Friday, October 31, 2014

Adipose Pumpkins and Treats for Whovians & Netflix Stream Team Fun #StreamTeam #DrWho

Happy Halloween all. Have a safe, creative and scream-tastic evening as you ChiIL out with your friends in Chi, IL and beyond!

Disclosure: ChiIL Mama is a proud member of the Netflix Stream Team. We've been compensated for sharing monthly posts with our readers.  As always, all opinions are our own.

We're elated to be chosen again as an official Netflix Stream Team blog. Once a month we'll be sharing fun content with you. One of the things we dig about this partnership is the creative flexibility. They send a suggested monthly topic, but ultimately we have the freedom to cover anything we want. This month we're foraging ahead on our own to share our undying devotion to the long running BBC series, Dr. Who.

My 11yo. daughter, Sage's Adipose pumpkin.

If you are a Dr. Who fan (or Whovian), or if you're a newbie, just discovering the series, Netflix has you covered. They have loads of back episodes under Dr. Who and Classic Dr. Who. Click here to check it out.

Netflix has 18 seasons of classic Dr. Who from 1963 on, which are pretty tame and cheesy and not too scary for most kids. These are retro fun for everyone. Then Netflix also has 7 seasons of new Dr. Who, beginning with the 2005 revival of the series. The new episodes have phenomenal writing, superb special effects, and some seriously scary characters! Frightening fun for Halloween and beyond... way beyond. Like a whole new space-time continuum and galaxies far far away and all that. This second batch of shows includes the brilliant one below that inspired my 11 year old's pumpkin this year and the tasty treats she created, pictured below.

Adipose screen shot from Dr. Who from "Partners in Crime" 1st episode/4th series. The Adipose are pudgy, little aliens made from human body fat, but this diet pill can be lethal! 

Our fav quote from the show: "The fat just walks away."

Sage's own creation--Adipose marshmallow treats 

Disclosure: Once again, ChiIL Mama is a proud member of the Netflix Stream Team. We've been compensated for sharing monthly posts with our readers.  As always, all opinions are our own.

Tasty Treats & Recipes From Pepperidge Farm For Halloween and Beyond... #recipe #Halloween

ChiIL out with sweet snacks, 
treats that go beyond candy bars, 
and rockin' recipes.

Disclosure: Thanks to our friends at Pepperidge Farm for sending these sweet snacks our way for review purposes. We're happy to partner up with them and give our readers the heads up about these cool fall recipes and tasty treats.

Didja Know: Goldfish crackers come in a 25 pack of snack sized pouches of Cheddar and Fudge Brownie Grahams, that say Happy Halloween and are the perfect size to hand out as an antidote to an overload of sugary snacks. Salty...sweet...salty...sweet. 

No trick. These sweet treats from Pepperidge Farm are perfect for fall and super easy for seasonal entertaining when you're too busy to bake. We got to sample the Caramel Apple Pie Cookies and the Pumpkin Spice Milanos. Yum!!

Pepperidge Farm has everything you need to make the ghouls and goblins in your life grin from ear to ear. With these fun and frightfully delicious Halloween snack ideas, you’ll have everything you need for a spooktastic Halloween from morning to midnight.

Morning Kick-Off – You’ve got a big day of trick-or-treating ahead of you, kick the day off right with a warm and wholesome breakfast that includes Pepperidge Farm Pumpkin Spice Swirl bread. Whether you toast a few slices or use it as a seasonal upgrade to your favorite French toast recipe, the delicious smell of Pumpkin Spice Swirl bread is sure to get your kids up and at the breakfast table in no time.

Afternoon Party Prep – It’s the final hours before the spooky festivities begin and you’ve got your party snacks ready. With Pepperidge Farm Wicked Dessert Puffs, Mummy Pizza Puffs and Franks Under Wraps, everyone will be trading their candy for your Puff Pastry treats.

Trick-Or-Treat Game Time – Kid-sized witches, mummies and Frankensteins are out in full force, give them a trick-or-treat prize they won’t soon forget with Goldfish Crackers Halloween packs. Available in 32-oz cartons and 25-count bags of Cheddar and Fudge Brownie Grahams, these grab-and-go packs will make your house the most popular trick-or-treat destination on the block.

