Friday, February 28, 2014

ER Detour

Apologies to all who are awaiting show reviews, product features, and posts.  As you know if you follow us on Facebook & Twitter, we took an unexpected detour to the emergency room after a car crash!!  



Everyone's fine, but my 10 year old was having a lot of lower back pain, so we had to be sure it wasn't serious.  Turns out it's just muscle trauma and will fully heal without medical intervention.  Thankfully we're all just a bit sore and we're going to be A-OK after a few days of Ibuprofen.



Sometimes the "mama" job has to come before anything else, when you have 2 children to take care of.  I've had to put the blog on hold this week to nurse my kids, get our totaled car in for an estimate, get a rental, file state police reports, and deal with insurance.  We'll write more about our ER adventures once we're caught up with the backlog. The up side is... we're getting a new car :)!  It was a tough way to go about it, though, and I wouldn't recommend it.  Good thing we just covered the auto show and have all those cool cars fresh in our brains.

We should be back on track by the end of the weekend.  The most important thing is everyone in both cars is OK (a mom & 2 kids in each!!).  Accidents happen and they put life in perspective and priorities front & center.  I promise all write ups are pending publication and they ARE coming.  Thanks for your patience!!


Sunday, February 23, 2014

WIN 4 Tickets to The World Premiere of SPARK (9+) at Adventure Stage & Catch Push Play Free This Mon & Tues


Here at ChiIL Mama, we're long time fans of the fantastic work Adventure Stage does.  They're great about community building, bringing world premiers to life, and rocking the family friendly fare.  Check out their talented kids' from the ASC Trailblazers in FREE shows THIS Monday and Tuesday.  

Then CLICK HERE to enter to WIN 4 free tickets (ages 9+) to the opening day performance (April 5/4pm) of  SPARK by Tom Arvetis!  He's a local dad and fixture in the Chicago theatre world.  Check out our past video interview with Tom (12/11) right here.






ASC's Trailblazers present the world premiere of...


Mon, Feb. 24 & Tue, Feb. 25 at 7:00pm 
  
Our Trailblazers are putting the final touches on their creation PUSH PLAY, an inventive exploration of violence and negativity in media and how all of us are affected by it.

The world we live in is complicated, and children process it in a myriad of ways.
With PUSH PLAY, our young heroes have created a show that we think your young heroes should see.

So grab your kids. Join us for the play. And let's START A CONVERSATION.
TICKETS ARE FREE. Refreshments served afterward.
Call 773-342-4141 or visit AdventureStage.org to reserve your seats.




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Don't miss this exciting new stage play that completely re-imagines the classic myths of Prometheus and Pandora.

(Suggested ages 9+/4th grade.  Under age 5 NOT admitted.)

“It only takes a spark to ignite a flame.” 





Pandora lives a regimented life within the underground tunnels of Sanctuary, a secluded community designed to outlast the raging violence outside its walls. Each inhabitant of Sanctuary has a purpose, a place, and a common enemy—the mysterious Outliers who live in the world above.  

But after Pandora personally encounters two young Outliers, she starts to question all that has been taught to her. Is Sanctuary the safe haven she has always believed it to be, or a prison built on fear? As sides are chosen and truths shattered, Pan must ultimately decide between the life she knows and the one that is calling to her. 

Using projections designed by Liviu Pasare to simulate the texting and gaming that is ever-present in Sanctuary’s techno-savvy world, this inventive adventure set in the near future is recommended for ages 9 (grade 4) and up.

ABOUT THE PROMETHEUS PROJECT
The Prometheus Project began when playwright Tom Arvetis and director Rives Collins visited several Chicago middle school classrooms and conducted a series of story circles with Adventure Stage’s West Town neighbors, utilizing the Greek myth of Prometheus as a starting point for understanding contemporary challenges within our community. Themes of power, violence, sacrifice and hope emerged as young people and families shared the daily struggles they experience. Out of these story circles, SPARK was born.

Relying heavily on the archetypes of the Hero’s Journey, ASC's goal with SPARK is to ask our audience to think critically about the responsibility we have to our neighbors and the courage it will take to move our communities toward a more imaginative, healthy and tolerant status quo.



Check out our performance schedule, press release, cast and crew, and special events sections for more information!

TICKETS ON SALE NOW! Click here for more information. 

