Wednesday, February 15, 2017

REVIEW: Luvsome Dog Treats, Toys and Food Exclusively at Kroger

I love my four legged family members, and enjoy bringing my big dogs new treats. So I was thrilled to be able to partner up with Luvsome, and review some of their treats, toys and food. I was sent complimentary samples for review purposes. As always, all opinions are my own.

These heart shaped treats are great for Valentine's Day and beyond. 

I have two big dogs, a Husky-Malamute and a Husky-Beagle and they both loved Luvsome dog food. We eased them in, mixing the new samples with their old standby. It was a huge hit. With calcium for their teeth and meat based protein, it's food I can feel good about serving my 4 legged "kids". They were also big fans of the adorable, heart shaped Luvsome Pumpkin Cranberry Baked Biscuits & the durable ball. All are available exclusively at Kroger. 

My dogs have been energetic, playful, and excited about meal time since we tried Luvsome. They're hit or miss on dry treats and have been known to even spit some out, but they both went nuts for the heart shaped Luvsome Pumpkin Cranberry Baked Biscuits available exclusively at Kroger. 

My dogs are happiest spending time playing with their pack, my family! Kroger's Luvsome balls are durable for strong chewers like my Husky-Malamute.

Disclosure: Once again, it was a treat to partner up with Kroger's Luvsome. I was sent complimentary samples for review purposes. As always, all opinions are my own.

Adventures With The Genesis G90 Luxury Sedan at The Chicago Auto Show

There's a newcomer in town for The Chicago Auto Show, with beauty and brains. Hyundai's luxury brand, Genesis, combines sleek lines, and brilliant innovations, and their G90 sedan marks a new beginning for comfort and style. It was our great pleasure to partner up with She Buys Cars and Genesis for this sponsored post and a most enjoyable day at The Chicago Auto Show's media preview. I have been compensated for sharing this information with my readers.

Luxury Alley sounds like an oxymoron, yet this area of The Chicago Auto Show features an astonishing array of eye candy and the latest new and upcoming designs in the luxury automotive world including the Genesis G90. This sedan merges power and posh with cutting edge technology and unmatched customer service. 

Since time is money, Genesis concierge brings door to door service for everything from new car purchases to servicing. This means you never have to step foot in a dealership if you don't want to.

These sedans offer a quiet ride, back seat controls, heated front and back seats, and an attention to detail down to dots of copper inlaid in the leather seats. Navigation, pairing, and driver assist safety features all make driving a breeze whether your attending opening night of a Broadway touring play, entertaining clients, or bringing the family along for the ride. 

I was impressed with the design features which seamlessly merge a classic and classy look with something creative, edgy and utterly new. I still hope to take a test drive so I can experience the quiet power, handling, and comforts in action. Check out Genesis for all the specs and to schedule your test drive.


Visit Genesis at The Chicago Auto Show for your chance to win a Four Seasons Maui Vacation or a 3 Piece Luxury Travel Set.

Disclosure: Once again, it was my great pleasure to partner up with She Buys Cars and Hyundai Genesis on this sponsored post. I have been compensated for sharing this information with my readers. As always, all opinions are my own.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

ChiIL Out With ChiIL Mama This Monday at Lucky Strike for An Epic Chef Fight With Culinary Fight Club Savory Chocolate Edition

Foodie Fun

Culinary Fight Club Savory Chocolate at Lucky Strike FTW

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar 

Come ChiIL out at Culinary Fight Club with ChiIL Mama this Monday night in Chi, IL! We'll part of the live audience and we'll be sharing the fun on social media in real time so you can follow along vicariously. We'll also be shooting a photo recap, and indulging our undying love for chocolate, philanthropy, booze, chefs and pop culture all in one decadent night. ChiIL Mama will be there... will YOU?! We can't wait to check out this epic chocolate Chef Fight.
The Mayans used it to create a ritual beverage that was shared during marriage ceremonies, providing one of the first known links between chocolate and romance. 

The Latin name for cocoa—Theobroma—literally means, “food of the gods.”

Now we say there is NO better way to start out the 2017 Culinary Fight Club season than with the Food of the Gods and Sharing the Love Ingredient Chocolate to Kick of this year off right!

