Review: Super Heroic Shoes are Super Cool

We’re slowly but surely getting back into the swing of things after the holidays. With the new year, we like to freshen up our wardrobe, including our sneaker game. My guys have not surprisingly become wanna-be sneaker heads, so we were so excited to have a chance to check out this new line of awesome kicks called Super Heroic.

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The brand comes from Jason Mayden, former Nike Senior Global Design Director, with the support of NBA Legend, Magic Johnson, Playground Ventures, and Accel Partners.  Super Heroic is designed to provide balance, stability and comfort for children growing and playing. It’s not just the pro version of a sneaker in mini form! Also it comes in super cool silo packing that makes fun noises –  equipped with a backpack that morphs into a cape, and even includes stickers and other giveaways bringing out the superhero in every child.

First impressions are key, especially when it comes to kids. Super Heroic definitely got it right when it comes to packaging and creating an awesome first impression. Taking a cue from their superhero theme, Super Heroic’s shoes come in a capsule that twists open, complete with jaw dropping sound effects. My guys were so impressed as soon as they opened the shoes!

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The shoes, at first look, are comfortable, sleek and streamlined. There are no flashy lights on the shoes, but instead, they boast a unique fit and closure. I appreciate that the shoes were designed more for function than just aesthetics. They are said to fit more like a sock, so they were snug upon first try. Once my boys got moving, though, they felt the difference in design. The bright blue and green color of Super Heroics make them stand out without being overly flashy like other kids’ shoes. 

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My younger son has been wearing the shoes daily since we received them for review. I love that they’re versatile and comfortable for him. Since he’s at the age where he’s learning how to tie his shoes, but can’t quite put shoes on by himself all the time, it did takes some time getting used to the tighter fit. Once he broke them in, though, they are his go-to shoes for play and school. Since my son has hypotonia, he is a bit uncoordinated, so shoe fit does matter when it comes to playtime. The shoes provide stability and balance as they suggest, which I absolutely appreciate.

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As if the shoes themselves weren’t cool enough, Super Heroic comes with a backpack/cape and stickers. The accessories, though cool, are an added extra. Super Heroic shoes are definitely one of my sons’ favorite shoes, and I can’t wait until they’re a household name and become more accessible. For now, Super Heroic can be found online.

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The TMBLR v1 is available at superheroic.com for $79 in sizes 12C-7Y

Full disclosure: we were sent Super Heroic Shoes to review for this post. As always, all opinions on NKT are my own.

The Greatest Showman: Interview with Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Zendaya and more

Accommodations were provided by 20th Century Fox 

In the works for seven years, The Greatest Showman, is the story that captures the essence of P.T. Barnum and his legacy as a showbusiness trailblazer. In what was one of the most engaging press junkets I’ve participated in yet, I was enchanted by the entire cast and creators behind this film. Though my review of the film is embargoed until tomorrow, I will say, however, that I have not stopped thinking about or singing The Greatest Showman. 

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Hugh Jackman and Following Your Passion

Larger than life, much like the character whom he portrays, Hugh Jackman was the first actor who arrived to our junket. Sharply dressed for the evening’s events, Jackman started off by telling the group how the journey to creating The Greatest Showman began seven years ago.

Jackman was approached by producers, Larry Mark and Bill Condon, to do an original movie musical. “And they had idea of P.T. Barnum, which I thought was perfect for a musical.  I do think when you have a character who’s in the world of show biz, who’s larger than life, it lends itself to a musical.”

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The face of the film, Jackman takes on what is, quite possibly, one of the roles of his lifetime. He showcased his vocal chops, strength as a dancer, range as an actor and solidified his role as a versatile entertainer while portraying the unstoppable P.T. Barnum.

He shared how his passion for dance and the stage has a parallel to one of the messages of the film: 

“Actually owning up to the things that you love, the music that you like, the food you want to eat, who your friends are, the things you want to do whether it’s cool or not, that is where the joy of life is.  And really should be your marker for your path.  And I can speak, unfortunately from experience, of not always listening to that.