Grown-Ups Only Midnight Snack – No need to dig into night’s candy loot, celebrate another successful Halloween in the bag with the sophisticated and seasonally inspired, Milano Pumpkin Spice Cookies.

Please see below for Pepperidge Farm’s Mummy Pizza Puff recipe. 


THAW: 40 minutes
PREP: 15 minutes
BAKE: 20 minutes
COOL: 10 minutes

  1. Heat the oven to 400°F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Beat the egg and water in a small bowl with a fork.
  2. Sprinkle the flour on the work surface.  Unfold 1 pastry sheet on the work surface.  Cut the pastry sheet into 3 rectangles along the fold lines.  Cut the pastry rectangles in half crosswise, making 6 (about 3x5-inch) rectangles.  Place the pastry rectangles onto the baking sheet.
  3. Spread about 1 tablespoon sauce on each pastry to the edge.  Top each with about 2 tablespoons cheese and 3 slices pepperoni.
  4. Unfold the remaining pastry sheet on the work surface.  Cut the pastry sheet into 3 rectangles along the fold lines.  Cut each pastry rectangle crosswise into 12 (about 3/4-inch wide) strips, making 36 in all.
  5. Arrange 6 pastry strips on each pastry, placing them slightly askew over the filling to resemble a mummy's bandages.  Brush with the egg mixture.  Place 2 olive slices on each pastry for the "eyes".
  6. Bake for 20 minutes or until the pastries are golden brown.  Let the pastries cool on the baking sheet on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
  7. Flavor Variation: For a twist on ham and cheese, omit the sauce, mozzarella cheese and pepperoni.  Layer 1 slice deli ham, 2 slices salami and 1 slice deli Cheddar cheese on eachpastry rectangle, folding the edges as needed to fit on the pastry without hanging over the sides.  Arrange the pastry strips over the filling and proceed as directed above.
  8. Recipe Note: Parchment paper keeps the pastry from sticking to the baking sheet and also makes for easier cleanup. If you don't have parchment paper, you can spray the baking sheet with cooking spray instead. However, cooking spray may cause the bottoms of the pastries to brown more quickly, so begin checking for doneness 5 minutes early.

Disclosure: Thanks again to our friends at Pepperidge Farm for sending these sweet snacks our way for review purposes. We're happy to partner up with them and give our readers the heads up about these cool fall recipes and tasty treats.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Halloween Nail Tutorial & Scary Good $620 #Giveaway Via Julep #Fashion

Here at ChiIL Mama, I'm rediscovering funky, fun polish now that I'm the mom of a tween! My 11 year old, Sage, and I have a blast getting creative with our nails. And you should SEE what happens with nail polish on sleep overs with a room full of 10-12 year olds! They even introduced me to the blue pinky nail against bullying trend.

That's why we were stoked that Julep reached out and offered us this spooky fun tutorial for funky feline tips with real cat-itude! We'll be posting our own Halloween nail designs soon, so check back with ChiIL Mama early and often for chill fun in Chi, IL and beyond... Click here to follow ChiIL Mama's Instagram account for photo filled fun.

Disclosure: We have not been compensated for this post.

Julep also has a sweet Instagram contest goin' on where you can win a year of beauty $620 value, and more! You can even use ANY polish brand you want. Winners announced 11/3. 

 If you're looking for funky fall inspiration, check out Julep's new nail polish color page.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

WIN A Family 4 Pack of Tickets to The American Revolution (up to $68 value/2 winners) Enter Through Midnight 11/10 (8+)

Act Out Kids: Family friendly Chicago theatre openings, closings, reviews, giveaways, ticket sale dates and more. 

 Best enjoyed by ages 8 & older.

Disclosure: ChiIL Mama is happy to partner up with Theater Unspeakable and Adventure Stage and they have provided tickets for our giveaway and for review purposes.

ENTER HERE for your chance to WIN 4 free tickets (up to $68 value/2 winners) for Fri 11/14 7:30pm!

