Reviews, giveaways and memes - Jumpin Beans

1.7.16

More than for sandwiches? #finlandiacheese with 2 recipes

When you work no where near your house, you tend to take your lunch to work to save money. At least that is what we do around here.  I have been trying to change up the sandwiches around here at lunch time, so I figured I would surprise Marc with a little Ham N' Swiss since we were sent some from Finlandia!!!  Talk about a nice surprise for him!!!  Yeah, he noticed the new lunch bag, but had no clue what was in store when he opened up lunch that day!  

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 was familiar with Finlandia Cheese, but I guess I never thought about them offering butter as well. We were sent a few products to try out and while we have not tried it all, I did want to offer you a recipe that we will be trying with the cheese soon!  (See, its not just for sandwiches!)  

Swiss Chicken - 
4-6 Boneless Chicken Breasts
6-8 slices Swiss Cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese (divided) 
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder 

Preheat oven to 375*
Pat chicken dry and place in greased 9x13 pan
Add sliced cheese on top of chicken.
In bowl, mix mayonnaise, sour cream, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and garlic powder.
Spread mixture over chicken and then top with remaining Parmesan cheese.
Bake for 1 hour


As I said, we have not used it for anything but sandwiches right now.  Feel free to leave me a recipe to try the Swiss in if you have one you recommend!  Click HERE to locate Finlandia products near you.  

FYI, tonight we will be trying out the butter sent to us!
Want the recipe I am using it for?
(Chicken Noodle Soup in a crock pot.  I am all about ease of cooking in the hot summer!  These are all guesstimates, as I normally just chunk stuff in the crock.)  

Chicken Noodle - Crock a Doodle!  
1 box of chicken broth
1 LARGE can of cream of chicken (or 2 regular sized cans) 
package of frozen Egg Noodles 
1-2 pounds of chicken
1 stick of butter

Put chicken in crock
add noodles
slice butter up and place all randomly over the noodles
mix broth and cream of chicken soup together
pour over the noodles
cook on low for 8 hours


Let me know if you have any super easy recipes.  (Bonus points if I can throw it in the crock pot!)  

*** update, the last recipe was a bust for me...  won't be making it again unless I find the recipe elsewhere and see where I went wrong.  

29.6.16

Eddie the Eagle Giveaway #Eddieinsiders

If you remember, a while back, Broxton and I had a movie date night and went to see the movie, Eddie the Eagle.  We really enjoyed it and I loved that Broxton was able to see the story line about never giving up, no matter what.  I was thrilled when we were given the chance to have a movie night at home to celebrate the release of Eddie the Eagle to Blu-Ray/DVD.
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.


Working with Fox Insiders, we made it a pretty awesome movie night too!   Even though it is summertime, it was nice to have treats and we watched in style with a little hot chocolate. (Had to keep warm on all those snowy slopes practicing skiing!)  
As much as we love movie nights, it is fun to be able to do something more than just popcorn and a movie...  This time we had the hot chocolate (in our new Eddie the Eagle mugs) and even had a chance to play a little Eddie the Eagle bingo!!!  

Broxton was pretty excited with the bingo game.  Not sure if it was just for the fact of trying to beat mama in bingo, or if it was because our bingo pieces were chocolate and he could eat them when it was over.  
In Eddie the Eagle, his dad never gets on board to support his dream to be in the Olympics. (From a VERY EARLY age, he was determined.)  His mom was always there to support him no matter what, but his dad felt that he needed to be more practical and start working, not following a dream.  It was sad to see, but it made my heart happy to see Broxton watch and know that no matter what, I will support his dreams and wish him all the success in life.  

As I mentioned in my original review, the movie is a great one.  Granted there are scenes that are over the heads of smaller children.  (Another scene is when Hugh Jackman references making love...  not best for the younger ones, but Broxton didn't mention it to me.)

