Monday, July 21, 2014

Gone Phishin' Thanks To The Illinois Lottery Anything’s Possible® Music Series! #APMusicSeries

I seriously felt like I WON The Illinois Lottery when we got the e-mail asking ChiIL Mama & ChiIL Live Shows if we'd like to partner up with Illinois Lottery and cover the Phish Concert Saturday night! My friend, D'Arcy, and I got the VIP treatment courtesy of The Illinois Lottery Anything’s Possible® Music Series! The view from the VIP deck at First Merit Bank Pavilion, Northerly Island was fabulous and we had a rockin' good time.

Disclosure:  Thanks to The Illinois Lottery Anything’s Possible® Music Series for providing me with 2 VIP tickets. As always, all opinions are my own.





Of course I couldn't get my pro camera in, so I made do with the kids' point n shoot and my phone, so the photos don't do the experience justice. If you follow ChiIL Mama on Instagram, Twitter, and/or Facebook you've already had a real time sneak peek. 

It was truly a night to remember! Here's our Full Slide Show and we've embedded favorites below.





We had both ends of the continuum represented. My +1 D'Arcy had never seen a Phish show, so it was an incredibly fun way to see a first show. 




And I've been seeing Phish for 20+ years.
I've traveled to see them at The Gorge in Washington State, Las Vegas, Alpine Valley, Deer Creek, NYE 2000 in The Everglades and every Chicago show possible...UIC Pavilion, Northerly Island (back to the early days when they fit in Aragon Ballroom and even further back to the tiny Cubby Bear!)  

My kids both heard Phish in utero (and jumped around, kickin' to Fishman's drums) and then saw a bunch of shows in jogging strollers and baby backpacks. Phish is a great, family friendly show with all ages appeal. In fact, we saw quite a few kids and babies in slings. There were numerous pregnant women on the VIP Deck.

The last time I caught them before this, my now 13 year old son went with me to Northerly Island for Phish's last tour. I've lost count of how many shows I've seen, but even my kids (11 & 13 have seen 17 & 27 Phish shows respectively).  VIP is just 18+, though, so this time was a well deserved and much needed Mamas' Night Out.

Phish fans have somewhat of an undeserved reputation for being homeless hippie nomads. Phish attracts a wide range of ages and types of fans and many are intellectuals with advanced degrees and well paying jobs (despite fashion sense that includes renditions of drummer Fishman's infamous red doughnut dotted MuMu that he wears at EVERY show.)



Their fans are some of the kindest, most colorful & creative folks out there. Phish are hilarious, accomplished musicians who really know how to bring out the energy in a crowd and create a microcosm of magic and wonder. They truly shine live. 

We lounged around on pillowed chairs (cushy & down to earth) with candle light for most of the first set, with a great, front on view of the stage. Then we went to our actual seats Section A--Row 1--Seats 1 & 2!! which were pretty rockin' awesome too. 





The whole set was phenomenal, but I was stoked to hear "Carini", one of their darker, more intense songs and a favorite of mine. I also loved the geeky & glorious "Grind", where they do an acapella, Barbershop Quartet(esque) piece in which they sing their individual actual and combined ages broken down by days they've been alive! I was also happy they began the show with "Moma Dance", a sailing song and a play on word "The Moment Ends"-- a great choice for Northerly Island's lake side digs. It was especially amusing to me because I had JUST finished telling D'Arcy about Moma Dance as a primo example of classic Phish style, humor, wit... when they launched right in and played it. 

They've always had that type of energy around the shows. It's the same magic way we walked right up and found a whole group of my friends (even some in from other states for the shows), in the lot outside, among thousands, without using cell phones or even looking for them! 




Watching the light show with the Chicago city skyline as a back drop and Chinese Lanterns launching was a breathtaking immersion. Chris Kuroda, Phish's lighting designer, improvs the lights along with the evolving set, and has a devout following of his own! Unlike most arena shows on tour, where every night is more or less the same and the lights are a predictable cycle, Phish create an utterly unique show every night, and Kuroda steps up to feature them in the best possible light!




