s never tried it before. Miss Elaina encourages him to be adventurous and try it. She does the same herself, and even though she doesn’t like all of it, she’s proud of herself for trying.

Daniel is Big Enough to Help Dad
Dad Tiger is building a playhouse, and Daniel wants to help out. Daniel is frustrated that he is not big enough to use the grown-up tools. Dad Tiger shows Daniel that he is just the right size for doing many things to help.

Daniel’s New Friend
Daniel and Miss Elaina meet Prince Wednesday’s cousin Chrissie during a playdate at the castle. As they play “knights,” they discover that, although Chrissie needs some help walking, they are the same in many ways.

Daniel’s Friends Say No
When Daniel gets to school, he approaches Miss Elaina to play with her, but is frustrated when he finds that she would rather read alone. Daniel learns that sometimes his friends might not want to play with him and that’s OK because he can find fun things to do on his own.

Prince Wednesday Doesn’t Want to Play
When Daniel gets to the park, Prince Tuesday and Prince Wednesday are playing together. Daniel wants to join in, but is upset because Prince Wednesday only wants to play with his brother. Soon O arrives, and they both figure out that they can play together since Wednesday and Tuesday are having “brother time.”


Favorite from @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.

As soon as we entered the Aquarium, Broxton was trying to take it all in. To me, I was taken back to my trip to California when I saw all the Sea Lions.  Have you ever been and seen them just laying there in the sun?  So neat.  Broxton had to get all up on the glass to be able to see what all was going on.  I love this kids enthusiasm!  

These little otters were just the cutest.  It was fun watching them play around with one another.  One kept pushing the other in the water and then would run off.  Just like little kids!  

There is something about taking pictures like this.  I could stay here for hours, but Broxton was ready to see what was around the corner. 

This could have been Broxton's favorite part of the whole Aquarium. If he went through once, he went through a million times.  Even when there was a good sized line and he had to wait.  He is serious about wanting this pet penguin!!!!  I just wish they had stairs or something to let shorter kids like him see out.  I could not go through, since I had Savannah, but it would have made it more fun if he would have been able to stand there instead of having to jump over and over.

They have several touch area's.  He was excited to see and touch a Sea Star.  I forgot the other names of what all was in there, but his expression was too much!  

This was part of the Aquanaut Adventure.  I thought it was neat to see kids (and adults) trying to see how far they could jump .  Talk about the the "Gator Challenge!"  

Besides the big window where they had the diver feeding the fish in my other post, this is my other favorite area.  They have a moving sidewalk type thing set up and you are under the water in a tunnel with all these fish swimming around you.  So neat!!!  I could have stayed there for a bit longer, but it was a busy day!!!

Have you been to the Georgia Aquarium?
What was your favorite part?  
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