ChiIL out with ChiIL Mama for fun in Chi, IL and beyond! We're thrilled to offer TWO Family 4 Packs of Tickets to The American Revolution (up to $68 value) for the *Friday, November 14, 7:30pm performance*. Enter through midnight Nov 10th.

Revolutionary Flash Sale!

We can't wait to share Theater Unspeakable's The American Revolution! Public performances start next week, and we've got a special treat in mind:

For a limited time, all tickets to the show will be $11 with discount code NOVEMBERThe catch? You must purchase by October 31st

That's $11 in honor of the 11th month of the year!  

Think history is dry and boring--think again. Suspend your disbelief as 7 actors suspended on a platform bring history to life in 50 minutes and 21 square feet! Now that's a feat. Come check it out. We'll be there to review November 8th. Get your tickets before this show is history!

Theater Unspeakable’s Highly Original Take on the Country’s Founding Fathers Will Be Staged at the Vittum Theater, November 4-29.

From The Patriot to John Adams, from the iconic portrait of Washington Crossing the Delaware by Emmanuel Gottlieb Leutze to the musical 1776, the birth of our nation has been portrayed countless times in countless ways in the arts. But never quite like this.

Adventure Stage Chicago, a program of Northwestern University Settlement Association, proudly presentsTheater Unspeakable’s production of The American Revolution, a critical history lesson in 50 minutes, from November 4-29 at the Vittum Theater, 1012 N. Noble St. in Chicago.

Seven actors—suspended on a platform two feet off the ground—share 21 square feet of space to recreate the entire heroic fight for American independence from Lexington to Yorktown. Using only the actors’ bodies, voices and (pantomimed) cannons, the show evokes an epic time period in American history. Combining tongue-in-cheek humor with a dash of derring-do, The American Revolution displays Theater Unspeakable’s company’s rowdy brand of bare-boned and imaginative physical theater in the company’s first ever extended run in Chicago.

Public Performances will take place November 8, 15, 29 at 4 p.m., and November 14, 21, 28 at 7:30 p.m.; Student Matinees will take place November 4-6, 13, 18, 19, 20, 25 at 10:30 a.m.

Tickets for all shows are $17 for adults, $12 youth aged 14 and under and groups of ten or more; $7 previews. Student groups begin at $7. *A special $10 ticket is available to neighbors in the 60622 and 60642 zip codes. The American Revolution is performed at Vittum Theater, 1012 N. Noble St., in the heart of Chicago’s West Town neighborhood. Street parking is available, and the theater is close to the Noble St. stop on the #56 Milwaukee bus line and the Division stop on the CTA Blue Line. The theater is wheelchair accessible.
For more information, call (773) 342-4141 or visit
Adventure Stage Chicago is funded by Banco Popular , Grover Hermann Foundation, Kinder Morgan Foundation, Lloyd A Fry Foundation, I.A. O’Shaughnessy Foundation, Illinois Arts Council, The MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince, Paul M Angell Family Foundation, Polk Bros Foundation, RBC Foundation – USA, Searle Funds at the Chicago Community Trust

Limited Engagement!

Nov. 8, 14, 15, 21, 28, 29
Fridays at 7:30pm 
Saturdays at 4pm
Adults: $17  /  Youth: $12
Neighborhood discount: $10 
(60642 and 60622, by phone or 
at the door only)
Groups (10+): $12
Cada función presentada con subtítulos en español.

Marc Frost started Theater Unspeakable as a platform for creating new works of devised, physical theater. Based in Chicago, the company is dedicated to telling stories using the entire mind, body, heart and soul. Working indoors and outdoors, the company creates live theatrical performances combining elements of movement, dance, mime, circus and clown. Since 2010, the company has created three original pieces including “Superman 2050,” “Murder on the Midwest Express” and “The American Revolution”. Theater Unspeakable has toured these pieces at various venues including: Lincoln Center, McLean Community Center, Chicago Humanities Festival, The Second City and the Chicago Cultural Center.

Call for Kid Playwrights!
Adventure Stage is seeking 10-minute plays written 
by 6th, 7th and 8th graders on the theme of "family." 

