Reviews, giveaways and memes - Jumpin Beans

12.5.17

What would you wish if you thought you were just "normal"

A friend of mine has a little girl named Nina.  As soon as I read the book "Normal Nina and the Magic Box" that I was sent for review, I knew that I would be giving it to her.  I mean, it was a book with Nina's name all in it!!!!!
I really enjoyed the book.  In it, we meet Normal Nina who finds a magic box.  She gets three wishes and wishes to no longer be normal.  She wants to be tall, but then she is too tall and doesn't fit in her clothes... NOR HER HOUSE!   Lucky for her, she got to make another wish...  You have to read the book, but lets put it this way.. Happily, she finds out that being "normal" really isn't that bad.  I mean, what exactly is "normal" these days?
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.


Normal Nina and the Magic Box:
Have you ever wanted to be someone else? Or wished for something that you didn’t have? Normal Nina knows all about it. So, when Nina discovers a strange magic box outside her house and meets the blue-masked genie who lives there, she knows exactly what her three wishes will be. And there’s nothing normal about them at all! This captivating story and illustrations reveals that exciting adventures can be fun but being normal can be quite fine too.

Normal Nina and the Magic Box is the newest book in the highly regarded Laugh and Learn children’s book series. Written entirely in verse with delicate, detailed illustrations, books in The Laugh and Learn Series also include activity pages following the story to extend the learning for the home or classroom. Strong endorsements from educators, elementary school teachers and school librarians demonstrate this wide-ranging appeal.

11.5.17

Great deals at Zulily #zulilyThankATeacher

If you remember, I recently posted about the contest at Zulily for their "thank a teacher" contest.  Well, they picked the winners and for Teacher Appreciation week, they have some great deals going on. I am sharing part of the email below, read it and learn about a few great teachers out there. Then, head to zulily to grab a few deals before they end!  



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.




Just part of the email I received:

The growing costs associated with children's education is not limited to parents alone. The average teacher spends $500 investing in their classroom, with one in ten having spent $1,000 or more. In honor of their commitment, zulily kicked off the Thank a Teacher Contest in April, receiving more than 8,000 heartfelt nominations by zulily fans sharing how a teacher in their life made an impact. Today, zulily spotlights the appreciation of teachers everywhere by elevating 50 stories that exemplify the personal sacrifices, fortitude and dedication to the growth of their students, and is providing these winners with $500 to outfit their classroom with finds from zulily.com.

Of the 50 winners, six teachers were invited to curate sales events catered to teachers, that feature classroom ready merchandise in specialized categories, such as STEM, Art & Creative Play, Foreign Language, Homeschool & Montessori, Special Needs, and Teacher Supplies & Furniture. zulily salutes educators everywhere and this week only is offering an additional 15% off items purchased from these six curated sales events, on top of the up to 70% off customers already receive, for teachers to shop for their classrooms and support their peers.
...

zulily recognizes and gives special thanks to the teachers who inspired the curated collections: Randall Dunkin, a science teacher from North Adams High School, in Seaman, OH; Kellie Gaffney, a Spanish teacher at Lisha Kill Middle School, in Albany, NY; Sheryn Hodgson, a home school teacher for Redding School of the Arts, in Redding, CA; Tatum Allhiser, a teacher of all subjects, Stronghold Court School, Canby, CA; Blaire Goodson, High School English, Darlington High School, Darlington, SC Jessica Lara , 2nd Grade, WCSD Bud Beasley Elementary, Sparks, NV for going above and beyond to bring light and learning to their classrooms and students of unique and diverse needs.

zulily shares a few stories that illustrate how teachers impact everyone they touch:

Marina Collier, 2nd Grade, Gilmore Elementary, League City, TX. Marina has gone above and beyond for what she considers her children in her home away from home. I have seen Mrs. Collier literally give a little girl one of the shirts off her own back when she was cold. She goes above and beyond to make each student realize they have potential for all things and while they may alone sometimes in this world they will always have her and her love for years to come. She's not just a teacher, she is someone people should strive to be more like. – Meagan Molina