When I was 11, a teacher told me I had talent as an dancer.  You should dance.  I told my dad and he told me to go and get dance lessons. My brother overheard and said, “Ah, you sissy.  You sissy.”  And I was 10 or 11 at the time.  And so, I didn’t do dancing.  And then when I went to see 42nd Street with my dad and my brother, I was 18.  And at interval, my brother came up to me and said, “I said something really stupid to you years ago.  You belong on the stage and you should go and get dancing lessons.”  

 

 

The Different Dimensions of Zac

Zac Efron, who most recently starred in comedies such as Neighbors, Neighbors 2 and Baywatch, rose to fame portraying Troy Bolton in Disney’s High School Musical series in 2006-2008. Efron secured his triple threat status in the revival of Hairspray in 2007.

 

During the junket for The Greatest Showman, Efron’s casual entrance shifted the tone for the interview. His laid back and warm demeanor was a contrast to the privileged, yet unhappy Phillip Carlyle. Efron was attracted to The Greatest Showman because it was a “merging of worlds”…that evokes a “modern sensibility and it’s about issues that mean a lot to us today.”

 

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When asked if he was looking to star in a musical, Efron answered: I’m always looking “where can I find the next way to integrate music and that sort of song and dance side of me into my work and where will it be effective.”

“And in Hugh’s portrayal of P.T. Barnum, I felt like it would be effective.  It could work through–Phillip could be a conduit to help show the magic of what P.T. Barnum did as a showman.

And really, what Hugh does as a person in real life, and I’m here at a standing testament to it, he’s, like, one of the best teachers and, like, showmen in the world, literally.  He quite literally is the most versatile probably actor alive—.”

Truly a wise talent and a multi-dimensional actor, Efron’s portrayal of Carlyle is engaging and showcases his broad vocal range and dance capabilities. Truth be told, I was caught off guard by how much I enjoyed Efron in The Greatest Showman. I not only adored his character’s trajectory, but felt that this role showcased his vocal talent and strength as a dancer. 

 

Zendaya: Strong, Poised and Vocal

Zendaya is one of the young actors that I’ve been admiring from afar over the years. As a Disney loving family, we’ve probably watched every episode of Shake it Up and K.C. Undercover. The strong, sassy and diverse characters that she’s portrayed on Disney have helped her to catapult onto the big screen. 

The Greatest Showman is her second film, but you would’ve never known it by the way she takes on aerialist Anne Wheeler. 

Zendaya says she was attracted to playing Anne because she is the natural leader of the so-called Oddities. “To me, Anne is very confident, very poised and very comfortable in her own skin.”

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It’s important to note that the 20-year old Zendaya has used her platform to voice her stance on important issues such as equality, diversity and helping the less fortunate.

As a true fan of this rising star who embraces her responsibility as an influential person who also happens to be biracial, I was so disappointed that I didn’t get a chance to personally ask Zendaya a question. However, when a question came up about what the actors hope that young people would take away from the film, I loved what Zendaya had to say:

“As a millennial or someone that young people look to, it’s a lot of responsibility.  And I try to take it that way.  Some people like to look at it as a pressure and a negative thing, and I think it’s positive thing.  It means 40 million people that I can positively affect, you know?

And I think that what I think my message is and what aligns with this movie is it’s not telling you to be a certain way, right?  We’re not saying this is how you should be.

It’s saying we want you to be the best version of yourself.”

Undeterred by boundaries, Zendaya, quite literally, reached for the stars as aerialist Anne Wheeler. In their duet “Rewrite the Stars” Zendaya and Efron worked beautifully to harmonize vocally and physically. The duo complemented each other well and did their own stunts. Zendaya emphasized, “I think that was the cool part about it, is we kind of had the freedom to just kind of go for it and just have some fun.”

  

Pasek and Paul: Songwriting Masterminds

Though the film takes place in the 19th century, the design music and choreography helped to make this period piece into a relevant movie musical.

At the genesis of the film, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul were up and coming songwriters. They had yet to hit it big when they signed on with The Greatest Showman. Pasek and Paul have since added quite a few more songs to their portfolio, not to mention an Academy Award and Golden Globe for “City of Stars” from La La Land and a Tony for the Best Original Score for Dear Evan Hansen.

