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Mom Central received a complimentary JVC HD Everio Camcorder in order to write this review. All of the opinions expressed are our own. Does it seem like everyone’s got a smartphone nowadays? They’re super-handy for so many things, not least of all capturing spur-of-the-moment photos and videos! When it comes to capturing important life events like weddings, graduations, birthday parties, anniversary parties, and family vacations (think: wet, sandy, far away, crowded and/or noisy!), my smartphone is just not an option for me. Fumbling with my delicate, breakable iPhone is not what I want to be doing when among a bustling parade crowd or on a misty, sandy beach, capturing the moment my girlfriend surfs her first big wave!  As it is, I have found myself at the Genius Bar in the Mac Store and facing a complete phone replacement more times than I care to admit, and that’s just from everyday use!
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The following featured posts are clients of Influence Central. The cold has settled in for a few chilly months here in Boston and our Influencers’ posts are keeping the Project Team filled with fabulous indoor inspiration and activities. To kick off the New Year we are featuring Andrea of HOMEMADE for ELLE, KC of The Real Thing with the Coake Family, and Shannon of cozy country living. "The little blue dynamos come off the bush tasting delicious!" 
Lands’ End Activewear
Influence Central received samples from the Activewear Collection to facilitate our review. All opinions are our own. This time of year, many of us are hitting the gym more than ever. I enjoy working out – it makes me feel healthy, stronger and it’s a big stress reliever after a hectic day. From spin classes to yoga to cardio machines, I try to vary my workouts to keep the fitness regimen fresh, and cut down on any potential gym fatigue. Much like the workouts themselves, I prefer to keep my gym attire fresh as well. I hate throwing on the same tank top or tee shirt, and since I try to go about four times a week, I certainly don’t want to run out of choices before I’ve had the chance to do my laundry.
Join us for the #Mortdecai Twitter Party tomorrow from 1:00 – 2:00 PM EST! We’ll be chatting with @LionsgateMovies about the upcoming release of Lionsgate’s next film on January 23rd, the action/comedy Mortdecai, starring Johnny Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ewan McGregor, Olivia Munn, Jeff Goldblum, and Paul Bettany! Date: Wednesday, January 21, 2014 Time: 1:00 – 2:00 PM EST Moderator: @MomCentral Brand Participant: @LionsgateMovies Party Hashtag: #Mortdecai Prizes: 2 pre-party winners and 6 party winners will be randomly selected to receive a $50 gift card. Questions: Email Stacy Y. (syanofsky@influence-central.com) Follow along and join in the conversation by:
Storing Christmas Decorations Safely with Honey-Can-Do
Influence Central received product to facilitate our review. All opinions are our own. The holiday season is over, and this year we decided to embrace it by making our home look even more festive with a larger artificial tree, more ornaments, and other holiday knick knacks that I put up after Thanksgiving. Now the holiday is over, and the living room looks unfortunately a bit emptier and less festive. Can’t keep those decorations up too long! The problem I encountered as I was taking down the tree and trying to organize my ornaments was how could I safely store these items so that they are protected and organized for next year? Without an attic or basement, I wanted to find a solution that looked clean, organized, and would protect my holiday décor from dust and moisture. I discovered the holiday soft storage options from Honey-Can-Do, one of our favorite go-to sources for home organization! The collection is available in a festive red color that is perfect for keeping our holiday goods in great shape!
Sunbain Swimsuits: Luxurious Style and Fit for Beachside Getaways
Influence Central received samples from Sunbain in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are our own The winter chill has fully settled into the air this month. With the holiday and New Year’s celebrations behind us, I dream of escaping to warmer days, especially by the beach or pool. Whether you are fantasizing about a sunny vacation, actually embarking on one, or just waiting for the winter to melt into spring and then summer, the winter makes a great time to stock up on cute new swimsuits.
