Friday, December 17, 2010

Win Gifts With A Combined Worth Over $120--What's Under Our Tree?--ChiIL Mama's Holiday Gift Favorites Part 1

What's great, green, retro, metro, funky and fun?

If you're still stuck on gift giving ideas, we can help.   Here's a quick guide to some quirky, unique and newly released gifts that are sure to please.   

Of course we love books and CD, but we've been telling you about our favorites there all month (well.....all year, really).   We also love board games, for bringing the family together, learning toys and eco-friendly offerings.   Here are the best we discovered at Chicago Toy and Game Fair, Child's Play Holiday Blogger Brunch, and on our own.

If you missed our Toy and Game recap, click HERE.

First, we have 4 great gifts for you to win, out of our favorites list.  All you have to do is follow ChiIL Mama on Twitter, Google Friends Connect, Networked Blogs, or RSS.   You can like our page on Facebook, too, if you like.

Then fill out the form at the end of this post.  Entries will be accepted through next Tuesday midnight and winners will be announced Wednesday.   You can enter to win 1 or all 3 on the same form.

1.  Train your brain--Win Mega Bloks Thomas and Friends-Misty Island Rescue (3+)--Value $49.99

2.  Redesigned Classics--Win either a Yomega Maverick-aluminum high speed ball bearing Yo-Yo for advanced play ($29.95)  These are so HOT they're outta stock, but we have one for YOU.

3.  OR a Gamma Brain-smart switch Yo-Yo ($19.95) beginner to advanced.   Both come with an extra bonus-world's best instructional Yo-Yo DVD included.  (8 to adult)

4.  Green Christmas--Win a Bright Bin--eco-friendly lunch box!  ($18.95)

 Now for what's under our tree:

First--Our Ultimate Favorite:   Film Festival in a Box from Indieflix!   (We're talking with them about hooking you up with some give aways in 2011)   

We had a chance to check out one of their best sellers--4 short fantastical films and it was fantastic!   This participatory film festival in a box makes you the judge and jury.  Check out their web site for game options with everything from zombie combos to family friendly flicks.   

This creative game is a real winner.   We'd give 'em an Oscar if it was up to us.
The film festival in a box celebrates indie films, as players watch shorts, then vote for their favorites and pick the best.   Players can hold their own ceremonies, or go online and announce the winners.   You can even pick up a virtual goodie bag.

We love the boxes almost as much as the awesome game inside.   They come in an unbleached, cardboard box made of recycled materials.   They're made in America.   And they picked a truly funny copy writer.   The directions say the game can be played with 1 to a gajillion players and is for ages 5 to 105.

Of course we're huge fans of indie films.   I've volunteered at Facets for 20 years, a Chicago theatre known for showing primarily indie and international films.   And, my husband is a location sound engineer who travels the world making documentaries, TV shows and indie films.   Still, even if you have never seen anything that wasn't a Hollywood blockbuster, this game is a fun and accessible introduction to the spark and magic of indie films.   Highly recommended!

Second--Green & Healthy Gifts:  
We touched on this in an earlier green giving post, but here are more of our favorites for a green Christmas and earth healthy new year.

Bright Bin-save money on baggies and save the earth.   Bright bins are easy to open and all the parts stay together, so no more scrambling for missing lids and clogging up landfills with plastic waste.   They fit into existing lunch boxes, but Bright Bin also carries a line of adorable, insulated outer lunch boxes if you're in the market.   We love the tye dyed one and the DIY lunchbox that comes with washable markers and can be redecorated at will.   *Win your own red, Bright Bin this week on ChiIL Mama.   Enter at the bottom of this post.  

Soda Stream--another big favorite of ours, these easy home carbonating machines also save money and save the earth.   They are easy enough for a kid to operate and keep zillions of bottles and cans out of the landfill every year.   You can make your own soft drinks and seltzers or chose from a huge variety of flavored syrups.   The kids particularly love the rootbeer--especially over vanilla ice cream as a "brown cow".   Check out ChiIL Mama's prior Soda Stream review HERE.

Nasopure--give the gift of good health with this easier, updated version of a netti pot.   They come in fancy, blue gift bags and are a practical way to show you care, in a way that really matters.

We met Dr. Hana last year and she's a hoot.   This down to earth, knowledgable physician has created a real winner with her little blue squeeze bottles.  They're also easy enough for kids to use--and they get a kick out of seeing who can make the biggest snot snake.   Parents love it because the whole family gets sick less and heals from viruses faster.   Check out her site for more details. 

Dr. Hana's Nasopure® is an all-natural nasal cleansing system that quickly and safely washes away pollen, mold, dust, bacteria, viruses AND MUCUS — the primary causes of nasal and sinus allergies, infection, and discomfort. Dr. Hana's patented Nasal Wash System is one of the most effective and convenient nasal irrigation systems on the market today.

Backyard Safari--our little urban explorers have tried out a number of Backyard Safari toys by Summit, and always had a great experience with them.   We've spent a year getting great use out of the Bug Vacuum, Magna Bucket, Wet/Dry Essential Scoop Net, and 6 in 1 Field Tools, from the back yard to camping in Wisconsin.    The kids have done catch and release and studied bugs, slugs, frog and bogs.   This year we're excited to have 2 mini lantern's under the tree.   When kids learn to explore and enjoy nature, they're more likely to grow into adults who respect the earth and will work to preserve and protect our natural resources. 

Indoor Gardening Kit-Greentoys (5+)--bring the message of recycling home in a cool, creative way.  Greentoys are made in the US from recycled, BPA free plastics.  We bought this cool kit that's made from milk jugs reincarnated into colorful flower pots and a trowel and packaged in a recycled, brown cardboard box.   Teach your children to grow change!  Check out their site for more clever reuse products from tableware to toys.

Accoutrements Bandages--Bacon, Pickles, Caution Tape, Eyeballs...and so many more-These funny blood stoppers almost make getting hurt fun!   Scrapes and cuts are a part of life, but who says they have to be beige and boring?   Dress up your owies in style with these hilarious bandages.

Later this week, we'll bring you the 3rd-6th categories of what's under our tree:

Third--Grow Your Brain
Fourth--Planes, trains and automobiles...
Fifth--For the big kids
Sixth--Not so bored games and DIY

Be sure to enter below for your chance to win!

1.  Train your brain--Win Mega Bloks Thomas and Friends-Misty Island Rescue (3+)--Value $49.99

2.  Redesigned Classics--Win either a Yomega Maverick-aluminum high speed ball bearing Yo-Yo for advanced play ($29.95)  These are so HOT they're outta stock, but we have one for YOU.  (8+)

3.  OR a Gamma Brain-smart switch Yo-Yo ($19.95) beginner to advanced.   Both come with an extra bonus-world's best instructional Yo-Yo DVD included.  (8 to adult)

4.  Green Christmas--Win a Bright Bin--eco-friendly lunch box!  ($18.95)

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