One of the high points of our evening was running into Jim Pollock, one of Phish's renowned poster artists on the VIP deck. He's a great guy, super personable and immensely talented. I've met him (and his wife and son) a few times over the years and he's very down to earth. His ties with Phish go way back to college days at Goddard when he roomed with Page McConnell. Since then he's done numerous t-shirt designs and highly coveted, numbered collector posters that have become crazy valuable.




He's also married to an amazing children's author, Esme Codell, which impressed my Montessori teacher friend D'Arcy more. I think her exact quote was, "Oh WOW. Cool! I love her books. I'm waaaay more impressed you're married to her. No offense, but I don't really know anything about you." That said, I'm impressed with Pollock's prints, and I'm lucky to have seen his studio where he hand prints his carvings. Collectors the world over agree! It was a treat to bump back into him Saturday and it's all thanks to our smokin' VIP seats via The Illinois Lottery. 

We'd hoped to meet some of the AP Music Series people, to thank them in person and shoot a few photos, but Phish was on a 3 night run and they worked the night before we were there, but not Saturday. 

Still, we're nothing but ecstatic at the opportunity, and thrilled to be chosen. It was a stellar experience.  Want to find out more about the Illinois Lottery Anything’s Possible® Music Series? Click here for all the details.  You too could have a lucky live show experience!


ChiIL Mama's Phone Favs:
(highlights from our real time social media blitz during the show on FB, Twitter & Instagram)

Carini -- one of Phish' darker, heavier songs and a long time favorite of mine!




ChiIL Mama ChiILin' in Chi, IL with Jim Pollock, Phish artist, and musician, Christopher Ferrer!! 


Cobalt blue nails, or as D'Arcy said, "Tardis blue". Goes great with a Kuroda light show!!


VIP Selfie!




Section A... Row 1... Seat 1... Feeling #1 special thanks to The Illinois Lottery Anything’s Possible® Music Series! 



 Rock Star Seats!!



Thanks again Illinois Lottery Anything’s Possible® Music Series. You made my summer!

Disclosure:  Thanks to The Illinois Lottery Anything’s Possible® Music Series for providing me with 2 VIP tickets. As always, all opinions are my own.


WIN a Free 1/2 day Browns Canyon trip on the Arkansas River for 2 people ($134 value) #WhiteWaterRafting #Travel #Coupon

ChiIL Travel Kids and ChiIL Mama are giving away rafting trips!

If you're considering a Buena Vista, Colorado getaway before August 31, 2015, enter here to win a FREE 1/2 day Browns Canyon trip on the Arkansas River for 2 people.  Our family went White Water Rafting last summer in Vail, CO and it was a high point of our trip for our then 10 & 12 year olds. My husband and I had both been rafting multiple times but it was the kids' first foray into the fabulous fun of Colorado White Water rafting. Get out and make some memories of your own. We'll even help some of our readers do it for FREE!

Disclosure: ChiIL Mama is happy to partner with US Family Bloggers for this giveaway. Thanks to The Adventure Company for providing the trip.  All opinions are our own.


ChiIL Mama's daughter, Sage, and husband, Dug, enjoy some river fun in and OUT of the raft during the still waters between rapids. Photo Credit: M. Hripko (a fellow rafter brave enough to bring his camera!)


WIN a Free 1/2 day Browns Canyon trip on the Arkansas River for 2 people ($134 value). Enter HERE. Entries accepted through midnight August 4, 2014. 

This popular trip is 9.5 miles of exciting class III whitewater, spectacular canyon scenery, and amazing mountain views! Meet in the morning or the afternoon at our Adventure Base Camp in beautiful Buena Vista, CO. Minimum age of 6. Offer expires 8/31/2015. 
NOTE: Winner must agree to Post a Trip Review on Trip Advisor.