All participants will receive workshops and feedback from ASC staff and artists.  Winning submissions will have their plays read by professional artists on the ASC stage in Spring 2015!  


Adventure Stage Chicago creates and tells heroic stories about young people. We do this to engage our community and inspire all of us to be heroes in our own lives. This is our 11th season.

Adventure Stage has received numerous honors since its inception in 2004, including:
American Alliance for Theatre and Education’s 2013 Orlin Corey Award for Artistic Excellence to ASC Founder/Producing Artistic Director Tom Arvetis
Illinois Theatre Association’s 2012 Award of Excellence in Theatre for Young Audiences
Zeta Phi Eta Winifred Ward Award for Outstanding New Children's Theatre Company from the American Alliance for Theatre and Education

Adventure Stage Chicago is a program of Northwestern University Settlement House, the oldest continually operating settlement house in Chicago. Throughout its 122-year history, the Settlement has remained committed to providing resources that empower neighbors to overcome the obstacles of poverty. Adventure Stage extends this mission by presenting Chicago's young audiences, educators and families with affordable artistic experiences rooted in performance.

Disclosure: Once again, ChiIL Mama is happy to partner up with Theater Unspeakable and Adventure Stage and they have provided tickets for our giveaway and for review purposes.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Sweet Sweeps & Injury Avoidance Tips for Sports Fans from Our Friends at Aflac #AflacSweeps #CleverGirls #ad

Got a freezer full of ice packs and a bathroom full of Ace bandages and Ibuprofen? Are you on a first name basis with the MRI & X-ray techs? Does your pediatrician see your kid limping down the block, leaning on you, on a regular basis? Then you must be the parent of an athlete! 
  • From my daughter's first broken ankle in first grade, from a team gymnastics cartwheel ariel gone awry, to last week when my now 11 year old was back in the X-ray room yet again, it's been a journey. This time the diagnosis is Osgood-Schlatter disease, an overuse injury that causes a painful lump below the kneecap in kids having big growth spurts. The condition gets better once the child's bones fuse together & stop growing. In the mean time it's tough.
  • My kid has broken her front tooth in half doing Circus Arts, and she's been on crutches more times than I can count, over her 4 years of competitive gymnastics and 3 years of circus team. 
  • Our family are also big fans of The Bears, The Blackhawks, and Chicago's numerous girls' Roller Derby teams in The Outfit and The Windy City Rollers. Talk about potential for injury!!

Check out some great sports safety tips from our friends at Aflac:

Sports Safety Tips
  • Baseball is often referred to as “America’s favorite past time,” but many believe that football is America’s game. The Super Bowl is the biggest sports event of the year, and college football constantly dominates headlines in the fall. However, since football is such a demanding and physical sport, injuries can be common and sometimes serious enough to lead to a trip to the emergency room. 
  • However, it doesn’t have to be that way! To help your children learn how to keep things as safe as possible on the football field, follow these tips:

  • 1) Football = lots of gear!
  • Some equipment may look “optional,” but it is important to wear all necessary pads and safety gear each time you play. If you show up for a practice or game without it, alert your coach immediately. 

  • 2) Follow the rules
  • While physical prowess is central to football, you must obey the rules. In the heat of the moment it’s easy to forget, but there is a reason why things like tripping, clipping, blocking below the knees and helmet-to-helmet contact are illegal in football: they can be very dangerous to both you and your opponents. 

  • 3) Listen to your body
  • If at any point you feel pain or discomfort while playing, notify your coach and get out of the game. While sitting on the sidelines is one of the most difficult situations a player can face, pushing through injuries increases the severity and keeps you out of action longer. 

  • 4) Take the doctor’s orders
  • After experiencing a sports injury, the first question a player often asks is, "When can I play again?" The answer depends on the injury. Always listen to your doctor. Even if you can't return right away, a doctor or physical therapist might have suggestions and advice on what you can do to stay fit and rehab the injury. It is important to always check with a doctor before attempting any activity following an injury.

