Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Celebrate an Early New Year Worthy of A King With Netflix Kids #StreamTeam #KingJulien


Looking for a fun, family friendly way to celebrate tonight with the littles in your life?! It just got even easier to ring in the New Year, jungle-style! Now on Netflix, King Julien is hosting his very own kid-sized countdown special that you and your family can use to celebrate, no matter the time of day.

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.

King Julien, Star of the Latest Netflix Original Series for Kids, Hosts Dance Party & New Year’s Eve Countdown On Netflix
Dec 29, 2014

Even if your New Year's Eve countdown is closer to 7 p.m. than midnight, you're not alone. According to a recent survey from Netflix, a third of parents (34%) admitted they either had or planned to start the party early and fool their kids into thinking its midnight long before the ball drops. If that 34% includes you, then follow the hashtag #KingJulien countdown and move it move it into a rockin' new year any time this evening!

Thanks to Netflix, 
ChiIL Mama's ChiILin' out in Chi, IL 
with King Julien party hats, balloons, streamers, noisemakers and 2015 glasses 
for a house full of our young friends!

The Big NYE Deception:
Tonight sneaky parents with young kids are changing the clocks, blowing the noisemakers at 8 p.m., and searching for that New Year’s Eve countdown on the other side of the world! Some parents will do whatever it takes to give their kids their own countdown and get them into bed before the ball actually drops. More than a third of U.S. parents (34%) admitted to starting the party early to fool their kids into thinking it’s midnight*, citing their kid’s or their own bedtime as the reason. These findings are according to a recent survey from Wakefield Research on behalf of Netflix. 

World renowned party animal King Julien, star of DreamWorks Animation’s ALL HAIL KING JULIEN on Netflix, took matters into his own paws when he heard 36% of parents said they would search for a countdown in a different time zone in order to celebrate earlier and 22% would go as far as to stage a countdown of their own. 

For the first time, King Julien will host his very own kid-sized countdown “special” on Netflix that families can use to ring in 2015 whenever they choose to celebrate. It'’s three minutes of high-energy, music-filled fun that lets kids celebrate the New Year no matter the time of day. The countdown will be available in the U.S., Canada, Latin America, UK, Ireland, the Nordics, the Netherlands and France beginning on Dec. 29th at 

"“I was totally bummed when I heard that some of my favorite little party people aren’t allowed to stay up until midnight for the biggest party of the year,"” said King Julien, King of the Lemurs. "“But then I realized I'’m king, I make the rules! So move over, Ryan Seacrest, I’ve got my very own on-demand countdown party on Netflix. That means the New Year’s Eve party is always on - just how it should be! What better way to ring in Julien-uary?”"

The new Netflix original TV series ALL HAIL KING JULIEN launched on Dec. 19, 2014 and the first five episodes are available for Netflix members to watch instantly. To find out more about the show, visit or 

Congrats again to Thomas Murphy, ChiIL Mama's winner of a year of FREE Netflix out of 945 entries. Click here for details.

About Netflix
Netflix is the world’s leading Internet television network with over 53 million members in nearly 50 countries enjoying more than two billion hours of TV shows and movies per month, including original series. Members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on nearly any Internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause and resume watching, all without commercials or commitments. 

*34% is a combination of parents who have celebrated in the past or who plan to celebrate New Year’s Eve early with kids this year. 

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.

Monday, December 29, 2014

HELP OUT: Got Your 100 Good Deeds Bracelet Yet?! @the1gdbracelet #DeedADay #1GD

Have you heard about the The 100 Good Deeds Bracelet? ChiIL Mama's elated to be chosen as a 100 Good Deeds Bracelet blogger and we'll have a bracelet waiting at home for us tomorrow when we get back from visiting family for the holidays. We'll have more personal photos for you then. We'll be doing 1 anonymous good deed a day, and spreading the word about this fabulous social movement that helps women in a number of countries earn a living doing something empowering and incredible!

Disclaimer: ChiIL Mama is thrilled to be chosen as a 100 Good Deeds Bloggers and happy to help spread the word about this awesome movement. We have been compensated with a bracelet in exchange for sharing this info with our readers and are otherwise donating our time to this worthy cause.