Crystal Schroeder, Special Education Work-Based Learning Coordinator for Hiawatha Valley Education District, Winona, MN. Crystal serves students within all disability areas, including Emotional Behavioral Disorders, Specific Learning Disabilities, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and other such disabilities. In rural Minnesota, she travels to about 13 schools in the district to teach emotionally challenged and autistic students job skills, find them jobs, and works with employers to monitor their job skills and performance. – Cynthia Miller

Dawna Gatrost, AVID/ELA/History, Canyon Lake Middle School, CA. Mrs. Gatrost is a school mom to everyone, but especially the foster youth. As a former foster parent, her trauma-based training is invaluable to promptly recognizing the struggle typical students don't have to deal with. Her tough love in AVID teaches the organization skills children desperately need for success in life. She's a great communicator with the parents and an important part of foster children's "village" who raised them. She's the reason we don't shy away from fostering middle school aged kiddos! She's hands down the best teacher we've met, and I volunteer with foster children all across southern California.  – Valentina Rocnik

Jeffrey Gross, Special Education, Edison High School, Philadelphia, PA. Jeff's music therapy program is the impossible in a Philadelphia class for multiple handicapped students.  With no budget, he has brought in music therapy students to work in his class twice weekly and not surprisingly there have been amazing results from the once silent students.  He has also found a way to bring in alpacas from the surrounding area, definitely a first for his students!  He just keeps talking to people he meets and keeps looking for resources to bring into school for his "kids."  His calm attitude is not the usual in the school but cannot be replaced. – Jessica Levin

Iyana Tennon, Elementary, all subjects, Virtuous Academy, Duquesne, PA. Iyana runs a beautiful and thoughtful school for kids who attend a really tough district.  Many kids drop out and the others that remain are often bullied and underperforming.  Iyana created Virtuous Academy to provide a safe option for these kids, with a strong academic curriculum.  STEM is a large part of it, as she believes jobs in the sciences are a way for these young people to break the cycle of poverty in their families. – Gisele Fetterman

Jennifer Sever, Special Education, Marysville High School, Marysville, OH. Mrs. Sever has dedicated her time to helping special needs children. She does everything in her power to educate herself on how to help these kids live as fun and as normal of a life so they can feel just as much appreciated as all other children their age. She always speaks so highly of them and consistently tries to find creative ways to make sure they obtain a solid foundation for surviving in today's society. She is truly a gem. She is authentic and she has a heart of gold. – Meriele Moore

Karen Daley, 6th grade teacher, Monarch School, CA. Karen is a fierce and unrelenting advocate for the homeless students she serves. She is the most loving, kind, dedicated educator I have seen in action.  She is tireless in her efforts to provide the students with a great education and strives to meet their emotional needs as well. She is committed to ensuring her students and all who meet her to become good people by her amazing, consistent example. She not only teaches character, grace, and gratitude; she lives and breathes it. She constantly spends her money to provide anything her students may need, without complaint. – Trisha Norris

Kathy Marx, Senior Communications, Appleton East High School, Appleton, WI. Mrs. Marx is so invested in her students, she knows each and every student, their family situation and what is going on in their life.  She pays for students' Senior pictures, Prom manicures and dresses.  She has students lined up every day to talk with her and help them with their situations.  She never tells them no and she is always there for everyone.  I don't know how she does it, but there seems to be no end to her goodness. – Katie Davis

Laurel Robinson, Teacher of Deaf or Hard of Hearing, Aurora Public Schools, Aurora, CO. She teaches deaf and hard of hearing teenagers. She inspires, guides, counsels, informs, comforts and celebrates each and every child like they were her own. Laurel is the most selfless teacher, always helping her students in any way possible to help them be the best person and to grow to their full potential. When my daughter was in her class she came with no experience in sign language and failing in all classes. She HATED school. After Miss Robinson took the time to teach her sign and help her understand not only social skills but life skills, she blossomed and became a straight A student. She learned to LOVE school. – Molly Drumps