  • 5) Make sure you’re covered
  • Accidents happen. When unexpected injuries happen on the football field, make sure you’re prepared with supplemental insurance to help cover out-of-pocket expenses. According to the 2014 Aflac WorkForces Report, 66 percent of U.S. workers could not afford the costs associated with a serious illness or injury. That’s why voluntary insurance plans are so important. In the event of a serious injury, they help provide peace of mind and cash benefits to help you get back in the game fast.

  • Aflec helps put parents’ minds at ease so families don’t get sidelined due to unexpected injuries or illnesses: 

About: Sports Injuries
Accidents happen. When a covered accident happens, supplemental accident insurance pays the policyholder cash benefits for the unexpected medical and everyday expenses that begin to add up almost immediately. 

When unexpected illness or injuries DO happen, make sure you’re prepared with supplemental insurance.
  • According to the 2014 Aflac WorkForces Report, 66 percent of workers could not afford the costs associated with a serious illness or injury. 
  • Without health insurance, the average cost to treat a broken leg, for example, is over $10,000 – now just imagine a serious back injury!
  • That’s where Aflac comes in … if someone with an Aflac supplemental insurance plan experiences a serious illness or injury, Aflac helps ease the financial stress and provides cash benefits to help pay for out-of-pocket expenses.
Supplemental insurance could help cover these and other expenses that may not be fully covered by your major medical insurance:
  • Broken teeth
  • Concussions
  • Ambulance, ground and air
  • Emergency room visits
  • Lacerations
  • If you watch sports at all, I'm sure you've seen the Aflac Duck’s new commercial as well as Aflac's partnership with the Heisman Trophy. We're happy to partner up with them as well, and share their sports safety tips and sweet sweepstakes info with our readers.
  • About: Ultimate College Football Experience Sweepstakes
    Entry Form & Official Rules 
    Three prize packages will be awarded; winners will be announced Oct. 28, Nov. 4 and Nov. 11. 

    Are you the ultimate college football fan? If so, this #AflacSweeps is for you! Three lucky fans will win a trip for two, a pair of tickets to one of three college football games in November, a chance to meet Desmond Howard and more. Enter once per 24 hours on Facebook; for bonus entries, share on Twitter. Enter today and then spread the word to let your friends know it’s #GameOn!

    Each prize package includes:
    • Two tickets to the biggest college football game of the weekend.
    • Meet & greet with Desmond Howard.
    • Round trip airfare.
    • Hotel accommodations.
    • Ground transportation to and from events.
    • $500 prepaid debit card for food and other expenses.

  • CONSUMER NOTICE: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. Open to legal permanent residents of 50 U.S. states and DC, 21 or older, who have Internet access and valid email address prior to 08/28/14. To enter and for Official Rules, including odds and prize descriptions, click here: 

  • This sweepstakes is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook or Twitter. For a winner's list (after 11/10/14), visit the Ultimate College Football Experience tab of this page or mail request to Aflac "Ultimate College Football Experience" (Specify Winner List), Media Relations, 1932 Wynnton Road, Columbus, GA 31999. Sponsor: American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus.

  • About: Aflac
    • Aflac Incorporated is a Fortune 500 company providing individual and group voluntary insurance products that help deliver protection to more than 50 million people worldwide. 
    • For nearly six decades, Aflac insurance policies have given policyholders the opportunity to focus on recovery, not financial stress. 
    • In the United States, Aflac has been the number one in worksite/voluntary sales for 13 consecutive years. (Eastbridge Consulting Group, U.S. Worksite/Voluntary Sales Report. Carrier Results for 2002-2014. Avon, CT.) 
    • The company’s voluntary insurance policies, which are designed to supplement major medical plans, pay policyholders directly for unexpected costs associated with a covered serious illness, injury or loss. In addition, the cash benefits can be used to help pay rent, gas, groceries, child care or any other out-of-pocket expenses a worker may have.
    • Aflac offers accident, dental, life, vision, cancer, hospital intensive care and more voluntary insurance policies.
    • Aflac has a presence in all 50 states, and in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The company is also the number one life insurance company in terms of the number of individual policies in Japan. 
    • Aflac's family of insurers includes American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus and/or American Family Life Assurance Company of New York and/or Continental American Insurance Company and/or Continental American Life Insurance Company.  
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Chicago International Children's Film Festival Number 31 Is Here #ChiILFlixPicks #ChiILPicksList

ChiIL Mama's ChiIL Picks List
Family Friendly Fun
ChiIL Flixs Picks

Here at ChiIL Mama we've volunteered at Facets box office from 1990-2014. That's 24 years!! During that time we've volunteered at Kids' Fest and covered it in the media. We've reviewed films, interviewed filmmakers, and watched this fab fest sprout and grow into the largest CICFF yet.