Special Offer For All Our Readers:
FREE WETSUIT PACKAGE (a $16 value - see coupon for details).
The rivers in Colorado are certainly flowing this summer! As a result of the above average snowpack we received this past winter and the cooler spring temperatures that prevented rapid early season snowmelt, river flows have been very sustainable this season.
Photo Credit: The Adventure Company


Since 1987, The Adventure Company has been setting the standard for top quality white water rafting! In order to ensure our guests have a safe and fun trip, we only hire guides that have at least four years of commercial white water guiding experience. As the only company in Colorado with this strict guide experience policy, our guests will have an expert guide even on a beginner trip.

The Adventure Company guides are able to share their knowledge of the river, canyon geology, point out wildlife, and tell stories to their guests because their high level of experience and confidence means they are not just focusing on getting through the rapids. Our guides know the river like the back of their hand and they give their guests an education and fun experience.

To ensure the safety of our guests The Adventure Company takes extra measures by doing the following:
-ONLY hiring guides that have a minimum of four years of commercial white water rafting experience

-Adhering to state regulations regarding river flow cutoff levels for commercially guided trips

-Employing an expert "safety kayaker" on trips to direct and assist any guest if they become a "swimmer" and are no longer a "rafter." This helps ease the guest and ensures that their time in the water is greatly minimized.

-We add a 2nd guide to the boat for added safety and security during high water if our guests are challenged in any way, of a young age or elderly.

-Keeping our boats on the river close together and establishing an organized sequence so that should a rescue arise, our boats have the ability to help each other very quickly.

-Training for safety and rescue protocol and requiring our guides to be CPR/First Aid certified. Most of our guides also have advanced certifications and Wilderness Medicine training

-Ensuring our equipment and rental gear is always updated, maintained and operable.



Photo Credit: The Adventure Company


Disclosure: Once again, ChiIL Mama is happy to partner with US Family Bloggers for this giveaway. Thanks to The Adventure Company for providing the trip.  All opinions are our own.

WIN A Pretty Muddy 5K Entry $69.50 Value Each (2 Available) #PrettyChi #fitness

WIN a $69.50 Pretty Muddy Women's Mud Run Entry for Milwaukee WI, Chicago IL, or Richmond, VA (2 available)!

Here at ChiIL Mama, it's been our great pleasure to be part of The Team Pretty Muddy Blogger Network for all 3 years of their existence now. Last summer I was in their first Family Wave EVER, right here in the Chicago region with my two kids and a friend of ours who is the daughter of a breast cancer survivor who ran in an earlier Pretty Muddy wave with a group of survivors.  We had a BLAST and highly recommend it!!



Click here for our full photo filled (& mud filled) recap.

Disclosure: ChiIL Mama is elated to be partnering again with Pretty Muddy for the 3rd year. Thanks to Pretty Muddy for providing our giveaway tickets. As always, all opinions, photos, and experiences are our own.




Enter HERE for your chance to WIN!

We're giving away TWO entries to Pretty Muddy to 2 of our lucky readers. ChiIL out with ChiIL Mama and do something great for your body and spirit. Mud runs are FUN!  Pretty Muddy also donates to cancer research, so you can do some social good by running as well.

Entries open nation wide and can be used in ANY upcoming 2014 Pretty Muddy races. Enter through midnight Tuesday, July 29th. Spread the word via social media for additional entries. Check back with ChiIL Mama like we vote in Chi, IL... early and often for more great giveaways, interviews, news, reviews, original content & photo/video filled features. 

UPCOMING MUD RUNS:

August 2nd Milwaukee, WI
August 16th Chicago, IL
September 20th Richmond, VA


Super Grrrrrrrrls, Sage & Leah.




Team ChiIL Mama Vs. MUD.  Bring it!! Dugan, Sage & Leah are ready.




Go at your own pace. Walk-run-slither-crawl... Stay and play or do fun obstacles as many times as you want. Everyone who crosses the finish line gets a medal!

Kids 13 and under (female or male) are just $25 and run in the Family Wave at 1pm




Pretty Muddy is a 5k adventurous obstacle course mud run for any woman who wants to get outside, spend time with friends and have fun.