Lisa Gifford, Language arts, Keller Primary School, Peoria, IL. Lisa has been teaching for Peoria School District 150 in Peoria, IL. for the past seven years.  She mixes art, drama and reading to engage the students because she truly believes all children can learn when given opportunities to experience learning through their strongest ability, talent, and interest.  She gives 110% daily in all she does and especially while teaching.  Teachers everywhere give their all daily with little recognition or appreciation and Lisa is no different; but I feel she does an awesome job due to her ambitious desire to teach every child to their highest ability level. – Eva Balek

The Explorers: The Door in the Alley

At 8 years old, we are into the Chapter Book stage of reading.  Broxton has a love hate relationshop right now and I think it might be more hate than love, since he is totally burned out with school this year.  I have already told him that he will still be reading and writing this summer and we have a new book in our stack to read.  (No, I am not going to make him do school work daily, but I do want to keep his brain going and not just on video game mode.)   One book we have to read?  The Explorers: The Door in the Alley by Adrienne Kress.  One thing I like about it?  It is book one, so hopefully he will enjoy it and we have just found a new series to read!  


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.


THE EXPLORERS: THE DOOR IN THE ALLEY is filled with adventure and danger. There are missing persons, hired thugs, a hidden box, a lost map, famous explorers, a risk-averse boy, and a girl on a mission. Not to mention secrets not meant for the faint of heart. But if you are feeling bold, or maybe even a little italic, and if you enjoy derring-dos (and doing dares), this just might be the story for you.
The Explorers: The Door in the Alley is for 8-12 year olds.

I read the first chapter, just to get a feel for it and I already want to know what happens next. I think that this will be one that we will enjoy reading together over the summer.  I mean, don't most kids love to go "exploring" no matter how big or small the adventure actually is?

10.5.17

THE gift that will have everyone talking...

Stop what you are doing right now.  I have what I think is the coolest thing to share with you.  A company contacted me about hosting a review for Mothers Day and when I learned that I would be making a "signature scent" of perfume, I was all over it.  How fun does that sound?!?!?!   Of course, I said yes and quickly went to see what I had to do to create my scent. 


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.


Okay, so let me hurry up and tell you about Waft personalized perfume so you can head on over to order one for you or a loved one.  I am telling you, I am totally loving this!!!! 

So, you go to their site and you answer a set of questions.  (It doesn't take that long, so don't worry about that!)   It was really easy things, so you can totally make this for a loved one and not worry about feeling pressured to get it right or wrong.

Example - 
Is this a gift or for yourself?  (I clicked YOURSELF with the quickness, I was eager to try and not a chance I was sharing this, sorry mom!)   Then, male or female.  Female ;) Then, I liked this...  Masculine / Feminine or Unisex .  I know lots of females that aren't all girly girl just like I know men that aren't all burly guys either.  They ask a few more questions, but then it gets to a more personal feel.  What is your style, what strength you would like, things like that. Finally, you get to NAME your bottle.  You can write a message.  You can choose the font.
I am telling you, SO - VERY - COOL!!!!

After you create your personalized perfume, you sit back and wait for the creation to be made and delivered to you.  It didn't take that long, so that is a plus!  Once it arrived, I was excited to open it up and check it out.  I will be honest, as a stay at home mom, I don't go putting perfume on daily, but since I have had my Waft creation, I have noticed that I do put it on more often than only when I have somewhere to be!   

Like I said, they make your creation based upon your answers, but get this... They make "layering scents" to go with it!!! Yeah, so now you can technically say you have like 7 different perfumes. (Don't go and get all mathematical on me, I am guessing and yes, I am probably wrong with the different ways you can make it work. The point is, it's really more than just one scent!)