That’s right Fight Clubbers Chocolate is the name of the game and we're not talking about no Sweet Cupcakes kind of nibbles, we’re talking Food of the Gods kind of a Bite!

Can you handle it? Can you elevate your taste buds and get in our Taster’s Ring for some Chocolate? On Monday February 13th come taste some Killer Chocolate Dishes by ChiTown culinary talented. We seek the elevated savory Food of the Gods kind of dish and we are ready to BITE!

Contestants compete for the chance to win their Golden Ticket
to the 2017 World Food Championships to compete in the
Ultimate FoodThrowdown for a shot at $100,000!

Monthly Live Cooking Competitions around Chicago produced by CULINARY Fight Club. Each month fires up with a new theme, ingredients, contestants, judges, prizes, and location! What's all the hypes about? Watch this video clip and see for yourself!

Contestants or Teams have (60) minutes to impress (3) judges, using (1) 10k BTU Burner and (15) supplied raw ingredients & (3) surprise ingredients, all to be judged on that one perfect bite! Hungry, don’t worry there is also a Taster's Choice Award too! So attendees are encouraged to grab a tasting spoon, dig in and vote for their favorite bite!

Help Out:
With each Culinary Fight Club, we build a bigger and stronger community of people who share a passion for food and giving back. 20% of all Culinary Fight Club Chicago Event proceeds benefit feeding the hungry non-profit - Fight2Feed, a Charitable Organization on a mission to "KO" hunger One Block at a Time starting with Chicago.


Get your tickets here via eventbrite or Facebook for $50.

Mon, February 13, 2017
6:00 PM – 9:00 PM CST

Lucky Strike Chicago
322 East Illinois Street
Chicago, IL 60611

Thursday, February 9, 2017

OPENING: World Premiere of Quest, An Original Circus-Theater Production at The Actors Gymnasium

ChiIL Mama's Chi, IL Picks List: 
Family Friendly Circus Fun

(ages 5+/ run time 80 minutes - no intermission - no late seating)

This weekend ChiIL Mama and the whole family will be ChiILin' in Evanston at The Actors Gymnasium. This stellar little performance venue is a training ground with strong ties to Lookingglass Theatre and alums in theaters and circus arts productions across the city and around the world. Both of my teens have been cast in their youth circus shows and Actors Gymnasium productions have long been favorites of ours. We're particularly excited to see this production since it was written and directed by Leslie Buxbaum Danzig and Amanda Crockett's in it, two more exceedingly talented, long time favorites of ours. Check back soon for our full review. We highly recommend buying tickets in advance ASAP, as Actors Gymnasium shows do sell out. 

Written and Directed by Leslie Buxbaum Danzig, Quest is Loosely Based on Leo Tolstoy’s Parable “The Three Questions” and Takes the Audience on a Wild Ride to Answer Three Simple, but Very Important Questions 

The Actors Gymnasium is proud to announce the world premiere of Quest, an original circus-theater production adapted and directed by Leslie Buxbaum Danzig, featuring original music by Kevin O’Donnell and loosely based on Leo Tolstoy’s short story “The Three Questions.” Quest, part of Actors Gymnasium’s Annual Winter Circus, runs Saturday, Feb. 11 – Sunday, March 19 at Noyes Cultural Arts Center, 927 Noyes St. 

Press opening is Sunday, Feb. 12 at 3 p.m.  with an opening night party Saturday Feb. 11 at 7:30 p.m. Performance times are Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. Running time is approximately 80 minutes with no intermission. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for kids, students and seniors and are available online at  or 847.328.2795. 

Once online sales are closed, 1 hour and 30 minutes prior to the show start time, the on-location box office will be open. For group reservations and general questions call 847-328-2795. If online sales are sold out, a limited number of tickets will be available at the door the night of the performance.

Quest, loosely based on the Leo Tolstoy story “The Three Questions,” has the protagonist ask three simple, but huge, questions, setting in motion a whirlwind journey to find the answers. The hero with her sidekicks venture through obstacles, misinformation, slapstick fun, unexpected detours, music and songs, near crises and amazing feats of partnership in seek of answers.