YOUR ADVENTURE AWAITS YOU.




Thursday, February 20, 2014

SAVE THE DATES: Zoinks Scoob! Look What's Coming to Rosemont Theatre


ZOINKS! MYSTERY-SOLVING CHILLS AND THRILLS COME TO ROSEMONT THEATRE IN THE ALL-NEW SCOOBY-DOO LIVE! MUSICAL MYSTERIES 


TICKETS ON SALE SOON.  Check back with ChiIL Mama early and often for all the details.

Saturday, May 3 at 1 and 4 p.m. at the 
Rosemont Theatre


The much-loved Scooby-Doo and the Mystery Inc. gang take center stage in an all-new family musical, Scooby-Doo Live! Musical Mysteries, presented by Warner Bros. Consumer Products and Life Like Touring.  Featuring some of the world’s most popular characters from one of television’s longest-running animated series, Scooby-Doo Live! Musical Mysteries is set to thrill audiences at Rosemont Theatre, 5400 N. River Road on Saturday, May 3 at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.  Tickets are priced from $17 to $63. The top ticket price includes a VIP Meet and Greet with the cast.

In this exciting new production, the Scooby-Doo and the Mystery Inc. gang has been called upon to help solve an epic mystery.  A trouble-making ghost is haunting a local theatre and Shaggy, Fred, Daphne, Velma, and Scooby-Doo are on their way in the Mystery Machine to crack the case.  With crazy ghosts, perplexing puzzles, and an abundance of Scooby Snacks, it’s Scooby-Doo and friends at their best, travelling across the country, solving mysteries wherever they go. 

Scooby-Doo Live! Musical Mysteries features full-scale musical numbers including the evergreen Scooby-Doo theme song, “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?” alongside original groovy tunes including “Round Every Corner” and “We’re Mystery Inc.”  Filled with wacky new characters and uproarious antics, Scooby Doo Live! Musical Mysteries has young audiences on the edge of their seats in traditional Scooby-Doo fashion from the moment the lights go down.

“The timeless antics of Scooby-Doo and his mystery solving Gang have been delighting kids for generations,” said Brad Globe, President, Warner Bros. Consumer Products.  “We are thrilled to be bringing the Scooby Gang home to North America in this exciting new musical for the whole family.  Scooby fans of all ages will truly enjoy this immersive and entertaining experience.”

  
The North American tour of Scooby-Doo reunites the Australian tour’s creative team:  writer and director Theresa Borg, composer Craig Bryant and choreographer Katie Ditchburn.  This team was also responsible for the recent tour of Sesame Street Presents Elmo’s World Tour.


Scooby-Doo has been delighting families for decades, and today, with 99 tour stops, sold out performances and thousands of fans attending each show throughout Australia, WBCP and Life Like Touring are thrilled to be bringing Scooby-Doo Live! Musical Mysteries to all Scooby fans in North America.

Scooby-Doo Live! Musical Mysteries will be performed at the Rosemont Theatre, 5400 N. River Road, Saturday, May 3 at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.  Tickets range in price form $17- $63.  Tickets can be purchased at the Rosemont Theatre box office, at ticketmaster.com or by calling 800-745-3000. For groups of 15 or more, contact GroupTix at 773-327-3778.

For information on the Scooby-Doo Live! Musical Mysteries tour visit www.scoobydoolive.com


SCOOBY-DOO and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and © Hanna-Barbera.

  

ACT OUT FAMILY FRIENDLY: OPENING A Midsummer Night’s Dream Short Shakespeare (ages 10+)

ChiIL Mama is thrilled to announce another Short Shakespeare production is opening this weekend at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre down at Navy Pier.  We've been ardent admirers of this series for years. These shows are a bit shorter in length than standard Shakespearian fare (75 minutes/no intermission/15 min post show discussion) but they are big on quality, authenticity and professionalism.  In fact, here's our rave review on Macbeth, the first Short Shakespeare show we ever saw there, back in 2011. 

The Short Shakespeare shows are no Cliff Notes!   These shows are NOT dumbed down for kids in any way.  In fact, the language is original, they just cut some of the long winded bits to shorten the journey between the key plot points.  This makes for an action packed, authentic experience that captivates school groups and Shakespeare wary adults as well.  It's brilliant really.  These shows are a stellar way to introduce the bard, and possibly spark a life time interest in classic theatre, the flow of language and the thrill of all the elements in live theatre playing out together on stage.  Even the play bills are fun as well as informative, with kid friendly info, games, and a cool layout.