As you can see, I named my perfume "Journey."  I am really enjoying it. I put it on the day it arrived and had everyone smelling me wherever I went. No one said it was bad, so either it really does smell good and work with my body, or everyone lied.  I am going with it smelling great! 

Okay, so this would be great for a Mothers Day gift.  They make scents for men, so if you are looking for a Fathers Day gift, here you go!  I really, REALLY think this would be a great gift for a bride to be.  She can make a signature scent to wear on her wedding day!  
This would also make for a great graduation gift. You could write an inspiring message on the bottle and name it "Good Luck" or "Harvard Bound" or whatever you feel.
I can not say it enough, I absolutely LOVE this and think it is a one of a kind gift!  

Now - are you ready for this???
Head on over to WAFT and create your own bottle.
Then , enter this code :
JUMPINBEAN
You will get 10% off your order!!!
Look at that, you gift THE GIFT that will be talked about for ages... and you save money too!  
Sounds good to me! 

It's Celiac Awareness Month and @GardenLites has products to let you keep eating great tasting food!

May is Celiac Awareness month and while none of us lead a gluten-free lifestyle, it is nice to eat healthier from time to time.  I was surprised at how good the muffins actually are and since Marc nor Broxton know they are "healthy" items, they eat them up.  They taste good... that is all they need to know.  I know they are made with veggies, so I don't mind when Broxton asks for a second chocolate muffin!




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.

May is Celiac Awareness Month, and Garden Lites offers gluten-free products including scrumptious veggie-rich muffins and waffles. Garden Lites is committed to keeping the “delicious” in all of their gluten free foods, and as always, vegetables are their first ingredients. Gluten- free food is especially vital for all sufferers of Celiac Disease, a genetic autoimmune disease which damages the small intestine. Celiac Disease impacts over 3 million Americans, and since the first Celiac Awareness Month in 1987 the number of gluten-free individuals in the US has skyrocketed to 44 million; Garden Lites is proud to provide great gluten-free options for both Celiac disease sufferers and those who are gluten-free for other reasons such as a gluten allergy or another intolerance. Garden Lites offers portable, nutritionally dense gluten free foods such as Garden Lites Muffins and Garden Lites Waffles.
 
The $1 billion dollar frozen waffle market just got richer!  Garden Lites® introduces the first and only veggie-rich waffles whose primary ingredients are Butternut Squash and Carrots.  Made with 23% vegetables, these incredibly fluffy, crispy and amazingly delicious waffles are made with only clean ingredients and are gluten free. Garden Lites® Waffles are being launched in two flavors: Homestyle Waffles and Blueberry Waffles. Homestyle Waffles offer the comfort food taste of your childhood while the Blueberry Waffles are bursting with fresh plump blueberries.  Both flavors are made with 23% vegetables, are Certified Gluten free, Dairy Free, Kosher and offer 18 grams of whole grains. Garden Lites Waffles are available in the frozen section of your supermarket.  They come six to box at an approximate retail price of $3.49.

Garden Lites Muffins are the perfect gluten-free breakfast, snack or desert for you and your family. Packed with veggies, it’s time to satisfy your sweet tooth with something that fills you up with fresh, simple ingredients!  With a variety of flavors like Blueberry Oat, Banana Chocolate Chip, or decadent Chocolate, “healthy” will be the last thing on your mind. Garden Lites 2 oz. Muffins are made of one-third vegetables, low in calories, a good source of fiber, contain 5g Whole Grains and are Gluten, Dairy and Nut Free. Garden Lites Muffins are available nationwide. The muffins come in a box of four with an SRP of $3.99 and can be found in the frozen section of stores nationwide, including: Walmart, Target, Publix, Costco, Shop Rite, Kroger, Meijer, Wegmans, Stop & Shop, the Fresh Market, and many more!

8.5.17

Do you consider yourself to be a "geek?" If so, check out @lootcrate

Still trying to decide what to get mom?  Maybe you have her covered and are looking to get an awesome gift for dad.  Either way, don't forget to check out Loot Crate and see about getting a subscription for someone you love!!!  Like I have said in the past, I have been impressed with every box that we have been fortunate enough to review.  I might not be familiar with it all, but I am still amazed every time by what all they stuff in there.  Let's not forget that the box transforms to something pretty cool as well, so that is always neat to discover!