The songwriting duo do not disappoint with the original music for The Greatest Showman. The musical features 10 original songs with varying tempos, but retain fluidity within the storyline. From the opening scene that introduces the anthem and title song, “The Greatest Show,” the lyrics help to unveil the story, where stacatto vocals articulate the grandeur, and the chorus leads to a transition and a melodic foreshadowing. 

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Since I’m one of the last people on Earth who has yet to see La La Land or Dear Evan Hansen, The Greatest Showman was my first experience to fully enjoy Pasek and Paul’s songwriting. Immediately downloading the soundtrack the night after screening the film and before our junket, I was hooked!Truly smitten by Pasek and Paul’s work in The Greatest Showman, I didn’t hesitate when it came to asking about their musical influences. The original music in The Greatest Showman is influenced by so many genres and artists. The song, “The Greatest Show” is the only song that they co-wrote with someone else; they wrote it with Ryan Lewis of Macklemore and Lewis fame. Director Michael Gracey insisted upon an anthem type feel, much like a Queen song, where the crowd would stomp and clap their hands to the beat.

Though all of the songs evoke their own style, it’s clear that they were influenced by many contemporary artists. Pasek and Paul said that influence in their original music came from artists like Ingrid Michaelson, Imagine Dragons, Billy Joel, among others.

 

Keala Settle’s Film Debut in The Greatest Showman

One of the many shining stars of the film, Keala Settle plays Lettie Lutz, also known as the bearded lady. Settle, who makes her film debut in The Greatest Showman is no stranger to the stage. Settle is an accomplished actor on Broadway, playing Becky in the stage musical “Waitress,” among other notable roles. One of the most important themes of The Greatest Showman is acceptance and inclusion despite your differences. 

Settle, who revealed her fears about the role: “I was so petrified because this is my first major motion picture in a role that I didn’t know was going to be what it is.  I had no idea.  It changed over the course of how it was created as we were creating, you know, in rehearsals and stuff like that before we started initial photography.  And the bigger that it got for me, the scarier that it got because I wanted to hide even more.  And I am still, even sitting here in front of you, fighting that right now.”

The entire cast is phenomenal in their own rite, Settle nailed her first film. Her song, “This is Me,” is a relatable ballad for anyone who’s ever felt different or had to overcome a hardship. Her performance is one of the most memorable moments of the film. She is one of the breakout stars of the film; “Look out because here I come…”

 

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From the music, to talent of the ensemble cast to the choreography to the relevant and relatable themes, The Greatest Showman is undoubtedly a film like no other. The positive undertones and  dreamer mentality make The Greatest Showman a fun film for people of all ages.

Though this film has been in the works for seven years, The Greatest Showman embraces so many important themes that are more relevant than ever: inclusion, diversity, dream big, among other topical issues.

When asked what was his biggest takeaway from the film, Jackman said it best:

“I love the message of this movie, of accepting ourselves for who we are and what we love and the things that really make us feel passionate and not worry about what anyone else thinks.”  

 

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Ladies and gentlemen, prepare to be enchanted by the magic of showbusiness. The Greatest Showman is in theaters December 20th.

 

 

This Christmas, dare to dream anything. The #GreatestShowman opens a world of imagination, in theaters December 20. TheGreatestShowmanTickets.com

 

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“The Greatest Showman” is a bold and original musical that celebrates the birth of show business and the sense of wonder we feel when dreams come to life. Inspired by the ambition and imagination of P.T. Barnum, “The Greatest Showman” tells the story of a visionary who rose from nothing to create a mesmerizing spectacle that became a worldwide sensation. “The Greatest Showman” is directed by exciting new filmmaker, Michael Gracey, with songs by Academy Award® winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (“La La Land”) and starring Academy Award nominee Hugh Jackman. Jackman is joined by Zac Efron, Academy Award nominee Michelle Williams, Rebecca Ferguson and Zendaya.

 

Genre: Musical

Directed By: Michael Gracey

Screenplay By: Jenny Bicks and Bill Condon

Story By: Jenny Bicks

Produced By: Laurence Mark, p.g.a, Peter Chernin, p.g.a, Jenno Topping, p.g.a

Songs By: Benj Pasek & Justin Paul

Score By: John Debney & Joseph Trapanese

Cast: Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Michelle Williams, Rebecca Ferguson, Zendaya

Full disclosure: I was invited by 20th Century Fox to participate in this press junket. As always, opinions are my own.