ChiIL Mama and Sage will be there for the opening this Saturday morning, so check back with us shortly for our full reviews.



THE PLAY
A magical forest filled with a host of some of Shakespeare’s most comedic characters make A Midsummer Night’s Dream one of his most popular plays. CST’s 75-minute abridged Short Shakespeare! production serves as an ideal introduction to the Bard—for audiences of all ages. When lovers cross with mischievous sprites in an enchanted forest, a series of mishaps occur and nothing is what it seems. Add to the mix a bevy of fumbling actors and chaos breaks loose until dawn breaks and all is once again right with the world. After the performance, the actors remain on stage for a brief question-and-answer session. Then join the audience in the Lobby for one-on-one conversations and photo opportunities.
A CST Family production most enjoyed by ages 10 and up.


MORE TO EXPLORE
Read a short summary of this 75-minute trip into a magical forest filled with a host of some of Shakespeare’s most comedic characters.
Read More
Have the actors in A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM acted foolishly in the name of love? See their responses.
Read More
CST strives to make its facility and performances accessible to all patrons. Our staff is ready to help in any way possible.
Read More

THE PLAYERS
CREATIVE TEAM
David H. Bell Director
Scott Davis Scenic Designer
Melissa Torchia Costume Designer
Lee Fiskness Lighting Designer
Ethan Deppe Composer and Sound Designer
Melissa Veal Wig and Make-up designer
CAST
Nate Burger Lysander
Justin Cornwell Starveling/Fairy
Wesley Daniel Flute/Fairy
Max Fabian Snout/Fairy
Michael Finley Snug/Fairy
Don Forston Egeus/Quince
Ryan Hallahan Demetrius
Steven Lee Johnson Puck/Philostrate
Eric Parks Oberon/Theseus
Lanise Antoine Shelley Hippolyta/Titania
Alex Weisman  Bottom
BUY TICKETS

HELPFUL RESOURCES
  Run Time: 75 minutes
      (no intermission), plus
      15-minute post-show
      discussion
   Tickets start at $16
 ADDITIONAL CREDITS
Short Shakespeare! A Midsummer Nights Dream is presented in the Jentes Family Auditorium.


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Rose and the Rime Winner Announced And More Giveaways


Big congrats to Kelli R.--our 4 ticket winner out of 150 entries.  Congrats and enjoy!

Click here for more details on the giveaway and our full show review.



Photo Credit:  Michael Brosilow


Current Giveaways:

Enter to Win 4 tickets to Beat Kitchen's Concerts for Kids every week!









**Click here to WIN Human Tim + Robot Tim Tickets From ChiIL Mama**

3/2/2014 - The Boogers

**Click here to WIN Boogers Tickets From ChiIL Mama**

3/8/2014 **SATURDAY 2:00 pm** - Jeanie B & The Jelly Beans!

**Click here to Win Jeanie B! & The Jelly Beans Tickets From ChiIL Mama**

3/9/2014 - The Wannabees

**Click here to WIN Wannabees Tickets From ChiIL Mama**



**Click here to WIN Sarah Jayne Lane Tickets From ChiIL Mama**





Tickets: $6 per person at the door or through http://www.beatkitchen.com
Visit http://www.facebook.com/concerts4kids for updates on the Concerts for Kids schedule at Beat Kitchen.Special thanks to media sponsor ChiIL Mama http://www.chiilmama.com.

About Concerts for Kids!
Concerts for Kids began when bar owner Robert Gomez heard from young families in the neighborhood that they needed more entertainment options for their kids. His daughter was taking classes at the Old Town School of Folk Music. Gomez got to know the incredibly talented instructors, learned that they wrote their own music and were looking for outlets to perform with their full bands. Beat Kitchen and the children's performers combined resources that resulted in Concerts for Kids! Now in its eigth year, Concerts for Kids is a popular series for Chicago’s parents with regular Sunday noon shows that attract talented children's music performers from across the U.S.