Join us for the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council’s #LittleChanges Twitter Party tomorrow from 1:00 – 2:00 PM ET! We’ll be chatting with the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council and celebrity actress and reality show host, Alison Sweeney about healthy New Year’s resolutions and how making little changes in your lifestyle can help you achieve your health goals. Date: Wednesday, January 7th 2015 Time: 1:00 – 2:00 PM ET Moderator: @MomCentral Brand Participants: @Blueberry411 Celebrity Spokesperson: @Ali_Sweeney Party Hashtag: #LittleChanges Prizes: 2 pre-party winners and 6 party winners will be randomly selected to receive a $50 Amazon Gift Code. (Winners are restricted to the 48 contiguous United States and the District of Columbia.)
Thrive Market
Influence Central received a complimentary membership to Thrive Market to facilitate our review. All opinions are our own. When I have the choice to purchase natural, organic and wholesome ingredients, I always want to make the choice to do so over less healthier products. However, when shopping for these “better for you” alternatives, sometimes they can be pretty costly at small, local stores and even at larger chains. So I was excited to discover Thrive Market, an online shopping solution that offers natural products at wholesale prices. Thrive Market curates a wide selection of over 2,500 natural and organic items from 400 brands that are sold at 25-50% less than typical retail prices. The mission of Thrive Market is to make healthy living easy, affordable and accessible for families all over the country. Since the products are shipped, Thrive Market offers a wide variety of non-perishable goods – ranging from healthy snacks, cooking ingredients, natural home goods and bath, and beauty products.
Swaddling Simplified: Summer Infant SwaddleMe Blankets
Influence Central received Summer Infant SwaddleMe Blankets to facilitate our review. All opinions are our own. I pride myself on being a pretty good swaddler. When I had my first child, Ella, I didn’t use the “ready-made” swaddle blankets until she was about three months old. (Honestly, I forgot that I had received some as baby shower gifts!) For those first few months, I swaddled using large muslin blankets, which were perfect for the summer. When I recently tested the Summer Infant Muslin Swaddle Blankets to swaddle my newborn son, I was reminded of my experience with Ella. They are soft and come in nice patterns for both boys and girls (or unisex).
NES Remix for WiiU and Nintendo 3DS of our favorite classic Nintendo games
Influence Central received the NES Remix game to facilitate our post. All opinions are our own. For those of you who may have purchased a Nintendo WiiU or Nintendo 3DS for the family this holiday season, you may need to make a purchase for yourself – the Nintendo NES Remix Pack! Nintendo recently released the NES Remix, where your favorite classic Nintendo games are brought back with a twist – a series of mini-mash-ups that feature short, timed challenges. Each of the 25 games – which include Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda and more – bring back your favorite opponents to thwart, and along with that, fond memories of playing these games during your childhood! I loved the challenges in Super Mario Bros. 3, which was one of my favorite Nintendo games as a kid. Defeating goombas? I can handle that!
Rosetta Stone Kids Reading Program
Influence Central received a complimentary 12-month subscription for Rosetta Stone Kids Reading to facilitate this review. All opinions are our own. We all know teaching children to read proves an important milestone, yet one that can be met by some kids with trepidation, frustration and confusion. What works for one child will not necessarily work for another, and that’s especially true within a family unit. By the time she was four, my now seven-year old daughter was on the road to reading. After receiving her first set of learn-to-read books, she was happily sounding out all the new words and phrases and eager to learn more. Then she entered school and the progress continued and she’s now officially obsessed with reading, especially big girl chapter books. (Much to my delight!)
Disclosure:  Planet Fitness is a client of Influence Central, and Maria received a complimentary membership that she is resolved to use! How many times have you made the resolution to start the new year on a healthier path? I know I always do, and the year typically comes speeding to an end with me saying: “Next year will be THE year I get into shape.” However, in 2014 I convinced myself to commit to “baby steps” toward a more active lifestyle. I joined a running club, completing two 5K races; played on a co-ed indoor soccer team; worked out with a personal trainer one day a week (at 5 a.m.!) and thanks to Influence Central, joined Planet Fitness. Admittedly, I was much more diligent about my scheduled commitments and going to the club to work out became a disposable obligation. Baby. Steps.
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