Super Lucky’s Tale: Bonding with Games

This post is sponsored by Playful Corp. Thank you for supporting NKT.

 

In between sports and activities, we sometimes squeak in some time on the Xbox. Recently, we had the chance to take Super Lucky’s Tale for a spin. In this fun adventure game, Lucky is faced with a series of challenges, which includes confronting some little villains and meeting some quirky friends.

 

 

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Whether we’re playing actual games, or the video game variety, it seems we’re always battling something. Games and gaming teaches and reinforces so many helpful lessons for my boys.

 

1. Healthy competition 

As always, I’m going to keep it real here: if there’s an opportunity for a competition, my boys will be up for it. Healthy competition works wonders for social development. We do our best to squash the entitled behavior before it becomes an issue, which is where competition between brothers is a pre-cursor for other friendships and learning how to cope and face conflict.

 

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2. Teamwork

When playing games such as Super Lucky’s Tale, it’s important for kids to know how to ask and reach out for help when they need it. Ultimately, kids thrive when working together, so learning how to flourish in a team setting is an important life skill that can be learned when playing video games. My boys love putting their heads together when trying to conquer certain levels or locating a specific part in a game. I love the way they work together and hone that teamwork skill.

 

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3. Loyalty and Losing

They will battle each other ’til the end, but when it really counts, thank goodness, they’ll always have each other’s backs. The boys have no choice but to support each other ’til the end because that’s when it will be their turn! If they don’t support one another, the game often gets boring or worse, long and drawn out. In (almost) every game, there’s a winner and a loser, and this is another important facet of life that can be learned when gaming together.

 

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The kids had fun exploring and facing the various challenges throughout Lucky’s adventure. There were quite a few parts when the boys couldn’t tackle a certain level and had to keep redoing it, but the were there cheering and helping each other the whole way. I can’t wait for them to get to the point where they can help each other find the hidden secrets of Super Lucky’s Tale, much like I did with my own favorite adventure games with my big brother.

 

Super Lucky’s Tale from Playful Corp.($29.99) is rated E for Everyone and supports Xbox Play Anywhere, which means you can pick up where you left off on another Xbox One device or Windows 10 PC, bringing all your saves, add-ons and achievements with you. 

 

Free Holiday Target Giftcard Printables

It’s that time of year when Target has fun sales with the holidays in mind. For today only, 12/3, Target giftcards are an extra 10% off

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As we all know, teachers, aides, bus drivers and everyone beyond seem to like gift cards vs. random tchotchkes. While a personalized note of gratitude ranks up there, I’ve learned from my many teacher friends and relatives that gift cards are the best gifts. 

And, thanks to Target, they have a little discount that comes in handy when you’re buying giftcards in bulk. The gift cards are varied in design and increments starting at $10. The discount applies to the gift cards in store and online, but I personally like ordering them online. I save money by ordering online and not buying $189 worth of stuff in the store that I didn’t know that I needed!

Free Target Giftcard Printables

I love Target beyond measure, so I’m all about sharing this love! Because of that, I created a free printable for the Target Giftcards!

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I made them four to a page so you can print them up for all the people in your life!

After printing out the printable on your desired paper (card stock worked well for me), cut out the cards on the gray lines. Take an Xacto knife or scissors and cut slits on the dotted lines to slide the giftcard through. I slid the card under the card so that the ends are sticking out. You can dress it up with a cute ribbon or some baking twine. Please note that some cards may be larger than the slit, so be sure to measure to avoid over cutting. In case you do over cut the slits or want to secure the card, be sure to tape the giftcard on the back of the printable.

 

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You can download the free Target Giftcard Printable here.

Enjoy and Happy Shopping!

 

Full disclosure: this post includes affiliate links. Affiliates and sponsored content help pay the bills, so thank you for your continued support.

Kinder Joy Eggs are Back in the U.S.

This post is in partnership with Kinder Joy. Thank you for supporting The Next Kid Thing.