Enter the rafflecopter below to win your own copy!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

28.6.16

Limited Time Paradise Pancakes at Ihop

I don't know about you, but I can sure enough enjoy a nice big breakfast.  It is even better if someone cooks it for me, so I can enjoy it more and not have to worry about cleaning up the kitchen once it is over.  We love going to IHOP (I get it honest, my mom and brother went there weekly when he was younger.)  and I was lucky enough to get to go check out their Paradise Pancakes to share with you guys!!! 
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.

Broxton has decided to request IHOP every chance he gets, so when I was able to surprise him with a trip to IHOP not too long ago, he was excited to go get his "silver five!"  I,on the other hand, was ready to dive in to the paradise pancakes.  

I was torn between them, as they all sounded amazing, but after much consideration, I knew that I would want the Banana Macadamia Nut the most..  Marc went with the Strawberry Passion Fruit. Had we been able to talk Broxton out of his usual, we could have tried all three, but we didn't want to look like pigs ordering all that food.   
Strawberry Passion Fruit – Decadent cheesecake layered between two of IHOP restaurants’ signature, made-to-order Buttermilk pancakes and topped with cool strawberries and Passion Fruit drizzle, crowned with whipped topping.

Banana Macadamia Nut – IHOP restaurants’ famous Buttermilk pancakes filled with fresh sliced bananas, drizzled with Butter Rum sauce and topped with toasted Macadamia nuts. Adorned on top with whipped topping.

I was totally tearing up those pancakes. I even mentioned to Marc that if they were on the menu, I would order them just as often, if not more than, the Red Velvet ones!   Don't worry, the strawberry passion fruit ones were amazing too, I had to try them out when they came!   Remember I said  they have a third selection as well?  Check this out:  Pineapple Upside Down – Sweet pineapple grilled inside our trademark Buttermilk pancakes and finished with Butter Rum sauce, a maraschino cherry and creamy whipped topping.

Guests can extend their Paradise Pancakes experience with a variety of combo options that include IHOP signature foods like made-to-order eggs, golden hash browns, hickory-smoked bacon and more, along with International House Roast® coffee from the brand’s Never-Empty Coffee Pot®. With the majority of IHOP Restaurants open 24 hours a day, it’s easy for friends and families to get away from it all whenever they need a tropical escape.

Paradise Pancakes will be available all day, every day at participating IHOP restaurants now through July 31, 2016.

Out of the three limited time menu items mentioned above, which would you be most likely to order?  Head on to IHOP before time runs out!!! 

Make it a point to visit the Children's Museum of Atlanta, XOXO

I know that I can not be the only one that does not take advantage of living in Atlanta when it comes to all that is around us.  A few years ago, Broxton was invited to a birthday party at the Children's Museum of Atlanta and he had a great time, we said we would go back... but never made it.  Recently, he has been seeing commercials for them and has mentioned he wanted to go check it out since it looked really cool.  We made plans to go this summer and then I was fortunate enough to get invited to go check out their latest exhibit, XOXO.  Of course I said yes and we made plans to attend. 


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 you first arrive at the Children's Museum of Atlanta, you might be a little surprised at all they have to offer.  You enter, get your ticket, get scanned in and then its basically "the world is your playground."  There are several area's to explore and for some reason, Broxton had to bee line it to the Farm to Table area.  (He did that last time as well, after speaking to some of the staff, this is one of the more popular exhibits there!)   The farm to table area is immediate when you walk in. They have a cafe type area that kids can work in. It is total free play. They can be one of many things,  a chef, a customer, a manager, a waiter.  It was so cute watching the kids of all ages and backgrounds having a great time playing together.  Beside the cafe is a store, they can shop or stock!  The store also has a loading dock (with a truck front for loading the groceries... and then you can even go to the farm to milk the cow or pick the vegetables to send to the market!   

As if that wasn't enough...   They have a special area for children up to age 5.  Broxton did go in to play for a minute.  It was empty and he really wanted to fish, so I did not see any harm.  I do love that it is a bit more separate for the younger kids to play.  While Broxton was playing with the rocket launcher, I noticed an additional area that was zoned off and in it I saw the noise makers you see above.  Savannah and I had a great time playing with these while big brother was exploring!   