"One of my favorite books to read to my kids is “The Three Questions.” It's one of those children's books that gives as much, if not more, to me as to my kids,” said Buxbaum Danzig. “I always thought this would make a great theatrical experience. And, when, Sylvia [Hernandez-DiStasi, Actors Gymnasium artistic director] reached out, I jumped at the chance. I'm a regular winter circus-attendee and I always love the spirit of the show - its mix of professionals, teens, and kids, its generosity with audiences of all ages, its joy, its rigor and its ambition.  Within seconds I thought aha, this might be the time and place for “The Three Questions.””

The cast of Quest includes Flora BareKate BralandDavid CorlewAmanda CrockettEdgar Ortiz and members of Actors Gymnasium’s Teen Ensemble and Young Artists. 

The production team includes Kevin O’Donnell, original music; Sylvia Hernandez-DiStasi, circus choreographer; Tommy Tomlins, circus co-choreographer and Erin Kilmurray, dance choreographer. Other team members include Jerica Hucke, costume designer; Justine Brock, lighting designer; Isaac Schoepp, rigging designer and Grover Holloway, sound designer.

ABOUT LESLIE BUXBAUM DANZIG, adapter and director
Leslie Buxbaum Danzig is a director primarily of devised theater productions, working with ensembles over the course of a year or more (or less) to create original performances. Her productions often bring together different performance languages (dance-theater, clown-theater, circus-theater). As both theater-maker and audience member she enjoys the unexpected ways in which narrative (of some kind) emerges from shifting performance forms and logics.  

Check out ChiIL Mama's Interview With Leslie Buxbaum Danzig and other top Chicago theatre parents, David Catlin and Frank Maugeri on 
"How Creatives Parent and How Parents Create" during Redmoon's The Elephant and the Whale, with Chicago Children's Theater 

Buxbaum Danzig has worked extensively with Lucky Plush Productions and is currently co-creating/co-directing Roominghouse, slated to premiere in Fall 2017. She is also a co-founder of the Chicago-based physical theater company 500 Clown. Other directing credits include Damon Kiely's The Revel with the House Theatre of Chicago; Redmoon's The Elephant and the Whale, with Chicago Children's Theater (with Frank Maugeri); Redmoon's Hunchback at New Victory Theater (NYC) and Rockefeller Memorial Chapel at the University of Chicago; and Float with About Face Theater. Prior to turning to directing, she toured nationally and internationally as an actor with NYC's Elevator Repair Service.  Buxbaum Danzig is an assistant professor of Practice in the Arts, Theater and Performance Studies, University of Chicago. She received her BA from Brown University and PhD in Performance Studies at Northwestern University, and trained in physical theater at Écoles Jacques Lecoq and Philippe Gaulier. 

Since 1995, The Actors Gymnasium has been guided by the vision of a revitalized American theatre: one with performances as thrilling as a rock concert and as mesmerizing as the circus. To that end, they have dedicated themselves to the education and development of multi-skilled, physical-theatre artists.

Actors Gymnasium classes are taught in a 3,000 sq/ft gymnasium space that features a 1,600 sq/ft sprung floor and a fully rigged 24 foot ceiling. All aerial equipment such as the Aerial Hoop, Spanish Web, aerial silks, static trapeze and more are provided, as well as the equipment for ground skills such as unicycling, juggling, tight wire and gymnastics. Additional classes are taught in Studio 108, a 900 sq/ft classroom space that features a floating sprung White Oak dance floor, a fully rigged 14 foot ceiling, a handstand wall, conditioning ladders and room length 12 foot mirrors for aerial work. 

The highly skilled instructors create a non-competitive imaginative environment where students can learn as much from each other as their teachers. Students explore their creativity, build courage, and develop community as they tackle circus and aerial arts, physical theatre and so much more.

The faculty includes Artistic Director Sylvia Hernandez-DiStasi, a second-generation circus performer, a Master teacher and an award-winning choreographer. American Theatre Magazine has called Physical Theatre Director Molly Brennan “Chicago’s Queen of Mischief and Make-Believe.” The Actors Gymnasium has faculty with circus credentials that stem from training at The Actors Gymnasium, New England Center for Circus Arts, Circus Juventas and National École de Cirque. Instructors have performed with esteemed circus and theatre companies worldwide. For complete bios, 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

FLASH GIVEAWAY: Win 4 Tickets To Monster Jam at Allstate Arena

ChiIL Mama's Chi, IL Picks List: 
Family Friendly Fun

We've been covering Monster Jam for years and the kids can't wait for the trucks to roar into town every winter. Grab your ear protection and bandanas for the dust and check it out! ChiIL Mama's giving away a family 4 pack of tickets to opening night 7:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 17 to one of our lucky readers. Enter at the bottom of this post through midnight Saturday 2/11 for your shot at winning. We're thrilled to partner up with Monster Jam and FELD yet again this year to offer a great giveaway.