– 5k Course (3.1 miles, run or walk)
– Women Only (sorry, guys)
– Mud (lots of it!)
– Architectural Obstacles (much better than shabby hay bales and shaky plywood)
– Pretty Epic Finish Line Party (Entertainment, music, drinks & celebration galore)


Click here for more info and to register today.

Disclosure: Once again, ChiIL Mama is elated to be partnering again with Pretty Muddy for the 3rd year. Thanks to Pretty Muddy for providing our giveaway tickets. As always, all opinions, photos, and experiences are our own.






Friday, July 18, 2014

COMING SOON: The Full Monty & Brick Mansions on Blu-ray and Digital HD


Just Announced:

        
The Full Monty on Blu-ray August 5
        
Brick Mansions on Digital HD August 26 and on Blu-ray and DVD September 9

ChiIL out with ChiIL Mama and loads of our fun picks for adults and kids alike, under the heading WHAT WE'RE WATCHING. 

Here are two for the big kids, AKA: adults. Summer's the season for light hearted laughs and daunting daredevil action flicks. This August bring you both! Save the dates.






The Full Monty 
Six unemployed men, inspired by a touring group of male strippers, decide they can make a small fortune by putting on a striptease show of their own, but with one big difference. They intend to go “the full monty” and bare it all in front of the world!

Special Features
        
Commentary by Director Peter Cattaneo and Actor Mark Addy
        
Commentary by Producer Uberto Pasolini
        
The Deleted Footage
        
The Cast
        
Original Publicity Campaign
        
Music Machine
        
Development
        
Production
        
The Success and Its Aftermath
        
A Bigger Picture - A Look at the British Film Industry in the '90s

The Full Monty Blu-ray
Street Date:
August 5, 2014
Prebook Date:
July 2, 2014
Screen Format:
Widescreen 1.85:1
Audio:
English 5.1 DTS-HD-MA

Spanish DD 2.0

French DTS 5.1
Subtitles:
English/Spanish/French
Total Run Time:
92 minutes
U.S. Rating:
R
Closed Captioned:
Yes




UNDERCOVER AND NEVER OUTGUNNED


Action-Packed Thrill-Ride Starring Paul Walker Arrives on Digital HD™ August 26 and on Blu-ray™ and DVD September 9

Brick Mansions
Fast & Furious star Paul Walker takes it to the limit in this gritty thrill-ride packed with high-flying Parkour stunts. Walker stars as Damien, an undercover cop determined to bring down Tremaine (RZA), the crime lord who murdered his father. Tremaine rules the violent criminal compound known as “Brick Mansions,” but he’s thwarted at every turn by a heroic ex-convict named Lino (David Belle). Their paths never should have crossed, but when Tremaine kidnaps Lino’s girlfriend, Damien and Lino become unlikely allies, and must work together to stop Tremaine’s sinister plot to devastate the entire city.

Special Features
        
Unrated Cut featuring 16 minutes of Never-Before-Seen Footage (Blu-ray Only)
        
On Set Action with Paul Walker (Blu-ray Only)
        
Becoming Tremaine (Blu-ray Only)
        
Brick By Brick: Creating the Characters
        
Theatrical Trailer

Brick Mansions Blu-ray
Street Date:
September 9, 2014
Prebook Date:
August 6, 2014
Screen Format:
Widescreen 16:9 (2.39:1)
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA
Subtitles:
English / Spanish
U.S. Rating
Unrated
Total Run Time:
225 minutes
Closed Captioned:
Yes

Brick Mansions DVD
Street Date:
September 9, 2014
Prebook Date:
August 6, 2014
Screen Format:
Widescreen 16:9 (2.39:1)
Audio:
5.1 Dolby Digital
Subtitles:
English / Spanish
U.S. Rating
PG-13
Total Run Time:
111 minutes
Closed Captioned:
Yes


About Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment 
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is the industry leading worldwide marketing, sales and distribution company for all Fox produced, acquired and third party partner film and television programing. Each year TCFHE expands its award-winning global product portfolio with the introduction of new entertainment content through established and emerging formats including DVD, Blu-ray™ and Digital HD™. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is a subsidiary of 21st Century Fox.