Ferrero, the company known for Ferrero Rocher, Nutella and Tic Tac has brought the Kinder Egg back stateside, and we were on hand last week to take part in the festivities! Kinder Joy is the newest iteration of Ferrero’s treats.

 

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If your kids are anything like mine, then they probably spend a little time on YouTube watching other kids unbox toys and unveil Kinder Eggs. As longtime fans of the Kinder brand, I totally get the hype behind these treats: it’s the element of surprise combined with sweet deliciousness.

 


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Kinder Joy comes in a plastic egg-shaped package that has two separately sealed halves. One half is the treat, which has two creamy layers: one cream flavored layer and the other is cocoa flavored. One top of this creamy mixture are two ball-shaped wafers. This delicious treat can be scooped up with the enclosed mini-spoon.

 

Just like Kinder Eggs we know and love, Kinder Joy’s other half of the egg is the surprise toy. There’s a selection of surprise toys that are ideal for children ages three and up. According to the company, “the toys are aimed to encourage creativity to toys that teach kids about the world around them. In addition, seasonal and special licensed toys will be made available throughout the year (while supplies last) to keep the surprises coming.”

 

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At the fun launch event in NYC, we had a blast welcoming Kinder Joy to the states. There was a fun spread of great food, beautiful views and endless amounts of Kinder Joy treats. And because Kinder Joy is all about fostering fun with the family, they had an expansive Kid Zone filled with all the toys you could imagine! From race tracks to remote control cars to coloring books to dress up accessories, Kinder thought of everything! Josh had a blast playing with every single toy alongside of our fellow blogger kids. He had so much fun, we closed the place down!

 

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And of course, a launch event wouldn’t be complete without a celebrity host! Actress Malin Akerman acted as the ambassador for Kinder Joy, sharing her fondness of the sweet treat:

 

“Growing up in Sweden, I remember when my mom used to give me Kinder products as a child –

the anticipation of the delicious treat was fun and special,” recalls Malin Akerman, actress and

longtime Kinder fan. “That’s why I’m looking forward to help welcome the Kinder brand to the

US – now I can pass on these delicious treats to my son and see him experience the same genuine

surprise and delight that I did every time he opens a Kinder Joy egg.”

 

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And if you were to tell me as a little kid that I would get to write about toys and sweet treats for a living one day, I would’ve never believed you. It was a pleasure to cover this fun Kinder Joy event, and beyond fun bringing my younger guy along for the sweet surprises!

 

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If my kids have taught me anything along the way, it’s that life should be full of sweet surprises and little indulgences. And Kinder Joy Eggs—lots of Kinder Joy Eggs.

Kinder Joy began hitting Walmart shelves on Black Friday and then your favorite grocery stores soon after.

Full disclosure: this is a sponsored post. I have received compensation for sharing this information. But as always, all opinions on NKT are my own.

Stay Connected with Xfinity X1, xFi and Xfinity Mobile

This post is sponsored by Comcast. As always, thank you for supporting The Next Kid Thing.

When it comes to technology, we’re always on the hunt for new and innovative tools to make life easier.  I recently had the chance to learn all about Xfinity and their latest offerings at a Lunch and Learn at their Union, NJ Xfinity Store. After an hour packed with helpful insight, I learned that Xfinity gets the needs of tech savvy parents and everyone in between.

 

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Xfinity X1 Streamlines Family TV

Xfinity’s digital TV platform touts an intuitive interface with features to appease the whole family. Dubbed X1, it’s clear that Xfinity’s team has thought of it all. The X1 DVR allows you to watch and record up to six shows at the same time. While your husband is watching a Thursday night game, you can record Scandal, as well as Paw Patrol, Shimmer and Shine and any other show simultaneously. What I love is that you can watch your DVR library from anywhere on any device.

On Demand, is definitely helpful for people who love easy access to shows. If your kids are anything like my kids who love watching the same episodes of their favorite shows on repeat, On Demand can be a saving grace when you need to keep them preoccupied.

Everything in life needs to have a voice command like X1’s Voice Remote. This feature is so cool! You can easily search for something on X1 with the Voice Remote. You can use voice commands to change channels, search for shows, get recommendations and then some.