Click HERE and scroll down for loads of our original past Monster Truck videos and photo recaps, then get out and GO already, for tons of thrills and spills. What are you waiting for?! You've got to see it to believe it. 

For Flash Giveaways, Real Time Photo Features, and the first heads up on incoming fun in Chi, IL and beyond, FOLLOW ChiIL Mama (family friendly) and ChiIL Live Shows (adult):

Check out ChiIL Mama's past original Monster Jam videos here:

The most adrenaline charged motorsports experience on the planet roars into Chicago. The battle commences with customized, high-powered vehicles including Monster Jam Speedsters, Monster Jam ATVs and the famous Monster Jam trucks clashing it out. 

Watch your favorite Monster Jam trucks and drivers go head-to-head in a competitive format that is sure to keep fans on the edge of their seat.

Grave Digger®: Krysten Anderson
Pirate's Curse: Camden Murphy
Zombie: Ami Houde
Megalodon: Justin Sipes
El Toro Loco®: Armando Castro
Alien Invasion: Bernard Light

Monster Mutt® Rottweiler: JR Seasock
Blue Thunder: Matt Cody  

Chicago-area Fans Gear Up for 2017 Monster Jam®
Triple Threat Series presented by AMSOIL,
Feb. 17-20 at Allstate Arena

Monster Jam®, the most adrenaline charged motorsports experience on the planet, will roar into the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill., Feb. 17-20, for six action-packed shows. A perennial sell-out here, Monster Jam is celebrating 25 years of family entertainment during 2017.

Among three different Monster Jam tours scheduled to travel a combined 60,000 miles across the United States and Canada this year, the Monster Jam Triple Threat Series presented by AMSOIL can only be seen in select cities and features the most extreme athletes of Monster Jam. Chicago-area fans will witness a fierce battle for the championship with each competitor using customized high-powered vehicles: Monster Jam Speedsters, Monster Jam ATVs and the famous Monster Jam trucks.

The premier athletes vying to be Chicago champion are slated to be: 19-year-old Krysten Anderson, daughter of Monster Jam legend Dennis Anderson, driving the best-known Monster Jam truck of all time, the truck her father created in 1982, Grave Digger; Armando Castro driving crowd-favorite El Toro Loco; 20-year-old Camden Murphy from Itasca, Ill., driving Pirate’s Curse; Justin Sipes driving Megalodon; Bernard Light driving Alien Invasion; Ami Houde driving one of the sport’s most distinctive Monster Jam trucks, Zombie; JR Seasock driving the popular Monster Mutt Rottweiler, and Matt Cody driving Blue Thunder. Trucks and drivers are subject to change.

Approximately 12 feet tall and about 12 feet wide, Monster Jam trucks are custom-designed machines that sit atop 66-inch-tall tires and weigh a minimum of 10,000 pounds. Built for short, high-powered bursts of speed, Monster Jam trucks generate 1,500 to 2,000 horsepower and are capable of speeds of up to 100 miles per hour. Monster Jam trucks can fly up to125 to 130 feet in distance and up to 35 feet in the air.

Show dates and times for Monster Jam Triple Threat Series presented by AMSOIL at the Allstate Arena are: 7:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 17; 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 18; 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 19, and 1 p.m. on President’s Day Monday, Feb. 20.

Monster Jam events are affordably priced for the whole family with seats starting at $22. Tickets are available at and all Ticketmaster retail locations, the Allstate Arena box office, and by phone at (800) 745-3000.

Pit Parties on Saturday and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to Noon give fans the opportunity to meet the Monster Jam athletes and get up close to the Monster Jam trucks. Pit passes are $10 and can only be purchased in conjunction with tickets to the same-day Saturday or Sunday 1 p.m. show.