This year's Festival features: 
  • 288 films from 43 countries selected from over 3000 entries screened in venues across the city 
  • 29,000 film lovin' kids, parents, and teachers

ChiIL Mama will be there... will YOU?!

Must See List:
Of course the lineup of must see will vary widely on the ages of your kids & personal taste. We're super jazzed for A Letter to MOMO, a favorite of ours from a past CICFF year when we saw a subtitled version. Now it's back in a new English language version.

A LETTER TO MOMOAnimated Feature Film (Japan)Grades 5-10+, Ages 10-16+140 min. (weekday - film + media education)120 min. (weekend - film running time only)
After attending her father’s funeral, a grieving 13-year-old Momo discovers an unfinished letter in her father’s desk with only two words: “Dear Momo...” Wanting desperately to know what her father had planned to write her, Momo tries to search for clues, but first she must deal with the appearance of three meddling goblins, visible only to her, that steal immense amounts of food and cause problems for Momo and her mother. However, she eventually learns that the goblins may have some connection to her father in the afterlife, so when her mother’s depression turns into life-threatening illness, Momo enlists the help of these unlikely friends who help her discover just how strong she can be in times of grief.
Themes: Courage; Communicating grief; Adventure; Discovery; Friendship
NEW! English language version. 

$40.00 Unlimited Family Pass:

CICFF Runs Through November 2
Get more Fest for less! 
Order your Family Pass today!

Online or in our Facets Rental Store 

For only $40, your family of four can come to the Flick or Treat screening, and all the other screenings during the Festival! 
Get the full schedule at

Let's Get Multi-Culti!
Here at ChiIL Mama we love that life in the big city allows us the opportunity to introduce our kids to people, culture, film, music, art, ideas and food from all over our amazing world. Check out the following French children's film.

Alliance Française de Chicago
54 W. Chicago Avenue
Chicago IL 60610

The Chicago International Children’s Film Festival
comes to the Alliance!

Join us for a special French language selection from the CICFF exclusive to the Alliance.

Saturday, November 1st
9:30 a.m./ 11:30 a.m./1:00 p.m.

9:30 a.m. Le Coq de Saint-Victor (90 mn.) – Age 5-8
By Pierre Greco, in French with English subtitles
A goûter with treats from Quebec will be served at the entr’acte.

11:30 a.m. Prévert, Poetry and a Preference for Carrots (68 mn.) – Age 10-16
In French with English subtitles
Refreshments will be served at the entr’acte.

1 p.m. A Tribute to Folimage Studios (73 mn.) – Age 10-16
In French with English subtitles

Admission $6 for Children, $9 for Adults

Le Coq de St-Victor (90 min.) - Ages 5-8 by Pierre Greco
Saturday, November 1st at 9:30 a.m
In French

For seven years, the residents of St-Victor have woken up bright and early every morning, thanks to their mayor’s raucous rooster that crows at 4 AM. Once the residents are awake, St-Victor is booming and prosperous, a fact the mayor takes a great pride in. Some of the residents eventually grow tired of this routine and decide to oust the rooster in exchange for a lucky donkey. Now they can enjoy the pleasures of sleeping in, but it’s not long before their neglect causes town to fall apart. Will the people of St-Victor be able to bring back their rooster and find the perfect balance between work and play before it’s too late?