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.


This is a past Loot Crate that was full of great looking products.  I will admit, I was not familiar with anything in it, but in this case, this would be a great box to use as gift giving ideas or to broaden your horizons and explore some of the things mentioned in the box. This was a MAGICAL theme.

As with every Loot Crate, you get a pretty sweet t-shirt.  Broxton claims most of them and loves how soft they are.  Also, don't forget the cool lapel pin they have in there!  I love that it isn't some cheap thing, but rather a pretty nice quality one. We have a bag that we put each pin on and then we put the Loot Crate Magazine in there too! 
 
Like I said, I was a bit clueless on this particular months theme, but it is full of stuff I have at least heard of.  (Well, except for two this time.  See if you can guess it.)
This months crate included:Loot Crate box that turns into a box that has potions and spell bottles printed all over it.
Loot Crate Magazine
Doctor Strange Q-Fig
Fantastic Beasts Obliviator T-Shirt
Game of Thrones Journal 
Big Trouble in Little China / Escape from New York Comic
Elder Scrolls Online Collectors Pin
*** The magazine even includes step by step directions to do a magic trick!!!!  

Now, can you guess which of the above mentioned are the ones I have never heard of??
Was it:
Doctor Strange
Fantastic Beasts
Game of Thrones
Elder Scrolls

Are you fans of any of them?  If so, tell me a little about why you like it.
Remember, this makes a great gift and Loot Crate has so many different crates to choose from!  I really want to check out the Sanrio One soon!!!  

If you buy anything, get the Sugar Scrub from @skinnyandco

Several of my friends rave about how wonderful Coconut Oil is.  I really had no clue anything about it, until I was lucky enough to be sent a selection of Skinny & Co. Products for us to review. Broxton has eczema flare ups from time to time, but Savannah has it really bad pretty much all the time. Everyone said to give coconut oil a try and with this review product being sent to me, I figured why not.  I just did not know it was a good product to have for your skin.  Lucky for me, the containers that were sent to me also had on it what it was best used for!

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.

Here are a few things that stand out about Skinny & Co. Coconut Oil:
   
● Skinny Coconut Oil is the only 100% raw, alkaline coconut oil on the market today
● Skinny Coconut Oil is a small batch, extra virgin, cold pressed coconut oil, made with nothing but 100% pure, raw, pesticide free, wild coconuts from the pristine jungles of Vietnam
● Skinny & Co. sources 100% of their coconut oil from their own factory
● Skinny & Co. is a small family company and controls their entire supply line in every jar from their trees to your table
● Each jar of Skinny Coconut Oil takes about three times longer than other processes and uses 12 coconuts
● Skinny & Co. coconut oil boosts metabolism, supports thyroid function, supplies energy to insulin-resistant cells, helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels, and promotes oral health when used in oil pulling
● Skinny Coconut Oil is such a high grade that it’s as a health supplement
● The best way to use Skinny Coconut Oil is to take it raw and unheated, but some people like it in their coffee, tea, or smoothies
● Skinny & Co. coconut oil can also be used on the skin as a moisturizer or in the hair as a conditioner.
● Skinny & Co coconut oil can be used as a one-for-one replacement for butter when baking, grilling, or cooking
● Skinny & Co. coconut oil is pesticide free and handpicked from the jungles of Vietnam
● Skinny Coconut Oil will last for at least 15 months, but could last up to 3 years if stored properly
● When Skinny’s coconut oil is solid it has a snow-white color and when it's liquid it's completely clear 