While the museum has several permanent exhibits that I could go on and on about, I want to focus more on the special exhibit, XOXO that is here for a limited time.   We tried to do everything, but lets be honest.  It is hard to do everything when you have a 7 year old and a baby under the age of one.  Add to it that they had camp going on for several groups of children and then regular admission children, lets just say it was busy and we missed several of the areas they have in the exhibit.  That being said, I wanted you to know about it, so I am just adding the information that was sent to me so you can see all they have!  

Mini-Musical: Better Me, A Better You  Weekdays and weekends at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Written by Jerry G. White; Musical Arrangements by Abe White
In this 20-minute musical, children will meet a helpful puppet named XO who teaches his friends, Jules the Toy Expert and EJ, about the importance of giving and volunteering. Children will learn how simple actions have lasting effects on others, and how a little kindness can change the world in a big way.

The 2,000 square foot exhibit features a brightly-colored, inviting space with 14 engaging experiences – all designed to help children understand, appreciate and express their emotions. Interactive activities include a sound recorder that analyzes tone of voice, a video station that interprets facial expressions, a soft sculpture that responds to hugs with comforting sounds and many more.

 The 2,000 square foot exhibit features a brightly-colored, inviting space with 14 engaging experiences – all designed to help children understand, appreciate and express their emotions. Interactive activities include a sound recorder that analyzes tone of voice, a video station that interprets facial expressions, a soft sculpture that responds to hugs with comforting sounds and many more.

Exhibit experiences include:
  • Emotional Faces: In this activity, a sequence of words will appear on a screen to promote happy, sad, angry, frightened or hurt expressions. Guests can create a five second video of themselves making a variety official expressions as these words pop up. Then, by watching their expressions and the expressions of others on the wall, they can begin to recognize and identify how others are feeling.
  • Release the Negative: Guests will have the chance to write or draw something that makes them angry, sad or afraid on a piece of paper. Then, they will place it into a slot and turn the crank to manually shred the paper. Shredding the paper will help to release the negative and turn it into something positive – a colorful display wall of patterns, created using clear jars filled with the shredded paper!
  • Silhouettes: Children can trace a friend's profile onto a sheet of paper. This tracing requires concentration and careful attention to the person sitting for the portrait. Once drawn, silhouettes can be displayed and compared – allowing participants to explore the similarities and differences in each other. These traits are what make each and every one of us unique!
  • Tokens of Love: In this exhibit experience, visitors will write or draw a loving thought, idea or message on a piece of paper. They will then roll it up and put it into a custom-made paper compressor by pumping a lever to crush the paper into a smooth, round token embossed with a heart. Guests can give the token to a loved one or keep it as a heartfelt takeaway!
  • Holding Hands: Holding hands is a universal demonstration of friendship, trust and compassion. By holding hands and touching sensors in this interactive activity, children will complete the circuit and reveal a special, positive message.
  • Response Wall: Writing is an important way to express emotions. Children will answer questions about love and forgiveness, and then tie their paper to a wall for others to read. The result is a constantly changing collection of tags that highlight an emotional narrative of thoughts and feelings.
  • Empathy Blocks: For this activity, guests will create unique faces and build an assortment of expressions by combining diverse eyes, noses and mouths in multiple configurations. The facial features are printed directly onto hand-made wooden blocks, adding to the personal experience of looking carefully at another person’s face.
  • Story Puzzle: Words and symbols are used to tell stories, make connections and stimulate conversation. The two puzzle shapes in this activity fit together to form paths, shapes and patterns, while also expressing key themes of love and forgiveness. A large tabletop allows several groups to work at the same time, letting them create their own unique puzzles or even join with another to form one big, shared story.
  • Balance: Children can sit on the teeter totter and work together to balance a ball encased in a long, clear tube. This interesting interpretation of a classic playground experience requires teamwork, communication and cooperation, as both participants must work in tandem to succeed. Balance is achieved when the ball is centralized.
  • Embrace: This activity features a variety of egg-shaped sculptures. When embraced or hugged, each sculpture responds with a positive sound, including ahhh-ing, mmmm-ing, chirping, cooing or laughing.
  • Tone Phones: How is a loud, angry tone different from a soft, kind tone? Tone of voice conveys emotions that impact how words are heard and understood. Visitors will speak into the telephone handset and watch as their voice changes the shapes projected on the screen.
  • Reflection Table: In this experience, guests can manipulate colorful granulated material across an internally lit sculpted landscape by covering and uncovering the surface of the table. As certain areas are uncovered, soothing music is played. Once covered, the music fades away and other areas and sounds are discovered in the table.
  • Art Making Station: The act of making and giving is a way to express love, admiration and care. Children can participate in a variety of crafts to create a special and meaningful takeaway. Art projects include love letters, a personalized box or envelope, a card or silkscreen print using their silhouette drawing and a necklace using their custom token.
  • Love letters: Using traditional hand letter writing materials, including postcards, stamps and even a manual typewriter, children will craft a message or image to someone they love! This program, developed by Artist Dalia Shevin, explores the magic of snail mail, the wonders of writing by hand and the delight of discovering how much love words can hold.