Prévert, Poetry, and a Preference for Carrots (68 min.) - Ages 10-16
Saturday, November 1st at 11:30 a.m
In French with English subtitles
Introduction to this program led by the Alliance’s Philippe Schaller, director of Chez Kids Academy

En sortant de l’école is a collection of 12 animated adaptations of poems from the great French poet and screenwriter Jacques Prévert. Each poem is brought to life in a variety of styles with the talent and graphic creativity of young directors just out of French animation schools. En sortant is paired with Scent of Carrots, a short about a carrot-loving rabbit who befriends a nut-loving squirrel. Bon appétit!

A tribute to Folimage Studios (73 min.) - Ages 10-16
Saturday, November 1st at 1 p.m
In French with English subtitles

Founded in 1981, Folimage Studios specializes in creating animation films. Folimage Studios is the genius behind A Cat in Paris, nominated for an Oscar in 2012 in the Best Animated Feature category and winner of the CICFF’s top children jury prize for animated feature in 2011.

Smart Films, Smart Kids - The 2014 Chicago International Children's Film Festival offers even more than just a good time at the movies.

From October 24 through November 2, 2014, Facets' Chicago International Children's Film Festival returns to celebrate its 31tst anniversary of presenting the best in child and youth cinema from around the world. This year's CICFF will feature over 270 films, from over 50 countries, selected from over 3000 entries at venues across the Chicago including the Alliance Française.
For more information and to register for Chicago International Children’s Film Festival, Click Here

A bientôt!

WHAT WE'RE PLAYING: Petz Beach Nintendo 3DS #TechReview #PetzBeach #Ad

  • Here at ChiIL Mama, the kids love to chill out and relax with video games. It was our pleasure to recently play and review the Petz Beach video game. We're familiar with the series and have enjoyed several of their past games, and we're not the only ones. Did you know Petz has sold over 23 MILLION units worldwide?! 

  • With Petz Beach, they're back on Nintendo 3DS just in time for the holidays, and more interactive than ever. This game includes 50 different types of animals and a host of adventures that change with the seasons, for year round fun! The game also expands as you play, gives you the ability to connect with friends, and more.
  • Petz fans will embark on the ultimate adventure in Petz Beach, where players can care for a variety of dogs, complete quests to expand their village and connect with other Petz owners.

  • What We Dig:
  • The animals are adorable! This game will charm your littles with the cutest critters out there. My tween, who wants to be a veterinarian, was entranced, though she conceded younger kids would enjoy it more.
  • There's a lot of reading involved and following directions to care for your pets. So kids are learning and strengthening their vocabulary and skills while having fun.
  • This game is non violent, rated E for Everyone, and encourages nurturing.

  • This is our favorite point. Learning while on the journey. Through its partnership with Encyclopaedia Britannica, Petz Beach incorporates learning along the way. As kids care for their pets and complete missions, they’ll learn facts about animals, plants and insects! 

  • My grandma worked for Encyclopaedia Britannica for years in Chicago and I think she would have been thrilled to see all the new innovations that go way beyond book sets.

    Not Crazy About:

    • This game does skew young in style and taste, but younger players who are not strong readers may be frustrated by all the text and skip over crucial directions.
    • The 3DS visuals are not recommended for kids under 7 years old and can actually cause vision damage! Now, the settings can be flipped to 2D on the unit for younger kids, but we worry a bit about kids switching it up on their own, and parents not monitoring it, since this is a game that appeals to the under 7 set.

    • Beyond dogs & cats:
      • Variety of animals and adventures—something for every kid. There are more than 50 different types of animals in the game from dogs and cats, to dolphins and whales. Because the environment in game changes with the seasons, the adventure lasts all year long!

      • The game expands as you play. As players explore the town and meet new neighbors with their pets, the game expands and grows. Helping new friends will expand the village as the game progresses.

    • You Might Also Like:
    • Petz Countryside (another Petz game that launches on the same day as Petz Beach) Kids and their virtual pets can enjoy the same fun experience in a different environment.

    • Petz Beach & Petz Countryside Product Specifications:
      • Publisher: Ubisoft
      • Release Date: October 14, 2014
      • Platform: Nintendo 3DS system
      • Category: Pet Simulation and Adventures
      • Rating: E

    • Avoid the rush and getting mauled at the mall. Order Petz Beach on

    • I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.