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The Kids Zone on X1 is a great interface where families and kids can safely navigate age-appropriate shows without supervision. Again, if you’re busy in another room, if they’re in the Kids Zone, it’s a relief to know the kids can’t access shows that aren’t geared for them.

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X1 Sports app is, quite literally, a game changer. With the Sports app, you can track live scores and stats on multiple games while watching a different game. In this app, there’s also a cool functionality where you can access your CBS Sports Fantasy Football stats.

 

Xfinity Internet

There is so much to love about Xfinity’s Internet interface. Xfinity xFi is described as a new personalized WiFi experience that provides a digital dashboard for customers to set up and easily access their home network. XfinityxfiFrom the dashboard, you can access passwords, see which devices are currently on the network, set parental controls and even analyze family usage. The Xfinity xFi interface is a great tool for families who are connected and need a home base for their network.

 

Xfinity Mobile

Aiming to further connect families, Xfinity now offers Xfinity Mobile,which features America’s largest and most reliable 4G LTE network combined with over 18 million Xfinity WiFi hotspots. XfinityMobile

Xfinity Mobile offers five lines of unlimited talk and text included within an existing customers’ Internet at no cost. For us, data is always the hard hitter of our bill. So it’s great to know that with Xfinity Mobile’s plans, data can be paid for in two ways: by the Gig or Unlimited, and you can switch between the two. So, if someone needs less data one month, by the Gig option maybe a better fit. If you’re traveling and need a lot more data, the Unlimited option is the better fit. Knowing that you can toggle between the two options makes it more cost effective. By the Gig is $12 per GB, where you only pay for the GBs of shared data you use each month. On the Unlimited plan, it’s $45 per line. There’s no monthly data usage limits, but there are reduced speeds after 20 GB. 

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In addition to their network that aims to increase their customer’s value and digital experience while lowering bills, Xfinity has the latest devices available. There’s a different phone for everyone with Xfinity Mobile.

 

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With Xfinity’s expansive line of offerings, families are able to stay connected with ease. While X1 streamlines the TV experience, xFi is the hub of the network and Xfinity Mobile keeps everyone connected on the go. Our digital family is officially smitten with Xfinity’s unique offerings and technological advancements.

Many thanks to Xfinity for hosting us for this great lunch and learn!

TTPM Unveils 2017’s Hot Toys

Last week, my big guy and I woke up bright and early to head to the city for TTPM’s Holiday Showcase. Always one of my favorite events of the season, TTPM named the 20 toys that they consider to be the hottest toys of the holiday season.

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From products featuring notable entertainment characters and the latest advancements in tech to standout classic toys and innovative preschool playthings, the TTPM Most Wanted List reflects the current trends dominating the toy aisles.

 

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TTPM named so many of our favorites as hot toys, and even included a few that are new to us! As much as we love learning about TTPM’s hot list, we love getting our hands on all of these cool new toys at the event.

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We’ll be sure to share our thoughts on the hot list, but without further ado, here is TTPM’s Most Wanted List:

  • Fingerlings by WowWee
  • Hatchimals Surprise by Spin Master
  • Barbie Dreamhorse by Mattel
  • Doc McStuffins Baby All-in-One Nursery by Just Play
  • Teddy Ruxpin by Wicked Cool Toys
  • Hot Wheels Super Ultimate Garage by Mattel
  • Imaginext DC Super Friends Batbot Xtreme from Fisher-Price
  • Lego Boost Nerf Nitro Paw Patrol My Size Lookout Tower
  • DropMix by Hasbro
  • KidBuzz by VTech
  • LOL Surprise by MGA Entertainment
  • LuvaBella and LuvaBeau by Spin Master
  • Nintendo Switch by Nintendo Pikmi Pops
  • Oonies by Moose Toys
  • Little Bits’ Star Wars Droid Inventor
  • Star Wars Hero Droid BB-8 Interactive Droid from Spin Master
  • Star Wars Force FX Lightsaber from Hasbro

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Due to the early buzz, so many of these were no surprise! We’ll share our video and thoughts on these toys soon!

Playing Smarter Football with Riddell

This is a sponsored conversation with Riddell and SheSpeaks. 

