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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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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
Rosetta Stone is a client of Influence Central, and we 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.
AEROSOLES Plumming Bird Suede Ankle Boot
Influence Central received samples of AEROSOLES boots to facilitate this post. All opinions are our own. The riding boot is a winter staple for us, and we’ve written plenty of posts showcasing our favorites colors and looks. That will never change. But sometimes, we like to go beyond our standard shoe style for ones that are fashionable, will keep us warm, and are comfortable too. For that, we turned to one of our favorite shoe brands, AEROSOLES, and were not disappointed with the options.
Reusable Cleaning with Products from Skoy
Influence Central received complimentary samples of the Skoy Cloths, Skoy Scrub, and Skoy Rail in order to facilitate this review. All of the views expressed are our own. During the winter months with kids indoors much of the day when they’re not in school, most Moms find that their kitchen is constantly messy! Everyone runs through paper towels like crazy, failing to realize the environmental and financial ramifications of relying on disposable products like paper towels. With reusable and biodegradable products from Skoy, the way we clean our homes can be longer lasting and much healthier for our families, our budget, and the environment.
Banfield Pet Hospitals Releases the Children's Book, My Very, Very Busy Day
Influence Central received a copy of My Very, Very Busy Day to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed here are our own. Banfield Pet Hospitals are known for fostering family-pet relationships through the care of pets with expert veterinarians and products that create a better world for both pets and people. One of the most trusted and recognized pet hospital systems in the country, Banfield has partnered with Quvenzhané Wallis, star of the newest movie musical “Annie,” to release My Very, Very Busy Day, a fun and engaging children’s book that highlights the importance of responsible pet ownership and the love we all feel as owners of cats and dogs. There’s undoubtedly a special bond between pets and people, and this children’s book, with an adorable plotline through the perspective of two furry friends, shows us how important it is to treat that bond with respect, and how much work it really may be to be a pet owner, whether an adult or a child.
Broadway’s “Side Show”
Influence Central received two tickets to Side Show to facilitate our review. All opinions are our own. I’ve been a fan of musical theater for as long as I can remember. My first high school job was working concessions at North Shore Music Theatre in Massachusetts, so I could watch the rotating line-up of regional productions during my breaks. Having attended college in Manhattan, trips to score RUSH tickets and enter discounted ticket lotteries were a regular occurrence and a favorite pastime of friends and myself. I’ve been a seatfiller at the TONY Awards, and regularly listen to Original Broadway Cast recordings on my commute to work. Flash forward several years later, and I still find myself as excited as ever to see the new Broadway shows that open each season.
Snikiddy
Influence Central received samples to facilitate our post. All opinions are our own. Soon many of us will be making resolutions to choose foods that are healthier for ourselves and our families. While we know it’s best to opt for healthier choices, it really helps us make these decisions when these “better for you” options are actually delicious! We recently discovered a line of “better for you” snacks that is tastier than many of our favorite traditional snacks that are higher in fat – Snikiddy. Snikiddy was founded in 2006 with the goal of offering simple, wholesome and real products that families will enjoy. One of our favorite snacks within the Snikiddy family is the Baked Fries. As fans of savory snacks, these are a delicious alternative to greasier fries and chips. The Baked Fries are available in some unique flavors, including Bold Buffalo, Sea Salt and Barbeque. Our top pick here at Influence Central is the Bold Buffalo. These Baked Fries feel like a healthier way of consuming some of our favorite flavors!
Loftek Starry String LED Lights
Influence Central received samples of Loftek Starry String LED Lights in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are our own. Decorating for the holidays brings that cozy, warm, and cheerful seasonal sentiment into any space, even when the freezing temperatures drop outside. The Loftek Starry String LED Lights add a charming, compliment-worthy finishing touch to holiday decorating. These waterproof, heat-insulated, dainty mini string lights comes in bright, festive hues. The string of lights emits beautiful, fun colors that capture the holiday feel and are lightweight and extremely easy to install. The delicate-looking copper wire holds up strong and bends, allowing flexibility for wrapping around trees, mantels, and other structures. They come with an outlet plug at one end and a protected free end at the other that does not require a second plug-in, allowing you to bend and twist the wire to fit wherever you would like to decorate.
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