NEW RELEASES: Witches of East End: The Complete First Season on DVD

What We're Watching:

Witches of East End 
The Complete First Season



ChiIL out with this otherworldly, mother/daughter series. Watch the whole first season this summer on YOUR schedule with this new release that includes deleted scenes, bloopers and a gag reel. I actually have a cousin named Freya, and we dig magic and mystery, so we were eager to check the series out.  

We're all about getting outside in the summer, and playing hard, but at the end of the day it's great to relax with an intriguing series. It's the season for catching up on seasons! Order yours today.



Witches of East End stars Emmy award-winning Julia Ormond (Temple Grandin) as Joanna Beauchamp, an ageless mother trying to keep a supernatural secret from her daughters, Freya (Jenna Dewan-Tatum; Step Up) and Ingrid (Rachel Boston; (500) Days of Summer) so they can lead a normal life.  But when Joanna’s estranged sister (Mädchen Amick; “Twin Peaks”) arrives to warn her of an evil entity out to destroy them all, Joanna is forced to reveal the truth about her family’s magical legacy.  Co-starring Virginia Madsen (Sideways), Eric Winter (“Days of Our Lives”) and Daniel DiTomasso (“Beauty and the Beast”), this powerful and enchanting drama series will cast its spell on you!

DVD Special Features
  • Falling Under Their Spell
  • Deleted Scenes 
  • Gag Reel
  • Cat Blooper Reel

Witches of East End– The Complete First Season DVD
Street Date: June 24, 2014
Screen Format: Widescreen: 1.78:1
Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
Total Run Time: 431 minutes
U.S. Rating TV-14
Closed Captioned: Yes


About Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is the industry leading worldwide marketing, sales and distribution company for all Fox produced, acquired and third party partner film and television programing. Each year TCFHE expands its award-winning global product portfolio with the introduction of new entertainment content through established and emerging formats including DVD, Blu-ray™ and Digital HD™. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is a subsidiary of 21st Century Fox.


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

PHOTO FEATURE: ChiIL Mama's Adventures at Bristol Renaissance Faire 2014

We had an absolute blast as usual, time traveling back to Bristol Renaissance Faire, on opening day. It was gorgeous weather and the perfect blend of our annual favorites and new experiences. We can't wait to go back again, and highly recommend checking out Bristol Renaissance Faire at least once a season if not as often as possible!





Disclosure: Thanks to Bristol Renaissance Faire for the press comps so we could review on of our favorite summer regional destinations yet again.  As always, all opinions, photos and memories are our own, but we're happy to share.

Check out our full set of photos in the slide show here and our "best of" shots embedded below and at the bottom of this feature.



It was our pleasure to bring my Mother in Law along this time, for her first foray into Merry Olde England. She had a great time too!  



We've been going to Ren Faire for decades, so it's rare we get to take or even run into anyone that's never been. Saturday, however, we ran into a gymnastics team family that was on their first visit, AND a work acquaintance of my husband's who starred in the TV Series, Paranormal Cops! He was also there for the first time. What are the odds?


New Adventures: 
Pets From The Midsummer Knight's Dream: These ubiquitous critters have been around since the dark ages & we finally broke down and bought one for the first time. Sage had been rocking the Pirate Catapult for years, multiple times a season, while her brother took a pass after the first few tries. He took all that saved up Ren Credit and talked us into a new pet. He even let his little sis name him, & borrow him for a while. Meet Dugan's familiar, a mohawked mythical "mouse" creature named Nasura.






Draiku-- Dragon Silks:





New Characters:


(Best living statue EVER!! Note to people. TIP well. This is cool and a LOT of hard work. Note to parents of young kids. Do NOT stand by and do nothing while your offspring poke, pull and torment the living statue (key word being LIVING). HELLO!! We saw this and it was not cool. Seriously people. If your kid(s) do this before you notice, stop them ASAP then see note 1. TIP well & apologize.