Monday, February 17, 2014

WIN 4 Tickets To Rose and The Rime ($120 value) at The House Theatre Now Extended Through 3/23 #ShowReview #Extended #ChiILPicksList

Flash Giveaway! 
Enter through midnight Tuesday the 18th

ChiIL out with ChiIL Mama and Enter Here for your shot at winning FOUR tickets to Rose and The Rime ($120 value) at The House Theatre, for any date of your choice, pending availability.

Rose and The Rime has been extended and we're celebrating here at ChiIL Mama and ChiIL Live Shows with a great giveaway for our readers!



ChiIL Mama's ChiIL Picks List:  
Family Friendly Theatre Favorites


Production Photos Credit: Michael Brosilow, The House Theatre Unless Otherwise Noted


Our whole family had a chance to catch Rose and The Rime on opening night, and we were blown away by the creativity, passion and mythic story telling of this show.  The House Theatre has long been one of our favorites, and they consistently bring it, with stunningly stellar family friendly fare and edgier adult shows as well. 

**Although designed for adults, Rose and the Rime is suitable for kids six and up.** 
The run time is 85 minutes with no intermission--so make sure your kids can handle it, if you're considering bringing the littles. 

We highly recommend you check out Rose and The Rime.  Read below for the tweens' take on the show. 


Rose & The Rime
Sage & Du's Reviews
 (a kids' eye view)

Basic Story:
A girl goes through a harsh winter that's lasted her entire lifetime, to find a coin from a witch, and bring back summer to her town.

The wolves and rabbits (puppets) were good, had character and were really well done.  Rose did a great job and it was cool to see her back again.   We remembered her from The House Nutcracker, Stag King and Crownless King.   The writing was excellent.  The plot keeps on going.  It was sort of moneyish... like people got greedy and violent trying to get the coin.  We both had fun playing with the snow on stage before and after the show and mom thought it was super cool they had a miniature replica that looked like our home, which was weird because we've never seen another bright blue house with brown trim.


 ©ChiILMama.com

                                        ©ChiILMama.com
                                    

There was even some circus arts--aerial stuff--that worked well with the witch and the swing.  We liked how they depicted summer by shedding winter layers.  It's funny the town's people stayed optimistic about summer coming back and still had bathing suits on during the harsh, unending winter.  The set was creative because they showed the houses moving farther away as she left and a whole forest & wolves closing in.  We especially loved the blizzard and the snow hills made by people with a big, waving tarp.

Our Take:  
We think it's cool how the story keeps repeating for generations.   History repeats itself.

Recommended Ages:  6+.  The huge, scary witch and people near the end dying, were a little intense for small kids, but fine for most.  Nothing scared either of us.  This show was very good and we both highly recommend it.

 
Sage & Dugan (10 & 12)




Sage & Du's Reviews
(a kids' eye view)
2014 Launch

My kids have been immersed in the Chicago theatre scene their entire lives. Now at 10 & 12 they're still able to enjoy our city's stellar children's theatre offerings, but they've also become my go to +1's for big budget Broadway in Chicago spectacles, edgy storefront fare, and thought provoking dramas at Goodman, Steppenwolf and beyond.

My 12 year old, son, in particular has become quite the insightful critic, and we both love a good post show talk.  I was almost in tears on opening night of The Whale at Victory Gardens, as my son and I waited for the show to begin.   Instead of grousing about attending a play or burying his nose in a DS game as many boys would, he was busy perusing the program.   Then he turned to me and said "I'd really like to meet Chelsea Warren."   When I asked why he said, "Because the show hasn't even started yet, but the set design is so cool it really makes me curious to see who lives here.   It's really well done." Joy!

Though they've been my silent partners for years, they've recently been inspired by 9 year old critic, Ada Grey, to speak up and take an active role in our reviews for ChiIL Mama.   I'll still be writing reviews, as well, but they will have their own space for their own unique voices too.   So check back with ChiIL Mama like we vote in Chi, IL... early and often.   Sage & Du's Reviews (a kids' eye view) will be appearing here at ChiIL Mama on a regular basis!



BY POPULAR DEMAND
THE HOUSE THEATRE OF CHICAGO 
IS PROUD TO ANNOUNCE 
THE EXTENSION OF 
ROSE AND THE RIME 
AT THE CHOPIN THEATRE 
THROUGH MARCH 23
Critics and Audiences Alike Rave about Rose and The Rime – The Extension Creates 1500 Additional Tickets On Sale Now

The House Theatre of Chicago is proud to announce the extension of their all-ages original play, Rose and the Rime, at the Chopin Theatre Upstairs Theatre, 1543 W. Division St., through Sunday, March 23. 