Get Social:
For more information, log onto or follow Monster Jam on social channels:

About Feld Entertainment 

Feld Entertainment is the worldwide leader in producing and presenting live touring family entertainment experiences that lift the human spirit and create indelible memories, with 30 million people in attendance at its shows each year. Feld Entertainment's productions have appeared in more than 75 countries and on six continents to date and include Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey®, Monster Jam®, Monster Energy Supercross, AMSOIL Arenacross, Disney On Ice, Disney Live! and Marvel Universe LIVE! More information about Feld Entertainment is available online at

ChiIL Mama's giving away a family 4 pack of tickets to opening night 7:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 17 to one of our lucky readers. ENTER HERE through midnight Saturday 2/11 for your shot at winning.

 Disclosure: ChiIL Mama is thrilled to partner up with Monster Jam and FELD yet again this year to offer a great giveaway. We have been compensated with tickets for my family for review purposes and tickets to give away as well. As always, all opinions are my own. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

GIVEAWAY: ChiIL Out With ChiIL Mama On Facebook LIVE From The Chicago Auto Show What Drives Her Luncheon & Panel


Join us on social media from 11:30pm-1:30pm via Facebook and Twitter by following the hashtags #WhatDrivesHerCAS & #CAS17

For years now, we've covered The Chicago Auto Show here at ChiIL Mama & ChiIL Live Shows. Tomorrow we're thrilled to be partnering up with She Buys Cars on a sponsored post, Facebook live feed, and luncheon recap. We'll also be giving our readers a first look at the show this Thursday during the press preview. The largest auto show in the nation has come a long way from featuring women as glorified hood ornaments, booth bimbos, and eye candy to taking us seriously as THE major automotive purchasing force in the nation. 

Also join us on a Twitter Party at 7pm Wednesday by following the hashtags #HyundaiCAS & #GenesisCAS.

For 2017, The Chicago Auto Show has teamed with Female Factor, Women in Automotive Conference and She Buys Cars to co-host its first networking reception, luncheon and award ceremony on Wednesday, Feb. 8. Bridget Brennan, author of "Why She Buys" and CEO of Female Factor, a Chicago-based consulting and training firm, will moderate the event that will honor and celebrate women with integral roles in the automotive industry.

“The Chicago Auto Show is the place to connect with consumers, particularly females who are driving the vehicle purchase decision,” said Jennifer Morand, Chicago Auto Show director of PR and social media. “Foresight Research reports an upward tick in Chicago Auto Show female attendance year-over-year which has now become equal to male attendance – closing the gender gap. We're proud to report that nearly half of our show attendees are females.” 

Honing in on the automotive world, women make up a greater percentage of primary buyers of cars than ever and account for 85 percent of the purchase decision. Yet, females make up a very small portion of auto executives – a field traditionally dominated by males. 

“Women are the engine of the consumer economy, and they are critically important to the automotive industry as both consumers and workforce talent,” according to Brennan.

During the What Drives Her event, attendees will hear insights from Brennan's international best-seller book such as the need for marketers and salespeople to understand women's beliefs, values and sensitivities.

According to She Buys Cars Co-founder Scotty Reiss: “Women fall in love with the needs that they have and they search to have those needs filled. They look for economy, they look for comfort, for their second- and third-row passengers. They look for charging capabilities for devices in the second and third row. You don't see that advertised on Sunday football.”

To kick it all off, Facebook will host a 30-minute mimosa networking reception for audience members that will blend automakers, dealers, suppliers, industry media and social media influencers. Panelists include Jody Hall, Steel Market Development Institute vice president, automotive market; and Kathy Gilbert, CDK Global director of sales and business development; and Candice Crane, vice president of dealer solutions, at Hireology. Chicago Automobile Trade Association, producer of the Chicago Auto Show, Director Kelly Webb Roberts will open the discussion and introduce Bridget Brennan. 

The What Drives Her luncheon will be held on Feb. 8 at McCormick Place, immediately prior to the Concept & Technology Garage. The Chicago Auto Show will stream the event via Facebook Live.

*We're partnering up on a givewaway that includes 10 Pairs of Tickets to the Chicago Auto Show & one Grand Prize of tickets & $150 Gift Card*

ENTER HERE  for your chance to WIN!

Disclosure: I have been compensated for sharing this event with my readers. As always, all opinions are my own.

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