If you follow me on Instagram, you saw that I made Love Tokens.  I really loved that one, as I was able to write a note to Broxton and Savannah and make it into a love token. Not only was it a way to give them a token of my love to keep forever, it was also a cute little souvenir to remind us of a great day!  I think Broxton and I would agree that the one we really enjoyed the most was the Holding Hands.  We were even able to hold hands with Savannah (so all three of us holding hands) to make the message appear!  

We really had a great time and while we only stayed for about 4 hours, we could have stayed longer.  Like I said, so much to do and great for the kids to have free play and let their imagination go!   He has already asked to go back so we need to plan that soon.
If you live in or near Atlanta, try to remember to take advantage of a great thing being near us.  If you aren't close, why not make plans to take a vacation and head this way?   You will love it!  

Museum hours: **As part of its special summer hours, Children’s Museum will be open on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. beginning June 8 through August 3, 2016.
Open Monday – Friday 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Please check the Museum website to confirm hours of operation.

27.6.16

Put Me In The Story is giving away a trip to San Diego Zoo

It is hard to believe that Savannah is about to turn ONE!! As I look back on the past year, I am so excited with how much she has grown.  It never ceases to amaze me to watch the wonder of a child. Since she is turning one, I wanted to get her something to keep forever and a book from Put Me in the Story is just the right thing this time around!   
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 was given the chance to work with Put Me in the Story for a review of two titles they teamed up with National Geographic to produce.  I did both books to Savannah for her birthday gift and of course let one be just to her from her big brother, Broxton! 

Here are Savannah's new books.  
 Not only did I get to review these two books, I get to share with you a super fun contest Put Me In the Story is holding!!! They are giving away a trip to San Diego Zoo for their 100th birthday.  Talk about awesome for the winner and their family!!! (Keep reading to learn more about the contest.)
Hardcover $29.99 | Paperback $19.99

Take a trip back in time with this personalized guide through the prehistoric world! With full-color illustrations, quick facts, and pronunciation guides, National Geographic Little Kids Book of Dinosaurs has plenty of information to captivate your paleontologist-in-training.
This kid-friendly reference book includes dinosaurs of all kinds: big and small, scaled and feathered, meat-eating and plant-eating. Your kiddo will learn fun facts about each dinosaur and answer questions like, “How many plates do you see on the Stegosaurus?” 
Personalized with your child’s name, photo, and special dedication message, National Geographic Little Kids Book of Dinosaurs will become a favorite read. On the final pages, your child can mark the dinosaur qualities they like best, then draw themselves as a dinosaur!