Just before August, the lines get painted on the football field down the road from us. Since we live so close to the practice field, with every yard line that’s measured and painted, my son gets even more excited.  

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We just wrapped up our swim season last week, and now, we’re suiting up for football. And just as my older son is suiting up in pads once again for DBA, I’m so proud that our organization has a strong fundraising program which helps to fund the best equipment for our kids. This year, the boys received new helmets and pads with top-notch safety technology. Unfortunately, not every team is so lucky, which is why I’m so proud to share about Riddell’s Smarter Football grant.

Youth sports are very much a part of the fabric of our lives. Of all the sports that are played, my kids have a true love for football. As a mother of a child who has an ongoing medical condition, safety is paramount for my kids, especially when it comes to youth sports.

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Because my husband coaches multiple sports, I know and understand that the leaders and directors of our town’s youth sports make our boys’ well being a top priority. Our coaches must take safety classes to be certified to coach in our town. Most of the coaching tactics implemented in our league, such as Head’s Up, are intended to diminish concussions and other injuries. With safer equipment, such as that from Riddell, I feel comfortable knowing that my son has a better chance at being protected.

Trust me, I’d much rather see him in a pool or any other non-contact sport. But, when your kid lives and breathes for football, I feel a little better knowing that his equipment protects him and keeps the bumps to a minimum.

 

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Riddell, the innovator of football gear, is offering a generous grant for a lucky team to be awarded Smarter Equipment. 

The Smarter Football program is a grassroots campaign that recognizes and rewards teams across the country for implementing ‘smarter’ tactics on and off the field. About 1,700 football programs across North America, from the youth level all the way up to semi-pro, have applied for an equipment grant through the initiative in its first two seasons. 

Smarter Football tactics can mean anything from practicing smarter with safer techniques, to implementing new equipment to better protect players.

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Riddell aims to produce equipment with advanced protective technologies.

This year, the company launched Riddell Precision-Fit, a 3D head scanning process used to build a custom-fitting, player-specific helmet liner system that provides personalized protection. Riddell also introduced enhanced player management software for its InSite Impact Response System, which summarizes players’ on-field alerts and identifies training opportunities for athletes based on their impact profile.

And because of their intent to keep players safe with Smarter Football, Riddell’s Smarter Football Program will continue to recognize and reward those at all levels of play who have taken steps towards improving and advancing the sport of football, especially when it comes to player safety and protection. 

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Does you’re team have what it takes to play Smarter Football? If so, apply for the Smarter Football grant, visit Riddell.com/SmarterFootball. The deadline for entries is August 31, 2017.

Full disclosure: This is a sponsored post in conjunction with Riddell and SheSpeaks. All opinions on NKT are my own. 

Grossery Gang Putrid Power Movie Debuts on YouTube and Fun with Grosseries

 The Grossery Gang is at it again, and this time, they’ve released a YouTube-exclusive film to showcase their grossness. In Putrid Power: The Grossery Gang vs. The Clean TeamThe Grossery Gang takes on the new evil force known as the Clean Team. With Cheap Town under the threat of being cleaned up for good by the evil Vac Attack and his team of clean freaks, Putrid Pizza, Dodgey Donut and the rest of the gang must band together to fight the power of clean; to save themselves from getting mopped up by the baddies.

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We had fun watching Putrid Power and getting to know the Grosseries’ quirky characters through their video. It’s pretty cool to see the smelly guys come alive, on YouTube no less!

In honor of the 33-minute film release on YouTube, we had the chance to play with The Grossery Gang Putrid Power collectibles, where my guys were pleasantly disgusted by the various Grosseries. Putrid Pizza and Dodgey Donut were just a few of the guys’ favorites with Grub Sub and Crud Cake as smelly seconds. I love how some of the Putrid Power Grossery Gang collectibles have trash-stained Grosseries and shiny stain!

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In a space where girly collectibles and characters seem to occupy most of the shelves and screen, I love seeing that Moose Toys’ Grossery Gang is pretty popular with boys and tweens who appreciate gross humor!

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The Grossery collectibles are popular with my guys; they love creating a storyline and sharing/swapping Grosseries with each other. Beyond Grossery Gang’s collectibles and blind packages, Putrid Power also has action figures for more developed character play! 