The play is created by Company Members Chris Matthews, Jake Minton and Artistic Director Nathan Allen, who is also the production’s director, choreography by Company Member Tommy Rapley and music by Company Member Kevin O’ Donnell. Performances are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday matinees at 3 p.m. Although designed for adults, Rose and The Rime is suitable for kids six and up. The run time is 85 minutes with no intermission. Current ticket prices range from $20 to $40. Ticket prices for the extension (After March 9) range from $20 - $45 (performance schedule remains the same).  $10 Student and Industry Same-Day discounted tickets are available for all dates, seats permitting. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit www.thehousetheatre.com or call 773.769.3832.

Rose and the Rime transfers to The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County starting April 23 for a five-week run, in a continuing partnership between Arsht and The House.

"The story and execution of Rose and The Rime reflects the Company’s signature style, and I'm thrilled Chicago audiences are connecting to the story as well.  To be able to extend this run and have to opportunity to expose people to the production and The House Theatre of Chicago is a tremendous joy for us,” said The House Theatre of Chicago Artistic Director Nathan Allen.  

What the critics are saying:
“Rose and the Rime is written by the A-list House team of Nathan Allen, Chris Mathews and Jake Minton, and it is a likable, poignant, gently involving show….and full of inventive physical staging.”
-  The Chicago Tribune
“It’s athletic, passionate, whimsical, and visually inventive – 
a celebration of theater as a communal expression of living in the moment.” – Chicago Reader

“Master storytellers….on full display in this production” and “Extraordinary!” – Dueling Critics

The multi-talented ensemble of The House Theatre of Chicago utilizes their signature style that blends music, swirling acrobatic dance, spectacle, and stage craft to spin the cautionary tale of their favorite myth, Rose and the Rime. Set in Radio Falls, “a little town by a big lake," young Rose (played by Company Member Paige Collins) must risk her life to rescue a magic coin from the icy clutches of the Rime Witch (played by Ericka Ratcliff), her only hope in saving her friends and family from the spell that keeps them frozen in perpetual winter. When the coin is returned, the freezing spell is lifted, and for a moment, Radio Falls appears rescued from their icy fate. But the coin's power inspires bigger dreams, and greed creeps slowly into the thawed Townsfolk. Rose must finally fight to keep the coin from falling into the wrong hands. But can she bear the power herself? Originally developed at Hope College in 2008, Rose and the Rime won the honor of playing the Kennedy Center as Best Original Work in the KCACTF festival. Re-staged by The House in 2009, Rose and the Rime tackles big themes considered central to many of the stories told at The House.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Rose and the Rime is written by Nathan Allen, Chris Mathews and Jake Minton, and directed by Nathan Allen. Tommy Rapley leads the ensemble in the dance-like movement as Choreographer, and Kevin O'Donnell lends the score.

Company Members Michael E Smith return to his roles as Uncle Roger, Company Member Paige Collins (The Nutcracker, The Crownless King) will take on the title role as Rose, and Company Member Christine Mayland Perkins also appears in the ensemble. Last seen in 2007's The Nutcracker, Equity actress Ericka Ratcliff returns to The House in the title role of the Rime Witch, complete with wire work and new original songs to make Rose's encounter with the Witch particularly spellbinding and heartbreaking.

Guest artist Brandon Holmes (recently seen in Steppenwolf's Three Sisters) appears as Rose's love interest, Jimmy. The ensemble is rounded out by returning guest artists Kara Davidson and Sam Guinan-Nyhart as well new faces Jeremy Sonkin, Dan Toot and Tamara White.

Company Member Collette Pollard designs a new space for this re-imagined production, creating a darker, more isolated world for each resident of Radio Falls, where tiny homes stand in solitary snow storms day after day. With seating on three sides of the stage, the audience is a part of the snowy world. 

Company Member Melissa Torchia bundles the cast up for the icy weather, in an urban Midwestern palate. Company Member Lee Keenan designs lights that transport us from Rose's dreamy, childhood visions, to the harsh realities of life in a broken town. Jeff Award-winning composer and Company Member Kevin O’Donnell shares a score influenced by doo-wop, harkening to the show's Michigan roots. Company Member Joshua Horvath completes the team as sound designer.

