Reviews, giveaways and memes - Jumpin Beans


What exactly is NORMAL?

Just because school is slowly coming to an end, that doesn't mean that we will be ending the reading that we do daily.  Let me back up... does it seem like these last couple of weeks are going by so SLOW, or is it just that way in our house?  I don't know who has the end of the year itch worse, Broxton or the mama, because I know I am sure enough ready for summer break!   I have decided I am going to make a box of books and each day of summer break he has to read part of the book (or the whole thing, depending upon the size) before we can do other activities such as the ipad or television. It isn't meant to be school work, but more of an escape to a fun place. Reading is fun and we will make the most out of it.  One of the books that will be going in our box of books?
Normal Norman.  
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 "normal?" That's the question an eager young scientist hopes to answer as she narrates her very first book. Unfortunately, her exceedingly"normal" subject—an orangutan named Norman—turns out to be exceptionally strange. He speaks English, sleeps in a bed, loves his stuffed toy, goes bananas over pizza, and even deep-sea dives! Oh, no: what's a "normal" scientist to do?

Brightly illustrated and brimming with silly scenes that will have young readers in hysterics, this loving look at the wackiness that makes us all special serves as a gentle reminder that "normal" can’t ever be defined.Norman and his scientist friend will encourage and inspire children to embrace their individuality and be their own “normal” selves.   

Tara Lazar lives in Basking Ridge, NJ, with her husband, two daughters, and 2,749 stuffed animals. She’s the author of The Monstore, I Thought This Was a Bear Book (both Simon & Schuster), and Little Red Gliding Hood (Random House). Tara founded Picture Book Idea Month (PiBoIdMo), an annual online writing event held on her award-winning blog at, which has hundreds of registered users and receives tens of thousands of blog hits.  

S.britt (AKA Stephan Britt) first developed his zeal for drawing in childhood, when he drew on anything and everything that wasn’t dripping wet. His first picture book, Over In the Hollow (Chronicle), was a Chicago Public Library Best of the Best. Stephan lives in Portland, OR. Visit him online at

A reason I like the book?  It shows you that "normal' is really just a word.  There are many versions of "normal" and you should never change who YOU are to fit in!!!!!  
Side note- any suggestions for a fun name for our "Box of Books?"  That doesn't sound fun to me and I want it to be fun.  Maybe a world of discovery or something?  No names like Frank or Joe.  I need a fun title / name for it!  
Do you have your children read over the summer break?


One Stop you need to make - @BowlmorLanes

If you know me, you might now that I am all about trying to make the most of memories with my children.  I am blessed that we are able to go and do different things and each time we can, we are so thankful for the opportunity.  Recently we were invited to Bowlmor in Chamblee for an event to see what all their place offered.  As we walked in, I felt like this was a throwback to the traditional bowling alley / arcade that I remember going to as a child.  I LOVED IT.  

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.

Once you enter Bowlmor, you are immediately greeted by the employees at the shoe and lane rental station. Right behind them you see a good amount of lanes that are calling your name to come and play.  If that is not enough to grab you from the start, to the right is a smaller arcade area.  Don't let the size fool you.  Although it is smaller (I like that, since it keeps the bowling lanes the primary focus) they do still have a good selection of games.  We had fruit ninja and other games that are popular now, but they also had classics such as skee ball that everyone has to play!   Let me tell you this... You MUST PLAY the air hockey game.  It can be played by up to 4 people at once.  It has the basic big puck we are all used to, but they throw a curve your way... it also drops an additional number of pucks. I think it was around 15 of them that came out.  Talk about laughing.  Yep.  We were cracking up.  Laughing, smiling and even shrieking in the excitement!   Since we came to bowl, we had to go and check out the arcade afterwards and we really had a good time.  

As I mentioned, that had several lanes once you entered, but we were treated to the VIP  area off to the left.  The VIP room is a private room with 7 bowling lanes.  It has its own bathroom area as well. One thing Broxton noticed was that you can pick a different theme to go on the screen for taking score.  We had to do a couple different ones while we were there. If you follow me on Instagram, you saw all of these pictures already.  If you don't follow me, head on over and do so now.  I am sharing them here for those that are not on Instagram!   After we enjoyed bowling a few games, they treated us to several menu items.  I was impressed, as I normally think of greasy crap when I think of bowling alley food.  
Mistake - thinking this was "bowling alley food." This was far from it.  It was amazing and the chef was super nice.  We were enjoying mac-n-cheese, chicken strips and even the tastiest "tater nachos" we have ever enjoyed.   It was great and something you would expect in a restaurant, not the bowling alley.  This is a place you come to eat at while you bowl, so take my word.  Don't eat before you arrive, you want to try their food!   

Next thing you know, they are bringing out more.  We had a pizza cake, a 2 foot long hot dog and then this burger monstrosity called the Behemoth burger.   We were all trying to figure out the best way to show how big it was in a photo. Bottom line is this, you want to see it with your own eyes.  Also, I do believe I will be treating the boys to this one day, just to see what they think!   Not only was it huge.. it was tasty!  (Even the part that I brought home for Marc to try!)  

We had so much fun bowling, trying food and even visiting the arcade.  If you are planning a trip to Atlanta this summer, make sure to add Bowlmor on the stop.  If you live in or near the Atlanta area, make this a stay-cation destination at some point this summer.  Must do: Bowl, play air hockey and check out the food!!!!  

End results?  Fun times and faces like this for the photo!   
Just so you know, there are Bowlmor Lanes locations in other places, this was just my experience at the Atlanta location.  
Have you ever been to Bowlmor before?
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