Be sure to check out Putrid Power: The Grossery Gang vs. Clean Team on YouTube.

Full disclosure: This is a sponsored post. Product and compensation was provided for this post. As always, opinions on NKT are my own.

 

Fun Mom Dinner Junket: interviewing Toni Collette, Bridget Everett, Molly Shannon and Katie Aselton

I was hosted by Momentum Films for the Fun Mom Dinner press junket.

In Momentum Film’s Fun Mom Dinner, a normal night out with mom friends is challenged when fun is redefined. Navigating motherhood with school-aged children is no easy feat. In fact, the movie industry has created a funny dialogue about modern parenting and the comedy that ensues when moms take on life with kids.

 

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When Emily (Katie Aselton), Kate (Toni Collette), Melanie (Bridget Everett) and Jamie (Molly Shannon) gather for a night out, the night goes from innocent conversation and lamenting about parenthood into overdrive with some questionable, but hilarious behavior.

 Written by Julie Rudd, directed by Alethea Jones, Fun Mom Dinner features an all-star cast of funny comedians: Katie Aselton, Toni Collette, Bridget Everett and Molly Shannon. Made by women for women, Fun Mom Dinner exudes a unique energy that is reflective of the passionate creators in front of the camera, as well as behind the scenes.

Fun Mom Dinner is a fun, sometimes impossible flick that’s perfect for a girls’ night out. Plus, Adam Levine’s in it! Hello! 

 

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As a mom who had an identity before kids, I can definitely relate to a few of the characters portrayed in Fun Mom Dinner. As someone who’s often reluctant to go beyond my usual circle of friends, I definitely related to Kate and Emily’s plight in Fun Mom Dinner. The ensemble cast made the laughs and ridiculousness seem effortless.

 

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Last week, i was invited to take part in a media junket with the cast, director, writer and producer of Fun Mom Dinner. 

 

It was so great hearing from these funny women and to get their thoughts on parenting and how they enjoy having a good time.

 

What I loved was how each actress has a distinctly different comedic background. In fact, I loved how Toni Collette recounted her first experience with getting acquainted with Bridget Everett.

“I got the script and Bridget was attached, but I was unfamiliar with her work.  So, I thought I’ll just take a peek, and then I couldn’t stop reading it.  So, I loved it and immediately wanted to do it.  

But then I looked at a link to Bridget in her prime on YouTube, and I was so blown away.  I was sitting in a hotel room by myself, like, with tears running down my face laughing my ass off. “ 

 

 

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The ensemble cast enjoyed the unique timeframe and the fact that they filmed at night. 

Colette said, “And working together exceeded any expectation I could have had.  It was so much fun.  We shot all nights because it’s a movie about dinner, not about brunch.  And even though it was a little exhausting, it really was such a highlight.”

 

Since the actresses portrayed moms of different walks of life, one of the bloggers at the junket asked a great question about what advice they’d give other moms.

 

One piece of advice that’s on my personal radar is what Molly Shannon shared: “I read this amazing book called Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety.  It’s fantastic.  

But basically it’s about how women can be really hard on other women.  And there’s women who work, women who don’t work, and there’s a lot of insecurity about these choices

I loved what Katie Aselton’s advice for other moms. 

Shaking the pressure to be that women that everyone looks at and says, “How does she do it?”  I feel like we do that to ourselves a lot. 

 But, perhaps, the most hilarious piece of advice came from Bridget Everette who is a mom to a pup, Poppy. When asked about how she unwinds, Bridget said:

‘It’s similar to Pilates, but I get a pineapple and I cut it up into tiny little pieces and then I put them in a bottle of Tito’s, and then I freeze it.  And then at 5:00 I shake it up.  I put it on some ice and I drink my pini-tini.  That’s it, just pineapple, ice, and vodka.  It couldn’t be easier.”

Fun Mom Dinner is now in select theaters and On Demand; find it on iTunes

 

 

 

 
Full disclosure: I was a guest of Momentum Films as part of the Fun Mom press junket. I did not receive monetary compensation. As always, all opinions on NKT are my own.