ABOUT THE HOUSE THEATRE OF CHICAGO 
The House is Chicago's premier home for original works of physical and spectacle storytelling. Founded and led by Artistic Director Nathan Allen and driven by an interdisciplinary ensemble of Chicago’s next generation of great storytellers, The House aims to become a laboratory and platform for the evolution of the American theatre as an inclusive and popular artform.

The House was founded in 2001 by a group of friends to explore connections between Community and Storytelling through a unique theatrical experience. Since becoming eligible in 2004, The House has been nominated for 60 Joseph Jefferson Awards (19 wins) and became the first recipient of Broadway in Chicago’s Emerging Theater Award in 2007. Now in its 12th year of original work, The House continues its mission to unite Chicago in the spirit of Community through amazing feats of Storytelling.

The House Theatre of Chicago is proud to announce the extension of their all-ages original play, Rose and the Rime, at the Chopin Theatre Upstairs Theatre, 1543 W. Division St., through Sunday, March 23. 

The play is created by Company Members Chris Matthews, Jake Minton and Artistic Director Nathan Allen, who is also the production’s director, choreography by Company Member Tommy Rapley and music by Company Member Kevin O’ Donnell. Performances are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday matinees at 3 p.m. Although designed for adults, Rose and The Rime is suitable for kids six and up. The run time is 85 minutes with no intermission. Current ticket prices range from $20 to $40. Ticket prices for the extension (After March 9) range from $20 - $45 (performance schedule remains the same).  $10 Student and Industry Same-Day discounted tickets are available for all dates, seats permitting. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit www.thehousetheatre.com or call 773.769.3832.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Chicago Auto Show Women Driving Excellence Photo Recap #WDE14 #Spon #ChiILRides

      
Disclosure:  We're elated to be partnering up with ChicagonistaLIVE, Nissan, RedEye, Cars.com and The Chicago Tribune this year, for Women's Day at the auto show and have been compensated for sharing this information with our readers.

ChiIL out with ChiIL Mama for news, reviews, interviews & adventures in Chi, IL and beyond.


Hey Nissan--rockin' ChiIL Mama Rogue!  It matches my blog header, business cards, and wallet!  

Here at ChiIL Mama, it's been a thrill to be back at The Chicago Auto Show 2014 for both media only days last Thursday and Friday as well as Women's Day on Tuesday, with ChicagonistaLIVE.


In past years we've done a number of week long test drives, auto videos reviews, and photo features, and we'll be continuing our Auto Coverage for 2014 under the new heading ChiIL Rides.

The Women Driving Excellence program on Tuesday was a highlight of The 2014 Auto Show.  Check out our full slideshow right here. 


It's truly a treat to see so many smart, talented women being honored.  This year, eight amazing women – Karyn Calabrese (restaurateur and author), Mary Couzin (CEO and Founder of Chicago Toy and Game), Jory DesJardins, Elisa Camahort Page and Lisa Stone (BlogHer founders), Susanna Jung (president and CEO of Price Futures Group), Sherren Leigh (CEO of Today’s Chicago Woman magazine) and Natalie Martinez (NBC Chicago reporter) – received recognition for their outstanding efforts.


The day began with a bang as children from St. Therese Chinese Catholic School performed a lion dance and a ribbon dance for Chinese New Year.  We had a mid day stretch and a bit of inspiration from fitness celeb, Andrea Metcalf, and cabaret stylings by Miss Lori.  


Later Andrea interviewed me on camera for a segment on moms' car purchasing priorities!  Safety and dependability are a given. And sometimes the little things aren't so unimportant.  Rear seat cup holders would be an incredible improvement, since I drive tweens around daily who need food & drinks in the car on tight turn around days, between school and team practices. No cup holders equates LOTS more spills.

I got to borrow a Camaro SS convertible for a week last summer and I LOVE test driving powerful sports cars. But the reality is, I drive the city streets for hours, on carpool detail, and rarely can legally get above 30. So at this juncture, safety rating, reliability, passenger space, useful xtras, and cargo room are my huge priorities.  

That said, at the risk of bringing up horrid, archaic female stereotypes about women only caring about car color... I have always wanted a bright blue car and never driven anything in a color I remotely liked in the 30 years I've had a license.  We actually are in the market right now, to replace my aging burgundy RAV4, so this new blue Rogue had me fairly drooling!