Lego Ren Faire Village (Complete with a hidden Ninja hunt challenge)







Annual Favs:
Jousting--This is a long time favorite of ours, but they've redesigned the show and added quite a bit since the last time we saw it a couple of years ago. Give it a go. Especially if you are a Ren Faire newbie, the knights, horses, pounding hoofs, and clashing sword and lance play are fun to see.





The Swordsmen- Ren Faire royalty! Their wacky humor and stellar stage combat is something to see. They perform multiple times a day so there's no excuse not to see them... at least once. 






Barely Balanced- These crazy limber lunatics who go by the names Small, Medium & Large are huge favorites of ours. Didja know Small and Medium are getting married?! For reals. In about a month. So that chemistry you see on stage isn't faked. They also perform multiple times a day with different themes, but we're partial to the FIRE SHOW.






(LOADS more Barely Balanced shots at the bottom of this feature.)

Gypsy Geoff- This gypsy recovered from knee surgery and is back with a vengeance. He's got mad balancing skills and some creative crutch acts he perfected during his recovery, and a new spot on the big stage near the food court, so you can indulge and enjoy. 



Adam Crack- Back to his old can exploding, whip crackin', balloon poppin' tricks. This Guinness Book of World Records multi record holder is a must see and his schtick and style never gets old.




Pirate Catapult- This is our gymnast Sage's all time top pick as far as the rides go. 




Barrel Ride- We do dig the low tech, people powered ride fun.



Voyage to the New World- Get old school and travel to the New World. All ages can rock the boat with this fun ride. 



Fairy Area- The fairies have long been a delight, but this year the Faire moved the little fairy village to the grove where the big fairies hang out.



Mile High Chocolate Crepes & Waffle Cones- A picture's worth a thousand words. Need we say more?! Yum!! We've been waiting all year for this. The Swordsmen turned us on to this tasty treat years ago when my husband did the audio on a 2 day shoot on location for their DVD. He worked on his birthday & Dirk and Guido surprised him with a birthday song and a Mile High Chocolate Crepe to celebrate. They're great guys and put on a pretty stellar sword fight too!



Gemini Glass- Support the arts and go home with some awesome decor! Yep. The performers at Ren Faire are NOT the only performers at Ren Faire. Some Chicago Theatre peeps are acting as shop keeps! Show 'em some love... and some of the Queen's gold for their cool wares.  There are quite a few great shops, but Gemini Glass is one of our favorite theatre peeps' places here at ChiIL Mama.






ChiIL Mama's ChiIL Tips:

*Bring Cash:  Much of Merry Olde England is cash only, and ye olde cash station does exist near the front gate, but the lines tend to be long. Some of the merchants take plastic but plan ahead and bring bills

*Bathroom 411: There are a few in the lot by the gate if you drove in a ways and just can't wait, but they tend to have lines. Closest inside the front gate are straight ahead and to your left.  The only flush toilets are near the food court straight back from the action stage. 

Got kids? The kids area has it's own family portalets & they tend to have short lines if any. There is also a bathroom near the Pirate Catapult that tends to have shorter lines.

*Web Fun: No. Not that web... Though you can follow most of the performers on line and find out about upcoming them weekends, special deals and more on THAT web. We're talking about bringing something special for the fairy web. Nature based trinkets are the best but not mandatory.

*Food Deals: Make a pass past the food court at closing time. Often there are smokin' deals on perishables.


Favorite Photos:





These women know how to accessorize!




Kids Are Special at Ren Faire--and they get their own cool area with a ship to climb on, staged shows all day, and creatively named, kid friendly food.
























Disclosure: Once again, thanks to Bristol Renaissance Faire for the press comps so we could review on of our favorite summer regional destinations yet again.  As always, all opinions, photos and memories are our own, but we're happy to share.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Google Analytics

StatCounter Code


View My Stats