I was rather surprised.  I had the oil sitting in the heat (without thinking about it.)  I went to get it and it was as clear as a bottle of water.  I thought at first someone was playing a joke on me, but then I realized it had gotten a bit too warm. (*It was near the TV)  I moved it, it solidified again and we were good to go!!!  I have used this on Savannah, Broxton and myself.  I really can't notice a smell at all. Reading their website, that is a good thing... because it is all so pure!  
If you are looking for a great gift to give the Mother in your life for Mothers Day, make sure you check out their gift options.  This is their Wooden Beauty Box.  ($110)
Contains:
- .2 oz Lip Tube
- 2 oz Coconut Oil
- 4 oz Raw Soap
- 4 oz Facial Oil
- 9 oz Whipped Body Butter
- Bamboo Spoon

If that is a bit too high for your gift giving this year, look at getting one or two items from them!

I would HIGHLY recommend the Vanilla Sugar Body Scrub.  It makes your skin feel amazing and it SMELLS so good, you will want to eat it! 

Head on over to see what all they offer and surprise the mom in your life with a great gift this year! 

7.5.17

Super Guppies Available May 16th #BubbleGuppies

Broxton has watched a wide variety of shows through the years.  One that he loved (and I hope Savannah enjoys) was Bubble Guppies.  They are just so cute, don't you just love Bubble Puppy??? I am excited to see if Savannah will enjoy this, so we will be checking out this new DVD that was sent to us for review.


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.

The Bubble Guppies are back with an all-new DVD collection featuring five heroic "tails" in Bubble Guppies: Super Guppies. Whether they're diving into a comic book, going on a treasure hunt or helping to keep the streets safe, the Bubble Guppies prove that being a hero is a lot more than just fighting crime. Produced by Nickelodeon Home Entertainment and distributed by Paramount Home Media Distribution, Bubble Guppies: Super Guppies will be available on DVD May 16, for the suggested retail price of $14.99.
 

Bubble Guppies: Super Guppies contains the following episodes:
  • Super Guppies!               
  • X Marks the Spot!                       
  • Haunted House Party!                 
  • The Unidentified Flying Orchestra!                     
  • Police Cop-etition!                      

Limited Edition Mothers Day Candles from @BrightEndeavors

Want to know a gift I love to give and receive?  Candles!  They just smell so good and just makes the place amazing.  I noticed that when people take a hostess gift, it is a candle and I can see why! Mother's Day is a great time to give candles and even teachers love candles! (Our school has a form teachers fill out at the start of the year and then when it is close to a reason to give a gift, the room mom sends out a list of "favorites" for the teacher. Sometimes it even has favorite scents!
Bright Endeavors has a limited edition scent this year, just for Mothers Day and it is "Black Currant Orchid."  It smells amazing and even Broxton has commented on the scent!  


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.

A new, limited edition scent from Bright Endeavors! These beautiful, soy wax candles feature a fruity, floral fusion of black currant and grapefruit, tempered with rose and sophisticated base notes of amber and vanilla.

Available in 4 sizes:
11 oz. Signature Glass, Burn Time-40 Hours
8 oz. Retreat Tin, Burn Time-30 Hours
3 oz. Mini Signature, Burn Time-12 Hours
4 oz. Spa Tin, Burn Time-15 Hours
Made in Chicago, USA

100% of proceeds support the young moms who create this candle. 
Made with soy wax & phthalate-free fragrance

If you are not familiar with Bright Endeavors, here is a bit of the background story for you:
Bright Endeavors transforms the lives of young moms by teaching these strong women to craft premium soy candles in a supportive, professional environment. Through our paid job training program, we provide the guidance and job skills young moms need to secure quality employment and begin on a path towards professional success. 

Side note - They even offer CANDLE RENTAL in the Chicago Area. I think that is AWESOME!!!!
(You know I love that they are made in the USA!) 


So yeah, you want to give a great gift (Mothers Day, Grandparents Day, Wedding, Anniversary, Birthday...I can go on and on...) Look at the candles from Bright Endeavors! You will not only be giving a great smelling candle to someone you know and love, you will be helping the future of Chicago's young mothers!  
 
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