Hardcover $29.99 | Paperback $19.99

Explore the rain forest, the ocean, and the icecaps with this personalized guide for your animal-lover! National Geographic Little Kids Book of Animals is a colorful introduction to some of the world’s coolest creatures. From blue morpho butterflies and red-eyed tree frogs to tigers and polar bears, this personalized guide is sure to indulge your junior explorer.
Each page features beautiful photos of the animal alongside quick facts about its size, diet, and habitat. Questions like “How fast can you run?” are woven throughout to keep your little one’s interest. 
Personalize this book with your child’s name, photo, and an encouraging dedication message to create a memorable keepsake. For a special surprise, check out the final pages, where your child can mark their favorite animal characteristics, then draw themselves as their favorite animal!


Out of the two books, I loved the animal one the most. It was sweet to see her trying to kiss the butterfly.  Yes, I gave them to her early!!!   Broxton enjoyed the dinosaur one the most, I can not say I was surprised by that.  I love that they are full of information, and have such vibrant pictures and illustrations.  The catcher though is that each page has a personalized thought / question to interact with the recipient.  Although she is a bit young, I also really like that they have an added page at the end for them to draw on. (Tying in with the contest!)  I am sure these will be read time and time again, I mean, who doesn't like to read a book just for them????

Contest Details: 
*Ends July 8th

1 GRAND PRIZE WINNER will receive:

Family vacation to visit the San Diego Zoo for its 100th Anniversary!
4-days/3-nights for a family of 4! Includes flights, hotel, & zoo admission.
National Geographic Little Kids Book of Animals personalized book
National Geographic Little Kids Book of Dinosaurs personalized book

2 RUNNER-UP WINNERS will receive:

National Geographic Little Kids Book of Animals personalized book
National Geographic Little Kids Book of Dinosaurs personalized book
1-year subscription to National Geographic Kids magazine
1-year subscription to National Geographic magazine

26.6.16

Summer, perfect time for a picnic. Plus a recipe!

I don't know about you, but for us, summer is for trying to take it easy.  Especially during the hot days!   Lucky for me, Broxton loves when he "gets to decide" that it is picnic day.  Even better?  The fact that he loves to have picnics inside just as much as an outdoor lunch! There is something about throwing down a blanket and eating picnic foods versus sitting at a table and eating a sandwich, at least that is the feeling here!!! We get to make quick and easy meals. Know what that means? More time for playing and making memories!   
Recently, we were sent a variety of treats to change up our typical picnic from just chips, fruit and sandwiches.  Read below to see what all we were able to try!  
More time with these cuties?  YES!!! I am all for 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.
Image Credit - Bauli
The first thing I had to try were the croissants. Hello, it was chocolate. I could not pass them up. They were delicious and we all loved them.  Bauli Mini Croissants are sure to turn your picnic Parisian with their delightful, light taste. These mini treats are made in a REAL oven with no preservatives and naturally leavened dough and are available in two delicious flavor fillings: chocolate and vanilla custard. At just 50 calories a pop, these snacks are guilt-free and made for sharing...although you might not want to!

I will admit that I tend to think of kids lunches when I think of fruit snacks (or gummies as I call them) but these jokers here were so good that I have noticed I grab a bag when I am ready for a snack and they keep finding their way into my purse as well! Go Organically® Fruit Snacks are USDA-certified organic, made with real fruit purées and real fruit juices. These tasty smart and delicious treats include 100% of the daily recommended value of Vitamin C and are an excellent source of Vitamins A and E. Go Organically® Fruit Snacks are GMO-free, gluten-free, preservative-free and made with natural flavors and colors from natural sources.  Not to mention, each individual pack is only 70 calories, making them an easy choice for your picnic basket!