I also totally geeked out on the Chicago themed Nissan Rogue I nicknamed The ChiIL Mama Mobile.  







It was a joy to meet and network with so many incredible women.  We were particularly jazzed to meet Elisa Camahort Page of 
BlogHer fame, and 2010 Olympic speed skater, Nancy Swider-Peltz Jr., who gave me an autograph & a personal note for my 10 year old daughter, Sage, aspiring Olympic gymnast. Nancy's coach/mother/namesake is in Sochi right now, and you can follow along on her Olympic adventures via blog, by clicking here.


It was a pleasure to be serenaded by some of the Broadway touring cast of Phantom of The Opera. They had a post performance Q &A and I was one of the lucky few to score an autographed Phantom of The Opera poster. Sage and I had press tickets to review opening night and we loved it! Sage raved about all the parts she enjoyed, but conceded she was also a bit creeped out by the Phantom.  She even coined a new term and told me she'd been "dramatized" ie: traumatized by drama.


Thanks again to Chicagonista for inviting us to be one of the official bloggers to cover the Women Driving Excellence awards, ChicagonistaLIVE, clips from Broadway in Chicago's Phantom of the Opera and more on Women's Day, February 11th.


Here's ChiIL Mama's 
Chicago Auto Show Video Contest Entry Entitled 
Got This?!  GO There!


Click here for loads of our past photo and video filled Chicago Auto Show Coverage from 2013 & 2012 then check back with ChiIL Mama like we vote in Chi, IL... early and often, for our comprehensive 2014 Auto Show recaps coming soon.



Disclosure:  Once again, we're elated to be partnering up with ChicagonistaLIVE, Nissan, RedEye, Cars.com and The Chicago Tribune this year, for Women's Day at the auto show and have been compensated for sharing this information with our readers.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

WIN In Our Warner Bros. Valentine's Day DVD Giveaway #WBValentine #giveaway #spon



Disclosure:  ChiIL Mama's happy to be part of the PartnersHub Family.  Thanks to 
Warner Bros. for providing our prize.

A copy of one of the following titles (Chosen at random) will be awarded to one lucky reader!

Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown Deluxe Edition 
A Charlie Brown Valentine 
Bugs Bunny’s Cupid Capers 
Happiness is... Peanuts: Friends Forever 
Elmo Loves You 
Looney Tunes Pepe Le Pew Collection 
Scooby-Doo! 13 Spooky Tales: For The Love Of Snack


As a kid, I had a HUGE crush on Speed Racer... those anime eyes, that shaggy dark hair.  Though, speaking of Shaggy, he'd be fairly fun to hang with, too.  We love big dogs and we're always down for a good mystery and a snack!  Who's your Cartoon Crush?!

**Enter Here for your chance to win**

Giveaway open to the U.S. only.
Enter through midnight February 25th.

• Take the Who Is Your Cartoon Crush Quiz? and post your favorite in our comments section for an additional giveaway entry. 

• Pin The Warner Bros Valentine’s Day Blog App to your Pinterest to drive traffic to your website!

Who is Your Cartoon Crush? - Everyone has had a crush at some point in their lives, but do you know who your cartoon crush is? Is it Scooby-Doo? Charlie Brown? or maybe Bugs Bunny? Find out who you would be romantically perfect with!



February is the one month of the year where everyone has love on their minds! It’s can be romantic, it can be love for your children or parents or you could just be a movie lover! Whatever you love, this February Warner Bros. has you covered with some amazing DVDs perfect for the whole family!

If you’re a love lorn poet, there’s the Peanuts Collection! If you want to smother your significant other with kisses we have the Looney Tunes Pepe Le Pew Collection, and if you want to solve some madcap mystery, I’ll bet Scooby-Doo is the one for you!


Each household is only eligible to win One (1) Valentines Day DVD Chosen at Random via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.  Please notify us if you have won elsewhere so we can draw another winner.

Valentine’s Day Recipes! When I think of movie night, the first thing I want to know is... What are the snacks? Here are three easy and fun recipe’s perfect for your Valentine!




Disclosure:  ChiIL Mama's happy to be part of the PartnersHub Family.  Thanks to 
Warner Bros. for providing our prize.

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