Join us tomorrow 12/30 from 9-10 pm ET for the #DeedADay #GNO hosted by the Mom it Forward team. 100 Good Deed Bracelet founder, Mary Fisher, will be joining us for what is sure to be an inspiring conversation! Click here for more information or to RSVP!

Mary Fisher—artist, author, advocate—spent a decade partnering with vulnerable women in Africa, designing jewelry made by the women to earn a dignified livelihood.

She had just released her memoir, Messenger, a story of discovering joy in service, when she met Thomas Morgan, filmmaker and father, who created the 100 Good Deeds game with his family.

We want to show that one simple act can make a large impact. Join us. Join the #DeedADay movement.

About The 100 Good Deeds Bracelet

The 100 Good Deeds Bracelet is hand-braided by vulnerable women worldwide in countries such as Zambia, Uganda, Rwanda, South Africa, India, Indonesia, and Haiti. The braided cord is then strung with one hundred unique glass beads and a single rubber ring. They are available for purchase at in nineteen colors and two sizes, medium/large or petite/small. One hundred percent of proceeds from sales are reinvested in the 100 Good Deeds program.

Follow us on Facebook at, on Twitter using the handle @The1GDBracelet, on Instagram using the handle @the1GDBracelet, and on Pinterest at

As of today 12/29, #DeedADay has already received over 7 million impressions on Twitter and a spike in bracelet sales! Over 200 bracelets have been sold since we began this campaign, benefitting women in Uganda, Zambia, Rwanda, South Africa, and Haiti.    

It's not too late! Send someone an e-gift card for a 100 Good Deeds Bracelet and make this new year count in a meaningful way.

In partnership with The 100 Good Deeds Bracelet Organization, eight major blogger networks across the United States are teaming up to create an influencer and social media movement. The goal is to get the public to make good deed resolutions for the New Year. 

ChiIL Mama will be in great company, teaming up with The b-Link Marketing Network by BlogaliciousClever Girls CollectiveEverywhere SocietyLatina Bloggers ConnectMom It ForwardNiche Parent NetworkOne2One Network and Type A Parent Network. In total, this movement will be shared directly with over 50 thousand bloggers and influencers throughout the United States. Stacey Ferguson, Chief Curator of Be Blogalicious and the b-Link Marketing Network said, "We decided to band together and use our voices for social good."

ChiIL out with ChiIL Mama in Chi, IL, across the nation, and around the world, to make your new years resolution count for 2015. Join the 1 Good Deed a Day movement! 

Danica Kombol, owner of the social media marketing firm, Everywhere Agency, noted, "New Years resolutions are typically self-serving and rarely accomplish any result. We wondered what we could do with the power of the blogosphere to turn the concept of the New Year’s resolution on its head and actually generate positive change. With the collective force of all the blogger networks involved, combined with the empowering message that The 100 Good Deeds Bracelet represents, there is no limit to how far the #DeedADay movement will stretch."

ChiIL Mama's doing a #DeedADay... are YOU?!

The 100 Good Deeds Bracelet was created by Mary Fisher – artist, author, advocate – who spent a decade partnering with at-risk women in Africa and around the world, designing jewelry made by the women to earn a dignified livelihood. Fisher, a leader in global social change, launched The 100 Good Deeds Bracelet, a handcrafted collection that symbolizes a commitment to perform good deeds and bring about positive change in the world.

“The motivation behind The 100 Good Deeds Bracelet collection is to inspire simple acts of kindness around the world,” said Mary Fisher. “Each bracelet is a reminder to spread positive change through action and fulfill our mission to Do Good, One Deed, One Bead, One Act of Kindness at a Time.”

Barbara Jones of the One2One Network added, "Being the founder of a women's influencer network, I love everything that the 100 Good Deed Bracelets represents and the 'pay it forward' concept of the #DeedADay campaign just felt right for us in every way! By combining forces with so many well-respected colleagues and networks, we're excited to see the impact we can make together."

Interested in joining the movement? The #DeedADay movement will be shared on all social platforms with an emphasis on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest now through January 3rd, for our big launch. Follow along and ChiIL out with ChiIL Mama on our social media platforms above. 

We love that the 100 deeds are anonymous & you get to track them by moving your ring around the 100 beads on the bracelet. Here at ChiIL Mama we're super stoked about starting 2015 with a good #DeedADay and a beautiful bracelet for social good! Are you in?!