I have been a fan of the sparking ice for some time. It is always a treat when I go to a friends birthday party for her son, as she always has them in stock for drinks!!!!  Sparkling Icean excellent soda alternative, is slightly carbonated with B-Vitamins, Vitamin D and antioxidants. This light and refreshing beverage contains Zero Calories, Zero Carbs, is Gluten Free, Caffeine Free, and Sodium Free. It also comes in over 20 different delicious flavors including a line of Teas and Lemonades. It also recently launched a line of 8 oz Slim Cans, perfect for on-the-go and an easy fit for your picnic basket!
I will tell you now, I do not like olives. Never have, never will.  I was able to surprise the husband by throwing this into his work lunch.  He loved the surprise and said they tasted great! Gaea Olive Snack Packs come from the finest olive groves in Greece, using time honored, traditional farming techniques while they are harvested by hand. Available in three flavor options: 100% Kalamata, Green marinated with Chili & Black Peppers, Green marinated with Lemon & Oregano. Gaea's olive snack packs are a healthy and delicious on the go addition to your picnic basket. 


I keep saying I am going to make more parfaits for breakfast to change things up, so this will be a tasty added treat on those mornings that I just don't feel like cooking!  Viki's Granola great tasting, GLUTEN-FREE, and made with 100% ALL NATURAL ingredients. Available in five flavors at retailers nationwide, available in snack-size packs too, Viki's is the perfect addition to add to your picnic basket! Available in Original, Blueberry Almond, Maple Cranberry, (NEW!) Banana Walnut & (NEW!) Apple Cinnamon.

These have not been tried yet, but again, I think they will be great to add to our breakfast items from time to time.  Carrington Farms Flax Hemp Paks.  Celebrate National Picnic Day with a simple serving of Organic Milled Flax Seeds and Organic Hulled Hemp. Carrington Farms Flax Hemp Paks are packed in portable and convenient single-serve packets, providing an abundant source of Omega-3s, protein and fiber and perfect for trips on the road or in the air. Pair with yogurts, parfaits, smoothies, oatmeal and more and Carrington Farms Flax Hemp Paks are the perfect on the go addition to your picnic basket. With no refrigeration necessary, ready-to-eat Flax Hemp Paks can be used at anytime, anywhere.

So, these might be targeted towards kids, but that doesn't mean that mama will not take one to the pool and take a sip or two out of it when I get a little parched.  I love that they have flavors that kids love... and the characters on them are a bonus!  AquaBall, the sugar-free, naturally flavored water is perfect for a parent looking for a healthier alternative to all of those sugary kids drinks. Available in four flavors, Fruit Punch, Orange, Berry Frost and Grape, AquaBall features fan favorite characters from Disney's Frozen, Disney Princesses, Marvel Avengers, and Disney Classic Characters. AquaBall is the easy solution to finding a beverage that both kids and parents will love. 

Here are a couple recipes from Viki's Granola if you want to try them out: 

Granola Truffles - Courtesy of Viki's Granola

Ingredients:
1 2/3 cups heavy cream
7 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound semisweet chocolate, cut or broken into shards
Viki's Granola for rolling truffle

Directions:
Place cream and butter into a saucepan. Allow butter to melt on medium heat, stirring the whole time. Raise the heat just until the cream mixture comes to a boil.
Remove saucepan from heat, add the chocolate and stir until it is completely melted. Continue stirring until the mixtures thickens and cools a bit. Cover mixture with cellophane and place in refrigerator. Allow at least 2 hours to cool and thicken for at least 2 hours but mix 3 to 4 times during that time.

To form truffles use a small melon baller or spoon to scoop chocolate mixture into the palm of your hand. Roll into a ball then roll in your favorite Viki's Granola. Place completed balls on a parchment-lined tray and refrigerate before serving.

Granola Munchkins - Courtesy of Viki's Granola

Ingredients: 
3 cups Viki's Granola  (any variety)
½ cup of smooth peanut butter
½ cup of mini chocolate chips

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl, chill for 30-40 minutes in the fridge, then roll into balls. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

What do you normally pack for a picnic?  Do you ever have picnics inside?
 
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