Disclaimer: ChiIL Mama is thrilled to be chosen as a 100 Good Deeds Bloggers and happy to help spread the word about this awesome movement. We have been compensated with a bracelet in exchange for sharing this info with our readers and are otherwise donating our time to this worthy cause.

ChiIL Mama's Adventures on The Chicago Trolley Holiday Lights Tour #OriginalPhotos #Review

Take that Bucket List. I've wanted to do the acclaimed Chicago Trolley Lights Tour for years and we finally did it. In 2013 we were booked to do the press tour and the whole family was down with the stomach flu. This year we were invited again and already booked to cover Frozemont and the opening of Polar Peak. 

Thankfully, they were able to switch us to another date and my husband and I had an awesome tour together on a trolley named "Buddy". 

I've taken my son on several other summer Chicago Trolley and Double Decker Bus tours which we loved and highly recommend. The actor/narrators we've gotten are always a hoot! And it's a great way to see the city without exhausting everyone. The hop on/off tours are an excellent way to get around. And though the Light Trolley requires you to hop back on the same trolley, they do make a couple half hour stops so you get a mini taste of two Chicago holiday favorites. We've been promoting the tours for years.

There's still time to take the visiting relatives on the Holiday Lights Tour. Tours run through January 4th!

Christkindlemart--Old world German flair at a huge, open air market in the heart of Chicago.

The tour is a great length for all ages and abilities, running approximately 2.5 hours. The schtick is hilarious and informative and the trolley makes two quickie stops to let riders check out Christkindlemart in Daley Plaza and Lincoln Park Zoo Lights for a half hour each. At the end, everyone gets a coupon for a free cookie and hot cocoa at The Hersheys Store across from the original Watertower.

Zoo Lights at Lincoln Park Zoo is a colorful abundance of lights, live ice carving, and crafts for the kids.

Hilarious & Informative Tour: Our guide was knowledgable and funny. We had a lot of laughs, had a romantic tour of the city lights and a mini, festive taste of the holidays in Chicago without a lot of exhausting walking. Highly recommended.

Ditched at the Zoo: Time waits for no man... and neither do the Chicago Trolley drivers. We were just a few minutes past 9pm (meet up time) and running for the stop when we got ditched at the zoo! In all fairness, the driver did repeatedly say that he'd leave people, so the fault is ours. Thankfully we'd caught the first 2 hours of the tour and only missed the ride back to the car. So we ended up paying a cabbie the $10 we would have left our driver/guide as a tip, to get back to our car downtown. Ah well. 

Too Long To Wait For Treats: We had the cab drop us at Hersheys, but the trolley rider line for free cocoa & cookies was out the door and down the block, so we skipped it. Maybe our driver had the right idea to get outta dodge and get to the front of the cookie line before the pack of trolleys arrived and made the wait times too long. 

Despite the disappointing end, the tour was fun and worth the price. We recommend it as a great way to show off the city to your visiting friends and relatives that's not too touristy for the locals to love.

Click here for all the details.

More of our Favorite Photos:

Sights around town. Here are some of our top spaces and places.

One of the Christmas busses--all decked out for the holidays!

Light up the darkest days of the year in style with these amazing star lanterns.

We tried Puffs of Doom at the recent One of A Kind Show at Merchandise Mart and they are decadently delicious and selling at Christkindlemart!

 We review a LOT of theatre year round, and The Oriental remains our architectural favorite.

The world renowned Goodman Theatre is one of our top picks for great shows, traditional and edgy.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

INCOMING: Le Petit Cirque at Adventure Stage Chicago For Four Performances ONLY #NoStringsAttached

Tickets are now on sale for Le Petit Cirque, with four performances ONLY January 17-18 at Adventure Stage Chicago. Don't miss musician Laurent Bigot's "circus of sound," as part of the Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival!

Here at ChiIL Mama, we've been raving about the International Puppet Theater Festival since the very first announcements. Shows are selling out fast. Don't miss out on this incredible opportunity!

Seating is limited. Call the Adventure Stage Box Office at (773) 342-4141 or visit the website to get tickets today.

**Charter Humanist Members, CHF Members, teachers, and students must purchase regular-priced tickets for this program.**

Presented in partnership with Adventure Stage Chicago and the Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival, and supported by the Cultural Service at the Consulate General of France in Chicago.